Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Try and Try Again

As you may or may not know I live far away from my family.  All of my siblings live nearer to my mother with both brothers living within 30 minutes.  This means that I cherish every last picture or video of my nieces and nephews that I get as I don't get to see them but maybe twice a year.

So I assume that my family feels the same way about my kidlets.  They just don't get to see them very often.  Now my kids are don't do such cute things as dress in their underwear and pretend they are super heros, or read to Dora in the tub, or build amazing Lego creations, or look particularly cute in a tiara and fairy wings.  And granted that red headed kid of my sisters really is adorable.  But none-the-less they do some pretty neat stuff.

So because we live so dang blasted far away I decided to start this blog to share my life with those family members far away whether they like it or not.  It is my way to live in the moment and share my life.  Thankfully a few new bloggy friends have come about because of the blog so that is just icing on the cake.  (And you know I like the icing on the cake)

That being said it would be a heck of a lot easier if I could figure out how to get a dang-blasted 1:00 minute video to post.  I mean c'mon we can put a man on the moon, and know when Lindsey Lohan goes on a bender within seconds of it happening, but I can't seem to figure out how to put a video on my blog.

It just doesn't seem right.

However, I am not a quitter and I believe I have finally figured it out.  Now the problem with that confidence is I won't know until I push publish whether it actually works or not, because it looks good up until that point.

Here it goes:

Bella's volley ball game.  She is quite the player.

Andrew playing cello.  The last minute of his concert on Sunday.  Bizet Les Preludes.

Quite frankly that was exhausting.

More Later

- A Ro

Monday, May 21, 2012

The good news is I found my camera on Sunday afternoon.  I also took some video of my son's concert and some pictures.

The bad news is that I didn't get any pics of our great Friday and Saturday activities.  The cord to my camera is still lost, and uploading that video from my phone might just be a big exercise in failure. 

I'll give it a go...just don't hold your breath.

Friday night was our first playoff game.  Andrew started in left field and we won!!!  We rushed home got Subway and had an amazing night of family wiffleball.  Part of the amazing was that no one broke anything or needed any sort of first aid with the exception of Bella who decided to try to avoid being hit with the ball (thrown by Rich) coming home and sorta dove out of the way which resulted in a scrapped knee and being hit in the head by the ball.  

She's young, she'll get over it.  

I actually hit the ball several times and got on base.  We only got a couple of innings in due to darkness.  I am sure, however, that if Rich and Andrew didn't spend so much time trying to see who could throw the most awesome curve ball to each other we might have gotten a few more innings in.  I'm telling you big boys are just little boys who are a bit taller.

Sarah didn't want to play and gave us teen angst when Rich forced her to play, but by the end she was begging for just a couple of more innings. I'm telling you teenage girls are just little girls with a lot more eye rolling.

We had SO much fun.

Saturday was the usual stuff except my son Andrew wanted to get up and go with me and Rich at 8:00 am to the farmers market.

Insert Scooby Doo's wha?? 

We had fun.  He got strawberries and was as happy as a clam.  I'm telling you teenage boys are just little boys with a lot louder music.

Saturday night Bella went to a friends for an overnight trip and Andrew went out with some friends so Justin Sarah Rich and I went to see

Oh my gosh for not an Amy movie that movie was great.

I love The Hulk, and I am a big fan of Iron Man.

Unfortunately, two weeks into the movie's run it still was crowded so we had to sit in the front of the theater.

Let me tell you if I didn't think I was getting old before I now know I am.  The kids loved sitting in the front and Rich and I complained about our necks, back, eyes, and ears.

Yep, getting old.

Sunday was Andrew's final youth orchestra concert.  Here is where I would insert the pictures I took off my lost camera if indeed I had the cord.  So that will have to wait.  As I said I have video that I will attempt to upload.

If it works this is the final minute of Bizet's Les Preludes.  The seats I was assigned were behind my son, but close enough to get a good view of him

If it doesn't work it means that I have no idea how to do anything technological.

I'm telling you old people are just young people who haven't lost their minds.

More Later

- A Ro

OK...not working we must go with the latter.  I'll try again later, sorry Mom.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

For the Love of All Humanity Read Before You Make the Brownies

The recipe calls for 2 cups of sugar not 1.  My mom texted me this morning with the correction.  This was after she made it very clear that she loves my sister and I the same and that she makes them without powdered sugar because it is easier to put on the powdered sugar than take it off.

You can't really argue with that logic.

So there Kate, she loves us the same...

I hope I caught all 2.5 readers of my blog before they made the brownies, because nothing is worse than bad tasting brownies.

Have a great weekend!!!

More Later

- A Ro

Friday, May 18, 2012

Photo Friday

Soooo...it's Friday and I thought I'd share somethings from this week.  I am going to cleverly call it Photo Friday.  Now as most of you know I am no good at keeping with themes so this might be the only Photo Friday that exists, especially since I can't find my camera, but it's worth a shot right??

1.I realize that this photo appeared on here before, but again I lost my camera so I am relying on my phone for photos.  However, someone has asked for my brownie recipe and at the risk of being disowned by my mother (as it is her brownie recipe) I am going to share it.  They are oh my goodness good.

2 squares Baker's Chocolate
2 sticks of butter
1 t vanilla
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
2 cups of flour
powdered sugar for dusting
**side note my sister Kate doesn't like her brownies with powdered sugar, however, I do, and it is apparent to me which daughter my mom loves most because now she only makes them without powdered sugar**  Just kidding Mom...I think.

1.  Preheat oven to 350
2.  Melt butter and and chocolate in microwave
3. Put into Kitchen Aid Mixer (of course you can make these if you don't own a Kitchen Aid Mixer but it is SO much easier if you do) and mix until all the chocolate is melted and smooth with the butter.
4.  Add sugar and vanilla to mixer and mix.
5.  Add 2 eggs and mix.
6.  Add 1 cup flower and mix
7.  Add 2 eggs and mix
8.  Add 1 cup flower and mix
9.  Pour into jelly roll pan (otherwise known as my cookie sheets) and bake for 20 minutes.
10.  After they are cool dust with powdered sugar if you aren't my sister Kate.
11.  Eat one quick because they will go fast.

2.This picture represents the farmer's market I am in love with.  Rich and I have gone each Saturday morning and stroll around.  We buy our eggs and all the organic fruits and veggies that are on the dirty 12 list of foods you should buy organic.  I'm telling you the eggs alone are worth the trip.  Grass fed chicken eggs taste so much better than those you buy in the grocery store.  The cage free are good, but it is the grass fed ones that are the best.  These flowers were only $3.00 and so we bought them and they opened up beautifully.  I am not a fan of fresh cut flowers but for $3.00 I might become one.

3. JoJo graduated from preschool!!!  Now if you notice he is wearing a paper graduation hat that he probably made.  When my daughter graduated from preschool we had to buy a graduation cap and gown and people showed up all dressed up with elaborate bouquets of flowers for their kid.  When I say people everyone but her dad and I.  We showed up in shorts and a t-shirt sans flowers, c'mon it was June in California and we sat in the sun for at least an hour.  Who looked stupid then??  Yeah still us.  Good for you JoJo,


Finally not really a photo and knowing my luck it won't even post correctly but someone sent me this SNL video.  It is of a mock soap opera called The Californians and it pretty much hits the nail on the head with California life.  The video I chose is actually the dress rehearsal so there are a few crack ups which are hilarious.

So there you go.  Four Photo (one actually being a video) Friday.

This weekend is filled with a family wiffleball game, a trip to see The Avengers (finally) and Andrew's final youth orchestra concert,

and searching for my camera.

More Later

- A Ro

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Weekend Update

Happy Mother's Day Everyone!!!

I hope all those mothers out there had a great day relaxing and enjoying yourself. 

Today was a great way to end a great weekend.  The kids were with their dad so it was a quieter than usual weekend for us.  Friday night we went to senior night at the ball field, and we won, which means playoffs  YIPEE??!!  Saturday morning Rich and I went to the farmers market and the grocery store.  Rich took Sarah to the mall to do some "things" which may or may not have had anything to do with Mother's Day.  Saturday night Rich and I went to see our middle school play Alice in Wonderland it turned into a date night because Sarah didn't want to go with us.  However, next time we are going to make her come because we
ended up picking up Bella from her dad's after dinner and she came with us to the play and to Jerry's Deli for dessert afterwards.   

I decided to cronicle my Mother's Day with some pictures.  All I wanted for Mother's Day was to do nothing.  I wanted to read and lounge around and just relax.  Let's see how it went.

8:00 am Rich took me to breakfast at one of our favorite restaurants for pancakes.

9:00 I ended up making pancakes for Sarah and Justin...becuase it is just what I do, and I really do love cooking.  Rich did all the dishes to keep with the mom doing nothing theme.

10:00 I also made my weekly brownies, again it is just what I do and again Rich did the dishes to keep with the mom doing nothing theme.
11:00 Finally I got to the crossword puzzle...I haven't done one of these in a very long while.

12:00 It was such a BEAUTIFUL day Rich and I went and ate our lunch at the park across the street.  We sat and enjoyed the sunshine and each other's company. 
1:00 I came in and read my new Martha Stewart's Living magazine.  I read my Cooking Light and Better Homes and Garden's magazines to actually get realistic ideas, but I love Martha Stewart's magazine because I get to see how the other half does things.  Sometimes I get a few good ideas but geez...that girl gets around.
2:00 I decided to sew up Sarah's jeans.  She got a hole and I fixed it. 

3:00 - 4:00 I folded a few clothes even though Rich did most of them and did all the laundry and all the vacuuming and all the mopping (actually I think Justin might have mopped).  But it wasn't me!!

5:00 Rich fired up the grill and I made a few sides.  I made a brown rice, zucchini, and eggplant gratin.  Rich grilled shrimp kabobs and chicken.  I actually peeled and deveined the shrimp, but I didn't mind.
6:00 After dinner I made a yummy dessert. Caramel Bread Pudding, yes a Cooking Light recipe.

8:00 As soon as Andrew got home I opened my presents (which I didn't want) but I was super surprised and happy just the same.  I got a beautiful necklace, a gift card to Corner Bakery and Payless Shoes (yes my kids know me all too well), a photo album with messages from everyone.  I also got cards from eveyone including Sarah who calls me her B-Mama (bonus mama).  Rich's was so sweet and it almost made me cry.

All in all an amazing day and even though I didn't actually sit around and do nothing I wouldn't have it any other way.  I love being a mom and b-mama and it wouldn't be a Mother's Day without me being and doing motherly things.  I am so lucky.

More Later

- A Ro

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Beachy Hodgepodge

I am joining Joyce this week with the Hodgepodge.  Head on over and do the same...c'mon you know you want to!!

1. What is a pet peeve you have when vacationing?
Most of my "vacationing" these days, since having kids and living far away from family members, consist of visiting them.  So my vacations are always wonderful.  So I guess as with any traveling, packing the correct and most efficient way and making sure you have you need.  I need everything in is place as a general rule in my life so packing just exacerbates this need.  So in general I have no problem with everyone else...just me :)  

2. Would you describe yourself as a light packer or do you need everything in your closet plus the kitchen sink?
So speaking of packing...I guess I have a weird take on this.  I feel that I over pack on certain things.  For instance I can live with one pair of pajamas, a couple pair of jeans, one nice outfit, and a few choice pieces of jewelry, but I need to have a large variety of shoes.   My son Andrew really over packs, but it never seems like it, as he has my knack for packing efficiently and can really use every nook and cranny of his suitcase.  

3. What's the best lesson a child ever taught you?
That every encounter with someone does matter.  It is our responsibly to make sure we do some good in this world everyday and that can be as small as genuinely caring for each other.  I think of all the students that my job has allowed me to influence and I really think about each encounter with them and try my best to make their lives better for it.   

4. Share one piece of advice you'd give a recent graduate as they attempt to enter the job market?
I think the lucky ones are people who find a job or career that they love.  However, I am a realist and realize that especially in today's job market that sometimes you just need to take what you can get.  But while you are doing what you have to do to earn money never lose sight of what you want to do and to try to make it happen for yourself.  Coming from someone who is lucky enough to be doing something I love, it is a true blessing.

5. What's your favorite lemon something?
Lemon bars hands down.  However, I have never made them...being that I am a pretty good cook I am surprised at that.  Anyone have a good recipe for lemon bars??

6. Flat sandal, wedge, heel...your favorite footwear?

There are certain styles that I see that I laugh hysterically at, but I usually haven't met a shoe I didn't like

7. What do you like best about a beach holiday? If you're not a beach lover (GASP!!) what do you dislike the least?
Oh, my...the amazing ocean.  Sitting by the ocean, watching the ocean, listening to the ocean, dipping my toes in the ocean.  Something so calming about that big beautiful ocean.

8. In Summary:
As luck would have it I live 15 minutes from the beach so my vacations can be more inland.  As luck would have it I am so lucky to have the job I have and learn from these kids everyday.  As luck would have it I love all sorts of foot wear and can know how to pack them well. 

More Later

- A Ro

Monday, May 7, 2012

AHHHHHH Technology

With all this new technology it seems that things should be getting easier to do with regards to computers and phones and men in space and stuff.

Let me tell you my friends it is not.

I have tried to upload videos on my blog through youtube, Google+ and now I am resorting back to Vimeo.  The problem with all this "trying" stuff is a) it takes time b) it takes too many brain cells as I am not 13 and able to break code from the Pentagon and c) I am old...I have no patience.  The other problem is that it works on my blog until I press publish then...nada.

For the love of all humanity I just want to post a video of my Bella and Sarah being silly and 31 seconds of Bella serving the volleyball.

So I am currently in the queue for my Vimeo account because...shocker...I don't want to pay the $59.95 a year to be able to cut to the front of the line even though it is half off the usual price (so the page says).

So I wait...20 minutes to go and that doesn't even guarantee me anything.  It could be 20 minutes for naught.

Untitled from Amy Rolniak on Vimeo.

Don't hold your breath, just cross your fingers.  And to be quite honest the video isn't all that great...after all that work. 

All I can say about technology these days is where is Matthew Broderick when you need him.  Do you want to play a game??

More Later

- A Ro

Videos to Brighten Your Day

These are the kind of weekends I love.  A little work, a little family time, and some baseball.

Yeah...pretty perfect.

Friday afternoon Andrew had a baseball game and I just love afternoon baseball games.  It was at our "home" field so we packed the stands.  We don't really have a field on our campus so we use another high schools field so our "home" field isn't really near our school, but it is a place I am familiar with so I don't mind the drive.  

They won their game and Andrew played great.  Good news.

Rich, Bella and I went together so on the way home we stopped for Subway for the rest of the family and I worked on dinner plans for the month.  

Speaking of dinner here is a shout out to some things I love:

1.  Cooking Light magazine and corresponding Kindle version.  Love this magazine love the fact that I can access it on my Kindle.

2.  PepperPlate.com  It is a recipe storing and grocery list compiling site.  I can import recipes from a lot of websites.  My usual is myrecipes.com  as it has a lot of my cooking light recipes already there.  I can then plan menus send those menus to a grocery list and then go to the store with my Kindle and shop. The address is www.pepperplate.com. If I were Pioneer Woman I would be able to download or upload or whatever pictures from the actual ap/website.

Clearly I am not Pioneer Woman.

But check it out anyway.

3.  Two books that have really changed the way that I eat and prepare meals are


Both by Michael Pollan and really have done wonders for me as a person wanting to live for 100 years.

Speaking of 100 Years my choir performed at our schools benefit on Saturday night and we got to sing with John Ondrasik of Five for Fighting.  He is a parent at our school and I am telling you, the nicest celeb I have ever worked with.  He came into a rehearsal and worked on the song with the kids and really was wonderful with them.  Telling them he was classically trained and make sure you do your warm ups and learn the basics.  He also answered questions for a good chunk of time.  If you haven't heard of his stuff you MUST go right now and itunes or youtube him.  He is amazing.

Crappy picture from my phone, but so cool.  I love my job!!

I have some REALLY cool videos I took from my phone of Bella playing Volleyball and Sarah and Bella being silly girly girls.  But here is the problem.  I can't figure out how to get them from my phone to my blog. I signed up for Google+ because they said (and I really can't say who "they" is) that Google+ can automatically send it.  It did...but only one...and only after Rich took my phone before I roof tested it and messed around.  However, he can't remember how he did it, and the obvious way isn't working.

So here is the one...and really only my mom will appreciate it because it is of Bella serving at her Volleyball game.  I promise I will try to figure out how to do the other two later.

Hopefully later isn't never.

More Later

- A Ro

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Dustin Blog Addendum

OK...not sure how this happened but Dustin's number 4 didn't upload correctly...and it is one of my favorite parts of my birthday blog.  I will attempt to attach it now.  If it doesn't work I am very sorry, if it does...please enjoy.

4.  He taught her everything she knows about singing...just listen to that rich baritone voice.

OK...people I see it now and I am going to hit publish...wish me luck.

Happy (Belated) Birthday) Dustin

So...my brother-in-law Dustin's birthday was on Tuesday May 1st.  If you take a moment and look at your calendar you can clearly see that today is May 3rd and not May 1st.  Yet here it is my birthday blog post to Dustin.  I could give a hundred excuses about being on the first of the month and not looking ahead...blah blah blah.

I am late.

I am sorry.

So here is the Top Ten Reasons that I love my brother-in-law Dustin!!!  Beware a lot of these pictures include a very cut red headed girlie.

10.  He is a really great guy.

9.  He is an amazing family man.
8.  He married my favorite sister...ok she's my only sister, but that doesn't matter.
7.  Despite getting linked with this hot mess of people.
6.  He is man enough to allow a cute then 9 year old to drive his boat.
5.  He is responsible for half (if not more than half) of this red head.

4.  He has taught her everything she knows about singing...just listen to that rich baritone voice.
3.  He will keep her reaching for her dreams
2. He is a Cubs fan...with pictures (ok...one picture) to prove it.
1.  He will most certainly forgive my favorite aunt for being late with this birthday blog....right daddy??

Happy Birthday Dustin!!

More Later

- A Ro