May Blog Challenge

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Orchestra Contests

Two of my weekends in April were filled with orchestra contests.  I love that my daughter plays the cello.  Neither my husband or I play any musical instruments, so I find it fascinating that our daughter plays both the cello and the piano.  Last year she joined orchestra.  The teacher was not a good teacher. He was a band guy trying to teach stringed instruments.  My daughter hated the cello.  She did not want to continue playing it.  Over the summer we convinced her to take a two week summer camp from another teacher (who is absolutely fantastic and we love her).  It was a Rockin Strings camp.  They played songs like Firework by Katy Perry and Livin on a Prayer by Bon Jovi and other popular songs.  She had a blast and learned way more from that teacher than from a year with her school teacher.  She decided to give orchestra another shot.  

This year our school got a new orchestra teacher.  She has a strong orchestra background and can play all the instruments.  My daughter now loves the cello.  We bought her a cello (a fun story that I must share sometime). Not only is she first chair in her school orchestra (and has been all year), but she also plays in a multi-city orchestra.  Her section leader is the same teacher that she took the camp with over the summer.  She is auditioning for an honors orchestra in a couple of weeks.  We bought her a couple of Disney cello books (go and  She has been learning a few of those on her own at night.  

Okay, so anyway, back to the first weekend in April.  We drove two hours away to a contest in Pawnee Oklahoma.  I saw lots of great scenery on the way (the picture from this post was taken on the way back from the contest). 

The orchestra did very well.  Every time I hear them they get better and better.  They came in second at this contest.  Elexis had a great time with her friends on the bus (I drove separately).  They took lots of pictures and made great memories.  

After we got home from the contest.  We had her cousin's 13th birthday party.  It was a dodgeball party.  I played a few games.  It was fun.  I am good at dodging the ball...not so much with trying to get people out.  My strategy was dodge the ball and get balls for my team mates.  It was fun.  

The weekend was exhausting but fun!!  I love being an orchestra parent. 

May Blog Challenge

I have decided to join Cole and Paula in another blog challenge.  I met both of these wonderful ladies through a previous blog challenge.  I like the consistency of writing everyday and it helps when I have a prompt.  Here is the one I am participating in starting tomorrow.

I met so many wonderful people doing the March challenge, that I am ready to do it again.  Yay.  

Here are the rules of the challenge: (hosted by: Story of My Life)
1. There really aren't any rules. If you miss a day, you can make it up or skip it. The blog police will not come knocking.

2. I will be including a linkup option at the bottom of my post each day, so you are welcome to leave your links here for others to peruse, as well. 

3. You can still post other things every day, too. I plan to do normal outfit posts, life posts, around-Austin posts, and sponsor posts just like usual.

4. I'd seriously love you if you also include the "blog every day in May" button (below) either on your sidebar or at the end of your posts, but again, the blog police will not come knocking. My main goal here is to get us all back to the basics of blogging, not to gain a million new readers (though I wouldn't mind that). 

5. Here are the topics. You can be as creative and awesome or as boring and bland as you like with these. Take 'em and run with it. Use creative post titles. Interpret each "prompt" however you like. There's no wrong way to do it. Have fun.

Day 1, Wednesday: The story of your life in 250 words or less (or one paragraph... no one will be counting your words... probably)
Day 2, Thursday: Educate us on something you know alot about or are good at. Take any approach you'd like (serious and educational or funny and sarcastic)
Day 3, Friday: Things that make you uncomfortable
Day 4, Saturday: Favorite quote (from a person, from a book, etc) and why you love it
Day 5, Sunday: Publicly profess your love and devotion for one of your blogger friends. What makes them great? Why do you love them? If you don't have blogger friends, talk about a real-life friend or even a family member
Day 6, Monday: If you couldn't answer with your job, how would you answer the question, 'what do you do'?
Day 7, Tuesday: The thing(s) you're most afraid of
Day 8, Wednesday: A piece of advice you have for others. Anything at all.
Day 9, Thursday: A moment in your day (this can be just a photo or both a photo and words)
Day 10, Friday: Most embarrassing moment (s). Spill. 
Day 11, Saturday: Sell yourself in 10 words or less
Day 12, Sunday: What do you miss? (a person, a thing, a place, a time of your life...)
Day 13, Monday: Issue a public apology. This can be as funny or as serious or as creative as you want it to be.
Day 14, Tuesday: Ten things that make you really happy
Day 15, Wednesday: A Day in the life (include photos from throughout your typical day - this could be "a photo an hour" if you'd like)
Day 16, Thursday: Something difficult about your "lot in life" and how you're working to overcome it
Day 17, Friday: A favorite photo of yourself and why
Day 18, Saturday: Tell a story from your childhood. Dig deep and try to be descriptive about what you remember and how you felt.
Day 19, Sunday: Five of your favorite blogs and what you love about them
Day 20, Monday: Get real. Share something you're struggling with right now.
Day 21, Tuesday: A list of links to your favorite posts in your archives
Day 22, Wednesday: Rant about something. Get up on your soapbox and tell us how you really feel. (a pet peeve, a current event, a controversial topic, something your husband or roommate or neighbor or boss does that really ticks you off)
Day 23, Thursday: Things you've learned that school won't teach you
Day 24, Friday: Your top 3 worst traits
Day 25, Saturday: Something someone told you about yourself that you'll never forget (good or bad)
Day 26, Sunday: Something you read online. Leave a link and discuss, if you'd like.
Day 27, Monday: A letter to your readers
Day 28, Tuesday: Only pictures
Day 29, Wednesday: Five songs or pieces of music that speak to you or bring back memories. Use Grooveshark or YouTube to include them in the post
Day 30, Thursday: React to this term: Letting Go
Day 31, Friday: A vivid memory

I am pretty excited.  I can't wait to get started.

Monday, April 29, 2013

The month is winding down

I feel like I abandoned my blog.  It is mainly because April was really busy for me.  Every weekend and most week nights had something going on.  As soon as I get all my editing caught up on my pictures, I will have tons to share.  I am very excited about that.  I did get my daughter's birthday pictures edited.  I will throw a few up here.

I plan on each event having their own post.  It may take me all of May to catch up (haha!).  I really want to just write down them memories for me.  So for right now, here are a few pictures from her birthday portraits.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

I can't believe my baby is 13!

Conversation about being buried alive

I have another conversation story.  This time we were in the car on the way to the mall.  My daughter got a Mythbusters book yesterday.  She was asking us which myths we though were true or false.  She got to one that was based around being buried alive.  Here is the conversation.

E: Ok, Can a person survive a funeral in a casket and be buried alive?
Me: I say yes, they wouldn't live long after being buried because they would run out of oxygen.
Hubby: I don't think so...
E: Well, what if it did happen?
Me: Ok, listen up guys, I want to be buried with an oxygen tank in my casket.
Hubby: <laughs>
Me: I'm serious.  Oh, and I want a shovel. And a pickaxe.  And a flashlight.
Hubby:  You really think we are going to not notice you are not dead??
Me:  Well, you never know.  Those Chinese contortionists can slow their breathing and heart rate down enough to appear dead.
E: The carbon dioxide would kill you first, mom.
Me: Nah, I will get out.  Oh, and I am going to need a small saw and some water.  I am going to need to stay hydrated during all the digging.  Oh, and some goggles so the dirt doesn't get in my eyes.
Hubby: How are you going to get the hole started in the casket to saw your way out?
Me: I guess I am going to need one of those little hand crank drill thingys.
Hubby: Why don't we just get you a collapsable casket?
E: Because then she will be crushed to death.
Me: Yeah!
Hubby:  If I were buried alive; I would just want my cell phone with a long wire and a solar panel on top of the grave to keep it charged.
Me: You would die then, because looters would so take the solar panel. Oh, and I am putting it in my will so you two be forewarned about what all I want to be buried with.
Hubby:  haha okay

We laughed a lot during our conversation.  A little note about me, I use hand gestures a lot.  So I demonstrated how the pickaxe and the drill were going to work.

Thanks Mythbusters for providing entertaining conversations for my family.

Monday, April 22, 2013

I told you it was a busy month

I have not forgotten about my little space here in the blog universe.  I have just been extremely busy.  This past Friday was my daughter's 13th birthday.  I am not going to lie, I cried off and on all day.  I cannot believe that she is already 13.  Time has flown.  I am going to play catch up tomorrow on all of our activities we have done.  I still have to get ready for her birthday party coming up on Saturday.  But for now, I leave you with one of the shots from her birthday photo shoot.  Ladies who I follow, be prepared for a lot of comments from me tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Blog Awards

I have recently become the recipient of two different blog awards.  Both are from some very special ladies that I am so happy to have found in this big world wide web.  I cannot say enough good stuff about these two.  Please go check out their blogs.

My first award came from Jennifer at My Own Green Grass.

The award is given to up and coming bloggers to spread the word and support each other.  The recipient should post eleven random facts about themselves. They must also answer the questions that the tagger has created for them. We aren’t done yet, there’s more! They must create eleven questions for the bloggers that they will pass the award on to and let them know that they have received it. Are you confused now because I need to reread this myself before going any further…..

The second award I got was from the very sweet Paula over at Paula's Place.  

The rules to accepting this honor are:

Post the award on your site
  • Announce your win in a post with a link back the site of the person who nominated you
  • Post 7 interesting things about yourself
  • Nominate 15 fellow bloggers that you think are deserving of this award
  • Leave a comment on all 15 sites to let them know you've nominated them
Since both award asked me to name interesting things about myself, I figured I would combine them.

11 Random facts about Cristy...
1. I love coffee just for the taste. I drink decaf.
2. I can't have caffeine. A high sensitivity/low tolerance. Means every one of my beverages are caffeine free/decaf.
3. I have an obsession with Bath & Body Works hand sanitizer. They are always 5 for $5 so I stop in every couple of weeks and buy some.
4. Another obsession - pens and pencils. I probably have about 200 scattered around my house in various pencil holders... I also love notepads.
5. I get bored with projects easily.
6. I think I am a great mom and pride myself on my daughter's friends feeling like they can open up and talk to me.
7. I am addicted to HGTV.
8. I am weird. I love doing laundry. Dishes not so much. I love turning my mountains of dirty clothes into nicely folded piles of clean freshness.
9. I cry easily. Happy, sad, anxious, excited...I cry.
10. I only own one pair of heels. I have had them for years, and I never wear them.
11. I have a pair of pajamas from high school that I still love and wear. They are very thin and soft at this point, but every once in a while, I still wear them.

Ok, now for the Liebster Award, I am supposed to answer the 11 questions that Jennifer came up with and then come up with 11 questions for others. 
My Questions to answer:
1. What is your favorite body part? I would have to say my calves. They have become really muscular and I love it.
2. If I could learn to do anything, what would it be? Probably learn a language like Chinese or Russian.
3. When was the last time you had an amazing meal, and what was it?  Some awesome grilled chicken and steamed veggies with a baked potato...last night.  It was so good.  
4. What were you doing 30 minutes ago?  Cleaning my needed it.
5. Any favorite smells? anything dessert baking, rain, freshly mowed grass
6. How often do you go over the speed limit?  Umm - truthfully?? - way too much.  pretty much every time I drive.  I leave myself plenty of time to be places, I just like to drive fast. I don't go more than 5-10 over the limit though.
7. Do You have a nickname?  My real name is Crystal, so Cristy is a nickname since birth, sis, sissy
8. What word describes you best? Giving
9. What is a good place to travel, but you wouldn't want to live there? NYC - I would love to stay there for about a year, but I couldn't see myself living there.
10. What TV show are you embarrassed about watching?  MTV's Real World and the Challenges...I've pretty much have seen every episode.  Only missed a few seasons here and there.
11. Are you left handed or right?  I'm a righty

Now 11 Questions I am asking.
1. What is your favorite Disney character?
2. What is your best piece of storage advice?
3. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
4. If you could spend $1000 at just one store; what store would that be?
5. Dead or Alive, Who would you want to have dinner with?
6. Most embarrassing song that you will sing to at the top of your lungs?
7. Do you like your toilet paper over or under?
8. When do you grocery shop?  
9. Do you grocery shop alone or with people?
10. Favorite pair of shoes?
11. First middle school crush?

I am not going to tag anyone to answer them, because I am still so new to the blogging world, I don't really know any new bloggers, but I would love to read answers to the questions I am asking.

For the Very Inspiring Blogger Award - 15 bloggers I find inspiring are:

Paula - Paula's Place
Jennifer - My Own Green Grass
Laura - Likely Lola
Trinity - Ramsay Grace
Kirsten - One Tough Mother
Christine - Mama Papa Barn

I met all of these fabulous ladies doing Tiffany's March challenge.  I feel very lucky and blessed to find such a good group of bloggers.  All of their blogs inspire me, especially being a new blogger myself.  
This is very long, but I just wanted to display these awards proudly.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Old at Heart

I am the youngest person at the Senior Citizen's Center.  I go there voluntarily and not as a volunteer.

Just a few notes: 

 I lived with my grandma off and on for a good portion of my childhood.  I spent many days at the Senior Center as a child.  I learned to play canasta, bridge, rumicube, and dominos.  I already had a knowledge of gin rummy, regular rummy, uno and skip-bo.  I learned who were the best partners and who were sore losers.  I ate meals with them.  I listened to their wonderful stories.  Out of all my cousins, I was the only one to go there almost everyday.  I loved it.  My husband calls me the youngest old person he has ever met. lol

Fast forward to this past February.  My husband's 76 year old grandma (Granny) lost her twin sister (Aunt Jean) unexpectedly.  They were the type of twins who did everything together.  They didn't even have to call each other in the morning and they would still be dressed alike.  They were together all of their lives.  Aunt Jean died of a brain aneurism very quickly.  Granny took the death hard, but better than anyone expected.  She lives with my husband's mom, her daughter, right down the street from us.  The doctor took away her keys right after her sister died.  Granny has a hard time remembering things, so the doc said no more driving.  My mother-in-law doesn't want Granny to be home by herself everyday because she is kind of fragile.  So, Granny goes to the Senior Center every day.  There is a van that comes and picks her up and takes her to the center and then drives her home again in the afternoon.  The first week she went, my MIL went with her.  Then she had to go back to work.  I offered to go up there a couple of times a week to keep her company.  Well, I wound up going everyday for the first three weeks.  I felt an enormous amount of guilt if I didn't go.  Granny didn't know anyone up there.  She has never had to make friends before, because she has had a built in best friend for 76 years. 
Here are some things I learned, as an adult, at the senior center.  
1. The food is still the same.  My palate has been refined though, cardboard chicken fried steak isn't going to cut it.  But, they serve some of my favorite foods such as mixed vegetables, steamed cabbage, peas, spinach.  All foods my husband and child hate so I don't fix.  Yes, they needs lots of seasoning, but it warms my 9 year old soul.  Those are comfort foods to me.  Lunch is $1.50 for seniors and $4.00 for everyone else.  
2.  The seniors hoard milk.  Every day milk is served with the meal.  The seniors will roll them up in napkins and stick them in their purses or bags.  Same thing with the little butter packages too.  I am sure some of these do not drink or use the milk and have several cartons at home in their fridge that is expired.  
3.  Cliques still happen.  They have a few more wrinkles, but there are still mean girls, social butterflies, and guys talking about guy stuff.  The first day I walked in, I was scared of sitting at the wrong table and having someone be mean to me (I got over it quickly).  
4. The seniors like schedule.  They get really upset if something happens a few minutes early or late.  
5.  They don't care about being politically correct.  They cuss while playing cards and dominos.  They are hilarious to listen to.  They will tell you exactly what is on their mind whether it is appropriate conversation or not.  
6.  These people have some wonderful wonderful stories.  I love just listening to them.  Last week we were at a table with a gentleman who was 89.  He spent many years in the Navy and was off the coast of Japan during WWII.  He was telling me that his mom lived to be 96 and has an uncle that is 107 and still living.  He also brought a tiny vial of chocolate to make his milk, chocolate milk.  I love hearing about time in the service and stories about when they were children.  These people have experienced so much.  
7.  They cheat at dominos.  I mean like really cheat.  Granny is really the only one I can vouch for on this.  She will peek at several while picking her dominos.  If she doesn't like them, she will just move on to the next one.  She will try to hide dominos for the next hand by putting them under her arm.  Today she simply just put the double blank back because she didn't want to be caught with it.  She is obsessed with winning, but the more she cheats, the more I win.  The more I win, the more she cheats.  I find it funny at times, but then some days its just really annoying.  

Now I need help.  As much as I would love to spend my days up there playing games all day; my house is a mess, my laundry is piled up, my friendships are suffering and my stuff has taken the back burner.  The thing is Granny will not make friends.  She has become to dependent on me.  I was thinking that I could slowly integrate her in to the place and maybe help her make some friends.  Granny likes to play dominos, but she only likes to play one game...chicken feet.  She refuses to play any other game.  There are several different games going on during the day.  There are ladies that play canasta, regular dominos and train dominos.  She only wants people to play at her game.  She never wants to just sit there and talk to other people either.  Today, she got very upset that other people came and sat at her table.  She wanted to move.  I told her that other people were okay.  It would be good for her to talk to other people.  I have not been able to be there a couple of times and my MIL says that she just goes to the exercise room and exercises until lunch time.  I want to be able to just go up there once or twice a week on my terms.  My question is: How do I help her make friends and wean her off of me?  How do I get her to try new things?  I love Granny and I know my husband's family is grateful that I go up there to keep her company, but I can't keep going up there every day.  Also, how do I get rid of the guilt for not going up there every day?  

On the brighter side, the older people have really accepted me.  I have made some friends up there.  When I walk in there I get a very warm welcome.  I also am helping them out by finding out information on stuff (mainly because I am the only one up there with a smart phone that has internet).  

I guess I have rambled on enough.  I leave you with a few pictures.


St. Patricks Day meal. - yum!

One of Granny's friends that she has known a long time.  They come when they can, which is not often.  He is 88 years old.  He is the cutest funniest little man.  I love him.

The directors treat me as one of their own.  I got Easter goodies along with everyone else.

Granny and her machine.  She is 4'10".  

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Conversations about Zombies

So, yesterday morning I was driving my daughter to school.  We have some great conversations.  This one went something like this:

E: Mom, What does cataclysmic mean?
Me: (looking it up on my phone) a violent upheaval that causes great destruction or fundamental change (source)
E: So, the same thing as an apocalypse?
Me: Kind of, you can't survive an apocalypse, but you could possibly survive something cataclysmic.
E: What about a zombie apocalypse, can you survive that?  
Me: Zombies aren't real
E: But, what if they were real?
Me:  Then, yes I could survive it because I will just ride in on my magical unicorn and stab them with it's horn.  
E: I'll get my dragon...

We both found this conversation extremely humorous.

This morning, while having Donut Friday on Thursday (she has early practice on Friday morning); we were telling the conversation to my husband.  We had yet another funny conversation.  A little back information: My husband is in IT and is a database admin.  He writes code for stuff not using spaces.

(after telling story to my husband S)
S: Well, zombies are real.
Me: Oh, you are one of "those"
S: No, really people who did not prep when disaster strikes are called zombies because they will savage for and do anything to survive.
Me:  huh?
S: I said that at first too, but a friend (who runs a prepper store) was telling me that is what they were called.  Look it up. Google zombies space prepping
-so that is exactly what I googled "zombies space prepping"
Me: This is about alien zombies
S: What did you type in?  
-I showed him
S: You weren't supposed to put the word space in.  I just told you that so you knew to put a space in.
Me: Did you not think I would put a space in between words?? Why would you tell me space unless you didn't want me to include it?  We don't say "space" in between words when we talk...  You are in the real world and not coding world right now.  I know to put spaces in between words.
S: I can't believe you actually typed the word "space"
E: The zombies are going to eat you first, Dad.

I am sure the people sitting behind us were thinking we are crazy.  
Our mornings were filled with unicorns, dragons, zombies, and apparently aliens...haha

Photos from Easter

I love my camera.  I took a lot of photos over Easter.  I had a great time with my family, but this post will pretty much be a photo dump.  Enjoy...

 egg flower
 lemon cake I made for my mom
 Crazy eggs
teal egg

 My aunt totally posed for this.
 cupcakes I made
 My cousin's little girl
 My cousins and I (I am in the red)
 My aunts, uncle and mom
my family minus 4 cousins
Ok, there are a lot more, so I made a Flickr account and you can find more pictures here.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

So it begins...April

April is one of my busiest months.  It is filled with a lot of birthdays, a lot of practices, a few recitals, and a lot of state testing.

I am not an April fool's person.  I only had one joke played on me.  My daughter came out of her room and said she just broke her glasses.  Oh, Lord... Not cool, especially when it is first thing on a Monday morning.  I am thinking "how am I going to get her to put her contacts in fast so we can get out the door on time and how quickly can I get her an eye appointment to get her a new pair of glasses (she's due for an eye appointment)." She then told me April Fools.  I remember playing a few when I was younger like that.  Now that I am the parent, yeah, not so fun.  Luckily the rest of the day went smoothly.

Easter was great.  I got to get together with my family.  My mom is one of seven.  So, when everyone gets together and most of us cousins have kids; it is a happy chaotic time.  All but four of us cousins were there.  Usually there are a lot more missing.  We decided to use the opportunity to take some pictures.  It was great.  I am still editing and hopefully they will be up in the next couple of days.  We ate lots of yummy food, had a great Easter egg hunt, and just played.  I love get togethers like that because I still feel like a kid sometimes when I am around my cousins.  I even played kickball.  We are trying to put together a camping weekend for us all to get together this summer.  I hope it works out.

I guess I have rambled on enough.  Now that I am not doing the blog challenge.  I feel unfocused.  I need to write out a game plan and keep the momentum from the challenge going.  I am no writer, so things don't flow as easily from me.  I pretty much just type what pops into my head.  Well, I am off to buy some birthday cards.