Monday, December 28, 2009

Getting Ahead of Ourselves

With the rush of Christmas coming to an end...and looking forward to the rush of Valentine's Day coming...I've been thinking that I need to look into a good project management software. Something that I can keep not only our schedule on for our employees, but something that can show each order...and when it's due. We've never missed an order (knock on wood) but being a small business owner, it is my fear. Especially with business picking up these last few weeks!

They're Gone

My parents have made their yearly trek South. They are truly snowbirds and live the winter months in their 5th wheel in Arizona. They've done this most of my adult life, and finally this year decided to drive their little "home away from home" down south and park it in it's spot forever. No more pulling that baby over the mountain passes on central and southern Utah. They were looking at giving up their trailer and buying a home since the market has crashed in Arizona and they could get a steal on a house. But in the end they decided to up their mechanical breakdown insurance and pay for a permanent spot!

They had Christmas with my brothers and sisters the Sunday before Christmas, and then spent Christmas on the road. That part doesn't sound like a lot of fun, but sitting in my living room watching the snow dump 12 inches of snow on me and listening to her walking the dog in a light sweater...I guess I'd go for a Christmas like that!

Teeth Problems

My husband has a mouth full teeth that need serious work. It's been that way his whole life. They seem to disintegrate at the very thought eating something sugary! His cousin is the same way and has gotten her dental implants Plano, Texas. She's thrilled with them, and her "no-pain" dentist. Sadly---that's like 1000 miles away--and we don't know many dentists near us.

Sadly, two of my kids have inherited his teeth. It's costing a fortune already, and they aren't even a decade old!

I Never Knew

My parents were in town in early December and as we sat at a local restaurant having dinner, I couldn't help but overhear the people at the table next to us. They went on and on about a woman who had stolen their identity and how much strife it had caused in their lives. I have to admit, I've never really worried about someone stealing my identity. I guess I've always figured my credit was bad, and if anyone applied for anything in my name they'd be rejected anyway. But after listening to this woman tell her story to the people at her table, it really made me want to look into companies that offer identity theft protection.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Traveling Alone

I have a new friend. I call her new not because we have only been friends a short time, but because, although we are friendly...I don't really know all that much about her. She lives in my area. Has been married for 20 years and has 4 kids (3 adopted and 1 bio). In getting to know her a little better these past few months I found out that she takes a 1 week vacation once a year, all by herself. No kids. No husband! Now---I'm all for getting away--but I really don't want to go alone. I don't know if she goes with friends or girlfriends, but it sounded as if she took off for a week in one of those disney world hotels all by herself! Not only do I not want to travel alone, but I really wouldn't want to do Disney World without my kids!

Her oldest son was at church today swinging around a HUGE pencil. It was his gift from his mom's trip to Disney. I'm sure it was lacking in his mind! Kind of like a t-shirt that said, "My mom went alone to Disney World, and all I got was this dinky t-shirt"! Yeah....just like that!

Medical Offices

Have you ever been stuck in a doctor's office waiting and started checking out the medical equipment? Does everyone do that or just me? After you've had four babies--there isn't an exam table that I haven't sat on! I remember in one really long appointment, I sat and stared at the blood pressure meter on the wall. Did you know there is a fancy name for that little meter? It's a Sphygmomanometer! Yes siree...I sat there and read it over and over until I could say it (and spell it) with ease! Let me tell you---I sound SO smart in a conversation where I get to throw that word around! Yeah...I haven't been in one yet---but I'm just waiting, cause it's bound to happen!

I've even gotten my kids started on games to pass the time. You know the exam tables with all of the drawers underneath it? Well, we play a little "Guess What's In That Drawer" game. You guess something like hospital gown or gauze...and then you take a little peeksie to see if you win. Yeah---it's snooping...but all in the name of entertaining children who would otherwise be ripping through said drawer looking for latex gloves to blow up or those extra long Q-tips to jam up their noses!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Memories

Last summer when we were on our vacation, a new temple opened nearby. It was the first one I could take my kids into that they would actually remember. The whole time we were in line waiting for our turn, I was telling them different things to expect. The first thing you do when you walk in the door is stop between two people. You lift one foot up and they slip these little disposable shoe covers over your shoe. Then you repeat it with your other foot. I was really excited for them to see this part--it's always what stuck out in my head from earlier open houses I'd been to. This new building (sadly) didn't have these cute little feetie covers---the entire walking areas were made up of marble tiles and all of the carpet was covered with the long plastic carpet covers. No, it's not a big deal---but there was a tinge of disappointment!

Fighting The Good Fight

My mom has been going through a really rough patch trying to wean herself off of pain medication her doctor prescribed for her. You know, you always hear about celebrities fighting these kinds of addictions, and I tend to judge rather harshly. Little did I realize that much of these addictions are caused by the doctors and the drugs themselves. By that, I mean, with the rebound of pain that accompanies taking pain medication. It will take away the pain for awhile, but when it wears off, the body sends rebound pain--and you end up taking more medication to relieve that pain, and the accompanying pain and so on!

It's been 24 days since she went off of her pain medication cold turkey. And she's finally starting to feel a little more human. Those first three days were the worst! I honestly thought I should start looking for cross country movers to be with her. It's probably good that we are 1500 miles apart, because I would have been there all day every day--and there are times I think she would have pushed just to converse with me. And with me not there, it gave her the freedom to rest and only take my phone calls when she really had the energy to do so!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Hand Dryers

Are all kids drawn to hand dryers? I swear, every restroom we are in, my daughter (6 1/2) must wash her hands and sit with them under the dryer until they are practically chapped from being so dry. There are paper towel dispensers along the other wall which would be much quicker, but no, she must dry! It isn't that she's being all 'conservation minded', she just likes the fact that something mechanical dries her hands for her.

I remember being up in the mountains at summer camp. We would have to be up at the crack of dawn, and even though it was summer--it was always freezing up there. We would hang out for the flag ceremony, and then we would dash to the bathroom, and turn the blowers on--and just stand in front of them. Anything to get warm!

So Proud

I was filling out some paper work for some of the ladies at church, and came across a name of someone I'd never met. Mind you, I've been in the area and the same church for over two years, I should know everybody right? Turns out this young lady has picked up and moved to the Dominican Republic to work on humanitarian projects. How amazing is that? I can't imagine being so self-less, and I have to say, I'm humbled by her. So if you are ever in santo domingo look up Sister Cutler for me---just see how she's doing!

I Want It!!

We are remodeling our basement. I know, it's a recession...what are we thinking! Honestly, we are updating it, and adding a kitchen. In case we need to move elderly parents in--or even rent out the space for added income. We were looking at sinks and faucets the other day, when we saw the COOLEST bar faucets ever! Mind you, I've never really been into a bar---so I don't know if they are what real bars use--but you hold the glass upside down and push it toward the faucet, and a gush of hot water hits it--and cleans it. OH MY HEAVENS....I want one so bad! I don't think we use too many glasses. I'm not sure it would be used much at all. But oh it was so cool!

Monday, November 2, 2009

My Laptop Is Dead

My laptop is fried! I guess I was asking for it, when I let my kids play with it. But it's got too much information to just let it go. I've been looking into secure online backup. I don't know how long the process takes, or how many times my laptop will freeze before it's totally backed up. But it is definitely something that would save me so much time and stress. I don't know if it has a virus---and it won't keep itself running long enough to run a scan, and I do have to say---it's DRIVING ME CRAZY!!

Purloined Pens

Do you have people in the office that steal all of the office supplies? I swear, my husband comes home from work every night with three pens. Each has the company name on them, so it's not hard to see where they are coming from. I wouldn't be surprised to find 20 or more of them in his drawer. But it really makes it nice when I can't find a pen--I know just where to look! Would it be too tacky to start requesting sticky notes?? I'm always needing those! :)

Christmas Past

My cousin posted a picture of herself from many years ago on Facebook. I couldn't tell how old she was, or if it was taken after they moved to Utah or in one of their Baltimore apartments. Turns out, it was her first Christmas after the move west. So I had definitely met her by then.

In the picture, she was 10 years old and holding up the baby doll that her mom had gotten for her for Christmas. Here she is 34 year old looking at this picture and wondering if 10 was too old to be getting excited about getting a baby doll for Christmas!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Elk

Today we went with my sister and her kids to see the Elk of Elk Grove Village. It's so strange that after all of the years that we've lived here-we've never stopped to do this. Mind you--she's not much into being outside--more of an indoor girl, so I was kind of surprised when she called.

We drove the kids over, took a bunch of pictures, and then headed to my brother in laws restaurant for dinner. It was yummy! I have to download the photo's and then I will put them up a little bit later this evening!!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Dinner Dilemma

I was talking to my mom earlier and realized that I may not need the best weight loss pill ever, although--I'd still like it! But I really do need to cut down on the snacks after dinner! Well, and dinner itself! Tonight we had 'from scratch' waffles---fatteningly delicious!

I did sit up last night and work out our month of dinners for the month of October. I do enjoy having a list of everything that I'm going to be cooking in the next 30 days. It helps with the shopping and really helps cut the "chore" out of dinner.

Moving Matters

Well, my in laws have begun their move. Actually they are almost finished with it. They are taking pretty much everything but the bathroom sinks! However, there are a couple of things that they aren't taking that should go with them. They paid for these items, and even though they are attached to the wall---they are theirs. This includes surround sound equipment and a huge awning in the backyard. Now I understand that this is a foreclosure--but come on---it's not like it's part of the house!

Colon, Apostrophe, Question Mark

Do you want to know a secret of mine?? I LOVE the new TV show about Guiliana and Bill Rancic. Much of it is filmed here in Chicago and it is fun to see places on TV that I get to look at all the time. We even drove by their old house a few weeks ago when we were downtown. Yeah---not that I'm a stalker or anything!

On the last episode she and her assistant headed to a spa for a detox. She had just told her husbands friends that she wouldn't be having a colonic or anything, so it was really funny to see her squirm when she found out that there was, in fact, a colonic with her name on it!

I really would be a poor participant in a colonic---but when you look into colon health I would be more apt to try colonetix or something like it. I'm much happier to take a pill!!

Past Dreams

Last year at this time I vowed that I would find some weight loss pills that work and I would be a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader this year for Halloween! And ya know what......this year, I'm going to find fabulous weight loss pills that work-----and NEXT year I'm going to be a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader for Halloween!

Pretty sad in my opinion! As far back as I could remember I always wanted to be a part of the DCC. Now, at 38 years old---I'm left to dream about it for Halloween! Not that my mother would have ever approved of my younger, thinner self becoming one!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Garage Sale Stuff

I am going over to my sisters old house tomorrow to help her and her mother in law pull things out to be put in a garage sale in a couple of weeks. What is so fun is that the attic and basement are full of her husbands grandparents things--total "Antique Roadshow fodder up there! There is depression glass, and even an old stove from the 1920's in PERFECT condition! That alone could fetch several thousands of dollars--and it still works!

So tomorrow will be really an interesting day--I can't wait to fill you in on what else we find!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Can't Eat It

Have you ever noticed that the best appetite suppressant is cooking?? I know, that sounds so strange. But I can be dying for scrambled eggs--and if I've cooked them, and smelled them while they cook--I can no longer eat them. Yet, if we were to pile in the car and head to Denny's I could eat multiple servings! It's the same with most hamburger products as well--and ALL chicken! I don't know if it's the smell that the foods give off--but yes, I'm no longer able to eat anything after I've cooked it. (And no it isn't that I'm a bad cook---my kids and husband LOVE my cooking)

It's The Law

My brother in law is an attorney and we find that whenever we have a legal question (whether it's business law related or not) we will always call him for his advice first. My cousin has been living back east for several years and has been loving all of the things that life affords her. However, she's found her self in need of one of the really good New York accident lawyers, so she called me to see if I could call him for a referral to find a good one. Glad to see we aren't the only ones who use and abuse him!!

Awesome Find

I started taking Vivix from Shaklee this week, and I have to say---I LOVE it! I was a little worried that it would carry some of the same side effects as some weight loss pills. You know, the jittery, jumpy, fuzzy head. But there was none of that. Just pure unadulterated energy--and the four days I've been on it have been AWESOME!

I just wish it was less expensive. But honestly, the result is worth it. I actually scoured my refrigerator---and it's needed that for MONTHS!

It's HERE!! YAY

Tomorrow is the first day of fall! Can you believe it! Time to winterize the house. Luckily my husband has the day off tomorrow. He is in charge of everything outside--like the faucets and spigots and such. I do the inside like the furnace filters and the new batteries for the smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Pretty easy, eh? We have a huge air conditioner in the back yard, and we don't touch it---but the one in my bedroom window will most likely stay there throughout the winter. I am a person who is never cool---so it may be the middle of February before we pull that one in!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Time To Get Rid Of It

So, would you look for the best fat burner now?? Or would you wait until after the holiday binge has past? I know--it's the same question every year. My baby is nearing 5 and I'm still holding on to his baby weight. It's definitely time to do something about it. With the weather cooling down, I should be able to do a bit more out of the house. Maybe walk the kids to school some mornings. Tomorrow we are going raspberry picking--so that will be a little activity.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Girl Chat!!

We have a HUGE family! We are a divided family--my mom brought three kids into the marriage and my dad brought 4. So there are 7 base kids, plus each one has a spouse, bringing that up to 14, plus 19 grand kids and 1 great-grand baby. So the total at any family occasion is 35! Add in grandparents and aunts and uncles and you've got quite the room full. Now just imagine that one of them is gone and calling home for the holiday! After you've passed the lucky telephoner around the room--you are talking an hour long distance phone call!! Those pennies add up pretty darn quick!

We have an all "Girl" call every Sunday night. Generally my mom calls my oldest sister, puts her on hold and gets my next sister on the line, and then conferences me in lastly! It's quite a chore, but we seem to manage at least a short catch up conversation every Sunday night! For the other times--that is what this blog is for--updating the family on the goings on in our world!!


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Computers!!

We recently had to "upgrade" to the AT&T/Yahoo system from the old SBC/Yahoo one. Let me tell you---I hate it! I'm very near dropping AT&T all together because of such a crappy product!

We will be right in the middle of something and up pops a message telling us that we are unable to connect to the internet--would you like to continue to work offline--however, we are connected at the time. Well, you select the try to sign on again button, and nothing happens, but it seems happy with itself for the moment. Then 10 seconds later it does it again! Literally it's every 10 seconds! I'm getting so angry!! I will be looking into other DSL providers tomorrow! If anyone has any great ideas--let me know!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Paella!!

This year for the "Welcome Fall" feast--we are going to try something different! PAELLA! Paella is a traditional Spanish dish prepared by simmering together chicken, seafood, rice, vegetables, and saffron and other seasonings. Not generally something you think of around this time--but warm and hearty for those cool Autumn/Winter nights!! I can hardly wait to sink my teeth into it!!



Paella
Serves 6-8



1 1/4 lb chicken, cubed
1/2 lb lean pork, cubed
3/8 c olive oil
1 tsp paprika
1/2 clove of garlic
1 tbs minced parsley
1 pimento, chopped
1/2 med onion minced
1/2 tsp saffron (the good stuff)
2 tsp salt
1 quart real chicken broth
2 cups rice
6 large or 12 small stuffed olives, minced
2 7oz lobster tails, cut in pieces
1/2 lb large shrimp, cut in pieces
1T dry sherry
1/2 c cooked green peas

In dutch oven best for this) brown chicken and pork in 1/4 c of
olive oil. Sprinkle with paprika and add garlic and a little of
the onion while cooking. Remove chicken and pork from pan. To the
pan add the rest of the oil and onion with the parsley. Cook until
the onion is soft. Add the rice and glaze the rice (if you haven't
done this is is a process of sort of stir frying the rice before
you cook it -- similar to what you do with bulgar -- it usually
takes about 5 minutes at medium heat).

Return chicken and pork to the pot. Add the chicken broth, saffron
and salt (ground together with mortar and pestle) and olives. Heat
until boiling. Cover and place in the oven at 350. This will take
30 min to 45 min to cook depending on the kind of rice that you
use and how well your dutch oven makes use of heat.

Steam the shrimp and the lobster. When rice is done add the lobster,
shrimp, sherry and peas. Bake and additional 5-10 minutes.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Coupons

Did I mention I've given up couponing? I know, I shouldn't. I've saved a ton of money using them. I mean who else walks out of the grocery store with a basket full of food and $1.18 out of my pocket??? The problem is, the grocery store that I go to regularly has changed their barcode scanner and it beeps after every coupon.

Every single one of them the service lady has to come over and look at, and then manually send them through. I go into this store with a STACK of coupons. By the last one, she's usually tired of me, and sends me off with a grunt. One time she actually huffed and puffed her way over to me and in a not quite so polite tone let me know that she didn't have time to babysit me! Excuse me??? Yeah--I wrote a note to her manager! And ya know what...they sent me a 25% off coupon for my next visit!

The Bills

For the past few months our mortgage payments are getting later and later. It's not that we mail them late, in fact, they are mailed the same day of the month every month. But they seem to be getting lost at the fulfillment center somewhere between the mail room and the payment processing desk.

I will admit---this is probably my fault. You know those little slips that they send you every month and you rip off the bottom portion of the letter and return it with your payment in the enclosed envelope??? Well, our mortgage company is super cheap and won't provide the "enclosed envelope". So I figure I get to be stingy with my time and not return the coupon with my payment!

Not to worry...the account number is written clearly on the check---and luckily it's stamped the day it reaches the fulfillment center--so there have been no late fees charged that haven't been removed. Still----my husband has threatened to take away my bill paying privileges if I don't get myself back in line and do as I'm told!

And he thinks he married a golden retriever???? ;)

Getting Fit

My husband has decided to go on some weight losss supplements. He's not fat. Maybe a little round--but nothing compared to most of America. But he's gotten it into his head that he will be more successful in business if he were thinner. The man is a GM at a huge, multi-national hotel chain. What is he going for? World Domination??

I do have to admire him though. He started this little 'health' regimen last week and every morning he is up early enough to walk on the treadmill and pack a healthy lunch. Good job sweetie!

Now my project for this week...pay some big, burly guys to come move the treadmill out of my bedroom. There is just no sane reason for me to be up this early!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

School Supplies

I love shopping for school supplies! I only have three kids starting school in a weeks time, but let me tell you, I have enough pencils in my house to send them each to school with a new one every day until college!! Yes, I'm addicted!

The funny thing that I do love to collect, and they are so totally lame---3 subject notebooks. Yeah, I haven't got much to put in them---but I have a dozen of them. Most of the pages are blank in each one--but collect them I must! I brought three new ones home today--but they are hiding under my bed. Just not up to explaining the "fix" to my husband!

Monday, August 10, 2009

They Aren't Coming

My older brother and his family were supposed to be heading here for Thanksgiving. Usually they are on one of their orlando vacations, but this year they were going to come here instead. But now it turns out, that my sister in law's mother has booked them a week in her time share in Hawaii. I wanna go!

Now normally I would be thrilled for them, but these people and their children have been to Hawaii, Mexico and Orlando every year since their oldest kids were born...they've NEVER been to Chicago! But, we do understand and wish them the best.

They will miss out on the great trip we had planned!!

I've Been A Redo Fool!

I came home from vacation with the sudden urge to finish up every household project that I've been putting off for 2 years. I've pulled down all of the wallpaper in the kitchen, spack'ed, sanded and primed all of the kitchen walls. This week--the new color goes on. I've got fabric to sew all of the window hangings and to recover all of the bar stools. I'm even ready to head outside and hang my own shutters. They've been sitting in the garage for over a year!

The only thing I wasn't planning on doing...furniture shopping! Well, maybe a couple of new couches but now I have to add a tv stand to the list. We have a huge, heavy TV. It's always sat on this sturdy (or so I thought) stand. But today my four year old was climbing on the glass shelf (under the TV) to reach the turtle food---and it came a crashing down. The shelf...not the TV--THANK HEAVENS!! But it's the shelf that holds the DVD player and the Dish box---so that will be another job added to my list!

Who Knew!

I have never been on the cusp of the Technological revolution! In fact, I'm usually the one clinging to my trusty old standbys longer than anyone I know. Turntable? Still got one--and it works great! In fact, the 8 track tape controls are connected to it--and that works too! Yeah, I'm slow--and probably the last person to ever look at ipods--but I'm tellin' ya...I MUST have one! I have the cute little "computer" one that sits in the side bar of my Facebook page--which is where I learned the true and absolute joy that comes with a random selection of every song I've ever loved at my finger tips!

Yep...I'm SOLD!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Sick Again

I was excited to get to go to the zoo today with my sister and her kids. Unfortunately, as is ALWAYS the case with us--whenever it's something I want to do-one of the kids got sick! Nothing to serious, just a little fever, some vomit--you know, the fun stuff!

I felt bad, because it would have been fun for the kids to get to run around together, and looking at some of her pictures in her photobucket--they had a good time. Hopefully when Katie is feeling better we'll head to the zoo, and even see if Rob and her kids would like to join us!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Where Did He Get This From??

She's Back! My sister has been gone all weekend, up in Wisconsin with her husbands family. It makes for a very quiet weekend at home when her family isn't around. Kind of pathetic how dependent you can become on someone else and their kids in order to have a social life!

We didn't do much this weekend--just some cleaning and some school supply shopping. Have you ever taken a 10 year old boy shopping? Last year I could dress him in whatever I purchased-he didn't care. Not this year! It has to be perfect--right down to his shoes. I fully expected this from my DIVA daughter--but not my fashionably inept son! Well, he's turned into a "Fashion Plate"--watch out all you 5th grade girls!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Old Movies

We were watching an old movie last night with the kids. It was one where the family heads out to a fabulous beach rental for the summer. Their days are filled with family fun, their nights with cookouts and toasted marshmallows next to the surf. Everything was perfect, there were no kids fighting, no bugs...just pure family fun. I would love to find something like that for my family. Somewhere like the Outer Banks offers properties in North Carolina, which sounds like a charming place to visit. It's always more work for the mom though. Laundry and packing for everyone. Cooking and cleaning, and you know my kids will kill each other and there will be a ton of bugs!! Ok, maybe not the bugs, I'm not sure I'm up for too much family time with MY family! Isn't that so sad! They are good kids, and I'm sure they would have a great time--as long as they stay 3 feet away from each other!!

New York City

I have a ton of pictures to put up from our trip to New York. It was such a fun family time, and a little hectic with four little kids and a husband working nearly the entire time we were there, but it was a lot of fun. We did a ton of walking, a ton of eating and a ton of swimming! Really, is there anything more important than swimming when on vacation?

We got to see a lot of the sights and it was really amazing for the older kids. I hope they are able to retain some of the memories from this trip because it probably won't be happening again anytime soon!

Pictures to come!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Piano Man

Ever since my son was little he wanted to learn to play piano. I was taught the very basics by my very talented grandma, but I HATED it. So I gave it up until I was about 16, when I wanted to learn again---so I taught myself. I can read music (not very fast) and I can crank out many beautiful numbers (after hours of practicing them) and honestly, I'm just not going to be that great of a piano teacher.

So I've asked a girl in our area if she would teach him. I warned her that he may not practice very much. He may get bored with it pretty quickly. But on the whole--he should be a pretty good student. Let's hope he behaves, eh!

Friday, July 10, 2009

T.G.I.F.

It has been a crazy week. I'm thrilled that it is Friday. We have nothing planned for the weekend, and I think I'm going to keep it that way. There has been something going every single day. Not even many things, just one or two things strategically placed right in the middle of the day, so as to throw off my entire schedule. Between summer camp and baseball, ballet and piano lessons, I feel like I get to be home about 2 hours at a time and then we are on the run again. The surprising thing is that it really messes up dinner. Since the dinner prep time is cut into, it always turns into a fast food night. And that isn't god for anyone!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Cousins

The house is super noisy right now--you never really know just how good that sounds!! We are visiting with my sister and it's her 4 kids against my 4 kids--and there is a thunder storm outside--so along with the noise of the kids--we get the booming noise of nature--and the pitter patter of rain on the windows. It really is refreshing!

What's really amazing is how dark it has gotten outside. It's only 4:25pm here, and it's as dark as it is at 9pm! So we are going to need to send them all downstairs to play in the playroom! Then we have to figure out what to feed these monsters--8 tummies are bound to be hungry!!

Both of our husbands are out tonight--working late-so we are having a cousin night out!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Trip Planning!!

What a wild and crazy week it's been--and it's only Tuesday! I can't even begin to wonder what is ahead of me for the weekend! With an impending family trip--I have a ton of laundry and a ton of packing to do. We are going to leave Brett with my sister. He's just too little to take with us. He won't remember it anyway--and we want to stay on the move--and with nap times and strollers--that just isn't possible. Rob's offered to take Kate too-and we may take her up on that as the week progresses. NYC would be a lot easier for me with just the 10 year old and the 8 year old--Kate would love to get to play with her cousins full time too, so it's probably a great idea!!

Now I just have to find luggage--and get some laundry started!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

Wow, what a great Father's Day it was. Like I had said earlier, we were going to head over to Rob's husbands restaurant and enjoy a pig roast. There was indeed a full 'gutted' pig roasting on the patio. All of my kids (but Kate) were completely enthralled by the entire event. I never even showed the pig to Kate due to the inability to eat pork after it--so she and I headed in to get seated while hubby and the boys watched the pig go round and round in circles.

It was a beautiful luncheon, buffets lining each wall of the private dining room. We sat with Rob and her kids as well as her in laws. It's kind of nice sitting at the table with the Chef's family. We got to meet the owners and their wives as well as some of the long time employees. It was really nice taking a peek into someone else's world for a while!

We got my husband a whole golf set up for his big day. I must say--we totally blew him away-he had no idea it was coming. Normally he gets the standard tie for work--so this was completely unexpected!

I just hope he truly felt how much we love and appreciate him--we certainly don't say it as much as it's deserved-that's for sure!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Grandpa's Coming

Have you seen those commercials for Medicare supplement insurance? I have seen them often, but being in my late 30's, I never really thought about them. Turns out, in the next couple of months this family is going to find out a whole heck of a lot more about this type of info. My father in law is moving in with us, and will be in need of just this type of help. How glad I am that there are companies out there to make moments like these, just a little less stressful!

My stress aside, my kids are super excited about Grandpa moving in. He's getting older, but still has the strength to hit the front yard to toss a ball with the boys---or at least sit on the front porch and cheer them on. They don't have too many more years with this man, so I'm hoping that this time together will fill the rest of their lives with wonderful memories of this special man.

A Week Of Friends

We had a ton of "friend" time this week, with school getting out and church activities. But you know, everyone had a great time. We had 6 kids in the family room playing Rock Band on the Wii--and 4 more upstairs playing on the Play Station.

Are you ever embarrassed by the number of "toys" you have? The little ones playing the PS2 were getting really frustrated with the game they were playing and were starting to pester the older kids on Rock Band. Until I pointed to the obscene shelf full of PS2 games for them to choose from. I tried to explain to my friends (their mothers) that my husband really was like my oldest child. Hundreds of games purchased by him. They all concurred and laughed about it, but I wasn't about to mention that I had gotten him one of those Ps3 for Father's Day. I think that would make me an accomplice to the madness!!

This Weekend

Father's Day is next Sunday. We were going to hang out for a quiet dinner at home, but Rob just called and invited us to her husbands restaurant for a Pig Roast! How totally testosterone driven is that? Can you think of anything more fitting for Father's Day then roasting the kill over the flame? Collective caveman grunt goes here!

I think the kids will find that pretty exciting. Except for Kate--she won't even eat chicken since she found out it was literally a chicken. Man, I thought we covered that a long time ago-I guess not!

So Pig Roast--here we come! I hope my husband likes that-along with his whole golf set up--it's hiding at Rob's house--so he hasn't seen it yet-I love surprising him!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Brookfield Zoo

Summer is here! Today was my kids last day of school. Rob's kids have school until Friday, and then it's only for an hour-so I think maybe afterward we'll head over to the Brookfield Zoo. We both have memberships for our families-so it's a free afternoon for us, and the kids love it.

They have a Family building where there are dress up's, and pet and hold stations, arts and crafts--feeding times. It really is a great "air conditioned" building for us all to hang out in. Their food is an arm and a leg, so we'll be sure to pack a picnic-there is a pavilion to eat in next to the Polar Bear area-it's outdoors, but it is very shaded.

I guess I should head to the grocery store for supplies!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Final Stretch

The count down has begun! School is out this Friday. I'm still just amazed at how quickly this day has come. I remember the first day of school so clearly. The kids were so cute, we all walked together with the neighbors. So grown up! They have really done well in school this year. Jake has really excelled in all of his subjects. Especially after such a rough start in Math, but he's passed that and is really showing that shy confidence of his.

Daniel is just an all around brilliant little guy. He always has been-and he's a class favorite. His teacher actually got teary last week when I was talking to her about the end of the year activites. She has grown close to all of the kids-but has a special spot for Daniel. That always makes life easier--when your kids do well in school. Not just academics--but socially and behaviorally--I'm really lucky! I just wish they acted this way at home!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Little Help Please

Ok, so I mentioned in the previous post that I'm starting to walk on my treadmill tomorrow. On top of that I would like to find any good weight loss products to help in my quest for slim/sexy! Ok, so at least the slim--not much a 38 year old mom of 4 can do in the sexy department, eh!

I'm not looking for much. Just something to help curb the appetite, or burn fat faster or whatever--just something to kick it up a notch. I do have a high school reunion this summer (I'm not attending) but I will be lunching with several friends from my "non-mom" days, and I'd just kind of like to feel a little better about my looks!

Any ideas?

Time To Pump It Up

I spent the early part of this week getting the house spiffied up. Well, I guess not technically the house, but the master bedroom and all spaces leading into it. We have kept all of our fitness equipment in the basement since we moved in--and down there it is simply gathering dust. So I hired a young man that works with my husband to come and help me move at least the treadmill to my room. This way, I can work out and watch something on the DVR at the same time.

Tomorrow is June 1st--and I plan on starting the new summer regime--I can't wait!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

May Weather

We have had a lot of strange weather around here lately. A few weeks ago the boys all went to the Father and Sons camp out. They ended up coming home at 2:30 in the morning due to the wind. It had been rainy and windy all night, and I was quite disappointed to wake up the next morning to see the number the weather had pulled on my patio furniture.

Now, I should say, I've been wanting new furniture for awhile, but the budget doesn't allow it just yet. But now, as soon as it does, I'll be heading out to find something fun!

Starbury Shoes

We are heading to the mall after school today! My oldest, Jake, is desperately in need of new tennis shoes. My sister has purchased herself some Starbury shoes, and have sold him completely on them. The best part of Starbury shoes---they are great "sports" shoes for $14.95. I'm amazed. They match up to the $150.00 basketball shoes when you cut them both down the middle, but at 1/10th of the price. They have some really "cool" styles as well. For a fourth grader--that is really important. He only has a couple of weeks left of school--but he still needs to feel cool at school!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Summer Break

10 more days of school! I'm amazed. I have Kate signed up for summer camp, but I haven't done anything with either of the older boys. They do have baseball, but not much going on to occupy their summer. They do love to play outside and ride their bikes, so if I do do a summer camp program, I may only do it 2 days a week. Of course, we tried that two years ago, and by the end of it--they had wanted to go every day, and so we signed them up for that. I'm trying to decided if I should just bite the bullet and put them in everyday--or just the two.

With cousins pretty close, I do want to have time for them to get to play together. My sister might be moving this summer, so it will be nice to have the kids taken care of so I can help her. I guess that is my job for the day!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Moving On

Summer is coming! You know, swimsuit weather! Honestly, drop me a quick fat loss pill because it won't be pretty! My husband's parents have a pool in their backyard which really makes it nice for me. This way my kids get plenty of time swimming, but I don't have to don a swimsuit out in public. How nice is that!

Sadly, my in laws are losing their house sometime soon, and moving into the house we just moved out of. Truly they are lucky to have a home (free and clear) to be moving into. But it is a huge step down from the house they've been living in. My mother in law is having a hard time, but when we left we had everything repainted, new carpeting and hard wood floors put in for the kitchen and back porch. It really is a much nicer house for them than it was for us. Plus, there's only two of them moving into the two bedroom house. There were six of us and 2 dogs trapped in there!

Either way, it is a step down for them and they just aren't happy about it at all. And sadly, I really don't blame them!

Fashion Plate

She's Back! My sister has been gone all weekend, up in Wisconsin with her husbands family. It makes for a very quiet weekend at home when her family isn't around. Kind of pathetic how dependent you can become on someone else and their kids in order to have a social life!

We didn't do much this weekend--just some cleaning and some shopping. Have you ever taken a 10 year old boy shopping? Last year I could dress him in whatever I purchased-he didn't care. Not this year! It has to be perfect--right down to his shoes. I fully expected this from my DIVA daughter--but not my fashionably inept son! Well, he's turned into a "Fashion Plate" and unless I find wholesale clothes, he's going to break the bank! Watch out all you 5th grade girls!!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Brookfield Zoo

We are heading to the Brookfield Zoo today. It's a beautiful zoo with many attractions, but for me, the Hammill Family Center is my biggest attraction! Why? Because it's got 14 rooms where the kids can do crafts, dress up like animals, pretend to be zoo workers, get their faces painted and pet little zoo creatures--but best of all...It's air conditioned! I generally go in, find a seat and let the kids run to their hearts content.

This year there is a baby polar bear, so we will definitely have to stop and check him out. The day after our last zoo trip one of the elephants died, and so they have taken all of the elephants out of the Chicago area zoos which is really sad because they are my favorite zoo animal!

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Clubbin' Cubbies!!

It's raining today! Not too bad--not too much planned! I was going to wash the van and get it detailed--but I think we'll wait a few days! On that one! Now I just have to find something fun to keep the kids occupied since they can't play outside. Maybe I'll see if there is a Cubs game on!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Being A Mom

With so many diet remedies out there from Fenphedra to the Zone...it's hard to figure out where to look for just the right aid. I'm not too bad, but honestly, I would really like to tone up. I don't plan on running a marathon or anything. But some muscle tone would be welcomed.

I really just want to get healthy enough to play outside with my kids this summer. I always planned on doing that when I was younger. They just don't ever really tell you just how much time and energy kids take out of ya. This summer, I'm hoping to make up for lost time!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Another Sad Soap Opera

I don't think I've mentioned it here yet. My niece is pregnant. She's 18, unmarried, high school drop out-and funnily enough-not even speaking to baby daddy anymore. How sad is that? Her sister had her baby the end of February--same situation only a little older. I am just disgusted by their parents and their lack of parenting. These girls have been on the wrong road for a couple of years, but have been poisoned against this family by their mother. My husband is the 18 year old's Godfather, and I honestly think it's affecting him more than it did when it was her sister. We all expected it from the older sister, in fact, the shock was that she got pregnant at 18 instead of 14 as we all had predicted. But this is a complete shock from the younger sister. We always thought she had a good head on her shoulders. Well, until she dropped out of high school her junior year. But hey, what could we do--they didn't want to listen to anyone!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My Day--Nothing Amazing...

Today my kids spent the day over at the neighbors house! It is an easy day for me--but also a pretty hard one! When Brett realizes that he has to same home with just mom--he's broken hearted! Kate did have pre-school today, which was strange since everyone else is on Spring Break-but her class had Spring Break a couple of weeks ago!

School starts back up on Monday. I think I will head to the doctor that day-or Tuesday. I still have the walking pneumonia that I've had for MONTHS!! I guess we are in for a strong dose of antibiotics. Never a fun thing--yeast and all! It will be nice for the kids to be back in school full time--for the remaining 8 weeks of school anyway. They love it--and I definitely need my daily routine back. Amazing how trashed the house can get with all four of them home for a week!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Growin' Up Fast!

This is a moment that I would love to put a photo up to go along with this post--however, due to Kiddie Porn laws-I just wouldn't dare! My littlest man--2 year old Brett, is potty training. In order to accomplish this, he generally runs to the toilet, removes his diaper, does his business and then runs around the house naked until mom tackles him with a new diaper! Well, that's what happened this evening--except that I just looked down and found him asleep at my feet! In the BUFF!! I sit hear staring at this naked little body (he's lying on his tummy, so I just see his little tushy), and I'm marveling at how big that little body has gotten! I know-it's been two years--and I've had to buy new clothes and shoes to fit that growing body--but I'm still just amazed at how fast it all goes! I really couldn't handle more kids--I think 4 is plenty--but at moments like these-I just can't help but wish I could go back in time and hold that little baby just one more time!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Married Time Together!!

Well, that week went really fast! We found we had a bit of "time off" so we dropped the kids off with family, and the hubby and I headed out for some Quality Time!! We took a week and headed out on our own. It was amazing how nice it is just to be alone with an adult again for 24 hours a day! I can't remember life before kids--so it was fun to re-experience it! We did talk to the kids--A LOT! And the man was able to keep in touch with work on a daily basis--but we didn't have anything else on our schedules! I will write about our adventures in the next couple of posts--as well as some fun pictures!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Day 2

Well, it's the second day of Spring Break--and we have done NOTHING!! It's not our fault! We had grandiose plans! Tonight we were supposed to be sleeping at a fabulous hotel, and spending the day tomorrow at the amazing Water Park that is attached to it. Unfortunately--no one told my 4 year old daughter that she couldn't get sick during Spring Break! That's right--we don't even go to school, and she's come down with a cold! Man it feels like we are running a lab for germ infestations!! I always have at least 1 child sick at all times. Maybe that's why some people don't have as many kids! With 4 kids all coming into contact with something--it's pretty darn guaranteed that someone will be sick!!

So tomorrow I think my hubby will take the boys to the movies and I will stay home with the baby and my sick little girl! She'll hate it!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It's Spring Break Already

I find it amazing how fast the school year goes. I remember when I was younger (Elementary & Jr. High school) the school year lasted forever. But I distinctly remember in High School being amazed at just how quickly the school year went.

As soon as school starts--it's Halloween! As soon as Halloween is gone--it's Thanksgiving--then Christmas Break. Almost immediately we head to Valentine's Day--and the rest of the year cruises by after that. Spring Break is one final moment--when we get back to school next week-we will literally have 8 weeks left of the school year--and that just breaks my heart!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

What?? Snow??

It snowed today! Can you believe it? It's the 11th of April--and there are 3 inches of snow outside my front door! My flowers are frozen--my snow shovel and ice melter have been safely tucked away in the garage--and now--it's snowing!! How miserable is that!

Not that I had any plans of importance today--but still--kind of a bummer to look outside and see it! It's hard to believe that just 3 days ago we were hunting for Easter eggs! It was chilly--but nothing warning of snow! I guess we should be glad that it happened today--and not last Sunday!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

He Was Right

We have been planning for the past month or so where we were going to put the new TV. We new we both wanted an LCD mount on the wall in the family room. I was looking forward to being able to vacuum the entire floor without having to move any furniture. My husband was set on mounting the TV on the wall above the fireplace, but I wasn't so sure. I will admit, since the TV was his gift, I let him win that battle. And ya know what...he was right! I LOVE where the TV is at, and I still love not having to move any furniture when it's time to vacuum! It's HEAVEN, and I'm not sure why we waited so darn long!

The Boys First Job

We are house sitting this next week. Our neighbors are heading to the Outer Banks and we get the duty of taking care of their plants and their beautiful little Yorkie puppy. His name is Louie, which honestly, is just too big of a name for such a little dog.

My boys were actually asked to take care of it, but I'm just going to go with them to make sure they stay out of trouble. Not that they would rob the house or anything, but I want to be able to teach them how to respect other people's property, even when they aren't around to keep an eye on them.

They'll make a couple of bucks, and I think they are really looking forward to that part of the deal the most!

Grown Up Movie Night

I love period movies. I made my husband watch Emma with me last night. Yeah, it's a chick flick, but hey...there are corsets! What man doesn't like beautiful women in corsets? Well, corsets or not...he didn't enjoy the movie at all, and ended up switching it out for Slumdog Millionaire. But you know, it was a really funny movie. We had a great time...and I got popcorn. So it was a win win night for both of us!

Sick Week

I have been so sick the past week. Have you missed me? It was a week ago Friday. I was tossing and turning all night long. I knew I was miserable, but I was unpleasantly surprised when I woke up and I was sick. I could feel it coming on, and it was a humdinger. Even now I'm still in the midst of the lung portion of it.

My husband called on Saturday afternoon and let me know that I needed to go to the hospital because people he worked with had just gone through this and needed some really strong anti-biotics. Now let me just say.......I DO NOT take ant-biotics EVER!! Between the yeast infections and vaginal dryness...I think I'd rather get pneumonia! Sorry if that was a little too much on the info side...but truly, there isn't much worse!

It was a hard week for the kids. Two of my boys ended up sick and my daughter missed a few assignments in school on Friday, because I wasn't around to get her backpack together for her. So she has a little note going to school with her tomorrow apologizing to her teacher!

Cute Clothes

Do you watch the Real Housewive's of NYC? It has always been my favorite installment of all of the housewive's. This season is not one of my most favorite, although there are moments that have really liked. There were many shots of the Hamptons with different "horse" events. I have to say, equestrian apparel is my favorite look of all time! Especially on younger girls. One of the housewives is shown in her outfit, but you know, she didn't look nearly as cute as the teenager did.

I do NOT have the build to get away with this kind of outfit. My thighs are more stout than would look good in a cute pair of jodhpurs!

My First Shakley Party

Last Saturday I went to a party with a couple of people in my neighborhood. It was one of those parties where you go to someone's house and buy items from some party person. You know, it was a lot of fun. I did end up purchasing some fun items and hey, even joined "the club".

The party hostess was really nice and actually got her husband to watch my three little munchkins. My husband had taken Jake to his first Scout camp out and wouldn't be home before had to leave, so I got to take them with me.

One thing that I loved, every time the door opened there was a little beep from a wireless alarm and then a female computer voice goes "The front door has opened. The front door has opened." I WANT THAT! I found it odd because the people who owned the house don't even have kids, so why do we need to know when the door opens? Made me laugh!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Just Stickin' My Toes In!

We are new to this whole "technology" thing! I mean, who besides us just recently purchased their first computer?? I had always wanted a laptop, but honestly I never really thought I would get one. Now just need to bulk up on my Mac memory and everything will be up and running smoothly.

You know what I'm just about ready to take the plunge with....an Ipod! I know, my husband thinks I'm crazy. I'm just not that much of a music person, but I realized that when you can pick and choose one song off of an entire album, without having to get all of the other songs I don't like...I'm in! So, hopefully soon, I can join the iPod generation too!

Monday, March 23, 2009

First Camping Trip

Last Friday night my husband took our son on his first Boy Scout camp out. Let me start by saying this...I'm just not old enough for this yet! It seems like yesterday I was watching my mom toss pocket knives and flashlights into the grocery cart for my brothers, and Friday afternoon it was me. So strange!

I was a little nervous about how these two "men" will fare! It was supposed to be really quite chilly--down right cold most of the night. Then you have the entire 'cold hard ground' to factor in. My poor husband is quite accustomed to sleeping on a sleep number bed--not cold, lumpy dirt!

But you know what??? They both did great! Aside from having to get up at 7 am in the frigid morning, they had a wonderful time. So great in fact that my husband now has it in his head that he wants to buy a tent and take both boys out this summer and camp. As long as the plan is to leave me home in my comfy sleep number bed...I'm all for them camping!!

Another Failure

My father in law just went in for a stress test last week. What was strange about this stress test is that they actually let him go home. They never do that. He is usually sent immediately to a room in the hospital with an angioplasty set up for that evening or the next day. We thought this was great because it meant that he finally passed a stress test!

Wrong!

He was called this morning and admitted to the hospital for an angioplasty. He's not that old,65, but had a quintuple bypass about 15 years ago. I'm not sure how much time he has left but I do think it's time to get some life insurance quotes. I don't mean a million bucks, but enough to cover the costs of his final requests. It's not a bad idea to get it for my husband either. He's not even 40 yet, but hey, it's all in the genetics right?

Feeling The Love

Our 12th wedding anniversary is coming up soon! I'm really happy to have made it to this milestone. The first 10 years were cake, so I'm hoping the next 10 will be great also! I've been looking into some 'hi-tech' gifts to give the "man" but am having a hard time nailing it down. I would love to get him a computer. I don't care if it's a laptop or a desktop, we desperately need one. Then I found a website on home theater seating and now my mind is working in a whole new direction. I feel bad because whatever we get him, the whole family will use. So it isn't just a fun gift for him. But I guess that's what it means to be a dad!

Growing Up!

I never really planned on being a mom that worked from home. I was college educated, I wanted a career and although I had no intention of continuing to work out of the home once we had kids, I never planned to work and be a mom at the same time. My how times have changed!!

My sister got me started, and I blame her--but there have been so many good things that have come from it. Mostly being able to supplement a one income family. This has helped pay for things my husbands income couldn't have handled without breaking the bank!

What is also strange is the fact that my kids are far closer to college than I ever thought they would be. I know, they grow up fast. I've heard it all their lives, but I just wasn't expecting it quite this fast. MJ loves to tell me every day that in just 3 short years he'll be starting high school! HIGH SCHOOL!! What's next? Looking up vocational and technical colleges by state? I'm so not ready for that one! He actually does have his mind made up for right now...he wants to be a Monster Truck driver. So a Technical college it will most likely be! Of course, this is the same boy who, when I asked him to practice his penmanship a few years back, said, "Mom, I only have to be able to sign a contract and autographs!" Yeah...he was going into the NBA at that point. The sport may has changed, but he's got his heart on the "big show"!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Crazy Kids

Do you have kids that forget everything? I ask everyday before we leave the school--do you have all of your homework? Yes, Mom! Only to come home and find out--we are missing our reading book! Today my son's class has music. They are learning to play the recorder. Last night as I was doing some last minute straightening before bed--I made 2 piles on the couch. 1 for each boy. The pile included, clothes for that day, snack for that day--and homework, books, RECORDER, etc that needed to be put in their backpack before they leave. All of it--right there!! So they are ready to walk out the door, and I ask one last time--do you have everything you need for a Wednesday? Yes, mom--comes the answer. I walk back into the house--across the living room and into the family room. There sitting on the couch is my son's recorder and his snack!

So I ran them to the door-but the car pool lady had already left. So I had to jump in the car and race them to school. I got there shortly after the bell rang--but before the pledge of allegiance. So I waited until the pledge and the announcements were done--and I had him paged to the office. It was only as I was walking out of the school that I realized--I was wearing my slippers!! mmmmm hmmmm, I looked like an out of control mom!!

Field Trips

My oldest's class has a field trip today! They are heading up to the Marriott Lincolnshire Resort to see the play-The Wizard of Oz. It sounds like fun. I've been to the resort-but not to the play house. It is quite far from home--and they are going by school bus. I HATE school buses. Not that I think he's in any danger--I just remember hating the smell of the school bus. Too many kids cooped up in a small space--smelly.

He's looking forward to it. He has this field trip, and then Spring Break--and then a second field trip the week they get back from Spring Break. It seems like a lot--but they are the only two weeks available for the trips. So they will finish up all of their field trips for the year--in a three week period. I can't believe the school year is almost over! Once you hit Valentine's Day--Easter is right around the corner-and once you hit Easter---it's OVER!! Easter is only a couple of weeks away! That is amazing to my brain!

The Question Is Answered

Finally--we know the answer to the age old question... what do men wear under those kilts! Well, for these two anyway, the answer is as everyone has always hinted- NOTHING! How funny-er, embarrassing!

Now I know, it's somehow freeing to 'go commando' but honestly--being a woman--and knowing that certain 'northerly' body parts need constant support to avoid sagging---doesn't a mans 'southerly' body parts need some sort of support? I look at this picture, and I see ... chafing!!

And what is even funnier...the man's kilt is being blown upwards by walking over the vent in the street--hence the man in front of him has his kilt in the air as well-- so does that mean that every person sitting in this section of the parade route got this same view of every man in the bagpipe section? No wonder someone had time to catch a picture--there were at least four bare butts before this poor victim of the air vent!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Dinner Waffles

Do you ever feel like a bad mom? I do--constantly. Tonight for dinner--we had waffles. Yeah, I know, but I was talking to Rob earlier this week and that's what she was making for her family. Now this wasn't your ordinary "Bisquick" waffle dinner--this is from scratch baby! They taste so much better that way! The stiffly beaten egg whites, just make them a little crispier on the outside and yet soft and warm on the inside! We were going to go for taco's tonight--but after talking to her--it was waffles all the way! I didn't have syrup, so we just had the real butter and granulated sugar on top! mmmmmm, dessert for dinner!! The kids loved it!

Newest Project

I've spent most of the day today getting the house emptied out. Well, as much as possible with 6 people still living in it--but we are making some changes to the house that the kids age really can't hurt-but will be so nice to have done. Mostly today, well, this weekend--we are in the bathroom. We are getting a new tub, a new Kohler sink--a better toilet--and beautiful storage cabinets. The vanity--the mirror and all of the lights will be changed out by Monday--but tomorrow--the new tile comes in! I can't wait! It's beautiful--12x12 set at an angle--it will also follow the angle up the tub, and then up the walls around it. It will also be floor to ceiling in the shower as well!

Yes, my house is undergoing some minor cosmetic changes--but this time on Tuesday--I will be living in that room, and refusing to move!!

Boring Sunday

My husband actually had to go into work today! It's such a rarity that he works on the weekends. I don't know why--but when his schedule is a little off like this-it totally messes up my day!! I have a couple of errands to run--and I really should drop in on family for a quick visit. There is a new baby in the family--I refuse to hold, celebrate, talk goofy to this baby--but I really do need to bring some sort of gift!! So I have to go out and find something appropriate, but not to fussy--that's all baby mama needs to jump in and have another one!! She seems to be in the birthing industry for the attention it gets her--hence my lack of attention!!

I need to make a doctors appointment for Daniel. He's always grown out (hefty) before he's grown taller. We've just seemed to have been in the "hefty" stage for a long time. I want to make sure his body is in order. We have so many health problems floating around our genetic pool--that I would rather find something out now and help him out--rather than find it later--after he's been made fun of for being a 'round' kid!! My thoughts--thyroid problems! Yes, he's really young--but it's in every family member--so it may just be!!

I'm Too Old For This

You have heard me complain about my skin unceasingly on this blog. I know, it's old...but honestly, I'm too old to still be having the kind of problems I have. Freckles, zits, blackheads...I'm nearly 38 years old...what is up with that? I recently purchased a couple of skin care products with the hope that it would help clear my skin up. But I had the opposite reaction. My skin broke out, and that break out not only lasted a week and a half...it hurt! And it was due to a "higher" priced moisturizer. I was under the impression that because it cost more, it had to be better, right? Wrong! It was horrible! And just to finish the little tub that I purchased, I use it on the chapped skin on my elbows and ankles. Yes...$30 for ankle cream! I think I'm heading in for a microdermabrasion next! Maybe if they just totally resurface my skin, I might just find some relief. I hope so...it's been 22 years!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

St. Patty's Day!

Next Tuesday is St. Patrick's Day. It's a really big deal here in Chicago. Dyeing the Chicago River Green and all!! I think I will try to plan an outing for the two older boys and I. Before we leave the area-I would really love to see the green river. Wasn't it in Ferris Buellers Day Off? Yes--one of the main problems with the movie. They are at a St. Patrick's Day parade--remember the float--Wayne Newton--Twist and Shout--yeah--you remember!! Anyway--later that same day (or was it earlier???) they go to a Major League Baseball game--problem--Both the White Sox and the Cubs are at Spring Training in Arizona--ain't no MLB game for Ferris to go to around St. Patties Day!!

Anyway--I digress!! It wasn't that long ago we were thinking we would be leaving this area--so it might be nice to witness something that Chicago is famous for before we really do leave! I'll have to take some pictures and get them up here!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Big & Little Girls Night Out

What a fun night! We did in fact go to Benihana's, but what made this girls night out even more fun...we brought our girls!! We both have been blessed with 3 boys and 1 girl. Blake (named after me) turned 4 on December 7, and Kate turned 4 on January 12. We weren't originally going to take them, but Blake had a field trip earlier in the day--and when she got home she got a bath and her hair washed and conditioned--and then Rob felt "adventurous" and blew her hair dry with a little mousse in it. It's getting so long--and with it off of her face her amazing blue eyes just jump out at you. So then she painted her fingernails and toe nails--and just got her all girly. Not for any particular reason--she was just having fun. But when they got here--she asked if it was alright if we made it a real "girls night out" and took the little ladies with us! I thought it was a great idea. Robyn worked with the girls on some poise and table manners--both girls loved having their napkins draped across their laps like grown ups. They loved every minute of it. They chattered away with each other and us--and still gave us "grown up" girls time to chat too!

I hope we do it again really soon!

Friday Night Movie Night

Tonight is Friday Night Movie Night! It's an idea that we adopted from my sister Robyn. My kids don't have school the next day--so we check out the Pay Per View films on Directv, and have pizza. They get to stay up late, watching a movie they want to see--and I get a few minutes of time to myself (in the next room over). So we are looking up movies to watch, the pizza is in the oven--and the kids are in their jammies!

I have to make popcorn the old fashioned way--we are out of microwave popcorn--and I'm really not up to using the machine--Yes, it's less work--but popcorn off of the stove, just tastes better!! So that will be our "treat" for the movie!

Girls Night Out!!

I'm trying to make arrangements tonight for my sister and I to go to dinner together. Our problem--between us we have 8 kids--and husbands that work way to much!! I think she is going to drop her kids off at my house--and I will have two teenaged girls from the neighborhood come in and watch them all! It doesn't save any money-because I'll pay one girl, and Robyn will pay the other-so we didn't save anything on child care. But honestly--would you leave one 16 year old girl in charge of 8 kids?? 2 of those kids are toddler boys--and they would need a sitter just for them!

I'm not sure where we'll eat--neither one of us are really picky. I just have to get my kids home from school and get their homework and chores done--and then the party can begin!

Ok--now I'm thinking...Benihana!!

Looking For Laptops

As anyone who has read this blog for a while knows, this family has been slow in moving into the "computer age". Yeah, I've had this blog for nearly 2 years...but we just recently purchased our own computer. So seeing how it took almost a decade of marriage to get the first one...is it too early to be looking at laptop deals?

I just keep thinking how efficient I could be on a laptop. I could take it to the park with me, while my kids play...I can get some of my "online" work accomplished. Sitting at the McDonald's play place...same thing! I don't make a whole lot of money with my online stores and whatnot to truly validate the expense, but honestly...I'm starting to obsess! We'll see how long I can hold out!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Autographs

Last week my sister took my kids with her family as they went to get a Bulls players autograph. My oldest was so excited to show me his picture of Ben Gordon. He took it to school the next day to show all of his friends. Let's just say--he was King Cool for the day!

Tonight she took the boys with her again. This time they got Chris Duhon (I think that's right). He looks a lot sweeter in his photo than the last guy--but he will also be making his appearance at the elementary school tomorrow!

I don't know if anyone else is coming. It seems to be a spur of the moment decision. We get a phone call a few minutes before my sister is leaving for the autographs--so I may not find out about the next one for several days! I will have to keep you posted.

My Treadmill

A few weeks back we moved the treadmill into my bedroom. I've been putting it off for quite awhile, but if I was really going to start working out regularly, I needed it up there (by my Tivo).

When we first started looking at exercise equipment I wanted an elliptical, but they cost a bit more at the time, so I got the "space saving" treadmill that folds up. Now that it is in the master bedroom, all I can think is that I was so smart. It's a big room, but not big enough for such a large, bulky piece of equipment...so I'm glad it shrinks!

So far I've added 5 miles to my results...just from the move. That spells success to me!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Helmets

My boys have taken up skateboarding. I'm not quite sure how I feel about this. We sat down with them after getting their boards and all of their gear and had the "YOU MUST ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET" chat. It was readily received (mainly because they wanted us to shut up and let them get to it), but my husband took it one step further. He actually looked up some video on YouTube to show how many kids have been really hurt by not wearing their protective gear. This is the same chat we had when they got their bikes.

When I lived in Japan, we had a rule about wearing our bike helmets. I did and didn't, I don't know why, but one day one of our Elders was hit by a car. A really FAST car. His helmet (luckily he was wearing one) was blown to bits on impact. This young man did survive this terrible incident, but just barely...and with years of painful recovery.

I've also seen motorcycle accident attorneys discussing how valuable helmets have been in accidents, and how catastrophic it is when there isn't a helmet used.

I am a HUGE fan of helmets now. In fact, I wanted a helmet for each of my kids as they learned to walk! How is it all of us made it past this stage in our lives without much more damage? My kids always seemed to get up to speed with their steps, only to smash head first into a wall or down on to the floor! I did tell the boys that, "No, a helmet isn't always going to save your life, but you stand a much better chance of surviving if there is one on your head!" This is a family rule that isn't going anywhere!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Last Big Game!!

Today is my oldest son's last basketball game! I'm glad it is coming to an end-I'm not a big fan of the way the program is run. That said--I should mention that Yes, we will sign up again next year. What I don't like--oh so many things. No one has ever gone over the fundamentals of the game--just threw all of the kids together and have them play a game. Another point--every team has at least one girl on the team. Some teams have two--but our team is the ONLY team with 3--and they aren't the tall girls that other teams got--they are the little tiny short ones. In fact, our entire team is head and shoulders shorter than any other team on the roster!! They rarely get a chance to shoot the ball, and when they do--the other team just tips their bodies in with their arms up, and our kids are totally "caved" in! It will be the same next year--different team shifts--but hopefully my little guy will get a couple of inches between now and then!!

My Kind Of Party!

I am so excited! I was just invited to a "home party" by a friend. It's next Saturday afternoon, and aside from a few hours with good friends, this party is all about getting healthy. I am excited because it's for products set up to help promote energy. I'm hoping they sell something like Solo Slim or one of those "If your wagon is a draggin'" kind of energy drinks. I don't mind healthy weight loss products and high-protein drinks are right up my ally too. I'll have to let you know what I find.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Sick Boy--Maybe

I just got a call from the school! Apparently Daniel is complaining of stomach problems. I'm not sure what the problem is--but he wants to try to make it through lunch to see if it gets any better. Lunch is his favorite part of the day-and if he's not in enough pain to come home immediately but can sit through lunch--I can't imagine why he couldn't make it the rest of the day!

Me thinks it has something to do with Friday being test day! He may be just be a little nervous about his spelling test--although we studied all of the words last night--so he really should feel comfortable with it. He may just be prone to appendicitis like his momma! That is a miserable fate if that's the case. Of course, if he were having that kind of pain--there would be no staying for lunch!!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Spring Break

I think I'm going to plan a trip to Canada for Spring Break. We are pretty close! I think we'll drive to Detroit the first day--spend the night and then cross the bridge into Canada. My kids have never been out of the country--well, I guess the youngest two have--they've been to the border towns of Mexico. But I think Canada sounds like fun!

It will require a little study by me to determine exactly what we are close to, and the fun things to see--if we go! I will let you know tomorrow what I find, and where we are headed! If you've ever been to Canada by way of Detroit--what should I look for??? Let me know!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Boo Boo's!

My little Brett just cut his finger on a razor blade! I am no new comer to kids and blood--but my question is this...WHERE DID HE FIND A RAZOR BLADE??? I cleaned the bathroom this afternoon and searched the house for one. With little ones learning to brush their teeth-I have toothpaste glopped on the sink at all times. It's just easier to razor the globs off--but I could not find one.

Give up on the search, find something else to do--turn my back on him for 2 minutes and he finds the one thing I searched 1/2 of an hour for!! mmmmm hmmmm, that's just scary!!

He's wasn't unhappy or crying at all--but he's not thrilled with the big paper towel taped to his finger with strapping tape! Again, with little ones in the house--band aids are a rare commodity!!

Poor thing!!

Baseball

Tonight is the first practice for my older boys baseball teams. They are really excited! We did all the shopping and got them all set up with their own bats and batting helmets. I'm a weird mom, and don't like the idea of every boy on the team using the same batting helmet! You know, lice!!

Jacob is on the Yankee's and Daniel is on the White Sox. It costs a fortune to keep them in baseball, but they love it--and it's about all they do extra-curricular-ly-so I don't mind. I wish they loved basketball as much as Robyn's boys--there are at least bleachers to sit on and air conditioning or heating to enjoy! Baseball is on lawn chairs in the sun!!

But their smiles of accomplishment is all we do it for! Go Yanks!! Go Sox!!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Back To School

Today was my boys first day back at school. It was a long weekend-and it was nice to have them in school again. They will come home with a ton of homework--but that doesn't really bother me. I'm a homework fan--I believe it is important for them to have their attention spans stretched now so that Jr. High and High School is an easier transition.

I'm going to take my younger two to my sisters house to have a play date with her kids. Her daughter has school--but that's ok--my kids fit nicely around her two littlests ages--so they both don't mind playing with him.

Then I will get to sit and chat with my sister! That's always the best part of the day!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Change of Plans!!

Well, my sister just called and invited my boys to go with her and her family to see a Bulls player. My boys are excited and want to go--but it will kind of sink our plans for the day. Not really--I guess we'll send the boys with her and take the two younger ones out. We won't be seeing a movie--but if we aren't paying for a movie--we could swing a Chuck E Cheese's night for the younger two. They would love that--and call me crazy-but I LOVE their pizza!!

Plus, they have ride on rides that my little ones enjoy--especially the Barney, Teletubbies and Bob The Builder rides. Now my husband will still want to play the video games--but without the older boys here-even that cost will be cut in half! So I think we have a winner! Now I just have to dig out their Bulls jerseys to get signed-and find them a camera! I think they will have a lot of fun!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Casmir Pulaski Day!

Darn! Earlier I posted that I wanted to take my kids to the movies tomorrow with my sister and her kids. Sounds fun--but I totally forgot--her son and my son both have basketball games. Her son is done at 1:30 but mine isn't done until a quarter to 4! That makes any plans for an afternoon movie impossible!

So now we are thinking we will plan the outing for Monday! We have this weird holiday here in Chicago called Casmir Pulaski Day. He is apparently some Polish Freedom Fighter--I'm all for it--but it would be nice to know a little more about what the holiday is for! Are we supposed to do anything in particular? I think there is a parade in Polish town--but I don't know if it will even be on tv. That might be kind of fun-but it is too snowy here to go sit downtown and watch a parade!!

Oh well, a movie it shall be!

A Day Off!!

My neighbor called earlier today to see if we would like to go roller skating with her and her family. Of course, with the day off of school, I thought it sounded like fun! She was going to run to the Credit Union and then give us a call to let us know when to leave to meet them! Well, she never called. I think that is kind of strange--but oh well! I think if we can get up in the morning tomorrow and get our chores done--I may try to take the kids to the movies. I'll have to check and see what kid movies are out there. They've been really good kids these past couple of days--so that would be a nice treat for them!

I may have to call Robyn and see if they want to come with us.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Mmmmmmm, Donuts!!

Have you ever made homemade donuts? I know, it's probably a really strange question. But today after picking the kids up from school all I could smell was fresh fried donuts. It really made me want to come home and make some!

Now--I'm not nearly as talented at making donuts as Dunkin' Donuts or anything--but they are so easy to make--and eating them warm with powdered sugar is AMAZING!!

My kids are out of school for a 4 day weekend--and I think I see some baking coming on!
I've been wanting to make Snikerdoodles too! I guess I really shouldn't make all of these sweets--or me and my kids will weigh a ton!!

Home Sick!!

My husband came home early from work today. He hasn't been feeling well the last couple of days, but I have to tell you--if he's home from work at all--it's got to be pretty bad. He would go to work on his deathbed if he had to. He has called out sick ONCE in our entire marriage--and he only did it because I threatened that I would call him in sick if he didn't!

He's the boss--so he takes his position very seriously. If he is at work when he doesn't feel his best--it let's his employee's see that they are expected there unless they are on their way to the Emergency Room!! Over the years--he's had tons of employees that call out for any reason and blame it on being sick. We even ran into a couple at the movies or out to dinner on a day when they called out--to sick to move! Oh, the look in their eyes was priceless!!

He's currently tucked in his bed sleeping! I sent the kids next door to play at the neighbors house until dinner. That way they get to have fun, and dad gets to sleep and rest--cause I guarantee--he'll be up and out the door to work tomorrow!!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Wednesday!!

My sister called and invited us to the Blue and Gold Banquet for her son tonight. He will be getting his Wolf award and doing something with whipped cream. I really should go--but Wednesdays are not the quietest of days for us! Daniel has basketball tonight, and Kate has Ballet!

But--it is a free dinner--Hawaiian Luau, so I really should go. Plus-they are supposed to be having a Pinewood Derby track there and I know my son would love to take on his two cousins! He built his very own car-- and what it lacks in "speed" it more than makes up for in style!! I really do need to catch a picture of it, before it's been played with beyond recognition!

Friday, February 27, 2009

How Fun Is This!!

As I've been stating for months--I've hated my Blogger template. It was fine-but it was just too boring. So I chose an all new template--and totally shook it up. I bet you can't even tell what template it was to begin with--that's just how good I've gotten! Just kidding!

I chose a template with the sidebar on the right--but I really wanted my sidebar on the left--and I hated the colors they give you to choose from--so I found an awesome site that gives html color codes, and then hit the html section of my template!

I was brave enough to mess around with it until I figured out how to move the sidebar, change the background, and add items that I wanted! I LOVE it! It no longer feels like the "Ugly Neglected Step Sister" to my sisters "Burberry" themed blog!!

Ain't technology Grand!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I Think It Found Me

It has been a crazy day and it's not even 12:00 noon yet! My husband couldn't find his keys this morning when he was leaving for work. So I got up to help him, found them in the microwave--yes, that would be the work of my 2 year old! But by the time we found them, and he was out the door, it was only 15 minutes until it was time to get the kids up for school.

So I came over to have a seat and type away my thoughts. But then I'm realizing--I don't feel good. My stomach is tight, and I am really going to throw up. I hate this--my sisters entire family has had this stomach gunk--so I'm going to put the blame squarely on her shoulders! So without to much information for you all--I got up and took care of business. Yes, it always makes you feel better when you do it--but it's still just horrid to do it. I would almost rather curl up in a ball and fight it for hours on end, than get up and take the three minutes to feel better! Yes, I would make a TERRIBLE bulimic!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

What's That I See??

I walked out the door of my house today--and what is that I see ebbing out of the melting snow?? Can you say TULIPS!! Ohhhh, it's too early for this--I don't want them to freeze, but at the same time-it's always so fun to finally see them popping up again. Who cares about the Groundhog--when my tulips start to bloom--I know Spring is coming!!

Tonight my sisters husband is taking their daughter (named after me) on a daddy daughter date! I think that is such a cute idea--and so sweet of dad to think of it! My big sister has all of the great ideas, I'm always copying them!! I'm going to have to go over tomorrow morning and see how Blakey liked her date with her dad!! You can check out all of the fun over at her blog: Genki Desu Yo

Friday, February 20, 2009

6 Months Comes Fast

February 21st brings the renewal of our car insurance. We've been with the same company for over 5 years, yet every 6 months the husband decides it's time take a look at our car insurance coverage and see if there are savings to be had. Then inevitably, we renew with the same old company! It's like a little control dance we play every 6 months. I control the finances in the house, I pay the bills. But every so often he feels like he needs to dip his toe in and test the waters. Once he realizes that we are running like a well oiled machine, he takes his leave and the universe returns to it's normal, functioning self!

I Need A Gym!!

I want to join a gym! I know I say that alot--but I really do. I need to find one with a section for kids. Since I have 2 little ones that aren't in school-they would need to have a toy section.

My sister in law swaps that out. She gets a free membership at the gym, and then on her times not in the gym--she covers the kids section. I would LOVE this! Do they have them here in Illinois?? Anyone?? I will have to take a minute and see what I can find!

I will let you know!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sick Babies

I just got off the phone with my sister. Bad news! We were going to get together today and let the kids play in the snow. They actually have toboggan runs here--where were they when we were little! But it turns out all three of her boys are sick. She didn't sound too great either--but the boys have the stomach flu--and I really don't want that invading my house. My kids have already missed so much school for being sick!

So now I have a long three day weekend to plan something fun! I wonder what movies are out there for the kids. We still have free movie tickets left from Christmas--and it's warm in the theaters!! hmmmm, I'll have to give this a little more thought!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

House-Sitting

The kids and I spent the last couple of days housesitting for my sister. She and her family headed to Phoenix for the week. I don't like to fly-so I'm not jealous of that--but OH HOW I LOVE THE SUN! I'm sure she's basking in the view of the palm trees and swimming outdoors and getting a sunburn! Lucky lady!

It's cold here! Not just chilly--but truly negative 16 COLD! My brother in law got home from Phoenix last night and it was -16, he was in shock because he left Phoenix and it was 86 degrees. What a sad, SAD shock for his system!

It is supposed to warm up to 26 degrees this week, but they say the snow will be back early next week! Just in time for Valentine's Day! That's the night my sister is flying home! I hope they make it home safe and sound!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

My Uncle Mike

We are in a position where we are looking at putting my uncle into a "partial" care facility. Holy cow is this hard! The poor man has Multiple Sclerosis and Huntington Chorea. Two HUGE disabilities for one single, aged man to deal with.

He doesn't think he needs any help--but just last week he was pulled over (AGAIN) by a police officer who was tipped of that he was driving drunk. Someone had watched him stumble to his truck (the Huntingtons) and had mistakenly thought he was inebriated. Each time my mother is called, where she vows that he doesn't drink but has a hard time walking normally. He walks with a bit of a jittery shuffle. He really shouldn't be driving--but he is in no way impaired chemically.

The main reason's we think he needs to go into a facility is because his kids have all gotten married and moved out of state. His sisters are getting older and finding their own health problems and my mom snowbirds 4 months during the winter in Arizona. He is all alone in the world and isn't very good at remembering to take his medication or even eat for that matter. He's been hospitalized for dehydration three times in the past year, he just forgot to eat or drink anything. He does have one of those talking watches that reminds him to take his medication--but if he isn't home or if he doesn't get to it right away he misses the dose. It's just not working!

So we are spending a lot of time this week trying to find him something that we'll both be happy with. I'll have to let you know what we find!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Finding A Deal

You know what I missed the most being gone? Hounding! Did you know that I was a MAJOR couponer? If you can save money...I'm all over it! Matching a manufacturer's coupon with a store coupon ontop of sale price-how cool is that!

I do know people who stockpile a TON of stuff that they will never use, but their thought is--it was so cheap, what if I find I need it later? My thought--you spent money on something you may never use? That is in no way shape or form SAVING! I do only shop for the items that I need or will definitely use! That said, if anyone out there wants my coupons for Pampers or cat food...comment here--and they are yours!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Disneyland

My sister called me today. It's always so good to catch up, especially if I've been away for awhile. Her 20 year high school reunion is this summer back in Utah, and she's thinking it would be fun to take her kids to Disneyland from Utah rather than making a separate trip from Chicago. She'll definitely save on airfare that way. What was funny is that she was looking at an Anaheim California hotel and found a really good rate (at a motel) before she remembered that we are in the hotel business! I called my husband and found a really good rate right next to Disney.

Her kids have never been to Disneyland, and although we've been to Disney World, my kids have never been to Disneyland either. I'm wondering if it would be possible to meet up over the summer and enjoy the park together!

My Poor Body

Do you want to know the one thing I wish I had done before we left for this amazing trip? Get myself in shape to hang out in a swimming suit! I mean, we knew this trip was coming for nearly a year--where were my diet pills? Where was my daily work out routine?

All of my friends from the hotel were dying to just layout in the sun, and although that isn't something I enjoy doing too much of, it would have been fun to be a little social! But no--my body in a bathing suit would truly have scared the natives (and everyone else for that matter)! Besides being a little "big"...I'm white as a ghost! This skin has not seen the sun in over a decade! I would blind pilots flying over head if I bared my legs in direct sunlight!!

Next year we aren't going to the Carribean...but you can bet I'm going to work to get this body in swimsuit shape no matter where we end up!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My New Grasshopper Suitcase

Before we left for the Carribean my husband surprised me with a "going away" gift. It was so sweet. Imagine my surprise to find it was luggage. I'm sorry...you may not know us, but we have a TON of luggage! I think it was the number one gift idea handed out the year we got married...because we got it from just about everyone!

I looked at him kind of confused when I opened my lime green Zero Halliburton Zeroller, and he laughed. He reminded me how every trip we sit at the luggage carousel looking at the tags on each and every black roller suitcase that goes by us. We honestly joke about it because by the time they've made their way around the circle and get back to us, we don't recognize one from the other--and we end up looking at the tags of every suitcase like 5 times! So he got me this green one--so that we can literally see it coming from miles away!

How thoughtful is that?

The BEST Shopping

I spent much of my time over this past week away shopping! I mean, who doesn't want to buy designer wholesale clothing and handbags?

My mom always comes home from her trips with fun new purses, and I got my first pair of Guess Jeans from Hong Kong. Mind you that was back in 1986 when Guess Jeans were all the rage and cost a fortune!

I didn't come home with too much, but I did find the cutest sun dress for next to nothing! I can't wait for the weather to warm up so that I can start wearing it here. Now that I am home, my poor budget is back on tap--so there won't be much more shopping to be done until pay day!!

I hope I can wait!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Charlie!!

Well, it has been too long my friends! I have been out of town for this conference or that, but I am back! Life is good when you are away, but it is always nice to come home. Have you ever been to the Caribbean? It is beautiful, and so warm this time of year, compared to Chicago. What made this particular conference so nice was that it was for my husband's work. So other than the "supporting" duties that I had, I was completely on my own. Since my husband is an executive with the corporation, we were put up in a little bungalow on the hotel grounds. Everything was beautiful--smelled HEAVENLY! The one problem, Charlie! Charlie is a huge spider (from the West Indies) and honestly, we saw him perched in the bathroom window as soon as we got there.

Creepy as he was, I didn't mind using the facilities if Charlie was visible in his web. Ok, to be totally honest, I would have loved to find a brown recluse spider trap only bigger to get him the heck out of there...but if you thought I was going to use my shoe on him, you would be sadly mistaken! The fun part came about 2:30 a.m. about three nights into our stay. We always slept with the bathroom door closed and a towel at the bottom to keep Charlie from roaming. So my husband gets up in the middle of the night to take care of some personal business and the first thing he notices is that Charlie isn't in his "normal" spot. But not being able to wait around to look for him, he just sat down and took car of himself. When he was finished he pulled the sheet down on the toilet paper roll---and yep...Charlie came around with the roll. Even though we were in our own bungalow...I'm sure EVERY guest of the hotel heard him scream his head off!

I'm not sure we got much sleep that night wondering what creatures were wandering around our room, but it is definitely a great story to share with anyone who cares to listen!!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

What I Would Really Like

This Christmas we got our boys a Game Cube. Of course if you ask me, we got them an xbox 360. My husband always laughs and corrects me, but honestly--what does it matter? They are both Nintendo gaming systems--they boys know what I'm talking about, even when I get it wrong. But it's funny.

You know what I really want? I want Super Mario Brothers--that first Nintendo game. I remember loving it, but since it wasn't mine I didn't get to play it nearly enough. I don't think they make it for the Game Cube, but I would totally love to get a chance to play it. I was looking on Ebay for it, and they are still selling for nearly $30. It's like 20 years old--and yet it's still one of the best sellers. Too cool!