Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. I've given up on Caribou's travel coffee mugs.  They're poorly insulated & fall apart.  My favorite new find: Thermos' Vacuum Insulated Travel Mug: http://www.thermos.com/product_details.aspx?ProdID=1143&CatCode=MUGS&q=. I swear my coffee actually gets hotter in that baby!

2. In the last month I've had a cold, the flu & now strep. I'd say that's about enough--here's to a healthy summer!

3. The older I get the more I get like.... My Dad!  Sure, I'm like my mom in a lot of ways, and I see plenty of other relatives reflected in me.  But it is my dad who shines through the most.  If you know my dad, you'd know that's a compliment.  Right?!

4. I may just have to take the girls to the Steele County jail while we're home this summer.  Abby has a lot of questions about life behind bars.  The latest: Can you wear Hi-Tootsies to jail?  "Sure," I tell her, "but when you get to jail they take them from you and issue ugly Bye-Tootsies."  Let the flood gates spill open with questions!

5. I've yet to name the Acadia.  It isn't like I feel the need to.  However, I knew it was red I'd name her Ruby.  I've been calling it The Beast; that's the best I've got for now.

6. I wonder if the cashier at Michael's has any idea the gift she gave me last week when she complimented Lauren's behavior.  Thank you!

7. While I'm at the business of thanking people, I'd like to thank everyone who wished for the summer to finally arrive during our long winter and cool start to spring.  I'm really enjoying this heat.  Sensing the sarcasm?!

8. I am like a little kid, filled with excitement at what adventures summer holds!

9. Facebook poking.  It's weird.  Geoff & I have been poking each other a lot lately.  But that's more like flirting, and fun, especially since he is in Florida.  But he's my husband, which makes it not-so-weird.  If some random person I hardly talk to from high school poked me, what would I think?  If they poked me in real life I'd probably kick them.  Okay, not really, but the thought would cross my mind.  If you poke me on Facebook, I'll know you read this post.

10. "Hey, Mom!  Do these look like your initials?  They do, right?  Because I know how to do them now and so you don't have to sign my agenda anymore, I can do it!"  Great!  She's in kindergarten and already working on forging my signature.  And I thought Lauren was the one I needed to keep an eye on.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tight Ride

I wasn't going to post about this.  I wasn't really even going to talk about it in general.  Not because it's a big secret, but because it's my milestone and I didn't think it was that big of a deal.  But I guess it is.

As my beloved cousin, Shawn, pointed out.... Today is an end of an era: Oprah's last show, and new wheels for Brooke!  A lot of people have come into my life and into my Grand Am.  And boy have I grown up with that car.  It was the first car I bought entirely on my own.  The car that has been with me to every duty station the Air Force has taken us.  The car both of our babies came home from the hospital in.  The car we road-tripped across America in.  I loved that car.

But the time has come to say good-bye to the baby I affectionately dubbed, Granny, in her geriatric years.  It was getting too tight for all of us, and unless I can find a way to keep these girls from growing, we were in need of the space.

Tonight I said good-bye to one tight ride and hello to another....

{Good-Bye Kiss}

{The View from the New}

If you had the pleasure of adventuring with me in the Grand Am, thank you for the memories.... I look forward to making new ones in my much roomier Acadia! 

{Tight New Ride}

P.S. It probably comes as no surprise that I've had the car less than three hours & the radio stations are programmed.... and ready for Minnesota!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. Random Fact No. One: Koala means no drink.

2. Random Fact No. Two: the silhouette on major league baseball's emblem is Harmon Killebrew. The things you learn about people when they pass away.

3. I was beginning to question taking the girls to the park tonight when they hooked up with a boy Abby knew from school named Salvador. She knew him because he had to come to her classroom one day due to poor behavior. Great. Then I saw the girls forging their ages. Abby was seven, and while I'm not 100%, I'm guessing Lauren was posing as six. Thankfully, a little girl dropped her beloved bear named Daisy. Without hesitation, Abby picked up Daisy, wiped her off with care, then handed her back to her owner.  I literally felt my heart smile.

4. Abby's yearbook.  Probably one of my best investments.  She could look at that thing for hours.

5. Those two little girls in the neighborhood tormenting the much larger boy for still having training wheels... they're mine.  Something tells me their tag-teaming gangster ways will come back to bite them in the bottom someday.

6. Five states, five different homes.  Same car.  Saying good-bye tomorrow isn't going to be easy. I'm going to miss you, Granny.

7. Yesterday a three-year-old ninja proposed to me at school, ring and all.  Today another little boy told me he loved me.  Who says toddlers aren't the best?!

8. I might be the only person left on the planet who cannot sing a single note to Justin Beaver.  Oh, that isn't a typo.  That's exactly how Abby pronounces it.  I could look him up on YouTube, but I think I'll pass.  Let's just see how long I can remain oblivious.

9. Everyday Lauren gets in the tub and serves me up a glass of 1919 Root Beer.  It won't be long and I'll be able to belly up to the bar at home and get one for myself.  My mouth is watering at the thought of it!

10. I'm going out on a limb here and saying Herman Cain.

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Little Birdie Told Me....

Lauren's end of the year program was held this morning.  If you asked me why I'm glad to be alive I'd tell you it's for moments like these.... a heart-warming reminder of why I need to cherish everything in between these little milestones.

Her class' presentation was a collection of songs they've learned throughout the school year.  Each child had his/her own character, and my little character was a yellow baby birdie singing what else, "Baby Birdie".  The kids also displayed pieces of their art work and were presented with their certificate of completion.  My baby's ready for kindergarten.

{The Baby Birdies}

{Preschool Graduate}

{Proud Mama}

{The Artist}

{I Want to be a Mommy}

{Miss Lisa & Lauren}

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Mini Golf & the Rollar Rink

When Abby found out she'd be attending her friend Megan's birthday party at Skateworld she was thrilled, but a bit intimidated when she heard me utter my concern over her lack of skating skills.  I enlisted Geoff to be the party parent for this one.  Lauren and I went to neighboring Indian Trails where we hit the links miniature style.

It was a great way to wrap up a busy family weekend.

{Megan Helping Abby Skate}

{Holy Orange Golf Ball, Lauren}

{Queen Inside the Mountain}

{Sk8er Gurl}

{On the Move}

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Meet Me at the Gym

Today: Abby & Lauren's first gymnastics meet.  A chance for them to get acquainted with life in competitive gymnastics.  It was also a chance for the parents to see how far the girls have come over the course of the year.  The girls enjoyed getting dressed up in their new team leotards, showing off their skills, and having fun with their friends from the gym.  We enjoyed watching their innocence.... Lauren putting both hands on her heart during the National Anthem, Abby giving the judge a thumbs up before her first event.  My heart swelled with pride as I watched them.  Perhaps the best part in it all is that we weren't looking for them to be perfect, just to be.

{Abby & Lauren with their Coach Amanda}

{Celebrating with Dairy Queen}

Friday, May 20, 2011

Flashback Friday

Some things I just miss.  Abby sucking her thumb, Lauren's over-sized chubbies....

November 2, 2006

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thank You Thursday

1. I'm thankful I can still pick up my children and kiss them, squeeze them and snuggle them.

2. I'm thankful for the experiences that shape me.

3. I'm thankful for my health. It seems funny to be saying that since I've been sick for over a week now, but this will pass. I'm blessed not to be facing something major.

4. I'm thankful for the laughter that fills my house. Sure, there is plenty of pollution between the screams, the fighting and spats of crying. But the laughter is what I get up for in the morning.

5. I'm thankful I work where I do. I'm surrounded by true professionals with a knack for what is right and a genuine caring for the human spirit. It's so easy to take it for granted.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

{Between the Pages: "Nineteen Minutes"}

Jodi Picoult's Nineteen Minutes is a strikingly real taste of the lives, dynamics, and circumstances of a community rocked by a school shooting.

Relying on several key characters to lay out the story, Picoult weaves their lives around one another, shedding light on the events that lead a social outcast to exploit his deepest desires.  In doing so Picoult effortlessly draws her reader to question reason and moral.

I loved this novel.  It was very easy to get into, drawing me in from sentence number one.  I like a book that makes me think, challenges me to question what I know, and gives me a story that takes me to places I wasn't expecting.  Picoult brilliantly does all of these things, while taking on a subject every parent should be acutely aware of: bullying.

What happened to the school shooter in this novel could be the story of thousands of students across America, and the underlying questions persist throughout: What makes one cross the line of no return and not another? Who could have prevented it? What were the warning signs? How could no one have known?

As an educator and a parent I find the subject matter fascinating and important.  Picoult tackled the subject matter respectfully and honestly, and as a reader I appreciated the way she allowed her characters' stories to unfold.

I highly recommend this book to people who enjoy a well-written, thought-provoking story with an ending you don't see coming.

[GIVE AWAY: My copy is up for grabs.... the first to comment for request gets the book!]

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. Last Tuesday Lauren came to Abby's school with me for a character workshop on citizenship. Lauren LOVED her chance to practice being a kindergartner. I LOVED the picture Abby's teacher sent me of the lovelies....

2. When a little girl runs into your room and proclaims, "I'm a kiss kiss girl," is there really anything to do other than pick her up and smooch her?!

3. My posting hiatus is now over. Thanks to a technical glitch on Blogger and this dreaded cold/flu double-punch, I've admittedly slacked. Though you probably missed it, I did post on the foodie blog Saturday: {www.feedingthelovelies.blogspot.com/2011/05/making-sandwich.html} The girls made their own sandwiches.

4. When they say laughter is the best medicine, they don't mean for viruses. I've had a lot of good belly laughs this past week and I'm still sick. Grrrrrr! Enough already.

5. I'm not too humble to admit that if they handed out Nobel prizes for patience I'd be the first to get one. I've had a lot of practice and it's wearing thin. Sometimes even I am tired of waiting!

6. Lauren can't wait to go to the cabin this summer. She told me it would be so much fun to live there. She also informed me that when we make a fire at night we have to watch it from inside the cabin so the bear doesn't get us. This bear has no idea the impact he made on our little lady.

7. Abby insisted on calling her aunt, uncle and Papa for her math survey. My babe is so grown up.

8. I'm declaring this summer the summer of chocolate, and when we go to Wenatchee we're going to cover everything in it: bacon, cherries, rhubarb.... Why not?!

9. I'm still in awe that Casey Kasem said 'Owatonna' on his broadcast from May 15, 1982. Yep, I listen to replays on the internet. Such a nerd!

10. I am successfully embarking on my personal tour of Ohio with one goal: Changing the lingo of the locals. It isn't easy. You'd think I wouldn't be the first outsider to inform them what we call a cornhole. If you too are in the dark (no pun intended here) definition number one should clear things up: {www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=cornhole}. I can't promise you won't be grossed out and I am not responsible for the attached images.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I recently received a list of books from our local high school that they are in need of.  Due to limited funds and aging books, the books need replacing on a dwindling budget.  Because I'm a believer in education AND repurposing, I am making it my mission to collect as many of these as I can.

I signed up for coupons with Half Priced Books {http://www.hpb.com/} and have the list printed off where I keep it in my car for easy access.  My goal is to buy a book from this list each time I make another book purchase and acquire a sufficient collection to donate to the school.

If any of you have any of these books in your collection that you are looking to get rid of, or if you would like to make a donation yourself, I will be touring the country this summer {on what is known as my summer vacation}and would gladly take any of these pieces of literature off your hands and bring them back to Fairborn where the students here can put them to good use.

The List

A Raisin in the Sun
Romeo and Juliet
To Kill a Mocking Bird
They Cage the Animals at Night
Of Mice and Men
Midsummer’s Night Dream
Tears of the Tiger
Great Expectation
Hamilton’s Mythology
On a Pale Horse
Much Ado about Nothing
Lord of the Flies
Taming of the Shrew
Brave New World
Ender’s Game
Fellowship of the Ring
Illustrated Man
Huckleberry Finn
The Crucible
Grapes of Wrath
Uncle Tom’s Cabin
The Scarlet Letter
My Antonia
The Great Gatsby
Heart of Darkness
Oedipus the King
Cyrano de Bergerac
Skin of Our Teeth
The Little Prince
Gulliver’s Travels
Elephant Man
Wuthering Heights
Pride and Prejudice
Merchant of Venice

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. Virtually every lip balm I have strategically placed in my high-traffic areas has run dry at the same time. Grrrrrrr.

2. The Wizard of Oz has a lasting appeal that has remained a classic spanning generations.  So why am I struggling to get through Wicked?!

3. Thanks to Facebook, I learned last week that 4 May is Star Wars Day.  May the fourth be with you.  Yep, that's what I said.

4. Lauren loves to play doctor.  Yesterday she was checking in my daughter and rattled off a long list of inquiries, including if my daughter has any allergies.  Specifically she was curious if she was allergic to diarrhea.  What do I even say to that?!

5. I believe I have my fine-haired German ancestors to thank for my impossibly horrible bed head.  The older I get the worse it gets.  Though, Abby's is pretty bad too I have to admit.  Sorry, Abigail.

6. So I guess Bin Laden wasn't hiding in that gigantic hole Lizzie dug in our back yard when we were living at Hanscom AFB.  I'm sure he could have been quite cozy, but he probably wouldn't have been happy with the service he got from Comcast there any more than we were. LoL. And I'm sure Comcast would not have cared about him any more than the rest of us on base. Yep, still bitter.

7. Move over Miss Lisa.  Today Lauren and I went to Abby's school to volunteer for a character workshop on being a good citizen.  Lauren loved it, and was especially grateful to be a part of a kindergarten class for the afternoon.  She decided to make Abby's teacher a thank you card when we got home, along with a special note.  The "ILMDL" means, I love Miss Duling.  Just in case you're wondering, the "ILUD" means I love your dad.  Oh, Lauren!

{The Special Note}

8. How long does it take the mail-order pharmacy to get our prescriptions together.  Thank God we've got what we need to get us through.  Still.  Geez!

9. There are two things I want right now: an ice pack and a nap.

10. Just for fun I Googled, "Chocolate Chip Cookies".  The first on the list was, of course, NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE's recipe for their famous cookies.  This is the recipe that appeared fourth on the list, and stakes claim at being the best: www.allrecipes.com/Recipe/best-chocolate-chip-cookies/Detail.aspx.  Happy National Chocolate Chip Day on May 15th!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day.... Like Riding a Bike

Mother's Day 2011 was all that it should be....
  • Geoff was the first one out of bed, then headed off to the store for breakfast must haves. Easy for me!
  • Lauren climbed into bed with me, providing endless love, snuggles & kisses. I can never get enough of these!
  • My Mother's Day gifts included a bounty of cards, drawings, a picture frame, chocolate-covered strawberries & flowers. Yumm!

  • Enjoyed homemade waffles.  Thanks, Daddy!
  • I made a new friend.... Alyssa Klein.  A childhood friend of Geoff's, we're excited to have another Minnesotan living here in Ohio!  Thanks for spending the weekend with us, Alyssa!

  • We visited the Air Force Museum.

  • Went out for dinner at my favorite chicken wing joint.  Fricker's!
  • Took a nap on the couch with my girls. Enjoying this while it lasts!
  • Took a walk with the dog. Thank you, Lizzie, for pooping in the vacant field so I didn't have to pick it up!
  • Played outside. No rain!
  • And....

Took off Abby's training wheels!  Yippee!

{Waiting With the Wrench}

  • Took off Lauren's training wheels....

But this is about as far as she got. Next time!

It was the BEST Mother's Day a girl could ask for.  No work.  All play.  Just being a mom.

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Flashback Friday

Today Lauren imitated a project they did at preschool where they drew an outline of their bodies.  Only today she did it with her rocket blanket....

Present Day

This Friday we flash back through the archives in search for some of the earliest evidence of Lauren and her Rock.

September 9, 2008

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thank You Thursday

1. I'm thankful for the kid in Geoff.  More often than I know he replays the winning goal that made the Bulldogs national champions for the first time in men's division I hockey.  It's safe to say I'm thankful the Bulldogs finally pulled that off, too!

2. I'm grateful for Lauren.

This is the bag she made to gift my Mother's Day mug & flower.  She wrote Happy Mother's Day, because Miss Lisa told her to.... her words. She also drew a picture of the Easter Bunny with some eggs.... nice touch.  The "ILMLI" means, I love Miss Lisa.... do you think she loves her teacher?!  But my favorite is her depiction of me.  That's me on the bottom of the bag, pregnant with her.... where does she come up with this stuff?!

3. I'm thankful for the random guy who told me I look like I just won the lotto.  Really?  I honestly thought I looked like a scrub as I strolled to Subway with a book in my hands, waiting for my oil to get changed.  Maybe it was the sunshine, or the prospect of finally getting new wheels, all of which I am also thankful for.  Thank you random guy.

4. I'm thankful for such a great mother-in-law.  I couldn't ask for a better one, and the girls are equally as lucky to have her as their grandma.  If only we could travel like the speed of light and see her more often!

5. I'm thankful for nudging friends.  Sometimes that's all I need.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. Better late than never.  Lauren's five year pictures today.  Priceless.

2. The girls still play cars.  Matchbox cars.  They still dump out my old purse full of them into a pile on the floor.  The way they play has evolved, but still they love to play cars.  I love it.

3. In my unscientific study, Wal-Mart's generic nail polish remover is tops.

4. Just got a recipe for Strawberries & Cream Mini Muffins.  Can't wait to try that one, and I just happen to have strawberries in the fridge.

5. The GMC Acadia has moved to the top of my list.  And I enjoyed last Saturday's car shopping adventure with Geoff.  Of course it doesn't hurt that we pitstopped at Perkins for lunch!

6. I love a good story.

7. One day I may be good at Zumba. Until then I shall look like a fool while working my buns off.  But I really do like it.

8. I could not be more grateful that my girls are so different; their own distinct personas.  I love them both in their own way.

9. Who knew being a bus stop mom could be so fun?!  I often wonder what the bus driver is thinking when he loops back around and we're still standing there gabbing.  I know this.... we're currently running a sting oppression to catch the speeding yellow car.  Earlier in the school year she slammed right into a parked car; it was totalled.  I hate to see what happens if she messes with one of the children of the bus stop moms.  Let's hope the cops catch her first!

10. The girls LOVE Mother's Day.  They know they aren't supposed to keep secrets from mom, especially if someone tells them not to tell their mother.... except when it comes to Mother's Day.  It is eating them from the inside out keeping all of these secrets.  So much so that Lauren reminds me she knows a secret she can't tell me.  I just want to grab her little cheeks and kiss her when she does that!

Monday, May 2, 2011

I ♥ Teachers

Teacher Appreciation Day is tomorrow, May 3rd.

I cannot sing the praise of the girls' teachers loud enough.  They truly have two of the best teachers America's education system has to offer.

Blogs are all abuzz with cute & clever tokens of appreciation for our children's most influential roll models outside of the home.  This is what I came up with for our favorite teachers....

At literally $2 a piece, these hand-crafted pencil holders are nothing more than crayons Mod Podged to an empty glass salsa jar, tied with a ribbon, and stuffed with a couple dozen pencils.  Voilà!

Thank you, teachers!

Big Day

A big day for America.  A big day at the Zahn house.  In the last twenty-four hours America has celebrated the capture & demise of Osama Bin Ladin. Abby, on the other hand, is focused on her own conquest: losing a tooth.  The second best thing is getting one of her big teeth; it looks like both are about to happen for our little lady....

{The Big Tooth Pushes Through}

Lauren, on the other hand, has taken up multi-tasking.  She has been logging in a lot of time on her laptop lately....

{Lauren Talks to Grandma & Types Scooby Homework}

The next best thing to happen in Abby's world: she taught herself to tie her shoes....



{About Me}

My photo
Fairborn, Ohio, United States
I'm a teacher by trade, writer at heart & mom in every sense of my being. I never considered writing as a profession, but after I got married and began moving around the country, I began sharing my adventures, misadventures & updates through a sort of e-mail newsletter. I found a true passion in unconventional story-telling that has followed me into motherhood.