Thursday, May 31, 2007

Happy Birthday Keeka!

It's my sister's birthday today. I won't say how old she is (but she's two years younger than me).

I hope you have a great day, Binks!


Friday, May 25, 2007

Silly Girl

We've been trying to teach our kids to be self-sufficient and independent. I guess we're doing a good job. Maybe too good a job.

Diana has already earned the cost of her trip to Germany next month ($2,000) all on her own, and she's now earning her spending money.

As previously mentioned, Diana has a job as a Girl Friday for a law office downtown. She is being paid minimum wage, and she works about 8-10 hours a week. Up to 15 if she has days off from school. This is a much better job than her old one, the paper route.

Apparently, the lawyer really likes her work. The other day, he offered her a bonus to help with her trip next month. Diana's response was, "Well, I've actually already earned all the money for the trip, and I think I'll have enough spending money with what I'm earning now."


Yes, we had told her to be wary of big gifts from people not related to you. We had explained people are often expecting something in return when they give you stuff.

However - when your BOSS offers you money, it's not like grandparents or friends offering to give you money. Your BOSS thinks you've done a good enough job to EARN the bonus. Never say no to a bonus or a raise!!

Diana went back and told her boss she hoped she hadn't offended him, and that she was trying to not seem greedy. But after talking to her parents, they had explained a bonus is not the same as a gift, and if the offer was still available, she would really appreciate the help toward her trip.

He told her he'd been surprised she'd turned it down, but yes, it was still available. She's gonna have a really nice big check at the end of the month!

By the way, I call the above photo: What the heck were you thinking?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

We're going to the Stanley Cup!!!

W00t!! The Ducks won the Western Conference yesterday (not that I got to see the game) so they're going to the Dance.

We did get to see Game 5, which was a great game. We had it on Tivo, and we fast-forwarded thru the back & forth (most of the game). The Red Wings got a goal in the first period, and kept the Ducks scoreless for the rest of the game until the final 47 seconds before the end of regulation time. At that point the game was tied, and they went into overtime.

Teemu Selanne is my favorite Duck, but that's mostly because he was buddies with my favorite hockey player, Paul Kariya. Paul is playing for Nashville now, but those two were a great team when they played together. In any case, Teemu got the sweetest goal in OT to win it for the Ducks.

That's the only game I've seen the entire season. I live in Oregon, and unless I want to upgrade my Dish subscription so it includes hockey (and a bunch of stuff I don't want to pay for), I don't get to watch hockey until it's down to the end of the season - then we get a couple of conference finals and hopefully some of the Stanley Cup games. I'll have to check the Tivo guide to see if I can set it up to record.

Oh well - Go Ducks!!!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Dog Report

Being in 3rd grade, Connor is required to do a report for his class. The staff at school knows he has a dog, so they helped him pick that as his subject.

I got the directions from the teacher, and at school he's been doing research with the help of his assistant. I'm not sure how much he's getting again with the comprehension part.

I took a bunch of photos of him with Liberty, and doing things you do to take care of a dog. He is able to talk about the photos, as well as read the captions that go with them.

For the actual report, I did write it more or less, in the way he talks. He can read the report fine, and if he could, he would have written the report more or less the way I did. It shouldn't be apparent to anyone who doesn't know Connor that he didn't do this himself.

On the other hand, there is no way he could have put this together on his own. I expect to be doing these sorts of things until he kind of has to stop being in a typical classroom. Most likely that will happen with Jr. High. Until then, he will be in the regular ed classroom with assistance when needed (like writing a report).

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Diana's "Do"

Mary did a great job - it looked very cute. Of course, for Diana, who always wears her hair down & loose, it was just painful - the price of beauty!

Mary started with a high ponytail, and kept out the hair at the nape of the neck to twist and put up at the ponytail.

Then we folded the rest of the ponytail into a bun, ala Audrey Hepburn, and finished with some sparkly barrettes.

This is the only profile photo with Diana. They are being spies, and Christy is the Bond girl.



So here they are: Amanda, Mary & Diana

all gussied up (we were hoping Renee would join us, but she missed us).

Trevor's date is his friend, Christy.

I'm not sure how Trevor always manages to get a harem...

Blue was a hot color this year, apparently.

Aren't they all cute???

Another Speech!

On Wednesday, Diana got to speak again for Girl Scouts. This time it was a fundraising luncheon. She did a great job, and everyone seemed to like her speech. I had a slide show from 2004 on with photos of Diana and our other scouts doing various service & camping trips, etc. running in the background.
We sat with my friend, Sue, and the current president of our council, Lorraine. I wasn't really expecting that. She was very personable and nice. Genuinely interested in Diana and what she's done with Girl Scouting. She also wanted Diana to meet a friend of hers who is a physical therapist, since that's what Diana is aiming toward.
I think Sue had a good time and enjoyed the lunch. I thought it was tasty & all. Of course, there was that underlying thing about it being a fundraiser, but oh well. There wasn't supposed to be a minimum or maximum donation required.
I was just proud of Diana for getting up there & talking!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to my Mami.

When I was doing my sociology & psychology classes at CSUF, I thought all that stuff was just common sense. My mom did everything just like the books said while I was growing up.

Thanks Mami, for everything you did for me.

I love you!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Snowball bush

We have a tree in the backyard that I'd never seen before we moved here. I don't know if it's really called a snowball bush, but you can take the blooms & throw them like a snowball before they fall to pieces. So that's generally the fate of the blooms in reach of kids.

I took some pics this year to show how much it grows... Dates are on the photos.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Talent Show 2007

It was crazy. It was stressful. But it was fun.

Diana, Mary & I got there really early. The lady in charge this year could only get the doors opened at either 11:00 am or 4:00 pm. Since the show was starting at 5:30, she opted for 11:00. That meant she had to kind of sit around for a long time. We came early to keep her company, and set things up as much as we could before all the troops showed up.

My girls had made their banners from sheets, and we wanted to have them up as a backdrop. I was all for creating stands for them from PVC pipe, because I didn't want to take time in rehearsal to try to hang them. I was assured multiple times that it wouldn't be an issue (I even had bought the pipe at Lowe's as a precaution). Know what time we got the sheets hung up? Around 4:45 - during rehearsal - *sigh* At least I was able to return the leftover pipes and get a refund...

As always, things were crazy. The guy who had arranged for us to use the theater at the High School is new at this job. When the director had explained what we were doing and what we needed, he said "No problem." He wasn't listening. He only got us ONE tech student. No one else is allowed to touch the theater equipment. Last year, I had 5 helping us. And they came before dress rehearsal started. Poor Rowdy (the tech) only showed up at 4:00 - he'd been told to be there at that time. He had to set up all the music, sound, microphones, backdrops, lighting, Slide show and anything else that goes with a talent show in about 1 1/2 hours. I made sure no one complained to him - he would have just walked out!

The guy who had arranged this, just about had a nervous breakdown. Rowdy showed him how to man the cables to lift my girls' sheets up & down. That's all he did. And he didn't even do it right. They were supposed to reach the ground - he left them way high. He actually told me we were asking too much to do a show like this there. I was worried he wouldn't let us come back :/

I helped as much as I could pre-show. Once it started tho, I was videographer, so I had to man the camera (yay!). Other than some pauses in between acts, and the mic levels going up and down a bit, it went off great.

Our membership coordinator knows the guy who set this up - she smoozed him up and we're good for next year. Now that he's done it once - he knows better what we require.

We may also set rehearsal for a different day - it might cost more, but it saves us a lot in stress...

Monday, May 07, 2007

She's famous!

I have mentioned before that I work in a classroom for children with severe medical impairments. They are all in wheelchairs, require bathrooming and feeding, as well as working on their goals to become more independent (ie. being able to stand up on their own to transfer from their wheelchair to a bench or bed, etc.).

Last week, one of our little First Grade girls was going on a trip to Disneyland. Today, her mom called us from the plane as they were coming into Portland. They weren't just going to Disneyland, they were being flown there for an interview on OPRAH! They hadn't told us sooner, because they had to sign a confidentiality agreement.

In any case, on Wednesday the 9th, they'll be appearing on Oprah. I don't know how many other kids & families will be on. Our little girl is of Asian descent. Her name is Allison. If you can, Tivo it and meet one of my students!


Saturday, May 05, 2007

State Recognition Days in Eugene

The TOPS organization is a non-profit weight loss support group. You go to a chapter for your weekly meetings & weigh in. The chapter is part of an "Area" with a coordinator who manages all the chapters in that area. All the areas together make up the state. We had at least a thousand people attend this SRD in Eugene. The theme this year was Mardi Gras (don't ask me why - they just wanted us to be able to dress up & trade beads, I guess).

The location this year was great. It wasn't as crowded as the last few years at the convention location, there seemed to be enough bathroom facilities and that all went fine. The only hang up was whenever we left a session, all 1000+ people would head to the elevators - of which there were 3. I'm not a big fan of elevators normally anyway, and when they are stuffed with heavy people and going up 8 floors, I just decided I preferred to get the exercise of climbing the stairs! A friend went with me and we were fine.

On Friday we had motivational speakers and "roll call" of chapters and stuff like that. In the evening there was a sock hop - well, it was more like the kind of music you get from a DJ doing someone's wedding. Still, lots of fun to dance to, and I worked up a good sweat :) I also reacquainted myself with the Electric Slide line dance, and I think I might teach some other gals from our club how to do that. It was moving too quickly for them to pick up there at the dance.

Today we got to see all the division winners for the different categories from all of Oregon. They have separate divisions because the teens have different requirements than the people who have had gastric bypasses, than the people who have lost all their weight thru diet & exercise. There are also the Century club winners, who have lost 100 lbs or more, and to get this award, they must keep that weight off for a year. There were about 8 this year :)

Then they crown the King and Queen. These folks are the people who have lost the most weight in the state and achieved their goal weight. It's from whenever they started TOPS to their goal, whether it takes a year or 20. This year's King for Oregon lost over 100 lbs. This year's Queen was a Century club winner THIS year for her loss of 118 pounds last year - she then lost an additional 98 lbs THIS year for a total of 216 pounds lost to goal! We are thinking she may be the International Queen for 2007 (all of the US and Canada). She's wearing a size 10 now - the same as me. Incredible!

Then of course, today we also acknowledged the KOPS, those of us who have reached goal and kept it off. This was my fourth consecutive year. I will get a special award next year for the consecutive part - people gain and lose their KOPS status, but the special awards are for if you never lose it (go out of your leeway of 10 lbs - 7 below & 3 above your goal weight). I'm going to work hard to be able to get that special award next year!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Another Busy Weekend

Tomorrow morning I'm leaving very early for the TOPS State Recognition Days convention. TOPS Clubs We're going to Eugene this year. I'm helping with registration for the KOPS, so we need to be there by 8:00 am. That means we're leaving here around 6:00 am (eek!). The other ladies want to stop for breakfast on the way. I would have been okay with a nice bagel, but okay.

This year's theme is Mardi Gras, so we have masks, beads & fun stuff to wear. On Friday there's a walk, and motivational speakers & sessions on working with weight loss, etc. On Saturday, we'll have the recognition for the KOPS and state division winners, as well as chapter & state royalty. It's all to recognize the achievements of people working hard to lose their weight and then stay at goal. I am a KOPS now for 5 years.

There's a banquet on Saturday night, but a lot of us have opted to come home since it's only an hour away, and that way the club doesn't have to pay for 2 nights for our hotel rooms. Next year's convention will be pretty far away, and will probably require a 3-night stay, although we won't have as many people go to that one. At least I can sleep in my own bed on Saturday!

Sunday is the Girl Scout Talent Show. I'm only helping the director this year, and doing the videography part, but I have my own troop, plus girls in my troop performing duet acts, so don't worry - we'll all be stressed.

Luckily, on Monday, I can go relax again at work!