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Friday Five

Although it was a short week due to the holiday, it seems like a really long week.  So glad it is Friday!

1.  My 20th Class Reunion is this weekend.  That's my 20th High School reunion.  Let me clarify for you, that means I have been out of high school for two decades, or one fifth of a century, or twenty years.  Man, I'm getting old.

2.  My upcoming class reunion did give me a perfect reason to shop for a new dress and new shoes.  I am now the proud owner of this really cute little black dress (with a bit of white detailing) and some hot black peep-toe sling back heels.  At least I'll look good while feeling old.

3.  I need to paint my toes.  Well my toenails, not my entire toe.  That would just look silly.  Debating between bright red, or a shiny pink color.  Any recommendations?

4.  It's amazing.  Even though I live in the same town as many of my high school classmates, I  rarely ever see them.  And when I do see them, it is usually at some school function and we just spend three minutes saying "Hi, how are you, kids are getting so big..."  I'm so excited to see my friends from high school and actually get to sit down and talk for a while!

5.  We leave for vacation in 27 days!  It will be our first big family vacation with the girls.  We are heading to Myrtle Beach, the girls have never seen the beach, well except for the pictures I have been showing them on the internet.  We are all so psyched!  I'm just hoping we make it there before the oil does!


Well, happy weekend all! 

Heading to LA!!

It's official,  I have registered for the SCBWI Summer Conference in LA!

I can't wait!  It will be my first SCBWI International conference.  I am expecting to come back inspired and full of knowledge, and tired.

And I also get to see a dear old friend of mine from college, with whom I have recently reconnected with via Facebook.

Woot!  Woot!

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Friday Five

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! 

1.  I am now the proud mommy of a Pre-K Graduate and a soon to be first grader.  Man, with one in 1st grade and one in Kindergarten next year, we are sure going to be busy with all that homework!!

2.  Woot!  Woot!  Lee!  I loved Crystal on American Idol, but my heart belonged to Lee.  I would have been equally happy to see either of them win, but I am so glad that Lee won!  YAY!!

3.  Our Annual Family Reunion is Sunday.  I can't wait!  We get to see family that we only see this time every year, and kick their butts in a very heated game of Wiffle Ball!

4.  Heading to the Farmer's Market in the morning!  My mouth is watering already just thinking about the fresh produce that is waiting for me.

5.  Speaking of American Idol, was there some kind of requirement that all the female performers had to wear black, skin-tight, ugly cat suits?  Go back and watch it again.  And not everyone looks that good in a black, skin-tight, ugly catsuit, if you know what I mean!


Have a great weekend all!!

Thankful Thursday

Wow, it's been a while since I've posted here.  Sorry about that, apparently I have not had much to say!

Here's a few things I am thankful for on this deary, gloomy Thursday.

1.  I am thankful that Lee DeWyze made it into the American Idol finals!  He's so adorable with that crooked little shy smile.  And boy, is he talented.


2.  I'm thankful that my baby girl is graduating from Pre-K tomorrow!  She's been singing her graduation song all week and I can't wait to go to the graduation ceremony!!


3.  I'm thankful for my family.  I'm thankful for my baby girls and all the joy, and chaos, they add to my life.  I'm thankful for my husband, who may not be perfect, but is perfect for us.  And I'm thankful for my parents, who have always been there for me when I needed them.  My mom is celebrating her 61st birthday this weekend.  Happy Birthday Mom!


4.  I'm thankful for t-ball.  Both girls are playing this year and it is so darn cute to watch them!  I got to be the third base coach last night, and I just want to say that it is nearly impossible to get those little kids to run around the bases, especially when you don't know all their names!  "RUN, RUN, little dude, RUN!!"


5.  And I'm thankful for chocolate, Mountain Dew and coffee. 


Have a great Thursday!

(Is it bad that I just realized I put Lee Dewyze higher on my thankful list today than I did my family?  That is not an accurate reflection of my priorities, seriously, well....)  :)

Friday Five

1.  My big girl said something that made me laugh the other day.  We were going through boxes of Spring/ Summer clothes and putting away winter clothes.  We only found 1 shirt to fit her (out of 3 boxes).  So she said, "You know what this means, don't you?  It means we need to take a shopping trip to the Ozarks."  (As a side note, we live about 3 hours from the Lake of the Ozarks and try to go there once or twice a year and shop in the big outlet mall.)  At age 6, I feel I have trained my girls right - always looking for a reason to go shopping!

2.  My little one said something funny the other day also.  They were over at a friends house playing and the boys were chanting "Girls go to Jupiter to get more stupider."  When they came home, the little one was telling me about it.  Then she says, "That's not right!  Girls go to California to get more clothes and shoes!"  LOL  She's only 5 (well, 5 on Monday).  And we have never been to California at all, let alone to get more clothes and shoes.  Ahhh, I love my girls!

3.  Big birthday party planned for Sunday.  My little one is turning 5!  She asked for "all the pink dresses, and maybe a pink toy" for her birthday.  She's getting 2 pink dresses, and a pink bicycle. 

4.  We are heading to the Chicago area VERY early tomorrow morning for my niece's First Communion.  It will be a long day, but worth it.

5.  Spring weather in central Illinois means it's beautiful one day, storming the next, windy the next and cold the next.  Today is starting out beautiful and ending up stormy.  You gotta love spring in central Illinois!

An Eventful Weekend


Wow, what a weekend, and it wasn't all good.

My girls had their first t-ball practice on Saturday afternoon, which went well.  I'm pretty sure I have two future baseball stars, or at least, we'll have a really great summer t-ball season this year!

After t-ball the girls were playing with some neighborhood kids while I relaxed with a book for a bit.  A while later they showed up at home with the neighbor's mom.  Turns out, one of the girls they were playing with was pulling my little one up the slide, they all heard a "pop" and my little one started crying. 

She is generally a pretty tough cookie and will shake off minor injuries, but this was different.  So we piled in the car, called dad to tell him where we were headed, and took off for the emergency room.

After a painful x-ray, the doctor decided she had Nurse Maid's Elbow, which just means that the ligament that holds the bones together at the elbow had slipped over the end of the bone.  Painful, but not broken.  The fix?  The doctor needed to slip the ligament back over the bone.  This is easily done, but very painful. 

My baby girl screamed like I have never heard her scream before, and there was nothing I could do to stop it.  But we got through it.  She eventually was able to go home, once she showed the doctor she could move it.

It is still hurting her quite a bit and she still won't move her arm much.  I know it still hurts her, because she isn't much of a whiner when it comes to that stuff.  Hopefully the pain will end soon and she can continue on with being an active kid.  If not, we'll call the doctor and have it checked out again.

Sunday started with another trip to the emergency room, only this time it was my dad.  He had an infection in his leg (that he should have had checked out prior to Sunday, but he didn't), and when he finally called someone about it, they told him to go to the hospital immediately, it could be a blood clot.

Well, after hours of testing it was not a blood clot.  For a while, they were thinking Congestive Heart Failure (which I am still not sure we can outrule this one yet), but eventually they settled on a diagnosis of staff infection and sent him home with lots of medicine. 

Whew, that was a close one.

I don't like spending my weekends in and out of the emergency room and waiting on updates from the emergency room!

And on a much happier note, check this out!  This is my cousin and his wife.  What an exciting entry onto this planet by their baby, and he was born on my dad's birthday!

http://www.todaystmj4.com/news/local/91441919.html

Good News, and Suggestions (Please)

I have a few bits of good news to report.

First,  I completed my third half marathon this past Saturday.  I signed up to participate in the Lincoln Memorial Half Marathon in Springfield this year.  In the past year, I have been trying to turn myself into a runner.  I would not call myself a runner, yet, but I'm getting there.

I completed Saturday's half marathon in 2 hours and 43 minutes!  The last half marathon I completed in September, was done in about 3 hours and 6 minutes.  My very first half marathon last April, I did in 3 hours 10 minutes.  That's an improvement of 27 minutes in a year!  My goal for Saturday was to complete the race in under 3 hours.  Well, I feel I blew that goal right out of the water! 

The only problem with that time is this:  next time, I'll have to set my goal even faster, and I don't know how much faster I can go!  Oh well, I'll just keep working at it.  Maybe one of these days I can beat my sister, who completed her very first half marathon on Saturday in about 2 hours and 23 minutes (YAY Steph!!).

Second, my friend and I booked our hotel and flights for the SCBWI LA conference this summer!!  Once registration opens up at the end of this month, we're in!  We are so excited.  This will be the first SCBWI LA conference for both of us.  We are going in with different goals, but we will have a great time together!  I can't wait!

Finally, I am really excited to be hosting Bunco this Friday for the first time.  And I am planning my food and drink (and maybe prizes - this is where I need your help) around this really fabulous drink and meal I had at the Brazilian Steakhouse in DC.  I'm making Caipirinha's for the Bunco gals, which is the national drink of Brazil.  And I have a couple of ideas of some food/ appetizers I want to make.  I was just wondering if anyone has any suggestions for food I need to make or prizes that I can give away that might go along with this Brazilian theme.  

Thank you in advance for your help! 

Have a great day, hopefully it is as sunny where you are as it is here today!

My critique group this year has decided to celebrate our rejctions.  I know, it sounds odd, but it has been strangely inspiring. 

We developed what we call the "Rejection Challenge".  Each month when we meet, we each share any news from the past month, which includes personal and writing.  We share how many submissions we have sent off, how many acceptances (and there have been a few already this year!!) and yes, how many rejection letters we have received in the past month.

We have assigned a points value to each rejection, acceptance and release.  Once we meet a goal of 100 points, we are celebrating by taking a day and going to a local winery for a wine and cheese party!  We are really close to this one.  The next level is a day trip to Anderson Bookstore in Chicago, via the train.  And finally, our top level award is a weekend retreat, to a yet decided location, in which we will all get away, enjoy each others company, and hopefully be inspired to write. 

Why do I mention this?  Well, I received my second rejection letter of the year yesterday!!  YAY!!  Well, not really YAY, but I am celebrating the fact that I put something out there, and someone has read it, and even though it didn't fit into their plan at the time, it is out there.  So, I repeat, YAY!!

Moving on.....

American Idol is a bit lackluster this season, but we still have a few gems out of the bunch that I look forward to seeing every week.  I love Crystal Bowersox, she is so talented.  I love her whole look and her whole vibe.  She's just cool.  And I like that.  I also love Lee Dewyze.  Not only is he a hottie, but he can sing.  I wish he would be just a bit more confident, and blow the roof off the place, cause I know he can!  And how about that Siobhan (I can't remember her last name, but with a first name like that, who cares)?  If the others aren't careful, she going to sneak right up and knock them all out.  She's awesome! 

But that's just my two cents......

I know I am always a bit late to the game, but I am just now reading The Book Thief, and it is AWESOME!!  I love this book.  I wish I wrote it.  I wish I could write something that is even half as good as this book.  If you are like me and haven't read it yet, I strongly suggest you go to the local bookstore or library and get it in your hot little hands immediately.

And speaking of good books, I just ordered my autographed copies of Shiver and Linger.  I rush home from work everyday looking for them in my mailbox.  I know I probably won't be getting Linger anytime really soon, as it is not even out yet, but a girl can hope, can't she? 

And now a bit of whining......

I have done something to the bottom of my foot, but I don't know what.  It hurts.  It hurts when I walk, which means it will probably hurt when I run.  I am signed up to run a 5K this Saturday, and I need to get in one last long run before my half marathon next weekend.  I sure hope it stops hurting very soon, or it could be a painful couple of weekends.  UGH!!!

Weekend in Review

Another weekend is over, and it was shorter than usual, you know, with the time change and all.

Friday night was Bunco night.  For those of you who do not play Bunco, it's really just an excuse for a bunch of girls to get together and eat, drink and have a good time without husbands, kids, pets, etc.  Next month I get to host Bunco at my house.  I am really excited as I do not get to entertain much.  At least not without involving a bunch of kids, goody bags and pinata's, or a UFC pay-per-view fight and a bunch of grown men staring at the TV for hours, stuffing their faces with chips and some dip my husband requested. 

I am creating my entire Bunco theme around this really fabulous drink I had in Washington DC.  It was a type of "brazilian margarita" that I had at the Brazilian steakhouse.  Now I have to come up with a whole Brazilian appetizer menu and prizes to go along with my theme.  I get the whole "Let's have a theme" obsession from my mother.  But oh, am I looking forward to that drink!

Saturday was the St. Patrick's Day Parade, which was a good time.  And it also solidified my status of a "Bad Mom" for the day.  We took our girls out to the drizzly parade (they were wearing coats and hats and gloves, so it's not that bad), and had to leave early because my little one was miserable from her ear infection that we had suspected for a few days beforehand.  We went straight to urgent care, got a prescription for antibiotics, out for lunch and then finally home to rest.  Just so you know, she's much better today.  We did no permanent damage by making her go to the parade first.  Whew!!

Yesterday I got to meet my Great Nephew for the first time.  He is so adorable and so little.  He is almost a month old and still smaller than both of my girls were the day they were born.  When I first held him, I looked at my hubby (who has just recovered from that procedure that causes us not to have babies anymore), and said, "Well, maybe I'm not done yet."

"It's too late!!" he replied.

"We haven't been cleared yet, maybe we can still get one more live shot."

Then the baby started crying and needed changed and fed.  Never mind.  I like the sleepy, precious teeny tiny baby.  Not the crying, up all night, back talking kids they grow up to be later, baby.  My two girls are perfect and are all I need or want.  (But I still like holding the baby!)

Today, I am really tired.  That time change always throws me off for a few days.  I didn't get to bed until midnight last night, and that darn alarm went off at 5:45 this morning.  Yuck!  To bed early tonight, as I am sure my girls are feeling as sluggish as I am today.

Happy Week to you all.

Literature in Kindergarten

My 6 year old is in Kindergarten and has learned SO much this year.  It still amazes me every day.

The last few weeks, the kindergarten classes have been focusing on books and authors.

Because last week was Dr. Suess' birthday, they celebrated and studied Dr. Suess books.  Paige was really excited as she loves Dr. Suess, especially The Cat in The Hat.  She was so excited to take her Cat in the Hat book for show and share last week.

The whole week culminated into one great moment as I was picking her up from the day care on Friday afternoon.  The conversation went something like this.

Paige:  Mom, can we go to the grocery store tonight?
Me:  What for?
Paige:  We need eggs and ham and green food coloring.  We made green eggs and ham at school today and I like them?  They are really easy, it's just eggs, green food coloring and ham.
Me:  Well, we probably won't go to the store tonight, but maybe later this weekend.
Paige:  But mom, I love green eggs and ham.  I would eat them in a house.  I would eat them with a mouse.  I would eat them in a box and I would eat them with a fox.  Mommy, can we please have green eggs and ham.  I love them,  I love them.  Please....
Me:  (smiling) Would you eat them here or there?  Would you eat them everywhere?

Wow, what fun that was.  Well, you can probably guess what we had for supper the next night, can't you?

This week, her class is studying Robert Munsch.  I am so excited that she is learning about books and authors at such a young age.

And this past weekend, she decided she wanted to read a book that was not one of the ones sent home by her teacher.  She pulled a Mo Willems book off the shelf, one of the Elephant and Piggie ones.

Her little sister spilled a little water on one of the pages and it warped the paper a bit, nothing too damaging, but she was really concerned. 

Paige:  Daddy, Megan spilled water on one of our special books.
Daddy:  It'll be ok.  Why is that book special?
Paige:  Because it is signed by Mo Willems.
Daddy (to me):  What did she just say?
Me:  That the book is signed by Mo Willems.
Daddy:  Oh, that's crazy that she knows the author Mo Williams.
Me:  No, it's Willems, not Williams.  She knows.  I love it!!


This stuff just makes me happy.  (Oh yeah, and she read the entire book with very little help from daddy.)

Happy day all!!

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