Sunday, December 29, 2013

Several things I learned during this Christmas break

One thing I learned is that the movie Enchanted is absolutely fabulous!  I have never seen it.  My children had seen it, when we sat down to watch it together the other night.  They were convinced that I had seen this movie before.  Nope!  This movie is so cute, and so clever.  I was glued to the TV the whole time. If you have not spent two hours of your life watching this one, I highly recommend it.
While I was watching this movie I watched a Disney message.  The message was to little girls.  It highlighted personality traits in the D. princesses that are important to their successes.  These traits did not include, wears high heels with great finesse, big boobs, or perfect hair and make up.  The traits were things like, fearlessness, courage, creativity, and ability to laugh at oneself.

Another thing I learned is how fun it is to watch this movie with your children--once they are six years old or so.
This movie is so funny, and my children were laughing their heads off!  We just sat down to watch it last night.  Our tree is down, the Christmas decorations are put away, but I have been wanting to watch this movie for weeks and last night I decided to buy it off of cable on demand and just watch it!  We did and we laughed and laughed.  An eight year old boy, boobie trapping this house, and using a map to set up the traps to catch the bad guys...this is an irresistible plot for a six year old little boy.

Another thing I learned is how fun Zumba is!  We received an Xbox 360 Kinect from Santa.  It has a sensor so you can play games with your body.  So, Zumba is a possibility for my now.  No going anywhere etc.  I just go into the living room, and start to dance.  It saves your data and you earn new songs and post cards etc.  SO FUN! :)
It's a good thing I heard that Disney message b/c I certainly need to be able to laugh at myself when I am attempting Zumba moves in my living room! :)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Consider the source, and ask yourself, "do I care?"

This is my soapbox post for the past several weeks!
It has been rumbling around in my head.
For several mornings the news kept having blurbs about how "US students perform in Reading, Math, and Science compared to international peers."
First of all --does anyone else notice that this "report" comes out every year since the beginning of time, and {we}--the United Statesian students have {never} been at the top?
Second of all--has anyone else ever noticed how the press reports this as some impetus to make all school teachers, parents, kids, and other school related people scramble like hell?
I think to myself--oh, oh, oh!! We better scramble so we can do better than those....{whoever}--pick a random country --and I bet they are {ahead} of us on the this {list}.
So I have to ask...who compiles all this data, and what are they using?
Then I ask--do I really care?
Do I really care that our fifth graders do not {read as well} than those of {pick a country}, when
all of those people are gonna be scramblin to
be educated in
OUR UNIVERSITIES???
If we are all so dumb here...why in the world do all of these countries have to send their
{genius} students to get an education here??
ugh...aren't all their smart{er} than ours people starting up some stellar houses of higher learning there?? ugh...
Also, if I am going to compare myself to someone, I think I will pick a {someone} who I might look up to, or aspire to be like in some way.
So what in the hell difference does it make if people in China or Romania, or {whatever} place read better than our children in third grade...have you listened to some {other news} about big Red lately??
Their cities are so polluted that they cannot breathe outside on many days.
People have become so desperate to grow and grow infrastructure-wise--and Real Estate-wise, that they have whole cities built, mimicking other cities in the world..
with no one
living there..???
Have  you seen any of their students in an interview?  It can be very sad to see troubled minds that have been stretched and worked to the edge, but not stimulated.
No thanks.
Do I want my children to be learning robots--not if it means that they do not use common sense.
I am very thankful that {most} of our US cities...with all of our sub-{par} students--have air that is decent to breathe!
Nope, I want my children to learn age-appropriate material, at a steady clip--provided by college educated, very smart teachers who understand childhood development.
I want them to see funny movies, go on hikes, bake cookies with me, and shoot b.b. guns in the yard. I want them to go to church and then eat at Grandma's on Sunday afternoon.
If one of them happens to be the kind of {genius} who is smarter than all of those {smarter} than them children all over the world--well, then I am sure nothing I do will stop them from learning all they want to.
I am very thankful that our population is made up of lot of common sense people who know how to fix things and build things when we need them--even if they can't {beat} other students in some
arbitrary metrics that get reported on the
{news}.
So, the next time you start feeling {terrible} about how {dumb} our U.S. babies are...just think...
Who did this measuring?
Who am I being asked to compare myself to?
Is my kid really dumb???
Then turn the TV to the Home Garden Channel, and ignore the hell out of that
{data}.
Gotta get off the soap box now and check out this house that these cutie pie twins have completely overhauled this house for this cute couple.
Man!-- Jonathan and Drew, they are {smart}--must be Canadian (I think they actually are.) LOL

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Re-cap

 I received some handy-dandy costa del mar sunglasses from my hubby. :)  This is such a stretch for him...going to buy name brand sunglasses for me!  --He laughs at name-brandy things (b/c he likes to buy mostly cheap stuff).  BUT this time he took my 500 hints since last summer, and he cruised in like a champ to our handy dandy favorite store downtown and hooked me up! :)
 This is my mom sporting a scarf and some cool olive dishes from Sevilla--our annual package is really the best part of Christmas presents for us.  The letter that came with it this year from Spain was quite distressing.  If you want to read some news..Google the spain situation right now--it ain't perty.
 Elena and Kit got a hot dog stand from Santa.
 Eva got a leap pad ultra--a {purple I-pad} just for her, thank you very much!
 V-man got some Star Wars Pjs from P-barn...and an Xbox...we just had a lot of fun opening presents, can you tell??  Victor bought this toboggan for Elena.  He took a lot of pride in going out to buy each of us something this year.  --Which makes my heart melt, to be honest. :)
 Elena and I spent the morning yesterday making Cake pops!  It is very very very fun. :)
We took them to dinner last night at the Hill's house, and they were gone in a flash! :)
 And you know, no Christmas is complete without a little pageant action.  This picture was taken in the Church I grew up in, and the one Andy and I got married in --coming up on 13 years ago.  My children sang songs--into a microphone, solo!--It was absolutely wonderful!--No video camera was available..so it will have to live on in my memory.

 This was after their performance.  Andy is sporting his beard from November!  He just keeps waiting to shave it. :)
And finally today.  These are Hill cousins.  We ate pancakes this morning.  And I took down the tree. Andy took it out to the woods, and the cousins declared that I am the GRinch! :)--no worries.  I was just ready to clean house, and there was a spark of energy.  This has been an awesome Christmas season.
I hope that each of you has had a wonderful Christmas/Holiday season.
We did not send out a card this year, so I hope this re-cap will suffice. :)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Soapbox in the Stadium

Raising a little boy has made me think differently about so many things.  I have to consider situations and information that I never would have if I were not raising someone who, one day, will be a grown man.  For the most part, my life has always been about being girly, somewhat a feminist--always on the lookout for someone being a sexist LOL!
Now, I listen out for messages that are sent to little boys in the media etc.
Recently this whole football {bullying} has been in the spotlight, and then {very quickly} it went away.  Did anyone else notice this?
I mean one week in mid-November everyone in the media was talking about this mean/ugly football situation in which grown men were being so mean to one another, that one of them was run off from a million dollar job!
Whether he was bullied or not, the language of what was said was striking to me.  The guy who was accused of being the {bully} was using all the language he learned in Anthropology 101 (he must've really taken that class).  He was passing off all this meaness and foul language as the "culture of pro football"  I kept thinking he sounded like an idiot, and then Andy sounded in on it.  He was listening to CNN one morning, half-asleep, and he said, "That is not culture!  That is harrassment in the workplace!"  It is not someone's culture to go and be subjected to physical and verbal assaults! ick!
Has anyone else noticed that this has just faded right out of the spotlight??
I am still curious about it.
As much as I do not like football, this is really sad for football too.  Having Victor is making me come around on this one a bit.  He loves to watch football, and he wants to play it.  Football is a game.  Football is a game that is rough, and very physical.  Football does not have to be, and should not be, grown men saying horrible things to one another and threatening sexual assaults.
On to another little football tid-bit.
The one about the helmets.
The NFL seems to be {conveniently} sweeping this one under the rug too.
Which, to me, is like pissing in the ocean...keep sweeping..the crumb pile is going to be too big soon and you are going to be tripping!
250lb men running into eachother on with full force, head first--There is gonna be TBI!  There just is, point blank, no doubt about it!
Do I blame the NFL?  NO!  I think this is a case, just like boxing (which I love to watch, by the way).  My philosophy on boxing has always been...those men know they are going in there to get their ass kicked, and their faces punched in, if they still pick to do it, hell, I'll watch!  They know they want that money...
Football is the same way..those men cannot sue anyone!  If they thought that they were going out on that field and run into other grown men, and not damage their brains...their brains were already damaged at baseline!  This is common sense...look at what they are doing! --duh!
The Only reason I know about most of this is b/c of coverage on CNN--the NFL and college football are all really big, important news there.
The state of legislation that is tearing apart the nation's public schools...nah! not so much!
Maybe we can just raise all the little boys to live in the {culture} of the NFL--they can make millions, be complete meat heads, and entertain us all!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Superlatives (UNC football game)

 This post has a whole long story, and even though the pictures put themselves first, please, read the story too! :)








For the longest time there has been a post in my head rumbling and rolling around in my head and I have just neglected to post it.
Does anyone else notice that in our media and in our culture everyone looks for a superlative, even if the superlative is so contrived and was so hard to come by that it does not even make any sense.
I could give examples, but instead of writing that post I decided to write one about our fun weekend in Chapel Hill! :)
Last weekend we went to Chapel Hill to the Duke UNC football game because Victor WON tickets.
He was awarded tickets for being one of the TOP students academically and all-around at his school.
The UNC athletic department decided to do some public outreach, and I must say, we benefitted. :)
We woke up earlier than anyone else in town to get ready to go, we were all soo excited!  Probably the most excited we have been in a while.
Andy got home from working in the AM and he took a shower and we were off!
We had the easiest drive ever....all the way to the east side of Chapel Hill.
And then at 10:30 we hit the worst traffic I have ever seen on 15-501!  It was a parking lot!  Victor was in the backseat DEVASTATED!  We sat there for an hour and a half--and heard the game begin on the radio.  I am quite sure that Victor was crying harder than anyone else on that highway.  At that point all of Andy's exhaustion overtook him and he began to lose his temper as well.
ick.
At that point Victor insisted that I change lanes and get in the lane that was creeping just a tad faster and we finally got moving.
We cruised in the back way and thanks to my better than anyone else's memory (LOL) we got moving.  I dropped everyone off and they began walking to the game.  I went to the farthest parking lot away!! and I parked the car.  Then Eva and I trekked it to the game.  We pulled the sneakiest trick ever and snuck Eva in with no ticket--She had to pretend to be a three year old (LOL).
Once we got there we were truly in Carolina heaven--on the sunny side--in the best seats ever!
We got lucky and we were sitting beside some friends of ours! 
Eva was the best behaved four year old in the stadium! and we stayed the whole three quarters that we were there to see. :)  After the game we trekked back to the car.  We arrived at the car to find the worst traffic back up any parking deck has ever seen.  We sat in the car for a minute and decided "Oh no! There is fun to be had if we walk back up to Franklin St. and eat and walk around."  So we got out of the car and executed the best plan two parents ever came up with to avoid traffic.  We took the kids on a tour of campus, and drank some of the best water on the planet from the Old Well, and then we ate at Linda's--Andy's favorite bar of all times.  After that we had a cab ride back over to the parking lot, b/c no one would want to walk that far again..you know?  (That was part two of the best plan ever)
Then it was off to a hotel over by South Point mall--the best mall in the world!  We played in the hotel and went to bed so we could rest up for a day of fun looking at the mall decorations and riding the escalators. 
Overall we had the best weekend!
...and that post about Superlatives, well I will get to that one later. ;).

Friday, November 29, 2013

Gadget queen

Here are two gadgets that I would really love to have! :)
This kids sonicare toothbrush almost sold itself to me.--but it was not a deal --no discount or anything!
I really think it looks like a smart solution to cavities etc.
Also, that wake up light...WOW.
It is fun to want gadgets and shop for them...all from the comfort of my kitchen island.
No need to go out at all! 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Cory Lurch

Hi bloggy friends...
I am going up to the soap box this morning.  It is a bit dusty, and I have had so much coffee that I can hardly type--lol...I really should not do that, but Pumpkin spice creamer is such a wonderful accessory to coffee that I can hardly resist.
Okay...over to my podium! :)
There is a trend among my fellow middle class working ladies to buy items of a certain brand that rhymes with my title.
There is a site that I call TJMixx for rich people called RueLaLa and these two collided this morning.
Everyone's favorite {designer} has a {boutique} on the Rue and the stuff is...well, it ain't cheap!
When I see my fellow over-worked under-paid moms wearing items that are fairly bland but bear the golden logo of this very smart lady I wonder what in the world about this brand so brainwashes these people?
The stuff is way over-priced, and for the most part, it not that great.
I mean it is very white bread, {safe}, bland{ish} fashion.
If I want that I can go to the actual TJ maxx and get a belt for oh..20 bucks.
And so can anyone else.
It really makes me wonder...why do people buy this stuff?
Also: When I see NC teacher folks wearing it:  Does she have a trust fund somewhere?

*Disclaimer* I do have some cory lurch jeans b/c they were on killer sale at nordstrom rack and they were flare leg jeans
**Other disclaimer...I really don't care if people want to wear this so much--i mean we can all wear and spend on what we like

Also Cory Lurch is a very smart woman!  She has managed to rope in an entire population of middle class (under paid, in debt) white ladies and make us truly believe we need to buy her clothes that cost oh 10 times what we could {actually afford}. Way to go Cory!

Third Grade

Last week on Halloween Elena and her classmates were able to dress up as their favorite book character.  She picked Molly McIntire from the American Girls books.  That is the bottom picture...my pictures just want to put themselves wherever!  The other two are from going to Caroline's sixteenth Birthday!! She has a nice birthday dinner and Elena was my date b/c dad had to work.
She sure is growing up!  She was so excited to wear the fake glasses for her Molly costume.
She said they got to go around the school in a parade and show their props and books etc.
Very fun! 


Saturday morning techie sesh...

For several months now I have had several technological issues just hanging over my head.  They were: 
I do not know how to use the laptop that has windows 8 that we JUST BOUGHT.
Whenever my IPad tells me that I need to make a cloud...I totally believe the IPad--it is smarter than I am after all, but I just don't know what in the world I need to do to actually have my own cloud.
(I want a pink fluffy sunset one btw).
My {wonderful Samsung camera} that is supposed to just send your pics straight to the computer...would not do that, and it was really bugging me.
I wanted to go to Snapfish and make some stuff...
So with a list like this I decided that I would just own this morning, steal it away, and check off my list.
So far I: have uploaded my pictures from Samsung camera to the computer via the {cord}, spoken with a cute Indian fella in a not-so-nice tone of voice.  He was instructing me to take the battery pack off the back of the laptop...and then a wild redneck beast lady told him that, "no, I think my husband will kill me if I take the damn thing apart" He chuckled.
I have made a sky drive...woo whoo!!  Then I put my PC picture files into it..oh yeah..now that is fancy.
I currently have my pictures importing themselves into Snapfish.
I sent an order in to Walgreens of fotos to send to Andy's uncle..
This techie morning is sailing right along!
It started out with wild rage when I was uploading my fotos (via cord) and the whole computer screen just freaking blinked away!! (Thus the phone call to India for some great tech. Advice).
I actually just hung up on that guy...then I googled the stuff.  Then my six year old said, "mama just cut it off and cut it back on again."  --that worked.
His Star Wars game was the thing that popped up all of a sudden! 
So, in the meantime I checked into my super fab camera's menus and discovered that, in fact, my camera DOES know how to send the pictures to my computer without having to be connected via cord.  Now isn't that fancy???
Sometimes, at 35, I feel like a technological dinosaur..for reals.
Whilst completing all of this techie wonderfulness I have composed a soap box post!
Yay!
That will come next, b/c I want y'all to have a chance to read this one first. :)
Is anyone still out there reading?
BTW Bethany...I was loving the ones you posted last night! :)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I did it again! :)

I just used the code FallB2P to print the 2009 year of my blog.
It gave me 15% off.
This is fabulous, and it reminds me --even more--that I need to document life's happenings via blog.
Just click, click, click, and there you have it!
A bound memory book complete with soap box posts and all...
speaking of..I have not had many of those lately.
Morgan, we need some soap box time together. :)
Laura, this is the perfect idea for you, bc/ you really use your blog to document memories, and your posts are really like foto essays of your life...
Did anyone else make one after the last time I made one?

I can't wait til it gets here! :)

Monday, October 21, 2013

mixing it up

For a couple years now I have felt like I am in a rut in my job.
It seems like after a certain number of years things seem very {automatic}.
Feeling this way has made me think...how in the world did our parents have the same jobs for
thirty years!! ??
I asked my Dad...I cannot remember what his answer was..maybe I was not ready to listen.
Or maybe it was one of those questions that got an "are you kidding?" response.
People like my Dad don't stop to ask themselves if they like their work very often..
He just does whatever it is he is supposed to be doing.
I mostly feel that way...
Your job is your job, and be glad you have it, and do your best every day etc.

I think what happens when I get in one of these ruts is I get mischevious..
So last year I brainstormed doing translating and interpreting and
becoming certified.
I taught a Spanish class...
I also spent the year on a very big mission to exercise regularly and consistently and eat very
healthy food all the time...
Just to keep things interesting, I think??

This year-- I am still in a job rut, but I am keeping things interesting by taking on leadership
kinds of tasks that I have avoided in the past, and by
deciding that I do not, in fact, need to drive myself crazy and get up at five AM
each day...
i can be crazy and get up at six instead!! yes!
So now I am thinking change it up and work out in the afternoon--just to see if that will make me feel less stressed and more in the moment.  Usually I crash after school, but maybe having a work out to do will keep my going???

The point of this post...is definitely NOT to prove how regular and boring my life is!! LOL
It is just to point out that sometimes switching up the tiniest little part of the day can make some excitement...or at least make you re-think things.
OR--I do have to get up and go to my job every day, I DONOT have to get up at five AM and go crazy rushing around.

How do you all keep it {interesting}?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Plan...

The food
All packed..
The bag


The dessert
The friends
The friends
The place

The spot
The scout
The fun
The Fall





To be continued....

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Taylor Swift

We went to Greensboro to meet up with friends and go to the Taylor Swift concert.
Here are pictures.
Man! Is she awesome!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Ever!

The other day while I was cleaning and reading my children were playing in the living room.
They zipped around me to get blankets and bed covers.
When they finished their masterpiece, the blanket castle with two stories, they called me in to have a look.
Man! Was I Impressed!
We left it up all weekend.
They even slept in the fortress.
Can you see how proud they were of themselves?


Thursday, September 5, 2013

The times they are a changin!


The end of Summer
is always monumental in my head and in my heart.
The end of Summer
is when I notice how much my children have grown and how they are changing.
I am not sure why that
Then end of Summer
marks a change more than their birthdays, or the end of the calendar year, or the end of the school year.
I have an inkling that it is because we spend the Summers playing and relaxing and I get to spend all my time with them.
Then the school year cranks up and they race off--without me, and me without them!
We go our separate ways all day long and meet back up exhausted to take care of the basics and get ready for another dose of reality tomorrow.
At the end of this Summer we marked the end of the {toddler} era by sending the Dora car and several teeny tricycles to the dump!
Oh, I almost cried...
When that Dora car was assembled Elena was not yet two years old.
I was in labor with Victor and Andy went in the yard to put the car together.
We decided that keeping the car was not the best idea.
It still works Andy said.
It is so valuable to my sentiment, I said.
Then we both agreed that someone would pick that thing up, dust it off
and their grandbaby would be riding it by sun down, so off he went!
So long toddlers!
So long battery powered dream cars!
Hello cursive writing, and multiplication tables!



Friday, August 23, 2013

Back to School!

Well here it is!  Sometimes things just come full circle. :)
This lady on the right--she was my third grade teacher.
The child in the middle, she is my third grader.
My mama still had my work and my happy grams from when I was in her room.
She looks just as cute now as she did then!
Different room in the building....
But I bet Elena will love her just as much.
She loves tropicana roses...I remember that about her even after 27 years.
Maybe we will send her some. 
So many precious connections are made in schools in small towns.
Four of Elena's friends from kindergarten are in her class this year.

Re: Victor and first grade--I forgot my camera for his open house!! I cannot even believe it, b/c you know the look on his face was priceless. 
Watching children meet teachers is so sweet and fun.
I am getting better at just stepping back and letting the interaction be their own.
It can be hard.
When the first day rolls around I will snap a couple fotos.  
I will be right in the building with Victor so no worries.



Friday, August 9, 2013

It's a wrap!

Every Summer I have a {small} list of large chores that I need to accomplish.  This Summer's chores were 1.  Wash the vinyl siding on the part of the house that is the master bathroom with clorox to remove the mildew.  The door and the surrounding window frames also count in this chore, as they tend to look really bad all the time.

The figs put themselves ready while we were on our vacation, and every summer I enjoy making stuff with the figs.  It just makes me feel good to pick the figs and then turn them into stuff, or hand them out to fig lovers around me.  
The other one was to wash my sofa!  I love to wash my sofa.  It is one chore that trumps all the rest in terms of making me feel productive.  Now my sofa was covered last winter and it has not been washed since.  
I know that after this week I have to go back to work and I am scrambling to get things done and feel good about going back to work.  If I have a list and all of things are not checked off I never feel right.  So now my list will be checked off completely!  Checky Check Check.