Monday, February 28, 2011

Weekend Highlight Reel

Whew...this weekend came in went so fast my head is still spinning.  It only made me wish, as I pulled my butt out of be this morning, that I had another three day weekend.

Here are the highlights:

1.  Friday night was our school's faculty party.  It is our school's 50th year so all the faculty brought in pictures of them a little bit...younger.
Yes, not only was I younger and skinnier but I was sporting a whole lot more blue eye shadow and Aqua Net.  I love the matching dyed Payless shoes, and the white nylons.  Yes I went to high school in the late 80's...why do you ask?

The only thing that is the same is the young man in the picture...he is still in the picture.

2.  I went for a run both Saturday morning and Sunday morning...picking the two coldest days of the week to get back at it.  I really need to do another post regarding what goes through my mind during my runs...some really crazy stuff.  I did a similar post is a pretty good funny post if you have a minute.  If you are a runner you will relate and if you aren't you will be glad you aren't.

3.  Saturday was Mom/Rich taxi.  Bella had two playdates and a sleepover, and we had to pick up Andrew at his bff's house.  His bff's dad and mom are celebrities and the nicest people you could ever meet.  They are down to earth, unassuming, and generous with my son beyond belief.  Lets just say he is over there a lot.  Their daughter is one of my favorite middle schoolers.  I just love that family.

4.  So one would think that any character that is smattered over every 4 year olds t-shirts, lunch boxes, backpacks, and underwear would be a character that would be a part of an "Amy movie".  Yeah...Iron Man...not so much.  Rich and I watched it Saturday night complete with a bowl of popcorn from my new toy and some cuddling.  I really liked the movie but I was happy that I was knitting while watching because there were a couple of moments where Rich said "Honey, maybe you shouldn't watch this part" reply "I am one step a head of you". 

5.  I know that the next thing I divulge will probabaly cause you to gasp, but I am not much of an awards show person.  No I didn't watch the Oscars.  I didn't watch the seven hour red carpet event.  I didn't watch to see which's celebritie's jewelry could feed a third world country for a decade  I just don't get into that hype.  They play no more of an important role in our society than I do.  Their skill set is no more challenging than mine.  I'll tell you one thing that is VERY different..their paychecks.  I just don't get it.

Ok. Done.

6.  I'll tell you what I did get into on Sunday...piles of laundry, vacuuming, mopping, cooking, bill paying, and all without Rich who had to work...sigh.

Let me tell you one thing for sure...I wouldn't trade it for a million little gold naked men statues.

More Later

- A Ro

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Project 365 Week 9

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So you want to know what I have been up to this week...well keep on reading and I'll show you.  It is my Project 365 Week 9.  It has been a great week and I am blessed to have a wonderful family to share it with!!

Here ya go...

Sunday February 20:
Silly Bella

Since we were out enjoying ourselves yesterday we had to do our shopping today.  We picked up Bella from her Dads and went to the market.  We found this coffee shop in our Trader Joes shopping comlex and stopped by for a refreshing dring.  She just can't take a "normal" picture.

Monday February 21:
My New Toy

In honor of our Chuck viewing we broke out this bad boy.  The popcorn tasted SO good and fresh.  I may or may not have added a few mini M&M's to Bella's popcorn bowl...and I may or may not have had a bite...or two.

Tuesday February 22:
My Distraction

Rich and I went to the library this afternoon and I got a new book.  I like this author and really enjoyed this book.  I wrote a post about my love/hate relationship with books here. This book is the reason that my blog reading has been neglected, my housework had been neglected, and why my family had to eat only mac and cheese for two days...I am kidding about the last one, but not my much.

Wednesday February 23:
A Nice Gesture

I am a mentor teacher this year and my mentee gave me this really nice L.L. Bean bag today and a really sweet note from him and his lovely wife thanking me for all my help this year so far.  He is a really great teacher, and I have enjoyed working with him.  It was such an honor to be asked to do this important job  What a nice surprise!!

Thursday February 24:
I Really Need to Clean My Scanner

I scanned this picture that my sister-in-law took of my beautiful kids.  This funny thing is that Andrew has a buzz cut now and it was funny when we saw this picture we both said at the same time "Look at that hair!!!"  She is such a talented photographer...and I really need to clean my scanner.
Friday February 25:
Another Picture of Rich and I That I Took 

We had our faculty party tonight and Rich and I went.  It was celebrating our schools 50th year so we all turned in older pictures of ourselves as the decorations.  I gave them Rich and my prom picture from 1986.  It was such a crazy picture.  I'll have to post it sometime...maybe for a Friday Fun post.  We had a GREAT time.

Saturday February 26:
My Old Friends

I have been busy for the last 6 weeks working seriously on strength training and my cardio has been spinning and the elliptical machine.  Today I decided to go for a run.  It was a crisp 49 degrees out but the sun was out and it was nice weather for a run.  It reminded me of home with the crisp air, cold cheeks, and the smell of fireplaces.  That 3.5 miles felt really good.

In Summary:  It was a very nice normal week filled with a good book, great kids, wonderful friends, a prom date turned hubby, and popcorn with M&M' doesn't get any better than that.

More Later

- A Ro

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Fun

Well my Friday Fun post today is a short story that all of you who have teenagers will appreciate.

Today was our spirit assembly.

We had relay races.

I was asked to be a member of one of the faculty relay races.

I had to wear a swim cap and goggles and hit a golf ball through some cones.

My son is a sophomore at the school I teach at.

And scene.

Have a great weekend!!!

More Later

- A Ro

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Book Worms Should Probably Skip This Post

I have a couple of problems with books.  Now don't get me wrong, I love to read.  I like fiction, historical fiction, biographys, mysteries, and chick books.  But books, in general, have always been a source of problems for me.

My first problem is I am not one of those people who like to collect books, you know the kind that need a library in their house to shelve the thousands of books they feel then need to keep and reference.  Therefore, I really hate buying books only to turn them into a 25 cent sale at my decade-ly garage sale.  Since I will only have approximately five garage sale in my lifetime this means any book I buy has to have a place to be until said garage sale...and you know how I obsess about everything needing to have its place in my house.  I also hate paying for something that I am only going to use once.  I know there are some books that people should just own and keep forever, but I am just not one of those people.  I have trouble keeping my kids school and art work for any legnth of time...again it goes back to my obsession with having an organized house.  It is the same way I feel about buying movies.

I know, I know...crazy.

There are a couple of key movies and books that I do own and won't get rid of.  I have all the Harry Potter books, and for some reason I keep every diet book I ever about a shelf full.

I also own a few DVD's Airplane, Christmas Vacation, and Elf. You know...the classics.

but I digress...

The perfect solution to this first problem is to have good friend who buy books and are willing to loan them out and own a library card.  These two solutions have given me a good deal of reading material over time, but it is a little inconvenient to have to wait for friends to offer up books and getting to the library seems like I am having to travel to the moon.

My second problem is really the greater issue.  When I read a book...I can't put it down.  All I want to do is read.  I get so wrapped up in the book that I am drawn to it like a junkie to crack.  I think about it when I am not reading it and I carry it with me at all times as to not waist one idle second.  This means that I read when I am eating, when I should be doing housework, when I should be blogging, when I am cooking, and when I am supposed to be SLEEPING BECAUSE I GET UP SO DANG EARLY.

I am a hot mess when I am in the middle of a book...and to be quite honest it doesn't even have to be a GOOD book.

I was visiting my sister in Arkansas one summer and she had the Twilight series.  I started reading the first one, the name of it eludes me at the moment (I know all you Twilight fans are screaming at your comupter right now...sorry)

Anyway she caught me reading it and told me that for my own good I should put it down and back away slowly...that I would forever regret getting sucked into this series.  Well, I didn't listen and when I finished the first book and was craving the second it was time for me to leave.  I asked her if she would loan me the rest and she told me that for my own good she would have to say no.  And she didn't.  I had to go find my crack Twilight books elsewhere.

I did.

As I was in the middle of the last one...about 500 pages into it...(it was very long)  I was cursing each and every page.  I hated this book...but I couldn't stop thinking about it and reading it.  I HAD TO FINISH IT.  I thought it was so utterly riduculous...c'mon seriously.  Bella a pregnant vampire whose baby inside her is killing her and her vampire husband is trying to save her while saving the baby and the warewolf who is also in love with her is also trying to save her AND when the baby is finally born the give it some ridiculous name and the warewolf figures out that the baby is his soulmate...while all the time waiting for the bad vampires to come kill them all.


I'm sorry Kate...I should have listened to you.

I'm sorry Twilight fans...I tried.

I finished the book, threw it to the ground, and swore off books for a very long time.

I seriously can't remember the next book I read. 

Until Tuesday when Rich and I went to the libaray.  I got this book:

Heart of the Matter

I really like this author.  I have read two other books of hers and thought I would give it a go.  However, I was a little worried because it was a new book and it only had a two week checkout period.

I must have briefly lost my mind.

I finished it by Wednesday afternoon.

Now if you will excuse me I need to go reconnect with the world, and burn my library card.

More Later

- A Ro

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A True Hodgepodge

It is time for the weekly Hodgepodge hosted by Joyce at From This Side of the Pond.  Head on over to her blog and see what it is all about and play along...c'mon you know you want to!!

Here is my go at it.

1. Did you know there is a National Day of pretty much everything in the universe? February 23 happens to be National Inconvenience Yourself Day...when was the last time you were inconvenienced?
I am inconvenienced every time I get on the freeway and deal with other drivers.  But in the grand scheme of things I have many conveniences so I really shouldn't complain...but when has THAT stopped me :)

2. When a room in your house needs painting who does the job?
Well we just moved into a new place and just got haven't had that discussion yet, but I would bet money on the fact that we would BOTH do it together...we are a pretty good team on all other chores so I can't imagine this being any different...right honey??

3. Are you friends with your cousins?
I am the oldest of my four siblings and the next two siblings are older than any of our cousins PLUS we live very far away from each we are Facebook friends and enjoy getting together when we get the chance...friends?? you be the judge.

4. Do you use an alarm clock? If yes-is it an actual alarm, music, or something else?
I am an alarm clock wake up freak.  I need to be able to hit snooze three times before I wake up so my actual alarm clock does that job...and it is a buzzer.  My phone takes care of the last one then I know it is time to wake up.  So lets review...alarm clock set at 3:50...hit snooze at 3:50, 4:00, and phone rings at 4:15 and I am out of bed.

I am such a diva...

5. What do you put ketchup on?
I put ketchup on hamburgers and french fries...needless to say I don't use very much ketchup.

6. What smells make you nostalgic?
Drakkar Noir reminds me of high apple cider reminds me of my Mom's house...and Warm Vanilla Sugar reminds me of Rich...I wear it everyday so he is on my mind a lot...ahhhh.

7. Have you heard about the high school English teacher recently suspended as a result of some things she wrote in her personal blog? You can read the story here but in a nutshell she vented a lot of frustration onto her blog. She didn't mention individual students by name but she did make some harsh comments about kids in general and their parents.

What are your thoughts-If you're a parent is your child's teacher online and are you 'friend' or 'follower' there? If you're a teacher are you on facebook and do you accept or friend students on fb? How about their parents? If you're a student are you friends with your current or former teachers online? Do any of them have blogs you read? If you're a teacher or a parent do you ever use your blog as a place to vent your frustrations with our educational system? So much to discuss... goes...
With the exception of one person my childrens teachers are not my friends on Facebook.
I am a teacher and I only friend FORMER students.  It is a running joke...most of my seniors friend me on graduation day.
I am friends with a few choice parents.
I really don't use my blog to vent any job frustrations...I am truly blessed to have the job and the students I have and really have nothing (for the most part) to vent about.

I think teachers have such the higher standard to have to live is a hard blurry line that we must not cross, but if we truly live by standards that we would want our students to live by we'll keep on the right side of that line.

8.  In Summary:  I wished I had a funnier answer to number 7...kinda ended this hodgepodge on a soapbox...sorry.  I live a life of convenience, with a very wonderful partner who puts up with my alarm clock craziness (amoung other things) and I have a great job that I love but can empathize with frustrated teachers...and thankfully ketchup will not be a Costco purchase for me!!

More Later 

- A Ro

Weekend Highlight Reel

I love three day weekends.  I mostly love that I can sleep in for 3 whole days.  Now granted my "sleeping in" is very different then my teenager's noon wake up time...I am up at 7:00 am instead of 4:20 am, yeah just a little different.  I also love the fact that it is now Tuesday and I think that it is Monday which means I will be pleasntly surprised by Friday.  Three day weekends are just win win.

This weekend was filled with a lot of really fun things.  I didn't have the kids until Sunday afternoon so Rich and I got to spend a lot of time together.  Friday evening we went to eat Sushi at our favorite Sushi restaurant and went to see the movie Just Go With It.  Now my son had a ball teasing me because I went to see an Adam Sandler movie...he couldn't believe that I would go do that.  I had to remind him of some very funny Adam Sandler movies that were very funny.  Need I remind you of the scene in Happy Gilmore where Bob Barker beats the crap out of him, or the classic Billy Madison...even Waterboy was very funny, and how can you not love Big Daddy.  Now granted he has had a few bombs, like that Chuck and Larry fiasco but give the guy a break, and me one too while you are at it...geez.

Saturday we took our walking food tour of Old Town Pasadena.  It was a 3.5 hour walking and food tasting tour that I got Rich for Valentine's Day.  We stopped at 10 stops along the way and tasted different foods.  Amoung other things we tasted Peruvian food, Oaxacan Mexican food, a gourmet Asian restaurant, chocolate, tea, and was a wonderful WONDERFUL day. The weather wasn't the greatest but it could have been much worse.  I certainly didn't mind cuddling up with my hunky husband under an umbrella as we strolled down Colorado Street.  We stayed in Pasadena the rest of the afternoon and shopped and ate some more!!  In another post this week I will have another giveaway and want to tell you about some of the stops we stopped at.  I am newly committed to try to shop local after that trip.  There were SO many wonderful locally owned shops in the area that really embody the kinds of things a community should be and Starbucks and California Pizza Kitchen just don't seem to fit in.  So look for that this week.

Sunday was a blaze of laundry and cleaning and grocery shopping.  I was glad to have a free day to get all that stuff done as we did NOTHING of the sort on Saturday.

Monday started off with a trip to the gym and to our former favorite breakfast stop Corner Bakery.  Now I say former because I am not sure we will be back.  After our trip to Pasadena and our new found love of locally owned business who completely go out of their way to make you feel at home and one of the family this place really just...well it just doesn't.  We ordered our oatmeal (expensive oatmeal when you think about how much it cost to acutally make oatmeal) it came in a bowl that wasn't even half full.  We just decided that we are done shopping at places whos sole purpose is to make a we are on the lookout for another breakie place, but we did find a cute coffee shop later that day and I think my Starbucks habit might just have shifted.

I got laundry finished and even managed to sit on the couch with my girl and watch some Phineas and Ferb and of course Chuck.  I even whipped out my new popcorn popper!!

I know weekeneds don't get any better than that.

More Later

- A Ro

Monday, February 21, 2011

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

I would first like to apologize for the lateness of this post...but I have all the technology to post a video but no knowledge...needless to say it took me FOREVER...maybe someday I'll learn, but who am I kidding.

My Monday post is usually my weekend wrap up but my weekend isn't over yet!!!  I don't have school today so I am still in my three day weekend.  Look for that exciting post really has been a great weekend.

But the order of business for today is to announce the winner of my pay it forward giveaway.  The winner wins this fabulous set of silicone bake ware.  Now I am assuming it is fabulous since it is bakeware and silicone, but I have never used anything like it before so I really don't know. 

Congratulations me at and give me your address and I'll send the silicone bakeware right off.  Let me know if you like I might just have to get some for myself.  No pressure but if you decide to do some sort of pay it forward deed be sure to post about it and we will all give you a pat on the back.

By no pressure I mean that most of my readership is my immediate family and we will forget all about it the next time I post some cute pictures of my kids or my neices and nephews.

Have fun Joyce and I look forward to your assessment.

More Later

- A Ro

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Project 365 Week 8

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It is time once again to post my week in pictures.  It was another great week around here and I am excited for the long weekend that is ahead of me...NO SCHOOL MONDAY!!!

I hope you all had a great week and be sure to head on over to Sara's blog and check out all the other is a lot of fun to see what everyone else is up to.

Here is what I have been up to:

Sunday February 13:

A Pollock Valentine Cookie

We decorated our Valentine's cookies today and Bella decided that she wanted to make a Jackson Pollock style cookie.  It was beautiful and we she did eat it...usually we have to "save" all of her food creations.

Monday February 14:
Happy Valentine's Day...Dude

Bella needed to make a Valentine's hat...where does she come up with these ideas!!  I am most impressed by the fact that she had the patience to color that entire heart with a marker...

Tuesday February 15:
Gotta Love Good Friends!!

I went to eat lunch with Bella today and snapped this picture...and they wonder why she has trouble not socializing in class.

Wednesday February 16:

My sister-in-law sent me this picture today of my neice Sami and my brother Ryan at a Daddy Daughter dance at their church.  Rich and his daughter went to this same dance a few years ago and I love the picture of the two of them all dressed up.  What a special time with your daughter.

Thursday February 17:
Pay It Forward Giveaway

I posted a giveaway on my blog today and here is the prize.  Here is where you can enter the giveaway.

Friday February 18:
My Best Attempt at a Picture

Forgot to snap a picture today, but Rich and I went to see this movie tonight and we both laughed out loud numerous times.  A pretty good movie for one of its kind.  PLUS Dave Matthews is in it...what a nice surprise!!

Saturday February 19:
Oh My Gosh Good

Rich and I went on his Valentine's gift food tour today of Old Town Pasadena.  He kept saying all day that this was the best gift he has ever gotten.  I am going to do a post later this week with more was truly a great day.  This is one of the restaurants we sampled.  It was SO good we went back for dinner.  It was a great day.

In Summary:  I am feeling a lot of love up in here this week.  Love of my girlie, love of a daddy and his daughter, love of good friends, spending time with my love, and don't forget love of FOOD!!!  Head on over to my giveaway so I can send some love your way.

More Later

- A Ro

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Fun

So Joyce over at  FromThis Side of the Pond posted this video this week and I really can't get over how crazy it is that in 1994 our major news networks had no idea what the internet was. I know most of you have seen this video but I thought this would be a funny way to start the weekend.

Don't forget to head over and get in on my giveaway...

Enjoy and have a great weekend!!!

- A Ro

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The One Where My Luck Rubs Off on You

Note to self - If you hint on your blog about what you want for Valentine's Day, and your husband reads your blog and takes said hint you should probably have ascertained that he could actually purchase said gift at a store somewhere within a 30 mile radius of your house. 

In other words...Rich went on a day long tour of every home goods store in the tri state area.

In other words...I didn't get my silicone muffin tin.

In other words...I am sorry for being so difficult.

But I now know where I am going to go looking for that hard to find but oh so coveted silicone muffin tin...yes siree CSN because you see I have been rather lucky lately.  I have won two giveaways over the course of the last week.  The first one was a $45 gift certificate from CSN that I won from H-Mama over at Family Team.

Thanks H-Mama, and her adorable girls for drawing my name.  

Anyway, CSN has just about everything you could imagine, and I had never heard of it until I won this gift certificate.

Before my new desire for the muffin tin I knew exactly what I would be shopping for:

Because most of my cooking utensils look like this.  All chewed up, burnt, and just in general...a mess. 

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I have had them since my first wedding shower...oh about 19 years ago.

BTW I don't want to even hear about how my chances of developing cancer due to the large amounts of plastic in my pasta due to this melted pasta fork...keep your doom and gloom to yourselves.

Yeah it was I picked out these:
Now I know what you are got four utensils for $45 dollars???  Wow those are expensive cooking utensils.  Well let me just say a) they are all made of silicone, which can be a little more pricy but oh so worth it and b) that isn't all I got (and this is where you come in!!)

I decided that since I was lucky enough to win something cool, that I would buy something with my gift certificate and do a giveaway of my own.  Sort of a pay it forward giveaway.

Since in my book, silicone is the new black I decided to give away a set of silicone bakeware.

And NO it didn't include a muffin tin that I decided to keep for myself...

...geesh what kind of giver do you think I am???

Who am I kidding if it did include a muffin tin I would have TOTALLY kept it.

But it didn't.

So here is the dealio: 

All you have to do is a) live in the contenential US and b) and answer the following question in the comments section.

What is your favorite thing to bake?

You might also want to consider doing some kind of pay it forward event too.  Maybe it is a giveaway on your blog, maybe you donate some food or money to a local food bank, or maybe you just make a bundt cake with your new bundt cake mold for a friend.  If you do decide to do some pay it forward event please do a post on it and let us all give you a pat on the back for your kindness!!

I will let my girlie draw a name and the winner will be announced on Monday morning.

Good luck!!

More Later

- A Ro

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My Favorite Things Hodgepodge

Before I give you my fascinating rendition of the hodgepodge I want to give you a heads up.  Tomorrow on the ol' blog I will have a give away.  I was lucky enough to win a CSN gift card from H-Mama over at Family Team, and I got my stuff this week.  I decided when shopping, using someone else's money, that I would pick something out and have a sort of a pay it forward give away.  I won something so you get to too!!  Tune in tomorrow for the ker-prize and how you can win.  Thanks H-Mama!!


1. Your favorite chocolate treat?
Funny you should ask (as my cupboard is now full of chocolate from my kids goody bags which will probably stay there until either a)Rich and I finish it off or if we are feeling particularly strong willed b)next Valentines day.  My kids like candy but never eat it...try to grasp that one) 

Back to the question at hand...I LOVE chocolate and peanut butter.  I also like dark chocolate and treat myself to a small piece of dark chocolate everyday.  The bad news is that most of the candy in said cupboard is made by Recess...sigh.

2. What more than anything else makes you feel loved?
This seems like an easy question at first glance because my husband makes me feel absolutely loved every minute of every day.  But since I have typed something and deleted it about 4 times now it must be harder than  I thought to answer.  He calls me beautiful everytime he sees or talks to me.  He always is concerned about how I feel and my happiness is important to him (not the be all end all, but important).  I catch him staring at me with such loving looks.  Most importantly, however, is how he makes me feel when we argue.  He could be very upset with me or disagree with me, but he treats me with respect and never degrades me when we argue, and he isn't afraid to admit he is wrong and apologize.  The way he treats me when we disagree makes me feel loved above all that other stuff (which is nice too :) )


3. Cherries or blueberries?
On my pocketbook...blueberries.  Fresh...cherries.  In oatmeal...blueberries.  In protein shakes...blueberries.  In cough syrup...cherries.  In an Icee...cherry.  In a pie...cherry. 

Looks like cherries win this one, but that is counting cough I guess it is a tie!!

4. What is the one trait you most want the leader of your country to posess?

5. Are you a saver or a spender?
I am a good balance.  I very rarely compulsively buy.  I love having money in savings, but I also realize that you can't take it with you and I love shoes.

6. If you gave a party for all of your friends would they already know each other?
Very few of my friends know each other.  This comes from moving around so much.  But they all have a lot in common so it wouldn't take long for them to know each other.

7. Are you interested in antiques?
Not really.  I really have no desire to "collect" things.  So I like some pieces but they really have to have a special meaning to me or be from a family member.  I can pass by an antique shop and really don't understand the motivation behind the guys from American Pickers...they get REALLY excited over some really not so interesting stuff.

8.  In summary:  I really need to have a party, but I better save up for it.  Having compassion and the ability to fight fair are two traits that I find very important.  But if you are going to pick a fight with me you better have a peace offering of peanut butter cups and not some hand me down bottle cap collection or forgiveness is out of of the question.

More Later

- A Ro

My Valentine

Valentine's Day can be a hard holiday to contend with.  It can turn into a day where you feel obligated to do something nice for your loved one.  It can turn into a day where guys rush around and try to find their sweetheart a gift and if you are a gal you bang your head against the wall because you can't figure out what to get that special guy.  It can turn into a pressure filled day that ends up being disappointing because you are trying to pour all your love into one day.

It really doesn't have to be that way.  If you truly show your love for your special someone everyday then Valentine's Day can simply be one day where you just bump up your love game just a notch.

My family has figured it out.  My family shows each other love every single day and we just enjoy treating each other to something a little more special on Valentine's Day, as I always say it is just an ordinary day, but with GIFTS!!

Now all 3.5 of you that read my blog regularly are wondering what I got Rich.  Well...I was going through the usual kvetching about what to get him besides a BMW Z-something-or-other or an airplane, which are really the only two things he talks about wanting.  So I decided to think of other things he likes.  For one thing, he likes me. For another, he always talks about how he has lived in California for quite a bit of his adult life and has never really explored any other of the locations around our beautiful state besides San Diego and really wants to travel the state a bit.  So....

We are going on Saturday to Pasedena for an Old Town Pasedena Food Tour.  It is a 3.5 hour walking tour of Old Pasedena where you stop at various restaurants for a sampling of food.  I can't wait...and I may or may not be in denial that rain is in the forecast.

Now for the biggest news...what I got today.

My girl sent me on a scavenger hunt this morning...and at the end of the hunt was a beautiful flower.  I may or may not have been putting on makeup, brushing my hair, getting lunches packed, and yelling at Andrew to hurry up while on said scavenger hunt.
She is just the most thoughtful, creative, and loving girl I have ever met.

The kids (with a little help from Rich) got me an old fashioned popcorn popper.  I am assuming that they remembered how much I like "real" popped popcorn and how my table is now permanently scared due to me trying to pop popcorn on the stove...yeah didn't turn out so well.  Bella made me a sweet card and I can't wait to break this bad boy out.

Rich got me a beautiful heart necklace and a very sweet card.  I was so thankful, and very much adored.

Overall a very beautiful, easy going, Valentine's Day with my very loving family.

No stress, no kvetching, no pressure and no need to start purchasing jet fuel...phew.

More Later

- A Ro

Monday, February 14, 2011

Weekend Highlight Reel

First of all Happy Valentines' Day aka Single Awareness Day, (as my students pointed out to me).  I was very busy most of yesterday preparing for today...which means mostly I was baking...which also means I didn't get to anyone's Project 365 posts...I promise I will come by and visit soon!!

I got this make-my-heart-melt photo via text this morning from my sister in law.  We tried to get it to email, but it wouldn't so I took a picture of the picture.  It lost none of the cuteness in the translation.  He is wearing my favorite love song shirt, and I love him!!!

Friday Night was our school's coffee house and my cute make-my-hear-melt-son got to play in the house band. 

He is playing the bass.  They decorated our black box theater in 60's style coffee house, but didn't serve coffee only hot chocolate :)  Rich and I sat in the back, held  hands and sipped our pre-purchased Starbucks.  Bella snagged a beanbag up front and got to watch with her dad who came and sat with her on the that is love for a daughter and son!!

Saturday was our normal errands along with a trip to the valley to drop Andrew off for his first baseball practice of the year.  Bella Rich and I then went to the mall and had some lunch and did a little shopping.  We had take out for dinner, watched the NASCAR race (the "we" doesn't really apply to that last part as I sat on the couch and knitted)

Sunday was a blaze with laundry, the gym, and baking.

Bella had some nice treats for her teachers and we had fun making them together. 

Hopefully my hands will someday loose their pink tinge, and regain their muscle tone and be able to grip again.  Squeezing bottles full of hot pink icing really takes its toll.

I hope your weekend was spectacular!!

More Later

- A Ro

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Project 365 Week 7

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It is week 7 of Project 365 and we are fast approaching the half way mark of February.  This means two things to me at the moment 1)Valentine's Day is around the corner...woohoo and 2) my spring concert is creeping up on me...YIKES.

For now I am happy to post the pictures of my week...enjoy!!

Sunday February 6:
Costco for Lunch

Bella was complaining because we were dragging her to Costco.  She had never been before and, well, lets just say now she would like to buy a tent and camp out right next to the 10 gallon jugs of pickles.  It was the endless supply of free samples that got her hooked.  She was at 11 samples by the time we left.  She had a blast.

Monday February 7:

My New Obsession

OK, I am such a word nerd, (or at leas a fan of 3 and 4 letter words...ha ha.)  Words with Friends AND  Each itouch obsession can be squarely blamed on Andrew...all his fault.

Tuesday February 8:
Cutie Bella

Forgot to take a picture today so tonight I was looking around and this picture of Bella when she was 3 years old and it just struck I snapped this one for today.  She is holding a heart that says "I Love You".  Break my heart!!

Wednesday February 9:
Bella Got Her Some 10 Bucks!!

Nana's Valentine's box came today (sorry Mom I thought we got it Friday but then I looked back at my pictures)...Bella loves getting surprises from Nana and she can't wait to give out the cute Valentines to her classmates.  She will more than likely save the money...that is just the way she rolls.  Andrew got some money too.  Thanks Nana!!!

Thursday February 10:
Hello Old Friends

I broke these bad boys out today for my workout.  I really like to spin, but for some reason I haven't done it for awhile...maybe too busy running.  It felt good and I got a good workout.

Friday February 11:
Coffee House

Tonight was our school's Coffee House.  It is sort of an open mic night.  They set up tables, bean bag chairs and lava lamps and we get to hear all sorts of talent, from singers to poets.  My wonderful student Katharine (hi Katharine) took this picture and I love it.  Andrew played bass in the "house band" which provided music between the acts.  I actually got a picture of him so I'll post that tomorrow on my weekend wrap up post.  We had a great time.

Saturday February 12:
Beauty Salon

Bella wanted her nails painted for Valentine's Day so mama did her best impression of a beautician and Bella got some blue nails with pink hearts. 

In Summary:  It seems like this week was a lot of object pictures.  We worked out, got some surprises, had a wonderful night out supporting my amazing students, and Bella found a new hang out spot in Costco.  In my book this was a great week!!

More Later

- A Ro

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday Fun

So I had this big post all ready to go about the problem with buying men things for Valentine's Day.  We women folk are SO easy to buy for, especially me.  Give me a cooking gadget, jewlery, Victoria Secret stuff, Bath and Body Works, or really just nice heartfelt cold hard cash...just kidding.

I am very easy to please when it comes to gifts.  For me it really is the thought that counts.
But that only gets you so far when you are trying to buy something for the man in your life.  Valentine's day is not really a testosterone filled holiday, as pink and red hearts does not scream masculinity.  So the guy gift giving is hard.

So anyway I was going to kvetch about my lack of gift for Rich.

However, I no longer need to do that because I found have the PERFECT gift for him.

I'll tell you later.

So back to Friday Fun.

I found this video and laughed my butt off...I love Josh Groban.  He has an amazing voice but is also very funny, down to earth, and can laugh at himself.  This is from the Jimmy Kimmel Live show.

Fast forward through the bodysuited cupid in the opening "commercial" if you can. There is only one beeped word at the beginning otherwise there is no bad language...odd for Kanye West tweets.

Enjoy and have a great weekend!!

More Later

- A Ro

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The One Where I Tell You 25 Pieces of Meaningless Information

So here at the A Ro blog it is my 400th post.  In honor of that major feat (as I really didn't think I'd last this long) I am going to give you some tidbits of information about ME!!! 

I am sure some of you thought that it would be a giveaway...but nope not this time but I have some inside information that there MIGHT be a giveaway sometime early next week...oooooohhhhh

Now some of you (3.5 to be exact) might know some of these things already so just skip over the ones you already know about and take note of the ones you don't as there will be a quiz sometime next week.

not really
  1. I have a dog named Maggie...see an easy right off the bat tidbit of information.
  2. My favorite color is purple not sure why we as a society feel like we really know someone as long as we know their favorite color...need to find out where that came from.
  3. I have no evidenced by the rather large scar across my belly which prohibits me from ever wearing a bikini that and the fact that I like donuts.
  4. I have the overwhelming urge to make my bed everyday...
  5. I hate to drive...thankfully my husband humors me and will drive anytime we are together and will even go with me places just I don't have to drive.  It isn't that I DREAD to drive, just don't have fun doing it.
  6. I wish I knew how to pop my gum...I realize that some of you think that is a disgusting habit, but I think it is totally cool.
  7. My Tupperware cabinet is so organized that I am the only one allowed to put anything in it or take anything out of it.
  8. My first rock concert was to go see Rick Springfield with my neighbor friend...and my times.
  9. I have had glasses or contacts since I was three years old, and they were NEVER straight on my face in any of my childhood pictures.
  10. My Bath and Body Works flavor is Warm Vanilla Sugar...oddly enough it is Rich's favorite flavor too :)
  11. I hate to backtrack...I am always thinking about how to get somewhere in the most direct way.
  12. I was a vegan vegetarian for 2 years...the key word is WAS.
  13. I am the oldest of my siblings and the about 6.5 inches.
  14. I can tie a cherry stem in a knot with my long as it is a rather long cherry stem.
  15. I am a classically trained opera singer, turned mother, turned teacher...thank goodness I am a better mother and teacher than opera singer.
  16. My Starbucks drink of choice is a iced skinny cinnamon dolce latte decaf, I like to call it the hardly-worth-it-latte
  17. I secretly like Katy Perry...although I guess it isn't really a secret anymore.
  18. I need to hit snooze exactly 2 times before I can get up.  This makes knowing what time I need to set the alarm a math lesson every night.
  19. I hate dog hair even though it is the secret ingredient in most everything I cook.
  20. If you are facing the bed I have to sleep on the left side.
  21. I am an early to bed early to rise kind of girl...yep even on the weekend.
  22. I hate public speaking but have no trouble at all singing in front of large crowds.
  23. I love shoes and if you ask my kids they will tell you that I have a million pairs.
  24. I don't like anyone to touch my feet therefore I have never had a pedicure...I know that I am missing out on a heavenly event, but it would cause me to pass out.
  25. I married my high school sweetheart after 20 years and thankfully he loves me because and in spite of all these things.
More Later

- A Ro

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Don't You Just LOVE the Hodgepodge

Joining in again this week for Joyce's weekly hodgepodge.  If you don't want to think too much about what to blog about then you to can go on over and answer these questions, link up and play along.

Here are my thoughts to this week's questions:

1. What is more important-doing what you love or loving what you do?
I really think it is more important to do what you love.  It makes for a happier life.  If that isn't possible then you should really try your hardest to love what you do.  One of my favorite quotes is "Life is not the way it is supposed to be.  It's just the way it is.  The way you cope with it is what makes all the difference"

2. Do you like bleu cheese?
I think I would like the taste of bleu cheese if it wasn't full of mold.  Yeah...that's the way I roll.  I won't eat escargot because they are SNAILS.  I won't eat caviar because it's FISH EGGS.  I won't eat eel because its EEL.  It might have something to do with texture, but mostly it is because it is MOLD.

3. What is the most difficult emotion for you to handle?
I think fear is the most difficult emotion for me to handle. In fact it can be gripping at times.

4. Fresh flowers or a box of chocolate?
I really don't like either.  If you are going to drop $50 bucks on me for Valentines Day, then I would prefer a piece of jewlery or a silicone muffin tin (or two)...hint hint.

I am totally serious.

5. What's a song you love that has the word 'love' in its title? It doesn't have to be a 'love song'.

This has always been one of my favorite "love" songs.  John Lennon decided to base the song around a word that was known by most people around the

6. Are you the person you wanted to be when you grew up?
Yes. Exactly.  I wanted to be a high school choir director and direct musical theater.  As far as who I have become as a person...I have very few regrets.

7. Any special Valentines Day plans?
C'mon we are practically newlyweds...psh...of course we have plans for a Valentine's Day that falls on a school/work day with two kids.  I am sure it will involve us cooking dinner, lots of homework, and an episode of Chuck.  AND if I am lucky enough to get above mentioned silicone muffin tin it might include me baking some Valentine's day muffins!!!

truthfully I can't think of anything else I'd rather be doing

In Summary:  If fear is the one emotion I have the most difficulty is the easiest.  It is something that I do easily and with my whole heart.  I am lucky to have a man in my live and a family who do so as well.  I am very excited for Valentines Day and as long as I don't have to eat eel, or blue cheese AND I get some silicone muffin will be a great day!!

More Later

- A Ro

A Nighttime Nate Berkus

For those 3.5 of you who read my blog on a regular basis know that I am a crazy night time talker.

I have been known to carry on crazy conversations without remembering a darn thing.  To this I say: just be glad that I am a mere music teacher instead of some CIA operative because to get all my secrets one would not need any truth serum or torture devices, just sing me a lullaby and put me to sleep and I'd sing like a be quite truthful...just a car ride anywhere would also do the trick.

However, last night I took my night time craziness to another level.  I acutally moved furniture. 

I went to bed at a reasonable time.  I did not have any alcohol.  I did not have spicy food.  I did not watch scary movie.  I did not pass GO did not collect $200.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  However, about 12:30 am a big huge crash wakes me up.  I sit up to see my nightstand completely pulled out from the wall and all of my books, candles, glasses, phone, water bottle and alarm clock on the floor.

As if that wasn't crazy enough my first thought was "Oh mygosh someone came into my room and moved my nightstand". 

Now, obviously I was the one who moved my nightstand, but that NEVER entered my mind.

Needless to say the next morning I was very upset about what I will now refer to as "The Nightstand Incident".  I moved the nightstand back to its original place and realized that the nightstand is pretty heavy.  It took quite a bit of effort to actually move it back into place.  To think that I actually moved it in the middle of the night without waking up is still utterly riduculous. 

Rich remembers waking up to the crash, but really didn't think too much about it.  He saw that I was upset about this event and tried to convince me that maybe the dog did it.

Oh yeah...Not only did Maggie decide that she needed to rearrange the furniture, but she chose to do it in the middle of the night.  Not to mention her lack of opposable thumbs.

Thanks honey for trying to make me feel better, but I might be deemed crazier if I believed that the dog actually moved the furniture instead of me.

I just cannot believe that in my sleep I actually moved a heavy piece of furniture.  So whats next...

...wait don't answer that.

More Later

- A Ro

Monday, February 7, 2011

Weekend (or Lack There of) Highlight Reel

Not sure who I can complain to, but I feel downright cheated!!  Now I  knew this was coming but as I sit here writing this post I really feel like there is no way I should be going to work tomorrow.  Now what is all this complaining about you ask???

Rich and I both worked 75% of this weekend. 

Rich worked midnight to 6:00 am ops both Friday and Saturday night.  I worked at my schools honors music festival Friday night and Saturday until 6:00 pm.

It looked something like this:  Friday day I worked Rich had off.  Friday night I cam home around 10:00 pm and two hours later Rich went to work.  I woke up Saturday and went back to school and came home after the concert and had a few precious hours with Rich and he went to work.  Sunday he woke up about noon and we both tried to get everything done in about 6 hours that we normally do all weekend.

Quite frankly...I am exhausted.

Quite frankly...I want another weekend.

And no I wouldn't like some cheese with my wine.

Here are some highlights:

1.  Got to meet Joe Torre.  I KNOW that should TOTALLY make up for my having to work!!!  His daughter sang in the honors choir and he was at the concert.  I got to work with her in sectionals and she is a very nice young lady.  Andrew will now marry her.  I will arrange it all.

2.  I had a complete ephiphany regarding my job as a choral music teacher because of the amazing conductor the choir had at this festival.  It consists of me quitting my job and joining the circus.  The amazing things this man got a choir of 56 to do in about 24 hours takes me and my choir of 32 6 weeks to accomplish. 

maybe I'll cut myself some slack and just steal some of his ideas and keep trudging along...not sure that I am cut out for circus life.

3.  I know that me and my spleen-less self have been bragging that I never get sick so I almost hate to admit that I think I am coming down with a little something.  Headache, scratchy throat, sinus pressure...yep if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck...its a duck.

4.  The word study guide is now a curse word in my house.  It causes tears and gnashing of teeth, not to even mention what it does to my poor Bella.  When you take that cute little bundle of joy home from the hospital you fail to fully realize how you will need to relive, over and over, each of your worst days in elementary, middle, and high school.  I haven't even gotten to the mending the first broken heart yet...sigh... what I would give to get back those sleepless nights of infancy. 

ok maybe it isn't THAT bad.

5.  Super Bowl - Great comercials, crappy-don't-know-the-words-national-television-even-though-I-am-a-professional-singer-and-getting-paid-barrels-of-money- national anthem, and a pretty good game which has caused much sadness in my brothers household.  NOT to mention that my tivo-ed Glee episode is going to be cut off by 15 minutes due to the need to interview each and every sweaty overpaid athelete and listen to them prattle on about God, country, and honor none of which have anything to do with football.

OK done

6.  Sitting for 90 minutes and watching our honors festival concert holding Rich's hand after having not seen him for the better part of last week and this weekend made me appreciate him all that much more.

Now if he could only pull some strings and get me some weekend back so I could vacuum my house that would be great.

More later

- A Ro

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Project 365 Week 6

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Well we have moved into February this week and all I can say is that I am (sorta) glad I live in California because I think we are the only state with some "normal" temps.  Anyway take a peek at my "normal" week here in California and they head over to Sara's and check out some of the other participants weeks, I bet you'll see some snow pictures!!

Here is my week:

Sunday January 30:


We went to the park after the library on Sunday and got out to see the ducks.  Bella thought that this one looked like the Alfac duck.  It seemed like he just wanted his picture taken. 

Monday January 31:
Rocker Dude

Today was our school's battle of the bands and here is Andrew who played bass in one of the two bands.  It was SO fun to watch him.  And I know, as my sister-in-law stated, I better watch out because the girls dig them some rock stars!!

Tuesday February 1:
Nana's Lighthouse

Bella finished her lighthouse picture today.  She will be giving this one to her Nana because Nana loves lighthouses.  We just need to figure out how to get it to her.  She is really good, if I do say so myself.

Wednesday February 2:
Another Bella Original

This picture of Bella's got chosen to be displayed in the lobby of our theater.  It is such a cool picture.  I love the diversity of the people walking.

Thursday February 3:
Fairy Princess Allie

Here is my silly girl Allie.  It was senior night for cheerleading so all the senior cheerleaders got to sport the fairy princess look.  Allie loves the magic wand and thinks she might just keep it "just in case"...

Friday February 5:
You Can Hide in the Back, but I'll Find You

This weekend my school hosted a big independent schools honors music festival.  Andrew sang bass in the choir.  It was a fun evening of meeting new people and lots and lots of singing!!

Saturday February 6:

The Culmination

Following another 4 hours of rehearsals we had our big honors choir concert this afternoon.  You can just see Andrew in the top right corner of this picture.  All my students had a wonderful experience and the conductor was just amazing.  What a great day!!

In Summary:  Talented kids, students, and a duck summarize this week...ha!!  I love that I have such talented kids, but am fearing the phrases: "Hey mom the guys and I are going to skip college and go on tour" and "Hey Mom, I am going to sell all my posessions and move into an artist colony up in Northern California...hey do you like my new Birkenstocks??"  Just kidding (sort of) I really do hope their talents take them very far!!

More Later

- A Ro

Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday Fun ala Grandpa Mike

I have been thinking about my Dad a lot today.  He died in 2003 of a sudden heart attack.  I was living in California, and to say the least, the news was devastating.  Even though I lived so far away we were a constant in each others lives.  We talked almost daily and in fact we had talked the night before he died.  I tried to convince him to go to the doctor because he had been feeling ill, but like most men he didn't want to go. 

But mostly our conversation was about the ventriloquist act Willie Tyler and Lester. 

Didn't see that coming did ya??

I had just found out that our neighbor was Willie's twin brother.  I KNEW my Dad would love to know that tidbit of information and called him right up...and yep he thought that was pretty cool.

We had the kind of relationship that always left nothing unsaid.  We always ended each conversation with an I love you, and usually some sort of warning, like "now Amy remember that you don't want your gas tank to sit on Empty too long" or "I sure hope that you are ready for that BIG's coming soon you know"

I was most certainly Daddy's little girl.

So today I received some pictures from sister in law today that just caused me to smile real big. 

My nephew had entered his first pinewood derby contest with the Boy Scouts.  Thankfully for Tyler, a) my Dad passed down his love for wood working to his son and b) he isn't my son because I didn't get those genes.  
Like Father Like Son Like Son (and daughter)
 Yeah...Sister-In-Law has always been a BIG Steelers Fan

Yes Tyler, Grandpa Mike is very proud of you!!

Thanks Dad. (and to all those other Dads, both living and gone, for loving your kids so much, it really does make a difference in the next generation)

More Later

- A Ro