Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Crazy Day for a Crazy Daisy

Today was a crazy day. I usually don't mind them but this one was just silly.

The morning started fine until I arrived at work....

I work as a teachers aide at a local elementary school. Students do/say crazy things, the students parents do/say crazy things, and even some teachers baffle me.

An aide in my area (2nd and 3rd grade reading intervention) was out today. We got a substitute teacher. I don't know what rock they found this guy under but he was completely clueless. 

First off he was wearing his letter jacket.....from 2003. I understand you are proud of your academic letter jacket but I think its time to pack it away. I packed my sports letter jacket away before I left for college. It was just time to say good bye to high school. I was trying REALLY hard not to judge.

Secondly, whenever I tried to explain to him what he needed to teach the children (again, 2nd and 3rd grade below level readers) he acted so confused. One thing was to just have the kids do repeated timed readings on the iPad, he didn't have to do anything, but he was still confused. He was looking at me as if I spouted an extra head and wanted him to teach quantum physics.

The best was the he KEPT FALLING ASLEEP.....with students right in front of him. This happened several times. The kids even noticed and were telling each other all about it at recess and lunch.  There were 6 women in the room who could not stop laughing. Who does this at a job?  We even tried being loud with instruction and reading to keep him awake but it didn't help. When he wasn't sleeping he was playing on his iPod  Touch. Well, he fell asleep one too many times because one group had a student in it that is the principals grandson!! OOPSIE!

I doubt that sub will be back anytime soon.

*Just so you don't think I am completely heartless, this was a healthy male without any medical problems. We are a small town and he has relatives that work in our school system that vouched for his healthiness (not sure if that is even a word)!!*

The next (and hopefully last) crazy thing was a conversation with my 9 year old daughter:
**We believe in open conversations and expressing yourself in our household, so please don't be offended**

EVE: Mom, did you know that I can cough, sneeze, and fart at the same time?

ME:  Really? Well, wait until you are my age and have had 2 kids then you will be able to cough, sneeze, fart, and wet yourself at the same time!!

EVE (laughing hysterically): Gross!!

I didn't have the heart to tell her, that as the 2nd child, most of my bodily problems are her fault!!

Well, I guess I need to mention that I did NOT win the Powerball.....Crazy Day strikes again.

As I just finished typing the above and before I could click "Publish", I decided to play fetch with the dog. He is very small, a yorkie/shih tzu. He has a 1/2 of a little tennis ball that he LOVES. I threw it frisbee style from the kitchen to the dining room. It landed, without bouncing, RIGHT IN A LIT CANDLE!!! Not kidding!

I had to RUN to get the candle blown out before my whole house went up in flames (I was picturing it in my mind as I was sprinting in slo-mo to get there). 

Needless to say, Emmett's ball is now completely covered in evergreen scented candle wax. Poor puppy just lost his favorite toy. 

Is it a full moon?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

* Book Review Wednesday*

Today is book review Wednesday but I don't have a book to review. Don't get me wrong, I have read a lot since last Wednesday but I am still in the middle of the Vampire Diaries series. I have already given my opinion on this series here. I am not a big fan of the books and/or characters of the book series. I love the TV show. I don't care about how different the characters look. I can picture them however I want in my head ;) What I do care about is character development. I feel that the book characters are all shallow, especially Elena. 


I find it hard to care for a character when she (Elena) is so unlikable. She is shallow and self-serving but EVERYONE seems to love her and pledge to do anything for her. When  she dies everyone is so upset but they keep talking about her pure soul. Pure soul? The first couple of books she manipulates EVERY boy she meets and takes advantage of them, poor little Matt. She finds pleasure in taking advantage of them and doesn't see anything wrong with it. She is also bossy and expects everyone to agree with her. How is this a pure soul? 

Once you get past the first few unappealing books you get to The Return books. They are better, I like the added weird fantasy stuff. 

I am finishing this series because I want to see how it turns out but to give a rating I would say........just eh

2 Stars is GENEROUS!!

I guess this turned into a book review, oops :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

*Book Review Wednesday*

I have decided to make Wednesday's a book review day. I love reading. I constantly have a book that I am in the middle of reading. I try to read the books that are popular at the time, whether they are adult or young adult. I have been through the Grey series, Harry Potter, Sookie Stackhouse, etc. I have read 208 books out of 218 that are in Nora Roberts/JD Robb's collection, I have a goal to read all of them and I am thisclose :) On a side note: I can't find the book Promise Me Tomorrow by Nora Roberts. I guess it is out of print and from what I read, it is so bad that she refuses to have it re-released like she does all of her other books. The local libraries don't have it, B&N doesn't have it, and my next/final thing to try is used book stores, which my neighboring "big city" has only 1 of. If you see it for less than the $100 I saw it for on B&N, please let me know. 

To rate books, I will give them 1-5 stars. A 5 star would be near perfect and I can only think of Harry Potter getting this rating off the top of my head. So, please don't be shocked by a 3 or 4 star, they are still good books. 

This weeks book review will be on Frozen Heat by Richard Castle.

Book Rating: 

I am a big fan of the Castle TV show and started reading this series back in the spring when I was in need of something new to read. All of the books in this series have been very entertaining (which is what I think books should be). While reading you spend time picturing Castle and Beckett in the characters of Rook and Heat. It helps "flesh out" the characters. If you are a fan of the show, this series is a must read. If you don't watch the show and want an entertaining book series to read then this is one that I recommend. If friends are in a dry spell with reading and ask my opinion as to what to read, this is the first series I recommend.  You can read more about these books and more written by Richard Castle on his website at

This book takes Nikki back into her past and has to relive her mothers death all over again. Nikki and Rook chase down her mother's past to help find the killer of someone from today and possibly Nikki's mothers killer. The characters of Nikki and Jameson continue to grow as a couple which is always good to read. This book was suspenseful all of the way through. There is so much information in this book. We learn so many shocking things. When I got to the end, I swore my book was missing pages because I did not want it to end. Warning: there is not an ending in this book, it is left open for another book. The last book ended this way, as well. If this is something that is going to upset you, then don't read it. I will not add any spoilers but just know that I am on the edge of my seat to read the next one, whenever it comes out.

The other books in this series are as follows:
Heat Wave

Naked Heat

Heat Rises

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

All I want for Christmas is...

I asked my kids (ages 12 and 9) what they wanted for Christmas and, of course, I didn't like the answers.

Xander said he only wants Beats by Dre headphones and some Amazon Music Store gift cards. He wanted the Beats last year, but at 11 I thought he was too young. I made a deal with him last year, I said that if I got him some cheap Skull Candy's and he didn't lose or break them for a year then I would buy him Beats. He succeeded so now I am stuck. I did talk him down from the $299 pair to the $199 pair after SEVERAL sound comparisons at the local Best Buy. He said he doesn't care if that is his only present to unwrap. Bonus for me!!

Eve's list is a little more crazy. She said:

  1. Netbook
  2. Trampoline
  3. Swing set
  4.  Magic 8 ball
OK, so let's start with the trampoline. I HATE trampolines, I even call them arm breaking machines. I work in a school and I see so many kids with broken arms from trampolines that it is hard to even keep track. Eve knows this but still thinks I will buy her one. I told her that I will not be purchasing one and that if she wants to play on one she has several friends that have them. Next up is a swing set. She is almost 10 years old and wants a swing set. I see this as a play thing for 1 year and then she would be done with it. I told her no and that she could go to the park and play there. This leaves me a netbook and a Magic 8 ball. She doesn't care that these will be her only 2 gifts. Another bonus for me!!

I do usually buy a book for each and some clothes. I guess my days of buying a bunch of toys are over, which makes me sad but also makes me happy. 

Oh, the joys of parenthood.

Monday, November 19, 2012

What I'm doing on 11/19/12

This is what I'm doing today....

What I'm eating:
Yummy after school snack!!

What I'm reading:
The Vampire Diaries series on my Nook Tablet (I love my Nook Tablet).
I can't say that I am very impressed with the series but I am reading them because once I start a series I can't stop until I finish the series (I have book issues). There have been 2 exceptions to this: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, I only made it to chapter 2 and The Lord of the Rings, the names were just too much (I don't care that "Bill" is the son of "Bob", just say "Bill")
I really like the show but the books are not like it. This is the only time I can think of that I like the TV/movie version better than a book version of a story. There is actual character development in the show, I find myself not caring if Elena lives or dies in the books.

What I'm currently obsessed with:
Gotta love Wade (YUM!!).

She wants Stefan. No, she wants Damon. No, she wants Stefan. 
How can a girl choose just one?

I am a big TV watcher but right now I only seem to have time for these 2 shows and The Good Wife. 

This Months Big Life Changing Event:
For the first time in 12 years, I will NOT be Black Friday shopping. My kids don't want much little stuff so it is pointless. Any cheap movies that I decide to buy will be purchased online. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Theme parks, children, and hurricanes...oh, my!!

I have been super busy since our return from Disney. It has been a crazy few weeks. The kids don't seem to have any activities but I can't seem to find enough hours in the days to get everything done. 

We had a fantastic trip. Taking my 12 yr old niece was an excellent choice. My kids had so much fun with her and there was no fighting. We had 2 connecting rooms at All-Star Sports in building 6, first floor. We walked 20 yards to the pool and 30 yards to the main building. This resort was quiet in the evenings and had plenty to keep kids busy. We swam in both pools and liked both of them equally. For the better part of an hour we were the only people at the baseball pool, which the kids loved. We were really close to the football section and we felt comfortable letting the kids walk over there to play catch with a little Nerf football Xander won at the arcade on the huge football field. Xander even found a nice soccer match going on with some Europeans and Mexicans. He was in heaven to be able to play with adults and people not of our nationality. He learned a lot (and wore himself out) in the couple of hours he played with them. I highly recommend this resort to people with sports loving children. They can be themselves and not have to worry about being quiet all of the time. 

Here is a breakdown to our vacation:

Day 1 (Tuesday): This was a travel day and our plane didn't arrive in Florida until 7:00pm. We did use Magical Express, as we have before, and still love it. This time we did the luggage delivery and as promised, our luggage was delivered to our rooms within 3 hours. It was very nice not having to carry our luggage through the airport.

Day 2 (Wednesday): This was a swim/relax day. We swam for a few hours and then got cleaned up to go to dinner. We had breakfast and lunch at our resorts food court, which was adequate with choices. We especially loved the grilled chicken sandwich. Our dinner was at Cape May Cafe at the Beach Club Resort. The dinner here was good but I don't think we will ever eat here again. There were a lot of seafood choices but I don't like seafood so there just wasn't much for me. 

Day 3 (Thursday): This was Universal Studios: Islands of Adventure day. 

We are big Harry Potter nerds at our house and we hadn't been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter yet. We started our day by renting a car at the Disney Car Care Center. I didn't this in advance at The day before I called the car center and set up a pick up time to get my mother and Xander so they could pick up the car. I always send Xander because he is really good at directions and can always help her find her way back to the resort. Eve and I usually don't go because they won't transport 4 or 5 people, 2 is their max. Once at IOA, we went straight to the HP area. It was approx. 20 min after park opening and we only had a 20 min wait for the ride, which is awesome. So, we rode the ride, got our Butterbeer and then walked back around to Eve's favorite area, Cat in the Hat. They kids rode all of the rides in that area and we then moved clockwise around the lake, riding rides as we went. We ate lunch in the Jurassic Park area, and the food was pretty good. When we got back around to the HP area, Xander and Eve wanted to wait at Olevander's to get a wand. The line was approximately 1 hour long. They waited and I went back to a store in the area to do some Christmas shopping. During their waiting time, it started pouring down rain. Most of the people in line for a wand got out of line so that reduced their waiting time to about 15 min. :) Once inside, Xander was chosen by Olevander to do the demonstration, he was so surprised. He ended up buying the wand that "chose him." Eve picked out a wand and while we were shopping for other things in the store, Eve ran into a friend from her 4th grade class. This is such a surprise considering we live in Indiana. I took their picture together and told Eve that she is like an old man, seeing people that she knows when she is traveling. Once we were done with IOA, we set out to return to the resort. On the way, we stopped at one of the outlet malls and shopped at the Disney outlet store. I got Eve a Disney shirt for $4.99. After that we went to the resort and parked our car. It was time for dinner at ESPN club at the Boardwalk Inn. 

Just to set up this scenario   you must know that Eve does not like boats. She LOVES to swim but hates boats (IDK whats wrong with her either, shes silly). To get from resort to resort on Disney property you must take a bus to DTD or a theme park and then bus hop. We usually take a bus to HS and then take the cute little boats to Boardwalk or Beach/Yacht club. Eve wanted nothing to do with it again (we just did that the night before), so we decided to challenge the others in a good old Top Gear (UK version only) race. The plan was for Eve and I to take a bus to AK and then a bus to Boardwalk. The other 3 were to take a bus to HS and then the boat to Boardwalk. Eve and I got picked up first and laughed all the way to AK. Once at AK, I called the others to find out that the HS bus wouldn't take them because it was 6pm and HS was closed. I told them to get on the AK bus and change over like we were. About 15 minutes later they called to say that the AK bus wouldn't take them either because AK closed at 6, as well. So, I had to send them on the DTD bus to transfer to the Boardwalk bus. So, our little race didn't work :(

Eve and I decided to get off at the Swan and walk to the Boardwalk. This was a nice pleasant walk. I highly recommend it. The others arrived at the ESPN about 45 minutes after we did. We had a nice meal and will eat there every year. One thing to be aware of, make sure of any major league or college sporting events. There was a Tampa Bay Buccaneers game and we had to wait 15 minutes to be seated. Not a problem for us, but it could be a problem for some people. 

Day 3 (Friday): Animal Kingdom in the a.m. and Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party in the p.m. We enjoyed Animal Kingdom but not the Rainforest Cafe. The food was OK but the service was not. None of us were impressed so we have another restaurant for the "NO" list.  MNSSHP is our favorite. It is so much fun. With being able to enter at 4, you can ride the rides that close at 7 for the party. That ride for us is the Jungle Cruise. After that we make our way over to Tomorrow Land and ride some rides there, moving counter clockwise around and then we ended up back at Tomorrow Land. We like Cosmic Rays and ate there again, another tradition for us. I did learn that I cannot do a park in the morning and then the party at night. We were going non-stop from 8am-12am. It was a very long day. In the past we just swam and resort hopped on the party day, I think we will go back to that next year. 

Day 4 (Saturday): This day was VERY cold because Hurricane Sandy was moving in. Blizzard Beach only had about 50 cars in the parking lot. We wanted to swim at our resort but it was too cold, so the kids and I went mini-golfing at Winter Summerland. This course was so much fun. 
I think this might be our Christmas card!!

I am glad we decided on this one. The kids really enjoyed it. Our dinner was at Chef Mickey. We will definitely do this again. The kids didn't like the characters but we all loved the food.

Day 5 (Sunday): Epcot day, my FAVORITE!! 

This was a good day, until the end. The girls did the KidCot stations and enjoyed it. Xander did the Perry the Platypus phone thing and liked it. We have done the KimPossible one before in Germany but now its Perry and we got Japan. It was a lot of fun. We had dinner at Coral Reef. Xander and Mammie said that they got the best steak they have ever had at Disney here. We loved the food, the staff, and the atmosphere. We think we have a new Epcot tradition, although we will miss Garden Grill. 

During the end of our Epcot time I got a call from US airlines saying that my flights were cancelled for Monday and I needed to call and reschedule. We were flying Orlando-Washington DC-Indy. Hurricane Sandy strikes and we lose :( I called and spoke with someone who couldn't get me home on Monday. She tried getting me to Lexington, Columbus Ohio, and Dayton Ohio. There was nothing. The best she could do was Tuesday Orlando-Charlotte-Indy and we had to split our group up. 

This meant another night of hotel stay. I went to the front desk at All Star Sports and told them my situation. The CM called someone on the phone and told them my situation. I explained that I was displaced due to the Hurricane. When she put the phone on hold she said that an extra night would be $82 plus tax and fees. I asked, since I was displaced, if we could put all 5 of us in one room (2 adults, 2-12 year olds, and 1-9 year old) especially since I had to leave at 3 am due to my flight. She said "No" that I couldn't put 5 people in there, even for the night. I thought about it and although it upset me, I asked how much it would be for the 2 rooms for 1 night. She did some math on her calculator and said $372. Are you freakin' kidding me? How did $164 (2 rooms at $82 each) get up to $372? I then told her that I didn't need the dining plan or anything else, just the room. She looked at me like I was crazy and said that it was just the rooms and taxes/fees. That's a lot of taxes and fees. I told her never mind. Disney crushed my magic at that point.

Now we were hotel displaced as well. My mom called around and found a Holiday Inn at the airport that would put 5 of us in 1 room for 1 night for $150.

The next day we had to take the Magical Express to the airport then transfer to the Holiday Inn bus. Once at the Holiday Inn we were stuck with 3 kids and nothing to do. It was too cold to swim and they didn't have a game room or anything. I think they drove us crazy. It was just too much to handle. 

We got home safely on Tuesday and I am thankful that we did. I am also thankful that I don't live in the areas affected and I hope people can get their lives back soon.

On an up note, don't you just love Mousekeeping? We had a great one that kept rearranging our candy, it was funny. She even decorated our window with Eve's sock monkey and sunglasses. One day we came back to find the picture of my parents (mammie and my dad, who passed away May 2011) decorated with a towel heart and a pretty lei. They are so thoughtful!!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Happy Halloween...a little late :)

I can't believe how fast the last few weeks have been. We have been to Disney and back, no thanks to Hurricane Sandy (more about that later) and have had my favorite holiday, Halloween. 

I love the idea of dressing up and people giving me candy. It is fantastic, where else can you get free chocolate? I haven't dressed up in a few years but I still seem to get candy along the way.

This year my daughter went as Katniss Everdeen. She wanted a cool, kick butt costume and loves the movie so we thought it would be a great idea. This costume is one of the best ones I have made over the years, because it was the cheapest, and I have made several (devil, flower fairy, zombie golfer). This costume cost me less than $4, which makes me very happy.

We will start with the top of her and go down. The hair was easy, just a braid across the back of her head and we were done. She wore a black t-shirt, black jacket, and black yoga pants, all of which we already owned. The mockinjay "pin" on her jacket is leftover from a friends birthday party, it was the cupcake topper ring. I had my husband saw the ring part off and we hot glued it to her jacket. The jacket was old, getting snug, and came from Walmart so no big loss. The "12" on both arms is to identify her as district 12 and was white duct tape that we already had and I wrote the numbers on with a Sharpie. The hiking boots are the only thing I had to buy and they were 2 sizes too big (haha) but they came from the Goodwill and cost less than $4. The bow is from a co-worker and the arrows with holder came from a relative. I had looked at Walmart, Dollar Tree, Target, and Meijer for the cheap, plastic toy kind but no one had any so I had to text friends to see if they had any toy ones. No one did but these 2 offered me up the real thing, which helped the costume look more authentic. She got so many compliments, a lot of the houses (that knew the movie) said it was the best costume of the night. She loved it. We only saw 1 more Katniss out and about. The other Katniss was the one from the beginning of the movie with khaki's on and a big black coat. We went with the tribute Katniss, she seemed more kick butt to us.

It was very cold where we live and I am glad that she was able to wear something with pants and a jacket and not mess up the integrity of her costume. We even got Xander to partially dress up. He was already wearing a cool track jacket that said "Epcot" on it so I told him to wear his Disney lanyard and he could be a Disney tourist. He only got candy from relatives and refused to wear his Mickey ears from 4 years ago, but at least he went with us. He is 12 and likes to pretend he is too old for such things. 

I already can't wait for next Halloween. Maybe I should skip going to Disney and have a Halloween party......or maybe not :)