cheaper than therapy

Monday, December 24, 2007

The long road home


Well, our adventure had to come to an end, but not before spending 4 days in the car together. It may surprise everyone that we got along great, and I didn't embarrass my oldest child by singing loudly, telling goofy jokes, or even asking "Are we there yet?" a gazillion and one times along the way! Our taste in music can be similar, and his alternative rock and roll did not bother me one bit. We talked, reminisced, and made plans for our next trip together (or with the rest of the family). It was kind of funny to travel through so many miles on route 10E...and we had a chore counting the 900+ miles through Texas. Thank goodness for laptops, because I was able to organize the 485 photos we have from our adventure. Once we hit Florida, we were anxious to get home. So the laptop came in handy as we watched and listened to Steven King's Storm of the Century to help the time go by quicker. Gary and Peter called us about every hour or so to see how much closer we were getting...and we finally pulled in to the driveway around 11:30 Saturday night.
If you want to see more of my photos, visit my picasa web album at

San Francisco, Day 2




The second day we were in San Francisco, we took the cable car to Fisherman's Wharf area and did some exploring. It was rainy and cold, but we were happy to walk around and check things out. We ate lunch at a wonderful restaurant on Pier 33 and then met up with Danni and Craig. I met Danni online in a yahoo craft group. When I knew we were going to San Francisco and asked if anyone lived out that way, she jumped at the chance to come out to meet us. We took the cable car to Union Square and then back toward Fisherman's Wharf. Scrapbookers that we are, we took a ton of photos...some serious and some quite funny! It was as if we had known each other for years! The night ended with a night-time cable car ride, which Dave gladly videotaped to show the guys back home. San Francisco was as fun and exciting as we had hoped for.

San Francisco Adventures



After leaving Sequoia, we drove for about 4 hours and finally arrived in San Francisco. The first night, we had planned an evening tour of the infamous Alcatraz Island. We took a ferry into the bay, and to the island. It was pretty cold and overcast. The tour took about 3 hours, and it was awesome! The tour was narrated by 2 former inmates and 2 former prison guards. It was very well done, and interesting facts were given. The most impressive thing to me was that the people who lived on Alcatraz were put there for isolation and rehabilitation, and the view of the lovely city of San Francisco was invisible to them--it was breathtaking to us!

Sequoia--Nature at its Best!



When we decided to head to Sequoia National Park and spend the night at the Wuksachi Lodge, we had no clue what we were in for. Boy were we in for a treat! We had to rent chains, because of the ice on the mountain. Once we got to the entrance, we had a long winding 20 mile drive up to 7000 feet. The views were amazing...the road was steep and winding...when we got to the Giant Forest--Oh My Goodness!!! There was 2 1/2 feet of snow on the mountain and the trees were ginormous. We were able to get out an walk on one of the trails for a while. We saw General Sherman, the largest tree by volume (heightxwidth)which is 36 feet across and 275 feet high. WOW---Dave had only been in the snow twice before, so we both had fun making snowballs and stuff. Dinner at the restaurant was amazing, the rooms were wonderful, and we cannot wait to go again. If you are ever in the vacinity, we highly recommend taking the trip. Mother Nature at its best!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

James Bond...007

 

Dave took me to Hollywood today. We walked all over the stars on the Walk of Fame, saw I AM LEGEND in the Grauman Theater, visited the Hollywood Wax Museum, and then finished at Guiness Book of Records museum. We had a lot of fun. Here is Dave posing with one of his favorites...James Bond! Tomorrow we head off for Sequoia National Park to see the huge trees (and snow) and then we are off for a few days in San Francisco. We will be leaving for the long ride back to Florida after we tour San Francisco. Look for more news from Dave and Mom's Big Adventure! And look for more photos in my picasa album.
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Friday, November 23, 2007

We are thankful

 

When Peter was first diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, we knew our job was to educate our family so we could manage this situation to the best of our ability. One of the best tools we found was a book called "My Bi-polar Rollercoaster". Well...the title pretty much says it all! We have been on rollercoaster ever since. This has been a crazy year, full of ups and downs. With all of the nonsense and craziness in our lives, we feel that we are truly blessed. Dave is doing well with his internship at NASA, and plans to continue working for NASA when he is finished. Ben is doing great in school and is developing into quite the renaissance man--with a love of art and music far beyond his 15 years. Peter is doing great...managing this bi-polar monster that lives inside him. He takes his medications, has a positive attitude toward his therapist and psychiatrist, has an active social life ( at school and with his skating friends) and is making good grades in school. Gary and I are happy in our jobs, marriage and family life.
We were fortunate to have a wonderful Thankgiving meal with my parents ( who are active and in good health) and the boys yesterday. It is good to have a house full of wolfecubs...they are getting along and happy to be together as a family. Dave was a wonderful big brother and brought home a Wii system as a Chanuka gift for his family. They have been playing the games...all 4 of my boys...The laughter and silliness is refreshing and a welcome sound in our home.
WE ARE THANKFUL and TRULY BLESSED....
My hope for all my friends is for a wonderful holiday season, surrounded by the happy sounds of family united, and children laughing...no matter how old those children may be!
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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Thanksgiving is coming!

 
Each year, we kick off the holiday season with a family Thanksgiving Feast in my classroom. We held our feast on Friday, so it would be less stressful for me to do my own feast next week. All I can say is WOW---each year, it seems as if we have more and more people join us! This year, I have 10 students and we had a ton of people at the feast. I cooked a 20 pound turkey, we had dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, cranberry sauce,rolls, cupcakes, fudge, cookies and punch. The leftovers were at a minimum...as usual! After most of the parents left, Jared, Stacy and Joelle stayed to help Linda and I clean up and then put up the Christmas tree. We only have school Monday and Tuesday next week ( yeah) and then I have to start working on my own feast!
David comes home from California late Wednesday night (actually Thanksgiving morning around 1) and we are all really excited! Mom and Dad are coming to have turkey with us,too. I have been sick for the last few days, not sure if it is strep ( going around school) or if it is sinuses....I will try to get to the doctor Monday so I am not sick for turkey day!
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Monday, November 5, 2007

Peter turns 13!

 

 



Yesterday marked Peter's entrance into the teen years. We weren't sure how he would handle all the excitement, as last week was really hard emotionally for him. He spent Saturday at the skate park and had a super time. They spoiled him with extra treats and lots of attention. Sunday morning, he woke up and wanted to go out for Belgium waffles smothered in strawberries and whipped cream. Then, he wanted to go shopping at Kohl's for some shirts and stuff. These are two things that he usually does not want to do! We did both, then came home and he did homework and some skating. Around 5pm, he decided that he wanted to invite some friends for cake. We quickly scrambled and called Brady and Noah. They know what Peter has been going through and knew he may wait until the last minute to invite them over to share his day. They are awesome kids, and great friends. We also called TJ and asked him to come on over with Jody and Michael.

Well, all's well that ends well, and Peter did not let his battle with bi-polar disorder ruin his 13th birthday!
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Sunday, November 4, 2007

Birthday Spa Party

 

Saturday we had a friend come over to treat us to a spa party. Since Kelcey's birthday is Tuesday, we decided to make it a combination birthday celebration and spa party. Here you can see Terri, Shannon, and Kelcey relaxing ( they actually have eye pods and green tea warming treatment on under their warm towels). It was lots of fun!
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Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Visit to the Pumpkin Patch

 
 

Well, even though it was in the mid 80's yesterday, I went with friends to one of the local pumpkin patches. For anyone who has ever spent Halloween north of the Mason Dixon line ( or where there are really 4 distinct seasons each year) Halloween in Florida is quite a shock. In the 20+ years we have lived here, only once were my boys wearing long sleeves under their costumes!
Anyway, Jody, TJ, Michael and I went to the pumpkin patch and looked at the pumpkins before finally settling on 2 big ones and 4 little ones. Michael and Jody are going to paint theirs and then carve on Monday night. That was our plan, too, but the boys want to carve ours today. Sooooo, I will be posting photos of our carved pumpkin later today.
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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Criss-Cross card making

 
 
 
 



After cleaning up the craft room this week, I set aside time to play with the criss cross technique. This looks much harder than it is...but don't tell anyone! I found a great tutorial by Beate on Splitcoast Stampers and voila! Here are some samples of the 20 some cards I made in just a few hours of playtime!
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Sunday, October 7, 2007

Homecoming 2007

 


Ben and Stephanie went to the homecoming dance last night. According to Ben, they had a great time! Here they are in front of Stephanie's house. Stephanie's mom was chaperoning the dance, so there may be even more photos. Gary and I figured we would give Ben a break, and not have 2 sets of parents chaperoning! BUT...there were lots of chaperones that knew Ben and the family, and I am sure to get a report on Monday.
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Sunday, September 30, 2007

WE"RE BAAAAA_CK!

 
 
Kelcey and I just got back a little while ago from the MS CROP for Hope in Oldsmar. No trip over there would be complete without a trip to RUBAN ROUGE scrapbook store. Kelcey and I behaved ourselves, as we wanted to spend our money helping out Jackie and the MS Crop. Jackie did such a great job organizing this and pulling it off. There were lots of doorprizes, raffles and silent auction items. We came back with tons of goodies!
As usual, we had such a great time with the Hilltop Gals. This time, we met the infamous Barb and the mysterious Miss Elle. We took all the classes they had to offer so we did a bunch of fun projects. Lisa and Geri Anne were awesome, and we used some fantastic papers from their kit. Stacy did a great little book....We found a new appreciation for wooden cubes with Elle, and of course, Jules presented a wonderful chipboard book. Here are photos of THE PEANUT GALLERY (AKA the hecklers) as Jules tries to maintain her composure. I think Linda was doing something kooky with some metal that fell off one of her undergarments at the time...........
Head on over to my picasa site to see more photos from the weekend.
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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Happy Birthday Dear Linda

 

 




Today was my friend Linda's birthday. As she is also my classroom assistant, we had a little celebration in our classroom. I lovingly call her The Old Bat so last year's cake was custom made and said HAPPY BIRTHDAY OLD BAT. This year, Linda said no cake...no celebration, and no bats! So....my cake maker ( one of my talented moms) decided we needed to put the old bat to rest this year. Too funny!
The icing on the cake (pun intended) was that Stacy also made a possessed doll for Linda. A few weeks ago, we had this doll that looked possessed. We took her and put her in the trash. For some straange reason, she reappeared the next day! It was freaky--a true twilight zone moment! Stacy recreated her for a present for our dear Miss Linda.

Happy Birthday my friend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
until next year............
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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

MS CROP FOR HOPE

HOORAY! It is almost time for Jackie's fundraiser for MS. Kelcey and I are soooo very happy to be going out of town this weekend for the crop. We hope to see many of our cyber-pals and Hilltop Friends there. I feel like I know Jackie from all of our corresponding back and forth this past year. It will be wonderful to finally meet her. She has put so much into this crop, that I know it will be a huge success! Can't wait to share photos next week.
I have been getting pre-organized for the weekend in Oldsmar. I went online and got all the information on what supplies we need to bring for our classes. Next, I went to my old laptop and transferred photos for printing and bringing for projects. Tomorrow I will pack my tools and the next night I will pack clothing.
Hooray....we are going to have a much needed weekend away........

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Green can mean many things....

There are lots of little things that we often take for granted. One of those little things that may pass us by are the nuances a color can create....Gary and I are having a little fun "tiff" revolving around something new that has come into our household. It is little, and it is green...and it has generated lots of stimulating conversation.
Someone can be GREEN with envy.....
Someone can be GREEN because they are feeling sick to their stomache....
Someone can be GREEN because that is the color of money.........
Someone can be GREEN and horny because those little m-m's say that's what green ones do......
Someone can be GREEN because they are new at something and don't know anything
hmmmmmmmmmmmmm....what else can GREEN be for?
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GREEN is the color of my new laptop. I have had my faithful laptop for more than 5 years, and it was time to get a new one. I have been using my laptop for so many things. Gary has one he is borrowing from school and I don't think it is very good...and it certainly doesn't hook up to the internet. He will be inheriting my old laptop (complete with fully functioning connectors to our network, internet, and definitely a few steps above what he had to work on previously). My new laptop is pretty apple green, comes with a big screen to help out my tired eyes, and is definitely a huge step up from my old machine. Dear hubby tells me I am selfish and could have done without my new 'puter......I told him that he is wrong about that. If I were selfish, I would have gotten the pink laptop that the boys wanted me to! He would really look pretty silly with a pink laptop in a few years when I am ready to trade up again!
My favorite color this week is green, what's yours?!

Monday, September 10, 2007

HOLLYWOOD or bust

 


Glad to see that David is having time to explore the sights. He drove to Hollywood this weekend and went to see the Walk of Fame and all the star's handprints outside Mann's Chinese Theater. He's so cute, because in lots of photos, we can see his shadow! I didn't want to upload all the photos he took, but here is a good one (of his shadow). Yes...I think it was cute that he managed to get himself into lots of photos...
Hugs!
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Up in the Air...

 
 



David is really making friends "in high places" while he is in California. His supervisor told him to make friends with the pilots, as they often need someone to keep them company when putting in their air time. So far, David went for a ride in an F-15 and this Friday, he got to go for a ride in a glider. Here are some photos as he flew over the Antelope Valley with his friend. He got to sit up front, and he got to "drive" too. You can see his big feet in one of the photos (lol)...I don't know how he got all 6 feet and size 13 into that tiny glider!
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SK8R-DUDE

 


Now that school has started up again, Peter doesn't get to the skate park as nuch as during the summer. He has been spending the day there on Saturdays though. When we picked him up, he asked me to take some photos. He is getting pretty good at this, and scared the boogers out of me when he "drops in" off the 6 footer....GNARLY DUDE!!!!!!!!!!
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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Labors of Labor Day

 
 
 



Now that my craft room is almost organized again, I spent some creative time in there yesterday. It was wonderful, because once again I have space and privacy to work on my projects---I can put on my tunes, sing or hum without anyone getting annoyed with me, and enjoy my own space! YEAH!!!!!!!!!!

These critters are from The Angel Company, and the patterned paper is also from their catty ( it's called Fruity Frusion and I love it). The solid cardstock is Stampin Up (and some of it is a few seasons old) scraps I had lying around. The technique is Stippled Frames from the latest Technique Junkie Newsletter. Maybe it's because I have boys, or a warped sense of humor, but these little critters have been favorites of mine for a while---they are just so cute!
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Saturday, September 1, 2007

WHEW!!!

It seems like a long time since I posted. Getting back to school has made life here a bit more hectic than it was during the summer. Peter and Ben are both at West Shore, and that means Gary gets them up and out in the morning. I have been doing the happy dance as I can actually read the paper and have a cup of coffee before leaving now. Yipee! Friday, I actually got on the computer and signed up for a workshop before the system got jammed....and all before 7 am. Now, if I can just convince Gary that I need to get rid of the mom-mobile before December rolls around, I will be in heaven!
It's Labor Day weekend, and the house is actually quite today. Peter and Brady took off for the skate park at 9:45, and Ben is working away at Publix until 6:30. With Gary asleep on the couch, I have some time to play in the craft room. ( Or as Gary lovingly calls it, the Crap Room). Hopefully I will have some photos to share tomorrow.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Weekend playtime

 
 


I finally got some time to stamp this weekend. I had purchased some great "fantasy" genre stamps from Faerie Song Stamps. This mermaid and her steed are awesome! I used watercolor crayons to color them in, added some crystal effects and bedazzles to help them sparkle, and then finished them off with some ribbon or beading. Stamping up cardstock is ballet blue, and the background paper is from the new Rock Star slab ( I think it's Die Cuts with a View)... Check that slab out...it ROCKS!!! (LOL)
Now that my craft room is back in shape after David moved out (again) I hope to get a lot more crafting time!
Hugs to all....
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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Splitcoast Girls Meet in Brevard!

 
 
 
 



Yesterday, a group of 17 girls got together at Charlie and Jakes in Suntree before we headed over to the library for an afternoon of stamping fun. We had all met on the Splitcoast chat boards, where Amy and Robin decided to organize a face-to-face shoebox swap. Things could not have gone better if we had tried! Charlie and Jakes was great, we met outside and chatted while we waited for them to open. Some of the girls from out of town shopped at Scrapbook Cottage before lunch. Linda found out that the library was ready for us early, so off we went. I don't think that anyone left any major items home, and all the cards were wonderful! I will try to get back in to label the cards and their designers, but I cannot promise anything. Sorry. The afternoon flew by, with everyone busily working and chatting as if we had known each other forever. It was so much fun, and we all have so much in common, that we are definitely going to do this more often!
Hugs to all....
I can only post 4 photos, so head to my picasa album to see the rest....
http://picasaweb.google.com/wolfepak1394
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