Monday, September 26, 2011

Mexican Slow Cooker Soup

This is my go to soup from fall to springtime.  My whole family loves it and it's easy to make extra and freeze some for later.  It's not too spicy and very versatile.


1 lb of Chicken Breasts

1 (10 ounce) can of enchilada sauce

1 (14.4 ounce) can diced or pureed tomatoes

1 (15.5 ounce) black beans drained and rinsed

1 medium onion chopped

2 minced garlic cloves

1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers

1 (14.5 ounce) can of chicken broth

2 cups of water (can use chicken broth/stock instead)

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper


1.  Place chicken, enchilada sauce, tomatoes, black beans, green chiles, garlic and onion in slow cooker.  You may saute onion and garlic before placing it in pot.

2.  Pour in water and chicken broth, and season with cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper.

3.  Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. 

4.  2 hours before serving take chicken out of pot and shred with two forks.


*** Frozen chicken breasts can be used in place of fresh chicken.  I do this all the time.  Shredded, cooked chicken can be used too.

*** 1 (10 ounce) bag of frozen corn can be added to the slow cooker with everything else.  My son doesn't like corn so I skip this part. 

*** Bulk it up with a cup or two of cooked rice stirred in at the end.

*** Topping options:
                     Sour cream
                     Fresh chopped cilantro
                     Sliced avocado
                     Shredded Mexican cheese
                     Sliced green onions
                     Tortilla chips

Friday, September 23, 2011

Chocolate Applesauce Cake

I found this recipe on on the Fix-It and Forget-It Facebook page.  I just had to try it because it I liked the thought of a cake that didn't need to be frosted.  Plus who can resist yummy cake with applesauce and topped with chocolate chips.

This recipe is easy to make even if you have limited baking skills.  Also, the ingredients are things you probably already have in your kitchen.

This was a huge hit with my whole family from my husband to my 9 year old son and 7 year old daughter.  I made it yesterday and it's almost gone.  You must try this cake!  Simply delish!!


Makes 20-24 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking/Baking Time: 40 minutes


1½ cups sugar
½ cup oil
2 eggs
2 cups applesauce
2 cups flour
1½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. cocoa


3 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup chocolate chips
½ cup chopped nuts, optional

1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine 1½ cups sugar, oil, eggs, and applesauce. Mix well.

2. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and cocoa. Stir to mix.

3. Pour batter into greased 9 x 13 pan.

4. Mix 3 Tbsp. sugar, chocolate chips and optional nuts. Sprinkle mixture over batter.

5. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean.
*** This time I used store bought chunky applesauce.  However,  I'm going to make some crock pot applesauce and using it in this cake.  I'm also planning on stirring a half cup of chocolate chips into the batter and adding a handful of shredded coconut to the topping.  I have a feeling it's gong to be simply divine!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Perfect Cool Fall Day

fall leaves Pictures, Images and Photos

It’s finally Friday!  Woohoo!  It’s a perfect crisp fall day in the mid 50’s.  The overnight low was 38 degrees.  Holy cow!  I like it a bit warmer (70’s) but I’m not complaining!

I’ve been looking forward to the weather cooling off.  Thank you Mother Nature.  I’m done with the heat and humidity.  I’m also done with the rain.  I pray it stays away.  The ground is so oversaturated that there is flooding whenever it rains.  In the past, flooding has been rare here but not since Irene hit three weeks ago.
I’m celebrating today by wearing my favorite jeans and pullover with sandals.  Perfect combo.  I’m still not quite ready for socks and shoes but I’ll get there soon if the temperatures stay this low.

Another way I celebrated the return of cool weather was a nice hot breakfast for the kids.  Sunnyside up eggs, whole wheat toast and two pieces of bacon.  They were in heaven!  Perfect way to start a Fall Friday.  I, on the other hand, was naughty for breakfast.  After taking the kids to school I popped a chocolate chip waffle into the toaster and then spread peanut butter and  Nutella over it.  Add a banana on the side.  Perfect to die for breakfast!

Now I’m in the mood to decorate for fall.  I have to get up into our attic and see what I can pull out to create that perfect cozy, Fall feeling.  I’m so excited.

Tonight will be the perfect evening to have a fire and roast marshmallows.  I’m looking forward to it.  First though, I have to buy the boy a new coat since he is growing faster than I can clothe him.  He’s not going to be happy with me one bit.  I made him wear the only light jacket he fits and he doesn’t like it or the fact I wouldn’t allow him to walk to school with just a short sleeve shirt.   I’m such a mean mom.

I’m excited to hear the rustling of leaves, feel the cool breezes and go for long strolls. 

Fall is full of traditions in our house.   Apple and pumpkin picking are a must.  We love to wander around the fields choosing from the different varieties and picking the perfect apples. I do lots of baking…apple and pumpkin pie, apple crisp, apple dumplings, baked apples, apple sauce and so much more.  We go to the local farm every year.  We go on hayrides, drink apple cider, eat apple cider donuts and caramel apples, run through hay mazes and more.  Fall is the perfect time to just immerse yourself into your family.  It’s not too hot or too cold.  It’s perfect.

Oh Fall, how I’ve missed you.  You're my favorite season of all.  Welcome back!

Happy Fantabulous Friday everyone!  Is it starting to feel like Fall where you live?  How do you celebrate Fall?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Just Because-Wordless Wednesday

From my husband....just because.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Standing on Shaky Ground

The last few weeks have been rough.  I'm going through something I went through last summer and a bit at the beginning of last summer.  And now it's back.  It sucks.

A few weeks ago I took my son out shopping for school.  We didn't get further than Taco Bell for lunch.  We were chatting, having a good time.  We ordered our food.  We sat down.  I could feel the sun shinning through the window and the heat from it pierce me.  I started to feel off.  So I suggested to my son that we move because the sun was making mommy feel sick.  Sat down at another table that was not so sunny.  Same thing.  I could feel the heat surrounding me and darkness edging in.  I was terrified I was going to blackout right there. 

I gently explained to my son how I was feeling and he understood immediately.  He was there last summer when I had to have my husband drive me from the mall to urgent care.  Neither of us wanted a repeat.  I slowly made my way up to the counter and asked for a to go bag.  We put everything inside and left to head back home.  Being in the air conditioned van helped a lot.  I brought my son to my parent's house and I laid up in the air conditioning most of the afternoon.  I felt useless, helpless.

Rewind to last summer.  I spent an hour outside at Lowe's with my girlfriend pursuing the gardening area.  It was a hot, humid and sunny.  I felt ok.  I left to drive home because my kids would be getting out of school within the hour.  I went to start my van and was suddenly overcome by dizziness.  I blasted the air conditioning and tried to shake it off.  Within minutes I realized I couldn't keep driving.  I thought I was going to pass out. I felt weak and my hands were shaking.  I pulled into a parking lot and reclined my seat back. I thought resting in the cold air would help.  I was wrong.  I could feel the blackness heavy, all around me.  I decided to go into the Taco Bell (not the same one) and get a drink.  My dad's diabetic so I was thinking I was either dehydrated or having a some kind of problem with my sugar.  All I remember is darkness speckled with white spots .  I had never been so afraid.  I ordered a coke and sat down. 

It just kept getting worse and worse.  Like a drunk, I bobbed and weaved to the counter.  I thought for sure I'd end up on the floor.  I told the cashier what was wrong and asked her to call an ambulance.  Now I was also mortified.  Go figure.  Even surrounded by fear and uncertainty I didn't want to cause a "scene".  Life is funny, isn't it?

The paramedics came, took my vitals, asked me questions and took me out on a gurney.  Definitely not a stellar moment.  My mind was swirling with the fact my kids were in school and I had to be there to get them.  In the hospital corridor I called my husband and dad.  My husband dropped everything to meet me and my dad picked up my kids.  Thank God for that.  I'm glad it didn't play out differently.

I remember being thirsty and asking for water. The nurse said she'd be right back.  She never returned. I wanted to cry. When I stopped another nurse 15 minutes later she told me I couldn't have anything until my test results came back.  I was hooked to an IV. They did an EKG.  I remember it feeling like forever.  The hospital told me they thought it was vertigo and to do a follow up with my doctor. 

My doctor said definitely wasn't vertigo.  His diagnosis was dehydration and possibly a sudden drop in blood pressure.  He told me to drink lots of water and Gatorade and to avoid going outside on hot, humid days.  I tried my best but I had three more episodes that summer and an urgent care visit.  I discussed it during a comp visit with my doctor's PA she said it could be hypoglycemia .  She told me to eat more frequent, smaller meals with lots of protein.

Once summer was over I felt "normal" again".  I had a few issues at the beginning of June this year but I was able to keep it together.  Now it's back. 

Last week I had a job interview and the room was hot and without air conditioning.  I felt light headed and weak but made it through.  I kept praying I wouldn't face plant on the floor.

The next day (Saturday) I took my daughter shoe shopping.  I felt a little off but was determined to make it through.  We successfully purchased shoes but when we went out to lunch I felt it really coming on.  Within minutes of placing our order I had to request it to go.  I tell you, the people at Cracker Barrel were extremely understanding and helpful.  I'm so grateful.

I haven't felt 100% normal since that day and I'm worried.  My husband had yesterday off and took me to Longhorn's for lunch.  Within moments I felt that warm, dark sensation again.  I think the bright lights over each table brought it on.  We had to leave before we even ordered.  I felt like I was going to pass out at school pickup and had to leave my husband there to collect my daughter, as my son had already come out. I spent the next hour on the couch.

Today is the same.  I feel tired.  I keep drinking water in case it is dehydration but that just makes me use the bathroom every 20-30 minutes.  I've made sure I'm eating right.  Plenty of food and  lots of protein.  My fear is diabetes but I had some required blood work done for our medical insurnce renewal and it shows all my numbers showing in the acceptable range.  That was at the end of June after I had a minor issue at school pickup.  I'm totally at a loss.

I can't live my life this way.  It's scary and frustrating.  I feel helpless.  I hate it!  I feel like my life is being stolen away.  The job I applied for is a kitchen job in one of the area schools.  At this point I don't feel comfortable taking the job.  It's mine from what she told me.  We're just waiting for my drug test and background check to come through.  It should be in any day now.  I don't know what to do.  Do I take it and chance blacking out while working?   My friend works for the company and helped me get an interview.  I don't want her to be upset if I end up saying no to the job.  It's the ideal job (except for the pay).  I would just need my parents to help me for an hour in the morning so it's doable.  It's minimum wage which sucks but it's a start.  A foot in the door.

I'm so lost, I don't know what to do.  I don't know what the right answer is.  I pray to feel better in the next day or so and maybe I won't have to worry about all theses things for a while longer. 

Have you ever felt this way or known anyone who has?  I feel so alone in this.  It's frustrating not knowing what's going on, what brings it on or what I can do to prevent/control it.  Hopefully answers will come my way soon.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

9/11 We Will Always Remember-10 Years Later

I sit here with my personal reflections of that tragic day in U.S. history.  My heart races, my eyes fill with tears and I feel hollow from all the senseless, tragic loss. 

My children are now at the age they are asking questions about 9/11.  It is a difficult discussion for me to have with them. 

How do you explain hatred?  Senseless tragedy and death?

I explained it to them as openly and honestly as I could.  I don't want them to be scared of terrorism.  I don't want them to fear living in the land of the free.  I want them to know this is truly the land of the brave.

We became a stronger country after what we went through 10 years ago.  We may have our struggles but we will not quit and never give up.  We are fighters and will continue to do so.

I shared some of my memories of that fateful day.  I will share them with you.

I was living in Lyndhurst, NJ at the time.  Thirteen miles from the World Trade Centers.

I was at work in Paramus that fateful morning.  I still remember being told the news.  We all stood around in shocked silence.  We listened to the radio and heard when the second tower was hit.  We heard about the towers falling.  Then the plane crashed in a Pennsylvania field.  We were told to go home. Many of my co-workers had friends and family that worked or lived near the Trade Centers.

I couldn't leave fast enough.

My husband (fiancee at the time) and I had just moved to the area from Western New York four months prior.  We were strangers in a strange land.  We knew no one.  We were still getting familiar with the area.  I tried to reach him on the phone but all the lines were and cell.

I remember driving down a normally jam packed route 17 and it was deserted.  No cars in sight.  It was eerie and I was scared.  In my 27 years I had never been so terrified.  I wondered what was going to happen next.

In the distance I could see the dark, black smoke billowing up from the city skyline.  It was horrifying.  I drove with tears streaming down my face.  I was shaking.  I felt lost and uncertain.

I made it home in record time and walked like a zombie into our first floor apartment in a two story house.  I locked the door,  grabbed the home phone and turned on the television.  I alternated trying to reach my husband's cell, his work phone and my mom.   I used both phones.  Nothing.  Just a constant busy signal mocking me and my fears.  I took turns pacing the floor and rocking myself on the couch.  I felt exposed and so alone.

A plane screamed overhead.  I shuttered and thought a bomb was going to drop.The whole house shook. Later, I realized it must have been a military plane heading into the city.

When I was finally able to reach my mom on the phone we cried together.  She had been in a panic thinking we had been in the city that day.  About once a week we were traveling into the city for job interviews for my husband.  I am so grateful that this was not the case that day.

My husbands boss wouldn't let his employees leave.  I still shake my head in amazement of his callousness.  That was a day to be near your loved ones and hold them tightly.  When he finally walked in the door I threw myself into his arms sobbing, so relieved to have him home with me.

My heart was (and is still) broken for everyone who lost loved ones that day.  Hatred is a scary beast.  I pray that one day peace can reign in our world. I fear it's just a dream out of reach in reality.

However, as I share my memories of that tragic day with my children I am determined to pass on hope for a better tomorrow.  I remind them that we our strong.  I tell them how much I love and cherish them.  I hold them tightly glad that we have one another.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Finally Friday!

Finally Friday!
Cool Text: Logo and Graphics Generator

I'm so thankful it's FINALLY FRIDAY!!!  Here's some of the things I'm thankful for this week:

  • It's Friday!  First school week was a bit rocky with a day off on Thursday due to flooding but we're back on track.
  • Flooding has ceased and desisted for now.
  • Goalieboy and Little Bee enjoyed there first day of school.
  • Little Bee did have friends in her class (not her bffs but that's ok).  I was having anxiety over it.
  • I finally got a check for the back money owed to me from worker's comp.  We really need it.
  • Our television is finally back on after it's been shut off for 3 weeks.  We were so far behind because we're broke.
  • I finished all the laundry!  Back at it on Sunday.
  • I had a job interview!!!  It's only minimum wage but it's a job and the hours fit with the kids school schedule for the most part.
  • Crockpot Mexican Chicken Soup was a huge hit earlier this week for the whole family (a first).  Can't wait to make it again.
  • Cooler temperatures this week reminds me that fall is on its way.  I'll be happy with 68-75 degrees.
  • And as always, I'm so thankful to be surrounded by my loving family who drive me crazy!  I don't know what I would do without them.

Now the weather has to cooperate so there's no more rain and flooding.  We used a "snow" day on Thursday.  A first here.  They really need to start calling them "weather" days.  Little Bee really wants to play soccer but has only attended one practice due to the flooding.  Practice Wednesday was cancelled as is this weekends game due to poor field conditions.  She has barely begun learning and is eager for more.

Praying I get the job.  My only stumbling block right now is my van.  It went ca put last weekend.  Well, technically it's still drivable.  However, reverse went so it's not reliable at all.  I can only go somewhere I can pull straight in and out of.  I fear for winter because right now I can pull right into a spot on my street but that won't be the case when it snows.  I'm in trouble.  Plus, if I get the job I know I'm going to have a lot of parking issues.  It's stressing me out but I'm going to take it one step at a time. 

Wish me luck!  Why are you thankful it's finally Friday?

Blog Hops Everyday Friday Blog Hop

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Parents Choose Your Friends Carefully

This public service announcement goes out to all moms and dads.  I'll direct it more to those with younger non-school age children.  If you're kids are in school then you probably know all about this:

Drama Mamas/Ghetto Freaks/Attention Whores/Know It Alls

Seriously, as an adult you know there are all types of people in the world.  But as a parent they are sometimes hard to avoid.  Also, they wear masks.  They draw you in with their appropriate parental prattle but watch out they're not who they seem to be.  It's just a sick game to them. 

Pay attention and be leery.  Not on the outside but on the inside.  For me, I had on rose colored glasses.  I should smack myself upside the head.  I've worked in retail management.  I've seen these types of parents.  I guess I just never associated them with parents I would be meeting when my kids started going to school. 

Preschool seemed normal.  I was also working full time so maybe I just got lucky and gravitated towards "normal" parents. *snicker*  No parent is normal.  Come on now, be honest with yourself.  We are not normal.  We're just more normal than others.  I guess I thought that elelmentary school would be the same but dang was I wrong!

Brace yourself.  I didn't realize how bad it really was.  To be honest, in the scheme of things it's not that bad but there are more out there than you think.  And as I said, they wear masks.  Each school has different types and some are more obvious than others.

I learned the hard way.  The summer my oldest went into first grade we moved closer to the school and he became a walker.  I was working less so I was able to become more involved.  Overall, it was a fantastic thing.  We had more time in the morning and after school together, no waiting out in inclement weather for the bus and I met some great parents at pickup.  The downfall, I got suckered by a few of said parents.

That year I made some mommy friends.  Some worked, some stayed home, some had a child with special needs and many were involved in the school.  We would hang out at the school playground chatting, have playdates at the park.  I got closer with a few and we hung out.  Seemed perfect.  But I was wrong.

Some of those so called friends were not what they presented themselves to be.  They were back stabbers, troublemakers and full of drama (a.k.a. drama mamas).  I had a real bad experience right before the end of school that year.  I learned the hard way.  The signals were there but I ignored them.  I won't ever do that again.

Know the saying, "Treat others the way you want to be treated"?  Well, observe those you want to be friends with.  How do they treat others?  Not just you.  Are they catty?  Do they whine and complain?  Do they harass the school, teachers, other parents?  Are they judgemental?  Do they bully others? Are they always building themselves up to look good?  If you answered yes to any of these be on alert.  I would say turn and run but sometimes that's not always the best idea either.  If you run, you could be the one at the other end of the drama.  My advice, be friendly without being too friendly.  Limit your socializing to school things and not outside of school

I got to "overhear" one drama queen yelling at another through the school fence.  I'm so glad both women's children were already in school at the time.  All I could hear was them calling each other names and going at it verbally.  Though they kept taunting each other to "bring it" like they were going to actuallly kick the others ass.  A bunch of hair pulling trash in my opinion.  I hate to pass judgement but when you are in your kids school yard talking trash then that's what you are.  Do you not have any self control?  No self esteem?  Please!  Pull it together.  Parents are supposed to be role models for their children.  There are children, teachers, parents and yes police around you.  Grow the heck up and act like a mature adult.  Don't talk your ghetto talk around innocent bystanders. Go beat eachother up where we can't see you.  You are a poor example to your children for even talking and acting like that (public place or not).

So, if you are ever suckered in by these types of parents walk away.  I wish I had paid attention to the signs.  One of those forementioned ghetto trash talking mamas use to be a friend of mine.  But I learned my lesson the hard way.  I'm sharing my advice with you.  Choose your "mommy/daddy" friends carefully.  If not, it could blow up in your face.  Or possibly, hit you there between the eyes.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

First Day of School Traditions

Today I sent my kiddos off to their first day of school.  Fourth grade for Goalieboy and Second grade for Little Bee.  Oh how hard it was.  For me that is, not them.  Somehow I made it through.  The ritualistic school morning sibling arguments helped some.  It drove me a little nuts but made it so I didn't get all teary eyed.  The bickering is part of the tradition here. *laughing*

Tradition #1....Backpacks packed up and placed by their bedroom doors.

Tradition #2...New outfits layed out ready to wear.

Tradition #3...Special bedtime story together. Normally we do a first day of school book but this year it was a chapter in Little Bee's Little House on the Praire book.

Tradition #4...Mommy wakes up early and prepares a special hot breakfast for the big day Today it was homemade chocolate chip waffles. I was too tired from lack of sleep to take pictures.

Tradition #5...First day of school pictures and LOTS of them!  I always include certain poses with the backpacks. Indoors and outdoors. The rain spoiled most of the outdoor pictures. *Wahhhh!!! And I forgot to take pictures of the lunchboxes with the backpacks!  Always a tradition.  I'll rectify that oversight later.

I held back tears as we walked to school.  there they are off.  This is always a bitter sweet day for me.  It's hard to let them go.  I wish summer could last forever (but without all the nasty heat and humidity!).

Tradition #6....Didn't happen this year.  The school wouldn't let parents into the building when I arrived.  I've ALWAYS taken a picture of them sitting at their new desk the first day of school.  I love saying "Hi" to their new teachers.  Not this year.  By no rhyme or reason I couldn't go in.  This happened to some of my mom friends last year and I was so upset for them.  This year it happened to me. I found out later that some parents made it in and others didn't.  I want to cry.  The only good that came of it was that I didn't get teary eyed while they were getting settled in, since I couldn't see it. But I'm still hurt and upset at the insensitivity of the school and their lack of communication.  Either parents are allowed or they're picking and chosing.  It's just not right.

And now I wait for the time where I head to school to pick them up.  I know they'll be excited chatterboxes.  What they thought of their teachers, who is in their class, what they did their first day and so much more.  I'm excited to hear it all.

What are your first day of school traditions?

Wordish Wednesday

and then, she {snapped}

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

It's Here, Are You Ready

The first day of school is finally upon us.  I spent the whole night getting ready.  My stomach is in knots but I'm we're as prepared as we can be.

1.  Supplies purchased, labeled and placed nicely in backpacks.-Check

2.  Back to school outfits selected and hung out.  Wrinkle free of course. -Check

3.  New shoes ready by the door. -Check

4.  Hairstyle agreed upon for Little Bee. -Check

5.  Showers -Check

6.  Lunches agreed upon and packed. -Check

7.  Story time. -Check

8.  Alarms set-Check

9.  Kiddies tucked into bed with extra kisses, hugs and giggles. -Check, Check, Check

10. Special breakfast planned.-Check
11. Mommy re-running through the list. -Check

12. Mommy trying not to get emotional before the first day has started. 

Are you and your kiddies ready for school to start?  Have you started yet?  Good luck to all the new and old students out there.  Good luck to the parents of all.  And definitely, good luck to the teachers!  Some of you may really need it.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Worries for a New School Year

I'm so terribly sad that summer is coming to an end.  Yes, my kids drive me totally insane from the end of June until the beginning of September but I do love having them around.  Crazy as it sounds, it's true. I'm not ready for school to begin.  I'll miss having them around during the day.  I'll miss being able to do what we want, when we want.  However, I know the routine is needed and in it's own way welcomed for us all.  However, for me, every school year brings with it a list of worries and anxieties. 

School starts back Tuesday.  I am filled with sadness, regret and anxiety.  The sadness and regret come from not being able to fill their summer with more fun activities and get aways.  I know in reality they had a great summer without the amusement parks, day trips, long beach filled vacations  but still I feel guilty.  Sigh.  I wish we had money to get away from it all.  We did have a week off and went away for 3 days.  It was amazing and we'll never forget the fun we had.

My husband's work hours don't allow for much(2 jobs, one salaried management position) plus I'm still unemployed.  It hurts though.  I remember being young and not being able to go all the fun places my classmates went because we didn't have money.  Thing is, I know I still had a fun filled summer just that most of it was spent in our backyard.  Someday soon I hope we can splurge on our kids.  We've never taken a vacation longer than 4 or 5 days.  We've never been on a cruise or out of the country together.  But, we get by and have our own fun close to home. I have to focus on that.  Right now the most important thing is that we have a roof over our heads, food in our bellies and each other.

This year I had a very limited back to school budget.  I'm very lucky that my friends with older girls have passed down a lot of cute clothes for my daughter.  That has helped a bunch.  I only bought her 2 new shirts, a pair of gym pants, socks, sneakers and dressy boots.  My son is growing like a weed so I am slowly rebuilding his wardrobe.  Nothing from last year fits him except a few shirts and his shorts.  Over the last month I've purchased 3 pairs of jeans, 5 shirts, socks, 3 gym pants, 2 gym shorts and a pair of sneakers.  I need to still get him another pair of shoes(he's 9 and already in a size 6!!)  and a fall coat.

As far as school supplies go, I had a surplus from years past.  Plus, our community has a really nice back to school event where they give out free backpacks filled with various supplies.  I didn't have to pick up too much at our local Walmart/Target. 

I'm dreading this new year.  Goalieboy is starting 4th grade.  I'm praying this year goes smoothly for him.  He is filled constantly with anxiety and I don't want it to grow as the year goes on.  I have to call our insurance company and see what's covered for therapy.  I'm scared to find out, as we have a deductible plan.  I'm praying therapists are different and there's a co-pay involved.  He really needs someone to talk to.  He has trouble falling asleep most nights.  It breaks my heart when he begs for one of us to lay down with him until he falls asleep.  He's always worrying about fire, burglary and such.  As the start of school grows closer his anxieties heighten.  I don't want him to worry about those things.  Prepared, yes but worried to the point of anxiety, no.  A lot hinges on this new year and how things flow.  I hope his teachers work with him and understand him.  I hope his classmates are not mean and judgemental.  I know in the back of his mind he is worried about being teased about his hearing aids.  My heart breaks.  Kids should not have to worry about these things.  Why are some kids so cruel to others?

Finally, I find that I am overly anxious for the beginning of a new year.  I am live with anxiety that my children may have problems this year with friends and academics.  These are fears I lived with as a child and I feel them build inside me again but for them this time. 

As I said, my son has struggled in years past.  Last year wasn't the best.  I'm still in amazement that his teacher called me the second to last week of school to tell me a para caught him racing through his morning work to avoid having to complete it during lunch.  He failed the work.  She had him redo it.  Guess what...he then aced it.  Hmmmm....wonder why.  I truly believe this was a big issue most of the year.  I believe he was doing this most of the school year.  Either, no one paid attention to it or no one cared enough to wonder why it was happening.  Consistently he was coming home with roller coaster grades.  If a child is participating in class, seems to have a handle on the material and then (nearly) fails the worksheets/tests do you think there could be a problem you're overlooking?!  Yep and the end of the year is too late to address and rectify the issue.  I'm still ticked.  I believe a good teacher would see the signs and try to find out what's going on.  But, hey, I could be wrong.  I'm not a teacher after all.  I'm still upset though.

My final worry....I have been searching high and low since the teacher letters were sent home 2 weeks ago for anyone in my daughter's second grade class.  Scouring high and low.  Facebooking, texting and calling friends.  No luck.  So far I have yet to find one child in her class.  Friend, acquaintance or even someone she doesn't know.  How can it be that most of her friends have one teacher, a few another and not one has her teacher.  I'm heartbroken for her.  Probably because I had such a hard time making friends.  She's not like me so I'm forever grateful but I feel panic for her.  Not one of her girlfriends are in her class.  How can that be?!  I've check with over a dozen parents.  I'm holding my breath because I know (praying, begging and pleading) there will be friends she loves in the class I just don't have their contact information.  Plus, she's good at making new friends.  It just sucks that they kept most of her closest friends together without her.  It's funny because I know this is sometimes done if kids are a distraction to themselves and others.  However, she's not like that. My girl is definitely a talker (like her mom and brother) but she's respectful.  All of her teachers have said she has the best manners, follows directions to a T and always willingly helps others.  She is praised for setting a good example.  Sigh.  I know she's going to be fine.  But it sucks.  I feel like she's being punished for being good.

So,there are my crazy, somewhat unfounded worries for the new school year.  I just needed to get them out of my head so I can breath a bit easier.  I'm just praying now the teachers are good and are the right fit for my kids.  I've heard a few stories that worry me a bit but I'm going to not judge ahead of time.  It's hard but I'm going to go in with no preconceived notions. Positive thinking for a positive school year. Nor will I share any of these fears, not a one with my children.

I have worked on pumping them up.  Exciting new classes.  Meeting new friends while reconnecting with old.  New challenges and lots of fun.  Focusing on the positives...for them and myself.

Am I alone in new school year fears?  Please share yours or your child's.  How do you handle them?

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Summertime is Ending





                                 Long Walks







Summer School



Summer Nights












                         Fire pit




         Hot dogs



                               Fourth of July




                           Swimming Pool



~Childhood Memories~

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Sometimes it Hurts


My heart aches
My soul cries
Why does it have to hurt so bad

Don't look through me
Look at me
I have feelings too

I feel joy, sorrow, pain
Do I not matter
or will you leave me shattered


Set adrift in a sea of misery
No one to reach out to
Sad and heartbroken
Shedding unseen tears
Crying unheard sobs
Uncared for