Sunday, December 23, 2007

Family Christmas

We had our family Christmas at my aunt’s house this year. We all gathered there on Sunday, December 16th to celebrate Christmas together. Everyone was assigned a dish to bring - Salad, main dish, side dish, dessert, or whatever. Mine was a side dish, so I made corn casserole. There was so much food there! And it was all very good.

We were unable to find a Santa this year, so they decided to leave Santa’s bag on the porch with a note from Santa. When my cousin brought it in, Conor was sooooo excited. He was jumping up and down, smiling, saying “There’s a Santa’s bag! Santa has been here!”

After the letter had been read telling how Santa had an emergency at his workshop and couldn’t be there, the gifts were handed out. Conor opened his and his shoulders slumped down, he got really sad and he walked back into the toy room and sat. I followed him to see what was wrong with him and he explained to me that he thought he was going to get a puppy because he wanted one really bad.

I explained to him that we were not getting another dog and that Santa would not bring live animals to kids unless their parents said it was OK. And that I told Santa we didn’t need another animal.

This did very little to make him feel better, but he did come back out to join the other kids playing with their toys. When we returned, a couple of people asked what was wrong with him, so I explained that he thought he was going to get a puppy. With that, my uncle John and my cousin Pete both decided to comfort Conor by telling him that Santa couldn't have left him a puppy today... the puppy would have been hurt when the bag fell from the sky as Santa flew over. Then they proceeded to tell him that Santa would be bringing him a puppy on Christmas morning at his house.

"Ummm, no, there will be no puppy for Christmas. Mommy already talked to Santa and told him we did not want another dog at this time." This did very little to dissuade them.

"Oh, come on Kate! I remember you always got EVERYTHING you wanted for Christmas, how can you deny your son a puppy?" This was from Pete.

So not true.

Delusional as they were, they did enjoy the situation. It went on for a few minutes, til Conor started ignoring them and playing with the other kids.

My cousin Gary and I took turns traveling down memory lane - all the things we did together as kids at Grandma's house. He remembers some stuff that I did not, I remember some stuff he did not - lots of laughter with those memories. That would be a fun project - getting together with all my cousins and getting them to tell me the stories they remember from Grandma's house.

Most of the kids got some sort of toy that shoots balls or Styrofoam things - and they ran around shooting each other. Some of the balls are probably still lost at Judy's house. We stayed for a few hours, socializing, watching football, and relaxing before going home to take naps... ;)

It was a fun day - yeah, I should have written about it sooner, and I might have remembered more of the details! I'm trying to catch up now...

Friday, December 14, 2007

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

OK, so this is a pretty busy time of year for everyone. I will still try to post some stuff that I'm behind on (Conor's 5th birthday for one!) but it may or may not be this year that I do it in! :)

I wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and I hope you have a Happy New Year! Stay safe and warm!

Monday, December 03, 2007

What kind of scam is this???

So... I have a new friend. An unwanted friend. =\ But I don't know what to do to get rid of him. :(

It started Saturday morning. The phone calls. The number on my caller ID was very strange- too many numbers - so I did not answer it. They called over and over again - about 10 or so times - and I finally answered it to see wth they wanted so they would stop.

The first conversation he asked, "What your name and where you at?" As well as some other things I could not understand.

I politely informed him that I was not going to answer his questions and asked that he please stop calling me. I hung up.

He called back. I didn't answer. The cycle went on and on until I couldn't take it anymore and I answered with "Will you please stop calling me?!?!"

He asked if I was in Afghanistan. I said no. He said he was calling from Pakistan and he wanted to make me his friend. I declined, but he doesn't seem to take no for an answer.

I then quit answering the phone again and he left 2 messages on the answering machine. I cannot understand a word of it, but Allie listened to it with me and she said she thought it said something about disconnecting something if I didn't do something. =\ yeah. It's very hard to decipher.

The calls didn't stop. I didn't count them but I would bet on a total between 40 and 50 on Saturday. I called the phone company, but there is nothing they can do about it. If they were within the US, they could, but since he is in a different country, they can't do anything. They sympathized and said if they didn't stop they could change my number for no charge.

They thought he might stop after one day. He didn't. He is the one who called and woke me up on Sunday morning. :( He also called a few more times throughout Sunday, but no where near the amount on Saturday.

If he calls me again today, I guess I'm gonna have to change my number.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Toby Keith's New Song

Good song, makes sense to me. :)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Tis the season...

It is that time of year again. The mad shopping, lots of cooking, cleaning, wrapping, eating, laughing, spending time with friends and family. I've neglected my blog for so long, and left out so many funny stories!

In October, there was a crazy week of birthdays and Halloween parties. My Mom's birthday was on a Monday, so we all went out to eat at a local steakhouse. Mom, Jack, Molly, Austin, Gage, Jeff, Allie, Conor, and I all went. It was fun. Then we went back to my Mom's house to have cake and ice cream.

The next evening I spent making cookies for Austin's class for his birthday party at school on Wednesday. I'm not quite sure how I got that duty, but I did. On Wednesday, we all went out to eat for Austin's birthday, and went to back to Mom and Jack's for ice cream cake.

When serving the ice cream cake, Molly was cutting huge pieces. As I was not all that hungry, I asked for a smaller piece. It was at that point that her head spun around and her eyes glared red and she actually growled (teeth clenched) at me, "I don't have room for it in my freezer, you're taking this piece." I think I could probably take her, but she was a bit frightening at that point and I took the piece she gave me. I did end up taking it home and putting it in my freezer though. :)

The next evening, Thursday, was spent making Halloween cookies for Conor's Halloween party. As with other years, we decorated them using spiders, bats, skeletons, and other little plastic items we found at the store. They were a big hit.

Halloween was the following week, and I was allowed to leave a bit early on Trick-or-Treat night, which for us was on the 30th. That evening is always a pizza dinner while we get the candy ready for the trick or treaters, and the kids ready to go out trick or treating.

This year Conor chose to be a Gladiator. He had a chest piece, a cape, and a sword, which was worn over jeans and a shirt (just like the kid in the picture!). Gage always comes to our neighborhood and trick or treats with Conor. He was a skeleton this year.

After it is all over, we piled in the car to go visit my grandma's house, my mom's house, and my dad's house. They always try to pawn off all their leftover candy that didn't get handed out to us.

For Thanksgiving, I didn't cook this year. This is the first year since moving into this house that I didn't have it. We chose to go to my aunt's house instead. The night before, Allie was babysitting at my sister's house and Conor was with her. I got a phone call at about 9:30 from Conor, crying and asking to come home. Allie insisted that Molly was on her way home and that it would just be a wasted trip, but I went anyway. She only lives about 2 miles from my house anyway, if that.

As soon as I walked in the door, Conor walked towards me and (if you have a weak stomach, stop reading here..) puked all over the floor. It was not really the greeting I was expecting, so I was a little stunned at first. It was an ugly shade of green. "Oh, honey" was all I could manage to say, then I came to my senses and asked if he needed something to drink. He shook his head yes, walked towards me and puked again. So I sent him to the bathroom with the water. As I searched through the cabinets and drawers for paper towels and a plastic bag to throw them away in, I told Allie she could either go in the bathroom with Conor or start cleaning up puke. Guess which she chose?

So, I got all the puke cleaned up and got the Clorox wipes out because I couldn't find her mop anywhere, and crawled around her floor on my hands and knees wiping it clean.

I got Conor and went home and we laid on the couch. Conor went to sleep and I watched a movie. I wasn't sure we would be going anywhere the following day for Thanksgiving since Conor was sick.

The following morning, Conor was fine. He was up running around, riding his scooter through the kitchen like nothing ever happened the night before. I think it was probably due to too much horse play with Gage and he just got over heated and threw up. He never had a fever or anything else wrong with him.

So we did go to my aunt's house for Thanksgiving. We ate dinner, vegged out in front of her TV for the Packer's game, and the kids played. We left during 3rd quarter and came home where Conor and I finished watching the game on the couch in the living room and we fell asleep. Jeff went to sleep in the bed, and Allie went off to her room. It was a good, relaxing day. I got to spend time with my family, and that is always a good thing.

It is now the Sunday after Thanksgiving as I write this post. Jeff had to work on Friday / Saturday because of being off on Thursday, so when he came home on Saturday night, he got the kids and went to get Ceara. They were gone quite a long time so I called to see what was going on. He had gone shopping. For ornaments. Which we already have, so I was a bit confused. He came home with bulbs for the tree. Lots and lots of bulbs. I've never been a fan of bulbs on the Christmas tree, so I've never bought them. Conor was so excited about them that I could not veto using them.

We put the tree up tonight, all of us together, with my favorite Christmas music playing. Jeff decided to put the tree together in the middle of the room instead of where it was going to go, so we had to move it. That was a bit awkward. While moving the tree, I had the bottom part and couldn't see where I was walking and someone had moved the bulbs to the floor in my way. (I swear it was not me!) So, I stepped on them and a couple.. or maybe 3 broke. While I didn't do it on purpose, it didn't break my heart.

We got the tree in the right spot and got the bulbs all put on. Conor put a lot of the ornaments on the tree, so there are a lot near the bottom. I had to go behind him and move them around so they would be more evenly dispersed. There are many ornaments on our tree that were made by the kids, or me when I was younger, that will always be my favorites.

I love this time of year. And not because of getting or giving gifts. I love the spirit of the season. (And no, not the spirit of the mad shoppers!) I love the traditions we have at Christmas and getting together with family and friends.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!! :)

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Well, I know it's been a while since I've posted, and I have a ton of material. I just haven't taken the time to sit down and write it. So, here's a little something to amuse you until I take the time to post more.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

The kindness of strangers...

When I have to go use the copy machine at work, I usually read parts of the newspaper while I waiting for the machine to copy/email/fax whatever it is I am doing there. When I read the newspaper, it is almost always a downer. So many stories in there about senseless crimes, I have been known to walk back to my desk really pissed off or with tears in my eyes when it is a crime against a child. Ranting and raving against the senselessness of the act.

I will never, ever understand any type of violence against a child. Never. There is never any excuse in my eyes. There are stories about greed, about politics that just seem stupid to me, stupid lawsuits, all kinds of sad and depressing stories.

Stories in the newspaper make me lose a little faith in mankind. Anyway, before I go off on a rant about that (I could go on forever) I will get to the point of my post. Every once in a while I witness or read something that reminds me that there is still some kindness and generosity left in this world.

I do know that there are a lot of good people in the world. It is sad that all you hear about on the news and read about in the newspapers are all the bad people.

That is one reason I love to read other people's blogs. I have found so many that I like and can read about real people in other parts of the country (and world) who are kind and generous. In case you don't read the links I have on the side of my blog, this post over at Truths and Half Truths was very heart warming to read.

This morning, I witnessed a little bit of that same kindness from someone I do not know. I stopped at the truck stop on my way to work this morning to get some coffee. Their coffee machine was empty so I had to wait for it for a few minutes. Conor went in with me and he immediately spied a cheetah stuffed animal that he wanted. It was hanging near the cash registers and so he went over to the cashier and asked her how much it cost. She had to get it down and look, and when she did, she handed it to him and told him how much it cost. He was instantly in love with it, he has a fondness for big cats (lions, tigers, cheetahs) and since we just watched Duma on DVD (great movie, btw), his most recent is the cheetah.

So, stuffed animal in hand, he walked over to me to show me how soft and cute it was and beg for me to buy it for him. Conor needs another stuffed animal like I need a hole in my head. But when we went up to the cashier, there was a man standing there who had been in line behind Conor when he was asking how much it was, and he saw how much Conor loved the cheetah and he paid for it so that Conor could have it. He said, "It's already paid for and it's all yours buddy."

Conor is thrilled. The whole ride to his baby sitter's house was filled with comments on how soft and cute his new cheetah is, how much he just loves it.

So, that man just made a little boy's day. And mine. Not because Conor got another stuffed animal, but because he did something nice for someone just because it was a nice thing to do. I know it does happen, I just don't get to see it very often.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Grandma's house

My Grandma has lived in the same house since she was 8 years old. It is a place where every kid loves to stay. I remember begging to stay when I was a kid, and now my kids beg to stay. There are a ton of things to do at Grandma's house. If it's nice outside, there is a swing set and sand pile in the back yard.

There are woods to explore, buckeyes to collect, berries to discover.

There is a circular driveway to ride a bike or scooter around. Several can be found in the shed. Just don't go too close to the road...

There is a huge yard to play any sport imaginable in. All the equipment can be found in the shed as well. Soccer, baseball, T-ball, basketball (there is a hoop by the driveway), football, kickball, crochet, volleyball, and probably a lot more that I cannot think of right now!

If it's raining, you can sit on the front porch and draw with sidewalk chalk, and probably run out and play in the water puddles formed around the driveway. Unless your mom or dad are there to stop you. Grandma won't. :)

There are also video games, DVDs, and tons of toys to play with in the house. As well as a pool table in the basement.

I don't remember ever being bored at Grandma's house as a kid. We played in the woods a lot. We also had a couple of 3-wheelers we rode around in the woods. Some of those hills we went up and down were pretty steep. There is a creek we used to spend a lot of time playing in during the warm months - looking for and catching crawdads, frogs, and various other creatures we found. Those old paths are grown over a lot these days - some of the woods that we played in as kids belonged to the neighbors and the kids now tend to stay out of the neighbors woods. Now instead of 3-wheelers, we have a 4-wheeler to ride.

In the winter time, we would all bundle up in our winter coats / hats / boots / scarves / mittens and whatever else was needed to go out and play in the snow. Sled riding down the huge hill that was in the neighbors yard and trying not to go so fast that you landed in the creek at the bottom. Most of the time we avoided it. That particular hill has since had a driveway put right through it to get to the new house that was built back in the woods.

We also used to walk down the creek when it was frozen over, or when we thought it was.. and hoped we were right. I remember falling through the ice with one foot.. or both... and either going on for a bit, or walking that long walk back to Grandma's house to dry off and warm up.

Always when we came in from playing in the snow, we would put our wet items over the register in the kitchen, grab a blanket and sit over a register in the living room, drink some hot chocolate that Grandma always had ready for us and warm up a bit before going out again.

In the fall, we would rake leaves together into a pile next to a swing, and jump off the swing into the pile of leaves.

I was one of the lucky ones because growing up, I lived right next door to Grandma so I could walk across the yard to her house any time I wanted to.

Before we moved next door, my sister and I always got on and off the school bus at Grandma's house as well. Mom had to be to work earlier than school started, so we were dropped off at Grandma's house - most of the time we slept in the car on the way there and on her couches once we got there, until it was time to go.

Every Sunday, Grandma fixes enough food for everyone to gather and eat at her house. All of her kids, the grand kids, and the great grand kids - not all come every Sunday, but any given Sunday will find the majority of them there.

Sunday at Grandma's house with our family is something I thought every family did when I was a kid. When I went to school and found out that it was not the "normal" thing for families, I was shocked. I also felt sorry for all those kids who didn't have a family like mine.

I grew up with cousins who were more like brothers and sisters. I remember some boy on the bus picking on me and Andy was right there coming to my rescue. Needless to say, the boy never bothered me again after Andy told him if he bothered me again he would be answering to him. I didn't have an older brother, but I had that "big brother" protection.

In addition to the Sundays at Grandma's house, the holidays are always a special tradition as well. Easter Sunday is a time when everyone comes to Grandma's house after church for THE. BEST. BREAKFAST. EVER. Then the older kids and some adults hide eggs for the little kids to find.

Our Christmas tradition recently changed due to the large number of people in our family. Up until last year, we would all draw names and gather at Grandma's to exchange gifts. Since there are now 60+ of us, last year "the kids" (Grandma's kids, mostly the women) got together and rented a place for us to gather. I believe this is the new tradition, but growing up, it was always at Grandma's house.
We always called it Christmas Eve at Grandma's even though it was not always on Christmas Eve. We adjust the dates to try to get as many people there as possible - with work schedules changing.

On Christmas Eve, we would go to Midnight Mass and after Mass, we would go to Grandma's house for pineapple rolls. The BEST. ROLLS. EVER.

Those are the two biggest holiday events. Other holidays were spent together doing various activities - grilling out, or just hanging out.

On Halloween, you can always expect a bag of goodies from Grandma's house. She never does get many Trick-or-Treaters because her house is so far back off the road. She always got the local kids, and grand kids, though. And she always has plenty of little bags to hand out, so when you do go there, you usually get more than one.

Any gathering with my family members there is almost guaranteed laughter. From stories of growing up, to making fun of each other, to playing games and laughing at each other, there is always something (or someone) to laugh at.

I have always felt extremely lucky and blessed to have the family that I have. There is a sign that hangs on a post in my Grandma's driveway that says "Worlds Best Grandma." That could not be more true. She is known to almost everyone as Mom or Grandma - even if she isn't their Mom or Grandma.

I took my camera to Grandma's house this past Sunday and Conor and I walked through the woods and took pictures. That is when all these memories of Grandma's house came to my mind. There are so many stories to tell, so many things to remember.

The road to Grandma's
In my opinion, I have the BEST family in the world. Yeah, I might be biased... but they are pretty awesome. And we were all raised, in some way, but the most wonderful person - my Grandma.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Poof! You're married...

"Do you need a wand to get married?"

"What? A wand?" (giggle) "No, a wand is not needed." (I think he gets that from the Fairly Odd Parents)

"I'm gonna marry Carley. But I have to be 18 to get married, and she will be 19. Jacob wants to marry her, too, so we are racing to 18. I'm gonna beat him."

I don't know what he is going to do when he doesn't get to see Carley anymore after next year when he starts Kindergarten. He has been in love with her since they met, his interest has not waivered one bit over the years. Will it last another 14 years?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Newest Favorite Song

Buckcherry - Sorry

Love it. :)

Monday, October 08, 2007


Well, recently there have been some changes going on where I work. Changes that make me think I might not have a job for much longer. I’m pretty much just taking it one day at a time and hoping for the best. The first thing that happened - and as I posted previously - we were acquired by another company. As like with any other merger, there are going to be some duplicate people within the organization and I guess everyone here is uncertain what their role will be once the merger is complete. (The sale is final, but they said it could take up to a year to assess the situation.)

The second thing that happened - we almost lost our biggest customer. I say almost because when faced with that, a lot of the higher up corporate people descended upon our little branch to try to figure out a way to prevent this from happening. This customer is, in my opinion, the BEST customer anyone could ever hope to work with. And they have been a customer of ours for 11 years. Way before I started here in 2000.

It’s not that they don’t like us anymore, but they were acquired by a larger company that has their own technical support system. They were acquired 3 years ago, but did not want to move away from the tech support provided by us because our guys at their site are THAT good. They are seriously excellent.

But, when contract renewals came up, the customer had to look at the fact that their parent company was now going to hit them with the charges for the help desk provided by them – whether they use it or not. So now they were looking at paying twice as much out for tech support. Their budget did not support that.

So, the corporate suit-and-tie people came into the office to meet with the customer and try to sort out some deal that would cost them less money, but allow us to remain their service provider for at least another year.

It was all very stressful. We have reached an agreement with them, but we will be making a lot LESS revenue (and a bunch of other boring accounting words that I will skip) and they will be gone in one year.

So – our sales team has one year to try to increase our revenue. Even with that fact, the smaller amount we are making from them right now does mean that our branch may not be profitable enough to support having the administrative people we currently have.

Add to that – there are people researching and writing processes that will eliminate some of my job, as well as some of the duties of the other admin person here. So.. it is possible that the administrative duties here could be condensed into one person. Which one of us will that be? I really don’t know.

While looking through some of my old emails (you know.. looking for a resume and some reference emails should I have to go pound the pavement), I came across one that will always be a pick-me-up for me.

And I thought I would post it here.. just to make you all aware of how awesome I am! OK, not really. Actually, it is so I can always have it – if it is in my company email and I do lose my job, who knows if I will actually remember or have time to get all this stuff together. I do have to think ahead you know. And by publishing it here, it also makes me look good. :)

I was having a particularly bad day at work due to my company letting someone go in another location and asking me to "take over" until they could figure out what else to do. So, I emailed all the people at this location to let them know that I would be taking the responsibilities of the person who left, and that they could contact me with any problems or needs that they had. I got an email from one of them asking what exactly it was that I could do for them. At the same time, I got an email from one of our employees stating that I was "the best!" So, in a non-serious, joking email to our employee, I sent him the following request:

Ummmmm, I've been meaning to ask you.... could you write a reference for me? As to what I do to help you as an employee here? I ask not for the purpose of getting another job, but because the employees at the other location are not real happy with my assistance - when I wrote to let them know that I was available to help them with anything they needed help with, one responded "Well, actually, I don't know what you could possibly do to help me. What is it that you do that you think would be of help to us?" OK, not that rude, but that was the gist of it. They seem to resent me because their go-to person got let go and I took her place. So, they are making me feel, ummm, slightly bad. I feel like saying "but, the employees here appreciate me!! I do stuff for them!!" :) It's been HE double hockey sticks since I took on this other site. :( Thanks for appreciating me.... Me

I was not expecting his response; I thought he would just write back, commiserate with me, and let me vent a little. But his response is something I will keep forever as a "pick-me-up" and it is as follows:

Katie - Here you go, let me know if this is what you are looking for. If not, I'll be happy to revamp. The people in the other location should feel lucky to have you, I know I do. Once they get to know you I'm sure you will change their minds....

Katie is the type of person who enjoys challenges, and our company has definitely provided her with plenty of challenges to enjoy. Being out of the office, working on site with a customer, Katie is my link at the branch to the complex world of logistics and billing and does a marvelous job of keeping me informed of the vital information I need in order to keep my customers happy and well informed. Without Katie's constant communication of events, it would be next to impossible for me to schedule repair times with the complicated schedules of my accounts executives. Even under the most stressful of times, she is always able to take a bad situation and turn it into a positive while maintaining her award winning smile. (Insert comment: TOTALLY full of it! I have never won ANY awards for my smile!)

The amount of work she undertakes daily is unbelievable. But she is always willing and generous enough to push aside her mountain of paperwork to take the time to assist me with my problems while also training me in areas that I lack knowledge in to enhance my own job abilities. I have been able to learn and comprehend in a few minutes what it would take a normal trainer a few hours to teach someone, Katie is that good at making things clear and understandable. She also has the uncanny ability to make a person chuckle, even under the most stressful of times...a trait that comes in handy when tensions are running high. I feel her energy, dedication, and devotion to our company are qualities of an employee that any company should feel fortunate to have working for them. Some of the duties Katie has assisted us with are numerous and probably too many to list. Some of these aren't even technically in her job description, but that doesn't stop her from lending a helping hand. She is a tremendous asset in acting as a liaison between myself and corporate logistics, ironing out the problem before it has a chance to grow. She constantly monitors the system to catch any parts that may show up on back order and alerts me of this fact for client scheduling purposes. The customer I work for also has a lot of remote plants in other states that Katie helps to coordinate with other company branches or service centers to resolve their current technical issues. Time entry is another huge area that Katie stays on top of; alerting me to incorrect time entries by my team, ensuring everyone finalizes their time in a prompt manner. You add on top of this all her billing and dispatching duties and you see that she is a top notch employee.

Katie is truly my "go to person" at the office, and I can rest assured anything I ask her assistance on, she will come through for me…and then some. Like I said, her duties are many, and I'm sure I've forgotten to mention half of them. But rest assured, Katie will give her all to assist whoever is asking for it, and she'll do it with a smile.

I was surprised at the response because I was joking when I asked for the 'reference,' but it still made me feel good. I do think he went a little over-board with the 'award winning smile' thing, but I'll let that go. :)

Friday, October 05, 2007


Parenting sucks sometimes. Gah! I don't know how I'm going to survive the teenage years with Allie. I've considered just locking her in her room and home schooling her. But.. I really don't think that is a viable option. Sometimes I just wish she would actually listen to what I'm saying and believe that I am telling her the truth. Yeah, I know it is some sort of teenage disability that makes them think their parents are just old and wrong, and I also know that she will make mistakes and hopefully LEARN from them. But it is a very painful process to actually witness and participate in.

I do now understand why my mom wouldn't let me go to an Aerosmith concert when I was 14 or 15 years old with some friends and one of their uncles or something. It was the end of the world for me - I vowed that I would never do such a thing to my children.

Yet, when Allie asked me if she could go to the WEBN Fireworks with Vanessa, Vanessa's mom, and Vanessa's aunt... uhhh hell no.

"That's a drunk fest and you have no business going down there."

"But.. Mo-om... her mom and her aunt are going. You can talk to them."

"I really don't care who is going. You are not."

"You are ruining my life!" - screams as she goes to her room to throw her temper tantrum.

Well. Someone has to. :) And no, I didn't say that to her. Nor am I trying to... I'm trying to prevent it. She just doesn't know that yet.

I went to the WEBN Fireworks when I was 16. Did my parents know? Heck no. (Uhhh, sorry Mom. You can no longer ground me.) And that is the only time I have been. The fireworks are beautiful. But, yeah, it's a drunk fest. (And no, I didn't drink.) So, that is not a place that I'm letting my daughter go.

It is also very hard to watch them make mistakes. Yet, I'm kinda learning that they are not perfect, and they are going to make mistakes, and that is how most people learn, isn't it? I just have to hope and pray that they are smart enough not to make any really big mistakes.

I'm still learning as well. I took a leap and got both the girls cell phones 2 years ago. Neither of them still have the ones that I got them. One was left outside in the rain, the other was washed in the washing machine. When they begged for new phones? No. I told them to save their money and get it themselves.

IPods. Jeff (and I stress JEFF because I did not want any part of buying IPods for them due to their proven irresponsibility with the phones) decided to get them IPods for Christmas last year. Do either of them still have it? No. One was lost at school, the other was washed in the washing machine.

Do you see a pattern here? Obviously they have not learned to empty their pockets prior to washing clothes.

So, last night I picked Allie up from her volley ball game and she tells me she has a detention today (Friday).

"What for?"

"I forgot a worksheet in my locker and I ran out of passes to go and get it."

"You get a certain number of passes to go and get something from your locker?"

"Yeah, we get 3."

"So, why can't you learn to remember after the first or second time? This is the 4th time you have forgotten? When are you ever going to start learning from mistakes instead of repeating them over and over?"

"Well, I didn't use all 3 for going to my locker - sometimes I had to use the bathroom."

"So now, if you have to go to the bathroom, you're not allowed?"

"No, but it is almost the end of the first semester, so I will get 3 more for the next semester."

I swear, some of the new rules at the schools are so stupid, it amazes me.

So, anyway, when I was driving Conor to the sitter's this morning, he was telling me how good he was yesterday - all day. He has not really been bad at the baby sitter's house, but there have been some issues with him and another little boy wanting to wrestle around and do "boy" stuff. The sitter doesn't like that because she is afraid someone will get hurt, so she is constantly having to tell them to stop.

So every morning when I am getting my daily hug and kiss goodbye from Conor, I remind him to be good and that there are other little kids there and we don't want anyone to get hurt. Today, when he told me he was good all day yesterday he added, "I learned my lesson and I'm going to be good all the time now."

Conor was not home when Allie and I were having our conversation last night, so him saying that was very coincidental.

I find if quite funny that my 4 year old can learn from "mistakes," yet my 14 year old has problems with it. :)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Confusing to me...

Listening to the radio the other day, I heard two songs that I like back to back. These songs are more pop-rock type songs, but I like a large variety of music, so they are ones I know. On the radio they bleep out the "bad words" on a lot of songs, and I do understand why they bleep them out. BUT! There are some that I just don't understand.

One of the songs is by Nickeback with one line saying: "Hire eight body guards that love to beat up assholes" and another line saying "I'm gonna dress my ass with the latest fashion." (and the song is about being a rock star - just to explain those two lines a bit...)

The other song is by Pink and a couple of lines in the song are: "In the corner with your boys you bet up five bucks, to get at the girl that just walked in but she thinks you suck."

Now, on one of our local stations, these two songs were played and in the Nickelback song, none of the words in those two lines were bleeped out. But in the Pink song, they actually bleep out the word "suck." While I don't think ass is a horrible word (it is another word for a donkey, too..), I do not understand why suck is considered a bleep-able word and ass is not.

And yeah, this is actually something that irritates me. Enough to write about it. :)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Random things about me

Consider this a bit of a warning. I have, in the past, censored myself a bit on here. I do this for a few reasons. I don't want to offend anyone. Or make people (Heaven forbid) not like me. I am going to try to be a bit more me. I figure if people don't like me for being me? Then that's just the way it's supposed to be.

I am basically a nice person (I think so anyway...), I go out of my way to do things for other people. Most of the time I don't mind. But sometimes I do mind and I do it anyway. Sometimes to the point that I make myself unhappy. I'm trying not to do that so much anymore, and while I'm not setting out to offend anyone, I would just like to be me.

I would also like to write about my life in truth on here, instead of leaving stuff out because I don't want people to think badly of me. I make mistakes. I do things that others might not approve of... I want to write about all of it, instead of the fluff stuff.

Here are a few random things about me that not many people know - and no. Not all of it is "bad" stuff.

* When I'm at work, and I get upset about something, you will find me outside walking barefoot in the grass. It somehow makes me feel better. Oh, but only when it is warm outside - not snow!

* I have a habit of pulling on my lower lip when something is bothering me and I'm trying to figure it out in my head. I don't usually notice I'm doing it until someone says something about it. On that note, if someone does notice and ask me about it, I'm not at a point where I really want to talk about it - I'm figuring it out for myself and I don't want to talk about it.

* I like to eat potato chips with cake. And with chocolate ice cream. It's the sweet and salty thing. It's very good, just try it.

* I love sarcasm. I do try to limit my sarcastic responses. Because when you use sarcasm on people who don't really understand it, they can get really confused and while it's fun to laugh at them, explaining sarcasm just takes all the fun out of using it.

* I can be a major bitch sometimes. Just ask some of the people who work with me. Or Jeff. I'm really not always as nice as some people might think. I've had people who do not know me say that they can't imagine me being mean to anyone. Think again. Really. I have references. In my defense, sometimes Jeff deserves it. heehee (And there are times when he doesn't. But, hey, I'm a woman and I reserve the right to be in a bad mood at random times. He should learn to sense this and leave me alone.)

* I am honest. If there is a "truth" that I don't want to tell someone, I avoid telling it. I don't lie and say it's something it's not. And I don't try to hide my mistakes with lies. I will honestly admit when I've made a mistake. That being said, if I don't feel that the "truth" is something that should be shared, I will not share it.

* I hate finger-pointing. If you do something wrong, just admit it. Blaming others just makes you look like a jerk. I take the blame for other peoples mistakes all the time (at work with customers, not really in every day stuff) because I'm not going to tell a customer, "Oh, so and so did this and blah blah." I just say, "I am sorry this has happened and I will do my best to make sure it does not happen again." Yet I have heard so many people try to blame other people for mistakes they made. They just can't be "at fault" and so they find any excuse to make it someone else's fault.

* I cuss. I do not have a 4 letter word flying out of my mouth with every sentence. And I really do not cuss that much. But I have been known to say a few 4 letter words when I'm upset or if I drop a brick or something on my toe. It happens.

* I'm a control freak at times. I know what I'm doing, and how to do it, and I don't want anyone else doing it for me. I am trying to get over this part.. letting other people do things even if they don't do it right.. like my kids. And cleaning. They suck at it. But they are going to learn eventually. I'll just make them keep trying. :)

* I drink. Alcohol. No, I'm not a raving drunk. But I do have a couple of drinks every now and again. A glass of wine here and there, beer, margaritas, whatever. I do, however, try to avoid getting drunk. That's the control freak in me. I do not like to be out of control of my actions. I have been there before. It's not pretty.

* I love to listen to Bob and Tom. For those of you who might not know who that is, they are a morning radio show. They are not the most politically correct people but I find them hilarious.

* I'm a very loyal person. My friends? They are my friends and I will not tolerate anyone bad-mouthing them in my presence. My family? Yes, they have faults, and I know this. But they are my family and I love them very much. And isn't that what love is all about? Loving someone even if they are not perfect, forgiving their mistakes, and over looking their faults.

Anyway, expect some changes in my posts. I'm sorry in advance if they are offensive - I am not setting out to offend anyone.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Line Judge

After staying up a bit too late on Friday night, I dragged my butt out of bed Saturday morning to take Allie to her volley ball game. She had to be there at 8:30, but her game did not start until 10am, so I dropped her off and went home to take a shower before returning. Coffee was my best friend.

As I was driving home, Allie called my cell phone.

"Mom, can you be a line judge for the game?"

"ME?? Are you serious? Can't they find someone who is more awake than me?"

"No, they can't find anyone else, and if we don't find someone we'll have to forfeit the game."

Sigh. "Yes, I'll do it - but see if they can't find someone between now and then.."

Well, no they did not. So, I drank more coffee, showered, and went back to the school to perform my line judging duties.

I walked in and the referee had one other mother there as well. He took us both aside.

"Have either of you ever been a line judge before?"

"Uh.. no." (This from both of us.)

He sighed. Really. He did. "OK, if the ball hits any part of the line, it is considered 'in'. If it is outside the line, it is 'out'." Really? I would've never thunk it. :) lol

BUT! That is not all there is to it! There are hand signals. He proceeded to demonstrate the hand signals we would need to use. If it was in-bounds, we were to just point both hands straight down in front of us, palms facing the floor. If it were out of bounds, then we had to raise our hands to our faces, palms facing our face, fingers straight up. If it was touched before it went out of bounds, we were to raise our hands in the same fashion as out of bounds, but we were to put our hands together and "swipe" one hand.

We were to also watch the ball as it passes over the net - there are sticks sticking up on each side of the net that indicated the "play" area - the ball had to go over inside of the sticks or it was considered out of bounds as well.

Another responsibility was to watch the feet of the person serving. If her feet touched the line, we were to point at the line with one hand and wave our other hand over our head until the ref saw us. He said he might not see us right away, but to just keep doing it until he noticed. Yep. Really. Thank goodness none of the girls did this while on my side of the court. Or.. if they did I didn't see it. (Probably the more likely thing.)

"Any questions?"

Ummmm.. yeah, I remember the "touch" out signal, but I forget when I'm supposed to use it. But I didn't ask. I didn't want to look like a complete moron. :) I did eventually remember.

"During "time outs" walk over to where I am and keep me company." (He was really a very nice guy and very patient with us.)

The girls were still warming up, so the other line judge and I were huddled and talking. We decided on which one of us would be where.. and assumed our positions. There were several times that I caught myself just watching the game and forgetting that I was supposed to be watching the line. But then I would remember and start paying attention again.

I did do the signals wrong a couple of times, but it was forgiven. It was a case where the palms of my hands were facing the wrong direction, but I had the signal right except for that.

There were times when I started to clap and cheer for Allie's team, then I would stop thinking that I'm supposed to be impartial... wasn't I? Were there rules against the line judges cheering for one team or the other?

During one of the time outs, while we were hanging out with the ref, he asked if either of us had ever played volley ball before. Yeah, me.. but just for fun. And the rules seem to have changed.

At one of the prior volley ball games, my mom and I were there and she asked me some questions about the scores and what they play to.. and I answered. Based upon my prior knowledge. The teams only get a point if they serve the ball and it is missed by the other team. The game is played until one of the teams gets 15 points, but they have to win by 2 points, so if they have 15 and the other team has 14, they have to score one more point before they are the winners. This is how I was taught to play. Aren't those the rules?

Well, now.. any time a ball is missed, the opposing team gets a point. Huh? Weird. Our team serves, the ball hit the net, and the other team got a point. Bogus, in my opinion. They did nothing to earn that point. So, then the score went to 16 - 4 (or something like that) and they were still playing. Hmmm. Guess they play to a higher score. The game was over when one team reached 25 points, so that's the new "winning" score.

So, I expressed my lack of knowledge about the current rules of the games and he told me that, "Yeah, they decided the games were taking too long to play, so they made it where you get a point every time the opposing team misses. You do not have to be serving to get the point. They felt this made for faster games."

Yet.. they play best out of 3 games. So, my thought on the matter is why not play ONE game to determine the winner instead of 3 "fast" games? Oh, well, they didn't ask me. :)

I did manage to stop a few balls that were flying in my direction - pretty quick reflexes, if I do say so myself. Heh. That's right. I'm good. heehee. I also managed not to make any huge mistakes despite my wandering mind.

So, my duty as a line judge has been fulfilled. I am sure that I did such an excellent job that they will ask me again. :)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

I want to pick out my own clothes!

Conor is now going through his "I'm a big boy and I want to dress myself" phase. I think it is cute, but some of the clothes he picks out are very.. ummm.. dorkish. We go through mornings where he absolutely MUST pick out his own clothes, and for the most part I just go with it. I let him wear whatever he wants, and I take a change of clothes with us to the sitter's. With the temperatures in the high 90s and 100s (F) he is choosing to wear long sleeves with shorts. In the photo below, the clothes at least match, but the socks just make it so funny.

I need to work swaying him in other directions, and for the most part, I can... some day he will see that knee-high socks with shorts and sandals (which he does not have on in this picture, but he did later put them on) are not really a good look. But.. he's 4 and he's cute, so I guess he can get away with it for a little while.

On another Conor note - if it wasn't apparent before that he absolutely loves girls (with his huge crush on Carley - a little girl at his baby sitter's house), it is now. He has taken to creating female characters on the computer (World of Warcraft) and then taking all their clothes off so that they are just wearing the bikini clothes that are on all of the characters. He thinks they are pretty. lol

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


We took the kids kayaking on Saturday morning - the 25th. We also took Teddy (our dog). So, there were 6 of us. Since Conor and Teddy are not able to row, we got 2 kayaks that were both 2-seaters. As I have never been in a kayak, only canoes, I did not know what to expect. When we were getting our oars, Jeff was going to be the only rowing person in his boat, so he got the double oar. When I went to get the same one, he told me that I should just get a single one since there were going to be two people rowing in our boat. Wrong. But it was a lot of fun. It was a girls/boys split at first, with Allie, Ceara, and me in one Kayak; Jeff, Conor, and Teddy in the other.

Teddy - Mr. I'm-Scared-of-Any-Type-of-Water (including rain) did very well as long as we weren't too far away from him. Whichever kayak he was in, if the other one got too far in front, or too far behind, he would start whining. And he adores Ceara. Allie and I were the rowers in our boat at the beginning, and Ceara sat in the middle of the boat. The boys took off before we did, and when we took off, Teddy jumped out of their boat and started swimming to us. As soon as he hit the water, he started freaking out, trying to get into the nearest boat (which wasn't ours) causing the woman in the kayak to freak out a little. We were finally able to get him back in the boat and we were off. We went very slowly at first, with Allie and Conor starting the splashing wars, and stopping often to swim.

After the first stop, the kids all wanted to be in one kayak with the dog, so that left Jeff and I in one. The kids had the two single oars, and so that left me without an oar to row with. So, I got to sit back and relax and let Jeff do all the work for a bit.

At the second stop, we switched back. But Teddy wanted in our boat, so we had an extra. We switched around often, at one point the girls chose to swim down the river instead of riding in the boat.

Towards the end of the trip, it was Allie, Teddy and me in one kayak; Jeff, Ceara, and Conor in the other, and we came up on several splits where we had to choose which direction to go. Since Allie and I were always in the lead.. and whichever path we chose, Jeff chose the other. Teddy had a fit.

I have some very bad scratches on my legs where he was jumping around trying to see them. lol

On one of the last shallow parts, Jeff and Ceara were trying to glide the boat through by riding on the ends of the kayak - not really in it. And the laughter brought me to tears when Jeff fell off the back of the boat. :) I was laughing so hard tears were forming.

When we would get into shallow water and get stuck on rocks, the girls were the ones who usually got out and got us un-stuck, so I joked that the only reason we brought them was so they could pull us along in the shallow water.

So, when we finally got done and back to the truck, water was still dripping from my shorts. Not wanting to get the seat soaking wet, I took my shorts off and wrung as much water as I could from them and then just got into the truck thinking I'd let them dry a bit. Hey.. it's not much different from me just having a swim suit on. :P

I held my shorts out the window to let the wind blow them and Jeff said, "What are you doing to do if you drop them?"

"Well, you'll either turn around and go back to get them, or we will be going home before we go to the Open House."

We were going to my cousin's open house. She and her husband had built a house and they were having a party for everyone to come and see it. We didn't have time to go home to change our clothes, so we were all looking like drowned rats when we got there.

"Nope. You'll just have to explain why you aren't wearing any pants when we get there." He added an evil laugh after he said this.

So, we drove to her new house and happen to pass the road she lives on. Jeff turned around and I started putting my shorts back on and sped up a bit.. trying to get to the house before I was dressed! How rude.

We looked like a bunch of river rats getting out of the truck, but we were dry for the most part. We got to tour her beautiful house, eat some of the ton of food she had, and hang out with some family and friends for a while.

Conor felt that all the cookies there were for him, and he tried to take about 10 of them at once. Of course he didn't get to eat but one or two.. I saw one, but knowing him, he snuck another one.

Conor was wore out from the long day, so he was ready to head home. He fell asleep in the truck on our way home, and finished a nap when we arrived home. I took a shower and joined him for the nap.

It was a fun day and there was a lot of laughter - mostly at Jeff, but.. hey. He's a good subject to laugh at. :)

Monday, August 20, 2007


I've been trying to cut some caffeine out - drink less coffee (I don't drink soda much anyway) - and for me, that is a huge step. I love coffee. mmmm. So, today is my first day of not having coffee in the morning before work, I just started with water.

Today is also my boss's first day back from his vacation. When I got here, he was in a meeting in his boss's office, but I didn't think a thing of it. Then he came out and said, "We all need to go into the conference room and talk."

"What? Why?" Obviously this is not something we do a lot of..

So, we gather in the conference room and are told that we (our company anyway) has just been acquired by another company in the industry. No one had a clue. And no one knows what this means for us either.

My boss was trying to be positive.. could mean better benefits (I really don't think they could get worse, but.. I could be wrong). Could mean .. that the new people might pay attention to what is wrong with some stuff in our company and fix it.

Anyway, for the time being, nothing is changing, but no one really knows what will change and when. There will be a company wide email sent out "soon" to let everyone know, so my boss said he was expecting he would get a bunch of phone calls.

I'm still not functioning well without my coffee. But, I'm certainly not going to stress out over it. It could get better, it could get worse. Time will tell, and nothing I can do about it anyway.

Back at my desk, my phone rings. One of our on site techs calling.. I answer.

"So, what does this email mean??" was the first thing out of his mouth.

"Why are you calling ME?? I'm not your boss. Call Dave!"

"But, you're the one who knows everything there!" He said... ha! He is seriously delusional...

I'm not answering my phone anymore today, and I'm going to go get coffee now. This should certainly make the remainder of this year interesting. The sale is not expected to be final until September. Then we will see what changes are made.

OK - back to the need at hand. Coffee. Going now. :)

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Jeff and I decided to take the kids to the Newport Aquarium - and yes, the date on the pictures is correct! We went down on a Saturday with Allie, Ceara, Conor, and Kaitlyn. On the way down, Jeff tortured, or uh.. enlightened the kids by having them listen to a book on CD. When he put the CD in, the kids responded by saying, "Uh! Can't we listen to music?? We don't want to listen to this!" But, thinking they would eventually start liking it, Jeff did not give into their requests.

Once we arrived at the Aquarium, we had to walk a bit to get there. This activity was met with, "My legs are tired, I don't feel good, blah, blah, blah..." But yet, take em to a mall to shop and they can walk forever to all their favorite stores. They are such pleasant children to take places! ;)

Since we purchased our tickets at Kroger before going, we did not have to wait in the long line that had formed outside. Anyway, it was shark time. We walked throughout the Aquarium amongst a huge crowd of people. Conor was excited to see them all and he loved looking in each glass enclosure and trying to find what was pictured on the little plaque.

He also would make very strange faces whenever he saw me taking a picture. Quite the little comedian.

They also had a place where you could pay $1 to get a little plastic cup of nectar so that the birds could poke a hole in the bottom of the cup with their beaks when trying to get a drink. Then all the nectar you just bought just poured onto the ground. They must have already been full for the most part, though, because one bird I was holding simply put his beak in the nectar, sucked a little up, and then shook his head around, spraying us with the nectar. Such lovely birds. One even peed on my head as I walked under him. Joy. It was certainly nothing like the experience we had at Kentucky Down Under. The birds at the aquarium did not get excited when we came in the room, and we had to coax them onto our hands to have them spit their food we just bought them all over us.

And Allie was a bit more afraid of these birds. Maybe it was their beady little eyes. Or the fact that they spit and peed on us. But, it was fun anyway. :)

Conor was keeping a close eye on his bird - I'm not sure what he thought it would do...

The alligators and turtles are obviously good friends. :)

Allie had to make sure she didn't miss any important messages from her friends while we were there..

In this picture, we were waiting in line to see the shark movie they were showing. So, Conor had to do some more of his funny poses. lol

While he so wanted to touch one of the crabs, he was so afraid to. They weren't exactly the cute, puppy type want-to-pet-kind of creature. What with their huge shells and spidery legs coming out from under them..

He did, however, try to pet the sharks in these pictures. But his arm was too short, and he was not able to touch them. I got to, though, and the black one swimming above was rather slimy feeling, and there was another one sleeping on the edge that felt like sand paper. It was very interesting to touch them.

And of course, on the way out of the aquarium, you have to go through the gift shop. Every parents favorite place to go to waste money on some souvenir-type toy that will be found under the couch, long forgotten a few months later. We actually got through without buying anything, but then Kaitlyn walked out with a stuffed animal that her dad had given her money for, and Conor so wanted a shark... so. We now have a stuffed shark to add to his already too large collection of stuffed animals.

It was a fun day, but by the end of it I was worn out. :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

New Blog Link

I have added a new blog link to the side - Attack of the Redneck Mommy. She may or may not be your cup of tea, but I find her extremely witty, intelligent, funny, and she can definitely bring you to tears - of laughter and sadness.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Allie's Birthday Pictures

My baby girl, first born child, turned 14 on July 6th. We had a small party for her at our house and she had a couple of friends over for it (Vanessa and Tommy). I cheated and bought the cake.. it was a busy week and was so much easier to just buy it. :) Besides, I have not mastered the chocolate icing and I've found two sources for yummy Bill-Knapp's-like chocolate on chocolate cakes! :)

Strange how in the above two pictures Allie looks exactly the same.. like she didn't move and kept her smile exactly the same. And her eyes..

As you can see, she got all dressed up for the occasion. Those monkey pajama pants matched really well with her pink T-shirt. I also got a white cake because Vanessa (Allie's friend who came over) doesn't like chocolate. You can see the white cake, with strawberries on top, in the above picture. Also shown in the picture is Tommy - one of the neighborhood boys who is also Allie's friend. He was a little camera shy, so I wasn't able to get many pictures with him in them. Vanessa's leg is in this picture... note the jeans. I don't know why she even wears them when she has another pair of pants under them. *sigh* Guess I'm showing my age, eh?

Cute how they all sat on each other's laps eh? See that little basket to the right side of the picture? That was delivered to Allie during the day - filled with all kinds of chocolate, snacks, and treats. Conor's eyes bulged when he saw it, as did Jeff's.

And the two girls who ALWAYS borrow my camera to take pictures of themselves hide from me taking their picture. Kinda funny. I also have a little video I took that I will try to remember to post later. :)

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Mom's Retirement Party

OK, I have some "catch up" posts to do. My mom retired from her job at the end of May. The first week of June, we went to North Carolina, so we had a party for her later in the month. The party was on June 23, 2007, when my camera was still posting the wrong dates. :)

The party was at my sister's house and began mid afternoon. It was a beautiful day for an outside party. We were going to try for a "surprise party" but couldn't do that when we found out that she was trying to make other plans for the night.

Here is the cake - I think this was the first retirement cake I have done, and I wasn't sure what to put on it, so I just had some fun with it.

The party was a lot of fun, and as always with my family, there were lots of laughs.

We started a Euchre game at one of the tables, Maggie and I were partners - and we won a lot of the games. As always when playing Euchre, when we euchred the other team, or if we got all the tricks, we got to hear Maggie's 2 point cheer. :)

Allie took a lot of the pictures here, I gave her my camera and told her to try to get a picture of everyone there. I don't know what Mom was saying in this picture...

And yes, there were kids there! We locked them in the barn at first, but they figured out how to get out...

No, really.. they were just off in the yard, playing on the trampoline, the swing set, with the dog, or climbing fences... all boys so what do you expect?

Allie got a couple of close ups of people, I like this one of Molly laughing..

It did start raining a bit later in the evening, so we moved a few picnic tables into the garage and continued playing games, talking, telling stories, jokes, making fun of people..

We were somewhat playing a game Molly brought out, and I forget the exact name of the game, but you had to sing parts of a song while others tried to guess the name of the song and who it was by. They were songs from the 70's and 80's.. so they brought back a lot of fun memories for the adults, and it totally stumped Allie and Ceara. And we got to make fun of people! :)

So.. a little belated in the posting of the pictures - but Happy Retirement Mom! :)