Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I'm starting with the man in the mirror

My most recent title was lifted from one of my favorite Glee episodes. I have to agree with Mrs. G of Derfwad Manor that New Year's resolutions aren't really my kind of thing. I do believe whole-heartedly in goal setting and the power of I AM statements. I believe so much so that I have almost found myself a little bit afraid to create my new I AM statements for fear of what I might really accomplish. Is that odd? I'm not sure...I know I have some lofty goals for this year and some of those are things I wasn't sure were entirely possible but at this point, it seems they may in fact be and so now is the time to set my sights high! Mrs. G spoke in her New Year's post about setting goalettes and I thoroughly enjoyed reading the comments which included many peoples' goalettes. This year...I'm trying to worry less. Really...LESS...is the goal. I set a renewed goal to take a picture every day to document for future generations my ever changing family and life as we know it. I'm going to write more scholarships for the joyous one...and continue to be the best parent I can be. Those goals, in themselves, are lofty. My I AM statements are known only to me and my trusty Covey planner :). I AM going to report my success in reaching those goals at the beginning of 2013. Be blessed and remember, change starts with you...the man in the mirror.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

My thoughts to my children on New Year's Eve 2011

To Stephanie~

My oldest :) Sometimes I'm surprised you survived my parenting! I surely tried to do things by the book with you, along with a healthy dose of advice from your Grammie and your Grandma. This past year has been one of many many emotions for me. So much pride and accomplishment in watching you graduate and then the journey of choosing colleges and the messy map of how to get it paid for! What an adventure this year has been. It has been hard for me watching you have grown up problems, e.g. love life, paying bills, moving, etc., but also another opportunity for me to glow with pride at how you've come through it all. Your dad and I continue to comment on how we see you more now that you've 'moved away to college' than when you lived at home! This past year has been focused on graduation and what the future will hold. My wish for you in 2012 is to appreciate where you are and to just take a minute to slow down and experience things one day at a time. College will go quickly I'm sure, just as high school did and then you'll have more responsibilities. I love you Stephanie and continue to beam with pride at the young lady you have become. Happy New Year! Love Mom

To Brennan~

My sonshine. When you were diagnosed with Autism, I didn't know what the future would hold for you. I didn't know if you would get a job, learn to live independently, or drive. This past year you have worked so hard. You have fought your way through regular education with some help of some great mentor teachers. You learned to drive (and I only have a few more gray hairs) and you got a job. You are learning to manage your money and to take on more adult responsibilities. You have learned to stand up for yourself and to help others. You have close friends and a family that loves you. The things you have achieved are all things I had hoped for you but wondered if you would be able to achieve them and you certainly did! 2012 will bring with it the start of your Senior year, which is beyond hard for me to believe. My wish for you in 2012 is to work hard to become all you can be and don't let setbacks get in your way! You are an amazing young man and I know you can do it! Happy New Year! Love Mom

To Kristina~

My babygirl. Perhaps there will come a day when I don't call you my baby girl. Maybe you'll be 40 or 60 or maybe you'll always be my baby girl! This year you will turn 16 and will get your driver's license. It is hard for me to let you go, more than you will ever know until you're a mom yourself. You have always been strong and capable and I need to remind myself of that! You are an amazing smart young lady with a bright future ahead of you. My wish for you in 2012 is to continue to work hard in keeping a little bit of yourself for you and to appreciate the world around you and to enjoy the moment you are in right now. High school is a fleeting time. Enjoy being 16, work hard and bloom where you are planted. Your name Kristina, means little christian girl...continue to grow in Faith and truth. I couldn't be more proud of you! Happy New Year! Love, Mom

Friday, December 30, 2011

As We Approach the New Year

Thoughts of many things are in my mind as we approach the new year. Most of them begin by recognizing the fact that although the last year has been very challenging, it was also full of blessings. As I lay here recuperating from foot surgery two days ago and wondering in my mind HOW CAN PEOPLE WATCH SO MUCH TV? I am also contemplating my goals for the new year. I would love to once again try a photo a day for a year. I've never made it past February in the past and I think this would be my third try. It's definitely something I would like to do for myself and my family.

I look back on my oldest daughter's first year at college and yes I made it through it. (At least half of it). My baby girl will be 16 in a few weeks and my son will begin his senior year this fall. Once again I shake my head and wonder where has the time gone?

Professionally, this has been a great year. I continue to grow my private practice and most recently passed my LCSW certification. Really what this means for me is that I will have paying clients once I get on the insurance boards. Which brings me to my next biggest goal...paying off student loans! I love my jobs but often find myself torn between work and family. There never seems to be enough time for both.

Being a small business owner has capped off this being an especially tough year. Finishing my second graduate degree has meant more time with my family and more time doing things I love, e.g. working in my yard, reading, cross stitching, and learning again how to just sit around.

A goal for the new year is to work diligently to reduce debt and on a more trivial note...to scrapbook...regularly. After 5 years of graduate school, internships and homework there are many unfinished home improvement projects that can use my attention as well.

I hope to spend time this year with my family...as time goes on, people age and families change. I want to spend a moment cherishing my family in the point they are now and enjoying the moment.; that is my biggest goal. I wish you the very best 2012...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The woman of the place may have been the subject of an undercover experiment

I (Mrs. Ruchus) do the bulk of the cooking around here. The Mr. cooks on the grill and frequently reheats left overs and once in a while has been known to brown a pan of hamburger, but other than that...it's on me. I'm a bland eater and a bland cooker. (I like it that way duh!) The Mr. however feels the need to add Lots o salt and pepper to everything I cook.

Today, while I was here catching up on facebook, the hubby was heating leftovers and asked if I would like some. Of course I said...Parmesan cheese? He said. Of course, I said. AND he even heated it up for me. So nice! He dropped off the leftovers in the den for me and headed to the family room. I took one bite and it was good...immediately after bite #2 my mouth was WAY hot!! I said, did you salt and pepper this? Of course he said...I thought I was going to eat it, but then you wanted some. Now...you know, he had to be sitting in the family room waiting with baited breath to see if I would EVEN notice the taste! YUCK, YUCK, YUCK!!! Wait...I then had to compose myself after saying yuck 80,000 times and thank him for heating me up some leftovers :) It really was a nice thought...right?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Homecoming 2011 and Christmas preparedness

Does that title grab you? If so...welcome to my world. As I see the pages of my cherished Covey planner ticking away into October, I know that the holidays are right around the corner. I haven't had a chance to see my family as much as I would like to and perhaps that is the reason that I simply cannot wait for the holidays. One of my daughters this weekend said, "I'm in the mood to bake cookies". Me too! I was in GFS the other day admiring the trays and covers they have there and thinking how awesome it would be to use those for my cookie deliveries. In addition, I have saved a few recipies on my night stand to be added to the trial list this year. If you are a long time reader, you know that cookie baking is big business for the Ruchus. We hit over 300 dozen every year, a five day process, and we all look forward to and love it. At least I do :) This year we're going to add a gingerbread house decorating party for all the little ones in the family as a new tradition.

This week I added to my planner to clean the kitchen...for 3 days. This will allow me enough time to clean and organize cabinets in preparation of making the cookies. Next will be a complete scrub down of the kitchen, top to bottom. I'm not sure about you, but I have pets in my house and I don't appreciate hair in the cookies...so, we always start wtih a good fall cleaning.

Many lists of Christmas gifts have run through my head already as well. In past years, especially the last two I haven't really had anything special in mind for the folks on my list, which is not the case this year. I've also been cross stitching Christmas stockings all summer long, so perhaps that is why I am anticipating the season. Who knows...I do know, it feels better than last year when I really had a hard time getting in the spirit. I think I was so burned out on graduate school, and tired, and broke that even on the best days...it was tough. I feel the outlook this year is just a bit brighter...hope that feelings hangs on until December 26th!


OK, next...Homecoming!! For whatever reason homecoming at our local high school gets earlier and earlier. It used to be near the end of October. Last year it was a few weeks earlier (still freezing by the way) and this year it was moved to September! As an educator and a mom, I appreciate the earlier homecoming because I really feel the kids don't concentrate academically as much until all the festivities and match making are over. My precious one disagrees and says having homecoming so early puts undo stress on the students by having to find a date so early in the year. It's always good to know both sides of the story. Anyway...we had a slightly smaller budget this year, but learned some good tricks on saving money and my baby girl looked fabulous regardless! (If I don't say so myself) I really like her darling boyfriend (don't tell a highschooler I called him darling ok?) and I like his family as well. You can go to my facebook page - via the tag over there on the right...the one that says facebook :) to see ALL 120 or so pictures...and I'll share a few with you here as well. As the crazy mamarazzi that I am, I especially appreicated having 'no group' this year, which meant no other kids to coordinate time, place, parents, number of pics etc. AND I finally got my choice of locals: Downtown.

Our downtown is a place that not too many people venture to. I however work downtown and so everyday as I drive I think, that would be a great place for pictures, and so would that and so would that. So, finally...we have beautiful downtown urban pics. The precious one's boyfriend said, why are we taking pictures in an alley? Well, I appreciate the mix of glamour and alley. What can I say? Judge for yourself.

You'll have to judge photos via my facebook page since blogger has not been cooperating with photo uploads. As technical difficulties allow I will eventually post pics here too :)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Evidently a little more training is required



You might be asking yourself..."What on God's green Earth is that?!?" I think that is what I also said when I opened my kitchen cabinet...and then ran for my life! I have a great son, whose job it is to do the dishes... I often tell him that we have differing standards when it comes to clean. I have recently come to discover that we have differing standards when it comes to organization as well.

This week's task = teach that boy how to stack the dishes!!

Parental mistake number 892,736,124

Do you, like I, realize after the fact that maybe that just wasn't the best idea? Or do you, like I, realize these things after one of your children less than tactfully points it out to you? I believe I tend to fall into the later category...



Perhaps if you are the parent of a high schooler, you may have heard the hubub lately about the requirement to be asked to homecoming or prom via a creative method. Believe me, among the 15 - 18 age group, this is indeed a hot topic.


OK, now you have the history. Here's the story...


I came home the other day to find this...








I quickly wondered who on earth left me such a wonderful surprise on my front porch! Having over 40 eyes, I looked a little bit closer to observe this...








Well, the surprise clearly wasn't for me...but for my precious one. Being the good blogger parent that I am, I quickly went inside to get my camera to capture this moment for future generations. Then...I made the ultimate mistake. I took a picture with my phone and sent it to her.


Good idea right? No?


Who knew?!? I didn't really mean to spoil the surprise. I meant for the picture to be the surprise, and certainly not to steal the young man's thunder by any means. Evidently, that wasn't a good idea.


Gratefully, the precious one was home just a few minutes later to open said homecoming invitation so all is well that ends well. And perhaps this parenting mistake won't be remembered 20 years from now.

For all you high school mom's out there...let me clarify. If you come home to find any type of sweet sentiment meant for your child... DO NOT! I repeat DO NOT! Let them in on the secret. Just sit on your hands, do not text, no facebook, no pictures....just wait :) No extra charge for the invaluable advice!