Friday, October 31, 2008

Last Elementary School Halloween Parade

I went to my first elementary school parade 20 years ago, when was CUP in kindergarten. This year Shauna is in her last year of elementary school, so this was my last school Halloween parade. Well, it will be my last one until I have grandchildren (hint, hint).

This post was on hold until I got pictures transfered to the computer, here they are. The first video is Shauna marching and the second one is her principal on top of the roof. It is a pretty crappy video, but he surprises the kids each year with a really crazy costume. He has been a cheerleader, complete with hairy stomach hanging out over mini skirt, and a ballerina. I can't remember his other costumes over the past 9 years, but they have all been really funny. This year he was superman, which wasn't so great, but he hid on the roof while the kids paraded and then jumped up while they all stood at the end. I couldn't really see what he was doing, but the kids were all excited, so it must have been funny!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

October 31, 1985

I was very, very pregnant with Drew and CUP had just turned 2. I took him trick-or-treating and everyone was making comments like, "Oh my God, you look like you are about to deliver any minute!" and "Are you having twins?" and "WHEN are you due?". I told them that I could actually deliver at any time, since I was due the day before. Little did I know that baby Drew would not make his appearance until November 30th! Yes, a full month late, the LONGEST month of my life.

The obstetrician that I had was not my doctor of choice, but in the good-old days of HMO's, he was the only doctor on our insurance at the time, so I had no choice. He kept insisting that I must have gotten my dates mixed up and the baby would come out when he was ready. What an idiot! When Drew finally arrived, weighing in at 9 pounds, 13 ounces and measuring 22 3/4 inches long, the doctor looked at him and told me, "Oh, you were right, he is at least 3-4 weeks late." Ya think????? I will say this, though, even though he took forever to make his way into the world, Drew was the most considerate of all my birth kids in the fact that once he decided it was time, he practically just popped out! (Well, compared to his brothers, anyway!) I was only in labor for 7 hours. I just remembered that I went into labor while I was watching Wheel of Fortune. I wonder if that is why I get a stomach ache every time I see Pat Sajak at a Capitals game???

Back to Halloween. CUP was dressed as a witch (a non-gender specific witch). He was so cute! We lived in Chicago at the time, near Midway Airport. The houses there are all pretty tiny and very close together, a great place for little guys (and their very pregnant mommies) to trick-or-treat because there is only about 5-10 feet between the houses, so not too far to walk. All of the front doors open directly into the living rooms of those old Chicago homes. Every house that we went to that had a dog, CUPPIE (as he was called then), would go right in to pet the dog! His favorite, by far, though, were the houses that had their television on. He would push right past the person opening the door and say, "CUPPIE watch TV!". Our neighborhood was mostly older folks, who thought he was the cutest thing ever, so it was fun.


I don't have enough for a post on any one subject, so I'm going to combine them all. I took CUP and Lukey out to lunch today. There is a new chinese buffet in our town and they were offering 10% off for the month of October. All three of us ate a delicious lunch for only $25, including tax and tip! We thought that they might have a limited selection for lunch, but it was the full buffet and everything was really good. That is my splurge for the month, though, and I feel pretty guilty since I have been being so careful with money. I wanted to take those two out because Jack drives the kids all over the place, everyday and Luke did so much work for me on Tuesday when we cleaned up the hockey equipment. We aren't telling the other kids that we went!

I finally got my new electric skillet today. It wasn't the brand I wanted, but I really needed it, so I'm hoping this one will work out.

CUP wants me to blog about Obama's attributes, but I don't want to get involved in politics on this blog. So, in order to make my little boy happy, I have now blogged about Obama!

Luke drove us home from Target today. I don't like to drive with new drivers, it makes me way too nervous. Since Target is only a few blocks away, it wasn't too bad, but I didn't like it. He drove really well, but still.

I found a couple of good Christmas gifts for the girls on clearance at Target. I got them each a Camp Rock Shadow Box/Bulletin board, originally $19.99, marked down to $4.98 and I got Shauna a Camp Rock papasan chair, originally $29.99, marked down to $7.48.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Empty Rink Video for Mike

Final hockey good-bye

CUP tells me that I blogged too much about my last day of work, so in order to spite him, I'm blogging about it once again! If I didn't annoy my kids as much as possible, what kind of mother would I be?????

Luke and I went to the rink tonight, to sort and find new homes for all the hockey equipment. One of the adult hockey players is a PE teacher in a very rural, low income area, so we donated most of our stuff to him. He introduced the kids in his school to floor hockey and they loved it. Now they will have some additional equipment and skates. I feel really good that our stuff is going to be well loved and not just sitting in storage somewhere.

Luke was a huge help tonight. He worked so hard to get all the stuff hauled out to the cars and trailer. Luke and I worked for 3 hours and we were pretty tired out when it was time to leave.

This is all that is left of my scorebooth. Waaaah!

Drew continued

I just wanted to let everyone know that Drew was kidding when he made the Colonial Williamsburg comment. I should have clarified that in the original post!


Drew before he got his contacts, April, 2008

CUP tells me that I never blog about Drew. So here is a blog about Drew. I didn't hear the beginning of the conversation, which was apparently about pants and the "olden days", but I heard from this point on:

Drew: "If they ripped their pants, they could just make new ones."

CUP: "Do you know how hard it was to make a new pair on pants, it would take them days."

Me: "Drew, they didn't have time to make more pants. Those people worked from sun up to sun down, non-stop.

Drew: "No they didn't, haven't you ever been to Colonial Williamsburg? Those people just walk around all day, talking to people. They don't do any work."

Now do you see why I don't do much blogging about Drew??????

Monday, October 27, 2008

Yet another kitchen appliance bites the dust!

What the heck is going on here? Do we have a poltergeist in our kitchen? Actually this appliance has been on it's way out since it was only two months old. Last Christmas, Drew bought me an electric skillet. I use my electric skillet a lot, so I usually need to replace it every 3 or 4 years. He bought me one of the newer designs, were the top comes off the heating element, so you can immerse the whole thing to wash. I really liked it, but I noticed that not even two months after I got it, the non-stick stuff started wearing out. Not wearing off, just not working. I was really disappointed, but I was hoping to make it last as long as possible.

The last few weeks, it has been getting worse and worse. Of course, I've also been using it more and more since my cook top died. Last night I decided to make a version of hash or "padaydas" as my Uncle John used to call it. It took me forever to peel 10 pounds of potatoes, cut them and then boil them in two batches in the skillet because they wouldn't all fit in one batch. Then I had to cut them even smaller after cooking them for a little bit. I also had to cook a pound of bacon in the oven and chop that. I was glad I had already chopped the roast beef a few days ago. I was also really wishing Steven was home to do the chopping for me, since he is WAY faster.

So I got everything prepared and in the skillet, which I greased with a little of the bacon grease, sprayed with non-stick spray and added a stick of margarine, so it wouldn't stick. I started cooking the hash, hoping it would get all nice and brown and crispy. Well, it sure did get brown and crispy, but all the brown and crispy parts stuck right to the pan! I have never seen anything stick like that. It was like trying to chip a two inch thick layer of ice off the driveway in Chicago!
The hash was actually really good, but I was disappointed because I like it crispy. Everyone loved it, though, so it wasn't a total loss.

So, Jack and I headed off to Kmart today, to get another skillet, since all but one of the meals on my menu this week, require the skillet. I had to go there, anyway, since they had double coupons and I had coupons for a bunch of stuff that was on sale. We got a skillet, which looks like it will last longer than the last one, but was about the same price. We got the last one and the box was open, but it looked fine. I got it home, washed it out and realized that someone had put the wrong cord in the box. Ugh. Luckily Jack remembered that they had two on display and the cords for both of those were inside one of them, so he is going to take it back tomorrow and ask them to switch the cords. I hope that works out because I made the only non-skillet dinner tonight!

More bargain shopping

I did some more bargain shopping today, mostly Christmas shopping. I also finally got a new purse. Yay! My purse was falling apart at the seams and the lining was so ripped that I couldn't find anything. The stuff kept getting under the lining and since the purse had three separate sections inside, it was awful.

I'm pretty tired tonight and I have a meeting with one of Alex's teachers at 8:15 tomorrow morning. One of the things she wants to discuss (complain about) is the fact that Alex asks too many questions. Are you kidding me, I thought kids were supposed to ask questions in school, or is that just me???

Anyway, I will share my Walgreens bargain, since I only bought two things there and I will post about the tons of stuff I got at great prices at Kmart tomorrow. I bought two boxes of Celestial Seasonings Herbal Tea for .68 each, including tax! They were on sale, plus there was a Walgreens coupon for $1 off and I had two more coupons for $1 off of each, plus they gave me Drew's employee discount. I don't buy too much at Walgreens because it is usually higher than other stores, but I was happy with this purchase. I had a cup of Gingerbread Spice tea tonight and it was delicious! I'm going to try the peppermint tomorrow.

I messed up, again!

Denise told me that I, incorrectly, said, in this post, that I invited her family over the day before they were leaving. It was actually the day they left, they drove home directly from our house. Now that she tells me that, I do remember. Thanks for reminding me, Denise! I guess I wasn't taking any chances on having to put up with possible weirdos for any longer than I had to!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Well, I can't sleep...again! I don't know what is going on, but this really sucks. I slept great the last five nights, but it is now 2:53 am and I am wide awake. Ugh.

So, I figured I would post about the great bargains that I got today at the grocery store. I spent a total of $52, including tax and got a whole cart full of stuff. Even the cashier made a comment that she couldn't believe my bill was so low. I don't even usually shop at this store because it is too expensive, but they had some good sales, they double coupons and they sent a coupon for $10 off any $50 purchase in the mail.

Here is what I ended up getting for $52.00:

4 boxes stuffing mix
4 bags of marshmallows for camp fires
2 boxes of chicken noodle soup mix
6 cans of chicken broth
1 bag of brown sugar
1 bag of popcorn
1 3-Liter Pop (a special treat for the little kids, as I rarely buy pop anymore)
22 packages Ramen Noodles
2 packages Thomas' English Muffins
6 packages corn bread mix
1 Duncan Hines Cake Mix
2 Duncan Hines Frosting Tubs
4 Whole Chickens, 4.5-5 pounds each
30 pounds of potatoes
5 half gallons of ice cream
1 dozen eggs

Normally, even shopping at Super Walmart, it would have been $52 before tax for just the potatoes, ice cream and 4 chickens! I really get a rush when I save money, even if it is a lot of work to follow all the sale papers and keep track of the darn coupons. I guess this must be the feeling that criminals talk about when they say they get a rush from stealing, but I'm not doing anything illegal!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Haunted Forest

It was more like the Soggy Forest tonight. We went to the Parks and Rec Annual Haunted Forest. It is a free event for families and has lots of games and crafts for the kids. Alex and his friend, Amberly, dressed up as Rapunzel and Prince Charming and acted it out while the little kid's hay ride passed by. He started playing that part four years ago and I was surprised that the costume still fits him.

It was only misting a bit when we first got there, but then it began alternating with pretty hard rain, making it a pretty crappy night. Luckily it was about 70 degrees. They ended up letting Alex and Amberly and a few other volunteers leave early because they were getting drenched. Most of the other activities were under tents and continued.

I forgot to bring the camera, of course, so I won't be posting any pictures of Hannah and Shauna in their costumes or a sopping wet Prince Charming! Mike and I were pretty bored, since Hannah and Shauna did not want us following them around. Luckily it is a very small area and we could keep a good eye on them from anywhere, since a lot of people stayed home because of the rain. Hannah told us that she didn't want us following them around and Shauna told us that they were ELEVEN, we should stop following them! Hmmm, no wonder I miss those babies I used to have!

CUP's new blog

Everyone has been bugging CUP to start his own blog. I wanted him to start one so he would stop telling me what I should blog about and so he would stop making fun of me for blogging. His friends wanted him to start one so he could bitch about blogging. (If you know CUP, you know he does a LOT of bitching!!!) He finally listened. I cannot, however, link his blog on mine because he only has two posts on it and it already looks inappropriate!

If you are not easily offended and really want to read CUP's blog, let me know and I will send the link, with his permission, of course. I wouldn't want to violate any more of his Constitutional Rights!!!!

Adorable pictures, thanks to an ax murderer!

Denise posted some really cute pictures of Steven (11), Luke (9), Alex (6), Hannah (4), Shauna (3) and her kids, Nate (3) and JJ (1--this was on his first birthday, if I remember correctly.). This was June of 2001.

I promised in one of my posts, months ago, to tell the story of my wonderful ax murderer friend, Denise. Well, better late than never, as they say. As you will see if you follow the link to the pictures, Denise writes about how I started the transracial adoption group on 1998 and she was one of the first members to join. We got to be great internet friends, but hadn't yet met in person. Denise and Nick were coming to Williamsburg to spend a week at a timeshare that is only minutes from our house (would actually be within walking distance, if I wasn't so lazy!). I got their phone number and Denise told me to call her. Well, there were two problems, one I'm really shy about meeting new people, even if I already "know" them. Secondly, Mike was discouraging it because he was worried they might actually be ax murderers. I was pretty sure they were normal people, but with all of the horror stories about meeting people on the internet, I was slightly concerned. Truth be known, I was actually more concerned that I would meet them, not like them and be "stuck" with them for a whole week! So I put off calling them until right before they were leaving. They came over and we had a fabulous time. We loved them! What a relief and what a disappointment, since they were leaving the next day.

Over the past 7 years, we have now gotten together many times and gone on vacation together many times. We always have a great time together. Our kids get along really well, which helps make it much more relaxing. My kids argue with each other much more than they argue with Denise's kids! When they adopted GracieGirl, Hannah asked me if it was okay if she told the kids at school that she had a new baby cousin. She said, "I don't want to lie to my class, but I really think they ARE my cousins!." I think they are, too, since I sometimes think that Denise and I were twins, separated at birth!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday, Grampy Bud!

Luke and CUP make fun of my blogging

I just sat through this conversation, I actually typed it out while they were talking:

Luke (commenting to me, about my blogging "addiction"): "Your blogging is like Steven's drugs."

CUP (To Luke, about me): "No because it doesn't make HER dumber, that's the difference, but it probably makes her readers dumber. (They both laugh) "Mom is probably blogging about us bitching about her blog in her blog that we are bitching about her blogging."

That conversation occurred when CUP and Luke were making fun of my blogging. I reminded CUP that he once made fun of the fact that I was starting a transracial adoption group on Yahoo, in 1998. He told me, at that time, that no one would be interested in my group and no one would join. He was wrong and my group actually resulted in several friendships and at least one adoption. I reminded them that they should stop their nay saying because without my group, we wouldn't be able to hear any of the wonderful JJisms that we now enjoy so much!

The End of an Era

I've never posted videos before, mainly because I didn't have any! I hope I can figure this out.

Video #1: The first video is of Luke and Drew, playing their last game. They are both in black jerseys, Drew is #28 and I think he has white pants. Luke is #19 and he has red pants with black knees. You can also hear Steven commenting in the background.

Video #2: This video shows part one of a small fight. Four people are sent to the penalty box, two on each team, including Steven. Steven is wearing the black jersey with yellow shoulders.

Video #3: The third video is part two of the fight and resulting penalties. There is a bit of swearing in this video, so if kids are around, you might not want to play it! Hockey players LOVE the "F" word. Keep in mind that the penalty boxes are right on either side of my score booth. I'm used to the swearing and arguments that go on between players, when they are sent in at the same time. It isn't unusual to have them throwing things at each other or getting into a fist fight right behind my booth. I was crushed up against the score table and hit in the head with a hockey stick during one fight and Mike was hit in the head with a thrown helmet, during another, just to name a few. Hmmm, when I look at it like that, I can't believe I loved that job so much!!! You can hear me, in the background, yelling "that's enough" and "stop". One of the players, who is yelling at Steven and his teammate is my friend, Bart's son, Cory. On the video you can only hear what is being yelled from one penalty box, not the responses coming from the other. You can also hear my friends, Stephanie D. and Scott V. teasing the players about getting kicked out of the league!

Video #4: The last hockey goal ever scored at WISC!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Last night of work

I've spent more hours than I could possibly count, sitting in this score booth!

Well, last night was a little less traumatic than I thought it would be. I only cried twice, which was a LOT less than I thought I would. I did fine most of the night because I was working really hard to convince myself that it was just a regular work night and not the last work night ever. That worked pretty well until my friend of many years, Stephanie, was leaving. Her son, Nathan, is Luke's age and he starting playing hockey in our league about a year after we did. Stephanie is also the friend who "made" me get Wrigley and she has two of his brothers, so it isn't like we will never see each other again. In fact, we will be seeing her this Saturday at a Halloween event for the kids that she works at. Anyway, her son had two games, but she was tired, so she decided to leave after his first game and have someone drop him off at home after his second game. When it was time for her to leave, she started talking about how sad this was and how we had been together for so many hockey games and so many years, etc. That made me cry. I was really proud of myself, though, as I only cried for about 30 seconds and was able to compose myself, which is unusual for me! Then Stephanie had a change of heart when she got home and came back for Nathan's second game. She said that she just couldn't miss the last game ever played at our rink. I teased her for making me cry for no reason, since she would probably do it again when she left the second time, but I was really glad she came back!

Me and Stephanie

Then my friend, Christian, who is one of the hockey players that has played with us since he was about 15, also made me cry when he was leaving. He assures me that he will still be around to bug me, at least until May, when he will be leaving for graduate school. I'm really going to miss him, he has always stood up for me when I had any problems at the rink, including always letting me know that if anyone gave me a hard time, he would beat them up for me! He has also been extremely supportive whenever I had a difference of opinion with the rink owners or when I was frustrated about their lack of dedication to the hockey program as a whole.

My friend, Mike, and me with the Colonial Cup

The last ever Championship Team at the Williamsburg Indoor Sports Complex!
Steven is in the yellow and black jersey, just behind the goalie. Congrats to Team Revamp.

Frugal Meal

We had a delicious frugal dinner last night, thanks to my insomnia! I made Vegetable Roast Beef Barley Soup in the crockpot, a loaf of Bacon Bread in the breadmaker and a loaf of Savory Cheese Bread, which is a quick bread. Everyone loved the soup, except CUP, Luke and Shauna. Luke and Shauna liked the broth, but not the veggies. They all loved both of the breads. It was hard to choose which bread was better because they both tasted so good!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


One of my children informed me today that I am violating his Constitutional rights by using his name on my blog. Since I believe I have a Constitutional right to write about anyone I want, as long as I don't use their name, that child will now only be known as CUP. CUP stands for Certain Unidentified Person.

My last day of work

Tonight is the last time I will be working at WISC. I've worked there as a paid employee for the past 6 years and for 2 years before that, I worked as a volunteer. I am not happy, as I really like my job there. I still find it hard to believe that they canceled all the hockey programs and decided to sell the rink. Tonight will be really weird.

Jack needs to start his own blog

He is now telling me what to blog about, so I think he should make his own blog.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Happy Birthday Matthew

Today is my little brother's birthday. He was born and died on October 20, 1968, so he would be turning 40 today. It is weird, but I still think of him as a newborn baby. Weirder still is that I actually have a few memories left from that day. I remember being at our friend's house. They lived across the street from us (Ralph, the dad, was the one that visited here in September). We were eating, dinner, I think, when Sharon got the call from my dad at the hospital. I was listening eagerly because I was so excited, but I remember knowing that something was wrong. When I think back to what Sharon must have been told (that my brother had died and my mom (her best friend) was going to die), I am surprised that she was able to remain calm and show no emotion. I guess she was doing it so I wouldn't be too upset. I remember that she hung up and told me that my brother had died, but not that my mom was expected to die, as well. My dad told me that either later that night or the next night, I'm not sure which. Luckily, my mom pulled through. She was actually the first person to survive the problems that she had and the doctor who saved her was written up in all kinds of medical journals at the time. Had my brother been born even just 15 years later, he would have lived, due to advances in medical knowledge.

Happy birthday Matthew Marlin Leimnetzer!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Cooking and Insomnia

I could not sleep at all last night. I was still wide awake at 6:04 am. It sucked. I got up at 5:00 am and made some popcorn. That is because my stomach was growling after spending several hours doing research on frugal recipes on Mike's laptop. I found out that you can make popcorn in the microwave in regular lunch bags. I was so excited because my kids love it and I know it has lots of bad stuff in it and it is so expensive. Since our cook top bit the dust, I don't have the option of cooking it on the stove. I really hate to do that anyway because it is such a pain and it just adds a big pot to my already large stack of dirty dishes waiting to be washed.

The recipe search was a success. I found a lot of really cheap recipes to make for the family, since I never have enough money to cover the weekly grocery bill anymore. Even with the cheap recipes and coupons, I don't have quite what I really need, but at least I am getting closer. Tonight I made a pasta recipe that was easy and delicious and only cost me $12 for the whole family. All of the kids liked it and there was enough left for Mike to take to work for a dinner during the week.

I also made a dish called Jiffy Oatmeal Crunch. I added some chocolate chips instead of raisins, since I want the kids to actually eat it! It was so good that we ate the whole 9 x 13 pan today and I had to make another for them to have tomorrow for either breakfast, lunch or snack. I'm going to try it with cinnamon and maybe some dried apples next time. Hannah and I hate oatmeal and we even liked it. I would have made more tonight, but I ran out of oatmeal.

I made my menu for the week today and I am pretty happy that we aren't going to starve to death, even on our very limited budget!

Oh, and our microwave broke yesterday. Just stopped working, great. This is the second microwave we've had in the past 8 years. I figured we just had to add that to the list of things that we would have to learn to do without, but then Jack brought his out of the attic. Then, even better than that, our microwave started working just fine today. Apparently it was just overheated. Mike thinks it may have had something to do with the fact that it really, really needed to be cleaned out.

X-Rated Post--You may not want to read this!

Ugh! As a little girl, growing up with no living brothers, I still have trouble understanding boys sometimes. Drew is going to a Halloween party. Apparently his costume includes a fake penis (don't ask why, you don't want to know!). This fake penis arrived yesterday, while Drew was still out of town, so Jack, Steven, Mike and Luke have been having a "ball" with it today. (Excuse the terrible pun, but when you live with so many guys for so long, it rubs off, but only a little!)

Unfortunately for me, they decided to bring the thing downstairs after the girls went to bed. Mike tossed it to me as he was coming down the stairs and my automatic reaction was to scream and shove it away from me. I can hear Mike saying, "What's new?", as he reads this!

Then Jack, Mike and Steven proceeded to discuss all the cool things they could do with this awesome penis (which is VERY life-like, by the way). One idea was to put a suction cup on it and display it on the car window and that was probably the only one I can actually blog about!

I originally told them I wasn't going to blog about this disgusting incident, but then I realized that I need to save this so that when I am a really old lady, I can remember the truth about how my life used to be!

Don't panic, I will NOT be including pictures with this post!!!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Steven's injury update

I haven't had much chance to blog lately. Steven is recovering from his bike accident injuries. YES, he did play hockey on Tuesday night. Two games, in fact. At the beginning of the first game, he was playing very carefully and Luke even pointed out that he was only using his right hand to shoot. He is a lefty in hockey, so that probably wasn't too helpful. Actually, even hurt, he manages to play really well. After a few minutes, though, he was back to playing like his normal self. He even got two penalties, so you know he was playing normally!!! He said the adrenaline kicked in and he couldn't feel the pain anymore. Gosh, where was adrenaline when my hamstring was so painful????

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bike accident

Steven fell off his bike today while doing a wheelie. He scraped his back, shoulder, arm and side. He didn't hit his head, but when he got into the house, he was light headed and having trouble seeing. His vision kept going from black to almost normal, but with white rings. He was also sweating profusely and pale. I called his doctor, who told me to take him to the emergency room. I ended up taking him to the urgent care center, since that is $40 cheaper than the emergency room and quicker. I was also concerned that the injury on his side might have caused some internal damage.

The doctor said that the side injury didn't cause any bone injury, but it did strain three layers of muscle, so it will be pretty painful for a while. They cleaned his scrapes, which a pretty nasty, but not too deep, luckily.

Steven is most upset about not being able to play hockey tonight, as this is the next to last night of hockey and his team has two games. I won't be surprised if he decides to play, but it will depend on how much he is hurting by then. He has played while injured so many times, that I will actually be surprised if he doesn't decide to play.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Added some pictures

I added some pictures to the fire post and the visitors post. I would have added them at the time of the post, if I knew how to get them from the camera to the computer by myself! I am making progress, though, as I just figured out how to make a link!

Blackhawks Vs. Capitals Game Pictures

Shauna, Alex and Hannah at the Caps/Hawks game. Everyone got a banner since this was the Capitals first home game of the season and they won their division last season. Hannah had a Blackhawks hat on and Capitals tattoos all over her face!

Chicago Blackhawks warming up before the game.

Picnic Pictures

Luke trying to escape the picture.

Steven and Luke by the river

Dad, Jack and Hannah


We had a great view of the Washington Monument from our picnic site.

DC Pics

Luke, Shauna and Alex, resting after the walking tour of DC

Mom, Hannah, Shauna, Alex, Luke and Steven

Alex, Hannah and Shauna, horrified by the homeless man who kept walking by, yelling racial slurs and telling people of color to go back to their own country.

Steven and Luke

Happy Birthday to my Baby!!!

The Birthday Girl doing a handstand in front of the Washington Monument

The 11 year old Birthday Girl getting attacked by her 11 year old sister!

My baby girl is 11 today! Happy Birthday Shauna Anne Sylvia.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

We got to DC!

We got here safely and the kids were almost perfect in the car! Whew. We left Williamsburg around 10:15 when Steven got off work. There was very little traffic and tons of state troopers on the road, so it was nice and safe. At one point, two cars flew past us when I was doing 70. They were going at least 90 or more. About 5 miles later, we saw the lead car pulled over. Then about 5 miles after that, we saw what we are pretty sure was the second car pulled over by 4 state troopers! We are guessing that the other cop called ahead and they were waiting for him.

We just got everything unloaded from the car and got everyone settled. We had to bring all of our dirty laundry because our stupid (yet awesome) washer broke. Since it is 2:30 am, I guess I better get to sleep, we have a very busy day ahead of us tomorrow.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Jack's perfect match

I REALLY shouldn't be blogging because I have to pack the car and be ready to leave for DC in an hour, but I wanted to say this before I forget. Jack and I went to Walmart today, where he was incredibly annoying, by the way, but that is another blog. When we were checking out, the cashier, a girl about Jack's age, asked where we had gotten the large Reese's Peanut Butter candy bar that Jack had insisted I buy for him. He told her where it was and that started a big discussion about Reese's Peanut Butter products, between the two of them. They went on and on about how Reese's Pumpkins are now out and right after that, Reese's Trees will be out and then they said there should be a new Reese's item for every month of the year. Then they were both calling out things for each month, Reese's Fireworks, Reese's Flags, even Reese's for Pi Day. Oh, they are so two peas in a pod and perfect for each other! I am already naming their children!

So on the way out of the store, I asked him why the heck he didn't ask her out when she is so perfect for him. He tells me, "She is a cashier at Walmart, I'm not asking out a cashier at Walmart." Says he, who has NO job!!!! Then he proceeds to tell me that somehow he always ends up in her line (I suggest fate at work, he pfffs that.) Not only that, she always compliments him on his t-shirts. Most people don't even "get" his t-shirts. Again, this girl is perfect for him. I wonder if she was his cashier the day I made him get the super-jumbo package of sanitary napkins because a hurricane was threatening????

Thursday, October 9, 2008

No time to post

I really don't have time to post, but I'm going to anyway. I had a work meeting tonight and I should be getting ready for our trip tomorrow. The kids and I are very excited because Mike got free tickets to the Washington Capitals vs. Chicago Blackhawks hockey game in DC. We also get to stay in his company's townhouse, so the only cost to us is gas, which I am happy to report is down to $3.00 per gallon! Since we couldn't afford to go to Chicago to or PA to visit our friends and family this year, I guess this will have to suffice as our vacation. Sorry, Denise, if we had a longer time, I would love to drive up a couple more hours to see you guys, but Alex has to be at play rehearsal back in Williamsburg on Sunday evening.

Our plan is to leave tomorrow night and then take a walking tour of DC, have a picnic lunch/dinner and then go to the game. We have been to several Capitals games and they are always tons of fun, since we all love hockey so much.

We have some issues with who to root for, though, since we love the Caps and the Hawks! Our family will be wearing a variety of gear for both teams. I guess we'll be happy with whoever wins, so that is good.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I'm low-tech

I was asking Steven about the stoves, grills, stand mixers, etc., at his restaurant. He asked why I wanted to know and I told him that I was just interested because I love that professional stuff and wish I could have it in my home kitchen. He said, "Mom, stop dreaming, you are always going to be low-tech, so just forget about it."

That is probably a good thing since I am systematically destroying everything cooking-related in my kitchen. At least I'm only destroying low-tech stuff!

Speaking of that, the house filled with smoke yesterday as I cooked dinner in the ovens after spilling pork juice all over them when I made the pulled pork the other day. When Jack and Drew were little, they used to say that they could tell when I was cooking because the smoke alarms would go off! I guess I haven't changed much.

Work went well tonight

I had a really good time at work tonight and very little pain. I got to talk to a lot of the guys and my friend, Stephanie D. I haven't really talked to most of them in a few months. I also ended up staying about an hour after I was done, to talk to some more of the guys and my friend, Stephanie B. I used to talk to her two nights a week, so we had a lot to catch up on.

Also, the games were really good, with the team that Drew, Steven and Luke were on winning in a shoot-out. Luke got the game winning goal!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Huge mistake correction

It has been pointed out to me, by Jack, that I have made an unacceptable error in my blog. Apparently, I made a horrible mistake when I said that Jack and Mike call Aurora "Little Black". Jack informed me that he does not call her that and he thinks that it is incredibly stupid. I stand corrected. Silly me!

Monday, October 6, 2008

If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all

Since the cook top caught fire and is now unusable, I had to make dinner in the microwave today. I wanted to make as much as I could at one time, since I was going to have to microwave quite a bit. I used my largest glass bowl. Not a good idea. I have had this bowl for many, many years and have used it in the microwave many, many times.

I heated it, then took it out to stir, add the cold liquids and heat some more. I poured the milk into the bowl and heard a very loud cracking sound as the glass began to shatter. The liquid and pasta poured out on the counter and floor as large chunks broke off the bowl. I started to grab things on the counter so they wouldn't get drenched as the liquid pooled across the counter and I heard another huge cracking sound as even more began to crack and break off. So much for my time-saving idea, I now have one less large bowl and I caused myself to have an additional half hour of work!

Jack pointed out that the large glass bowl wasn't Pyrex and shouldn't have been used in the microwave. Good point. Thanks for letting me know!

The good news is, no glass got on the floor and it didn't cut me. Luke came down and heard what had happened. He came into the kitchen, gave me a huge hug and sympathetically said, "Oh, Mom, I'm so happy that happened to you." He was just joking of course. I can always count on Luke to lighten the mood!


As I was writing the post about the stupid cat, the dog threw up all over my purse! GROSS! I almost threw up myself, so Luke cleaned it up. Would someone please remind me why I have these pets??????

Oh, yeah, and the washing machine (only two years old) is not working, so I can't even throw the purse in the wash.

Oh, dandy, Luke just asked this, "Does motherhood mess up your hair?" What the heck is that supposed to mean????

On the bright side, at least the smelly tree is on the porch! Sorry....just rambling!

Black cat on the roof

Last night when Alex came in after a trip to Busch Gardens with his friends, he told me that one of the cats was on the roof. This same cat has been on the roof several times in the last 5 months or so. Right before I hurt my leg, Luke and I were coming home from somewhere and we pull up and see Aurora just straight chillin' on the highest peak of the roof! Now, mind you, this is an indoor cat.

So I told Alex to go out onto the second story porch and see if he could get the cat in. He went out there and heard her meowing, but since she is pitch black and it was dark out, he couldn't see her. It kind of reminded me of the time that the kids said Shauna totally disappeared in one of the tube rides at Water Country, but that is another story! I told him not to worry about it, she would find a way in when she was ready.

A little while later, Jack came downstairs to tell us that "Little Black", as he and Mike call her since they can't ever remember the cat's names, is on the sun room roof. He tried to let her in his window, but he couldn't get his screen out. I told them to go into the girl's room and open the window with no screen. I figured the cat could probably jump over to the small roof that is outside their window and she did and came in.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Fire Pit

Mike has been working on clearing a section of the woods in the backyard to make a fire pit. He found a section with no trees and cleared all the brush (mostly what look like tiny wild blueberries). He mulched the entire area and has started to collect large rocks to make a ring. He could only find enough rocks to go about a quarter of the way around, so we will have to continue to work on that.

We had a fire last night and all the kids who were home participated, except Jack. Two of the kid's friends came as well. We roasted two bags of marshmallows and it was nice and pretty relaxing. I thought for sure the dog would burn his tail off, but he managed to get through it with no injuries. I think we need some light out there, though, Mike tripped on the rocks and was lucky to be able to catch himself before he fell into the fire!


They had a 1/2 price sale at Bloom, on roast beef, ground beef and boneless pork loin. We haven't had BBQ (Pulled Pork) in a long time because I haven't seen a good sale on the pork in forever. So we bought 4 pork loins which is enough for at least two meals. I set my alarm for 3:00 am to put the pork in the oven. I took it out of the oven at 1:00 pm and shredded it, cooked the sauce and put it back in the oven for 3 more hours. It was delicious and everyone (except Luke who hates BBQ) loved it. I figured out that two pork loins is enough for one full dinner, one dinner for Mike during the week and one lunch for the "at home" group. There will probably even be enough left for an after school snack for the three youngest kids. I froze the second batch to have at a later date.

Apples were also on sale, so last night we had sauteed apples on homemade cream cheese biscuits. It was delicious, but it took me three hours to peel, cut and cook 9 pounds of apples, plus make the biscuits. Between that and the time-consuming pulled pork today, I feel like I cooked most of the weekend.

After dinner tonight, the girls wanted to make cakes. Hannah made a devils food and Shauna made a yellow cake. I will make the frosting, cream cheese for the chocolate cake and French Silk frosting for the yellow cake before I go to bed.

I also FINALLY got to make iced coffee today. Bloom also had coffee on an almost 50% off sale, so we were able to get some of that also.

Hannah's weekly rage

Hannah had her Sunday rage today. She was told to empty the dishwasher over and over again. She finally came down to do it, but I wanted her to take her abilify first. She got mad and she had a stack of clean Corelle plates that she had just taken out of the dishwasher. She smashed them to the ground and of course they shattered into tiny bits that went everywhere. Mike swept them up, but I know they got under appliances and we will be finding them for quite some time. We were already very low on plates so we really couldn't afford to lose any. After she smashed the plates, she walked all the way across the kitchen so she could punch me on the way to her room. Considering my bruises from the last two rages are still painful, I got off easy. Mike and I argued after Hannah raged, which didn't help the situation.

Friday, October 3, 2008

No fires, no rages, no lizards

Jeez, I'm not sure what to post. We haven't had anything interesting happen in the last two days!

Hannah went to her first middle school dance and had a good time. Of course, Alex went, too, but he is in eighth grade and goes to every dance that he can. I was a little worried about Hannah going, since her judgment isn't always the greatest, but I felt a little better since Alex was there. Not that his judgment is always great, but he is pretty sensible most of the time!

The middle school counselor met with Hannah yesterday and talked to her about the Rebecca problem. Hannah wouldn't talk about it (to me anyway, she probably told Alex everything!). Today she said that she and Rebecca met with the counselor and talked things over. Now Rebecca wants to be her friend. Rebecca told Hannah that she isn't racist. Hmmm, call me skeptical, but I'm not too sure how long this will last. From what I've heard about Rebecca, I think it will take a little more than one talk with a counselor for her to change.

I took Hannah to her psychologist yesterday. I went in first and told him what has been happening the past few weeks and then I left and Hannah went in for the other half of the appointment. I LOVE this counselor, even if he can't help the kids, he always helps me! I think we've been going to him for about 4 years now. I didn't ask Hannah how things went and she didn't offer anything. I asked him to work on the Rebecca thing and helping Hannah to handle it and I also want him to work on anger management and temper control with her.

I can't remember if I blogged about it or not, but Hannah went to her psychiatrist the day before yesterday (her psych and psychologist are in the same practice, so they both know Hannah and they work together to help her, which is great). Her psychiatrist increased one of her meds to try to help her keep her rages under control.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I found the Oreos!

Remember when I was looking for the Double Stuff Oreos that I had hidden in my room, so they wouldn't get eaten before we could make Cookies and Cream Ice Cream? I found them today, while I was looking for the long sleeved shirts that I bought for Hannah and Shauna on clearance for $2-$3 each last spring. Yes, I did find the shirts.

Now if only I could remember where I hid that spare million dollars, I would be all set!!!

A post for Mike

Heather Locklear was arrested for DUI. BOOM-SHAKA-LAKA!!!!

We almost had another lizard in the house!!!!

(The title of this post will not make sense, unless you read the posts from Sunday, September 28th.)

I was making dinner tonight, spaghetti and homemade sauce. Alex was helping me and we mixed the sauce, put it on the stove and then put the pot of water on to boil. Suddenly, Alex yells, "Mom!". I looked over and saw fire coming up from two of the dials on the cook top. I quickly turned off the two burners I was using, as the fire was coming out of the two I wasn't using. That didn't stop the fire, as a matter of fact, it got bigger. So I grabbed a large pot cover and put it on top of the dials to smother the fire. That didn't work, the fire just started coming out of the other two dials! Then I filled a pitcher with water and poured some of that on it. That didn't do anything, either. This all happened in less than a minute and I remember yelling for Alex to go get Jack. Alex must have set a record getting up the stairs and getting Jack because within a few seconds, Jack was in the kitchen with a fire extinguisher that he had in his room. I knew we had a fire extinguisher in the cabinet, but I had no clue how to use it or if it would still work because it is at least 8-12 years old. Thank goodness for Jack because he had the fire out in no time.

The funny thing is that while I was trying to put out the fire, in the back of my mind, I was thinking that I was so glad that the kitchen was clean and it wouldn't be embarrassing to have the firemen see it! I also thought that by the time the firemen got here, the kitchen would be pretty much engulfed in flames and they wouldn't even be able to tell that the kitchen was clean! Wow, I'm a real winner.

The other funny thing is that Shauna came into the kitchen while this was happening. She saw me filling the pitcher, which was one that still had a little diet strawberry drink in the bottom. I just dumped that out and added water, so the water was a little pink. Shauna told me after the fire was out that she thought I was mixing a pitcher of pink lemonade! Yes, that was my plan, I was going to serve it to the firemen while they stood around and praised me for my clean kitchen!

The fire extinguisher we inherited from Gramma S.

Hannah cannot stand it when a picture is taken without her in it, so here is the same fire extinguisher that saved our house from severe damage.