Thursday, May 31, 2007

A Hello from a Bad Blogger!

I've been a bad blogger over this past week. At first I didn't have anything to say (can you imagine that?) and then I got too busy to sit and write. I don't have much time now either but I have some ramblings to share.

1. I worked on Memorial Day. It was my usual long Monday but I came home to this on my window sill. I do love that little girl. I love Curtis too for picking them for her to give to me. I am sure he tried talking her out of it because they are the thorniest roses I have ever seen! I was admiring them at his Mom's the day before and had to just sniff with my nose because I didn't want to get pricked.

2. Allison's birthday is in the middle of July so she misses having a birthday during the school year. However, her teacher suggested that we celebrate it anytime during the school year. So I made cupcakes and yesterday I took the cupcakes, a cooler full of juice boxes, party plates and napkins and was at the school for snack time at 10:30. I had a blast with those kids! They are so funny! There were 3 different colored gum drops on the top of the cupcakes and Ian or Joshua (not sure which) HAS to have the color green! I'm not kidding...the whole class told me so! The teacher told me that he had a meltdown one day when they had to color a box on their math paper red. He threw a fit and cried and cried because he couldn't color it green. Poor kid! Poor Parents! Poor teacher! Too funny! And I thought Allison was obsessive about pink!

3. Speaking of Allison's birthday, I rented a pavillion at the local park. We were looking at them the other day when we were at the park. I mentioned it to a friend at work and the next day she asked me if I had rented it yet. I hadn't. She encouraged me to do it soon because I may not get one. THANK goodness I listened to her! I went yesterday and looked at them all. I stopped by the office and they are almost all booked up for the Summer! They only had 2 left on the day that I wanted. One doesn't have electric or water...NO thank you! The other one was tied with another one for my first choice! Yippee! I scooped it right up! How happy was I? How happy is Curtis that he doesn't have to clean the basement? We are a happy family!!! So for my family and friends who read my blog, the date is Sunday, July 15th. I'll be sending "save the date" notices out soon! Any ideas what this year's theme is going to be??? Pin It

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

So Sweet!

When I picked Allison up from the bus today, she got off holding a paper vase. It was made from a piece of 8 1/2 X 11 copy paper that had been printed with a picture on it and then it was colored. It was folded into a flat 2 sided vase. It held these flowers but they were not standing up. They were completely wilted. She was so excited to hand them to me and I thought how sweet! She said that she picked them at recess and that her teacher helped her make the vase. I asked her if all the kids picked flowers today and she said "No, just me." She said she was allowed to pick flowers and bring them into the classroom as long as they weren't the ones the teacher was allergic to. When walked into the house she told me that I had to put them into water. Even though they were wilted and dead looking, I did as she said. We then went to the playground and when we came home, these beautiful flowers welcomed us! Amazing! I would have thrown them out behind her back because they were all wilted but she was right in front of me telling me to put them in water. If I did that I would have missed their beauty! Thank you sweet Allison for making Mommy see God's wonderful work!

One more thing I would like to share that was sweet about Allison today. We were outside and my neighbor and I were talking. Allison was playing in the yard. My neighbor asked Allison if she liked Kindergarten and she said yes. I asked her what her favorite part of school was and she said Chapel. So sweet!

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

A Musical and Classes for Men!

My sister, Alesia, came to visit this weekend. She took Allison and I to the musical of Beauty and the Beast at The Byham Theater in Pittsburgh. It is Allison's favorite princess movie and she loved every minute of it. I was a little worried that she was going to fall asleep because it started at 7:30 and her bedtime is 8:00 but she did fine. She leaned over to me at one point asked if it was past her bedtime. She doesn't have any problem asking to go to bed when she is tired so my guess is that she was starting to feel it at that time. The musical was awesome and the girl who played Belle (Leigh Ann Larkin) was adorable and what a voice! Allison loved the self absorbed Gaston. He was so funny and full of himself. I was surprised that Allison got most of the humor. The gentleman (Tim Hartman) who played Lumiere was hysterical! He delivered just enough adult humor to keep us laughing without it being inappropriate. Thanks Alesia, we enjoyed ourselves!

This next part of my post is something I received in an email. It was just too funny not to share with all of you out there. I am sure you could sign your men up for one or more of the classes. Enjoy!

Fall Classes for Men
by Monday, Oct 30, 2007
Class 1
How To Fill Up The Ice Cube Trays--Step by Step, with Slide Presentation.
Meets 4 weeks, Monday and Wednesday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM.
Class 2
The Toilet Paper Roll--Does It Change Itself? Round Table Discussion.
Meets 2 weeks, Saturday 12:00 for 2 hours.
Class 3
Is It Possible To Urinate Using The Technique Of Lifting The Seat and Avoiding The Floor, Walls and Nearby Bathtub?--Group Practice.
Meets 4 weeks, Saturday 10:00 PM for 2 hours.
Class 4
Fundamental Differences Between The Laundry Hamper and The Floor--Pictures and Explanatory Graphics.
Meets Saturdays at 2:00 PM for 3 weeks.
Class 5
Dinner Dishes--Can They Levitate and Fly Into The Kitchen Sink? Examples on Video.
Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM
Class 6
Loss Of Identity--Losing The Remote To Your Significant Other. Help Line Support and Support Groups.
Meets 4 Weeks, Friday and Sunday 7:00 PM
Class 7
Learning How To Find Things--Starting With Looking In The Right Places And Not Turning The House Upside Down While Screaming. Open Forum.
Monday at 8:00 PM, 2 hours!

Class 8
Health Watch--Bringing Her Flowers Is Not Harmful To Your Health.Graphics and Audio Tapes.
Three nights; Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:00 PM for 2 hours.
Class 9
Real Men Ask For Directions When Lost--Real Life Testimonials.
Tuesdays at 6:00 PM Location to be determined.
Class 10
Is It Genetically Impossible To Sit Quietly While She Parallel Parks?Driving Simulations.
4 weeks, Saturday's noon, 2 hours.
Class 11
Learning to Live--Basic Differences Between Mother and Wife. Online Classes and role-playing.
Tuesdays at 7:00 PM, location to be determined.
Class 12
How to be the Ideal Shopping Companion Relaxation Exercises, Meditation and Breathing Techniques.
Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM.
Class 13
How to Fight Cerebral Atrophy--Remembering Birthdays, Anniversaries and Other Important Dates and Calling When You're Going To Be Late. Cerebral Shock Therapy Sessions and Full Lobotomies Offered.
Three nights; Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:00 PM for 2 hours.
Class 14
The Stove/Oven--What It Is and How It Is Used.Live Demonstration.
Tuesdays at 6:00 PM, location to be determined.

Upon completion of any of the above courses, diplomas will be issued to the survivors.
Have Fun!
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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Dinner and A Movie!

I received an email at work on Tuesday from Curtis. The subject line was "Formal Invitation." It said I was invited to Dinner and a Movie with him and Allison on Wednesday night. He would make the dinner and pick the movie and all I had to do was R.S.V.P. Well, heck ya! I am up for a family night where I don't have to do anything! Don't get me wrong, I like cooking for my famiy. Sometimes it's just hard to find the engergy after working all day and then driving home an hour. This was a very sweet thing for him to do and I looked forward to it all day!

Curtis did his prep work the night before so we would have time to watch the whole movie before Allison had to go to bed. He made stuffed shells, mixed vegetables and Texas garlic toast. YUMMY! It was awesome! He even packed me leftovers for lunch today at work. So sweet! It's usually me that packs him leftovers. I loved getting a break from the dinner responsibilities! Thank you Honey!!!!

The movie Curtis picked was Disney's Mighty Joe Young. Adorable! It is rated PG so I had my reservations but Allison loved it. I did cover her eyes one time because it showed something I didn't want her to see. It was only for about 3 seconds. If you haven't seen this movie, I suggest you rent it. I teared up 12 minutes into it and cried like a baby at the end. It kept all of our attention the whole 114 minutes. It's a must see!

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A New Ride, Homemade Gifts, More Lilacs & A Perfect Report!

WARNING! This post is VERY long!

I'm going to apologize now for jumping around with a few subjects. Even though I haven't had time to post, I have had lots to share.

First, I would like to introduce you to my new ride "Black Beauty". Isn't she pretty? I know it's probably silly but I am so excited to have her that I just had to share. You see it's been 9 years since I have had a new car. "Emmie" (short for Emerald) is nine years old and has 188,000 miles on her. She's been a great friend but is getting a little tired these days and sometimes she would rather take a nap than get me to where I need to go. That's okay, my old body knows just how she feels so I understand. No need to worry though, Emmie is staying in the family. She just got a younger sister to take on more of the responsibility. I'll keep Emmie until she goes to her eternal resting place and use her when Allison is not with me. I don't mind if she strands me on the side of the road but I don't want Allison with me when she decides to take a break.

Black Beauty or Beauty for short is a Dodge Caravan and I think she'll make a nice addition to our family. However, I was sitting at a stop sign the other day along side some store windows and saw our reflection. It's official.....I'm a MIDDLE AGED least that what I looked like! Heck, I had a hard time going from 2 doors to 4 when I bought Emmie. THIS is definitely a reality check! I guess as long as I keep a young spirit, I'll be okay. Allison loves Beauty...okay, maybe it's the DVD player she loves but we are happy. Well, most of us anyway. Curtis is having a hard time having a minivan be the family car. I guess it makes him feel old. He'll adjust.

One last thing on this subject before I move on to the next. How many of you name your vehicles? Curtis thinks I'm nuts. I have found in talking to others, I'm not the only nut that has a personal relationship with her car. There are many of us out there. I spend 2 hours in my car on work days and when Allison has Summer vacation, I'll be spending 3 hours a day in my car....why shouldn't we be on a first name basis?!?

How was your Mother's Day? Mine was great! It started out with Allison and Curtis making and serving me breakfast in bed! This was the first time EVER that I have had breakfast in bed and boy was it a treat! It was the best part of my day! It made me feel like a queen! After breakfast Allison and I headed over to my parents to surprise my Mom. My sister, Alesia, put the whole thing together and didn't want me to do anything for it but show up. She cooked steaks out on the grill, made twiced baked potatoes and green beans almondine. If you knew my sister, this was a huge accomplishment. She does not cook and being an accountant, she needs exact measurements and can't just throw things together. She has to have things precise and exact so putting this whole thing together took a lot of effort on her part. It was really sweet of her to do it for me and my Mom an I appreciate it. It's nice being pampered.

Below is what I made for my Mom and sister for Mother's Day. My sister is Allison's Godmother so we always get her a gift too. She is single with no children but spoils my daughter so I like to thank her for that when I can. The photo cubes were easy to make and they loved them. I made them almost the same for each of them except the picture at the top. Curtis helped me by cutting the wood into blocks. Thanks Honey! I love you! It's been a while since I scrapbooked so it felt really good to sit down and be creative. Once I get my Spring cleaning and decluttering done, I plan on finding the time to do more scrapbooking. I think I better start on Allison's "School Years" scrapbook since Kindergarten is almost over!

Here is a picture of the lilacs I cut from my Mom's bush on Sunday. Aren't they beautiful? They are French and so deep purple. They are starting to die so I took a quick picture to show all of you. I put them in my kitchen window this morning. The light breeze coming thru the screen is filling my house with their wonderful aroma. Speaking of the screen, can you see at the bottom where it is bent? Yes, I did that. I locked us out of the house when I went to get Allison at the bus stop last week. I had to pop the screen out and put her through the window. How embarrassing! She loved it! She couldn't wait to tell Daddy! Betrayer!

I've saved the best for last! Allison has had some trouble in Kindergarten. Not academically. Her teacher tells us she is at the top of the class in academics. It's behavioral and social. Which is understandable since she has never been in a structured environment or with other kids until Kindergarten. Mrs. X (not her real name...just trying to be protective) said she has never had anyone quite like her. Her exact words are that she is a "hard case." Allison is very independent, bull headed, strong willed and stubborn. Before you think it, I'll admit it...the apple doesn't fall far from the tree! It's so funny because she is they tiniest thing in the class but has the biggest personality. For example, if she is not done with coloring a paper, she will not stop when Mrs. X says to put the papers and crayons away so they can move on to the next subject. She wants to finish and she is determined to finish it. She tested Mrs. X every day. Mrs. X, Curtis and I have struggled on what to do. Do we hold her back? Do we let her go to 1st grade with these issues? Who knows? There has been no easy answers. All three of us have turned this over in our heads over and over again. If we hold her back, Mrs. X said she will write a whole new curriculum for her because she can't repeat the academics. She has excelled in them all and would be bored if she repeated them. But then if she is working on her own program, will she be able to feel like she is part of the group or feel that she is different? If we let her go to 1st grade before she is ready, will she have trouble in every grade or will she catch up? Well, after the first half of the year, we all pretty much put it in Allison's hands. Below is a weekly progress report that every student in every grade receives every week. I love it! There are no surprises come report card day because we know how she is doing week to week. The items are checked if she falls short in those categories. Towards the end of the first half of the year, Allison had quite a few checked each week. Never the ones that deal with academics but the ones that deal with behavior and social skills. This was very stressful for us all. I hated those weeks! This is when we put it in Allison's hands. Curtis and I told her that she could have a kitten if she brought 3 weekly progress reports home with no checks on it. This seemed impossible but it was the "carrot" that we chose to dangle in front of her. The only problem with the report is that if she misbehaved on Tuesday and we don't receive the report until the following Monday, it was too late to address the problem with Allison. Mrs. X suggested that she send a little strip of paper home each day with a mini report of how she was for the day. She already did this for 3 other students so we agreed. This seemed to work but we still needed more. Mrs. X then suggested that Allison go on a "chip program" that she used with other students. Allison would start the day with 8 chips (circles of construction paper). Throughout the day she could lose a chip if she didn't listen or did something she wasn't supposed to do. She could also earn them back for doing something good. It would be reported on her daily slip if she lost any or kept all. Mrs. X. told us that she needed us to come up with a consequence & reward chart to go along with the chip program. We did and based on the number of chips she loses for the day, there will be a consequence when she comes home or if she kept all of them, she would get a reward. Some of the consequences are a time out on her bed for 15 minutes to think about how she could have been better in school, no TV, no CD at bedtime, bedtime a half an hour early, etc.. Some of the rewards are makes something special with Mom in the kitchen, a bike ride with Dad, a trip to the playground, etc.. The chip program makes her behavior and actions measurable. Allison now has something tangible to see how she is doing and where she needs to improve. This program has been a blessing. Mrs. X has been a blessing. Allison is a totally different child in school. Mrs. X said she has completely turned around. She said that she can see that Allison really cares about how she does now and works hard to keep all of her chips. I am happy to report that the progress report that you see below is Allison's 3rd perfect report and she will be getting her kitten the week before school ends. SHE DID IT! I knew she could! She just needed to "get with the program" and learn what is expected of her in school. She also has grown up so much since the beginning of school so I'm sure that helped too. Mrs. X felt that her just turning 5 before school started may have been an issue with her too. She just wasn't mature enough to handle how her whole world changed at once and what was now expected of her in school. Hopefully this is all behind us and she'll have a great year in 1st grade next year!

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

My Ba Ba's Platter and My Wednesday's Jackpot!

If you have read my blog before, you know we call my Mom, Ba Ba, which is Grandma in Polish. Actually it's Baba but we spell it Ba Ba because that is how my Mom's Mom spelled it. My Ba Ba, who was the only Grandparent I ever knew, passed away when I was in 7th grade. In the past year while we were cleaning out her house where two of my Aunts still lived, we came across the platter that you see in the picture below. I remembered instantly that it was my Ba Ba's. I remember her serving on it. My Mom said I could have it if I wanted and I jumped at the opportunity. I am the sentimental one in the family and just holding this platter knowing it was my Ba Ba's makes my heart sing. I've had it hidden away in the dishwasher for the past year. By the way, the dishwasher isn't working. It's a long boring story so I'm going there. Anyway, I stopped at Joann's today after dropping Allison off at school and while I was there, I saw the plate hangers. I knew immediately that I needed one for the platter. I hung it above my china closet and I love it's prominent place in my eat-in kitchen. Isn't it ironic that it's green and pink and my whole kitchen is shades of green, pink and purple? It was meant to be!

Speaking of my kitchen and shades of green, pink and purple, let's get to Wednesday's jackpot! I ran errands all day on Wednesday and was just about to go home but I thought maybe I would stop at Goodwill first. I had milk in the car so I knew I could only go in for a few minutes so I thought what the heck. Well I hit the JACKPOT! First, I found 3 blue and 3 white Tupperware Freezer Mates with lids. I like making a big batch of pasta sauce and freezing it for later. I had been using these plastic containers that we get when we order Chinese food but they are round and fall over frequently. They weren't working for me. I had wanted the freezer mates but when I did a Tupperware party in January, they weren't carrying them at that time. I also got 4 of the Tupperware "Round 2" Modular Mates with 2 lids. I use mostly Modular Mates in my cupboards so I picked these up. I'll use the two without lids for Allison's markers and such. Next I picked up a couple of coffee mugs with roosters on them. Too cute and we can always use cheap coffee mugs around here. The next item is the white compote/goblet thing in the picture. I have two big ones that are similiar. One I use for pens and pencils on the computer cart and the other one is on my scrapbooking table with scrapbooking goodies in it. This smaller one will accompany the big one on my scrapbooking table to hold more goodies. I'm sure you can't miss the smiley face cup in the picture. I picked this up for a gift and it will soon be on it's way out of my kitchen...although I can't help smiling every time I see it! And lastly as I was just about to leave the Goodwill, I looked down at the bottom shelf and saw a box with newspapers and dishes in it. My heart skipped a beat! It was my Pfaltzgraff dishes that have been retired for years! I have a set of 8 and have always wanted 4 more to make it a set of 12. Here was my chance! I started unwrapping the treasures one by one and found 4 dinner plates, 4 salad/dessert plates and 4 saucers. There were no cups and no bowls. At first I was a little disappointed but then I thought about it and I probably would never even use 12 coffee cups and I probably wouldn't be using bowls either if I would be serving 12 people. I am glad the saucers were there though. They don't have a deep grove for the coffee cup so they work nicely for bread and butter plates. Also in the box was the divided relish tray/dish. They price the box all as one so maybe this was a bonus? Who knows but I don't have a relish tray/dish so this was a nice surprise in the bottom of the box.

So, do you have a guess on how much my quick stop at Goodwill cost me? Take a guess and then look below!

$10.53! Woooo Hoooo!!! I couldn't believe it! The dinner plates alone are $9.95 if you are able to get them on Pfaltzgraff's website. They carry some items from time to time. The Pfaltzgraff dishes and the relish tray/dish were all $5.99...for the WHOLE box! I had to blink to make sure I saw that correctly! It was a HAPPY DAY for me! In fact, I'm still HAPPY about it!

Have Fun!

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Typical Allison!

Last night we went out to dinner and the restaurant we went to had "Kid's Night." We didn't know it before we went so lucky us! Allison's meal was free and they had a clown there that was doing face paintings and balloon animals. After Allison ate her dinner, she went over and patiently stood in line. She could pick anything she wanted and she picked a SNAKE! This is so typical of of her! She loves snakes and bugs and sharks and dinosaurs and so many other things that aren't me. She does NOT get this from me! It's the Daddy's little girl in her. However, did you notice the colors she picked for the snake? Girly ones! That part is me! She also picked a pink balloon snake too but I forgot to take a picture of it. It had a yellow tongue. So unique! So Allison!

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Flowers for Someone Really Special!

Allison picked these at Grandma's for "someone really special".......ME!
Isn't she sweet?
She knows I LOVE lilacs!

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Sunday, May 06, 2007

A Quick Hello and A Problem Solved!

Today is busy for me. I took Allison over to her Curtis' parent's house yesterday and ended up staying until night. It was nice to visit but I didn't get my Saturday chores done so I am trying to get everything done today. I also have a big list that I want to get accomplished this weekend in addition to regular chores but I don't see that happening!

I've had this corner in my living room to the right of the entertainment center that has been empty since we took the Christmas tree down. I had decided that I wasn't putting back what I had there before Christmas after Christmas. However, I haven't been able to find anything that I liked. So day after day night after night I looked at the empty corner knowing I would find something eventually. It has to be exactly what I love before I do anything. I'll stare at the blank wall or space before I do something I don't just love. Anyway, this is what I came up with and I am very pleased. It helps me incorporate more black into my living room. They always say that you should use a color in at least three places in your room so this is my third place for black. My bookcase/wall unit, my little redone table and now my mirror. The shelf has a little drawer and is actually an espresso finish and blends well with the mirror. It looks cherry in the picture but it doesn't in real life. The plant also looks small in the picture but it fills the space nicely. It's hard to put anything in that corner since my heat/ac register is on the wall behind it.

A closer look.
Gotta get back to decluttering and cleaning!
Have Fun!
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Thursday, May 03, 2007

A Table Makeover and Patriotic Fun Stuff!

I've had this table for forever. I bought it at a flea market back in 1986 when I was moving to Virginia. I got it for $5! Gotta love a bargain! It was originally streaked this olive green color. Not great but it stayed that way for a while. Then I sponged painted it the color you see below to go into my kitchen in the early 90's. It worked great with my Southwest decor. It stayed this way until I decided that Curtis needed a table beside his recliner in the living room for his coffee cup. This would be perfect but the color and technique is outdated but it stayed this way until I was inspired. Finally it hit me! Black! I am so pleased with how it turned out! The only problem is that Curtis is afraid to use it now because he'll scratch it! I'm also not sure on what to put on it. I don't like that you see the outlet and cords but I can't move the outlet. I'm thinking a basket of artificial greenery. What do you think? Any ideas?

Home Interiors just came out with some seasonal patriotic stuff for May. I ordered the Lady Liberty Tin Lantern and the petite jar candle for myself. The lantern is adorable and stands 13 1/2 inces tall! She looks so cute in my living room and was only $14.99! The candle is baked apple pie, vanilla creme and blueberry scent and smells delicious! I'm definately going to get myself more of those before they sell out. Wouldn't the hostess of the 4th of July party I'm attending just love to receive one of those wrapped in a cellophane gift bag and tied with red, white and blue ribbons? I'm not sure if I can say this here but if you would like to have either of these items or anything else from their line, I can help you out. Just email me and I can have them shipped to anywhere you live.

Have Fun!

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