Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Pokemon Translations, Part 1

Introducing... Emily the Pokémon translator.  Emily has always loved Pokémon.... & since she is now old enough to have a YOUTUBE acct she has made her first video for her channel.  If you know anyone who enjoys Pokémon, please make sure they take a look at it! She's quite good at matching up the Pokémon body language to the words.  I guess we can add "Pokémon Translator" to her list of talents..... LOL!  :) Love her.

PS... Emily asked me to write this blog so that she'd get more traffic to her youtube. Funny girl. (But... I guess I should be flattered, that she thinks my blog will bring her traffic. ha. ;)

Sunday, September 28, 2014

YUM YUM give me SUM

Our family loves a place called Qdoba.   It's a perfect place to visit if one is trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle.   What we love most about it is that it's a casual Mexican food restaurant, that offers healthy choices that our family just loves!!  Brian & I get the "naked" burritos which are burritos in a bowl without the surprisingly high calorie tortilla shell.  I think they are like 300 calories or something in general.  I had no idea how many calories they were until I started caring how many calories they were...lol.   Brian & I stick with the veggie options... (avoiding the cheese & sour cream) I get rice (my only relatively bad item), black beans, chicken, pico, corn, lettuce & medium salsa)  It is one of my favorite things in the world to eat... NO LIE! I love it! It taste so fresh & yummy & healthy!!  Emily gets a "bean" burrito which isn't "technically" on the menu but they make it for her anyway... they just charge her for the beans, cheese, sour cream & tortilla shell.  (It cost maybe $3 that way!) Anyway... I totally recommend this place especially if you are trying to eat better but still like us, want to go out & eat every once in a while.  Truth be told we probably go there once a week..... we love it so!   Also they have a "frequent" diner card that gives us free entrees, chips and salsa.... etc! :) It's awesome!  The one by us offers a special daily deal on Tuesday, if you go on Tuesday you get double points!  We've already gotten a free entrée, free chips, & we have enough points that by next visit we'll have another free entrée! I love freebies! :)   We also go to other local places on "cheap" days.... this is a must for people on a budget.  Tuesday is cheap salad day at our local Salad works & on Fridays it's $5 a cup at the Frozen yogurt place in town.  I totally recommend finding out if your favorite places have a deal day & visiting it on that day.... saves your family a lot of money that way! :) It's a win win!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Remembering Autumn

When I woke up & checked facebook this morning there was a post by a classmate I went to high school with about today being National Remembrance Day for Murdered Children.  So I want to start this post by remembering her daughter, Autumn Pasquale who was murdered at age 12 in Clayton NJ.  She was murdered by two teenage boys over her BMX bike.  I know... it's hard to believe.  So senseless, so tragic, so heartbreaking.   I can't even begin to imagine how difficult it is for her parents & family.  I think of this little girl so often, a child I barely knew & yet she floats into my thoughts ALL THE TIME.  I hope Autumn & her family can feel all the love being sent to them by so many today & everyday.  RIP Autumn.

It also got me thinking of my mom, she was the closest person to me that I've lost in my life.  She died of cancer at age 51.  While I knew she was dying,  part of me couldn't process it, I was so distracted at the time, that I know now I just couldn't. See, my mom died at the same time my daughter Emily was fighting for her life after being born extremely premature.  It was such a difficult time,  living two life altering events simultaneously, but now in a way, I find comfort in it.  As difficult as it was at the time.  I can't imagine not having Emily there to distract me from the complete sadness that would have destroyed me.   To see my beautiful baby girl fight so hard to just be here & every day after to see the amazing girl she has become keeps me hopeful & thankful.  Everyday I miss my mom but I found that life could still be beautiful & that is where the comfort lies, in the beauty left behind. I just hope that Autumn's parents find comfort everyday some way too.  Perhaps knowing people haven't forgotten about Autumn helps them, surely through their other children, their families, through rainbows that Autumn's mom shares on facebook that always seem to come at just the right moment to let her know Autumn's still around & in a million other beautiful ways.  That's my wish for them.  That in whatever way they can,  they are able to find some comfort in knowing that not only is life still beautiful but that Autumn's still around.   Autumn-what a perfect name, a truly perfect name, each & every year everyone has a beautiful reminder of you.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

My daughter, the writer.


 Emily loves to write.  I mean she really really loves to write!!! She's always been the type of kid who loved to read & write but nowadays more than anything else she loves writing.  She will write for hours & hours a day, & if we didn't limit her time on the computer, it would be even more....ha.   She has files & files worth of stories on our computer.  When she was younger she would write her stories on "loose leaf" paper but none of the stories lasted very long that way... usually atleast a few papers would get unstapled from the group & important parts of the stories lost forever--or just get torn out or dog eared. Then she wrote in notebooks... we finally suggested that she start using the computer to write her stories on, since we realized how many "trees" she was killing, not to mention the expense of paper products that were needing to be bought. We should have made that suggestion a lot sooner... because she probably has 50 composition/ notebooks full.   Mind you.... she's only 13 years old!  She usually writes stories featuring her stuffed animals as characters.   Right now she's writing a story about a group of beanie babies whose one friend gets accused of doing something he didn't do & gets punished for it & how his friends are on a crusade to help him.  While the subject matter may seem immature, her writing is really good,  & well I guess if her subject matter doesn't change, there will always be a need for good children writers.   She puts my writing to shame...  I know I'm not much of "writer".  I just write... without really knowing "how" to write. With Emily it's different...she writes "correctly" including all those pesky rules on how to use commas, semi-colons, etc that I've never been able to figure out, she knows how to do correctly.   Anyone who reads my blog knows that me & grammar aren't really friends :)  We just received her NJASK scores the other day & Emily scored above proficient in Reading/Language Arts.   One of the line scores --said 39 points was the highest score possible.... Emily got a 30, & the state average was 19---- so see it's not JUST me "her mom" saying it...LOL!  Last year her teacher even told Emily that she got the highest grade in the class on the essay part.  Over the years we've been told by numerous teachers how good her writing is as well- I remember her first grade teacher telling us that Emily was the BEST writer at her age she'd ever had in her class, & she's been a teacher for well over 20 years.   I'm sorry to brag, but it makes me really proud that Emily is such a great writer.   Emily has always been better at expressing things in writing.   She may struggle a little with "social" interactions in real life but when she puts thoughts on paper they come out so clean & precise.   So Emily.... Please never give up writing--- I can't imagine you ever will BUT don't because you have a real talent!  I love your stories & I LOVE you too! --- mom.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Stuff... too much stuff.

So we've been trying over the last few years to get rid of  all the "extra" stuff we have.  Our house is small & when I moved in....   I had an apartment so I had "stuff" ... then when my mom & brother moved in, they had stuff & then Brian moved in & he had stuff,  so needless to say, we've accumulated a lot of "stuff" over the years.  Not to mention I (we) used to be much worse at holding on to all our "Stuff".  It's still difficult for me to get rid of some things.  You know... things I find meaning in.  Lots of Emily's things,  you know mostly things like school assignments, art work, her cute little hand writing from when she was just learning.  It's all so special to me.  BUT I'm trying,  it's sometimes difficult to let go of things.  But..... I do try & especially in the last few years we've really made a concerted effort... it's not always easy especially for me.   For a while we tried to have yard sales... BUT they are sooooo much work & you never really know how the day will go.  We got pretty good at them though.  We KNEW we had to put an ad in the paper,  the signs up,  price every thing in advance,  get up early... the yard sale nuts come early. (No offense) BUT we still didn't always do that well... plus people who go to yard sales generally are really really "CHEAP". (Again NO Offense-just speaking the truth here)  Anyway... A couple of years, we discovered this co.  called "load lighteners"  They come,  They take your stuff, & they sell it.  They get 40 %, we get 60%.... it's so much easier.  I would recommend to anyone who has tons of stuff.. trying to look up on the internet some company like this around where you live.  You don't have all the work & it's just one time to say "goodbye" to all your stuff, as opposed to a yard sale where every customer there takes a little memory away---& you must continually say goodbye to your stuff all day.  We have another batch of things for them to pick up... quite a bit actually so I'm excited to have a little more space, make a little money & happy to be one less step away from being a hoarder one day.  ;)  peace out!