Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Andy's got a brand new (used) car!!

Since Andrew has the Hope Scholarship which will pay his full tuition to Georgia State University, where he will be going in the Fall, Robert and I decided we would surprise Andrew with a car. He will be living at home, at least for his first semester, and he's going to need a car. So, we looked and looked for months to find the right car, which we decided would be a Volvo V70 year 2000/2001, at the right price (under 7K)...and we found! It's a great car for safety, it's not meant to be super fast (so hitting the gas doesn't make it speed away), and it can fit his drumkit in it. Plus, if the kid is ever homeless (God forbid!) he can sleep in it! LOL

The guy from the dealership brought the car out to our house and it exceeded expectations. It had one owner who took spectacular care of it. It drives like a dream. I paid for it and parked it in my neighbors house. Then I went to get Andrew at school, as he was finishing editing some footage for his High School video yearbook. I kept him out doing errands while Robert got home. Then Andy and I came home, and while he put the groceries away with me, Robert pulled the car into the driveway. Then I Robert came in and was talking about how it's a good thing Andrew will be getting the Hope Scholarship because it's worth more than a car. I said I had to run outside for something I left in the car and took the camera with me.

In a few minutes out came Andrew an upon his face grew the biggest smile. You see, he had NO IDEA!! It's great to surprise Andrew because the kid rarely expects things. He is a really grateful person who is really happy with what he has. He was feeling very loved...and we were really happy for him. He is a fantastic kid, not because of grades or accomplishments, but because he is a really good hearted, generous, grateful, caring, loving person. We are blessed to be in a position to be able to do this for him and so happy that we could do it.

School is out in 3 weeks so Andrew really needs to have a job by then.  We may have bought it as a Graduation gift but he's gotta pay for the insurance, gas etc.  Still, he is completely thrilled. All in all, another very cool day!


3 very COOL birthday presents!

#1-The 1st Series (Season in the U.S.) of Dr. Who with the 9th Doctor: Christopher Eccelston.  He is not David Tennant but he is still great.  I only saw one or two of the shows when he was The Doctor .  Now that I have the only year he was the Doctor,  I am really enjoying his version of the Doctor, as well. (David Tennant still owns my 'Dr. Who heart' though. (For Christmas I got my Hunny the 2nd and 3rd Series of Dr. Who. So we have them all...though the 4th year is on Sci Fi right now....and we are all LOVIN' IT!!!)

#2-And since we are speaking of the Doctor, I got this super cool mug, with one of my favorite pics of the 10th Doctor, adorable David Tennant, standing outside of the TARDIS. Here is a picture of it this morning, still with my java inside.

#3-Saving the best for last...I GOT THE MUSE DVD/CD!!!! It is sooooooo good! They are so flippin' awesome! I have only watched a bit of it though, because Andrew wants to watch the whole thing with me, and he was doing homework last night. 

Even though I would have preferred to be turning 24 instead of 42, I still had a great day. It was unseasonably cold (which I love) so thank you, God!! Then I spent the late afternoon with my good friend Sara, the kids played happily with her kids as they just got a Wii. Around 6ish we went home, and I had a great time with my family, as we just hung out, ordered Vietnamese take-out, and watched American Idol. Adding in my perfect gifts, it was a wonderful day.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me...

Happy Birthday dear Rachel, Happy Birthday to me! (and many more!)

Okay, so today I am 42. Hold on a second while I cringe!.......Okay, I am back. 

Interestingly, this year, I got a few gifts ahead of time. I think this is funny because I am the friend who remembers your birthday on the exact day and then you get your present from me a month later.

Well, my li'l bro, Jon, gave me the coolest Mac recipe software called Yummy Soup.  There are already recipes in it, you can add your own to it, and you can click on a recipe(s) and set up a grocery list.  You can add pictures of the recipes too.  The other gift, which was free, but so thoughtful (and I love those kind of gifts) was a Mac software that catalogs all of one's books, dvds, cds. It's your own library. I can't remember the name, but what's cool is that the camera on the Mac turns into a bar code scanner, so you just scan the ISBN number of the item and presto it shows up, even with it's picture, reviews and where to buy it online.

My buddy Rachel sent me an adorable kitschy sign that says, "I'd give up CHOCOLATE but I'm no quitter."  LOL. And along with that came an organic chocolate bar, a cute little ceramic planter (I'll have to plant some flowers in it with Autumn) and a very pretty little ceramic picture frame with a picture of Rachie in it! Rach lives in Florida (where we met, as I used to live in Florida).  So, I like seeing her smiling face in a picture, since I don't get to see her, in person, much.  She also sent me an adorable card too. 

The most important gift I have gotten is the one I have given to myself:  a 5 pound weight loss (just 23 more to go!).  I haven't gone on something like  Weight Watchers, or counting calories, or low carb, and I have not joined a gym.  All those things I have done before.  I am not a yo yo dieter.  I was always pretty thin.  After my mom died, when I was 34, I put on 20+ pounds.  A few years ago (I guess about 5) my husband lost 55 pounds.  I kind of joined him and lost 20. I kept it off for a few months and slowly put it back on. Then I just accepted it. Almost 2 years ago, I joined a Curves near me...not to lose the weight as much as add exercise into my life.I had seen a picture of me in a bathing suit and realized I was looking quite matronly...though in my head I am anything but matronly.  It went really well and I was getting firmer.  Then, just a few months in, we started having real problems with Ben.  Then, that Spring, my eczema (which had been lying dormant for 15 years) reared it's ugly head again. This time it was not just on my hands but on my feet.  That made going to Curves impossible. I ended up losing a lot of money.  Curves say that if a doctor fills out a form they close your account or hold it.  Well, they didn't.  Needless to say, I wouldn't go back. 

 The impetus for this whole thing, as I have not cared too much about the extra 20 pounds, is that after 2 rounds of steroids, in March,for the eczema, I put on EIGHT POUNDS in ONE MONTH!!! EEEEEKKK!  Clothes I had been wearing for the last couple of years suddenly didn't fit and I freaked out. I weigh myself maybe 4 times a year.  I was weighed at the docs before the steroids, still in my 20 extra pounds holding pattern, and then I stepped on the scale in April and flipped when I saw the number. 

So, knowing I can't be told what, when, and how to eat, or have a gym contract over my head, I figured I would take the sum of all my knowledge and make it work for me.  I know what I ate before. I am not keeping a food journal ( I did that too once and it only makes me obsess about food more) I am just making better choices.  My default food it sweet and baked or salty and crunchy in two words: cookies and chips.  And I would plow them into my mouth.  I am not a binge eater or closet eater. I am not dealing with an eating disorder...just older age. Plus, I just like eating.  So, since I love food, I am choosing other foods in lieu of my default comfort foods.  I am eating tons of fruit and veggies (which, aside from weight loss, is about time as they are good for me!) and lean meats.  I am still eating bread, pasta, cookies, chips etc...just far LESS.  I guess I am using a kind of portion control thing, as I think about it.  Also, and this is KEY: more than anything I am eating MINDFULLY.  I am really thinking about what I am eating, when I eat, and taking small bites and truly savoring it.  It makes a huge difference.  I used to inhale everything.  I would taste it, but it would go down so fast, I needed to taste it again, and again, and again, and get the picture.  Now I am really swirling things around in my mouth and really tasting them.  So, I find I need less to eat now. REALLY!  I know it sounds nuts but it's true.  Last, I am doing my best to make this a life thing, not temporary thing.  My mom died shortly before her 54th birthday of metastic colon cancer (it spread to both lobes of her liver).  So, when my mother was 42, she had barely 12 years left to her life.  I don't want that for me.  My mom had a legitimate eating disorder.  She was an overeater  and a very large gal.  I loved her to bits no matter what. She was my best friend.  I miss her dearly.  But I know she would want me to have what she never could seem to grasp for herself: fitness and good health.  I had them both before, it's time to reclaim them again. 

Gotta run!

Saturday, April 12, 2008


Andrew photoshopped this pic of Toonces and I just stole it off his Facebook page. Isn't it just awesome? LOL!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Parable Meme

Picture is The Prodigal Son

Okay, I have been tagged by Stevie to participate in a Parable Meme. It pretty cool.  Here's what you do, you list your 5 favorite parables and then tag a person for each one.

#1 Parable of the Lost Sheep.  I love thinking of Jesus running around on a dark, windy, rainy night looking for his 1 lost sheep. It makes me realize that I am always important to Him.  He will always come to find me...or any of us who are lost.  It is very comforting.

#2 Parable of Talents. This is the one that ends that to he who is given little, little is expected and to him who is given much, much is expected.  It makes complete sense that the more I learn and grow in my faith, the more I will be called to give of myself.  A perfect example for me is: when I realized and understood the teachings of the Church on artificial contraception, there was NO WAY I could go back.  God revealed to me 'much' and the 'much' that was required to me was NOT to turn a blind eye to that teaching, but to follow it with loving obedience.

#3 Parable of the Pearl of Great Price. This is the one where the person goes out and sells everything they have in order to purchase a pearl of immeasurable value.  It says to me that no matter the cost,  my Catholic faith & Church, which I left a whole familial history behind for, is priceless.  I need to hold on to that no matter what.

#4 Parable of the Scattered Seeds. This is the one where the seeds get scattered and some never make it to the soil and die, some land in shallow soil and don't live long, others get choked by weeds, and the last make it on fertile soil and grow and bear fruit.  This parable is true in two ways for me. 1) That at different times in my life I can be all 4 seeds. Ultimately, I am shooting to be a seed in fertile soil at all times.  2) That when I am the farmer scattering the seed, I need to be very cognizant of where I am throwing the seed (gospel). I need to make sure that I tend to any 'gospel' I plant in another soul.  

#5 Parable of the Prodigal Son.  C'mon, how obvious is this one for a Catholic convert. Here is the sacrament of confession all wrapped up in a tidy package. He loves me, He is always waiting for me to come home, He is always forgiving and full of love. Doesn't get better than that!

I tag:

1) My Hunny, Robert

2) My across-the-pond pal, Maggie

My IRL friends: 
3) Sara
5) Lisa

Have fun!

Only he could make me like this song

I think Jason Castro has the face of an angel. I don't mean it in any kind of "Oh, isn't he a hottie kind of way either." He is really pretty and has such a sweet smile. I love his shy, modest personality too, and they way he sings out of the side of his mouth is just adorable. I have never liked the song Over the Rainbow. I have heard this version before, but with Jason singing it, it makes it all the more worth liking. could you?

How could Michael Johns get voted off? I felt like I got punched in the stomach. Everyone in the house was stunned. I mean come on! You know who should have gone, imo, is David Archuletta. For cryin' out loud he's like a 17 year old John Tesh!! Jeesh! Yeah, he's sweet, but boring! Michael Johns has serious talent. I really, really liked his voice, his face, his demeanor. I'm gonna miss him, but I'm sure we haven't seen the last of him.


Look who is going to RADIOHEAD...

ANDREW! My brother, Jon, has had tickets since they went on sale. He's been hedging about who was going to go with him. The concert is only a month away. So, Jon, announced this morning that he was taking Andrew as an early graduation present. As you can see, Andrew's FACE went crazy with joy!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Ben is reading on his own!

It has taken a long time and a lot of hard work, on his part, and little to do with the public school system, or me (for that matter), but Ben is reading on his own and he's doing well. Ben is 11 and a half. He reads pretty slowly, but he'll only get better with time. He has read me 12 pages of this book,

which he is thoroughly enjoying. I have to say I like the book alot myself. That is a good thing, because prior to this book, he was trying to read BONE and that thing just puts me to sleep.

So, for all those out there who think that if their kid isn't reading at 6 that they are ruined for life, well you are wrong. Kids will read, when they are good and ready to read.


Monday, April 7, 2008

mini family movie

Here's a very brief movie showing the whole family. I love the way Andrew barely hugs Autumn and then Ben. My brother, Jon, is the narrator. Robert (dh, dad) is the one walking around with his OS10 shirt, shorts, and Jesus sandals. I am the one desperately trying to get away from the camera...twenty years ago, you had to wrench me away from the times change. :-)

Fencing clips of Andrew

Andrew is working on putting together a larger video of the Fencing Championships that took place at the end of March. He put these clips together with the song Microcuts by Muse. Kind of a fitting song title for a Fencing tournament, don't you think. Just so you know, Andrew, in these clips, is always the fencer to your left.

Friday, April 4, 2008

You do the "Mommy" math

Take this

Add one of these

plus this

plus this

plus this

oh, and add these in too

and you get this

who now looks like this (note the one, in the black suit, kissing the child)

I have news for me, the black suit isn't helping!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Happy 4th Birthday!!

to our cute, fluffy, flabby, cuddly, snuggly TOONCES!  You 14lb. hunk of love..WE LOVE YOU!