Band Parents

Band Parents

Monday, December 28, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009


Yes, it's been an exciting year to be a football fan in my City. Our pro-football team is actually doing well, the High School team was exciting to watch between Band performances, my youngest played for the first time. But the University, ah the University. This was the best year in the entire history of the school, a dynamic coach, an undefeated season, a Sugar-bowl game.

Ah, So long Coach Kelly, it's been fun. Right now we are all disappointed. We understood Notre Dame was a dream job of yours. But you kept saying you woudl stay. You said it until the end. Then you let others do the talking. You have disappointed us.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

This cute little guy is a tribute to my boys who are both playing drums in the band. He makes me smile everytime I see him.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

O Dark Thirty...

And I am awake. For the second night in a row I slept badly. I'm not to sre what is going on. I am worried about the 14yo religion grade. I have a small situation at work that has me disturbed. I guess finanials have me worried.

I was keeping my head above water, but 3 car repair bills in October put my credit card over what I can pay off. I had been using my "Emergency Fund" to get through the months. And now Christmas. But Thankfully both hubby and I are both well -employed. We just need to cut back on spending. My biggest frustration is that my idea of utting back is very different from Hubbies idea of cutting back. He lives in a financial fantasy land where there is room for just about everything. He also likes to dream big. I want to hunker down and batten the hatches for a year or so.... But look out come January family!

So I need to get calmed down so I can sleep. I have been hitting the gym. I need to continue this.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Don't tell anyone, but.....

I fired up the Christmas music on the iPod today. I love Christmas music.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


I have been neglecting my blog. But I felt like I would be boring blogging about football games. That seems to have taken up a large portion of my time outside of work. Oh and I am a member of the PArent technology advisory committee for my son's connected high school.

The 10 YO has had a really good start to the school year. We wonder how much his playing football with classmated has contributed to it. Week after next he starts plyaing basketball with more classemates. He is a happier kid then he was 6 months ago.

DS14 finished his first quarter in high school. He did quite well. We followed his grades online through the quarter. He had a few late assignments, but they eventually got turned in. He got an eqaul number of A's and B's. We gave him a hard time because he missed an A average by 0.07 of a point. "If only he had remembered his gym uniform one more day" "or made a layup in gym class", or turned in one of his english assignments on time and got full credit instead of 50%. But we are proud of him.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

All Football, all the time

Ah yes, Football. Third week of the High school and the pee-wee season, second of the College season.

Friday night - High School football. The Opponents were the public high school of where I grew up. (I went to the Parochial school). We won! Here's a pciture of my 14 YO in his full band Uniform
The Saturday we went to the Game at my Alma Mater (and employer). We went becasue it was band day. Various High School band played on the field with the College band. My Hubby went to help with the instruments. the 9 YO and I spent a few hours Tailgating prior to the game with a group of my co-workers. But I made the mistake of going into the book store with my credit card and a 9 YO who thinks everything is cool (much like his Mom). We came out with hats, Rally beads, cups and a foam finger. Sigh. There went my money to buy a new Blackberry. I have to keep using my old one that doesn't always like to answer calls for another month. Our team won buy a huge margin.
Then finally on Sunday the 9yo played. They gave up 4 goals int he first quarter, but none after that. My son also played a new position, defenseive tackle and he was in on 2 tackles. So he was very happy.

Friday, September 04, 2009

My ADD-er in High school

I can breathe a sigh of relief. He's doing quite well. We attended "meet the teacher" night at the High school this week. All of the teachers talked about how they use the student's laptops in class in addition to their expectations. Can you believe the Math class is all electronic except for tests? For some reason that amazes me. Other classes are more hybrid.

But allg rades are online and accessible for parents. Teachers tend to post them several times weekly. The Math teacher talked about the test they had had that many of the boys did not do well. "I asked hte boys how many of them got a good talking to.." I had not looked. I gues working at a University, I hear way too much about "helicopter parents" and was trying to give him some room. Fortuantely, it turns out my son did well, getting an 85 on that test.

When I did look at his ggrades, it looks like there were a couple of quizzes he was not quite prepared for, but since that first week, It looks like he got the message and has been keeping up on his homework.

His biggest hurdle seems to be remmebering when he has gym and making sure he has his gym uniform. I think I am going to go and get him a pair of athletic shoes to keep at school. The Uniform code will soon change from summer dress to a more business casual where they cannot wear athletic shoes. Because of their block schedule, he had gym every 4th day, so it is not the same day each week. Even the Phys Ed teacher said he struggles with this after 7 years.

I guess we'll just need to keep an eye on his scores and help him if he starts to fall, lend him a hand. But we are starting off great.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

ADHD File system

So I am sitting here at 6 Am on a Saturday morning going through paperwork. Handling paper tends to be difficult ofr ADHD-ers. IN my Household, 2 of us have been diagnosed and treated for ADHD. Most people think I "Outgrew" it, but I say I just learned good coping techniques.

So when paper comes in, I have a "bill basket" it is actually a box that some bath gel came in. I found this time that I left this a bit longer than usual and the box was full and I had another basekt (Longaberger Spring) that was about half full. So I sat down, opened the envelopes and immediaely started 2 piles, trash and shred. I also have a simple box folder filled with several file folders. They are labeled: Tax, Medical/Dental, Assets, School Insurance and "credit crap". Every few months I sit down and go through all of my statements. I shred what needs to be shredded, throw away the trash (envelopes, other pamphlets without personal information). I also find I have put reciepts for thing like Prescritions that I used the flexible benefits debit card for. This way if I need to go back and find something, I can go throguh one file folder thinking "I know I saw that somewhere."

My file cabinet is more divided, but I tend to file stuff away in it once a year, usually when I run through taxes. The two step file method works well with my personality. Just remeber to keep it simple.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Meal Planning

I have been saying lately that I am in the "Mom's taxi" phase of life. My boys are 14 and 9 and both are rather self-sufficient except for getting themselves places. (Although I have taken them on bikes to show them how to get the library and a close by shopping center safely. And DS14 has gotten the bike out a few times this summer and trerated himself to McDonald's. )

At the beginning of May I knew it was going to be a hectic month with baseball games and practices. We had just recently purchased a membership at Costco and if there was not a plan in place for meals, Hubby would default to eating out eventhough he is trying to plus that hole in his wallet. Thus I made a monthly menu. I did write down somethign for each day, but at least the days when I knew we woudl be rushed. I also did a first of the month shopping trip to Costco (I get paid once a month, so that was the easiest) and divided up super-huge parcels of meats into meal-sized or individual sized servings (such as hamburger patties).

My family liked having that spreadsheet ont he fridge so much. My 9 YO has a habit of asking first thing in the morning or when he gets pciked up "What's for dinner? If the meal planned was an oven thing, I could have it prepared in the fridge and have the 14 Yo put it int he oven so it was ready when I walked in the door.

So here it is, the end of July. I am ready to start this process for August, I have the 14yo's band schedule (I think) but I only have information on the 9 YO's first Football practice.

I am worried. the 9 YO will be at after school care. Most liely we will not have time to take him home before football practice. He will have to be fed soemthing before practice. He's not much of a sandwich eat, so that will most likely mean fast food (Yuck! and expensive).

So here is what I am thinking:
1.) load some gift cards for Wendy's for once a week. I think football for the 3rd and 4th graders will be 2 nights a week.
2.) Make him eat a sandwich the other night.
3.) I will be picking the 14 yo up at school after practice. So we will need something quick.

I know a lot of busy people use their crock pots. I find that many of the crockpot meals I have tried do not hold up well after 10 hours. I just do not find them appetizing.

Anyways, I'll update on my progress.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Weekend trip -

I borrowed this image from Wikipedia. It is Pilot Mountain in North Carolina. We pass by it on the way from home to my Mom and Dad's. This is the pciture form I-77 in VA - about mile marker 5. I was so tempted to take my own picture. But seeing this means we it is just over 2 hours left. About 30 minutes after you first see this site, we drive right by it on US52.

Approaching Pilot Mtn from the South.
Anyways, I drove from SW Ohio to Central NC on Friday. It's camp G&G Month. (G&G is Grandma and Grandpa.) My Niece and Nephew stayed for a week. Then on the 11th we all drove halfway and I met my Dad at Tamerack in Beckley WV where I traded my Niece and Nephew form my 14 YO. Then this past weekend I went all the way down with the 9 YO and Sunday brought back the 14 YO.
On Saturday, the 14 YO water skiied and both he and the 9 YO tubed. My Dad managed to toss them both off the tube. LOL!
We made good time on the way home. There is only one little part of US 35 in WV that is not 4 lane divided. Those tend to be the longest 10 miles. The 14 YO and I arrived home about 8.5 hours after we left. We got McD's to go for breakfast, a Bio-break, a gas and Bio stop, 2 more Bio-breaks and then the grocery store.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Summertime quickies

  • We are still on target making some changed to the family money management. That is good. But I still get down at times.
  • My teenager has broken 100 lbs. That is good for a child on stimulant meds. His growth has been steady. I am waiting for a large growth spurt. My Hubby grow 5 inches when he was a freshman in High school. And little brother is only about 4 inches shorter, but as broad in the shoulders.
  • We are on sumer hiatus from organized activities. July 27 the teenagers has pre-band camp band practice. Aug 3rd the 9YO begins football practice.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I’m angry today. But here’s the thing, I’ve already been through the anger with this particular situation. The party at fault understands my anger and has apologized. And I moved on.
But the past couple of days that anger has surfaced again. This situation does not have a practical quick fix. It’s one of those where slow and steady wins the race. So I am trying to suppress this anger. But this suppression is eating me up inside.

So why did the anger come welling back up? I think because I heard a round of “woe is me” and I feel that this was misdirected. Then a partial remedy was discussed and there was enthusiasm, but there were excuses about why there was difficulty in following up with the remedy. I take 5 minutes online and find the information needed and it was online. Thus it did not require a phone call nor a 45 mile drive. And the responsible party surely had time to do this search with the fact that the computer is always on whether a game is being played or an online show is being watched.

Anyways, maybe this confession will help me move on.

Friday, June 05, 2009

My High school Freshman

And man, The Pomp and Circumstance that the Catholic Church does so well made is a wonderful 8th Grade graduation ceremony.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Baseball game

We were fortunate enough to have been given tickets to the Red's game for Mother's Day. My Aunt and Uncle had these tickets but two of their children graduated from College. Above is my Mother-in-law, my husband and my two boys.

The boys practicing their vertical leap. And a good time was had by all.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Decisions, decision - at 1:00 in the morning


I have the on call pager this week. Last night one of the email perimeter servers stopped working. I could not access it remotely, it needed to be restarted by having someone takeout the power cord, counting 5 “steamboats and plugging it back in.  Last weekend our data center went “lights out” during the overnight hours.  So my fuzzy brain is trying to process it all. Now this server is one of four. It could stay down until morning. However, I did not know how to disable the monitoring service so that the pager would not go off every hour.  I decided to go in and take care of it then I would drive back home (this is a 20-mile trip) to get my boys up and ensure they made it on the school bus. Oh yes, Hubby is on a business trip this week.


So when I arrived back at work this morning, my senior tech asked why I came in. I told him I thought about it, and decided that I wanted to set a good example for the rest of the team. As I thought about it, I may have made a different decision if Hubby had been at home and available to get the boys on the bus. I would have gone in about 5 AM, got the server back up and running and then gone on with my day.


Yes I now know how to suspend the monitoring for a particular server. We are also going to sit down at our team meeting on Friday and make a list of the critical servers that we should make the trip in to the data center in the wee hours of the morning to fix.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Mother's day giveaway at 5 minutes for Mom

The first blog that shows up in my feed reader is 5 Minutes for Mom. For mother's day this year, they are giving away a Toshiba laptop. Check it out and sign up to win it.

That's 5 minutes for Mom. The soft pink is really pretty.

We could use a new machine at home. We have 2, but there are both from about 2002. My boys use them to surf the Internet. They are great for that. One of these days I should get adventurous and put Linux on one. But I just picked up this slide scanner. I have slides my Grandparents took in the 60's and early 70's. There is actually an obscene number of me as a baby. I was the second grand child, my Mom is #2 of 11 kids. Anyways, this slide scanner only works with USB2. Both my home computers have USB1.

Did I mention that both Hubby and I have laptops from work. We are often both sitting int he family room with the TV on and our computers going. Hubby likes to play games and I like to read blogs and forums. LOL!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Can you believe it? I am up-to-the minute on my scrapbooking. All current event (except for the 9 YO soccer, are printed and in the binder. Of course I am a simple scrapbooking. I'm not much into too many embellishements. Put some pictures on a page, make the background a matching or coordinating color, add some descriptions and I am happy.

We spent our spring break at My Mom and Dad's lakehouse in NC. I went through Mom's pictures again and scanned in a lot of old family pictures. I posted most of them on my facebook page. One in particular was a family picutre from 1986. I have about 10 cousins who are in their 20's looking at the picture with new eyes and commenting on it. That's what I enjoy abotu Facebook. We get to connect with each other.

My next effort is to start going through slides. My Aunt did some cleaning a few years ago and wanted to get rid of the slides. My grandfather took many slides. Last night I mostly went through a 6 quart platic box of them. There are mostly from 1962, 1966-1975. This is going to be fun.

Friday, April 03, 2009

My son, the "adult"

Or at least in the Catholic Church. He was confirmed March 31. I can't believe I turend down my Mother-in-law's offer to take a picture of he and I. (Dad had to go out of town).

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Get out the shovels

It's time to clean out the 13 YO's room again. I have learned to expect to see weird things. This is what struck me as being the oddest:

It is a 2 litre of soda stuffed in a gym bag that I found in his closet. He had taken the soda to school for a science experiment. I guess he never used it and brought it back home. But in his closet???

Thursday, March 05, 2009

The IEP meeting: Transition to High School

A few weeks ago we had the yearly IEP meeting. This one was a big one, Three teachers, the speech teacher who assists as a resource teacher, The principal, the student (my 13YO) my husband, me, the Intervention specialist, the Intervention specialist from the High School.

I have to say it went well. I was reassured by the IS from the High School. I think it was great to have the 13Yo there also. The IS told him "Here are your responsibilities:" and he signed the form. We have a better idea of what to expect. Out of 225 boys in each class, there are 12-17 that are part of the "IEP Class". I heard that one of my son's wreatlign teammates is ont he waiting list to be a part of the IEP class as part of his admission.

Each boys gets a laptop. All teachers post homework assignments on the web. He will e responsible for entering the assignments to his local calendar. One of the problems he has is not writing down his assignments. Last week a project for Religion class was sent back home to be re-done. The 13 YO did not know what the requirments were for. That made me decide that if I had to repeat the year, I would specify in his IEP that "any assignments longer than 1 day should be written down." We search high and low for the requirments of the project. I even hacked his facebook account and posted a question to his classmates while he was at wrestling practice. We finally convinced him to call someone and ask about it.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My ADHD teen and sports

We are coming to a rather scary period of time. It is the between sports season time. Wrestling season is coming to a close. Baseball won't start until the first of April. Actually, Spring has not been as much of a problem as late Fall, I think becasue we have been able to keep the 13YO is some extended wrestling. Even practice 2 days a week prevents many Hyperactivity symptooms. However, he is showing signs of being ready to be done with Wrestling. Last Spring Hubby had the boy going to the off season practices, but he was goofing off even more and that's not fair to the coaches or the other teammates. So I am hesitant to do this again. Maybe they will keep up on the strength training on Tuesday night. I think we can convince him to go to those.

Another note, we met with the Intervention Specialist for Freshmen of the High school yesterday. That makes me feel even better that this school is the right decision, not matter what other uses I can come up with for spending that tuition money.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

More High School musings

Due to some bad decisions and financial mind games that were played this summer, our finances are crap. To someone’s credit, the problems have been realized and the future course has been adjusted.

Fortunately we are both still well-employed and our jobs look as stable as they can be at this time. We have cut back on expenditures greatly. Although I still feel like I am often saying “No, let’s not eat out. Let eat at home I can whip up ______. “

Anyways, I have written here about the parochial high school. That decision seems to have been made and then it comes back up as a debatable item. I think my once a week carpool friend is tired of hearing me go on about it. LOL! But it is debatable. We are fortunate enough to live in one of the best public school districts in the state. There is also another parochial High school only a mile further away from our house where the tuition is significantly best.

But the chosen school, while big, features a house system where the boys are broken up into groups of about 160. There are daily mentor group meetings of about 20-25 boys with the same teacher year after year. My ADHD son still needs some guidance and someone to be accountable too.

But if I listen closely, I am bombarded with the message that this is the right choice. Three teachers at last night’s open house commented that they think my son will do well at the chosen school next year. Next week we have a meeting to revise his IEP for next year. The intervention specialist from the high school will be there.

Sending him to this high school is like sending him to an Ivy League college. The Alumni are a tight-knit, involved and loyal group. Many events associated with the school that we have been to have been run by dedicated staff, faculty and parents of current students. It’s the network.
So why can’t I make peace with this? How does an excellent education compare to being debt-free? (Or having less debt?) Are we still living a life built of cards? Who knows what this economy will bring.

Oh yes, as a reminder, College tuition will be covered for him. As a benefit of my job, my dependants can take advantage of tuition remission at the state university where I work. If it weren’t for this benefit, the High school would be out of the question.

P.S. At lunch today, I was once again talking about the High school decision. One of the guys with us said that his experience that the kids coming out of our public High School are good at Math but here at the College they often have to take remedial English. Yes God, I am listening. Thank you for the reinforcement.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

More snow...

Even as of this morning, the forecasters were predicting show showers with very little accumulation. But at about 2:45, some turned the faucets on. The city is project to get 4-8 inches of the stuff. At my house we have about 4 so far.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Somewhere around 2012 I expect to see then again

My snow boots that is. Living in SW Ohio, so years we get appreciable snow and some years we don't. Last week we received close to 1o inches (some packed down by rain) and my boys were out of school for 4 days.

But the upshot is that I don't buy them boots every single year. I wait until they seem necessary and we confirm that we don't have any old boots in the house that will do the trick. This year, the 9YO had outgrown the boots I got him last year. the 13yo was still squeezing into the one I got him. But a couple of poss ago i mentioned getting new show for the 9 yo. Now they are getting very close to the size of my feet. So, of course when it was time for the boys to go shovel the driveway. the 9YO complains about his lack of boots. So I told him to put on the 13yo boots and the 13 Yo to put on mine. Fortunately mine are a nice gender-neutral navy blue. Maybe the toes are a bit pointed, but it does not bother him. I thin he are a little big. They are a ladies 11 and his shoes are a men's 8. But I figure that between he two of hem they will be able to wear my boots for the next three years if not more.

Actually, I think I will try to get myself a pair of men's boots. My cute LL bean boots are just not quite wide enough to accommodate my lovely ankle brace. Time to look for winter clearance sales.

Also, they are predicting another storm Monday night.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ice, Ice Baby

My kids are on their second snow day. Even the University I work for opened at 10 AM. They then closed as of 5:00 PM. Yesterday is was snow, then we got rain all night (ground temp was about 22 degrees). Looking outside this morning, you can see the house light reflecting off the ice outside. Now the snow is starting. It's not even light and my 9 Yo has 2 pairs of sweat pants on ready to go play outside.

I should have some pictures. Later today.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Too Big

Late last week my 9 YO shows me where his shoes are coming apart on the inside. Sigh.
We had to go to the Men's department to find shoes to fit him. We started at Kohls. They did not have any 7-1/2. He did try on a few pairs of size 8 but he did not find a pair he really liked.

So we went to Famous footwear. The first pair he liked and found in a 7-1/2 were $69.99 on sale. He's 9. I am not paying Seventy bucks for a pair of shoes he'll either outgrow or wear out in three months. Fortunately we found a pair of Adidas on sales for $30.

He's got the feet of my family. My Dad wears a 12 and my brothers both wear a 13. My husband only wears an 11.

Where is my little boy going?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Oh boy, forgot the patch

The ADHD 13 YO had a wrestlign tournament in Cleveland today. Last night hubby called me saying he forgot to pack the boys medication. Oh boy. Even the boys psychiatrist admitted after getting his medical records that it appears as if he needs some sort of meds. He's been on high doses ever since he started. He's also had a steady growth rate. She was initially worried about his 25 percetile in weight and height for his age.

Hubby ended up going to the store and buying a couple of can of Red Bull. He did have a talk with one of the coaches who noticed that the boy "was a different kid" In one match against a former teammate, he made stupid moves and did not listen to his coach.

Last week I blocked internet access for him between 3:30 and 5:00 PM. He was not too happy, but once again he spent too much time on the internet and not doing his homework. He did admit to having some outstanding assignments. I threw a verbal fit when I found out that he had three lab write ups to do over the weekend but only told us he had one.

This Friday is the day we have to go and pay the tuition deposit for his High School. We did tell him that we were not paying the tuition for him to have missing assignments. Dad told him we are committed to his freshman year, but he needs to prove it is worth our money. Otherwise he could attend our excellent public school and we could take a vacation.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

He has been accepted.

Back in November I wrote about the Parochial High School selection process here in our Archdiocese. We have gotten mailings from all 10 of the High Schools that accept males. One school in particular sent us a lot of materials.

The results of the Catholic High School Entrace exam arrived Saturday, along with a letter stating that DS13 had been accepted at the school of his choice. Of course Mom and Dad have to show up in person on Jan 23rd to submit the application form and the tuition deposit.

Here's the proud boy mdleing his T-shirt they sent ofr him to wear to 8th grade day at the school: