Friday, December 19, 2008

Takin' on Mary Jane

ok...ok...don't get your undies in a bundle...I'm talking about skiing! Guess what lil (now Big) dude took her on today and conquered her steep slopes and moguls? Yep...the Boo Bear! We were so proud of him (and sooooo happy we no longer have to take the long trek, dragging, skis, poles, snowboards and weary kids behind us to the bus depot at the end of a long, physical day on the slopes!). Way to go Boo!! You rock dude!

BTW, I was going to stop and take a picture of the big event but he was cruisin' along too fast! Definitely a big milestone reached today for our family. Just the beginning of a lot more fun on the mountain together! Woohoo!

L/S/S and Big Gma are on their way. Gratefully, they were able to catch their connecting flight out of Mpls and didn't get stuck in the excessive snow falling in the Midwest. We should be seeing their smiling faces in only an hour or so. Can't wait.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Personalized gifts

...from Mimi! These arrived in the mail today for the 4 of us along with Boo's bday gift of Lego Batman for the Wii. Much excitement abounded. I had to rein in the enthusiasm as the boys wanted to race up the stairs and yell out to Mick about the arrival of the prized game! I mutedly shouted out to them, "Conference Call! CONFERENCE CALL!" The boys knew that this meant they hadto be very quiet. Like your twacking a wascally wabbit. It worked. They stopped dead in their wascally steps.

Back Atchya Big Bro...

So we're eating breakfast yesterday and the boys got to talking about school and Ian brought up Boo's Ethanism from his study of physics recently. NOTE: I posted about this topic about a month ago when Ethan coined the term "internetica" in referring to his lesson on "inertia." Ian preceded to playfully taunt his little brother about it. Less than five minutes later Ian was reading something with ingredients listed on it and he asked what "toma-toes" were. Not seeing the label I thought he was trying to say tomatilloes but to be sure I asked him to spell it out. So he did. I said, "that's not toma-toes! That Tomatoes!  (Evidently the boy has a hard time reading hyphenated text easily-LOL).

Needless to say, lil bro got his paybacks in laughter and playful teasing. A humbling moment indeed.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's Gettin...I'ts Gettin...

(...come on... sing it wid me now) :

"It's gettin' kinda hectic." 

Ok, ok, going back to old school early 1990's rap now. Just a little blast from my musical past. Anyhoo, things are getting hectic around the house. Still need to get family Christmas card pic done-now thinking I may just wait to take a pic while on our vay-K and mail them out from there-LOL.
Have friends coming into town for the weekend tomorrow. They have four kids and three dogs-so we will definitely have a house full. Big Gma is to arrive Mon and our friends we leave for Philly Mon. (moving there-excited for them but will miss them). That leaves Tues. to wrap things up b4 we head for the slopes. Excited but so much to do before then-so, all for now!

Friday, December 05, 2008

homemade potato soup

it does a body good. We seem to eat a lot of homemade soups this time of year. And for lunch today we had turkey, mashed potatoes and apple pumpkin cake left over from our "Thankful Thursday" we celebrated yesterday.

  • Ian took math club test this morning and we studied Greece and it isles as well as the ages up to the Minoans. It's so fun for me to learn along with him (or relearn things as is sometimes the case)

  • finished reading The Secret Life of Bees and promptly downloaded Scarpetta

  • Ian finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Wednesday (one week and one day from starting it. Seriously voraciuos reader he is. Crazy voracious. I absolutely love it though. He wants me to get back to reading the HP series so that we can continue discussing God in Harry Potter that we downloaded to my kindle recently.

  • Speaking of my kindle. I love it. One of the bests gifts I have gotten in a long time. (A really great gift idea for the avid reader in your family).

  • Worked with Ian on our December Daily albums and then with Ethan on his paper Christmas trees for his teacher. He added a little bling to each of them with a hot glue gun and I must say, they definitely added a little "BAM" to them!LOL

  • Tomorrow I hope to get family Cmas pic done and printed for cards + I plan to watch the Gators take on Alabama for the SEC Conference Championship. I hope they play well. Go Gators! I think we

  • I think we'll do chili tomorrow complete with some football appetizers. Maybe we'll even make some cupcakes.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

My baby turned 7

he started his birthday with breakfast in bed (mommy and daddy's as daddy was out of town with work). A few phone calls from the grandmas and then off to school. After school, he celebrated with his "girl" friend Tessa and her mom and brother by making a gingerbread house and gingerbread people. Then later, (wayyyy later) we ate dinner out at locale favorite Asian restaurant and Andy's for dessert.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

National Day of Listening

 National Day of Listening.

From their website:

This holiday season, ask the people around you about their lives — it could be your grandmother, a teacher, or someone from the neighborhood. By listening to their stories, you will be telling them that they matter and they won’t ever be forgotten. It may be the most meaningful time you spend this year.

It's a perfect time to plan to do some listening to family members this week as we in the US celebrate our Thanksgiving holiday (and there's no time like now wherever you live on this globe). The idea here is to actually record your family member, friend, teacher, etc., sharing a story with you (use a computer, tape recorder, video camera, etc. - so much of our technology these days lends itself to this project). Since many of you that read this blog are scrapbookers a natural extension would be to document this experience through words and photos on a layout.

Click on "participate" to download their "Do It Yourself" guide. Super helpful with a step-by-step list to follow.

There is also an online question generator to help you with some ideas.

Listening, sharing, documenting...awesome. You never know if this may be the last opportunity to gather a story from someone you love. Take advantage of this opportunity.

This excerpt from Ali Edwards' blog. Thanks for the info Ali!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! May it be safe  + Grate-FULL.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008


...the Big Four-oh!! Yep. That's right. Someone turned the big 4-0 over this past weekend...and sad to say, that was me. I'm coping with it pretty well though. I've decided that from now on when someone asks me how old I am, I'm going to tell them 10 years older than what I really am--that way they'll say,"Wow! You look great!" (JK!).

Here's a few pics from recent celebrations of the big day(s).
Special memories:
Breakfast in bed from my BEBZ: heart shaped pancakes, oj,crispy bacon + hugs and kisses+ singing
Shopping trip to Hobby Lobby and TJ Maxxx for sb supplies and clothes (some Christmas shopping too), a little bit of scrapbooking, watching the Gators win, quiet dinner out with Mick to local favorite Italian restaurant
Also, the weekend before last my BIL & SIL came into town and my DH surprised me with a stretch limo ride downtown. We frequented a local arcade that had all of our favorite games from the 1980's like Galaga, Centipede, Pac-Man and about a blast from the past! Then we went to a dueling piano bar for some more fun. My cousin and hubby were in on the surprise as well. Since my BIL turned 40 in August we both had to wear necklaces and pins declaring our rite of passage into the next decade of our lives. We were given "Old Fart" labels to wear. Our friends and family had ID labels that said "Old Fart's Friend" and we had to pass several more of the ID labels out to complete strangers. Someone, after imbibing of a few beers (and, no it was NOT me) thought it a great idea to write "Kick Me Hard" on one of the stickers and place it on the back of some poor, unassuming gent. The label stayed on him the whole time we were there! His friend never told him. (Nice friend, huh?) The good news one kicked the poor fella.
Anyway, this weekend I'll be spending with several dear scrapbooking friends at Big Gma's cabin at the lake. We'll scrap the night away. I can't wait. I have to say, it's been really fun stretching this whole 40bd thing out over the whole month. Woohoo! Better than Disney World. Did I just type that?
40. Approximately half of my life here on earth is over. Kind of hard to swallow and yet...I've been so very blessed indeed. My hope for myself in the next 40 years is to: (in no particular order)
  • be much more patient
  • less judgmental
  • worry less (especially what other people think)
  • speak my mind (more)
  • develop a much closer relationship with God
  • say I'm sorry sooner
  • serve others more
  • appreciate more
  • complain less
  • live with intention and purpose
  • love more deeply
  • care less about my hardwood floors and more about the people I hold closest to my heart
  • document the details
  • play a lot more tennis! lol
  • just be. be present. live in the present. Not the past. Not the future. THE PRESENT.

I think that's a good start. Maybe I'll add more later. Goodnight!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The draft of my post for Election Day 09

Below, are my thoughts as they came to mind on Election Day 2009. If you don't agree with what I have written, I'm sorry. Sorry you feel that way and sorry that you don't understand the horrible legacy that "We the people" are leaving our children and our children's children...and so on...

Well, I've done my part and completed the voting process for this year's presidential election. I hope those of you who care about the future of our country, who care about what the future holds for your children and your children's children, who care about the fact that so many have fought and died for our freedom, for our ability to live in a democracy where you are an INDIVIDUAL-where you have an ability to vote your mind and to continue to pursue the American dream-where once you achieve that dream you don't have to "share the wealth" of your hard earned efforts with those who choose to sit back and do nothing---get out and vote. Do your part.  Go out and vote. You owe it to those who have died for that freedom-your freedom. And you owe it to the legacy of loved ones you will leave behind when you leave this earth.

NO TO SOCIALISM!!! THIS IS AMERICA. LAND OF THE FREE! (or so I hope and pray it still is!) YES TO DEMOCRACY!!!

04/15/09 FYI: If you don't like my opinions, don't read my blog. It's my personal place to exercise my freedom of speech. I feel I need to state my mind since the liberal media is so blatantly biased in one direction using their visibility and exposure to the masses to sway voters the way that they want them to sway. It's interesting that it's ok for them to say what they want and report (filter) what they want the masses to hear, but suppress or don't allow others with a different viewpoint to express theirs. Last time I checked this was United States of America NOT the United Socialist States of America. Wake up people! It sickens me to see how many of you are blind to the truth. OBAMA is A LIBERAL SOCIALIST. The only place for him is among his comrades-Castro, the North Korean dictator and others. History has proven that socialism doesn't lead to prosperity and freedom of its people. Democracy does. That's why we live in the best country in the world. (Or at least we did until Obama was elected).

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving...

...I know I have written about the thanksgivings past that my Gma much TLC she put into...the table decorations...the food...the hospitality. I finally came across at least one pic of the event to help solidify the memories. Hopefully I'll come across more as I comb through and edit all of the scanned old family pics. Uncle Ray F., Uncle Gary C., Dad, GMA C and Aunt Thelma F.

Editing old family pics

while I visit with my Poppa bear whose come to visit for a spell. So many old pics that I scanned nearly four years ago while visitng my rents that needed editing and repair. Here's a few for the extended fam out there. :)
The first pic is at Gma & Gpa C's house in Washington, IL:
left to right: Karen, Lori Ann, Susan, Linda and Julie
2nd pic facing forward: Aunt Norma, Danny, Uncle Dick, Connie, Cathy, backs to pic: Diane, Nancy & Karen (at Gma and Gpa K's-Wash., IL)
3rd pic: Lower left, Gpa K (Lester), Karen, Nancy, Diane, Susan, Janice, Linda, Becky, Danny, Uncle Dick, Connie and Cathy (2Gma and Gpa K's)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

One...or maybe two more...

Ok....and that top picture is soooo not do I know this? Well, #1: It's me. #2 I have another picture from the same day, in the same place with Linda standing next to me. But gotta give Gma K. or someone credit-@ least they tried to label the picture!! LOL
The second pic was a summer familt trip we went on. I actually remember this place a little bit! I loved the running water. This had to be when I was in first grade as I can tell I had lost some teeth chopped my long blonde locks off after kindergarten (Afterwards my hair turned darker. Waaaaa...)

More childhood pics

Revisiting my childhood

while downloading, uploading, importing and editing pics today I came across some pics from years gone by...So fun to see my childhood and good times spent with my family. First pic is my oldest sister; Karen, carrying me on her shoulders at Gma C's in Illinois. The next pic is the one and only home I ever knew. I came home from the hospital to this house and left it for college. Check out the Griswold car parked in the driveway!! I think we actually had two of them (not at the same time though). Mom got into an accident with our next door neighbor (Mary Quilling) while they were traveling to/from Eau Claire. It was a foggy day and it caused a several car pile up that was written about in the local newspapers.
Also fun to note the chokecherry tree and blue spruce. The chokecherry tree was to the power lines by the time I graduated and the blue spruce (I think it came from the farm/yard of Grandpa K's. It was towering over my head on graduation day. I don't even see the river birch was planted yet. (It grew outside our dining room window).

Monday, October 20, 2008


So, my 6 year old decided to give dear old mom a quiz today:

"Mommy, do you know what internetica is?"
" internet encyclopedia?"
"Nope... It's when things in motion tend to stay in motion."
"Ohhh, that's wonderful honey, but I think it's called inertia."

My goodness, how hard it was to keep from chuckling when he was so earnest in his query and so proud of the knowledge he had gained today.

On another note, big brother achieved his Accelerated Reading goal two weeks early so he has earned himself some more money to go towards an electric guitar.

Today was Boo's conference with his gifted class teacher. She showed us all of his work which included a report (complete with bibliography) and a power point presentation that he had put together. How cool that they have first graders doing these things. Teach me too please! :)

Yesterday we had a Cub Scout outing and frequented a local Civil War Battlefield. It was really interesting and a beautiful day to be out exploring history together. Afterwards, we had a family night of tennis. Good fun + exercise.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Tennis Love...

...excited to post these pics....recent USTA Team Mixed doubles Sectional tourney. We were finalists and my partner and myself won the whole thing. Unfortunately for us, a team has to win two out of three courts to go to Nationals-so we won't be going. But, we were still pleased with our results.

Also.... happy to announce my girls HS Team won their districts and my #1 girl is going to state tourney individually. Our team will head to regional team match tomorrow and hope to move on from there in an attempt to get the whole team to state. Wish us luck! (BTW, I was soooo proud of the girls!!)

Thursday, October 02, 2008


my Mick turns 38. Can't believe that you have been in my life for fourteen years now and I love you more than ever (and I like you a wee little bit too!)
Happy Birthday Mick. YOU DA BEST! -Suz


1. Up early to make breakfast in bed for my beloved bday boy. (coffee with cream and sweetener, raspberry cheesecake yogurt, mini whole wheat bagel with peanut butter).

2. Wrapped bd gift while the beloved bday boy slept.

3. Feed the dogs and let them out.

4. Woke the boys and got them upstairs in time tosing "happy birthday" while bringing candlelit bagel to the beloved bday boy.

5. Beloved bday boy arose to use the restroom. It was then that the covert operation took place.

6. While said beloved bday boy was in the bathroom, the oldest son kept watch while I removed surprise bd gift from an undisclosed location and place just outside our bedroom doors.

7. When the beloved bday boy came out of the bathroom, the youngest son gave him his gift.
While the BBB began opening the present, I began to explain how the gift was practical as I knew we would be needing to update our old tv's with new converters by Feb 09 b/c of the whole HD era taking place. I rambled on about how the dude at Wally-World said this is what we needed to make the conversion. The BBB looked perplexed as he told me that the converter was not the correct one, that it was, indeed, a converter for an HD tv. With the most innocent and confused face that I could muster, I preceded to say in a perplexed voice, "Well, I AM confused b/c the Wal-mart dude assured me it was the correct converter (all the while I am opening the doors widely so that my BBB REAL bday gift was straight ahead of his line of sight-sitting their for the BBB's eyes to rest upon- a brand new 32" Flat Screen TV. (Sorry honey but the monster flat screen will have to wait-LOL) The BBB was stunned. Covert operation complete. :)

8. Made breakfast and packed lunches for the BEBZ.

9. Let the dogsback in.

10. Drove Ian to his gifted class and dropped Ethan off at school.

11. Volunteered at the book fair.

12. Came home and did laundry, dishes, paid bills.

13. Cleaned up scrapbook/classroom area.

14. Watched a bit of Ellen while doing aforementioned chores.

15. Made Mick and myself a turkey pastrami and swiss cheese on pumpernickel sandwich.

16. Caught up on blog posts.

17. Updated iCalendar.

18. Searched for shelving/storage/scrapbooking desks online (my early 40th bday gift from my BBB--SO SWEET!!!)

19. Folded laundry.

20. Cashed check at bank and made deposit at Big Gma's bank.

21. To university to take tennis team pic.

22. Called Mick and Jules on the way home-discussed CS, cropodile usage and Sat night FB plans.

23. More laundry.

24. Baked a lemon pound cake for BBB's pleasure.

25. Getting ready to take BBB to dinner.


(Yesterday Ethan lost a third baby tooth-They're dropping like flies. The tooth fairy is now officially sleep deprived---zzzzzzz.)

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Swingin' Sistas't go there....I'm talking about the Williams sisters swinging their rackets at the US OPEN tonight-should be a great match. I'll be watching thanks to Tivo.

  • began with a bloody nose (Boo-second one in less than twelve hours) and two phone calls before 8:30) 
  • piano lesson for Ian
  • trip to Wally World for groceries and the new Star Wars Clone book for Ian (relentless in his pursuit for more literary works)
  • homemade potato soup-b/c it does a body good on rainy days like today :)
  • cancellation of tennis practice meant the impromptu scheduling of playdates for both of the BEBZ (and a brief bit of scrapping for the momma with scrapping pal Julie)
  • paying of bills
  • emptying of dishwasher and folding of laundry
  • checking of emails and scramble round on facebook-latest craze and mild addiction (like Boggle)
  • received "Happy Mail" via Fed Ex a RAK from my DF Lexi-ALi E's new mini-album book-can't wait to snuggle up under the silk comforter tonight (after the viewing of the US Open of course) and sprawl myself out over the expanse of a queen size bed with only Hugsley to share the space with-Miss you Mick but I do enjoy some nights to myself-LOL) and soak up all of the inspiration-can't wait!!!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


pronounced with a hard ga sound as opposed to the spoken letter"G." This from our 6+ year old who reads well past his grade level for reading. The hard words come easily...but the easy ones...not so much! LOL

  • My first match was rained out today. 
  • Mick's away on business. 
  • Doing laundry. 
  • Paying bills. 
  • The discovery of seemingly long-lost pics of Ethan's first day of KGTN and my 20yr. class reunion. Big WOO HOO moment. HUGE.
  • Storytime and a little viewing of The Pink Panther and of course US Open (5 setter Federer match-good stuff).
  • A little game of Scramble with Facebook friends.
  • Returning emails
  • leftover chili 
  • residual GI distress due to aforementioned indulgence  
  • loving on the puppers and kitty
  • vacuuming
  • a wee bit o scrapbooking
  • Ian completed Marley and Me (kids version) Like me, he loved it until man's best friend passed on-major boo hoo moments (I finished the adult version down at the lake this weekend)-speaking of-Lily helped herself to 7 pancakes and a half a pound of bacon Sun am. Needless to say she was spared an evening meal. LOL
  • Homeschooling studies: The Horse and His Boy, respiratory system, Celsius scale review, math review + more

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"I hope they always...

put "In God We Trust" on all the quarters, pennies and money." (This spoken by my 6.5 year-old during our bedtime rituals). I asked why he hoped for that to which he replied, "Because I like that it says God in it." One of those rare moments as a parent that you feel you are doing something right.  Sigh...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


  • rain
  • school: world civilizations, Olympics (our own version too-paper plate discus throw + marshmallow nose races + more), math review, vocabulary, spelling + more
  • dry cleaning drop off
  • bill paying
  • school planning
  • fall soccer signup
  • discussion with Ian about Mighty Mites football (pros + cons, etc.) He's suddenly got an urge to play-not sure if that was spurned by the cousins playing ball? Think that may have a lot to do with it. (Mick and I feel like we're encountering uncharted territory here. We want our boys to try and experience new things in life but also realize that our 10 year old isn't exactly the poster boy for the linebacker position nor does he have the personality for it either). We were hoping that there was a flag football league he could participate in, but apparently that no longer exists here locally. Too bad.
  • Rice Krispie treats, popcorn and the partial viewing of Batman + Robin
  • story time with Ethan (he's reading Magic Tree House series while Ian reads The Hobbit)
  • phone calls with Mick who's away on business
  • updating i calendar and calling girls to let them know practice was cancelled due to rain
  • tried a new calzone-like recipe which the boys actually ate
  • laundry
  • filing, filing and more filing
  • refrigerator repairman here to fix both fridges, upstairs icemaker, downstairs fridge quit cooling (ice cream soft serve only-LOL + my Diet Pepsi's, nearly room temp-sooo not acceptable) all is well and in working order now minus the $389. + service and repair charge. Gotta love the Murphy's in life. Appreciate that I have ice. That I have a cold Diet Pepsi. That I have so many little and big blessings in my life and so many things to be grateful for.

Back to School

First day of first grade for Ethan came and went. Such a frenetic rush of activity + busyness. School supplies, orientations., the packing of lunches + backpacks. Back to schedules. Back to routines. Back to the business of teaching and coaching and sleepless nights. It's not all bad though. I do like some routine and regularity to my life, mixed in with a bit of chaos and spontaneity. LOL.

This week has been the viewing of the Olympics. So exciting to watch Shawn Johnson take the gold in balance beam. So cool that she and Nastia will be traveling home with so many medals. So awesome that they are great friends as well as competitors.

I always love watching the presentation of the medals ceremony with the raising of the American flag. I love watching the emotion swell in the faces of each Olympian. The pride. The joy. The realization of years of hardwork, training and sacrifice coming to fruition. What an amazing ride that must be. full circle a moment was it for Shawn and her coach who was born in Beijing and set up a gym in West Des Moines, IA only to have Shawn Johnson walk through the doors of his gym 10 years ago, now to take his star Olympian back to Beijing to win not only three silver medals but one gold. He came to America to fulfill his dreams, and Shawn, to fulfill Beijing. Now that's cool.

Friday, August 08, 2008


What a kewl date. So very symmetrical. Such a nice way to remember the start of the 2008 Summer Olympics. The BEBZ and I have been learning all about the Olympics (both ancient + modern) the past few weeks and we are pumped up to catch the opening ceremonies and watch our chosen favorite Olympians compete. We've been learning about China, fair play, the Olympic motto and creed, the spirit of the Olympics, boycotts and politics. We have located on the world map all of the previous locales of the Olympics. We've learned about inventions that came from China and the history of China; the dynasties and the Great Wall. We'll be tasting different types of tea and give a try at Chinese calligraphy as well. Tonight should be a great event to observe the different cultures and traditions of each country, but especially China. What a great opportunity to learn. Sooo looking forward to taking it all in. (Good thing we have Tivo-for those late late night viewings of certain events.)

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The Dude hit my car!!

Here's a pic of the ignorant dude (not the hunky dude on the motorcycle pictured directly above-he was just an onlooker who happened to be cute ccording to the girls)that decided smoking a cigarette was more important than driving a massive piece of metal. Gratefully, he avoided a straight on collision and swerved right (not left-where there was plenty-o green grass and no people or vehicles) to hit back right ofthe bumper and quarterpanel. I had my niece, my sister, my niece's friend and the BEBZ in the car with me. Oh, and did I mention we were at a dead stop at a red light less than two hundred yards from the entrance to my niece's hotel? Grrr...

pictures from the road...

...trip to watch my niece Andrea compete in National Softball tourney. It was so awesome to get to watch her play. She had several talent scouts from various universities contacting her. Sooo exciting!! Can't wait to see what the future holds for her. She's still interested in becoming an optometrist or a vet. Whatever she chooses, I hope it is her true passion. People that can make a living doing what they love are so very blessed indeed. More pics to follow...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Tar-jhay, Panera +pool

So, after some sleeping in and the viewing of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, we went out for lunch at Panera and then to Target for a few essentials: Crocs for the boys and swim goggles and toys from the dollar section. Back to the hotel for pool play while Andrea had her opening ceremony for the softball tourney. Now all the kiddos (teens included) are watching Edward Scissorhands on the telly. I've been keeping busy proofing pics from Cancun and catching up on my blogging (as if you hadn't noticed-LOL)


spent yesterday visiting with Aunt Norma and Uncle Dick-always sooooo good to see them! It had been over 2 years. 2 years 2 long IMO. We met at local mom-n-pop restaurant near their house and had taco salads. Afterwards, we went to their house and the boys got a tour of their yard on AN's "mule" -complete with a run by their "lagoon." We caught up on things-their recent trip to Chile and how the rest of the maily was doing. Saw pics of the latest addition to the family: Baby Adyson. Boys were interested in the baby barnswallow and it's nest as well as the cuckoo clock. Actually, that's what they remembered about their last visit-"Oh yeah. Aunt Norma and Uncle Dick have that cuckoo clock, right?"
So we watched not so patiently for the cuckoo to make his appearance at 2 and 3 o'clock. Then we ate some of AN's homemade peach pie with Schwan's vanilla ice cream! Heaven! The boys said the vanilla ice cream was the best ever!
Travelling on I managed to miss a turnoff and ended up about 20 min. north and 30 minutes west of our end destination. Grrr. Drove through miles of cornfields with a major sinus HA (as the corn was in full tassel). Finally met up with sister Karen and "Cousin Andrea" at the hotel. So good to see them. More than 1.5 years since our last visit together. Anxious to watch Andrea play softball. Such talent. More 2 follow.

two days late in posting

about the early celebration of our 13th wedding anniversary
  • dinner at IJ's for a mexican chicken salad with a Blue Moon and orange slice to wash it all down oh and a shared order of fries
  • trip to HL for a BIA (Mick was referring to a Bind it OFF-not really sure why he would want to refer to it as that-LOL)
  • LONESTAR CONCERT-awesome! so good!
  • McAllister's tea
  • sharing of a funnel cake with Holly + Mark (how fitting that they met up with us on our anniversary celebration-after all-Mick and I met b/c of them! :) Oh my stars-Mick and I both thought it probably had been at least 20 years since the last one we consumed. Yumola!
  • home to consume a few more beverages and watch some tennis while Mick played some BF2
  • oh...and Mick got his iPhone delivered today-so we played with it the whole way to and from the fairgrounds--how much fun is it? Next person in the family to get!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Thank you Randy Pausch...

Thank you Randy, for leaving your indelible mark on this world, for leaving a legacy for your kids for leaving a legacy for the world. Randy was definitely a giver. Are you?

"There are two types of people in this world — givers and takers.”

You know, I think there is a lot of truth in that statement! My life experiences repeatedly verify the accuracy of that statement.

I bet you’ve seen it in your life too… Some people ADD to your life with their mere presence — they fill you up, give you more energy, inspire you. While other people SUBTRACT from your life — they wear you out, drain your energy, deplete your reserves.

(I am so grateful that the list of givers in my life is quite long!)

So, the challenge today is simple:

1) Examine yourself: Into which category do you fall?

2) Take action: Today, be a giver, not a taker.

To motivate you in this giving challenge, here are some quotes:

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. (Winston Churchill)

You have the power to make someone’s day. (Dan Zadra)

It is satisfying knowing that for a brief point in time you made a difference. (Irene Natividad)

It is when we forget ourselves that we do things that are most likely to be remembered. (Parker Sweetwater)

Your heart has brought great joy to many. Those hearts can never forget you. (Flavia Weeden)

Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves. (J. M. Barrie)

Things you do for other people are usually some of the best things you do. (Michael Nolan)

People who deal with life generously and large-heartedly go on multiplying relationships to the end. (Arthur C. Benson)

No man can get rich himself unless he enriches others. (Earl Nightingale)

For this I bless you most. You give much and know not that you give at all. (Kahlil Gibran)

And in closing…

May happiness touch your life today as warmly as you have touched the lives of others. (Rebecca Forsythe)

I read this on another scrapper's blog (Carrie Colbert Batt) today and thought it was spot on.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Nickel and Diming it

Spent the morning with the boys at tennis-playing some games like "Keep it Alive" and a new one I call "Nickel and Diming" it. The little dudes seemed to enjoy it and liked trying to get the bonus shot worth fifteen points(which had to land behind the service line and within the singles lines and baseline.
  • Just returned from piano lessons and washing the van. 
  • Gearing up for a road trip to watch my niece (Andrea) play in a national softball tourney. So excited to see her and my sis (it's been a year and a half already!) Going to visit other family along the way. Excited about that. Also hope to get some scrapping in. Finish the Cancun album I've been working on.
  • laundry, bills, Quicken, filing, mopping and sweeping also on the agenda topped off with tennis tonight! (woohoo-always worth a day of the drudgework to end on a high note!)
  • and tomorrow-well tomorrow is Lonestar! Yippee!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Meeting 2 Living Legacies...a night 2 remember

Look who I got to meet last night... BILLIE JEAN KING!!! She was so nice. She approached me and asked me my name. (I about fell to the ground-I was just trying to stay on the fringe of all of the excitement and get a picture of her with Ian and his group of friends). It was all such a blur...I only remember about half of what I said to her b/c in the midst of our conversation I hear my name being called out.
(I'm thinking, "Mick, don't you know better than to interrupt us? I AM SPEAKING WITH THE LEGENDARY BILLIE JEAN KING!!")
Well, (so sorry Mick to think it was you) the voice actually came from a tennis playing friend of mine who saw that Billie (I can refer to her as that now that we're tight and on a first name basis-LOL) was speaking to me and offered to get my pic with her.
Thanks so much Mark! And the blur to the photo is perfect-it reflects exactly how that moment was for me! You da best!!
I had printed out some old photos of Billie at home and brought them to the match for the BEBZ to get her autograph. On the way to the car, we reminded the boys to hold on tightly to their memorabilia. Of course, Boo, being the happy-g0-lucky dude that he is, skipped his way along and managed to lose his signed photo of BJK. When we had nearly reached the car, he realized his lack of carefulness and began to wail out across the great expanse of the makeshift parking lot, "I LOST MY BILLIE PICTURE! I LOST MY BILLLLLL_EEEEEE_PICTURE!!"
So, I promptly told Mick to get the boys into the van and I would backtrack our steps to the tennis complex. On the way there, I frantically queried a few straggling fans and asked them if they had seen the lost item. The second person I asked (a plump older man with a gorgeous white beard) said,
"Is that it over there?"
"Oh...yes, why I believe IT IS!" I said with glee. I explained to him what had happened (as if he didn't hear the blood curdling wails of Boo from far off at a distance) and he said he completely understood how upsetting that would be while beginning to pull something from his wallet. (I'm thinking at this point--what IS he doing?) He proceeded to pull out a business card-and on the front of it was a picture of THE SANTA CLAUS--HIM!!!!! ) I was so excited to run back to the van and to tell Boo that not only was his Billie Jean King pic recouped but that Santa was the one who had found it!
Well, a whole conversation ensued about how Santa was "dressed in disguise" at the match. I told the boys that was because he didn't want to "1-up" Billie Jean King on her night and he wanted to enjoy the match as we did-without an onslaught of kids deluging him with the every want and wish. (Even Santa needs some R&R, right?) It definitely was a night to remember...NOT one living legend--but TWO!!

  • Batman and Robin on the tube

  • intense reading by Ian- Finished HP#4 and onto Rick Riordan's new book. The kid read for over 4 hours today!!!

  • nursing sunburns-loaded the boys up with SPF before leaving cabin and then inadvertently left lotion in the van at the campground (we could'nt put in at usual spot-yellowjackets!)

  • Club Penguin

  • the creation of "Princess Peppermint's" Webkinz bed by the BooBear-and yes, she did feel the pea beneath her (LOL) picture of said creation to follow--took most of morning to make the bed

  • uploading pics from laptop and ordering, organizing backed up pics that are on cd's (still mourning over the loss of July and August 2007-especially 1st day of KGTN pics-although I really thought I had backed these up onto cd's...huge sigh....)

  • photoshopping pics from Cancun trip, adding text and postprocessing

  • laundry, laundry, laundry.

  • Mick mowed the yard

  • planning for the schoolyear with Michelle

  • Olympics 08 studies

  • writing up to do list for the week

  • gearing up to see faraway family next week

  • scolding the puppers for chasing the Hugster

  • listening to Mick play BF2 with his online buddies and watching his quirky + hilarious + spastic minute movements of his mouth as he tries to annihilate virtual enemies with his various forms of weapons and ammunition. Trust me on this's hilarious.

  • Organizing school stuff and straightening up scrapbook area. Ongoing....

  • fighting a bout with seasonal allergies--aaaaahhhh...Aaaah....CHOO!

Friday, July 18, 2008

this week

  • usta mixed doubles, we won our match
  • Olympics 08 study
  • VBS art
  • baseball for Ian (1st time at pitching)
  • Bakugan for the boys (latest thing)
  • Borders trip, Tolkien series, pirateology for Boo (complete with a ship to assemble-that was fun)
  • Mick to Omaha on business
  • scrapping Cancun
  • laundry
  • bills
  • grocery
  • oil down $5 a barrel-woohoo a drop of a gigantic 10 cents at the pump, currently $3.79
  • planning curriculum for the school year
  • puppy dogs needing attention
  • The Tennis Channel: Destination Tennis

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Looky who I get to listen to...

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Can't believe Mick and I will get to listen to their masterful artistry and beautiful lyrics so up close and personal. Can't wait. What a fun way to celebrate our "lucky No.13" anniversary! Woohoo!!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Why we love the lake...

more to follow...

The face of 71

Now there's a guy who looks years younger than his bio age, huh? :) These pics were taken last week at a family get together at AR + UG's. BBQ and h20 fun in the sun made for a brilliant time for all ages. Thanks AR + UG! You rock!