Sunday, November 30, 2008

From the Great JC

Ever have one of those times in your life when you know it's decision time...pee or get off the pot so to speak? During this next week, I face a lot of decisions...changing a job that is less hours, which should equate to less work...but really equates to more work, more learning, more dealing with personalities, more rules and regulations to master, etc. etc...but mostly change. A lot of change.

I have also decided this week to contact a friend of mine who has always told me I could work in his office; to begin the transformation to private find out exactly what needs to be to get licensed, how to get on insurance boards, how to build a clientele, etc. etc. again...lots of change.

When I embarked on this journey three years ago I probably didn't think of the actual transformation...I think I only saw myself in an office with clients, and finally setting my own schedule. That is still the dream...but the bridges to cross to get there seem daunting. I still have to make a substantial income, I still have to provide my family with health insurance...I can't just get me a 'start where I'm at and we'll make money later' kind of job. So it seems there are added pressures. I also want to take a percentage of low income clients, and so I'll need to learn how to do that without going broke! Anyway...

Today I went to church. It was lay ministry Sunday and by far one of the best services I have ever been to. We had an amazing musician Dr. Todd Payne at the service who sang and recited part of Dr. MLK's speech, I have a dream. Very fitting today for my struggles. Then, four members of the church spoke instead of our Pastor. A statement by one of them I thought was fitting for today is "The same Holy Spirit that was with Jesus on the cross is with me." How powerful is that? If the Holy Spirit can get Jesus through Crucifixion I can certainly get through a job change...and it'll all be alright! Dr. Payne spoke a lot of change today and his summary was, "God will lead you through change which is constant." No matter where I'm at, there is going to be change...constant change. One of my favorite sayings is "Be the change you want to see in the world." There is a lot I have to offer those teachers, children, and families at the therapeutic day school. Along with that, I'm certain there is a lot I have to offer the children and families that will be attending my private practice. Although it isn't easy...I am confident it'll be ok. It came to me today from the Great JC Himself...

Today we closed with one of my favorite hymns of all time...Here I am Lord...

Here I am Lord
Words and Music by Daniel L Schutte© 1981

Genesis 46:2
"And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night,and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I."

I, the Lord of sea and sky,
I have heard my people cry.
All who dwell in dark and sin,
My hand will save.

Here I am, Lord.
Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.

I, who made the stars of night,
I will make their darkness bright.
Who will bear my light to them?
Whom shall I send?

Here I am, Lord.
Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.

I, the Lord of snow and rain,
I have borne my people’s pain.
I have wept for love of them.
They turn away.

Here I am, Lord.
Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.

I will break their hearts of stone,
Give them hearts for love alone.
I will speak my words to them.
Whom shall I send?

Here I am, Lord.
Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.

I, the Lord of wind and flame,
I will send the poor and lame.
I will set a feast for them.
My hand will save.

Here I am, Lord.
Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.

Finest bread I will provide,
'Til their hearts be satisfied.
I will give my life to them.
Whom shall I send?

Here I am, Lord.
Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.

You lead me, I will go.

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Thanksgiving Ponder...

A few years ago my Mom and I started the 'Thanksgiving Ponder'...thoughts from the day after. Although I didn't spend Thanksgiving with my Mama...I find myself participating in the ponder. The day after Thanksgiving we ponder what worked, what didn't, what we would change, what we liked. Here are the ponders from this year...

The guest list...loved it...would have only changed adding people to the mix, Grammie, Cassie, Gabe, Grandpa Moffitt, Bubba Bill & Karen. I long for the holiday's when we're all together and there's definitely NOT enough room at the table!

The meal...this is the part of the list where certain dishes die a slow and painful death. If no body eats you then your chances of reappearing next year are slim to none. This is why the 'Green Bean Casserole' is no longer in attendance! The food choices this year seemed to be right on.

Next we look at quantities...was there too much of something? Not enough of something? Hmmmm...let's see. Although we did have quite a few left overs, we attribute that to the fact that two families joining us had eaten another meal before they arrived. Ugggh! I remember those days all too well. We have lots of leftovers that are quickly disappearing even as we speak! The one thing that puzzles me is why none of my children like candied sweet potatoes. Do they share my genes at all? So far today, I'm on my 3rd serving of left over sweet potatoes. So...overall, we'll leave the amounts of food the same next year, unless the guest list changes.

We invited everyone over at 3 or 4. Most folks arrived at 5. We have decided to change this next year. We definitely felt like we didn't have enough time to spend with people. Next year we're gonna shoot for 1:00.

The cooking and cleaning were right on target. We had the house finished by 1:00. I even had time to shower AND take a nap!! Can you believe it? Take a nap on Thanksgiving?!? Amazing!
The most important part of the Thanksgiving ponder is that you write it down! Next year you won't remember what tweaks you wanted to make. But if you write it will. Happy Pondering!

This weekend I am looking forward to completing or at least starting some long overdue tasks around here, working some more on the laundry, an finishing up some nagging homework.
What I love most about Thanksgiving is the culmination of recipes from cherished people in our lives. This year we had Grammies stuffing and turkey. Grammies fruit salad, Gramma Bee's Cranberry Jello Salad with Pineapple sauce, and for an appetizer, Aunt Ruth's Cheese ball. We added a new tradition this year, in honor of my friend Cheryl Pace, who used to bring the most amazing Red Velvet cake when she shared the Holiday's with us. Although not too many people partook of the Red Velvet is to remain for the next few years to see if it will take off as a new tradition!
Since Aunt Ruth's cheese ball got rave reviews this year, I thought I'd share that recipe with you.
2 8 oz. package softened cream cheese
1 package Knorr Vegetable soup mix
2 packages Buddig Beef, diced
sliced green onions-about 2 inches of 8 onions
1/2 cup or so chopped Walnuts
Onion Powder to taste
Lowery's garlic season salt to taste
In mixing bowl, mix all ingredients except nuts until thoroughly mixed. Add onion powder and lowery's to don't need much with the soup mix, but some is good.

Roll concoction into a ball and then roll in nuts...pack the nuts lightly around so they stay put. Cover in waxed paper and store in fridge for at least 4 hours for flavors to blend. It's best if you make it the day before.

Serve with crackers. As I was typing this my honey walked by and said, hey...where's the left over cheese ball?'s still having an effect...even the next day. Try it yourself...
My precious one is convinced that ALL Christmas decor must be up today. She's so much like me when I was little, not very patient, but very ambitious. Wait...that is still me today! I wonder where she gets that from? ;)
Drum roll please...the job you ask? Here's the latest...I got a job offer on Wednesday. I am waiting for the information on their health insurance offerings before I make my decision. Currently the offer is good. Quite a bit more $ than I make now...and of course only working 6 hours a day...with 6 weeks off a year. That would be a great opportunity for me to be able to start my private practice and to not be so exhausted by 9 at night. The health insurance costs however could easily eat up any increase in that is a major sticking point for me. I hope to find that out on Monday...and negotiate from there. Keep me in your I think this is the perfect opportunity for me.
Hope you all had a really terrific holiday!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving Photo Meme

To kick off Thanksgiving...let's have a photo meme! You know...a picture speaks a thousand words right?

I'm not big on we'll keep them to a minimum...

1. List 5 things you are grateful for...using a photo
2. Nominate 5 others to do the same
3. Link the nominator to your blog
4. Have a Happy Thanksgiving...

That's it...

#1 on my list...God, Church, Baptisms, Confirmation, God Parents

#2 Family...the more the merrier

#3 Babies...I can't get enough of their curiosity, their baby soft skin, their beautiful eyes and their big slobbery kisses!

#4's a challenge for me to make time for friends...but it's definitely worth it!

#5 Honey...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Take a moment to wallow in Gratitude :)

I nominate...

Mrs. G

Jen and her dust bunnies

Lucky Girl

Heather and the short bus


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Why am I stuck in a bad sitcom?

I believe that any house with 3 teenagers in it is a sitcom waiting to happen. Throw in one crazy husband for good measure. First of all, these days it is all I can do to stave off one sibling murdering another. I believe this could happen at anytime anyday. Why did these lovely babies I had turn into hateful siblings.

Here's another wonder of a real life sitcom...Why, when we own 5 TV's all with cable...and three computers all with internet would there possibly be a fight over the TV? just leaves me speechless...Now, sadly, since my family is SSSSOOOOO deprived, we only have TIVO on one TV. OK, I can understand that...perhaps. But really? It's TV and the beauty of TIVO'll be there again...why the fighting?

I just served dinner and ran for my life. Serving teenagers can be a dangerous task. One night last week I waited to long to serve my plate and when I got there...poof! No food left. AGAIN on that same evening, my precious one made cookies. Again...I cookies for me. Not one!

In a house with three teens there seems to be at least 8 simultaneous conversations happening at the same time...wait...I think that's what simultaneous means. Anyway...on top of that, they like the TV or the Radio on. Hence the term...what's all the Ruchus. I gotta tell you...there's a whole lotta Ruchus going on!

Friday my precious one committed a fate worse than death and wore the big girl's sweater to school...and not only did she wear it...she got something on it

*Sigh such is the life of the Ruchus...

At 3:00 the hubby was supposed to pick up the precious one, but decided on a nap. You'd think asking a newly licensed 16 year old to go get her sister would be a great idea right...not so! And then...the precious one once again committed a cardinal sin and left her things in the big girl's car. Nevermind that the big girls has left her crap in my car for 16 years and actually I'm sure there's quite a bit of her crap in my car right now...Does that matter? Noooooooooooo. When it's HER one is allowed to leave a single thing in it...who knew.

So...such is the life in the Ruchus sitcom...

Tonight we went to the precious one's parade...her first even marching. I love this parade that opens the holiday season each year. This year we lucked out that is was 45, not 20 like last year. We took Zoe and Jason, Steph, me, Kev, & Gramma...We sat near the beginning of the route and got a ton of candy!

I must be off now to do...let me see...20 loads of laundry. NOT...the kick butt laundry challenge kicked my butt this week...but next out! With 4 days off, I'm sensing a 40 load week.

Until next time...

Blaring Christmas Music

I have blaring Christmas music in my head. It won't go away. I think it all started when I felt the strong urge to head to Walmart at 12:00 on a Sunday. Now...those of you that know me well, know I prefer to go to Walmart at 7:00 on a Sunday before the town arrives. Today...the baby girl and I slept until 11:00!! We far surpassed the 9:30 record we set a week ago. I just know her Mama & Daddy will be sad they missed the 11:00 wake up call. I, for one, was eternally grateful. So...with half the city in tow I braved the Walmart.

The last minute part of me has learned the Thanksgiving lesson the hard way: If you want just the right turkey at just the right price, celery hearts, cranberry jello, and not...and I repeat DO NOT go to the store the night before Thanksgiving and expect to find anything you are looking for. Besides...I need 4 days to thaw my turkey and today would be the day it needs to start thawing (for the 20 lb. variety)

I learned the waiting til the last minute lesson again yesterday, when I couldn't go to scrap night because all the spots were full :( Eventually, Sarah called me to say a spot had opened up, but by then the hubby and I had already made plans for the evening. Let me tell you, they were some HOT plans! We were price shopping for a carpet shampooer. AND, we met up with his mom and picked up the turkey roaster that she had gotten me for my birthday. Thanks Gramma! I had originally thought I had wanted the roaster that holds an 18 lb. turkey and comes with three insert pans. We found that one at Target and discovered the insert pans were not very large and therefore not very useful for large holiday gatherings. I instead opted for the larger pan that roasts up to a 24 lb. turkey. Perfect! Someday, when my kids have kids, I hope to have all the family over every holiday and to get quite a lot of use from this roaster. Holiday gatherings are my favorite of all time. Hey Mom...if you're not mom, don't read this...just kidding. Hey Mom, book yourself a flight for can stay in our house while we're gone...and spend time with Tim, Shana, Fadil and everyone you haven't had a chance to catch up with. Then you won't be home alone for the holidays. Maybe I have some NWA miles you can use for free. I'll have to check. OK, if you're not Mom, begin reading again :) Let me see...where was I...OH...

Today, I bought the bird...all 21 lbs. of him. I wonder why we don't eat turkey more often. I surely do love it! To alleviate the cooking and cleaning crunch I find myself in every year...this year we were going to get started early with the cleaning. Sadly, that hasn't happened. I'm hoping to feel energized any day. That hasn't happened either. AND, I JUST REALIZED IT'S SUNDAY!! What? I knew it was Sunday, but somehow thought for sure I had another day off. Drats! Tonight Kristina is in a lighted parade...Actually she has to be there in about an hour and a half. Probably I should take a shower and get ready.

But first...two things I want to day with the baby girl... OMG! Isn't she getting so big, and beautiful too? She can now say about 32,000 words ;)

Let me share with you what my big girl's mail looks like lately... Ummm...did they just realize she takes her ACT's in a year? Yes, why yes, I believe they did. Every college has some offer for her...if she sends for their registration packet-- where to choose, where to choose? Time will tell I guess. Right now she's looking at the Art Institute and Cal State. Many choices...many opportunities.

OK, now finally for my most random thought of all time. This is my favorite sandwich... What is it you ask? Why it's a goulash sandwich, with butter, on cheap white bread. The only way to go! I can't think of a sandwich I love more. When I was little I really like ketchup sandwiches and jelly sandwiches. Perhaps I've always been a bit odd. Now it's your you enjoy a favorite out of the ordinary sandwich? Leave a comment...I'd love to know...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Got nothin by a head cold...

Really I got nothin to post sassy satire, no comical comments, oh wait, but hey...I do have a new word...if you're the non swearing type...cover your ears. Are they covered? OK, good. The new word for the day is shitten.

Here, let me use it in a sentence for you...

Tends to shitten up the ol’ attitude.

I believe the word shitten is a verb.

That sentence was plagerized borrowed from Sandi Johnson's Caring Bridge Site.

My friend Sandi...well she's in the fight for her life...literally fighting stage 4 cancer, and now she's fighting lymphedema too. Please pray for her... a lot. She is at a specialist today trying to get some help for her arm. She needs lots of positive energy flowing her way.

Sometimes I find myself feeling shittened. See? You can add 'ed' to it. Trust me, this word is gonna be in the websters by 2010. Wait...I digress...let me tell you why:

Homework is KILLING me this week. The kickbutt laundry challenge has kicked my butt. 0 loads completed this week, 20 to go. Christmas shopping is stressing me out...cuz I got no dough.

Let's just say that today is the day for VERY incorrect English. k?

And...I have a head cold.

For those of you reading this from some warm sunny place...the wind chill was 4 when I came to work today....4 Balmy eh? Good to know that 34 days from now I too will be in a warm sunny place.

Got a lot on the plate this sure to look for the pictoral weekend in review on Monday... Tomorrow I have school. Weekend #12 and counting...then scrapbooking with the girls...Sunday I have the baby girl, and then Zoe, Jason, the whole family and I are going to watch the precious one in a parade playing her trombone. I mentioned it was 4 degrees here today right? Oughtta be a bang up time! MANY blankets will be required ;)

I spose I'll close with the random blathering...have a fantabulous weekend.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

If Mama Aint Happy...

Hey, Did ya see my blog yesterday? Pretty cute huh? That's what I thought...but not the mama.
My mama and I...we have some differing tastes...for me the more the merrier, the busier the better, the more glitter...hey, can't get enough...not so much with the mama... let me qoute her comment from yesterday...

WOW! While reading today's blog, the background changed right in front of my eyes! I think it's kind of busy and I like the previous one better.

Ok, that's from the mama...what that translates into is..."I can't stand this blog background, it gives me a headache, I'm not sure if I need to vomit, or add another pair of $20 walgreens reading glasses to decipher the actual print on this mess."

Really...I'm sure that's what she was in my free time I embarked on a new cute background and not one of those generic blogger ones that I am so tired of...I'm really not ready for a Christmas background, but when the time is right I have the cutest one picked I searched and search for something a little fally (is too a word!) when I found the perfect one...I loaded it all up and when I was checking the final view I noticed it said...Happy Haunting. What? Haunting? Like Halloween Haunting? As in 3 weeks ago Halloween. Ugh...that is so last month. Back to the drawing board...

So, I've settled on this...boring, mundane, green, brown, blah blah blah...but I bet the Mama's happy :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The waiting...

The final meeting regarding the new job went well yesterday. Seems I should be in possession of a new job offer by Tuesday. Outside of a few small details to work out...seems this will be the job for me! Keep your fingers crossed, and the prayers coming.

I must have finally hit the limit last night, cuz I was sure in bed at 7:30 and slept til 5 this morning. Aaaahhhh....that was so wonderful.

Have a happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Final Frontier

Today, I reach the final frontier...the #5 and God help me final interview for my new job. At this point, I'd really like to just know one way or the other. I don't think there was anything I could have done let's hope for the best. They tell me that I'll know for sure (3rd time they've said this) by November 26th. Wish me luck? Nah...not really...let's just wish for it to be over and to know once and for all if this is the job for me...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Kick butt laundry challenge

Done! One room is done! 22 loads later the laundry room is empty. Sadly...that is not all. I am establishing a new 20 load challenge for this week: The hallway that leads to the laundry room, and then I'll begin to wash the laundry that is in the bedrooms. By then the Good Will should have gotten about 20 bags from us :) How I love to get rid of stuff. My original goal was to be "done" with the laundry by Thanksgiving. At this looks like we just might make that goal.

What I super love is my front load washer that tells me exactly how many minutes each load is going to take and the fact that I still have lots of laundry soap left, even after 22 loads. It uses such a small amount for each load. Amazing! If you're in the market for a new all means get a front loader. Next on my list is one of those amazing steam dryers, and stands for my washer and dryer. I am amazed that my back and legs aren't killing me today after all those trips up and down the stairs.

The best part of all is the help I got putting it all away :) I really don't mind washing, drying and folding, but I absolutely hate putting away. Gratefully the big girl and the honey took care of most of it! Thanks!

This week will be a bit more of a challenge I'm afraid...I have a project due for school this weekend, two papers, Scrap night Saturday night, the baby girl on Sunday and Kristina is in a parade Sunday night...Hmmmmm....I'll have to do some laundry every day to reach my goal.

My new goal this week is to post basement pictures with everything clean and laundry free! Go me!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

How much can you do in one day?

First of all, I do not believe that I will ever watch regular TV again. What I mean is TV without Tivo. Outside of a few bits and pieces of shows I catch with the hubby while I'm going to sleep I really can't remember the last time I watched regular TV and let me tell you why...Today while I was working diligently on the kick butt laundry challenge, I thought I would catch up on my kick butt watch TV challenge. Oh wait...I never made that a challenge. Anyway, miraculously enough today I have watch 8 episodes of Young and the Restless the entire CMA's, 1 episode of Private Practice, 4 episodes of Gray's Anatomy...and the only thing that awaits me now on my Tivo is 5 episodes of Brothers and Sisters. I have decided to not watch Boston Legal this season since I just really can't fit it in. So...all told I have watched 16 hours of TV about 8 hours, dropped my son off and picked him up from his tournament, and cooked breakfast and lunch. In addition to that I have completed 9 loads of laundry. Only 3 to go to complete my kick butt laundry challenge for this week one of which is in the washer right not. Sadly, I believe I'll need to do 20 loads of laundry each of the next two weeks to be caught up. Ugh! The good news is I have 5 large bags to go to Good Will...hooray....things I will never wash again. and I am just about to the point where I can sweep the basement floor and organize my Christmas decor, just in time to get it out again! So...TIVO is the way to go...if you don't have it...get it! It's for real the best $12 a month I've ever spent. For this free plug I'm thinkin they should give me about 6 months free!
I just have to make a comment about the CMA's...WOW, Trace Adkins, Carrie Underwood, and Keith Urban really outdid themselves this year. If you haven't seen their performances on the CMAS's this year and you are fans...check them out on you tube. Did I mention that's another great thing about TIVO? Rewind...I can watch my favorite parts again and when Kenny won Entertainer of the Year for the fourth year in a row!
I finally got started on this list... Making Christmas cookies is the highlight of my Holiday Season. I make about 200 dozen every year and man do we get fat! Just kidding! Most of them I give away as gifts and of course we do eat a lot as well. I've added a new goal this year after I've read the chapter on 'shipping' in this new book I got. I hope to send some off to my cousins this year to let them know we miss them at Christmas. Last year I took a large box to my friend Sandi who spent Christmas in the hospital. It is a tradition that goes back to my Grandma Stockenburg who had the most amazing kitchen ever. Each year she would make hundreds of Swedish Christmas cookies and homemade pies. She would give me my own little (6") pie tins to make my own pies and then of course I'd get to take yummy cookies home. Most of my favorite holiday memories revolve around Gramma Stockenburg. This babe had 4 Christmas trees and the one I got to decorate was 4 feet tall and I swear it had 200 balls on it. You couldn't see a pine needle anywhere! The house was always amazingly decorated with table of food in each room. People came from all over to share in the holiday. No body missed it. In pure Swedish tradition you never really got a chance to eat: Just as they finished passing the last dish, they began passing the first dish again! We all dressed up and each year Santa made a visit. She and Grandpa Stockenburg truly hosted magical holidays. That is a tradition I long to establish in my family. This year...if you got no where to go...head on over to the Ruchus...the more the merrier! I think I'm having 19 for Thanksgiving this year which is super fun! If you're on the invite list...The Moffitt's, The Fritz's, Tracey & kids, Tara & kids, Grandma, the Olson's, we're gonna gather about 3 or so. Please call to see what you can bring...k? ;) Thanks! It's so exciting to finally have my Christmas cookie list made. This year I will be sharing recipes here of my favorite cookies. Stay tuned! I use a system that makes the cookies over 5 days. On the first day we shop for ingredients and scrub the kitchen so everything is ready. On the 2nd day we make all the dough and throw it in the fridge (as most needs to be refrigerated anyway), on the 3rd day we bake and bake and bake, on the fourth day we decorate all the cookies and on the 5th day I make anything miscellaneous that cooks on the stove like fudge, rice crispy treat snowmen and corn flake wreaths.! Those are my favorites. I like to make those the day before Christmas so they are nice and fresh. With the new goal to mail out some cookies this year, we may have to do two baking batches. I am gloriously off work the 21st of December until the 5th of January so that makes things a whole lot easier! I just can't wait to get started!
Today in N. Illinois it has been doing this off and on. I for one love a change in seasons as it gives me a renewed boost of energy to clean out some closets, make some lists, and put up some decorations! Today is snowed big clusters of flakes, my favorite kind and tonight it is beginning to stick. What this means for me is that I better get 'clean out the garage' on one of my lists so that my car can fit inside. How I hate to scrape windows!
I really must run now...that laundry challenge is still calling my name!
Until next time...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A little Hookie and a new license...

We've had a dilemma in our house for the past week. Last Saturday, my big girl's letter arrived telling us that it was ok for her to get her driver's license and that she had met all the requirements. In our house there's just one little glitch: Unless you can drive yourself, who on Earth is going to find the time to take you to the DMV to get your license?
I thought it'd be a good idea to call make sure I knew exactly what we needed to do. The last thing I wanted to do was get there and not have her be able to get her license. They told me that we had to be there by 2:00 on a weekday if she needed to take a driver's test. Yep, that's what she needs...a driver's test. 2:00 huh? Well, I work til 3 and she goes to school til 3:35. They're open on Saturday but I have school on Saturday and there was NO WAY!!!! I was missing this event for a dumb ole' Master's Degree.
So...Friday, I was at work and I was just feeling enormously fidgety wanting the big girl to have her license for the weekend. So...I asked my boss if could leave early...yep, and I called the school and pulled her out early ;) I did...I really did. I was so glad they didn't ask me why I wanted her excused early! So...we were off. I checked the list twice to make sure we had all the necessary documentation. I was prepared to take her to Belvidere where I've heard the lines are less, but she was insistent on going to Rockford, where her instructor had walked her through the test. Not wanting to make her nervous...we were off to Rockford...and a very long line. You know you're in trouble when you're number 352 and they're on 311 when you arrive...

hI was especially worried when they only got through one number in 45 minutes. Evidently the folks at the DMV need a lot of breaks and evidently 4 out of the 5 folks working the counter have to go to break at the same time. It didn't help that the one dude left working, Jim, could only type with each of his middle fingers. Now...I'm sure my baby girl Aubrey could type faster than this dude. We waited an hour and a half before they called our number. The big girl filled out all of the necessary paperwork and then we waited for the driving test. By this time it was 3:50 and all driving tests had to be started by 4:00, since they only do them in the daytime. About 5 minutes to four they called her name and she was off! I was busy trying to get some homework done...and when I looked up...there she was. Did you pass? Um, she told me to sit down until they called my name for my license! Yeah!!!!

Gratefully, I have a zoom lens, so I can sit way across the DMV and not be too obvious about taking a picture of my big girl getting her Driver's license photo taken.

There was much more worrying about the picture actually than the test. Is my hair straight? Should I wear my hoodie? Is there lint on my shirt? I finally said,'re not shooting a magazine cover'll all be ok!

And it was. Introducing my big girl... licensed driver.

We headed to Beef A Roo for a quick bite to eat to celebrate. I had to be at school in an hour, so time was tight. Of course the second we got home, she wanted to go somewhere. We briefly discussed the rules, our expectations, our need to know where she is at all times, and she was off.

Fast forward...honestly, that was Friday at 5:00 and now it's Saturday at 7:30 and I haven't seen her since~she's been to her boyfriend's house, Devin's house, Gramma's house, the mall, Beef-A-Roo again with a teacher, and now she's at a play at a local high school. I'm feeling the empty nest comin' on.

After she left on Friday I quickly packed for school. I was feeling crazy overwhelmed with her new found freedom. I called my friend Ang and let it all out: sad, proud, nervous, fearful, so many emotions. I always thought the first day of kindergarten was the hardest for me, then I thought it was the last day of daycare, then I moved on to the first day of high school, and now I am convinced that this has been the hardest day yet. Somewhere, in the back of my mind, I am certain this won't even compare to the first day of college: two short years away. Where does the time go?

Actually, I don't know how my parents did cell phones, no constant communication with your baby when they were out alone for the first time. Agggghhhh! It is perfectly PERFECTLY clear to me now why my mom wouldn't let me take the car on the night of my 16th birthday. If only we'd had cell phones.

Until next time...I'm off to continue work on the kick butt laundry challenge. 6 down, 14 to go.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sky Watch Friday

In my book, there's nothing like a good sunrise...

I do find myself increasingly frustrated with 'the city' interference on my photos! I see a terrific sunrise or sunset, and then I have to drive to a spot where no buildings, signs, or electrical wires will interfere with my photo. I have found this to be a great spot...a McDonald's parking lot across from a corn interruptions, no intrusions...just a beautiful sun rise... To see other skywatchers from around the world click here. I love love love skywatch Friday and here's I toured the world while sitting at my desk! I added two new blogs to my blogroll...both destinations I either am traveling to (Sanibel Island) or want to travel to (Alaska). I love to get the 'locals' viewpoint on my travel destinations. Take a minute today and travel around the world with Sky Watch Friday!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The kick butt laundry challenge

So far not so good. One of my readers commented that 20 loads a week wouldn't be too bad since that's only 3 loads a day. Here's the problem...I did 5 loads on Monday, 0 Tuesday (when I worked 14 hours), 0 Wednesday (when I worked 15 hours), and so far today, yep, you guessed it...goose egg. Today I only worked 12 hours, but then I had an errand to run with my daughter and now I am just too exhausted. I sit, only 5 down...15 to go. Tonight my precious one said...gee...maybe I should help! Now we're talking. meet my goal I'll have to do 15 loads on Saturday and Sunday. Possible...very possible.

Now...on to the latest with the job search. I had my 4th interview on Wednesday (because after all I am interviewing to be the CFO of wait I'm not...I'm interviewing for a plain old educational coordinator position that is beginning to seem like something much larger) -- anyway they believe I need to come back yet again for one more observation on Tuesday. I told him...that was the last time I was stepping foot inside the building without an invoice in my hand. I would be submitting a bill for my time in the future! I mean really! 5 interviews?!? Personally, I think interviewing people is like throwing mud against a wall...some sticks, some doesn't. I have hired people that have interviewed beautifully that turn out to be the biggest flakes of all time, and others whose interviews were a bit questionable have turned out to be fabulous employees. So...pulllleeeeezzzz Mr. interviewer, could you possibly make a decision so that I might get on with my life? He assures me I will know if I got the job before the Thanksgiving holidays. Then...of course there's the 60 day notice at my current job, lots of training for my replacement, saying goodbye to a job I absolutely love and I may end up at the new joint say by Feb. Unbelievable. And then, even if I get the job we still have to negotiate salary and benefits. How the heck long do you think that may take? I might not start til June! Oh alright...perhaps I am exaggerating just a bit.

On a more serious and less petty note...I spoke to the mama today and her angiogram went well yesterday and she was quite chipper and bubbly today. She has a few more procedures coming up over the next month to clear some blockages in her carotid arteries, so please keep my mama in your prayers. Hopefully she'll be feeling like her old self or her new better self by Christmas :) Love you mama!

Retail Therapy -- The next generation

Last Sunday I had the precious baby girl at my house. We had a lot on the todo list that day, which included going to the mall for new clothes. We all slept in (even the baby girl) til 9:30! which was really awesome in my book, and then we were off to the mall. I love that she is two now and can wander around with us...stroller free. She had quite quite quite the good time at the mall. First, she did a lot of exploring! Who knew there were so many fun places to crawl into...
and to sit... at A&F? I guess when you're under 3 feet tall that store offers a completely different view! After A&F we were off to Hollister where the baby girl enjoyed some good Surfing magazines...
and so did Honey!
After they were done reading their magazines, he followed her around the store, helped her climb onto the couch where she sat for at least 2 nano seconds, and generally let her explore to her heart's content. After we were done at the checkout, she claimed this bag as her own!
A sure sign of things to come! There was no getting that bag away from her and wherever we went she brought the bag along with her.
Next we were off to Aero. She found a terrific place to sit while the girls searched through the clearance. Notice her tight little grip on the Hollister bag! In every store, she showed a bit of her Grammie by stopping to admire the jewelry. In Aero, she told me all of the colors of beads and all of the shapes of the charms on the necklaces. At one point, she laid down on the floor to get a closer look at the necklaces on the bottom rack! Aubrey picked up her bag and we were off to American Eagle. Aubrey sat on the floor near the jewelry to admire the latest fashion trends. She had her shopping bag close by. When Kevin looked down at her he noticed she was dropping necklaces into the shopping bag one by one! Oh no little shoplifting on our watch! Kevin put all of the stolen goods back on the rack and we were off again. As we were leaving the mall, we went by one of those kiosks that sells 'bling', you know? She had to stop, put her hands on her knees and bend down for a closer look at the necklaces! Too funny! After all that shopping we stopped to have some Kobe's ( and then her mama met us at the mall and it was time for us to go pick up Brennan.

It's been a long time since I've been shopping with little ones and of course when mine were little I am sure I didn't let them explore the store and sit where they like, carry the bag, or pose for pictures. Those joys are saved for shopping with the next generation! I am sure my children would have been strapped into the stroller for safe keeping :) It's very different shopping with one two year old, two teens, and two adults. When I headed to the mall in days gone by, it was usually me, and three little ones under 5. Very different indeed! I'm glad I've learned to let go a bit and enjoy the moment. It sure was worth it!

Here's the funniest thing of all time. My big girl is currently grounded from the computer due to her delay in chore completion. Be sure to note who the first comment is from on this post...the grounded one!

Monday, November 10, 2008

The kick butt laundry challenge

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

What is that one thing in your life that is NEVER caught up? What two words do not belong in the same sentence? For me...they are laundry and done. When my friends say they finished their laundry...I sit and wonder Really? Hmmm. Let me see. Nope, can't really recall a time when the laundry was 'done'. For fear of setting off some health department alert I can't really post a picture of my laundry pile here. Let's just suffice it to say that when I was making my todo lists the other day, laundry was at the top of the list. You see, every once in a while my laundry used to ALMOST be DONE. Those times included 1) when my mother came to visit and 2) when my basement flooded the day before we left on vacation and my mother in law washed ALL the laundry that was in the basement. Every time it has ALMOST been done, I make some willy nilly promise to myself to keep up with it. Alas...tis not so. There must be, let me not exaggerate, 50 loads of laundry in this house. Now...first you're wondering, "HOW ON EARTH CAN THERE BE 50 LOADS OF LAUNDRY?!?" Do they have a special wing at their house for the dirty laundry? Why yes...yes we's called the basement. So...hang with me here...what in your world needs the kick butt challenge? For is for sure the laundry. So...I have committed to washing 20 loads a week in addition to the 70 hours a week I work. k? 20 loads. Let me I have done 2. Hmmmm, far from 20. But...I plan to post my progress here...and I'll let you know how the pile is looking. When it looks like a pile instead of the basement floor, I may actually take a picture. But for now...I'm off to do laundry!

I do commit to post my progress each Tuesday for my Tackle It Tuesday Challenge! Won't you join me?

The beginning of the end...

First and foremost...let me congratulate Heather from the short bus for winning the petty request contest. If you haven't stopped by the short bus, you really must. I fell in love with Heather's blog when she began sharing her experiences as a preschool parent. As a preschool directer, I love to hear the parenting perspective. Heather writes with the best sense of humor, and seems to have just as crazy things happen to her as have happend to me when the Ruchus was little. Heather won a $50 gift card to Borders or to Barnes & Noble (whichever store is in her neck of the woods) just for reading this blog, voting, and leaving a comment! Hooray for Heather! Hey me your snail mail address and I'll send your gift card right off...happy shopping!

Ok, now onward...

My friend Carlene and I ... had our very last registration for grad school...hence the big cheese smiles! Even though this picture with Tasha, Carlene and I isn't super clear and even though we have gum in our is simply the best feeling to be filling out those forms for the last time...

As much as I have loved school, met some super great people, and learned so much...if you have been a reader of this blog, you'll know that I have absolutely not enjoyed the time away from my family and the sacrifices my children and husband have had to make over the past three years. As of today we graduate 6 months from today and as you well know, I can't wait!

An update on the job front: I have my fourth!!! interview for the new job I have now been applying for for the past 3 months. They tell me this is the final interview. So I will soon know whether this is the job for me. As I frequently say...time will tell. Please all you prayers out there, keep a good thought for me on Wednesday at 10:30. Hopefully there will be no mufflers falling off of my car that day!

Stay tuned this evening for the weekend update...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Drum Roll Please...

Stay tuned today for the winner of the Petty Request Contest...

I have decided that it is time to make some lists. Yesterday I made the following lists...

Homework list (much too long!)
Cleaning list (looking for someone to give this list to!)
Christmas gift giving list (nothing but smiles on my part)
Christmas card list (a work in progress)
Remaining bills to pay list (this list is also up for grabs!)

And the final list...what Christmas cookies to bake list (hope to pour over recipes today and finish that one up.)

With only, yes ONLY 3 paychecks til Christmas (is that crazy hard to believe or what?) and a trip beginning the day after Christmas I am feeling the need for serious organization and budgeting on my part. Neither is my strong suit but I'm willing to give it a go. What lists are you making?

I am up at the crack of dawn on a Sunday waiting for my baby Aubrey to arrive. It is still dark out and yes snowing here which I think is wrong on many levels. Later today when I get my photos downloaded I can share with you Brennan's bowling experience yesterday with his play group and Stephanie's play last night. It was a super super busy week that finally caught up to me Friday. I left work at 9AM and came straight home and went to bed. I though an hour of sleep might help. An hour turned into 6 hours and I felt a bit better when I got up. The lists also helped put into perspective the overwhelming to do's that sometimes overtake my life.

My children have desperately needed clothes. I swear if I see them in the same 5 shirts one more day I'll have to disown them...kidding of course. Yesterday I finally took Brennan shopping. I gave him $100 for which he bought 6 pair of socks, a pair of jeans, two hoodies, a pair of pajama pants and 5 shirts. Pretty darn good huh? He's a shopper after my own heart. He also is too much like his Dad. I told him that winter is here and he needed some long sleeve shirts. Nope, not a chance. Instead he opted for short sleeve shirts and hoodies (or sweaters as he calls them) -- We struggled over the million shirts with skulls on them which I don't really appreciate, until finally he picked out a hoodie with little skulls on it, to which I gave in. I really don't appreciate it and his dad appreciates it even less. I'm looking for opinions here. Does the 'skull wear' grace your teenage boys (and sometimes your girls) or is it banned in your house? I clearly told him he couldn't wear it to church and his sisters were mortified that I let him buy it at all. So...time will tell I guess on the skull hoodie. Looks like it's the only skull item he'll own. Psychologically speaking I know you are supposed to let kids express themselves in their teen years as part of their experimental who am I phase, to enable them to grow into well adjusted adults. I have been able to do this much easier with my daughters which I think is a bit odd. They've picked out most of their clothes for some time, yet this is the first time I've actually taken Brennan shopping. Of course the only way they learn is by doing and the boy has to learn some fashion sense while he's still under my roof. He has new clothes, now if I can just get him to shower and change his clothes!

Today it's the girls' turn. We're heading to church this morning, then to lunch. After baby Aubrey goes home, we'll head to the mall where I am certain my girls will get fewer items even though they have larger budgets. My precious one yesterday said...she is going to buy accessories. Um, No. Your. Not. You are going to buy clothes, because really the accessories don't do much if you have no clothes to wear with them!

Those are my random blatherings for this morning. I'm off to catch up on my blog reading, read the newspaper and snuggle up that sweet baby girl!

Thursday, November 6, 2008


My little friends Zoe and Jason cracked me up! Of course they voted in their kindergarten classes and came home to ask their mama who she would vote for...John McCain or Rockubama?

Isn't that classic? Obama definitely did Rock us! Along those same lines, I wanted to share an email that I got on election day. I found it quite moving. From my friend Carlene..."So I went to vote at 6am. Can you believe there was a line out the
door? But as I stood there and connected the arrow for presidential
nominee Barack Obama I knew I was part of history. I pray that the
change this country needs is right around the new year."

History in the our lifetime...and we are all a part of it. Part of the United States of America.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A petty request on such an important day...

Hello faithful blog readers...

Lately I have not been feeling the comment love and I pink puffy heart comments. So here's the deal...on this most important day, when you should be voting your heart out (as my hubby has already done super proud of him!) anyway...After you place your vote your comment here, cuz there' something in it for you. If you voted today...AND you place your comment here on this ole'll be entered into a random drawing for a $50 gift card to my favorite book store...Borders, therein providing you with a chance to do lots of reading regarding important things like...elections...

Get out and vote, and win your gift card here.

Monday, November 3, 2008

For Robbie Doo...

So sorry to my family members far and wide that these have taken me so long to get posted...but alas here they are...the pics from my A. Ruth's Memorial Service...

The Man of the Place...

Hey Ya'll...I had to talk with the Alabama accent for a moment cuz I stole this here meme from Jenn @ the dust bunny hostage...

Let's take a minute to talk about our hubbies...k? My hubby has been my hubby for 18 I think I know him pretty well. We have been through a lot together...far too much to go into here, but he's for sure my without further adieu...let's talk hubbies...

1. He's sitting in front of the TV; what is on the screen? Drag Racing, Racing, Football, or something violent :(
2. You're out to eat; what kind of dressing does he get on his salad? Ranch...always Ranch
3. What's one food he doesn't like?'ll make him throw up every time!
4. You go to a bar. What does he order? ??? Well, first of all we wouldn't go to a bar...if we did...root beer or water...
5. Where did he go to high school? Guilford
6. What size shoe does he wear? 8 1/2 We wear the same size, but I have never felt driven to wear his shoes :)
7. If he was to collect anything what would it be? Hot Rods...nice expensive hot rods
8. What is his favorite kind of sandwich? Pork Tenderloin ?
9. What would this person eat every day if he could? Junk...Chips, Fries, Ice Cream
10. What is his favorite cereal? HoneyComb if he has to eat cereal, but he's allergic to he eats it dry....yuck!
11. What would he never wear? A suit? We were just discussing how it's been 10 years since he's owned a suit.
12. What is his favorite sports team? Da should really be Da Bears...but he has some strange connection to St. Louis
13. Who will he vote for? Whoever I tell him! (Not really...) Obama
14. Who is his best friend? Me and really no one else...BFF's seem to come and go for him.
15. What is something you do that he wishes you wouldn't do? Snore...I really think he'd like a full nights sleep at some point
16. How many states has he lived in? One
17. What is his heritage? Ummmm, German? Heinz 57 mix?
18. You bake him a cake for his birthday; what kind of cake? The kind you bake yourself from Baskin Robbins...
19. Did he play sports in high school? Soccer...lots of Soccer
20. What could he spend hours doing? Watching TV, laying on the beach, or sitting in the hot tub