Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It's been a crazy month to say the least. Getting computer time has been next to impossible for me. With the kids home, I don't seen much time online.

Christmas came and went. We went on our usual trip to Disneyworld. It was fun and it was warm. We had a blast though. We stayed at the All Star Resorts (Music) in a family suite. On Saturday, we ended up hanging around and took the bus to downtown Disney to hang out. I can't say enough how gorgeous the weather is.

Speaking of weather, this is what it looked like on Christmas Day. The sky was so blue and there was not a cloud in the sky. It just didn't feel like Christmas. Santa brought Mark a remote control car and he spent most of Christmas Day out in the cul de sac playing with the car. The battery finally died just as it was getting dark. Only in Florida can we play outside like this.

I am really enjoying having the time off from all my running around. The kids are pretty much busy lazy and catching up on all their much needed sleep. I'm even being lazy and sleeping in. But, pretty soon break will be over and it will be back to the daily grind. I'm looking forward to it though. For my Christmas gift, Steve got me a "personal trainer". Greg has been working out with Alex and Ashley since last June and I have been itching to jump in. I'm ready to make the commitment to get more healthy. This is their link. Ashley has been there where I am. I hope I can have the results that she has had. Plus, Alex has been great to Greg and I think Greg wants to something in the personal fitness field. Tampa Personal Trainers

We got a Wii for Christmas from Steve's parents. Oh man, what fun that is. We have been having such a blast with it. I can't believe we haven't gotton one before this. If you are even thinking about getting one, I say do it. It's a lot of fun.

I'm enjoying having Liz home. I think she is bored though and needs "her own space" back. We went shopping today and had fun. She goes back to UF on Sunday and starts classes on Tuesday. I can't believe she is halfway through her first year of college. It's just flying by!

Not much else to report. I'm in the process of organizing all my photos so I hope to have more uploaded soon. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and has a great New Year's.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

I've been a bad blogger. Wait, bad is not the right word. I've been a busy blogger. It's already December 4th. Where has the time gone? It was just Halloween!

We survived Thanksgiving. I say that because just days before our favorite day of the year, we got hit with the stomach flu. We were on the "every other day" schedule so it took a week to work it's way through. We all got it! We had our friends come down from Ohio and we had to send them to a hotel the first night just in case. Elizabeth came home and she was freaking out because she can't afford to get sick with finals coming. So, luckily, they did not catch it. One of the nice things about living in Florida is that we could scrub, clean, spray and have the windows open. Even when it got cold, we left the house open to air it out. Hopefully that will be it for us. Our dinner was wonderful and we had a blast with Patti & Krissy (pictures to follow).

The day after when everyone was at the malls and shopping, we decided to drive over to the beach and "frolic". It was fun. I went with the intention of taking pictures for our Xmas cards. The kids did not cooperate. It wasn't until we were driving home that I realized that I did not get pictures of just the kids. The whole reason we went. DUH. I got pictures, of the boys, the girls, the family, the water but not just the kids. I should have known to take extra clothes for Mark. He loves the water. I figured the water was too cold to swim so we were just going to take a walk and get some photos. Not Mark. He went in clothes and all! He's our water kid.

After we left the beach, we went to lunch at Skyline Chili. YUM. Skyline is a restaurant that started in Cincinnati. We are lucky to have one down here in Clearwater. It's fun to go to a restaurant that's all decorated in your hometown decor. Especially when one of your college teams is winning. Go Bearcats!

Not much else to report. Just trying to get the Christmas shopping done. Steve's family is coming down for Xmas so I don't have to worry about shipping their stuff. Yeah. That's huge. Getting everything wrapped and shipped is the hardest part.

Our new mall opened a few weeks ago. We so needed a mall close by. It's wonderful. I can't tell you how many times I've been there and just walked around. It's an outdoor mall and is awesome. I fell like a tourist when I'm there. I can't believe it's only 10 minutes from my house.

I've also been busy finishing up "my" science fair project. I'm sorry, but 3rd graders just don't get it. They get the experiment part but when it comes time to write and type everything up, they're done. They don't get how to do pie charts and bar graphs. We did the experiment so now it's just putting it together. It's due next Wednesday so that will be the biggest thing I get to cross off my "to do" list.

I got to see the movie Twilight on Thanksgiving. I loved it. I was hesitant to read the books because I thought I was too old. I'm so glad I read the book. I'm on the second one right now. The movie didn't disappoint. I know it had mixed reviews but I give it two thumbs up. The book was so long that they couldn't put everything in the movie. But overall, I enjoyed it. It moved really quick and was over before I knew it. I also get to go to a free showing of Four Christmases. I'm glad it was "free". I didn't hate it but I didn't love it either. I liked Twilight better. The cast was perfect. Dark and mysterious just like in the book.

Well, it's time to get my day started. I'm off to volunteer in the media center at school. I wasn't sure what I was signing up for but I really love doing it. It's fun to see the kids and see what they are reading. Mark goes to a wonderful school full of great kids and teachers.

Have a wonderful Thursday.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Last night I actually got to climb into bed at a decent hour. I had the dishwasher loaded and I even set up the coffee pot to go off automatically this morning. Lately my days have been so busy, I'm so exhausted that I have neglected getting the coffee ready the night before. So, last night I was able to get it ready. Well, it's been awhile since I've done it that I had never changed the clock from when the time changed. So, instead of it going off at 6:10 it went off at 5:10. Our bedroom is right off the kitchen so I heard it noisily brewing. I went into a total panic at first because I thought everyone had overslept. Nope. Whew. I was wide awake by this time. So, I debated whether to get up and get my started or lay there like a slug until it was time for me to get up--I usually get up at 6:30. I recently started reading the Twilight series books. My girls swear by them. Liz even has her ticket to the midnight showing of the movie coming out soon. I debated if I should get up and read while the house was quiet. Finally, I gave in and went back to sleep. That was dumb. Because when I needed to get up I was dragging. I was wide awake an hour earlier. DUH. I am really getting into the book though. I may just have to see the movie as well.

We are working on Mark's science fair project. Have I mentioned how I hate them? After 4 kids you would think that I would be used to them. I even went into our science fair "library" to see if there was anything that we could "recyle". Nope. So, we are trying to do a project that is geared toward a 3rd grader that isn't way above his head. Why we do these--I don't know. It's a parent project. They don't get it. They don't care. I love going to the actual science fair. You cannot tell me that elementary schoolers do these projects. I'll just be glad when it's over. Then it will be another year until the next one.

Hard to believe that Thanksgiving is only 2 weeks away. I think we are going to put our Xmas tree up next weekend. With Thanksgiving being so late this year, we lose a week before Xmas. So I want to enjoy my tree. The Christmas tree is my favorite part. I love turning off all the lights and sitting in the dark just staring at the lights. Add in a glass of wine and the Christmas music and I am set.

I can't wait to hit Disneyworld up next month. We have been going to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas party since we moved here. No lines, no crowds. It's great. I know the kids are getting older but as long as they still want to go, we will. The first year it rained but that didn't stop us. Every year since, it's been kind of warm. I just hope it gets cool enough this year to wear our "winter" sweatshirts. Have I mentioned how much I love the lights? You haven't seen lights until you have seen Disney all decked out for Christmas.

Well, time to get a move on. Lots to do on my To Do list. Lots of running and the day will fly by. I'm actually looking forward to sitting in the car pool lane just so I can read my Twilight book. I'm having a hard time putting it down!!!!!

Have a wonderful hump day!

Monday, November 10, 2008

{Favorite Time of the Year}

They're here. Starbucks has their holiday coffees out! Oh happy day. I've been putzing around the house picking it up after a very busy weekend. I have the Xmas music on the satellite and I decided what I needed was a Starbucks. I am now sitting here typing this entry with a Venti Egg Nog Latte. YUM. The pumpkin and egg nog are my favorite. Oh and the Peppermint Mocha. I am totally starting to get into the Holidays. This morning I actually picked up my Turkey for Thanksgiving. This is the time of the year though where I wish we lived back in Utah. I miss the snow capped mountains and the smell of the fireplace burning. However, on December 26 when everyone else is freezing their behinds off, we usually flip on the pool heater and swim.

Had a wonderful weekend with Elizabeth home. She got home Friday night. On Saturday she and Mark went and saw Madagascar. They loved it. I went to a Stampin Up workshop and as usual had fun. I wish I could shut myself away from the word and stamp, scrapbook and craft. Luckily, the kids are off school tomorrow so I may just do that. I have so many idea and projects to do. We were supposed to go up to the Community Center and take pictures in the woods for our Xmas cards. We didn't. So, I told the kids that we would do it over Thanksgiving for sure when everyone was home. Then I got the idea to take beach pictures. We live so close, so why not? The last few years the pictures have been from our trip to Disney. My friend Patti and her daughter will be here so I plan on dragging them along and taking photos of them as well.

Mark is finally himself. He still occasionally coughs but he is bouncing around and back to his old self. I don't recall in his 8 years, him ever being so out of it. Now Emily is feeling crappy.

Guess what I saw while coming home from Starbucks?

Yep. That is a coyote. I was just driving along and he darted out in front of me. There was a car coming from the other direction and she and I just stopped and stared. I saw one back over the summer but this one I got to see up close. I have heard that there were some around the neighborhood. Scary. It was beautiful animal. Living in Florida you never know what you are going to see. A few years ago I saw a some kind of cat--a panther like one. He actually was really close to our house. That one freaked me out. We also have deer, racoons, gators, snakes, racoons and lots of armadillo's. This is the worst part for me living here.

I have dinner in the crock pot so now it's time to tackle Mt. Washmore. It just doesn't seem to go away. I don't even remember what it was like when it was just Steve and I. Now it's just piles and piles.

Have a wonderful Monday.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I'm feeling like a bad mom today. Mark started feeling bad on Sunday and was running a slight fever and basically just laid around. If you know Mark, he doesn't just lie around. I kept him home from school on Monday since he was still coughing and running a slight fever. Yesterday he woke up and was himself and his fever was gone. When he got home from school, he just "crashed and burned" as I call it. By dinner time, his fever was up to 102. When I was putting him to bed, I realized I was out of his cough medicine so off to CVS I went. He's been sleeping great though. This morning, his fever was still at 101. So, I kept him home. My "mom instinct" kept telling me to call the doctor and make him an appointment. They got us in pretty quick. His fever was still up and he was "wheezing". The doctor said he has bronchitis and gave him a breathing treatment there in the office. This was our first breathing treatment with four kids. Pretty good. He was still wheezing after the treatment so we could have done one of two things.......get a machine through our insurance or do the inhalers. We are now back home with an antibiotic and an inhaler. Oh and most important of all to Mark...........he should stay home one more day (possibly two) from school. I'm just glad I went with my gut and took him to the doctor.

I'm loving my new IPOD. I love that it's just mine! I don't have to share with anyone. It's my music and mine alone. I actually found my wedding song from 1987 in the Itunes library. I'm also hooked on a song that Tina, Just a minute of my time..., mentioned on her blog. It's called "The Story" by Brandi Carlile. I love this song and what the words say. I'm a huge scrapbooker. I started scrapbooking in 1997 when I moved to Utah where I was introduced to it by a mom that I met at the kids school. I've been hooked ever since. The albums I make tell "our family's story". Unfortunately, I'm the one doing all the telling and taking all the pictures. I'm not in very many pictures. So, I decided to make an album of me and "my story". I recently started a yahoo group where we make an album about "just us". So, when Tina told about this song, it was just perfect. If you are interested in making an album about you, shoot me an email and I will send you an invite to the group. We've started off slow but hopefully we can kick it in gear.

I'm finally getting some time to play with Photoshop. I've had the software for awile but have never had a chance to really do anything with it. Right now, I'm working on organizing all the pictures on my computer. It's a mess. I want to get them organized and backed up to CD. I'm also playing with my Canon getting more familiar with it. I love it!

I just got home from Publix and they were decorating the parking lot light poles with their Xmas decorations. They were also hanging all the lights inside. Hard to believe that Christmas is next month! This year flew by. The school year is going way to fast too. Hard to believe that next school year, I get to do the "senior" thing all over again. I'm glad Liz went first because she was so easy and "in touch" with everything that went on. She made it so easy for us. Greg's a guy and they just don't care like the girls. He gets to spend his Xmas break studying for the ACT and SAT so that when he goes back in January he will be all ready for the test. Still no word from him on where he wants to go to school. I am hoping he will join Liz at UF but I'm not that lucky. With our luck he will end up at Florida State (Gators rival) or Univeristy of Central Florida in Orlando. That's a neat school too. It will just be weird having my kids so far apart. And, with any luck, move in week will be at the same time! Heck, I'm still trying to get out of him what he wants to do. Gotta love the boys!

Time to tackle Mt. Washmore as Jolene calls it. I may even get some scrapbooking in this afternoon. Oh happy day!

Monday, November 03, 2008

One more Day

Only one more day (hopefully) of political ads. I don't know about you, but I'm tired of ALL of them. I'm sick of the ads on TV, in my mailbox, on the radio and the phone calls. I'm not a political person. I have my personal views and I know who I am going to vote for. I will cast my vote tomorrow and be done. Hopefully my candidates will be victorious. If not, it is what it is. I won't leave the US and live somewhere else. To those who say they will leave is a certain person is elected, I wish you safe travels. But, regardless of the outcome, I will support whomever is elected. If I don't like the way things are run, I will vote again in 4 years. Enough said..............

Today Mark is home sick. He was coughing and hacking all day yesterday. He is constantly clearing his throat. His temp was only 99.7 but it was enough for me to keep him home. I probably could have sent him in after a swig of cough medicine and Tylenol, but there is nothing worse than listening to someone hacking and coughing all over everyone. That is one of my biggest peeves is when parents send their kids sick to school. Keep them home! Right now, he is on the couch chilling. This is how I know he isn't feeling well. He's laying down. So, I figured I would let him rest this morning and then we can work on his science fair project.

Had a great visit with Elizabeth home for the weekend. It was her first time driving home without Steve or I with her in her car. She got out of Gainesville late so she had to drive in the dark. Yesterday she left in the rain. I was worried but she made it safe and sound. We checked out the new mall that opened 10 minutes away. We were in heaven . We have no good malls around here so it was a drive to go shopping. Not anymore. We certainly did our part this weekend helping the economy.

Emily has her oral surgery scheduled finally. We have to wait until January when our benefits roll over but I can get that crossed off my "to do" list. She has to have a baby tooth pulled and then they have to go and grab the permanent tooth (which is impacted in the roof of her mouth) and put a bracket on it so it can come down. Oooh. They have to knock her out to do this. This is a job for dad. I don't do well when they knock my kids out. When Mark was 11 months old, they had to knock him out to do an MRI. I was terrified. I hated every minute that he was out and couldn't wait for him to wake up. Even though Emily is 14, the thought of her being out makes me nervous. On a happy note though, her teeth are already looking great. Her teeth weren't that bad but she had a gap in the front which is totally closed up. She is thrilled.

I love to listen to the satellite music stations on my TV. I love the selection. I was scrolling the channels yesterday and they have the "Sounds of the Seasaon" on. Yep, Christmas music. I flipped it on and Steve thought I was nuts. He's old fashioned. He doesn't believe Christmas starts until after Thanksgiving. Not me. I want to enjoy it all because it just goes too fast. I have already decided to put my tree up the weekend BEFORE Thanksgiving since it's so late this year. I've got a good jump on my Christmas shopping. Good thing too. Liz handed us her dorm bill when she came home this weekend. OUCH.

Well, I'm going to get sign off here and go snuggle with a little boy not feeling so good. Hopefully he will start perking up soon. Have a great Monday! Don't forget to get out there and vote tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I can't believe I'm about to say this, but I'm cold!!! And, I like it. It's a cool low 40's right now here in Tampa. I guess the pool is officially closed until we flip on the heater. I'm just enjoying having the windows open and the AC off. However, it's supposed to be short lived. We are supposed to be back in the 80's on Saturday.

Hard to believe October is almost over. Man it's flying by. Mark has his Halloween costume ready to go for Friday. He's a skeleton. We finally came up with a Book-O-Ween costume too. He is going to be Jack from the Magic Tree House series. Since the kids aren't allowed to celebrate Halloween in school, they have Book-O-Ween where they dress up as their favorite book character. Last year he was a cub scout from the Berenstein Bears series. It's fun to come up with the ideas but there are parents who go way overboard. There are also a lot of parents who come up with the coolest costume/character ideas. I remember growing up making our Halloween costumes out of boxes and stuff. We never had costumes bought at the store.

Last week was an absolutely crazy week. The garage door broke yet again. They had been out to fix it on Thursday. It was raining on Friday and since the garage door was in need of repair again, Steve took my van since it's windshield has a leak (I need to put that on the top of my to do list). Since he works downtown, the van would be in a parking garage. So off he goes with the van I and I drove the Camry. About halfway home from dropping Mark off at school, I realized that there is no house key on my Camry ring. Hopefully, the garage door would open since the house is locked. Nope. So, as I sat in the car in the rain, oh yeah, in my pajama's, I pondered what to do. I called Steve to come home. Guess what? He doesn't have a house key on his van keys. Uh oh. So, we sat and waited for a locksmith to come and let us into the house. $55 later, I was in my dry house. The garage door guy came that afternoon and found the "real" problem. He felt so bad, he fixed it for free and didn't charge us for the new part. Lesson learned here is not to rely on the garage door or it's key pad to let you in. So, we will now have house keys on every key ring (another thing to add to my endless to d0 list). Also when said garage door was acting up, a snake was able to make his way into the garage. Not uncommon here in FL but he was a "bad" snake. With a water bottle and broom I was able to get him out. But before I could get to the shovel he was blocking, he got away. I had the heebie jeebies for days after that. I have no sympathy for snakes. If you come into my yard, garage or my pool, be prepared. Now my only problem with the garage is the "mystery odor". The garbage is out and the fridge is clean so I have no idea where/what the smell is. So, this weekened it will probably be a day to haul everything out and find the mystery smell.

Liz is coming home on Friday. Woo Hoo. Just in time for the new mall that is opening down the road. She's freezing up in Gainesville so she needs to get what few "winter" clothes she has. She is also requesting, closed toe shoes. She's a flip flop gal. She's definately changed her tune. I even convinced her before she left for school to invest in gym shoes (which she did). Since she joined a sorority, she's had to do a lot of crafty stuff. She likes it! I love this new side of her.

Baseball wraps up this week too. Yeah. I will finally have my late afternoons free. Other than Mathnasium tutoring, I will not have to get out in that traffic. Oh happy day. Oh yeah, Steve was able to score World Series tickets last week so he and Greg got to go to Game #2 (which they won). I really hope the Rays can win this. They are such a fun team. Go RAYS.................

Well, better get my butt into gear. Today is a half day. The teachers will now have one Wednesday a month where school gets out early so they can have a planning day. When we lived in Utah, they had a planning day one day a week! Kids are looking forward to it though. I reminded them though that they still have homework and it's not "a day off".

Have a wonderful Wednesday. Make it a good one.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Fall has finally arrived in Tampa. Hopefully it will stay. For the first time since last Spring, we've been able to turn of the A/C. It was in the low 60's this morning. There is nothing like opening up all the windows and sliding door and have some fresh air in the house. The high today is supposed to be only 83--a much welcome relief since we have had a hot Fall. Hopefully it will last but I know we are not done with the high 80's yet. This is the time of year I really miss living in Ohio. The cool, crisp air. Not to mention the beautiful leaves changing color. But, I don't miss the long, dreary, cold winters. We usually flip on the pool heater and swim on Thanksgiving and over Christmas break.
How about those Tampa Bay Rays? Wasn't it great that they were able to finally pull off the championship. I was beginning to lose hope after that disastrous game #5. I cannot wait to experience World Series festivities again. When the Reds were in the World Series back in 1990, it was awesome. I was working downtown and it was like a party every day. Hopefully, it will be like that here. The Buccaneers won last night on Sunday night football. The Super Bowl is here in Tampa as well. Would that be great to see the Bucs play in the Super Bowl in their own town? It was a good day for the Tampa teams. The mighty Bengals?? Lost again.
Yesterday, my friend, Terri, Emily and I drove up to Gainesville to visit Liz. It was so fun. Her dorm is so cute and all her sorority stuff is cute. Terri and I decided we want to go back to college and start our own sorority. We went to brunch and then did some shopping. Didn't buy very much but she now is no longer a starving college student and has a fridge full of food. I totally forgot to take some pictures. Took the camera but got all caught up visiting and just having fun. She's not able to come home until Thanksgiving so I may just take another road trip up there in a few weeks. I'm so happy that she is enjoying it there.
Today it's off to a birthday lunch with my friend, Barb. Other than that, it's just another day for me. Laundry, picking up kids, Greg has a chiropractor appointment. Just the usual stuff. Thank goodness gas is finally coming down.
Have a wonderful Monday.

Friday, October 17, 2008

{Homecoming 2008}

Well, here they are. This year's Homecoming pictures. This was his first year going (he's never wanted to go before this). This is also his first tux. Is he handsome or what? He just got his braces off earlier in the summer so this picture is just perfect to me.

Here's Miss Em. This is her first ever Homecoming as well. How pretty is she? I loved her dress. Purple is definately her color. We went this afternoon and had her hair done and it turned out so pretty. Can't believe she's in high school now.

I made them take this picture together. All the pictures have been of Greg and Liz but now that Liz is off to college and Emily is at the school, I will have pictures of these two together for two years. This time next year will be Greg's final year in school and hopefully by then he will have an idea of where he wants to attend college. I don't know if he will go up to UF or attend somewhere else. His dream colleges are the University of Cincinnati, Xavier or Ohio State. Since they are out of state, I don't see it happening. I would love for him to be a Gator. It would make my life so much easier if they were at the same college, but it is his choice.

I cannot wait to get my hands on the hard copies of these photos and start scrapping them. I have a few ideas in mind what I want to do. Right now, my problem is staying up late so I can go pick them up. The dance is over at 11 but they are going out afterward for dessert. Lucky me though--they are both going to the same place. I'm just not one to stay up late. But, it doesn't happen that often so I can do it.

Tomorrow I'm off to a craft show and then come home and bake goodies and food for Liz. Sunday, I am driving up to Gainesville to spend the day with her. I can't wait to see everything she and Heather have done to their dorm. Plus, I promised to take her to the grocery store.

Have a wonderful weekend. Don't forgot to root for the Rays. After last nights game they need all the "positive vibes" they can get.
Getting ready for homecoming here. Not trying to get one kid ready but two. Tux is picked up, hair is done, just waiting to get dressed and get the night started. Be back soon with pictures.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

This is what I was able to catch on my camera earlier. I was coming home and it was drizzling. It was also sunny out. You can see where it was raining and the bright blue sky with white puffy clouds. This is typical here in Florida. It never did start to rain. As I look out the window as I type this, the moon is as white and clear as can be. I really do wish it would rain though. We need it so bad. Today was HOT. It was about 91 degrees. When Emily and I left in the car earlier, the thermometer in the car said 98 degrees. Don't forget to factor in the humidy.

What a great weekend is was for Florida sports teams. First, the Gators kicked some LSU butt. Liz said the game was fun but wild. They ended up leaving at halftime to avoid the mayhem that usually happens with these two teams. How about those Rays? I can't believe we stayed up until 1:30 am watching that game. I am paying for it today. We also had to flip and see who won the NASCAR race--Jeff Burton. A good guy won for a change. Finally, today, the Buccaneers kicked butt against the Panthers. It was a great Sports weekend. Those Bengals? Lost again. I've had to put the Bengals jerseys away. Kind of embarassed to wear them.
These weekend flew by. Homecoming is Friday night and I think we are finally good to go. Emily and her friends are having dinner here and then going on over. Greg is going with a group of his friends. He rented his tux today. Can't wait to take those pictures. They will be priceless. I'm ordering a lunch meat tray for Em and her friends. I figured why risk getting something on their dresses. I love Subway trays so that's what we have planned. She also requested salad and mini cheesecakes for dessert. That I can do. I'm so excited for her. This is her first Homecoming. Just seems like yesterday, Liz was going to hers. I think I did the same thing for her and her friends that year.
Next weekend, she asked me to come up to Gainesville to visit. I haven't been up there since we moved her in but she has come home twice. She wants to show me all the stuff they've done to their dorms, see the sorority house and of course take her grocery shopping. She's asked me to bring up some homemade pasta salad and rice. I can handle that.
Well, I'm off to keep organizing and purging my scrapbook space. It's so out of control. What better timing too--The Amazing Race is starting.

So, that being said, have a wonderful evening. Hopefully everyone will have a great week ahead.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Here it is Tuesday again. Where is the time going? It's been a few busy weeks here in our house. First, there's this. Finally! Those two front teeth finally came out. The one was really stubborn and was looking pretty gross so he wiggled and wiggled until it finally came out.

Steve and I celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary. We spent it at the Elementary School's Fall Festival. It was fun but not my idea of how to celebrate an anniversary. Saturday was too busy as well so we are hoping to go out to a nice dinner this upcoming weekend. I spent Saturday making cards for the Veterans Hospital. It was World Cardmaking Day. They turned out really cool. Steve did get me a new hot pink Ipod Nano. Love it. I'm working on getting all my tunes loaded into it.

Also Friday night Liz's big sister revealed herself. She was thrilled and I was able to get some of the pictures off her Facebook.

Look how cute they are. She is loving being a Phi Mu.

Less than two weeks until Homecoming. Emily is pretty much all ready to go. We still need to find some silver shoes. Doesn't anyone make shoes for teens anymore? Everything out there looks like "hooker heels". Geesh people. I don't mind heels but some of these heels are ridiculously high for a 14 year old. We still have to get Greg something. He's thinking he just wants to wear black pants and shirt with a tie. I'm ok with that. If he would only make up his mind!

How about those Tampa Bay Rays? I've always been a Cincinnati Reds fan but since moving to Tampa, we try and go to a few Rays game every year. It's cheap and it's easy to get tickets. I'm sure they won't be anymore. Who knew a team could turn it around like they did? It's so cool to watch them. We've been to a few games this year and we are trying to get play off tickets but so far no luck. You have to enter a pool and so far we've been unlucky. How cool would it be to get World Series tickets if they make it. I guess the Reds only have one more year here in Florida with their Spring training camp. We go to those too but they are up and moving to Arizona. So, I think we will officially be a Rays family from now on.

That's about all that's been going on in our house. It's just been run, run, run. People say that the economy is bad but I can tell you that I am doing my share to keep it going. :) The gas stations love me and with all the shopping I've done lately, I'm sure some department store stocks should go up with all our Homecoming purchases.

Have a great one!

Monday, October 06, 2008

{It's Renee's Special Day}
Go check out Renee's blog Life With My Special Ks. Today marks her one year blog anniversary. I actually don't remember how I came across her blog, but I was hooked. I have my coffee every morning to her blog. She is an amazing woman with an amazing family. To celebrate her blog anniversary, she's having an awesome give-a-way. Go check out her blog. Once you do, you will find yourself having your morning coffee with her too.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

This & That
Haven't really had anything to blog about lately so that's why I've been MIA. This week has been just the usual mom stuff. Run kids all over and all that boring stuff. Last night Greg and Emily went to the football game so it was just Steve, Mark and I. We went out to Chili's for dinner and I realized that in a couple of years, this will be what's it's like. In less than 4 years, our family will be a "family of 3" when we go out to dinner. Boy, the bill sure was nice. How weird is that? I cannot even imagine what having only one kid home all the time will be like.
Greg and Emily both got their Homecoming tickets this week. Everyone goes regardless if they have a date or not. In my day, you only went if you had a date. I'm excited to go dress shopping with Em and see Greg all "dapper". This year it's at MOSI (Museum of Science and Industry). Liz went all four years and this is Greg's first. He never had any desire to go and his friends pretty much had to convince him this year. Finally, some pictures to add to his scrapbook besides baseball.
Mark finally lost his two front teeth. The pictures are still on my camera and I will try to upload them this weekend. He looks so cute. Mark is a pretty small kid and still has that "baby" look to him. I mean his is small compared to other kids his age. But, now that he is missing his teeth, he's looks more like a "little boy" and is slowly losing that baby look. Maybe it's just me that notices.
Liz isn't coming home this weekend. There's a football game so she is going to that. Plus, moving your car on a football game weekend is a bad idea. No guarantee there will be parking. She has a few tests to study for anyway. Go Gators!!!!!
We survived Parent Teacher Conferences also this week. No major surprises. Everyone is doing well. I love Mark's teacher this year. I loved last years too and I was hoping this year's teacher would be just as good. Yep she is. We are going to do some more testing with them but he is really trying. Next Monday is our "big" meeting with the administrators and all the specialist where we sit around and discuss what we are all going to do to help him. We had this meeting last year and I kid you not, I was so sick to my stomach. I had a headache for three days. Now that I've been through it, it's not too bad. The only reason we are doing it again is because they have a new school psychologist. Hopefully, we won't have to do this again for awhile.
Greg has a double header baseball game today. His first game is @ 10 and his second one is @ 1. They were away games. I decided to spend my day here at home. Lots on my "to do" list. Which includes:
get out Halloween/Fall Decorations
Paint plant stand on porch
BJ's (we need some food in this house)
That being said, it's time for me to log off here and get started. I actually slept in today so I got a late start.
Have a wonderful Saturday!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Disney's Desperate Housewives

Was cleaning off my hard drive on the computer yesterday and found this. I forgot all about this but it just made me laugh. Just in time too for the new season of the real Desperate Housewives. Enjoy.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Can we have a Monday, do over? Well, maybe not. That would mean we would have one more day to the weekend..........Yesterday, was a NIGHTMARE here in our little community. Around one o'clock, the construction crew working on the new over pass hit a gas line. Not a big deal, just fix it right? WRONG. They had to close the highway in both directions and the road under (our main road). Problem here? The kids school was on the other side of the highway. I couldn't get to them. Emily had an orthodontics appointment which is right across from school so she had to go there. Greg was staying after for newspaper deadline. She was able to go back to school and hang out with Greg. Even if they had gotton on the bus, the buses couldn't get through. So, all the roads were just total gridlock! I can't even begin to describe the mess. There were all kinds of reports as to when the road would open. On the 5 pm news, they said it could take another 4 hours. I wasn't panicked that my kids weren't in good hands, but it would have taken me forever to detour around or even when the road opened, the back up was horrible. I called my neighbor that works on that side of the road and we finally worked out that she would swing by and get the kids (and two other neighborhood kids). Her son was up at the middle school in the other direction at basketball practice so she wasn't able to get him. So basically, we swapped kids for the evening. I was able to pick up her son. They had traffic diverted through our neighborhood so our neighborhood road was backed up as well. What usually takes 3 minutes to get out of took over 20. So when all was said and done, the kids got home from school at 6:45. Long day for them. Thank goodness I have a great neighbor. But, what was the good out of this is that since we had a meeting at Mark's school, Steve had left early to meet me at the school. He totally missed it! Not a good way to start off the week.
Well, I mentioned in my previous entry about baseball. Well, Greg came home today and said they have practice today after school. Hopefully they got a new coach lined up.
The meeting for Mark was the usual stuff--"Let's do this, we can do that." Well, let's see if it gets done. She even commented that some of the stuff we agreed to do last year wasn't done. We did make some changes to his 504 Plan. I can see some changes in him this year (maturity and developmentally) so I know we are going in the right direction but we still have a long way to go. He's getting better verbally but still struggles to put it down on paper. This is an FCAT year for him as well. I hate FCATs. Basically, you don't pass FCAT, you don't pass. I hate that it comes down to one test.
I hope to stay close to home today again. I love it when I have nowhere to go or be. I'm slowly getting out my Fall decorations. Although, based on the temps here, we are far from it. We are still in the 90's. This is the time of year that I really miss living in Ohio. The leaves were so pretty. When the older kids were little, playing in the leaves was their favorite thing to do. Mark has never gotton to do that. I have so many pictures of the kids in leaves. Fun memories.
Well, off to get my day started. I hope it's a productive one as well.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Weekend Update

We had a great weekend here in our home. Elizabeth made it home around 7 pm on Friday night. We had a nice "home cooked" dinner of her favorite--pork chops, au graten potatoes and green beans. Since there was no high school football game this week (it was a bye), she spent the evening with us. We did her laundry and just "hung out". She got up early on Saturday and went and got her hair cut. After that, we ran to the bank, Bed Bath & Beyond and to the grocery store. It's nice that she doesn't want to "eat out" because she's sick of it. She did however hook up with the newspaper staff from the school and they all went to Moe's. Since Greg is on staff now, he went. It's weird seeing those two have something like that in common and hang out. Since she drove home with her roommate, she didn't have her car so she took Steve's. It was nice having him "stuck at home". Since she went off to Moe's, I decided to go to my Stampin UP workshop. Had a blast and made a cool photo holder. Definately something I see myself making again. As you can see by the above picture, there was one little person in our family who was thrilled more than me to have Liz home. He followed her around and talked her arm off. Saying goodbye on Sunday wasn't too bad because she's coming home again next weekend (the Gators are playing an away game).

This afternoon we are off to Mark's school to sit down and review his 504 Plan. (I can tell that it's not being followed this year so far). I'm still baffled why he doesn't qualify for an IEP. I think he needs one with his CAPD. I know for a fact that other children who have the same thing have an IEP. It's so frustrating!!!!! Luckily, last year, he had a teacher who really "got him" and his needs. It's too soon to tell this year but 3rd grade is way different and he has more responsiblity. I have a feeling though that this will be a long year. Also, this year is the dreaded science fair project for the first time. I don't know why they bother with these things. The parents end up doing them. I was so excited when Emily was done with them in 7th grade. Speaking of Emily, I am so proud of how she has adjusted to high school. So far, so good with her studies. Unfortunately, her best friend went to the other local high school so she is really missing her. They only have their weekends together. Her group of friends are way more dramatic at this age than Liz's friends ever were. OMG, the drama these girls create. I've really been pushing her to distance herself from it all as much as she can. I tell ya, I wouldn't want to be a teenager in this day and age for anything.

Still no word on whether there will be a Fall baseball season at school. I really don't mind though because it's been nice having it off. It's really giving Greg some time to rest his back. He said it bothered him a little in tryouts again. They are keeping an eye on it with his work outs. He is just way to young to be having back problems like he is.

Have I mentioned how much I love my new washer? I have been so good keeping the laundry done. More time to do other things.....................

Well, that's about all that's been happening in our house. Keep your fingers crossed for us that we make some progress with Mark at school. I'm feeling negative about the whole thing but Steve insists we are not going to be the losers in this battle.

Later.................have a wonderful Monday.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Pictures to Remember

Wow. Two posts in one day. I'm sitting home today listening to the radio and reflecting on September 11. For some reason, I kept thinking back to the one year anniversary of 9/11. We were living in Sandy, Utah and the Sandy City Hall had set up this beautiful memorial. They had a flag to represent each person who lost their lives that day. The kids were at school so I packed Mark up and he and I went. When he was a baby, he was obsessed with flags. I mean obsessed! He called them za za's. Whenever we would drive by a flag pole he would say "ah, big za za". We had little flags all over the house. I figured we could go to the memorial and he could see his "za za's". This picture is a view of the some of the thousands of flags displayed.

They also displayed a flag to represent the countries of where some of the victims were from. It wasn't just Americans who died that day.

Here's Mark checking out all the flags. He would just walk around to the flags and look up at them. He was in total aw over all the flags.

Did I mention in my last post how proud I am to live here in the USA. I can't imagine living any where else.

I can hardly believe that it's been seven years since that tragic day. I remember it like it was yesterday. Seeing the news reports and images on the internet just brings it all back. I can only pray that something like this NEVER happens again. I pray for the safety of our military and their families for their sacrifice to see that it doesn't. I hope that our next President will never let "their guard down" and continue this fight against terrorism. Enough said................

I am anxiously awaiting the delivery of my new washing machine. I have spent the morning cleaning out my laundry "area". Since we don't have a basement (bummer) our laundry room is in this little entry way that connects the garage to the house. It is really small and not very functional. That was one of the things we lost moving from our previous house in Utah to Florida. No one has basements. I am not very good about pulling the washer/dryer out (maybe once a year) to really scrub and clean under and behind it. I know there is a bunch of lint, hangers and other stuff that has fallen behine. But, the vacuum and mop is ready to go once they haul the old one out. Maybe having a new and functioning washer will help me stay on top of the laundry. Since the space is so small, the laundry baskets end up in my room to be folded. I've been better staying on top of it but with my hectic schedule, folding laundry is kind of on the bottom of the list.

I don't talk about Greg much. Today is a big milestone for him. Tonight we go and order his classring. With Elizabeth gone, he is officially "the oldest" kid at home. Their baseball team is "on hold" at the moment due to a coaching change so he's been home alot more. We've really gotton a chance to talk and do more stuff together. Here's one of the more recent pictures of Greg. This was in May when he made his Confirmation. Grandpa Behrman flew down to be his sponsor. I wish I would have thought to take another picture with Steve in it to show how much they all look alike. Since this picture was taken, he's gotton his braces off. Man he's got beautiful teeth!

(What a handsome duo)

Well, not much else to blog about. I've been on a major organize and purge effort in my scrapbook room. What a feeling! I got caught up in all the new "gadgets and gizmos" that I lost my scrapbooking "mojo" because I was so intimidated by all the stuff out there now. I've gone back to the more simpler style of scrapbooking and that has really helped. I had to get back into the mentality that "it's all about the pictures" and not the embellishments. The pictures should tell the story not all the embellishments that one can shove onto a page.

Well, gotta run. It's here, It's here!!!!!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Feeling Crafty

I mentioned recently that I was making the girls some blankets. Well, here they are. The brown and pink one I made for Liz for her dorm room. Pink and brown are her colors. I picked this fabric before I new the colors for her sorority are pink and white to it is absolotely perfect. They are so easy to make and best of all, I didn't have to dig out the sewing machine. Even better, I was able to get the fleece pretty cheap with the opening of the new Joann's store right down the road. They are definately going to like having me for a customer!! The next blanket is the one I made for Emily. The colors are absolutely perfect for her room. She's loving it. I found her on the couch the other night all wrapped up in it. I think it's way too hot. We are still in the 90's with the heat index right around 100. I don't keep the house all that cool so I don't know why she is so cold. Mark has decided he wants one too for his bed. So, it's back to Joann's to get him some Florida Gators fleece. I also have have to make one for Heather--Liz's roomie. They need matching blankies after all!
Liz is coming home next weekend. We haven't seen her in over a month. I can't wait. She said she's bringing her laundry home with her. She said the washing machines there don't have cold water! Weird. She said they washed their towels and they bled. Her timing is perfect. Yesterday I bought a new washing machine. We purchased the Maytag Neptune set a few years ago. We've had nothing but trouble. Luckily I had a warranty but it finally ran out and I had enough. I went back to the traditional top loading Kenmore (I did get the extra bells and whistles though). I had serious mold issues with the ring on the Maytag and I was just losing the battle. Plus, for some reason, sometimes it wouldn't finish a cycle. I'd have to restart all over. It was getting to the point that sometimes it would take three cylces to do one load. The sales man said they don't even sell the Neptunes anymore and I wasn't the only one with trouble and complaints. He also said you should keep the door open when not in use. Well, that wasn't an option for me because of the set up of my laundry room. Since we don't have a basement here in Florida, the washer and dryer sit in the hallway to the door to the garage (which is our main door). So, now the problem is solved with a top loader. Isn't it amazing the little things that make us happy? I never thought the day would come that I would get so excited over a washing machine!!! Next year the dryer!
Looks like we dodged another bullet with Hurricane Ike. Unfortunately, it has to go somewhere and at last check, it was headed to Louisiana again. I can't imagine the stress and anxiety they are feeling again. It is very stressful not knowin where these hurricanes are headed.

Today is just clean, clean, clean day. I didn't get as much done yesterday as I was hoping. I got caught up watching Football and NASCAR. Mark and Emily started back to Relgious Ed at church so now our Sundays are tied up running back and forth to Church. We aren't lucky enough that they have them at the same time. I also need to run to the grocery store and stop at CVS. I'm so proud of myself that I have stayed out of Walmart. I know I can save money on some things there but I end up buying more and not saving anything at all. This way, I can stick to my list and be done.

That being said, it's time to get my Monday started. The weekends just go by way to fast.
EDITED: Sorry about the weird layout. I keep fixing it but blogger keeps publishing it weird. Sorry. It is a Monday after all!

Friday, August 29, 2008

So, this is my "temporary" new blog layout. I had a hard time choosing the new title. It was between this and Married With Children. I ended up choosing this one because my life is a highway. Some days I'm in the fast lane and others I am in the slow lane getting passed by everyone around me. (at least that's my take on the title) I hit road blocks, construction and pot holes. Other days I can go "full speed ahead". I still have to work on the side bars and I am DETERMINED to put a new header on. I'm still struggling with that one but I shall not give up! The Married with Children title just makes me smile. It reminds me of the show. When Steve and I first got married, that show had just started. We thought it was the funniest show ever. I remember looking forward to every Sunday evening so we could sit and watch "our show". I even bought Steve and Al Bundy T-shirt. But, there are days when I feel my life is just "married with children". I spend so much time being a wife and mom, that I forget to slow down and do things for me. That is one of the changes I have vowed since the kids went back to school. Do more things for me. I have my scrapbooking but I just don't make the time to do it anymore because I'm so tired by the end of the evening when all is quiet, that I usually just go to bed. So, I'm going to change that. I told the kids that once dinner is over, I'm "off duty". Any questions or problems need to be directed to dad. hehe. When I was at the new Joann's I got so excited at all their materials and fun craft stuff that I can't wait to jump back into it. Tonight, I'm going to scrapbook with my friend, Marlene, and she is going to show me how to make this 'no sew' blanket that I've been wanting to do. I'll post a picture of it when completed. I used to piddle around and sew--nothing too fancy. With Mark missing Liz so much, I thought I would make him some Florida Gators boxers and pajama pants.

Today is going to be an absolutely crazy day. I really need to just shut off the computer since it's such a temptation to be on it when it's turned on. I'm really digging Facebook and having some fun with it. It's really addicting reading those bumper stickers and flair. So much fun. But, I need to hit Circuit City for some better virus software for Liz's computer. Our cordless phone is also dying. Even though Walmart is probably cheaper, I just don't feel like getting a headache today. Plus, I swore off purchasing all electronics from Walmart after getting a "dud" digital camera and they wouldn't exchange it after only 35 days! I also have to bake a gazillion chocolate chip cookies to send up to the girls tomorrow. I bought a big tub of cookie dough the other day at BJ's. I thought I would put a little tag on it that says "Return anytime for refill".

So, that being said, I really should log off and get my day started. Have a wonderful Friday. Make it a good one.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I finally broke down and went to Staples and bought a webcam (spent $39). I finally got it hooked up and tonight I got to "video chat" with Liz. This is the longest I have ever gone without seeing one of my kids. I know you all think I am crazy, but it was really hard to send her off to college. It took such an emotional toll to "let her go". I never thought it would be so hard. I know many of you don't understand, but when your times come, you will. It was so cool to be able to see her and Heather (her roommate and BFF). She's surving her first four days of classes and only has one class tomorrow at 11:45. She told me that tomorrow will be "laundry day" and "grocery day". What?? My daughter doing laundry? That will definately be a "photo opportunity". I will admit, I did all her laundry. Not because she didn't know how, but I couldn't stand her laundry pile. It drove me nuts! She also joined a sorority. She's a Phi Mu! I'm so glad that she is getting involved. I told her that she has to make the most out of the next four years. Study hard! She will also meet people that she will be friends with the rest of her life. So, that means she won't be coming home this weekend. They are all going over to Universal Studios. Plus, Saturday is the opening football game that she's going to. Steve and Greg also scored tickets so they are going to go up. I have a whole box of stuff for them to take up to her. I wish I were going -- maybe next time. I told her to hit dad up for a nice dinner. :)

These are "my girls". Before they left, they had a little photoshoot with their friend who is a photographer. He took some awesome shots. Aren't they the cutest college students??

I survived Back to School night at the elementary school. I couldn't wait to get out of there. Not because I didn't like his teacher, but the district decided to "cut back" and all schools are to be set at 76 degrees. It was miserably hot. Yesterday the AC went out and those poor kids were miserable. What I want to know is if those "district people" are sitting in their nice offices @ 76 degrees. I know that doesn't sound like much, but we live in FLORIDA!!! The state also mandated that they have PE every day now. So, not only are they hot from PE everyday, they have to come into a "warm" classroom. It was miserable. Also, the kids have uniforms so they have to wear heavy polos. I might "bend" and go out and try and get by with T-shirts until it cools down. It was ridiculous.
I went to our new Joann Fabrics yesterday-not once but twice. It's so nice. So, clean and so much selection. It will be so cool to have a choice other than Michaels. When I saw all their Fall stuff, it made me realize that it's almost the season for this. This is a Starbucks Pumpkin Latte. YUM. However, it's still 90 degree's so it may have to be the cold version.

Since I posted and talked about Liz, my next post will have pictures of the other kids first day of school. I got a new camera back in the Spring and believe it or not, I'm still trying to figure out the whole uploading them to my computer. My other camera was so easy. But, I will figure it out.

Have a wonderful Wednesday evening. Hope everyone had a wonderful day. I'm off to organize my scrapbook room and work on a few layouts. I bought a lot of new stuff at Joann's yesterday that I can't wait to play with.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hurricane Gustav and other stuff
Well, it looks like Gustav is heading out into the Gulf of Mexico. That's great news for us but looks like Texas could be in his path. Hopefully he will "fizzle out".

I'm off to get some stuff for Liz that she needs (another set of sheets, a lock for her laptop, some more food). Steve and Greg are going up to the football game on Saturday so they can take it to her then. She is now in a sorority so I get to start another scrapbook. She's having a ball. Classes started yesterday and she was so exhausted last night that she forgot to call me back. Thanks to Facebook, I knew she was in her dorm since she was online.

I'm off to check out the new Joann Fabrics that just opened up down the street. They closed the "icky" one and moved into the spot where AC Moore was supposed to be. I guess AC Moore went bust and it never opened. Hopefully, this Joann's will carry lots of scrapbook supplies. Otherwise, I'll still have to make the 30 minute trip to the other one.

So, I'm off to run my errands while the sun is shining. Have a great Tuesday.

(still working on updating my blog. I'm trying to figure out how to do a header. If anyone knows how and can walk me through it, let me know. I can't figure it out. I think I have the new name picked out but I am hoping to do it all at one time.)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Say It Ain't So!

Here we go again. Right now we are barely outside the yellow circle here in Tampa but I am sure that will change. I'm still trying to get in a "back to school schedule" but if this keeps up I will never be organized or know what the heck I am doing because I will be in my "be prepared" mode. Here's to hoping it makes a NE turn and blows out into the Atlantic.

Friday, August 22, 2008


we are feeling the effects of Tropical Storm Fay. We got not even a raindrop on Tuesday. I guess second time is a charm. It's just a dreary, rainy day. I actually kind of like it. Unfortunately, I do have to venture out in it. I have to put gas in my car and I need to pick up some new gym shoes. I have been having lots of problems with my ankle and I went to the doctor yesterday. So, after all the years of wearing flip flops, my poor feet are paying the price. I have a pair of gym shoes already, but I want something that doesn't look so "clunky". I am also supposed to rest it and ice it as much as possible. If this doesn't work, I will have to get an MRI. Good news is that there were no strains or breaks.

I spoke with Liz last night and I guess Gainesville has been hammered by all the rain by Fay. She said, the campus was closed today and all activities cancelled. So, she is stuck inside her dorm room. Is that a bad thing? Oh yeah, last night our local news did a story about the comeback of bed bugs in colleges. Guess what college they mentioned? Yep the University of Florida. They also mentioned Ohio State. Gross. I sent her up with only one set of sheets, but I may send her some more so she can wash them more often. I couldn't stop itching after seeing that story. Ick.

So, I have finally narrowed down some new blog names. I would really love to hear some comments on what people think. Here's what I have so far:

A New Day
Life is a Highway
Married with Children
Unfinished Business
Life's Moments
It's All Good

I'm kind of leaning towards "A New Day". I keep hearing that Celine Dion song in my head. This past year has been a turning point for me. I turned the big 40--GASP, one of my kids graduated high school and entered college, and Emily entered High School. This was the first time, that I actually slowed down and took a look at how fast my life is going by. We've had ups and downs and by no means has it been perfect. But, I have a healthy family and a nice roof over my head. What more can I ask for? I actually sat down and deleted some blogs off my list because they were depressing to read. Not because their lives were bad, but no one can be that perfect. I would read some of them and just shake my head. I like reading blogs where I can actually relate to people. My family is far from perfect.

Anyways.............last night I went Creative Memories shopping at my CM Consultants house. She is moving and had marked some stuff down so she doesn't have to move it. I got some paper packs. I am extremely motivated to sit down and work on some layouts, but housework is calling. Maybe tonight.

Well, it's time to tackle Mt. Washmore and get the day going. I am so tempted to go back to bed--it's so dark in the house right now but I will resist the urge.

Have a wonderful, Friday. Make it a good one.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Happy Birthday, Elizabeth!

Eighteen years ago today, Elizabeth came into our family. We were young, clueless, and oh so excited to have our first baby. (I can't believe I am sharing this picture)! She came ten days early and we were NOT ready. Thanks to my friends Susan and Lori, Elizabeth came home to a completed nursery. Luckily, she was a good baby. She let us sleep through the night pretty much right away. She was a "text book" baby. I never would have imagined that the next 18 years would fly by so fast.

This is the first birthday EVER that we have not been together. It's only been a few days, but oh how I miss her! She has spent her first few days finding her way around campus. Being the good girl that she is, she has checked in with me everyday. I even set up a Facebook so we can keep in touch. My next investment is a web cam so I can actually be able to see her when we message.

I am so proud of the person she has become. She is extremely well rounded and I do believe she is going far in life. I can't explain how "strange" it is her not being here. I am used to staying up at night until she came in the door after being out. Poor Mark really is missing her. I taught him how to email her and he was so happy when she emailed him back. Greg and Emily are enjoying having the bathroom! hehe. I am sure my water bill will go down somewhat too. I sure do miss her. She's hoping to come home sometime in mid-September. That's a long time!!!!
So, Happy 18th Birthday, Elizabeth. Oh yeah, in case she is reading this--don't forget to register to vote.
We love you & miss you!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Tropical Storm Fay Update
Bummer. Today was the first day of school. Kids were up and out the door ready to go. I certainly am enjoying the quiet. However, the quiet will be short lived. I just saw on TV that they are closing the schools tomorrow. So, I spent my morning getting pictures developed and ran to Michael's for some scrapbook goodies so I can spend "my day off" working on some layouts.
I am not concerned about this soon to be hurricane though. I have candles, batteries, water, snacks and all the necessary items. If the power does indeed go out, we will survive. This system is so reminiscent of Hurricane Charlie four years ago. We were so lucky that year that we didn't even have any wind or rain.
I will post some pictures of "moving day" soon. Right now I am just enjoying the quiet. I know the kids will be home soon and it won't be quiet anymore.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Tomorrow is moving day! We hit the road at 7 a.m. to make the 1.5 hour drive to Gainesville and move Elizabeth into her dorm. We've been so busy getting everything together that we haven't had the tv on. I saw last night that there was a tropical storm brewing! Where did that come from???? So, I just logged onto our local news website and this is the headline.

Crist declares state of emergecny as Tropical Storm Fay moves towards Cuba WFTS-TV First in HD

Should I be worried that if this hurricane does indeed come in the "projected" path that one of my kids will be weathering the storm out away from home? I have a feeling she's not worried. She will be in a dorm room with a bunch of other college students probably having a blast. Who would want to be stuck at home with their family fighting over what to watch on TV? :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

This and that and Name my Blog Contest

I haven't blogged lately because I haven't had anything to blog about. It's the same ole stuff going on. Take this kid here, that kid there, blah blah blah. That's how my life has been going lately. I feel like I am on auto pilot. Well, that will all change in a matter of a few days. My "baby" is leaving for college. She's pretty much been packing up her room and putting stuff in storage containers because she says this will never be "her" room again. She shares a room with Emily (you can imagine her excitement over getting the room to herself). She tells me that she will only be "staying" here not "living" here anymore. I keep telling her that this will always be her room. She doesn't have to clear it out but she is excited about moving 1.5 hours away. No more parents hovering over, no more fighting with her siblings. She's "on her own". Not only will I have to adjust to her leaving, but I have to adjust to having yet another high schooler. Emily will be a freshman! Emily is the third child and sometimes I fell like I have short changed her. I try not to but I remember what it was like. I was the fourth out of five kids. I was always jipped out of things. So, I am hoping to spend more time with her. She's totally opposite Liz. So, I will do my best. Greg is all ready. He "gets it" this year. It has finally sunk into him how important those grades and volunteer hours are for college and Bright Futures. He spent the day today up at the high school volunteering. This time next year, I get to experience the whole "senior" thing again. I have been blessed though that I have really good kids. They are smart, they have great friends, they don't drink or smoke. So far, all is good. I'm not ever saying that they won't make mistakes along the way, but "it's all good". As for Mark, hopefully third grade will be as good as second grade. He had the best teacher.

So, I don't know what I am going to do next week when my house goes from total chaos to about 8 hours of silence. Lisa and I used to go to breakfast and we even did pedicures to celebrate. It's not the same without her. So, I have decided to spend the entire day scrapbooking. Not cleaning, not running errands but hopefully get some pages done. We will see how that goes.

I have also decided to update my blog and be a better blogger. So, first thing first, I need a new name for my blog. I am also going to "change it up" with different background to reflect all the changes that we have been going through. I hope to start including more pictures as well. So, I am going to have a "name my blog" contest. If I choose the name that you suggust, I will send you a prize. Don't know what it will be yet, but give me time to put some more thought into it.

Well, told you nothing exciting has been going on. Hopefully that will all change. Have a wonderful rest of the week.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

It's been awhile since I have blogged because I have just been so daggone busy. My summer is flying by. Elizabeth leaves on August 17th and the others start school on August 18th. I don't want summer to go by so fast. After next week, it will slow down a bit because Greg will be done with PT and baseball. Mark only has two weeks of swimming left too. We still have a lot to do before Elizabeth leaves. Lots of shopping!

My new carpet is finally in. It looks so nice. It smells so new. I think I am finally at a point after five years of living in this house, that it finally "feels like mine". The only room left to do is the master bedroom.

We are finally getting some much needed rain. Everything is so green. Greg hates all the rain because he has to mow the lawn more often. Looks like the tropics are starting to get active so it will be interesting to see how our hurricane season goes. The first summer we were here, we got nothing. The second and third summers I was ready to pack up and leave. Last summer was quiet. So hopefully this one will be quiet too. Last night on the news, we saw where State Farm wants to raise Homeowners Insurance by 46% to cover future hurricanes. Umm. Hello. That's a big increase. Hopefully it won't go through. Our insurance is higher than our house payment. So, I think they will lose a lot of customers (including us). This will be a big test for our Govenor since he was so vocal in his campaign to lower insurance cost. Hopefully he will stand by what he promised.

That's about all that has been going on in our lives. Just busy, busy, busy.

I've been tagged by Benita so here goes:

Ten Years Ago: We were a family of five. Liz was almost 8, Greg was 6 and Emily was 4. We were living in West Jordan, Utah. I loved the house but the neighbors weren't very friendly to us (another post). The kids were going to school in Sandy and it was quite a drive to school since the roads were all torn up and under construction for the upcoming Olympics. Since the neighborhood kids weren't "allowed" to play with my kids, all their friends lived across the valley by the school so I spent alot of time driving! We also took our very first trip to California and took the kids to Disneyland.

Five things on today's to do list: (1) Get myself showered and dressed. It's early and I still haven't finished my coffee. (2) Finish putting house back together. We got new carpeting put in and everything had to be boxed up. I've been able to sort through everything as I'm putting it back and getting rid of a lot of stuff. Love that feeling. (3) Go to Circuit City and price new speakers for the stereo. They are Steve's speakers from high school (at least 27 years old), and they finally need to be replaced. (4) Laundry, laundry and more laundryl. It never ends (5) Take Greg to baseball if it doesn't rain. (5) Cook dinner.

Snacks I enjoy: Green apples with peanut butter, chips and salsa, Cheetos. Not very healthy, I know.

Things I would do if I were a millionaire: Pay off all our debts, buy a new car for myself, set up college funds for my kids, travel, hire a personal trainer, remodel my kitchen, and if there is anything left, donate to the Susan G. Komen organization. I will admit I would be greedy. Notice I didn't say buy a bigger house? I don't want to have to clean a bigger house so I would just fix up what I have.

Places I have lived: Ohio, Utah & Florida

I tag Lisa, Cindi, Liane and Sue. This was fun.

Happy Thursday.....................................

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

July Already?

Where did June go? It's hard to believe that it's July 2nd. YIKES. I was at Target and Walmart yesterday and they were working on the school supply aisles. I'm so not ready for school. As crazy and busy as my summer is, I'm enjoying not having school.

It has been a crazy summer here in our house. Busy, busy, busy. I've taken three of the kids into the doctor for physicals, Mark to his allergist, Greg twice a week to physical therapy, Mark twice a week to Mathnasium. Gas stations are loving when I pull in. In addition, Greg is playing legion ball and that involves driving all over the city of Tampa. If anyone is familiar, traffic in Tampa is awful. What's worse, the games start at 5:30--right in the middle of rush hour traffic. Oh yeah, I've also been running kids to the orthodontist. As Greg was getting his braces off, Emily was in the other room having her "consult". She gets her braces on August 4th. Here we go again with monthly payments and check ups for the next two+ years. It's all worth it though. Greg's teeth are beautiful. My kids have not been blessed with nice straight teeth. So, this is #3 in braces and from what I can tell from Mark's teeth, he will need them too.

Last week, Elizabeth and I attended Parent Preview at UF. WOW. I'm overwhelmed. She can officially move into her dorm August 17 at 9:00 am. Then we have to rush right back because the others start school on August 18. What's going to be harder is that Liz will turn 18 on August 20 and we won't be there to celebrate with her. 18 is a big deal. So, I'm secretly going to arrange for her friends to take her out or something. I already spoke to her friend and he said no problem. The campus is HUGE. It was fun to see everything though. I think she is going to have a blast. She also got her season tickets to the football games. GO GATORS. I think she will love being away from home. It took us exactly 1.5 hours to get there so I know she is just a large cup of coffee away and we can visit anytime. She's working her little rear end off this summer. She's babysitting two days a week making AWESOME money and the other three days she works in a doctors office. Good news is that we don't have to pay for her gas anymore. YIPPEE. We are still forking out her car insurance but at this point, gassing three cars was hard. So every little bit helps.

Today I have to drop my car off into the mechanic. It's been running "a little hot". The light came on the other day for a minute but it hasn't been on since. So, I figured I better get it fixed now. After that, it's Mathnasium and physical therapy and a baseball game tonight.

Speaking of baseball..................how about those Tampa Bay Rays? I'm a Reds fan since that is what I grew up with but I just love those Rays. They have beaten the Red Sox twice now and there is another game tonight. Go Rays! I just wish their stadium was closer. It's a good hour and half drive from where we live to go watch them.

Well, kids are stirring so my quiet, morning time is about to end. I need to hit the shower before they all do so there is hot water. Although it's so hot here right now, the cold water tap is warm! At least we are finally getting some much needed rain.

Have a wonderful Wednesday. Make it a good one.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mark

Dear Mark: Eight years ago today at 2:47 pm you joined our family. I was overwhelmed with the thought that I was to be a mom to four kids. You haven't been the easiest of our "gang" but you have brought such joy to our lives. You definately keep us on our toes. Hope you have a great birthday.


Monday, June 16, 2008


Two posts in one day! Mark and I returned from his annual allergy check up. He has been allergic to eggs and peanuts since was a baby. Unfortunately, we learned the hard way. Since he was 11 months old, we have been carrying around epi-pens. Each time he gets tested, his reactions are "better". Well this year we had good news and bad news. The good news---he outgrew his egg allergy. The bad news--he is still allergic to peanuts. So, we still have to have that dreaded pen. It's going to take me awhile to actually feed him eggs. He has never tasted a fried, scrambled or any kind of egg since that horrible day back in 2001. I even told the doctor that this will be something I have to "ease into". Just within the last year, we've been "introducing" him to baked goods with eggs and he has been able to tolerate them. We celebrated with McDonald's milkshakes and a call to dad telling him "what a good job" he did and never even cried. Oh Happy Day!!!
Is this a good idea?

With the Fourth of July approaching, it's time to set up the fireworks tents here. I was coming home and one of the first ones that I saw is sitting in the parking lot of the Shell gas station. Is this a good idea? Later............