Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Blogger Challenge 17: Are You Named After Anyone?

I know I've been REALLY bad about posting these challenges, but I've been side-tracked by my son's military leave from Afghanistan and trying to spend as much time with him as possible because now I won't see him for at least 7 months.  However, I'm going to *try* to catch up before the end of the challenge. 

While my first name wasn't after anyone, my middle name was in honor of my aunt (my mother's sister).  Although really, my father had a sister named Kathy too.  Anyways...genealogy is a hobby I discovered a little over 10 years ago, and found it's been common for a name to be carried on through at least one child.  Sometimes it would be just the oldest, sometimes all of the children in the family.  Sometimes it would be to carry on the mother's maiden name, the father's first name as the middle name, to honor a person that has died, or a favorite relative.

Circa 1970's
November 2003

Nobody tell her I posted these okay? 
Otherwise she may hop in her car and drive 36 hours to come and kick my ass and stand over me until I delete them.  Not that I wouldn't love to see her, just not for that reason.

While her name is Kathy, I was given the name Kay.  Growing up, my initials were KKC.  But since my last name is German, it sounds like a "K."  Being called KKK was a common error.  Those that know me, may now come to the realization that my initials are actually KKK.  Not really something you want to monogram...

Family Tree Maker 2011 EssentialsGenealogy: Uncovering Your AncestryThe Everything Guide to Online Genealogy: A complete resource to using the Web to trace your family history (Everything Series)The Genealogy Guide: How To Trace Your Family History (Kindle Edition)Genealogy Uncovering Your Ancestry

If you want to join me on this blogging journey, I would love to learn more about you. Just post a comment with your link so I can read it and you can grab a linky at  it's gravy, baby for your blog too.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


When it comes to relationships, we're not our parents, grandparents or great-grandparents. Over the last century, things have changed during every decade.

Women aren't raised to be "sold" to the guy that offers 2 cows and 5 chickens to the family. Women don't marry their older sister's husband because she died during childbirth. Women no longer get married *just* because they get pregnant. The threat of being sent away because of a pregnancy and disgrace brought upon the family is extremely rare. Pre-arranged marriages are practically extinct. Divorce is no longer seen as a woman's failure to keep her husband happy. (Note: While these things do still occur in some countries, I'm not referring to them)

No, things have changed.

We are educated (even if you don't graduate high school, you have more schooling than women did 100 years ago). If you've gone to college, you have more education than most women were 50 years ago.

We have choices now.

We don't have to stay in an abusive relationship.
We don't have to stay in a relationship with a cheater.
We don't have to stay at home and "serve" our husbands. (Note: I am not saying that homemakers that stay home to raise their children are serving their husbands. I'm saying you don't wake up and cook your husband's breakfast and make his lunch and wash/iron his clothing, wait for him to come home and make him a martini and get his newspaper and slippers and make the children be quiet so as to not bother "daddy" while you cook his dinner)

Beginning with Generation "X," we've been raised to be self-sufficient. To get an education. To get a career. To find our "true love." To get married. To raise our children. Oh, and if any of these things aren't working out for you, then make the necessary changes so YOU are happy.

You don't want to go to college? Don't.
You don't want a career but would rather stay home and raise kids? Fine.
You want a divorce? Get it.

Just because you were truly in love with someone once upon a time doesn't mean you won't find true love again. There are many, many people around the world. It's not like it was 100 years ago when your love search was limited to a 25 mile radius. The world is at your fingertips and you are no longer limited.

Find somebody that has the same interests as you. A person that has the same goals as you in life. Oh, and stop looking. Because when you are looking for love, you hurt every second that you're not finding it. Instead, find something to do that makes you happy. Then, look for a group of people that have that same interest, and you might, without looking, find that person.

Please, don't tell me that you're now sitting there thinking there is nothing you can do or have an interest in that cannot involve others. Just about every hobby in the world has groups online. Google it!

Tip 1:
You'll never be happy unless you're happy with yourself.

Tip 2:
The longest relationship you'll ever have is with yourself.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Blogger Challenge Day 8: A Birthday Celebration

When I was younger, our birthday celebrations consisted of having 5-10 friends over for cake and games like Pin the Tail on the Donkey while wearing dunce caps (I mean party hats). If we were really lucky, we'd have a pinata.  One time, us girls went crazy around 1978 and put balloons under our shirts (I searched for the picture but couldn't find it)

Nowadays, the parties are themed at home spending tons of money or have to be held somewhere like Chuck E. Cheese or My Girly Party.   I think if you have boys, you're going to get off a little cheaper than girls.  If you go to Chuck E. Cheese and have the "super" package, it's 16.99 per child, minimum of 4 kids.  If you go to My Girly Party, it's $250 for up to 8 girls.  Seriously, if you're spending that much money on a child under the age of 5, you need therapy.

For my granddaughter, we did the Chuck E. Cheese thing a few years ago for Bryanna's 2nd birthday (which she won't remember but I have a lot of pictures and a lot less money). For her 3rd birthday, it was more low key at a clubhouse and her 4th birthday was at a  restaurant.

My personal tips for kids birthday parties:
  • Don't spend a lot of money until after age 5. They won't remember it.
  • Pick a theme of their favorite character and go wild at the Dollar Store
  • Create gift bags for attendees by going to the Dollar Store and picking up cheap toys
  • Kids love pinatas and it wears them out
  • For kids 7-10, go old school.  Have them do a  3-legged race, potato sack race, Pin the Tail on the Donkey, etc. and have prizes for the winners. The kids will love it AND get worn out.
  • Take a lot of pictures, but remember to put names of attendees on it (tag it) whatever, asap or else you'll forget who some of those people were LOL

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Blogger Challenge--Day 7

I know I haven't been around for the last 4 challenges, but I have a really good excuse. No, really, I do. My son came home from Afghanistan for his 2 week leave so I wasn't home. See? I TOLD you it was a good excuse!

So, today's challenge is to post about "Something you use every day."

The day has begun... get ready, get set ... wait a minute, I need more coffee.

My coffee pot is the most over used item in the house.  There is always coffee in it.  People think I'm exaggerating when I tell them how much coffee I drink (6-8 pots, yes pots not cups, per day).   I love my coffee.  It relaxes me.  To be able to sit down and drink a cup of fresh brewed coffee is pure heaven.  I will admit I'm trying to cut back on my coffee intake and add 8 glasses of water per day, but it's really, really hard. 
Just remember....Hand over the coffee and back away slowly and no one will get hurt!!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Blogger Challenge--Day 3

It's gravy, baby has issued a blogger challenge, and I've accepted it, this being day 3!  Today's challenge is very easy for me as I've already posted once before about it. My favorite show is an online Web series called "The Guild." It's a fabulous show about a group of people that play an online game and end up meeting in real life.  Season 5 starts this summer.  There's a link below this video if you'd like to see more of the series.

The Guild is an independent sitcom web series about a group of online gamers. The show started in the late summer of 2007, and for the first season was financed solely by Paypal donations from LOYAL FANS. 

Since season 2, The Guild has been distributed by Xbox Live and Microsoft and sponsored by Sprint.

Episodes vary from 3-8 minutes in length, and follow the Guild members’ lives online and offline. Currently the show is on break, preparing for season 5.

“The Guild” has won numerous awards, including the SXSW, YouTube and Yahoo Web Series Awards in 2008, and 3 Streamy Awards in 2009: Best Comedy Web Series, Best Ensemble, and Best Actress for Felicia Day.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Letter from Mother to Child

This post was destined to happen.  Lisa posted a comment on my Day 2 Blogger Challenge and said "I know it will be a blink of an eye before this will be my boys. I don't want it to go so quickly."  Just a few hours later, I was going through boxes, preparing for my move this summer, when I came across my middle son's baby book.  Inside of it, was an Ann Landers article from August 10, 1990 in the Detroit Free Press. The letter to Ann Landers was an article the writer had clipped from years before from the Los Angeles Times when her twins were babies but now all grown up and she'd used this article to cherish every moment.  While the letter is addressed to a daughter, the moral of the article is from mother to child.

Dear Daughter:
Although you are only 4 years old and will not understand what I am saying, I feel the need to write this letter and put it away for you to read many years later from now.
When you were an infant and the newness of being a mother wore off, I couldn't wait until you grew up. At first, I found myself wishing, "If only she would start walking!" And then, "If only she would start talking!" One day I suddenly realized that you were out of diapers. You were indeed walking and talking, and pretty soon you would be going off to school.
I remember the morning your father and I brought your baby sister home from the hospital. You and I had been apart six days.  When the door opened I saw you standing there with your angel smile.  You seemed so big compared to the baby I was holding in my arms. It was hard to imagine you were once that small.
I suddenly realized how much of your babyhood I had wished away. Being a mother is demanding. It robs you of so many freedoms, and I resented teh fact that I had so many added responsibilities.  And then I looked down at your soft curls and your trusting eyes.  Suddenly I felt so ashamed.   My heart almost broke.
I cannot relive those first four years, but I have been trying to make them up to you -- and to myself.  I hope and pray that when your first child is born you will be wiser and more mature than I was.  I hope you will enjoy every phase of your child's growing up and not wish they would hurry and pass so you could be free of the "burdens" of motherhood.
You and I will have our share of heated words and angry battles in the years to come. There will be days when we will find it impossible to please each other.  I will secretly wish that you would hurry and graduate from high school so I could send you off to college and be rid of you.
Life rushes by all too rapidly, my darling daughter, especially the lovely days and the beautiful times.  Be smarter than your mother was.  Don't let a single moment slip away unsavored or unappreciated.  These days are priceless and afford you the greatest opportunities for fulfillment.  Never again will your heart be so full. 
All my love,

Blogger Challenge: Day 2

It's gravy, baby has issued a blogger challenge, and I've accepted it, this being day 2! Today's challenge is "The person or persons that make your world go around."  Just to give you an idea, in case you haven't looked at her site to see the entire month's challenge, here are the first 7 days:
  1. A photo of yourself with 10 facts.
  2. The person (or people) that make your world go around.
  3. Your favorite show.
  4. An experience that made you who you are today.
  5. Your day. 
  6. A favorite memory.
  7. Something you use every day.

My 3 boys.   They are my life.  From left to right is Jordan (17 today!!), Kristopher (20) and Kelly (24 on Sunday).  This picture is actually over a year old, so I'm hoping to get a new one in the near future as Kristopher will be coming home from Afghanistan for his 2 week leave.  I'm SO proud of my boys.  Kelly just got his first apartment, Kris is serving his country and Jordan made it to the State Finals in bowling and plans to join the Army when he graduates high school next year.  All of them are hard workers and very respectful and know what they need to do to get what they want.  I love having an open communication with them that they feel they can come and talk to me about anything without judgment, but can expect love and honest answers, which can sometimes be a harsh truth that they may not want to hear, but need to, and that's why they're willing to talk to me. 

Bryanna, my adorable 4 year old granddaughter. While I may blame my son for making me a young grandmother at 36 and making my hair start to turn gray (Seriously, there is no way it was a coincidence that I got my first gray hair just a few months after he told me he was going to become a father).  She is an absolute angel and smart as a whip.  I miss her terribly as I haven't been able to see her as much the last few years since I moved, but I'm hoping to change that in the near future so I can watch her grow into a beautiful young lady. 

Kevin and I got back in touch with each other just before Thanksgiving of last year on Facebook.  We hit it off immediately and began dating in December.  I can't put into words how much he's helped me face some tough times and how exciting it is to be in love with someone who gets me.  He is my rock.

Okay, so this isn't an image of a person or persons, but it is an image to reflect my housecleaning group, PCC.  Every single magazine out there always has an article about how to organize your life. But like anything else that doesn't create a habit, you're back to living your life the way it was and it ends up looking like this again. Our group is based on a point system for household chores.  For example, you can earn points for housecleaning, decluttering, running errands, and personal healthcare (such as weight loss). While the group may have started off as a support group for housecleaning, a select few have also become my best friends and have been with me through thick and thin.  My best friends, in alphabetical order, are: Amanda, Ann, Annette, Celeste, Jamie and Teresa. 

Last, but certainly not least, is the rest of my family, which includes all of my aunts, uncles and cousins.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Blogger Challenge--Day 1

It's gravy, baby has issued a blogger challenge, and I'm accepting it! The 31 Day Photo and Prompt Challenge starts today. Each day she has a prompt so we can tell everyone more about ourselves.As I haven't been very good about posting daily, I thought this would be a good way to get me into the habit. (This is also a good challenge for anyone that wants to start a blog but isn't sure what to write about or how to start).

Day 1: Post a picture of yourself and 10 facts about you.

7-8 months old and a pic you're all tired of looking at.

  1. I'm a mom to 3 boys. Since 2 have their birthdays within this next week, I'll give their future ages: 24, 20 and 17. 
  2. My birthday is April 7th and I'm an Aries (I don't care what the new horoscope crap says) I'm currently 40, turning 41 next month and looking damn good for a grandma. (I have a 4 year old granddaughter too).
  3. I have been married (and divorced) three times.  That's right, I said 3.  Each was a mistake, although I can admit that I never repeated the same "mistake.".  Live and learn.   (My children are from my first 2 marriages.)
  4. I love genealogy.  I got into it about 12 years ago.  Although I've been slacking for about 6 years now LOL  I'd love to get back into it, but I know it requires reentering all of the information that I have which will take months, if not years. So, I'm procrastinating.
  5. I love to write.  Which is why I love to blog.  This is my umpteenth blog.  I start, I procrastinate blogging, I quit.  I also belong to a housecleaning drill-team blog. I procrastinate blogging to that too.
  6. I'm a procrastinator. (SHOCKING!)
  7. I'm bipolar.  I was diagnosed in November 2005 as being a type 2 bipolar person. I took a lot of drugs and saw a lot of therapists and psychiatrists and quit after 2 years of being a zombie.  I've attempted to go back to therapy multiple times but always ended up on new zombie drugs.  However, I began seeing a new therapist and psych back in September and was diagnosed as manic depressive/bipolar.  Which is good. Because I'm no longer on the zombie drugs suffering from multiple side effects.  I'm also anxiety-ridden. I have panic attacks when I'm in large groups of people, or even small groups of people if I don't know them.  With therapy, meds and an awesome boyfriend, I'm trying to overcome it.
  8. My best friends are those from my housecleaning group.  We chat every day. Some days we clean, some days we don't. Some days we run errands, some days we don't. But we're always there for each other, through thick and thin. Even if we don't live a few miles from each other.
  9. Why do I belong to a housecleaning group?  Well, because 10 years ago, I was working full-time and trying to raise a family and keep the house clean and laundry done and cook dinner and I was a wreck. I like things organized, and I was beyond any type of organization.  So, I looked online and found Flylady.  While Flylady was good for me for a couple of years, I needed something more structured. I found the PCC group on Yahoo.  In the group, we use a point based system for chores, errands, goals, etc.  The group helps me stay focused on getting things done instead of procrastinating. I set the amount of points I want to get per day/week/month/year and reward myself when I reach my goals.  Rewards can be as simple as allowing myself time to play on the computer, watch a movie or tv show,  read a book, take a hot bath or purchase something I want.  (Although I restrict purchases only to reaching my monthly goal).
  10. I'm determined to get to my goal weight and get tone by the end of the year using Sparkpeople. The site is great because it has FREE nutritional and fitness tracking as well as motivational tips (which is the main reason people fail in their weight loss goals.)  Did I mention it was all free?
Join me at:

Join the Web's Only Nutrition & Fitness Program Just For Teens! Diet

If you want to join me on this blogging journey, I would love to learn more about you. Just post a comment with your link so I can read it and you can grab a linky at  it's gravy, baby for your blog too.