Sunday, November 30, 2008

~ ~ ~ No More Ballgames ~ ~ ~

Well, yesterday Zoe, Brandy (also known as "Sissy"), & I ventured out about 9 AM & returned about 9 PM. A full 12 hours of ......what else?......You guessed games!!! At first Zoe was excited because she was going to see her cousin Haley play as well as Meredith (Haley's twin brother Ian's girlfriend). She quickly realized was that we were not just at the gym to watch one game, but at least three. (She wasn't too thrilled!) You see, it was a tournament with pool play. Brandy & I had planned on staying for the entire duration since we both love high school basketball. Zoe was okay for a while visiting with Kathy & Jimmy (Haley's parents) & Phillip (Haley's boyfriend) ,but after the second game of the day, she fell asleep on my lap for about an hour. Unfortunately, Haley did not win either game she played. Here's a few pictures of Haley in action:

Being announced for the starting line up.....

Shooting a free throw....(which she made!)

Getting ready to box out........

Wonder what she's thinking........

Waiting for the shooter to release the ball......

I must admit that Zoe was very good considering we saw a total of 5 basketball games! As we were driving home Zoe says, "Do we have to go to another basketball game tomorrow?" I proudly replied, "No not tomorrow." (I wasn't about to tell her that two nights this coming week we will be attending basketball games.) Tuesday night we are headed to E.J.'s college game. He will be playing against our neighbor Kyle. And, on Wednesday night Zack & Ian have their first home high school games. Won't she be thrilled when we're in the car headed for those?!

Only Two More Weeks

Zoe has been loving this past week around our house. Several of the neighborhood kids have been home from college & have spent quite a bit of time at our house. One in particular is Brandy, otherwise know as "Sissy"! Before having Zoe she often filled the void in my life as I longed for a child of my own. Since the arrival of Zoe, Brandy has continued to be such an integral part of our lives. She's headed back to school today. We'll miss her smile & bubbling personality. But as Zoe reminded me - "Only 2 more weeks & Sissy will be back!"

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It's Close to Turkey Time

You can tell that the holidays are fast approaching. My students have been nuts the past two days. Luckly we get out early tomorrow & then it's a four-day weekend! (I must admit that I am equally excited!)

I know it's been a while since I've posted. Things have been quite crazy around here. Paul & I were in Chicago this past weekend for a school board convention. Not only was the conference very informative, but the festivities that went along with it were even better! On Saturday at dusk Chicago's annual Christmas parade & fireworks were held. It was fun watching from inside the hotel as Santa rolled into town. Zoe had a great weekend with her Nana & PawPaw. She attended a couple of basketball games of her cousins, went shopping, & even sat on Santa's lap at the mall.

Tomorrow Zoe has a short pre-school Thanksgiving program. She has been practicing her songs for about a week & a half so I think she's ready. Unfortunately, I will be unable to attend. So, I'm sending Paul with the video camera as well as the digital camera. It'll be interesting to see what we end up with!!!!!

Tomorrow evening Paul is having his annual guy "Thanksgiving Eve" card party at our house. Zoe & I will be doing our usual thing as well - going to the movies. She has decided she wants to see Bolt, the kid movie about a dog. So, we'll make a night out of it. (out to eat, movies, shopping, ice cream, etc.) No reason to hurry home. Paul & his buddies won't be leaving anytime soon!

Thanksgiving day Paul is on call. He's staying home while Zoe & I go to my sister Tracy's for lunch. Zoe is very excited as she will get to hang out with her cousins! Thursday night we are going bowling with my cousin Kathy & her family. I haven't been bowling in years. That could be very interesting!

The rest of the week has us going to basketball games & perhaps doing a little shopping. I also hope to get my Christmas cards & decorations organized. On Sunday Paul, Zoe, & I are headed to an NFL game. Not so sure it will be a good game, but the nachos are always worth it.

Don't know if I will be posting again before Thanksgiving. I hope each of you have a wonderful holiday & enjoy spending time with family & friends. Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Lovin' the Cousins 'n Basketball!

Last Saturday afternoon Zoe, Brandy (the neighbor girl who was home from college), & I attended my cousin EJ's college basketball game. Zoe was loving it. She was not only excited to have the opportunity to go someplace with her "sissy" (as she calls Brandy), see her new boyfriend EJ, but also to get to spend time with EJ's siblings, Ian & Haley. However, there was an added bonus (x2) - Ian's girlfriend Meredith & Haley's boyfriend Phillip! The whole gang was there - EJ's parents along with Meredith's dad.
Last night we attended another one of EJ's basketball games. Zoe once again took in every minute she could hanging out with cousins Ian & Haley plus Meredith. Much to my surprise, Meredith's dad gave me some pictures that he had taken at the game on Saturday. Here's just a glimpse of the 44 pictures that he gave me!

While walking back from the concession stand with Ian, Zoe was looking pretty hard to get someone's attention. Who could it be?......................

Well, of course................EJ!!!!!!

Zoe & Meredith

She's excited about something!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Out of the Mouth of Babes!

I usually get my hair cut & colored about every 4 weeks or so with a standing appointment. However, it's been much longer than that because of scheduling conflicts with my hairdresser. Anyway, the other day I was getting ready to go somewhere & my hair was not cooperating. It just wasn't doing what I wanted & thought it should be doing. (probably because it's about 3 weeks too long!) Anyway, I was getting aggravated & talking to myself out loud about how I needed a haircut & a color. When all of the sudden, Miss Zoe (who was in the other room) comes in & says - "Momma, your hair is silver. Just like the Arch!!!!!"

Could she have been more blunt (or truthful for that matter!!!!). Isn't it something how kids say the darnest but yet honest things?!

So, today after work I headed to the beauty shop & got my hair cut & colored. When I asked Zoe if she approved of my new look, she said - "It looks good, but the Arch's color is so much prettier!"

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Kissin' Cousins!!!

The past few days have been very stressful & tiring, as you can imagine. Uncle John's funeral was a very nice testament to him & his wonderful, caring personality. (I must admit, I was waiting for the soloist to bust out in song - Big John....Big Bad John!!!!!) He will always be remembered as a loving husband, father, friend, etc. He will forever be my #1 uncle, very dear to my heart.

However, as stressful as the last couple of weeks have been, Zoe seems to have found a new boyfriend, EJ, my cousin Kathy's 18 year old son. Zoe latched on to him one night at the hospital last week. Since then, she has talked about him non-stop. So, you can imagine how excited Zoe was when she saw EJ walk into the funeral home for the visitation. Throughout the night she colored, ate cookies, took walks, etc. with him. When we went out to eat, she had to sit by him & he ended up holding her for over an hour. She keeps telling Paul & I that EJ is her boyfriend. So, I guess that would make them KISSIN' COUSINS! (The rule is only with first cousins, correct?! That's what we're banking on!)

Kissin' Cousins - Zoe & EJ

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hooters Girl - Coming Soon!!!

Well, last Thursday I had parent teacher conferences at my school that lasted well into the night. Upon arriving home, Zoe met me at the door very excited. What had arrived at our house - yep, you guessed it - Hooters shorts! Come to find out our neighbor girl, Rhianna, has started working at Hooters & actually brought over a pair of the real Hooters orange shorts just for Zoe. (If you remember, I was bidding on a pair on Ebay. Well, someone must have needed them worse than I did because they outbid me by a mile!) Anyway, Zoe was so excited. She already had her pj's on so there was no encouragement on my part for her to try them on right away. I was hoping to showcase "Zoe the Hooters Girl" this weekend, but with everything going on with my uncle, we just haven't had time. We're headed out of town for a few days for the visitation & funeral. So, you're gonna have to wait a couple more days until we're back home & things have settled down. Be on the look out - Zoe, the Hooters Girl, will be coming to a computer near you!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Better or Bitter..............You Choose!

Whew! Time to take a breath. Do you ever look back on a week (or two) & just sigh in relief? That's what I am doing today. The last couple of weeks have been so hectic that I can't keep everything straight. Besides the everyday hustle & bustle that goes with work, home, & keeping up with a five year old, we've experienced a family heartbreak as well.

A week ago this past Wednesday, my uncle went in for an emergency appendectomy. What usually is a routine surgery ended up being not so routine. Uncle John was taken to the Intensive Care Unit & never regained consciousness. After numerous tests & consultations with several doctors, the decision was that everything that could possibly be done had been done. There was nothing else to do. So, yesterday the decision was made to take him off of life support & let him die peacefully. With his daughter & daughter-in-law by his side, he died last night about 9:20.

Now that brings me to my title of this post. Bitter or Better? One day last week we had an assembly at school. It featured a former pro-wrestler who is now a motivational speaker. His platform is Bitter or Better. Meaning we choose our emotions. We can either take a situation & make it worse or look for the positives in the situation & make it better.

I am trying very hard to look for the positives in Uncle John's death. I want to make the situation better. So, in doing so, I want to share one of my favorite moments with him:

When I was in junior high, Uncle John took my cousin Cheryl & I to a major league baseball game. On the way to & from the game we ate at White Castle. The three of us decided that we would keep all of the little boxes the burgers came in & throw them in the floorboard of my aunt's car to represent my cousin Sean's car (which we named Meals on Wheels - there was trash everywhere!). Well, Aunt Ginny didn't think this was too funny. Not only did she not like all of the trash, but she says it took about 6 months for the smell to escape the care! (I'm sure Uncle John caught hell for quite some time!)