Tuesday, September 30, 2008

United Through Reading

United Through Reading is a non-profit public benefit organization. The goal of this organization is to unite families who are physically separated by giving them the ability to record themselves on DVD reading books to their children. The DVDs are sent to the children and the child can then see mom or dad or a grandparent reading a favorite story to them. This program is used primarily for military families with a parent who is currently deployed. They also have a program for grandparents. Many grandparents live more that 100 miles from their grandchildren. This gives them the ability to connect with their far away grandchildren.

I found out about this program when I purchased Kellogg's cereal at Target. Kellogg's currently has a promotion running in which you purchase two Kellogg's cereals with a special token on the box. You mail the tokens in for a free book. You can also purchase additional books for $5.00 each. The $5.00 is a donation to United Through Reading. There were no shipping or handling charges included, so it truly was a FREE book. When the book arrived, I got a letter from Kellogg's telling me about United Through Reading and a $1.00 off coupon for another book to be purchased at Target. Both Target and Kellogg's are sponsors of and contributors to United Through Reading. 80% of all proceeds that United Through Reading collects goes back to support their program.
You can find out more information about this program at or on Target's website at

Monday, September 29, 2008

Supporting the Pack

It's the height of Cub Scout popcorn season.
Yesterday we were out doing our part to raise funds for Cub Scout Pack 220.
What a way to spend a Sunday afternoon. =)
By the way, notice who is missing from this picture?
Yes, my own Cub Scout was out celebrating his best buds birthday!
Mom, Dad, Caley and Caitlyn were out with the boys from the Pack, selling popcorn.
We are very committed (or maybe we should be committed?).
Seriously, we had a good time, made some money, and got to know a few of the boys better!

Friday, September 26, 2008

A Taste of Fall.

Is it finally coming? We have had a long awaited taste of fall in Central Florida for the last two days. It is unlikely that this is it, it is probably just a tease. But what a nice tease it has been. For the last two mornings we have had a refreshing walk to school. The afternoon's have been warn (85 degrees), but a lot less humid and a lot more comfortable than the 95 with 90% humidity that we have known for the last 5 months. For those of you who do not live in Central Florida, you have no idea how much difference 5 degrees can make. I actually felt COLD, at baseball practice on Wednesday night. And it felt GOOD!!! I for one, cannot wait for real fall to get here. The girls and I are going to put the Fall and Halloween decorations out tomorrow. We have been counting the days since last Halloween! Yippee!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Yankees Win!

Yankees 14, Angels 3

CJ's first "at bat"

CJ's Little League team won their first game last night.
It was a rainy night, but they had a good game.
CJ got his first experience at LIVE play.
He struck out in his first at bat and took a walk in his second. (I have been trying to impress upon him that he does not need to swing at every pitch).
Due to base hits by two of his teammates, and a few fielding errors, he got to run the bases, sliding into 2nd, and finally sliding into home!
He was very excited to score a run in his first game.

His next game is Thursday, October 2nd.
I will keep you posted!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Weekend FUN!!!

WOW! What a crazy weekend, and it carried right over into Monday. Saturday we started the day with selling Cub Scout Popcorn door-to-door in one of the local neighborhoods. It was mildly successful and very HOT!!! The girls tagged along and surprisingly, handled it pretty well. Immediately after Popcorn selling we ran home, changed uniforms, and headed out to baseball practice. Again, IT WAS HOT!!! After practice, we ran some errands and went home to catch up on all of the domestic stuff that needed to be done there.

When Sunday came around, it was time for some fun. We packed up and headed out to our favorite place, where else...The Magic Kingdom. It was a nice day and not too busy. We stayed for a few hours, hit some of our favorite attractions, saw the 3:00 parade, and headed home. What a weekend!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

He is a Yankee!

CJ got his new Little League uniform tonight. It was the night that he had been waiting for. But, the Yankees? Both Chris and I are having a hard time with that one (neither of us is a Yankee fan, far from). For this season, we will have to put aside our feelings, and cheer them on, at the Winter Garden Little League field that is.

CJ is doing great. He is really hanging in there with baseball. He got his first hit tonight off of one of his teammate pitchers, not a coach. He also got to practice running the bases with the coaches giving them the signals that they will give in the games. And the highlight of the night was learning to slide. Every boys dream! CJ did really good, he looked like he had been doing it for years. On the way home he proudly told me that he had grass stains on his pants that I would need to wash out. To him, I guess that means that he is a real ball player.

His first game is on Monday, Sept. 22. I will let you know how it goes!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

That's What Happens When You Are Over 40!

Yesterday, I had one of those wonderfully humbling experiences that you get to have when you are over 40. Uggghhhh, did I actually just admit that I am over 40?

For the last year or so I have been noticing that I am having a hard time reading small print, especially at night or in low lighting. I have been trying to ignore it, but finally it got the best of me and I decided it was time to make an appointment with an Eye Doctor. I know, I know, lots of people have done this before, and many of them were well UNDER 40. But, for me this is a new experience. I don't think I have ever had a real eye exam. I know I have never had my pupils dilated before (wow, was that an experience!).

So yesterday, I went. From the minute I sat down in the exam chair and started explaining what I have been noticing with my eyes, the theme of the day became, "that's what happens when you are in your 40's." The doctors assistant said it to me as soon as she did a couple of simple vision tests. Luckily, she was older than me, and has been wearing glasses for a long time. Then the doctor came in to do more tests and a more complete eye exam, which included dilating my pupils. And again I heard, "well, this is very normal when you turn 40, and it only gets worse the older you get." Great! Now, I have not only been reminded that I am over 40, but also that things will only continue to fall apart!

The really funny part of the whole exam is having your pupils dilated. You go into the doctor's office because you are having trouble with your eyes and they do something to you that temporarily makes your vision worse! I know, this is done so that they can check your eyes for glaucoma, cataracts, etc. But, I just found it very funny that when I walked in I could read a magazine and when I walked out I could not read the prescription that he gave me for my new glasses! Luckily the affects wore off in a few hours, but I got a lot of laughs out of it during those three hours.

So, yes, I will be wearing glasses soon. Yet another reminder of "That's What Happens When You Are Over 40!" =-)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

September 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Chris!!!

This year he is 39!!!

But next year... He has to cross that line. =)

Happy Birthday!

Love Julie, CJ, Caley & Caitlyn.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Silly Sunday!

Cinderella, Pocahontas, and Capt. Jack

This I what the kids did on a HOT September Afternoon.
The black cape on Caley's head is supposed to be Pocahontas' hair.
They were acting out several Disney movies, ALL at the same time. =-)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Baseball Saturday!!!

CJ and Coach Bolin at first practice.

One of our new activities this fall (well, it is still full blown SUMMER in Florida!) is Little League Baseball. CJ has wanted to play baseball for the last couple years. I always felt like we were too busy with other activities, and I was a little intimidated by Little League.

This year we decided it was now or never. I didn't want him to get too old to play for that first time. I mean, he is 9, he is practically a senior citizen when it comes to first year ball players! Ha, Ha!

So far it has been a really great experience. The other players and coaches are definitely as intense about the game as I thought they would be. I was worried that they would eat CJ alive and he would become too self-conscious. But, just the opposite has happened. Both the coaches and other players have been very supportive and helpful to him. When he takes batting practice the coaches really work with him and the other boys rally around and cheer him on. It is really great to see. I have actually had tears in my eyes at the last two practices, listening to and watching the other boys encourage him. I am very impressed with the amount of teamwork and good sportsmanship that I have seen so far. I think this is going to be a great experience for CJ!

Friday, September 12, 2008

When will I see the results?

Almost everyday (Monday through Friday) I walk my kids to school. It is about 1.1 miles to the school. After I drop them off, I walk .4 of a mile to the West Orange Trail. I walk 1 mile down the trail, turn around and walk 1.4 miles back home. This is a total of 3.9 miles or 8230 steps.

Every afternoon, I walk back to the school to pick up the kids (another 1.1 miles), then we all walk back home together (another 1.1 miles).

All totaled by 3:30 in the afternoon I have walked 6.1 miles and usually more than 12,000 steps.

My question is; when will I see the results of this?

I know I am getting the benefit of a stronger heart, lungs, bones, and muscles. I am also getting the benefit of time to reflect, to think about what I need to do each day, to think about what I am going to blog about, and trouble shoot any challenges that we are having at home. I also get the benefit of seeing quite a few of my neighbors who also walk, run, bike, and roller blade on the trail each day. But, when will I see the flatter stomach, the thinner thighs, and the smaller number on the scale?

I keep telling myself to give it until Christmas. 4 solid months of walking should give me some kind of results. I hope!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Day To Remember

Today is a day when we should take time to remember the events of 9/11/01.
It's a day to remember those people who innocently an unknowingly got out of bed and went to work.
They did not know what they would face that day.
They did not know that they would never return home.
It's a day to remember the police officer's and fire fighter's who ran bravely into those buildings.
They went in to save the lives of others, and lost many of their own.
It's a day to remember those who said "oh no you won't!"
They gave their lives to save our Capitol building and everyone inside.
It's a day to remember all of the people who have and still do, serve our country overseas.
It's a day to pray that they stay safe, accomplish their mission, and come home.
It's a day to thank God that nothing that horrible has happened to our country again.
It's a day to pray that nothing like it will ever happen again.
Never Forget.
God Bless America.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It's Poptober!

It's that time of the year again. The time we all look forward to with such excitement! The time when we get to push our kids out the door, to bug family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and complete strangers to help support our favorite organizations by buying stuff. For us that means selling Cub Scout POPCORN!

For me, it means more than just getting my own son to sell popcorn, it also means planning, organizing, and motivating 40 other Cub Scouts to sell popcorn. Yes, once again, I am the Cub Scout Pack 220 "Popcorn Kernel." Don't you just love the hat?

Monday night was our "popcorn kickoff." We had music, I found the song "Popcorn" on i-tunes, (thanks dad, he used make us listen to that song all the time back in the 70's). We had cheers. My best yellers, my husband Chris and my co-den leader Jack, lead the boys in cheers of POP-CORN and FILL IT UP!!! We had a popcorn treat for everyone. I popped about 100 cups of popcorn that afternoon, bagged it all into individual paper bags, and stapled a "how to fill it up in a week" handout to each bag. And, most importantly, we had the promise of PRIZES!!! This year the boys can enter themselves into a weekly drawing for one of six laptop computers by filling up their popcorn order form. There are lots of other fun prizes like hats, patches, Lego sets, camping equipment, etc.

The boys seemed to have had fun. Anything that involves being given permission to yell, is FUN. And, hopefully they will be motivated to start selling popcorn. That remains to be seen. I'll keep you posted.

And here is why I do it all!!!

CJ and "best bud" Nathaniel.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Weekend Fun!

Last weekend we spent a long awaited day at Disney's Animal Kingdom. We went with the express purpose of seeing the Pocahontas show. Disney announced earlier this summer that the show would shut down at the end of September. Caley is a big Pocahontas fan, so it was important to her to see the show one last time. Our visit to the park that day ended up being fun and educational. The kids went to all six of the "Kid's Discovery Club" locations. They really did learn something at each location and had a great time doing it.

Here are a few pictures of our day.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

First Day of School

Here are the girls on their first day of school. They were so excited to sit in their new desks. They were a little sad when the time came for me to leave. There were a few tears and whimpers, but after I left the room, they were fine. Yes, I watched from the hallway! They didn't know I was out there, but I just had to make sure they were ok, before I headed home. =)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

New Beginnings

The end of summer means the beginning of many new things. This, is certainly true in our house this fall. Everyone has something new to start and a lot to look forward to.

CJ is starting fourth grade with a new teacher and many new classmates. He is also starting a new year of Scouting as a Webelos Scout, and has signed up for Little League for the first time. He has wanted to play baseball for a long time and now he will get his chance. I will keep you up to date on his progress.

Caley and Caitlyn are starting Kindergarten!!! They went to Pre-K last year, but I still can't believe that they are in kindergarten already. They love their new teacher and are having fun learning new songs. This week they have been singing the days of the week, put to the "Adams Family" theme song. It is really cute!

Chris is working a lot, as always, and is taking classes to finish his AA degree.

For me, blogging is my new adventure. I am just beginning this adventure, but I am really excited to get going. I think it will be a great way to keep in touch with everyone, let you know what is going on with us, and try a new venture. I have wanted to try this for a long time, and this summer I got motivation from a friend to give it a try. So, here I am. I hope you will find my blogging fun, interesting, informative, and maybe inspirational. Check back often, and let me know what you think.

Thank you Kelly, for inspiring me to give this a try!!!