My book blog now has its own home. Please visit me at LYNNE'S BOOK REVIEWS. Of course you're more than welcome to see what's going on in my personal life, but if you want to talk books, that's where I'll be!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Randomosity



Kris, this cartoon is for you :) (Double click on it to enlarge)

Real quick, since I need to do some errands...

Eric dissected a baby pig this week. At one point he and his partner had to cut into each side of the pig's jaw and then break it open. Eric made his partner do it. Don't blame him a bit...eww.

Someone stole $27,000 from a locked safe - in a locked office - at Eric's school. The boys had spent a week holding different contests and having a yard sale in order to raise money for the mission group which takes a bunch of the boys to places like Honduras. Since $8,000 was stolen in 2007, again right after "Mission Week" and nobody was caught, I'm thinkin' this is an inside job and they'd better find out who did it...OR ELSE. (It's so upsetting!)

Last night Eric was talking on Facebook with a UCLA basketball player. I don't remember his name and Eric is at school. It was somebody that doesn't play a lot, but Eric was chattin' back and forth with him and thought it was very cool :) He got off his computer and went downstairs to work out. Love that motivation!

Found THE neatest website. It's http://www.meetup.com/ It's a website where they have all kinds of interests groups - thousands of groups across the nation - that you can join. Someone organizes the group and then holds meetings, posting the times, dates, places online, allows you to RSVP yes, no or maybe, and then even reminds you when the meeting is coming up. They've got specific pet groups, broad interest pet groups, reading groups, Harley groups, business groups, fitness groups, diet groups, singles groups, people new to the area groups, Salsa dancing groups, I mean the list goes on and on. They even have Bill O'Reilly fan groups. Check it out just for fun. I've RSVP'd for the small dog group for a get-together next weekend. Sometimes they go on walks or if the weather is bad they meet up at different doggie daycares in the area. The small dog requirement is dogs under 25 pounds. I told Larry that Stella may not meet the requirement since she's such a "big" girl. He took offense to that.

Eric is trying out for a couple of different AAU basketball teams next weekend. We'll keep you posted.

Tryouts for school baseball start on Monday. Eric said he saw the roster of names and doesn't feel too confident about making it because of his hitting skills (or lack thereof). We'll keep you posted about that as well.

I need to measure E's height again. We went Julie's house the other night for a Brentwood basketball team dinner (she is a saint, by the way). Their tallest player, Thomas Stubbs, is listed on the roster as 6'7". All teams bumps up the players' heights on their rosters, so let me tell you that Stubbs is not 6'7" but he is probably 6'6". Eric walks by him and it was obvious that he is taller than Stubbs. Several parents have said to me, "I think Eric's grown." Time to get out the measuring tape.

Oh, and just so you have something else to read, I've started another blog, a journal-type blog about trying to open a dog park. I thought it would help motivate me. http://www.iwant2buildadogpark.blogspot.com/

Larry's condos in Clayton are really coming along. He said they should be ready by the end of March. I'll try to take some pics and post them here.

If you haven't seen Slumdog Millionnaire, GO SEE IT! You will not be disappointed.

Happy Friday.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bones and Basketball

video

This is a short video of KC eating her bone on top of my head. She is crazy.

Went to a fun team dinner the other night with Eric's basketball team. One of his teammate's parents hosted it at their house and everyone brought a dish. Even the coach came, which was really nice. Apparently the parents on our freshman team were much closer and friendlier to one another than the parents on the other freshman team. We all sat together at the games and chatted before and after. We cheered for every kid when they did well and felt bad when they didn't. We were...well, we were a team! We weren't ready for the season to be over, thus the team dinner. We also gave our coach a beautifully framed picture of him coaching during a game. It was his first year coaching, and we thought he did a fantastic job.

During the get-together, Brian and I spoke with the coach and he told us that he recommended Eric to the other coaches for next year. I guess that's why the one coach came up to Eric before the last game and told him to eat a lot and work out this summer. Not sure why it was the varsity coach that told him that. I don't THINK they're talkin' varsity for him next year, but what a vote of confidence that he will likely make the JV team?? There will only be about 15 spots. The coach said Eric definitely has the skills and obviously the height, but (of course he's heard it a hundred times before) he just needs to bulk up. Last night I heard him working out in his room with a dumbbell (no, I don't mean Larry..just kidding honey!) at 11:00. He plays basketball right after school, no matter what the temperature is. Yesterday it was 35. He's also been trying to drink a lot of shakes. So he's TRYIN'!

Friday, February 20, 2009

COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS

If you:



  • have been taking things for granted lately

  • wonder how someone deals with tragedy

  • want to see how God works through heartache

  • want to see pictures of a darling baby with an infectious smile

  • feel it's a good time to test different brands of tissue.....
click here

Go to the bottom of each page on their blog and click on "older posts" in order to scroll through the pages and see more pictures.

If you are afraid to look (Krista) or don't have time, I'll give you a little run down. This adorable young couple has an 11-month-old baby named Cora who, on January 25th of this year, is taken to the pediatrician after several bouts with an ear infection. The parents also mention to the doctor that her stomach seems kind of "tight," she hasn't been eating much and she wants to be held all the time. The doctor does a blood test and an x-ray, and through tears tells them the baby has liver cancer. He sends them directly to the hospital. Fourteen days later their baby is dead. Their blog started out like any other couple with a new baby who might start a blog. But then they find out the baby has cancer, so now their blog includes pictures of Cora in the hospital hooked up to all kinds of tubes, as well as daily updates on her condition. It's heartbreaking but heartwarming as the mom, who is a Christian, posts specific prayer requests each day - until February 8th when her post says "Cora is with Jesus." I just clicked on their blog again and they just posted again today. Neat, neat couple with amazing strength and courage.

I love what someone posted about this story: God is too wise to make a mistake and too loving to be unkind. And with that, this verse from Isaiah 55:8-11

"But my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater. So, it is my word that goes out from my mouth. It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."

In other words, we may not believe it or understand it, but He's got everything under control. :)

By the way, Kleenex brand is superior.

Okay, on a lighter note...

For some reason I can't make our goal charts work right, but I've changed it so that Eric's chart comes up and not mine. I know nobody really cares whether or not I took the dogs for a walk (except them!) Eric is good about updating his chart, too. Right now he is into playing basketball and hasn't done any weightlifting, but I'm sure that will change. It is what it is.

Here is the workout he follows that he got online.

And a video of us yesterday, while he was taking a break in order to warm up. I'm tellin' you, if anyone ever says I am not a devoted mother (smile), you show them this video of me bundled up...in 32 degree weather... after shagging basketballs for two hours. Actually he comes and gets me only for the free throws, but it is COLD! I honestly don't know how he stays out there in that weather. His hands are red and numb.
video

On the way to school today the car said it was 28 degrees outside. Eric said, "I wonder if I should shoot today or take a break." Uh, I don't know about you, but I'm taking a break. This mom does not walk dogs, work out, or shag basketballs in 28 degree weather...nothin' but running to the car and from the car. That's it. You are own your own, bud. Sorry.

Here is a list of library books I'm reading right now:


  • 10 Conversations You Need to Have With Your Children
    This is great (from this book): "The job of the parent is not to impose his or her will on the child but to get the child to listen to his or her own inner voice. Inspiration, not just prescription."

  • How Much is Enough?

  • Getting it Right With Teens

  • 7 Things Your Teenager Won't Tell You

  • 100 Smartest Marketing Ideas Ever

  • Who Let the Blogs Out

  • You Can Save the Animals

I know...weird combination of books. Guess I only went down two aisles and this is what I came out with. I could stay in there for hours. I think I have more fun browsing to see what they have than I do actually reading the books. There you go - The fun is in the WANTING.

More video of E playing basketball that he filmed himself. I found it when I was uploading other video.
video

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I know you'll be glad to know this bit of information; in fact, you may want to mark your calendars:

On April 21st you can get a free ice cream cone at Ben & Jerry's.
On April 29th Baskin Robbins is giving out 1 scoop of ice cream for 31 cents.
On July 11th go to any 7-Eleven for a free 7-ounce Slurpee.
On September 24th get a free* ice cream at Coldstone Creamery (*a donation to Make-A-Wish is encouraged).

So that's for all you sweet-tooths out there, and for you book lovers - or for those who have an attic or basement full of unwanted books - head over to http://www.paperbackswap.com, http://www.bookins.com or http://www.bookmooch.com where you can exchange your favorites with other book people. It's free to become a member and all you have to do, at least with paperbackswap.com, is list the books you want to get rid of and the site notifies you when someone wants one of your books. You pay about $2.00 to ship the book with a label printed from the computer, and then you get credit to "buy" any book on the site you want. Paperbackswap.com has over 1/2 million titles, including hardback books and CD's. This is a great way to get rid of books you have lying around, and a cheap way to buy books you've always wanted to read. Good idea.

I'm doing okay with my non-sugar diet. I've slipped up a few times, i.e. when Julie had us over for Eric's birthday and brought out the confetti cake (which I will NEVER be able to turn down), Superbowl Sunday when Brian brought two scrumptious ice cream cakes from Oberweis, and last night when we were out to dinner for Valentine's Day and HAD to order dessert - cheesecake with raspberry sauce. Other than that I'm doing really well. Ha! But really, compared to how much liccorice and candy and ice cream bars I used to eat, I really am behaving. It's been especially hard when we've gone to the movies and I've had to deny myself Milk Duds or Swedish Fish. I know...woe is me :)

Affirmation of the day: "Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going." (Jim Rohn)

I love using joesgoals.com. It motivates me to follow through with my goals for the day because it's out there for all to see. I don't like it when the line on my graph goes down, down, down. Took the girls for a walk an hour ago so I could put a check mark on my graph. Hey, whatever works.

I think we got a BITE! On my house that is. The realtor called just a bit ago to say 7 people came to the open house today and he has a lady who wants to make an offer. Her realtor is going to fax the contract tomorrow, so we'll see. That would be so awesome not to have to pay that mortgage every month. Larry asked me what I'm going to buy him with the money. Uh...I thought we were on a budget and weren't supposed to spend any money...HONEY. So I said with a smile, "nothing."

Happy Birthday, Dad e

Friday, February 13, 2009

Driving Me Crazy

Here is a video of E driving. Fasten your seatbelt, literally. Kind of feels like you're at an Imax theater. Oh, and Ryan, as we were coming out of our lane I took some video of our neighbor's Bernese Mountain dogs, who happened to be outside. They are so cute. Oh, and unfortunately I had just turned off the camera when Eric drove by "some hot chick" (his words) and nearly drove off the road while craning his neck to check her out. Dear lord, help me.


video


Oh, and a cartoon that is so appropriate for us right now...


(Click to enlarge)





It used to be impossible to get Eric to go get a haircut. Now I just say, "You can drive there," and off we go!

The book I'm reading right now - GOOD MORNING - is a positive affirmation book. I like this one: "Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they're supposed to help you discover who you are" (Bernice Johnson Reagan). Positive affirmation: "I grow in positive ways from each challenge I face in life." The book is by Brook Noel. I've always remembered this saying too: "Every ending is just a beginning in disguise." Just when you think God has closed a door, another one opens. :) Trust Him.


The other day I kind of threw out the idea to Eric that he should maybe, possibly start thinking about what kind of job he wants to get for the summer. You would have thought I told him I was shipping him off to military school. He says, "I'm not getting a job!" Me: "Yes you are." Eric: "No I'm not." Me: "Yes you are." (You get the idea) Eric: "I don't need a job; I have $1,000." After a very brief conversation about how it's not about the money, it's about learning responsibility; you need to keep busy and not sit around all summer, etc., etc. (which to Eric was blah, blah, blah, I'm sure), he immediately got on his iphone and started texting his friends. I'm sure it went something like this: cn u blv my mom sd i hv 2 gt a job...lol...hw stpd is tht. idk wst (i don't know what she's thinking). And that was it. At least I planted the seed. Good thing I had a job when I was 15 so I was able to use the ol' "WHEN I WAS YOUR AGE..." lecture. Phew.


The Bachelor-watch: I'm really liking Molly and Melissa, although they are very young and I'm not sure they are ready to marry someone with a child, but Naomi had to go. Jillian has a cute Canadien accent but I think she's in it for the competition.

American Idol-watch: It's down to 36 but I don't know everyone's names yet. I LOVE the guy who is a church youth pastor and his wife died just before he tried out. He has a great voice.


I signed up at joesgoals.com for a fun way to track my goals. What the heck, it's free and it's really easy to do. Plus, they email you every two days (or 7 days) to remind you to post your progress to the chart. I want to make one for Eric so he can track his workouts, drinking shakes, practicing basketball (which he is doing outside right this minute), etc. Click to see my chart on the right.


If you want to let the world know what is the greatest gift your mother gave you, go to http://www.realsimple.com/yourwords and you can win a copy of the book Real Simple Cleaning. (I know, huh...you've been just dying for a copy.)


Also, check out this website: http://www.blockshoppers.com/ If you click on your city and do search properties by zip code, enter zip and then go to your street name in that zip code, it shows your entire street, who owns what house (by name) and how much it last sold for. Really interesting.


Click on this link below for the most amazing animal story. You may have seen it on the Internet...about the rat who rides on the cat who rides on the dog. You don't have to watch it for long; just take a gander at the unusual trio. Never seen anything like it. (No commercials or anything, it goes right into the story) http://www.youtube.com/swf/l.swf?swf=http%3A//s.ytimg.com/yt/swf/cps-vfl78056.swf&video_id=D85yrIgA4Nk&rel=1&eurl=http%3A//us.mc381.mail.yahoo.com/mc/showMessage%3Ffid%3DInbox%26sort%3Ddate%26order%3Ddown%26startMid%3D0%26.rand%3D444498293%26&iurl=http%3A//i1.ytimg.com/vi/D85yrIgA4Nk/hqdefault.jpg&sk=420KoiFjLAM_puc05i29x496uoWuCixYC&use_get_video_info=1&load_modules=1&cr=US&title=Dog%2C%20Cat%2C%20and%20Rat&avg_rating=4.87314141095&length_seconds=167


If that doesn't work, try this link: http://www.youtube.com/v/D85yrIgA4Nk


Here are some basketball pics of Eric's team after the last game and during the game.



Remember to scroll down to the previous post because I don't always remember to email everyone when I write a new post. Heaven forbid you should miss something exciting going on in my life (ha!)
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

SOLD!

I finally sold my house! I've only had one offer in almost a year...but that's all it takes.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29117722/


Click on above URL and then click "launch" on the video. David Goldman finally got to see his son after 4 1/2 years. Neat story (and cute Dad :)

Saw this on a dog park website: *Who's your best friend?* If you don't believe it, just try this experiment. Put your dog and your wife in the trunk of the car for an hour. When you open the trunk, who is really happy to see you!


Not sure why Eric's goal chart isn't working. When you click on it, my chart comes up. Too bad because he enjoys filling it out. Most of his goals have to do with basketball such as a certain number of layups, free throws, 3-pointers. Yesterday after school he played for almost 2 hours. I was the free throw and 3-point ball shagger. He had to make 10 3-pointers in a row, otherwise he had to start over. He would get to the 10th one and miss, so he got so mad that he made himself do 11 in a row. I finally went in the house. His perfectionism was wearin' me out. Too bad you can't see his chart - he makes notes at the bottom so you can see his free-throw percentage. He makes himself shoot 50 free throws in a row, and one day he made like 47/50 and yesterday around the same. His goal chart also includes doing all homework, drinking weight gainer shakes, lifting weights and doing pull ups on the pull up bar that Brian got him.

All that basketball practice will come in handy when we turn our living room into an indoor basketball court. Eric says no one uses the room (that's true), the ceilings are high enough, the wooden floors are perfect just the way they are, just take the furniture out, install a hoop over the dining room entrance, some pieces of plexiglass over the windows and there you go. You laugh, but he's serious.







Today's Message of Inspiration: "If God sends us stony paths, He will provide us with strong shoes." Alexander Maclaren

Here are some online resources for free email devotionals.

http://www.proverbs31devotions.blogspot.com/


http://www.maxlucado.com/


www.rbc.org/odb/odb.shtml


www.crosswalk.com/devotionals


http://www.beliefnet.com/


www.upperroom.org/Devotional


www.backtothebible.org/devotions.html


Had to post this cartoon. I thought it was funny. Click on it to enlarge.

My baby is sick. Three missed school days with sore throat, cough, congestion and achiness. Nyquil, Dayquil, Nyquil, Dayquil. Doctor's appointment in an hour. He'll hate it because they'll say they can't believe how tall he is, which he already knows. And he hates sitting in the waiting room with newborns and 2-year-olds. Time to change to a family doctor instead of a pediatrician. That aside, hopefully they'll give him antibiotics so he can start feeling better again and get back to school.

The mascara I talked about in my previous blog is Maybelline, not Loreal (gotta get my cheapo brands straight!)

I finally got health insurance. Golden Rule - the individual coverage of United Healthcare, which was what I had on COBRA - has agreed to cover me. Kinda weird that they only excluded anything having to do with ovarian cysts (which I had 15 years ago when I was pregnant) and no exclusions with back problems. I don't get it, but whatever. At least I'm covered.

I've seen some good movies lately: Benjamin Button (a little long but really good), Milk, Revolutionary Road and Slumdog Millionaire. It's great when there are movies that Larry and I both want to see, otherwise we have to compromise; I have to go see James Bond and he has to see Hotel for Dogs or Beverly Hills Chihuahua.

I've figured out why I do this blog. It's kind of like an adult version of a diary but one that people are PERMITTED to read (Dad!)

Never heard back from my sister yesterday. She was on her way to the doctor to find out why she is still sick. Her headache is better but she still feels achey even though she's taken antibiotics. She declined a spinal tap in the hospital while in Maui, which they do to check for meningitis, and last I spoke to her she wondered if that might still need to be ruled out.

Friday, February 6, 2009

First and foremost, here's wishing a speedy recovery to my sis, who took a vacation to Maui thinking she'd be lounging poolside, sipping margaritas, and instead ended up in the hospital after an 18-hour migraine and an hour ambulance ride. The CT scan showed nothing (sorry, Kris, just a joke). Get well soon and just be glad you weren't in Mexico or Nigeria or somewhere.

E's team beat Chaminade last night 49-22 or something like that. E had a really good game, scoring 10 points in the first half. Since it was their last game, the coach let all the other kids play, so that was it for E. I think he only played a minute the second half. The parents were so sad it was over. The season was way too short. Eric told his coach after the game that he wasn't going to play next year. The coach said, "what?!" Eric said, "Yeah, I'm declaring myself eligible for the NBA." The coach laughed. Interestingly, though, the assistant varsity coach, who was watching Eric hit every shot during warmups before the game, pulled him aside and asked him a bunch of questions: How tall are you? How tall is your family? How tall are you supposed to be? And then he told him to work out and eat a lot this summer. Not sure what he is thinking - if he is just planning ahead a few years, or what, but I do know Eric is the tallest player of all the JV and freshman kids, and I'm sure the coach zeroed right in on him because of that (I know, Eric, that and your awesome shooting form.)

The DeSmet White Team ended up with a 13-7 record.

Daylight Savings is March 8th - Longer days....YES!!!

Julie Lipsitz's friend Gina is getting married in September so she has been looking at bridal magazines. Imagine her surprise when she was looking at this month's edition of St. Louis' Best Bridal and saw pictures and a story on Larry and I. We didn't even know our photographer sent them pictures, and I guess they used the online story on us from a year ago. Check it out for yourself at Walgreens, Borders, etc. It has a light blue cover and says "Best Bridal" in big letters. Or you can save yourself time and money and click on the pictures below to enlarge them (smile).

In these tough economical times, my family is on a budget. Our new motto is The Fun is in the WANTING. Whatever... I'm not having fun. Although I did go to the library yesterday instead of Borders and it was pretty fun. I'm reading three books at a time right now. (See booklist.) I don't know how anyone can go to the library and only check out one book. But now I only have two weeks to read three books. I'd better start reading...

Something for the ladies: I found a great new (cheap) mascara. For years I've been a diehard Lancome mascara fan, but with my new budget I've gone the Loreal route. Their Define-A-Lash mascara in the green tube works great. Try it. At Walgreens.

I'm following a sad story I saw on Dateline last week about a guy, David Goldman, who met and married a Brazilian girl while he was modeling in Milan. They had a child together, and were living in New Jersey. But the girl, unbeknownst to him, was miserable, and she ended up kidnapping their son and taking him to Brazil. For years the guy tried to get his son back. In the meantime the girl met and married another man, and they had a baby together, but 8 hours after the baby's birth the girl died. So you would think the dad could get his son - an American citizen - back THEN. But the Brazilian government refused to do anything about it even though there was an American court order. I've been following the blog, and some American government official has gotten involved and yesterday accompanied the guy to Brazil to get his son. Apparently these international kidnappings happen all the time. What's crazy is that the stepdad and his father are both lawyers and are major advocates for people whose kids have been kidnapped. Ludicrous.

http://bringseanhome.org/wordpress/






Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I MUST CONFESS

Eric's team beat Barat Academy 42-24 last night. E only had 2 points but he played well. Barat's team is made up of freshmen and sophomores. Only one more game to go - tomorrow at 6 PM against Chaminade. That will be a tough game.

I have a confession to make. You know my book list and my goal to read 50 books in a year? Did you notice there is no date as to when that year started? I'm thinkin' it's already been a year. In fact, I'm pretty sure my year was up in November. There, I feel better. Oh well, at least setting a goal forced me to read substantially more books than I would have otherwise. You can now remove me from the pedestal on which you had me plalced, and I can now read at my own leisure, without some lofty goal to attain.

I haven't received an official letter yet, but United Healthcare, the COBRA insurance I had until January 31st, told me they will continue to provide insurance to me but with exclusions, which I'm pretty sure will be back problems and my anxiety medication. Oh well, at least I can stop walking on the ice like an old granny and have the freedom to break my ankle like everyone else. Don't say that!

I was thinking about getting canine health insurance for the dogs, especially with K.C's history, but I wonder if they would consider Stella's licking-anxiety problem a pre-existing condition and exclude her Prozac?
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