Friday, December 26, 2008

The Cellphone Fairy

Happy Boxing Day! Hope you all had a nice Holiday. We were blessed by both Santa & the Cell Phone Fairy. We are all now connected thanks to a good family plan. My sister-in-law and niece gave us their old cell phones when they up-graded, there was a buy one / get one free on the env2 and I guess I was either lucky or a very good girl to get my new "Smart Phone". (I'm going with lucky) Verizon has a great family plan where we share minutes and it's "free" when you talk "in network".

My Old Phone
My trusty cell phone was just over 5 years old and is considered an antique by today's standards. After years of use (& abuse), it is missing a hinge and the antenna won't stay up anymore. We also live in a "dead zone" and have very poor reception with Sprint. I didn't realize how "underprivileged" I was until yesterday morning!

I Can Hear You Now!

I am now the proud owner of a Verizon Samsung Omnia .

This is Samsung's version of the i -phone. I now know why they call it a "Smart Phone". You need to be a genius to be able to figure all the gadgets & technology this touch-screen phone has to offer!

I feel so privileged! Like I have my own personal assistant. I can get internet & emails, FM radio, keep an electronic calender, phone book, note pad, take photos with a built in 5 mega-pixel camera, play solitare & other games..... the list goes on.

The only drawback is that I need my reading glasses to use many of these functions. I think there needs to be a model made for the over 40 crowd. One with a screen that is easy for older eyes to see.

Perhaps they will call it the "Eye Phone"!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

HO HO Holy Wordless Wednesday - It's Christmas Eve!

It's finally here! Time to finish wrapping those presents, buy some last minute groceries and fill up my tank!
This is the price I paid at Kroger Marketplace with my 20 cent fuel perk!

A man at the next pump over remarked how slow the pumps were today. It was as if he was reading my mind. At first I thought that perhaps the station was running low on gas....

As I drove away, I realized that the gallons were most likely flowing at the same rate. It was the $$$ amount which was moving more slowly! 1/3 rd the price that I had been paying a few months ago!!!

So much for being wordless! Sorry Uncle Marvin!

I might as well use a few more words to wish all my friends and family that might stop by here a very Happy Channukah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa or as I like to say "Happy HannaKwanzaMas" and Best Wishes for a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wordless Wednesday With Really Long Caption:

1st meal after over 5 hours in the ER at Children's Hospital after a nasty black-ice- slip-on -the front stoop this morning! or Why Alex won't be swimming or playing piano for awhile....

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

More Holiday Cheer - Colin & Alex Duet

The boys play Linus & Lucy for their Holiday Recital

Holiday Cheer - Oh Christmas Tree

Alex at his recital

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Fragments - Tis the Season

Ever wonder what to do with all of those little tidbits you collect over the week that are too small to be stand-alone posts, but too good to discard? Welcome to...

The Week In ReviewSaturday we had our first real snow of the season. ( only lasted about a day) Although it was just over an inch, the meager snowfall made for some treacherous driving. It also provided an opportunity for the boys to make a little income by shoveling the walks and driveway. My youngest son decided to scrape the snow from the lawn as well!

The Gift of Giving

I also have been giving the boys jobs to do at my work to earn extra spending money. I had the two older boys fill out time cards. I required that they sign out for lunch and for breaks. The youngest boy takes so many breaks that I just paid him a token amount for his "efforts".

On Sunday, I held a meeting with the boys to discuss a new idea I had. I thought the boys might enjoy buying gifts for each other with their earnings. We set a budget of $10 - 15 per brother.

The boys are enthusiastic about stealthily buying gifts for each other. Even my oldest and usually stingiest child. He called me a few days ago from home to see if he could come in and work for me for a few hours. He needed a few more dollars for extra gifts and wanted to know if it was o.k. to go over the agreed upon budget.

I had a Miracle on 34th Street moment!

Collecting Backwards

Times are tough for almost everyone I know. I have one friend who has been cleaning up her apartment and getting rid of things to make room for a home office. She had just given away an extra microwave when the one she kept, broke down. Talk about bad timing!

A few days later I was talking with another friend who was cleaning out a storage area and taking a load to charity. I asked if he happened to have an extra microwave. Turns out he did and it is in almost mint condition. (see photo above). Funny how things work! (even when they don't!)

Pocket Change

I am not a fan of panhandlers, people who set up tables outside of busy stores for fund-raisers and I don't appreciate bucket-wielding volunteers that stand in the middle of the road looking for motorists with spare-change.

However, I feel like the bell-ringers of the Salvation Army are a worthy charity. I am trying to make an effort to carry pocket-change so I can donate often. Yesterday while shopping with my middle-child, I gave my son a handful of change to drop in the kettle. Afterwards he told me that it made him feel good to be able to help.

A little change, no matter how small, can help make a difference!

and speaking of change:

The New State Quarters are Out!

I stopped at my bank tonight to make a deposit. Our favorite teller waited on me and told me the new Hawaii state quarters are in. This is the last quarter in the state series.

She knows my boys collect them and asked me if I needed some. I bought $1 worth and can't wait till the boys come home from swimming. They are going to be excited to be able to complete their collections!

And that concludes this week's message about change!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Price of Gas Thursday, at 10:15 a.m.

This is the price of gas at 10:15 this morning. I was running an errand at Sam's Club nearby. When I passed at 9:30 this station was at $1.41 9/10 as was the station across the street.

On the return trip, a mere 45 minutes later, the price was a nickel higher here and up to $1.59 across the street.

I spoke to a friend who drives quite a bit and $1.41 is about the lowest he's seen it this week. My friend also raised an interesting point. A year ago there would have been long lines of cars waiting to fill up at these remarkable values. Today there were only a few customers.

I guess we've all had our fill .......

Friday Update:
From Nonna:

beat this one bad momma :)

just wanted to top bad momma on the low gas price pic :-)

Mad For Science

(click on photo to enlarge)

Picturing the Scientist
Last night my eldest son handed me a folder of papers to autograph. He had received his interim class grades. Thankfully he is doing well and I gave him the token "You can do better than this" on his 2 B's. (between you & me, he is doing much better than I did at his age).

Tucked between the progress reports were random papers and I found this gem (front pictured above & back- below). The assignment was to draw a picture of a scientist. As I started to read and chuckle, my 6th grader snatched the paper from my hands.Red-faced, he explained that this was not for a grade and was an in-class exercise.

Bad Parenting or Too Many Hours of Bad TV?

I waited until this morning to retrieve the "work of art" . I sure hope his science teacher has a sense of humor! My son's idea of a scientist is a Mad Scientist who works in a secret lair. His father is in prison for life and his mother is an abusive alcoholic. Our man of science is continually at work trying to take over the world.

(click on photo to enlarge)

As I constantly warn my children, we are one step away from a visit from Children's Services!
I think we are going to have to cut back on late-night television and "Pinky and the Brain" cartoons.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Sum it up Saturday - Kind of like Friday Fragments but on Saturday

A Picture is Worth 1,ooo Words and 1,000 Words are 999 Too Many !
Earlier this week I spoke to my 86 year-old uncle, who lives out of state, in a retirement home. He will sometimes go to my blog to see photos & catch up on any news. He asked about some of my Thanksgiving photos and I filled him in on our family get together.

He then asked me if I ever delete my older posts. I was confused. I explained that a blog is like a diary and I like to have an archive of my entries. I asked what he thought should be cleaned up.

He told me that there were just too many words and that my blog seemed to go on and on with no end in sight. I told him its ok to just look at the pictures.

Unless reading my missives helps him fall asleep!

Glad to know my life makes for a riveting read!

update: Uncle Marvin corrected me; he is 88 years old!

Shooting on the Fly

I am trying to bring a camera with me when I am running errands in my car. On Wednesday, I posted some quick photos I took of Holiday Lights in my neighborhood. The photos don't begin to do them justice. I want to take a walk at night to try again when the weather is nicer.

I decided to start a new blog, for my Drive By Shooting . I am in the process of setting it up; the new blog will be on my profile & attached to this blog. Hopefully this will help motivate me to take more photos and develop some skills. I took a few random shots on Friday that I will post.

A D.A.R.E. I Couldn't Refuse

While I pride myself on being a "Bad Momma", this time of year I really earn my moniker.
This is my busy time at work and I have been putting in a few 12 hour days & 60 hour weeks.
I have been leaving the house before everyone wakes up and spend a couple of hours in the evening before bedtime with my family. Fortunately this is just for a few weeks.

Thursday my husband called me in the afternoon to tell me I had to take my 5th grader to his D.A.R.E. graduation. It was my turn since my husband went last year for our oldest child. I resented the glee in his voice when my DH told me the program was 1.5 hours and would be packed. *yawn* followed by *sigh*!

After randomly choosing a seat and settling in, out of boredom I perused the program I was handed on the way in. The back had a list of "TIPS FOR PARENTS".

First on the list:
"Establish family rules that make the use of drugs non-negotiable".
How would you begin to negotiate that?

"You can only use drugs on weekends, after dinner and before curfew, if your homework is done. Only marijuana. No crack, crank or heroin....."

I don't know about your house, but our policy is simple. You pull sh*t like that, you get your @## kicked!

Well that's the highlights of my week. And too many words for at least one "reader"!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Light Up My World - A Drive by Shooting

The neighbors have been putting up their holiday lights.
These are some quick drive-by photos.

I also had to include my weekly gas-price update.
(I waited until after the holiday weekend, where prices had
temporarily gone up 15 -20 cents a gallon)

What I paid per gallon this morning at Kroger
with my 20 cent off fuel perk!
Now that really lights up my world!