Sunday, December 21, 2008

Fall Reading List Follow up

I finished my last Fall Reading Challenge book! I have read 24 books this year. That's a record for me. I'm a very slow reader and I picked some harder and longer books this summer including the never ending The Eight. I'm not sure what book I want to start next.

Maybe I'll get started on my spring reading list. If it stays as cold as it was today I'll have plenty of time to curl up with a good book. Happy Reading!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday's Fave 5

Happy Friday! And only a week until Chistmas. Thank you to Susanne who is hosting the last Fave 5 of 2008 this week!Wow! Where has this year gone? So, I'm going to stop looking at the "to do'" list and think about the good things from the past week. So here are my favorite things in no particular order.

1. Christmas cookies! Did I mention I love Christmas cookies? These are special...they help create Christmas memories. They end up pretty tasty too!

2. Papa's visit. The weather co-operated with his travels! He made it safely to our house and back home. In between we had a lot of fun.

3. Done Christmas shopping! It was my fave thing for the 2 days I was done. Until... the last minute gift issue came up, but Honey is out taking care of that for me so I can get on with...

4. Wrapping packages! I do like to wrap gifts, I like bows, I like the look of the tree with packages wrapped in pretty paper under it.

5. No ice! We dodged 2 ice storms this week.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! See you again in 2009!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Fave Five

Happy Friday! Susanne is hosting this wonderful meme this week. I really enjoy taking these few minutes to slow down and focus on the good things of the past week, so here they are...

Christmas cookies! I love cookies and the baking is finished, tomorrow we will ice the sugar cookies with Papa. Then we get to plate them on my favorite red platter and eat them!

Papa coming to visit. My Dad is coming for a visit this weekend. He's going to get to see the kids belt ceremony, ice cookies, and watch kid movies. It's always fun to have Papa come and we have the guest room finished!

Christmas trees. Both our Christmas trees are up and decorated! The "big" tree has the traditional ornaments - baby's first Christmas, our first Christmas together - the other tree is just for fun it's all red and white. I didn't think I could get away with pink and white but it was tempting.

My "new to me" gadget. I got Honey's old blackberry to use, I don't have the phone or internet on it I'm just using the PDA features and I love it! I have my eye on my next phone the Blackberry Curve and only 18 months to wait to get new phones.

Christmas program. Caleb had his kindergarten program this week. It was so cute! The pictures are still on Phil's camera.

$1.56 a gallon! That is what I paid for gas this week. Phil paid $1.49 last night. I don't know how long it will last but I sure am enjoying it.

Don't forget to drop by Susanne's place to see other peoples favorite things or join in. Have a great week!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Time Well Spent

Philip and I spent some quality time together over the Thanksgiving holiday, we had 10 hours in the van traveling, so we listened to a productivity seminar, Getting Things Done by David Allen, on his ipod. Considering my recent bout with OMS (Overwhelmed Mommy Syndrome) and things falling through the cracks I can use all the new ideas I can get. There are a few ideas so far that have really helped me feel more on top of things.

The first is to collect ideas when they pop into my head, capture them somehow, on paper or a napkin whatever works to keep the idea from buzzing around my brain. If it can't be taken care of right now then it goes in the inbox.

Processing the inbox, is the organizing part. Each piece of "stuff" is taken out of the inbox and dealt with. If it takes less than 2 minutes to complete I do it now. If it only takes one action but can't be done now it goes on the appropriate action list, home, computer, errand etc.

The last tool I have found to be very helpful is a "tickler" file I know where the info is and I don't have to think about it now. When I need it, it will show back up in my inbox.

What is missing from this system is a daily "to do" list, this has been the hard part for me, but so far this is working. All the little thoughts and "I need to ..." are not buzzing around in my head and I'm able to focus on the task at hand. By limiting the places I have information stored I'm not wasting time looking for things because the info is in one of 4 places the google calendar, the action list on the computer/PDA ( I inherited Honey's old blackberry), the inbox or the tickler file. An added benefit of the PDA is it syncs with Microsoft outlook, which syncs with the google calendar. Everything I need on the go in one place.

Even with the busyness of the holidays I feel like I have a handle on what I need to do and I'm not as stressed about it. I'm not worried about what I'm forgetting because for the first time in who knows how long I have a system that I can trust. Recovering from OMS is a good thing.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Friday Fave Five

Happy Friday! I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving! I missed last week, I was away from my computer for 3 1/2 days. I survived but I was about 24 hours from going into withdrawal.

This is the time to slow down and look back over the past week and pick my favorite things.

1. Safe travels. We traveled for the Thanksgiving holiday and didn't have any problems on the roads. We did have a little snow on the return trip, I think the kids liked seeing the snow. Caleb played in it when we stopped for lunch and let Max out of his box for a few minutes.

2. Twilight. Lauren and her friends loved the movie! We pre-ordered the tickets for the 1:00 matinee but the theater wasn't as crowded as I thought it would be that was also a good thing. It was a good movie, there were a few changes from the book but it was a fun movie to go see. I didn't have to share my overly salted and buttered popcorn.

3. Doctor's appointment. Philip had his 2 month post-op check- up this week. The doctor was pleased with his progress and said no more brace and he can start exercising! By next month he should be able to start light jogging, there are physical requirements for his job so being able to get back to his workouts is a good thing.

4. Baby talk. I had a good meeting with Caleb's speech teacher this week. She said he is doing very well on his individual words but, we are still going to work on his connected speech. This wasn't a surprise sometimes he is hard to understand. Along with his teacher we came up with a technique to slow him down (talking too fast is one of his biggest issues) and we will both be using it. I'm trilled with the progress he has made and the help he is getting.

5. Christmas season is officially here. I can now watch Christmas movies out in the open. I have been known to watch holiday movies early, like July. Yes, that is my little holiday addiction, I like to watch the old movies. Especially It's a Wonderful Life, I know it by heart and still never tire of it.

Thanks to Susanne for hosting this wonderful meme. You can visit her blog to see other participants lists or join in! Have a great week!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

No Wonder I Have OMS!

This is my desk...well, it's under there, somewhere. This is where I'm suppose to "run my household". I think maybe this is contributing to my OMS. The 3 pound planner with all the stuff hanging out of it and the post-its stuck every where is suppose to help me keep track of information, who needs to be where and when. This is also where I should be able to keep the check book up to date and do my meal and grocery planning.

I agree with all those organizing experts who say that your space reflects what is going on in your life. I was getting overwhelmed by well, basically my job, and the system that was suppose to help me wasn't. I had notes tucked every where, I couldn't find anything and because I felt so out of control I was constantly double checking class times, lists and wasting time looking for things. All that just caused me to feel more overwhelmed.

I have been using a paper planner forever, various sizes and colors and it used to work. I'm not sure when it stopped working for me, but I'm guessing it wasn't over night. I was holding on to a system that had out lived it's usefulness because I didn't want to change. Even if my system wasn't working it was mine and I was used to it, it was comfortable. As hard as I knew it was going to be, I also knew it was time to change. I need a system that works for our family now not the one from 15 years (or more) ago.

So, the transition has begun. I now have a Google calendar that has replaced 3 others, I have daily calendar with my to do list and food log (some day I may give that up but not today). My addresses are on the computer and sync with my ipod, so I can take them with me. Other lists and notes are also filed in my computer with short cuts on the desk top so I can see them and get to them easily.

One pile of papers went to the shredder, a larger pile went to the recycle and my planner has been retired. It was harder to let it go than I thought it would be, it was like packing away a security blanket. Now that the changing is almost complete, I already feel calmer and more in control. Ready to tackle whatever comes next. There are still a few lists I'm putting into the computer, but now I have a space to put them on the desk and work, and room to sort the "to be sorted" folder.

As for my desk, I found it! I have a clean flat space to work and empty cubbies (those are behind the computer). Here is the after picture.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fave Five Friday #13

Happy Friday! It's that time again, too look back over the week and focus on the good things that happened. So here we go...

Today is my pretty little baby girl's 14th birthday! Her party is tomorrow, I'm taking her and a couple of friends to see Twilight! I pre-ordered tickets (love that) then back here for pizza, cake and a sleep over.

Phil's brother and sister-in-law came to visit over the weekend. They brought their Wii video game system and we played with the kids, watching Caleb bowl was hilarious. I know why those controllers have straps. The kids had fun with their Aunt and Uncle and we got treated to a impromptu rock concert. The "band" members range in age from 14 to 39. Loads of fun!

We had 2 night with no activities this week! It was nice to just be able to relax after dinner and not have to rush out or be rushed to get lessons in before dinner. Ahh!

I have made progress on re-organizing/streamlining of our calendars and how I keep track of information. Honey helped me get all my address loaded on my ipod! That's a handy little feature.

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas... there is a chill in the air, itunes is loaded up with Christmas music ready to sync with the ipod, I have even bought a few gifts. But best of all I have a plan! Having a plan for the holidays is helping my OMS, so is the streamlining.

If you would like to participate in fave 5 or just see other peoples lists jump over to Living to Tell the Story to get all the details. Thank you to Susanne for hosting!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday's Fave 5

Wow! I can't believe it is the middle of November already! Christmas is only 40 days away. But it's also Friday so...Happy Weekend! I missed Friday last week, Honey and I went shopping and then I did a little scrapbooking and some how...well, I just didn't get to the blog thing. This week I decided I wasn't going to be last on Mr. Linky over at Susanne's blog Living to Tell the Story and I was going to get my blog up on Friday.

I'll start with Halloween. The cutest little evil villain ever...
and he was a very tired trick-or-treater. He almost smiled for me.
The kid's pumpkins all ready for their big night!

I did a little scrapbooking. I got 7 pages done (sides for those of you who do Creative Memories). I also learned how to upload my pictures to get them printed, and it only took 5 hours.

Cute new multi seasonal decoration. Now pumpkins, Christmas time gifts, January I'm thinking Teddy with his hat and mittens.

I learned all kinds of new things I can do with my google calendar to help get me organized. I had 5 different calendar for a family of 4. No wonder I have OMS!

Philip is off his crutches!!! Around the house he isn't even using a cane!!! He also had a new set of x-rays done and the doctor said everything in his knee looks good, just have to get the flexibility and strength back.

Oh, I almost forgot! No more political campaign ads! 'Nuff said.

If you've gotten this far thanks for sticking with me on this really long post! Have a great week!

Monday, November 10, 2008

I think I have OMS

Overwhelmed Mommy Syndrome it's characterized by forgetfulness, inability to complete a thought, chronic misplacement of items, inability to complete a task. More advanced symptoms include not being able to spell or recognize your child's name, walking to a room and having no idea why you are there, forgetting what day it is.

Why do I think I have OMS, because I type Caleb's name on our calendar, (the online one that is suppose to make scheduling and organizing our family easier) and misspelled it. I looked at it and thought "that looks odd" but it didn't register that I spelled it wrong. Did I mention I had a brain freeze at the post office and forgot my address? Don't ask me where anything is I can't find it, but my guess is that it's under something, probably a pile of laundry. Except the list of birthdays I have been looking was under the bed.

I wonder what the prescription for OMS is...take chocolate, turn off the computer and go to bed?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Fave Five #11

Happy Halloween! I can't believe this is the last day of October already! It is also Friday and time for Fave 5...

1. Phil went back to work full time this week.

2. I found a pumpkin spice creamer at the store I like.

3. A friend got very good news concerning an ongoing illness.

4. I finished reading 16 Lighthouse Rd, Charlotte was my favorite character.

5. Carving pumpkins with the kids.

They tooks some of the "guts" out of their own pumplins this year!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Going Paperless

Or not. The question at hand is to kindle or not to kindle? The Kindle is amazon's ebook reader. I am totally enamored with this idea. I can take 200 books with me wherever I go in something the size of DVD box. Honey also let me know this morning that I can get my blogs, gmail, twitter and google calendar on it. This would greatly reduce the volume of what I take when we travel and just going to the dentist - I would have my calendar and a book right there - the size of a DVD. The internet features are very basic but that is all I need when I'm away from my laptop.

Of the reviews I've read 80% love it. Some complaints are the selection available, not really an issue for me, I did a little window shopping, I could read for a very, very long time before I ran out of titles and that is just part of what is available. One of the book giveaways I didn't win (not a surprise) this month, is available for the kindle. There were some comments about the placement of buttons but if you try, you can find something wrong with paper books also, like little tiny print. Some of that is just getting used to something new. I had these same issues when I got my digital camera and haven't regretted that.

The main reason I haven't ordered it... can't share books.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Fave Five

Happy Friday! I'm working on the better late than never plan again this week. I have a good reason, but you'll have to wait for it. Susanne at Living to Tell the Story is hosting Fave 5, go here to see what it's all about. Here we go...

1. Phil when back to work part time this week. He is going to aim for full time next week.

2. Coffee with the girls. Tuesday the "preschool mom's" invaded the local coffee shop. Always fun!

3. I took the day off! Ok, it's an odd idea for a sahm, but I did it anyway. I went to the mall - all by myself.

4. While at the mall, I tried on some clothes - all by myself. Even found one new top for fall. Yes it's pink... and gray.

5. Starbucks pumpkin spice latte and pumpkin loaf. I got Starbucks while I was out - all by myself.

I also took lunch to honey at work, that's what I did today and why my Friday post is almost a Saturday post. If I had my act together I would do this on Thursday night... maybe next week. I finished Twilight this week and started reading 16 Lighthouse Road by Debbie Macomber. I think that's 7 and 8, oh well. Have a Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Twilight, not really a review

I finished Twilight, the second book on my fall book challenge list. I was a bit worried that I wouldn't like it because I've heard about for so long from Lauren. But it was a really good story. I understand why the teens love it so much, it reminded me of the Judy Blume books I read as a teenager. It was fun and entertaining with a few twists I wasn't expecting. It is what it is, a fun scifi romance. Did I mention the leading man is a vampire?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Random Thoughts

I was surfing the web for quotes, something inspirational, motivational or just something new when I found a quote I really liked. "It's better to get something done than to do nothing perfectly". Ok, that's not the real quote, that is my twist on it. Here is the real quote...

Better to do something imperfectly than to do nothing flawlessly.
-Robert Schuller

But either way it got me thinking about perfectionism. Perfectionism is by Webster's definition, setting extremely high standards and being displeased with anything less. Sounds like a perfect set-up for failure. I wonder how many things I don't try because I think it won't be perfect or even good enough? Good enough for who? Who's standards am I trying to achieve? I wonder how much happier and relaxed I would be if I just let my best be good enough? Even when it isn't perfect.

These were all questions I asked myself while mowing the lawn. Some activities do lend themselves to multitasking. My kids karate class starts with them saying "be my best" not "be perfect". So, this week as a personal challenge, I'm going to let my best be good enough and see how it turns out.

No one is perfect...that's why pencils have erasers.
-Author Unknown

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fave Five Friday #9

Happy Friday! Here has this week gone? If you want to know more about Fave Five you can go to Susanne's blog and get the details here.

1. Phil's post op doctor's appointment yesterday went very well! He got all the wraps off his leg and his staples taken out. So now he can work on getting the knee to bend better. Then he can drive!

2. I finished The Story of Edgar Sawtelle this week! It was my first reading challenge book! It was a good book! I also started Twilight. I am surprised how many adults love this book. I 'm not far enough into to have an opinion yet but, I was reading it at Caleb's karate class on Wednesday and the lady sitting next to me just started talking to me about it. Amazing how easy it is to make friends over a good book.

3. Speaking of books, I won this week's book giveaway, A Promise to Believe In, at Callapidder Days yesterday! I don't have very good luck with drawings and giveaways, even my daring Lauren asked me why I enter drawings. Mainly I enter to improve other people's odds of winning. I was thrilled to see I won. I'll get it in the mail! I love mail!

4. Julia's post about dogs and cats. It explains beautifully why I'm a dog person, I have a teenager, I don't need an other living thing that I have to feed and clean up after plotting against me. (Meet Max my 3rd child.)

5. I got to hold a week old baby today. He was very tiny and all cuddled up and just as cute as could be. So sweet!

Have a wonderful week!

Monday, October 13, 2008

In My Heart

On September 28, 2006, Congress passed H.Con. Res. 222 decaring October 15th as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Each year approximately one million babies are lost due to miscarriage, still birth and infant death. Many of these families never see their baby's face, some may hold their child, others hold their child while they slip silently from this world. As different as each family's situation is they have some things in common, they have lost a child that was very much loved and wanted. In too many cases they grieve in silence...alone.

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is an opportunity for families to remember and celebrate those children, who for a very brief moment touched their hearts, if not their hands. It is also an opportunity for parents who have lost a child to reach out to others who may still be struggling with a recent loss and let them know they are not alone.

When you ask me how many kids I have, I say 2, because it's easier... but, we became part of those statistics in October 1997 (angel baby 12 weeks) and in May 1998 (angel baby 15 weeks) and again on December 13, 2001 when Alec was born at 7 months and passed away minutes later. Each time I felt at fault, guilty, angry and mostly alone. Very few people are willing to talk about the loss of a child, especially a child that wasn't held or that may not have cried. No one knows what to say and sometimes well meaning friends don't say anything. My friend Laurie gave us this poem by Gail Fasolo after Alec was born, her family traveled this path before us. It said quietly what we often wanted to scream from the roof top...

Just say "I'm Sorry"

You don't know how I feel - please don't tell me that you do
There's just one way to know - have you lost a child too?
"You'll have another child" - must I hear this each day?
Can I get another mother if mine should pass away?
Don't say it was "God's will" - that's not the God I know.
Would God on purpose break my heart, they watch as my tears flow?
"You have an angel in heaven - a precious child above."
But, tell me, to whom here on earth shall I give this love?
"Aren't you better yet?" - Is that what I heard you say?
No! A part of my heart aches - I'll always feel some pain.
You think that silence is kind, but it hurts me even more.
I want to talk about my child who has gone through deaths door.
Don't say these things to me, although you do mean well.
They do not take my pain away; must I go through the hell?
I will get better slow but sure - and it helps to have you near.
But a simple, "I'm sorry you lost your child" is all I need to hear.

In honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day please, light a candle at 7 pm (local time). Let it burn an hour to help create a wave of light to remember babies who are forever in our hearts. This is for our Angel babies and our precious little Alec, forever loved, forever remembered.

Remembering Our Babies
Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fave Five for Friday #8

Happy Friday! This week really has flown by I can't believe it is Friday again. Thank you to Susanne is hosting Fave 5 at Living to Tell the Story, check out her blog and see what others have listed as their faves this week. This is a wonderful opportunity to look back over the week and see the good things when sometimes is easier to focus on the bad things. Here are my favorite things from this week.

1. Phil did great with his surgery on Monday!!! He has never had surgery or even a major illness beyond the flu, so we were a bit concerned at how he would do. He did great! He is still in some pain but that is to be expected, we did know it would be a slow recovery.

2. Phil is being an excellent patient. The weather is beautiful and he would rather be anywhere other than sitting with his leg propped up.

3. Block Party. Our neighborhood had a block party on Saturday evening. About 30 families came out for the chili cookoff, bonfire and pumpkin carving. It was a fun evening watching the kids play and getting to visit with neighbors we don't get a chance to see often.

4. Grandma visited. Phil's mom came to watch the kids while we were at the hospital. The kids had a great time visiting with Grandma.

5. Christmas Gifts. I ordered my first Christmas gifts today.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Wired Wednesday

Here it is another edition of Wired Wednesday. I'm working a slightly adjust schedule this week. No to do list, no agenda. Just make sure everyone is where they are suppose to be, feed and dressed, anything else I get done this week and next is just icing on the cupcake.

Philip's surgery went very well and he was able to come home on Monday, no over night stay at the hospital. His nerve block wore off yesterday afternoon so he was in a bit of pain last night, but we were able to get him comfy and with a dose of pain killers we both slept through the night. I stick to my theory that sleep is a good thing.

Something else I came across last week was a give away on 3P's Mama Says and entered so now I am attempting to increase my odds of winning. Alyson is having book week she has some great books and giveaways. Also a very cool book list. So go check it out.

Time to go get the little beans and the chaos to begin. Tonight we only have 2 karate classes and youth group and homework and well, you get the idea. Have a good night! See you Friday!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Fave Five Friday #7

Here it is the end of another week and I'm working on the better late than never plan. I tend to work on that plan a lot. At least it's still Friday. Thanks to Susanne for hosting Fave 5! I better get this show on the road before I fall asleep on my keyboard. So here are my favorite things from this past week.

Movie theater popcorn! We took the kids to see a movie on Sunday afternoon I got popcorn! Lauren drew the short straw and had to share with me, let just say they think I put way to much salt and butter on my popcorn, but I love it.

Perfect weather! Not too hot, not too wet, just right. Sunny and 70 degrees for the high cooler in the morning - perfect!

Pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Made from scratch. I'm not a very good cook but I do like to bake, because I like to eat cake and cookies and pie...well you get the idea.

Our round-about is open! For the last 4 months the main north/south road in town has been closed. It is the main road that leads to karate, the bank, the stuff mart, church and the only direct link between Caleb and Lauren's schools. To get around the construction means taking smaller side streets that were not designed for such traffic. It was taking me almost 15 minutes to get from one school to the other, now (drum roll please) down to 4 minutes!!! Yeah! Happy dance!!

Due to our medical issues lately, many friends have been calling and e-mailing this week. Letting me know they are thinking of us and offering their prayers for Phil's knee surgery. I am not looking forward to Monday but I am grateful for all the support from friends near and not so near.

Have a happy weekend I'm going to get some sleep - I hear it's a good thing!

Monday, September 29, 2008

On the Right Track

I have developed an obsession,oops I mean an interest in weight loss and healthy life styles lately. So, it's not a surprise that a weight loss segment on The Today Show on NBC caught my attention. Prevention Magazine was doing a story about losing those last few pounds. One of the ideas they shared was keeping a food log. Prevention said "dieters who jotted down what they ate lost twice as much weight as those who don't keep a record". I've done something right! It doesn't say if that continues to help keep the weight off, but I'm not taking any chances. Several times a day you'll find me jotting down what I've eaten in my planner. Prevention also offers a free online meal and exercise log here.

Just in case you were wondering, no, I didn't hurt my arm patting myself on the back.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday Fave 5

I can't believe it's Friday again! Also, hard to believe I have done something consistently for six weeks, in a row! It's time for this weeks fave 5. For more information and to see other participants fave 5 check out Susanne's blog Living to Tell the Story.

Here we go...

Number 5 Upcycling (aka cheap creative outlet). I took 2 necklaces I don't wear, put them together to make bling for the mommy van, now looking at them together I may bring it back in and wear it.

Number 4 Fall. The first week of fall has been sunny, dry and 80 degrees! Love it! It has been beautiful this week.

Number 3 Fall into Reading. I got my list up on time, then spent the next two days reading other people's lists, so many great little time. I did get started on my first book too.

Number 2 No new injuries, illness or dental emergencies!

Number 1 I saved the best for last. I got flowers. Caleb picked me these beautiful "undomesticated flowers" from the empty lot next to us.

Happy Friday! Have a great week!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fall Reading List

I am so excited about this reading challenge hosted by Katrina at Callapidder Days! Mainly for all the new books I'll find out about.

I forced myself to finish Not Buying it: My Year Without Shopping by Judith Levine this week before I could start any new books. I had 50 pages left and it was sitting there taunting me, so I finished it! It was interesting but, because it wasn't what I expected, I didn't enjoy as much as I thought I would, probably why I had a hard time finishing it. The other book that was going to be on my list was The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch, but I finished that on Sunday. So, here is the revised list.

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski because it's Oprah's new book club selection. Finished 10/12

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer my teenager told me, "Mom, you have to read this."Finished 10/21

3. & 4. 16 Lighthouse Road &
204 Rosewood Lane (Cedar Cove Series) by Debbie Macomber just because they're fun. Finished #3 on 10/27 #4 on 12/17

We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates another Oprah book club. Finished 12/3

My Sisters Keeper by Jodi Picoult recommened by my friend Laurie. Finished 11/7

It's a bit short, but I wanted to leave room for additions. Just in case I find something I just have to read on someone else's list.

Happy reading!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Fave Five Friday 5

Happy Friday! It is time for Fave Five again. Susanne has provided a button for Fridays. It's adorable - Thank you! I'll just get right to it here are my 5 for this week...

1. Lauren is part of the karate leadership (this is an extra class she takes to learn leadership skills) and had to help at the Belt Ceremony on Sunday. They had planned some activities for the kids to do before the program started and it was wonderful to see her helping the younger kids. I don't always get to see that responsible side of her or how good she works with younger kids. It was a real treat to see a glimpse of the wonderful young lady she is growing into.

2. At Belt Ceremony on Sunday Lauren got her black belt. The students receiving their black belts were awarded them on stage. She did a great job with her demonstrations - she was able to break both of her boards in front of a large crowd - and with her leadership duties and I am very proud of her. I'm waiting for Philip to put the pictures on the computer from his camera. I was too busy cheering and forgot to take pictures.

3. At Belt Ceremony on Sunday Caleb received his orange dragon belt. The the activities the kids participated in before the ceremony began were karate olympics, they competed for medals in the long jump and the ninja throw. Caleb got a silver medal for the ninja throw. His ninja traveled 10 feet.

4. No broken child! Lauren started complaining of arm pain on Sunday, so we went to the doctor and got x-rays, after a very long wait for a call with the results, she is bruised but not broken. And already feeling better.

5. My fave fun thing for this week in blogging. I'm having so much fun finding new blogs to read. I got 2 buttons for my sidebar, the one for fave five and one for the 2008 Fall Reading Challenge at Callapidder Days. I can't wait for the reading challenge to start (yeah, another resource to find interesting books) I have my stack of books ready for Monday!

Have a great week! Don't forget to leave me a comment, I love to read them!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wired Wednesday

Here it is another Wednesday. I thought Mondays were suppose to be the hectic day of the week. Not at our house. It's Wednesday. It started off like any other day, neither of the kids wanted to get up, Caleb didn't want to go to school, Lauren's arm was still hurting and we seemed to be plagued with a rash of forgetting things this morning. I hadn't heard back from the doctors office, so I wasn't really sure what my plans for the day were going to be, add to that yesterday's to do list got moved to today and we started off one step behind.

But, unbelievably I am getting things done, the motorcycle parts are picked up, oil change done, groceries bought, and put away. Now I am headed to the stuff mart to get contacts and fill a prescription. I have no idea how I have gotten any of this done except maybe caffeine. Maybe my over scheduled Wired Wednesdays aren't so bad after all. I guess it is true busy people do get more done.

Medical update...After a very long 24 hours the doctor's office called, Lauren doesn't have a broken arm. Yeah! It took that long for the radiologist to get the report to the doctor's office. We are still waiting on an appointment for Philip's knee, hopefully we will get in sooner than the 2-3 weeks we originally thought it would take.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The resuts are in

Philip had an MRI last week and we got the results yesterday, the good news is he does not have a torn meniscus. He has a torn ACL and a bone fracture. So, now we wait for the referral, it's coming in the mail, then we head to the orthopedist and see what they want to do. Probably another two weeks before we can get we wait.

While I type this I keep checking my phone to make sure I didn't miss a call from Lauren's doctor. Lauren started complaining that her arm hurt on Sunday night. We spent our today in the doctor's office and getting x-rays because her arm is still hurting.

I am trying to wait patiently and keep things in perspective, but I don't wait well. I'll post when I know more.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Fave Five Friday

Well, it's Friday again and I can't believe how fast the week has gone. Our days have been very busy with activities and homework but it has been a good week. So, here are my fave five, if you want to join in or see other peoples five check out Living to Tell the Story.

1. Stripes! Both the kids had karated stripe tests this week. The students have to earn 3 stripes to progress to the next belt rank. This week was the 3rd test. Caleb likes this test because they get to break a real board. Caleb will be awarded his orange dragon belt on Sunday. Sunday will also be a big day for Lauren, because she tested for her black belt last night and passed!
We are very proud of her. To get her black belt she has been in class for 3 years and the last 3 months she has had an extra class and requirments to complete. Sunday will be a very big day for her and I'm sure it will be on next weeks five.

2. Girlfriends! Our moms group invaded a local resturant for breakfast this week. We laughed, talked, ate, laughed a little more and cleared out just in time for lunch to start. I was also able to catch up with another friend, Monica and I have been friends since kindergarten, we were on the phone for an hour and a half phone call, but oh well, we had a lot to talk about. After all it had been about a month since we talked last. Last night I found another friend on facebook that I had lost touch with. We have both moved and emails change and so do phone numbers. I very excited to see how they are and catch up.

3. Scrapbooking. I love to scrapbook and haven't really had the chance lately to get much done, but this week I got the craft area cleaned up and the scrapbooks and pictures out. I didn't get any pages done, yet, but it was still fun to get the supplies out and look at the pictures. I am only a 1 1/2 years behind, not too bad, but my how the kids have grown.

4. Veggies. This week I was given home grown tomatoes and cucumbers! They were wonderful! I also tried Debbie Meyer Green Bags this week, my leaf lettuce has been in there a week now and no slim! Yeah!

5. Bling. Not for me, for the mommy bag (aka my purse) I found this key holder at the card store yesterday. It is u shaped with a cute thing (I got the pink and green flower) on one end and a hook on the other to hold your keys. You slip it over the edge of your bag, keys inside and pretty thing outside, to keep your keys from dropping to the bottom of your bag.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Today is finally over. It has been a very busy, over scheduled, hectic day.There was the to do list, the "I wish I could get to that" list, a trip to the stuff mart, volunteering at school, one after school activity, two karate classes and youth group. Somewhere in there we managed to squeeze in dinner (including a meltdown over cornbread) and homework. Believe it or not we were only late for one class, I got everything on the stuff mart list, one "to do" is being moved to tomorrow's list and I still had time for a cup of cinnamon apple tea, so over all it was a good day. I am going to do one thing on the wish list then get ready to start all over tomorrow.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Summer Reading

I thought it might be fun for Lauren and I to have our own book club this summer. The only requirement was that it had to be an author neither of us had read. So we could branch out a little. I let her pick a few and then we made a choice. We picked The Eight by Katherine Neville.

The cover says it is "An absorbing thriller steeped in history". It's steeped in history alright, just about any historical figure you can think of is in this book, from Charlemagne to Muammar Khaddafi. I would describe it more as an adventure than a thriller, along the lines of Indiana Jones meets Thelma and Louise. It also has a cast of hundreds, unfortunately I didn't connect to any of them. I didn't know the heroins enough to want to root for them. The adventure held it's own in the story but there were characters and subplots that were disconnected and just seem to be fillers.

Lauren gave up at about page 100. I finished reading by pure stubbornness. I don't like to give up once I've started a book just in case in the end it is the best book I've read. I knew the story lines would all be tied up at the end and by page 300 I just wanted to get there.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Friday Fave Five 3

I can't believe it is Friday evening already. Where has this week gone? I'm joining Susanne at Living to Tell the Story in Friday Fave Five. So here it goes!

1 Pink Party! My family gave me pink birthday party, complete with pink dinner ware and a basket of pink balloons!

2 Birthday Cake! Well, really any cake but this was my birthday cake, lemon cake that Lauren frosted with lemon icing for me and Caleb added a layer of sprinkles. Yummy!

3. Surprise Packages in the Mail! I got a surprise care package from my sister. Yeah! Thanks Sis.

4. Fall Decoration! I put out the fall decorations this week. I like the colors - gold, orange and burgundy - they make the house feel warm and cozy. Now I am just waiting for that little chill in the air.

5. All by Myself. I went grocery shopping all by myself. I hear someday I'll miss having "helpers". I'm just sooo not there yet.

Thank you all for your sympathy for my dental issues. It was greatly appreciated. Have a great week!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

An Empty Inbox

Almost. I was inspired by a blog I read on Callapidder Days to empty out my email inbox. My inbox doesn't have anything related to a job, mostly just updated address and schedules that should be put in my calendar anyway and a few pictures. So, why are they hanging around in my inbox, because eventually never gets here. I did have system set up to separate my emails, forwards, schedules, pictures, you get the idea. The problem is I don't go back and sort and empty. Let's face it I am not going to go back and read a forwarded email I was sent before my baby could talk.

I am now down to 3 folders I have to sort, one with pictures to put in a digital photo album, letters and that Oprah folder. I no longer have a schedule folder, that information is put on the calendar and the email deleted. No more searching through an over full inbox of for the date of whatever event I'm looking for. I was surprised how good it felt to only have 2 messages in my inbox this morning.

So, what's in your inbox?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Fave Five for Friday 2

This week has been a real stretch to come up with 5 favorite things. It wasn't my best week, it started on Monday with a "short" dentist appointment that lasted over an hour. I should have been concerned when the dentist started working and asked if I was up for a challenge. My dental work is finished! The temporary crowns are off, the new crown is on, the filling is in and I can chew on both sides of my mouth.

So, on with my favorite things from this week...

1. Docking Stations. Honey put 2 new shelves in our under used hall closet. These are the kids docking stations, landing strips, whatever you want to call them, for their school bags, books and supplies. They are working great! Both kids have been putting away their bags and we haven't had to hunt for lost books. And the best part...the clutter is off my living/dinning room floor. I got this inspiration from the blog I'm an Organizing Junkie.

2. Reusable/recyclable shopping bags with handles. These are so great for grocery shopping. The handles are actually usable and they don't multiply in the cabinet like the cheap plastic bags do. I have store brands for the two stores I go to the most and pink one for other shopping.

3. Mail! I got mail with real stamps. I have to admit I do love to get snail mail, this week so far I have gotten 3 cards and a free vitamin sample. Yippee!

4. Quote. "Don't let what you can't do interfere with what you can do!" This came out of a fortune cookie, inspiration can come from anywhere.

5. Too funny. Yesterday saw an ad for Miche Bags on the side of a car, and being a purse girl, thought I'd better check this out, but just didn't get to it. This morning when I went to Living to Tell the Story, there was a link to these bags!! They are very cute, and are on the short list to replace the "Mommy Bag" when the time comes. They also come in pink.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Fave Five for Friday

I came a cross a blog early this week called Living to Tell the Story, and last Friday Susanne wrote a blog listing her favorite 5 things from the past week. I thought this was a great idea and this week she invited everyone to join in so here it goes.

1. TWO great first days of school. Lauren thinks 8th great rocks and her teachers are awesome! Caleb is very excited about kindergarten they get snack and 3 recesses!

2. Lunch out with the girls. A group of us moms went out to lunch. Our kids all went to preschool together last year and started kindergarten this week. So we went out to lunch at a restaurant that didn't have toys with the meals. It was a lot of fun.

3. Date night. Philip and I had 3 hours without the kids, we went out for coffee and were able to carry on a conversation that didn't involve super heroes, or cartoon characters.

4. Quilting. Once a week I get together with 2 friends and we quilt and talk and laugh...a lot!

5. Flowers. Caleb and I planted sunflowers seedlings in the spring and not only did they not die they are blooming!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ready or Not

Kindergarten here he comes! Today way Caleb's first full day of school. He was very excited about his first day, especially when he found out they have snack! And three recesses! He did a great job going to school until we reached the gym where they wait for the bell to ring, the gym was very loud and Caleb got a little over whelmed by it. We didn't have any tears and he had a great first day.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

School Day

Today was Lauren's first day and if it is any indication of how our year is going to to it will be a good one. Apparently "8th grade ROCKS!". She only had good things to say about her teachers, she has friends in her classes, her locker is the first one in the hallway, more elbow room, and she has P.E. last hour. I am very glad she had a good first day, I hope we have many more like today.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Assembly Required

One of the N.U.T.s I wanted to finish before the kids went back to school was to get shelving for their rooms. What prompted this "little" project was the crash heard round the block, Lauren's shelf fell off the wall, back at the end of June. Since then her trophies have been sitting on her floor in a laundry basket.

So, as a family outing, the last weekend before school started, we were going to get shelves! I decided free standing was the way to go it has a better flexibility factor, Lauren likes to move her room around a lot! The plan was hatched before Phil hurt his knee, so after a slight adjustment in my plan, I strapped on my fit flops, credit card in hand and headed out on my mission - shelves! Or in the event of failure - chocolate.

Success at the first store! I love Target! They had two bookcases, 72" high by 23" wide with 5 shelves, when these are full it is time to get rid of "stuff". They required assembly. I can do that I assembled my 2 shelf bookcase. After finally getting both shelves in the house, they are a bit longer than I am tall, I started working about 3:30. I got the first shelf done, fixed and ate dinner, then started on the second. I got 2 shelves put together, grouped my other pieces, pulled out the long sides and piece 8N was broken! Not a problem, well, yes it was but now that the boxes and shelf parts were all over the house there was no option but to finish the project, somehow. Half an hour of phone calls later another shelf was found and they would replace just the part I need, I didn't have to start all over! Back to Target (the newest one "in town" has a Starbucks in the store!). It was now 8:45, very close to my bedtime, I put my screwdriver in my pocket and went to work.

I finished the shelves, had them in place and ready to fill at 10:00 only 6 1/2 hours after I started. What I learned in the process, other than how to use a drill, was that deciding I could do this was the most powerful tool I had. At any point if I would have said "I can't do this" I would have been right and I the shelf parts would be scattered all over the house. Instead the kids have nice bookcases and they are starting the school year organized. That after all was the mission - mission complete!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Just For Fun

It's in the bag, the mommy bag that is. That's the nickname for the bag that holds everything from my essentials to other peoples gum, candy, toys, phones, sunglasses and sometimes I think maybe the kitchen sink is in there. The mommy bag is now one year old. From someone who is an admitted purse junkie that is a long time for one bag, but I finally found a bag that I like the look of and love the function! I bragged on this purse so much my sister and my sister-in-law are both using the same purse in different colors. Just in case I can't find another one when this bag wears out I have a back up in my closet, and I got that one on sale!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

It's a Home Run!

Oh, sorry wrong sport!
Caleb's new catch phrase is "family fun thing". Finding a family fun thing with an eight and a half year age difference not always easy to do. So we tried tennis. Lauren and I got new tennis rackets, pink of course, and we headed to the courts. Philip played "the girls" while Caleb chased the wayward tennis balls. Boy, was he busy! Then we had some practice time. The kids did great! By the time we left Caleb was able to hit a few back to Dad and Lauren and I both managed to hit home runs over the practice board. It was a lot of fun out there just running around with the kids. Just another adventure on our "stay-cation"! That is one of Lauren's least favorite phrases, I use it every chance I get.
Catch it Lauren!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Karate Kids

At the karate belt ceremony in June Lauren got her black brown belt with a black tip. That means she is a black belt candidate. When she completes the next group of requirements she will be a black belt. Lauren also received her 2nd Year Determination Award.

Caleb received his yellow dragon belt. He also received a participation award.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Headline News

AP - Anytown, USA. A random act of kindness was witnessed today in Suburbia. After being given permission to attend a movie matinee with a friend Lauren, a local teenager, invited her little brother, Caleb. This act of kindness was witnessed by the children's mother. After being scrapped up off the floor, mom thought Lauren might be ill or body snatched. At this time no fever or strange rashes have developed and no pods have been located. It is simply an unsolicited, uncoerced act of kindness.
Breaking news. A flying pig was spotted near Anytown. We will bring you more details as they become available.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

On Road Again

Two weeks ago we loaded everyone, our bikes and Caleb's new hitchhiker and headed for the bike trail. Lauren thought we should set a goal for our first ride. So she did. Fifteen miles!! We made it! By the time we got back to the van everyone was starving. I packed snacks but didn't take them with us, I really wasn't planning on 15 miles for our first time out. I took water bottles and sun screen in my bike bag.

Today we went out for our second ride. This time I planned better, we took the snacks with our water bottles and sun screen. We only went 13.1 miles and had a picnic lunch in the van when we finished. Just in case you were wondering, yes, Caleb does talk the entire way.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

House Guest

We have a visitor this week. Lauren found him Monday on a walk around the pond. His name is "Speedy". He has been staying with us for a few days and living in the kitchen.I don't know how long he'll be with us but the kids are having fun watching him.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Ready for Summer

I always said maybe when Caleb was 5 I'd let Phil give him a buzz cut. Well, he's 5 and I'm the one that got his hair cut. It is longer than a buzz cut, not much, but I know with as hard as Caleb plays outside he will be more comfortable when the weather gets hot. And it will be much easier to wash (little boys don't really like baths)! I still like his hair a little longer, more baby like, but what is important is that Caleb is happy with his hair cut and he loves it!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Karate Kids

It took a year but Caleb finally got his white karate belt. He started his classes last week. Caleb's class starts 15 minutes before Lauren's so it cuts down on the running around for me and I get to watch both classes.

Lauren has the last belt before she starts her black belt candidate training. Way to go Lauren!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

All the News

Caleb is 5! Happy Birthday Buddy! Caleb had a really good birthday. He got to take treat bags and a special snack to school on Wednesday. He also got to be line leader! He was leader two times because he as also line leader on Monday. We also had a family party with "two pieces of cake at the same time." I made him a layer cake, usually I don't make a layer cake because that is a lot of cake he was pretty excited about that.

Lauren (and the rest of the Middle School Band) got a First Place at the district full band contest on Saturday. Caleb and I went and listened to them and they sounded really good! Lauren brought her medal home on Monday! Way to go!

Our project is finished! The flooring went in on Friday
and the furniture started going in on Saturday!