Proud Momma Day

Neil and I at the KCCT awards ceremony.

Yesterday morning my son's school held an awards ceremony to honor the students who received a 'Proficient' and/or 'Distinguished' on last years KCCT testing.  Neil received a 'Proficient' in reading and a 'Distinguished' in math.  Their school works so hard for the students and pays them back with awesome rewards and praise.  I don't remember my elementary school being so committed to the students.

Yesterday was also full of sports.  Neil's team had a make-up game and Kaia's soccer team had their one and only 'home' game.

Raw(e) Challenge - Red

This week's Raw(e) challenge theme is RED!  

I scavenged through my photo files and found this photo from January of this year.  It had snowed and this little cardinal was striking is such a stark background.

Click to enlarge.
Don't forget the rules:
Do not edit your photo.
It must be straight out of the camera!
Don't link up until you post your photo 
(and link to the actual post not your entire blog)
It must fit the theme, which is RED this week!


Remember how I said that I didn't like soccer anymore?

I woke up yesterday with a very sore throat.  It felt like someone had been scrubbing my throat all night long with sandpaper.  This morning is no better.  In fact, I think it may be worse.

I blame this squarely on sitting in the rain watching that soccer game this past weekend.  What is even better is that it's supposed to rain again during the upcoming weekend.  This means that I'll be sitting in the rain yet again.  Unless there are any lightening strikes or thunder in the area, which they are not forecasting.  Ugh.  That's what I have to say about that.

On a happier note, my best friend (Cam) is visiting and I'm very excited to be able to hang out with her!  If you don't hear from me for a couple of days it's because I'm not being my normal, boring self.  I'm out enjoying time and living life!

Plus... today is my Mom's BIRTHDAY!

Happy birthday, Mom!!!


Function: noun
Etymology: by shortening & alteration from association football
Date: 1889
: a game played on a field between two teams of 11 players each with the object to propel a round ball into the opponent's goal by kicking or by hitting it with any part of the body except the hands and arms —called also association football
This family is new to soccer.  I know absolutely nothing at all about the rules and calls and regulations.  It's all completely lost on me.  The kids have always played baseball and we faithfully watch as many NFL football games as we can possibly take in.  This year Kaia decides that baseball isn't for her.  Neither is softball.  She wants to play soccer.

First off I'm freaked out that we have to pay $45.  All she gets out of this $45 is a uniform shirt.  We had to supply a ball for practice, black shorts, socks, shin guards, and of course, new cleats.  And they are only playing 9 games.  NINE GAMES!  And... all but two of the games are being played an hour away.

Saturday the game was cancelled because there was impending thunderstorms and tornadoes headed our way.  I felt sure that Sunday the game would be cancelled as well because it was very chilly, extremely windy, and raining.  This is yet another part of soccer that I have no clue about.  If there is no lightening, they are playing a game.  In the rain.

So we drive an hour to Owensboro.  Tragically realize that I have forgotten my umbrella.  Trudge through soggy wet grass in my flip flops ('cause I checked the radar before leaving and it wasn't raining...) to the farthest field from the parking lot.  Then we sat for an hour in the mid-50 degree weather.  IN THE RAIN!!!

I don't like soccer anymore.

Flight of the Carrots

Cam on Tybee Island

Today Cam and family are flying in!  I'm excited to see them all.  It's been 9 months since we went to visit them.  I do wish they were coming just for a visit instead of to comfort Cam's sister, Ash.  I feel bad for being excited about their coming when I know that she is going though a tough time.  I know they are being pulled in many different directions while they are here.  I think we may end up kidnapping them to get them to stay longer!

Here's hoping for a safe and uneventful flight! 

Seriously?? Seriously.

Let me first go ahead and apologize.  I've changed the layout again.  But you know what?  That's just who I am.  I'm a changer.  When I was a little girl (and even sometimes now) I used to change my clothes multiple times in a day.  My daughter does it too.  It's strange the traits you sometimes pass on to your children.

On to the serious topic of the day...

Recently I made a purchase of a new SLR camera.  The camera came with a decent enough lens (18-55mm).  I was longing for something more.  Something to get me closer to the action!  Since I knew that the kids Spring sports would soon be getting underway, I had to act fast.

Off to I went!  After sorting through different options I finally found a lens in my price range that was what I needed.  So I placed my order on the 26th.  Three days later I still had not received any shipping information from the company (that will remain nameless lest they decide to sue me or something).  I reasoned that my first course of action should be to just drop a quick email.
Mon, Mar 29, 2010 at 12:23 PM
I purchased a Nikkor lens on Friday evening (order number 105-*******-*****8). My account has already been charged for this transaction, but I haven't received any shipment information ie. tracking number, etc. Is there any way to know if my package has already been shipped? Thanks so much!
I quickly got a reply.
Mon, Mar 29, 2010 at 2:27 PM
Your order is shipping out today you will receive an email with the
tracking # later on tonight.

Thank you,
April G*****n

Customer Support Team
The next morning it's business as usual around the homestead. I get everyone off and running then excitedly sit down to check my email.  Only to find no email from April G*****n or anyone else from that company.  I'm frustrated to say the least.  I'm thinking to myself that I've got a $300 lens floating around out in postal world and I want it.  I want it NOW.

Second course of action is to phone their customer service number.  I got a just friendly enough guy on the other end that said several um's and uh's before asking me who I had received the email from.  After telling him it was the April chick, he put me on hold to 'transfer' the call then came back and said she was on the phone with another customer, could he have my number so she could call me back.  No problem I said, as I was smiling (because I've heard if you smile while talking on the phone it makes you sound friendlier).

Minutes later, I receive an email with my tracking information!  Wonder of wonders.  But you know what??  I have NEVER received that return phone call.  I was kind of miffed by the brush off I had gotten.  She must have simply forgotten to send the email the night before and instead of returning my phone call, she just sent me a generic 'here's your tracking number' email.

Needless to say, I wasn't really all to happy with my service.  I gave them 3 out of 5 on the scale.  To be honest, I never give anyone a 5.  Let's face it, everyone has room for improvement.  This was the feedback that I left...
The Nikkor lens arrived well packaged and as described, however, I had to send an email to receive tracking info. When the tracking info email did not arrive as stated, I phoned customer service. Minutes after having my # taken I received the tracking info email. I'm still waiting for the return phone call. Not bad service, but not great either. Would probably purchase with them again.
I thought I was being generous since, after reading several previous feedbacks, it seems they have issue with sending out timely tracking information.

That was on the 31st.  Since then I have gotten no less than 6 emails from Bruno the 'Customer Experience Manager' from the company.  Each one stating that my feedback concerned them and that my satisfaction was their biggest concern...yada, yada, yada.  Look I appreciated the first email.  The next 5 I got were a little excessive.  I continued to get them because I did not reply.  I thought my feedback was enough to say that.  Then today I get ANOTHER email from Bruno.
Dear Valued Customer,
I would like to thank you for your order with E*********s E**o. I know you have probably received more then one email from me already in regards to your review with E*********s E**o. My job here is to found out from you directly what had accorded with your order and try to resolve and make you a satisfied customer with our company. Most company’s do not try to contact there customers in regards to the feedback that they received negative or positive. At E*********s E**o we contact every customer via email either thanking them for there feedback or contacting them to find out what had happened with there order and resolve any concerns that they may have. I ask if you could possibly give me the opportunity it would be greatly appreciated. The best way to reach me would be via email and I would reply to your message with in 24 hours or less. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Thank you,
Bruno C*********a
Customer Experience Manager
Oh, for the love of all things holy! Now I feel like I'm being harassed! I keep expecting ol' Bruno to jump out of the hedges or something! I replied to this email sharing quotes from my feedback. I wasn't really sure what else to say short of the obvious, "Leave me be".

I was completely shocked and repulsed when he replied back with this...
I would like to thank you for taking the time out to email me back in regards to this issue. I would like to apologize for the inconvenience and frustration that was caused with this order. I do apologize for the inconvenience that was caused. As you know customers on mean a lot to our company and we try to make sure all customers are satisfied with our company. What I would like to do is issue a credit of $6.99  back on your credit card for the inconvenience that was caused. Please let me know if that will be okay with you. Also if I could possibly ask you for a favor as you know the comments online mean a lot to all venders on and we try to correct the problem with the customer and make them satisfied with there shopping experience. In regards to that would you be willing to help us by removing that comment you placed online in regards to this transaction that would be greatly appreciated. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Thank you,
Bruno C********a
Is this guy for real?!?! Did he just try to buy the removal of my review for $6.99?!?  I'm not even sure how I should response to this.  I really and truly need lots of your feedback on this one.  Comment away!! 

Water Challenge

While visiting a new blog, Rasmussens in Review, I found through SITS, I decided to participate in Sailor and Company's raw(e) challenge!  This week's theme is WATER!

I thought this photo was a great way to represent water, Spring, and my world.  You can add yours too!  You have until 5PM on Friday.

Click here to link up and read 'da rules'!!

Chicken Farming

I was perusing house blogs (Hooked on Houses) yesterday evening and found a cool, new gadget.  A 'walk score'.  You can find out your home's 'walk score' by going here

Just for kicks I entered my address.  Now most of you probably already know that I live in a quite rural setting.  On one side, we have a rural church.  Across the road is the 'community' center and the church cemetery.  On the other side (and the back) are fields that alternate between soybeans and corn.  Now just down the road on the other side of what passes as a park here, is a chicken farm.

I see you sitting there looking at your computer screen contemplating what in the world the 'Walk Score' website and a chicken farm next to my house have to do with each other.  The 'Walk Score' website lists conveniently located business that are within walking distance of your home.  My house got an 8 out of 100 score.

All distances listed are measured in a straight line... they are not calculated using roadways.
Closest library: 6.23mi.
Closest movie theater: Tri City Drive In 7.52mi. (That's right A DRIVE IN!)
Closest grocery:  IGA 6.65mi.
Closest pharmacy: Morgantown Prescription Center 6.31mi.
Closest restaurant:  Rice & Rice Chicken Farm 0.11mi......
*insert the sound of a record scratching*

WHAT?!?!  Ewwww.... it's a chicken farm!  

Sometimes the interwebs can be so unreliable!  Talk about getting 'fresh' chicken!

Sports Overload

I'm coming at 'cha this Monday with about a gazillion photos of our first sports weekend.  Thank goodness this is likely to be the only weekend where we are running around like mad.  We had to get up super early for a Saturday morning, 6:15am.  The kids actually got up without too much fussing.  A miracle unto itself.  We were successful in getting up, getting ready, eating breakfast, and being semi-on time to the caravan of peoples heading to the soccer fields.  Which turns out to be in a town about 45 minutes away from our town.  The couple who said they new exactly were we were going turns out didn't know exactly where we were going and drove us around downtown Owensboro for about 30 minutes which in turn made us about 10 minutes late for the game.  Oh it was worlds of fun!  <---*sarcasm*  The soccer game went well.  They did lose, but only by one point and there are 4 girls on the team who have never played soccer before.  Kaia came oh so close to making a goal!  She only missed it by about 5 inches.  I was proud of her effort.  Final score was 5-6.

After the soccer game, we got a little lunch then headed back to our 'home' park.  Neil's baseball team had individual and team pictures a little after noon.  Then immediately following that was the Opening Day ceremonies for Little League.  There is a new president this year and he is making great strides in the Little League program.  Axle, the Bowling Green Hot Rods mascot, even came out for the festivities.  Neil's team had the first game of the season this year.  He's playing a new position, short stop, and he did fairly well.   He got walked his first at bat and got a pop fly hit on his second.  They are going to have to work more on their fielding.  That was the single issue I could see that kept them from winning the game.  Final score was 4-12.  It sounds a lot worse than it was.

Click images to enlarge and open slideshow!

Water Works

24 hour forecast -
My gosh has it ever been HOT around here lately.  I think the average highs for our area should be in the 60's, but it's been in the mid to high 80's. 

I know that it is only April, but I've been eyeing the swimming pool quite a lot lately.  Wondering to myself if it's just too early to go ahead and put it up.  I haven't yet cranked up the AC and I usually try to wait just as long as I possibly can until I do turn it on.  The electric bill is awesomely small when not using the AC.
Not long after the family got home, from school and work, did everyone shed their jeans and break out some shorts.  I pulled out the water hose to water the outdoor flower beds (that still haven't produced any flowers) and the potted plants that I pulled outside earlier this week.  I don't think I had finished watering the first bed when I noticed the kids had magically found shorts and swim suits and were patiently waiting for me to spray them.

I think they are a bit old for the decade old fire hydrant sprinkler, but they still love it.  So we cranked up the summer fun (WHAT?!? It's still Spring!!) with some good old fashion sprinkler play.  Oh how I can't wait for Summer vacation!  Just 43 more days to go!


Yesterday afternoon was a regular practice day for both of the kids.  Neil's team got together with another team to have a scrimmage game before the regular season starts on Saturday.
He's been playing baseball for three years now.  Every year he's been in the outfield.  I will openly admit that he hasn't always been the best at catching, but he was also never given much of a chance to do anything other than stand in the outfield.  You see why I am so nervous about his position in the infield as short stop this year.  And... as a pitcher.  Last year during the very first game of the season, he was hit by a pitch.  He wasn't the same the rest of the season.  He wouldn't stay in the batters box and if he did stay in the box, he wouldn't swing.  It was very frustrating.  Needless to say, I'm pretty worried that he is going to hit someone with a rogue pitch.
He got the opportunity to pitch to the other team yesterday.  He didn't hit anyone!  He did fairly well for someone who hasn't ever pitched before.  He struck out a couple and had a few guys to get a hit too.  He did well at the short stop position too.  We all had a big scare though.  The sun was directly in the faces of the team playing defense.  The other team hit a ball towards third base, the third baseman threw the ball to the first baseman and because of the sun he couldn't see the ball and it hit him.  Right in the face.  Broke the little guys nose!  He's okay now though, but I'm thinking of shopping for some sunglasses for all the boys.

Greek Flavored Turkey Burgers | Simple Recipes

Greek Flavored Turkey Burgers  1  large egg white 1  cup  chopped red onion 3/4  cup  chopped fresh mint 1/2  cup  dry breadcrumbs 1/3  cup  (about 1&#160;1/2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese 2  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice 1  teaspoon  dried dill 1  pound  ground turkey Cooking spray 4  (1&#160;1/2-ounce) hamburger buns, split 1  (7-ounce) bottle roasted red bell peppers, drained and cut into 1-inch strips  Place egg white in a large bowl; lightly beat with a whisk. Add onion and next 6 ingredients (through turkey); stir well to combine. Divide turkey mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add patties to pan; cook 8 minutes on each side or until done. Place patties on bottom halves of hamburger buns. Divide peppers evenly among burgers; cover with top halves of buns.  via Cooking Light
1 large egg white
1 cup chopped red onion
3/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/3 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried dill
1 pound ground turkey
Cooking spray
4 (1 1/2-ounce) hamburger buns, split
1 (7-ounce) bottle roasted red bell peppers, drained and cut into 1-inch strips
Place egg white in a large bowl; lightly beat with a whisk. Add onion and next 6 ingredients (through turkey); stir well to combine. Divide turkey mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add patties to pan; cook 8 minutes on each side or until done. Place patties on bottom halves of hamburger buns. Divide peppers evenly among burgers; cover with top halves of buns.

Vlog 4.12

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Waiting on the men folk to get back from the abyss known as Wal-Mart...

Posted via email from shinypeas's posterous

Tropical Pineapple Coconut Banana Smoothie | Baking Bites

Tropical Pineapple Coconut Banana Smoothie
A cold front has moved into our area overnight. It's flippin' COLD!! We've enjoyed temps in the 80's this past week and it's been lovely. This morning... it's 54 degrees. Brrrr! So I decided I'd share this recipe I found for a smoothie. Just so I can pretend like it's another 80 degree day!
Tropical Pineapple Coconut Banana Smoothie
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
1 medium banana
1/2 cup crushed or chopped pineapple
1/4 cup sweetened, shredded coconut
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup ice
(optional) 2 tbsp sugar
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend at the highest speed until smooth.
Pour into two chilled glasses.
Serves 2

Searchin' for the Lost River

Day 2 of Spring break went quite well!  I did a little research on Monday to find a nice trail to hike.  I had no idea that there was a trail at the Lost River Cave & Valley.  Even better, the trail hike is free of charge! 
We've been experiencing rather warm temperatures around here this week.  It's been in the 80's so I had everyone up and ready to go by 9AM.  I thought that would help us to stay cool.  I was mistaken 'cause it was still smokin' hot by the time we got there at 10AM.  The employees at the gift shop were very courteous and helpful.  She gave us some laminated papers for bird and foliage bingo and gave the kids forms to study and fill out to get a patch and a certificate declaring them Junior Tour Guides. 
I was pleasantly satisfied with the whole experience.  I'd like to go back to take the boat tour as well.  I think I'll save that for Summer vacation!


Weekend Love

This weekend was absolutely beautiful!  My husband had Friday off so we were able to spend most of the day together.  The kids were supposed to have had the day off from school, but due to the snow days they had to use the day as a make up day. 

This years Easter holiday was probably the best one we've ever had.  We didn't have an obligations of getting up early or being anywhere at a specific time.  We didn't have to worry about getting all dressed up for anything.  It was great!  We slept in, lounged around, stuffed eggs and hid them, then sought them.  Goofed off while flying kites, eating candy, playing basketball and baseball.  Oh, yeah, and getting unintentionally sunburned.  Thankfully it was just me that got the burn. 

Now the kids are having their Spring break.  I'm still trying to figure out what I can do to keep them entertained for the week.  Any ideas??

Posted via email from shinypeas's posterous


Happy Easter!

Nothing says happy Easter like some "Peepcakes"... that look like they've been placed on a big pile of peep poo!  Ick!!

Posted via email from shinypeas's posterous


Hershey's Better Basket Blog Hop


Copy and paste these rules to your blog post.

Create a blog post giving a virtual Easter Basket to another blogger – you can give as many Virtual Baskets as you want.

Link back to person who gave you an Easter Basket.

Let each person you are giving a Virtual Easter Basket know you have given them a Basket.

Leave your link at comment section.

You can also find the official rules of this #betterbasket blog hop, and more information about Better Basket with Hershey’s there.

Hershey’s is donating $10 per each blog participating to the Better Basket Blog Hop to Children’s Miracle Network (up to total of $5,000 by blog posts written by April 4th, 2010).

Please note that only one blog post by each blog url will count towards the donation.


I'm a little late on this one, but better late than never right??

I got my basket from Cam, and am gifting one to Steph!

Posted via email from shinypeas's posterous


Ok, so I didn't exactly fall off the face of the Earth, but I haven't really had anything "blogworthy" to write about!  The weather around here has been beautiful lately that I've just been soaking in as much as I could.  Spring sports have started too.  Kaia is playing soccer this year (and I'm clueless...).  Neil is doing baseball again.  They both had practice on Tuesday; his at 4PM, hers at 5:30PM.  As soon as he got off the bus, he had to change so we could run out the door for baseball practice, then I had to leave him there so I could go pick her up from her Girl Scout meeting and get her back to the park for her soccer practice.  Shoo... how did I become the soccer/baseball/scout running mom?  I mean, when did this happen??
We bought a new lawn mower and it's awesome.  It's not the zero-turn we pine for, but it'll do.  I finally got some flower seeds and bulbs in the ground.  I thought it interesting that I finally managed to get the time and gumption to plant them and realized it was the first day of April.  I bought the seeds and bulbs about 2 weeks ago and was really just sitting on my hands trying not to plant them too early.
Yesterday we mowed again.  You have to understand that our yard has the most awesome grass EVER.  But it has to be mowed every 4-5 days.  And that really depends on how much or how little rain we receive.  While I mowed, he ran the weed-eater then cleaned out our garage!  I pulled out all the wind chimes and whirly gigs to hang up, then we moved out all the lawn furniture.
This morning... I could barely move!  I'm so out of shape and not ready for lawn care season!  Or Spring sports season either!!