Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A few things...

Let's me jot these things down before I forget them...

* 15 enjoyed his weekend sans big brother. He says next year is gonna be great! He doesn't have to wait for anyone else to use the bathroom. Doesn't have to yell at his brother to turn the light off of the bathroom which apparently bothers 15 from his room (who knew), he can have his music on louder and it doesn't bother anyone, he can play PS II whenever he wants. When I told him I hadn't realized they had so many issues he stopped and corrected me. They are "issues" he explained, it's just stuff that's not important, no big deal in life but it will be nice when the stuff is gone. He's got such an easy going personality, it amazes me.

* The weekend was easy. It just flowed without complaint. We told 18 this because he was home no less than 15 minutes before he was witching and moaning about stuff and the 3 of us looked at each other and said welcome back! and laughed.

* 18 had a great time. He wasn't expecting to (such an optimist, no?) but he liked the school, the area, the people, the coaches, everything. Says if he could have registered for school right then he would have and just not come back. I'm glad he liked it.

* Last night 18 commented on how refreshed he was even though he was physically tired. He concluded that it was the trip. He had really needed to just get away, the break did him good. He decided everyone should do this often - just get away and break up the routine. Hubby told him in the real world it's called vacation. We all laughed.

* I am still scrapping. Not the football stuff, even though I have more football stuff to scrap for my son. But my in-laws brought over a bunch of loose pictures that they found that he thought I might like. From hubby as a baby through our kids as babies. So, we grouped them together and I have been scrapping all those pictures, I have done 12 pages in 3 nights. They are coming out beautiful as I get more and more confident and creative with my layouts.

* We have a TON of work at work- Yuck! We are working too many hours.

* I signed up for GoodReads and so far I have a bunch of friends but haven't done much else with that. I need to enter the books but you know, I'm scrapping.

* I joined a Food Co-op thing. I'm not sure what I am going to get but I'm going to try it. A co-workers daughter was trying to round up a group of people and so they convinced me. Right now we are going to do it every 2 weeks, we'll see if it changes to weekly. For $25 I will get a box of produce. Right now she is going to Homestead and picking it up but maybe eventually we'll take turns, carpool, whatever. it's very casual, you can cancel anytime, no subscription or season of weeks to buy. My co-worker said that they got bananas, tomatoes, lettuce some squash and fabulous corn. Let's see how this goes.

That's all I can think of for now....

Friday, January 25, 2008

And then there were 3...

I am getting a dry run at what it will be like if/when 18 goes away to college in the fall. He left this morning and won't be back until Sunday late afternoon. HE was flown up by Union College, who is heavily recruiting him to play football. I don't understand the whole thing because they can't give him a football scholarship and so I think the only incentive to go is that he will be able to play this game that he loves but ya know $$$ talks and unless he gets financing it aint happening. He understands this and said he will discuss it with the coaches. At the very least he's getting a trip out of it and enjoying the experience to be had from all of this.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch... we are making plans without him. It's a little odd. Him and I share a car and the fact that I don't need to coordinate outings etc with him and have more 'freedom' with the planning it nice. 15 is liking it too. He's the center of attention. It has always been coordinating everyone's needs and this weekend the needs are pared down to only household and 15.

I'm not saying I won't miss him. I'm just saying wow, this will be a little more relaxing because it's just less. I think I could learn to like that. We'll see how it works out.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Going Bananas.

How many bananas do you buy at a time? It varies at our house every week as we struggle to try and get it right. We never do. This week a bunch of 6 was not enough, they were gone by Wednesday morning. I ask you how does a family of 4 eat 6 bananas in 2 days when 2 people claim not to have eaten any? That means the kids ate 6 bananas - not that there's anything wrong with that, we buy the food so they eat it, so fine. But back to the banana math... 2 kids 2 days 6 bananas. 15 claims to have only eaten 1. So, that means 18 ate 5 bananas in 2 days. He doesn't know apparently my scholar can't count that many bananas. I just think that's a lot of bananas in 2 days. I'm just saying.
So, hubby laughs saying "Other weeks I only get 3 or 4 and they sit there and go bad." He just can't figure it out. I tell him well, if I ate 5 bananas in a couple of days that would last me for a while so next week he probably won't eat any. Of course, I am probably wrong on this banana thing. We really haven't done a long term study on this but we probably could because honestly we talk about bananas in my house every week. First, when we ask if anyone want anything from the grocery store? Bananas are always in the mix. Then during the week, if they are gone (they are ALWAYS put in the same plate in the same place) a child may ask "Are there any more bananas? Where are they?" Answer: you got it - if they're not on the plate then you ate them! OR you may hear a parent say to no one in particular, "Isn't anyone eating bananas? They are going to go bad!" Well, obviously if they are going bad, no one is eating them.
We are a very astute bunch when it comes to bananas. Riveting stuff. I know.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Banquet

The Football Banquet was last night. was emotional.
I was worried that there wouldn't be enough food and kept saying when it's gone it's gone. Many took home trays of leftovers. We laughed out butts off as the delivery guy kept coming back with more and more trays. Tooo funny. We joked that they made a mistake and gave us food for 2000 instead of 200 LOL!

We hired a company to make a highlight DVD of the season to take that task away from the coach and let him have time for other things- you know like coaching. I was concerned about the music selection, the pictures, the whole thing. Everyone loved it. I got orders to buy more after the viewing.

The coach spoke. It was lovely. The team captains, all seniors, one of them my son all got up and said some words of thanks etc. It was beautiful got us all choked up. It was even fun watching them try to keep composure as some of their teammates tried to make them laugh. All good fun. An assistant coach spoke and got teary eyed as he spoke about all the team had accomplished and what it meant to all of them. Very emotional, more than one of us had tears in our eyes.

Then we handed out the scrapbooks we have been working on for months. The boys started flipping through them right away. We had a page in the back for Autographs. We thought they might think it was mushy and not do it. I handed them all pens. They immediately pulled out their sheets and started passing them around to get signed. It was a beautiful thing.

The whole night was a success. A beautiful recap to a great season. The camaraderie, the bonding between the teammate and the respect and love from player to coaches. It was all great.

Of course, we already made plans to get together so that we don't loose our connection with each other. I think I've made some good new friends in all of this and that's always a good thing, you can never have too many friends. Life is good!

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Mayonnaise Jar plus...

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 glasses of wine...

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous 'YES.'
The professor then produced two glasses of wine from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.
'Now,' said the professor, as the laughter subsided, 'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life:
The golf balls are the important things; your family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions; things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.'
The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, and your car.
The sand is everything else; the small stuff. 'If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'There is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.'
'Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. Do one more run down the ski slope. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first; the things that really matter. Set your priorities.
The rest is just sand!

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the wine represented.

The professor smiled. 'I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of glasses of wine with a friend.

I had heard the Mayo Jar story part but not with the 2 glasses of wine. I like that addition because that's the part I need to work on. Keeping connected with friends. I'm not good at that.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Still scrappin'

In case you have never read my blog....I am organizing a group of women (6) in making 30 identical scrapbooks (one for each Senior on the Varsity football team) to be handed to them at the football banquet on Tuesday. We are making 30 books. We have been making 30 books since September, meeting once a week at my house with VERY few skipped weeks over the holidays and some weeks 2 meetings and this week they will be back a third time tomorrow- Saturday! I started researching and planning the book last June! Looking and pricing albums, paper, embellishments. I started ordering supplies over the summer.
The book is 44 pages and includes all aspects of their Senior year of football. We still have 2 pages to do! There are 9 books that are complete (sans 2 pages) and 21 books that are like a third of the way there. I have thoroughly enjoyed having everyone over, laying out the pages and even looking for the stuff but if I don't have to think in multiple of 30 again that would be a good things as far as I am concerned.
In the process 2 of the moms have become scrappers and we plan on getting together to add a few more special pages for our boys later but see 3 of something is much easier to get than 30 or 60 or 90!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Tips for an Exceptional, Superb &Powerful Life!

It's still January. That time of year where life reflection and correction is รก la mode. This was recently emailed to me and I think it's a comprehensive list that is right on target. Of course, it is much easier to post this list than it is to live out the list. We'll see how it goes.

Tips for an Exceptional, Superb & Powerful Life!

1.) Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate antidepressant.
2.) Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Buy a lock if you have to.
3.) Buy a Tivo (DVR), tape your late night shows and get more sleep.
4.) When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, 'My purpose is to________ today.'
5.) Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.
6.) Watch more movies, play more games and read more books than you did last year.
7.) Always pray and make time to exercise.
8.) Spend more time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of Six.
9.) Dream more while you are awake.
10.) Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less foods that are manufactured in plants.
11.) Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli, almonds & walnuts.
12.) Try to make at least three people smile each day.
13.) Clear your clutter from your house, your car, your desk and let new and flowing energy into your life.
14.) Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead, invest your energy in the positive present moment.
15.) Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class .......but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
16.) Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.
17.) Smile and laugh more. It will keep the energy vampires away.
18.) Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
19.) Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
20.) Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
21.) You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
22.) Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
23.) Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
24.) Ladies - Go on and burn those 'special' scented candles, use the 600 thread count sheets, the good china and wear our fancy lingerie now. Stop waiting for a special occasion. Everyday is special.
25.) No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
26.) Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years, will this matter?'
27.) Forgive everyone for everything.
28.) What other people think of you is none of your business.
29.) Time heals almost everything. Give time, time!
30.) However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
31.) Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch with them.
32.) Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
33.) Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need. God provides remember?!
34.) The best is yet to come. (in Heaven)
35.) No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
36.) Do the right thing!
37.) Call your family often.
38.) Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements: 'I am thankful for __________.' Today I accomplished _________.
39.) Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.
40.) Enjoy the ride. Remember that this is not Disney World and you certainly don't want a fast pass. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy the ride.

Have a Blessed day. Please share with friends!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Quick list

I haven't had time to properly blog but have things to put out there so here's a quick list of bullet points.

* Why am I busy? Because next week if the banquet for 18s football team and I am the coordinator and it's for like 200 people and I haven't got the food set yet and so far I really only have tablecloths and plates and we need to finish 30 scrapbooks for the Seniors and I don't even have all of the collages yet or enough refill pages for all the scrapbooks and and well you get the picture.

* After living in Miami since 1983 I finally went to Knauss Berry Farm. Friends took me on Saturday morning. It's a lovely ride to a fresh fruit, veggie, baked good stand open only for a short season run by what a friend endearingly calls quasi-Amish. I bought their famous and delicious sticky buns, key lime pie, cherry pie, raisin bread, 9-grain bread, strawberry jam, hot pepper guava jam, strawberries, tomatoes (red & green), scallions, zucchini, yellow squash, green & red peppers, oregano, cilantro and a bag of mixed salad greens. I think that's everything. It's all yummy! and I so enjoyed it and now I know where it is and can go whenever I want. YEAH!!

* I had to send my sewing machine back because it was missing some accessories and apparently its a bundled package and they can't just send me the missing parts but have to get this one back and resend a whole new one! Whatever, they are paying for the shipping since it was their mistake.

* I went to a book reading. The book was "The Geography of Bliss". The author is a friend of a friend. The subject sounds fascinating and I can't wait to read the book. I have been thinking about it a lot - being happy that is and I think it will be interesting. Granted he told us one of the things was to not over think it but I think I need to think about it. I'll let you know how that works out.

*18 has now been accepted at 3 universities, Xavier University in Cincinnati, Loyola in New Orleans and FIU in Miami. AND Union College in upstate NY is going to fly him up to see the school. They are interested in him playing football. Catholic University in DC is also interested in him playing football but they told him they didn't have budget to pay for a visit. We shall see what happens with all of that.

* I have talked about learning to cook Cuban food for a few years. I have wanted to learn all the home recipes from the moms and grandmas but it never happens. Well this year its going to. I've gathered a small group of friends and we are going to use our moms and inlaws to teach us their recipes to pass them on to the next generation. I am so looking forward to it. We are starting with croquettes. Trust me you will hear much more about this.

* I recently saw the movie "Zodiac". Obviously, the topic is uber-scary as it's about the Zodiac killer. The movie is very well done. The camera work is excellent. It starts in 1968 and goes well into the '80s and maybe even '90s I forgot already but it is really well done. They were never able to convict anyone or even arrest anyone for all those murders but it shows you how it haunted and affected so many how were investigating it. How they were convinced of a suspect but frustrated at not being able to prove it. I don't know what's up next on the Netflix queue.

* I'm excited about Masterpiece Theater airing all of Jane Austen's novels. I Tivod the first one Persuasion. Who knows when I will be able to sit and watch it but I'm looking forward to it.

That's all for now....

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

'Twas the week after Christmas...

I got this from a friend via email and thought it was cute so I'm sharing....

'Twas the week after Christmas, and all through the house
Nothing would fit me, not even a blouse.
The cookies I'd nibbled, the eggnog I'd taste
At the holiday parties had gone to my waist.

When I got on the scales there arose such a number!
When I walked to the store (less a walk than a lumber).

I'd remember the marvelous meals I'd prepared;
The gravies and sauces and beef nicely rared,

The wine and the rum balls, the bread and the cheese
And the way I'd never said, "No thank you, please."

As I dressed myself in my husband's old shirt
And prepared once again to do battle with dirt

I said to myself, as I only can
"You can't spend a winter disguised as a man!"

So away with the last of the sour cream dip,
Get rid of the fruit cake, every cracker and chip

Every last bit of food that I like must be banished
"Till all the additional ounces have vanished.

I won't have a cookie - not even a lick.
I'll want only to chew on a long celery stick.

I won't have hot biscuits, or corn bread, or pie,
I'll munch on a carrot and quietly cry.

I'm hungry, I'm lonesome, and life is a bore
But isn't that what January is for?

Unable to giggle, no longer a riot.
Happy New Year to all and to all a good diet!

~Author Unknown~

She sent it to me Author Unknown. I tried to find it on the web and came up with unknown too. If you are better at searching than me and feel so inclined and find out who should be credited with authorship, please let me know.

Friday, January 04, 2008

New Year's Party

As you know, the party was at our house on New Year's Eve. It's was lots of fun. It takes very little planning and coordinating and we have a great time. Here I found the actual e-vite that I sent:

Ok, here it is, the long awaited for (LOL!- what fools you are!) formal e-vite to the annual New Year's Eve Party/Bash/Extravaganza (still laughing!)...I am only sending it because some of you have told me that you need a formal invite to my house. So, here it is:

You, your families, anyone you want or feel obligated to kiss at midnight are invited to Our House New Year's Eve. As in the past, I provide the house, the grapes and the champagne (sparkling cider for the kiddies). You must bring your happy selves and anything else required to make your evening a success.
Everyone is welcome, young and old alike, extended families, girlfriends, kids friends whoever! My teens will both be in attendance (yes, they already know and apparently aren't fighting it this year as I was told they each have invited people- yea me- they gave in!)

Reminder or in case you are a first timer: I have a pool that is not child proofed. You are responsible for watching/chasing/jumping in after your own child. Although there are usually many grandmas around keeping an eye on that. Dress: casual (unless your tradition requires dress-up) but your kids will probably be playing basketball in the back or football in the grass up front. Do not be surprised if they end up dirty and sweaty. Music: we have a DJ (15s friend, has once again stepped up for the show) who we happily coerce into playing whatever we want so that everyone dances (unless you don't want to). The selection will include everything from Partridge Family to Tim McGraw to Chirino, Celia Cruz, Madonna, Beyonce and beyond. Food: If you want to eat it, bring it and a little to share. There is always a ton as typically y'all don't know how to bring just one thing and bring multiple items - not that I'm complaining ;)

Traditions: We already do the following:
* eat 12 grapes (provided by moi; good luck for each month of the new year)
* champagne toast (provided by moi; because we like it ;))
* toss a bucket of water out the front door (one rep from each family please) (representing the dirty water from the cleaning of the house that day to 'throw out the evil spirits' )
* eat lentils (provided by M's mom for prosperity and fortune in the new year)
* parade around the perimeter of the house with luggage (I provide backpacks and other bags that we share, to provide travel in the upcoming new year)
If you have another tradition, bring it and we'll do it with you!

RSVP (or not). I'd like a head count to have a clue how much champagne to get but if you say no today and decide yes on the 31st, PLEASE just show up! There's always room for more. The door will be open, just walk on in and make your way to the back. The celebration goes on rain or shine or cold (Bwahahaha- you think it gets cold here!) We've put up tarps before and I also have a coffee bar set up to warm you or sober you up.

I think I covered everything, if not just ask! :) Hope to see you. If not, I hope you ring in the new year with health, love and laughter all around you!

Some of the yeses turned into nos, the maybes were all no shows. So the next day a final tally brought us to 60 people and we planned for 70 so, pretty good. There were a couple of new families that came this year and I hope we didn't scare them off with all of our funky traditions. We were reminded of one that I had forgotten: to wear yellow underwear. I am told it's a Costa Rican thing and I really wasn't told what it's for but no matter next year I will ask Santa for new yellow undies.

18 was actually sick and didn't make an appearance until after midnight and we laughed when he told us that he put 2 pillows over his head when he heard the Christina Aguilera song "Genie in a Bottle" come on. You see when that song came on everyone started chanting for hubby. He dances like a genie- it's quite a sight! You know that DirectTV commercial with Beyonce. Well hubby says he's perfectly those moves for next year- OMG! moving on...I was able to get all of the boys to dance this year. Most of them are in their teens and get very embarrassed but that's my job, to embarrass children, and I am very good at it. The most difficult of the bunch, one of 18s best friends, was obliged to get up and 'teach me a version of Solja Boy'. It was lots of fun.

I can't wait until next year as each one gets bigger and better... good friends, lots of family, good fun...happy new year!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Baby it's cold outside...

What a great way to start the new year. It's a windy 49 degrees here in Miami! I LOVE it! Laying there in bed this morning snuggling under the covers listening to the wind howl. Yes, it howled! Ohh, what a cozy feeling. and walking out to go to work. That crisp, fresh chill. WONderful! I love love love it! I hope it stays for a few days. It would have been nice if it had come a day earlier for New Year's Eve because we were melting in the heat dancing the night away in my backyard. But I will be happy with it now. Here's hoping that you're weather is making you happy too! Happy New Year!