Thursday, October 30, 2008

Arizona really was a blast...

The plan was simple. Go to visit Jenny P in Arizona and sit by the pool and that is exactly what we did. No going for pedi's or lunch or shopping. Nope, we got up and sat by the pool. The guy upstairs must have known how much I needed a little R&R because the weather was warmer than usual, low 90's. Now the pool was a little too chilly to swim, so we had to make due with the hot tub (I know poor us) and there we sat with wine in hand and just talked and talked and talked.

It was a quick trip and the first time I think Joj has been home alone with the kids. Everyone survived so I'm hoping that I will be able to go down again for even longer next time. However, now it is back to reality and the rush of being back home. Joji was very sweet and did some cleaning while I was gone, but there is always more to do. We are having some friends over for dinner this weekend and I need to go shopping and tackle some laundry. Oh and how could I forget, today is Halloween party day at school. (This is the first year I'm not responsible for anything. I just get to show up, yay)

Yup, the vaca was short, but so oh so wonderful. Jenny asked if my trip would be blogworthy. Duh, of course. I told her that I needed to take a picture of us for it and here are our attempts. I liked the first photo, she liked the second one,
so we spilt the difference on the third.
Me and Jenny P. BFF's since Kindergarten. We've come a long way baby!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Awesome! Totally Awesome!

Who other than Jeff Spicoli to sum up last night events. It was the most amazing evening and Joji was completely blown away.

Here is a pic of him griping about having to drive all the way up to Seattle for dinner. Of course we hit traffic trying to exit at Mercer (for those of you who are not from Seattle, we have the WORST traffic problems) and it made us late. After getting the "where are you?" text I made Joji drop me off in front of the restaurant while he went to park. Thankfully, street parking is nearly impossible to find and I had a few minutes to get everyone settled. When Joji finally go to the restaurant, it was pretty packed (Homecommingers galore) and he was antsy to get seated. While on our way back to the table, we bumped into on of his buddies on his way back from the little boys room.
Joji was all "hey, what are you doing here?"
Poor Dave's response "having dinner"
Joji "we should get together soon"
Dave "okay" giving me the panicked look
Joji "where is out table, I'm starving and want to eat"
Me "Uh, turn around Joj"
And there, right behind him, was a table full of his bestest high school buddies. This little group of boys have not all been together in almost 20 years. Joj was speechless. I was practically jumping up and down doing "the girl clap" I was so happy to all worked out.

I had begun putting all of this together in May and for me not to tell Joji about this was probably the hardest thing I've ever done. I'm NOT a good secret keeper and I knew how much he would like it. What made it more difficult was reconnecting with folks and not being able to tell Joji what all his buddies were up to. Of course, I told everyone else within earshot and still Joj never found out. Even Ben and Sam kept the secret (very impressive) For months I was emailing and calling to get everyone there. I almost got the whole gang, but a last minute business trip made the group one short. Still, 7 out of 8 isn't too shabby.
The plan for the evening was for everyone to meet at Bucco De Beppos for dinner and then the boys would be on their own. I had arranged for a room downtown so they would have a place to crash. I figured they would want to go out on the town and raise a little cain (the running joke was the goodie bags would contain cigars and singles) and I wanted to make sure no one would have to drive home. I had also arranged a ride home for myself so not intrude on all the male bonding. However, that isn't exactly the way the evening went.
Instead of whooping it up, the group decided to go straight to the hotel and play some cards and reminisce about the good old days. Now, when I picked this particular hotel, I chose it for a couple of reasons, most of them had been there before and it was a block and half from the restaurant. I sent them directions and we even stood out side the restaurant and pointed to it. You would think that 7 grown men would be able to find the place no problem. Well, guess again. After Joji and I were waiting in the lobby for almost an hour the cell phones started ringing and it seemed that they boys ended up at 3 different hotels. How? we are still unsure. One group ended up at Northgate which involved getting on the freeway (did I mention you could see the hotel from the restaurant?)
Eventually everyone found their way and it was just like old times. I managed to sneak Joji's zune and dock so we had some festive tunes to listen to. Van Halen, Rush, Ozzy, Scorpions... we had it all. Even a little Iron Maiden that stopped everyone in their tracks in order to sing along (not the prettiest of sights, but very funny) I had made some goodies for them, but I misread the room description and there was no oven. There was a microwave and that just did not work to cook the sausage balls. I was a little bummed. However, I did make a couple of pies and those were a big hit.
After I served up the pie and made sure everyone was settled, I called my friend to come and pick me up. However, there was no answer. I called a couple of more times and still no answer. Now, I have to say that I never really wanted to leave, but felt like the boys would be more comfortable without a girl in the room. Yeah, they didn't care, just the old days. As long as there was someone to fetch drink and dish up pie they were good. Needless to say, I was very glad I got to stay. Most of us managed to stay awake for quite a while, but when 4:30 rolled around it was time to hit the sack. Around 7:30 the cell phones started ringing with wives calling to make sure their husbands had survived. Soon everyone was packed up and going their separate ways.
I still can't believe it is over. It was such a great night. Chances are it won't happen again so I'm incredibly thankful I was able to be a part of it. For one night, we were all 15 again and it was great.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Not since 1998...

This is basically what I looked like yesterday at 3:30. I subbed yesterday in an all day K class. Up until now all my subbing has been half days and that has been just fine with me. But when someone calls you and asks you personally to sub, it is kind of hard to say no. Plus the unexpected fuel pump replacement in Joj's car put a dent in the old family budget, so I figured why not?

I must admit I was nervous. It was an integrated K which means there are kids with special needs in there (there was also an assistant which was very helpful). "IK"'s really range in the severity of disabilities, but in this class there were just a few kids with speech issues. I was very pleased that the day went pretty well. No screaming matches and chair throwing like my stint in the "regular ed" K. Yup, the class was great and the teacher had them doing all kinds of fun projects. Her room was set up so wonderfully (you can tell soooo much about a teacher by their room) and the kids were very well trained (another sign of a good teacher)

By the end of the day I was pooped. I started thinking and realized that the last time I taught a full day of school was in 1998! Yikes, that was 10 years ago. Not only that, I didn't have to come home to a family that needed stuff like food and attention :0) I was so glad that Joj's sister was coming over to make dinner. Is it just me or food taste sooo much better when someone else makes it. Needless, to say I hit the hay early last night.
If I ever decide to take this subbing thing seriously, I think I could work every day. I got 5 calls last night and I've already gotten 2 this morning. The last call was for a job that started in 20 minutes. Hmmmmm, that's not good.

Today I'm testing for a couple of hours then I'm off to the grocery store to pick up last minute items for Joji's present. 24 hours to go and I can't wait. It is going to be fantabulous!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I've got a secret...

Joji is turning 40 on Thursday (poor guy)
To make the passing of his youth a little more bearable I have gotten him a really great gift. I have been working on this for 5 months. I am now only days away from seeing the look on his face when he sees it and I'm going insane.
I am not one for keeping secrets so this has been sooooooo hard for me. He has absolutely no idea what it is and if he didn't read this blog, I would spill the beans here. Even though his actual bday is on Thursday, he has to wait until Saturday. I'm hoping this gift will make him feel like a kid again. Any guesses??

Friday, October 17, 2008

Holy Blog Hits Batman

Every morning when I pull up my little blog I check to see how many hits it got the previous day. Most days I can actual put names to the hit numbers since it is usually around 15. I know that isn't huge, but it is more than just my mom reading so that makes me feel good. This morning when I checked, it said that I had 106 hits. What?? Even when I have participated in blog "parties", I never got that kind of traffic. What I find even more funny was that yesterday's post wasn't anything exciting. The only thing I can think of is that yesterday when I googled "Ann Lander's Lemon Meringue Pie" my post about it came up second on the list. I thought that was pretty cool and maybe that is were they came from. I doubt my blog will ever have the numbers of "The Nester" or "Pioneer Woman", but for the faithful few who keep tabs on me, I would just like to say a great big THANK YOU!! I feel like I have made friends all over the world. Today marks my 200th post so I think it is fitting to thank everyone who has keept me going.
So from my little blog to yours, thanks and Happy Friday!!
For those of you who are curious as to how my subbing in Kindergarten went, I had a student throw a chair and scream at the TOP of his lungs how mean I was (this was in the first 15 minutes). The good news was by the end of the day we were buddies. Hopefully, I will be able to sub in there again. Ahhh, teaching. Never a dull moment :0)
Okay, I just found an old draft that has messed up my post numbers so I'm really sitting at 199 (insert a BIG eyeroll) Doesn't matter, you guys are still the best :0)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Kindergarten Here I Come

Today I am subbing in my friend's Kindergarten class. I'm so excited. I LOVE teaching Kindergarten. To make things even nicer, she only has 14 kids in her class. How great would that be. Sam's class this year is 24 (that is too big in my opinion). It is only a half day K which is fine with me. I might even be able to go out and do some testing afterwards. With the holidays around the corner (yikes) I need to start squirreling away as much moola as I can.
Yesterday's trip to the pumpkin patch was kind of a bust. We went to a different patch and it wasn't as good. First off, no hayride. What is up with that?? They did have some animals and lots of games for the kids to play, but the kids wanted to play the games and not get pumpkins. There was a HUGE pile of wood chips and the most of the kids spent their time playing king of the hill. I don't know, I always enjoy going out into the field and watching the kids try and find the biggest pumpkin and then watch as they realize Mommy isn't going to carry it and so they must rethink their choice. I'm thinking that maybe another trip to the pumpkin patch is in order. I think the weather is supposed to be good this weekend.
Okay, this is kind of random, but I just had to vent. Yesterday I had to buy a card. Now I'm not a "card person" and all I really wanted was a blank card big enough to send a CD in. Can I just say that I went to 3 stores and was only able to find 3 blank cards (and they were pretty lame to boot) I really missed the days of the Far Side cards. I would always send those. They weren't mushy or dorky, just very funny. So after 3 stores and an hour of searching I went to purchase my card and it was $3!! What?? But I needed to get it into the mail so bought it. I can only imagine how much the fancy cards with music cost, yikes. Okay, I'm done venting.
Well, it is 6:40 and I need to get going. I hope everyone has a good Thursday :0)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

We're off to the pumpkin patch

Today is Sam's class trip to the pumpkin patch. This is always a fun trip. The weather should be good, cool but clear, and it hasn't rained much lately so the mucky mud shouldn't be too bad. The farm we are going to is a neat one. In addition to pumpkins, they have a small dairy farm. I always think it would be fun to live on a little farm, but then you start to think about how much work it really is and then the idea is less appealing.
A few years ago on PBS they did a show called Frontier House where they took modern families and plopped them in the Montana wilderness as homesteaders. It was so interesting. Of course the city slickers didn't do too well. I don't think the poor wife ever sat down. She was stuck with a brood of 7 that were less than eager to help. I have a feeling that wouldn't have flown back in the day. Anyway, if you are ever channel surfing and stumble across it or at the library and see it, you should definitely check it out.
Back to the pumpkin patch... One of my favorite parts of the pumpkin patch field trip is all the great pics. There is something about rosy cheeked kids hugging big orange pumpkins that always make for a great photo. Hopefully, the battery in my camerae will last. Well, I better be off. I have to make a couple of "completely disposable lunches" and try and find a pair of boots for Sam.
Happy Wednesday Everyone!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Mother of the Year

Move over June, I just tried to send Sammie to school with no shoes. Good thing she was paying attention. Here I thought she didn't want to leave because she wanted to give me more hugs and kisses. If this is any indication of my Monday, I'm a little worried :0)

Friday, October 10, 2008

It's never good news when the phone rings at 5:15 AM

So there I was sound asleep when the phone rings at 5:15. I thought it was the school district calling for me to sub. Ben had just crawled into the big bed so he answered and then I heard, "put mom on the phone". Apparently Joji's car is dead and he is 3 blocks from home. Great. I have to get up and go get him. I was very glad that Ben is old enough to "babysit" Sam for a few minutes so I didn't have to wake, dress and cart them along.

We tried to jump the car, but no dice. When Joj called AAA we were told it was a least an hour for a tow. Luckily we were just a couple of blocks from home and we were able to come here and wait for the tow truck as opposed to the middle of Northshore Parkway. But now, this means a trip to the mechanic and that is never cheap. To top things off, today Joji was supposed to meet his new boss. What a way to start things off by calling in with "car trouble" on a Friday. I may have to do some brown nose baking. Boeing is kind of mess these days and we want to keep Joji there as long as possible. Heaven forbid I would have to go back to work. I know, wah, wah, wah. I guess I'm actually very lucky that considering the way things are going I can walking to a decent paying job relatively easily.

Speaking of working, I got called by my friend to sub next Thursday in her Kindergarten class. I'm so excited. It is just a half day K and she only has 14 kids. What a dream job. I'm very jealous. I love Kindergarten and when I go back that is definitely were I will teach. Kindergarten is so important. It sets the tone for how kids feel about school. When I was teaching, I felt a lot of pressure to have my students really enjoy school and feel successful because I knew first grade would come along and crush them. How sad is that. Okay, I have officially become Debbie Downer.
Well, the kids are up now and I doubt I will make it back to bed. There is no school today and I have a fun day ahead of me which includes a trip to the grocery store and Costco. I think I will have to add some baking to my list of to-do's. I made apple crisp for Joji to take to work yesterday. At our house it is mostly crisp with a little apple on the side. I used my Pimped Out Chef apple peeler/slicer and I have to say, I think apple crisp tastes better when the apples are "chunked" rather than sliced. I still have a few apples so maybe I will make another batch. I think it is funny how almost all the blogs I read have featured apple crisp lately. I know it is my favorite fall dessert.

Well, I'm officially rambling and my eyes are finding it hard to focus. Please excuse any typos that I'm sure you will find. I'm not used to being up this early. I'm more of a sleep in kind of girl.
Happy Friday Everyone!!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


I want to be 15 again. Joji is turning 40 later this month and we have been doing a lot of reminiscing about the old days. I think 15 is a really great age. You don't know very much and things are still pretty simple. You can't drive so you have to walk everywhere or take the bus. Half the fun was in the getting there. When you are 15 your friends are everything. There are no jobs or major distractions to cut into your hanging out time. You are not worried about your 401(k) or how much your taxes are going to go up. It's all about Van Halen's new album (yes, good old vinyl), what's playing at the mall theaters and at whose house are you going to spend the night. Simple, simple, simple. No one had any real problems and everyone got along. I miss those days.

Friday, October 3, 2008


I saw this over at WSU Laura and I thought I would see what it had to say about me. I think it is pretty accurate and very interesting considering some things that are going on right now.

Your personality type:

Quiet, reflective and idealistic. Interested in serving humanity. Well-developed value system, which they strive to live in accordance with. Extremely loyal. Adaptable and laid-back unless a strongly-held value is threatened. Usually talented writers. Mentally quick and able to see possibilities. Interested in understanding and helping people.

Careers that could fit you include:

Writers, artists, counselors, social workers, English teachers, fine arts teachers, child care workers, clergy, missionaries, psychologists, psychiatrists, scientists, political activists, editors, education consultants, journalists, religious educators, social scientists.

Artwork by Mary Lou Reed

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Playing Hookie

So today I decided to play hookie (sorry, mom. I will finish the testing tomorrow) I just had to take a break from running around and clean my house. I've made some headway, but there is still so much more to do. I find I'm pretty good for a while and then some type of hurricane hits the house and it looks like a bomb went off. I lit some yummy smelling candles, put on some James Taylor and jumped right in. Of course then my friend called and I multi-tasked for a while. But then I opened my email and read an email that really made me appreciate what a great guy Joji is. I'm pretty lucky to have found someone who likes me even though my domestic skills are less than perfect. I try to make it up with freshly baked goodies for him and his friends, but that really isn't a substitute for not having to move the "to be folded laundry" off his chair. So today, I'm putting the old nose to the grindstone and getting stuff done.
Goals for today:
Give the kitchen a good cleaning
Remove clutter from main floors and vacuum
Vacuum the stairs (this job is not as bad as I always make it out to be and once it is done the difference is HUGE)
Tackle as much as I can of the Mount Washmore
Have dinner waiting when Joj gets home (including some apple crisp for dessert)
So there is my plan for today. Wish me luck and for any of you who have your domestic mojo down to a science, maybe you could send a little my way. I need all the help I can get.