Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

Today was Memorial Day, well, I guess technically, it still is, but for my intents and purposes, this day is over. I am onto tomorrow in my head, planning all of the things I need to do and plan for this week and next. Only about 14 days of school left total, and my kids probably won't have to go the last few days of exams. Yikes!!I was quite productive this weekend, and so was Mark! Yippee!! My desk is cleaned off, my photos now have a back up hard drive in addition to the hard drive they are stored on, the graduation announcements are ready to go, party invites went out, I read two books, and worked on Tony's album. Really coming to the end of that- ordered some more pics for it tonight, and I hope to finish it by this weekend except for the graduation photos, that I can't put in until the end. I will build the pages for those shots first, so I know what I need to take for the book. Mark did all kinds of outdoor work, including trimming the giant holly bush that was taller than the house- he used the upstairs as a ladder, leaning out the window of our bedroom with a polesaw to cut the bush. He also repaired the sectional in the basement, and recaulked the kids' bathtub. Yay for us. Now we really need to have a garage sale next weekend. I had been holding onto stuff for the swim team sale, but when I asked where I could drop it off, they never got back to me, so I still have it all, and it is taking up quite a bit of room in my garage. Not like the rest of it is super neat, either. I figure we'll drag everything out to sell, and while we are waiting on buyers, we will clean out the rest of the crap. Is that a plan for success or what?I am energized by the amount we got done this weekend, so I am ready for the week. I am going to read a book the rest of the evening. Doesn't that sound wonderful??

Friday, May 23, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day weekend. The unofficial beginning of summer. I think the forecast here is actually for a warm and sunny day- very unusual. The pool in the neighborhood opens tomorrow- so hard to believe it is time for that already. This weekend has the advantage of having nothing on the schedule. I was supposed to have to play for the choir this week, but that got moved because the soloist was going to be out of town, so for now, no real commitments. Mark wants some help in the garage and in the yard (trimming the holly bushes), and of course I have plenty to do, but I like the fact that we are not on a time crunch.

Took the girls to Target today to let them buy some clothes. I gave them each $100 and told them they were in charge. Well, Alex managed to spend most of her money, but both girls were a little shocked at the sizes they required. Aren't we all. Hated to hear them saying how fat they were, but we all need to get in better shape. I did manage to walk this morning. They are trying to adjust to living without so many hours of swimming each week.

For my photography class, I posted an environmental portrait- I used one of Alyssa in her bedroom. It is the kind of photo I have been wanting to take, so that you can see her Jonas Brothers posters on her wall, but also see the stuffed animal she sleeps with each night. The tween stuff is fleeting, and I wanted to capture it. This assignment gave me the deadline to get it done.

You can also see her beautifully straightened teeth in this photo. I took a whole bunch all in a row, and she liked this one the best. It is a little posed, but I am glad I have it. I can't believe I managed to take a photo in the house with no flash! So proud of myself. Really learning some stuff about my camera and how to manipulate it to get the pictures I see in my head.

Have a wonderful weekend. I hope to achieve the balance of free time doing fun things and accomplishing some things.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Tonight's game did not go as planned- we lost 4-3 in a game with Albemarle. We beat them twice in the regular season. We had 11 hits and only 3 runs- we left 12 runners on base. We got hits, just not enough of them together. Tony's high school baseball career is officially over. Weird. At least he is not done playing ball forever- we have college games to look forward to.
Tony handled it very well. He had a good game personally, so I think that helps. Another thing finished at the end of the year- but this time it is the last year, so that makes it different.
Busy making invitations for the graduation party, and ordering senior pics from the developer, and addressing announcements. Hard to believe it is all almost over- not just baseball. very weird.
Alex and Alyssa have been such troupers while we drove to Tony's games and left them to go to dance and get picked up by different people. Tomorrow is Alex's chorus concert. I am glad we will all get to go to that. Alyssa's year is winding down, too. SOL tests start this week for her- the schools go all kinds of crazy over them, but thankfully, they don't faze my kids too much.
Feel a cold coming on- need some rest, so I am going to head to bed.


These are the beautiful flowers I have on my deck.

This is the one of the gorgeous hanging baskets the kids got me for mother's day. I love how they brighten up the deck!!

Monday, May 19, 2008


We won the first round of the district baseball tournament tonight (3-0 against Massaponax). I am very excited for the team. They have been through a lot lately, and they deserve some wins.
Subbed today- not really liking the one day sub jobs. I enjoy more autonomy than that. I had to sit in class while they read silently. The teachers are doing something called Work to the Rule. In order to protest the fact that they are not getting any kind of raise this year, they are just working to the absolute letter of their contracts. That means not getting there a minute early, and not staying a minute extra. It was odd to have someone coming through the halls saying- three more minutes, you need to be out of here at the end of the day.
Planned a lot of things to do in the house before the big graduation to do. Need to start on some of that tomorrow. I may even call a house cleaner to see how much that would be the week of the party. It would be so nice to have all of that done at once- just can't afford much to have someone else do it.
Must go to bed- game two of the tournament is tomorrow at 5. Can't wait.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Weekend Report

Saturday night and I am blogging- what a life! We had my niece's birthday party last night, so I went out to my sister's house with the girls. Always so nice to go there- very relaxing for me (again, not in my own house- and hers is always so neat there would be no pressure to do anything anyway!). She just had her back yard landscaped, and it is beautiful. I brought home my bright geraniums (and a few extras) to add to my pots on the deck. I will try and post photos soon. The red really makes all of the flowers pop. Love the color.
Tony had a baseball playoff game today, and we got killed. I took it really hard- probably harder than Tony. Trying to get over it and move on to Monday night's first game in the district tournament. Sports are hard for me- I don't like to lose. Hard on a mama who can't do anything to affect the outcome.
This one will be short. I will try and get several promised photos up tomorrow. Enjoy your Sunday!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Snow Day? Rain Day?

My kids were off school today for rain. Apparently, our drought ridden landscape cannot handle 6.5 inches of rainfall in only four days. Anyway, thank goodness for text messaging. My high schoolers would have gone all the way to school if not for a few well-timed texts. I had been watching the news all morning and no mention of no school at all- then suddenly, we were being texted that there was no school. I checked the school website, and sure enough, no school today. So I still haven't had that full day at home alone since my sub job ended.

However, much like our lesson at church on Sunday, I took some iniative in Tony's room. I think I washed almost every piece of clothing the boy owns, and we discovered that he owns way too much. We got rid of a few things, but he is completely stocked for clothing. Maybe not shorts, but certainly everything else. The things we got rid of were things from freshman year, when he wore things really big... so they weren't things he had grown out of, but rather things he finds too large to wear now. We (read I) reorganized all of his drawers and his closet. More navy mesh shorts and white t-shirts than anyone can imagine. That cleaned off his floor for the most part. I may go in there tomorrow and try to finish a few things up. I think I did a dozen loads of laundry today, and I am still not finished. Tony has been washing just what he needed for the next day for a while now, so his had really piled up.

On Sunday afternoon, I managed to get a few good pics to be senior pictures of the boy. I like these a lot better than the ones I took in the fall. This was taken just inside the front door, using the natural light from the open door- during a two hour period where it was not raining! Part of this was an assignment for my photography class- using natural light and full manual settings for the camera. I really like the results.

Tomorrow, Alyssa gets her braces off, and as that is the only thing keeping her looking like a 12 year old, I am not sure what to expect. I'll try and have pics tomorrow.
Hopefully everyone will be back where they are supposed to be tomorrow.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Back to Normal??

Well, my long term sub assignment ended on Thursday, so I had a day to myself on Friday. I cleaned out my clothes closet and my front entry closet. So far, so good, on adapting the front closet to keep me from dumping my stuff in the chair in the office. I have been really good about putting my camera bag and purse away when I come in the front door. Hopefully, it will become a habit.
I worked on a "poster" for Tony for our church today. Parents put together a poster (most people, including me, use a multi-opening frame) to hang in the church for a couple of weeks around graduation time. It is supposed to depict their life this far. Well, I found a frame that I kind of liked, but it is VERY difficult to narrow an 18 year life down to 15 pictures. There were so many that didn't make the cut- I can hardly believe it. I made sure there were some with Alex and Alyssa, and some with Mark and I, and a family photo, and photos of all different ages- it was tough. I think it is going to be nice- now that I have selected the photos, I need to trim them and clean the glass, and put the whole thing together. The frame is black- and there is no mat, just the frame (I'll try and post a picture of it when I finish it.) I am thinking about using white rubons to put a few words on it, but I don't know. I may just leave it plain. I did find that I didn't think I took enough pictures of Tony in the years when the girls were little- I didn't like that.
Today I walked through a scrapbook store just for the inspiration. I need to work on some pages- I have been concentrating on my photography class, and haven't given Library of Memories the time it deserves. I hope to catch up a bit in the next few weeks. My plan is to give myself some days with time to myself that doesn't involve shopping. I have no problem taking time for myself if it involves leaving the house (i.e. to shop!), but I can't seem to take that time if I am in the house. I guess I feel guilt if I am here and not doing anything to help the house- I don't know why shopping doesn't bother me. Out of sight, out of mind, I guess. I am hoping to plan some scrapping and reading days instead of shopping days.
I read a blog by Ali Edwards and this week she had a whole series on words + photos. All about writing the stories of our life. I need to do that. Looking through all of those storage albums, looking for pictures of Tony, I was reminded of a lot of stories that I am not sure I have told in my albums. The series is really good. I like her style- she is very honest in her journaling, and she always starts with the story. I always start with teh photos, almost exclusively. She is also very good at documenting her life right now- her coffee, her laptop, etc. I would like to do that, too. When I think that Tony was already almost a year old when we bought our first computer! The changes we have been through just in our family... see there is a story right there! I need to get busy- she uses a journaling program on the mac, but I will probably just open a word document.
Have a wonderful Mother's Day- I wasn't too good with coming up with ideas for things I wanted, so who knows what I will get?! I would like all of the chores to be done. I don't know if that will happen, and I want to take pictures of Tony in his cap and gown. Hopefully that can happen tomorrow. I would want to go to DC or somewhere, but it is supposed to rain AGAIN tomorrow.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Welcome Spring

We are finally at a place where I believe spring is here to stay. Virginia is the only place I have ever lived where the seasons are like the ones in the story books- 3 months for each. It will indeed still be spring here into June, whereas in Atlanta where I grew up, spring was a couple of weeks in early April when the dogwoods and the azaleas bloomed just before the humidity hit. Summer will last until October, and then it will be fall for 2 weeks until winter comes. In Virginia, I have discovered that 3 months is too long for most seasons. You are really good and tired of one before the next one comes. Perhaps it is just the conditioning of growing up in the deeper south, but spring is way too long for me. I love the summer, and it makes the end of the school year seem to drag on.

Speaking of the end of the school year- my last long term day is three short days away. I cannot believe it. Tony is graduating in 6 weeks. Ack! We just received the form to sign up for monthly tuition payments, which conveniently, start in June. So hard to believe- some days I don't think he will make it in college, and then I remember all of the idiots I went to college with who did just fine, and I know he can do better than they did. I just don't know. Sometimes the judgment of a 18 year old is a little off. (and yes, I had to go back and type over the number where I just typed 17 instead of 18). Maybe I was an old soul, but I remember being more mature than this. Maybe it is a faulty memory.

So, welcome spring, it is about time you got here. I will try to enjoy all of you and not rush the hot summer along.
ps- look closely at the sidelight windows- can you find the crazy Marine??

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Mom of an 18 year old

Well, my baby turned 18 this week. A little shocking. Pleased to have made it this far. Prom is tonight, and my boy and his girl broke up 6 days ago. He went anyway, and that was dicey for a while, so I am glad he went. He wasn't sure about the stag thing, but lots of kids do it. I hope he will have a good time and dance with whoever he wants to. He sure looks good:

He always looks good dressed up. He seems more comfortable in dressy clothes than most boys his age. He is happy to be holding those Honda keys, too. I think that is his favorite part- driving my car.

Today I finished the second coat of paint on the front door trim. That is really making me want to paint the front door tan- my family is not on board with this change, but I am really starting to want it. New black knocker and handle. My fabulous neighbor already bought me a new WELCOME for the front door ( my current one would have to go if I painted the door.) Also bought and planted impatiens and some Liriope around the holly. Things are looking good around here- new doormat, etc. I just wish the plants weren't so small. I am starting to plan some pots for the deck, but they may have to wait until next payday, or possibly Mother's Day. I could ask for a gift card to buy the plants- we'll see.

Only four days of long term work for me. Can't believe how fast it went. Hope I get some more subbing days before the end of the year. I will have to ask them to remember me in the front office. Sometimes they forget to call you when you have been there everyday. But first, some time to get life back together. It didn't fall quite so far apart this time. Hoping to get my entryway problems solved- I need to clean out my hall closet and set it up to be my dropping place instead of the chair in the office. Not sure what I need to facilitate that, but I am pretty sure I already own it. We'll see.

Looking forward to a little time to myself. Need to go through and upload three games worth of pics for baseball. Not looking forward to that. Must start tomorrow. Happy Saturday night. Remember your prom- was it fun for you??