Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween costumes and driving....

Ok, so some states - it is illegal to drive and talk on the cell phone. Now they are even trying to make texting while driving illegal. I know that putting make-up on while driving is not a good thing. I see that practically every morning.

But today - I drove to work alongside Winnie the Pooh. She was driving a little Mazda and that hood blocked her view any which way she looked. She pulled out in front of me as she pulled out of PetSmart - was she picking up something for Tigger??? I drive a Tahoe... It was not easy to get stopped in time.... But then we progressed down the street and she ended up pulling on the freeway ahead of me. Seemed like we played chicken all along 217. Traffic was really slow so every time I tried to pass her, she would pull in front of me. I was just waiting for a chance when traffic would stop and I could be along side of her and tell her that "Hey, might of been a good look for you when you were three....." Anyway, made it to work ok.

But then there was the ride home... Geez - good thing I am not commuting tomorrow....

Again - stuck on 217 with traffic. I saw a clown, a surgeon (with the mask on!), a scarecrow, a witch, some man without a shirt on (not sure what he going as but he obviously didn't watch the weather report this am) and then there was Raggedy Ann with Andy in the passenger seat. Good thing Pooh wasn't going home yet, the drive was pretty uneventful other than being slow.

This is definitely not my holiday. I never was big on the scary movies. The dressing up. I do love the pumpkin patch, the changing of the leaves and the chill in the air of Fall, but actually Halloween - not my thing. I love to bake this time of year too - but my oven went out the other day. I have all this cookie dough here too from the school fundraiser and I can't bake a single cookie! This year, the boys are torn about trick or treating. A few years ago, they grew out of the cutesy costumes and were the scream guy for two years in a row (both of them!) Last year, Jake was a hippie and Lucas a football player - at least no costumes needed to be bought - just a beard for Jake. So now trying to decide what to do about tomorrow night. Lucas was invited to a friends for a Halloween party. Tom, Jake and I may go to a movie. Just not too into it. The boys do want to carve the pumpkins tomorrow. They don't have school so may be a good time to do that. I have a doc appt in the am to have my foot checked out and then we have the rest of the day. Will be good to hang out with the boys. We have had a busy week and will be nice to just "be".

But our busy-ness for the week is not over yet. Lucas has football practice tonight at 7:15 so I better get to making dinner. Been challenging without an oven so tonight it is swedish pancakes and sausage. Good ole' breakfast food back up! Tom is going to take Lucas to practice. I took him the last two nights and just froze... Jake and I are going to stay home and watch survivor!

So enjoy the rest of your evening. Just remember that if you are driving in costume - we can see you! :)

Til next time....

Sunday, October 26, 2008

been a good weekend...

Busy, but good. I won't bother filling you in on the week, because it was just a blur. Not really sure what I did this week...

Friday night - Lucas said he needed a haircut. Hmmmm - there is always a motive behind that when he mentions it is time for a haircut. Wonder who she is??? So went and took care of that after school. No one wanted me to make spaghetti for dinner (what is wrong with my spaghetti???) so we went out to Applebee's. We seem to be big fans of the Ultimate Trios there because we order a couple of them and share around the table. Makes for a not too expensive night out. Then we just spent the rest of the evening at home and watched movies. Well, Tom and the boys watched a movie, I fell asleep.

Saturday - in the morning hours, Lucas and Tom went to the range and did some target shooting. Jake worked on homework and then we went shopping. Their binders are falling apart after 2 months of school. We couldn't find what they wanted so will have to check out different stores on Sunday. We made it back to the house in time for Tom and I to switch kids. Lucas and I then headed over to his football game. Last of the season against Hillsboro. Great game. The boys scored 34 points before half time. Lucas did a great job cheering them on and supporting his team. Even though I know it was killing him knowing the team was going to finish the season undefeated and he was on the sidelines the whole season.I am very proud of him though. He kept with it and continued to go to each practice and game and supported the team. Tom and Jake came for the second half of the game. They went to the wrong field at first. Tom wondered why the players were so little??? :) Anyway, probably easy mistake. We had been at Westview for the last 5 games in a row so maybe he was flying on autopilot. With the score 34-0, they couldn't score anymore. So made for an interesting second half. Even when we tried to give them a chance to score, we would end up with the ball again! But the boys ended up holding them off and finished the game 34-0 and ended their season 8-0. Go Cats!!!! Congratulations boys - they are going into Playoffs next week in first place. They will be playing Sunset.It was so cute to watch this little girl join the cheerleaders. She did such a great job and followed right along. Even Jake was watching... And he wanders why there are cheerleaders in the first place....

After the game, we went to the Silent Auction and Dance for the players and cheerleaders. I bid on a few items and probably on a few items more than I wanted to because Lucas was bidding too.... But ended up getting what I wanted the most. I won an employee store pass to the Nike store. Perfect timing too - Jake needs new shoes. And I can maybe get a couple Christmas gifts out of the way and get some good deals. The boys avoided the dance floor like the plague so when the auction was complete, we headed home.

Today, went by really fast but got a lot done. I had some projects to finish for work, we still needed to find some binders, Tom needed a haircut and Lucas had his first guitar lesson. So after his haircut, Tom and Lucas went to the nature park for a walk. Jake and I worked on his homework. I helped him type his report for Social Studies. I just have to share it with you because he did such a great job. He thought it all out - I just helped with spelling, punctuation and capitalization. He had to create a map and he did a great job on that too. I wish I had scanned it before he turned it in. Usually I can tell between his work and Lucas' - but I had to ask on this one. I am so proud of how he is doing this year. Things are really coming together for him. Anyway, his map was of Squirrel Island. It was in the shape of a squirrel and the surrounding smaller islands looked like acorns... Here is the report that he wrote about the island.

Introducing Squirrel Island

Have you ever been to Squirrel Island? For all the people who haven't, the prime of the agriculture is in the forrest of the main land. Another reason to come to Squirrel Island is its extending shore lines. The thing that gets the most attention is the many attractions. A lot of dense population is down by Small Nut Island because of such a large food supply. But if all that is not overwhelming, you can take a bush plane to Big Nut Island. On Big Nut Island, the hospitality is the best in the entire country.

The history of Squirrel Island began in the 1800’s. The founders were the Squirreltopians, natives to the Islands. They were the first to establish substantial government. The chief of the Squirreltopians wrote the Constitutionalist of Saftiness. The Constitutionalist of Saftiness was signed by the entire population of the Squirreltopians, totalling 200 people. The chief named the first president, Fletcher S. Nuts who was the bravest Squirreltopian to swim from island to island. The famous inventor, Adam S. Acorn, invented the dens on Squirrel Island and later invented the first dry roasting machine.

The religion that is most common is known as Squirrelism. It is a religion that is more of a lifestyle. The Squirrel is their God and symbolizes their prosperity. Their customs would include only eating raw vegetables, never eat raw meat, attend nut collecting meetings on Monday afternoons, and on Sundays they give their services.

Beans are a delicacy because nuts are in such a high demand. Beans do not grow very well on Squirrel Island because the only place they would usually grow, doesn’t get enough sun. The forrest on the main land of Squirrel Island grows a mass variety of fruits. The fruits, bananas, mangos and guavas, are used fresh and also canned and shipped to the other islands. Nuts are grown on Small Nut Island. Acorns, walnuts, hazelnuts, and almonds grow in abundance and provides protein to the inhabitants.

Squirrel Island is a free country so it has a President. The President’s name is Chester S. Bushytail. He is elected by poplular vote because of the small population on Squirrel Island. His term is four seasons and the maximum terms to be served is four. Each household can only pick it’s weight in nuts on government property. If they grow their own, they will be taxed on the land that grows the crop. If you would like to visit Squirrel Island, be prepared to show your identification, your criminal record and a $50 dollar per person entrance fee to be given to the Customs officer. Cars are illegal because of the size of the islands and to keep the natural wildlife in tact. Transportation allowed are foot powered only, such as bicycles, scooters and skateboards. There are no speed limits. Only the government is allowed to use trucks for logging. All citizens of Squirrel Island are protected by the Constitutionalist of Saftiness.

The social classes are based on family size. Lower class have 8 or less members in the family. Middle class have 9-20 members in the family. Upper class have 21 or more members in the family. The Lower class will walk instead of owning a bicycle and will work in manufacturing. The Middle class will travel by scooter or skateboard and occasionally a bicycle. They will work in Collection of produce and Education. The Upper class will travel by bicycle or recumbant bicycle. They will work in management and government. Social Classes are not as important on Squirrel Island as they are in other countries because everyone is treated equally.

In conclusion, the archipelago of Squirrel Island has many opportunities for its population and visitors. The freedom of the country allows the population to be successful if they are willing to do what it takes. Come visit Squirrel Island and see the amazing attractions - fruit groves, nut forrests beautiful beaches and gift shops.

Great job - Jake!!!

After the report was printed out, I finished my projects. The boys wanted to play Monopoly today and I told them when all the work is done that needs to be done. So it was kind of cute when Jake kept checking on me to see if there was anything he could do to help me with my projects or to speed things along. Then we went to buy binders. Luckily this time - we were successful. Even got a good deal. Only $14.99 marked down from $44. Who would pay $44 though??? Got home, Tom and Lucas were home from the guitar lesson, started a load of laundry, started the dishwasher, got the pork roast in the oven, and we were off to play Monopoly. Was a good game. We stopped to have dinner, but ended it at 8pm to watch the Amazing Race. Lucas creamed us. Tom was close on his heals though. I found out later that when I stepped away to get the potatoes going, Lucas and Tom made some alliance with properties or something and took over one whole corner of the board. Kind of put Jake and I on the defense and we swapped some properties and took over the other side of the board to stay alive - for a little while. Anyway, was good time with the boys. Was nice to hear them laugh and play together and just have fun together. We just don't have that much with our crazy lives.

Anyway, now it is time for Army Wives, another load of laundry and maybe calling it a day. Hope your weekend was a good one too!
Til next time.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

another week bites the dust...

Here we are Saturday again and time for a wrap-up of the week.

Sunday, I got home from Kansas City. Tom and Jake were home from their Scout campout and Lucas was home from staying the weekend with a friend. Lucas' team had a football game last Saturday and they won. Leaving them still undefeated. Sunday night was just a catch up around the house, laundry, and last minute homework. After the boys went to bed, I worked on some projects for work.

Monday - I was off to work at Boxer. That evening was football practice and fun night with the Scouts. Tom dropped off Jake at the arcade place and took Lucas out to Chinese food. I worked on more projects at home...

Tuesday - I worked at HOTP. After school programs were cancelled this week because of conferences so was back to pick up the boys at regular time. No football practice so we used the evening to catch up on homework.

Wednesday - I worked at HOTP again. Picked up the boys from school. Took Lucas to football practice and then home for the evening.

Thursday and Friday - no school for the boys. I spent Thursday home working and the boys just hung out. Friday am, we went to school for conferences. I am pretty proud of my boys. They are actually doing pretty well in school this year. They are not straight A kids, but they are doing better than I had thought. Jake is stuggling in Science and just needs to get in some missing work and that will bring that up. Lucas also has one class that needs some work. But it is just some missing work. Then we went to the bank, got coffee at Starbucks (the boys had some banana chocolate thing) and we were on our way to Boxer. I helped the girls get the boxes sent off for the convention next week in Ontario, CA and the boys did some packaging. After that, we went to the scrapbook store in Sherwood so I could get a couple things. Lunch at Micky D's and then off to the mall. Lucas needed new shoes and had some in his head he was going to get. Um..... Size 13!!!! and $110. I don't think so... He ended up with some similar though from a different store and still ended up costing me $80... Hope this kid gets a job next summer so he can start buying his own clothes and shoes! After the shoe shopping, we dropped off dry cleaning and filled the truck with gas. Ended up being a day of errands. Then we went out to dinner at Izzy's. Saw Mary there - was good to see her. She was jetting off to Disney World today so hope she has a good trip. Izzy's just isn't as good as it used to be - but filled up my three boys. When we got home, the boys played the wii and Tom and I watched Leatherheads. Called it a day about 10. Seemed like a long day...

Today, catching up on housework. Got chicken and dumplings going in the crock pot. Laundry is running again. Going to make a pineapple upside down cake. Need to get some projects done for work. Lucas has a game at 3:30 and a friend coming to spend the night after. Jake has some homework to work on. Tomorrow, Lucas has his first guitar lesson and then we have a committee meeting with scouts. I am going to the meeting too this time because Tom and I have some concerns to express. We are just not seeing the example that we are expecting from scouts. Or that it is really meeting our expectations - or the boys'. Not sure what it will accomplish, if anything. Or if we need to start looking for a different troop. Will see what happens.

So anyway, that puts us through the week. Hope you all had a good one.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

is it saturday already???

wow - this weekend seems to really be going by fast. Today is our last day of the convention. Yesterday was steady and busy so hoping for more of that today. We fly home tomorrow afternoon so not sure what we have planned for a morning outing or if we will just sleep in, but has been a good trip.

Tom and Jake are off on their camping trip and Lucas is spending the weekend with a friend. They have a football game this afternoon. Sounds like he is doing pretty well. He is so happy to be off his crutches.

Well, better get my shoes on and get out the door. Til next time!

Enjoy your day....

Thursday, October 9, 2008

set up - complete...

So we got the booth set up today by 5:15. That was pretty good. Tomorrow the convention starts and the rep event starts. So tonight we called it early with just a quick dinner at Wendy's and then back to the hotel. Have some projects to work on so this is going to be short. Great to see the familar faces at the Convention. Also great to see Kris and Richard. So we got to visit for a short minute. But really just focused on getting the booth up so we could be done for the day... Jennie, Vicki and Mary Ruth - always missing your smiling faces at these events!!!!

So happy thursday, y'all.
Til next time!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Pass the BBQ sauce...

Hello from Kansas City! I made it here. Flight was pretty uneventful. Sat next to a nice older couple on the plane that were in Portland visiting family. When she asked why I was coming to KC, she told me that she loves to scrapbook. So we talked about that for awhile and before I knew it, she was asking about page ideas for her photos... Seems like I am always helping people with their projects....

We went from the airport to do a little shopping for supplies in the booth. Then we came to the hotel for awhile. Very nice room - 5 star compared to what we have stayed in in the past... :) Just got raz the girls there... Vicki says not to get used to it though... We went to Hobby Lobby to find the Boxer calendars but couldn't find them. Maybe the big order we sent out hasn't hit the stores yet. But oh boy we found some cute things and I ended up buying a little Santa fireman ornament. Too cute! I had to get you one too, June!!!! Good thing I just packed a small suitcase otherwise I may of bought more. Angie is too easy with the UPS account though - hmmmm. Will we be driving by there again?

We had a fabulous dinner at Abeullos (sp?) I had a fajita chimichanga - oh so good.... Martha Dukes - you probably could figure out how to make these...

So it is getting to be the end of a long day and think Angie is wanting me to help with some samples. Have a good night and will check in with you tomorrow evening!


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Kansas City - here I come....

It seems like I have been doing laundry since friday and there is still more.... Who wears all these clothes - and man, how many towels can a family of 4 go through?

Anyway, finishing up a few things and getting ready to head out of town... I am really looking forward to this trip. It isn't easy on the guys (so I am told anyway) when I am gone. But right now - I just want the escape.

I am going to meet Angie and Vicki in Kansas City tomorrow. Angie and I will work the scrapbook convention over the weekend and Vicki will be working with a local rep doing an event for store owners. It will be good to see them. They have been gone since last wednesday. It seems like longer than that though.... Anyway - see you soon girls!

Have a good week. Will try to check in from KC. Guess that is Missouri, not Kansas... So confusing... Anyway, it is a place I have never been so be expecting a post card! :)

And keep your fingers crossed all goes well with the boys this week. They have two more days of school to get through. Friday is a day off so they are going to the archery place. Then Friday night, Lucas will be going to spend the weekend at his friend's house. Tom and Jake are going on a scout campout. They will be horseback riding so Lucas is not up to that yet after his surgery. So this is the first time that I have traveled and Tom is out of town at the same time. I am pretty nervous about it. But I trust the family Lucas will be with. Paris and Shauna - can I use you two as emergency contacts???? I hope I don't need it...

Anyway, more again later.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

baby news!

There is just something about a brand new baby that makes me smile. My good friend, Mary Ruth, had a beautiful baby boy on Oct. 2nd. What a cutie.... Now when I can make a trip to Texas so I can meet this little guy?

Congrats, Mary Ruth and Joey. Your little guy is just too adorable. I am so happy for you both. You have wanted this for so long and now you are parents. Get lots of rest when you can and enjoy every minute. It goes by so fast....

Other news from the Nicholas household... well, let's see. This past week seems to be a blur - seems like I could think of many other ways of saying that - but every week, same thing. Work has been busy this week. Wednesday we had a lunch for Jacie. She worked in Graphics at HOTP and is moving on to do free-lance work. I wish her the best of luck and I will miss her. She always had a bright smile that could perk you up anytime you needed it.

Our week was filled with homework. Jake is starting poetry in Language Arts. I will have to share those - he did a pretty good job. Funny how an 11 year old boy sees poetry...

Here is one of Jake's poems - think he said it was Illiteration style. You know - like Suzy sells seashells by the seashore... :)

Charlie camps in the Cascades
chopping chunks
and cooking carrots on the campfire.

Lucas and I went to the Westview High School game on Friday night. Tom and Jake lasted long enough to get a hot dog and then decided real dinner at Applebees would be better. We got totally soaked in the pouring down rain. But it was homecoming and recognition of the youth football league. So all the youth teams lined up on the field before the game and were introduced with their coaches. Then they formed a tunnel for the players to run through as they came out. Oh it was a brutal game. We played Jesuit and they had 21 points in the first quarter! By the time Lucas was done watching the Westview Wildthings at the halftime show.... he was ready to go home. Oh to have a teenage boy!!!! I was soaked and not too upset to leave early either. Went home. Took hot showers and had hot chocolate to warm up.

Saturday was another day of football. Lucas' team played against Southridge and they won 41-12. Great game. It was 33-0 for a long time and at this age group, they are allowed a 35 point spread. At that spread, the winning team can't score. So once Southridge scored a little, we had some good football again. Way to go Cats!!!!

I am getting ready to go out of town this week. I will be going to the Creating Keepsakes Convention in Kansas City with Boxer. Angie and Vicki just finished up the convention in Hartford, CT and I will meet up with them in KC. So yesterday was a mad crazy day to clean house and catch up on laundry. The boys even got their rooms cleaned up. Jake worked on the man cave - aka game room - and Lucas worked on their bedroom. Once enough floor was opened up, Tom moved the bunkbeds so they can have more room in there. After dinner, I made brownie sundaes for the boys - was probably feeling guilty for my meltdown with them earlier in the week and now going out of town. Then went to work on some projects for HOTP that are due Monday. Before I knew it, it was 4am. Got a little sleep and now it is time to start all over again...

So better get to it.
Have a good sunday.
Til next time...