Sunday, September 30, 2012

Week in Summary

Let's do this shall we:

  • I got my picture re-taken for work, this time inside so I wouldn't be squinty.  Honestly, I think the picture my husband took looks better.  Glad I didn't pay for it.
  • Hubby dropped off me and the kids at Sea World in Orlando while he went to a surplus store that happens to have stuff from NASA.  He spent hours there.  I was amazed at his self restraint.  Perhaps it was because we took the Fiat and not the pickup truck.  :-)
  • I went to a homeschool mom's night out where I heard a WONDERFUL speaker and got to know other homeschooling moms in the area just a little better.  It is so nice to get pointers and to know you are not alone in your struggles. 
  • My nephew turned 1 last Sunday and was admitted to the hospital on Thursday with a serious infection.  He's still in the hospital but he seems to be getting better slowly.  Praise the Lord!
  • My little brother had a birthday this week.  You know that speaker who I said was wonderful?  Well she was talking about brain development a little and said that boys don't usually outgrow that stage where they have no concerns for danger till they are about 23 or so.  My brother didn't get the memo.  He's older than that and he jumps out of perfectly good planes for fun (on a regular basis I might add).  I guess I should just be happy he made it one more year, huh?
  • I had a pretty good week at work (more on that in another post soon).
  • And my son submitted his first lab report for his K'Nex physics class this week (you know the one another mother said he was too young to be in) and his lab was used as the example of how to do it.  Can you say proud Mama?!
I guess that's about it.  Did any of you do anything particularly interesting last week?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Delayed Birthday Gift

Yesterday, I was finally able to take my kids to Sea World.  This was a trip that we had promised my daughter for her birthday back in May.  Needless to say, the weather in May was a bit too hot.  Technically, I would have liked to have waited another month or so, but a cold front came through recently so the temperatures were a little bit cooler and I had a free night in a hotel that was about to expire so I figured now was a good time.

So how did it go?  I think this tells it all.

If only the glass wasn't in the way.

OK.  So I will tell you a bit more.  The kids and I spent about 8 hours there.  We saw 3 different shows, various animals and even rode a couple of the rides.  To say my daughter had a good day is an understatement.  She enjoyed the whale show

but she enjoyed the dolphin show the most.

After seeing this

She's "surfing" with her feet of the back of 2 dolphins.

my daughter told me that she wants to work at Sea World when she gets older so she can ride on dolphins too.  She has been interested in animals for as long as I can remember (she plays with stuffed animals and not dolls).  We saw Winter the dolphin earlier this year and that ignited a passion for dolphins that hasn't gone away.  She's mentioned in the past that she wants to work with sea animals, but after Sea World she seems to have narrowed it down to one animal.

I think the next trip might have to involve a hands-on experience for my daughter... ok, and me too.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Week in Summary

What did we do this week (besides the normal boring stuff):

  • Hubby ended up helping teach / facilitate my son's K'Nex class because the regular teacher was out with a sick child.
  • I got a professional head-shot taken.  It was taken outside and I have a serious squinting problem as a result of an eye problem I was born with.  That means we will be taking the pictures again inside tomorrow.
  • I got my Realtor pin.  Guess that makes it official somehow.  Doesn't feel like it.  I think the interactions I've had have made it seem more real than getting a pin and a certificate.
  • We went on a field trip to a local newspaper.  This is a rare opportunity.  It just so happens that my son's K'Nex teacher works there so he was able to get a group of people a tour (pays to know the right people).
  • Hubby has made more progress on getting our closet floor done.  I'm hoping I can unpack my luggage of dress clothes by next weekend.
  • I had the scariest home showing to date this week.  I took my client to what appears on paper to be a very nice neighborhood.  It is gated and the condos look very nice.  Unfortunately, it backs up to a less-than-nice apartment complex.  As we were walking back to our cars they were explaining to me that in their line of work as a local prosecutor they have learned that (in our area anyway) a white t-shirt means the person has more than likely been in jail.  (Apparently in the jails they are only allowed to wear white t-shirts.)  Anyway, they further explained that the longer the t-shirt the worse the crime or longer their time in jail.  I guess it gives them some sort of street-cred.  All I know is that as I'm walking next to this prosecutor, an SUV with 2 big guys with white t-shirts drive past us very slowly while looking at us.  The fact that the prosecutor was between me and the car didn't ease my mind at all.  Needless to say, I will be hyper-vigilant about where I take this client in the future.
  • Looks like this coming weekend is going to be busy but in a good way.  Can't wait to update you all on how things went.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Coming Out

I'm going to admit something you that may not know about me....  I like love musicals.  I'm not sure when this enjoyment obsession began, but it's goes back as far as I can remember.  The first musical I remember watching over and over was Annie.  You know the one from the 80's.  I'm pretty sure my parents rented that movie just about every weekend for months.  Finally they broke down and bought a copy.  I still enjoy watching Annie on occasion and my daughter enjoys it as well (she doesn't walk around the house singing the songs like I do though).

Of course I enjoy musicals such as Grease, Dirty Dancing, Sound of Music, etc. but one of my favorites is a movie most people haven't even heard of.  Fans of Christian Bale may know the movie I'm talking about... Newsies.

As the title would lead you to expect, it's a movie about newsboys growing up in the early 1900's.  It delves into the lives of the newsboys and how, many of them were orphaned (do you see a theme here) and how they were newsies just to survive.  The producers did a wonderful job of bringing in time period props such as a very old treadle printing press.  You know the kind where they had to hand place each letter and pump their foot to make it move all while manually changing the printed piece of paper for a fresh piece of paper. 

One of the things that interests me about the movie now as an adult is that it was based on true events.  A few years ago my brother got me the collectors edition of the DVD and it has a special feature that lets you in on some of the history behind the movie and it is very interesting.

I think that's why when we were given an opportunity to tour a modern day printing press I jumped at the opportunity.  In fact, I was probably more excited than my kids.  It was so interesting for me to be able to compare a modern day paper printing press with a press from 100 years ago.  It was also fun to see my kids asking questions and learning how things work.

Part of the machine that inserts the sales flyers into the paper.

They keep enough paper on hand to run the paper for 28 days.  This is just some of the rolls they have on hand.    

There are actually 2 presses side-by-side.  They are both 2+ stories each.

So high above you it's hard to tell where each page starts and ends.

The paper winds through the press like it's going through a maze.

All the kids who were on the trip with us.  Such a great time!

What's next?  Getting my kids to watch the Newsies with me  :-)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Feelin' The Love

Today has been a hectic, on-the-go, don't have time to stop kinda day for me.  I work up at 6AM with a headache and didn't fall back asleep very easily (thankfully I did).  Even better, was that my kids let me sleep in till 9.  After that, things haven't stopped.

That said, I have had a couple really nice "surprises" today.  This morning my son asked if he could make himself scrambled egg for breakfast.  He's made pancakes a couple times and has done a great job so I figured why not.  Not only did he make himself an egg, but he offered to make me one. 
It. was. perfect.

Then when he realized I was going to be leaving for an afternoon meeting without having lunch, he walked up to me and handed me a snack pack of craisins so I could at least eat something in the car.  He also got me a glass of ice water for in the car.

When I got home from said meeting, I was greeted by the smell of banana bread and a fridge door full of homemade mocha coffee drinks.

Now that I've taken a break for a few minutes to let you all in on the joy that has brightened my day, I need to get back to the list of work I still have to complete before I can go to bed tonight. 

Here's to hoping you have all felt a little love today.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Week In Summary

I think I'm going to try something new.  I'm going to do a post on either Saturday or Sunday of each week that is going to summarize the different things of importance or interest that our family has done during the previous week.  To make seeing the different things easier I'm going to use bullet points and perhaps a few pictures if I have them.

  • Besides continuing to find current clients the home of their dream or trying to pick up new clients, I had my first home inspection this week.  I still technically don't have a completed contract (long story), but I hope to have that early this coming week. 
  • The kids had their science class and Lego / K'Nex class this week.  After the K'Nex class one of the other parents walked up to my husband and suggested that our son be moved to an easier class (he is 2 years younger than the recommended age) because he didn't know how to do division (they were figuring out speed using distance and time).  So what did we do?  We sat down that night and in about 10 minutes our son had figured out what division is and how to do it (using a calculator at this point, but that's ok because everyone else in his class is using a calculator too).
She tried to copy the picture.  She did not only the fence but a tree.
  • We went to Cheeburger, Cheeburger for the first time since the kittens were all adopted (the pet store was right next door).  The kids had been asking for a while but it's all the way across town.
  • We made use of the trip to Cheeburger, Cheeburger by also going to the Trader Joe's that had opened only days before (OK so this was really the reason we were in the area.  It just so happened that it was around lunch time).
  • The kids and I went to a bee keeping seminar where we learned about bees and raising them.  We also bought some local raw honey after taste testing a few different kinds (yum!)

  • The whole family went to the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary where we got to see lots of various monkeys and apes, as well as some birds and alligators.  And the kids got to hold a baby (just under 1 year old) alligator too.

  • On the way home from the primate sanctuary we passed a Krispy Kreme so of course we had to stop.

  • In addition to working on a programming project he's been trying to get to a point where it can be sold, my husband has also had the time to work on installing the last of the Pergo flooring in our master closets.  He still has one more closet left (there are 2) but I'm guessing that will be done very soon.  
  • My husband's also been doing a lot of cooking lately.  Not because I've been gone at dinner time but because he realized that he likes to cook.  I can sense a battle in the near future.  Perhaps when we upgrade our kitchen it will be to a gourmet kitchen where we can both work together.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Plee From This Mother's Heart

I've been following a blog for a while now (An Inch of Gray).  It came to my attention from another blog I'd been reading (Momastery).  Both of the authors were from Northern Virginia, so in a strange way it was my way of keeping up with people from where I grew up even though I've never met either of the authors. 

After following An Inch of Gray for a while, I discovered something about the author and her family.  She had lost her 12 year old son Jack to a tragic accident.  Yesterday, was the one year anniversary of that accident.  Momastery had an outpouring of love for Jack's family on their Facebook page that was just  It had me tearing up just seeing how much love complete strangers can show to others who are in pain.

Then late yesterday afternoon, a friend of mine from Florida posted a request on Facebook to pray for her 17 year old cousin who was in a terrible car accident yesterday.  As of now, she is in a coma and is hooked up to various machines to help her breath.  The doctors don't believe she is brain dead, but she is still unconscious and unresponsive so they are not sure of the damage. 

Please pray for Sierra.  Pray that she will be completely healed.  Pray for her family as they deal with this tragedy.  Pray for the friends who were in the vehicle with her and also got hurt as well as their families.

And I have one more request for all of you...  Love on your children.  Love them like you may not have tomorrow, because you never know what can happen.  On that note, I'm going to go spend some quality time with my kids.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Steppin' Up

Have you ever felt so overwhelmed that you wish you had someone to help you out?  A maid, a personal chef, or a chauffeur to get your kids from place to place.  I have.  Many times.  And now that I find myself out of the house for a few hours every few days (if not every day), I find those feelings coming less frequently.  WHAT you say?

Since I started working more, my hubby has really stepped up and is helping out more around the house.  Not only is he watching the kids while I'm gone, but he's making sure they do their school work (he's even gotten my son to do some handwriting = a miracle!).  He's made dinner a few times (and not just something grilled either).  In fact, as I write this, he's making homemade pizza.  He's done laundry, dishes, and even cleaned the bathroom (my least favorite thing to do in the world).  I've come home to a mostly-clean house a couple times too (The kids rooms could use a little more work but even I have trouble getting that done.  At least the main part is clean though).

And the other day, my hubby did some experimenting in the kitchen.  He made me homemade mocha / coffee drinks that turned out really well.  Sometimes I think he's trying to show me up; to prove that he can do things better than I do.  Then I remember that he's not like that.  He's just trying to be helpful and make my life easier... He's definitely a keeper.

My kids are even being more helpful.  When asked to be quite so I can make a phone call, they get quite (most of the time).  When I ask them to help me clean up a mess or gather together dirty laundry, they do it.  It's been refreshing.

This is the way I always thought a family should be... helping each other out just because we are a family and we love each other.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Kittens Strike Back

No the kittens are not back, but they are still haunting us.  You see, one of the last times they went to the pet store they came back with flees.  We think they were dog flees because they were BIG.  We treated the kittens and before we handed them over to their new owners we think they were flee-free.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of our cat.  The poor thing has been scratching and licking herself raw for the last few days.  We've even treated her and although it helped, we are still finding live flees on her.  My daughter even has a few bites (they seem to find her before any other human in the house).  Tonight I tried a home remedy that some say works wonders.  I'll let you know how it goes.

This experience certainly makes me rethink the whole fostering process.  We were already thinking of fostering for a different group but now I'm going to have to do some research to see if the kittens we foster could infect our house again cause I'm really not liking this.

Saturday, September 1, 2012


I have learned recently that my line of work can put you into some very interesting situations. 

I've taken people in my car and had to tell them in advance that I didn't want them smoking in my car (thankfully they were nice about that).  I've been standing on a porch trying to open a door to hear and feel something running under the porch.  Needless to say, we didn't go into that house.  My family has even been invited over for dinner because "You're just so nice and fun."

And the one that's surprised me the most... how much people will tell me about their lives.  I've had people tell me that they were about to go into foreclosure, so they wanted to try to buy a house with the cash on hand as fast as possible (before they couldn't anymore).  I've had people tell me about their marital issues.  In one case, I feel a bit like a therapist because I feel like I have to help keep the peace so they don't fighting in front of me (nothing physical mind you).  What they're thinking when telling me all this I'm not sure. 

All I know is, when you go looking for a house you don't need to tell your Realtor EVERYTHING about you.  Some things we just don't need or want to know.