Tuesday, October 30, 2007

In defense of Pennsylvania and New York

Ok here are some pictures to defend PA and NY. I wanted to show that it is possible for these states to have pretty colors even if Becca doesn't think so. I think it depends where you go in the state. Becca, you are using Southern PA as your example and it just isn't fair to the rest of the state :). It's the same thing with those people who use New York City to describe New York State. You have never lived anywhere in PA but in the south.

Some of the pictures are blurry because I was driving for some of them and it was pouring down rain. I think it looks like an impressionistic painting so I like it!! As you can clearly see there is red, and the red was breathtaking. The whole drive through the mountains is breathtaking. I always love the drive to NY but Fall is especially beautiful. Pictures never seem to do the scenery justice though, as y'all know :).

I like the contrast between the dark green and the red and orange.

I wish I had the chance to take more pictures but I wasn't able to. The trip up was pouring down rain, and I was running late for church on the trip back.

This tree is in front of my parents' house. It is starting to turn colors so it looks like it has highlights from a salon (notice that it's a maple Becca :)).

A look at the tree from farther away. I am amazed at how big it has grown. It used to be the little tree that my friend threw her bra into. My grandmother saw her bra and thought it was two black birds fighting in the tree (she has Alzheimer's).

This bright red tree is in front of Cindy and Josh's house. I think it is a maple as well.
A closer look at the red leaves just for Becca.

I see red in the mix.

I actually didn't post this for the colors. It is the street that the cottage is on. I put these on here so y'all can see the cottage in the Fall.
My cute little cottage. My parents planted the white birch in front when we first got the cottage. It has grown so much too!!

My dad was saying that we got jipped this year with foliage changing. It has been a warm, relatively dry Fall. The leaves usually aren't as bright if that happens. Peak season definitely seems later than it usually is.

I wish that I had more pictures to show but I hope this helps to prove my point. New England is amazing and has a special kind of Fall charm that can't be captured anywhere else. I am not trying to undermine the beauty of NE in the Fall at all. I am definitely part NE girl at heart. However, I don't think the beauty of PA in the Fall is less beautiful. I just love covered bridges and little streams and back country roads with Fall foliage.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A daytime treat---with pictures!!

Since I don't have too much to do here at my other school, and since blogger isn't blocked, I thought I would finally post some pictures that I owe y'all. I have to pick from the ones already on my computer rather than my memory disk.

Alicia wearing her Daddy's big shoes. She then walked towards the door and tried to open the door to my apartment. These pics are from when they visited me in PA.

This picture is so cute. Alicia climbed up and did this on her own. She isn't posed although she definitely looks like she is. She is such a ham :).

Alicia having fun at nearby playgrounds. There is actually a nature trail on the grounds of our apartment complex that leads to a little park. Lynette discovered this little treasure.

Mommy and Alicia going down the slide together.

Daddy and Alicia riding a bumblebee.

I think this one is precious too. I love how they are looking at each other.

Cindy and me in one of the distorted mirrors.

Alicia's 2nd birthday party...a very Elmo birthday. Cindy went all out making cookies, candies, etc. for the party. Here is a picture of the chocolate lollipops she made. They were so good (they taste good and look good....a double treat!!).

Alica's presents also included a lot of Elmo things. I got her this Hokey Pokey Elmo that I carried on my back all day on a very hot day during the summer while Marc and I were in New York City.
Aunt Katie got her this fancy Elmo chair that turns around and talks. She loves it.

My mom got her this Elmo towel. Do you see a theme in the gifts?

Notice the big bump on Alicia's head. She did this right before her party. I was told as soon as I saw her not to mention the bump on her head. Throughout the day, several people asked her about her bump (do y'all call them eggs on the head? Lynette doesn't so I was wondering) and Alicia immediately burst into tears. It's funny how the booboo doesn't hurt unless you talk about it.

An Elmo cake made by my mother.

Look who came to the party..........ELMO!!!!!!!!!!!

Alicia giving Elmo a big kiss.

A closer look at Mom's cake. She does such an amazing job. I remember several cakes she did for our birthdays when we were young.

Alicia cuddling up to her friend Elmo. She kept grabbing his hand and putting it next to her so she was wrapped in his arms.....How cute!!

This picture is funny. Josh is wearing Elmo's head and Cindy is wearing Elmo's body.

In case you couldn't tell by now, Alicia loves Elmo. She was so excited to see him and wouldn't let him go. The person wearing the Elmo suit is one of the kids in Josh's youth group. It's funny because Alicia wouldn't have anything to do with him when he was in normal, street clothes. I guess everyone is more lovable with a furry red suit on.

Of course my Dad just had to sit on Elmo's lap.

Ok, now pictures from the Gate/ Cool Hand Luke concert in Horseheads, NY. Every month Josh's youth group has an outreach night for local teenagers. They usually have local bands play. Usually 200-300 kids come. This time they had Cool Hand Luke perform (a pretty famous Christian band). They got 300-400 kids for this one. That's pretty good for such a small area. Earlier in the day they had a church picnic (with an actual pig roast on a spit). It was cold that day and felt brisk and fresh. The promise of Fall was in the air. Little did we know that we would have 90 degree weather after that week.

Alicia throwing the bottle of water to me during the concert. She has quite an arm. I think this is a classic pitcher picture. Maybe she will play for the Red Sox someday :).

We had this fun game of banging on the table after Alicia started banging on the table. She laughed hysterically the whole time. We did it over and over again just to hear her laugh.

Alicia with her Aunt Nina. We have bonded so much lately. This picture was taken after Alicia chose for me to pick her up. I was standing with my mom, Katie (Alicia's other aunt), and Josh's mom and Alicia came over to me and put her arms up so I could pick her up. I was so happy that she chose me from all those familiar faces. It made me want to cry because I was so happy.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

America: The home of the brave, the free, and the gay penguins

My brother-in-law got this from one of the members of his church. It's from a parent of an elementary school-aged child who got the story in school in New York State. I am going to type it word for word for your horror/enjoyment. Here's the story:

And Tango Makes Three
Every year at the same time, the girl penguins start noticing the boy penguins. And the boy penguins start noticing the girls. When the right girl and the right boy find each other, they become a couple.
Two penguins in the penguin house were a little bit different. One was named Roy, and the other was named Silo. Roy and Silo were both boys. But they did everything together.
They bowed to each other. And walked together. They sang to each other. And swam together. Wherever Roy went, Silo went too.
They didn't spend much time with the girl penguins, and the girl penguins didn't spend much time with them. Instead, Roy and Silo wound their necks around each other. Their keeper Mr.Gramzay noticed the two penguins and thought to himself, "They must be in love."
Roy and Silo watched how the other penguins made a home. So they built a nest of stone for themselves. Every night Roy and Silo slept there together, just like the other penguin couples.
And every morning Roy and Silo woke up together. But one day Roy and Silo saw that the other couples could do something they could not.
The mama penguin would lay an egg. She and the papa penguin would take turns keeping the egg warm until finally, it would hatch. And then there would be a baby penguin.
Roy and Silo had no egg to sit on and keep warm. They had no baby chick to feed and cuddle and love. Their nest was nice, but it was a little empty.
One day Roy found something that looked like what the other penguins were hatching and he brought it to their nest. It was only a rock, but Silo carefully sat on it. And sat...And sat.
When Silo got sleepy, he slept. And when Silo was done sleeping and sitting, he swam and Roy sat. Day after day Silo and Roy sat on the rock. But nothing happened. Then Mr. Gramzay got an idea. He found an egg that needed to be cared for, and he brought it to Roy and Silo's nest. Roy and Silo knew just what to do. They moved the egg to the center of their nest. Every day they turned it, so each side stayed warm. Some days Roy sat while Silo went for food. Other days it was Silo's turn to take care of their egg.
They sat in the morning, and they sat at night. They sat through lunchtime and swim time and supper. They sat at the beginning of the month, and they sat at the end of the month, and they sat all of the days in between.
Until one day they heard a sound coming from inside their egg. Peep, peep. Peep, peep, it said. Roy and Silo caled back, Squawk, squawk. Peep, peep, answered the egg. Suddenly a tiny hole appeared in the egg's shell. And then...CRAAAACK!!!
Out came their very own baby! She had fuzzy white feathers and a funny black beak. Now Roy and Silo were fathers. "We'll call her Tango," Mr. Gramzay decided, "because it takes two to make a Tango."
Roy and Silo taught Tango how to sing for them when she was hungry. They fed her food from their beaks. They snuggled her in their nest at night. Tango was the very first penguin at the zoo to have two daddies.
Soon Tango grew strong enough to leave the nest. Roy and Silo took her for a swim, just like all the other penguin families. And all the children who came to the zoo could see Tango and her two fathers playing in the penguin house with the other penguins. "Hooray, Roy!" "Hooray Silo!" "Welcome Tango!" they cheered.
At night the three penguins returned to their nest. There they snuggled together and, like all the other penguins in the penguin house, and all the other animals in the zoo, and all the families in the big city around them, they went to sleep.


The end of the story includes an author's note about how the story is true and how you can go to Central Park and visit Tango.

I really can't say too much about this except.......WOW. Has our country really come to this? Do we really need to teach our kids a lesson about gay penguins in order to help them be more open minded? Do elementary children really need to be taught a lesson about sexual orientation? What ever happened to preserving a child's innocence as long as possible? What our culture deems as acceptable material becomes more and more shocking to me. Let me know your thoughts on it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Mother doesn't always know best

(Another during the day treat for you Jess)

I want to share this story with y'all because it is pretty funny. Last week Lynette, Becca C., Mom, and I went to the King of Prussia Mall to shop. Before we went to the mall we stopped to get gas beyond the mall. We needed to turn around in order to go back to the mall. We came to a light with a sign posted for no U-turns. However, three cars in front of me did illegal u-turns. I was about to follow them but decided against it. I paused and said, "I better not because, knowing my luck with cars, I will be the one to get caught." My mom told me to do it anyways because 3 other cars had done it. I was about to listen to her but decided not to. Like, I said, I know my car karma :). Just as I had paused a cop car coming from the other direction turned on his lights and pulled over the last car in the line of 3 cars who had done the illegal u-turns!!!We all watched and laughed in amazement. It was so surreal. If I had listened to my mother, it would have been me who got pulled over (because I would have been the last car!!!). I guess this proves that mother doesn't always know best :).

*I should qualify this by saying that mother ususally knows best........my mom is one smart lady :).*

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Happy 100 posts to me!!

I had a great day and I just wanted to share it with y'all. I decided to take a job. They gave me more money than I could ever have imagined and I won't have to commute as far. I was looking at my loan payment and my salary as it is now and I would barely make it. I would have needed a second job to support myself. That's pretty bad, considering I have my masters in a field that's high in demand. I decided that I had been taken advantage of enough so I accepted the job today. I felt as if huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders after I accepted. I feel at peace about it. I didn't realize how much I was burdened by it. After school, I went to the Yerringtons to hang out with Amy (Marc's sister). We ended up talking to Marc for like 3 hours or so. At first we did a three way chat where Amy and I talked to him together while we were in the same room. Then, Marc called using Skype so I was able to talk to him live. It uses the internet and video cameras so you actually see each other. It's amazing how technology works. It was nice to talk to him because it made him feel not so far away. After I got back to our apartment, I met our cute neighbor who introduced himself. We chatted for a few minutes. It was nice how he went out of his way to introduce himself. So surprisingly I am in a good mood, although it is the eve of the dreaded day of my diminishing youth. I'm trying not to think about it and would like to skip ahead to Monday or even stay on Saturday.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I'm ready for the year to start flying by

September lasted for what seemed like an eternity. Time has not been flying for me so far this year. I honestly really have nothing to write. I am just wasting time because I don't want to be doing the paperwork that isn't mine to begin with. There was an emergency situation so I am filling in for someone. One of the SLPs (speech-language pathologists) got called to federal jury duty for who knows how long. She could be gone for months. So now I have to cover for her in a school that I don't know, a system I don't know, and a caseload I don't know. Great huh? I am doing the best I can but it is a little rough. I have several kids who are 2 x a week but I am only here on Tuesdays. Last I checked, Tues was only one day of the week. So it looks like I am going to be violating a bunch of IEPs. Again, great. The therapy and lessons really aren't that bad....it's the extra paperwork that kills me. Of course I still have my own caseload the other 4 days and now I have this extra day where I get to do extra paperwork. I have to remind myself why I got into this field to begin with. I really wanted to help people. I feel like that vision is clouded by the mountain of extra work. I understand that it is a necessary evil but I feel like it can get in the way of the therapy/service we provide. Is this really what I signed up for?

I don't mean to be complaining about work AGAIN. I don't completely hate my job or anything. It just seems to be the easiest thing to complain about right now. Last weekend was a lot of fun. On Sat we went to the Ren Faire as most of you already know. It's a lot of fun dressing up. I probably would have never chosen that for myself, but I actually enjoy it. Becca got to make us all into her masterpieces. She is so amazing!! Sat night I went back to Waynesboro with Becca and Dave. We talked to their friend Joe for a little and then Becca and Dave passed out while we were watching a movie. I was quite tired myself. The next day we went to church and Sunday School. Everyone is so nice.....and Jess, a lot of them have Southern accents!! So maybe the debate about Maryland being in the North or South is still up in the air :). After church we went out to eat with Joe and Brendon and then we took a ride in Brendon's restored '72 convertible (I honestly don't know what kind of car it is). It was a glorious day and so much fun. Definitely a Sunday drive at its finest. After the drive, I passed out at Dave and Becca's during World Trade Center. It was a nice weekend even though traveling can make the following week seem long. Well I should definitely get back to that paperwork..........