Friday, April 15, 2011

Random Thoughts

Yea! It's Friday and there are just a whole ton of random thoughts floating around in my head... 1) Sue, at work turned me on to an author she thought Samantha would enjoy: Sarah Dessen. I read her bio on her website and I totally want to be her. She sounds so cool. Ok, so I am pretty pleased with me as me so I suppose I'd just like to have her for a bff. 2) And speaking of authors, we just took Samantha to the Book Fair at her school. It was really difficult to not walk around smelling all the books! I did give in and sniffed a few. Samantha picked out a few good books for summer reading. She is kind of into the supernatural stuff currently but not vampires. She likes to smell books too. 3) Spring is here. All sorts of things are budding and blooming. Our Pear trees are flowering. They smell absolutely hideous. We like to think up all sorts of gross and disgusting things that we think they smell like. The Forsythia and Daffodils and Hyacinths are blooming as well. (Hyacinth would be an awesome name for a cat don't you think?) 4) The other evening Samantha and I curled up in her bed and read. I had just gone into her room to tell her something but her bed looked so inviting that I had to stay. I started reading one of her books: " Kissed by an Angel" By Elizabeth Chandler. Lying in Samantha's bed is so neat. When the front door is open you can see outside and all her stuffed animals are so fun. Some days I think it would be cool to pull a Freaky Friday and change places with her. 5) Huh, I think I just ran out of random thoughts... oh well, it's Friday... Yea!

Friday, January 14, 2011

I am a stalker...

So, there we were, Samantha and I, at the gym the other day when my twin walked by. I had been looking for a song on my MP3 player and my eyes have trouble adjusting from close up stupid tiny letters to people off in the distance. "Did you see that woman?" I asked Samantha. "Yes and she looks just like you only taller" she replied.

My twin went into the locker room and that's when I turned my child into a mini-stalker. "We have to go in there" I said. "But I don't have to go to the bathroom and I just put my coat on" Samantha whined. I begged her to shut up and just wash her hands or something.

When we got in the locker room she wasn't there. I walked all the way around the other end of the lockers and, poof, she'd disappeared. Then I see Samantha pointing toward the toilets and mouthing: "She's in there". So we washed our hands. We didn't just splash some water on them but did it the way they recommend with the soap and the singing your ABC's and rinsing and the drying and my twin was still in the bathroom stall.

Then Samantha showed me an ad for a body spray she wants. It was one of those ads where you rub a certain spot and then smell it only she'd smelled it so many times that you had to rub and rub and rub to activate the scent.

My twin was still in the stall and we came to the conclusion that my twin was pooping but, that's ok because everybody poops.

Next a woman I'd run with a few times on the track came into the locker room and I struck up a conversation with her because I'm friendly like that. I'm so glad I talked to her because we made plans to run 10 miles together. She is about my speed which will make it fun. So there I am all thrilled that I have made a new friend when my poopy twin comes out of the stall. But I'm all engrossed in conversation with my new friend and can't really say: "Oh, excuse me a minute while I check out this woman who I followed in here because I think she looks like me" so I totally missed her. That sucks! I was really thrilled to make a new friend and all but it still sucks.

When I was done chatting Samantha gave me one of those looks that implied: if we don't leave now you will embarrass me to death and to seek revenge I will cut you while you are sleeping. You don't mess with the child and her evil looks so we left.

We went to the gym again yesterday I saw her after John and I were done running. I was standing with John while he used the ab machine when I saw her on the treadmill. "There's my twin," I whispered to John. Of course he laughed at me and said, "just because she has short blond spiky hair doesn't mean she looks anything like you. You are way cuter than she is."

I love my husband!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Don't you hate it when...

Don't you hate it when you finally turn out the lights, snuggle up under the covers and have all the pillows arranged just right only to remember 5 thousand things you want to do tomorrow and you really want to write them down so you'll remember but there is no way you are messing up a perfect pillow / blanket arrangement.

I also hate it when I'm in the car and I think of all these things I need to get done at work but writing and driving really don't go well together.

Or, when I'm running on the track at the gym and I think of all these things I'd really like to write down on my grocery list. It must be the monotony that makes me think of making lists because running doesn't make me hungry. In fact it does just the opposite. If I run in the evening I typically skip dinner.

I really hate it when I'm swimming laps in the pool and I think of all these books I'd like to read and would really like to jot them down. It's a wonder I haven't drowned yet because the peaceful water makes me think about reading. And reading makes me sleepy.

But the most annoying is when you get home, get out the note pad and find a pen that works and you can't remember a darned thing to write down.

Monday, December 27, 2010

It's good to have goals. For the New Year mine include keeping up with my poor blog a bit more regularly and placing in the top 3 for my age group in the Warrior Dash John and I are doing in June.

The Warrior Dash is in Logan, OH (I think) and is a 2.91 mile race with 13 obstacles from hell or so they say on their website. Some of the obstacles include, barbed wire, fire, tires and a dark tunnel.

I literally can't wait until June! I am just so excited for several reasons:
1) It just sounds cool.
2) You get a beer at the finish.
3) You get a fuzzy warrior helmet.
4) And if you place in the top 3 in your age group you get a metal warrior helmet and if your name is Kate Dickey you get a real live warrior from Rob!

This is going to need some strategy... I figure most of the participants are young, in their 20's or so which gives me a boost. (Ok, so that's not much in the way of strategy but it's all I've got.)

And, some training, ugh, which includes swimming laps.

I have always been a runner and have always said I didn't get swimmers but... I have to say, after a few swims I think I get it. Swimming is kind of like running: relaxing, peaceful, a great work out and you feel really good afterward.

So far I have done laps twice. My first time out, 2 weeks ago, for half a mile and last week for one length short of 3/4 of a mile. (Don't ask...)

I have to say I am feeling a bit warriorish!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Summer in the Suburbs

Wow, it's been so long I almost forgot how to sign in

I am spending my Sunday morning in my favorite way, out on the deck under the shade of our Eastern Redbud tree with a cup of coffee, my lap top, my journal and a book. (I'm about to start "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo".) The weather is perfect. The sun is out but there is a slight breeze in the shade. Samantha has her BFF, Tara over to play and I can hear them as they come into the kitchen to get more "things" to use for their playdoh Iron Chef show they are putting on for the stuffed animals. The sound of their chatter makes me smile. The sound of the neighbor's dog barking does not.

I grew up in the country. Our house was in the woods where even if there weren't trees you still wouldn't have been able to see any other houses. It was awesome to be able to build forts in the woods and catch tadpoles in the creek but I always knew when I grew up I wanted to live in a suburban neighborhood. I like being able to yell "hey there" over the fence to the neighbors and I like being able to sit on the front porch and watch people walk by. I enjoy having neighbors close by even if they are stupid ones with a stupid barking dog. They keep things interesting.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer Fun

Wow, I am so addicted to facebook that I have neglected this poor blog terribly!

Remember when we were kids and the days were unbearably long and it seemed like that special day, whatever it was, would never come? It's not like that for kids today. On the last day of school Samantha almost cried as she said: "this year went by too fast. I am not ready for 5th grade to be over". And, her Birthday snuck up on her and she felt she hadn't had enough time to properly plan.

This past weekend Samantha turned 12! She had two friends over, Tara and Chelsea. They had pizza out on the deck, opened presents, had cake, danced to music in the back yard and made smores over the fire pit. She really had an amazing time; but for her parents it was a bit sad... We weren't allowed to participate! I tried dancing with them and was told to stop. Even when I sat on the deck and they were all the way out in the yard I received evil looks. When we could John and I stole glances out in the back yard and loved what we saw. Samantha is no longer a little girl. She has, virtually overnight, turned into a beautiful young lady.

I love love love you Samantha!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


I have always kept journals and I love reading back through them. This past weekend I read back through 2005 and found some pretty funny stuff...

There was an email from my friend Kelly's son, Sean. He would have been 3 or 4 at the time and he told me his dog wanted to lick my toes.

And there was an entry about how my mother went to a realtor's office for something and there was no one at the receptionist's desk. She waited a while and still no one was anywhere to be found. There was a wall calendar hanging above the chairs where she was waiting. She liked the calendar so she removed it from the wall and left.

It really is the little moments and stories that when we look back give us the greatest pleasure. I am still laughing picturing my mom stealing the calendar. The toe licking thing though is just gross but Sean is still awfully cute.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


January is the month for New Year's Resolutions but I never seem to get around to it until February. It's like I need the first month or two of the new year to re-group and get it together. So, 2010... I am ready for you now!

In 2010 I resolve to:

1. Not cuss like a pirate any more... I find myself telling Samantha how saying bad words sends a negative message about the person who says them and I remember my mother saying that swearing shows a lack of creativity. So, I resolve to think of better words to use. (Although, I reserve the right to call any idiot I so choose an ass monkey.)

2. Not say anything in private that I wouldn't say to the whole world... This one kind of reminds me of the old saying: If you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all.

3. Be less judgemental... I have no idea what it is like to walk in someone elses shoes and false judgements can hurt others. Judging others is a complete waste of time. So, I resolve to walk down my own path, to allow you to walk down your path and to just let others be themselves.

4. Listen more & listen better... How often do our minds wander when someone else is speaking? And, how often are we planning what we are going to say next instead of focusing on what the other person is saying? Really listening makes us feel good therefore I resolve to get off my own agenda and listen more.

5. Live happily ever after now...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Theodore Roosevelt

Samantha had just finished her power point project on Theodore Roosevelt and John was showing her how to save it onto a memory stick. One of my favorite things is watching these simple, everyday moments.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

There are vikings in those woods...

One of my favorite memories is our family visit to Lily Fest a few years ago. Lily Fest is this amazing arts festival in the Hocking Hills. The property is beautiful, set in a clearing in the woods and has one amazing garden after another. The drive is a bit treacherous up and down many hills on curvy, narrow roads but totally worth it.

A few years ago when my parents came to visit I suggested we go to Lily Fest. Mom was a bit leery because she thought it would be a crappy craft fest. She was pleasantly surprised that it was a lovely fine arts festival! Dad bought a copper sculpture to mount above the gate on the bridge at their house that leads from the road back to the house and Mom got a life sized fairy for her garden.

After we looked around we sat on a quilt in the grass to listen to dulcimer music and have a picnic. While we were having our chicken salad sandwiches with the crusts cut off when I said to Dad, "there are vikings in those woods."


"There are vikings in those woods" I said a bit louder because Dad is hard of listening. (He hears fine when he wants to...)

"Vikings? There aren't any vikings in the woods, you don't know what you are talking about."

I told him to come with me. We left Mom and Samantha on the quilt and walked along the winding trail through the woods. Dad bitched the whole time about how I had no idea where I was going when suddenly, around a bend, there they were: VIKINGS!

Dad's face lit up like a kid at Christmas. The Vikings, about 6 of them, had a tepee (not really sure why a tepee... maybe they pillaged it from the Indians?) a cauldron over a fire, tents and various areas with games and crafts set up.

After we were done chatting with the vikings and purchasing some crafts we went back to Mom and Samantha. Dad sits down and says to Mom, "There are vikings in those woods!"

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Backyard Sheds

Recently we had a storage shed built in our backyard. It is just adorable, matches our house and made our garage even tidier than it was.

Well, last night I discovered the down side to a backyard shed... when you need something that had previously been in the attached garage you now have to tread through the snow in the back yard.

I suppose it was funny but not at the time. It was around 8pm and we were watching TV when we heard one of the smoke detectors beep that it's battery was low. It took a bit to figure out which detector it was coming from, living room or bed room. We have cathedral ceilings in our bedroom and even standing on a chair didn't quite reach.

So, we had to go out to the shed to get the ladder. Yuck, snow in my boots! There were icicles on the shed door that made it hard to open and it was cold... whine and complain. John tried to throw a snowball at me but I quickly pointed out that the person who stayed in the warm house had no right to throw a snowball at the person who went out in the cold to the shed. Then I poked him with one of the icicles I'd carried back in.

John changed the battery in the detector with our last 9 volt battery. About 5 minutes later the darn thing started beeping again! I offered ear plugs but it wasn't much help so John went to the store for more batteries and he changed them in all the detectors.

The ladder is still in the house... anyone want to come over an take it back out to the shed?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy First Monday of 2010

Here I am at my desk at work taking a little lunch break.
You all know I love Mondays but you know what I love even more?
A New Year!
It's like one huge giant Monday all wrapped up like with a big red bow like the perfect present!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Almost Christmas

We have a wee bit of snow. It's kind of a light dusting and hasn't turned to slushy mush yet so it still looks pretty.

Every year I try to do something different for Advent. This year I got Samantha a chocolate a day calendar. She especially loves that they first chocolate had a squirrel imprinted on it! She honestly still thinks that there is a chance she will get a real live pet squirrel from Santa.

My Dad is going nuts with the new Kittinger table. He won't let Mom put anything on it. I asked if we will have to hold our plates in our laps when we eat on it. She did not find that one bit amusing.

Mom hasn't been able to walk Pepper like she had because Dad tried to kill her with some sort of portable heater that he got for the living room. Their living room is 900 square feet and all windows so it gets really cold in there along with the fact that they keep the thermostat set at 64 frickin degrees. So, the heater leaked some sort of noxious fumes that messed with Mom's already messed up breathing. She said that every day at noon Pepper walks herself down to the creek taking the same route they usually take and periodically looking over her shoulder for my Mom. What a crazy dog.

And, while we are on the subject of my mother, she lost her John Denver & The Muppet's Christmas album for her record player. I can't imagine what she might have done with it and she said she has looked everywhere. So, I thought I'd go on eBay to see if I could find one.. Well, who knew that would be such an expensive item... $25 for a 35 year old record with singing puppets... OY!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

We recently joined our local rec center and went for the first time yesterday. It was so much fun except that John couldn't go because he had a migraine. Samantha and I swam in the pool and just had the best time exploring all the things to do there. Next we totally want to try climbing the rock wall! There was no one in the pool but us so we were able to be totally silly. Samantha slid down the little kids frog slide and I attempted diving off the diving board. Sadly Samantha looked much cuter on the slide than I did diving!

Yesterday was my Daddy's 78th Birthday. We gave him some new books and Mom gave him his watch back. I guess that's how you would describe it. In 1953 he bought an Omega watch in Sweden that Mom recently found not working in a box of stuff. So, she took it to be repaired for his Birthday and he loved it!

Lately I have noticed a disturbing trend: the older my parents get the more "stuff" they are clearing out of their house. They have lived in the same house in the country for the past 47 or so years so it is packed with stuff and probably needs cleaned out but I can't help finding it a bit sad. Mom calls frequently and asks if I want this or that and says she will put my name on it. I am an only child so I get it all and I am sure when I go through things in the future and find my name on them I will wonder what was I thinking. And, every time we go home to visit we get loaded up with so much stuff, most of it junk. We cleaned our storage area in the basement and I couldn't remember why I had brought back half of the things I found: a deer antler, a rock, a broken necklace, a jar of sand... Oy!

Monday, November 2, 2009

October 2009

Wow, I can't believe it is almost the end of the year! Fall is flying by just as fast as the summer months did.

I had the swine flu in October which was awful. I was sick for a week and then so exhausted for another whole week that I couldn't do anything. It's amazing all the little things you do that you don't even realize until you spend two weeks not doing them! But, I am all better now and am faithfully taking my Airborne so I won't get sick again this year.

Samantha started band. She is playing the flute. I am amazed at how musically inclined she is. She has quite an ear and really hears the music. She does well at hearing something and then playing it back. I was never good at that at all. My mother had me play piano, clarinet, flute and the oboe but my ear was horrible. I did fine but never enjoyed it as much as I could have. Samantha looks so cute carrying her flute case off to school.

For Halloween Samantha decided she wanted to be a squirrel. I got some brown fur and sewed her a tail, a little vest and some ears. She had fun trick-or-treating with her friend Avery. Avery went as a cow girl. At one point Samantha said her tail was getting heavy so Avery walked along side her in her little pink coy girl hat holding Samantha's squirrel tail. It was so sweet. They looked like they should be an illustration in a children's book.

John is so happy! Samantha finally agreed to go shooting. John bought her a pink rifle. She did really well. (Better than I do!) I love that she now has an activity to share with her daddy.

We had parent teacher conferences in October and Samantha is doing well in all of her classes. She really loves school, especially math. Every Wednesday at Skyline she and Tara sit in a booth together and work on their math page for the accelerated match program. I love that!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I Love Fall!

I love fall... the changing leaves... the cooler weather... the falling leaves... high school football games... fires in our fire pit wrapped up in a blanket... apple cider... picking apples... collecting leaves and pressing them between waxed paper... corn mazes... hay... pumpkins... Indian Corn... making chili... making Halloween costumes... baking apple pies... the smell in the air: leaves, bonfires, crisp and cool... decorating and the pretty colors... Definitely my favorite season!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Cranky Day

I am having a totally cranky day today. I don't have them very often so when I do it's like everything anyone says or does pisses me off. At work I end up yelling at Ellen because she is right there next to me and at home I end up yelling at John and Samantha because they are right there as well.

One of the things pissing me off is that on Saturday we signed Samantha up for band and purchased her flute. The sales rep at the school told us we couldn't bring Samantha's flute home until band stars in two weeks. I was really mad because I wanted to play her flute. Plus other sales reps let their people take their instruments home so because we got this specific rep we were told no. I know, I know... this is the dumbest thing in the whole world to be mad at but I am still mad none the less...

Then there are the people in the pine trees... Several residents have contacted John and myself to see if the HOA can help them with an issue they are having with people hiding in the pine trees across the road from them, shining laser lights and running through their yard at night. This is pissing me off because it has been going on for over a year and we have just found out about it. The pissing me off part is these people have been dealing with it for so long and it has them scared about their safety and by the time they have come to us they are at their most frustrated. Stupid tree people. John and I found a little camp they have in the pine trees. Why would someone want to hang out in s grove of pine trees and shine laser lights in peoples windows at 4am for over a year. What is wrong with people.

But, tomorrow is another day and this too shall pass...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My 14th Wedding Anniversary...

...and the beautiful roses that greeted me when I got to work this morning!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Obama's Speech to Students...

I swore when I started this Blog that I wouldn't get all into political issues or the like but I can't resist this one...

When I first heard about the speech I had a few thoughts... including: wow, this has a socialist feel to it and this is something you'd see overseas and not in the USA... all along I have thought that we will soon be the USSR and that there is something scary about our President... I get the feeling that he sees things as "his way or the highway" and that freaks me out...

I don't have a problem with Samantha hearing many different views on things because eveyone is entitled to their opinion... she should learn all sorts of points of view so she can form her own... and as parents John and I discuss what she learns with her...

I don't have a problem with a president giving a speech to school children on education, Republican or Democrat, but I do have a big problem with this President giving a speech to school children on education...

Here is an article I liked below...

Obama speech to students draws conservative ire
DALLAS — President Barack Obama's back-to-school address next week was supposed to be a feel-good story for an administration battered over its health care agenda. Now Republican critics are calling it an effort to foist a political agenda on children, creating yet another confrontation with the White House.
Obama plans to speak directly to students Tuesday about the need to work hard and stay in school. His address will be shown live on the White House Web site and on C-SPAN at noon EDT, a time when classrooms across the country will be able to tune in.
Schools don't have to show it. But districts across the country have been inundated with phone calls from parents and are struggling to address the controversy that broke out after Education Secretary Arne Duncan sent a letter to principals urging schools to watch.
Districts in states including Texas, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Virginia, Wisconsin have decided not to show the speech to students. Others are still thinking it over or are letting parents have their kids opt out.
Some conservatives, driven by radio pundits and bloggers, are urging schools and parents to boycott the address. They say Obama is using the opportunity to promote a political agenda and is overstepping the boundaries of federal involvement in schools.
"As far as I am concerned, this is not civics education — it gives the appearance of creating a cult of personality," said Oklahoma state Sen. Steve Russell. "This is something you'd expect to see in North Korea or in Saddam Hussein's Iraq."
Arizona state schools superintendent Tom Horne, a Republican, said lesson plans for teachers created by Obama's Education Department "call for a worshipful rather than critical approach."
The White House plans to release the speech online Monday so parents can read it. He will deliver the speech at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va.
"I think it's really unfortunate that politics has been brought into this," White House deputy policy director Heather Higginbottom said in an interview with The Associated Press.
"It's simply a plea to students to really take their learning seriously. Find out what they're good at. Set goals. And take the school year seriously."
She noted that President George H.W. Bush made a similar address to schools in 1991. Like Obama, Bush drew criticism, with Democrats accusing the Republican president of making the event into a campaign commercial.
Critics are particularly upset about lesson plans the administration created to accompany the speech. The lesson plans, available online, originally recommended having students "write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president."
The White House revised the plans Wednesday to say students could "write letters to themselves about how they can achieve their short-term and long-term education goals."
"That was inartfully worded, and we corrected it," Higginbottom said.
In the Dallas suburb of Plano, Texas, the 54,000-student school district is not showing the 15- to 20-minute address but will make the video available later.
PTA council president Cara Mendelsohn said Obama is "cutting out the parent" by speaking to kids during school hours.
"Why can't a parent be watching this with their kid in the evening?" Mendelsohn said. "Because that's what makes a powerful statement, when a parent is sitting there saying, 'This is what I dream for you. This is what I want you to achieve.'"
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican, said in an interview with the AP that he's "certainly not going to advise anybody not to send their kids to school that day."
"Hearing the president speak is always a memorable moment," he said.
But he also said he understood where the criticism was coming from.
"Nobody seems to know what he's going to be talking about," Perry said. "Why didn't he spend more time talking to the local districts and superintendents, at least give them a heads-up about it?"
Several other Texas districts have decided not to show the speech, although the district in Houston is leaving the decision up to individual school principals. In suburban Houston, the Cypress-Fairbanks district planned to show the address and has had its social studies teachers assemble a curriculum and activities for students.
"If someone objected, we would not force them to listen to the speech," spokeswoman Kelli Durham said.
In Wisconsin, the Green Bay school district decided not to show the speech live and to let teachers decide individually whether to show it later.
In Florida, GOP chairman Jim Greer released a statement that he was "absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama's socialist ideology."
Despite his rhetoric, two of the larger Florida districts, Miami-Dade and Hillsborough, plan to have classes watch the speech. Students whose parents object will not have to watch.
"We're extending the same courtesy to the president as we do with any elected official that wants to enter our schools," said Linda Cobbe, a Hillsborough schools spokeswoman. Cobbe said the district, which includes Tampa, has gotten calls from upset parents but said officials don't think the White House is trying to force politics on kids.
The Minnesota Association of School Administrators is recommending against disrupting the first day of school to show the speech, but Minnesota's biggest teachers' union is urging schools to show it.
Quincy, Ill., schools decided Thursday not to show the speech. Superintendent Lonny Lemon said phone calls "hit like a load of bricks" on Wednesday.
One Idaho school superintendent, Murray Dalgleish of Council, urged people not to rush to judgment.
"Is the president dictating to these kids? I don't think so," Dalgleish said. "He's trying to get out the same message we're trying to get out, which is, `You are in charge of your education.'"
Libby Quaid reported from Washington. Associated Press Writers April Castro, Monica Rhor, Zinie Chen Sampson, Christine Armario, Jessie Bonner, Scott Bauer, Tim Talley, Martiga Lohn, Tammy Webber and Alan Zagier contributed to this report.
Wow, can you believe it is September already. I have been so involved tending my farm in Farmville on Face Book that I have neglected my blog and all my Blog Friends... So very sorry...

This summer was so fast but really great. John and I planned our Homeowners' Association Block Party and it exceeded our expectations! There were about 400 people there which was awesome... We had food: hot dogs and hamburgers, games for the kids, a bounce house for the kids, face painting, fire trucks, police cars, McGruff the Crime Dog and a Corn Hole Tournament with trophies... It was a huge amount of work planning and executing everything but I love doing that sort of thing. I would love to be a party planner or something like that but the whole working weekends and evenings when people have events is really not appealing at all... I am thrilled to have met so many awesome people in our neighborhood since we've been on the HOA Board and we are already planning for next summer.

Samantha is loving 5th grade. I can't believe how big she is... grown up, not size wise... We couldn't ask for a better kid! This year Samantha has 3 teachers as opposed to last year where she only had 2... All three seem to be a good fit for her. And, I have to say, I love love love our schools... every year we have been so blessed to have really amazing teachers and really good kids in each of Samantha's classes... She has never had any "bad" kids in her classes... the worst a kid gets in trouble for is talking in class... that's great...

I will try very hard to write more... I do so enjoy it...

Friday, August 28, 2009

First Week of School

Samantha successfully completed her first week of 5th grade and she seems to be loving it... for this I am truly thankful. She brought home an assignment this week where she was to tell her teacher all about herself through answering a series of questions... they were great questions like what kinds of things does she like and dislike. It was awesome because I learned a bit about my kid! I knew she liked a quiet atmosphere but I didn't know she is happiest reading in her room... She also wrote that her role model is her dad and that her worst habit is that she picks at pencil erasers! And, she wants to be a famous artist one day and that compared to other families hers is really cool. How did I get so blessed with the best kid ever!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

End of Summer

Wow, the summer has really flown by. I can't believe Samantha went back to school today! She started the 5th grade! Doesn't it seem the older we get the faster time flies. It was just yesterday that she was finishing up the 4th grade and we were getting ready for summer and just yesterday that she was a tiny baby pooping in her kiddie pool!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Whitehall Old Lady Beat Down at Walmart...

Ok, I feel it is time that I weigh in on the video that's been circulating regarding an incident at Walmart in Whitehall, Ohio.

Everyone knows my husband is a police officer and most of you know that Officer Scott, the officer in the video, is a friend of ours... So, I have something to say regarding the incident....

We live in an ever increasing busy world where things move at lightening speed. We receive texts while at dinner with friends and we get news updates at the same time more updates stream across the bottom of the screen. Sometimes it's mind boggling and hard to keep up with. But this lightening fast pace is nothing new for police officers. They have dealt with split second decision making long before we knew about Twitter... heck, they've dealt with it since before we even had email.

When an officer is dispatched to a call they are given very basic and often severely limited information about the situation to which they are responding. Upon arrival they have literally seconds to make a decision on what to do... that's "one one thousand"... there, do you have everything all figured out? In those seconds they have to determine how to handle a situation in order to protect everyone involved, the victims, innocent bystanders, the "bad guy" and lastly themselves. And often these decisions are made under conditions most of us couldn't concentrate in.

So, there you are, at Walmart where there is a woman with a knife saying she is going to cut someone and she's surrounded by witnesses all yelling at you. What would you do? "one one thousand, two one thousand"... There, do you know everything there is to know about the situation? Do you know what led up to this moment? Do you know who the old lady is? Do you know who all the bystanders are? Do you know how many people are involved? Do you know if anyone is injured? Do you know if she's already cut someone? Do you know if someone is trying to harm her? Do you know what's going to happen next?

Police officers receive ongoing training throughout their careers. This training is to enable them to make the best decision possible for everyone involved in a matter of seconds, well before any of us "regular folk" would have even gotten out of the car. And they are trained to make these decisions under tremendous stress. They are trained to consider every possible outcome while we would still be getting our seat belts off and they are trained to act right then and there... no time to reconsider.

Yes, this was an old lady. But, did you know if she'd already cut someone? Did you know where she came from? Did you know if she actually intended on cutting anyone? Did you know if she intended on cutting anyone in particular? Did you know if any of these bystanders yelling were trying to hurt her? Did you know if she was hurt? Did you know if she had mental issues? Did you know if she was alone? (Remember, you have a matter of seconds to figure it all out...)

Officer Scott reacted in an appropriate manner. She said: "Put the knife down". She repeated this several times and the old lady did not comply. Do you know why the old lady didn't comply? No. Does the officer have time to sit down and analyse why? No. The officer's job is to protect and serve all... all those bystanders who are screaming at her as well as the old lady with the knife.

Officer Scott did what she was trained to do: disarm the subject with little or no injury to all those involved... Police officers are trained on how to disarm a subject in the quickest and safest way possible. The "move" Officer Scott used to keep everyone safe was amazing... It was perfect in my opinion. And once she had gotten the knife away from the old lady and was waiting for additional officers to respond she still had to protect all involved. She stayed right there with the old lady attempting to calm her down all while keeping bystanders back at an appropriate distance. Quite a fete in my opinion as Officer Scott was kneeling down in a vulnerable position to anyone intending harm. Did you know who all those bystanders were? Did you know what their intentions were as they ran up upon the old lady?

Did Officer Scott pull up on the situation an think: cool, great opportunity to beat up an old lady... um, no. She did think about all those people standing around watching and how she didn't want them to get hurt. And, she thought about how she didn't want the old lady to hurt herself.

Had the old lady cut one of those bystanders the reaction from the public toward the police, I feel, would have been much the same. People would have been outraged at how the police handled the situation.

Had Officer Scott been cut and injured by the old lady I believe no one would have ever known about the incident.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Fun on the Fourth of July

Here is Samantha is the SWAT camper John drove in the 4th of July parade... Samantha watched TV in the back while we waited for the parade to start...

Me being corny as usual...

And, John and Samantha walking around before the parade started...

Harley Girl...

... Ok, not really but I liked pretending. This is actually Tammi's new bike.

New Camera

I love the new camera Samantha gave me for Mother's Day!

Dogs on the Fourth of July

We saw these lovely ladies as we drove by in the Fourth of July parade... I thought they were just great... I want to be like that when I'm old!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Time Flies...

The summer is really flying by... The weather has been quite nice, not too hot so we are spending lots of time outside... We have enjoyed the new fire pit John made several times and are almost out of firewood... Samantha had a lot of fun when John's dad was here... She loves walking his cats on leashes... Now she is looking forward to visiting my parents in Eden and seeing the flying squirrel...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Enjoying Summer...

The Fourth of July was really fun. John drove the SWAT vehicle in the parade and Samantha and I rode with him. I love a parade, especially when I'm in it waving to people. Then we watched fireworks with Kelly and her family. There were some sprinkles but not enough to deter us. We just constructed a tent out of blankets in between our cars. It was quite a sight but totally fun.

I have been trying to sit outside on the front porch and read in the evenings and watch the world go by. It is so relaxing and totally what summer is all about. I wish I could have those nights all year long! The other evening while I was on the porch I put on the lotion from the hotel in Indy and it reminded me of our stay there, walking along the canal in the evening and watching Samantha swim in the pool. It's just a little bottle so when it's gone I'm going to have to go online and buy a bigger one. I noticed that the Westin has a web site where you can buy that kind of stuff. Don't you just love how certain smells remind you of special memories.

This week John's dad is in town. He and Lita have their RV at the fairgrounds again for the car show this weekend. This year he brought a 1961 Willys station wagon. It is just adorable.

Yesterday we went to the Zoo and finally got to see the baby elephant who was born at the end of April. The last several times we went there was over an hour wait to see him but yesterday there was no wait at all. He is so cute! He followed his mother around and get treats from one of the keepers.

After the Zoo we went downtown to Mongolian BBQ... yummy! I love it when John's dad is in town because it feels like we are on vacation too. (Plus, everyone know about my fascination with RV parks...)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

My Favorite Holiday

The Fourth of July is my favorite holiday! I love parades and I love festivals, cookouts and fireworks... and it's almost here. This year the police department where John works got a new SWAT RV and John's going to drive it in the parade and guess who gets to ride with him: me & Samantha! And, this is the first year that John will not be working 2ND shift and will get to watch the fireworks with us. I love the fourth of July!