Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksmas or Chrisgiving 2011

Yep. I have mysteriously disappeared for a while... since we are staying in Kentucky for Christmas we combined the holidays for Thanksgiving and came up for a full week.

The kids and I have wandered up to the vast domain of Wisconsin. My homeland. Managed to take in some night life, some family life, a run, a funeral, and a holiday all in the same week. It has kinda been a busy week, but with EXTREMELY limited cell phone reception, it puts a damper on making plans.

I hate to miss calls. What is the point of telling someone to call you if you don't get their call? Sheesh. Somehow I did manage to get calls from the oldest kids school telling me to call them about my 'missing' student... now, either he didn't give them the memo I sent along, or they just miscommunicated... Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday they told me to call them about him but I got put on hold so I didn't hang on...I am sure it will be fine.

A friend of mine since WAY back in the day (like early elementary school days) graciously opened her home and gave us free rein of the basement. The kids are set. A fire place, bathroom, fridge, TV and air mattresses.

The kiddos spent much of the week in typical form. On the electronics. *sigh* I managed to dress them up for the funeral, bring two of 'em to breakfast with the grandparents one morning and dragged them to the Thanksgiving meals at both grandparents homes but other than one friend they pretty much just wanted to play on the PS3 or computer.

On Wednesday we headed out for 80's night at a local establishment. It was fun. We met up with some friends and the hubbies. Also, stopped at another place to take in a local band that has a former classmate as a guitarist. He had a cordless bass and was walking the bar and still playing and talking... not sure how he did that. Or, maybe he figured by that hour most people were just to drunk to care... but it was fun too.

Today, being black Friday, I actually avoided the stores. I did stop at 2 of them after 1pm but other than that I just hunkered down at my friends home that we are staying at and chilled out. I didn't even look at the ad's this year!! (much) I tried to avoid them all together. I knew I wouldn't be able to spend much so I figured why bother.

I just finished making sure we have everything packed and will be heading to one last meal with my friends tonight before heading out of town for good. Probably stop by my Mom's one last time before the big ride home... Oh, joy... I just LOVE the long ride. Although, I must admit, it is better to drive it than to be a passenger!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Weekend Wrap up!

What a great feeling it is to get a bunch of stuff accomplished.

Yesterday I did nothing. Well. I got up at the crack of dawn to head to Morehead, Kentucky with Reece and 20 other kids for a 'Honor Orchestra' concert. It is about 130 miles away. I had to follow the bus on the way there since Reece wanted me to drive, but I didn't exactly know where we were going. I didn't mind, but I like to move faster than the bus did, and at 6:30 am it was tough hangin' back behind a slow bus.
We arrived around 9am, and the group got to business with a director for 2 hours of practice with Violins, Violas, Cellos and Bass's. I got to do what I wanted so I drove to Carter Caves and checked out the Natural Bridge there... who knew they have more than one in Kentucky! It was much smaller and easier to walk to but still cool! Then we met back for lunch at Taco Bell, and at 1pm it was again time to 'practice' until 5pm. Poor Reece. He HARDLY practices at home... I really don't know why we even pay rent for the Cello when he ALWAYS uses the one at school instead... Anyway, We had supper at a local Mc D's. It was supposed to be a Pizza joint but a group of teens wandered off and it took so long to find them that we didn't have time. Major bummer, but then on to the concert!!

(Reece is on the right side by the blue curtain)
The Concert began at 7:30pm that evening and Reece's group played two songs then special guests, the Quartet Cavani was quite captivating to watch. (click on this link to check out a preformance) They preformed two of the longest songs ever (and NEVER turned any music pages) and then they did two shorter songs with the high schoolers. By the time we got out of there and were heading home it was 9pm and we had over 2 hours to drive!! I ALMOST pulled over to nap on the way home I was so tired! Both Reece and I looked like Zombies when we got home and headed directly to bed!

Today, I woke up early thanks to the 'falling back', so I had extra time to get a run in this am! Felt great! I checked the temp... it said 40 degrees. I loaded up 2 shirts, a sweatshirt, mittens, warm 'Tri-Fox' cap, and long pants and headed out. I haven't ran in about 3 weeks, but it felt great. I didn't even bring ANY electronics. No ipod. No watch. No heart rate monitor. Just me. and the cool air. It was wonderful.

Today I unexpectedly had nothing going on, so I attacked a closet (Zeb's) or two (and Reece's), some unsightly walls fixed (spots the builder fixed) , hung a picture (I had since July to hang), brought in my Halloween decor, tossed the pumpkins, cut my entire families hair, straightened up the basement, and finally made it to the store for some much needed supplies!!

Ahhh... now, I can sit here with my feet up and relax... just chillin' and it is only 7pm...

but, the kids are begging me for the 'puter.... so we will see how long this lasts... lol...

Friday, November 04, 2011

Chi Town Recap: Walks, Rides and Wines

Where did the week go? Wow!
So, after a crazy busy day at work I hit the road and in about 5 hours I was there! I actually got there early. Dez's place is directly across from a park that is on a river front. Her kitchen and living room windows actually face overlooking the river. Beautiful~ We enjoyed a slow cooked roast and some wine and got caught up on our lives the past two years.

I was asleep by 10:30 pm. (Thanks to the wine, it just puts me to sleep) We were watching a movie and I didn't make it to the end. She actually had to fill me in on the ending. lol.

Saturday Morning we decided we were going to Navy Pier. Bob Harper from the Biggest Loser was celebrating 'National Oatmeal Day' with Quaker and was going to be there that morning. We hopped on a train and road an hour into downtown. Grabbed a cab and arrived too late to see Bob, but it was neat to see the Pier.

We then decided to hit Ed Dubevic's Resturant. When I was in High School we used to head down to Chicago for a musical each year. Our options for lunch were Ed's or a 50's style Mc Donalds. We always chose McD's 'cause we wanted to make sure we had time to shop and get as much in as possible.

Our choir director used to tell us the wait staff were actors making ends meet between jobs. They are sassy and almost rude at times, but all in fun. In fact, I got yelled at for asking for a bag for my leftovers. I was expecting it. He LOUDLY said "SURE LADY, I WILL DROP EVERYTHING AND GET YOUR YOUR BAG, EVEN THOUGH THIS GUY WILL NOT GET HIS BEER RIGHT AWAY". Opps.

After Ed's we hit famous Michigan Ave and some clothing stores. Dez LOVES to shop. She has a good eye for fashion and especially purses. We found a purse store that she absolutely loved. She tried to hit a famous popcorn store called Garretts. We found two different stores, but both had lines that were OUT THE DOOR. Apparently it is good stuff. We didn't stay and wait in line, but that will have to be a priority next visit.

We had more good conversion and wine for the train ride back to her place and hung out. By 9:30 I was heading for bed.

Sunday morning was went for a nice 3 mile walk along the river and through some beautiful parks. I headed out by noon, but not before she showed me her new ride... oh yeah.... sah- weet!

Last year when she had her neck problems she was told she could not ride her triathlon bike, which she absolutely loved, so she bought one that made her doctors happy. She calls her 'Princess'. lol... (the dog is Harley, not the pink one in the basket, but the black and brown one at the bottom of the picture)
All told, it was a fun weekend and will have to do that again in the future!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Road Trip! Girls Weekend Chi Town Preview

Tomorrow is another fun trip for me... life has been kinda stressful lately... kids are great but I am looking forward to a trip away to my good friend Dez. Back in 2006 Dez and I trained for our first Triathlon. She dropped 50 lbs training for it and did awesome! Since then, we did a half marathon together and one Olympic distance tri together and a few sprints.
Now the last time we raced together was 2009. She injured her back and has been struggling to move without pain. She has been trying different options to work her way around back surgery... poor thing.
I was venting some to her recently and she suggested we do a girls weekend. I. Am. So. Ready.
So after work tomorrow morning, I will drive to her place near Chi Town for a girls weekend!!
Just got the oil changed, tires rotated, and air filter changed! Now, just got some laundry, and a little packing and woooooo hooooo!!
Can't wait!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Weekend Recap: DC

Late Sunday night I flew into DCA.
After finding out that my 'shuttle' that I had booked online was not available, I managed to find a ride to the hotel... probably not the smartest way I have ever done, but hey, live and learn!


By managed to get to sleep by 1:30am but forgot to change my cell phone alarm to off.  So promptly at 5:30 am I had to get out of bed to turn it off.

I couldn't sleep much after that so I read a while, and eventually got ready to meet Kate.  I was still an hour early.  I decided to take a walk.  My hotel was nice.  The Melrose Hotel. Just blocks down the street was the White House.  That was my goal.

Kinda broke my heart to see the homeless around, but unable to help them out.  But DC is MUCH cleaner than Cincy.  Smells better and more spacious too.  I did feel comfortable walking Pennsylvania Ave by myself.

I managed to find 3 starbucks in that short walk.  Imagine that.

The Reflection Pool was under construction.
At 10 am I nervously waited for Kate in the lobby of my hotel.  I was worried I wouldn't recognize her.  Thanks to Facebook, I had an idea of what she looked like now.  Shortly after 10am she arrived.  We quickly set out in search of a coffee shop to sit down and 'catch up'.  Since it has only been 17 years since we saw each other we managed to talk for about 2 hours there, then we set out to continue try some tourist type things, we checked out the Lincoln Memorial.  Here is Kate on the left, looking out from the Lincoln Memorial toward the Washington Monument. It was free to see the memorials and monuments, and even the Smithsonian.

By the time we left the Smithsonian, we both were tired.  We had managed to walk about 7 miles.  Yes, I know that from Kates pedometer.  We were going to meet up with her husband Nick about 8pm.  We took the metro (subway) back closer to the hotel and found a place to eat called Thunder Burger. I got the Ventura Burger with Sweet potato fries.  Kate talked Nick into trying Corn Dogs.

Kate and Nick were telling me about some of the differences in the countries..
  • Food in America is very extreme.  More sugar.  Fake colors. Probably more salt.  Kate picked up some Kraft Mac-n-cheese to take home with her.  
  • They have 28 mandatory vacation days a year.
  • They have a public health system and said it isn't that bad.
  • They have 20% tax.  To pay for the health system.

It was a shame we didn't have more time to talk, but I had to head to the airport at 4 am, so by 11:30 we had said our good-byes but managed to sneak in a quick picture before leaving each other.

She was talking about making a trip in the next year to visit where she grew up and show her husband a bit of culture shock in good ol' Appleton Wisconsin.  He grew up in Africa and likes to eat meat.  Weird meat.  Like not normal meat.  Anyway, it was fun trying to help Kate warn her husband about all things Wisconsin. He has apparently heard of her Grandparents great love of Shopko. lol.

It was so much fun, I wish I had a bit more sleep though!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Count down.

Seventeen years ago I had a friend from England. Katie.

We met in Elementary school. First grade I believe. We became very good friends and stayed friends even when she and her family had to return to the United Kingdom.

Many memories of sleeping over at her big house, dancing to Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney's song 'Say, Say, Say', Phil Collins and Weird Al songs... She had a 'snuggle' bear that she just loved. I loved listening to her family talk. I developed a love a of 'REAL hot tea' and Twix candy bars, which they always had on hand.

She returned to England with her family after the first year of Junior High. Thanks to her Dad's many frequent flyer miles was able to return every summer on her school break. Usually for about 3 weeks at a time. All of her friends took turns hosting her during her stay. We usually had one week with her.

The last time she was her was the Summer of 1993. We had her for 2 weeks. As luck would have it my high school sweetheart, P. also was living with me at my parents house. As I write this as a parent of a 16 year old, I am in awe that they let me do that... Anyway, she spent some time with him and he confessed to 'something' happening... I can't really remember the details, but it was the last time I saw her or really talked to her...

Now, fast forward to 15 years later and thanks to the magic of Facebook, I asked her brother about her and what-do-you-know, we became friends again. Now, she is in DC and I managed to get a ticket to see her for a VERY short visit, but I am very excited to put the past behind us and meet up with her again!

24 hours from now, I will be in route to reconciliation and I can't wait!!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Stress Reliever?


My heels are ugly. I admit my feet are not the most pretty thing in the world... in fact, I really feel sorry for the poor people the two whole times I have gotten a pedicure in my life. They had a lot to scrub off! My hubby likes to joke that my heels make great scratching posts.

Also, apparently I run marathons in my sleep. My hubby has told me for a while that my legs 'go crazy' at night. I sleep well. So I just never gave it much thought.... until today.

During the night my foot caught the sheet. A few times. I thought it was strange but went back to sleep. So today I pulled the sheets to toss 'em and low and behold, THIS is what I found...

So, personally, I find this funny, since I really don't have trouble sleeping. I actually feel like I sleep GREAT! I rarely have trouble going to sleep. Yes, some of my life has been a bit stressful lately, but not to the extreme that I have trouble sleeping.

I tried NOT to laugh while reading about 'support groups' for restless leg syndrome (RLS)... one had the tag line 'support for friends or families of RLS patients'. Really? Is it that bad?? Maybe I am just not that bad yet.... but some interesting facts about it I did learn...

  • it occurs in middle aged and older adults
  • stress makes it worse
  • it occurs more often in patients with Peripheral neuropathy, parkinson's, pregnancy, chronic kidney disease, and iron defiency
  • form of RLS may be passed down in families. This may be a factor when symptoms start at a younger age.
  • can result in a decreased quality of sleep (insomnia). This lack of sleep can lead to daytime sleepiness, anxiety or depression, and confusion or slowed thought processes.
  • Usually occur at night when you lie down, or sometimes during the day when you sit for long periods of time

  • May be described as creeping, crawling, aching, pulling, searing, tingling, bubbling, or crawling

  • May last for 1 hour or longer

  • You will feel an irresistible urge to walk or move your legs, which almost always relieves the discomfort. (which I do when I work, from time to time I have to get up and wander though the hospital.)
  • There is 'no treatment' BUT they said warm baths, gentle stretching and MASSAGE can help with symptoms!! I wonder if I could get a WEEKLY massage thanks to my health insurance!! I may just have to check this out! Oh,yeah!!
  • I REALLY THOUGHT this paticular tidbit was interesting....
    If your sleep is severely disrupted, your health care provider may prescribe medications such as Sinemet (an anti-Parkinson's medication), gabapentin and pregabalin, or tranquilizers such as clonazepam. However, these medications may cause daytime sleepiness.
    My Dad has been on Sinemet for a few years now for the anti- Parkinson's benefits. So, makes me wonder if I am heading down the same route as my Dad.
Hey, at least I will be a happy forgetful person! Although, I may not know who I am married to.... but maybe I could still get my weekly massages!!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Endurance: Homeless Edition

Lessons I have learned enduring the streets of Cincy.

Downtown Cincinnati is your typical city. The 'bad area' has the "Drop". It is where newly homeless people are told to go for temporary shelter.

1. Single Cigarettes are sold for a quarter each.
2. If you do not 'show up' or check into the 'Drop' for 3 days your a kicked out.
3. If you get into a fight at the drop you are kicked out.
4. Earthquakes and Loco's are 12% alcohol. If you drink 4 of those and one fifth of whiskey each day... that makes 49 drinks in one week.
5. Heroin makes peoples pupils small.
6. Bicycles can sell for 15 bucks.
7. Homeless have access to laundry and food and shelter.
8. There is drug building directly across from the 'drop'.
9. Homeless are a tight knit group that look out for each other. I can understand why it is so hard for them to 'clean up' sometimes.
10. Some of the 'homeless' have been to college, had 4 bedroom homes and kids with custody!
11. Cheesy snacks are popular among the crowd.
12. Food stamps are sold. Lots.
13. Only 'disabled' homeless get insurance. (in OH)
14. If you have been kicked out of the drop, left AMA (against medical advice) twice from detox and have NO insurance, that REALLY limits the ways to recovery... kinda like... 'Sorry bud, Your a loser and gonna stay that way" Nice way to treat another human.
15. Some of the 'homeless' look the part. But some dress up for it (meaning they are drug dealers).
16. Many still have cell phones.
17. Some were 'honorably discharged' from the military for PTSD (post tramatic stress disorder). Nice way to honor our vets.

Yes, some of them are out to take advantage of you. But some really DON'T want to be there. Those are the ones we are looking to help when we go down there. It has been an amazing experience. We have been getting to know them. Some of them meet to play basketball, both homeless and non-homeless, and next week we are going to a movie with a group of us.

It is an amazing way to change they way you see people. WE should not label people 'losers' or 'hopeless'. They have feelings and want to be heard, just like all of us.

Just sayin'.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Thursday Thirteen: Best Evah Edition

1. Best at useless paperwork? Hands down Boone county schools. I just don't get why the permission slips that come home. They need a copy for the principle and the teacher on the trip. Apparently they can just make copies and have the parents fill out two sides of the exact. same. information.... I wish there was an electronic copy I could use and paste. *sigh*

2. Best Football team? I am currently watching the best football team Ever. Go Packers!

3. Best Field Trip? Washington DC. I am so jealous. I wish I could have had the chance to go on this trip when I was young. Reece's year end trip goes there in March. I think I may have to chaperon this one!

4. Best Fireworks? Hands down, Cincinnati has this fireworks show every year Labor day weekend, that is choreographed to music. Oh. yeah, and it is over the river. Not to mention the very cool showers for sparks falling from the bridge at one point...
Awe. some. Must see.
And we watched them from the comfort of our couch!! No parking problems here.

5. Piece of clothing? Sweats. Thanks to the 'chill in the air' from hurricane Lee, I can were my wonderful sweatpants... ahhhh.

6. Best Animal? Our cat. She chases, she attacks, she wakes you up in the morning... in case you forgot to set your alarm, and she is just so darn cute the entire time!!

7. Best way to observe #2? Face. book. Nothing like high fiving friends on FB as we all watch our home team from across America.

8. Best Freebie? Currently I am enjoying Laugh USA from XM radio... they apparently, they are only letting us have the kids favorite station for free... um, not sure why. But YAY!!

9. Best time o year? Pumpkin Spice Latte and carmel apples with walnuts time!!!

10. Best night cream? So back in May I developed this rash on my eyes? Well, I went to see my new doc here and she thought it looked like Eczema and since it was on my eye, I wasn't able to get any 'prescribed' medication. She just send keep it moisturized. She even suggested shortening... like Crisco! So, I had some crazy expensive 'Night Cream' from my days of Arbonne and have been putting that on every morning and what-do-ya-know? It has gone almost completely away! Sah-weet!

11. Best new show for me? I love Psych! I laugh out loud funny at that show... This dude is pretending to be psychic, in such a bad way that its hillarious.

12. Best workout? For me... it was this recently... short and sweet.
run .5 mile,
10 push ups,
run .5 mile,
10 push ups, 10 air squats, 10 lungs
run .5 mile
10 push, 10 squats, 10 lungs

Oh, yeah... that hurt....later.

13. Reece has a teacher for math that has the best name for 'tests': Celebrations!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Brock: In a Million Words or Less

So. Child number one.
He was at his baby shower. Like he was born two days before it. He was 4 weeks early. And the longest pregnancy I had.

Brock didn't talk until he was about 3 and a half. Now he tells us that was because he was too busy listening. ha.ha.

He was never "Mr. Social". He was more 'Mr. Awkward'. He preferred to hang out with the adults in Elementary school, instead of the kids. Maybe that paid off since his is one of the brain-i-est kids I know.

He loves science, biology, and all kinds of stuff that my brain doesn't understand. Go ahead and ask him about atoms! HE. loves. Atoms. Biology. Stuff.

Technology is not exactly his thing. Brock has now realized it helps if maybe he CHECKS his email from time to time. Instead of avoiding it 'cause it has too much spam' in it.

He does love his ipod and PS3, mainly Netflix reruns of anything science. Currently he LOVES a show called firefly and is making his way through the Stargate series.

Brock has also informed me that if he would decide to sell his kidney, he would get all the money for it. (??) When I said some people even sell their kids (of course with a smile) he said, "oh, they would send me back. I would annoy them til they bring me back." He must love us. Awe...

He too could care less about his phone. Must be in the genes.

He goes to a local gaming store every Friday night to play Dungeons and Dragons. He will search the house high and low to find change to buy a soda at game night. We have been trying to tell him that MINIMUM wage is WAY over $1 per hour, so maybe he would like to get. a. job. (hint. hint)

Brock wants to be a pharmacist. Reece wants to be a doctor (currently) he said to Brock "Hey, it would be just like it is now! I tell you what to do."

It's a good thing Brock doesn't anger easily.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

THREE. Count 'em, THREE workouts this week!! Woo Hoo!

Ok, Grandma Z, I will write about the other two kiddos soon, but for now...
Tonight I hit the gym. The last time I went for a 'long' er run, I actually made pretty good time. I was pleasantly surprised when I logged 3.51 miles in 36 minutes, which made it a 10.12 minute mile pace! Woo Hoo! Including the hills, I will take it!

I have been breaking it up by running 1 mile or 11 laps on the air conditioned track, then 10 pushups, 10 squats, and lunges across the cardio theater. I. LOVE. THE. CARDIO. THEATER. What a great concept. Put insecure people in a dark room to workout! No worry about who is looking at you! (especially with some pretty sad push ups!)

I actually managed TWO workouts so far this week and are planning a Saturday morning run with a friend and the hubby, so I am happily thinking I MIGHT actually get all three workouts in this week!! No 'real' mileage. Just four miles and a bunch of reps. But if it can help with the speed, SWEET!! Not that I am competitive, but the hubby is a natural runner and I might have to try and keep up with HIM soon!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

In a Million Words or Less

So, This year Reece's homeroom teacher asked us to tell them, in a million words or less about our kids. So, I thought I would share with you, Enjoy!

Reece. What can I say about Reece.
He is the second of three boys. Brock is the older brother and is in 11Th grade . Zeb is the youngest and in 3rd grade.

We moved here from Wisconsin last year. The move was especially difficult on Reece. We had moved in 2005 and he had just gotten good friends at the old school. Even though he can be quiet funny he doesn’t show it right away. It takes him a while to show his true personality and hides it in a tough quiet exterior.

Once you get to know him he can talk. A lot. Not always as much as his brother Brock, but he still can talk. Once he talked over 60 minutes straight telling us how his day at school was! Hardly, letting anyone get a word in edgewise! But he was a joy to listen to, since he is a great story teller!

He likes to read. Especially fat books with lots of words. He did not get that from his father or me for sure! He likes to play on the computer, PS3 and watch Netflix, mainly old TV shows. Sometimes he will play the Wii. He loves his ipod. He lost it for about 4 months this year. From Good Friday until mid July. It was in a couch. He likes to create movies with photos of legos with his ipod. Pretty cool stuff. Ask him to show you!

He plays the cello, and has a really cool EXTRA one from falling on it last year. It is a very expensive accessory in his room now. He likes rock/pop music. Reece can not stand country, which is brother loves. We did have XM radio for a while this year and all the kids enjoyed the Comedy station.

Reece’s favorite color is army green and is the color of his room. He loves ice cream and has recently begun to bake a few things at home. Mainly chocolate chip cookies, which are a huge hit and go quickly with the boys!

Reece is left handed. Grandpa Z. is also left handed and tell us all the time he is the ONLY one in his right mind. Reece writes left handed, but does most other things right handed. He can be a bit competitive. He is good a many things he does, of course I have to say that right? He is my most responsible kid. He also likes to threaten his brothers ‘by telling Mom’ if they don’t do something he wants them to. He is also my rule enforcer. : )

He has a cell phone but never uses it. No need to worry about him texting! In fact, we are lucky if he knows where it is when we try to call him. We never know if it is even charged. So why do we have it? Um, good question.

We found a cat abandoned in our garden prior to the move we call her Willow. She LOVES Reece. Besides me, Reece is the only one she will cuddle up to. Reece used to help feed her with a bottle when we were raising her and I think she knows how he took care of her. She is extremely protective of us. We call her our Guard Cat.
All-in-all, he is joy to have in our family and I look forward to many years of learning from him.
We are blessed beyond belief... good luck with the new year!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday Mash UP: Life, the quick edition.

  • Last week an 8 year old crashed on his bike and broke both of his wrists. Then an ICE CREAM truck, came up and STOLE the bike and drove off!
  • Also, last week Reece made chocolate chip cookies but mis-read the TBSP and TSP on the directions and put WAY too much baking soda and salt in the cookies. This week he did much better, but he almost forgot to add the best part, the chips!
  • Brock is 'thinking' about asking a girl out to 'home coming'. He said she is really nice, so if she turns him down at least she will do it really nice!! : ) If she would happen to say yes, Dad would need to drive them 'cause he told me 'I am not cool enough'. Dude, really? Come on!!! (ha.ha)
  • Zeb asked me to help him with hismath homework. It said to have a family member tell you a FOUR DIGIT NUMBER and he was supposed to write down the number. I said "one thousand, two hundred and fifteen". He wrote down 1000. (???)
  • Tonight an officer tried to shoot a dog that was attacking another officer and ended up shooting the dog once but also the officer in the leg too! Ouch!!
  • I managed a 3.5 mile run on Friday and actually kept a 10:12 pace. Which never happens. Not with these hills. I was pretty happy. (I would like to thank the girl in the black tank top and green shorts that helped pace me for mile 2)

  • After helping the homeless we took a drive to a state park in Indiana called Hardy Lake. It is our favorite so far!! (second fave is still Clifty Falls) While we walked the trails we stumbled upon a talk on Owls! He had 4 owls. A screech owl, Barn Owl (which are endagered), a Barred Owl and a Great Horned Owl. Fancinating talk!! Also LOVED the beach at the park!!! VERY clean!! I don't think I have ever seen such a clean lake! We are looking forward to camping there at some point. They told us they have two families of eagles over the lake. Pretty good fishing too! We saw lots of poles in the water.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Looks like the first day of school was a success.

Brock managed to get some key classes that he wanted that fall in line on the road to becoming a pharmacist. He will be taking Latin, Anatomy, Psychology, geometry, English and History this year. He left it up in the air all summer since we apparently missed the 'enrollment' during the spring for this current year. I am a bit concerned about his anatomy class. I hope he heard wrong but he said they will be dissecting rats, pigs and CATS?? Really? Cats? I hope he heard that wrong. : (

Reece was happy that he got one of his favorite teachers again this year. (Apparently the teacher also passed the 7th grade... ha.ha) I can see why he likes him so much, take a look at some of his 'Tremendous 21' rules...
#4: If you are asked a question in conversation, you should ask a question in return..
#7: Always say THANK YOU when I give you something. (yes, that includes test's and detention)
#8: When grading other students papers, the only marks you are allowed to make on others' papers are an 'X' and the number they got incorrect.
#10: Never ask me for a reward
#13: When I assign homework there is to be no moaning or complaining. This will result in a doubled assignment.
#16: If you have a question you can email me. Use the following message for your email.
"Hi Mr.S...., this is ------------. I need help with the -------------homework. You can email me back until ---:00. Thank you."
There is no need to leave this message fourteen times.
Zeb sadly is not in love with his teacher. It will be a rough year I am afraid. Not sure if the teacher was reading his report from last year, but at Open house I did not get a 'warm and fuzzy' feeling from his teacher. I thought she was just having an off night, but maybe not. That is ok, this may be what he needs. He likes to 'pretend' he is weak and too little to do things.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Saved by the Bell

First day of school tomorrow and apparently I have much competition for the prestigious Slacker Mom of the year award, since the website with the bus information for my older two kiddos has 'connection' problems. I keep trying with no success. *sigh* Oh, well we are going to assume that they should do the same as last year. I know the youngest one's exactly the same, so that is how we are going to pretend the older two's work too!

Tonight I managed about 3.5 miles at the gym. I did pushups and squats between each mile and the last half mile was done once I got home. It was just to nice out to NOT do it! Beautiful night!! My goal was 5, but that flew out the window for some reason my breathing is not quiet right. Could be the 10 extra pounds that I have to haul around since we moved here... but I digress..

I. am. amazed. I can not tell you the last time I read a book from cover to cover so fast in my LIFE. And I am NOT joking! Over 230 pages in 3 days. For me? a BIG deal!! It was the true story of Denver Moore and Ron Hall. I started it Sunday night, cried for about 10 chapters last night and then more crying over my lunch hour at work today! Awesome book! Great story. Maybe that is what drives me to help the homeless. They have not yet many of them are so grateful for the little we can give them! Truly! One guy on Saturday only wanted a $1.29. Yes. 129 pennies. Ok. granted it was to buy him a 40 oz. beer called Earthquake that has 12% alcohol, but still. Only wanted some change. He had much promise that guy. Young too. Smart, but had anxiety problems.

Last Thursday night to Friday my 13 year old stayed up all night to 'get used to school' so he could sleep well the next night and start getting up early. I kindly suggested his plan may have a slight flaw and maybe he should try something next to his head in bed called an ALARM CLOCK. I explained how it was SUPPOSED TO WORK, since his body rejected that theory last year and NEVER woke up to it. We shall see how this will work tomorrow!

My oldest needs reminders to CHECK his email. Especially since applying online for jobs they may contact him that way. He says his account has too much spam. I better save that one for another post! (breathe)

Ok kids! Time to hit the shower!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Help Bring Back Dark Cherry Mocha!!!

I contacted Starbucks to find out what ever happened to my precious Mocha.

During our move last year, that was my sunshine in the morning. Ahhh.
Dark Cherry Mocha.




So, I know I am not alone here. A lot of people out there really miss it too. Don't believe me just google the name and see all the comments of people missing the Mocha. I want to know what happened to it! So I contacted Starbucks via their website and this is what the note said:

Dear Starbucks,
Please return my favorite drink. *snif,sniff*
Dark Cherry Mocha.
I miss it. A lot.
Why did it go away~

Now anyone reading this is REQUIRED by me to contact them HERE AND TELL THEM TO BRING IT BACK NOW!!

Ok, feeling better now... carry on!
: )

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Back to endurance!

Clearly, I have strayed from my 'endurance' posts. It is so nice to just hang out in the garden...and sit. Just hang out...but it doesn't help the calorie burn. Thus, I will try to describe my current status.

By the numbers....
Two. The number of workouts I have managed per week for the past month. Sad.
Three. The maximum number of miles I have run in the past month. Again, Sad.
40. The maximum number of pushups I have done in one day.
628. The number of calories I was OVER on my calories yesterday. I recently began counting my calories...oh, how I missed knowing how bad I am on my calories. What a great guilt it is to KNOW that hand full of walnuts and dark chocolate is more than I need.
90. The average temp around here, which makes outdoor fitness fun, non-existent.
186. The number of calories I was over today. Thanks to the elipitical, treadmill, squats and pushups.
2.2. The number of pounds down since my last weigh in 5 days ago.
2. The average number of refills on my WW 32 oz mug full of water.
5. The number of bucks to have my crazy Boot Camp instructor beat me up each week. Since he left the UA, I haven't see him, I do miss him but I may be starting to lead my own boot camp at our church. GLUP!
938. The number of times I told my self I am not 'fit enough' to teach boot camp.

Needless to say, thanks to some stress in my life I am not feeling extra motivated...I am determined to change things up!!
Now this is my ideal numbers....
3. Number of times I want to workout each week.
5. Number of miles I want to start running at least one time a week.
40. Number of push ups I would like to do each time I work up.
1380. Max number of calories to eat each day.
8. Number of hours I would love to sleep each night.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Curved corn?

So, now our fallen corn has curved up toward the sky! Who knew?

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Birds and the Breeze!

With our garden we have many critters, from Deer, bunnies, wood chucks, humingbirds and butterflies!
Brock came out to join me as I was sitting out by our garden. One of my favorite places to just hang out and AMAZINGLY while he was talking my ear off about his college future, we saw a hummingbird try to come up to our corn stalks! Of course this was just before the storm came thru Wednesday morning and pushed over many of them.Funny thing is, now those stalks of corn are now growing upward. They are resembling a letter C. Kinda funny!

The rest of these pictures were taken from a collection of common KY butterflies.

The Monarch, very common... but check this out...

Viceroy, The 'poisonious' Kentucky State butterfly! I will have to pay more attention to these.

Orange Sulfur, one of these landed on our flowers of the cucumer plants we have, so neat to watch it suck out pollen.
Black swallowtail, This was one of my favorite ones. So pretty!

Monday, August 01, 2011

Things That Make Me Happy!

1. Texas Chili in the cafe at work!! Yum! Apples, blue cheese and dried cranberries... ok, sheesh, I should just say ALL FOOD!

2. Our Garden. We are hoping to grow herbs next year in our garden. Right now, our watermelon, cantaloupe, tomatoes, cucumbers and corn are doing well. Our Squash is ok too, but we planted that a bit late in the season. Our Zucchini and pumpkins probably won't be makin' it this year due to the animals we have been feeding. We sprayed some chemical that keeps the deer and bunnies away (it really worked!) but it doesn't keep woodchucks away. My hubby believes that a .22 would do the trick.

3. Baby Deer. Just saw two last night in a nearby neighborhood. No Mom in sight, hope she was close by. I don't know how they survive with all the heat we have had recently. almost 2 weeks straight of temps over 90!

4. Music. Nothin' like letting your mind wander in a tune. My personal favorites are Adele and Francessca Battistelli, currently.

5. Coffee and Books. I love to cuddle in a chair and sip some Java while I enlighten my mind with some knowledge. Currently I am reading Radical by David Platt and still working my way thru the Bible (been on the Bible for two years now, still working through it!)

6. A good whine. As in, I don't wanna workout today! But in the end... oh, it feels sooooo good! On a side note.. I may have just become a boot camp instructor at our church on Saturdays. YIKES!!~ More as this develops.

7. Fluffy cat. Specifically ours. She is an independent gal, but when she is hungry, she is the NICEST girl you ever met! I like her to go hungry about once a day. : )

8. Hikes. This past weekend we didn't get our 'state park' hike in that we wanted but we 'hiked' in downtown Cincy and helped give water and lunches to the folks at the drop in shelter. Met some interesting people. We are hoping to do that more often! (didn't bring the kiddo's on that a wee bit too scary)

9. My family. <3 I have some pretty terrific family and am so very grateful they are in my life. I know I can be an idiot and a goof ball and no matter what they will always be there for me.
: ) Love you guys!!! (and gals)

10. My Salvation. As messed up as I am and still do, knowing I am a child of God and will always have his forgiveness makes me especially happy.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Beware: KY/ OH Road Hazzards

The roads in my neck of the woods are never boring for sure... This is a list of items that I witnessed or seen on the side or in the roadway in one 24 hr time...I don't drive that much really!

  • A Kitchen Chair

  • Many Tire parts

  • A huge garbage can (in the passing lane)

  • A Box-o-styro foam cups.

  • Too many cars with 'blown out' tires to count

  • Biker with a bummed elbow from a car that took him out. (I stopped to help, but he sure was ticked off!) Needless to say, I was unable to do anything. I think I will not pedal bike on KY roads in the future.

  • A box spring.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

1. My oldest wants to be a pharmacist and our middle child is thinking about being a doctor! Woo Hoo!

2. We now have a resident wood chuck that is going in for the Zucchini! I tell ya, it may be cute, but if he takes aim for our Pumpkins he is HISTORY! Our poor pumpkin plants are in recovery from the deer-fest!

3. My future 'physician' said to my future 'pharmacist' today... "Hey, it would basically be like it is now. I tell you what to do!"... ahhh brotherly love!

4. We spent the evening at a local soup kitchen called Hosea House. I am trying to spend more time helping out with people in the community, after all we are made to help each other. We live near some pretty hurting people. We (the hubby and I) also brought along the kiddos to help out. This place was adorable. I was the passer of BBQ and carrots. Brock passed out bread, jello or fruit, Duner and Reece gave out beverages. The people in charge keep a tight ship. They were not afraid to tell the people like it is! I was so afraid of saying the wrong thing.

5. I am told that there is 'camps' of homeless people in the area. This weekend we are going (the hubby and I ) are going to one of the local homeless camps to give out lunches.

6. Child number one's feet are now smaller than child number two. I believe that spells... T.R.O.U.B.L.E.

7. The hubby picked up a second job at DHL. He rotates his full time job between first and second shift, then works some overnight time at DHL. He only works part time but he gets benefits like insurance and vacation time! Crazy! I am not getting to excited about it, if he can't handle all the hours and wants to quit, I am ok with it.

8. Our future 'physician' had part of his toe nail removed last week. That was intense. They sprayed his toe with something that upon hitting the air became something like 40 below, giving him frostbite, then they inject the pain med in his toe. In more than one location. Then the podiatrist, JAMS a wedge down under the nail, to create a path for the scissors to cut both sided of the nail out. Ewww! It looked painful (!) but he did GREAT!

9. We are on pace to break a record here in the area. The most consecutive days of temps over 90 was 15 and we are on pace for 19. (depending on if the rain comes on Saturday as they predict) Thankfully about a week later they are predicting a nice cold front! Yahooo!

10. I have spent the past few days school shopping. Online only. I love not driving to a store and being able to compare sales with just a few clicks! There are so many websites that have 'free shipping' or 'discount' codes. My least favorite thing to shop for was the mens/ boys underwear. Really? Why on earth are some 3 pairs for 7 bucks but others are 3 pairs for $18??

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Clifty Falls State Park: Without kids!

For all times I left my memory card in the computer at home and my cell phone was dying so I wasn't able to capture my own pictures, so all the pics here are borrowed, but some are FAR better than I could have done myself. (so I have linked them from the direct sources)

On Saturday, we ventured from Kentucky to the big state of Indiana.

If ever, I am feeling the slightest bit homesick we found we can travel a short distance to Madison, Indiana. On the way the roads are flater, wider and have farms spotted along the way, just like Wisconsin. Plus they have similar hometown names such as Madison, Seymour and Schofield! Didn't see many cows, but did see lots of fields of corn!

Our goal was to head to Clifty Falls state park. We have been somewhat disappointed in the Kentucky state parks. They don't charge much, if anything, unless you are camping... but they don't have the nice signs or roads either.

We easily found the park, paid our 'out of state' fee of $7 and wandered to the camping area. We miss camping with the kids so we are hoping next year to get some camp time in. This state park had FOUR waterfalls. It was a balmy 97 degrees that day so my goal was to get wet. The park has 8 trails. We decided to start with big Clifty falls first. Trail #8. This pic was taken from trail #2 (I believe) which is a 3 mile one way trail, ending at the water fall then you have to travel another 3 miles back. It was too hot for us to attempt that, so we settled for #7 and 8, which stay on the top parts of the falls.

This was the picture (below) I wanted to take myself when I realized I had not brought the memory card. D'oh! The falls are to our right from this view.
This state park also has a tunnel that was dug to make way for trains but they lost funding so it was abandoned and now is home to bats. We were greeted with this sign at the enterance:

Please Note: Clifty Falls Tunnel is closed until further notice

All caves, sinkholes, tunnels and mines on DNR properties are closed to provide protection from white-nose syndrome, a fungus that is killing bats in large numbers in the Eastern U.S. and is now spreading west. This includes the old railroad tunnel at Clifty Falls. To learn more about WNS visit Thank you for cooperating with DNR in this effort.

This was one of the coolest parts of the day. Litterally! It was about 10-15 degrees cooler standing infront of it. I wanted to go inside just to cool off, but didn't want to find any critters...

We never did find a place to use our swimsuits but I did manage to make a splash in a small stream (about 18 inches) that flowed accross our path to Tunnel falls. We did get wet, but it was from sweat!

We then hit the local town and found a place called The Pines (which is also a name of a resturant back in WI) that reminded us a lot of Romy's Nightingale Supper club back home. We managed to cool off there before heading back home.

On our way home we drove to downtown Madison, "Prettiest small town in the Midwest"
according to their brochure. It is cute. Old world charm. We liked it.

As we headed back along the Kentucky side of the Ohio River, we stopped at General Butler State Park. We did like the cabins there, but we are still in search of a campground WITH a beach. They are so far elusive around here... but next week, we may have found one! We will see!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Saga Continues...


March. Nancy left me.
May. Michelle left me.
July. J.D left boot camp. cry.cry.

I now have been completely abandoned by my personal 'training'.
The ONLY reason I stayed and didn't 'buy out' of the contract was because at least I still had JD every Saturday to kick my butt! Now he is leaving to go to something called Crossfit Hustle. It is a hard core training facility. You know it is 'hard core' when you have to pay $200 a MONTH to be part of it. Why so much? Cause it is technically not a GYM. See video here (or below)...

ok. You can pick up your jaw now. All kinds of crazy fun!!

So. I am not made of that kind of cash. Now, I am buying myself out of personal training. I am asking them to kindly drop the 'buy out' and just cancel my contract due to the fact that I was dropped by them multiple times.
I am not asking for my money back. Even a reduction in fees would be nice. Then again, just to not have to deal with all that mess will be nice too.
I LOVE the gym. Love the spin classes. Love the running track. Love the tanning, smoothies, and theater! But the personal trainers? Not so much.

But on the upside, Cross fit Hustle has a WORKOUT OF THE DAY, open to the public for $10 on Saturdays at noon.

I think I found my new boot camp. Even cheaper! Oh, yeah!! Score!

: )

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Garden Update or Barking Doesn't Scare least from a human.

Even thought the top of this Tomato plant was eaten by the deer it is still growing two little tomatoes! Yay!
NOW deer have taken a liking to our Zucchini!
Hopefully this little one will survive the DEER invasion!!
We have a little water melon starting! Yay!
The pumpkins may have been taken over from the deer... bummer. Cat litter didn't work...
So far the deer don't care for the cucumber plants... we have a few growing well!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Interesting, yet kinda useless factoids...

Ugh. What a week. Put a fork in me I am done!

1. Genetic testing is 3,000 bucks, so you better hope your insurance covers it! (and you don't have a $$$$ deductible, like yours truly)

2. If you have a close relative with a specific type of cancer it is only $475 bucks. What a bargain!!

3. Did you know that a manger is not necessarily a barn? Yep. Learned that one too!

4. ER staff are pretty amazing. Why not bring 'em a treat along with you next time you want to calling the ambulance cause 'need something checked out'.

5. My kids are mellow compared to some. I heart my kids. Currently de-stressing as we type....

6. I followed the county Coroners pick up truck into work this week... It got lots of stare downs from pedestrians as it passed by... kinda eerie like.

7. Deer like tomato AND pumpkin leaves. Now, we will see how much they like cat litter... REALLY strong stuff too!

8. 110 degree heat index is intense. Even walking was rough. I have no idea how critters with fur handled it.

9. I am so. very. very. glad. to. have. boys.

10. Hollah! is a greeting, like a good happy one. (for us white folk) I love learning African American speak... so fun and colorful.

Have a great weekend all!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Random-ness: Tighty Whitey Edition...

1. Life is good. Life is not perfect, and not meant to be but WOW! The hubby never picked up a book before but now has been reading daily. Lately it's been Radical by David Platt and the Bible. And Reece professed God as his savior and was baptized with the hubby and about 16 other people this past week at church! Blessings abound here in our family... we have a growing relationship with God and its getting better. Although saying grace seems to fall on my shoulders... but thats ok.

2. We are now running again. Together...ur, kind of. (during the week we are on our own, since he is on another shift every other week) I like to get my run in before work, if I am going to run outside. The hubby likes to get it done just before he goes to sleep. After the temps cool down. At least now the hubby is also a member of the gym too, so he can join me for Boot Camp! : )

3. Saturday mornings we have decided to get together with Les, the assistant Pastor at our church. He has been in track in school but hasn't really run much in years. Walks a lot but not running. He has an awesome stride and makes it look easy! (Plus, we are STILL going to hit boot camp every week!)

4. Endomondo is awesome. But I don't think it likes me. It is an FREE app that you can use with your mobile phone to track your pace, distance, speed and calories. PLUS it does all this while you are running without having to post it. For instance, it will say 'Rachel is out running at a 5.8175 pace and so far has gone 1.2 miles". I love it, but I have asked it to send a like to my mobile phone. It still hasn't sent it and it is not in my 'app market' either. Bummer.

5. We are in the middle of a crazy week! VBS 'Gold Rush' week. Complete with cowboy themed everything. I am helping with 24- Karat crafts. Reece and Brock are 'shepherding' the kids around and Brock will find a place to help out. Zeb gets to have fun. Duner gets to work... at his job...

6. Duner took the kids fishing (the two youngest) and Reece was pretty happy that he caught a catfish AND was able to get if off without getting 'stung'.

7. Saturday I spent the day helping out at Fairhaven Thrift Store. They give poor people vouchers to get clothes and housewares at the store. We are only open from 10 am to 2 pm, we had 33 people come in with vouchers. Plus some came in with money.

One of the men was telling me how he has not had utilities in over 2 months. He can't afford to go to the laundromat so he has to keep buying new clothes to wear. (with vouchers) He said he is running out of room to store them all. He has five roomates. Crazy huh?

Well, what really hurt, was hearing how he had to use swim trunks as underwear.

Underwear? Yep, 'cause they are very hard to come by. A guy passing him when he said 'Oh yeah, you bet they are!'

One of the most basic things we use everyday. Wow.

So, dear people in blog dome. Got any undies you haven't worn 'cause they don't fit right? Or not the color you wanted? Please donate 'em.

Thank you!

A good laugh..

As I am mashing together the potato salad last night, the hubby asked if he could help.

"Sure!" I said. He mashed it up and added some mustard.
I got busy doing other things and didn't think much of it until I went to put some potato salad on my own plate and asked him if he put any Miracle Whip in it.

"No" he said. Then when on to tell me why he didn't... Brock perked up and said 'Reece didn't seem to mind'. Reece, who had his recently found his long lost ipod. Was watching Netflix with his ear buds in and was unable to hear us. We all look over at him and see his plate with just a few potato and egg crumbs on it.

Funny how you know when someone is talking about you. He looked up, as if on cue, and said "What?".

What a good kid. Apparently, not a complainer.

It felt so good to laugh so hard.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Natural Bridge a.k.a Red River Gorge

This picture was a rare. Most of the trek to the bridge was uphill. Steep hills.
Along the way they had huts to stop and rest. Lots of people took advantage. I was determined to keep going and not rest until we reached the top!
We saw lots of these in the trees. Not sure what they are but they sure are pretty!

Kinda expect some creatures to crawl outta there, Eh?
Almost there!
Oh, wait, stairs... and more stairs.
You can see the arch in this picture.

Really? I thought we were almost there! *sigh*
What a great reminder of just how big your butt is...
And Breathe! (yes we had to get through there to get to the top!)
And MORE stairs!
*not us. Just some people I do not know. We did walk over to the ledge in the distance after.

Not recommended for the handicapped.
What descriptive names! Not sure what Lovers Leap and Needles Eye Stairway was, but Devil's gulch sure was scary!
Someone's artwork. Carving is against the rules, but was pretty neat.
Again. Don't know who the dude is, but he kinda puts the pic in perspective.
Devil's gluch. glup. Yep. That would be down.
One of my very favorite parts! Even had Raspberries along the path! (No, Mom we did not try them)

Love this pic!
And This!
More pics of Nada Tunnel (Click here for a video from you tube.. not my video) We did drive thru it. Traffic goes both ways, but drivers seemed to be nice and back up and wait if you were already in the tunnel.
This was a foot bridge that you had to cross before getting to the hill. Guys loved freaking out girls on the bridge. It was hard to walk straight on the thing!