Sunday, June 26, 2011

Happy Birthday Greg!!

Yet another really bad acrostic poem to attempt to wish my fabulous brother a happy birthday.

Greg, my brother is a real GQ kind of guy.
a Real family man, that's no lie
 He Especially loves to be a goofball.
and Getting his son to love baseball.
 Or chillin' on a bench with one so small.
 Really all his life he has loved the bears.
 but You'll notice, now he does it with a lot less hair.

I love you Greg, Happy Birthday!!!

More Later

- A Ro

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I Like to Go Bowling With My Friend Bert

So I really loved the movie Grease and of course the Broadway musical.  In fact we are doing Grease this spring as our high school musical and I am very excited about it.  I, however, also really enjoyed the movie Grease 2.  Now I know that it can be a lot corny and cheesy but it is the kind of movie that is craptastic.  Craptastic is a word that was coined by my student Zach and it is used to describe something that is so crappy that it is fantastic.  Now before you go and judge me for my lack of taste you will have to admit that some of the songs from Grease 2 are very catchy and I can sing a number of them right now and I haven't seen the movie in over a decade.  Plus the British guy (Sandy's cousin) was very hunky to me as a 13 year old in that he-has-a-cool-accent-and-is-a-really-nice-guy sort of way.

I realize that was a very long set up for the fact that the Bowling Song from Grease 2 was stuck in my head all day to day because today at camp we went BOWLING!!

Now if you took the time to watch that 3 minute video you would HAVE to agree with me that it is a craptastic song.  Other craptastic songs from Grease 2 that you might want to go have a peek at are Cool Rider, Reproduction, and Back to School.  Classics.

Now let me tell you bowling was the perfect way to spend a 98 degree day.  I sat indoors with my Diet Coke ALL ding dong day.  Perfect.

My C.I.T.'s (Counselors In Training) got to go to the bowling alley first so they could bowl and eat lunch as a group.  Now when I say MY C.I.T.'s that means that I am in charge of that group of about thirty one 11-15 year olds.  I love this age group and I have a lot of fun with them.  It is really a great way to spend the summer.  Sarah and Andrew are C.I.T.'s and next year my Bella will be able to be one of them too.

So after we bowled we set up all the lanes and got all the shoes so the rest of the camp didn't have to mess with all that stuff when they got there.  They also formed a tunnel for the rest of the camp to enter the bowling alley from the busses. 

I got to snap a pic of my Bella and her BFF Hannah.

I have to admit that bowling at camp also reminds me of another song very near and dear to my music teacher heart.

It really brings me back.

More Later

- A Ro

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The One Where I Complain About the Heat

Well, for the first day of summer California sure didn't go easy on us all.  It was 100 degrees here in sunny Cali.  That makes for a very hot summer camp.  We were a bakin'.  The funny thing is that when I ran this morning it was really foggy and about 50 degrees. 

I really like to complain about the weather.  Too hot...too cold...too rainy...not rainy enough...I know that I live in a place where the weather is near perfect all the time.

At least I realize the errors in my complaining ways.

We had puppy petting on campus today and man were they cute.  Andrew took my camera and took some pictures.
Yeah these are just a few of the 10 or just like them...note to self give him a few more guidelines when giving him my camera for the day.

We ended our wonderful, but hot day, celebrating Sarah's birthday at our favorite Red's BBQ with a nice cool Sundae.
What a great smile, and a beautiful girl.

More Later

- A Ro

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Post that Includes a Bunch of Nonsense

As I write this I have just finished my first day of Summer Camp, manicotti is in the oven, and my house is full.  All of this makes me very very happy.

This past weekend was very easy going and I enjoyed it very much.

I really like easy going.

At the moment I cannot for the life of me remember what we did on Friday I said easy going.

My kids were with their dad on Saturday night so Rich and I had dinner and went to see the movie Bridesmaids.  I like Kristin Wigg, and the previews looked very funny.  I thought there were very funny moments of this movie and there were moments that embarrassed the heck out of me.  I can't really explain why I was embarrassed, as I was sitting with Rich, the one person on this earth that I am most comfortable with, yet there were scenes I wished no one was watching with me.  So at your own risk.

I really wanted to go see Super 8, which is the movie that Rich wanted to see.  When I say that it was the movie I "wanted" to see I mean I really wanted to be ABLE to see it, but I know myself all too well.  I know that since it doesn't have Chevy Chase and doesn't involve people falling down and probably includes people meeting their demise at the hand of a big ugly creature that I probably couldn't handle it.  I almost did it anyway, but at the last minute begged for Rich's forgivness and picked Bridesmaids. 

Sunday was Father's Day and we were busy preparing for the arrival of Rich's kids.  Now they are really easy going kids and we really didn't need to do TOO much preparing.  But there were sheets to wash, a few drawers to clean out and a few birthday presents to shop for, so I didn't do my usual post, but I do want to say that, once again, I thought a great deal about the dads in my life.

The one who loved me when I was younger.  He was an amazing dad, and I miss him terribly.

And the one who loves me now.  He also is an amazing dad (and step dad), and we are lucky to have him in my life.

Well, the manicotti is done and everyone is home so we are going to sit down and have a relaxing dinner and enjoy being all together.


More Later

- A Ro

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Grillin' Up the Hodgepodge

It is time once again for the weekly Hodgepodge.  Click on the button above and head on over to Joyce's blog and link up your answers.  Here is a peek into my brain.

1. What is one thing on your bucket list? If you don't have a bucket list let's pretend you do.
I want to go to Italy.  There are so many things I studied when I did my master's degree that centered around Italy.  I need to go to Italy.

2. What makes a good dad?
Being a good dad takes patience, kindness, understanding, and most of all a willingness to be a good dad.  Wanting to be a good dad enough to figure out how, and go do it is really all it takes. 

3. Are you afraid of insects? Which ones?
Yes. Yes. and Yes.  I can handle ladybugs...maybe.  Now I don't scream and run from MOST insects, but I really don't like to be near them.

At all.

4. We're barbecuing...what's on the grill at your house?
Chicken, rib eye steaks, or tri tip.  I love to love it when Rich grills!!

5. Do you believe that playing is more important than winning?
I believe that playing is more important than winning unless I am playing or my kids are...ha ha.  It is a good theory to believe in but hard to implement.

6. Do you tan? Use self tanners? Visit tanning salons? See your dermatologist at least once a year?
I do not tan, use self tanners or visit tanning salons.  I am Swedish so I am either white or red, no brown.  I really am not that into being tan, but I don't see a dermatologist just my PCP...something to think about.

7. Five years ago I would never imagine that today I would_______________.
Be happily married to my high school sweetheart.  A lot can happen in five years.

8.  In Summary:  Voglio andare in Italia...un sacco. (I want to go to Italy...a lot)  I love to eat BBQ but don't challenge me to a BBQ cooking contest because even though I think playing is better than winning I'll cheer Rich on with all I have.  Thankfully, I am married to my high school sweetheart who just happens to be a great dad!!

More Later

- A Ro

Monday, June 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Kate

Today is my wonderful sister Kate's birthday.  Enjoy my very bad acrostic poem in her honor.

Katy was once her name, a long long time ago.
Andrew called her Aunt Cake but she didn't mind, you know.
They know her as Aunt Kate, and boy is she larger than life.
and He gets to boast and brag that she is his lovely wife.
Red calls her mama, and she just loves her so.
Yep, getting to call her sister is a very special thing.
No matter what she is to you, Kate's a true blessing.

I love you Kate.  Happy Birthday!!

More Later

- A Ro

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Project 365 Week 24

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Well our summer is officially here. Last week was our last week of school. I have a couple of meetings on Monday but only a half day!!

Here is a peek at my week. Head on over to Sara's blog and check out all the other participants weeks. Go will be fun!

Sunday June 5:
 Bella's Beads

Bella went to a beading birthday party today.  She made a baseball necklace.  She is so lucky to have such good friends who have such cool birthday parties.

Monday June 6:
Sandy the Squirrel

This morning I heard a commotion outside on my balcony.  I see this french roll fall from the sky and land on my balcony.  Suddenly a squirrel jumps on top of it and carries it into my planter and starts to eat it.  This picture is taken through my window so it is a little cloudy, but that squirrel is lovin' that loaf.

Tuesday June 7:
Last Day of School

It is my "little" girl's last day of Elementary School.  She will be a big Sixth Grader.  Yikes.  It seems like only yesterday...yeah you guys know the drill.

Wednesday June 8:
Baseball Banquet

Sorry it is so small...I left my camera at home and had to snap this with my phone.  Andrew's coach said a lot of nice things about him and it was a very nice party.

Thursday June 9:
Talent Abounds

Today was our High School talent show and, WOW, was it good.  Here are two of my seniors Thomas and Isabel singing together.  It was such a touching moment.  I love these guys.

Friday June 10:
Middle School Shoes?

Here are one of the many crazy high heeled shoes at this year's Middle School graduation.  She didn't fall, thank goodness.  It was a nice ceremony and my kids performed so great.  I was very proud.

Saturday June 11:
S'mores with Nana

My mom came to visit on Wednesday and we are having such a great time. After a busy morning with High School graduation we came home and had a great relaxing time by the fire. And yes she knows that her granddaughter is a little kooky, and loves her for it.  

In Summary:  This week was kind of busy, but it was the good kind of busy.  Showing off talented kids and starting new beginnings.  And I apologize that my only picture of Andrew is one that you need a magnifying glass, but I am fearing that might be all I get for awhile.  Bring on summer!!!

More Later

- A Ro

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Fun in the Sun and the Hodgepodge

It is time once again to pick my brain and see what makes me tick. 

Good luck with that.
1. Do you and your family enjoy camping? What do you enjoy most/like the least when it comes to family camping? When was the last time you camped?
My current family and I have never been camping.  My ex husband hated it so that was 13 years I didn't camp.  My family when I was younger didn't do much camping.  Some things I think I would love about camping...I mean I love the outdoors, I love campfires, and roasting marshmallows, and I love the thought of spending some quality time with my family.  So I think I would like it.  However, I hate bugs, and I need things uber organized so I am fearful that camping might be too much for this self diagnosed OCD.  Rich REALLY wants to go camping and if there is anyone I would venture forth with the idea it is him, so I'll keep you updated. 

2. Did you attend a summer camp when you were a kid? Is that a happy or not so happy memory?
I attended summer vocal music camps and I use the word camp loosely...keep in mind it was for divas in training so a lot of campy not a lot of camping.  LOVED IT!!!  Maybe I need to rethink my answer to number 1...
3. Over the course of your life, what have you probably spent more time pondering than anything else?
Wow...I think I need to come back to this one.

OK, I'm back.  I think sadly the thing I have pondered most of my life I on the right path?  Instead of just enjoying the path that I have chosen.  It brings me back to my favorite quote "Life is not the way it is supposed to be.  It's just the way it is.  The way you look at it is what makes the difference"

yeah, now you tell me.
4. Which of the seven natural wonders of the world would you most like to see? There are many lists of 'wonders' but this is the standard natural wonder list-Mount Everest, The Great Barrier Reef, The Grand Canyon, Victoria Falls, The Harbor of Rio de Janerio, Paricutan Volcano and The Northern Lights.
I have seen only one...The Grand Canyon.

Clearly I need to get out more

I think the one I would most like to see are The Northern Lights.  That absolutely fascinates me.  I think it would be the ultimate thunder storm.  If any of the 5.5 people who read this have seen them...please do tell!!
5. What was your first real job?
Well I, of course, babysat and I taught beginning piano all through high school.  My jobs at college were working at the music library.  I had great jobs.  No waiting tables, or flipping burgers.
6. Lemonade or Sweet tea...which do you prefer on a hot summer day?
I, acutally, prefer non sweet tea.  However, I just found out (as I was steeping my first jug of sun tea of the "summer") that you aren't supposed to do sun tea...bacteria...growing...make you sick...yada yada yada.
7. What is something that always brings a smile to your face?
Kids in general make me smile.  Old kids, young kids, middle kids.  They just make me happy.
8.  In Summary:  In my life right now I am going to enjoy the path...camping, kids, and a tall glass of iced tea...just not sun tea.

More Later

- A Ro

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What Happened??

 No seriously, what happened??  How is it that this is the last day for my girl to be in elementary school??  
It seemed like only yesterday that this little Kindergartener cut her hair so that she could put it on her self portrait...

...wore the wrong tie on the first day of school because her mama didn't know any better, but still looked cute in her little knee socks and Mary Janes...

...and was the most adorable Little Engine that Could in her Kindergarten play.

However, now she has grown into such an amazing girl.  She is smart, articulate, tenatious, and a friend to everyone.  I am so proud of her accomplishments and her work ethic and can't wait to see what Middle School has in store for her. 

I can promise you it will be great!!

More Later

- A Ro

Monday, June 6, 2011

Weekend Highlight Reel

So Monday is here and it is the last week of school!!! Even though I absolutely LOVE my job I am so stick-a-fork-in-me done that I can hardly take it.  This week consists of proctoring finals, graduation rehearsals, and graduations.  I haven't had any rehearsals since last week and I really have a hard time coming to work knowing that I am not going to get any student time, only housekeeping work.

This weekend was really great.  Nothing too special but nice and relaxing especially after last weekend when we were travelling up until the point I had to get up for work.  Yeah...I needed this weekend.

Friday we hung out at home, and I made a grocery list that I actually took to the store on Saturday.  I checked things off as I bought them and only forgot a couple of things, frozen yogurt for a promised strawberry pineapple smoothie, and doggie treats.  This meant another trip to the market.  During the first trip to Trader Joe's they were sampling this Lentil Salad that Bella tried, yes I know my 10 year old has no food fear whatsoever.  She loved it and begged me to get it and make it at home.  So I did and it was quite tasty.

The recipe is:

1 bag Trader Joe's steamed lentils
1 bag Trader Joe's chopped onions
1/2 bottle Trader Joe's Italian Vinaigrette
1 chopped tomato (we hate tomatoes so I used 1 red pepper)
1 block Trader Joe's smoked mozzarella chopped up

Combine and let sit in refrigerator.

Super easy if you have a Trader Joe's in your neck of the woods...if you don't, well I feel sorry for you.  No, I really do.  I love Trader Joe's.

So the second time we went to Trader Joe's (dog treats and frozen yogurt) they were sampling Trader Joe's mushroom ravioli in a truffle sauce and again Bella (the fearless food kid of mine) sampled it and LOVED it so we bought a bag for her to have for lunch.  It is so nice to have a girl that really eats anything, and she loves things that are good for her.  Wow, now Andrew on the other hand...mac and cheese bites and beef-a-roni are his favorite meals.  Yikes.

We also found out that the little coffee shop next to Trader Joe's is no longer.  I am very sad.  I had made a pact to try to frequent that coffee shop because a) their coffee is really good and b) they are a small business and need support.  I really did try to give up Starbucks but to no avail.  I mean c'mon how can you expect me to give up overpriced, mega corporate, bad coffee...I am not a saint mind you. 

Saturday also included a trip to Target.  We needed to buy a birthday gift, dog toe nail clippers (because I think when I can safely paint Maggie's nails without too much mess it is time to trim them), a sun tea jar, and a replacement 4 cup Pyrex glass measuring cup because I smashed my original one into a bajillion pieces when it fell out of the cupboard while trying to get out my mixer...sigh.  We left with a sun tea jar and birthday gift and forgot all about the dog toe nail clippers (and they didn't have my measuring cup), this is where, again, a list might be handy. 

I think I was distracted by the Starbucks in the Target even though I have sworn off in store Starbucks because usually their drinks are really bad, I mean more really bad than the regular Starbucks.  This one didn't disappoint.  My drink was bitter and the milk tasted sour...gotta love consistency.

We also stopped by an ATM to deposit some checks which turned into an hour long phone call with Bank of America because the ATM decided to take my checks and shut down shortly after.  Thankfully it returned my card, but didn't register the deposit.  This was only after a 2 hour long phone conversation with Bank of America AND Discover Card on Friday because...well I accidentally paid Discover Card twice.

That is a bigger problem in that I pay that balance off each month, and we try to make all our purchases with our Discover card because we get good cash it was a pretty large amount of snafu.  You see in anticipation of our trip last week I set up an auto bill pay with my bank and then Monday evening paid it on line from my phone sitting at the airport because I panicked that it was you see me being smarter than I remember actually got me into trouble.  So the internet payment was "processing" which means it is in limbo essentially Discover card couldn't stop it and the Bank couldn't stop it because neither entity had my actual money, which isn't actual money anyway if you think about it.   Yeah...still fighting that one.  Hopefully it will all be resolved today or I'm going to "process" some guy in India (na).  Guess which customer service rep was the most helpful: the one in "Atlanta"? the one was in "New Jersey"? or the one who was in "Utah"?   Yep the nice guy from Utah was the nicest and most helpful.  I am not going there, but he was.

On Sunday Rich and I witnessed a melt down by a three year old because his Mom took him out of his stroller.  I remember my kids turning into a super strength stiff boards when trying to get them INTO the stroller.  How I wish now I could be pushed around all day long...I also can't believe I ever fought my parents when it was time to go to bed.

silly silly silly me.

More Later

- A Ro

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Project 365 Week 23

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Oh, My Gosh!! Oh, My Gosh!! A-Ro is posting a week in pictures!! I know it has been awhile, but it is about time gol-darn-it.

It was a very good week and it is a week that is leading up to the last week of school...phew.

Head on over to Sara's and look at everyone else's week. I guarantee you they are a little more consistent than me...but hey, everyone can't be perfect.

Enjoy mine!!

Sunday May 29:
A Proud Day

Rich's son graduated from high school today.  He graduated from the same high school Rich and I graduated from so it was really neat to attend this graduation.  Rich was very proud and emotional today.  I was honored to be there too.

Monday May 30:
Cute Couple

Sarah took this picture as we were saying goodbye.  We had a great visit.

Tuesday May 31:
Maggie's Going Home

We picked up Maggie from the kennel tonight, she gets so excited when in the car.  We missed her.

Wednesday June 1:
Congratulations Nana!!

My Mom had her retirement party today.  She is retiring from the Des Moines Public School system.  She is a music teacher.  Everyone (except for us...sigh) went to her party.  Thanks Mom for being such a great role model for me and all your students, we are very lucky!! Thanks Stacia for posting this picture, next time remind Greg that he shouldn't look at the kids, but at the camera. Ha Ha.

Thursday June 2:
Face Painting in Choir?

It was our last day of Middle School Chorus so we had a fun class.  Camden brought his face painting stuff and painted some faces.  I just love these kids.

Friday June 3:
My Little Soloist

Today was Bella's final assembly.  The fifth graders were honored and she got a little duet part in their song We Are the World.  Needless to say I was SO proud. 

Saturday June 4:
Trader Joe's Recipe

Disregard the fact that Blogger kept trying to "fix" the orientation of my picture...This is Lentil Salad.  Trader Joe's sampled this today while we were there and it was tasty (and easy), so we made it.  I'll post the recipe in tomorrow's weekend highlight reel. 

In Summary:  I had a very special week full of witnessed milestones and non-witnessed milestones.  We got some normal family time with both families and are headed into the final week of school full speed.  Check back for some more!!

More Later

- A Ro

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Lets Back Up a Bit

If chorus kids are anything, they are social.  Sometimes that drives me bonkers, but I know the type...I am one.  So this year they decided that they wanted to have a choir banquet to celebrate the end of the year.  So the evening before I left on a 6:00 am flight to Iowa we had our banquet...great planning huh? 

Bella and I decorated the tables on our stage, and the food was BBQ and yummy deserts and Dina-Mac!!  Kaley and Allie brought 5 pounds of macaroni and cheese and no one left hungry.
I love these guys...
...and these guys...
...and these guys...
...and these guys.
We did paper plate awards, where the kids give out silly awards to each other.  Emceed by Allie and Nicole two seniors who just crack me up.
I gave out The Piggies which included Chorus MVP, The chorus unsung hero, and The chorus teacher pet, among others.  I also gave out my best attendance award (which was written on the cover of my actual attendance book), the honorary choir member award, and the longevity award.  Each choir member got their yearly choir pin and I had a few teary notes for my 15 seniors.

Then we sang. 

Karaoke style. 
There was a line.

If chorus kids are anything, they are divas.

Even the shy ones.

My favorite kind of kids.

More Later

- A Ro