Sunday, June 29, 2008

We Had A Blast



Here's a quick pic of the fam from our Disneyland trip. When I have a chance, I might post some more.....We had a blast!! This was taken in California Adventure toward the start of evening, which is why we are wearing our hoodies. The weather was awesome - high 70's to mid 80's. It was somewhat overcast in the mornings, which burned off later on in the day. We were in the parks for two days, so we got there at opening and stayed until closing. Needless to say, my joints in my legs are still a little stiff! My new Nikes saved my feet (which usually get really sore), but my joints had it by the end of our second day. It didn't matter, though. It was SO fun being on this trip with my family.

I was teary at first, thinking about how everything must be through the eyes of Ben, a seven-year-old, and how much fun the girls were having......It had been four years since our last trip to Disneyland, and Ben was so little, he doesn't remember it. So, this time it was so great to have all three of our kids able to ride all of the rides (well, almost all - there were three Ben couldn't ride). We commented about how nice it was not to have a stroller, and have to deal with all of the things you have to deal with with toddlers and babies at Disney. It's definitely more fun and easier with older kids!!

My favorite rides are Pirates of the Caribbean and Thunder Mountain Railroad. Joe and the girls loved California Screamin,' which I went on too, but I'm not too crazy about the loop-de-loop!

Uhhh....Just writing about it, makes me want to go back and be with my family there again.....

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Psychology Grade and Swimsuit and Cards

As if you haven't heard enough about my grades....I got my Psychology and PE grades - 4.0 in each class! Yahoo! I sent off my transcript to the ultrasound program, so now my application is complete! I was so proud of myself when I saw my cumulative GPA for the past two years: 3.81!! Wow - I don't think I ever got that in high school! I'm SO hoping my grades will be my ticket to being accepted in the program. I'll find out very, very soon!!

So. Swimsuits. I need a new one for our Disneyland trip. I went to Sears the other day, and afterwards, vowed to never swim again. Ugh. I don't like my body right now. It's better than after I had Ben, of course, but, I'm seeing that I'm almost 38 years old and in need of exercise.....Even though I still think I'm 20, my body doesn't quite respond in the same way......Well, I went to Wal-Mart for a swimsuit yesterday and found a tankini-style suit with boy short bottoms. I'm still almost 38, but the suit was flattering. So, I guess I'm going swimming with the kids in California. :)

Oh! I also made a couple of cards recently. One card I made at the paper store I frequent. She had $1 Wednesdays, where you can come in and make something for a buck. It was fun! I used the card as inspiration and made a graduation card for a friend's son.





For this card, I cut out a star from thin cardboard and covered it with glass glitter (yes, it's made of glass). Then the mini banner is outlined in glitter glue type stuff called "Stickles." The antique soda water label is cut from a large sheet of a repeating pattern. The blue stuff behind the star is sparkly blue yarn.




I bought some of my own blue sparkly yarn, as you can see. I printed the mini banner on my computer and outlined it with glitter. I stamped a graduation cap in blue on grey paper, since the grad's school colors are silver and blue. Then I used striped vellum and the stripey paper, attached with star brads.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Instant Shorts

This is probably not a new idea in the least, but it dawned on me a short time ago, that I could get more use out of Ben's "high water" pants. Cut 'em into shorts! He's so thin, the waists on a few of his blue jeans and sweatpants still fit him, but he had grown too tall for them. I cut all the legs off of them, and presto - instant play clothes!

Are there any moms out there more with money-streching ideas for kids?

Golf Date

My husband has been working hard to take the kids and myself out on regular "dates." Our dates are usually weekly, and I recently asked for more "activity" type dates, rather than just eating out somewhere. So, yesterday, he took me to the golf driving range. I have only been golfing one other time in my life, and that was many moons ago..... Yesterday, I did OK. I was concentrating so hard on my form, that my left arm and shoulder got really tight and sore. I had to swing my arm around for awhile to loosen it up. Once I relaxed that arm, I hit a really nice one with a wood. Thinking I could repeat it, I tried again. Nope. I just couldn't figure out what I did right to hit that one so well. I tried and tried and tried. I really wanted to be good at it. Then, I got a blister, so I had to quit. I realized that when I do something, I want to do it well. Really well.

Well, with golf, I have a long way to go.

I do think it would be fun to take a class and learn to golf well, so it could be an activity Joe and I could do together in the future. I think it would be cool to be able to go out and enjoy the outdoors and play.....With our two girls not far from leaving out home, I want us to have things we enjoy doing as a couple......

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Least Favorite Chore

I recently answered a question on a blog I read: what's your least favorite chore?

I answered: cleaning up pet and people barf. I knew my answer immediately, because I've been cleaning up kitten barf today. Not sure why she's barfing, but there ya go.

What's your least favorite chore?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Melanie's 9th Grade Dance

Every June, all of the 9th graders in our school district come together for a formal dance. It is a tradition that goes way back, and this year was Melanie's turn!



Right after school, I picked up Melanie and Kelly to go get their hair done. Melanie got acrylic nails the day before. She got a "French" manicure, but instead of white tips, they are black!



Mel getting curls



Mel fixing Kelly's hair that didn't hold up so well between the salon and Kelly's house



Best friends



Melanie's dress is white with black and silver glittery polka dots. She wore silver shoes, silver jewelry and carried a silver purse.



What a good-lookin' kid, huh?


Kelly, Faith and Melanie. We realized they had a polka dot theme going on! Kelly had silver sequins on her dress, and Faith had polka dot lace! Don't they look great?!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!!



I hope all you Dads out there have a VERY special day!
We celebrated last night after Joe's Men's Fraternity graduation. Each of the kids picked out something they wanted to give him. I got him my favorite cologne (Drakkar) and a Men's Fraternity Bible. After church and graduation, we went out to eat at Famous Dave's BBQ, which was awesome. It was our first time eating there, and we were impressed. I had the BEST salmon! Anyway, I think he was honored on his special day.

Men's Fraternity Graduation 2008

For the past 24 weeks, my husband has been getting up on Thursday mornings to show up at church at 6:00 AM. He, along with about 300 other guys from our community took part in what is called "Men's Fraternity: The Quest For Authentic Manhood." They would gather for a corporate teaching, and then separate into small groups for discussion. They each had a book with fill-ins during the message, and places for personal notes. During these past six months, they have explored what the Bible says about being an authentic man, as well as past wounds that needed healing. It's been a learning experience and therapy session at times.

This Saturday, was their graduation. Each man had to complete a "Man Plan" in order to take part in the ceremony. There were 215 guys in all, graduating this weekend (about 90 per service). Joe graduated during Saturday night services. I was his accompanying witness. It was pretty awesome, and our church made a big deal out of it. Our pastor was crying the whole time, and so were a lot of the guys and their families. Our kids were able to watch him, which was really cool. Here are a few pics the kids took, and a little video too.




Here we are walking down the aisle toward the stage. Everyone was standing and clapping while all of the guys' names were scrolling on the big screens with processional music. Joe is in front of me in the red Hawaiian shirt with a goatee.



You can see Joe's face right behind the grey haired guy with the black Hawaiian shirt.

video

I had to give a date to this graduation, because there will be two more in the coming years. The second "Men's Fraternity" will begin in October. It will be interesting to see what more God has in store for my man and for the men of our church.

If you're interested in Men's Fraternity, I have included the link on my sidebar.

First Grade Field Trip




On Friday, I went with Ben on his first grade field trip to the zoo. We all rode the school bus, and I had two other boys in my group. Whew! Keeping track of boys at the zoo is hard work! One boy was pretty hyped up, so Ben's teacher took him for the second half of the day. Then, I hooked up with a friend of mine and we got to team up and talk while we went along.


Lunch Break!

Ben's class (Ben in the center with the grey sweatshirt)


At the zoo, there was a play ground with an "otter slide." There were SO many kids - I think it was field trip day for a lot of other schools. We were a little afraid to let them loose, so, we told the kids in our group that we would stand in one spot, and when it was time to go, we would wave at them. We didn't lose one kid! Yay!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Spinach Strawberry Salad

I've been very negative lately.

So. I will now post something happy and crunchy.

Strawberry Spinach Salad
(I know it sounds weird, but you will love it)

For dressing:
1 cup salad oil
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon celery seed
2 tablespoons corn syrup

For salad:
6 cups fresh spinach, washed and dried
2 cups strawberries, sliced (or any fruit desired for color)
3/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced

For dressing, shake together all ingredients. Toss together salad ingredients. Toss dressing with salad just before serving, sprinkle dressed salad with pecans or slivered almonds (if desired).

*I made it without the onions (I forgot) and I don't like pecans, so I left those off. This is one of those salads, that you're not sure will taste good - especially if you're a picky eater like me. Then, you eat a bite, and can't STOP!!

Finally

Finally....Hillary is out of the race, and McCain can be back on the radar screens of the media like he deserves.

Finally....when are we finally going to get some sun in Washington? It was actually snowing in the mountains and passes yesterday! I'm sick of this!

Finally....when are people going to finally return to proper etiquette and start sending thank you notes for wedding gifts, baby shower gifts, graduation gifts and birthday gifts (sent through the mail)?

What is your "finally?"

Friday, June 6, 2008

More Ultrasound News

I observed ultrasounds at the hospital yesterday. They were having an atypical, slow day, but it was pretty cool. The guy I shadowed just happens to be one of the teachers at the program I'm applying to! So, with some down time, he spent some time teaching me some stuff and answering my gazillion questions. I also grilled his counterpart, a younger guy who just happened to graduate from the program I want to attend! Hmmm....I'm seeing all these possible God-cidences.....Anyway, I got to see the coolest, coolest thing. I watched them do a brain scan through the fontanel of a 3-day-old infant. I was SO excited, I could feel it wanting to burst within myself. When we got done, I just kept saying, "Now THAT was pretty awesome!" I also got to see an OB ultrasound on a 14-week-old fetus. Pretty awesome, too. The rest were abdominals, a pelvic and a couple of intravaginals. It was a great day.

TODAY. I did it. I dropped off my application paperwork to the sonography program. Whew. I have one more thing to do, and that is fax them my Psychology grade once I get it. Other than that, I wait. I will know by August.

It's amazing how fast these last two years flew by in some sense. I think about all that I have accomplished and how hard I have worked. Very, very, intense at times, but I'm proud I never gave it less than 100%. Now, the fun part is around the corner......It almost seems like a dream. Oh wait- it is a dream. My dream. Coming true.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Free Christian Courses Online

Did you know that you can take free Christian courses online? Go to www.Christiancourses.com and check it out! I thought all you stay-at-home moms out there might like to know that you can still keep those brain cells alive for FREE, and enrich your life at the same time.....I think that I will be doing some of these this summer myself!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Kentridge 20 Year Reunion

Yes, this summer is my 20th high school reunion. Kentridge High School. I didn't go to the 10th reunion. Didn't want to. I probably won't go to the 20th either. Since I knew more people in Joe's class (from the year before), I would have enjoyed his reunion last year, but he didn't want to go to his, either. He already sees the people he enjoys seeing from high school on a regular basis.

The thing is, I just didn't enjoy high school. In fact, on the last day of my senior year, our teacher let us out two minutes early. I made a bee-line for the "check out" table, and then to my car, so I could LEAVE. I didn't hang out. I didn't say good-byes. I just left. It was a great day.

I just didn't fit in anywhere. I was a pretty girl, but didn't have much money for trendy fashions, and lacked some social skills, too. I made the JV cheer squad, but that was only because one of the cheerleaders was found drunk at a dance, so they called me (the runner up) to take her place. Some people said I was "popular," but I didn't think so. I didn't party. I didn't drink. I didn't have sex. I had a couple of boyfriends, and not much of a social life. I was nice to everybody. Said "hi" in the hallways constantly as I walked to class. I was in the "peer helper" club called "Natural Helpers," which was something you had to be voted into. I guess people thought I was a good listener or something. I just wish I had more fun.

I shouldn't say it was ALL bad. I met Joe my sophomore year, and we started going out toward the end of my junior year. I had fun with his friends and all the social stuff they did. We also went to Young Life together, and I went to a Young Life camp. I finally felt like I had a social life. But, then he graduated and left for the Navy. All his friends went to college. I felt lonely my senior year. I even withdrew, and didn't eat lunch in the cafeteria or on "senior bench." I sat with some other misfits in the home ec room during lunch. We had great conversations.

My saving grace during my senior year was drama. I auditioned for the old lady, "Mrs. Dubose" in "To Kill A Mockingbird," and got that. I also auditioned for the school musical "Wonderful Town" and got the lead role. I also got a lead role in a small play performed at a variety show, called "The American Dream." Doing the plays allowed me to make friends and build my self-esteem.

My parents hardly let me do anything socially, so I guess I didn't even try. They kept a tight leash, and never seemed to want to let it out. It was tough. It drove Joe nuts when we were going out in high school. Little did my parents know how trustworthy and godly I truly was. But, we didn't really have much of a relationship, so how could they know, I guess.

In high school, I would hear about other kids planning to go to college. I figured that was what I was supposed to do, too. I didn't have any guidance from anyone - not even a school counselor. (Thank goodness it's much different nowadays). I told my parents I wanted to go to college. They said I couldn't go. Then, I said I wanted to be a nurse and I found a program at a community college. I even met with an advisor and mapped out a little plan. They said they couldn't afford it. Nothing more. They didn't help me find a way, or talk to a financial aid counselor. Nothing. And, I didn't know any better. I was only 17 years old. What did I know? I just accepted what they said, and did what I never wanted to do. I went to a little computer school and got a job as a secretary at Boeing. I paid for half of it myself, and my grandmother paid for the other half.

Two years later I was married. Three months later, I was pregnant. And, I guess you know the rest. I committed to staying at home with my kids, and now I'm going back to school to fulfill my long-time dream.

I think, because of my high school and post-high school experiences, I am extremely committed to seeing my kids do what they want to do. I will support them in any way possible to see them achieve their goals. If I can't afford it, I'll help them find a way to do it. When they have no clue, I will guide them with my life experience. Nothing will keep them from it, as long as they have me. It's my mission and one of my greatest passions as a mom....

Oh yeah. The reunion. It might be fun to see what people look like now, and what they're doing. But, I can get most of that information on the Classmates website. I love to go dancing with my husband, so I would love for the two of us to get to do that at the reunion. But, is that really worth $88 bucks a person? Naaaaaaaaaa......