Sunday, May 31, 2009

Enjoying nature

I had to drive Steven to Will's house and Hannah to her friend, Alex's, house this morning. When I got home and came up the front porch steps, I startled a hummingbird, who was feeding at my newly installed hummingbird feeder. I had taken a chance and put it on the front porch, not sure if they would use it, due to the high human traffic, but this was the third bird I've seen over the last few days and I've only been out there a few times during the day.

The hummingbird flew off, but I sat down and waited a few minutes and it came back, or it might have been another one, I'm not sure. This one fed for a little and flew away. I continued to wait quietly, even though there was a skink walking around, who was making me nervous because I was afraid he would come near my feet. My patience paid off because as I was looking at my recently planted red bud tree, I saw a tiny hummingbird sitting on the branch. It was so cute. Then a robin landed in the same tree and the hummingbird left. A couple of minutes after the robin flew off, I noticed the hummingbird there, again, only high up. It was a really small one and had a pretty red band of color around it's neck. I'm now glad that I decided to put it in front, not in the back, like I've done in the past. When it is in the back, we hardly ever see the birds, since we don't generally sit out there and I forget to change the sugar water.

I'm so glad I took the time to do that, it was very relaxing! I'm going to try to get some pictures over the next few days, if I can. I guess I will have to turn the sound off on my camera, since it makes bird chirps when I turn it on or change a setting and it barks when a picture is taken!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Busy, busy, busy

Somehow, I ended up with a cold this week. I can't really complain, since this is the first real cold I've had in over a year. I have had a cold threatening a few times, but I have been able to fight it off. This one wasn't too bad, but I felt pretty yucky. When I lived in Chicago, I used to get many, many colds every year and they were all really bad ones. Since I've moved to the South, I get them infrequently, which I love!

I'm feeling better today, just a little run down. I went out to lunch yesterday with my Aunt Louise, who is here visiting from Florida, my mom, my sister, and niece, Tatum. We went to Sal's, my favorite Italian restaurant and it was delicious, as always. This is the same restaurant Mike, the kids and I went to for Mother's Day.

CUP is in Philly with his girlfriend, Janine, so I have been busy all week, doing all the kid deliveries! Of course, this happened to be an extremely busy week for Alex, so I have spent a lot of time on the road or in the car, waiting for someone. Yesterday was really nuts, first the lunch, then I had to pick Alex up from choir practice, take him to Musical Theater class rehearsal, wait for him, take him from there to his Barnum performance, go home, pick Hannah and her friend up, drop them at the middle school to watch their friends in a band performance, pick them up and bring them home, cook a quick dinner, and then head out to pick Alex up from Barnum. Not counting the time gone for the lunch, I was basically out of the house from 3:15 until 11:00! There wasn't a whole lot of time to do much else.

Today will be a little better, but not much. I already took Steven to work, I have to pick Shauna up from school in a few minutes, so I can take her shopping for a dress for her 5th grade graduation. Alex is at Busch Gardens for a choir field trip, so I have to grab Shauna, pick Alex up early from Busch, take him to his Musical Theater class rehearsal (the last one, yay!), wait for him to finish, get him something to eat, drop him off at Barnum, then take Shauna shopping for the dress and shoes, and then pick Alex up after Barnum.

Tomorrow, Hannah has the same choir competition that Alex was in today and the same Busch Gardens trip. For her, I only have to drop her at school in the morning and then pick her up at night. Mike is coming home from Las Vegas Saturday at 8:30 am and I will probably be picking him up, as well. I really wish gas prices were less!

Friday, May 22, 2009


Yay! I'm getting a compost pile! Mike is home today and is setting up a compost pile for the garden. Who would have thought I would ever be excited about a compost pile? I really need to get a life!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Cute Video

My niece, Tatum, singing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star". I love the way she looks to make sure the other kids are clapping for her at the end!

A whirlwind of activity

Janine called me last week and asked me to conspire with her to surprise Jack with a visit! I thought it was a great idea, even though she would only be able to stay for two days. I didn't tell anyone, not even Mike, who wouldn't be home while she was here anyway. She brought her best friend, Andrea, and they arrived at midnight on Tuesday. Jack was not surprised, it was more like shocked! Once he got over being stunned, he was happy about it, of course.

We had a great visit, although, once again, I forgot to take any pictures. They decided to take Jack back to Philly with them, this afternoon. He will take the train back.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Quote of the day

Me: "I need a bigger dishwasher, I don't think all this stuff is going to fit."

Steven: "You don't need to gain any weight, Mom."

Took me a couple of seconds to get it...little brat!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A normal family for a change

Last week, Mike was working in Richmond. Since he travels almost 100% of the time, this was a very rare treat for us. He worked from home on Monday and Tuesday and then traveled to Richmond the rest of the days. He actually came home at night! It is hard to remember the last time that happened. He was pretty tired when he got home, but it was nice to have him here. I spent more than normal on groceries, though, because I wanted to make him his favorites since he doesn't get to eat with us very often.

Choir Concert

Sunday was the last middle school choir concert for Alex. He has been involved in choir all three years, so it was a little sad for him. This was Hannah's second concert, but I was out of town for the last one and didn't get to see it. The concert was really good and it was also an awards ceremony. I didn't get a picture of Alex in his choir costume because at the end, the 8th graders did a song and dance from Grease.

Here you go!

I've had a lot on my mind lately, People! That is why I haven't been blogging. Here is a quick garden update and some pretty pictures I took of the sky last night. I will really try to blog about something more interesting later! I promise (to try, not necessarily to do it!).

Alex looked out the window while we were cooking dinner and noticed this beautiful sky

The plants on the left are zucchini, the two small ones in the middle are strawberries and the larger plants on the right and top are tomatoes. I have a cute little green baby roma and a lot of flowers! I'm so excited.

I know this one is really blurry, but that is my only strawberry! I had three strawberry flowers, but something ate the other two.

The Romas

Lettuce and another row of heirloom tomatoes. You can't see them too well in any of these pictures, but the carrots are doing very well, also.

Monday, May 11, 2009


My new Tivo is here and set up! I am happy again!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Cat Mess

In addition to having to clean up after the kids, I also have to clean up after Rebel, the paper tearing cat! She sits on the piece of paper, in this case Steven's surgeon appointment reminder, and frantically chews little pieces off and shakes her head until they fall out of her mouth.
The culprit

The mess

Saturday, May 9, 2009

More Godspell Pictures

Godspell Pictures

Alex, singing his solo, "The Light of the World"

Steven's finger update

Steven got his picc line taken out today! Yay, things are almost back to normal around here.

Sleeping Beauties

I guess that huge Italian dinner was too much for these two!

Steven, Wrigley, and Shauna

Mother's Day Dinner

Mike asked what I wanted for Mother's Day and I told him that I wanted the whole family to go out to dinner together. Over dinner, we debated about when the last time was that all nine of us went out together and I don't think we came up with an answer. It was at least several years ago, though. We decided to go tonight, instead of waiting until tomorrow. We figured the restaurants will all be really crowded and Hannah and Steven have a hard time waiting. Plus, I was thinking about going strawberry picking tomorrow, depending on the weather.

Dinner was wonderful, we went to my favorite Italian restaurant, Sal's, and it was so good. While we were there, I was thinking back to when the kids were little (or younger for the older boys) and how hectic it was when we went out to dinner. Today it was so peaceful and calm. We didn't have to pass plates back and forth so we could cut up the little kid's meat. We didn't have to tell anyone to quiet their voices and no one cried or spilled. We didn't have to clean any dropped (or thrown) food off the floor before leaving. No one had to be reminded to say please and thank you to the waitress. There was no bickering. It was awesome! We did have to tell one child that it probably isn't appropriate to make an open-faced spaghetti sandwich, if it involves holding the spaghetti on top with your hand, but that was pretty minor!

On the way home, it started to get really windy and pour, so we got pretty soaked getting into the house. Of course, as soon as we all got to the front porch, the rain slowed. Jack just came down to tell us that yet another big storm is on the way. I guess we got lucky with the first one and only caught the edge because the same storm caused 3" hail in Newport News. If it keeps raining at the rate it has been for the last few weeks, I won't have to spend a penny on water for my garden!

Steven, Hannah and Alex

Michelle and Mike

Shauna, Drew, and Luke

Dad, Jack, and Steven

Hannah, Alex, and Shauna

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


I was about to have a funeral for my beloved Tivo since it seems to have bitten the dust. That Tivo was my favorite Mother's Day gift ever! I asked Jack to cancel the service and when he called, they offered to send me a new (and much better!) Tivo, plus a free month of service. Yay! We just have to send the old one to them. I'm so happy, after having Tivo for so many years, it would be awfully hard to live without it.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Steven's finger update

We went to the infectious disease doctor today and he said the picc line can be taken out this Saturday. Yay! No more antibiotics, no more nurses coming to the house!!! Well, the nurse still has to come twice before then, but we are almost finished! Plus, Steven can go back to work, starting Sunday.

The incision is healing nicely

He still cannot straighten his finger all the way and he still has a good amount of swelling.

Mikey's perfect license plate

Too bad this is already taken, it would have been perfect for Mike!

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Alex performed in Godspell this weekend. It was really good! What a group of talented kids. They really did an amazing job. I only have one picture, so far, but hope to have more later. I am also hoping I can put up a video clip of Alex singing, but I will have to talk to CUP about that.

Alex, after the play, being silly, as usual!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Strawberry plants

The strawberry plants have been in the ground for four days now and they are all showing lots of signs of life, except for one.

The clematis' are blooming

This one is actually a clematis at the bottom and my Joseph's Coat Roses

The roses are blooming!