Angela's Events

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The Track Meet

April 15th, 2008 · 1 Comment

My oldest boy is in 7th grade.  He started participating in his school’s track program this year.  We have done soccer, baseball, basketball and football.  But never track.  All of this is new to my husband and myself.  We can give him advice on how to hit a baseball, or how to dribble the soccer ball, or how to guard someone in basketball, but track is different.  We can offer no advice.  Which is probably a good thing for my son, as I am sure he prefers it that way!
We did not think that he would place in any of the events.  Don’t get me wrong.  He is a quick little guy.  But that is just it….he is little.  He is 13 1/2, weighs 85-90 pounds and is about 4’9.  But despite his”littleness” he is an athlete.  Things come naturally to my boys.  But when you go to a Jr. High track meet, you run into boys who have begun their growth spurt into manhood – for lack of a better phrase.  Some of these boys are well over 6 feet!  Most of their voices are beginning to change and their muscles are beginning to define.  And there sits my little guy.  He is by far the smallest student in his class, and so far, the smallest one on any of the sports teams that he has ever played.  But that does not stop  him.

I was so proud on his first track meet.  He placed in all 3 of his  events.  He placed 2nd in the 200 and 3rd in the 100 and the 4 by 1.  I was so thrilled.  We originally told him not to  expect to win during his first year of track.  That the 8th graders are more experienced and bigger than what he is.  But my son proved us wrong.  It doesn’t matter how big he was.  He had determination that we saw in his eyes as he was running.

Do I think he will win most of his races?  Absolutely not.  But what I love about track, is that he looks at his previous times and is starting to compete against himself.  Now…if I can only give him a few inches before he begins school next year, that would be the icing on the cake!

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→ 1 CommentTags: Family · General · School · sports

And we have drinking water!

April 13th, 2008 · No Comments

We live in a small town. We do not have access to city water, so we all have well water. We have a softener, but go through at least 8 bags of salt each month. Our rust is so bad here, that if I do not spray our bathtub with The Works cleaning spray every week, within 3 weeks, our tub is orange. Our water has a sulfer smell to it and though it is drinkable, I refuse to drink it! We have been buying bottle water ever since we moved here almost 7 years ago.

Well, last week we got a new softener put in. One that is more efficient. One in which we should not need to use near as much salt as we have been. At the same time that we changed softeners, we also had them install a reverse osmosis system in our home.

We have had a refrigerator that had an ice maker and water output. However, it was never set up because we wanted good water, not that nasty well water. So, after the reverse osmosis system was put in, we hooked up our ice maker and now….we have wonderful drinking water. I was afraid of it at first….and I mean VERY afraid. How can this system improve my well water that much! Let me tell you that it did! And one of my favorite thing is the crushed ice! It is also my kids’ favorite things. They have been munching on crushed ice all weekend long! It is so fun! I know….We sound like an easily amused family. But I have been secretly jealous of all of my friends who have been able to get crushed ice anytime they wanted.

We do have to pay more money every month for these new things, however, we no longer need to buy bottled water. It actually evens out in the end. But even if we were paying a little more monthly, it is all worth it! I mean is there really a price tag that you can put on the joy of having crushed ice anytime you want?

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Oh NO! Lice!

April 10th, 2008 · 5 Comments

My son came home this week informing me that all of the girls in his class (there are only 6 girls) have had lice in the last 2 weeks……

A little history: Three years ago my 3 kids and I all got to experience the joy, and trust me, that term is used VERY loosely, (in fact I am being VERY sarcastic) of having little bugs living and thriving in our heads. When I found out we had lice, I cried for two days straight. I was up every 2 hours, even in the middle of the night, doing laundry. I pulled all the sheets, blankets, pillows, pillow cases and comforters off of every bed in the house. I took every piece of clothing my kids and I owned and washed them all (even the items that have not been touched since the previous season). I bagged up every stuffed animal, doll, cushions (even the ones on the extra couch) and anything that had any type of material. The kids were a little distraught because this incident happened right after Christmas. So those new dolls, the new video game chairs, and anything else that was “mushy” went in the bag, not to be played with for 30 days. I vacuumed the carpets and the furniture every day. I used the lice spray to spray down my house, my van, my curtains, etc. It took me 2 hours, twice a day, to go through my daughter long hair. We just ended up shaving the boys’ heads. I had a friend come over every 2 days picking all the nits out of my hair. Talk about humbling!

So….when my son gave me the knowledge that lice may become a part of our lives again, I was NOT happy. I immediately checked my kids’ hair. WHEW! They were clear! I wanted to do the “We do not have lice” dance! Since we did not have lice, I needed to do some preventative things.

First, I had my kids wash their hair with tea tree oil shampoo. I have read that lice does not like this. Nor do they like Suave Coconut shampoo. So, if I were you, I would keep that in stock for moments like these! Then I braided my daughters hair before school. It is harder for lice to jump onto hair that is “bound”. And thirdly, I made sure that my kids put their coats inside their bookbags instead of hanging them in their shared lockers once they got to school.

Will these things prevent lice from coming to live at your house? Maybe not. But after reading through pages online, it seems like they can help. Plus, it does help mentally to be doing something. Anything! I want to be proactive! Do I live in fear that these bugs will come back and visit? No. But I am prepared “just in case”!

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1 hour of “me” time!

April 9th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Today I can breath, at least for a bit. It has been a very full couple of days. We had dentist appointments (which went over by an hour), hair cut appointments, and doctor appointments. My oldest son and I had a few moles removed, surprisingly not too painful! We had that reverse osmosis water treatment and a new water softener added to our home. We bought new dressers, the kind you have to put together, for my daughter’s room. We have been working like mad to get those done so I can put her clothes away. (Right now her clothes are all over her floor.) We have been running the boys to track and to baseball. My daughter has had gymnastics and I have had some church activities. We also have a new puppy, so I have been letting him outside constantly to keep from having any accidents in the house.

But today, I am taking a little breather. Well…at least for the morning. After I get the kids to school, I am going to take 1 hour and do absolutely nothing but drink a cup of hot tea and curl up on the couch with my blanket. It does sound glorious, doesn’t it? I do have a ton of laundry to catch up on, vacuuming to do, and bathrooms to clean. But I need just 1 hour to relax. Then after I allow myself to regroup a bit, I will get busy and put my house back together. I will do laundry, clean bathrooms, vacuum, put clothes in my daughter’s new dressers and start up my busy week again. But boy…am I looking forward to that 1 hour, which I will begin in about 25 minutes!

Well…I gotta go. I am off to take the kids to school, mail out some bills, and then come home and make my tea. So, do you need that 1 hour today?

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→ 1 CommentTags: Church · Family · General · School · Vacations

Texting

April 4th, 2008 · 4 Comments

I guess it is time to get “with the times”. We have owned cell phones for about 10 years now. But my husband and I have never texted. In fact, we really do not know how. But my oldest son turned 13 in December. He has been wanting a cell phone because all of his friends had one. That in itself was NO reason to get him a cell phone. But when he kept borrowing other kids’ phones to call us to pick him up after practice or games, we decided that now is the time.

We purchased his first cell phone yesterday. We got him 1000 texts a month and 300 minutes. We assumed that would be enough. But the way kids are these days, we may be reconsidering that! We wanted more texts than minutes because we can see what is being said to who. He already knows that we will be nosy and will be reading his text messages. He is fine with that. He is just tickled that he now has his own phone. On a side note, he is not allowed to take it to school. And if he misbehaves, the cell will be the first thing to go.

Since my son has been texting, he has been teaching good old dad and me how to also. So my husband and I have been slowly – and I mean slowly – texting each other all day today. It is quite humorous. My neighbor (a more hip and up to date person than me) was giggling when she came over and kept hearing my phone ring. And at first, I kept picking up the phone and saying “hello”. I didn’t know it rang when someone is texting you! So, I am beginning to “get” the whole texting thing. And when I finally get it down, I am sure there will be something else new and exciting to try and learn. And I will learn it WAY after it has been popular for awhile.

Now….if I can only figure out how to download that ring tone!

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→ 4 CommentsTags: Family · General · School

The Perfect Reward Site

April 3rd, 2008 · 6 Comments

In 2003 we went to Disney World for the first time. And it happened…..I got the Disney bug. We decided to try and go every other year. If you have ever been to Disney, you know that it is not cheap. So, in 2005 I started looking for ways to make extra money and still be a stay at home mom. In 2006, I fell upon a place called Sunshine Rewards. You make money by doing surveys, offers, shopping online, etc. I tried it. I really liked it. I was plugging away making some money.

Then it happened. The owner of Sunshine Rewards decided to add a forum to her site. A forum???? Why would I EVER “talk” to anyone on this site. I know absolutely nothing of these strangers. Well….the same time she added the forum, she added a games section (tetris, frogger, demolition bobcat). I enjoyed playing these games, but in order to play these games you had to have a post in the forum daily. Great…..I suppose I can respond to something that someone has written.

And that was the beginning of a beautiful relationship. Not only do I make more money by being on the forums (some of the discussions are ways to earn money, contests, shopping deals, etc.), but these strangers have actually become my friends. And I am not talking about “come and go” friends. I am talking about “stay through thick and thin” friends. I am truly amazed at the kindness of these people on this site. In fact, some of the members have already met each other and some (including me) have a “Sunshine” meet in the works. My meet will be at the Mall of America with 4 other members.

I just recently had a birthday. I received several items, from different people, from my Sunshine Rewards family. It is so nice to have people think of you….even when your physical friends don’t. It is a place where you have a sense of belonging. A safe place to go without judgement. It is a kind place where people do not lash out at others….that is NOT allowed. The moderators over there are incredible.

So….if you want to earn money, come and join Sunshine Rewards. But mostly, if you want to feel loved and want to have a place where you can vent to people going through the same things as you, join Sunshine Rewards. I would belong there, even if money was not made. It is THAT great of a place.

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Another Birthday?

April 2nd, 2008 · 5 Comments

My birthday is today. I actually had forgotten about it until my husband gave me a kiss and wished me a happy birthday. I don’t mind birthdays. What I mind is the getting older part. I know that sounds a bit contradictory. But, to be honest, I enjoy the extra attention that my husband, kids and close friends give me. It does make me feel special and loved. What I don’t like is getting older and more importantly LOOKING older. I feel like I should be in my mid twenties. But I am way past that. I don’t like the sagging skin around my mouth, the fine lines around my eyes and the deep lines on my forehead. I know I have earned all of those wrinkly traits! I mean everything my kids put me through (emotionally, physically, and mentally), the off and on financial stress of life, the hurts and pains that happen with just living….and me liking the sun has not helped my skin at all!

I do like the maturity that I have developed over the years. Not that I know all or can fix every problem. But looking back at some of the cards that I have been dealt in life, even though I may not have come through those problems with flying colors, those problems have made me who I am today. I am stronger, more understanding on some things and less on others. I have learned to not let certain things bother me (well…that part is still in the learning process!), and learned to let go of the past.

I am happier now than I was when I was in my twenties. I felt like everyday was a challenge for me and that I had to trudge through all of the mud to get to the next day. Today, I wake up with adventures and, unfortunately, the days fly by, even on the worst days. I feel like being in my thirties I am in my groove. I have found who I am. I know how to be a mom, a wife and a friend. It is not a struggle like it was years ago.

So….even though the aging process can be an unwelcome event, it can also have some really good outcomes. And hey…there is always Botox!

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Cake Baking….

March 29th, 2008 · 6 Comments

I love to decorate cakes. I have taught myself over the years to decorate birthday, wedding, graduation, and other party cakes. It was very stressful at first, and still can be. You always wonder if the people buying your cake likes the look and the taste of it. I am a people pleaser, so it is hard for me to take criticism. But, fortunately, in all the years I have been making cakes for people, I have only heard possitive words. The most common compliment I have gotten on my cakes, is the taste and more often, the moistness. I am always a little shocked about that because….well…I actually cheat when it comes to making cakes…..

What I mean by cheating, is that I buy boxed cakes. And not the name brand ones, but the generic, no name ones. So, I thought I would share my routine of baking the cake. That way, you too, can have a delicious and moist cake, no matter HOW it looks like.

My first step is mixing all the ingredients into a bowl and mixing. I use a fork or whisk to stir. I do not overmix. Overmixing can lead to a dryer cake. I spray my pan with generic cooking spray. And I mean I SPRAY my pan. I like my cake to almost jump out of the pan after it cools. So in order to do that, I probably overspray. You got that so far? NO overmixing, but overspray ALL you want!

I set my timer for about 5-10 minutes shorter than what the cake is supposed to cook for (depending what size of cake it is). When the cake is still not quite done (a little goopy in the middle) I take the cake out and immediately cover it with aluminum foil very tightly. The cake will still bake a bit and you will not take the chance of overbaking the cake. Plus, the aluminum foil keep all the moisture inside the cake.
Okay…lets review….NO overmixing. DO overspray. DON’T overbake.

And there you have it! I am not saying that I know everything about baking cakes. I am not a professional by any means. In fact, I am just self taught. But this works for me like a charm. So bake away and enjoy yummy moist cakes.

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→ 6 CommentsTags: Family · Food · General

Time Flies

March 28th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Well, Spring Break is now officially over for the year of 2008. Every time spring break ends, I become a little sad. It just means that the next spring break my kids will be a year older. The years slip away so fast. I remember my mom telling me that the older you become, the faster time goes. I did not understand that at the time. But now….I understand it WAY too much.

My oldest is 13 1/2. He will be able to get his temporary license in only 2 short years. 2 more spring breaks! I feel way too young to have a child that old! No, I am not that young….but I feel young. I mean my kids should still need me to wipe their noses, kiss their boo-boos, hold their hands while crossing the street, get them dressed and cut up their food. Instead, I have traded those things in for taking them to baseball practice, washing their uniforms daily, figuring out when to feed them between practice and school, and buying more food for growing kids. I don’t get the “thank yous” and “I love yous” too often either. Don’t get me wrong, they still tell me those things, but I also get a variety of other things from them. I get the eye roll, the arms crossed, the stomping upstairs, the slamming doors, and the silent treatment.

I am a stay at home mom, so during the day my house is just way too quiet. I miss the noises my boys made while playing with cars and power rangers. I miss my daughter dancing in front of the TV to the Disney movie Fantasia (which was a ritual every afternoon the year before she started kindergarten.) Now my youngest two still play and I can listen to their silly kid sounds and watch their funny actions. However, I know that it is short lived. I am enjoying now, while I can because it will be gone in a blink of an eye.

So, to all of you. Enjoy your spring breaks! Enjoy your kids being at home with you. Because before you know it, you are listening to silence and seeing nothing but the memories in your house. I am holding tight to all I have with my kids before they start a life on their own. It will come all too quickly. And I am bracing myself for it!

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Fun to blog – but can be hard work!

March 27th, 2008 · 3 Comments

I have thoroughly been enjoying blogging. I love writing about my life and experiences. But besides just the writing part, there is other things that go into it. Things that I still do not know much about (but I am learning), so I can not go into detail on those things. But I can discuss some of it, however, it still may not be too detailed….in case you must know, I am not very computer literate.

I started blogging because some of my friends from Sunshine Rewards have been doing it for awhile and seem to enjoy it. I wanted to do it several months ago, but couldn’t figure out how to get started (did mention I was computer illiterate?) So, I finally got set up, which still took some help from my friends, and off I went.

Then I was hearing about how to get more people to look at your blog. Well, I already started blogging, I might as well get involved in it ALL. So off I went signing up for different sites to get more traffic to my blog. Can I tell you that it has been a full time job for me for the last 2 days? No…most people would not take that long…I will say it again….I am computer illiterate…computer stupid….just a big computer dummy! I finally have made some headway, thanks to several of my mentors. I know I have bugged them endlessly today trying to figure this out or that out. But I have succeeded in many things today. I was so proud of me! I know I will have many more questions down the road and I am sure I will drive my Sunshine Rewards friends bonkers, but it has all been well worth it. I am having a blast. I love learning new things.

Just want to thank my “mentors”. You know who you are! Boy…do you know who you are! You have been incredibly kind in showing me the ropes! Hopefully someday I can return the favor!

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