Saturday, May 30, 2009

My Running Shoes

In my life I have been very blessed. God has sent me so many blessings. I can tell you exact dates of the important ones. For instance on July 28th, 1969 God sent me my parents, August 10, 1995 God sent me my boo, August 3, 2000 God sent me Isabella, in October 2007 God sent me GS (again, and this time for good) and in January 2009 God sent me these:

My running shoes

Now there are days when I curse these Godsends, when they call me at 4:00 am, out of a deep sleep, to come play.

But God knew I needed them. He knew that I was praying for something to enter my life to help me move forward, He knows the worries of my heart and He knew that these shoes were what I needed.

These shoes are symbols. Symbols of accomplishment.

These shoes have shown me moments of beauty, like seeing the early morning fog come over the mountains, seeing a beautiful sunrise, or the flowers that you don't notice driving in your car.

These shoes have allowed me to achieve. Achieve a healthier body. Achieve one of the biggest accomplishments of my life...running a 10K. Achieve a sense of self worth, and a renewed self esteem.

These shoes have given me many moments of clarity, moments when answers come to me, ideas form, and God shows me that I am on the right path, doing the best that I can.

These shoes have shown me that obstacles, like a strong head wind and a 6.2 mile run, can be overcome by taking a deep breath and putting one foot in front of the other.

These shoes whisper to me...don't give up don't ever give up.

More Later

-A Ro

Monday, May 25, 2009

My Boo

Now I realize that he is way to old to be called Boo, my childhood nickname for him, but he is my boo, and he always will be.

...c'mon moms you know EXACTLY what I mean.

Unfortunately I keep forgetting that he HATES it and I keep calling him that in public...and I realize it after the word slips from my lips and I just hate that look he gives me. I really do feel bad, I really don't mean to do just happens.

Andrew (Boo) is a great kid, he is a mature, kind, smart, musically talented, athletically inclined, and makes me smile and laugh when I need it the most. He also is sometimes very lazy as in, "You know your son would be getting straight A's if he would just exert more effort." He cannot stand the thought of him being "wronged" and doesn't let things just roll off of him. He hates to practice, but is such an amazing cellist.

But he is one of my favorite people in the whole wide world, and it breaks my heart to see him sad, or hurt, and I fight the urges daily to swoop in and save him from every ache and pain.
He will be a freshman next year...where did the time go?

Jazz Band that him back fuzzy headed boy?

Oh I see his eyes.

Now I know he is growing because he can now look me in the eyes. Wow didn't think that would ever happen...

His first love, baseball. He got picked for the all-star team this past weekend...

I just love my boo...

More later

-A Ro

Cajun Fest

Every year in my hometown (ok the place I live) they have a Cajun I know that when you think of Southern California you immediately think of French Canadians. But you know we do what we can to celebrate all the different cultures in this melting pot. Truthfully I just think it is an excuse to have a party, eat good food, and watch people...hey that is what got GS and I to plunk down $15.00 (actually if I didn't get a buy one get one free coupon in my 10K goodie bag AND it wasn't within walking distance from our house we would have watched a netflix movie instead) However, we did enjoy the Zydeco music and the chance to people watch.
Boy I need to hang out with the French Canadians more often...they are a hoot.

"No Daddy, I don't want to go anywhere near that big Alligator...What the heck is that a Lobster?"

"Yes you will, if it's the last thing I do, so help me God"

I just LOVE this sign. When someone says something that surprises me I always say "Slap me naked and call me Wanda"

You are all just so lucky that I used my better judgement and didn't put the picture that GS took...let's just say that I was seeing WAY more of this woman than I needed to...the songs "Blue Moon" "Fly Me to the Moon" and "Moon River" come to mind. Why, I ask, Why?? Do you not feel the breeze?? Please people we just don't need to see that.

Overall we had fun, ate good food, and listened to some great music. GS and I could people watch for hours and let me tell you this was the place for it.

It is way more fun to watch other people drink...they are just high-larious. More fun without the hangover...I'm telling you it is a Win Win.

More Later

-A Ro

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Open House

Each year our school has an Open House...which as you moms and dads know (I just made that sound like I have hundreds of readers...ha ha) Open House translates as "my kid is better than your kid and here is her stuff to prove it"...just kidding. It really is a time for the classroom teacher to show off ALL of her wonderful student's work.

OK who am I kidding.

So here are some pics of my kid and her stuff...

She wrote a nice letter about GS entitled "I am Lucky To Know You". He was surprised and happy, it was a very nice and heartfelt letter.

Here is Bella's diorama of a Chinook Village. I am telling you right now you could tell that my daughter did hers all by herself. Some of the others looked like they hired Tim Allen to construct the elaborate totem poles and landscapes.

This is Bella and her favorite Science Room animal...Delilah the bunny.

The third grade classes wrote to Barack Obama and this the letter that "he" wrote back signed by "him" (aka White House Secretary #5). None the less she is very proud of this letter. Maybe we should send him her picture of Dick Cheney from my last post...I am sure that he would love to have that hanging on his wall, especially after the week they have had.

The Third Grade Classes read the book B.F.G. by Roald Dahl and in art class they drew a B.ig F.riendly G.iant. She was happy because she contributed an anklet for his ankle...of course that makes sense, every giant needs an anklet.

It was a nice evening, she was beaming going from classroom to classroom showing off her stuff. I am so proud of my girl, she is a trouper and never gives up and is just such a happy little girl.

...and very silly.

...I wonder who she gets that from.

More Later

-A Ro

Goings On...OK playing catch up

I know it has been awhile since I blogged. I mistakenly thought that after my show was over my life would slow down, but to no avail, things just seem to keep getting busier. Here are a few random pictures that showcase the last couple of days...OK so it has been more than a couple of days...geez cut me some slack.
We went to Red's and all I wanted was a picture of my two adorable you can see I got Bella and Andrew's rear end. He decided that he would NOT be in any pictures and did everything he could to avoid it...
OK Andrew now you have done it...this picture of your hiney will forever represent you on this occasion...

...but wait...not really. On Bella's attempt to take GS and my picture...look who shows up...

He thinks he is soooo funny...

OK maybe he is.

Bella went to a birthday party and they had a face painter. This was the look she was going for. Not a cute butterfly on her cheek, or a rainbow, or a heart that says Mom...nooo she had to have red spray painted hair and an old man with glasses face. That is what she requested and that is what she got.

She told me on the way home that she couldn't wait to be a teenager and really die her hair this color of red. She must have noticed me hiding my cringe 'cause she instantly told me she was just kidding...

We got home and she brought me the front page of Times and she said "look mom we're twins"

She thinks she is soooo funny...

...OK maybe she is.

More Later

-A Ro

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Harry the Phoenix

This is a former student of mine, we are going to call him Harry. I met Harry when he was in Fifth Grade and worked with him until his Freshman year was almost over. He was such a brilliant and bright student. He was good at singing, good at violin, and a good actor...heck he was just a talented student. He was one of those students that you were drawn to. Always polite, always said hello, and always ready to learn. He was different than all the other kids and sometimes that can be a not so positive thing...socially, but I always champion those kind of kids. His kind of different was refreshing, and am glad that he had the courage to be different.

Harry's dad was very supportive and just a great guy. Harry's mom was a beautiful woman and her love for Harry and his sister was very evident.

When Harry was in Middle School his mom lost her battle with cancer.

Harry was hit hard.

He had a hard time with any child would.

He left our school his freshman year...I was very sad.

However, he continued to play his violin in the youth orchestra system that my son plays in so when Harry's orchestra and Andrew's orchestra shared a concert I was able to see him, say hello, and catch up.

He is now completing his sophomore year.

This past Sunday at my son's orchestra gala I got a wonderful surprise.

Harry had written a piece of music that the Symphony orchestra, his orchestra, performed. He also got to conduct it... was beautiful. was inspiring. heart, full of pride, burst into a thousand pieces.

Harry after all the sorrow and trouble in his life could have easily just given up, and turned into one of those statistics.

...he didn't.

...he rose from the ashes. a Phoenix.

...way to go Harry...way to go.

More Later
-A Ro

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I have to say that I have the most beautiful, tenacious, fun loving, hard working, and just overall amazing daughter. She is such a blessing to me. She is loved by all. I am constantly told by all the adults that know her how kind and generous and loving she is and how she constantly makes them smile by just being around her. This makes a mother proud...very proud.
She had an assembly at her school today and she was a speaker, danced with the Lower School dance group, sang with the Lower School choir, and sang with the Third Grade Classes.
Here are some pictures...
...I know I am just a show off.
Sneaking a peek at her mama before she sings.
Action shot
Dancing the Hungarian Czardas

Action Shot

Bella and her good friends...I just LOVE this smile...she is just such a happy girl.

I am such a lucky mom...

More Later

-A Ro

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Overcoming fears or stupidity??

So the queen of suspense is back, however my Saturday experience is gonna have to wait.

Because, you see, I have to document my bravery this morning.

So...I am getting tired of running my "longer" distances on the simply doesn't do it for me. I mean it is just plain boring, and spending the better part of an hour watching sweaty old men lift weights, skinny women chit chat while "working out", or watching the TV without sound or sub titles drives me insane...I mean c'mon how frustrating is it to see Paris Hilton on TV and not know what brilliant things are coming out of her mouth...geez...

Anyway I decided that I would run my three miles outside this morning. Now it is pretty dark outside at 4:30 am...

...I know I know what the heck am I doing up at 4:30...and running no is a mystery to me as well...

SOOOO I was a little nervous about running outside in the I don't live in East Los Angeles or anything, but I am a nervous ninny.

But don't worry though I have decided to get some pepper spray, but until then I grabbed my travel size bottle of hairspray 'cause ladies you know how much that hurts when you get that in your eyes.

...It is kinda like keeping a big maglite flashlight beside my bed...not gonna be that effective, but it makes me feel better.

...I just hope that I don't run into someone holding my bottle of Aqua Net...they might think I was crazy...

...although that would be an accurate assessment.

More Later...(maybe a finish to my weekend...but maybe not, quite frankly I am getting bored with it.)

- A Ro

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Somethings Have to Change

I apologize for leaving you last post was filled with such promise of a much needed "good" weekend and I am sure you were wondering "Will she get her much needed "good" weekend? Will the weekend succumb to the power of the dark side and disappoint?"

well c'mon...

It was a wonderful weekend and no not everything went according to plan, but this fabulous weekend was just what the doctor ordered!!!

Here is a recap of Friday...

Friday night GS and I decided to drive the 45 minutes and go to our favorite restaurant. The Crab House. This is where we had our first date and we really don't go there often...too far and expensive, but that day we were all "oh honey, can't you wait to go to our special place" and "only 3 more hours until we get to go"

...I know pathetic, but it does hold a lot of memories for us...and if I am anything it's nostalgic

Anyway but the REAL reason we were excited to go was that we were looking forward to the "all you can eat crab" I don't know about you, but once you have all you can eat crab there is no going back to just a pound of snow just doesn't satisfy you any longer. It is like getting that solid chocolate bunny for Easter and then trying to be satisfied with that hollowed out impostor the next year...

...Ok maybe that is going a bit too far, but I am sure you catch my feeble drift...

And I just love going for that perfect "crack" and the perfect pull...for me it is all about the perfect pull of crab meat...the competition...the challenge...can I crack that shell just right and pull with the perfect amount of tension?

...yeah I need to get out more.

ANYWAY after all that build up we get to "our" place and lo and behold on the door is an eviction notice...yes that is right they are no longer there...booted...gone...a product of this crappy economy...

...sad I know
I think now, however, that maybe this is a sign to stop living in the past with past ideas and past celebrations and start moving a new chapter filled with new memories. I think that every once in awhile we just need to purge old habits and old memories and start thinking fresh...
...alright that solves my nostalgia, but not my need and desire for all you can eat crab...

So we did the only thing we knew to do...we took a picture...

...and went to Cheesecake Factory

...and ate way to much...

...thank goodness there isn't all you can eat cheesecake and my thighs (and a number of other parts) would be in trouble.

More Later

My fabulous be continued

...I know I am the queen of suspense...can you feel it??

-A Ro

Friday, May 8, 2009


I thought that since it was a Friday I would post this picture... makes me happy...and everyone knows that I need a lot of happiness this week.

However I am really looking forward to my weekend...Here are some highlights...

...Crab Shack tonight with GS for all you can eat crab...

...4 mile run tomorrow...

...Andrew's baseball game...

...Dinner and a show with GS on Saturday night...

...and then Mother's Day...and all the glory it brings...ha ha

More Later

- A Ro

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Not Funny

Yesterday was a really bad day...and I am sitting here trying to figure out how to put a funny spin on the days events. Not coming up with too much. Now I am not going to go into most of the details but the events ranged from a not so nice e-mail, to getting a call from your child's teacher...but the day concluded with having to work at my son's little league's snack bar.

Now my first jobs in life were babysitting and teaching piano to little ones...I never worked fast food or waited tables... I know why.

I can't stand it...but I am getting ahead of myself.

When one registers their son for little league, at this particular little league, one has to pay a snack bar deposit of $40. Then when one works their snack bar shift of about 4 hours they get their $40 back...sounds good...who couldn't use $40 bucks in their pocket, and I mean how hard can it be, I've done it before and no sweat.

...well there was plenty of sweat last night.

First of all we are in this tiny shack and it was in the ninety's and it was horribly windy. So I was kinda dreading it considering the day I was having, but I thought well...there are three possible jobs I could have, two people work the windows and take the orders, and one person does the grilling, the frier, and nachos. I was early enough that the first person there usually gets to choose which position they want...and today that was a no brainer for me...window girl. But NOOOO.

The coordinator must have been in cahoots with the rest of my day because she took one look at me and said "you will work the grill" and it came out very slow motion and with a devil tone...

...ok maybe that was just my imagination but those words hit me hard.

Working the grill sucked...there was real life flame coming from those burgers and I swear I am lucky to still have my eyebrows and, quite frankly, my fingers too...especially when the coordinator looked at me and said "you should really put the cheese on the burgers when the flame is surrounding helps the cheese melt faster"...

...and my face...thank you very much

and the frier all that it was SOOOO busy throwing meat on the grill and having to keep track of who needed what...and then I uttered words that no master degree holding diva should ever utter "I can't keep track of all the meat" what the hell...???

There are just some things that my lack of fast food experience hinder me from doing...

How do you know when the hamburger is done???

How do you know how brown the fries should get???

What the hell does "you should drop some more fries" mean anyway???

How do you know if the cheese or chili goes on first on an order of chili cheese fries???

Wouldn't you push the red button to start the cheese and then push it again to stop the cheese??? How was I supposed to know that each push of the red button meant a serving of cheese was coming out?

Then there was the clean up...OMG...

Afterwards the coordinator said to me...if you want to earn some extra money we can always use subs for the 4 hour shifts...that pays $25 a shift.

...she is just lucky that the words swimming in my head did not come out of my mouth...

I'll stick to herding middle schoolers...

and next year... can keep your $40 bucks...instead I'll go sell some plasma

...or a kidney

...thank you very much...

More Later

-A Ro

Monday, May 4, 2009

My Seniors

With AP's starting and the year zooming to a close I wanted to take a moment to give a big thank you for the seniors I have been blessed with this year. Three of my seniors have been such an integral part of my program. They have been the kind of kids I wish would never leave and I feel the need to write about them. Now I am not sure how they would feel about being in my blog so I'll change their names...

Ariel - Has been with me for three years, but you would have never known it. She came in her sophomore year ready to go. She is a talented singer and musician and I can count on her to sing any part I ask her to and do it really well. She is compassionate, kind, loyal, and dedicated. She is a very smart cookie and is oh so very busy, but still finds time to devote to her passion...singing. She is a leader and such an amazing person. I will miss her terribly. She is going to be a doctor. She is going to make me proud.

Melody - Has been with me for four years, but has been at the school since middle school. I enjoyed watching her sing as a middle schooler (before I was the middle school teacher) and was so blessed to have her in my HS choir. She is also a talented singer and musician. She never gives up...she is a go getter and works so very hard. My favorite thing about Melody was watching her grow as a person and singer over the years. She has come so far and I can't wait to see how far she has yet to go. She is going to work at Jerry's Deli (inside joke) and will be a superstar someday. Whatever she ends up doing she will be fabulous at it. I can't wait to see where life takes her.

Buddy (I hope he gets the reference) - Has also been with me for four years, and has also been at the school since middle school. I also enjoyed watching him sing and perform at the middle school level and cannot believe how much he has changed and grown in the last 6 years...geez I can't believe it has been that long...He is also someone I can count on to be a strong leader in his section. He always brings a smile to my face every time I see him and really loves to sing. He works hard and is so passionate about what he does. He is excited to learn and grow and takes direction very well. He is going to school close by so I am hopeful he will pop in from time to time to say hello. He wants to work in New York someday...and I hope he realizes that dream. I know he will learn so much in the process and be a better person because of it.
I always lament the day that the seniors will graduate and move on...and the better I know them the harder it is. I am so very confident that I have taught them more than just how to be good singers and I am sure that they will go onto the next thing with a feeling of belonging and support. I am a better person for having known them and I wish them all the best. I am always here for you...Melody, Buddy, and Ariel...and all the others who have walked through the doors of room 504...always.

Buddy, Ariel, and Melody with their psycho faces on.
...I have taught them well.
More Later
-A Ro


I was so looking forward to this weekend. It was a weekend where I didn't have too much going on and I was looking forward to "relaxing". I had my kids this weekend which always makes me happy...even though I sometimes enjoy some time to myself...for the most part my kids are self sufficient and having them around is a joyous thing.

...until they make me late and then I say...take 'um.

Friday was nice. I got to have lunch with GS and then we ordered pizza...had an earthquake...worked on moving files to our new computer...and played a couple rounds of UNO (we have a on going family tournament) Overall a very nice evening, but I need to not eat pizza anymore, it just throws me off. I eat healthy...feel good and then WHAM pizza enters my life and it just throws me for a loop. I understand it and now feel I can deal with it.

Saturday morning was my long run...and this long run was only 4.2 miles but it was kinda hard and good for me. Then baseball and a housewarming party at my department chairs house. that was not really that good for me and again made me feel like crap...Do I see the trend yet??? GEEZ...

Sunday was a, mostly, free day. Started out with a great workout and then cleaned my house, gave the dog a bath, and baked with Bella...and was prank called all evening by a unknown number.

Overall a really really great weekend...

...then Monday hit...

...and it all went downhill...

...I realize this and am working on it.

More Later


Friday, May 1, 2009


Growing up in Iowa you get your share of natural disaster scares...

...well ok maybe just tornadoes.

And living here in LA you get your share of natural disaster scares too...

...well ok maybe just earthquakes.

I could debate and debate which natural disaster is worse...but to be honest they both suck.

Growing up in Iowa you spent a lot of time in the basement...under the pool your pajamas...not sure why my only memories of taking shelter during a tornado was in my I am sure that tornadoes happened in daylight too...hmmm. Although one time I remember we just fixed pizza and had to take it and eat it in the basement under the pool exciting for a kid...

But at least you had some sort of warning...some sort of advanced notice. A tornado warning was when a tornado has been spotted in your area...the tornado watch is when conditions are ripe for tornadoes. So you see you have plenty of time for the women and children to go to the basement to seek shelter and the men to grab a beer and stand out in the yard and watch the weather... is a real mystery to me why the human race didn't cease to exist with practices like this one.

However, here in California you get no warning what so ever...just BAM and your world is a shakin'. Now I have lived in California for about 7 years and I have only felt an earthquake once...don't get me wrong I am not complaining...but all the whoop-la and I have never even felt one, and the one that I felt someone had to tell me it was happening...

Today was no exception. There was a 4.4 magnitude earthquake about 16 miles away. Did I feel it??? NO!!! My son GS and I were running to pick up pizza. Andrew calls me and tells me that we just had an earthquake and that I shouldn't worry cause everyone is OK and Bella didn't even feel it...well neither did I...again not that I am complaining.

When I come home my daughter informs me that I should give my son Andrew a big reward for taking care of her in a time of disaster...ok, drama queen, you didn't even feel it. She tells me that Andrew yells "EARTHQUAKE" from upstairs and they both proceed to get under the table...and I am assuming that by the time they decided to get under the table it was over.

The idea of an earthquake scares me...give me tornadoes any day...

...cause if I'm gonna die in a natural disaster let it be in the basement eating pizza...

More Later