Sunday, May 31, 2009

A few more screen bags

Julianne has been invited to a couple birthday parties this weekend. The part for Saturday she requested I do a screen bags with peace signs on it. I scoured the area for peace sign fabric and the only thing I came up with was a very patriotic FQ pack at Jo-Anns. I got it just for the one piece but didn't want the purse to look too red/white and blue (even though it is summer and 4th of July is coming up). I dug through my stash and found a cute little red and white flower fabric so now, even though it is r,w &b ~ it is more reminiscent of the age of peace and love, which is what the girls are all into now. DSC06487
I heard it was a hit at the party and Julianne said one of the girls that really liked it was the girl who's party is on Sunday. Her party is a Hawaiian theme so she's getting this one.. DSC06495 I don't know which one I like more, but I do love making them (good thing, huh!).
I think this week I will do more and put them in my poor neglected Etsy shop I've gotten some really cute fabric combos together lately and I'm also going to be putting in some new screen beach bags so check back soon, okay!
Now, to see if you all have been paying attention and read all the way down to here... I'm doing a give-a-way.... I'm giving away the other 4 FQ's from the patriotic FQ pack. Leave me a message between now and Wednesday. I'll pick a name from the hat and send these out to you! Good luck.

Here's a pic of the 4 FQ's I'm giving away...DSC06515

Honey's Bday part 2

So, I think Richard had a good birthday..
His mom came up the day before. We went to the "end of the year" softball game. For about 6 yrs now 4 of the elementary schools in the area play off against each other at the minor league stadium. We love going ~ the kids love seeing their teachers play and hanging out with all their friends. My son spent most of the game talking on the phone to 3 girls ~ yes 3! Me, I helped sell foam fingers for the PTO.
On Friday I made chocolate chip muffins for breakfast and Julianne put candles in Richards so we could sing "happy birthday." Most of the day was spent hanging out at the pool, grilling hamburgers and just chillin!
I made Richard a "mat" for his desk. It's something he's been asking for. It's kind of like a very large place mat. DSC06490 It's all coffee themed fabric which is appropriate considering he is a Starbucks addict. Julianne also made him a matching coaster. From the kids he is getting a family kayaking trip which we will probably do sometime in June. I think we will meet up with Jen and Jeremy in St. Augustine and even Richard's mom is gonna come with us. Should be a fun time.
We went over to Orlando in the late afternoon to the Ikea store there. We had never been and it's quite overwhelming. Afterwards we went out to dinner and had good drinks,DSC06479 good food, DSC06481 and good desserts DSC06485

Friday, May 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Honey!!!

Today is my Honey's birthday! He has been such an amazing husband and still my very best friend. I could never have imagined still being this much in love after all these years but I just can't help myself. Here are a couple of pics of him through the years...




He's just the best dad I could ask for with the kids and a partner in every way possible. He spoils me rotten and indulges me in my sewing and flamingos and tinkerbells. Who could ask for more, really!

For his birthday I am taking him (and the kids) kayaking. He really doesn't want "stuff" and this is something he's always wanted to do. I think he'll be surprised!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

This and that

Just a couple of things I wanted to show off... Jen made me this beach ball clock for out by the pool for Mother's day. DSC06460 Isn't it so cute?
Here are some papers Julianne made me while I was sick. DSC06456She's so thoughtful.
And one last pic from Julianne. This was a school project and I think it is spectacular DSC06471
Nathaniel has long since established himself as a very cool and creative artist but Julianne seems to be pulling up right along side of him.
Oh and Richard finally got my Tinkerbell MP3 player up and working!DSC06459 I am one happy camper!

Some landscaping finally done

We've recently had some landscaping done at the house and it's starting to look so much better. We'd like to do something much more later when the economy is more stable but for now, this will do. Basically we had the palms cut way back and had new mulch put down. DSC06469 They also planted a few new plants here and there DSC06467
They need to come back out and trim the bushes next to the pool cage. They made them even but they need to be cut much shorter so they'll fill in more around the bottom. DSC06465
All in all, it works for now and I'm looking forward to spending the summer in the pool! Wanna come join me?

A really good Sunday

Like I said before, once I got to the doctors my recovery was much much faster. I was really worried I wouldn't get to make the trip to Orlando to see my cousin Cathy and her son Logan. Cathy's mom and my mom were sisters. They were in town to visit her dad and his family and I haven't seen her in almost 40 yrs. My sister and I used to go up to NY every summer and stay with her family and I was so looking forward to seeing her again, especially now that we have been back in touch via the internet.
Sunday came and I really felt so much better so we decided to go for it. Cathy's son Logan is 24 but she also has three little girls that are 7, 10 & 11 who didn't make the trip down. I wanted them to have something from Florida so I made them these three little screen bags for her to take back for them. These pictures were taken on the way to Orlando since I was still hand sewing the buttons on, on the way. DSC06444 DSC06442 DSC06439 You know I had to get some Flamingos in there! I hope they'll like them.
We had a few directional issues finding the hotel and then the room but once we got there it was all good. We were talking so much and so fast that I ended up having a 15 minute coughing fit which was really embarrassing but once that stopped we headed out for dinner at Buca di Beppo which is a great Italian restaurant that serves food family style. We had great lemon chicken with capers, fettuccine Alfredo, great salad and some mozzarella with tomato and basil. I wish I had taken a pic of the food but trust me, it was to die for!
So here are the pics from our reunion. DSC06448 This is Logan, Cathy and Me. Sorry about the red face on me but I had a bit of a reaction to the meds and it made me look sunburned. The next pic is all of us together DSC06446 We literally sat for hours chatting and even after we left the restaurant we hung out outside the mall and chatting for a few more hours. We really didn't want the night to end. It was so good talking about our childhood memories together and discussing family. They have invited us out to Vegas (where they live) and hopefully sometime we'll be able to do that. I miss that connection to my mom's family.
All in all it was a wonderful day ~ and I am finally on the mend and ready for another crazy week this week.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Friday was graduation day, sort of

Thursday was spent in bed, coughing my fool head off and trying to survive. I did manage to crawl out of bed, take a shower get dressed and take Nate to his Middle School interview with the counselor for his accelerated classes. Unfortunately after all the effort, the counselor was not there. They supposedly left me a message the day before to reschedule but I never got it. I was okay with rescheduling cause I felt like crap but wished I hadn't had to go through all the effort.
Julianne had her "bridging" ceremony with the girl scouts but her scout leader picked her up and dropped her off so no pics of that and I went back to bed.

Friday was the 6th grade graduation ceremony for Nate and no way was I going to miss that. He received several awards and we are so very proud of him. The biggest part of the ceremony was the "Dancing through the years" that each class did. His class was the 1980's and they danced to Mickey ~ oh mickey you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind ~ hey Mickey! hey Mickey! Now tell me that's not stuck in your head! They were really cute and Nate moonwalked across the stage and got a big cheer. Here is a short clip of one of the videos. Nate is on the far right in pastel clothes.

Here he is walking on stage to get his certificate from the principal. His teacher is the blonde with the basket

After the ceremony the 6th graders got to go home and we kept Julianne out for the day. We went out to breakfast at Nate's favorite diner and then he and Rich went out to see the new Terminator movie (Rich does not recommend it) while I went back to bed and Julianne stayed by my side, putting cold rags on my head, feeding me sips of gingerale and putting vix vapor rub on the soles of my feet (it helps keep the couching to a minimum).
All in all Nate's had a fairly successful school year this year. His teachers were wonderful and we are all looking forward to Middle school. I think he'll do really well. The kids actually have a few more half days of school left this week but they will be doing absolutely NO work at all!

Wednesday at Animal Kingdom

Wednesday's field trip to Disney's Animal Kingdom went a bit better than Monday's trip. We left much earlier (7:00 am) but we got home much earlier (6:30 pm). The first half of the day was even dry and overcast which kept the heat down. The first part of the day the kids and a select group of chaperons were taken on an educational 3 hr tour which I opted not to go on since my Jen had decided to drive down and meet us on the trip. From what I heard from the parents that did the "special program" I really didn't miss much.
I had about an hour till Jen was going to arrive and it was really kinda nice wandering around on my own for a bit. I bought a few Tinkerbell pins (no surprise there, right?). It was hard to narrow down which ones to get. Used to be there would be one or two Tinkerbell pins to choose from. Now there are probably 20 or so and in different price ranges. I then went onto the Safari Jeep ride right when it opened which was very neat. Most of the animals were up and wandering and the giraffes including a brand new baby were so close you could almost touch them. We did have an ostrich walk up to our jeep. Even the lion and lioness were up and awake. I didn't get any pics cause I left the camera with Nate but the second time on the Safari (with the kids) I got a couple of pics DSC06399 Sorry about the poor quality but it was taken on a very bumpy jeep and it was raining and we were moving pretty fast. And of course, I had to take a pic of the flamingos DSC06405 You can see that it's raining in this pic.

We had a much smaller group of kids. 7 kids total to 3 adults and since they were all 6th graders, they didn't have the same tendency to wander off. Here they are posing with the "tree of life" in the background. DSC06366
Animal Kingdom is short on rides. We did go on the River Rapids, The Dinosaur ride and a few smaller ones. The BIG one was Expedition Everest. A very cool roller coaster that everyone was looking forward to. It, of course, has the longest lines so we got fast passes. With a fast pass you return to the ride at a specified time and you don't have to wait in line. Our time to go back was 2:30. Unfortunately it started raining about 1:30 with lightning and thunder and the ride was shut down for the remainder of the day because the rain never did let up and we never got to go on the ride. You can see it here in the background DSC06361 The coaster comes right out near the top of the mountain. The kids were all very bummed about not getting to go on but they really were very cool about it all.
Here's a great pic of Jen and Nate. DSC06375 Aren't they just adorable. Jen's been training for a 5K run and has lost quite a bit of weight. She's looking really good and I'm so proud of her. Can you believe how tall Nate is getting. He'll be passing Jen and I up in no time at all.
The rain was so bad though and I started to cough just about the time we were leaving and knew this was not gonna be good. By the time I got home I was running a fever and hacking up a lung. I have to say for a moment I was really worried about swine flu cause there have been a couple of incidents here and Disney is a prime breading ground. Thank goodness it was not.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Monday at Epcot

Monday was Julianne and the RMW Chorus field trip to Epcot at Disney. We left the school about 9:30 and got to Epcot just before 11:00. It was kinda cool to arrive behind the scenes at Disney. No big secrets to tell though. We came into Epcot from behind Italy. Only problem was, it was pouring rain! I had brought ponchos for Julianne and I but not everyone had one and even with a poncho it was raining too hard to go anywhere. We had lunch backstage and then they ushered us into the park where we waiting till the rain let up which took about 1/2hr ~ did I say in the rain, in a china and glass shop in Italy with 3 4th grade girls and 7 4th grade boys. Talk about bulls in a china shop! This is our group (me and another parent) in front of "Test Track" which we went on twice one the rain let up. They are posing with their chorus leader DSC06282
We stayed at Epcot till just about 6:30 when we headed back to Italy to go backstage and change into uniforms and a short bus ride to Downtown Disney. Here they are on stage. DSC06308 Julianne is right next to the teacher in the front row. They performed about 5 or 6 songs and did really well.
It was a long, loud, cold ride home and a stressful trip ~ you try keeping account of ten 10 yr olds all day when they all want to go separate ways. I go on these field trips because I know how easy it is to loose a child and I want to ensure the safety of my child ~ but boy it's definitely NOT fun!
However I wouldn't have missed seeing her sing for all the money in the world!

Well I survived the week ~ mostly!

It's been a week `that's for sure and I'll try to get to all or most of it. The Disney field trips were in the pouring rain (yes both of them) and even rumored funnel clouds. Needless to say, I got sick as a dog. Upper respiratory infection aka bronchitis. Spent most of the end of the week in bed till my darling husband dragged me to the doctor on Saturday who injected me with antibiotics, filled me with steroids and lots of other drugs and by Saturday night I was again functional and allowed the weekend to end well.

Before I go into all the other stuff I wanted to say a big thanks to Lisa of Upstate Lisa who surprised me with a wonderful package. Her blog is just full of fun and great projects and I've been following her for quite a while. She has been working on a quilt of "wonky houses" and I have been drooling over all of them. She and I are also "buddies" on Flickr and she had posted a pic of one of her houses and made a comment that she would like to have more of a certain fabric. I was lucky enough to have just over a yard of said fabric and offered to send her some. In return I asked for a bit of one of her owl fabrics she had used and maybe a few hints on how to construct some of my very own houses. Well not only did she do that ~ She made me my very own wonky house! DSC06449 Isn't it just so cute. I can't believe she did that for me. Oh, and here's the cute owl fabric she sent. DSC06450 I have been obsessed with owl fabric lately. So thank you thank you thank you Lisa. You helped make a stressful week so much brighter.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Exciting news... well for me anyway...

My cousin Linda is our family genealogist. She's been trying to chronicle our family and has actually gotten most of us together on a family email list so we are now more in contact than ever before. Anyway... in the course of her on line family tree she was contacted that there was another family tree that seemed to be connected to ours. Long story short she is now in contact with a woman who has the same great grandparents as we do! My great great grandparents on our grandmother's side was Anna May and James Brooks. They are the Brooks/Reilly side of that same family. I know my mom and her brothers and sisters grew up with their Brooks cousins and I have heard many great stories of my mother's cousin Kenny. This person we are now in contact with is Kenny's daughter. How cool is that?? I have some pictures that I need to find and scan from my mother's first wedding where Kenny was the alter boy. I'm excited to learn more about my mother's family history.

Speaking of my mother's family ~ next Sunday I will get to see my cousin Cathy who I haven't seen since I was in my young teens. She and her family live in Las Vegas. She works for the Osmonds ~ yes "The Osmonds" in some capacity or other. I'm hoping to learn more when I see her. She is also bringing her son who is an actor and a real cutie! Anyway, they will be in Orlando for a couple of days and the family and I will drive over and meet with them.

Next week will be a crazy one. Monday I have a field trip to Disney's Epcot where Julianne and the school chorus will perform at Downtown Disney. Tuesday I have the final Girl Scout and PTO meetings for the school year. Wednesday I will be back in Orlando at Disney's Animal Kingdom for Nate's 6th grade field trip. Thursday Nate and I will meet with the counselors at the middle school to get his schedule set for next year and Friday will be his 6th grade graduation ceremony. He may or may not have a baseball game on Saturday, depending on how his team plays tomorrow and Sunday is when I'll meet up with cousin Cathy! PHEW! Busy but hopefully I'll have some great pics to show you.

Oh and I got my hair all cut off for the summer and I'm loving it!!!!DSC06240

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mothers Day

First off, I want to wish all of you mothers out there a very very happy Mother's Day. It's one of the hardest yet most rewarding jobs there is.
It's on this day I really miss my mom. I lost her when I was just 25. She was an amazing mom and a great friend.

I have been lucky to have two other Moms in my life though. The first is Patty. DSC00134.JPG She married my dad a few years after my mom passed away. The first time I met her I just knew I was going to hate her. No one was going to replace my mom, especially someone who was only 9 yrs older than me. It didn't work though. As soon as I met her, there was a bond there and it's lasted all this many years. She and my dad are no longer married but it doesn't matter. Patty and I are bonded for life. She's a friend and a confidant. She's someone I can always turn to for some common sense advice. I am so thankful for having her in my life.

The second is my mother in law. I don't even like to refer to her as "in-law" because she is so much more to me. She has been such a source of comfort and love for me, I can't even describe. She comes up to visit us on a regular basis and we always have fun. I may pick on her but I love her dearly.
To these two women ~ Thank you for being the mothers that I needed. I cherish you both

Saturday, May 9, 2009

How do you show your appreciation?

This week is Teacher Appreciation week and I really appreciate my kids teachers. Well, most of them anyway. As part of the PTO board we did stuff for the entire staff every day this week ~ donuts and coffee one morning. One day we had staff come in from a local spa and do 10 minutes treatments, nails, hair, massages. One day we catered lunch from a local italian restaurant. Something different everyday. I really do appreciate teachers. It's a job I know I could never do. I have very little patience for most monterous kids and I'd have to throttle the majority of them, landing me in jail, I'm sure. Knowing this about myself, I'm not a teacher but I believe those that do teach need to be able to better at it than me. I know we all have our bad days but teachers should be calmer and more patient than most. They need to be able to deal with all the junk that goes along with teaching (and need to be paid sufficiently as well). Most teachers I have encountered do this and do it well. Those teachers I try to help as much as possible. Need copies done? No problem. Need bulletin boards decorated? I'm your girl. I'm willing to do whatever is needed. For these teachers I made these to give them from the kids
DSC06231 DSC06233 These were for Nate's teachers, who I just love!
I naturally made one for Julianne's teacher as well. She picked out the fabric cause her teacher loves all things doggy. DSC06235
But then I started thinking... I really don't like Julianne's teacher. She is NOT a nice person..and she's a screamer too. Julianne went from loving school and getting straight A's to begging not to go to school and getting some B's, mostly C's and even a D! I've had meetings with the teacher, the school counselor and the principal. Things have improved a bit but it's still not great. Anyway... for Christmas I made all the teachers gifts seen here. Nate's teachers were sufficiently grateful and I received notes of thanks. Julianne's teacher, however, is another story. She did not open any of her gifts in front of the kids (and you know they love to see their teachers open gifts from them) and never once thanked either the kids or the parents or really even acknowledge that gifts were received. Remembering all this, I've decided that I am NOT going to give her this gift for teacher appreciation week cause I really don't appreciate her and she apparently doesn't appreciate receiving gifts.
Am I wrong? Should I give her a gift anyway? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.