Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Another Austin Accomplishment

He was only successful that one time but needless to say we were both thrilled!  

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Well why don't you cry about it?

Life does happen sometimes you know.

I often get perturbed when I have a crazy bad day and someone will throw at me, "could be worse."  Of course it could be freaking worse!  I know those are good words to live by and yes life "could be worse" but darn it sometimes I may have a blue day and it's not the end of the world.  Life isn't always sunshine and roses (even at Christmas time).  However, again if I get down in the dumpsy I'd appreciate people just acknowledging it and letting me move on instead of the whole "appreciate what you do have."

This week the stupid couch wouldn't go down the basement.  I have beautiful new furniture upstairs that I'm thrilled with.  Downstairs I was planning on sending down our ratty 10 year old plaid set down and I bought two feasible lazy boy chairs that aren't the trendiest of items but match said plaid set nicely.  We now have 2 ugly yet extremely comfortable chairs and I hath been given permission to buy new furniture; a real wife would be thrilled right?  We ended up at a clearance center for another loveseat as we know they'll fit.  So we have a power reclining loveseat waiting to be picked up.  We'll see how lovely it looks.  I keep telling myself it's just a basement.  The whole couch deal really flipped my lid.  I just didn't want to spend another $800 for a piece of furniture that I didn't want or really need in the first place. But that's life. 

2nd piece of crap deal - Tommy has the flu fierce.  He's been puking all morning.  So now on Christmas Eve's Eve we have to worry about everyone getting sick.  Could be worse right? 

Joe and I were supposed to go out today and finish our shopping.  He took the day off, I signed the kids up for childcare.  It was going to be great.  The whole day together.  Once Tommy puked a second time I just saw the life sucked out of Joe.  He was so depressed.  Somehow Joe and I will get back in sync either both depressed together or so happy together and hopefully by some miracle no one will be sick the next few days.  It's not looking too good though is it? 

I guess maybe all I can do is cry...but I won't because it's not worth crying over because truly it "could be worse."

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Fail Card 2010

This is probably a record getting this on here a whole 11 days before Christmas. Now if I can only get the real cards done and sent out before the big day!  We are getting pretty excited over here for Christmas.  Ashley loves everything Santa until the real guy comes around.  She flipped out when he tried to talk to her when we to the annual Breakfast with Santa.  But she loves pointing out Santa pictures or figurines. She's been so much fun this season, but it's Austin who is really excited.  Of course he is the one I've had trouble getting a nice picture of.  Silly kid. I hope that everyone is enjoying the fun of the season.  With 2 snow days I've been able to catch up a bit on real life. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Good Bye Movember

While I do appreciate the reasoning behind "Movember" I am so happy that December is here and my husband has begun shaving again.  It was a "hair-raising" experience to say the least.  I do not like facial hair at all.  I don't appreciate the prickly smoochies and I just don't think Joe looks good with facial hair. Other men, specifically big baldies can pull off the look just fine.  Maybe when Joe is completely bald the facial hair will look better.   

So Joe and his cronies at work decided to try and help change the face of men's health by growing some hair. I'm not sure that they made a big financial difference in the cause but maybe they did help with awareness of men's health.

And who knows, maybe I should give up my razor next year too.  With my furry genes I'd have a thick redwood forest growing on my legs in about a week.  So in honor of all those men who didn't shave in November here is my top 5 list of favorite famous people with facial hair.

1. Yosemite Sam
2. Colonel Sanders
3. Hulk Hogan
4. The Super Mario Bros. 
5. Ned Flanders

And who here thinks Conan should shave already???

And finally adding some pics of the "Mo."  I put them in B&W because my Iphone for some reason made him look really jaundiced and bleh.  I'm so happy to have my handsome hubby back to normal.  He looks a little too much like Paul Blart the mall cop in the stache pic.

 And one more thing - Now that Joe knows I'm posting this he says I have to put a link to his Team page if anyone wants to help with the cause. ;)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Well I finally did it.

After two long dramatic years of wondering should I, shouldn't I; I finally cracked and joined Facebook.  It became apparent that just about everyone is on there and I really was missing out on a lot.  And all of you who are on there do know how many conversations you have with other people that start with "did you hear such and such on Facebook?"  I was tired of being out of the loop.

I had really convinced myself that I didn't want to be on as Joe warned me it would be a huge time suck and my computer would be at risk, yada, yada, yada, but it really hasn't been that bad.  I'm not a posting fool but I am enjoying going and looking at everyone's pictures and hearing what they're up to. 

I didn't know whether or not to allow students to be friends and I just followed suit with Amy and I am allowing it. I am waiting for them to ask me though.  Frankly, I know how teenagers are and I figure the ones that want to be friends with me obviously will not be too rowdy or have crazy stuff on there.  My thoughts, if they can show it in front of me they probably can show their parents too. So no worries there. 

What I do find crazy is all the quizzes and games and I am staying away from those per Joe's advice.  Because I really don't need another addiction and from what I hear Farmville is the shiite. 

Anybody wanna be my Facebook friend?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Austin's New Skill



Obviously the 8 weeks of extra physical therapy have helped.  He can now jump and get both feet off the ground.  Before he would drag that right leg.  So kudos Austin. 

It looks like his hockey will be starting in January.  It'll be Sunday mornings and we are so excited.  Everyone has been so supportive of it and I'm sure he'll have a lot of fans there watching him, even though it'll be quite a drive.  Can't wait to share all the action with you all! 

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Golden Boy

Yeah, you know I have to be talking about Tommy.  What can I say the kid is on a roll.  This post will probably be just a bunch of shameless bragging but the dude is having a phenomenal fall.  Here are a few of his recent accomplishments.

His hockey team won a tournament in Flint last month.

He got 2nd place in the local KofC spelling bee and qualified to go on to the next level in January.

He was inducted into the National Elementary Honor Society at school.

He got a 4.0 for the first marking period placing him on the Bishop's Honor Roll.

He got the highest AR total in his class; reading for 102 points.  He's cruising through the Harry Potter Series.

He was elected Vice-President on the Student Council.  He got to emcee the Halloween Assembly did an awesome job.

We had the awards at school today and another Mom asked me how he is able to play sports with all the reading he does and getting the good grades.  Tommy is just one of those kids where everything comes naturally to him.  The only thing he does not do well is art.  Luckily for him we live in a computer age and he does all of his school projects on the computer.  He doesn't need a steady hand for that.  He also can live with less than normal sleep, he stays up way too late reading but still manages to not suffer in the morning for it.  He gets that from his Daddy. 
Every so often he'll jovially start in with the chorus of "oh lord it's hard to be humble."  It's bad because he's good and he knows it.  Hopefully he'll be able to keep it in check though and also not get too stressed out about being perfect.  I don't expect him to be perfect as no one is.  His opening hockey weekend he had a breakaway with less than 12 seconds to go in a tie game and he missed the net.  Oh the chance to be a hero.  He cried about letting his team down.  But it was probably good for his head that he missed.  Because even the golden boys need to be taken to task once in a while.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween 2010

What a great night. It was crisp and cool but we've had much worse over the years so we'll take it. My neighbor Rob always goes all out and loves scaring all the neighborhood kids. Tommy especially gets a kick out of him. He always tries to scare him instead but Rob always turns the tables on him. Poor Ashley though was definitely not enjoying their fun. She was very scared especially when Rob came flying through our house after Tommy. Everyone but Ashley thought it was hilarious.  She's a big chicken like me. 

Overall though she had a wonderful time trick or treating. We did a Monster's Inc. theme this year and the kids got so many compliments on their costumes. They were SO cute and there were so many people out tonight! Tommy was a great sport being something so childish.  He said all the little kids wanted to snuggle with him at school on Friday.  There is nothing cuter than Ashley hugging on him and calling him kitty. 

Austin won funniest costume in his division at school on Friday so that was cool.  I remember 7 years ago we went down to U of M to be with Austin after taking Tommy around our circle quick.  He was doing so well after being weaned off the ECMO and they were starting to wean him off his vent.   I think I'll always think of his first Halloween when we head out TOT.  For how rough his life started he's doing remarkably well.  I am a bit miffed at a neighbor a little ways down the road.  They had another couple over with them handing out candy and they had a very high step.  He had some trouble getting up and down this step and I had to help him.  We'd also find issues when people would say pick one.  He has to set his bucket down and then grab the candy and he just moves so much slower.  I was walking away and I hear the neighbor say "I'm not sure what but there's something wrong with him."  It didn't even faze me when I heard it but now hours later it's bugging me.  I wish I would have turned around and said, "No there's something wrong with YOU!"  But cool heads prevailed and hopefully they didn't mean anything malicious by it. It's probably no big deal.  I'll sleep on it and feel better tomorrow.  Can't let it ruin a great night.  So without further ado, a few of our holiday pics. Bring on Thanksgiving!
We all enjoyed carving our pumpkins.

Mike Wazzowski, Sully, and Boo were a big hit in town. Huge thanks to my mother-in-law for making Ashley's costume and also my costume I wore to school on Friday.
Zombie Rob - We could hear kids screaming the whole night. 

My Jack Skellington Pumpkin - Joe said it got many comments too. :)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Austin's party

Was completely insane!  No not really but it had some crazy elements. 

We came home Wednesday afternoon to find we were out of power.  In the almost 10 years we've lived here we've had maybe one significant power outage due to weather.  Just one!  So we quickly divert our party to Fairgrove at Joe's folks.  Make all the calls and such and about 45 minutes before the party suppose to start the power comes back on.  So quickly we call everyone again and it's back here.  Well lo and behold about 5 minutes later the power goes back off.  Boo.  So we decided not to call everyone back yet again, got every candle out that I owned, and with the help of a camping lantern we had a nice and dark gathering.  The big joke was that everyone looked much better with the lack of light.  My brother Scott brought over a friend and she said we had such a nice house and I thanked her and said if she could see she'd notice the very stained carpets and marked up walls, the couch is fraying and there are probably fingerprints on the windows.  ;) 

Overall it was a very good time.  The house smelled like a fruity pebble factory as I had about 10 different scents going.  Not very good for my poor smell sensitive father in law.  But he toughed it out. 

You can't tell from the pictures but it was quite dark in the house.  Austin told me all he wanted for his birthday was a stuffed animal and a rosary.  Oh be still my heart. :)  He got his rosary from Grandma and a bunch of new stuffies as well as some games.  Maybe it really was the best birthday ever. 



P.S. - He broke his glasses for the first time last weekend. They are fixed now and we'll pick them up Monday. I guess I should be thankful he'd had them a full year before breaking them.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Trick or Treaters Welcome

But only if you're 12 and under.  This morning on The Today Show they featured a town that has banned trick or treaters that are over the age of 12.

I guess I don't like the policy even though I kind of understand it.  I personally stopped tricked or treating after 8th grade so I went out when I was 13.  That didn't stop me from dressing up for Halloween and still enjoying the holiday but yeah I was too old to do the door to door "trick or treat smell my feet give me something good to eat" yada, yada, yada.  My Halloween enjoyment went the way of the crazy parties that I still like to partake of this day. 

So trick or treating teens/young adults??  Whatcha think?  In our neighborhood we get hundreds of kids trick or treating and we do get the 6 foot tall goblins here too and I'm fine with it.  My only issue I have is when you get the massive mob of 15 high schoolers show up on your porch and maybe 2 of them are dressed up and they're acting like a bunch of morons.  My thoughts, if you are over the age of 12 and you want to go around and get cheap tootsie rolls and dum dums there are a few etiquette rules that must be followed.

1.  You must be in some sort of costume or attempt at altering your appearance.  Don't just show up in your jeans and aeropostale hoodie. If you do show up like this don't get all cranky when I start trying to guess who you're trying to be?  Una-bomber?  Transvestite?  Rotten teenager?  Just put a stinking sheet over your head or put some face paint on. Just do something!

2.  Say Trick or Treat!  You want candy?  You say the magic words.  It's just like when you're going to communion, you say Amen.  I think someone once told me they were giving out communion and a person responded by saying thank you.  Maybe it was at a wedding or funeral and the person's church attendance was rare.  I guess I'll laugh instead of cry over that one.  Hopefully that person will come to church again one day.  Anyways, I digress; it's "Trick or Treat" and say it with some zest.  Chances are I'll give you a Reese's & a Snickers with a smile if you're nice and friendly.  Just stand there with a scowl and you get a crappy individually wrapped nasty tasting cough drop. 

3.  Say Thank You! It burns me when older kids come and don't say thank you.  I don't care if you don't like the candy, or adults scare you, you say thank you regardless.

So older kids wanting to trick or treat.  I'm not against you.  I'll happily welcome you.  But you must not act like a bunch of hooligans and hopefully someday when you finally give up trick or treating, I hope if you're able, you'll be generous enough to be handing out Reese's, Nerds, and Snicker bars to young ghosts and goblins and leave the crappy bit-o-honey's on the store shelf where they belong. 

Happy Halloween! 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Happy 7th Birthday Austin!

Happy Birthday to my big boy!  He told me today that this was his best birthday ever.  And you know what we did?  Not much.  We started off in Ann Arbor to get new orthotics which equals getting new shoes so that is always great!  We ate breakfast at Bob Evans than it was back to school for him.  I got him a small balloon bouquet attached to a stuffed animal that was waiting for him on his desk when he got back from lunch.  I was always a little jealous when friends would get balloons and flowers delivered to them on their birthdays because I had a summer birthday and would never get the chance.  So here I go again living precariously through my children.  I'm sure his poor teacher was annoyed with the balloons.  They make for kid craziness!  Austin also had therapy today and then we went out for his birthday dinner.  He wanted to go to Long John Silver's.  Ok, so it was a cheap dinner.  Tommy had hockey practice so that was it for the night.  Tomorrow we'll have cake and ice cream.  He has been looking forward to this day since August and we've heard the countdown since the 1st of the month.  I'm glad he's had such a good day, but he is definitely easy to please.   
Austin in his 1st Birthday Hat
Austin in his 7th Birthday Hat
 Happy Birthday Buddy!!
We Love You!  

Sunday, October 17, 2010

This year's pic

Since I made fun of Austin so much over last year's hilarious school pic I thought it only fair that I post this year's pic which is absolutely adorable. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Austin's news

Austin went to Ann Arbor today for his yearly physical medicine check up.  He's tightening up a bit more they believe because he's growing so Dr. Green has referred him for some extra therapy.  He'll be going back to the same place he went when he was an infant.  Once he got walking they were kind of at a crossroads with him because there really wasn't much more to work on with him and he was only 2 so it was hard to communicate.  So hopefully a few years later and being a much better talker and listener we'll see some improvement. 

She also insisted he get an extra-curricular activity going so I wasn't crazy in my other post about him needing to do something.  She said swimming is more of a life skill and to get him some private lessons and then into group lessons once he's more comfortable in the water.  So I figured that's what we'd do.  She then on a side note said it's too bad we live so far away because they are starting a hockey team for children with disabilities down there and Austin and I both perked up.  It's still in the planning stages but if it's a go and Austin gets accepted we'll find a way to make it happen.  He loves to play hockey and our living room is the site of at least one mini-stick game per day.  It will supposedly only be one day a week, and heck what's another child in travel hockey?  Austin's ice is fully paid for by a grant.  Thank you Dance Marathon!  Now we just have to wait and see but hopefully we'll hear something soon.  We would love to have another hockey player out on the ice. 

Austin also was fitted for new AFO's.  He actually loves this as it means new shoes in a few weeks.  That's my boy!  We go back on his birthday ~ the 26th.  And he has said every day for about a month now how his birthday is coming.  Maybe we'll be getting him his own #10 hockey jersey with A. Papesh on the back.  Now that would be sweet! 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Ego Stroking Sunday's

Year after year, a small group of us cling to the final days of summer hoping to catch a few more fly balls and feel the wind in our hair as we dash around the bases after a big hit.  And apparently there are many others that feel like we do as there are about 75 teams in this hokey coed softball league.  Most of the teams are out for there for the love of the game and the beer after wards.  Fun and fellowship with dear friends is what make the games enjoyable.

I am currently the team catcher so I get to see and hear it all from the opposing team as they trek up to bat.  Seeing the riff raff that is composed of the other teams now that's what makes the games freaking hilarious.  So here's to all you all stars (and some not so great players) out there playing in the busch league!

Dear Big Beer Bellied Dude - Yep, you can hit!  Good for you! You don't have to trot up to the plate all bad butt in your pin striped pants, spitting, rubbing out the batters box, and stepping out to get one last practice swing before sending your blast over to the next county.  And as you cross home plate you don't need to say it was a lucky hit and how "that rarely happens."  Imagine how excited you must have been to hit not one but two homers in a game!  And then, don't be grumbling about our pitcher throwing them inside later.  Oh how merciful of you to worry about hurting one of our players as you blast it right back at them because of an inside pitch.  You hit, we'll field (or one of your peons will go shag your home run ball), it's a game, shut up already fathead.

Dear Annoying Jersey People - I don't care that you're "BIG MIKE'S SEXY B!TCH!" Why must you have that printed on your jersey?  There are children that attend those games and honestly being anyone's Biatch is demeaning to women everywhere.  I guess it's better than Big Mike's Sexy Ho but I digress.  Class ladies!  Although I think my blog may have taking a class dive with that last line but I'm trying to prove a point here.  Also, every team it seems (except ours) has to have the player with the number 69.  Seriously, it just isn't that funny anymore.  Same with the occasional 007; it's lame people.  Just pick a normal number and play.

Dear A Division Teams That Play In Lower Divisions - I'm sure you love beating up on us in our H Division.  I'm sure it makes you feel all big and powerful.  And I'm sure you really didn't know you would be that good.  Come on!  How much fun is it to batter a team by 20 runs?  Especially when you score half of them in the first inning? 

Dear Potty Talkers - I love when you use the F word because you sound like an uneducated hick but I don't like my kids to hear it.  In fact a few years ago a man was arrested for swearing up on the Rifle River in front of women and children.  So say fudgesicles instead.  Who cares if you strike out, or pop out to the pitcher.  You shouldn't say **** in public you ******* Fat***.  ahahah

Dear Umpires - It's flipping slow pitch softball.  Call stinking strikes.  Walking should be disallowed in this league.  We had a girl ump today for the first time ever and she did call some strikes and no one walked.  It was GREAT!  Again this is a hitters game.

Dear Batters - Swing the stinking bat and quit looking to walk.  See above.

Dear Hoser - I love hearing your lunatic rantings.  Keep them coming.  :)

Dear Recreation Director - I honestly think you do a terrible job and I wish there was a comparable league elsewhere so we weren't stuck playing in yours.  I also don't think YOU should be allowed to play on a team for tournaments.  You seem like a nice enough guy, but how many trophies are on display in your sponsor bar when you align the divisions?  Seriously, it's just some cheap trophy. 

Yeah I'm a whiner butt.  But I loved writing this post.  We'll be back next Sunday for more action!  Put me in coach!  I'm ready to play ~ Clap, ClapClapClap, Today!!  I LOVE COED SOFTBALL!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Long September

My does the time fly these days. All is well. I figure I'm overdue for an update so here we go.

We started the month with a trip to the point! Tommy is a rider and Austin too. However Austin is just 2 inches too short for the big coasters. Tommy was super brave riding all the biggies except for the ones that go upside down. We'll work our way up to them.

The kids are all doing well back to school. Austin & Tommy are both even years (2nd & 4th) and have the same teacher so had no trouble getting back into the classroom routine. And I'm doing well too. I have another great class.

I currently have a college class about reading and I was dreading it. However I'm surprisingly enjoying it very much and have learned so much in just a few short weeks. You're truly never too old to learn.

I've started ladies hockey again. I'm playing in the pink out at the Saginaw Spirit game next month supporting the fight against breast cancer. It was good to get back into hockey after a long summer off.

It's fund raising season of course. Tommy is selling Little Ceasar's for hockey & Hungry Howie's for his school Mackinaw trip. Our family is up to our ears in pizza.

Ashley started Honeybee's and did very well. She was nervous at first and tends to be a velcro kid but about half way through she started having some fun. And this crazy sap Mom nearly teared up when they played the "hello" song. Just remembering when my boys were babies. *sniff sniff*

Tommy's hockey team has started back into action. After last year's dream season we are hoping they can continue to do well. We are in Toledo for our first tourney this weekend. They already won their first game this afternoon 6-0. They play again tonight at 8:00. We'll see how it goes. We are thrilled to be back in the hockey action.

And the fall A!BM coed softball team is off to a good start winning our first game last week. It's so much fun with friends and it gives us our last taste of outdoor fun before the snow starts flying. And you know that'll be here before we can say Boo.

So that is our busy life. I hopefully will see you all before October.

And in case anyone is wondering, I haven't lost or gained anymore weight in forever. I guess I'm good though the Wii Fit says I need to lose 3 more pounds to hit my ideal BMI. We'll try to shed those last few over the next month.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Austin the hermit

Tommy will be starting up with hockey for 3-4 days a week once school starts. I'm planning on getting Ashley into Honeybee's with gym jesters soon. Which leaves us with what to do with Austin?

Austin does not want to do anything. He's very shy when it comes to trying new things and it was a stretch to get him to play baseball this year. But he loved it once he was out there. I've suggested swim lessons, soccer, tae kwon do, bowling, I mention it he quickly declines and just says "I don't want to do anything." I really want him to do something more solo like tae kwon do but then I don't even know if they'd take him. And there are other things not physical at all like a choir, maybe eventually he'll go into something like that. But I can't get him to even want to do anything. He's quite a Nervous Nelly and I'm afraid if I don't do something soon I'll be holding his hand when he heads into high school. Granted it's still 7 years away but I don't think I was much different as a 2nd grader vs. a 9th grader when it came to confidence and all.

Maybe this is silly beans but I'm really concerned about getting Austin out and doing something. Any suggestions on an activity I haven't thought of? Any thoughts on persuading him to get out and do something?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A country wedding

My beautiful cousin Kelsey was married on Friday out in beautiful Pennsylvania. I hadn't seen her or her family in so long so I was really glad that my Mom & I made the trek out there.

Kelsey is a 3 year cancer survivor. You can read about her survivor party she had HERE. You can also see some pics of her on the U of M "bald and beautiful" page HERE She was so brave through her treatment and was an amazing face of strength for other cancer kids. You couldn't help but think back to those dark days and just be so thankful for the moment we were in right then. Later that evening the Daddy-Daughter dance started with Skin by Rascal Flatts and I don't think anyone there had a dry eye. Such a sappy song but perfect for Kelsey and her Dad. Her and my Uncle Bruce danced to that song at her Prom when she was being treated and had the whole floor to themselves. Such a neat story. While her and Bruce danced to Skin and everyone was probably bawling it abruptly cut in to Brown Eyed Girl and that was much more spirited and I was thankful because I was having trouble keeping myself composed. I hate crying in public. I just did my best not to look at anyone else.

Overall - It was the most wonderful of days. To see her on her wedding day looking so radiant and absolutely beaming over her handsome groom was sublime. She is now moving on to Boston where her husband Tom is entering the Seminary to become a pastor. I know she will make a great wife and be a wonderful mother someday.

13 years ago tomorrow Joe and I were married and Kelsey was our flower girl. The time it certainly does fly. Here are a couple of pictures of us on our respective wedding days. As you can see, she has gotten more beautiful and I have gotten homelier...eck. And followed by more pictures of the happy couple's special day.

Kelsey & Dawn - August 9, 1997 - sorry for the pic of a pic poor quality.

Kelsey & Dawn - August 6, 2010 ~ I look horrible and am chalking it up to my Mom not being able to take a good pic even though Kelsey looks good. ;)

Kelsey & my Aunt Michele

The family dog Digger was invited - love his bow tie.

M r. & M r s. T h o m a s E d w a r d s

Friday, July 30, 2010

It's Still July for one more day anyway.



I'll be darned I had two different people today mention that summer vacation was almost over. For heaven's sake school doesn't start until Sept. 7th!!

I ran into one Mom in the hardware this morning who lamented that summer was going by way too quickly and then a few buddies of Tommy came over tonight and the one kid was like "Mrs. P, school starts in only a month!" I just want to say AHHHH!!!! This has been an awesome summer and I've had a lot of fun already but I still have a whole month to go! Glass half full here people!

Granted this week I did spend some time in my (hopefully gonna be) new Reading Series getting acquainted but I'm not even thinking about going back yet. I'm loving my dog days of summer. But that's us humans always lamenting about the next pivotal yearly moment coming upon us quicker than we want it too; school is almost here, Halloween is right around the corner, Thanksgiving is coming quickly, Christmas will be here before we know it and then oh my, another year gone.

I wonder if time really does fly. Because I do believeth that July hath flyeth by.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Collassal Catastrophe...almost

Oh wow have I had some disastrous days. The nice neighbors Jolly John and Janet whom I abundantly adore leave us in charge of their gigantic garden and yonder yard every sunny summer while they go on their various vacations. Is that some lame alliteration? Ok, I'll quit.

We get to eat all the veggies we can stomach and enjoy their beautiful yard. One of these years I'm going bold and hosting a garden party at their house. Just kidding. haha. The place is fabulous, all kinds of exotic and not so exotic plants and a fabulous pond with fish and flowing waters and oh just a breathtaking scene compared to our backyard with grass and one tree and token shrubs and small flower bed.

I've been stressing for a few days because I believe I hath killed their Gerber Daisy. I've been trying to resurrect it, I've googled about their care, I've asked others for advice but it's dead. And I'm taking it personally.



But the big disaster occurred today. The pond loses water and I have to fill it often. Last night I went over, fed the fish, took care of the plants and decided to put the hose in and start filling the pond. I told myself I'd come back after I watered my few plants. Well somehow in the course of the action I forgot about the pond. This morning I was up early to paint the boys room and thus took Ashley to daycare. I was backing out of our driveway and thought "why is the neighbors gate open?" Then suddenly the light bulb went on and I gasped and threw the van in park and ran to the yard expecting it to be a mini Lake Michigan and the fish to be floating out by the back fence belly up. My heart just sank and I muttered some expletives. But I'll be darned the yard was not flooded it has thankfully been terribly dry up here. The hose was still going and the pump and skimmer had stopped running obviously I'd flooded the breaker but it didn't look too bad. However, I couldn't find the fish and I didn't know just how jacked the pump was and oh fudge I figured my neighbors would kill me.

I called Joe and he was in the middle of crap at work and I just heard the life force sucked out of him when I told him. He just kind of said "I got nothing for ya" I think he was kind of in shock, he did later apologize for that; good hubby. I then decided to take Ashley to daycare after all and lamented to Jill about my plight. And she got me more worked up about Japanese Goldfish costing like $50 a piece and I'm thinking now OMG I'm going to be paying $500 in replacement fish plus a pump, and other electrical bizz. The Gerber Daisy was suddenly seeming like not much of a big deal. But I was thankful for Jill for the support unlike Fr. Bill who joked that the neighborhood varmints probably ate the fish when they did float down the yard. Aye yi yi.

I head home writing my story on the rotten neighbors website in my head and thinking if John and Janet don't kill me Joe certainly will. Thankfully I discover 3 fish in the pond alive. Yes! They have a ton of lily pads so the other 5 fish were hiding and eventually today I did see them all alive and well. I got up the nerve and called John in Chicago fearing the worst. And you know what? He laughed at me. :) He then said anything and everything in that backyard is replaceable and not to worry about it. They also were coming home today. I was trying my best to get the pump working again but it just wasn't happening. Me + electricity = stupid. Joe got home this afternoon and had it going again in no time. The neighbors then got home and we all had a good laugh about it. I guess John has forgotten about the hose a few times himself.

They brought the kids gifts and said they really should have brought something for me with all the stress I'd been through. Bless my neighbors dear hearts for not being mad at me. I guess in the grand scheme of life there are bigger fish to fry. Hiss Boo.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Riding High!

Austin's Trail-a-bike finally came in and it was worth the wait. I think it will be great therapy for him with balance, stretching, and strengthening. And best of all he loved it! Tommy I think was the most happy for him which was really nice because sometimes they just don't get along the best. I'm thankful that we got that nice seat back that gave him more support because there's no way he could have stayed on a regular seat. However I think he will be able to eventually. In fact the improvement from him in just 2 days has been nothing short of remarkable. He was so wobbly and couldn't barely get his feet on the pedals to yesterday he was sitting much more stable and was even able to get his pedals around occasionally. He'll only get better.

Here is a short video of his first ride around the driveway.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Are you fat or what?

Yo Ding Dong Man, Ding Dong, Ding Dong Yo. Ok, for two points where did I steal that famous or not so famous line?

Remember the Diet Schmiet post last year where I vowed to sabotage Joe's diet? Well I was successful with that. ;) However he started up a new plan in December with Spark People and he's had some success with it.

I've never had a problem with weight. I've always had normal BMI and weight but there are definitely problem areas in my body that need some toning et al. But I could pretty much eat what I want and my daily diet consisted of a lot of pop and other junk like cookies.

I found out I was pregnant for Ashley soon after my 30th birthday and since having her I haven't been able to get to under 130. In fact I found myself hovering around 135. Talking with ladies it seems the weight just kind of creeps up there as the years go by and is very hard to lose. My Mom is a testament to this. (sorry mom) Most people I would talk to would give me the "oh don't be ridiculous you're not fat!!" when I'd talk about losing weight. And I know I'm not fat but I don't want to be when I'm 50. One of my biggest supporters has been my Mom and has told me in a nice way I need to nip my weight gain in the bud now. She was like me but has slowly put on weight over the past 20 years. I don't want that to happen to me and neither does she. A couple years ago in Kohl's she was trying on tops and said something about her "bat wings" and Austin quickly chimed in "fat wings." LOL Thankfully she can laugh at that too. Pesky Austin. So with this near 135 experience I've decided to stop trying to defeat Joe and have instead joined him on the Spark. It's on my Iphone and I'm basically counting calories. I wanted to lose 9 pounds in 9 weeks. Well 10 days in and I've already lost 8 pounds. And what I thought would be my greatest difficulty (pop) has not been an issue. I've been under 130 for 3 days now. I'm doing great and I'm hoping I can keep it up. I'm still eating fast food occasionally but I'm drinking more water. I think giving up the liquid calories has been my way of success. Now if I can just tone these flabby areas. But I don't know if I'll ever have solid abs again. Pregnancy just did me in in that regard.

Another supporter has been Joe. And hopefully together we can help each other live a healthier life. I love my husband fat or thin. But I know that a thin hubby gives us greater odds of a long life together. So I guess I am for sure done sabotaging and maybe if we can keep up with our weight loss we'll go in for couple's liposuction eventually.

Oh and just to keep up with all the other popular and not so popular blogs Spark People did not pay me to mention their services and probably shouldn't as I'm not the most popular blog in the blogosphere but I try. ;)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Extremism

It seems as I age things get crazier and crazier in every way.

Last week I went to Cedar Point with the Muylle's and Amy and had a blast. You can read about that here on Jill's page. The Muylle's were planning a family trip and I all but begged Jill to let me come along and had such a good time. I can't believe the way Cedar Point has changed. I still remember 1989 when the Magnum XL 200 came out and it was such a HUGE DEAL. It was the first coaster to reach over 200 feet and wow was it awesome; still is in my opinion. Then in 2000, the Millennium Force was the first "giga-coaster" reaching over 300 feet, a few years later the Top Thrill Dragster smashed that record hitting 400 ft and going 120 mph in seconds!! What a thrill indeed!! Which begs the question; just how long until the 500 ft record is smashed? My insides are hurting just thinking about it.

Music - yep, it's getting worse and worse. I blame Chuck Berry and My Ding-A-Ling lol. Or maybe it was the Elvis Pelvis works. All I know is that music has been getting more and more out there and nothing really stuns me anymore. Shock rockers/rappers have always been out there and will do what they can to sell albums. But it's too bad that it does have to get more and more extreme. But I don't go all apes when Lady Gaga does some new stupid gimmick, not like I did back in the day when Ozzy Osbourne used to eat the heads off of live bats. Same with movies and tv. No doubt many movies that are PG-13 today would be rated R back in my day.

How about even new extremes in food and beverages? Remember when beer was just beer? Everyone I knew growing up just drank Miller or Budweiser. Now you have Bud Light Lime, Red Wheat, etc. So many varieties. Taco bell - Mild, medium, or hot sauce. Now you've got FIRE!! And I'm married to one of those hit my taste buds harder people. Go out for wings and lets order the 911 wings! Why? I don't get any enjoyment from burning my eyebrows from the inside. It's almost like people are showing off when they eat like that. Joe goes through a bottle of Frank's Red Hot like no other. Ick. It ruins a good taco. Flaming hot cheetos turn your fingers red instead of the classic orange.

Maybe because the only spices I really was exposed to growing up were salt and pepper. But I've definitely evolved and have come to appreciate a tasty meal. But again I can still appreciate salt and pepper how many of you need to have your baked potatoes loaded with bacon and cheese when simple sour creme and chives would do?

And don't even talk to me about portion extremes! Joe's picture used to be on the wall at Captain Hooks in Frankenmuth because he ate a whale burger in under an hour. Oh yeah, he's that good. A burger that's as big as a spare tire and he dumpster-ed it in about 55 minutes. Everything is SUPER SIZED these days!

The proverbial envelope keeps getting pushed further and further to the breaking point.
But extremism isn't totally bad. I'm sure I'll be on that 800 ft coaster eventually after it's cleared for the over 30 crowd. I just might need to be wheeled out of the park afterward after my insides get rearranged.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Home

I'm not a mover...

I moved out of my Dad's house which he has lived in since 1976 to Joe's trailer when we married in 1997.

We then moved to our current home in 2000. I have no intentions of moving...ever. It is my home. We have wonderful neighbors. The house isn't a huge castle but it's nice and perfect for our family. We live two minutes from Dad. I live two minutes from work. I've brought 3 children home for the first time here. Every Christmas they've had has been in this home, every birthday, every first day of school, etc. I love this home. It's full of love and we've made many great memories in our almost 10 years here.

My Grandparents old home is up for sale, they moved out in 2002. Yesterday I just stared at the real estate site photo of it. It's only selling for 26,900. It's small and basically they retired there after raising their 4 children on the family farm down the road. It was perfect though and just like my house here I have so many emotions and so many wonderful memories when I think of that house. Staring at that photo I could picture myself looking out the back window at the 8 red blinking TV antennas miles and miles away when I'd spend the night. I can hear the washing machine running in my head on Saturday mornings. I can hear the coffee perking and yeah I smell it too. I remembered riding my bike into that driveway so excited after finally arriving after the 7 mile trek. Years later I'd drive there and Grandpa would always head outside and tinker around with my old clunker car. Joe and I would go and play cards (Euchre) and it was always girls against guys. Grandpa & Joe would usually lose as Grandpa always thought his hand was better than it was. Then we'd wheel out and every time my Grammy would trek out from the dining room to the living room to wave good-bye to us from the big picture window. I'd usually cry a bit after leaving knowing that those special visits wouldn't last forever.

Seeing my Grandparents house I stared at that house for a very long time yesterday. That house was such a solace to me. My childhood wasn't horrible but it was definitely not your nuclear family "Beaver Cleaver" experience. I really can't imagine a tv show that emulates my life growing up but sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. My Grammy was always the same. I'd usually find her sitting at the kitchen table smoking her cigarettes. She was ALWAYS happy to see me and I can still hear her say "Hi Dawn" in the same way. I miss her terribly.

Yesterday I had a fleeting moment of craziness thinking "I should buy that house." The cost would be like a car payment. But then cooler heads prevail and I think otherwise. My brother asked me if I wanted to go by and look in the windows and such and I almost said yes but turned him down. For $27K the previous owners must have just trashed the place. And besides it just wouldn't truly be the same on the inside. It's already odd driving by and not seeing Grandma's little lawn statues and bird feeders and such that she so enjoyed. It's just a house though, someone else will live there and hopefully make great memories there.

I'm not a mover...maybe someday if all three of my children move out to NY or something I'd decide to follow them. I guess it's not really the house, it's what makes the house a home. And I know that's a lame cliche but it's quasi-true.

Oh Home Sweet Home!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fun with Friends!

You know you're good friends with people when you can spend more than a few hours with them right? This weekend the Muylle's invited us and the Bojo's up to Interlochen, MI to stay with Jill's parents and have some good old outdoor fun.

I don't even know how we started talking about going but Jill turned 40 last week and somehow weeks ago we got talking about it needing to be the best birthday ever. We had a nice lunch on her actual birthday Wednesday, Thursday there was a surprise party for her (and I tell you that was almost a fail because someone wasn't very cooperative about going to Amy's) i.e. not feeling well, marinating steaks for dinner, wanting to go to Walmart, needing prescriptions. But lo and behold she showed up only 15 minutes late and we all had a great time.
Now, for years I've always grumbled about being a nature hater. I vowed I'd never go camping again and her family couldn't really house us all comfortably and there was a chance some of Jill's sisters might want to come up too. We couldn't just take their place. So quasi-camping was the solution. We had my In-Laws offer up their trailer and vehicle to tow it, and also Mike & Julie offered up their trailer. I was happy I wouldn't be sleeping on the ground in a volatile tent. With the busy week and through an epiphany of sorts Joe and I decided that tenting it would actually not be too bad and was probably our best option. After all, we were only going to be gone two nights and it would have warranted us driving separately so we just bit the bullet and camped. And you know it was great!!! We used to camp a lot before we had kids and even took Tommy camping once when he was about Ashley's age. I am definitely up for revisiting our camping life. I was telling Joe and the friends, it wasn't really camping that ruined my camping enjoyment, it was a few camp outs that were ruined by the company that went with us. My brothers would shudder if they heard me say "we're gonna have a lotta, lotta fun, but it's gonna be a lotta, lotta work." I could have a whole post on camping horror stories but as I've said many a time I try to keep this a PG-rated blog.

This weekend was perfect! Except that Ashley no matter what time we put her to bed will wake up at the butt crack of dawn. She's like a dang rooster only louder and absolutely screamed before 6 am each day. Bless Joe for getting up with her both days. Today in her darkened room she made it to 7 am. Ahh, bliss.

Anyways, we had an action packed weekend visiting the Cherry Fest both days. We got to see the Blue Angel's and it was my first air show ever. IT WAS AMAZING!! The planes were so loud, and they'd be flying right at each other and then quickly diverge. They do all kinds of flips and tricks, they fly so close together in perfect formation. It was so neat watching these planes, and I've heard people talk about air shows and you truly do not understand what all the hubbub is about until you experience one for yourself. Put it on your to-do list if you've never experienced this. Austin and Mike watching the show, check out Austin's cherry tattoo.

The boys got to drive the little motorized tractors/4 wheeler. Austin did especially well after a shaky start having to push with his right foot and with turning. He & Tommy loved it, and Ashley even wanted in on the action climbing on the four wheeler. I asked, she won't be able to get that moving will she and Jill's like oh no I don't think so and quickly almost gets runned over. LOL. I guess Ashley could get er going after all.

We went to a couple of different Lake Michigan beaches to swim. The water had such awesome waves. Tommy & I loved that, and Austin, Joe, and Ashley enjoyed the calmer waters closer to shore. Water is crazy powerful and I'd never experienced wave action like that.

The food was great, Duane & Nancy fed us an amazing breakfast both days and we also had all your typical 4th of July & camping fare throughout the weekend. Pizzas on the campfire are just awesome, they rank higher than smores in my book. Everyone took such good care of us and I can't say enough good things about Jill's folks. They were so welcoming and just excellent with the kids. The boys especially as Ashley is a cling on unless you are Ms. Jill, poor Jill couldn't even get a solo shower on Saturday. LOL. Their poor dog is a beautiful golden retriever, and sadly my kids are all afraid of dogs. By the end of the weekend the kids were fairly comfortable around her except Ashley when Mildred would get really close to her.

So it was a productive weekend in that my kids are now more tolerable of dogs, more appreciative of nature, and Tommy kept joking that we'd be back in two weeks. The kids and Joe & I really had a wonderful time and won't soon forget all the fun with such GREAT FRIENDS!

Monday, June 28, 2010

My sparklie



And don't love make it shine? I think Tracy Byrd probably sang it best around the time Joe and I were engaged or newly married. I loved my beautiful solitaire that Joe picked out all by himself. We then picked out matching bands.

I remember an I Love Lucy episode where Ricky tries to teach Lucy a lesson about being careless and takes her ring after she'd left it on the windowsill and hides it on her. Well you know through the course of the comedy all heck breaks loose and the ring ends up being lost for real. I remember Ricky saying "I'll buy you a new ring with great big diamonds all the way around it" and Lucy cries "I want my old ring with tiny diamonds half way around it." Lucy did find it in the end when she bit into a hamburger, lol. All was well.

Joe and I had wedding ring talks last weekend. He ended up joking with me to never lose mine because he'd have to spend a lot more money today then he did back in 1996. Haha! Well I'll be darned but I had a scare thinking I'd lost it at hockey. I swore I put it in my shorts front pocket and it wasn't there. I scoured the locker room floor, a teammate went through my smelly bag shaking every item, it was horrible. I was almost in tears thinking how am I going to tell Joe I've lost my wedding ring. One lady told me to take off all my clothes and shake them and I'll be darn I found my ring. It was in my back pocket!!! Oh man that was close. As far as replaceable possessions this is my most prized. And unlike many ladies who I know "trade up" their rings as the years go by, I see me wearing this one for the duration. And that's not a dig on them. There is nothing wrong with trading up, or resetting a diamond, it's just not in my plans.

I also don't believe in any way that a marriage is doomed if a ring is lost. Joe would have been frustrated with me if I hadn't found it but it wouldn't have been a marriage killer. He would have chalked it up to another one of those "imperfect moments" that Fr. Jim warned us about at our wedding. And like Ricky Ricardo, I'm sure he'd have offered to buy me the biggest and most beautiful diamond he could find (maybe even remortgage the house or something). But thankfully I'm still wearing mine and only had to get nearly naked in front of a small audience to find it. I think finding it in a hamburger would have been less embarrassing.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Hockey with Tommy

Well Tommy finally got his wish or maybe it was my wish but tonight I got to bring him to my ladies hockey night. With the summer they just have drop in without teams so the crowd is light. I had asked two weeks ago if the ladies mind if I brought him. And the gals agree the more the merrier as long as he doesn't act like a butthead and coast to coast, score and hog the puck the whole time. And the best way to prevent that is to simply put him on my team during scrimmage. That way he's not showing off to beat me. Plus, I'd warned him pretty intensely before going that he better not act like an animal out there. And he did a good job of listening for once. He didn't piss anyone off I don't think. He just skates so fast and smooth and passed the puck beautifully and unlike us oldies he never tired. He could chase pucks forever. Oh to be 9! I guess it was still good for him because he was very sweaty afterward. The ladies were pretty tough on him knocking him on his keister a few times. What we lack for speed we make up in size and brute strength I guess. And when I bugged him about not showing off he said, "geez Mom I only scored five times!" Which honestly wasn't that bad because we didn't have any goalies. Any old asthmatic goalies reading this that want to un-retire now is the time.

At the end I said I'd race him down and back the full ice. I figured he'd kill me but he actually didn't beat me that bad. Apparently I am pretty fast straight up, it's the turning, and skating with the puck that I am crappy at, not to mention stopping can be dangerous at times too. He said he was tired and that's why he didn't beat me that bad. Whatever, I don't know. I'm just happy I got to spend an hour with my boy doing something together we both enjoy but typically don't get to do. And it sure beat staining the deck which we did together earlier in the day.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Safety vs. Aesthetics

Last night Joe and I went hog-wild buying brand new bikes for us, ordering a trail-a-bike for Austin, and a getting a new bike seat for Ashley. And dang if we aren't going to look the shi-ite biking through town. That is until you see us with our mushroom head helmets.

Joe and I had bought cheapy mountain bikes on layaway back before we got married in 1997. It was so thrilling to actually get my first brand new bike since I was 8 years old. I remember that birthday. I also remember in 7th grade I finally convinced my Dad I needed a new bike that fit me. And a bike for me was critical. I had to bike to band practice, ball practice, friends houses, I was not simply taxied around. I loved my bike. My Grandparents were over and came to Dad's financial rescue. Grandma had a practically brand new bike she'd maybe rode 3 times that I could have. I had my hopes up but I kind of knew what I would be getting. It looked something like this.

My friends used to tease me mercilessly about it. Them in their hip hot pink 12-speeds and what not and me in my cream, blue, and brown 3 speed monster. Oh well, that bike took me all over the place!!! And though it was super fugly, I loved it. And I only cared a little bit what others thought of it.

Which leads me to this question? Why am I so stinking worried about what I look like with a helmet on? We make our kids wear helmets. Most kids by the time they are Tommy's age around here no longer wear them. I guess if I want my kids to be ok with them I have to lead by example. So Joe bought us both helmets. I hate it. Ashley looks cute like a little Toadstool from Mario Brothers. I just look like that weird rat from Pinky and the Brain. But seriously who am I really trying to impress anyways? I guess I just feel sheepish as I barely crack 10 mph and don't do any rough terrain. Do I really need a helmet? I made it my little 4 miles and saw many people I knew and even stopped to visit with one person. I didn't get teased about my helmet. In fact it wasn't even mentioned. I suppose like anything it will just take some getting used to. Moral of the story, if I could survive my teen years riding the fugly monster I should definitely not care about a piece of safety head gear as a 32 year old.


But here is a great PSA that makes me feel so much better about my mushroom head. Enjoy!


Sunday, June 13, 2010

I blinked

And school was over. One more working day for me and it's summer vacation. To say I'm behind on blog reading and I guess posting would be an understatement.

Here is life in short stanzas since my last post back in April! Yeesh!

Tommy had 3 hockey tournaments - he won 2, and lost 1. Pretty darn good. He is now done with hockey until camp in July.

Ashley is running all over the place and is getting in her molars. Ouchy! She loves being outside and riding her little bike. She also loves going for long bike rides on the back of my bike.

Austin lost his first top shelf tooth.

Austin had another very successful coach pitch baseball season. He had fun and even seemed to be more aware of the game when in the field. He almost made a few plays even catching one throw when he played first base. Too bad he wasn't standing on the base. haha.

Tommy also had a successful ball season. His team won more games than they lost but were out early in the playoffs. He got to do a lot of pitching and did pretty well. His hitting was average and he had fun and being the oldest in his bracket; this was his year to shine. Next year he'll be the young one again. Boo! He is playing travel ball this summer so at least our ball days aren't completely done.

I graduated another wonderful class of 8th graders. They gave me a beautiful statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It's taller than Ashley. What a wonderful gift.

I had another successful trip to Washington DC with my students. It was my longest stint away from Ashley but I was so darn busy I had nary a moment to miss the family. Go, go, go! We had a blast.

Ashley had her first overnight sleepover. She & Austin stayed with the Muylle's while Joe and I went to a wedding and then down to Detroit for Tommy's hockey tourney. We all survived. :)

The Gold Diggers got 2nd place in the hockey league. It was fun. We're now doing a shinny type league in the summer.

My brother Andrew graduated from High School.

We started Co-ed softball. We are sporting a new look with a new sponsor. A!BM It's our school cleaning company. So far we are 1-1. Win or lose, I love spending my Sunday afternoons with my family and my friends playing ball. But winning is definitely much more fun. Last week we lost and got to play in the mud. That was kind of fun too.

I had my 32nd birthday. I'm no longer prime. In fact I have 5 years to wait until I'm prime again. Doh!

And a gabillion other probably trivial things that just clog up life. But eh, life is good. I'm hoping that I don't blink and summer is over. Though that tends to happen. Stay Tuned.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Interesting hockey tonight.

And I'll be darn none of the craziness had anything to do with our championship game which we lost 3-2 and I sucked eggs. Oh well. It was fun anyways. We'll be back at it next Monday night and I wonder what team I'll get shuffled to next.

Anyhoo, on with the countdown of interesting events.

3. There was a beautiful doe running down the busy lane just outside of the arena. It's near a busy metropolis so I thought it odd. I dreamed about a car deer accident this weekend and always see deer on my way home from Bay City but usually a little bit closer to home.

2. I went out on the ice from the locker room and quickly fell face first and sprawled out like an dead fish. My Dad and brothers were there and I looked up and got lots of cheers. I then stood up and immediately fell again. I guess I had left one skate guard on. Jackass. That got quite a few laughs.

1. I was using the bathroom and some crazy ass dude comes in from the other locker room and uses the urinal. He's whizzing away, and coughing, and clearing his throat and I'm thinking for #$#@! sake how do I end up in situations like this? I just hung tight in the stall until he was done but a sadistic part of me wanted to make a scene and walk out on him and then scream"Oh dear God!" in shock but I really didn't want to see Captain Winky. What's with men? Can't they knock? Us ladies always knock, then open the door without looking, yell "is anybody in here" and then go about our business. And you know what else?? He didn't wash his hands. Although my flushing probably scared the piss out of him LOL so he got out of there as quick as he could one he realized he wasn't alone. So that was interesting. It was kids playing so it must have been a Dad or coach. At least I haven't walked in on any dudes in the shower. But it might make for good blog fodder.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Bell of Shame

Everyone has seen Akeelah and the Bee right? It's a great movie about an inner city youth who goes on to win the Scripps Spelling Bee. When a speller gets a wrong answer there is no empathetic "ooh so sorry you missed" it's a shrill "ding" and the speller takes the long walk of shame to the chairs to watch the rest of the bee internally beating themselves up over their errant spelling.

Tommy's latest endeavor...you guessed it the spelling bee. It was the Catholic's vs. the Lutherans as two local schools came to our gym showcasing local 3rd and 4th graders in the annual parochial spelling bee.

We studied a bit, probably not as much as we should but I was confident that young Thomas would fare well though he probably wouldn't win. He did do well, for a long time there were about 8 students who were all looking great, after a while it was down to four and Tommy was still in. It was looking like a possibility that he could go all the way. They threw homonyms at him left and right, words like weigh, pare, etc. and he cleverly asked for a sentence and would quickly spell the word correctly. During our "trainings" Joe had urged him to ask for a sentence for every stinking word, even if it was obvious what the word was with no double meanings. He scoffed at that deal and said "only for homonyms, I don't want to be annoying." And that my friends was his undoing. On and on the final four are going when the spell master gives him the word "piece" and he immediately starts spelling "p-e-a-c-e" and just like that "DING" and the crowd moans. It was all over. He gasped, then threw his hands in the air, looked up to the heavens and took his walk of shame. He had gotten overconfident and didn't ask for a stinking sentence. And we had practiced that one too.

Oh well it's all good and well. And it was nice that our little neighbor girl won it all. She is a sweet little thing and wouldn't you know it, she asked for a sentence for every single word she was given. Nice strategy which may have saved Tommy, I wonder if he'll follow her suit next year and ask for a sentence at every word. Her brother won the 4th grade bee as well. Smart little cookies. And honestly, little Amber knew every single word on that list; Tommy not so much.

The final chapter in this excellent story is just knowing who the bell ringer was. Any guesses? Oh yeah, it was me. And I tell you what I felt very bad ringing that bell for all those poor kids. I think it's a little harsh but I guess it's the way things are done in the big bees so why not give them a taste of that agony as 8 and 9 year olds.

Poor Tommy, he will never forget that piece/peace was his undoing in the 3rd grade spelling bee. Just like I will never forget in 2nd grade it was down to me and one other dude and they went to 3rd grade words and I got out on freeze leaving off the last "e." And just like Joe and "cotten/cotton" in his 4th grade bee. Thankfully he didn't take it too hard and was happy that Amber & Aaron won. However in the few hours afterward he had no peace over his inaccurate piece of spelling work.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ashley's Oddities

So we have a one year old living in the house. And it sure is wild fun. She's still not walking but will take a few steps and then crawl. It won't be long now and she'll be running all over the place. She also talking all kind of jibberish. I love it when she looks all seriously and talks. I have a feeling she's going to have a lot to say once she finally figures this talking thing out.

Some peculiar things I've realized and in no particular order are as follows.

She is apparently allergic to eggs. She had scrambled eggs yesterday and promptly broke out in a rash. That was exciting.

She has bad breath in the morning. I don't think they make mouthwash for children her age.

She doesn't like cow's milk. The weaning has gone fairly well except for the not so minor fact that she had pretty much refused to drink anything once we started putting milk in her sippy cups. She would down water and juice before but once we tried milk she went on sippy strike. Thankfully I guess she got thirsty enough and today is finally taking a few sips of milk here and there and will wrinkle her nose. Hopefully she isn't allergic to that either.

She has small feet. We went shopping for sandals today and she fits a 3-6 month sandal or a 3 infant. She wears 12 - 18 month clothes.

She gives open mouth kisses. You can say give me a kiss and she will open her mouth and try and eat your lips. It is sweet albeit a bit sticky sometimes.

She's afraid of dogs. Especially big giant dogs but also of the little loud yippers.

She hates taking a bath but will tolerate a shower just fine.

She is a little sneak. She is rarely quiet and when she is quiet you know she's up to no good! Austin will often leave the darn gate open to the stairs and usually when she's quiet I'll find her upstairs tooling around. Thankfully she's made it every time and hasn't tried to come down. I don't know how successful she'd be. Yikes! You can also usually find her quietly making a toilet paper mess in the bathroom when that door gets left open. I need to put a little cowbell around her neck I think.

Joe and I just love our little monster. She and the boys sure make life interesting. And she for sure makes life go by so quickly.


And don't you just love that she has an IPod in her hand?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tales of a jailbird

Well in follow up to the Stress These Days post it's hard to believe but my brother has already been out of prison for a month. And for the most part things are going well. He almost has a job and hopefully will be able to get his own place soon. Bless my Dad he has let him stay with him even though he was extremely leery. If Jeff botches this one I think it will be his last chance.

Tommy and Austin badgered us with questions for days before his arrival. Tommy was scared to basically "meet" his Uncle Jeff. I was scared to see him too. It had been over 5 years. We ended up meeting at Dad's and he's slimmer and his hair is thinning but it was still Jeff. We had a nice misty hug then all went to dinner. It was a wonderful reunion with my Dad, Scott, and my kids. On the drive home I commented that after our evening it was like he had never been gone. We laughed so hard that night. It was amazing how easy it was to reconnect. We dropped him off and the first words out of Tommy's mouth were "I LOVE UNCLE JEFF!!!" He is quite the character even if he does have the devil's curly red hair.

I've loved the prison stories and yes many of them are sad but most are funny. You can find any person with a record online and so he's shown us some of his bunkies and my those are some scary looking dudes. I hope he never forgets the prison craziness and remembers how weird it was eating with real utensils once he got out, you only get sporks in prison.

He, Scott, Joe & I have had some I guess you can call them "healthy" talks since he's been out. Besides our free therapy sessions he is also talking to a "real" therapist once a week who is helping keep his head on straight. He knows what he needs to do, it's now just having the will power to do the right thing. He's struggled with that before we'll see if this time he's truly grown up. I love him and have enjoyed having him home. It's been a great month and I hope we have many, many more great visits. He's already had so much life lived in this past month; Ashley's birthday, Tommy's hockey, etc. I hope this simple life is enough for him. And I just keep telling the doubters I'm enjoying my time with him now and hope it lasts and his history does not repeat itself.

The fiery four-eyed freaks...aka Scott, Dawn, Jeff O!

Reunion night - I promise we're not as scary as we look.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bay County Blizzard 2001 Mite AA Champs!


The boys won the LCAHL playoffs! What a game! They won 7-6 and it was so close all the way to the end. They just couldn't pull away from the Port Huron Flags. But our boys were the ones on top when the final buzzer sounded.

About 20 of our family and friends drove down to join us in Detroit. It was very neat watching Tommy play on the Red Wings ice. It was a great end to a great season. I was already in bed but I guess Tommy got up that night and Joe was still up and he was crying because the season was over. Of course we have spring hockey and he actually is gone to practice tonight. But the team will be a little different (we're adding players as they make the bump up to the Squirt level). So he had to shed a few tears.


Ashley's Birthday Party

I got a ton of flack for buying Ashley her custom made cupcake onesie and matching tutu but oh did she look cute. The poor girl had a pretty rough cold last week and was rather clingy most of the time at her party. Little grouch. I didn't get any pictures of her sitting pretty because every time I'd put her down she'd scream. Oh well. It was still a great celebration and I found out she prefers chocolate over white cake. What child doesn't though? We had a very nice gathering with just a few family and friends. She was totally spoiled though. She practically has a whole spring/summer wardrobe. Enjoy the pictures.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Happy 1st Birthday Ashley

Oh baby what a year! You are Loved so much!


video

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Great Divide

Tommy & Joe have always been U of M fans. Me, I'm actually not that into it. In fact you never know I could have a Michigan T-shirt on under that Spartan sweatshirt. My Mom lived in East Lansing for a couple years when I was growing up so I have to say my early on loyalties were to MSU but then Austin was down at U of M hospital when he was a baby and I kind of grew a soft spot in my heart for U of M.

I really just need to be like Austin and like whoever is winning. That means I'm a Wolverine fan during football season, and a Spartan fan during basketball and hockey season.

One thing is certain, isn't Ashley adorable in her little cheerleader outfit?

P.S. - In case you're wondering MSU won the game today clinching a share of the big ten title. Hopefully they can make it far in the tournament again this year.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

2010 $100 Dinner Dance

Year after the year the committee works so hard to put on a fabulous event to benefit our school and this year of course did not disappoint. The theme was A Step Back in Time and many of us went all out. Joe and I went way back all the way to the roaring twenties. We couldn't stay as long this year because Tommy had his games in Detroit starting at 9:00 the next morning but we still had a good time.

We didn't win any of the money or prizes but it's okay to just be donators some years too. We were the 102nd out of 115 balls drawn for the $3000 so we at least had that excitement. Every ball drawn gets you closer and closer and you get thinking maybe this will be your year! But alas there can only be one winner and it wasn't us. Boo Flipping Hoo.

Enjoy the pictures. You can see there were quite a few decades represented. I wish I could have gotten pictures of every cute couple there. It was especially funny seeing Sharon C. with her hair in a banana clip and her jean jacket that went down to her knees, and you can't forget the french rolled jeans. I think I was one of the last to start unrolling the jeans back in my day...the 90's! I wasn't quite ready to give up the fad. I wonder when it will be back! Yeah!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Joe's A Go!!

Joe Louis Arena that is!! We were so down a year ago when we lost by one goal in the semi's. This year the boys wouldn't be denied!

Tommy's 2001 Bay County Blizzard won their quarterfinal and semifinal games today in the most exciting fashion. The first game they won 3-2 in a nail biter. Tommy scored the 2nd goal to tie it up. It was great and was the first goal I got to see. He actually had only scored his first goal a few weeks ago and I had missed it because my class was having a pancake breakfast.

The 2nd game we were winning 3-1 with less than 2 minutes remaining in the game and the other team came back and tied it sending us into overtime! So deflating. Our guys ended up winning in double OT. It was 3 on 3 play and Tommy scored the winning goal after a teammate did most of the hard work bringing the puck down the ice!!!!! To say Joe and I were excited is the understatement of the year. The team went crazy as did us rabid fans.

Now we have to wait until March 14th for the finals. We have another tournament as well in early March. I think we will just savor the last few weeks of this very special season.

Following the big tourney win in December, 2K10 is shaping up to be an excellent hockey year for the big guy. In January the families took a tour bus down to South Bend, Indiana and got to play on Notre Dame's ice. The following weekend they were in another college town, East Lansing and got to play on MSU's ice. They won the governor's cup tournament that weekend, with the final game also being won in sudden death overtime. This team is just clicking and playing so well right now. We'll see how long we can ride out this winning streak.


Capital City Showdown Champs on the Spartan ice!
Touchdown Jesus at ND
The team at Notre Dame

The super fans at Notre Dame!