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Monday, June 29, 2009

6/29/09 Dorm Decor

As planned, we spent the weekend finalizing DS1’s packing/buying list for college and we started our shopping. It was fun doing this with DD when she went. It was almost like a treasure hunt. She found a reversible comforter she loved on sale and that started the whole summer hunt. We took those two colors (turquoise and lime green) and hunted all summer for everything she needed. It was fun to find perfectly coordinating things at all kinds of different stores. We found all kinds of cool things; rugs, towels, chair pad, baskets with colored liners, bedding and body pillows/extraAs planned, we spent the weekend finalizing DS1's packing/buying list for college and we started our shopping. It was fun doing this with DD when she went. It was almost like a treasure hunt. She found a reversible comforter she loved on sale and that started the whole summer hunt. We took those two colors (turquoise and lime green) and hunted all summer for everything she needed. It was fun to find perfectly coordinating things at all kinds of different stores. We found all kinds of cool things; rugs, towels, chair pad, baskets with colored liners, bedding and body pillows/extra pillows to transform the bed to a couch, bed risers so big bins would fit underneath and coordinating beach towels to use as a makeshift bed skirt since we didn't know how tall the bed would be, butterfly chair, tons of desk accessories, wrapping paper and ribbon and colored push pins to transform her bulletin board, curtains, dragonfly lights to hang over the bed, etc. We'd find the best deals and made some returns when we'd find a better deal on something…I'm sure we spent less than most kids rooms. I even surprised her with a little art project and bought 3 large poster papers and large tissue paper in every shade of her colors…we spent a day tearing tissue, decoupaging strips down and making a triptych for her bed wall.
We got the room/furniture dimensions online and I drew it all up on my architect computer program and we figured out the best layout and viewed it 3-D. I may have told you this story, but I don't think so…she had such an enormous pile of stuff when we unloaded the van on the curb on move in day…We left DH with the pile (and snickers from all the dad's unpacking their much smaller piles around him) while we went to find a cart…when we came back he said he got so many question he lied and told people he was 'moving in the twins' LOL. DH swore as he filled the center of the shared room with her stuff that it wasn't all going to fit and he kept offering to put the 3 stackable cabinets we bought back in the van…DD and I knew better…we knew it would fit…we'd seen it. We sent the boys off to the bookstore to pick up her order while we moved everything into place. She was so proud of her room when we got it all done and decorations up. Girls kept coming in to see it and asking her where she got things (I heard the local Wal-Mart had a couple-hour wait to check out that day…yikes). Yes, she also had the bin of every kind of medicine (and soon became the local 'drug dealer' LOL on her floor when friends got sick). It certainly made it easier for me to leave her knowing she was happy and had everything she needed…I was 'nesting' and Mama bird let her first baby go.

OK, I had to wait until I had DS1 trapped in the car ride to PSU to have him answer me yes/no on the packing/room list I had kept from DD…DH was happy to hear the pile is going to be MUCH smaller this time (we girls come with lots of accessories). It was like pulling-teeth to get DS1 to go with us to pick out his comforter, sheets and towels to set the beginnings of his room. He picked a reversible plain black and gray comforter, black sheets and plain gray towels…his 'bachelor' days have begun I guess…BLACK? GRAY?...I can do black, but boring...and would a punch of color kill him?!

DH let DS1 go and we went on to Bed, Bath & Beyond to continue the hunt on our own…WHAT? NO treasure hunt with my boy?!!! OK, I can deal…I found a young manager at the store to bond with…she printed me packing lists from PSU to compare to my lists and took me around the store to find my listed items…she was as excited as I was to find things…she even called the store near PSU for me and is having 2 camp style folding chairs with the 'Nittany Lion' emblem on them shipped out here...we bonded (I'm buying an extra one to give to his best friend and roommate...apparently a little PSU stuff is OK, matching bedding isn't...'looks like you're 10')
...Oh, and tip in case you have a BB&B store near you…they take expired coupons and you can use one coupon for each item you buy even on the same order…Yes, I forked over 13 coupons I'd been saving for my purchases and got 20% off each item. I found 2 bed pillows (for the couch look) with black pillowcases (I may have to find some fabric and make something a little more exciting than plain black). DH was a trooper shopping for hours, but a Debbie-Downer as he usually is when it comes to shopping or anything to do with decorating… 'You can NOT buy him towels for a bed skirt!...So WHAT if the bins under his bed show!!…He will not let you put a bed skirt on his bed!!!' I may have to sneak in a bed skirt…maybe I can make it to match the body pillow covers I'll make…hey, it's not like I'm going to use black and white toile, zebra print or anything floral…

Would a straight piece of black/white maybe striped fabric hanging down from the bed spring frame get him teased for life?! Seriously, I'm asking!!! I did walk away from the cute pillows and throws.

I was happy to see that DS1 was interested when we got home and came over to see all the things we bought in the ever growing pile in our great room, but he was most interested in the electronics…4-cup coffee maker, alarm clock, etc. Oh well. I did talk him into doing an art project for his wall…amazed, aren't you?!! You SHOULD be! He never would have agreed if it was with me (ex-art teacher…he likes to do his own thing and is so over me teaching him) and he would have thought I'd make something too sissy. I got sneaky (I know, 'as usual' LOL)DH can't draw a straight line to save his life and hates even playing 'Pictionary' because our kids (all got my art talent gene) love to laugh at him. I remembered though that in HS DH had to take art and got into making batiks for a few months. I 'suggested' that DH show DS1 how to make a batik and they could do one for his wall…well, that went over so well that before I knew it they'd planned doing a giant 'Lion Paw' print (one of PSU's trademarks, apparently it recently went from 5 to 4 toes) and I was tasked with getting the supplies…if it looks 'cool enough' he's going to hang it….sneaky works! 

Tonight we're off to buy all the toiletries, cleaning/laundry, and the obligatory bin full of medicines. Yes, I'm 'nesting' again. Maybe I can talk them into going to the fabric/craft store with me for the batik supplies?!! I might be able to get some fabric opinions while we're there…hey playing cards are mostly black and white...maybe a poker theme...he loves poker...sneaky, sneaky, sneaky.

Playing Cards Fabric

*Portion of Post Deleted for Lap Band Book

Sunday, June 28, 2009

6/27/09 Orientation

We had a great couple of days at DS1’s college orientation at Penn State Univ. main campus. I had a captive audience in the car for 3.5 hours, so I took the laptop and we worked on the packing list and the ‘buy’ list for his room this fall.

Thursday we drove and then walked around campus…took some photos at the Joe Paterno statue at the stadium (ours attached) and at the Nittany Lion statue (DS1), near the Nittany Lion Inn where we stayed (old large inn run by the Hospitality Svcs. Dept.). It was so hot, so we stopped at the campus run famous Creamery (DS1 and DH pic…Food Sciences building…ice cream is mainly from the PSU cows- AG Dept.). Yes, I did have one scoop of the ‘Death by Chocolate’. Then we walked it off…PSU is a beautiful campus; we guessed about ½ the physical size of OSU where DH and I attended, but still a lot of walking (I have 2 blisters now to prove it). We had dinner at The Tavern on Main St. (for all you PSU fans-a salad and fillet strips and mushrooms over pasta with a red wine sauce, I didn’t eat the pasta or even all the fillet...chewed everything I ate to a pulp). More walking and we went back to the room to get online…freshman football tickets started availability that night and they sell out in less than an hour…GOT THEM! Yes, we’re already working on finding OSU/PSU tickets for DH and is there this year.

Orientation started at 7:15am Friday (Yikes, and DS1 had a friend who’s family got up at 2:30am to make it in on time…too early of a start for us). We got checked in, got his photo and student ID done and put some money on it (key and money source on campus), and we set him up with his bank that was there for an ATM/Debit card. Then we split up and spent the morning with the parents and the usual speakers getting us ready. Had lunch with DS1’s friend and his parents (we know them from the soccer team) and then we went to the Engineering building for their orientation and then fall scheduling. Thursday DH and I were talking up how great college life would be for DS1 and how we wished we were starting college again…well Friday when all the talk was about how hard the classes were that he’d have to pass and how everyone accepted in ENGR were in the top 10% of their graduating class we remembered the tough parts about college life LOL. He got scheduled and we were done before 6pm…3.25 hr. drive home…a long day. We came home exhausted, but excited for him and he’s thrilled with his selection to go there.

We’re spending this weekend rounding up the things we have at home on his packing list and starting our shopping lists of things to buy. I’m ‘nesting’ as usual…my boy will have the bin of every kind of medicine and first-aid equipment available…he’ll have way more then he needs of everything, but that’s what us Mom’s do when our kids fly the nest.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

6/24/09 Life Happens

Well Tuesday, after posting my garden pics blog after dinner, things got a little crazy around here. One of the couples going to the concert with us/old neighbors that moved close by was in the area (birthday dinner out for one of their teens). They called us and we invited them over. We invited another couple (going to the concert) over, had drinks on the patio (perfect weather) and discussed our plans while all the kids visited. The last couple (going to the concert) was returning from vacation that evening and we got a call that an Uncle in their family had died (expected, Hospice had been there). After about four more calls back and forth we found that the viewing would be during the concert, so they couldn't go. Then we got a call from DS1, that he'd been in an accident; no injuries. I always hesitate to share negative things about my kids here, but I will just incase it keeps someone else from having an accident (or your kids). He works with one of his good friends and after work his friend was performing in a band at a local bar (they have events scheduled on occasion just for underage teens, no alcohol). He was following his friend's car through the parking lot to park (probably too closely) and looked down 'for a second' to tune his iPod…friend stopped, DS1 didn't (even with hands-free phone calls there are too many distractions in cars these days with all the electronics...FYI we've always limited the number of kids he can drive and he's supposed to set the iPod to a playlist before he leaves and phone is supposed to be on speaker and only for important things).

Bottom line is the friend's car had a higher bumper with a long/large trailer hitch and my minivan's front end (must be made of cellophane) was no match (minor damage to friend's car). He was going between 2-5 mph at the time (that was the prediction of the auto-shop manager the next day, as the airbags would have gone off if he was over that for the kind of accident he had, and they hadn't deployed). So that evening we spent some time sorting that out. Somehow (LOL) we also ended up with everyone's kids spending an overnight at our house, so there was popcorn to be made and sleeping bags and fresh pillowcases to be rounded up after the parent's left.

We spent yesterday morning getting kids fed/home, then lunchtime calling; insurance, the friend's father (DS1 called to apologize, etc.), the rental car place, and we took my minivan to the car shop (5-6K or possibly totaled; and yes, DS1 was there at each step to hear it all); the hitch punched into my minivan killing the radiator and A/C fan (maybe more) and wrecking the hood, front end/bumper and front side panel…ouch! DS1 is going to be paying what the insurance wont (we made a deal with our kids that we'd pay for their first accident only). He had a similar wreck just about 8 months ago at the stop-light right in front of his workplace. DH's car that time…a bumper miss-match with a tall SUV in front as they were all stopping for the light "she made a hard stop sooner than he expect" and even though he was down to under 10mph DH car went under the other car's bumper (can you say TAILGATING!). Again, the SUV had hardly a scratch, but they almost totaled DH's car. Insurance yesterday said 'Didn't he just have this same kind of accident?' 'Ummm, yes, just a different car.' AHHHH!

I know some of you'll think we're the strictest parents (we all do the best we can), but I'll tell you anyway (and no, he didn't get any consequences other than a long talk for the first accident, but the second time it becomes carelessness)…we'll only be letting him drive to/from work, but with us in the passenger seat for awhile to 'coach/tune up' his driving skills (punishments always seem to punish the parents too don't they...can't wait for the late night pick-up when the restaurant closes), and no, he won't have the iPod (or even the use of the radio or phone) in the car for awhile even when he returns to driving…we need this one to 'hurt' as he doesn't really have an appreciation for just some money coming out of his savings account. We'd also had already been talking to him about getting a second job as he wasn't getting enough hours at a restaurant, so we forced that issue yesterday and he called and got rehired at his old job (retail store).

Of course it's not the hassle or insurance rate going up (it will) that we care about; he just needs to learn the lesson now before he or someone else gets HURT or worse…that's our real worry. Driving is a privilege and he's gotten over-confident in his abilities (we've seen that watching him drive recently…he started off as a careful driver, but now he's gotten complacent after driving for 3 years and needs an attitude adjustment). He needs to take it seriously and understand the responsibility of driving. We've had several sit-down discussions with him and I'm sure well be talking more about it on the way to PSU tomorrow (fun, fun, fun...NOT).

In the afternoon we ran and got things for our tailgate and got ready. We thought we had someone set to take the now extra set of tickets, but that fell through less than an hour before departure. So more scrambling with others trying to find friends to go and finally the concert attendees suggested we take our daughter/BF (about 10 min. before departure). I grabbed DD some clothes in case they could come and off we went (the neighbors picked us up and had fully decorated the car and had bought us all kinds of whacky stuff to wear and display at the tailgate.

We had a great time people watching (a major spectator sport at this concert) tailgating with the neighbors (I ate some sub (VERY carefully) and none of the sides we took, but I did have a two Corona's/Lime as it was all we had there (with some Gas X, and yes, my doc says carbonation is OK after a certain point post-op...and I nursed them forever...the tailgate is longer than the concert at JB). DD/BF got to the concert about ½ hour late (she had to work until 7pm), but they had a great time too (virgin Parrotheads). We danced, we sang, we had a blast…Buffett was awesome as always! What a way to celebrate our 50th birthdays! TERRIBLE phone-camera pic attached of us doing the Big 5-0.

We picked up a rental car for me today and I'm off to pack for our orientation overnight at PSU tomorrow…it's been a busy, sometimes very stressful 48 hours.

*Portion of Post Deleted for Lap Band Book

Monday, June 22, 2009

6/22/09 My Back Garden

I took some pics of the back garden today and thought I'd share them (didn't seem appropriate to put them under the before/after albums). Looking these over, I'm proud of all the work we've done. I love gardening. Enjoy my slice of heaven and where I love to spend time…

Pic 1.5- My little herb garden that sits just out the kitchen door. DS1 helped me put in the brick paths. Lavender section is on the left, Thymes in front, my poor spindly Basils on the right (with a few parsley and dill) and everything else in the back. You can see DS2's raised big veggie garden just beyond.

Pic 2.5- Is the same garden from the sidewalk by the lavender looking across to a small bubble fountain.

Pic 4.5- Is the little pond and waterfall we built into the curve of the patio. I did all the stone work and everything else but the digging. Lots of fish, frogs, and tadpoles.

Pic 6.5- Looking across the herb garden to the rest of the patio/gazebo. I put clumping bamboo all along that side of the patio to block the wind from the West. The "big hill" I've been complaining here about mulching forever is just behind the bamboo and drops down. That's where the steps/path goes down to the basement walk-out.

Pic 13.5- A view from the French doors across the gazebo and into the yard and our woods. Ooops, should have put the cushions out on the chairs, oh well. On the edge is the kids clubhouse I designed and we built with the kids help as a family project (looks like a dollhouse in the pic, but that's a full sized door on it). I acid stained the patio.

*In response to Comments:

-Mmmm...Chicken Chili on a rainy day...sounds perfect!

-Thanks girls...anyone need some herbs LOL? Even in our first apartment I grew herbs in the sunny windowsill...they're easy.

-xavier- OMG...too funny you picking that plant!!! DH likes to buy those tiny cactus that you get at the local harware stores, you know, in a tiny 2" pot. We've only lived here 9 years, and I'm not sure when he bought them but not immediately. The one by the gazebo corner you pointed out is now 5' above the soil, but if you look closely across the gazebo to the far side there's a green pot with another one in it (looks like a post) and it's 6' above the soil now (you can't see the leaves because they're above the gazebo). They're called a Madagascar Palm (but it's not really a palm, it's from the cactus family of Pachypodium so they're sometimes called that). Of course we have to bring them in here in the winter (which is a big production since we have 2 steps down to the patio...someone always gets stabbed). I'm laughing because I call the big one 'DH's phallic symbol' it's a single stem and in the winter here they go dormant and slowly lose their leaves (the giant one is just an ugly gray stem in the winter)...every year I think I've killed it and every year that damn phallic symbol grows back (DH thinks it's hysterical...he always let's me know when the baby leaves are starting to show again). Well I've only got 9' ceilings on the first floor so sooner or later it's not going to be able to winter over inside LOL! Oh, and in the pic the leaves are just about 1/2 way out so they'll get twice as big/long as you see here. He's got several other varieties cactus/palm ones out there you can't see. DD just bought him a 4" 'bunny ear cactus' for Father's Day (looks like a whole bunch of Mickey Mouse heads)...wonder how big that will be in a few years!

-I don't grow the herbs year round inside, but my Mom does bring some of her annual ones in to winter over (Bay, Rosemary), but they go into 'dormant' mode here over the winter even in a window and don't do real well (not the same kind of sun to keep them healthy looking so I choose to buy the annuals again each year). Three sections of the herb garden are all perennials (and a few annual herbs in pots) so they come back every year and the section that looks bare is where I put the annuals (basil, dill, sage, parsley, rosemary, bay...but even some of these stay year round in hotter climates so it depends on where you rosemary can become a huge bush in the far south). We're only a 'Zone 5' on the planting scale here in Pittsburgh. Most herbs like hot sun, well drained soil and not too much water.

6/22/09 Road Trip and NSV's

I'm back from my long weekend with DS2. We had a great time with my family. We left early on Friday and arrived in Columbus for an early lunch (white-knuckled trip with pouring rain until we were almost there). I was supposed to be on mushies the whole day and then start solids Saturday (post-fill), so I chose some cottage cheese for lunch. I brought flowers from my garden and between those and Mom's we made about 8 arrangements and took them over to my Middle Sister's to start prep for the party. We worked until dinnertime and I was able to get down a little thin crust pizza and mixed fruit salad back at Mom's.

Saturday found Mom and I (and two of her Herb Society friends) on a two hour trip down to a lavender farm for a festival (sorry, I forgot my camera but found these pics of the farm online-no, I don't know that cute little boy). It smelled like heaven as we pulled into the lavender field to park. She'd signed us up for two classes so we went off to the 'Mediterranean Cooking with Herbs' class. As I've said before, I'm not the chef in our family, but I was excited for this class. I have a nice herb garden (most cooks would kill for…my neighbors do come to take snippings occasionally at my urgings) and I'd like to learn to use more of them. I always dry some herbs each year (mainly for show in my kitchen and basement rack), but the only things I really use fresh are the basil to mainly make pesto or my mozzarella/tomato Italian flag salad, the tarragon for a chicken bake dish DH makes, and occasionally some chives, dill, or oregano for an occasional recipe. The teacher is the regional cooking expert for Macy's department stores (I think she works a lot with brides, etc.) and she was very knowledgeable. I'm inspired to try to incorporate the fresh herbs more now while they're in season. We had a meal of bread, salad, chicken, pancetta, and cookies all incorporating the herbs at the end of the demo. I almost had a stuck moment as I was carefully eating the herb salad (I thought I chewed very carefully). I was trapped at an inside table with people all around or I would have gotten up as I could feel the sliming about to start. I was panicking and I'm sure the folks across from me saw my eyes watering…but then it passed in a few minutes. I quickly gave Mom the rest of my salad saying I'd taken too much…whew…that was a close one!

The Lavender Festival was wonderful, but small (about 20 vendors and the classes), so then we found ourselves with about 3 hours to kill before our next class. It was almost 90 degrees out so after the 'cut your own lavender' trip to the field and shopping the vendors (I bought; 5 plants, a pair of beaded earrings for DD's birthday in August, and 20 wooden garden markers for DS2's vegetable garden that he can decorate) we looked for a shady spot and bought some lavender ice cream from the Mennonites who had an ice cream and baked goods booth (they had a small John Deere engine attached to the ice cream maker…cool to watch). I asked for only one scoop…OMG that ice cream was wonderful…fresh cream from the cow…a scoopful of heaven!

Our last class was making a framed picture from pressed flowers and Mom is going to be doing this at one of their Festival's at the herb garden she volunteers with weekly, so she was very excited. We were done in record time (the heat made us work fast) and we were back in the car for our trip home.

Then off to Middle-Sister's for my nephew's HS graduation party (he's in a college program now to become a police officer). It went perfectly; no rain and lots of fun. We collapsed after pitching or bagging up the extra food around midnight.

Sunday we stayed until late morning so I could spend some more time with Dad for Father's Day. I gave him a nice box of smoked salmon, which he loved. Unusual gift, I know. DH and I (and the kids) twice visited DH's sister and her family when they lived in Alaska for 2 years. We took my only brother on the second trip. He loved it so much that he and DH arranged a fishing trip there (in a motor home for a week traveling the area) a few years later and they took my Dad. He loved getting the salmon they caught smoked and so the salmon I bought him was labeled as being from one of the rivers in Alaska that they fished…he noticed right away. 
We got in the car for our 3 ½ hour ride home and DS2 said 'It was a great weekend!' and high-fived me as he said 'It was a nice trip with just you and I!' I forget that the baby of the family, even at 13 yrs. old can still need some quality one on one time. We played Mad Libs most of the way home and stopped at McDonalds for lunch (I ate ½ a grilled chicken club sandwich…went down fine).

Had a nice evening of playing Frisbee in the backyard and grilling out for Father's Day back home with the family (Happy belated Father's Day all you Dad's). Tomorrow is the Jimmy Buffet concert with 2 neighbor couples (can't wait) and Thursday morning we leave for PennState with DS1 for our orientation (staying at the old colonial Nittany Lion Inn on campus overnight-run by the PennState hospitality program, so it should be fun). DH took off the rest of the week for all this, but I'll try to post some updates when we have some down time. I'm off to the Drs. (routine) with the boys and then on to DS2's guitar lesson (he AMAZES me with his idea where it comes from, but it's great for each kid to find something they're good at).

Today is my two-month bandiversary and I'm down 19 pounds since surgery (most of that, just post-op though). I'm just hoping to keep losing or at least not gain during this 6 week wait for the next fill. Sorry I went on and on as usual, just catching up. Have a great week all!!! I'll post some pics I just took of my garden later.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

6/18/09 Restriction...Finding The Balance

*Post Deleted for Lap Band Book

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

6/16/09 Fill 'er Up!

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

6/14/09 Slimer

*Post Deleted for Lap Band Book


Saturday, June 13, 2009

6/13/09 The Cup

We had a raucous good time partying with our neighbors last night in Pittsburgh.

Captain Sidney Crosby hoists the Stanley Cup.

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin hoists the Conn Smythe Trophy after defeating the Detroit Red Wings in Game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup Final hockey series in Detroit, Michigan, June 12, 2009. REUTERS/Shaun Best

Friday, June 12, 2009

6/12/09 Gain

*Post Deleted for Lap Band Book

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

6/10/09 School's Out For Summer

Well it's just ½ day of school away from officially being 'summer break' here. Things are going to get busy around here fast. For the kids 'summer break' means a welcome long hiatus from school, fun activities, vacations, sleeping in and lots of restful free-time. For a stay-at-home Mom, it means all that and; planning, packing, driving and entertaining everyone for three months while your usually neat home is invaded by mud slinging (no, the real mud), endlessly hungry teenage aliens who can't heat up a hotdog without using every dish in your home. No really, I love summers. It brings a whole different attitude to our home. When else can you wake up not knowing what you'll be doing most days and where your biggest worry is 'what's the weather today'.

I'll probably be skipping lots of blogs this summer and I'm sure you will too, but no worries, we'll keep in touch. I'll be around often…I need my blog…therapy is expensive, this blog is cheap. It's like sending your kids to summer camp…you never know when you're going to hear from them and when you don't, you're happy for them as you know they're busy off doing something fun. So I hope I don't see you here at least a couple of weeks this summer and that you're off vacationing with little umbrellas in your drinks, visiting family (the ones you like), or doing something equally as fun!

So is hunting season on now?

Why we need schools.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

6/9/09 Motivation

*Post Deleted for Lap Band Book

Monday, June 8, 2009

6/8/09 Name That Tune

DS1 decided to have his graduation party next month (they go on all summer here). I'm making a DVD slide show set to music that plays music clips in the background. We set it up to play continuously where the food tables are so people can watch some/all as they arrive. I'm putting together the elements of it now; about 10 pics from each year of his life set sequentially and about 10-11 song clips; about 2 min. each. I have to finish soon as I send the scanned pics and music to an expert who makes it all look pretty.
I did the same thing as a surprise for DD's graduation party 4 years ago, so this time DS1 knows its coming and has been helping me screen some songs. DD is like me and likes a little bit of everything so it was easy to pick music for hers (and there were several daughter/girl songs). I ended up with a lot of country just because the lyrics worked well with little kid pictures. DS1's a rocker and doesn't like we found lots more rocker/current ones that he'll pick 2-3 from for his High School years. I need mostly songs that are appropriate for little kid pics and the growing up years as that's most of the pics/show. If you have any suggestions, or opinions, let me know!

Here's our working list that we've yet to narrow down.
- "My Wish" Rascall Flatts
- "Miracle" Celine Dion
- "Beautiful Boy" John Lennon OR Celine Dion
- "Somewhere over the Rainbow" Israel Kamakowiwo'ole
- "Days Go By" Keith Urban
- "Teach Your Children Well" Crosy, Stills, Nash & Young
- "Landslide" Stevie Nicks
OR Smashing Pumpkins
- "Good Riddance" (Time of Your Life) Green Day
- "Wonderful World" Louis Armstrong OR Joey Ramone
- "Times of Your Life" Paul Anka
OR Joanna Wang
- "Life is a Highway' Tom Cochrane
- "Forever Young" Rod Stewart
OR Bob Dylan
- ??"The Times are They are a Changing" Tracy Chapman OR Bob Dylan
- ??"Tough little boys" Gary Allan
- ??"Whenever You Remember" Carrie Underwood
- ??"Do I Make You Proud" Taylor Hicks

HS SONGS (Pick 2-3)
- "I'm Not Gonna Cry" Corey Smith
- "Friends Forever" Vitamin C
- "Name" Goo Goo Dolls
- "The Climb" Miley Cyrus
- "My Generation" The Who
- "This is Your Life" Switchfoot
- "Best Days" Graham Coulton
- "I Will Remember You" Ryan Cabrera
- "Here In This Diary" Ataris
- "But A Breath" The Wedding
- "No such thing" John Mayer
- "Please Remember" Leanne Rimes
- "Graduation Song" Amy Diamond
- "High School" The Friday Night Boys
*Noticably missing are "Unwritten" - Natasha B. and "I will Remember You"- Sarah M. (he nixed)

Others Ideas:
Simple Man by Lynard Skynard
Schools Out by Alice Cooper

Saturday, June 6, 2009

6/6/09 Learning to Believe

DS1's Graduation was perfect. It was a beautiful evening outside in the stadium. I wore my sunglasses to hide all my tears and had my tissues handy. DS1 was so happy. We got lots of pics with him and all his friends…what a great group of kids they are (a bunch of well rounded smart kids with great futures). We went out as a family afterward for a late dinner at DS1's work place (fancy Italian restaurant) and it was a lovely end to the day. The place is huge and packed, but so many co-workers came over to offer their congratulations and tell us what a great kid/worker he is. 

Portion of Post Deleted for Lap Band Book

Friday, June 5, 2009

6/05/09 Another Milestone

Music to enhance your reading pleasure, click here:YouTube - vitamin C - Graduation (Friends Forever)lyrics

Tonight is DS1's High School Graduation. I can't believe how fast time has flown by. It seems like yesterday that we moved here and he was entering 4th grade. OK, no tears, yet… them all for later today. We're really proud of how well he's done in school. He's graduating with honors (he's excited he gets to wear an honors stole). His senior project (a year long requirement for graduation here, they can pick any subject/project) was on student rights and his project was getting the School Board to pass a new bill to have a student sit on the School Board. He'd make a good lawyer…loves to argue his side about anything…trust me, I've been on the other side of that one too many times this year. He's decided to go into Engineering at PSU, and he's rooming with his best friend…they've played soccer and ref'd together since they were little, so he's really looking forward to it.

So another summer of me purchasing everything he'll need at school; it's my way of 'nesting' and feeling better about leaving him. I'm told boys don't take nearly as much stuff to school…DH will be glad to hear that as we've been moving DD around campus with her ever multiplying mountain of 'stuff' the past four years (and now it's all stuffed in her room and our basement).

Now, excuse me…I need to go get tissues ready for my 'cry-fest' tonight. Happy Friday all!!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

6/4/09 Fffffffffffffart! Beeeeeeelch!

I've officially joined the 'Boys Club' at my house (well, that's what I called it before DD moved back home recently). There's no required secret handshake, just gas explosions needed from either end to enter. Yes, you heard right. I'm not one of those gals who has a sense of humor about farts or belches (or the Three Stooges), so I'm going to have a hard time discussing this, but here goes ('goes'…hee-hee-hee).
I've never been a loud farter…even post-op with all that gas coming out, but ('butt' hee-hee-hee) I think I had 'lift-off' at one point. I'm more the 'silent but deadly' type. I can make it through days, weeks even, never noticing whether I ever farted. I know I do, everyone does.

Now, onto everything you always wanted to know about farts, but were afraid to ask. Did you know:

- The average person farts (depending on who's statistics you believe) 7-25 times per day (WebMD says at least 14), producing about 45 ml of CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) and 45 ml of CH4 (Methane).

- Methane has 21 times the Global Warming Potential as Carbon Dioxide and the average person produces 12.7 Liters of it a year. A tree would only have to spend only 17 days per year 'sniffing' the greenhouse gases in your farts to carbon neutralize it.

- Farting gas is created by bacteria in the large intestines.

- Farting volume and composition is directly linked to your diet and changes day by day. If you consume a high-fiber diet, which is healthier, you produce more gases that actually do damage the environment. Methane production in a fart is often hereditary so not all people create methane, but the average figures above compensates for this. The only way to eliminate your own greenhouse gas emissions is to eat almost no fiber, but then you probably die much younger than you should so forget about it.

- Steer clear of artificial sweeteners. Sorbitol and xylitol, found in many sugar-free gums and candies, have a reputation for causing flatulence. Avoid gas-producing foods and beverages. Foods that are high in complex carbohydrates (some vegetable and legumes as well as high-fiber foods like prunes) are the most likely to cause flatulence.

I'm thinking I'm doing my part for the environment, because I'm not getting enough fiber…and, of course, I just know I'm not one of those 'Methane producers' (you know who you are!).

Now, onto belches. I could hardly conjure up a burp before even when guzzling a pop (soda for you non-Midwesterners). Post-band I can't stop burping…every single time I eat or drink!

- Less than 10% of the total greenhouse gas emissions from livestock are produced by animal flatulence; most emissions are produced by animal burping. Belches and, to a far lesser degree, farts from sheep, cows and other farm animals account for around 20% of all global methane emissions.

- Livestock in New Zealand account for 60% of the country's greenhouse gas emissions. There is a global scientific effort to keep lifestock from belching (Silence of the Lambs). Some think there will new legislation to control or tax lifestock emissions (belches and farts) in the future. Cow farts/burps are a source of greenhouse gases, while kangaroo farts are methane free thanks to a particular bacteria in their stomachs. An average cow is thought to emit between 542 litres (if located in a barn) and 600 litres (if in a field) of methane per day through burping and exhalation, making commercially farmed cattle a major contributor to the greenhouse effect. 95% of this gas is emitted through belching.

- In some animals, a failure to burp successfully can be fatal (I hope that's not true of humans! What's going to happen when they tighten my band?!!!). This is particularly common among domesticated ruminants that are allowed to gorge themselves on very rich spring clover or alfalfa. The condition, known as bloat is basically a high pressure build up of gastric gasses and requires immediate veterinary treatment, usually the insertion of a flexible rubber hose down the esophagus or in extreme cases the lancing of the animal's side with a scalpel to expel the build up of gas. So if you're feeling bloated, be careful!

-The average person belches about 15 times per day, slightly more than they fart. Belching from people is mainly swallowed air from the stomach and esophagus so it's mainly Nitrogen and Oxygen, or CO2 from the carbonated beverages themselves. We don't have the same kind of digestive track and double stomachs like cattle, so the Methane doesn't come up, just down. The sound of burping is caused by the vibration of the upper esophageal sphincter as the gas passes through it. The current Guinness world record for the loudest burp is 107.1 dB, set by Paul Hunn in 2008. (This would be noticeably louder than a chainsaw at a distance of 1 metre.).

So, no greenhouse gases from my belches! Better 'up and out'! Good to know! Now, stand back…BEEEEEEELCH!

Burp trapping backpack- The methane collecting tanks were utilized by Argentina's National Institute for Agricultural Technology as part of a a study to determine the atmospheric impact of methane released by cows. The findings were startling, as researcher Guillermo Berro estimated that "30% of Argentina's total greenhouse gases could be generated by cattle."

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

6/3/09 Promise of Days to Come

*Post Deleted for Lap Band Book

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