Sunday, May 31, 2009

An Amazing week of Awesomeness

Wow! What a week it's been, even if I only worked 4 days :) It was a busy whirlwind time that culminated in the big girl's dance team try outs...she made the team by the way and is so excited.

It seemed the jet lag from three years of grad school is finally behind me. My energy has returned and I feel like I'm on the path to some semblance of normalcy in my life. Don't get me wrong, there are many many (so many) projects that are yet to be caught up, but at least I'm on my way. Friday I did normal things like clean out, wash and fill up the car, went shopping for some more flowers with the mother in law and out to dinner. Saturday, I played ALL DAY!!! Spent time with my great niece, nieces, great nephews and in laws. I took my girls for some much needed clothes shopping, played at the mall with the baby girl and then headed to Chuck E. Cheese for my great nephew's birthday party. That night the hubby and I ran errands, bought mulch, completed one of the flower beds and spent some time chilling out. Today I was up BRIGHT and early and met a friend for breakfast at 6:45 after a much needed girly chat session, I was off to church to greet and enjoy the service. The girls headed to Magic Waters with their new season passes (even though it was only 70 degrees) and I got busy...laundry, scrubbed my kitchen, replaced light bulbs, cleaned the outside of the fridge, bleached, disinfected, killed germs and generally overhauled the kitchen :) It is so sparkling! I planted flowers around two more trees tonight and only have two to go before that project is done. I got my calendar all organized for the summer, added all of the kids sporting events, and now...I'm puttin on the walkman, grabbing a flashlight and the dog, and heading out to enjoy this beautiful night air. I have another busy week ahead...teaching two nights, therapist one night, a friends party another night, working at church on Friday night, softball kick off, a wedding, and dinner at my nieces on Saturday...and then...the baby girl on Sunday :) Hope to find some time to clean some kitchen cabinets this week too.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot...I signed up for spark people today to finally get the diet underway. I am really hoping to be totally committed. The precious one and I signed up together so hopefully we can encourage each other.

Have a fabulous week!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

I am SO not ready...

Today I let my son idle the van around the block and into the driveway. Good Lord!!! I am SO not ready for this adventure. My neck is still a bit sore from the wide variety of whiplashes I recieved while he was hitting the break. Did I mention we were doing less than 10 mph the entire time? I was really laughing so hard, because the dog ran along side the van the entire time, until I had him induce yet another round of whiplash and stop to let her in. Wow, what an adventure that was!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Nerves...

The big girl is trying out for the dance team at school. Are you ready for the reason? If she makes the dance team, she won't have to take PE and then she can take another academic class. Did you get that? I love my kids. The latest development with the big girl besides the dance team is that she doesn't believe she wants to go to Cal State anymore...she loves the programs at Rigly college in Florida but is convinced all that humidity will give her a bad hair day for 4 years. Clearly she doesn't realize the humidity levels in N. Illinois have got to be close or higher than those in Florida right? And she says Florida is dull. (no offense intended to you Floridians) -- dull? Florida? I wonder what state she finds exciting...oh yea...California. sigh

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Clearly, thinking was not on the agenda

I signed up to teach some classes a few months ago...in Freeport. Did anyone bother to tell me it's an hour drive away one way?...needless to say...I wasn't very pleased with two hours of travel time added to my two hour class. Yuck.y. I really love teaching. I do not love driving. through the construction. in the rain. I evidently was not thinking clearly when I made these arrangements. The kicker was 28 out of 30 class participants also drove an hour to be there. *sigh* I must remind myself to think before committing. Think. Think. Think. Hopefully it will sink in.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Graduation Frolic

Little brothers can often be the target of such jokes as....be my new head :)
Hold still darn it!

Ta da!! Thumbs up dude... Then of course there's the big girl with her boy....
So sweet!


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Parenting, Are you good at it?

Lately, it seems I sit and ponder parenting... a lot. Evidently an exorbitant amount...I seem to sit and look at kids and I look at their parents and I analyze their parenting style and I try to decipher motives and outcomes and well, let's just say it's a little bit obsessive. Perhaps it's the social worker in me. The 3 weeks away from the clinical office may be getting to me.

Tonight I had the joy and honor of attending my daughter's choir banquet. She notified me last night at half past ten of said banquet and then politely added that she would be going with her boyfriend's family. No where was my attendance mentioned. These are the reasons I ponder parenting...have I gone wrong somewhere? I know that at her age it is TOTALLY appropriate and expected for a subtle separation to begin taking place. I know this!! Books have taught me this...research has shown this is completely healthy. However....(pause) I do not like it...not one little bit! After much cajoling and coercing I convinced dear daughter that perhaps my presence wouldn't be too awkward or annoying at said banquet and perhaps I could indeed attend after all. I sat at the table with the love of her life, his brother, and his parents. I had a great time. As I sat and observed in my social worker type way...I realized that my big girl...is just that...she is the big girl...responsible, opinionated, at times aloof, confident, oh and beautiful...then there is the love of her life...smiley, bubbly, happy, lighthearted...definitely the youngest. Now...my brain and research tells me this is a good match...he can show her how to live a little and she can help him be responsible. Nice, complimentary, equitable...all in all a nice match. Of course I pondered his parents parenting...much more restrictive than mine it appears, much more detail oriented...yet effective...thereby creating a fabulous son. He so reminds me of my youngest daughter...Hmmmm....what's the point of this post you ask? I'm not really sure actually...it's just the random thoughts that run through my mind on a day to day basis. Isn't that, after all what blogging is all about? ~grin~

After I pondered my big girl's budding relationship...I pondered my own...The honey and I...often times are not complimentary...we're both the youngest...both irresponsible, bubbly, having too much fun, and often just flying by the seat of our pants. At times it's a chaotic ride...but I love it...it's my way of life :) I do believe that this is why the big girl is often annoyed with me...perhaps. Who knows what those 'oldest children' are thinking! Observing them tonight made me think back to the old days...long ago...when the hubby and I were contemplating having babies...comparing parenting styles...to spank or not to spank...2 kids or 10....boy or girl (like we had a choice!) Ever have those talks? Little did I know then what a joy and a challenge parenting would be...and then you get to the point...where your oldest most responsible child is late coming home...yet again...after you had the 'don't make me ground you and be all parental on you' talk...and you wonder...will it all be ok? Will they be a success? Will they be happy? For their sake and mine...I hope so!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

What? You love my lawn?

Hey neighbor! What's that you say? You love my lawn? Especially the one side of the driveway that didn't get mowed this week? Well yes, I know it's odd...that most of the lawn is mowed except that one spot. I see. We started this lawn mowing schedule at my house, and this week was my week. I mowed the front...most of it. I didn't mow the back...let's just say it rained a lot, AND I completely forgot to mow the side of the driveway. Yeah...I know!! Feeble excuse right? But that is my excuse and I'm stickin to it. Thank Goodness tomorrow is Monday...that makes it someone else's turn to mow. I sure hope they mow the entire lawn! The good news for you neighbor, is that it's not my turn to mow again for 3 weeks and my kids do a much better job than I do. See? It IS your lucky day. And by the way...thanks for your concern :)

Signed,

The neighbor that is not winning lawn of the month

Photo Catch up...

It has definitely been a busy week at the Ruchus...



Thursday we resumed softball practice...aaaahhhh the sweet taste of summer is upon us~


On Friday night my son had his 15th birthday party...

He seemed to have a lack of appreciation for our singing!



My house was full of video game playing boys! Note to self. Boys go to bed at 12:30---do not stay up all night giggling and they clean up their messes!! Who knew? For years I have endured the torture that is girly girl slumber parties...I was thinking this one would be more challenging. I was way off with that one! Bring on the boys anytime.


Saturday afternoon I had my graduation open house. It was so much fun...and yes I did not take one picture!! Crazy...must be a sure sign of a good time. No time to take pictures?

This afternoon the big girl had her spring concert. This is the last performance before her choir director retires. It was such a neat show, in that they reviewed the musicals they have done through out the years... and alumni came back to perform their parts; some from as early as 1976. It was a fabulous show...I have mentioned before that I love being a part of the community in which I grew up. In the alumni choir is our current band director, my big girl's 5th grade teacher, my precious one's choir director, my brother's math teacher, and one of the dance teachers at my big girl's former dance studio. Our youth pastor was in the audience and standing next to my daughter was the daughter of one of my best friends from high school. It's just an awesome experience...here is the alumni choir...

video

After the choir show, I headed home to whip up a quick pot of spaghetti to take over to my niece's house. She and her husband just moved into their new house this weekend. What a beautiful house they have and so much room! No matter how I tried, they just didn't seem to want to go back to their old apartment...go figure! ! The baby girl Aubrey loves her new house too...she can run and run and no one asks her to stop for fear of disturbing the neighbors. Such a joyous time for them...Congratulations!



It's pretty late Sunday night...I have gotten the paper read, but of course haven't started the laundry yet. So...gotta run! Until next time...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I love Facebook...or do I?

I love facebook I really do. I find myself drawn to it oh....let's just say too many times a day. But here's the thing...just about all of my friends are on facebook. And we are all religious facebookers...but I do believe that all this facebooking (is too a word) has come at a cost to our blogs. No longer are my favorite bloggers posting every day...but they are facebooking a few times a day. I can no longer check in on their details of every day life...I only get the one line status on facebook. Which most times I'm happy with. I sure miss my good ole blog buddies: my blog cries, my blog joys, and just...hey how ya been blog buddies. I think it's time to search out a few new bloggers to read...and to narrow down my list to the faithful bloggers that I have grown to love

On to other news...my sonshine is 15 today. Again...listen...15! Did you hear that? I did discover today perhaps for the first time that having a 13, 15, and 16 year old in the same house may be more than I can take. It does make me wonder what I was thinking 18 years ago when we decided to have our children so close. I thought they would be buddies and playmates and friends...sadly I thought wrong. We are in the throws of sibling rivalry or sibling hate or sibling wish harmful things on each other or whatever you'd like to call it, but it is less than pleasant. It is very obvious for me that my absence over the past 3 years has had an impact. It is definitely time to relearn table manners, polite behavior, how to follow rules, and for Pete's sake how to pick up after yourself. Notice I didn't even mention the smart mouths or foul attitudes. I'm hoping that just goes away in time...perhaps when they have children of their own back talking them (I know...my mother's voice is coming out of my mouth!) I definitely have my work cut out for me...in 2, 4 and 5 years these socially inept beings will be on their own. God help us all. Creating responsible adults out of teenagers has got to be bumped to the top of my priority list. It's odd, when I would think about them becoming teenagers, I imagined this utopia where my house would be picked up, they would help with laundry, yard work, and the like...and they'd happily say yes mother to anything I asked. WAKE UP YOU DREAMER!!!! TIS NOT SO!!! Don't get me wrong...I love them with every ounce of my being...every one...but there are days...let's just say...there are days...and leave it at that ;)

The sonshine is having his party on Friday night and my graduation party is on Saturday. Sunday is the big girls choir concert and Monday the Mama leaves for Arizona. I was kind of thinking life would slow down a bit...but I haven't felt it. I'm grateful to be happy, employed x 3, married to a great guy and the mother of three cantankerous teenagers. This is the life...

Monday, May 11, 2009

I don't care about the chess tournament...really

Tomorrow is my son's birthday. Being the most prepared Mom of all time...(except for the prom flower fiasco) I thought it may be time to get him a present. I had a bike all planned out for him...but he made it perfectly clear today that a bike was not even on his list. What WAS I thinking? So, I headed to Target tonight to pick up a highly coveted item on the list, where I heard this super, very, what were you thinking LOUD woman talking on her cell phone about her son's chess tournament. He was the local, state, national, supernational, worldwide, universe, galaxy chess tournament winner evidently AND he was only 7. Picture her, sitting in the patio furniture lounging back speaking, I kid you not, at the top of her lungs. I was innocently seeking out some weed b gone ($5.99) to replace my $1000 a season lawn service when I was overcome by this ladies incredible rudeness. I finally found my weed b gone and headed to another area of the store...now...imagine...you know where Target keeps the lawn furniture right? The very, I mean very back of the store...I strolled through house wares...still heard her...strolled through scrapbooking and could still hear her. I finally got to the card section, which as you know is 1/2 way across the store and finally I could not here her. I.kid.you.not. Perhaps next time she'll just want to get on the PA system so the entire store could hear her. If that's the case, I'll be the one running from the store, hands over my ears, screaming!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Finally Finished...at least for now

Hey there!! The day finally came...graduation day...
I took the walk (in heels on soggy ground) and got my diploma...
what a remarkable day....shared with fabulous friends...
and my wonderful family...
And a special thanks goes out to everyone who supported me...especially this dude...
without whom none of this would have been possible...hey honey...you make a pretty handsome Mr. Mom!

MSW AU George Williams College 2009

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Prom 2009

And she's off! Prom 2009. This morning we got her hair done...
The we posed for some pictures...alpa and omega
And then there's the grammas :)
And Stephanie
Of course it's been warm all week and today it's 50...so I think she'll be grateful for the cape...
Yesterday she got the cutest toenails to match her dress...
Dan got her super pretty flowers...
Tada...the couple (They're just friends :)
Bye Stephanie...be safe and have fun!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Could you please remind me again?

Sometimes super Mom lives in my house...but sometimes not...for instance...tomorrow is prom. I have everything prepared for my daughter...dress-check, shoes-check, hair-check, mani/pedi-check, eyebrows-check, jewelry-check, alterations-check, flowers for the boy...oh no!!! Don't tell me it's the day before prom and I forget to order flowers. No problem, right? I'll just call now and order them...uhhhh not so fast....our favorite florist is full up and isn't taking any more prom flower orders. What to do, what to do...my daughter has only reminded me every day for the past 10 days...so really, I don't have an excuse. Greatfully, one of my friend's mothers owns a flower shop...so I got on facebook last night and pleaded my case. This morning voila! There's a response, yes they can do the flowers and I can pick them up tomorrow...fabulous! (Insert big sigh of relief here) Mission accomplished...now all I have to do is be the paparazzi mama...stay tuned for the photo spread :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

The NEW School count down...

Yep I did it...I took the plunge...back to school. Wah? Who? What'd you say? You heard me right. Here's the thing...Two weeks after I started my new job...my administrator quit. Since then, I've been doing most of that job...but I don't have the certificate. Let me just say that even though my job pays well...that job pays VERY well! So...I approached my boss, and she offered to pay for my classes, give me time at work to take them on line...and remain our administrator until my classes are done. Can I beat that with a stick? Ummmm nope! Back to school for me...
Ok...now let's catch up... I registered for my LSW exam...now comes the studying...and then I can begin as a PAID therapist as UIC. (imagine amazing internal smiling thoughts here) The precious one got new black and white polka dotted glasses...I can NOT believe how big she's getting...when did that happen and who said it was ok?
I had my pinning ceremony at my campus on Saturday...and have formal graduation this Sunday...you could say I was a wee bit excited! My bestes friend Carlene who I met in grad school got a job in my fair city and is moving here...We think the exact opposite on most topics...but I love her for who she is...and she is amazing... notice how she's looking at her camera and I'm looking at mine...that's just how we are...yet we're together and having a great time...
And finally...the prom dress is in the house... When we went to pick it up, they had hemmed it unevenly, so they quickly rehemmed it and we came back in an hour and voila! Good to go. Prom is this Saturday...say a prayer for our schools that they stay open! We had a scare with a suspected case of N1H1, that thankfully came back negative, so schools remain open. Such an important time of year with prom and graduation...let's hope we make it through without a closure. Two districts near us are currently closed...so here's hoping.
I have a busy week again...teaching tomorrow night, school board on Wednesday, something on Thursday that I can't remember...and NO SCHOOL ON FRIDAY!!! I love that! I am anticipating a rash of clean laundry at my house soon ;) Oh and by the way...I'm having an open house for my graduation on Sunday...May 17th...2 -5 at my place...hope you can join me for the big celebration!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Have you seen me lately?

OMG!! Where have I been? Missing from the blogsphere and having so so much to share! Presently my camera seems to be missing. I believe the precious one may have "borrowed" it again. As soon as I locate it...there will be a large pictoral post to catch you all up. For now...it's off to Monday...stay tuned for many upcoming events!