Saturday, May 30, 2009

And now, the end is near.............

I'll tell you, never before at any point of my life have I felt as old as I do now.  Here's why..........

Mary is now a college student and will be at UCF starting June 27th.

Hannah and Kali are both done with school so I now have one in 3rd grade and one in 1st grade! 

And now you know why I feel so old.  Hopefully I don't look as old as I feel.

Hannah's yearly evaluation went wonderfully.  She is, of course, super smart and really funny.  Her book list was long this year; she reads on a 5th - 6th grade level.  Not too bad for someone who's only 8.  She said that her favorite subject this year was history.  I thought it would have been math. 

Kali will start her yearly evaluations next year.  I don't have to report her as a homeschool student until the age of 6, so I will send in her letter of intent next month.  I'll tell you, I'm really thankful that I homeschool her.  She's extremely intelligent.  She also has the attention span of a flea.  She knows more than she'll admit to, because she's also shy and hates any form of attention.  We've delt well with her issues (whatever they may be) and after lots of trial and error, have come to realize that she's allergic to food dyes.  Just eliminating food dyes have made a huge improvement for her.  Anyway, what I'm eventually getting to here, is while she's super smart, overly intelligent, etc., etc., that wouldn't matter since she has zero attention span, and has anxiety issues.  Phew.  That was a mouthful. 

We're taking the month of June off, and then we're back to the books in July.  I figured since it's way too hot to do much during the summer anyways, we might as well learn!  And then when it's cool (like November-ish) we can start taking a bunch of time off then. 

Mary has orientation at UCF starting tomorrow night until Tuesday.  I cannot, cannot, can not believe my BABY is moving to Orlando to go to UCF.  Sigh.  How I will miss her.  Even though I don't see her often now, just knowing that there won't be a whole lot of lunches on the couch with her anymore makes me sad.  I will never win parent of the year award, and I have done many things (as a parent) that I regret, and in spite of all of that, she has managed to become a great teenager.  I love her immensly and am oh-so very proud of her.  Ahhhhh....double sigh. 

I'm rambling aimlessly here.  My thoughts seem to be scattered like the wind lately.  Maybe it comes with age?  Maybe I need more coffee?  Booze?  Bring it on! 

The girls are looking forward to Mary's orientation.  Yep.  Since it's out in Orlando and we get great Florida Resident deals at Disney, we're staying at Pop Century.  They just want to swim.  Can't blame them since it's going to be in the 90's all weekend.  I've got muffins baked, bread baked, and another loaf rising on the counter.  We try to bring nearly all of our food, though I did promise them dinner out on Monday night.  We'll probably just eat at the food court at the hotel. 

Time to end this update for now.  I need to make yet another batch of bread; probably some subway-type stuff for our sandwiches tomorrow, pack our clothes, and eat lunch!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Weekly Menu

Here's the menu for the week. Of course, I'll probably deviate from it, as always. Some days I just don't want what's up there, but so far it's lookin' pretty good.

I thought I'd be nice (for a change) and make something extra yummy for breakfast the other day.

It was really, really yummy.

As was my "uh oh, I don't want what's on the menu tonight, so what am I going to make" dinner.

Hannah and Kali were inhaling this stuff. The corn was cut off of two freshly steamed ears of corn - yummy.

Today, Alex is out with the little ones for a few hours, which means I get the house to myself! Oh yeah! I might sneak in a nice, quiet nap on the couch.

My run this morning was uuuuuuuugly. Only 2 miles and they seemed like the 2 miles that would never end. Normally one week a month, my legs don't work. This is that week. Of course, it helps to know that this happens each and every dang month, so I'm not entirely upset about it. I did figure that if those 2 miles were going to be ugly, I might as well get them over with a bit faster, so I picked up my speed while I was running. Hopefully next week will be a bit nicer to me.

Hope everyone enjoys their day! I'm off to enjoy the quiet. Well, as quiet as it can be in here with the radio cranked up.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Spice Rack and hey - what happened to that darn menu?!

I have this really cool spice rack that my dad made me.  I decided it needed to be reorganized after my mom had a field day in Penzy's (thank you mom!) and I found a killer deal at Publix.

Wanna see my rack?!  ;)

Don't ask me why I still have that food coloring up there.  I really should just toss the stuff out.  Kali can't have food dyes so I never use them.  I did see that King Arthur Flour has a line of all natural food dyes; I may have to try those out one day.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my spices from Penzy's.  Their stuff rocks. 

That 4/S smokey season salt is DA BOMB.  It's really yummy on popcorn, too.

See all those grillmate spices?  Got 'em all for free at Publix this week.  They're on buy one/get one free, I had coupons for them all, which made them -.01 for me.  I got paid a penny each to take them out of the store. 

Of course, then there's the 'bulk spice' section of my pantry......

There's chili powder, cinnamon, sesame seeds, cumin, rosemary, oregano, garlic powder, and some other stuff on that shelf.

Then there's the fennel seed and paprika.  I make my own italian sausage, so I need lots of fennel seed.  At least I know what's going into my sausage and it isn't a bunch of chemicals or other weird crap.

And then there's the menu:

I keep meaning to change the picture on the right side of the blog, but I never quite get around to it.  I'm going to do it this way now and get rid of the little picture.  So stop looking for it there!  ;)

Yes, Alex's birthday is on Monday.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY HONEY!!!!  He'll be 40-something.  I'll never tell.  Well, unless you ask, and then I might.  Hopefully he'll have a very enjoyable birthday.  I shall spoil him with food and whatever else he wants. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I don't often posts about my runs anymore (gee, that might not sound right - let me try that again...).  I might not post about my running very much lately, (yes, that's better) but I promise I'm still at it. 

This morning was my longest run ever so far - 5.36 miles.  Every once in a while I did a 1 minute walk just so I could find my legs again!  Good decision, since by the time I got back, I could have kept going a little bit more.  5.36 miles!  Incredible.  Who would have thought I would ever have said that.  I feel better at 39 than I did when I was 29.  And hopefully in a few months, my butt will look better than it has in 10 years, too.

My goal is to do the Princess 1/2 Marathon at Disney in March.  I'm secretly drooling over the pictures of the one from this past March.  I'd love to do it.  Right now, the only thing stopping me from signing up is cash!  It's $120 just to register for it, not including the hotel, food, and obligatory 1/2 marathon shirts and stuff that you really "have" to buy at the expo.  Since it is the 1/2 marathon weekend, I'd like to make it just that - an entire weekend.  I better start saving up now.

Today is Hannah's last math test!  We also finished up our history yesterday.  Where has the school year gone?!  My children have amazed me, once again, with the amount of things they have learned over the past year.  Kali is working hard on her reading.  Once she finds an attention span (anyone have one to share?!) it will help her.  She can read more than she thinks she can, and I'm certain by next year, she'll have it figured out.  Until then she will remain my little jumping bean who can't sit still for more than 10 minutes.  Darn good thing she's so cute!  Hannah, on the other hand, is at a 5th/6th grade level for reading.  She can read pretty much anything you put in front of her. 

Speaking of school, it's just about 9:00, so I better pour another cup of coffee and round up the girls!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day everyone!!!!  I hope you are all having a fantastic day.  I've been totally spoiled so far today and am enjoying the heck out of it.

I woke up super early and did a short 2 mile run, came home, watered my plants, and hopped in the shower.  Alex made me some coffee and I enjoyed that while reading the paper. 

All the girls got up and I got breakfast in bed!  A pepper, onion, and cheese omelet, turkey bacon, english muffins, and hash browns.  The little ones made me the cutest cards, and Mary got me a "best mom" Mickey keychain.  Oh yeah, and Alex got me a card, too.  :)

I lounged on the couch for a while, did some computer stuff, and then channel surfed some more.  Lunch was heavenly!!!  Fresh warm bread out of the oven, sliced, topped with goat cheese, sliced tomatoes, and basil, and lightly grilled.  Mmmmmmmm.  That is my new favorite.  I also had some yummy watermelon.

Dinner, which I just finished, was fantastic!  Grilled shrimp with a spicy marinade that Alex made, brown rice, and veggies.  Can Mother's Day be every day?!  There's a pot of rice pudding simmering now, and I also hear there's rootbeer floats.  Kali loved the one she had on her birthday and has been begging for more. 

We ran out and did a few errands this afternoon.  Of course, I robbed CVS again.  I'm too lazy to take pictures, so I'll tell you what we got.

I did two purchases at CVS. 

4 Shick Quatro razors (8.99 ea)
1 Bayer quick dissolve asprin (2.00)

Total - 16.97 - after coupons, etc.
Saved - 15.99
ECB's earned at the end - 14.00

2 bottles of Osteo Bi-Flex (gotta keep those knees happy while I'm running!!!) (41.99 ea - they're on BOGO this week)

Total - 5.00 - after coupons, ECB's, etc.
Saved - 78.98! 

Then we stopped at Target.  Their Charmin is on sale for $10 for a 24 pack, and if you buy 2, you get a $5 gift card.  We picked up that and some other stuff. 

Now I'm having a cup of coffee and soon I'll be enjoying desert!  Tomorrow, I run it off.

Hope everyone has had as enjoyable a day as I have!

Thursday, May 7, 2009


My baby.  My 11 pound, 4 ounce, 23.5 inch long baby turned 6 on Wednesday.  SIX!  I'm still trying to wrap my head around that one. 

Disney has their "free on your birthday" thing going on this year and Kali wanted to go to Epcot.  She and I spent the day there, and the others headed off to Sea World with their passes.  Free on your birthday isn't exactly free if you're paying for 4 others to go. 

I took over 300 pictures, but I promise not to put them all up here.  I'll try to find our favorites and see if I can't tell you about our day, too. 

Spaceship Earth.  This turned out to be Kali's favorite thing.  There's a really, really slow ride through it that takes you back to the beginning of time up to the present.  Since we're doing Story of the World for history this year, she thought this was really cool.    Plus, at the end you get to pick your future out (where you want to live, what you want to grow, etc.) and they put your face in it. 

It's also time for the Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot (cough*cough Grandma!).  There were flowers everywhere!  All the characters were constructed from flowers.

It's about this time in the morning that we realize summer has arrived in full force.  The high that day was 92.  Nothing like baking in the heat on your birthday.  See that button on her shirt?  She was not happy about it.  Disney gives you a birthday button and then all day long, people are saying happy birthday to you and stopping you.  Kali hates attention.  HATES it.  The button quickly moved to the bottom of her shirt, and then later on, ended up on my bag. 

Just because it was pretty.

We went over to ride the Nemo ride.  It was so darn cute.  After that we went to see Turtle Talk with Crush.  OMG, if you ever get the chance to do that, do it!  It was hysterical.  Alex would have loved that one. 

Mommy, I'm melting!!!!!

Talking to Grandma on the phone and staring at all the candy in the store. 

The flower topiaries were gorgeous.  Or are they called sculptures?  Either way, they rocked.

We made our way through Mexico, and then stopped in China for some egg rolls. 

At this point we were little puddles, so I *gasp* got a coke for us. 

China was cool.  Buddha was cool, too. 

The dragon....yep, cool.

The birthday girl?  Not so cool.  She was melting quickly.

Nothing that a rootbeer float can't fix, right?!  I can't begin to tell you how badly we ate that day.  No one will ever know. 

Kali wanted to take all the little trees home with her.

Then we went to Germany.  Kali said she couldn't eat a thing from here since she was still too stuffed.

Check out Lady. 

And Tramp.

Then we headed off to Japan.  This was Kali's favorite country that day.

There is a woman there that makes candy from sugar.  Intricate designs; it was freaky.  She is only one of 4 people in the world that does this and she is the only woman. 

I could not get a good picture of what she was doing, but it was incredible.  Kali would have stayed there all day watching if the woman would have been there that whole time. 

Melting in Morocco.

Hanging out in France.  We HAD to get some pastries while we were there.  Kali decided she liked mine more than she liked hers so we switched. 

Why don't my herbs look this darn good?!

This is what she was looking at on the bridge.  She told me to take a picture because it was so pretty.

Awwww....this is my favorite one.  I love Mickey.  By the time I took this picture, we had been on tons of rides (I think Sorin was on her top 2 list, but Spaceship Earth won the top spot), ate tons of food, and Kali was ready to go do something else.  I was ready to stay there all day, but the birthday girl had other ideas. 

She wanted to get on the monorail and go to any resort for dinner.  Hmmm.....okay!

So we got on the monorail and headed off to The Contemporary Resort.

Where Miss I'm Six decided she wanted chicken nuggets.  Chicken nuggets?  On your birthday?  Okay, dear!
I had some yummy flatbread "thing" with beef, tomatoes, goat cheese, onions, and arugula.  It was goooooooood.

We got back to the hotel around 7:30, hung out with everyone, and passed out around 10:00.  Alex had been at Sea World with Mary and Hannah for a while that day.  There's a new rollercoaster there that hasn't officially opened yet, but they had it open for a few hours.  Of course, Hannah was soooo ready to go on it and bribed Mary.  It's called Manta.  And if you don't know about it, you literally "fly" on this one.  The strap you in, lay you down, and you fly.  Go check it out on their website.  Mary's still recovering from it; Hannah wants go to on again NOW. 

I woke up at 5:00 the next morning determined to get my run in.  I ran in the dark all along Downtown Disney's sidewalks while the workers were busy loading stuff in for the day.  It was really neat to watch them working and to see how quiet it was there.  Did I mention that it was already freakin' hot at 5:30?  And my legs were already tired from the day before?  I only eeked out about 2.5 miles that morning, but it was so nice even though I was so tired.  Today I slept in, tomorrow I'll be back out there trying to crank out another 4 miles.  I can do it.

This is what I saw when I got back to the room.  Everyone else was still snoring.

The pool was quiet.

We went down to the pool around 8:30.  The water was still chilly.  The kids area at the pool was great!

Did you expect anything else?

Hanging out at the other pool; it was smaller and it was warmer. 

We swam for a while, then headed back to the room so we could clean up and check out.  Mary told Kali that she'd take her to Downtown Disney so Kali could pick out her birthday gift. 

We hopped in the van and headed over.  Someone thought she needed a donut.....

I think she wore the donut.

It was probably 92 again when we were there.  Alex took a few pictures of me and the girls before we melted.

and if that one is a bit blurry, here's another one.....

Now were are home, and tired!! 

Hope you enjoyed our pictures!