Thursday, January 26, 2012

The 1998 Honda Accord

2011 brought something new: a second licensed driver to the household.

Ian passed his test and wound up with a license a little sooner than I expected. Do all parents think that? That little stop of the heart when you picture a tiny minnow in a sea of whales??

And so it was time for me to pass the keys to my dear Honda Accord. This had been such a good car to me. I bought it when I started my job at Longaberger, and I loved driving it. As Ian got older, I moved on to our new family car and alternating driving them to keep them both operating optimally. And now it was time for me to share it with Ian.

So, although there was a portion of me that was fearful (still is), I was relieved that he would be able to get himself to school activities, help with Megan's sports, and of course get back and forth to work.


Yes, work.

A job? Something where you perform a task and you get a paycheck? That pays for insurance and gas?

Hmmm, somewhere we missed that chapter...

And the Accord continues being put to very good use. I'll leave it at that.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

2011 Chapter: Megan & Gymnastics

As many of you followed over the years, my daughter Megan was quite the gymnast in the YMCA competitive gymnastics program. She began to compete with the program in 2007 after completing several of the "regular" programs and showing a tremendous upper and lower body strength.

It was a fun time for mother & daughter, having a network of friends doing the same thing on the weekends. We traveled to various cities in Ohio as Megan progressed through the levels - 4, 5, 6, & & 7. It was thrilling to watch her do things I could only ever have dreamed of! Flips and twirls, splits, bar routines and lots of ribbons and trophies.

We were also fortunate that she qualified to compete in Nationals every year. We visited Sheboygan, Wisconsin (home of Johnsonville brats!), Pennsylvania, Toledo, and even San Diego! Those were awesome experiences for both of us. As a level 5 gymnast, we got the thrill of a lifetime as Megan took 1st place All Around in her age/level group. So much fun that we took a trip to NYC afterward to celebrate!

Unfortunately, in February 2011 her gymnastics came to a screeching halt. At a meet in Cambridge, I had just watched two of her teammates injure themselves during their routines, one badly breaking her arm. As Megan began a beautiful floor routine, she fell on a landing and rolled her ankle.

This unfortunate accident took us screaming to the urgent care. It was a sprain and torn tendon. While she didn't want this to stop her, she took a break from it all until Nationals in June. She was able to compete and did well, but did not place. Track, softball, and volleyball took over for the rest of the year. I am happy to report that although she took a long break, she is interested again and has gone back for a practice to see how it goes.

We'll see what 2012 brings! Stay tuned!

Friday, January 20, 2012

2011 in review...

I guess you could say I got a little behind.

I know some of you faithful followers keep checking back, wondering if I will ever come back up for air.

The last few years have been a whirlwind. It's no excuse...but admittedly, Facebook COMPLETELY took over all of my spare time. Work smarter, not harder, right? So much easier to put thoughts in a couple of sentences and tell the world.

While I'm not over the ease of Facebook, I am over getting sucked in by the vast number of things that can occupy your time. Where DOES the time go??

So I started reflecting on 2011. What happened last year? Were things better, worse? What was new? As I look back over my life posts since 2006, I did a good job of capturing things and keeping track of the memories...up until that when the day comes for me to be the star in the Notebook (and that day sometimes feels like it is fast approaching with my forgetfulness!), someone can sit and hold my hand and read to me my life story and I can believe it to be wonderful novel.

It's a thought, anyway.

I will say, I am more into posting brief updates. So I will start my reflections of 2011, but after this post so you don't get bored. And THEN we'll move into what happens next in these chapters of life!

Check back soon so you can keep on reading!

Saturday, March 06, 2010

March update

Whattttt?? It's MARCH!!!! Finally, we are making progress through this very long winter.

As I sit here, I am feeling a bit trapped in my own home. I don't know what I was thinking when I told Ian he could have the guys over tonight. I have a feeling that my normal quiet house is not really ever going to be that way tonight! They have already been outside, throwing snowballs at the house. Additionally, I heard something in the kitchen break and I also know the window was open to let the smoke out - supposedly from putting the candle out.

This reminds me of when I babysat once. I was a seasoned sitter and thought I could handle anything that came along. How would I know what little Nick was capable of???? Eventually, things got so bad I had to lock him out of the house and call my sister! I had the baby inside, as Nick was throwing everything at us and kicking me. He ran outside and got his friends and they started throwing things at the house. That's when I locked the door and called in the troops!!! Yikes!!!!!!!!

I am also waiting for Megan to get home. She went to the skating rink tonight with her friends. The same one I went to when I was in 6th grade. Yep, I remember what that was like. Seeing my friends from school and from 4-H Band, hanging out for the evening and having a little freedom. It was funny, Megan said "thanks" as I dropped her off - and said, "Mom, I know this is hard for you - your little girl is growing up." When did this happen?????????

And so it goes. I have become the parent of two teenagers. At least I am not laying on the couch, watching Dallas or Love Boat as my mom did. I'm doing something productive - blogging, Facebooking, looking for specific things on the internet, cleaning off my desk...hoping I don't hear any more crashes downstairs!!!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day 2009

This Christmas has been interesting and different!

The kids were off to Chile on the 18th. I didn't know what to do with all of that time!

So I came to The Villages in northern Florida with my sister and her family. It has been a very enjoyable time, and a chance to see a retirement community in full force. Check it out,

I can't post any pictures yet as my computer (which has the photos downloaded) is not able to find an internet signal, so I am just borrowing some time on the resident PC. We have had fun running around in golf carts, shopping, eating, pool time, tennis and pickle ball. Yes, pickle ball!

I'll catch up later with the pics. Tomorrow I am off to Austin to see Cathy, Greg, and baby Collin...who is no longer a baby, since he turns 2 on Sunday! So hard to believe!

And so begins a new year of Christmas gifts. This year it was Susan's turn, and she chose to do random acts of kindness for the upcoming year. We will be blogging about it as we go, so check it out here: The entire family will be involved!

This Florida bit has been good for me. I am not feeling the winter blues, or feeling oppressed by laundry, responsibilities and other tiresome things. It is good to get away!

Back soon!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Those moments of pride

Tonight was one of those moments of pride, when your heart wells up for one of your own flesh and blood.

Setting: Evening, high school auditorium, stomach growling, stressed from the tough day, rushed from trying to avoid being late and hearing about this at the last minute. 18 degrees and the wind is blowing.

Occasion: Season end for Heath Bulldogs high school football, having made it to round 2 of the playoffs, with a final historical win at home.

Here comes the moment of pride...

The teams were introduced by their respective coaches, one by one. Each focused on the positivie contributions of each team member. Then there were the funny and awesome awards, mostly for the seniors. Ian won the "Ironman", which meant he missed no lifting practices all summer long!

Of this, I am very proud. He was dedicated and he and I worked as a team to get him there and back, having friends and babysitters helping us out (thank you!). If he couldn't get a ride, he found a way. His dedication and passion deserved recognition!

But in addition to that, in addition to that moment of parental pride, I was looking ahead to the next few years. Years that will pass by so quickly, that he will soon be up there as a senior, with life staring at him in the face. I am excited for his future, for the possibilities that remain, for how his purpose will be fulfilled on this earth! So much between now and then, but in the wisdom I have gained as a mother, I know this time will pass oh so quickly.

Not to mention, there would be someone else in the room with a heart full of pride. I am quite sure that somewhere, Coach Cox caught a glimpse of his grandson being part of a football team, and a darn good one at that. That would have made him proud, proud to know he had passed his legacy forward in spite of having all girls as his own children. We are proud of you, Ian! Keep it up and with each year, each season, each game, may you learn the important stuff and get better each time!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

This weekend's adventure

Look out, the girls are getting ready to head out for the weekend!!!!

We will be celebrating Jenny's birthday - with who better than...Mickey! So back to Disney I go. Awww, I know you feel really sorry for me at this point.

Disney is offering a special celebration. This year you get in for free on your birthday! So we decided earlier this year that we would have her experience the Magic Kingdom, since she has never been.

This photo was taken last spring...for MY birthday. We celebrated at Easton. Had I known then about the Disney deal, I would have gone there!! Haha. Okay, so for all you December birthdays, you have a few more weeks to cash in! Make your plans now!!!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


One of the things I love about traveling is to find an easier, cheaper, less crowded way. As I planned my quick trip to Disney World, I was frustrated by the cost of transporation from the airport to our hotel.

We stayed at the Hilton at Downtown Disney (great hotel, by the way!). This became a very convenient spot for many reasons, but the most beneficial in the way of cost savings was that we were able to take the public bus! For Mears transportation or other local shuttles, I was quoted at least $20 per person. A taxi was $55 plus gratuity. That's crazy! Those are NYC prices!

For just $2/adult, and $1/child, we took the bus from the airport directly to Downtown Disney, and the Hilton is on the corner. We returned to the airport for the same fare, and from the DoubleTree, just down the street. Additionally, the bus stops at places like Florida Mall and Sea World. You can get a full day pass for just $4.50.

Enjoy the savings, and spend it on those Mickey Ears!!!

Monday, November 30, 2009


I really don't like it when people don't practice what they preach.
You know the type.
They find it easy to tell others what to do, how to do it or not do it, even give them heck for not doing it the way they say.
Then, they go off and do EXACTLY the opposite of what they said to do or not to do!
That is the long explanation.
The short explanation is this:
My son has started a new blog about Ohio State. Check it out,
I told him not to even THINK about having a blog unless he would update it every day!
That's right! Every day! Keeps you coming back for more!
Well, yes, if you have KEPT UP WITH YOUR OWN BLOG!!!!
Which I haven't done.
Facebook has eaten all of my time.
Shamefully. I look back over my posts, this has made a great memory book for me (since there is no time or organization skills in the world that could conquer scrapbooking!).
So I must keep it up.
Do check back.
I will practice what I preach.
At least try.
You get the picture.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Opening Ceremonies at Nationals 2009 in Downingtown, PA

Well, we had come a long way. Literally.

I finally made it into Philly at 9am on Wednesday, June 24th from Vegas. I had flown all night and didn't sleep a wink.
Megan, fortunately, was with the team coach Jane, and I was able to meet them and pick Megan up.
We stopped to have lunch and then headed over to the hotel.
I was hoping for a hot shower and a nap before heading over to opening ceremonies!

Well, the hot shower I was able to get.
A nap...I was not.
Soon it was time to head over, so Megan got her team t-shirt on and we headed over for what was supposed to be a 15 minute drive.

A few miles from the exit we were to take, we were stopped dead in traffic.
Uh-oh, I hadn't taken THAT into consideration!
She was due at the field at 3:30. It was 3:23 and we weren't anywhere close!!!!

Some other parents called to commiserate. One of them had the banner that the girls were going to carry during the ceremony.
I let her in front of my car, and another set squeezed in behind me. At least we were late as a team...

We got there just in time for the girls to grab the banner and line up!
What a beautiful job they did on the banner.
They didn't place (it was a contest) but hands down, we believe they had the best one!

Megan and her teammates line up, in gear and excited!

Isn't that awesome!!! The red "stripes" are the girl's handprints with their names.
Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Gymnastics!

The theme was "A revolution is coming", so Jane led the way on her "horse"!

Go Licking County!
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Anticipation for the fun of opening ceremonies...

Part of the fun of attending opening ceremonies is that you not only get to hang out with your team, but you also get to have a little fun!
There were more than 4,500 attending the opening ceremonies, and they were busy trying to prepare dinner for everyone.
In honor of it being held near Philadelphia, the menu consisted of real Philly Cheesteak sanwiches, Bavarian-style pretzels, and lots of salads, fruit, cookies and drinks.
It was a hot day but beautiful for this type of crowd!

The "before" picture while everyone was still attending the ceremony!

Dinner for 4,500 guests

Time for Megan and Lajeyda to have a little fun!
There were bounce houses and games, but mostly they were doing what gymnasts love - tumbling, flipping, and laughing!

Lajeyda's parents were part of the caravan from Licking County.
We were all so excited to be a part of it!
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YMCA Gymnastics Nationals in Downingtown, PA

The official day of the competition was here!!
Megan and I had a lazy morning at the hotel. We slept in, had a lavish breakfast and took our time getting ready.
I wanted her to be relaxed for the competition but also enjoy her day.

We took a quick trip to the King of Prussia mall, about 7 miles from our hotel.
What could be better than shopping to calm the nerves?

After finding a cute couple of items for the rest of the trip, Megan and I had lunch and we were on our way to the Sports Center.

Megan in front of King of Prussia Mall - Bloomingdales

The Level 5 competition is ready to begin at 5 PM!!!

Megan's second event was the Bars. As you can see, she had a GREAT score. It earned her $25!

The Nationals team takes a break in the hot gym!
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Monday, June 29, 2009

First place it is!!!!!!!!!!!

I know it's hard to see! I was soooo excited I couldn't keep the camera still!
Here is Megan, taking 1st place All Around for level 5 Junior, with a total score of 35.05!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The successful team takes home 14 medals just in level 5!

Gymnasts Megan, Kristina, Elizabeth, Ashlyn, Riley, Lajayeda, and Ellie
Coach Jane in the red shirt

Megan with Elizabeth and Lajayeda
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And so ends the night of the competition...

We had a little fun with some flexibility...

Taking home the gold...

Up close and personal!

Exhilaration is the word!
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Friday, June 26, 2009


Wow, I am so overwhelmed writing this post!

I apologize that I can't upload pictures or video at this point. My internet connection at the hotel is just not holding up. Right now I am in the business center and of course can't access any of my personal stuff!

But YES, amidst other breaking news of Michael Jackson's death, Farah Fawcett's departure, and other sad news...we have breaking news of our own!!!!

This week we attended the YMCA gymnastics Nationals competition in Downingtown, PA. Wednesday was opening ceremonies, with Shannon Miller as a guest speaker, and then Megan competed on Thursday with her teammates. In all, 14 gymnasts from our county Y attended!!

For level 5, Junior level - Megan took the gold!!! She placed 1st all around with a high score of 35.05, her highest personal best EVER!!!!! She placed 2nd in Beam and Bars, but because of her consistently high scores, was able to take home the big one!

So happy to share our breaking news. Join me while we float on cloud 9!

Pictures and video to come next week. Until then - we are Liberty Bell, Princeton, and NYC bound!!!! See you all soon.