Monday, April 30, 2012

Graduation is Near!

We just got some invitation cards for Jacob's graduation party that I ordered from Vista Print, who've done my mailing labels for over 7 years.  These went in with the formal invitations and are for the party being held on the Saturday right after Friday's graduation. Aren't they fun?  These are scanned from my 6 or 7 year old scanner, so they're not the best, nor do they show how really cool the invites are.

These are not the formal invitations for his graduation.  These are just his party invites.

The colors match the formal invitations.

Jacob and Isabel created their own avatars.  

Here's the formal invitation cover, so you can see the colors we have to work with.

I have GOT TO start working on the cake!  Stupid knee.  

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Knee Update Day 2; hiding in the bathroom

Day two, Friday, found my knee/leg a little stiff, but not to bad.  Still had some drugs in me I suppose.  Isabel had to go to school but she remembered my telling her she could draw on my bandages "tomorrow" so she was up bright and early with her markers.

I tottered around with the walker most of the day.  Took a "bird bath" with one leg in and one leg out of the tub (NOT EASY when you can't bend the knee) and was pretty much waited on all day.  :)

My Seattle corporate office sent me a lovely bouquet with an unintentionally funny card.

Whoever wrote the card at the floral shop missed a vital punctuation mark.  It should have read

"Wishing you a speedy recovery and a return to running.  From your friends at S*****s."

What is said was

"Wishing you a speedy recovery and a return to running from your friends at S*****s."

When I relayed the funny message to my HR rep, she replied if I tried running from them, they'd drag me back.  :)

The rest of the evening was uneventful until... the storm.  Suddenly, the skies darkened, the winds rolled and a smattering noise was heard.  Hail was falling hard against the house.  Jacob looks out our back yard and panics.  "Mom!  We need to get into the bathroom now!"  OK.  I had surgery YESTERDAY and he's panicking about getting into the bathroom (one of two completely self-enclosed rooms in the house) on the first floor, because the winds in the back yard are in a funnel shape.  Not a full on twister, but he was correct; they were moving in a (I think) counter-clockwise rotation.

Jacob turns off the major appliances (computer, flat screen, PS3) and we hobble my butt into the bathroom. The power keeps flickering and we can't get any news so we call Jake's aunt Denise, who is further south of us, to see if she has access to the news.  Powerful storms in the area for the next 20 minutes.  We wait it out for about 10 and then I'm done.

The back yard is flooded, but that lasts all of 5 minutes before the parched earth sucks it right up and there's ICE on the ground!  ICE!

See the ice on the edge of the concrete slab there?

My sister Vicky mocks us for hiding out.  I send her this picture of a house half a mile away from us.

Taken by Jacob on his way to a friend's house.

Better safe than sorry, sis.

After that excitement, Jacob reluctantly leaves for a party but promises to be home early and tells me to call him if I need anything.  (David works nights, remember?)  Jacob loads the coffee table with my book, my Nook, all the remotes, my phone, a blanket, a cup of water and a kiss.

Isabel puts herself to bed a little late (it's Friday, it's allowed) and I hunker down to watch some "Downton Abbey" season 2.  Ah, Mr. Bates, how I love yeh and yer Anna.   (If you have not seen it, do it.  It's AWESOME.)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Knee Update Day 1

Hello All,

Hope you're well.  I'm doing o.k.  Just trying to get through this knee thing.  Here's a little update of all the goings on from the past week.  Please excuse the bad-quality pictures; most of them are from my non-smart phone.

The kids went to school and David drove me to the surgery center. We checked in at the set time, 10:30.  Surgery was set for 12:30 p.m.  They swiftly processed paperwork, placed arm bands on me and walked me back to the pre-surgery prep room.

I changed into the lovely typical hospital gown, had my leg scrubbed down with a yellow/orange iodine scrub and then was covered with a super-warm blanket (they keep them in a warming oven!)  Good thing, too.  it was freezing in there!  The IV was inserted and then all that was left was to wait until 12:30.

The nursing staff at Physicians Surgical Care Center was wonderful; caring, professional and knowledgeable.  Kudos to them all.

David was allowed in to wait with me after I was all set up.  He read a video game guide to me, LOL, Kingdoms of Amular: Reckoning.  This guide is huge (close to 600 pages), has beautiful hard cover art and tons of game play info.  So I endured it.

At precisely 12:30, they came and wheeled me to the operating room.  I remember being told I was getting an oxygen mask on, seeing the mask and then nada.  That's it.  Next thing I remember is hearing "Oh there, I think she's waking up."  I was back in the post-surgery area.  How'd that happen??

I was allowed time to "wake up," given some water and graham crackers to nibble (I had not eaten or had a drink since 7 p.m. the night before; it was around 2 p.m. by now) and then got dressed and was sent home with David, who was chock full of post-op information given to him by the doctor while I was still out of it.

Jacob left school early to go to Isabel's school and walk her home.   The ride home was not too bad.  Thankfully, Jacob's aunt Denise had crutches and a walker she loaned me, so we would not have to buy any.  That walker has been a divine intervention.

My knee was pretty bandaged up, from thigh to foot.  AND I could not get it wet for 3 days!  Ugh. Isabel insisted on drawing on my "cast" (bandages) but I put her off until the morning.

So, who wants to see what was done on the inside?  No worries! Nothing gory, or at least not from my POV.

The top two show the tears he found in my knee.  The next show the acl, which was fine, a view of the knee cap, also fine.

The third set down are the "after" shots, after he shaved the tears out.  The final two are other angles/views of my knee showing healthy stuff.  The main ones are rows 1 & 3.

The rest of the evening was spent right there on the couch, eating soup, drinking water and coffee and watching either David play "Reckoning" or Cartoon Network with the kids.  The knee was feeling fine, but ooooh, that was just a false feeling.  It was those drugs still pumped in my system.

Friday, April 20, 2012


That's pretty much how I feel after surgery.


Will post later.  But let me just say....I can't WAIT for this movie to come out!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

City Scholarship Winner!

Jacob received a voice mail message last week.  He was one of the students chosen to each receive a $2,000 scholarship from our city!  It was a long application, detailing his academic, extra-curricular and volunteer efforts throughout his 4 years in high school.

I think it helped that he has several years' volunteer work with the city, has good grades and was involved in music fests in our county.

We arrived Monday night at the City Hall to attend the City Council meeting, where the students would be presented with their scholarships.  There were several students there, from various high schools in our city; two of them were Jacob's friends.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Busy Saturday, Crafty Sunday

Friday night my glasses broke.  Saturday was spent going to the mall to get glasses made.  I even decided that Jacob could get prescription sunglasses, since his portion of the insurance was good to use for 2012.

Both pairs were going to be ready in a few hours so we walked around the mall, had lunch and got Isabel some funky hair clips.  We also hit the craft store to get some chocolate melts, a fun candy mold and lollipop sticks for a Sunday craft.

Isabel *loves* her pink hair clip with fake pink hair.

 After the glasses, we drove an hour to meet with Jacob's big brother Gregory to get an amp and a guitar that he got from his grandfather's passing.  We all headed to Crabby Bill's for dinner, and then to see a new place Greg and his girlfriend may be moving in to.

Jacob's little sister and big brother.

Sunday, we slept in LATE.  Isabel and I colored on some iron on patches she received for Easter and ironed them on to a shirt she received in her Easter basket from Aunt Denise and Aunt Mo.

Then, Chocolate Mustache pop making. Oh Yea. 

These are for some of Jake's friends at school on Monday.  Just something silly.  He has a friend obsessed with mustache things; erasers, clips, shoes.  So when we saw the candy mold on Saturday, we had to buy them.

Speaking of Jacob: then it was time for, dum dum dum!!!  Preparing graduation announcements!!  Help.

Thus ends our busy weekend.

This week?


I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Virtual Choir 3: The Video

The Video is Up!!

Don't freak out. It's not 11 minutes of song.  It's 5:30 of song and then over 6 minutes of credits.

Since I know what I am looking for, I can see Jacob at 1:53 -1:57, again at 3:16-3:18 and lastly around the 4:18 mark.

at 11:05   :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Easter Fun

It's not often people say "I have amazing ex-in-laws."  Usually, bad breaks = strained relationships.  Not here, not me.

I am so very fortunate to not only have terrific in-laws in David's parents, but also in Jacob's dad's side too.   God has surrounded us with a wonderful group of people and I am very grateful.  This Easter Sunday, we were invited to Jacob's family Easter party hosted by his eldest uncle and family near Melbourne, David and Isabel included.  I love them for that.

We drove an hour and 1/2 to the GORGEOUS home of the eldest.  I never did take a picture of the front of the house except with my cell.  All the siblings, except my ex (that would be awkward) were there.  There was grilling, eating, swimming and napping.




Napping in the media room. For reals!  Holy wow.

Isabel was IN LOVE.  There was another one in a guest room.

What can I get for ya?

I made a cake.  :)
The homeowner, and my other (ex)  sister-in-law, had made baskets for the little ones that were going to be there, Isabel included.   At the last minute, the 2 other youngster's parent cancelled, so it was just Isabel in the under 17 set.  And guess what?  My (ex) sister-in-law the homeowner and I hid eggs just for Isabel to find.  Aren't they awesome?

Isabel's basket of goodies



*slurp*  New friends!

Hi Jacob!
The food was great as was the company. We were very sleepy on our ride home.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Bowling Time

Isabel's party was quite late.  With so much travel, Spring Break, etc., we just ended up moving it to the end of the month.  We decided to just invite family, because Isabel wanted to go bowling and we are not made of money.  She was very cool with it.

My family is mostly in Florida.  David's is not. So it was PUERTO RICAN/CUBAN time.  :)

Isabel's cousin Lyric has a go. She's my sister Lissette's eldest.

It was all-you-can-eat pizza and bowling for 2 hours.  Yay!  BUT they would not bring out an entire pizza.  If you paid for the all-you-can-eat deal, you got a wrist band and the waitress brought one slice at a time for each person with the wrist band.  We had her RUNNING ragged.

La familia

Why yes. I AM the normal one.

Look at these scores!  *snort*


(more cake pictures here)

Prettiest?  *eye roll*

Isabel and her abuelo (my dad)

Sister Vicky

We were pretty much exhausted by the time we were done.  They said 2 hours but they let us bowl for over 3!  Great fun.  

Monday, April 9, 2012

March Reads

March was another slow month.  Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" kicked my patoot and slowed me down.  That, plus travel and a birthday cake to make, and I was down for my count.

  • "Rise of the Evening Star" (Fablehaven book 2) by Brandon Mull
  • "The Fourth Bear" by Jasper Fforde
  • "The Canterbury Tales" by Geoffrey Chaucer*
That's IT.   That is one BAD month.

The second Fablehaven book is a Young Adult selection following a couple of young siblings who find out their grandparents run a sanctuary for fairies, imps, trolls, etc. and how they have to protect it from the evil trying to attack it.

"The Fourth Bear" is the second in the Nursery Crimes series and again, another hoot by Fforde.  The man is great fun.  Literary nuts, go read him!

Lastly, "The Canterbury Tales."  I read this in college.  In middle English.  It was really a fun class.  I read it translated into modern English and still had a hard time reading it fast enough.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir 3: The Photo

You might not know who Eric Whitacre is, unless you're really into classical music.  Mr. Whitacre is an amazing contemporary composer who does some wonderful work.  His music has this...haunting, fantasy feel to it.  I am a fan, but Jacob is a REAL fan.   Look Mr. Whitacre up on You Tube and Wikipedia too.

For three years now, Mr. Whitacre has conducted a Virtual Choir that performs one of the pieces he has composed.  People from all over the world download the music based on what they sing (Bass, tenor, alto, soprano) and  record themselves on video singing (with no background music - usually they're listening to the music on headphones, etc.)  The videos are uploaded to his site and he and his team put them alllll together to create a virtual choir

Here are Virtual Choirs 1 & 2.

Year one only had 185 people.

Virtual Choir 2 had over 2000 submissions.

They are still working on Virtual Choir 3  and it will be available some time in April.  This year, 2,945 people submitted 3,746 videos from 73 countries.

One of those was Jacob's.

and HERE is the picture!  Click it.  It's Huge!   Jacob is 19 rows down, the 15th person in.  Can't see him?


I Can't WAIT to see how it comes out!