Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Say Cheese!

I have a confession to make. I'm a photo-a-holic. I am completely & totally obsessed with photos. I have 2.5 trillion pics of my kids, their cousins, teammates & friends. I buy a bazillion of even my kids' worst school portraits... although I usually forget to give them out to friends and family. I have about 1 billion pictures of each of my kids standing on the soccer field with their back to me... apparently I like that shot. I am also obsessed with other peoples' pictures. When G.G. died a few years ago, I scanned all of her photos onto my computer so the whole family can have copies of all of her memories. I can (& have) waste a whole day on Flickr or Facebook looking at photos of complete strangers. As a kid, I spent hours and hours looking at my parents' yearbooks. Anyway, I think you get the point... I love pictures.

I have a problem. I was born without an organization gene. I'm kind of notorious for coming up with organizational "systems" that never work. I spend days and days organizing, say, my linen closet, then I forget what the heck the "system" was & mayhem takes over. Out of all of the "systems" I've had through the years, only the laundry system has been perfected and utilized well. Well, the CLOTHES laundry is perfected, I'm still fighting with the towels. Anyway, I digress...

Putting two & two together... my house & my computers are all being taken over with photos. I have two big chests full, 1/2 million bags full, boxes & boxes & bins full. On this computer alone, I have over 11,000 pictures & 260 files... (and many more I haven't put into My Pictures folder) and I have taken many, many off & put them onto an external hard drive. I scrapbooked the year 2000, all pictures before & after are in limbo. I don't have any idea of where to start putting them is some sort of order.

Have I told you about my sister-in-law, Amy? I've heard rumors that she sometimes reads my blog. She's great. She is "Queen of all Organizing". I've honestly never met a more organized person. I like to use the excuse that she has a much bigger house, but I know in my heart that if I had a big house, I'd just have a series of more messes & that if she lived in a small box of an apartment, it would still look great. It's just the way she rolls.

Amy & her husband, Gary, have a son, Jack, who is exactly 11 months younger than Ben. They live on Cape Cod & Ben LOVES, LOVES, LOVES to visit his cousin. Last May, they treated Ben to a trip to the Cape to spend a long weekend with Jack. It was "Grandparents & Special Friend" day at Jack's school & Ben was Jack's "Special Friend" for the day. Knowing Amy & Gary, I knew the rest of their weekend would be full of adventures. I sent Ben with his camera and was looking forward to seeing pictures of their adventures & hearing all about it. Ben took pictures... 3 to be exact. Two of the new addition to Amy & Gary's house & 1 of their new big flat screen TV. His stories consisted of "it was fun". AARGH!

Anyway, when Amy came down to Florida later that month for Megan's graduation. She brought pictures of Jack & Ben's adventures, complete with a nice collage of their weekend and a written synopsis of what they had done. So thoughtful... and organized of her!!! I was really impressed & appreciative.

Fast forward to today. I have spent the past 2.5 hours looking for those pictures! I can NOT find them anywhere!!! In my defense, that was a very stressful time, as we were dealing with some issues around here, but I know that even if I wasn't dealing with those issues, there is no guarantee I would know where those pictures are. So, the whole point of this post is to say: Amy, can you PLEASE PLEASE PRETTY PLEASE send me those pictures?! Either the prints or through email or any of the photo websites, whatever is easiest for you. I will gladly pay for them if you do the prints. K? Thanks!


I got through Grey's Anatomy. And Desperate Housewives. I even brought my laptop into the bathroom & cleaned out the medicine cabinet & under the sink while I watched. Brilliant! And my computer only died once. Woohoo!

Monday, September 29, 2008

So, tell me...

How many times would you reboot your .@!!#*!! computer to watch the season premiere of Grey's Anatomy?! The freaking thing keeps COMPLETELY shutting down on me! I have to watch it online because the .@!!#*!! networks think that Thursday nights are the only nights to put shows on that my whole family wants to DVR. I WILL get through this episode and it BETTER be worth it!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Weekend in a Nutshell

I must prefice this post by saying that I grew up in a sports-free household. My dad was a Cubs fan back before the strike in 1972 & I attempted to play basketball for one season when I was 10, but other than that, the one sporting event we watched was the Superbowl, and that was really just to watch the commercials & the half-time show.

Keeping that in mind, this was my weekend...
1. BOO!!! FSU soccer lost to Virginia 1-0.
2. YEAH!!! Jordan's soccer team won 2-1. They seem to finally be coming together as a team, especially in the 2nd half.
3. YEAH!!! The Rays won the AL East. I still don't really follow baseball, but ya have to be happy when the home team does well, right?! Even my Michael, a life-long Red Sox fan is happy for them (just don't tell his mom).
4. BOO!!! Tim Tebow & the Gators lost to Ole Miss 31-30. We were at Jordan's game & couldn't watch, but we were heartbroken as we were getting updates on the sideline.
5. YEAH!!! The Bucs beat the Packers 30-21. Gotta love that Bucs defense!!!
6. YEAH!!! FSU soccer beat Virginia Tech 3-1. This game was supposed to be on on TV, we DVRed it while we were at the in-laws, but the stupid Marlins/Mets game was on instead... needless to say, Jordan is NOT a happy camper. It is also scheduled to be on at midnight, they BETTER NOT disappoint or they will have a very ticked off 16 year old to deal with.

So, all in all, take the 2 YEAHS (thats 4 YEAHs - 2 BOOs) add in some reasonably pleasant (for Florida) September weather, a super happy (for personal reasons) daughter in college, a yummy dinner at Bahama Breeze (paid for with gift certificates! woohoo!), a pleasant visit with the in-laws, the Amazing Race & a glass of wine. Right now, I'd have to say life is pretty good.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Off to another Soccer-Something-Or-Other

I'm so sad to hear about Paul Newman this morning. I'm going to have to watch Cool Hand Luke & Nobody's Fool sometime in the next couple of weeks. He seemed so bigger than life, the kind of guy who would always be around. He will be missed.

Unfortunately, nothing exciting is going on around here (sorry Joanne). We are off to Jordan's game in a little while, then tomorrow we are going to see the in-laws. Hopefully something exciting or funny will happen or else I'll have to think of something profound to share with you. Unfortunately, all of my profound-ness (not a word?!) has been spent on my new addiction. Here's one of my latest creations. I think you should be able to click on it to make it bigger.

Hope you have a great weekend & GO GATORS!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

He's the man.

The training is done. The probation period is over. Ben received his badge today, he is officially a school safety patrol! (click on picture to enlarge)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Dancing Queen

We had a fun, low-key weekend with Megan. We went to her old high school's football game to watch the band. Their football team has never been very good, but the band has always been able to draw a crowd. Coincidentally, the game was against Jordan's high school (also a bad football team, great band kind of school), so we couldn't lose & we got to see both bands. The best part (besides seeing old friends) was that we got to leave after half-time, when the bands were done performing.

Saturday morning, Michael & Ben participated in the Great American Clean-Up at the local neighborhood park. I was going to go out towards the end to take pictures to show you, but they got back early. The good news is the worse thing they found was a bottle of urine, well, Ben didn't find it but one of the girls did & was apparently pretty fascinated by what that could possibly be in the bottle while the teacher was repeatedly saying "Put it in the bag. Put it in the bag. Put it in the bag." I guess it was pretty funny stuff. Sorry I missed it. Yeah, right. I am sorry I didn't get out there with my camera though, because Ben looked really adorable in his work boots and it sounds like they had fun.

Saturday afternoon was Jordan's game. They tied 1-1. This is the first real game Jordan and the other new girls have played with them, they have some work to do, but once they get the kinks worked out, I imagine they will have a successful season. Some of our soccer peeps came to watch & we were lucky enough to go to dinner with a couple of them. (We missed you S. & K.) We went to a local, kind of dive-y pizza joint near where we had our first apartment. The food was delicious and the company was great, but the best part was our snarky, pregnant waitress. That girl was so deadpan & soooo funny. We'll have to remember to go back every couple of months to see if she gets snarkier as she gets bigger.

Sunday, Michael & Jordan went to her game in Orlando. (Another 1-1 tie!) I had promised Megan some homemade macaroni & cheese while she was home, so I made her some for lunch. Now, I have made this mac n' cheese a million times and it has ALWAYS been delicious, but for some reason this batch was NOT GOOD. No, it was worse than NOT GOOD, it was HORRIBLE!!! I have no idea what went wrong, the recipe only calls for three ingredients, for goodness sake!!! I was so disappointed & I think Megan was too. I had even bought some new Rubbermaid containers so she could take the leftovers back to her dorm to eat some homemade goodness all week. We ended up putting the mac in the disposal instead & I heated up some fish sticks... also a comfort food from her childhood. I kept the containers & promised her we'd bring a good batch up on our next visit.

Today, I met my friend Tia & her daughter at the mall. I've known her since we were 11 and, although she has moved back to the area after she lived overseas, I still don't see her nearly often enough so that was a real treat. I am not a shopper & neither is she, but her in-laws were visiting from England & they wanted to shop so she & I just wandered the mall. While we were wandering I spotted the perfect dresses for Jordan's homecoming dance. She has just decided to go with a group of her friends, after saying for the past year that she wasn't going to any more high school dances. Jordan is (a) teeny tiny and hard to fit and (b) a pain in the butt to shop with. After school today we had a 30 minute window to shop, so I dragged her butt to the mall to try on the dresses, with strict directions that we were only going to this store. She liked all of the dresses I had picked out (SHOCKING!!!) and one of them fit her (UN-FREAKIN'-BELIEVABLE!!!). So, I have saved myself from (at least) a day of homecoming dress hell!!! YEAH ME!!! Here's a picture of the dress she got:

from White House/Black Market

On the way home, Jordan was saying how it reminded her of a "vintage" dress & I had been thinking the same thing. Something about it reminded me of this:

my very favorite picture of my paternal grandparents. While normally, I don't think you'd want to wear a dress that reminded you of your great-grandmother, I always thought my grandmother (G.G.) looked so glamorous in this picture. She said she thought of that picture as soon as she saw the dress too.

Aside from my grandfather & the family, G.G.'s great love was dancing. She was still taking dance lessons when she died a few years ago. Jordan can be self-conscious sometimes, particularly about dancing in public, but I pray that Jordan twirls that skirt around at least once at that dance, and channels my Grandma's love.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Family Night

Tonight was Family Night at Ben's school. They've been having these for the past few years and Ben has always wanted to go, but surprisingly, we've always had a conflict due to soccer-something-or-other. Tonight, Ben & I had nothing else on our calendar (Michael & Jordan were busy with soccer-something-or-other) so we ventured out. It was fun.

There was dinner from 5-6:15 (one small slice of pizza, cookies & a drink), then there was supposed to be a short PTA meeting from 6:15-6:30 (which may or may not have happened, they hadn't ordered enough pizza, so they had to go on a pizza run, causing a big backup in the line & throwing the schedule all out of whack, we moved on at 6:30) then from 6:30-7:30 we divided up by grade level.

The 5th grade teachers had a Math & Science show with a lot of the experiments they have been working on. Ben LOVES LOVES LOVES science & he really enjoyed showing me all of the things they've been doing in class. I loved hearing all about them and I love hearing from his teacher about how much she enjoys having him in class & how observant he is. I don't think she was just saying that either, when I got home there was a voicemail from her saying the same thing. (She left it 2 days ago, I'm just really bad at checking my voicemail) I'm just so happy that he loves school. I just hope it carries over into middle school & beyond. (AAARGH! MIDDLE SCHOOL!)

Other exciting news in our household:

  • Megan is coming home for the weekend tomorrow!!! We're all so excited to see her & Ben doesn't even mind giving up his (ahem!) HER bed for the weekend. She's got a lot of plans packed into 2 short days, but we will make sure we get her to ourselves for a least a little while.
  • Saturday morning is the Great American Clean-Up. Ben & Michael are going bright and early to pick up garbage in a park in a neighborhood close to our house. Ben is so excited about doing this & even has brand new wading boots & work gloves for the occasion. I realize just how much this kid has hated being dragged around to soccer-something-or-other when I see how excited picking up GARBAGE makes him, just because it does not involve soccer in any way!
  • Unfortunately for him, but happily for the rest of us, Jordan has her first real games with her new team this weekend. I'm really looking forward to watching these girls play. As an added bonus, some family friends, who we don't get to see often enough, are coming to her game too. I miss hanging out with my soccer peeps & I can't wait to see them too.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Today is the day.

Happy 40th Anniversary Mom & Dad!

Love you!

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Okay, I really should be cleaning out the garage, pressure washing the front porch, shopping for new flooring...you know, all those things we need to do on a weekend, but never get done because we're always at a soccer something or other. (We are going to a soccer something or other later, to watch the Fajita play, btw) Anyway, all those things I should be doing are not getting done because I found the most hilarious blog & I've been reading it all day while Michael & Jordan watch soccer something or other on tv. Check it out if you aren't easily offended, Ashley's Closet. I've been laughing out loud all morning... and no, Michael & Jordan aren't annoyed at all.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Anyone who has ever met Ben knows that has a bit of an obsessive personality. Ever since he fell in love with Spiderman when he was 3, he has had something in his life that completely consumed his every thought and word. Like I said, his first love was Spiderman. He had a very pronounced speech problem when he was younger, virtually no one outside of the family (and sometime INSIDE the family) could understand a word he said, but he would sit for hours at his sisters' soccer practices & games going on and on and on about Spiderman. Thankfully, those soccer parents were like family and were very patient.

When Ben was 5, Michael took the kids to MOSI. We thought the girls might enjoy the Titanic exhibit there & Ben would like to play at the kids' center. Turns out, Ben fell COMPLETELY in love with the Titanic. For about 2 years, he talked ad nauseum about the beautiful ship and the tragedy in 1912. We had every book, he memorized each of the decks, he knew about the Astors and "Unsinkable" Molly Brown. I still don't know what about the Titanic was so intriguing to a 5 year old boy, but something had him hooked.

During the Titanic years, he also loved Harry Potter, but once he could read (and reread and reread) the HP books, the Titanic was all but forgotten. He had a new love. Thankfully, Megan & I had already read all of the books so we were able to talk to him about it, but we couldn't keep up. He had spells memorized and would ask us about details of the books that we had no clue about. Megan would even let him play HP Scene It with her & her friends...he was always a great asset to team.

Last May, he started reading The Series of Unfortunate Events books. All summer we heard about nothing but Count Olaf, Violet, Klaus & Sunny. He drew the V.F.D. symbol on every scrap of paper he could find and did extensive research about the books on the internet. (Apparently, he was not alone in his obsession, as he found many websites devoted to it).

About a month ago, he started reading Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. This is an adventure series based on Greek mythology. Can you guess where this is going? He talks about Zeus, Hera & the gang as though they are family friends. Yesterday at school they were learning how to make a power point presentation. Yesterday afternoon, he made this all by himself (look for some familiar faces on the third slide).

I wonder what his next obsession will be?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I'm happy to report that my jaw loosened up around 8 Friday night. I think it just felt like I had endured enough ridicule from my family & decided to give me a break.

We had a fun weekend in Tally. After watching the Noles beat FIU 5-0 Friday night, Jordan & Michael were able to spend some time with the team Saturday morning as Ben & I hit the hotel pool. We spent the rest of the day reading, napping, watching college football & going to dinner. Tough day, I tell ya! Sunday, we dragged Ben (& his book) to another soccer game, as the Noles took on the Gators. Unfortunately, although the Noles dominated the game, they just couldn't find the back of the net & the Gators won the game 1-0. Regardless of the outcome, we endured the heat (it was about one trillion degrees out!) & enjoyed the game. After a quick bite to eat, we hit the road & got home at around midnight. Here are a few pictures from the weekend.

Awwww! They love each other. The only thing that makes Ben happier than a girls' (womens') soccer game is one trillion degree heat.Jordan is here on the field while the team is warming up before Sunday's game. Can't you see her? Huh? Huh? She's waaay in the back, really itty bitty, by the bench wearing a white shirt & khaki shorts. Duh!
Time to go & be productive...

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Sound of Silence

Today we are heading to Tallahassee to watch a couple of FSU soccer games. Jordan verbally committed to play soccer there after she graduates high school next year. (We will be a house divided with a Gator & a Seminole.) She's really excited about spending the weekend in Tallahassee & watching her future team play. Ben is willing to go along for the ride because we made a stop at Borders yesterday & he is all set with 3 new books. We won't hear a peep from him until he finishes the last sentence. No one will hear a peep from me either, as my jaw locked up when I yawned this morning. AAARGH! This has happened to me before, and it will go away on it's own, hopefully before the day is over, but in the meantime, I will be armed with a whiteboard & a marker. Should be a fun ride!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Just testing my new "signature".

New Design

So... because I can't find enough excuses not to clean the kids' tub (ewwww!), I've spent the past hour fixin' up my blog. What do you think?!

Obviously, nothing too exciting is happening around here, although I DID make a kick butt dinner last night...Gorgonzola Chicken and my famous (in my house, at least) Wok-Seared Sesame Green Beans, oddly enough the only part of the meal that wasn't good was the baked potato. How the heck do you make a bad baked potato?! I just didn't cook them long enough, I guess.

Back to the housework, I guess... bummer!