Monday, May 23, 2011

Weekend Highlight Reel

Well my school year is slowly wrapping up and things are getting checked off one by one.  The only performances I have left are a lunchtime concert with my Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, Middle School Graduation, and Upper School Graduation.

So this weekend was a normal and not so busy.  Thank goodness...I needed some not so busy.

Friday started out as a normal day until we got an email from our principal who told us about one of our parents, Jon Krawczyk, who was going to be at school showing us a sculpture he was commissioned to create that will be placed outside of St. Peter's church in New York City next to ground zero.  It is made out of some fragments of the rubble from the world trade center.  He is making several stops on the way to New York and we were one of the first.  He told us that the shiny surface of the cross is to reflect all the faces that look at it, so as you look at it you will see yourself as part of the tragedy and the healing of that day.

Some of our students are place notes into the cross.  If you want more information here is an article about the cross.  It truly was a sight to see.

This year I was a mentor teacher to our film teacher and Friday night was his big film symposium and premiere of the Film IV's film.  We were all excited to go and we went to our favorite sushi place before hand.  The night was a success and I got to see many of my old students, and many of my students were involved with the movie too.  It was a wonderful evening.

As we were driving home we were stopped at a stoplight.  Our windows were rolled up but Bella noticed the the car just to our right, but slightly ahead of us had her window down and she was smoking.  Now Bella hates it when people smoke so she said to me "Mom that woman should really stop her smoking"...well just as she said that the woman looked right at her and gave her a look.  My girl was mortified.  It cracked me up.

Saturday was the usual.  Cleaning going to the market.  I also got my hair cut and Bella got to swim in a lake.  She was not sure she wanted to, because she is just like me and the thought of slimy water and slimy living things swimming with you just doesn't appeal to us.

Until she did.

I guess the difference between us is obvious...she is brave, I am not.

She did enjoy it.  I still would not.

Sunday was a really cool day as the Amgen Tour of California was in our town, not just in our town but right in front of our street.  We all went outside with our lawn chairs and watched the bicyclers.  It was SO cool.  Even Andrew was impressed, and you know something is cool when the teenager in the group is impressed.

I shot a video of them riding by us with my phone...It was an amazing 14 seconds.

Andrew told me that it would be cool if he could do that.

I guess he is braver than his old mom too.

More Later

- A Ro

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Project 365 Week 21

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I am joining Sara this week for Project 365.

This week was a busy week, but I got to watch and celebrate my talented kids!!

Take a look:

Sunday May 15:
My Cellist

Andrew had his big Gala Youth Orchestra concert today.  I love watching him play an instrument that he says he really doesn't like to play.  Let me just say...he fools me.

Monday May 16:
My New Friend

My colleague and friend Kim had her Middle School Jazz on the Terrace concert tonight.  She asked me if I would sit with her little boy Josh.  He was so cute and loved just being one of the kids.  We made him a badge, like we all have to wear.  He was so good.

Tuesday May 17:
A Love Note

I found this note on my desk at school.  It took me a little while to find it because it was all folded up.  My girl is just the sweetest thing.

Wednesday May 18:
Pajama Volleyball

Here is a picture of my girl's volleyball assembly, it also was pajama day.  She was praised for her go getter attitude, and her fun spirit.  Yep...that's my girl.

Thursday May 19:

We made it to the playoffs and had our first game tonight...which we won.  I kept the book, which I am really enjoying.  It was a close game with many errors on both teams part.  We get to go again on Tuesday.

Friday May 20:
An Amazing Sculpture

Today at our school one of our parents brought this sculpture to show us.  He was commissioned to build this cross to be hung at St. Peter's church in New York City and it was made entirely out of steel girders of the fallen World Trade Center.  It was an amazing story and piece of art.  Our students got to write notes and drop them into the cross.  He told us that the shiny-ness was a way to reflect all the faces that look at it and to really show that this tragedy was about all of us.  I was very humbled at that moment.

Saturday May 21:

Bella went to her friend Marcella's house today and she lives on a little lake.  Bella wasn't sure if she would get in or not, but Marcella's mom sent me this picture and told me that she got in.  She said it wasn't as cold as she originally thought.  She is such a brave girl!!

In Summary:  I was shown lots of love this week.  Love that comes from my kids.  Love that comes from good friends.  Love of an instrument that might not be admitted.  Love of playing hard and winning.  And even love from tragedy.  It was a very good week.

More Later

- A Ro

Friday, May 20, 2011

Some Facts

Fact:  I have been missing in action from the blog world.

Fact:  I am missing the blog world.

Fact:  I am not a writer.

Fact:  I am just a sort of funny, daughter, mother, wife, and sister who wishes to put her life into print.

Fact:  I sometimes don't blog because I feel that my mundane life isn't very funny.

Fact:  I sometimes wish I was as witty and as good of a writer as some of the blogs I read.

Fact:  I am not.

Fact:  I am going to try to put my blog into perspective and just do it for me and my far away family so I can share my far away life with them.  If others want to read too great.

Just keep your expectations in check.

More Later

- A Ro

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Star Wars Day

It is Star Wars day because it is May the fourth as in May the fourth be with you...get it...get it...

I realize that you won't be reading this until May the fifth and heavy into your Cinco de Mayo celebrations, but just tuck it away until next year...or forget about it like it did until this moment late in the day.

Here at the A Ro ranch things have been trucking along.  However, I seriously need to paint my toenails, because it has been in the upper 80's lower 90's and my sandals have made an apperance out of necessity.  I HATE feet so really don't get pedicures, in fact the thought of getting one makes my skin crawl and I am fairly certain if I ever got one I would end up face down in that germ laden foot pool that you soak your feet in because I would totally pass out.  So my toes never look as good as the rest of the ladies in CA, but I really do the best I can.

I have been gearing up for the last month of school festivites which includes a concerts, assembly performances, singing at graduation for both High School and Middle School, and a choir banquet.  I am feeling overwhelmed by a lot of this but am trying to get ahead of the large boulder rolling towards me so hopefully I will make it to the end unscathed.  I get a small break at the end of May to go to Iowa, but then it is hard and fast until the end...phew.

Andrew has been driving a lot lately.  He is fearless and just wants to drive as much as possible.  Not to make this post turn into things I hate, but I really hate driving.  So I love the fact that I am not driving but talk about jumping out of the frying pan into the fire.  He really is a good driver, but man does it make me nervous when he is behind the wheel.   Keep in mind that we live in Los Angeles and the freeways, and drivers for that matter, are less than tame. I long for the days of the 2 am feeding and reruns of Taxi.

Seriously folks...May the fourth be with ME!!

More Later

- A Ro

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hodgepodge Has A Thinking Cap On

I really had to put on my thinking cap for this week's hodgepodge...that's OK my thinking cap fits just fine and is quite comfy...


1. Have you ever been served breakfast in bed? Do you enjoy that? If someone were serving you breakfast in bed this coming weekend what would you hope to see on the tray?
Honestly, I don't like lounging around in bed and eating in bed seems wrong to me as well.  The bed serves its purpose and then you get up.  Now I wouldn't mind a breakfast served to me at the table in the kitchen, and my favorite would be pancakes with real maple syrup.  I also love cooking breakfast so I might enjoy that too.

2. What is one piece of advice you would give a new mother?
Wow.  My advice really should be...ignore all advice.  But really I would tell her that if you don't like a particular phase of child rearing don't worry another one will be on it's way shortly.  In other words this too shall pass.
3. When was the last time you wanted to scream? Explain.
I really can't think of a particular time when I wanted to scream, but in general I really cannot stand arrogance and people not admitting when they are wrong.  I like to call it...crazy making.  They will go to any legnth to be right even if that means making you think that you are crazy.

4. Can you hula hoop?

5. What is something people do in traffic that really bothers you?
My kids and my husband would say that my answer to this one should be...everything.  I would say that isn'a all that true...rude and selfish behavior behind the wheel drives me nuts.

6. What do you do when people don't admit they're wrong?
Ha Ha...see question #3
Here is the deal.  If you truly feel that you are right and don't admit you are wrong then I think you are strong.  If you know that you are wrong and don't admit you are wrong then I think you are weak.  It takes a strong person to know they are wrong and admit it.  You have to be willing to not be perfect. 

7. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word 'fun'?
The very first thing that came to my mind would be rollercoasters and board games.  If I had to pick one I would say sitting around with my big extended family and playing board games.  I am totally my father's daughter.

8.  In Summary:  Wow I feel like my 41 year old wisdom really got a workout this hodgepodge.  I am certainly not a perfect mother, driver, human being, or hula hooper, but I certainly keep trying to improve.  I am very forgiving when someone is strong enough to admit he or she is wrong.  Thankfully, I am a lot like my father and I am married to a very strong man.

More Later

- A Ro

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Oh Weekend How You Tease

How is it that the weekend holds so much promise on Friday afternoon, on the drive home, but by Monday morning, on the drive in, you wonder where it all went. 

This weekend was no different.  As I am driving home with Bella in tow just back from her trip all a glow with all the fun she had, Rich at home grilling, and an entire weekend ahead of me with "not much to do", I was blissfully happy.  I was especially happy because my wonderful husband had Friday off and did most of our weekly cleaning while I was at work.

This was a great for me because I would much rather teach middle schoolers all day than clean the toilets or vacuum.   Truth be told he probably would rather talk to airplanes than the above mentioned chores, but alas he was off!!

Well my weekend promise bliss quickly ended when I told Bella that we would have to go to Andrew's baseball game the next morning.

Here is the deal...I LOVE baseball...I really do.  Going to a baseball game, for me is just so much fun.  For Bella not so much.  However, here is one of the main reasons why I adore my daughter.  She is visually upset because she has to go to the game but this is what she says with a very whiny voice:  "I don't want to go the game tomorrow, I know that I should be appreciateive that you spent all that money so that I could go to Astro Camp and I should just not complain about going to the game, but I really don't want to go.  I know that I am just grouchy and a little tired so I am just going to hope that by morning I'll be better"

Yeah...she pretty much parents herself.

By the time we got to the game on Saturday morning, after a trip to Starbucks and Western Bagel, she was just fine to be at the game.  I knew she would be.  It was pretty windy, but she grabbed Rich's Navy jacket from the car bundled up and worked all game on her new Ninja-corn comic strip.  Before you jump to the conclusion that a Ninja-corn is super hero Ninja who's super hero costume consists of denim overalls and a pitchfork realize that my daughter's mind works more like a unicorn with Ninja powers.  Now seeing her come up with and draw the idea of a Ninja and a unicorn getting married and having a baby without all the social stigma that would come with such a union warmed my heart and, quite frankly, scared me a little.  But she was enjoying the comic strip process and I was enjoying a complaint free game, so all was good.
I decided that I would try to keep score at the game.  I got myself a baseball score book and re-read all the ins and outs of keeping score quickly realizing that it was very different than what I remembered from my early days of keeping score.  Thich consisted of going to AAA Cubs games in Iowa purchasing the score book and pencil and quickly giving it up when the cotton candy guy came around.  I did pretty good, but started regretting doing it when guys started getting picked off, double plays were happening, and a ground rule double came into play.  Overall, I did pretty good and had fun.

After the game Bella and Andrew went home with their dad and Rich was at work so my Saturday afternoon was a quiet one filled with grocery list making and looking forward to a quiet evening with Rich.  We did dinner, grocery shopping and some couch time.

Sunday started out with a very nice long walk to our favorite breakfast place and some chores.  It was such a gorgeous day that we decided to go put out a blanket and eat lunch at the park across from our house.  When we first started dating we would meet for lunch at a little park in Camarillo and do the very same thing, it was nice to go back to that time once again. 

Sunday evening ended with me baking cookies and watching my Phillies come back and a holler upstairs from Rich telling me I might want to switch to a news station and me whining that my Phillies are coming back to which he replied "you might want to see this". 

I did want to see that. 

To which Bella said "Who is Osama Bin Laden?"

Yeah...she might parent herself, but I think we might just need to fill in some gaps.

More Later

- A Ro

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Project 365 Week 18

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It is Week 18 here at the ranch and my week was very nice indeed.

Head on over to Sara's blog and take a peek into all the other 365-ers weeks. Heck just make a plan to join us next week with a photo a day. It is never too late to start.

Here is my week:

Sunday April 24:
We Love Our Easter Bunny

It is Easter Sunday and my 15 year old and 10 year old still LOVE the scavenger hunts for their Easter baskets.  I hide clues around the house and they go off and search.  But what they loved the most this year was the puppy chow I put in their baskets.  Don't worry it isn't ACTUAL puppy chow...just chocolate peanut butter heaven, in my opinion.  We didn't go to church today because we started going to a new church and didn't want to be one of THOSE people who only go to church on Easter Sunday.  It was a truly blessed day.

Monday April 25:
Guess Who's Camera is on the Counter??

Yep...mine.  This is a poster I did for our Middle School elective fair tomorrow.  It has a bunch of celebs and athletes who sang in choir when they were younger.  The kids got a kick out of looking at all the people who sang in choir.  Hopefully, it will make a few of them choose to sing in mine!!  Sorry that the picture is so small I have NO idea how to make these pictures any better off my phone.

Tuesday April 26:
Guess Who Left Her Camera on the Counter AGAIN??

Yep it's me...The Fifth Graders had their Year at a Glance festival today.  They all get assigned booths and present all the things they did in Fifth Grade this year.  Bella was one of three that were in charge of the Global Studies booth.  She dressed up like a tourist...she was, needless to say, a very cute tourist. 

Wednesday April 27:

The Fifth Graders went to Astro Camp today.  They will get back on Friday.  It is Bella's first overnight camp trip away from home.  She had a great time and her BFF Chloe was in her dorm.  I missed her but am so glad her first trip away from home was a success!!

Thursday April 28:

Yep...Another Baseball Game

Actually you are lucky because This was Andrew's fourth game of the week.  He looks like a ball player...don't you think??

Friday April 29:

Bella's Back

We celebrated her successful trip with frozen yogurt at Menchies.  They have these new spoons and Bella is making the face of the little guy on the spoon.  She wanted me to make sure you knew that so you didn't think she was just making a stupid face...

Saturday April 30:  
Birthday Baseball

Another baseball game today.  It was also one of my student's and teammate of Andrew's birthday.  It was a nice but windy day for baseball.  Happy Birthday Alex!!

In Summary:  Lots of baseball this usual.  My girl grew up right before my eyes and we had a good time celebrating God's grace.

More Later

- A Ro

Happy Birthday Dustin!!!

Once again you are subjected to a very bad acrostic poem in honor of my wonderful brother-in-law Dustin.


...or at least try.
Dustin is my brother-in-law and a very lucky man...

Unless you count having to be a part of our crazy crazy clan...

She gets to call him daddy so that makes her lucky too...

 butThe amount of love that they will one day feel, neither one has much of a clue...
I know his family loves him so, even those adopted dogs...

Never mind the fact he taught my Abby to call those dang-blasted Hogs.

We love you Dustin!!  Have a Happy Day!!

More Later

- A Ro