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!