Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Out of the mouths of babes...

"Mom, can you put the sun down? It's too bright."

"Hurry. The poop is coming out!"

"Mom, Santa only brings one video game per year and I already have one on my list."

"My poop got stuck."
"You need to drink more water."
"Not in my butt. It was so big, it got stuck when I flushed the toilet."

These are the types of things I hear around my house or while out and about. The first two are from CJ. Apparently, he was having trouble eating breakfast this morning because the sun was shining too brightly into the window. I say, enjoy it while you can because we live in Ohio now, where it's gray all winter long. His second comment was said nice and loud for everyone at the local library to hear! The third quote took place during a conversation with Sous Chef who wanted to buy a Sponge Bob computer game. I am trying to encourage the kids to save their money over the next month and wait to see what they get for Christmas before buying anything. The last conversation took place between me and Big E this afternoon. I got a fifth grader's version of how big it was. what shape it was and why it was stuck. Thankfully, it did not overflow the toilet!

Motorcycle Guy and I and CJ had lunch with Big E and his teacher today. Big E was Student of the Week during a week in November, so each of the students got to invite their parents and/or a special someone to come to their room for lunch. Of course, he wanted us to bring McDonald's. His lunch period starts at 10:45 and most of the burger joints don't serve lunch until 10:30. We got to McD's at 10:27 and they made us wait three minutes before we could place our order. Funny enough, the other parents made comments about this, too.

Big E won the geography bee in his class and gets to compete in the school geography bee after the new year. We had no idea he knew as much as he did about geography and his teacher asked us today how he knew this stuff. I had to admit to her that on the way to lunch this morning, Motorcycle Guy and I were wondering the same thing! He did admit he guessed at a couple of the answers.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Christmas Decorating

Yes, , I have already begun decorating for Christmas. I am excited to see how what I have fits into our new house. I originally thought our house would look bare since it's bigger than our previous house. However, as I started looking through a lot of my stuff, I realize that we have considerably less shelf space. Our previous house had built in book shelves on each side of the fireplace. This house has two large alcoves on each side of the fireplace and no bookshelves, greatly limiting my space for Christmas display items. This is not necessarily a bad thing since my tolerance for clutter continues to decrease. I think I will have to limit my Christmas decorating to just the things I really love, which is good. My favorite, so far, is the foyer. I love the lighted garland and ribbons and the poinsetta arrangement I put together. The lights are kind of hard to see in these pictures, but the general idea is there. Someday, I would like to get a tree to put in the corner where the table and poinsetta arrangement is.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I am tired!

A full week of visitors can be exhausting! We have had out of state guests since last Saturday. It was fun to see everyone and I am glad they came to visit, but I am ready to lay down and rest. First we had my best friend and her family from Saturday night until Wednesday. They were gone a lot of the time visiting family, but we got to see them quite a bit. They left on Wednesday morning and then we had a visit from some friends from Kansas who are in the area visiting family. That was a nice surprise. I knew they were coming to town, but in the chaos of getting ready for everyone else, I totally forgot until Jan contacted me. We enjoyed spending some time with them and their kiddos. After they left, my in-laws arrived and within an hour of that, my husband's sister, her husband and two of their three children arrived. Melanie and their gang left yesterday and my in-laws left today. His other sister and her husband were unable to make it this year.

Thanksgiving dinner was a hit. I had never made an entire Thanksgiving meal before. I must say, it was delicious. I made all the usuals and I even made gravy from scratch that was very yummy. My stuffing was superb!

On Wednesday night, my dad was in a pretty bad accident and broke his nose, busted up his eye and needed 11 stitches. He does woodworking for a hobby. While using his table saw, a piece of wood "kicked back" and hit him in the face. My mom was not home but he managed to call 911, though he was having trouble seeing due to the blood and the instant swelling of his eyes. He told me it took three tries to get through to 911 because he was trying to feel for the correct numbers. I visited him today and he is able to wear his now repaired glasses and the swelling in/around his eyes has gone down enough that he can see some. He is still very black and blue. He will be seeing a surgeon next week to see if there is a need for any reconstruction or plastic surgery, but so far it looks like he won't. He is able to breath comfortably through his nose, blow it, etc. which is a good indicator that it is going to heal properly.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Arms and elbows

For lunch, CJ was eating macaroni and cheese, made with shell shaped macaroni. As I was doing some things in the kitchen, he said,"The next time you go to the store, can you buy some arms?" Since I had my back to him, I was unsure what he meant.
I turned around and said,"What do you want me to buy?"
"Arms" as he pointed to his mac and cheese shells.
"Do you mean elbow macaroni?"
"Oh, yeah, elbows."
It was too funny!

Starting tomorrow we are heading into what will be the busiest of the holiday season for me. The kids are off school and I need to start getting my house ready for visitors. My best friend, LQ, and her family are coming from Delaware on Saturday and staying until Wednesday. On Wednesday, my husband's parents are coming and so is on of his sisters with her husband and two of their three children. They will all be staying until Saturday or Sunday. We will also be celebrating Christmas. In order to pull this all off, I have cleaning to do and lots of grocery shopping in addition to buying some Christmas presents! After Thanksgiving, my holiday season should be fairly easy as long as I don't procrastinate with gifts for our kiddos and other family members.

Speaking of Christmas, I will need to decorate. Our house is bigger than any of our previous houses, so I it will be interesting to see how our decorations will fit in. I have a feeling it will be a little bare this holiday season. I know I need to buy a lot more garland and ribbon for the staircase banister, but beyond that, I will just have to see how everything looks and go from there after the holidays for the discounted decorations to buy for next year.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Veteran's Day

November 11, Veteran's Day and also my parent's anniversary. Forty-six years of marriage!

But today I am writing about Veteran's Day, a holiday that Big E has been studying in school. For the first time, his school had a Veteran's Day Celebration, which took place today since Veteran's Day was a Sunday. The students were to pick a friend or family member who served or is currently serving in the US Military to honor/memorialize. Big E picked my dad, who was in the Army from 1960-1962. So today, I took my dad to Big E's school to look at the time line which started in the early 1900's with some history and went to the present. It was full of historical facts, pictures of loved ones with their branch of armed service listed, the years served, relationship to the student and a picture(s). It was very touching, especially those who submitted pictures of tombstones for loved ones who were killed during a time of war/conflict. We then had breakfast in Big E's classroom and each student got to introduce their veteran. The veterans then got to talk a few minutes about what they did in the military. One grandfather served in WWII and worked directly with General MacArthur. He even had a signed picture! We watched a video put together by one of the HS students for a project that included interviews with veterans from our city. One man told a story about when he was in Vietnam and was surrounded by the enemy. After a three hour battle, only four men in their troop were still alive. He tells about being shot in the arm and how a fellow soldier gave him morphine and carried him from spot to spot to save his life. The video was kind of hard to watch, though I am not sure the kids grasped the full magnitude of it. For the adults, however, there was a lot of sniffling. The video was broken down by wars/conflicts and their dates. It's hard to look at pictures of a battle and dying boys and men (and in the current times, girls and women, too!) and not think of the scene from "Saving Private Ryan" where the soldier cries out for his mom as he dies. How many times in the past and currently has that happened? It's hard to think about.

After the video, the school then had a parade. The entire student body, all 2,500+ of them plus the staff, lined the hallways and carried small flags as the veterans and their student walked the halls with their branch of service. All in all, it was a touching tribute to our veterans and I am sure they all were proud to have such a nice celebration in their honor.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


The HS Mini-Reunion of 2007 was a great time! Unfortunately, two people couldn't make it due to work schedules and illness, so that left eight of us. Food was eaten, wine was consumed along wth lots of giggling, looking at funny, old pictures and yearbooks, reminiscing about those from the past and learning what everyone is up to now. Who would have guessed that in high school I was voted the most outspoken (with our friend Leslie, who was also in attendance this weekend, as the runner up!). I guess I didn't realize my outspokenness went back that far!

In addition to kids, families and boyfriends, we heard about recent and planned trips to Italy, Germany, Turkey and sailing in the Mediterranean, Africa, Egypt, Israel, New Zealand, Dominican Republic and Peru! (Unfortunately for me, I was on NONE of these trips!).

We also have a friend who has opened a business with a close family member. If you are ever in the Boulder/Denver area or Manhattan Beach, CA, stop in for some ice cream or gelatto at Glacier Homemade Ice Cream and Gelatto!

Friday, November 9, 2007

High school reunion

In the summer of 2006, I attended my 20 year HS reunion. The party actually started on Friday night. I over did it just a little (damn that waitress for being so on top of my Captain and coke needs!) so at the actual reunion I was a little under the weather. I still had a good time and enjoyed seeing many people I had hoped to see. Some of my friends that I am close with in relationship, but distance keeps us a part decided we should try to get together a little more often. This weekend will be our first of what I hope is many Mini Reunions. We are gathering at my house from as far as Los Angeles, Chicago and Detroit and as close as about 15 minutes from my house. Hopefully on a somewhat regular basis and as finances allow, we can do this in a variety of locations over the years. I am very excited. The first guest arrives today - Leslie Ann from Chicago. Everyone else will be trickling in tomorrow. We will be having dinner, drinking and overall giggles. Some of these women I have known since before kindergarten. As my mom says, "do you ever remember a time you didn't know Angie?" The same holds true for Diane and her twin, Amy, who won't be with us this evening. The rest of us met during late elementary school or junior high except Leslie Ann, who came along our sophomore year of HS.

What fun we will have reminiscing about our childhood up through HS. And for Diane, Jeni, Leslie Ann and I, we can throw in some college memories since we all went to UC together. And Michelle, Maria and Lora can talk about their days at OSU. Angie is on her own with Miami U and Mary at Anderson College. Second thought, maybe not such a good idea, there may be some things that are better not to remember! : )

Thursday, November 8, 2007


You know your kids are getting old, which also means you as the parent is getting old, when your child is slated for braces in about six-twelve months. We met with our new orthodontist here and we are just waiting for one more tooth to come out and the rest to come in, which will be in six months to a year; he thought closer to six months. We go back in May. Thankfully, Bio E's mouth structure is such that he needs no permanent teeth pulled (I had four permanent teeth pulled to make room), his occlusion/bite is just right and he does not need a pallate expander, which I did. The ortho said he would be in and out of braces in about 15 months if everything goes as planned. No phase II braces needed. I am thrilled! Motorcycle Guy was lucky and never had to experience orthodontics. I on the other hand had a lot of work prior to braces and then almost four years of braces. I am happy Big E will not have to experience all of that!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Ladies' Lounge Fall Trip

As expected, this trip was a blast. My flight to KC on Thursday was smooth and I spent the evening with Brandi and her husband. Friday morning we all met up for lunch and then set out on the 2.5 hour drive into Missouri to the lake. For the first time, we hung out on Friday eating dinner at the house. We typically dine out for dinners, but thought we would give this a try. It really was great. Brandi made the soups the night before and brought them with us. We had salad and other yummy treats and it made for a more relaxing evening. I think I had my PJ's on by about 5:00 and a drink in my hand. I laughed more on Friday night and Saturday night than I have in a long time. A couple of times I actually got a cramp from laughing so hard in addition to not being able to catch my breath. The best conversation was during the Brandi and Jo Hour which went something like this:

Shannon: " know, those older people who got married in the '90's..." (yes, she was dead serious!)
Me (along with a few others): "SHANNON!"
Someone else: "Shannon, you better watch it. You are going to find yourself in a ditch!"
Brandi: "I can see the local headlines, 'The coroner, who was also married in the 90's, determined there was no need for further investigation.' "

I can't even type this without laughing out loud! The weekend was filled with tears and laughter; most of the time the tears were from the laughter.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The countdown is over

Ladies' Lounge, here I come! I just dropped off CJ at school, Motorcycle Man will be home in about an hour and I will be off to the airport!

Big E has a fifth grade social tomorrow night - music, games, a raffle and GIRLS! I am a little sad I won't be here, but I know I will hear all about it. When it's over, Motorcycle Guy will be taking all three boys and going to his friend's house for a poker game and they are staying all night. His long time friend, Sal, is in town from Los Angeles so the poker gang is looking forward to a fun night.