Family Tree

I've always been intrigued by genealogy and all the awesome sauce associated with it.  I find it so fascinating to discover anything about my ancestors because well, nobody in my family seems to care or find the time to do it.  I'm hoping it's the latter.  It's funny because anytime my mom or aunts and uncles are around, I'll pick their brains for any bit of information they can offer to help me piece together the great big puzzle that is our family history.  It is, after all, our history and it's important that it gets documented somewhere and not forgotten.  I figure that as difficult as it has been for me to find this information out, future generations would have an even harder time doing it.  I also love any old pictures I can get my hands on.  They are my absolute favorite.  I love looking at old pictures of the older generations in my family when they were children.  This is probably the reason I love photography so much.  Creating memories.

And now, the ever-addicting Pinterest has put beautiful inspirations for DIY family trees like this one available for me to drool over:
I love the simplicity of this one.  Or this one:


I also love this one because of the straight lines and the handwriting.

And I LOVE the one above because it is an incredible list of somebody's family members.  Isn't it simply beautiful??!! I think Yes!

On Pinterest you can even find some websites you can go to and have a family tree made for you.  I would have loved to have just send a list of all of my family members off to have my family tree custom-made, but they are expensive!

I refrained from doing this for two reasons:
 a)I love any DIY project, and b) I'm cheap.  (:

So I did it myself.  It really wasn't too difficult and although I'm only about 98% finished with it, I decided to go ahead and do a post about it.
Here is my version of my family tree on my mom's side of my family:
I am amazed at how large my mom's family really is!  I remember a family reunion we had some years back and we actually had it for an entire week (!) and were able to do so many activities with everyone.  And because there were so many of us there, it was so much fun...visiting with so many cousins, aunts and uncles and nobody wanted to go home.  I will definitely be planning another reunion soon.

It's hard to see on the picture, but the "ground" is actually a poem I found online that I thought was pretty fitting.
I love it, and I plan to have it framed and matted for my mom.
I also plan to update it every year.

Have any of you made a family tree lately?  You should. (:

Final final

Today I will take my final final and I can't tell you how happy happy that makes me!
I think all of this studying for finals has really fried my brain.  I actually had to backspace in the last sentence because I wrote brian the first time.  Then I looked at it for a second because it had the red squiggly line underneath it and I actually went back to capitalize it! ha!
I wish I were kidding.

Oh, Happy day!!
I hope your day is just as great (:

Simply beautiful (:

I ran across this beautiful video and I just had to share.

I hope it warms your heart as it has mine:

I sure needed this during this crazy Finals week!
God bless.

ER scare

With all the stress in my life the last couple months, I have made some decisions that may not work for everyone, and they may not agree with those decisions, but I think they will work for me and it is just something I have to do.
It started noticing changes in the way I was feeling about 8 months ago.  Then, a couple months ago I was almost to the point that I couldn't function as I should have.  During this time, I seriously considered quitting school and just curling up into a ball on the couch and feel sorry for myself.  But I didn't.
I struggled terribly with school, housework, my children started complaining about me never having the time or energy to do anything with them, the hubs started complaining too and I just felt like I was losing control of everything.  I didn't go to the doctor to find out what was wrong because I didn't even have time for that!
Until last Tuesday.

I ended up at the emergency room of our local hospital and after too many tests to count including ultrasounds, gallons of blood drawn to test for everything under the sun, and other tests that made me lose every ounce of dignity, I finally was beginning to get some answers.  They weren't the answers I was hoping for, and I was actually very scared because I was told I had a tumor.  My mind immediately thought of the C word.  I would cry myself to sleep thinking of awful things.  It was bad.

Since the ER visit, I have had two additional appointments with my family doctor and it was determined that all of my misery the last few months are because of my overactive thyroid.  And stress was causing my thyroid to act even crazier.  Oh, and I was also anemic.
I kind of thought I might be anemic because I was craving ice like crazy.  I couldn't get enough of the taste and smell of ice.  Yeah, crazy!
It turned out that the tumor is so small and it wasn't anything to worry about and it doesn't even need to be removed (!)  My doctor said that he will just keep checking me periodically to make sure it doesn't grow.  The doctor's orders also included no stress!

So now I am on iron pills and something else that was prescribed, plus I have to go back next week to finally get on meds for my thyroid.
It boggles my mind to discover just how much my thyroid controls my body.  It is amazing.
I'm finally starting to feel better and it feels awesome.  God is good.

After much thought, I have decided that I will only go to school part time next semester and just take it easy.  If I'm even healthier at the end of the summer, I might be able to go back to school full-time.  And if I'm not, that's ok.  I'll just wait and see.

This semester is just about over, I have two finals next week and then I have an entire month off.  I'm excited!  Next semester, I'm only scheduled for two classes.  This means less stress and more time for my family.  I'm really looking forward to that!

Life is good (:

Have a great weekend!!


I must say that this post makes me nauseous.  Even more so?  That it is a true story.

To say Tuesday was an eventful day is an understatement.  The day started normal with the kids getting off to school.  That's probably the only "normal" part of our day.
It happened to be the hubs' day off, I had a busy day ahead of me with school, so I was getting ready.  I had a presentation that afternoon for my advertising class and I planned on wearing a skirt and heels, so you can guess what that meant...digging a razor out of the drawer and (gasp!) shave my legs.  It wasn't that bad, I mean, they weren't long enough to braid or anything. (:
Anyway, I jumped in the shower, shaved and was doing my hair and makeup when the hubs knocked on the door and told me that the school nurse had called to say that Marko had "hurt his eye" and was in her office.


He told me that the nurse had assured him that Marko was fine and she was sending him back to class.  I imagined normal recess stuff and thought maybe someone had elbowed him while playing football or something.

I finished getting ready but didn't change into the skirt yet because I had a couple hours before I had to leave.  Again...for me to be ready a few hours ahead of time is definitely NOT normal.
About an hour and a half later, I got another call from the nurse.  She proceeded to tell me that "Marko's cut on his eye is really bothering him."
Me:  "What cut??!!"
She then tells me that he has a cut on his eyelid starting in the inside corner and that it's about an inch and a half long.  I asked her to please have him waiting in the office to be signed out because I had 30 minutes to get to class.
The hubs and I jumped into the car and took off to pick up our son.
When we got to the school, I waited in the car and the hubs went to sign Marko out of school.
Marko comes to the car and I saw his cut and asked him how it happened.  He told me that kids in his math class were throwing stuff at each other and he was hit with what he thought was a golf ball!!!
Oh. My. Gosh.  I was LIVID!!

We took him to Urgent Care because I thought he needed stitches and was even more pissed off because the nurse didn't tell us about the cut the first time she called.
Needless to say, I didn't go to my first class.

I called one of my partners from my presentation and asked her to please let our professor know where I was, and to ask if we could present either first or last.  Our presentation was a HUGE project and we would present for 30 minutes (!)
I figured if we presented first, I would leave Marko with his dad at Urgent Care, I would drive to school for the presentation and then I would drive back to pick them up.
So I raced to the university, did our presentation and raced back.
After we'd been home about an hour, I left Marko home with his dad and my mom took ME  and Gabriella to the Emergency Room because I was so sick.
What a day!!
We got home about 11 p.m. and went to bed.

Well, yesterday, I marched into the office with my children and demanded that Marko be moved from his math class.  I don't like confrontations, but when it comes to my children, you just don't mess with them because then I have to  get my confrontation panties on and get things done.

This is the second time I have had Marko moved from his math class.  Same teacher, just different period.  The first time I had him moved was because the kids in that class were so out of control that Marko would come home and complain every single day of how they would:
1. Swear at the teacher.
2. THROW stuff around the room (like pencils, glue sticks, crayons, FOOD,etc.)
3. Be as out of control as those crazy movies you see where the kids are jumping on the desks, etc.  


Marko also told me that the teacher, while writing on the chalkboard has glue sticks thrown at her with the lids off (!!!) and that they sometimes stick to the chalkboard.  And what would she do??  She'd continue to write AROUND the glue stick.
What the HELL??!!

The teacher confirmed that yes, Marko was telling me the truth.  (Can you BELIEVE this??!!)
My husband sat in on class a couple times and he was disgusted with the teacher and the class.  The teacher told me that Marko was one out of about 5 kids that were very well-behaved and respectful, but that the other monsters were completely out of control.
Marko and Gabriella both have told me how this behavior does NOT happen in any other class, only that math class.  How is this possible?  How is it possible for the entire rest of the teachers to have complete control over their classrooms except this one?

So Marko was moved and things seemed to be better.  Until Tuesday.
I told the counselor very sternly that the class behavior was completely unacceptable and that something needed to be done NOW.
The counselor was disgusted with what was going on and promised to get to the bottom of it.
I told the counselor (the principal was not in) that I was not leaving until my son was moved from that class.  So he was.
I expressed how shocked I am that this behavior happened at all and I am even more shocked that those monsters are even allowed to even attend school.  They obviously are not there to learn, and it isn't fair to the kids that actually want to learn to be subjected to such an environment.
I also told the counselor how, as a parent, my job is to protect my children and that when they are in school, that responsibility falls on his teachers' shoulders.  And that I was angry that his math teacher failed to protect him and the other normal kids.
My poor son now will have a scar on his eyelid for being in class.

Needless to say, I will be at the next school board meeting.

I don't like to swear on my blog, but seriously, What the hell is wrong with people?  What kind of world do we live in?  And more importantly, Who are the parents of these inbred, monsters that terrorize a classroom??

Oh, and have I mentioned the fact that this is a middle school??

Countdown starts NOW!

This week is my last week of classes, and next week is finals week.  Not that I'm, you know...counting down the days or anything. ha!
I found this on Pinterest the other day and if you were to ask my family, they will probably tell you they've never, ever, EVER seen me like this: 

I will admit that I've enjoyed most of this semester, but there are things I really wish were different.  Something in particular is one of my classes.  This class has been very challenging because this particular professor is always MIA.  Said professor (I'll call this professor SP) has other commitments elsewhere (allthefreakintime), so that means that we are given crazy assignments that nobody honestly knows how to do.  Plus it's very hard to reach SP during their absence know, ask a question about the crazy assignment or something.
This is also the class with my partner from H.E. double hockey sticks that makes my life just miserable.  And then these crazy assignments are due upon SP's return.  What bothers me is that my tuition dollars are used for SP's salary, and well, as Austin Powers would say..."SP wasn't there."
The other day I looked through my planner for this semester and counted 10 days that S.P. cancelled class because they were going to be gone. TEN days!  Diez dias!
If I were to be gone for ten days from a semester my professor would probably, I don't me!  You think?
There's actually a class offered next semester that I wanted to take until I saw the professor for the class. ha!  Fat chance.  The sad part is that SP is a wonderful, brilliant professor, when they're actually in class.

Ok.  I got that off of my chest.  This was probably the thing that annoyed me the most this semester.

But since I'm a "glass half-full" kinda gal, this semester is just about finished and I am so looking forward to the winter break.
I plan to recharge my batteries to start all over again in January, do some DIY projects (sew, paint, knit, make a bed for Tita), relax, bake, make tamales, sleep know, the awesome stuff!

I can't wait.  And the countdown starts NOW.
(:   Ok, ok...I  AM counting!

Dog tales

Our dog, Peditos has many traits.  First of all, he's really smart.  If asked, he sits, shakes, lays down, jumps hoops (pretty high too!) and hops.  He'll do these tricks any time of the day or night, you just need to be sure to have that treat in your hand for him! 

And he's so funny too.  When we lived on the farm, he actually stopped running like...well, like a dog and actually started hopping all of the time.  I couldn't figure out why he did this until I saw him chasing the rabbits in the field behind our house one day.   It was pretty funny seeing him and the rabbit hopping all over that field.  I guess he thought he was a rabbit for a while. ha!

Have I mentioned how he plays fetch by himself?  He does.  He'll drop a ball from the top of the stairs and chase it all the way down the stairs and then he'll carry it to the top again and drop it again and again.  He can literally entertain himself for a good 30 minutes by doing this.

Our dog is very well behaved too.  He's not a chewer or a digger (thank God!)  I seriously could not stand that.  So he's a really good dog and fits in perfectly with our family.

Oh, and he loves going anywhere in the car.  When he sees or hears us getting ready to leave, he runs to the door and patiently waits there for us to leave.  And once we're in the car, I've had to start locking the car windows while driving because he's learned to roll them down.  Before we're even a block away from our house, both windows in the back are down.   And just in case you're wondering, our SUV has power windows (:

Our dog is fiercely loyal and protective of us, he's so cute, and he's perfectly happy to lay at my feet 99.9% of the time and he loves to be petted....all the time.  If he sees your hand, he'll shove his head under it and force you to pet him.
He has a weird way of letting us know he needs to go outdoors.  He will literally run from about half a room away from the sliding door and crash his body into the glass about half way up the door!  How crazy is that?!  I've never seen a dog do that.  I just hope he never crashes into it hard enough for him to break the glass!

He definitely has lots of traits, but being a finicky eater was never one them.
Until now. 
The other day, the hubs bought dog food for Peditos on his way home from work and I filled his bowl the next day.
The hubs clearly didn't buy the right bag and my dog let me know this loud and clear.  Now, although my dog can't communicate with me by "talking," he sure got his point across.   He did this by actually picking through the dog food and only eating the ones he liked, including the really small nuggets and left behind the ones he didn't.

Crazy dog.

I guess that means I'm going to have to make a pitstop on my way home from class tonight to get the right dog food.  Gotta keep our furbaby happy,  right?

Have a great day!

Big-time Kudos Girlfriend!!

My baby Gabriella is pretty amazing.  Plain and simple.  She really never ceases to amaze me with all she does.
I love her so much and she is literally my right hand.  Anything I could ever need help on, she's my go-to person every time.  She's dependable, incredibly smart, and so wise beyond her 12 years of age.  She just oozes awesomeness like nobody's business.
Well, today I was at school until almost 8 p.m. and I got home tired and kind of irritable.

I'd been home about 30 minutes when Gabriella tells me that her teachers changed her classes around and she hands me her new schedule.  I was kind of annoyed at hearing this because my kids don't like "change."
I couldn't think of a logical reason for making a kid change their schedule abruptly in the middle of a semester.  Well, then I looked a little closer and realized  her schedule was changed because, apparently, girlfriend got mama's genes and her 7th grade math class was simply not challenging enough for her, so she was moved to 8th grade math!

I am so very proud of her!! (and not shocked at all!)
I spy an itunes gift card in the very near future for her.


One proud mama (:

Book order.

My daughter Gabriella is a big-time book junkie her mama. (:  That girl l-o-v-e-s to curl up to a great book.

Well, about 6 months ago I bought her one of these:

I finally gave in and bought it for her after months of begging on her part.  So she got the Nook and a pretty good-sized gift card from Barnes & Noble.  She used it for maybe a week and then the novelty of it wore off and it literally sat on a shelf in her room all this time, with the gift card safely tucked away.
Yeah, I wasn't too happy about that.  Until now.

Why?  Well...I'll give you 3 guesses of who owns the Nook Color now! haha

Yes, I finally spent some of that gift card on a few hard-cover books that I can't wait to receive in the mail, plus a few nook books (because I totally own one now!) and I also "bought" some free books.  I'm excited!

What am I not excited about?  That I have to wait for this semester to end before I can actually read any of my new books.

So at least until then, the Nook will now sit on my bookshelf unused.  But hey, at least now it has books loaded on it!  Right? (:

Oh, and it completely makes sense that after admitting just yesterday that I hadn't even read the books I have to read for school, I go and buy more books.  Go figure.

Sweet dreams..

Now that Thanksgiving is checked off of our calendars and everyone is SO done with eating leftover turkey for the last three days (!), it's time to start (or finish) shopping for Christmas, decorating, rearranging furniture so you can put up your tree, wrapping presents, and of course, baking.  For those of you that have to do all of this while also taking care of a family and preparing for finals, I know how difficult and stressful this time of year can be.

Besides studying for finals that are quickly approaching, I also have 3 (t-h-r-e-e) huge reports to do within a week.  Oh, and have I mentioned how I have three books to read before starting these reports??  I'm about half-way finished with reading one of those books. Yikes!

Yeah, my stress levels will probably be off-the-charts for the next 3 weeks.

I've mentioned how I love to cook.  Always have and probably always will.  Baking, not so much.  Unless it's baking Christmas goodies.  I really look forward to that and really enjoy everything about it.  Tita, me and my mom literally take an entire day to bake up way too many batches of sugar cookies, candies and other goodies and then we give them to neighbors, friends and family.
I can't wait to get started.  I actually had a dream the other day that we were baking these babies up already!

These are just a few of my favorites:


I sure wish I could fast-forward to a few weeks ahead..

(All images via Google)

Thanksgiving 2012

Karma, you made my day!

First of all, I need to make it very clear that I would never, ever, ever condone any type of road rage behavior.  Like, ever.  I've unfortunately ran into this a time or two and it's pretty frightening.  I wasn't driving either time, but it still shook me up some.

Well, yesterday, Marko showed me a video that someone posted on Facebook and I'll admit, I literally LOL (:

Here is the video:

Pretty funny, huh?

Until tomorrow!

Dude, you ROCK!

My Marko is seriously a jack-of-all-trades.  He can do anything he puts his mind to.  He sings; he taught himself to play guitar; He also taught himself to play keyboard; He knows how to play a trumpet; He knows just way too much on anything electronic; He draws like nobody's business and he is so darned funny that I can seriously see him having a very successful career doing any of these things.  And yes, I am totally biased (:
His latest discovery?  Balloons.  Yeah, he loves them, although he didn't just discover them, of course, but he loves to blow the long ones up and create little poodles, monkeys and lots of other things with them.
He gave me flowers the other day:

He also plays air guitar!
He's pretty awesome.

Until tomorrow,

Unbelievable day.

What an incredibly horrible day it has been.  It began with a very early phone call from my cousin  telling me my dad had passed away.
I didn't have the greatest relationship with my dad, but this doesn't mean I didn't feel terrible at hearing of his passing.  I had a very heavy heart all day.  I hadn't even have time to completely process that news when I walked in the door after picking the kids up from school and my phone was ringing and I ran to answer it.  My cell phone broke earlier this week, so nobody can get a hold of me unless they reached me on my house phone or by email or Facebook.  So I ran to the telephone and it was my husband telling me my cousin's daughter Christina had just passed also and I completely broke down.  I had been hanging on to the hope that she would recover by some miracle; begging God all day, every single day for a miracle, but it just was not to be.  Her death is especially hard for me to accept because she was only 23 years old and she was a mommy to a beautiful year-old baby.  Life is so unfair.

And as if that weren't enough, one of my dad's cousins also passed tonight.  He'd also been very sick.

I have been a mess all day and my heart just aches.  Three members of my family on my dad's side have all died on the same day.  What are the chances?
Coincidently, today also marked the anniversary that my aunt Connie passed away last year.

You can imagine how devastated my family in Texas must be.  Please keep us in your prayers.  We need them so badly.

Rest in peace Christina, my dad and cousin Lupe.

Throwing in the towel

I got in a fight with the backseat of my SUV today and the seat won.
I was trying to fold it up and ended up slicing off the top of my finger from the bottom of my nail all the way to my knuckle.  Marko almost lost his lunch when I showed it to him, so I'll refrain from posting a picture.  You're welcome! (:
Oh, and I discovered how hard it is to type without the use of your right index finger BTW.  Very hard!  I've probably used the backspace key 5,489 times in just this post (!)
Hopefully, I'll be better in a few days.

Until tomorrow!

Fat Tuesday

We stopped at Sam's Club tonight because my hubby was craving muffins again.  That man just LoVeS Sam's muffins!  I'll admit I like them too, especially the Poppyseed ones.  Seriously, have you ever had a Poppyseed muffin from Sam's?  If you haven't, you are missing out Big Time.  They are the best!

Sam didn't have any of the Poppyseed ones, which is for the best because if there were some, well...I would eat them.  Yes, them.  Plural.  (:

So the hubs ended up getting another type of muffins.   I was secretly happy about the fact that there weren't any of the Poppyseed ones because I've been trying to be very good and cut down (like, way down) on junk food.  We grabbed the muffins he chose and we were ready to pay.

Well, apparently Sam's people didn't get the memo of my attempt at willpower, and they strategically placed my favorite pie in the whole world right next to said muffins (!)
Anyone that knows me personally will know of my love for pumpkin pie and they will also know that any iota of willpower instantly disappears at the sight of pumpkin pie, like, GONE.

Come on now, doesn't this look delish??:
(via google)

Okay, okay...if you'll notice, the picture above isn't really a picture of our my pie.  Can you believe I actually had to resort to downloading a picture online because, well because I didn't even have the willpower to take a picture of the pie before tearing into it.

Oh, and just in case you're wondering, yes, my piece of  pie also had the dollop of whipped cream on top...

Until tomorrow (:

Veteran's Day 2012

Sunday was officially Veteran's Day but since it fell on a Sunday, yesterday was the national holiday when some people got the day off in honor of this special day.

As a kid, I remember my favorite uncle Joe being drafted and going to Vietnam.  I was very young then, like 5, so at that time I didn't understand the significance of the draft or even what war was.
Of course I understand it now as an adult.

I remember back then how all the adults were glued to the television news every day and praying for all the soldiers' safety.

When I was little and my Uncle Joe was drafted, I remember Ama (my grandmother) praying for all her family, but she'd say extra prayers for my Uncle Joe to return home safely.  And he did!
A big Welcome Home celebration and dance was held for him and everyone was so proud and happy!  That was one of a few times I actually saw Ama dressed up real fancy schmancy.  She looked beautiful!!
That was also one of a few times I actually saw her cry, but these were happy tears of course, because her son was home.  What a fantastic day it was!

During the long time my Uncle Joe was overseas, he used to write home all the time.  He'd sometimes send small gifts too.
I will never forget one time he sent home a box with letters, pictures and a little box for me.  I carefully opened it up and inside was the most beautiful and unique ring I had ever seen. It was silver and it kind of looked like a tiny belt and you could actually adjust it to fit your finger by either tightening or loosening the little buckle.  I absolutely L-O-V-E-D it.  And it was very special to me.  I proudly wore it all the time and I remember I felt so happy and special that my Uncle Joe had bought it for me all the way from Vietnam!  This was the very first piece of jewelry I had ever owned and I planned on wearing it forever.
You know how I've told you of how we moved all the time growing up?  Well, you can imagine how heartbroken I was when it got lost during one of our many moves.  I was devastated.

Well, not too long ago I walked into a Michael Kors store in Cherry Creek and saw one almost identical to my special ring from so long ago.
It looked like this:
Isn't it beautiful?!  I remember almost choking up at seeing this ring.
Maybe I'll buy it for myself someday.  Maybe for my birthday (: 

 This is a picture of Uncle Joe.  It is a very old picture and it is not the original, so it is very grainy:
Uncle Joe is my Hero.  He was one of my father figures and he was amazing. He has since passed, but he will always have a special place in my heart.  I am so proud of him for serving his country.  And I miss him so much.

On this Veteran's Day I salute Uncle Joe, along with all the other amazing men and women who sacrifice so much for our freedom.  I appreciate every one of them.

Until tomorrow!

Group projects are for the birds

Please tell me that I am not the only person on the planet that despises group projects in school.  And if I happen to be that one oddball, so be it.  Because I do.  With a passion.

All of my classes except one has me stuck in a stupid group project that I hate.  Hate is putting it pretty mildly actually.

Let me tell you why I hate them so much.  And don't get me wrong, I am very personable and very capable of happily working alongside a group of people toward a common objective.  The problem is that I've had terrible luck in being in a few groups of people in which not everyone is a willing participant toward that objective.

In all fairness, I must say that only one class in which I'm in a group, has pretty awesome people that are always willing to do their share of the work in whichever project we're working on.  This makes it Fun and Fair and Flawless and Fast and we actually end up with a nice, Finished assignment.  It's Fantastic!

My other groups from the other classes, on the other hand, I am able to describe them with lots of other words that begin with the letter F.  Well, mainly one and I can't write it on this blog (:

Being part of these groups make life pretty miserable.

I have two group projects due on Tuesday for two different classes and guess what?  One of them hasn't even been STARTED because my only partner refuses to answer text messages, or email or Facebook messages, or phone calls to schedule meeting times.  The whole thing makes me stressed out and mad.  It doesn't help that our professor has been out of the country for two weeks either.  During the time we have had two weeks to work on this project, but without any cooperation, it just isn't going to happen.  And it hasn't happened.  And in all probability, it will not happen.  The worst part of this project?  It cannot be done alone.

In my other group, there are only 4 of us that actually care about getting it done.  Unfortunately, this group also includes one person that up and left the state for ten days because of an emergency (boyfriend's birthday).  The others simply don't show up for scheduled meetings.

I understand why professors force group projects on the students.  I do.  Their thinking is that once their students are out in the "real world," most any job they get will require team work.  I get that.  But the "real world" of course means that if you don't show up to work, you don't get paid.  Simple as that.  In the "real world," your pay will be docked if you are gone for ten days because it is your boyfriend's birthday.  In another state.

So although I understand why group projects are assigned, it doesn't mean I agree with them.

Ok.  I am finished venting.  I promise I will return to my regularly scheduled postings now.

Until tomorrow.

Taste Test Fail

Growing up with my single mom and having a dead-beat dad meant growing up dirt poor, which meant very meager grocery shopping.  I could literally tell you exactly what my mom bought every. single. week. :
fideo (vermicelli)
2 pounds of ground beef
a half-moon shaped sharp cheddar cheese
a couple cans of tomato sauce
instant oatmeal
and a box of corn flakes.

No joke.  We never bought any junk food whatsoever.  No cookies, chips, marshmallows, bread (PB&J?  or ham & cheese sandwiches?)--well, that was moot also because...well, because we never bought the peanut butter OR the jelly.  As far as that goes, we also never bought the ham or the sliced cheese. (:
Once in a great while, my mom would let us kids "splurge" and she'd allow us to buy a jar of applesauce to share.  I wish I were kidding.
However, the whole time I was growing up, us kids never complained.  Ever.

Now that I think about it, I'm sure our meager grocery shopping trips contributed to us kids and my mom never having a weight problem! We were never raised to "snack" on anything and only ate during meals.
This, of course, meant pop (soda), Kool-aid and any other fruit-flavored drink was not in our diet either.  Weird?  Perhaps.  But since we never had it, we really couldn't miss what we'd never had, right?

The only time we ever drank pop was whenever we would travel to Texas or Wisconsin with my grandparents.  And it was usually for a funeral.  We never got a vacation, so travel was never for a "fun" reason.  Anyway, during these trips when I would drink a pop, I would choose a "kid" flavored one such as grape, strawberry, etc.  I would see the adults drink Coke.  Oh, and during these trips, we got to eat bologna sandwiches during the entire trip (:  Us kids loved it because we never got to eat it at home.  Yeah, we grew up that poor.

All of that to get to this part of my post:  I never really aquired a taste for pop, until I started dating.  Anytime a boyfriend I had would take me out to eat, I would end up drinking a pop with my meal and let me tell you, I got used to it pretty quickly.  But I never liked the taste of Coke for some reason.  It was just too strong for my taste.
My mom still never really cares to drink pop, but if she does, she likes Coke.
Well, my classmates and I were recently subjected to a taste-test in my advertising class.  My professor took us all to another classroom where 4 unlabeled small cups of pop were placed on the conference table at each seat.  We had to try to identify the pop and decide which we liked better.
Cup 1 was ok for me; cup 2 was better; cup 3 was horrible (!) and cup 4 was not so great.  We later found out what was in the cups:

Cup 1: Store-brand cola
Cup 2: Coke
Cup 3: Coke Zero
Cup 4: Pepsi

So apparently I liked Coke the best from my four choices.  Which makes sense, because for some reason, for the last 3 months, I have been addicted to Coke!  I'm not sure how that even happened because I never liked the taste of Coke in my entire life.  Until 3 months ago.  Oh, and not just any ol' Coke will do.  It has to be McDonald's Coke.  And it doesn't help that one of our city's 14 McDonald's is half a block away from my house.  I really cannot drive by McDonald's without pulling out that $1.06 it costs for a large Coke.

Ok, back to my story: After we took our taste-test, my professor asked who preferred cup 1, cup 2 and so on.  I was one of 2 students that liked cup 2 (Coke.)  Surprisingly, the majority of the students preferred cup 1 that contained the store-brand cola.
The professor asked the class why hardly anyone liked cup 2 (Coke.)
Their response?

"Because Coke is what old people drink."


Would it really surprise you if I told you that the only other student that preferred Coke is also a non-traditional student like moi?

Until tomorrow!

Tony the Tiger and Jalapeños

We are getting dumped with snow today and it is really cold outside!  It was foggy and rainy when we left our house, but just a couple hours later we are having a full-blown blizzard.

We stopped to see my mom on our way home and even though we were only in her house for about 40 minutes, we came out of her house to find our car b-u-r-i-e-d in the snow.  Even with all the experience I have of driving in blizzards, I was a little nervous on our drive home.  I don't mind driving in snow at all, but you just never know who else is on the roads with you, you know?

Something I saw today that was very unusual was while we were at the grocery store.  Gabriella was helping me in the produce department when I saw this woman holding her baby-dressed as Tony the Tiger (oddly, this wasn't the unusual part!)-with what I thought was a big pacifier.  As I got closer, I was shocked to see the baby sucking on...ready for this?....that little baby was sucking on a big, fat, green jalapeño!!  Now, am I the only one that thinks this is odd?  I actually went up to the mother and asked about it.  She matter-of-factly told me "He always does that."

Ummmkay!  I only hope she actually bought it and didn't put it back when the baby was finished with it.  Ha!

Until tomorrow.

A day late and a dollar short.

My schedule for school on Monday, Wednesday and Friday is only two classes; however, these two classes are back to back, but in different buildings on campus.  The distance between the two buildings is about three blocks.  This distance isn't even a problem because it has never caused me to be late to my second class, and besides, the walk is good for me and campus is just so darn pretty.  It's a Win-Win situation (:
The only "problem" I have is that immediately after my second class, I literally have to race back to my car, which I park on the other side of the building where my first class is held.  Does this make sense?   I hope so.  The reason I am in such a hurry to leave is because the way my schedule is set up, the parking pass I buy every day for these classes expires anywhere from just a few minutes after I get out of my second class to even 15 minutes, depending on the time the professor ends class.

Have I totally confused you on this "first class/second class" stuff?  I hope not.  (:

Anyway, the reason I only have a few minutes to get to my car afterward is that I'm too cheap to pay for another hour each of these 3 days because I don't "need" a whole hour.   

I had a test in my history class today, which is my second class in the far building.  After the test and lecture, I quickly packed up my stuff and was ready to race out the door, but my professor stopped me to talk about a few questions I had about the syllabus before class began(!!)  He answered my questions and I took off.  I knew the chances of getting a ticket was pretty slim because there are lots and lots (and lots) of cars in the parking lot, and I did have a parking pass, but still I hurried.

About a block away from my car, I saw the tell-tale yellow envelope wedged under my windshield wiper that contained this:

Can you believe I got a $30 ticket because "Dispenser Permit Required Expired" ??!!

Want to know the worst of it?  This ticket has a time stamp on it that shows 15:27:05.

And my parking pass expired at 3:23.

Yeah.  So technically, this post should be changed to read: 4 minutes late and $30 short.

Until tomorrow.

I believe I believe (:

I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned that of all the classes I could possibly ever take or have taken, history and science just were never my cup of sweet tea.  And they never will be. 
I am taking a history of Mexico course this semester and let me tell you it has seriously kicked my butt!  And I'm not talking about a little scuffle either.  I'm talking about a knock-down, drag-out, no mercy, beat me to a pulp kind of beating.
I've stressed about this class and I'll even admit that I've lost some sleep worrying about any tests in this class, especially the big ones like the midterm I recently took or the final that is quickly approaching.
I have to mention how I have so much respect for anyone that was, is, or plans to someday major in either of these subjects. I really admire them big-time.

Well, today as class was ending, my professor handed back our midterms.  We took them a few weeks ago in "blue books," and the whole midterm was 3-intense parts.  The whole class took the whole hour to do the test and it was really challenging for me.
Before this midterm, I seriously had never heard of these blue books.  For those of you that don't know what it is:  it is basically just a blue book.  It's 4 sheets of loose-leaf paper stapled into a blue folder and they cost 25 cents.  I suppose some professors prefer those for tests so there is no way to cheat.
Anyway, I got mine back today and I started to shove it into my backpack without even opening it up.  I noticed the disappointment in some of my classmates' faces as they saw their grades, so  I planned to take a look at my grade in the privacy of my car, but my professor came up to me and gave me a high-five (!)
I really didn't understand why he would do that, but he told me to open it up and I did:

Telling you I was shocked is a gross understatement!  At best, I really did NOT expect anything higher than maybe a C.  I mean, this is a history class, for crying out loud!
I am proud of my work, of course, and I should probably learn to stop under-estimating myself.

Seeing my hard work pay off totally made my day and I may or may not have behaved like Jim Carrey in this clip:

When I got to my car.

Until tomorrow!

Moving forward.

Congratulations President Obama!
God bless you as you lead our beautiful country to greatness in these next four year and beyond.

God bless America.

Until tomorrow!

Haunted by Pumpkins!!

I wrote this post of how crazy our October was.  I was so happy at the thought of having 334 glorious days, or 8,016 hours, or 480, 960 minutes (not that I'm counting, just in case you're wondering) before we had to worry about October and all it represents: Halloween costumes, candy, an endless supply of birthday cake, anniversaries, candles, balloons, presents, etc.  Oh, and I would be remiss if I fail to mention how much I abhor pumpkins by the end of the month.

So imagine me coming upstairs from the family room Sunday afternoon, blissfully unaware of what my 12-year-old daughter was cooking up.  Or rather, baking up: 

About two weeks ago, my step-daughter, Laura bought a kit to make this haunted house cake, but she never baked it.  So my 12-year-old Gabriella decided to surprise me and make it on her own:

She had cake mix left over, so she made this:

Can you believe it?!  A PUMPKIN cake.

Is it just me, or is that stupid pumpkin cake really smirking at me in a creepy way?

Now that I think about it, that scary pumpkin smirk kind of reminds me of a certain candidate in a very big race for a very important job. (:

The cake was delicious, by the way.  Kudos to Gabriella on her baking skills!

Until tomorrow,

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