Sunday, September 25, 2011

Homecoming 2011 and Christmas preparedness

Does that title grab you? If so...welcome to my world. As I see the pages of my cherished Covey planner ticking away into October, I know that the holidays are right around the corner. I haven't had a chance to see my family as much as I would like to and perhaps that is the reason that I simply cannot wait for the holidays. One of my daughters this weekend said, "I'm in the mood to bake cookies". Me too! I was in GFS the other day admiring the trays and covers they have there and thinking how awesome it would be to use those for my cookie deliveries. In addition, I have saved a few recipies on my night stand to be added to the trial list this year. If you are a long time reader, you know that cookie baking is big business for the Ruchus. We hit over 300 dozen every year, a five day process, and we all look forward to and love it. At least I do :) This year we're going to add a gingerbread house decorating party for all the little ones in the family as a new tradition.

This week I added to my planner to clean the kitchen...for 3 days. This will allow me enough time to clean and organize cabinets in preparation of making the cookies. Next will be a complete scrub down of the kitchen, top to bottom. I'm not sure about you, but I have pets in my house and I don't appreciate hair in the, we always start wtih a good fall cleaning.

Many lists of Christmas gifts have run through my head already as well. In past years, especially the last two I haven't really had anything special in mind for the folks on my list, which is not the case this year. I've also been cross stitching Christmas stockings all summer long, so perhaps that is why I am anticipating the season. Who knows...I do know, it feels better than last year when I really had a hard time getting in the spirit. I think I was so burned out on graduate school, and tired, and broke that even on the best was tough. I feel the outlook this year is just a bit brighter...hope that feelings hangs on until December 26th!

OK, next...Homecoming!! For whatever reason homecoming at our local high school gets earlier and earlier. It used to be near the end of October. Last year it was a few weeks earlier (still freezing by the way) and this year it was moved to September! As an educator and a mom, I appreciate the earlier homecoming because I really feel the kids don't concentrate academically as much until all the festivities and match making are over. My precious one disagrees and says having homecoming so early puts undo stress on the students by having to find a date so early in the year. It's always good to know both sides of the story. Anyway...we had a slightly smaller budget this year, but learned some good tricks on saving money and my baby girl looked fabulous regardless! (If I don't say so myself) I really like her darling boyfriend (don't tell a highschooler I called him darling ok?) and I like his family as well. You can go to my facebook page - via the tag over there on the right...the one that says facebook :) to see ALL 120 or so pictures...and I'll share a few with you here as well. As the crazy mamarazzi that I am, I especially appreicated having 'no group' this year, which meant no other kids to coordinate time, place, parents, number of pics etc. AND I finally got my choice of locals: Downtown.

Our downtown is a place that not too many people venture to. I however work downtown and so everyday as I drive I think, that would be a great place for pictures, and so would that and so would that. So, finally...we have beautiful downtown urban pics. The precious one's boyfriend said, why are we taking pictures in an alley? Well, I appreciate the mix of glamour and alley. What can I say? Judge for yourself.

You'll have to judge photos via my facebook page since blogger has not been cooperating with photo uploads. As technical difficulties allow I will eventually post pics here too :)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Evidently a little more training is required

You might be asking yourself..."What on God's green Earth is that?!?" I think that is what I also said when I opened my kitchen cabinet...and then ran for my life! I have a great son, whose job it is to do the dishes... I often tell him that we have differing standards when it comes to clean. I have recently come to discover that we have differing standards when it comes to organization as well.

This week's task = teach that boy how to stack the dishes!!

Parental mistake number 892,736,124

Do you, like I, realize after the fact that maybe that just wasn't the best idea? Or do you, like I, realize these things after one of your children less than tactfully points it out to you? I believe I tend to fall into the later category...

Perhaps if you are the parent of a high schooler, you may have heard the hubub lately about the requirement to be asked to homecoming or prom via a creative method. Believe me, among the 15 - 18 age group, this is indeed a hot topic.

OK, now you have the history. Here's the story...

I came home the other day to find this...

I quickly wondered who on earth left me such a wonderful surprise on my front porch! Having over 40 eyes, I looked a little bit closer to observe this...

Well, the surprise clearly wasn't for me...but for my precious one. Being the good blogger parent that I am, I quickly went inside to get my camera to capture this moment for future generations. Then...I made the ultimate mistake. I took a picture with my phone and sent it to her.

Good idea right? No?

Who knew?!? I didn't really mean to spoil the surprise. I meant for the picture to be the surprise, and certainly not to steal the young man's thunder by any means. Evidently, that wasn't a good idea.

Gratefully, the precious one was home just a few minutes later to open said homecoming invitation so all is well that ends well. And perhaps this parenting mistake won't be remembered 20 years from now.

For all you high school mom's out there...let me clarify. If you come home to find any type of sweet sentiment meant for your child... DO NOT! I repeat DO NOT! Let them in on the secret. Just sit on your hands, do not text, no facebook, no pictures....just wait :) No extra charge for the invaluable advice!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The U Dub Dub world

As you now, my big girl has left for college....more than once. Even though I love having her home on the weekends, I know the importance of campus involvement for college Freshmen. She recently bought tickets for some upcoming shows on campus...and also attended an art show. She has had so many experiences already in life that college is kind of the icing on the cake for her :) What I especially love about her being in college, is that she has begun blogging... again. I kind of chuckled when I read her side bar descriptions including professing her love for all things Jonas and also her college plans when she was how times change.

To keep up with the joyous one on her latest journey visit her blog at You'll be glad you did!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Hello 11-12

Even though my two youngest have been in school for a few weeks, my new school year and my daughter's 1st year of college both start tomorrow. As school administrator, I choose to always start the school year with a kick off breakfast to welcome everyone back and hope to have something inspirational to say. That's where I'm stuck. Last year was a tough cuts, staff changes, loss of our director, and of course a whole slew of personal struggles, I have now formally dismissed along with August. I'm not sure what I'll say tomorrow, probably something completely memorable like "Welcome Back!" This has been such a restful break for me. I didn't make endless to do lists, which is VERY unlike me...but I got a lot done: at home and at school and I feel very rested and ready to go back to work. That's pretty good I think!

Looking ahead...

This is the year I will take my LCSW test so I can begin seeing clients with insurance...this will, in turn, allow me to begin paying down the national debt student loans. I'm also hoping this to be my last year of working my third job. I think I'll have to have my old dog put to sleep this year, I'll have to start working on a formal transition plan to get my sonshine from high school to college and perhaps I'll clean the basement! One thing I do know is that one summer spent not in graduate school has allowed me to catch up more than I ever thought possible. One daughter in college and the other two in high school and driving have given me more time to myself than I ever thought possible. This past year has definitely been a year of transitions for me and I can only wonder what the new year will bring. I have certainly grown closer to God this year and have prayed more than ever before. I have set many goals and accomplished much.

This is the year we have committed to no vacations and to pay bills instead. That sounds completely no fun, but just a little bit responsible. Somewhere down the road is retirement for me and a house on the beach...Missing a week at the beach this year will be worth retiring on the beach some day :) Remind me I said that when it's 20 below here!

While I contemplate what last minute inspiring thing to say tomorrow, I think I'll watch several episodes of the Young and the Restless to empty my DVR. Surely there should be some inspiration there right?

OK, Now for a quick photo update of the Joyous one's college adventure.

Her room is all set up...with a place to relax....

and a place to sleep and study....

And of's just a little bit pink :)

Let's just say...the 4th floor was...HOT!

We dropped her off at the arts building to change her major (again), kissed her goodbye, and we were off!

Study hard!! We love you!

She went for one day...moved in...stayed overnight...had welcome to college kick off...then came back home. (Something about it was just too hot to sleep there!) Since then she's been home 4 days and left to go to college again. About a half hour later she returned with a friend. I exclaimed "Gee! I hardly missed you!" and continued weeding the flower gardens. About 20 minutes ago...she left again...for college. She said she'd call when she got there so perhaps now she has really left. All this repeated leaving makes this whole going to college thing much easier on the Mama. Thank God she didn't go to California! Look how much she's saved me already in airfare :) I am so very proud of the young lady she has become...just four more years til graduation. Again!