Thursday, August 31, 2006

This Lamp is Not Just a Lamp!

I purchased a new lampshade for my lamp. What do you think? The lampshade on it was ivory but I've added Burgundy to my living room and the lamp just needed a face lift. It looks more red in the picture but it really is Burgundy.

Why is the lamp not just a lamp, you ask? Let me explain. It was probably about 7-8 years ago and I was living in Boardman, Ohio across from one of my best friends, Nancy. Nancy, myself and another friend of ours, Carolyn, were sitting around her living room bored. She asked if both of us could waste $20 and Carolyn and I both said sure and was wondering what she had in mind. Well, she challenged us to a competition. We had an hour to find something to spend our $20 on. It was supposed to be something that wasn't a necessity and something that we normally wouldn't buy for ourselves. And then we were to meet for dinner at Cafe Capri Italian Restaurant with our find. I went to the mall and looked in all of the stores to get ideas before settling on my final purchase. I ended up buying this lamp at Kirkland's (LOVE that place!) Nancy made a craft decorative thing (in her car!) for all of us. It was a round glass bowl thing with glass marbles and a flower in it. I can't remember what Carolyn bought. It was a fun, silly thing to do for a dull evening. I had fun because I probably wouldn't have bought the lamp but because it was the right price and I had to get something, I got it. It is now one of my favorite things in my living room.....and the friendship memories that go along with it are far more valuable than the $20 that I spent for it!

Have Fun!

"It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Monday, August 28, 2006

A BIG Day for My LITTLE Girl!

It's so hard to believe that Allison started Kindergarten today! She did beautifully. I cried a good part of the day. She was so ready to go and wasn't the least bit hesitant. I second guessed our decision to send her. Since she just turned 5 in July, we could have waited another year. Intellectually though, we couldn't wait another year. Socially, I'm concerned. She's a totally independent little girl and has no problem doing her own thing by herself. She is very outgoing and friendly. She is secure in who she is and what she can do. She has no fear and is willing to do anything. However, she is sensitive and doesn't understand when another child doesn't treat her well. She is nice to everyone and expects the same in return. I pray that school doesn't change my little girl but enhances the wonderful little girl that I sent to them. If you pray, please say a little prayer for us and if you don't please send up a wish that we made the correct decision by sending her now.

Now, about her day:
1. The backpack is so big on her and I bought a smaller one because she is tiny! We were standing outside this morning and all of a sudden she lost her balance and fell backwards from the weight of her lunch and school supplies! LOL....we couldn't resist and giggled with her.
2. After putting her on the bus, we went to the school/church for the opening Chapel and to take a photo of her getting off the bus at school. She jumped right off the bus and instead of following the other kids into the school, she came over to me with her backpack open. I asked her why it was open and she said "Because I wanted to see what was inside." It never dawned on me to show her or tell her not to open it on the bus! Thankfully, nothing fell out but it made me realize that I can't possibly prepare her for everything in life...and I thought I could at least handle Kindergarten!
3. When we attended Chapel, we realized, as we watched Allison sit with her class, that she is the smallest kid in the whole school!
4. When she got off the bus, I asked her if school was good and she said "Yes, and I didn't even throw up!" After some probing, apparently a little girl on her bus did!
5. I asked her what she learned and she told me "Not to sneak up on the bus driver because he could wreck the bus?" Hmm, words to live by!
6. I asked her how her day was and she said "I had a PERFECT day!" That is EXACTLY what I need to hear!
7. She didn't eat her lunch! She had about 6 combos, 3 carrot sticks and 1/2 a cookie. I wish more of her lunch was gone but she said she ate all she could. I told her that I was taking her out for an ice cream sundae to celebrate her first day of school but she said she wanted to eat her lunch from school first! What a kid!
8. We asked her if she made any friends and she said that she met all the kids in her class but she didn't know who to make friends with. It was as if she was waiting for our approval. We told her to make friends with everyone! She did say that she talked to a girl in her class named Sarah and she was really nice. She also rides Allison's bus and I believe she lives about 2 minutes from us. Sounds like the beginning of her first friendship!

I think that's all I can think of for now!

Have Fun!

"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars."
Les Brown
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Thursday, August 24, 2006

A New Chapter for a Lovely Young Lady!

This is my niece, Stephanie. Actually she's my best friend's daughter but to us, we are family. Stephanie has graduated from high school and is about to start a new chapter in her life. She leaves for college tomorrow morning. I am so excited for her! She is going to do great!

Her parents held an open house for her tonight for family and friends to come and say their good byes. We couldn't make it because we had to attended another sort of open house. It was registration and introduction for the new chapter in Allison's life...Kindergarten. Even though we couldn't be there, I wasn't going to let her go without a send off from Aunt Cindi. I have been working on a "Going off to College" gift for her since she graduated so I dropped Allison off at my Mom's and went to spend some time with Steph this morning. She is such an awesome young lady and I am so proud of her! I can't wait to hear all about her adventures at college! I told her that she needs to start a blog so she can update all of us who want to know what's going on in her life. Hmm, I may just set one up for her!

So, here is her gift. It was an "Everything a New College Student Needs" her school colors of course!

Here's a better look and if you wish, click on image for an even closer look.

And for those of you who want to know what I put in there, here are the contents. A flashlight, a coil key ring so she can find her keys easily, a package of Highlighters, a package of Post-It notes, index cards, a mini sewing kit, safety pins, note cards with her college on the front, an address book, stamps, return address labels that I made with her college seal on them, a roll of quarters for the vending machines, a box of ear plugs for quite nap times in the dorm, a candle in a jar, emery boards, chapstick, bandages, hydrogen peroxide, a couple travel packages of tissues, a 1/2 pound Hershey chocolate bar, packages of microwave popcorn, a couple of packages of Ramen noodles, two $5.00 gift certificates for the local Pizza Joe's and of course, I couldn't send her off without a picture of Allison! I ordered a hooded sweatshirt for Allison from her college's bookstore and dressed her up in it, took her picture, framed it and put "GO TITANS!" on the frame in Steph's school colors. It was simple but turned out cute.

Here is a close up of the picture of MY future college student!

By the way, Steph's mother (my best friend) made a comment that it will be me in 13 years sending Allison off to college (I won't mention that she also said I would be using a walker by then!) Anyway, I don't know how I will survive that...I can't even stop crying about her going to Kindergarten...but that is a whole other post!

Have Fun!

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

There's nothing like...

a big bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup when you're sick...even if you have to make it yourself!

Yes, we are all sick. Curtis came home Saturday night with it, then I followed on Monday night and Miss Allison came down with it on Tuesday afternoon. After being up all night long with Allison, she woke up this morning tugging at her ears. She said they hurt and I am sure they did because mine were killing me too. I rushed her to the doctor's at 7:15 am. They have walk-in hours for the sick 4 days a week and I've never used the service before but boy was it nice to just go. It is, just as I thought, a really bad cold but I didn't want to take any chances with her ears since she starts Kindergarten on Monday. By the way, did I mention how much I hate colds? I can't stand the stuffiness and not being able to breathe out of my nose! Don't get me wrong, I know it could be much worse but I am miserable and haven't has much sleep since Sunday night. Curtis offered for me to go take a nap when he got home but I can't leave her. I know when I was sick as a child, all I wanted was my Mom and she is the same way. I'll just keep drinking my orange juice and keep tending to her. Maybe she will sleep can only pray!

Today's quote is courtesy of my friend, Nancy. She emailed it to me a couple of days ago and suggested I use it on my blog. She has two children and I am sure she feels like that some days. Thanks Nancy for the quote!

Have Fun!

"Raising children is like getting pecked to death by a chicken."
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Sunday, August 20, 2006

A "cool" find!

I'm taking a quick break from cleaning to post a "cool" find. I was just cleaning out and organizing my freezer and came accross these popsicles.

They are the perfect size for little ones and they don't melt as fast as the regurlar ones do. They also come in great flavors and different shapes and are just plain fun!

Have Fun! Pin It

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Through the eyes of my family!

I saw this family questionnaire on Sophia's blog this week and thought it would be fun to ask my family the following 10 questions.

My 5 year old, Allison's answers:
1. What's the funniest thing I do? Tickles me.
2. What's my favorite TV show? Reba.
3. How tall am I? Taller than me.
4. What's my favorite thing to do? Stay with me.
5. What makes me sad? When I leave you.
6. What makes me laugh? When I tickle you.
7. How much time do I spend on the phone? 2 minutes.
8. Am I a better driver than your dad? Yes.
9. What do I do when you're at school each day? Think about me.
10. What should I be famous for? For being a good Mom.

My sweetie, Curtis' answers:
1. What's the funniest thing I do? Owe, that hurt!
2. What's my favorite TV show? Desperate Housewives.
3. How tall am I? 5'4"
4. What's my favorite thing to do? Spend time with family and scrapbook.
5. What makes me sad? Any sad movies.
6. What makes me laugh? Allison, of course!
7. How much time do I spend on the phone? About 45 minutes a day.
8. Am I a better driver than your dad? NO, but getting close.
9. What do I do when you're at school each day? Work
10. What should I be famous for? Your cooking

This was a fun quiz and I encourage you to do this with your family! Allison's answers showed me so much. One of the things that I worry about is that I am not around for her enough. Since my work hours and sitting arrangements are crazy, I sometimes feel that she doesn't know that my world is all about her. This little questionnaire told me I was wrong. Allison does realize that my happiness, sadness and laughter is all wrapped up in her. She is the focus of my life and her answers reflect that she knows that. I guess I'm not doing as bad as I thought.

The only answer of Curtis' that surprised me was the last one. He always tells me that he likes what I cook but I didn't know he thought it was good enough to be famous for! Enlightening little quiz, wasn't it?

"To nourish children and raise them against odds is in any time, any place, more valuable than to fix bolts in cars or design nuclear weapons."
Marilyn French
Have Fun!
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Sunday, August 13, 2006


We had a fun filled day at Kennywood Park this week with my sister, Alesia. We used to go to Kennywood as kids and I am glad it's a tradition that Allison will enjoy growing up as well. You can read about the history of Kennywood here. I can't wait for Allison to get bigger so she can ride the big coasters. The Thunderbolt is one of the old traditional wood roller coasters and the sound it makes as it rolls over the tracks just intensifies the ride! Anyway, we usually go on a Saturday and it's so busy that the lines for the rides are really long. This year we went on a Wednesday and it was perfect. There were lines for the rides but not really long ones. The weather was also perfect as there was a break in the heat wave we have been having. Allison had a blast riding the rides and having all the goodies. I eased up on my "no sugar" rule and she had ice cream, chocolate milk and cotton candy! Hey, I have to let her be a kid sometime! Here are just a few of the pictures of the day. Enjoy them and as always, you can click on them to view them bigger.

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Thursday, August 10, 2006


WOW, it's been a week since I've posted! It's been a very busy week and I only have a few minutes now but I wanted to share a few thoughts with you.

Corn! FRESH corn on the cob...just minutes from being picked. There's nothing better than that!

Allison LOVES it! We all do! My Dad grows it perfectly! This was the first corn of the season for us. Dad calls it young corn because it's not quite mature enough but we can't wait any longer so he picks it for us. It is oh so yummy! I remember as a child Dad would pick a trailer full of corn and then pull it up to the backyard with the farm tractor and park it for us to shuck...for hours! There was a process. First we would shuck it, brush all the silk off of it and then Mom would start her job. She would take it into the kitchen and cut all the kernals off of it. She would then can it. I remember those big black pots with white speckles on the stove simmering for hours. The house would get so hot and we would stay out of the kitchen because we just couldn't take the heat! This is now a fond memory for me. Allison will probably never have that big of a memory because we are not farmers like my Dad and my Mom doesn't can anymore since Dad doesn't do the big cornfields anymore. He just grows enough for all of us to take home through the rest of the summer and for some friends. This will be Allison's memory. She will remember shucking the corn with Daddy for the night's dinner. Not the huge memory that I have but still a good memory none the less.

"Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you're a thousand miles from the corn field."

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Have Fun!

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

"I'm getting married today!"

NO, not me! This is what Allison announced to me yesterday. She said she was getting married to a boy who was in the living room. Just between us....I didn't see a boy in the living room! She said that it would be the last day that she would be alone...apparantly the word "single" isn't the word that came to her mind to describe what she was thinking. Then she told me that she needed to go upstairs to her room for a little while and then when she came down, this is what I saw! How funny! The "dress" is a pink baby blanket that was hers when she was an infant and the "veil" is the dress up skirt to her Sleeping Beauty costume. Wasn't she creative?

"A wife is the joy of a man's heart."~Talmud~
Have Fun!
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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

One more Zoo picture!

What a "cool" idea!

Allison loved it!

Wouldn't you love it on a day like today?

Have Fun!

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The Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium!

We went to the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium on Sunday and had a blast! It was VERY hot but we had an awesome family day anyway. The zoo and aquarium covers 77 acres so there was plenty to see. Some of the highlights were: the two story shark tank, the crawl-through stingray tunnel and a 6 week old rattlesnake you could hold in the palm of your hand. Allison's favorite things were the sharks, lizards and snakes (YUK!), Curtis' favorite was the Komodo Dragon and mine were the big cats (lions, tigers, leopards, etc.) We plan on going back again in the fall to see the new polar bear exhibit which is almost finished being built. Actually, we talked about it and since we had so much fun, we are going to go ahead and get a membership so we can go as often as we like! I'll let the pictures speak for themselves with a little narration so you know what you are seeing and as always, if you click on the images, you can see them larger.

This first one is of Allison and the Komodo Dragon which is the world's largest lizard. This one is 3 years old and weighs about 170 pounds. This particular dragon's mother was a gift from Indonesia to President Reagan in 1986. Thank goodness for glass!

Curtis and Allison with Ma Ma Lion in the background.

Me and Allison with Ma Ma and Pa Pa Lion in the background.

I LOVE the sea lions! They just kept swimming around in circles and sometimes they would come real close to the the wall of their tank...almost as if they were trying to knock you over!

Did you know my brother lived at the zoo? LOL!!!!!

These next ones are in the aquarium. This one is of Allison (who was sick of posing for pictures by this time) and a lion fish. Cool, huh?

You should have seen when this zookeeper came out with their food! The penguins went nuts!

This thing was huge! It's the Pacific giant octopus.

And the jellyfish. They were so beautiful and calming to watch.

"Who knew there was so much to do at the zoo?" Author:Unknown

Have Fun!

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The Pilchard Update.

Thank you to everyone for your kind words about the passing of Allison's little buddy Pilchard. She took the news better than any of us expected. Here's how it went:

The first thing out of her mouth on Saturday morning was that she couldn't wait to go to Grandma's so she could play with Pilchard! I told her that Pilchard went to heaven to be with Pooki. She cried (me too) and was upset that Grandma wasn't going to have a kitty to take care of anymore. She asked me what happened and I told her that she got sick. She replied that she must have gotten a disease way down deep inside of her that even medicine couldn't make better. She then said she was going to get one of her kitties (stuffed) to give to Grandma so she would have a kitty again until she gets another real one. Then as I was getting out of the shower I heard her tell her kitty that she was going to live with Grandma for a while until she gets a new real kitty. She told it that Grandma's kitty died and Grandma was sad so she had to cheer her up and keep her company. She only cried one other time when we went to Target. She saw a notebook in the school supply area with a kitty on it and asked "Why did Pilchard have to die?" I did my best to explain it in a way she could handle but she grasped the truth better than most adults do. I thought this was going to be worse than it was. She handled the whole thing beautifully. Her concern for her Grandmother showed me what is truly in her heart. She not only felt sympathy for her Grandmother's loss but also found a way to help maker her Grandmother get over it. Later that day she presented her stuffed kitty to Grandma with such care and grace that I am still amazed at what a wonderful human being she is growing up to be. Pin It


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