Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hey! I See What You're Saying!

I've been having a hard time getting these videos to post/play. I hope this works for ya'll!

Notice how you can hear my husband in the background saying, "Those are nice lights though!" Ha! He cracks me up!

To see more "I See What You're Saying" Vlogs click HERE!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Done With Christmas

Well, the Klahold family survived Christmas! Whew! Ok, well Mama survived Christmas, the others just came along for the ride! Was Christmas this stressful on my Mom? I should ask her about that.

*Private moment* Hey Mom, was Christmas stressful for you when Wendy and I were little? Did Dad help with the gifts, stockings, planning, etc? How did you manage to do it without loosing patches of your hair? *Ok, moment over.*

So, here we are, the day after Christmas and I'm over Christmas. Doesn't that sound horrible? I love Christmas. Our tree was up BEFORE Thanksgiving this year! I love listening to Christmas music, decorating, and reading Christmas cards. However, as soon as Christmas is over....I'm done! The tree is annoying me, the new toys are driving me nuts, and I've already ripped all of our cards off the wall. I just want everything to "calm" down and return "normal". I need the red and green to leave and allow hues of blue and white to enter. Bye-bye Christmas and hello calm, peaceful winter.

Well, before I totally close the book on Christmas, let me share with you a Christmas ha-ha.

On Christmas Eve the kids were getting a bit too Santa happy. So we started to discuss the real meaning of Christmas, which led Hayden and I to have this conversation:

Hayden: I thought Jesus was God's son
Me: He was
Hayden: Well I thought Jesus was God on earth
Me: He was, just like you are a piece of me, Jesus was a piece of God
Hayden: No, you are a piece of me
Me: No, you are a piece of me
Hayden: No, you are a piece of ME
Me: No, I'm your Mama, therefore you are a piece of ME
Hayden: No, you are a piece of ME! READ GENESIS!

There was a bunch of yelling at this point. He was sent to his room. I believe I called him a sexist. Yeah, I KNOW I called him a sexist. Then he spent 5 minutes in his room rolling around on his bed LAUGHING thinking he was the smartest thing EVER (he is). So, of course I had to bring an end to this. How dare Mr. Smarty pants think he would get the last word! So I entered his room and had this little conversation:

Me: Hayden, have you ever heard of an inventor creating a second model when the first model was perfect?
Hayden: No.
Me: Exactly

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


The previously written post titled "Random" was only one word in the title of a really well written (if I may say so myself) post. It was titled "Random thoughts that have been swirling around in my head." Now it is all GONE! I can't find it anywhere! Random was the only word that posted! Go figure! I'm a bit peeved that my post disappeared, but it is FUNNY to just see "Random". I suppose that does explain it all!


Saturday, December 13, 2008

A CRAZY Friday Morning

Well, yesterday was my final day of in-class bus training. Now I just need my physical, drug test and permit paperwork. Then I can take my computer test and start my in-bus training. I truly am excited! I was able to drive a bus around a parking lot on Thursday. It honestly wasn't all that bad. It's obviously very L-O-N-G, but not nearly as bulky as you would expect. It steers easily too! So, what does all of this have to do with a crazy Friday morning? Well, as I previously stated Friday was my last day of classes. Along with getting the boys ready and to school by 9am, I also had to have myself ready, and James awake and ready to watch Ella (he worked late evenings this week so I could go to class). I know, this doesn't sound like much, but add the fact that I overslept, and a friend stopped by to drop off some paperwork, and you have a recipe for one scattered and hectic morning! So as our very last minutes were ticking by, and the clock was steadily working it's way toward 9 I yelled for the boys to get their shoes, jackets and backpacks on. I came flying out of the bathroom with my socks in my hand, stuffed the socks in my bag, threw on my jacket, grabbed my books, grabbed my coffee (prepared by James, thank you!) and RAN out the door. The boys were dropped off at the school at 9:58! Whew! 2 minutes to spare. I then headed across town to my class which began at 9:30. I pulled in the parking lot, grabbed my bag, grabbed my books, closed my van door and looked down. This is what I found.

Now the flip-flops were no surprise. I hate wearing shoes, so flip-flops, even in the winter, are my preferred footwear. However, flip-flops aren't exactly the choice attire for walking around buses and diesel garages. Not only was I wearing flip-flops (look closely) they were two different colors! I laughed like a crazy woman in the parking lot as I walked into class. Surprisingly on 3 people noticed! Apparently my plan to grab sock AND shoes to put on after dropping off the boys had failed when I forgot to grab my SHOES! Yep, yep pretty sure that qualifies as a CRAZY Friday morning!

Scanning Issues

So, might someone know how to solve this little problem? We recently received a printer from my Aunt. She had purchased it a few years ago and never used it. Today we set it up and realized the software provided isn't Vista compatible. I visited hp's website and found that there are no "downloads or drivers" available for the printer. It did, however, give a list of easy to follow directions on how to print, scan, and copy without installing the software. All seems to be working well....except for the white page that comes along with the scanned photo. Is there anyway to crop that off? I'd truly appreciate any suggestions. Thanks!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Amazing Giveaway!

Ravings of a Mad Housewife is having an amazing giveaway! She's giving away 4 place settings of FIESTAWARE! I know! How amazing is that! I can't breathe I'm so excited. So, if you LOVE Fiestaware as much as I do, head on over there and leave a comment complete with your color choices. She will be choosing a winner Christmas Eve. Ah, what a wonderful Christmas gift! Oh, if for some reason you're not familiar with Fiestaware, check it out here. It is just so colorful, retro, beautiful, simple and DURABLE! If you choose to enter, good luck!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My New Job

I got myself a JOB! I know, who knew! I love being a SAHM, however, now that Ella is getting older I want to be able to be outside the house more. Plus, with freight being slow an extra paycheck would help supplement James' decreasing pay. (Please spend money, my hubby needs freight to haul! I KNOW money? What's that!) Anyhow, I'm not willing to go out and get just any 9-5 job. Being a mom is very important to me. I want to be available for my kids when they need me. Normally I wouldn't think twice about being a working mom; however, with James' job we never know where he'll be or when he'll be around. So, I need a job that will allow the kids to come along. I had worked in childcare for 11 years. This allowed the kids to come along everyday for a reduced rate. Then, after Ella was born I became tired of watching other people care for my children, while I cared for other children! So, for the past 2+ years I've been a happy SAHM. Then this job opportunity came along and I can take all 3 children along! Would you like to see my new office? Wouldya? Well here it is!

So, whaddya think?! I KNOW crazy right? Well, I still have a ways to go before I'm actually behind the wheel. Today was my first day of 4 days of classes. Then I still need: to apply for my permit, take a general knowledge test, take a passenger test, take an air breaks test and take a bus driving knowledge test. Then, I need a physical, drug test and FBI fingerprinting. I also need 6 hours of driving with a trainer before I can take the driving test and be cleared to drive a bus route. Oh, I also need to wait for my child abuse clearance/ record check to clear. SO......there are still plenty of hurdles to cross, but if I want the job it's mine! And....I do! The pay is decent, the kids can come along and most of the work is only in the AM and afternoon. I would still have the middle of the day for Dr. appts, sick kids or whatever. There are the occasional evening sports trips and daytime field trips, but as long as the kids can come, I'm game! :) Well, call me crazy and wish me luck. Stay tuned for updates too!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Pinetrees As Seen Through Ella's Eyes

"Look Mama! There are carrots growin in the trees! "

Look What I Learned Today!

I love taking little mini videos with my camera. The videos are never anything fabulous, but they do capture the kids voices and mannerisms in a way that photos obviously can't. Well, in August we got a new laptop. I was so excited to be able to download our photos and camera videos. Everything easily downloaded, however, the videos wouldn't play. Well, today I finally figured it out....I think! Thanks to a easy Quicktime download for Vista I was able to play my videos on our computer. Now I'm trying to post a video.

And.....I think I did it! Well, if you happen to watch the video, please know I realize this isn't the greatest flick to hit bloggyland. However, it is a great video of the kids. I love how Hayden is the only person playing in the ocean on a freezing cold day! I love how Reid enters with his "potty time" news break and I love how Ella flirtatiously jumps in the water only to trot away like the girly-girl she is! As their mother, I can see each of their personalities shine in this otherwise windy, loud and dreary clip.

Oh! I also learned read about how to do that! Well I guess I read AND learned, but I needed a word to practice my new skill!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Kettle

Today the kids and I made a trip to Walmart. Usually I try to avoid Walmart at all costs, especially during the height of Christmas shopping. However, today we had a list that included groceries and "stuff". So with wintry weather in the forecast I decided to make a quick run to Walmart and get everything we needed in one trip. As we approached the store we were greeted by one of my favorite sounds of Christmas, the Salvation Army's bell! I love seeing the bell ringers, the kettles and hearing the ringing bell. I love giving the kids money to put in the kettle, I love hearing the money drop into the kettle and "chink" against other coins. It's a reminder that people still care and people still give. Even if it's just a few pennies, dimes and quarters they add up! So, today the kids and I cleaned the loose change out of the van, divided it up so each child had some and headed to the front of Walmart. The kids excitedly placed their coins in the kettle and I enjoyed that big grin on their faces. A grin synonymous with having done something really good!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Wow! What an unbelievably crazy week +. For those who may be wondering, our Thanksgiving went well. James boiled our turkey...yes boiled. My family had our Thanksgiving dinner Saturday after Thanksgiving. So, Thanksgiving day James had the idea to make Turkey Potpie with our 20lb. turkey. James makes fantastic potpie, so I was excited. A day curled up on the couch watching Macy's Parade with the kids and potpie! Yum! However, James quickly found that boiling a turkey IS NOT the same as boiling a normal chicken! Can you believe we don't own a pot large enough to BOIL a TURKEY?! I know! How could I not have a pot large enough to boil a 20lb. bird. I mean doesn't EVERYONE have a bathtub sized soup pot for their stove! James was so taken aback by this fact. He even called my mom to see if she had one...nope! Then he wanted me to call my girlfriend (who happened to be making a full thanksgiving dinner for her extended family) to see if she might have one. There was NO WAY I was calling her! So, James decided to hack the turkey to pieces and shove it in my largest pot. Oh, how I wish I would have taken a picture of my kitchen. Our kitchen table held a large metal bowl containing two large turkey legs. On the stove was my large soup pot with half a turkey protruding from it. Yes, half a turkey! Half the bird was submerged in boiling water and the other half was sticking straight out of the pot. Amazingly it was actually cooking! The bottom half cooked in the boiling water while the top part cooked as a result of the rising steam! I so should have taken pictures! The end result was some very yummy potpie and a salmonella free day! Who could ask for more!

Then the next 4 days looked something like this

then we finished decorating this

and the kids spent a lot of time doing this

Honestly NOT a bad extended holiday weekend. The kids returned to school on Monday and Mama hit the computer. A bunch of GREAT deals and free shipping later, I have 75% of my Christmas shopping finished! Hooray!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My Tuesday Morning Haircut/Donation!

Well today I said good-bye to my long locks. They were chopped off and donated to Locks of Love. Honestly, it wasn't nearly as bad as I had imagined! I wasn't worried about losing my long hair. My neck has been aching for months, so I was ready to say good-bye to the extra weight. I was, however, fearful of the new do! Last evening the boys got their "holiday haircut" (because ya just gotta look handsome for the holidays!). While they were getting trimmed-up I looked through the hairstyle books. I found one I liked and Jan, my hair-stylist, agreed that it would work. So, today started like this

Which left this:

Which left me looking like a dork!

However, thanks to Jan, I was able to pick up Ella, at my Mom's looking like this:

Not too shabby! Actually, I LOVE it! I love how light it is, I love how layered it is and I LOVE how easy it is! Thanks Jan!!!!!!!!!

Anger, Grief & Frustration

For those who may not already know, I LOVE football. Sadly, since becoming a Mom, I'm not able to actually watch the games like I did in the pre-mama years. Our Sundays are usually very busy, which means sitting and watching the games is no longer possible. Thank God for ESPN's ticker! However, Monday night football is the one game of the week I can actually watch. The game is late enough that the kids are easily swept off to bed and I can sit and watch, er, I mean fold laundry, create to-do lists, pick up around the house and watch the game. Tonights game was particularly bitter sweet. The Green Bay Packers had a Monday night game. Ugh! I've been a Green Bay fan for YEARS! However, the summer Favre drama/ditch has left me a bit bitter. As a result I've been ignoring the Packers season in order to allow myself a season of mourning. (YES I'M SERIOUS!) I've watched the Sunday ticker, internally cheered when the Packers show a loss, and have turned my attention to everyother team in the NFL. Or, more specifically, the New York Jets. What can I say, I need my Farve fix! Which, leads me to tonights results....Green Bay 29, Saints 51. Ya know, perhaps this:

really is MUCH better than, this:

And perhaps Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy shouldn't have let this:

Become THIS!!!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Check Fraud II

Last month I wrote a post titled Check Fraud. Well welcome to Check Fraud II. Hayden has continued to enjoy writing his fake checks. Now before I hear a *GASP* from blogville, his checks look nothing like a real check. He simply watched as I was paying the bills one evening and decided to create his own brand of checks. These checks are written in pencil and created on the back of my grocery list.

Apparently he made one while he was at school. His teacher was intrigued and took one. Today she called Hayden over to her and told him a story. She told Hayden she had taken the check to the bank, cashed it and was keeping half the cash for herself and giving half to Hayden. Now at this point, please know that Hayden is 9, very creative and loves funny, sarcastic stories. So, he was COMPLETELY aware that his teacher was JOKING and at no point did he think his checks were cashable. However, he hopped off the bus with these:

Note, these look very real in the photo; however, they are simply "fake 100's" copied onto green copy paper. Hayden got off the bus with a big ole smile on his face, waving his dough. "I'm rich Mom!" He laughed and laughed as he shared the story. Ending his story by saying, "She even got herself a pop while at the bank!" I love it! The story, the creativity and the fact that Hayden' s teacher loves him enough to "play along".

Just for anyone who may be concerned, I have had a very serious talk with Hayden about the importance and validity of real checks. I've also discussed the danger and consequences of forging signatures. In other words.....relax Mom your Grandson (and I know your already realize this) is too darn clever, yet smart enough to know better!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Prayer Request

With our first snowfall coming as a sign of the impending winter. I must ask everyone reading this blog to pray over these:

and the men (and women) who drive them. Especially this one:

For those of you who know us well, you may remember the ice storm we had in February 2006. During this storm James was stranded, with hundreds of others, on a highway for close to 24 hours. No food, no water, no help. Thankfully he and others woke to find the National Guard ready to help. They pulled the truck's frozen wheels out of the ice, and provided food and water to the hungry and thirsty. I will forever be thankful to them. However, with wintry weather approaching, please take time to pray for the truckers of the world. James often challenges me to think of one item in a store that wasn't transported in a truck. It's hard to think of items that weren't, at some point, hauled by a truck. The world needs truckers. Please pray for their safety and the safety of those around them.

I realize I already posted today, however, as I write this a certain trucker is, again, stuck on a highway. Apparently, Rt. 322 is a sheet of ice. Welcome to the state of Pennsylvania!

It Snowed!

This morning we woke up to SNOW! Not a heavy snow, just a sprinkling of snow. It covered the grass and trees, but left the roads and sidewalks alone. The kids were uber excited when they saw the flurries falling outside their window this morning. Ella woke up and announced to the boys and I, "Look, look what Jesus gave to ME!" Love it! She's also been running around yelling, "Look Mama! The snow paint is on the trees and on my house!" You would think the girl has never seen snow before! I suppose this is just the first year she is able to easily tell us her thoughts about the..."snow paint". The flurries are still falling, however, it seems as if the temperature is rising. I believe by the end of the day we will only be left with slush, although it would be nice if it stuck around for the boys to play in after school. Either way it at least made this morning exciting!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Happy, Happy Morning To.....ME!

After being up LATE last night venting through my Political Rant, I wake up to this!

Oh happy day! Not only did Growin With It bless with me with a blog award, she also included a link to It's All Good, in her blog! Fantastic right? Oh, wait there's even MORE! I won a CD through her CD give away! How super-fantastically cool is THAT! Christmas morning has come to bloggy land and I wasn't even expecting it! THANKS GROWIN WITH IT! Oh and just a note, please notice where the award pic is located. Not at the top, not at the side, embedded in the actual post! Any idea who might have taught me how to do THAT! Yep, yep, yep! Air cheek kiss right, air cheek kiss left Growin With It! Thanks for making my day (which otherwise would have only consisted of grocery shopping and cleaning out the van)so darn happy and exciting!

My Political Rant

Yesterday, on the nightly news, I watched footage of Congress questioning the CEOs of America's auto industry. During the questioning one of the Congressmen questioned the means by which the CEOs arrived in Washington. Apparently, each CEO arrived courtesy of their companies private jet. Another Congressman questioned how that might look to the American public. After all aren't these men seeking BILLIONS of tax payer's dollars to bail them out? Yet another Congressman somewhat sarcastically mentioned the idea of "private jet pooling". A.K.A car pooling for the elite. Reaction from the CEOs? Well insert blank rich man stare here, then Ha-ha nervous laugh. I appreciate our Congressmen taking their time to grill these men, however I can't help but think the whole process is a ruse. A political skit where Congress acts like the angry parent while the auto men act like the rebellious, yet guilty child. In the end the parent simply wags their finger, tells the child to never behave so recklessly again, pats them on the back and continues to let them have their way. Simply put, Washington WILL hand out BILLIONS of dollars to help repair the US auto industry, if only to protect the jobs of US auto workers. It makes me ill to think that extremely wealthy men are using everyday men and women, fathers and mothers, aunts, uncles and loved ones as bargaining chips to cover their greed. However, for those who may support the US auto industry (and by industry I mean just that, INDUSTRY not the workers and laborers) please remember how much GM loved their Flint, Michigan employees in the 80's.

I suppose the auto workers that the "Big Three" are fighting for are convenient when looking for a bailout; however, once these men get what they so desperately need, will the workers matter? The above video showed a clip of a young girl wondering why Daddy left. Dramatic effect or truth? An acquaintance of mine lived in Michigan during the 80's and clearly remembers fathers leaving to find work in other towns or even states. GM built Flint and destroyed it overnight. Will the same happen to other auto towns after the bail out? Perhaps not right away, but what about a year from now? During yesterdays Congressional hearing a Congressman asked what each CEO would, or could, do to personally help their company. One CEO mentioned that he cut his salary in half during the past year, another said he hasn't accepted any bonuses. What did the Ford CEO say? Direct quote, "I think I'm good where I'm at." What?! Your company is tanking, your seeking BILLIONS in tax payer cash, your netting MILLIONS each year, cruising around on a private jet and you're cutting back on what? NOTHING! Am I the only one watching this and wondering if the whole world has gone CRAZY? In whose world does ANY of this make sense? I pray for those workers who are directly effected by these auto makers and I pray for our countries economy. I pray too for light at the end of this tunnel we are trudging through. Something has got to change. I'm just not sure taking from the "have nots" to give to the "had and mismanaged" is the most effective way to get where we need to go.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

It's Been A Year, Time For A New Look!

Our blog was a year old on Sunday!!!!!!!! So I figured, new year, new look. What do you think? I'm liking the neutral browns, not so keen on all the negative space on the sides. I suppose I'll try it out for awhile a see if I can get used to the new look. Personally, I think Blogger needs some new and creative templates. So after a year I must ask my family, and blogger friends in the know, how do you embed a picture in the middle of your post?! I see this on other blogs and love it, however when I upload my photos Blogger always places them at the top of my post. Does anyone have any suggestions or help to offer? Thanks!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Stressing Over My Hair

A week from today I'll be cutting my hair and donating it to Locks of Love. I decided months ago, to become a Locks of Love "hair harvester" (my term not theirs). My hair is very thick and grows fairly fast, so I figured I might as well just continuously grow it and donate it. After spending my teen years with extremely long hair, I've spent my 20's and early 30's with everything from super short to now middle-of-my-back long hair. Through it all, you would think I would have grown accustomed to my many hair styles. However, truth is, I'm happiest with it pulled back in an elastic or rolled up in a clip. So, why is it so hard for me to find a "short" style that I like?! I mean after all, I spend most of my days with my long hair tied up on the back of my head! I suppose it's the long/short option I enjoy. I have the option to pull it all up, or the option to let it all down. It's like having two hairstyles in one! Going short, although much lighter and easier to dry, simply leaves me with one general length. So, if anyone has any "chicky-short" (although still below chin length) hairstyles, please feel free to share.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

Cub Scout Uniforms

Tonight was the boy's first Pack Meeting. It is also the first time they have worn part of their uniform. Ah, they are so handsome!

Brownie Points

Today Hayden came home with a HUGE smile on his face. Apparently the birthday treats I made for his class were a big hit with the kids and staff! As I was going through his papers after school he said, "Mom, you are the greatest mom and today was the greatest day!" Wow! all because of Chocolate Peanut butter Mallow Brownies!

Does This EVER Happen In Your Family?!

My kids fight over lemons! That's right, LEMONS! Not lemon flavored gum, candy, or pastries, but actual lemons! Last evening Hayden spotted one in the fridge. Of course he had to yell through the house, "Mom, can I eat this lemon?" Which, alerts Reid and Ella to the fact that there is a LEMON in the house! After listening to them fight over it, I finally just cut the lemon into thirds and allowed them to each have a piece. They each ate their entire third. Ella even squeezed her lemon juice into her apple juice and drank it before eating the leftover lemon pulp. Am I the only one who finds this a bit crazy? I've known Hayden has liked lemons for years. When he was a toddler he was a terrible biter. A mom at daycare suggested we squirt lemon juice in his mouth after he bit. We did and don't ya know he LIKED IT! Now Reid and Ella have discovered their own "love" of lemons. Who knew? What would cause a person to like straight lemon juice? Each of my kids take a daily vitamin and eat well; however, I'm beginning to think they have some sort of nutritional imbalance! OR, is this a long lasting effect of all the lemon meringue pie I ate during each of their pregnancies? YUM! I do love a big ole piece of lemon meringue pie!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Apparently I've been living in a closet. Last evening after reading Lipstick At The Mailbox's post about Facebook, I had to check it out. Wow! I must say, tons of fun! For those few people who may have been living in a closet with me, let me explain. When one sets up a Facebook account they are prompted to enter their High School and College. Once they are entered, a whole lotta people you graduated with pop up. Now, I purposely have avoided most contact with former classmates. I've always thought the whole reunion idea was a bit weird. However, after tonight, I may have to reconsider. It was great to see faces I haven't seen in 14 years. It's amazing to see how people have changed, who people have married and how many kids they have. So, if you've been a fellow closet dweller, head over to Facebook and create an account. Then, use my email address and say "Hello!"

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I recently gave in and allowed the boys to FINALLY join Cub Scouts. Reason? Reid needs a social outlet. Hayden has his soccer team, but Reid hasn't been able to find a sport that he likes. Both have their church and school friends, but I really want them to BE INVOLVED. So, when the annual recruitment flier came home I, again, cringed. I've always mocked the Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and (OH YEAH!) the Eagle Scouts for being big 'ole dorks! I realize that this is just my immature, rebellious self speaking, but I've always found the Scouts to be loads of laughable fun. Ya know, pimping popcorn, building park benches, pitching tents, rubbing sticks together to create fire, and grown men with knee-high socks, all things I was TRYING to keep my boys away from. Well, after watching Reid's baby blues plead non-stop for two days, I decided to look into it and allow them a few trial meetings. Don't ya know, they LOVE it! So far Reid has taken a nature finding hike, visited our local fire station, and made some groovy Halloween decorations. Hayden (yes, I also allowed Hayden to join. I mean he's ONLY been asking since Kindergarten!) spent the first meeting making some DELICIOUS Apple-Oatmeal cookies. Then, this week, they made awesome wooden tool boxes. Since James wasn't home to attend the meeting, Reid and Ella had to tag along. We all worked together driving screws into the boards. Even with the extra help, we weren't able to finish during the meeting, so we brought it home and finished it on the kitchen table. I must admit (Gasp!) it really was a lot of fun! Doesn't' he look so proud of himself?!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hey Dad!

The requested "Dad post" is here. Just scroll down a bit. I started writing it on November 3rd and saved it as a draft. When I posted it, it placed it in chronological order. So, it's here, really it is... just scroll down a bit!

Sweet Dreams

Since Ella was 1 week old, she's been a very sound and very solid sleeper. Not only is her attitude 3 going on 13, but her sleep habits are as well. She would honeslty sleep the morning away if given the chance. Today when it was time to take the boys to school she was OUT! As always, I had tried to wake her several times, she wouldn't even budge. No smacking, no whining, no kicking, she was sound asleep. When it came to the very last moments before we had to leave the house, I rolled her around and removed her covers. She began to stir and very sleepily said, "Where's my guinnea pig?" What? We don't have a guinnea pig. She repeated, "Where's my guinnea pig? She was in my bucket with her mama." Apparently Ella was, sadly, awoken from a very sweet dream. She looked crushed when I told her she had a dream and it was all just a movie in her head. Poor girl. I hate being awoken during vivid dreams!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama President Elect!

I am I happy? Yep! This election was the first time I didn't have my heart wrapped around either of the candidates. For months I flip-flopped between Mc Cain and Obama. Once I saw Mc Cain's first threatening ad, my decision was made. Bush's second term was won on fear. Vote for me or else more terrorist attacks. Remember that? Yeah. This country needed REAL change, not just another Washington insider with oil money lining his pockets. America needs a leader, not a threatening bully. And honestly, I'm just happy to be going from this:

tto this:

So, how many more days till January 20, 2009?

Monday, November 3, 2008

My Dad

Each week my sister and I (and our families) meet at our parent's house for dinner. This week, after listening to my sister and I talk about our blogs, my Dad suggested we each write a blog about him. I, at first, thought this was the most ridiculous idea. However, the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea. My Dad is an awesome man! Why not write about him and let the world know how great he is, and how lucky I am to have him for a Dad? Without my Dad I would not have my sense of humor. Dad is truly the funniest man I've ever met. One gift I've inherited from him is the ability to laugh at just about anything. My Dad can find humor in even the most stressful situations. I consider this ability a gift. It has taught me to laugh at myself and not take life too seriously. At the same time, my Dad has this talent of being EXTREMELY agitating! Whether he is objecting to a life choice, giving you "advise", or discussing politics he will find your soft spot and attack it! To this day no one can make me laugh harder or make me madder than my Dad! Without my Dad I wouldn't have the great memories of racing each other around the outside of the house, playing catch in the back yard,doing rocking flips on the bed, or having "Ravioli maker" entertainment at dinner. Dad also has always taken time to show Wendy and I how much he loves us. When we were younger he was always an extremely involved dad. Whether it was a Father/Daughter Girl Scout Dance, helping to volunteer at the local nursing home, taking us trick-or-treating, or practising "feats of strength", he was always seemed to love spending time with US. He was also great at making sure we had a family vacation every year. Every July we spent a week in Chincoteague. Then we had the occasional summer trips to Busch Gardens, Kings Dominion, Dorney Park, Hershey Park and Disney. No matter where we were, we had a great time! Dad wasn't one to sit on the sidelines. If we were at the beach he was in the water jumping waves with us. If we were at the amusement parks he was on the highest and fastest roller coaster with us. In fact, it wasn't until I was about 15 that I realized that Dad HATED the cable cars and ferris wheels. He got on simply because we wanted to! He's also a great Grandfather. For my kids, he is their only Grandfather. I've always stressed, to him, the importance of spending time with the kids. Each year, as the kids get older, he spends more time with them building bird houses, fishing and boating. The kids love having time with their Pap-paw. Oh, except for Ella. For the past few months she has declared, "I hate you Pap-paw!" Now many would find this shocking from 3 year old. However, to fully understand this, please refer to the sentences about agitation! :)Even now that we are older Dad is always there if we need anything. Occasional help with the kids...done, a bottle of wine after a stressful week...grab one out of the cupboard, home improvement help...he's there, help paying for van repairs (note it's a FORD so this happens often)...he's saying, "it's taken care of" while I'm still sweating over the bills, pushing things into the next week. I've been blessed to have him for a Dad, my kids are blessed to have him for a Pap-paw and my husband is blessed to have him for a Father-in-law! I know I am also blessed to still have my father. Many people I know have already lost their fathers. Perhaps knowing this is what makes me LOVE him even through the times of EXTREME AGITATION! Love you Dad!

*NOTE* My sister, Wendy, also wrote a "Dad Post" to read her post, visit : Livin On A Shoestring.

I LOVE My Chiropractor!

Today is the first day in 2 days that I haven't had insane neck pain! Woo-hoo! Had the pain started on a weekday, I could have had it taken care of quickly. However, it happened Friday night and I was left to deal with it over the weekend. I went into the Chiropractor ASAP this AM. He jackhammered my neck, cracked my back and pushed on my butt 3 times. Voila! Whole new woman! Had I known how great Chiropractic care was BEFORE I was married, I would have moved near a Chiropractic college and started hitting on all the attractive male students! I so could use a Chiropractor for a husband! James tried to ease my pain this weekend. He picked me up, cracked my back and then tried to lift my head off my shoulders. This of course did NOTHING! I appreciate his care and concern;however, I also reminded him that trying to lift ones head from their shoulders has also killed people. I believe it is called HANGING! Hello! His help was actually a covert way for him to rid himself of me!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Another Bright Spot

I just thought of another bright moment in my weekend-o-pain. Last evening Reid was sitting at the table and asked me, "Who lives in the lighthouse?" The only lighthouse I could think of was the lighthouse in Assateague, VA. We had seen it while on vacation in September, so I just assumed he meant that lighthouse. I started explaining that no one really lives in the lighthouse anymore and he instantly stopped me by saying, "Yes they do! They live there, they leave soon and then someone new comes in." What?! A lighthouse, where people live, leave and others enter? What? Reid began to draw a picture of the house he meant. It had a dome and a flag! The WHITE HOUSE!


According to this little pain chart, I'm between 3 and 4. Friday evening, after a night of Trick-or-Treating, we came home and quickly got the kids ready for bed. Both the boys laid down and fell asleep. Ella, however, was WIRED! I sat down on the recliner and began rocking her to sleep. Well, not only was I successful at rocking Ella to sleep, I also rocked myself to sleep! When I woke up I realized James had taken Ella back to her bed, so I decided just to curl up on the chair and continue to doze. I shifted in the chair and HOLY SWEET HANNAH MY NECK HURT! I don't know what I did, or exactly how I did it, but my neck was a collar of pain! I got up thinking I could walk it off. When that didn't work I took some Aleve and carefully laid down in bed. Amazingly I was able to fall asleep quickly, however, Ella woke around 5, climbed into our bed and suddenly my pain was VERY APPARENT! I got in the shower thinking the warm water would help...it didn't. I couldn't even fully bend by head back to rinse the shampoo out of my hair. It hurt to breathe, my collar bones ache and I have a stabbing pain in the front and back of my throat. Not like a sore throat, it's all external. IT HURTS! Hayden had a soccer game that I did not want to miss, so James drove to the soccer game as I called the Chiropractor every 15 minutes on the way to the game. The game began at 9 and was finished at 10. I called the Chiro again only to find that they were only in from 9-10 this Saturday! LUCKY ME! So, now I sit and wait to call again FIRST THING MONDAY MORNING to see if they can help me. I know they can, they always do! I've never had neck issues before, but anytime I've thrown my back out, they've popped it right back in and I've left feeling like a whole new woman! Perhaps that is why I'm so miserable. I know this can most likely be fixed in less than 5 minutes, but because it happened over the weekend I have no option but sit, wait and deal! AHHHH! However, I must say I found a bright spot in my weekend-o-pain. As I was checking in on my bloggy buddies I found a new blog. Not only is her blog filled with super cute pics of her friends and family. She is also having a 3 day give away. So, click on the link and head on over to check out her blog and her Toy-R-Us gift card give away! Well, back to my pain!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

What Kind Of Dog Are You?

How crazy weird is that? I'm a beagle. Now that I'm learning to embed things in the blog AND I'm wide awake at midnight I'm led to finding things such as this and adding to them to the blog. So what kind of dog ARE you?

You Are a Beagle

You are good natured. You enjoy spending time with people and animals.

You have a wild, independent streak. If you're left to your own devices, you get in trouble.

You love to eat and enjoy food of all kinds. If you don't get enough physical activity, you tend to have a weight problem.

You are very stubborn. You don't like authority, and you tend to do your own thing no matter what.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I Did It!

Thanks to Melodie I figured out how to add a YouTube video to the blog! Thank you Melodie! Note, this is just a random video to try out my new talent!

Just Between Me & The Sen-na-ta!

Hey Uncle Jim! The Philly drought is OVER! Apparently William Penn had something to do with it. Comcast corrected the folly and the Philly drought has been ended. Eagles to the Bowl? Perhaps not this year, but the Penn Curse has been lifted and things are looking up for all Philadelphia fans! Love and miss you, Karen

Grab Your Tissues!

Well, apparently I still haven't figured out how to add videos from YouTube to the blog. So, just grab a box of tissues and click on this link. I saw this featured on Oprah yesterday, trust me you're going to NEED the tissues!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Starbuck's Splash Pick

This afternoon while Ella was at preschool, I went on a Target run. Ella was in desperate need of sneakers, and we were all in need of toothbrushes since Ella decided to place all of them in the trash last evening. SO, after spending only 15 minutes in Target and ONLY getting exactly what we needed, I decided to treat myself to a Starbucks coffee. YUM! This, sadly, doesn't happen often, and I did happen to have just enough cash to purchase one, so it was justifiably meant to be. Anyhow, after ordering and waiting for my drink, I was caught off guard when the barista asked if I wanted a "splash pick". What?! I said no, and thought nothing of it. I had never had a "splash pick" before, so why would I need one now? Well, leave it to a blustery, fall, PA day, complete with wind advisory, to prove why one should ALWAYS take the new "Starbuck's Splash Pick" when offered! Let's just say I wore half and drank half of my much awaited Caramel Macchiato. So, heads up to ya'll, when offered the splash pick, TAKE THE SPLASH PICK! It's a good thing!

Check Fraud

So, last evening Hayden approaches me with the above piece of paper and says, "I watched you write a check and now I am writing checks to get money." I had to laugh at the accuracy of his homemade check and his "reason" on the memo line. However, I replied by saying, "Yeah, Daddy and I will drive you to the bank, drop you off, allow you to walk inside and attempt to cash your "grocery list made check" and then laugh our butts off as police swarm the place and haul you away. THEN we'll quickly leave the bank, go home and not answer the phones when you get your one chance at a prison phone call." Thinking I've scared him into NEVER creating false checks or attempting to forge my signature, I was shocked when he started to laugh. His reply, "Would you really do that?" "What?" "Not answer the phone." OH MY DEAR FATHER IN HEAVEN! The boy doesn't fear police or being arrested, he fears Mama not answering the phone when he tries to call. Touching yet terrifying!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Tootsie Pops

On Friday the boys had their "Fall Festival" at school. Their elementary school has a western-style, all day theme party. All of their classes center around things country/western/fall. The whole school ends the day with a concert, by a local folk singer, and a party in their classrooms. The kids LOVE it! Well, at least they love it until they come home and have their little sister dig through all of their "goodies". Now granted I try to restrain her and have them rush their stuff off to their rooms before she can get a hold of anything "important". The only thing they are NOT allowed to whisk off to their rooms is anything candy or sugar filled. Take the pencils, erasers, spider rings, fangs, notepads etc., but I'm not having them think it's ok to be sucking on a pixie stick at 2am, simply because I told them to take it to their room! So, the Friday "pile of sugar in the kitchen" caused chaos for Ella and Hayden. Ella was determined to have Hayden's "big pop" aka Tootsie Pop. Hayden, being the awesome big brother he is, allowed her to have it. As a result I told him I would make sure he got a new "big pop." Which led us on a trip to the Dollar Store today to pick up a pack of pops. Only after bringing the pops home did I notice the bag's printing read, "New Flavor Inside!" OH! I'm suddenly so excited! (Ok, so it was a slow day. I honestly was excited!) What could possibly compete with chocolate, orange, grape and cherry for the convented honor of being allowed to cuddle the delicious tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop?! POMEGRANATE! (Insert sound of needle sliding across record here.) What?! Pomegranate?! I'm honestly sucking on one now and tasting only watered down cherry. Eeeww and yuck. Let's just hope this is what led the package to be sold at the Dollar Store, forget about this little hiccup in the Tootsie Pop people's thinking, and never discuss this again! Ok, fire the person who sat at the board meeting, suggested Pomegranate as a cool new flavor, and all the people in the room who agreed with that person and THEN we'll never speak about this little lapse in logical thinking again!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Welcome To New Maryland

Hello from Southern Pennsylvania, oops!, I mean New Maryland! For those of you who aren't from the area, let me explain. Several years ago people who live and work in Maryland began buying homes in lower PA. A lower cost of living, suburban lifestyles, good school districts all seemed like attractive PA qualities to the migrant Marylander. I was understanding and empathetic when the migration began. It was of course the boarder of two states. A fluid, transparent boundary existing only on paper and theory. Honestly, when one travels across the Mason-Dixon line, even on 83, not much changes. Now obviously there are many differences between rural PA and Baltimore. However, very few differences, if any at all, exist between the southern most points of PA and the northern most points of MD. However, over the past 15 years the migration has continued 35 miles into PA. So, there you have it, New Maryland! First we had New Mexico on the map, well now we can add "NEW MARYLAND!" I believe I've been tolerant of all the MD license plates driving around 30 miles over the boarder, but then it was the invasion of "busy Maryland Moms" taking over, and micro-managing the soccer team. Now today as I dropped my children off at school, a Maryland mom drove down the side of the drop-off line, cut off the line, pushed her kid out the door, allowed him to cross a lane of traffic (a huge blind spot exists in this area) and then WAITED for him to enter the building! Now, don't get me wrong, I always wait for my kids to enter the building. However, I don't cut off the entire line AND then sit and wait for my kids to get through the door! Even on a slow day the back of the drop off line is only 4 min. to the door. Oh, but MD mom, I KNOW you are so busy, because your job is so IMPORTANT, and you have a 45 min. commute, and you are a woman trying to balance a career and family from 50 miles away! Well, that might seem like that was the topper to my morning, but NO! As my kids were approaching the school door, 2 police cars came flying down the lane and cornered a car. Two teens (the driver and passenger) were quickly removed from the vehicle, and placed in the back of the one cruiser car. As I was pulling away from the school, I spotted the cars license plate. Would you like to guess what state the car was from? OMG! How did you guess? Maryland! So, there you have it folks, welcome to New Maryland! I'm grateful to live in a state where so many WANT to live. I mean come to think of it, an acquaintance of mine just recently married an MD cop, who happens to live 25 miles inside PA. Apparently MD has become such a horrible place to live, even the law enforcement officers can't take it! Wow! To think all this time we've been traveling to MD for the Inner Harbor, dinner, museums, etc. I suppose the culture what is driving the MD residence away.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mr. Aloe

Mr. Aloe's side view was bugging me. Sadly I don't know how to easily rotate it. Here is a fresh picture after he was cleaned up and repotted. Isn't he handsome! I know...I HAVE ISSUES!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

This Is Love

Many would think this picture (yes, it's sideways,sorry) looks like a giant weed in the middle of my mud room. Many more of you may wonder why I would include "Love" in the title of a post containing this picture. And many more of you may be wondering why this post isn't titled "Get That Damn Thing Out Of My House!" Well, let me introduce you to Mr. Aloe. Five or six years ago I found Mr. Aloe at Target. He was on a shelf in the middle of the store, in a wee tiny pot, dying. I had wanted an aloe plant and figured I would purchase the wee tiny plant and nurse it back to health. Well, that I did. Since then Mr. Aloe has gone from a wee tiny plant to, well, somewhat of a giant. Each year when the weather gets cold we move him into the mudroom. Each spring we dump him out of his pot, place him in a larger pot to accommodate his new growth, pull off any new "babies" (yes, we pot the babies and also realize that Mr. Aloe is actually a Ms. Aloe), and then repeat the same process again in the fall. This year Mr. Aloe even flowered twice. I never knew aloes flowered, but alas they do! This year also brought the first, "Are we going to keep Mr. Aloe?" conversation. As you can see, Mr. Aloe takes up a HUGE portion of our mudroom. We need to keep him off the ground to prevent eye injuries to the dogs and kids. James thought this might be the year to keep Mr. Aloe's babies and say good-bye to Mr. Aloe. I was crushed. He's become a member of the family. The kids are fascinated by him, he heals my babies cuts, scrapes and burns, and well, he's grown on us. (Pun intended) I can't bear the thought of letting him die! I called my parents and asked if he could spend the winter in their heated basement. My Mom agreed, but weeks flew by and we never got around to repotting, separating, etc. So, it seemed with frost in the forecast we were going to have to say our final good-byes. I already prepared myself for seeing his limp, wilted, frost-bitten limbs laid out across the lawn. Sunday night, brought frost, I felt horrible about him being outside, but knew he had grown too large for our home and too heavy for James to easily carry. I woke Monday morning and went to let the dogs out, praying the frost had spared Mr. Aloe. As I opened the mudroom door, I witnessed the above sight. James had hauled Mr. Aloe inside late Sunday night, before the frost. Now THAT is LOVE!

Where Have I Been?

Where have I been? Well,on the porch. I've been on the porch and at Lowe's. I've been on the porch sanding, sanding, sanding and sanding some more. Then, after sanding (on the porch) I was at Lowe's. Purchasing stain, polyurethane, sponges, rags, sand paper and drawer pulls. And now after a week of hard work (and lots of inhaled fumes),we now have two awesome dressers and lots more storage. The dressers were originally covered in a peeling, nasty, reddish-brown stain. Now (as you can see in the above picture) they look awesome! Usually James and I take our time on projects, however, with this one we wanted to hurry and finish before the weather got too cool to stain/polyurethane outside. After weeks of warm weather, PA chose to find fall the same week James and I found a new project! Isn't that the way things usually work out! Ha-ha! Well, our work was well worth it. As was the trip to pick up the dressers out of my girlfriends, mom's shed. Lets just say it involved 2 kids, 1 Ford van, no "stow & go" seating, an ancient 4ft. long bungee cord, a decaying spool of twine, a small, sweet and helpful hardware store owner, and finally Gorilla glue tape applied directly to the van's paint. OH! And a drive (including the above items/issues) through an entire county! Yeah, yeah! I know, had to be there! But funny it was!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

This Is Hilarious!


I found this video at Growin With It. I couldn't help but post it here too! Too true and too funny!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Mr. John's Mountain Party

We had a fantastic time yesterday at Mr. John's Annual Mountain Party. For those who may not know, Mr. John is our bachelor neighbor. He has been our neighbor for 6 years and during that time has become like an uncle to our kids. They LOVE their "Mr. John". Each October Mr. John's family has a party at their cabin in the mountains. Last year we had the honor of being invited and had an awesome time. This year we were re-invited and, again, had a great time full of music, great food, smores, Uncle Sonny's fantastic french fries, and "Redneck horseshoes". Thanks for a great time Mr. John!