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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tuesday Tribute: My followers, lurkers and regular readers

Tuesday's Tribute

It's all about you!
Thanks so much for stopping by to read whatever dribble I've come up with.
Thanks so much for following me here and on twitter.
I promise to post more heartfelt stories; more crafts and more laughable moments.
Just know that your comments keep me going.
I can't believe that soon I will have 26,000 hits!
You all ROCK

Tuesday Tribute: My followers, lurkers and regular readers

Tuesday's Tribute

Monday, June 29, 2009

Weekend Update: Baseball, t-ball and some more baseball

This weekend was the last weekend of t-ball; Little G is going to really miss it. He had sooo much fun. He got to play with a lot of his neighborhood friends. I love this picture; little G is #6

Here he is showing off his trophy. He was very excited to get this; his sister have a lot of them and this one is his first. He has it prominently displayed on his dresser.

As part of the weekend festivities on Saturday we went to a minor league baseball game and his team got to run out onto the field with the "big boys"; Little G was super excited and only slightly disappointed when he learned that he wasn't going to stay out there and play.

The girls have to get into at least one picture in this weekend update. Oldest had a fabulous time at camp. We picked her up on Friday and she was actually excited to see us and managed not to fight with her siblings for an entire day! It was wonderful. Here they are with the team mascot.

What did you do this weekend?
Sunday, June 28, 2009

An award I need to mention

Look at this pretty award Septembermom gave me. Wasn't that just so thoughtful of her?

This little bit of encouragement for my blog came at just the right time since I've spent way to much time trying to figure out why I lost a follower this week.

My overactive brain came up with "lack of crafts" as the reason. I mean I started this blog to share my craft and now mostly I just share my thoughts.

I think I'm in a crafting rut...too many kids around here to entertain all the time. Can you believe they don't like to watch me scrapbook? I mean seriously...what's wrong with them.
Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday High Five: Beachin' it up

Angela's Adventures

Apparently I am the only blogger having trouble viewing Angela's website. Today I can at least read the posts, but I still can not comment on any post and now I can not see the right hand column which is where she keeps her Friday High Five button. Thus the other button. Sorry, Angela, I just can't figure out what is going on. LOL

Today for Friday High Five I am posting five of my favorite photos from my whirlwind beach trip on Wednesday. Literally, my friend Rachel and I decided to make the day trip around 9 p.m. the night before and we hit the road at 6:30 a.m. and didn't get back until midnight.

It was a lot of fun and don't regret a minute of it (except maybe when my son fell at McD's and cracked his forehead or when her son's elbow came out of place on the way home).

All the kids standing at the beach entrance. And, Yes, we took all 8 of them to dinner and they were soooo well behaved. I think everyone in the restaurant was amazed.

The mommies on the beach right before we high tailed it out of there due to the looming storm in the background.

My niece and my daughter who not only make the same facial expressions, but loved playing in the sand.

Middle G. still playing in the sand.

Little G. not afraid of the ocean at all, which terrified me. We had a wonderful time and I'm so glad we decided to go. It was worth it and I would definitely do it again.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Writer's Workshop: Help Wanted

Having just returned from my whirlwind beach trip at midnight last night I'm not feeling very creative right now.
My sister and our friend Jen were beachin' it up over in Maryland so my friend Rachel and I hit the road at 6:30 a.m. with four of our six children.

Talk about an adventure. I'll post more about that tomorrow after I download the photos.

That being said, this help want ad made me laugh outloud and I thought it was worth a shout out.

I especially like the part about being an expert in all levels of security and that references are available from the district attorney. Clever.
To read far better posts than this one visit Mama Kat's and play along.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tuesday Tribute - The Toothfairy

Tuesday's Tribute

Dear Toothfairy,

Thank you remembering to come to my house last night and take away middle daughter's tooth.

Lately we have had a tumultuous relationship and I attribute this to the fact that you are outrageously absent-minded.

Granted, I do not know what is going on in your personal life and perhaps you feel spread thin like butter, but forgetting to pick up a tooth on more than one occasion should have resulted in your immediate termination.

No, that is not a death threat. I'm just saying that in the "real world" forgetting to do one's job would, indeed, result in the loss of said job.

That being said, I'm glad to see that you have resumed your duties with the utmost of care.

That you are arriving promptly and not at 5:30 in the morning after being startled awake at the thought of your forgetfulness.

In short, today's tribute is all about you! Keep up the good work and remember if you forget again I'm putting your job opening on Monster.


an absentminded parent

Monday, June 22, 2009

Weekend Update: Short and Sweet

I don't really have any photos from this weekend to share. Friday night we had a lot of fun at a neighborhood party. Saturday the weather was crazy. It was sunny one minute, storming the next.

Our library is doing a summer reading program that includes a letterboxing activity. We were going to try and get one of the letterboxes, but the weather and the fact that nowhere in the book did it say that our dog was not allowed in the park stopped us.

Sunday, I told oldest to church camp. This is her first solo week so hopefully she is having a lot of fun.

How was your weekend?
Friday, June 19, 2009

Take a Chance Challenge: Challenge No 1: Random Book Selection

Did you know that prolific blogger Jenners has her own book blog and she has come up with an amazing challenge.

I'm participating, but I must say that I am one of the slowest readers in the world so I'm not sure how many I will complete before the November deadline.

This is my entry in the Random Book Selection category. I decided to pick the third book from the left on the far left shelf. It was in the young adult section so at first I wasn't thrilled and honestly I almost put it back when I saw the cover.

Surprisingly, I loved it! I couldn't put it down. If not for this challenge I would never have read it. Thanks, Jenners!

It is about the summer of Hattie Owen's 12th birthday when she meets an uncle she never knew she had. Hattie's Uncle Adam was sent away to a special school by his parents, Hattie's grandparents, when Hattie was just two years old. Chronologically, Adam is now an adult but intellectually he is a child and unable to function in a world where adults are expected to have social skills that allow them to blend in with other adults.

Hattie kind of sees Adam a younger brother and while I found the foreshadowing of something tragic a little over the top, I was still saddened and deeply moved by this book.

It is impossible not to love both Hattie and Adam. Simply a wonderful read.
Thursday, June 18, 2009

Writer's Workshop: More than you wanted to know

The Prompts this week at Mama Kat's were all so creative it was hard to pick so I decided to do them all.

1.) Grab your current read. Let the book fall open to a random page and share two “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12. (inspired by Heather) Currently I'm reading "Sloppy Firsts" by Megan Mccafferty. It is Mccafferty's first novel and it is in the young adult section of the library. The book is about a young girls struggle with adolescence and how she is coping with the move of her best friend. I can't believe this is the random page and "teaser" that actually came up....LOL

"Manda thinks that reading feminist manifestos makes up for her borderline ho-bag behavior. I'm pretty sure that's why she wears Poindexter glasses instead of contacts, so she seems less sexual and more intellectual. She's not fooling anyone, though. Hope and I called her The Kissing Slut because she'd made out with thirty-one different guys by her fifteenth birthday. That's when she decided it was time to move on to manual stimulation, so we christened her Lend-A-Hand-A-Manda. And when she turned sixteen, well, let's just say she earned the title The Headmaster."

2.) What do you aspire to be? (Inspired by The White House) When I was little I used to write story after story after story. I don't think any of them were ever about school board budgets and graduations. However, that being said, I still get paid to write and that is what I always wanted to do. Will I ever complete that allusive young adult novel?...that remains to be seen.

3.)Share a piece of unsolicited parenting advice...only I'm soliciting it. I have come up with a way to make tattle-telling much more fun for the adult than it is for the child. Thereby, eliminating most tattling because the child becomes more annoyed with the parent than the person they were tattling on to begin with. Make them sing. You pick the genre and they have to sing their tattle. Let me tell you, this is a fun game....especially in a large group of kids. My favorite genres...opera, rap and the country ballad. Try are gonna love it. See the video below!

4.)Tell us about your long have you been blogging, when did you start, what were/are your goals for your blog, etc. (inspired by Corn) I started blogging in February 2007 for about two days and promptly forgot about it until the following February. Originally, I was going to show off a lot of my crafts, but lately I find myself just rambling about nonsense. Who knew you were suppose to have a goal?

5.)If you had 5000 dollars to give away or donate to a charity...explain what you would do with it and why. (inspired by Hallie's letter) I would probably split it up between the ALS Association, JDRF, and PANCAN. My mom's sister died from ALS and it is a terrible disease. It strips you of all motor function, but leaves you mind intact. As for JDRF, regular readers know that my nephew is diabetic. PANCAN does research solely in the fight against pancreatic cancer. Most people diagnosed with this disease are given a 1 percent survival rate. My mother-in-law is part of that 1 percent.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Fun and Games with Jenners 6: My Commencement Speech

Seeing as I've been credited with inspiring this game over at Life with Little One and More, I figured Jenners would hunt me down like good chocolate if I didn't play along.

That being said it sounded like a hoot.

When I learned that I was going to have an opportunity to speak tonight, I thought long and hard about what advice I would give all of you. Then I remembered what Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "Do what you feel in your heart to be right- for you'll be criticized anyway."

Some people will judge you and find fault in the decisions you make following high school, they will find fault in what school you choose or don't choose, they may find fault in what major you choose. But it is important to heed Roosevelt's advice and do what you feel in your heart to be right.

Do not make life changing decisions based on what college your boyfriend is attending. Do not pick your career path solely on how much money you think you will make. And most importantly, do not let the criticism of others be the loudest voice in your head.

This is likely the last time all of you will gather in the same room in the same place in your lives. And while the memories of high school will remain, you will all go on now and forge separate memories without each other, creating your life.

As Dr. Seuss once said, "Sometimes the questions are complicated, and the answers are simple."

Remember to be you in all that you do.

My second alternative would, of course, be this.

I want candy....yummy candy

If you craft and I know you do be sure to check out my friend's blog
Going Buggy for some awesome blog candy!

She has put together an amazing package that she is willing to ship anywhere in the world.

Go check it out. What are you waiting for? Click on the link already!
Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tuesday Tribute - Liar Liar Pants on Fire

Although I wasn't a regular reader or a follower of April's mom, I was appalled when I learn that she, Rebeccah Beushausen, fabricated her entire blog.

A blog about her unborn, sick child.

Who does that?

Do you just wake up one morning and say "Mmmmm what do I have to do today? Run to the post office, laundry and oh yeah, make up that blog about the fake baby."

Beushausen had followers like I have flies in my house. Apparently, her subject matter hit a nerve. She had millions of people praying for her yet all that prayer didn't invoke a guilty conscience. She just keep right on typing. For nearly two month she wove a tale about being an unmarried mother who chose to carry her child to term rather than have an abortion "because of her deep Christian faith".

Say what?

After her heart wrenching post about her home birth and subsequent death of her fake baby, Beushausen posted a picture of her holding the "baby", which was recognized as a life-like doll by one of her regular readers. Game over.

What remains is an apology to her many followers, many of whom she left speechless.

Tuesday's Tribute

Monday, June 15, 2009

Weekend Update: A great birthday(s), more t-ball and surviving the family

Here's Middle G opening some gifts at her birthday party. Surprisingly we had great weather and a good turn out. Only two of the girls she invited were unable to make it and just my mom and stepdad were the only missing grandparents.
Do you think she is having fun?

Singing Happy Birthday and getting ready to blow out the candles. I'm impressed that I didn't forget them and actually remembered something to light them with.

Mid-air coming out of the little slide. How about that for an award winning picture. LOL We had a lot of fun and I think everyone who came did too. I'm glad the weather cooperated. Later that evening we had a cook-0ut with neighbors to celebrate their son's birthday.
Little G had more t-ball over the weekend. I was disappointed to learn that my dad and his wife prefered to stay in a hotel than at our house. Seems my kids get up too early for them. Then, because they got to sleep in (a fond memory for me) they had a late breakfast and weren't hungry enough to join us for lunch.
Does my dad know how to visit or what?
After we ate without them, they met us back at the house and we went to t-ball together. I was in the snack shack...oh joy....but managed to catch the last half of the game.
After the game we had a nice cookout and my dad and step-mom headed home.
What did you do this weekend?
Saturday, June 13, 2009

Graduations: Favorite Quote #5

It's official, graduation season is over.  I went to my last one last night and amazingly it was outside.  They are so much nicer outside.

I was pulling for a Dr. Suess quote and I'm happy to say that my wish was granted.  A school board member, whose daughter was among the gradutes read from "Oh! The Places You Will Go!"

"Kids, you’ll move mountains. So be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So get on your way.”

Totalling up the five graduations I attended I saw 1376 kids graduate.  I heard 17 student speakers and 12 administrators ponder advice for the future.  I watched silly string fly, beach balls get confiscated and heard approximately 500 airhorns blow in support of loved ones. 

Don't tell anyone, but I'm sort of gonna miss it, but there is always next year.  Congratulations to all of this year's Class of 2009!
Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday High Five: five moments from the week

I'm playing along with Angie and you should be too. Here are five moments from this week that I would like to highlight.

  • ear pain should not be ignored. Seriously if you are reading this and your ear hurts, stop reading and go to the doctors.

  • The last day of school is still exciting. Even when you are the mama, the last day of school is still an event to remember.

  • Being sick sucks. My son and I have been passing a virus between us for awhile now and he is quite miserable.

  • If Little G doesn't sleep, no one sleeps. In relation to the above, my son is not sleeping and because of that, no one is sleeping.

  • Planning a birthday party causes me stress. Deep breath, the cake is made. Isn't it cute? The party is tomorrow. The good news: forecast is looking promising. Pray for healthy kids all around!

Graduations: Favorite Quote #4

Last night's graduation was kind of lengthy and I didn't have the opportunity to post my favorite quote when I got home.

This was my fourth graduation and I have to say that I was really hoping for a Dr. Sues quote as I haven't had any this year and that is so disappointing. There is always tonight as I have one more to cover. Cross your fingers!

Last night the superintendent encouraged students to embrace their life and to not let their past define them. Ahhh, if only that were as easy to do as it is to say.

She then said this quote, which has been attributed to numerous people throughout the ages, so for this post I'm going to call the author unknown.

"Work like you don't need the money, love like you've never been hurt and dance like no one is watching."

Finally, a quote I can live by...
Thursday, June 11, 2009

Writer's Workshop: A letter to my 8-year old

Dear Middle G,
Are you really 8 years old today?  How can that be?  Wasn't I just very overdue and miserable and begging my doctor to induce me??
I'm finding that your age really sneaks up on me.  It's different with oldest and even with your baby brother.  Your age often sneaks up on me and I just don't know why.  Here you are already finished with 2nd grade and so excited about 3rd. 
Here are a few things I want you to remember as you approach double digits.

  • Girls can be mean.  I know this is hard to believe right now, but some of your friends may turn out to be your enemies.  Mean girls often turn into mean women and the circle continues.

  • Always be yourself.  Don't let anyone convince you that you shouldn't be the way you are.  You are perfect.

  • Be nice to your siblings.  Some day they may live far away from you and you will long to be near them.

  • Continue to smile like you are in the picture above.  It will make people wonder what you are up to.

  • Try to remember, when you are 15, that you used to love to hold my hand.
Happy Birthday, middle daughter.  May all your wishes come true.

Love, Mommy
This post inspired by mama kat's writer's workshop
Wednesday, June 10, 2009

School's Out for Summer!

Today was the last day of school for my girls.  I'm officially the proud mama of a soon to be 5th grader, soon to be 3rd grader and a kindergartener.  Time really does fly.

I'm not feeling much like blogging today.  My ear is still bothering me but it does seem to be improving.  Everyone around here seems like they are in a mood.  Not sure what that's all about.

Tomorrow is Middle G's birthday and hopefully we will schedule in some fun.  I have to cover another graduation in the evening and then one last commencement on Friday.

I hope all of you are well and have more to say than I do.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A few pages I've been working on

Honestly I can't remember if I posted these or not. Sorry if they are repeats.
I wasn't really thrilled with how my photos turned out of this Disney on Ice event, but I'm still happy with the layout. I love Lumiere

I think I did post this one, but I still love it. Little G was so worried about going to the dentist that he had to sit in my lap while he had his first cleaning.

Hope you had a wonderful Tuesday. My ear if starting to feel better. I'm on an oral antibiotic and I have a cream to put in my ear. It's been a very interesting experience. Middle G has a stye on her eye and it is bothering her something fierce. Her birthday is on Thursday and we are having a swim party on Saturday. Here's hoping her eye isn't swollen shut.
Little G is fighting a virus too. He had a temp on and off today. I think we should all take it easy tomorrow. It is the last day of school.
Bring on the summer.
Monday, June 8, 2009

Weekend update: baseball, picnics, swimming and ear pain

On Saturday we had a company picnic at a local ballpark.  The kids had a good time.  Above is a picture of the girls with Charlie Slider.  My son still isn't real wild about giant costumed characters and he didn't want to get in the picture.  We had wonderful weather for the game and the picnic was really nice.  To top it off it was Webkinz night at the stadium and everyone under 12 received a free one.  The kids were very excited about it.  You can see their dogs in the photo.
This is the section we sat in but we weren't lucky enought to catch a fly ball. The game was pretty good, though there were some silly errors that I thought you only saw in little league.
Sunday we had T-ball and soccer tryout.  We spent part of the afternoon at the pool. 
I've been fighting with some ear pain on and off for the last 10 days and finally yesterday decided that I was going to chop of my ear.  The entire side of my face hurts.  I feel miserable.  I had my husband look at it and my ear canal is swollen shut.  I think I had a little cut in there about the size of a paper cut and now it is thoroughly infected.  I'm off to the doctors this afternoon for further torture.   I'm pretty sure that if he so much as touches it I'm going to scream!  I'm hoping for antibiotics and pain medication!
Seriously, it hurts almost as much as labor.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Graduations: Favorite Quote #3

I again spent another rainy evening crammed into a gymnasium listening to young adults talk about all the hard work they have endure. Seriously??? Isn't that cute?

My favorite quote of the evening is attributed to the Valedictorian who had the balls to quote Barack Obama. Around here, that will garner loud, boisterous cheers, as well as some boos.

Whatever your political beliefs, you have to admit there is a lot of truth in this quote.

"Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it is only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential."

Have you realized your true potential?
Friday, June 5, 2009

Friday High Five: Graduations

I know some of you are rolling your eyes at this, but today for Friday High Five I decided to list the five things I love about graduations. It's a sickness--so humor me.

This time of year I spend quite a few hours at commencement ceremonies as part of my job. This year I'm covering at least five for the paper. I really don't mind though because they are filled with contagious amounts of hope and excitement.

Things I enjoy include:
  • Speeches Like I said, it's a sickness. However, I love to hear the graduates talk. Talk about the promises of the future. Talk about the difficulties of saying goodbye. Talk about the struggles they have already overcome.
  • Hope Many of these kids aren't much older than my children. As cliche as it might sound they are the future and this, usually, gives me a lot of hope. Hope that they can turn things around. Hope that one of them may be the answer to the woes of cancer. Hope that they will truly change the world.
  • Excitement As students walk up to gather their diploma into their hands for the first time, many families shout with joy. There are hoots and hollers and sometimes the occasional bull horn. It is impossible not too smile.
  • Flashes of the future As silly as it might sound I can picture my own children's graduation quite vividly as I sit there. Substituting faces and speeches with kids I know. Trying to wonder who will be the val or the sal and what they will look like as young adults.
  • Songs A lot of pomp and circumstance (pun intended) goes into these events and song selection is, indeed, one of them. My favorite choice "For Good" from the Broadway musical Wicked

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Graduations: Favorite Quote #2

I, again, covered a graduation for the paper tonight and in keeping with my newly started tradition I am posting my favorite quote of the evening.

This one said by the class vice president, a quote from American writer, Richard Bach.

"Don't be dismayed at saying goodbye for a farewell is necessary before you can meet again and meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends."

There is a lot of truth in those few words.

Writer's Workshop: My obit in 65 words or less

For this weeks writer's workshop I decided to write my own obituary. Kat stipulated that everyone died at 100 and the real clincher was that we could only use 65 words. Below is my entry (Sorry I'm two words over): 

Beloved Wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt and friend. An award-winning author and a renowned scrapbook designer. Often seen with her family and friends who will remember her with a smile on their face, a laugh in their heart. Favorite saying, a Dr. Seuss quote, “Be who you are and say what you mean because those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter.”
Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tea with Me - a visit with my high school self

Sneaky Mama posted a question on her blog that intrigued me.
If you ran into your former high school self what would she/he think of what you have become?
Here are five things I imagine my former self saying to myself today.
  • I really thought you would have published a book by now. You were so passionate about it. What happened?
  • What have you done to your hair? You always hated short hair?
  • I'm surprised, but kind of happy, that you decided to stay at home to raise your kids.
  • You really don't talk to anyone from high school? Just occasionally on Facebook? What's Facebook?
  • You made a good choice in husbands.

Five things I would tell my high school self.

  • All of those kids that picked on you for being tiny, short and small-breasted are now fat and miserable and desperate to be your friend.
  • Smoking never made you look cool, just uneducated.
  • Dark eyeliner does not bring out the green in your eyes, but it does, on the other hand, make you look strikingly like Ozzy Osbourne.
  • Staying at home with your kids is a more fulfilling career than any 8-5 job.
  • Hang out with your sister more, you are going to miss seeing her when you are both adults.

What conversations would you have with your former self?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

June Book of the Month: Doggie Day Care Murder

This month's book is part of a series. I didn't know that when I picked it up but not having read the other books did not interfere with my ability to follow along.

Housewife and new mom, Melanie Travis, seems to always find herself in unusual situations. So when the owner of a doggie day care center is murder in his office she decides to help his sister find out why.

Her friend, Alice, is a hoot and her Aunt Peg is also a great reoccurring character.

A sub-plot throughout all of the books is of course the relationship between humans and their pets. The main character having 5 poodles and a 9 year old son who starts showing one in junior competitions.

The only problem I had with the book was that the relationship between her new husband and new baby seemed to take a back burner to the investigation, but in the end it all worked.

I loved the fact that the ex-hubby was friends with her entire family and they didn't have that strained "I hate you" relationship you see so often in life, as well as fiction.

A nice summer read if you enjoy mysteries and dogs.
Monday, June 1, 2009

Weekend update: a taste of summer

My kids have summer fever and I think I'm catching it as well.  We spent five hours at the pool on Saturday and even though the water feels like ice they had a blast. 

My hubby is in hockey heaven as the Penguins are in the Stanley Cup playoffs.  However, they are now down two games to Detroit.  Hopefully they can turn things around.

Sunday we had a roller coaster of a day with Sunday school, church, lunch, t-ball and trying to put the house back in some sort of order.

My house is still being invaded by flies and couple that with this preview and I'm seriously freaked out.  Any suggestions?  I have fly tape all over the place and it doesn't appear to be helping.  One is crawling across my screen as I type this.

Here's hoping you had a great weekend! Minus all the flies
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I'm a 41 year old (gasp) freelance writer, school cafeteria manager, wife and mother. I have three children and one anxious and overweight beagle. I use my blog to make others laugh, to share some cool crafts, to document my lunchlady adventures and to lament about the challenges faced by us all on the journey called life. Thanks for visiting. Please leave some meant some comments.
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