Monday, April 30, 2007

Now That's What I Call BASEBALL Baby!

I know we had some issues with S3 and our school league but the fact is, S3 had intended to play two leagues this year and so it was frustrating but no big loss to step away from the one. Saturday S3 had tryouts for three teams. When we signed up way back in January what they told me was this:

Lowest level: Senior's league
Mid level: Junior Legion (about 10 boys from this township would make this team)
Highest level: City-County (about 4 boys from this township would make this team)

So I figured, sure S3's pretty good. He has a good shot at Junior Legion. No way is he going to make the City-County because the odds are against him, right? Tonight I came home to a message on my answering machine.

My son is on the City-County team.

I swear this is one of the proudest moments I've ever had as a mother. And I can't help but feel a great deal of satisfaction that for one lousy month the school team could have had a player of his caliber. Ha.

I Made A Ring

Successfully this time! Sunday my mom and I took a "Making A Ring" class at the Jewelry Arts Expo held this year at the very nice Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington, DE. The man running the class is apparently someone well known in jewelry circles but since I don't tend to run in jewelry circles I didn't realize it at the time. His name is Alan Revere and he founded the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts. He was a very good instructor and I think that was the most successful class I've ever taken.

Somewhere around lunch time we were to have our rings soldered at the seam and this being my first attempt at jewelry soldering, I was a nervous wreck. It came out beautifully, it was a heck of a lot easier than I thought and frankly when I look at the inside of my band, I can't even see where I joined the ends of the ring together. After hours of filing and sanding (and I mean that literally!) I used the narrow end of a cross peen hammer to make the textured outer edge of the ring. My mom, after hours of filing and sanding, took the wide end of the hammer to make a hammered edge. We laughed about all the work we'd done to make it smooth only to mark it all up again with a hammer!

We took the rings home and put them in the polisher but I think it could still stand to have a little hand polish done. When Alan polished his in class with some rouge and a felt stick, it really shined!

So without further ado, here is how my ring started:

And here is the final result:

I am so proud of myself!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Cute But Evil

I bought E a new shirt last week that says, "Cute but Evil" and she's spent the last week proving it true. We were at Friendly's for dinner on Saturday night and Ty started up a game of hangman while we waited for our food. Ty picked the first word then I picked a word and finally E wanted to pick a word. Well E doesn't really know how to read or spell and the last time we played hangman she spelled her name.

She made her hangman's gallows and then started drawing lines for the letters. I was spelling along in my head as she was drawing the lines, "E-V-E-L-Y....." but she stopped at five dashes. Not enough spaces for her name. Hmmm. I thought, "Well it's probably going to end up just being some random letters because she can't read and she can't spell."

We guessed a few wrong letters and finally she said, "Here, let me give you a hint" and she drew the letter "L" in the first space. I was still thinking she'd probably just made up a word of random letters that wouldn't actually make sense but G perked right up when she saw that "L."

"OH! I know what it is! I know what it is," she called across the table. "How about the letter 'O'?" E put the letter "O" in the next space. G said, "How about 'S'?" and E put the letter "S" in the next space. G said, "I know what it is! I know what it is!"

She can't read and she can't spell but she knows the word "loser." That's enough to make any mama proud.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Oh My Aching Back!

Today the kids and I got up and did our Saturday morning clean routine. It is mandatory; no matter what else is going on in our lives we all must clean on a Saturday morning. Why must we clean on a Saturday morning? Because if we don't clean on Saturday then I have to do it alone on Monday.

Anyway after that my nephew, "the boy" came over to help with a project we had to get done today. I'll explain that in a minute. See this great big huge trailer that belongs to my BIL John?

Well being the wonderful man that he is, he went and picked up two cubic yards of mulch for me on Friday night. However, his dad needed the trailer tonight so we had to spread two cubic yards of mulch by dinner time. Which is why it's now empty. And why my back hurts. I was in charge of shoveling the mulch out of the trailer and into the wheelbarrow. S3 was in charge of wheeling the wheelbarrow to the garden and Ty and The Boy were in charge of spreading. G and E got us drinks and tissues as needed and generally were cute and entertaining.

But what really amazes me about this whole project? Two cubic yards didn't cover my whole front bed. I still need probably another cubic yard to finish just the front. The back yard is a whole 'nuther back ache waiting to happen.

So now I'm just sitting in my rocker, quietly moaning to myself and playing with my jewelry stuff. The kids went to the park for a while and I think when they get back and get cleaned up we'll go visit my grandfather in the hospital and have some dinner. I just wish it would be this beautiful outside all year long.

Friday, April 20, 2007

I've Been Framed

AC Moore has a 60% off custom framing sale going on so I pulled out a couple of my finished xs pieces and went for a drive. I didn't have much faith in the girl at the counter after we played a fun game of "How many different ways can I say, 'I don't like the brown mat on my Enchanted Alphabet?" Finally I just took it back and nervously let her handle my Fairy Tales (click here for beading details).

We had some trouble with that one too and soon there was a line formed at the counter. Between the line and E wiggling around the counter doing her version of the pee-pee dance, I was ready to cry uncle and go home. I took E to the potty and browsed around the mats and frames and when I came back, she had laid out the perfect frame to go with the insides that I'd chosen earlier. She quoted it and I silently thanked God that it was 60% off. It should be done around May 11 and I can't wait to show it off. It's going to look amazing.

In the mean time, for a mere $16 I framed this older piece myself. It still gives me a giggle when I see that silly cat.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Being A Single Mom Is For The Birds

juggle.gif My weekend is all screwed up. I need so much help it makes me feel sick. I hate asking for help.

Next Friday, Saturday and Sunday is the bead show in Wilmington, DE. I paid a big chunk of change for a "Making a Ring" class on Sunday that lasts all day. I also want to do some shopping which usually takes a whole day. It's most convenient for my mom, sister and best friend to go on Saturday.

On Saturday at 3 G has a soccer game. She can't miss it; they don't have a sub and I just sent out a huge check to pay her dues.

And then I got a letter in the mail for S3. Jr. Legion and City-County team tryouts are Saturday and Sunday from 3 - 4:30.

There's no way I can go to the bead show to shop on Saturday which means I have to convince at least my girlfriend to go on Friday or go alone which really sucks. My mom works so I don't think she'll be able to go.

No matter what I can't miss my ring class on Sunday but it's all day so there's no shopping that day. That means I have to have help getting S3 to tryouts on Sunday.

And I need help getting either G to her game or S3 to his tryouts on Saturday.

It's too complicated. Too many people are involved. Something is going to go wrong. I am so stressed. How do single moms do this???


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Don't Ask Me

I have no idea why they do these things. I think they get it from their father.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Video Games Are Good For You?

About a month ago one of Ty's friends introduced him to an online RPG. Ty enjoyed being able to join up with his school friends in this fantasy world and I thought it was cute to hear him and his friend discussing when they could get back online and play together next. Ty introduced S3 to the game and suddenly things started changing around here.

I wouldn't say to you that my boys exactly hate each other but they have different interests, different personalities and different goals. They do fight, sometimes a lot. But lately I've noticed an amazing phenomenon. S3 helps Ty study. Ty helps S3 with his chores. They want to sit near each other at the dinner table. They both fight to get the back seat of the van so they can sit together. Why?

So they can get back to the game.

When Ty has homework, S3 cheers him on so he'll get done faster and they can play online together. When S3 has chores to complete, Ty helps him so he'll get done faster and they can play online together. They want to sit together so they can plan out their strategies for the next time they're playing. They're cooperating. They're agreeing. They're not fighting!

Of course I can see down sides to this too. Ty let it slip this morning that they'd gotten up at 2AM and snuck downstairs to the computer. They are rather obsessive at the moment but I know that like all other obsessions we've experienced, this one is just as fleeting. I'll keep an eye on them and make sure they see the sunlight every once in a while but for now I'm going to enjoy the peace.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Maybe You Had To Be There

I love nights like tonight. I had such a good time with my kids. We just laughed and enjoyed each other's company and it makes me wonder why moments like that are so rare. After the girls went to bed the boys and I played a card game my grandfather taught us called Kings in the Corner (we play it slightly different) and Ty told us a story that had S3 and I falling off our chairs laughing.

Today at school when Ty was finished using the lavatory he rounded the corner to wash his hands at the sink. A much older boy (Ty said some 10th grader but he didn't know who it was) was standing there already and he jumped out at Ty and "kinda made a roar like noise." Ty jumped a little and said to the guy, "What the heck?" The guy replied, "Shut up!" and Ty said, "Why don't you shut up?"

I had to ask a couple of questions to clear up a few things because it really seemed kinda odd at first. Ty said the kid wasn't in the bathroom to use the facility; he was just standing there at the sink. At this point I started laughing because I realized he was waiting in the bathroom just to scare a poor little fourth grader. I wanted to know what the guy said when Ty told him to shut up. Ty says the guy stopped talking and quietly left the bathroom. He looked at S3 and I with a tremendous look of satisfaction and said, "I guess I schooled him!" That's the point where I had to put my head down on the table because I was laughing so hard.

We settled down and S3 started quizzing Ty on who the guy might be. Finally after talking about the number on his jersey S3 comes to the conclusion that it was so-and-so waiting in the bathroom to pull off this silly joke. S3 says with a horrified look on his face, "Ty that guy isn't a 10th grader, he's a senior," as if being a senior practically guarantees deity.

Ty shruggs and says, "Huh," and that's the point when I fell off my chair laughing. I'm sure that encounter did not go quite the way that kid had thought it might. Schooled a senior indeed.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

25¢ of Pure Snotty Joy

You know those 25¢ machines they have in the grocery store that contain gum, tattoos, rings and plastic containers of gooey snot? Every once in a while I indulge my children and I allow them to buy something from the machine as we leave the store. The other day I had them all out on the porch cleaning up their mess (that's where we have their lockers for their bookbags and cleats and etc.) and E found a plastic container of snot. And to keep it safe while she finished cleaning up her shoes and Awana material, she tucked it in her pocket.

A little while later E was running through the dining room when she came to a sudden and unexpected stop and exclaimed, "OH NO!" She said it with such despair and immediately started crying so that I was really worried something bad had happened and I ran over to make sure she was ok. In between her sobs, she managed to tell me exactly what her predicament was.

And hey, apparently when plastic containers of snot burst in your pants pocket, the resulting slime that oozes down your leg is rather chilly. Also snot does not wash off hands and pants pockets all that easily but it does come off.

KCEAA Jr. High Competition

I emailed my family but I totally forgot to blog this event... S3 participated in both the choir and the hand bells for the KCEAA Jr. High Competition last week. His school took first place in both events. I'm not surprised. They have an amazing new music director and even though I usually dread the different concerts, this time I found myself curious to hear what this guy would come up with next.

Check out my boy in his tux. The girl with him is my friend Amy the Pampered Chef Lady's daughter.

Below are two minute clips of the four songs they performed. I don't remember the names of all of them but one they sang was Amazing Grace. S3 was all excited for me to come listen because during a section of the song, they sing a cappella and he thought it sounded really cool.

Personally I was most impressed with the handbells. I was at the completely wrong angle to see S3 but he's on the right hand corner of the "U"

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Follow Up On the Baseball Drama

I was really proud of S3; although he was really scared to do it, he talked to one of the coaches from the juniors about getting a spot on the team despite his birthdate. We heard back last night finally that S3 was not the only one who had to be cut because of his birthday and therefore they couldn't let him on the team. While we understand, we are both also disappointed. There are rumors that next year they may actually hold tryouts and cut based on skill rather than age. That would be nice but I'm not holding my breath.

Anyway I am glad that S3 worked up the nerve to say something. If nothing else I think he's walking away having learned that he didn't die just because he asked a question and the answer was no.

And in the mean time the refunded sports fee we'll be getting happens to be almost exactly what we need to buy his metal cleats for the other team. That seems like a win to me.

Monday, April 09, 2007

What Excuse Can I Give?

I love DC United. I think they're as close to a home team as I'm gonna get when it comes to MLS - at least until Philly gets their acts together and forms a pro team. At the end of June, when David Beckham's contract is up with Real Madrid he is coming to the States to play for LA Galaxy.

In August Galaxy is coming to RFK Stadium to play United.

Tickets don't go on sale until July 2 and even then everyone is assuming it will sell out quickly. I found an auction on eBay selling tix now. What excuse can I give for buying them? My birthday is out - there's too much else I've already attributed to being my birthday present. How about Earth Day? Is $200 too much to spend for Mother's Day? Cinco de Mayo? Memorial Day? Help me out here people!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Happy Fifth Birthday Evelyn!

And Happy Thirty-third Birthday Steve!

The actual day of birth for Steve and E was yesterday but we were having too much fun at Chuck E. Cheese to bother to come post on the blog. It was just Mel's kids and I kept my kids home from school. We ate pizza and cake, danced and played arcade games all afternoon. G's soccer practice was cancelled and Steve made it home by 7 PM so we took him out to Austin's Restaurant & Bar for dinner. Unfortunately we were all too stuffed to have a piece of his chocolate peanut butter birthday cake so we decided to save it for tonight.

Gifts: E got the movie Barbie Fairytopia: Magic of the Rainbow and a Magic of the Rainbow doll that also is the dvd controller for an interactive dvd game. Steve got tickets to see Bill Cosby live in June and I sent a balloon bouquet and a box of choclates to him at work. He was in meetings with a customer all morning and when he came out he said he couldn't figure out how everyone knew it was his birthday - at least not until he got to his desk and saw the balloons.

Because I know your day won't be complete with out it, here are some pics from CEC:

Introducing A Fantastic New Magician

This amazing new magician is too incredible not to share with you all.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Review: Meet the Robinsons

I took Ty and E to see Meet the Robinsons this weekend in Digital 3D. It was AWESOME!!! The story revolves around a twelve-year-old boy named Lewis. He is an orphan and an inventor. His latest invention is a mind scanner to show memories that might have been otherwise forgotten. Lewis is hoping he will be able to use the scanner to find his birth mother and become a family.

Unfortunately the Bowler-Hat Man shows up and destroys everything, leaving Lewis to believe that he is incapable of actually inventing something that works. Wilbur Robinson appears to whisk Lewis away to the future where Lewis meets Wilbur's unique family. While in the future they search for the Bowler-Hat Man and discover the secrets of the Robinson family.

My mother says you get two chances at having a family. The first family is the one you're born into and it is what it is. The second family is the one you make and it is what you want it to be. I think that is the overwhelming message in this movie. And unlike most kids movies these days, there were no adult innuendos that your children will innocently repeat to your embarrassment. There are two mildly scary scenes - one tempered by humor the other by a happy result - but both Ty and E were ok. Neither one of them jumped in my lap.

I highly recommend if possible that you see this movie in the Digital 3D. I know it'll still be a good story either way but the extra $2 you'll pay for the experience is totally worthwhile. Not to mention your kids will look too cute wearing them. Look around on Google - type "movie: movies [your zip code here]" in the box and see if it's playing in 3D in your area. Out of four local theaters, only one here had it in Digital 3D.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

G the Step-Mom

On Friday I sent G and E up to clean up their bedroom. They played a lot, argued a little and got next to nothing done. I was not surprised. After a while my parents came to take G overnight for her special "birthday" day with them. After she left, I had this conversation with E.

E: Today when G and I were in our room, G was being divabiclte.
Me: She was being what?
E: Diffabaculate
Me: She was being difficult?
E: Yeah!
Me: Why do you say that she was being difficult?
E: Because she was being bossss... She was being like the maaaa... She was like a mean maaaa.... She was like a Step-Mom!

I think someone has watched Cinderella a few too many times.