Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

So I did an image search for a New Year's Picture and I guess the filter was off.. let's just say if any of my kids are doing that for New Year's I don't want to know about it!!

For the rest of you... HAPPY NEW YEAR!! 

From Me and Mine..

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

When Art Becomes Reality

I got a call from Word Girl today, she is in California Visiting my mom. They were on their way to my mom's estate sale.. (her company will come in and work your estate sale for you) and my mom told Word Girl to look for Shadowfax Dr.. Being properly raised by me.. the ultimate Tolkien Fan Word Girl commented.. Seems the entire town has street names from Lord of the Rings.. while we were on the phone Word Girl said.. "Hey we just passed Gondor" seems whoever named the streets didn't get the importance of Gondor as it's just a little side street.. 
It was a fun conversation.. as my mom was pretending to have a clue.. she has steadfastly refused to read Tolkien for the 40 yrs he has been my favorite. But she did call my uncle to tell him and HE at least had a clue!! Not only had he read the books.. he had seen all the movies or visa versa.... 
All I know for sure is I wanna live in Gondor.. or the shire.. or shoot even on Shadowfax drive

Sunday, December 25, 2011

From Our House to Yours

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas

And Peace on Earth this Christmas Day, and hopefully for all the days following

Shauni and the Kids..

Saturday, December 24, 2011

She Just Cracks Me Up

Further proof that I raised a nerd.. 

Blond Girl was doing some chores today and singing/humming while she worked.. sorta this da da da kind of thing.. but to the tune of It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.. which was pleasant to listen to.. then all of a sudden it morphed into Star Wars.. 

Yeah, she is that dorky!!

But at least she was on key!

Friday, December 23, 2011

This is Just Proof that they are Always Up to Something

As a mother of daughters.. and sons... I can just imagine having this very conversation.. which is why it made me laugh so hard..

Oh come on, you know you are giggling too!!

A Question Borrowed from

As many of you know I have another blog called Bodice Rippers, Femme Fatales and Fantasy.. we participate in a Friday Follow and Feature blog hop hosted by The Para Junkie Blog and Alisoncanread. I love blog hops because they take you to some interesting places and bring some interesting people to your blog. This particular blog hop is pretty basic.. if you go to who co hosts this blog hop. You will see a feature post as well as a list of other blogs that have some fun and exciting reading available.

Today's Feature question was

Q:  If you had to spend eternity inside the pages of a book which book would you choose and why?

Harry Potter sans the Death Eaters. I think that would be a pretty interesting world and I would love to travel my port key. I’ve always wanted to have a little bit of magic and I’ve always dressed a little oddly.

 I really liked Ce Ce's answer.. what is yours?

Q:  If you had to spend eternity inside the pages of a book which book would you choose and why?  *hint, I am still considering this question

After much consideration, I have to say.. I am going to stick with my first choice. For those of you who really know me this will come as no surprise. If I had to spend eternity inside the pages of a book.. it would have to be JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings.. I can not imagine spending anything better than living in Middle Earth.. 

What book would you choose?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

McKenzie's List of Must Read Books!!

Yesterday we went to Barnes and Noble.. always a grand adventure.. while there my 5th child (who isn't really mine and will henceforth be referred to as 5th child).. made her list of must read books.. ones she didn't already have.. I thought maybe others might be interested...

City of Fallen Angels

Clockwork Prince

The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

The Gray Wolf Throne

Perchance to Dream

So Silver Bright


Perfect.. but I don't know what Perfect.. so I can't show a cover

Wednesday With Words

I don't know about you.. but I have never met a Teenager who had a wordless anything.. so for this page... no Wordless Wednesday but rather Wednesdays with words!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Heroes of Olympus: The Son of Neptune, A Review

Let me start this review with one declarative sentence. Percy’s Back!!

The Son of Neptune is the second book in Rick Riordan's Heroes of Olympus Series. Which is a spin off from his Percy Jackson Series... In the first book, The Lost Hero we are introduced to Jason and the entire Roman encampment. We discover that yes, the gods evolved with Roman times and they have created Heroes from Rome as well as from Greece. Jason had been the leader of the Roman Camp and had been abducted, his memory erased and told he was a Greek. The entire lesson was for the Greek and the Roman heroes to learn to work together.

In the Son of Neptune, we find Percy.. EIGHT MONTHS LATER.. I capitalize that cuz well, Percy was most irked. Anyway, we find Percy, alone and with no memories of his past attempting to enter the Roman Camp. A son of Neptune is rare in the Roman Camp, Romans don’t value the sea like the Greeks do. Upon arriving in camp, in his usual I bring trouble on my heels manner. Percy is allowed to join the camp and placed in the 5th cohort, which is the least of all.. The joke of the camp and yet it is from this group that the heroes chosen to go on the quest are chosen.

Frank, a big bumbling, stumbling boy..unsure of anything and as yet to be claimed by his father even though he is 16 and Hazel a beautiful daughter of Pluto, who has actually been returned to life by her brother Nico immediately befriend Percy. Together, even in camp they begin to turn the fortune of the 5th.. by becoming the first to enter the enemies fortress (in wargames) and capturing their flags. A team bonding experience that is only the beginning of their travels.

A quest is called for by Mars, the god of war, who conveniently claims Frank as his son.. much to Frank’s dismay, disgust.. Frank is called to lead the quest and he chooses Percy and Hazel to go with him. A quest only allows for three members.. Politics at the camp leave them with limited resources and only four days to accomplish their quest. Which involves getting from California to Alaska, killing Gaea's oldest son, saving Thanatos, the lieutenant to Hades and the god of death and retrieving the legion’s eagle (their most sacred banner) which had been lost to them 30 years earlier.
Along the way, they must deal with crazed grain babies, a goddess gone hippy, a blind seer returned from the dead, harpies (and they are the good guys), Amazons in the midst of pending civil war, Ogres and Gryphons. All the while, learning their skills, Percy beginning to remember his past, Frank finding out he is much more than he thought he was and Hazel letting go of her past.

Rick Riordan does it again! This is just a wonderfully fun book. A complete joy to read and yes it ended way too soon! Already, I am wondering what happens next? and how the two camps will unite. Will the power struggles continue, will they be able to work together? All of these questions make for a promising third book.

Inheritance, A Review

Inheritance is the fourth book in in Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle Series. The first of the series was Eragon a book written by this amazing young man at the age of 16 who is now at the tender age of 28 he has completed what many only dream of.. he has completed an award winning, best selling series.. which has already had a movie made based on the book. A brief synopsis for those who have not read the series up to date..

On the brink of manhood, 15yr old Eragon son of none, orphan raised by his Aunt and Uncle, finds a pretty rock which he tries to sell.. Of course who in his small community can afford such a pretty bauble? Unable to sell it he returns home only to find late in the night that it isn’t a stone at all but a Dragon Egg and it has just hatched...naming Eragon his rider. The last rider or the first.. the only one called from the history books of legends and lore, Eragon accepts Saphira as his dragon and they grow together.. All of the earlier Dragons and Riders have been killed or seduced to evil.. and all except Galbatroix, the self proclaimed emperor remain and he has created an empire of tyranny that has lasted a hundred years..  Eragon and Saphira must flee their small community and are forced to hide from the emperor.. Upon the way growing in strength and meeting teachers and friends of the Riders as they go...

Eldest... Eragon and Syphira must leave the Varden, although their need is great.. They are needed to fight the Emperor but their skill and knowledge are minimal.. They leave to study with the elves. To be taught what a Rider is and what his responsibilities are. Among the elves Eragon matures and accepts that even though he loves.. his love is not returned.. even though to humanity he is a man.. to the elves he is barely a child.. In a few short months Eragon is forced to learn years of training.. His teachers must choose what is most important and what must wait.. A fine line of knowledge passed and knowledge retained.. Upon completely his training as best he can Eragon is sent back to the Varden to help continue the fight..

Brisingr.. To me the least of the books, Eragon continues his battle against Galbratroix constantly searching for ways to improve his knowledge and how to destroy Galbratoix.. for while he has allies of elves, men, dwarves and even Urgals.. he is still out manuevered and out magiced by Galbratoix.. This book tends to be pentatic and plodding but there are some very important scenes here.. I had read it when it came out and completely forgot some of the most tearjerking moments..

Finally... Inheritance

Eragon and Saphira have all the tools to take down Galbratroix and yet still they can’t. They have the power of an ancient dragon for support but Galbratoix has managed to accumulate hundreds... They have powerful elves and spellcasters but Galbratoix has spent a century reading and exploring the darkest arts of magic.. He has also accumulated some dangerous allies that must be beaten..

This book takes place in the final months and days of the battle of good vs evil.. I like that honestly you love Eragon but you really are never quite sure if he will succeed.. and if he does whether or not his triumph will come at the cost of his life.. Yes, Eragon is the hero and yes he has family he loves and his heart has been given to one unattainable.. he still stands alone.. the last Rider.. and throughout this book Mr Paolini, teases us with the option of Eragon dying to save his race.. You are never promised happily ever after.. this after all is an epic Fantasy not a romance novel..

As the battle dawns, The leader of the Varden is missing, Eragon must answer a riddle that no one can remember after they have heard it.. but herein lies the clue as to how possibly the world can be saved.. and the Emperor defeated.

I like that this book wrapped up the storyline and yet still left strings dangling... making one wonder what will come next from this young man’s amazing mind. Will there be more Dragon Riders, will we see Murtagh again? Will a new evil arise from the darkness? All of these are wonderful threads and yet do not take away from the battle that explodes from the pages of Inheritance.. Do I recommend this book? Most definitely. I would like to tell all who have read the series and have decided against reading Inheritance since because they were disappointed with Brisingr.. RUN to your nearest bookstore and get it!! You will be most pleased with the way this story wraps up and Mr Paolini teases us with hope for more.                                                 


Monday, December 19, 2011

Conversation with the Girls

Tonight I was having a conversation with my girls.. 

I was telling them about the changes in their blog... (I mean this one) and it went something like this..

Word Girl: I have a blog?

Me: no the blog I write about you guys...

Blond Girl: I hope you don't use my real name (she is just now figuring this out)

Me: No I use the name I gave you (pretty nifty that as it could be her "real" name.. I did after all give her that as well)

Blond Girl: What name did you use?

Me: Hair Boy, PITA Boy, Word Girl and Blond Girl... Word girl cuz she always has to have the last word and you are Blond Girl.

Blond Girl: Really? You couldn't use, Smart Girl or Physics Girl or Music Girl or Tuba Girl???

Word Girl: Or girl who has to spend every other weekend in the hospital girl?

at this point giggling has ensued...

Blond Girl: Does it have to be so superficial? I want a new name....

Word Girl: Did you notice how she said she used the name she gave us? glad all that college education is not waisted!

So I am on a quest to come up with a new name.. Yes, although she does indeed prove the fact that Blond is not a hair color... rather a state of mind... she wants a new name!! It is under consideration...

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Conversation with Word Girl

Word Girl was bored and decided to read the Percy Jackson books, which we had on sitting around at home. Of course, when my kids read books that I have already read they assume that I will answer questions or give spoilers. I don't know why they think this as they have know me their ENTIRE lives and I have never done so... Anyway.. Word girl got me on this one...

Word Girl: "So, is his dad Zeus?"

Me: "I am not answering that."

Word Girl: "So, is his dad Zeus?"

Me: "I am not answering that."

Word Girl: "So, is his dad Zeus?"

Me: "I am not answering that."

Word Girl: "You just did, three times..."
And you wonder how she got the nickname Word Girl?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Rember, At Thanksgiving?

Word Girl comes home tomorrow.. oh yeah.. yippy skippy... remember how excited I got when she was coming home for Thanksgiving? How much I was looking forward to it? Well, I am so over that... 

When she came home, there was so much bickering and negative comments that I completely tensed up. Migraines were back in abundance.. and finally, the day before she left.. we were walking in Union Station from the Amtrak train to the Metra.. and I literally popped a muscle.. I was in pain for THREE weeks... and it has just now finally gotten so it doesn't hurt.. 

The amazing thing was.. I hadn't understood how seriously negative the dynamics were when she is home.. I was a nag pure and simple.. and when I would ask her not to do something she would respond with you always.... the thing is.. I don't always.. This past year I have realized, that I rarely... 

It bothers me that this child, whom I adore makes me that tense and angry... it's like dealing w/my mother.. except because it's my mother she gets to win... The part that sucks.. is Word Girl doesn't follow the same rules.. I should get to win.. I am the mother.. it doesn't matter if she agrees with me, she should still go along with my rules and my thinking with a smile on her face darn it.. It's not like she is going to LIVE in this household anymore.. She is a guest!!

Ok, rant over.. The good news is.. she is off to visit Grandma on Christmas day.. so I only have a week or so and then things are back to normal!! AND she will be in heaven because the two of them get along like gangbusters.. *grins* of course I get a benefit out of it as well, cuz if she mouths off about me.. My MOM will totally kick her a$$.. hey, hierarchy works somewhere...

Friday, December 9, 2011

Univ of MT Ups the Ante

Blond Girl was reading her email and she got so excited she started stuttering.. Mom... Mom.... Mom... guess they are so impressed w/her that they are offering her a prestigious scholarship.. Of course they didn't bother telling us how much it's for.. No for that they are sending a letter.. grrrrrrrrrrrr

As many of you know, often your decision as to where you attend college depends on how much money you get from the school.. MT is about 7500 a year more than WY.. and that makes a HUGE difference. She has always leaned towards WY due to well location, cost and their actual Astronomy program... BUT MT was always a close second.. 
Hopefully we will get the chance to go out there this spring during Spring break and really check out both schools. It is a trip we seriously need to make so she can make an informed decision.. I will say this though if MT offers a substantial scholarship that is going to do some major scale tipping..

Monday, December 5, 2011

Question for the Day

Blond Girl: Are all of your fingerprints the same or are they different for each finger?

Me: I don't know

Blond Girl: Check it out!!

Me: *sigh*

So guess what the answer is?

I go through these questions on a regular basis.. She is always asking all sorts of fun and interesting things.. I am certainly going to miss her when she is off playing with the cowboys next year.. I mean studying Astronomy

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

TurnBack Tuesday

All of my pictures have been lost due to some really stupid things I have done.. yes that's right unless someone saved it to FB or has it on file elsewhere.. all I have are current pictures of my kids... A recent call to the family for some baby pictures of Blond Girl got me these... 

Isn't she just too cute? 

  yeah.. she certainly has something on her mind.. or in her diaper.. *grins* I am liking my arms in the background though.. I want those arms again..

I love Hospital baby pics.. you can't fancy em up..
 Blond Girl's first Easter.. I have had problems getting her into a hat since..
 What a ragamuffin...
 Not that you can tell but she really was a happy baby
This is my fav.. too bad it is out of focus

Sunday, November 27, 2011


I have so very much to be thankful for.. Truly I have been blessed.. I know life is hard.. that I have made some really bad choices but in the end.. I got these four amazing individuals.. 

 I try to get OUT of pictures cuz I hate the way I look... and the sad part is I take good pictures.. you know you either look better in pictures or worse.. well I look better.. anyway.. I tried.. I really tried but they wanted their entire family in it.. and Word Girl even made it a Christmas card.. It's great to be loved in spite of my flaws.. 

Hair Boy hosted Thanksgiving at his house and the kids worked together to make the dinner. Fortunately for me... the ex did all the Thanksgiving meals in our home so my boys have been taught that yes, it is the Man's job to cook Thanksgiving dinner.. *grins* who am I to correct them?

We had a lovely day together in between cooking we played LotR Trivial Pursuit.. I didn't win... I KNOW... can you believe that? PITA BOY won.. the rat..

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Getting Excited!

I know it is hard to believe but I am getting really excited to see my girl! Word Girl is coming home tomorrow! There were many many times when I counted the days before I saw the door hitting her backside on the way out.. She tested me, drove me insane and often made me want to throttle her. Fortunately, while away at college she is realizing how good she had it!

 Things she has learned so far

  1. She had a family who loved her UNCONDITIONALLY.. not something many people have...
  2. She doesn't KNOW everything 
  3. Mom isn't always wrong and *gasp* sometimes she knows what she is talking about
  4. Money really doesn't grow on trees
  5. You have to make choices, sometimes hard ones
  6. Sometimes just hearing mom's voice makes it better
  7. Little sister really wasn't all that bad
  8. While you can't go home again.. it sure is nice to visit occasionally
  9. Having one parent who will cut off her right arm to see you happy is better than having two disinterested ones
  10. Life really is good.....
Ok, so I made the list up.. but she is changing her attitude towards her family, well the women in her family... she always had a good relationship with her brothers..  and her Grandma.. and her Aunts.. ok she is chaning her attitude towards her sister and I.. and yes I would miss this bundle of joy even if she wasn't.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Note From Word Girl

Heard from Word Girl last night...

She has had a busy few days.. went to register for next semester classes and every single class that was suggested to her by her adviser was full. What are the odds of that.. every single class? Now she needs to fumble around and see what she can do to get the right classes to work for her major.. oh what a joy that will be!

She is working towards studying abroad for her fall semester. Of course she plans on studying in Australia so the fall Semester starts in July.. so she will be home for about a month before she is off again. The entire program sounds so exciting! It doesn't matter which school she ends up attending the orientation begins on the great barrier reef. How cool is that? She is looking at schools in Sydney, Melbourne and Tazmania.. I am thinking she is leaning towards the Univ of Tazmania because for a while she was trying to convince me to let her attend Univ of Tazmania as her initial school.. sheesh I would never see her then!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Just Heard!!

Blond Girl just got a nice white, fat envelope from the Univ of MT.. As I have been informed.. MT has an Astronomy program and Cowboys too!! Decision time begins!!

Go Grizzlies

Just Cuz

Hair Boy and Pita Boy..

The Beasties.. almost two years ago.. *sigh* where does time go?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Guess She is Gonna Be Studying Astronomy and Cowboys!

Blond Girl got her letter today.. that one she has been dreaming of for a couple of years.. that one that says yep.. you are worth something, you did good and we want you!. That's right she received her acceptance letter to the University of Wyoming.. She is quite understandably excited. You have to laugh at those tricky schools though.. remember when the big fat package was the one that meant you got in? Well now you get that same little letter sized envelope that you get when you don't get in.. She had a moment's doubt.. but once she opened it!! YAY


Monday, November 7, 2011

A Conversation with Blond Girl

Earlier while I was working, I overheard a blurp on tv about an upcoming  news section, on techno tots.. without thinking I responded, oh come on admit it you talk to the tv too...

 News: "They walk, the read and now today's toddlers are technology savvy" 

Me: "of course they are"

Blond Girl: "What?"

Me: "Techno Tots"

Blond Girl: "What?"

Me: "On the news.. techno tots"

Blond Girl: "What?"

Me: "on the news.. They walk, the read and now today's toddlers are technology savvy"

Blond Girl: "Of Course they are.."

Now why didn't I think of that..

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I Didn't Do It!!

Oh my gosh this was so funny.. Pita boy was crashed out this morning and I was taking care of some business.. Trying to handle various personnel and personality issues..

I was going through my emails and noticed that someone had done something I had specifically asked her not to. I was livid and in my angriest tone, said oh my gosh I am gonna kill her..

Pita Boy popped up from a sound sleep and said... "I didn't do it" then fell back asleep. I just started laughing.. talked about being programed.. my poor kid is so used to hearing that tone of voice from me, even in his sleep he was taking the time to deny it..

Monday, October 31, 2011


The girls seem to be having a great time celebrating Halloween together! I miss having them home.. No CANDY!! *grins* but seriously it is so cool that they have become such good friends.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy BIrthday Word Girl!!

I woke up this morning and realized that I have to change the name of my blog.. Word Girl turns 20 today.. Why does that mean I have to change my blog's name? Well the name is juggling teens... Hair Boy is 23, PITA Boy is 21 and Word Girl is 20.. only Blond Girl is a teen.. Calling the blog Juggling Teens is kind of like false advertising!

Anyway.. my beautiful wonderful girl turns 20 today. It is just so hard to believe that my sweet girl, my cuddler, my dearheart turns 20. No longer a precocious teen rather a complicated coed, who is coming into her own. Finding herself and discovering who and what she wants to be. I am so proud of her! She has always been a beacon for what is right in my life.. even when I failed to tell her this..

Blond Girl, went down to Western to share this day with her so I am hoping my girls are behaving themselves and still managing to have a wonderful time together..
Thought I would share a couple of pictures of my girl.. The first was taken in late winter early spring.. A beautiful girl, with wait..yeah.. HAIR.. the second was taken late spring/summer. AFTER she shaved her head for St Baldric's.. What is it about my kids? They go to college and have to shave their heads. I will admit I was much less upset when Hair Boyd did it..Don't tell I said so but it does highlight her magnificent cheek bones and eyes.. AND she looks my better bald than Hair Boy...

I love you Word Girl...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

When You Impress Your Children

I was speaking with Hair Boy today.. just a general Hi how's it going conversation and we started discussing my new blog... Bodice Rippers.. He went and looked it up. I was almost brought to tears when he told me how excellent it was.

My children's opinion means something to me.. Yes I am mom and there are times when I have to be the meanie, to make the decision, to be the bad guy. But to hear from your child that he is proud of what you are accomplishing? That is just so awesome!

What a moment! Poor Blond Girl has had to suffer through all the growing pains of the new site so she just rolls her eyes when I show her something. That and the fact she is 17 and it is a romance book site.. yeah, mom talking about all those sex things and having pictures of smexy men on her website.. um, embarrassing... But Hair Boy is gonna show it to his Girlfriend.. who doesn't read that sort of stuff but is into all things feminist and she will really like this site! So, I have more free advertising, maybe even get the college market.

I know all of you parents know exactly of what I speak.. to hear your child say that is awesome mom!! I am proud of you!! Wow what amazing words.. oh yeah, he also pointed out that I was a good mom while he was growing up.. I almost had him repeat it into a recording.. just for posterity.. but nah, that he said it meant the world.

I am blessed!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Blond Girl's Diagnosis

Good Morning!! I have not forgotten you my friends... just have had a really hard time getting back into the swing of things since Blond Girls's incident. She has an official diagnoses of Syncopy.. which means she has a fainting disorder and there are some drawbacks. Most notably, she can never swim in an unsupervized manner again. Just think, no going into the ocean for a fun day of swimming, now diving in the lake with friends (unless one of them has the ability to care for her) and even a hotel pool... where there is no lifeguard on duty.. I can not imagine not being able to go in the water this way. We are a water based family.. It has been a central part of our entire life!! With that being said.. she is alive and well with a healthy heart and joyous spirit. All the thanks and praise to God for this!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Blond Girl Sings!!

Today was the first of three choir performances for the school year where they allow a Senior Solo. There are only seven solos for the entire year and 12 or 13 kids auditioned. Blond Girl was one who got a solo and hers was today!! 

I was quite nervous because she was singing the song awfully high and no way was she ever gonna hit those notes!! I tried to be encouraging but I will admit I was really really nervous!! Hope you all enjoy the song!! Sorry about the shaky video, I wasn't too stable as the photographer!!  I would suggest that you listen and not watch!!


Friday, October 21, 2011

The Power of the Written Word

Blond Girl and I were talking the other day and she had me cracking up. She was having a conversation with her math teacher and I imagine it went something like this. 

Math Teacher: "I am not only a Math Teacher I am a Mathematician."
Blond Girl looked at her and said: "Mathematician?"

Math Teacher:  "yes, I am also a mathematician, you know a person whose primary area of study is the field of mathematics. Mathematicians are concerned with quantity, structure, space, and change."

Blond Girl: "Oh, I know the definition, I just thought the word was always Mathemagician."

Math Teacher: Mathemagician? Where did you get that term?"

Blond Girl smiles and holds up the book The Phantom Tollbooth and says "From here, see right here in the land of Digitopolis, they have a MATHEMAGICIAN!"

 Amazing isn't it? the power of the written word? She has told me it doesn't matter what the word really is, she is going to continue to call it a mathemagician. Considering the fact that she gives that book credit for making her question things... I guess I will let her call it a mathemagician. I figure any of my grand kids will have to read the book and will think the same thing anyway.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


This morning about an hour ago, I got a phone call from downstairs.. Asking if Blond Girl was home. Since it is a Thursday you would think that she would be in school.. of course she wasn't school is out, again! Anyway, the phone call came.. when I said yes.. I was told that she had a package. Now we get packages all the time and  we never get told that just one person got one. It's more like, hey you gota package send someone down. So the phone call was a bit odd.

I woke Blond Girl up and sent her on down... she came back with a box from 1-800-flowers and was all excited.. I won't go into the comedy of watching her open the box and cut the zip tie *insert rolled eyes here* but I will say she was beaming. The flowers, a gorgeous rose arrangement, were from her youth pastors.. wanting to let her know that they were thinking about her and hoped she was getting better.

I will admit, I was a bit irked that she hadn't heard from the church after or during her hospitalization. But I had reconciled to the fact that I had been spoiled as  a child and not all large churches took care of the details.. Glad to know I was wrong. Especially since this was the only thing I have found irksome about our church up to this point...

I mean I would understand if they ignored me... but my baby? But they didn't and she feels even more special.. now if we can just figure out what is wrong with her!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Getting Ready for her Senior Solo

So Blond Girl doesn't know it yet but I actually heard her practicing for her Senior Solo! She sounded beautiful, I seriously wish I had her range. What I don't understand though is why she is singing it so high. She has a beautiful Alto voice and she is singing Then Sings My Soul.. why isn't someone at her school working with her so she can sing it in her key?

Then Sings my Soul is a wonderful Torch Singer Song.. you know the ones belted out by altos? Such as Ethel Merman, Lena Horne and others? This is not the first time she has sung a song in too high of a key. She sang Martina McBride's Concrete Angel and tanked it because it was too high.. Hello, Martina has a wonderful alto voice and sings it perfectly. Isn't anyone paying attention? Do they not understand that some people have low voices?

I miss my choir directors.. Both James Armstrong from Granada Jr High AND Richard Crain from First Family Church. They both understood the power of a good alto!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Turn Back Tuesdays

Word Girl 2008. Ok not that long ago but I LOVE this pic!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pretty as a Picture Monday

Just a couple of pictures of Blond Girl from her stay in ICU.. on the left.. Makeover day.. yep they came in and gave her a makeover.. and on the Right.. Yep! You guessed it Dog Therapy!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Trip to the Symphony

Remember when we worried about out children running wild at night? We worried that they would be out partying late, drinking, whatever?

Well kids today have come a long way... This weekend Blond Girl and a group of her friends went on a wild trip to the city.. Taking the train downtown for a trip to the Symphony. She was in awe!!

Of course there were some kids who went along to be cool, yes hard as that is to believe some of the kids felt the need to go just so they would fit in. That cracked me up.. this is what kids are doing to feel cool? My daughter and her close friends asked only that the group of kids who sat behind them be silent.. of course they got offended accused my daughter of being mean and having a superior attitude.. and of course talked through the entire performance. And of course they did not see the irony of this.

It was sad that some people have such a need to belong that they ruin the true enjoyment of those who do something because they truly enjoy it. Blond Girl said it was one of the most amazing experiences of her life. While she was explaining it her eyes shown, she practically glowed just while describing the cellos.. I am so happy that she found a connection at this event. I think so many children do not get the opportunity to experience opportunities like this and then mock it as adults. Never knowing the true beauty of what they are missing.

I can not wait until she escapes the confines of HS and is able to find her niche in college like her sister has. Where she can attend an event like the symphony and not have to deal with the drama of teenage posturing. These kids who have such a love of music that they give up their Saturday night just to view the symphony deserve those moments of peace that comes when one hears beauty.

Next, the Opera

Saturday, October 15, 2011


With only two at home you would think that Saturdays would slow down. Especially with one allegedly ill... Nope..

PITA Boy is off to work! What I respect about PITA Boy is the fact that he works.. and works and works. An employer that hires him is just plain lucky. This morning he is working for four hours at the local park district where he runs the soccer league (park district not league play) but there he is running the games.. and having a blast. Then he is home for a couple hours and off to the other job.. yep both jobs today.. This happens quite regularly he probably works about 40 to 50 hours a week between the two jobs. They all love him.. I just hope he starts socializing a bit more..

Now, Blond Girl.. you know the one who got out of ICU on Thursday night? Yeah her.. she is off to a swim meet.. no she can't swim but she is still part of the team and needs to support it. After the meet is team bonding then home to shower and change. Before off with friends to the see the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.. She is excited because a group of them are taking the train downtown to see the performance with no adult supervision. They are 17 afterall.. some just a month or two away from 18. Yeah it's scary to let go but as a good parent I have to..

It is rather nice to know that my kid is rushing off to the city to see the symphony not hit the bars.. I am truly blessed with my kids.. both the ones at home and the two off living their lives..

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Resilancy of Youth

As we were pulling out of the hospital parking lot last night, I found myself in a rather odd situation. Phone in hand and making a call to Blond Girl's Band Director asking him if she could come to practice. After the words left my mouth, I could hear nothing but silence. He had to be thinking are you freaking kidding me? 

This poor girl had been in Pediatric ICU for two and a half days and she wanted to go to Marching Band Practice? Yeah sounds pretty goofy to me too. The thing is she felt fine.. she felt fine within an hour of her incident... so why curtail her? Yes, the doctors are curtailing her.. The doctors have limited her exercise and while she can PLAY she can not march. But she needed to go. Tonight is Senior Night and as she put it, she is not going to have gone through 4 years of marching band.. not to mention the 6 years before that where she had to go support her siblings.. and NOT get her Senior Night!

Wednesday is Senior Night for swim team.. she can't swim either but she is going to enjoy those moments as well.. She earned them afterall.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Parent's Nightmare

Last Tuesday while Blond Girl was at a swim meet, she laid down to rest, fell asleep and stopped breathing. When her friends attempted to wake her up she was unresponsive and CPR was administered. Fortunately, she came to and was rushed to the emergency room.

Once there all tests were negative she was "fine" and "nothing" was wrong. The Doctors realizing that this was just wrong.. sent her to a children's pediatric ICU at another hospital for observation. Two days later and we are still not sure what is causing the problem but we are pretty secure in knowing that her heart is fine. WHEW.

Let me tell you, I had plenty of falling apart moments in the quiet of the night while she was sleeping. Fortunately, each morning she would wake and smile... everything was fine.

I do have to giggles just a bit though, this ICU unit has what I call a cruise director who comes in to make sure the kids have everything they need to make their stays as good as possible, computer...check...movies...check...glamor day, complete with hair styling, nails and makeup...check..and now today.. she had dog therapy!!

I am glad that there is plenty to keep her smiling.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Turn Back Tuesday

Since I am feeling a bit nostalgic I decided to turn things back about 10 years.. wow.. 10 years a mere decade.. How things have changed.. 10 years ago Hair Boy had just entered high school. He was a tall, thin boy with short (yes that's right) short hair. He had just spent the summer with it smurf blue and he had cut the remains out before school had begun. I really liked that particular picture of him, although he says he always hated it. He was just learning about marching band and at the time there were 6 that is right 6 tubists. He had so much to learn.. All his spare time had been spent in the sound room at the play or on the Marching Band field. Swim Team hadn't started yet and he was just a squirly freshman.

That would put PITA boy in the 7th grade. Middle School was not good to PITA Boy, he stuttered, was a bit immature and had a learning disorder. All combined with a strong desire to be like his brother.. popular and self confident (except he never understood what a crock that was). PITA Boy was often bullied and even in a school with a no bullying policy, not much was done about it. Oh he had his supporters but there was a large contingency of teachers that would have been just as happy as to shove him back in some corner and ignore him. Blame everything on him. They tried... good thing they failed.. PITA Boy wouldn't let them..

Word Girl was in 5th grade.. not even remotely sure of who she was. Stuck in the midst of mean girl hell. She was so rock solid when it came to right and wrong for other people, she would defend against injustice no matter who she had to fight.. and yet she allowed so many to get away with so much when it came to herself. She was a few years away from realizing that she mattered. That she had a voice.. she  never really realized just what a leader she was. I think now, finally in college she is beginning to discover who she has always been.

Blond Girl, wow she was just a cute little 3rd grader. With a ready smile and a seemingly empty mind. Yeah that's right she had the dumb blond thing down pat.. except.. she wasn't she was just soaking up her environment.. soaking up all that was around her.. learning everything.. waiting for her moment in the sun. Waiting to step out from the strong shadows her siblings threw... She was still poised.. hadn't made her leap yet.. but she was ready.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Four Kids and No One's Doin Nuthin?

I sat down to write today and realized that I was drawing a complete blank. How can that possibly be? I mean I have FOUR, count em, Hair Boy (1), PITA Boy (2), Word Girl (3) and Blond Girl (4), yep that is FOUR.. One of them has to be doing something..

To be fair, Word Girl is off leading an exciting life at college.. So who knows what trouble she has gotten herself into. I have already received the phone calls.. Mom I got my lip pierced and even better.. Mom, I shaved my head (not as bad as it sounds as this was for charity) and of course the lovely FB pic of her SECOND tattoo.. Fortunately, she only plans on wearing the lip ring until she graduates and her hair is already growing back, to the point where it needs to be shaped and styled. And even the tats are discreet.. I still say she has had her quota of wild moments.. no more phone calls from her..

And Hair boy.. well he is working hard to pay off some student loans.. so he can get more student loans.. so he can go back to school.. I guess I should be grateful he is too busy to call. Although, he does manage to talk to his grandma at least once a week. I had to lay down the law!! He has to tell me any exciting news BEFORE he tells grandma.. Hey being mom has to have some percs..

All PITA Boy does is work, well work and drive me nuts.. life is good...

Blond girls is just dealing with being a teenage girl.. oh the joys of teenage girl hormone trauma...

So while they are all about not sharing what is going on in their lives.. I am grateful.. They are having great lives!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

PITA Boy not so PITA anymore

I find it amazing that PITA Boy is 21 years old. It seems like just yesterday he was that pesky little.. oh yeah it was. I know that was awful, PITA Boy yanks my chain as much as he does because he really does have so very many of my flaws.. Sometimes it's like banging my head against a mirror and others well...

All that being said he is growing into such an amazing man. He is what I refer to as my  worker bee.. Give that boy a job and he will see it through to the bitter end and then some. He is the kind of employee that employers should be salivating to get. He is considering the military and he would most definitely thrive there.. Although he is more than a little intimidated by the ASVAB.. as his ADHD seriously interferes with his ability to test.

After spending 6 summers as a Lifeguard I know it isn't the actual knowledge but rather the reading that gets him. He would never have passed the original Lifeguard test had not the woman in charge.. taken charge. She knew PITA Boy and she knew he knew his stuff.. so she did a verbal test.. of course he passed with flying colors. I am not saying he doesn't read.. just he doesn't read well on tests..

I have to think that the military is loosing a huge group of young men and women who would be amazing soldiers/sailors/marines/airmen.. by not realizing this. Not everyone tests well.. OK.. my mini rant is over..

Hopefully by this time next year PITA Boy will be off on his new career.. when that happens I will change his name.. to maybe soldier boy... *grins*. No matter what this child does me proud.. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Absolutely Amazing!!

As a senior there are many perks, benefits and last things that occur in High School, I am sure you all remember. For Blond Girl one of the "perks" is the Senior Solo. This is an audition only, event where a certain amount of Seniors are chosen to sing at one of the three concerts through out the year. Usually around 6 are chosen. This year there were 7 of 11.

Last week was the audition and Blond Girl came home rather despondent, she had completely tanked her audition. To the extent that one of her best friends.. when asked was brutally honest and said she sucked.. ok, yeah a little tactless maybe but my daughter pretty much agreed with her. So we had pretty much accepted that she was not going to get a solo.

Yesterday, Blond Girl came bouncing through the door.. an almost musical lilt to her voice.. Guess what! She got a solo!! The list went up on Thursday and she was so sure she hadn't made it, she  didn't even bother looking.. On Friday, she just glanced at it and saw her name!! YAY!

Of course she is singing at the first concert and has only 2 weeks to prepare.. A bit nerve wracking but she will at least get it over with. Anyway on October 23, 2011 somewhere between 3 and 4pm  she will be singing How Great Thou Art... to all and Sundry..  Needless to say I am a worried, nervous, excited and proud Mama...

Friday, October 7, 2011

Word Girl on a Quest for Australia

Word Girl has wanted to go to Australia since she was in the 6th grade. Ok, maybe before that but in the 6th grade she was nominated by someone to be an athletic ambassador for people to people. Since she was a swimmer Australia was the best program and oh how she wanted to go.. I tried, I really tried but I just couldn't fund it. So every year when she got her letter I would watch her eyes light up, then slowly dim as she realized it just wasn't gonna happen. She never blamed me and she really did understand that it was a privilege not an promise. It didn't help that every child I knew that went on this program improved their times immensely, changed their perspective about swimming and how they trained.

Now, she has that opportunity again.. Not as a people to people rep.. but as a student. Finally, she is seeing the fruition of her dream. She is oh so very close to studying abroad in Australia... I am so excited for her. Yes, we still need funds and I know it will take time and effort on her part to come up with them. Her student grants and loans will apply so that is cool but she will need airfare and information funds.. They have programs where she goes to see the country on the weekends when not studying.. and seriously? why go all the way to Australia if you are just going to study and never see what is around you?

She will do it!! I know she will... and I am so proud of her because she just pushes on... dreaming big!! but better yet.. working to fulfill the dream!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hair Boy Sings the Blues

Last Summer was an exciting one for Hair Boy.. He has always been extremely talented and played an abundance of musical instruments but somewhere along the way he stopped. Well stopped all his orchestrational instruments. It made me sad because he was a rather gifted tubist. Over the past couple of years he had started teaching himself the guitar.. Musician that he is, he of course mastered it.. Well at least I think so but I am sure he has far to go before he become a "great" guitarist but hey I'm his mom.. I get to be biased. 
He gave me a call one day last summer and said, hey mom.. my band is gonna be doing a show in Chicago (didn't know he was in a band) and do you want to come? Now there was a DUH question if ever I heard one. It was all very exciting being the mother of a member of the band! I had a great time and of course took many pictures.. For some reason he seems to think there were actually other members in the band.. I don't know where he got that idea, as they aren't in any of my pictures.. 

   Along with the band, he released a solo CD, I know wow!! and was a guest on a radio station. Now that was great fun since it was also broadcast on over the net and I was able to listen to it. As long as any friends or family that I could catch up with. 

  I hope he continues in this vein, he is so very talented.. and face it.. he already has the hair!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Oddly Quiet

It has begun.. those hours of silence.. when all the children are gone, the nest is empty... Oh not yet.. baby bird is still here but her wings are spreading and she is well on her way..

Fall is the fun time, the time of the year when seniors set their dreams.. where they focus on tomorrow and they think they can have and do anything.. In so many ways in this moment in time they are immortal..

Blond Girl is beginning her quest, she has applied at Univ of WY, Marquette, Univ of MT, and my dream school USC.. she still needs to send out aps to Carthage, Univ of Sand Diego, San Diego State and Western Illinois.. Part of me wants to sneak in one to Tulane as well. My girl would love to live in New Orleans.. 

It is exciting to watch and see.. to wonder what she will get, who will accept her and where she is headed. Yesterday we got yet another brochure from Univ of CO.. and now she is thinking of applying there as well..

I am thinking.. MT, WY or CO will get her if they want her.. why? Cuz she wants to major in Astronomy, which all three have excellent programs for, and her second major is COWBOYS! and face it there aren't too many Cowboys in San Diego

We shall see where the wind blows

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Teenage Angst

I seriously hate teenage drama.. Remember? There is nothing worse and I mean NOTHING worse than being a teenage girl. There is just too much angst..

Oh don't get me wrong, the boys had their issues but they were dealt with.. I never had to see them.. but the girls.. yeah totally different story.

Word Girl had a couple of years of stab you in the back fun filled friends.. Well basically one, she would build up a group of friends and this little girl would come along, weasel her way in and then suddenly word girl was odd man out.. it was devastating.. She handled it eventually, me not so much. I freely admit that I will never allow this girl in my sphere again.. Not in my car, Not in my home, preferably not in my site. After the second cataclysmic melt down that she caused.. I put my foot down. Of course Word Girl got past it and "forgave" her. Yeah... like that is gonna happen.. she hurt my baby.

For Blond Girl, it's different.. I seriously never saw it coming.. even when she had a huge disagreement with her best friend.. I chalked it down to growing pains.. I mean seriously, we grow apart, especially in High School. Sadly it has.. her heart is breaking.. and I wanna just scream... It's worse this time, I became friends with the parents.. Now me, I am all for sweeping the battles of my children under the rug and not bringing it into my grown up relationships... but I don't know if others feel the same. And would I have felt that way if I were friends with Word Girls, Nemisis' mother? I doubt it.. Of course I may have been able to see it from her perspective... nah, my baby got seriously hurt..

So my dilema... How do I go on? I am thinking of sticking to the "I don't get involved with my children's battles" Standby and hope that works.. I really don't want to quibble about things that in the end really won't change the world.. Blond Girl has to tread this treacherous path all on her own. She will do fine, I am sure she will loose some friends and gain new ones.. Really, it's only a few short months until graduation.. and most of these friends will be nothing more than a "friend" on facebook...

Monday, October 3, 2011

A New Day

I can not believe it has been almost two years since I seriously blogged. I feel like I have missed so much in my blogging life.. It is pretty darn amazing what has passed.

Just to get you up to date...

Hair Boy has moved out, moved to the college town of Champagne/Urbana.. meandering through his college life. Trying to figure out what he wants to do. Of course because he putzed around a little too much he now is working two jobs to pay off his old student loans so he can get new assistance and continue. He needed this time to figure out what he wanted and where he was headed. I think he has finally found a compass point. He has been playing his guitar, writing music he recorded a CD, has been in several "gigs" both with the band he is in and alone.. AND he has had a rather fantastic on air experience with the local radio station. It was fun because I was able to listen to it on the radio.. While he sounded giddy.. he did good and had fun. And fortunately was knowledgeable about if not the local indy scene at least music in general... Finally!! A good use for all that time he and his father spent rocking to Clapton when Hair Boy was a baby... As for his hair.. yep it's still there.. right now it's in dreads.. sheesh...

PITA Boy... I am thinking this one is gonna need a new name soon.. Finally at 21 he is outgrowing that need to drive me insane. He is still trying to figure out what he is gonna do with his life.. He is working full time and eying either school or the military. Me, I am leaning towards the military!! I think out of all my kids he would excel in such an environment. We just have to get past those pesky ASVAB's.. which suck.. as a kid with ADHD and a learning disorder passing those tests are hard.. It's not that he doesn't get it, it's that once they put it in test format he tanks.. We need to get him passed those tests because this kid would be such an asset to anything he does..

Work Girl... what can I say? She is enjoying her second year of college and has come into her own. No more trying to deal with the day to day hierarchy of life in the small community we live in. No more having to be known as my daughter, her brother's sister, her grandparent's child.. no longer a living legacy of a family that no longer exists.. Nope... she has become herself and what a joy it is to watch.. She is a leader at school.. having been elected to the inner hall residence board.. As VP she gets her room for free YAY!! Of course she still has tuition, board, books and the rest but... every little bit helps.. and 6,000 this year in free room is nothing to sneeze at. She is working towards a semester abroad next year so we are really excited.. She is gonna get to Australia if it kills her.. She has wanted to go since she was contacted by People to People to go as an athlete ambassador when she was 11. Cross your fingers she will be there next year.

Blond Girl... WOW!! She is a SENIOR... I am not quite sure how that has happened but she is blossoming into an amazing young woman. Of course, she is dealing with the day to day growing pains of being a teenage female.. as well as feeling the restrictions of day to day living in a community that has known you since before your oldest brother was born.. yeah.. it's hard for her.. I know she is looking forward to escaping... One of her dream schools is the Univ of Wyoming.. her ACT scores rock and her GPA is right on the cusp so we are keeping our fingers crossed. Of course Marquette and Univ of Montana are also up there.. She is looking to join her sister at Western if she goes to a state school.. and today just as a well why the heck not.. she applied at USC.. yeah.. no coaching there....

As you can see they are all on their way to becoming amazing individuals... I only have one problem.. This October 30, I will only have one teenager.. I may just have to rename the blog..

Sunday, February 27, 2011


One of these is Hair Boy and one of these gentlemen is a young man I have never met before. Honestly it took me few minutes to tell them apart.