Monday, November 3, 2008

Car inspection

Yep, it's that time of year again. In PA, we have to have our cars inspected once a year to make sure they are safe to drive on the road. Mine is due in November each year, which I actually don't mind because then I know it's in good shape for winter.

Frank knew that the brakes were going to need replaced but doesn't have time this weekend to do them, so he checked out a couple of Auto repair shops that we knew about and they all seem to be busy till late next week. He did get some estimates though and Car repair prices sure are high!

Frank usually does our repairs himself, but wasn't sure he'd have the time... and he wasn't sure what else needed replaced. So he found an online Auto repair encyclopedia that gives you helpful hints on what is wrong with your car. He clicked on the brake system and it definitely gave him some pointers on what to look for. I'm sure glad he understands all of that, because I sure don't! lol!

One of the neighbors stopped over when Frank had the car up on jacks and his Honda Accord needs repaired. They swapped stories for a while and Frank suggested that he check out the Auto repair encyclopedia!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

busy, busy, busy

Ahhhh, the story of my life! lol! Things have been very busy with football season in full swing! Between practices and performances, there's not much time for anything else. Jillian seems to be extremely active this year, and while she's doing well so far, I need to make sure she doesn't over do it...

Here's a list of all that she is doing right now...

Majorette in marching band - practices once a week and football games every Friday night
Baton lessons - she's taking weekly private lessons at ATJ for baton so that she keeps up with all the other girls that have been in majorettes longer than she has
Dance lessons - she's taking a weekly Jazz class with her friend Ginny at ATJ to help with her rhythm ;)
Show Choir - Special group of students who sing year round at special events. They practice Wednesday and Thursday mornings at 6:45 a.m.
Girl Scouts - two meetings a month. She loves this and has been in scouts since kindergarten.
Youth Group - with our church, two meetings a month.
Church choir - She sings in our church choir and often has solos and plays the flute for a couple of songs.

Plus, on top of all of that, she is determined to make Distinguished Honor Roll every semester. In the past, she's always made High Honor Roll, but just missed the higher level... She wants to make National Honor Society her Senior Year and she knows that she's going to have to maintain very good grades all through high school in order to make it because she has a lot of very smart kids in her class.

So, the juggling can be a bit hectic each week! But so far, she is doing great with it. I'm very proud of her and she has grown so much in the past year. She's definitely a young lady now instead of a little girl... and I'm an extremely proud mom.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

R.I.P. Scooter...

Our pet guinea pig, Scooter, passed away last night... I know it seems silly to get so attached to a guinea pig, but I really did.

Jillian got him 3 summers ago at our town's summer celebration. They had a petting zoo and they had baby guinea pigs. She begged and begged all weekend for one and we finally gave in and brought home Scooter on Sunday afternoon. We all fell in love with him immediately. He had such a personality! When he'd hear my voice in the hallway, he'd squeak like crazy so that I would go into the room and talk to him or feed him.

Jillian carried him all over the house and yard. She used to take him outside with her while she was reading a book and he'd sit beside her and take a nap. Or he'd sit on her chest while she was leaning back in a chair watching movies on our computer.

He started getting sick last week and didn't recover and passed last night. We had a sweet little service for him and then hubby buried him. There were a lot of tears in our house last evening...

We love you Scooter!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Picture that describes her...

Jillian had to bring a picture to school today that "describes" her....

So, she had me go outside and take some shots of her.... I really think this one turned out the best. It's totally her... she LOVES to read and ALWAYS has a book in her hands while listening to her music.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Game Play...

Okay, I have girls... now don't get me wrong, I don't want to sound sexist but I've noticed that boys seem to get into video games a lot more than girls do. We did not even own a video gaming system until last Christmas when I bought our very first PlayStation2!!!

Anyway, the system was used a lot when we first got it. We got Dance Dance Revolution and Sing Star and had a blast with it! Then it kind of got left alone for a while. For Easter, I got the girls Crash Bandicoot and they started using it again! And this was one that Frank enjoyed! So he started playing it more as well.

They use it a lot more often, but it's time to get a few more games. I checked at ShopWiki and found a search by category feature available and found quite a few that I think the girls would like; maybe even a new Dance Dance game! Frank prefers the Racing games, and they have many to choose from there too.

Decisions, decisions! lol! I'll post after I've given it some more thought ;)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Are you ready for some football!!!

Football Fans

Yep, it's football season! And as you can see, we're all decked out in our orange and black to cheer the Bobcats on! We won the first home game, and it was a good one! Jill got to perform in her first ever half time show as a majorette and we were very proud of her! She dropped a few times, but no more than the other girls ;) She'll get better with practice. They only performed two songs because Mrs. Moore didn't feel the third song was ready, but they've practiced this week and it's ready to go!

School is going well for both girls. Becca is adjusting to life on a college campus. However, I haven't had too much time to miss her as she's been either calling, texting or IM'ing me pretty often... and, she came home for the football game Friday night and had to come home yesterday for a Chiropractors appointment. So yeah, it hasn't been too bad so far! lol! I can't imagine though how it would be if she was further away, or if she didn't have good friends going to her college with her. She seems to be having a great time.

Jill's classes are going well and she's enjoying her teachers. She's taking Spanish this year, finally! She has wanted to take Spanish since she was a little girl! I'll be shocked if she doesn't end up taking 4 full years of it.

Tomorrow's football game is another home game, so we'll be all decked out again this week. Go Bobcats!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Almost here...

Yep, it's almost here. Tomorrow is move in day for Becca at college. Wow... how the heck did I get old enough to have a daughter going to college???

You should see our living room... there is "stuff" from one end to the other. She has most everything packed pretty well. We're going to load it all in the van tonight, then we leave around 9:30 a.m. to head to campus! Her move in time is 10:30. We'll stick around for a few hours, probably eat lunch on campus, then we head to Pittsburgh to see Jillian perform in the Kennywood parade...

Thank goodness, Saturday is a free day.... we had thought Becca's move in day was Saturday, so we kept it open. After the week I've had, I need a Saturday that has absolutely nothing planned on it!

So, be thinking of me on Friday as I move my baby into college!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Giving them wings...

You know, it's really hard letting go of your kids....

Becca is 18 and legally considered an adult now ... and I know that.... but it doesn't make it any easier to let her go.

She and 3 girlfriends are going on a "road trip" this weekend... her very first one. They are going to Gettysburg, so it's not like it's some big party place! lol! And, the girls she's going with are all good girls... not into partying or anything like that. But I can't help but be nervous about her going!

I have never had any reason not to trust Becca and hubby and I are fine with her going, but boy it's hard to watch them move on....

She leaves for college in two weeks.... that's not going to be easy either....

She called last night to say they arrived safely and were checking into the hotel, then going to get something to eat. I know that I'll hear from her often, because she loves to text me. She took her good camera and my digital camera and plans to take tons of pictures. I'll be anxious to see them when she gets back.

It's hard watching them grow up...

Monday, July 28, 2008

What a busy week...

Wow, last week was just plain crazy! I'm glad it's over! lol! However, this week doesn't look like it's going to be much better...

Last week was majorette camp for Jillian. She left on Sunday and finished Wednesday night. She ended up hurting her ankle on Monday during one of the morning practices but didn't want to miss anything, so she continued to perform on it the rest of the time she was there. By the time we picked her up Wednesday night, she was hurting pretty bad. After a trip to the doctors for an xray, they finally determined (but not until late Friday!) that it was not broken, thank you God! It is severely sprained and she pulled and tore a couple ligaments. So she'll be on crutches for a few more days until the swelling finally goes down and it doesn't hurt to walk so much...

So, that meant she didn't get to go to church camp with Becca on Saturday! Her dorm is on the second floor and they do a LOT of walking at church camp. She decided that it just was going to be too much. So instead, she headed to Corry with me. Frank and Ray had gone to Clearfield to our camp to put a new roof on the camp and I was heading to Corry to preach Sunday morning. We had a nice visit with the inlaws and even got to see my nephew Denton perform in Fiddler on the Roof for the community theatre! He did a great job!

After church Sunday, we went to lunch with "the Grands" as Jilli calls them, then headed for Clearfield. We spent the afternoon with Ray and Frank... Jilli lounged with her ankle in the air while I actually helped the guys with the roof! I started a fire and we made pie iron pizzas, then Jilli and I headed home.

Becca will be home for a short while on Tuesday to work... she couldn't get anyone to cover for her. She'll head back to church camp Wednesday morning and be home on Sunday. Frank will be home Tuesday in time for me to wash his clothes and get the rest of the stuff packed up for us to head out Wednesday morning too. We'll be dropping Jilli off at The Grands for a couple days, while he and I head to Kelleys Island for our anniversary! We'll be staying till Friday morning, then will go to the inlaws to spend the weekend.

I'm looking forward to a few days away... I should have pictures when I get back!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Bath Note

Dear Kids,

Don't be alarmed, the world isn't coming to an end. I am simply taking a bath. It will take about thirty minutes and will involve soap and water. Yes, I know how to swim. Even if I didn't, forcing myself to drown in a half-inch of lukewarm water is more work than I've got energy for. (Which reminds me, I'm all for science projects, but the next time you want to see if Play-Doh floats, use cold water.)

Don't panic if I'm not out right on time. I've heard that people
don't dissolve in water and I'd like to test the theory. While I'm in
the tub, I'd like you to remember a few things. The large slab of
wood between us is called a door. Do not bang to hear my voice. I
promise that even though you can't see me, I *am* on the other side.
I'm not digging an escape tunnel and running for the border,no matter
what I said a while ago. I didn't mean it. Honest. There will be
plenty of time later to tell me about your day.

"Later" means at a time when I am no longer naked, wet, and
contemplating bubble gum in the blow dryer. I know you have important
things to tell me. Please let one of them be that you have invented a
new way to blow bubbles, not a new way to add gum to your hair.

Believe it or not, shouting, "TELEPHONE!" through the closed bathroom
door will *not* make the phone stop ringing. Answer it and take a
message. Since Amazing Mind-Reading Mom has the day off, you'll need
to write that message down. Use paper and a pencil. Do not use your
brother and the laundry marker. We can't send him to school with
telephone number tattoos.

Water makes me wet, not deaf. I can still tell the difference between
the sound of "nothing" and the sound of a child playing the piano
with a basketball. I can also hear you tattling at the top of your
lungs. I'm *choosing* NOT to answer you.

Don't call your dad at work and tell him I am unconscious in the
bathroom. He didn't appreciate it last time. He won't appreciate it
more this time. Trust me.

No matter how much I would like it, water does not make me forgetful.
I remember who you are and why you are grounded. No, you can't go to
Shelby's house to play. No, you can't go to Shelby's house to use the
bathroom. If someone is in our other bathroom, you will just have to
think dry thoughts and wait. Unless you have four feet and a tail, do
not think of going outside to "water" the lawn. I know the dog does
it. The neighbors don't feel the need to call me when the dog does it.

Unless the house catches on fire, stay inside and keep the doors
locked. Do not go outside and throw rocks at the bathroom window to
get my attention. I know it works in the movies. This is reality, the
place where people don't like to sit in a tub while rocks and broken
glass rain in on them. Do not set the house on fire. Call me if there
is an emergency.

Emergencies ARE:
1. Dad has fallen off the roof.
2. Your brother and/or sister is bleeding.
3. There's a red fire truck in front of our house.
Emergencies are NOT:
1. Dad has fallen asleep.
2. Someone on TV is bleeding.
3. There's a red pickup truck in front of our house.

One other thing: Being forced to use the last roll of toilet paper
for a towel does not make me happy. In the future, when the tub
overflows, use a mop to clean up the water instead of every towel in
the house. For my sanity's sake, let's pretend it was the tub, Okay?
No, I don't want to hear the real story. Ever. Especially not while
I'm standing in the pool of water you missed.

By the way, all Play-Doh experiments are hereby canceled.

Be good. Entertain yourselves. Yes, you can do both at the same time.
Try coloring, playing a game, or paying that stack of bills on the
coffee table.

I'll be out soon. Maybe.

Your Mom

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Getting ready for camp...

Yep, it's that time of year again... The girls are getting ready to head to Church camp on Saturday. What does that mean? That means that my washing machine gets a workout, big time! I have washed every piece of laundry that the girls own, and everything Frank and I own too! I'm almost done, I only have one more load to do so that the girls can pack everything Friday. They leave Saturday afternoon and I don't want them waiting until Saturday morning to pack everything.

One of the biggest drawbacks with washing machines is that they only take half the time that a dryer does! Okay so the problem is more that the dryer can't dry as fast as the washing machines do, but I've sometimes thought that I'd love to have a second dryer so that I could always have one ready with a new load of laundry to dry! lol! It would be great to have them both done at the same time so that you can always put in a new load!

One of my good friends has two dryers, but she also has two boys who seem to dirty more than their share of clothes every day.... Once again, I thank God for giving me girls! lol!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Massage Therapist and Chiropractors...

Well... Becca has been going to a massage therapist for some back pain for about a year now. Unfortunately, the therapist is very busy, so it's hard to get in to see her. It's been a while since Becca has been there, and she's been having a lot of pain lately, so I called to try to get her in... Two weeks at the earliest :(

So, we got a flier in the mail last week for a new place in town, and the guy and his wife who run it went to high school with me. I figured that a massage is a massage, so I might at well give them a call. I called yesterday and they got her in today.

It's actually a Chiropractors office, but they also offer massages. They were running a special for $27 for an hour massage. Pretty darn good price! So she's supposed to go in at 3:00 today. She comes to my office and we are swamped... my boss is out of the office, finishing up a funeral, the computer at work is on the blink so the computer guy is there working on it, and it's time for her appointment.... Becca is 18 now, so she doesn't really need me to go with her... so I call them and tell them she'll be there by herself and I'll come when I can. I had already given them a bit of Becca's history with the migraines and the cancer, so they suggested that she have an alignment too. That's fine with me.

When I get there, she's already had xrays and a scan and been adjusted and is in the back having her massage. This isn't the first time we've tried chiropractic for Becca's headaches and pains. She went consistently for quite some time at another place, but it didn't help so that's why we went with the massage, which has been helping her back pain, but not the headaches.

I truly do believe that chiropractors can help you. Don't get me wrong. But I hate it when they go on and on about "knowing that they can cure all your problems!" They start telling me that they've had many, many clients who have been helped with adjustments for their migraines. I know that! That's why we went in the first place! And I tried to explain to them that it's not as simple as that. Becca has had a headache every single day for the past 3 1/2 years! YEARS!!! We've tried everything!!! We've been to every doctor imaginable, including the top neurologist in Pittsburgh who runs a headache clinic!

If she can be helped, wonderful... but I'm not holding my breath. Becca has learned to live with the pain and still carries on like a normal teenager. But, she said the massage was wonderful and she definitely wants to go back to him. Her back feels much better.

So she'll go back... and for $27, I think I'll schedule a massage for me as well ;)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

More trip ideas...

Well, we finally decided where we going for our trip in a couple weeks. Looks like we're going to end up going to Kelleys Island which is an island in Lake Erie that is just north of Sandusky Ohio... where Cedar Point is!

We're really getting excited about it... It's not too far away from home, yet it will be a nice drive for us to take. We have to take a ferry to the island, which should be fun! I'm anxious to do some more looking to see what activities there are for us to do while we're there...

It's funny, but when I was talking with Becca about where we should go, she suggested that we go to New York City! While that would be a lot of fun, neither of us have ever been there... and I'd be scared to death to actually drive into the city! lol!

I actually did little searching and found a hotel called the Hotel 373 Fifth Avenue that is just steps from the Empire State Building! Wow, I can't even imagine that! I'd love to take in a show on Broadway... maybe someday!

Frank is talking about going to a conference for work in Chicago in the fall and he'd like me to go with him. I could do quite a bit of sightseeing while he's in meetings! But I'd rather not go once it starts getting cold though... I want to go when it's still nice out!

Oh well, for now, we'll settle for a little island off of Ohio.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Went to the Ag Fair last night!

I love fairs! I really do. There's just something about it that draws me in. So when a friend asked if I wanted to go to the little Ag Fair in a neighboring town, I was in!

I watched a tractor pull, which I had never seen before, and got to see one of the boys from Jillian's class compete. He did pretty well! All the other participants were much older so it was nice to see a 14-15 year old boy do as well as some men!

I had a pulled pork sandwich and then an apple dumpling with ice cream and caramel... oh yummm, was it good! We walked all around the booths and then saw all the animals. They had adorable rabbits, pigs, horses, cows, goats, and all your typical farm animals.

We had a very nice time. It's nice to just get out with friends once in a while.

Tonight is my Girls Night Out bonfire at my house! I have about 8 friends coming over to spend the evening and sit around and gab. I'm looking forward to it!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

More pictures...

Okay, this scrapbook site is getting very addicting! And it's so easy!

Here's a card I made for my mom with all the grandchildren. She is going to love it!

Then I made a Thank You card for my cousin Deb who helped us out so much in Ft. Lauderdale when we were on our cruise. I sent this card and a box of cookies through Send Out Cards. I can't wait to hear that she got them!

Anniversary Trip!

Our 22nd Anniversary is coming up August 2nd. Frank and I have been trying to get away for a couple of days every year on our Anniversary and luckily, it always seems to fall the week that the girls are at church camp! Yeah!

So, we've been trying to come up with ideas on where to go. Because of the high price of gas, we weren't sure we wanted to go very far this year. Two years ago, for our 20th, we went to Gatlinburg, TN. We rented a cabin for the whole week and did a lot of sightseeing in the area. We loved it! It was a great trip. Last year, we just went up to our camp in Titusville for a few extra days. But this year, I'd like to go someplace special...

I found a great site called that allows you to type in the dates of your trip and where you'd like to go and they will come up with a huge list of hotels with pictures and prices! I typed in Orlando, just to see what would come up, and they had 42 pages of hotels!

Since we want to be closer to home, I thought I'd check out Pittsburgh. I was able to refine my search to our price range and it still came up with 4 pages of choices!

We're also thinking of staying in a Bed and Breakfast instead of a hotel. I found a great site, called that offers the exact same service! This sure makes things a lot easier! They offered about 20 options for Bed and Breakfasts in Pittsburgh.

I also went to to look up the best sightseeing spots in Pittsburgh. They suggested the Carnegie Science Center, Mt. Washington, Pittsburgh Zoo and the Aviary as well as others. We travel into Pittsburgh frequently for Becca's doctor appointments, and Frank goes in for work, but we very rarely actually just spend time sightseeing! This is a definite possibility.

I still have more searching to do. I'll post when I'm sure where we're going!

Happy Birthday Ang!

It's my friend Angela's birthday today!!! A bunch of us met at the coffee shop this morning and when she walked in the door, we sang Happy Birthday to her! I hate that I have to be at work at 8... they all get to stay and gossip, while I have to head off to work :(

So, another friend turns 45... wow! How the heck did we get to be THAT old? lol! I don't really feel that old. I still can't believe I have an 18 year old daughter who is going off to college in 6 short weeks. It seems like just yesterday she was getting ready for Kindergarten, and now she's a beautiful young lady, ready to head off on her own. I keep teasing her that I'm turning her bedroom into a sewing room as soon as she leaves! Little does she know, but I'm serious! lol! Well, at least a small corner of it anyway. She can spare that much! I'm tired of moving my sewing machine to the dining room table every time I want to work on something! If I had it set up all the time, I know I'd do more.

This weekend should be nice. Looks like the weather is going to cooperate and give us a good one. I'm having a Girls Night Out at my house Saturday night... We're going to have a bonfire and eat! What more could you ask for? lol! I don't have anything planned for the day on Saturday, so hopefully I can get some work done around the house and maybe even get in a little sewing. I'm still working on Jillian's quilt... I'll have to post pictures later. And Becca wants me to make her one before she leaves for college! *gulp* Don't think I'll get it done in time! lol!

Busy day at work today. Gotta run!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Ohiopyle Camping Trip!

Ray, Lisa and Hunter

The Gavitts

The Manchesters

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Well, it officially feels like summer now... it's the first full week that the girls have been home by themselves since school got out. Hubby was on vacation last week and they all were busy getting ready for Becca's graduation party while I was at work, so this is the first week of "doing nothing!" lol!

Jilli started private baton lessons with Sandy, the majorette assistant director, today. She really enjoyed it. She's been taking lessons for about 4 months with the dance studio in town, but the studio and the actual majorettes do things a little bit differently! lol! Since she made majorettes, I told her that she needs to listen to Sandy more than the studio because she'll be performing every single weekend once parades and football season starts! I still can't believe that my daughter is a majorette in the high school marching band! I'm so proud of her!

Her baton recital is on Saturday night. The dance studio has a lot of different classes going on so it should be a nice night. I'm anxious to see her routine!

Becca and I had lunch today after she got her hair cut. It was so nice just to sit down with her and have some girl time. Things have been so crazy with her graduation and her party that we haven't had that a lot lately... so that was nice. I'm still having a hard time believing she's 18 and will be going off to college in 2 short months.... wow. How did that happen???

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Welcome to Holland. . .

I want to warn you right now that this is a tear jerker story. If you have, or know, a disabled child, this will most definitely make you cry.

Our preacher shared this story with us this morning. His youngest son, the 4th child, is 7 and is Down's Syndrome. A friend gave him this the day after he was born.


I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay. The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

Monday, June 2, 2008

My girls!!!!

The last few weeks have been hectic and they aren't going to get any better any time soon....

Friday night was majorette tryouts for Jillian, and she made it!!! She is sooo excited!

Friday and Saturday was Relay for Life.... everything went great until at 4:30 a.m. they came around to tell us that we were under a tornado watch! Shocked We moved into the ice skating rink to walk inside. It stormed a while, but all blew over by 11:00 a.m.

Saturday night was a graduation party for Becca's best friend. Sunday was church, then last night was Baccalaureate at the church. It was beautiful...

Today was 8th grade promotion for Jillian. She was awarded the Presidential Award for Academic Excellence which means she has maintained a 3.5 grade average or higher all three years in middle school.

Tonight was the Girl Scout awards ceremony where the girls are awarded all the badges they've earned through the year. Jillian has been in scouts since kindergarten and loves it! She earned quite a few badges this year.

Tomorrow is actually a free day..... then Wednesday is Graduation for Becca.... Oh my gosh, I still can't believe she's graduating!!! I hope I don't cry too much and embarrass her!

Anyway, here's a picture of my girls from today! Jilli just got her braces a couple weeks ago. I'm shocked she even smiled!


Monday, May 26, 2008

Our cruise!!!

Hi all!

Well, we made it back, safe and sound! We had a fabulous time! This wasn't just a regular cruise... it was a Music Boat cruise with the top Christian artists and bands! Both my favorites and the girls' favorites were on board!

Here is a link to a slideshow that I put together with just a few of the highlights of the trip. Music Boat Cruise 2008.

We arrived in Miami Sunday evening and stayed at a hotel that night so that we'd be ready to head to the ship bright and early Monday morning. We were a bit awestruck by the size of the ship! It was so easy to get lost on board! lol! We set sail around 5:00 p.m. and enjoyed a relaxing concert with Dallas Holm and Todd Agnew before dinner. After our delicious meal, I headed out on the Lido Deck to see the Katinas under the stars while the girls headed to see their favorite band, Hawk Nelson. Becca had her new camera with her and was right up front so she got tons of great pictures of the guys! They posed for her while they were singing and she got some great shots.

We had to be up bright and early Tuesday morning to head out to Key West . It was extremely hot, but we walked about a mile down Duval Street to the Butterfly Conservatory. The Butterflies were beautiful! They flew all around us and landed right in front of you. Got some great pictures there, and other great shots of the town. We walked back, stopping and shopping at various stores. We even saw Hemingway's House! We didn't tour it, but took some pictures outside.

Back on the ship that afternoon, I headed off to see Leeland, and my absolute favorite group, Casting Crowns! They put on a fabulous show! Becca and Jillian went to see the Indie Jam ShowCase where unknown bands got to perform and try out to win as the top new band of the cruise. They also saw The Afters. Our formal dinner was that evening, so we headed back to the cabin to shower and change into our fancy clothes. We watched Joy Williams after dinner, then headed off to bed as we were exhausted by then! lol!

Wednesday we slept in a bit. We didn't arrive in Calica/Playa del Carmen, Mexico until 1:00 p.m., so we just took it easy in the morning. Mexico was fabulous! Our personal tour guide, Eddie with Edventures, met us at the dock. He took us to the Tulum Mayan Ruins first, which were beautiful, but it was very, very hot! We only lasted there about an hour, then headed off to snorkel in the Dos Ojos Cenotes in the Riviera Maya. Those are underwater caves and caverns where we got to snorkel all around. The water was so cool and felt great after being so hot in the ruins! We left there and got on a boat with another family from our ship and headed out to the ocean. The water was very, very rough and the guides decided that it was too rough to explore the coral reef, so they took us to a calmer area and we jumped out of the boat to swim and snorkel with the huge turtles! We slowly made our way back to shore, then got back in the van and headed to their private lagoon to do some snorkeling there with the many colorful fish. What a peaceful and beautiful place! By then, we were all pretty much exhausted, so we headed over to a small little Mexican restaurant on the beach and ate our dinner, watching the waves and the sun set...

We made it back on the ship shortly before 10:00 p.m. and the girls headed off to see Hawk Nelson again, but this time on the Lido Deck under the stars! More great photos for Becca! By this time, the guys in the band were used to her snapping picture after picture! lol!

Thursday was our day at sea... we all slept in! We spent the late morning and early afternoon sunbathing on deck while listening to The Afters, Rush of Fools and Echoing Angels perform. Jillian enjoyed Dance Praise in one of the lounges… it’s like Dance Dance Revolution only with Christian music. Becca and I went to listen to a few comedy headliners and laughed quite a bit. Our last dinner that evening was again delicious, and the wait staff sang a farewell song to us! We headed back up to the Lido Deck to again hear Leeland under the stars. There is nothing like watching a ship full of people with their arms raised in praise to God!!!

We had to have our suitcases packed and ready to go before going to bed as the ship was scheduled to dock at 7:00 a.m. We got up Friday morning, dressed, ate some breakfast and were off the ship by 8:00 a.m. Our cousins from Ft. Lauderdale , Deb and Al, picked us up and took us to their house to change into our swimsuits and head to Danai Beach for a bit of swimming. After changing clothes, we stopped at his biker club to check it out. They took us to dinner at a BBQ restaurant then took us to our hotel. Our flight left bright and early Saturday morning and we arrived back in Pittsburgh later afternoon.

It was a wonderful trip that we will never forget! Becca and I took hundreds of pictures! We won’t bore you with them all, but take a moment to watch the slideshow to see some of the highlights of the trip.

Music Boat Cruise 2008

Friday, May 16, 2008

Countdown Time!

I can't believe it... we leave for our cruise on Sunday!!!!

Tonight is the Prom....I'll post pictures either later tonight or tomorrow!!!! Tomorrow is packing day and making sure we didn't forget anything on our list.

Sunday a.m., we plan to leave the house around 8 a.m., stop and get some breakfast and be at the airport by 11:00. It usually takes about 1 1/2 hours to get to the airport. Our flight doesn't leave till almost 1:30, but I do NOT want to take any chances! lol!

I'm so excited that I can hardly think straight!!!!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

We need a bigger mailbox!

I love to order things online and have them delivered to my house. The problem is, my Mail box isn't big enough! lol!

Saturday morning was the only day I had to sleep in... so I did :) That means that I didn't get my shower until later in the morning. As I'm stepping out of the shower, I hear the doorbell ring! What the heck? Who could that be? I throw on a robe and run to the door, and it's the mail lady... I have three packages, and they won't fit in my Mailbox!

With all the choices of Mailboxes we had when we moved in here, Frank chose one that was not very big... I would love to have one like this one! Gorgeous, isn't it?

I know that the next time I decide to look into purchasing a mail box, I'll definitely check out! They've got a large selection of Mail boxes to choose from. AND, they even have an affiliate program!

No more running to the door in a robe for me! lol!

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Well, tonight is the night! The first performance of the High School's production of Grease!

I can't wait to see it! The girls are both in it and have been working like crazy! Practice night after night after night.... but it will be worth it in the end. I honestly thought Becca might quit and not be in it because she had to miss so many practices because of work. But I'm glad she stuck with it. It's her senior year and all her friends are in it, so I know she's glad she stayed.

Frank and I are going to see the show tonight, then Friday night I'm turning pages for the pianist in the pit band. I went to their practice on Tuesday night and boy does that music zip! Wow! It is non stop! I couldn't watch any of the show because I had to keep my eyes on the music the whole time! lol!

Then Frank and my nephew Kenny are going to camp for the weekend and Mom and I will go to the show on Saturday night. I can't just go one night ;) I have to watch it several times! lol!

I'll try to take a few pictures and post them!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My new Piggy Bank...

Here's a picture of my new Piggy Bank after buying gas last night:

Monday, April 21, 2008

The weekend...

Well, we all had a pretty good weekend for the most part.

Let's see, Friday night was relaxing. Didn't have a lot planned, so we ordered pizza and I picked it up on my way home from work. Unfortunately, I totally forgot that I had planned to take Jilli to a Pancake Dinner at our sister church that night! Becca had to work, so when she got home at 8:00, she asked me how the dinner went! Uh oh! lol! Oh well, I'll still give them a donation since I did order the tickets...

Saturday morning I was up at 5 a.m. to get showered and ready to be at the school at 6:00 to help make subs for the band. We sold 20, so that will give Jilli a nice little profit for her band account for next year. She wants to be a majorette next year instead of just the marching band, so she's going to need even more money than normal... I left there at 7:30 with my subs, dropped them off for Frank and Jillian to deliver, and headed to Penn Run for an all day quilt retreat! I had my sewing machine, material, and everything else I needed already packed in the van. I spent the day sewing and got Jillian's quilt about 3/4 of the way done... I have to take some pictures of it to post on my craft website. I also purchased a couple of pillowcase kits that were adorable! Becca's is black with white polka dots and some cartoon type students all over it... hard to explain, but really cute for her to take to college. Jillian's has penguins with turquoise, orange and black accents. Perfect match for the quilt I'm making her!!! I sewed those up so they'd have them when I got home... I'll post pictures of those later too.

Sunday, I preached at the UMC in town for both services. Their second service has a lot more attendance than our church, close to 100 people, but I knew quite a few of the people. It went well. I used the same sermon that I used last week for our three churches.

We went up to Goodwill in Indiana in the afternoon to try to find Becca a prom gown for the Grease musical. Jillian has hers, but Becca hasn't been able to find one yet... No luck. We went over to the mall and she found her shoes for the real Prom... no heels because her date is short! lol! We went to CiCi's for dinner. Yummm!

Unfortunately, the evening did not end well... we got a call that Frank's mom is in the hospital. She was having pain in her chest. They've admitted her and will run some tests this morning, but she is stable. After hearing from Beth this morning, it sounds like it actually may just be a strained muscle because she tried to overdo it on Friday. The doctor had encouraged her to get more exercise, so she walked to Beth's twice on Friday, AND cleaned out the van! So if she was stretching a lot to reach for things in the van, she could have pulled something. We are hoping and praying that is what it is.

So now it's Monday morning and I'm back to work. It will be a busy week with the kids having musical practice pretty much each night and I have some running around to do to get ready for a picnic I'm having on Saturday. Pray for nice weather!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Is your life as you expected it to be?

Someone asked this question over at the boards and it really got me to thinking about it...

Her question was, "Is there something that you always thought that you would've done at this stage in your life but never got a chance to? And how is your life now different than you expected?"

Here was my response:

Wow! Good question... I'm 45... if you had asked me this question just 5 years ago when I turned 40, I would have told you that I was not where I wanted to be and that financially, things sucked big time! I had just gone back to work after being home with my girls and that hurt a lot. I didn't want to go back to work outside the home, so I felt like a failure... We were in major debt, my health wasn't the best, and I wasn't very happy.

Fast forward to now.... it's amazing the difference 5 years makes LOL. I love my job. Yes, I'd still rather be home but having this job has made it possible for us to get out from under our debt. My boss is extremely flexible, so I'm still able to take time off as needed, so I'm still there for my girls. Health wise of course, it has sucked for my dd Becca, but we've made it through all of the cancer and migraines and she's now on track to graduate in June with Honors and will be going to college in the fall.

We've done a lot of traveling in the last three years, more than we have ever done before, and we have plans for even more!

Is there something I want to do yet? Hmmm, nothing major comes to mind. If we decide we want to do something, we figure out a way to do it!

Is my life different than I expected? Another hmmmm, I'd have to say it's pretty much the way I had hoped it would be. Five years ago, I would have said NO! It was not what I expected or wanted! But now, it's going pretty darn good.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Saturday, March 22, 2008

May be moving!

Don't get scared, it's not us! lol! A good friend of mine called me yesterday to tell me that her husband's company may be relocating. They haven't made an official announcement yet, but the rumors are going around like crazy. She is scared to death. She does not want to move, but if they don't, then he'll have to find a new job. I feel so bad for them.

When Frank and I got married 21 years ago, I didn't have a problem at all with moving to Warren, and I lived very happily there for 8 years! But once the kids arrived, it was harder and harder finding the time to come home to Blairsville.... so when Frank had the chance to work in Greensburg, we jumped at the chance to move 'back home'.

If we were to ever have to move again, and if we had to move into an area that I was not familiar with, I think I would look into homes for rent, just like we did when we moved back to Blairsville. It's nice to rent for a little bit before you buy in an area you aren't familiar with, so that you don't find out later that you're in a not-so-good neighborhood!

Another thing I would definitely do is to get movers to help us move instead of doing it all ourselves! What a lot of work! We've moved three times in our marriage and always had family and friends to help us... but I have to admit, we're all getting older! lol! It wouldn't be as easy to find friends to help, so hiring movers would be a good idea ;)

Something else to think about would to possibly look into REO Foreclosures when looking to buy a new home. These are real estate owned listings of foreclosed homes. Big money can be saved when you're looking at a foreclosed home.

But, we don't plan on going anywhere. We plan to stay exactly where we are. I'll pass this information on to our friend, just in case they do decide to move...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Nice weekend....

Boy, did I have a nice weekend! We didn't do much of anything, and that's what made it so good! Friday, Jilli went to a school dance, and Becca had some friends over to watch a movie in her, so hubby and I just watched tv. Saturday morning, Becca had to work, I had Angel Food sign ups at the church, but the afternoon was spent doing laundry and working on a quilt for Jilli. Hubby made spaghetti for dinner while I was busy sewing! Becca went out with her friends and Jilli's friend came over the spend the night.

Sunday after church, Becca begged me to finally make curtains for her bedroom, so I took a break from Jilli's quilt to work on that instead. Hubby made homemade pizza for lunch (yummm!), THEN, he also made dinner! Yes, that is 3 meals in a row!!! It is most definitely a record in our house!!! lol!

Kids have school Monday through Thursday, but they're off Friday and Monday... so is Frank... but I have to work :( Frank and Jilli are going to head up to my inlaws Friday morning and stay till Saturday afternoon just to visit for a while since we missed going last week because of the snow.

It's Holy week, so we'll be going to church Thursday night and Friday night. I think I might even get up for Sunrise Service on Easter morning! I haven't done that in years! We're playing the chimes in the choir on both Maundy Thursday and Easter morning.

Have a great week!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Saturday, March 8, 2008

More snow...

We were supposed to go to my inlaws this weekend for a visit. They live 3 hours north of us, almost to the New York border. I always enjoy my visits with them not only because we get to see my mother and father in law, but we always get to see hubby's brother's family and his sister and her kids.

But, once again, the weather would not cooperate with us!!! Monday it was in the mid 60's here, but by mid week, it was back down in the 30's. Friday, another front came through from the west which affected my inlaws first, and then us today. They were hit with quite a bit of snow and ice last night, and we got it this afternoon.

After being in Florida just a little over a month ago, I am so ready for warmer weather!!! It really makes you want to relocate to someplace warmer! During the drive down in the bus, we could watch the difference in the weather. We left in about 20 degree weather with lots of snow and ice in the evening. By morning, we were already in warmer weather! We stopped to eat breakfast and didn't even need coats!

I'll probably never leave good old PA, but it is fun to dream once in a while, especially when you're cold! lol!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

We got a new car!!!

We did it! Hubby and I signed the papers tonight for our new car! We got a Hyundai Accent. It has 34 miles on it LOL. We needed a car with great gas mileage for all of hubby's travel and this one has it!

Becca is on cloud 9! She gets his Neon now! She's so excited about being able to drive to school now. This is going to be a huge help to me as far as her getting to and from work after school and the girls going to the school for musical practice. No more taxi service mom!!!! lol!

Isn't it cute! Ours is charcoal gray. I love it!!!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Back from Disney!

What a great trip!!! The marching band for our school went to Disney last week to march in the Magic Kingdom parade and to have a little fun. We definitely had fun!

Here we are on the Safari at Animal Kingdom! Doesn't Jillian look cute with her mouse ears?

I chaperoned 8 girls, including Jillian. All the kids were very well behaved and we didn't have any problems at all. I can't wait to go back again!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Busy week!

Over the hump day! Yeah! We had a nice relaxing weekend, but things have been going full swing so far this week...

We're counting down the days to our Marching Band trip to Disney! Only 19 more days till we leave!!! The kids had band practice and a meeting about the trip on Monday night and they all tried on their uniforms to make sure they fit. I can't believe how many hems we have to let down in the pants! So many kids have gotten quite a bit taller just since the last football game at the end of October!

Between my brother, sister and I, we have worked out a plan to send my mom down to Tallahassee while we are in Orlando! She will fly down the same day we leave and go to my aunt's house (my dad's sister). My cousin and his wife will drive down on Wednesday to spend a few days with us in Orlando, and then my aunt and a couple other cousins and my mom will drive down Friday and stay till Sunday. So mom will get to visit with Aunt Janet for a week, and get to go to Disney with the band!

She cried when I told her last night that she was going! She hasn't been down there for 12 years... so she's very excited to spend some time at Aunt Janet's house and to see the kids in Disney.

This Sunday is my nephew Hunter's baptism at our church! We're going to have a little luncheon afterward for anyone who'd like to come. He's so precious! We stopped in to visit him last Sunday and spent a couple hours just enjoying him! He was awake the whole time! It's so neat to see him so alert! He smiles really big every time he hears my brother say, "Hey buddy!" to him! He sure knows his daddy!!!

Have a great week!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Monday, already...

Yep, it's Monday already. The weekend went way too fast! It was a nice one though. Dinner with our friends, the McQueen's, was very nice. We went to our local Italian restaurant and had a delicious meal. I made an apple pie, so we headed over to their house afterward to relax and talk, and eat our dessert. Their daughter Andrea and a few of Becca's other friends came over to our house to watch a movie while we were gone.

Saturday was the Lion King trip. It was fabulous!!! The show was amazing! The animals and singing, and just everything was superb! I would love to see it again! They're planning a trip in April to see Hair Spray, but I don't think we'll go because it's Easter weekend and we always have too much going on during Easter...

Sunday after church was relaxing, which we needed! lol! I did a little sewing and want to do more this evening after Becca gets a perm. She wants some big waves so that she can scrunch her hair and go... she usually straightens it now, but says she's ready for a change... I hope she likes it! lol!

Here's to a great week!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Lion King!

I am sooo excited! We are going to see The Lion King in Pittsburgh tomorrow! The show is coming to Pittsburgh for a about a month. It's the same show that Jillian saw when she went to New York City two years ago with the Chorus in school. She keeps telling us how amazing it is, and I keep seeing the previews on the tv. I can't wait!!!

This evening, the girls are both going out with friends, so Frank and I are on our own! Woo Hoo! We're going to go out to dinner with some good friends of ours, and I'm very much looking forward to it. We're invited back to their house after dinner, so I made an apple pie last night to take with us. It smelled so good after it was done baking! It was very hard to control ourselves and NOT eat it last night! lol!

There's nothing going on Sunday except for church, so hopefully I can get some sewing in during the afternoon. I need to finish up a quilt for Hunter, and I also want to get started on a making a few wallets. I purchased the pattern and it came in last week. The girls each want one. I'll post pictures when I get them done!

Have a Great weekend!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Dawn Direct Foam

Has anyone else tried this?

We got a free sample in the mail a couple weeks ago. I have no idea how I got it because I don't remember requesting it, but it is a full sized bottle of Dawn Direct Foam and it included a big sponge. The idea behind this product is that you don't need to fill your sink full of water to wash dishes. They tell you to wet the sponge, put one squirt of the dish soap on the sponge and wash your dishes under running water.

Now, I've been doing this for years when I only have a few dishes, and my husband hates it when I do that! He says that I don't get the dishes clean enough without filling the whole sink. I totally disagree. I think it's worse to fill a whole sink full of water and let all the food particles land on the other dishes! When I wash them individually, with soap and a sponge under running water, my dishes feel and look cleaner.

So, when we got this sample and he read the directions, HE started using it that way too! Of course, how often does he do dishes lol! But at least now he doesn't roll his eyes when he sees me doing it!

The sponge they sent with it is way too big... it won't even fit in my glasses, so I just use a smaller sponge. You pump one squirt onto the sponge and it washes a lot of dishes! When there's not soap left on the sponge, you give it another squirt.

I will definitely buy some whenever this bottle runs out. We've been trying to cut back on electricity so we aren't running our dishwasher unless we have a big dinner and have lots of dishes.

Anyone else tried it yet?

Friday, January 4, 2008

New Year's Resolution...

Well, I made a few New Year's Resolutions and goals for 2008 and so far I'm doing okay. Alright, I know it's only the 4th of January, but at least I'm off to a good start! lol!

Here's a list of my goals for 2008:

~ Weight loss/getting in better shape is at the top of my list. I'm going to Florida in February with Jillian and the marching band, and then on our cruise in May, so I need to get serious! (See my countdown tickers to the right!!!) I've already started with a new exercise routine on Tuesday and I'm on day 4! So far, so good! lol!

~ Spend more time with God. I've slacked off here as well... get back into reading my Bible every day and do a morning devotional. When I'm done exercising in the morning, I still have time before I need to get ready for work... plenty of time to do a devotional instead of jumping on the computer doing busy work...

~ Organizing the house a bit better... already started this. Hubby cleaned out the basement since he's was home last week opening up a LOT of space down there! We're now using it as our exercise room and I'm going to take all my sewing stuff down there so that I'm not sewing on the dining room table any more! Embarassed So it will be a craft/exercise area. It will free up a lot of space upstairs when I get the sewing stuff moved! When I was a scrapbook consultant, I used to hold my crops down there, it is a very large area! But over the past 6 years, we've kind of used it as a catch-all junk area!

~ Business.... get more serious about my blogs in order to make extra money for the cruise! Need to do some more reading to figure out how to increase revenue on them besides doing the paid to post type stuff. Have lots to learn there!!!!

~ Pay off debt! We've been paying extra toward our credit cards and hope to have them totally paid off this year. Also, we want to pay off dh's car by the beginning of summer so that he can buy a new one and Becca can have his old one for going to college. We also have a personal loan that will be paid off in March Laughing Yeah!!! We can put that payment towards the car loan. I've been watching our credit rating each month and hope that it continues to go up!

~ Put more money into savings each month! College for Becca is going to be expensive, so we need to put more money towards it each month.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Apples and Wine

I couldn't resist sharing this one!

Women are like apples on trees. The best ones are at the top of the tree. Most men don't want to reach for the good ones because they are afraid of falling and getting hurt. Instead, they sometimes take the apples from the ground that aren't as good, but easy.

The apples at the top think something is wrong with them, when in reality, they're amazing. They just have to wait for the right man to come along, the one who is brave enough to climb all the way to the top of the tree.

Now Men. Men are like a fine wine. They begin as grapes, and it's up to women to stomp the shit out of them until they turn into something acceptable to have dinner with.

Share this with all the good apples you know.