Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Weekend Wrap Up Complete with No Pictures

That's right no pictures not a one, and I call myself a blogger.

Well I don't REALLY call my self a BLOGGER per say, just some gal who has a blog and blogs sometimes.

Mostly without pictures.


This weekend was so nice, and kinda busy, but really nice.

Friday evening Rich, Bella and I went to see our school's production of "Our Town".  Sarah went to the movies with friends and Andrew was at the play too, just not with us...of course.  It was SO good.  I looked at all the students on that stage who are in my chorus and was suddenly blessed and humbled that they (those awesomely talented students) give me part of their lives and share that talent with me.  So humbling.

Saturday morning I got up to run and got dressed stepped outside to find it had just started to rain.  Being the animal that I am I got out my rain resistant wind breaker and set out.  Well this windbreaker was not the the rain resistant item I had hoped and it only seemed to keep in my body heat so that by the time I was done I was about ready to pass out from heat stroke, and was still wet underneath.

I had no choice but to step into some very large puddles towards the end of my run so my feet were soaked, and of course as I stopped running and warmed down it stopped raining.  Yep.

But I did it and I was so proud of myself!!!

And that takes us up to around 8:00 am on Saturday.  Rich and I wanted to go to the Farmer's Market badly so we decided that surely it would stop raining.  We went to our usual breakfast place and decided that since it hadn't really quit raining completely YET that we would forgo our usually walk from our breakie place to the market and try to park a little closer, but surly by the time we got there it would stop because it doesn't really rain in so cal. 

What that translated too was Rich pulling up and since he was driving I would jump out and grab our favorites and jump back in the car and since it was not raining that much pouring I did not get wet at all get completely drenched.

It was worth it we now have amazing hummus, oh so good stuffed grape leaves, organic strawberries and apples, and our eggs from grass fed chickens.  It was worth a little rain.

Since it was supposed to keep raining...much to my obvious surprise...Rich decided to go to Sarah's marching band competition alone.  So me and my kidlets went to see Wreck it Ralph. 

Yes you heard correctly me and my kidlets (plural) went to see it.  Andrew graced us with his presence.  Surely it was because he will miss us terribly next year and wants to get as much time with his family.

Yeah denial isn't just a river in Egypt.

Sunday was full of laundry and Andrew's orchestra concert.  I love watching him play.  I may or may not get teary eyed every time I see him play.

So there you have it.  A rainy So Cal weekend. 

Have no fear it is supposed to be in the 70's by Thanksgiving.

I knew you were concerned.

More Later

-  A Ro

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Dear King Phillip Came Over For Grape Soda

OK who remembers that one??  Up until last night I only remembered the King Phillip part, and I don't recall the Dear part back then.

For those of you lucky enough not to have a 7th grader studying biological classifications you have no idea what I am talking about.

I am talking about Domain, Kingdon, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species.

Oh yeah...that.

Well all that I remember is that we have Kingdoms that are divided into plants and animals and maybe something about molds and fungus.  However in the 90's some guy decided that we needed to add a some domains to make things clearer further confuse us moms trying desparately to remember anything from middle school.  But if you thought that the classification system was confusing with all the King Phillip stuff just imagine adding Domains which now include stuff about prokryotes and eukaroyta and cell nucleuses or nucleui or whatever.  Let me just say that I would like the 45 minutes of my life back that I spent on this last night with Bella.  Because this science fest was just after I spent a King Phillip hour with my ATT bill trying to figure out what the heck I was charged for and only just after I about set my kitchen on fire.

Before you either laugh hysterically or gasp in horror thankfully our friend Eric was there to pick up his daughter, Bella's best friend, Hannah (who probably will never be allowed to come over to our house again) and put out the small pan fire flaming inferno.

The really scary thing is that after I put the wine in the (obviously too hot pan) and ignited the small pan fire flaming inferno.  I paniced.  It took what seemed like an eternity after I yelled "What do I do????"  to realize that I needed to turn the flame off and allowed Eric to throw the lid on the pan.  I'll have you know that I have made this recipe a thousand times with no small pan fire flaming inferno

After Eric left and my humiliation kicked in I decided to text him.

Me: Just want to make sure you aren't burnt

Eric: I am not burnt

Me: Do you guys want to come back for dinner :) ha ha

Eric: I think we will have something more room temperature

yeah...funny guy.

I am sorry Bella, Hannah was such a good friend.

Don't worry this gives us more time with King Phillip.


More Later

- A Ro

Monday, November 12, 2012

A lot of Pictures to Catch Up on Things 'Round These Parts

Wow, after my concert week, tech week for Cinderella, and the performances of Cinderella this gal needed this three day weekend, courtesy of our hard working veterans.  On Friday I asked my Sixth Graders if they had a veteran in their family, it was surprising to me that many of them did.  Now it seems in my generation we had a lot of veterans as fathers and grandfathers.  All of my Grandfathers were veterans, my Dad was, and my husband is.  It seems that there are fewer in this generation and especially at a private school, but we had quite a few and we had a nice discussion.

But I was so thankful for a three day weekend.  We seemed to fill it up but there was a lot of down time.  My kids were with their dad so that freed up quite a bit of running around.  It was also nice because Rich and I had some much needed us time.  We went to dinner Friday night and then went home and watched To Kill a Mockingbird with Sarah.  They both read the book because Sarah had to read it for English.  It had been quite awhile since I had read it.  It was a good movie, I just love Scout.  Saturday was a trip to breakfast and the Farmer's Market with Rich.  Then off to Andrew's baseball game and then Sarah had a marching band competition.  Man was it cold and windy.  I felt like an Iowa girl in my hat, mittens, and three layers of sweatshirts.  Sunday was cleaning and errands and today Bella and I made cake pops for her homeroom advisory class.


OK as the title suggests I have quite a few pictures to show you.  These date back to mid October...yikes.

I have been baking cookies quite a bit...here are a few of the ones I have been doing.

Halloween Frankensteins and Spider Webs

Dia de los muertos cookies for Bella's party

My friend and colleague had a baby shower and I made these.

I am getting hooked on decorating cookies.  So much fun.

I had my concert

Here is a video Rich shot with his phone (so the audio isn't all that great),  it is our second selection from the concert and a lot of me talking.  I realize that my mom might just be the only one who watches it all the way through...that's OK. If it even works.

We had Homecoming.

My seniors sing the National Anthem every year.  Here they are and I can tell you that I have watched all of them grow and change (two of them since 3rd grade and one since 4th)  I love them all dearly.  Especially the one to my right...sigh

Here are a few from Halloween:

My cute piggie and band nerd.  We went over to my friend Vicki's house (her daughter Hannah and Bella have been best friends since Kindergarten).  They live real close and have a fun potluck dinner with friends and family.  It was fun to trick or treat with a big bunch.

Then there was our big Cinderella production.

Steps to making an Ugly Stepsister
1.  Sponge roll the hair and sleep on it (it makes a grouchy step sister too)

 2.  Unroll and have many many curls.
 3.  Have Miss Humbert tease and tease and spray and spray (also makes a grouchy step sister)
 4.  This is what you get.  Bella turns into Portia.

5.  Take a picture with your mama.

 Well that pretty much catches you all up on the goings on around here. 

The next few weeks will just fly by.  I really hope I catch a few more weekends like this one.

More Later

- A Ro

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Bella the "Ugly" Stepsister

Just a quick post to post some pictures of Bella as Portia the Ugly Stepsister in Cinderella.

I have some others to post but a parent sent these to her dad and he sent them to me and I just love them.

What a total diva.  I wonder where she gets it from??

More Later

- A Ro

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Birthday Ryan

Well I know that you all can put two and two together and realize that my brother Ryan's birthday is on Halloween. 

yep he is that kid

Today he turns the big 4-0 and when I told my kids that they were shocked that their cool Uncle Ryan could really be 40. 

They have no trouble with me being 43.


I am super crazy into tech week for our Middle School musical Cinderella so all you get Ryan is a couple of pictures for your blog and a very loving Happy Birthday from your older sister.

I didn't even do anything for Greg and Kate...so consider yourself lucky.

I always kinda felt sorry for you having to have your birthday on Halloween, I mean you get a little overshadowed with all the spooky stuff.

But when I re-look at things I realize that you get to dress up like Thor...

and have a party bus on your 40th birthday

I think the big man upstairs knew exactly what he was doing.

Happy Birthday Little Brother...I love y ou

More Later
- A Ro

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

All Things Musical

My life at the moment feels like a calm before the storm.  We are in the last week of rehearsals before our tech week for our Middle School musical production of Cinderella so I know what is just around the corner and also realize that no matter how hard I prepare for it that week will almost do me in.

Not to mention that I have a middle and high school choral concert tomorrow night.  I am looking forward to showing off all my students and we really are doing a great job with our songs.  But I hate the part where I have to talk to the audience.  I have so much to say about the selections, the kids, and music education in general but I fear that I am sounding like a babbling idiot. So what I do is write down what I want to say but then I don't look like I know what I am talking about because I am just reading off of a paper.

Sadly, I really think that as much as I want to be an extrovert I am really an introvert deep down inside and quite possible a little neurotic.

So back to the musical.

Bella is one of the step-sisters, Portia.  She is the dumb one.  She is having so much fun being that character. 

This picture is of the two step sisters, Cinderella, and the step mom.  They all came to rehearsal wearing the same outfit.  Now I know that when you have a school that has a uniform the chances of wearing a navy blue shirt and khaki skirt are not THAT odd, but they looked so cute.

She also won the cover art contest. 
They darkened it up a bit and, of course, added all the performance information.  It will also be on the cast t-shirts too.  So fun.

On another musical note Rich and I had a date night on Saturday and went to see Pitch Perfect.  I really liked it too and I think he did even though he probably would have rather seen Alex Cross or some other Y chromosome movie.  He knows that I could NEVER see those kinds of movies and loves me anyway.  The proof of this is that not only does he love me for not liking the same movies he does he will go see MY kind of movies. 

True love I tell you.

To end on an A Capella note I am posting the following video.  A student of mine introduced me to this A Capella group called Pentatonix.  They do a version of the new video craze Gangnam Style by the Korean singer Psy.  I love good A Capella music.  If you like this you should look them up...like me. 

But I will admit I am a little obsessed.

More Later

- A Ro

Monday, October 15, 2012

Oh By the Way...

...I am turning into an expert on the marching band genre.  Since Sarah has joined marching band I have been to many many half time shows and two showcases.  Now two showcases doesn't seem like a lot, but these showcases are more like marching band marathons.  You sit in football stadium stands (not very comfortable), and watch about 10 marching bands.  The trouble with this is the down time well....and listening to cruddy marching bands.  Don't even get me started with all the cruddy bands. 

Ok just one thing...what happened to marching bands being entertaining.  They are now all about this sorta etherial music and imagry lets just say there are lots of gongs and bells...except Sarah's band who did an entire show around a western theme complete with a banjo, guitar, cowboy hats, and sets.

So much fun...

The really good part about marching band is getting to see Sarah all dressed up.

Here she is in our parade I love these outfits!!

Here is the beautiful girl with her handsome dad after a showcase where they did their western themed show.

I really didn't want my picture taken, but she insisted...how do I say no to that??

...I found a really cool website off of Confessions of a Pioneer Woman's website called Bake at 350.  She published a book that I purchased on Amazon and got free shipping because I am an Amazon Prime member...pretty cool.

So of course in my spare time (ha) the weekend that it came in the mail (which is only two days after I ordered it due to my prime membership...just sayin')

I made these:

I brought them to school for the teacher's lounge and they were a hit.  I am trying to plan what I am going to for Halloween...you'll have to wait and see.

I know, I know...it could be a long wait knowing me.

...I was host to four girlie girls on Yom Kippur (we had the day off).  They were a lot of fun!!

...Jazz the fish is still alive!!

 ...it truly is a miracle.

More Later

- A Ro

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Happy Birthday Joseph Gregory

Today my cutie patootie nephew JoJo turns Six.  I want to wish him the bestest birthday ever!!  He is a big Kindergartner now so, really, a grown up little man.

Six years old...my how the time flies

It seems like only yesterday he was this little peanut of a thing.  Oh my goodness.
Only one year old and the heart breaking begins.  Look at that sweet face. 

Two years old and even a little sad his face warms my heart.

Three years old and he starts working that smile of his.

Four years old and his personality makes me miss him so much when we are gone.

Five years old.  Don't even get me started with those eyes...yikes.

He is oh so smart with such charm.

(Watch out Mom!!)

We love you JoJo and miss you so much!!


More Later

- A Ro

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Good Old Days

Where are the days when homework consisted of going around the house and putting things that began with the letter "b" in a paper bag?

Or, even writing a paragraph on why your mom is great, complete with a very complementary drawing.

Heck, I'd even settle for the day when homework was something that I understood or remembered how to do.

These days around these parts we have homework that consists of understanding 50 Spanish verbs (I took French) knowing the characteristics of 50 different rocks (not even my Rocks for Jocks class in college prepared me for this), and math problems that look like this: 5ab-2x+(-2y)=n

I am a music teacher all I need to do these days is count to 4 with good time.

It seems like I am back in Middle School except no Mike Marten to crush on in study hall, or blue eyeshadow and mascara to try on.  Middle school wasn't good then and being thrown back there daily isn't fun now that I am 43.  Just don't make me make a volcano with vinegar and baking soda, it might just push me over the edge.

This doesn't even take in to account my senior who is taking AP Psychology, AP Comparative Government and Honors Physics. 

Thankfully, Mr. Smarty-Pants doesn't need help and frequently helps us all out, but that gravy train runs out next September when he is off to college and will barely remember our phone numbers (unless he needs quarters for laundry), let alone be willing to talk his then 8th grade sister and 10th grade step-sister through the endless amounts of beneath him homework.

I'm screwed.

As we speak Rich is downstairs reading To Kill A Mockingbird with Sarah.

All I can say is; better him then me.

"Try fighting with your head for a change…it’s a good one, even if it does resist learning"

Oh Atticus how you mock us.

More Later

- A Ro

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

For the Love of October

I am back on the Hodgepodge band wagon (well at least for this week)  Head on over to Joyce's and do the same!! 

1. It's a brand new month...share one thing you're looking forward to in October.
I LOVE October, in fact I love the time from October 1st through January 1st.  I love the fall, and the cooler weather (notice I didn't say cold weather).  I love Halloween and all the colors associated with October and the fall.

2. Is chivalry dead? Explain.
No, I think there are many men, my husband being one of them, who value the rules of chivalry.  However, sometimes those values are just unnecessary and can get in the way of honest relationships in .an equal society.
and scene.

3. On October 2, 1950 the Peanuts comic strip made its debut. Which character is your favorite? Which character is most like you? (Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Shroeder, Snoopy, Woodstock, or Pig Pen) If you need a description click here .
I always loved Snoopy and Woodstock.  They just seemed like the perfect team and perfect complement to each other.  Not to mention that my daughter was Woodstock in last years Middle School musical theater production of "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown".

4. What's something you're competitive about?
I am a pretty competitive person in general.  When I was younger (and maybe a little now) I was competitive most about board games.  I was also very competitive when it came to singing, I always pushed myself to be as good or better than the top singer in my world at the time.  I am just a diva.

5. October is National Popcorn Popping Month...are you a fan? How do you like your popcorn?
I LOVE popcorn.  I love it movie theater style, and with tons of butter!!!  However, I would like to live a long life so I usually use good oil and my old fashioned popcorn popper.  Gotta have the salt though.

6. When did you first realize the world is small?
Considering I married my high school sweetheart when we grew up in Iowa but then met again in California...pretty small.  I must have realized it earlier than that but this one sticks...duh.

7. In terms of architecture, what's the most beautiful building you've seen up close and in person?
The building that I really thought was amazing was The Hermitage Museum in Russia.  Just fabulous.  In fact most of the buildings I saw in Russia were pretty breathtaking.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Well it seems that the theme of this hodgepodge is what does ARo love.  Let's see.  I love October, Woodstock and the entire Peanuts gang, my chivalrous husband, popcorn, beautiful buildings, the song It's a Small World, and winning. 

Yep that sums it up.

More later
- A Ro

Monday, October 1, 2012

Happy Birthday Abby!!!

 Today this cutie turns 3...oh my goodness.  A couple of things you should note:

1.  She did not lose any intensity of her red hair.

2.  She did not lose any intensity of her red hair personality.

3.  My sister looks GOOD in this picture...look at that wind swept hair.

4.  My brother in law felt the need to match his shirt to Abby's dress.

Lets take a look back in time shall we.

Abby was cute even in her mama's tummy.

Birth - Boy oh boy she is a heart breaker already.

Year One -She could not be any cuter.  I mean C'MON ABBY WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO DO TO ME

Year Two - Yeah look at that grin...she is gonna be trouble.

We love you so much Abby and I hope you have a wonderful birthday!!!

More later

- A Ro

Weekend Round Up

One would think that since Andrew has been playing baseball since he could practically walk I would have acquired a few necessary items.

One being one of those really cool stadium seats that is cushioned and folds up neatly with maybe a favorite major league sports team on it

Nope this mama has a blanket she folds up when she wants something to sit on and a couple of cheapy cushions that are made of plastic and foam.

Another being some sort of chair that might just have one of those shade flaps that flips over the top for days that are sunny. 

Nope...I have a couple of beach chairs with nice cup holders but no shade.  And when you think that 100% of my baseball watching days have been sunny you start to wonder how I made it through.

I also should have acquired one of those ez up shade things.  I mean really...all the cool baseball parents have one of those.

But no...I live in California where not only has he played since he was very little he plays ALL YEAR ROUND. 

But now he is a senior.

It is his last year, and really too late for getting all the gadgets.

However, it is now fall ball.

It is still in the 100's.

So...Rich and I had to bungee cord a cheap umbrella to the stands on Saturday to keep from absolutely frying.  Not only did we bungee cord it to the stands we had to use some garbage to shim it so that it would cover both of us.

Very Very Sad.  I am a disgrace to all of the baseball moms everywhere.  You know the kind who have a hat with his number on it, and buttons from when he played little league, and one of those charm bracelets with all the baseball charms.

Not I.  I have broken umbrella and a bungee cord.

Well the rest of the weekend was fabulous.  It included a date night with my wonderful husband.  We sat outside on the patio drank wine and ate a very nice dinner.  Sarah and a friend went to a football game.

Saturday night Bella had a Bar Mitzvah to attend. That sounds all fine and dandy except it was Los Angeles second "carmageddon".  This is where a major chunk of the 405 freeway (the busiest freeway in the world, OK at the very least the United States) was closed due to a bridge removal.  The weekend was SUPPOSED to be a couple of weekends ago but they moved it much to the horror surprise of the Bar Mitzvah planner who planned the Bar Mitzvah right off the 405 but purposely avoided the ORIGINAL closure date. 

There is a reason it is called carmageddon and not carmafestival or carmaparty.  Yeah it was gonna be rough.  My friend and I decided to carpool so we wouldn't have to drive both ways and we were the pick up part.  We decided to take the opportunity to go down early and eat dinner in Santa Monica and walk around the pier.  We tried a new restaurant called Fritto Misto and Italian place highly recommended by Yelp (I love Yelp)  So if you are a so cal person I highly suggest you go here.  Lots of good homemade food very reasonably priced (cheaper than Olive Garden).  A very cute little hole in the wall place. 

Sunday was chores, chores, chores, and homework.  Mostly Science and now Sarah and I know more about the rock cycle than one human should.  Except if you are my Uncle Craig who is a geologist.

Phew...tomorrow starts another round of it all.

Gotta love it!!!

More Later

- A Ro

Thursday, September 27, 2012

My Loveable (and frugal) Senior

It isn't enough that you have to deal with the imminent doom of having your baby boy kid go off to college.  No, you also have to deal with all the costs associated with his senior year and having your boo boo kid go off to college.

The first of such expense is the senior picture. 

Now last summer my ex called me and told me that he called around to various photographers and that it would cost between $300 and $400 for his senior pictures.


But what is a mom of a just yesterday a toddler senior supposed to do.  I told him to book an appointment.

Well thankfully I have Andrew for a son.  He put his foot down and refused to pose for a picture that would cost so much money.  (I no longer complain about my son not wanting to be in pictures).  He told me that I could just take my digital camera outside and snap a few shots.  Ironically (I think) my sister-in-law is a professional photographer and we always go home in August but this year Andrew didn't go with us. 


We contemplated flying Andrew back to Iowa in October to have her take his picture, as it would have been cheaper.  Then Andrew told us that his friend Jordan had a really nice camera and he would take Andrew to a park and snap a few shots.  So Andrew put on his $3.00 thrift store shirt, his jeans he has had for many years, and trotted off to the park with his friends Jordan and Jamo.  They took about 50 shots.

This was the first one they took...and the one we chose.

We also liked these two:
These are my personal favorites!!

I love these boys.

So recapping:

A friend who takes pictures - free
A thrift store shirt - $3.00 (which he paid for himself)
One expense taken care of - priceless

If any of my family wants any of these please text or call me and let me know which ones and what sizes I am going to place a Shutterfly order soon.

More Later

- A Ro

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Happy Birthday Michelle

Everytime I do a birthday blog I feel like I must apologize again to my sister Kate and brother Greg for not doing a blog on their birthday...sorry guys.  I'll make it up to you.


So my Top Ten Reasons I Love My Sister-In-Law Michelle.

10.  She makes all of us look good.
(I realize that I always use this picture all the time, hey...it's my blog I must always look good!!)

9.  She is a very fun loving girl.
(I can't believe he is a senior)

8.  She got this guy to cut his mullet hair.
(Don't tell my heart, my achy breaky heart)

7.  Then she married him.
(I can't believe he is a senior)

6.  She is the best Ti Ti ever!!
5. She has an amazing family.
4.  She is an amazing photographer.
(If you live in the Des Moines area give her a call!!)

3.  She has to put up with these two little boys.
(yeah...been there done that)

2. And then there is the rest of us and our constant madness. 
And the number one reason why I love Michelle

1.  As Jojo says...she rocks

Hope you have a wonderful day!!

More Later

- A Ro