Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Advent Project




Here's a fun project you can do with your kids to start off a tradition of counting down the days to Christmas. I'm posting this now so you'll have time to make it before December 1st. :)

You'll need:
  • A large piece of white felt for the base
  • A large piece of green felt cut into a Christmas Tree.
  • Other colors of felt (I used red, white, yellow and blue). These are cut into ornament shapes of your choice. I cut mine into mittens, Christmas balls, angels, Santa hats, candles, candy canes, snowmen, bells, bows, gifts and a star for the top of the tree.
  • Fabric paints to decorate the ornaments with some detail and to make a grid of 24 days below the tree with numbers in them.
  • Hot glue.
  • Two dowels.

Hot glue the tree to your base felt. Hot glue the top of the base felt so that you have an open tube to insert a dowel for hanging. Do the same on the bottom for another dowel for weight. Paint on your grid and numbers and let dry overnight.

Meanwhile, cut out your ornaments so that each fits into a square of your grid and paint. Don't paint TOO much on the ornaments as the paint makes them heavy and they won't want to stay up. Let dry over night.

When all is dry put the dowel through the top and bottom tubes. Place the ornaments in the grid. (Felt sticks to felt so no other adhesive is needed) Start on December 1st and each day place one felt ornament on the tree counting down to Christmas Eve when the last ornament, the star, goes on the top of the tree. By the time Christmas gets here, you'll have a fully decorated tree!

It's a fun way to count down, especially for the children. I made mine in 1994 so it lasts forever and is reusable every year. Here's a picture of mine. It has some smudges on it from years of use and I haven't wanted to chance actually washing it. LOL My kids are teens now and still love this holiday tradition. :)

You've got a whole month to get ready, so GO!

See ya next time! :o)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Get on your own side.


Steve and I have the greatest bed. It's a king sized, soft sided water bed. It's SO comphy and has plenty of room for the two of us.

One night, though, I had gotten up to go to the bathroom and came back to find Steve on my side. I tried everything to scoot him over but he was out like a light. So I curled up on what was left of my side and tried to sleep but couldn't because there was just not enough room. Finally, I peered over him to this vast wasteland of bed space on HIS side and went over to his side to sleep. In the morning he woke up, rolled over and looked at me and said, What am I doing over here? You know I can't sleep on your side of the bed! Bwahahaha!!! Apparently, Honey, yeah, you can!! Hehe!

See ya next time! :o)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Ms. Independence



I mentioned in a previous blog that I'd been doing fund raisers since Kristi was in pre-school. I thought I'd tell you about sending Kristi to preschool for the first time. She was 3...she was going to go for just 3 days a week. It was for her to make some friends her own age and for me to spend some one on one time with my newborn son.

Now, I had been a preschool teacher. I knew many mothers who had clinging children and felt too guilty to leave their babies crying. I would say to them, Really just go, she will be just fine in about 10 minutes when we are involved in an activity.

Well now I was the mother....so I was prepared, just in case, to walk out even if she cried. I had the whole thing worked out...a little uplifting speech...a special kiss.

So we get there and I get on my knees at her eye level and I say, Okay honey, now, you are gonna have so much fun. Mommy is going to go while you stay here and have fun, but I'll be back really soon, so you don't have to worry about a thing. I take her hand and kiss her palm and then wrap her little fingers around it and say, This is a special mommy kiss that you can keep with you and if you miss me, you just hold it against your cheek and know I will be back really soon. I have her kiss my palm and tell her I will hold on to her kiss too. The whole time she is looking at me.....and finally I say, Okay, sweetie?

She looks at me and says....Okay mommy, can I GO NOW????? ROFL!!!! I nodded and she ran off to play with her new friends and never looked back! LOL

Then I went home and called every other hour to see how she was doing. LOL

That little independent girl is 20 now...boy how the time flies.

See ya next time! :o)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Picture of Irony

Michael has all these T-shirts with funny sayings on them. It's one of the things he's known for around school.

He has one that says, i wuz dropd on mi hed az a kid.

Another says, Everybody loves an Italian boy! and has a picture of Mario on it.


Yet another says, Big people are harder to kidnap.

You get the idea. So when he was invited to a costume party this year for Halloween, we were trolling the store for a costume for him that wouldn't make me have to take out a loan at the bank. Instead of a costume we found this shirt. It's SO him and he loved it immediately. It was just perfect and it was only $4.95 so how could I go wrong? LOL

Tonight he went to the party where everyone was in costume and he was in his jeans and this shirt and a ball cap. Now here's the funny part.....he is holding a little plastic trophy that he won at the party. If it were possible to zoom in you would see that it is the prize for.....ya ready???.....Most Original Costume! I just thought this was hysterical! LOL If there were a picture in the dictionary next to the word IRONY, this would be it!!! LOL

Happy and safe Halloween, all! :)

See ya next time! :o)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fund Raising!


Blech!!! Can I just tell you how much I hate when my kids bring home fund raisers? They've been in school for about 9 weeks and already this year I have been expected to sell:
  • Pepsi products
  • Nuts and candy
  • Christmas wreathes
  • Raffle tickets
Let me tell you why each is a PITA.

The Pepsi products are sold by the case. These cases are heavy and take up lots of room in your car. If you sell a lot, you have to make several trips. They are a pain to pick up, load, unload and deliver to the buyers.

Nuts and candy from a catalog are easier to deliver but this is one of those catalogs where everything is way overpriced. I know that this is how the school makes money but asking people to buy a can of nuts for 12.50 that they can get in the store for 3.00 is just embarrassing. The other stuff in the catalog is just as bad, mostly cheap crap that is way overpriced that people don't want or need but feel they have to buy just because your kid is asking....not to mention that next month their kid will be asking YOU to look at the same Cheap Crap Catalog and they will expect you to return the favor.

Christmas wreathes....a nice idea. They look nice on the flyer. Full and green and pretty. Problem? There are several. First, they are fresh wreathes, not silk. So, you have to get these delivered quickly before needles start to fall off and chances are even if you do, you'll end up with a car full of needles anyway. And next....they are $25.00! For $25.00 I would want something that could be saved and brought out each year, not something that is going to die and I have to throw away. No one is going to buy these.

Raffle tickets are the easiest of all to deliver....there's no ordering, no matching which item to which customer, no delivering. Just fill it out, rip it off and collect your money. What could be bad about this? Well, I'll tell ya. The raffle tickets we've been asked to sell this year are for a prize of a weekend getaway at our local bed and breakfast and includes an overnight stay, dinner, breakfast, 30 minute spa and chocolate dipped strawberries with beverages for two. Lovely, don't you think? The problem here is that the tickets are 10 bucks apiece. Now it's bad enough that I have to ask people to buy some piece of crap from the Cheap Crap Catalog, but at LEAST they DO get the piece of crap they ordered. NOW, I'm asking for 10 dollars for a CHANCE that they MIGHT win and give them a ticket stub for their hard earned 10 dollar bill. Let us remember that there are at least 100 kids who were all given 10 tickets to sell....that we KNOW of. God only knows how many other clubs, sports, schools are selling them too, so chances that they'll win are pretty minimal.

The worst part is they present these fund raisers to the kids with these huge fund raiser kick off events! They show them these wonderful prizes they can have and the more they sell the more they get. This last Cheap Crap Catalog fund raiser had the big prizes as Guitar Hero, a Wii game system, a $200 gift gift card or an Ipod. And you only had to sell 100 items to claim one of these prizes!!! First of all I don't know 100 people I could ask to buy from the Cheap Crap Catalog. I don't know 25 people even if I could get them to buy four things each. And yet they get these kids pumped to go out and sell, sell, sell! PULEASE! They know it's the parents who have to sell this junk.

I've gotten to the point where I don't even bother anymore. I know, it's sad, isn't it? But after 17 years of this, non-stop from the time Kristi was in pre-school, I've really had enough. Now, if I can afford it that week, I buy something just so my child can turn something in and that's that. Usually my mom will buy something too. I'm not hitting up my poor church friends or my work friends or my husband's work friends or my neighbors anymore. Sorry, schools, but I just can't do it anymore. But that's what you have the new crop of kids coming in for, right? LOL

See ya next time! :o)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

What do you do?


Everyone gets asked this question. Do you work? What do you do? Usually the answer is uncomplicated. I'm a cashier. I'm a teacher. I'm a rocket scientist. Everyone knows what those jobs are. I wish you could see the looks on people's faces when I say, I'm a Community Coordinator and Moderator for a parenting website. Total blank stares and then usually something like: Um...okay. They don't have a clue.

So, I try to explain where I work. How we have forums (more blank stares) or message boards where people can post to one another. How we have different forums for different stages of parenting from trying to conceive to expecting to playgroups.. all the way up through the teen years. (confused looks and Oh, okays) I try to relate how a person can get support from other parents all over the world and how they get to be great friends without ever even meeting. (looks of unbelief).

They are interested, though, and then ask, Well, what exactly do you DO? So, then I try to explain my job. How we have over 100 volunteer hosts and I coordinate them to the forums they want and answer questions and help them help the members. And how I moderate any solicitors who want to post for free on the site or people who become abusive.

I seriously think that THEY think I'm a certified wacko. Finally, they just stop asking questions because I really think they think I'm making the whole thing up. I often write down the web address and tell them to come and check it out. Then I tell them I go by Chaffy so they can look for me there. That pretty much clinches the deal....yep, she's a wacko. Oh well, what are ya gonna do? LOL

See ya next time! :o)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Oscar's got nothing on me today.


So when I started this blog I told myself that this wouldn't be one of those complaining, whining, boo-hoo blogs unless I could make it funny. Ya know what? I don't feel funny today. I'm just crabby. Crabby and grumpy and frustrated and generally yucky. Not for any reason either. Today everything is a chore...stuff I do all the time is just ticking me off. The phone ringing, the dog wanting to go out, making dinner....everything.

Today if I were a muppet, I'd be Oscar the Grouch. If I were one of Snow White's dwarfs, I'd be Grumpy. If I were a Christmas character I'd be the Grinch. If I were a cartoon character I'd be Yosemite Sam....razzenfrazzen dadburnit!!!!

Ya just ever have one of those days where nothing is wrong but EVERYTHING stinks? Maybe I just need some sleep. Good night all.

See ya next time. >:o|

Sunday, October 14, 2007

It's a THREE-PEAT!


The competition was HUGE this week! For sure the biggest one we've attended. Fourteen bands in all with four different size categories from A to AAAA. Our Comets took each first place trophy except one and the Best in Class Trophy in their AAA category and then took the second place Grand Champion Trophy over the entire competition! We've never been to a competition where they actually had a second place Grand Champion Trophy...perhaps because there were so many bands.

There were two bigger (AAAA) bands who probably assumed they were battling it out for first and second Grand Champion Trophies since usually the biggest bands have the loudest and best sound...makes sense, right? Not true THIS TIME!! The AAAA band that beat us for first place Grand Champion won by only 1.3 points...soooo very close. But no matter, we parents and the band director were all so happy and we took that second place Grand Champion Trophy home with smiles on our faces, cheers for our kids and pride in our hearts!!!

ETA: The band director called Michael into the office to show him something on the score sheet that was written up by the judges, specifically about him. It said, "Nice first trumpet work. Prepare him for college!!!" WOW! Then the band director told Michael that this is the first time it's been in writing but that at each of the other competitions at least one of the judges had commented on him. DOUBLE WOW! (or would that be triple wow???) I'm really in awe that he's being singled out of 110 other kids.... I mean you always think your kid is great but when others think so too, it's just ...Wow. :)

See ya next time! :o)

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Mighty Hunter


Hi all,

My name is Taco. I am a mighty hunter. Don't let this dorky sweater fool you. Or the fact that my human mom calls me all kinds of silly variations of my given name. Tacobell, Tick Tock around the clock, Ticker Tocker gonna play soccer, Tick Tock Chicken Pox....yeah I know, but what are ya gonna do?

I've been hunting all my life. I chase after squirrels, birds, rabbits, frogs, bugs, you name it. I even chased a deer out of my yard once. He had it coming.....it IS my yard! Now, TECHNICALLY I've never actually CAUGHT anything but no matter, I'm determined. The other day I almost had a bird....ChaffyMom doesn't think so but I really was so close. ChaffyMom said the bird was laughing at me as it flew away, but I think it was really shrieking in horror at almost being snatched up by my mighty snaggle tooth. ChaffyMom thinks my snaggle tooth is so cute, but really it's a weapon of mass destruction. I've killed and gutted many a stuff animal with this thing so I know what it can do.

I finally almost had something in the yard. I barked a fair warning but the foolish creature didn't move. He had his chance. I then moved to my barking and near-pouncing maneuver. Still nothing. Foolish, foolish creature. I was just about to swoop in for an attack when ChaffyMom came out and ruined my whole plan. Damn it!! That turtle wouldn't have stood a chance had it not been for her!! She picked it up and moved outside the yard. GRRRRRR!!! Next time, turtle...you just wait!!!

Good bye for now, everyone. Typing this out has me behind my daily schedule. I have some snuggling up on ChaffyMom's robe to catch up on.

See ya next time! :o)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

SOL - it's not what you think. :o)


Here in Virginia, our kids take SOL's, otherwise known as Standard of Learning tests. You remember those, right? When I was growing up in Jersey they were called Iowa Tests ...I don't know why. LOL Those tests where you have to use a number 2 pencil and fill in the bubbles completely, remember?

My 13 year old, Anthony, came home with his scores and a huge grin today. He was so proud of his scores in math and reading, both in the advanced range but most of all he was thrilled with his history score...a perfect 600!!! He loves history, like his dad does and couldn't wait to get home and tell Steve about it. His friends who saw his scores called him a genius at school.

WTG, my smarty pants!! I'm so proud of you!!

See ya next time! :o)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Alert the media!!!


For quite some time now I've been trying to get Michael to get a haircut. He simply refused. He likes it on the longish side, so I just gave up nagging him. It IS his hair...and he IS 17 so really how much say do I have here? LOL Yesterday, he texted me from the bus, I'm ready for a haircut.

Well, Hallelujah!!!! He needed it SO bad and I guess it finally got to the annoying stage for him. So here ya go....the before and after pics that I made him take. Hehe!!



See ya next time! :o)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Twirl it, Mikey!!


A big thanks to one of Michael's band mates who got this great shot. Michael twirls his trumpet coming off the field and it looks really cool. It gets attention. I've had a few total strangers at different competitions and games point him out to me and then are shocked when I tell them with a big grin, Yeah, that's my son. :D

See ya next time. :o)

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Trophy Number TWO!!!



Here it is, everyone!! Grand Champion trophy number two!!! That's right, yesterday we had our second competition of the year and brought home our second Grand Champion trophy!! Michael took this picture yesterday in the band room with his cell phone while these guys held it for him and these guys are over 6 feet tall.

We took all first place trophies except for one and then the Grand Champion, as well. It's soooo exciting. They added something to the show this week. Two band members ran out to the front of the band and ran towards each other, diving into a round-off, no handed back flip just as the music swelled and the beat got loud and then ran back to their positions, put their hats back on, picked up their instruments and got back into the music just in time to totally blast the fans out of their seats. One of those guys was my Mikey!! SO freakin' exciting!!!!!

I've gotta tell ya, this looks SOO great for our new band director...and sooo bad for the band director who left last year. He'd had our band for 5 years and couldn't seem to get the job done. In walks this new guy and BAM two Grand Champions in a row!

Next week, we're going for a three-peat!!!! WTG, Comets!! We're so proud!

See ya next time! :o)

Friday, October 5, 2007

Smokin'!!!!



That's right, smokin'! My Tivo, that is. The fall TV season has started and my poor Tivo is working overtime. All my regular shows from last season PLUS all the new shows I wanna try for this season. It seems like once prime time starts I'm recording two things at all times. And if there could be more recording at one time, I'm sure I'd be doing that. LOL

How did I ever live without this gadget? My hubby wanted one as soon as they came out, to which I replied with a rolling of the eyes and a dismissive grunt that we didn't need it. Then one year we went to my BIL's for a visit and saw it in action......I was hooked immediately! We ordered it the day we got home. LOL You heard it here first....my hubby was right and I was ever so completely and totally WRONG!

I have a suggestion for the Tivo people, though. What we need next is T-Mail. Ever record something that you LOVED and wish someone else had seen it? Someone too far to come and watch it at your house? That's where T-Mail comes in. You could forward your recorded program to your friend. Wouldn't that be awesome?? So what do ya say, Dish network and Directv?? It would be the next big thing, I promise! :)

See ya next time. :o)

Monday, October 1, 2007

This Lady Says It ALL!!!!

video

And she says it fast, so listen carefully and get a good laugh!!! This was just too awesome not to share! :)

See ya next time! :o)