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Friday, July 30, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me

Today's my birthday.

It's beautiful outside. I'm happy. I have good friends. My kids are all healthy. I have many blessings.

I have learned that your attitude can really change the situation for either the good or the bad. It really is how you look at it.

My friend B got me a card today and it said.

Good news: People are living longer. Inside it said: The Bad News: We don't get to pick which ones.

There's a lot of truth in that and it makes for a good chuckle.

Our B&B is open again as we are having an unplanned visit from our friends from Ohio--a wonderful birthday surprise. Plus we pick oldest up from church camp tonight.

A houseful for my birthday. What more could I ask for?

I'll post pictures of all of our crazy adventures on Monday but for now I'm off to see the last of the Shrek movies. It's at the $2 theatre and who can pass up a movie on their birthday.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Things that make you go hmmmm...

I took Middle G to the doctors last night at 7:30 p.m. for her 9 year well check.

I know what was I thinking when I made that appointment...7:30 is ridiculous.

I really liked the nurse practitioner we saw. She was down to earth and didn't make a face when I told her that **gasp** I let my child have a glass of root beer every now and then.

She did ask me a rather stupid question involving Middle Gs thyroid which went something like this..."Have you noticed that her thyroid is quite enlarged?"

" can't say that anyone has come up to us and drawn any attention to her neck. I'm gonna have to go with no on that."
She went down a list of systems that included tiredness, dry skin and hair loss that only applied to me and not to Middle G. but none the less she felt strongly that she should have a blood test.

This morning we went for the blood draw and it was ridiculous.
Not because of my child but because the Phlebotomist was already pissy at 8:30 in the morning and not happy to find out that her draw was a child.

She immediately called for backup before Middle G even provided her name and then looked at me with contempt when I said she had no photo id. Seriously, why would my 9 year old have a photo id?

After berating me for not pre-registering, which I was not told was an option, she entered the information into the computer. I would have gladly done this in the 20 minutes we were left to wait in the outside waiting room had they just provided a computer.

That being said, by the time she was ready to draw the blood there were three of them in there, plus me and her brother. It was a tight space.

Middle G barely flinched and then watched her blood go into the vile. There was no need to make her sit on her other hand and basically freak her out to the point of terror before she even attempted to get the blood.

What about that 80 year old in the waiting room....she could just as likely get volatile. Why the stereotype? My kid was an angel and shame on you for assuming she wouldn't be.

My other pet peeve....the chair. It was designed for the morbidly obese. All three of us could have sat in it and there would still have been room.

Is this really necessary?

Thanks for the vent,

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Family free for now

The whirlwind visit from my mom and grandma is over and I should probably be cleaning up my house, but instead I'm updating my blog.

I think my priorities are skewed.

It was a nice visit. My mom and grandmother bickered a little, but I suppose that is to be expected.

It was challenging to find activities to please the wide age range - 6 to 85, but we managed. On Monday we went to bible study and to the pool.

That was a lot of fun and the kids had a blast. My grandma actually got in to the pool twice and enjoyed sitting in the sun and getting some vitamin D.

On Tuesday, we went shopping which wasn't as smooth as the pool, but it was something. The kids were a little bit bored when the guests were looking at clothing, but to be honest with you so was I.

(*gasp*) I'm not a big shopper.

Little G had a dentist appointment in the middle of the day and then my mom took me and the family out for dinner for my birthday, which is on Friday.

It was a very nice evening.

They left about 20 minutes ago. I think my grandma is quite tired. The kids have a way of doing that to you, especially when you aren't used to it. My mom is going to stay on at her house for another night and then head home.

We are company free until Sunday when my dad and step mom arrive for the day to go to a ballgame with us.

I'm glad it's just for the day.
Monday, July 26, 2010

Weekend Update: Random thoughts

I was trying to think of how to sum up my weekend, but it's really was neither here nor there so I thought I would post it as some random thoughts.

  • I didn't let the car breaking down ruin my evening. My MIL and FIL returned my children home safely. We dropped FIL off with the hubby and the car and MIL and I took all the kids to the pool for the moonlight swim.
  • The moon was full and the evening was wonderful.
  • The kids fell right to sleep once we got home.
  • It was 104 degrees here on Saturday.
  • Air conditioning is awesome.
  • We went to dinner with hubby's sister and her family and the in-laws for my father-in-law's birthday.
  • He turned 65 and he retired earlier this month.
  • He seems very happy.
  • We came home and had a bowling tournament on the Wii.
  • I never laughed so hard.
  • My MIL was cracking me up. She kept moving to the side she was throwing the ball on like she was really in an bowling alley.
  • Sunday was filled with church activities and a little cookout.
  • The in-laws left and I took oldest to camp.
  • The van did not break down which is quite note worthy since it was a 3 hour round trip. And as you know I haven't been having much luck with cars or vans lately.
  • My mom and my grandma arrived for a visit before I returned home from camp.
  • We should open a bed and breakfast.
  • and charge extra for the Wii.

Surviving my onslaught of company and actually enjoying myself,


Friday, July 23, 2010

Isn't it ironic...don't ya think?

As you may recall in my post lamenting the evils of Chuck E. Cheeses my van broke down less than two weeks ago.

Although my handy husband has since replaced the battery and the alternator it is still running a little off.

We drove it to western PA this weekend and my husband actually agreed with me. It's running a little off.

On Monday, that little seemed like a lot and I no longer wanted to drive it. Hubby said it might be the transmission but all I heard was it might cost a fortune. What I know about vans is limited but I do know that you don't want to dump a fortune into a van that is nearly 10 years old.

So being the smart, savvy wife that I am I decided that hubby should drive the van while oldest and I remained safe and secure in the car.

Guess what? The car broke down today.

Yeah I know I thought that was a little bit of a kick in the face. It was running fine until the battery light kicked on and the steering wheel became impossible to turn.

I was picking oldest up from the playground program she attends and I didn't even have my purse or my cell phone. To say I was pissed, would be an understatement. At least it ceased working on the way home and not the way to the playground.

I called hubby who I think thought I was joking.

He seemed certain it was the battery while I remained certain that it wasn't. The steering wheel doesn't work....blah blah blah.

We waited for him to rescue us and found out that it wasn't the battery. Here's what I know some big long belt named after a snake kept moving even though some other part wasn't moving and it melted that part. Hubby seems to think he can get that part and put it on and magically slide the snaky belt thingy back into place and presto a working car.

I hope he is right but between you and me it sounds really complicated and not easily accomplished.

In the mood for some Alanis Morrissette,


Thursday, July 22, 2010

A movie I should have previewed.

I rented this disc of sorrow from Netflix.

I never read the book.

If I had read the book I would never have let my then 9, 7 and 5 year olds watch this movie.

It couldn't possibly be sadder.

Bridge to Terabithia is the story of fifth grader Jess Aarons, who becomes friends with his new neighbor Leslie Burke after he loses a race to her at school. She is cute and smart and Jess is quite smitten with her.

Jess is a little quiet and unsure of himself and very artistic. In the beginning of the movie he is fearful, angry, and depressed. After hanging out with Leslie, Jess is more sure of himself.

With his love of drawing and with Leslie's love of stories they create Terabithia. A magical place with great special effects and marvelous characters. The story was compelling. The characters endearing.

This all was great. My kids were engaged in the film. But things headed downhill when Jess when to an art show with his teacher and Leslie decided to go to Terabithia alone........AND DROWNED!!

WTF? This is a kids movie? I don't like movies with kids dying in them.

Everyone cried, even daddy, like were were Leslie's friends and we would forever miss her.

What I learned....if it's live action and not a cartoon, it's best to watch it first.

Mama's Losin' It
Wednesday, July 21, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Teddy Bears

Your never too old to make a teddy bear.
Boyd's Teddy Bear Factory 7/20
Tuesday, July 20, 2010

It's a girly week....

As you know I only have one kid this week. That's only 1/3 of what I'm usually entertaining but for some reason I'm having trouble coming up with fun stuff for my 11 year old and I to do.

Everything is sooooo expensive.

At 11, it's hard to tell what she'll find fun versus what she'll find boring. It's almost a coin toss.

I posted a request for help on Facebook and asked for some suggestions. I've come to the conclusion that most of my friends have a lot more free flowing cash than I do.

Because my MIL is taking my other kids to a small amusement park near her house I had this delusion in my head that I too needed to take Big G to an amusement park. Then my friend B pointed out to me that I needed to remember that this is my vacation too. After all, I just spent an entire day at Hershey Park less than a month ago.

I should do something with Big G that we both would enjoy. Don't get me wrong, I love amusement parks but they are wallet draining pits. By the time you pay to park, get in and to eat you will be dropping a lot of cash.

Sometimes we forget about the treasures we have in our own backyard.

Today, Big G and I are going to find some of those treasures and hopefully she'll have a good time.

Later this week, were going for pedicure and maybe to do a little (gulp, dare I say it) back-to-school shopping.
Monday, July 19, 2010

Weekend Update: travel and wedding ediquet

We traveled this weekend back to our hometown to hang with the in laws and to be tortured by a bridal shower.

Am I the only person who doesn't like showers.

I didn't even like my own.

Surely there are more of you out there that aren't fans. Maybe i should start a Facebook group. Anyway, there is a lot of family drama over a lot of these upcoming weddings. Hubby's family will have three this year.

Some of which are for my husband's second cousins, whom we are not close with. Therefore it is not really surprising to us that we aren't invited, however it appears to be somewhat hurtful to hubby's mom that we aren't included.

I don't really know how to convey to her that we really don't mind not having to come.

Plus there seems to be a trend to not invite children. I'm all for a child-free weekend, but if you think I'm going to drive 5 hours for your wedding, get you a gift and pay for child-care (most likely over night childcare) on top of everything else you better be a lot closer to me than just my Facebook friend.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Please vote for my elementary....

I'm trying to win $500,000 for the elementary school my son attends and I work at. We need a new serving line in the kitchen and I'm sure this will never be a budget item.

Public schools don't fix things until they are completely broken.

Kohl's (the department store) is giving away a lot of money to 10 different schools! If you click on this link it should take you to the Facebook voting page.

I'm not stupid. I know you want to vote for your kid's school but I'm hoping you will use 5 of the 20 votes you are given to vote for mine too. Maybe together we can all win!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

It happened on Facebook

The longer I keep my Facebook account the more certain I become that it's nothing but a virus.

Here is some evidence to that affect.

My status update:

Irritated that a 3rd grader made my kindergartner cry.

What transpired:

Friend one: Is it my 3rd grader.
Me: No it is not your 3rd grader.
Friend 2: Is it my 3rd grader? Because if it is I'm going to kick his ass.
Me: No it was a girl and no ass kicking is required.
Mom of the actual 3rd grader: I guess everyone knows it was ********. She has ADD and she has outbursts and angry issues. I told her she must apologize and she will tomorrow.

WTF: Note to mom of the actual 3rd grader: No one knew who it was or anything about it until you opened your mouth.

In a private message Mom of the actual 3rd grader tells me that I hurt her feelings. Say what. I hurt your feelings? So your kid gets to make my kid cry and somehow this hurts your feelings? Spare me.

Proof enough that FACEBOOK is a virus.

This post was inspired by Mama Kat
Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Fishin

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tuesday Tribute: My dad's friend Smoke

For as long as I can remember my dad has had two BFFs--Rich and Smoke. During my childhood they umpired little league together, they played practical jokes on each other, they went to the little league world series together every year for many years, they played golf, they watched hockey.

They were there for each other in good times and bad times.

They helped each other move. They hugged each other when their parents died. They were there for each other when their children went to college. When those same kids married. When those kids had kids. They were there for each other.

The three amigos.

We often joked that it was good that they had each other so that when they were old and senile they could wipe each other's chins in the nursing home.

But cancer has a way of messing up even the best laid plans and Smokey has been fighting a brain tumor for a number of years now.

It went away.

It came back.

It made it hard to keep his balance.

It made it hard for him to see.

But through it all he had his family and his friends.

Smokey lost his fight with cancer on Saturday--A good guy who had a crappy hand dealt to him. He played it well and he never lost his positive attitude.

On Saturday morning, my dad was on his way to visit him at the hospice center carrying a cup of coffee for him. When he learned that he had died, he drank the coffee in his honor and remembered that someday they will share a cup together again.

RIP Smoke. We will not forget you.
Monday, July 12, 2010

Weekend Update: Back from Camp

We are back from a very HOT five days at camp. Seems I may have prayed a little too hard for no rain. Be careful what you ask for.

I did pretty well with accomplishing most of my camping goals. Here's my family picture. It's not awesome, but I like it. We were hiking in a state forest with giant hemlock trees. It was very pretty.

Ahhh the spray ground. Middle G loved it and I wanted to live there. It was 103! I didn't put my chair in this sprayer, but i thought about it for a really long time.

Oldest really needed to get wet. Actually we all did. People aren't built for 103 unless there is a large body of water near them.

Little G loved the slides. The pool had two of them and he was usually in line to do one or the other. I think he's having fun....what do you think?

Of course, we didn't spend all of our time there. We got to fish on this beautiful lake. Hubby's parents came to visit for a day and we hiked with the tall trees.
It was actually not that bad of a vacation.
That being said...I still like indoor plumbing.
How was your week(end)?
Friday, July 9, 2010

To Phone or Not to Phone

When in doubt, ask the web. That's what I always say. Okay, not true but let's just pretend I always say that.
Oldest wants a cell phone.
Oldest is 11.
This seems like a ridiculously young age for any type of electronic equipment that can be easily ruined.
However, she has some valid arguments, which include:
At a birthday party, she was the only one who didn't have a phone and she called me to leave early because she felt so out of place. Everyone was texting each other while they were in the room together.
She could call me from extra circular activities when it was time for her to get picked up.
Her dad would always know what school to pick her up from. (This is an entirely different blog posting).
She could text me about stupid things like all of my friends.
If I should cave under the peer pressure, the phone would not be purchased until Christmas or her 12th birthday, which is in February.
However, I'm wondering should I go with one of those prepaid jobs or should I put her on my plan.
Parents of tweens....what do you do? How do you handle the need for a phone at such a young age? Do your kids pay for their own phone? Do you do the prepay phone or the plan. I'm thinking the prepaid one would be less of a hassle if she lost it.
Your thoughts??
Thursday, July 8, 2010

Things I hope to accomplish at camp

Believe it or not, I'm at camp.

I know, I'd think I'd have learned my lesson after this diabolical last year, but alas I think my brain may be a little small or I may be suffering from some short term memory loss.

Either way, I'm at camp and as an incentive I've decided to come up with a couple of things I'd like to accomplish.

  • I would like to avoid sunburn. Seems I may have prayed a little too hard about it not raining this year at camp. Looks like there won't be any rain and the temps are suppose to be in the 100s.
  • I would like to read an entire book (or at least come close).
  • I would like to enjoy a campfire, but this may also be impossible as there may be a burn restriction and one can't really enjoy a fire when it's 100 degrees.
  • I would like to spend some time "unplugged" with my kids. I mean no computer, no DS games, no phones. I'm hoping to teach them how to play cards without fighting.
  • I would like to set my beach chair up right in the spray ground. That's right...our campground has a spray ground and given the fact that it's going to feel like it's 104 outside I'm thinking about just putting my chair right in the spray ground.
  • I would like to get a few cute pictures of all my kids together and possibly our entire family. It's been a while since I've had a nice family picture and I'd like to blow one up for the living room wall.

Here's hoping we don't melt and we all have fun. Lord knows I can't handle another SUCKATION!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Cousins

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Why I hate Chuck E. Cheese's

As previously posted, my van broke down on the way to Chuck E. Cheese's last week. My sister, our friend, G, and all seven of our kids were on our way there for an impromptu birthday party for my neighbor's son.
It became apparent on the way there that I was having significant automobile problems.
First the brake light came on.
Then the ABS light came on.
Then all the light went out.
Then the turn signals stopped working.
Then the radio stopped playing.
Then all things electric stopped working.
Just as we pulled into the pizza palace parking lot the entire van shut off and I drifted off to the side of the parking lot near the bushes parked in a very haphazard sort of way. Thankfully, I didn't lose G who was folling us in her van and had the other half of the kids.
We walked in and I told the only employee in the building, who we will call Trisha for this posting, that I wasn't drunk or incapable of driving but that I was parked that way because my van was malfunctioning.
Her response: "It's a public parking lot and I don't really care how you park in it."
Strike one.
The pizza arrived and as you know my nephew is diabetic. I said to Trisha "Can you tell me the carbohydrates in a slice of pizza."
Her response: "I have no idea."
Strike two.
My response: "We are going to need you to find out."
Trisha returns about 15 minutes later to tell me that the answer to my question is "Yes. The pizza has carbohydrates."
Strike THREE.
Are you kidding me? Did you seriously waste 15 minutes of my life and come back with an answer of YES. We know that it has carbs. It's bread. We need to know how many carbs so he can put the number into his pump.
She eventually returned with a nutritional print out that indicated 22 carbs per slice, but I find it hard to believe that a) we are the only people who have ever asked her this question b) that they legally don't have to post nutritional information, and c) that Trisha will be working at Chuck E Cheeses the next time I return.
Hubby came and rescued us. The van needed a new battery and alternator. Thankfully hubby knew how to install both of those and it seems to be running just fine now.
I think I saw Trisha smile with glee when our stint at the Chuck E Cheese's ended. After all, we were taking up about five parking spots, one of the kids with us threw up all over the bathroom, we forced her to learn about carbohydrates, and between the seven of them in our vans they earned about 21,647 tickets that she had to help them "spend."
Quite frankly, if I was her, I would have left after the vomit.
Monday, July 5, 2010

Weekend Update: Hershey Pictures

I had a wonderful visit with my sister, H, and our friend G. We had seven kids in the house for four nights and five days and surprisingly everyone got along really well.

Even at Hershey we had a lot of fun and minimal whining. You can't ask for anything more than that.

Above is a picture of me and H with Peppermint Patty!

Believe it or not--Middle G and Aunt H rode this ride. It looked like a big platter of vomit to me but Middle G was all about it. She got off the ride and said "Am I still alive?"

Here's Aunt H, Big G, B, Middle G and C with the Twizzlers character. We just happened to be in the area of the park that all the characters came out to dance in. It was perfect timing and we couldn't of planned it better if we were actually trying to?

The drowned rats in the front row our Oldest, Middle and cousin C.! They rode this ride three times. Unfortunately, I rode it once with them and ended up drenched and not in a swimsuit. I wasn't expecting to get quite that wet so I ended up with a new shirt and some board shorts.

Little G and cousin H with my favorite character and candy! Gotta love the Reese's guy. Beside from seeing Hershey Park and riding all those rides we also went swimming and to Chuck E Cheeses while the cousins were visiting.

My van broke down at Chuck E's which was the day after the Hershey adventure so I feel very blessed that it made to and from Hershey without a problem.

The lady at the Chuck E. Cheeses wasn't very fond of her job, but I think I'll save that adventure for tomorrow's post.

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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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