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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Orders - who decides anyway???

Today started out pretty well.  It was still bright and sunny!  I had quite a bit of work to do on the computer today so I got to it while the boys were still sleeping.  I noticed that my son was "liking" a lot of pages on facebook so I did something I don't normally do - I turned facebook chat on.  Sure enough, there was his name with the little green circle after it :)  So we started "chatting".  His first phase of Army training was coming to end but I wasn't sure when.  It happened to be today.  He has been working 14 hours a day for the last 19 days.  He's been pretty beat at night. He had to get on a plane at 1 today to head to phase 2 at Fort Sil, in Oklahoma.  We were chatting back and forth about different things when all of the sudden, he throws in the chat that his orders have changed and he's going to Iraq on the 14th.  14th OF WHAT??? was my reply.  his reply came back - December.  I got a big lump in my throat.  It is bad enough that they took him from the Navy to the Army and that they are sending him to Iraq - (oh yeah, the location in Iraq is changing too...he will be right in Baghdad now)  but now they are taking him away from us for Christmas.  I have wrote this before but this will be our 3rd Thanksgiving without him and now we have to miss Christmas too.  I know others have missed much more but I hate how they just change things mid-stream.  We had a party for him all planned for the week of Christmas among other plans that week.  It just took the wind out of my sails today.  I don't get why orders can just change like that - it's the way of the military, I suppose..... I told him that I would write a note and tell them that he was sick and had to come home but he said that wouldn't work...I try to keep it light with him but I hate that he is doing this.  He was born in the beginning of "Desert Storm" but never in my wildest dreams did I think he would be in Baghdad one day..... 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Life is fragile

Today is a very sad day for a family that I have known forever!!  A very sweet young lady lost her mom today, at just 45 years old.  She had a massive heart attack almost 2 weeks ago - it took 12 uses of the paddles to bring her back, 3 stints had to be put in, but she was still here.  I just got the word that her battle is over.  She is with God now.  I can't wrap my mind around that.  I saw her just a few short months ago.  She looked great!  It's just proof that we never know when it will be our time.  Life is fragile.  We should never leave things unsaid, never walk away mad, always tell the people that you love, that you love them!!  My heart goes out to the Brooks and Clanton families - they truly lost a wonderful sister, wife, and mom today.

On the other side of this tragedy is the miracle in Chili - I have been glued to CNN and HN since last night - watching the 33 miners come up out of the ground one by one is incredible!!  The men are wearing shirts with Jesus on the sleeve - God is all over the news today in a great way!  ONe of the men said he isn't being rescued, he is being reborn.  What a great way to look at it - they know first hand how fragile life is and I'm sure they won't ever take it for granted again!! Another said that there weren't 33 of them down there, there were 34 because God was always with them!  22 are out so far -  Praise God for that miracle!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

First 500,000 to register get a free bottle of Advil!!  I just got mine so it's still working!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Vera Bradley Sale

For anyone that has someone on their Christmas list that is a Vera Bradley Fan - here is a nice little deal!!  It's only good for 2 days though!!

Sunday responsibilities and relaxation!

Every Sunday starts out the same, get out of bed, hurry and get ready, and get to church by 9 for the boys to go to Sunday School.  This Sunday was a bit different because my littlest man has gotten brave enough to sleep away from home and he stayed at grandma and grandpa's last night.  My oldest brother was in town for the weekend and the kids - all 6 of them - have always wanted every second of his attention when he's here.  He  is the definition of a perfect uncle.  He tries very hard to attend everything he can - even though he lives almost 4 hours away and has a job that takes him not only across the country but across the world, on a regular basis.  He came to town on Friday afternoon in time to watch my niece play tennis.  Then he went to the local high school football game to see our brother, who was working security for the PD there.  Saturday morning, he was up bright and early at at our house by 8 for breakfast with us and then went with us to my boys soccer game at 9.  We have another nephew that played at noon, so back we went for that game.  And in between and after, there were frisbees thrown, soccer balls kicked, footballs thrown, and Yahtzee and Kerplunk were both played.  Oh and I didn't even mention that the last time he was home and playing Jail Break with the kids, he broke his finger - so he's doing all of these things with a little cast on his throwing hand.  I honestly can't think of anything major that he has missed except my oldest son's high school graduation - his excuse??  He flipped over his handlebars on his bike in the woods (his shoes were attached to the pedals so the whole bike went with him) and he broke his collarbone.  So he made the graduation party the weekend before but couldn't come for the graduation because he wasn't able to drive and the pain was too much for him to ride that far.  So Uncle Tom brought him to church for us.  I am on the nominating committee for the new Deacon's and Elder's coming on board for next year.  We had a meeting after church to start "recruiting" names for these positions.  It was the first meeting so it was a bit longer than most of them will be so we ended up being at church until 1. 

We came home to have lunch and all the boys wanted to do was play football and basketball.  I wanted to go somewhere and enjoy the beautiful sunshine while we can - it's gong to be rare to have warn sunny days here, very soon.  I said, we should do something as a family and one of the boys said, "we do, we go to Disney every year together".  I admit that I was a bit upset at first but then I thought about it - they don't get to just play outside with their dad very often so I let it go.  I did indoor things like laundry, dishes, organized a closet that I haven't touched since we moved in (that felt great, btw!!).  I also watched the bottom of the screen to keep updated on my Beloved Cleveland Browns score.  I wanted to get excited when they were up 23 to 10 but I know how terrible they are when it comes to "protecting" a lead!!  They actually pulled it out and got their first win of the season.  My brother had left for home after he left the church so he was able to watch the game at a sports bar.  He and my dad "watch" the games together on the phone.  This year though, my dad didn't get the football package in protest of the ridiculous cost!!  So my brother gives him the play by play on his cell phone from in the bar - it's kind of cute actually.  They do the same thing on Saturdays for the Ohio State games.  Football is a huge part of my family and I miss it that my dad didn't get the football package because we would go over every single Sunday after church to watch the Browns with grandpa.  I don't blame him though - having the football package has gone from $99 to over $300 and when your team constantly loses, you decide it just isn't worth it lol!!  Still I wonder what he does between plays when there are only 2 games to watch - when he got all the games, I never really knew which game we were watching because like most men, the channel would flip constantly (only on commercials of the Browns game though!!) 

Sunday nights our small group meets.  There are 5 couples (and 10 kids!!) in our group.  We are doing a great study right now on Building up your Spouse.  We have a good marriage - we fight, of course, who doesn't??  But since we started this study in June, I truly feel we have become closer.  We are reading the Bible together.  We are seeing how little things that you may say or do, can really hurt someone else, and you never even knew it.  We are taking more time for each other.  The other great thing is the ties that have come from our group.  4 of us were close before and the 5th couple is a little older, they have grown children, and are newer to our church.  We have gotten to know them and they all of us in a way that we never would have without this group.  I know it has caused me to reexamine myself and I am working at what I have identified as my short comings.  One thing that I can say should be true for everyone, it's all in how you say something - ask, don't tell so to speak.  I am pretty sensitive and can take things the wrong way, working on that hasn't been so easy but with prayer, I will get through it :) 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Distance on birthdays

September 29, 1990 - I remember it as if it were yesterday and it seems like it was!!  It was very windy and gray outside, but a warm windy.  I can still hear the announcers at Oneida High School announcing the Varsity Football game as my mom and I walked around the block.  I was having some pains and was hoping they were labor pains because I was already 8 days past my due date.  That night at 11:01, my 9 lb. 3 oz. 21 inches long "little boy" was born  How in the world did 20 years go by already??  He is well over 6 feet tall now but he will always be my little boy.  It is his 3rd birthday in a row away from home.  I got to thinking today that I have not spent a birthday with him since he was 17.  It breaks my heart.  No parties, no dinners, no cakes.  At least this year and last we could talk to him on the phone.  I cried tonight when we hung up.  Hearing him say he loves us and misses us just brought me to tears.  I swallowed them until we hung up.  He is at Army training at the present time - the Navy has put him in the Individual Augmentee program.  He sounded exhausted when I talked to him at a little after 8.  They are working 4:30 to 7 each day.  He was doing his laundry and going to bed.  I got to thinking about next year - the big milestone birthday "21" and we won't see him for that either because he will be on the other side of the world in Iraq.  My hope and prayer is that he won't be needed for the whole year and they will send him back to the US or put him on a ship even.  I love that boy more than he will ever know and a part of me is missing without him.  I feel very empty inside and I know it will only get worse as we approach the new year.  So hug your children tight and appreciate every moment, even the bad ones.  At least they are there with you to have those bad moments.  I promise you that you will be watching them turn 20 before you know it as well!!!

This picture was taken this summer when our very good friend Mike Skupin came to town.  Matt brought venison to church and cooked some steak for Mike. 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

It seems like I just typed my last post and yet, it's been a full week!!  I wish I knew where the time goes but I do know, it goes FAST!!  I am having issues uploading photos to the internet, no matter what site I try.  I had some great deals this week, which was one of my main reasons for wanting to do this, to share deals!!  We had a very interesting field trip to the Erie Canal.  The Drive=In movie party was a lot of fun for everyone!  My two youngest have played 2 soccer games.  My oldest son has gone from Virgina to California and back to South Carolina.  I have worked with others to plan and set up for a huge back to church breakfast tomorrow.  Our youth ministry kicked off this week.  That is a small sample of where the time goes I guess.  I hope to post about each event with photos, but for now, no photos will upload and we have neighbors in need -so we will go be with them.  Sometimes, everything else in life just needs to stop when you have a friend in need.  I ask myself, What would Jesus Do??  I should be baking for church but I am confident that I will get it done, even if we do take a bit of time to go be with those in need.....

Friday, September 17, 2010

Taking time to chat and new beginnings

Yesterday was a busy day for us - The Cable Guy showed up at 8:30 and worked away at running lines to our house, drilling into our basement, and all that goes along with "connecting" us to the outside world.  We had school work to get done while he was here.  Then a friend stopped by, she is letting me borrow her LCD Projector so we can have a drive-in movie at our house this weekend.  We never did anything to celebrate my Aussie's birthday so I hope this will make up for it.  22 kids are coming over tomorrow to see a movie that he hasn't even chosen yet!!  So she gave me a brief tutorial on how to hook that up to my laptop.  Then my oldest son's girlfriend came over on her lunch hour.  She is having a hard time with him going off to his new adventure and it was nice to just sit and talk with her over lunch.  We are going to plan a party for my son while he's home. It will be hard to do since he's only home from the 20th to the 27th of December!!  We're going to try and have something on the 26th, if we can get a place to have it! 

I spent the rest of my time during the day putting a mailing together for our church family.  We are having a special event on the 26th - Come as you are - come back to church if you haven't been there in a while.  See how we've changed and the best part, after worship - a continental breakfast will be served!!  We are going to be making breakfast pizzas (Yummy!!) and muffins, fruit, pastries, all kinds of great things!!  We made up full color invitations to send out and we are hoping that people will let go of any "issues" that caused them to stop coming and give us another try.  I know first hand many reasons to walk away from church, I've been through it and have been close to walking out those doors to never return, but I am so thankful I didn't.  I have found new hope and a new way to deal with the people that made me want to leave - if I left, they win and ultimately, I lose!!  If I want things to be different, I have to be a part of that change and I am excited about what we have coming down the road.

Another new beginning is our elementary children's youth program.  Registration was last night and 22 kids showed up for it, with others mailing in their registrations.  It's going to be a busy year there.  We have a great group of people running this ministry and I am looking forward to the changes that we've put in for this year.  A lot of fun things are planned and I hope that the kids all enjoy them!!  I also hope that I am able to handle the 6th grade group of kids that I'm sure to have  - they may be a tough crowd.  Lots of prayer will get me through that, just like it does everything else in my life :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Is it better to be connected???

I am having an evening of mixed emotions - Time Warner Cable is coming tomorrow to hook up our phone, cable, and internet. We have lived here since the 25th of May - I called them the first week of April to arrange hook up - tomorrow is the 16th of September - that is a long freakin' time!! You would think that they would be giving me an awesome deal, they're not. You would think that they would thank me for waiting for them for so long, they have not. You would think that I would've gone elsewhere by now - I did not - why the heck didn't I???? I think a small part of me liked not having that stuff for a while. A small part of me doesn't want them to come. I know a lot of people that want me to have a phone again though.... BUT, I am pretty much stressfree when it comes to what is happening in the world because I don't know a darn thing!! I haven't had to listen to one political ad yet - I only listen to KLOVE on the radio - I love that station so much and we are supporters of it - so since I pay for it to be on, I listen to it!! There aren't any commercials on the station, so no Billy Fuccilo shouting how HUGE it's gonna be!! The music is all positive and encouraging and we love it! If you are in my local area, it's 100.7 or you can go to and see what station carries it in your area. Around here, Syracuse is a different area than Oneida so coverage doesn't go too far..

I guess it will be nice to turn on Matt and Meredith in the morning now and then, and Survivor started tonight and we couldn't watch that. I missed an entire weekend of football, which I really did miss. I do think though, that turning cable off for the summer months is not a bad idea. My kids spent more time outside this summer than any other summer. I don't know if it's because of the new neighborhood or the lack of indoor entertainment but it was a good thing for all of us to take a break. I am also ready for my HGTV - I miss all my programs :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Goodbyes hurt so much

Today is a day that I have been dreading for a little over a month now. Today is the day that my son left to return to the military, only this time it's different. This time, he won't be back in a couple weeks. This time, he is going to not only be gone for over 3 months but he will be gone to the Army for that time. The Navy has a program called Individual Augmentee, "IA" for short. He was put into this program as a non-volunteer. This weekend he will fly to California, to a Navy base, where they will start the process to transfer him into this program. From there, he will fly to South Carolina and Fort Jackson for about 3 weeks to begin training with the Army. After that, he will continue on to Oklahoma and Fort Bragg. He will stay there until Christmas. I am thankful that he will be with us for Christmas - that is the only holiday we haven't missed with him since he's been in the military. I missed his 18th birthday, his 19th, and next week, I'll miss his 20th birthday with him - we have yet to have a Thanksgiving with him since he went in but we haven't missed celebrating our Lord and Savior's birth with him yet - Thanks be to God!! He will only get to be here with us until about the 28th of December and then back to Fort Bragg where he will then be sent to Iraq for one year. When he went in the Navy, I was okay with it - I told everyone that if he had joined the Army or Marines, I wouldn't but since boats don't float on sand, I was okay. Now they have sand sailors - and I am not thrilled with the idea of my baby over there operating some gun that shoots thousands of rounds per minute. In my mind, he's not ready for that and who knows him better than his mom, right??

I do know that God is watching out for him - thanks to facebook, I have reconnected with an old friend from school days. He was in the Navy and is working for them as a civilian now. The odds of him being at the base in CA where Matt is going are minimal but he is at the very base that he starts out at next week. I introduced them through facebook and he is going to pick Matt up and get him where he needs to go - that is one weight off my mind - at least he won't be alone out there - total God thing for me!! I am going to miss him terribly but thanks to modern technology, we will be able to stay in contact with him pretty regularly, I hope!!

A little while after Matt left tonight, the deer must've known they were safe, 2 doe and a fawn were outside our back door eating grass like there was no tomorrow - they know the hunter has left the building - we do too and we have empty hearts tonight :(

Monday, September 13, 2010

Pledge to be Positive

This is a photo I wanted to upload yesterday - don't know why I like it so much but I do - 3 cousins sharing french fries at a football game... Maybe it's because the kids didn't even really know each other before this summer because they never see each other and now my boys are asking all the time when they can see "T" again - Love it!!

Today was an amazing day!! It started out gloomy but the rains passed and the sky was a most beautiful blue all afternoon long! We had a special treat today since my oldest is home from the Navy until tomorrow. We went to a local restaurant to meet my parents and their "Monday Lunch" friends. My son and his girlfriend, the two little boys and myself. The boys love having their big brother around. He played tic tac toe and beat them with no mercy, game after game. They didn't care though, they just love to play with him...
The boys had soccer practice and we no sooner got there and those blue skies turned gray and the skies opened up and downpoured - HARD!! My youngest has been wanting to play in the rain, tonight, he got his wish. The skies turned blue again, pretty quickly and I knew there had to be a rainbow since the gray was all around the edges - sure enough - a full bow appeared across the sky -
I always think of Noah's Ark and God's promise with the rainbow - I was leaving soccer practice to head to my monthly committee meeting at church. We have a pretty small outreach committee but those of us that were there, could've talked til morning! We are planning a back to church Sunday in a few weeks and we were talking about reasons people don't go to church, based on some booklets that we have showing the top 10 reasons people leave church. We want to work on any areas in our church that could lead someone to one of those reasons. We talked about the reasons that people have left and how the whole reason for going to church gets clouded over - we aren't there to make friends (although we are fortunate that we do), we are there to worship God and give Him the glory! The best way to worship God is to love one another and we want to make that the focus of our church family- we are a family and like all families, we will have arguements, disputes, we won't always like what someone else is doing but above all else, we are there to LOVE as God commanded us to. It's going to take some work, but we, as the outreach committee, hope to make it the goal of our church to "Pledge to be Positive" and stomp out the negative, we truly believe that being positive will be contagious!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Are you ready for some football???

September means back to school, apples, cool crisp air, beautiful foliage, and 2 of my most favorite sports - Football & Soccer!! This is the first year that my dad is not paying a crazy amount of money for Direct TV's direct ticket package - thus, we won't be seeing many of my teams games this year. We have spent just about every Sunday after church for the last 10 years, watching football with my dad. We moved into our house at the end of May and are still waiting for Time Warner to have time to hook us up - although they are supposed to come this week - FINALLY!! So there was no football being broadcast in our house this weekend. We watched our beloved SU lose terribly last night with grandpa and today, we went to Rome - my cousin coaches Pop Warner football for the Norwich Cyclone C team and two of his boys play. Coach and Son during the Nat'l Anthem
Another thing that September means is cold and dreary days in Central NY and today was no exception. The rain held off for us but the wind blew through you at times!! We arrived at the field just in time for player introductions. I spent several years coaching pop warner cheerleaders but it's been many years since I've been to a game. It was great to see these little 9, 10, 11 year old boys playing this game, so disciplined and into it. They were so excited with each great play!! Two of my cousins actually coach - one of them told me this is his 40th year coaching football - talk about dedication to a sport! He's been coaching longer than I've been alive!! My cousins son, Lil' T as he's called, plays mostly defense and in my opinion, he played great!!

Norwich beat Rome 26 - 6 and then it was time for the A team to play. That game was late and we had to be back in town but I told my husband we were going to watch one quarter of Ev's game. 3 touchdowns by Norwich later, the quarter was over and we were on our way - thanks to a facebook status, I learned that Norwich was victorious in that game as well, 46 - 16 or something like that.

We drove home in the pouring rain, did what we had to do and then had homemade calzones for dinner. They were delicious. The little ones like meat, cheese, and sauce, their dad likes peppers and onions added to that mix, and I prefer broccoli, garlic, olive oil, and cheese for mine without red sauce, as they say. A very inexpensive meal, to say the least, but very filling - we had leftovers and that doesn't happen often with the way my 6'3" husband can eat!!

We settled in to watch 101 Dalmations (the non animated one) and wait for the biggest brother to arrive home with his girlfriend. She flew down to ride home with him and help him pack. He's bringing all of his stuff home in preparation for starting his Army training. The next 48 hours are all we have with him until Christmas, after that he leaves for Iraq for a year. Something I do try not to think about just yet but it's there.. I keep some lyrics to one of my favorite songs in my head with it though - "God's got his hand on you so don't live life in fear" and that is something that I want to pass on to everyone - give it to God, He will handle it for you!! They arrived safely and he made his little brothers year by giving him his Pokemon Platinum or something like that for his DS. I don't get it but I do know that I put 2 very happy little boys to bed after that so for them, it's a huge deal - even more huge since it came from big brother!!

Yesterdays post was for remembrance so I didn't mention that it was the start of soccer season for us. The boys are in the same division this year, thankfully, and they have a great coach and a great team of boys! They wear White with black jerseys and have named themselves the little white oreos - too cute. The boys played against their Uncle's team yesterday - in AYSO, they say that we don't keep score but kids always keep score. I think our team had a lot more experienced players on it so I won't mention the score I was given but Aussie scored a goal and had an assist or two and he was thrilled! He has come a long way and is truly developing a deep love for the game. His little brother isn't far behind him, he just learned to many fancy trick moves in soccer camp this summer and has to realize you don't use every one of them the first time you get the ball :) He'll figure it out though - he's just one of those natural "athletes".

To wrap up my weekend, I would say it was perfect - some soccer, some football, spending time with all 3 of my kids and seeing a lot of friends and family in the mix of it all - who could ask for more????
(Now I am attempting to upload photos - I couldn't figure it out and then I figured out how to upload one last night - and I just had a duh moment and figured out how to send more than one photo!! I got these two photos in but I can't make them go where I want to so I give up for tonight...)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Where were you - NEVER FORGET

I can't believe it's been 9 years since that horrible day! It is a day that I will never forget, I can go back to everything about that day, even now. That incredibly empty feeling - the questions, I remember falling to my knees and asking God what was happening!!! My husband was at school, he had been laid off from Oneida Ltd. and recently started in a carpentry and masonry program at a local college. My oldest son was actually in Orlando with his dad, supposed to get on an airplane that morning to fly home. My brother was in New York City, the first plane had flown past his office building. My second son was just a year old. I felt so helpless. I remember talking to my brother on the phone FINALLY - it had only been a couple of hours but it felt like days!! He told me he was walking towards the towers to see if he could help - I begged him not to go any closer to that area. He was trying to find a place to give blood but the lines were so long and they were turning people away. It's too bad they don't have that problem 9 years later... My husband did get out early that day and I remember rushing out to the driveway and just hugging him forever - it was a picture perfect day as far as the weather but there has never been a darker day in America. It took my son 3 more days to get home, they finally were able t rent a vehicle and drive home. I was never so happy to see that boy than that day. Now, 9 years later, that little boy is off to prepare for a year in Iraq - Iraq, the place where all the combat troops have been pulled from -yet my son, who is in the Navy, is being moved into an Army training program and going to an Army base for a whole year in Iraq. I don't understand it, I've given it to God, and have faith that he will take care of my little boy.

We visited the former site of the twin towers a few years ago - it was the most moving thing I've ever done. The photos and captions under them, hanging on the chain link fence were heartwrenching. One photo that i remember very vividly was of a female officer walking a man out to safety. The caption read that she went back in to help more people and died when the tower collapsed. I stood there with my brother, crying. Photo after photo, an amazing tribute to those heroes. A year later we went back and visited Battery Park - saw the eternal flame and the statue that had stood in Tower that somehow survived the collapse. Another very moving moment.

I've spent a little time tonight watching video on line of the attacks - not that I need to, the images are burned into my brain forever - but I can't help but read a few of the comments under each video - the hatred that I read is very sad. We can't hate all Muslims because of the attacks - the extremists are the ones that attacked us. It's like grouping all of anything together and saying they're all alike - some Catholic priests did some horrible things to young children - does that mean all Catholic Priests are bad??? It's wrong to blame everyone for the horrific deeds of a few, we have to move on and more forward - Jesus asked God to forgive those that nailed him to the cross before he died - we have to let go of the hatred, especially to the innocent, and honor the memory of those that we lost that day. Where were you when the world stopped turning, on that September Day?? I'm sure you'll never forget, just like I won't...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day and memories

WOW!! It's been a long time since I "journaled" here!! Today was Mother's Day and it was a very snowy day here in Central NY!! I don't love waking up to white ground on the 9th of May, that's for sure but fortunately it doesn't stick around when it does snow this late in the spring... So, we went to church and participated in the annual Deacon's Scholarship Pie Auction. It's funny to watch people bid those pies up to $40 and $50 dollars. It's for a good cause and everyone has a great time!! This year, my oldest brother is going to Italy for work purposed so he couldn't be here with us. My other brother and his family came to my parents house, my mom cooked - what's wrong with that picture???? - and I helped as much as i could when I got home from church. My husband's truck lost it's brakes last night, fortunately he was able to limp it to our house (the one we don't live in yet) so he beelined out of church and got to work on fixing that. We had a nice family meal, conversation, and dessert. When my brother's family left, I took Bob to our house to get his truck and he stayed to do a few more things. We've been building our house for almost a year and living at my parents for almost a year and a half, so he is anxious to get it done and live there!! I am too but I do admit it would be nice to see him a little more than we currently do... He worked til 9 tonight but that is 2 and a half hours earlier than last night. My husband is nothing if he's not dedicated when he starts a project!!

Yesterday, we went to store after store in New Hartford. I was trying so hard to find my mom a great gift for Mother's Day. Just that afternoon she was dusting some things off and told me the problem with knick-knacks is that there's no way to keep them dust free!! So I was careful not to buy anything like that. My brother has an amazing green house and he always does some nice baskets up for her so I didn't really want to go the flower route. Then I thought about a printer for her laptop because when we move out, she will have to come to my house to get anything she wants printed... I actually had one in the cart but then I didn't know if she'd rather pick one out herself - maybe she'd want a copier, scanner, fax machine.... So after going into Home Depot, Bed, Bath, & Beyond, Pier 1, Walmart, Michaels, and Joann Fabrics, I went home with nothing - except complaining kids, that is!! I decided that we would give her something she really wants - when we move out, I heard her tell my dad that she'd like our rooms painted. They haven't been painted since they built the house almost 19 years ago!! So we are going to paint the bedrooms, hallway, foyer, and maybe 2 of the bathrooms!! Not sure if that's an ideal Mother's Day gift but it seemed to work for her. I also got her a collage of photos from our day at EPCOT this year. That is still at Walgreen's though since I haven't been to Syracuse to get it...

My mother's day gift was a phone call from Matthew :) He's in the Navy and couldn't be home, I'm just glad he remembered to call lol!! I told Austin and Andrew that all I want from them is to get along, and they are trying very hard!!!

I have to note this here as a remembrance too - the other night we did dinner at my in-laws for Mother's Day and on the way there, Andrew asked, "will we be home by 8:30, 7:30 central???" He watches the Disney channel and a new show was coming on and that is how they advertised it, it was so cute, one of those things I dont' want to forget!!! :)

On a very sad note, this is the 2nd anniversary of a very bad accident here in town that killed a teenager. A very special young lady in my life was very close to him and she still misses him terribly. Several of the kids go to the tree that the car hit, as a memorial for Ryan. She posted on facebook tonight that she thought the tree was supposed to be to remember Ryan, not to gossip about others... I give her so much credit for being able to speak her mind and to speak up for what is right. She is a great young lady and I am very proud to know her!! I should mention that no drugs or alcohol were involved in this accident, it took place on a hilly street in town where kids have always tried to get "air". My son was a senior that year and had gone all through school with the driver. It hit too close to home and made me wish all the more that there could be more in our area for kids to do. I don't have a solution but won't give up hope that I, or someone, will come up with one..

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Working and playing Weekend!!

We are getting ever so close to the time where we will be able to move into our house. Bob the Builder was bound and determined to get our lawn in this weekend. So Saturday he rented a tiller - he wanted to hire someone for 4 times as much as the cost of the tiller but I don't trust the person and not so nicely put my foot down about it. He then got a bit upset and said that the kids and I better be there to help. I don't think he thought that we would show up but we did. Guess what he did??? He sent us home - said there wasn't anything we could do - this was about noon, after the boys soccer game (I'll get to that later). I played along and went home but at around 3, we went back - he didn't expect us to show up either ;) I actually learned how to drive the tractor!! I have never driven a lawn mower in my life!! That is coming from a girl whose daddy worked for and owned his own Agway store for most of life so far lol!! It was actually a lot of fun and if I can convince him to let me mow the lawn this summer, I'm thinking I just might do that :) Anyway, I have issues with my left hand so I didn't pick up that many rocks myself but the boys did 4 wagon loads of rocks!! I was extremely impressed. Austin asked me if picking up the rocks would give him stamina - where does a 9 year old come up with that question?? - I told him of course so he would keep working lol!! Daddy was impressed too!! So much so that he sent us home before the job was done!! It was getting dark and they were beat.

Yesterday was also their first spring soccer game of the year. Andy is finally in the U10 - I moved him up a little early to keep my life somewhat simpler. The fields aren't together and daddy is too busy to count on being at games and I HATE leaving either one of them alone at a game. Last fall, I was back and forth between fields and it was a nightmare!! Don't have to worry about that for a year and a half again!! Andy was nervous playing on the big field and with a real ref but he loved it and did great - he even had an assist!!! Austin said he had one too but I guess I missed that... All in all, it was a great game - we aren't sure if they won or tied but in AYSO they aren't supposed to keep score anyway. They had a lot of fun and that's all that matters!!

Today Bob the Builder got the lawn seeded while our awesome neighbor brought his roller over and rolled the dirt smooth for us. The neighbors that we are gaining by our move are incredible and I can't wait to pay them back for their kindness!!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010


The best part of homeschooling is the ability to take time to do things when you want to :) All week long we have been talking about our Earth and celebrating the fact that it is Earth Week. We were at the park recently and the tennis court had about 15 empty soda and water bottles all around it. I encouraged the boys to help me gather them up and put them in the barrel that was RIGHT THERE!! They didn't want to at first but after they did it and looked at the park again, they were very pleased with how much better "they" made it look. Ever since, we have been picking up any trash we see laying on the ground. Yesterday we went around to several of the parks here in town and I'm pleased to say that most of them were very well kept. We did find a bunch of cans in one of them though and we collected them up to take to The Disney Store this morning. If you brought in 6 cans or water bottles, they gave you a Make A Wave hat. We all brought in 6 cans and each got a hat (they are youth sized so I won't get much wear out of mine).. They had their aluminum water bottles on sale too so we each got one to save on buying water bottles. Austin and I got Save Planet Earth with my favorite LGM from Toy STory on it and Andy and daddy got Muppets. They are awesome!! The water stays cold in them forever too!!

When I got home this afternoon, I also found out that I won an Earth Day Contest and we won another hat like we got today and a Make A Wave T-shirt, both signed by Demi Lovato and Joe Jonas. We're thinking we will display them in our Disney Room at our new house..

I hope that this Earth Day everyone was inspired to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle - I will quote the Grateful Dead (one of my most favorite bands) here and say, The future's here, we are it, we are on our own!!! Happy Earth Day!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Disney giveaway!!

Tomorrow is Earth Day - Make a Wave - make a change!!!!

disney giveaway21 500x436 Disney Store Earth Day Giveaway    Autographed by Demi Lovato & Joe Jonas

We have some exciting news!

Disney has given us some Earth Day Items to giveaway on the site to promote the Friends for Change / Disney Store – Earth Day Celebration.

We are giving away a Autographed Friends for Change – Make a Wave Hat & T-Shirt to one lucky fan. Two of my favorite Disney Artist – Demi Lovato and Joe Jonas have signed these items just for you in time for Earth Day!

“Make a Wave” T-shirt is Made from 100% organic cotton- it’s a kids medium.

How to Enter:

  1. Goto the Chip and Co Facebook Page and become a Fan if you are not already
  2. On our Facebook Page you must type in the Share Box - “Happy Earth Day”

For a Bonus Entry:

  1. Tweet about the giveaway (Click the Retweet Button next to the Picture above)

For a Third Entry:

  1. Share this post on your Website or Blog and link to it via the comment section below.

No purchase necessary.

Giveaway ends at noon on Earth Day – Thursday April 22nd, 2010!

I will pick one person at random from all 3 Entry locations. I will announce and contact the winner via Chip and Co Facebook Page and in this article. The winner will have 3 days to get back to me for delivery details.

Valid for US residents and addresses only.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Today was a great day!!! We started our morning out by volunteering at the Great Swamp Conservancy in Canastota. They want to reopen a trail that they kind of, let go. So our Co-op met there and we raked and chopped, cleared and blazed a new trail!! The kids really loved it!! They've asked if we can go back and do more - it was real labor and they're asking for more!!

For lunch, we met Matthew (my oldest son, he's home on leave for a few days from the Navy) and his girlfriend Melissa at Recovery in Verona. It was my first time there and I'm not impressed. The pizza that we ordered seemed microwaved - YUCK!! The service was slower than slow and they were not busy - can't imagine what it's like when there are people waiting for tables!! I even had to wait over 10 minutes to pay the bill!!! After that, I took the boys to the grocery store and we got ice cream and rootbeer and I treated them to rootbeer floats!! They loved today lol!!! Then we had to get on to the schoolwork.

Matt and Melissa came back for dinner and we had a fairly quiet evening. I've been searching for more online deals and I think I have a few but I'm having internet connection issues tonight and not having luck checking if they are valid or not..

On a sad note, we are praying tonight for a husband and wife that were killed on a motorcycle in our area. They were 39 and 37 - not sure if they had children or not but my heart is breaking for their families. Life is very fragile - we should never take it for granted....

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I don't think that I am very good at this blogging thing but I guess if nothing else, it will serve as a journal of sorts for me.. Yesterday was a good day - my boys wanted to go shopping, for very selfish reasons. They had each purchased a used video game at Game Stop and you have 7 days to return the game. It's kind of nice because they can try a game and if they don't like it, you don't have to lose a bunch of money.. So Austin knew right away, before we even got home (they brought their DS's with them) that he hated his game. Sidenote - I told him it seemed like a stupid game but he had to have it!! Andrew liked his game but needed my help to play it and I am just not into Spiderman. So they had to get to Game Stop before Monday to get their money back. Andrew told me he loved to shop with me so I figured I'd test him and we'd go to Kohl's first. I had a coupon for 15% off your total purchase, even sale items. I got a new shirt to wear to church, it was $36 marked down to $10 and I got the additional 15% off that price. I got the boys a slip-n-slide too that was on sale for $8.99 and then got 15% off that. So I was happy!! The boys on the other hand, not so much. I knew he was making up how much he loved to shop with me so I tested him a little bit ;) We went to two different Game Stops and neither had a game that they wanted and that I agreed to based on the price. The Wii game they really wanted, I thought was overpriced. I promised that we would come home and get one on ebay cheaper. Well, I was wrong... There were only 2 listed and they were both starting bids of $50 and $68 - a whole lot more than the one we saw that morning. I thought I was in trouble. I told Andrew to call Game Nutz. Game Nutz is a store here in Sherrill that is just like Game Stop only with a local owner. He has a second shop in Canastota but they don't have nearly the inventory that the Sherrill store has. As luck would have it, he had one copy of the game Andrew wanted, the cost $22.99 used. I thought that was better than $50 or $70 so I told them to get their wallets and we'd go get it. Then I had a thought - I told them to go through their games and see if they have any that they never play. We could take them and just see how much he'd offer them. They found about 6 games but a couple of them didn't have the booklets inside. I know we have them and that you get more for the game if you have the book, so we took 3 with us. The guy checked them all out and told the boys he could give them $20 cash or trade them even for the game they wanted - since the game was 23, that was a no-brainer lol!! I highly recommend Game Nutz - it's a great store and the employees are super nice. It's a local guy trying to make a go of it and the selection is incredible for what looks like a tiny store.

Today at church, we named our new Christian Education Director - Kathy Bruno. I am extremely involved in my church - my church family is more like a family to me than some of our real relatives!! I am so excited to start working with Kathy that I'm creating things for her to do lol!! Better not tell her that!! I know there are a lot of things that we can be doing and having a CE director again will make it easier!! I was also blown away by a couple different people in church today. Two different people, came up to be out of the blue, and said when we move into our house, they want to help us. One of them just finished Chemotherapy not too long ago. The kindness overwhelms me - I just can't believe it!!!

We also started taking sign ups for an at home bible study - it's a marriage series. We didn't have a huge turn out but we are up to about 7 couples right now and I'm excited about that. It is open to everyone, whether they attend our church or not, so if you're interested let me know and I will get you the details. Here is a link to our first study:

Today is my brother's birthday so we are going to celebrate with a BBQ - God has provided us with a beautiful sunny day and I can't wait to take more of it in!!! It is also our dog Gizmo's 13th birthday. We have to get to the store to pick up some Frosty Paws for her!! She loves those things!!!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Drama and Deals

Last night I attended the Oneida High School Drama Dept presentation of "South Pacific". I was blown away by the talent of those kids. The singing and acting are amazing!!! One of the girls from our church had one of the leads, Bloody Mary, and to see her up there in that role - I can't even put it into words... The accent that she pulled off, even while singing, was unbelievable!! There is one more show tonight and I believe tickets are still available - if you're in the Oneida area, you should go - you won't be disappointed!!! Best $8 I've spent for entertainment in a very long time!!

I was just at Snapfish and they have a spin to win game - you get 3 spins. All 3 of my spins landed on the one unlucky wedge - what are the odds of that?? I'd say it's rigged....If there were 3 or 4 of that wedge, I wouldn't question it but since there was one and it slowly stopped on that one each time - well.... I did get 10 free prints as a consolation prize and they are offering free shipping for their birthday right now. I am an avid picture taker. I don't have enough pictures of my oldest since we weren't really into the digital age until he was at the age where he didn't want to have his picture taken so my other two boys are suffering the consequences of me having to scramble for pictures of their brother for his graduation. That won't happen to them. Therefore, I am always on the lookout for photo deals. Walgreens is my main source. This week alone I've rec'd 20 free prints, several collages for 80% off, a free 8 x 10, and today they are offering 20 prints for 20 cents. Snapfish photos can also be picked up at a Walgreen's so be on the lookout for their deals as well and you won't have to pay to ship them. You have 30 days to pick up your prints. I have mine printed at the store near my chiropractor and I pick them up when I have an appointment.

Friday, April 9, 2010

I have decided to start a blog, mostly for the experience, but also to post and keep track of many of the amazing deals that I come across each day!! I hope to share my love of Disney and our homeschool experiences through this blog as well. I don't even know if this is going to work, so consider this a test!! :)