Sunday, May 31, 2009

Whew! (Part 1)

So, where have I been lately? Helping an 18 year old through his final days and events of high school.

This is where I really need to mention that I absolutely ADORE the technology that has come about in the past 10 years or so. Without it, I wouldn't be taking so many pictures. Of course, my sons aren't thrilled that they are the subjects in these photos, but oh well, such is life!

This is Alex, as he's leaving for his last day of high school. Yes, he's thrilled, but it was 6:35 am and he just wanted to get out the door without any extra "fluff."

Party you can see, he's absolutely THRILLED that I had my camera in hand. In fact, his words were something along the line of, "Mom, enough already!" And I have to add that I learned my lesson after Joe's graduation party. CATERING IS THE WAY TO GO. You get to the point that money is no longer the object. It's all about convenience and ease.

The cake was extremely good...half chocolate and half white. It had the best icing too, mmmmmmmmm! And the ladies that were here from the catering place took care of cutting and serving the cake. Another HUGE help!

Some of the kids decided to use the pool. This was their first go-around. After they went to attend other parties, they all came back around 7 pm and swam until after midnight. Only there were about 10 more by then. We're just glad that they all had a great time.

So this is how part of my time has been spent lately. And it would only make sense that the day before the party I came down with a sore throat and some kind of infection. I really felt rotten this entire day. Anyway, it took about a week to get over it, but now I'm almost back to normal...whatever that is!

More to come, very soon!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I Miss Blogging

I will be back to blogging again SOON!

Life has sort of taken priority and I still haven't been approved for a 36 hour day yet!

Monday, May 11, 2009

I Need Your Help

Years ago, when my Grandma was trying to downsize her belongings, she told me that she was going to throw out a box of old photos. I begged her not to, so she told me to take them. Every few years I look at them and wonder about them.

There are a few of them that have me SOOOOOOOO curious. Like this one...

Check out all these people in this river or lagoon. Why were so many people gathered there? Was it a really hot day? Was it a holiday, like the 4th of July, or Memorial Day, or Labor Day? Were they there to celebrate another occasion? Obviously the water isn't that deep, but if you look at the top of the photo, there's someone in the tree, possibly getting ready to jump in! Don't jump! Don't you realize that you could break your neck?? Check out the bathing suits and bathing caps.

Now look at this one. These people are obvioulsy having a good time.

Now for the I know absolutely nothing about old cars, but I would love to know the year of these models. That would help me date these photos.

So here is where I need YOUR help.

The photos say "Wallace Beach." I have searched and searched for a Wallace Beach, both online and in my Grandma's things and have found nothing. I was thinking that perhaps it was in either northeast Ohio or western Pennsylvania, but I don't know for sure.

I want to know if Wallace Beach is familiar to anyone out there.

I also would love to know if anyone could give an approximate date as to when these photos might have been taken, based on the fashion or the vehicles.

So, my dear blog readers, I was hoping that you could help me...I was hoping that perhaps you could possibly post a tiny, short, little blurb on your blog about this posting?

The more people that see this, the more likely that I may get answers to my questions.

If you mention this posting on your own blog, I would be SO grateful!

Thank you so very much!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

It's So Nice To Be Appreciated!

This past week has been Teacher Appreciation Week. In our building, it's actually Staff Appreciation Week because we all know that a school absolutely can NOT be run without each and every member of the staff doing their part.

And of course, when you deal with a bunch of people, the best way to show them that they are appreciated is to .... FEED THEM!

We were treated to so much food this past week!

On Monday, we had two trays of homemade cookies in the lounge. Although there was no note attached, I think they were from our principal and secretary. Our classroom is next to the lounge and we heard the door opening and closing all morning long, so the cookies were a definite hit.

On Tuesday our teachers' union provided quite an assortment of doughnuts from a great local donut shop, in addition to a huge fruit tray AND dip, along with orange juice. YUMMY! Our central office also sent over 15, yes, that's FIFTEEN, pizzas for lunch! They were from a local family owned pizza and spaghetti shop, and the pizza was excellent, as usual.

Wednesday, our PTO put on a fabulous lunch for us! Several weeks ago we were given a survey in which we had to check off our three favorite toppings to put on a baked potato. From that, we sort of figured they would be having a baked potato bar for us. Great idea!

HOWEVER, there was much more to it! Even though the main theme was potatoes, the secondary theme was "keeping it green." The luncheon was catered by a nearby restaurant and they reinforced the green theme by using some edible plates. We had deep fried dough type bowls that they put our salad in. We had our choice of ranch dressing or italian. (I chose italian.) Then they had bread bowls for the soup. They had broccoli cheese and tortilla soup. (I chose broccoli cheese.) I've never had a bread bowl before. I always thought that the bowl would become really soggy.

It didn't! It was actually wonderful!

Then they had baked potatoes for us, with a whole bunch of toppings. I chose butter, cheese and bacon bits. They also had pop and water for us, along with cookies and brownies.

We had our lunch in the music and art room, so we had plenty of space. Our lounge only holds about 10 people comfortably, so not everyone eats in there (I'm one of them), but we were able to all be in the music/art room with lots of room to spare. At our seats we found a reusable shopping bag, a "going green" magnet, and a sheet with different ideas about going green.

The PTO also had about 10 door prizes that we could register for. We each got to register for two specific prizes. I didn't win anything, but that's okay, the luncheon was gift enough.

Although Friday's celebration didn't involve Teacher Appreciation Week, we did have a very nice lunch. We've had a student teacher since January and yesterday was her last day. Her cooperating teacher had a lunch in her honor. We again had pizza (yum!), salad, Amish casserole, and hoho cake.

Like I said, school staff members love being fed, and this was a great week for it. We have a wonderful staff in our building and we are so fortunate that others thought of us so much this past week.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

'Til the Cows Come Home

This evening, Ted came home from work and announced that he wanted to go to a restaurant at the edge of Amish country for dinner. This is rare, trust me. Twice in the last month or so, he's come home and said that we're going out for dinner. That's about double the number of times he's done it in the 5 years previous. Anyway, Alex wanted to go, and Joe didn't, so just three of us headed out.

On the way, we had to stop so that some cows could cross the road.

They were obviously ready to be milked, and even Alex exclaimed how big their udders were.

(That was his line. I know that the udders are the part that you squeeze to get the milk out, but he was really referring to the part that the feeds into the udders. Not being one who knows anything about cows, I have no idea what this part of a cow's anatomy is called.)

There was a man in the road trying to get the cows to hurry and cross. Some of them chose to listen and actually ran. I can honestly saw that I've NEVER seen a cow run before. It was quite a sight, that's for sure! There were even a couple dogs trying to herd them in the right direction. I grabbed my camera out of my purse and took a few pictures.

After the cows got home, we went on our way, ate dinner, then started back home. On the way, I saw some horses off in the distance, at the top of a hill. It looked so pretty, seeing their silhouette against the blue sky. I knew I would have about a second and a half to take a picture, (Ted doesn't like to stop on or near the road for me to take pictures) so I was going to have to work quick. I got ONE shot. I've included the original and the cropped version.

So there you have it...some animal photos and not a single one of Pepina, Marina, or Oliver!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I am SUCH a Procrastinator

Why do I think I am such a procrastinator, you may ask? Well, please...have a seat, and let me tell you.

  • The daughter of one of my friends had a birthday in early April. Her card is still sitting here.

  • Another friend sent me a very nice letter in the mail, I might add, and I have yet to respond to her. Oh yeah, that letter arrived before Easter. I've yet to even thank her for it.

  • The same friend who sent the letter also sent me an email dated 4/12, with some pertinent questions. Yep, you guessed it. I haven't answered her yet.

  • Another friend has emailed me several times over the last few months. I have yet to answer her. This is especially bad because they've just been smacked with the trickle effect of the downturn in the economy.

  • My sister-in-law's birthday was March 29. That's right...the card is still sitting here, and I don't even have it signed yet. Here's the kicker...they live within shouting distance and we've seen them several times since her birthday.

  • My brother in law's (sister-in-law's husband and Ted's brother) birthday was April 3. SEE LAST BULLET.

  • Their daughter, our beautiful niece Holly, had a birthday on April 16. Again, SEE ABOVE.

  • Another friend who lives in town said for me to call her sometime, and I said I would. Let's see...that was in February of 2008 I believe.

So basically, not only am I procrastinator, but I'm a lousy friend too.

It's not that I don't WANT to take care of these things, but that I just never get around to it.

I definitely need to get my act together.

Please tell me I'm not the only one who does this....

And on that note, I'm going to leave you with a picture of Joe when he was five years old. One afternoon we went to a small field near my parents' house and flew kites. We both had a great time that day!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

I Didn't Want to Jinx it

Okay, so it's not a HUGE deal, but it was a nice thing, and I didn't want to jinx it by mentioning it here. I've mentioned it before and I really do know that it's not that big of a deal to 99% of the people out there, but for some obscure reason, it was sort of a big deal to me.

Alex went to prom last night.


The group he runs around with refer to themselves as the "Epic Friends," and they are all good kids. By good kids, I mean that they are not out drinking, doing drugs, and having s*x all the time. These kids include sophomores, juniors, and seniors. There are some actual "couples" in this group, but not all of them are. They spend a lot of their spare time together and text each other constantly. But like I said, they're good kids.

One of the girls, Brianna, is "vertically challenged," as they say. Her nickname is...Stubs. I don't care for that, but she thinks it's cute, so that's what they call her. However, when Alex refers to her when talking to me, I make him call her Brianna. She's a sophomore, so she cannot go to prom unless invited by a junior or senior. She has a boyfriend, but he's a junior and goes to the local Catholic high school, so he couldn't go to the public school prom. They are both part of the Epic Friends, so after a little discussion, Tom (the boyfriend) thought it would be great if Brianna had a chance to go to our prom with Alex, and gave his total support. I thought that was very sweet of him, and told him that a couple of times.

One of the other Epic girls, Maria, is extremely organized. She has a little notebook with flowers on the cover, that has all the prom information in it. She is really on top of things. Another girl, Elena, is right there with her in the organization department. A week ago, Maria and Elena had the entire itinerary set for yesterday. It was great. They even had their own personal schedules set for the day, starting with the time they would be getting up. Maria had made a bunch of phone calls and put a limo on hold until she could talk to everyone in the group. Once everyone agreed to it (and the cost), she called the limo place back and reserved it.

(Imagine everyone's surprise when the limo they had ordered didn't show up, but instead a HUMMER limo arrived! They somehow got a FREE upgrade!)

When Alex went to pick up Brianna, Tom was there. Tom also came here for pictures, which was totally fine with all of us.

Okay, this is what you're really waiting for...the pictures! I first have to say, however, that my camera went haywire on me and my pictures are pretty lousy for the most part. Angie (bless her heart!) has offered to "work" with a few of them, so I'll be emailing her some of them soon. I'm also hoping that a few of the other parents will send me some.

This isn't a great picture of Alex, but this photo is mostly to show that we stuck to the schedule! We were to start pictures at 2:30, and you can see by the clock above the mantel that it is 2:30 and a few seconds. Alex was also very careful not to "touch" Brianna, since she has a boyfriend...who happened to be here at the time! However, Tom told Alex it was okay to put his arm around her for a picture...a very understanding boyfriend!

Since I don't have daughters, I thought I would take advantage of this opportunity to showcase the shoes.

And, of course, the backs of the dresses too!

It's only fair to show the guys, in all their glory too. One of the couples showed up part way into the photo shoot. They were actually going to a different local prom, because that's where the guy goes to school, and they weren't here for the "guys only" time.

We left our house and went to a local golf course to take some pictures by their pond. Unfortunately the ground was pretty wet, so we really couldn't out to the pond, but were able to get it in the background.

In the background you can see their Hummer Limo. They were so thrilled with it!

We have something here called "walk-ins," but I don't know if they do that around the rest of the country. Each couple has to walk along the sidewalk in front of the high school, then is announced as they walk into the gym. Since this year's prom was held in a city 30 miles away, they walked into the building, then came out a back door to get into their waiting vehicles.

And last, but not least, a photo of all the couples, on our front porch.

They had a WONDERFUL time last night. Alex even said that he felt "famous" last night, hahaha! Way too cute. He had so much fun, and everyone else did too. They came back here to our house after prom, changed clothes, then went to post-prom at the high school. After that, they made a Wal*Mart run and got a pizza. They came back here, baked it, ate it along with some other snacks. It was a long night for them, but they're young, and they'll be just fine!

Friday, May 1, 2009

It Doesn't Make Sense

On Monday this past week, Alex stopped at the post office to send an application for a local scholarship. It was a heavy envelope, as it required about 7 or 8 pages and a picture. It cost 59 cents to mail this envelope.

The envelope was going from the counter at the post office to a city about 53 miles away.

There it would be sorted by destination.

After the sorting, the envelope would then travel back here to our town.

The application would then be placed in a post office box, approximately 15 feet from the counter where the procedure began.

And we wonder why postage is going up on May 11.

Too bad there isn't a slot in the front of the post office box so Alex could have just slid it in.