Tuesday, January 29, 2008


I live in a deed restricted community (it has it good points and it's bad). On the sign into our neighborhood there is a nice yellow sign that says NO SOLICITING. So, why won't the men who are going door to door trying to sell meat/food leave? They have come around twice now and knocked and rang the door bell. They know I am home because they saw me pull in. Can't they take a hint? Not interested. GO AWAY. Okay, done venting...........................................

Monday, January 28, 2008

Is it Monday already? Where did the weekend go. Mostly spent the weekend at home. Saturday was kind of a dreary day. Sunday was perfect.

Mark came home from school on Friday and was "Star Student". Woo Hoo. He was so excited. He had a great week at school last week. Hopefully the trend continues. We celebrated by all of us going to lunch on Saturday to Steak and Shake. It's very rare that the kids are all home at the same time. I can't tell you the last time we went out as a family. We figured going out to lunch would be better than trying to go out on a Saturday night. There aren't many restaurants to choose from so you can wait forever to get a table. So we chose Steak and Shake. That way everyone would be happy.

We finally got a date nailed down for Mark's First Communion. Yeah. So, Mark will make his First Communion on Sunday, May 4, Greg will get Confirmed on May 8th and Elizabeth graduates May 28th. Busy May ahead. It's just going to be hard to celebrate all these special events with our families since they all live so far away. How do they choose which one to attend? I dunno. I guess I will leave it all up to them.

We are anxiously couting down to February 15th. That is the day the University of Florida announces who gets in. Please keep your fingers (and toes) crossed that Liz gets accepted. I think she will be so devastated if she doesn't get in to her first choice.

Well, I better get a move on. Mt. Washmore needs to be tackled and before I know it, it will be time to head out for my afternoon runs. All I have tonight is to pick up Mark and Greg from school, come home, turn around and take Greg back to school for baseball and then get Emily to and from Church for her CCD class. By 7:30 my running should be over and then I can just wait for the call from Greg to pick him up. Unfortunately, he has no set time when practice is over. They are done when the coaches are.

Have a great Monday. Make it a good one......................

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Last night at approximately 12:14 am, I came to a realization. I'm not "mommy" anymore. I am just mom. Let me explain--bear with me.

I grew up in the Midwest (Cincinnati, Ohio). I was used to cold (very cold) winters and hot, humid summers (we had no air conditioning so I would appreciate a good rain to cool things down). In 1997, we packed up our kids and moved to Salt Lake City. I remember how dry it was. No more humidity. My hair would actually hold a curl. Then when our first winter rolled around, I remember it snowing 11 inches. Snow day! Nope. It's business as usual. An inch of snow in the Cincinnati area would pretty much cripple the commute and schools were closed or delayed. The summers are hot and dry, but bearable. It would rain, but nothing like what we were used to in Ohio. Then in 2003, we packed up our family and moved to Tampa--the lightening capital of the world. Afternoon thunderstorms are pretty common. The lightening is incredible. But, what amazed me the most was how it could pour over our house, and be sunny just down the road. The kids would come running to me in a storm because they were scared. Hurricanes became my biggest fear. Our second summer here, there was Hurricanes Charlie, Jeanne, and others. I began to loathe the weather here. I began to be afraid of storms. Something which I never was. But, I can't show fear in front of the kids. I am their protector!

So, last night at 12:14, a thunderstorm rolled in. It was so loud. I jumped out of bed. It was pouring rain and the lightening was right above us. As I lay there wondering if the pool was going to overflow (yep, it's done it before), if the lightening was going to fry my computer router (which it did twice recently) or if the basketball hoop would fall over onto one of the cars (which it has). I kept waiting to hear the pitter patter of feet running across the tile floor and feeling a seven year old jump into our bed and say "he was scared". That moment never came. It was a first. I laid there forcing myself to stay awake just in case. Still no sign or sound of Mark. As I lay there, it dawned on me. He's not coming. He doesn't need mommy to assure him that the storm is outside. That it will just blow over. He's not my "baby" anymore but a boy. Now, I'm just "mom" Mom who will drive you where you need to go, mom who will give you a few dollars to go out, or mom who will make sure you are fed, your clothes are clean. I miss being "mommy". My little man is Mr. Independent. Someone forgot to tell me that when the kids get older, the feeling that overwhelms you when you aren't "mommy". I'm not ready to give up that title yet. I have four months until Elizabeth graduates high school. Pretty soon, she will go off to college and I will experience the feeling of only have 3 children. I'm not ready. How does one prepare for that?

So, tonight, when Greg and Emily kiss me goodnight and give me a hug (yes, they still do that), I will appreciate it. I will hug a little longer and squeeze a little tighter. When I tuck Mark into bed and turn on his music, I will appreciate it. I will stand there and maybe listen to one of the songs with him, maybe even sing one or two just like the old days.

Anyone who has read this post, I thank you for sticking it out. I didn't mean to ramble on and on. Some of you with older children may know what I am feeling. For those whose kids are still young, keep those hugs coming. For us with older kids, hug them. Hug them tight. They are never too old for hugs and kisses (except in public of course).

Have a great Wednesday. Make it a good one.


Saturday, January 19, 2008

As promised, here are the pictures of Mark learning to ride his bike. Only in Florida can you be learning to ride your bike in shorts in January. The reason he is wearing the long sleeve shirt is that he was trying to be like his older brother and wearing Under Armour. My camera is old so I was thrilled that the pictures turned out clear and not blurry with him moving. Can't wait to get these pictures in my scrapbook. They are the first pictures of 2008!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Woo Hoo

I thought I had uploaded the pictures onto the computer but I didn't and I've already started typing up this post. Anyway, Mark finally learned how to ride his bike without his training wheels. Yippee. He loves, loves, loves to ride his bike. So, when his birthday rolls around in June, we can upgrade him to a bigger bike. We want him to get used to it first. Oh happy day! I will post the pictures as soon as I get them off my camera. Best of all, I get to scrap a new theme. I wasn't into scrapping when the older kids learned how to ride their bikes. I didn't even take pictures.

Friday, January 11, 2008


I went into "panic mode" earlier. Mark got $75 in Target gift cards for Xmas and I had put them up so he wouldn't lose them--plus one of them was a "musical" card and he kept playing it over and over. Talk about getting on someone's nerves. So, I put them up. I couldn't for the life of me remember where I put them! I finally found them. DUH. But, guess what I am going to do today? Clean off the top of my fridge. When I was looking for the gift cards up there----YUCK.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The silence that is.........................Today after 2 weeks and 1 day, my kiddos went back to school. As much as I enjoyed sleeping in and not doing carpools, I was ready for them to go back. The background noises of SpongeBob, Playstation 2 and Taylor Swift all at the same time were just grating on my nerves. They day is mine again. At least until 1:45 when my day kicks into full gear and it's time to start rounding them up. Of course, I don't get to slowly ease back into it, I get to jump in at full speed.
Every town has one of those roads where you just cringe having to drive on it. It seems like the whole entire town is on it at the same time all day long. Well that road is Bruce B. Downs to me. No matter what time of day it is, it's jam packed. Basically, it's rush hour traffic ALL DAY LONG. I spend many hours a week on that road. All three of our schools are off that road. Two of the schools are right next to each other and the High School is several miles down the road. What normally would take 10 minutes to get to the high school from the elementary school can take 20-30 minutes. I thought that having Elizabeth driving would help me out and save on my trips to the high school. NOPE. She and Greg are on different schedules so 4/5 days I still have to make the high school run. Today, Elizabeth has to rush home to go to the dentist. So, I have to drive up the "BBD" and get Mark, rush home, wait for Liz and then cross over the BBD (a whole 'nother adventure) and go to our new dentist. Luckily, the dentist is right next to Huntington where Mark has to be at 4. Then I have to rush up to the high school and get Greg after baseball. Drop him off at home and then head back out to get Mark. So, my afternoon consists of driving, wait no crawling, through traffic. Tomorrow after school, I get to do it all over again--Greg has an orthodontist appointment. Sadly, my poor car is paying the price. It's been making this weird noise when I turn the wheel. I knew that it was "seriously ill". I finally dropped her off at the mechanic and the poor thing needed $1,400 worth of work. I had some serious issues with the steering and two tires that needed replaced. I guess the fine citizens of New Tampa are happy that it didn't break down on the "BBD". Boy, that would really back it up.
Well, with a new year comes new resolutions. I stopped making resolutions. I can't keep them. I took Ali Edwards challenge . My word for 2008 is to "focus". Focus on the here and now and what's in front of me. Don't worry about what needs to get done or what I didn't get done but to "focus" on the task in front of me here and now.
I've also decided to really be a better blogger. Some people's blogs have become part of my morning routine with my cup of coffee. Even know I've never met some of these people, I feel like I have known them for years. I also love reading blogs that involve scrapbooking and card making. Some people are just so inspiring and I love seeing their work.
Well, it's time to tackle my "to do" list for the day. Before I know, it will be time to start rounding up the "gang". Have a wonderful Tuesday.
"If you want to go somewhere fast, go alone. If you want to go somewhere far, go together."
Author unknown