31 May 2008

June Nablopomo

I just got the email with June's theme for Nablopomo (National Blog Posting Month). The theme is home. I love this theme! I see lots of possibilities, so I going to give it another try for the month of June.

This also means that I should start thinking about my 100th post. Sydney wrote a post including 100 things about herself for her 100th post, and has forced, I mean, encouraged me to do the same. HMMM...wonder if I can come up with 100 things? Stay tuned...

27 May 2008

One More Graduation Photo

I finally got a copy of my sister Mary's entire family from Clare's graduation. Her whole beautiful family is in it. The kids' ages are as follows: Monica, 21, Anne, 20, Clare, 18, Catie, 16, Meghan, 13, John almost 12, and Tim, 8. So, for those of you who hear me talk about this bunch ALL THE TIME, here is a picture of them.


I am putting out the call to those who are reading my blog. I am looking for new ways to save money on groceries. With prices going up on just about everything, I am looking for some new and exciting idea that I hadn't thought of. Do you shop the Walmart Supercenter? Do you shop Aldi? Woodman's? What do you think?

The things I need to do to start: Coupons! I had been very good about couponing for a while, and then I got out of rhythm again. It doesn't help when there are no coupons in my Sunday paper either (like on Sunday!).

I also need to go back to Big Lot's. If you have never been there, the are an overstock store with lots of name brand items like cereal, cookies, crackers. I can usually buy a BIG box of cereal for around $1.50 (compared to ($4-5) at the store. With summer will come extra snacks for the boys, so I will be sure to go back there.

But I am putting the call out-what are you doing these days to save money on groceries? Let's share ideas and make it easier for all! Feel free to post a comment with your thoughts!

26 May 2008


This May is one of those years when we have A LOT of graduations in my family. Last weekend, my nephew, Joe graduated from the University of Dallas (my Alma Matter). This weekend, we had three high school graduations. My niece, Clare, was on Friday. My nephew, Andrew, was on Saturday, and my nephew, Anthony, was yesterday. Finally, my niece, Maggie, will graduate from eighth grade on June 6.

We had the distinct pleasure of being able to attend Clare's graduation. Clare went to an all-girls' Catholic high school just like I did. It really was a beautiful ceremony. Instead of cap and gown, the girls wear long white dresses. Of course, I am not biased, but Clare was the most beautiful young woman in attendance. The speeches were very well done, especially the one done by the class president. Afterward, we had a really yummy dinner at Maggiano's. I am so glad that I was there!

I just wanted to say that I am really proud of ALL of my nieces and nephews, and of the young men and women they are becoming. Congratulations!

24 May 2008

Ways of Saving Money

As always, I have been looking for ways to save money with gas now at $4.19/gallon and groceries getting more and more expensive. I thought I would write about something new I have started doing. This post was actually inspired by my friend Sydney's post a couple of weeks ago.

A few months ago, I started going to a local beauty school for my haircuts and color. I used to go to this salon that I absolutely loved, but at $120 every 6 weeks or so, I just couldn't do it. Instead, I pay $30 for a cut and color. I know, I could do the color myself, but I have really dark hair, and I worry about it looking like shoe polish (which is how some older Italian women tend to look when they do it themselves). I have been really pleased with the results. I have pretty easy hair which is hard to ruin.

A couple months ago, I signed up to be a model at the school. I would actually use the term guinea pig, but I didn't know that at the time. Anyway, I got a phone call 2 weeks ago see if I could come in for a haircut as a model. She did a really good job, but at the end, I asked her how long she had been in the program. She said 3 weeks! I was her first live person (so glad I didn't know that beforehand). Again, she did a fabulous job! Then she called a couple of days later to see if I wanted to come in for a color, so I did. Again, she was great. Yesterday, I went in for a wash and curl. Next week, I am getting my nails done. The best part of all of this? IT WAS ALL FREE!

20 May 2008

My Rose Cake!

So, I had my last class yesterday! Here are my roses! I am really proud of how they turned out! I plan to take level 2 later this summer or early fall. Besides crocheting, this has become my new favorite hobby!

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19 May 2008

Happy Birthday, Peter!

Today, my oldest son, Peter turned 8. It is hard to believe that it has been eight years since he was born. I remember the excitement, and the fear of being a new mom. Of my sons, Peter was my easiest baby (although I didn't always think so at the time), and is still very easy going and loving. So, to my Peter, Happy Birthday! I love you!

Sometimes I hate technology!

Last week, I was lucky enough to get paid for both my teaching job and my essay scoring job on the same day. Unfortunately, there was a problem with both of my checks. Sometimes I really hate technology.

So, here's what happened. My teaching job started using a new time sheet tracker at the beginning of the year. There seems to be oodles and oodles of glitches with the program. For the third time (out of approximately 8 pay periods, so that is almost half), the program has added time that is not mine. The first time it was a whopping 18 hours, the second, 10 hours, and this last time, 9. I have been very good about reporting the error. What irks me is that they will take the money back when you least expect it. I mean, I know it is theirs, and I do put the money aside so that when my check is less I still have the funds, but the whole issue is annoying me. Especially the last time. I knew the glitch was there and I notified my manager BEFORE payroll had to go in. HE DIDN'T CORRECT IT! I am hoping that one day the glitch will be fixed.

So, onto job #2. My last pay period for essay scoring was combined between a training rate and my regular hourly rate. Apparently when they ran payroll, someone forgot to change the rates and all of us were paid at the training rate. So, you guessed it, I was shorted on this check. They are much quicker at rectifying the situation. The shortage will be in my account tomorrow.

I am really lucky to be able to work from home. I love technology, for the most part, but these payroll glitches are really driving me crazy!!!

18 May 2008

More Cake...

So, we learned roses last week-here is an example.
I also just finished the cake I promised Peter for his 8th birthday tomorrow.

Tomorrow night is my last class, so I will have a final cake to show you!
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14 May 2008

SAT time!

About 4 years ago, I was fortunate enough to find my way into the work from home arena. I applied for a position scoring the (at the time) new SAT essays. I was really excited that I had found something using my degree that I could do around my boys' schedules and the pay was (is) phenomenal. SAT's are given about 7 times a year, so the scoring windows fall around that time for about 2 weeks. A year later, I found my regular teaching job, teaching from home over the Internet.

So, for two years, I have been leading a double life. I teach most of the time, and then I take off from that to do SATs, mostly because it pays substantially more. As I have made my way up in the company I teach for, I have had less and less of a desire to do SATs. It is a high stress kind of work. I know some of you are thinking, how hard is it to read essays? You try reading poor handwriting for hours at a time knowing that your bosses are tracking how quickly you are reading, and the quality of your scoring. I also am constantly aware of the fact that what I do can have a direct impact on where a student will go to school.

Anyway, last year, Andy told me that I needed to decide what to do about SAT. Like I said, I am doing very well in the company I am working for, and I am trying to focus on that work as where I will continue once all of our kids are in school. I couldn't decide. Then in November, I thought the answer had been made for me. For the first time since I had started, I had not been asked back to score. This position is very cut-throat, and your coming back is based on your quality statistics compared to the other scorers. I had always been asked back, only this time I wasn't, and the funny thing was that my stats had been one of the highest I had ever had. So, I had a nice break from SAT.

Then last month, I got an offer to come back and score for May. I am doing it right now, and doing pretty well on my stats. So, the question resurfaces, WHAT DO I DO? I don't have an answer yet, but when I do, I'll be sure to let you know.

11 May 2008

What it means to have sons...

As the mother of sons, I often feel outnumbered in my own house. As their mother, I am often the nurturing one, however, as they are growing, there is less and less need for that, and more and more need for me to have a sense of humor. I am forewarning readers that this post is not for those easily offended or the faint of heart!

Belching and flatulence are a regular part of our household-in fact, I just heard my son, Drew say to Peter, "let's play the tooting game!"

It is Sunday night. Time to prepare for the week ahead. The boys have had dinner and are in the process of taking baths. Tonight's story revolves around my almost five-year-old, Drew. Before hopping in the tub, he decided that he needed to do his duty. When he has to go #2, he does tend to take a while. I was urging him to hurry up and get in the tub. He told me that he needed to wipe his heinie (thank goodness he doesn't need me to do it for him anymore!). Andy warned him to flush just as Drew was saying that the toilet was full of toilet paper. I am sure you can guess what came next-yes,we had to plunge, but not before Drew told Andy, "Dad, I believe you need to plunge the toilet!" I'm glad that Andy was here to do it!

10 May 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

After my cake class last Monday, I offered to bring dessert to my in-laws' house tomorrow for Mother's Day. The cake is yellow, with a chocolate filling. I was able to use all of the techniques I learned in class, and attempt some new ones. We haven't learned leaves yet-that is next Monday when we learn roses. I know it's not perfect, but it was good practice and a lot of fun to make! Happy Mother's Day to all of my friends!

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My Big Boys!

Well, we moved our oldest boys, Peter and Drew to their own room today. They are very excited, especially Drew! He kept running upstairs and laying on his new bed. Unfortunately, so did Michael. We'll see how tonight goes-wish us luck!
Here is a picture of their new digs!

08 May 2008

Adventures in Cake, part 2!

I had my cake decorating class Monday night. I absolutely love what I am learning. We focused on writing and stars (which are very helpful with many of the kiddie cakes! Below are two pictures of the cake I decorated on Monday. I am making a cake to take to my in-laws for Mother's Day. I will be sure to post it!

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05 May 2008

First Communion, part 2!

Peter and Great Grandpa!

Peter and Aunt Amy!
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First Communion Day!

Peter made his First Communion on Saturday, May 3rd!
Peter-all dressed up and ready to go!

Peter and his godparents, Frank and Lydia.

Our family!

Peter with Grandma and Grandpa.
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