Band Parents

Band Parents

Monday, July 31, 2006

Menu Plan Monday

Blogger is not allowing me to post the pretty graphic. I'll try again later.

I was crusing my favorite blogs and came across a new MEME from Org Junky and decided I would play along. I mentally plan my menus when I grocery shop on Saturday mornings.

Monday (Ground Beef day ) - Cheeseburger sloppy joes (2 lbs ground beef, envelope of dry onion soup mix and a jar of Ragu Cheddar cheese sauce.)

Tuesday (Chicken day) - Ok, I will do something with frozen Chicekn breasts I have in the freezer.

Wednesday - Burgers on the grill.

Thursday - Kielbasa shish kebobs

Friday - We go on vacation. We'll leave between 6 and 6:30. grab coffee out and about 2.5 hours later stop at Bob Evans, the original Bob Evans restaurant in Rio Grande Ohio for breakfast. Hubby stated last night "let's pack a lunch and eat it at a rest stop." This is a big step for him as he is a junk food junkie. I promised the boys I'd buy them Lunchables for this. Why do they think Lunchables are the coolest things? I will buy them as an alternative to the fast food drive-through. But that's it!

At the beach house this year, Mom and Dad rented the house and a gas grill. My Sister-in-law and I decided that we would each make 2 meals. (My younger brother cannot make it this year.) I know one of our will be beer can chicken.

What Makes a Church a Church

About a month ago, Everyday Mommy wrote a post asking about what a Church should be. I was reminded of this yesterday when our Pastor, Fr. Jerry talked about a seminar he went to and he came home with a list of three items that makes a Church a Church. Now, while he was focused on a Catholic Church, I think it applies to all Christian denomination.

  1. A Church should teach and Proclaim the Word of God.
  2. A Church should celebrate Sacraments such as Baptisms, Communion, Marriage and Funerals
  3. A Church should be involved in works of Charity.

It's going to be a long week

Hubby just sent me an email titled "Vacationitis". We leave for the North Carolina beach on Friday.


So I'm doing laundry this weekend. We do our laundry once a week. I am putting in a load of White permanent press - I grew up, in the 80's, Mom was a nurse who wore whites, Dad was the typical business man who wore suits with white shirts everyday and we three kids attended Catholic school where the school uniform included white button shirts and/or blouses. Mom did three loads of nothing but white permanent press a week. So I was doing such a load (I included light colored dress shirts in it. It was mostly my bras - I have enough to wear one a day. Hubby's long sleeved dress shirts was one of the last items I put in. The sleeves usually get tangles in with the straps of 7 bras. I look in the washer where I had trhown most of the bras already. I look at the lingerie bag sitting on the dryer. Hubby prefers I put the bras in the lingerie bag. I'm often too lazy. Humm. The long sleeved dress shirt went in the lingerie bag. It that thinking outside the box... er bag?

Friday, July 28, 2006

Bloggy Tour of homes

I am joining the bloggy tour of homes hosted by BooMama. Here is my front door. I had to use PAINT to obliterate my last name and house number above the mailbox.

But my house was built in 1956 and is a 3 bedroom ranch with a basement. I am afraid that my poor house has suffered with my commute. I was looking for parts to take pictures of that I was not too embarrassed of.

Next is my Living room. The couch and the main family computer. Since I earn my living as a computer geek, we have a second computer in the basement. The laptop Hubby used for school is on it's last legs. Before he graduated, it occupied a permanent place in the Living room. Our home is cozy. We are planning to put it on the market in the spring and move slightly closer to my work. We'd like our bedrooms to be a touch bigger - they are 10x12 and 11x12. We'd like an extras bedroom for guests. Hubby says he'd like a bigger kitchen. But it's been our for 12 years now. We have brought our 2 boys home for the hospital from here. It's about 900 Sq feet not including the basement. I'd be happy staying here as long as I still have a carpool to work and could bump out the master bedroom a bit.

Next is the computer I upload most of my blogs from.

(It's not at home. But shhhhh)

Here's the view out the door:

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Works For Me Wednesday

It's Wednesday time again. I'm going to make this "Fun with Maps". I am a Map person. I like to look at Maps to get my bearings. My AAA membership is offset by how often I go in form Maps. Since I work in a different city than where I live, and it's been a while since I spent considerable time in the work city, I took a city Map and posted it on the wall of my office. I can look at it to find a new path home if the Interstate is all goobered up. I can see where I went when I ventured a new way. It's also been quite a converstation piece.

My Sons see me look at maps and decided they wanted one too. When my oldest was about 5 or and we were making trips to Chicago and others to Charlotte NC on a regualr basis to see Gransparents, he wanted to know where we were ont he map, but the maps were too big and cumbersome for him. I got a new Map of the SouthEastern US from AAA and took my old one and cut out a rectangle that went as far north as Chicago and as far south as the NC-SC border and then I covered it with 2 pieces of clear contact paper. This was his map. As he learned to read, that map was still there. He would ask where we were and how much further and I could point it out on his map. We had to retire it a few years ago. I ought to make another for the 6 yo.

Maps, They work for me.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Ode to a suit

My favorite work suit seems to have died. It was a sage green (separates actually) from Talbots. I felt confidant in it. It hid my figure flaws. I was "locked and loaded" with the coat buttoned. Then it needed cleaning. The pants were washable, but the coat was sent to the sry cleaners. It came back with the interfacing rippled. Oh the woe! I wore it on my second interview anyways. I wore the pants yesterday. The zipper is broke. I am not a good enough seastress to replace the zipper. So it is time to bid goodbye to the suit. It died before it's prime. It was less than a year old.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Anxiously awaiting - ADHD Dr. Visit.

Hubby took the 11 Yo Hyper pre-teen to his ADHD doctor this AM. I am waiting for that phone call that tells me what happened. I will probably ... Oop, there is the phone.

I got the scoop. We are going to continue him on his current meds, 2 32 MB, I mean mg. capsules of Concerta in the AM and then have the him take another in the afternoon. But I guess the doctor wants to try the new patch on him. He told Hubby that we put it on just before he wakes in the AM, take it off after 12 hours and then we get 3 more hours of affect. Hum, sounds interesting.

This is the first time Hubby has taken him to this doctor. We had to change last year as his doctor got out of clinical practice. Dr. H was my doctor as a kid. My brother went to Dr. H as well. Dr. H. remembered my brother. But Hubby said he and the doctor talked to the 11 YO about how he needs to make an effort at shaping his behavior.

Hubby made another appointment for September. But we are on a lsit to get a phone call when the patch is availalbe in our town.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Works For Me Wednesday

Hey everyone, My submission for this week has to do with meal planning. I work outsdie my home and still put a home-cooked meal on the table most nights. I like to cook, but mealplanning can be difficuly. My Mom just commented last night that she getsso worked up about meal planning sometimes that she gets all out of sorts. So to save my sanity, I plan my entrees by day:
  • Monday = Ground beef night - this is meatloaf, salisbury steak, sloppy joes, tacos..
  • Tuesday = Chicken - Sauted chicken breasts, chicken pot pit, etc
  • Wednesday = Pasta - spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna, stuffed shells
  • Thursday = Red meat night - pork chops, Kielbasa, steak, London Broil
  • Friday = Meatless or homemade pizza

Now these are not hard and fast rules. What they mainly do is provide some sort of structure that my ADHD brain can then organize around. I know every Sunday night I need to pull Ground beef out of the freezer. I can decide what to do with it when I get home. Or I did. If you have been following me, about 2 months ago I started a new job where I have a 1 hour commute. Today I start carpooling. However, It means I need to work an 8-5 schedule. I had been working 7-4 so I had time to make a 30 minute meal. Now either I make something up ahead of time that Hubby and/or the 11 YO can warm up or I rely on said family memebers to make it themselves. But anyways, Meal planning by matching an type of entree per day - Works for me!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Should we sensor teen reading choices

Owlhaven posted a blog entry askinging for opinions on whether or not teen (12-15) reading choices should be censored. It seems to have stemmed from the content of a series of Girls-type books.

What can I say? I have boys. I am constantly looking for a books to give to my 11 yo to read. For the most part I feel that as long as he is reading, it's generally OK. I jsut picked up a box set for his last night that Contains Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow. Both Hubby and I have read these. We did turn him on to Harry Potter aslo, but becasue of the controversey we read them first. (We both loved them) and then decided that at the time he was not doing a good job of distinguishing between real and fantasy. That got better in about 6 months and I required him to "read" (we read a lot of it to him) before seeing the movie. Therefore we were able to talk about how fantastical it ws and what our family values and faith are.

He is allowed to go to the library on his own. We live 3 blocks away. I'm happy to see a book in addition to any videos/DVD's he brings home.

I don't think I would forbid him from reading a certain book. But I would like to keep the line of communication open. I did give him some of the Dragon Riders series by Anne McCaffrey. I loved those books also. They might be advanced for him. I recal some insinuation about intimate enoounters, but they are more a passing reference and not at all graphic. He may not read all of them for a few years, but they are on the bookshelf and available to him.

Feeling Hot hot hot!

I was a bump on a log this weekend. Well, not really. I did get the laundry done, the 6 YO and I took the van in for an oil change and walked to Kohl's to find Hubby some shorts on Saturday morning. I should ahve cleaned the bathroom instead of just cleaning around where some male missed the toilet. I should have worked more on decluttering my craft area.

Sunday I even let the boys hook the XBox back up. I dislike the idea of them playing it, but they had been outside for a little bit, they were playing with a neighbor kids. The neighbor Mom sent them outside until the littlest neighbor fell asleep for his nap. My kids are always over there. I wish I could make my house a little more enticing for the boys to bring their friends over for our turn to host. But my boys are not very good about sharing in their own home. I need to figure out how to change that.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Everyday Things

I have decided to play along with Everyday Things. Since I have ventured into the world of Blog reading I have been inspired by the Christian Women who include their incredible faith in their posts. But I believe I have seen a miracle occur that I want to celebrate. The Daughter of friends of my large extended family was diagnosed with Stage 2 Breast Cancer at the age of 25 in 2003. At the same time she discovered she was pregnant. She put off treatment for a few month for the baby. Unfortunately the baby died in premature labor at 7 months. But she got better until this year when her cancer came back at a stage 4. She's maintained a blog. She got the results of her latest scan to see if her Chemo was having any effect. The Tumor markers are gone! Praise the Lord! She's one of those poeple I think of and wonder why one person has to go through some much heartache and tragedy. Makes me thankful for the life I have. I have made it a point to say prayers of Thanksgiving on my drive home most nights. Sometimes It's Thank You for my car not sliding on the wet road or Thanks for the inclination to slowdown and thank for keeping me safe from harm. Last nigt I was saying Thanks for Melissa's recovery.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Baseball season is coming to an end!

Tonight, if the rain stops, is the 11 YO's last baseball game of the season. The 6 YO's last T-ball game was rained out Tuesday. I'm ready. The 11 YO played in 2 leagues this year. The first was on the school team. They started in Mid April and fininshed up at the end of May. Then the rec leauge started games in Mid-may. Since Mid-May the 6 YO has games Tues and Thurs. The 11 yo played 2 days a week, usually Monday and Friday. That's just made my commute worse. I was rushing home to get to a baseball game. There was little time in the evenings to realx let alone do some basic housework. I guess we were blessed to have our weekends Baseball-free. We are looking forward to about 4 weeks of no evening activities. I'm in a routine where I am getting home about 5:10. That gives me time to get a meal on the table before 6:00. That will make me feel like a better Mom if I can cook a nice meal several times a week and we can sit and eat it together.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Works for me Wednesday

It's that time again. Be sure to check out Shannon's site for more great ideas.

I am showcasing a product today. It helps me with my 50 mile one way commute. If you want to know why I subject myself to this everyday, here is why.

But anyways, I have a wireless (Bluetooth) speaker phone for my car. It is a Motorola HF820. It clips to my visor. I only need to charge it every couple of weeks since I only get phone call a couple of times a week from Hubby.

I get in with my phone in my pocket or my pruse. I turn on the device and listen for the squelch that indicates that it is connected with the phone. When I do get a call, I do not have to dig form my phone while barreling up Interstate I75 at 65 (?!) MPH. When I get out of my car and the phone gets too far for a connection, the device turns its self off.

Works for me!

Monday, July 10, 2006

My Job

I thought I'd write a paragraph or two about my job. I keep talking about how I have a 50 mile on-way commute. Why do I do this? Why don't I get a job closer to home? The answer starts out with knowing that I live in SW Ohio in a mid-sized city. There is a large city 50 miles south. The mid-sized city is going through some transitions with military and auto industry cutbacks.

My new job is with a state university. My Alma Mater. I get state retirement benenfits, another benefit is tuition remission for my dependants. My boys are already primed that they will go there for college. It helps that their beloved Grandfather, Uncles and Mom went here. I am a manager in the IT department. I job hunted for several months. There were not a whole lot of jobs in my city. Jobs, other than consulting jobs that would have me on the road a lot, were either in the city to the North, about 70 miles away or this city South. DH has a good engineering job in our home city, but he is essentially beginning his career and not sure if he will stay with his employer for eternity. So moving further South seems like the best solutions.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Banks and Credit Unions

When Hubby graduated with his engineering degree about six months ago and went back to work, he made a decision to have all of his pay deposited in a Credit union account. We’ve always been a little weird about how we handled money, having accounts as Yours, Mine and ours. Now the checking accounts are more his and hers. (Note: all accounts are legally joint accounts – the checkbooks are usually kept in the same place, etc so there is no fear of “hiding money”.)

So the former “ours” checking account is at a local, regional bank. Mine is at a different credit union from his. So I decided I want to close the account at the bank. We have not had any big issues with them, but credit unions are generally friendlier and pay better. So I had a few automatic payments and I went about changing those over to my credit union account. Then I change jobs. I joined the credit union that services my employer, mostly because they are an authorized provider of a 403(b) for my employer. I set up my direct deposit to put an amount in the new credit union and the net in the old credit union. So I’ve got that all set up. Credit unions, woo-hoo! Well, the old credit union is in the city where I live. The new credit union is in the city where I work. When Hubby and I were driving around the area in between the two cities casing out neighborhoods, what dawned on me but “Hum no credit union branched for either of my credit unions in this town. I’m not use there are branches of credit unions that have an agreement with my CU to not charge for ATM transactions.” But I did see lots of branches of our local Bank. They are in the local grocery store and close by the shopping areas. Hum! My money habits hav me pulling out my weekly cash when I go grocery shopping on Saturday Mornings. I don’t often think about hitting the credit union ATM at work. I’m not sure there is a really convenient ATM close to my building.
So Now I am rethinking this whole “stop doing business with the regional bank business.” I hate to pay ATM transaction fees. So maybe I’ll keep the bank account open and deposit the monthly spending and gas money in there. Of course this means dealing with 3 ATM\Debit cards. But I will be able to easily track how much I am spending in gas with this new job

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Works for me Wednesday

Mocha Morning smoothy

A couple of months ago I started a new job. I am now commuting 50 miles one way. I go in early to beat the traffice. I am also a "gotta have breakfast" person. I also do better with a good dose of protein. So I created this coffee smoothy. I refridgerate leftover coffee. Or I make coffee expressly to refridgerate. After packing lunches in the morning, I get out my handy Oster Blend and Go cup, pour in about a cup of coffee, a splash of milk and a scoop of chocolate flavored protein powder, 4-6 ice cubes and blend. I put the cap that came with my cup (at WalMart), stick in the straw and run out the door. Once I get to work I add a granola bar and an orange to round out my breakfast.

Come Fall I'll have to figure out something warm. I can't see protein powder in hot coffee, but who knows. My Cold Mocha smoothies for breakfast, It works for me.

Bad Boys

Last night we went to see my cousin's new house - It's their first. It is the same plan as one another Aunt and Uncle owned for years. But anyways, Hubby is going to install AC for them. He wnated to get measurements so he could order the equipment for installation a week from Saturday. Of course we dragged the 6 YO with us and the 11 YO was given his choice, but hubby convinced him to come by broadly hinting that we would stop and get a treat (ice cream) while we were out.

So we pull into the driveway and I remember to tell that I expected good behavior out of them: quiet voice, no running around, politness, etc. It did not work this time. They had a contest of "Let's see how much I can bug my brother." They both fully participated. DH still stopped for ice cream ont he way home. The boys were only allowed to get one scoop- no sundaes. I did, however let them know I was embarrassed and when we got home they went to their rooms for the night even though it was only 7:50.

Usually when I give them remiders of the expected behavior, they comply. I don't know what the deal was. Probably since they had been home with each other all day, they were in bickering mode and unable to get out of it. Especially the ADHD 11 YO.

It' starting to worry me about the 6 YO. He does not have an focus issues, but he is a bit impusive. Well, maybe not impuslive, I think he's very deliberate, but he is missing the "These are the consequences of this action" switch. Maybe the consequences need to become more memorable.

Monday, July 03, 2006

A Favorite picture

I like this picture of my 11 YO playing catcher. Ideas of reaching for goal enter my mind. I guess I find it inspiring.

Financial reality sets in

Whoa Boy,
Hubby was paying his bills last night. Yes, we have gone to his and her bills and bank accounts. I don’t like it, but since all accounts are legally joint and he’s picked up a lot of the bills I was paying when he was earning his education, it seems more of a control issue on my part so I deal with it.

Anyways, back to the bill paying. The student loan payments have begun. The past six months since Hubby has been earning his post-bachelor’s degree paycheck, he’s had more money coming in that ever before. He got used to it. We even upgraded our cable TV service to get a DVR. (Love it!). Hubby’s been slamming money on his credit cards that got us through his school years and still had some to spare. He had grand plans to do some work on our house. No now he’s wondering how we will afford it without using more debt.

I’ve gotten my entire paycheck pretty much tied up. Actually, I may be having too much take out in federal taxes, but I will let it ride until I do next year’s taxes. The bases are covered, but very little wiggle room. But since I have the grocery budget, maybe I can work on that.

And we hope to move. Moving will be expensive. We will most likely increase our house payment. Why move? I want to shorten my 50 mile commute. But if I shorten mine by 20 miles, Hubby will increase his by 15 miles.

Hubby’s not willing to give up the DVR yet, but it’s on his radar screen.