Friday, July 25, 2014


Feeling Beachie

My favorite time of the day is the morning because it is quiet and I can enjoy a hot cup of tea without being interrupted.

I find Ireland very peaceful when I drink a cup of hot tea.  Ireland is where I first started drinking hot tea.  When my husband and I went to a restaurant, I ordered a glass of ice tea.  The waitress looked at me like I was crazy and said, "We don't have ice".  What??  So I got a pot of hot tea and was hooked.  The tea I drink is from Ireland.  I won't drink anything else.  Luckily there is an Irish store at the beach we vacation to every year.  I stock up!

Why do I always think poorly of myself.  I don't understand why I have poor self esteem.  I could rant and rave about my dysfunctional childhood being the root.  Perhaps it is.  Whatever the reason, it is a hard thing to break.

Why do I always have panic attacks when I go to the grocery store?  I should say, I don't anymore.  I never understood why I did though, until one day I had a flashback/memory of my mother locking me and my sisters in the car while she ran into the grocery store.  It was so hot in the car and my sister said she couldn't breathe.  I rolled down the window to get some air in the car.  When my mother came out, she yelled at me for rolling down the window.  I get very upset when I hear on the news of children dying from being left in a hot car because I can relate to the the horrible feelings those children went thru.  Lucky for me and my siblings, we were okay.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

How can you let him play hockey?

Over the years I have been asked by parents "Why do you encourage your son to play hockey?".

When Brandon was 4 he begged his father and I to play ice hockey.  Hockey is an expensive sport, so we decided to get Brandon skating lessons first.  He loved being on the ice.  When he turned five we bought him his first pair of hockey skates.  At six he was playing on his first hockey team.  

He chose to play hockey.  We encourage him to play well.

I was even approached by a parent who sons plays football, and she wanted to know "How can you let your son play such a violent sport?"  

I do agree that hockey is way rougher than football.  Players get checked, high sticks in the face and pucks are flying.  Football you pointlessly run in to people.  =D

Bantam Level 2012
From an outsiders point of view, I can see why hockey seems like a violent sport.  But in fact, we fans all know that ice hockey is very physically demanding and yet it also requires skill and finesse, and given the fact that you’re playing on ice, there are always going to be some moments when you’re a little bit out of control. Big hits are part of what makes the game as exciting as it is.  
Midget U16 2013
Sure, hockey can cause injuries. Just like any other sport.  However, if you look at statistics almost 215,000 children are treated in the ER from football injures every year vs. the 20,000 ER visits from hockey players.  
Midget U16 2013

These days, it’s tough for parents to decide whether to enroll their children in organized sports such as hockey or football. Yes, physical safety matters. But is our collective obsession with protecting our children from harm threatens to turn out a generation of children ill-equipped to deal with their future?  It seems to me that children in modern America are growing up in a country paralyzed by complacency and fear.  

My son wrote an essay on sportsmanship for an English class that I thought was pretty amazing.  My favorite paragraph:
I learned to listen to and respect the coach. I learned to listen to the team captain. I learned how important my role was as a team captain. I learned how to skate better. I learned how to protect myself. I learned that I had to wait my turn to play. I learned that I was not the centre of the universe, but a team member. I learned how to be punctual and stick to a schedule. I learned how to be responsible for my own body and for the bodies of my team mates and opponents. I learned that it was better to obey the rules than to sit in the penalty box. I learned to be organized and responsible for my hockey equipment. I learned what sportsmanship was. Sportsmanship is a style and an attitude, and it can have a positive influence on everyone around you.
Our children need to learn the importance of teamwork, sportsmanship, toughness, and competitiveness. It good for children to learn to strive, to succeed, and most importantly, how to fail. When the time comes, let your kid play football, or hockey... or whatever, and let him decide for himself. He may break his leg or suffer a concussion, but he will be far better off for it over the course of his life than if he stays inside and plays video games.


Monday, June 30, 2014

Conversations with Brandon {No Trespassing}

Brandon  and Jenn  took a day trip to French Creek State Park.  
They went to the top of quarry where the view of the park is stunning.  

However, this spot is marked 'No Trespassing'. 

 To their misfortune, a Park Ranger spotted them.  The Park Ranger called me (and Jenn's mom) because they are both minors.  Due to this infraction, Brandon and Jenn are both receiving fines.  $189 each!!!!!!!!!!

Obviously they weren't dealing with Ranger Smith, who always seemed to be easily fooled.

I am lovingly referring to Brandon and Jenn as Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Conversations with Zach {Car Trouble}


Zachary:  Mom, I have a sticker from the apartment complex on my car saying it's going to get towed.

Me:  Go to the apartment complex office and ask why.

Zachary: They said I do not have a registration sticker on my license plate and as long as I don't park on the property I will not be towed.

Me:  I mailed you the registration paper that goes in your glove box and the sticker back in March.

Zachary: What's the registration paper look like?

Me: (texted him a picture of the registration)(I was smart enough to request a second copy).

Zachary: oh! I have that.  It's in the kitchen drawer.

(Ouch! I just smacked my forehead)

Zachary: But there is no sticker.

Me:  Okay, I will get online with the DMV and get you a new sticker.


Zachary: Mom, my car was towed.

Me:  Why??????

Zachary: I stopped home to get a shower and when I came back out my car was being towed.

Me:  (two octaves higher) Why did you park on the property?

Zachary: It was only for 20 minutes.

Me: Where is the car and what do you have to do to get it back?

Zachary: They need $125 and a paper with Dad authorizing me to pick it up since his name is on the registration card.  They said the paper needs some special stamp.

Me:  You mean notarized?

Zachary: Yes.

Me:  Well that's a problem because Dad is in England.

Zachary: oh no.

(In the meantime I called the towing service.  They will not allow me to get the authorization in my name because I am not on the registration.)

Zachary: My laptop is in the car. Can I go get it out of the car?

Me: No, they won't let you do that until you pay.

Zachary: My iPhone charger is in the car.

Me: Can you get a ride to Walmart to buy another one?

Zachary: Yeah let me get the money out of my wallet in the car.

I sense sarcasm

Me:  OMG! Can you borrow money?

Zachary:  I don't want to be that guy.

(At this point my forehead is hurting from smacking it too many times)

Zachary:  I just need my car.

(I'm trying to get ahold of Todd, with no luck.  He's still in England).

Me: Working on it.  I can't do anything until Dad calls me.

Zachary:  Awesome.   He just had to go to England.

More sarcasm.

Me:  You just had to get your car towed.

Definite sarcasm.

Zachary:  Bad timing.

(Got ahold of Todd and explained the story).

Todd:  (sigh) You've got to be kidding me?

Me: The notarized letter has to be taken care of right away.  Zachary can't board the plane on *Tuesday without his license.

*(Sunday the towing place is closed. Monday Todd is flying home and won't be able to do anything).

Todd:  My hotel room is so small, I can touch both walls.  I feel like the Jolly-Green-Giant.

Me:  Focus Todd, focus.

Todd: (He gave me his hotel info) Can you look on-line and find a notary nearby?

Me:  (found one and sent info).

Todd: Thanks, I hope they are open on a Saturday.

Me too!


Friday, June 27, 2014

Family, Father's Day and Friday Fragments

In spirit of the World Cup, our family held their own soccer game.
My niece loves her cousin, Brandon.
She was happy he played her favorite sport, even if they were on opposing teams.

 We celebrated Father's day with a picnic at our house.
Todd is pictured with his Dad and Brother. 
Our friend, Chad is considered a part of the family too!
 I am thankful that these wonderful guys.
They are good men who make our lives better and bless their children by actions and examples.
I say, Thank You!!

My BFF made Brandon's cake.
As always, it was very good!
 I forgot to buy candles. Brandon had to blow out a lighter.
The next day, some of my day care kids sang Happy Birthday to Brandon.
This time I remembered the candles.
 Connect with Mrs 4444 at Half-Past Kissin' Time if you'd like to share your Friday Fragments
Half-Past Kissin' Time
Happy Friday Friends!


Thursday, June 26, 2014

being Kind or being Creepy?

What would you do if a stranger asked you to join them for a meal?  Would you say yes?
Or would you be bold enough to ask someone to join you?

**did I hear you gasp?**   

Do you agree that some acts of kindness 15 or 20 years ago could now be considered taboo? A couple of generations ago a 'random act of kindness' was just what you did. You complimented people in the street, you helped strangers who needed it, you did nice things for your friends and you were basically just a kind person.  It's a shame that today's society turns a good deeds into something that makes you feel uneasy and afraid.  It is a sad reflection on society that people think "What does he/she want in return from me?".

Where am I going with this??

When the boys were young (yes, around 15 years ago) I took them to Friendly's restaurant for lunch.  There was an elderly man in line behind us.  We got to chatting while we were waiting for the hostess.  He was very nice and reminded me of my grandfather.   I asked him if someone was joining him for lunch and he said no, he was eating alone.  I asked if he would like to join us.  He said yes!

We talked about his children, my children, my husband, his wife (who had passed away that year).  He told me many happy stories from his life that have stayed with me over the years.

When the check came, this generous man paid for our entire meal.  I told him that was not why I invited him to join us and insisted he did not have to pay for us but he said: "Not only are you a wonderful mother to these boys, but a wonderful woman for making an old man feel special."

It's not every day a stranger will ask you to sit down and join them for a meal.  Nor is it every day that a stranger will say yes.

I challenge you: Go do a random act of kindness!