Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Went to the gym to do a lifting class. I get real nervous going to a new class. I am a runner and that means me, myself, and I (and my i-pod) on the open road. I am worried that I am going to make a fool of myself in front of all those strangers. However, I held my own and I really enjoyed the class. The good thing is when you take an 8:30 am you get less of the I-am-here-to-pick-up-on-guys-and-am-half-naked chippies, and more of the just-took-my-kids-to-school-and-am-still-in-yoga-pants moms. I relate to the latter group...I felt right at home.
Came home to look at some random dozen posts, Oh yeah and I finally sat down today to do my taxes...phew I am glad that is over.
I worked on finishing sorting through Bella's room and it felt good to purge that little pack rat's room. I found things that I really had to wonder what possessed her to keep. I found gunky lip gloss, endless birthday party favors that never were used, and really how many half eaten candy necklaces does one girl need?? Then I started on my dresser and quickly realized the candy apple blow pop didn't fall far from the tree. I had jewelry that I hadn't worn for months...and when I say months I mean years. I mean really...do I need three flip flop necklaces? or two anklets when I don't like or wear anklets? Or a small collection of one earring...just hoping that one day the other one will suddenly appear? It wasn't a pretty sight. And don't even get me started on the collection of t-shirts that could clothe all the half naked chippies at the gym. I did a good job and I can safely say that all the things I kept I will wear or use at least once in the next year...maybe.
I also came home to the refrigerator light being out. It is amazing to me how much we depend on that light bulb. I mean I can hardly find anything in my refrigerator WITH it fully lit. In the dark it is hit or miss whether I grab the cottage cheese in the way back or the sour cream. Did you know that you need a special bulb for the fridge...you can't just grab one from stash? So this either means I will need to make a special trip to the store, remember that I need a bulb when I go to the store, or put it on my grocery list. Who am I kidding I am going to be using the braille method of finding my produce for the next month. Why do things like this have to be so difficult??
My taxes were easier.
- A Ro
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
OK I'll stop now.
1. How do you feel about the marshmallow Easter Peeps?
Honestly I think they aren't worth the calories...although now that I have had chocolate(caffeine) ripped from my diet it might be the only thing I can eat this Easter. I hear they are better when they are a little stale, might have to give that a shot.
2. Chickens are notoriously nervous creatures. When you are nervous, what is the best way to calm down?
Being I am still a performer (of sorts) being on stage and thus being nervous is a big part of my job. When I am really nervous the only thing that keeps me from tossing my cookies are slow, deep breaths. Although I have been known to strut about in a frenzied fashion when I am nervous. Hey...maybe that is where the term "being chicken" comes from. I know, I'm a little slow on the uptake.
3. People say, "April showers bring May flowers." Do you enjoy Spring rains?
The school I teach at has no hallways...every door to the building is an outside door, now this is a good plan, in theory, because you don't have a lot of wasted space, and it IS California. However, when it rains it means we just resign ourselves to getting wet. I really don't like to be wet. I enjoy WARM spring rains and a good umbrella and rain boots.
Wow that is a lot of words for a yes or no question...
4. When I was randomly flipping through TV channels this week, I saw a show in which tattoo parlor employees received tattoos of a co-worker's face on their bodies. I can't imagine having a portrait of a colleague tattooed on me. But if someone forced you to receive a portrait tattoo (face only) of anyone, who would it be? Why?
I am going the sentimental route on this one...I would say my father. He died about 7 years ago, way to young, and I miss him oh so very much.
5. Would you rather have a tattoo (any kind) or a nose ring?
6. Do you have any special plans for Easter?
Spending it with my immediate family. Rich and the kids and I will have a nice dinner and then I always do a scavenger hunt, complete with rhyming clues, to find their baskets. Maybe this year they will be too old for that...yeah probably not.
7. Cadbury Eggs or Reese Eggs?
Woah...now Linda that question is going a bit too far. You are just asking for trouble...I mean do you want riots on your blog or something. For me that is like asking which child is my favorite. I am not even going to go there.
8. What was the last thing/person you took a picture of?
My family watching Chuck last night. It is our Monday routine and it was my Monday picture for Project 365. It is funny...I took the picture and each one said simultaneously "Let me see it" Don't they remember what is was like to have to WAIT until you paid to have each and every crappy picture processed to see. I love the instant veto power of digital pictures.
9. What book are you reading now, or what was the last one?
I can't remember the last book I read. Going to the library is a thing that we are going to do during our Spring Break. I read a couple of books for work on the way the brain works and how that has to do with learning. Loved those books. Being a music teacher and very attune to my right brain, liking brain books sounds all nerdy of me and out of character. However, it really fascinates me how the brain learns and develops. I know...nerd.
10. What do you think is the most difficult task when it comes to Spring cleaning?
I would say that sorting through all the stuff I have accumulated over the year. When we move I really want to stay on top of all the stuff that accumulates. I am rethinking presents and what I save and what I pitch. Yeah...good luck with that, I know.
11. How many pairs of flip-flops do you own?
Too many...which is the same response you'll get if you ask me how many pairs of shoes I own.
12. Which color makes you happiest?
Yellow...don't know why, just does.
My Bonus Joke (not part of the Random):
Q - Why shouldn't you tell an Easter egg a good joke??
A - It might crack up....ha ha!!
In Summary: I miss and love my dad, but don't ever see myself tattooing him on my body. I am reminded of how much I need to continue sorting through our
- A Ro
Monday, March 29, 2010
I am on Spring Break so I hope that means that I will enjoy a relaxing two weeks, yes two weeks!!! My school has a two week spring break, thank goodness. I also hope this means that I will be able to make some really good meals and blog about them (among other things). This Thursday I'll be making fish tacos again, it was a big hit, and Rich requested them again so...I'll blog the recipe then.Cooking Light has always been my favorite cooking magazine. I got their Cooking Light Way to Cook book and just love it. This Basic Beef Stew with Carrots and Mushrooms is one of our favorite recipes. I love stews and soups and since I live in California I can't really wait until it gets cold to cook them...so anytime is fair game. This recipe takes about 3 hours to prepare so do it on a day that you can devote some serious time to cooking!!
1 lb. small cremini mushrooms
2 c. chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 c. all-purpose flour (about 1.5 ounces)
2 lbs. lean beef stew meat, cut into bite sized pieces
3/4 t. salt, divided
1c. dry red wine
1T. chopped fresh thyme
2 (14 oz.) cans less-sodium beef broth
1 bay leaf
2 c. (3/4 inch) cubed peeled white potatoes (about 1 lb.)
1 1/2 cups (1-inch) slices carrots (about 12 oz.)
1/2 t. freshly ground black peppers
Place flour in a shallow bowl. Dredge beef in flour, shaking off excess. Heat remaining 2 t. oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add half of beef mixture; sprinkle with 1/8 t. salt. Cook 6 minutes, browning on all sides; add to mushroom mixture. Repeat procedure with remaining beef mixture and 1/8 t. salt. Add wine to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add thyme, broth, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Stir in beef mixture. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 1 hour or until beef is just tender.
Stir in potato and carrot. Simmer, uncovered, 1 hour and 15 minutes or until beef and vegetables are very tender and sauce is thick, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining 1/2 t. salt and pepper. Discard bay leaf.
Yield: 8 servings (serving size about 1 c.)
CALORIES 303; FAT 9.8g (sat 3.2g, mono 4.7g, poly 0.6g); PROTEIN 26.4g; CARB 26.8g; FIBER 2.3g; chol 71mg; IRON 3.9mg; SODIUM 494 mg; CALC 54 mg.
I hope you find some time to make this stew...it is really tasty!!
- A Ro
Saturday, March 27, 2010
It is that time again. I can't believe how fast this year as flown by. Time does fly by when you are having fun and looking back on this week's pictures I am reminded that even though we are a very busy family...we really do enjoy each other so much.
Head on over to Sara's blog to see everyone else's week...
I enjoy cooking. I especially enjoy cooking food that my family enjoys and that is healthy for them. It is important that we live a healthy lifestyle and that means home cooked meals. Rich says that it is one of the things he loves about me. My commitment to healthy living.
She is such a hard worker. It seems like our week in pictures would not be complete without at least ONE homework pictures...it is what we do most around here.
Here Bella is at her art class. This is the end of the session show where the kids show what they are working on. This is her bowl and lemon. We then rushed to Subway and met Rich for Andrew's baseball game...whew long day!!
My student fell and hurt his tailbone today...this was the only position that didn't hurt him. At least he stuck it out for the rehearsal...he is a real trooper and that is one of the main reasons he is doing so well and turning into a strong confident singer.
Look at those beautiful blue eyes...thanks Bella for taking our picture. We don't get too many together. Have I told you how lucky I am to have this amazing man in my life...oh yeah I guess I have...
This is Bella doing an Andrew impersonation. She is trying to get out of the picture. Thank goodness she isn't very good at it!! This is her Fiesta outfit...
Look at my girl go after that ball even though she is being pushed a little. I am so glad she is a go getter and not afraid to go after the ball. This, go after what you want in life and still be respectful and generous, is just the kind of girl she is. I am honored when people tell me she is just like me.
In Summary: I am blessed to have good food on my table, and a daughter who is a great student, artist, and athlete. I have the best students and the best man. My life is good, and I am so happy. If only Rich's kids could be a part of our lives...I will keep praying for healing.
- A Ro
Friday, March 26, 2010
Here she is in her skit. She is a worker on the transcontinental railroad. I was told by many teachers that she did an amazing job pretending to shovel. I told them she gets that from me, and my Iowa roots...as she has never shoveled a day in her life.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
I am pretty sure that if the Guinness Book of Records had a "How Much Can One Mother Shove Into Her Day/Week" I would be a real contender.
Here is a little peek, and I realize that it is only Thursday...boy do I ever realize this!!
Monday I got up and worked out and I decided that while Bella was at soccer practice I would run the path around the park. So got home, got Bella to practice (2 minutes from our house), went home chopped veggies for our dinner...homemade calzones, put on running stuff, ran 3 miles and got Bella and went home and started dinner.
Here is where a plan that looks good on paper, starts to fall apart in real life a) Rich ended up working a horrendous 30 airplanes at once shift from 11:00 - 5:30 (1 1/2 hours past when he usually works and didn't get home until 6:15) b)my pizza dough was NOT cooperating and c) it was 7:15 before we ended up eating. We were starving and had a deadline of 8:00 for Chuck.
Tuesday I am sitting at Andrew's baseball game with Rich and Bella. It is the last half of an inning and it is, oh, about 9:00 and one mom said "Well I am going to leave a bit early so I can start on dinner"
I thought 7:15 was late to be eating. I was honestly going to ask Rich if we could leave a bit early because I needed to start on...SLEEPING...So that was Tuesday night. Needless to say that going straight from work to Bella's art class, to baseball (with a stop at Subway for dinner BEFORE the game) and home about 10:00 the Random Dozen did not get started or for that matter finished. I was bummed, but I was lucky to make it home without falling asleep at the wheel.
Well don't worry, Wednesday I actually cooked fish tacos, did soccer practice, paid bills, helped with homework, did our usual ice cream night and went to bed at a decent time.
Tonight is another baseball game...and tomorrow is the last day before a much needed Spring Break.
- A Ro
Monday, March 22, 2010
I decided, however, to take a look at the many many blessings I have in my life. Let me tell you they are many. So I have come up with a lists...I know, aren't lists fun!!
Beautiful ring on my left finger. Love of an amazing man.
Being able to plan a simple and meaningful wedding.
The laughter of a 14 year old, at something his mother said.
Bright beautiful brown eyes of a 9 year old excited about her day.
"...she is truly the most amazing person I've ever met..." said one student about me for a scholarship essay.
A mistake that hurt someone else's feelings, remorse in her eyes, lessons learned.
A true partner, cooking dinner, cleaning up, sharing the day, kisses hello.
Children who aren't with us. Hoping they are happy.
Surprise phone call from family that I miss. Lots of laughter.
Pictures of a niece that I miss. Don't you just love a cute baby......who enjoys a daddy-cicle??
- A Ro
Sunday, March 21, 2010
I must apologize for my hiatus. Some people deal with stress by exercising heavily, or shopping. My usual m.o. is to just stop doing everything when I am stressed and upset. This past week has been full of a lot of stress. I am doing better and hopefully I can adopt some better coping skills like exercising more...yeah right OR buying new shoes...wow just thinking about that one makes me feel better...I guess we have a winner.
Either way I did manage to take my Project 365 pictures this week...so enjoy...while I grab my oxygen tank and head off to DSW shoe warehouse.
A trip to Kohls to find a plaid flannel shirt for Isabella's class play next week and a potato ricer comes up empty handed. Do you know how hard it is to find plaid flannel in California when the weather is 70 degrees? Yeah, you guessed it...impossible. And the potato ricer...geez $40 bucks just to try a new homemade gnocchi recipe?? Yeah, you guessed it...I should have spent the $40 bucks.
Just love Bella cuddled up in my bed with her P.J.'s on reading her book...too cute.
I woke up Tuesday morning with horrible stomach cramps, aches and pains, and a slight fever. I felt horrible. Bella came home from school and made me this small treasure hunt so I could find my get well card. She is just the sweetest girl I know. Rich and Bella really know how to take care of me. (Andrew would have too, but he had a baseball game and was with his dad.)
Rich's kids were supposed to be here this week so I bought Disneyland tickets for Wednesday. I took two personal days and got the kids out of school. So when Rich's kids didn't come I decided to go anyway. Not really the wisest choice considering I was still not feeling 100%, but it is the Happiest Place on Earth and I did just fine. I really had a good time with my kids and I think it was just what we needed. (Even though I paid for it the next day.) Notice that Andrew will have his picture taken just as long as I'm not taking it....hmmm...
I cannot believe that this is my little boy. When did he become such a big boy??
Either I am organizing or moving. Hey, wait...I am doing BOTH. We went out to get some necessary items for our
I cannot believe that this is my little girl. When did she become such a big girl??
In Summary: I really need to figure out how to stop them from growing up. It really isn't working for me. This move might just involve a real 12 step program at some point. I think I would much rather break my arm then have the stomach flu...and that just might solve the packing/moving problem...hmmm. But if I have to be stressed and do stressful things, this family is the one that I want to go through it with.
- A Ro
Monday, March 15, 2010
My mood started to turn as Andrew and I sat down at the sushi place we always go to when we both have a lunch and free period in a row. We both are surprised daily that this place still exists and has an "A" rating because it has changed names and owners three times this year already. We still go there and still love it whether it is Sushi Bon, Sushi Kyoto, or Sushi Planet. Today was the first time we visited the Sushi Planet, or was it Planet Sushi, hmmm. Anyway it was a very interesting experience today. It started when we went in and Careless Whisper was playing, yes the George Michael hit from the 80's which when I last checked was 30 years ago and really had nothing to do with Japan or Sushi. Followed closely with Chicago's Hard Habit to Break, Christina Aguilera's Genie in a Bottle and Lionel Richie's Hello. What followed was our waitress coming up to take our order and having a very thick Mexican accent. I do like to go to ethnic restaurants that actually have people of that culture working there, somehow for me that makes it "real". Not that there is anything wrong with a Mexican working at a Sushi place, I mean you gotta do what you gotta do. The problem was that it just wasn't expected. I usually have trouble because I am such a corn feed, white bread Iowa girl that if you talk to me with an even a Missouri accent I can't understand you let alone another country all together. And to have an expectation of trying to wade through a Japanese dialect and getting a Mexican one...well it is kind of like ordering water and taking a sip only to find out it is Sprite. It was good sushi and we left the place with Duran Duran's Reflex playing...
The reason the weekend was so crappy was that Rich's kids didn't come. Their mother did not put them on the plane. My hope is one day those kids realize that they have an amazing father and that a relationship with him is going to be the thing that makes them successful, happy, and be able to fulfill all their dreams. The place they are in now is only going to bring them down. One day...
The great day ended with:
- Bella's soccer practice where we figured out that it takes only 75 seconds to get from the soccer field to our house. I guessed 120 seconds. I was way off, but then again I am not sure how accurate the 1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi, 3 Mississippi method is.
- My favorite ham and bean soup.
- Filling out our NCAA March Madness bracket.
- A Ro
Saturday, March 13, 2010
It is time once again to take a peek into my week. I hope you enjoy. Go to Sara's Blog to check out the rest of the gang's pictures.
Bella loves to make gift bags for her friends Birthday's. We just buy the white bags, get out the Sharpies, and she goes to town. This friend got some Penguin and Club Penguin stuff so the bag has that theme too. She is just so artistic.
Today was my presentation at my regional independent schools conference. Everyone said it went really well, but I just think I was a bumbling idiot. Did I mention that I don't like to talk in front of other people?
I got to go to Isabella's art class this time. Usually she is with her dad on Tuesday's but Andrew had a baseball game so I went to art class. Here are two of her oil paintings she did. Did I mention that she is artistic??
Instead of showing my backside (again) and lamenting about how being a choral conductor is all about the backside (again) I thought I'd put a picture of Andrew singing in my choir to represent today's event. If you really need to read all about my backside woes, you can go here.
Bella had so sit through another concert. This time it was Andrew's Band concert. He plays the cello and bass in the jazz band. It is really cool to watch, unless you are a 9 year old sister who hasn't had an evening to herself all week.
Andrew had another baseball game tonight. He is a freshman playing on a Varsity team. Tonight he got up to bat, and tonight he got a hit into right field. He was on cloud nine. I cannot believe that my little guy got a hit. The pitcher he got the hit off of went on to strike out 5 other of his teammates.
Bella had soccer again today. As you can see it is sunny, a much nicer day. Her team lost, however, but she had fun. Most importantly her mama didn't freeze her backside off. Look at that girl go!! (She is the one in the purple)
In Summary: I have very athletic children, however, they didn't get it from me. My daughter is a great artist, however, she didn't get it from me. I might be able to take some credit for the musical stuff. The only other pictures represents my inadequacy as a public speaker. Wow I really need to re-think the picture taking method I used this week. This diva got shortchanged.
- A Ro
Friday, March 12, 2010
My Spring Choral Concert was Wednesday night and it was a spectacular concert. If I can ever figure out how to post video on my blog I will send out some of the actual MUSIC that we produced that night, but that probably translates to never. However, here are some pictures of the joyous event. WOOHOO!!
My combined Sixth Grade Chorus. They look so innocent, so serious, however, they all have kazoos hidden somewhere on their person ready for the signal. I love kazoos...and btw...they do too.
Why yes it is!!! It is my uber talented boy. He can play cello, bass, and sing a mean tenor line. Wow, how did I get to be so lucky to be his mama??
Here is the band for vocal jazz. I know I look ticked off with my diva attitude and my hands on my hips...no idea why.
**tap tap is this thing on??**
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
1. How old is the oldest pair of shoes in your closet?
I was just showing off my Lands Ends Duck Shoes this weekend at the soccer game that never should have been I have had those shoes since I was in high school. That doesn't really surprise me. I have always been told that I collect shoes like some people collect Beanie Babies. I guess in every good collection you have to have some antiques.
2. Did you buy Girl Scout cookies this year? If so, what variety?
I bought Thin Mints, but didn't eat a one. I cannot have chocolate so this was an easy one. Not to say I didn't curse my doctor every time I opened the freezer and saw the round, chocolaty, disks of heaven. Nope...not a one.
3. Do you know how to ballroom dance? If not, would you like to?
This one cracks me up. The only reason I would want to ballroom dance would be the shoes and the outfits. I guess that is kind of like wanting to be a doctor so you can legitimately wear scrubs. Not quite a good enough reason.
4. Were you a responsible child/teenager?
Yes. I left my 14 year old VERY responsible son to babysit my 9 year old and was worried, until I realized I babysat MUCH younger kids when I was about 12. I hope that my son got those particular genes.
5. How many of this year's Oscar-nominated movies did you see?
Well, this was a good year. But when you nominate ten movies and one of them was an animated flick the chances are that I will have seen at least one. Otherwise, not so much. However, this year I saw Up, Up in the Air, and Blind Side. I was so glad that Sandra Bullock won, I just love her. Secretly, I was glad that the big hype Avatar didn't win as many as expected. I just love underdogs!!
6. If you're going to have a medical procedure done, such as having blood drawn, is it easier for you to watch someone else having the procedure done or have it done yourself?
That is like asking me which finger I would like to break. No good answer. I cannot stand to have procedures done, and I REALLY can't watch someone else. If I had to say I would say that I would rather have it done...I guess.
7. What is your favorite day of the week and why?
I like Saturdays. I get to sleep in a little, and I have an entire day to squeeze in all the stuff I need to do AND get to stay up a little late too. It is a perfect day.
8. Do you miss anyone right now?
My guy is an air traffic controller having to work a late shift tonight...so yes...(one tear)
9. Do hospitals make you queasy?
Yes...something about the way they smell. I know that is crazy.
10. At which store would you like to max-out your credit card. Not that you ever would, you responsible person, you.
I would have to reference question number 1 and say DSW shoe warehouse. Even though I need a chaperone and an oxygen mask to even walk through the doors...I could seriously do some damage to my credit history. Not that this responsible person WOULD, I'm just sayin' I COULD.
11. Are you true to the brand names of products/items?
Nope, whatever is on sale is good for me.
12. Which is more difficult: looking into someone’s eyes when you are telling someone how you feel, or looking into someone’s eyes when he/she is telling you how he/she feels?
That is a really good question. I feel that eye contact is really important, but it really is hard to do. I think it is harder for me to look at someone when they are telling me how they feel. I get embarrassed really easy.
In Summary: A-Ro would love to dress up like a doctor, but hates hospitals and medical procedures, not such a good mix. She was a very responsible teenager, doesn't attach herself to any one brand or product, but collects shoes. Finally I know it sounds crazy, but she gets embarrassed AND loves to talk in third person. Aren't there are so many things that just don't seem like they would be the way they are, but then lo and behold they are...go figure.
- A Ro
Monday, March 8, 2010
Every week I see pictures and hear stories from other bloggers about snow. Snow here, snow there, look at all the snow, snow, snow, snow. I make my comments:
"Wow, look at all that snow"
"Boy that snow sure looks pretty"
"I sometimes miss the snow"
When in actuality I am thinking: Thank goodness I live in California and don't have to deal with all that sasinfrassin snow.
Well on Saturday the weather gods got me back, and I can assure you for one hour I was miserable, cold, wet but mostly miserable.Bella had her first soccer game of the season.
We are wimps here in California. Pretty much everything stops for rain. We have even closed school for rain. People here with their convertibles, Gucci umbrellas, and high heels don't do rain.
So when it was raining on Saturday morning I thought there is no way in heck we were playing soccer today.
I was wrong.
We got wet.Bella's impression of the Hamburger Helper Guy only made me smile a little.
Until I realized...No wait...those are GOALIE GLOVES...OK I am going to be going now, call me when it is over.Because of all my worrying she did not give up one goal...she didn't get any balls anywhere near her, but no goals were scored on her.
What is is about kids? She could have cared less if it was raining. She was a happy little soccer player.
I was cold.
Not as cold as all of you snowed in folks.
But I was cold.
I am sorry.
This will be me the next game. Tarp. Umbrella. Blanket. Hat. and Video games.
Especially if Bella is in the goal again.
- A Ro