Thursday, January 31, 2008

Queen would be proud.

Ever notice the songs played at sporting events that were popular a long time ago? Somehow these songs have managed to stand the test of time and remain popular with this particular crowd of people. For instance, don't you almost always here the song "We Will Rock You" by Queen when you go to a professional baseball game? We inevitably hear that song every time we're at the ballpark, and whenever we do, we always see people bobbing their heads, stomping their feet, clapping their hands, and of course, singing along.

Wanna hear it now? Make sure your speakers are turned up. To pause the other music on my blog, scroll down until you find "Marva's Music" on the left side, and then left click twice on the first button. You should hear nothing. Now scroll back up to this post and left click on the play button twice on the music below for a little nostalgia...

Get this widget | Track details | eSnips Social DNA

My kids have heard this song several times now and think it's very cool, totally unaware that the song is a "few" years old now. In their minds, it just recently hit the airwaves. They think I'm cool because I'm familiar with the song. I like deluding myself and my kids.

The thing my kids and their friends like to do with these songs is to change the words and sing them when they're together. I don't know who started it and if kids everywhere have caught on or what, but this is what they've done to "We Will Rock You".....

"We will, we will rock you,
shock you,
pick you up and drop you.
Flush you down the toilet.
Hope that you enjoy it.
See you in the sewer,
covered in manure."

What's really sad is that I now go around singing the "new version" of this song. Wouldn't Queen be proud?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I'm NOT smarter than a 5th grader!

In my last post I whined about the fact that my husband was "leaving me" for a few days this week. I really miss him when he's gone. I do! I miss his smile, his embrace, his beautiful eyes, his warmth and OH, ALRIGHT... I ADMIT IT.... I miss the math expert who helps our 5th grader with his homework!

My son came home with math problems that I sat and stared at for several minutes before I could even begin to think about how to solve them. Good grief! I know I didn't do this kind of math until I was in high school. I'm telling you right now... I don't know how much longer I'll be able to help my child with his homework. Soon enough, he's going to be on his own.

Thank God for email! My husband took his laptop on his trip and I told him I might be emailing him scanned homework pages in the event that we need his expertise. I'm breathing a sigh of relief for tonight though, because I think my feeble mind eventually comprehended the problems and my son and I toughed it out together. I'm definitely NOT smarter than a 5th grader!

And no, that's not me... It's Kellie Pickler, former American Idol contestant and current country music recording artist. And she's not smarter than a 5th grader either!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Looking forward to the weekend? Not so much!

My husband is going to be away at a conference this week, leaving tomorrow and returning on Saturday evening. It's not necessarily a bad week because the boys are out of school today for a teacher work day and they won't have Scouts this week, so that's less for me to worry about. I can handle that, however, as the weekend approaches, things start getting a little more chaotic and challenging...

Like I said, the boys are out of school today. We were able to sleep in, but soon we have to get with the program because we have things to accomplish. The boys need haircuts, we have errands to run (picking up stickers for their Pinewood Derby race cars, going to the grocery, returning a movie, etc.) and they have swim lessons this afternoon. Not an unmanageable schedule though.

Tuesday is good. Kids are back in school and I only have one appointment on my calendar. Nice way to start off the week, right?

Wednesday night is a little crazy in that both boys have to hurry home from the bus stop and get homework done before we go to kids' choir at church. The oldest has to leave choir early for basketball practice, which means, since my husband will be unavailable, that I will have to take both boys from choir, drop off the oldest at basketball and go back to pick him up at 8:45. Yes, you read that correctly... 8:45pm! I can hardly believe his team has to practice from 7:15 to 8:45pm. That just seems late for 11-year-olds, don't you think? And of course that also means we won't get home until 9pm and then we'll have to do the whole shower routine. Hopefully the big man will have all of his homework finished. If not, we could potentially be up for another hour or so. I don't like Wednesdays so much, especially this week.

Thursday we get a reprieve... just a regular school day with no Scouts that night. Woo-hoo! We need more days like this!

Friday night I have to take the boys to "Pit Night," which is basically a registration and practice night for the Scout's annual Pinewood Derby competition, which is held the next morning at 8am (Cruel on a Saturday morning, don't you think?). I like going to the derby and watching my kids compete and have a good time, but I really couldn't care less about being there the night prior. I've been asked to take pictures at both Pit Night and the actual Pinewood Derby, which is fine, but it just adds to the level of chaos and responsibility I feel in my husband's absence.

Saturday is going to be busy. Normally we could "divide and conquer" with the boys like we usually do when there are overlapping events, but alas, I'm going to be single-parenting for the day. The Pinewood Derby starts at 8am. Again... cruel on a Saturday morning! At least they'll have donuts and juice there, so breakfast will be someone else's problem, not mine. My youngest has basketball pictures at 10am. The Pinewood Derby will not likely be over until much later, so that means I'll have to leave the oldest there to take the youngest to his coach's house to drop him off. I'm going to have to rely on his coach to then take him on to practice at 11am, because I have to pick up the oldest from Pinewood Derby and take him to his basketball game at the very same time. The oldest then has birthday party he's invited to, but naturally it starts at about the time he'll be finishing up basketball, and the party isn't close by. I'm not sure we can make that event, which will of course disappoint the big guy because kids at his age don't have as many parties anymore, therefore the invitations are fewer and farther between. He won't be happy about missing out.

The boys are invited to spend the night at a friend's house on Saturday too, which means they have to come home, get showered and packed up, carefully choosing their clothes because they'll be meeting us at church the next day (Can you believe someone wants to have kids spend the night on a Saturday when they know they'll be bringing them to church the next day? Brave people!). Now the boys will need to be dropped off yet another place and I can breathe a sigh of relief when the day is done.

Oh yeah... my husband will probably arrive around 5pm, just after all the excitement, chaos and "busy-ness" is over.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Budding (Butting?) Artists

Yesterday, after their homework was finished, my kids were hard at work on art projects. I was happy to see them so engrossed in what they were doing. I love the fact that they like to draw and create! When their masterpieces were complete, they showed them to me.

The picture on the left is my oldest son's drawing, which means the picture on the right is the work of my youngest son.

Thanks to the writers and illustrators of The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby! These are the same folks who are responsible for Captain Underpants. The new-found interest my children have in these books makes me so very proud.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Whose hand does this look like?

Go ahead... Guess! I'll give you a hint... Picture it in green! These gloves feel so comfortable and warm and I love them. The fingers appear to be a little long when I first pull them on, but once I adjust them, they're perfect. I wore these last night when we met friends for dinner and I asked my girlfriend whose hands she thought they looked like and she said... the Grinch! They really do, don't they?

Monday, January 21, 2008

What tunes do you hum?

I was helping my husband clear breakfast dishes this morning and I found myself half humming and half singing a tune. I realized it was a religious song, which for some reason took me by surprise. I started thinking about my mom and how she always seemed to be singing a church hymn, but never any current music. When we were growing up she never listened to the radio and didn't know who any of the most popular recording artists were. I thought she was so un-cool. I'd never have guessed I'd end up singing gospel music around the house when I grew up. Scary, ain't it? I'm more like my mother than I thought, and somehow I think it's pretty cool.

So... what tunes do you find yourself humming these days?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Friday Night Hoops

Last night we took the boys to a local high school basketball game. They had a special deal for families with kids who participate in our youth club basketball program... anyone wearing a youth club jersey got in free with a paying adult. We'd never taken the boys to a high school game and it was really fun. We didn't know any of the kids playing, but hey, we don't personally know anyone who plays for our favorite college teams either, but we still enjoy watching.

At half-time two youth club basketball teams scrimmaged and our oldest son knew three of the boys, all of whom are his age. Two of the boys he knows from school and the other one was on his baseball team last year. Anyway, we're watching these young kids and they were really good! In fact, my husband and I looked at one another as if to say, "How come our son's team stinks and these teams are so good?" Honestly, you can't tell me there isn't some recruiting that goes on in this league. These teams were stacked, no doubt. I truly dread when our team plays one of the teams we saw last night! It won't be pretty!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Don't sweat the small stuff

"Don't sweat the small stuff," they say. Yeah, like I can really do that! I worry. I fret. I stress. I panic. All of these things happen to people like me, people who are people-pleasing, perfectionist, low self-esteem types. I keep telling myself I'm gonna stop being this way. I'm gonna get over this incessant need to please the world. I'm gonna get myself a backbone and just a tiny air of self-confidence (Not too much though). I'm gonna learn the word "no" and actually use it from time to time. I'm gonna do my best on a project and then leave it alone rather than stress out over it until I'm nearly sick. I'm wondering... Is it possible, at the age of 42, to change part of what makes you who you are?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

American Idol - A love/hate relationship

Americal Idol has started season #7 this week, and of course that means I'm tuning in whenever possible. I don't know why, but I really enjoy watching this show. I guess part of the fascination for me is the fact that I'm a people watcher, and goodness knows you see lots of different people on American Idol. I admire anyone willing to sincerely audition in the first place. I'm not a singer, although I love to belt out tunes in the shower and in my vehicle, so I can only imagine the bravery and determination it takes to perform in front of a panel of celebrity judges. There isn't enough alcohol in the world to get me to do that! There normally aren't that many compliments thrown around either, which would be hard for someone like me to swallow. I'm not much of a risk-taker. If I can't be guaranteed that I won't be ridiculed or criticized, I'm not likely to want to participate.

American Idol seems to bring out the best and worst in people in the way of talent and personality. Good grief, did you see some of those characters the last two nights of auditions? Why on earth would one choose to make an idiot out of oneself on national TV? I wonder about the sincerity (not to mention mentality) of many of the prospective contestants. I just know some of these folks went to the audition because they lost a bet. Maybe some were looking for a reason to play hooky from work or school. Perhaps when playing "Truth or Dare" with their friends, they chose "dare," thus they were made to show up at the American Idol audition. Give me a break! Surely SOME of these people know their singing stinks.

And can you stand the indignation and hostility some contestants display when given the sad, honest truth that they need not quit their day jobs? Did they really think they were good? REALLY? Umm... Record your voice and listen to it first! It'll save you a lot of trouble and humiliation in the long run.

What's awesome is when someone comes along who truly has the ability to sing. I get so excited just listening, thinking this could be the next American Idol, the next big recording artist. And I have no doubt someone will come along this season to wow everyone. I'll be watching and listening!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Do I have to get dressed today?

Sometimes there are days (like today) when I just don't want to get dressed and leave my house under any circumstances. I have cramps, I don't feel well and I'd love to lounge around in my jammies in front of the fireplace with the TV on, napping off and on all afternoon until the fog has lifted and I feel better. TMI? Sorry, but it's my blog and I can whine if I want to.

Of course I can't lounge around in my jammies in front of the fireplace with the TV on, napping off and on all afternoon until the fog has lifted and I feel better because my son called a little while ago and informed me he forgot his trumpet for band today and he wants me to bring it to school.

I wonder what the school secretary would say if I walked into the office wearing my jammies, robe and slippers to drop off the trumpet. Don't worry, it was just thought. I'll get dressed and make myself somewhat presentable so I don't embarrass my kid. The things I do for my children!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Ever injured yourself eating cereal?

I love Capt'n Crunch cereal, don't you? It's got a great flavor with just the right amount of sugar. Yeah, I know it's not the healthiest of cereals, but I grew up eating the stuff and still love the taste. That being said, I can't ever recall feeling the way I do right now, just after eating a bowl. The roof of my mouth feels like I've used sandpaper on it! It was fine before I ate the cereal, but now it feels practically raw. I might seriously have to give up eating this yummy cereal. Ahhh... the harsh, cruel realities of growing up and growing older!

Monday, January 14, 2008

I'm so fabulous!

I asked the boys what kind of valentines they wanted to give to their classmates this year and they had a hard time coming up with anything they really wanted. Sometimes we buy the box of cards in the store and sometimes we make them on the computer. I don't think I've ever rubber stamped them before, and doubt I'll start now, even though I have the necessary supplies. I just don't want to invest that kind of time and effort.

We finally decided we'd make the valentines on the computer and go with a football theme since both boys are really into football right now. One of them is a huge Colts fan and the other a Steelers fan. They both like quarterbacks, so I went online and found pictures of both teams' quarterbacks and then used our Print Shop program and made valentines the size of business cards that say "Catch this valentine wish... Hope your day is full of sweet surprises!" I figured that sounded okay to give to a boy or girl. And of course Valentine's Day at our boys' ages is definitely all about candy, thus the "sweet" reference.

I was amazed at how simple and hassle-free these valentines turned out to be! They took me 15 minutes (maybe) to design and print and they're pretty cool, even if I do say so myself... and I do say so myself. Mission accomplished!

Friday, January 11, 2008


I have prided myself for the last 12+ years of marriage on being able to balance the checkbook to the penny every single month, that is, until about 3 months ago. And I'm exactly one penny off. Can I just tell you how crazy that's making me? I have gone back, checked and re-checked my math numerous time and I still can't find a mistake. I'm really going through some mental anguish with this issue. How sad and pathetic is that?

And yes, we do most of our banking and bills online, but no, we do not use Quicken. Don't judge me! I'm just not ready to try that yet. Small steps... small steps! I still use the paper check register of olden days to manage our bank account. I can't get away from it. It somehow comforts and reassures me and I like that.

But I don't like the fact that one penny can so take over my every waking thought. I MUST BALANCE! God help me... I MUST BALANCE!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Codes, Account Numbers, Passwords and User IDs

Have you noticed that everything you go to do in this world, be it dialing your voice mail to checking your bank account balance to inquiring about a catalog order requires some kind of code, account number, password or user ID, or a combination thereof? It makes me crazy! I can't be responsible for remembering all this stuff! I can't remember my kids' names somedays, much less a whole string of numbers and letters.

What's really frustrating is the fact that you pretty much can't do business anywhere without having those valuable codes, account numbers, passwords or user IDs. Today I was out and about running errands and decided to call our home voice mail to see if we had any messages. Sure enough, there happened to be a message from a catalog company with which I'd recently placed an online order. I'd ordered something for my step-dad's birthday and even though the company's website DOES NOT state that they cannot deliver to a post office (which is how I mail stuff to my mom and step-dad), they called to leave me a message to that effect.

I returned the phone call, using the number the customer service agent left on my voice mail. Naturally I got a different customer service agent and she asked for the order confirmation number, which I didn't have with me since I was away from home using my cell phone. She tried to look up my account by using my name and for whatever reason she couldn't find my name or my husband's name ANYWHERE in her database. She also checked under our telephone number and our address and still, she came up with nothing. So I had to hang up and call back when I got home and had that all-important order confirmation number in front of me.

Amazingly enough, the customer service agent I talked to this time was then able to locate my account using the order confirmation number. So I guess a person's name, address and phone number mean nothing when trying to locate an account. Have we reached the point where we're all just numbers or what?

Sister Schubert's

Need I say more? The very name "Sister Schubert's" just makes my stomach growl and my heart beat a little faster. If you haven't been properly introduced to Sister Schubert and her delicious yeast rolls, then I really feel sorry for you. I mean really... bless your heart!

My introduction to these mouth-watering, divine little pieces of heaven occurred last fall and my life has never been the same since. I've had homemade yeast rolls and they're fabulous, but they're also a lot of work. These rolls are found in your grocer's freezer and they take 5-10 minutes to warm in the oven. How easy is that? I don't know about you, but I'm all about easy when it comes to cooking.

Beware, however, because not every grocery store carries Sister Schubert's, which is a crime. Every grocery store should be required to stock these! If you've never tried 'em, getcha some! Mmmmmm...

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The most meaningful gift...

What was the most meaningful gift you've ever given or received, the one that stands out in your mind above all others? I've received a few wonderfully thoughtful gifts over the years (a poem written for me as well as an autograph book signed by a bunch of ladies as a farewell from a spouses' group, etc.) My most favorite, however, has to be the scrapbook my husband and kids gave me for Mother's Day a couple of years ago.

My husband is NOT a scrapbooker, but he went to Hallmark and purchased one of those scrapbooks that has pages already somewhat decorated, and then he printed pictures of me (by myself and with other people) off our computer and adhered them to the pages and journaled as well. This was a total surprise to me and I know it was a labor of love because it was something completely out of my husband's comfort zone. And because I'm a scrapbooker, I deeply appreciated the time and effort, not to mention the sentiment, that went into making the scrapbook special. Boy, he got some real brownie points for that one!

Our youngest son gave my mom a special gift this Christmas, and she hasn't stopped talking about it. We were traveling to KY to visit my family for Christmas and the kids were instructed to fill their backpacks with items to entertain themselves during the ride (books, Game Boys, etc.). My husband and I were checking the little man's backpack to be sure he had everything he would need, and we came across a small wrapped gift addressed to "Meems & Pa" (my mom and step-dad). I didn't recognize the gift because Matthew had secretly wrapped it himself. He'd wrapped up his palm-sized prayer rock to give to his grandparents. Little did he know, I had extra prayer rocks in my stash of gifts. He had given up something of his to give to someone else. He really touched my mom's heart and made her Christmas very special as a result.

It's great to be on both the giving and receiving end of a meaningful gift. So... have you given it some thought? What's the most meaningful gift you've either given or received?

What's your favorite day of the week? Why?

Matthew, our 8-year-old, came home today with a myriad of papers in a folder. They are for our viewing pleasure and are to be appropriately oohed and aahed over as well as corrected where mistakes have been made, and then returned to school tomorrow.

One particular paper was all about the days of the week and it was a combination of English and Spanish (How ironic, which I will explain in a later blog). The last question on the page asked, "Which is your favorite day of the week? Why?"

Matthew responded with (and I quote verbatim, using the same spelling too), "Saturday beacase (because) I don't have chrch (church) and school. I thought he liked church and school! Are we raising a heathen child, a juvenile delinquent in the making? Of course I know his teacher has read his response, but do I dare share it with anyone at church? I think maybe we'll just keep that to ourselves.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Valentine's Day Favors

I'm excited because my kids actually get to have a party at school next month. Their school allows two parties per year and it appears Valentine's Day and the "end-of-the-year" parties have been deemed acceptable to celebrate.

Yes, I realize it's January and Valentine's Day is still more than a month away, but I like to plan ahead, and there's no time like the present...

Although my boys have yet to decide what kind of valentines they want to send this year (a very big, important decision), they have decided (with a little help from me since I am, after all, the one paying for and putting these things together) what kind of favors they're going to share with their classmates. I love these favors because they're so easy, not terribly expensive, can be made in advance and are too doggone cute!

Here's what we're doing... We're decorating and filling Wilton miniature favor tins with valentine M&Ms. You can find these tins online or in stores (Michaels and Oriental Trading are where I found ours). The ones I found at Michaels (in the wedding supplies aisle) are my favorites because they come in a kit with pages of stickers that you can either a) run through your computer (using cute valentine computer graphics) or b) rubber stamp with your choice of valentine stamps. The sticker goes on the clear plastic lid of the tin.

PLEASE NOTE: You might want to put small pieces of tape on either side of the tins once they're filled, otherwise the lids can tend to come off and the contents will spill everywhere. Trust me, I've learned from experience since we have used these as favors for other events. And I believe I have seen this tin in the shape of a heart as well, but because I had the round ones on hand, I'm going with those this time around.

I took a few pictures of items we used for our favors and then, of course, a picture of our finished product. Click on any picture for a closer view.

Are you making something special (with or without kids) for Valentine's Day this year? Please share as I'm always on the lookout for fun, creative ideas.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Sick children

I often fail to realize just how fortunate we are to have healthy children. Our youngest was up off and on all night vomiting to the point of dry heaves. It's so awful watching your child struggle like that. This is probably just a "bug" going around the school. I look for him to feel better within a day or so, and hopefully we won't all take a turn with whatever he has. Anyway, I'm keeping little man home from school today and he and I will likely nap most of the day because we are so tired.

It hit me that there are families with very sick children who deal with much worse on a daily basis. My heart goes out to them and I then I humbly thank God for my healthy children!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Favorite Holiday Memories

I was thinking that although I love the Christmas holiday season, it's not quite as exciting and magical to me now that I'm an adult. I started reminiscing about holidays past and began recalling the things that I loved the most when I was growing up. Here's my list of best-loved things in no particular order...

* Parties at school (Back when that was PC)

* Christmas plays at school and at church (Yes, our school had a Christmas play!)

* Seeing Santa at church after the play

* Watching Santa on TV (There was a local TV show where Santa read letters sent to him, etc. and I was mesmerized!)

* Drawing names for gifts at school and with my family

* Homemade candy

* 2 weeks vacation from school

* Putting up a live cedar tree and decorating it with large colored lightbulbs

* TV specials (Rudolph, Frosty, the Grinch)

* Shopping for gifts for my parents

* Mom reading us "Spencer's Mountain" every year

* Singing Christmas carols with my mom

* Helping Mom wrap gifts

* Going to the country club where my grandmother worked and my dad dressed up as Santa at the kids' Christmas party (We weren't members, but we were allowed to join the party.)

* Christmas Eve fireworks at my grandmother's house (I don't know who started that, but we loved it!)

* Christmas morning magic - Santa had come!

* Seeing what was in my stocking (I've ALWAYS loved that!)

* Christmas dinner at my other grandmother's with LOTS of relatives (The food, the fun, the presents and my grandfather playing "Rook" are all very vivid memories.)

* Everyone saying "Merry Christmas" without a thought of it being offensive

* Overeating and not having to worry about packing on the pounds (Those were the days!)

What are some of your most cherished childhood Christmas holiday memories?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Official Toilet Roll Changer

I blogged a couple of weeks or so ago about some random complaints, one of which being the fact that I seem to be the only person in my house with the ability to change the toilet roll when it's empty. Now I know that's petty, but it does get old after a while, however, I've discovered it doesn't just happen here at home.

While we were visiting with my family over the Christmas holiday, I changed the toilet roll TWICE. We stayed about 4 1/2 days and there were six of us in the house most of the time, and at one time I counted twelve people under that single roof. What are the odds that I would end up being the one to change the toilet paper roll TWICE during those 4 1/2 days? Obviously the odds were pretty stinkin' good!

So I suppose I should just accept my fate, my lot in life, my destiny, my luck and realize that it's my job to change the toilet rolls wherever I may go. Somebody's gotta do it. It might as well be me.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year's Eve TV unfit for children!

Yesterday was New Year's Eve and being the wild party people we are, we went to exchange a Christmas gift at the mall, go out to dinner and then come home and watch TV. The boys wanted to stay up until midnight so that they could ring in the new year with us. That was a challenge for my husband and me because if we sit down, get comfortable and still enough in a chair, we'll just drift off to sleep. Yep, we are the ultimate party people!

So we're flipping between channels, mainly because nearly every show and/or commercial seemed to be incredibly risque`. Did anyone else notice this? We saw already skimpily clad women taking off even more clothing so that they were REALLY skimpily clad. We saw people shaking their booties to the point of being obscene. We saw cleavage like we'd never seen it. We heard foul language which, by the way, is getting out of control on TV. I'm no prude, but I'm appalled at the lack of screening on the part of the television executive powers that be. We kept flipping through the channels in the hopes of finding something more appropriate for the whole family and it wasn't easy. Even our 8-year-old, upon seeing the skimpily clad women shake their groove things a little much, said, "That's disgusting." Looks like Sunday school and church are paying off!

All in all, we were highly disappointed in the TV viewing options for New Year's Eve. Are we just getting old or what?