Monday, March 30, 2009

A Big Day for a Little Girl

It is a good thing that Abby's uniform is a bit big... as there was plenty of room for layering on opening day. YEP... opening day at the ball park in Alabama fell on the same day as an early spring cold front. It was 40 degrees!!!

While a huge mass of parents, siblings, and grand parents (all wrapped in coats and blankets) looked on, the Blue Dolphins took the field for the 2009 season opener. The girls did a tremendous job, but came up just a bit short. The final score was 15 to 14. The Pink Diamonds just edged our girls out. It was a very good game! As Daniel said, "I did not expect this to be such a nail bitter mom!"

Abby had 3 great hits and 2 awesome plays in the field. It is going to be a great season... just bring on a little sunshine! : )

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Grow Where You Are Planted

There is one thing that military kids learn quickly ... grow where you are planted. Joe and I have always been so fortunate that all of our children do very well when we move. They are sad... but move on to bigger and better things where ever we might be. They have done especially good on this latest repatriation to the US.

Sports play a big part in meeting new friends and acclimating to a new location. School is another piece of the puzzle.

The older kids just received their latest report cards... between the 3 of them, they received 15 grades. Between the 3 of them, they had 15 A's. All 3 are taking honors/AP classes... and working very hard to be successful.
Next week, Joey and Holly make their first attempt at the ACT... can't wait to see how they do... hoping for 30plus for both... and all the scholarship $$ that come with a good ACT score and hard work in school!

Other than that... Spring has Sprung in Alabama. My azaleas are covered in bright red buds. The cherry trees (there are 3 in my driveway and I just planted a few more in the backyard) and dogwoods are in full bloom - the Bradford pears green for weeks now. It is simply stunning!

I am sitting on the back deck typing this entry. The girls are in shorts for the first time this year. They are playing a combination of basketball and baseball... with a turn on the swing every once in a while.

But... the winds have suddenly shifted direction and taken on a much cooler feel. Another cold front is headed our way this evening. Oh well... it was fun while it lasted. A few more weeks of hoodies and jeans... we will all survive!
A cute pic to share:

Friday, March 27, 2009

YEAH!!!! and ARGH!!!!

YEAH for Lilli who is POTTY TRAINED! It has been 2 weeks now and she is doing beautifully! I think it was a combination of the sticker chart and just putting her in panties. Whatever - it has "clicked" with her and she is doing great! YEAH!!!!

ARGH for technology! Between the seven of us, we have more computers than I can count on one hand. And they all have more issues than I can count on two hands! ARGH! My Dell Laptop automatically shuts down when I click to join the millions surfing the net. It is probably something so very simple... and I am sure EVERY problem is a user caused problem... but ARGH!!!!!

Joe comes home in a few days and I am hoping that among other things, he can figure all of this out!

Until then... I will be a very happy mother... but a very frustrated computer user!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

GREAT Day for Lilli

Lilli spent all day in panties with NO accidents! YEAH! The sticker chart is working!!! First day of many we hope!!!

No Need To Worry...

No need to fret because I have disappeared for a bit... my parents are visiting! YEAH! They are in for a few weeks and I will be otherwise entertained! : ) Be back soon!

Sunday, March 8, 2009


A few years ago, I travelled to India for work. My work was in New Delhi; however, during my down time, I ventured into Old Delhi and even to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal was - simply put - majestic. Just 600 meters from the Taj Mahal, I enjoyed an amazing lunch at the Oberoi Amarvilas Hotel.

The hotel was lavish, unlike anything I had ever seen. The walls were gilded with 24 karat gold. The silverware placed before me at lunch was counted as it was given and as it was taken away. Why? It was Gold dipped and worth so much. The chocolates that accompanied my bill at the end of my lunch had gold leaf. Decadent (over the top) was the best way to describe the experience.

Outside the gate of the hotel life was very different. The majority of the India that I experienced was a country of overwhelming poverty.

I have seen so much poverty throughout Southeast Asia, but none of it could compare with the all encompassing deprivation of the small portion of India that I visited. Although I was only in the country for 10 days, the images play over and over in my mind... often in the wee hours of the night while I am asleep and occasionally while I am going about my day.

Last night, a friend and I ventured out for a girl's night out. We had a great Mexican meal accompanied by yummy margaritas and lots of talking. From there, we went to the theater where we claimed our previously ordered tickets to
Slumdog Millionaire.
WOW! Without a single reservation, I can report that this movie easily replaced another film on my top movie list of all times. WOW! What an amazing story (although very tough to swallow at times) the acting is amazing, and the cinematography - sights and sounds - of the movie took my breath away at times.
It was not necessarily an easy movie to watch. It is, however, a very vivid glimpse into the reality of life in India. What was so charming about the movie was the how the story was wrapped around a game show and a very sweet and innocent love that a young boy had for a young girl.

I will not write any spoilers... I will just say that this is a MUST see! Run must see it in the theater ... I don't think the whole experience will transfer to DVD. Go now... stop reading this... GO!

If you have already experienced the film... what did you think? I am not alone in my love for this movie am I????

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Is it Just Me....

... Or is it not right to ask for a "mulligan" after proposing to a girl???? Not even cool for the Bachelor...

BAD Jason... BAD BAD Jason...

I would say POOR Melissa... but seriously, if you want to find true love... I am thinking reality TV is not the place. I will say SILLY Melissa instead!

So glad we are done with this and can move onto Dancing With the Stars!

And how crowded is my TV schedule now...

Amazing Race, Survivor, American Idol, and Dancing With the Stars... I am so shallow... or at least my television choices are!

*** I also love HGTV... and Top Chef and Top Design and Biggest Looser... and Apprentice. ...And I am so glad that Jillian will be the next Bachelorette... she was my favorite this season of the Bachelor... Can't wait until May 18th for that fun to start!

Only 2 Ways to Raise Teens....

.... and this

is not the route Joe and I are choosing.

We are choosing this 2nd path instead:

This would be the wide open ... taking it all in approach ... where we make ourselves available to our children regarding any and all subjects.

I am learning very quickly that in the few years (ok...20 plus years) since I left high school and my teenage years behind... things have changed. REALLY CHANGED. And things changed even more between small private school overseas and massive public school in the south.
It is a scary, difficult, and dangerous world that surrounds my teenagers when they leave the safety and comfort of our home. I am continuously thankful that, thus far, they are making the right decisions in their lives. I tell them this on a daily basis.
I also use any and every opportunity that comes my way to talk with them about all subject regarding teens and life important decisions. Ask them and they can and will tell you their parents views on any topic. Funny, Joey had professional drivers training the other day and came home to proclaim that he had "Finally met someone more conservative than you mom"! Wow... I did nto realize that was possible...

One opportunity that I take advantage of often is television. There are several interesting shows that face certain topics head on and offer a jumping off point for meaningful conversations.
The newest show that we (Holly and I) have discovered is "The Secret Life of the American Teenager".

Originated by the lady that developed 7th Heaven, this show sure raised my eyebrows when I first started watching it. *** This show is like "hyper reality"... centering around a cute 15 year old honor student and "band nerd" (as she calls herself in the show) who gets pregnant while at band camp. Lots of small subplots ... all have my mouth hanging ajar at first. Think Juno .... as I am convinced the writer's idea came from this award winning film.
But all of the shock value and bad acting aside, this is a very witty little show with many important messages ... and a few tender moments thrown in.
Bottom line... as awkward and uncomfortable it is at times to chat with my children about topics that I can not even type... It is important that they know that they can come to Joe and I about ANYTHING... good, bad, and especially the ugly!
*** side note... my favorite television shows to this day are Little House on the Prairie and Brady Bunch... this considered it does not take much to raise my eyebrows! !! : )