Saturday, March 29, 2008

Atta Girl!

Kacey just got a scholarship for her Mesa Community College Study Abroad Program! She will be studying in Guanajuato, Mexico this summer. She loves the language and is going to get to put it to use as she lives with her host family and experiences her first independent expedition. I know that she is going to love it and this will be the first of many fun excursions.

Congratulations girl! We are so proud of you!

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Some of you have called me asking about the Google Ads on my site that pop up on the right hand side of my page. THIS IS MY DISCLAIMER! I have signed up for the thing, just to see if it generates some cash for me as it says it will. It randomly pulls ads that pop up at different times and I am not even allowed to click on the ad itself ... it's against the rules! Google said that it was going to generate ads that were in conjunction with my posts. HOWEVER, when I got on it today, imagine my surprise when I saw an ad for marital affairs!


A message from a concerned Karen.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Famous In-Laws -

Have you all sat down to browse through your current issue of Houseboat yet?

Well, if you had you'd see my parent-in-laws, whom we lovingly refer to as Grandpa Vince and Grandma Carol!

Their houseboat is one of my kids' favorite places to be ... in the whole world. Apparently they had some fancy pantsy highfalutin engine work done, by somebody that really knows his fancy pantsy highfalutin engines (or motors or big shiny red things) ... which got the attention of the Houseboat magazine. How exciting to be in print! For those of you who didn't already know, my parent-in-laws live across the street from us and they have for about 13 years now. I have often referred to us as Everybody Loves Raymond and really there are quite a few similarities.

Carol's house = always spotless *** Mine = not
Carol's cooking = amazing *** Mine = not

Surprisingly enough though, it is very pleasant. We have our boundaries and fortunately it has worked out great. Gary is very close to his Dad and loves to visit with him every day (except for the weekends when they are up at the ole' houseboat). We are lucky to have family so close by and even luckier that they have a pool ... and a houseboat!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring Break on a Budget -

Last week was Kacey's Spring Break. This week is everyone else's. So what do you do when you don't go to California or Mexico like everyone else? Well first of all, when Keaton asks if he can go to Mexico with his friends and their family for the price of one twenty dollar bill ... you hand him the $20 and hug him adios. Then, here's what we did ...

Monday - Wear green and get in free at Skateland!
Tuesday - I had two movie passes left over from Christmas (compliments of Jake for just such an occasion). Horton Hears A Who ... here we come!
Wednesday - Drive out to Usery Pass and take a little hike with the boys, where I got some shots of my boys and my desert.

Thursday - I'm tired, but Andrea is taking Garrison to the Easter Pageant!
Friday - I want to take a trip all the way to Phoenix just to ride the glass elevator at the Hyatt Regency up to the 20th floor. If you haven't tried it, it's a must! If you look at this picture, it shows you the hotel with the circular room on top of it. Well, this circular room is a restaurant with surrounding glass windows and the room actually rotates around as you are dining! I've eaten there a few times and it's amazing, but honestly the glass elevator ride that resembles a trip from Willy Wonka is my favorite. I found it in High School (probably with Ann) and now I've passed the thrill on to my kids.
Saturday - Stare at the ceiling and begin counting down the hours until school starts again. I am not a young lass anymore, but I'm trying!

P.S. These adventures took place AFTER an eight-hour work day. I'm that good.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I heard this song yesterday (in the movie Horton Hears a Who) and this memory came flooding into my mind.

I was in the fourth grade, 1975, and this was the hottest song of them all. I was in the library at Lindbergh Elementary School and I was with a friend in a soundproof room made of four glass walls. The girl I was with (can't remember her name), was practicing a dance routine that she was working on that went to this totally rad song. She put on the ole' 45 and began practicing as I watched with wonderment and awe.

After a few practice runs, she left the room for a brief time. There I was, alone in my soundproof music room with the record player and record in front of me. I had watched my friend and rehearsed her moves in my mind ... I could do this!

And so I did. I placed the needle on the record and began to dance my heart out. I wish I could adequately describe the movements I was making, suffice it to say that there were martial arts involved. Soon, very soon, I noticed many people gathering around the walls (which I must have forgotten were transparent). Did this stop me? No. I rocked that song like nobody ever had before and I did it in front of a live audience (who did not even have the luxury of audio to accompany my sweet moves). The song ended, my friend came back into the room and nobody said a word. No compliment, no pat on the back, not even any suggestions on how to improve my routine.

As time passed and I am currently well aware that I have absolutely no rhythm or sense of any good dance skill, I am grateful that those fellow students never scoffed at me ... and this song still makes me giggle.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I like what this says about me!

Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence

You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.

An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly.

You are also good at remembering information and convincing someone of your point of view.

A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.

You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Big Week!

OK, so I've got to snap out of this hole I've crawled into. Not JUST because my house and life as I once knew it have been thrown all out of whack, but I've got a big day ahead of me!

Wednesday is my Anniversary!

In 1994, Gary swooped down and said that he wanted to be a part of this pretty picture. It hasn't always been as pretty as this picture, but let me tell you where Gary is right now. He is cooking and hosting Spring Break for Kacey and 10 of her friends up at the Lake (special thanks to Grandma Carol). Gary's willingness to become an instant father has never wavered. Whether he is being the chef at Science Camp, carving pumpkins, driving them around the lake or giving them some much-needed life lessons ... he's been there. What more could I ask for than for him to be bonding with one of our kids for our anniversary? Ok maybe I'd like a nice night out when he gets back. BUT ... I'm so pleased with where he is now.

P.S. I LOVE my clavicles in this picture. I miss my clavicles. Sigh.

Friday, March 7, 2008

I'm ... so ... weak ...

I feel soooooooo much better, but not 100%. I just took a shower and now I must lay down. I'm exhausted. I feel old. Very, very, old.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

My weekend from hell -

In case you were wondering where I've been, well it wasn't pretty. I'll spare you some of the gory details, but here is a quick summary. Friday evening, hell entered my body and came in the form of violently evil symptoms. Due to symptoms that were not your average flu bug, I knew that we needed to get to the hospital. BUT ... since I just began my job AND our insurance is now under my name ... AND this would not be effective until after midnight that evening, we waited. Remember this post? I know, it's Carma.

Anyway, the rest is a bit blurry, but here it is. I was taken right back to a bed where they couldn't start my IV because I was already dehydrated. Finally, it was in place. Went through several blue barf baggies, was shaking like a leaf but they didn't want to cover me up because it would encourage the fever, had to drink C.T. contrast AND not throw it up until after the CT scan was complete (which finally involved some IV nausea medicine), had 5 gallons of blood drawn (slight exaggeration) and was prematurely diagnosed with Pancreatitis (which is usually caused by ridiculous drinking habits). Luckily, this diagnosis required pain meds ... relief for a few minutes! I had to be admitted, but for 24 hours there were no beds available ... anywhere. They finally admitted me next to an old lady (in the same room) who yelled at the nurses, farted and had her TV turned up for the obviously deaf until my Dad politely suggested that she turn it down (which she quickly did, and then turned it off, rolled over and farted some more) ... right after she yelled at the nurses one more time.

By this time, it was discovered (by no small miracle) that this hospital did not have a GI doctor on staff. They wouldn't let me leave with a family member without being discharged and beginning all over again in another waiting room, BUT they would deliver me in an ambulance to a neighboring hospital who had my own room waiting for me. By now, the fever was 102.5 and the old lady behind the curtain made the decision an easy one. I was taken to another hospital, where the GI doctor knew that I needed a Colonoscopy. This would be my second ... not a fan. Sunday, they brought in the medication and drink that would prep me for my procedure. I've had nothing to eat since Friday and diarrheas since Easter, but they're prepping me like I'm a fat Italian (or at least they're trying). If you've never heard of the product called Go-Lytely, get on your knees and praise all that is holy ... because it is now what I will refer to as the devil in liquid form (DILF for short). So I am literally ordered to drink one gallon of DILF OR they will have to put a feeding tube down my nose WHILE I'M AWAKE and feed it through this way. I managed to get two large glasses down before the volcanic eruption began. At this point, I felt I had no choice and I surrendered my nose. So here we have Neil, my male nurse, lubricating the end of the tube that is going to be inserted into and down my nasal cavity while he instructs me on what my role in this sick and twisted event will be. We begin, it doesn't work, I decide that there is some sort of negative force field preventing the tube from going down any further ... he tries both sides and fails ... five times.

At this point, I am ready to get into the car ... ANYBODY'S CAR, and just go home. But, my Dad, in all of his wisdom, gives me a blessing that everything will just work out. Somewhere during that blessing, I knew that I had done all that I could do, my poor nurse had done all that he could do, and it would be ok. The next day the colonoscopy was performed (in and of itself a blessing) and NOTHING was found (even bigger blessing).

So tonight, four days later, I appreciate the bowl of corn flakes that I just had as a sign of slowly getting my appetite back. I appreciate being at home again. I appreciate the phone calls and well wishes from friends. But most of all, I appreciate the prayers and the support that my family gave me as my parents drove down and stayed at the hospital almost the entire time, as Gary did double duty taking care of me, sleeping in the car in the parking lot and then going home to take care of the kids, my Grandma for making my bed EVERY TIME I got out of it (which was many), Mary Ellen for telling me that she couldn't drink the DILF either and demanding the blessed enema, my "little" family for the visit when I was feeling a little better and finally Carol for bringing me home safely to your flowers, goodies and my kids.

Unfortunately, sometimes we need a taste of DILF to appreciate the profound perfectness that surrounds us. I am blessed.