Monday, December 23, 2013


With my niece having a baby this Christmas, there would be plenty to be happy about... one would think. But with all the loss from last year and the continued loss this year, its hard not to think of those that will not be around. I know each year people get all excited for those shiny toys and the new stuff. But I often wonder what about all the people that are gone, are they watching? Are they proud?
I never just stop during the holidays, as any follower would know, but its especially during these times I wonder, when everyone is together and some of their traditions start being forgotten do they frown?
Sure, with everyone new traditions are born, some for the better! I'm glad I don't take a horse and carriage to well, anywhere. But instead, I can get into a car and go, because a tradition of thinking was broken, yet horses haven't gone away.

So no, we don't have to worry too much that all will be lost, but we should take a few moments, and make sure that we do honor those that came before us, that paved the way. Teach our children just a few things that made us who we are today. With any luck, those moments will help guide the next generation back into a brighter tradition.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Heart pain

Ever wonder what people are really thinking? Ever think maybe it's better that you don't know? Some people do well with criticism, while other do a couple things- 1) get very upset and fight back 2) fall into a hole and just implode. I'm glad I had the opportunity in life to learn from some of the greatest on how to handle life's fights. Sometimes you just don't need to put a horse into the race, sometimes you find every horse on the farm.... But I don't need to fight. I know where I stand in life. And I do know what's right and wrong. I also know I'll be really glad when it's January....
 This isn't my season. There I've said it, ba hum bug, it is what it is, but the bottom line is while so many are excited about all the "things" this time of year brings, I'm fighting to keep my heart from breaking into a billion pieces (all over again). Stupid as it is, but my life has solace in it. I have succumb to the notion that some things happened in life for a reason, and I wouldn't be on my current path if I had endured a torn heart at one time or another. At some point, however, the pieces do become ultra tiny, and fitting them back together becomes a task that takes on a whole new job. 
Each winter season I am blessed with the sun. I am not pounded by the unforgiving biting cold to further remind me of my losses. The days the air has the crisp bite, I only have to breathe a little deeper to take in the salt air, rather than fear the dry air grown accustomed in the cold northern air. Life changes, as have I. I try each year to make it the best I can for my kids.
This year the tree went up, I created new decorations, and the village looks great with the train. I hope it can be enough to fill the spaces where my heart still breaks....

It's just not the same... Just not the same...

At least I have him by my side.... 


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Fired up in sports world

Now I do live and breathe sports. A part of me always has. Maybe not all the stats parts. I can't tell you who has the best yards per carry, nor can I tell you who will win the Super Bowl this year. But, what I can tell you is that, by the numbers, the players themselves are not all that bad. Sure, we have players that make REALLY stupid choices that have you shaking your head asking, "for that kind of money I can play 17 weeks a year, eat right, and not go to jail!"- what the heck! We have run out and bought jerseys of our favorite "tough guy" only to learn that it wasn't an act, he really is an a$$ and maybe we don't want our kids wearing or idolizing someone who regularly smacks around players on the field only to go in the locker room doing it, and we find it doesn't stop there.
Sure living a party life sounds great, but we also know that work does mean responsibility, and "the temple body" thing is something we don't want our children to think means racing 500 laps equals victory with a beer! Yet, sponsors pay large amounts of money to make sure "THEIR" beverage is the first item guzzled as the driver pours out of the car. Nothing says "victory" after driving in the heat, sweating like crazy for hours on end like a nice cold beer. I'd be so happy Gatorade sponsored me. (IV STAT!)

But really, the numbers please... I came across an article written in September that talked about Dante' Stallworth and his sentence. The writer, felt, more or less, that it was a lack of a sentence, and that pro-athletes need to be held to higher standard when it comes to crimes (like DUI) to set an example. Well, I about blew a gasket! For one, we can't have sentencing guidelines based on "class" rather than crime. Many argue we already do, as in "if you have money- lighter sentence, if you don't- enjoy prison".  I read an excellent article by a former chief of police, secret service, etc. You may remember him from 9/11 from New York. He just recently finished his time in federal prison, and screamed the anthem many sing- PRISON IS BROKEN. The sentencing guidelines are flawed, Ex- NYPD Chief Kerik explained it so clearly, yet takes alot of criticism for saying it. People feel he's complaining about his charges... nope just pointing out, spending 10 years for drugs doesn't "teach" anything (life skills, etc). Then when they are released, the cycle continues! For the record, he was in prison for tax charges.

Back to the numbers... people seem to see the "perp" walk and that's what they remember. That PRO or the headline, and before anything else is said "athletes are just running wild" but seriously... let's breakdown some serious numbers... As we all know, the NFL has 32 teams, with 52 rostered players activated players and various others on injury/or reserved status, plus a practice squad. Counting only the 52 players that gives 1,662 men (hang with me). Moving to the MBA, 30 teams, (you get the rooster idea) total for the league, 450 active players. Now the MLB, We won’t even touch farm league- GOOD LORD! Sticking to just the 15 teams and their average roster- figure 600. Now NHL, Yikes! With 30 teams in the league, they're actually easy- there is 2,121 active players taking the ice (currently). We aren't even counting coaches at this point. I didn't even go into NASCAR, or a variety of other sports- good night!

So what does this mean? There are 4,833 ACTIVE players (not counting all those “feeder” players in all the various sports that have MANY opportunities to make bad decisions. And yes, the moment they make those mistakes it’s front page news. But let’s dig a tiny bit deeper- remember college football? Who doesn't?  WHOA! With 120 colleges playing football in Division I-A every Saturday. We don’t even want to add up the numbers of “kids” there that can “drink it up, but since MOST teams have 125 players on their roster, you can figure adding 15,000 to the mix! So what does that all mean?

When the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 32,367 people died in traffic crashes in 2011 in the United States (latest figures available), including an estimated 9,878 people who were killed in drunk driving crashes involving a driver with an illegal BAC (.08 or greater), one point blared at me.  Among the people killed in these drunk driving crashes, 66% were drivers (6,507), 27% were motor vehicle occupants (2,661), and 7% were non-occupants (710), with an average of one person dying in a drunk driving fatality every 53 minutes. (Century Council, 2012) The numbers are staggering and sobering, yes! BUT compared to the pro and college athletes, we have ALOT of people that are making STUPID choices...

Throwing it on "super hero's" seems to be just plan dumb! Considering the percentage of our "super hero's involved in these stats is not even a dot. BUT they are the ones on the "perp" walk.

Create "tougher" guidelines- stupid! Create better programs- smart! There's a reason super man "thinks" he can drive (fly) home... its the same for all the other (stupid) people involved in the stats above.

Should pro-athletes get a pass- NO WAY! NEVER! But should we look at "all" of them under a dark cloud when once strays... consider the source. Many truly are "Super Heroes!"

I mean, who wouldn't want to Trick-or-Treat at JJ Watt's house?

One of the Good Guys!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Told it was a bad weekend- last week... and then!

Yes, I had HORRIBLE service at a restaurant and by horrible I mean half our party was DONE eating and our server was actually refilling our drinks and hadn't noticed the rest of us never received our food. Seriously, bad! THEN when it was pointed out several times, several ways, we had to fight to reduce our bill for food we never got. Yeah! We actually left with NO food and went to another restaurant just down the boardwalk and I ordered the same meal. Now that's sad!
The night before, my husband and I were all dressed up to go to a Halloween party. Friends of ours throw an awesome party that we look forward to all year. My son was suppose to be home, because my younger daughter had a friend stay the night. After Rich had umpired two games earlier in the day (more on that later) we went home and laid down for a bit. When we woke up we got ready and were headed out the door only to find out that he was gone and out plans were over before they ever started. Rich called our oldest, mean while I contacted my son. Seems my son "forgot" about or plans. Oh, really?

The topper to the weekend I was "told" was so bad. The mail came and reviewing the cell phone bill showed that the cell phone that we had to suspend because it was stolen, was pretty darn brazen. We called and suspended the account (number) since canceling was not a contract option back on 9/13. Seems the guy thought that was totally unfair and started calling the company 9/15 to see what the deal was. He called 8 times all the way up to 9/30. Some calls were only a minute but two calls were 4 & 2 minutes long. I would love to have heard those "recorded for customer service" calls! "Yes, the phone I stole back in July and have been using because they didn't realize it till this month, yeah, it's not working now." Ah yeah, sorry about that! Part of me wants to text the number on the phone bill and let the person know that by the way, the "guy" you've been talking to is a criminal... talk about upset! But oh well...

So my weekend... Friday is rather a blur. Lizzy had practice, Rich had a game. Needless to say I was at the field. To put it mildly it was a full fledged fireworks game! Parents, often, during fall ball, especially at the younger ages, "think" they understand the game, and in some cases are smart enough to just admit they are clueless. In Friday nights case it was a combination of both. Which can create a recipe for disaster. On one hand you have parents that think rules are a certain way, and on the other you have parents that are clueless so they think they are learning from "informed, educated" parents. Unfortunately, very often it couldn't be further from the truth. I knew the game was in trouble when I sat down and listened to the official score keeper, the score board operator, and the pitch count recorder, all of which were 3 different people. Which, for the record is fine, if ANY of them understand the game, and their roles. But when the first foul ball was hit and the discussion started as to what that was considered (a ball or strike) I knew we were in trouble. Then as the count continued, ball, strike, foul ball- (at this point based on what I just said- the could would be 2-Strikes, 1-ball)- however the score board had 3-balls, 1-strike- cause as the operator "argued" the umpire only said "strike" once! Oh my! Then another foul ball, and another! Now this kids was battling, impressive to watch... I look over at the score board thinking they would have fixed his count- still (2-strikes, 1- ball), No, the balls have cleared out as have the strikes because they are arguing at this point the kid should have "walked"- ah what? And as for the pitch count- yeah, she isn't sure at this point if she is suppose to count these "pretend" pitches. I get up and walk away- this is the first batter.

I come back... The coach is asking for pitch count along with some other questions from the other night. They look at him like he has horns- "we don't have that information". It's the second inning, maybe the third- at this point I am leaving so many other details about screaming parents it would make any non-sports parent nuts.
Then my favorite play of the night. Kid hits ball, ball hits fence (dead ball), catcher catches ball (hey, cool heads up! sorry it hit the fence first but way to move). Parents are going wild! It's an OUT!!! Umpire motions dead ball/calls foul ball (we won't even go into what goes on over at the score table)... the kid heads back over to bat. The parents actually get upset because "the kid is out". At which point I can't take it anymore and turn and say, "DEAD BALL, it hit the fence before he caught it". Thinking (silly me) that would be good enough. Till I hear, "but he caught it".... someone shoot me now!

I truly believe parents should be required and I mean REQUIRED to sit through a rules and regulations of the sport their kid is playing before their kid takes the field. Maybe not learn all the tiny rules in the 100 page book that even some of the umpire/referees aren't even sure about, but LEARN something before being allowed to sit in the stands and just yell. And for the record YOUR 8 year-old is NOT I repeat NOT Derek Jeter! Heck Derek Jeter isn't always Derek Jeter! Stop acting like your kid is the only one on the team that can get things done, or is worth anything. Unless he walks off the field and money falls off him, he's just an 8 year-old out there trying not to embarrass himself as much as he is trying not to embarrass you. Lord knows he doesn't want to hear about how crappy he played the whole way home. This was suppose to be "fun" remember at sign-ups? Yeah! Keep that in mind next time you decide to scream across the field!

So as I sat at the field watch parents in their various stages of cutting their children down (with a few adding encouraging words). My own daughter pops up from practice, she was at the same complex, just at another field. I was a little surprised to see her because it was pretty early. Oh come to find out, she was catching without her gear on (somehow this part comes as no shock), and took a pitch right to the shin. It actually busted open skin. I look at her and ask (in front of these parents who are screaming at their kids), "do we need to leave or did you just need dirt" (we have a saying "rub some dirt in it"). She said "I need dirt and they told me to come tell you cause I think the coach feels bad for hitting me". I told her she should feel bad for not wearing her gear, and she either needed to head back to practice, or pack it up. Yeah, I know, based on my earlier paragraph that seems a tad harsh. But I know the rules (9th year in) and I also know that my daughter should have NEVER been behind the plate without her gear. So if she got hurt, I kind of really don't have TOO much sympathy for anyone involved, and I'm not really happy with her coach for allowing it!

She gets up and says, "you know where to find me", gives me a hug and walks away. I hear a Dad behind me snicker and say, "how is it the girls are so much tougher than the boys?" Hmm, are they- or is the parents? If my son had pulled that crap- it would have been the same answer- and if memory serves it may have happened a time or two... "rub some dirt in it!"

Saturday morning seemed to come pretty early. Rich had a double header. And I almost dreaded the idea that more "smart" parents were going to take aim at him. I headed to the field, not that I can protect him, he doesn't need it, but because I do like being there (not the field but with him). But the nice part came when we got there. See like I said, Rich doesn't need me there, he just seems to like me there. And when I say "need me there" I mean in the sense of to protect him from the mean parent. We arrived and he was once again "rock star" umpire status with parents and kids alike saying hello. See, in all the years he's been umpiring he hasn't thrown anyone out. He hasn't needed to. Not because people haven't acted up, they sure have pushed the limits, and to be honest there have been several games that knowing some of the other umpires the way I do, some would have gotten tossed. But Rich rather people learn. He'd rather that adults and players leave the game the way they came, as a team. And if they can learn something along the way, even better. If he can show them calm, composed, and respective behavior wins, he always gets it in return. So he doesn't have a need to "toss" people. Come the next morning... the very coach (manager) that lost the night before in a MASSIVE game where parents were yelling and hollering, happened to work WITH my husband on the field as his field umpire. RESPECT. For the game, for the person, for the calls.

So despite my weekend (last weekend) being that of what seemed like a blaze of blunders, I want to look at a few seriously positive notes.

1) My son went somewhere with his older sister. Now maybe it was just to get out of the house or maybe it was just to avoid being stuck with his younger sister and her friend. But in this day and age, I am glad any time my kids are willing to spend time together and I don't have to "force" them.

2) I was able to spend some awesome time with my husband. I know this comes as a shock. Rich and I will always find and make time to be together even if we have to steal it. It may be at a ballpark, or just a dinner, but our private time is a great time for us to be together.

3) I'm a pretty darn good mom! I know my kids mess up royally. Show me anyone's kids that are totally perfect. Even Mary had to double back when she realized that her son Jesus wasn't in toe... talk about fuming! And that was before the price of gas was $3.35 a gallon. So while "rubbing dirt in" it won't solve everything in life, I sure am glad my kids know the difference and aren't afraid to jump back into "the game".

4) A "bad weekend" can be described by a few events in time that take place that really suck! But its the overall picture and my reaction that really matter. Rising above and "knocking it out of the park" so to speak is what really matters. Being a good example of "taking in on the chin" and "rolling with it", shows that life has all sorts of twists and turns that are just unpredictable, but you just have to keep going and stay the course so that you can continue being awesome.

So as Monday came last week, alot of people where hoping I had a better week... I laughed. Sure! That sounds like a great idea. I would always want great service at a restaurant, or my kids to remember their commitments, and parents to remember that their kids won't become Derek Jeter for a few more years, and all thieves get what is coming to them in the end, but I am pretty satisfied knowing that this week I am going to witness greatness and be blessed by being apart of it!

Change your point of view, change your outlook- just powerful!
Good luck at your Tournment this week Lizzy! You're awesome! Love, Mom

Thursday, October 17, 2013

On a positive note

When was the last time you wrote your child a LONG positive note? I know I am guilty of thinking I should make sure my kids know my thoughts on how proud I am of them, but don't always put it to pen and paper. But I am quick to grab a pen to let them know what they need to do (little household reminders of things forgotten).
There comes a time, I believe, when all that finger-pointing of  mistakes leads to a breakdown of will. I don't know at what age, I'll leave that to the professionals. But I do know, that you get alot farther in life with a positive note. Take for example my youngest. Grant it, she regularly defies logic any chance given. Our "Cinderella in a Tree", with her take no prisoners, rough and tough, down and dirty exterior, is easy met with the cute mis-matched knee-high socks (that's a crazy style she would love to take credit for started over 4 years ago- only because she couldn't find a pair) and nice dress/outfit that most parents would say "NO" to going outside. I've learned since she could walk, she washes, and so do her clothes. Encourage all of her actions, so she can live up to her greatness.
That said... Tuesday night she had yet another softball game. (Big shocker) Upon arriving I noticed a super cool spider web type jungle-gym. While most parents would have looked at it and thought, "oh, great, one more distraction!" I thought- "Awesome, an incentive!" As we passed by the web she got super excited and I could see her insides meet her outside as her hands started to tell me about the one just like it at another park. I calmly told her she could play on it after her game IF and only IF she hit the ball to the grass. (To date, since moving up to the higher division she hadn't done so, but has been playing really good ball none-the-less). At first, she looked at the grass field as though that was impossible, but then looking at the spider web, it became a mission. Her first at bat, BAM! Hit (grant it the hit was a tad late and she swung late) between 1st and 2nd landing where... the grass! As she rounded 1st (safe) she said to her coach, "did that hit the grass?" When her coach said, "That was an AWESOME hit, YES!" giving her a High-Five. All the sudden you see a player jump up and yell, "I'm playing on the spider web!" Now, I could have said before the game, "you've been hitting like crap this season, nothing has gone to the grass like before, what makes you think you have earned the right to play on the spider web?" BUT what exactly would that have done? Yet time and time again I hear that sort of thing played out. So sad! Instead, I turned it around, I reeled in her energy and gave her a goal. She met it with total force, and beamed the whole game. Her coaches said afterwards what a great game she played.

This morning, I started to write her a note to make sure she didn't forget her homework I had found on the table. As I wrote the note I realized, I needed to remind her of how proud I am that she is even in that class. This year as a 6th grader she is taking many 7th grade classes. In 8th grade (upon completion) she will earn as many as 6 high school credits, which will allow her to continue to work towards completing high school early and then working on college credits starting her Junior year (she can take an AP class her Freshman year for at least one credit). All that said, last year her class was inundated with information about what they attributed to the "freshman/middle school" failure. Kids entering middle school who enter a whole new world of friends, fun, and failure.  Getting in with the wrong crowd, trying to fit in, and taking classes over their heads, creates the perfect storm for disaster. Add to it social media and the constant change of friends and relationships- the storm intensifies to an all out hurricane.

Being the youngest, she does have several advantages. We have learned from many mistakes with our other two, and in doing so, learned that the SCHOOL really does matter. Sad but true. Often society is so quick to point to parents as not being involved as the quick escape goat. But having three kids in the "system", I can attest, I have three very different outcomes. And "involved" takes on a truly different meaning, when it comes to the schools, I am very sad to say.

So as her grades came out for the first grading period, being a daily watcher of the grades, thanks to an online service I like to call "parent-bust-a-kid-connect", they call it "Portal"- yeah whatever, I was able to see that when there was an assignment and it wasn't "turned-in" what was really going on. Problem- 1)teachers don't always keep their gradebook up-to-date (and they admit it at least) 2) some teachers wait till the last minute to enter grades. So your child has an A for most of the grading period then the last week of the grading period a million grades get entered and BOOM- A -> D ah WHAT happened? And of course there is NO time to do anything! Luckily in my daughters case THIS did not occur. (as far as the grade dropping). Nope, her first report card out of the "gun" she got all A's and one B (which she was crushed). In high school she would have a crazy GPA since all the classes but 1 are honors classes, so even the "B" would have been worth 4 points... (weighted).

My letter to her.... I reminded her not to forget her homework, BUT I took more time to remind her how proud I was that she was doing so well in all her classes. That despite all the pressures of middle school life, she hasn't backed away from being "Elizabeth". She continues to make us very proud.

Taking a moment to provide a positive note, might not seem like much, but I'm sure, that in the end (I mean years down the road), it will make a lifetime of a difference!

End on a positive note, I try in my Life in Blogging.

Please support other Bloggers! I have a list below and am always adding to it, check them out and support them too! Also, add a comment or two, let me know your thoughts, and as always- feel free to share with your friends, family, and strangers (although some would argue that some family are strangers- either way- share away!).

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Blogging and sticking around for the joy

When I first started to blog I truly believe part of it was a pressure pot in my brain saying "write your emotions, rather than blow something (or someone) up". I like to look back at the highs and lows of my life through my blogs and reflect at some of my greatest accomplishments. Some of my really good hair choices, along with shoes and hair designs... I mean after all, going back to school and getting two degrees is rather small compared to a really awesome pair of shoes!
A few years apart... just amazing!

I look back at some pictures of my kids. Holy moly, they are still alive! I completely have succeeded at not snapping! That alone should win me some year long Starbucks prize or a weekend trip to a spa. I always have pictures of them when they are angels, I really should take pictures when they are monsters, since blogging about them is easy enough. Oh, but then I wouldn't be able to maintain that image of whatever I am suppose to maintain. You know, that "mother-of-the-year" crap we all strive for and normally fall short on around oh, for me... January 15th- 16th... maybe sooner if it requires dishes too many times. The words "not fair, and why me" quickly get heard and I see my chances sliding before February makes its way. Oh, but then some event happens and I become "the best mom ever! Only to quickly fall from grace again when I dare to utter the word "no" or dare to suggest a room should resemble clean rather than a bombed out cavern.

At some point, maybe when they are, who knows my age, they will look back and think about all the "stuff" they were "forced" to do as they ask their maid to bring in the paper and  be grateful I prepared them for a life that would require greatness and wealth, so the wouldn't have to lift a finger. Lord knows anything less, and a hazmat team will be making frequent trips to their homes.

Yes, I enjoy my blogging do the simply fact that while yelling at home only raises blood pressure not the dust off of shelves, it has give me joy to look back over the years and see how my kids have aged. It also lets me know just were I went wrong all these years...

Yep, I'll be sticking around. I hope you do too! Please share your comments below good, bad, indifferent on how your "child raising" has progressed... or not... I'd love to hear from you!

Also :) I follow several other wonderful bloggers- support them too! Grab a cup of coffee or tea and see below for the list- have a great laugh and enjoy!

Thank you for all your support! I mean really, you could have stopped reading along time ago, but you continue to hang in there with me. You really do think I'll snap don't you? That's okay the odds makers in Vegas are leaning that way too... something about my brain and all... I forget... MS! ;)

Don't forget to "follow me" for updates!

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Deeper Scar

This morning I was fixated by a woman behind the counter at our local Dunkin Donuts. I've seen her several times, and she is the sweetest thing. But today something or I should say somethings caught me by surprise and rather off guard.
While it's never polite to stare I found myself lost, fixated almost at trying to figure out the root cause. Did it matter? Is my life really affect? Or should it be? Maybe that is the true question!

She didn't have one or two, but rather the whole top of her left arm and the left side of her chest was badly scared in what appeared to be one of two options.- a brutal horrific experience, or an ongoing personal long-term series of self-inflected pain (DEEP cutting). To be honest, as I climbed into my car thinking of the depth of the scars, I couldn't grasp which would be worse. I really wanted to go hug her and tell her she was loved. Maybe that's what she needs regardless of what the root of the cause, I don't know. But it made me think of the deeper scars that many carry, that go unseen, unnoticed, unexplained.

This month, October, a call for Domestic Violence Awareness is being promoted by wearing purple. When I received my tee-shirt, I put it on proudly, and asked others to join me and help bring awareness to a "silent scar". Little did I know at the time that all too quickly a little 2 year old would be front and center in the news as a horrible domestic crime putting a boyfriend in jail for murder, and bringing a pro-football player to his knees asking- Why? How odd- his team colors- Purple.

Time and time again we hear stories of little children, babies, too little to defend themselves, killed or seriously injured by tempers. Women beaten for saying and doing the wrong things?

While some scars are visible for the world to see, other scars are deeper in the heart, the mind, and in the soul.

Too often people shake their heads, "why don't they just leave, walk away from someone like that?"  Just image being a prisoner in your mind, believing you have no hope, no where to go, no one else, this is what you deserve, and if you do leave they'll find you and make it worse for you in the long run. Trapped. You play "nice" and hope your survival kicks in until you finally have a way to truly, safely, break free.

But the scars, they run deep. They haunt you in the night. They make you look behind your back and double-lock everything, until you are truly able to take a stand and fight back and say enough is enough.

Will I hug her the next chance I get? You know, I just might! We all need a little more love and security in our lives ... and who knows, it might be the difference in her life!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

I was a kid... Once

I think at one time or another every parent has had the feeling or even said, "don't you think I know what you are going through, I was a kid too, you know." And while it is true most people aren't born adults, (although I've had a few teachers I'm convinced never spent a moment as children) everyone started out saying and asking the same things. "No, why, not me, and... Everyone else...". Yet for some reason, generation after generation, kids seem to think they are the first to experience anything. That some how life is only ever been unfair to them. Tell that to a kid who walks miles for clean drinking water. Oh, how I love our children. But some of the "first world" problems that consume their lives and fuel their arguements crack me up. I would have never suggested to my mother that SHE vacuum my room. I mean of course I may have if my arms and legs had been broken in a freak accident and my sister (I shared a room most of my life- I know poor me) was abucted by aliens (I mean seriously who else would take them). Even then she would have looked at me and said, "the Dr said you'll be fine, you're in a hard cast, besides the aliens will return your sister in no time, stop being lazy!" Okay, so my Mom wasn't that harsh, she would have brought me the vacuum cleaner so I wouldn't have to walk so much on my broken casted legs, but hey... That's love! You get the point! The "rub some dirt in it, and get going" attitude runs deep in my family. It was as much a saying, as a family motto. I mean my sister actually did try out for cheerleading with a leg cast (no, none of her family was responsible for that) and did very well. Talk about rubbing dirt! Don't tell a "Shauger girl" she can't do something, she will, and she'll do it even better. That's how we are built, how we are made. That's about conquering, about being strong, not about being disobedient.  Then came the generation issue, the pushing the envelope. We did, times 4! I know there were several times my mom had to look at us and say... "That's right cause I was never a kid, a teen, a....". At any rate, I know she had to wonder where that envelope pushing would lead. In some cases it led to some pretty dark roads. Fortunately, none of us ever had to make that call from jail. And luckily we beat the odds, we are all still here... 4 girls- the "baby" staring at 30 this year. Now that is defying the odds! See we really do "buck" they system! But in a positive way. 
So as the new generation emerges with the belief that they hold all the answers, it's the current generation that learned a few things... Allow me elaborate... We were totally wrong! When we thought we knew it all, we knew nothing! Even the stuff we were determined we knew, that was wrong too. But we were right about a few things! We were right to watch, listen, and learn from the older generations! Our grandparents were and are jewels of knowledge, and we were smart to hang on to them. Things on the surface that may have seemed old fashioned, were so right on with their moral compass. Our parents learned from them, and while many fought them and thought they could do better, could be better. We both are realizing now, while technology has come so far, it has come at a huge cost. Our grandparents always look right at us when they speak to us, to anyone. And while some grandparents are embracing the Facebook Twitter generation (hashtag)#progress, they still know how to write a thank you note on stationary (that's paper-don't want people to have to Google too many terms here).  There's still a group, many veterans of WWII, that believe a handshake is still an agreement, a man's word is his bond, and kindness goes a lot farther than a fist. You think the war affected them? Or the war before, remember these people had parents too! 
When my parents said "no"' that was it. I'm pretty sure I'm not alone. Going up the generation tree, the story is the same. "No" has meant "No" for generations. So how did this generation learn to take "no" and turn it into "not this second, keep asking till you wear me down"? Me and my sisters tried that maybe a few times... Then my Dad heard about it... Yeah, Mom could be a push over when Dad was out of town, but when she was firm on something and we pushed it, hell hath no fury like a Mom mad... Or something like that,  I think that's how the saying goes... If not that's how it should.
Is it any surprised I can be shocked by my kids behavior, and my husband isn't? I am sure this is a pattern in households everywhere. Mom is clueless as to why her authority is taken as a joke, kids fear Dad, cause when Mom's upset Dad's double upset.... And they get double the work (you'd think they'd figure this out). Then Mom has to rely on Dad to be the "enforcer" on all things which then makes Mom "pointless/worthless". So the kids see Mom as just a babysitter "level"- nice! The I'm telling "dad" of authority. Fabulous! So this cycle continues. 
Moms... "Man up"  yeah, sounds weird! "No" has to mean "no", period, and not, "not now". Single moms everywhere don't get the "just wait till your Dad hears about this". But I'm not going to let single moms off the hook either. I know, cause I was one for a stint, and if it was guilt or just wanting to be the cool Mom, boy did I start some bad habits at an early age! It's amazing how these sweet loving kids become monsters who hate our very existence upon hearing the word "No". It's the smallest word, but can bring the smallest of children to the oldest of kids to their knees, in screaming fits of rage. Where did that sweet angel who loved me and thought I was awesome a few minutes ago, go? The begging, the texting, the non-stop bargaining begins. Yet, the whole time most (I know it runs through my head) parents are thinking, "I would never have thought to re-ask my parents". Yet, we calmly keep answering, till ultmately (under good terms) a parent snaps and buries a kid in the backyard. Totally kidding!!!! No, what normally happens these days is the kid successfully wears down the parent, the brat gets what they want and learns the number threshold for asking... (Mental note a tattoo will take at least 20 times) - ah never- nice try! Unlike my oldest who just decided to wait till she was 18 then just do stuff behind our backs (clever- whatever!), still not cool.
So mom's join with me with a deep breath and one big - "NO!" Dad's if it's just you, I salute you! Don't feel guilty, use the word too! It works, really, I promise... Again.... "NO!"

Friday, October 11, 2013

New school year, new season

For those of you dedicated readers and life followers, we did move over the summer. Dogs, bearded dragons, iguanas, and a hamster.... Then the family!  Dedicated to providing the best educational opportunities for our kids possible, while we loved the size of our old house, the location didn't work. So with lots of detailed looking further North we moved, and we got a home that suits our needs (for now). The nice thing about the house is it once was (or at least was in the process of) an assisted living home (in a neighborhood). Weird, I know. It's a 4 bedroom home, two baths, and has all the bathroom safety features. In addition, it's got a complete fire suppression system. Even better, NO stairs! The steps outside were removed and smoothed to a ramp to the front door. Total score! So yes, total perfect "me" house... But enough about me! 
Erik remains at his school (always was the plan), and Elizabeth started middle school (yikes) this is were the comments flood in saying No way, you are way too young! Well thanks, but yes, middle school! And an awesome one at that! She is in a ton of advanced classes and just hit her stride right off the bat. The first grading period ended and they both did great. Erik's goal of improving his GPA this year is right on track. Lizzy's goal is already off to an excellent start! She can be very hard on her self. 
Softball season started and with our move came the need to move to a new league. Starting "over" can sometimes be hard, but then again this is Lizzy so although she isn't catching as much as she is used to (there's 4 catchers including her and she's the youngest) she has made a statement on the field. In true Lizzy fashion, she is proving herself and making a name, on the field... Right where it belongs! Always proud! But just like always she continues to be well rounded and her request for the tree climbing never stop. I hope her husband hunts, or something, cause otherwise he'll just have to put up with her need to have a tree house... Oh well!
Erik opted out of sports this fall, he wanted to focus on school, and is looking to start working again shortly. He amazes me with his maturity. I really have done well by him. He'd never admit it, but having Rich in his life really made all the difference in the world. He has been able to see that not all men run when times get tough, that's an important lesson! 
Amanda is doing great too! Working hard, with two jobs. She finally has a car, and is looking at options for school in the very near future. I laugh when people say, "well what does she want to do?" All I can think of is gee, I'm how old and what I "want" to do continues to evolve. I laugh, look at them and say, "grow up". When your that young, having just completed high school it's imbedded in you that you go to college. You go thousands of dollars in debt, at some point you figure it all out, and bam! You get a great job. Oops, except for one thing, that last part... Those great jobs are no longer a dime a dozen, and the specialized jobs often require specialized school, with specialized debt. So while kids are drinking college away, having parties, and figuring it out, sometimes it's better to work a little while you are figuring it out. Just a thought... From an MBA.... Who happens to be married to another MBA.... But then again... I could be wrong, and it could be just another rant of mine in a life of blogging. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Decision Day

Well Decision Day came and went yesterday in the city I work in. Several cast their votes. In a city of roughly 160,851 registered voters, 49,730 spoke.  So a 30.9% turnout (not even half) of the registered voters determined the fate of the city and millions of dollars. Many will say- that's how the system works. Those who care get involved, those who don't- don't. The biggest problem- I saw, was as a primary for city council, the mayor, and a referendum. So many talked about confusion on what they were voting on. How many of those voted for something they had no idea they were voting on? How many didn't vote because they were sick of the whole thing? Either way a $50 million project hung in the balance, something teams of people have spent years (YEARS) working on.

A little misinformation goes a long way! Cries of fix what we have because it can be became the ultimate cry. But take for a moment the idea of a sinkhole home in your neighborhood. Would you sit by for years while the homeowner decided what they wanted to do? You wouldn't really have a choice, after all it is THEIR property. It's THEIR money. I mean after all unless you are willing to pay for a company to come over and do the work what else can you do? Sure you can report it, but then what? A crew comes out from the state and declares the whole neighborhood unstable. Did you know that?  After all you were trying to look out for your neighbor in the hopes it wouldn't spread, but now its too late. Years went by and the situation kept getting worse.
Often people think they know what's best, they read the newspaper, listen the news, and of course the government is always out to waste money. The idea of "refurbishing" has cracked me up to no end. The city has spent HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of dollars every year doing just that- repairing- refurbishing a deteriorating pier. You don't think part of that money was hiring someone to prevent spending money if they could. To research what options there were? At some point you have to know when a home can't be fixed... you move on. Before it swallows an entire neighborhood!

Everyone points to a COUPLE of caissons and touts their strength. For the next 20 years or so.... my son is 17, I have been here for 12 years... I am amazed what has changed in that time. 20 years from now is ALOT to gamble on... and then, there won't be funds to "fix" what's failing then...

Going back to the home... part of the home-buyers crisis that most don't talk about was the buy the most you could afford (talked about) BUT then came repairs... if you were already tapped out month to month how do you put on a new roof? How do you fix the garage door? Replace appliances? Fix leaky pipes? GOD forbid you had a pool and that started acting up! You see where I am going...

So yes, things cost money. And while people are always quick to remind government that its "their" money being spent so they should have a say on every last penny, its true, and you do. You elect people that represent you. They make those decisions. Not liking the decisions they make, sometimes stinks. But halting those decisions has enormous long-term effects.
While I don't agree with every decision ever made in government, I understand the process.
I also understand that by thwarting the process you can do more harm than good... the "decision" may have been made yesterday, but what it did was leave the city with the last 8 years of planning and hard work by many, needing to start over. THAT was a process! But then again... it is just another day in Life in blogging

Sunday, August 25, 2013

They do grow up

There was a time in my life when I really thought I would be changing diapers (not that Rich didn't) and chasing little ones forever. Erik was 5 when Elizabeth was born, he turned 6, Amanda turned 8 (yes, for those that follow, on the same day) shortly after. Having a newborn was interesting to say the least, Amanda had a "girl" she would one day play dress-up with, Erik had a "sister" he would forever have to protect while at the same time have to convince playing on the "dark side" in boy land is way more fun.  While any one who knows us, knows neither of my girls really grew up being girls... That "dark side" just had cooler toys I guess. Besides nerf gun wars are way more fun then pairing up Barbie shoes any day of the week... Yes, I did say shoes... And while both girls went through phases of loving certain dresses (I still have Elizabeth's blue dress & her "Nana" dress) in the end the dirt always won. Can I say I'm surprised? Heck no! Call it upbringing, call it genetics, or call it the opportunities they were presented. Softball started for Amanda when she was 9 (you see where this is going) and keeping our soon to be dubbed "Lizard" off the field became the biggest task. Explaining to a 4 year that she couldn't play fall ball after she broke he arm was probably one of the toughest (or so I thought). Arm in cast she would smack her arm and announce how she could still run, and it was "fine" she could play. Oh how she was miserable. With her latest injury the mere thought that she might miss a single pitch has her trying to make a come back a week too early. Stubborn, hmm yeah... I would say I have no clue where she gets that, but my mother would quickly chime in with plenty of examples including one of a track meet where I slipped and fell at the beginning of the meet in the High Jump (mind you I hadn't quite yet made my 5'5" tall stance yet) tore open my shin only to have it bandaged and finished competing the rest of the day. I have a few medals I still actually have from that event. I was no super track star, but that day... I was, and I have the medals from each event to say so! 
So am I surprised that my kids have grown up to resemble me in some manner, no not really. Am I surprised that against the odds my kids push through and figure it out, no, I'm just proud. They will continue to grow, and well I guess I'll continue to blog and brag, cause after all.... That's Life in Blogging! ;)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Amazed by people

Often people tell me they are shocked by how people treat them, then they proceed to tell me the situation. In the end, I'm not. Sad but true, most behavior is self serving and impersonal. The what have you done for me lately? Sort of thing... If you don't serve a great purpose often people toss you aside or lower you on their list of priorities. Fair? Maybe, right? Usually not. Often the people that are in the most need of human interaction, support, love, encouragement, understanding, and a moment of someone's time are often the ones tossed aside for the "stars". So what happens? That person who was already low falls lower, already feeling alone sinks a little lower, withdraws a little deeper. Someone coming to mind already? Maybe instead of focusing on just the people that make you look the greatest, do the most for you, or seem the brightest, search out the people in your life that you talk to on occasion. Find out what drives them, encourage them, get behind them, help them fly! See what happens... Then see what happens next time you see them, you may be surprised!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

She wore what?

Recently as part of our move my husband and I encouraged our kids to go through their clothes and rid themselves of anything that doesn't fit, they don't wear, or the just don't like. We also encouraged them to get rid of clothes that no matter how much they loved, if it had tears, rips, and holes- it needed to go to...

That said we decided that we would be an example. We were moving! Did we really want to carry all our clothes to the new house? We work 5 days a week, we are home 2. Even if we rush home and change out of work clothes every day... how many tee-shirts do you possibly need? 205... WRONG ANSWER! Yeah, it was clear that there was some thinning that needed to be done and it wasn't our hair we were thinking...
We found a shirt from when Lizzy was a baby and I "finger painted" their three hands on the shirt for Father's Day. Keep. We found shirts from YEARS of baseball, softball, and football where they guilt you into buying so you can sit and cheer your child on, learn to hate the coach and other parents, and in some cases some of the kids... TOSS! (HATE is a nasty word, maybe I should say learn to not tolerate). Then their were the volunteer shirts... WOW what haven't we done... Whales, we haven't saved the whales... I think there's a fat joke lurking that we really didn't want to step in so we backed away from that cause and figured they could find some skinny person willing to risk being eaten. While its great to volunteer for ah... everything, some shirt designs... ah wow! TOSS some, Keep Some! Benefit walks... now I don't know about you, but when you EARN and I mean EARN a shirt by walking/running whatever the distant and end up with blisters or that great rash - you know where... I don't know about you but that shirt becomes more than just something to collect your sweat, its almost like a badge of honor... KEEP! Long live the BOOBIES, DIABETES, HEART, AND MS PEEPS!

So after tee-shirts came all our other cloths- that was easy!
But we did do one other thing... LIKE MORONS we did allow our kids (WHAT WE WERE SETTING AN EXAMPLE) to comb through and if they had a "favorite" something they could grab it up. - So much for a clear purge!

What to do with all this... Well, we wanted to show our kids a few lessons... Sure donations are great (and trust me- stay tuned) but we wanted our kids to learn that they have options and could make money (sometimes) by getting rid of what they don't need.

We knew of a woman that buys and sells GENTLY used cloths (thrift shop). So off we went with PILES of NICE clothes. (Tee-shirts GONE).

Now mind you I was BORN in 76', I know you are all looking at the photos in pure disbelief (and that is fine). I GRADUATED high school in 94' (yes, on time!) So MOST of my clothes that I own are from 2007 and beyond... Believe it or not I do have a few items from 1996... only because of the quality!

Okay so here were are... she is going through my husbands dress shirts (mind you he is only a couple years older than me) and pants- as she sorts them she turns and looks and says- "hmm... looks like its from the 80's... " ah, okay... then she starts going through my stuff... she pulls out a few things, talking all the while about how "nice" things are, but then also saying things like "this is a 80's color, this looks early 80's, this is from late 70's, hmm, this is from what early 80's maybe, then she looks at one thing and looks at me like- hmm, you wore this..." (but that item she keeps).

Now seriously, this was ALL adult clothing... 70's I was 4 at the end, the 80's I was 14 at the end... so NO... NONE of the items are from any of those time periods, and no- none of the items where the "retro throw-back" idea....

I had two thoughts standing there (before she paid us)...
1) A simple yes/no is easy enough... I wasn't there for fashion lessons (and to be honest I wouldn't be asking her in the first place.
2) I am not sure how old she thought my husband and I were so I wasn't sure if I should be insulted or flattered, but either way it was kind of rude (see #1).

So in the end she took a bunch of stuff, paid us cash... who doesn't like cash? And we carried (okay my kids carried) the rest to the car. The rest of the clothing will be up for sale at our yard sale (God help me!) Then OFF to Goodwill or some where else...

I find it very funny she didn't even want to look at some very expensive tailored suits... but to each their own! I guess its not her market.

As for my kids... the PILE of STUFF that didn't make it to the new house grew beyond my wildest dreams! Apparently seeing mom and dad get cash for clothes we didn't want anymore was enough for them!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Growing up fast

Today the "twins" turned 19 & 17. It's hard to believe how quickly time flies. They grow up so fast. While Amanda has made it clear she isn't going any where we all know its just a matter of time. Time... Something that seems to be gone before you can blink. I'm hoping to keep enjoying watching them grow, cause they have been awesome to watch so far!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Growing up... FAST

There was a day when I thought my kids would never leave, okay, let's be honest there are still days I think that. But as conversations in my house are more "eye level" and in some cases starting to put a strain on MY neck, I have come to realize, before too long there will be more room in my house.
So... do I go with a hot tub or do I set up a bigger office? My first thought is the hot tub, but the practical side says an office seems to make more sense.
All jokes aside, oh the hot tub really isn't a joke! I will sort of miss them when they are gone. I mean I won't miss cleaning up after them. I certainly won't miss "Nobody". As in "Nobody did it". I am totally looking forward to THAT person and "Not Me" moving out! I wish I could charge those to rent for all the havoc they cause in my house. But it will be quite, I will miss the loud tv, arguing over the remote, and fights over the computer. Who am I kidding? NO I WON'T!
I will miss cleaning up after them when they were told to do chores like sweep so I could mop, only to have to re-sweep because there is no way I can mop... wait I won't miss that either.
I'll miss the way they greet me when I get home from work all happy to see me- wait I'm thinking of the dogs! The kids just want to know what's for dinner (after being home themselves for almost two sometimes three hours)- yeah getting right on that.
I'll miss the way they handle laundry! Well they do take care of their own... that is a good thing- how they take care of it... yeah I won't miss that! MARCO... POLO!

So I will miss them when they are gone, but I will rather enjoy not doubling my efforts. Who knows maybe I might learn this thing I hear about- free time? Werid!
"Hanging at the Beach Anna Maria"

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Is it any wonder?

I often wonder why people read a blog. In some cases I know people just want to check in and make sure that the person they do know hasn't gone off the deep end. In other cases I think its because people who are total strangers are hoping to see if the blogger has gone off the deep end and can shed some light on find their way back.
In either case, I know I personally like feedback! Call me silly, but nothing says "you're getting warmer" like a good ole' "comment".
Grant it I know some of my blogs are mindless rants regarding people who just annoying me with their rude behavior- I mean stupid is NOT a disability! You don't get to park in handicap parking! But I'll get back to that another day.
And I know my absences from the blog world can make for a cause for concern (okay I know no one filled a missing persons report). But fear not! I'm here! With LOTS to say, but making sure what I have to say, is worth saying...

Sunday, March 17, 2013

I could be so lucky!

I knew early that my life was blessed. I was able to see from a different sort of lens that not everyone had the sort of things I had. And while I might not have had all the latest fashions instantly, or the most expensive everything, my family provided me with so much more.
Today, I often find myself in shock with the "not good enough" generation. And while I know that each generation probably felt at one time or another the same way. It does seem the current "young" generation has life "instantly" easy. As in even mac- n-cheese has hurried up the process so as not to make them wait a second more than they have to. And yet, often you will still hear a complaint. I think that is what gets me. Remember pagers (beepers)? Remember getting excited when you not only could get one- but could afford it? I remember my first one (it was black- duh, although my second one was teal) and the bill! I remember calculating out how much I needed to have to pay for everything so as "not to worry". I loved that stupid thing! I loved hearing from my friends and calling them back, or getting the "coded messages".  It was mine, something I worked for, and it was totally good enough.
Now days kids are given cell phones as a right of passage and act as though they should automatically get every bell and whistle offered. Heck, I just got internet leaving the world of "stupid phones" upgrading into "smart phone" world... 
My favorite is clothes! I live in reality. I know that is a shocker for some of you. But I pay real money for things. So it always cracks me up when my darling kids lock on to "brands" and can't let go for dear life. Ah, the peer pressures of growing up! Trying to convince a teenager that spending $50-$70 on a shirt is silly when they can turn around and look on the clearance rack and pay $10-$20- well I must be out of my mind! And don't get me started on shoes! This coming from the shoe queen... I am smart and thrifty so DON'T tell me you HAVE to spend $75-$90 on a pair of shoes! Seriously?

I am looking forward to the day when my kids see that they have ALOT, alot more than what others have, and they are lucky! I could be so lucky for the day to come for them to realize.... they didn't have so bad!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Sunday, February 24, 2013


I have long learned that life is all about having good priorities. Setting them can be hard to figure out. I think that can be one of life's biggest lessons. You are told certain things should be first in your life and that is how you will have what they consider balance. Often people put work first and shuffle other things as they can. What I always find interesting is where family falls in the mix. Some feel that if they are loved by family enough then their actions should just be accepted. Other people value their family higher than anything and put them first. However people prioritize their lives, I often find that it does say a lot about the way I interact with them. It may not be right to judge, but if you will be so cut-throat to bail or forget the ones closest to you, then where will I be in your life? Relationships are important to me, so while I may not get super close to those that have no value in true priorities which include family, I know in my heart, I don't need those people in my life. Seems harsh? Well- where will those people be in a few years? Chances are they won't even be speaking to me, so why spend the time now? Yeah, priorities! I've got mine... the ones that will drop on a dime for me... and the ones that are mine... family, that's what it's all about!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Super Hung-over

Happy Monday! Well for those who aren't blacked-out and enjoyed the last moments of the game (the football game). Anyone not in America we actually all stop what we are doing one Sunday a year to watch commercials one time a year and in between these big huge guys run up and down a green (sometimes real sometimes totally fake grass field) and try to kill (or not) each other. Then comes Monday!
At work the next day, people talk about the what... commercials! And highs and lows of the game... in some cases there are some, rarely are there many. The best part is when the biggest talking part is the lights going out and the -"what were you doing? " takes the stage... Everyone becomes an electrical expert on what caused the issue (yet a week ago no one in the office could figure out why the copier wouldn't print- ah it wasn't plugged in). There's your real men of genius!

So while many may have not had a lick to drink (me included) the Super Bowl does tend to leave a SUPER HANG-OVER feeling of "what now?". Most are spending their morning checking YouTube and other social media sites to pick their favorite commercial (told you it wasn't about the game). While others are humming the tunes of half time... "Single ladies, all you single ladies"... ah Destiny's Child... Looking good ladies!

My hope is that this time honored tradition becomes more to people than just another reason to eat chicken. Yes the order of 120 chicken whatever was sure funny! Even if I didn't get the sauce I wanted (whatever). I hope that people will look around their company and enjoy the time spent. Because the next holiday is well... St. Patrick's day... and we all know that there is generally little remembering for most "mature" adults (shame on some of you-lol). So dip the chicken in the sauce, enjoy your friends, root for teams that all season long you had NO idea about, and enjoy the game a little more, because after all- we certainly have made this a holiday!

 Ravens Win! (MSN.COM)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Try-out pressure

First post of the new year- really? Ahh its that time again... the great fresh air of try-out pressure. What am I talking about? There is nothing GREAT about parents thinking their kid is the next Derek Jeter or Jenny Finch. Let's get a few things straight...
One- My kids are "okay- to good". Are they the best player you will ever have NO! Because for 1- they are lazy whenever you let them be 2- they rarely have a coach that pushes them (see number 1) 3- they don't see sports as there ticket out (they don't really have an "out" to be concerned with to begin with)

Two- My kids enjoy sports. At this age (my kids range from 10-18) they are not playing sports to make money. They show up at a field and want to laugh, meet people, share a common interest and leave. (In case you forgot what laughing sounds like click here- Laughter). I know... weird uh?

Three- My kids enjoy learning- I know STOP the presses! But each year since they have started playing sports we have watched as they have barely been able to figure out what they were suppose to do, to now when they get it. Grant it, they aren't Derek Jeter... No Peyton Manning living under my roof... but they continue to improve... that's what its about!

Four- My kids LIKE getting dirty. I know there are people that just rolled their eyes at the thought of another load of laundry. Not me! I like the fact that on any given day my worst fear is trying to get out a stain from clothes not the couch. (I have the dogs to give me that head ache). I'll take dirty clothes over busted game controllers any day... ACTIVE- I love it!

Five- My kids have learned "its not fair". You don't always win, and not everyone gets a trophy. Calls don't "always" go your way (even if your Dad is the umpire!). And RESPECT is the only thing you can walk away with that YOU control. Doing the right thing, no matter how hard it is... makes things fair...

I might not be the best parent, and Lord knows I have made my share of mistakes... but I do know... that come try-out time each year my motto is always the same...
"Be Excellent in everything you do... its your name (number) out there... Show them who you are.. the rest well.. you can't control... make yourself proud! I already am!"

Lizzy Batting, Erik umpiring

Lizzy right before Tournament

Lizzy Catching, Erik behind the plate

Lizzy sliding into home....

My Blue.... Sectionals 2012