Sunday, October 24, 2010

September Round UP

I haven’t blogged in a while because to be honest I have just been so busy enjoying life…something that I strive to do especially given the fact that both of my parents were taken from me at a rather early age, you have to live each day like it is your last!

I can’t believe that my youngest has started 8th grade! Is this kid not the cutest? He is going through his Beatles stage right now and loving his long hair…I just tell him to make sure he keeps it clean. I have to say he gets a lot of compliments on his hair so I guess I’ll just let him be…it’s just hair, right?


So my baby is an 8th grader…one more year and it is onward to the high school. Time just seems to slip by so fast and if you don’t pay attention you will miss some of the most precious moments of life. Luckily for me I tend to keep busy and make tons and tons of memories and always take plenty of photos!! Ah the life of a scrapbooker!

We went to a concert on September 4th, the day after Alex started school…which was the first time that I can recall our district started school before Labor Day! Jim and I were going to see Stone Temple Pilots and we had decided that we would take Alex to his first rock concert at Jones Beach! All I am going to say is that I’m glad Alex had his Ipod with him because he was pretty bored about 3-4 songs into the concert…I suppose if you don’t know the music it really isn’t all that much fun for a kid. So while Jim and I enjoyed the music Alex played some random games on his Ipod.


For now I think we will stick to Beatles tribute bands for him and go from there…we’ll see what the line up at Jones Beach will be next year and if there is anything interesting that we can all go to as a family that we will all enjoy…we all have different tastes in music, though, so it could be a tough one. :) We really had a nice time together as a family, though…and it being the last concert of the summer at Jones Beach the freebies were flowing like crazy, I guess they were just trying to get rid of it all!! I have already sent Robert a bunch of the Wisps and he likes them.


On Labor Day Jim went deep sea fishing with his brother leaving Alex and I on our own for the day so I decided to take him to Kayler’s Pond to relax and maybe do a little bit of fishing on his own. I got in touch with my friend Eileen and she met me there with her son, Lucas, who was on Alex’s baseball team this past season. Alex had a good time but of course didn’t catch anything because it was more fun to play with the worms and eat ice cream from the truck when it showed up.

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On September 10th I attended a concert at the Boulton Center in Bayshore which has fast become one of my favorite places to see a live show. Vertical Horizon was playing there and they have become one of my new passions of late…their music is really amazing and I listen to their cd over and over. I really enjoyed myself and it was a huge thrill to meet the lead singer of the band at their Meet and Greet table after the concert. Matt was so nice to everyone and seemed genuine and happy to meet us all. I hope to see them live again someday. One of the songs on their album is called “Lucky One” and it is such a coincidence that one of my favorite authors has a book called just that and I have been thinking what a great song to go on the soundtrack if the book is ever made into a movie? More on that later!!



September 11th

September is for picking apples, isn’t it? I knew that I couldn’t let the month go by without a visit to the farm and the orchards to have Alex pick some juicy gems for our enjoyment! It was an absolutely glorious day, weather wise…the sun was shining and it was warm out and the apples were huge for early September, I couldn’t believe it! Some of the fruit that Alex picked was the size of a small cantaloupe! He really had a blast and I’m glad I took him.

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My friend, Laurie, teaches scrapbooking classes at my library ( I spoke to the librarian in charge of booking adult programs about getting her in there for classes) and I love the layout that we did on September 13th, I couldn’t wait to snap some photos of Alex leaving for his first day of 8th grade. I think the layout will look awesome in his book!!

September 14th…Halo Reach is finally released for Xbox 360!!! I have to say that I have been hearing about this pretty much all summer long from Alex and he simply couldn’t wait until this new video game came out and he saved his allowance for weeks in order to be able to get the “Legendary Edition” complete with not only the game but the fancy statue which is pretty cool to display in his game room. I picked up the game for him while he was in school since I had his receipt from when he pre-ordered it and when he got off the bus I was waiting outside with it. Ah to be a kid again!

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On the 16th I got a phone call from Robert that he finally had a date of when he was heading overseas for his job.

Jim and I had already discussed that we wanted to visit him before he left so I set about making plans to drive down to Nancy’s where Robert had been staying for the past month while he worked and trained, it was really nice that the company’s headquarters was only about 20 minutes away from my sister’s house.


Just hanging out…Robert making a face, as usual…chillin’ with dad and little bro.


Alex had some homework to do and Cole was trying to deter him from that, it was pretty cute! :)


Here we are leaving to head home, we left shortly before noon on sunday, the drive took us about 8 hours in the end because of traffic but it was so worth it to spend the time with Robert and just make some memories as a family, I only wish that Jesse and Nicole could have joined us but I know that Jesse said his goodbyes to his brother the weekend prior when they met up in Atlantic City for some poker and fun times, among other things…what do 20 somethings do in Atlantic City anyways? LOL!!


A photo with his little family for the past month…I am quite sure there were some fun times with Nancy, Paul and Cole.


Here we go again, huh? One more hug and one more goodbye…and another Christmas apart but it's ok, Robert is building his future (not to mention his bank account at the moment).


And the last hug would be with dad and I saw that Jim got a little chocked up here but his pride is endless.

I am so blessed to be married to a man who is eternally loyal to his family, and so incredibly proud of all his sons no matter what they are doing in their lives.

On September 20th I met my friend Sandi in the city and we walked over to the Barnes and Noble book store on 5th Avenue to attend a Nicholas Sparks book signing. He has become one of my favorite authors in recent years and I’ve been able to attend his last 3 book signings. He really is a fabulous writer and I’ve enjoyed meeting him and getting my books signed each time. I haven’t started reading the new novel, Safe Haven, yet but plan to very soon. I was glad that I was able to mention to him that he needed to listen to the song, “Lucky One” by Vertical Horizon and consider it for the soundtrack for the movie that is in production now for his novel, “The Lucky One” which I loved!! That novel had a former Marine as a main character, it was pretty impressive how much research Mr. Sparks did so that his terminology referring to the Marines was spot on and I told him as much.


From September 24th to the 26th I attended the long awaited (by me anyways!!) Quick Quotes Private Reserve weekend in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. I would never have imagined what an amazing learning and fun experience this would be and for the price I can’t believe all of the layouts we did and all of the freebies we got!! I got there on friday and quickly settled into my room at the hotel and then made my way down to the conference room to do all of the cute and free make and takes. We got to make our own name tags, we did cards for the troops (yay!!) and also we did layouts that would be donated to the Make a Wish foundation where kids with cancer could choose what layout they wanted and simply add their photos to them. After that I jumped in the car and went to a grocery store for some microwave meals since I had a fridge and microwave in my room…this was a good way for me to keep to my Weight Watchers program and save some money as well!! I picked up a few “Smart Ones” and came back to get ready for the crop.

There was a crop friday night from 7-midnight and I only stayed up until about 11:00 or so…we did a quick 2 page spread called, “Escape” which was part of our ‘tuition’ and I love the way it turned out…I had some beach pictures with me and added them right away to complete this layout. After a quick breakfast and shower on saturday morning it was back to the crop room where we worked on more classes the whole day with breaks for a yummy catered lunch and dinner on our own. I quickly made friends with the other 3 ladies at my table (one of them was on her own like me and the other 2 were friends) and we had our meals together which was nice! I knew that a couple of my friends from other crops I had been to would be there this weekend but their table was full by the time I got in the crop room friday night so I just sat down with others and it all worked out. Scrappers are so great and we are all there to have fun.

Saturday night’s crop was so much fun…I worked on a few of my own layouts and there was music and dancing (by the TA’s) and tons of freebies.

Sunday was a fast paced day!! We completed a ‘themed’ album which was originally intended to be, “My Story, My Life” but they provided us with extra product if we wanted to make it more “generic” so I think I am going to use it for mom’s heritage album at some point…still thinking on that…but I still can’t believe that I completed a 20 page full album in 8 hours!! It was crazy fast paced but I kept up and I am so happy with the result! We even did a ‘flower technique class’ and you can see all of the different flowers I learned how to make, it was fabulous!

All of the page kits for the classes had random “golden tickets” in them and if you got one you were allowed to pull from the coupon bucket and I won one!! It was so exciting! There were constant giveaways, when we entered the crop room on friday night we got a free page kit and some paper. On saturday night all of the TA’s (teachers’s assistants) were lined up and each one had a giveaway for you when you walked in, there were about 8-9 of them! There were freebies left on our tables throughout the whole weekend as well.

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When I was at the Great American Scrapbook Convention in June I went to the Quick Quotes booth to do a Make and Take and had the opportunity to chat with Patsy who writes all the beautiful quotes and poems for the company and she let me know that the contest would be “hands” and when she told me that I knew exactly the photo I would use because I made it a point to take a photo of me holding mom’s hand when she was living with me and I was her caregiver. This was just the push I need to finally do something with that photo. The contest would have 3 winners, best photo, best layout and best journaling and I am so proud of the fact that I won for best journaling! Patsy read my journaling out loud to almost 200 scrapbookers and I got pretty emotional and so did she but I was thrilled that I won a prize for my work!!

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As you were leaving you were handed some more free stuff and another $5 gift certificate to shop on their website! In the end I had $55 to spend on the Quick Quotes website and boy was that fun to pick out all sorts of free goodies! I can hardly wait to see where they will have the weekend next year and I am already saving up for that! Whoo!!!

Finishing up the month with one last concert on September 30th I attended a “Duo” concert and this would be my second time seeing this show at the Boulton Center, I had the privilege of seeing it last year. Richard Marx and Matt Scannell from Vertical Horizon teamed up for another great show and my friend Eileen stepped in at the last minute to go with me because my friend, Paula, couldn’t join me even though we had bought these tickets months ago but I am blessed in that I have many friends and it wasn’t hard to find a replacement concert buddy. I have a feeling that the next time these 2 come around Eileen will be all over it!! HAHAHA, she said she loved Richard Marx back in the 80’s but it was Matt who blew her away with his voice…yep…I knew that would happen!

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Well that’s it for September…and since there is only one more week of October left I suppose I will start writing my entry for this month pretty soon so come on back.