Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Hard to believe another Christmas has come and gone. These past few weeks have just been crazy. Getting on to update my blog was at the bottom of my to do list. I was lucky I got to get on Facebook. But now that things have slowed down, I hopefully won't neglect my poor blog. Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Can't believe 2010 is just days away. Remember this time 10 years ago when everyone was freaking out about Y2K? It was 10 years ago!!!!

Good news on the college front. Greg got accepted into the University of Tampa. He had pretty much decided the Univerisity of Southern Florida is where he would go. They have one of the top programs for what he wants to do. The University of Tampa also had a good program. The University of Tampa is a private college and Bright Futures only pays 100% to public colleges so financially it was a stretch and we just couldn't do it. Well, yesterday he got this "acceptance packet". Not only did he get accepted, he also got accepted to the Honors College AND the Dean's Scholarship.....$9,000 per year. It's still a stretch but now not out of the question. Steve thinks that we can somehow pull this off. Also, the student to teacher ratio is now 23/1, which is awesome. Someone has a BIG decision to make. His job now is to get online and start researching ANY scholarships that can help him. He still is going to sit down and talk to our good friend, Alex, who is a personal trainer, which is what he wants to do...Exercise Sciences. Sometimes they hear things better if it comes from someone other than a parent. We are on board for whatever school he chooses. Either way, he can still live at home so we won't have the room/board bill! Oh happy day.

Like everyone else, I am in the organize mode for the new year. Like Tina (her blog link is on the sidebar of my blog), I am going to tackle one room at a time. I have way too much stuff and it's time to let it go.

Another goal for the new year for me is to run. I still work out my two days a week but I have decided on those other days, I want to run. I used to run in high school many years ago. I think I can do it again. I bought me a cute pair of gray and pink running shoes and I am ready to go. Santa also brought me the Wii Fit. That's going to be fun.

Weather here in Tampa finally feels like winter. It's days like this that I regret getting rid of all my sweaters. What was I thinking?

So, college football. We were devasted that Urban Meyer (the UF coach) had resigned. However, the next day he changed his mind and decided to take a leave of absense for health reasons. You got to respect a guy who would put his health and family first. I know he will be back. He (and his wife) are such great people and assets to that institution. Can you believe that they have to play the University of Cincinnati in the Sugar Bowl? Even though I am an alumni of UC, I am rooting for the Gators! Poor Greg is a HUGE UC fan and he has to work on New Years Day during the game. He's not happy. Speaking of the Gators, Liz got a staff position on The Independent Alligator (the college paper). AND, she will get paid to write. So happy for her. I know she will do well.

Time to get off this computer. I am going to take Mark to the community center so we can walk around the lake. Time to get out and get some exercise.

Happy New Year to all my blog buddies. Hope it's a healthy and prosperous one.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Got this picture off of Renee's blog. I think it is absolutely hysterical. We got our Christmas lights up today but they look nothing like this.

Had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Elizabeth came home but left on Friday. She wanted to get back to Gainesville so she could get a parking spot on campus. Saturday was the big UF v. FSU game. HUGE rivalry. Gators won!

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to go to a beautiful wedding on Clearwater Beach. I've never been to a beach wedding and it was absolutely breathtaking. As soon as the ceremony was over, the sun started to set and it was so gorgeous on the water. The temperatures finally dropped here so it was kind of chilly. We were freezing but it was so worth it. I kind of hope one of my girls wants a beach wedding.

Tomorrow is back to school. The kids had the last week off. It was nice sleeping in but they trashed my house! They also ate me out of the house. Holy cow! So, I'm looking forward to them going back to school just so I can clean the house. But, the good news is that we only have three weeks until Christmas break. I'm also counting down until December 18 when we head over to our annual Disney trip.

Got the Christmas tree up today. Hopefully we can get the ornaments on tomorrow and finish decorating the rest of the house. I love decorating for the holidays. I love the lights, the smell! I even started on my Christmas shopping! That's huge for me. Hopefully this week, I can start my list of all the baking I'll do. Buckeys, Peanut butter cups, pretzel candies. YUM.

Well, guess I better log off this and go to bed. I've had a week off of getting up at the crack of dawn. Have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I'm still here. It's been crazy but I am still alive and well.
I remember when my kids were little, I kept getting the advice "Oh it will get easier when the kids get older". Let me go on the record as saying "THEY WERE WRONG". Not that my kids aren't easy, I have been blessed with great kids. But they just keep me running. We finally were able to get Greg a car. Actually, we got him a pick up. It was one of "yard trucks" from Steve's work so we got a FANTASTIC deal. Greg is on cloud 9. He's been out whenever he can washing, cleaning and just admiring it. We finally got the paperwork and title yesterday but today the DMV was closed. So, hopefully tomorrow we will have it in our name with our tags. In the meantime, Greg is still admiring his pick up sitting in the garage. One of the requirements though is that he has to drive Emily to and from school. What a HUGE weight this will be lifted off of me. As sad as I am that he will be a driver in Tampa, I'm thrilled that my running will be less. Plus, he will now be able to drive himself to and from work. Oh happy day!
Seaking of Greg, he got accepted into his first college. He got into the University of Florida. He is still waiting to hear from The University of Tampa and St. Leo's. He also has to finish his application to Florida State University. I can't believe his time in high school is coming to an end. Just yesterday we ordered his cap and cown and graduation announcements.
Hard to believe that almost 17 years ago he was my little guy. He was such a cute baby. Time sure has flown by. I guess I should talk about the other kids too. Elizabeth is doing well up at the University of Florida. She is busy with all her classes and best of all she's getting published. I know she writes articles for the school newspaper and is doing some other things too. Right now they are not paid but she does have a few internships lined up in the future. I spent last Sunday hanging out with her in Gainesville. We had fun. It's been awhile since we've just had a "girls day out". Emily is keeping busy. She is so opposite Liz. I love this girl but she comes with the drama. Wow. She finally got her leaner's permit. She's also going to try out for Tennis. Keep in mind that she's never played Tennis before. I haven't seen her this excited about something in quite awhile. I hope she sticks with it. I played tennis in high school so I told her I will go up and play and teach her the basics. It will be great exercise for me as well. Mark is doing very good in school. He is working hard and is showing improvement in many areas. I just shake that feeling though that had he had the IEP sooner, would he be where he is today. Can't look back though. Can only look to the future. I know he can do it.

That's about all we've been up to. Getting ready for the holidays. Can't believe they are upon us already.

Well, I am going to wrap this up. I could go on and on. I hope I can do a better job of keeping this blog updated than I have been.

Oh one more thing....................thank you to all our soldiers, past and present, who served or are serving our country. I'm so proud to be an American!


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I'm still here..........just been super de duper busy. I've actually tried several times to update this blog and it wouldn't cooperate. This is attempt #2 on this post.

Everyone is settled back into a school routine. I can't believe that I took my last "first day of school" picture of Greg. How can it be that he is a senior???? Time flies.

I went to another scrapbook crop. I had a blast. Eventually I'll post some pictures. I'm just on a roll. I'm actually getting a lot done. I have years worth of photos to catch up on but I will eventually get there.

Hard to believe that it's fall already. You would never know it here. It's hot hot hot! We are still in the 90s. There's a chance that the temps will drop into the high 80s next week. They call that a "cold front". Throw in the high humidity temps we've been having and it's just down right miserable. I think it's a great time to stay indoors and scrapbook!

Well, time to get something done. Before I know it, it will be time to start rounding up the troops. Today is orthodontist appointment, tutoring, and all the fun stuff. Not to mention that Steve is out of town until Friday night.

Happy Hump Day!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Well look what's out there in the tropics. Am I worried? Not yet. But I will keep my eye on it. The weathermen LOVE this stuff. They tend to make such a BIG deal out of it. Am I prepared? Nope. It was 5 years ago this week that Florida got hammered by back to back to back to back hurricanes. That was the most stress I had ever been through. We were ready. Tampa was in line to take a direct hit but then Charlie turned at the last minute and hit Punta Gorda. We didn't even get a rain drop. We drove through Punta Gorta several weeks ago and you would never know that it had been hit....and bad! I was so impressed by how well they picked themselves up and rebuilt that town. I hope no one ever has to go through that again. Of course, I'm sure the weather will turn nasty just in time for the kids to go back to school.

Speaking of school, it starts in less than two weeks. I have ordered Greg's senior pictures. He got one college application submitted. So far he has applied to the University of South Florida. It's just about 15 minutes down the road. That would be ideal. Still not sure if he will live on campus or not but we don't have to decide that right now. He still has a few other colleges to apply for. My only "dilemna" with USF is that they are in the division as my alma mater...The University of Cincinnati. Who to root for?

Liz left and went back to Gainesville. It's kind of quiet without her. Steve and the boys take the rest of her stuff up to her on Sunday. Emily and I are going to stay behind and shop.

I'm really looking forward to having the house back to myself. I plan on going through ever closet, nook and cranny and start pitching stuff. It's time. We have way too much stuff. I'm finally okay letting stuff go. It will be hard but it has just taken over the house. I'm making the kids pitch stuff too. I told them I have it easy this year buying school clothes. They have so many and they don't want to part with any so I told them that in order to get some new stuff, the old stuff had to go. Yesterday, I reorganized a few kitchen drawers. I was able to get rid of a few old dish towels and pot holders. I actually have room in drawers now. It's such a great feeling.

Well, time to get off here. I have to run to the elementary school and pick up a few of Mark's uniforms. Again, I'm replacing a few and at the same time getting rid of some. It's a great feeling seeing those trash bags full and ready for donation!

Have a great Thursday.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

School starts three weeks from today. I have mixed emotions. I will have a quiet house to myself but at the same time, I've enjoyed sleeping in somewhat. Plus, legion ball just ended on Sunday so my summer of run, run, run, just ended and I have somewhat of a break. Liz goes back to Gainesville this Sunday. Again, I have mixed emotions. It's been nice having her home but at the same time, it's been an adjustment. She had spent the last 9 months living on her home and doing her own thing. We clashed but we also had fun. We will miss her when she's gone. She's wrapping up her job at Adventure Island. Boy did she get tan working out in the sun. She doesn't look like the rest of us anymore. lol.

As we get closer to school, I'm starting to stress out about Mark. I dread the learning struggles. In my quest to find out why he struggles, I decided to take him to get his first "real" eye exam. He's always passed his check ups at the pediatrician and school tests. But, I figured what did I have to lose (except the money to cover the cost of the visit). It was the best thing I could do. He is not only far sited but near sited. Today he is sporting a new pair of eye glasses. He is so excited. So, here's the before:

and here's the after:

I hope this can help him and can help solve the the learning difficulties. I hope 4th grade is the year that things turn around. Plus, we start school off with the IEP which is now in place. There is nothing worse than seeing one of your kids struggle. I hope this helps ease the frustration and stress. I guess time will tell.

I'm still continuing my workouts. I feel so good after doing them. Even if the weight doesn't fall off overnight, I still good that I am taking the time to focus on myself. When the temps cool down, I plan on trying to run. I used to run track in high school but that was many, many years ago. I at least owe to myself to try.

Well, time to log off this computer and get something accomplished. I've decided to tackle my scrapbook room and reorganize and move some stuff around. It's nice that I can start something now and not have to stop and go pick up a kid or something.

Have a great Tuesday!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I'm back...........Took some time off of blogging because suddenly everything was happening all at once. Things are finally slowing down and are somewhat back to normal. Took a few days off and went here:

Greg had a baseball game down in the keys so we decided to turn it into a vacation. Liz wasn't able to join us since she had to work. So she also got a nice vacation....the house to herself. This was the view from our balcony at the Marriott. It was beautiful. We had a spiral staircase that took us right down to the sand.

We walked around the keys and found this cool spot. Man was it hot!

Then we stopped and had lunch, here. This was Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville Cafe. It was my favorite restaurant on the whole island. The Margarita's were awesome. You could even get it in a "to go" cup to take with you while you walked around. We also watched some baseball, went to a pirate museum, walked some more, shopped and sweated. I didn't think it was possible to get any hotter in Florida. After two nights in the Marriott, we checked into the Comfort Inn where the baseball team was staying. It was a D U M P. It was horrible. We ended up calling the Marriott back to see if we could get back in there but it was full until Sunday. So, on Sunday, we checked back into the Marriott. It was like night and day. If you ever go to the Keys, DO NOT stay in the Comfort Inn. I had never been to the Keys and I am glad we went. Not sure that I would rush back, but overall it was fun. I was glad to be home and sleeping in my own bed.

Getting ready to go back to school soon. This summer has just flown by. I have mixed emotions about going back to school. Liz leaves in two weeks to head back up to Gainesville. We spent this morning at the eye doctors getting her annual check up and getting new contacts. I also scheduled Mark for his first eye exam. I am hoping that this is our last week of baseball so we can at least have a few weeks off of that crazy schedule.

Did you see the finale of the Bachelorette? I think she made a good choice. Ed was one of my favorites. I've decided to lay off the reality shows for awhile and do more scrapping and reading. When we were down in the Keys, I was watching and HBO show called True Blood. We dont' have HBO so I had never seen it before. The girls loved the books and now are encouraging me to read the series. So , as soon as I finish the Twilight Series, I am going to read that one. I want to spend less time in front of the TV. I figured now is a good time as any since a new TV season is starting. I am NOT going to get all caught up in it.

Well, not much else is going on. I have a bunch of pictures to get developed. Maybe that will be my motivation to do some serious scrapping!

Happy Hump Day!

Monday, July 06, 2009


If you haven't had a chance to watch tonight's episode, you may want to come back and read my blog tomorrow. I'm going to spoil it for you..........................

FINALLY..........................Why she kept that "jerk" around as long as she did was beyond me. He's a first class JERK. And watching his interview in the car made me want to throw up. ACK. But for "the record" I WILL NOT be purchasing anything recorded by Wes. I hope no one else does either. BUH BYE Wes.............Good riddance.

Now, for my favorites..............I just love Ed and Reid. I think I am leaning more to Ed though. There's just something about Ed. I'm glad he came back. I was so sad when he left.

But, if I had to choose the one bachelor overall that I really thought was perfect for Jillian it was Jake. He was perfect. I think she will regret letting him go. Who knows, maybe he will be the next bachelor???? Although, I have this feeling that Jillian won't end up with any of them. She seems somewhat "disconnected" from them. At least she saw through "Creepy Foot Guy". Now that was a strange man!!!!

Okay, enough rambling about a reality show. I really need to get a life. I just can't help myself. They are addicting. Big Brother starts soon. Woo Hoo!!!!

Not much going on here. We booked our "mini vacation" for the end of the month. Greg has a baseball tournament in the Keys at the end of the month. So we decided to spend a few extra days down there. We've lived here in Florida for 6 years and we've never been there. I'm excited. The only thing I have to do now is get over my fear of going over the long bridges. I haven't even gone over the Sunshine Skyway since we've lived here. I remember when the barge hit it back in the early 80's. We came down on vacation not long after that and I remember my dad driving us over the bridge to see the damage. It freaked me out! I will always have that image of half of the bridge gone stuck in my head. When Liz was a baby, we came down here on vacation and we HAD to drive over the bridge. It definately wasn't what I remembered but I've never driven over it since. At least I have a few weeks to prepare myself.

I was in Target the other day, and they are already putting out the school supplies. Say it ain't so! I'm not even ready to start thinking about going back to school. I'm enjoying being lazy. Mark is still tutoring but he is doing well. I can't believe he will be going into the 4th grade! Where has the time gone??????

Well, time to wrap it up here and get ready to climb into bed.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I was one of those people who had to watch last night's "big announcement". I was flipping between that show and the Bachelorette. I was not surprised at all by the show. I was extremely sad. They went from being a "normal" family to................not sure what the name I am thinking of. Fame definately got to them. I have watched the show since the beginning. I used to be so impressed with Kate and how she stuck to a budget, kept the house clean and took care of 8 kids. As the show went on, I saw Kate change the most. I have always thought she talked down to Jon and treated him as one of the kids. I hated how she would tell the kids that "you don't have to listen to daddy". That drove me NUTS. I felt sorry for Jon. He definately pulled his weight. He does more than my hubby has ever done. And how about how Kate treated her family? Her brother and his wife really were there for Kate. But when she didn't need them anymore, she just shunned them. And whatever happened to her BFF Beth? Beth did alot for them. She wasn't even at the birthday party. I thought it was strange that no one was at the party except for Karla--who has folded her laundry through the years. I also couldn't stand how the show became all about how they got all this stuff. I'm sure it was all free. The motorcyles, the playhouses, cooking with Emeril, etc. What happened to their Friday night family movie night? Remember when Kate always had her camera in her hand? I have seen her even bother taking pictures. I guess she has a "personal photographer" for that now. Well, I hope that they can find peace. Especially for those kids. I hope Jon can go back to work like he wants and I hope Kate realizes that Jon wasn't all that bad. I didn't feel sorry for her at all last night. She definately played the "poor me" card. I have to do it all by myself. blah blah blah.

Anyway, the other show I am hooked on is the Bachelorette. What is she thinking? She has made some poor choices. I will save that for another post though.

Have a great Tuesday!

EDITED: I was just reading our newspaper and it says that according to divorce papers filed by Kate, they have lived apart for TWO years. So why buy a million dollar home and go through the farce of renewing their vows last year. What a bunch of phonies! Reality show? I think not.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Monday!

We survived another weekend. Greg spent Friday night and all day Saturday at a baseball tournament. Guess what? Freedom won! I didn't go. Too hot for me. We have another tournament this weekend on our fields. Hopefully, they can play as well.

For Father's Day, we drove over to Clearwater and had lunch at Skyline Chili. For those of you who don't know what Skyline is, it's a chili restaurant that started in Cincinnati. It's one of those places either you like, or you don't! We LOVE it!. It's not your traditional Mexican chili. It has a greek twist to it. So, we celebrated Father's Day with 5 ways and cheese coneys. YUM.

Mark turned 9 on Saturday! Where has the time gone? I made his cake this year. Not sure if I will do that again. It was fun though and it turned out cute. Everyone who knows Mark, knows that he LOVES Spongebob. I found the cake pan on clearance a while ago. It wasn't too hard to make. I worked out on Friday morning so my arms were killing me. So, it took me a lot longer to ice the cake than I thought it would. I had to keep stopping. I was going to upload some photos but guess what? Blogger won't let me. It's probably "computer operator error". So, when I have more time to play with it, I will upload them.

I don't have much going on this week except baseball, tutoring for Mark and Greg gets his senior pictures taken Friday morning. That's pretty much how things are here for awhile. BORING.

Well, better log off here and get my day started. The kids are up now, so my quiet time is done for the day. Time to refill my coffee as well.

Have a great Monday.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Summer has officially arrived here in our house. Kids are on break. Kids are still unemployed and the heat is on. It is hot here in the Sunshine State. I pretty much only go out if I have to. It finally stopped raining. However, we still need the rain. Yard is drying out again and we are still under water restrictions. The love bugs are finally gone. Man, seemed like they lasted forever. How much "love" do insects need?

They passed Mark onto the 4th grade. I don't know if that is good or not but we working so hard to "catch up" this summer. He is still continuing his tutoring. Hopefully a break from the classroom setting will do him good.

This morning I ventured out to Joann Fabrics and just walked around. I love all the new fabrics out there. The colors are so happy. I used to sew. Small things. I actually worked at Joann Fabrics when the kids were babies. It was my night out of the house. I used to have a whole trunk full of fabrics but I got rid of them when we started moving around. So, I've decided to attempt to sew again. Before I do, I have to clean up my scrapbook room. I'm still scrapbooking. I will never give that up. So, we shall see if I actually follow through.

Not much else happening here. Baseball season is here. From now until the end of July it's baseball, baseball and more baseball! Unfortunately, it's so hot that I really don't enjoy the games. They do have a tournament scheduled in July in Key West. Never been there so I have to decide whether to let Steve an Greg go or make it a "family trip". Mark does not sit very well through baseball games so I'm not sure it will be worth it to take him. It's also a 7 hour drive each way. At least I have some time before we have to decide.

I'm also getting used to the idea that I have to do the whole "senior year" thing again. We should be getting our card any time to schedule pictures. Cha Ching.

I think I mentioned awhile ago how I found this TV channel on our Verizon. It's called Retro TV. I'm obsessed with watching Emergency. I remember watching that show as a kid. Yes it was cheesy but hey it was the 70's. Fun stuff.

They also have lots of other shows on that I grew up watching.......Battlestar Galactica, Hardy Boys, Black Sheep Squadron, Buck Rogers in the 20th Century. Those are just a few of the shows.

Also, two new movies that I have just fallen in love with. New In Town is hilarious. I have watched at least half a dozen times so far. Total chick movie. I'm not a big Renee fan but I actually liked her in this. Harry Connick, Jr. is one of my favorites and he is so cute in this movie. If you haven't seen it, you should. I especially love how they are "scrappers" in the movie.

"He's Just Not That Into You" is another good one. Jennifer Connelly, Justin Long and the girl who played Gigi were my favorites. Again, I've seen this one a couple of times. Chick movie. Hubby's will hate it.

I didn't mean to make this a movie review post but if you haven't seen this you must.

Well, have a great weekend. Make it a good one!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

ONLY TWO MORE DAYS............to get up in the morning and get everyone out the door. Tomorrow is the last day of school. Can I get a Woo Hoo! Greg is a senior! It's official now since the graduation was on Monday. A senior!!!! Emily is a sophomore. YIKES. Where has the time gone???? Still no word, of course, on Mark. Still no contact from the school. Big surprise.

Speaking of Mark, I took over "room mom" duties last month. The night BEFORE teacher appreciation week. So, I made sure on Monday morning to get up to the class so that each kid had a flower to give to the teacher since no one was ever told what was going on. So, I was able to get a note sent home asking for a "small" donation to get her a gift card. Guess what? Only 4 kids sent in a donation. Out of 18! So, I new I had to be creative for the end of the year gift. I had this brilliant (and most of all FREE) idea to have each kid send in their favorite recipe and a picture of themselves and I would make her a "Class Cookbook" since I had heard from another teacher that she loves to cook. Guess what??? Only 5 kids sent in recipes. How sad. So, off to Barnes & Noble I went and picked up a cookbook. It's actually a pretty cool cookbook. Very kid friendly--she has 4 young kids of her own. Then I went to Williams Sonoma and got some cute silver measuring spoons and a lion shaped spatula. I'm just going to type up the recipes from the kids that I have and clip them into the back of the cookbook and put a ribbon around it with the spatula and spoons. I'm NOT making it from the class. She will know who it's from. It's just so sad. She's a great teacher, IMO. I know Mark struggled but she did everything she could to help him. I was impressed.

I'm still working out twice a week. I know I should do more. Now that school is out, I'm hoping to up it or at least work out on my own. Our neighborhood has it's own community center and facility so I really should use it. I also have invested in some weights that I can do at home. I have noticed subtle (sp?) changes. It still takes me a day or two to recover after the workouts but it's so worth it. I have noticed my blood pressure has come down. Now my goal is to get off the meds totally.

Anyone watching Wipout on Wednesday nights? I love that show! It's fun to watch. I love the commentaries that they do with them. Such a different show to watch. Last summer we watched that and the Japanese game show one. Too cute.

Well, better get off here. Lots to do today. Have a great Wednesday!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

hello..........it's been a long time since I have blogged. I just haven't had anything worth blogging about. I have had a real bummer of a last week. I've been "lost". I have had so much on my mind lately that I just haven't had the physical or mental energy to sit down and share my thoughts until now.

I haven't kept it a secret that Mark struggles in school. I mean struggles! For the last two years I have begged and pleaded with the school to help him. We went out on our own and had some testing done. He was diagnosed TWO years ago with Central Auditory Processing Disorder. Everyone I knew who has CAPD has an IEP. For some reason, "a person" who should have been helping us let him "slip through the cracks", in my opinion. This person even told us AFTER we had the Audiologists report/diagnosis and a psychological evaluation that "just because he has a medical diagnosis, doesn't mean he qualifies for an IEP". He did have a 504 Plan. Again "this person" told us that the 504 Plan pretty much does the same thing as an IEP. Umm. No. Anyway, we had meeting after meeting. Finally, this year they got a new school psychologist who agreed to do an evaluation on him (the report was pretty much the same as the one we had done two years ago). Guess what? He finally got an IEP. This is after another teacher who I was paying to tutor him finally brought it to someone's attention that he really needs help. So, we had our IEP meeting and he is finally getting services. He has someone come and sit with him and keep him on task. His math grades have totally improved. He is still struggling with reading comprehension but he is finally going in the right direction. He can read anything. He was one of the first persons in his class to pick up on reading but for some reason, he just went in the wrong direction with the comprehension. Unfortunately, 3rd takes FCATs (Florida state testing). He didn't do too good. He also didn't have the IEP in place at the time the FCAT was administered. According to the state, you don't pass FCAT, you don't advance to the next grade. We don't know where we are going from here. They gave him some kind of other test last Friday to see how he did but we don't have the results back yet. I feel like everything is so up in the air. I feel just so lost and so sad for him. I even went through feeling like I failed him as a parent. Then the more I thought and cried over it, I came to the conclusion that the school system failed him. Not me. I really hold "this person" somewhat responsible. If they would have ran with the information when it was given to them TWO years ago, I have to question, would we be in this position today? He could have been getting this "help" for the last two years. Well, gotta change the subject..............I'm getting all teary eyed again.

Can you believe school is almost out? Greg will be a SENIOR!!!! Unfortunately, he hasn't had any luck in a job search. Neither has Liz. I hope and pray that these kids can find a job soon. I can't afford them and they really need the money.

I finally got to sit down and scrap a page. It felt so good. I really hope to do some more. Next weekend is my Stampin Up get together so I'm excited to have some "me" time. I really miss having Lisa down the street. I totally lost my stamping/scrapping buddy when she moved away.

It's finally raining here in the Sunshine State. As a matter of fact, it hasn't stopped. It's pretty much rained everyday for the last few weeks. They are the pop up showers and storms but it's so nice to see the ponds filling back up. Today, the city of Tampa lifted the watering ban today.

Did you all catch the Jon and Kate show? Wow is all I can say. I will definately put my thoughts on this show in my next blog entry. Also, I watched "The Little People" starring Bill and Jen. Oh my gosh, loved that show. Such a cute couple.

Well, I'm going to get off here and watch the movie "New in Town" that I picked up yesterday. I just saw the previews on ET for Sherlock Homes with Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law--two of my favorites. Hopefully some fun movies to watch this summer.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Say it ain't so!
This is what's in the news right now! If it forms, her name will be Ana. I don't think it's supposed to become a hurricane, but it's supposed to bring us much needed rain. It's finally raining here and things are starting to somewhat green up. But we still have a long way to go. We are still going to be under water restrictions. Hopefully this much needed rain will be enough to save our lawn. Just the thought of replacing the yard with sod makes me crazy. Just another thing to add to the "home improvement" list. So, here's to a very rainy week. Maybe I will get some stuff done inside the house since I hate going out in the rain. But, I am in no way complaining.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

{PROM 2009}
I survived another prom. Last year, was Liz's senior prom and this year Greg went to prom. He's only a junior but he went with a friend who is a senior. What a difference it is to get a girl ready for prom versus a boy. So easy. So much less to do. We had to leave at 5:15 and he rolled in from his friends house @ 4:30. Shaved, got dressed and was ready to go. It was so nice to not have to worry about hair and nails and all that goes along with a girl. Such a nice change....
So here are a couple of pictures. I'm not biased or anything, but I think he and Brandy were the best looking duo. So cute. He was so handsome. She was stunning.

Her dress was absolutely gorgeous. So different from the prom dresses we wore back in the day. A lot of bright colored prints. I loved this years style.

They ended up going in a hummer limo to the dance. Afterwards, the limo took them over to hang out at St. Pete beach. How cool was that? The beach! He said he had a lot of fun. I'm glad I get to (hopefully) do this again next year.

On a more serious note, we got word today that their high school will be closed this entire week. =( There is a "possible" case of a student having the swine flu. Keep in mind, they just had prom on Friday night. Saturday, the school hosted the SAT test. So a lot of other students from not only our school, but others were there taking the test. I'm trying not to panic. Mark goes to the elementary school. So, do I send him to school? We have another high school in our town and a lot of those students were at our prom and taking the SAT. I guess it is what it is. Only time will tell. We have a movie theatre here in town and I have to wonder if it will be busy tomorrow. The kids are already discussing what they are going to do this week. Are we supposed to keep them confined to the house? Hello, teenage kids here. Also, this week started their AP Exams. At least they will have some extra days to study!

Well, I'm going to turn in. It's been a very long day. I can't believe the weekend is over already. Happy Monday!

Friday, April 24, 2009

{{What a long Week}}

Boy has it been a long, funky kind of week. Monday was fine, but by Tuesday, I was already feeling as if it should be Friday. Getting up every morning has been a struggle. I was exhausted AND I even went to bed at earlier times.

We had two birthdays this week (pictures to follow). Emily turned 15 and Greg turned 17. I can't believe my "babies" are this old. For some reason, I was more depressed that Greg is his age than Emily. He's always been the easy going, no drama, all around great kid. Shame on me for saying this but of all my kids he is the easiest. Very low maintainence, except here of late where he reminds me on a daily basis (numerous times a day) that he doesn't have a car! He has put several job applications in but no luck. That's the hold up. Job=car. It also has really hit me hard that he will be a senior in high school in less than 6 weeks. Where has the time gone? So, my next year will be focusing on him and getting him ready for college. I think he will go locally though unlike Liz. That's okay with me. We have several awesome univerisities close to home. USF, University of Tampa, St. Leo University. But who knows, maybe he will change his mind.

Oh my goodness, Mark is doing great in school. Without going into to much detail, he finally (after two years), got his IEP (Individual Education Plan). He's been getting one on one, tutoring, extra time for tests and he is doing so well. You know how you have people come into your lives and just make a huge impact? Well, he has two. Ms. B. has been tutoring him since after Xmas getting him ready for the FCAT. She was instrumental, along with his everday teacher, getting someone to finally help us. This has been ongoing since he was in first grade. Ms. D. is his one on one teacher that comes and sits with him and keeps him on task. For the first time EVER, he likes school and doesn't fight me to get up and get ready in the morning. We hit a roadblock with one particular person and now that that person is gone, we had someone new to start all over with him and actually help him. It's just a bummer that I can't get all the money we have spent on our own getting him tested back. We shouldn't have had to go to that extent but we did what we had to do. On a happy note, he had a 90% on his math test last week. This week he brough home another 90%. The teacher ended up retesting the kids since there were so many other low grades. So he retook it and got a 105% (he got the bonus). This is HUGE.....

Liz will be moving back home on Thursday. I'm very excited but at the same time, we will be back to a "full house" again. YIKES. I think she will have a hard time getting back to rules, curfew and other things. I don't blame her though. I wouldn't like to move back after having freedom like she did. I think the hardest thing for her will be tolerating that we all still have to get up for school. She will just have to adapt.........I figured I would give her a few days to get some sleep before I push her hard to get a job.

Tomorrow Emily is having some friends over for a birthday party. This is when I am so happy I live in Florida. All I have to do is order a pizza, turn the pool heater on and then we are good to go. I won't have all these teenage girls in my house. Man, I love Florida!

Well, happy Friday. I'm sorting and organizing pictures. I've also purged a lot of old scrapbook supplies out. I'm hoping to have this room done by the end of the weekend.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

{{The Cardinal}}

I love red birds. I always have as long as I can remember. Lisa knows my story about me and redbirds. I have a few red bird "collectibles" that I have collected over the years. Ornaments and that kind of stuff. I even have the red bird beanie baby. I think they are the prettiest birds. When we lived in Ohio, they were everywhere. I'm sure that's why they were the official state bird. But to me, they meant much more. When I moved to Utah, I missed the red birds. One day, I saw one. In Utah of all places. I would just smile. Since moving to Florida, I see a red bird every now and then. I decided to snap a few pictures to some day put in an album so that I can share the "red bird" story with my kids. Right now, if I shared with them "my story" they probably would think I was nuts.

One day I was sitting in the living room and I hear this "peck" on the window. I peak out the blinds and there's the red bird. This picture was taken through the front window....sorry about the glare.
Last month, we heard this "pecking and scratching" on the dining room window. There is the red bird. So, I grabbed my camera and took this shot. Sorry it's blurry but it was 6:3o in the morning and the lighting was awful.

Last Saturday, Steve and I hit Home Depot to get some flowers to plant in the front pots. For some reason, I was drawn to the bird feeder aisle. Steve thought we should get one and put it in the back yard by the pool. We found a nice shape that we liked. As we were looking at seed, Steve points out that there is "red bird seed". Even though it was way more expensive than the regular seed, he suggested we buy it. He knows my story! So we got it and he came home and hung the bird feeder up. I haven't seen any action on the bird feeder since it was hung.
I've been in a bummer mood lately. I needed something...a sign that everything is good. It happened earlier. Today I was folding laundry in my bedroom and I heard some chirps. I look out the window and there they were. Not one, but two red birds. I grab my camera and went outside to grab a few pictures. Aren't they pretty? I think tomorrow morning, I'm going to sit outside on the lanai and have my coffee and wait and see if "my birds" show up.

I had the zoom on as close as it would go. I hope I can figure out a way on Photoshop to zoom in closer. I'm sure there is a way but I have no clue how to do it. I can also zoom in on the picture on my camera. I don't know if I can save it or not. But, I just love these pictures. Well, I snapped out of my mood thanks to these birds. Crazy huh. You all probably think I am nuts too being cheered up by a cardinal!
Well, it's April 15th. Can you believe how fast 2009 is going by? School is winding down and Liz will be moving home at the end of the month. Her first year flew by. I'm still taking it in that Greg will be a senior and I get to do this all over again. Senior pictures, announcements, and college. Emily's birthday is this Sunday and she will be 15!!!! Old enough to get a learner's permit. This just can't be. Greg will be 17 on the 23rd! I can't be getting this old.
Not much else going. I got my Easter pictures of the kids uploaded on my computer but I will share those another day. The cardinals deserve their own entry!
Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Last weekend while I was hanging out with Liz, we decided to go the movies. We went and saw "He's Just Not That Into You". I really had not planned on seeing that particular movie, but there was nothing else showing. So we went. I am so glad we did. What a great movie! It's one of those movies that you keep thinking about. I fell in love with Justin Long. I never knew much about him but he was awesome in this movie. Jennifer Connelly is another one. What a great role for her. Don't know much about her either but she was my favorite character in the movie. I don't know the name of the gal who played GiGi, but her character was just too cute. Loved her. She was so funny. Scarlett Johannsen played the "bad" character. I came out of there just hating her. (hate's a strong word, I know). Hopefully, the next time I see her in a movie I will like her again. I'm glad that I went to see this with Liz versus Steve. He would have hated the movie. Definately a chick movie. It's also one that I will buy when it comes out on DVD. The music is awesome. Every single song! I had planned on going home and looking up the soundtrack on ITunes and downloading it. So, when we were stocking her up at Target, I just happened to see the CD on sale. It was $11. So, I bought it. I figured it was cheaper to buy the CD and download it to my IPOD instead of downloading all 17 songs off of Itunes. That's how good the music is. So, as I'm typing this, I'm listening to the music. AWESOME.

I'm still plugging away at organizing my scrapbook room. I'm slowly making some progress. It's just a matter of letting go of stuff that I no longer will use (or ever even needed). I also am hoping to get my Easter cards made today so I can get them mailed tomorrow. I got a few layouts that I need to upload and share.

Well, that's about all for today. Just the usual stuff for me. Laundry............laundry..........and more laundry. It's never ending here in our house. Have a great Sunday!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Since I joined Facebook, I find that I spend less and less time on my blog. I really am hoping to change that. I love my blog. Since Facebook made all the new changes, I find I am spending less time there. All that information on who does what stresses me out. Way too much to read. So, I'm hoping to be a better blogger again.

Last weekend was mom's weekend at Elizabeth's sorority house. She's a Phi Mu. What a fun time we had. I got caught in traffic on my way up there so it took over 3 hours. I missed dinner so we ended up going out on our own and we hooked up with her friend that she went to high school with. We went to this awesome deli called McAllister's Deli. Had the best baked potato. Much better than the pizza that everyone else had. I stayed a the Hilton Gardens and man what a nice place. It was so quiet compared to my own house. I really enjoyed it and it was a nice break. So, I am posting a few pictures of our weekend. I took a lot more. So many that they will get their own scrapbook album.

The Phi Mu house. Isn't this the cutest pink house you have ever seen?

Here we are after the tea on Saturday afternoon.

Here we are in front of the Phi Mu founders picture in the front room.

Elizabeth in front of this year's composite. I actually took her picture and had it framed so when she comes home she can hang it in her room to replace all her high school stuff.
She has had the best year at the University of Florida. I am one proud mom of the person she has become. It's amazing what a year can do to someone. She really made the most of her first year in college. It's so hard to believe that she will be home at the end of the month. This year just flew. I'm freaking out about where I am going to put all her stuff. We have no room! So, I guess we will be clearing out the garage in the hopes that we can stack all her stuff out of the way.

We have only one more day until a much needed Spring break. We are burned out! All I can think about is sleep! I can't wait.
Not much else going on. I've been purging and organizing my scrapbook room. It got way out of hand and I wanted to really enjoy it again and actually do some scrapbooking. I am hoping to get some done when the kids are off.
I'm still working out! I still have a long way to go but I am noticing changes. I am wearing clothes that I haven't worn in years. I had to go out and get some new capris because the ones I had were too big. It's hard work. I have a whole new appreciation for those on the biggest loser.
We really need some rain down here. So say a prayer for us that we get some soon. We had a wild fire in the subdivision a couple of weeks ago. They are started to get way to close for comfort. Starting tomorrow, the city is enforcing strict water restrictions. No more sprinklers, washing our cars or pressure washing the houses. I'm really nervous about not running our sprinklers. We have sod versus normal grass and it is very expensive to replace. Once it's dead, it's dead. We just can't throw seed down and water it. It has to be ripped out and laid back down. We also have Homeowners Assocation that enforce green lawns. You will get a letter and a possible fine if your grass is dead. I think they will have a very hard time enforcing that but they can be jerks about a lot of stupid and minor stuff. One time I got a letter because I put my garbage can out too early. A couple of years ago, we got a letter because we were replacing some sod and it was when the hurricanes rolled through. The sod fields were under water and the landscapers couldn't access it. So, of course, we got "the letter". No fine though because then I had to send a letter back to them explaining the situation. Oy. We also have to get our house painted this year and we have to "get permission" to paint it and have the color approved. That's my next project. The house needs to be painted really bad. So, nex time you say a prayer, pray for some much needed rain for us down here.
Well, that's about it. Hopefully, I will get some pictures of my nice clean scrapbook space to post. Have a good one.

Monday, March 16, 2009

It's back to the grind here. Elizabeth was home all last week and we had a wonderful time together. The other guys aren't on spring break until April. So, Liz and I had a lot of one on one time. We did lots of shopping and had lunch. She also had some school work to get done so she was off doing her thing. We went to Sarasota on Saturday to watch the Reds play the Rays. It's been a while since all of us a family were together. It was fun. We got to eat our Skyline Chili! I'll post pictures as soon as Emily uploads them from her camera for me. I was sad to see her go back yesterday.

The weather here is absolutely perfect. Other than it being so dry, the temps are awesome. I had to turn on the AC because we are all so miserable with our allergies. The outside air is so full of pollen none of us can breath very well and are sneezing up a storm. Allergies have been miserable.

Yesterday, Steve was out working in the yard raking and sweeping all the dead leaves. Our leaves fall off in the Spring here. Mark was playing basketball in the driveway so both cars were parked on the street. We don't live on a narrow street by any means. The cars were also parked directly in front of our house. Our creepy, weird neighbor was pulling out and backed right into Steve's car. I am just counting my lucky stars he only hit Steve's car and not Mark. The guy is a "few fries short of a happy meal" if you know what I mean. Creepy and weird is probably the nice version of what I think of them. I remember when we bought this house, how excited I was to live on a cul de sac. It's a very small street with only 7 houses total. Mark would have tons of room to ride his bike and play and I wouldn't have to worry about him. I thought everyone would be friendly and hang out on the weekends. Boy was I wrong. Terry and Ralph live directly next to us and are the best neighbors you could have. We are the only ones that talk to each other. Two families don't even wave or make eye contact (this includes creepy weird neighbors). When we first moved in, creepy neighbor lady came over and said we had an illegal tree in the yard (it was between our two drive ways). Um.....the tree was here when we moved in. Getting settled was my first priority. Not some banana bush. I told her that too. So, one day, I came home and she had taken it upon herself to trim it and put the trimmings in the drive. It wasn't that bad but Steve was cool with it because he didnt' have to do it. But, just to tick her off we left it up for several years. When we first moved in Mark ran between the two houses and into her back yard. He was only three. The next weekend, there were rosebushes planted. Whatever. Any she lives there with her grown son and daughter. They are anti-social. On Halloween, they turn on their sprinklers! When Liz was younger and used to get off the school bus, he would be standing there watching the kids get off the bus. Creepy. He used to also sit up at the Community Center at the kids playground. I saw him there several times. So, I checked and made sure we didn't have a pervert living next to us but nothing ever came up. Terri and I joke that some day we are going to go and scour the neighborhood for "for sale" signs and put them up in everyone's yard. So tonight when Steve get's home, he gets to go next door and talk to creepy neighbors and give them a copy of the estimate to get his car fixed--$712. I told him I doubt they will even open their door. We will have to see how this unfolds.

I've been a sorting/organizing fool lately. It feels so good to purge through stuff. I've also been purging all my scrapbook supplies as well. I have so much stuff. Way too much so I'm letting go with the stuff that I will never use again.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Yeah. It's finally the weekend. This week has just been the longest week. It's so nice to sit here and drink my coffee in my jammies at almost 10 am and not worry about where I have to be. So nice.

Liz came home yesterday. Yippee. She got home just in time to be able to go out to lunch. Then we hit the mall until it was time to pick up Mark. He knew she was coming home but didn't know when. So we totally surprised him when we picked him up in her car. He was so happy. First thing they did was watch a movie. When Steve got home, she asked him if he would take them to the zoo. She has always loved the zoo. So, today all of them are headed out. I would go but I have my monthly Stampin Up workshop. The zoo is not my favorite thing because after 4 kids, I've been there, done that. But he loves taking them so they are having a day out with Dad, which is so needed with all the hours he's been working and travelling he has been doing. Greg is in S. Carolina at the SIPA Convention. It's a convention for school newspapers. Their high school in the past few years has been #1. Hopefully they will repeat. Liz went every year when she was on the paper. She offered to go and pick him up late tomorrow night just so she can see everyone when they get off the bus. Since the other kids aren't on Spring Break until April, it's just me and Liz for the week. I'm hoping to do a lot of mom/daughter stuff. Going off to college has really changed her. Not that she needed to change, but she is no longer my "high schooler" with all drama. She's this grown woman. Our conversations are different. I miss her!

Greg is finally scheduled to take his SAT next week. Praise the Lord. Getting him to schedule that has been hard. He just keeps putting if off. So, he is finally taking it next week. Woo Hoo. Then over his spring break, we will be taking some college tours. The University of South Florida is only 15 minutes away. He's already been up to the University of Florida. Next on his list is the University of Central Florida in Orlando. USF has the best program for what he wants to do but he doesn't want to live at home. We told him that if he gets the Bright Futures like Liz did, he can live on campus. So we will see. Hard to believe he will be a Senior. Where has the time gone?

This week is the dreaded FCATs. Talk about stressful. I just hope Mark can do it. I'm a nervous wreck. I had a nice chat with the assistant principal. I feel for the first time that we are all on the same page. He has finally qualified for an IEP. Finally. I'm still fretting about whether or not he should repeat 3rd grade. He tries so hard but just struggles. He is seeing a tutor. I also plan on continuing it over the summer so at least I don't have to make the decision now. I refuse to put him through if he's not ready. The good news is that it won't be a drastic move. He's very small for his age so it's not like he will be a giant compared to others. Plus he has a June birthday so he will still graduate high school @ 18. It's a decision that I dread making but I have to do what's best for him.

Emily is still adjusting to high school. It's a total change for her. I hated middle school. They still treated them like they were in elementary school. I don't think her team in middle school really prepared them for the changes of high school. But she is doing awesome. It took her awhile to get in the groove but I think she is getting it. Hard to believe she will be 15 next month! My kids have grown up so fast.

Well, it's going to be a beautiful day here in the Sunshine State. Supposed to be 80. Lots to do so I am going to shut this computer down and enjoy the day!

Have a wonderful weekend. Make it a good one!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Checking In .............Today is an absolute gorgeous day here. It's around 80 and very breezy. Steve, Mark and I just returned from a walk around the lake. Our sub division has a community center and right next to it are several lakes with a walking path around it. We walked up there and Mark took along his scooter. Right now, Florida is in a drought and the lakes are very low. A lot of the retention ponds have dried up. It's pretty ugly here right now. There is a chance of rain tonight so we are keeping our fingers crossed that it rains. We are also in a high/severe fire danger warning as well. While we were out walking, we saw smoke and the planes circling around. Hopefully it was just a brush fire and not someones house. It seems to have died down now. While we were walking around the lake, we saw a huge alligator. It was about 5 or 6 foot. Although, any size alligator is huge to me. We also saw some cute turtles. As soon as we get some decent rainfall, everything should start turning green again.

I'm still hanging in there with my workouts. I actually look forward to them now. The time seems to go by quicker. I'm not as sore anymore.

Elizabeth will be home next week for her Spring Break. I'm really looking forward to it. The other kids aren't on spring break until April so we will get to spend some quality time together. Next Saturday, we are all headed down to Sarasota to watch a spring training game. It's the Cincinnati Reds versus the Tampa Bay Rays. Since those are our two favorite teams, we don't have to worry about which one loses. Sadly, this is the Reds last year to have their spring training down in Florida. They sold us out and are moving to Arizona. So, next year we will just be Rays fans. Steve was also able to get Opening Day tickets for the Rays v. Yankees. He is going to take Mark and Greg. It's a night game and also is on their first day back from school. It will be a very late night since the stadium is in St. Pete. The things men will do to watch a good baseball game.

Not much else going on. Getting ready to fire up the grill and have an early dinner so we can chill out tonight. It's been a long week. Steve is finally home after a week of travelling. I am so glad he is home. For some reason, the kids think that there are no rules when dad is gone.

Have a wonderful rest of the weekend. I'm going to go out and do a rain dance in the hopes that the rains come. :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I'm back...........Has it really been that long since I've blogged? Time flies.

To be honest, I really haven't had much to blog about. My life is pretty much the same thing day in and day out.

However, I did make one huge change. I finally started working out with a personal trainer two days a week. I'm not going to lie. It's hard work. It was very painful in the beginning. My first day, we worked on lower body. Oy. Simple things hurt. I dreaded having to use the restroom. It meant having to sit down and get up. Getting in and out of the car---hurt. After two days, I felt better. My next session was upper body. YIKES. Again, after two days, I felt good. Week number two didn't hurt at all. I've been able to keep up with them. I started my third week this week and I wasn't dreading it. At first, I thought, why do people want to do this to themselves? It's boring. But, each trip in is better and better. I love the people I am working with. There's no yelling, but lots of positive encouragement. The other hard thing for me to start doing is to eat breakfast. I have never been one to eat it. Now I do. Otherwise, I get dizzy and lightheaded during the workout. I have no idea if I've lost weight yet because I'm not getting on the scale. I don't want to get let down so early in this. But, I have a whole new outlook on the Biggest Loser Show. Those people work at it every day. I only go twice a week.

I'm still battling whatever crud I've had. I've been to the doctor twice now. Still not 100%. I'm so sick of coughing. I will hang in there like they say and hope that I can shake this after six weeks.

My oven went out last week and I finally was able to get it fixed yesterday. Boy, did I miss it! I tried making chicken in the crock pot and it just wasn't the same as baked.

I finally got back into my scrapbooking groove. I did four pages over the weekend. I was so happy that I was able to sit down and actually concentrate long enough to finish some layouts. I'm trying to use up a lot of my supplies so I can justify buying new stuff. I was at Michaels yesterday and they have some cute new stuff but nothing just "had to have".

Well, it's almost that time of day where I have to go and get in that car pool lane. So, I better get a move on and get some stuff crossed off my "to do" list before the kids start rolling in.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, February 02, 2009

I just don't get it..............................We got notice last week that State Farm is pulling out of Florida when it comes to Homeowner's Policies. We got our official letter on Friday that we will be losing our homeowner's insurance within the next two years. However they WILL continue to service our Auto insurance. We've been with State Farm forever and were quite happy. We've been good, loyal customers and have never had a claim on either the homeowner's or auto. So, now it's time to begin the hunt for new insurance. We will also be taking our auto insurance with it. Their reasoning is that they can no longer afford to stay in Florida. Okay, fine. Times are tough. I understand. So, imagine my suprise last night when I saw a State Farm insurance ad during the Superbowl. What? They can spend millions on a TV ad?? Just my .02.

Happy Monday!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Awww man (in my best Ted voice from Scrubs) it's Monday again. Where did the weekend go? However, it's a beautiful day here in Florida. Blue sky, cool morning and temps are supposed to be around 78. This is why I love Florida!

I finally broke down on Saturday and went to the health clinic. I was admitting defeat with my most recent bout of whatever was kicking my behind. The constant coughing was so annoying that my chest was hurting whenever I coughed. I was sick of the scratchy voice and wanted my own voice back. So, turns out I have pharyngitis (sp??). I left with a dosage of drugs. On my way home, I stopped at CVS to get my prescription filled and there was a sign in their window "pharmacy closed". What???? So, I stopped at home and picked up my picture card to my camera and decided to hit Walgreens. While they filled my prescription, I got some pictures printed off in the hopes of scrapping them. I am feeling somewhat better after 3 of the 5 doses. I feel good enough to go get my teeth cleaned which I was supposed to do last week but cancelled because I felt so bad. This morning, Mark woke up hacking and coughing. I gave him a dose of medicine and sent him off to school. I have a feeling he will have a short week this week. That poor kid has missed more school this school year than he has his entire time in school.

Well, all good things must come to an end...................... I'm a mini van mom. I've been a mini van mom since we found out we were having Emily. So for 15 years, I've driven a mini van. I'm on mini van #2. We got this mini van right after Mark was born so it will be 9 years old. It's in great shape. I remember the day we got it. I was so happy because the other van was icky. It was always breaking down and cost us a fortune to keep fixing. Sad thing was, it "died" with only 70,000 miles. With 3 kids and a newborn, we decided to invest in a new one. My new van has been through the Nevada desert, through the burnt hills of California, up the mountains carrying skis, from Florida to Ohio. "She" has about 104,000 miles. She just keeps going and going. The kids won't drive her though. It's "uncool" to drive a mini van. So they would rather me drop them off than to drive her. Two years ago, we invested in a 3rd car. Liz inherited Steve's car and Steve got a new red Toyota Camry. I love that car!!! But, he got it since it was better on gas mileage. Last week he worked in Kansas so he took the van to leave at the airport and I was spoiled driving his car. When he came back, I kept his car in the garage purposely blocked in when he got back. He never said anything, but he drove the van to work for a couple of days. I never offered to move the cars back either. hehe. Last night, he finally went out and switched the cars back. I asked him why. He said (with a smile), the van is too big and takes too much gas. He wanted "his" car back. So, this morning as Mark and I were leaving, even he commented "aaw man, we have to take the van"? Yep. I'm back to "mini van" mom. So, I was informed that Steve will be working in Kansas next week so you can bet which car will be sitting at the Tampa International Airport!

Today is just a typical Monday. It's so quiet here right now with everyone gone back to school. My plan is to catch up on Mt. Washmore and "air" out the house since we were able to shut the furnace off. I may even sneak into my scrapbook room and see if I can finish a layout. I'm in a major scrapbook slump right now. Maybe the warm sunshine will inspire me to finish it.

Have a wonderful Monday. Make it a good one.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I woke up this morning feeling very happy. I wasn't unhappy but having been sick this whole week, I woke up "better". I'm still not feeling 100% and I probably should go to the doctor, but each day is "a better day". I'm not a doctor, but I have had bronchitis before and I am sure that this is what I have. But, I am responding to over the counter stuff. I hate taking (and paying) for prescriptions. Anyway, I'm getting off the topic here but I woke up determined to make it a good day. It's still cold but the sun is shining. This morning is supposed to be our last morning of cold and then we are warming back up. Supposed to be back in the 70's this wekend.
For the last several years I've been a red head. Yes it's out of a bottle. To be exact the color I use is called "Ginger Spice". I never really cared for my "mousy" brown looking color. But lately, the gray hairs are coming in way too fast. I also have very fast growing hair so it was starting to look obvious. So, this morning I colored my hair back to the brown it was in the hopes that the grays will not be so obvious. I love it! It's weird looking at myself in the mirror. No more "ginger spice". Change is good.
Tuesday, I start my personal training sessions. I've lost 10 pounds since the Fall on my own but I'm greedy and wantto lose more. I will train two mornings a week and the rest of the days, I am on my own. I'm not "obese" but definately over my ideal weight. I've had 4 children and have had two big moves. Stress is my biggest enemy right now. One of the biggest changes we've made is we've been eating healthier as a family. We try and have some kind of fish or salmon once a week. More salads. I love salmon and believe it or not, so do the kids. Especially grilled. YUM. Lots more fruit in the house. Mark is my fruit eater. The other day, Steve went to the store for me with Mark and I guess Mark saw a pear. I don't buy pears because no one will eat them. So, Steve got him one and he devoured it. Too cute. He loves bananas, apples, strawberries, and grapes. The other kids won't touch fruit. Funny how kids can all be of the same gene pool and have such different tastes. I've also stopped buying pop. We weren't big pop drinkers but if it was there, it was a temptation. I loved my diet coke. But now when I drink it, I don't finish it. Now the sweet tea is a different story. I still drink it but in moderation. I also still love the citrus flavored green tea, again in moderation. But, water is my best friend. I can drink it all day. Give me a lemon wedge and I am good to go. Change is good.

Happy Friday! Make it a good one. The weekend is almost here. Yippee.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I'm back............

Wow. These past few weeks have just blown on by. I had hoped that a new year would mean things would slow down, but nope. I'm still on that highway in the fast lane.

Remember how I said everyone got sick at Thanksgiving and again right before Christmas? Well, I did get it at Thanksgiving but was able to avoid it the second time. Well, I finally got it. And boy did I get it good. I probably should go to the doctor but I have been able to manage it with over the counter stuff. I'm not one to run to the doctor but I am going to hang in there for the moment. I have never coughed so much or so hard in my life. For awile there, I thought I was going to cough up my lungs. I was taking Nyquil but I stopped because I was having some weird dreams. Once I stopped taking it, the dreams stopped. So, I'm just drinking lots of hot green tea and popping Vitamin C.

How about them Florida Gators??? The champs!!!!! How exciting. I was so happy that Elizabeth got to enjoy that and be part of the school's history. She loves being a Florida Gator. She is studying Journalism. She has been writing stories since she was a little girl. So, it was only natural for her to go that path. She spent high school being on the school newspaper and was the editor her senior year along with another gal. She even interviewed Jenna Bush when she came to Tampa to promote her book (which is a phenominal by the way). You can only imagine her (and our) excitement when she got a call from The Alligator (UF's newspaper) to cover the pep rally after the Gators big win. It was so exciting to go online and see an article that she wrote. She came home over the weekend and gave me a copy of the paper. I am one proud mom!

With the new year also means it's time for the dreaded FCATs. Let me tell you how much I hate them. FCATS are Florida tests that are given to different grades. You have to pass them. I don't believe that one test can determine whether a student can pass onto the next grade. They are stressful not only to the students but to the parents. This year Mark will have to take his first FCAT (Reading). Greg is taking one (not sure which one but it will be his last) and Emily also has to take them. I can't wait for them to be over. I think they take them in March. But for the next few months, all they do is prepare for these tests. Enough said about this subject.......it gets me all worked up. Sorry.

I've officially become addicted to my IPOD. I got it back last fall, put a few songs on it and went on my way. I got a few gift cards for Christmas and now I can't stop. I have it on all the time. I sit in car pool lane with it on (no commercials like the radio). My next investment is an adapter for my car. We all have one (except for Steve) and we all have them on. We look pretty silly all walking around the house with our ear plugs in. I love to clean with it on. I actually forget that cleaning is not my favorite thing to do but it sure helps pass the time.

Last year for Mark's birthday, he got a pogo stick. He tried it but never could get the hang of it so it sat in the garage. Two weekends ago, he got it out and tried it. At first, he couldn't do it and was getting frustrated. He kept at it for HOURS. Each time he jumped longer and he finally got it. Sunday morning he came in at 8:00 am and wanted to go out and "jump". He jumped for hours. OMG, all he does is jump on that thing. He has mastered jumping up the curb through the grass and down the street. He's a jumping maniac. We are all amazed. So, I highly recommend a pogo stick if you are looking for something that burns a lot of energy. I'm thinking about investing in another one (for grown ups), just so we can jump with him. His only goes up to 80 pounds. He is having a blast with it.

Winter has finally made it's way to Florida. They say there may even be a few stray snowflakes tonight. Brrr. When we first moved here from Utah, I hung onto our winter coats. After two years, I got rid of them. So, we don't even own winter coats anymore. Steve is in Kansas right now with just a jacket. oops. But, I won't complain too much because I know people up North are getting it much, much worse. Stay warm.

Well, it's that time of the day to pick up Mark. Believe me when I say it won't be quiet. I figured I will send him out to "jump" and wear him out for awhile.

Have a wonderful Inaugeration Day!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

What else is there to say today except:


Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Last night when I was listening to the news, I heard our local guy say that there were going to be some changes to their programming. Their 24/7 weather station wasn't doing what they were hoping to do so they were changing the format. They were going to show "Retro TV Shows". Well that caught my attention. So when I crawled into bed last night I turned on channel 460 and this is what I saw: Johnny Gage and Roy DeSoto. Anyone who grew up in the 70's remember these hunky men. I was so in love with Johnny Gage. This show was a staple in our house. My younger brother even had the Squad 51 hot wheel. I still even have my Emergency View Master slide. Laying there for that hour so took my back.

With the station just turning on yesterday, the man also said this show would be on too

Who was not in love with the Hardy Boys? I sent my first fan letter to Shaun Cassidy and even got an autographed picture back. The guide to the station isn't up yet so I don't know when it will be on. But, you can bet I will be watching it. It's fun to look back and remember all the good shows that used to be on. Today's TV shows just don't do it for me. There are only a few shows that I "don't miss". I love Monk, Psych and for laughs, Scrubs (which a new season starts tonight). I used to be a huge TV watcher but now, I just mostly lisen to my IPOD.

Speaking of Ipods, I am totally getting addicted to it. I got on back in October and had about 14 songs on it. Well Emily and Liz got new ones for Christmas and now I am totally addicted to Itunes. We all have to confer with one another before we download songs to make sure it's not already in the library. Now, I have to get the adapter for my car so I can listen to "MY" music without interruptions. I keep a list going of the songs I want to download. I love modern technology.

Today the kids went back to school. Ahh the silence.....I get to spend my day finishing the Xmas decorations and finding a place for all the new stuff but if you could only hear how quiet it is. (Although the last two weeks, everyone was still sleeping except for Mark). Only the sound of SpongeBob was heard. Elizabeth went back to Gainesville on Sunday and she starts classes today. She is very excited about her classes this semester. Now that she has the first semester of her Freshman year under her belt, she is so much more relaxed. Speaking of UF, how about them Gators? Playing in the championship game this Thursday? Go Gators.

Not much else to report. I have already missed two days of my 365 photos. I have two so far. But, I'm not quitting. I have spent the last few nights getting all my photos saved onto a CD and cleaning up my computer files. I have way too many pictures not backed up. If something were to happen to this computer, I would just lose it. So, I'm organizing and sorting and trying to figure out what pictures, I have printed off and saved. It feels good to see some actual progress.

As part of my 2009, I promised myself that I would be a healthier me. So, yesterday I started off the year with my annual well woman's check up. Scheduled my mammogram. Here's my PSA---get your mammogram. I feel very strongly about us women getting these. My BP was still up somewhat but they weren't too concerned. I had a spike in my cholesterol back in the Fall so I also scheduled my routine blood draw for next week. I'm determined to get off these meds. I even managed to lose a few pounds over Christmas. Go figure. The only problem I'm having now is that I'm having a very hard time falling asleep at night. I don't know what's up with that. I just lay there. It's not caffeine related because I don't drink a lot of it except my coffee in the morning. I'm hoping now that I'm back in a routine and not sleeping in will help. Otherwise, it will be back to the doctor for that.

Well, I guess I better get a move on. Before I know it, it will be time to start my routine again. I need to get a jump on Mt. Washmore before it erupts. Right now, it's "dormant". hehe. I've been able to keep up with it.

Have a wonderful Tuesday. Make it a good one. My word for the year is relax so don't forget to take a deep breath if you start getting stressed out today. :)

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Welcome 2009

Can't believe another year has come and gone. It seems like 2008 just flew by.

Highlights of 2008 for me were:

Got my Canon Rebel

Mark made his First Communion

Greg made his Confirmation

Elizabeth graduated high school
(those three all took place within two weeks of each other)

Elizabeth went off to college

Emily started high school

Patti & Krissy came down to celebrate Thanksgiving

Went to Disneyworld

Unfortunately for me, 2008 was not one of my favorite years. So much happened and it was just run, run, run. Especially in May. All the preparation for First Communion and Confirmation.............times have changed and now it's mandatory this, mandatory that. The kids attended Religious Education classes but they also had to attend more monthly meetings and had projects. This was all in addition to their schooling. It was tough. When Liz made her Confirmation several years ago, it wasn't this difficult. I don't know, it just seems like they forgot that these kids go to school and do other things. But, it's over. Done. But, in 2010, we get to go through it again--Emily will make her Confirmation the same time as Greg graduates!

For the first time ever, I didn't enjoy the holidays. At Thanksgiving, we all got the stomach flu. Then two weeks later everyone got "the actual flu". With Thanksgiving being so late, we lost that extra week in between. We went to Disney the weekend before Christmas and family also arrived. They were on vacation. I was not. So, we were expected to hang out with them. I wasn't on vacation. I still had shopping, baking and wrapping to do. I didn't even get all my Christmas stuff out. So, it was my family that didn't get done. Steve's car didn't get fixed as planned because of it all (he did finally get it done but paid way too much). I just didn't enjoy it. The phone was constantly ringing to go and do. It was just way too stressful.

So, I vow in 2009 to make it about me. I'm going to learn how to tell my kids "no". I spend way to much time doing for them. I didn't get hardly any scrapbooking done. We spent all that money to get that extra room made into a scrapbook area and I never can get in there. Someone was always in there watching TV or studying. So, I'm taking my room back. I want to learn how to use my camera that I got. If it means taking a photography class then that's what I am going to do. I am hoping to do some fun online scrapbook challenges. Ali Edwards has one going on where you choose a word to focus on for the year. I am hoping to do one of those Projects 365--you take a picture a day. I've never done one so I need to look into it but I think it would be fun to do. Anyone done one of these and can point me in the right direction?

I am also going to make this the year I get healthy. It's no secret that I've put on weight. As a result, I'm now on medication for high blood pressure and high cholesterol. My goal is to get off all of those by year's end. I've lost about 5 pounds this past month on my own but I'm very greedy and want to lose more. :)

I didn't mean to make this post such a downer but I am vowing to turn it around in 2009!

So, to everyone I wish a Happy 2009. Make it a happy one.