Friday, November 27, 2009

Okkkay... I lied...

Yeah... I lied...
I didn't bake, or shop or cook the past 5 days...
Send me to my room, take away my privileges, don't let me go to the dance...
I lied a big fat whopper of a lie...
We went camping at the beach instead!!!
And oh.... it was GLORIOUS!!!
The weather was PERFECT!
Not a cloud in the sky... clear as crystal, warm 75 degree days and chilly nights...
The boys surfed, road their bikes for miles, built sand castles, played catch...
I read, napped, played baseball, smiled, laughed and relaxed...
I did cook for 3 solid days prior to our trip... so I wouldn't have to cook while there...
but warming up is so much easier than cooking while on vacation!
As always, we encountered some really "interesting" people while there...
and William lost YET ANOTHER CELL PHONE!!!
Somewhere, in the wide pacific ocean, a dolphin is able to call his Mama in Australia... free of charge...courtesy of William's cell.
Ugh... that kid.
I swear I'm gonna buy him a Firefly phone... and call it a day.
I read the new Kate Jacobs novel... "Knit Two" the sequel to "The Friday Night Knitting Club".
It was great... I love the characters... it should be a TV show... or at least a mini series on Lifetime... I'm just about to get started on my John Grisham "The Associate".
Bill read it while we were camping...
This week must have been the week for same sex couples to camp...
we felt like the odd ones out.
I didn't notice a thing until my little one, Johnny, mentioned that we seemed to be the only family with a Dad with us...LOL!
They all had the nicest rigs too... we looked a little like the Beverly Hillbillies in our older model motorhome...
So... we got home today... to an ENTIRE THANKSGIVING meal prepared and ready to go for us!!!
My Mama made us our meal!!! Wasn't that sweet?
We have soooo much leftover Turkey!
I thought we were going to have to spend our day unloading the motorhome and washing clothes and making "whatever is left in the kitchen" as our meal... and to my surprise...
we had Turkey, stuffing, veggies, dessert and cranberry sauce... ALL DONE UPON OUR ARRIVAL!!!
Wow... when they made my Mama, they broke the mold... huh?
Tomorrow, I start my holiday baking...
I'm going to make
Biscotti, pizzelles, petit four, creme puff shells and cannoli filling...
Then, I need to get started on the meal for my Holiday Giveaway show on Tuesday...
Gonna make Lasagna rollups, fresh bread, salad, and dessert from my Mama's bounty...
A weekend spent in my kitchen... to me... that's a slice of heaven...
So... yeah... I lied...
Sue me...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My newest Scrapbook pages!!! Digitally, of course...

Okay, I know there are a lot of pictures... but I am so proud of them... I just had to share them..
This book is my Father In Law's gift for Christmas...
I need to go do my Mom's now... she was in the pictures too... just not this album...
And... as always... all the writing and pictures are copyrighted to me, and me alone...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Writer's Workshop 11-18-09

Writer's Workshop
The prompt... Share a diary entry from when I was 13.
I had to dig out my journals... but I found one...
At 13, I mean really, what could happen that was notable?
Apparently absolutely nothing!
Here goes...
And by the way... I wouldn't trade my no cell phone, non attitude, boring, no Coach handbag wearing teen years for anything in the world.
Most 13 year olds these days are sooo over indulged, they are numb to life and the splendor of just being a young girl, and doing simple things...
January 13, 1981
Dear Diary,
Had dress rehearsal today for our big show. I am so glad I have a solo in one of my dances. I got to have private lessons with Chris, my dance teacher, and he touched my waist about 4 times to catch me. I don't think I blushed.
Before rehearsal, I had school, and homework. Actually, I did my homework at the auditorium, and Mama bought dinner for us.
Mama is busy sewing all the sequins on my costume again. They keep falling off when I shimmy.
My Papa says he doesn't like all the crawling around on the stage. He says it's nasty.
I like it.
I get to wear a ton of makeup, and act like someone else for 4 minutes.
I do get embarrassed when I have to shimmy or shake my butt when my Dad is in the audience.
I just know he's going to say something when we get home.
I hope some of my family and friends can make it to the show. I like when they can see what I do after school everyday. Then they don't bother me about not being able to go out with them, and they don't think I am being snobby.
I really don't want to go out with them anyway. I'd rather go to dance class. It's way more fun.
Well, I have to go clean my braces now.
Until next time,

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Picture day!

I love taking pictures... especially when the people below are my subjects...
We did another one of our annual photo shoots at my favorite park, on Sunday, and this year we threw in a couple grandparents into the mix...
Below are some of my favorites...
More to come once I edit them..
my beautiful Mama and my boys...
I need to find out how to take the time date stamp off my dumb camera...
My Monkeys...
Just Johnny...
The hands of the future...
My gorgeous Mama...
Bill and me...
My hunky manchild... William
My three Monsters...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Football's over...:(

On the night I was to make the pre game meal, I decided, while I was making all the bread for garlic bread, I may as well, make the name of the opposing team. I read them a little speech and told them to take a piece of Aquinas, and rip it, tear it, chew it and spit it out, sit on it, whatever it took to get them in the mindset of winning! The LOVED it!
My first born...William...
It frequently took two people at a time to stop him... He never went down...
Pride Drill... our favorite part...
We won this game, but this was during the game, when we were down a couple of touchdowns...
and he started getting more and more ready to break someone's bones...
Well... football season is officially over.
I love school sports.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Writers Workshop 11-11-09

The Prompt from the Masterful MamaKat is...
Tell of a time you were glad you were you, and not someone else in the room.
THIS is so timely for this week!
This is sort of like the post I did the other day about "Do you know someone like this?"
but today I'm going to give specific incidences that made me so ultimately happy NOT to be anywhere near this person, or much less, BE this person.
She always has a look on her face like she just smelled something awful.
When she attends meetings of any kind, she feels the need to state her opinion, put down another member, or speak ill of other people's children.
She is uber competitive... no matter what... hair, sports, being first in line, getting her way.
If, God forbid, IF her children don't make an All-star team of any kind... she belly aches and stomps her feet and requests meetings with board members to rectify the situation.
When confronted, she pulls the doe-eyed, "Huh? Not me?" look that is particularly out of place on her pinched face.
She is ALWAYS looking for an angle to "Beat the system".
She is the first to criticize some else's job, but is totally blind to the fact that she never shows up for hers.
She would throw her own Mother under a bus, just so she doesn't get caught "Not following the rules".
Do I know someone like this?
And you know what?
Every single time I leave her presence, I feel great about who I am.
I feel so relieved I don't have to live in her skin.
Am I perfect?
Heck no.
I know I can be crass at times, and I interrupt people,
and I am always trying to fix that about me.
I don't pretend that my life is some perfect Wally and June Cleaver rerun.
I care about people outside my family, and try to have an attitude of servitude.
This lady is just the opposite of everything I stand for.
Many, many, many people in our community have written letters and have stated that they won't be a part of something because of this person...
I never understood it until this past two years.
I totally get it now.
And all I feel is sorry for her now.
Life is gonna be very, very lonely for her one day, if she doesn't change the way she is.
One's whole life can't be wrapped up in winning everything.
Learning how to lose is just as important... and I fear that her losing days are ahead of her...
and unfortunately, it won't be about sports...
She needs lots of prayers...
I will pray from afar, and have no further contact with her if I can possibly do it.
Sometimes ya just gotta clean out the garbage... ya know?

Monday, November 9, 2009

My plans for the Holidays.

Time for something positive!
Too much heavy stuff lately!
I get to start shopping for the Holidays soon.
I just need to rustle up a little more moola so I can get my hubby what he wants.
That's the only reason I'm a work at home Mama, so I can buy my kids and hubby nice things
from 'ME', with money I earned.
I love, love, love that my kids don't give me huge, laundry lists of items they want/need/require.
They are very aware of the private schools they attend, the places they get to travel to, and the fact that both their Daddy and I feel I need to still be home with them, therefore, the money tree isn't as abundantly fruitful for "things" in our house as it is in other households.
My favorite part of the Holidays, is the prank Bill and I play on the boys.
It is truly a laugh fest the entire time we plan it out.
We always go out to dinner, just the two of us. I bring paper, pen, and lists.
Bill draws out schematics.
This year, since we will actually be spending Christmas at home, actually on Christmas Day...
I get to be even more elaborate, and sneaky, and rotten.
All for my giggly pleasure, of course.
My poor boys.
They know we do this every year... and they fall for it every year too... {{or they may just be really sweet, and let me think they are falling for it}}
We do change it up every year though.
Last years prank, complete with pictures, was featured on Scrapblogs Friday Five a few months ago... it was sooo much fun!
Last year, we did this and it was a riot! A vertiable riot... for me anyway! LOL!
This year, I'm thinking of doing something along the lines of Chanukah, but of course, with a twist.
For instance, if Johnny wants a new DS, I may, on December 12, have him unwrap a pair of something that starts with "D", and then "S" the next day, then the next day, he may unwrap something that plugs in, or charges.
If William wants an Itunes Card good for $100 worth of songs, he may get 100 pennies on Day 1, and then a really awful CD the next, and I may have him listen to some music on the third, and so on, until the crescendo of their actual gifts day is upon us.
A lot of work?
A lot of head scratching?
You bet!
Making my kids squirm and think, and guess and feel the anticipation of what is to come?
Hell yeah!
These days... nothing is a surprise.
We know what a babies sex is before we are even pregnant!
Every kid makes the team, no one gets to make mistakes and realize life isn't always gonna go their way...
People are videotaping everything and posting it on You Tube, leaving nothing to the imagination...
By Gosh... I'm gonna have a little fun with my kids, and play pranks on them!
Truth be told... I hope they follow suit and start pranking me too!
Another idea I had, is to get my neighbors involved in my kids gifts.
We have a great bunch of people on our street, and most of them have kids or grandkids living with them. Sooo... I was thinking, I make a bunch of edible goodies, wrap them up, and have the boys go door to door to deliver them. What the boys won't know... is that the neighbor will, in turn, be giving the boys a wrapped gift to take home for "us". What they won't know... is that those gifts are really the gifts we got them.
Of course, I haven't worked out all the kinks... or even asked my neighbors who will be home or not, or even if they are willing to participate, but if they are willing to do so, it could be really, really fun! Not to mention, a great way to brush up on door to door skills, and pleasantries 101.
My mother hates that I do this stuff.
She thinks the Holidays should be just like everyone elses, wake up, scream, unwrap, and eat.
What she doesn't realize is that my boys LOVE to do things this way.
The kids have to have the right temperament for it.
They can't be spoiled, gimme gimme type kids.
I just don't know how I'm going to sway the fact that there won't be any gifts waiting for them when they wake up early in the morning.
I have to think that one through... any suggestions?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Do you know someone like this?

Do you know this person?
I believe everyone knows at least one person like the one I am going to describe.
You know him/her. We all do.
Whenever you see him/her he/she has a snarl on his/her face.
Whenever anyone asks him/her a question, he/she instantly looks for the "angle" and gives a snotty retort.
He/She keeps his/her eyes peeled for anything someone else is doing wrong, and will hurriedly and
repeatedly quote a rule from a book, so he/she looks good and angelic. After all, he/she can't be caught doing something wrong, he/she won't be able to get what he/she wants! And... what he/she wants is more important than anything else in the world... as long as it benefits him/her.
You know him/her.
We all do.
You can ask him/her a question, or catch them in a lie or you heard something they said, and they immediately start honing in some other fact, and never really 'hearing' you when you repeatedly tell him/her you could care less about how, and care about a personal issue.
It is so disheartening when he/she doesn't hear the humanity of your plea, and only hears how she might get into trouble if he/she talks to you.
People like that are so short sighted. They only see what they want, and could care less about helping someone else out.
People like that never apologize or give in, unless it benefits them.
People like that are blinded by winning, and never get caught up in denial and or acceptance, they only see "what in it for me and my family, screw everyone else"
People like that are over competitive.
People like that are living vicarously through their children, because they did nothing with their own lives of any merit and need to look good in the eyes of others.
People like that are constantly being bombarded with people trying to bring them down.
People like that are always belly aching about how they are always being dealt with injustice.
People like that make long drawn out speeches about how life isn't fair.
People like that have numerous people quit things because of them.
People like that hide behind the power of someone else.
People like that will turn a blind eye to someones horrible, mixed up ways, as long as it benefits him/her. The second the usefulness of that person is done, you are toast, and discarded.
It is so nice not being one of those types of people.
I feel really, really sad for people like that.
It must be really hard to be a person like that.
I don't choose people like that as my friends.
Or even as my aquaintences.
Do you know anyone like that?
I did.
I'm done.
I feel a weight has been lifted from my back and my heart.
He/she may have won the battle, but in life... we will win the war...
The proof is in what you put out into the world.
If you put honesty and truth and honor into the world, you get it back.
Winning at all costs is no way to live.
But... I'm already a winner.
I'm not that person I just described, and that makes me exceedingly happy.

Friday, November 6, 2009

About last week...11-6-09

It has been a very interesting week.
Can someone say emotional rollercoaster?
There were two significant deaths in the last week.
One, a lovely husband of our beloved Asst. Athletic Director at our small Prep High School my boys attend. He just died instantly last Saturday in his brother in law's front yard, just around the corner from my home.
It was sudden, and heart breaking, and Mama and I had the privilege of catering for his memorial on Sunday. The wife knows he is in heaven, awaiting her arrival until her work here on earth is done. He was only 60, and he left behind an adoring wife, and two lovely children, 21 and 16.
A few days later, one of my Mama's best friends passed away after a fierce fight with cancer.
She was only 66.
She and my Mama did hair together at my Mama's beauty shop for about 25 years.
She helped me so much with my wedding, making sure everything was just so... and welcomed my babies with such loving open arms with each birth.
I will always remember Marla with such love and tenderness...
She was simply a lovely, kind, extremely talented woman, and she will be sorely missed.
Just before that, the man a couple doors down passed away from lung cancer... I mentioned it before. All in one week... three deaths.
Then this week, there was the dreaded Parent/Teacher conferences.
I don't dread them really, but come on... you only want to hear good things, and sometimes, at least with my men, I don't always hear all good things...
We are human, we are not perfect in this household, nor do I pretend to be.
Johnny got all A's, but has to learn not to correct the teacher's spelling or diction all the time.
Yes, some teachers make mistakes too... just because they are teachers doesn't mean they are perfect either.
To be clear, he and his teacher had a little tete' a tete' about the word "Hallelujah".
It can be and is spelled a lot of different ways, and I'm not altogether sure I just spelled it correctly.
But, Johnny got indignant about it, folded his arms and challenged her to "Look it up, then" when he WALKED UP TO THE CHALKBOARD TO ERASE AND FIX her apparent mistake.
She was laughing about it as she re told the story to me... Me? I wasn't laughing.
I was mortified.
I didn't start laughing about it until today.
The conference was Monday.
It took me a while.
She really wanted me to laugh with her. She kept telling me how brilliant he is, and how she doesn't want to break that spirit he has, but if I could just help him to tone down his deep need
to correct everything.
She was really, really sweet about it.
She gushed about him.
I kept picturing him in deep do do when he got home.
He was gonna get the lecture of his life, and a restriction to match it.
I did not raise my men to be rude and disrespectful, and just because they may be smart and talented, does NOT mean they get to correct their superiors errors... at least not in front of others!
So, other than that, she tells me he is a delight, and she wants to have him test to jump to 6th or 7th grade... she feels there isn't much more she can teach him without stifling his love of learning.
The only thing holding us back... is his size.
He's not small for his age, but compared to 11 or 12 year old, prepubescent, voice changing, girl noticing counterparts... he is.
Sooo, I may have to homeschool him and have him go at his own pace. Public school is absolutely out of the question. He wants to be home schooled soo badly!
Me? Not so much.
I enjoy my days, sans children, at home. But... whatever he requires... I shall do.
So... we'll wait until after Christmas... see what happens... and maybe have him take some online courses concurrently.
There are so many options these days!
I love that education is so much more open and freely used these days. Not all kids fit the mold of traditional school... ya know?
I got a cold on Wednesday, and am almost over it already today, Friday,thanks to Zicam.
Have you tried it?
No, they don't pay me to talk about it, but if they ever wanted to throw some free spray my way, I'd gladly take it.
It truly does what it says it will do... shorten the length and severity of any cold.
We take it religiously as soon as symptoms start... and a couple days later... we are cured!
Really, really awesome stuff.
That... and Mucinex DM.
So, I'm on my road to recovery already... ready for my weekend.
So... that's been my week... I forgot to do my writers workshop for the first time in over a year...
but I was at my sons football games...
I love school sports programs.
They are so much fun!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Small Kindnesses warm my cold, cold, heart...

Johnny forgot to take his lunch today, and told me so while we were in Redlands, dropping his brothers off at their high school.
I NEVER have cash on me, and we were running late. I rummaged around my purse for
any semblance of money, to find none.
Alex, my 13 year old, asks for a bag or piece of paper towel... something, so he can divide his lunch in half for his little brother.
Yes, I started crying.
I'm still 14.
He gets a new car...

Monday, November 2, 2009

Neighbor Nuisances... revisited.

I am so tired.
So very tired.
My lovely backyard neighbors thought it would be a great idea to GO SWIMMING at midnight, and drink, and smoke, and whoop it up, because his brother and Mom are in town from Boston, and apparently, to Bostonians, 60 degrees is WARM weather to swim in.
I have soooo had it with them.
Bill poked his head over the fence and asked them to turn the music, talking, and lights down... to no avail.
Looks like I'll be calling the cops again more often.
Our backyards are very close together.
We live on a 16,000 square foot, shaped piece of land, where our back middle portion is shallow, while our flanks are deep and wide.
When they break wind, I can hear it.
When they smoke pot, I can smell it...
When they drink, I can hear them guzzle it.
I. Am. So. Done.
I'm thinking of letting my sons have a raging party during the week soon, and inform all my neighbors and the cops, except my backyard neighbors, and see how they like it.
They just had a baby girl 4 weeks ago too, and they just sit outside and party, and listen to loud music without any regard for their two children. I wonder how they would feel if their sweet baby was awakened a few days in a row during her naps or just as she was going to sleep.
Bet they wouldn't appreciate it one little bit.
I really would HATE to do that to a sweet little baby angel... but when Mama doesn't get any sleep, no one else does either...
They rent a room from the owner of the house, who lives there too, but works nights.
I want to buy that house sooooo badly.
I would sell my cars, my motorhome, my jewelry, to buy it out from underneath him, and have a some semblance of peace and quiet.
I would rent it out to only old people over the age of 80, who are deaf as doorknobs.
I can be a really great neighbor.
I would watch your house for you...
Make sure you felt safe...
Keep an eye out for intruders if you were gone...
inform you when your garage door is open...
bring food over...
let you borrow anything you want...
Watch your kids...
Give you fruit from our trees... etc...
But if you make me not get sleep, or are disrepectful of my feelings, and disregard our pleasantness in asking you to please turn the music down and keep it down...
I will resort to drastic measures...
This is my home...
my sanctuary...
If you disturb my peace... your peace will surely be more disturbed... by a knock on the door by a uniformed officer.
I will take notes...
I will make sure you go down...
I will spare no cost...
I will win...
End of story.
See... I'm so tired... I'm cranky and persnickety.
To my backyard idiots...