Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween, blah

I love Halloween! When I was a kid, I never wore the same costume twice, used to start out my trick or treating fun before it even got dark, and wouldn't stop until people were turning off their lights!  My brother and I used to sit at the table after the big night with our dad looking over our shoulders, sorting our candy out into piles- chocolate, chocolate with nuts, lollypops, gum, etc.  I used to take Halloween candy in my lunch for weeks.  I also used to sneak handfuls of it for breakfast- don't tell my mom.  I actually trick or treated until I was like 16 years old, I think.  Now that I am a mom, the fun is back!  Now I get to drag my kid miles, and then take all the Reece's cups out of her candy bag when she is not looking.  This year, I was excited to be going to a Halloween party at my brother's house.  I wanted to have a really cool costume, so I found the perfect red puffy pirate shirt online.  I counted down the days.  When it finally got here, it was too small, ripped and stunk so bad, I almost gagged- must have come from a real pirate!  I returned it and got a refund, then before I knew it, Halloween was here and I have nothing!  I guess I must be getting old or something because, for the first year ever, I am actually good with that!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Octoberfest Fun

It is all in the family!

Every year for the past 10 years or so, my family has been going to the local Octoberfest.  Over the years it has grown to be a pretty large event.  They have the traditional German folk dancers, play the chicken dance, and have contests such as log sawing and keg throwing.  They also have a stein-holding contest.  Each year, my dad used to enter it, and he usually won.  He was not a big guy, but boy, was he strong!  
My dad from last year- 2nd place!
This year, it was hard to go to the Octoberfest without him, but all of our wonderful friends went with us and we drank a toast to him.  My brother entered the stein-holding contest and, for the first time, WON!  
My brother from this year- 1st place
Then they held the ladies stein-holding contest, and they did not have enough ladies, so I went up there.  I didn't even think I would be able to hold the mug up, but I did, for 3 minutes and 5 seconds- and came in 3rd place!
Me- this year, third place- not too shabby!



Thursday, October 27, 2011

Good Times with Bill Nye, Joey Lawrence and Kriss Kross

This week I was teaching my class about the water cycle.  Today we made water cycle bracelets, and then I showed the Bill Nye on the water cycle to my kids.  The movie was a total blast from the past!  First, Joey Lawrence was in it.  My co-teacher and I looked at each other and said "woah!"  I used to love him when I was in high school. Remember watching "Blossom", and his song, "There's Nothing My Love Can't Fix"= good times!  I told my students about who he was and they were like, "uh, I like Chris Brown???"   
 Then at the end of the video- you know the part- when they play a popular song, but change the words to make it sciency?  The song was a remake of Kriss Kross' song "JUMP!"  I told my students that I used to totally love them, and explained that they were known for wearing their clothes backwards.  They also wore overalls with one side of them unhooked.  I totally wore mine like that!  Dang, I'm old!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Crushing on crushes

 Do you have a crush on anyone?  I love having a crush!  Having a crush puts a smile on my lips and a spring in my step.  It makes me want to actually blow dry my hair, and put on some tinted moisturizer and mascara in the morning.  It makes me want to skip the mashed potatoes at lunch.  It makes me find a half hour to squeeze into the gym before work.  It makes me want to check my phone 10 times (OK 20 times!) a day to see if there are any texts from him!  In some ways, having a crush is even better than having a real relationship- there are no disagreements, break-ups or dirty socks on the floor.  What do you like about having a crush?

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Rules of Dating

Back in the day, there were specific rules that people followed when dating.  If I had dated back in my grandmother's time, things would have been so much easier.  There would be no worrying about whether a guy liked me or whether I should call him, or ask him out. If he liked me, he would ask me out!  He would call by Wednesday to ask me out for a weekend date, any later than that and I would be busy washing my hair!  We would go out, and he would open doors for me and pick up the check- no worrying about whether I should offer to pay half or not!  At the end of the night, he would walk me up to my front porch and give me a sweet kiss- I would not have to worry about whether he was expecting me to ask him in or not.  Then about three days later, he would call if he wanted to take me out again.  I wouldn't have to worry about whether I should call him, send a text, or send an e-mail.  (I would have to wait by the phone with no caller ID or answering machine though!)  After a few months, he would ask me to go steady.  I would not have to wonder whether we were exclusive, or where things were going. 
These days dating is so hard!  On top of trying to play a game with no rules, I also have to figure out when to introduce my daughter to the people I date.  Honestly, though, I think that the dating game is a game worth playing, because if you can find that one person who is perfect for you, it will be worth it.  What do you think?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

One of those days...

Do you ever have those days where a "blonde moment" seems to last all day?  When you say to yourself, maybe I should drink this coffee instead of just holding it? 


This morning I was running late to drop my daughter, and her little friend off at school.  I ran out the door with a bag of trash in my hand and jumped in the car.  Halfway there I glance over at the passenger seat and realized that I had garbage sitting on the seat next to me, and that my purse was still sitting on the couch!  So, I dropped my daughter off at school, and ran home to get it.  I finally got to work and looked over my lesson plan for the day.  I had planned on having my students make a foldable- fold a piece of paper in half, cut little doors, and take notes behind each door.  I set a box of glue and a box of scissors by the door for my students to grab on their way into the room.  We did our lesson, cleaned up, they left, and my next class came in.  They grabbed scissors and glue on the way in too.  All of a sudden, one of them raises their hand and says "why do we have glue, Miss???"  I started laughing so hard, and told him that actually, I had no idea- scissors and glue just go together!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Moonwalking and Michael Jackson!

Epcot center has brought back Captain EO, the Michael Jackson 4D movie from late 80's! 
I was there with my daughter for the Food and Wine Festival a few weeks ago, and then again this weekend, and we were lucky enough to catch the EO show twice.  This was the first time my daughter had even seen or heard Michael Jackson sing- the audience actually cheered when he came on the screen the first time, and we loved the show!  I explained to my daughter that back in the 80's videos were different than they are now, then to show her, guess what I did... oh yes, I showed her the Thriller video!  It was a little scary, but she loved it!
My daughter moonwalking!  Her legs are blurry- she was moving so fast!

Monday, October 17, 2011

The best part about parenting

My most favorite thing about parenting is being able to share things with my daughter that I enjoyed as a child. 
Things like Shrinky Dinks, Easy Bake Ovens and Barbies.
Now that she is 8, I think my daughter is ready to watch some of the great movies and read some of the great books that I remember watching and reading as a kid.  
A few weeks ago, we read Island of the Blue Dolphins and next week, I am going to start Little Women with her.  And I have The Cricket in Times Square ready to read after that. 
Tonight we watched Heidi (the Dumbledore version!) and my daughter loved it!  I also got Jurassic Park, Gremlins, Labyrinth, the Babysitters Club, Back to the Future and Lord of the Rings.  We are going to do some serious movie watching around here!  
Do you have any favorite books or movies that you are excited to share with your kids?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Visa Cards and Bank Accounts

I have a confession to make.  My finances are a mess!  About two years ago, I signed up for an account with www.mint.com.  I created a budget, entered all of my accounts into the program, and tracked my spending.  The website will send you an e-mail notice every time that you go over budget in a particular area.  At first I did really well.  Since then, I have lost several bonuses that I used to receive at work, and have started getting the notices that I am over budget in nearly every area, every month.  So, I confess, I just started ignoring them altogether!  And now it is time to pay the piper!  So, I am trying to decide whether to start all over again with a budget and the mint website, or what.  I have some friends who swear by the Dave Ramsey envelope system, but I am afraid that I will put my money in envelopes, and then spend it all anyway.  Maybe I should just try the Saturday Night Live plan.  What do you think?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

We've Got the Beeps!

My kid has been driving me crazy lately!  She argues with everything that I say, does not do what I ask her to do, and does not listen to anything that I tell her.  I have my fingers crossed that she is just going through a stage!  Do you have one of these???  
Well, a friend of mine shared a great behavior idea that he uses with his classes, to try with my daughter,.  All you need is a kitchen timer that makes a loud beeping sound when you are adding seconds to it, and clear rules.  Whenever my child (or his class) breaks a rule, they get "beeped".  The idea is for them to earn less beeps than their target goal for the week (or if they are really having behavior issues- the day!)  My daughter's goal this week is to earn less than 50 beeps.  If she can do that, she will get a reward on Friday- a fun Friday.  
Her rules are:
No arguing- 2 beeps
Bed and floor beside it clear of toys- 2 beeps
No socks on floor in living room- 1 beep each sock
Not following directions- 1 beep
Doing a random act of kindness- I take a beep off
Have you found a great behavior system that works for your child?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Grillin' Out

For my birthday, my brother and sister in-law gave me a gas grill.  I have been wanting one for awhile now.  I have a charcoal grill, but never have charcoal or the time to wait for the charcoal to heat up.  Finally, this weekend I had an extra afternoon to sit down with my pieces and the directions for assembling my grill.  I followed the directions to a t, but then it came time to assemble the gas canister.  I started freaking out over all the warnings and exclamation points!!!!  The directions actually said, "failure to follow these instructions could result in fire or explosion, which could cause property damage, personal injury or death!"  Holy crap!!! So, I read all the directions all over again, then I called my mom!  She calmed me down, talked me through it, and gave me the bravery to turn the grill on and light it.  Success!  I have cooked on it every night this week!  I made steaks, grilled chicken breasts, a turkey sausage to cut up and put in some flower shaped pasta, and hamburgers!  I am loving this grill!  What is your favorite thing to grill?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A fishy funeral

Our fish died last night.  I know it sounds weird to mourn a fish, but I am kind of sad over it.  I had the fish for almost 3 years, when a neighbor who was moving plopped the tank into my hands and ran (literally!)  He was probably already a year old when she gave him to me, because this fish was big.  It was a yellow lab which is a type of African Cichlid.  He was so lonely in the small tank by himself, so he made me buy him 9 more friends plus a larger tank.  I swear, he made me- he kept giving me those big fishy eyes and sad fishy lips and sending me mental messages to upgrade!  So, he is the one who started it all, my big orange guy, and now he is gone.  And what do you do with a huge dead fish?  I just could not imagine flushing him down the toilet, plus I don't think he would fit, so we buried him in the backyard and had a funeral.  That's right, a fishy funeral.  What an sad way to start my day.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Pasta

This is a quick and easy weeknight meal. One of my favorites!
Buffalo Chicken Pasta
Cook about 1/3 box of corkscrew pasta (or whichever kind you like).
Drain and put back in pot. Add about 1/4 cup of pasta sauce- whatever kind you like, 2 tablespoons of blue cheese dressing, about a tablespoon of blue cheese crumbles and about a tablespoon of hot sauce. Stir together in the pot until creamy. Add diced chicken breast and some chopped celery. YUM!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

6 word Saturday

Excited about first guest blog post!


Come on over for a playdate!
(Click to go check it out!)

Saturday Playdate

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Help! I'm drowning in pictures!

"I am 4 years behind!"  
Only a scrapbooker would know what it means when they hear someone say that!  
I love the way beautifully done scrapbooks look, but holy cow, does it take a lot of work!  Sometimes I feel like I took on an impossible task when I started scrapbooking!  
When my daughter was born, she took two naps every day and I was going stir crazy, so I began making a beautiful scrapbook.  
From my 1st scrapbook- took days to make this one page!
Now, 8 years later, I have only gotten as far as her third birthday!  
I almost threw in the towel on the scrapbooking thing, when I decided to do a little research to see how the heck I can organize all these pictures and get myself caught up!  This is the advice I found:  just start scrapping- stop trying to go in chronological order.  Wow!  That made things much better.  So last weekend, I grabbed a random stack of photos and started making pages- I made about 10!  This way is so much easier than what I had been doing.  Now I can just put them in album and then rearrange it later!
New pages= less detailed, use at least 5 pictures per page- much faster!
 Do you like to scrapbook?  What are your tricks for getting caught up when you are years behind?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

jinx!

Do you ever say something the exact same time as someone else does and get the urge to yell, "JINX"!  
Tonight I was having dinner with my daughter, and she said the same thing as me at the same time and "jinxed" me!  My daughter apparently plays by different rules than I used to play by when I was a kid, because she said that when she jinxes me, she is supposed to count to 10 and I am supposed to yell "stop!"  I am "unjinxed" if I say "stop" before she reaches 10.  I used to play by different rules, so, tonight, I googled the official JINX rules  and realized that this game can be complicated!  And here is a funny commercial I found too- enjoy!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Disney's Epcot Food and Wine Festival

I have a secret place that I go to get away, relax and unwind.  It is beautiful, tropical, and the best part is that it is only about an hour away from my house!  It's Orlando- that's right, the home of Mickey Mouse!  Disney offers a special Florida Resident pass for a pretty reasonable price.  With the pass, you can hop from park to park and get special rates on their resorts.  We have had our passes for about 4 years now, and we have gotten to be quite the Disney experts.  This is my favorite time of year at Disney, the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.  I always go opening weekend before the hotel rates go up.  In Epcot's world showcase, they normally have 11 countries with food you can purchase, but for this special event that goes on from October to mid-November, there are about a dozen more kiosks set up selling food and beverages from even more countries.  The food is served tapas-style on small plates for prices ranging from about 3 to 7 dollars.  Epcot also has some cool activities to keep your kids entertained while you nibble your way around the world.  They have a paper Duffy bear (Mickey's teddy bear) that you can color, and get stamped in every country.  They also have a fun Kim Possible adventure which involves a special cell-phone, and lots of cool little hidden secrets.  I usually spring for a hotel room in the Dolphin or Swan hotel, so that I can take a boat right from my hotel room to the park!  They have fabulous pools there where they have fun pool-side games for the kids every hour.  We had a great time there this year- it is worth the trip if you are nearby.  And if you make it to the festival, try the Coq au Vin sur gratin de macaroni in France (Red Wine braised Chicken, Mushrooms, Pearl Onions and Macaroni Gratin) or the Seared Barramundi with Blistered Cherry Tomatoes, Arugula, and Lemon Oil in Australia!  Tell them that I sent you!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Spirit Week!

I have spirit, yes I do!
Remember back in middle or school when they had spirit week?  In these days of academic pressure, so many schools cut out all the fun for students- this year, my school decided to try out spirit week and see how the kids do.  I think it was a success!  The kids (and teachers!) had a lot of fun with it.  (I am almost sad that I missed retro day yesterday).
Monday was
Crazy Sock Day
Wednesday was
Crazy Hair Day!
and Thursday was
Crazy hat day!
It was like the royal wedding walking through the halls!
 Don't you wish we had spirit week in the real world?

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