Just call me Jiji

…me, just pretending to be me ….now, where did I put that cape??

Archive for the tag “camera”

Click it… PLEASE

I entered Leon in a Cute Kid contest and his photo was selected.
Now I am reaching out to everyone I know; we need votes people! Lots and lots of votes.

Please take a minute to click the link below and vote for Leon – (future Tommy Hilfiger Model).

And if you could help pass the word and ask everyone you know to do the same, we would be ever so grateful.


It’s a GOOD DAY, it’s a good day, Hooray, Hooray!!!

Today…. a good day?

 Eh, it’s an alright day so far. I have the day off, my niece is at my mom’s for the day, Leon is in camp, and I am enjoying my day going through a bunch of photos and videos that I have taken over the past few months.

I found a bunch of gems. Most of which I will be using as evidence to prove to Leon that he is NOT having a “boring” summer after all. 😉

So, for today it is; so far, so good, although as per usual it didn’t exactly start that way….

The past week and a half has been…. well, kinda alright too, I guess….

I mean I have been having a hard time physically, given my joint pain & headaches that come with my Fibro flare-ups along with the  unexplained  dizzy spells &  nausea and some very very undesirable symptoms of really bad Acid Reflux (at least that’s what I am calling it until I hear otherwise, after my endoscope in two weeks).  And mentally I’ve been a bit messed up too, (ahh…. have you read my last post??). True I am stressed over the physical difficulties I’ve been having, but putting up with my hyperactive, disagreeable ADHD/ODD 6 year old is what has really been pushing me over the edge. Every morning, today included, is a battle. It goes something like this:

Me:  What would you like for breakfast?

Leon: What do we have?

Me: The same stuff we always have; cereal, oatmeal, waffles…

Leon: I don’t want any of that

Me: Then what do you want?

Leon: I don’t know what we have

Me: I just told you what we’ve got, if you can’t make a choice, I’ll make one for you.

Leon: I want toast with butter.

Me:  Great, what else would you like?

Leon: That’s all I want.

Me: That’s not enough you have to eat something else with it.

Leon: No I don’t, I just want toast and thats it!

Me: Do not talk to me in that tone, how about oatmeal?



Leon: Well, I don’t!

Me: You just had it yesterday, and you liked it fine

Leon: Well I don’t like it today!

Me: Fine, How about yogurt instead.

Leon: NO!

Me: Fine, go get dressed for camp, while I make the toast, and then we will discuss what else you will have.

Leon: No, I want to eat first.

Me: Leon, You know the rules go get dressed now! 

Leon: FINE-NA!

Me: And don’t forget to wear your orange camp shirt, you have a field trip today

Leon: I don’t want to go on the field trip, I don’t even want to go to camp!

Me: Leon you are going to camp, and you are going on the field trip. It’s bowling you love bowling.

Leon: I HATE bowling! It’s boring! Everything is boring, boring, boring!!!

Me: You beg me to take you bowling all the time

Leon: But now I hate bowling (as he sits at the table)

Me: Leon go get your clothes on, we don’t sit at the breakfast table in our underwear

Leon: But I am hungry right now!

Me: Okay, and as soon as you get dressed for camp you can have your toast

Leon: But I don’t want TOAST!

Me: Leon, that’s what you asked me for!

Leon: No ooooo

Me: Leon you asked for toast and I made toast and that is what you will eat, once that is done you will have something else.

Leon: Oh yeah I forgot, well I want Oatmeal WITH my toast.


Leon: But…

Me: NOW!!! 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5…


Me:  sigh……………

Every morning is a battle with him. I say black, he says white. I say day, he says night. The first 20 minutes of each day is like a big tug-o-war! Such as it is with ODD kids. And by ODD I don’t mean odd as in strange, I mean O-D-D as in Oppositional Defiance Disorder. So along with a diagnoisis of ADHD, Leon is also diagnoised ODD. Which is not unusual, and it certainly explains ALOT! But having an answer for why he behaves the way he does doesn’t make it any easier. I wake up each morning and I brace myself for what’s coming. Once i get him off to camp i spend the rest of the morning recovering from the storm and getting ready for the next one which usually hits the moment I pick him up from camp.

Can I have a playdate? Huh? Can I? Can I? I want a playdate? What about the pool? Can we go to the pool? It’s not cold out, I’m not cold. I don’t want to go home. Why do we have to go home? And so on and so forth….

If I am having an off day, which I have been of late, this can turn ugly. So my days start out painfully difficult and end up leaving me utterly exhausted and occasionally defeated.

Not today I tell ya! Yeah, I said black and Leon said white this morning and the first 20 minutes of my day started out rough but I weathered the storm and dropped Leon off at camp and came home to relax and just do something for me.

Going through the pictures today has put things into perspective for me. Not only do they prove that Leon is NOT having a boring summer but it also proves that neither am I.

Here is a video that I took with my rinky dink point and shoot a few weeks back at a Children’s Festival that Ron, Leon, and I attended. We were watching Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could.  The day didn’t start out so great for Leon. He was having a rough time staying focused and behaving. Every little thing seemed to trigger a meltdown.  And as usual there was alot of tug -o-war going on. But I think that one of the positive things about Leon’s ADHD is that just as quickly as he can get himself all worked up, he can also snap out of it and go on to have a good day.

I think I am going to have to watch this at least once a day. It gives me a giggle every time I watch it …. and it’s a GREAT – “GOOD DAY” song!

They can’t all be good days….

                                                    … but we can at least aim high.

Today? A good day?

               …Yeah, why not???

Up to My Ears in Hot Dogs

Happy 4Th Everyone!


This year’s 4th marked Ron’s 21st Annual  4th of July BBQ (making it my 11th). At the age of 16, he started the tradition in his parents back yard, when he convinced them to let him stay home while the rest of his family went off on a camping trip. His friends and family (and eventually mine as well) have been getting together for fun, food and drinks ever since. It is amazing to see how much things have changed over the years.

What started out as a bunch of teens without adults around having a party, gave way to college kids letting off steam; to a bunch of young adults enjoying time with their significant others, spouses, friends and family, while reminiscing over the old days; to new families withlittleones running around, many of whom only see each other once or twice a year.  I wonder if we will still be doing this into the next stages… maybe it will be our kids throwing the BBQ or even better yet we’ll all be a bunch of old geezers enjoying a summer day with our kids and our kid’s kids.

Our group of friends are so diverse, many have so much in common and some have nothing in common, but our Annual 4th of July BBQ always brings us all together and guarantees a good time for every one.

This year’s BBQ was no different …

It started as usual with an invitation via evite, email, word of mouth and new this year…facebook, inviting everyone we know to come, bringing a bag of ice, food and liquid refreshments to share, and a friend or two. In the past 4 years the invite welcomed those with little ones to bring bathing suits and towels and promised some sprinkler action that has over the years graduated to inflatable pools and water slides. We also suggest that every one get into the spirit of things by wearing red, white, and blue.

Everyone brought a little something, there were hot dogs and burgers, buns, chicken, beer, Smirnoff Ice, more dogs and buns, Icees, cake, more dogs and buns, honey dew, chips, dips, more beer, more burgers, even more dogs and buns, pies (3 to be exact- Cherry, Coconut, and Blueberry -red white and blue, I was very pleased that someone took my theme to this level!!! 🙂 ), my very first trifle ever, dark chocolate fondue, alcohol, more dogs and buns, chicken, sausage, watermelon, pasta salad, potato salad, fruit salad – yummy, yummy, cookies,  and again more dogs and buns. This recession has made it’s mark on my BBQ!! Where were the usual steaks, and swordfish, filet mignon, and pork chops??? No biggie it wasn’t about the food anyway, it was about the company. I’m just up to my ears in hot dogs that’s all!!! (Ha I started to write weenies and thought better of it 😉 ) Seriously though I could feed my whole neighborhood with all the hot dogs I have left in my fridge!

Every year I try to make something new to the menu. This year it was a 

Quick Lemon-Berry Trifle 

(video from Kraftfoods) 

What You Need!

2-1/2 cups cold milk
2 pkg.  (3.4 oz. each) JELL-O Lemon Flavor Instant Pudding, or any other flavor
2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, divided
4 cups  mixed fresh berries (blueberries, raspberries and sliced strawberries), divided
42 NILLA Wafers

Make It!

BEAT milk and pudding mixes with whisk 2 min. Stir in 1-1/2 cups COOL WHIP. Reserve 1/4 cup berries for garnish; set aside.

ARRANGE 21 wafers on bottom and up side of 2-1/2-qt. bowl; top with layers of 1/3 pudding mixture and 1/2 each berries and remaining pudding mixture. Top with remaining wafers, berries, pudding mixture and COOL WHIP. Garnish with reserved berries.


My first ever trifle dessert - yum!!


I did however increase the amount of Cool Whip to give it a lighter taste and I boiled up some sugar water and added it to the berries once it cooled before layering them in. It was so yummy! I was so proud of myself. Toot toot!

I did also create a new recipe after making a spontaneous purchase of a jar of Boar’s Head Deli Dressing at the store the day before. I tried one of those hard to pass up sample stations in front of the deli counter and just had to buy it. I just wasn’t sure what I was going to make withit but bought it none the less. So I made it up as I went along. In the end I tossed it together with elbow macaroni, diced onions, sliced grape tomatoes, avocados, bacon, salt, and pepper. It was excellent! No picture though, it wasn’t as pretty. The only complaint was from my sister, because I hadn’t made enough of the vegetarian version for her (omit bacon). Next time I may add mozzarella cubes too.

Enough toot, tooting my horn about my (non cook) cooking. Although since the microwave is about the extent of my cooking abilities i am quite impressed with myself.

The day was filled with walks down memory lane; deep conversations about life, love and the pursuit of happiness;  jokes and pranks; introductions to the newest family members; a bunch of wee ones aged 2 months to 8 years old frolicking in the garden, playing with Lagos and bubbles, racing between the water-slide and the pool, not to mention the intentioned new added feature of “the kiddie spa”; swordplay between the little kids and the “big kids”; news of a new baby on the way for the newlyweds; reacquainting with old friends who moved too far away; missing friends/family who are still too far away but are expected back soon; lots and lots of laughs; and just a plain old great time.

Here are some photos:

Leon modeling the slide. This was not taken at the BBQ, but it is the best shot of it I have. Kiera is modeling the trampolene  (we thought it best NOT to use it at the BBQ)… IMGP4633

Kiera, modeling her ladybug bikini…IMGP4635

Yay! Bubbles!! IMGP4637

Enjoying the sunshine and the pristine, crystal clear water… IMGP4731

Looks refreshing doesn’t it… IMGP4730



           ….. 🙂


               ….  😀


                    ….  😕


                          ….  😯


                                   ….  😳

How about now???…….

IMGP4801  IMGP4802


Whaaat? This is the unintentional “kiddie spa”. C’mon people pay big money for a good mud bath!

Wondering how this happened? Well with all the non stop rain that hit over the past month, it seems that our lawn had, had enough water. Add the overflow of the water slide to a bunch of kids trampling through the patch of mud it created on the way to the pool and you get our first and last kiddie mud bath.













It was only slightly appalling, I did my due diligence by offering to close up the pool and keep the area off limits. But all the parents were fine with it. As far as everyone was concerned, as long as the kids were having fun and not killing each other they had no problem with a little bit of mud.

Leon actually chose not to partake in the mud bath, he said it was TOO TOO gross. I suspect it had more to do with the fact that the poor kid had a really really bad ear infection than the gross factor. He was soooo amazingly well behaved for the majority of the day, it was only in the evening that he started to break down a little. Not bad, not bad at all. We had some major heart to heart before the BBQ about wanting to have a really really good day. He worked hard at it and to be honest I do feel that being under the weather helped to deter some negative behaviors that might have cropped up. I AM SO PROUD OF HIM NONE THE LESS!!!


I had a great time, and I really hope everyone else had as good a time as I did.

  ….although maybe not as much as a good time as I did,

                                               …I am nursing a two day hangover right now.


Here are some more pictures…

[rockyou id=140169527&w=500&h=375]

On turning 40…..

This has been A GOOD month, a fun month. So much has gone on, I have so much to tell,




Funny huh? I can't take full credit though, I got the idea from a T-shirt, although that IS my real hand - LOL



 Besides turning 40, my niece turned 1. We had a wonderful Ladybug party for the little Love Bug here at my house.

I got my new computer! WoooHooo! Now I can make this site into more of a photoblog.

I got even more addicted to Facebook and passing “Notes”

I traded in the opportunity to get a new camera for my Big 4-0  for a weekend trip to Disney World on my birthday with my husband and son (sooo worth it – but still working on the camera).

Leon came back from our trip with the flu (we think) and had to miss 3 days of school (Ugh!!! I’ll be in the principle’s office soon enough.)

The monthended with me throwing myself a Narcissist’s 40th Birthday Party which was great fun! (Hey, I deserve to be Queen for a Day – or in this case a week or two or three) And the celebrations just keeps continuing.


I promise, I will go into our fantabulous trip to Disney in detail (and include our tale of woe which covers Leon getting sick) very soon!!! But right now I want to talk about my birthday. It is all about me after all!!!!

I have to say that this has been my bestest birthday ever!!! It even beat out my 25th Birthday which was up until now my bestest birthday ever. Ironically I celebrated that one for about two or three weeks too. My actual DOB falls on 2/21  but I would say I started celebrating it this year on 2/18 when my dear dear husband told me that I could go ahead and book Disney for the weekend if I wanted to use my birthday money towards that rather than towards a new camera. It was a hard decision given that I really, really NEED a new camera and I really, really wanted to go to Disney for my birthday, in the end I realized that I could have my cake and take a picture of it too, but I would just have to wait a bit longer for it to develop 😀 . Plus I am an immediate gratification type of girl (there’s that dang ADHD again). So we went to Disney from 2/20 to 2/22

Without going into too much detail about our trip now, I’ll just say it was nice to plan a trip to Disney that revolved completely around me, me, me! Of course I did consider Ron and Leon in my plans… but still even in doing that it was still about me, after all whatever makes my little one’s heart fill withjoy also fills my heart with joy. The planning fell into place and despite a few bumps while we were in Disney, I could not help but smile and think this is the bestest birthday ever the whole time we were there! And both Leon and Ron did everything in their power to make all three days ALL ABOUT ME (even when my poor little guy got so sick). I believed the hype so much that I even bought myself a little tiara in Disney to wear to my Pajama Party that I had invited the girlfriends who mean the most to me to. I even got caught up in the hype about the pajama party – I think it was at that point, when I bought the tiara that it became a Narcissist’s Birthday Party. Granted I was the one who hyped it in the first place but my friends certainly did help build the hype. As I stated in my previous post, my birthday wish not only included going to Disney World on my birthday but also to spend it with a small gathering of close friends, eating, drinking, and laughing the night away without spending a ton of cash.

My initial intentions of having a just a small get t0gether of 4 or 5 friends grew to about 11 or 12  friends. I realized that I wanted a fun ladies night in with the people who I feel a close or growing friendship with. Woman who have touched my life in a positive way at one point or another. I don’t neccesarily consider myself to have a lot of friends.  It can take a while for me to consider someone truly my friend. What can I say I don’t fall into friendship lightly – plus I kinda think that sometimes I just don’t generally like people 😉 – so for me to consider someone a friend they must be truly a genuine person. So while I may not have many friends, the friends I do have, fill my life with love and laughter and a genuine feeling of friendship and family. I could not think of any better way to celebrate ME and my 40th than with people who help make me who I am.

My close girlfriends are made up from different parts of my life and have all influenced me and become a part of me. I have known my closest and best friend for well over 25 years, we are so close that not only is she my best friend but we have become sisters by choice, she is my family. The only friend that I have known longer and felt just as close to as we’ve grown up together, is my actual sister by birth, whom I feel so close to, that she is not only my sister but also my best friend.  Another long time friendship is with someone I met when I started working for the airlines 20 years ago. We’ve worked together, traveled together, SCUBA dived together, and shared lots of laughs. We get together once a week to play games or watch movies. Then there are “my mommy friends”, a great group of  5 gal pals that came together from different but nearby towns and grew in friendship,  first by way of a mom’s yahoo group and then through the local Mother’s Center, because we all had the same thing in common, we were all first time moms looking to share our experienceswith other women who were going through the same things we ourselves were. We’ve all grown togetheras moms and as women over the last 3 to 4 years. And more recently I’ve been bonding with two women who started out as my neighbors and I am pleased to say have become good friends. I look forward to our friendship continuing to grow as we bond at the school bus stop over stories about one of our nutty neighbors, the PTA, how much the principle rubs us the wrong way, and on occasion a margarita or sangria (not at the bus stop of course). We are The Real Housewives of Blankity-blank Avenue & Blank-blank Dr :P.   …seriously you didn’t think I would give out my real street names. We watch out for each other’s kids and have get togethers for them and for us. And last but not least is someone whose company I have always enjoyed when our husband’s got togetherand we tagged along. I’ve always felt from the start that she is a genuine person and would make for a wonderful friend. Most recently she has come to my rescue more than once when the gremlins would attack. And for that, along with her friendship I am truly grateful. These are the woman who I invited to my Pajama Party on 2/28

My request of each of them was,  NO GIFTS!!!! Just indulge me in the whole Potluck – Pajama – Game Night– Party thing, by bringing a yummy appetizer, wearing pajamas, and be willing to play games. I was sad to see that not everyone could come in the end. The fact that my PMS hit that same day didn’t help when I started counting up all the cancellations. Let’s just say I was a little irrational and there were some hormonal tears and some mutterings about “nobody loves me, no one wants to come to my party” 😥 . But then people started showing up and I got over it. Besides those who could not make it all had very good reasons. I missed them and they missed a good party but I am sure we will make up for it.

We had a BLAST!!! The food was great. We had bacon wrapped scallops, stuffed mushrooms, brie & raspberry wrapped in filo, hummus, bruchetta, potato skins, shrimp and asparagus salad, taco dip, spinach dip and chips, brownies, and let’s not forget the CHOCOLATE FONDUE. Do you know how good Peeps are in fondue????? And then of course there was the Verdi (which I will have to admit I started early) and the Sangria!!!!(which became my drink of choice), regretfully I never did get to have a White Russian. Everyone came in their jamies and I of course wore my tiara with my favorite candy stripe PJ’s.

Me in my candy striped PJ's with Leon

Me in my candy striped PJ's with Leon

We played a game that I had put together called “You’re how old?”. Basically I printed out about 30 pictures of famous celebrities and everyone had to try to figure out if the person was older or younger than me. We also played “The Game of Things”, my new favorite game (although, apparently not everyone elses 🙄 ). I had another game that we were going to play called “How well do you know the Birthday Girl” It was a question and answer game about ME,of course, you know, to fit the Narcissist theme. But I guess I got a bit self-conscious when The Game of Things kinda went south. Don’t get me wrong it was alot of fun and the game did draw a lot of laughs (and snorts – there was lots of snorting!!) but I got the sense that not everyone was into it. I definitely had an awesome time and it definitely added to the fact that this has been my bestest birthday ever.  You know you had a good time when you go to bed giggling out loud to yourself. I am pretty sure everyone else had a pretty good time too. Apparently one of my friends spent the next morning giggling out loud to herself while blow drying her hair. Now that’s a sign of a good time 😆 

I did get gifts after all, although I really, really, did not want anyone to get me anything. The whole point was to have an inexpensive night out. Plus the best gift of all, that any of them could give me is totally free and I already have it from them. That gift is thier friendship! Although I am very thankful for the scanner that a few of the ladies chipped in for, the very nice tart warmer, the wine called “Mommy’s Time Out” (how cute is that!), the gorgeous orchid plant, and the invite for a night out. But I am most thankful for thier friendship.

I celebrated my birthday on the next night too, with my mother and sister. We went to a wonderful Hibachi restaurant called Wasabi. It was fantastic! Luckily the fact that I was starting to get sick did not get in the way of me enjoying the food or the company. Ron and Leon came too, of course and it was fun to watch Leon watching the chef do his thing. We had a really good time. Our family has had it’s ups and downs over the years but in my “old age” I have come to really appreciate them. My mom has been through so much in her life time and has sacrificed so much for my sister and I, I am very lucky to have her – despite our differences. And my sister, well I think we are coming full circle. We’ve always been there for one another and always will be. 

Next Sunday will be the last of my 40th birthday celebrations. We will be going to Ron’s parents house for a fun day of games and a birthday dinner. I look forward to going, we always have fun when his family gets together. I am very blessed to be a part of their family.

In the weeks leading up to my birthday I’ve done a lot of thinking about turning 40. I think everyone does when there is a milestone to celebrate (or for some people, mourn) . There seems to be this fear of turning forty that a lot of people have. I didn’t have that. I thought a lot about my life and where I am, and I am happy just being me. Granted I am not exactly where I thought I wanted to be but I am in a good place. I don’t own my house but I do have a great home, I don’t have 2 or 3 kids but I do have one very amazing son, I don’t have a high paying job that affords us a life of luxury but I do work from home making just enough to help keep up with the bills and still afford a few small extras. I like myself and I like where I am. I couldn’t always say that. I can honestly say that I am much happier now than I was 20 years ago. I have a home and a wonderful family and terrific friends! It’s good to be FORTY! It’s good to be me!

For me, turning forty has been a celebration of me!

1st comes January, then comes February

January’s Memorable Moments   

Leon really enjoyed making a car with his grandpa for his 1st ever Boy Scout Pinewood Derby, he came in second place in all but one race in which he came in first.  He already has ideas for next years derby car.   



 Leon got his Yellow Belt in Karate this month. He has been doing very well in karate. And despite fighting me on going 3 times a week he enjoys it once he is there.  

I am pretty proud of the fact that I have not faltered on my New Year’s Resolution to go to church again. We did miss one Sunday but that was because Leon had 103 fever. I am also pretty happy that Leon likes his new Sunday School class. I just gotta stop referring to it as Sunday ‘SCHOOL’. He is having a hard time wrapping his head around the fact that he has to go to school on the weekend. HA!   

Also memorable, but not necessarily a good thing, in fact it’s a bad thing, is we are starting to feel the sting of our new medical insurance. We have an unbelivable high deductible of $2300. Between my fibromyalgia and  Leon’s ADHD we have already had to come up with an extra $440 for medication and a doctor’s visit this month alone. At minimum we will have to have at least $250 a month for medication alone on hand. YIKES!!!!!    

In store for February is:   

  • My gorgeous niece turns 1 on the 5th
  • I have the fun privilege of hosting her First Birthday in my home on the 15th
  • I turn 40 on the 21st
  • I hope to have my new computer up and running by the end of the month
  • and I am wishing for a new camera …. maybe for my birthday? we’ll see

Can’t wait…   



No time for moms

I’ve been looking for some “me time”. But I am a mom, I don’t think mom’s actually get any me time, do they?

By me time, I mean time to myself, for myself, by myself. No interuptions, no “Moooooom, where’s my DS?”, “Moooooom, can I have a drink?”, “Moooooom, I am hungry”, “Moooooom, I am still hungry”, “Mooooooooooooooooooooooom…………..”.

No feeding this chid, No putting that child down for a nap, no changing this one’s diaper, no starting a project only to have to put it away unfinished to change the other one’s diaper and then having to start it over again, no sitting at the kitchen table over-seeing the homework so it get’s done in 20 minutes instead of an hour,  no nothing except me, myself, and I.

In my “Me Time” I would:

  • write on my blog more often.
  • organize what remaining pictures I have
  • start making digital scrapbooks
  • shop around for a new camera
  • plan another trip to Disney
  • make photo slideshows
  • get more organized
  • take a photography class

Well, who knows at this rate I should be able to pencil myself in for sometime in 2010…

My first ever “Newsletter”

Today, I sent out a year end “newsletter”. My first ever. I’ve always liked the idea of newsletters. It’s a really nice way to keep up with what’s been going on in our lives. It’s unfortunate that life has a way of getting in the way of life. And as a result the tendency to lose touch with friends and family is inevitable, at least for a little while. So the newsletter just like this blog is my way of reaching out and touching someone. I wonder who will touch back?

Here’s a copy (with just a few omitions for privacy):


It’s still January so I still have time to wish everyone a Happy New Year!I did not get any Christmas Cards out, but I did manage to get a few New Year’s cards out. For anyone who did not receive one I apologize but either I did not have your address to begin with or I no longer have your address. 2008 was a pretty good year for us, although there were a few pitfalls as usual. This year we won a small (but very helpful) settlement from my car accident back in 2005. We were able to use it towards our debts and still manage to keep some aside to go on a well deserved trip to Disney World for Leon’s 6th Birthday, with the help of the money I am now making in my new position as full time childcare provider for my brand new baby niece. Yup I became an aunt this year, i can’t believe she will be a whole year old next month. I also sit for another cutie patootie about 20 hours a week. I don’t make as much as I’d like, but it helps pay the bills ( and got us to Disney!). We celebrated Ron’s 20th Annual 4th of July BBQ with friends and it was a blast, despite the rain. We are looking forward to this year’s BBQ and hoping for sunny skies. Leon started 1st grade, joined Cub Scouts and started taking Karate. He was having some problems in school in both Kindergarten and 1st grade as well as at home, but fortunately he is doing sooooo much better now after being diagnosed with ADHD and getting the proper treatment. Through testing we got conformation of what we already knew, but I have to boast anyway. He is in the very superior range with an overall IQ of 138 and he reads at a third grade level. Watch out Bill Gates my kid is a ROCK STAR! I was lucky enough to travel back to Germany for the first time in about 5 years, and realized how much I had missed going. I joined a Disney discussion board and made some new friends, I joined Facebook and reconnected with some old friends. Last month I started a photo blog which I intend to keep up regularly. Well, due to technical difficulties it is just a blog right now but as soon as I can start uploading pictures again it will be a photo blog with at least one photo per post. Hopefully you will check it out from time to time and leave me a comment or two.

It was definitely the year of technical difficulties. I almost turned Amish when everything electrical I touched turned to #@$%. My van died a few times this year (electrical problems), my camera was destroyed, and my computer died and was resurrected several times this year (thanks to Laurel) until it’s final dimise on Christmas Eve. Currently I am using a loaner until I can purchase a new one which should be very soon (again with many many many thanks to Laurel who is DA BOMB!). As a result of all my computer woes the worst of the worst of 2008 for me was losing all my files and photos!!! That included most of my addresses and phone numbers for everyone, some files I relyed on for info and about 90% of my digital photos from the last 5 years. YES, I KNOW, I KNOW, I AM AM ASS! I should have backed up my files! We have tried to retrieve them but no luck. It completely and totally breaks my heart!!! So much of Leon’s life was documented through those photos. Plus pics of Ron and I are gone, as well as pics of friends and family. The year ended with our magical vacation in Disney which I plan to fully document on my blog in a trip report, complete with pictures, information links, and one on one interviews with Leon and maybe Ron if he will co-operate, as soon as I get a new computer; a wonderful Christmas with close family at home, and a proposal. My sister said “yes”!

For 2009, I see myself getting a new tricked out computer (fingers crossed), a decent new camera (maybe for my birthday?), and going on at least one trip back to Disney for sure. At least that is my hope. I will have to bide my time and save up however because we also expect to have quite a bit of medical expenses coming our way over the next few months. And I predict that we will NEED to buy one if not two used cars. Both mine and Ron’s cars are on their last legs, err, I mean tires. But I am confident that we should be alright as long as we are careful with our spending. We have finally gotten to where we can actually pay our bills and I plan to keep it that way. I’ve been toying with an idea of maybe makeing some extra cash as a face painter for children’s parties – but for right now it is just a thought in my head. Once I get my new computer up and running I plan to keep my blog interesting with lots of pictures and of course my Walt Disney World Trip Report. I’d like to get into scrapbooking (calm down Heather), I mean digital scrapbooking, and begin making slide shows and home movies. (this is where the tricked out computer comes in). I am turning 40 next month, so I need to find a way of preserving my memories before I lose any more pictures or the rest of my mind!

I have a request, if you have any photos of Leon, Ron, myself, my mom, my dad, my sister, my cat, my mouse when I was 10, my teddybear, my grandma, my grandpa, my in-laws, my cousins, my friends, my whole entire family, my life …you get the picture, could you please send it to me?? Please contribute anything you think I would enjoy. Thanks!!!!

Here’s hoping the end of your 2008 was better than the begining and that this year will be even better than your last.

Send me an email or stop by my blog (yes, I am shamelessly promoting my blog all over this email), let me know how you are doing. And please include your info as well. Like I said, my computer wiped out my address book, so I need addresses, phone numbers, emails, birthdays, websites, blogs, etc…



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