First and Last

Wow, a whole school year has come and gone. Our first of many more. It was a rough start getting used to 6:30 am wake ups and getting out the door by 7:15. I think it was harder for daddy than for Alex. I just scrapped this page (digitally) and thought I would share. I just can't believe how much taller Alex got. I was a little upset Miss Shelley took down all the rainbow nametags before I could get the last day shot. I obviously planned this way back in August...LOL!


Preschool memories

I have had this sketch for over 36 yrs and finally scanned it to clean it up. It was yellowed and starting to tear on the edges. My preschool teacher drew this for me. I cannot remember the first name but it is signed K. Pollak, 1972. I was 3 yrs old.

It inspired me to do some (via photoshop) of my kids at almost the same age.


Inspiration or maybe justification...

I thought this was great. I just went to a birthday party a few weekends ago and while I was there I was telling all the other moms how my kids clean the house and put their own laundry away. They also vacuum the kitchen floor after meals, dust and clean the sink in the bathroom after teeth brushing. This sounds like no big deal but some of you may not know that my kids are only 5 and 2 yrs old and BOYS! Afterward I couldn’t believe the reaction from some of the moms. They made it sound like their kid couldn’t do it. I have seen my 2 yr old turn on the computer and pick the right login get to his game and play all by himself, the least he can do is vacuum the floor for me! They don’t always enjoy it but this is a great article on why I do it.

From: FlyLadyMentors@yahoogroups.com [mailto:FlyLadyMentors@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of FLYLADY
Sent: Wednesday, May 28, 2008 8:12 PM
To: FlyLadyMentors@yahoogroups.com
Subject: FLYLADY: Butterflies Need Wings to FLY!

Dear Friends,

Every time I do a personal appearance I always end the talk with my
favorite testimonial.

Dear FlyLady,

After 6 months of flying, fluttering and doing routines, I also got a
feather duster this past week!! I expected to like it, but I didn't
expect it to feel like it was made especially for me.

My 5 yr old DS talked about it every day until it came, the magic wand
that shoots feathers. When it finally came we were ecstatic. I said,
"There is only one rule with the magic dusters: they are for blessing
the house, and everything we say has to be a kind, blessing sort of
thing." and we were off, he with the little duster and me with the
big one. We blessed not only our family and friends and home, we
blessed the lady bugs that live here and the spiders and the dead

My DS turned to me and said, "I bet you didn't know that I was such a
good house blesser!"

"NO I didn't" I replied.

"THAT is because I'm your little FlyBoy!" He said, "You know what is
good about the FlyLady dusters? They pick up the dirt, not just push
them into piles like other dusters" (do you visit these children in
their sleep?? We never dusted before!) Then he reminded me to shake
it out, and ran onto the deck with his arms up to the sky and yelled
at the top of his lungs, "BLESS THE WORLD"

blessings in CT

Whenever I get to this last part I start crying great big purple
puddles. If we can teach a new generation of babies that house work is
not a chore but a way to bless our homes and families; then I have
done what God put me there to do.

Just today I had a conference call with Paddi, Jessica, Kelly and
Laura. We discussed how we had influenced our children. There is still
hope for Jessica and her precious Maddy. Paddi and Laura are born
organized while Kelly and I are total SHEs. To our surprise all of us
had not taught our children well.

I admitted that my son started doing his own laundry when he was nine
years old because I didn't have routines to keep his clothes washed.
He is born organized and I was making it hard on him getting dressed
in the morning. Kelly told a story about sitting in the floor crying
because she had said a very SHE statement, "If you don't get your room
clean I am going to bag up all your toys and give them away!" She
walked into her dear daughter's room to find her kissing all her toys
goodbye. Paddi told a story of her twenty year old daughter having a
new job as a restaurant hostess. Part of her job was to sweep the
entrance of the restaurant. She asked how to do it. The other
employees made fun of her. She had no idea how to sweep or even hold a
broom and went home in tears. She asked her mother how could she have
done this to her. Paddi didn't know she was doing anything wrong. She
would just clean as part of her natural routines. Laura is born
organized too and she admitted that she has felt that as a stay at
home mom that it was her job to keep the house in order. That included
keeping her daughters' rooms clean even if they were messy. This meant
she did the detailed cleaning in their rooms and not necessary the
picking up and putting away.

The conclusion we came up with was that both of us; born organized
and SHEs do not know how to teach our children to bless our homes.
Some of us have used housework as a punishment. No wonder we have
gotten essays about hating to dust and sobbing while washing the
dishes. While others of us just had it done for them and they have no
clue how to dust, sweep or wash dishes; much less how to keep our own
homes or teach our children these skills.

We all are responsible for teaching our children good habits; we train
them to change their underwear daily, brush their teeth twice a day
and fasten their seat belts. The home keeping skills are just another
habit that gives them the wings to FLY into a new world.

Here is the tough question. How can we teach our children home keeping
skills when we don't know them ourselves? I can tell you it is quite
easy! We have to learn this lesson ourselves one babystep at a time
and in the process learning we can teach our children that home
blessing is not a chore. We all deserve to have a home that hugs us.

Let's put on our wings and give our children wings right along with
us. But here is the key for us! It has to be fun! No one ever made it
fun for us. It is OK to have a good time while you clean; it does not
have to be a punishment. Put on some music and make a game out of it!
You will be surprised at how much fun you can have with a timer and a
change in attitude.

What legacy will you leave your children; one of fun or drudgery and
keeping score. Our homes don't clean themselves unless we utilize our
habits and routines to run on automatic pilot.

Are you ready to put on your Wings and FLY so your children can FLY
too? We are all butterflies coming out of our cocoons. The process of
emerging makes us strong and helps us to survive!


This summer we are going to make it fun for everyone are you with us!


The Idol Curse is NO MORE

Along with my favorite idol winning tonight, neither of my children broke any bones, knocked out any teeth or fell off a beds. Although Jeff came close performing his rendition of "Old MacDonald" last night at his preschool show.

This is the story of the curse...

On a very special Tuesday evening back in 2002 I was enjoying watching Season 1 of AI and hoping I would soon also have my very first baby. However, I was not hoping it would happen that night. I had been sitting my fat @ss on the sofa for 19 weeks watching Justin and Kelly climb to the top of the heap. I just couldn't miss the finale! Well of course Alex decided he wanted to see it in person as well. I went into labor that night at 2am. We thought the coast was clear when we had Alex at noon that Wednesday. However I had nurses bugging me right as the winner was announced....how dare they? I basically pushed the woman aside (physically) and told her I needed to see this!
Then in 2003 during Season 2 Alex decided he wanted to knock his front tooth out. At only 10 months old he really put a damper on my idol night.
Since those incidents, I have been extra careful on Idol Finale day. Since I forgot to actually play safe today I guess the curse is broken. Although I did swear I would never watch again if DA won....so the AI Gods must be listening.

I really need to start betting on this show. I think I have been right every year on who will win. My DH will probably disagree but I don't listen to him so why should you?

Bounce University

Jeff had his fun day at school on Monday. It was supposed to be water day but we had a dip in temps this week. So they just did the bounce house and played outside. For lunch they had pizza and cupcakes. The kids were just so cute. Here are some photos.

Miss Lacy liked bouncing with Jeff. And Miss Shannon just had a blast doing the hula hoop. I don't think she wants this on the internet but she is so cute, I had to.

I can't believe school is over for Jeff. We are going to have fun this summer but he will miss his little friends I am sure. I hope he remembers them in the fall.

I am headed to a scrapbooking crop on Saturday and can't wait for 12 straight hours of paper crafting! I have to pack up all my crap today and get the laundry done or I will be so far behind next week.

I can't wait for Ashley to get here for the summer. My sister's middle child will be my mother's helper for a few weeks. It will be such a help to have her at the pool and Dollywood.

Alex has had a fun month at school. He had field day, the kindergarten show (Animals around the world) and the annual fundraising auction. We won a basket of chocolates, a basket of summer fun, and a day out with the After Care providers. Alex plans to go bowling and for ice cream.

Jeffrey even got into the action on bidding...just kidding! I was not paying $850 for a calendar of my kid and his friends. That guy was nuts...no offense Dr. Clemmons!

Alex was invited to his friend Katie's birthday party and boy did he have a blast. It was a cold day but the kids did not care...they were going to slide down that enormous water slide no matter what.

This has been a busy month and we still have 2 weeks left. UGGGGH! Wish me luck and send donations to my martini fund!


Thanks to Lisa and Becky (and not the scrapbooking ones)

On a very groggy morning back in 1998 on May 15th, the company I worked for had a morning division-wide meeting that was mandatory. I had pretty much stayed out the night before waaay to late and dreaded coming into work that day...the only thing that kept me motivated was the prospect of an awesome catered breakfast (customary back in those days).
Much to my surprise the so-called breakfast they were serving was a bunch of crappy dried out cookies that were pretending to be hamantash !
Well as I was bitching about it (out loud of course) this "new guy" butted into my conversation (with myself) and agreed with the "breakfast" bullshit.
This led to a small conversation about what I was out doing the night before and how he also thought about skipping the meeting but heard about the breakfast so like a trooper drove the big 6 miles to work from Hawthorne.
Anyway...later that afternoon (it was a Friday btw) he popped his head over our office cubes (hence picture above) to talk to my friend Lisa. Here is a picture of Lisa (she is a little hottie).
Apparently the engineering department had this thing of asking Lisa to happy hour every week to see "who could get it done". What the Dilbert's didn't realize was that Lisa was happily married to Joe and Friday was date night...riding Harley's and going to the biker bar. LOL what fools!
So anyway, Tony tried asking Lisa to happy hour once again and she pointed to me and said "ask her, she is available now". I had recently been separated from my first DH (dick head in that case) so she jumped at being a matchmaker.

So Tony moved a few feet over and asked me to go to happy hour. I said yes and to call me on my cell phone. It was a new phone and I really didn't know all the stupid little message lights on it so I missed his call/message that night for the directions to the bar. He of course thought I stood him up. So the next morning (Saturday the 16th) I got the message and called him back right away, left a message on his machine to call me back. He did (hours later after calling Becky to ask what he should do...thanks Becky for telling him to call me).

The conversation sorta went like this:
Janice: Hello?
Tony: Hi this is Tony...
Janice: Oh my god, I am SO sorry I screwed up the phone thing last night. I really wanted to go. Tony: Oh that's ok (now I am really making shit up) Would you like to go out tonight? Perhaps to a movie? (he did say movie)
Tony: .....thinking is she crazy?....
Janice: It is the nicest day of the year so far and you want to go hide in a dark theatre? *(it was the first "spring" day in NJ)
Tony: Uh...no? Then what would you like to do?
Janice: Let's go eat somewhere outside...perhaps Ridgewood?
Tony: Uh ...ok
Janice: I will meet you at your house.
Tony: Uh... ok. (I have no idea what he said)

So that was it...the date started around 6pm and didn't end till 3 am. It was probably the longest date in history. So long I can hardly remember what we talked about or where we went. We had a wonderful time. We hit at least 3 different places for food and drinks and he will swear to you that I drank 6 Guinness and fell in love. I will swear it was 3! But he might be right about the love part. We said goodnight and the rest is history.

Why am I telling this long and boring story? Well today is our 10 yr dating anniversary. We have celebrated every year for the past 10 yrs. It is almost more special than our wedding anniversary I think. I wanted to share and get it down in writing before I forget (I am almost 40 ya know)!

Oh and the title is just a pun for my scrapbooking friends Lisa and Becky are some famous designers/editors in the business of Scrap.


Ok, all my ADULT friends please take the phones away from your ridiculously tone deaf teenagers next Tuesday evening. Hide in your bathroom, car, closet whatever it takes and dial that phone for DAVID COOK!

That little twerp from Utah just cannot win...think of the crap you will have to listen to on the radio for the next 5 yrs. We need a really talented musician to win this year. Payback for Daughtry not winning.

Enuff said! GO VOTE

!David Cook


Getting Older

As I approach the final year of my 30's I have to hope that I will be inspired to get off my ass and make a difference in my life and others as well.
I feel sometimes I have wasted too much time just sitting and watching the world go by. I am not big on resolutions, they are just a set up for failure. I believe you can start "doing good" anytime, anywhere.
I have to say even though it was a hectic weekend I really do appreciate my family. Tony, Alex and Jeff made my birthday/mother's day weekend very special.
Alex made me two cards at school. One even in French!

They picked out gifts at the store when we shopped on Sunday morning before the park opened. I received a beautiful mirror, a jar, and some flowers.

Then on Sunday morning as we were on our way to breakfast my cell phone rang. It was my sister wishing me a happy birthday and mother's day. I am so lucky to have a sister. I just wish we lived a little closer.

Then while shopping (or actually taking the boy to the bathroom)
my dad called with well wishes.

Then a text from my friend Dee...who is a mother of 4, took some time out of her special day to send me good wishes.

Then my mommy called when we were on our way into the park...it is a special day for her as well. Since I was actually born ON Mother's Day it is a treat when my birthday falls on that day again.

I can't forget all the birthday wishes on MySpace and Facebook either...it is so great to be in touch with old friends (now that we can all be OLD together).

And you would think I would get only half the celebration (like Christmas babies) but since I have had kids my dear husband has tried to make it special for me. I know my mom still gets "combo" gifts LOL including the table and chairs she just got from us this year. I am fortunate to get not only a birthday gift and mother's day gift but I also get a "dating anniversary gift" next week (the 16th). It will be 10 yrs this week. I just can't believe we are together that long. It seems like only yesterday.

Well I need to get the boy off for a tball game before "coach Tony" gets home. Signing off...Janice & Co.

Our big news story of the day

Firefighters continued to battle a forest fire this morning on Buffalo Mountain in southern Washington County after winds made the going difficult Wednesday night.



The 100 Layout Dash

Ok, so I joined this little challenge on a scrapbooking message board.
First contestant to reach 100 layouts wins! Here is #1.


You know you have lived here too long (Johnson City TN)

If Any of This Makes Sense To You
  • Your goal in life is to get out of here.
  • Your Friday/Saturday nights consist of eating out and driving up and down Roan Street (and you look around at the license plates and realize that there are more people from surround counties i.e. Carter, Unicoi, Hampton, Sullivan. etc. (wow)
  • You know everything about a lot of people before you've even met them.
  • The highlight of going to the mall is AF AE or Hollister.
  • Whenever you go out you see someone you know….most of the time you're related to them.
  • You remember it being so awesome when we got a Starbucks (that gets us up to 1 and ½ now counting the cafĂ© in B&N).
  • You actually have gone to Oklona Rd. (or rather "the haunted exit") and turned off your car.
  • You have dedicated much of your life to supporting Pal's.
  • A twenty minute drive in traffic is a LONG time.
  • You are willing to drive 30 min. to eat the best BBQ in the world—Ridgewood.
  • You remember before you could drive when it was so awesome to go to the mall and walk to Carmike afterwards.
  • Third grade field trip included Roan Mountain, Rocky Mount, or maybe even Dollywood.
  • You remember when they had that awesome animated dinosaur in the mall (and a putt putt course with the remote controlled boats).
  • You remember life without Chili’s.
  • Your parents most likely work at the JCMC, ETSU, Eastman Chem., or NFS.
  • You regularly attended the "Musket Bowl" (Boone vs. Crockett) just to see the country boys raise some hell.
  • You saw Louis Vuitton bags about 2 years after they became super popular—and most of them were fake.
  • You think paying more than 2 dollars for gas is ridiculous.
  • You played on those rocks at the VA when you were a kid.
  • You have always wanted to (or actually have) driven your car on those tracks off the road behind the movies.
  • When out-of-towners ask if we have a Publix and you say "Huh?"
  • When you resorted to screwing around in Wal-Mart because driving and watching movies/going to the mall got old.
  • Evian water was for the "rich" people.
  • You know exactly who Steve Grindstaff is and saw his strange wedding on tv.
  • You know why this is funny: "The fish are always biting at the Harbor House…T"
  • You were freakin' jealous when you heard of Unicoi County getting out for snow everyday and for the Apple Festival (come on, now).
  • You can remember when we had a Putt-Putt and a Laser Storm….and they closed it down.
  • It takes you less than 1 min. to drive through "downtown."
  • The projects are really decent apartments.
  • Your parents have probably lived here most of their life (like you).
  • The driving course at the DMV consisted of driving about a mile down the road and back (with no parallel parking).
  • You've always secretly wanted to go to Aunt B's.
  • You know to not drive on race weekend.
  • You take pride in the fact that Kenny Chesney went to ETSU (even though he didn't stay there).
    You think the Carnegie is "like the best hotel ever."
  • The best parties were in the field.
  • You roll your eyes when you remember it's Storytelling Weekend in Jonesborough.
  • You are deprived of only one major chain restaurant….TGI Fridays.
  • You remember when they found the decapitated head in Boone Lake…and you still went wakeboarding anyway.
  • Senior trip was assumed to take place in Myrtle Beach.
  • You get offended when people say they don't like Sweet Tea or corn bread and soup beans (even though I don't like those beans myself).
  • You remember all of those annoying "We Need Wellmont" signs.
  • It kinda made you mad when they cut down those 1000 year old trees across from JCMC.
  • You have drive to Asheville or Knoxville to do some decent shopping.
  • You went to the Magical Night of Giving actually thinking you might win the car.
  • Getting drunk and sitting in traffic for 3 hours to see the fireworks on July 4 (and seeing everyone you know).
  • You are so sick of seeing those people dressed like lady liberty that stand on the side of the road waiving at you.
  • You are for real ready for some good radio stations.
  • You spend thousands of dollars pimping out your '97 civic so you can roll down N. Roan Street.
  • Hands On! Museum was the shit back in the day.
  • You are friends with Danny from the mall
  • You enjoy the ridiculousness of the Elite Ladies show on the local channel
  • You party it up at PR's on Thursday!
  • You attend the movies at the lake every June....and once again see everyone you know.
  • You were so stoked when they opened the new Wal-Mart in J-boro (even though the one in JC still stays busy)
  • You've had some deep conversations on the Barnes and Noble Patio
  • You've ridden the saddle at Texas Roadhouse on your birthday
  • You heard all about the man cave and hopefully don't know someone involved in it.
  • You went to the Peerless before prom (yeah, that's original)
  • Shamrock tobacco shop is pretty flippin sweet.
  • You get a little tingle of excitement when you hear that we might be getting a super target.
  • Sonny's Marina in the summer is just a given.
  • You thought the "Save Our Summer" signs were pretty gay
  • You have always wondered why the hell is the BMW/Mercedes dealership is in Kingsport.
  • You were totally "the first" to think that the old Ride Revolution building would be the best club.
  • If you know who Mary the elephant is and why it's important and you shake your head and roll your eyes
  • Yeah blah blah blah Speedway in Lights. whatever.


Kindergarten Schoolwork 1

Kindergarten Schoolwork 1
Originally uploaded by Noell
This was so cool...I need to make one of these for Alex.


Funny blog

this was so funny I had to share...too bad these ladies gave up writing their blog. But thankfully they left the archives for us.


Behold the Golliwog in all his glory:


I believe this pattern is from some time in the 40s. I was shocked by how freakishly scary it is. What the hell kinda kid would want to play with this thing? Check out those eyes. They make Jennifer Wilbanks look well-adjusted. I also find this thing crazy offensive. The Golliwog character was originally developed by Frances Upton to resemble a Black Minstrel. Wow. Have some stereotypes with your milk and cookies, kids. Thank goodness, by the time I was growing up in the 80s, our culture had moved past such horrible displays of racial intolerance and misunderstanding.


Or not. What the hell is this? Either this family is on their way to the weekly meeting of the Racist Memorabilia Collectors Club (Cracker Division) or they're just cruising to get their asses kicked down at the Family Dollar. Either way they are totally psyched about it. Check out the tot. "We hate Black people! Up with Whitey! Wheeeeee!"

Ten bucks says they have a Mammy cookie jar on their kitchen counter and a lawn jockey out by the car port.

Ending April

As this month ends and the next begins I have to admit I really stink about making blog posts regularly. I suppose it is because I waste so much time reading other blogs. I am addicted to reading scrapbook forums and blogs now.

This past weekend Jeff and I went on a quick trip to K-Ville to visit Memaw and Aunt Lesley. It was cousin Ashley's 11th birthday party. We had some fun playing with cousin Collin and the other kids.

Jeffrey has been saying "memaw's house" repeatedly for about a month now and I just couldn't take it anymore. Now unfortunately he thinks we can go there anytime...he doesn't understand it is 5 hrs away.

I have been planting crap in the yard. The boys are having fun helping.

Tball season is in full swing. Alex is having a blast hitting home runs (he is a natural). Jeff is loving watching but really wants to play too. Dad is coaching and the parents think he is great. I think he was born to coach.

We are getting ready for the school fund raising auction this Saturday. It should be fun. Only 4 more weeks of school and then we hit the pool and Dollywood!
Actually we are headed to DW for my birthday/mother's day weekend as we have done for the past 2 yrs. I just hope it is a good weather day. The kids have missed the rides and would love to jump on those stupid ducks and pigs as soon as they can.

Oh well, gotta go get back to the laundry. Have a happy May!