Thursday, May 31, 2007

Graduation Day!

My handsome graduate boy, Kyle who worked his tail off taking extra classes and a heavy load to graduate a year early. I'm so proud of him! He is such a great young man. So far he has been the easiest teenager. Perhaps he learned from watching his naughty older brothers when they were younger. :o)
I love you Kyle!

Cute Miss Sandy with her diploma and awards. I've already mentioned all the amazing things she's accomplished this year. She's a great girl. We are proud of her too!

My sisters Julie and Coleen with foster baby, Maryella (top of Kaden's head) who came to be a part of our cheer section.

Chad with the graduates

Mark, Chad and Cole

(Cody stayed home...said it was too boring to go. Whatever!)

Proud parents....tired parents! Mark came straight from work. I had my hair up because I had been preparing food all day for the celebration BBQ Friday night. I thought I was being nice to keep my hair out of the potato salad. :o) Neither one of us were looking our best, but we made it in time to get good seats.

My sweet boy loves his mom. :o)

Afterwords, Mark went on a motorcycle ride with the guys. Me Julie, Coleen, and Cole went to Taco bell for a quick bite to eat. Chad, Kyle, Sandy and their friends went out to dinner to celebrate. I bet their having a blast together.

Time for bed. I have to get up early because I have lots more food to make and prepare for the party....oh and the cleaning...ugggg... :o)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Playing catch up...long weekend

Chad rented a suite at the Pointe South Mountain Resort over the weekend. This was the view from his pretty! This resort has it's own water park so we took the little boys over to play.

Cole spent most of the day on the water slides. These are way too high for my liking, but he thought they were a blast. He wore a shirt all day and sunblock. Cody didn't...Cody was fried...still is!
This is more my speed Cody getting an autographed poster from the Phoenix cardinal cheerleaders. Such a boy!Cody, Chad, Sandy and Cole in the wave pool.
They had a band there which offered a small amount of shade and good entertainment for me and Mark who were walking around in our street clothes. It was HOT...really hot!

We went to Ted's hot hogs for lunch because it was cheaper than eating at the resort. We always tease Sandy because she always orders big meals but NEVER eats them. She ordered a foot long and we told her there was no way she could eat the whole thing. She had to prove us wrong and she did indeed eat the whole thing. I'm sure she was sick to her stomach, but she did it. :o)Kyle was at his new job training. He got a new job at Fry's grocery store. His trainers were more than happy to let us take pictures of him working. They really liked him. After he was done with work, we bought him a swimsuit and dropped him off at the resort with the rest of them. They played at the water park until it closed, then went back to the room and watched a movie until we picked them up.
While they were playing Mark and I went and took pictures of our friend Nick with his boys (and dog, Shakes). His boys are now grown and beginning to move their separate ways with college and marriage, so he really wanted some pictures of them. I took a bunch, but I'll just share this one. Cute group of guys!

There was lots more that happened this weekend like church, meals, cleaning, yard work, got some squash out of my in laws garden, shopping, napping, motorcycle ride to the mountains, visit to the cemetery, floating down the river, etc. but I don't want to bore you all with a novel. I hope you all enjoyed your long holiday weekend. We sure did! :o)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

George happenings...

Tonight I had a crafty class at church. We made these cute flags and I got to meet and visit with some very nice girls that live here in Maricopa. They invited me to go to their monthly late night crop at Recollections too. That will be fun!Cole, Chad and Grandpa PetersChad was playing around with Sandy's hair extensions. He would not be a pretty girl. It's kind of creepy! LOL!

I don't know what it is about boys, but you get them all in a room and they some how get the overwhelming need to wrestle each other. Miss Sandy showing off her muscles by pinning them all.

A little smoochy while watching Jordin win American Idol last night.
I had my family come over for an Italian feast. I made spaghetti, fettuccine alfredo with grilled chicken, salad and garlic bread. My sisters brought dessert. It was all great!
Cole and his teacher Mrs. Witte. I went to his school today because he was getting 2 awards. One for getting on the honor roll and one for perfect attendance. My little guy worked really hard since we moved here. It started out pretty rocky. Not real sure what's up with his smile. He said something about not showing his "real" smile at school. Who knows why a 10 year old thinks the way they do?Of course we had to get a picture of him and his buddies!

Things have been a little stressed with the sharing of Chad (or lack there of). I'm trying hard to bite my tongue, because what's most important to me is that HE is happy, but not everyone is sharing nice and it's making me very sad...sad for me and sad for him. He's feeling very torn. I've made sure that there is not any pressure from my end. I just wish he'd stand up for himself, so that he's not full of regret when it's time to leave. We all love him so much. At what point do you say "this just isn't right" or do you continue to keep the peace, but have a broken heart while doing so?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sandy's reaction

Monday morning Chad took Cole and Cody to school. He played basketball with them and some friends of Cole's before school started. The friends thought he was the coolest...which made Cole very happy.
After that Chad and I went to town to surprise Sandy at school. We had the office call her classroom and she wasn't there! The secretary said she's probably running late and at Taco Bell because her and her friend Sloan go there everyday before school. So I call her cell phone and tell her I'm at the school and brought her graduation announcements. She was excited and said she was at taco bell and would be right there. The office was full of people, students, staff, mailman, etc. Chad was sitting in one of the secretary chairs behind the desk. I thought she'd see me and talk to me for a minute and then spot Chad sitting over there, but noooo! She glanced over at me and then saw him. She was behind that desk so fast hugging him tight. She was so surprised and crying happy tears. I barely had time to get my camera out...let alone trying to get pictures with so many people in the office. I missed some great shots, but at least I got some. The principal gave her permission to leave for the rest of the day as long as she makes up her time. There was no way she could have concentrated on school work. We left and met Mark, Kyle, and Mark's brother, Spencer for lunch, then took Chad to get a much needed haircut, then to rent a car for him to drive while he's here. I'm all out of loaner vehicles since he was in an accident with my truck on his last time home in December. I had to put the rental car in my name because he's too young to rent a car. I think it's crazy that he's old enough to fight for our country, but not to rent a car.
You know what makes me crazy is that on the news all the talk is about Iraq with little to nothing mentioned about Afghanistan. In the few short months he's been there, he has been in danger so many times. He is in infantry and is the driver for the lead hummer in their convoys. They have had numerous gun encounters with the Taliban. It's just so scary for me as a mom to have MY son being shot at, yet Iraq is the "scary place" It's all scary...war is scary! No matter where our soldiers are serving, they are in danger. If I had any control over his life, he wouldn't be fighting. I don't want him to be just another number in the list of causalities. That may sound selfish, but a mothers instinct is to protect her children. How on earth am I going to be able to let him go back there in a few short days? I just don't know.
To be honest, I really haven't got to spend very much time with Chad, but he promises that today is be with mom time, so I'm going to go get dressed because he will be here soon. I'm going to enjoy my time with him. I'll take more pictures now that he's all cleaned up. Thank you all for your overwhelming support. Love to you all!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The BEST surprise!

Tonight the doorbell rang....twice. It's not very loud so we didn't get it the first time. The second time I asked Mark to get it because I was in my pajamas. There was a woman at the door who said she had a package for us. Mark thought she was a solicitor. (we've had a lot out here) The package she brought us was CHAD!!!! I came to the door and saw him and immediately started bawling and hugged him so tight! I can't believe he's here. He left Afghanistan on the 14th and has been traveling home since then. Poor guy! Turns out the woman who brought him to us is Chad's Sergeants wife, Susan Kirby. He had sent home some gifts for his wife in Chads bags, so she brought him home to us.. How neat is that?! The other guy is a good friend of their family. We had some time to catch up a little bit and now Chad in the shower since he hasn't had one in a week. We are going to go surprise Sandy in the morning. She is going to freak out! I'm so happy! It's really him...can you believe it? and I have him until June 5th.
He hasn't cut his hair since he got there. It's so long! (for him) He's going to let Sandy cut it. :o)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

graduation announcements and fluff

Tonight I finished Sandy's graduation announcements. I took Kyle's pictures and started on his. It feels good to get some stuff done. They are the same, because they go to the same school and I told her to invite her friends and family to the party the next night. I HAVE to get Kyle's done tomorrow so they can get in the mail this weekend since graduation is 2 weeks away. I did 24 for her and I'm doing 45 for Kyle.
I went to a new nail salon here in Maricopa today. I had them take off my old nails and put on a new full set. Holy heck do my fingers hurt! They are so tender from ripping them off and sanding down my nail bed. It's painful to type so this will not be a long post. :o)
Cole asked me for help with his math homework tonight. I had NO IDEA how to do it! Seriously! So to answer the question of "Are you smarter than a 5th grader?" The answer would be NO! heck...apparently I'm not even smarter that a 4th grader. So embarrassing!

I also made my fluffy girl chart. I left the month off and the dates so I could print the same sheet each month and hand write in that info. I plan to color it to cute it up a bit. I don't know how to do downloads like Amy. So you can make up a chart that works for you or you can see if you can click on this picture to save and print. I don't know if that will work, but it's worth a try if you want to use it. Anyone is free to jump in at any time with our fluffy girls club.

Today I've drank 4- 8oz. glasses of water...which is not where I need to be, but far better than my normal 0-1 glass of water. I am terrible at drinking water! I almost didn't exercise but I decided that I couldn't blog until I did, so I did exercise tonight for 35 minutes while watching CSI. I'm still feeling the burn. Yay me! Okay did you do today?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Miss Sandy

I almost didn't blog today because my mood is beyond bad, but I took pictures of sweet Miss Sandy for her graduation announcements and I had to share because she's just so darn cute! I'm so glad my boys have good taste in girls. I'm so proud of her. This year in school she has worked so hard. She was cheer leading captain, in charge of the yearbook, got good grades, made the National Honor Society, is getting a $1,000 and a $5,000 scholarship. How great is that?! She is planning to getting a year of cosmetology school under her belt while Chad is in Afghanistan. Then they will plan their wedding. I have good news. I haven't wanted to share yet because I know the military doesn't always tell the truth, but all the soldiers are SUPPOSE to get a 2 week leave during their tour overseas. Chad knew he'd have no shot at any of the holidays, so he requested Kyle and Sandy's graduation. I got an email from him on Mother's day and he said it's been approved. We are hoping and praying it really does happen and he makes it home in time. The thought of seeing him is....ummm...I can't even think of words to describe my feelings about that. I just need to see my boy. Right now he's out on a long mission and he didn't know how many days it would be before they got back to base. My stomach hurts so much every time he goes on a mission because I know he's in danger. That's is part of the reason for my of many reasons today. So many cruddy things happened today. You ask, what are they? Well I'm not going to say. Nothing know how sometimes just a bunch of little things that pile of top of each other until you can't take one more thing and you can't decide whether to be angry or cry or both. I don't want to be a downer right now so I plan to get some sleep and pray for a better day.
Good things today
*Had a great shower!
*Mark made the boys breakfast and did the dishes.
*Got cute pictures of Sandy.
*Jordin made it through to the finals on American Idol.
* I got my favorite church cookbook rebound.
*Lots of girls want to be in the fluffy girl club.
See....the day wasn't all bad.
(ironic that the "I had a bad day" song is playing right now, huh?!)
I will make my fluffy girl chart and then we will all start being accountable. So excited! :o)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Acrylic Stamps

All of my wood mount stamps are stored in the baskets on the small bookcases. Amy (aka the organizational queen) came up with this solution for storing acrylic stamps, so I put her idea to use with mine. I don't have very many sets, but the ones I do have now have an organized new home. I got this file box at Target 3 months ago and finally got it organized this morning.

Each set has a hanging file I usually type labels, but to save time I wrote them. The lid stays on anyways.The file box fit's nicely on the big bookcase. Amy and I both have a love for organization, as do so many of you. It's great to bounce idea's off each other because there are so many ways to organize and not all things work for everyone. You're bound to find something that is perfect for you.
Do you see that? Yep! It's the new and much improved shower head. Mark ended up installing it Saturday night after his father's and son's camp out, so I didn't have to do it myself. My first good shower was Sunday morning. It was wonderful...refreshing...and I was able to rinse all the shampoo and conditioner out of my hair! So grateful for small blessings.
Meet Storm (gray with black ends), Missfit (orange on her face), Smokey (peeking out in the back) and Bandit(licking his tummy). The kitties are getting big, cute and very playful. Hopefully they will be ready to go to new homes very soon. It seems that people are only interested in the girls so we will have a hard time getting rid of Bandit all because he has an extra package...poor little guy.


Mindy had a good idea for those are us who are on the "fluffy" side. That we can be a support group to each other. I'm thinking of it being more of keeping each other accountable for exercising and daily water intake. I'm not even going to stress about the weight part of it because that's just too much pressure on you girls and on me. I know I need to exercise everyday because I eat everyday. Makes sense to me. It can be as simple as going for a walk. You don't need special equipment for that. I also know I don't drink nearly enough water (and it shows in my dry skin). If we all do these 2 things the weight will start coming off, and we will just consider that to be a bonus. Our goal is to get healthy(er). I still plan to eat my normal foods...just smaller portions. In my mind life is too short not to enjoy food. So what I'm wondering is how many of you would be interested in checking in with me on your how many minutes did you exercise today and how many glasses of water to you drink? Amy created a work out log book to keep track of her exercise routine (rep's and stuff) with a download on her blog. She is NOT a fluffy girl, but she does want to get tone and have more energy. I will make something that works for me so I can track my exercise minutes and glasses of water. It would be a good idea for anyone who wishes to participate. Let me know and we will go from there.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

A day to celebrate mom's

I hope that all you lovely ladies had a wonderful mother's day. Mine turned out pretty nice. Every year I ask for peace in my home, but all these years I've never got that, so I quit asking...that way I can't be disappointed when all heck breaks loose like it normally does. :o) Check out all that fun pink stuff. You'd think I like pink or something. Kitchen aid came out with a line of the most adorable pink things to support breast cancer awareness. I have a little obsession with kitchen gadgets and these are are beautiful! The cookie sheets aren't pink but they are so neat. I love the way they were designed so the cookies can slide right off. I need to do some baking and try these babies out! Mark even got me a new pink cell phone and cute! My pink bling phone is in pretty bad shape. I don't know if I mentioned this before, but when we were moving here someone left it sitting on the edge of the trailer and drove off. was me, but we're not pointing any fingers. It fell off in the middle of Gilbert Road and there it sat until the next morning when Mark found it for me. It still worked, but looked just terrible. Now if I can only figure out how to use the new one. I'm sad that it doesn't have my rooster ring tone. Hopefully I'll find one I like.
Mirror mirror on the wall...who's the fairest one of all?
"It sure isn't you honey"
Kyle got me this great mirror for my bathroom that lights up and has one heck of a magnifier. Let me just say that this thing is a real eye opener. Normally when you get ready for the day you are standing a couple of feet away from the mirror and you really have no idea just how bad you really look. This baby unleashed all the secrets the big bathroom mirror has been keeping. I see every pore, wrinkle, age spot, pimple, dry flakes of skin, hair where hair shouldn't be. There are NO MORE secrets! The ugly truth is out and I am losing this aging battle. I quickly realized that I don't take good enough care of my face. That will change. I love Kyle's gift. Not only because it was thoughtful, but because it's very useful for getting ready and it was a much needed close up of what's happening to me as I get older. Isn't there some super hero quote about "knowing is half the battle"? That's how I feel. Now that I know, I will do better.
After church my side of the family came over for a big mexican feast. We all ate too much and enjoyed each other's company. We got a quick group shot, but it was dark and far away, plus several people were not here tonight. Mark went over to see his mom this morning to wish her a happy mothers day. We were hoping they could come over for dinner but his dad just had his second hip replaced and needed his rest. I want to let my mother and my mother in law know that I love them both dearly. I love my mother for giving me such wonderful memories of my childhood. She's always been creative and fun. She is a mom that built a way cool for her me because she knew I needed to have a place to escape and be alone. She was always there for me and still is. She is supportive of me and loves me unconditionally. Mark's mom Sharon is a special woman who loves people and once she meets someone she rarely forgets a name. She is so smart and very sweet. I don't know anyone who doesn't love her instantly. I love that she raised Mark to be the good man that he is for my family. We count our blessing that we were given such great parents. Coleen got a new 6 week old foster baby named Maryella. Don't let the blue blanket fool you. She was borrowing Mark's. She really is beautiful. Miss sweet baby Angelic was returned to her birth mother and we hope for the best with her. Se is missed by all of us. Maryella has a 1 and 2 year old brothers that are suppose to be coming to Coleen's house too, but the mother is hiding them somewhere. All of the kids have been exposed to crystal meth and really need a safe home to live in until the mother can get her life back of track. I hope the authorities can find these boys soon. I'm so worried about them.
The younger boys played several games of twister tonight. They had so much fun. I was so surprised that Kaden knew how to play and actually did really well. He even won once and was so excited about that.

To my surprise, Kim spotlighted my blog on the Creative Blogs Blog. What an honor that is to me. You'll have to go check it out. It honestly got me all misty eyed that she selected my blog...especially on mothers day. She really "gets" how important family is to me and appreciates my love for organization. :o) In case you don't know what that blog is about. She pickes a different blog to spotlight each day. There are been some really amazing and talented ladies who have come before me so it is wonderful to be counted among them. She has links to all of them as well. Thanks so much Kim...such a treat for me...and you're right...we would be friends. :o)