Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Hawaii Day Six: Another Day at the Beach

We were tired from spending 8 hours in the car the day before so we decided to just stick close to home. We went back to the beach near the house where, as Riley pointed out, there is a lifeguard, no flies, and lots of sand (Kama'ole Beach Park I).

My sister in law and I went to Safeway to buy some essentials, and as we were driving back into her neighborhood, we saw that Ron had gotten the kids ready and my niece, nephew, brother in law, husband, and kids wer walking to the beach! WOW, I was impressed that Ron went to the effort. They continued their walk to the beach, and my sister in law and I went to put away the groceries and finish up some household chores before we joined them at the beach.

Riley found another friend to play with on the beach, but my nephew did not like him because he put sand in my nephew's face. So, while Riley, Reese, and his friend continued digging their hole with Reese sitting in it and helping out, my nephew built a small sand castle village.

My brother in law saw a beached whale while he was out on his motorcycle earlier in the day. While at the beach this day, we saw whales and their spouts, but nothing too close to the shore. We followed their spouts all the way to Molokai.

For dinner my niece stood in line for us to go to Sansei, a sushi restaurant that has 50% off their sushi on Mondays from 5-6pm. You have to go and stand in line starting around 4pm in order to be in the front of the line. She was the first person this day. The kids stayed at home with my nephew, and my niece after she rode back from standing in line. The sushi was delicious and very fresh. I ordered the 69 roll, which was a California roll topped with unagi (eel) which Ron did not like. We left very full and satisfied.

My brother in law has been trying to get us to go and see a movie since we got here. We tried to go and see Benjamin Button after dinner, but it did not start until 8pm, and it was only 6:30 when we left the restaurant. We ended up watching Hitch at home instead.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Hawaii Day Five: The Road to Hana

Ron wanted to see some waterfalls so it was decided to go to Hana. We had to leave very early because most of the trip is on narrow, winding roads and although the distance is not very far, the time it takes to get there is. Riley got sick on the way up so we had to move him to the front of the car.

Right outside of Pa'ia it started to rain. I saw a rainbow over the sea and wish that I would have asked to stop so that I could have taken a picture of it. We saw other rainbows on the way back, but they were not over the sea.

We stopped in a few places on the way to Hana to take some pictures and for Riley to rest. We got Auntie Sandy's banana bread at Ke'anae Landing Fruit Stand. It was delicious!

Once we got to Hana, we drove past it onto more winding and even narrower roads to go and see the seven pools at Ohe'o Gulch, which is a part of Haleakala National Park and where Charles Lindbergh is buried in the cemetery outside of Palapala Ho'omau Congregational Church. The burial site would have been more difficult to find without a park ranger telling us to turn left at the vertical Maui Stables sign. Before we got to Ohe'o Gulch, we stopped at Wailua Falls, a waterfall by the side of the road. Unfortunately, we were not able to see the seven pools very well because of all the rain that had fallen. The pools were overflowing, and water was gushing everywhere.

We went back to Hana for lunch at Hana Ranch Restaurant Takeout. Then, we returned to Kihei because we did not want to be driving on the winding roads after dark. We got back in time for my niece and I to take another short bike ride.

The adults enjoyed the scenery and the sights, but the children did not really enjoy this trip.

Hawaii Day Four: Snorkeling

We went to a beach in Makena to go snorkeling on this day. Ron, my brother in law, and nephew went off to snorkel and got the opportunity to see a sea turtle. I was not able to go out with them because the kids were not situated on the beach and the sand. They just wanted to play in the sand, and Riley did not want to have anything to do with snorkeling. I tried to follow the snorkelers out, but found that my swimming abilities were not good enough to challenge the waves without a life preserver of some kind. Once they got back, the idea was floated to climb over the rocks to go snorkeling, but everyone was too tired from their last trip out to go with me. Hopefully, we will be able to go snorkeling again or go to Turtle Town because sea turtles are my absolute favorite.

We had lunch on the beach, and left about 2pm when the wind picked up and started blowing our things around. Once the kids were settled at home, my niece and I took the electric bikes (ebikes) out for a ride. We went down to Kihei Rd. to look at the little gift shops and stores that are there. The bikes are very fun to ride. They go about 20 mph, and you can peddle if you want to, but don't have to.

The adults went out to celebrate Ron's 40th birthday at Sarento's, a restaurant on the shore. We got there in time to have our pictures taken and see the sunset. It was a very nice evening with good food and friends/family.

Hawaii Day Three: First Rainy Day

We started out our day with a car tour of Wailea and Mekena. We ate lunch at a great pizza place across from The Shops of Wailea and then did some after Christmas shopping at The Shops. After ice cream at Lappert's again we went on a tour of the property of The Grand Wailea Resort. We got some great family pictures on this trip thanks to my niece and my brother in law.

The men and kids were wiped out after this expedition so my sister in law and I dropped them off at home and went on to Walmart and the Filipino store. We were looking for a boogie board with an aqua eye in it and a life jacket for Reese. We found the boogie board at Long's Drugs, but ended up not buying it because it was too expensive for something that I was not sure that Riley was going to do. We did not find a life jacket because we needed an infant one. I now wish that I had found a way of fitting in ours from home, but it was a choice of Ron's tennis shoes or the life jackets.

Ron cooked fish tacos that night for dinner and they were very yummy.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Hawaii Day Two: Christmas on the Beach

We are staying with my sister and brother in law at their house on Maui. They have a really nice house just down the street from the beach.

We opened presents on Christmas morning, and they were really generous with their gift to us in addition to sharing their vacation with us. Once we were done with all the present opening, we headed to the beach.

The beach is less than a five minute drive from the house. It was a great day; very relaxing and enjoyable. While, on the beach, we saw dolphins jumping and a sea turtle that was about 10 feet from Ron. Riley learned to stay on a boogie board and surf the waves near the shore. Reese really enjoyed the sand. At one point someone asked what time it was, and no one knew or really cared. We did end up leaving shortly after that due to the winds and the tide coming in and blowing our umbrellas down.

For Christmas dinner we went out for Korean food. The bulgogi was awesome as was the fish. On our way into the restaurant we got our family picture taken as the sun was setting. For dessert we went for ice cream at Lappert's. They have this amazing ice cream called Tutu's Anniversary, raspberry and passion fruit sorbet with coconut bits swirled in vanilla ice cream.

Hawaii Day One: Travelling There

I decided to use my blog to journal about our trip so that when we get back, I will have an easier time when I do the journalling for my children's picture books.

We left home at 5am for our early morning flights. Ron and Riley flew together, and Reese and I flew together. Reese did really well with me as a lap child. She slept the whole first leg of the trip, and more than half of the second leg in two segments, 4.5 hours at the beginning and an hour at the end of the flight. During our lay over, Reese played and walked and we toured the airport. I bought her some French Fries for lunch and she was content.

Riley slept the first leg except for take off and landing. He got popcorn and McDonald's during their lay over and stayed up for the second leg of the trip.

We got to Maui about 4:30pm local time. Reese was sick on our trip, and although I was giving her Motrin regularly, she still seemed to be coming down with an ear infection or sinus infection. We got off the plane and took her straight to urgent care since the next day was Christmas. She just had a cold with no infection, and it was recommended that we give her Benedryl.

We had a nice dinner at home that night and ended up missing church on Christmas Eve.

Recap of 2008 Books Read

As it nears the end of the year I realize that I will probably not finish another book in the next five days. I am proud of the books that I did finish reading and as always, some were memorable and some worth forgetting! The following are the books that I read:

A Page Out of Life by Kathryn Reid
Multiple Bles8ings by Kate Gosselin
Audition by Barbara Walters
Shutter Island by Dennis Lahane
Her Mother's Shadow by Diane Chamberlain
The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlain
Veil of Roses by Laura Fitzgerald
Domestic Affairs by Eileen Goudge
Kitchen Confidential Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain
Escape by Carolyn Jessop with Laura Palmer
Twenty Wishes by Debbie Macomber
Freedom: The Story of My Second Life by Malika Oufkir and Linda Coverdale
Swimming Lessons by Mary Alice Monroe
Around the World in 80 Dinners: The Ultimate Culinary Adventure by Bill Jamison and Cheryl Alters Jamison
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Escaping the Giant Wave by Peg Kehret
The Girls by Lori Lansens
Big Green Purse by Diane MacEachern
The Good Children by Kate Wilhelm
Write It When I'm Gone by Thomas M. DeFrank

My favorites for the year were: Veil of Roses and Escape. The ones that I trekked through and didn't really care for are: Kitchen Confidential and Shutter Island.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A La Rachael Ray

In Rachael Ray Magazine she shows the inside of refrigerators of a different star each month. We went to visit my sister in law last weekend, and when I saw her pantry, I knew that I had to blog about it. It is a very spacious pantry: neat, clean, and organized so that everything can be seen and easily found. My sister in law also practices organic living and this is apparent in the foods that she selects for her family. She enjoys shopping at Whole Foods, and practices good, healthy eating habits.

My husband woke me up on Sunday morning and said you have to try this and put a piece of turkey jerky in my face. Normally, my husband would not eat such a thing, but he must have been really hungry to try it. He said that it was really good. I said that of course it was really good. He was like how do you know. I answered that your sister picks out the best of the best and shares it. She would not share it if it was not good. But the way I did not try the turkey jerky because I knew that we were having Chicken Tocino and Chicken Longanisa for breakfast, and I was saving myself for breakfast. Note the package of Turkey Jerky in the upper left hand corner.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I got through my first writing of an Individual Education Plan (IEP) and my first IEP conference in which I was the lead teacher. Thank goodness for friends, a great special education department, and IEP Anywhere for helping me get the job done.

As a regular classroom teacher I never had to write an IEP, only contribute my knowledge of the child. As a special education teacher I not only have to determine goals for my students, but also gather the necessary information from teachers, parents, specialists, therapists, etc. and compile the information into an education plan that will most benefit the student. I then have to implement the plan and track the progress my students are making.

I believe that with the first one behind me, I am now armed with the knowledge to do the rest of my IEPs with ease and lots of planning!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Reading Challenges

I feel so much better now that I am earning a paycheck again. I had to wait over a month to get one since I had to be boarded before I could get paid. I find that it is challenging to work with individual students day in and day out and find activities that hold their interest as well as achieve their goals. Assignments that take a whole class at least 15 minutes to do can be accomplished by an individual in five minutes.

I have tried to find books that are interesting to my boys especially to get them to enjoy reading and find writing assignments in which they can relate. One of the things that has seemed to work is draw a picture and write about it. But, just like my son, I have found that as I research their interest and find materials at their reading levels, my knowledge of boy things expands. The interests that I am looking for materials for are: Mythology, Cars, Fighter Jets, Basketball, Kickball, Frogs, Bats, and Sharks.

I believe that reading is reading and although for most of my boys, graphic novels are below their reading levels, I want them to find reading easy and fun to encourage them to read more. I have trouble with graphic novels because I feel they are glorified comic books, but we all have different reading interests and if pictures help make reading more interesting and less of a challenge for my readers, then I will keep looking for these books.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Veil of Roses by Laura Fitzgerald

Although I have not kept up on reporting on the books that I have read, I believe that this is one worth talking about. I enjoyed this book because although it is a work of fiction, it gives some insight into the oppression that women feel in Iran. The main character, Tami, comes to the US and has three months to find a husband or face losing the freedom that she has just gained. It is amazing to see through her eyes the freedoms that we take for granted that are not freedoms everywhere such as the freedom for kids to play outside. I think of my children, and how blessed they are to be able to play outside and have the ability to be kids until they grow up and choose not to play outside. Read the book! Times may be hard, but we take a great deal for granted, and we need to be thankful for the freedoms that we have.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Back to Work

Although I was looking for a classroom teaching position, I have found a job as a special education tutor for the district in which I use to work. I have eight students and work in two schools. I enjoy my work and the students that I work with, but as of tomorrow, I have now enjoyed three wind days off. In the winter time we call days off for bad weather snow days, but we have had three days off for hurricane force winds that we got on Sunday as remnants of Hurricane Ike. They say that it could be another week before the whole city has power again and although I have not seen the news today, the rumor is that in my district, about half the buildings still do not have power.

On Sunday I was out in the wind at a festival. We were on the fairgrounds, and the dust was kicking up everywhere. As I was tearing down my tent and packing up my things, things kept falling and blowing away. Thankfully, I saved my tent and do not have to buy another one for next year. You could see the trees blowing sideways and after my experiences with these winds without all the rain that goes along with a hurricane, I now know why hurricanes are so dangerous, and why it is better to evacuate even if it might be all for naught.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

100 Years, 5 Months, 20 Days

My American grandma was born on March 4, 1908, and she passed away on August 25, 2008. She was really the only grandma that I knew. My first home was her house, and even after we moved, we still went to see her, and she would babysit for me sometimes when my parents had to work on Saturdays.

Grandma was a Christian woman who loved to read her Bible and play hymns on the piano. She bought me both of the bibles that I own, and will forever be remembered for her faith in God.

She attended my high school graduation, the first graduation she had ever attended, and after that we went to see her for major events in our lives, my college graduation, wedding, the birth of my children, etc.

This picture was taken the last time that I saw Grandma with my children in May. The weekend that she passed away, she became unresponsive, and we were called. Although she could not talk to us, we know that she knew we went to visit her on the night that she died. I believe that Grandma was waiting for us to come to see her one last time before she went home.

Because Grandma had no immediate family, I was very fortunate to be able to be able to get her pictures, her sewing box, and the hymn book that was always on her piano. As I was gathering the pictures that I wanted, I thought about asking for her desk, but didn't. A few days later I decided that I wanted it, but forgot to call and ask after it. On Thursday I called the pastor to ask about the desk, and he told me that he left the furniture up to the management of the place where Grandma died. I called the manager, and she told me that I was four hours too late. She gave all the furniture to a family that had none. She felt bad, but I told her that it was my fault for not calling sooner. The manager did tell me that if the family had not taken the desk yet, when she got back, she would grab it for me. Fortunately for me, the manager called me and told me that the desk was still there, and I could have it. I went to get it yesterday to put in my bedroom by my bed, and as I look at it, it is not an heirloom piece of furniture, it has no real value except for the fact that it is part of all my memories and reminds me of a time when Grandma use to sit at the desk and talk on a old black rotary telephone.

I will never forget you and will love you always Grandma.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

21: Bringing Down the House by Ben Mezrich

This is the inside story of six M.I.T. students who took Vegas for millions. I reserved this book because it was recommended on my library's website as a great read. It was floating around my car, and my husband found it on the way home from a visit with family. He started to read it and the book became the first book that I have ever seen my husband read for pleasure. It was a quick read for him since he enjoys gambling and Vegas. I was impressed that the book held his attention even after finding out that the movie had just come out on DVD.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Two Senseless Acts of Violence

Back in May one of my friends, her family, and neighbors were having a cookout/party on a Friday night. They were outside and it was about 10pm when two boys showed up in the yard and said that the group was making too much noise. My friend's husband apologized and as one of the boys left on his own, led the other boy from the yard while promising to keep the noise down. About 10 minutes later the boys came back armed with a baseball bat and a golf club. One of them asked who touched my brother and when my friend's husband came forward, he began to beat the husband on the head with the baseball bat. The other beat the man with the golf club and when they were done, they ran away. The boys were chased, caught, and held until the police got there.

My friend's husband was taken to the hospital by ambulance and had to have brain surgery. He will have to take anti-seizure medicine for the rest of his life and although he has some minor physical issues, he is back to work.

When this happened, I thought to myself, who has the right to do that to another human being? How does making too much noise warrant a beating on the head with a bat? These boys are 17 and 18 years old, and why are you ruining your life over something so minor? I had a really hard time with this event because I know the guy and I know the type of person that he is. I couldn't believe that this had happened to my friend's family, and she lives not too far away from me.

Well, last weekend I went to the funeral of one of my parents from when I taught. She was a major presence in our school because she was PTO president and a parent consultant. Last year when I left teaching, she was 8 months pregnant and when she came in to ask who needed help packing up, the office sent her to my room. She spent the whole day in my room, and I really appreciated the help. I had her son the year before, and she was a very involved parent in her children's education.

The weekend before she passed away, her family was having trouble with their neighbor who did not like her children riding their bikes over his lawn. When asked to come out and talk to an adult about the situation, the neighbor came out with his gun. He shot up the family car as the family hid behind it, and somehow the mother got shot in the neck. She was unresponsive when the paramedics got there and never regained consciousness. Her organs were donated, and she was taken off life support a few days later. She was a mother of four and 29 years old. (The man who shot her had a standoff with police and then committed suicide.)

When this second event happened, it was surreal to me because you always hear about people and tragedies that happen on the news; you just never think that you will know someone that the news is talking about. But, I did not have as hard of a time dealing with this event as I did when my friend's husband was beaten. Some of my friends that I taught with were in disbelief and shocked that this had happened to such a wonderful person. I was somewhat numb to the event, I think, because all the feeling that my friends were experiencing with this mom's death, I had felt when my friend's husband was beaten.

C C-B, you were taken too soon, may you rest in peace.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Around the World in 80 Dinners: The Ultimate Culinary Adventure by Bill Jamison and Cheryl Alters Jamison

I saw this book as I was browsing through Borders one night and decided to borrow it from the library because they included a stop in Thailand. Well, I had trouble getting into the book and although it was a struggle, I did finish the book. I think what would have made the book better was if it was illustrated. They talked about different foods and scenery from all the country that they visited. I believe that it would have been more interesting to me if I could see pictures of the food and even some of the settings. The book does refer to their website for more photos of their trip, but I did not find that many more photos there.

To the authors: For your next trip, good luck and plan a book with more photos!

Friday, July 11, 2008

How Unread I Am

One of the blogs that I read, published the following list of books. I thought it would be interesting to see how I would fair since I like to read, although not always stuff that is good for me. I didn't do too well and I do not know that I will ever read all of these books.

From CV Rick, the 106 (why 106? nobody knows) books most often tagged "unread" at LibraryThing. The idea is to mark the ones you've read in bold, the ones you've started but not finished in italics, and the ones you read for school in bold and underlined. À la CV Rick, I put asterisks next to the ones I plan to read.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
*One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
*Life of Pi: a novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
*Moby Dick
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
The Tale of Two Cities (I was also suppose to read for school; the main reason why I did not get into Honor English again my sophomore year.)
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Iliad
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner (I loved this book and enjoyed A Thousand Splendid Suns more!)
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged
*Reading Lolita in Tehran: a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha (This book I read for book club and really liked it!)
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales
The Historian: a novel
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
*Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Fountainhead
Foucault’s Pendulum
Frankenstein (This was a book that I read for a college English class and found that I really enjoyed it.)
The Count of Monte Cristo
A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible: a novel
Angels & Demons (Thought I might like this after reading The DaVinci Code, but didn't get into it.)
The Inferno (and Purgatory and Paradise)
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Oliver Twist (High school reading that I never finished)
Gulliver’s Travels
Les Misérables
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury
*Angela’s Ashes: a memoir
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States: 1492-present
A Confederacy of Dunces (Book club reading)
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake: a novel
Collapse: how societies choose to fail or succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakonomics: a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: an inquiry into values
The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood: a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers

Unfortunately, some of these books I have not even heard of!

Monday, June 9, 2008

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

This was a book that was picked for book club this month. I was not able to go to book club and join in on the discussion which was just as well because I wanted to finish the book on my own and I would not have if I had gone to book club.

Again, this author has published a wonderful book that sheds light on a world that we sometimes do not think still exists. We are extremely blessed to be United States citizens and as women have the opportunities that we have. We need to remember that all women do not have our opportunities and although some accept their lot in life, there are others that would like change.

The setting is Afghanistan during the last thirty years and how things have changed not only for women, but for all people of Afghanistan. There were parts of this book that touched me deeply and I will never forget.

What a great follow-up to another wonderful book The Kite Runner, which was also a book club choice. Look forward to more great work by this author.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Escaping the Giant Wave by Pat Kehret

I was turned onto to this book when I subbed in a fourth grade classroom. It was their read-aloud book from which I read them a chapter. I found that I wanted to know more about the book, so I reserved it at the library.

I really enjoyed this easy reading. It is a fiction book, but it could be a true story someday. The book is based on vacationers who encounter a tsunami while visiting the Oregon coast. Would you know what to do? The children in this book did, and it made a difference.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


I have spent some of my free time substitute teaching.  I have found that I enjoy it, and I really do miss my classroom kids.  I like the variety of subbing and getting to know different grade levels and their expectations.

It is amazing to see the differences between the urban school district where I spent my teaching career, and the suburban school district where I current sub.  In the urban school district it seems that there was a great deal of concentration on social norms and school norms that the suburban children seems to come to school knowing.  Walking in the hall is a different experience in the suburbs.

The suburbs seem to have a great deal of diversity and proof that their taxpayer money is well-spent.  The children are generally the same no matter where you go, but the accommodations that are provided by the suburban school district for their children are wonderful.

One day I may have my own classroom full of kids again, but I am enjoying my small snippets with kids.

I actually ran into one of my students that I had in Kindergarten last week.  He is now in the third grade and seems to be doing well.  Good for him!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Lessons Learned

My aunt was here for four months helping me out in the restaurant and with my kids. She was a god sent gift and what she did for us can never be repaid.

We shared many memories about time that we spend together as I was growing up and what her life was like without parents and having to live with relatives. She shared with me many teaching memories from her years as a marketing teacher as well as how she brought life experience to the classroom. Even though she is retired, she was still collecting information to bring back to her students in the case that she teaches another class.

As an aunt, teacher, and breast cancer survivor, she is an inspiration to me and to many of her students and that could be seen by the number of them that keep in contact with her after they graduate.

One of her favorite mottos is every problem has a solution and to fix problems as they come. She gave me confidence in myself that I can handle anything.

When she left, I gave her a scrapbook that I made with memories of her time here with us. She left me with the parting words that the next time that we meet we are going to talk about what love is (quam luk ben young rai). I look forward to the conversations!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Stupid Stuff

My mother has always told me that when I talk to one of my life-long friends, she always knows who I am talking to because we always talk about stupid stuff. I was always somewhat offended by this remark until the other day when I was talking to my friend, and we ended up talking about what kind of TV our children watch, and what kinds of foods our children eat. Then, I started to think to myself that we do talk about stupid stuff, but it is stuff that interests both of us. I think that when you have been friends for as long as my friend and I have, you keep finding things that interest both of you to keep your friendship going.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Illnesses, Please Go Away!

Since the end of February we have seen a cold virus, a respiratory virus, an unknown virus, a double ear infection, a false chicken pox scare, strep throat, another ear infection, influenza, and bronchitis. We have had enough, especially me since I have had to take care of everyone because the only illness that I have gotten is the last one.

My children tend to bring things home from school or in the case of Reese, gets things from both school and her brother who she loves to drink after.

Ron was sick two weekends in a row, one with the unknown virus and one with strep. I happen to be a carrier of strep which means that when I was a teacher, I would bring it home, but never get it myself!

Reese is finally on the mend and hopefully, Riley will be well by the end of spring break!

Friday, March 7, 2008

To Be 100

My American grandmother turned 100 this week. I don't think that I have ever personally known someone who is 100. She lives in a private home with a few other elderly people and there have been more than a few that have come and gone since she has been at this facility.

It amazes me that she has known me all of my life and I remember living in the apartment above hers. It was to her home that I went when my parents brought me home from the hospital. Back then, Grandpa was alive also, and he would drink Pepsi with salt and sit in the backyard among the fruit trees listening to baseball on the radio. Grandma would babysit me sometimes and would bake woderful applesauce cake.

We moved away from there when I was five, but we continued to keep in touch and I would go and visit Grandma on Saturdays sometimes if my parents had to work. Then, she would cook me scrambled eggs and we would play games together. Grandma drove a big Lincoln and would have to sit on two pillows to see over the steering wheel. It was in this car that she took me to buy my first Bible. She would also call on nights that Billy Graham was on TV to tell us to watch.

As I got older still, we would go and visit sometimes. She came to my high school graduation, and we went to see her after my undergraduate graduation. Then, it came time to sell her house because it needed a great deal of work and she was getting older and could not really manage it anymore. She moved to a retirement home that was near where we lived, and I would run errands for her and sometimes she would go with me to the store. She had bought a smaller sedan by then and would drive it around the complex where she lived.

I believe that the last time that she went back home, I took her. We went to the cemetary and saw her parents' graves as well as some other family members. We had lunch with some relatives and went to see her aunt who was close to 100 by then also. That was a great time being on the road with grandma and doing something that she really wanted to do and was not able to do on her own. We tried to make plans to go again the next summer, but it didn't work out because Grandma would work herself up and get too excited about the trip and get sick.

She eventually moved to a better place farther away from us. We still see her from time to time mostly on holidays and in the summer. We can't call her anymore because she cannot hear us on the telephone. Sometimes when we don't go for awhile because we all have to be healthy to go and she says that she was not sure that she would see us again. I think that is life at 100. You go through your daily routine, but you wait for your family to visit and call.

Remember to always keep in touch with those that you love...

PS She got about 140 cards for her 100th birthday.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Food for Thought

I was sitting in the waiting room of the clinic where I took Riley for an OT evaluation filling out paperwork when I started listening to this girl talking to her dad. She was saying how she was not going to her meeting tonight because it would not count against her. Her dad replied that she needed to go, and she said that she did not see the purpose because she was attending the meeting for something that was not her fault. She sounded like she took the rap for someone else, and now, she was being punished for it by having to go to this weekly meeting. Her dad was telling her that she needed to go anyway because she needed to take responsibility even if she did not do it.

Anyway, the dad got up to look for something and when he came back, the girl started listing off the schools that she had attended, and the last one that she mentioned happened to be the one where I had taught. I looked up then to see who she was and realized that she was in my first kindergarten class. She was a child that got her way a lot and missed school for no reason other than she did not want to go. How do I know this, well, that year, I happen to have a classroom in the front hallway of the school, and she would come with her mom to bring her brother and sister to school, but then she would just go home with mom rather than stay at school. The sad thing was that she was a bright kid with a great deal of potential, but because she did not attend school regularly, she did not make many friends. Her classmates quickly advanced, and that made her not want to attend school even more. No amount of convincing on my part or hearings with the attendance program could get this girl to attend school regularly.

When I look at her now, I see what people mean by kids needing limits and you, as the parent, needing to be the parent and set those limits.

Monday, February 18, 2008


We decided to close down our retail operation to cut costs and concentrate on our catering operation. This decision makes me happier because that means that I can spend more time with my own kids, and I do not have to worry about employees and being open a set amount of hours.

I am sad to see the "kids" go because they have been with us from the start, but it is time for them to go onto new adventures. They were going to leave me sooner or later to pursue life after college. I thank you both from the bottom of my heart and appreciate all that you did more than you will ever know! I have taught you what I know; go off and enrich the world!

Now, my job is do it all! Marketing, prepping, cooking, cleaning, delivering, and the list goes on...

Friday, February 1, 2008

Riding the Cart

On some mornings of the week Reese and I go to Restaurant Depot. They only have flat bed carts which are not meant for children to sit on. When Reese was really little, I use to take her car seat with its base and set it on the cart with her in it. When we switched car seats, I would take in my stroller or leave her at home with her dad while I went really early to the store.

Now, most mornings if we have to go together, I take her and either carry her and pull the cart or sometimes I sit her down on it. She has been really good about sitting in the middle of the cart, staying still, and holding onto the handle or basket of the cart.

This morning is the first morning that both my children had to go with me. Reese decides that this is the morning that she wants to stand on the cart and hold on, and Riley decides that he wants to walk, which is fine. In addition to the fact that Reese does not want to sit, the refrigerator door that is closest to what we need and to the registers is broken, and we have to go all the way around to the other door to the cooler. We travel very slowly, and I am holding onto the side of the cart with my hand on Reese's back. Once we get to the back door of the cooler, we have to travel back toward the front door to get the mushrooms and hamburgers that we need, and then back to the back door to leave the cooler.

Once I put the mushrooms on the cart, Reese crawled over to the box and was trying to get into it. I was wondering what she was trying to do and was afraid that she was going to crush my mushrooms. I finally figured out that she wanted a mushroom and I dug one out of box for her. That got her to sit down and eat the mushroom while I pulled the cart back toward the entrance.

The trials and tribulations of motherhood...

Friday, January 18, 2008

Boo Hoo!

We did not come home with the National Championship, but we did get to see New Orleans and travel the 1-10 from New Orleans to Biloxi, Mississippi. It is amazing how much rebuilding there is left to do. That part of the country is forever changed by Katrina.

We ate Louisiana cuisine, visited the French Quarter, and Bourbon Street the first night we were in New Orleans. We did most of our travelling by walking because we stayed in the Warehouse District. We spent our second day in New Orleans partying like a true Buckeye at Ernst's Cafe right down the street from our hotel, the New Orleans Buckeye Hangout! Our last morning in New Orleans, we ate beignets at Cafe du Monde, which Ron did not think was much of a breakfast, doughnuts not being his thing! I, on the other hand, wanted to try them and loved the warm doughnuts with powdered sugar. We saw some donkey drawn carriages and went to the Hard Rock Cafe for our traditional t-shirt.

One of the best parts of our trip was going to the Garden District. I wanted to visit the toy store there, but did not find anything for my kids. For lunch we went to The Big Fisherman, bought a bag of crawfish, and took them to eat by the Mississippi River. Boy, were they delicious!

I did get to rest and relax on our trip, sleep in and read a few books by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. What a great trip!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happy New Year!

I made it through the grind of the end of the year, illness and all. I got a really bad eye infection that has finally cleared up!

Riley's pirate party was a hit, and he was happy that his friends came to his house to play!

At the last minute we went to see my husband's family in Cleveland for New Year's and Ron's birthday. It was a fun day with family and we got out of there in the nick of time because they got 8 inches of snow!

Now, we are preparing to go on vacation! We leave tomorrow for New Orleans! Now that the preparations are almost set, I am getting more excited! I know that everything will be okay while I am gone, but there is the restaurant to worry about and the kids that are staying home with grandma and grandpa. But, this is my chance to have some fun, see something new, and sit with a good book and relax!

Now, how will the Bucks do in New Orleans? Will we come home with a national championship trophy? I hope so, but only time will tell!