Sharing my life with you, is what I do.

Friday, September 30, 2011


Whew! Made it to Friday. I remember a time not so long ago when that really didn't mean all that much to me. Now, with all of the boys in school it means a lot. Although my teen usually has a 6 day school week due to his Math Team activities. My little guys come in excited to play their video games. They can only play after their chores and homework are done on the weekend. I am thinking of implementing a period of study time before they can play also. This is sure to illicit some serious moans and groans. There may even be tears.

Switching subjects: One of  things we do on Friday is to make pizza, but this is really getting monotonous. But, the alternatives are becoming just as routine and boring (burgers, fried chicken etc..). So, I am in search of something new to excite our palates. Not sure what I will come up with though. It is hard to introduce new stuff to this group of picky people. They will probably end up eating their pizza anyway. They love it! I however will continue my quest to find a new taste. But it will probably taste like chicken.

Does your family have any particular foods that they like to eat on the weekend? Comment below
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Real Steel is the Real Deal!

Let me start off by saying that I really enjoyed myself watching this movie! It was exciting and action packed and just an enjoyable film to watch. My 15 year old son accompanied me and he can't wait to go see it again. It has mild violence and language. Even with that in mind, I would feel comfortable taking my 9 and 7 year old boys to see it.The robots are amazing! You start to actually believe they are real. (at least I did) I found myself talking to them and cheering them on. I love Hugh Jackman's performance as Charlie, the money hungry, down on his luck former boxer who reconnects with his son after a tragedy.The young actor who portrays his son (Dakota Goyo) does a wonderful job as the precocious but good hearted Max.

I will say that although the story line with the robots is totally fresh and not like anything I have seen before, the story of the absentee father who starts out just tolerating his son, but grows to love him has been done many times. There are a few eyebrow raising "yeah right" moments, but the action sequences quickly make you forget about all that.

I would see this movie again in theaters. It is a great way to spend 2 hours.

Check out this quick clip:

real steel
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Genre:                          Action-Drama
Rating:                          PG-13
U.S. Release date:        October 7, 2011

Cast:                            Hugh Jackman, Dakota Goyo, Evangeline Lilly, Anthony Mackie, Kevin Durand
Director:                       Shawn Levy
Producers:                    Don Murphy, Susan Montford, Shawn Levy
Executive Producers:    Jack Rapke, Robert Zemeckis, Steve Starkey, Steven Spielberg, Mary McLaglen, Josh McLaglen
Screenplay by:              John Gatins
Story by:                      Dan Gilroy and Jeremy Leven
Based in part on the
short story “Steel” by:    Richard Matheson

A gritty, white-knuckle, action ride set in the near-future where the sport of boxing has gone high-tech, “Real Steel” stars Hugh Jackman as Charlie Kenton, a washed-up fighter who lost his chance at a title when 2000-pound, 8-foot-tall steel robots took over the ring. Now nothing but a small-time promoter, Charlie earns just enough money piecing together low-end bots from scrap metal to get from one underground boxing venue to the next. When Charlie hits rock bottom, he reluctantly teams up with his estranged son Max (Dakota Goyo) to build and train a championship contender. As the stakes in the brutal, no-holds-barred arena are raised, Charlie and Max, against all odds, get one last shot at a comeback.
“Real Steel” is directed by Shawn Levy (“Night at the Museum” franchise and “Date Night”).

“Real Steel” is an action drama about a former boxer (Hugh Jackman) who, against all odds,  gets one last shot at a comeback when he teams up with his estranged son (Dakota Goyo) to build and train the perfect contender for the new high-tech sport of robot boxing.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Something got into me today. I was in a cooking mood. I cook all the time, but there was something about today. I try and make my boys a pretty well-rounded meal most nights, but we have our "nacho nights" too. Maybe it was the chill in the air that brought this cooking fest about or maybe it was the fact that it is the 7th anniversary of my grandmother, who we affectionately called Dear's passing.  I think I was just subconsciously missing what I blogged about the other day when I talked about the smells from my childhood. I prepared, baked chicken, stuffing, gravy, cabbage, candied sweet potatoes and macaroni and cheese. Definitely something that we usually have on a Sunday night. No one complained though that we didn't have tacos. They all ate heartily and went to bed satisfied. I am on my way as well.

What's on the menu for tomorrow? Who knows? It all depends on how the spirit moves me. It just may move me to KFC for takeout! :)

All in a day's work

I ran around like a crazy person yesterday! I had groceries to get,places to go and I had to find a recorder to buy for my son's music class. You know that little flute type thing that they make you play in elementary school? Anyway, I did all that, ran to my mom's house to do her hair. She has locs and they have to be twisted up after you wash your hair or they become one giant mass on the top of your head. After that, I went to pick up my son's from school and the 60 second trip is now 10 minutes long because the bridge in between my mom's house and their school is out and I have to go all the way around to get to them! No telling when it will re-open. On my way to them, I did have a moment of childhood wonder. I was stopped at the light and i looked up at the train tracks and the Ringling Bros Circus train was going by. It was the longest train I had ever seen. it was an old train and I was instantly transported to another time. I felt like if I stepped on that train I would walk into the 1930's. It was a nice quick mental trip. Snapping back to reality, I got the boys home. I had to wrangle them to get them started on their homework. Their dad helped one while I took the youngest one to help him with his spelling words in our study/rec room. He asked could he set up his bowling pens in between his long list of words and then come back to finish. I was against it at first, but I let him do it and it actually worked out great! He played for a while and when I told him to get back to work, he did without hesitation and finished really quick. Hmm? bowling. I fixed a quick dinner and made their lunches for today. Got them in bed and finally took a breath. Whew.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Days of Pancakes and Cookies

As the Autumn season rolls in, and the cooler temps quickly follow. My mind goes to a time when it seems like the air was filled the smells of pancakes and cookies. There were other smells too. My mom's pot roast for Sunday dinner. Baked Chicken, greens and cornbread and my grandma, Dear's house. Lasagna and garlic bread at my aunt Donnie's house and chocolate chip cookies from my aunt Betty Jean. Those smells always make me feel so warm and comfy inside and remind me of simpler times. My house smells like pizza most days. But, I make sure that I fill it with the smells of my childhood too. I hope that they will stay in the memories of my children and that they will pass them on. Which smells evoke good memories for you from your childhood? Feel free to share. Peace

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fun Experience pt 1

I went to a sneak preview of the new Dreamworks movie, Real Steel. However, I can't tell you about it until Oct. 7th. But, I can tell you that my experience BEFORE the movie was fun. I took my teenage son with me to see the movie and we were surprised that there were a lot of film critics in the theater as well. Dean Richards from WGN news and the legendary Roger Ebert were in attendance.It was a real treat to be watching the movie with those guys. My son and I had a great evening out and I will tell you the rest of the story in a couple of weeks!

Monday, September 19, 2011

How Time Flies

I can't believe September is almost over. I just took a glance over at my calender and it is filled with things to do almost everyday for the rest of the month. Just this week alone, I am taking my teen son to the sneak preview of Disney's Real Steel with Hugh Jackman on Tuesday. I have a Food Service Class and my two little guy's school Open House on Wednesday. Then on Thursday, I am taking the 3 of them to see the Chicago Symphony Orchestra perform. My 15 year old plays the cello in his school orchestra, and he has to go see a concert every quarter. I was so glad this free concert came up. Thankfully, there is no school on Friday so we can sleep in. Well, I am off to get a few things for tonight's dinner. Which will probably change a few more times before I actually cook. I do know that main ingredient is Chicken. Well, at least that's a start!

Have A Great Day!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

New Design!!

So, how do you like the new design? I wish I could take credit for it, but that belongs to Michelle Sealey Lee. She is the uber blogger at Michelle is always helpful and encouraging. I have asked other bloggers questions about simple stuff and they NEVER respond. But, not Michelle. She is always quick to help out and even surprises you with stuff like, New Designs!!  I appreciate her advice and helpful kindness.

In other news: My 4th grader has decided that he is ready to leave school and come back home BUT only after they have their 1st field trip. So far the 2nd grader still likes school but wishes he didn't have to wake up at 6:30 in the morning. This is gonna be a long year. Stay tuned

Last, but certainly not least. CONGRATS go out to my husband, Paul for being promoted to Engineer in the Fire Department. He deserves it. Have a great rest of the week everybody.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I have been having a hard time since my boys went back to school. Don't get me wrong, I am enjoying the hours of quiet during the week.I go shopping and I have time to write the blog in the day time, I even took a Zumba exercise class for the 1st time yesterday. It is just that I realized that I truly have nothing to fall back on. I have spent the past 17 years being a housewife and mother. I have loved being able to be home with my children all of this time. Watching them grow and being here for them has been a wonderful blessing. But, I forgot something while I was doing that. I forgot to take care of myself and cultivate my dreams. I put everything into the boys. Making sure they had what they needed to instill in them a sense of pride and always telling that they could achieve anything and everything. I should have been telling myself the same thing. I find myself so lost lately. Not knowing what to do next with my own life. So many people say, "take a class". I have thought about it, but I don't know if this is something I really want to do. I can't think of anything I want to take a class in. My mom always wanted me to go to college. I thought of it several times, but I know that it would be to make her happy and not for me. "So, what is it you want to do?", others say to me. I have been thinking about this a lot recently. And the answer is, "I DON"T KNOW." I don't have a clue. Whenever I feel like this, my first inclination is to go away. Take a trip by myself and get away from it all, but I remember a saying one of friends always has on her facebook page. It reads: "wherever you go, there you are." That rings so true to me right now because I have to fix myself where I am right now or wherever I go, the problems will follow. Because, the problem is that I have to find my self-worth. I need to feel like my life matters. That I am worthy of living some of my dreams too.That I am so much more than a wife and mother. I have had glimpses of my authentic self from time to time. I have liked that person. I just to need to find her again and give her permission to live.

I took the above picture a few years back. It started a journey for me to find beauty in many places. I need to start that journey over, from within this time. Peace and Love


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

1st Day Of School-Part 2

Well, my boys came home so excited! I was thrilled to listen to all of their stories about new classmates and even some family members that attend the school as well. My 9 year old told me of the boy in his class that has the same first name and even looks like him. My husband agreed that they did resemble each other a lot. He also told me that there were a set of "extremely" identical twins in his class and that one of them has dyslexia (which he went on to explain that it meant the alphabet were all jumbled in his head). He was proud that he was able to help that twin with some work that was difficult for him. They did yoga for phys ed., they got to see each other at lunchtime and my 7 year old came home with a paper crown that he swears he is supposed to wear everyday! (for real mom!). They both announced upon arrival that it felt weird to be at home, and that they wanted to stay at school! I even had to make them take off their uniforms. All of my worries were erased by the huge smiles on their beautiful faces. Let's see how the rest of the week goes. I think this is going to be a wonderful school year. I am claiming it!

1st Day of School Jitters (not them, me!)

I couldn't sleep last night. So much on my mind. Most of it was worrying about what I would face this morning when I had to get my little guys ready for their 1st day of school. I was so nervous, I tossed and turned all night. My 9 year old had set his alarm for 6 a.m. He said it would be "advantageous" to have more time to get ready instead of rushing. (I love that kid). They woke up full of excitement. They put their backpacks on before their clothes. Their eagerness to delve into something new, helped melt my anxiety away. I fixed them a good breakfast, their father and I wrote their names on all of their belongings, packed their lunchboxes and headed out. I took the ceremonial 1st day of school pictures and sent them to my mom and brother.(which I haven't taken in quite some time). Our drive took us about 4 minutes.We pulled up to their new school and found their classrooms. I didn't linger at the door. I just introduced them to their respective teachers, told them have a good day and left. I didn't want to allow myself any reason to have any nervousness return or make them nervous either. We got the opportunity to stay and see their morning rituals. They begin their day with some of the oldest children (4th graders) on the stage playing the African drums to call all of the other members of the "village" together for the morning circle. They recite pledges, state their affirmations and sing a song. They conclude the morning circle with a breathing exercise meant to usher in positivity and release any negativity before going back to their classes to start their day of learning. I felt no sadness or tears. I left them there feeling upbeat and happy that they were in what seems to be a caring place, where they will learn to have pride in themselves, their people. And, learn what it feels like to be a part of a village. Something I was blessed to grow up with in my neighborhood and that is so lacking today. I am thankful that we started this day with such an upbeat tone. I pray that each day that comes is as good or better than today. Learn as much as you can my children. Your mom and dad need you to change this world. I believe you can do it. Peace and Love


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Back To School

 As this week winds down and the thought of the first day of school next week looms overhead, I am a bundle of mixed emotions. If you've read any of my previous posts, then you know that I have been homeschooling my two youngest sons. My 9 year old son has been home for the past 3 years and my baby boy only 1 year. Homeschooling has been a great experience for the boys and me. We have had several great adventures in learning. I am proud of the young men they are growing up to be. And I am glad to see how intelligent and inquisitive they are. They are loving and kind and often ask very thought provoking questions. I will miss our mornings at the table discussing whatever is on their mind, our fieldtrips to the museums and zoos. I cherish every moment we have had. I will even miss the days when they drove me absolutely up the wall and I wondered if I could do this another minute.

 The decision to send them back to a "regular" school was and still is very difficult for me. Especially with the current state of our educational system in Chicago. I have asked myself over and over, how can I knowingly send them into something that I know is broken? Am I doing them a disservice by subjecting them to all of the nonsense that goes on in schools today? I sometimes feel like I am just thrusting them out into a pack of wolves and praying they survive. Now, I know that may just be the feelings of a sometimes over-protective mom, but this society we live is so different now. When I was in school, I knew there were people that were looking out for me. My teachers cared, and the parents of my classmates cared too. We had our occasional bully in the group but nothing like what goes on nowadays. Some of these kids today are just plain mean and have no remorse. And, what's worse is that some of the parents aren't any better. They make excuses for why their children fight and disrupt school and make it miserable for others.

 I even wonder if I am sending them back to school purely for selfish reasons. I have had one of my sons home with me everyday for the past nine years. It has been difficult at times because there are those days where I just wanted to think, write, go to a movie, have lunch with my husband, take a walk and have some "me" time. But, I don't want that at the expense of my boys not getting a good education. I get a lot of flak for homeschooling at times. They always use the, "they need socialization with other children" argument. That's a bunch of hooey to me. My boys are very social and I believe they are even more social because they haven't been exposed to the craziness that can be found in our schools these days. They are 7 and 9. They play with toys, they love playgrounds,they sleep with stuffed animals, they like to be sung lullabies. They don't curse, they don't know about inappropriate sexual things, they don't watch R-rated movies. They are children.

  I guess I am sending them back to school because I do understand that they have to interact with all different kinds of people. At home, I can keep them away from anything and anyone that I feel is a bad influence. But, is that helpful? In some ways yes, in other ways no. I have to be secure enough to know that their father and I have given them a great foundation and that we will continue to instill good morals in them so that when they come up against "the craziness" that is our world today, they will have the right tools to fight against it.

 Still, it is not an easy choice. I can only pray that their experience back in school will be good. I will send them off with a quick kiss on their foreheads and a silent prayer of protection. And, when I pick them up at the end of the day, I will get a slight tug in my heart to see them wave goodbye to friends with smiles on their faces. And, I will jump at the chance to listen to all of their stories of how their day went. It will be bittersweet, but nonetheless sweet.

I am reminded of a quote from Kahlil Gibran that says, "
"Your children are not your children. They come through you, not for you.