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Monday, August 31, 2009

Weekend Update - a little this, a little that, a little theft

We had a weekend full of wonderful weather here in the northeast part of the U.S. Not too hot, not too cold. Just pleasant. We are still having work done on our fence from damage we received during our freakish hail storm back in March and my husband wanted to take the hardware off and put a fresh coat of paint on that as well.

After he was done with that, we took the kids and the dog to a newly opened county park. It promised amazing views and breathtaking heights. I'm not sure it delivered. I personally thought it could use a playground, but alas, no one asked me.

Obviously, we did not take the 58 mile trail, although we had the kids believing we were headed that way for a short while.

Here is one of the pretty views. Could be a postcard if I airbrush out that power line.

The kids and the dog.
While we were at the park, someone helped themselves to our Garmin GPS. Of course, since we were in the middle of nowhere we didn't have the windows up or the doors locked. I know, I know. This shows a side of me that is a wee bit too trusting. You are right. I need to at least appear to have things locked up and secure. Lesson learned.
I will admit I do have an uneasy feeling about these punks having my home address (it was programed into my GPS). My husband, on the other hand, is hoping they show up so he can "catch" them. I figure the odds of them showing up while he is here are much slimmer than them showing up when I am here.
On that note I am writing them this open letter. Don't worry, it's short and to the point.
Dear Jackass who stole my GPS;
While I hope you get caught and my dear little Betsy is returned, I'm not naive enough to believe that is going to happen.
So instead I hope the following:
  • may you try to sell it to an undercover cop;
  • may you break it within one week;
  • may you rear end someone trying to program it;
  • may it drain your car battery by leaving it plugged in
  • may you try to download an update and flag my registered product
  • may you feel guilty every time you look at it.

Because like it or not, you are a royal ass.



Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday Citar - walking to school

The road of life can only reveal itself as it is traveled;
each turn in the road reveals a surprise.”

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Let's Get Crafty Saturday - birthday cards

I had an urge to make some birthday cards this morning. Here is what I came up with. Let me know what you think.

The little chick is a dollar stamp and so is the little birthday hat. I used a Cuttlebug folder to do the Happy Birthday embossing. I really like how they turned out. Inside they say. "Tweet, Tweet. You're Sweet. Happy Birthday."

Here's a close up of the chick.

Here's two more quick ones. I love that little gecko. He is stamped directly on the card and then again on the green checked paper. His eyes are brads. I found a pack of them at the CK convention and now I wish I would have bought more.
They are sooo cute! Love them.!
You can't really tell from the photo, but the cupcake is popped up with a piggy tale and has stickle sprinkles on it.

Here's a close up of the gecko and his speech bubble.
What did you make today?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday High Five - A.C. Moore and it's bogus advertisement

Angela's Adventures

It's Friday!

You know what that means. It's time for Friday High Five over at Angela's Adventures and Minor Mishaps. Are you playing along? Why not?

I'm burned up a little at A.C. Moore and I want to take this time to give five tips to the management of my local craft depot.

Dear Manager:

I am concerned that you are neglecting your real customers and feeding the frenzy of reselling sale items on Ebay to make a profit. Here are some tips I think you should implement, follow and adhere too.

  1. If you put it in the flyer, order extra. You should not be sold out of anything in your sales flyer by Sunday afternoon. Your sale started five hours ago and lasts all week. Not acceptable.
  2. Hire knowledgeable staff: Why is it that your staff quite often has no idea what a glue dot is; can't tell me where you keep the Prismacolor pencils; has no idea if there is any wizard themed paper in the entire store.
  3. Limit product purchases: This goes back to my number one point. You shouldn't be sold out five hours into your sale. People are reselling your sale items and making a profit. That is wrong. Especially since my southern friends don't have A.C. Moores and can't buy the sale items. Do not let anyone buy more than three of the same cartridge at one time. I know they will come back and buy more later, but at least it will be more difficult for them.
  4. Honor your rainchecks: If you are going to offer a raincheck, you should be required to honor it no matter when the item comes into the store.
  5. Offer your sales items on your website: This seems like a no brainer.


An irritate customer

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Beginning a new chapter -- my baby is in kindergarten

My baby started kindergarten today.

Neither of us cried.

He rode the bus to and from school.

He brought home papers that he created.

He was animated and excited.

He was exhausted.

And he was surprised to learn that he had to do it again tomorrow.

Here he is with the sign I make everyone hold at the start of a new school year. I think, by the way he has his eyebrow cocked he finds the idea a little odd. That's okay, he's not the only one.

Here he is with is good buddy. Yep. They are both kindergartners. Even though my hubby is 6 foot 2, all of our kids seemed to have inherited my height.

And here he is on the bus, with his sister, giddy with excitement. Who could cry looking at a face like that?
Since I wrote five things for my girls yesterday, I thought I would close this post with five things I hope Little G. will learn in kindergarten.
  1. Girls do not have cooties.
  2. Reading is amazing, wonderful, fantastic and exciting.
  3. Friendships can last a lifetime.
  4. It's okay to be wrong.
  5. No matter where you go, no matter what you do, I will always be here for you.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

WW - backpacks, lunchboxes, and alarm clocks

School has officially started (at least for my girls). Little G starts Kindergarten tomorrow. Here are pics of the girls all ready to go.

Dear Oldest,

As you head back to Intermediate school remember this.

  1. Some friends come in our lives to stay. Some friends come for a short while. The real trick is to know when to let go.
  2. Bullies want a reaction from you. Try not to give them one.
  3. Girls mature a lot during their 5th grade year. Boys don't mature until after their 21st birthday and even then that's pushing it for some.
  4. You can choose to have a great day.
  5. No matter what happens, I will be waiting for you when you get home.

Dear Middle G;

Are you really in third grade already? Seriously? When did that happen. You have grown up so much over the summer. You've lost your little baby cheeks and you look quite mature. I think it's all those big teeth.

As you finish up your elementary adventure remember this.

  1. You are not the only girl who loves Spiderman. That's why he is now on pink shirts.
  2. Sometimes other girls may say they are no longer your friend. That's just because their feelings were hurt, but they still love you.
  3. Math can be confusing, but try not to get frustrated. You can't learn when you are frustrated.
  4. Smile a lot. It makes people wonder what you are up to.
  5. No matter how things turn out, I will be waiting for you when you get off the bus.

Hugs to you both,


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tuesday Tribute - The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It's the most wonderful time of the year
With the kids barely yelling
And mom's all saying "There's nothing to fear"
It's the most wonderful time of the year
It's the hap-happiest season of all
With those big yellow buses and fancy new backpacks
When school starts in fall
It's the hap- happiest season of all

There'll be tests for the taking
Big projects for the making
And new friends we need to get to know
There'll be lots of great stories
And tales of the glories of
summer time travels with skin all a glow

It's the most wonderful time of the year
There'll be fewer kids fighting
And even less biting
When lunch becomes near
It's the most wonderful time of the year

It's the most wonderful time
It's the most wonderful time
It's the most wonderful time
It's the most wonderful time of the year
Happy Start of the School Year to you all! Mine are sleeping with visions of new backpacks and sneakers filling their heads. I'll be sure to post some pictures tomorrow of the girls first day of 5th and 3rd grade.
Little G doesn't start Kindergarten until Thursday.
Monday, August 24, 2009

Weekend Update - picnics, birthdays and drill bits in your thumb (**updated with pics)

Hopefully I will get to post some pictures later for this post. We had a whirlwind of a Saturday traveling six hours round trip for a family reunion/picnic. It was a nice time and a celebration of my husband's grandmother's 95th birthday.

Almost all of her children, grand children and great grandchildren were there.

I think she had a really nice day.

The weather was good and the day turned out great.

On Sunday, the kids and I went to the pool and my hubby did some repair work on our fence. His drill slipped and the bit went into his thumb nail. To say it looks gross would be such an understatement.

He let me take a photo, but you really can't SEE it. Thankfully he had a tetanus shot last year.

What did you do this weekend?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sunday Citar - behold the turtle

Behold the turtle.
She never gets anywhere, without first sticking out her neck.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Let's Get Crafty Saturday - another board book

Here's another board book I made this week. This one is for my niece. She love soccer as much as my daughter.

Of course, Middle G saw the book and now wants one for her soccer pictures too.

I used the sports mania cricut cartridge to make the soccer ball and the title. Lovin' this cart.

What did you make this weekend? Leave me a comment and I'll be sure to check out your project!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday High Five - Highs and lows of the week

Angela's Adventures

It's time for Friday High Five over at Angie's. Why aren't you playing along? Stop over and see what all the fun is about. My week has been filled with highs and lows; some worth discussing and some not.

Here are the five highlights of the week I've deemed worthy to make Friday High Five:

  • Kindergarten Orientation: On Monday, my son and I got to meet his teacher. He also got to walk through a school bus. His response, "They are dangerous! There are no seat belts!"
  • Reba's 1st solo album in 6 years "Keep on Loving You" released: Mock me if you must, but I have been a Reba fan for more than 20 years. I couldn't wait to get her new album. My favorite.. Consider Me Gone, which happens to be her upcoming single

  • Our library visit: My library is a double wide trailer. No, I'm not making that up. That being said, the librarians know us, love us, and go out of their way to get all the books my kids love and even books they think they'll love.
  • Park play: We went to the school playground to play this week and the kids had a blast. It actually has some shade and we didn't melt. Plus, we got to meet up with some kids and some moms we haven't seen in awhile.
  • A great play date: My son's little girlfriend invited us all over for a play date. I wasn't sure how it would go with my older girls as the other kids were 5 and 6; but surprisingly all of the kids played very nicely and we spent the better part of the day there.

Some of the lows of the week:

  • Realizing that summer is ending: I've been feeling a little "empty" about the end of summer. Hoping that I find myself once I put all of my kids on that big school bus.
  • Last swim lesson: I love my son's teachers and they only teach during the day. That being said, he will have a different teacher come the fall.
  • Two pointless meetings: I worked three nights this week and two of those meetings were pretty pointless. I hate going to meetings that don't fruit any news!
  • Thunder: This act of nature has been causing a lot of havoc at our pool. Get in; get out; stay in; stay out.
  • Dumpster diving: Not by me, but by my dog. Seems he's has an uncanny ability to find the garbage and destroy the garbage in a matter of minutes. He's highly aggravating.

What were the highs and lows of your week? Don't forget to come back tomorrow for Let's Get Crafty Saturday.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Writer's Workshop - Seeking Employment; skills limited

This week Mama Kat has some great writing prompts:

1.) What will you be doing now that the kids are back in school?

2.) Things I have learned from my toddler.

3.) What would you put in your favorite things giveaway?

4.) Hi, my name is ______ and I am a _______.

5.) If these walls could talk...
I decided to write about prompt one and prompt four.
If you stopped by yesterday, you already know that my kids start school next week.
When I say kids, I mean all of them. Little G starts all day kindergarten.
Hubby will leave for work and the kids will leave for school and it will just be me and the dog.
So the short answer is I have no idea.
Let's face it there is only so much housework **cough, cough** a person can do.
My name is mommy and I am afraid.
Afraid that I will be lonely.
Afraid that I will be bored.
Afraid that I will miss my kids more than they miss me.
Afraid that I have no real marketable skills. (After all, can you market excellent juice box opener and chicken nugget baker?)
In short, things are about to get interesting....
Wednesday, August 19, 2009

WW - one week away

One more week of summer.

One more week of kids fighting.

One more week of no alarm clock other than my son.

One more week of schedule free time.

One more week.

My kids are ready. For the most part. But am I?

When fellow mommies would ask me when all my kids would be in school, 2009 felt far away. A future date. Sometime in the distance.

It is now one week away.

Last week, my kids were at their grandmas and while I was able to get a lot accomplished I realized that, dare I say it, I may actually be a little bored when all my kids are gone for the entire day.

There is only so much laundry a person can do.

As of now, I'm going to volunteer a little here and a little there over at the school. I applied for some work over there, but haven't heard anything. Of course, Pennsylvania still doesn't have a state budget so schools may not be in a position to hire anyone right now.

I'm going to write some more and maybe be brave enough to submit some more.

I'm going to craft some more and possibly cook some more.

Things are going to be quite different.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Update on my insomnia; plus a good book

Thank you all for your many prayers and well wishes with regard to my insomnia. I'm working on it. I have been trying some over the counter medicine that seems to be helping. Plus, hubby and I are working on getting Little G to sleep alone in his bed.

He needs to sleep through the night before the start of kindergarten next week or I'm not sure he will survive his LONG day.

Last night was one of our first big successes, but it is a slow process.

He is still very cranky! Which isn't helping any one's mood.
Last week I finished a great book that I really enjoyed so I thought I would share it with all of you.
Peeled is a clever young adult novel written by an award wining author.
This mystery takes place in a quiet little apple orchard town. The main characters are in high school and write the school newspaper. They end up breaking the big news story about the legendary haunted house and all of the not-so-savvy deals going on in town.
I thought it was very clever and I loved the writing references throughout (as well as all of the apple references.)
A very quick, refreshing read.

What are you reading?
Monday, August 17, 2009

Weekend Update: Kids are back

Well my kids are back after a week at their grandmas and I think they had a fun time but were actually happy to get home.
We met grandma and pappy at my SIL's house for her son Andy's birthday.
He had a great time turning two and the kids had fun despite the HOT HOT weather.
At least they were able to play in the sprinkler and have a water balloon battle.
When we got home they were delighted with their rearranged rooms and 1st day of school outfits. I also found them backpacks and they were excited about that as well.
I think they may have actually missed us, but that was Saturday and today is Monday and they have since forgotten about that. LOL
We are off to go school shoe shopping today. Pray for my sanity.
Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday Citar - 2 year olds

Eat Cake! ~ Unknown
Happy Birthday, Andy

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Let's Get Crafty Saturday - Board Books


It's Saturday and that time of the week to show off some of your crafts. This week, while my children were away, I had an opportunity to play around a little bit more with the Cricut Sports Mania cartridge. I have to say that the more I play with it the more I enjoy it.

Here is a picture of the baseball board book I was able to make for my nephew.

A few weeks ago, at the CK Convention my sister saw a similar item for sale and I told her I thought I could make it.

For those interested here's how.

On the Expression cut the baseball mitt as a blackout on chipboard with the deep cut blade. Do this twice at fit to page, which should come up as 11.5 inches.

Next you want to cut the images for the front of your book. For mine that includes, one 11.5 blackout image in white, one ball glove in light brown and one layer in dark brown.

Then you want to make your baseball player. Mine is grey and blue because those were his team colors. He is cut at 9 inches.

For the back of the book you want to repeat what you did to make the layers for the front but you want to use your FLIP button so the images will cut in reverse. This allows for the book covers to line up.

After you have completed the covers you want to cut the inside pages. My book has 10 pages cut using the blackout feature. My book is bound with the Bind-it-all, but you could bind it many different ways.

What did you make this week? I'd love to see your creations, please link you post below.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday High Five: Five strange things I heard this week

Today we will be discussing strange things we have heard this week and odd conversations we have had. Here are my top five:

  • I noticed I had a large amount of charges on my credit card this month and I thought, "That can't be right." Sure enough I was charge for a hotel reservation that I cancelled. Great. I called the hotel. They said, "Oh your name was spelled wrong." Seriously. You spelled my name wrong but still managed to bill my card for a room I never checked into. Incredulous. They are crediting it and it should appear within five business days. Unless they give the credit to the person's who name appears on the bill. Lesson learned: Check your credit card statement.
  • After telling my doctor I couldn't sleep, he responded with "Are you depressed?" No. I'm. Tired. Isn't that what I just said? Lesson learned: Repeat everything you say to your doctor at least six times.
  • Cashier at Walmart asked me: What are you going to make with those AV-E-ODD-Os? Are you serious? They are called avocados. I'm making guacamole. The oddest thing about this...I had this very conversation at a different Walmart a few months ago. Lesson Learned: Cashiers at Walmart don't eat avocados.
  • On the phone with dog groomer: Dog Groomer: "Has he ever had his toenails clipped?" Me: "No"; Dog Groomer: "What did he do when you tried to cut them?"; me: "yelped." Dog Groomer: "I don't stop if he yelps. I just keep going. I have stuff here to stop the bleeding." Lesson learned: Find the a different groomer.
  • Oddest conversation of the week: At the dog park some guy walks up to me and says "Are you interested in any bull dicks? I have them in extra large, large and small." Me: "What?" Odd guy: "Yeah I can get them in any size you want. Dogs really like them but they kind of smell. They're actual bull penises. I'd only let him have them outside." Me: "No thank you." Lesson learned: You just never know who might show up at the dog park.

What is the oddest conversation you had this week?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Insonmia. Is. Taking. Over. My. Life.

I can't sleep.

I fall asleep, but then I wake up.

I thought it was because my kids come into my room and can't sleep alone. I thought it was because I enjoy caffeine. I thought I would sleep like a hibernating bear this child free week.

Guess what? I didn't.

So I rushed to the ER. Just kidding. Who does that? I made a doctor's appointment for Tuesday and it went a little bit like this.

me: "I'm tired, I can't sleep. I'm irritable. I yell at my kids a lot about stupid stuff. I feel angry. I don't know if I'm irritable because I'm tired, or if I'm tired because I'm irritable.

doc: "Oh, sort of like the chicken and the egg. Do you think you are depressed?"

me: "No not really, just not sleeping. I haven't slept through the night in over six months."

doc: "What happened six months ago?"

me: "Nothing out of the ordinary. Like I said I'm not sure why I feel this way."

doc: "Have you considered talking to a therapist?"

me: "Does having mango margaritas with your girlfriends count as therapy?"

doc: "I can give you some medication to help with the mood swings, but that won't resolve the underlying issue as to WHY you are not sleeping. You should consider talking about it with someone?"

Does this mean that I'm officially crazy and that I'm going to have to have a shrink tell me that? I started the medicine he gave me and it is making my insomnia worse.

It is 1 a.m. here and I am typing a blog post. I fell asleep for two hours and woke up with dry mouth so annoying it felt like I'd recently downed a bottle of tequila. I checked the tequila and it is still here. LOL

I'm thinking about chucking this anti-depressants and trying some good old fashioned sleepy time tea.

If that doesn't work anyone want to volunteer to offer the same help Goofy received in the video above? It looks like it hurts initially, but then you at least get some rest.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wordful Wednesday - kindergarten flashback

Two weeks of summer left. Two weeks until I reach a milestone. All three of my kids will be in school all day. I have mixed feelings about this. I'm so excited for youngest to grow and reach his full potential. To experience time away from me. Time with new friends and new adventures.

Oldest starting kindergarten in 2004
I'm struggling to believe that oldest will be in 5th grade already. People always tell you that time flies but you never really expect to experience it and then you do.

Middle G starting kindergarten 2006
For those of us with more than two children, I think it's even more amazing how fast time flies by for those in the middle. How is it possible that she is already going to 3rd grade? How is it possible that she will soon be out of the elementary school and joining her sister in intermediate school?

My son in red and his good friend watch as the bus leaves with their siblings. This year they both will be riding that same bus.
As my son would say, "It's exciting, but kinda scary."
Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Take at Chance Challenge - August Book of the Month

**Warning** I plan on patting myself on the back a lot with this post. I have read more than 12 books so far this year! That is a record for me. Seriously. I always say that I'm going to read more but this year I have actually followed through. So I'm patting my back, clapping my hands and giving myself a standing ovation.

That being said, I'm continuing to work my way through the Take a Chance Challenge over at Jenners and for this month's challenge I decided to participate in "Phoning the Author". The random last name I picked out of the phone book was Werling, but when I searched my library catalog the prompt said, "Did you mean Werlin?"
I figured that was close enough. Hopefully Jenners will agree.
Werlin, as in Nancy Werlin, has quite a few novels, some of which are critically acclaimed. The one I chose, "Rules of Survival" was about an out of control mother told through the eyes of her 15 year old son.
The book was okay. Not fantastic and not terrible. I didn't care for the ending and I had trouble relating to the mother in the book.
I did like the way it was written, which was in the form of a letter from the oldest child to the youngest child so as she would not forget what the all survived.

What are you reading?
Monday, August 10, 2009

Weekend Update - ALS Walk, Visiting with Friends & Taking on clutter childfree

I went to the ALS walk with my kids this weekend. It is an annual event for our family. My aunt passed away for the insidious disease in 2005 and we all raise funds and walk together in her honor.

It is usually an amazing time.

Visiting my home town gives me a chance to catch up with my oldest of friends. I've been friends for more than 20 years with the two women in this photo. We have laughed together, cried together, raised children together and been there for each other. I would do anything for them.

My friend, Bobbie (in the blue stripes) just had a little girl in May (she's in the middle); her husband and son are on the far right and her sister is in the middle.

No matter how long it's been since we've seen each other we always pick up right where we left off. There is never any awkwardness.

Gotta love that.

Princess E --- isn't she sweet!

Here is a photo of my MIL and my son at the ALS walk. He was tickled because the clown made him a balloon sword. When you are five there are few things better than balloon swords.

Here's all three Gs showing off their face paintings. Middle G is also holding up her balloon turtle that she could wear on her wrist. (I had the clowns make me one too..LOL)

I really like this photo of my kids and my cousin's daughter. It was her grandmother that died from ALS.
As for the rest of my week, I am taking on some clutter! My kids are spending a week (A WEEK!) at their grandmother's house and I plan on getting rid of some unnecessary crap! Wish me luck as I already feel like I've bit off more than I can chew!
What did you do this weekend?
Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sunday Citar - family

Brothers and sisters are as close as hands and feet. ~Vietnamese Proverb

Welcome to Sunday Citar! This blog quote meme was created by You can stop by her blog to see the quotes and photos that she and everyone else is loving right now.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Let's get crafty Saturday - scrapbook page

I love the way this page turned out! These pics are from 2007 and from our visit to Virginia to see my mom and step-dad. I had all sorts of Jolee die cuts I needed to use and really like the way the look on this page.

What did you make this week?


Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday High Five - What I learned at camp this week

For this week's Friday High Five, I thought I would share some of the things I learned at camp this week.

Taking time to stop and actually look a the sunset is refreshing and spirit renewing. Especially when it is not raining.

I love pictures where my husband is actually smiling. His sister and her kids came to camp for the day and we went on a little hike around the lake. It was so fun! We found these big boulders and took this awesome family photo.

No matter how old I get I just can't seem to get enough butterflies. They are so pretty and the fact that they get to morph from their old self and turn into something new shows us the promise of change.

Though I will admit to all of you, I don't enjoy sleeping in the woods, I still find the forest a wonderful place. As Disney would say...there's something enchanting about being in the words.

Other things I learned over the course of the week include:
  • Geese wake up very early. They are louder than most alarm clocks.
  • The harder I try not to have to pee in the middle of the night the more likely I will have to pee multiply times.
  • I should sit by the fire with my family more often.
  • It is true...I am a fair weather camper and my spirit is affected by the weather. Thankfully we only had one late night storm and the days were all pretty.

How was your week? To read more Friday High Five blog entries click on the button below.

Angela's Adventures
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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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