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Showing posts from April, 2011

And the power play goes pfft.

Well, another Penguins season has come to a close. What can I say? A few things, actually.

Considering the injuries to players, most notably Sidney Crosby, who is arguably the best hockey player in the word, you have to tip your hat to the Pens for making it to Game 7 of the first round. When you are without Crosby and Malkin, the fact that you can win more games than lose (until this series, anyway) really shows that the others stepped up.

Kudos and rah-rahs aside, when your team has a 3 to 1 series edge, it is almost inexcusable to go out and lose the next three games and ultimately the series. That is a tough pill to swallow. They needed to win only one of their last three. How could they not do it?! Last night, the Bolts scored only one goal, and the Pens could never get on the board. The Pens definitely played hard; they played their hearts out, which made it all the more frustrating. But if you can't score a single goal in a Game 7, well, you just don't deserve to win.

E…

A huge, grave miscalculation on my part

Those of you who know Amy of Callapitter probably are aware of the hands-on design meeting for Kate and Peter's Treehouse this Thursday. If not or if you are interested in learning about the meeting and the project, check out the link here.

For this particular meeting, the planners are interested in the input of children since they will be the ones using this park. And because Frick Park, where this space will be located, is one of Jordan's favorite parks, I thought it might be a good idea for the two of us to attend. Plus I just want to support Amy, for all that she has been through.

Jordan did not know Kate and Peter; they were in different classes while in Beulah. For that reason and because, as I have mentioned in several posts, Jordan has struggled with death in the past, I never bothered to tell her about them. Until now. I figured if I was going to take her to this meeting, I should probably give her a heads up. Otherwise, she would be asking questions there and might …

Happy Easter!

Wishing all of you a blessed Easter!

I normally sing at my church's vigil mass, which is starting in a few minutes. For the unaware, the Catholic Easter vigil mass can be two, two and a half hours, which is certainly long, yet I never mind it. I find the service to be beautiful, particularly when I see people becoming Catholics. I can't imagine becoming a Catholic as an adult, what with some of the archaic rules and strictness, yet these people willingly want to do so. I also like the fire at the beginning of mass (who doesn't like a fire, when it is not a structure burning?!). And as a choir member, I enjoy all the singing. Best of all, unlike Christmas Eve's midnight mass, this one is over by midnight!

Anyway, I am here at my mom's, with my brothers and their families, and as much as I am disappointed to miss the vigil, I am happy and feel blessed to be with these people I love and glad that my mom is back in her own home and hopeful that she can stay that way fo…

Thinking of things

April is a tough month. Not so much because the weather is often crazy around here (near 80 degrees one day and freezing temps another). But rather a lot of sad/tragic things have happened over the years, particularly two years ago.

Amy's (of Callapitter) two precious children were taken from her two years ago. Although the anniversary was two weeks ago, I reminded of it now because it happened during Holy Week. Plus today is her Peter's birthday.

Just a few days before that tragedy, three Pittsburgh police officers were gunned down.

And it was on Good Friday that a priest at my church accidentally ran over some parishioners, killing one and injuring several others. The anniversary for that too was two weeks ago, but since Good Friday is tomorrow, I cannot help being reminded of it.

On some less personal notes, the anniversary of the Columbine school shootings is coming up. Or apparently just passed. I remember that well because it happened on our honeymoon 12 years ago.

An…

Still married after all these years

My friend Holly informed me that the according to Wikipedia, "The median length for a marriage in the US today is 11 years." Brian and I hit the 12-year mark yesterday, which I joked on Facebook probably means donuts. I love donuts! In fact, I had one yesterday because it was "Donut Sunday" at church.

Hopefully, our house of illness will soon recover and Brian and I can go out for at least a lunch or something to celebrate. But until then, I will just be glad we made it this far, something, unfortunately, not a lot of people can say. And I will keep joking (though I am sort of serious) that it feels like only 25 years! :-)

Following are a few photos from that chilly day 12 years ago. We got married at St. Bernard's Church in Indiana, PA. And we had our reception at the country club in that same town. I have not seen our ring bearer (the cute kid in our cake picture) for almost eight and a half years. In my mind, he still looks like a little kid, younger than my…

One is the loneliest number

On more than one occasion, I have blogged about my having only one kid and the grief that has caused me. Grief is really a strong word, but I don't know which word is the right word. Having one kid was a mostly intentional choice. Years ago we had decided that once we sold our house and moved into our larger one, we would try to have another kid. But we put our house on the market a year later than we anticipated, and by that time, I had gotten over the desire for another kid. Good thing, because we are still here in this same smallish house, in this crappy, crappy school district!

Most days I am glad that I am able to devote myself to my one child; she does not have to share my affection with anyone else. But, as I have mentioned countless times here and to others, it can be difficult being your child's playmate. I can take only so many Barbies, babies, and princess play times. I can never say, "Go play with your sister." But I love reading to my kid and enjoy most …

Down for the count

I am fairly certain this is the third time this year I have been ill. Prior to this year (or maybe last year), I got sick once a year, more likely once every few years, and it was usually over in a day or two. I have no idea what is going on with me. This particularly illness has really thrown me for a loop. I went to bed at 8 p.m. on Sunday after having felt tired and achy all day long, and  I slept horribly. After about 10 second in the shower the next morning, I felt as if I were going to pass out, which was promptly followed by a wave of nausea. I practically crawled out of the shower and did not even bother to dry off; I was that ill. I asked Brian to take Jordan to school (and to get her ready, breakfast, etc.), and I made my way back to bed, where my 101-plus degree body stayed for most of the rest of the day.

As I heard Brian and Jordan getting ready that morning, I thanked God that I was not a single parent. How could I have gotten my kid to school when I was too dizzy to sta…

How is your school doing (Or What is the point of standardized testing)?

The PA Department of Education has a page entitled "How is my school doing?" If you are interested in how your school district (or others) is doing, I encourage you to check out this link. The information goes beyond the typical standardized test results; things such as drop-out rates, attendance, and teacher qualifications are also included.

I gave the reports a quick glance and was dismayed, though not surprised, to see how poorly my district is performing. To be fair, I just don't know a lot about No Child Left Behind and Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP); my opinions are based on what little I have read and the opinions of others. But even so, one thing I have questioned and struggled with is the dreaded standardized test, which, of course, is how the academics are rated/ranked.

In fact, this week Jordan and her schoolmates are taking the Terra Nova tests (I think most or probably all the state public schools take the PSAAs instead). I could read up on the differences…

Do we really need more junk?

I am quite certain that on several occasions I have already said words similar to what I am going to write, but here I go again.

Most of us have too much stuff/junk. Kids especially. Do you remember when Valentine's Day at school meant filling out a box of cards for your classmates and getting cards in return? Now, parents feel obligated to send in candy with those cards. And a simple lollipop or bite-size candy bar is no longer enough; now most parents send in treat bags that consist of several pieces of candy, perhaps one of those annoying foil-wrapped pencils that are nearly impossible to sharpen, tiny erasers that are too small to be useful, and some stickers or fake tattoos. Halloween works much the same way. And some parents even send in small gifts for the class for the Christmas party. Don't even get me started on birthday parties, which now involve take-homes for each party guest as well.

You might be wondering why I am bringing this up now. I will tell you, but onl…