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Author Archives: Amy

Growing Growing Growing.

Posted by Amy in General - (Comments Off)

My nephew is growing by leaps and bounds. He turns 8 months old on Monday. He is in 12 month clothing…because he is LONG. The 6-9 month stuff fits him around the middle but he’s far too long for them. He can sit up totally unaided and loves to play with his toys. He is also especially fond of taking each block out of the bag- sucking on it for a minute and then going for the next block in the bag until he has emptied the whole back. He also does he same thing with his toys in the toy basket.

He had learned to wave and kinda tries to blow kisses (which mostly means he puts the back of his hand in his mouth and waves the fingers). He loves to put anything and everything straight into his mouth. He rolls all over the place…and kinda crawls somewhat…but if he wants something fast…he’ll roll at it. He is still fascinated with faces. And still LOVES to pull auntie’s hair…especially if its wet. He can feed himself his bottles. He can drink from a cup if you hold it for him. He likes most of his foods he has tried so far…even the garden vegetables and whole wheat pasta I fed him yesterday that smelled really REALLY nasty. Speaking of yesterday- it was also the first day I got a big smile out of him by playing peekaboo.

Most notably though- he has learned the art of the temper tantrum. Take away a toy he was playing with for whatever reason and first he makes a little grunting noise and then flails his arms out and grabs with his hands – which is his own babysign language for GIVE THAT BACK TO ME NOW YOU MEANY!!! Then comes the kicking of the legs and crying. Its quite the show. If you hide something he wants behind your back or next to you or where ever you put it. He is tenacious in looking for it. If its something he wants (he LOVES the DIRECTv remotes because of the colored buttons and also is fascinated by cell phones) he will continue to wiggle about and tip this way and that looking for it.

It’s hard to believe cuz it seems like just yesterday he was willing to just lay in my arms and let me feed him and burp him. And now he wants to feed himself and wiggles around to get down and into things when I am trying to get the burps out!

My Main Work Area

My Main Work Area taken from the rear of my office. Notice the empty shelves. There are three rows of shelves. I can't even reach the top ones.

Main workarea from the door.

Main workarea from the door.

Secondary Work Area

Secondary Work Area

First up is Fill-In #99

1. The last band I saw live was Slaughter (in October when I went to Vegas).
2. What I look forward to most on Thanksgiving is Sweet Potatoes. (if you don’t celebrate thanksgiving, insert your favorite holiday)
3. My Christmas/holiday shopping is just beginning.
4. Thoughts of lemonade summers fill my head.
5. I wish I could wear earrings without getting a reaction.
6. Bagpipes are hauntingly beautiful.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to going home and pouting, tomorrow my plans include cleaning and Sunday, I want to finish up my nephew’s blanket if I have time!

And the MI-5. Jim sez: It is amazing how sometimes minor decisions put us in the situations that end up being life changing.

Question 1.  Tell us of a time when a small decision had a major positive impact on your life.  I decided to babysit for a friend of my mom’s.  It had a positive impact because one job turned into two and eventually I was babysitting for her on a very regular basis (as in three to four times a week). I was part of their family and I loved it. Its how I paid for school.

Question 2.  Tell us of a time when a a small decision had a negative impact. I really can’t think of one. I am sure there is at least ONE but I can’t think of it.  Well maybe when I traded in my Chevy Lumina for the Rav4 in 2000. Only because apparently my dad wanted to buy the lumina back…but I swear I don’t remember that. So when I came home with my brand new Rav4 he wasn’t too pleased. I mean he got over it pretty quickly…but still.  That’s all I can really think of.

Question 3.  Do you have a mental process such as a test that major or minor decisions must pass? Well I want to make sure that any decision I make is best for me and my future without hurting anyone elses.

Question 4.  Outside of deciding to marry or asking your spouse to marry you (where that applies) what do you think is the best decision you have ever made in your life and why?  Leaving the teaching credential program. I was not cut out to be a teacher- I would have been miserable and the kids wouldn’t have gotten the education that they needed.

Question 5.  What made you decide to be an MI-5 participant? Bill asked me…I thought it looked and sounded like fun.  And you know what? It is!

Have you started Christmas Shopping yet?  I have. I know its going to sound weird but I like to get my Christmas shopping out of the way as early into the season as possible. I started last Saturday and already have my nephew done.  One person down a bunch to go for me.

I know that a lot of people like to give memorial gifts to charity during the season and I think that is a great idea!  If you have a NASCAR fan that you are shopping for this season- you may want to consider giving a donation to that driver’s foundation or favorite charity as a gift to your NASCAR fan who has everything. Several drivers have their very own charitable foundations and you will see a wide variety of causes supported from chronically ill children, injured motorsports drivers, spay/neuter programs or very specific causes such as Autism and cystic fibrosis.  Here is a short list of some of the more popular driver foundations:

The Tony Stewart Foundation- The mission of the Tony Stewart Foundation is to raise and donate funds to help care for chronically ill children, drivers injured in motorsports activities and to support other charitable organizations in the protection of various animal species.

The Kyle Busch Foundation- The Kyle Busch Foundation is dedicated to providing essential tools for less fortunate children throughout the country. KBF will concentrate its efforts on assisting organizations in fostering a safe environment for children to live, learn and challenge themselves as well as seeing that day to day needs are met

The Ryan Newman Foundation- To educate and encourage people to spay/neuter their pets and to adopt dogs and cats from animal shelters; to educate children and adults about the importance of conservation so the beauty of the great outdoors can be appreciated by future generations; and to provide college scholarship funding through the Rich Vogler Scholarship program to students interested in auto racing careers.

The Hermie and Elliot Sadler Foundation- The Hermie and Elliott Sadler Charitable Foundation is dedicated to raising autism awareness and promoting research for a cure while also supporting initiatives that improve educational opportunities for children and their families. The Foundation provides support to projects that share the ideals and concerns of the Sadler family.

The Denny Hamlin Foundation-The Denny Hamlin Foundation was founded by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin. Denny’s resolve to win on the track is second only to his dedication to support children and youth suffering from debilitating childhood illnesses, including cystic fibrosis and pediatric cancer.

The Jeff Gordon Foundation- The Jeff Gordon Foundation is privileged to be associated with six designated organizations dedicated to improving the lives of children, by providing for their physical and emotional health and well-being.  We are proud of our ongoing partnership with these organizations and what we have been able to accomplish together.

The Jimmie Johnson Foundation- The Jimmie Johnson Foundation is dedicated to assisting children, families and communities in need throughout the United States. The foundation strives to help everyone, particularly children, pursue their dreams.

Remember this is not an all inclusive list- just a bunch that I was able to pull off the web! You can always check for a driver’s foundation on their website.

If you are looking for a non-driver specific foundation you can always donate to one of these organizations as well:

The Victory Junction Gang Camp- Victory Junction Gang enriches the lives of children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses by providing life-changing camping experiences that are exciting, fun, and empowering, in a safe and medically-sound environment.

The Nascar Foundation- It was created to harness the power of the NASCAR Family and help a wide range of causes closest to our hearts. As fans. As friends. As family.

Henrick Marrow Program- Since 1997, the Hendrick Marrow Program has raised more than $7 million to recruit donors and help patients pay for transplant-related costs.

It’s dawned on me- that you know your a NASCAR fan when someone you love- in my case my mother…starts a sentence like this about an hour after the last race of the season: “Now that NASCAR is over I am hoping you…”

So yesterday…I missed nearly all of the NASCAR Countdown and Prerace stuff.  Besides being the season closer- yesterday was also my mom’s birthday and my father does not like to shop and does not like to shop alone.  So after we took my mom to breakfast, he asked me to go with him to get my mom’s birthday stuff taken care of.  I walked into the house right as they started invocation. I missed the prerace countdown, the interviews before the race and Race Day.  Luckily I had a feeling this would happen and I dvr’d it all. I have yet to watch any of it though.

I didn’t take notes during the race because I was busy crocheting something that I am trying to get done (the blanket for my nephew. I would tell you it was almost done- except when Tony took the lead towards the end of the race I got excited and messed up so I have to take out a bunch to fix it because its a major booboo.  Anyway…Team Home Depot as I know and love it…had an awesome weekend all around. Tony qualified well (13th). He was in the top 10 most of the race and the top 5 for a good portion as well.  When he was second and reeling in Kenseth he said “Here kitty kitty kitty” which always cracks me up.  Of course I had to explain to my mom that meant Tony was pretty damn confident he would catch Matt and pass him. Unfortunately a lack of gas would necessitate a late pit stop.  Stewart was able to again charge through the field to make it into the top 10 before the end of the race, finishing 9th.

It was a good race overall. I was pretty confident that Jimmie would leave with the championship and I am glad he did.I was also glad that Tony and Team Home Depot were able to move up in points enough with their 9th place finish to be able to go to the ceremony in New York.

On to next year! I am excited to see what Tony will do with Stewart Haas Racing.


Posted by Amy in General - (0 Comments)

Today is just a short sweet CONGRATULATIONS to Jimmie Johnson for winning the NASCAR SPRINT CUP! This is his third CUP title in a row. He has tied Cale Yarborough’s record.  Also a big CONGRATULATIONS to Jimmie’s crew chief Chad Knaus for being the only crew chief to win three straight cup titles.  It was awesome to watch Jimmie tie the record…and Chad make a new crew chief record.

That’s all I am going to say today. Frankly I probably would have just left my last entry up at the top if I hadn’t pledged to do NABLOPOMO (a post every single day in the month of November).  I am having a bit of a melancholy about it being Tony’s last race with Team Home Depot. (And BTW- CONGRATS to Tony and Team Home Depot for making an awesome charge at the end of the race for a top ten finish…they will be going to New York).

Tomorrow is a lot of things: Its my mom’s birthday,  the end of the NASCAR 2008 season, it’s the day we will find out if the Cup Champion will be Jimmie Johnson or Carl Edwards.  Tomorrow will be Tony Stewart’s last race with Joe Gibbs Racing, with sponsor Home Depot and with crew chief Greg Zipadelli.

Usually by this point in the season I am chomping at the bit for it to be over.  I love my NASCAR but its a LONG season and even I am ready for a little teensy break.  A couple weeks will pass and I will be bored and ready for Speedweeks in Daytona in February even before Christmas has arrived. I will find myself searching for something NASCAR related on SPEED just to have something to watch. My visits to Nascar.com and other racing sites I frequent will go way up as I scour for information on the season to come.

This season is a little different though- if possible I would have grabbed onto the ankles of this season and slowed it down and maybe made it last just a little longer.  I don’t like change and I don’t like goodbyes. And this season’s finale has both for me. So I wanted to prolong the season- so that I didn’t have to think about it and could live in my blissful state of denial. Tony not being in home depot orange? Tony not being told “Wheels straight, put on the brakes” by Greg Zipadelli at the beginning of every pitstop? That was just something I couldn’t or didn’t want to wrap my brain around.

After tomorrows race here will be no more of that. And it makes me a little melancholy.  What’s funny is I spent most of my week packing up my office- which I have decorated with a lot of Stewart memorabilia….it’s almost ironic.  What’s even more ironic? My new office number is 14 just like Tony’s new car number.

I may be a tad melancholy, however a bigger part of me is excited too.  It’s sad and exciting both (I think I am stealing something Trixie said in my comments not too long ago). While I will be the first to admit that initially the whole “stewart-haas thing” as I called it horrified me…after hearing Tony talk about it- I got excited for him. Its something that he is excited about and that excitment shows and is contagious to an extent. I am excited for next season and for Stewart-Haas racing in general. It will be fun to watch it grow into a cohesive and successful team. So it is something I am looking forward to already for next season.

Still..tomorrow will be a little sad:

Tony Waves---from homedepotracing.com

Tony Waves---from homedepotracing.com

First up is Bill’s MI-5. Bill sez: This Five is not so much concerned with what kind of movies you like, but how you watch them!

1) When you’re at the theater, how do you want your atmosphere? Do you prefer old theaters or megaplexes? Full houses or intimate seatings? Lots of kids, or none at all? I prefer whatever is playing the movie I want to see at a convenient time.  I do prefer movies without young kids- especially babies- so theater’s with family rooms are great- as long as the family’s use them.  I also don’t like to be sat on top of so a half empty theater is always best.

2) What’s your “home theater” like? High tech? VCR and TV? What? My home theater is a television and a dvd player. That’s it. Nothing fancy.

3) We’ve probably all got DVD and VCR players, but how about alternative movie watching gadgets? Have you got an Apple TV? Ever watch a movie over the Internet? I have an ipod video but honestly I don’t use it to watch videos very often. I have a couple episodes of Unique Whips (my favorite is the Tony Stewart Hearse one) on it and a Disney movie that I have never watched. Even when I use it to watch the Unique Whips episodes I tend to hook it to the television. That’s it. I am more of a traditionalist when it comes to watching movies I guess.

4) Do you belong to a subscription movie rental service, like NetFlix? If so, how many movies are you renting a month? Are you happy with the service? I had Netflix and I cancelled it because honestly I don’t watch that many movies at home and didn’t feel it was worth my time or money.

5) Share with us your ratio of buying movies to renting them. Do you rent more, or just outright buy your movies? Do you get DVDs, tapes, or movie downloads for your computer most frequently? I tend to buy more than I rent…but even then I don’t buy a lot. I dont’ watch a lot of movies at home…so the ones I buy are ones I love. Like Almost Famous, Star Wars, Anne of Green Gables, that kind of thing.

And Now- Fill-in number 98

1. Please feel free to bring me a cupcake.
2. When I fold laundry I can’t help sniffing it occasionally.
3. My favorite thing to cook is Chicken Enchiladas.
4. Barbecued ribs is something I can’t get enough of.
5. That’s the thing I love most about Summer.
6. Aggressive people at the gas station always makes me think to myself, what the heck?
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to getting my laundry done, tomorrow my plans include baking a cake and Sunday, I want to watch Homestead-Miami and celebrate my mom’s birthday!