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

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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)

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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.

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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)...