Friday, December 29, 2006

Happy New Year!

I'll be back to posting more soon! Hope all is well with you. Best wishes for a great 2007!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas

From our family to yours!

Have a safe and fun holiday!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Ugly Christmas Lights

I know I posted this link last year too, but every year I crack up over these photos at You gotta wonder what the heck these people are thinking!
The links to the 2006 collection is down the left-hand side...Go LOOK

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Monday, December 04, 2006

Snow! Snow! Snow!

With 14-18 inches of snow, it is definitely starting to feel like winter now! lol This is the most snow we've had in many years. Thought I'd share a few pictures from this weekend...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving & Happy Birthday!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! And...on Friday...

Get free graphics to decorate your Myspace, Xanga, blogs, and other webpages at

A very Happy Birthday to my good friend Carolyn and my blog friend Chaotic Mom who both have a birthday on Friday!!! Hope you both have spectacular birthdays!!!

On Friday, everyone go wish Carolyn and Chaotic Mom a happy birthday :)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Happy 30th, my friend!!!

Get free graphics to decorate your Myspace, Xanga, blogs, and other webpages at

No, it's not my 30th (that was back in March), but my good friend, Melissa (who some of you know as Frog Legs!) turns 30 today! :)


Happy birthday girl! Hope it's a better one than you expect!

Now real quick, everyone go wish her a happy 30th birthday!!! She could use some cheering up!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Contemplating Black Friday

I cannot believe there are only 5 weeks left until Christmas! OMG! I am pretty much done with the Christmas shopping for everyone on my side of the family, but not Joe's side. We don't even draw names on Joe's side until after Thanksgiving. So, can't do anything for that yet.

So, those who have been around know that I do not like shopping. Well I hate crowds even more. So, you would think that I would know better than to even LOOK at the Black Friday preview lists which involve shopping and MEGA crowds! I hate it. I cringe at even the thought of it. But dammit, there are some GREAT deals! I remember a couple years ago when I gave in and went to Toys R Us on Black Friday...OMG! I have never seen anything like it before! I got there at 5:15am, and the line was already to the door. When you walked in, you were at the end of the line. You just had to just jump in line first thing and look at things as you got to them in the line, because the line wrapped in and out of every aisle of the store. It was INSANE.

And here I am, two years later, and the crazy thoughts are entering my head again. Should I or shouldn't I? I REALLY do NOT want to, but there are 8 things on the Wal-Mart Black Friday list that I really want/need at a GOOD price. 1 thing at Toys R Us, and 5 things at Target too. UGH!!! I can't even believe I'm considering this. I will NOT got to all 3, but I'm leaning towards going to Wal-Mart at 5am, since there are 8 things there. I know I will be totally stressed out and flustered if I go, I H-A-T-E crowds, I can't stand people in my way when I'm trying to walk through a store. I avoid Wal-Mart on weekends because of the crowds, and now I'm thinking about purposely going there on *the* busiest day with the biggest crowds of all. What is wrong with me?! Well, I guess I have a week to decide.

What about you- are you venturing out on Black Friday?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Garage/Workshop Progress

Don't have time to post much, but thought I'd upload the latest pictures of our garage & workshop building project! We're getting there- it's starting to actually look like a building now.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things About My Oldest Son Brendan, Who Turned 6 Today!!!

1. He is a very smart kid. All of his teachers from the 2 yr old room teacher at daycare on up to his Kindergarten teacher now have commented to us numerous times each year as to how smart he is.

2. He is very artistic too. He loves to draw, color and write, and he is very good at it! He also loves books and is learning how to read.

3. He loves to watch movies. (He probably got this from me, I love to watch movies too!)

4. He can be very loving and cuddly when he wants to, and he tells us he loves us often.

5. He's a picky eater, but he will usually eat his dinner if the bribe is good enough. heehee He will almost never turn down warm bread (like crescent rolls or breadsticks) or a peanut butter & jelly sandwich though. And he would eat a whole tray of cold shrimp if we let him. But dinner is usually a struggle of some sort.

6. He seems very interested in things related to art, science, nature, and music. His teacher said he's good at math too. (He definitely didn't get that from me!) He can sing all sorts of songs and get the tune and rhythm right. He even makes up his own songs with multiple verses and chorus lines! (we won't mention that one of the many songs he made up was when he was mad at me and the song was all about how I don't love him! Talk about a knife to the heart overhearing that one while standing outside his room!)

7. He has an incredible memory! He still brings up things we did or saw when he was 2 years old and says "remember that Mommy?" I always have to dig down deep in my memory to figure out what he's talking about.

8. Although he has somewhat lost interest in them now, he is very good at puzzles. When he was 2-1/2 years old he shocked us by putting together a puzzle that was marked as being for 4-7 year old kids! He did it completely by himself at age 2-1/2 just by looking at the picture on the front of the box. We didn't help him at all. We kept buying him new puzzles, and he would put them all together without any help from us.

9. Even though they fight over toys and sometimes hurt each other, he is a good big brother to Adam. It is so cute when he helps his brother, or when they hug and play together.

10. He is tall and skinny. His weight is always around the 30th percentile, while his height is always up around the 75th percentile. His waist is so little that he wears a size 7-slim pants, and even that size slim is too big in the waist, so they have to have adjustable waists too, tightened to the tightest spot. Even then sometimes a belt is necessary too.

11. He looks just like his daddy did at this age, and his little brother looks just like he did at that age too. I'm not sure if any of my genes were passed on to either of the boys at all! lol

12. He has about 50 or more pieces of paper hung all over his desk and shelves and door of pictures he has drawn. At Halloween he drew all sorts of Halloween pictures and hung them up as "decoration". The day after Halloween he took them all down and started drawing Thanksgiving pictures. I'm sure the Christmas ones will be starting soon too.


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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I did it!

Well, I did it. After 12 years of NOT doing it, I did it again. I voted yesterday! I've only voted one other time in my life...the very first election after I turned 18. Then, I didn't vote ever again...until yesterday! Okay, maybe it wasn't exactly for the right reasons, I *had* to cancel out my hubby's vote on a thing or two, but still I voted! Aren't you proud of me? LOL

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

What a weekend!

Wow, we had quite the eventful weekend! (as if things haven't been eventful enough lately- see my TT post below to see what I mean, if you didn't already).

They were supposed to be pouring/spreading the concrete for the garage on Saturday morning, but after a series of events, they ended up doing it Friday afternoon instead. But, it had to be smoothed out with a machine every so often as it was setting up. Long story short, we still had a guy there working on it until 11:30pm. But it's done now, so that's good. It's crazy how fast things are moving though, because our loan money hasn't come through yet, so we've been having to pay the excavation, gravel, concrete, and workers out of our pocket! Yikes!

Saturday was the annual Christmas shopping trip that my mom, sister, grandma, aunt, cousin and I go on each year. (those who have been reading my blog awhile know that I do not like shopping very much). That went fine. I spent A LOT of money, but am now closer to being done. Guess that's better than not having any luck.

While we were there, Joe called to let me know he had to take Brendan to the Emergency room! Brendan had apparently climbed up one of our trees and got too high up where the branches were not big enough to hold his weight. The branch he was standing on broke and Brendan fell to the ground. Joe had been getting Adam's jacket on him and got out there just in time to see Brendan on the ground crying. He said he hurt everywhere, including his stomach, and said it was hard to breathe, so that was enough for Joe to feel like he should take him to the ER just to be sure there wasn't anything wrong internally, or any breaks, etc. So he took him in, and they checked him out and did x-rays. Everything was fine. His one foot was the main thing still hurting him, but it wasn't broken...just sprained or bruised or something. He is still kinda limping around on it, but can walk and do things. He got really lucky that he wasn't hurt any worse! He could have easily been hurt VERY badly.

Sunday was the birthday party for the boys. It was very chaotic! I do not like how that place does their birthday parties! Long story, but here's the brief version- You only get the birthday party room for 1 hour of the party. So, for the first hour the kids played and had fun, but the adults had no designated area to go, and we couldn't take the cake, presents, etc into the room ahead of time. It was crowded, loud, and hot. Then when it was our turn to go in the room, it was so small, that we didn't all fit in, so a lot of the people had to stand outside of the room, looking in through the doorway! The kids ate the cake, and about 1/2 way through the present-opening, the worker told me we only had 5 minutes left. So,the boys had to quickly rip into the remaining presents and it was crazy trying to get all of our stuff out of there. They were all but pushing us out the door. And the other strange thing is, they didn't give us the tokens for the kids until we got in the b-day party room, so the whole first hour while the kids were supposed to be playing, they didn't have their tokens for the games area. Seems backwards to me. They could climb around on the huge 2-story play area, so at least they had that, but still seems strange not to allow them to have the tokens for the game area too. So by the time we got out of the room, most people in our party left. Some stayed and played longer. We stayed for awhile to let Brendan and Adam use their tokens, and then we left too. His classmate's parents all said their kids had fun, so hopefully it wasn't too bad from their perspective, but maybe they were just trying to be nice. lol! But, Brendan said he had fun at his party, so that's what's most important. And both boys got some really nice gifts! It is amazing how cool the toys are these days! That place is such a fun place to go and play, but I don't think we will ever have a birthday party there again, (unless they change the way they do it). Too hectic!

Now I just wish I had a weekend to recover from the weekend! lol

Oh, and saw this on Uisce and Veronika's blogs, so thought I'd try it too:
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

There are apparently zero with my same first and last name combination, but 157,484 people in the U.S. with my first name and 810 people in the U.S. with my last name.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen things going on in my world lately that have kept me from blogging much the last few weeks.

1. Early in the month (as I posted about earlier) we were dealing with all the car issues, right at the same time as Joe's birthday and our Anniversary.

2. Brendan has been having behavior issues at school. Not listening, not following classroom rules, refusing to participate in some activities, getting mad easily if he can't do something just right, and so on.

3. We went to Joe's 15-year reunion. It was fun.

4. Joe's youngest sister got married. Joe was an usher, so I had to try to deal with both boys on my own. I spent most of the ceremony outside with Adam because he was being too loud. Ugh! Thank goodness a friend of ours let Brendan sit by him while I was out with Adam. Then between the wedding and the reception Brendan got sick. So my dad and his wife (who luckily live close to the town the wedding was in) said they'd keep the boys at their house while I went back to the reception. It was a nice break, and Joe and I had fun. Then we stayed until almost 3am helping them clean up the reception afterwards! Finally got back to my dad's house, fell asleep, and at 5am the boys woke up. So, I got less than 2 hours of sleep that night.

5. Adam started climbing out of his crib, so we moved him to the toddler bed. We don't have a room for him, so we put him in Brendan's room for now. The first week was horrible, he was screaming and wouldn't stay in bed...took forever to get him down at night, and then he'd get up very early each morning. And this was the week immediately following the wedding, so I was already running on less than 2 hours sleep when this all began. I was NOT a happy camper.

6. Even though he is now going down easier at night now in his toddler bed, he still wakes up around 4am every morning, comes upstairs to wake me up, and insists he wants some milk. Since I get up around 5am-ish anyway, I usually end up just staying up after Adam wakes me.

7. Big deadline at work was during this same time period too. But I did get it done! Yea!

8. Joe was sick with a stomach thing. I was sick 2 different times (before and again after Joe). Now Joe is sick again. Ugh! He thinks this time maybe he was just dehydrated though.

9. We had parent-teacher conferences with Brendan's teacher. All the others just met with the Kindergarten teacher, but when it was our turn, in walked the gym teacher, art teacher, and music teacher too. *sigh* They all had similar things to say about Brendan, and his behavior (not listening, not participating, not following rules, etc). I felt like *I* was in trouble. lol On a good note, his Kindergarten teacher did have a lot of good things to say too, about how incredibly smart he is, and how advanced he is in writing, drawing, reading, etc for his age. Now if he could just behave, all would be great!

10. Adam's 2nd birthday was last week! Brendan's 6th birthday is next week! We are having a birthday party for them both this Sunday. I'm not ready yet! Yikes!

11. My mom and her bf took Brendan and one of my nephews to the circus last weekend! They had a great time. Brendan thought it was awesome!

12. Halloween was okay. (See photos of the boys in my Wordless Wednesday post below). As usual, I had to work at a Halloween event that night. I love Halloween, so it really bums me out that I have to work entertaining other people's kids and I can't even take my own kids trick-or-treating.

13. We started on building our garage/workshop! This is what it looks like so far, as of this morning (sorry for the bad quality, it was still mostly dark when I left for work this morning)

Now that you're done reading my list, go wish Veronika a Happy Birthday!

If you are participating in Thursday Thirteen, please add yourself to the auto-linky below. Thanks to Uisce for the linky and Goofy Girl for the TT banner at the top.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Wordless Wednesday

Blogger won't let me upload the photo right now. I'll try again later.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

No Thursday Thirteen Today

I'm tired, stressed, tired, overwhelmed, tired, have tons to do, tired, feeling defeated by Brendan's behavior & attitude lately, and did I mention TIRED?! Ugh! I can't shake this exhausted feeling I've had for soooo long :(

Joe's little sister's rehearsal tonight and wedding Saturday are not helping things either. lol

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Tackle It Tuesday: Behind my desk at work!

I have so many things that need "tackling" both at work and at home, that it only makes sense for me to join in on "Tackle It Tuesday" over at 5 Minutes for Mom!!! I'm gonna need a lot of Tuesdays to get everything done, that's for sure! lol

This week I'm going to tackle the messy pile on the floor behind/beside my desk in my office at work!
This is a combination of work stuff/papers, as well as stuff from home, that needs to go back home, old catalogs, magazines, phone books, my lunch bag, even a shirt or two (?!). What a mess! Below is the before picture. I'll update with an "after" photo once I'm done!


I did it! I'm done! Wow, it looks soooo much better now. The rest of my office is still messy, but hey, at least I can roll my desk chair around without bumping into all that stuff that was behind me on the floor! lol See the "after" photo below...

Friday, October 06, 2006

The New SUV!

First a warning- you might want to stay away from me, apparently I am a bad-luck magnet!

If you read the post below, you know some of it, and then would you believe that night (Tues) my husband's truck broke down too?! And it was his birthday too! He was driving the truck and I was driving his car, since my SUV was dead. We thought we could get away with that for a few days before we went car shopping, but nope! Our bad luck continued. So, we were truly down to 1 car, and the hours we keep right now make it nearly impossible to carpool.

So, on Wednesday Joe and I both took off work (which just happened to also be our 9-year Anniversary!) and we decided to just get everything taken care of. Long story short, I ended up buying a 2006 Hyundai Tucson. I did have a Kia Sportage, and was planning on either getting another Sportage or the Hyundai Tucson SUV, but the sales guy at Kia was an ass, so I didn't want him getting the commission! (which is really strange because our Kia dealer place prides themselves on quality, friendly staff and we have always been impressed with how friendly and helpful their service department guys are, but this one sales guy just didn't fit the mold!) He was rude, and he lost our business because of it! Hyundai guy was awesome! Plus, I prefer stick shift and Kia only had 4WD in automatics and Hyundai had the 4WD manual ones AND they undercut Kia by $2000 even without a trade-in.

I totally love the new SUV so far! I've never in my life owned a brand new car before, I've always bought used ones in the past. But, with the great warranty (10 years 100,000 miles) and the fact that the used ones aren't that much cheaper, well, it made more sense to go new this time. (Plus, with the luck I've been having lately, I wasn't taking any chances! LOL!)

So, Joe's birthday and our Anniversary were not exactly what we'd hoped or planned, but oh well. At least we shouldn't be having any more car problems any time soon. *knocking on wood*

Here it is...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Back from the retreat

The scrapbooking retreat was great! I had fun, and got 17 pages done.
However, I had an eventful evening on the way home from the retreat Sunday! On my way home my SUV overheated and died. We had *just* gotten it back out of the shop Thursday night and paid $800 to have it fixed, and now, three days later it is dead. Ugh! I made it to about 2-3 miles from home, and OF COURSE I had forgotten my cell phone so I didn’t have it with me. So, I got lots of exercise walking the whole length of the gravel road about 2-1/2 miles the rest of the way to my house. Being out in the boonies, with nothing but trees, cows & gravel road ahead I had no choice but to just walk it. Doesn’t seem very long when you drive it, but it seems pretty darn long when you WALK it- especially when the ocassional car goes by and kicks up all the gravel dust in your face! (I did get an up-close view of the fields of cows, horses, and 3 deer though!) So, about an hour later when I finally did get home, we drove Joe’s car back to it and he towed me back. He looked at it and found that the radiator hose had busted, so all the water/coolant had gushed out and that’s what caused it to overheat. And the overheating caused the engine damage. So, dead/blown engine pretty much equals dead SUV. I will have to get a new one. Which I’m overdue for anyway, as it was a 1998 and had over 160,000 miles on it. But, we were hoping it would last another couple years since Joe just had to get a new one a couple months ago too. So, we’ve gone from having both cars paid off, to two new car payments again. *sigh* But, in trying to see the silver lining, I guess the good news is that I'll be getting a new car, AND I worked off a lot of the calories we consumed at the retreat! lol

Friday, September 29, 2006

Off for the weekend

In about 3 hours I'll be heading off to my weekend retreat of scrapbooking, eating, relaxing and hanging out with friends. I'll be back online Monday, I think. Have a great weekend!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Our weekend...Cow Slime and Tantrums and Poop, Oh My!

We had a pretty good weekend for the most part. On Saturday my dad, his wife, and my grandma were in town to watch my nephew's soccer game. So we all met up for lunch afterwards. Then I had to rush off for a haircut (that I had already rescheduled once and the lady that cuts my hair wasn't available again for about a month so I couldn't reschedule again!)

Then Sunday we took the boys on a little trip. There is a drive-through zoo about 3 hours away, and after 35 years of business they are closing down on October 1. I remember loving that place when I was a kid, so I really wanted to bring my boys to it before they closed. Brendan wasn't too thrilled about the 3 hour drive, but he was looking forward to seeing the animals. (If he's worried about a 3-hr drive, just wait until March when we have a 14-hour drive to Texas! Yikes!) It was fun, but I'm pretty sure they have already gotten rid of a lot of the animals, because there were a lot less than I remember. And most of them were not even coming up to the car. But there were a few that did (mainly zebras & ostrichs) and then right at the end there were finally a bunch of animals that were coming up to the car to get food. There were these hairy cows (looked kinda like old english sheep dogs), Himalayan cows I think Joe said they're called? that were surrounding our car and had their whole head inside my window over my lap eating the food pellets as fast as I could get them out of the bag! They were so slobbery though, that I was backing up and practically sitting on Joe's lap trying to keep from getting slimed! lol The boys thought that was pretty funny! I finally had to roll up the window and now there is nasty slime all over the window!

After that, we took the boys to Incredible Pizza What a neat place! It's kinda like a Chuck E. Cheese, a Burger King play place, an arcade, and a CiCi's pizza buffet all rolled into one with go-karts & mini golf added in too! It was great until the end when Brendan had a total meltdown/fit/tantrum because of a silly little toy prize...which was very frustrating and embarassing. He was yelling, screaming, kicking, talking back, you name it. I'm sure he was tired and so something that little set him off, and he just kept getting worse and worse. It's situations like that that we are at a loss as to the "right" way to handle it. We have become the yelling type, and you bet he got a spanking when he started kicking the sink in the bathroom, and his brother. I don't want to be the yelling/spanking type of parent, but he doesn't respond to calmer methods. And I certainly don't want him to think he can get away with behavior like that. But we don't feel like we handle this sort of thing quite right either. (but that issue is a whole other post) What to do? We left, of course, at that point. It's weird to think our almost 6-year-old was the one throwing the fit and our almost 2-year-old who is already showing signs of "the terrible two's" was perfectly behaved! lol Seems like it would have been the other way around! Oh, but Adam wasn't completely innocent either...he had a poopy blow-out while we were there, and it was all over the inside of his pants, down his leg, etc. Thank goodness I had remembered to pack an extra set of clothes for just such an occassion! LOL

But tantrums and poop aside, all in all it was a fun weekend :) LOL

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Over for another year

Well, the weekend is over, and I'm glad to have that event behind me for another year. Saturday the weather was great, but Sunday we sat in the rain all day. It was not fun. But it's over, and now I can start to enjoy fall. Fall is my favorite season :) We're still pretty busy though, Brendan has afterschool soccer this week and his swimming lessons have started back up. But the soccer program ends on Friday, so next week it'll be down to just swimming lessons.

The weather is much cooler this week, and I've discovered that both boys have outgrown all of their pants...even the pants I just bought them a couple months ago. The pant legs are too short, but the waists are still too big. Brendan is going to need a 7-slim for the length, but it will be too big in the waist, even being slim size. Adam started out chunkier, but now he is getting the same body type as big brother. He could probably wear 12mos in waist, but he needs 2T for length. Do they even make a size 2T-slim jeans?! lol So, somehow I need to figure out time to go to the store and buy both boys several new pants.

As you can tell, I don't have anything exciting going on right now to write about. lol

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Busy week

September is my least favorite month at work, and this week is my least favorite week, and especially this weekend is my least favorite weekend of the whole year at work. Have to work an event that goes on and on and on long hours all weekend, and we're preparing for it all week. So, I may not be able to visit very many blog pals this week. Sorry. I'll try to catch up next week!

Monday, September 11, 2006

September 11

D.Challener Roe has created 2,996 which is a tribute to the victims of 9/11.
Today, "...2,996 volunteer bloggers will join together for a tribute to the victims of 9/11. Each person will pay tribute to a single victim. We will honor them by remembering their lives, and not by remembering their murderers. "

To see the list of tributes by bloggers, go HERE.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Our Fun Time Last Weekend

Well now that it's almost the weekend again, I will post about the good time we had LAST weekend. I meant to post about this earlier, but well, next thing I knew it was Wordless Wednesday, so I couldn't post it then, and then it was Thursday Thirteen. So, now I'm finally posting.

We had a fun 4-day holiday weekend last weekend! Brendan didn't have school Friday, so I took him to this really fun new place nearby. It is a huge indoor play area, with lots of crawl-through type structures with slides and such. It's big enough for adults too, so I played and crawled along too. (and those slides go so fast I thought I was gonna bust out the other side of the mesh! lol) It was so fun. The crawl-through stuff is 3-floors high! There are also a bunch of games there, video games, air hockey, skee ball, those sorts of things- and you win tickets and can turn them in for cheap prizes, kinda like at Chuck E. Cheese, only Chuck E. Cheese isn't as cool as this place. lol They also had great food there. And the other neat thing about this place, is there is a parents only room at the very top that is glassed in, and parents can hang out in there and play around on the computer or read or whatever, and still look down on their children playing below. I didn't use it this time, because I wanted to PLAY, but it is a great idea.

We are pretty sure that we will have Brendan & Adam's birthday party here too.

Then on Sunday we took the boys to a farm a few hours away. It is one of those that has a petting/feeding the goats part, and lots of animals to look at, and some shows and things. I didn't have my digital camera with me, so those pictures are still needing to be developed. We had a good time there too.

The rest of the weekend we were at home, doing regular things that weren't nearly as exciting. lol

This weekend should be fun too. We're having a BBQ Saturday, and then I'm going to my sister's scrapbooking crop on Sunday. Unfortunately I've been sick all day today. Hopefully I will be feeling better before the weekend!

Thursday Thirteen

We've been challenged by Denise to have our Thursday Thirteen theme this week be 13 things we like about ourselves. So, I'm accepting the challenge.

Thirteen Things I Like About Myself

1. I like that I can get along with just about anyone.

2. I like that I can be creative if I put my mind to it.

3. I like that I am thoughtful and try to do nice things for others, and help others when I can.

4. I like that I am not overly materialistic.

5. I like that I am not a high-maintenance person.

6. I like that I enjoy outdoor activities as well as indoor activities, so that I'm never bored regardless of the weather.

7. I like that I am an agreeable person most of the time.

8. I like that I have many interests (even if I don't have time to persue all of them right now)

9. I like that I get things going and make things happen that I or we want. As hubby says, I'm the "mover & shaker" in the family. There are so many things we would have never done had I not done my "moving and shaking". lol

10. I like that I am a wife who supports her husband in his goals and endeavors.

11. I like that I am a mommy of 2 boys.

12. I like that I am independent (although sometimes maybe I'm a little too independent)

13. I like that overall I am a healthy and happy person.

If you are participating in Thursday Thirteen, please add yourself to the auto-linky below. Thanks to Uisce for the linky and Phoenix for the TT banner at the top.

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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Wordless Wednesday

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Friday, September 01, 2006

A Day Off!

Brendan doesn't have school today, so I took off work today too. We are headed off to here...

And hopefully after that I can get some decluttering done around the house too.

Have a great Friday and holiday weekend!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen of my favorite junk food snacks and drinks

1. Brownies (chewy moist ones)

2. Chocolate Chip Cookies (homemade)

3. Cheetos (the crunchy ones)

4. Popcorn at the movie theater

5. Junior mints and/or Peppermint Patties

6. Buffalo wings from Domino's

7. Doritos

8. Tostidos and salsa

9. Chocolate candy bars (Hershey's, Reese's, Snickers, etc)

10. Anything with chocolate and peanut butter together

11. Mountain Dew

12. Beer

13. Sugar free Red Bull

If you are participating in Thursday Thirteen, please add yourself to the auto-linky below. Thanks to Uisce for the linky and Denise for the TT banner at the top.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Wordless Wednesday

(Our poor dried-up creek at the back of our property. We need rain!)

(looking for deer tracks)

If you participate in Wordless Wednesday, please add yourself to the linky below. Comments are always appreciated too!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Tired, Stressed and Needing to Sweat!

I don't know what to do with myself. I've been so tired and stressed again lately. My temper is flaring, my patience is worn thin. The littlest things are setting me off. I don't like this. I hate feeling upset and annoyed all the time. But I don't know how to snap out of it and *stay* out of it. I need to exercise. A good workout with lots of sweat and tears (I tend to cry when I workout while something inside me releases and the tears start flowing.) On Sunday I was so aggravated and flustered that I went outside for over an hour in the heat and started pulling weeds along our (very long gravel) driveway. I was ripping those weeds out as if they were pissing me off, and my hair and shirt were soaking wet with sweat. It felt good. But didn't last long after. As soon as I walk back in the house I'm reminded of all the chaos. I need to get my routines fixed...seems like there's always something getting in the way. And I keep trying to add in more exercise, and it's just not happening as often as I'd like (and need). I think I will add a walk in when I get home and get Brendan off the bus. I'm hoping he will want to do this. A Mommy and son walk after school every day. That's the plan. (at least as long as my work allows me to continue to come home early) I'm hoping this will kill 3 birds with one stone...getting more exercise in, helping my mood and stress level, and spending more time with Brendan. We'll see if he goes for it. I'm also doing the Ab video at night before bed again. And once Joe gets better we will start the Power 90 boot camp back up again. I'm pretty sure that getting back on a regular exercise schedule will make a huge difference. (A massage would be nice too) Maybe I will finally lose the pesky 20 lbs of baby fat left, and more importantly maybe I will feel like a calm, peaceful human being again.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Monday again

Here it is Monday again. This weekend was okay. I went to Joe's sister's bridal shower, which went well. The men joined in at 5pm, but Joe wasn't feeling well, so basically that part just consisted of Joe sitting/laying around while I chased the boys around someone else's house trying to be sure they didn't break anything or walk out of the house. lol

On Sunday Joe was still not feeling well, so he layed around while I got groceries, did laundry, dishes, cleaned out my car, cleaned up outside, pulled some weeds, did trash, fixed meals, cleaned up the living room, took care of the boys, and got things ready for the next day. We also watched RV.

The after-school situation still isn't completely settled yet. I've turned in a request/proposal for my hours to be adjusted. My direct boss is fine with it, but we haven't received approval from her boss yet. In the meantime, until we hear back, I will be working the adjusted hours. So, that's good. I will be able to be home in time for him for a few more days at least. And hopefully it will be approved. We shall see.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

I am not feeling very creative today, so for my Thursday Thirteen today you all can ask me a question and I will post the first 13 with my answers (and I will answer questions in the comments section after the first 13 too). Anything you want to know about me? You can ask me just about anything.
1. Karen of Changed by His Love (the birthday girl! Go wish her happy birthday!) asked:
"10 acres? That sounds beautiful. So, I gotta know...have you ever actuallly went outside naked?"
My answer: Yes, I actually have! I haven't walked around the woods naked or anything like that, but after we get in the little pool in our yard I will take my swimming suit off and hang it over the porch while I'm outside...don't want to go in the house with a dripping wet swimming suit ya know ;) I also frequently go get something from the car or the porch with just a t-shirt and underwear on.
"Read a good book lately?"
My answer: I don't get much time for reading, but sometimes I listen to books on cd in the car. The last book on cd I listened to was Family First by Dr. Phil. I enjoyed it. I need to listen to it again frequently for reminders! I have started reading How to Talk So Your Kids Will Listen, and Listen So Your Kids Will Talk, but am not even half-way through it yet.
3. Mar from Maremagnum asked:
"from your sidebar: you like beer. What's your favorite brand and what's the best snack to have with it?"
My answer: Bud Light is the beer I like and drink most often. I also like Michelob Ultra. Best beer food is hot wings, but really just about any snack that is salty or spicy goes great!
4. Kimmy from Snickerdoodles asked:
"How did you get hooked on scrapbooking and how long have you been doing it? (Did you do it when Brendan was a baby?)"
My answer: I've been scrapbooking for 14 years now! My mom, sister, and I attended a Creative Memories workshop back in 1992 and we've all been hooked ever since. That was back before very many people had even heard of it, and you certainly couldn't find any scrapbooking supplies in the stores or anywhere except for the Creative Memories consultants.
5. Kailani from The Pink Diary asked:
"What is your favorite place to shop at?"
My answer: I actually do not enjoy shopping much. I do it when I have to, but it's not something I like. So, besides groceries and necessities, I tend to shop online whenever possible. Favorites online are Amazon and eBay. For clothes, when I need to try things on, I tend to go to Kohl's or JCPenney first. Mostly because they're easy to get in and out of. lol
"If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?"
My answer: Well, I think I'd have to say either Hawaii or Alaska. This is because I've been to all 48 continental states, and only have these two left to have all 50!
"Do you have a favorite male celebrity that is also a dad?"
My answer: Umm, hmmm, this is tough one. I've never been real thrilled about celebrities in general. I mostly just roll my eyes at them. But, I guess I'd have to say Brad Pitt, if I had to pick one.
"Do you believe in heaven and hell? if so, why?"
My answer: Yes I do believe in Heaven (why? probably because that is what I was taught growing up). I have my reservations about the belief in "Hell" though. I believe in the concept of "Hell" to some degree, but I do not really believe that it is a place you go, I believe it to be more of an abstract concept. Too hard to explain and put into words here, but that is my short answer ;)
"I saw you do the Flylady..did you shine your sink yesterday??"
My answer: LOL! I'm so glad you asked this about yesterday and not another day, because I actually DID shine my sink last night! Woohoo! I can't say that my answer would have been yes every day though.
"What sort of digital camera do you think works best for blogging; for scrapbooking?"
My answer: Oh wow, you are asking the wrong person. LOL! I wish I had an answer for this, but I know very little about digital cameras. I have a simple and inexpensive one that I just use for emailing pictures and putting pictures on my ebay stuff and blog, but it really isn't a great one. (and I don't have it here with me right now so I can't even tell you what it is! Sorry!) I do not use a digital camera for scrapbooking either. I'm an old-fashioned film camera girl. I do love my (film) camera though! It is a Canon Rebel.
11. Shannon from Mommy, Inc. asked:
"What's your favorite memory as a kid?"
My answer: I have many great memories as a kid. I was blessed with a wonderful childhood and a wonderful family. My favorite memories I guess would have to be the family traditions we had, such as pizza every Friday night, taking pictures at the beach every Easter after church (until we moved far away from the beach, that is), Christmas traditions (too many and too long to list), a vacation every summer, and many more things like that.
"What is your greatest accomplishment (for yourself, "mankind," for your husband, and finally for your children) so I guess that is a 4 part question".
This is hard for me to answer, because I feel like I haven't accomplished great things for anyone.
My greatest accomplishment for mankind is, I guess, just the volunteering I do to try to help the Multiple Sclerosis Society (MS Walk, etc) and things like recycling and such to try to do my part. That's not much, but it's all I can think of right now.
My greatest accomplishment for my husband is being a wife who supports him in all his goals and endeavors.
My greatest accomplishment for my children is being able to provide them with a place to live, all the necessities they need, and an endless amount of love.
My greatest accomplishment for myself is still to come, I hope, because I just sat here forever and couldn't think of anything. H0w sad is that.
13. Amy from Simply Stated asked:
"What is your favorite flavor of ice cream and why?"
My answer: I very rarely eat ice cream, because I am lactose intolerant. But my favorite is just plain ol' vanilla. That's my hubby's favorite kind too. We're boring that way. lol

See other questions/answers in the comments section.

If you are participating in Thursday Thirteen, please add yourself to the auto-linky below. Thanks to Uisce for the linky and Denise for the TT banner at the top.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Wordless Wednesday

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

1st Day of Kindergarten

Brendan's first day of Kindergarten went great! He did wake up crying about 10 minutes before his alarm was set to go off, and when I asked what was wrong he said his alarm didn't beep! lol So I assured him that it wasn't broken, that he just woke up too early. So he laid back down, and was so excited when the alarm actually did start beeping! LOL He immediately got up, did his morning jobs (get dressed, make his bed, feed the cat) this is a process that usually takes forever, but he had it done in 5 minutes. Then I made him and Adam some waffles, they ate, and Brendan put his dishes in the sink and brushed his teeth immediately after. (who are you and what have you done with my son?). So, he was ready to go out the door about 45 minutes early! lol When we did go outside to wait for his bus, I took a couple pictures and Adam didn't want to be left out, so he insisted on wearing his backpack too. heehee. When the bus arrived Brendan walked right up and got on just as if he'd been doing it all his life! In fact he got on so fast I didn't even get a picture taken of him by the bus! (And as you other scrapbookers know, this is a major tragedy and will totally screw up my layout! lol) So I had to settle for one of him looking over the bus seat (which was with my film camera so I don't have it yet). He waved as the bus pulled away. And that was it. No problems at all. Then I followed the bus out for a little bit (only because it was the direction I needed to go to work anyway). That's when I actually did get a little teary eyed. Not sure why, as I'm not sad about him growing up, but I guess that's just what moms do. lol

Then, with no after school care lined up and Joe out of town at a conference, I had to leave work early to be home in time for the bus. (which by the way, for those following my frustrations with lack of communication from the school...I *still* didn't know what time to expect him home, I was told the night before that "it will be after 4:00" but I didn't know if it would be 4:01 or 4:59 or what! I was told to wait and see how the first day goes and then I would know what time. Ugh! Yeah, real helpful for a working mom, thanks so much). Well it's a good thing I got home just before 4:00 because sure enough the bus dropped him off at like 4:04! He came running up the driveway all excited yelling "Mommy!!" I gave him a big hug and I could tell by the completely happy smile from ear to ear that he had had a great day. He told me all about it. He loved it, and thought that riding on the school bus was "so awesome!"

So now we just need to figure out what to do about after school. Now that we finally know what time the bus will be dropping him off. Joe and I have been talking on the phone a little between his conference sessions, and we're hoping to be able to get our bosses to be a little flexible and let us adjust our hours slightly in order to be home for Brendan after school. We're thinking if I can go in from 7:30-3:30 (instead of 8am-5pm) on M/W/F and he can do that on Tues/Thurs then we could cover it without either of us leaving early every day of the week. We'll see how that goes over with the bosses.

But after school issues aside, today was a great success!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Dear Brendan

Dear Brendan,

Tomorrow morning is your first day of Kindergarten! You are asleep right now- you went to bed all excited about getting to ride the school bus tomorrow, and almost as excited about your new alarm clock.

Today you said goodbye to all of your teachers and friends at XXXX daycare center. These people have been a huge part of your life so far- from 18-months-old until now! You were a little sad that you won't be seeing your friends anymore, but you also seem excited about making new friends at Kindergarten.

It's hard to believe that my first-born "baby" is starting school, but I think I'm ready. Ready to watch you learn and grow even more. Ready to see you have fun, new experiences. I'm nervous, excited and happy for you, all at the same time. I know you will do well. You're a big, smart boy with a great imagination, lots of curiosity and a love of discovery and learning.

A new chapter of your life (and ours) begins tomorrow when you step on that school bus. And no matter what life may bring, Daddy and I will always love you and be here for you, every step of the way!

I love you!


Monday babbling

Well, this weekend was not really a fun one. It started out with a phone call at 6:00am Saturday morning with a situation requiring me to go in to one of our facilities at work. So I went in and took care of that, came back home. Joe had to work both days this weekend getting ready for a conference. I did laundry, and cleaning type such while I was home. The boys were obnoxious the whole weekend, and Brendan kept getting in trouble. On Sunday I made at least 8 dozen cookies (4 different kinds) so that I could make up a tray of cookies for Brendan's daycare/preschool staff since today is his last day. He's been going there since he was 18-months-old. And he helped me make a pan of chocolate chip cookie bars to share with the kids in his class too. Then Sunday night I went into my office at work for a few hours. (Need to make-up some hours after missing some time last week dealing with Brendan's school stuff, and this week having to leave early due to afterschool issues and such.) Found out this morning that the possible solution we had, fell through. So, not sure what we're gonna do. At 4:00 I take him to meet his teacher (have to leave work early again for this), and I'm told we will FINALLY receive the bus schedule while we're there. At this point I'm really hoping he's like the very last stop on the way home, so that he won't be dropped off until 4:30 and I can just arrange my work schedule a little and be home when he gets off the bus each day. But, I know with Murphy's Law in effect he will probably be dropped off much earlier, so I will probably need to arrange afterschool care, somewhere, somehow, tonight. *sigh*

On a good note, Adam is starting to show interest in the potty! He sat on it twice yesterday for a long time. Nothing happened, but hey, it's a start! I'm hoping he is trained MUCH faster and sooner than his big brother was! Ugh! I don't want a repeat of that, for sure!

Tomorrow is the big first baby will enter Kindergarten! Here's hoping for a smooth morning tomorrow!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Last night, and I Need Ideas & Tips!

Last night hubby and I had our monthly date night. We went to the comedy club. I was given free tickets last time I was there, because I was dancing. lol They come around once in awhile and give out tickets to people who are on the dance floor, and I was! And it helped that the guy handing them out knew me from somewhere else, so he gave me two. So, anyway, we went and had a good time. The comics were good, the beer was good, and we sat on the front row right up by the stage. Which I was nervous about, but luckily the comics performing last night were not the kind that pick on the audience. Whew! Afterwards we stood by the dance floor for a couple minutes, but I couldn't get Joe to dance. He's not a dancer, and he feels stupid trying. So, we left. And went to Wal-Mart to pick up a few things we needed. Because, you know, going to Wal-Mart is such a fun thing to do on a date night, right? LOL! We're not getting old, are we?

(totally changing topics here...)
Okay all you experienced parents of school-aged kids, I'd love to hear any tips, ideas, etc you have for all sorts of things like getting the kids out the door in time to catch the bus, organization (school papers, art projects, etc), the routines you have in the morning and evenings, easy breakfast ideas, and stuff like that! I have some ideas, but would love to hear more and how others do things!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Random Thoughts and Frustrations About My Son Starting Kindergarten Next Week

1. My oldest son starts Kindergarten next Tuesday.

2. He's excited, and so am I. I don't feel sad at all. Maybe that will change when the actual day comes, but right now I can't wait for him to start. One daycare payment gone, one to go.

3. Even though we live only 3 miles from an elementary school in the town we work in, our house is technically an inch or two (okay, a mile, but still!) over the county line, so he will have to go to an elementary school in a different town, different county, 12 miles the opposite direction. The school is literally in the middle of nothing...just fields all around it.

4. Apparently the school doesn't feel it necessary to send the parents a copy of the school calendar in advance. Because, you know, parents don't need to plan ahead for what the heck they're gonna do with their child on days school is not in session and all the million half-days and such. I've learned now that one must call and bug/plead/beg the Central Office in desperation in order to receive a school calendar.

5. Afterschool program? Why no, there isn't one because "we tried it once and there wasn't enough interest". Hello? Have you tried re-accessing the "interest" level again lately? Just because one year who knows how long ago there wasn't enough interest, does not mean there will never be enough interest. Okay, so, if there's no after school program offered by the school, where are other after school options in the area along the school's bus route? What? There are only 2 ladies in the entire school district that watch kids after school? And no daycare centers within the bus route of the school? So what do other families with 2 working parents do?

6. School bus times apparently are not something parents need in advance either. One week before the start of school I called to ask if these times would be mailed to us, or how we go about finding out what time our child will be picked up and dropped off. "If you come by the school on Monday night we should have a better idea of the bus stop times by then." Um, yeah! I certainly *hope* they "have a better idea" by Monday night...that being the NIGHT BEFORE SCHOOL STARTS! Geez! Thanks for the notice. So glad I will have a whole 12 hours notice of whether I will need before school care or if I will have time to wait with him for the school bus before going to work the next morning. Oh and after school care? Yeah, we might not need any if the bus drops him off late enough, but the night before school starts is plenty of time to arrange for that too, huh? Ugh!

7. I have worn the path between home and the school already yesterday. They had a practice day of school yesterday, just for a few hours. I thought this was a wonderful idea! Too bad we were mistakenly told it started at 7am, to which I got up extra early and drove him there only to find an empty parking lot and door locked. I called the school, and someone answered. She said she thought it was 8:00 that it started (she was the cleaning lady, no one else was there). Went back at 8:00. Secretary was there this time. She looked surprised to see us, and promptly told us that it didn't start until 9:00. By now I'm already late to work (supposed to be at work by 8am about 25 miles away from the school). I have to come back and pick him up at noon- this would mean a lot of driving for only about an hour at work before driving back to get him. So, I drive him home and we wait and go back AGAIN at 9:00am. I called work, let them know. And I already was taking the afternoon off because Brendan's daycare was on a field trip so I couldn't drop him off late there. So, I ended up not going into work at all yesterday. Now I have to figure out how to make up 8 hours of work since I didn't previously request permission for a vacation day. Because I didn't know I'd need one!

8. Did I mention that Joe is going to be gone at a conference the first few days of school? So no help there. This makes #6 above even more frustrating and difficult!

9. No I'm not usually this sarcastic and negative. I'm really not one of *THOSE* parents who complain about everything ;)

10. I *do* know everything will work out :)

11. But I don't know how the school expects working parents to function on this last minute type schedule. Especially for incoming Kindergarteners with parents who are clueless on how the school system runs, more information needs to be communicated!

12. I'm really starting to wonder if we are one of only a very few families with 2 working parents in this school district.

13. I know what all of you experienced parents of school-age children are going to say..."Just wait!" Yes, I realize there's a whole new world of things to come! And I'm looking forward to it (well, most of it anyway). And if you stick around I'm sure you'll hear plenty about it here on my blog :) (Okay, now I've bored you all to death and you'll never come back. Please don't run away. lol)

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I'm home from my trip!

I'm back from my trip! I had a great time meeting up with some of the ladies from an online scrapbooking group I'm on. We stayed in Gatlinburg, TN by the Great Smoky Mountains. It was a fun time. We hit the huge scrapbook store in Pigeon Forge, rode the aerial tram at Ober Gatlinburg, walked a lot through the many shops and such for souveniers, hung out, ate out, and of course did some scrapbooking together at the hotel. I had the best pancakes I've ever tasted at Log Cabin Pancake House (see pic below). There is definitely no shortage of old-time-photo places and pancake houses in Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge! They were every few feet! It was humourous after awhile, "there's another old-time-photo place in case you missed the first 15."
I must say that Annette's husband, Will, was great! He put up with us ladies, and even drove us around, paid for our aerial tram, took our bags from the scrapbook store to the car, walked to Subway (and up a very big hill on the way back) to get us lunch, had a huge brownie with ice cream delivered to our table at dinner from him at the bar, and numerous other things. He was a real gentleman, and such a nice guy! Thanks, Will!
Oh, and did I mention that Melissa even surprised us by calling and talking to us! How fun was that!
On the last day when everyone else was heading out, I was hoping to explore through Great Smoky Mountain National Park and get some pictures, but of course it was raining that morning! I drove part-way through the park anyway, and took a couple pics, went part-way on a trail with a pretty little bridge and water, but then turned around and began my drive home, since by then it was so foggy you couldn't even see the mountains anymore.
Here are some pictures that I'm "borrowing" from Annette :) I don't have my pics developed yet, and hers are so handy as digital pics to share :) In case you're wondering, in this first picture of us, I'm the one in red...

(above pic from left to right: Debbie, Colleen, Cathy, Courtney, and Annette)

Okay, well, I'm *trying* to upload more pics and blogger isn't letting me now. *sigh* I'll try again later.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Leaving tomorrow!

I can't believe that tomorrow morning (when I leave for my trip) is almost here! But at the same time I'm really bummed out. I was already sad that Melissa, Beth, and many of the other ladies on our group couldn't go, and now poor Carolyn has had car issues happen at the last minute, and she may not be able to go now either. (Although I am trying everything I can to get her not to give up on the trip! She's supposed to be my roomie afterall! ;))

So, anyway, this will probably be the last time I'll be on my blog until I return (gotta get some work done, and then packing tonight). Hope you all have a great rest of the week. "See" you next week! In the meantime, I'll be here:

Friday, August 04, 2006


Wow am I ever happy to see this week come to an end! All sorts of little frustrations at work, on top of car problems and car shuffling, and some swimming lessons gone wrong, the heat, and everything else. But, the good news: It's Friday, most of the things at work are over, swimming lessons are over until September, Joe bought a new car, my muffler and tailpipe have been replaced, and the best news: Only 5 MORE DAYS until I leave for Gatlinburg. Woohoo! I need to get busy though, as I haven't had time to think about packing and getting things ready for the trip. We have a birthday party to go to tomorrow, but I'm hoping that Sunday I can start getting things together and ready. I'm actually excited about getting up early to drive about 10 hours on crazy is that? lol I am sooooo ready for this little trip and break from reality :) I'll try to pop in again before I leave.

Oh, and here's a pic from swimming lessons (complete with sun shining in his eyes through the building's windows)...