Friday, February 29, 2008

Friday Fun?

My daughter's school got out at noon today for an in service. But, this morning her class was celebrating Dr. Seuss and she was supposed to dress as her favorite Dr. Seuss character. My heart sank when we arrived at her class and she turned to me and asked, "Where is my costume?" Your whaaaaat? What a lame mother I am sometimes. Poor girl. How was she so unlucky to get stuck with me, I thought. It had been an unusual week and I just forgot. I then called my mother and she suggested that I quickly go to Walmart and see if they have anything. I then decided to ask Clayton's preschool if they had something I could borrow, and they did! Hooray! It was a tiger costume and there is a tiger in "Ten apples up on top". I drove back to Kendall's school and put the costume on her. She didn't seem upset that I had forgotten but I think she was glad I had come back with a costume. My mom had suggested if I couldn't get a costume that I should go drink a cup of coffee and eat a donut. Ahhhhh, the voice of reason.

I mentioned that it was a half day for Kendall's school today. So, earlier in the week I had suggested to the kindergarten parents that we should go to Fun Unleashed. It is an indoor jungle gym. I think there were about 9 mom that showed up! It was pandemonium and I think we all enjoyed it. It was nice to get to know these moms a little better. The kids played and the moms sat around and talked. My kids and I were there 5 hours. Whew. I think I got my money's worth.

And of course, it is snowing tonight. It was really slick on the roads coming home, but we made it. Roll on spring.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Broken Road

Today was the last day of the bible study "Stepping Up. A study of the Psalms of Ascents." Toward the end of the video, Beth Moore pointed out that as pilgrims we are on this journey on a broken road. She talked about how her younger daughter had been engaged and had recently mutally cut off the engagement. She mentioned a song that had spoken to her daughter. You may have heard this song recorded by Rascal Flatts but I think I like this version better. Of course, this song can be about our relationships here on Earth, but I think it can apply to our relationship with God. It's a beautiful song. As soon as Travis Cottrell started playing the intro on the piano (in the video), I felt the tears well up. I love this song and hope you can relate to it.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Happy, Happy Birthday to me...

It wasn't extraordinary, but, all in all, a good day. It started out with my husband not remembering that today was IT and he forgot to say "Happy Birthday." That didn't bother me (much), but then he informed me that he wouldn't take Kendall to school today and that I would have to. Whaaaaaat? But, it's my birthday, I thought. So, I frantically ate my breakfast, made Clayton's lunch (I had already made plans for him to stay at preschool for lunch), made breakfast for the kids and then ran upstairs to put my face on. Then, Pete remembered and he decided he could take Kendall to school after all. Sigh of relief.

Clayton and I got ready and I took him to school. Check. I then drove to Kendall's school so I could volunteer in her class. Check. Her class sang Happy Birthday to me and Kendall could hardly contain herself she was so proud. It was nice. I then went to Tuesday Morning to get a frame and some thank you notes. Check. Then off to meet Clara Sue--mother of an old high school friend--who retired here a few years back. We were meeting for lunch. Check. She figured since she couldn't take her own daughter out for lunch on her 40th, she would take me. We went to the Cozy Thai Bistro. Yummy. It was a nice day. Clara Sue gave me the beautiful cup and saucer that you saw at the top of the page. I then picked up Clayton and headed to the doctor's office. Check. On Tuesday, I discovered an area on my right ear that just didn't look right. What better day to go to the doctors, right? Clayton was good as gold and I got referred to a dermatologist. I was informed that the dermatologist will tell me to wear sunscreen on my ears! (I tend to forget them and they have gotten burned so many times). That appointment won't be until March something. Check. Then I picked Kendall up from school and headed home to discover that our black lab, Cody, gave me a birthday *gift:

And a happy birthday to you, Beeee-aaatch. OK. I don't think she thought about it that way, but really, on my birthday?

*our outside garbage cans are full since the guys didn't pick up last week.

People I share my birthday with...

1807 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow P o e t [ d. 1882 ]
1902 John Ernest
Steinbeck W r i t e r [ d. 1968 ]
1930 Joanne
Woodward A c t r e s s
1932 Elizabeth
Taylor A c t r e s s
1934 Ralph Nader
1940 Howard
Hesseman A c t o r
1954 Neil
Schon M u s i c a l A r t i s t
1960 Paul
Humphreys M u s i c a l A r t i s t
1972 Jeremy
Dean M u s i c a l A r t i s t
1981 Joshua Winslow
Groban M u s i c a l A r t i s t Josh Groban

Chelsea Clinton and my friend, Ronda. :)
Happy Birthday!!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Can't. Hold on. Any. Longer. Good-bye 39. You were good to me and you will be missed. All in all, I have to say the last year was a good one. I got to go to Arkansas (think Dorothy and there's no place like home) twice during the summer. Once in June for a conference and, again in July, for my niece's wedding. There were no major illnesses or traumas. The only exception was that my sister-in-law no longer wanted to be married to my brother (30+ years of marriage). I guess there is always something. But, anyway, a year--and a decade--that I truly enjoyed. The year was finished off with a trip to the Netherlands during Thanksgiving.

Looking back through the last decade of my life, I can say that even though I had some lows (going through a terrible divorce), I grew and figured out what really mattered. I found out that I can make it on my own if I have to, but that I was lucky enough to find true love. I became a mom and was blessed to have my mom around to help me those first few weeks after getting out of the hospital (twice). I went to Cancun and then to Brazil both times without children! Yes, a good decade, indeed.

Am I ready to be 40? As my dad said today, it's a good thing to be able to have the next birthday. And he should know. He has had a bunch.

So, goodbye 39, hello 40! Life is good. I am blessed.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Sunday, February 24, 2008


I did an on-line Myers-Briggs test to see what kind of personality I have. No surprise--I'm an extrovert.

My personality type is ESFJ.
Extraverted (E) 89% Introverted (I) 11%
Sensing (S) 73% Intuitive (N) 27%
Feeling (F) 55% Thinking (T) 45%
Judging (J) 68% Perceiving (P) 32%
This is what the ESFJ profile means.

I think I used to be ESTJ, but I guess experiences change us. Click here to take your test.


Katrin tagged me with this cute meme. It's about random weirdness.
First the rules and then the random weirdness. The rules are as follows:

  • 1. Link to the person who tagged you

  • 2. Post the rules on your blog.

  • 3. Share seven random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog.

  • 4. Tag seven random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.

  • 5. Leave a comment on their blogs so that they know they have been tagged.

My weirdness:
1. When I sleep, I don't like to be touched.

2. I can't stand raw celery. Those strings and that crunch just gross me out.

3. There was a time when I could eat a Snickers bar and drink a Dr. Pepper for breakfast. Oh to be young again.

4. I have sky-dived tandem from 11,000 feet out of a perfectly good airplane.

5. I once considered working for a year in Abu Dhabi (UAE).

6. I can raise my left eyebrow (without raising the other one).

7. Comfort food to me is usually fried and has mashed potatoes and gravy with it.

I am having a hard time coming up with 7 people. So, I am tagging Kat, Trish, Susie and Char.

Points for the husband

I could tell something was going to happen. I just had that feeling. First of all, Pete asked me for the email addresses of my play group moms. Then, the wife of a guy from Pete's lab came up to me at my Thursday bible study and said, "I hear you have a birthday coming up." Then Pete said that we would be having hamburgers on Saturday night. And finally, on Friday, Pete told me that he was trying to throw a surprise birthday party on Saturday night, but realized that he needed by help. I am not normally a tidy person, so I think he knew that unless he told me about it, I would not be cleaning on Saturday. Still, it was a nice thing.

Either Thursday or Friday I had noticed that something was different about my chest of drawers. I keep my jewelry box on top along with an 8x10 baby picture of me (along with some crap and dust). I just couldn't figure it out. On Saturday, we all went to the grocery store as a family. It wasn't a surprise that Pete had ordered me a cake at this point, but when I saw the cake, then I realized what was missing from the chest! Isn't that weird? I had stood there the other day and had a strange feeling someone had been messing with the top of the chest, but had not notice that the 8x10 picture was gone.

It says "40 years and still a Peach". I called my parents to tell them about it and my dad didn't quite hear the last word correctly. I could tell by his "whaaaat?" That he was thinking something else. My mom said I was always an easy baby, so I don't know why my dad thought he heard something else. Anyway, it was a nice gathering and I had to keep emphasizing that I wasn't 40 just yet. That momentous occasion will be this coming Wednesday. I will hang on to 39 until then, thank you very much! :)

Does this look like the face of a 40 year old? Of course not! Not until Wednesday!!!

Friday, February 22, 2008


My daughter just got a phone call from a little boy in her class. She is only 5. My sweet, innocent, baby girl. Yeah, whatever. Since there is no school, he wanted her to come over for a play date. And the mom said she can stay all afternoon. Now, if I could only find someone to want Clayton for the afternoon....

I think I will take him to the indoor jungle gym. He'll love it.

Is it spring yet?

It's another snow day up here in Central PA. I can't complain ,afterall, it is a Friday and I was given the heads up from a friend who told a friend. Evidently, the bus drivers were told yesterday that the school district was going to have a snow day on Friday. So, the bus driver told the friend and so on. SO, with that said, who could complain? I didn't fight with the kids to get them to bed and I knew that I could sleep in and not worry about getting up to shower and get ready. It was like a day off! I am hoping to get the kiddos out mid-morning to burn off some energy and then I won't feel so guilty for letting them watch TV the rest of the day. :)

Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Busy Day

This morning we had a pileated woodpecker in our front yard! I love these birds. It was too far from the house so I didn't get a great picture.

I then headed off to my weekly women's bible study. We are doing a study entitled "Stepping Up". It is a study of the psalms of ascent. The writer is Beth Moore and if you ever get the chance to do one of her bible studies, it is well worth it. Women are near and dear to her heart and all I can say is that I'm so glad I have this to look forward to every Thursday. This woman definitely has the gift of teaching.

This afternoon, Kendall's school had an afternoon program celebrating International Mother Language Day. The coordinator of the program asked me to give a presentation on the South. It was an introduction to the South and very quick, but it was fun. I think they liked it. Another woman read a book called "Petite Rouge" in her Cajun accent. It was Little Red Riding Hood told from a Cajun perspective. Instead of a wolf, it was an alligator that tried to eat Little Red Riding Hood. And of course there was some Turkish dancing, a play in Chinese and a Spanish song, to name a few things.

So, it's near the end of the day, and whew!--I'm tired. And rumor has it that school will be closed tomorrow due to the weather. Oh boy.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Barack Obama - Yes We Can music video

I am probably the last person to see this on youtube. But in case you haven't see it, the music is so cool. Now, I am not endorsing Obama (it is still too early). Anyway, I like the song.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A letter to my President...

Dear Mr. President,

I am writing in response to your recent proposed budget for the fiscal year starting in October 2008. You see, this budget has become very personal to me. I understand that you want to cut 8% of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA-ARS) and that the lab my husband works in is part of that 8%. Mr. President, I ask you why?

As a *Republican, I can understand the need for watching our dollars (trillions) and having to make hard decisions. I know that we need to be fiscally responsible and yes, by using my credit card, I too, borrow from the future. And I know that maybe that isn't a reality for our government to pay for everything now. We aren't set up that way and never have been. But, don't you think that there are some things worth keeping around?

The Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Unit located in University Park, PA is an integral part of the central Pennsylvania community. The lab has been recognized internationally for its outstanding research that helps farmers to protect water quality. In Pennsylvania, my husband's team worked with the state Conservation Commission to develop nutrient management guidelines for the state (Act 38 of 2005), and he has contributed to recent activities as part of the nutrient trading program. His research is vitally important to the clean up of the Chesapeake Bay, something that has been recognized by his fellow scientists and in magazines such as the Journal for Soil and Water Conservation. Given the importance of his research to issues of national priority, shutting down the Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Unit means that Pennsylvania will not be represented by local research and will lose the national representation that my husband and his team provide.

Mr. President, I ask that you reconsider this part of your budget. The lab is not asking for more funding, just that you reinstate the funding from years past. Our family does not want to move and there are many families that will be affected if this lab is closed. Thank you for your time and consideration. God bless America.


Kelly Kleinman

*I am a registered Republican but I don't always vote republican

To the bloggers:
if you feel compelled to write to Congress, here are a couple of names.

The Honorable Robert Casey
817 E. Bishop Street, Suite C
Bellefonte, PA 16823
Fax: 814/357-0318

The Honorable Arlen Specter
228 Walnut Street
Room 1104, Federal Building
Harrisburg , PA 17101
Fax: 717/782-4920

A Living Prayer by Alison Krauss

In case anyone is needing some uplifting this week...this song is for you.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

February Birthday Dinner 2008

This year our annual February Birthday party was smaller and earlier in the month. We are minus a couple since they moved to Ithaca. So, Lou and Peggy came over with their daughter, Michaela. Lou is the February birthday from their family and I am the one from our family. I made my favorite meal: Beef bourguignon and salad with goat cheese. I usually make a yummy chocolate cake, but Lou and Peggy brought the dessert this year. We had an excellent muscat dessert wine from South Africa with our cake....yummy. Pete was asking me earlier what I wanted to do for my birthday. I'm hoping to go out to dinner. But, this year we will be going to Brazil, so that will do for a celebration. And, this birthday is a big one for me. I can't believe I will be (gasp) 40! People say, "you don't look 40!" but I secretly think they are just saying that to be nice. I just noticed today that all the Clairol rinse has all but disappeared! Yep, it's time to "wash that gray right out of my hair" again. And send it on its way.

That's it for now. I realize I am no longer young! Boo hoo. Isn't 40 middle age? Say it isn't so! This growing old gracefully will take some work.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

snow falling

Just a quick video of the snow coming down really fast.

Snow Day #2...

I am officially
STIR CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

More Snow...

The snow is still coming down and it doesn't look like it's going to end until tomorrow morning.

The bird feeder is staying busy. We had a visitor today that I haven't seen before at our house. Since we live in the woods, we don't get frequented by cardinals very often. They usually prefer open spaces surrounded by bushes.
This guy is beautiful and I think he knows it. It's not the best picture since I took it through the kitchen window.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Oh, so cold.

This weekend we had snow. On Sunday, on our drive home after lunch, we experienced a white out. It was impossible to see beyond the car at some points. Pete was driving (actually driving) and I was a back-seat driver (in the front seat). And it has turned really cold here. I think it was 1 F this morning.

But before it turned too terribly cold, the kids did get to go outside and play in the snow for a bit.

I stayed inside. It was way too cold for me out there. :)

I worked today at the local hospital. At one point, walking through the halls, I recalled how much I love working. I think part of it is the people watching. Not watching the patients, but the people that work at the hospital from the office types to the nurses and doctors, etc. I just love watching people. I also love buying my lunch from the cafeteria. It's a nice break from what I eat every day I'm at home. Today, the head chef rang me up so I had to make some small talk, "Do you ever watch Top Chef on Bravo?" He said yes, that people always ask him if he saw this recipe or that on some show, so he tries to keep up with what is going on. I wondered if he ever got any ideas from those shows but I kept that to myself. Usually, the funky stuff he makes doesn't seem to sell too fast.

The other thing I like about working is feeling like I am actually helping someone. Sure, some are appreciative and some aren't, but it's good to get out and see that I don't have it so bad.

I don't know when we are going to warm up outside, but I do have to say the snow was really pretty this morning on my way into work. It reminded me of the meringue on a coconut cream pie. It looked stiff, but so pretty with the sun glistening off of it. It turned out it was so cold today that the snow "crunched" underfoot.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Breakfast at Supper

Growing up, occasionally, my mom served what we called
"breakfast at supper." This is just what it sounds like--bacon, eggs and toast or biscuits. It never occurred to me why we would have this until I was an adult. Sometimes, you just have no idea what you are going to eat for dinner. And the bank account is low and all you have in the house is bread, bacon and eggs. I actually got excited when I remembered I have this cute toast rack. I bought it in England years ago. I just love it. For some reason, it makes toast taste so good. :)

Go Diego Go!

Last night, Clayton (posing as Baby Jaguar) and I were so lucky to go with my friend, Ronda, and her son, Connor, to the Go Diego Go! traveling show. Ronda had won 4 tickets. Clayton was so excited all the way to Ronda's house. Once we were seated and the show started, Clayton sat straight up with his eyes fixed upon the stage. I think the only time he looked away from the stage was to look at me.

The show is an interactive show which means that the characters will ask questions and then have the audience respond. They always have the kids repeat themselves louder and louder. The music is very latin with different dances like the Cha cha and Rhumba. I really liked the music.

When we got home, my husband commented on Clayton and how he was in such a good mood. Indeed, he was feeling very special.

If it comes to your town, I can highly recommend it!

Here is Clayton on the left. As you can see, he is very excited.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Miracle Baby

He survived the tornadoes in Tennessee. You can read about it here.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Wacky Weather

Today's weather was wonderful up here. It was in the high 50s to low 60s. I personally love it because it feels like spring is just around the corner. I know that this will be a short respite from the cold. I also feel for the people affected by the tornadoes in the south. I can say I don't miss all those tornado warnings I experienced as a kid growing up in Arkansas. Right now, it's raining and thundering outside and I hope that is as bad as it gets.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Super Random Tuesday

Well, it's Super Tuesday for most of the country, but in PA it's just another day. We will have to sit back and see who will be a contender for us in April. Our primary is one of the last ones so there really won't be a choice for us. Is there really a choice for anyone? Both Democrats seem to be the same politcally and the top three Republicans are nothing to write home about. I can honestly say that I have problems with all five.

Moving on. I saw this meme from Cheryl. You are to list 7 famous people you have met. Like Cheryl, I don't know that I have met seven, so I will finish the list off with some random facts about me. I haven't had real, in-depth, conversations with these people, either. Usually, it is that I spot them and happen to have a camera with me.

1. Tommy Thompson. I was living in Wisconsin at the time and he was the governor. He was in town to see some big tug boat come through on the MIssissippi. There was a Riverfest and it was a big deal. My neighbor and I decided to ride our bicycles down to the fest to see everything. I brought my camera along to take pictures of the big riverboat. We arrived, all sweaty, to the riverfront. There, in front of me, was the governor surrounded by bodyguards. I made some gesture like, "Wow, it's the governor" to one of the bodyguards. And then asked him if I could get my picture with him. He nodded "yes." So, I walked right up and Governor Thompson put his arm around my waist and we smiled for the camera. I thought the arm around the waist was a little wierd. Plus, I was so gross with sweat. Still, my neighbor and I got a good laugh about that one.

2. Janet Reno. I was flying to Ft. Lauderdale and I was in the airport. I looked over to see a very tall woman surrounded by a bunch of men. Who could mistake her? Anyway, I walked over and asked if I could get my picture with her. I am short and I looked even shorter standing next to her!

3. Yogi Berra. I was at an engagement party this past September and he was one of the guests, too. I shamelessly, introduced myself and asked if I could get my pic with him. At the same party, my husband got his picture with Adriana Lima. I am glad I didn't get my picture with her.

4. Paul Farmer. He might not be famous but I met him at my sister-in-law's wedding. He is a former student of my father-in-law. He is a medical anthropologist and does a lot of work in third world countries.

5. Sandra Lee of Semi-Homemade Cooking on the Food Network. I was returning from Brazil in May 2006. I was flying from Atlanta to Northwest Arkansas. She was flying in to meet with Walmart. I was sitting by a woman that recongnized her. They chatted over me for about 10 min. When we landed we all took pictures. Again, she is tall and I looked like a very short, tired, house wife standing next to her.

6. Corliss Williamson. Years ago, I was at the same hotel as the Arkansas Razorback basketball team. He was standing there and I got his autograph.

I can't think of anyone else famous so here is one random thing about me.

1. I have skydived from 11,000 feet. It was a tandem jump and I experienced free fall for about 30+ seconds. We did two back flips off of the plane's wing at the start. Talk about an experience.

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Snow Day Haiku

Snow and ice came down
Children housebound for the day
The house is a wreck


Is it rude or impolite to answer an adult "yes, Ma'am or yes, Sir?" I had lunch yesterday with a woman who moved here about 18 months ago from the Atlanta area. She has four kids. Her 10 year old daughter was scolded in front of her whole class by her teacher when she answered her teacher with a "yes, Ma'am." The teacher told her she wasn't old and she shouldn't say that. The class laughed at the girl and the girl cried.

Now, if that were MY daughter, I would have been at that school the very next morning to have a chat with that teacher. What do you think? I know in the South, it is considered polite and respectful to answer an adult that way.