Sunday, November 30

Our first little taste of the holidays

I have always felt much resistance to actually having anything
to do with, on or about Christmas until Thanksgiving is
rightfully stowed away in all the orange bins in the garage.
My problem is that I just take too long after that to really think about
all the fun things I want to do pertaining to the holiday.
And there she goes...........Christmas is over.
So this year, after living here, what?, 8 years now - we took
the kids to Opportunity Village to see the Magical Forest display.
I am so not taking credit for the idea. One of our friends had planned
to take Hannah along with their daughter and we decided -
"hey let's step out of the box and do something that I do not have
written on the calendar"

So that's what we did. I can't believe we never experienced this
with our kids, as long as we have lived here.
There was this gigantic slide the kids went down about 50 times.

And a carousel.
Don't let this picture fool you. As I lifted Garrin up onto the horse -
he got all stiff (you've got the visual) and I had a really hard time
convincing him, he would have fun on this. He did NOT like it one bit.
And this picture is for all my friends that remember the first time I wore this
"winter" coat. (Carson City, two years ago.........). I wasn't smiling back then
because I was freezing my tushie off. And I don't like to freeze my tushie off, thats
why I live in the desert. Notice I am smiling here.
It was about 60 degrees, with a little chill to the air.
ahhhh.....just how I like it.
Here's to a happy, fun filled, out of the box kind of holiday
starting today.

Friday, November 28

I knew I was thankful for something...


Thanks Bob.

Thanks for a great friendship too.
If you can't be with your family on Thanksgiving,
good friends are always a close second!!

Wednesday, November 26

The Opinions In This Blog Post...

do not necessarily reflect the opinions of:
anyone else living in this house
any member of my family
anyone reading this blog
any member of my family reading this blog
so on and so forth.

To continue.

Here is a picture of my kid.
Here is a picture of his new shoes.

Here is a picture of my kid wearing said new shoes
for school today.

He appears to be quite happy with himself and the Sketchers,
now, wouldn't you say?

Bought the new shoes on the insistence from Bill this past weekend
that he was unable to get ANY of Garrin's shoes on his feet.
Now, where as they may be a bit snug, it is not
anything that a mommy can't shove get their little feet into.
Just the same, it was time for some new kicks.

So off to Dillards, I go. Love Dillards because I can usually find
some pretty decent shoes that are on sale. I hate hate hate
paying full price for shoes my kids are going to outgrow in like
4 days. Problem is - finding the size which is limited when buying
them cheap.
So I finally find a pair that was available in size 9 and it took
the salesman about FOREVER 10 minutes to find them.
He takes them out of the box, (as I am drumming my fingers
on the counter) examines them making sure
they are both the same size (sigh....I am still drumming)
and then plops them down on the counter.
(now the word plops means he did not gently place them down onto
the counter, but did it with a little bit of force).
Which brought me to this:

This is why:









The time I had committed to Dillards had already exceeded my normal limit
and far exceeded my desire to spend one more minute there looking
for something else
and I needed to just get home.
He loves them.

Monday, November 24

Mixed Emotions

It certainly was a thought provoking trip for me
being that it is Thanksgiving time.

We are trying to be especially aware of things that we are grateful for.
So much so that I borrowed an idea from a fellow blogger,
who happens to have many great ideas,
and we created a Thankful Tree.

Each morning we all write down something we are thankful for.
It has made each and every one of us, stop, take one minute,
and think.
Which brings me back to my weekend back east.
How lucky am I that everyone gathered around me,
came together as one big,
happy, extended family,
to eat a fantastic meal, visit with the kids (not mine, whoo hoo!!),
tell jokes, laugh and love??
I know.
I know.
VERY lucky!
and VERY thankful!

Meanwhile back at the ranch -

Bill and the kids accomplished more Saturday and Sunday
than I do in a whole week.
car wash
clean bedrooms
clean bathrooms
I've deducted 2 things from this trip:
1. I am really just a lazy bum and that's why I don't get anything done.
2. I need to go away for a weekend more often to get my kids to do stuff
around here!

Friday, November 21

As I get ready....

to jet off on my little trip this upcoming weekend,

I was thinking that we probably all want the same to hold true

when flying the friendly skies.

That the landing gear, in fact, comes down NOT at an angle,

but straight on.

The each propeller has the same number of blades on each side.

And that the front window is not smashed.

And the tail is not bent at a 45 degree angle to the right.

Otherwise I think it should be a good flight,


Thursday, November 20

Yesterday's date

The nineteenth of November.
I needed to give you a visual on the date
before I start my story. See it on the calendar?


For Connor's swim group, we planned on a very
low key celebration for the kids that swam in the State Meet.
We ordered a couple of pizzas, got some juice,
and I picked up some cupcakes.

For those of you that read this and are locals, I have three words -

Vons on Stephanie.

Now I typically do NOT go to Vons, let alone the one
on Stephanie.
But it is close to the pool, and I had a limited amount of time
so there you go.
Vons on Stephanie it was.

So I ran in real quick to grab some cupcakes,

and grabbed what appeared to be the last two packages of 12,
from the bakery. Ran and grabbed some paper plates and wipes
and was on my way to the checkout.

As the cashier was ringing up my purchases, she handed each item to the
girl bagging. When she handed her the 2nd of the two packages of cupcakes, she
dropped it on the counter. Which kind of messed them up a bit.

With apologies, she said she'd call back to the bakery to get another package.
I explained that I was pretty sure that I got the last two, but she
checked with the young girl who was working back there anyway.

After a couple of minutes the bakery girl came over to the checkout,
with a package of cupcakes in hand,
gave me a "I'm sorry, tee hee" kinda look and said -
"I am so sorry, but these are still a little frozen."
So I replied -

"You are worried that they are still "a little frozen"??? I am worried
that they are from Halloween!!!"


Tuesday, November 18

maid, cleaning lady, house cleaner...

Whatever you choose to call someone who comes in to clean
your mess and you give them cash...
Now I have in the past actually hired someone to do this for me.
But when it turned into complaining that it wasn't done how I did it,
or it took too stinking long and I hated having to leave my house all that time,
or I started "cleaning up" before the CLEANING UP LADY got there,
or I just plan couldn't justify the expense,
or I just couldn't imagine the cost of cleaning the big house we currently live in
without actually getting a quote....
I notice that I have been whispering to myself lately
"If I had a cleaning lady she would have to ......
clean all the drip marks on the wall behind the bathroom door
from when we wipe our hands on the hand towel,
wipe down the door from the garage to the house because of all the scuff marks,
dust the ceiling fan blades,
wipe down all the baseboards that I should have had the painter paint
a glossy white (like he suggested) instead of leaving them painted with the matte white
when we had the whole house painted before moving in,
clean each and every stinking knob on all cabinets in the kitchen
and bathrooms,
clean the window sills,
scrub my shower tiles with a toothbrush,
bring whatever miracle cleaner they use to clean my stove top....
dust the top of my entertainment center,
wipe down the banister, rails and treads on the stairs with a damp cloth,
remove the sliding waste basket in the kitchen and wash down the bottom
of the inside of the cabinet where it is housed,
clean the layer of lint off the toilet paper dispenser that secretly flies off the roll
every single time you take some and lands on the no longer shiny hardware"
And dang it. Aren't these all the things I see when I finally get ready to sit down
and watch tv or blog or check the kids homework or do something relaxing.
Is there a cleaning person that specializes in cleaning everything you NEVER EVER
get to?

Sunday, November 16

I was afraid. Very very afraid.

Hannah went to a very unusual birthday party this weekend.
A scuba diving party at one of our local pools.

So if you have kids you may be thinking the same as I was.
oh no
not another sport
that these kids might
be interested in.
Being that the kids attending the party were all from the swim team
and love the water already,
I was wondering if Hannah would get out of the water
wanting to really learn how to scuba dive.
She absolutely loved snorkeling on her Catalina trip.

I was afraid for sure.
Not for the prospects of having to pay for another sport,
or find the time to commit to such a thing.

I was afraid all 70 pounds of Hannah was going to sink right down to the
bottom of the pool once the gear was put on her and she entered the water
and then not be able to get herself back to the surface.
Doesn't it look like the tank alone weighs more than she does?

And the winner is....???????

The Scorpions,
of course.
Congratulations to Connor and teammates for a great
couple of days of soccer.
Way to show 'em how the game is played!!!

And congratulations to my husband and his assistant coach Jaime
for the hours upon hours of volunteering
to coach these boys to a championship!!
The weather could not have been more perfect
for the boys to play
and all the families to cheer.
I am so proud of Bill for coming together with Jaime
and committing their time to the greater good
of these children.

Saturday, November 15

Wake Up Connor!!

This weekend is all about what Bill wants.
The Championship Tournament for The Scorpions.
He wants to take it all.

What did he say at the beginning of the season?
Let me remember....

"It doesn't matter if we win any of the games during
the season, I just want to win the tournament."

Yah, right, Mr. My-Team-Is-Undefeated-Again-This-Season.
This was poor Connor last night, while he was supposed to be
doing his reading homework.
A little tired from the swim meet.
He needs to recover
and help his father get
his wish this weekend.
Have I actually wondered for longer than 2 seconds where
my son gets his competitiveness from?
more to follow

Friday, November 14

"Houston, We've got a problem....."

To put it mildly
I've been a little stressed lately.

A lot I have done.
A lot going on.
A lot to do.
A lot coming up.

So I had been tossing around the idea of going
on a quick little trip - 2, 3 days maybe.
Some beach - lay around a bit.
read a book (I've two that I've started...5 months ago)
just chill-lax as my trainer says.

I opted instead to just head back east
to visit my sister and brother.
So I called the head of Southwest Airlines practically
Bill and asked if he could book me a quick trip to CT
Friday after Thanksgiving to Sunday.
Makes it easier for him.
The kids are off from school.

Call it done.

I am so excited.

1. One piece of luggage
2. No kids with me in the airport
3. No need for "101 Things To Keep A Preschooler Occupied"
in my carry on
4. A day without
driving to school
driving home
and then later
driving to school again
driving to the pool
driving to home
driving to school again
driving home
driving to another pool
driving to the first pool
driving home
driving back down to the 2nd pool
driving home. ***


Bill and I ran out last night to run a couple of errands
and I was thanking him for traveling so much for his job so we
can get free travel vouchers booking my trip.
He was happy to have been able to use a ticket that had to be
used by November 27th.
The day after Thanksgiving is November 28th.
He booked me a week early.......
So I guess I'll see you NEXT week guys!

***this is why I am thrilled that gas is now $2.39 a gallon

Thursday, November 13

The State Meet

For a quick lesson in swimming -
This is Connor's "UP" year - he is at the top of his age group
This is Hannah's "DOWN" year - she is at the bottom of her age group.
Until they turn 13, they swim 2 years in an age group.
Things went accordingly.
Connor placed in the top 8 of his age group
and Hannah placed within the top 16.
Top 8 gets medals.
9 thru 16 gets ribbons. (yuck, says Hannah).
It was a tough time for Erica and Jenna to be visiting
because our time together was limited, but we made the best out of it.

At least Garrin being bored at the meet, allowed for some
snuggle time with his Auntie Erica.
With an average of about 35 11-12 year old girls,
Hannah placed pretty well, seeing as she will still swim in this age
group next year. 13th place overall is not too shabby.
She cut time in all of the events she swam,
and had fun.

Now my Connor -
well it was his time.

He has fortunately/unfortunately lived the past
few years in the swimming shadow of his sister.
Fortunately - because he is extremely competitive and
has been driven toward being on top like Hannah.
Unfortunately because he has not always been recognized
for his own hard work.
It all paid off for him this year.
Hard work, dedication and love for his coach.
He took time off each and every one of the
seven events he swam. Swam his little butt off
in his team relays
and took home 9 medals to prove it.
I have never been more proud.

While he loves soccer and is very good at it,
watching all his time put into swimming for the past year,
has really shown in his performance at this all important
State Meet.
Could he look any happier?
So that's what's been up.
39 hours spent at a pool
watching my kids tear it up!
Congrats Hannah and Connor.

Saturday, November 8

The "Suit"

Remember the suit that Michael Phelps wore for the Olympics?
Well, this is the OneStepDown from that one.

She does look adorable in it, now doesn't she?
That's not why we bought it.
We bought it for her to swim faster in.
NO, but seriously.
She is so stinking cute.
She is swimming the state championships.
She needs to swim fast.
Swimming fast and looking good doin' it!
Erica and Jenna (Bill's sister and our neice) flew in this morning just in time for us to say
"Buh Bye. See you later. We are off!"
Bill and Connor had the last soccer game of the season,
before the tournament starts next weekend.
11 - 1
A huge final win for the Scorpions Fall 2008.
Another undefeated season under Bill's belt. He's happy.
I am so glad Erica and Jenna got to see a game and what a psycho
great coach Bill is.
They got to the pool just in time to see Hannah swim her 500 (yes, 20 laps)
Took off 2 seconds.
Way to go Hannah and Connor.
Both kids swim tomorrow, Monday and Tuesday.
More updates to follow.

the next four days

click on the picture
will try to have daily updates
swimming soccer sister-in-law

Friday, November 7

Nothing says "NICE CRISP FALL DAY" like

a new argyle sweater.
Well....let's make that three argyle sweaters.
For the dogs.

Not sure why Lucy has her ears pinned back, like I just yelled at her or something.
Well, maybe I raised my voice when I said "sit". It is not easy
posing dogs for pictures.

How cute are Mick and Enzo?
Did I say Crisp and Fall?
yah....Garrin could care less how chilly it is.
Just underwear for him.

They are just little things and they do get cold fast.
Too cute.

Thursday, November 6

The Election, Choice and Education

While Barack Obama was not my choice for president,
I will say that I am proud to be the mother to 2 kids
who showed interest and support for this election.
Both Hannah and Connor had opinions on why they
thought that Obama would make a good president.
They watched the news and read articles, asked a lot of
questions and formed very thought-out 8 year old and
11 year old conclusions for their choice.

Being Connor's first day back to school after Track
break, one of their writing assignments was "What
Would You Do If You Were President." Connor wrote a
terrific paragraph, based on the changes that Obama promises
to bring to the country. He would do things very similarly.
Nice to see that all his 'paying attention' stuck in his head.

He then was asked to write 5 facts about Obama for extra
credit. (Now we are talking about a kid who balks at doing
the mandatory work, let alone extra credit work). He was so
excited. A few things he knew off the top of his head.

1. Obama is the first African American to be elected president.
2. His mother was white, his father was black.

Then he wanted to google Obama Facts to get a few more. We
talked about going to websites that were printing actual facts
and how you needed to be careful about finding good websites.

so - I left him at the computer to finish up.

He came up with -
3. He was born in Hawaii.
4. His grandmother died the day before the election.

and lastly (as he is reading this to me....)

5. "It says he smoked, I don't know how you say it, Mary Ja Wanna??"

So there you have it. Our freedom of choice makes for great
education for our youth, doesn't it?

Yeah, that was a conversation I didn't want to have with him
yet - though now I was obligated to.

We then decided it would be much better to state that Obama actually
smokes cigarettes and should quit because there is no smoking allowed
in the White House.

Which brings me to a funny conversation I was having with
my sister yesterday. I told her that one of the bigger issues here
in Nevada is funding for education
and that we needed to vote "yes"
to the imposition of a room tax to help lessen our already deep budget cuts
to our schools. So I told her when she comes to visit
and stays in a hotel, it will help my kids out!

So she said, in her state of Massachusetts:

"Question 2's passage authorizes the decriminalization of small amounts of
marijuana," I can visit and smoke a little pot and not
get into too much trouble.......

I guess Barack Obama can too.

Wednesday, November 5


I love you bud, but.....


Tuesday, November 4

How often can you say this:

The kids had a fantastic dental appointment this morning.
Actually it was my boys.
Both had great checkups, even Garrin.

Today he had x-rays for the first time and was so cooperative.
I shot a quick little video of them with the hygienists.

Not too bad for a three year old.
Just laying there and letting it all happen.
Then the dentist came in to check out the boys,
and Garrin proceeded to throw up all over her.
So really - how often can you say your kids had a great appointment
with the added bonus of throwing up on their dentist?

What's the date?

November 4th?
Well with obvious "limited time" around here,
you have to grasp every opportunity to get done
what needs to get done.
And what did I do?
I took the picture of the kids for our Christmas cards this year.
Because I will forget and then it will be too late.
And besides, I got a discount card in the mail today from Shutterfly.
Must take advantage.
So let me just say, it was a breeze this year,
compared to last years drama.
It took about 4 minutes and 8 shots.
Dang, I'm gettin' good.
So check out the shots.

Now really. Did you think I was going to spoil it?