Monday, March 30, 2009

I put the pro in procrastination...

Do you ever get so far behind in life you think you might be in the lead when your life has 'lapped' you? I believe I may be there. After more than a year of working 70+ hours a hours are finally beginning to wind down. Evidently, part of me believed that the first week I didn't work all those hours I would magically get caught up. Take, for instance my research paper. It was originally due 12.15.08. Then I think they changed it to February something, and now the final deadline is April 1st. Guess what? I finally started it. Actually I started it and almost finished it. I have two pages left to finish tomorrow (that I need some help with) and then proof read it and VOILA! DONE! I have had a terrible mental block with this assignment. I finally forced myself to sit down and start it last week and then to work on it in 15 minute increments to deal with the overwhelmity (is too a word) of it all. It's very odd...mostly things with lots of numbers do this to me. I think it's someones cruel idea of a joke to make social workers take statistics!

I began to make the to do list for spring break and realized the enormity of my behindness (again...that's a word too) -- Now that I am actually home two nights a week...the laundry, cleaning, organizing, and the onset of yardwork will slowly but surely get caught up. There is painting to be done...scrap room organization to complete, many completed scrapbooks with no pictures or journaling to finish (OY!) and just an enormous to do list! I try to give myself a break because I'm not really a sit around kind of gal (except when it comes to facebook) and really, I've even cut my blog reading down to my very favorites which is about 5 a day. I have increased my sleep by a few hours a day out of necessity and now have a much sunnier outlook on life :)
So, today...I'm trying to give myself a the next few'll be amazed at all the accomplishments posted her on the ole' blog...just wait and see! But don't wait too long...I might get caught procrastinating!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Birthday Boy

My baby Great Nephew Cameron is 1!
He knows quite a lot...
Like how to eat blue suckers....

AND he LOVES cake!!

At first we thought this piece may have been just a bit too large for a small boy....but low and behold...he ate every last bite!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Wicked Week...

It has been a wicked week. Those of you that know what my family has gone through this week, has been wicked. Sad and wicked. Today, though...I wanted to share the wicked big girl is addicted to wicked...the musical. She and some friends are producing their own version of wicked in a friends back yard. Everything in my house has been invaded by Wicked...on the printer next to me...sits the book. Every time I walk upstairs, the big girl is singing in her bedroom practicing. When we're online together, she is watching wicked videos on YouTube. I have the songs stuck in my head, and one stuck on my blog. They are scheduling rehearsals. It is amazing. I'm feeling a bit bummed that I never got her to see the production live...I can't however...wait for the back yard production! Break a leg big girl!

Friday, March 27, 2009

I'll pass thanks... I went to my pastor's funeral. Dreadfully sad. His son spoke, his wife spoke, AND his oldest son played the bagpipes for the recessional. I can honestly say that this was THE saddest funeral I have ever been to. The 10th grade Harlem basketball team served as the pall bearers. I cannot recall a more somber time. In my heart I was able to say "See you later" to him today...but I am still very sad.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Navigating the waters of loss...

We lost a very special man this weekend. My pastor...Bill Kerr, passed away. Many of you have read my interpretations of his powerful sermons here on the ole' blog. Shock, disbelieve, utter dismay, sadness, numbness, words that just can't describe the loss. What a presence, what a Holy man, what a wonderful father and husband...what a tremendous loss.
Even though this man pursued heaven with his whole heart it is just a day I cannot be happy for him. Selfish, I know. He and Debbie's son William and our big girl were born across the hall from each other at Rockford Memorial. There was a wasp in my room, so I got to go spend some time in Deb's room while the staff 'took care of' the wasp. Since then, Pastor Bill has baptized my children, buried too many relatives to list including Poppy, confirmed and married my niece and healed my heart on many occasions. Today, I'm not very good at navigating the waters of loss...just the waters of a broken heart. There are not words in my mind that I'm able to share with his wife and children...Please keep us all in your prayers...
Photo courtesy of

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I'm a little bit verclempt..

Today was a big day for me. I registered my sonshine for Driver's Education. When a parent finds out that their child has Autism...many things quickly fade from the horizon and your child's future becomes uncertain. Will they get through school? Will they drive? Will they work? Will they live independently? Will they have friends? Will they love life? So many questions raced through my mind as my son has grown up. Gratefully, he has made huge strides in the past couple years and his Dad and I think he's ready. He has shown responsibility through completing his chores at home, earning good grades at school, completing chores around the house, and becoming more socially independent. My sonshine and I talked about enrolling him in Driver's Ed. We talked about overlapping Driver's Ed. and school at the same time. We decided that even though he's old enough to start Driver's Ed. right now, we're going to wait for summer so that he can focus only on Driving and do his best. He said, "I think that's a good idea Mom" What? A good idea? on behalf of the mama? Love that! So...June 9th...the sonshine starts Driver's Ed. Keep him in your thoughts and prayers for a successful experience, and keep my sanity in your thoughts and prayers now that I have two children driving!
Stay tuned for his first day at Driver's Ed with his big cheesy grin!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Do you feel out of control?

For the past four days I have sat through TCI training. For those of you that don't know what that's Therapeutic Crisis that IF necessary any of the students I work with need to be restrained to protect themselves or others...I'm ready...(DO NOT LAUGH CARLENE!) One thing TCI training has taught me is that I feel old! REALLY old! Getting up and down off the floor and holding people down really is not my forte. But...trained I am none the less! So, if you're feeling like you are gonna lose it...give me a call! Ok, here's really the thing for me...for two days I learned about active listening...ummmm really....didn't I just go to Grad school for 3 YEARS!!!! to learn that? Perhaps I could test out? Perhaps I could teach that portion? Ummmmm, no ma'am just sit in the chair please. *sigh*

Here's the really important news however...are you listening? Really closely? Because... I START MY LAST CLASS TOMORROW!!! That's all I can say...I'm speechless.

Until next time...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

My last jam packed weekend for a while...

Ahhhh...I am getting used to busy weekends. Weekends away from school and studying, and being exhausted. I am anticipating liking my post grad school life. And I bet you'll be glad to have me quit whining about it :) Friday night I felt like a visit to a home away from home...the Cracker Barrel! We always go there when we travel, but very seldom eat at the one in our own fair city. I was craving their delicious pot roast and hash brown casserole and fried The hubby, the big girl, the grandmother, one great niece, one great nephew and I enjoyed a super delicious treat. Saturday morning I was up WAY too early for a Saturday to attend Kristina's band contest. I was the announcer. A few of the parents told me they had been asked to announce but declined. I guess I was the 4th or 5th choice (kinda hard on the self esteem) and I wasn't asked...I was just given the assignment. Hmmmmm...of course I didn't mind, and I got to watch all of the choirs. Some of them were painful...some were good. My daughter was scheduled to sing a duet, but alas her duet partner didn't show up!!! Grrrrrrr. I suppose she could have been sick, or their might have been an emergency. Time will tell on that one.
After the band contest...I got a much needed hair cut that I'm not really appreciating. I am really looking for someone that can cut a good concave bob with layers. If you know anyone...please refer me! After my less than stellar hair cut, I headed off to the stamp show with Sarah and the big girl... Sarah left spending only $1 (those of you that know Sarah, know what a miracle that is!) I did buy a card kit that I had admired when Sarah made it and also a gift for my friend Stacie...Hey Stace..when we come see the birds...I'll bring it over! I got my nap in and finally took the precious one out to buy some new jeans and got myself a few cute items for work. I especially love when I can get a blazer with a super cute cut for $9. That's nearly free! I also got a sweater that I'm not sure I'll keep. I'll think about it a couple days...Wait...hold up... my big girl just called me (as in on the phone) from the upstairs bathroom to ask me to bring her toilet paper. Please hold on while I ponder what my life has become...
OK, I'm better now...we went to the grocery store for the first time in ages and before I knew it, it was 8:00! I hurried home, since we hadn't yet eaten and then sat around on facebook till...about 11:30. Morning came early, when the baby girl arrived!~ I was simply amazed at the language explosion she has had over the past two weeks. Simply amazing! I think she's speaking in 8 - 10 word sentences now. AND, when she wants you to quit talking, she politely asks you to be quiet, and then she continues onward with the chatter. We had SO much fun. I asked my niece today if perhaps I could have the baby girl for spring break. I believe it's a go! I do plan to clean the garage and do things around here, but I also plan to have lots of fun with the baby girl!
We went to church today where our AMAZING youth pastors spoke. It was truly a remarkable service and I am so glad I went. When my children were growing up in our church, the youth program faced quite a few struggles. They (my kids) are now in a fabulous youth group, and our younger children have their own youth pastors that specialize in theater. Amazing things are happening and I couldn't be more happy.
After church, we headed to the Jonas Brother's 3D movie... Aubrey was so good! She knows all the Jonas brother's by name (thanks to a bit of training by my daughters) and when Joe came on the screen she said...Joe Joe...look Step o nee, it's Joe Joe! How precious is that?!? It was Aubrey's first movie in a theatre. She sat so well and we didn't have to leave the theatre once! I remember when I took Steph to see Free Willie at 2 years old (ummmm a big mistake) she liked it for about 10 minutes and then was done. I was so hard on her that day :( Live and learn to have appropriate expectations for your little ones. I wish I had learned earlier, that it is not only ok, but that it is necessary to have age appropriate expectations for your children.
Although Aubrey didn't want to wear her glasses too much during the movie...she liked to model them after... We headed home in the warm temps and sunshine to find my daffodils are up! Oh it won't be long now!!!! I can't wait for spring...gotta run now...I'm teaching a class at 8AM and it'd probably be a good thing if I got it written! Happy Sunday...
PS...Scrumptious Sunday has been postponed this week, due to the author enjoying life!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Really? You read my blog?

It seems my mind at times has a hard time grasping the whole blogging thing. Originally when I started this blog...I started it for friends and family to stay caught up with all things Ruchus, but I didn't make it private...because I wanted to get to know other bloggers. There are some blogs I read that are like visiting old friends...Jen, the dust bunny hostage, Shari and her twins, Tootie on Sanibel, Catherine in France, and Heather in St. Louis with her terrific stories of life as a preschool Mom. The ironic part though, for me, is how many people locally are reading my blog. I've been at church, girl scouts, work, and last night at a School Board function when people say to me...Oh Hi! I read your blog. Which always catches me off guard. Why is that? Do you know? Because I sure don't. And when people say that to me, I think my face turns a little bit red. I truly have no idea what's going on with that. I am super super glad to have so many readers...from my counter it looks like I have about 60 a day (which of course is nothing compared to big big bloggers) but I appreciate every one of you! If you are a local blog reader, and you see me out and about...I'll try to accept the fact that you read my blog...and thank you for doing so...even if my face is a little bit red! Have a terrific Friday!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Scrumptious Sunday

Today's recipe is one of my all time favorites and one of my own:

The worlds easiest Fried Rice

2 bags Steamfresh white rice with julienne veggies
Kikkoman Soy Sauce
1/2 stick margarine or butter
2 eggs
4 green onions
Vegetable Oil
1/2 fresh lemon

Your choice of cubed meat, if you like. In this recipe I used cubed chicken
Cook the Steamfresh rice in the microwave according to package directions. Meanwhile slice the green onions and saute in 1/2 stick butter in a dutch oven or large fry pan. Once the onions are sauteed, add the eggs and scramble. If you are going to add meat, do so now. Next, add the cooked rice and soy sauce to taste. Fry the mixture stirring often. If the rice starts to stick, add a little bit of vegetable oil or more butter (I also use a nonstick pan for best results). When well mixed squeeze the juice of 1/2 fresh lemon and serve. Delicious! And oh so easy :) Two bags of rice makes a nice side dish. If you're making it for a main course...I used 4 bags of rice, 3 eggs, and 2 lbs diced chicken for my family of 5.

Random thoughts...Wednesday thru Friday

Wednesday...Influenza B

Thursday...Kristina's piano lesson

Friday...Fiddler on the Roof... and ice cream...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Enjoying the rain...

Today is one of those enjoy the rain days...I rolled out of bed at the crack of noon (didn't want to rush it you know) and have been cleaning like a crazy fool ever since. I just scrub-a-dub-dubbed my kitchen floor and I am sweatin bullets, but my floor is gleaming! I have all the rugs in the washer and my kitchen is going to be smelling sweet in no time! I also have my favorite apple candle burning, but am thinking of switching to mango salsa soon. I watched the weather this morning and discovered the low is supposed to be 10 degrees by Thursday; hence the reason to be enjoying the rain. The good thing about March though is spring is definitely right around the corner!

I cut my schedule down to two days a week at the college until I'm officially hired, so I've just added two more evenings to my life. Aaaaahhhhh, the joy of it all. The school board election is one month from today and I need to focus on a few events that I need to attend for that, get some signs printed and posted, and attend a few training events. It's hard to believe I'll be done with school in less than two months. Then, onward to a new chapter in my life.

Stephanie was out of school most of the week. She's back in bed temp, just the signs of a cold now and feeling much better. She made it through the musical last night...and has another performance tonight and tomorrow. Then, she'll need to focus on school to get caught up. Ugh! Next week at work, I have to administer the IAA (ISAT for special education students) to all of our students, so it will be a busy busy week.

Brennan has a friend over today (a real event for him) and so we're planning pizza and the continuation of cleaning and laundry. I also am planning to start my research paper tonight. My goal is to have that done and off my plate by the end of next week. I'm trying super hard to utilize my time, so that when summer comes, I am free and available to enjoy every minute of it. For today, however, I am enjoying the rain!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Influenza B

Influenza is a contagious disease caused by the influenza virus. It affects the respiratory tract in humans. Influenza usually comes on suddenly and may include these symptoms:

Sore Throat
Body Aches

Influenza has invaded the body of my big girl :( Although she is supposed to be in a musical at school this weekend, she now has the flu. The Dr. said, she'd seen a lot of influenza A cases, but this was the first Influenza B case. (I have no idea what that means, but leave it to the big girl to be unique.) Prayers for a speedy recovery appreciated.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

25 Things about Brennan

In keeping with the theme blog lifted from my friend we go...

25 things about Brennan

1. He has beautiful green eyes
2. He is super handsome
3. He is very literal
4. He loves of nature
5. He loves cats and loves to annoy them
6. He is so smart
7. He plays the guitar but insists on only rock n roll, no country
8. He gives me spontaneous hugs every day
9. He tries harder than any kid I know
10. He is brave
11. He is super ticklish
12. He loves to sleep when his body agrees and will let him
13. He can participate in endless chatter
14. He is 14
15. He's in 8th grade
16. He is 'practicing' getting good grades so he can get a good student discount on his insurance
17. He starts Driver's Ed in April!
18. His favorite bird is the cardinal
19. His favorite relative is Uncle Tim
20. He plays World of War Craft (See #19)
21. He is learning to tolerate babies
22. He hates loud noises especially when made by a sister
23. He hates storms
24. He has an IQ in the superior range
25. He loves and plays every kind of trading card game

Monday, March 2, 2009

Can you say spanked?

I was SOOOO looking forward to tonight. Tonight was the first round playoffs for the Harlem Huskies. I even talked the hubby into going with on a Monday night! I had dinner all ready when he got home (ah the bliss of a day off) and then we were off to the game. Firstly, all of their team members are about a foot taller than ours. Secondly, our guys just looked tired, and we shot very poorly. I was quite thrilled however when Jordan Johnson shot a 3 pointer from nearly half court! Go Jordan! Hubby and I left when there were 5 minutes left of the game and we were losing by 20 :( We had a great season. Since most of our starters are Juniors this year, I can't wait to see what they can accomplish next year. Congrats Huskies on a great season!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

At some point I'll catch up!

I have resorted to keeping a running list of all the blog posts I have waiting in my head. And even though I should be doing the taxes, I believe I'll get a few things off my mind, before finishing a load of laundry and heading to bed...First of all, I had to provide a picture for the newspaper for their voter's know, since I'm running for the school board. So, I chose this one. Anyone know how to edit a photo to make you look like you weigh 50 lbs. less? Common, they do it for Oprah, why not for me? Anyway, keep an eye out in the Register star in the next week or so, for the article. For my out of town friends, family, and blog buds, I'll post a link here when it's up.

Ok, a quick weekly recap...I went to a fabulous 2 day training on structured teaching on Thursday and Friday. I can't wait to get back to work to implement my new ideas. Saturday morning I went to my last class for this session. In two weeks I start my very last class! (Insert reflective pause here) Even though there are parts of school I will miss, I surely will not miss the time commitment nor the internships!

Saturday night I went scrapping with the girls...I made a super cute friends book for my big girl and Devin. I will try to get pics posted tomorrow. While we were there, my friend Anne got a call from her husband that their son had been accepted into the gifted program for first grade :) Needless to say, she was quite excited. My friend Sarah made some super cute books for upcoming classes in her scrap studio. I will be taking both of those classes for sure!
Since I have been working on mini books and legacy books for so long, I decided I really should work on some pages for a change. I started this page for Brennan last night. I still have to add embellishments and journaling, but I thought I'd share his super cuteness as a baby. Come. On. How cute is he?!?
We had such a great time... Even though I had only 4 hours sleep the night before...I arrived at scrap night at 2 and stayed until 11 and was hardly even tired! I so enjoy spending time with my friends and catching up. My friend Stacie made a super cute book of her boys and husband working on the car with a new 'gear head' line that they had at Archiver's. I dropped off Anne and was home about 12:30--today I had my baby Aubrey over. She had a little bit of a cold and was sneezing a lot so I decided not to take her to church today. Instead we stayed home and played. It was a super relaxing day. Tomorrow, I'm off work. I'm meeting a friend for lunch, and have a few errands to run. The rest of the day I plan to spend doing laundry and giving my kitchen a much needed overhaul and deep cleaning...I'll post that for Tackle it Tuesday, even though it would have been done on Monday...shhhhh don't tell k? Hope everyone got a little R&R in over the weekend...Stay tuned this week as I hope to catch up on all the posts floating around in my head ;)

Scrumptious Sunday...

When I go to the grocery store lately, I often feel like I'm risking burning my fingers when I take something off the shelf and put it in my buggy. Let me tell you why...prices are so high, it is really quite astounding. I went to the grocery store today and generic veggies were ON SALE for $1 a can. $1?!? Are you kidding me? So many times I go to reach for something and then my eye sees the price which results in my hand recoiling as if I just touched a hot stove. honor of soaring food prices, today's Scrumptious for all of you trying to feed a family on a budget. Now...I have to give a disclaimer that perhaps this recipe doesn't look or sound appealing, but it is really quite tasty. We don't have a name for this call it what you like. We call it rice stuff.

1/2 stick margarine
1 cup chopped celery
1 lb. or so ground chuck
2 cans chicken noodle soup
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1/2 milk
1 box (4 2 cup pouches) of Boil-in-bag rice
Shredded Cheddar

Begin by sauteing onion and celery in margarine in dutch oven. Add ground chuck and brown. Meanwhile begin boiling rice. Add 4 cans of soup and 1/2 cup milk to ground beef mixture and stir well. (Use a spatula to chop the noodles in the chicken noodle soup while stirring) Once rice has reached desired doneness, add to ground beef mixture and stir. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes and add a cup or two of shredded cheddar just before serving. This recipe will feed a family of five and you'll have some leftover for lunch.

I like to add some yummy corn bread muffins

And serve with green beans. Enjoy!