Diana Rambles: November 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Reality/TV Wrap: Week 9

Survivor~ Hahaha! Russell strikes again. I love it!! He pulled a good one when he saw Dave near the idol and he took off and Dave followed. Then he doubled back and found the idol. I am so glad to see Laura gone. Great episode! I now think that Mick Dreamy or Natalie have the best chance to win! This week is a recap episode!

Amazing Race~ OK...Sam & Dan are really annoying me. FT/BE just chilled, so they are back in my good graces. I thought it was sooo funny when FT was dancing on stage while he waited. Too funny! They are very entertaining. And BE's feet were dragging in the water on that roadblock. I bet the operators of that obstacle were sweating it out! He's a BIG guy! I knew it would be a Non-Elim leg. We could see another Non-Elim or maybe they are going to run the final 3 in 2 legs. Who knows?

See my previous post for a review of the new show Find My Family.

The Biggest Loser~ Allen did well on the challenge and I was sad to see him go. I thought that Amanda would fall below and go home. I think the winner will be between Danny & Rudy.

Find My Family

Did any of you see this show on ABC? I believe it was on last night. I read about it at another site and just went and watched the first episode online here. Find My Family is a show that reunites adoptive and birth families. The hosts of the show are both adopted so they are sensitive to the feelings of all involved.

I thought the show was well done and not as sensationalized as I thought it might be. The first episode reunited a couple with their 29 year old daughter. This couple was high school sweethearts when they became pregnant. They decided to play her for adoption and when she turned 18 they started searching for her. They turned to this show to help them out as they kept finding dead-ends in their search. The show was able to track her down and it turns out she grew up only 8 miles away.

I found myself in tears the entire show. I am an adoptive parent so I feel like I have something in common with the show, but even if I wasn't I'd still be bawling my eyes out. While the circumstances of each adoption are unique there are lots of common themes and feelings. I look forward to watching this show and learning more about adoption and feelings surrounding it. I might get little tidbits of insight that will help me to answer questions that my daughter might ask as she gets older.

I read some discussion online that pointed out that the adoptive family was not shown much in this episode. I have 2 thoughts on that. Maybe this family didn't want to be shown much. Also the show was only 1/2 hour so there wasn't really a lot of time to cover things. I would like to see a longer show that covers more family dynamics and feelings. I think that adoption is misunderstood by the common public and I hope this show helps to bring understanding to all.

Find My Family airs on Monday nights on ABC at 9:30/8:30 CST. The feelings/discussions/etc are very heavy, therefore not appropriate for children.

Monday, November 23, 2009

How do you stop caring so much?

Sometimes I internally struggle with being a parent. This has been more frequent as I often butt heads with my teen. He feels that I focus too much on his school performance and I think he doesn't focus nearly enough. I want him to succeed and do well. He is extremely bright but he just doesn't perform up to his capabilities. We've explored lots of options and tried many things. Nothing seems to be that magic spark to motivate him. I came to the realization earlier this year that I need to just not care so much. Easier said than done.

How do you just not care so much? Is it possible to not worry about your child's future? Did we raise him to just want to have fun all the time and not concern himself with things to come or are we just facing the same thing that all parents face with their teens? I really want peace in our home and am learning more and more to just let things go and try not to hash it out with him. I want to tell him that his choices now might come back to bite him later, but he'll probably just blame it all on us and our parenting when he's older. LOL!?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Discussing Important Topics via Electronic Means

How do you feel about discussing important issues of life online? I am not specifically talking about posting on a blog, but rather communicating with family and important people in your life about serious issues.

I recently received a message from a FB letting me know that she has cancer. She wanted to make sure I knew about it in case she posted something in her profile about it. We actually haven't met IRL, but became friends via an online group. I feel bad that she's dealing with this, but I appreciate her letting me know. I think in this case that most people would agree that it's OK to communicate via private message/email.

I personally think that communicationing many things via message/email is acceptable and even sometimes preferred. Some things really should come via a telephone call, but others might be better digested when they can be read about. I know that I am not giving any specifics right now. I decided to write about this as I've dealt with a serious topic recently and some of the communication about it has been via email. The one person said they didn't like talking about it via email, but they knew it was the most timely/practical at that moment.

What do you think? Would you/do you communicate this way? Are there circumstances where it's not OK?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Wanna Win a Custom Photo Card for the Holidays???

I am giving away a Custom Holiday Photo Card Design over at Custom Blog Designs. Sign up by Tuesday night to win. The winner gets their choice of custom 5x7 or 4x8 photo card design. Click the card below to enter!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I needed a new look...

The quote (which I know is hard to read against the plaid...I made it that way on purpose) says it all!!

Reality/TV Wrap: Week 9

My weekly reality wrap just isn't getting the attention I thought it would. I feel like I am alone in these shows! LOL! I'm going to make this week short & sweet!

Survivor~ Loved it!! Russell keeps growing on me. While he is a total ass...he's a good player of the game! Dave is such an idiot. When the purple tribe was meeting and discussing the vote Monica brought up the possibility of Russell finding the immunity idol and spreading the votes just in case...but he said no way. Epic blindside...even better than the week before!

Amazing Race~ Uninspired episode! I am growing tired of the bickering between Sam/Dan & FT/BE. Meghan/Cheyne are just so bland...so I am actually wanting Brian/Erica to win. BUT I think they will not make the top 3...which leads to an uninspired end of the season. Bleh!

Desperate Housewives~ Where is the humor? This season is just becoming so serious. Double Bleh!

Biggest Loser~ I think most of the makeovers looked amazing, but I did NOT like Rebecca's hair. It didn't look right. I like how it has grown out a little bit in her follow-up at the end of the show. When it got down to her & Liz...I knew she'd get the boot. She was just too much of a threat to the others. She's did a fabulous job after her boot and she looks amazing!

OK...if you haven't watched Modern Family yet...check it out! It is SOOOO funny! It's on up against Glee, which may not bode well for the show. I just watch episodes at abc.com. I watch the 3 'reality' shows live, but I will catch any others online. I like to just relax in bed and watch before drifting off to sleep!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What an amazing 10 yr old!

Mommyhood

My son's teacher just emailed me to give me the mother of the year award let me know that my son is very cold and to please send a sweatshirt in. I thought about it and realized that he has 1 sweatshirt, that of which is a hand-me-down from his brother. Then I mentally went through all his clothes and realized that while I bought him some jeans this year (and reinforced the knees so they could possibly survive til spring) I neglected to think about tops/shirts at all. Needless to say, I will be picking him up right when school ends (with a thermos of hot cocoa) and taking him shopping. I am proud to say that he does have a warm coat that fits! (Probably has holes in his shoes though!)

Party Planning

I am a little overdue on creating the invite for our annual holiday party which takes place the 2nd Friday in December. The highlight of the party is the White Elephant gift exchange. It's become quite popular and some people spend the rest of the year coming up with the perfect gift. I have put off making the invitation because there is a problem with the gift exchange. It's supposed to be for adults, but each year more and more kids participate. The families arrive with enough gifts for them to participate. I am a nice person and don't want to upset anyone by telling them that they cannot participate, but I haven't been able to come up with a good alternative yet. Several years ago I had the kids bring a wrapped gift for their own gift exchange. The problem with that is that we had a variety of ages, so many kids were upset that they got a 'baby gift'. I hear complains from the kids with the adult exchange too. Many end up with a gag gift (which is really the premise of the whole thing) and they complain. Another issue with kids participating is they lose interest. It takes a while to get through ALL the gifts (35-40 usually participate) and the kids just don't have the attention span. I do have some regular games that the kids play (guess the candies, pass the present) and I give each a gift bag (usually customized to the kid), but I guess that isn't enough. I want to put an age limit and say that participants must be out of high school (yes...some of the worst on attention are the teens!), but I feel like I need to let people know ahead of time in the invitation and that I need an alternative. I think the tweens will be the most upset. (Kids as young as 3rd grade have participated! UGH!)

There is such an age range of kids (3-18)!! The younger ones just don't understand the whole stealing gift thing and the olders ones don't want stuff the little ones like. Everyone loves opening gifts, so I want to do something. We have the adults upstairs at the party and the kids downstairs...but many migrate upstairs. You can't tell a kid they aren't allowed upstairs. My daughter gets overwhelmed my crowds at times and will cling to us...so it would not be fair to allow her upstairs and NOT other kids. I don't mind the kids being upstairs...just their participation in the White Elephant. (And I don't want to tell people NO!) It's often the boys that goof around downstairs and the girls come up to be by their parents.

So what should I do? What kind of guidelines can I set so that kids could have their own exchange that most would be happy with (candy or maybe a $5 gift card)? I'd probably do the kid exchange upstairs before the adult one.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Chicken Enchiladas in the Crock Pot

Not sure if anyone is still doing Make Something Monday, but I wanted to post about a yummy creation we had this weekend. I googled enchilada crock pot and found the following simple recipe at cooks.com:

Crock Pot Chicken Enchiladas

1 lg. can enchilada sauce
3-4 chicken breasts
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 sm. can sliced black olives
2 dozen corn tortillas
1 chopped onion
1 pkg. sharp Cheddar cheese, grated

Cook chicken and shred. Mix soup, olives and onions. Cut tortillas in wedges. Layer crock pot with sauce, tortillas, soup mix, chicken and cheese all the way to top, ending with cheese on top. Cook on low temperature all day in crock pot.

DH put it together cause I was gone all day and boy was it D~Lish! He's has one more lunch out of it! I think next time I would use a crock pot liner and maybe add in some diced red potatoes and corn.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Homemade Goodness

I've made some yummy goodies over the past few months that I haven't posted about yet.

First was the ice cream cake I made for my son's birthday. He asked for an ice cream cake, but I didn't want to pay so much for one...and I am not really a fan of them. So I googled and found a few directions for how to make one. This is the recipe I came up with~

Ice Cream Cake

1 box devils food cake mix
Ice Cream (I used Bunny Tracks)
1 can of whipped frosting

Directions: Start at least a day ahead of time!! Line a 9" round cake pan with plastic cling wrap. Fill it with softened ice cream (I had the Bunny Tracks set out on the counter for about 20 mins or so). Freeze. Bake cake in the other 9" cake pan according to directions. Since there was extra cake mix I made cupcakes too.

After the cake is completely cooled (I baked mine one night and put it together the next morning) then I took the ice cream out of the pan and put it on a large plate. I immediately put some frosting on top and then the cake and stuck it back in the freezer. A few hours later I pulled it out and frosted it. The ice cream will melt fast...so frost quickly. I stuck it back in the freezer for a few hours before serving. It was yummy and not as dried out as those store bought ones!!I also made 2 types of candy corn barks a few weeks ago. I saw a recipe on a recent client's blog. It had a link to another blog where they got the recipe. That is where I found the 2nd type of candy corn bark. The 2nd one asked for Halloween Oreos and I went a wild goose chase around town to find them. Both were yummy, but I think I will try them with regular (not white) chocolate next year.

Here is the first bark. Looking forward to making it with candy canes!Here is the one with oreos. It's hard to get it broken into smaller pieces. I already bought red oreos for xmas....not sure what I can sub for the candy corn. How would candy canes taste?On this side I also found a recipe for Oreo Truffles. Sorry no pic...we ate them quickly!! I think for xmas instead of rolling the balls in crushed oreos that I will roll them in crushed candy canes. YUM!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Dog Woes

It was another beautiful sunny fall day today so I decided to take my dog to a new park and do a little training with him. The park had a large baseball field with an opening. I stood at the opening and let him run. I was working on calling him to come, which is one of our biggest issues with him. He totally ignored me and romped around the field. Then he came back toward me and slipped out the opening before I could get him. He headed straight toward the street...which was a couple hundred yards away. I yelled and called for him, but he was perfectly happy to run. The only time we've been able to get him when he's gotten away is with the van...so I ran over to the van and loaded Dori in to go find him. I kept my eye out in the direction he was and I saw several cars slowing down and stopping. That had me very worried...but about 10 seconds later I saw a golden streak come barreling back toward me. I bent down and called him and he came right toward me. I stomped on his leash with much relief. Then about 30 seconds later I saw a few cars pull into the park. One came right up to me and the guy asked if the dog was OK because he just hit him. What? He said he has slowed down and the dog ran in front of him and he's pretty sure he hit him. I looked down at the dog and he seemed perfectly OK and his tail was wagging. Turns out the guy drives dog rescue transport every Sunday and he was just beside himself that he hurt a dog. We chatted for a minute or 2 and I assured him that the dog was OK. I was thinking to myself that he must have missed the dog because he was able to run back to me.

A few minutes later the dog started limping. By the time we got back in the van he was acting a little strange and moving slowly. So I realized that he did get hit. I picked up Parker from school on the way home and he was so upset when I told him. He is a gentle soul and doesn't want to see anyone or anything hurt. I felt so bad! We brought the dog home and he did whimper when he jumped out of the van, but didn't fuss in the house at all. In fact he moved up the stairs rather quickly. He went right to his favorite spot on the sofa which is where he's been most of the evening. We did go downstairs and watch a movie and he followed us down and just sat at our feet and chewed on a bone. Normally he's going down the hall and trying to get into stuff and we have to keep after him. But he's definitely remaining close now. I talked with a friend in VetMed today and she told me how to check him out. He did not get upset or snap when I check out his paw or belly, so we concluded that he was just in shock. We've continued to keep an eye on his all evening and he seems to be OK...just a little slow.

I feel really bad about this. I feel I am responsible. I do think he's going to be OK. We realize we have a big problem with our dog bolting. We got him from the humane society about 6 months ago. His previous owners let him roam their neighborhood and animal control was called on him several times. The elderly couple that had him finally relinquished him because they couldn't take care of him. We did go to dog training at PetSmart, but that was basic commands. We are thinking about hiring an individual to come work with us and the dog...we need to have positive control of him and we don't. We plan on taking him with us to Alaska next year, but he just isn't ready for something like that now. We have to be able to control him and get him to come when we are on vacation. Especially being in the wilderness. Some people have mentioned getting a special collar for him, but I really know nothing about that. Any suggestions?

No Free Wi-Fi? WTH!!

Last week I flew to Phoenix for a long weekend. I got to see all my sibs and really enjoyed my sister's wedding reception. I flew out of Indianapolis with my sis & her boys. Indy built a new airport terminal which is just beautiful! Parking, check-in, security went well. I even found a Redbox in the airport. I rented a movie that I watched on my laptop on the plane and then I returned it to a Circle K in Tempe. Anyway, we didn't spend a lot of time in the airport, but I was able to get on my computer for a few minutes and access my email and FB. The free Wi-Fi was great!

Our flight from IND to DFW had Wi-Fi on board. I figured the lack of word FREE indicated that they would charge for use. Yes...it was around $10 per flight or $25 for a month's access. If you travel a lot and need to complete work, then I could see expensing the $25. For a 2 hour flight...no way! We had very little time to catch our connection to Phx, so I didn't even check for Wi-Fi at DFW.

On our return I nearly overslept...didn't get to bed til after 2am (woke 80 mins before my flight...luckily my sis lives close to the airport) so I spent most of my time at Sky Harbor waiting to go through security. No time to get online. We had a decent layover at O'Hare, so after making my way to the connecting gate I looked for a plug to charge my laptop. I found a few but they didn't work. I also tried to get online but the Wi-Fi wasn't free. WTH?! Seriously? No juice, no connection...I just gave up and went and got a massage! Best use of $20!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Reality/TV Wrap: Week 8

This has seemed like a very long week. Probably because I wrote my last wrap on the plane last week and then published it when I got to AZ. We headed out to dinner when I arrived, but luckily my sis watches Survivor too, so we watched it later in the evening.

Survivor~ Pretty interesting on how Russell was hitting up everyone for an alliance. Everyone was NOT liking Laura and I was so wishing she would NOT get immunity. Of course she did...and she will probably get it again. I thoroughly enjoyed the vote! Erik was such an A$$ at tribal. His comments were very rude and over the top. Not sure where they came from. I've seen people say things that had truths to them in these situations, but the character attacks were uncalled for. LOVED the blindside. Especially since he had an immunity idol. I think Russell playing his really show that he was scared AND that no one really knew how the vote was going to go. Shambo was really shocked by the vote. I think it was smart they didn't tell her because she would have blabbed it to Erik! I think the only thing that will keep Russell in the game tonight is if he wins immunity! The move to ax Erik makes my original line of thinking even stronger. After the first episode I went though and figured out who I thought had a chance of winning the whole thing...I came up with a few ladies from the purple tribe and then basically picked one of the names at random. I think they will be the ones with the final power...but I could be wrong! I didn't think my stab in the dark pick had a chance!

Amazing Race~ Have I ever told you how much I love this show? I actually arrived home from my trip about 5 mins after the show started. I was so tired and hungry! Hubby made me some eggs, I took a few minutes to get my bearings, and then we watched. So glad to have our DVR fixed!! Megan & Cheyne were SOO annoying this episode. I was so wishing that he's pull a Lena & Christy and be out there for 8 hours...but she got lucky! They are such an odd couple. I don't think they belong together, but they will probably get married. He needs to stop being in denial. Dan was being so annoying to Sam too. Why did he have to keep riding him? I thought Sam had every right to be mad at him. He just wouldn't shut up. At least he finally realized that he was annoying! I think the showdown between Sam/Dan and the Globetrotters will be quite interesting next week. I like Pinky & the Brain and I am glad it was a non-elim...althought Matt not knowing what a candel-a-bra is will probably hurt their chances of surviving another leg.

DH~ Come on Marc Cherry...this season is getting boring!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The only story line that was remotely interesting this week was the housekeeper/tutor with Gabby.

Biggest Loser~ How sad that with a 17# weight loss that Shay went home. It was a tough week. Daniel needed to go...he should have gone home a few weeks ago. I saw Shay & Daniel on Jay afterwards and they both looked really good. How sad that Daniel's bro or cousin (whomever his partner was last season...I think) that is OK with how he is. The weight loss percentages this week were amazing!

I still need to watch last week's & last night's Modern Family. If you haven't seen it yet...go watch it at ABC.com. The Office was good last week!!

I (heart) Oregon Chai!

I am so excited! I am a fan of Oregon Chai on FB and today I noticed a status update from them saying to go to Twitter to win a box of Oregon Chai. I clicked and it said the first 5 people to tweet a pic of them drinking Oregon Chai wins! I believe I was the first to tweet in this~

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Another Vehicle

I know...this is the 3rd vehicle in as many months...we need to sell a few!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Weekend Recap

I just got last night from a weekend in Phoenix. My sister got married last year in CA but had her wedding reception on Saturday. My sis, her 2 sons, and I flew out to AZ on Thursday and flew back yesterday. It was a quick weekend as I was only there Thurs night and all of Friday & Saturday. I did meet up with 2 friends while I was there, but I wish I had time for more. I did get to see all of my family. First time in 13 years all of the siblings were together. We did not get a pic with all of us together though. We enjoyed meeting my sister-in-law's family and had a blast at the wedding reception. The food, entertainment, and dancing were wonderful. Such a beautiful event filled with family and friends.

My good friend Rebecca from college.
My online buddy Kim & I. We've been chatting online for nearly 3 years and finally met!
Outside shot of the reception.
My sis Carole made these awesome paper cuts which included a tribute to MJ.
The beautiful couple!Nearly the entire family. My younger bro & his family weren't in the shot.A visit from The Village PeopleR.E.S.P.E.C.T. Find out what it means to me...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Reality/TV Wrap: Week 7

Survivor~ I am sure I am not the only one out there complaining about how boring and predictable Survivor is this year! I’ve hear the next season is supposed to be another All-Stars, so this is just the holdover til then. I am really starting to believe that Russell goes to the final 2. They are merging tonight, which will hopefully make for an interesting episode.

**I wrote this up earlier today when I was flying the friendly skies...but didn't have internet access til now. I know Survivor already aired!**

Amazing Race~ My favorite line was Flight Time and Big Easy, You look ridiculous!
LOL! They did a great job with the dancing. I actually felt a little bad for the poker girls when they couldn’t finish the detours. I’d love to be on the race, but it would be exhausting and I am sure I’d reach my breaking point a few times. I look forward to seeing them return to the hay bail challenge next week. Remember when Lena & Christy (I think that is their names) tried for 8 hours to find the key or whatever they were supposed to find.

DH~ Another boring episode. I am losing interest!

The Biggest Loser~ YEA…finally Trazey is GONE! Karma came back to get her. But I must say when they showed her do that mile at the very end of the episode that she looked pretty good. Her upper body/head looked fairly trim. I was very surprised that Liz won the pop challenge. I thought that Allen had it by a long shot with seeking out firefighters.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I'm Outta Here!

I am flying down to Phoenix tomorrow for my sister's wedding reception that is happening on Saturday. I've been super busy getting ready, so I have not done my reality wrap. I plan on typing it up on the plane and then I'll publish when I have internet access. Might not be until after Survivor has started in EST/CST.

Wordless Wednesday: Dilated


Monday, November 2, 2009

Portraits

Here are Dori's portraits from Friday!! Very cute!