Friday, November 28, 2008

Fridays Fave 5 - November 28th


I look forward to this every week. It's so nice to reflect on the positive things that have happened during the week!!

1. Parent/Teacher Conferences - We were lucky enough to have the conferences for all four girls scheduled on the same day. This meant that it took up an entire afternoon, but it also meant that my husband and I got to have lunch out together again :) The conferences were great because we got to have the teachers' undivided attention to discuss how each girl is doing. We are lucky that school is going so well for all of them at this point!

2. My snowman earrings - I bought these from Avon 2 or 3 years ago. I try to wear them when snow is still a novelty for the year and I'm not tired of it yet. Usually I don't wear them until January because I wear Christmas earrings for most of December. I got some use out of them this past week, that's for sure!

3. The bathroom scale - I will spare everyone a picture of this! Usually the scale and I are not on good terms. It likes to tell me things that I don't want to hear and in turn, I usually say mean things back! This week, the scale has been kind to me which has made me happy. We're not at the point of sending each other flowers or anything crazy like that, but for now, we're good.

4. Facebook - I recently joined Facebook and I have to say, I'm hooked!! I've reconnected with a bunch of old friends. There is such a snowball effect once you join and it's so much fun to watch it. However, I do think that my husband is tired of hearing about the updates to my Facebook list!

5. My brother - I got to spend time with my brother yesterday. I always look forward to seeing him. I don't get to see him as often as I like because we are both busy and because we are at different places in our lives right now. His daughter is in college and I have young children. I am married and he is single. But, when I do get to see him, I know it will be fun. I think that he is a very good-looking, funny guy and I love him.

Visit Susanne at Living to Tell the Story for great lists of Friday favorites.

Happy Thanksgiving




our nice, quiet Thanksgiving.

My parents ended up leaving for Alabama on Thanksgiving morning to see my Grandmother who continues to not do well.

I knew that I didn't want to rush out and buy things to make Thanksgiving at home, so we decided to go to Cracker Barrel for lunch. My brother joined us which was wonderful. It was really a nice time. My brother and I talked about our Grandmother and shared memories. He is six years older than I am so he has a lot of memories that I don't have. It was great to hear his stories!

After lunch, we were hoping to go and see and movie, but during lunch, our oldest daughter developed a headache and wasn't feeling well. We decided to head home and ended up renting Kit Kittredge: An American Girl Movie. After some Tylenol and rest, she was feeling much better later in the day.

I feel like we have many, many blessings in our lives and I often take time to reflect on them. Thanksgiving, however, is a great time to share them. Things that I am especially thankful for this year are:
* my health,
* my darling little girls who are healthy and provide a ton of entertainment,
* my husband who is patient, understanding and supportive,
* my parents who are beyond supportive and provide such a presence in our lives, especially for the girls,
* my brother who I know will always have my back,
* the health and well-being of our loved ones,
* that we have had the opportunity to see and spend time with so many extended family members, on both sides of the family,
* our house and my husband's job.

We are very, very lucky!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wordless Wednesday


My poem

T'was the day before Thanksgiving
and here at our house,
I'm trying to drown out the fighting
by clicking the mouse.

Though there are many things to do,
such as cleaning, laundry and such,
I'm enjoying today
because we're not in a rush so much.

Looking forward to this weekend,
it starts such a festive time of year.
We plan on doing our decorating
so I better get my rear in gear!!

Now, for planning tomorrow,
it wouldn't be such a worry
If my kids liked and would eat
the trimmings and turkey :(

Well, my down time is over.
I really must stop this play.
May you all have a wonderful
Thanksgiving Day!!

I know, I know...I'm no poet, but I happen to be an excellent procrastinator.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

This week I am keeping meals as simple as possible.

Monday - Spaghetti

Tuesday - French Onion-Pork Chop Skillet - anyone recognize this from the Kraft magazine? I love getting those in the mail!!

- Hot dogs

- Right now, we're just not sure what we are going to do for Thanksgiving. Usually we go over to my parents' house and my mom cooks. Because of our upcoming vacation, she and I were talking about possibly going out to eat instead. Now, it turns out that my parents and brother may not even be in town. My grandmother isn't doing well and my parents are heading down to Alabama. They are either leaving on Wednesday or Saturday and will make that decision tomorrow. Depending on how things go, I am also entertaining the thought of flying down, but that is probably unlikely. husband and I are working on a plan B for Thursday. I think that he and I have different ideas. He said that we'll have (a scaled down version) Thanksgiving here. I haven't mentioned this yet, but I still like the idea of going out this year. We'll see.

- Monte Cristo Salads

- Pizza night

- BBQ ribs (we didn't end up having this last week)

Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie for some great meal ideas!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sweet Home Alabama

When I first started this blog, we were days away from driving down to Alabama. I knew that it was going to be a special trip and wanted to document it. However, after locking my husband out of his work computer one morning in the hotel room and having to face his extreme irritation about that (he had to call in to work and have his password reset, or something like that), I didn't end up documenting it like I wanted to. Once we returned home, life got in the way, and I just wasn't able to put the whole experience into words at that point.

My mother is originally from Alabama and her mother, her siblings, their children and grandchildren, among other extended family, still live there. Our trip down was very last minute. My niece was graduating from high school in Mississippi, just four hours away from my family in Alabama, so my parents and my brother (my niece's dad) were going down for the graduation and then onto Alabama where they would be able to spend time with our family there.

Originally, we weren't going to go. I would have loved to have gone to my niece's graduation and then onto Alabama, but I didn't want to go by myself and my husband couldn't take that much time off from work. Plus, we already had two other vacations planned for the year, one of them just a month after the graduation. Then there was the financial part of it and my daughter's 6th birthday was coming up (and we were out of town for her 5th birthday. She wanted to be home this year). There were so many reasons to not go.

On the other hand, the last time I was down there was over 11 years ago and it was for my grandfather's funeral. Most of my girls had never met most of my relatives and I really wanted them too. I knew that my girls would just love them!! I knew that the chances of my brother and my parents and us all being down there at the same time again were very slim. Who knew when we would get a chance to go down?? After much discussion and planning (in a short period of time) we decided that if we didn't go to the graduation (Sorry Jess!! We love you and are very proud!!) we could go for a few days. I was beyond thrilled!!

When I was growing up, we made regular trips down to see my mom's family (yearly for awhile and then maybe every other year). I have wonderful memories of those trips. My grandmother's house was the focal point where everyone would meet. My mother has three siblings and I have seven cousins, all fairly close in age. We (usually) got along great and had so much fun playing together. I could go on and on about my memories...I think that cousins are the greatest relationship. Better than friends because of the family connection and better than sibling because there usually isn't the bickering :) I hope that my girls have at least a fraction of the relationship that I had (have) with my cousins. It is very special.

So I got to see my aunts and uncles and cousins and their children. What a beautiful group of people. Between my brother, myself and my cousins, we have 15 children. Fourteen of them are in this picture.

Most of us went to a get-together at my cousin's house and I can't really put into words the feelings that I had there. It was amazing being a room being related to that many people. It was also amazing that although I haven't seen them in so long, we were able to pick up like it was last month. I know that it sounds corny, but there was so much love in that room. Actually, I don't think that I have said I love you as much as I did in those few days in Alabama.

I also got to see my sweet grandmother. She was exactly as I remembered her. She is a children-type person (some people are and some people aren't!) and she always made our visits very special. She knew what we liked to eat and always had it. She had child-friendly cups and plates, she had a bedroom devoted to toys and she didn't have any areas of the house that were off-limits. As far as I was concerned, she was the next best thing to my mom. Although I didn't get to spend as much time with her (or anyone) as I would have liked to on this trip, I was so happy that I got to see her and that my girls got to meet my grandmother, especially since they are so close to their grandmother.

My dear grandmother had a stroke last week. She is still in the hospital and at this point, we're not sure what the outcome will be. I am just so glad that we made the decision to go on that trip and that I was able to see her.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fridays Fave 5


1. Having ice cream (outside) on a 60+ degree day in November. We're in NY, so this is pretty remarkable!!

2. An unexpected lunch date with my husband last Friday. Fun...and we didn't have to pay for a babysitter!!

3. Feeling a little more caught up after "venting" on a blog post yesterday. Thank goodness :) Hopefully, I will be able to continue with that pace and stay on top of things. I at least feel like I'm ready for today which is good because it's a half-day at school (teacher conferences) so we are going to Chuck E.Cheese. I think that you have to be in the right frame of mind to go there. I guess that I am because I'm looking forward to it :)

4. My new adorable little laptop. It is cute, cute, cute! Oh, and it's very useful too! With 6 people vying for time on a computer, it is very helpful to have an additional one. It is amazing to me how much of my life is somehow linked to the computer. This one allows me to be more flexible, for example, I can pull up a recipe on the computer and have it in the kitchen with me.

5. Google Calendar - My husband and I have been using this for awhile now and it has really helped us. He can check the calendar at work and know what is going on and he can add things as well. Well...last week, Jen mentioned that she uses her Google Calendar for several things. I asked her about it and she was nice enough to tell me how she uses her calendars. Now, I have our main calendar as well as a menu calendar and home stuff (like Flylady) calendar. Since my parents are going to Disney with us (but staying in a totally different place) and since my husband has made many plans and reservations for us while we are there, I have even made a calendar for our vacation. This way my parents can check that calendar and know what our plans are for the day. This will hopefully cut down on confusion and miscommunication. Thanks Jen!!

Visit Susanne at Living to tell the Story for some great Friday Favorites.

Our challenging child...

Our youngest (by 2 minutes) daughter is probably our most challenging child, at least at this point. She is going through a phase (I hope) where she sometimes has very little impulse control. Along with that, she is very into "arts and crafts" right now. She is almost always with some sort of pen, pencil or marker, paper, tape and scissors. Lately we have been finding some "drawings" on places where they shouldn't be. She also happens to be very charming and lovable and has a heart of gold, so although she often frustrates me greatly, the feeling doesn't last long.

Yesterday, I was putting away some dominoes and I saw marker on one of the dominoes. I knew it was her. She might as well just sign her name on things and I'm sure she would if she could.

I yelled, "Sydney!! Why is there marker on the dominoes?!?"

She came running in, clearly upset that I was upset with her, and yelled, "DAT ONE DIDN'T HAVE DOTS ON!!"

By the time I stopped laughing, the teachable moment had passed.

It's a good thing she's so cute and lovable!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

This is part of the problem...

I have lived in Western New York for my whole life, but I am just not ready for this.



I am totally overwhelmed right now. I get like this sometimes when I feel like everything is out of control. I have what I feel is a million things to do ( I won't even begin to list them) and just not enough hours in the day. I know that many people feel like this, especially around this time of the year, but I guess I'm just not good under pressure!

One of my problems, when I am feeling like this, is that I just shut down. I think that it's because I don't even know where to start or feel like I can't do much (enough) in the time that I have.

I am hoping that just by saying this aloud (kinda) that it will be enough of an impetus to get going!!! We have a lot of fun things coming up and I don't want to be a basket case. Hopefully I will be able to turn things around today.

Wish me luck :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

For the over 30 crowd...

I know that this has been sent around as am email, but I recently saw it again on Roni's Weigh. I love it!!

Just for laughs and those over 30!

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears
With their tedious diatribes about how hard things were when they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning. Uphill… barefoot…BOTH ways yadda, yadda, yadda

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up,
there was no way in hell I was going to lay A bunch of crap like that on kids about how hard I had it And how easy they’ve got it!
But now that… I’m over the ripe old age of thirty, I can’t help but look around and notice the youth of today.

You’ve got it so easy! I mean, compared to my
Childhood, you live in a damn Utopia!
And I hate to say it but you kids today you
Don’t know how good you’ve got it!

I mean, when I was a kid we didn’t have The Internet. If we wanted to know something, We had to go to the damn library and Look it up ourselves, in the card catalog!! There was no email!! We had to actually write Somebody a letter, with a pen! Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox and it would take like a week to get there!

There were no MP3′ s or Napsters! You wanted to
Steal music, you had to hitchhike to the damn record store and shoplift it yourself! Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJ’d usually talk over the beginning and @#*% it all up!

We didn’t have fancy crap like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal, that’s it!

And we didn’t have fancy Caller ID either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, Your mom, your boss, your Bookie, your drug dealer, a collections agent, you Just didn’t know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

We didn’t have any fancy Sony Playstation video
Games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600! With games Like ‘Space Invaders’ and ‘asteroids’. Your guy was a little square! You Actually had to use your I magination!! And there were no multiple levels or Screens, it was just one screen Forever!

And you could never win. The game just kept getting
Harder and harder and Faster and faster until you died! Just like LIFE!

You had to use a Little book called a TV Guide to find out what was
On! You were screwed when it Came to channel surfing! You had to get off Your ass and walk over to the TV to change the Channel and there was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons
On Saturday Morning. Do you Hear what I’m saying!?! We had to wait ALL WEEK For cartoons, you spoiled Little rat-bastards!

And we didn’t have microwaves, if we wanted to heat
Something up we had to use the stove … Imagine that!
That’s exactly what I’m talking about! You kids
Today have got it too easy. You’re spoiled.

You guys wouldn’t have lasted Five minutes back in 1980!

The over 30 Crowd

I can totally relate to this!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

I'm cleaning out the pantry and freezer this week and trying to keep grocery shopping (spending) to a minimum.

- Tortellini with sauce, salad

- Mojo marinated chicken, mashed potatoes

- Breakfast: chocolate chip pancakes, eggs, bacon, fruit

Thursday - Chicken patties and Smiley fries

Friday - BBQ pork ribs

- Italian beef (in the crockpot) sandwiches/grilled cheese for the kids

Sunday - for some reason I have trouble planning that far ahead!! Hopefully I will have a better idea as the week goes on.

Check out I'm an Organizing Junkie's blog for some great menu ideas!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fridays Fave 5

***I had to come back and add a little something because I feel like I may have given the wrong impression in this last post. Yes, I try and drink a lot of water, I try and use moderation with what I am consuming and I try and exercise a few times a week. However, I am also a poster child for "Needs to lose quite a bit of weight!" I am trying. I like to say that I am a work in progress, but it's a slow process!***


I participated in this once and then missed two weeks :( I received such a warm welcome from the lovely ladies from Living to the the Story and friends. Thank you so much!!

Ok - here is my list from this past week:

1. Seeing a man run across the Wegman's parking lot to get a runaway shopping cart. It wasn't his cart and it wasn't heading near his car, but it was left in the parking lot on a terribly windy day and he saved a bunch of cars from getting hit. Very sweet!!

2. This beverage. I don't drink coffee but I do love this. It has quite a few calories in it, but I usually stretch this bottle out over 3 mornings. Sometimes, I just need an extra little something to get me going in the morning.

3. My big Tervis Tumbler water cup. I try to drink between 60 and 100 ounces of water each day. I don't like to drink water out of a glass cup for some reason. I usually prefer something with a straw. This cup keeps my water nice and cold and it doesn't sweat. I love it.

4. Udder Cream lotion that I found at the dollar store (I'll add a picture later). During the colder months, my hands get so dry. This lotion is nice and light, but effective. I don't think it's a great bargain at all because it's only 2 ounces, but it works great!

5. Elliptical machines! I have recently discovered that our community rec. center has a pretty nice exercise room that is free and that is fairly underutilized, especially during the day. The elliptical machine is my new favorite form of exercise!

That's my list for this week. For more Fave lists visit Living to tell the Story.

What A Rush!!!!!

Because we are leaving for vacation in 24 short days, I am trying to get my ducks in a row and take care of as much holiday "stuff" as I can.

Yesterday I mailed out our first box of Christmas presents. Then, as I was waiting in line at the Post Office, I realized that it's the only box that we have to mail for Christmas this year. Everything else will be hand-delivered. Yippee!!

This feels so awesome. I am almost always struggling to get ahead of things and it almost never happens. When I mailed that package today, I felt like I was on top of things. Of course, that feeling will probably end in the next few minutes. It won't last long, that's for sure! But, I will enjoy it while it lasts :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sending support to a family that could use some...

I just read about the Delgado Family that delivered beautiful conjoined twin girls yesterday. Sadly, they passed away after approximately an hour.

I'm sure that they would appreciate some support through their blog.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

How perfect are these??

This year I am doing a lot of giftcards for Christmas presents. I love getting them as well as giving them. We even decided to primarily get giftcards for the kids (that are not ours) that are on our list.

We have a niece and two nephews that are triplets are I found these giftcards for them. Aren't they perfect?? They are too young to notice or appreciate something like that, but I was very excited to find them. It's the little things that make me happy (sometimes!).


Monday, November 10, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

This week is looking like a pretty calm, uneventful week. Sounds good to me!!

Monday - Spaghetti

Tuesday - Buffalo Chicken Wraps

Wednesday - Chili Dog casserole (I don't think that this is the "exact" name, but I can't find my recipe right now.)

Thursday - Beef tips with noodles

Friday - leftovers or sandwiches

Saturday - Beef and Provolone panini's (grilled cheese for the kids)

Sunday - ummm...not too sure yet. Still working on this one :)

See some great menu ideas at I'm an Organizing Junkie's blog.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Under the weather...

Ugh!! I am currently battling a sinus infection and all I want to do is lie down. That, of course, doesn't get to happen nearly as much as I would like. I know that I have had a sinus infection before, but I don't remember it making me so miserable.

I had a cold last week, and I honestly think that all of the Halloween festivities wore me out. I was so glad that it was over. We had fun, but it was pretty busy. Being busy is fine, but having to put on a costume for every event did get old!!

Anyway...I am on antibiotics and am expecting to feel better soon.

Like I said, last week was busy with Halloween, my husband's birthday and various other things. One of my four year olds has also kept me on my toes recently. She is into art types of projects right now and loves to color and then cut things out. There are several pairs of scissors around that she has pretty easy access to and it hasn't been a problem until she walked up to me last Friday and handed me this:


Luckily, it was from the back of her head and it is covered by some other hair. It's a little hard to notice unless you look pretty close. She had just had her hair cut the day before, so there isn't enough there to go and have it "fixed." As I often say to myself after I get my hair cut, "Good thing hair grow back fairly quickly!"

Then...on Sunday evening, she was playing with a little charm from a necklace that was no longer on the necklace. She started coughing and told me that she had swallowed the charm! It was fairly small and we don't think that it has/will cause a problem. I would take a picture of the charm to show you, but we don't have it yet :) Hopefully soon, but I think that I may pass on the picture!