Monday, May 25, 2009

Every once in a while Mama Kat puts out a writing prompt that I just love!  She has several great choices a week, but you know how sometimes they just grab you?  Anyway, This week I thought that the "10 things that you are currently sick of" was calling my name!
1. school!  totally sick of school this year - not all year, just now - good thing we only have 3 1/2 days left and one of those is field day!  I need a break!  So do the kids, but the prompt is about what they are sick of!!

2. my current menu  - I need some new recipes (and motivation) especially with school almost out and the weather FINALLY warming up - grilling is always great, but even that we need to mix up a little bit!

3. laundry - especially with 3 girls in the house - it never seems to end!

4. my yippy little dogs barking at anything and everything  - animals outside, people outside, cars outside, people coming from one room in the house to another, the wind... they are getting on my last nerve.  We tried those antibark collars that spray citronella in their faces when they bark - only worked for a while then they decided they didn't mind it all that much after all.  Shock collars may be next!

5. dust - what else needs to be said about that!

6. tv reruns - yes, I know that the rerun season is just beginning but it really gets on my nerves

7. fighting the blasted thistle weeds in my yard - this is year three and it keeps coming back

8. my girls bickering - it drives me crazy and it seems that someone is always picking or shining or tattling or out and out fighting -ugh

9. headaches - I get one almost everyday, they are so annoying!

10. spam emails, seems like no matter what I do I get over 100 each day - yahoo needs stronger filters!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

two rock icons under one roof

What more could one person hope for?  I'm sure there are any of you out there in cyberland who have had the pleasure of seeing Billy Joel and Elton John in concert, but I really don't care!  I finally got to see them and that's all that really matters!  Months ago when hubby heard that they were coming to Indy, we played a little game of dueling laptops at 10am on that fateful saturday morning that tickets went on sale!  You see, hubby had seen Billy Joel in concert (more than once I might add) and I had seen Elton John (just once, with my sister, but that's a story for another day), anyway, we both wanted to see the artist we hadn't seen yet and this was the perfect opportunity!  We had really good seats (not that you can tell from my pictures, but they were taken from my phone, so give me a break!) and the show was amazing to say the least!!  I wish I could recount all 3 hours and 45 minutes of the show, but there's not enough room in cyberland for all that!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Happy Birthday dear blog.....

So, my little blog is growing up!  One year today - I had to look back to find my start date and I was really surprised that it had already been a year.  My how time flies!  Although I started blogging because I good friend told me that it was cathartic, I also figured that it was a good way to keep friends and family updated on some of the happenings around here.  I am always surprised to find that other people out there whom I haven't met face to face read this too!  I have met some really nice ladies whose blogs I also read!  All in all, this is sort of an online diary (although public) and scrapbook all wrapped into one!  So, happy birthday little blog - it will be fun to see what the next year holds for us!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

their first dance....

So, like most elementary schools, we make a big deal out of the 5th graders moving up to middle school next year.  The first official celebration we have is the "5th Grade Celebration".  Really it's a party/dance for just the 5th graders - parents are included, in fact they have to come or at least have another parent agree to be responsible for their child but it's the kids' night and the adults pretty much stay in the background!  The theme was "A Star Studded Night" and we did our best to treat them like stars!  We had a red carpet entrance (notice our security guards below) and had paparazzi taking pictures and asking for autographs as they entered!
Once inside the lobby, there was the walk of fame that wound around inside and every kid had their own star with their name on it!  Inside the gym we had Superlative Stars grouped by class and every kid had one (it was a picture of them with a superlative, "most likely to.." provided by their parents, mounted on a red metallic star).  There was a DJ up on stage and a dance floor blocked out on the gym floor below.  I was also up on stage at the "photo spot" with a backdrop that the art teacher put together taking pictures of anyone and everyone who wanted one!  Of course they got copies of the pictures a few days later at school - gotta give me time to get them printed!
Big S posing for me!  She's growing up too fast!
At one point near the end of the night, I was overcome on stage by all of the remaining kids (there's 111 in the grade, but not everyone came and some left early).  Anyway, it was spontaneous and fun how they grouped themselves together - I had to keep moving back to fit them all in and almost fell off the stage) and we did a few normal ones and then some funny ones too!  They are a great group of kids and most have been together since kindergarten (not everyone since we were redistricted a couple of times).  It will be fun for them to look back on this picture and remember how much fun it is to be on the top of the heap when they plummet back down to the bottom in middle school next year!  
The evening ended a bit abruptly when the evening custodian was forced to pull the fire alarm when she discovered a hot light switch in one of the classrooms - the good news was that it was 9pm and the party was supposed to end at that time anyway.  Firemen sure do know how to clear a room!
Of course their appearance just adds an amusing detail to the stories of that night!  I was so pleased to be able to share in those memories with Big S!  Other than the occasional pubescent moment, she's a wonderful girl and I am proud that she's my daughter!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

for all you football fans...

Tony Dungy, former Indianapolis Colts head coach visited our school earlier this week.  His visit was the prize that our students won back in the fall for raising the most money of any elementary school during the American Diabetes walk-a-thon!  Now that might not mean much to you, but this is Colts country and Tony Dungy is the man, the living legend who not only brought the Colts to the Superbowl (and won!!) but has proven himself to be a man of substance and honor and has earned the respect of anyone who has taken the time to get to know him or even learn something about him!  Tony retired as our head coach at the end of the season last year to spend more time with his family and pursue some other, very worthy, interests; but he shall forever be loved here in Indy by men, women and children alike!  Needless to say, this was a HUGE deal for the school!  No one outside of students, teachers, staff and the PTO Executive Board were allowed in the school while he was there - so I was pretty psyched that I was on the board!  I ended up taking pictures for everyone since our gym has such poor lighting and I was the only one who didn't have a point-and-shoot camera!  I thought it would be fun to post a couple of my shots - I didn't include any of the really important ones because they included children other than my own and I don't want to put their little faces out there on the web without their parent's permission, but I got some really cool shots of them for the school - you'll just have to take my word for it!!!
one of the signs in the lobby that the kids made to welcome Coach Dungy
Coach Dungy applauding the kids' efforts!
he's a pretty cool guy!
me with the coach - not the best picture (since I didn't take it - ha!) but there it is
me with Blue - the mascot - he was hysterical!!!
Everyone had a great time and it was a real honor to get a chance to meet Coach Dungy and make that mark on our bedposts!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

I'm taking the day off to enjoy Mother's Day with hubby and the girls!  Hope you all have a wonderful Mother's Day!

Friday, May 8, 2009

what no mother wants......

So, with Mother's Day just around the corner, I was thinking of all the possible gifts that may appear on sunday morning as eager children and clueless husbands present the queens of their household with the annual thanks you/we love you gifts!  Some of them are sweet, sentimental, thoughtful, extravagant and some, well some are less than appropriate and yet, we are expected to smile and not only appear grateful, but excited about this gift!
no vacuum cleaners - we don't need to be reminded of our daily duties!

no salad shooters - seriously!  Even if they do work as advertised, really?

no tool sets - save that for Dad on Father's Day - he has a "honey-do list" to get to doesn't he?

no cookbooks - unless YOU are planning on using them instead of her!!

no washing machines unless they sort, wash, dry, fold and put away!!

no iron unless it it works like the washing machine I mentioned above!

Now, use your creative little brain and come up with something personal, thoughtful, that she would want but wouldn't get herself, not something she needs!  Flowers die awfully quickly, so unless you are 150% certain that she loves getting flowers!   Think people!  Mother's day only comes once a year - make it special!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

How friendships evolve...

I have been thinking a lot about friendships lately.  How different they are in different stages of our life.  I guess this retrospective has come about because Big S has learned some really tough, but important lessons about friendship this year.  The kind of lessons that everyone has to learn, and the sooner you learn them the better off you are, but the kind that a mom hates to watch her kids figure out on their own.  Anyway, our discussions have led me to reflect a lot on the friendships that I have now, those that I had in the past and those rare few that have transcended various stages in my life!

When you are very young, friendship is often about one of two things: those who are quite simply nearby and therefore easily accessible to you and those whom your parents put you with as playmates.  When you reach school, your friends are usually those who are in your class.  The older you get, the more picky you become - you start by weeding out the opposite sex and then to gravitate to those who you may have known the longest, or simply those whom you sit beside!  As I look back on my early friendships, I smile, but quite honestly the memories are very fond, but I am not in touch with any of them any more.  One thing that was unique to my early childhood was that we moved a lot in my first 10 years, so I was always jealous of people who could say that they had been friends since preschool - I never had this opportunity.  We finally settled down halfway through 4th grade and that's when I can actually start "tracking" people that I had some form of contact with over a greater time span.  

It wasn't until junior high that I started to make friends that had the potential to be lifelong friendships.  Kim and I became friends in 6th grade, but came to realize that we had known each other for at least a year prior through dance class!  Kim and I remain friends to this day - our level of contact waxes and wanes, but I will count her as a friend till I die - there is something about those formidable years of junior high and high school that bond you forever!  Treva and I became friends shortly after Kim and I did and in fact they may have been friends before I met either of them, but we quickly became a very tight threesome!  Over the next 6 years, we didn't have a lot of classes together, but we always found time for sleepovers, movies, girls' night out, double dates, hours long phone conversations.....  At some pointed we added a fourth to our group - Liat!  I was never quite as close to her as the other two, but especially in high school we all did a lot together!  I saw Treva and her husband only a couple months ago - they live about 3 hours away from us these days!  It was like we hadn't seen each other in 6 months even though it had been about 10 years!! 
In college, the type of friendships you form are quite different - after all you live with these people and the rules of your parents' house no longer apply.  Freshman year is spent figuring out your major and where you fit in both on campus and in the real world.  You begin to reassess the world through your own eyes instead of through your parents'.  Sometimes that's good, sometimes it's not, but either way, it happens.  I made several good friends throughout college, but very few that I stay in touch with today.  The number one of course, is hubby!  We met in college, but didn't date - each other that is!  I was dating one of his fraternity brothers and he was dating one of my sorority sister!  We went to a lot of the same formals and saw each other at fraternity parties on weekends, we even double dated!  Dating each other didn't happen until several years later!  That story is for another day!  Bryan, my big brother from the fraternity where I was a little sister and I are back in touch after a very long time of being out of contact.  There's also Even Dave - funny thing, we grew up in the same town, but didn't meet until college!  Funny, most of the people that I know from college I have reconnected with through facebook!  It's fun to know what paths their lives have taken and chat from time to time, but certainly without the internet I wouldn't be in touch with hardly anyone from my college days either.  Funny thing is that hubby is in touch with a lot of his fraternity brothers - again through the miracle of the internet, but they have done a much better job of keeping in touch than I have!

After college, was a year of grad school (I do keep in touch with my roommate from that year, but no other classmates).  Then off to a different school in a different state for nursing school - I am still in touch with one of the 25 classmates, again through the internet!  Man, I'm pathetic!  

Once hubby and I were married, friendships took on a different perspective.  Although we often did things with other couples, usually one of us was friends with one of them and the other one went along for the ride!  Don't get me wrong, usually everyone enjoyed each other's company, but you meet through one spouse.  The exception being neighbors - especially once you buy your first house!  One friend that I stay in touch with from those early years we actually met the week before we moved into our first house!  We were doing some painting and they walked by on their way to a block party and introduced themselves!  We saw her just last weekend when she came out for Little G's First Communion - she's her Godmother! 
The other close friend from those days I met shortly after Big S was born.  The next phase in friendships - those you meet because of your kids!  We saw her just a year ago when she came out for Little S's First Communion - you guessed it, Godmother!!  Kids are a great ice breaker when it comes to meeting people.  Those same people become your support system as you journey through parenthood with all it's ups and downs!  By far the strongest friendships that I have formed throughout my lifetime were my playgroup friends that I made before any of my kids started going to school (real school, not preschool).  Although we are all spread out over several states now, there are five of us who first met through playgroups we were in when are kids were teeny tiny and now we get together once a year, just the five of us, for a long girls' weekend.  These women are the ones who were there for a lot of my kids firsts - even through my last pregnancy and Little G's birth - and they will be there for weddings, grandbabies, and probably some funerals.  THESE women are the definition of friendship!  Lisa, Jen, Molly and Heidi - we call ourselves the ToeTat5 and we are bonded for life through some fabulous cosmic connection that none of us quite understand but are thankful to God for it's existence!
Then there are the "community" friends.  Those you meet through your kids' school, work, neighborhood, volunteer organizations, church etc....  They are important to have and serve their purpose - some form stronger bonds than others and there are certainly several in my life right now who are very important to me (most of whom I met through church) but because life is so busy it takes a long time for these friendships to really become strong and more often than not you part ways due to simple circumstance and you drift apart.  These types of friendships are important because we need people who know each aspect of us: the parent, the school volunteer, the church member, the community volunteer....  They learn bits and pieces of the other sides of us, but they really shine in the area where you first met! Sometime those friends cross paths - a mom from school may also go to your church, and so because you see each other more often, you get to know each other better and the friendship grows stronger (or you figure out that you have nothing in common and decide to keep it on the surface!!).

Regardless of your stage in life, it's important to remember that your true friends are the ones who know you from the inside out, share not only interests, but also values and priorities, know when you need a shoulder to cry on and when you need some time alone.  These people will show themselves to you if you give them a chance - the others will show their true colors in due time as well.  Not everyone was meant to be friends with everyone else - love thy neighbor?  Absolutely, but you don't have to be their best friend too!  Take a moment and reach out to those true friends in your life - they are a true gift from God!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Finally, the pictures!

Little G had her first Communion on Saturday April 25th.  I shall begin by saying that in the chaos of it all, I arrived at the church with both batteries in my camera DEAD and NO card in the camera - talk about loser mom!  And I call myself a professional photographer - ha!  Anyway, I had to rely on everyone else's point and shoots at the church to capture the moments that I would otherwise have missed all together.  So, thank you to you dear friends!!  
The first picture below is of 2 of the PRE classes that were participating in that mass (we belong to a huge parish, so there were 3 masses just for First Communions that day!)  Anyway, Little G is front row, far right side, beside the lady in the blue jacket - and of course she's the cutest!! Father Christopher - 2nd row on the right (he's kinda obvious) presided over this mass.  WE have 4 priest in our parish, 3 full time and one part time with us and part time with the diocese.  Anyway, Father Christopher presided over Little S's First Communion last year too.

Some pix of Little G processing in at the beginning of mass.  She didn't want to wear a veil, but she found a beautiful, delicate little tiara that she wore - of course she wore it like a headband, but what can I say, she has her own fashion sense!
It was a beautiful mass.  Little G was a little nervous - afraid that she might forget what to do - and she did!  It was really cute!  Father Weldon was who we received our host from and he even cracked a little smile when she got flustered!  How can you not find Little G just darling?
Some family pix.  The sun was so bright behind us that this little point and shoot couldn't compensate.  Anyway, the first one is our little family: me and hubby, Big S, Little G and 
Little S.  Not a bad looking family.
This is my Dad on the left and my Mom on the right - of course me, hubby and Little G in the middle!!  Not looking too shabby!
These are a couple of the pix from the actual First Communion at our church.  I will post some more of the festivities afterwards at another time!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cinco de Mayo!!!!!!!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!!!
Who doesn't love a good party?  Cinco De Mayo may just conjure up visions of margaritas and coronas with lime, but there is so much for to this fabulous day!  There's tacos, nachos, burritos, chimichangas, chips and salsa, guacamole .....

So, why Cinco de Mayo?  And why should Americans savor this day as well?  Because 4,000 Mexican soldiers smashed the French and traitor Mexican army of 8,000 at Puebla, Mexico, 100 miles east of Mexico City on the morning of May 5, 1862.
Ok, so I'm not that smart, I did a little research and that is what I found at  .  It's always good to know why you are raising your glass!, so, now you know!  Tip one back for me, hubby is out of town so I'm be celebrating alone!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window...pre-sunset, a few little clouds in the sky, a few birds flitting around before sunset

I am thinking...that I wish the school year was over, that the girls' bedtime came fast

From the learning rooms...they had the day off today!  tomorrow begins teacher appreciation week

I am thankful for...hubby picking up chinese on the way home for dinner

From the kitchen...see above!!!

I am reading...several books as usual

I am hoping...that we have nice weather next weekend, we might go camping

I am creating...a new coupon system, a summer calendar for the girls

I am hearing...Big S talking to hubby, the tv

Around the taking a shower, one in her room, one on the couch with hubby, dogs on the couch with me, laundry going

One of my favorite things...the smell of the coffee in the morning, bird singing outside

A few plans for the rest of the week...teacher appreciation week, 5th grade celebration/dance, 2 playdates, hubby traveling for 3 days, md appt, choir program, girl scouts, grocery store.....

A picture thought I'm sharing with you . . . . .

cousin I, Big S and sister M

mister blue bird on my shoulder....

I love bluebirds!  Truth be told, I haven't seen a lot in real life, but I know that they are good luck, beautiful and hard to attract.  So, imagine my delight when I finally saw a happy little couple flitting around my backyard a couple weeks ago!!  Last year, my neighbor across the street had some in her backyard - jealous!!  Then I gave my mom a bluebird house for mother's day last year and SHE got some too!   Well, that was it!  This spring I set out to my friendly neighborhood Lowes and bought myself a bluebird house and hung it in a tree in my backyard and WAITED!!  
I am like a giddy school girl about my backyard birds!  I am so so so so very happy that the bluebirds have found my little house!!  They are taking forever to finish their nest!  I thought they were done yesterday and tried to sneak a peek when they weren't around - well, they have serious radar and one of them started darting at me - I bolted!  I sure don't want to scare them off before they have their babies!
Yea, it was something like this below!!  
He was mad at me!!  Or perhaps it was the little woman that was mad at me - I'm not certain, I just ran!! 
 My favorite thing to do is to lay down in the hammock and watch them.  Several times daddy came and sat on the post and sang to me - that's my version and I'm sticking to it!!  
They love me and are thanking me for putting that house out for them!  A girl can dream, it could be true!!  See momma peeking out at me?  She's serious about guarding her new home!
It's all I can do not to go out and buy 10 more houses and put them all over the backyard!  Does anyone know much about them?  My mom says that you have to clean the houses out in between families so that they will come back and build another nest, sometimes in the same season!  Apparently bluebirds don't like hand-me-downs!  Also, my bluebirds don't have the brown on their chest, which after some research makes me think they are mountain bluebirds, not eastern bluebird.  I will try to get a good shot of them and post it so you can give me your thoughts - meanwhile check out daddy on the hammock post!!