Sunday, May 31, 2009

No More Training Wheels

Today my husband got the big idea that it was time for Curtis to get rid of his training wheels. I was amazed that after only three tries he was riding! By the end he was going out doing a U turn and coming back...all within 45 minutes of taking them off! He is an amazing kid and I am sentimental now because he's really growing up. Here are some still shots and a video so you can celebrate with us.

So I just looked again and realized I've lived in the south too long. I sound like a total redneck in this video! Oh the horror!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

CSA Class of 2009

Curtis had his graduation ceremony at the CSA this morning. He graduated from the 3 year old class to the VPK class.

Here is a photo with all the class who could be there today.

Here he is with his favorite buddies Aiden, Jordy, and Miqdad.

Here he is with Jordy and Miqdad.

And a great shot of him with his best friend Miqdad. When this school first opened he, Miqdad, and the owners daughter Emma were the only three students. They become very close and learned a lot along the way.

Here he is with the soccer ball his coach gave him as a gift in the uniform he wore for the ceremony. He is number 2.

We are excited to start a new year at VPK in August and a little scared about surviving the summer with out it!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Water Table

A week or two ago I was at Aldi's and found this sand and water table there for $50. I went home and looked it up online to find it goes for $80 retail. So I went back over and used a little more of our tax money to buy this as a special surprise for the boys.

I guess you could have guessed that Clark was going to love it. This is a cute picture, even if it is off center. He is such a little water baby. He must get that from my husband, or maybe my Mom, because he doesn't get it from me, for sure.

I filled it just with water for now, and both kids have liked it a lot. It's really perfect for Clark's height and also perfect since the true FL weather has finally hit us. Hopefully those crazy weeks of constant rain are a thing of the past.

I've not been blogging as much because we are outside more. Plus I have noticed that I think of the blog while I'm out living life. Isn't that nuts. This weekend we went to Sea World and a parade and I forgot my camera both times and was bummed I wouldn't be able to put stuff on the blog. Then I realized, I'm right here and can enjoy it first hand!!! The Internet has a strange effect on me (and most people who use it). I haven't decided if I love it or hate it, or if it is progress in the right or wrong direction.

I'm trying to do more writing now-a-days, so maybe I'll be able to get it together to focus on that sometime soon. Focus is at a premium here during the summer though, so I wouldn't count on it much.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Some Recent Cooking/Baking

Last week I made my first lasagna. Can you believe a nice Italian (well some Italian) girl such as myself waited until she was 33 to make a lasagna? Well, I must say it turned out pretty good.

I didn't add any meat, because well I don't like the way those farmers treat those cows, so I guess it was a vegetarian lasagna. Curt didn't seem to miss the meat.

The best part was we had leftovers for lunch the next day AND I put a big piece in the freezer.

Today I decided to try this recipe again and came out with this. It's been super rainy here for days and cool too (like 60's, which is nuts for FL in May), so I figured heating up the oven wouldn't bug us too much and I would take advantage of this weather.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Monday, May 11, 2009

Kitchen Cupboard Paint Job

Recently we used our tax money to update our kitchen a little. We decided to paint the cupboards and replace the hardware.

I forgot to take a before photo so I found this old one so you can see what they looked like. These are the original cupboards and hardware from when the house was built in 1977 and you can tell! The kitchen felt very dated and dark.

So we bought special paint and new handles and went to town. It required lots of time because with the kids we could only do a few hours at a time when they were asleep or with my MIL.

And here you can see the results! The kitchen is so much nicer now. So our next step is to use the rest of the tax money to replace the dishwasher and oven, both of which hardly work and are on their last legs. I wonder if the dishwasher is the original too and the oven we got for free from freecycle when the one in the house died and required a $300 repair job.

It's amazing the change you can get from just $100 worth of paint and hardware.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Some thoughts on Judgment

Lately the Universe has been sending me many messages about judgment. I used to think I didn't judge people much at all. I know deep down I am a very loving and caring person and I hate for anyone to be in pain, and yet I was judging all along. I think in part it is human nature for us to search out the right and wrong in society. I tend towards a manic depressive mentality and this really has me thinking in terms of black and white in my everyday life. It is an everyday struggle for me, and I do fear that I am judged by those around me. There are times where I cry in pain because of an off-hand comment from someone who doesn't know me well at all. In my head I yell out in pain about the unfairness in being judged by someone who may know me very well on the outside, and yet knows very little about the inner struggle and day to day of what makes up Tara, which is impossible to communicate.

Then on the other hand I have gone around myself thinking that so-and-so didn't keep their house clean enough, or let their kid have enough freedom, or communicate enough with their husband, or handle their finances responsibly enough, or even respect themselves enough. Until recently I have still remained in the belief that there was a right an wrong way to deal with all of life's ins and outs. Through lots of meditation and many messages from God I have learned how wrong this is.

So how has that changed? Well suddenly I have realized, that the reason you cannot judge another person, is because you will never know the complete story behind their actions. This untold inner struggle is very personal and, I believe, impossible to fully understand or communicate. The Native Americans have a saying about walking a mile in another man's moccasins, but I honestly believe even if you could walk that mile, that you still would never be able to reach the essence of what this other person is experiencing. Perhaps this is also the beauty in being human in that we have this personal relationship that we share only with our own inner self and our own higher power.

So from there I have come to the conclusion that I have no right to decide what is right or wrong for another person. Obviously there are exceptions in the way of child abuse or such things, but for the most part I just don't have enough information or knowledge to be able to judge whether another person is doing something "right or wrong".

I am now wondering why I feel this pull to constantly 'keep score' for everyone I see and/or know. Why does my mind want to mark down who is doing better or worse than I am in the many aspects of my life? I'm assuming it all boils down to self-esteem or self-confidence in the end. As a human I think I am naturally drawn to use other people's perceived faults and failures in order to build my own self up. What a terrible thing to realize about ones self, and yet this realization has also freed me in a way to see the truth behind my own judgments and those handed down upon me.

I have meditated long and hard recently about how this has effected my personal relationships with friends and family and even myself. I have wondered about my control over my own thoughts and actions and how life's distractions play into this, and have decided that I am going to publicly take responsibility for this.

I have been judgmental to people I love throughout my life. I am not going to beat myself up about it because, as I said, I know deep down I am a very loving and caring person, but I am going to take some action and work towards being a better person from now forward. I want to be the type of person whom my family and friends know they can count on for comfort and love without judgment. I hope if you are reading this as one of my friends or family that you will feel comfortable coming to me whenever you need.