Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Across the Pool in 20 Seconds

Florida has a program at the elementary schools that allows the younger kids to take two weeks of swimming lessons during the morning at school. Peyton finished a couple of weeks ago and is swimming like a fish now. Here he is going the length of the pool.

I'm also uploading some photos from our trip to the "pumpkin patch" last night. Just click here.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Living the Life

The City of Hollywood recently renovated their beach by adding a new boardwalk made of really nice pavers. A lot of the stores also updated their facades and a couple of new hotels opened. Larry and I went there almost every weekend when I first moved down. At that time, the beach was barely used and was obviously old. Now, more families are going and the area has really livened up.

Last weekend, Larry took the boys while I was cleaning for his party and while he was there, he took them to breakfast at the Marriott. He said it was perfect because they have tables right on the boardwalk, so he could sit and enjoy his meal and when the boys were done eating, they could play right in front of him either on the sidewalk or even on the sand.

We decided to go back this Sunday for breakfast and some family time. The boys are generally more well behaved when we are aware from the house in an area where they can run around. imagine that.

Larry and I sat and enjoyed our meal while the kids played and kicked a ball around. Hollywood was hosting a Buddy Walk, so there were a ton of people around and the boys dodged in and out of the "people with the blue shirts."

As much as South Florida bugs me sometimes, there are days like these where I can't imagine living anywhere else.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Evan Almighty

Last night, we watched Evan Almighty and if you haven't seen it yet, I recommend it. Being that it was rated PG, it really was kid friendly and the boys liked all the animals. I enjoyed Bruce Almighty, but this segment had even more of a moral story than Bruce did. I like the way that a movie with such big stars and a biblical background can make it mainstream.

I'll tell you, it was just amazing to see the completed "ark" and all of the animals file in two by two. It brought tears to my eyes just the sheer magnitude of the whole situation and thinking about the real life event. It's also nice to see God depicted as a being with human qualities and humor. Morgan Freeman tells a nice story about Noah saying that most people like to look at the flood story as God being mean and horrible, but it was actually a love story too. He explained that Noah's family worked together and the animals came in pairs as a display of solidarity and sticking together. And although I know that God was punishing the people on the earth at that time, that was also a new twist and added dimension to a story I have heard all my life.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

New Hobby

Last night I went with a friend to a Close to My Heart scrapbooking workshop. I've always enjoyed looking at scrapbooks, and I've even bought a few supplies before, but I never felt I had the time or the money to go all out with it.

The consultant that worked with us last night was really cool though. She has several small groups that meet once a month for workshops that range from $10-$20. The group or club rotates houses so everyone gets a chance to play "hostess" two or three times a year and reap the rewards of hostess gifts. The members of the club agree to spend a certain amount once a month, which includes the workshop fee, and then the hostess earns her free or discounted supplies. It seems like a great way to work on a scrapbook without being overwhelmed. Plus, you get to meet once a month with a few friends for some fun, food and wine. What more could you ask for?

I'm going to set up a party next month for my friends down here just to go over the basics and introduce everyone the tools of the trade, then if I have enough people interested, I'd like to start my own club.

I'm really happy with the pages I made last night and can't wait to add to it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

And Your Little Dog Too

Suzy Soro, a comedian, is hosting a contest with funny pics of animals dressed in their holiday finest. I couldn't resist when I went home for lunch taking a couple of quick pics of Zeus. He was amazingly cooperative (much more than Peyton or Shey), I should take pics of him more often.

Dead Christmas Dog

Here is Dead Christmas Dog

Drunk Christmas Dog

Here is Wino Christmas Dog

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Break It Down

Last night was one of those rare times where I actually felt like a patient, involved, good mother. Larry was out with a business associate, so it was just me and the boys. I went walking with a coworker after work, and since I picked the kids up a little late, I stopped by Burger King to treat them and take some dinner stress off me.

We all sat at the table, without the TV on and actually talked about what happened during the day. After a nice dinner, the boys watched a brief 20 minutes of cartoons while I showered, then we sat down to complete Peyton's homework and practice his spelling words. We blew through all the pages he needed to complete for the week AND we made a "book" out of some pages in his math workbook. After homework, the boys got in the bath and although they made a mess, they were actually getting along. When bath time was over and PJs were on, we sat on the couch and read Peyton's library book, then the boys went to Peyton's room to play for a bit before bed. Go mom!

Then Larry arrived home . . .

Monday, October 22, 2007

Larry Turns 30

Larry's birthday was Saturday night and I threw a big party for him at the house. I was planning on a "Frat Party" theme, with games and all, but the only elements of frat party that emerged was my new wood floors got thrown up on and two people passed out. Also, we had several companies represented that we work with and there was a lot of internal drama going on. Other than that, Larry had a great time, which is really all that matters.

I brought a caterer in, which I think was the best idea I've ever had. We had about 40 people there and I was able to relax between refereeing and not worry about cooking. I have to take a moment to describe the excellent spread. For starters, there were stuffed mushrooms, assorted quiche, shrimp cocktail, veggie crudites, and fresh fruit. For the dinner, salad with candied walnuts, blue cheese, cranberries and raspberry vinaigrette, smoky bbq ribs and grilled chicken, this amazing bow tie pasta with a cheesy sauce, green beans, red roasted potatoes and rolls. Then for dessert huge chocolate chunk cookies and to die for brownies. We have enough left overs to feed us for a month.

In keeping with the Frat theme, I did make Margarita jello shooters, which were really good.

Being that most of the guests have kids, the party had pretty much wound down by 12, and we were in bed by 2, which is a good thing, as I am getting old and just can't hang like I used too.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

It Can Change in an Instant

On the way back to work from lunch, I was listening to the country station and they were taking requests. A lady called and brokenly asked if she could request a song. She went on to say that she had just been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She dedicated "Live Like You Were Dying" to her children and promised, with a tearful voice, that she would fight it. Tears welled up in my own eyes as I thought about this poor woman and her family. I pray that God watches out for them.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Bragging on Shey-Shey

Shey has really blossomed over the past few months. His vocabulary and comprehension is amazing. He knows all his colors, shapes and can count past 10. What really gets me though, is his fine motor skills. I swear he colors in the lines almost as good as Peyton. I took a couple of videos of him last night doing his "homework." Just look at that concentration. :)

And here he is singing. The first part is a song he made up, but then he falls back to a couple old standards.

Monday, October 15, 2007

200th Post

It's only fitting that for my 200th post on Blogger, I answer a tag by an old friend who I recently found again, Kristin. (not sure why it's fitting, but it sounded poetic, no?)

1. Who is my man? Larry, or Lawrence, but no one calls him that.
2. How long have we been together? 10 and a half years.
3. How long did we date? We dated 10 months, and were engaged for a little over a year and a half.
4. How old is he? 30 this Saturday
5. Who eats more? Larry
6. Who said "I love you" first? I'm pretty sure it happened during an online chat and was phrased, "You know you love me."
7. Who is taller? He is.
8. Who sings better? I do, but that doesn't mean I sing well.
9. Who is smarter? I would venture to guess my IQ is higher.
10. Who has more of a temper? He does
11. Who does the laundry? We share, mostly.
12. Who takes out the trash? He does.
13. Who has sharper computer skills? Me, by a slight margin.
14. Who sleeps on the right side? He does. We used to sleep reversed, but when I was pregnant with Shey, I had to sleep on my right side, and I hate facing in.
15. Who pays bills? I do.
16. Who mows the lawn? He does mostly, I will every once in a while.
17. Who cooks? I do.
18. Who drives when we are together? He usually does.
19. Who pays when we are out together? It just depends on whose debit card is easiest accessible.
20. Who is more stubborn? We both are.
21. Who is first to admit it when they are wrong? Neither, thankfully, we very rarely are. ha ha
22. Who asked out who? Well, that's a hard one since we met online. I initiated the initial conversation though.
23. Who kissed who first? It was mutual, but he worked for it.
24. Who is more sensitive? I guess me, but that's not saying much.
25. Who has more friends? Larry has never met a stranger.
26. Who has more siblings? He has one brother, I'm an only child.
27. Who wears the pants? It depends on the situation.

I tag Chell, Dixie, and Nicole.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

And My Heart Grew Three Sizes Bigger

Even though I work full time, I really wanted to volunteer as much as I could at Peyton's school this year. One of the activities I signed up for is their Read with Me Program. Each volunteer is given a student who is struggling with their reading, be it basic words, or comprehension, and we go to the school once a week for 20 minutes to read with the child.

I was given a little girl,T, in fifth grade. Last week when I showed up for the first time, the teacher was not very encouraging. She stated that T showed signs of ADHD, lack of socialization and stubbornness when it came to reading. She agreed with me when I mentioned that even just having a conversation with T would be a good starting part in an effort to help her open up more.

T was very friendly to me and didn't seem ashamed at all that she was reading in front of a total stranger. She brought a Curious George book to start, and while she knew most of the words (English isn't her first language), she barely paused for the periods or commas. Also, there was no expression whatsoever in her reading.

As I was reading, I gave her a pencil that I had grabbed out of the resource room, as well as a Create a Pepper dog tag I had bought at Chili's. I was unsure what a fifth grade girl would like as a "prize" for reading that day, but thought the dog tag would be a cool little thing. I also wasn't sure how T handled reading to me or what she thought.

I went back today and T walked in the classroom just before me. She turned as the door was shutting, then did a double take as she saw me and smiled big. I smiled back, pleased that she was happy I came back. We sat down to finish the Curious George book and about halfway through, she reached down the collar of her shirt and lifted out the dog tag. I thought my heart would burst out of my chest.

When we went for the orientation, they said how much having an adult help out meant to the kids, but I didn't really understand till that minute what an impact I could make on this young girl's life. Apparently I'm not as emotionally stunted as I sometimes think.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Little Helper

Peyton has had a bit of a talking problem since he started kindergarten. Actually, let me rephrase that, he has always had a bit of a talking problem, but now it is getting him in trouble. I feel a big part of his problem is that a lot of the things they are going over now is review for him. Peyton is not one to sit still when he doesn't have a task at hand. Couple this with his teacher being brand new out of college, and there was a bit of a conflict at first.

After two weeks, his teacher spoke to me about his talking and hitting. We got the hitting under control, thankfully, but Peyton is still running his mouth. His teacher and I agreed that she would send home daily reports so I could keep tabs on his behavior. Now see, while I know my son, I also think his teacher either lacks control of the classroom, or has an unrealistic expectations for these 5-yr olds. On the daily sheets, there is a sad face for Needs Improvement, a straight face for Good and a smiley face for Excellent. Even when Peyton "did well" or "behaved" for the day, she still gives him a straight face. Not once has she given him a smiley face. I take it with a grain of salt, and Peyton is praised for a straight face. I really feel that's all I can ask from him at this point.

Friday, his teacher did finally have a good idea and now when he starts talking or is finished with his work, she makes him the helper. He's very proud of this new job, and I really think it will help him keep his mouth in check. We have a conference Friday, and I think my first question will be, "Just what does he have to do to get a smiley face?"

Friday, October 05, 2007

Sometimes there is Peace

Last week, I TiVoed Spy Kids 3 for the boys and they have been enthralled with it ever since. This morning as soon as Shey woke up, he asked, "Can we watch the movie with the yellow and purple guy?" "Sure," I replied, even though they had just watched it last night. I turned on the movie, provided some juice and went about getting ready for work.

I heard the boys talking about which guy they were on the big screen and who was doing what at the time. I looked over as I was putting on my make-up and they were cuddled together at one end of the couch, heads together, pointing to the screen. I wanted to grab the camera, but I knew the moment would pass before I could adequately capture it. And five minutes later,

"You're the purple guy," said Peyton, "You just died. Shey died! Shey died!"

I guess all treaties are meant to be broken.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Nature at Work

The following video is just incredible.