Thursday, December 30, 2010

Email Blogging

Who knew you could blog by sending an email?  Very cool.  If only I had a phone that sends/recieves emails.  Five weeks until my birthday . . .

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Thirty Dollars for a Tooth?!?!

My son has been waiting for one of his teeth to fall out.  Most of his friends have lost a tooth (and he's one of the older students in his class).  The dentist told us at our regular check-up in October that there were no signs of losing any soon.
After seven years, two months, and thirteen days of waiting, my son lost his first tooth!  It occurred on Christmas morning . . . and during mass.  Aunt Sheila (my sister) told my son that the tooth fairy just might bring $30 for just such a coincidence.  Though funny (for Aunt Sheila), the tooth fairy brought the big $5 pay-out for a first tooth.  It is a dollar here on out (unless she has to pay that dollar-a-day late fee).

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.

Merry Christmas!

Travel Routines

For the past ten or so years, our extended family (parents, g-parents, siblings, etc.) live six hours away from us.  Every year at Christmas, we spend a few days at one side of relatives, drive five hours Christmas day, and spend a few days at the other side.  This year--we are only spending four nights out-of-state.  Nonetheless, the travel routines are still in place. 
My husband usually insists on driving--which means he's in control of the radio.  Six hours of sports radio there, five hours in the middle of our trip, and six hours back.  It also means he's in control of the temperature in the van.  This leads to my routines for sanity.

Today's travel outfit is typical.  I have on a pair of jeans over my running tights, three shirts/sweatshirts, socks, and running shoes.  I'm thinking of breaking routine and also packing a blanket--my husband is very warm blooded; I'm a cold-blooded lizzard. 

I also pack two "play-aways" from the library with the corresponding book.  I listen to the recorded book on the mp3 player w/ headphones.  If it's really good, I finish reading the hard copy when we get to our destination.  I wanted the Girl w/ the Dragon Tattoo since I've started it; however, the library did not have it.  Instead, I'll be enjoying Shutter Island.  Let the driving begin!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Inebriated David Hasselhoff

I went running today for the first time in just over a week.  I'm really trying to do some running this winter (never really done this before) so I can run a spring half-marathon.  We had a surprise snow storm that cancelled school on Thursday, but today was warmer.  When I set out to run, it was 30 degrees. 
From my house to the "main road" is a short half mile.  I knew I would run in the road during this part of my 3-miler.  I hit the "main road" thinking the sidewalk would be shoveled.  It is a 4-lane highway with many bus stops.  The sidewalks were not shoveled.  No matter--I was going to run.

I can only describe the next mile and a half of my run through the snow as equivalent to an inebriated middle-aged, out-of-shape David Hasselhoff running in snow versus the sand.  I was the antithesis of gracefulness.  It was twice the workout.  Fortunately I run so slow on normal runs that my running time was not that far off.  I'm sure as I was slipping, sliding, waddling, and hurdling through snow and small drifts I was using muscles that are not normally use.  I bet I'll be feeling it tomorrow!  Nonetheless--I did it!

Checking for Clown Make-Up?

One of the perks of attending a Catholic school is that our children are required to wear uniforms (no fights about clothing on school days) and they are not allowed to wear make-up or fingernail polish.  Now, I have visited the junior high enough to know there are many students "stretching" that rule.  Obviously, the stretching went too far, and the students had to be reeled in a bit. 

The school's principal and school nurse did a make-up check on the students--sending some to the bathroom to clean up.  One of my daughter's teachers spoke to their class about how some of them are wearing so much make-up, they should be standing on a streetcorner (I'm sure . . . or at least HOPE . . . she was a little more delicate in her phraseology).  My daughter thought she was calling them clowns.  Thank goodness for our naive oldest!  Never fear--her friends informed her what it means if you are standing on a street corner.  I am glad you only have to live through junior high once!

The Quiet Game

My son's first grade homeroom has only twenty students--but a fair portion of the class can be challenging.  I hate to use gender bias, but there are seven girls and thriteen healthy, active boys. 

We had a surprise snowstorm and subsequent school cancellation on Thursday.  Friday, the last day of school before the two-week Christmas break, was undoubtly hectic as the teachers rushed to play catch-up on all of the projects they wanted to complete before all of the Christmas parties began the last hour of school.  Did I mention it was spirit day (which means out of regular uniforms AND a serbert treat).  Right after lunch, my son's class has physical education.
While sitting around the dinner table, we discuss our favorite part of the day.  Our youngest chimed in that the Christmas party was the best but gym class was second.  "Oh, but we did have to play the quiet game FOUR TIMES during gym."  I can only imagine!  That poor gym teacher may still be recovering!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Vegetarian or Barbarian?

My seven-year-old son tends to be fairly sensitive and very empathetic.  He and I were at the grocery store to pick up something for supper.  I thought a rotisserie chicken and veggies would be the cure for a quick meal.  I picked one up, and my son was excited because he likes chicken.
We walked a few steps, and he mentioned he felt sorry for the chicken who was killed.  Later at supper he repeated this sentiment.  I told him if he was that sorry, he could pass on the meat but he had to learn to eat more beans and other protiens.  "No mom.  I like chicken.  I just wish they didn't have to be mean and kill them.  Maybe they can just take chunks out of them without killing them."  After thinking on that for a while, I'm considering becoming a vegetarian--ha! ha!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Washing Dishes

When I was in junior high school (the age my girls are now), I won a little writing contest for an essay I wrote about the holidays.  The only thing I remember about the assignment was complaining how ridiculous it was that we washed the dishes BEFORE AND AFTER we use them for a special dinner.  My mother was embarrassed when the teacher talked to her about it.  The teacher thought it was funny.
I bet you cannot guess what I just finished doing for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow!

Maxiumum Capacity

Approximately four times a year I have one of those periods of time where I am running at maxiumum capacity, and just teetering on going over the edge.  Usually around Christmas time, the end of the school year, mid-February (sports and school reasons), and the first week of school.  I'd like to add the week before Thanksgiving this year.  I was a little overinvolved in projects for others, have parent/teacher conferences to conduct, and have to attend five conferences for my own children.  There was other miscellaneous "stuff" we all have, too.  I was wiped out after school, and then got a call from my mother-in-law.
While I was talking with her, call-waiting beeped in twice (I didn't click over) and the doorbell rang.  I told my mother-in-law just a second while I answered the door.  It was the neighbor returning some spice he borrowed.  I stood and talked to him for about ten minutes.  I did not remember that my mother-in-law was on the other end of the phone until after I closed the door and started to put the spice away.  I WAS HOLDING THE PHONE THE ENTIRE TIME!  She got a good chuckle out of it.  Thank goodness I wasn't cooking!

Friday, November 19, 2010

What Kind of Dancer?

I teach pre-kindergarten at a Catholic school.  Love, love, love my job.  The children never cease to amaze and amuse me.  Today was no exception.
I had a little boy bring me a sticker to wear.  He was very adamant about where on my shirt I should place it . . . immediately.  "Oh *Johnny*! How cute!  Thank you!"  I told him. 

He replied, "It's a pole dancer." 

Now *Johnny* has some typical pre-k speech issues.  I responded, "I'm sorry honey.  I couldn't hear you."  I was really hoping I heard wrong.

"It's a pole dancer."

"*Johnny*, I think you mean HULA dancer."

"Oh!  Yeah."  Glad we cleared this issue up before he went home.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Husband's New Job

My husband has been a work-aholic since we graduated from grad school in '94.  Since the children have gotten older, he has been somewhat reformed:  mostly 5-day work weeks, 10 hour days, but LOTS of travel.  Long story shorter--last February he had a job-loss scare and started looking for a new job.  He started about a month ago at a local, private college.  The "typical" workweek hours are from 8:30 to 4:30.  It's been weird having him around--and he has so much more energy.

The other night we had to run to the store.  We ate supper, went to the store, and were home by 6:30!  That was the time we STARTED dinner many nights.  We're still in the honeymoon phase of this new job, but I think it will be wonderful!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Strange Find

Given the right state-of-mind when cleaning, you can find a great deal of humor.  You may wonder "What in the world WAS that?" to the item in the couch cushion.  "How long has that been there?"  "I thought this was lost forever!"  "Oooooh!  Quarter--it's mine!"  "How in the world did THAT get THERE?"--I had the latter morning.

My husband did know where to find a fork to take in his lunch today.  (Really?!?!?!)  We only have miscellaneous plastic utensils as leftovers from a fast food carryout.  I looked in the silverware drawer for a fork I wouldn't miss should it never return.  I found not one, but TWO bubble wands instead.  Hum?!?  I don't even want to know.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Running Attempt . . . AGAIN!

I've been whining about my running all summer, and just when I was developing strength and consistency--school started.  I became the lowest priority in the house.  A friend of mine runs in a group called Miles That Matter.  She's mentioned it several times over the past year, but about the first time I had just finished a marathon training by myself.  Who needs a group?
To answer my own question--me!  I now need a group, and this one seems organized and has a purpose.  The group is called Miles That Matter ( ).  A big percent of the registration fee off the top goes to charity.  I'm getting ready to head there for a dark 7 a.m. run this morning.  I'm going to train (but not run) for the Princess 1/2 Marathon at the end of February.  My new, revised goal is to run a spring half-marathon (maybe the Flying Pig--it's about an hour from my house).  So here goes attempt number 381 to get in shape!


I have a dilemma.  Last night two of my three children were gone for the evening and my husband was out of the house running a long errand.  I put on a movie for my son to watch while I baked a triple batch of "breakfast cookies." to eat and to freeze.
This recipe is yummy (I really do NOT like raisin cookies).  It contains dried fruit & banana chips, nuts, whole wheat flour, rolled oats, and brown sugar.  I eat them before I run or take them for a hearty snack.  I baked the first half noting that I didn't remember the batter had such a moist consistency.  I was placing the next batch in the oven when I remembered . . . I forgot to add the oats!!! 

Since I forgot the "breakfast" in the breakfast cookies, they are now just cookies.  My dilemma--can I dip them in chocolate?  (BTW--the last half of the cookies I baked had the oats added.  I'm eating one now.)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Technically, I am employed five mornings; however, I've worked and/or volunteered almost full-time since school started.  It has been an adjustment for the family to pick up the slack a little.  No one has been hit harder by this adjustment--or so I thought--than the dog.  She was accustomed to everyone home 24/7 during the summer, and now she's home alone from 7 to 4 every day. I felt sorry for her . . . until today.
I was able to venture home for two hours this afternoon.  I pulled in the driveway around one in the afternoon.  Upon entering the house, I heard a "Thud!" upstairs.  I knew immediately the sound was the dog jumping off the bed.  She is NEVER allowed on our bed.  That smart dog sleeps on our bed all day and knows when to hop down to keep out of trouble.  The best part of it was the guilty look on her face knowing her "gig" has been busted.  And to think we all felt sorry for her!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Another Mom-of-the-Year Moment

My husband and I "banter" about purchasing organic milk.  He says it's a scam because it is expensive and doesn't taste like milk.  I tell him that as much milk as our family drinks (minus him), buying organic half the time isn't a bad idea.  So I was out shopping and needed milk--I bought two half-gallon cartons of organic at a warehouse store (which may or may not be relevant).  We had my sister's family of five visiting and the fridge was full, so I pour one of the cartons into the gallon jug already in the fridge--it all just fit.  That was Sunday afternoon.  All was good.
Tuesday morning my daughter opened the new 1/2 gallon and poured it on her cereal.  She immediately started whining it tasted bad.  Of course I growled at her something about how her father has her brain-washed that organic milk is not milk.  "No mom--it really smells kind of sour."  So I yanked the carton off the counter, checked the expiration date (which was good), and took a regretable big wiff.  The milk was spoiled.  Oh yes, another episode to record for my mom-of-the-year award. 

FYI--I did apologize for doubting her.  This act should win me SOME brownie points.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Who Can Argue?

Another funny incident that happened recently at work brought chuckles to many people.  I have THE cutest little boy in my class (actually I got about eleven of them, but . . . )--I won't describe just in case anyone I know reads this blog, but he truly has the face and voice of an angel.  ANYWAY . . . we try very hard to teach our students not to waste the resources God has blessed us with--including when we are in the bathroom.  They should only use one pump of soap and two big pulls of papertowels.

This cute little boy was using the multi-pump technique for getting soap (where the children have more mass of soap than they have mass of hands).  I reminded him that we only need one pump of soap to get our hands clean.  He looked at me, smiled, and replied, "But Mrs. *****, God wanted me to have two pumps."  I'm not going to argue with God--would you?

Preschool Perception of Jesus

I teach pre-kindergarten at my own children's school five mornings a week.  Even though my degree is secondary education, I've worked with young kids for over a dozen years so I could be close to my own children.  I am anxious to get into my field; however, I do love, love, love what I do right now.  There is something so innocent, so exciting, and so funny about children this age. 

I was sitting with a small group and just talking about life in general.  One of the children said something, and I replied, "Isn't it awesome that God takes such good care of us."

Another child chimed in, "And Jesus, too!!!"

"I know," I answered, "Isn't that amazing!"

Another child was part of this group, but was wandering off to another area.  As he was leaving he said with his back to us, "Yeah!  Especially since he is a lamb!"  Obviously his family was having similar conversations at home.  It just made me smile.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Running Again

I think one of my last posts (which was quite a while ago), I felt like I was finally getting into shape.  Then came the beginning of school--gone.  This was the first autumn in four years I didn't run a marathon.  In fact, I'm not even sure if I've logged more than ten miles in the past month.
I've started up . . . AGAIN!  (I'm now understanding people and their diets).  I'm hoping to get in decent enough shape to run a five miler on Thanksgiving day.  I then can come home and begin what I refer to as the three month eating fest.  It starts Thanksgiving Day and, in theory, ends when Lent begins.  I am blessed that I haven't put on much weight, but turning the big four-oh this year combined with the obesity gene in our family . . . I need to take care of me.  (At least occasionally).

Even the Dog's a Social Misfit

We joke that our children are just like us--a little bit socially challenged.  They tend to be loners like us.  A few close friends make us happy; we don't need 1,000 social network "friends" to prove our self-worth.  The trade off is that they are fairly confident in who they are.  They don't feel the need to do strange things just to impress others.  As parents (who also share these traits)--we are thrilled.  However, we sometimes are social misfits.
Our poor dog is the same way.  My daughter and I took her to the dog park for the first time in a long time.  She was the odd-dog-out.  At one point five dogs were tackling her.  She hid under benches.  The best part for her was running up to her new friends--humans, not canine.  I guess even the family pet should be included in the saying that "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree."

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Dog Ate My Homework

When my son came home from the first day of school, he proudly put all his work on our coffee table.  The dog was going crazy.  She has been used to 24/7 attention this summer, and now with us all gone all day--she's nuts when we arrive home.  Suddenly, she began furiously licking one of my son's papers. 
Note the Cheerios.  That is the only "snack" we give her besides a raw hide bone.  I guess she thought my son brought her a peace offering.  The dog literally tried to eat his homework.

So Close, But . . .

Approximately two and a half years ago I gave my husband a "two-year-warning" about purchasing a new washing maching.  Our refurbished machine that came with our first home when we purchased it in 1998.  It is small--and I do an obscene number of loads for our family of five.  Trust me--I am not one to allow everyone to get a new towel each time they shower.  The machine is small.  The other problem is that I hate waste, and I cannot justify getting a new machine until the old one has died.  Today was the day!
I was resting upstairs (little stomach bug--ick!) and could hear the machine start then stop, start then stop, start then stop . . .  I finally got up to see what was going on.  I was greeted by my oldest who smiled and said, "Dad told me to tell you the wash machine died."  For a brief moment I could hear one of those new energy-efficient, high capacity washers calling my name.  Dad was standing by the washer getting ready to get those car keys for a trip to Home Depot.  I looked in the machine and saw a bunch of clothing on one side and nothing on the other.  It was just unbalanced.  Bummer!

Had a just been dishonest with my husband, I'd be waiting by the door for the delivery of my new washer.  He never would have known the difference.  Is honesty really the best policy?!?!?!?  Ha! Ha!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bike Helmet

I finally purchased my bike helmet.  I just couldn't bring myself to wear my daughters' old helmet.  I actually had one of my girls with me when I went to the bike shop. 
I'm expecting great things with my free grandma bike and my new helmet.  I'm expecting courage, a five-pound weight loss, amazing speed, and the motivation I need to get back into marathon  running shape!  OK--I'll settle for a little stress relief.

We did look at all those bikes while we were there.  Maybe if I am a good girl, log a bunch of miles on my "training" bike, and tutor like 1,000 hours--I'll treat myself to a "real" bike next spring.

I Thought This Would Be Easy

So in my new "permanent" sewing area, I am working on a Mod Sampler quilt I've mentioned before.  I'm really having a time and a half--probably why I'm just a wanna-be quilter and not a REAL quilter.  I am half way done piecing the top of one quilt (I've cut out two--each daughter wanted one).  Cutting the quilt out took forever, and I have miscut pieces (both sizewise and numberwise).  I have missewn pieces (which explains the seam ripper near my right hand at all times).  I'm embarrassed to say I've had to resew a nine-patch . . . TWICE.  That ironing all seams open is for the birds.  I think there is something possessing this project--because the directions on the internet could not be clearer or more precise.  I chose this pattern for that reason.
I'm going to keep going with this--with a goal of giving the girls their quilts for Christmas.  Should I give something as a special Christmas gift when I'm beginning to think . . . um . . . in PG13 language while sewing it?!?

My Sewing Corner

We moved into our home approximately two years ago.  I really love having more space.  Our basement is finished, and we divided it into sections:  daddy's section (for his sports memorabilia side job/hobby), mommy's section (for my sewing--but fabric is stored upstairs in my bedroom closet), and the kids' section (for the television, wii, and all the other "stuff" we don't want all over the house).   Sounds ideal, but . . .
I don't like sewing downstairs.  There is no natural light in the mommy section.  You cannot hear a thing in the basement--which does not work with three children and numerous friends/neighbors.  You also cannot hear if anyone comes to the door.  Lastly, the family dog is not allowed downstairs (daddy's rules).  When daddy was gone for a month, I decided to move my sewing desk upstairs--just temporarily.  There's this little niche in the corner of our "office"type room.  (Note the nasty dog bone near the sewing area).

Today I've declared it a permanent move.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Simple Abundance

A long time ago, I was given a book written by Sarah Ban Breathnach entitled Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy (my copy was published in '95).  There is a section for each day of the year.  The topics are full of variety, tons of quotes, and a section called "Joyful Simplicities" for each month of the year.  This is basically a book for you to stop and be thankful for the most simple things in life. 
I rediscovered this book when deep cleaning the basement.  This book doesn't replace (and I hope the author is not egocentric enough to think that is should replace) my bible and other religious practices.  The book is just a sweet way for me to slow down and look at some specific elements in life.  For example, today's entry is on animals.  Tomorrow's in on antiquing.  I should list 101 things for which I am thankful.  Sounds simple, but I get so caught up in life that I tend to overlook those beautiful things around us.

Friday, August 6, 2010

New Tool

I received some upsetting news this week (regular "life" stuff), and I did something I don't do often.  I wanted to shop for something to make me feel better.  I purchased a big girl quilt tool--a tiny iron.  My oldest daughter informed me that it was the smallest iron she has ever seen.  Well . . . that's the point. 
I'm making two Mod Sampler quilts for my daughters (pattern and great directions at ) It recommends that I press all seams open.  Never done that before, but I wanted to complete the quilts as directed. I should have bought one of these tools years ago!  I don't anticipate burning the tips of my fingers as much as trying to manipulate a regular iron in these small fabric areas.  It's the little things that get me excited.  I guess that is a sign that I lead a good life!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

You Never Forget--Really?

Have you heard the expression "It's like riding a bicycle--you never forget how to do it."  I could be proof that this is not true.  This weekend, our family (my husband, our three kids, and I) helped with a Ride for Life biking event to benefit Dayton Right to Life education.  What a great cause.  Since I don't even own a bike, volunteering seemed like the next best thing.  Unfortunately, the turn out was pretty low.  I decided to spend $5 on six raffle tickets for a new bike--AND I WON!  Thanks to Huffy for the donation to the event!
I tested it for the first time tonight.  My best estimate of my last real bike ride (not the stationary kind)--1988.  I'm a chicken, afraid of falling, afraid to go fast, AND have no natural athletic ability.  I managed to squeeze my breaks all the way down our sloping driveway, turn onto the sidewalk, then tried pedaling.  Twice ended up in the grass because of steering "issues."  Walked the bike back up the driveway to raise the seat.  Round two, I ended up in the grass twice.  I only rode a mile--most on a sidewalk because I don't have a helmet.  The average person could walk faster than I was riding--but I'm trying to diversify my workouts since I cannot get motivated to run regularly.  So you really CAN forget to ride a bike.

It Must Be Monday

Today was one of those typical Mondays that you have to laugh about--because it's only "stuff."  Our two vehicle family has blessed to be car-payment free for approximately ten years.  I was leaving to take my vehicle in for its 30K mile tune-up (even though my odometer is over 40K) at the dealership.  I was trying to locate my keys as my husband was leaving for work.  Then I head it--"wooooo.  wooo.  screech."  Repeat.  Screech was something that sounded like metal on metal.  My husband--who's very intelligent, but has no mechanical ability--came in.  "Maybe it is the battery," he mumbled, "Could you take me to work?"
I have only 1% mechanical ability--enough to know that a low battery does not make a high-pitch, metal-on-metal screech.  I am also intelligent enough not to say anything.  My husband informed me that "this is not a good time for this to happen."  Again, I am smart enough NOT to verbalize my retort--"When IS a good time for your car to die?"  Long story shorter, the 13-year-old vehicle (with over 130K miles) needed ANOTHER $1400 repair. 
Bad news--we now have a car payment for a newer car.  Good news--we are all healthy and have two running cars.  I guess it is a matter of perspective.  You have to admit--it is funny it happened on the proverbial Monday and on the day I was taking the "good" car to the dealership.

Friday, July 30, 2010

What a Sweet Boy!

My son really is the sweetest.  We joke that he's Eyeore--even temperment and never does anything in a hurry.  Because of these traits, I sometimes underestimate him and his feelings.  This past week was another example.
Daddy was on a business trip . . . AGAIN, so we decided to visit family in Illinois.  About an hour before arriving to our destination, the children and I stopped for a calm dinner at Cracker Barrel.  While waiting for our table, we naturally browsed through the store.  Eyeore asked, "Do you think there is anything dad likes here?"  I assumed he meant to eat, and I gave some half-hearted answer.  "No, mom," he corrected, "does he like anything here?"  He wanted to buy my husband a souvenier like daddy did when he went to Hawaii on business.  Like I said, he really is sweet.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Murphy's Law #1,274

Murphy's Law #1,274 states that if your house is clean, no one will visit.  If your house is a total disaster, you will have company.  Typically, this visitor will be someone who has never been to your home before.

Disclaimer:  This is not really a photo of my house.
Good search "Messy House" images--it will make you feel a whole lot better about your own messy home.

Last night, the kids and I returned home from visiting the in-laws for several days.  (Daddy is out of town on a business trip).  I was completely wiped out; thus, we did zero to unpack.  In fact, the suitcases are at the bottom of the stairs--just inside the front door.  While in IL, we acquired three lawn-sized garbage bags of hand-me-down clothes (which are laid out on the dinning room table), a super-duper extra-large jewelry box for one of the girls (it's about four feet tall, weighs a ton, and eight drawers are scattered in the dining room), an area rug with five matching throws (all in the middle of my once-clean office--drying from being shampooed), and I recieved our weekly shipment of organic veggies.  They are all over the kitchen counter along with the veggies we harvested after being gone four days and the veggies the neighbor handed me last night.  That's when a co-worker called and was going to stop by for some veggies I promised her.  I tried convincing her I'd drop them off at her house. 

What I wouldn't give to learn what she's thinking when she got back in her car!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Chivalry Is Not Dead . . . Well . . .

My husband and I both went for a run the other night.  He refuses to run with me.  I suspect that even though he knows he is faster, I think he's afraid I might actually keep up.  He took off first to run a short three.  I took off a few minutes later to do my second two-miler that day.  It was scorching hot--even at 7:00 at night.  Since we finished at about the same time, we decided to go for a short walk together.
We hadn't done this in a while; I enjoy spending time alone with him.  When we were walking home, there is this small stretch where we were walking in the street.  He told me to go to the inside, he'd take the outside.  I thought, "See--chivalry is not dead."  As if reading my mind he proceeded to say, "My life insurance policy is worth more than yours."  OK--we both have a twisted, dry sense of humor; however, I didn't dare ask if that was the real reason.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

New Quilts

As if I don't have enough UFO's, I thought I'd start not one, but TWO more.  These two are for my daughters.  They picked out the colors.  I didn't think they would want me to make them anything, but I think they felt a little left out when I made my son a small quilt late spring.  To be honest, it makes me feel good that they still want something from mom.
I got this pattern idea from a blog--though I cannot remember which one specifically.  Here is a link to the site:  The "quilt along" gives step by step directions along with photo help.  It is just as well organized as the log cabin quilt-along I did earlier this summer.  (Thanks, Pat at  I am so thinakful to others for taking the time to share their talents and expertise with novices like myself.

This is very much the girls' style.  The top color scheme is my older daughter--it's more browns and blues.  My younger chose the greens and browns with hints of pink and blue.  These colors will match her room we just painted.  It has taken FOREVER to cut this quilt out.  I've still got six more fabrics to finish up.  Soon as I am off this computer, I'm heading to the sewing machine. 

Goal:  To finish them before school starts.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

As Good As It Will Get

I mentioned that the UVerse installation process took eight hours versus the three or four it was supposed to take.  I used this time to clean out our office.  Below is the "BEFORE" picture.

I spent about three hours.  The stack to the left of the book case needed to be filed in my upstairs "stuff."  I'm hoping to move all my teaching materials to school this year--never to return to my home again!  The items to the right of the computer desk is my husband's "stuff."  Though I did throw away those eyeglasses receipt from 2004, I didn't want to delve into his territory . . . too much. 

I did manage to purge a brown grocery bag for paper recycling and a FULL garbage bag for other things.  Though not perfect, the office looks as good as this high-traffic area will ever get.  It makes me happy looking at before and after pictures--though much of the work is inside that ugly unit.

Mystery Spot

Yesterday's goal:  tackle our home office.  We were having my husband's long-awaited U-Verse installed, so I was confined to this area of the house.  The three to four hour installation started at 9:30 and ended at 5:30.  More time to clean--without the distraction of television or internet (the latter is my big time-waster).
Before I began to tackle the files and other accumulated paperwork, I noticed a mystery spot in the top pane of our indoor french doors.  We've all have encountered these "spots" at some time.  That strange spot that suddenly appears on a shirt, in the middle of the carpet, on the couch, all over our children, etc.  It is best not to over-analyze of what these stains are comprised--most of the time we REALLY do not want to know.  This one appears to be bird "poo"; however, it is indoors and we don't own a bird.  It came off with little work--so the spot's origin shall remain a mystery.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Running & Pilates?

Yesterday I ran five miles solo--and it felt really great.  The weather was cooler, though it was very foggy.  I then completed one hour and fifteen minutes of a pilates video with two of my children.  It was truly a sight to behold!  I don't know if my stomach is sore from the workout or from laughing at myself and kids trying some of the moves.  Either way--it was great for me.

The comic caption says,
"Who's the clown responsible for ordering this exercise equipment?"

I need to do more than run.  I dislike lifting weights.  I don't belong to a gym.  I've done some do-it-yourself pilates before, but I need to be more committed (pilates would help my terrible posture).  My husband bought a REAL bike last summer, and I have toyed with the idea of riding.  Today, I am leaning toward investing in a good stationary bike.  I've started investigating good exercise bikes--maybe Santa will bring me one for Christmas.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Speaking of Exercise . . .

Speaking of exercise, you can log your workouts at Running Ahead  I've used it for two or three years.  The site is free and sincs with all those techy devices.  I don't own, understand, or desire any of those devices.  I also use Daily Mile to keep up with some Facebook friends.
My problem with both sites:  where do I log in the five hours I spent painting yesterday?!?!?!  It was obviously a workout because my arms weight 40 pounds each this morning, my back is stiff, and the back of my legs have some tightness.  Should I just log this in as a five-hour run?  Do my daughter's walls count as a track?  Does the paint brushes and paint rollers count as weights?  How should I log the 5,000 trips up and down the ladder (a stairmaster, perhaps?).  Maybe I should email the companies with my suggestions.

Out of My Running Slump?

Ever since I can remember, I always wanted to run a marathon.  I had run a couple half-marathons.  I either needed to go faster or farther--farther is MUCH easier.  At the age of 36, I got the brilliant idea of running "four before forty."  I completed my fourth marathon last fall--at the age of 39 (and a half).  I really struggled to fit the four weekly workouts in--I've very slow (if I ever break 10 minute pace on any distance, I'm thrilled). 
After the marathon , I basically didn't run for six months.  I started almost feeling sorry for myself:  no desire, no motivation, no mileage.  A year ago I was running 2+ hour runs; now I'm struggling to do three?!?!?!  This week I FINALLY felt I completed my first decent week since restarting running.  I didn't dread the beginning of every run.  Making myself attend a running group helped.  I am no where near where I was (which still isn't saying much), but I'm happy with how I feel. 

Running a marathon skews your perseption of running distances.  You forget how walking a 5K can be a very admirable goal.  You forget how exciting it was when you ran five miles for the first time; that distance is a "short" run during marathon training.  You forget the pride you feel running your first "double-digit" run.  I never was a super exercisor--I only ran four days a week (I am a self-proclaimed "under-achiever exerciser"). 
This week I came to terms that a "good week" doesn't necessarily require a PR or high mileage.  After this week's epiphany, I am content with where I am.  Now, what excuse can I use to get out of running group tonight . . . ha! ha!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Funny Comment

I heard a humorous comment the other night on television--and it has stuck with me:

A mother is only as happy as her most unhappy child.

Think about our moods when a child is throwing a fit or giving us attitude.  How true this statement rings!
(Of course there is a deeper, philosophical explanation--I just meant the shallow, twisted humor reaction).

Thursday, July 8, 2010


My oldest came down to leave for our first mother/daughter trip to a salon in ratty "gym clothes." I told her she could AT LEAST put on a nice t-shirt since this was a nice place we were getting our hair cut at. She was mad and mumbled while stomping up the stairs "I don't know why couldn't just go to Super Cuts--it's cheaper anyway." I was angry she made this comment but said nothing.
BEFOREKeep in mind her naturally curly hair is semi-damp in the picure & relatively under control)
Note the teeth-grit smile.

On our drive to the salon (a brand new place a friend of mine has invested tons of sweat equity) I told her that I was taking her to a nicer place as a treat for both of us; I thought she would like it. She asked what was the difference besides price. Forgive me--but I used a Taco Bell/Chipotle analogy (we're all about food at our house--ha! ha!). "Honey--you love Taco Bell. It meets your needs and is bargain priced, right?" She agreed. I proceeded, "But . . . Chipotle is reasonably priced, but soooooo much better. It has better ingredients. It's more fun to eat there. And the people who work there are happy."

When we left my friend's salon, she informed me she now "got it." In fact, she loved how her hair looked, felt, AND smelled. She informed me that it was the best haircut of her life. Given that she's a ripe old age of thirteen--what a compliment!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Butterfly House

Yesterday I took my youngest to the butterfly house at the nearby Dayton metro park:

There were ten times the butterflies than last year.  Many of them flitted about our heads.  I always learn something every time we go; I hope my children do, too.  I learned that when the park is nearly empty, you can actually hear the caterpillars munching on the leaves.  I'll file this fact with the other useless trivia cluttering my brain.
The above caterpillar fascinates me.  They are so colorful, vibrant, and unusually shaped, they don't seem real.  My youngest likes them, too.  He, however, was more interested in the fruit gushers in the car that his friend had brought for them to eat when we were done. 

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Lincoln Museum

My parents and my husband's family live about 250 miles apart.  One way to drive between the two goes right through Springfield, IL.  I grew up reading a bunch about our 16th president; the Springfield area is the place to visit for such interests.  A museum has been built in recent years, but we are always in a hurry to get from one grandparent to the other.  We have never stoppped.  Since my kids were staying with the Peoria family for a week--I used this opportunity to drive down to this much-touted museum: .
It was one of the most amazing places I've visited!  I could ramble on and on about the place, but for simplicity's sake--just visit it.  My father, daughters (12 & 13), son (6), and I all found elements we enjoyed.  The volunteers were top-notch.  It was spotless.  It was busy, but the ambiance was one of total respect--particularly in specific areas of the museum.  I read a free Kindle downloaded book about the president on our way to Illinois.  Now I cannot wait to read a quality book about him. 

Monday, June 28, 2010

More on Love

My oldest daughter is thirteen--and has all the "typical" teenage characteristics.  They seem major to me, but then I witness exchanges with other teens and their parents--she is a milder version of normal.  (Thank goodness!).  The "good night" rituals at our house used to include me tucking the children into bed and saying prayers goodnight.  Now, I get a mumbled "good night" and a 1/2 hug. 
Last night we all retired early since we are recovering from vacation.  My daughter did the mumble and 1/2 hug, then proceded over to the dog and loved on her and gave her a kiss on the head.  "Wait a minute!" I hollered at her.  "I'm your mom and I barely got a hug!  The dog gets affection and a kiss!?!?!"  Of course this brought laughter, but I did get a REAL goodnight hug.  She does still love us . . . almost as much as the dog.

The 19's

As is typical on Sundays, the dog and I were the first ones up.  My son was second--about an hour later. 

I asked him if he knew what happened eighteen years ago today.  "What was the date?" he questioned.  I told him it was 1992.  He informed me, "I don't know anything about the nineteens."  It was quite sweet and humorous.  I chuckled (as did his father when I retold the exchange) and told him daddy and I were married 18 years ago.  Now he knows something "about the nineteens."