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?

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!