Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Confessional




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This week's Confessions...Come on and join in with Mamarrazi. 

I confess...

It has been an emotional week.  Monday I found out my father has Liver Cancer and possibly Lung, test were to come back on Thursday or Friday.

I confess...

At first I was mad at Life.  How can you do this when I finally have a positive relationship with him again?  I know it took awhile for me to put my guard down.  I built a wall around me to protect me from him hurting me again.

I confess...

He definitely does NOT earn Father of the Year award any at all. He was abusive to me and my mom and sister, never the younger two sisters.  He told me several times while I was a teen he wished I was 6 ft under.  He missed my high school graduation because he was drunk.  He missed my college graduation and first wedding and the birth of my first two children because he was serving time.   After my second child was 4 months he came back and was sober for 5 years and a good grandfather to my boys, but he went back to loving alcohol more.  He missed my second wedding and my oldest son's graduation again serving time.

I confess...

Two years ago when he laid in the ICU I felt bad for him but I mourned him long ago.  He was out of my life and I had little to do with him, not wanting my boys around a drunk and I did not want them to know him as a drunk.

I confess...

THIS time he must have really seen the light.  He has never apologized for what he has done to my Mom or my sisters and I, but he did everything the doctors told him and wanted to know his grandchildren. He is a good grandfather now.  He is a good father now.

I confess...

When he came to Iowa City in May for Joshua's graduation, all my walls were down.  I saw the love he had in his eyes.  The love I always longed for and wanted from a father.

I confess...

It is because of all this I was so mad at LIFE.  Never questioned God but thought Life is so unfair.  By Wednesday my out look was better.  I was not mad at life any longer.  It is what it is.  I am appreciative that Life gave me a chance to have the father I always wanted.

I confess...

I am glad I have a positive relationship with him now, NOT because he was sick because it isn't.  It is because HE WANTED it.  If this is the end for him, at least I will not have any regrets.

I confess...

I broke work's rule today at 10:45 when my Mom called my cell phone.  I did not care.  I answered it.  I AM SO GLAD I DID.   The cancer did NOT go to his lungs.  Next step is checking his heart to see if it can take surgery.  If so, then a liver transplant.

I confess...

I never knew you can donate part of your liver.  It will grow.  I checked into it.  Unfortunately I have too much BMI.  This is more of an incentive to lose weight.  What if the boys need any part of my organs, I would hate not to be able to donate to them a living organ if they need it.  I would do anything for them, as well as Todd.

What do you have to confess this week?

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

We Want to Know

Welcome to We Want to Know Q&A Wednesday

Hosted by Mamarazzi and Alicia aka Queso




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{1} What is one thing (food or drink) that you MUST have everyday?


{2} What is your "go to" food when you don't feel well/need comfort?


{3} Is there a dish that you make that people request when they visit your home/a family favorite?


{4} What are 3 foods you have TRIED, do not like and will NEVER eat again?


and our final question comes from Dee@ HomesickCajun


{5} What's one thing that you love to eat that most people would think is weird and/or gross??

Here are my answers:


{1} What is one thing (food or drink) that you MUST have everyday? I really do not have a MUST have everyday food.  I do have one comfort thing I MUST have when stressed and that is Pepsi.  It has to be Pepsi, no diet or any other flavor.  I do not know what it is, but it is my comfort, that and crab ragoons.  Call me strange.



{2} What is your "go to" food when you don't feel well/need comfort?  Well...I guess I should have read these before I start to answer.  I am going to keep things as is, so I keep it real.  See Question 1 for the answer.


{3} Is there a dish that you make that people request when they visit your home/a family favorite? I have a few... Broccoli Salad, Snicker Bar Salad, and Mashed Potatoes.


{4} What are 3 foods you have TRIED, do not like and will NEVER eat again? {Oh if you could only see my face right now...icky poo poo}  Calamari, Eel, and Snails.  It must be a texture thing...G R O S S!!!!


and our final question comes from Dee@ HomesickCajun


{5} What's one thing that you love to eat that most people would think is weird and/or gross?? Well  I can think of a few...all dealing with Ketchup.  Once in a great while, I crave french toast with ketchup.  My father showed me this a long long time ago when we did not have enough sryup to go around.  The other, again something my father taught me, using ketchup as dip for my chips, also putting chips on my sandwich (love that one still).  Another odd one is, when eating french fries, I like to take ketchup and mayo mixed to dunk the fries.  Learned that one from a fellow co-worker when I worked Burger King, I taught it to my youngest.
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Wednesday Woo Hoos



Well by my rule if I have a Monday Moan I have to have a Wednesday Woo Hoo.  To be all perfectly honest this is very tough for me to find the Woo Hoos for the week.  Monday's Moan just threw me for such a loop, so this is going to be probably a lame Woo Hoo because my mood is not Woo Hoo worthy.

Woo Hoo, I am sitting here at the front of the office covering the switchboard and there is one beautiful tree that has the most gorgeous red leaves all over it.  Seriously I wish I had my camera to take a picture of it.

Woo Hoo this week is Ethan's first homecoming weekend and he will be going to his first dance.  He has been participating in spirit week too.  Woo Hoo for him wanting to be involved.  I love it.

I think that is all I have. Yep, that's it.  What do you have to Woo Hoo about this week?
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Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday Moan

I had no intentions of posting a Monday Moan.  I felt like I was coming off of a good weekend with everything I accomplished.  Yes, work is hectic and that is the way it will be for awhile now, I have accepted it.  My good friend had her baby yesterday, so she will be able to make her brother's wedding next Saturday.  Life was going okay for me...then BAM I was slammed in the face.  MOOOOOOOAAAAAN.   This Monday Moan will not even be light hearted, no funnies, I have none at this topic for my MOOOOOOOAAAAAN.  My MOOOOOOOAAAAANs are actually tears.

I posted a few Wednesday Woo Hoos back how I was excited I have a father once again.  I think this is why I have the MOOOOOOOAAAAAN and big tears.  I mean, I am 45 years old and I am finally having a father that I longed for.  He was there when I was little but not like he is now.  Two years ago he had a near death incident, this was life changing for him.  He stopped drinking and realized he was missing out so much from not being in his daughters' lives, missing out on grand children's lives.  I was very skeptical.  I have seen him tell us he will try only to be hurt and let down.  I was not rude to him but I did not become overwhelmed with a loving feeling until May when I saw how much he really wants to be in my life.  Not only mine but my boys and Todd's too.

November nearly two years ago, he was bleeding near death.  Liver was bad, he was diagnosed with Hepatitis A and Liver sclerosis.   It did not look good for him.  He had a spot on his liver and they thought it was cancerous but it came back benign. He found out he was diabetic.  MOOOOOOOAAAAAN.  He has done everything the doctors told him.  He went to AA meetings, he had everything documented so he could be put on a liver transplant list.  However, he was healed...the liver sclerosis healed.  His Hepatitis A was looking good.  No signs at all of any liver problems.  Diabetes under control.

Today I received a call.  MOOOOOOOAAAAAN  He has liver cancer and they think lung cancer too.  Friday he goes back to the doctor to confirm.  If it is liver only, he will then go for testing that will last 3 days and be put on the liver transplant list for an immediate candidate.

MOOOOOOOAAAAAN I hurt so bad right now.  I feel I have been cheated.  I have not had the time of having a father long enough.MOOOOOOOAAAAAN. The only positive thought to this is IF it is his time, at least it will end with a positive relationship.
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Saturday, September 24, 2011

DOWNTOWN IS ON FIRE!

Todd works for Johnson Emergency Communication Center...basically Iowa City and Johnson County Dispatch Center.   About a year ago last July the two centers joined becoming one center for the entire county.  They have some "new" hiccups like any new building with software and what not.  Typically the center runs on a skeleton crew, always has, this saves money for the taxpayers, however they have had 2 people leave and 2 on leave of absence plus they do not have a supervisor, so Todd was pulled to fill in until they find one.  He has been doing this since July.  With the major shortage, he has been working some odd hours and sometimes some long shifts.  Yesterday was one of them.  He worked 3 pm until 11 pm and then again 3 am until 11 am.  Yes, that is right only 4 hours off between shifts.  The center is also where all agencies will meet if there is ever a county disaster because of this they have cots.  In order for Todd to get as much sleep as he could we both agreed it would be best for him to stay and sleep there instead of two 20 minute drives, taking 40 minutes of his sleeping time away.

I believe God has a reason for everything even if it is an odd way.  About 40 minutes before he was going to get up one of the dispatchers went down the hall yelling for him because they had no idea where he took the cot to sleep.  They had a huge emergency and did not know where to find this one book to handle an emergency like this.  Downtown Iowa City was on fire!  4 buildings were burning and they had to call for all the volunteer firemen on top of the active firemen.  I have posted pictures from the Press Citizen, the city's paper's web site.  Only Todd knew where this procedure was.









Firefighters were on two streets and 11 other cities fire departments assisted as well as the Iowa City Police, Johnson County Ambulance and Red Cross provided aid and assistance.  This fire became a 3 alarm fire after a backdraft explosion around 2:30 am then by 7:30 am it became a 4 alarm fire.  Bruegger's Bagels, Van Patten House and Vogel House both on the National Register of Historical Places, Studio 13 (a popular dance club), and The Yacht Club ended up on fire or smoke damage, several other buildings near it had water damage from the firemen trying to prevent the fire from spreading.  Bruegger's and Van Patten are back to back to one another and had the worse damage both buildings have no roof or second floor, both buildings have apartments above the stores, luckily no civilians or firefighters were injured.  

Todd was home by 11:30 and the firefighters were still putting out small hot spot fires.  Todd works so hard if only the city would know what a great job he does and have him fill the supervisor job for good.  I do not think any other dispatcher works or gives up as much as he does.  He is now home asleep and missing his Hawkeyes playing football.  Poor guy.  
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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

We Want to Know




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Welcome to We Want to Know Q&A Wednesday


{1} What is your MUST SEE show?
{2} What shows are you most excited to watch this season?
{3} How many hours a week do you actually watch TV?
{4} Do you think TV has gotten too "racy" (vulgar, pushing the limit, etc) ?
{5} How many TVs do you have in your house?

My Answers are... and in Mamarazzi's words..."Please do not judge me."

{1} What is your MUST SEE show?

      Well, I have a few MUST SEE... Top Chef, Dexter, and Glee.  Once in awhile Dancing With The Stars too.
{2} What shows are you most excited to watch this season?
      Top Chef or Dexter.  They are shows my husband and I watch together and since we are not taking dance lessons anymore, I like knowing certain nights are just he and I or anyone else that wants to watch it with us.
{3} How many hours a week do you actually watch TV?
      Not sure, typically it's on as a background noise to me.  Todd watches a lot of History Channel or Sports Channels.
{4} Do you think TV has gotten too "racy" (vulgar, pushing the limit, etc) ?
      Some shows have, I just do not watch them.  I am not one of those who will protest something like a television show.  If you do not like it then turn it off or turn it to another channel.  I am VERY mad with how some have handled Chaz Bono on Dancing With the Stars.  Seriously?  *eyes rolling*  It's just a show!  If you have certain ethics that you do not want your children to see or know, then do not watch it.  It is your responsibility as a parent to teach your child, not television.
{5} How many TVs do you have in your house?
     *Head hanging in shame*  We have 8 televisions, 2 are in storage for those who do not live with us but have left some of their belongings.

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Wednesday Woo Hoos

Another Wednesday and another Woo Hoo!

Woo Hoo for seeing my Mother and Father this past weekend.  I enjoyed seeing them and spending time with them.  I also enjoyed being with my sister's little girls...Kaylee, Lexy, and Miranda.
They made me laugh and laugh, the older two.  What characters they are.

Woo Hoo Ethan is really trying with his school grades this year.  I think losing the cell phone was the best answer.

Woo Hoo the boys and I had a little "us" time.  We played Apples to Apples last night.  It was a lot of fun.

Woo Hoo the car search is over for Kera and Joshua.  Todd found a GMC Jimmy.  They both like it, now I hope they both save to buy their own so we do not have to worry about them sharing it.

Woo Hoo I have a new battery for my car.  When the temperatures dipped last week, my car gave me some troubles starting.  Now I will not have to worry when it comes this winter.

Woo Hoo we are suppose to have 70 degree temperatures again.  I hope the sun and warmer temps turn my tomatoes red red red.  I have more canning I want to get done.  I really enjoy canning, especially when it is our own veggies.  I do buy some from the farmer's market to freeze and can sometimes.  We have no apples,  but that did not stop me from canning this year.

Woo Hoo I have some Christmas shopping started.  This will help since I know we will have no overtime again this year during open enrollment season.

What do you have to Woo Hoo about this week?
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Wordless Wednesday



I made my second diaper cake


This is linked to 5 Minutes for Moms
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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tackle It Tuesday

This week's tackle was a wreath I made for a dear friend's nursery.  
She is a co-worker and it ended up as a gift from the team when we threw a surprise shower for her.

To make the baby nursery wreath I needed:
  • 1 grapevine wreath
  • ribbon
  • wooden cut out figures
  • paint
  • hot glue gun
  • floral wire
  • wire cutter
  • greenery

      1.  First I took the wider ribbon and wrapped it around the grapevine wreath as I wanted it to look.  I then glued the two ends on the back side of the wreath.
      2.  I then took the ivy I picked up at the Dollar Tree and cut to length.  I attached the branches to the grape vine wreath with floral wire.  You could hot glue it as well if you chose to.
      3.  I created my bow.  I wanted to have the 'ABC' blocks on the wreath as a ribbon since I was going to add the giraffe cut outs.  I felt the 'ABC' ribbon would make a better accent to the bow.  I then added the bow with the floral wire, again, if you wish you could hot glue the ribbon.  I tucked a little giraffe under the bow, this I did hot glue.
      4.  I wanted 'ABC' blocks to add but did not want to spend over $40 for a bucket of blocks for only 10 blocks, so I created my own.  I found wooden flat squares and painted them to look like 'ABC' blocks.    I hot glued the squares where I wanted them to be placed on the wreath and added the baby giraffe wooden cut outs that I found at Wal-Mart.
      5.  I added a little floral wire to the back to have a hook to hang the wreath on the wall.
Ta Da!  One nursery baby wreath.
The Mommy to be liked it and loved how neutral sex it is.
She plans to use it again with her next baby.
It makes me feel great when someone actually enjoys or likes what I made for them.
Very rewarding.

What did you tackle this week?

This will be added to 5 Minutes for Moms

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Surprise Baby Shower

I have very few true friends here in Iowa City.  I guess when you get older it is harder to make friends like one does when they are younger.  Friends mean everything to me and I find I am lonely from time to time.  I met this person nearly 3 years ago.  She is young enough to be my daughter but there is this connection between us.  What you see is what you get with Jessica.  She does not have any hesitation to stand up for what she believes in.  I am proud to call her a friend.  We even joke from time to time, that I am her work Mother.  She is very close to her siblings just as I used to be.  They are a close knit family and I hope they continue to be forever.  I know I can always trust Jessica and she will always be there for me.

Jessica had been trying for a couple of years to become pregnant.  It was a little difficult on her at first when she found out her sister was pregnant, only because this was what she wanted.  She accepted it and became a wonderful aunt to her sister's daughter.  Her friends were getting pregnant.  I thought to myself how unfair this would be for her not to have a baby, so I prayed for her to be blessed with a child.  A few weeks later I found out she was pregnant and she became pregnant about the time I prayed too. 

Jessica switched departments in her last month of her pregnancy and I wanted to do something special for her.  I organized a surprise baby shower.  She loved it.


 My second diaper cake. 
 She has the nursery 'ABC' Blocks and giraffes.
 The little rosettes between the rolled diapers are baby wash cloths.
Th larger orange one is the hat that goes with the little outfit.

 We also celebrated a birthday the same day as the shower.



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Pumpkin Éclair Dessert

We tried a new dessert last night!
Even my picky eater liked it.
Typically he does not like pumpkin pie,
so I was surprised he liked it.

This is the first time I made it.
I did not have my directions with me.  
This time I missed a layer of graham crackers
on top of the last layer of pudding.
Next time (yes...there will be a next time)
I will remember the 3rd layer of graham cracker.
Click here to find the recipe.
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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Friday Confessional

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It's that time of week again for confessions. Hope on over to Mamarazzi's and check out what others have to confess about.


I confess....


I am a day late posting this.  It is hard since the lap top's battery died.  Wednesday's are my easiest posting day right now because I can post while I am covering the switchboard.  Todd typically gets the computer at home.

I confess...

I feel relieved that the elementary teachers talked to the kids about 'what to do' if they see a cougar.  They had this the day after it was spotted near their school.

I confess...

I am not ready for this fall weather yet.  I have several, I mean several green tomatoes still that are needing warmth to turn red.  I need to can my salsa, rotel tomatoes, and possibly pasta sauce still.  The pasta sauce is my least concern since pasta sauce goes on sale every 3 month at the store.

I confess...

I am hooked on canning and want to can as much as I can.  I am also hooked on buying bulk when there is a great sale.  You should see my pantry right now.  I am tired of most of my check going to the cost of food.

I confess...

I am rushing this and have to make it very short because in 15 minutes I have to leave.  I am taking Ethan, my 3rd child to get his driver's permit.  Eeck...I do not feel safe still with Joshua's driving (my 2nd child and he has his license).  I hope Ethan learns like Matthew, my oldest.

I confess...

Right after the test we are headed to Des Moines, 2 hours away, to visit my family.  IF he passes the test I plan on letting him drive on the Interstate a little.  I think it is the best place to start someone.  This way we do not have the worries of red lights, stop signs, and turning.  He may just drive 5 or 6 exits only unless he is doing a great job.

What do you have to confess?
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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cougar On The Lose

Yes, you read the title correctly and I am not talking about a middle age woman going after some young stud here.  A bonafide 4 legged cougar has been sighted for the third time within two weeks.  Who would have thought Iowa City, Iowa would have to be concerned about mountain lions?  Not me!  The first sighting was near an elementary resulting in two elementary schools being in what they call lock down for the day, no one going out.  When I first heard about it, I just thought maybe someone "thought" they saw one.  To be honest I never even heard about the second one, but to wake up this morning and read the paper an article about one being sighted yesterday at 4:10 pm near the wooded patch off the bike path behind the Hy-Vee I shop now makes me worry a little.

This area is near several homes, near 3 elementary schools, one including where Noah goes to school.  This area is not too far from the Junior High.  This area is not too far from the High School and this is about the time Ethan is walking home, past that area.  This area is not too far from our home.  This Hy-Vee is where Joshua works and he walks to work around 5 pm and with the weather being so nice he walks home around 9:45-10:30 at night.  This scares me, walking at night with a cougar on the lose.  Well truthfully any time of day scares me but I think it would be better to see what is coming than be blind by the darkness.

I have discussed with the younger boys what they should do if they happen to see it.  Seriously, I am no expert but I felt like I had to say something.  I AM THE MOM!  A mother bear wanting to protect her cubs.  I want to say to my supervisors, sorry I have to go get my babies and take them home, but I know that will not be acceptable.  I wish Todd was working 3rd shift right now (yes, you read right, probably thought you would never see that right?) because then he could take Noah to school and pick up everyone after school or taking to work. 

The police and animal control have not been able to locate the cat.  I love animals but I also love my children and do not want anyone to be hurt.  I hope they find the cat and are able to safely relocate it to an area where the cat can live without being in the city.

Yes, you all know me if you follow me, I am a worrier but I am proud my worrying about this is under control.  I just had to educate my boys and have a little talk to their guardian angels and God.  Protect my boys as they walk to where they need to go.  Boys...remember whatever you do...DO NOT RUN if you see it.  Running is bad.  Hmmm...maybe I need to give Ethan his cell phone back earlier but I love how it is making him remember to hand in his homework to improve his grades.  Decisions *tap tap tap* decisions.  I have to make up my mind on that one.

What would you do?
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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wednesday Woo Hoo

Let's here it for Wednesday Woo Hoo!

Alright, the mood I have been in, it is a little hard to look for my Woo Hoos but they are there.  I know it.

To start with Woo Hoo for Ethan improving 3 of his grades.  He is now only failing 1 class compared to failing 2 and D- for the other two.  (I think you can see some of my stress here now)  Woo Hoo I think I found something that motivates him to turn in his homework...his cell phone.  Any time there is a grade less than a C...the phone is mine until he improves it.  This is working great right now.  I hope it keeps working.  Woo Hoo for finding something that works.

Woo Hoo for Noah helping me cook last week.  We had a breakfast for dinner. It has been a long time since we did that and I wanted French Toast in the worse way, so eggs, bacon, sausage, and French Toast was dinner one night.  Noah asked what was for dinner and then asked if he could help.  He helped me with everything, his favorite thing was to use the whisk to mix the eggs.  Woo Hoo for him enjoying time with Mom in the kitchen still.  I know these days are going to be gone soon, so I will love them while I have them.  He even mentioned a couple of times since that night how much fun he had to help.  I need to find another meal and maybe do this a little more often.  It was nice one on one time with him.

Woo Hoo I have not had much problems with Noah for a while now.  Could he be maturing and giving me a break until he reaches my least favorite age... 13?  Who knows but I am loving it right now. Woo Hoo.

Woo Hoo for the wonderful husband I have.  He is giving up the Hawkeye game, NFL Sunday, and our typical Taj time this weekend for an outing with me.  Woo Hoo this weekend if weather permits we will be going to Living History Farms for a photography classes.  Woo Hoo, I am in huge hopes of learning more about my camera.  We also will get to go to an old fashion baseball game.  Woo Hoo...love baseball.

Well that is all I have for this week.  What do you have to Woo Hoo about?
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We Want to Know

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Welcome to We Want to Know Q&A Wednesday



(1} What are 3 must haves for a long road trip?
{2} What was the destination of your most recent road trip?
{3} What do you miss most about home when on a trip?
{4} What is the furthest you have traveled on a road trip?
{5} Will you "stop for the largest ball of twine, etc" or are you a "hurry and get there" road tripper?

Here are my answers this week:

(1} What are 3 must haves for a long road trip?

  1. GPS, I need my GPS if I am going on a trip.  It has saved me from anxiety attacks.  I used to love going on road trips with just a map, but something snapped during my divorce now if I am not in an area where I know, I develop some anxiety, afraid I am going to get lost. It also did not help with my first HUGE fight with Todd.  Definitely will blog about that some day. 
  2. A partner in crime.  A long trip I need someone with me to keep me company.  Short trips or smaller trips I am fine with being alone but a long one and if it is only involving driving, I need someone with me.
  3. Good Music!  I perform in the car (so does my husband...I love watching him perform...singing that is.  He can make some really goofy faces on purpose when he sings.  He also can make some song into really funny songs by changing the words.) and sing and do a little car seat dancing sometimes...just saying.
{2} What was the destination of your most recent road trip?

        Well most recent would be to Des Moines, 2 hours but I really don't count that as a road trip since it I am just going home to visit family.  Prior to that would be Wisconsin when Todd and I visited the House on the Rock.  I have an entire serious on the House on the Rock.  I think a total of 10 for now.  I will add more when we go back for the Christmas display in November.

{3} What do you miss most about home when on a trip?

       Well that all depends...where am I going, why am I going, and who all is with me.  If it is a break from my loving children, then I probably miss... hmmmm...this is going to sound mean, but nothing.  I love being with them and around them but sometimes a nice break from the teenage stress is so welcomed.

      Most of the time it is not a break from my loving children, it may be just some one on one time with Todd and then I miss the boys the most. If it is a family vacation, again, it would be nothing unless one of the kids could not make it with us, and then it would be that child left behind I would miss and wish could be with us.  I enjoy time away from the sometimes stressful routine of life.

{4} What is the furthest you have traveled on a road trip?

     Well that would be when I was a child.  It would be either to Texas with family or to Colorado with my Grandparents.  The trip to Colorado was the longest I was ever away from home and the first time without my Mom.  

{5} Will you "stop for the largest ball of twine, etc" or are you a "hurry and get there" road tripper?

    Oh My Goodness...I am such a dork!  If we had time and did not have to be somewhere I would totally stop AND I would take a photo too.
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September Goals