Friday, February 29, 2008

How Do You Spell...

Now this picture doesn't make me feel so bad. Last night I was helping my son go over his spelling words. Today is his test. I would give him the words to spell. He wrote them down. Then we would go over the ones he missed. There were only 8 words, yet he managed to missed on average 4 every time! After about 1/2 hour I said, "Go upstairs and have your dad give them to you." Survivor was on, you know.

After about 1 minute he came back downstairs, "I got them all right mom!". Hmm... We'll see about that when the test comes back home.

This morning on the way to school, I was giving my son his spelling words again.

"How do you spell still?"


"Good! How do you spell spot?"


"No." Then he finally figured it out.

"How do you spell down?"


Huff, "No."

"Oh! D-O-W."

"How do you spell which?"



Then I quickly reminded him how to spell them.

"So, how'd I do mom?"


Thursday, February 28, 2008

Job for an 11-Year old

My 11-year old came up to me the other day and said, "Mom, I just realized! I have a job!" "Yes you do!", I said. This summer my son signed up to be an umpire for the Little League baseball games. All you have to do it sign up, go to a meeting about learning the rules, and ump one level younger than you are. It only pays $9.00/game, but hey, that's more than I give him for his allowance in one week!

I think it's a great experience for him, but I'm also kind of skeptical. Some of those parents are ruthless to the umps. Last summer I didn't think I was going to be able to take it anymore. OK, this one kid actually was a pretty bad ump, BUT he WAS just a kid who was learning, AND this WAS just Little League, not the Major League. Just like you can't get upset when one of the kids doesn't play well because they are just learning, the umps have to start somewhere too. I had to hold myself back when I heard some parents booing the ump and SCREAMING, "New ump!". I debated saying something to these parents, but then I thought they might beat ME up! I LOVED how our coach handled the situation with the bad calls. He just went up to the ump and said, "Did you see that play? Because if you didn't, you can just say that you don't know because you couldn't see. I'm just letting you know." Our coach was frusterated, too, but he treated that ump very fairly.

My son doesn't worry about being yelled at. My husbands only concern is that he will get called ALL the time to ump. I don't think that's anything to worry about. He can always just say no. One mother I talked to at a game was there watching her son ump. She told me she can barely watch the games he umps because she doesn't want to see anyone yelling at her son. I guess it's bound to happen sometime, but hopefully not too often that it makes him want to quit. Did anyone else's son ever ump? Was it a good or bad experience for them?

Yesterday I recieved an award from Marie at Marie's Random Thoughts on Love and Life. Thank you Marie! I just LOVE reading her blog. Stop by it sometime. Marie was in a car accident with her husband on New Years Eve. She was rushed to the emergency room where the doctor told her... She's pregnant! Both she and the baby were perfectly fine. This past weekend she just met her sister's daughter (her niece), that she didn't even know that she had! It's an amazing story.

I pass this award onto Girlymom at The Red Door and Kitty at Kitty's Bloggy Bits.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Going Green

Our new middle school is almost complete. It's a state-of-the-art "green school". It only cost the taxpayers $28 million! Well, we were in desperate need of repairs. The school, unfortunately, had not been kept up over the years, and now we finally have our new school. They will be utilizing as much natural outside light as possible. It has a clean air system. The roof collects the rainwater for flushing the toilets. The rain gauge for this can be seen when you walk in the lobby. It's a complete learning building. The ceiling is exposed, so you can see all the pipes and where everything is. It uses geothermal heating. Did you know what geothermal heating was when you were in middle school?

The school also recycled as much of the old materials as they could. The gym's beautiful wood floor was refinished. Many of the wooden doors were refinished and used again. The cafeteria now has more options for buying food. Instead of having two long lunch lines where your only choice was the full lunch menu, now there are different lunch counters where you can get exactly what you want, with healthier lunch options.

My husband and I actually went to this school when we were young. I didn't know him back then, though, because he was a year behind me. One of the worst parts was lunch. Many, many times the lunch lines were so long that the bell would ring to go to my next class, and I would just be walking back to the table with my lunch. All I could do was set my lunch on the table, shove a couple bites of food in my mouth, and dump the rest in the garbage (a good reason right there to home school).

There were many cons of this reconstruction. The cost - $28 million! Maybe it was needed. It's supposed to save the tax payers throughout the years. That just sounds like a lot of taxpayer money to pay now. The school is within walking distance to our house. It's part of the reason why we bought our house. My daughter and son could have been walking to school together this year, the last year they will be able to. My daughter got to experience the old building for sixth grade. Then for 7Th and this half of 8Th grade she was bused off to an old school in the city that starts an hour earlier. None of these kids are getting enough sleep. My son is now in 6Th grade and he is bused off to an elementary school (when he should be in the "big kid" middle school) and gets home at 4:00 (an hour later than he usually would). By the time he does his homework, it's time for dinner. He has very little free time. I also think about the exercise the kids aren't getting. A year and a half missed of walking to and home from school. My daughter's school now doesn't even have a library in it.

Also, the new school will be a pod system. I don't think I care for this idea. They even called it a "school within a school". Each grade is divided into two groups. Each group has it's own pod of classes. The kids just switch classes within their pod. If you have a friend on the other "team", you can only see them during lunch or possibly gym class. There's no hallway to walk down. I just remember when I was little. We'd meet our friends in the hall and say hi as we went to our next class. Also, the different grades eat with their own grade. How are the sixth graders ever going to get to know the eight graders? There's no togetherness. Even to leave the school, there's a exit in every pod.

Well the kids will go to this new school after the spring break. We're all very excited. My son is going to ride his bike to school! We will get a chance to see it at an open house the week before they get there. I will take some pictures of all the cool new "green" features and post them later.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Snow again

Well, I'm glad I got out and enjoyed the past few beautiful days. This is what it looked like outside my window this morning! Ugh! I'm SO ready for spring. "OK now (this is me talking to myself), it's only February. Spring doesn't come until next month. The snow is pretty. Warm weather will be here soon enough." That's what I have to keep telling myself.

Yesterday I spent a good portion of the day working on MY DAUGHTER'S project for school. Yes, the homework subject again. She's doing a presentation about The Diary of Anne Frank and her project is the music of the 1930's and 1940's. She wanted to buy songs online to make a CD. Well, I'm not buying any songs, so I went to the library and got the Cd's to copy songs from. I decided it would only save me time by going while she was in school, so I only had to take my 4-year old, instead of ALL the kids. Even though SHE was doing the project, it was constant questions about who she should pick, does this look good, did she make any mistakes. I like the projects that are done in school. Then the kids really do it by themselves. What about the kids who don't have parents to help them at home? My daughter told me, "It's too bad everyone doesn't have a mom to go to the library for them and get Cd's." My daughter has a friend who not only has no money, her mom has no car to take her to the library. She has no computer at home. She even has a mom who once made her stay home from school to clean the house. Kids like these are at a real disadvantage when it comes to doing projects at home.

On the bright side, my daughter is really learning a lot from this activity. She's heard a couple of the songs that were popular back then, but she's never heard of any of the artists. She never heard of Doris Day or Bing Crosby! She's printing out pictures of the singers, so she can put a face to these names, too. Like most projects, getting started is the hardest part. Now she's so interested in this and is trying very hard to get all of the 100 points it's worth. So my philosophy on getting through this with her:

1. Help her. She needs some guidance in how to get started and some tips along the way. I don't want her to just rush through it because she's frustrated and doesn't know exactly what to do.

2. Show an interest in what she's doing. My daughter's a big talker and likes to know I'm interested.

3. Get her motivated. Last night we talked about how we think the easiest way to help your grade is to get an A on a project. The teachers usually give a detailed list of what they want in a project. Follow every step exactly, and maybe even add a little extra to it. This project is worth 100 points. Tests are usually 30-50 points, and it's easy to think you know all the material, then get confused when you get the test. What about pop quizzes. Those are easy to mess up too.

I always say, it's more work for me when the kids are in school. They always need something for school. They need help with homework. They need me to pick them up from after-school activities. Everything is "Hurry up!". OK, now I'm looking forward to summer vacation!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

It's a Beautiful Day in My Neighborhood

Oh, I feel so much better today. What a beautiful day out! It's sunny and 33'. Yes, that's a beautiful day for us Northerners during the month of February. I'll never forget a few years ago, waiting for my neighbor to pick up the kids for school. It was February, sunny, and I sat on my front steps with my coffee in my hands. My neighbor pulled up in the driveway, rolled down her window, and said, "Are you enjoying this beautiful day?". I laughed. "Yes I am, but it's pathetic because it's only 30' out!". For those of you who live down south, or in Texas Kellan, this is a nice day for us!

I went for a jog/walk for 45 minutes, Amy. The sun was shining on my face. The birds were actually chirping! I was so happy I couldn't find the MP3 player. It was very quiet, too. No cars around. Going for a walk in the morning really keeps me motivated to eat better during the day.

One basketball game down. One more to go. Then my husband and I are off for dinner at The Texas Roadhouse. It's our favorite restaurant. I always get the ribeye and ribs combo with a side of chili and rice. They have the best homemade rolls with melted butter and cinnamon on top. We always ask for extras and bring home lots of leftovers for the kids. My youngest said to me, "You never take me!". "Uh, yeah, and your point is...?"

After dinner we're going to take a drive through a pretty neighborhood that I like and get some ideas for landscaping our front yard. I want to plant a lot of trees this summer, and want to get some ideas for where to put them.

About the homework problems from yesterday, everything worked out fine. My son didn't even have his spelling test because the teacher was out sick. My daughter didn't have to give her teacher my note about not finishing her homework because she didn't check everyone's homework. She also didn't need to have her language arts reading done because they ended up doing something else in class yesterday. She still has her test on Monday, but she feels a ton better about it now.

After going for that nice walk this morning, I thought, "What was I so upset over? " I'll try to remember this during our next crisis.

Friday, February 22, 2008

More About Homework

Usually homework isn't too bad for our family anymore. I don't know if the schools are starting to catch on about the current findings about homework (that they don't actually help the kids), or if we've just been lucky, but yesterday was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

It started with my 7-year old. He's been doing fine up until this week with his spelling words. He just studies them a little, and gets them all right on his test every Friday. This weeks words were obviously much harder. They went from "bad, sad, mad" to "bright, blaze, truck". He could not get them. He acted like he hadn't seen these words all week. He had a hard time telling the difference between bl and br words. We spent about two hours on his homework! He was crying. Yes, we took breaks. What do I do? Let him fail his test? He also had a short book to read. It took him 1/2 hour because he got stuck on every other word. I decided to email his teacher and tell her about this. I told her that he will need some extra help in school each week with his spelling words because he's struggling with them. I don't mind going over the words with him a little, but I simply don't have the time to spend hours on it! My youngest one was upset because she wanted some attention. I haven't heard back from her yet. I'm expecting her to tell me that if he can't keep up with the class, then he'll need to be placed in a remedial class. I want to be a helper, not his teacher. Shouldn't the teacher recognize that a student needs a little help, and help him? This is not helping with his "hating school" problem.

Next, daughter came home from ski club in tears because she's so behind in school because she missed the day before for being sick. Can't an 8Th grader be allowed to stay home when she's not feeling well? She tried to do her reading on the ski bus, but it was too dark, not to mention LOUD. She still wasn't feeling well last night, but sat down at 9:30 to do her work. I had to help her look up ALL her answers for math. I had to help her finish her social studies. She has a test on Monday, and doesn't understand what they're doing. She has a major Language Arts project due next week. She was totally stressed out. I ended up writing her social studies teacher a note telling her that she couldn't find the rest of the answers on her crossword puzzle and needed some extra help understanding the material (we're hoping she'll give her an extra day for the test). My daughter is going to tell her language arts teacher that she didn't have time to do the reading and that I will write her a note about that if she needs one. She's also has to talk to her math teacher too. This much stress in the 8Th grade? At 14, she has to spend the entire weekend doing homework? Now don't get the wrong impression. My daughter is very good about getting her work done. She gets good grades. That's why she's so upset about it.

I'm hoping for a good weekend. Tonight we were going to go out for dinner, but my babysitter couldn't watch the kids, so we'll go out tomorrow (Texas Roadhouse!). So, tonight we'll take the little ones to bingo night at the school. They're very excited at least. Tomorrow is the last two basketball games of the season. Sunday is already sign ups for baseball! I hate to think about being involved in more sports again, but the boys really love it, and I actually enjoy watching.

I'm also thinking about the money everyone owes us! I think my daughter lost the $10 I lent her. My son lost his library book at school. My daughter lent money to two boys. One keeps saying he'll pay her back, and the other doesn't want to because he said they're poor since his mom just left his step dad. OK, I feel bad for him, but enough is enough! This boy has an expensive cell phone and is in the expensive ski club, and that was MY $2 he borrowed from my daughter. I think I do more than my fair share by driving the kids in the neighborhood everywhere and feeding them all. I just think when you borrow money from someone, you should pay them back, and not try to get out of it because they think we can afford it.

I think a nice warm spring day would brighten my mood. Hope we get one soon!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I Thought I Had Escaped It

I just got it today. My daughter got it when she was in the sixth grade. My 11-year old luckily escaped it this year in sixth grade. I thought I was going to be one of the lucky ones. No such luck. Today my 7-year old brought home "The Note" stating the requirements for my, I mean, HIS science fair project. I am NO scientist. I don't WANT to be. Yet somehow my son's science fair project will become MY science fair project.

I had my first experience with the science fair when my daughter was in 6th grade. Everyone was required to do it. Of course my daughter couldn't come up with an idea. I lied awake at night trying to think of something. Finally I said, "Why don't we do something practical, like testing different batteries to see which one works the longest? I know alkaline lasts longer than heavy duty. We could test different brands!"

My daughter took this idea and one other (of my) ideas to her teacher the next day to get one OK'd. The teacher didn't like either (of my) ideas. She came home from school and I asked her what her friend was doing. She painted each one of her fingernails with a different kind of nail polish to see which one stayed on the longest. (Basically the same idea as mine.) The teacher liked her idea. "OK, how about an something impractical, like see which curl mousse curls your hair the best?" Well, the teacher liked this idea. I didn't get it.

This year my son is in sixth grade. Guess what? They no longer are required to participate in the science fair! They decided that the kids weren't getting as much out of it as they had hoped. Really? I wonder why? It's pretty obvious how much "help" all the parents put into it (and spent on!).

My 7-year old has to make an animal that lives in the desert out of recyclables. We're even supposed to attend the science fair on a Saturday morning. What do the desert and recyclables have in common? I'm all about recycling. RECYCLING! Not collecting garbage that can be sent to the recycling center to be made into new products and taping, gluing, and painting it to just end up throwing in the land fill. I just feel like it's so much work compare to what he'll be getting out of it. I'm not an artist or a very crafty or creative person. Why not just find a picture of a desert animal, give the kids a large piece of paper, and paint an animal?

It's funny. I've been hearing a lot of you talking lately about helping your kids do their science fair project, some complaining (you know who you are), and I just laughed and thought, "I'm SO glad I don't have to do THAT anymore!". Now I'm not laughing anymore. I know, there probably are some of you who actually enjoy it. I'm just not one of them.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Good Coaches, MEAN coaches

I ran into one of my daughter's old basketball coaches a couple days ago. He coached her for 5 years in one of the leagues she played for. This was the last year that basketball was available to the girls and asked why she wasn't playing. I told him she just didn't enjoy it enough. She liked it, but didn't have the passion.

We really liked this coach. He was one of the good ones. He'd fool you by his looks, though. He's a big guy, a police officer, a high school football coach, doesn't smile very much, and has a mean look about him. He NEVER yelled at the girls. He went out of his way to find places to practice. He even has offered to take my daughter to the practices if we couldn't take her. I took him up on that a few times. His daughter played on the team and he told me that you just can't treat the girls like the boys on his football team. The only time I really saw him upset was when the coach or players from another team were being mean. Anyone should feel lucky to have a coach like this.

One team my daughter played basketball for had a mean coach. Mean was even an understatement. He screamed at the girls during the game. He would sub a girl out during the game, scream in her face about whatever she was doing wrong, then send them back out to play. One girl in particular was yelled at so much, that she use to go back out on the court and couldn't even think straight. When the games were over, his shirt would be drenched with sweat, and he wasn't even playing! Every parent didn't care for him. I tried to reassure my daughter that when he yelled at her, everyone felt bad for her. I also told her to use this as a learning experience. There are people like this in the world, unfortunately, and you just have to do the best to live through it. Don't take it personally.

My husband coaches the younger kids in baseball. He treated each kid with respect. He wanted the kids to have fun, and learn, too. He's had experiences with mean coaches. At the first Tball game, my husband asked the other coach if they wanted to pitch to the kids because his team was ready for it. They agreed, but the coach came up to him at the end of the game and said, in front of everyone, that he "strong-armed" him into pitching, and that he thought they were playing Tball (!). My husbands mouth fell open. He really tries hard to get along with everyone and was shocked at how this coach was talking to him. We even called the Tball commissioner after the game to see if pitching was OK. He reassured us that we were doing it perfectly right. You can practice hitting off the tees during the practices, and work your way into pitching to them.

Now, one more story, my son, luckily has had only great coaches. During basketball sign ups we knew of one coach who many people have said that's the ONLY team they DON'T want their son to be on. "Really?", I said. I knew this guy a little. He's very involved in boys sports. I've talked to him about how he thinks kids should be able to play more than one sport in high school if they want, and I agreed with him. Come to think of it, he DID tell me that the girls basketball teams aren't serious at all, only the boys are. And you're saying this to someone who is signing up both a girl and a boy? Well I saw him in action a couple weeks ago. My son's team played his team. My son had to guard his son. I noticed him pushing my son throughout the whole game. After the game my son said, "Did you hear him swearing at me?". "No, I didn't. Did his dad hear him?" "He had to have! Everyone heard him!" Weird, huh. I guess he's just the kind of dad who wants his son to be a big tough bully. Oh, and after the game, that boy came up to my son and told him to meet him out in the parking lot (as if to fight him). My son just told him, "Yah, OK."

So when I ran into this old basketball coach, he said he saw my son at one of the dances and asked if he plays football. My son is a big kid. He's even starting to lift weights. I told him no, but he wants to. He told me he's going to be the new football coach for the 7th and 8th grade team and he'll call us. I told him he's not much of a runner since he had a super bad case of pneumonia when he was 5. He told me that he could find a place for him. I thought that was pretty nice.

So why do some coaches feel the need to be so mean? Maybe they're not trying to be mean. Maybe that's just the way they are. They can't control their tempers. Feel lucky if your kids have one of those nice coaches.

Friday, February 15, 2008

I haven't seen this around yet.:

And Ally at Laughadaisy gave it to me! Thanks for thinking of me Ally!
The rules for being A Roar For Powerful Words recipient are that I share 3 writing tips and pass the award on to 3 more bloggers "worthy of recognition and esteem."

1. Be yourself. Write how you normally talk to people. Don't feel the need to sound like you're something that you're not.

2. Think about what has been on your mind that day, and write about that. (If you can write about that, of course.)

3. Learn from others. Read everything, and see how others write, from books to newspapers to blogs (but not only blogs!).

I never really thought of myself as a writer before I started my blog. It was pretty difficult at first. I've found that it's taken a lot of practice. I'm still not the best writer, but I think of my ideas much easier now, and can write much faster.

I will pass this award on to my sister Irene at Our Little Piece of the the World, Kidzmama at Not a Spare Minute, and Becky at Stuck in Frump, Striving for Fab.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

Actually, it's not the best Valentine's Day for me. Hubby's still out of town, and won't be home until tomorrow night. Valentine's Day is special for us because it's the anniversary of our first date! Pretty romantic, huh? When he picked me up for the date, he brought me a dozen red roses. I was very happy, but felt sorry for him at the same time. I thought, "Poor guy. He wasted all his money on me when he realizes he doesn't want to go out with me again." Well that didn't happen. Four kids later...

My oldest two have ski club tonight so it's just my 4 and 7-year old and me. We made these pretty cupcakes. Mmmm. They're chocolate cupcakes with homemade chocolate cream cheese frosting and sprinkles on top. The frosting is very simple. Here's the recipe:

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:

6 ounces cream cheese
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
dash salt
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted

Mix the cream cheese, milk, and chocolate on medium speed until smooth. Beat in vanilla, salt, and sugar until blended. That's all!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I received this email from my friend Denise the other day:

TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED the 1930s, 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's!!

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets. Not to mention the risks we took hitchhiking.

As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags.

Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.

We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank Kool-aid made with sugar, but we weren't overweight because, WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD's, no surround-sound or CD's, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or chat rooms........
WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever!

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!

If YOU are one of them, CONGRATULATIONS!

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good.
While you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave (and lucky) their parents were.

Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it?!

The quote of the month is by Jay Leno:

"With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?"

What do you think? I think what struck me most about it was the fact that most kids played outside all day. Mother's didn't take their kids everywhere everyday. Kids didn't play inside with their friends all day. Parents didn't intervene in every little problem. I can imagine how much easier my life would be today if I didn't have the whole neighborhood running through my house everyday, if I didn't have to drop my kids off and pick them up from somewhere everyday, and didn't have to solve every fight that breaks out. I'd have more time to get my chores done, and just relax in the evenings. I actually try to bring as much of this back as I can, but it's still not like it use to be. The one thing I didn't agree with: Little League tryouts. My boys would be crushed if they couldn't play baseball. I love that every kid can play.

Also, I got an award! From Girlymom at The Red Door:

I really enjoy her blog, too. She has 4 kids also, but hers are all girls and each one are two years apart. Boy is that going to be fun when they become teenagers!

I pass this award onto: Don Mill Diva. She's a new blogging friend and I've really been enjoying her blog.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

I'm In the Guiness Book of World Records!

...for eating potato chips!!!

OK, not me alone. We went to our local hockey game last night. Everyone received a bag of potato chips when they got in the game. At the last 10 minutes of the 1rst quarter, they told everyone to start eating! We made it! We are all now in the Guiness Book of World Records for the most people at one time eating potato chips. Pretty cool, huh?

This is goofy daughter and her friend taking a picture of themselves eating.

This is a bad picture of me and 7-year old and hubby. (My hubby is out of town this week for work so I'm sad.) After the game my son told me he thought it was a competition to see who could eat their chips the fastest, and he wanted to know who won. He ate his as fast as he could. Well, they DID make us all stand up, say, "OK, ready, set, start eating!". My other son was there too, but he was on the complete opposite side from us with his friends.

My 7-year old's boy scouts are going to one of the games in a few weeks. It would cost $9.00 per person. We would need 5 tickets (my youngest would not go). We suggested to them to go this night with the school. No one seemed to want to do that.The school gives free tickets to all the kids plus my husbands and my tickets would be $8.50. Hmm, $45.00 or $17.00.? We chose the $17. Then the boy scouts still expected us to go with them. Uh, no thanks. We had a great time, AND we made it into The Guiness Book of World Records!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Ten Things I Never Get Tired of Doing

1. Blogging. I never would have believed how much I love it and all the bloggy friends I have made. It's a whole new world for me.

2. Drinking coffee in the morning. I love just holding the hot cup when I'm still sleepy and cold. I love the smell of it.

3. Watching TV at night with my 14-year old. Right now we're watching season two of Gilmore Girls. I get the rest of the kids off to bed, and let her stay up a little later. It's her time of the day that she "talks".

4. Saturday night date night. My husband and I don't go out a lot, so we like to eat a late dinner after the little ones are in bed. Tonight we are going to a hockey game, so we'll have to eat an early dinner.

5. Being a stay-at-home-mom. I don't know for how much longer, though. My youngest will be in preschool this year!

6. Watching a baseball game. We have a great local baseball team and get cheap or free tickets all the time. The kids love chasing the balls and fighting for flying Tshirts. I even love watching my sons play.

7. Cooking a good meal. What can I say? I love food! Tonight - barbequed ribs and oven baked steak fries.

8. Reading a book. I need to find more time for this!

9. Taking a long walk/run. I feel so good when I'm done. It gives me time to think without hearing a constant, "Mom!".

10. Shopping. Like Leslie said, it just makes me happy!

I am adding this to Amy's meme. I like how she always writes her list of what she's grateful for.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Crazy Days

I'm so tired right now that my head actually hurts. It seems like I don't sleep anymore. By the time I get to bed, after talking to the kids, blogging, and reading a few pages of my book, it's 12:00! I wake up at 6 when my husband is leaving for work. My alarm goes off at 6:15 so I can make sure my daughter is out of bed (she's usually not). I get back in bed for 15 minutes then get my daughter off to school. Yes, I have to get up with her because she always forgets something or wears an outfit that doesn't match, or something. Then I get back in bed, set my alarm for 7:15 to make sure my 11-year old got up for school. Then I get back in bed again, and just lie there for 20 minutes, and finally get up for good. This is why I'm tired every day. I just don't have enough hours in the day!

Today was especially hectic. I drove my 7-year old to school at 9:00. At 11:00 I had to drive to my other son's school to drop off his ski club stuff. Then I went to the grocery store, then to the Bon Ton (got some good deals on sweaters!). I got home, made some tea, and was going to sit down and rest while my youngest played on the computer when the phone rang:

"Mom?" It was my 14-year old calling from school.

"Oh no. What?"

"I forgot my jacket and pass for skiing. Can you bring it over?"

"I was just there!"

"You were? Oh, sorry. Please?"

"Be right there."

I only had 1 hour to myself. Now I would be down to 1/2 hour and I was so tired. I ran to the bathroom and noticed the toilet was clogged. This toilet has never clogged before so I figured I'd just try flushing it and holding the lever. The water started coming up to the edge! I quickly picked up the lid to the back of the toilet and my candle on it fell and glass broke everywhere. I decided I should at least clean up the glass real quickly. I cut my finger. Could this get any crazier? My 4-year old was not happy about getting back in the car again, but we did anyway.

When my kids got home from ski club today, my daughter said my son almost missed the ski bus! Everyone was on the bus and the teacher asked her where her brother was! He thought that if the bus leaves at 8:30 you should get on it at 8:25. "No! 8:15!". Also, a girl on the ski lift in front of my son fell off! She screamed and slipped off. She broke either her ankles or her wrist. She was riding with the bar up! "I hope you guys never do that!" So now I have to get some sleep! Tomorrow will come again, and it will probably be a crazy day again.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

My Kids Are Growing Up!

It just hit me all in one week! I'm looking for a preschool to send my youngest to. I haven't been home without a kid for 14 years! My oldest was picking out her elective classes for high school yesterday! I don't feel like I'm old enough to have a high schooler! I'm NOT that old, am I? She's choosing computer and art classes. She also has to take a pool class, which they now call "aquatics", a basic computer class, and freshman seminar. She's so excited and definitely ready to go. It's a huge school. In fact, the school in split up into two buildings, one for 9th/10 grade, the other for 11/12 grade, with about 700 kids per grade. She even started looking for a summer job this week. She's applying at the zoo and Rita's Italian Ice. (Does anyone have know anywhere else you can get a job at 14?) You see your kids everyday. Sometimes you don't realize how much they've grown. Well, last night I was watching TV with my daughter and looked up at her and this is what I saw! Oh my gosh! She's so big!

Also last night, my 7 year old was getting ready for bed and asked me:

"Mom, when I get old, can I come and live with you?"

"Sure you can!", I said. And I really meant it, even I know HE won't want to when he gets old.

He clapped his hands together and said, "YES!".

Then he asked me if my mom will be living with us, too. I told him, "You'd like that, huh?"

He said, "That would be funny. 'Baba, Gaga (my dad, who is 82 years old now), it's time to get up!' ".

Yes, he still thinks my parents will be around then.

Later on last night, my 3-year old got out of bed:

"Mom, I don't want to get any bigger, but I keep getting bigger!"

"OK! We'll figure out something to do about that in the morning!"

"It's not going to work!"

"Time for bed!"

My 11-year old is growing up, also. He's grown into that, "I'm a cool middle schooler" age. I'm hoping this will end soon!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Ahhh. Doesn't This Look Yummy?

Girlymom at The Red Door has challenged all her readers to the 100 Things Challenge. I did three last night. Boy let me tell you, this was really difficult! #52 Taking a bubble bath? Ahhh. I waited until the kids were asleep (or it would have been a party in there!), poured my Cucumber Melon bubble bath from Bath and Body Works in (mmm, too bad you couldn't smell it), put on my Crest Whitestrips (my daughter said my teeth aren't as white as hers), and put on a facial mask (daughter says my pores are starting to look gross). #41 I read a little. Then just closed my eyes and relaxed. When I got out I used my new Bath and Body works foot cream. #44 I even got to bed early!

Here's how it works:
1. Pick 5 activities from the list
2. Do the activities
3. Take a picture of the activities being done (if picture unavailable, just tell us about activity)
4. Copy this list and post the pictures of the activities being done
5. Let me know that you posted the pictures of the activities being done
6. I will link to your blog, so we can all see the pictures of the activities being done
7. Add your own activity idea to your comment
8. Check out everyone else's blogs
9. Create a FUN, creative blog group
10. Enjoy life, this is meant to be fun, silly, light hearted

Thanks for the challenge Amy! I'll continue with them later.

Kitty at Kitty's Bloggy Bits has awarded all her readers with the Wonderful Women of the Web Award. I love to read her blog. She's actually one of my first bloggy friends! Thank you Kitty!

Monday, February 4, 2008

A Very Stinky Subject

One guess about what we have living under our porch! Yes, it's a skunk! He's actually been living there for quite a while. We noticed stinky last summer. We've seen him walking around. One time last summer I took a walk with my kids at night. As we were heading home we smelled a skunk. "Uh oh, something got it!", we said. As we got closer to home, the smell got even stronger. When I got home, the inside of my house reeked! "Did someone leave the door open!", I said frantically. I even looked around the house. We finally figured out he got my cat. Luckily it wasn't too bad. I gave him a tomato sauce bath in the yard, and stuck him in the garage to sleep that night. I think he sprayed right outside my screen door. It took days to air out the house. I hoped that the skunk would just leave when winter came.

A couple of days ago, I was on my computer (blogging of course), when I heard a little scratching noise in my living room. I was a little afraid because I've heard that noise before and it was a mouse. I tiptoed into the living room and didn't see anything. The next day I was on the computer again, heard the noise again, but this time it was in my computer room where I was! I turned around and noticed my daughter's balloon, slowly moving around and scratching the ceiling. Phew! No animal!

Well, the next morning we woke up and our basement smelled like a skunk! Was there really a skunk in the house? I decided not to panick and to just carefully check every corner of the basement after the kids got off to school. My daughter walked out of the house to go to school, there he was! He was just standing by the corner of my porch! I was so happy! He's not in my basement! But this means, he's still here.

I tried once before to fill in the hole he dug under my porch. He just knawed his way back in (or maybe it was out). I want him gone! How can we get rid of him? I could pay someone to take him out, but I really don't want to spend the money. My sister said her husband will come over and take care of him. Uh, I don't think so. My husband's friend said just to set up a trap outside of his hole. Once he's inside, wait until he settles down. Then just drape a towel over the trap. Take him out to the country. Open the trap up, and let him walk away. Yah right! I'm too afraid to do that! I guess I'll pay for someone to come get him eventually. Last night I tried my mom's idea with how she got rid of her chipmunk in her heater vent. She just sprayed Tilex in it. The chipmunk ran out and never came back. Last night I sprayed bleach all around the porch. This morning, my daughter left for school, and motioned to me, "There he is!". He was in the hole. I guess the bleach didn't work. Does anyone know how to get rid of him? My mom tried to tell me that skunks make nice pets. "Then you can have him!"

Friday, February 1, 2008

Gameboy Movies

This is something neat that I just thought about. Did you ever see the movies that you can buy for the Gameboys? There's not that many, but it's a great idea, especially for the younger kids. We have a couple of the Cartoon Network shows and we have Shrek 2. My 14 year old wanted to take it on the ski bus for her to watch with her friend, but then ended up forgetting the earphones (you need them to hear anything on the bus). They also work on the Nintendo DS. It's a great idea if you have the Nintendo, but not a portable DVD player. It's so easy to carry around, too. My youngest just discovered it today, so she was busy watching it. She kept calling Shrek2 - Sharkboy and Lavagirl. I told her no, it was Shrek 2.

"No it's not mom. It's Shrek 8. I'm serious mom."

OK, whatever. But anyway, to take to a basketball game or for the ride on the bus, great.