Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year's Day!

I'm ready for 2010. No resolutions to make--I never keep them anyway. But, it's going to be a great year. 2009 was not so great.

We woke up to snow this morning. I need to go to the grocery store and one of my kids is not feeling great. Yep, tomorrow (next year) will be better.

Pete went to the Finger Lakes area to hunt this weekend so the kids and I are on our own for New Year's Eve. I'm such the party-er. He wanted us to drive up today to join him but I'm content to sleep in my own bed after traveling for Christmas. And tomorrow there is football to watch. We'll be heading over to our friend's house for lunch and then we'll watch LSU (hopefully) beat Penn State. Sorry, but I'm always rooting for the Southeastern Conference. I don't care who they're playing. I normally don't root for LSU, however.

So, I must get ready and head to the grocery store. I need to buy some black eyed peas for New Year's Day. What do you eat for good luck on New Years?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas recap

Well, we had a nice Christmas but never made it to New York City. We left on Christmas Eve and arrived to Cambridge around 10 pm. Because we weren't going to be here for Christmas, I got to open a gift early. OK, it wasn't wrapped. Anyway, I got a 32 inch flat screen TV. Yahoo!

All Kendall wanted from Santa was a 'Just Like You' American Girl. Santa delivered. This is the doll Kendall wanted even though it doesn't look just like her. Oh well. She was a very happy girl.

The day after Christmas my in-laws took us to Legal Seafoods in the Charles Hotel in Cambridge. They have really good seafood. I just love the way Clayton looks here with his knit hat on. Sometimes I feel like I'm looking at a much older Clayton. After the late lunch, the kids and parents went ice skating in front of the hotel. It was a blast and worked off some energy from the kids and calories from the adults.

We drove home on the 28th. It was a good drive and the kids and dogs are good travelers. We were all very tired from the few days visiting Pete's family. It was a good visit, though. On Sunday night Pete's 96 year old Nana insisted on making dinner for everyone. While Pete was cleaning the kitchen, Anne (Pete's sister) and I got to sit and chat with Nana.

Me: Nana, what's the secret? How have you lived so long?
Nana: I don't know.
Me: I know. It's coffee in the morning, an alcoholic drink at 5 pm, and ....?
Nana: Dark chocolate!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! We opened some presents this morning since it looks like we're headed to the in-laws today. The weather isn't cooperating and while I'm stubborn, I'm not stupid. We need to beat the freezing rain that is coming our way. Besides, my kids just love being around their cousins.

So, Merry Christmas everyone. I hope you get everything you want.
Don't forget the real reason for Christmas. We've all been given a precious gift.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

At least in my kitchen. Tomorrow the kids are putting on some sort of program at school. I think they are going to sing some Holiday songs and do other things. It's a big secret for the parents. The parents are bringing in the sweets. I decided to bring in cut-out sugar cookies with a Christmas theme. After all, that is the big day this month!!!

I found this recipe on the web and it is delicious. The buttercream frosting comes from Mark Bittman's How to cook Everything cookbook. The frosting uses cream as well as butter to make this the most heavenly frosting ever. I only ate two of the cookies this evening.

Our tree is up, as well. We got a real one and the presents are surrounding it. The kids got to open one present each tonight. I always got to open a present early when I was a kid. They were so happy.

We might get to stay here for Christmas Eve and then after the Santa stuff on Christmas, we will drive up to Boston to see Pete's parents. I'm hopeful it will turn out that way. There's just something about watching your kids in your own home opening their presents under their own tree.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I received this in my yahoo email account. It went to the SPAM folder. I called my VISA company and they said don't click on the link. It was not a legitimate email. Wow. There are some nervy people out there. It seems the crooks are getting sneakier and sneakier. Like the two airplane tickets that someone bought in the Ukraine with my husband's debit card earlier this year. Yep, we must always stay on our guard, I guess.

Dear valued Visa Card Customer,

It has come to our attention that your Visa Card information needs to be
reactivated as part of our continuing commitment to protect your card and to
reduce the instance of fraud.
Once you have reactivated your Visa Card records, your card
service will not be interrupted and will continue as normal.

Your Case ID Number is: RT87R7ER8R8D

To reactivate your Visa Card click on the following link:

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Thank You.

Failure to verify your records will result in Card suspension.

Accounts Management As outlined in our User Agreement, Visa will
periodically send you information about site changes and enhancements.

Visit our Privacy Policy and User Agreement if you have any questions.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Last Saturday Clayton and I had Breakfast with Santa. It's amazing how kids can believe and also refreshing. He told Santa he wants a dinosaur. Yep, he's easy when it comes to these things. But, both my kids are smart and they're asking questions that require me to come up with stuff. I can see how it will be a little easier once they know the truth regarding Santa. This might be the last year we have this magic of Christmas since we will be in NYC with the in-laws for Christmas. I will have to lie through my teeth for my kids to not learn the truth this year. The young cousins already know but don't have the wisdom (or unselfishness) to keep it a secret. I really don't want to go there, but I lost that battle. My husband is going to call his sister and try to explain that our kids still believe in Santa and we would like to keep it that way for now.

Speaking of the cousins, my husband are I are going shopping for them this afternoon. Last year our gifts were not great. How do you buy something for a kid that has everything? Seriously, the parents could buy us and sell us 10 times over. The niece wants whatever her big brother gets. Last year, she cried when she opened her gift because it wasn't like his gift. I think this year I will get identical Nerf things or something like that. Like I said, it's hard to buy for these very privileged children.

We are also going to finally get our Christmas tree today. We are so behind on this. Pete has been traveling so much and he insists on going to a farm and cutting it down himself. This, of course, takes preparation like remembering the rope to tie the tree to the car, remembering the snow pants and boots for the kids, etc. I would be fine just buying one that is already cut, but no, it's all about the experience. My experience as a kid consisted of getting the box out of the closet and putting the tree together. I do like the smell of the real trees better but I don't like stepping on the needles.

That's about it for this Tuesday. I'm a little lackluster due to a cold and really I would rather be sleeping. Oh well, how often does a woman get to go shopping with her husband?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

it's that busy time of year...

As you know, the kids stayed home on Wednesday because of the weather. I finally went outside with them in the afternoon and helped build this snowman. It was a lot of fun once I got bundled up and went out there. But, the thought of playing in the snow didn't sound fun to me at first. I'm sure I loved it as a kid, though.
Here is Lilly leaping through the snow. She loves it. She's a crazy pup.
And here is the final product from our busy afternoon. I don't know what they named him. Was if Frosty? or Snowy? I'm not sure, but he did have a name.
The kids went back to school today. A welcomed break for this mom. Clayton was home Monday and Tuesday with a cold and fever and then the snow day on Wednesday was more fun than I could stand. :)

I've got a busy weekend coming up. Pete and Kendall will fly to Boston to see my in-laws. So, it will be a mom/son weekend. My neighbor called to request a dessert for a little party she's giving Saturday lunchtime. Tonight, I have my Girls Night Out at a nice restaurant. Saturday morning Clayton and I will be having breakfast with Santa. Saturday afternoon I will be baking cookies for the open house on Sunday at the Centre Volunteers in Medicine and Clayton will go to a birthday party on Sunday afternoon. Phew! I hope I'm not forgetting something.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Cold, wet snow!

This is what we woke up to today. The kids' school was canceled also. I hope the weather improves. I've been home with a sick boy since Monday and I'm getting a little stir crazy!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

They're here....

Our friends arrived safe and sound last night. Pete got home about an hour later from the DC area. Ben and Emmy live in Taiwan and came to the states to see Ben's family for Thanksgiving. Their daughter, Florence, is the cutest little two year old. She has dark hair like her mommy and curls like her father's side. They said people stop them in the streets in Taipei because she is so cute. I believe it.

For dinner last night I cooked poached salmon (aka Nana's salmon), steamed rice and green beans. Ben was so impressed that I had a rice cooker. I guess they aren't common in the states for non-Asians and I had to remind him who I was married to. Yes, my husband and his family had lived in Taiwan when Pete was little. They love Asian cuisine and my mother-in-law used to be a really good cook. The salmon had lemon, rice vinegar, white wine and some olive oil on it along with some herbs and Dijon mustard. It turned out perfect! The juices were ladled over the white rice. The green beans were simple with a little squirt of lemon juice and salt. For dessert, I made the apple tart again. Ooh la la. Ben brought some very good red wine from Napa valley and we opened our Riesling brought back from New Zealand. We were saving it for such an occasion as this.

We're going out to eat tonight. Yay for baby sitters! Emmy wants Thai food and since she is 24 weeks pregnant with their second child, I figure we will indulge her!

As far as the plans for the day, we haven't figured anything out to do. We woke up to a steady snowfall so I doubt we'll be playing outside much. I doubt there will be enough to build a snowman.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Domestic Goddess...

After my shower every morning, I put on some comfy clothes (until I figure out what I'm going to wear) and my house shoes. For those of you not raised in the south, house shoes are also known as slippers. Today, I could only find the left shoe of both pairs of house shoes. It seems Lilly likes to run off with a shoe in her mouth when she's excited about something. So, I am like the guy from The Best in Show and I have two left feet. If you've never seen the movie, you should rent it. It's a hoot. Anyway, I had to walk around the house like this this morning. I later found the right shoe for one of my pairs of house shoes so now my feet are a little more comfortable.

We are having company this weekend (Yay!) so I need to clean, clean and clean. I also need to go to the grocery store and get some food for our friends. And of course, there are all the other errands that I need to do. But one thing I MUST do today is sweep in the unfinished basement. It seems our old cat pooped down there back in the day when I would forget to clean his litter box. Pete has been after me for a week or so to get to it. I never knew he had done that since I try not to go to the basement EVER.
Since it's been brought to my attention, I don't have an excuse now. Dang.

Happy Thursday, y'all.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

My day

I got this beautiful card in the mail. It came from South Africa! It was sent from my blogger friend, Char. There is a nice message inside, too. The photo doesn't do it justice, but she also made a charm for my key chain. I love it! Thanks, Char!

It started out as a nice day and got better as the day went on. I met the mom of an old high school friend for lunch at Cozy Thai Bistro. It's nice to catch up. Her daughter will be coming for a visit right after Christmas, so I'm looking forward to that. I found out, though, that she and her husband ate at a restaurant for Thanksgiving. Ugh! I felt so bad to hear it. I knew I should have called her to see what she was doing that day! I (wrongly) assumed one of her daughters would be visiting her or she would be visiting them. You know what they say about 'assume'
don't you?

After lunch I went shopping at Kohl's. I bought a sweater for me (Merry Christmas to myself, I say) and found a cute dress for Kendall. I got a couple of things for my-gulp-great niece. She was born in August so she's just a young thing. Oh, and I did get something for Clayton earlier in the day. I'm doing fairly well with this 'getting ready for Christmas' thing.

I had a few minutes to kill before picking up the kids so I went to Walmart. I really want a 32" flat screen LCD TV. A girl can dream, can't she? I'm tired of the words and pictures being cut off of our curved screen. I only watch about 3 shows, but what the hey? They should be enjoyable!

And then I got home and had that great card! That is one thing I like about this time of year--getting all that mail!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Time is flying by...

Wow! I can't believe it's December already, but when I let the dog out, it certainly felt like it. The cold weather has ushered in. We've been lucky with the weather so far this fall with the exception of that snow storm mid-October. I start wishing the days away around Dec. 21. I hate to say it, but I don't like the short, cold days.

My kids went back to school today. They were home since the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. It was fun hanging out but by Saturday night, I was needing a break. Of course, the kids fought a bunch but they played a lot, too. Pete took the kids to school today. It was nice to wave "bye-bye" to them! :)

So, let the day begin. I need to do some Christmas shopping, set up our nativity (it hasn't been up since before kids), wrap some presents that my mom left here from her visit, and grocery shop. And if I have time, I'll mop the kitchen floor since Clayton spilled some orange juice last night. I doubt the dog licked all of it up!

Monday, November 30, 2009


I'm grumpy today. It could be due to several reasons:

  1. it's that time of the month
  2. I've been home with the kids for 7 days straight without many breaks
  3. it's that time of the year
  4. antidepressants have quit working
Oh, I've been grumpy for a few days but, for whatever reason, I'm in a funk today.

To help me pass the time and/or help me with my mood, I baked.

This was so simple to make. I adapted an Ina Garten recipe for Apple Tart. Yummy.

The free medical clinic called and the don't need me tomorrow. I'm sort of relieved. I'm starting to feel really behind on Christmas preparations. I've ordered Kendall's big gift and now I need to get Clayton taken care of. And then there is my new sister-in-law. She is about 53 and I've met her once. Our family draws names every year and that's who I got. Pete got my dad. I'm trying not to procrastinate this year like I always do!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I saw the movie Julie and Julia this afternoon with a friend. I liked it. I could relate to what the author was going through. For instance, life isn't exactly how I imagined it would be. After having the kids and staying home, I find that I don't have a long-term goal. No direction or passion. OK, I do like to cook and I occasionally take a picture of a meal that I think is gorgeous, but really that blog has already been turned into a best seller, right? I like to think I could be this great professional woman out there and have this great family to care for. I know that most likely won't be the case. For now, it seems I'm a ho-hum-stay-at-home-mom. I learned to cook after I was home all the time with the kids. But, I do like to cook and entertain.

So, where does that leave me? I do have some interest in going back to school to work on a master's degree, but what subject? I've always been fascinated with infectious disease or public health. But, then I feel like why pay the money and have the stress of school when I'm living in central PA and would most likely never use the degree? Or is that just a big excuse for not pushing myself. And then there's the volunteering at the free medical clinic. Once a week is enough and gives me that feeling of impacting some lives out there.

I guess I should look at it as if right now my job is being there for my kids. For instance, they are home tomorrow for opening day of deer season. Yes, you read it right. The public schools are closed for opening day. Annie get your gun. I have a gig tomorrow hanging out with the kids.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

France--Day 4

On Wednesday of my trip, I took a train from Paris to see my friend who lives a couple of hours away. She is British and I met her when she lived in Wisconsin. She and her family are now in France and I've visited them twice over there. She picked me up at the train station and took me to the castle in Epinal. There were beautiful views from there. Her older son took this picture and her younger son jumped up just as he took it.

This is her dog, Abi. She's a sweet dog who knows commands in English and French!
Here is her husband cooking up something on the grill. They have an old farm house with a huge back yard. There are all kinds of fruit trees and berry bushes. I picked a lot of raspberries and ate them while I was there.

That was about it for Day 4. It was a travel day with a little sight-seeing and dinner.

Friday, November 27, 2009

I ate so much on Thursday. Everything turned out just right. Our friends arrived and we had Kir Royale. Yummy! There was a ton of food. I did do one thing differently then what I mentioned the other day. Instead of mashing sweet potatoes up with sauteed garlic and onions, I opted for a sweet potato casserole. Pete loved it. Since we were having mash potatoes, I didn't want to have just regular mashed sweet potatoes. My cornbread dressing was yummy, too.

This is my plate and yes, it's a lot! It's a good thing that Thanksgiving is only one day a year (as far as the food goes).

I had to get up early this morning and be at work at 6:30 am. Yes, everyone else was doing the insane thing of shopping on black Thursday and I was working. I hope to work more, but right now it's not happening. :(

Well, I better go and eat some yummy leftovers for dinner!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

So, Thanksgiving is tomorrow. I have tons to be thankful for. I'm looking forward to preparing the huge meal and having guests. I do wish I could be with my extended family, though. Oh well.

The kids are home for a few days. Nowadays, they are totally into vintage Scooby Doo movies. I liked that stuff, too, when I was a kid. I wish they had school today so I could run errands and have the house to myself just one more day.

The day after Thanksgiving I will work at the hospital. Yay! I haven't worked in a long time and with Christmas coming up, it will be good to have some extra money coming in. Speaking of Christmas, I ordered Kendall's American Doll last night. Now, I have to figure out what the little guy wants from Santa. He's really into the magnetic building tiles. I think I need to order some more so he can build big things.

So, I better stop blogging and get cooking! I've got to make my stuffing today. I'm making cornbread stuffing/dressing. It's simple, yet so yummy. I made my cranberry sauce last night. I've never made homemade cranberry sauce before. I'll taste it today to see how the flavors blended. Our friends are bringing two pies and some green beans. I usually am the dessert person but I'm happy to pass the torch when it comes to making pumpkin pies. I'm not a fan of them. I'm also roasting some fresh brussel sprouts with figs and lardon. And of course, we will have mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes. My husband doesn't like the sweeter version of sweet potatoes that my family makes so we will do a savory dish with sauteed onions, garlic and butter mixed in mashed sweet potatoes. I should get some yeasty rolls to put on the table too. I almost forgot about that! I think that's it for the menu. Oh, and the turkey. We have a huge one because Pete thought I said I wanted leftovers. Ugh.

So, Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Friday, November 20, 2009

What to do?

I'm trying to plan ahead and get ready for the holidays. This year we are staying home for Thanksgiving and having friends over for the big meal. But Christmas will be spent on the road. I'm so torn about this. My kids still believe in Santa but their cousins in New York City know there is not a Santa. Two years ago, my niece said to my kids, "Santa is your mama." I was sick. I remember saying to her (mind you, she was 3, almost 4, at the time), "I'm sorry Santa doesn't come to your house, but he comes to ours." Later, I did the Santa Tracking on the Internet and I hope filled her with doubt. So, there's the quandary. We will be in New York until Christmas day and then we will go up to Boston to see Pete's parents. My sister-in-law will have a tree (she will probably hire someone to decorate it, but still), so that seems like the perfect place for Santa to bring the presents since we won't get back until Dec. 27 to our house. I'm just hoping my kids will get to enjoy the magic for another year. Yesterday in the car my daughter asked me if Santa was real. I replied, "Gosh, I hope so." My son said, "Yes, he's real. You've seen him!" So, my 7 year old is questioning it but my 5 year old still believes.

I think I'll call my sister-in-law and tell her we will be doing Santa there. I hope she gets the message. Seriously, her son at age 5 was putting stuff in our stockings Christmas morning before my kids got up. I just don't want Christmas to be ruined for my kiddos.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Wow! The week flew by from the last time I posted!

Gosh! I'm getting so behind in my posting. We've been doing stuff around the house and then there's no time for important stuff like writing in my blog.

My husband is out of town again this week. He has traveled a ton this fall and I think that's one reason the house is never in shape. The kids destroy it faster than I can pick it up. Yes, they should be helping. I know.

I volunteered today at the free medical clinic. It was my second time to volunteer. So far, I've had good luck finding veins on the patients. The clients (that is what they are supposed to be referred as) have been great. Most of them look like anyone else-clean cut, well dressed, etc. The difference is they make too much money for Medicaid and they're too young for Medicare. Private insurance policies are way too expensive for the average person so there are a lot of people falling through the cracks. It's a shame it's that way right now. I don't understand how some people can be so cold-hearted when it comes to health care access. I know it will cost money to insure people but, hey, nobody seems to bat an eye at all the money the Pentagon spends. I guess it's OK to destroy lives rather than preserve and try to keep lives healthy. Oh, I digress. What I was going to say is the patients thank me and say how much they appreciate what we're doing there. It's almost uncomfortable. Don't get me wrong, I love the pat on the back, but I'm getting something out of it, too. After all, both my kids are in school and I don't have permanent work yet, so really, what else should I be doing?
Just maybe I'm selfish and need the adult contact? It's only 3 hours a week and it goes by fast.

It seems the lice scare might be over at school. Knock on wood, I think we averted it for now. That's just what I need--to have to wash all the bedding, etc. I think that would just send me over the edge.

This Thursday is the last day for my bible study this semester. It's been hard keeping up with it with Pete gone so much, but I've enjoyed the time spent there and getting to know the ladies better in my small group. I think we will get together some more to make Christmas candy with a couple of the older ladies in our small group. Sounds like fun to me!

Did I mention that I've joined a Bunco group? They meet once a month and play Bunco. It's really an excuse to get together with a bunch of women and eat and talk. They have different themes depending on the host and this last time was "wear a fancy occasion dress." I stayed in the car until I was certain I was at the right house and I saw other women in long dresses! After a while, some of us changed into more comfortable attire. It's just not the same when you're not dancing and drinking.

So, that's a little of what's been going on around here. I'm running again and loving it. I ran for 25 minutes straight today and only had to stop to walk because there was a long hill at the end!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I had a productive day. Oh, the house is not in shape, but I did accomplish a lot today. First, I had the Women's bible study at a local church. I had done all my daily studies, except one, and felt on top of it. I helped lead the singing with two other women and the songs were awesome. After the morning, I bought a birthday gift for one of Clayton's friends who is having a party Sunday afternoon. When I got home I had lunch, ironed some clothes, checked email and Facebook and then went for a run. I'm up to two miles now and it's getting better everytime I go out. I just put some banana bread batter in the oven. I gotta go pick up the kids from school in a minute and then get ready for Girls' Night Out. Yippee! A good, busy, productive day.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My husband had the day off for Veteran's Day. It was nice to spend some time together since we've been really busy lately and he's been traveling some. His goal was to put the walls up on the tree house. This weekend, he'll put the roof on and add the door. I think the kids will really like playing up there.

I made cookies this weekend for my friends' tail gate. They were yummy. Butter, sugar...what's not to like? The reason we tail gated this weekend was my old friend who lives in DC came up with her family. We went to high school together in Arkansas. It's great getting together. But, we were playing Ohio State University at home. My friends had lived in Columbus, Ohio for four years and became Ohio State fans. We still had a great time even though Penn State lost. It had been a while since Pete and I had hung out with other adults without kids.

Here is my friend with her 5 month old Cavalier King Charles, Charlie. He was pretty cute even if his only purpose is to sit in your lap. He does have a funny habit of scooting his bottom across the floor. My husband wasn't impressed. But, my husband only has use for hunting dogs!

Oh and there was a lice scare at school today. I think it came from a birthday party from Saturday that my son was invited to. At the last minute because we had company this weekend, Clayton didn't go to the party. It turns out the kids who went to the party all got lice! They were sent home from school today. Ugh! I am so hoping my kids don't get lice.

Monday, November 09, 2009

We had a great weekend. My friend from high school, who now lives in DC, came up with her husband and 3 kids. They are a very easy family to be around. She has twin daughters who are 10 and another girl who is 8. I hardly saw my kids all weekend! They arrived on Friday night. On Saturday, we adults got to tailgate at the Penn State game while the 5 kids stayed back with a babysitter. The weather was gorgeous all weekend, too. It was just an awesome time. My house is a mess now, but I don't care.

My kids are out of school today for some in-service. We need a little down time in the house. It's going to be a beautiful day outside so I think I'll try to get them to play in the sun today. Tonight I'm watching some kids while the parents go to dinner. This family watches my kids all the time for play dates and their daughter and my daughter are best friends.

Tomorrow will be the first day I volunteer at the Volunteers in Medicine clinic. I'm excited and a little nervous. I hope I do a good job! It will be for a couple of hours every Tuesday.

I guess that's it for now. I've got laundry up to my eyeballs!

Have a good Monday!

Monday, November 02, 2009


We survived Halloween. The kids had a blast. Clayton was a Clone trooper and Kendall was a Cheetah cub. She's a cat every year.

For Halloween we went to a friend's house and had dinner and then all the kids went out at 6 pm. It was a little chilly once the sun went down, but otherwise the weather was good. The kids got tons of candy! We hardly had any kids at our house, so I have tons of candy, too. :) Good thing I bought snickers.

Last week two of Pete's colleagues from Sweden stayed with us. I enjoy having company and cooked a nice meal for them on Thursday evening. On Friday they took us out to dinner. The
kids had been out for three days last week and I enjoyed the little break from them, even if it were only for a little while. My kids are good kids--don't get me wrong--but they are so mean to each other that I get exhausted being a referee all the time.

I guess the most exciting thing I did today was purchase an electric leaf blower. I should have taken before/after photos of the yard. Oh well. The yard was covered in brown leaves (we live in the woods) and now one can see green grass. I overdid it and am fairly tired but it was a blast!

And lastly, it looks like I will be volunteering at a medical clinic in town. It's the Centre Volunteers in Medicine. I never knew they were part of a bigger organization so that's kind of neat. I'll be there on Tuesday mornings drawing blood. It'll be nice to feel like I'm helping others.

That's it for now. I'm beat. The husband is out of town and won't get back until Thursday!

Monday, October 26, 2009

I been a little down lately. I don't know if it's the change of weather (fall), the fact that my mom just left last week after a short visit, I'm not getting to work much lately at the hospital, or what? Change is hard and I'm definitely in a state of transition. I always thought I would be working more once both kids were in school but I'm realizing it's the opposite. I'll admit it, I like making money. And I don't want to work a job just to work. I want to feel like I'm doing something that really makes a difference (and be well compensated for it, too.) I guess I'm going to have to make some decisions regarding this.

One thing I always wanted to do once the kids were both in school was to volunteer at the Centre Volunteers in Medicine. I'm not a dentist or doctor or nurse, but I can take blood pressures, draw blood and answer phones. I'm attending an orientation for volunteers this Thursday evening to check it out. While it will be missing the money component, I can see how volunteering here would definitely be helping people and making a difference.

My mom and I had a good visit. It was short because I'm sure she doesn't like being away from my dad too long. He's 75 and is slipping a bit. Both kids asked why Papaw didn't come and I really didn't have a good answer. When my mom asked my dad about it, he said he didn't want to buy an airplane ticket. I guess money is more important to my dad than his grand kids. My son worships my dad. It does break my heart. I've been struggling with that a bit. My in-laws are better off financially than my parents but I doubt they will come here again since my mother-in-law has a hard time traveling. The Alzheimer's has gotten really bad and it's just too hard on everyone involved. But, my father-in-law makes an effort to see the kids by flying them up there or taking us on trips. And when he is around the kids, he's actually there with them. He reads to them, plays games, and engages. This is something my dad doesn't do.

I did have some fun this week. I saw Couple's Retreat and it was LOL funny. And then last night I played Bunco. I played Bunco when I lived in Wisconsin and it was always a lot of fun. One of the soccer moms from Clayton's team needed a sub so I got to go. I needed it.

I guess that's enough moaning for now. I need to see the good in this day. It is going to be a beautiful day and I'm finally over this cold. I want to get back on that treadmill or run outside today.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


My mom came after all. Clayton woke up Saturday and his fever was gone!!! Mom decided to come on up and take a chance. I couldn't post until this morning--didn't want to jinx anything. :) Kendall seems to be feeling well but I feel a little under the weather. I will push on though! (how often does a girl get to shop with her mom?)

Pete got home safe and sound last night, too. The kids were so excited. I was glad, too!

See ya!

Friday, October 16, 2009


I just got off the phone with my mom. She's decided to postpone her trip up here since it looks like the little guy might have the flu. I can't blame her. He came down with a fever and the cold /flu/ nasal stuff this morning. So, chances are, we are in for a few days of having a sick boy. And I would feel awful if she came here and caught whatever he had.

This evening his fever was 102 F. Poor guy.

So, the pressure's off to have a spotless house tomorrow. Of course, anyone who knows me, knows that one cannot eat off my kitchen floor! And my mom doesn't go around the house with a white glove. Still. It is one last thing to worry about tomorrow. I think having two sick kids is enough right now.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I'm ready for the weekend!

From getting pumpkins one day to driving through snow the next, this weather has been kinda freaky lately. We hardly had any summer (it was cold and rainy) and now we have snow on October 15! Of course, the kids are extremely excited. Wouldn't you know that they need new snow boots? I guess my kids are going to get bigger after all.

My husband will return home late Saturday night with Lilly. My mom arrives around 10 pm on Saturday, too. I can't wait to see her! I'm looking forward to seeing my man, too. :) Now, Lilly, I'm not really missing her but I'm sure the kids can't wait to see her. It's been nice coming home and knowing that none of the beds have been peed on by her.

I have to admit the single parent thing is getting old. I'm tired, y'all. Plus, Kendall had to be put on antibiotics due to a secondary infection from her cold about 3 weeks ago. We've been doing the breathing treatments at home and she even missed a day of school this week. I've had a hard time keeping up with the house since I've been driving here and there with kid appointments and such. I saw the second grade teacher today and asked how Kendall was at school. Mrs. E. said Kendall walked into class today and exclaimed, "I'm on antibiotics for diabetes!" To which Mrs. E. corrected her and said, "for bronchitis!"

To make my week a little busier, I had to meet with the speech pathologist at school regarding Clayton. Just before the meeting, I tried my had at a tarte tatin. It was supposed to be turned out onto a platter (so the crust is on the bottom, apples on the top) but the apples stuck to the cast iron. I think I know what I did so next time I'll be careful. Anyway, it turns out my son has a lisp. I know he's hard to understand sometimes so I think it might be time to try to correct it. He was evaluated when he was 4 and was OK for his age then, but I guess he isn't where he needs to be for age 5+. At least it can be done at the school during normal school hours.

I guess I should wrap this up. I've got to get those kids in and feed them dinner. Well, I should, anyway!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Another day, another pumpkin....

I went with Clayton's kindergarten class yesterday to a farm. I think every kindergarten class in town does this trip. They get on a hay wagon and ride to a spot where someone has laid out little pumpkins for the children to "pick." I'm sure the city kids think this is really the country. My kids (I hope) know better.

Anyway, two of the girls in my group and a boy from another group got scared walking through the corn maze so I had to step out with them and wait for the rest of the class to finish. Yep, I didn't get to go through the maze with my son. Too bad the parents of the pansy boy wasn't there so they could wait with him. Oh well. Clayton, being the good kid he is, understood. I whispered in his ear when he came out of the maze to explain. Evidently, the boy that I waited with does this kind of thing often. Clayton's teacher apologized when she found out I had to wait with him.

In some happy news, I heard a really good story on NPR this morning after dropping the kids off. Sometimes I hear the best stories and smile. Here is a link to the story. The part where they played the tape made me smile and gave me chills. I could picture everything. But, this guy in the story made me realize to live life to the fullest and don't settle for mediocrity.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

"What can I do?"

I guess my son needs more structure than I give him. Yesterday we were busy with the apple festival at Way Fruit Farm. Kendall and Clayton did the petting zoo and we rode the wagon thing to go out to the field to pick our pumpkins. It was fun! The weather turned out great.

Today, I got the kids up and off we went to church. We were only 5 to 10 minutes late, which for us, is really good. At 1 pm, we went to Clayton's soccer game and then home. Kendall is a little under the weather so we skipped her game today. And then the question I heard was, "What can I do?" If I heard it once, I heard it 30 times. Ugh! Of course, everything I suggest isn't what he wants to hear (clean your room, pick up toys, build Lego's, color, etc.) I have no clue how to handle a kid that needs to be told how to entertain himself! He even gets bored watching TV! I'm glad he doesn't want to sit there all day and watch TV, but I really don't know what to say to him. He wanted someone to play with but his sister didn't feel well and the neighborhood kids weren't around. I'm glad he goes back to school tomorrow.

some of the teammates on Clay's soccer team

So, it's another week. I'm chaperoning for the kindergarten field trip tomorrow. Yes, we're going out to a farm and getting more pumpkins. :-)

Friday, October 09, 2009

Another week and what the heck did I do?

Wow! It's Friday already. Where did the week go and just what did I do with my time? I'm still working on setting up some sort of routine for the week but I'm afraid by the time I come up with a plan, the Christmas holidays will be here. You see, it's now hunting season in our house and Pete leaves for Wisconsin tomorrow. Yes, he will be gone 10 days. I think this is the first year that I don't feel overwhelmed about it. Maybe going to France for 10 days in September is keeping it all in perspective. Or maybe, life is a little easier this year. Both kids are in school all day now and I really, really appreciate the free time. Last year at this time, we had a 4 month old puppy who was still peeing all over the place. Lilly has calmed down a bit and I think she's stopped making some mistakes on our furniture. But, I am so excited this year that she is going to be gone for 10 days! The old dog is staying here (she's retired) but she is no trouble. (Well, I take that back. She likes to wander off and eat "stuff" and then throw it up for me.) But, she will sleep through the night and she doesn't whine. Heck, my kids still whine. So, you can sense my excitement! Also, last year at this time I was still very anxious about the diagnosis of the Hep C. So glad that is behind me now.

So, back to what I did with my week. Pete was gone most of this week with work stuff so it was a busy week. Monday was soccer night for Kendall. Her team did a great job. One of the dads from her team was so obnoxious that I could have stuffed a sock down his throat. I felt like he was putting some unnecessary pressure on his girls and the rest of the team. I hope he's not there Sunday.

Tuesday was a free day after school. You gotta love those days where you can just go home and not rush out the door to something else. We all got our hair cut that evening so that was about it.

Wednesday morning I took my old cat to the vet. He can't see very well. It turns out he has a blood clot in one eye and the beginning of a retinal tear in the other. Poor kitty. I may have to give him some medicine and get special food for him. The vet thinks the eye problems could be related to high blood pressure. I had lunch with the mom of a friend from high school later on that day. We always have such a good time. We had Indian food and sat there for two hours just chatting away. Wednesday night Clayton had soccer but the baby sitter met me at the field and stayed with Clay and Kendall. Pete was out of town and I had my support group meeting that night. There are only 3 of us but we keep meeting once a month. We want to be there for anyone out there suffering with the diagnosis with Hep C. I ran into Clayton's coach after the game and he said that Clay had an awesome game. Of course, I missed it. Oh, I also ran into a mom from the school. It was one of those moments when you wish you could just turn back the clock by 30 seconds: "Hi! Where's your husband? Fighting fires?" (He is a fire fighter, after all) I asked. To which she said very loudly to me, "He left us three weeks ago! I don't know where he is." Oh gosh. I felt so bad for her and her boys. I offered my sympathy and told her if there was anything I could do, to just let me know. I meant it.

Thursday was Girls' Night Out. Now, don't get any ideas. We're just a bunch of stay home moms that go out to eat once a month. I haven't been in forever due to traveling. It was nice to catch up. I ate too much dinner and had dessert, too. I will never learn. I guess the reason I had dessert was I ran earlier in the day and had a good run.

So, it's Friday. I did laundry, returned some defective Levi's for Pete and cleaned the house a little. It's been rainy today. I'm not ready for the next 10 days, but it will all be OK. My mom will be coming a day before Pete gets back. I can't wait to see her!

Have a glorious weekend, everyone!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

This week

I'm taking a break from the recap of France. I feel like this has been a busy week, but exciting. I'm still trying to figure out this stay-at-home-thing-when-your-kids-are-in-school-all-day. I do like to bake and I definitely have more time for that. I have to admit, grocery shopping without a kid hanging on the basket is really nice. I buy less junk and I don't have to say no the whole time I'm there. I would like to have some kind of work, however. I'm a reluctant homemaker. I do like having more time to exercise, especially in the morning when I have more energy. I did get back into the weekly Bible study this week that I did the last year. It was great to see those women again. I'm going to try to exercise with a friend once a week and have the occasional lunch with the mom of an old high school friend. But, I need more. I will set up some time to volunteer at the kids' school and there is a medical clinic that provides free health care in the community where I could possibly do something there. But, it's nice bringing home a paycheck, too. The local hospital doesn't have a permanent position in Nuclear Medicine, so I just fill in when they take days off. I didn't get the job for which I was invited to apply. I was relieved, though. The more I thought about it, the more I wished I hadn't accepted the invitation to interview. So, I learned a lesson here. I want to work, but I want to do something that will give me some satisfaction, too. I'm lucky since I can choose to work or not.

Some things that are different this week are:

I won 1st place in the Arts and Architecture category photo contest at work this week. The picture will be hung on the wall in the hospital where they hang people's artwork.

Pete and Clayton flew to Boston on Friday to see my in-laws. Kendall and I are having a girls' weekend. After school yesterday, she and I went shopping. She was more enamored with the idea than actually doing it. I guess I'll have to wait until she a teenager to actually shop all day with her.

We are going to see Cirque du Soleil this afternoon. The show is called Alegria. I can't wait and I think it will be so much fun. Afterward, we will go out to the restaurant of Kendall's choice. She picked Baby's because she likes their hot dogs. :)

Oh, and Kendall has decided to drop ballet. I'm not disappointed, I have to say. She and Clayton are into soccer and that is really enough right now.

So, that's the recap of this week. I'm sure there is a bunch of stuff I forgot. I must try to blog more regularly....

Sunday, September 27, 2009

France--Day 3

On Tuesday, we changed our plans from visiting Versailles to walking around and exploring the Right Bank a bit. The Louvre was closed but we still walked over there and took some photos. I've been to the Louvre before, but this time I wasn't able to make it. I know I'll be back with my kids one day and go there for sure with them.
On the way, I had my sister pretend she was shopping. She's the red head--not the woman with gray hair. :) I thought this store had their produce set up so nicely.
After seeing the pretty fruit and veggies, we walked by a patisserie and then onto the Hotel de Ville. How do they do it? Look at all those beautiful desserts!
city hall

I.M. Pei's pyramid. One of the entrances to the Louvre.
The Tuileries is a garden right by the Louvre. It was so hot that day. We found some shade by the bushes and rested for a while. I started feeding the birds. I don't think I'm the first one to do it. Then we decided to head down the Champs Elysee and walk to the Arc de Triumph. You can see it (way) behind me below. The Champs Elysee is a very busy avenue in Paris with high-end shops. It's lined with trees and outdoor cafes.

I think my favorite place for viewing Paris is the Arc de Triumph. Not only is it a magnificent structure, it offers a view of Paris like no other monument. One can really see the topography of Paris from the top of the Arc de Triumph. We had to walk up to the top and believe me, this is bigger than it looks in pictures! We were a little out of breath at the top.

I love this picture of the Eiffel Tower. And you can see Montemartre in the distance with the Basilica of Sacre-Coeur overlooking the city.
From the Arc de Triumph, we decided to take the metro back to the apartment. We were tired. I think we walked a ton that day and were still jet-lagged. (I had forgotten how long it takes to get over it when you travel to Europe). Once we got off the metro (I feel like we walked a ton underground, too!), we headed east. As we were crossing one of the foot bridges, we caught the Eiffel Tower at sunset. I had to zoom this image after I took it. I still think it's pretty, however.
We took some pictures of Notre Dame at night and got back to the apartment after dark. Another day of walking, walking, walking. We were ready for a good night's sleep!