Thursday, August 28, 2008

Update peoples...

Ya know Tuesday night (first day of school) Noah slept ALL NIGHT in his own bed! He was so wiped out from school that he went to sleep by 9:00 and slept till the garage door went up at 7:00 am!! JACK POT people!! I got sleep ALL NIGHT!!

Wednesday night....he went to sleep by 9:00 and didn't come over to us till 5:30..which was fine because the garage door didn't wake him and I let him sleep till 7:15!! JACK POT AGAIN!!! I got to sleep ALL NIGHT!!

So, hopefully this keeps happening! He loves my old bed and his television running all night (comments oh perfect mommies out there, keep them to yourself, cuz what works for me WORKS FOR US!!). He is so curious to what all the words say on his school station that plays all night. TOO much!

Well, tomorrow is Friday and I have survived the first week of performing child care services (I prefer that over babysitting....), my son's first week of kindergarten, a sick belly, a cold/flu bug, and an air conditioner leaking which attempted to flood my basement for the 22nd time! lol....so I bow to you.......

Happy Friday!!!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Good first day!

I know you are DYING to know how the first day went LOL...like you have NOTHING else to do right now....so here it goes!

I didn't cry.....I made it through making him his chocolate chip pancakes, putting his backpack on, taking the first of many pictures, and watching him be so independent getting on his bus. He told me I was being ridiculous taking pictures when all he wanted to do was get on the bus and go to school. HA!

Here are some pictures of the morning.



Everyone at the bus stop waiting! Lots of new kindergarteners!



Here comes the bus!



Loading on the big yellow bus!









Off goes my little man! And......

Yes, I followed the bus to the school. He made it safely! lol...actually it was because I had 2 large bags of donations that I did not want him to have to take with him on the bus, so I took them in! I got a cute video of him with the other kindergarteners getting in line to go inside the school. I will hopefully get that uploaded soon....

Gotta get back to my BUSY crazy life! :)















Monday, August 25, 2008

Big Deep Breath


My little man is getting on the school bus tomorrow morning for his first time! He is heading to KINDERGARTEN!! He is so excited and Mommy has bit her nails off and called Mimi for moral support......I thought I was okay till I started packing his stuff up for tomorrow morning.
I just packed his lunch (with a special note from Mommy), snack, folder, pencil box with goodies, the extra stuff they needed, donated items, signed a card for him in the morning, made sure I had choc chip pancakes (his favorite) for breakfast, and I feel like I am forgetting to breath. This is MUCH harder on the Mommies than anyone! Think of me tomorrow at 8:00. I will take pictures!
Pray for me!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

BIG NITE!!

So, I don't know anyone famous nor have I ever met anyone famous, Hell, the only concert I have ever been to is Dolly Parton! As you can see, I am a pretty sheltered person. BUT I do know someone in the Olympics. No...it is not Michael Phelps or the 41 year old swimmer. His name is Brian Sell and he was my boyfriend in jr. high and a little in high school! He was my little "first-puppy" love boyfriend!

Tonight is the night he will running tonight at 8:00 pm so tune in folks!
Here is the link to the information from the local paper :)

PS I can't believe they didn't recognize me....ME darnit....I gave him a pep talk in 9th grade and told him to stay with running cuz if he loved it that much it didn't matter that anyone was beating him. He would get better if he kept trying. He was so concerned that he wouldn't do well and be popular....so funny now cuz he is FAMOUS and I deserve the credit LOL LOL LOL oh well....at least I can say....

I MADE OUT WITH BRIAN SELL!!! WE SWAPPED WATERMELON BUBBLE GUM ON THE NBC PLAYGROUND!!! LMAO LMAO

Okay heading to the basement to pull out some old pictures! Be back for another blog!

Monday, August 18, 2008

I got this....

Okay first with a little update from my Noah not sleeping in his own bed all night situation....

I figured it out.....


He hates his futon bed. Why? It is hard and uncomfortable! He is in it because frankly...we are on a budget....kids NO beds till I begin working again.
How I solved this??
Simple: I moved him to the spare bedroom. He is now sleeping in my bed from when I was little that my grandfather so beautifully redid for me. He loves it! And he falls asleep and STAYS asleep to our county school's station for updates on the schools. It is just words across the screen with some cheesy instrumental music with a great night light!! He now comes over to us at 5:30 in the morning instead of 1:30!! It is awesome!

Whatever works right?? That's my philosophy!

Second, I got my organization completed :) I will share at the bottom.
Third, we went to Dutch Wonderland.....not my favorite place in the world. OVERcrowded and it was WAY too hot for such crowded places.
B-O baby...that is what I smelled all day and dude...it WASNT mine! The water part was a parents' worst nightmare but at least the kids had fun. I guess that is all that matters! Delgrosso Park is much quieter and family friendly! Also about the same distance!! Heck even Lakemont is better.

Even though I was irritated and hot....I must say that my kids had a blast and loved some of the rides. There is a beautiful garden with arch bridges going over them which was worth the trip in itself!
And of course people, I forgot the camera! But I did get some pictures of the kids on the way home fast asleep...so what this trip did was knock my kids out! YAHOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!





















Fourth....I am a frog murderer! After mowing the yard the other day, my son went out to catch a few of the million crickets in the backyard only to find this......WARNING WARNING: THIS IS NOT SUITABLE FOR WEAK STOMACHS!!!!





















So I am now officially a frog murderer. Noah told me, "Mommy, YOU KILLED THIS POOR FROG who was just trying to have some dinner! I need to call Grandma." So......he told the Grandma police on Mommy the frog murderer!!!!!!!

My laundry room for organization of the kids' coats (mine and the ones I babysit), bookbags, shoes, gloves, hats, and all that jazz.



I organized my linen closet. This is one area in my house that typically stays prettty organized since I am the only one who gets in here....I do the laundry, I change the towels and the sheets, and I get out extra toilet paper.



BEFORE




What I did was took a big basket (comes in 3's at Michaels) and folded up all my hand towels and washclothes for in there......






Folded my sheets Martha Stewart style and this is what I got:



AFTER

One way I always keep my son and hubby's t-shirt drawers and undieroos' drawers organized is rolling their shirts and undies......

Works like a charm!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sharing time!

For the last couple years I have been doing weekly menu plans. I used to type them up and post them on the fridge, now they are just written on a white board on my fridge each week. I have lost my motivation for this over the summer...it is so easy to eat out and fatten up!! So, now that school is beginning again, my life is going to be organized once again! While checking out Organization Junkie, I was pulled in quickly by their posting every week of their menu plans. One that caught my eye was What's For Dinner? She has REAL recipes that people will actually eat! People meaning my picky hubby and kids!! She has great recipes and even has pictures to go with them! So, I wanted to share that with you!

I am also working on a project that my mom passed on to me from Tip Junkie. I quickly checked out that website to find how to get my kids organized and myself :) With school starting in t-minus 9 days something had to be done! I will be sharing that once I get it all finished!!

Some things I am working on:
Menu plan board,
mudroom area,
closet organization for my Little man heading to the BIG K (kindergarten),
and my ways of keeping my life together....

I should have been working on this all summer, but hubby has drained my energy!! He seriously needs a summer job when he is off...I am on that for next summer!! *sny giggle*

I just work better under pressure, so this has to be completed by this week! With school starting that means that I will be beginning my adventure with 3 girls for the year!

Off to watch some HGTV!! Oh and work on these projects!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Note to self:

Taking a ride in the car alone with the windows down, the music blaring, me singing at the top of my lungs is good for the soul.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A walk outside on a summer night

Tonight I walked outside to let the dog out.

What a beautiful night.

The path from the woods was occupied by the wispy fog as it crept up from the familiar creek.

The cicadas were chirping their nightly song...chirp...chirp with a note from a frog and a cricket.

My fabric softener filled the crisp air...I couldn't breathe it in fast enough.

I stood there in my bare feet in my driveway and looked up. I thanked God for everything around me. The beautiful night, my kids, my opporutnity to stay home with them, my hubby, my family and friends, and most of all for Him. For Him giving me everything I could ask for and then some.

I stood there....completely complete. Completely happy.

Then while standing there with my eyes closed....I felt something...

I felt the slimy slug touched my foot. He is the slug who ate the french fry last night in the driveway. He is the slug who leaves his slimy, glistening trail on my driveway every morning. There he was....greeting me....so you ask, "Did you talk to him??" Cuz you know that would be a fabulous ending to this beautiful night......But I didn't do that.....

I actually JUMPED SO HIGH UP IN THE AIR AND SCREAMED!! I ran my ass back in the house and waited through the storm door for the dog to finish.

Such thoughts

So I was putting clothes away in my closet yesterday and I saw my favorite hoodie and jeans. I had a thought. I thought......















I can't wait till winter!


Then the thought was gone...just like that. WHAT WAS I THINKING???!!! OMG!! I don't want winter!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Okay Okay...I'll spill it....

Life is full of roads...roads that can lead you one way and others that lead you other directions. Those roads are the choices we encounter.

You get choices in life. You get to choose those options. Sometimes there are risks with those choices, but you got to take them and see which choice is the best for you and your family.

I was taught to take the road less travelled....
I was taught that change was a good thing.
Change made you more well-rounded, more open to things in life.
Change allows options in your life. I like to say that my mom is the reason I love change so much. I like to believe that it's because she moved the furniture around so much when I was growing up. My mother is the type of person who gets bored with the furniture always in the same place...it literally drives her insane.

I get that from her. I love to move the furniture around. I move it just to feel change. Weird?? I know...but when you sit in the house all day long as a SAHM you have to CHANGE something....so why not?? Simple, and creative fun.

Change and Hubby do not go together. They go together like water and oil.

Hubby is stuck between a rock and a hard place. He is the sole provider for this beautiful family of 4. I pull in some money here and there babysitting daily and working online, but he makes the money that actually pays for groceries and the mortgage.

So, long story short (well sorta lol)....

Hubby gets a wonderful teaching job in PA.

Not the job he originally went for, but he was excited cuz it was the same grade level as he teaches in VA.

Job is changed. They would like to see him in 5th grade and he isn't given all his years. But that again is just part of it. PA doesn't have to do that.

He is ready for the change.

However, we find out that the school district is striking.

Another door closed.

Hubby has a strong desire to provide for his family. He is such a good man. I just hope that he can have another opportunity there because if anyone deserves it, it would be my hubby.

He was finally ready for the change.
God closed that door.
I know there will be something he really wants...something that would benefit the whole family.
I have faith that God will bring that to him and hold the door open wide and clear of any obstacles.

However, until that happens, we will remain in our beautiful home in WV (which we were going to do anyway if he got this PA job) and he will continue to teach in VA. I am as happy as can be. I love it here!

Now the next obstacle.....keep him as positive about life as I am!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Luray Zoo

The one thing that I love about where we live is we are within an hour drive radius of a million and one different things to do. We can travel to Maryland, Pennsylvania, our own state of West Virginia, and Virginia and find fun, educational things to do with our kids.

Today's adventure was a trip to Luray Zoo in Luray, Virginia. It took us an hour and 15 mins to get there.

The trip down through Shenandoah Valley was absolutely beautiful! The mountains are breathtaking!

The zoo was a small zoo, with very few exotic animals, large reptile area, an adorable petting zoo, and beautiful birds from everywhere.

While there some of our favorites included:

The large condor. We never knew a condor was really that big!! Noah said it reminded him of the flying dinosaur.

Sydney loved the petting zoo. She was so frightened by the donkey...he was so loud when he called for food!

We got to see the monkeys get their 1:00 pm snack and checked out the all the reptiles! There were so man different ones!

Noah especially liked the large monitor lizard.
Hubby and I were fascinated by the Alligator Turtle. He was 150 years old and HUGE!




Fair, Crabs, and Animals

This weekend was filled with the county fair, catching crabs, and going to the zoo (next blog). Friday-Sunday our nephew came to visit with his Mommy and Daddy. We had such a good time visiting with them.

While I was working hard online Friday, they headed to the creek behind our house to play, then off to the pool...while I continued to work.

However, my shift was cancelled which allowed me to join them at the pool. I was so excited...I got my swimsuit on, my cover-up, and sandals. I jumped in my hubby's car, turned the key, and nothing....dead....dead as a door nail. I texted hubby, no reply, so my only ride to the pool was the rusty ten-speed bike hanging on the garage wall.

With a heave and a hoe....I yanked that bike down onto the ground, hoping noone saw it nail me on the back as I muffled a scream under my breath. I jumped on that bike (all Wizard of Oz like) and started my short, but very up-hill ride to our community pool.

I had to get off and push part of the way up cuz this SO out of shape Mama couldn't make it the whole way. We had a relaxing swim at the pool and after we were cold enough we headed home. I had a great ride back on the bike. Syd rode on the back and it was all down hill!!

On Saturday, we left our company at our house and headed up to PA for my brother and my sister-in-law's picnic. We had a good time! The kids played with my SIL's family and made tie dye t-shirts. Great food and great times!

Saturday evening we made it home and headed to our county fair. We were so excited to see the animals, but after $10 to get in.....we found out the animals left Friday. We were so disappointed! So, we ate some greasy, fattening fair food, played some games, checked out the exhibits and people, and headed home.

Sunday morning they headed home.











We headed to the creek with our neighbors. It is our favorite place to be during the warm months.....when I say "we" I mean hubby and the kids. I could do without the knats, ticks, leeches, and snakes. But I can't keep Noah away!! He and Daddy go down there and spend a couple hours, almost daily, catching crayfish and minnows. Noah will remember this forever!














My dirty, cutie









Syd venturing out














The bucket of crayfish












Maddie, Bradley, & Noah searching














Haley OMG is
that an alligator??











Water is a little cold

huh Tiffany??

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Thoughts of my Childhood bedroom.

Picture it....

Hopewell, Pennsylvania, a small rural town...(say that to yourself like Sophia on Golden Girls, which btw we are in mourning)....

I am a 9 year old girl laying on the floor surrounded by her barbies and all their accessories. My 6 year old brother, Mike, is yelling cuz he wants me to let him in.... I chuckle, because this is my refuge, my security, my privacy.

The room is pink. My mom spent an entire day painting it for me. My bed is covered in a quilt my mother made for me. The one wall on the end of my room consists of a closet and a built in desk with 3 drawers. The desk has a mirror and a place for me to hang pictures, notes, and drawings. I love to draw....the pictures are of beautiful girls wearing the fluffiest of dresses...







And a picture is hanging on the wall between the two windows. One that I stare at and look at daily. I read the bottom over and over again trying to remember the name. I count the letters in the name to fall asleep. This picture is special. It was given to me by my maternal grandparents. It reminded them of me on the beach as a little girl. I treasure it....but don't realize how much till now.




This picture was lost along my way growing up. In the construction of doubling our house size and my careless use of its frame, it was lost. However, I have found it with the help of my mom and someone overseas. I am ordering it for my daughter's room. A very important part of my childhood will be a part of hers.




This is the picture that was in my room.....
















Priceless....absolutely priceless to me. I can't wait till the day it arrives!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Ritchey-Howser Reunion 2008



RITCHEY-HOWSER FAMILY REUNION 2008

Let me tell you....my family are hoots! We have a yearly family reunion where we get together for good food, laughs, and games.




This year was fun....it was filled with bubbles (lots of them), unwrapping tape for money, and naps in the hammock.






































































Updates:
1. My cousin Alex came!! I have missed him so much! He has grown into a handsome young man!! So scary he will be 21!!























2. My cousin Megan is driving!! AH!! She will be 16 soon...can't believe that either!















3. My Uncle John brought his new wife, Tracy, AKA Jersey girl, and her son Dom, to their first redneck reunion. I think she loved it! Especially the drive there over rolling hills and through corn fields.


















4. Megan and her mom, Susan, won the tape unwrapping game and got $5 each. Next year...its ON!!












5. Uncle Steve still scared Noah away, but Sydney went to everyone but Alex... what did you do to her, Al??? *giggle giggle*

6. Pap made silly faces for the camera...as usual. Always makes us smile.





























7. Pap's Texas Sheet cake won the bake-off but Nelly put hers on Pap's pan to make it look like she won!



8. Shane playing with horsies to entertain the preteens/teens. Nice honey!























9. Uncle Steve's missing neck in the photoshopped family wedding picture.


























More Pictures:


























































Sunday, August 3, 2008

We are home!


What a wonderful vacation!!


You know what? I have been selfish and complaining that I just want to go back! And I should just be grateful that I got a vacation....so sorry for my whining...I just love it THAT much!


We arrived home around 8:00ish pm on Friday night. After a grueling 9 hour trip home with lots of traffic around Richmond, screaming Sydney, picking and peeing Noah, and exhausted bodies.



Some things we did on our vacation were:











Our View














Beach daily from 10 am-1pm:
Sydney didn't like her ucky feet covered in sand, the way the waves pulled on her when it retreated back to the ocean, and her brother counting to 30 in the car (she screamed as he counted, why? We aren't sure). But she did like to make sand castles, going out into the ocean with Mommy, and finding seashells.




























Noah loved the ocean and I mean everything about it. He and Daddy spent most of the time catching little hermit crabs and digging in the sand. He enjoyed riding the waves and being tossed about. He didn't like the sand in his swimsuit, how the waves took him down the beach away from us, and having to go back to the room for lunch.






























We enjoyed watching the kids play and enjoy the surroundings. We didn't like hauling all the stuff to and back from the beach! lol Hubby even took the kids to the pool for an hour while I sat on the beach with my book and read about 5 chapters in my book! Thank you honey!












Other things we did included:


1. Dicks Restaurant (Always a blast...makes us laugh and you get to see alligators while you eat outside and visited Barefoot Landing)


















2. Alligator Adventure (Great time and you get to go back a second time for free!)


































































3. Dixie Stampede (had a blast! The kids loved it!)

















4. Broadway at the Beach (Tony Romas Restraurant & Friends to Be)




























5. Ripley's Aquarium (okay....)
















































6. Seafare Buffet (not so good for the money, but they had a mermaid that Sydney was fascinated by!)

7. Lazy River and pools in our resort

8. Bojangles for lunch (Oh how I love the spicy chicken and sweet tea!)
I am happy to be home and oh how I missed my bed!