Saturday, August 29, 2009

College boy. 1/2 an empty nest. And even the bat is gone.

Andrew and his entourage (Jim, Molly, John and Ginger) left for Goshen College this morning at the crack of dawn---finally got dorm keys around 9:30 after an amazingly efficient check in process. The frosting on the cake was the yummy muffins, cinnamon rolls, bagels, juices, coffees and glass bottled soft drinks they provided to all of us...students, parents, and the occasional grandparent and sibling. I swear every important person at that college was working...we talked to the dean of student life, the dean of financial aide, the head honcho admissions person, etc. They just all were helping.

Moving into the dorm room was easy peasy chicken weasy. I think Andrew had ten different people helping him carry his things to his room so it took no time at all. Andrew is on the second floor but it was only about 5 steps up the way the building was built. He was the first to arrive so he ended up picking the bottom bunk and after some thought, chose his desk. Compared to all the girls' rooms I have seen, and even some of the boys on his floor, his room is a bit "plain." I've included some'll be relieve to know his bed looks a lot better now...he forgot his pillow, which we went home and got, and I have also switched the bedding around. Ginger wanted it all to match so his quilt was turned upside down but I thought it looked hideous (the quilt is about 15 years old) so he doesn't match the purple blanket but it does look better. He also now has a small table that his alarm clock sits on.

How pathetic is his closet? When we went back to get the pillow we got more clothes, some posters (notice the Tin Cup poster==you can't see his Hoosiers poster), more food, etc. I didn't take enough pictures but at least there are a few. I was also lucky to snap one of Josh in Andrew's closet, scratching his deodorant sticker! (Josh couldn't escape me!!!) Also, look at the pretty view he has! The parking lot in the distance is where his truck is.

Anyway, one last thing. We had a bat in our house the other night sans Jim, so of course, every one ran around panicked and the bat disappeared into the basement. Jim wisely brought in a tennis racket and tonight, while I was typing this, the bat came flying up and all around the family room. Tyler Fisher, if you know him, is my hero. He went after the bat with the tennis racket but then suddenly got really freaked out, so Jim stunned the sucker and was able to get him off the top of a cupboard--using a towel of course. So even the bat has left the nest.

Well, I survived Andrew leaving. He is only an hour away so that helps immensely. I honestly think I am more sad about not having Kait around... : (

Ah well, it's why we raise them.


Mom of a Mapleleaf.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tick tick tick. Clock is ticking.

I have been lurking on Josh's Facebook (Andrew banned me) and I am sooooooooooooo jealous of all the girls' dorm rooms! The pictures are fabulous. Obviously, hot pink and black are the colors of the year. I tried to look closely at all of the pictures to see little things that Andrew would need...I did see some Wonder Hangers, which I did purchase prior to the lurking. (However, I am not sure Andrew needs them for his lack of clothing choices.) Andrew's bedspread choice is an old cotton quilt that he likes--he didn't want anything new--but Kaitlyn also just gave him a great crocheted quilt in purple and white so he will have that too. The two of them are going out for a nice dinner tonight. It is going to be very tough on them since they have spent so much time together for the last two years. We will miss seeing her everyday too!

I still have some things to get for Andrew (yes, I will be doing the shopping Thursday night). I know for sure we need a surge protector, some jeans that actually fit him (he is finally gaining some weight), at least one extension cord, school supplies like binders and folders, more toiletries, etc. We haven't even tackled the food/snack issues yet. I will get that stuff down there. The plan is to bring sort of the minimum on Saturday...and then see what his roommate has...and then we will bring the rest on Sunday. We have meetings with advisers on Saturday, and then on Sunday we return for a brunch with the students and then we will attend church, too. Andrew says we don't have to come but nuh uh, I am going!!!!! Right now, I am in denial that he is leaving. What an exciting time for him.

NHS Freshman Orientation is done--check! Always good to get that over with--it went very well and most freshmen were successful. I saw a few meltdowns of girls with their moms..."don't wallk with me!!!! I can find it!!!!" etc.

Off to go check out the varsity band. Tonight is their last night of band camp.

Friday night brings Viking football! I believe the girl's basketball team is selling port-a-pit chicken at the tailgate so make sure you stop by to support them. We have a really good chance to beat Coldwater--finally, an opening game that we should win. Go VIKES!!!!!!


Friday, August 21, 2009

It's Friday and I'm not happy????

Happy Friday night. Try not to laugh at this, but I am sort of disappointed it is Friday just because work has been so busy(like I don't take a breath busy) and I leave each day with a feeling of accomplishment. I definitely like work better than housework and as I glance around at the ever-increasing clutter--work sounds better!

I got a hair in my craw to strip my bedroom's wallpaper. But I don't want to put any time into it so I peel off sections at a time. And of course, the sections come off in tiny pieces. The wallpaper is ancient--the paper comes off pretty easily but the glue is still there. A few nights ago Josh decided to "help" and all on his own, Googled what to do. So at 10:00 at night, he is in my room with soapy hot water paint rollering water on the walls. He said he would do the entire room for 50 bucks. Yes, that lasted one panel as the tiny flecks of paper wouldn't come off.... but now we have a deal that the just wet the walls an hour before I come home from work and I will work on the rest. So far we have about 1/100th of the room done. Jim just shakes his head at me. I know I should be using DIF, or a steamer, or vinegar, or whatever, but like I said, that would require effort and thought and I just like picking at it.

Another scary thing is Andrew has become extremely likeable. I wanted to continue to be happy that he is leaving but now suddenly, he is NOT fighting with his brother, he does his chores without being asked, he laughs, he jokes, AND he finished a book already for his English class. We are down to a week from tomorrow in the countdown.

Yesterday, and this may have something to do with his good mood today, he went to a workout with his Goshen teammates at Goshen. In his mind, he feels like he has a good chance to start. He felt he hit the ball well-- he hit the 396 sign marker. Success really motivates Andrew so I glad it went well for him. He wasn't perfect--said the coach hits grounders like no other--but he seemed challenged by that. I am so pleased. He also got an email from his R. A., who is one of the players that we met on his last recruiting visit so he is happy about that.

Next Friday is our first football game. It will be nice just to worry about Danny and the team==not my own kid. We are feeling pretty confident about the season--the schedule is a bit different, and making the playoffs is feasable. Plus, some good returning kids. Can't wait!

Today I attended a meeting about our Instant Alert system that we will be using in Niles. It will allow all kinds of messages to be sent to your email, your cell, your home phone, etc. Messages like school cancellations, event reminders, etc. It was cool to see all that we will be able to do.

Freshman Orientation is Monday night. Always fun to see the new kids, although they crack me up because most don't want to appear that they know nothing...and then there are the few who panic that they don't think they can handle it. Our goal is to have them know where to show up the first hour of the day, and where their lockers are. This is the Class of 2013 for those of you keeping track.

The kids saw Johnny today and said he is doing great.. TGIF for him.

Goofy pain under my boob is back...doesn't scare me anymore but still have no clue what it is. I am a month away from my next set of scans. Yes, obsessive worrying is about to commence I am sure.

TTFN...Harry Potter is calling me.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Count down starts. GO to the FIGHTING TOAD, too.

Insomnia has invaded the over 40 female in this household. I have not slept for more than a few hours the last two nights. My mind is thinking about all of things I need to take care of at work, and with the addition of my iced tea addiction, caffeine is also the culprit. I fall asleep for the most part...but by 1:00 AM, I am up, talking to the kids and petting my dog.

Andrew is pleasantly pleasing me these days. Wonder if he is beginning to appreciate the ol' 'rents? I brought some boxes home today from work to help him get organized. Still need a power strip and bathroom items. And I am sure some other things. He actually went out and bought himself a $9 backpack. Nine days 'til he leaves.

I am on Harry Potter 3 now. Also reading a Sandra Brown book. I go from smut to magic with the flip of the page.

Johnny's port is infected. Please visit Pam's site and say hello. It helps so much...even if it is just a "thinking about you." I can't wait for Friday for them. then they have about 8 days of normalcy. And you do appreciate "normalcy" with a cancer diagnosis.

I have met another lady on line who is in her young 30's that was recently diagnosed with ACC in her salivary glands. Just after surgery and as she prepared for mega-radiation, her two year old son was diagnosed with cancer. I can't remember the type but the tumor was in the belly area, and although it was caught early, he has to go through chemo. I just shake my head and admire all cancer survivors--and my goodness, your child??? (If I already wrote about this, I am sorry)

Gotta get Josh's chaffuer directions to the fair. That would be Dominick.


Friday, August 14, 2009

The taboo subject.

I am not allowed to talk about you know who's you know what that he/she had done today. You know who has no interest in having his/her health issues broadcast on my blog. However, I will say that his you know what was clean as a whistle and the you know what went very well. He, or she, said he/she would like to do it once a month so he/she can detox the you know what.
Got that?


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Summer is over...or is it?

Today is the last official day of summer break for me. But this year, I am making the purposeful decision that I am still of vacation but just have to go to work from 7:30 until 3 or so...that way, summer won't end. Then, when the kids start, I will officially be back to work.

As always, I am always sort of glad to go back. I love my job. This is going to be an exciting year as we have a new assistant, and Josh is now firmly established as a junior. And, best of all, I only have ONE kid to get up in the morning!

Andrew is at Cedar Point for the day/night. He doesn't know this yet, but this really needs to be his last hurrah for the summer as the money can't keep flowing out of the ATM like it has been. He used his own money but I told him I would pay him back if he was a good boy. How is that for bribing? I can't figure this child out...he is never home but claims we don't let him do anything...he says he is bored at home at that is our fault...OMG. I guess this is the way kids transition to college because 3 months ago I was weepy thinking about him leaving and now they are tears of joy. And I think he feels the same, but a wise person suggested to me that it could be ANXIETY that is causing his bad attitude when it comes to the family. Jeesh. It never gets easier.

Josh on the other hand is just a delight. He has me busy reading Harry Potter Book 2 and is so pleasant to be around. I am writing this as proof that he is a nice kid. If he Sybils on me his senior year, I will know it is related to just getting older.

Jim started Job 2 yesterday as a freshman football coach. Gosh, what long days for him. He goes from work to practice until 9 PM. Yawn.

I got my answer about the WalMart parking lot from Johnny. It is employees. I guess there was a complaint that they were taking up the good spots so they now have to park way out yonder. I didn't imagine there were so many cars. Mimi also answered my Riverfront walking question but since I haven't been back there, it doesn't matter.

I am not liking to have our air on all day and night. I really prefer a fan in the window at night but it's too dang hot. Last year around this time I had my power shut off--remember that fiasco??? My my. time to go. No coughing or chest pain these days.


Friday, August 7, 2009

No such thing as a free lunch.

Just a quick post.

My ads are gone. Yes, it was too good to be true. Google Ad Sense decided one of two things: my ads have invalid clicking or my blog is associated with another site that has invalid clicking. What that means is this: They decided that I had too many clicks from the same IP addresses (or that the other site did). Which is really the truth, so I can't be mad, although one day I had only 9 clicks which is less than I had had in the past, but what the heck, they're the boss. In the fine print of all of the ad contracts we signed, it does say that you are not suppose to do anything to cause "invalid clicking" because, if it happens, they can cancel at anytime. Something triggered them to realize that I had invalid clicking. The really bad part of it is that I lost all my money that was saved up on the account...almost $300.

For me, this is no big deal. Yes, I give my money to charity (although this time charity might have been the Andrew Brawley College fund) but now I am so paranoid about the same thing happening to Mimi so I quickly warned her. But Mimi has had intense ad clicking since the inception of her blog, so there shouldn't be red flags. My blog's intense clicking just started so there probably was a red flag. I am not clicking on Mimi's ads until she gets her first check, as I do not want to be associated with her blog for fear they will cancel hers for being related to a site that has invalid clicking.

Just proves there is really is no such thing as a free lunch.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I just have to post this as it is rather ironic. Do you remember me writing about the GIANT who I had to stand behind at the Billy Joel/Elton John concert? (See my post from July 19)

So, today, Jim is watching TV in the living room and I am in the kitchen. He yells "Come here come here come here!" and there, on the TV, is the Giant!!!!

His name is Jared Allen and he is a football player for the Minnesota Vikings. To ensure that it was him, I did some google research and sure enough, it was him. He even talked about going to the concert in some of the articles about him. This guy is quite popular and quite good (pro-Bowler) it looks like--crazy, fun loving type of guy...and into hunting (he has a hunting hat on as you can see. I took this picture because I wanted to show people how big he was, but this doesn't do his size justice) Like I said, Pooh on steroids.

So, when you are watching football this season, and you hear all kinds of stuff about the intensity of this guy, you can rest assured he is a nice nice guy who knew the lyrics to every single song that Elton John and Billy Joel sang.

When you know the world's greatest athlete and his world's greatest wife, nothing impresses you too much, but I will say that this guy was fun and standing behind his giant self was just part of the experience. (And yes, that is the hottie girlfriend who I think wore about 9 inch heels.)

A small but GIANT world.


Inquiring minds want to know.

I have a couple questions that have been hanging out in my brain. If you know the answers, please let me know.

First of all, if you are a Wal-Mart customer, have you noticed the number of cars that are parked in the parking lot, near the road? They don't appear to be shoppers. I am so curious as to why they are all parked there. Any ideas?

Secondly, we walked down by the Riverfront and are curious as to the mileage that a loop on the side walk is...yes, there are markers but they make no sense to us. The markers have different colored arrows and a number by them but don't seem to equate to mileage at all. Hmmm. Any walkers out there?

Also, yesterday I become a member of Sam's Club. I am a true adult now. But now I need advice. I was there for about 20 minutes and wasn't sure what the big deal of belonging you all save money by buying bulk? Is that it? Is meat cheaper? Better? I just walked away thinking it wasn't that big deal. But I know people love it and go there often. So help me love it.

I am obsessed with making fudge these days. I make Brooke's recipe (a secret family recipe) but wouldn't mind trying another just to see if it can hold up to Brooke's. I am headed to the food network to see if they have any intriguing recipes. The funny thing is, except for licking the spoon, I don't really eat much of it. (Brooke is Matt B.'s girlfriend in case you were wondering. We love Brooke. (Crazy FIL calls her "Crick"--as in "crook" as in a small river, like a brook.)

And, at the risk of sounding like a crazed fan, I am ticked off that Paula Abdul is not coming back to American Idol. I do NOT LIKE KARA. Grrr. I may not watch. : )

Ok, off to lunch with my wonderful friend Betty! Can't wait to crack up and have good conversation.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

An 11 year undertaking.

Good Afternoon. I got up at 11:00 this morning and I am proud of it. Not really. I feel like a teenager but I was up late reading and our dog was pacing all night for some reason. She was anxious about nothing.

Ok, 11 years have passed and I have finally read Book 1 of Harry Potter. I could never get into it before but I started it Sunday night and finished it is the wee hours last night. It was quite entertaining, so much that I will probably now read the second one. I know, I am somewhat of an anomaly but at least I have now read it. Josh is so proud of me.

Josh is at MSU and although he says he is bored, I think he is enjoying it. His roommate is from Battle Creek Central and it sounds like they are getting along nicely. So nicely they ordered a pizza last night to split. I will go pick him up on Thursday. He said he isn't homesick but being away from home has made him appreciate home. This is Josh's first "camp" so to speak and I am so glad he is liking it enough.

Andrew got his game schedule from his coach this week and he has 62 games in the spring--including a week in Florida. : ) He does have a few games this fall as well.


Monday, August 3, 2009

Take Two on the experiment

Ok, the experiment failed. But now I am trying Mimi's suggestion of one post a day. Let's talk about sunshiny things.

I love puppies. I love caramel corn. I love to sit in the sun at the beach. I love to read late into the night. I love sleeping in when it rains.

Perhaps now I will have less depressing ads. Oops, there is that word depressing. You know the computer will pick up on that! : )


Saturday, August 1, 2009

An experiment

I am going to do a little experiment today to see if the ads pick up strange words and then decide what ads to put on our sites. I am sore of tired of "lung cancer diagnosis?"

I will try to be as random as possible:

pottery collecting
Lake Michigan
Young Americans
fois gras
Michigan State
Babe Ruth
painting your bedroom
Wonder Hangers (I did buy some of these yesterday)
Crayola Markers

Let's see what that brings. Hee hee.