Sunday, March 30, 2008

My Purse

This is funny because only us women can relate. What do you carry in your purse? OHMommy challenged me to share the contents of my purse with the bloggy world. I would love to take a look into everone's purse. My hubby just can't understand why we want to know? Because we're girls! This is what we do!

I think my purse reflects me. It's nothing really that special. Having 4 kids and being a SAHM doesn't allow me to spend too much on myself. I've recently downsized. My purse is just big enough to carry my essentials, but not too big so it doesn't become a catch-all. I weed out all the junk every time I sit down to write the bills. I used to carry a large purse, but then I decided all it did for me was allow me to carry too many papers and toys.

This is my purse:

After looking at this photo, I realized my wallet has seen better days, and I need a new one! I have $61.00 in it. I always carry cash because being a mom of 4, three of which are in school, I'm always handing money out for something - lunch money, allowance, money for the book fair, etc

I also carry my checkbook, Rimmel Stay Matte powder foundation, glasses (I only use them to drive at night or to watch a movie), coupon books for the local restaurants (my mother-in-law bought these for me), 50/50 tickets that my boys are selling for their baseball teams, lip gloss, and lip liner.

In my little side pocket, I have my cell phone, insurance and library card, chap stick, Bath and Body Works lip gloss, my son's money, and tweezers (I was looking for those!).

At the bottom of my purse, I found my car keys, a cherry Halls cough drop, and a quarter.

Now I want to see what's in your purse! Will you show and tell? I challenge Lizzy, Becky Leslie, Debbie, Leah, Kila, Kitty, Mary, Dawn, Summer, BurghBaby, Zoe, Shellie, and Amy. Is there anyone else who would like to do it? Please share!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Son!

Today is my older son's birthday. He turned 12 today. I love to celebrate my kids birthdays. I love how excited they get. We're not doing anything big, just inviting a few of his friends over for pizza, cupcakes, and of course, video games.

When I was younger, I could never imagine myself with older kids. I didn't want to imagine myself with older kids! Now that I have two in middle school, I love it more than anything. They're just taking their first steps into becoming an adult by doing a lot of things for themselves and becoming more independent, but he still loves his mommy and hugs and kisses me every day. He would be embarassed if he knew I was saying this!

My now twelve-year old was both my easiest and hardest baby out of all four. I had him one week late, and knew he was going to be a large baby. I was induced at 7:00 in the morning and he literally popped out only 3 hours later, broken collar bone and all. He weighed in at... 9lb 11 oz! He's still a big baby, I mean big boy today. And I just thanked him yesterday for being the most easy-going of my kids. He replied, "Your welcome, mommy!".

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Kids' Misunderstandings...

Just about as fast as my son got so terribly sick the other day, he got
better. His missed his library day at school and was very upset because
he wanted to get a magic book, so I told him I would get him one from the library. I found this neat magic book for kids with simple tricks to do. He was very excited. He learned how to do the levitating lady. Then he told me, "But mom! I want to learn how to do REAL magic tricks!". At 7, he still didn't know that magic tricks were actually tricks and not real.

Meanwhile yesterday, my 4-year old was very upset. She calls her 11-year old brother her "boyfriend". She told me that he said he wouldn't marry her, though he does love her very much. I tried to explain to her that brothers and sisters can't marry each other. She burst into tears! "But I WANT to marry him!" So cute. Next she asked me, "Then how do mommys and daddys marry each other?", as if they were always family. I wonder what else the kids are confused about!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The First Day of School

Today my kids went back to their new middle school. It was like the first day of school. They've been off school for the last 10 days for spring break. My daughter couldn't sleep last night and was up before her alarm went off.

As you may know, our middle school has been under construction for the past year and a half. This is the first time my sixth grader is going to a real middle school. My 6th and 8th grader are in the same school together now. The best part is that my daughter can sleep in! She was being bussed to an old city school and had to get up at 6 to catch the bus at 6:45. Now she can sleep in until 7 because school doesn't start until 8:20 and they can walk there! They have special "green" tshirts to wear to school today, and my daughter walked out the door in just the tshirt! It was only 29' ! I told her she had to wear a jacket and she said she had one, a sweatshirt over her arm. The sun was shining and there was no wind. For us here up north, this is considered a beautiful day.

Going back to their own middle school affects me too! Before I had to set my alarm at 6:15 to make sure my daughter was up. Then I'd go back to bed at 6:45 and reset my alarm for 7:15 to make sure my son was up. Then I'd go back to bed again for another 15 minutes and make sure he was out the door by 7:45. Now I can just get up at 7:15! Also, my daughter has soccer practice after school today and I don't have to pick her up from downtown! She can walk home with her friend! Her temp school was in a pretty bad neighborhood. When I used to pick her up, one of the city schools was just getting out of school, too. They were a rough bunch. They used to walk down the middle of the street and stare at you. One time one kid pushed another kid into my car. Another time my daughter was waiting outside the school from soccer tryouts for my husband to pick her up, and a bunch of kids from that city school were walking down the street. The kids started to walk up to my daughter and her friends with snowballs in their hands. One of the girls, and they were bigger kids, said, "I'd run if I were you!". Well my daughter and her friends DID run back into the school and told a teacher. I guess this is why EVERY student has to either take the bus or get a ride home from school there. Now we don't have to worry about that anymore.

So after having these last 10 days off, my 7-year old, the school hater, woke up sick. I was all ready to send him anyway when I noticed his cheeks were flushed... 102.9 temp! He's staying home today.

Changing subjects... I was watching my favorite The Bachelor last night when I noticed very quickly the words "The Mole" go across the screen. No commercial, just the words for a split second. Did I just see The Mole? That used to be my favorite TV show! I ran to the computer and searched for ABC The Mole and found an article about it coming back and they're casting people! No, I'm not going to tryout for it. I'm just super excited to watch it! I told my daughter about it last night when she couldn't sleep and she said, "Oh, that's just great! Now I'm REALLY not going to be able to sleep!" It's coming on this summer.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

I was tagged my by new bloggy friend Maria at God's Blessings for Seven Random Things...

Rules are:

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

So here are my 7 random things:

  1. I love to cook and eat! I love to try new recipes, bake cakes and pies, make fancy drinks. I wish I had more time to do it, though. Someday when the kids are older...

  2. I'm 37 and just started jogging this year. I've never been a runner, and still don't do it as much as I'd like, but I love the feeling that I actually CAN run!

  3. My favorite vacation spot is Hilton Head, South Carolina! We've gone with my family now 4 times and we have our house booked for this summer too! To me, it's the most beautiful place in the US. I've never been to Hawaii, but I bet it's the closest thing to it.

  4. I have one sister, Irene, and no brothers. Growing up, I always wished I had a big family like some of our neighbors, or The Brady Bunch, or Eight Is Enough. I always knew I wanted a large family and now have 2 boys and 2 girls. I'd have more if I had the time and money!

  5. One embarassing fact... I'm afraid to put my toes under my bed. When I make my bed, I have to stand far enough away so that they don't stick under the dust ruffle. One time I decided I wasn't going to be afraid anymore and made my bed with my toes sticking under my bed. "Ouch!" My CAT was under my bed and attacked my toes! Never again have I done that!

  6. I can't go to bed without reading. Even if I go to bed really late, I still have to read at least a couple of pages. I'm reading an Agatha Christie book now.

  7. My house is a constant work in progress. We are living in our second fixer upper and have even redone some of the rooms two times! I always have plans in my head about what I want to do next. I want to put in a gas fireplace and built in bookcases in my living room, and add a closet and paint our mudroom next.

I don't know who hasn't done this meme yet, so please do it if you haven't!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Doing Jigsaw Puzzles

When was the last time you sat down and worked a jigsaw puzzle? We finally started my son's baseball puzzle yesterday that he got for Christmas. The kids really love doing them, as long as I do them with them. We found that this one is our favorite kind of puzzle. It's called White Mountain. There's so much detail and so much going on in it, that we each pick a different part of the puzzle to work on, then combine our parts and start working together. We also have the Presidents and Historic Pennsylvania ones.

It's so funny how after a while of working on a puzzle, the kids start to get so weird! My youngest two stopped for a while to dance to the music on a Finding Nemo book. My oldest was saying the weirdest comments back to them. I even found myself singing old commercials and other things that I'm too embarrassed to admit to.

Try one of these White Mountain puzzles with your kids! It's a nice changed from video games. It's also nice spending that much time with the kids. We only spent about... four hours!

Sunday, March 16, 2008


When I first married my husband, he only had a few haircuts at the barber before he started to ask me to cut his hair. At first I didn't want to. I didn't know how. He said he didn't care. "Just cut it shorter." I purchased a pair of cheap hair scissors at the grocery store and have cut his hair ever since! His hair is really short, and not to mention not very much there anymore, so you'd never guess it was done by me.

When I had kids, I cut their hair when they were little. My 14-year old only had her first real haircut just last year when she wanted to get layers. I really didn't want to try that.

Last summer my 11-year old wanted to grow out his short hair. His hair grows really fast and I didn't cut it for the end of 5th grade and the whole summer. At the end of the summer he got his first real haircut. After all, he was going to be a big 6th grader in the big middle school! I couldn't cut his hair after that because I don't know how to do anything stylish. Well tonight I decided he needed a little trim, and I didn't want to spend any money, so I gave him a haircut. I think it came out pretty good! I'm proud of myself! I even changed it a little. I parted it on the side. I don't know if I can keep this up with him without ruining it completely, but boy am I saving money doing this. Haircuts for six people would really add up fast! By the way, he liked it, too.

That's my 7-year old looking up at his "cool" big brother. I gave him a haircut tonight, too, but it's nothing very exciting.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Finally a New Computer

We got our scratch and dent Dell a couple of days ago. That's why I haven't been on anyone's blogs lately. We've been trying to fix it! Every time we get on the internet, it freezes up! We called Dell, they walked us through all kinds of steps and told us it's good as new. The next day, it froze up again. We called again, they walked us through all kinds of steps, and said it was as good as new. Yesterday, again, the computer froze up. We called AGAIN, same thing, as good as new. Well we tried it out after we got off the phone with them. It froze up again! So, anyway, we're still trying to fix it, and we're not very happy about it.

Yesterday we went to go visit the new "green" middle school that my 11 and 14-year olds will be attending after spring break. It was very nice!

The windows are arranged in a way to allow maximum sunlight, so they can cut down on the electricity. They got all new tables and chairs. I'm left-handed. I remember being in school and sitting in those desks that are made for right-handed.

This is family consumer science. Look at the beautiful appliances!

My daughter will finally have a locker again, though they look a little small. I don't know how they'll ever get a three-ringed binder in there.

My favorite part of the school is the auditorium. It's the same stage, just refinished. There are all new seats and carpeting, and the whole thing is now handicapped accessible. Also, they're going to rent out the auditorium when it is needed.

This it the courtyard. We found what they did with the old chalkboards! Maybe they're going to use it as an outdoor classroom?

The gym was beautiful! They refinished the old floors and doors, put in new bleachers on both sides of the gym, opened up the ceiling and added insulation. It used to get so beastly hot in there during the basketball games! They also added a workout room!

In my opinion, the cafeteria was the what need the most work. Before, there were only two lunch lines. When I went here, we stood in line with our lunch until lunch period was over! Now there are different counters that you pick and choose what you want and 4 places to pay. They have a pasta bar, a salad bar, a deli bar, a snack bar with fruit slushies, hot pretzels, and baked chips, an a la carte line, and the full lunch.

I'm embarrassed to say this is my daughter and her friends. She just got out of soccer tryouts. She usually doesn't look this way! I made her take off that ugly black hat. By the way, she made the team. Actually everyone who tried out made the team because there weren't enough girls. Oh, see the sink in the background of this picture? It's a demonstration sink, not for drinking or even washing hands. It's rainwater that was collected from the roof and powered by wind and the sun. For such an expensive school, I'm impressed that it's so nice, without being over-the-top.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Enjoy the Days We Get

It's March now, and for many of us, we are looking forward to getting rid of the snow we have and seeing some signs of spring.

Call me crazy, but I can actually say I'm enjoying this weather! The huge snowstorm over the weekend was exciting. The kids never had so much fun playing in the snow. The bitter temperatures of winter are gone, along with the strong cold winds. Last night I went for a run/walk (all by myself) and it was wonderful! The streets were bare, so I could actually run. There was no wind. It was just starting to get dark, but it was still a little light out. The snow was falling in thick snowflakes. Just beautiful. I'll have to go again tonight.

Take advantage of the weather we get. There's nothing we can do to change it. It's a great time to get your spring cleaning inside your house, before the weather changes and you want to spend all your time outside.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

We really got dumped on with snow this weekend. This is what it looked like today after the streets finally got cleared. Can you see my mailbox peeking out? They said it was coming, but I don't think we really believed how much. Saturday morning we woke up to about 1/2 - 2 feet of the stuff. This would have been the kids first day off for a snow day in about 10 years, if it didn't happen on a weekend! We're use to a lot of snow because we live right off the lake and get big lake effect storms. The plows are always ready. My daughter couldn't even go to her friends birthday party who lived about 2 minutes away! My son slept over his friends house the night before. I told him he had to walk home because we couldn't even get out of the driveway, let alone down the street. His friend's house was only 3 blocks away, but my son had no jacket, hat, gloves, or even boots! His friend's dad actually dropped them both off in their 4-wheel drive car, so it worked out fine.

The kids had the best weekend anyway. A bunch of the neighbors came over and they played outside all day. Then most of them slept over one of their houses, and played again all day today. Though they're all ready for spring, a huge snowstorm like this was so exciting for them. I must admit, I enjoyed it too!

Cathy at A Bit of the Blarney gave me this great friend award:
Thank you Cathy! I will send it on to Leslie.

I was also tagged for a meme by Lizzy at Life According to Lizzy.

Here are the rules:

1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).

2. Open the book to page 123.

3. Find the fifth sentence.

4. Post the next three sentences.

5. Tag five people.

OK. This is one of the nearest books: M..... on the Orient Express. I'm going to start reading more Agatha Christie books.

" 'Shall we now see the Italian?' Poirot did not reply for the moment. He was studying a grease spot on a Hungarian diplomatic passport. "

Does it make you want to read it? I don't know who hasn't done this one yet, so if you haven't, you're tagged.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Did you see this study about homework that was done by Penn State University? It states that "Too Much Homework Can Be Counterproductive". I never had homework until I was in 4Th grade (and by the way even that was too much). Parents of young kids know all about the crazy hours when their kids come home from school, they have homework to do, the phone is ringing, you're trying to cook dinner.

I think what bothers me the most is the time it takes away from other things. When my 1st grader gets homework, I have to tell him that he can't play with his friend after school until it's done. I usually end up telling my 4-year old to be quiet and go play in the other room. I feel tension starting to rise.

I want to just be able to have conversations with my kids when they come home. I want to hear about their day. I want to have time to teach them things that I feel are important to my family. I also want them to have free time to play and get some exercise. I've heard that homeschoolers spend about 3 hours a day on schoolwork, and get way more done that in a traditional classroom. So why should my kids have to come home from a long day at school, and do even more work? Sometimes it's obviously just plain busy work. There's just so much wasted time at school, like when my son had to sit in the office during recess writing his name 10 times because he forgot to write his name on his paper.

Feel free to pass this article around.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


I wasn't going to post today, because I had such a bad day yesterday. Then I decided to just post about my troubles.

I had it out with my 1st grader's teacher yesterday. Well, not literally, but it wasn't a very pleasant conversation. I had emailed her once before asking if she could get some extra help to my son for his spelling words. He's struggling learning the new words, and we're spending entirely too much time studying for his tests. I feel like he's just not learning them well enough in school. She responded by telling ME how to study more, and that she could send the words home with him over the weekend so he could start during the weekend. My son already hates school. He spends too much time doing homework already. He REALLY doesn't want to do homework every weekend. He IS only in first grade! My older kids don't even get that much homework, and when they do, it doesn't involve all my time.

Tuesday night, my husband came home from work and spent the entire evening "helping" my son make his science project, a camel made out of recyclable materials. There is NO WAY for him to do it by himself. He wouldn't know what or where to get the materials. He could not use hot glue by himself. When my son went to bed that night, I looked in his book bag and saw his other homework that was supposed to be done: a math worksheet (that I needed to read the instructions to), TWO books that he needed to read to me and have me sign, and his lovely spelling words that needed to be studied (his test was even a day early this week because there's no school on Friday).

I emailed my son's teacher yesterday morning and informed her that his homework is taking much longer than the 10 minutes allotted for first graders, more like 1/2 hour - 45 minutes, and that's time that I have to be right there to help him with. She called me. She said she didn't have any time to help my son except during his recess. She told me that was my son's choice to do his project on the last day, and that she's not going to do anything differently with the homework. I told her that was NOT my son's choice. What 1rst grader could do the project without their parent? My husband is very busy and he wanted to do it then with my son. I was surprised she would send home so much homework the night before the science project was due. She reprimanded ME by saying that it was OUR decision then to wait to do it. Then she said she didn't want to talk anymore because she didn't like where this conversation was going. The conversation ended by her telling me that I could just read the books to my son and to write a note if his homework takes too long to do. (That's basically what I did!)

Well, my son came home from school and said:

"Guess what mom? I have someone to help me with my spelling words in school! They're helping me after recess!" Wow! Maybe I DID help him, after all.

"And guess what mom? I know how to spell crayon! C-O-L-O-R!" Close enough.

Then my daughter called me at the end of the school day:

"Mom, I'm not staying after school today for ASL (Academic Sports League). I'm not in the mood. I just got detention."

"For what?"

"For wearing jeans with a hole in them."

Bad, bad girl.

Well she DID bring home her project from the music of the 30's and 40's. She got a 100%. The teacher commented that she loved the CD cover. (Good job dad!)

So now today, I have to pick her up from school at 3:20, and my 1rst grader gets out of school at 3:25 and is about 15 minutes away from my daughter's school. I always pick him up because there's always a problem with him walking home from school. Either someone chases him home trying to hit him, or the older kids complain he's walking in the street, or someone is throwing snowballs at him. So today my 1rst grader has to walk home by himself, and I may not even be home by the time he gets home. I told him to wait on the front porch if I'm not there. Lovely, huh?

So this is why my mom thinks I'm getting closer to homeschooling. I'd kind of like to, but my daughter, especially, would miss her friends.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

What a beautiful day it was yesterday. We started the day with a visit to my sister's house, and ended with a million kids at my house. I use to not really believe it when people would tell me that all the kids play at their house, and they want it that way. Then they know what their kids are doing. Now I feel that way, not because I don't trust the kids, but because I just like my kids around. I also like to know their friends better. It gives my youngest something to do, too. While I was cooking dinner, all the kids and a ton of their friends were outside. I actually could talk to my husband! We were only interrupted about 10 times, instead of 100 times.

For dinner I made delicious stuffed shells with homemade sauce, garlic bread, and a salad. My husband thought it was too fattening. My boys didn't want it, so they made themselves a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. My youngest had a bite, and decided she wanted peanut butter and jelly, too. My husband did eat it, buy my daughter was the only one of my kids to eat it. She made up for the rest of them by eating seconds because it was "SO GOOD!". Aren't they crazy?

The nice weather must have put me in a good mood, because I ran out yesterday to get the next season of Gilmore Girls (season 3) to watch with my daughter. We're so hooked. I feel lucky to have someone to want to watch it with me as much as I do. Watch the prices when you buy TV seasons on DVD. Boy do they vary! I got it for $20 at Best Buy and can probably sell it on EBay used for about the same price. Across the street at Circuit City, they sell it for $60! Sometimes it goes on sale for $15 at Target.

My husband has been researching new computers. My sister Irene is getting a new Dell, so we decided to research what we could get. We were surprised how inexpensive a refurbished Dell is. Just about the same time, our computer seems to be getting worse by the minute. I think it's about to go. For a while now it has been freezing up. We took our computer in to be fixed a few months ago, and the guy told us our motherboard had melted (?) pieces in it and he didn't know how much longer it would last. Now our computer won't even turn on right. Yesterday it took FIVE tries! Hopefully we can get our new one going before this one is completely gone. If I suddenly vanish from bloggyland, you'll know why.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Family Traditions

Most everyone has some kind of family traditions. One of our's is dinner at Baba's (my mom's). We go there almost every Sunday. Tonight was pork chops, mashed potatoes, salad, veggies, and yes, wings on the side made especially by request by my son. For dessert was my other son's favorite, "The Most Dicious (delicious) Cake", chocolate cake with chocolate sour cream frosting. Usually it's the six of us, my cousin, my aunt, and my parents. Sometimes my sister and her five will be in town, too.

Tonight, though, my oldest two weren't there. They were snowboarding probably for the last time this season.
We brought home the leftovers and they SCARFED it ALL UP! After snowboarding all day with nothing to eat, they were starving.

These Sunday dinner's have become pretty regular over the past couple of years. My cousin and aunt really look forward to it. I've gotten to know my cousin a lot better because of them. I'm pretty lucky that my husband likes going there as much as I do. Well, who wouldn't? Lots of good food and cold beer in the fridge waiting for him? I guess this is what my mom meant when she said she didn't want me moving out of town when I grew up. These dinners wouldn't exist if I had. She wanted a family that would always be around, not just for the holidays. Now I'm pushing this idea on my own kids.

Bia said she also has the Sunday dinners at her mom's. I thought about her tonight. My daughter told me we're just like Gilmore Girls who eat dinner at the grandmother's house every Friday night. I hope this tradition will continue, at least at my house someday, with my own kids and grandkids.

The worst part, I ALWAYS overeat! I never can step on the scale the next day. I'm too afraid! Just a small thing to put up with, compared to what we all get out of it. So what are some of your family's traditions?
Oh, and about my son's spelling test on Friday, would you believe he actually got 7/8 correct?