Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts

I like lists. So today's post will be in list format.

1. I'm a little sad that GM will be phasing out the Pontiac brand. I like my Vibe. It gets great gas mileage, it's the perfect size and it's fun to drive. I would have bought another one when the time came to get a new car. Oh well. I guess I'll go back to buying foreign vehicles.

2. I am really tired of all the Swine Flu hype. And I have a feeling it's just the beginning.

3. I think I'd like to be on a reality TV show. Amazing Race maybe?? I'm not into eating bugs or not showering for a month, so Survivor is out. What else is there that would be fun but not completely insane?

4. With our sneak peek of summer this past weekend, I've realized even more just how much I love summer! Bring it on!! (And you are welcome to remind me that I said this in August when I'm sweating to death.)

5. The Kentucky Derby is Saturday. Let's make some Mint Juleps and watch the race!

6. My new favorite cereal is Marshmallow Treasures. It's the generic Target brand of Lucky Charms. It's seriously just as good as the expensive "name brand". Really!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I think it's time we break down and purchase a grill. I'm sitting here on Sunday evening writing this post and it's miserably hot in the kitchen, and most of it has to do with the fact that the oven is on, baking our BBQ chicken. Something that can easily be done on a grill without heating up an already warm house. The weather was amazing all weekend and we got the deck furniture set-up and we're planning on eating dinner outside whenever we can.

This week Eric will continue to have to work TelAuc this coming Thursday-Sunday, so he'll miss our dinners again. I might try to sneak in some Baked Salmon one night while he's working! (Last weeks Black Bean and Spinach Couscous was a huge hit with me and Alex.)

Sunday: Baked BBQ Chicken, potato logs, corn
Monday: Pork chops, Applesauce & Pineapple chunks, Mashed Potatoes, Crescent Rolls
Tuesday: Cheeseburger Pasta, Fresh Tomatoes
Wednesday: Chicken Quesadillas, Taco flavored Rice
Thursday: Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup
Friday: Parmesan Baked Salmon, Mashed Potatoes, Creamed Spinach
Saturday: Fend for myself (I'll be all alone!)

As always, you can find many more Menu Planning Ideas at Organization Junkie. Please make sure to visit for lots of other great ideas!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

March for Babies

Alex and I participated in the local March for Dimes: March for Babies event this morning. We raised enough money to get a nice sweatshirt. Which Alex is wearing here, although he said he'll never wear it again because it's pink and purple... but it was nice of him to wear it for the March! The weather was decent, although a bit humid (hence the curly, frizzy, out of control hair-do).

We were about in the middle of the pack of walkers. At one point we crossed over a bridge.

I'm not sure the total number of walkers, but there were a lot!

After the March, Alex posed with Otto the Orange. We were thinking he might be extremely warm in that outfit, it was warming up pretty good by the end of the March. It was a great experience for us, and we're glad that we did it! And again, we thank all of our family and friends who helped with donations for the March of Dimes.

In other fun and exciting news, Eric set up all the deck furniture, including our new addition: the bar! Can't wait to have friends and family over to enjoy it all. We'll be having dinner out there whenever the weather permits. Including tonight.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Toast with the MOST

It was a great time had by all at the Toast with the MOST tonight. My friend and co-worker, Jeff was honored by the MDA association for his commitment to MDA. It was a terrific event. The food was excellent. I didn't bid on any of the silent auction items, but there were plenty of people who did. Including Jeff's wife, Maria. I think they had to rent a truck to get all their winnings home!

Chris, Maria, Jeff and me... posing at the Toast with the MOST.

There was even a chocolate fountain! Click here to see all the photos from the evening. And congratulations Jeff and all the honorees.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Weekend Plans

It's only Wednesday and the weekend is already shaping up to be a busy one. And the weather is going to be spectacular, so I'm hoping to maybe do some yard work too.

Aside from the Tel-Auc that Eric will be working all weekend, I will also be attending a couple of events on my own. Friday evening a friend and co-worker is being honored at the "Toast with the MOST". It's an event to honor folks who go above and beyond for the MDA Association. I also had the opportunity to attend last year and had a fantastic time. There's food, silent auctions and great company. I'm really looking forward to attending.

On Sunday morning, I will be participating in the March of Dimes "March for Babies" at Onondaga Lake Park. A group of us from work formed a team and we'll be walking 3 miles to support the March of Dimes. I am looking forward to getting out and helping a great cause. And I must thank those of you who have donated money already to help support the March of Dimes. I must say, I have VERY generous and wonderful friends and family!! Thank you SO much for your donations. If I missed sending an email to anyone and you'd like to donate, feel free to go to my page and help out a great cause. Click here for the March for Babies. Let me know if you'd like to walk with us, it's going to be a beautiful day!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bringing the World Together, One Blog at a Time

I've mentioned before that I read lots of blogs. I seem to come across one or two every day that I end up following. Most of the blog authors don't know who I am, nor do I know them. Lately, I have come across several blogs about families, parents, children who are going through difficult times.

Sometimes these blogs are difficult to read, but I feel the need to read them. I feel so sad for what many of the families are going through. I've found myself on the verge of tears reading their stories. And I find myself checking for updates about them several times a day and hoping for positive news. They are stories about people I don't even know. Of sick babies, babies who have died, parents who are ill. Sometimes, there are happy endings and unfortunately, sometimes there are not.

I feel the need to share a couple of the blogs with you. Please take some time to read about them, and keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

One blog is about a little boy named Stellan. Some of you may have heard of him. He's a little boy with a heart problem. A little boy who wasn't even supposed to be born alive. Now, at 5 mos. old, he's fighting for his life. He has quite the following, people from all over the world (seriously, all over the entire world), are following this little guy and praying for his recovery. They even wished him well at Fenway Park the other night. That's how big his story has become.

Another blog I have found is about a young couple named Cari and Andy. They have been through more than any young couple should ever have to go through, but are an inspiration to us all. Please read their story and send positive thoughts their way.

It amazes me how many people from all over the world read these blogs and how touched we all are by their stories. It just shows how powerful the internet has become at bringing the world together. Even if it's just for a brief moment.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

We were out of town most of last week, so we didn't do a menu for the week. But we're back this week with a few old favorites. Also, Eric is working late Thursday-Saturday this week, so he won't be with us for dinner. (Please be sure to support WCNY's TelAuc!)

Sunday: Hot Beef Sundae with Carrots & Mashed Potatoes
Monday: Chicken Quesadillas and Fresh Tomatoes
Tuesday: Hot Dogs, Beans and Corn Bread
Wednesday: Beef Enchiladas and Nachos
Thursday: Black Bean & Spinach Couscous
Friday: *Out for Event
Saturday: Chinese Food

As always, you can check out the Menu Plan Monday website with hundreds of Menu planning ideas at "I'm an Organizing Junkie".

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Brunch and Stuff

Yesterday we met a bunch of friends for Brunch at Stella's Diner. Most of them used to work with me, and have moved on to other things. And several of them still work with me. It was nice to see everybody and spend a few hours together.

Here is a group shot of us, taken by the very patient waitress. I had never been to Stella's Diner, but was impressed with them and would probably go back again.

After Brunch, Eric and I went to the park to take some photos and to walk around, it was a nice day out, so we took advantage of it.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


We lost a family member this week. Little Ginny the Guinea Pig went to heaven. She passed away while we were in Boston, so today we held a memorial service and funeral for her. She was 3 1/2 years old and very loved.

RIP Ginny.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Signs of Spring

The lilac bush in front of the house has buds! I'm very excited about this, lilacs are my favorite flower. I can't wait to smell them as I'm walking into our home.

Jenny and I were out doing some yard work today. She was a big help. Well, not really. But she was being good, so that's almost like helping. I think she really enjoyed hanging outside with me. And I think she'll sleep well tonight, we went on two nice walks this afternoon too.

I'm calling this the "before" picture. It needs work. Lots of work. I think all those bushes are about dead. So I'm thinking I'll rip them up and put something new in their place. I'm not sure what yet, but I'm open to suggestions!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

All Good Things Must Come to an End

Sadly, we had to leave Greg & Diane's house today. We had a fantastic time while we were there. Above is a photo of Diane (with Kelsey) in front of their beautiful home.

Before we hit the road, we visited the outlets in Kittery again. (We were there on Sunday, but they were all closed because it was Easter.) So we spent a few hours shopping, the photo above is from the Lindt chocolate store. We each got a nice treat there. The only hold-up on the way home was this accident on 495. I think we lost 30-45 minutes getting through this. Both sides of the highway were backed up. It looked like one car had flipped over the median, so there were 2 crashed vehicles on both sides. Emergency vehicles were everywhere. I hope nobody was seriously injured.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Boston in the Spring

It was a beautiful day in Boston today, a little windy and cool, but otherwise perfect. This is a view from the top of the Prudential Building.
We had a very full day in Boston, we started out at Faneiul Hall and did some shopping. Then took the train over to Fenway. We took a tour of the ballpark, which was a lot of fun, even though our tour group had a ton of people in it. After the tour, we had a huge lunch at "Game's On" next to Fenway. Then we worked off some of those calories with a nice brisk walk over to the Prudential Building. We took a very fast elevator to the 50th floor to the observation deck for some amazing views of the city. (We had some issues with the elevator trying to get back down, and let's just say we were happy when we finally got to the first floor again!)

We all enjoyed our day very much and were exhausted when we got back to Greg & Diane's. Click here to see more photos from our day in Boston.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Spring Break, Continued

We've had a great vacation so far. Today Diane made an excellent coffee cake for breakfast, and then we were treated to a wonderful Easter Lunch/Dinner. Everything was so good!! I cleaned my plate at least twice. And then later devoured the Whoopie Pie cake she bought for dessert. (My new favorite cake...)

Today we also did a 3 state tour. We drove up to Hampton Beach, NH, it COLD out. Not a real good day for a walk on the beach! We ended up finding an open arcade and letting the kids play while we chatted. Then we decided that since Kelsey hadn't been to the state of Maine before, that we should pop over the border. We thought maybe the outlets would be open, but they weren't. As a matter of fact, not much of anything was open today. We drove up Rt. 1 to York Beach. Alex goes to York Beach with his grandparents in the summers and he enjoyed seeing his favorite summer vacation spot. We went to see Nubble Light while we were there too. Then we drove back down to Kittery and found that the Kittery Trading Post was open, so we did a tiny bit of shopping. (We had to get a Nubble Light refrigerator magnet!)

Click here to view photos from our adventures.

Happy Easter!

Alex found the Easter Bunny! His name is Joseph, he's 7 years old and he lives at Greg & Dianes house. And as sweet as he is, he didn't leave us any treats this morning. I think he's grown tired of the Easter hype. Happy Easter, everyone!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Road Trips, Straight A's and Mean Neighbors

I'm ready to go, but waiting for the kids to get up. We're going to attempt to leave by 10am. I can't wait! I haven't been anywhere since last April when Alex and I went to Cleveland. And before that? The previous summer when we went to the Cape. I'm usually more of a traveler. I guess the high gas prices kept me home, or maybe I'm getting lazy in my old age.

Oh. I've been meaning to post this for the past couple of days, Alex got all A's on his latest report card. With an average of 95.2. Great job Alex!

And finally, we have discovered that we have a mean neighbor. I'm not sure how long he's been mean, I just noticed him this morning. I let Jenny out as usual at about 7am and got my coffee. Then I heard her bark once, then growl. So I checked on her and saw there was someone walking on the road. I opened the door to tell her to be quiet. Then she went about her business of sniffing around the yard. A minute or so later, I heard her bark once more, so I got her to come back in the house. As I was letting her off her chain, I heard a man yelling and dropping several f-bombs. I looked over and saw a man not only swearing at us, but giving us the finger as well. And not just one finger, but TWO fingers! (As seen in the below illustration...)

He was apparently quite angry at us! And I don't understand why. Jenny barked maybe twice, and was only outside for less than 5 minutes. We never leave her out for very long, because we know how annoying she can be. I was very surprised at his response. Maybe he's been angry for awhile and this was a last-straw sort of thing? Or maybe I never noticed him before! Who knows, but he was very rude. He could have come over and told us that she was annoying them, I would have understood. But to just swear at me and give me the finger over a couple of barks, that's just down right rude. Oh well. I guess it's true... fences make the best neighbors.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Movies and Spring Break

This week I watched a couple more movies. I finally got to see "The Express: The Ernie Davis Story" Alex and I both enjoyed this story about the first black Heisman trophy winner, who also happened to attend Syracuse University. We highly recommend it for all.

We also watched "Slumdog Millionaire". I had been curious about this movie since it won all the Oscars. It didn't disappoint. I'm glad I knew the storyline beforehand, it would have been confusing at first. Or maybe it would have just been confusing for me! Either way, great movie. It was nice to see such a good movie without any "big" Hollywood stars in it for once.

Spring Break begins in 2 days and we're heading East! I'm taking the kids to Greg & Diane's house just north of Boston. Aside from spending time with them and relaxing, we're hoping to head into the city and do some sightseeing and some shopping too. Should be lots of fun and we're all looking forward to it! Let's hope Spring Break means that Spring weather will finally arrive too.


Spring? Where are you?! The calendar says you arrived 19 days ago. But honestly, I'm not seeing you. Everybody is very cranky. We would really like to get outside to play in the warm weather. But there isn't any. Just cold and wind. And snow?? Please hurry. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Opening Day Pt. 2

I got this great picture in my email box this morning. I just had to share. Go Sox!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Memory Lane

Or is it Willowdale Court? This was our house in Viginia Beach in 1973. We were the first ones to live there. (My mom said the front end of that car in the above photo was our big Oldsmobile.)

My parents were in the area visiting friends a couple of weeks ago and drove past our old home. This is what it looks like today. I learned how to ride a bike around that circle... oh and no, those trees were not there in 1973.

Menu Plan Monday

I decided that my menus are getting kind of boring and predictable. I had Eric look through a couple of cookbooks for some news ideas and things he'll like. We'll have a couple of old favorites too.

Sunday: BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, baked beans, homemade cole slaw
Monday: Leftover pulled pork (We bought a lot!)
Tuesday: Ham Steak, Au Gratin potatoes, sweet potatoes
Wednesday: Cheese steak pockets, curly fries, sliced tomatoes
Thursday: Chicken Parmesan with Linguine and Bread sticks
Friday: Pizza & Wings
Saturday: Spring break begins!

As always, you can check out the Menu Plan Monday website with hundreds of Menu planning ideas at "I'm an Organizing Junkie".

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Good weather for a duck

The weather today is miserable. Unless you're a duck. Like the 2 that showed up in our backyard today. Enjoying our "river" that runs through it. We've got cold, rain, wind and even some snow flurries. (As you can see in the photo.) Maybe spring will get here next week.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Does anyone remember Booby Trap? My brother and I used to play it when we were kids. I don't know why, but I've been nostalgic lately. Someone mentioned this the other day and I had to go find a picture of it online. Remember when games didn't come with a power cord or memory cards? Those were the good ol' days... "One false move and... !"