- 2013 (63)
- 2012 (189)
- 2011 (227)
- 2010 (222)
- 2009 (293)
- 2008 (218)
- 2007 (1)
They are all behaving rather well, all things considered.
They arrived yesterday afternoon and we had everyone asleep around 9:30 which is pretty good.
Today we spent the day at the pool and had a wonderful time...though I think some of us got a little too much sun.
Tomorrow we are tackling Hershey park with all seven kids with varying heights.
PRAY for me.
I'm guest posting over at Turtle Droppings today while Tortuga is off enjoying some blog free time.
Inspired by this post about my SUCKATION last year I decided to write up a post about how you (and hopefully I) can avoid another disaster this year.
We leave for camp on the 7th.
However, I have made some preemptive moves to avoid a similar disaster.
- The dog is not invited.
- We are not camping in a tent; we are camping in a cottage.
- I am bring at least two bottles of wine.
Here's hoping Tortuga is having a wonderful time. Be sure to visit her and leave us both a comment, will ya.
They're like crack....we need them.
My mom, who is a beginning card maker, was enthralled by the creations on display. She joked about how she should get started on her Christmas cards on Saturday for the 2011 holiday.
Especially, if she wants to make this one.
We figured we wouldn't see it again in our lifetime.
Then May 14th rolled around and we saw something new. Baseball size hail.
When it comes in the baseball size variety it's even more destructive. It slashes the shingles on your newly shingled roof. It punches holes in screens and siding. It dimples your vehicles.
T-ball went out on a HOT note. Yesterday's game was a warm one, but it was a lot of fun. The Coach handed out trophies at the end and the boys were all smiles. Here's little G on first base. He had two hits and used the T once. I was really proud of how well he did this year.
It seems to be a curse of mine that hackers have mistaken me for someone who has a lot of free floating cash and who therefore won't mind having over $800 deducted from her account.
I decided to put this out there for all of you hackers to read...
- First, and foremost, I. HATE. YOU. Get a job. Stop taking things that aren't yours. What would your mother think? Why do you think it is okay to take something that doesn't belong to you?
- Second, why do you keep targeting me? What am I doing wrong? Where are you getting my debit card number from?
- My husband thinks this is all my fault. Maybe he's right, but that is unlikely. I don't regularly shop online. I don't buy merchandise on the telephone. I'm simply at a loss as to how you bastards keep getting my number. This is the third time in three years.
- Apparently, my oh-s0-secure bank thought they would "reassure" me by telling me that the hackers "just seem to be one upping us on the technology front."
- That is not reassuring.
- Bank teller No. 1 said that they can easily swipe your number right out of the gas pump if they happened to come up behind you. "It's all very random."
- There is something about three times that doesn't make this feel random. The first time I changed banks. The second time I blamed PAYPAL for their idocracy because AFTER informing me of the fraudulent charge the let it go through on my back up funding source.
- You've gotta be f**king kidding me, right?
- This time I log in online to check my balance and to see if my deposit has been credited only to find someone has a hold on $827+ dollars. I went to Wendy's to eat that afternoon with the kids but felt like this charge seemed a little high. Turns out it is some VISA company in England. Conveniently I cannot call them.
- I call the after hours number of my bank to tell them that this is fraudulent. please stop it. Please take the hold off. Please don't let it leave the premises.
- The banks response..."I can't do that. The best I can do is cancel your debit card."
- So the best you can do is cancel my card so that I can't use it. You have gotta be f**king kidding me, right?
- Feeling as if I'm about to vomit, I canceled my card. I was told to go to the bank in the morning and fill out a complaint.
- This morning, Teller No. 2 informs me that now that the form is filled out they will investigate the matter and IF they conclude that it was indeed fraudulent then I could expect to see the money credited to my account BY JULY 2nd.
- Are the f**king kidding me?
- The only consolation that they can offer. "Hacker didn't get your bank account number so at least you don't need new checks and new direct deposit forms."
- I'm trying to feel optimistic that this is going to turn out okay and that sooner or later justice will prevail but I'm struggling with my patience.
I'm seriously considering returning to hiding-the-money-under-the mattress-type of banking.
Pissed off in Pennsylvania,
Yesterday it became official. I won the Parent of the Year award. I know, I know, you are jealous. You can't believe that I won.
Maybe you were also in the running, but it is clear, based on this awesome graphic, that I am the winner.
Here are a few reasons why the judges clearly had no other choice but yours truly.
~Yesterday Oldest G told me she hated me before 9 a.m. This, in and of itself, is a record.
~All of my kids were bored before 8:30 a.m.
~I took the kids to the pool and they were still bored.
~Little G. jumped in, swam for 10, minutes and returned to my chair crying like someone whacked him with a wet noodle.
~His ear hurt.
~I figured he had water in it. It seemed like a logically conclusion.
~After having him lay on a blanket, shake like a dog and tug on his ear, it didn't get better.
~Oldest, Little G and I left the pool. Middle G. stayed there with a friend.
~We went to the store and bought some Swim Ear. It didn't help.
~I called the doctor. Took him in at 3:45 and found out that he had a raging ear infection. "Sticking his head in water was probably very painful," said by the doctor while she was trying to ascertain if I was slow.
Is "He was bored" a good excuse for this? In my defense he never had a fever and barely had any cold symptoms.
Newton's law of motherhood...."If they can make you look like an ass they will."
- Visit with family. I think it would only be fitting for us to travel a little to see the grandparents and hopefully my sister. Plus it would be nice if they could also come here for a while.
- Get my birthday scrapbooks up to date: My goal is to have one kids birthday pictures scrapped before the next kids birthday. It's not really all that unreasonable yet often difficult to complete.
- Scrub the living room carpet. Even as I type this one I have little faith that it will get completed but oh how it needs to be done.
- Get a roof. Again, with the B**ch Mother Nature. Thanks for the hail storm in May I get to replace my roof for the second summer in a row.
- Siding replacement. See number 4.
- Car inspection. Remember to have the car inspected. If I don't write this down somewhere it's bound to be forgotten....again.
- Have the van assessed. Getting hail damage to our house wasn't enough fun so we thought we would get some to both vehicles this time. The damage to my hubby's car? Over $3,000. Estimated time to fix: five days. Soonest they can get it in? August. Can't wait to hear what they say about the van.
- Scrapbook weekly. My kids start summer playground next week and I'm determined to make Wednesday mornings Scrapbook Wednesday.
- Free bowling: Last year we registered for Kids Bowl Free and we only went about three times. I think it is a nice way to spend a rainy kind of day. Check it out. It might be available in your area too.
- Summer reading program: I love the library program. Not only does it encourage my kids to read it has a scavenger hunt program that even my husband and I enjoy. Register. Read. Explore.
- Read at least three books. It's been a while since I've read a book. I was doing great with my book of the month post and I'd like to get back to it.
- School scrapbooks. Catch up the kids school scrapbooks before they start again.
- Visit Hershey. This may kill me but I'm taking the kids to Hershey.
- Use the Pool. At least a couple times a week we will be at the swimming pool. Tiring ourselves out and getting some much needed Vitamin D.
- Clean my closet. This one is probably just as likely as the carpet cleaning, but I really need to do it and maybe if I write it down I will.
- Bulletin boards. Come up with some clever cafeteria/kindergarten bulletin boards. I promised one of the teachers I would help her with them.
- Use some scrappin supplies I think I have an addiction to purchasing scrapbook supplies but not necessarily using them.
- Crayon Factory. I'd like to visit the Crayola Crayon Factory and I suppose I should bring the kids with me. LOL
- Encourage my kids to go to summer playground. We have this great program where the kids can hang out at the playground with their school friends from 9-12 a.m. Mon through Friday. As long as it's not raining, my kids are going. It starts next week.
- Go camping. I can't believe I'm writing this....but this year the dog is not invited and we are going to stay in a cabin.
- Pick blueberries. Take the kids to pick some fruit.
- Swimming lessons: I decided to take a break from forcing Little G to take swim lessons. However I'm going to encourage him to take the swim test at the pool so he can jump off the dive and use the slides.
- Bathe the dog regularly. Personally, I think this should be on my hubby's list but I don't think he can smell the dog as much as I can. In fact, I may give him a bath right after I post this.
- Organize my craft room: This goes back to the post about having an addition to purchasing supplies. I really need to figure out what all I have in there.
- Cook dinner at least three times a week. This one is painful but self-explanatory.
- Pedicure: I'm hoping to get at least three of these, but I better get at least one.
- Housework: Attempt to keep up with the laundry and the other daily chores around this house that don't entice me as much as blogging.
- Paint my bedroom: I'd really like to redo my bedroom and save up for new furniture.
- Teach Little G to ride a bike: I'm really hoping to accomplish this sometime this summer. He's close, but he's just not ready.
- Enjoy. Try to enjoy the time the kids and I spend together. Soon they might not want to be around me much.
What are you planning to do this summer?
My first year as elementary lunch lady is complete. Our last day of school was on Friday. It was a very educational experience and I'm not being facetious.
I started this column to get a laugh but then realized that maybe I was actually teaching a few of you out there about some of the things I find appalling about school lunch.
Maybe if enough of us become appalled we can make a difference.
So for my final What I learned in the Cafeteria post until the start of school in late August (yep, I'm going back for more), here is what I learned.
- Personalities are a funny thing: Even working in a K-3 building you can kind of get an idea of who is going to be the most popular, the most athletic, the biggest nerd, the meanest girl.
- Everyone deserves to eat. It boggles my mind that some parents won't take the time to fill out the paperwork needed for free/reduced lunch, but yet habitually fail to put money in their child's account resulting in a cheese sandwich and a milk. It is with great pleasure that I tell you that we didn't serve a single cheese sandwich on Friday. Because of the generosity of ALL of the lunch ladies, the aides and the principal in my building, everyone surprisingly had enough money in their account to eat and I remain fuzzy on how that occurred.
- Menus can be deceiving: Do you know we are allowed to put things on the menu like "Assorted Chicken Items" and just serve whatever chicken bits we have? Do you know that when your child's menu says "ham sandwich" it may, in fact, be turkey disguised as ham. Apparently, they make something called turkey-ham. It looks like ham, smells like ham but happens to be a dead turkey. It makes me thankful that I don't eat meat.
- Drying the trays. Many of you have complained to me that at your child's school the trays are always wet. Did you know it is again health regulations to dry the tray with a towel? I'm still not clear on this one.
- Apples. Did you know that we were written up by that same health inspector who won't let us dry trays with a towel for serving apples out of a pan with no tongs? Have you ever seen a kindergartner pick up an apple with a pair of tongs? Do you know we have a certain amount of time in which to feed 235 kids and tongs make that very difficult.
- Waste not, Want not. The amount of food wasted by even my small elementary school would break your heart. We could truly feed the world. If you have a composting company in your area, find out what it would take to get the school district on board.
- Try something new. If you, like me, don't have a composting company nearby, teach your child the importance of trying something new. Many of our kids will just pitch it, rather than taste it. This year alone I was asked what a fresh pear was, why the orange was red (blood oranges), what broccoli was, if Canadian bacon was the same as deer meat, and if you can eat the skin on a banana.
- Milk choices. If it was up to me, I would only serve white milk. The sugar content in flavored milk is nearly the same as a soda. Yep. You wouldn't let your child pour Mt. Dew on their Fruit Loops at home, so teach them that white milk is the best milk. Chocolate and Strawberry should be left for dessert.
Here's hoping for a lazy, relaxing, enjoyable summer where someone serves me lunch every now and then.
After a disastrous first attempt that stuck to the pan so pathetically, I made this version after a few Coronas. I think this may be my new tradition. Drink a few Coronas and then attempt to make the cake.
I was happy with how it turned out. So was Middle G.
Here she is blowing out the candles. We had a beautiful day, with no rain and everyone who said they were coming came. It was a lot of fun and best of all we didn't get a ton of useless items which is always a fear when it comes to birthday parties.
My favorite quote from yesterday evening?
Said by the valedictorian, "Someday your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it is worth watching."
Of course I would be remiss if I didn't include this one as well. Said by the superintendent, who was quoting Arie Pencovici, "Graduation is only a concept. In real life every day you graduate. Graduation is a process that goes on until the last day of your life. If you can grasp that, you'll make a difference."
This year I saw just under 1000 students graduate. I heard approximately 15 speeches by either students, faculty, or administrators as well as quite a few reverends.
It's been 20 years since my high school graduation and the older I get the more I am convinced that time really does fly.
The question I will leave you with is the one posed by the valedictorian...is the movie of your life worth watching? And who is playing the part of you?
Today is Middle G's 9th birthday. Today was her last day of school. She has been done for less than one hour and is already bored. She is cracking me up.
How can she possibly be bored already?
Tomorrow is her birthday party. We are having it at the pool again. It is a monkey theme this year. Below is a picture of the invitation.
Keeping with the monkey theme I thought I'd share advice for Middle G., who's age continues to sneak up with me.
- Just keep swinging....at the ball, on the swing, everywhere. There is a lot to be said about persistence.
- Bananas are good for you. Eat a balanced diet. Especially if you feel your mood swinging around.
- Remember everyone comes with a few bugs. No one is perfect, not even you.
- Stick with your family. Sadly as we grow we start to take our family for granted. Remember when the going gets tough your family will never leave you behind.
- Have no fear. Take the leap and see what happens.
- Don't pick your nose or your butt in public.
- Be yourself and be proud of who you are.
- Bang your chest and let out a growl every now and then.
- And whatever you do, never throw your poop. Unless your in a forest and a grizzly bear is chasing you.
Happy Birthday, Middle G.
Love you forever,
Playing along with Mama Kat and this week's prompts were all great.
I decided on the one entitled Before I was a mom...
- I knew what it felt like to be bored.
- I was certain that being pregnant would be easy.
- I was adamant that my toddler would never, under any circumstances, use a pacifier. (All three of my kids sucked on them until they were ***gasp*** three)
- I never yelled in public.
- I knew what it felt like to sleep in.
- I thought potty training would be a simple process.
- I knew my child would love me and therefore do exactly what I asked immediately.
- I was positive that I would never say things like..."Because I said so"...."Don't roll your eyes at me"..."Is that really a nice tone to take with your mother?"
- Under no circumstances would I ever want my child to just leave me alone.
- I wouldn't have even considered skipping pages in a book while reading to my non-reader just to make bed time come sooner.
- I was certain I would cry the first day of school and not the last day of school.
- I was certain my child would know their alphabet, be able to tie their shoes and write their name BEFORE they started kindergarten. 1 out of 3 ain't bad.
- Before I was a mom, I never knew unconditional love.
- I never had a newborn look at me like I was the most amazing person they had ever laid eyes on.
- I rarely received butterfly kisses on my nose.
- I didn't know what it was like to have a tiny hand long to hold mine.
- I didn't know how fun giving piggyback rides could be.
- No one ever argued over who got to brush my hair.
- I never felt truly complete.
For the last few weeks I've been working on end of the year presents. I think I put too much time and effort into them as I'm not sure anyone cares if they get anything at the end of the year. However, my kids enjoy giving them and I guess that's what really matters.
The card sets have 12 cards in them. I thought I would share them with you over the next couple of days.
The cow was cut using the Create a Critter cricut cartridge; The inside says Moochas Grassias.
Blogger irates me when it rotates my pictures for no reason at all. This penguin was also cut with Create a critter and the sentiment inside says: Some of my best friends are flakes.
The always endearing Jenners at Life with Little One challenged us to write up some six word memoirs.
As usual, I'm a day late and a dollar short. So without further delay I give you me, in six word snippets.
- Tiny, tough and often quite funny.
- Thrives on all words of affirmation.
- Has her feelings easily hurt often.
- crafts, blogs, writes, draws, sews, makes.
- Enjoys reality TV; shhhh don't tell.
- missed her calling, stand up comedian.
How would you describe yourself in six words?
She got to pick out the face, pick out the hair, pick out the arms and legs and then she got to stuff it all and put it together. I think she looks a lot like her. What do you think?
These are pictures of the aftermath. A tornado swept through Millbury, Ohio on Saturday night. Killing 7 people...including a mom and her five year old who attended church with my dear friend, M.
If you can help, please give to the Red Cross in Toledo if you can.
It would mean a lot to me and to so many others.
~My mother in law is out of the hospital and feeling much better. The doctors are not sure if the infection was in her bone or not, but either way the antibiotics seem to have done the trick.
Thank you all for your prayers.
~My friend R is also home and doing well. She still seems a little tired and weary, but getting stronger everyday. Let's keep praying that the trouble was indeed her gallbladder and that everything else was just out of whack because of that.
Again, thank you for all your prayers, words of encouragement and offers to help. You guys are the best!
I'm happy to report that I not only got a Dr. Seuss quote, I practically got a Dr. Seuss speech. A student speaker sprinkled some of his most famous quotes sporadically throughout her entire speech.
Quite frankly this made up for the other two graduations where Seuss wisdom was lacking.
"Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You"
Of course, it wouldn't be graduation season if someone didn't quote Henry Thoreau--too wonderful not to mention.
"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined."
So I ask you my blogger buddies...are you authentic? Are you truer than true. Are you living the life which you have imagined?
There is only one more week of school left and the kids know it. They are wound up and ready for summer and I'm not sure there is any actual learning really occurring.
This week I learned:
- What happens to you at the end of the year when you don't pay your child's lunch account? Nothing. You get to go to work or to the gym or to Quiznos. Your child, however, gets a cheese sandwich and a milk. And I get to listen to them cry.
- Donuts with dad makes me sad. It was heart breaking to see all the little kids without dads in their lives come in for breakfast this morning. One little kindergartner told me that she doesn't have a dad. Shame on him he doesn't know what he is missing
- Fruit snacks are considered a fruit serving. In what world?
- Fresh veggies that arrive more than a week before you need them aren't really fresh. Who thought sending us our produce last Thursday was a good idea? Ummm...the cucumbers literally disintegrated in my hand today. And just for the record, you need more than one head of cauliflower and one head of broccoli to feed 200 kids. The veggie trays were a joke.
- Having a working dishwasher ROCKS!
- There is a strong possibility that I may loose my mind before next Friday. The kids are wound up, the teachers and staff our low on energy, and I'm serving cheese sandwiches. What could be more fun??
Happy Weekend. Look for my 2010 Graduation Quote #3 first thing tomorrow. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the festivities remain outside but the weather is again threatening to change that.
As you know I love graduations, but I love them even more when they are outside on a beautiful evening.
That being said, tonight wasn't all that beautiful.
The sky was dark.
There was thunder rumbling in the distance.
As the 279 graduates marched out to that all too familiar tune of Pomp and Circumstance many of them lost their mortarboards.
I kept my fingers crossed for them that they would get through the entire commencement with no rain. By the time they started to announce the graduates, this seemed more and more unlikely.
So unlikely, in fact, that I headed toward the exit when they reached students with the last name beginning with H. I usually stay until the mortarboards fly, but I really didn't want to get wet and I really didn't want everything I'd written to get wet.
My favorite quote of the evening? Originally spoken by Louis Pasteur, and said by the salutatorian:
“Whether our efforts are, or not, favored by life, let us be able to say, when we come near the great goal, I have done what I could.”
So have you done what you could?
Have you ever wanted to punch someone? Ummm more than once. Most recently at the 5K when the mother of a fellow t-ball player got in my face about not knowing practice was cancelled on Friday. Here's an idea--provide the coach with a working email address and you'll likely be informed.
Have you ever wanted someone to stop talking? I've got myself thinking this during many conversations I have over the course of the day. In fact, I often zone out and hope the speaker will realize that I'm not longer listening.
Have you ever eaten the last....piece of gum....bit of Halloween candy...donut and then told the kids that daddy did it? Don't judge. Sometime you just need to eat the six year old's Reese's cup because you know you will appreciate it more than he will.
Have you ever questioned someones education? Sometimes it boggles my mind that most of the staff in my elementary school has significantly more formal education than I do. This brings to mind the question what happened to common sense?
Have you ever eaten an avocado? It surprises me how many people haven't. In fact, at Walmart one time the cashier asked me what I was going to make with the AV-E-ODD-0s. Seriously. That really happened.
Have you ever regretted buying amusement park tickets? I'm taking all three kiddos to Hershey park in late June and I'm already having anxiety about it. The are all different heights and we'll be going with two other families and four additional kids. What in the world was I smoking when I agreed to this?
Have you ever wished for rain so you could get out of something? Guilty. I'm wishing for rain right now so I don't have to take my brood to t-ball practice.
Have you ever been asked to sign a 1st grader's yearbook? Apparently it's cool to get the lunch ladies to sign your year book when you're in elementary school. My standard catch phrase...eat your veggies!
She has been having a lot of neck and arm pain for the last two weeks and had herself convinced that she pulled a muscle.
However, it was not getting better.
If anything it was getting worse.
Today she had an MRI done and found out that she has a bone infection in one of the vertebrae in her neck.
This sounds very painful.
She is on intravenous antibiotics and is likely to be in the hospital for the next two or three days.
A little back story: My MIL is a cancer survivor. She had a 1 percent chance of living in 2005 when she was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
I think she is a walking, living, breathing miracle.
And I have no doubt that she isn't finished here yet.
Get well soon, Grammie G!
I'm not sure Middle G. realized how far a 5K really is. (It's just over 3 miles) But I'm so proud to report that she finished and her time wasn't half bad.
Here she is crossing the finish line at 46:04. It was a super fun time and I worried needlessly that she would get lost in the neighborhood and not find her way back to the high school, but she proved to me that she is more than capable.
Here's the team with the Mayor's Cup. This is the trophy award to the team with the most school spirit/participants. As you can tell, it was just as exciting to them as the Stanley Cup.
- 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 crack...um...I meant some comments.