Monday, December 27, 2010

Blogger of the Year!!

In my book for sure!
Have you been to visit Mamarazzi at Dandelion Wishes??


She rocks! And she has such an awesome prize giveaway because of all the warm fuzziness she has been feeling from all the warm fuzzy comments she was getting when she was working her way to be Blogger of the Year. She didn't make the top five....boohoo!! But, in my book...and many others...she is our BLOGGER OF THE YEAR!!!

Head on over to see her at Dandelion Wishes. Leave her a comment and keep on stopping by! She loves those comments!
Don't forget to check out the websites where she is getting those awesome prizes....FUN FUN FUN stuff!!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Last week I was reading an Oprah magazine and was reminded of the "Gratitude Journals" that she did a show on a while back. I asked Clarie if she would like to start a "Thankful Journal" to put down things that we are thankful for. She was all for it. We went to Target and each bought a new journal to keep our thankfuls in.

Since that night, she has been so excited to write in hers after her bath and before we read books. She never has to stop and think about what to write down...the thankfuls come so easily for her.
Even the other night, when she was pretty upset at bedtime, she was able to quickly come up with her thankfuls.

I love that we end our days with being thankful for the important...and not so important things in our life.

I was going to post just a few of her "thankfuls" but I couldn't decide what to leave out, so I put it all...I typed them just as she wrote then in her journal. I love her wording and her heart! Enjoy!!

Nov. 2
I am thankful for...
-a loving teacher
-a loving mama
-and a loving daddy

Nov. 3
I am thankful for...
1-the dogs
2-my cusins
3-good friends
4-Megan!!! (
this is her play therapist)
5-a house
6-a big backyard
7-an aunt and uncle

Nov. 4
I am thankful for...
1-being able to have self control!!!
2-a patient mama
3-a patient daddy
4-tow good dogs
5-my room
6-my bed

Nov. 5
I am thankful for...
1-a nice mama
2-visiting my grandparints in Datine!
3-my grandma and grandpa
4-having good days in school
5-playing with my dogs
6-and having fun!!

Nov. 6
I am thankful for...
1-good books
3-riding a pony
6-a patient teacher
-my music
-my PJ's!
I'm so lucky to have a mom

What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Story Written By Claire Petry...

Franklin and the Rabbit
By: Claire Petry

I was in the backyard when I saw a rabbit hopping across the yard. Franklin chased it, but he stopped. He looked as if he were best friends. But I was not sure, so I went to get a closer look, and the rabbit let me pick it up. But then Franklin chased ME instead of the rabbit! It was really really weird because I had never seen one dog be friends with a rabbit. I could tell they were friends because they looked alike. And I had seen this rabbit before. It was the same one that Daddy had poked out from behind the fence. I knew it was the same one because it was the same size. Franklin did not know what to do, so he went and got Daddy. I showed him the rabbit, and Daddy said, "I know that rabbit." Then I got Mama and she said, "I know that rabbit, too!" It was so weird that both of my parents knew that rabbit.
The End

PS I wrote this story because part of it was really true.

Friday, October 1, 2010


WOW! Has it really been the beginning of August since I last blogged. Actually, that is not entirely true. My teaching partners and I have a team blog that I have contributed to, but even that in the last week or so has been neglected by me.
Sooooo...I often head over to Mamarazzi to see what is shaking. She has done a couple of Q and A's I figured stealing a bloggy idea might be better than neglecting for as long as I have :-). I go
1. Do you collect anything? What is it?
Not anymore...when I was younger I collected Mickey Mouse stuff. Now I just don't need the extra clutter.

2. What room in the house would you most like to remodel. Would your answer change if someone else was paying for it?
The kitchen...I would knock out the wall that separates the kitchen and living room. When I try to entertain, it is always so closed off and small! Second choice....knock down the wall downstairs so we have one big room instead of a family room and computer room.

3. What is your LEAST favorite chore? Do you hate it enough to get a maid to do it, or are you too anal for that?
I hate cleaning in general. We had to get rid of our cleaning guy that came once a month and I SOOOOOOOOO miss him! I HATE HATE HATE cleaning the bathrooms and doing yardwork!!!

4. Have you ever had a broken bone? What, and how?
I broke one of my finger/hand bones in a car accident. There is a calcification in the spot where I broke it that I can still feel.

5. Music. Do you have a go to album that you play to get you motivated, or do you just blare the radio, and pray that something peppy comes on?
I usually put the iPod in and pick and choose. If I put shuffle on I have to hear Black Sabbath and Iggy Pop...not what I am usually in the mood for, although they do have a time and place.

6. How do you keep track of your schedule? Old fashioned calendar? Set alerts on your phone? Fly by the seat of your pants, and pray you don't forget a parent/teacher conference?
I such at keeping a calendar or anything of the sort. I just hope someone reminds me to be where I need to be when I need to be there!

7. Cooking, baking or neither?
I like to bake, but nothing ever seems to turn out.I think my oven is possessed!

8. Are you brand name specific, or are generics just as good? What is one product you would NEVER replace with a generic brand?
Normally I am a brand name girl with food. Some things I don't mind generic...cereal is one of them. But my cheese and peanut butter (JIF ONLY PLEASE!) are usually the brand name.

Round Two will come later in the week!!!!
Have fun reading!
Comment your answers to the same questions for me!!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Ohio Caverns

Our summer get together group headed to West Liberty, Ohio last week to check out the Ohio Caverns.

Other than Claire getting car sick on the way...thank God for Wet Wipes and friends with extra clothes...the trip was fantastic!

We had a pretty good sized group.

The kids did great walking through the caverns. We took the shorter tour, but we saw some amazing formations. I could never remember if stalactites came down from the top or stalagmites did...someone helped me remember...tites are on top! Thanks Sarah!

The tour is not for the claustrophobic person (sorry Sinda!). There are some tight spots. So tight, that yes, my daughter said, "Mom, I don't think you are going to fit through there." Don't worry...I made it through...and no one had to butter up my sides to get me through!

One of the really neat things we saw was the crystal king. This stalactite is over 200,000 years old! That amazed me!

Here is a picture of what they call Old Time Pump. Claire liked it because it also looks like a horse doing a hand stand.

These helactite formations they call straws because they look just like straws...long and thin.

They kids also liked the mining area. Some of them bought a bag of mining "rough" that contained gems or fossils. It was really fun using the mining sluice to find their treasures.

We were 103 feet under ground. My morbid brain immediately went to "what if the ground collaspes on top of us mode, but once I started through and began to see how beautiful everything was, it went away. And, hey...we all made it out safely...despite the incredibly STEEP stairs on the way up...FEEL THE BURN!

Interested in reading more about the Ohio Caverns, check out this informative page!

While we had a blast, it is sad that this might be our last group outing for the summer. School starts in a couple of weeks and most of us are back in the school getting things ready.

It really has been a fun summer!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Yesterday a friend told me about her poor loving pooch who was diagnosed with lymphoma. While they said goodbye to their beloved pet, her husband took her to the vet, but just couldn't bring himself to put her down yet. So he came home with medicine in the hopes of helping her and so he could be more ready to let go.

I SO understand this! All of my life I have loved dogs.

We had an amazing dog growing up. His name was Duffy, and he was a gorgeous Yorkie. He was not a puppy when we got him, but still pretty young. We had him for over ten years. Then he got pretty sick. I came home from college to see him when he was so bad off that we knew the end was very near. He wasn't the same boy. I went with my parents to see the vet that day. By this time he was blind, shaking...miserable. They gave him some valium to make him more comfortable for the night and sent him home to rest. The next day my parents brought him to the vet that had cared for him during his life with us. When it came time to put him to sleep, not only were my mom and dad crying, the vet was also in tears. It really gave me comfort to know that a vet who takes care of hundreds of other people's pets would feel that loss for my family. He is still missed.

When my husband and I were looking for a dog, I felt such a strong urge to have another Yorkie. We found our first boy, Fletcher.

He has been such a great dog for the past seven years! He is loving. Everyone who meets him falls in love with him. All he needs is someone to rub him behind the ears, and he is in heaven. He is so smart. We are really lucky to have him!

Then, three years ago, we stopped in a pet store to play with a puppy. We have done this a dozen or so times. There have never been any issues. But then Brian held this little guy. He could not put him back in that cage and walk away. So...we walked away with a five month old Yorkie that Claire named Franklin.

He is a SCAMP! Talk about two completely different dogs! Fletcher will snuggle up to anyone new. Franklin has ADHD. He is an escape artist. We still have him in a crate because his little four pound self scales the gate when we try to keep him in the kitchen. Left to his own devices, he will pull down trash cans that are 5 times his size, jump on the kitchen table and get into ANYTHING he can. But...we love him nonetheless.

Dogs become part of our families. When one goes missing or passes away, we feel it. Hug a pooch today!!!

This blog is in honor of all of the dogs who have brought love into your life!

Friday, July 23, 2010


Not too long ago, a friend on Facebook posted a comment about people. She said she pretty much had no faith in people today.

"I'm reminded yet again why we must always put our trust and hope in HIM and never people. People will let you down....every single time. Disappointing....but a good reminder."

When I read this, I assumed it was a friend who disappointed her. I could be wrong, but really, when someone is a friend and they disappoint you, it hurts much more than just some Joe Schmoe off the street wronging you.

It really made me sad to read that. While I agree that (for me and others) putting trust and hope in God is important, I could not ever discount the importance of putting the same trust and hope in people.

I have had my share of disappointments in people, and the ones that hurt the most are from friends. But, I would not trade the friends I have for anything. Life is life. Things can't be perfect. I am sure I have disappointed people in my life as well. But to decide to not put your hope and faith into others can leave quite a void.

Unfortunately, disappointments are a fact of life. How you handle disappointment can say a lot about your character. I try to teach my daughter that when you are confronted with disappointment, see how you can find the silver lining.

Don't lose faith in people. They may not always be there the way you want them to be, but if the friendship is worth it, then the disappointment can be worked through.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Blooms and Butterflies...and more

This past Monday our group got together for another outing with the kiddos. We went to the Franklin Park Conservatory to catch the Blooms and Butterflies exhibit that is leaving at the beginning of July.

We started our day with a visit through some plants. The rooms were HOT HOT HOT but there were some interesting things to look at. I wish I had taken more pictures of the bonsai trees we saw. They were small, but over 50 years old. Pretty cool stuff.

Then we headed over to a Glass Blowing Demonstration. Now that was pretty cool...well, it was actually pretty hot, but really COOL to watch! It amazes me what they can do to make such beautiful objects. A bit of history copied from Wikipedia...judge the accuracy yourself, says that:

Glassblowing is a glass forming technique which was invented by the Phoenicians at approximately 50 BC somewhere along the Syro-Palestinian coast.

The kids were pretty engaged in the process for the most part, and I hope they did learn something.

Then we had some lunch inside the conservatory....too hot to eat wait for the Blooms and Butterflies exhibit to open.

Once we got to the exhibit, the kids LIT UP! They were so excited and SO determined to hold a butterfly. I was able to get a picture of each kid holding a butterfly. Precious!

And, we got a picture of two butterflies getting frisky (wink wink nudge nudge).

I wish I had taken more pictures. Here is one of the beautiful Chihuly glass displayed throughout the conservatory.

If you have a chance to head that way...get there!! Peaceful and Beautiful!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I am not a HUGE blog follower, but there are a couple that I check religiously. One of those is Mamarazzi at Dandelion Wishes. Right now she is doing an AWESOME Game Giveaway for anyone. To enter just follow the directions on her blog!
You will soon find that you, too, are addicted!!!
Enjoy all!!!

Dandelion Wishes

Friday, June 18, 2010

Fantastic Fun Fabulous Friday!

While it is easy to say, "Let's get together again soon," actually getting that to happen as often as you would like is not as easy. Add in jobs and kids, and you have an even more difficult task.
Last year a couple of college friends and I reconnected on Facebook. I would go into the joys of Facebook, but that is a whole other topic in and of itself. But I will say that what I have ~L*O*V*E*D~ about it is that I have gotten to talk with friends and family members that I had completely, or almost completely, lost touch with.
OK...back on track...
After reconnecting we decided to get together in the summer so we could chat and our kiddos could play. We got our cameras out at the end of the day and took a picture of the kids.

We had some lunch, where I was able to share my strawberry salsa, strawberry bread, and strawberry jam that I made earlier in the week. After lunch, the kids played and we talked.

What I love about these friends is that even though I don't talk with them often (occasionally on FB), a year can go by and we just pick up where we left off. It doesn't even seem like a year has gone by. Aren't friends like that just the best ever?

I made sure I got my camera out earlier so I could get some good pics for my blog. Enjoy a photo gallery of the kids' fun day!!

Thanks for coming girls and bringing your sweet kids! It was a complete blast! We CAN'T wait another year!! Next month sounds good to me!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Three Chicks in a Kitchen

Sounds like the name of a new blog, huh?

Actually it was two friends and me for most of the day today!

We had a blast figuring out things we could do with the millions of strawberries that we got when we went strawberry picking yesterday!
A small group of us when to a strawberry farm in the muddy mess to pick some berries with the kids as one of our first group outings since school has been out. Even though things were a squishy gross mess, the strawberries looked great!

A friend's first time ever strawberry picking!

Today we met at my friend’s house. On the schedule (loosely used word here) was strawberry jam..a first for all of us

and...strawberry salsa....YUMMY!!!

and...strawberry bread~Which ended up including some teeny tiny bit sized muffins (so cute)!

There was a whole lotta chopping and measuring and stirring going on in there. Everything turned out AWESOME
*well...we still have to try the's still not ready, but it looks and smells great!!!!

Thanks to my girls, Tuttle and Ilenin, for the super fun day!

Recipes soon to follow!!!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Summer Plans

Have I happened to mention how much I L*O*V*E summer?? Everyone should be able to experience three months off of work~it is the perfect time to spend with my girl!!! She loves it too, so I am going to soak up this her and me time for as long as she will have me!
We have lots planned for our summer so far.

First of all...

*~*We got a family membership to the YMCA! Woohooo!!! Even though I have major issues with wearing a bathing suit in front of others, especially people I know, I realized that I have to suck it up and deal with it! It isn't fair to my girl to not be able to experience true summer fun in the sun at the pool because her mama has body issues in a bathing suit. Claire Bear...this one is for you!!!

*~*We are heading to Florida in a couple of weeks to spend some LONG OVERDUE time with my cousin! We haven't seen each other in YEARS, but I am SO looking forward to reconnecting with family!!! Once again, I will have to brave it in front of others in a bathing suit...let's just call this my Summer To Let Go.

*~*I get to watch my niece and nephew this summer again, but unfortunately not as much as in the past...they just don't need their Auntie Jen as much since Syd is going into 7th (YES I SAID SEVENTH) grade in the fall and Ethan is into double digits now! Gotta soak up my time with them as well. Love you guys!

*~*I have oodles planned for some outings with friend and their kids this summer too. Here is a quick list of things we hope to be able to do this summer:

Strawberry Picking and Jam Making (that is coming up Tuesday)

Blooms and Butterflies at the Franklin Park Conservatory

Wyandot Popcorn Museum

American Whistle Corporation Tour

Olentangy Indian Caverns

Picnic at Inniswood Metro Gardens

Anthony Thomas Candy Factory Tour

Cincinnati and/or Columbus Zoo
Young's Jersey Dairy

EnterTRAINment Junction

Boonshoft Museum of Discovery

Olde Ye Mill (Velvet Ice Cream)

The Wilds

Columbus Museum of Art

Canoeing and Hiking in Hocking Hills

I hope to cross many things off our list this summer!!!!

Now it is your turn....what kind of summer plans do you have???

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Who is that?

So......over the years I have put on a little weight (insert hilarious laugh track here). But lately, when I look in the mirror, I really DO NOT recognize who is looking back at me.
When I got my hair cut the other day, I was sitting in the chair and touched my face. Is that really what I look like? You know that old game: Hi, I'm Chubby. My mama's name is Chubby. My daddy's name is Chubby, and even my dog's name is Chubby." I look like the chubby Mama.
I remember before I crept up to 200 pounds (Did I actually just put that?), I thought that I would NEVER get over 200 pounds. Well, I am there and then some...and then some more.

A change is more than overdue! I am not being fair to my family, especially my daughter, in more ways than I can count. So that means...
no Easter basket for me this year...

Is today the first day of the rest of my life...???
I pray to God that it is.