Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

My picture was not taken this week, nor this month.  It was towards the end of last summer but expresses my recent graduate's attitude.  He loves to show off.  O.K.  a few words this time.




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Monday, May 30, 2011

To-Do List Check Up

Re-posting my Spring-To-Do List as well as my 2011 To-Do List.  How do you think I am doing with it?

SPRING TO-DO LIST





With so many upcoming important events...Joshua graduating and Kera having a baby, I think I need to create my Spring To Do List, that I will go back cross off as I complete things.
All items in blue I am not doing now.
The House...

 The Main Living Room
  • Paint the walls
  • Paint the foyer walls
  • Add new flooring
  • Clean the curtains
  • Clean the vents
  • Wash windows
  • Organize the closet
  • Shampoo Carpet
The stair way
  • Clean the spindles
  • Shampoo Carpet
  • Wash walls if we don't paint them
The Small Living Room 
  • Wash walls if we don't paint them
  • Wash windows
  • Clean vents
  • Clean curtain and blinds
  • Shampoo Carpet
  • Organize closet
  • Clean Linen closet
The Kitchen
  • Wash windows
  • Finish Curtain for the door
  • Make one more plate for the wall
  • Add the two sets of doors back.
My Bedroom
  • Clean vents
  • Shampoo Carpet
  • Clean closet
Porch
  • Wash windows
  • Put out patio furniture
  • Tidy up
  • Place plants out
Deck
  • Sweep
  • Plant flowers
  • Plant Herbs
  • Organize patio furniture
Outdoors
  • Get rid of 3 junked cars
  • Plant veggie garden  (1/2 done)
  • Clean up flower beds
  • Plant new butterfly/humming bird garden
  • Clean humming bird feeder
  • Add new mulch to landscaping
  • Mow and Trim lawn
Graduation
  • Design Open House Invitations
  • Make 2 board displays
  • Display Joshua's school work
  • Get Decorations out
  • Plant red and white Petunias for center pieces
  • Make slide show
  • Purchase guest book
  • Iron gown for graduation
  • Get hair colored to hide greys and hopefully help the bad hair style that the stylest did on her own by not listening to what I wanted.
  • Find a new outfit for me and Joshua
  • Mail invitations
  • Pick up chips, dip, food items that I will make
  • Order Food
  • Make Food
  • Make mints
  • Order cake
  • Decorate
Kera's Baby Shower
Baby Shower has been moved so now I am not doing as much. 
All items in blue I am not doing now. 
  • Make pacifier mints
  • Make rice crispy rattles
  • Make invitations
  • Mail invitations
  • Take a picture of her belly to add to the invitations
  • Purchase the car seat/stroller
  • Pick up items for prizes for the games
  • Pick up fruit
  • Decorate
  • Pick up baby bag and items in it for one of the games
  • Pick up blue yarn for a game
  • Pick up babies and place them in ice cube trays to make babies in ice.
  • Finish baby quilt
  • Finish receiving blankets
  • Finish burp rags
Before the baby is born
  • Finish Cross Stitch wall hanging
  • Finish Cross Stitch Bib
To Do List ~ 2011 Style
  1. To become healthier. Let's face it if I do not I know I am shortening my life. I have children who need me, I have soon to be grandchildren I want to see, I just want to enjoy life plain and simple. I know I am not invincible, we all will die some day, but I need to take care of myself. I plan to watch my sodium intake once again. Try to move more as long as the knee continues to let me. The weight I will lose will also help my knee, my high blood pressure, and possibly rid the borderline diabetes. I'm not going to say "I'm going to lose XX amount of weight by XX date. It does not work that way for me. Plain and simple, I need to become healthier.
  2. Organization. I am going to check this off once I have all of my closets organized, kitchen cupboards organized, and the shed. I see Craig List in my future for some things in the shed, if not then they will be donated. This house is packed to the gills now with so many boom-a-rangs flying back at us.
  3. To take my finances by the horn. I am going to get all the medical bills paid off and the one last credit card that haunts me previous to moving to Iowa City. I want this in the worse way. I want to join checking accounts with my husband.
  4. Joining Accounts leads me to the next thing on my list. Combine our car insurance. It's silly we both have our own coverage right now. I think it only makes sense to have one car insurance carrier.
  5. To actively find another job. I am praying the economy is good enough for me to cross this one of my list. I just want to have a "college level paying job". I have never had this strong of an urge until my 25th high school reunion. I feel as a career person I have failed. Do not take me wrong, I am a hard worker and succeed in that way, I just think I have failed with having a degree and working entry level positions. I want to have a savings. I want to be able to afford summer clothing or school clothes and not be paying for it 2 months later with my budget.
  6. Paint the inside of the house. Oh, this has been on my list for 2 years and the only thing I have not crossed off. This year will be my year.
  7. Continue with our dance lessons. What more can I say. I love it. I love spending the time with Todd. I love getting out and doing something enjoyable. I love working out and having fun as I am working out.

HMMM... I can't cross any more off of my yearly to do list.  How sad!

    Memorial Day

    Photo Courtesy of Jenny Stratton

    Memorial Day, What does it mean to you?  When I was a little girl we would always go to the cemetery and place flowers on our loved ones graves. My Mother's Mom (my grandma) died when she was 13 years old.  Her burial site is across the street from the rows and rows of soldiers.  Every Memorial day we would finish cleaning off her headstone and then just sit on the curb and look at all the white crosses with tiny flags waving in the breeze, among the white crosses you would see a Star of David in place of a cross.  My Mom would tell us they are the reason for Memorial Day.  The men who fought for our country and gave the ultimate price for our freedom, their lives.  I would look and feel such sadness for their families.  There were so many of them.  We would then go to her baby brother's burial site and once again I would be sad because this section was known as baby land.  All the headstones belonged to babies who died.  We would always end up at the pond to feed the swans and ducks.

    As I grew older Memorial Day became a little different meaning.  Not only did mean honoring our past loved ones and honoring those who fought for our country but also those who have survived.  It also means the beginning of Summer and get together with family.  Occasionally a graduation will be thrown into the mixture.

    I do not need Memorial day for me to remember my loved ones who have passed nor those who gave their lives for our country.  However it is wonderful to have a day dedicated to our Veterans living or not.  I know, they have another day too but the living deserve two days as well. I am proud that I am American.

    I have been reminded the past month that I am proud to be American in so many ways.  Of course the History Channel (we watch a lot of it) however when our country comes into crisis the goodness of the communities and people pitch in.  Memorial Day this year means more then those who lost lives but those who lost a part of the life or loved ones.  My friend Aimee wrote a series of blogs about the tornado in here area in Alabama.  Very touching, she does such a great job of sharing her emotions, you should check it out.  A Day In The Life Of My Crazy Little World.   My friend Jenny, whose photos I am using,  uploaded a photo tribute of the tornado in Joplin, MO and of her cousin's place in Arkansas.  She and her sister, Joanna drove from Iowa to Arkansas to help their cousin out. These two women are the epitome of goodness whenever someone is down on their luck or needs assistance they are there.  I am so proud that I know all of these women.

    “…I’m proud to be an American
    where at least I know I’m free
    And I wont forget the men who died
    who gave that right to me
    And I gladly stand up
    next to you and defend her still today
    ‘ Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land
    God bless the USA”
    -Lee Greenwood

     Photo Courtesy of Jenny Stratton.
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    Sunday, May 29, 2011

    Graduation


    **SIGH**  What a day the past two days were.  All types of emotions from stressed, anxiety, hatred, admiration, proud, sadness.
    I will get the hatred out quickly because this post is not about that.  I will just make this very short.  I have decided the next two son's graduation parties will be without their father's side of the family.  They can have two separate parties from now on.  It is so not worth it.  My Mother, sister, husband, and friends were never more appalled by watching his actions near the end, even our oldest.  Enough on that.

    Friday was so hectic.  I woke up early to finish up the house.  There was not a lot just a little of something in every room.  I was so achy from all the carpet shampooing the day prior.  I did get help with two bathrooms.  My Mother, Father (his first time inside my house), my sister Amy (her first time inside my house as well) and my nephew Carlos showed up around 5 pm.  My sister Katie was unable to come.  It is hard for her to go long distance with Miranda.  The ride is too long for her.  My sister Lisa and her kids, I have no idea.  I know my nephew's wife Hailey really wanted to go but she did not have a car that would make it.  Those who showed up Friday stayed the night at my house since the graduation was at 7 pm that night and the party was at 1 the next afternoon.  


     Big Brother Matthew and Joshua
     All 4 of my boys. 
    Notice the 14 year old has grown taller then his 21 year old and 18 year old brothers.
     My Mom and Dad with Joshua
     Joshua glaring at my sister Amy to get over by him to have a picture taken with him.
     Joshua and his shoes for graduation.
    We teased him and told him his feet looked like one of the disciples.
     My family minus the girls
     Profile of my graduate.
     His class.  We are at Carver Hall
     Joshua crossing the stage to receive his diploma.
     The choir he is sings with, singing The Alma Mater
     Big brother Matthew singing The Alma Mater song too.
     Just after the ceremony.
    Joshua with one of his friends.

    I was a little emotional seeing him down on the floor in his cap and gown.  I remembered back to his first day of school.  How bright eyed he was.  It has been a rough year with this kid but I am very proud of him.


    We went to eat after graduation  It was a late dinner but it was such a good time.  Home again around 11 pm and the graduate was off to his first party.  I went to Walgreen's to pick up my photos to make his 2 boards.  I had ordered them Wednesday night.  Like everything else for this kid, they could not find my order.  I was so upset, I drove home and called them with the confirmation number from my email.  They still could not find it so I had to re-order and they told me they would get it done before an hour, however I told them that I would be there early in the morning.  

    Up again at 6:30, started the pasta salad and making the Snicker Bar Salad. My Mother woke up early to assist me.  I was shocked when I found out that my ex only brought 1 pound of potato salad to feed 40 people and only half a stock of celery as well and only 24 bottles of water.  He only brought half the amount of chips, so add more to my growing list to pick up before the party.  Thank goodness he did come through with the meat and cheese platter.  After everything was cut and prepared that I had, I waited on the Cole Slaw salad.  I wanted to make this the very last minute.  Off to the store I went.  First stop Walgreen's and YES my pictures were waiting.  Then off to Hy-Vee to pick up some of the things on my list and pick up the cake.  What?  They could not find my cake.  Seriously!  They looked for close to 15 minutes.  The baker stated she knows she made it because the name was so familiar, I explained probably because he worked there and then she mentioned he was not on the list of graduates.  In about 10 minutes she found his ordered and laughed saying it was her next cake to decorate that is why it was so familiar, she told me she would put his name on the list of graduates.  I asked what did that mean?  < Insert HUGE SMILE here>  His cake (full sheet) was going to be free as a gift to their Seniors.  Wow!  I did not expect that, so my moment of stress turned out for the best with the aspect of the cake. 

    Home again I went and my mom and husband wanted to know what took so long, explained the story.  We cut the rest of the veggies I picked up.  I created my boards.



    I then scanned the last of the photos (13) and added a few from graduation to his slide show.  Plenty of time, 1 hour before we had the shelter.  I saved my video and then copied it to the disk.  While it was saving off to Fareway to pick up the pulled pork and things that were lacking by the ex.
     Here is my tier dessert plate I made.


     Joshua wore a Pokemon hat that was Matthew's when he was in 3rd grade.



     My sister looking at his boards.


     My Father and Jim chatting with one another.
     Joshua with my sister-in-law, mother, and husband.



    .  They came and they played.
      They swung on swings.

    They played on the merry go round.

    They played frisbee.

    They played badminton.

    They hung out and laughed.

    It was great. I loved watching Joshua just glow in his spot light. He had nearly 50 kids at his party.  I had 3 co-workers show up.  This touched me, I love these women.

    We had a good friend, Todd's old co-worker show up as well.  She was Todd's friend first but I became friends with her and she is close to Joshua because of our sand volleyball team. 

    It was a great party!  I was so exhausted afterward.  Too tired to argue that he could not use my car, I let him take it to other parties.  I was scared the entire time, in fear that he would come home with my car damaged more but he came home with the same damage as the first time I allowed him to use it.  

    Joshua, I am so proud of your accomplishments.  As long as you do not procrastinate any more, I know you will go far kid.  Love you!


    This has been linked to 5 Minutes for Moms
    I Tackled It...preparations, all the stress, all worth it!
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