Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leaping into March

No, it’s not jump, hurdle, or hop day. It’s Leapyearday. Yes, that’s a real word. Do you know that the chances of being born in a leap year are 1 in 1500? There are about 187,000 people in the U.S., and 4 million people in the world who were born on Febraury 29th  and I don’t know one of them. What are the odds of that?

Not close to being a science buff or expert on the Gregorian calendar (the standard calendar used throughout the world), I did find some basic deets about leap year. Side note: I recently learned that “deets” is the hip way to say details; had to exercise my new slang word ;0)
Leap year occurs every four years to help synchronize the calendar year with the solar year, or the length of time it takes the earth to complete its orbit around the sun, which is about 365 ¼  days. Again, I borderline-hate-science but I found that the solar year is slightly less than 365 ¼ days – by about 11 minutes. Since our world is set up such that “timing is everything,” to compensate, the leap year is omitted three times every four hundred years. How confusing is that!

For me,  February 29th equates to one extra day until March unravels. Packing up my heart plates and Valentine’s Day chotcka, I set out to find a St. Patrick’s plate to display in my kitchen. I didn’t have much time so, on a whim, I made my own. Talk about easy and personal! Sparkly shamrocks all around a charger and then a picture in the middle. I stuck contact paper over the photo, in case I want to serve cookies on it. This picture is from my soon-to-be fifteen-year-old's tenth birthday that we celebrated on St. Patrick’s Day. He dressed up like a leprechaun and there was green swag for everyone. Great memory! The thought of looking at this darling picture all month makes me want to leap, head first, into March!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Thumbs up for Lui

There's a multitude of reasons why I love my brother-in-law Scott, AKA: Lui. For starters, he can ride a unicycle! Back in 1981, he made the local Sunday paper for cruising around his neighborhood. Thumbs up Lui!
Scott at thirteen, making unicycle riding look easy!
 I met Scott my freshman year of high school in Introductory to Physical Science Class. He has not changed much because he continues to act like a fifteen-year old, only taller with a beer in hand.  He is playful, creative and quick-witted. For years we hung around the same group of friends and when I needed a date to the Sadie Hawkins dance, I asked him. Off to the local Miller’s Outpost I went and bought us matching western shirts and styled my 80’s hair. A group of us went to the ho-down crammed in the back of a Bronco. Thumbs up to great memories!
Sadie Hawkins, 1986
In college, my sister Miss Piggy, took a huge liking to my old friend, Scott.  And visa versa. Have your heard that saying, “Friends are the family you pick for yourself?” She took my friend and literally transposed him into family. Scott and Miss Piggy married in Italy in 1995. These two are well matched in creativeness, humor and are the best of friends and lovers.  Since she said, “I do,” my unicycle-riding-high-school pal is forever at family gatherings and is (one-of-two-of) the most fun and funniest Uncles (a Funckle) to my boys. Thumbs up!
Miss Piggy and Lui
Scott will forever be our family’s one-of-a-kind Cabana Boy, Marathon Runner, Mexicano, Designer, Nerd and Dog Father. He started Spiffy Press and it is the perfect outlet for his immeasurable creativity because he has 20+ years of graphic design and printing experience. He comes up with ideas that are off the charts unique. Check out his work and you will see why I give it a GRANDE thumbs up!
 Lui, the Larryland Bartender
A big perk from Scott is that he brought his best friend, Dave, from college around my family. Alot. We were happy to have another Lui-type nearby, if not for pure entertainment purposes. Next thing you know, Scott's buddy Dave marries my other sister, Cutie Pie. These two create Baby Benson, "The Piece D'Resistance" of our entire family! Thumbs up for cute babies!
Cutie Pie, Dave and The "B"
When Scott’s birthday arrived on February 11th all we could do was wish him happy birthday from afar. Miss Piggy, Scott and their dog-child, Cinco, vacationed at their beach house in Bucerias, Mexico for three weeks. Yes, you just read that correctly. Three. Weeks. Oh, to be their dog!  They just returned Friday, so last night my Italian family gathered to shower Scott with belated gifts and best wishes. Oh, and to watch the Academy Awards. The game of the night was guessing who would win the Oscar and Aunt Cindy took home the prize for the most correct predictions. Thumbs up!
Scott and his Mother
Overboard cooked lasagna for fifty people, although only eighteen were eating. Mom is so Overboard! That is why we love her. Scott made his wish, blew out the candles and opened presents during the Academy Award commercials. My dad ... he refuses to own a DVR. He has run a successful sheet meal company for forty-three years and has never ever used a computer in his business. My father’s thirst for technology is drier than a Mormon wedding.  
 Overboard holding Scott's ginormous dee-lish white-on-white cake. Confession: I ate two pieces.
Scott gracefully adapted and opened presents one commercial at a time. Thumbs up for being a good birthday sport! 
Unicycle Rose and the Funckles
What did we get Scott for his 44th birthday? I came across a ceramic “thumbs up” hand and immediately knew that this was created just for our irreplaceable Scott ... because we really, um, how should I say it? In the lingo of facebook, you could say we really LIKE him!

Lui, we love you! HB2U (belated)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Party down with Abe and George

Hammering on the keyboard was not on my President’s day to-do list. Although cleaning the house was. The long weekend slipped away and I never posted my favorite Abraham Lincoln quote. I did do some reading up on George and Abe . Funny thing is for the life of me, I could not get the Prince Song, “Party Like it’s 1999” out of my head. I knew that George Washington’s inauguration was in 1789, so I merged the year into that song and sang it on our hike.

 And as I cleaned.

And as I fed my flowers.

It kept playing over in my head, droning on like Obama’s many attempts at singing. Help me Founding Fathers, make it stop!

 “Tonight we’re gonna party like is 1789.”

How would one party like it’s 1789? Group quilting, butter churning and tossing back a draft of hard cider (men only, sorry Colonial women. It’s tea for you) while chatting about the following:

-          The pros and cons of smacking on wooden teeth.

-          Ten easy ways to motivate your slaves

-         Back pain from chopping wood to build houses and then having to chop more wood for furniture. There had to be an easier way.     

None of that late 1700’s chatter was happening here.  Last weekend was abundant with fun activities, except for the vacuuming, formally known as rug beating.  I tried to keep my balance every step of the way while appreciating this awesome America we are blessed to live in.

Oh, and before I forget. My favorite Abe quote hangs in our fourth grade class every February, and after five years, I have memorized it.
"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." -
-- Abraham Lincoln
Cheers to Abe (a little late), clink!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Balance Tip O' The Week - Talk with each other

On the heels of Valentine's Day I found this Balance Tip that works in personal relationships all year long! It picks up where roses, champagne and shared bubble baths leave off ;0)

Talk with each other.
It can’t be said enough: communication is essential in healthy relationships! It means—Take the time. Really be there.
  • Genuinely listen. Don’t plan what to say next while you’re trying to listen. Don’t interrupt. This is not always easy for the Italian, but advice worth heeding.
  • Listen with your ears and your heart. Sometimes people have emotional messages to share and weave it into their words. If you are married to a man, you will completely understand this simple piece of advice.
  • Ask questions. Ask if you think you may have missed the point. Ask for opinions. Show your interest. Open the communication door.
  • Share information. Studies show that sharing information especially helps relationships begin and nurtures them to grow. It's like fertilizer for getting closer and more connected.
Presto, like magic! You are on your way to a deeper, intimate and well-balanced realtionship!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day Eve

Last night our Women’s ministry was delighted to host a night exploring paths to “Loving ourselves, God and others.” Talk about the perfect kick-off on Valentine’s Day Eve! Our guest speakers, Tonilee Adamson and Bobbye Brooks are the founders of Daily Disciples Ministries, Inc . For over ten years, they have shared a passion to help women change, grow and succeed. Like many women today both have professional backgrounds, busy lives and active families, which give them insight into the struggles and challenges of walking out the Christian life every day.

From the start, most were in agreement that loving God is much easier that loving ourselves and others. Their pearls of wisdom and personal stories tied into passages from Exodus led us closer to living out true love with God, others and ourselves. The take-away for me was to not only to carve out daily time just for the Lord but telling God that I am not going forward without him. This puts Him in every minute of my day.
Fun fact: My friend CeeCee is Annette Funicello's first cousin
Mary and her red velvet cupcakes
It was a treat to have these gals lead our women’s event. Speaking of treats, our team put together a yummy table of Valentine’s sweets for one-hundred guests to enjoy afterward.  I loved spending a couple hours decorating cupcakes, setting heart-filled tables and schmoozing with my church peeps. Now isn’t that what Valentine’s Day is all about?  Well, part of it.  The other piece? Adoring my Hubby and two sons whom I love so very muchly much (as Dr. Seuss would say). Wait. Make that five Valentines. The Weiner Sisters are my valentines-with-tails, four legs and dog breath, but my sweethearts, none-the-less.
Mi Amore
Tonight it will be dinner out and a bubble bath for us; kids and dogs not included. An evening devoted to my irresistible man and our fancy for each other is just what I ordered.
Love is in the air!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Little People

Kids. I love them!
A third grader walked up to me at recess and asked what you call a bear without teeth. I thought for a moment, then gave up. He wrapped his lips over his teeth and mumbled out, “gummy bear.” Little People are so simple and sweet!
Spending time with my nephew Benson over the weekend was another opportunity to soak in Little People time. My sons love playing with Benson and the Weiner Sisters simply tolerate him. It is true that kids love kids!
I thought we would be buying Benson a new car after my Big-Little People took it for a spin!
My Big-Little Person Daniel wanted the Patriots to win the Superbowl. He decided to make a sign to hang during the game. In true Little Person spirit, he wrote exactly what was on his heart and mind.
We thought it read GONE Patriots. Wrong.
Without Little People, this world would be dull, serious, and boring!
Philosopher Henri Frederic Amiel said it best,
 "Blessed be childhood, which brings down something of heaven into the midst of our rough earthliness."

Friday, February 3, 2012

Don't forget to clean your Superbowl

Listen to Maxine, wouldya? We are not a big football family, but as everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day, well, isn't everyone a football fan on Superbowl Sunday? My Dad will bring his football pool so most can lose ten bucks, hot dogs will be grilled on our new BBQ as we sit staring at the tube taking in the best part of the Big Game ... the commercials! It's sure to be a fun weekend and since the gathering is here Sunday, I will be cleaning and scrubbing the house, inlcuding my three superbowls :0)
Enjoy this All-American Football Weekend!