Tuesday, August 30, 2011

First Day of School 2011 - Tears.... NAHHHHH

So all the build up is over.  Mom and Dad's money is all spent on shiny new pencil boxes, pink rubber erasers, and folders with duckies and kittes on them.  The outfits have been set out, the arm pits have been washed and the "bed time" has regained its popularity.  It was the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!  Josh and Megan jumped slowly drug themselves out of bed, ready for the day.  I made them a delicious breakfast sandwich with fresh rolls, scrammbled egg and ham.  Slathered with just a little mayonaise.  I made this because they asked for it.  Both of them asked for it.  Megan ate hers.  Josh, in his usual difficult-ness... didn't like his.  So a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich helped fill his belly.  Next they got their clothes on and brushed their teeth.  I helped Megan fix her hair and pick out her shoes. 

It was PICTURE TIME!!!  It was blissful Stressful!!  "Josh stand still, Josh, look here, Josh don't touch her, Josh, here... Josh, here, JOSH HERE!!!" 

In normal Western PA fashion, there was quite a chill in the air.  Megan states "mom, I'm cold".  My reply "go get a coat".  Attempt 1...coat had chocolate ice cream down the front and on the arms.  Attempt 2...had a nice grease stain on the front.  Of course there are tears now and yelling about how I wash CLEAN clothes all the time, but when it comes to DIRTY clothes, they never seem to make it in the wash. Attempt 3... WORKS, its clean.  But pulling it over her head makes her hair staticky. ((UH...Really?)

"Josh don't throw rocks at the chicken". "Josh, don't throw rocks at the cat".  "Josh, Don't throw rocks across the road".  "Josh, ONLY throw rocks at the trees." 

((BIG SIGH)).........  my 6th grader and my 1st grader are ready to go... up the steps and off they go. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I decided to join Toastmasters.  Toastmasters is a club that educates its members on how to become better speakers and better leaders.  Through a series of speeches, the members learn confidence, poise, communication skills, and creativity.  The thoughts of giving a speech in front of 25 people that I barely know is enough to give me heart palpatations and make me sweat.  My first speech is in 2 weeks and is supposed to be an IceBreaker....about me.  About my life. At first I thought, how boring.  A 5-7 minute speech about me.  There is nothing to say.  But then I started writing it.  It is still pretty boring, but I definatly have enough material to cover 7 minutes.  It was very therapeutic to write down the story of my life.  I had to stick to the main points of my life.  If I got too detailed, it would take me much longer than 7 minutes. It was enjoyable to think back on my childhood and remember some of the comfortable situations and events.  I also thought of my parents as being MY age right now.  That is something.... When I was a kid I could not see their perspective... but now looking back, I see my life from their eyes.  It was wild.  I think back at what my mom had to deal with at my age.  I am 39.  I have 2 children.  Both of them are active in sports.  I work Full Time and I help to manage Dutch's business.  When I was 11 (Megan's age), my mom was also 39.  She worked full time at night. She always helped to manage whatever Business we had at the time at home.  Her mother was 79. Her mother in law was in her 70's as well and very ill. My sister and I were active, but not in too many after school activity, but we required a lot of attention.  My sister would have been 16.  A new driver.  A teen that had trouble in school.  She required extra attention.  My mom had to manage the house pretty much on her own as well.  My dad would run the dishwasher, but other than that, not a whole lot of help.  But all in all our life was great.  I do not have bad memories.  As I wrote my speech for toastmasters I wrote about all things that were happy.  When it is time for me to stand up and give this speech I will be proud of the person I am not for even trying to improve myself, but I will be proud of the person I am because of the guidance I was given from my parents.  There is no way to express that in a speech.  I am who I am because of the parents that raised me.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

time goes by

Every time I get interested in the Blog again, I have really good intentions.  Then I write a little and have a hard time keeping up.  This past year has been a whirl wind.  I know I wrote about Megan trying out for the Silver Creek Starz last year.  She subsequently made the team and it was a wonderful year.  She learned so much and has come so far in one year of training.  Most of all she grew emotionally and socially.  Megan has a rough time in our community.  She does not have a lot of friends.  She talks to a lot of people, but doesn't have a lot of FRIENDS.  This is very hard for me to understand because she is such a kind hearted child.  She always looks out for the "little guy". The group of girls that she became friends with through Starz see Megan for who she truly is.  No preconceived notions of who she is, or who they think she should be.  She is free to be herself.  For a mom of a pre-teen this is a dream come true.  We decided to stay with Starz again this year for a multitude of reasons.  The training she gets is top notch, the softball experience is great, but the friends are priceless.  Megan will be starting school in 1 week.  As she moves into this school year, I believe she will have greater self esteem to deal with the daily grind.We are very lucky that Megan is such a hard worker.  She will not be defeated and this too is a trait that a preteen needs to possess. We are so proud of her.
Joshua has had a stellar year too.  He completed kindergarten with very good grades.  He is a social bug.  He loves to be the center of attention and often his personality allows him to achieve that.  Baseball was his sport of choice over the summer and this year, his team won the championship.  His team was amazing.  The children that played on his team all come from wonderful families and we had such a blast supporting these boys and girls.  The boy that never threw a ball before this season, became the "clean up hitter" by the end of the season.  This fall he is playing football.  This is a sport that I thought for sure would  be "too much work" for him.  I thought he would hate it.  I was wrong.  He loves it.  He works really hard and can't wait to have his first game this weekend.  Josh is so independent.  He has a hard time doing things any other way than his OWN way.  That's ok.  We hope that he uses this determination as he grows up to fight the temptations that will come before him.  We are so proud of him too.
Dutch and I work hard to be good parents.  We spend all of our time with our kids and truly enjoy being with them.  We do things as a family and the biggest challenge this summer came when we had to separate to attend the kids events.  I call it "divide and conquer".  Those were the hardest days of our summer. The proudest moment came just last weekend.  Dutch was playing in a benefit softball tournament to raise money for a local scholarship fund.  Normally, It would be just Dutch playing.  But this year, he asked Megan to play on his team and later in the day, even invited Josh to play.  He was the only dad who allowed and WANTED his children to play on the team with him.  It was the first game that they all played on the same team.  I was so proud!