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(Hold your mouse over a picture for its caption.)

September 6, 2008

Mark took the kids to a UCF football game and they really got into it!

Alex getting painted Patch is ready to go!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

We have been hoping to get two more years out of the van, but over the past week or so, it's obvious the transmission is about to go.  Add that up with all of the other little "personality quirks" it has, and we realized we're going to have to bite the bullet and get a new car.  Mark has been doing tons of research and test-driving (he LOVES shopping for cars) with the hopes of getting a young used car.  Today he ended up at Mazda and fell in love with the CX-9, which is their new crossover.  A new one is just a bit more than the used we've been looking at, so we took the plunge and are the proud new owners of a red Mazda CX-9.  It's really awesome, but oh geeze - to have car payments again.  Ugh!


Thursday, September 17, 2008

Patrick called me at work after school today to tell me that he is running for Vice President of the Student Council!  Apparently his class voted him to be their Student Council rep and he's taking it a step further to fun for VP.  Wow!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Patrick and his good friend, Brenden, have decided that Brenden is going to be Patrick's campaign manager.  Brenden spent the night tonight so they could brainstorm, and they went crazy with the camera trying to come up with a good campaign photo.  LOL

A nice show of brotherly love Patrick's best perspective on life - upside-down!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Alex's team had a great away game, and beat Daytona.  Becca and I had a fabulous girls-night-out for my birthday and had a wonderful time catching up.  One of the things we've lost since I went back to work was our weekly lunches together, so our evenings are that much more special.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Happy Birthday to MEEEEEEE!  We had a nice quiet day at home, which is always what I need these days.  However, on Friday when I went into work, Cookie (my work partner) had INVADED my space!  She had banners and streamers everywhere!  It was such a wonderful surprise.  They like me, they really like me!

Monday, September 22, 2008

The whole family worked today on Patrick's campaign posters and speech.  It was a lot of fun, and we're all very excited!  We made four posters with the logo, "Win with the Fin" and printed up tons and tons and tons of stickers for him to pass out each day this week during the campaign.  Check out his speech below!

You can certainly tell he hates having his picture taken these days.

      "I am Patrick Finster and I am a normal student who wishes to earn your respect and votes.  I am running for vice president because I have many great ideas I can share with the school and the president.  I cannot promise extra recess, but I can promise that I will do my best to be the best.

      I am a small kid with big dreams that could change this school one day.  I am smart and I know a lot about responsibility.


I am Patrick Finster and I approve this message."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I took Patrick to school early so we could hang his campaign posters around the school.  It's really exciting!

Win with the Fin!

Patrick has become very good friends with his coach's almost-step-daughter, Taylor.  They're about the same age and skill level, and since Scott brings Taylor to the gym most days, we always let them hang out after his classes. 

Taylor and Patch

When I started working again, I knew I would have to give up all of my work at the school, but I stayed on the homeowners association boards.  Well, I've been trying to drop off one of the boards for several months now, but keep getting talked out of it with promises of extra help and threats of impending doom.  Things are getting so much busier with the kids that I have reached a point where I just have to be selfish and focus on only my family's needs.  Today I officially put in my notice that I will be quitting all HOA volunteer positions (I have several) as of the November general meeting.  I'm really sad, because this is the last thing I've held onto from my "prior life" that I've been involved in because it's important to me, and not because I have to.  I used to be involved in so much, Mark and I ran our own business, and I did the things I felt were important for the kids.  I'm now left with working, chauffeuring, cooking and cleaning, with the occasional hug thrown in to make it all worth it.   Many days I'm too busy to notice, and other days I refuse to let it get me down, but on some days it's really, really hard. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Patrick has been very busy lately!  One of his favorite authors, Rick Riordan, spoke at the school today, and Patrick was chosen to help introduce him.  He was thrilled, and just LOVED Mr. Riordan!

Meeting Rick Riordan

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Alex has been keeping up an insane schedule for Pop Warner football.  He has practice three days a week, from 5:00 until 7:30.  His bus doesn't get here until about 4:30, so he really is in the door and right back out again.  Then homework, bath and bed.  It's been getting to him lately, and today when I was tucking him in, he said, "I feel like I'm in a rut."  So we went and looked at the calendar, and he only has four more games, and then possibly the playoffs.  Realizing that it will be over soon seemed to help - I think he went from being in a rut to being sad it's almost over!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Poor Patch - he called me after school today and told me he'd lost the election.  :-(  Actually, he said, "Some idiot won."  When I got home, he was desperately trying to take his campaign sticker off the front of his notebook.  I know these are important life lessons, but I sure wish I could spare him his disappointment.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Alex's birthday is coming up, and we had long ago determined that the big parties would end with the 10th birthday, and instead we do something big together as a family.  This year Alex wanted to go to a pro football game (surprise, surprise).  We were able to get tickets for today's Bucs/Packers game, and what a game it was!  We were a bit concerned because we had nosebleed seats, although they were on the 50 yard line.  Well, no worries - we had a beautiful full view of the field and didn't miss a thing!  We also ended up being just a few seats away from our friend, Tony.  The Bucs have a pirate ship with cannons on it that the kids could explore, and during the game whenever the Bucs score, the cannons explode once for each point.  Patrick quickly learned this and would cover his ears with every score.  We couldn't have asked for a better day or a better game - And the Bucs honored our request for Alex's birthday and won the game!

Pretty decent seats after all Happy Dad

Happy Birthday! Go Bucs!