Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Proud Mom Moment II

Well we survived our quick trip to San Antonio!! We left here Wednesday night about 9:15pm and arrived at my brothers (near St. Louis) at 2:00am. Slept until 7:00am and were back on the road by 7:30am. We arrived in San Antonio late Thursday evening, about 11:15pm. We would have made it in less time but we hit Dallas rush hour and we lost a little time.

We were at the Air Force Base by 8:00am on Friday and sat through graduation. However, Jonathon was not among the graduates. He doesn't graduate until this Friday and he claims they wouldn't let him call home to notify us. Oh well we know what graduation is like and we did get to spend a few hours with him on Friday evening and he was allowed to go off base all day on Saturday. Marc and I spent Friday afternoon on the Riverwalk and we went back on Saturday with Jonathon. We also went to the Alamo and RiverCenter Mall as Jonathon was itching to play some video games. Jonathon looks great, what a difference 7 weeks has made in him. We are still amazed!!

We left San Antonio bright and early (5:20am) on Sunday and got to my brothers about 8:45pm. I was able to spend a little time with my nieces which was nice. We were on the road by 9:30am yesterday and arrived to pick up Seth at about 2:30pm. He had a great time with Uncle Dave, Aunt Marnie and the girls but I think he was happy to come home. As I'm sure they were happy to see him go home!!

Well I have a lot of laundry to do so I'll close for now.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

What a week!!

It's been a hectic week around here and it's only Wednesday. Monday the girls only had 1/2 day of school so I took both Katie & Suzanne to the doctor for their school physicals. They took blood from Suzanne and Katie completely freaked out. Imagine her dismay when the doctor checked out her veins and announced that they should get blood from her too! We had to hold her down and when I told her it would hurt worse if she didn't lay still she quieted down a little. Although we all know my Drama Queen....she screamed when they put the needle in and again when they took it out. I told her she should never have children and she responded with a quick "OK". On the way home she told me she was going to back to school and warn all her friends.

Today is the day that Marc and I leave for San Antonio. We are leaving at 10pm and driving as far as my brothers in southern Illinois (near St. Louis). We are going to crash their for 3 or 4 hours and then get up and head out in the morning, hopefully missing the St. Louis rush hour!! Jonathon is so homesick he called home twice this past week and the last time I talked to him when we hung up he said "I Love You, Mom"...not something I hear from Marc's kids much. We are thinking that since he gets the entire weekend free that maybe we might stay an extra day to spend more time with him. My girls will already be in North Carolina and hopefully Marnie will agree to keep Seth one more day if need be. We probably won't decide until we get down there and find out what's going on.

My Dad is back in the hospital and having surgery as I type this. They want to scrap some of the dead tissue off his foot, however if they have to go deep he will lose his Achille's tendon and then will not have any control over his foot. He would then need a leg brace. I think my Dad would rather loose his leg and have two prosthesis and walk with two canes. I'm sure he told them that if they got in there and decided it was necessary it was OK to take his leg. Keep those prayers coming!!

I'll be out of touch until next week but I'll fill you in on our trip and hopefully have some pictures to post!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Proud Mom Moment

Katie participated in her first karate tournament today. Out of 16 other 9-year olds all in various stages of the yellow belt, she took home a 1st Place Trophy. She is so excited and we are so PROUD!! She's only been taking karate lessons since September and a lot of the other kids she participated with have been taking lessons for a year or more! Way to go KATE!! Of course now she's going to want to participate in every tournament possible.

Friday, March 17, 2006

I Guessed Right!!

OK, so about 30 minutes after I wrote the first blog today, I had an idea of what my anniversary present was. I was right. We have finally leapt into the 21st century....I am now the proud owner of a digital camera. I'm so excited as Katie's first Karate tournament is tomorrow and I can use it and get my pictures right away. Marc said the reason he gave it to me almost a month early is so we can use it when we go see Jonathon next week.

Have a great weekend everyone!!

What is It?!?!?!

At 8:30 I get my daily morning phone call from Marc, wanting to be sure that everyone is up and ready to head to school. He then proceeds to ask if I will be home all day, not a typical questions so I'm wary. I say yes, why...and he responds with..."if the UPS man stops by and brings a package you can go ahead and open it". My first thought is OK what has he ordered that we probably don't really need. I immediately feel guilty for this thought when he responds that it is an early anniversary present for me. Now I'm shocked. Our 5th anniversary is not until April 14th and he's already ordered me something (making up for last year's birthday??). He then says it is something I can use and that he ordered me two things. Hmmm I could use diamond earrings but somehow I don't think that's what it is...it can't be a vacuum cleaner as we just bought a new Kirby. In fact I was going to tell him that he didn't need to buy me an anniversary or Mother's Day gift since I now have a really nice vacuum. I then ask will the box give away what is inside?? He responds with I'm not sure. Then I say will the return address give it away? He again says not sure. I proceed to tell him that if the box says what's inside (like my birthday present last year) then I will go ahead and open it...but if not I'll wait for him to come home. But will I really be able to wait or will the anxiety get the better of me....guess time will tell.

Potty training with Seth yesterday went well. I only changed two pull-ups and only because they were stinky. The rest of the day he went on his own. I hope this will continue to be a daily thing as I'd like to stop buying pull-ups. I also know that Aunt Marnie would really appreciate not having to deal with changing him next week as she is trying to train Abbigayle. He keeps assuring me that he will go on the potty at Aunt Marnie's all the time. Again....time will tell.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!! My girls went off to school decked out in whatever green they could find to wear. I'm going to surprise them when they get home with Shamrock cookies. For those of you who know me well you know it's the Pillsbury ones you just put on a cookie sheet and bake. Although I did make cookies from scratch for the Christmas cookie exchange last year. I think once Seth is in school all day I'll be better about cooking and baking cookies from scratch...or at least I hope I will.

Look for another post later today or tonight about my anniversary gift. With my luck the UPS man will come really early, there will be nothing on the box hinting to it's contents and I'll have to wait until Marc gets home!! LOL!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

I'm a Karate Mom

Last night both Katie and Olivia had their Karate tests to see if they can advance to the next level. Both Marc and I went to watch as they wanted both of us there. Big mistake for me to go as Olivia continually looks over to make sure I am there and watching. They don't find out if they pass until next week. At the end of class Sensei tells each kid what they need to work on. The list for Olivia has quite a few things on it, Katie has none. Marc and I are both assuming that Katie has done well enough to advance and that if Olivia works on what he mentions and does the moves well at the beginning of class next week she will also advance. Poor Olivia can't decide what she wants to do...one minute she says she wants to continue (if she passes) and the next minute she says she wants to quit. I talked to Sensei Tex and he claims that for her age she is doing as well as everyone else which makes me feel a little better and I tell her hoping to encourage her. Next week I'm sending them alone with Marc as I'm sure she will pay better attention if I'm not there.

Katie on the other hand is excited as she's pretty sure she passed although she did ask Sensei what she should work on since he didn't call her name. He told her to just keep practing all the moves. She's also signed up for a tournament on Saturday where she will compete against any other 9 year olds that are the same rank as her. She's very hopeful that she will come home with a trophy....and so it starts. I'm hoping that this will toughen her up a little (she's too emotional at times, who does she get that from?? LOL) and make her a little competitive but not obsessively so.

Marc really enjoys taking them to Karate and helping out when needed. By September Seth will be old enough to go so I'm sure he'll want to join as well. I told Marc to take the class with Seth if he wants but who knows.

Today is my day with 4 hours of no kids. So far I've managed to get some laundry done, plan some scrapbook pages and make some phone calls. And, I still have over 2 hours left, hmmm what to do??? Now that's a good question....

Monday, March 13, 2006

All She Wants for Christmas is her Two Front Teeth

Olivia came home from being with her Dad last night and showed us that her other front tooth was getting looser. Before bed she wanted me to pull it out and I said I didn't think it was quite ready yet. This morning I heard a joyful scream from the basement.....Dad, Mom my tooth fell out. She was so excited that she'd done it all by her self. She of course put it in a ziploc snack bag as she wants to show everyone at school. She also said she wasn't going to smile at anyone because she wants to be sure that she gets to be the one who tells her teacher that she lost her tooth. Needless to say she looks extremely funny with both front teeth now missing. Hopefully she won't have to wait until Christmas before the adult teeth come in.

Yesterday I took Matthew to Kohl's so he could use his Christmas gift cards. He offered me is $20 card in exchange for $20 in cash which I agreed to. I used my $20 to buy to nice casual/dressy tee shirts. Matthew was able to get most of the items he wanted and we spent all but 5 cents which they gave us back in real money. He got a great rolling duffle bag that was marked down from $29.99 to $19.99. At the register it rang up $22.49 and when I complained they gave it to us for $10 off the register price so we got it for $12.49. I'm almost tempted to go back and get a few more of them to use as Christmas gifts! Although by now they've probably changed the price on all of them anyway.

Well I just received the portraits that we had taken for our church directory. I think that I'm missing some pictures so I'm going to get on the phone and see what's going on!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Am I Wrong??

OK, so I can't be the only one out there that hates the prospect of taking my girls out to buy birthday presents for their Dad (my ex). I hate it!! I know they love their Dad and want to buy him stuff but they always want to either buy him things that are way more money than I want to spend on him...or they want to buy him something that I know he won't be thrilled about. A lot of times I suggest just giving him $20 so they can all go out for dinner although I know it's not very personal. I also realize that he is very good about taking them out to buy me things for my birthday, mother's day, etc. but lets face it....aren't women easier to buy for. So regardless of this I took the girls shopping today as it is their Dad's birthday and they will be seeing him tomorrow. They both bought him a shirt, Olivia chose a nice polo shirt and Katie got him a Homer Simpson t-shirt. Hopefully he'll like them both and wear them every now and then to make the girls happy!

Marc is outside at this very moment grilling our dinner. Pork chops, bratwurst and hot dogs with salad as a side dish. I'm so glad that we are that much closer to spring as that's one of the things I miss during the winter, our weekly grill outs.

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend!!

Friday, March 10, 2006


The taste-test survey for the energy bars went well. We had to try 4 different ones and I was completely shocked that they weren't bad. I expected them to be AWFUL but out of the 4 there were two that I would definitely consider buying if I was an energy bar kind of gal. It only took about 20 minutes and I was rewarded with $25 so you can't beat that.

Two cute stories about my kids to share....

Yesterday Olivia decided to wear a dress to school, she came upstairs all decked out in a pink dress with the appropriate hair acessories and a necklace. When Seth saw her he looked at her and said..."Olivia in that outfit you look pretty". Talk about melt my heart. Luckily Olivia was polite enough to thank him. I have a feeling she won't hear those words that often if ever again from her little brother who usually takes great pleasure in tormenting her.

Renee (scrapbooking friend) spent a few weeks in Arizona in February and brought back the cutest mood rings for each of us. Of course we all put them on and kept checking our moods throughout the evening. I still had it on the next morning and Katie (10) immediately said.."is that a mood ring?"...when I said yes she immediately asked if she could have it as she's always wanted one. News to me I didn't even know she knew what it was. Olivia (6) completely does not get the concept it. They keep checking to see what color it is and Olivia keeps telling me to make faces at it. Apparently she thinks this is how it knows to change colors. Completely cracked me up.

My Dad called me last night. He's home from the hospital but my Mom has to take him back on a daily basis for the next 6 weeks. It takes an hour for one IV of medicine and 1/2 hour for the other. Add on the driving time and they are spending about 3 hours in the morning away from home. Then they have to rush home as a visiting nurse comes everyday at 1:30 to check and re-wrap is foot. He is not supposed to put any weight on it at all and he said it's almost impossible to use crutches as his left leg is a prosthesis and it's hard to use it as the support leg. So they were given a wheelchair but they don't have a ramp leading to the house so Mom has to park the car as close to the porch as possible and he hobbles up the stairs and she carries the wheelchair. This is really starting to take it's toll on my Mom as well. My Dad is so negative and depressed as he really can't go anywhere or do anything and he just can't get comfortable. They aren't even sure if they will be able to come back to Illinois at all this year so that means they won't be coming to see us and we may not get to see them either. Which of course is depressing to me. Then he proceeded to tell me that he thinks Marc and I should go see Jonathon graduate and let him know how proud we are of him. Also that we need to listen to Jonathon and let him tell us everything and show us around the base and to act interested even if we're not, and if he really wants to go to McDonald's for dinner when we are there then that's where we should take him. Give me a little credit Dad. Then in the next breath he is telling me that it's going to take a lot longer to get their than we think and that we are going to end up getting ourselves killed and then who will raise our children. OK, now I'm confused....are we supposed to go or am I supposed to send Marc alone and stay with my kids so nothing will happen to me?? Couldn't I just as easily get hit by a bus while crossing the street? Doesn't he realize that as a Mother I am constantly worried by the the thought that something will happen to me and I won't get to see my children grow old and enjoy grandchildren? However, I try not to dwell on that as I don't want to be a negative/depressing person! Needless to say I was very depressed and crying the rest of the evening. I'm sure that wasn't his intention but that was the affect never the less.

OK, so enough of that. We have another busy weekend ahead. I have a Tastefully Simple show tonight and Katie has girl scouts. Tomorrow is "Celebrate Kids Day" at our church and since I'm a team leader for children's ministries I will need to be there the entire time (10am-1pm) as well as a little before to help set up and a little after to clean up. Marc is going to be there too as he is in charge of the Underwriters Laboratories table. This also means all the kids have to be there too but there will be enough activities and such that I think they will be fine. Then after that I have to take my girls out to get a birthdray present for their Dad. Sunday my girls will be gone all afternoon and Matthew wants me to take him shopping at Kohl's so he can spend his Christmas gift cards and get some things he needs.

Marc's been busy working on getting our taxes done. He also has to do them for Stephen, Jonathon and Matthew although they shouldn't take as long. He is anxious to get them done so he can continue working on the living room. He went to Menard's last night and bought the paint as it was on sale and he's done patching and sanding walls so it's time for paint.

OK, I think I've rambled on enough for today. Have a Great Weekend everyone!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Change in Plans

We finally heard from Jonathon last night. Unfortunately he won't be graduating on the 17th as originally planned. Now his graduation will be on March 24th. Everything came to a screeching halt for a few hours. But all is OK. Hotel and rental car reservations have been changed. And, most importantly we still have somewhere for all of the other kids to go. All that is left is just informing my brother that we will not be stopping by on our way home until a week later.

Marc was happy to hear from Jonathon as this is the first time he's had a chance to speak with him since he left on January 31st. Seth talked to him as well which I'm sure meant a lot to Jonathon. He always asks how everyone is and I know he misses us all. He also told us that once he graduates he will be headed to California for his technical training. He will be at Vandenberg AFB which is near Santa Barbara which is one of those places I've always aspired to visit. Maybe now I'll get a chance!!

The one good thing that came out of the change in plans is that now I will be able to go see Katie take part in a Karate tournament. I was a little distressed about missing out on a photo op which of course will I'm sure end up turning in to a scrapbook layout.

This also means that the week of spring break that my girls are spending with their Dad will now be expanded by 2 days. They will be travelling to North Carolina to meet their grandmother and Aunt for the first time. Yes, I know what you are thinking the girls are 9 and 6 and they haven't met them yet?? Well Katie was 6 weeks old when she met her grandmother and I belive 6 months old the last time she saw her aunt. It's a very long story and would bore you to tears!

I'm off to do a taste-test survey on energy bars. I'm certainly hoping that it gives me the energy to come home and get all the income tax information together for Marc. I'm not holding out much hope though.

I got my Tastefully Simple order today for the show I did last week. I spent the entire afternoon sorting, labeling and bagging everything up. I have another show tomorrow and just booked one for April and have another tentative open house for April as well. WOHOO!! The new Spring/Summer items will be available April 1st and I can't wait to try them. We will be throwing Suzanne a joint Confirmation/Early 8th Grade Graduation party on April 22nd and I'm sure I will be serving some of the new items. I especially can't wait to try the Key Lime Cheese Ball, YUM!!

Well time to get dinner ready. Haaave a Great Night!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Weekend is Over!

Weekend was good! My Tastefully Simple show was a big success and I did manage to book a show for April so that's good. It was an early party and I was home by 9:00. On Saturday we went to our niece Abbi's 3rd birthday party on Saturday and had a great time. The goody bags were a huge hit. Especially the Little Einsteins coloring pages and the conductor wands. Seth has been conducting music ever since. When he's done he asks for me to clap so that he can take a bow. The cake was absolutely adorable, it looked like Rocket from the Little Einsteins. Marc liked it so much (especially the frosting) that he informed me that from now on we should just hire Marnie to make our kids birthday cakes. Guess the bunny cake I made last year wasn't as impressive, LOL!! On Sunday my girls were with their Dad for most of the day and so it was just Marc, Seth and I that went to church. Then later in the afternoon Seth went with his friend Hawk to see the movie "Doogal". So Marc was able to watch the race in piece and I took a nice nap.

Only a little over a week to go before we leave for Texas. I'm both looking forward to it (seeing Jonathon and watching him graduate) and dreading it (the 19+ hour drive there and back). It will certainly be an interesting weekend!

My Dad is doing better (I think). He will hopefully be going home from the hospital tomorrow, although he will have to remain on heavy duty antibiotics for 6 weeks. So instead of returning to Illinois the first of April, they will have to stay in Texas until May 1st or so. According to the MRI he had the infection is not in the bone so they are still very hopeful that it will not be necessary to amputate any of his right foot or leg! He's on several prayer chains and I'm keeping him on them indefinitely. He's still very depressed and nervous as he finds it hard to believe that he won't need surgery. Mom did say he's not eating well, but who does in a hospital. I'm sure once he's back home he will start to eat and feel better.

Well I better get some work done around here. Happy Monday everyone!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Olivia was so upset yesterday after school that she wanted to talk to me in private. Of course I'm thinking the worst, that she's done something wrong or hurt someone at school. So glad I was wrong....she was upset because her friend Emily told her teacher that she'd lost a tooth and essentially stole her thunder! Whew, I can handle this one. I tell her that it wasn't a very nice thing to do but that Emily was just excited for her and probably didn't realize that what she did hurt her feelings. Hug and a kiss from Mom and everything is back to normal (whatever that is!).

It was back to the dentist for Seth and Matthew. Seth sat still and did really well while the got rid of the areas of decay and put on a sealant. He keeps telling everyone that they painted his teeth. He was so good that he received a sticker chart to keep track of his brushing habits for the next month. He promptly came home and brushed his teeth and put on the first sticker. If only this concept worked for the teenagers in this house, LOL!

Suzanne and Matthew go with their Mom this weekend and my girls are going with their Dad Saturday at 5 and not returning until Sunday afternoon. Just the thought of the entire Saturday evening and Sunday during the day with just Seth is soooo relaxing to me. Suzanne was scheduled to fold the church bulletins this weekend but now I'll have to do them (or talk Katie into it). I told Suzanne I'll be signing up to do the bulletins again and then she will have to do them for me to make up for it. She needs the service hours for confirmation class. She'll find out this Sunday if she passed her confirmation test, fingers crossed. If she does pass then it means throwing a party on April 22 and confirmation on the 23rd. Marc's parents will be back in Illinois by then so I'm sure they'll be here to help us celebrate. The party will also motivate (hopefully) Marc to step it up a notch and get going on the living room which is still in total disarray.

Well I better get busy. Have a Great Day everyone!!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

How do you FAIL Gym??

That's the big question of the day. Matthew somehow managed to fail his gym class last semester, refused to get dressed and participate supposedly because he did not like the teacher. BooHoo suck it up that's a life lesson we all learn, we will not like everyone we meet or work for but you just do what you have to do and make the best of it. Needless to say Matthew is currently taking two gym classes and we got his mid-semester grades yesterday. He's passing one and failing the other. HOW DO YOU DO THAT??? I was not a big fan of gym class when I was growing up but I did managed to pass the class every semester with no problem. This is a kid who has been a member of the NJROTC for three years so we know he's not opposed to physical exercise, he also has no medical issues holding him back. We keep telling him that in order to graduate next year he has to pass P.E. He plans on joining the Navy after he graduates but again, they won't take him without a high school diploma. I have a feeling his senior year will be a long year for all of us.

The tooth fairy paid a visit to Olivia last night. She finally lost one of her top front teeth. The tooth fairy was generous and gave her a $1, partly because Mom felt guilty about lying and saying she was just going to wiggle it not pull it. However, once I got a hold of the tooth I just yanked. It didn't take much but Olivia wasn't happy about it for the first few minutes afterward. Next question....do we have the cheapest tooth fairy coming to our house?? I hear stories from my kids that their friends get anywhere from $2 to $5 a tooth. When I was a kid I got a quarter for every tooth, regardless of how I lost it. Our tooth fairy usually gives $1 for the first tooth and a quarter there after. I know times have changed but I think giving more than a $1 for a tooth is ludicrous. We have so many lost teeth to go in this house that it could break the tooth fairies bank!

I so wanted to try Dianne's suggestion (as seen on the Food Network) of putting a tube of biscuits in the deep fat fryer and then injecting it with honey when they were done. I had a tube in the fridge and we are going to deep fat fry dinner tonight. However, Seth got up and decided that's what he wanted for breakfast. He even went so far as to peel the wrapper off the tube and set it on the counter. Then he came to get me and I heard something fall in the kitchen. When I asked him what it was he said "our breakfast". Of course I couldn't imagine what kind of mess I'd find but low and behold the tube had popped open on it's own accord. So...that was breakfast/lunch for us.

Right now I'm in the process of baking Truffle Fudge Brownies and Almond Pound Cake for the Tastefully Simple show I have tomorrow night. It's smelling pretty good in here right about now.

Talked to my Mom last night. My Dad is doing OK. The doctors are very optimistic that they can save his foot. They are going to do an MRI just to be sure that the infection is not in the bone. Thanks to everyone for their prayers and keep them coming!

Wishing everyone a good day!!