Congratulations to the Warner Robins American Little league team. They won the Little League Baseball World Championship game and beat Tokyo, Japan 3 -2. They are amazing.


In 1977, we moved to the small town of Warner Robins, Georgia when my father was put in charge of Air Force Reserve Recruiting for Robins AFB. I graduated from Warner Robins High School, the home of the Warner Robins Demons.

Yes, our mascot was:
Our main rival was north side high school and their mascot was an eagle. The demons won the city, state, region and national championship in 1981. And even now, they are the Region a AAAAA All Sports Champion for 2006-2007.

I remember one evening, when I went with a couple girlfriends to infiltrate, ahem....check out Northside High school's senior hall during homecoming week. We wanted to to see what kind of posters they were putting up, etc. We walked slowly through the hall, until some of the students realized we were from the "other" school. We hightailed it out of there, before our car got egged in retaliation.

Warner Robins is a small town, but it has a big heart.

Congratulations, guys.... we are very proud of you!




Lunar eclipse

James and I asked Father to wake us up last night when the lunar eclipse started. He thought we were both crazy and didn't think we were serious. James sleeps very heavy and doesn't even wake up when the smoke alarm is blaring.

Father tried to stay up, but ended up coming to bed around 1:00. I told myself before going to bed, that I wanted to get up at 3:00. So, around 3:00 I woke up to go to the bathroom. My getting out of bed woke up Father. He asked if I was going out to look at the eclipse. Oh yeah! So, he went in to wake up James; who actually woke up, looked at us for a couple minutes blearily, then it registered. Lunar Eclipse. He hopped up and we all went outside. It was a beautiful night. I took a few pictures, but wasn't sure they were going to come out. I blearily looked through the viewfinder, tried to turn off the flash and set it to timer instead. Ended up taking a few pictures of the ground. I figured it out and aimed. My camera isn't the most powerful in the world, but did the job.








James went back to bed after a couple minutes. Father and I stayed out a little longer enjoying the night, the eclipse and the stars.
We celebrated father’s 48th birthday yesterday, plus went to the Audio Engineering Society’s first official meeting for the new Sacramento Section. For his major present, Father was excited to receive a Milwaukee Super Sawzall Reciprocating Saw with Rotating Handle. Do you think I have a few "honey do" projects for him to do in the foreseeable future? James gave him a couple books about space and German planes, plus a neat musical card that played the chicken dance song. That song was stuck in father's head for the rest of the day and I heard him humming it quite a few times!

Father is the Vice Chair for the group, so we arranged for James to stay with J and J so I could go. James was all excited about being “kid sitted” by J and doing work for him. Just as we were about to leave, he climbed onto the tractor ready to work.


While we were at the meeting, he helped J plow the garden area and move some dirt. J said within a couple minutes of sitting down on the tractor, James had all the controls figured out.... that's my boy!

The event was held at the Pyramid Alehouse on K street in downtown Sacramento. They had about 25 people show up, including the section chair for the San Francisco Section, Jim McTigue and his wife.

There was a buffet full of thai chicken skewers, mini pizzas, artichoke dip, salmon blt, chicken melt, and prime rib and pepper sandwiches, plus a fruit tray.

And this watermelon cut in the shape of a flower:


After eating, some of the guys did a jam session. Amazingly, none of the guys had ever played together before and they were able to meld together quite smoothly.
They all own studios around the Sacramento Area.


After that the officers and committee members were introduced

From left to right, Philip (committee), Janene (secretary/Treasurer), Father (Vice chair), Aman (committee), Kevin (Chair) and Eric (Organizer). Eric has been working at putting together the Sacramento AES for years and is finally seeing his baby come to fruition.

Jim McTigue said a few words


Jim (San Francisco Chair) and Kevin (Sacramento Chair)

I was the only one who brought a camera, so made sure to take lots of pictures and promised to share them with Janene, so when they put together their website, they will have some pictures. Everyone is excited about the new section and what they hope to accomplish. The Audio Engineering Society has been around for many years, has sections throughout the world and is entirely about audio technology. This group is all about the sound and that is where father's heart lies. In his words "it is all about the tone." I meet a few people last night who think like father, so I believe he will enjoy this group very much.

We picked up James about 9:00 and found that he had a wonderful time with J and J and wants to do it again real soon! J appreciated my little guys enthusiasm about working with him. Although, I did have one very tired little boy by the time we got home and he went right to sleep. So did I as a matter of fact.

Happy 48th Birthday, Father

Happy Birthday to you,

Happy Birthday to you,

Happy Birthday, dear Father

Happy Birthday to You




The benefits of age and wisdom

The benefits of being 40 something is that aging adds richness to your life, shallowness has been replaced with depth, the naivety of youth has been replaced with maturity.
In other words, experience begets wisdom, wisdom begets...well I won't get all philosophical on ya. As I grow older, I appreciate life more and get more out of life.

And what led up to this moment.... I got an "A", I got an "A". Happy Dance!!!!!!!!
I just finished taking Essentials of Oceanography which was actually quite interesting. It gave me a new appreciation for the ocean and how our world works.

Well, Herbie, one of our frogs died Wednesday.

Both the frogs generally hide out in the little cave of their habitat whenever we are about. I hardly ever see them out in the daytime. Well, Wednesday, Herbie was out and about. I put in some crickets and noticed a couple of them were way too big for the frogs to eat. We buy small size crickets and they triple in size within a week. Doesn’t matter if you forget to feed them, they just keep on growing.

So, I pulled out the large cricket (easier said than done) and Herbie went into her fake death mode. I don’t know if you have ever seen a frog fake that they are dead, but it is amazing. The frog flips over on its back; starts jerking like having death spasms, then goes still, with her legs stretched out. Anyway, she does this, but I can see she is still breathing. Generally this lasts a few minutes, and then when you aren’t looking, they go back to hiding. So, a little while later, I came back into the kitchen and she is in the same position, but I can’t see her breathing. Hmm! Godzilla, the other frog, came out once to swim around and nudge her, seeming pretty freaked out. James and I were pretty sure she was dead, but left her until Father came home. By the time, Father came home that night, she still had not moved. After I went to bed, Father said Godzilla kept coming out and nudging Herbie trying to get her to move.

Come morning, we knew she was gone. I handed her to James and he did the honors of giving her a porcelain send off. Now there is one…..

I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine!



Ten years ago in a little brick church, we said “I do” to a lifetime with each other.

to have and to hold,

for better, for worse,

for richer, for poorer,

in sickness and in health,

to honor and cherish

until death do us part!

What God has joined together,

let no man put asunder

*******************************

I never thought I would find my soul mate .... through a want-ad. That's right, a want-ad. Whatever the reason was at the time: silly, dare, bored, curious or what, in 1992 I placed an ad in the Sacramento Singles News Magazine. It said

Ward Cleaver, Where are You?

SWF, 32 seeking a 1950's type of guy. A gentleman with sense of humor and the gift of gab, affectionate (i'm addicted to hugs and backrubs), physically fit, intelligent, catholic. I am 5'2", 115 lb., multifaceted southern lady who is educated, intelligent, stubborn, conservative, honest, passionate, catholic, with sense of humor who still believes in old fashioned marriage. Unlimited interests including science fiction (books and movies), murder mystery parties, adventures, discussing politics to philosophy, evenings out on the town as well as staying home, watching videos or cuddling by the fire. I also give wonderful backrubs. Must be willing to share me with a very possessive cat. If you are a SWM, nonsmoker, please write. Photo appreciated.

It has alway been said, be careful what you pray for, you may just get it. Well I got what I prayed for. Once I met Father, I knew he was the one. Individually, we were happy and content. Together we are complete.

Happy 10th Anniversary, My Beloved!

We had J and J over for dinner last night for rack of lamb, salad with some of their garden fresh veggies and french bread. Father opened a bottle of 2004 Chateau Pichon Longueville Bordeaux, but unfortunately it was still a little young and rough tasting. He has really spoiled me with the good aged wines. We celebrated their engagement....he surprised her by proposing at their high school reunion.
After dinner, James turned off all the lights in the house. We took pictures in the dark and they actually came out remarkably well.



We also played around with shining the flashlight in our faces, pretending to be ghosts. James request, of course...and which he wants to repeat tonight!!!!!

I just finished writing my 5 question essay final for my oceanography class and have submitted it. So far, I am getting an A in the class and will be happy with whatever I get on the final. It was an interesting class, but am I glad it is over.

Put this on your to do list - Sept 12 Day of Conception





When I jokingly mentioned this to Father last night, he said "when is it, I'll join in!" He was rather enthusiastic about it. LOL!!!!!!


Russian Governor Sponsors Conception Day


Tuesday August 14, 2007 7:31 PM

MOSCOW (AP) - A Russian region best known as the birthplace of Vladimir Lenin has found a novel way to fight the nation's birthrate crisis: It has declared Sept. 12 the Day of Conception and for the third year running is giving couples time off from work to procreate.

The hope is for a brood of babies exactly nine months later on Russia's national day. Couples who ``give birth to a patriot'' during the June 12 festivities win money, cars, refrigerators and other prizes.

Ulyanovsk, a region on the Volga River about 550 miles east of Moscow, has held similar contests since 2005. Since then, the number of competitors, and the number of babies born to them, has been on the rise.

Alexei Bezrukov and his wife, Yulia, won a 250,000 ruble prize - equivalent to $10,000 - in June after she gave birth to a baby boy, Andrei. Bezrukov said patriotism wasn't their motive for having a child, their third, although the money was welcome.

``It was a patriotic atmosphere, you know when everyone around is celebrating, but I wasn't thinking of anything but my son,'' he said. ``The whole thing is great, it's great to get 250,000 rubles when you have a new baby to take care of.''

Russia, with one-seventh of the Earth's land surface, has just 141.4 million citizens, making it one of the most sparsely settled countries in the world. With a low birthrate and very high death rate, the population has been shrinking since the early 1990s.

It is now falling by almost half a percent each year. Demographic experts expect the decline to accelerate, estimating that Russia's population could fall below 100 million by 2050.

In his state of the nation address last year, President Vladimir Putin called the demographic crisis the most acute problem facing Russia and announced a broad effort to boost Russia's birthrate, including cash incentives to families to have more than one child.

Ulyanovsk Governor Sergei Morozov has added an element of fun to the national campaign.

When he held the first competition in 2005, 311 women signed up to take part - and qualify for a half-day off from work. In June 2006, 46 more babies were born in Ulyanovsk's 25 hospitals than in June of the previous year, including 28 born on June 12, officials in the governor's office said.

More than 500 women signed up for the second contest on Sept. 12, 2006. Exactly nine months later, 78 babies, triple the region's daily average, were born. They were welcomed into the world as Russia's national anthem was played, the officials said.

Since the campaign began, the birthrate in the region has risen steadily and is up 4.5 percent so far this year over the same period in 2006, according to the regional administration's Web site.

Everyone who has a baby in an Ulyanovsk hospital on Russia Day gets some kind of prize. But the grand prize winners are couples judged to be the fittest parents by a committee that deliberates for two weeks over the selection.

The 2007 grand prize went to Irina and Andrei Kartuzov, who received a UAZ-Patriot, an SUV made in Ulyanovsk. They told reporters they were planning to have another child anyway when they heard about the contest.

Irina Kartuzova had to have a Caesarian section to deliver the baby and it was scheduled for June 12.

The selection committee chose the Kartuzovs from among the 78 couples because of their ``respectability'' and ``commendable parenting'' of their two older children, a spokesman for the governor said.

Other contestants won video cameras, TVs, refrigerators and washing machines.

Under the federal program, women who give birth to a second or subsequent child are to receive certificates worth $10,000, which can be used to pay for education or to improve the family's living conditions.

Monthly support payments were raised this year to $60 from $28.


Happy Kid


Happy instructor !!!

James told D yesterday during his swimming lesson "When I grow up, I am going to marry you!" Of course, a couple weeks ago he was saying "When I grow up, I am going to marry Paris Hilton!" Hah!

This is going to be a fun week. Our 10th anniverary is Thursday the 23rd and Father's Birthday is Saturday the 25th. We have arranged to take off from work for those days. Usually, we take the whole week off...but since we may be going to New York in October (keep your fingers and legs crossed)...decided not to.

While I was trying to figure out what to give Father for our anniversary, looked up what the traditional gift is for the 10th. Tin and aluminum! Who made up these lists ...must have been a man! hee hee. Well, I am considering buying a new barbecue for Father...certainly some part of it must be made of tin or aluminum.


I will be going out Sunday before food shopping to check out various grills....already have a brand in mind, but James has a tendency to give secrets away and reads my blog, so mums the word for now.

And no, the grill can't be applied as a birthday present. I promised Father when we got married that would never combine birthday and anniversary presents. So far have kept that promise and don't plan on breaking it now.

James graciously told me the other day he is 8 now and ready to get dressed up in his suit and go out for a nice anniversary dinner with Father and I. When I told Father about this, he looked at me oddly for a few moments......then asked where we were going? Still thinking about this one. We have a kid sitter for Saturday night, so don't plan on it for our anniversary. When we don't have a kid sitter, we arrange for dinner to be delivered through Foodtoyou.com. Wonderful restaurant service that arranges to pickup and deliver lunch and dinner from nice local restaurants. However....

Saturday, we are going to the Pyramid Alehouse downtown for the Audio Engineering Society Event. Father is vice chairman of the Sacramento group and this will be the first official Event...they are hoping to get a lot of the San Francisco group here to help celebrate and formally announce the officers. They would have to have it on his birthday! So, we have a kid sitter for Saturday night and we will either celebrate Father's birthday Friday or Sunday.

At least Father will get to go with us to James swimming lesson on Friday. We have been video taping or digitally taping them, rather, to share with father. Plus, have been able to review with James and give him constructive feedback.. which is really helping by the way.

Oh! James decided to continue with his swimming lessons, so we signed up for another month. Yeah!



Okay, I’ll admit it… I have one of “those” kids.

Okay, I’ll admit it… I have one of “those” kids.

What I mean by “those” kids is a child who is normal, but is more….loud, intense, dramatic, sensitive, perceptive, energetic, analytical. On the advice of a friend, I just read (twice) “Setting Limits with your strong willed child” by Robert J MacKenzie Ed.D. This is an excellent book written by an educational psychologist.

James and I have been at logger heads lately…which means lot of yelling, slamming of doors, talking back, attitude, taking away of privileges, things, swearing (on my part) and just general mayhem. Every six months, like clockwork, around his birthday and halfway point to his birthday, he goes through changes. Some good, some bad… but always accompanied by attitude changes, testing, and lots of yelling. If you don’t know about the ‘spirals’ check out Louise Bates Ames of the Gesell Institute and the series of books they put out about what to expect as your child ages.

So, someone suggested I reread Spirited Child and read Setting Limits because I needed a big, big refresher course on handling my oh so spirited kid. Sometimes I forget about his temperament (big mistake) and go back to the methods my parents (strict mom and military dad) used while bringing me up. I thought I was a pretty compliant kid growing up, but now find I have turned in to a pretty spirited, strong willed adult. So, combine a strong willed adult with a strong willed, spirited child and what do you have. We are so much alike.

The book provides ways for understanding and emphasizing with your child, without giving in; how to hold your ground without threatening; how to remove the power struggles between you and your child and give clear, firm messages that your child understands and respects.

Some basic facts about strong willed children: (excerpted from book)

1) Strong willed children are normal with well-defined temperament traits. They are not brain-damaged, emotionally disturbed or defective. Their behavior may seem extreme to other people, but it isn’t abnormal.

2) Strong willed children are not all alike. Each one has unique traits and qualities.

3) Strong willed children are hard to understand. Our individual temperament shapes the way we think, learn, and behave. When others think and behave as we do, we can readily identify with them and understand their experience. When others think, learn and behave very differently from us, however, it is not easy to understand them or to identify with their behavior. The behavior makes no sense from our perspective. Strong willed children are hard to understand for exactly this reason.

4) Strong Willed Children require a lot of guidance and discipline. Children who test us frequently require frequent discipline. When you accept this statement as a fact of life rather than a source of annoyance, your attitude and perspective change. His job is to test and your job is to guide him in the right direction.

5) Strong willed children do not respond to discipline methods that seem to work with other children. Parents often feel confused when their best guidance efforts work with one child, but not with another. The issue is less confusing when we consider the individual temperaments involved. Compliant children will cooperate with most discipline approaches, even ineffective ones, because their underlying desire is to cooperate. They permit parents a wide margin for ineffectiveness. Strong willed children, on the other hand, do not respond to ineffective discipline. They require clear, firm, and consistent guidance.

6) Strong willed children learn differently from their peers. Strong willed children do most of their learning “the hard way”. That is, they often need to experience the consequences of their own choices and behavior before they can learn the lesson we’re trying to teach.

7) Strong willed children bring out extreme reactions in others.

8) With proper guidance, strong willed children can develop into dynamic, cooperative, and responsible individuals. How are you going to deal with it? Your options are clear: you can fight and try to control it or you can give in and let it control you. Or you can accept your child’s strong will as a fact of life, make peace with it, and learn better ways to guide him or her down a healthy path.

All children have their own unique temperaments or inborn style of behaving. Temperament is not rigid in the sense that it’s fixed in cement. It can be shaped and molded with the proper guidance. Your temperament determines how you look at and deal with the world. The nine temperament traits are:

1) Persistence
2) Intensity
3) Regularity
4) Distractibility
5) Energy and Activity Level
6) Sensitivity
7) Adaptability
8) Reactivity
9) Mood


For each trait, figure out on a scale from 1 (easy to manage) to 10 (difficult to manage) where your child falls for each trait and you will have a good picture of your child’s temperament. Plus throw in whether they are an introvert and extrovert, and you will get a pretty good picture of your or your children’s temperament.

James has a high rating for persistence, intensity, sensitivity, adaptability, and reactivity. He falls in the middle on the scale for introvert versus extrovert. I rate high for persistence, intensity, sensitivity and reactivity. I am an introvert. Go figure…we are two peas in a pod. Father is pretty mellow on the rating scale for an extrovert)except for rating high in persistence.
So, once you know what your child’s temperament is, how do you establish clear, firm and respectful boundaries?

What happens when your limits are too soft? Soft limits are rules in theory, not in practice. They invite testing because they carry a mixed message. The words seem to say stop, but the action message says that stopping is neither expected nor required. From a training perspective, soft limits are ineffective because they don’t give children the information they need to connect the dots and make the cause and effect connection between what we say and what we do. The signals simply fail to get the message across. Soft limits come in a variety of forms including ineffective verbal messages (using wish, hope, should), repeated reminders, warnings and 2nd changes, reasoning and explaining, speeches, lectures and sermons, unclear directions, ineffective role modeling, pleading, begging, cajoling, bargaining and negotiating, arguing and debating, bribes and special rewards.

Firm limits send clear signals to children about rules and expectations. Children understand that we mean what we say because they experience what they hear. Words are consistent with actions. They learn to regard our words seriously, test less and cooperate more often for the asking. The result – better communication, less testing, and few power struggles.


Basically, start with a clear, firm message in your normal voice and focus on your child’s behavior, be specific and direct, and include what the consequences will be for noncompliance. Particularly, don’t be drawn into arguments or discussions with your child. Apply the consequences for non compliance when your rules are not followed. Consequences are important because it teaches your strong willed child to take you seriously. Consequences should be natural consequences, which follow naturally from an situation, such as if he breaks a toy, then he doesn’t get to play with it anymore. Logical consequences such as if your child refuses to wear a helmet to ride his bike, the use of the bike gets taken away for the day.

There are many examples in the book about different situations with effective consequences for certain situations: such as when a child continually forgets his or her homework or lunch money, procrastinates, doesn’t cooperate, makes a mess or won’t do chores. So, I decided to start implementing the techniques in the book and I have to say things have been calmer lately. So, whether you have a strong willed, spirited, difficult child or not, I would really recommend you read the book. It is well done and has many useful techniques. It is an easy read and I read it twice in a two day period of time.

life in motion

James birthday was fun. He received Project Gemini DVD, Moon Race: History of the Apollo DVD, Herbie the Love Bug DVD, Trouble Game, Ravenstock Space Puzzle and $170 combined from his grandparents and other relatives. Most of the money went into his savings account. The rest, he bought a new buzz lightyear, Go Diego Go DVD, and a cat tower for Luna. We are waiting to see what Father gets for his birthday, before he buys anymore Space DVDs.

His swimming lessons are going great!! He just finished level 3 and got a red ribbon for his accomplishments. He is actually swimming somewhat under his own power, but still has to learn how to coordinate his arms and legs together. He does a mean underwater dog paddle. He has two more weeks of lessons and hopefully I will be able to talk him into continuing. At this point, he is looking forward to being done…despite the fact that he is progressing.

He wants to do the fit explorer missions put out by NASA which involve coordinated strength training, endurance training, and jump training. We also registered to receive basil seeds flown into outer space with the Endeavour space shuttle mission. We will receive the outer space seeds and a packet of regular seeds. The task given by NASA is to create a Lunar Plant Growth Chamber and evaluate the seeds.

Other than that, we have been doing school light for the summer… concentrating on Math, character and devotions, history, and lots of reading. Will ramp up to our full schedule in September.

I am just about done with my Oceanography class; final is next week. I have actually been doing quite well and at this point my grade is an A. My next class is “Science and Religion” which should prove to be pretty interesting.

Next week, Father will be sworn in as vice chairman of the Sacramento chapter of the Audio Engineering Society. They are actually having the Event on his birthday, so friends have graciously accepted kid sitting duty with James, so I can attend.

Happy 8th Birthday -- James

August 5, 1999




6 months


One

Two


Three



Four



Five


Six



Seven


Eight


James came into this world rather dramatically at 4:00 a.m. in the morning August 5th, 1999. He arrived via a c-section after a rather tiring 36 hour complication filled labor. He was fiesty and as all the nicu nurses said

"He goes from 0 to 60 in 2 seconds"

Our life has been filled with 0 to 60 moments -- happiness, sadness, talking, crying, laughter, fighting, discovery and play.

He is a combination of Father and I with all our best traits and yes, even our worst. We have learned much about ourselves and life as seen through the eyes of a child.

As our adventure continues, taking us God knows where, all I can say is

Happy Birthday James! I love you, my wonderful child

What a week!

Monday, after James finished his swimming lesson, his aunts KH and KL, along with my darling nephew L were here for a visit. KH and L were in town from Texas to go camping with KL and her family. They were able to come up for the afternoon and spend some time with us. L just turned 12 in June and I gave him Dragonopoly Game for his Birthday. (I can never forget his birthday, because I was his mom’s birth coach. What an experience that was!!!!!) Sometime I may be late with gifts, however, and I was forgiven.

We had fun talking, while playing with the GeoSafari xcavations, building lego houses, and whatnot. James received an early birthday present from Aunt KL – Dora the Explorer – summer explorer. He enjoyed watching it!

Wednesday, I took James to Bounce Town after swimming lessons and lunch. Bounce town has indoor inflatable bounce houses for kids to play in and on. They have "the Big Slide, Ironman Challenge, Ten in one playground and the Three in one Jumper". Tuesday and Wednesday, it is open for public play. Well, James wanted me to go on everything with him, including the Iron Man Challenge. We were climbing and bouncing and crawling and jumping.





The ironman was another story all together. We climbed through the hole at the start of the challenge


At the beginning, you have to climb a 5 foot rock wall, drop into a pit and then squeeze between the top of an obstacle wall and a round barrel. I think there was a foot of clearance to squeeze through. Well, after we drop into the pit, James is quite sure that he can not squeeze through. I decided to show him how and squeezed through myself. My ever so cautious son still isn't convinced he can do it and starts getting mad because I have now left him behind. I tried to squeeze back through the other way, but couldn't get a foothold. James is convinced I am going to try and pull him through, so won't grab my hands to help pull me back through. A variety of kids come crashing through and around us. A very nice young man drops into the pit, and sits there a minute watching the drama between James and I. He nicely grabs my hands, when asked and I pull myself back through. Of course, my 40 something body isn't used to such shenanigans and pulled a muscle in my neck in the process. Oy!!!!! Another parent pops her head up over the rock wall to check out whether she wants to go through with her kids, however once she sees me sitting there rubbing my neck, she changes her mind. I grab James and push over the netting to the bottom of the slide and we crawled off the iron man.

After a while, James went on the big slide by himself , scaling the rock wall and sliding down the steep slide.


Later on the drive home, James wants to turn around and go back and retry the iron man. He is ready to do the squeeze play. As Joey from Friends used to say "forget about it".

My whole body was sore. I iced my neck, took lots of Tylenol and we relaxed for the rest of the day.

And to add insult to injury, Thursday I had a mammogram done. Nothing like having your "booKs" tightly squeezed and compressed between two panels. I think I'll go back and retry the iron man challenge again. It's less painful.