Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Just for today...

Thinking I might try a weekly challenge for a bit after 2 months of daily challenges.
Today, I'm trying something from The Simple Woman's Day Book
FOR TODAY ...Wednesday, December 30...
Outside my window... I see the trash cans all lined up
I am thinking...the first trash pick up day after Christmas has got to be the garbage man's least favorite day.
I am thankful for...the warmth of my home
I am new super soft jammies (100x softer than any snuggie)
I am creating...a home that is a soft place to land for all my fellas
I am attempt to pack for our trip to AZ
I am reading...facebook (fear not, I have a real book to take with me on vacation, The Friday Night Knitting Club)
I am accomplish a lot today
I am hearing...the cheerful morning chatter of my youngest son who is eager to spend some of his Christmas cash at the Lego Store today (thanks Mary Beth for including my kids on this shopping adventure)
Around the the proof that everyone has been home lately (a tad too rumpled for my tastes)
One of my favorite things...the quiet of the early morning, when everyone is still asleep and I am sipping from that first cup of coffee
A few plans for the rest of the week: Sun City, Baby! Don't ya wish you were us? Bringing in the New Year in the retirement center!

And without a photo or two...a blog is pretty boring...

Sumo Santa?
nah, just Thing Two...

Friday, December 25, 2009

The things he says

Thing One...continues to amuse us with his take on life...

A few nights ago, I sent him upstairs to get ready for bed. He went upstairs as he was told, but missed the part about getting ready for bed. When confronted about this, he replies loudly "I'm a MAN, and don't you know that MEN DON"T LISTEN"!

Then there is the whole "Santa situation"
He recently admitted that many of the kids at school have told him that "Santa is just your dad". But in typical Thing One fashion he shrugged it off and said "Have you seen MY dad? He's like Chinese and could that be Santa?"

yep, we'll always have Thing One..

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Season of Joy: 22

Catching up with neighborhood friends today...while the kids splashed and played in the indoor pool, us Moms chatted. Brought back warm memories of our summer days spent at the neighborhood pool. watching my kids play with their friends and seeing how blessed we are to have so many wonderful people living in our neighborhood!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Season of Joy: 21

That crazy kid we call Thing Two.
Determined if he has enough pillows stuffed into the santa suit, he can pull off looking like Santa.
His theory was wrong...he looked like a little sumo santa...and he kept toppling over.

Dang...where is the video camera when you need it?
(reg. photos to follow later...too lazy to go download them from the camera)

Oh, and this year's batch of fudge? Turned out p.e.r.f.e.c.t.
Which is good because I've not had the desire to do much holiday baking...the few things I make need to turn out right because I'm not that interested in making anything other than the tried and true standards.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Season of Joy: 20

While cleaning out the mess in Thing One's back pack (he's 12, 'nuf said)...I found this letter to Santa

Santa,You make kids everywhere happy at Christmas. Please make me happy by getting Mom and Dad some money. Dad lost his job and Mom failed her big final exam. That's all I want...for them to be happy.
Love, Patrick

Oh about heart breaking.

Yes, Hubby was laid off on Monday (12.14). It's OK, a contractor, we'd known this day was coming for a year or more. We've saved, planned, and financially, are as prepared as you can possibly be.

And really, getting laid off from this job will indeed be a blessing in the end: He really didn't care for the work (boring) nor did he find the environment very inspiring (Week 1: Team meeting was to discuss dress code, and the manager inspected all their shoes. HELLO; these are engineers with zero customer contact, you hire the guys for their attention to detail, not their footwear. Each week was some new story with a similar theme...not a happy place to send your spouse each day).

And me and my school concerns, will work themselves out....I know that...

But this note? It breaks my heart AND fills me with joy.

He's my quirky kid: the one who we were told when he was three that he has autism and will always have problems connecting with others.

Really? Because these days, he is so empathetic and concerned about set aside his own wishes for Christmas and instead wish for something bigger for someone else?

That is HUGE...

And to read a letter written to Santa...the man who fills wishes...he's twelve...I thought he "knew".

Yet, here is proof that he still believes...and that is indeed so very magical

May you all find magic and joy in the eyes of your family. I know I already have...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Season of Joy: 19

Oh my...this is getting hard to keep up with.
No, not finding the joy...just remembering to check in on the blog.

Today's joy: came with a visit from one of my oldest/dearest/friends...Auntie Terri.
what a treat it is to spend the afternoon sipping tea and need to get the house "company ready" Terri really is family. She's seen me at my best, my worst and everywhere in between.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Season of Joy: 18

Two words: Chex Mix

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Season of Joy: 17

Oh my...was headed up to bed and realized..."the blog challenge".

Joy...nobody had homework tonight and hopefully, nobody will have homework during the Winter Break and track off that starts tomorrow. having 2 weeks of relaxed routine here around the house.

Triple joy would be had if they start to sleep in just a tad during the break...hey, a girl can always dream, right?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Season of Joy: 16 very tired...

But I think for the first night in a long time, I shall sleep like a baby.

Today, I found joy in the concept of teamwork. Two projects came together with a perfect outcome. One involved some "elf work". (and OMG, if you met this sweet 5 yr old, you'd be beaming with joy knowing her Christmas morning is going to be so magical).

The other involved working together with my fellow RN-classmates.
At times I've questioned: do I really want to join the rat-race of nursing? Backstabbing and upstaging is very prevalent.
But not with these 11 classmates: everyone chimed in willing to help, voicing their opinions and creating a united front.

What amazing things can happen when we all work together....this is joy in action!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Season of Joy: 15

December 15th and I was able to run errands without a coat. Just a sweater and a t-shirt.

The joy of feeling the warmth of that sun....warming me up, melting away my worries.

Yep, the little red-haired orphan had it right...the sun will come tomorrow and long as there is can get through the troubles of today.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to my friends and family who checked in on me, listened to me whine and cry, and cry and whine. I know that indeed life isn't about what things we have, but rather the people we share our lives with! This truth? Fills my heart with joy!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Season of Joy: 14

Today? Not much joy to be found...(though I did have lunch with my pal Fran...that was good!)

So, instead, I shall share a joyful moment from last week.

Hubby and I took the "cheap date night" route....and as we sat on the couch side by side, munching popcorn and trying to keep track of who was scamming who (Duplicity: if you've seen it, you know what I"m talking about)......I realized how very lucky I am to call Dom "Hubby".

He fills my life with joy...and I know as long as we are together, we can weather whatever storm passes our way!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Season of Joy: 13

Today....not one but two fabulous parties here in the neighborhood.
A chance to visit with friends that I don't see nearly as often as I'd like.

Joy...was it the spicy buffalo dip that I had at Party A or the yummy cranberry treat I had at Party B.

Tis the season to enjoy countless tasty More like YUMMY-JOY!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Season of Joy: 12

sorry, no 12 on the 12th. I accidentally left the camera hooked up to the computer and drained the battery. D'oh...

Today, I've finally gotten started on my favorite tradition of the season.
Christmas cards.

I me a freak...but it is the one task I enjoy doing each year. And it was bumming me out that I hadn't gotten even a slight start on this project. I can scale back on the decorating, ease up on the baking and the shopping, but I just can't pass on sending out greetings to all my family and friends.

So today's joy came from getting this process well underway! Yeah me!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Season of Joy: 11

How do you know that perhaps this year's neighborhood Santa was a bit on the young side?

When he arrives at your house to board his sleigh (aka, Natasha) and he spots the t.v. on in our family room
"Cool! I love this show!" he proudly announced.
What show were the Things watching that caught Santa's eye you ask?
Why of course...Phineas and Ferb! comes from laughing as you watch Santa mesmerized by the antics of Phineas and Ferb. It comes from laughing with friends who call to check in on you and make sure you are bouncing back from your bad day.
Laughter...tis all good as long as you can still find something to laugh about!
Go...find the laughter of the Season!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Season of Joy: 10

The neighborhood Christmas party: a HUGE many families came to visit and catch a glimpse of Santa.

It helped make a pretty lousy day end on a happier note.

Joy comes in knowing that tomorrow is a new day, a fresh start and that the disappointments of today will be less raw tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Season of Joy: 9

The gift of friendship.... it fills my life all year long with joy.
But during Christmas season? It takes on magical proportions!

Today, a friend of mine offered to help make the magic of Christmas come alive for the daughter of a classmate of mine.

These two women have never met (though I plan to change that as soon as possible). That didn't matter. What mattered is one friend had a request that another friend could help out with.

Thank you, Dodi! Today? You were not only the source of my joy but the source of joy for a complete stranger as well.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Season of Joy: 8

Yesterday, the computer was making noises. By evening, it had progressed to the sounds of a cat stuck inside the hard drive. Since we have no cat, the conclusion was reached that the hard drive had died. Supporting evidence was found by Hubby, the network guru.

Today I bought the replacement drive...a bit sad that some data/photos were lost. Hubby is faithful about our monthly back ups so it wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been.

So, where is the joy in all this you ask?

When he came up proudly announcing..."It wasn't the D: drive....and your stuff is all stored on the D: drive. You are back in business".

Have I mentioned lately how much my Hubby fills our lives with joy? He is the m.a.n.!
Thanks, Honey!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Season of Joy: 7

Trust me, spending the day with "Lewis" is not where I'll find my joy...
Good thing I took time this weekend to fix the ultimate in Holiday snacks...
Homemade Caramel corn...just like Mom used to make!
I'd offer to share...but you better get here's going fast!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Season of Joy: 6

Is there anything better than a snowy Sunday?
Oh yeah...a snowy Sunday in December.

It really is beginning to look and feel a lot like Christmas!
Seeing silly smiles like this? You can't help but feel the joy!!!!
(well, once you thaw out from the cold...)

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Season of Joy: 5

Class is winding down. Final exam is this coming Thursday.
Last night while surfing, I spotted a possible job that sounds like a good "fit" for me.
So today, I applied for my first nursing job in...almost 13 years?

While anxiety seems to be the prevailing emotion these days, there is a growing sense of joy in the knowledge that I know this is the right path to pursue for me and my family.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Season of Joy: 4

The Things each have a tree in their rooms. Small, pre-lit, but it's fun to see which ornaments they pick to display in their room.

Thing Two? First one he grabbed is my University of Wyoming ornament...and he proudly announces "I'm gonna go there, too!" (alumni pride and affordable? win-win)

Thing One...searches and searches. "Where's Yoda?". Um, not sure...if it's not in the ornament box, well...who knows where it might be. He promises to find something else as his first choice.
(my how far he's come...back in the day? he'd have obsessed over it for days, maybe weeks).

And then this afternoon...what do I find in another Christmas box? Yoda!
You should have seen the smile on his face.

Joy indeed....from watching your child follow in your footsteps (or at least promise to at the tender age of 10) to watching your other child learn to be a bit more flexible.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Season of Joy: 3

It's bitter cold here today and I would have preferred to have stayed home.
But, a few errands needed to be done. Off I went...bundled up as if it were...December (D' is....I forget after the recent mild weather we've enjoyed).

First stop: Rumbi Island Grill to get gift cards for the teacher gifts. The young fella, while ringing up my purchase for gift cards, gave me coupons for $5 off my next entree! Yes, folks, that is coupons. in the plural form. $25 worth of free food at Rumbi. Who wants to join me there for lunch? I might even share one of my coupons.

Next stop was the dreaded Wally World....I was waiting patiently behind a woman with a very large order. That wasn't so was watching the very new clerk ring up the order in record slow pace. Oh well, I thought to myself, it is a good time to check up on the trashy tabloids while I wait (did you hear about Tiger? Yeah...who would have guessed it...a celebrity athlete cheats on his spouse? Whodathunkit? Puhlease...just leave these people alone to figure out their messes without the world watching)

When out of nowhere appears a cashier and she says "I can help you over on lane 12!".

She laughed as I said "you made my day!"...which isn't really true....the dude at Rumbi that gave me all those coupons made my day...she? Was just the cherry on top!

Joy can be found in that simple act of friendly service!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Season of Joy: 2

Thing Two: "Mom, you're the B.E.S.T.!"

what had I done to receive such praise?
I met him at school with sled and all the necessary gear to take a quick detour to the sledding hill before heading home and starting boring old homework.

His appreciation of this simple act...made my day!


Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Season of Joy: 1

The fact that the Things are actually old enough to "help" with the seasonal decorating gives me great joy.

Especially as I struggled to assemble the blasted Playmobil Advent thing-a-ma-jig.

Season of Joy: 1

Time for another personal challenge.

To find joy in the journey towards Christmas.

Little things, big things, favorite things....whatever comes to mind when it comes to Holiday Joy.

won't you join me in this challenge?

Each day, blog about something that gives you joy...I'm eager to see if I can turn my Bah Humbug mood around...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving 26

Thanksgiving: the day we set aside to give thanks.....for the bountiful harvest that we have been blessed with. A healthy family, a warm place to call home, and meal lovingly prepared by someone else (Thanks Ms. Judy!).
Happy Thanksgiving to all!!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving 25

For years, I've wondered, what is it about pumpkin pie that I just don't like? I mean, I love the smell of a pumpkin-scented candle. I enjoy a tasty slice of pumpkin bread (thanks MBK, your bread was delicious). But, I just can't embrace the idea of pumpkin pie.
Why is that?

Well, today, thanks to my good friend Fran, I have the answer....

Thanks for the laugh Fran!
We met some 10 years ago at a scrapbooking evening (called a crop for those who don't participate in this obsession). Jokingly, I lamented that I didn't have a friend (as my friend that was supposed to join me had to cancel). Fran jumped right in and replied "I'll be your friend!"

And she was right: she has indeed been my friend through thick and through thin.
And while we don't get to spend nearly enough time together, I know that she'll always be there....with a funny email or an offer to meet at Archiver's for the afternoon. Ready for anything that life tosses her way: that's Fran!
This year, life tossed Fran a couple sharp curve balls. Yet, true to Fran's nature, she faced these losses head on and her strength and determination reminds me that life is indeed what we make it! Thank you Fran, for the laugh and the friendship!
Now, when can you get a kitchen pass so we can go to Archiver's?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving 24

Oh my, am I thankful for this short school week. While I got the Things out the door this morning without yelling, it was close there at the end. Not to mention the supervising of homework and studies. Just don't have it in me this week.

Now if only I had a short week on the mom-student front.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving 23

Oh come on, admit it...somewhere tucked away in all your stuff is a
Glamour Shot picture from the early '90s.
You know you've got one...why not share it?

This morning....I'm thankful that I can look back at my younger self and laugh...
And perhaps I have given you a reason to laugh as well this morning..

Yep, I'm thankful for my ability to make others laugh...even when it occurs at my expense...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thanksgiving 22

Margaret Mead is quoted as saying that sisters probably share the most competitive relationship within the family, but once sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship.

And while I have no brothers to compare the truth of this statement against, I can certainly identify with the observations she has made.

For growing up, there was indeed a "healthy" amount of competition between us. Plenty of arguments and fighting. But as adults, Laura and I enjoy a relationship that is stronger than any other adult relationship I have (short of good old Hubby: he's in it the long haul as well).

I am so very thankful to have Laura in my life: we share so many past experiences, times spent in celebration and times spent in sorrow. And what a blessing it is to have this one person in my life who knew me when...and continues to be there for me!

So watch out you Old Farts in Sun City, "the girls" are coming to town for the New Year...and a good time will be had by all I"m sure!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thanksgiving 21

Still rather amazed that last night's "sleep over" actually involved the boys getting some sleep.

And while I"m always thankful for a good night's sleep, I'm equally thankful for boys that listened to me, respected my request of "lights out 10 p.m." and they actually went to sleep.

As a result, "the day after" hasn't been nearly as rough as on past sleep over attempts.
We've been happy and productive!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thanksgiving 20

I have this friend....hopefully you have one just like her...

She's the quiet one (or at least plays that role perfectly? Her family might tell us otherwise).

Rarely does she take center stage in a group conversation (we put her in the center stage, especially after she's been home to NY to visit her parents and their neighbor, Thom Filicia.)

She listens. No, I mean, she really listens. No matter what we're whining about, she's patiently listening. And then ever so softly, she will offer up a perspective that no one else has really thought about. This quiet wisdom has saved the day on problems from getting Things to take better care of their teeth to saving face with a parent-teacher conflict.

Everyone needs a Jacqui in their life and I'm so thankful to call her my friend!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thanksgiving 19

Gotta love a dad that offers to drop his son off at school on his way to work.

Whether it's a hubby driving son to school...
Or oldest Thing helping younger Thing with his math homework
(hello: can you say Partial Products and Lattice Method Mayhem? Round 2 of 4th grade Every Day Math is here)
It makes me happy to see us all working together to get the job done...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thanksgiving 18

Radio Shack: you saved the day...

If only the rest of life's problems were as easy to fix as a quick trip into Radio Shack.
But, it is also a reminder to be to be thankful for those times when there is a quick and easy solution to a problem.

Today, I am trying not to focus on all the bigger problems and worries that are being tossed our way. Instead, I am going to be thankful that yes, we now have a power cord to run the much loved portable dvd player. And you know what, with the right attitude, I'm guessing that tomorrow even those bigger worries won't seem so huge either...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thanksgiving 17

Sunrise at Ft. Logan National Cemetery 11.11.09

What a beautiful sight...most mornings here in CO, the sun rises and shines brightly.

Even on the coldest winter-like days, that sun is working her magic: melting snow, warming our homes and lifting our spirits.

And since today I have a "hot date" with my nursing textbooks, I'm thankful for that sun that is flooding through my basement window. It is making the task of "refreshing my nursing knowledge" seem a little less dreary!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thanksgiving 16

"Mom, if you think math is funny, then you need a doctor, because there
is nothing funny about this stuff!"
states Thing One

Yep, I sure am thankful that child makes me laugh...because if he didn't there is no way we could survive the homework of a 6th grader.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Thanksgiving 15

Today, I'm thankful that I've got nowhere to go
And I have all day to get there...

oh, and bonus thankful thought...glad grilling wasn't part of today's plan!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Thanksgiving 14

For the past 4 years that I've blogged, it's pretty obvious that I like my kids a lot. And in many ways, this blog serves as an on-going celebration of that joy they bring to my life: be it through laughter, tears or somewhere in between.

But this morning, as I'm sitting here in the silence of the morning (for some bizarre reason they are sleeping in. That like NEVER happens on a weekend), I'm reflecting on Thing Two and how his arrival some 10 yrs ago, completed our family in ways I never would have imagined.

When Thing One was about 18 months old, he stopped developing. Oh sure, he physically grew but that was about it. Hubby and I noticed but didn't really do much. I consulted with a co-worker at the time, and it was sort of the consensus "eh, all kids develop at their own rate, maybe with the pregnancy and everything..." No need to worry, let's wait and see what happens.

Shortly after Thing One turned 2, we had our first visit with a specialist and we learned that his development had apparently stalled out long before we'd even started to notice. He was 24 months old yet only 9 months old "developmentally".

And as hard as this was to process, we didn't have much time to dwell on what all this meant as I was about to deliver Thing Two.

Thing Two...the tag along brother. The one who sat quietly in the carrier while his older brother had this therapy or that consult. The one whose nap schedule got interrupted routinely as it was time to go pick up brother from pre-school and shuttle him over to afternoon special ed preschool. Occasionally, he would cry, wanting to go with brother to play with all those cool therapy toys. But more times than not, he was just along for the ride.

And that's when I really started to notice: he never expressed jealousy, and to this day, rarely does. He is his brother's biggest cheerleader and greatest peer-role model. We never put him in this position. He took it on himself.

I am not an overly religious person, but I am a woman of faith. I know without a doubt, that when Thing Two joined this family, it was no accident. From the timing of his birth (because trust me, we weren't thinking he'd be conceived as quickly as he was) to the ways of his personality (which aren't perfect. I'm convinced he's going to go into Law: where he will get paid to over-think, and argue/debate every little angle he can think of).

He is indeed "the perfect fit" and completes this family....and that makes me one very proud and thankful Mom!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thanksgiving 13

Friday the 13th and headed out to Moms Night Out!
No bad luck has come my way yet....that's worth a shout of thanks, don't ya think?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thanksgiving 12

Thankful for this handsome man being my husband for 14 years...
He's a keeper, I tell you...and he's m.i.n.e.!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thanksgiving 11

Today is the day we honor our veterans...
Hey? That would be me, right?
Better pour yourself something to drink...this is gonna be a wordy one....

December 1983, my dorm room phone rang. It was my mom, saying she and Dad were heading to WI because she needed "surgery". But, no need to worry, she'd be fine. She encouraged me to do well on my first semester exams and she's be home by the time I came home for Winter Break.

By the time all was said and done, yes, she needed surgery, but there was a real reason to worry. She had breast cancer and it was rather extensive. The prognosis was questionable. It was a time of great uncertainty: health and financial worries were unspoken truths that our entire family experienced to some degree.

So, when the junk mail arrived after winter break and there was a letter from the UW Army-ROTC department telling about the nursing school scholarships available , the light bulb in my brain went off....and by later that year, I was raising my hand, taking the first oath of office, joining ROTC.

Yes, it started out as a purely financial decision.
There was really nothing very patriotic about my choosing to serve our nation.

It was practical solution to a attribute I've always been proud of possessing.
But by the time I hung up my uniform for good (Summer 1994), I had gained so much more than "paying for college". I worked with some extremely dedicated health care professionals. We took care of our military community when they were sick, dying or injured. The friends I made in the service are those that you consider your "forever" friends. Oh the stories they can tell (but thankfully, don't!). The leadership experience I was given surpassed anything I would have gained through working in some random hospital, doing random nursing jobs. The training I received was unsurpassed in quality and expertise. It would forever change the course of my career.

I owe so much of who I am today to what I gained while serving in the military!
Today, I"m thankful that I am a veteran!

It was indeed an honor to serve....

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thanksgiving 10

This morning, I'm trying a different tactic to starting out the day. It involves getting up earlier, having a plan, and being prepared. The Marines would be proud of me...though they are busy celebrating their 234th birthday today!

As for me, I'm thankful for the countless brave men and women who join the Marines. You really do have one of the tougher jobs in our nation's military!

And while I've got no cake to share with them, I will raise my fork as I dive into my breakfast...

Happy Birthday, Marines!

and Thank-you Laura for the yummy apples that I used to make this home-made pie. I fear this was the last of the apples that came fresh from the orchards of MI!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Thanksgiving 9

The morning started a bit rougher than usual (even allowing for the Monday factor).
By the time I sent the older Thing off to school, I knew the day was going to be a total loss if I didn't do something to turn the mood around.

Need I say more?
Yep, 'tis the season for the Red Cup Holiday specials and for that I (and actually my family since they bear the brunt of my cranky mood) am very thankful for that Peppermint Mocha that hit the spot and did indeed turn my mood around!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Thanksgiving 8

Looking through some old photos, I found this cute one of the Things....back on our first trip to Seussland. What a fun adventure that was...

Six years ago...we made a trip to FL. We took in some Homecoming events for Hubby and we took a trip to Universal Studios (not part of the original plan but the weather in Ft. Lauderdale was not cooperating with my idea of a "beach only" vacation).

But for me, one of the highlights was visiting Hubby's uncle and family.
See, it's different: I grew up spending holidays with my extended family. I know all my cousins and can remember most of their children's names....

Hubby? Not so his extended relatives all arrived in the US at different times and settled in different locations.
So, at 40 something, Hubby was still meeting cousins and aunts he never knew he had.
I've been thinking a lot of Uncle Andy and his family these past couple of weeks.

You see, his wife, had a very serious stroke on Labor Day weekend and sadly lost her battle to recover on October 27th. She was only in her late 50s.

Today, I'm thankful for having had the opportunity to meet Aunt Seen Che (Cindy)....I will always remember the warm embrace she had for me when she met me...and the lovely chat we enjoyed while dining at Uncle Andy's restaurant. She welcomed me as family......and I am forever grateful for that visit where I knew I was accepted as part of "the family".
Acceptance....indeed a gift worth being thankful for!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Thanksgiving 7

Google...gotta love it and be thankful for it!

For without it, I hate to think how long it would have taken me to help Thing One with his book report.

And double gratitude that the book was a Newberry Award winner (Maniac Magee for those at are curious) and is well liked by teachers all over the country. Loads of good ideas all within a click of the mouse.

Now, to make it look like he did some of the work...I guess that leaves out using the cricut, eh?

Friday, November 06, 2009

Thanksgiving 6

Thankful that it is FRIDAY!

(hey, I never said each and every day was going to be this deeply thought out gratitude essay)

But HEY, did you hear, it is no homework will need to be supervised this afternoon, we can hang out with friends and extend the bedtime just a tad, and if I get my rear in gear and finish up my studies today...I might just make it to the craft table to PLAY this weekend.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Thanksgiving 5

A good night's sleep and waking up before the alarm. Followed up by cooperative kids who got ready for school without even a hint of attitude?

You betcha I"m thankful for that! (and curious how I get this to be an on-going event at the House of Chang?)

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Thanksgiving 4

This morning Thing Two asked if we could have doughnuts for breakfast.

Hmmm...I like the way he thinks.

So, off I went to the local grocery store and was soon home with a dozen fresh bakery treats.

Yep, I'm thankful that the grocery store is so close that I can fulfill an impromptu request from my son.

The smile on his face was indeed was the one on the carpool buddy's face when we had extras to share!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Thanksgiving 3

Me and my pals, Skills Lab circa 1987...

As you might recall, I'm in the middle of a refresher course for nursing.
Most of it is online.
Except Tuesday, when we have our clinical skills lab.
It is now Tuesday evening.

I've spent the day learning about chest tubes, catheters, IVs and injections...
I've also spent the past six Tuesdays laughing with others in the same predicament as me....we have all taken some time off from the calling of a nurse and now are looking to return to this profession.

So while my head is spinning with wonders and worries about where this adventure will take me,

Today, I"m thankful for being a nurse...

Monday, November 02, 2009

Thanksgiving 1 and 2:

Last year, I did a post a day in November, taking time to reflect on something I am grateful/thankful for.

And while tempting as it is to say "not this year, I don't have time".....I don't think that is the "right" answer for me. Seeing "Christmas" being marketed so heavily already, I feel that if I take November to focus on being thankful, I can hopefully savor the holiday that happens BEFORE Santa shows up next month.

So, November 1st came and went...I was thankful for a large capacity washer and dryer. I tackled Mt. Laundry and made a big dent in the never ending pile of dirty duds. Can you even imagine what it was like before such modern conveniences were available? neither...

Today, November 2nd, I'm thankful for a car that takes me where I need to go. I had a bunch of errands to run and am very thankful to have been able to accomplish them in the comforts of my van, as old and tired as she may be getting.

Join in...if you dare...a month of being thankful...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Helping Out

I just love it when Hubby offers to take care of the morning school run!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Car Talk

I've been doing double duty in the carpool division this week. The upside is having a chance to "talk" with my oldest one after we've made our last delivery. Just him and I, alone with our thoughts.

With Thing One, you just never know what he's going to say when participating in a social "chat".

Case #1:
Me (grumbling, frustrated by the lack of speed the driver in front of me is displaying): I wonder why that car is going so darn s.l.o.w.

Thing 1: Mom, he's probably driving a heavy kid. Heavy kids will slow you down.

Case #2:
Me (commenting about an incident that occured earlier in the day, involving Thing Two): Your brother is just like Me when it comes to things like that...

Thing 1 (perplexed, and really not being a smart @ss): How can that be, I mean, Mom, he doesn't even have breasts.

Now I get why my carpool pal tells me that some days, the highlight of HER day is "chatting" with Mr. P.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Not sure what to think....

Driving home, the carpool boys were well...a bit wound up. Whenever they spotted a classmate or friend, they would call out that friend's name with a repetitive chorus of Hi, Hi, Hi!

As we rounded the corner, we spotted a girl walking ahead of our vehicle...
I said "I don't think you know her, guys"...

When suddenly, Thing Two chimes in..."Well, her behind looks familiar!"

(no, we didn't know her, but she did have naturally curly hair like a classmate from last I knew where he was going with his remark)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A place to call home..

Sis and I, circa 1975, yes my mom made those costumes...
As a young adult in the Army, one of my least favorite questions was "So, where are you from?".

There was no clear answer: if I said "WI" then I had to explain why I didn't go to college there or that my parents no longer lived there.
Our house in Torrington, circa 1983
If I said Wyoming, then there was the whole "yeah, but now my dad lives in GA". Followed by the then very emotional question "Well, what about your mom?".
Our house in Cheyenne, circa 1987
You can see why this simple question never ended with a simple answer!

When Hubby and I got married and decided we wanted to leave the NoVA area, one of the main concerns for me was having a place we could call home.
Sure, loads of people call NoVA home but for us, we didn't care for the fast paced way of living (the go-go-go style where your neighbors leave even earlier than you do, arrive home only to promptly lower their garage as they pull into their slot on that never ending row of townhomes).
The cost of living was another major concern. In order to afford that house in the 'burbs, both of us would have had to work full time and spend long hours in the traffic that is D.C. metro area.
Yep, not what I wanted...
I wanted what all my Army buddies had talked about...a place to call corn-ball as that is...the place where everyone knows your name. A place for the boys to come home to on college break

After 12 yrs here in PV (and almost 13 in Colorado), I know that we are there....
Last night I had the PLEASURE of attending a school play put on by the middle school students.

For starters, it ain't what we did in middle school....the parts were all very well cast and hardly anyone "over acted" (yes, you know what I"m talking about....a middle schooler thinking her lines as whatever is worthy of an Oscar. and you cringe when she turns her part into something more than it really is). The costumes were eye catching and the set design was clearly done by middle schoolers with some talent worth highlighting.

Many times I found myself laughing out loud and just smiling...

Not that it was THAT great (yes, Wicked remains my favorite theatrical production that i've seen this week: Go SEE WICKED...even in the cheap seats it is bound to make you glad you went!) was that I KNEW so many of those kids...

  • Thing One went to preschool with the handsome prince
  • The King's trusted assistant is the son of my former boss

  • One of the mice went to Water World with my boys this past summer

  • That page over there? Well, she's in Thing One's class and her younger sister goes to school with Thing Two.

  • Another chorus member? Well, her mom was sitting in front of me and during intermission we caught up on some HOA issues....

  • And tonight, I would love to go and watch the second crew...because Mrs. Kravitz's daughter is the fairy godmother and one of the Evil Step-sisters is without a doubt one of the nicest girls you will ever meet.

Yes indeed, I have found a place to call home...and already I'm seeing the beauty of giving your kids roots...and watching the little ones in your community bloom and grow!

So, you may keep your D.C monuments, your plethora of museums (that are free), you can even have your Cherry Blossom festival...I've got Park View-Centennial and it is all that I need (and then some....)

Monday, October 12, 2009

12 on the 12th: It's been awhile...

It's been a few months...let's see if I remember how it's done...

Just after 0700...Hubby heads out on Miss Reliable, Brigitta.

An hour later, It is time to send Thing One off to school (Thanks JG)
In the never ending quest to find ways to make track off seem like vacation for one child, while not inviting the green eyed Jealousy monster into the home, we decided to try "breakfast out".
Note to self and others: their pancakes are very filling. Split an order next time...
Next stop: some groceries. Only bought what was on the list. I guess going with a full tummy is good for the sticking to the list concept!

Post Office: yeah, they are closed today but I was determined to mail my HOA proxy in before I lost THIS one too!
Note to fellow PV Pals: have you mailed your proxy in?
Now, I knew the post office was closed, and was pleasantly surprised to see the bank was open.
Columbus Day: apparently only some federal folks enjoy this "Holiday".
Oh, wait, it is also Canadian Thanksgiving, right? Happy Gobble Gobble to my Northern friends!

I couldn't resist. After months of waiting, the sign to our section is up.
It is SO pretty...I really hope that the taggers decide to leave it alone...

Week 3 of 3 weeks off track: Don't ask...I've given up trying to keep the house in some state of order.
I had thought about returning to the craft table...but then...

The Sprinkler Guy showed up for our seasonal blow out..
Of the SPRINKLERS you fools...come on, usually only MY mind is in the gutter...
And in keeping with the "change of seasons" lawn care going on outside, I decide to tackle the bedroom closet. Out went the summer tshirts (on the bed), and in went the long sleeved tshirts.

The pile on the floor is NOT laundry but rather stuff going to Good Will.
And just when you think the end of a quiet day is near, the Sheriff shows up!

Ok, so I knew he was coming.. You see, while I was watching the sprinkler guy do his thing, his partner pulls up to chat and find out where the next job is...
Only problem is, the partner when backing up and turning around his truck, took the corner too sharp and clipped the pretty red car.
YES, they don't call me Mrs. Kravitz for NOTHING...
I saw the whole thing and when it appeared as if "sprinkler associate" was going to ignore his problem and drive and the realtor (Hi SB) brought it to their attention. (oh yes, right as the associate did his poor turn, my friend and the realtor for the house next door to mine, showed up and saw the entire incident from a second angle. We shall crown her an honorary Mrs. Kravitz)
They were cool about it...and ultimately did the right thing...
*They had better have done the right thing...I know the one guy's dad and he'd have been H.O.T. had I called him and told him they acted in any way less than decent young men.
Yeah, they don't call me Martha "Mafia", leader of the coven for nothing...