Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Much Ado About the Hodgepodge

It is time again for the hodgepodge...the questions this week are really hard so beware!!  Just kidding, head on over to Joyce's blog and link up.  It will be OK I promise.

1. William Shakespeare's birthday is celebrated on April 23rd...when did you last read Shakespeare? What's your favorite Shakespeare play? 

Being a student of opera we had to study numerous Shakespeare's plays.  The last one I read, which happens to also be my favorite opera, was A Midsummer Nights Dream  (do you italicize titles??)  My favorite might be Much Ado About Nothing.  I like the comedies more than the tragedies....duh right??

2. What food(s) would you recommend a foreign visitor try when they visit your home country?
hmmm...it seems like everything that we eat over here is from somewhere else.  OK...I'll go with the good ol burger and fries.

3. What's a lie you often tell yourself?

I'll start eating healthy on Monday...ha

4. What's something you're good at that might surprise us? Remember this is a family friendly blog!

Well, I am having a hard time answering this because a) I'm am a diva so the things I am good at are well known or b) I am really not good at anything out of the ordinary.  I am pretty certain it is a combination of both those things.  Rich says that I am good at jigsaw puzzles, jump roping, keeping the book at baseball games, and all kinds of crafts.  All of which I am sure I am just average at.  I guess with that attitude the diva option is out.

5. Who is your favorite animal character from a book?

I might just have to say the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland, but this was a very hard question as I like a lot of books with animals.

6. April showers bring May flowers...do you have a green thumb?

Nope...but I hope to be.  If it were only that easy.

7. Speaking of rainy days...which one of the following activities would you most want to spend time doing on a rainy day-

sort photos and create albums
bake cookies
read a good book
hold an all-day movie marathon
organize closets, cupboards, or bookshelves
try a new recipe
fix something that needs fixing
Wow, yes to all of those things, except maybe fixing something.  I love to do all those things.

8. Random Thought aka Hodgepodge Wrap Up: 

Tomorrow is going to be one of those rainy days around here so maybe I'll break out The Tempest, or Alice in Wonderland.  I am sure that rainy day might help my lack of green thumb on those plants on my balcony or I could just relax, which just happens to be something that I am NOT good at.  I am pretty sure I won't be breaking out that grill for those burgers but maybe I could start at the top of that list and work my way down.  Wait a minute...yeah tomorrow I'll be at work dealing with wet middle schoolers, thankfully that is something that I am good at!!

More Later

- A Ro

Happy Birthday Stacia!!

It is my sister-in-law's birthday today and I am going to let you all assume that she is turning 21.  I thought this year I would do a top ten list for her birthday.  So...drum roll please (or not cause it isn't all that amazing, but filled with love nonetheless)

Top Ten Reasons I Love My Sister-in-Law Stacia:

10.  She is such a natural beauty both inside and out.

9.  She met my brother and made him get rid of that shirt.

8.  She married my wonderful brother and bravely joined our family.

7.  She had this wonderful boy who has pirated away all of our hearts.

6.  She had this wonderful girl who melts all of our hearts.

5.  She takes care of her family and makes wonderful memories for her kids.

4.  She has a thing for Ferb and isn't afraid to show it...me too Stacia...me too.

3.  She loves all her nieces and nephews.

2.  She really knows how to let loose and be silly and isn't afraid to let someone take a picture.

1.  She really likes her wine beer.

I love you Stacia and hope you have a wonderful day.

More Later

- A Ro

Monday, April 23, 2012

Weekend Wrap Up

This weekend was all about Grease.  I loved watching my kids up on stage and giving it their all.  I just love these kids!!  My whole family went on opening night and I think Sarah's biggest thrill was getting to sit behind and meet Aaron Page one of the Warblers from Glee and one of my former students. 

He is the one on the far right.

He was our Joseph last year in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and came back to support his former classmates.  It was good to see him. 

It was hard to see all of the seniors take their final bow on our stage, but I know they are headed on to bigger and better things.

It was a great experience and it just makes me feel so blessed that I have this job!!

Bella brought home some art work.  The bottom one is for Abby and the top one just blows my mind.  She is so talented.

I want to give a big shout out to Rich for this week.  He really took charge and kept the house running while I was working 5 14 hour days and gone most of the weekend.  I love him so much and can't imagine my life without him.  He is so amazing.

Have a great week and we will see you tomorrow with a birthday blog for my sister in law Stacia.

More Later

- A Ro

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Spring into the Hodgepodge

I am going to try to join Joyce this week for her hodgepodge.  Obviously if you are reading this I was successful...Head on over and check it out, you might just want to join up too.

1. Spring is in the air (at least in my neck of the woods) and the birds are singing...what's your favorite bird?

Well since my daughter is in the midst of her bird project the Arctic Puffin is atop of the list of the birds I know the most about, however, the Arctic Puffin is no where to be found here in sunny CA and isn't really a bird you think of when you think of spring.  The arctic puffin is the subject of one of my most favorite Elf moments:

OK back to the question...yeah...spring bird...robins.

2. Speaking of birds...do you tweet? If so tell us your screen name and we'll come flocking to your Twitter site. Even if you don't let's all pretend here that we do-in 140 characters or less, sum up your week so far.

I don't tweet but I follow a couple...I follow preschool gems totally funny tweets from preschoolers like:  "Do you want to be a toilet parrot or just a toilet" or "I have a boy penguin he is a she and lives in my backseat her name is Whimzie" 

OK my week in a tweet - Tech week for Grease means this girl is up way past her bedtime, oh so tired and cranky #ohthoseslumbernights

3. Its been reported recently that employers are not only viewing the facebook pages of potential hires but they're also requesting your facebook password to have a look at what you've kept from public view. What say you?

I am a big proponent of your private life being your own, however, I am a teacher so pretty much everything I do is under the microscope.  Having said that, my private life is boring so I would have no problem sharing as long as they realized that it might just put them to sleep.  I will say that the line needs to be drawn somewhere, and it seems like facebook passwords might just be beyond that line.

4. It's April and you know what that means-Major League Baseball is back in action. What's your favorite baseball movie? If that's too hard, what's your favorite sports themed movie?

I love Bull Durham and Major League. 

Just love the "I believe" speech that Kevin Costner gives in Bull Durham.  It has a few bad words in it so I am not going to post it but if you want to see it just youtube it.
5. Something else this season brings-asparagus. Yes please or no thanks? If it's yes please what's your favorite way to have it prepared?

I LOVE asparagus despite the...er...smelly side affects.  I love it grilled or roasted.  I also love a good asparagus risotto.

6. What drives you? (Don't you love how I sandwiched that one in between asparagus and jugglers???)

Responsibility and order.  This why I have such a hard time just sitting back and doing things for me because I feel I am shirking a responsibility and letting order go by the wayside.

7. April 18th is International Jugglers Day...can you juggle?

No, but my husband can.  Bella wanted to learn how to juggle and I was showing her how someone tried to teach me, however, I never got the hang of it.  Rich was reading a book and after about 15 minutes of me "teaching" Bella calmly looked up and said..."I can juggle"  I was like..."whoa... what else do I not know about you???" 
8. Insert your own random thought here.

I wish I was a better juggler then I could find the time to watch good baseball movies, cook my favorite asparagus recipe, as risotto takes so much darn time.  I would probably have more of a life to try to hide from my employer on facebook as well as figure out how to actually tweet.  Alas too many Artic Puffin reports and Grease rehearsals. #darnthatresponsibilityandordersideofme

More Later

- A Ro

Monday, April 16, 2012

Grease is the Word

I will be taking a bit of a hiatus this week due to it being tech week for our high school production of Grease.  However, I was looking through some pictures that I got this past week of my neices and nephews so I thought I'd leave you with a few cute shots.

I am planning on sending out some pics of this week, but don't hold your breath.

Big Ty at Disneyworld.
Love this sweet Sami at Disneyworld
And of course JoJo and Abby hangin in Iowa.

Love these guys...

More Later

- A Ro

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Neccesity is the Mother of Subway

I believe that the subject of dinner has caused a great deal of change and progress in the course of humankind.  Fire was discovered because some mom was tired of hearing her children complain about cold fish.  Then the stove was invented because some mom was tired of working all day and then having to come home and build a fire.  I'd even go so far as to say that dinner was the cause of revolutionizing women's fashions .  I mean c'mon who wants to stand around and mash potatoes and make gravy in kitten heels and crinoline skirts. 

Now in no way do I think that dinner is women's work at all.  I just happen to really like cooking but feel that dinner preparation and planning is sometimes the bane of my existence.  I have 6 people to feed with the hopes of leftovers to feed them all for lunch the next day.  If the sheer numbers of mouths I have to feed doesn't doesn't garner the dinner angst, then the "what" to feed them should.  I know that I should just be able to cook one meal and put it on the dinner table and say "if you don't like it then starve" but the only person not starving at our table would be my Bella who, as I have said before, eats ANYTHING.  Justin needs a low sodium diet as he battles high blood pressure. Rich and I try to avoid animal protein.  Sarah and Andrew are the pickiest but Sarah is at the age where we still can force her to eat what we put in front of her.  Andrew is a lost cause with nary a vegetable crossing his lips.  Not to even mention the fact that most of these days I am not even home until 6:00 or so due to baseball practice every evening.  So let me recap.

6 members of family + 6 different diets + mom who really likes and craves whole good food and nothing from a can or a box + not a lot of quality prep time = a very grouchy mama in need of dinner solutions to the extent of inventing fire or the stove or stretchy yoga pants.

I do have one ace in the hole.  I have an amazing husband who is a very good sous chef.  Most days he is home just ahead of me and is able to prep everything that I need to make a good wholesome dinner for 6 horribly picky eaters. 

Two nights ago was one of those occasions, that I'm telling you worked like clockwork. By the time I walked in the door the pasta was cooked, the veggies sauteed and all I had to do was make the sauce and plate it up.

Tonight not quite the same story.  I was running a little late due to my Grease rehearsal and as I was calling Rich to give my sous chef the list of duties he was informing me that he was also running late and that he would not be able to do much prep work.  So I get home and pull out the meat only to find out that it was still a little frozen.  I also very quickly realize that the potatoes were never going to get scrubbed, peeled, and boiled in time for my mashed potatoes.

If there were ever a meal that needed a sous chef, it was this one.

I did give it the college try before I sat outside and waited for Rich to come home to have him feel my woe and suggest we go to Subway to get sandwiches.

So if moms, trying to make dinner a little easier, discovered fire, the stove, and house slippers it was dads who came up with the idea of Subway.  They needed some way to please those moms, who on those rare occasions, can't get dinner on the table even with a great assistant.

More Later

- A Ro


Monday, April 9, 2012

I Get By With a Little Help From My Friend aka Coffee

The first day back after a long break is always the hardest.  Especially when today I had to teach my zero block class (7:00 am) and had rehearsal for Grease until 5:00.  Now when I say "I had to teach" it makes it sound like a chore, when actually I love that class, but as I am sure anyone would agree, that having to be "on your game" at 7:00 am after an extended break is a little difficult. 

Needless to say it was a very long day.

However, one thing made it just barely bearable, and in all actuality I was looking forward to it as I was driving to work today...


Now here is the deal.  One of our middle school social studies teachers went to our PTA this fall and told them that he thought that everyone would be a little happier each day if each teacher could be guaranteed one cup of really good coffee, instead of the cheap mass produced stuff that lives in every teachers faculty room.  Now mind you we are all a very happy bunch and work at a very happy place and are treated very well by our parents and administrators, but I will admit that I would be a little HAPPIER with that really good cup of coffee.

He told them he knew a guy who could be our regular "supplier" of the "good stuff" from "Columbia" and that he could get a good "deal"

Yeah sounded a little shady to me too but...whatever.

So our PTA agreed to buy us a good coffee maker and support our habit...er...I mean one good cup of happiness, as well as providing us with organic milk, half and half, and even soy milk to go into our coffee.  The first cup of this crack...er...I mean coffee would be free, but the second cup would cost $.25.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a minute...let me get this straight.  One good cup of free coffee from some guy in Columbia, organic half and half, AND the second cup is a mere $.25. 

Sign me up

Well this morning that one cup of Joe brought me more than happiness.  It brought me life.  Because, and I know this might be shocking, I wasn't the only one who was having a little trouble...uh...focusing today.

Lets just say most of my teaching time today was like herding cats.

All I can say is thank goodness for our PTA and our social studies teacher who knows the importance of that first "fix" of the day.

More Later

- A Ro

Wait a Minute, Spring Break is Over...Already??

Just when I have gotten used to sleeping in, trying to sit around and do nothing, working out when it is actually light out, and spending some quality time with my kindle (and my kids) it's over.


We did go out with a bang.  Bella got her hair cut, Rich and I went on a coffee date, and we had a wonderful Easter complete with my infamous clue driven scavenger hunt, and we finished most of Isabella's spring break to do list. 

The Easter scavenger hunt is a favorite around these parts.  You see each kidlet got a set of clues and have to find their Easter basket, and yes Andrew still loves to play which means Justin had to play too.  Bella starts first and it goes youngest to oldest.  I am such the clever mom so that every other clue sends them upstairs.  The first couple of times we all trudged upstairs Maggie our dog bounded after us, but after the 10th time or so she was looking at us as if we were crazy.  Rich got into it too and helped with writing the clues, hiding the clues, and making sure everyone hauled it up and down those darn stairs.  It was so much fun.

Here are a few pics of our last weekend of freedom.

Bella's new hair cut...so cute.

Bella and her first clue.

Bella's treasure.

Sarah's first clue.
Sarah's treasure.

Andrew's first clue, and yes...it is true he posed and smiled for this picture.  My little boy is finally succumbing to his mother's will.

The final prize.  Yes that is a Pikachu painting that Bella painted for him...its a long story.

Justin with his first clue...and I will say he is a good sport because he didn't have a chance to shower, and I have caught his eyes closed because I snapped the picture quickly for fear he would change his mind.

and his prize...and another poor attempt by me at capturing Justin.

I will end this blog post with a very cute video.  A little background first.  I was watching Ellen (during one of my weaker "I am going to sit and do nothing" moments) and she had a segment called Dancing Dares.  It is where people dance behind unknowing people.  I know it sounds very stupid but if you YouTube this you will find it to be very funny.  So Bella and Sarah did it to Rich as a first attempt before trying to do it to a stranger.  I'm telling you I laughed my butt off.


More Later

- A Ro

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I've Been to the Desert on a Hotel With No Internet

When I went on last week about my committment to blog I failed to realize that I would be spending three days in the desert without adequate internet.  I might have been able to blog on my daughter's ipod because that seemed like the only device that connected to our hotels "internet" but it would have been something like this:

I am in desert...send internet.

Obviously that would have done no good so here I am well rested and able to put together an actual blog and upload some pictures.

We went to Palm Desert for Andrew's baseball tournament.  It was a fun three days of watching baseball and getting some Bella Mama time.  I love hanging out with my girl and we had so much fun.  Andrew played very well and I got to see a lot really good baseball.  The weather was very nice and the fields had lots of shady spots. 

I must admit that I didn't take too many pictures, I just don't always think of taking them.  Andrew's dad took some video so when I feel like pulling my hair out I'll try to get those uploaded.

Bella and the Pig.  It was outside a BBQ place called Babe's.  There are just so many things wrong with that.

Not surprising we chose NOT to eat at the "eat the pig from the that cute movie" restaurant but instead chose a restaurant called The Old Spaghetti Factory.  It was very good.  My Bella, who now eats like an adult, chose the clam sauce.  I mean c'mon what 11 year old do you know eats clam sauce.  I can tell you it was the same one who was contemplating the lobster ravoli with her dad at dinner that night but ended up with the eggplant parmesean and...

goes to Richie's diner (known for it's burgers and fries) yesterday for lunch and orders a chef's salad.  She did, however, order a chocolate shake...phew.  She was dying to take this picture because she calls Rich, little Richie.

I did take a couple of actual baseball pictures.  Andrew pitched a complete game and was the winning pitcher, ended up on base 8 out of 11 at bats, with some really great hits, and made some spectacular plays at 2nd base.

So there is our mini vacation.  And now back to the real world, well as real as it gets with 4 more days off!!! 

Now lets see how I can totally waste these few days.

I'll let you know!!

More Later

- A Ro