Saturday, November 03, 2007

My Halloweeners!

Just a few days late with the Halloween post. i've been one tired chickadee!

i took off from work for Halloween, which was nice. i did SmartyPants' and Wiseguy's Halloween parade, then Wiseguy's class party. Then picked up Wayne from work, got the kids from school (early dismissal) and then Wayne went to get two teeth pulled (yeowch!) i made the kids have some quiet time and let them veg for a little in front of the TV. i knew they were going to be up late and i also knew that after all the candy at school a nap would be out of the question and so they sat quietly and recharged their batteries in front of the ol tellie...so sue me.
Wayne came home and started dinner, swollen faced and numb lipped...the poor guy. He is quite a trooper! After dinner, the kids got back into their costumes and he let me do HIS makeup, too! When picking out the kids things he saw a makeup kit that he wanted...it included horns, too! Of course, he didn't expect that he would be having teeth pulled on Halloween, either. In spite of the pain, he allowed me to do his makeup and apply his horns. WiseGuy said he looked "Eeeevvviiiiiillllll!'
WiseGuy had decided on being a brown dog and SmartyPants quickly followed up with a black cat. Worked great since they fight like cats and dogs! When putting the costumes together i decided i was going to get things they would/could reuse. WiseGuy got brown carpenter pants, a long sleeved brown thermal top and a cheap $5 brown tshirt over top. A few white felt circles, a nose, some ears and a tail and he was a brown dog. SmartyPants got black sweat pants, a black turtleneck and a long sleeved black shirt for overtop. Add a kitty mask, a tail, some black gloves with pink felt pads on the fingertips and a pink ribbon collar with rhinestones and a bell....and you have a black cat.

Without further ado....the pics!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

i didn't wear any costume....as a matter of fact, i never even put a drop of makeup on my face all day! Trust me when i tell you that THAT is a scary sight indeed!!!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Pumpkin Pandemonium


Halloween is finally close enough that we decided to go out over the weekend and get our pumpkins for carving. We went to a nearby nursery that always has lots of fun activities for the kids (for those who know the area Green Valley Nursery.) It was a gorgeous day for it!
Of course, lots of people get one family pumpkin for carving and maybe a smaller one or two for the wee ones in the family. That would be just way too simple for our family, so we each pick out our own big pumpkin. Wayne didn't really feel up to pumpkin carving challenge at the moment so he decided he would just be WiseGuy's assistant later on and helped him pick out a rather small pumpkin (our intention was just for WiseGuy to paint and/or use marker on the thing.) SmartyPants picked out a fairly medium sized pumpkin and i picked out a monster of a thing (it weighed in at 20lbs up at the register!)

When we made it home (after a hayride, going through a corn maze and riding up to Skyline Orchard to pick up some fresh apple cider) we started prepping our work area on the table in the backyard. WiseGuy has no patience...and while we prepped he hopped on his scooter and took off. Thanks for the help, dude! SmartyPants couldn't stand to wait, either, clamoring to get her hands on the carving tools. Unfortunately, we only had one set of carving tools (save for the two pumpkin scrapers i just happened to have.) i didn't think it would be TOO much of a problem since WiseGuy was supposed to be painting his, but, since my family can never do things the EASY way that wasn't going to happen. WiseGuy wanted nothing to do with the carving session and Wayne decided that he wanted to carve WiseGuy's pumpkin. i reminded Wayne of the size of this dwarf pumpkin and he shrugged it off and chose a pirate ship pattern out of the carving pattern book. SmartyPants chose a ghost holding a candelabra and i chose a Jekyll and Hyde type of 2 faced thing.
We gutted our pumpkins, saving the seeds to make baked pumpkin seeds later. The carving didn't seem to take as long this year as it has in the the years passed. Even for SmartyPants...and this was only her second year doing the actual carving! i was thoroughly impressed with Wayne's pirate ship....he didn't kick butt job considering the size of his workspace. Mine didn't turn out too shabby, either.
i have yet to bake those pumpkin seeds. They are laying on a cookie sheet drying. Maybe later today....yeah....maybe later.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

He's The Man! Shut Yo Mouth!

i've not been writing anything of substance here lately. i'm one exhausted lady lately. So i've been counting on the different memes to give me some content. Here's the latest to run across my path!

1. Who is your man?
Wayne

2. How long have you been together?
for just about 14 years

3. How long did you date?
we never did officially 'date'

4. How old is your man?
33

5. Who eats more?
While we can both put away the food, Wayne eats more than me because he has more machine to fuel ;)

6. Who said “I love you” first?
i did

7. Who is taller?
At 6'3" Wayne tends to be taller than most...not ALL, but most

8. Who sings better?
Definitely me!

9. Who is smarter?
Neither - we each have areas where we excel more than the other which make us a very good compliment for one another

10. Whose temper is worse?
i would have to say mine...at least, mine is quicker, which can be considered worse

11. Who does the laundry?
we both do...although i despise it almost as much as doing the dishes

12. Who takes out the trash?
He does.

13. Who sleeps on the right hand side of the bed?
He does.

14. Who pays the bills?
we both have specific bills that we each pay

15. Who is better with the computer?
We both have our strengths and weaknesses here, too. He'll tell you HE'S better....and i'll tell you he's AWESOME with the computer, but i'm pretty good, myself. He's good with hardware, i'm good with software....so, again, a good compliment for one another, i think

16. Who mows the lawn.
The lawn boy *grin* (ah, the joys of living with my parents)

17. Who cooks dinner?
Most times Wayne, but at the moment, he and my mom share the cooking duties

18. Who drives when you are together?
Mostly Wayne...but, like Aimee, i use the 'seat setting' argument to get behind the wheel on family outings.

19. Who pays when you go out?
depends on who got paid most recently

20. Who is most stubborn?
hrm...guess i'll have to say me on this one, too....but he's pretty darned headstrong!

21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong?
That's something we both hate doing, but will do eventually in any argument. i've said it more times than i can count and so has he.

22. Whose parents do you see the most?
Mine now because we live with them. A few months ago, it would've been HIS parents that we saw most....we have all since moved from Florida...us to PA and them to Alaska

23. Who kissed who first?
He kissed me while we were looking at pictures from his winter break trip to Abu Dahbi

24. Who asked who out?
We never did that part of it. We just...kinda...were together.

25. Who proposed?
i don't know that anyone proposed, really....there wasn't some big 'get down on one knee' moment...we just sorta started talking about a wedding.

26. Who is more sensitive?
Me without a doubt

27. Who has more friends?
we have a lot of mutual friends....

28. Who has more siblings?
we both have one blood sibling, i, however, have step siblings and he does not

29. Who wears the pants in the family?
We used to have an answer for that but these days we know that we both need to have input in most decisions.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year




Not Christmas, Halloween!

My favorite holiday on the calendar is Halloween! This year it's even better being back up in a climate that actually HAS AUTUMN!
The pumpkins above were carved by SmartyPants and i last year. She did the face and i did the other one. We are still trying to decide what we will do this year.
Here is a cute Halloween survey/meme:

YAY! HALLOWEEN!!!

Ghosts or Goblins?:
- Ghosts

Zombies or Vampires?:
- Vampires

Witches or Hags?:
- Witches

Werewolves or Frankenstein?:
- Big old hairy Werewolves

Black Cats or bats?:
- Cats

Trick or Treat?:
- TREAT!

Candy Corn or Candy Apples?:
- Apples

Pumpkins or Squash?:
- Pumpkin

Orange or Purple lights?:
- Purple, if i have any.

Toads or Spiders?:
- i can handle spiders better than toads.

Lanterns or Lit-Pumpkins?:
- i prefer carved lit pumpkins....AND lanterns! Why not both?

Skeletons or Mummies?:
- Skeletons

Morticia or Lily Munster?:
- That's a toughie. A little of both, maybe?

Do you like to dress up for Halloween?:
- i have and will dress up for Halloween depending on the situation. No matter what, though, i at LEAST do some sort of freaky or creepy makeup job. Last year i rimmed my eyes with bright red eyeshadow and red eyeliner and made the rest of my face pale. Nothing major, but something a little unnerving nonetheless. This year i took off from work to take the kids trick - or - treating and am considering dressing in SOMETHING.

What were you last year for Halloween?:
- See above

What are you going to be this year?:
- i'm not sure...still pondering.

Favorite costume you have ever worn?:
- i'm not too sure on this one, either. It's a toss up between a mad blood-spattered scientist toting my husband around in a straight jacket as my patient and the year i dressed as a hippie when i was in high school.

How do you spend your Halloween?:
- These days we take the kids out trick-or-treating. Then when we come home, they go to bed and we go through their candy for the real good stuff unsafe stuff and watch scary movies and stuff on tv. In recent years i've been watching the live episodes of Ghost Hunters on SciFi

Are you or are you not going trick or treating this year?:
- i'm TAKING the kids trick-or-treating....so kinda sorta

Did or do you pull Halloween pranks?:
- yeah, we used to go 'raiding. We threw uncooked hard corn kernels by the handful at people's windows and the cobs at their doors. Not quite sure when or how or WHY that started, but it was a tradition that took place the few weeks that led up to Halloween EVERY YEAR and the neighbors HATED it. We kids had a blast, though.

Do you believe in ghosts?
- Yes

Are you superstitious?:
- i am out of habit, not because i believe in superstitions.

Do you like caramel popcorn?:
- is the pope german?

Have you ever gone in the country to look for pumpkins?:
- Does the pumpkin patch at the nursery count?

Have you ever been on a hayride?:
- MANY many hayrides. i'm sure there are MANY more to come with the kids over the years.

Do you decorate your home for Halloween?:
- i LOVE to decorate for Halloween! i have to tone it down this year because i'm living with my mom, but she let me put these gel window stick ons of bloody handprints and blood spatters in the windows of my bedroom on the FRONT OF THE HOUSE! i also convinced her to let me put out some spider webs. i USED to have a foam tomb stone, but that got lost in the shuffle.

Have you ever been to a haunted house?:
- I have

Have you ever been to a graveyard on Halloween?:
- i think so...one time in college, i think.

Have you ever attended a Halloween party?:
- Several

Have you ever been to an amusement park's Halloween event?:
- There were probably some of THE best Halloween events at Universal Studios and Disney when we lived down in Florida....but do you know i never got to go to one in the seven years i lived there?

Do you watch scary movies on Halloween?:
- Oh yes...and for several weeks prior to Halloween, as well.

Have you ever had your candy stolen from you?:
- Yes! It was scary and it sucked. i was around 11 or 12 and someone ran up behind me and my friend. We were walking up the hill to our houses, our bags STUFFED after a night around town and all of the sudden i felt a sharp pain in my hand as the plastic candy bag handle dug into my skin. I pulled back hard as i could but the handle broke and the kid ran with the candy. A few of the neighborhood boys and one of the dads walked around the blocks for a little bit trying to find the kid but they never did.

Did you ever steal any ones candy?:
- No!

Has anyone ever gotten hurt due to your prank?:
- Nope it was always fairly innocent stuff

Have you ever dressed as a witch/warlock?:
- Somewhere along the lines i probably have....

Are your parents into Halloween?:
- My stepmom is a Halloween fanatic, but my mom and dad themselves aren't 'into' Halloween so to speak. My stepdad would rather we didn't even decorate to encourage trick-or-treaters.

What do you believe is the most common Halloween costume?:
- Ghost, maybe?

Who took an axe and gave her mother forty wacks?
- Lizzie Borden

Do you have a tradition for Halloween day?:
- Nothing other than the usual trick or treating

Do you know someone who was born on Halloween?:
- No

HAVE YOU EVER:

Passed out candy?:
- i used to.

Bobbed for apples?:
- Yes i have.

Gone to a pumpkin patch?:
- Yep

Hosted a Halloween Party?:
- i don't think so

Attended a Halloween Party?:
- Several

made pumpkin pie?:
- Nope, can't say that i have...maybe i should start this year

Raked leaves?:
- Unfortunately

Watched the Travel Channel with the Halloween specials?:
- You mean Most Haunted? Yeah, i've watched that. i flip back and forth between it and Ghost Hunters.

HAVE YOU SEEN:


Amityville Horror?:
- Yes

- House Of Wax?:
- Yes

- Tales From The Crypt?:
- My most favorite is Demon Knight! Billy Zane.....yummy!

- The Exorcist?:
- Yes

- Texas Chainsaw Massacre:
- i don't think so, now that you mention it

- Pumpkinhead?:
- Yes

- The Grudge?:
- i saw the first one

- The Sixth Sense?:
- Yes

- The Others?:
- Hmm...maybe

- All or any of the Nightmare On Elm Street?:
- Yeppers

- Practical Magic?:
- i don't think so

- Any or all of The Simpson's Halloween episodes?:
- Yes most, if not all

- The Munsters?:
- Yes

- The Addams Family?:
- Yes

- Elvira?:
- She makes me giggle. i love her.

-The Lost Boys?:
- Oh yes

-Hocus Pocus?:
- This is SmartyPants' ALL TIME FAVORITE HALLOWEEN MOVIE EVER!!! She'll watch it any time of the year, really, but for her Halloween just isn't Halloween without watching Hocus Pocus at LEAST 5 times!


There you have it. Some Halloween facts about me.

Now back to your regularly scheduled program already in progress.....

Friday, September 21, 2007

Twu Wuv

I recently came across this meme that others of you had done and needed something to post! So here it is! The Marriage Meme!

1. Where/How did you meet? We met in college. He was friends with my roommate. When my bf at the time broke up with me i was HEARTBROKEN and my roommate would drag me out and about with her to keep me from ending up in a sobbing heap on the dorm room floor. We would go hang out with a group, of which Wayne was a part of. We became good friends. There were times when he would make me go to dinner with him because he knew i hadn't eaten all day (still mourning the ex) Once, he even took me in his arms and held me as i cried. There was no interest other than friendship, but over the course of time we became closer and closer...and the rest is history.

2. How long have you known each other? almost 14 years

3. How long after you met did you start dating? i'd say it was probably 3 or 4 months

4. How long did you date before you were engaged? 3 years

5. How long was your engagement? i don't remember

6. How long have you been married? almost 11 years

7. What is your anniversary? January 25th

8. How many people came to your wedding reception: i dunno...it was very small...maybe...30?

9. What kind of cake did you serve? it was a lemon cake with cream cheese icing

10. Where was your wedding? The church where i had received every other sacrament in my life

11. What did you serve for your meal? We didn't have a meal, we had a buffet with smaller finger foods and such

12. How many people were in your bridal party? just the maid of honor and the best man

13. Are you still friends with them all? we have lost touch with the best man, but yes, we are still friends with him, should we ever find him again. My maid of honor was my sister, so yeah, we're still friends ;)

14. Did your spouse cry during the ceremony? He definitely teared up

15. Most special moment of your wedding day? When we got to the back of the church afterwards and we had a few moments alone to hold one another and breathe a sigh of relief that it was over

16. Any funny moments? Not that i can recall

17. Any big disasters? No, everything we as planned

18. Where did you go on your honeymoon? We spent the night at a little bed and breakfast up the way from where we held the reception....that was it

19. How long were you gone? 1 night

20. If you were to do your wedding over, what would you change? i can't so i won't go there

21. What side of the bed do you sleep on? If you’re laying on your back on the bed I’m on the left side...right now...this can change from month to month

22. What size is your bed? Queen

23. Greatest strength as a couple? We never run out of things to talk about or do. We're never bored together.

24. Greatest challenge as a couple? Finances - one can handle them, one can't

25. Who literally pays the bills? At the moment we have certain bills that we each pay

26. What is your song? Well, i walked down the aisle to 'Can You Feel The Love Tonight' from The Lion King, so that is pretty much 'our song' but there are many out there that remind me of Wayne and vice versa

27. What did you dance your first dance to? We didn't have dancing

28. Describe your wedding dress: Simple, cream colored ankle length slip dress covered by a cream ankle length lace 'jacket'

29. What kind of flowers did you have at your wedding? Roses and Stargazer Lilies

30. Are your wedding bands engraved? What do they say? We bought our rings separately, not showing them to the other until they were placed on our fingers. He had mine engraved 'To My Beloved, Eternally Yours, Wayne' - i had his engraved with the date and our initials...yeah, i felt small ;)

Ok, so, now those of you who have yet to do this one, TAG YOU'RE IT! You know who you are, so get to it! ;)

Monday, September 10, 2007

If it's TOO LOUD you're....

...TOO OLD?? i beg to differ. WiseGuy has this 'problem.' Certain noises send him into hysterics. They are generally loud noises, but not ALL loud noises will do it. We can't take him to parades because of the fire, police and ambulance sirens. When they pass by and sound their sirens he screams and cries uncontrollably as i stand there with him holding my hands tight to his ears while he presses against them to hold them on even tighter. So we don't take him. He likes to WATCH fireworks....NOW. It took us until this summer to get him to watch them on TV. He can't stand to be within a mile of them. He stills states that he HATES July 4th and wishes we could all celebrate quietly. So we don't take him to fireworks displays.
There is one particular noise that sets him off more than any other. The fire alarm at school. He has ALWAYS hated the fire drill. His first day of kindergarten they thought it would be a good idea to have a fire drill....his FIRST day of KINDERGARTEN! Ok, so, i can see a bit of logic in that...getting them used to it....but that's not how it worked for my WiseGuy. The noise terrified him and he screamed for over an hour. As the months wore on he continued to scream and cry when they had the fire drill, it just took less time for him to get over it once he realized they were outside, away from the noise and that soon the alarm would get turned off. Then Tornado Awareness week came along. The fire alarm sounds but you DON'T leave the buidling. You duck and cover in the midst of the noise. i had to go pick him up from school that day as he cried and screamed so much that he made himself throw up. He did the same thing the next day....and the day after that...and the day after that. He would cry randomly at home and talk about the fire drill with a terrified look on his face while i tried to reassure him that they weren't going to do it the next day...or the next or the next....but i knew, eventually, they would do a regular ol fire drill again and it would start again. It did. And the time after that and the time after that. Yeah....they had a LOT of fire drills. Eventually, we worked out that the teacher kept a pair of wax earplugs in her desk and when the bell sounds, she is to give those to him to put in his ears as the children line up and walk outside. We told him they were there....but he didn't need to use them the next time and calmed down quickly once they left the building.
They had a fire drill at his school last week. He cried outside for a half hour and REFUSED to go back into the school. They finally convinced him to go back inside but he still wouldn't go back into his room. After another half hour he was back in the room and sat with his fingers in his ears while they resumed the school work. The teacher called me. Turns out at his school they just redid the fire alarm system in the school and it IS quite loud and VERY piercing. Since they didn't want to TERRIFY these little primary schoolers, they make an announcement over the loud speaker telling the children it is a fire drill and to line up and exit the building slowly. They never sound the alarm. So WiseGuy was confused once they went back in and started their school work and had never heard the alarm. The teacher said he sat and looked around and asked 'Where's the fire drill??' The teacher told him they already had it. He wasn't really sure what to make of that.
He didn't talk TOO much about it. i was SURE it would be the topic of discussion the rest of the night, but he barely mentioned it.
i wasn't sure what to make of THAT.
i look things up online. i research some things. i see that there might be medical causes for some such behavior/reactions. i also see that the cures are few and far between and most say that over time he will be accustomed to the sounds he hears. He will learn to tune them out...or down...just by experiencing them time and again and again.
Can i tell you that it breaks my heart? When i'm standing there holding his ears as the fire trucks pass in a parade, there are tears in my eyes as well as his. It pains me that he can't enjoy something that should be so fun. It makes me sad that he and i sit inside on the 4th of July and New Year's Eve and we can't go out with the others to see the beautiful fire works.
i've had him to audiologist. They did a hearing test on him. Guess what the result was?? He has PERFECT HEARING! No kidding, chief, i already knew that. They ran a few other tests and they basically told me it's on the neurological level and how he is PERCEIVING the sound.
The neurologist was never able to get me in for an intake appointment before we left Florida.
Many family members think that it's all in his head. They say he doesn't react as strongly when i'm not around. Or sometimes not at all. But the incident at school with the fire drill is proof positive that he DOES react when i'm not around.
i guess i'm not sure what to do, to be honest. Seek out answers to the cause? Or just work with him for a solution that we can see already is working to some extent?
i've struggled with this for a while now and am no closer to coming to a resolution.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Sleeping....Ugly??

Well, my computer (actually internet connection) is finally fixed.

In the past few weeks, school has started, my sleep schedule is interrupted yet again. Horror of horrors! But you don't understand....i LOVE to sleep. No, really....i L-O-V-E my sleep! i've quite often made the statement
"If it were normal and socially acceptable to marry inanimate objects i would marry my bed so i could tell people i needed to go home and spend time with my husband!"


It was hard when i first started this job back in June. My shift is 6pm - 1am Monday through Friday. Sometimes i get home a little early, sometimes a little later. It took several weeks for my body to adjust to being up this late, but it helped that the kids were home from school. SmartyPants would get breakfast for both her and her brother and would keep him occupied and let me sleep in. Now, there is no more sleeping in.
Wayne is up and out the door by 6:30am to get to his job, which means i'm generally on my own with the kids in the morning. It's up as late as possible for me, which is usually 7:30. Get the kids fed, dressed and out the door by 8:30, not a real big deal. Get home around 8:45 and sit in front of the computer for a few minutes to check things without child interruption. Lay down and try to sleep some more. Get woken up by well meaning mother and other phone calls. Get up and eat. Take shower. Go pick up kids. Do homework. Finish getting ready for work. Go to work. Get home around 1 or 1:30am. Get to bed by 2am. Get up around 7:30 and do it all over again.
Another wrench gets thrown in the works on Monday when SmartyPants starts chorus practice before school from 7:45 - 8:30.

i miss my husband, err, uh, i mean bed!!!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Sesame Me

i know i haven't blogged in a bit, but, unfortunately, my wireless link to my computer isn't working. At the moment, i am using my mom's computer...fun stuff!

Since i felt the need to blog SOMETHING but don't want to use up too much of my parents computer time, i figured i would go ahead and do the Sesame Street Persona Test that i found over at T with Honey! i'll blog more when my internet connection issues are resolved!!!


Your Score: Kermit the Frog


You scored 45% Organization, 60% abstract, and 71% extroverted!



This test measured 3 variables.

First, this test measured how organized you are. Some muppets like Cookie Monster make big messes, while others like Bert are quite anal about things being clean.

Second, this test measured if you prefer a concrete or an abstract viewpoint. For the purposes of this test, concrete people are considered to gravitate more to mathematical and logical approaches, whereas abstract people are more the dreamers and artistic type.

Third, this test measured if you are more of an introvert or an extrovert. By definition, an introvert concentrates more on herself and an extrovert focuses more on others. In this test an introvert was somebody that either tends to spend more time alone or thinks more about herself.

You are mostly organized, both concrete and abstract, and more extroverted.

Here is why are you Kermit the Frog.

You are both somewhat organized. You have a good idea where you put things and you probably keep your place reasonably clean. You aren't totally obsessed with neatness though. Kermit is also reasonably tidy. He'll even dress up for interviews.

You both are sometimes concrete and sometimes abstract thinkers. Kermit spends a lot of his time as a reporter collecting facts, but he is also the author of the dreamy song "The Rainbow Connection." You have a good balance in your life. You know when to be logical at times, but you also aren't afraid to explore your dreams and desires... within limits of course.

You are both extroverts. Kermit gets along with everyone. Sure a few folks annoy him, but that's just because they are annoying. Kermit likes to meet new people when he does his job as a street reporter. You definitely enjoy the company of others, and you don't have problems meeting new people... in fact you probably look forward to it. You are willing to take charge when necessary or work as part of a team.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, Kermit starred on Sesame Street years before The Muppet Show.


The other possible characters are
Oscar the Grouch
Big Bird
Snuffleupagus
Ernie
Elmo
Cookie Monster
Grover
The Count
Guy Smiley
Bert

Hey, don't be a grouch! If you liked the test, let others know by rating it below. Feel free to vote for your favorite character too.

Link: The Your SESAME STREET Persona Test written by greencowsgomoo on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Friday, August 10, 2007

i rock?! WOOHOO!

T over at T With Honey apparently thinks I ROCK!!! She has dubbed me a Rockin' Girl Blogger! Very awesome, T, thanks!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Now for the fun part, awarding OTHERS!!!

First, kimmy at blog my memory. She totally rocks! This i've known since grade school. And when i say she ROCKS i mean she REALLY rocks! i've got the audio tapes to prove it!!!

Aimee from The Mother Load ALSO rocks! Grade school once again was when i discovered that fact. She also rocks because if it weren't for her, i would've never started my own blog. Of course there are many other reasons she rocks, but you'll just have to go and read her blog for that one.

Billie is new to the blogosphere. Her new blog, Life in the Circle, is already shaping up to be a great read. We have only recently gotten back in touch after years and years of no contact and that in itself ROCKS!

Of course, i must give rockin props back to T! She thinks i rock and, well, that just rocks!!! HA!

That, my friends is the extent of my rocking blogger girls!

This totally rocks! LOL

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Wine Me, Dine Me

So my birthday is on Tuesday, but since the rest of the fam will be working all day and i'll be working all night we celebrated it today. There happened to be a winery tour going on today and my mom suggested we get a sitter for the kids and me, Wayne, her and my stepdad all hit a few of the wineries. Now, i'm not very big on wine, to be quite honest, but it sounded intriguing, adult, and something we could do together without spending lots of money, so i agreed. It turned out to be a lovely day and i discovered a few wines that i DO enjoy!
i got pics of the day and included them below

In the car on the way:




(that's my mom!)
i took a self portrait, a la MySpace ;)

and had my mom take one of Wayne and me


The first winery left a lot to be desired. It was tiny, empty and the girl behind the counter was cute but it was obvious she would rather be somewhere else. We tasted a few different wines and bought a bottle of blueberry dessert wine, though. The only thing of note there was in the parking lot as we left. There was an original Mini Cooper, complete with right hand side steering and Brit flag painted on top.


The next winery we hit was French Creek Winery.

Inside was very nice, but the best part of the inside was a sign hanging over a door. Unfortunately, the only shot i got of it came out fairly blurry, but you can still read

The wine there was NOT to my liking....very very dry. So instead of buying any wine we bought a pair of wine glasses with the name of the winery on it.

i got a pic of the vineyard there.


Our last stop was my favorite of the day. It was Manatawny Creek Winery.


Obviously, the theme color was purple, but it was so tastefully done. The people there were wonderful, helpful and friendly. The inside of the store had much more than wine. There were jellies made with wine, infused grapeseed oils, vinegar, wineglasses and all sorts of wine related items.

We taste several wines that i REALLY liked. We ended up purchasing a bottle of Autumn Blush for Wayne and Mason's Mayhem for me. The neat thing about Mason's Mayhem was that Mason is the owner's cat. We were told we could only taste it after seeing the bottle:

Cute, huh? It ended up being my favorite and a MAJOR plus was that they donate a portion of each purchase of that wine to the local animal rescue.
We also bought a small jar of blueberry wine jelly.
They had this wonderful sangria popsicle, as well, that they gave us as we left. It was so delicious and very refreshing and we sat and ate it on the porch overlooking the vineyard.
The pic of Wayne enjoying HIS pop made me laugh hysterically

Here are my mom and stepdad, Jim, out on the porch, as well as the vineyard below:




All in all it ended up being a wonderful day. We had a good time and i discovered that i DO like wine....just the sweet ones ;)

Below are my birthday gifts....the bottles of wine, the glasses and the jar of jelly. Wayne also got me two pieces of jewelry, a pink leather and pearl necklacke as well as a delicate silver cuff bracelet.




i would love to hear a recommendation from others who enjoy wine! i'm sure i can find all sorts of different kinds as we only hit three of the nine wineries on the tour today!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Life in Hi Def

i figure i should start to prepare for the winter when we stay indoors. This was not the case in Florida, we could go outdoors almost all year long. The kids are going to be bored, i'm sure, particularly when it is COLD but there is no snow. So, what can i do NOW to prepare for THEN? ENTER A CONTEST TO WIN AN HDTV!!! That will keep them occupied, don't you think?
Over at 5 Minutes for Mom they are having an awesome contest. It's very simple to enter it, too. The winner will receive an Insignia® 37″ Flat-Panel LCD HDTV from Best Buy! Sounds great, right? Well, go on over to 5 Minutes for Mom and check it out and enter!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Monday Moaning

i was tagged by Aimee to do the following meme. i do love a good gripe session from time to time!



Name 4 things that should go into Room 101 and be removed from the face of the Earth:


1) Fire ants. These little buggers may have some sort of ecological reason for existence, but i can't find one...nor do i care to.

2) Those Heely skate sneaker combo deals. Is it wrong that anytime i see a kid tooling through Walmart on those things that i just want to stick my foot out and trip them? It is?? Oh, well...i'll work on that.

3) NASCAR. Yes, i know, so many people love NASCAR and if you are one of them, more power to ya. i just can't see what is exciting about watching cars go left for hours and hours and hours.

4) Bratz. Those little hoochie dolls need to be removed from shelves and the face of the Earth. Someone bought SmartyPants a Babyz Bratz once and the thing was wearing a MESH THONG for underwear. A BABY wearing a MESH THONG!?! WHAT?!

Name 3 things that people do that make you want to shake them violently:

1) When guys wear their pants down around their thighs....and have a belt on at the same time. i just wanna walk over and pull their pants up. Either that or say something rude and run away, what are they going to do, waddle after me??

2) Parents who let their children run rampant around restaurants, or any other facility where it is inappropriate. Oh, i know it can be hard to control the little buggers, but when your child is trying to assist the line cook in the kitchen, there is a problem.

3) When people pass judgement on others based solely on the fact that they have tattoos or piercings. Can you guess why? Yes, i have a few myself...as do a good number of my friends. The older generation will sometimes cross the street when they see us coming.


Name 2 things you find yourself moaning about:

1) My work hours....6pm - 1am

2) Not having my own place yet


Name 1 thing that all of the above says about you as a person:

That i need to have more patience and understanding for some things....but not those damn Bratz dollz!!!

i've got no one to tag as those who read my blog have already been tagged....oh yes you have....just go read Aimee's blog!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Adjustment Disorder

i went to register the kids at school today. We were finally able to find the one box that had the kids records and birth certificates in(yes, i know i should've kept them with me...so sue me.) They are officially students in our school district. i'm still not quite sure who is going to have a harder time adjusting to the new school, them or me.
Considering how the majority of schools have elementary, middle and high school, i was pretty much counting on SmartyPants and WiseGuy to be in the same school this year. As a matter of fact, we viewed it as the last time they would attend school together as they are four years apart. She is starting 5th grade and he is going to 1st grade. Well, this school district does it a little different. There is the Primary School, which is PreK, K, and 1st. Then there is elementary, which is 2nd through 6th. Then it's onto the high school, which is 7 - 12th. This means that they won't attend school together this year...but they will next year....then they won't again the year after that. It also means that SmartyPants will be going up to the high school in TWO YEARS! She's 10 years old, for goodness sake! Two more years until she goes to the high school???
Then there is the topic of dress code. There isn't really one. The school they attended in Florida had a strict dress code. Not like the one i'm used to from Catholic School, but jeans or khakis or navy blue, shorts, jumpers, pants skorts and a white, green, red or navy school t-shirt or a shirt of that color with a collar on it. All children HAD to wear a belt and their shirt tucked in as well as socks and sensible shoes. Now they have all kinds of free reign for clothes and i'm just not so sure how i feel about that. i'm not so much worried about what MY children will wear, i'm more worried about what other parents allow their children to wear, thus influencing my children to want to wear the same stuff and dress the same way. *sigh* Is this sounding over protective?? There is also the matter of buying school clothes and the matter of the kids picking out their clothes for the day...

i know, these are little things and i shouldn't stress about them...but i can't help it.

Maybe we need to look into sending them to St Cat's and Central. That would be three generations...my mom went to both, i went to both and maybe they should, too. Wayne has made mention of it, as a matter of fact. Certainly not for this year as the finances just won't allow it, but something to think about for next year, maybe.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Ch ch ch changes

I'm quite sure many of you noticed that I had changed some things on the ol blog. I added some things, like the daily puppy, daily dose of art, children's books and the like...even some riddles and puzzles in case you got bored.
Today I added a chatter box. You will see it below the 'About Me' section on the right hand side of the screen in the 'Random Thoughts and Messages' section. You will see a box to type a name in and a box below it where you can type a message! I posted a message to get it started. See, I've have a lot of people say 'Oh, I read your blog, I just don't post comments. I don't want to sign up for something just to leave a message.' or 'I didn't know what to say in response to that post, but I did read it' So now, anyone can leave a message without having to sign up for anything special or respond to a specific post! If you feel like it, you can use the chatterbox to talk amongst yourselves :)
I hope this step encourages some of you to leave messages and comments because I do so love to hear from you!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Battle of the Bulge

In a previous post I stated that I had started a diet. I am still working on that diet and things are progressing...kind of. It's common knowledge that I LOVE my food and having it limited hasn't been easy. For me, it didn't help that SmartyPants had a birthday with an outdoor BBQ type of party or that we had JUST had July 4th or that it was just about 'that time of the month.' Hamburgers, pasta salad, chips, salsa, chocolate cake, smores and just plain chocolate!
My work environment hasn't been very helpful, either. Every night they do a food run to either Chinese or sandwich shop. I am always asked if I want to order anything and I always say no. Of course, when someone offers me something, I have a hard time saying no....especially when it is an offer of a ham puff or gravy fries. I am weak when it comes to food, what can I say? If it's not there, I won't eat it, but put it in front of me and I have a hard time saying no. While I will readily admit to indulging some cravings, I can honestly say that I don't OVER indulge. I have a smaller portion than I might have had before...or just a taste...and that's usually enough for me. So when offered to split an order of steamed dumplings from the Chinese place, I'll have two dumplings out of the 8 dumpling order. Sure, I shouldn't be having dumplings at ALL, but fewer is better.
During my weekly weigh-ins I had leveled out for the past few weeks. I was glad that I wasn't GAINING weight, which I had worried about. But I wasn't LOSING weight, either. So, I amped up my water intake and cut out the candybars (oh yeah, I said candybar...I NEEDED my chocolate!) and just paid a little more attention to my points.
I stepped on the scale for my weigh in and over the past week I lost 2 more pounds, making my total weight loss to date 14 pounds. I am starting to notice a little difference in my clothes and THAT is very satisfying for me. I had bought a brand new belt within days of arriving here back at the very beginning of June. I had to buy an x-tra large and extend it a few holes. I am now at the smallest hole and need to buy another belt...one size smaller.
So, while I may not be following the diet as strictly as I should be, but I am continuing to lose weight and am learning how to eat better and, in the long run, I think it will work for me.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Same Window, Different View

After completing my previous post, the meme about high school, and reading the same posts by my friends and old classmates, Kimmy, Aimee and T, I have come to an OBVIOUS yet interesting realization.
It's such a cliche, this realization. The fact that everybody is different and has a different perspective on things. Well, duh, of course! What I found so interesting about it this time is that it was literally just laid out in black and white. Four females in the same place, at the same time for the same purpose....doing all of the same things! Yet the stories and experiences we chose to relay in our posts were all completely different in every way.
Sure this isn't anything PROFOUND, but I suppose it fascinates me to see the differing views of our time in high school. Apparantly, I had a better experience than my closest friends who would all choose to never go back again. I was always a little bit separate from those friends because of the fact that they were in all honors classes and I was in the regular ol' everyday joe classes. I had all different teachers than they did and all different classroom material and all different classmates throughout the day. Our free periods during the day didn't often coincide, either. I often felt like the outsider where they were concerned. The 'not so smart one' - of course, most people in my everyday classes didn't understand why I WASN'T in honors classes...so in their eyes I was 'the smart one.' (Which begs the question, is it better to be the stupid kid in the smart classes or the smart kid in the stupid classes? That's a whole other post!)
I'm thankful that through it all....through the dark periods...through the different arguments....through the good times...through the differences....through long gaps of little to no communication....through thousands of miles in between....through all of it we are still friends. All of us who started out in First Grade together. Maybe we weren't ALL the best of friends while IN first grade, but never forget we all started at St. Cat's in first grade together. That's 25 years, ladies. A quarter of a century.
I couldn't think of a better group of people to spend a lifetime knowing.
Now we all have our OWN windows to look out of and isn't the view just wonderful?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Oh Alma Mater

I've been tagged by Aimee to rehash my high school days in this cute meme below!


1. Who was your best friend?
I can't pick just one, that's not fair. During different portions of high school there were different people who I hung out with for different things. Mainly, my best friends were Kimmy and Aimee. Because I wasn't in the same classes as they were I had a whole other group of friends...though I don't think I would ever consider them BEST friends.


2. Did you play any sports?
I did NOT play sports....I did/do not LIKE sports. I did gym class...sometimes...ok, so maybe I constantly forgot my clothes...so sue me!

3. What kind of car did you drive?
I was in the same boat as Aimee...someone else's boat, that is! I didn't drive until I was 20 years old. Other people had to cart my butt around! (Thanks Kimmy!)

4. It's Friday night. Where were you?
I was at home or on my way to the shore with my parents. Wow, sounds groovy, huh?

5. Were you a party animal?
If there were parties, I had no clue of their existence.

6. Were you considered a flirt?
Uhm...heh....yeah, I suppose I was.

7. Were you in the band, orchestra or choir?
Choir all the way! I did some percussion in band for a year or something. I don't think it was ever official or anything, but I got in the band picture in the yearbook for it. However, choir I did all four years and got my letter in it. Unlike Aimee, I DID got my white sweater and sported my letterman sweater with the best of them! WE EARNED THOSE LETTERS, AIMEE!!!

8. Were you a nerd?
I wasn't a NERD, they had their own group. I wasn't one of the COOL kids...they had their own group, too. I floated somewhere in the middle, but was definitely known to be weird.

9. Were you ever suspended or expelled?
Nah. I had a detention ONCE for no gym clothes all the time, but that was it.

10. Can you sing the fight song?
Funny, after I read Aimee's version of this blog I thought about it and YES I CAN still sing the Alma Mater

We love thee, Alma Mater, dear old Central High. Within your walls, may it be said, that hidden treasures lie. So we will keep on seeking them, til strength we have no more, but we will keep you on the top: Excelsior! Oh Alma Mater, we will fight, through thick and thin, for the red and the white! Because on you we can rely, all hail to Central Catholic High!


11. Who was your favorite teacher?
Hard to say. I like Mrs Sichler(i think that's how her name was spelled), my Spanish teacher, and I loved our music teacher, Mr Scollick. (most people didn't care for him too much, but that man is a musical wiz!) I also liked Mrs Pollins, the art teacher!

12. What was your school mascot?
The mighty Cardinal.

13. Did you go to the Prom?
Yes. I went with a junior when I was a sophomore and I also went to my senior prom.

14. If you could go back, would you?
Uhm...I don't know. I had a good time in high school for the most part....and it was so easy compared to life today. Generally, though, I suppose it's best left where it is...in the past.

15. What do you remember most about graduation?
Receiving the Achievement in Music award. I didn't expect to win ANY rewards, let alone THAT one!

16. Where were you on Senior Skip Day?
We didn't do Senior Skip Day.

17. Did you have a job your senior year?
I don't know....I don't think so...maybe....maybe not.

18. Where did you go most often for lunch?
The caf. We weren't allowed to leave school grounds without a note from Mommy


19. Have you gained weight since then?
Ok, when I graduated high school I weighed 108. There are two kids and 14 years between now and then....what do YOU think?


20. What did you do after graduation?
Went on a cruise to Bermuda then went to college.

21. What year did you graduate?
1993

22. Who was your Senior Prom Date?
I went with a guy who I had met at Diocesan Chorus. He played the piano and sang like no one's business. We dated for a little bit but we WEREN'T dating when he took me to my prom. It was just too late for him to back out when he did break up with me. We never danced the entire night. As a matter of fact, he spent a portion of the evening out on the landing at the top of the stairs playing their piano while I sat there and tried not to cry. The best part of the entire experience was buffet style breakfast at Aimee's place!

23. Are you going/did you go to your 10 year reunion?
I was living in Florida and couldn't make it back up for the reunion. I'll do the 15 if they have one, and OF COURSE, the 20. Until then, we'll just have our OWN private reunions!


24. Who was your homeroom teacher?
Freshman year - Sr Joachim
Sophomore year - Sr Janice
Junior year - I had two different ones because of some teacher switching and ended up with Mr Pettijohn
Senior year - Mrs Pollins


25. Who will repost this after you?
Aimee already did it, and she tagged T....so I suppose I'm all done...unless we can FINALLY convince Kimmy to start a blog!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A REAL Hoofer!

For those who don't know, I'm a HUGE animal lover. Dogs, cats, birds, rats, horses, ferrets, snakes, lizards. I also enjoy animal involved sports. These days there are any number of different sports that are televised involving our furry friends. The other day I saw one of the 20 ESPN channels was showing a hunting dog competition. They don't use real animals for hunting, just decoys. Regardless, these dogs were impressive and I thoroughly enjoyed being able to watch that!
Also being shown are more equestrian sports, such as Dressage. A friend recently posted the following video clip and I just HAD to share it! Maybe I'm just a huge dork thinking this is awesome, (ok, no maybe about it, I'm a huge dork) but I've got a feeling it is something that some of you can appreciate with me.




After watching that I was reminded of the dog dancing competitions. There was one video, in particular, of a woman and her dog dancing to a song from 'Grease.' This is a REAL competition, folks! Remember that whole huge dork thing? Yeah, well, as if to cement it, I would LOVE to be able to train a dog to do these things with me! Watch below:




Now who's the huge dork!?

Ok, yeah, but it was still cool, wasn't it?

Sunday, July 08, 2007

An Entire Decade

My little girl went into the double digits today. She's run circles round me so fast I never even saw it coming...and now she's 10 year old.
It was a wonderful day. Most people thought it was a bit hot out. We did well all things considered though...there was a nice little breeze going.
My cousin came over, my Uncle came (the first I've seen him since we've been here) His first words to me were 'Welcome Home.' I've really missed him. Step relatives came by. We had burgers and hot dogs on the grill. Wayne went all out with the burgers making an Asian type of blend, a mesquite cinnamon blend and just regular ol salt and pepper. They kicked butt! Wink Then it came time for the cake.
it was a 4 day project that SmartyPants had input it and helped with and i made everything by hand. It was a labor of love and oh so worth the time that it took. I was worried it wouldn't taste as good as it looked, but in the end, even though it looks sinfully (almost sickeningly) sweet, everyone made a point to say that they were surprised to find that it WASN'T at all too sweet...and oh was it moist. It was devil's food cake and strawberry cake alternating layers with a yogurt and whipped cream and strawberry sauce between each layer. It was as yummy as it looked!
She got a necklace, some coloring books, money and.....a telescope! She has a wonderful Uncle who loves to spoil his goddaughter.
When it got dark out and the neighbor (who's birthday it happened to be as well) was over and we started a fire in the outside fireplace and made smores.
All in all it was a wonderful day. The food was good, the family was hangin', the kids all had a good time and SmartyPants had a good birthday.
I included pics of the cake, before the fairies and ponies and AFTER the fairies and ponies. I was quite proud of my first time efforts!





Tuesday, July 03, 2007

More FOLK Than Festival!

After my first full week of work we decided it was time to get out and do something as a family, my mom and stepdad included. This weekend was the beginning of the Kutztown Folk Festival (actually called the Kutztown Pennsylvania German Festival, but you get the drift) and I had been only once in my life, the rest of the family had NEVER been before. So we decided we would have family fun at the folk festival. (try saying THAT five times fast!) It also allowed me to show my children the very college where my husband and I had first met. All in all it SOUNDED like a great day! The reality was a bit different.
The ad in the paper and online states that there are things for the kids to enjoy. Sure, there were puppet shows, if you were at the stage at the appointed time, or were willing to sit there forever waiting to see when the show is going to start and trying to keep your child entertained until the show starts. There may have even been a craft or two. But all in all, if your child is between the ages of 4 and 7 (WiseGuy is 5) they will have a hard time staying entertained and/or happy. Don't get me wrong, all of the craftsman and artisans had the most BEAUTIFUL wares to behold and it was great fun to watch them create their masterpieces right before your very eyes. SmartyPants would immediately go over to the person who ran each stand to watch what they were doing and every time said person was MORE than happy to explain how they were doing what they were doing, much to SmartyPants' delight. WiseGuy, on the other hand, was most interested in eating and drinking and going home. We grownups wanted to take in all the sights and crafts and such but WiseGuy wanted nothing to do with it. Fortunately for me, but unfortunately for Wayne, Wayne hoisted WiseGuy up on his shoulders and tried to keep him busy while the rest of us looked around. This tactic only worked for so long. WiseGuy was MORE than over all of this hullabaloo and quite ready to go home. Along the way we ran into another young man who felt the exact same way.
I heard SOMEONE calling my name and began to look around. To my surprise there stood Aimee and her crew! I had yet to go see them since my return to PA and was ecstatic to run into them! Older Girl was just where I would want to be, relaxing on the stroller. Baby Girl was perched on Aimee's hip, not wanting to sit in the stroller like her big sister. The Boy was also sitting in the stroller but loudly voicing his opinion that he was ready to go home! Ah another soul that WiseGuy could commiserate with. The boys were quite ready to go home. Aimee and I chatted for a few minutes. Her family stood staunchly behind her as we did a quick catch up with the fams, but mine slowly trickled away. First my mom and stepdad went to watch the glassblowing. Wayne wanted to take WiseGuy but WiseGuy was SURE that glass blowing meant the glass was actually BLOWING UP and he HATES loud noises of any kind and immediately started crying. Eventually, after Wayne talked to him for a few minutes, the two disappeared in the glassblowing demonstration, as well. SmartyPants, however, being the consummate busybody, was more than happy to stay and listen to each and every word we spoke. She is, and always will be, attached to my hip. Quite soon, The Boy was very ready to go, as was my family, so Aimee and I said our goodbyes with promises of an actual get together sometime after they return from their well deserved vacation.
We all decided that we had almost had enough. There were wall to wall people making it a little difficult to make it all the way up to each table to see what was being displayed, WiseGuy was being more vocal about going home and it was getting pretty hot out in the midday sun. So we decided to make our way back to the front gate and head home. There were a few purchases we wanted to make prior to leaving, so we dispersed to our separate areas to make those purchases and converged at the front gate and made our way back to our cars.

It was a nice day...it really was...no...really!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

You've Got Questions, We've Got Answers

I stopped by over at Aimee's blog, as I usually do, and saw this cute meme. Considering I don't have much else to post I thought I might take a few minutes to fill it out.

Were you named after anyone? My middle name, Theresa, is after my great-grandmother, but otherwise, no, my name was picked out of a book.

When was the last time you cried? Last week....stresses of moving and no money and such.

Do you like your handwriting? Oh HECK no! I have ALWAYS had horrible penmanship.

What is your favorite lunch meat? Roast Beef

Do you have kids? Two lovely lil rugrats

If you were another person, would you be friends with yourself? I suppose so, although I really suck at making and returning phone calls.

Do you use sarcasm a lot? Almost always.

Do you still have your tonsils? Yes, but my son doesn't

Would you bungee jump? Not on your life!

What is your favorite cereal? Favorite cereal....hmmm...this is tricky because I like a lot of different ones. I love Special K Red Berries but I also love Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch!

Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Not if I can help it....of course, I curse myself next time I have to put them on because I have to untie them first.

What is your favorite ice cream? Anything by Turkey Hill

What do you notice first about people? Eyes

Red or pink? I'm not into the whole 'Pink is the new black' thing...so Red

What is your least favorite thing about yourself? Do you have a few years?

What is the last thing you ate? A bowl of Special K Chocolatey Delight

What color pant and shoes are you wearing? I'm not wearing pants or shoes. I'm wearing my nightgown. (direct quote from Aimee's blog....which just so happens to apply to moi!)

What are you listening to right now? The whir of the fan behind me and the kids in the other room

What are your favorite smells? lilacs, brownies or cookies baking, cedar, patchouli mixed with amber

Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? Wayne

What are your favorite sports to watch? ice hockey and any sort of dog sport

What is your hair color? brown....oh, wait, let me see if I can remember what was on that box...Deep Burgandy Brown...yeah, that's it!

What is your eye color? blue

Do you wear contacts? No, the eye doctor says I can't wear them anymore (poo on him!) So I'm stuck with my glasses until I can afford Lasik. Even then I think I'll be too chicken to go under the laser.

Scary movie or happy ending? 9 times out of 10 I'd choose scary movie. I just can't get into the schmaltzy stuff.

What is your favorite food? Seafood. More specifically, steamed clams dipped in drawn butter

What was the last movie you saw? Uh...hmmm. Well, in the theaters we took the kids to see Bridge to Terabithia (that movie was NOT what I expected it to be, so before taking kids to see it, make sure you know the actual plot of the movie!) But that last actual movie I saw was Sunday night when we watched The Fifth Element, one of our FAVORITE scifi flicks EVER, on HDTV!

What color shirt are you wearing? A pastel green with purple flowered nightshirt

Summer or winter? I would say winter hands down because I haven't experienced a winter in 7 years. On the OTHER hand, our entire family has birthdays over the summer. SmartyPants is in July and me, Wayne and WiseGuy all have birthdays within a 9 day time frame in August.

Hugs or kisses? I have to pick one?!?! I refuse!

What is your favorite dessert? This is hard....I LOVE me some dessert. Uhm....oh....sheesh. Let's see...ok, cannoli....NO! Cheesecake. Oh, no, wait! Wayne's Apricot Amaretto Torte!

What are you reading? Weird Hauntings:True Tales of Ghostly Places by Joanne Austin

What is on your mouse pad? A kitty sleeping in a tree. Altogether now 'AWWWWW!!!'

What did you watch on TV last night? Nothing, I was at work til 1AM

Rolling Stones or The Beatles? The Beatles

What is the farthest you've been from home? I'm not sure which is farther, Arizona or Bermuda

Where were you born? Reading, Pennsylvania

There you have it. Questions and answers as interpreted by ME!
I never tag anyone because I have fewer than 5 readers, but let me know if any of those 5 of you do this because I'll come and check it out!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Friday, June 22, 2007

Summer Giveaway!

When I think of summer, I most definitely think of ice cream! How awesome would it be to be able to make your OWN ice cream at home!? Well, just enter for a chance to win your own ice cream maker over at 5 Minutes for Mom.com

Click on the button below to enter!
I already have!

July-4-button-180pix.jpg

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Hello, Ladies and Gentlemen

While both my children seem to be natural born performers, Wiseguy showed that he has a knack for the spoken word. He proved this more than ever on Father's Day. We were visiting my dad and stepmother (AKA Opop and Omom) and remembered that SmartyPants had her recorder in the van. Since Omom and Opop had never heard her play in person she wanted to perform a few songs for them and did so quite well, as per usual. Of course, WiseGuy wasn't going to be left out of the spotlight and stood beside her providing percussion throughout her performance. While it was funny to watch him try to muscle in on her performance I was also surprised that his percussion accompaniment was on beat and fit perfectly with her playing. When SmartyPants had completed her songs WiseGuy decided to sing for us. At least that's what he said. Instead he took on the role of MC and explained many things to us about what was going on 'up there on stage.' He gave out 'prizes' to us all. I was the lucky winner of a pink car and ONE HUNDRED MILLION THOUSAND DOLLARS!!!! WOOOOOOO!!!! We each received our share of the world's money and our own cars. After much talking and introduction he decided to introduce his sister again and this time she would sing. It took about 10 minutes to get him off 'the stage' at which time he informed us all that he would be going to 'the other stage' while she performed her songs. As she started singing we all suddenly heard, from the other side of the room, 'Well hello everybody!' There was WiseGuy doing his shtick on on the other stage. SmartyPants finished the 'It's Saturday!' review (the musical she had a role in at school this past year) and WiseGuy returned to do some standup, telling jokes that just WEREN'T jokes, but you HAVE to laugh for him, anyway. My dad said it was Andy Kaufman-esque and would probably entertain a number of people if we really did put him on stage. He had us almost in tears for about 45 minutes. It was priceless, to say the least.
Now, what I wonder is, would he do this in front of a GROUP of people? Or did he only do it because he was in front of family? I suppose only time will tell. All I know is that I am glad he does it for me.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Sharing the Past

Ok, so it turns out that the scale I weighed myself on was a little off....and NOT in my favor. But, on the upside of that, I actually HAVE lost the nine pounds I claimed to have lost a week ago. It just happened in TWO weeks instead of one. That sounds a little more like it to me, anyway ;)

I have yet to find a job, people. More because I have no one to watch the kids than anything else, though. I've put out apps and resumes and such, so I just need to get one of these high school girls to watch the rugrats and I'll be home free...I hope. Since I've been home all this time I decided to take the kids to few places I went as a kid that were COMPLETELY unlike the Florida they were used to. We ventured up to the Pagoda and WiseGuy loved every hairpin turn on the way. SmartPants couldn't get over how high up we were and the gorgeous view. Today we went for a hike around Antietam Lake. They were both unsure of going 'into the forest' but once there, they had a blast. We took the dog, as well, who was thoroughly enjoying the unfamiliar terrain. They played by the creek, skipped stones on the water, saw worms in the dirt and crayfish under rocks. They even BOTH slipped on the rocks and got the shoes all soaking wet. All in all THEY LOVED IT! As did I. Right now everyone is resting up after the hike....including the dog who is snoring at my feet as I type this.

It's very satisfying for me to share these things with my children. I almost feel like they are babies again....but this time they can walk and talk, WOOHOO!

Maybe next we will head out to Gring's Mill and the Gruber Wagon Works....a favorite spot of my Girl Scout troop, right T?? ;)

Friday, June 08, 2007

Pound for Pound

I've started a weight loss program. Yes, I've jumped on the Weight Watchers bandwagon! My mom has been doing Weight Watchers since January and has lost 30 lbs so far. Another dear friend of mine has been on Weight Watchers just as long and has gotten down over 30 lbs! So, with all that success around me, how I could I resist? Of course, it helps a LOT that I am currently LIVING with my mother. I just eat what she eats and drink a lot of water. I've been doing it for a little less than a week now and I've lost *drumroll please* 9 POUNDS!!! Can you believe it?? I couldn't! I still can't. I'm just assuming that my mom's scale is wrong. Once my clothes start to hang on me I think I'll start believing it more. I suppose I shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth, but it's kind of hard when I still want to EAT the horse! Yeah, I'm a hungry girl most of the time. It's taken a lot of will power to not just pop open the fridge and snack all day long. I'm home with the kids by myself all day so it would be so easy to just cheat and cheat and cheat. Of course, who would I be cheating but myself. It's been getting a little easier. I'm not as hungry as they first few days, but I'm hungry nonetheless. It's all good though. If the weight loss continues I guess it will all be worth it, right?
I've added a ticker on the right to show my progress. Not to brag or anything, but so that I have something tangible to look at. So anyone that is doing any weight loss programs and needs someone to commiserate with, err I mean, needs some support, I'm there for ya, babe!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Right Back Where I Started From

Well, I've made it. I'm back in Pennsylvania. Our flight was very good, and WiseGuy behaved VERY well. The drive for Wayne and SmartyPants and the dog and rats went well, too. They made it here by Friday at dinner time, as expected. The trouble started when we had to unload the Uhaul. Wayne and I backed the Uhaul to the storage facility just as it began to rain. We thought ourselves fortunate that the Uhaul could fit prefectly in the large doorway and kept us out of the inclement weather. Soon enough, though, the rain began coming down HARD and the lightning and thunder began. I kid you not when I say that there were lightning strikes happening all around us. Our friend Jake arrived to help us unload. We all walked to back to see the size of our facility. To our dismay it didn't look large enough to accomodate all of our things, but we thought if we played a little Tetris we could manage it all in. So we began to unload and haul loads back down the little hallway towards our storage closet at the other end of the facility. With the thunder still booming and the lightning strikes still coming on strong and the three of us unloading one handtruck full of boxes the entire facility went black. Oh yes, gentle readers, the power went out. We made our way towards the light at the end of the tunnel...yes the LITERAL tunnel and decided to take a short break, hoping that the lights would come back on in that time. They never did. So, I found a flashlight in one of our boxes. The juice was running low, as the light was a dull brown color, but it was enough to light our way towards the back and illuminate our closet to pack in more and more of our possessions. Finally, we decided to call it a night. 75% of our belongings were packed tightly into the storage closet and the other 25% were strewn out behind the truck. We packed it back into the truck and headed towards my mom's house. We still had a few days left on our truck rental, so there were no penalties. We found another storage facility elsewhere to store the rest of our things and returned our truck. The man at the rental place told us the lights never did come back on before closing.
It was an adventure to say the least. Nothing and no one got broken in the transport and for that I am truly thankful.
Wayne already has a job working with my stepfather and now it is my turn to find one once I find someone trustworthy to watch the kids during the day. Either that or I have to find an evening job....oh FUN!
I'm finding that this is going to take more adjustment than I realized, but I don't mind so much....I just know that I'm home.

Monday, May 28, 2007

2 More Days

Well, folks, it's crunch time. Pretty much everything is done but it still seems as though there is a lot more to do. We replaced a door that needed replacing, replaced some vertical blinds, Wayne is painting a few rooms, 90% of our things are packed. Even with all of that done I still feel as though I should be doing something, but, to be honest, there's not much I can do. The things left over are clothes and toiletries that we may need. There are also a few pots and pans that we have been using. Then there are the odds and ends. I make periodic perimeter sweeps and toss the random objects that are laying around in a box. When the box is full I go through it to determine if the objects are keepers, tossers or we need to keep it outers. Now, even though I don't feel right doing it, I am sitting here with almost nothing to do. That sounds like a good thing, but I just feel....WRONG. Ah well, I suppose I should thank my lucky stars that I'm not scrambling around to get things done, yes?
SmartyPants has been a pretty good help with the moving. She gets irritated when we ask her to do stuff, but she does it regardless. WiseGuy, on the other hand, has been a hinderance ;) I didn't expect any less, honestly. How could I? He's 5 years old and wants to play with his toys that are boxed up. We're going to wait and pack up the Xbox at the very last minute because, as much as I hate to admit it, that has been our saving grace with him. It keeps him in one spot and keeps his attention away from the various toys of his that we are throwing away or donating.

2 more days
2 more days
2 more days

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Sibling Rivalry

Only two days into summer vacation and already the kids are at each other. WiseGuy walks by SmartyPants and smacks her in the back of the head, SmartyPants retaliates by grabbing his foot and tripping him and he responds by attempting to bite her all the while emitting an awful piercing shriek. That boy can call dogs from two miles away and communicate with dolphins, I swear it!
I've told them to go ahead and hurt each other because eventually they'll knock each other unconscious and I won't have to listen to them anymore. SmartyPants looked at me as if I had lost my marbles and WiseGuy had a twinkle in his eye. Of course, I retracted that statement and told them that if they kept it up I would tie the two of them together so they couldn't get away from one another.
They quickly dispersed.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Toys, Back Pain and Report Cards

Can I just tell you that my house looks as though a hurricane has blown through it? I speak from experience people! I've got half full boxes littering each room of the house, packed and taped boxes stack against a wall in what used to be our dining room and TOYS TOYS TOYS still scattered amongst it all. Today that all changes.
Yesterday was my last day of work and the kids' last day of school. Today I have to buckle down and fill as many boxes as possible and get them stacked in the dining room. This will include a majority of the toys, much to WiseGuy's chagrin. I'll be leaving some choice cars and trains out for him but the rest have GOT TO GO! This weekend we have to vacate our storage facility and we need somewhere to put all the stuff that we couldn't fit into our house (yeah, they were in storage for a REASON) and so that is my task for the next few days....to turn our itty bitty apartment into a storage facility....NO, I mean, to make room for all of our lovely things . Why must we vacate this weekend rather than just load everything directly into our moving van like normal people? Well, maybe because we aren't normal, HELLO! No, actually, because the billing cycle starts on the 26th of each month, so if we stay past the 26th we will have to pay for an entire month that we just won't be using and that's a waste of a valuable resource (AKA money!) Yes, I realize that I am sitting at the computer versus doing all of these things that I am typing about, but I am giving myself some time each morning to wake up and let my back stretch itself out. For those who don't know, I've had some major back issues as of late but that is slowly getting resolved with the help of a Cortisone shot to the rear, some anti-inflammatories and some real good pain meds. So, I'm giving myself until 9am to sit, check out some blogs, some email and some of my regular websites, let my pain meds kick in and psyche myself up for THE BIG PACK UP!
Send those good vibes and many prayers, my friends! The good Lord knows I'll need them!

_________________________________________________________________

I wanted to add a little to this post and let everyone know how SUPER PROUD I am of my wee ones and their report cards!
I never worry about SmartyPants. The girl is gifted and amazes me all the time. Even before she was diagnosed with ADD she was getting A's and B's. Now that we know what was going on with her in school and have the right tools to deal with her ADD she gets straight A's every time. This entire year her report card has been loaded with A's....not a B on the paper! There have been several areas in the other subjects where she has been sort of lacking....you now the subject I mean...the ones where you get E for excellent, G for good, S for satisfactory and N for need improvement. She used to get N or S for her handwriting. Yesh folks, it was that bad. This year she spent the first three grading periods with a G and was VERY happy with that because it showed me she was trying. Well, for the very first time my girl got an E in handwriting! It shows me she is developing the discipline to slow down and take the time to write her answers neatly! She used to breeze through tests thinking that it meant she was smarter and better because she was done first. I've always told her that it doesn't matter if your answers are correct if no one can READ them. Seems she has taken this to heart and is taking her time to make her papers presentable and I am very proud of her for that! And of course she was promoted to the Fifth grade!
Now....as for WiseGuy....well...folks, I'm proud of his academic abilities, but his behavior leaves a lot to be desired. Here's the thing....he was actually 4 years old when he started school this year. He turned 5 a week after. He did meet the cut off date and had been in Pre K so we thought he was generally ready for school. But oh my goodness! Notes home from the teacher constantly were a reminder that he ws younger and let mature than his classmates. I will type out his report card below for all four grading periods and you'll see what I mean

Performance scale: S- Satisfactory N-Needs Improvement (that's all they get in Kindergarten)

Grading Period -----------1 2 3 4
Language Arts -----------S S S S
Mathematics -------------S S S S
Social Studies
----Participates by listening and following directions ---S S S S
Science/Health
----Participates by listening and following directions --N N N N
Phys Ed
----Listens and follows directions ----------------------S S N N
----Demonstrates Knowledge--------------------------S S S S
Music
----Listens and follows directions ---------------------S N N N
----Demonstrates Knowledge-------------------------S S S S
Art
----Listens and follows directions-------------------- N N N N
----Demonstrates Knowledge -----------------------S S S S

(Ok, so far can you see what I mean? He has the knowledge but he DOESN'T LISTEN!)

SCHOOL BEHAVIOR/PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
Takes pride in work ---------N N S- S-
Makes wise use of time------N N S- S
Listens attentively ----------N N S- S-
Follows directions -----------S S S S
Respects rights and property of others----S S S S
Works and plays cooperatively ------N S- S- N
Works Independantly
Respects Authority
Completes Class Assignments
Returns books, forms, etc. on time --All of the above S S S S

The rest of the report card just shows what skills he has and he has them all, which is great. But I worry. He really is a smart kid but he is ALL OVER THE PLACE. We are hoping he gains some maturity over the summer and maybe calms down a bit. I certainly wouldn't change my little man for anything, but I just want to be sure he gets the best education possible....and how can you soak up the knowledge when you are busy jumping off of chairs and making animal noises (both things he has been routinely guilty of throughout the year)

Regardless, I am very proud of both of my children. The both received several awards. SmartyPants got straight A honor roll, perfect attendance and the Math Drill award. WiseGuy received S honor roll and a Math Drill award.
YAY FOR MY BABIES!!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

So Much Done, So Much To Do

16 days and counting, my friends, until I return to the state of my birth. Just a little over two weeks. I've already put the cancellation in for the electric and the cable, Wayne is going to take care of the water (I hope.) I've gone through the kids' toys, downsizing from 5 huge Tupperware bins down to 2 huge Tupperware bins...of course there are plenty of straggler toys, but that's what the extra bins are for! I've packed up the dining room, sifting through the craft boxes and junk drawers. I've taken down the pictures on the walls and packed them away. I'm still collecting boxes from work for the rest of our things. This is my last full week of work and the kids last full week of school.
I feel like I've done SO MUCH already, yet I look around and realize I still have SO MUCH to do. I need to go through all of our clothes and donate the outfits that we have long outgrown (by WE I mean the kids AND Wayne and I....you know those clothes....the ones that you look at and tell yourself that you will loose weight and fit into them one day...yeah, uh huh...those) or things that we haven't worn in over 6 months. I have our bedroom closet to go through, our desk to go through another computer desk to clear off, pots, pans, dishes and glasses to pack and a storage facility to sort through yet. I'm sure I've got enough time, it's just such a daunting task and I would SO like to get it done before the kids are out of school, but I know that I will have more time when I am finished with work and so I will just suck it up and press forward.
Time seemed to drag on up to this point and now it's starting to speed up towards moving day.

Pennsylvania, HERE I COME!!!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

As per usual, the kids made Mother's Day gifts in school to bring home for me. WiseGuy's teacher had a form that she filled in after asking the kids questions. WiseGuy's answers made me laugh and cry. I've posted it below. The phrases in pink were the answers given by WiseGuy.


My mother is the most wonderful mom in the whole world!
She's as pretty as a boat. (that's a compliment from a five year old boy, to be sure!)
She weighs 33 lbs. (I WISH!)
She is 16 feet tall. (Combine that with my weight and I'm a STICK!)
Her favorite food is salad. (Not quite, but it SOUNDS great)
I think my Mom looks funny when she tells jokes. (And here I thought I only SOUNDED funny)
But I know she is really angry when she tells me to clean up. (Naturally!)
I wish Mom would go to the movies with me every day. (I would have to get a second job to afford THAT these days)
My Mom's best friend is [SmartyPants] and me. (Of course!)
Her favorite TV show is Funniest Animals. (Who can resist funny animals?!)
She can cook noodles the best. (I'm a noodle QUEEN!)
I would like to buy her a golden star. (AWWWW!!!)
I wouldn't trade my Mom for a diamond. (THAT line made me CRY!)



I love that little man of mine!

Hope all of the mom's out there have a wonderful Mother's Day!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Tag I'M It!

Wheeee!!! I was just tagged by Aimee to do the 7 Things meme. I need to come up with 7 facts/habits about myself and put them here. I don't know that I've ever thought about this sort of stuff so this could take a little bit to come up....but here goes!

1. I have rats for pets. Yes, you read that correctly....rats. Working in a pet shop I've learned a lot of things about a lot of different animals. One of those thing is that rats make awesome pets. Now, I'm not talking about rats that you've picked up out of the sewer or anything, here. These were bred and raised at our store. I was lucky enough to have seen the birth of both our girls and handled them from day one. They are smart little buggers, they come when you call their name and easily learn tricks. They are like little dogs! Most people just shudder when I tell them...and a year ago I probably would've done the same. Nowadays I just wish I had more room to get more rats. They never bite, they are great with the kids and easy to take care of.

2. I want to be a pastry chef. You know, like the ones on The Food Network who do the different cake challenges and build The Coliseum out of rice krispie treats!

3. I sleep with approximately 9 pillows on my bed....and I use them all to make a nest of sorts when I sleep.

4. I have a 'thing' about how my house and clothes smell. I burn candles to make the house smell good and use Gain Apple Mango Tango detergent so that my clothes smell AWESOME!

5. I don't like using the same shampoo and conditioner every day. At any given time if you look into my shower you will see two or three different brands of shampoo and conditioner. They say that using the same one causes buildup on the hair....and who wants that?

6. I love how my son's head smells. Especially right by his temple. I don't know what is it, but I could snuggle him and smell his head ALL DAY!!!

7. I prefer email to phone calls. I don't know why, but I just never have been one to call people. If someone calls ME I'll talk forever, but if I need to make the first communication I'll send an email if at all possible.

Well....I'm one strange bird, eh? Yes, well, aren't we all?
I'm supposed to tag 7 people but I don't think that many people even read my blog so I'll just leave it to whoever wants to do it! Just let me know in my comments that you've done it and I'll go check it out!

I'm A SLogger

It's been a little bit since I've done a blog so I figured I would make a post just to keep up with things and not feel like such a slacker blogger...or SLOGGER (I think I just invented a new word!)
Anyway! Things with the move are moving along nicely (pun totally intended.) WiseGuy and I will be flying up together on May 31st. SmartyPants and Wayne will be driving in the moving truck and towing the soccer mom van behind them. They will also be accompanied by our 75 lbs shepherd mix, Petey, and our two sweet rodent pals, Addie and Gloria. This ended up being the best alternative as we weren't quite sure where everyone would fit and I don't think WiseGuy would appreciate the two day drive up the coast.
I've given my notice at work, which went much better than I anticipated. I work in a pet shop and I love my job, most of my coworkers and, most of all, my employers. They have been wonderful to me over the past year that I have worked for them. We have been pretty short staffed as of late and I felt awful telling them I was leaving them. As it stands now the manager and I are pretty much in charge of the rest of the crew. I get to be in charge on the manager's days off. So between the two of us we work the most hours. I hate leaving them in such a situation but, thankfully, they understood. They knew the day would come that I would be returning to PA and said they were happy for me....only after telling me I wasn't allowed to leave and I had to find and train my own replacement before I could leave ;) There were even a few tears shed. When all was said and done, though, they told me that if I ever came back to Florida I would always have a job with them no matter what. See what I mean??? Aren't they awesome?!? My last day is May 22nd and it will certainly be bittersweet. I know it just a step closer to going back home, but I will be leaving some good friends and a job I truly enjoy.

So....what else is there to talk about? My if this isn't a rather random post! I've got several other things I wanted to write but I'm not sure if I should smash it all into one blog or make others to keep things a little organized. Are there blog rules?? Ah well, I should be heading to bed anyway. I've got work in the morning and the kids have their school Spring Showcase tomorrow. SmartyPants is in chorus and they are doing a short musical play in which SmartyPants has some lines and a solo!!! She is a Nervous Nellie, but I know she'll do great! The Kindergarten is also singing a song so WiseGuy is super excited, too. It should be a very full day for us all!

Ok, enough rambling! Time for bed!