Monday, November 28, 2005

"G" is for

John's Monday Photo Shoot: Snap a picture of something beginning with the letter "G." Because I don't think the letter "G" gets nearly as much attention as it should.

So, here's mine! G is for GRIN and G is also for Princess who has an entirely other name on her birth certificate that starts with G - Grace!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

What the heck is HTML

I've been playing around with HTML this weekend and I think I might even like it. Who knew that you CAN teach an old dog new tricks? There are a ton of things I still want to learn. Backgrounds and colors and all the things that go into creating a template. I'm excited. Excited to think that I probably never would have considered learning any of this a few weeks ago. Excited to start stepping into the 21st century! I guess that means you can expect my page to look different every few days. You know how it is - you get a new toy and you just HAVE to play with it!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

I love Saturday!

I love Saturdays. Usually Saturday morning is my day to sleep in. The day when Princess is at her dad's and I have nothing but quiet to keep my company. Of course quiet also brings plenty of time for thinking. Which isn't always a good thing. Last night we slept at Grandma's so the girls could watch Herbie Fully Loaded on the big screen TV. The three of us slept in the basement and nobody fell asleep until at least 11. I am so tired today!

We dropped Sweetie off at 10 and Princess got picked up at 10:30, and now here I am. Flicking through "there's nothing on TV" channels. Wondering how the heck I am going to survive another December. Grandma put the Christmas tree up at her house with the girls this morning while I made breakfast. So, out came all the ornaments. Ornaments that Josh made in pre-school, ornaments that Princess has made. I'm dreading putting our tree up. So many more memories. I couldn't even bring myself to do it last year. This year, I will get up the nerve somehow.

Tonight I'm seeing Mr. Right Now. He's coming back from his parents today so we'll have plenty of holiday stories to exchange. Princess will be home bright and early tomorrow so maybe, just maybe we'll drag the tree and the ornaments out of storage. And then another week begins. It's going to be another week of running out to the university to try to get things ready for next semester.

Today is just one of those days where I wonder how I am going to do it all. Do I even want to keep trying to do it all? Gosh, I just don't know!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Turkey Day is Over

It's been a strange week. I have had the entire week off. Working in a doctor's office we were closed on Thanksgiving AND today. Harumpf. Since I usually only work Thursday and Friday this means no money for me! Ah well, it's been worth it to have the week off. I didn't realize how stressed I was getting. Or, maybe I did but didn't want to admit it. I'm feeling a little better today and looking forward to a semi-relaxing weekend.

Yesterday we enjoyed Thanksgiving with my mother's family. Well, those we're on speaking terms with anyway! My mom & her sister usually take turns doing Thanksgiving and this year we were at my aunts newly remodeled (to the tune of more money than I'll ever make) house. Looking around the table you would have seen my mom, dad, brother, me, princess, my aunt, uncle and cousins J1, J2 & J3. The boys are great - the oldest a college freshman, the middle in high school and the youngest in middle school. On top of that they adore princess, so how can I go wrong?

After well all ate until we couldn't eat anymore (even princess cleaned her plate) we hung out and talked and laughed. My dad, brother & uncle went downstairs to watch football. Princess talked the boys into playing Monopoly. Of course the pies came out of the fridge shortly and we stuffed our faces again (complete with ice cream and whipped cream!).

I couldn't get over how well princess behaved yesterday. Gosh, I'm going to have to get us invited to my aunt's more often. She was polite, she was laid back - it was great! When we got home she wanted to play monopoly again. We popped in Herby Fully Loaded and played Monopoly for hours. She kicked my butt too!

I have nothing profound to say today. Princess is at open gym with her friend Sweetie. I have to pick them up in an hour and then Sweetie is sleeping over. Although princess has already called Grandma and asked if they can sleep over THERE instead. It seems grandma is just more fun than mom is. Grandma said it would be OK as long as mommy slept over too. Princess was not thrilled, but it seems this was better than being stuck here with JUST me - rofl. We have to bring Sweetie home by 10 tomorrow, then idiot comes to pick up princess at 10:30. At least I know by 11 I should be off to nap land. Or maybe I'll take myself to Rent if I'm conscious enough.

So many choices when you have no children to worry about.

I still need to get to the store to pick up the fixins for "make your own pizza" night. Of course maybe I should wait until AFTER I pick the girls up. Knowing them they have changed their mind in the last few hours about what they want for dinner.

(and oh wow, what a boring entry this is! i better quit now before i put myself to sleep!)

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Who DID Let the Dogs Out?

John's Weekend Assignment #87: Musical Conundrums

I figure most of us are going to be logy and stuffed full of food this weekend, so I'm going to give you all an easy Weekend Assignment:

Weekend Assignment #87: Answer one or more of the following musical conundrums:

1. Who let the dogs out?
2. Why do fools fall in love?
3. If birds can fly over the rainbow, why then, oh why, can't I?
4. Do you hear what I hear?
5. How do you solve a problem like Maria?
6. How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?
7. Listen, do you want to know a secret? Do you promise not to tell?
8. How long has this been going on?
9. I want to know, have you ever seen the rain? (Alternately: Why does it always rain on me?)10. Does anybody really know what time it is?

(Yes, you can have silly answers. In fact, I encourage them!)

Extra Credit: Pose your own musical question.

Princess chose #1 - Who let the dogs out? (I asked her because John stole MY answer - gosh who knew that great minds actually do think alike - I was going to be smart and work Chicago into the answer and he went and did it before me). Anyway - so Who let the dogs out? She says that the boy let the dogs out - he was riding his bike and crashed into the fence and then the dogs could all get out. Alternately she says that there were aliens that landed on earth and they landed on the fence and the dogs got out. Isn't she a smart child? ROFL

Her musical question is from her Hilary Duff CD (gag) "Why Not do a crazy dance" and she adds this query from Mulan "When will my reflection show who I am inside"

And there you have it!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Give me TWO helpings

Need an extra dessert to throw on your Thanksgiving table? This one is easy peasy and tastes SO good!

I call this one Grandma's Cherry Crunch (and I have NO idea where she got the original recipe from). So, here's what you need:

1 can cherry pie filling (substitute your favorite pie filling flavor here)
1 tsp lemon juice

1 white cake mix
1 stick oleo

preheat oven to 350

Pour pie filling into a 9 inch pan, mix in lemon juice (not sure what the heck the lemon juice is actually for, my first thought is to help it not stick to the pan?? Or maybe it's just for taste? I have no clue!)

Melt margarine in microwave and blend into dry cake mix (now, my mom uses 1 stick of real butter and I like to use about 1 1/2 sticks of margarine so if you feel like you want to add a little more butter, go for it). Crumble cake mix on top of pie filling. (I like mine best when I use about 1/2 of the cake mix for topping, but again this is a to taste kinda thing). Make a bigger pan by using 2 cans of filling and put it in a 9 X 13 pan - for this pan I do use the WHOLE cake mix :-)

Cook for 40 minutes, and of course, serve with whipped cream or ice cream!

I'm off to make one myself so maybe I'll get motivated and add a picture later.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

When I grow up

Dona asks the question "When you were growing up, what did you want to be as an adult and is that what you are doing now or did your ambitions change?"

(I should mention here that this is this week's EASY question.....and yes, yes I used to do the easy question. And then I stopped. I got into a blogging funk or something, I don't know. Anyway, I lost the umpf to do it properly and when Dona said she missed them I told her she should just start doing them herself......aren't I a nice friend?? rofl I'm excited somebody has taken over the helm - this way I can just play and get back to sitting on the sidelines.)

I always remember wanting to be an astronaut when I grew up. Until I got old enough to realize how much work that would entail.....that and the fact that I suck at science. Oddly, I NEVER wanted to be a mother and now that is what I am best at, and what I am proudest of. I am a great mother - just ask princess :-)

Most of you know I'm back in college full time. I still haven't decided what I want to be when I grow up. I still have a little over a year until I turn 40, and I hear even then if I play my cards right I don't REALLy have to act like a grown up, right?!

Oh, and speaking of weekly games - Robin started a new one - you should go play it.

Monday, November 21, 2005

When it rains

I guess we've all heard it; "when it rains it pours". I'm still off kilter from the events of my day yesterday and I'm not sure where to begin. I guess at the beginning. Before I went to the movie with my dad I finally got my entire "official" admissions package in the mail. This means that all the running around I have been doing is finally going to pay off. All those admissions clerks smiling and nodding at me, telling me that my GPA made my transfer all but automatically approved. Still, all that paperwork takes so long! But now I have it in my hands. I will find out shortly where I stand as far as classes and housing are concerned. It's scary! I'm ready to go back to school, but the thought of it is already beginning to make me a little uptight.

On top of that Mr. Right-Now has decided to mess with my head and fill me with hopes of a real relationship in the future. One of those things you hope for, that you are certain will never come true, and now he dangles these hopes in front of me. He says he understands my concerns, that he realizes he needs to make changes for our relationship to move forward. I don't want to get my hopes up. I am afraid of being disappointed, yet again, by a man that I trust. I feel that my trust is better placed this time. I feel that I have learned from my past, and yet I have thought these things before.

I don't know that I can face so many changes all at once. Although these changes in the relationship will come slow if they come at all, so perhaps I am worrying needlessly. I am just anxious to get settled into my new circumstances - whatever they may be.

Perhaps I just wish there were guarantees. Then again, don't we all. I feel like such a girl, dreaming of the fairy tale, the storybook life where everybody lives happily ever after. I try to kid myself and tell myself that I just want it for Princess, that I want to make a better life for her - but deep down I know I am being selfish. I know that I want to carve out a piece of happiness for myself. I want to think just for tonight that the fates are going to finally smile on me.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

And Then it was Saturday

Thursday night Princess was in a play, well actually I think it would be considered a musical. It was called "Giraffe's Can't Dance" (based on the book by the same name). The play and all the songs were written by our very talented music teacher and I have to say I was impressed. There were six classes involved - 3 second grade and 3 fourth grade. Each class represented a different kind of animal, princess was a water buffalo. There were six narrator's, and 2 "lead" characters. The two lead characters had singing solos and they were outstanding!

They did a performance of the play in front of the entire school at the end of the day on Thursday, and then in the evening for parents, friends and family. I think everyone really enjoyed it. The only complaint I heard was from people who couldn't see. Our school is not set up for this type of performance, it was done on a portable stage in the gym with folding chairs set up for the audience, so not exactly an ideal setting. But the kids were so stinkin cute that you couldn't complain to loudly!

You could tell they all worked so hard. Each class had a different dance to learn. One did a waltz, one did a tango, one did a cha cha, etc..... you can imagine all of us trying to keep straight faces as 26 children at a time tried to stay in step and to the beat. It was too cute for words.

I had planned on using today to sit around and feel sorry for myself. Princess is gone until late celebrating Thanksgiving with her father's family. I'm feeling the crunch of the holidays starting to set in, and the cloud of sorrow maintaining a more permanent shadow on my heart. It happens every year, so it's not a large surprise. It's just hard to adjust, hard to compensate - but I will find my way this year, just as I have in the past.

Mom talked me into taking dad to a movie so I took him to see Good Night and Good Luck. Yes, I know I've seen it before! But he hadn't. It was just as good the second time around, heck it may have even been better the second time around. The theater was filled with old people again. Maybe it was just because Chicken Little and Harry Potter were playing in other theaters. Maybe it was because nobody really wants to see an intelligent thought provoking movie.

Now I'm in for the night, plopped in front of the puter, flicking through the bad movies on TV. Life is good.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Potter 4

This morning I took myself to the IMAX to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I bought my ticket several weeks ago, and laughed at all the people coming in this morning to try to buy tickets to sold out shows. It was an awfully cold morning to make a trip for nothing! I was dismayed to see how many young kids were at this movie. Although I guess most of them live in houses where they are exposed to video games that are teen, so perhaps they are desensitized to the scary stuff.

The movie itself was good. Compared to the book? Well, they didn't destroy this one as badly as the third book. That being said, it still could have been better. The first two movies really captured what I feel are the "spirit" of the books. The way the students and teachers interact, the humor, the rivalry...... somehow in the 3rd, and now in the 4th, much of that gets lost.

Now I know the books are always better! Don't get me wrong, I don't presume to think that this movie could have covered everything in this rather large book. But gosh darn it all - this movie did NOT have to be SOOOOOO dark. Yes, the theme of this book is dark, it's sort of the pivital point in this series and parts of it needed to be covered. They could have easily made this movie rated PG - they could have turned the focus to other things in the book and showed the dark/evil things in a different way.

Princess will not be seeing this movie. She's going to be angry with me. I'm not even sure letting her see it on DVD will be worth of it, but we'll see next year when I bring the movie home with me.

Last night Princess had her play, she did a great job and I couldn't have been a prouder mommy. Grandma and Papa even made it (of course her idiot father didn't bother to even try coming, grrr). I'll post more on the play tomorrow when I get some pictures edited :-)

Happy Friday everyone! And if anybody out there lives someplace where it's warm, I'd appreciate a picture of some sunshine to warm up my 26 degree day!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

I'm Thankful

John's Weekend Assignment #86: Who are you thankful for -- who you won't be able to spend this Thanksgiving with? This is a chance to tell us about the people you care about who will be far away from you this holiday, or who have passed on but remain in your heart.
The face missing at my Thanksgiving table again this year will be my son Joshua. I am so thankful for the five wonderful years we had together (obviously he's not five in this picture, but it's one of my favorites! so you're getting this one), and this will be my 5th Thanksgiving without him. The holiday season has become so bittersweet. The gathering of family, to me, only makes his absence that much harder. I cherish the memories I am making with my daughter, but it will never be the same as it was before cancer entered our lives.

Extra Credit: Pumpkin pie vs. pecan pie -- which do you choose for Thanksgiving dessert? EW! Neither thanx, not a pumpkin pie fan, and even less of a pecan pie fan (and Robin needs to know just how to say 'pecan' so click here) It will be apple pie for me thanx - Michigan has some of the best apples ever!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


There's some really thick, um, rain (yeah, that's it) accumulating on my lawn. So far I'd guess 2-3 inches of it. It's so strange to look outside and see everything covered in white! Now, living in Michigan you would think I should be prepared for such a thing. I mean, come on, it IS November. In my defense I don't ever take my snow (strike that) thick rain brush out of my van. You never know when you're going to need it!

Princess is SO excited. We had to get out the boots and a decent pair of mittens. She's been wearing her cloth ones just to keep her hands warmer, but any mom knows that those things are no good once the snow hits them. Such a joy to pull those all soaked out of a packpack at the end of the day - NOT!

Aside from the weather it's been a crazy day. Wednesday is gymnastics, which means we come home from school have a quick snack, do homework for 15 minutes and then turn around and out the door we go. We had another new teacher added to the mix today, and I really liked her. She latched right onto the strengths and weaknesses of all the girls in class and made them work like dogs! Princess was good and tired after 2 hours of being put through the paces. She also left encouraged by news that if she keeps working on a couple of things she might be able to advance to level six for the next session (about New Year's). I'd really like her to stay on level 5 for a while, every new level introduces scarier and scarier skills and I've had about all I can take :-)

Tomorrow night is the 4th/2nd grade play. Princess is a narrator (which is a big deal because most of the bigger parts went to the 4th graders). She's a little nervous tonight, but I assured her that she's going to do fine. After we said prayers tonight we were talking and she said, "But mom, what if I stand up there and forget everything". AWWWW - poor thing! She is going to be fabulous, but I told her I am already proud of her even if she forgets everything that she has been practicing. I'm a little worried for her, because she didn't even ask what time the play was - so I'm pretty sure she hasn't invited her dad. Hopefully if her dad feels the need to take his frustrations out on somebody it will be me, and not her. 'Cause I sure as heck wasn't gonna call him and invite him.

Oy, get me off this subject it's only succeeding in making me angry.

I'll be interested to see what we wake up to tomorrow. Dare I hope for a snow day so early in the season? The way I figure the odds are good. It's a work day for me and you know they always schedule the weather on the least convenient days for parents!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Dipping My Toes in the Water

Gosh this is going to be exciting, isn't it? Looking for a good place to store all your favorite new journals? Try going here you can get a free account and be able to view all the feeds in one place, then navigate to your favorite journal to leave comments. And don't forget to leave comments, because you KNOW we live for comments!

The Great Beginning

I guess it's time to move into new web territory. Others have done it before me, I've been to lazy to think about moving from my old space. But, you know how it is. Growing pains can be hard, they can be down right painful! Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and take the big step off the steep cliff. I don't like leaving programs that I have known for years. I don't like learning new things! So, here we go - my new journal......and WELCOME!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Scared of the Dark

I love my daughter. She's a little neurotic sometimes, like her unreasonable fear of tornados, but I love her. I don't know exactly when this fear of tornados started, but the minute the winds kick up she wants to take her teddy bear and blankie and camp out in the basement. It makes me sad that at 8 years old she already has several things that she obsesses about. Top that off with the fact that it was windy as all get out here today and you can start guessing how my day went.
Tonight was a new one though. All of a sudden she claims she is afraid of the dark. I'm of the opinion that if you start a kid sleeping in the dark when they are little they simply don't know to be any better as they get older. Sure, I've got night lights in the hallway so when she gets up to go to the bathroom she doesn't injure herself - but we've never slept with a whole lot of lights on. Most of this past week she has been sleeping in my bed; and let me tell you there are no night lights in there!
I think it was possibly a ploy to stay up a little latter, her searching for something to whine about to stay awake a little longer. Her two friends that she does sleep overs with both have to sleep with a ton of lights on - so I think that's how the idea got into her little head. But, she's only eight. So, I just can't dismiss it as an irrational fear, because it might be true. She might be developing a fear of the dark. I doubt it! But you just never know.
I broke down and turned on a light for her in my room and closed the door part way. You know the drill - once I turned the light on it was too bright and it took us 5 minutes to find that perfect amount of light (but not too much light). KIDS!
At least I finally got her to sleep. We have to get up a few minutes early tomorrow because it's my day to drive car pool. Then I have to drag myself into work for a few hours. I don't even want to think about starting another week! I got a few things accomplished today at least. Got the kitchen picked up and put clean sheets on the bed. Princess kicked my butt at Uno and then at Sorry. And I didn't even let her, didn't even do the mom cheat and let her win - she beat me fair and square.
So I guess that makes me a tired loser :-D

Saturday, November 12, 2005

What Happened to Fall

I stepped outside momentarily to grab something out of my van (yes, I'm one of those poor souls whose garage is NOT attached to the house, but heck, I'm just thankful I have a garage to park in)...any way I stepped outside and was greeted by a familiar smell.
The smell of winter! That cold that smells so clean that you just know snow isn't too far away.
There's a cold front coming through and it's dropped 15 degrees in a few hours. And it's only going to get colder.
This morning I had coaches training for
Odyssey of the Mind. Princess and I participated for the first time last year and we are looking forward to another fun-filled year! We're still in the primary division so it's "just for fun"; not graded, not ranked, no way to advance from regional to state to world - once you compete at regionals your season is done. This year our school is fielding 2 primary teams, that's 14 little first and second graders - and they are SO excited! I'm excited too. Our problem this year is about traveling to another planet, and being the sci-fi fan that I am I can hardly wait to see how their little minds work. It is truly amazing to watch 7 minds tackle a problem and then go to regionals and see how many different solutions there are to the problems and they are so cute doing their skits (even the big kids!). I can't say enough good things about this program :-)
Princess talked me into taking her to see
Chicken Little. This movie cracked me up! I don't remember the last time we had so much fun at a movie. The music is intoxicating, you can't help but tap your toes through most of the movie. Cute, cute, cute! If you haven't seen it, grab a kid and go :-) Not only was it funny, but as the aliens came on the screen I thought, gosh, this will give her some good ideas for the Odyssey problem this year. LOL - guess I am a little too excited to get our team started. The movie was only about 80 minutes long, but somehow we still seemed to eat way too much popcorn and airheads and drink WAY too much pop! I've still got a sugar buzz.
I was a bad mommy and let Princess stay up until 9 tonight. I'll be paying in the morning when it's time to get up for church. Especially since she slept at Grandma's last night and somebody let her stay up until ELEVEN! Only Grandma's get away with that kind of behavior.
Tomorrow is going to be a total day to chill. Church and then dinner at grandmas (she's making one of my favorite chilly day meals - crock pot roast - yum!) I'm thinking we need to watch Harry Potter 3 again tomorrow, because you know...... only six more days!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Hug a Veteran Day

Well my Christy beat me to the punch and thanked me for my service by posting a comment in the last entry. OK, she has an excuse since she's currently in Germany and has been awake for 6 more hours than I have!
I joined the Air Force when I was 20. My mom took it hard, and looking back it was sort of an impulsive move. In my defense we weren't exactly the kind of family that had discussions about anything important. Or perhaps it was more that I thought I was smart enough to do whatever I wanted. I was not happy with my life the way it was. I was taking college classes, but failing miserably, since I had no discipline and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life (forward 20 years later and I STILL have no clue!). One of my friends had joined the Air Force a year earlier and I had a chance to visit him. That was pretty much when I decided military life was for me.
I met with a recruiter a couple times, took the ASVAB and signed up to ship out. I spent 6 weeks in basic training, 2 weeks in technical training (most of my job, by nature, was on the job training) and made it home in time to celebrate Christmas of 1987 with my family. I spent my 4 active duty years as an Air Defense radar operator (sort of like an air traffic controller, identifying air craft as they entered American air space). When I left active duty I took a full time Reserve Position doing a job in the command and control center (which was very similar in many ways to the position I had on active duty). After 2 years of that I spent 2 years as a weekend warrior with the Guard.
During my enlistment I served in Rome (that's in upstate New York!), Tucson and right outside of Washington D.C. I don't regret a moment of my service and think more people should give it a try. It would certainly give some of our spoiled youth a glimpse into what's important in life.
I know some of you have served, some of you have children serving, some of you are military wives and I thank you for your sacrifices.
Freedom isn't free

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Typo What?!!

You konw yuo've seen tehse fotailng anroud the inetnret. It's tlury aanzmig waht the human mnid is cbalpae of. I was shcekod wehn I shweod tihs prrpagaah to my snoced gaderr and she raed rhigt thogruh it wtih no pmoberls (elwl, aeccpt the tcpiyal pebomlrs taht a tycpail seoncd gderar has wtih big words). Do you wnat to tpye yuor own msagese and pclae it in yuor blog? Go hree.