Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Dead Or Alive!!

On the way home from picking the boys up from school, I was listening to my new radio station and the Dead Or Alive song, You Spin Me Round, came on. You have to understand--this was about as "Goth" as it got back in the mid 80's-and this was one of my most favorite songs ever. My kids weren't big fans, but I cranked that baby up--and it was AWESOME! I love hearing music that just takes you back to when you were younger. I still feel like that gawky teenager dancing to my song--and I'm 36 years old. I still remembered every word, and even most of the arm movements from the video--OH, it was as if time had never passed--I was 15 again--and it was Awesome!

Now I'm just waiting for Frankie Goes To Hollywood's Relax--and I will be a happy woman!!

Homework Delayed!!

Due to the party running a little longer than we planned my boys got home after their bedtime. I knew they had homework and thought that they could get it finished up in the truck on the hour drive to school, but after they went to bed I wanted to double check. Turns out, there was more than I thought. So I set their alarm for 15 minutes earlier than they normally get up. They had no idea it was early--but they got up, sat at the couch and cranked out their homework. I needed to help them with it, and wouldn't have been able to help them had I sent them to school to do it. Grayson got his 16 spelling words written 3 times each, and his address written down--he did wait to draw and color the picture of the house until he was on the road. Jake had vocabulary words for health, and a few spelling sentences. The hardest thing was finding 8 words that normally end in a silent "e" that you drop to add an "ing" to the end. Mind you--I'm pretty good at this whole English language thing--but when you put me on the spot-all I could think of were words like walking and eating--writing and hiding were a little hard to come by at 6 in the morning!

Monday, August 27, 2007


I got the first "unable to go" RSVP for the party tonight. It was for one of Grayson's friends--he will be sad, but we will catch the little boy for a goodbye one day this week after school. I did get an RSVP yesterday for the girl that Jake likes as well as one of his friends--so counting my kids,hte neighbors and the RSVP's--we have a whopping total of 8! I'm hoping other kids will just show up at Chuck E. Cheese for the party--if not--I have a really inexpensive evening!!

I have a "to do" list a mile long, so I'm only allowed to be on the computer until noon--and then I HAVE to leave and start getting everything finished. I love busy days--they go so much faster than normal-and I'm trying to race to moving day!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Going Away Party!!

Tomorrow is the going away party for my kids. We have about 15 kids invited, but no one has RSVP'd! I don't mind--I'm all for showing up if you can, but I'm very happy that I opted to just go to Chuck E. Cheese with my coupons rather than booking a party not knowing who all is coming.

We are doing it on a Monday night-so I'm hoping one of the long tables is 'un-reserved', but if not-we will just get 3 booths next to each other. If a group of 15 kids is anything like my kids--they rarely eat at the same time (if at all) so who cares if we aren't all sitting in one long line.

I figure I can get out the door having spent $100 to feed and 'token' all 18 children which is shocking considering the exact same thing for a birthday party this size would have cost $187!! I'm also thinking cupcakes are a ton cheaper than a cake--so now all I need is a memory book to stick the pictures in--and I'm done!!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

I Feel Organized!!

My living room is "Moving Central". I spent the morning pulling out everything along the walls and getting it vacuumed, then started placing towers of boxes along each wall. 1 week from today movers will be here and they have 2 hours of loading time--and in order to get them to take all of the heavy stuff and as many boxes as possible--I have to have everything right up close to the door--so the living room is it!! With all that is going on in this one little room--It looks great!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

My How Things Have Changed!!

I just wrote a post about shopping for an apartment online--and how amazing it is that you can do that. Then I realized--I just spent the last 6 months shopping for a home online--and even bought one that I found on a website. How amazing is that?

The internet was very, very new when I was in high school. I remember my little brother would string a phone cord to the computer (I would have to climb over or crawl under it to get to my room) and he would sit for hours. I, however, logged on to his AOL account one day--and I was off in 3 seconds. I was on--but I didn't know what to do once I got there.

How amazing it is to my brain that you can literally find anything and everything online! My 11th grade Chemistry teacher read "Twas The Night Before Christmas" that had been transposed into scientific language. I remember it was so clever and just for the heck of it one day I put the first line of the poem into the search engine. With a search like "Twas the nocturnal segment of the diurnal period" how could I possibly find it. But I did--the entire poem that I heard 20 years ago--and there it was...online! I don't think there is anything that I've gone looking for online that I haven't found.

From getting on the internet for 3 seconds and logging off 20 years ago--to buying a house online--My how things have changed!!

Shopping For An Apartment, Online!!

I have a dear friend going through the "Big D". I've told her for 18 months that she needed to do this--she's married to a complete and total 'cheating jerk'!! But a break up of a marriage is not something to enter in lightly and I don't blame her at all for not getting things started right away. Her main concern right now is trying to move out of the 'family home' and get herself and her children an apartment so that they can start the school year at the school where they will be finishing the year at. But due to her dork husband dragging his feet and playing the Control game--she's stuck at home, with him and her kids are starting school at the same school as last year, but a different school than they will be in post Christmas. So I've been looking around trying to find things that will help her get out and on her own without breaking her financially.

Roomster.net looks to be a promising start for her. This is a site that completely lets you customize what you want to see. You can look for rooms to rent, roommates and even apartments. With 2 kids she's going to want her own apartment, and she wants to stay near family--so I put in a search for 2 bedroom apartments within 10 miles of her family, with a maximum rent of $1300 per month. Now mind you, we live in the Chicago area, and $1300 per month is pretty low on the rent scale--but I got 25 hits! There are even pictures you can browse through to see if you are even interested in driving out to see the place.

She may want to pull her search in to a 5 mile radius, but I'm just amazed you can do that!

Outdoor What??

As much fun as I'm having working on getting the inside of the new house up to par--my husband is having in the garage and back yard. He's a chef--so you have to understand he wants an outdoor kitchen as well! I don't blame him--they are amazing, but honestly--the man is a work-a-holic and I can handle the outdoor temperatures only after 7 pm--so I'm not sure when we would use it. His reply--"We don't have to use it, I just want one." I guess we could have guests over and entertain back there--but it's just cute how the man can't have enough kitchens--and one is too many for me!

Nowhere To Put Them!

We have two computers and there is nowhere in the new house to put them. The new one for me needs to be somewhere central to the rooms that the family occupy most of the day. The family room, the kitchen and even the back yard. The other computer will probably end up in the master bedroom--for sheer lack of a place to put it.

Currently my computer is on a bakers rack in my living room here--and could stay that way in the new house, but I would rather look for office furniture. A nice new desk that can hide some of the paper mess associated with a computer area. Well, my biggest mess is made up of empty soda cans--but still--in the kitchen that would be bad! I want to find a something nice, as it's very nearly what you will see walking in my front door. Of course, I haven't broken this news to my husband yet--he may not like the whole "computer in the kitchen" concept!!

New Schedule...New Books!!

With the kids going back to school we sat down and worked up their new schedule. They have to get up super early this week and next in order to commute to school--but starting the Tuesday after Labor Day they will actually be in their new home and able to take the bus. This is still earlier than last year but not nearly as early as they have to get up now.

So we are going to wait to get in the new house to begin our new "Evening Routine". That is---7:00 p.m. showers, teeth brushed, jammies and a 5 minute tidy of their bedroom--then--it's pile into bed with mom time to read books. We are going to start with a book that Aunt Sherri mentioned when they were visiting. It's a nice long chapter book--something the kids can look forward too at the end of the day.

After 10 or 15 minutes of reading--it's off to bed, by 8:00 p.m. My kids are still not happy with the 8 o'clock bedtime--but I'm hoping the warm shower and reading before hand gets them to change their mind! We'll see!!

They Are Up!!!

I spent this evening working with my little brother to get two domains up and running. One for me and one for my sister. To pass out a little link love--my site is Scale Hoppers and it is the .com for my current--yet totally neglected Scale Hopper Blogspot blog! It will hopefully have the same look---cause I love my little Froggy! Then the second one is for my sister and it is Kater-Bug Blue. I guess I technically own them both because they are under my name and under my host--but she totally paid--so I will have to call it hers!! There is nothing on them yet--new theme and posts coming later this week!! But in a day or two--check 'em out--they should be up and running!

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Wiggles Concert!!

My camera is in the car--so I will have to download the pictures tomorrow, but today was The Wiggles concert. Now I know--I'm 36 years old--and in my life I have been to a Sheena Easton concert, a U2 concert, Howard Jones concert and some freezing cold rainy concert at Park West that I can't think of at the moment (must not have been that good)!!

But in the past 10 years I have been to three Wiggles concerts. I thoroughly enjoyed them all--except for todays. No, it had nothing to do with the new Yellow Wiggle Sam--I went fully expecting to see him--and he did great. I was the most disappointed with the entire "ballet" theme. Way too heavy on the ballet. Plus, what was up with all of the nursery rhymes? I can get my child's preschool teacher to sing the Itsy Bitsy Spider for a whole lot less than $35 per ticket! I came to see my little 2 year old dance and sing along to the songs he knows.

Ok--THAT is a bold faced lie!! I came to see Anthony (Blue Wiggle) Field! YUMMY YUMMY! I've gone to all three Wiggle concerts to see him. Imagine my shock and horror when we get to the first one to find his understudy in his place because he was sick!! Soooooo NOT cool! But Murray stopped by to talk to Grayson--so I think that more than made up for it!

Yes, I know--Anthony is married with three kids--that's Ok--I'm married with 4! I really don't want anything like "that" from Anthony--I just want to take him home and stand him in the corner looking all "Hot Tamale"--and singing to me! Yeah--I'm good! Not sure what the hubby would think--but I can tell you Grayson and Barrett would LOVE it!

Ok--so enough about my daydreams---My husband took a photo of the "tot appropriate" pyrotechnics around The Wiggle's sign and made it his wallpaper on his cell phone. It made me laugh! His whole life he has been a heavy metal fan--in fact after we were married he got two tickets to Metalica when they came to Utah--he took a friend, cause I wouldn't have enjoyed it! So here is my sweetheart walking around with the Wiggles on his phone.

From Metalica to the Wiggles---we are SO getting OLD!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

It's Back!!

This evening we are supposed to join my in laws at their churches fundraising "Trifesta". My husband and his brother are working a booth for the restaurant--so it will be nice to see him, but it is supposed to be a rainy evening--not that my kids care--carnival rides are the most important thing--rain just adds to the fun! So I really should be getting everyone together--yet here I sit! It's been a down day--I would like to blame it on the rain--but honestly--I think a depression is setting in. I really should get medicated--but I just hate it, so I sit in a bit of a stupor! Not too fun--but totally avoidable--so no pity here!! I think it's been coming on for a week or so, and I've felt it--I was just hoping that I would be strong enough to fight it on my own. But of course, you actually have to understand something to control it--and I don't understand depression at all--so I don't stand a chance! So much is good right now--well, let me re-phrase that--99.9% of everything is going perfectly--but I can't seem to see it. All I can see is the Scoliosis and the chaotic mess that my house is--all the work left to finish--all the money that will need to be spent to fix this house up to sell--I guess it's just a "glass half empty" kind of day! I hate those!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Vote For Me!!!! PLEASE!!

Yep, I'm back!! Begging for some Vote Love!! My little card has fallen from the Top 10 list--and it's sinking quick! If you haven't voted for today--and would love to help a blogger out--just click on my little card down below and vote!

Moving Companies!!

I have to tell you something amazing!! We have been on the phone with Moving Companies all morning--and something that I thought would be minimal help and maximum cost--is turning out to be quite the opposite. I originally was only going to call for two movers to come in after we were all out and get the heavy things. The treadmill, the piano, the armoire--you get the picture. I assumed it would be pretty expensive--but I have no way to get these things out of this house and into the new one--especially the chest freezer on the back porch.

I'm very surprised! We are getting a four man crew for 6 hours for $700! I'm sorry--but in six hours they can take all of the furniture and some of the boxes too! I'm just amazed--and honestly...really excited now too!!


It feels so funny to be excited about boxes! Nothing fabulous, empty boxes!! My husband is a Chef--and the best time that this comes in handy...well, when does having a Chef for a husband NOT come in handy, eh??? Well, today was delivery day at the restaurant. I reminded him to call and tell his crew not to break down the boxes--I wanted all of them. His restaurant has the coolest boxes.

Did you know Milk is delivered in crate sized boxes? The perfect size for ANYTHING! They are too small to over-pack--so even full they aren't heavy, then they have handles on the sides, and since they normally carry 4 gallons of milk--they are very durable!

Then, you know those styro-foam take out boxes--they come in one huge box--perfect for toys and kitchen gadgets and STUFF!!

But the coolest thing we picked up tonight--the wine boxes! They have those cool dividers to keep my colored bottle collection from breaking--as well as every glass in the house!

All in all--I got about 40 boxes of all sizes--and tomorrow--I can't wait to wake up and start packing something!!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Peter Cetera!!

Peter Cetera from the band Chicago was the featured singer of the "7th Inning Stretch" at the Cubs game today against the Reds. It was kind of nice to see him, but holy cow--he's all grown up!! He now tours with different Symphonies across the country--and he looked really good. He is in town taking his daughter to see High School Musical before she goes back to school in Nashville.

It was kind of a fun "Where Are They Now" kind of a moment! Last I heard he was dating Jane Seymour--but since I knew she had married someone else and had twins--I knew they must have broken up!

Either way--it's kind of a fun catch up for someone that I used to watch when I was a teenager.


I'm getting a little worried. In our ten years of marriage we have had some hard times financially. Right after we got married and bought our first home, my husband took a job transfer to Arizona. My son and I stayed in Utah to sell our home--which we did--4 times! Unfortunately, all but the last one fell through. We were finally able to sell our home after 7 months--but during that time we struggled to pay our mortgage as well as the rent on his apartment in Phoenix. It was rough!

So we sold our home, and bought a new one in Arizona--all was well, except that in the hopitality industry in Phoenix everything shuts down in the summer (honestly, it would be cooler to plan your party on the sun than in sweltering Arizona!). But then business boomed in the winter. So during the winter with all of his overtime we had not only a mortgage payment in each paycheck--but nearly half left over after the mortgage was paid. But then we'd hit the summer, and my husband would take all of his vacation time--just to get paid. Then, he took a job promotion where they left him at the same dollar amount, but put him on salary. This now meant that we had the same paycheck year-round, but one paycheck couldn't cover the mortgage amount. So we get the mortgage paid, but with no overtime--there wasn't any money for the rest of the bills. It was awful!

So then, we move here--and we live rent and mortgage free for the past 5 years, and had gotten quite used to the fact that we didn't need a budget--until my husband was injured on the job. 1 year he was unemployed with scant income coming in. Yep--we were right back in the financial pit! It's been 3 years since then, and we are doing well again--no need for a budget--until now! In two weeks we are moving into a home that does have a mortgage payment--a really, really big mortgage payment--and all of the stress I felt during the hard times is welling up in my stomach again. We are in a different place financially with this new house, but I definitely need to sit down and figure out a working budget. And if there is a budgeting software that can help me stay on track--I want it! I NEED it!!

For any of you readers out there--how do you find ways to save money and still enjoy the extras like Tivo and DSL--I'm not willing to give those up!! I guess I just need to sit down and crunch the numbers!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Rant!! But Just A Small One!!

Ok--all of you folks out there who would like traffic to your blogs--let me tell you the best way to lose it! Put up a joke post that ties up someones computer for hours on end! I was in reading some of my favorite blogs while I waited for the "Big Money" to drop--click one button--and my computer is toast! So I am a little ticked, but just turn off my computer--and restart it! Well, in the 2 minutes it takes to do that...the "Big Money" drops!! So I miss it! So now I'm not just a little ticked--I'm on full Terror Alert Red Ticked!! I'm happy to play along---I'm happy to to find funny things--but when you mess with my bottom line---Then I get mad!!

Let me just say...I won't be visiting that blog--ever again...and the link has been removed from my blog! Buh-BYE!!

The Bus!!

I went early yesterday afternoon to register my boys for their new school. They start on the 22nd, and it was kind of exciting! First off--I have to say--it was the smoothest registration I've ever been through. Tables set up in stations throughout the schools multi-purpose room--when finished up with everything, you go into the library for 'online' registration, after that--it's off to the office to sign the last few documents. It took about an hour, but went so smoothly.

Station 4 was about riding the bus. The district web page mentioned that if you life 1.5 miles from school, your kids would be bused. I knew we don't even live a mile from school, but they cross a terribly busy road, and there are no sidewalks once you cross that road. So with a hopeful curiosity--I stopped to check if my kids qualify.

Now when you are a "new" student--you just feel stupid--I know nothing of the way they do things--I don't know what questions they are going to ask--I know nothing of what forms they nned. I generally try to downplay my stupidity with a quick-"I'm new, and I have no idea what you need!" The bus lady laughed and showed me a bunch of papers and asked if any of these streets sounded familiar--yes...as a matter of fact one did. So I found out that my kids bus stop is on the corner of street A and street B--and that corner--just so happens to be owned (as of the 31st of August) by ME!! Yep, our corner--20 feet from my front door--is the bus stop!

School there starts at 8--which is the exact time my kids have gotten up to be at school here--in the new house-the bus leaves at 7:41 a.m.! Oh, my poor kids!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Going Away Party Plans!!

Well, after much planning and burning up the calculator--we've decided that it is cheaper to take the farewell party to the Chuck-Master-C! I was even looking into booking a party for 15 kids--and you know what--with their coupons--I can save about $100-so I'm game for that! We will get plenty of pizza and drinks--and tokens--the only thing different--we won't have Chuck-E there to sing to the kids--and we may have 3 different booths instead of a long birthday table. But if 15 kids in three different age groups are anything like my 3 kids--they never sit down at the same time to eat-so even that won't be a big deal. Instead of bringing gifts-we've asked that they each bring a picture of themselves for my kids Memory Books. Plus there will be tons of camera's around to capture every moment. Can you tell I feel terribly guilty about moving my kids to a new school?

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Wojciech Nykaza

In my last post I talked about a wedding picture that nearly brought me to tears. This is it:

This is Helen Storc/Sztorc/Stortz and Wojciech Nykaza. His name is pronounced Voe-Check. They are both from Poland, Helen from Kozia Wola and Wojciech from Lasik. I had never heard of either one of these people until nearly 3 years ago. I had begun a search for a missing family child. No one knew anything about this child, and I was determined to find him. To my amazement, I did find him, and when I got to talking to the cemetery manager he pulled up the record and said that he was buried in the same plot as another child name Kopiech. So there began my search, and Kopiech the child turned into Wojciech the man--but not just any man--my children's Great-Great Grandfather--who nobody knew because he died when his children were really young.

So three years--3500 family tree names--and countless hours in the dark looking at microfilmed records in Latin from Polish parishes--I finally get to see what this man looks like--and he truly looks like my oldest and my youngest--and I find that tremendously fabulous!!

Abstract Emotions!! Part II

I'm on top of the world today! Joyful! I had a family reunion to go to on my husbands side, and I have been working for 3 years on his family history. I have names and dates for so many of his relatives and distant-distant relatives, but other than his immediate family up to his grandfather-I don't know what any of these people that I've been working with look like. Tonight at the reunion, someone brought out a plaque and up at the top 2 inches by 2 inches was a wedding picture of this man and this woman. They were hard to see, but I was amazed that I was seeing them. At the end of the night I asked her to make a copy of this plaque for me--as it's the only picture I'd ever see with this man in it.

A few minutes later she tapped me on the shoulder and said, "This picture?" There this picture was 16 x 20. I could see every dimension of this couple--and this man Wojiech Nykaza that died in 1929 stood before me--and you know what...he was as handsome as I'd imagined him! Of course he was, my oldest and my youngest look just like him! I got chills and a little teary as I looked into the face of this man that I have searched for--and his wife, whose family line I can take back to 1775 in Kozia Wola, Poland! It was a GREAT day!!

If you want to take part in this fun, new Meme--Our Abstract Emotions - Edition 2, head on over to Eve's blog!!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Sports Stars!!

How do you talk a 9 year old boy into sharing a room with his 7 year old brother? Well, you offer them a "Sports Memorabilia" room. We have a couple of amazing sporting pieces, some rare bobble-heads, sports posters, huge bats and a basketball autographed by Bulls players. I can't divide the sporting goods--so if they want a Sports room--they have to share. My boys get along great and really are each others best friend. They do have slightly different tastes--Jake's favorite basketball team is the Chicago Bulls, Grayson's favorite team is the Philadelphia 76'ers. Jake loves Air Jordan shoes, Grayson loves Starbury shoes. But honestly-I think it all really boils down to what dad loves--and that is all things Chicago!!

Going Away Party!!

One of the major things on my To Do list today is to finalize the plans for the Going Away party for my kids. We are hoping to have it the Saturday after they start school--which is the Saturday before their friends here start school. We are going bowling (If I can get it planned!!) or possibly Glow In The Dark Mini Golf--yes, I have it all planned--can you tell? I need to finalize it today so I can get invitations out today. The other little problem I'm facing is that both of these places offer free birthday invitations, and as nice as that is--it isn't any of my kid's birthdays! So I have to come up with an invitation of my own--also needing to be done today or tomorrow! I guess I should get busy!

Staying Cool!!

I am a person that can't stand the heat. It melts me! When we lived in Arizona we had an air conditioner that liked to choose when it would work and when it wouldn't. We learned to rely on fans in every room. It wasn't too hard because we had ceiling fans in every room. When we moved in there was an ugly one in the living room. I went out and purchased one that I thought as really pretty--and I even hung and wired it myself! Yep, I used to be pretty handy!

In this house we have 2 ceiling fans--one in the living room and one in the kitchen, but the new house has them in every room again. I've just learned that I have to have air that moves around me--nothing is hotter than stagnant air!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Last Day!!

Today is the last day of camp. That means that my kids will be home all next week, and two days the next week. Then school starts. I can't believe that the summer is over--it feels like it just started. It's been a good summer, tons of things have changed! We are moving--new house, new ward, new school, new everything. It still seems like it's forever off-but it really is only 3 weeks! We will spend the next week packing--and getting the final supplies needed for the school year as well as registering them in their new school. It's an exciting time--but sad at the same time! My kids have roots here--but they will be far happier with a bit more room in their lives--so it will be good!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Baha'i Temple!!

Today we dropped off our mortgage papers downtown, and took a little detour! It's going to be hard moving so far from downtown. We are only 10 miles from city center here, and we are moving an hour Northwest of here.

I first found this beautiful building right after we moved here 5 years ago--but had never been back since. I stumbled upon it today, and had to stop for a photo op!

Blakelynn thinks it looks like a wedding cake--I think she's right! Someday, maybe we'll go in!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Chiropractor!!

Well, I found out today that I am a SMART mom! I've been worried about my 9 year old's development for the past few months, but I've put it off forever. Last week I noticed his right leg is shorter than his left leg by 1 inch. So I bit the bullet and made him an appointment with a Chiropractor.

That appointment was today, and it turns out--it's far more than just his leg! Every joint up and down his body is off. For some reason he's growing in wrong--and the left side is higher than the right. I'm not sure what the prognosis will end up being. We have his follow-up appointment next Tuesday, he's going to send the x-rays to a specialist just in case Jake needs a little bit more care. I'm hoping it isn't anything horrible. Just an adjustment or two, but I've got scoliosis running through my brain--and it's hard to get that out!

I'm hoping when we get him all worked out, he will get to be a normal little kid again. As it is, he hates to run--lots of activities are not fun for him, and if heare pain or discomfort--who can blame him? So I'm hoping once he's finished--he'll love basketball again!

Emergency Preparedness Made Easy!!

I am a worry wart. I always have been, but it's gotten much worse since I had kids. There are times when life is going so well, that you know something bad is going to happen. We haven't hit anything really terrible yet--like losing everything in a natural disaster, but a work injury was pretty bad.

I've been watching the mine disaster in Utah, and although no one I know was affected--it's got me thinking, what if something bad did happen. Whether it was the death of my husband or natural disasters that wipe us out completely. Would I know where all of our information is? Insurance policies, bank account numbers, identity certificates, medical information? There is a ton of "STUFF" that we deal with day to day--but if my house was destroyed by fire--all of my documentation would be gone.

When we lived in Arizona, I had an insurance program that held a lot of that kind of information. At the time I mainly used it to keep my kids up to date on their immunizations--but now that we are buying a house, I really am thinking it's time to look into AxcessPoints.com. It works almost like an online safe deposit box, where you can upload all of your documents that you will need in time of disaster. Then it is retrievable from any computer available. On top of that, there is also an Emergency Toolkit. It's an interactive calculator that lets families customize their own personalized emergency preparedness kit with the right level of supplies and other necessary items that their family (including pets) will need.

While I'm packing to move-I think I will set aside one box for just paperwork and documentation. That way, when we are finally settled in the new house, I can just take my box and get everything uploaded. I think this is a great site for everyone. Especially after the recent disasters we've seen not only in our country but around the world. As the saying goes, "If you are prepared, you shall not fear!!"

Everything Costs Money!!

I sat down and made a list of the home furnishings that I would like. Even if I do shop at the Hotel Liquidation store for major bargains, I'm not sure I can afford it all just yet! Some pieces like the living room furniture I will need pretty quick, but others like my King George and the home theater seating may have to wait for a couple of paychecks! I think the ride on lawn mower can wait until next spring--since we only have a month or two where we will need to cut the lawn before winter sets in--so maybe the boys can get their dressers now!!

Oh the joys of moving! I wish you could move into a beautiful new house--and magically have all of the beautiful home furnishings you need for free!!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

My Fish!!

One of the most exciting parts of our weekend North was to watch my two littlest become fish. Now I have to say, they swim every weekend at their grandparents house, so they have been "Fish" for awhile. But up in Jellystone they actually gained some confidence and were even a little brave. We are having a hard time keeping Blakelynn above water--she loves to swim under it--like a 'mermaid' according to her. With Barrett it was just fun to see him out exploring the pool, and laying on his tummy in the water--This is his last year with the floaty suit--next year it's just floaties like Blake has.

Monday, August 06, 2007

The World Series Champs Are Following Us!!

It's the last half of the baseball season, and for a quick heartbeat over the weekend--the Cubbies were in first place-and tied for the wild card. Totally cool--although we seem to get just close enough to the playoffs without actually making it. The year they finally made it to the playoffs we were lucky to score 4 tickets at box office prices and then turn that into an auction sale for close to $700! It was amazing, and I'm praying the Cubs do it again this year--cause mommas got a mortgage now!

We have been amazingly lucky when it comes to the baseball world. We lived in Phoenix and I was (still am) a HUGE Arizona Diamondback fan the year they won the world series. I was excited at the prospect of going downtown for the parade, but due to other obligations, I was relegated to my couch at home. The opportunity for a victory parade followed us once again after our move to Chicago. The White Sox won the World Series shortly after we moved here, and then the Bears made it to the Super Bowl just last year.

My dream of being in the thick of the action of a victory parade are thus far un-experienced--but I'm young--and at this rate--we may have a great playoff season coming up in baseball-and the Bears are looking stronger than ever! Now I just need to find me some tickets!!

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde!!

Today has been a rough day with my 9 year old. I love him dearly, but he has this attitude problem that resurfaces every so often. He literally changes into Mr. Hyde--and there is no warning. Today at the zoo it popped up in regards to the fact that he wasn't going to get to ride the paddle boats. Had there been things around he would have thrown them. But also during these moments, he's very sassy and rude and obstinate--and it's horrid. Usually I attribute it to low blood sugar, and so today we headed off to lunch in the cafeteria.

Well, tonight it happened again. He kicked his little sister pretty hard and for no reason. So I took the opportunity to go to dinner with us away, with no chance to earn it back. You know, trying the opposite of what didn't work at the zoo.

Well, he was hyperventilating and in tears and it was awful. So it was finally agreed that he could come to dinner with us, but he would not be eating. Yes, I'm sure our waitress thought we were horrible parents--but that is what we did. He begged nearly all of dinner. Not so much vocally, but through his heavy sighs and lingering stares. It was pathetic--but when we got home he went in and made himself some dinner.

I'm not saying things will immediately change--but this type of behavior has to stop--and if I have to be the worlds worst mother to get it to change--I will do it!

My New Goal Program!!

If you've been reading this blog over the past month--you've probably realized that I have a TON of things to get started on doing. First, there is the big thing---called moving. How can one person not be motivated enough to start packing to move to a new home? That one isn't my big worry, as it will happen--but then what happens to everything else from my day?

I've always been a goal setter-I just rarely see the accomplishment of said goal. It just sort of gets lost in the day to day shuffle of mom-hood. Currently there are about 4 different schedules running through my head, none of which have been taken out of my head and put down on something tangible. If it isn't tangible, how can I be held to it, right?

Well, now there is GoalEnforcer. This is a visual goal planning software that can help ME make my plan, get focused and accomplish (for the first time) all of my goals. You can easily set and rearrange the plan by dragging and dropping virtual objects--and can color code, print progress charts and status reports. The calendar will remind you of important due dates. Can you imagine how great this would be for home projects, school assignments all things a busy stay at home mom needs? Ok, so it's far bigger than just little old me! Business managers--working moms and dads--of course, no one is more on top of goals and scheduling than a working mom--but truly---I can't think of one person that couldn't be helped by this!

I plan on looking into this innovative new program, and getting it setup and started just as soon as possible!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Bless The Realtor!!

We are slowly but surely inching closer to our closing date! We got all of our loan documents from the mortgage company-but they just looked wrong. They have us down for a one year loan, with a balloon payment due on the 13th month. What?? That is nuts? Yes, we wanted to re-finance within a year, but still--where is the normal mortgage stuff? The APR was slightly off, the taxes and insurance were wrong...it was just really crazy to me.

My husband sat down with our realtor, and surprisingly he was able to explain everything just perfectly. I'm still not thrilled about the balloon payment, and I really don't get the .4% added to the interest rate--but everything seems to be in order. So with everything still a go--we should be closing in 3 short weeks!!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Prepare To Be Amazed!!

I just watched the most amazing thing ever--and I wanted to share it. I found it over at Link The Planet and it's one of those moments that make my head hurt trying to figure out how they did that!


Friday, August 03, 2007

But He's Only 9!!

I made an appointment for my son Jake with a chiropractor today. I know, he seems really young for it-but in our family we have a problem of having our 'atlas' out. That's the top vertebrae in your neck. When it is out--one leg is shorter than the other. I've noticed that Jake sort of "galumps" along when he walks -- or shuffles his feet, and I'm constantly asking him to pick up his feet. I always considered it more of a laziness thing rather than a sign that something was really misaligned. Then the other day I was putting away his shoes and his sandals are wedged. They are worn out so badly on the outside of his left shoe--yet the tread is fully intact and near new on the inside of his left shoe. I remembered my mother had this problem when she was younger so I called her to find out what caused it. One of her legs was longer than the other.

Well, that made me remember that she's been going to the Chiropractor the last couple of years to get her Atlas put in and it makes both of her legs normal. Sooooooooo, I did the test! You lay on your back--give your body a little 'alignment' shake, and then you pull your feet in toward your body with your knees up. Then someone looks at your feet to see if they are aligned correctly. Well, Jake's feet were off by 1 inch--which is HUGE! I did it to myself and my feet are off by about half of that. So I called today to get him in with the Chiropractor next week to get his x-rays done to see if it really is his atlas.

Now rest assured they don't pop and jerk you to get the atlas in--apparently it's a little clicky gun type of thing that just pokes you ever so slightly to turn that vertebrae-my husband is against anything with the term chiropractic around it--so we aren't going to mention this just yet! Of course, his thoughts of Chiropractors are the popping and jerking--so I really don't blame him. There is no way I would let this Chiropractor pop and jerk my 9 year old!!

I just really have so many hopes for him once we get this taken care of. He doesn't enjoy running or too much walking even--I'm suffering from the same kind of thing with my legs-and I don't want to walk or run either. I'm hoping when we get his legs fixed--he'll be able to be a kid again! Here's to hoping!!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

They Popped!!

I have to tell you...Today after over a week of waiting--my ears finally popped! It has been the weirdest sensation because once they pop, they sound like rushing water at first, then I sound like I'm speaking into a microphone. Very cool karaoke with the radio! Then they plugged back up, and I suffer with the feelings of having just about drowned in the swimming pool--then a little later they start to pop all over again.

Due to all of the funky noise in my head--it feels as though it's about to burst--I'll be sleeping with the heating pad wrapped around my head--I'm hoping this stuff is really on the way out-because it's starting to drive me batty!!

I Can't Believe I Actually Went!!

I'm trying to get back into my "Blog Groove"! I've been sick for the past several weeks, as well as all of the crazy stuff that goes on with life in the summer. Four kids home all day, buying a house, vacationing--you name it--it all happened during the month of July! So I'm going to work really hard to get back into it all!

Finally, after 3 weeks of being sick--and a week of being deaf in my right ear and a day of being deaf in both--I finally went into the urgent care center. Turns out--I have Bronchitis! Both of my ear drums are sucked in (yeah, I could have told you that!!) So I left with a prescription for an antibiotic and a nasal spray.

The doctor gave me a nasal spray with a steroid in it, and then told me that it won't work as quickly as over the counter Afrin, but my nose won't get addicted to it. Now I'm sorry--did I mention I've been deaf for a week? If there is something to get this cleared up fast--I'm going to use it! Afrin here I come!

After using the steroid spray, 2 hours later in the grocery store--I finally got my right ear to pop. It was awesome--except that instead of the congested fuzz I'd been hearing for a week--I heard the sound of rushing water. It didn't last. Soon both ears were funky and it literally sounded like I was speaking through a microphone. And now...I'm deaf again! I will try the Afrin again before I go to bed--and hope to get this ear thing cleared up.