Too much to do

will post tomorrow. Sorry:(


Brings back memories

I thought this sounded like fun, and with so much to do I feel like cheating when I do this but it still counts.

A) Go to
B) In the search box, enter the year you graduated from high school. Get the list of the 100 most popular songs of that year.
C) Italize the songs you liked, strike through the ones you hated, and bold your favorites. Do nothing to those you don’t remember or don’t care about.

1. End Of The Road, Boyz II Men
2. Baby Got Back, Sir Mix A-lot
3. Jump, Kris Kross
4. Save The Best For Last, Vanessa Williams
5. Baby-Baby-Baby, TLC
6. Tears In Heaven, Eric Clapton
7. My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It), En Vogue
8. Under The Bridge, Red Hot Chili Peppers
9. All 4 Love, Color Me Badd
10. Just Another Day, Jon Secada
11. I Love Your Smile, Shanice
12. To Be With You, Mr. Big
13. I'm Too Sexy, Right Said Fred
14. Black Or White, Michael Jackson
15. Achy Breaky Heart, Billy Ray Cyrus
16. I'll Be There, Mariah Carey
17. November Rain, Guns N' Roses
18. Life Is A Highway, Tom Cochrane
19. Remember The Time, Michael Jackson
20. Finally, CeCe Peniston
21. This Used To Be My Playground, Madonna
22. Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough, Patty Smyth
23. Can't Let Go, Mariah Carey
24. Jump Around, House Of Pain
25. Diamonds and Pearls, Prince and The N.P.G.
26. Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me, George Michael and Elton John
27. Masterpiece, Atlantic Starr
28. If You Asked Me To, Celine Dion
29. Giving Him Something He Can Feel, En Vogue
30. Live and Learn, Joe Public
31. Come and Talk To Me, Jodeci
32. Smells Like Teen Spirit, Nirvana
33. Humpin' Around, Bobby Brown
34. Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover, Sophie B. Hawkins
35. Tell Me What You Want Me To Do, Teven Campbell
36. Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg, TLC
37. It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday, Boyz II Men
38. Move This, Technotronic
39. Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen
40. Tennessee, Arrested Development
41. The Best Things In Life Are Free, Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson
42. Make It Happen, Mariah Carey
43. The One, Elton John
44. Set Adrift On Memory Bliss, P.M. Dawn
45. Stay, Shakespear's Sister
46. 2 Legit 2 Quit, Hammer
47. Please Don't Go, K.W.S.
48. Breakin' My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes), Mint Condition
49. Wishing On A Star, Cover Girls
50. She's Playing Hard To Get, Hi-Five
51. I'd Die Without You, P.M. Dawn
52. Good For Me, Amy Grant
53. All I Want, Toad The Wet Sprocket
54. When A Man Loves A Woman, Michael Bolton
55. I Can't Dance, Genesis
56. Hazard, Richard Marx
57. Mysterious Ways, U2
58. Too Funky, George Michael
59. How Do You Talk To An Angel, Heights
60. One, U2
61. Keep On Walkin', CeCe Peniston
62. Hold On My Heart, Genesis
63. The Way I Feel About You, Karyn White
64. Beauty and The Beast, Calms Dion and Peabo Bryson
65. Warm It Up, Kris Kross
66. In The Closet, Michael Jackson
67. People Everyday, Arrested Development
68. No Son Of Nine, Genesis
69. Wildside, Marky Mark and The Funky Bunch
70. Do I Have To Say The Words?, Bryan Adams
71. Friday I'm In Love, Cure
72. Everything About You, Ugly Kid Joe
73. Blowing Kisses In The Wind, Paula Abdul
74. Thought I'd Died and Gone To Heaven, Bryan Adams
75. Rhythm Is A Dancer, Snap
76. Addams Groove, Hammer
77. Missing You Now, Michael Bolton
78. Back To The Hotel, N2Deep
79. Everything Changes, Kathy Troccoli
80. Have You Ever Needed Somone So Bad, Def Leppard
81. Take This Heart, Richard Marx
82. When I Look Into Your Eyes, Firehouse
83. I Wanna Love You, Jade
84. Uhh Ahh, Boyz II Men
85. Real Love, Mary J. Blige
86. Justified and Ancient, The KLF
87. Slow Motion, Color Me Badd
88. What About Your Friends, TLC
89. Thinkin' Back, Color Me Badd
90. Would I Lie To You?, Charles and Eddie
91. That's What Love Is For, Amy Grant
92. Keep Coming Back, Richard Marx
93. Free Your Mind, En Vogue
94. Keep It Comin', Keith Sweat
95. Just Take My Heart, Mr. Big
96. I Will Remember You, Amy Grant
97. We Got A Love Thang, CeCe Peniston
98. Let's Get Rocked, Def Leppard
99. They Want EFX, Das EFX
100. I Can't Make You Love Me, Bonnie Raitt

Actually, I can't even remember some of these songs, so I may have loved and/or hated them but just don't recognize the artist or maybe the title. I try not to HATE anything, that's why nothing is crossed out. But there are songs on the list I certainly didn't like, that's for sure.

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A meme

Saw this over at Eva from A Striped Armchair and thought it looked like fun. The things I have done I put in bold:

1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band (just in high school)
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped (no but I really want to)
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightening at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch (cross stich and crochet)
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight (many, many times)
46. Been transported in an ambulance (only when I was born)
47. Had my portrait painted (and drawn)
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma (wish my veins were better as I have the rarest blood type)
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt (hope to do this someday soon)
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car (once and will never do it again)
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Rode an elephant

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The Year Without a Santa Claus

Ok, let me start out by saying that I am not the biggest fan of Christmas. Having the kids has helped renew my joy (somewhat) but I just don't really enjoy this holiday. I know that I am really in the minority when it comes to that, but it is such a stressful time of year for me.

But, the other night The Year Without a Santa Claus was on. I have to admit - this is my favorite Christmas special..hands down. And, I am pleased to say that my girls have really taken a liking to it. Grace was singing the Heat Mizer and Snow Mizer songs all day. Then I remembered that a few years ago my mom gave me a copy. So guess what we watched again? And are going to watch again today? It's ok - I don't mind. We pop up popcorn and the four of us snuggle in the living room watching it. That's what Christmas and family is all about.

Have a great night!

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Book Lovin' Penpals

Well, it's been a pretty productive day. I worked for awhile this morning and have this week all set...or at least as set as I can get it. Then it was time to focus on house and family stuff. Had to get the kids clean and they both wanted to try taking a shower today. It was kind of funny because they are only 3 and 4 so I had to help them with everything, but if they wanted to try who was I to stop them.

I made a big pot of chili for supper. We actually had some freezing rain today and now we are due for some more snow. Don't think driving is going to be a whole lot of fun tomorrow.

Another thing that I did was create a group on ning called Book Lovin' Penpals. I have seen a bunch of people looking to communicate through people via snail mail. I know that email is so much easier most of the time, but there is something special about getting a letter in the mail. I used to have penpals a long time ago and would love to have some again, especially some who share my love of books. If anyone is interested just let me know.

Hope you all had a great weekend - off to read for a little bit...if the kids actually let me:)

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Manderfield's Bakery

When we lived in Manitowoc we did have a few local bakeries. They were good but did just carry the basic things - a few different breads, donuts, pies, etc... Now that we are in a more populated area we figured we would have more choices. Well, my girls are addicted to coffeecake - it is a Sunday ritual for us to get a few different kinds of bakery, but coffeecake is one that has to be included.

A few weeks ago, we forgot to get it when we were shopping (we used to just grab it from the grocery store when we were there). And, as expensive as it was, we just did it for convenience more than anything (they run about $5 each and aren't that big). So, we started looking for bakeries near us, and were told to go to Manderfield's. All I can say is WOW! They have a huge selection of things - my personal favorite is the sweet dough. It quite large and only costs $2.15. We got the Cherry Pie bread and the family has been raving about it. I haven't tried any, but will in the morning with my first cup of coffee.

Do you have a favorite type of bakery? A place to get it from?

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What do some parents think sometimes

Last night Grace cried herself to sleep. Granted, it was a long and busy day. She had a field trip to the Fox River Mall with her class that lasted all day (she is used to going to school for 2 hours or so a day). They were going to go and shop for gifts for kids that were either in the hospital or staying at the Ronald McDonald House - it is such a wonderful place, we stayed there for a few nights while Grace was recovering from her surgery.

They were HEAVILY chaperoned with a 1 adult to 2 kid ratio - otherwise there was no way they could go, it's a large mall and is always busy, but at this time of year I am sure it was insane. They also got to go to Build-a-Bear which the girls have been to many times before (too many) and make an animal for their class. The bear will come home with each child for a week and document what it got to do. Sounds pretty neat.

But, the reason she cried was a bad enough one that I actually emailed her teacher about it, even though it wasn't her fault. The woman who was chaperoning Grace was there with her daughter. And she kept buying her daughter things (even though they weren't supposed to) and of course when Grace asked if she could get something of course the answer was no. My poor little girl! How dare this woman buy things in front of her and then tell her she couldn't get anything. I can't imagine doing that, or what would possess you to do that. You couldn't even get her something for a dollar. Either that, or don't buy anything at all, which is what you were supposed to do. My heart broke for her, as she told me that it wasn't fair and cried, all curled up next to me.

What do you think?

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12 Years ago I became an Aunt

My niece is 12 today. I don't have any current pictures of her available - they need to be scanned and I didn't have time for that. I just wanted to write a quick post about her.

She was born at 3:43 P.M., and weighed 8lbs. 10 ozs. She was 20 inches long. I was with my sister the whole way, and it was a hard delivery because she was induced. I don't know what it's like to go into labor naturally as I was induced
with Grace as well and it means labor comes hard and fast.

She was one of the happiest babies around, and I have included some of my favorite pictures of her from when she was little (she'd probably kill me if she knew). At 6 months she weighed 21 lbs. That's right, at 6 months. To put that into perspective, Grace is almost 5 and weighs 35 lbs. Granted, she is on the light side in weight, but this was one chunky baby.

If only you could see her now. At 12 she is lucky if she weighs 70 lbs. She is on the short side - as a matter of fact she hands down her clothes to Grace and they are only about 2 or 3 sizes too big even though there are 8 years between them.

But she is one of the greatest kids out there, with wit and attitude to spare. She isn't necessarily disrespectful, she just questions things that she doesn't feel are right.

I love you Elizabeth, and hope you have a great birthday!

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This is all I have time for

seriously. Just didn't want to mis with Nablopomo. Have a great night!


So much for all the snow

You know what I will never understand? When they cancel events before the snow even starts. It started snowing here fairly heavy at about 8:30 last night, and by 10 they had cancelled all schools for the next day. I understand that they are banking on the meteorologists being right, but how often does that happen, lol? Granted, we did get about 9 inches of snow in our area, and it was slow going. Schools should have been cancelled. But why do it so early. They even cancelled things for tonight, and it isn't snowing anymore and the roads are fairly clear (at least the main ones). Oh well, just ranting a little:)

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The night almost got away from me

and that would have been bad because I haven't missed a day yet for Nablopomo. Granted, my posts might not be the most interesting, but they're there. As for today, it was Grace's first day back at school. They actually got St. Nick stockings at school and right now she is playing Old Maid with her dad (that was one of the things she got).

We had Kielbasa Casserole for supper - it is one of my hubby's favorites, and I think I will start to post these recipes back on my other blog titled Recipease I used to post there on a pretty regular basis, but you know that life gets in the way sometimes.

Other than that not too much is new, except for the fact that we are due for 14 inches of snow over the next two days...sounds like fun, doesn't it?

Hope you all have a great night!

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Kids with Heart Christmas Party

We had the Kids with Heart Christmas Party today (my daughters are the two in the front, one in a red corduroy dress and the other in an orange corduroy dress. It is such a great time being able to hang out with other families of kids with heart defects. The woman who runs it has an adult son, but continues to participate and help us with the support group. She funds all of this with proceeds from the Kids With Heart website - the books sold, the bears, etc...

We each bring a dish to pass, Pepsi provides the beverages, and one of the local bakeries provided the buns and cookies. Each child got 3 gifts...that's right - ALL of the children. Granted, there were probably only 25 or so, but that is still a nice chunk of money being spent. They don't get anything too expensive, but it brings such a light to their eyes to get anything.

They also have all sorts of craft project set up - cookies to decorate, pine cones to decorate for ornaments, little mice to make out of felt, etc...the girls had a blast. At the end of the day we met a woman who is actually going to start having support group meeting once a month - this will be fantastic and I for one can't wait. Her little girl (who is 2) has an ASD but it hasn't been operated on - they are hopeful that it will close and no surgery will be necessary. She was telling us that her and her husband tried for 8 years to get pregnant (they had a 10 year old) and after they sold all of the baby stuff they found out they were. When the baby was 4 months old she got pneumonia and that is when they noticed she had a heart murmur and that she may need surgery at some point for her heart. Two weeks later, her husband collapsed at work. He was conscious, but had hit his head and it was mandatory that he be taken to the hospital to be checked. When she got to the hospital, she was waiting for the doctor with here daughter when they heard a Code Blue. 30 minutes later she was met by the clergy - her husbands aorta had burst and he was 40. So, not only was she worried about her 5 month old daughter with possible heart issues, she then lost her husband due to a ruptured aorta. Just when you think life is rough and you get down, you meet someone like this and it truly makes you realize how good you have it.

Well, off to take care of the rugrats - hope you all had a nice Sunday!

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Another long day

We went out for the first time in 4 days. That after the girls were up at 6:00 this morning. It's been a very long day and it is starting to hit home. Sorry this is a short post, but I have to get the kids ready for bed (hopefully) and I wanted to get something written so I don't miss a post for Nablopomo. Have a great weekend! long does it take?

Well, I have bronchitis. That's ok I guess. The only problem is that I have taken the first two doses and this morning I woke up with a temperature of 103 and more chest pain than I had before. So, one more call in to the doctor. I normally wouldn't do that, but even though we are in a fairly populated area, the nearest walk-in is over 20 minutes away. Just need to know if this will kick in, or if because I am still running a fever something else is going on.

We still don't have all the stuff for the girls for St. Nick either. My hubby took the day off - he is feeling better, but better is a relative term. He has one more dose of Zithromax in his system and is still coughing up stuff. The kids - that's a different story. Ella (who has pneumonia) and Grace (who has bronchitis) are playing and goofing around as much as they always do. I actually beg them to calm down - my fear is that they will end up in the hospital, and we have a Kids With Heart party on Sunday with Santa. We don't want to miss it so we need to start feeling a whole lot better than we are now.

Hope you all have a good Friday!

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Happy 74th Birthday Nana!

Today my Nana turns 74. I have put a picture of her and my Papa holding Grace when she was born and a picture of her holding Ella when she was born. I wasn't able to find my more current pictures, but that's ok because this is the way I like to remember her.

Her health has deteriorated quite a bit over the last 4 years. She has had two angioplasties, a hip replacement, and now suffers with end stage COPD and gall bladder problems. She actually should have her gall bladder removed but her lungs would not survive the surgery so she instead needs to try and control her attacks through diet. There is no hope of excercise for her, as both of her knees need to be replaced. They are actually bone on bone at this point, but again there is no chance for surgery. She also has been on steroids for too long, so now they have to try and wean her off. This will cause her more pain, and could make it even more difficult for her to breathe. Add this to the fact that her oxygen is no longer covered by Medicare so she has to worry about how to pay for it. You can just imagine what kind of life she has.

But, that said, this is one of the strongest women I know. She insisted on doing Thanksgiving at her house (like she has every year since I've been born) and she does EVERYTHING. And, this is for over 30 people just for the main meal, with other people coming later in the day (we usually eat at noon). She has had a rough life, but no matter what I can call her and she always makes me feel better. Even though I tell her how much I love her, and how much she means to me, I'm not sure words can express how grateful I am to have had such a wonderful role model for my life. I only hope that I can be half the woman she has been, and I hope that if I face some of the circumstances that she has, I will have the strength she has tried to instill in me to get through them as she has.

Happy Birthday Nana - I love you!

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A quick post

Sorry that this one has to be short but I have to get it in before all hell breaks loose here. We all went to the doctor yesterday and all of us have bronchitis except for Ella. She has pneumonia. So, it's going to be a long day. No school again for Grace for at least today, but maybe the rest of the week.

I also am going to be posting about a loss in the book community later on this week. Maybe today if I get some time. Dewey at The Hidden Side of the Leaf passed away last Tuesday. For those of you that don't know her or haven't checked out her blog you really should.

Hopefully I'll be able to write some more later.

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Doctors appointment

Believe it or not, the whole family is going to go to the doctor today. My hubby has been coughing like crazy for over 2 weeks...he coughs so hard he actually throws up (sorry for the visual). I have Grace home from school again today - she actually started with this horrible cough last night, and with her heart condition we can't take any chance. I have sinus and ear pressure and am pretty sure I have a double ear infection - that usually gets me this time of year.

At least the clinic was able to get us all in at the same time. Tim went and bought a tree last night (don't even get me started...have you all seen the Charlie Brown tree)? We left the other tree at the house and were hoping to be able to afford the black tree that we want, but it just isn't happening this year. But now we are stuck with this tree. If you want to see some awesome trees you should check out Treetopia - I would love to have the cranberry or chocolate trees...after the black one. The purple one is really cool too! So, after the doctor it's off to Wal-mart for lights (yes, the tree he bought isn't pre-lit). It's ok, I guess because I am going to let the girls pick whatever kind of lights they want. Garland too - this is something we have never put on our trees but I am going to let them do whatever they want and have fun with it. I will make sure to post pictures of the tree when it is decorated - it could be very interesting.

Happy 2nd day of Nablopomo to everyone participating!

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Nablopomo - first day

Well, it's the first day of Nablopomo - I certainly hope that I can keep up with it. I was talking to some of the ladies from work as there was a tragic accident in my home town of Manitowoc this weekend. First of all, let me tell you that Manitowoc and Two Rivers (they are about 5 miles apart) are right on the shores of Lake Michigan. This is a picture of the lakeshore in is truly beautiful, and I really miss living on it. Here is some information that is pertinent to what I am going to tell you:

It is rare that Lake Michigan freezes over completely. Despite the area¹s reputation for harsh winters, the only year we are certain Lake Michigan approached being completely frozen over was 1979, when extended periods of low temperatures resulted in an extensive ice buildup in the southern half of the lake (see Figure 3). In an average year, ice covers a bit less than half of Lake Michigan¹s surface. Because the lake stretches about 300 miles from North to South, there is usually much open water over the deeper waters of the southern basin due to milder temperatures. Since airborne and satellite observations of lake ice began four decades ago, only two other years, 1977 and 1994, have seen periods when nearly 90% of the lake was ice-covered. Recently, warmer temperatures have kept the ice cover far below average levels. The icepack covered only 15% of Lake Michigan in 1998, even in late February when the icepack is usually at its greatest.

There are a few small rivers that are located in Manitowoc and Two Rivers, but all of them run into Lake Michigan. They are not something that I would ever feel comfortable walking, snowmobiling, or ice fishing on. You just never know, and every year something seems to happen. Here is the newspaper article for what happened a few days ago from The Appleton Post Crescent:

Two Manitowoc brothers, among three boys pulled from the icy East Twin River on Friday afternoon, died hours later at Children's Hospital in Milwaukee despite extensive resuscitative efforts, Manitowoc County Coroner Curtis Green said Saturday.

Larry Yang, 12, was pronounced dead at 10:57 p.m. Jimmy Yang, 13, was pronounced dead at 11:34 p.m. The causes of death were drowning and hypothermia, Green said in a news release.
Larry Yang was a sixth-grader at Jackson Elementary School in Manitowoc. Jimmy Yang was a seventh-grader at Wilson Junior High School. The Manitowoc School District will implement crisis counseling on Monday, Superintendent Mark Swanson said.

"We are devastated," Swanson said in a news release. "We are going to have some very sad schools next week."

Jackson Principal Steve Kleinfeldt described Larry Yang as being "funny and light-hearted," saying the boy loved soccer and was good at it.

Jimmy Yang kept a thoughtful eye on his siblings as a big brother, Kleinfeldt said.

Jimmy Yang was "always smiling, outgoing, with lots of friends and a great sense of humor," Wilson Principal Darlene Wotacheck said.

The brothers were in critical condition after being transported to Children's Hospital by air ambulance. One of the boys was submerged for 50 minutes while the other was submerged for 70 minutes. Rescue efforts were concentrated near the 27th Street Boat Launch, just south of Paddler's Park.

David Murack, a firefighter and paramedic with the Two Rivers Fire Department, located the first submerged boy. The water was deeper than Murack's height where he found the boy, he said Saturday. The firefighter's foot made contact with the boy. Rescuers then pulled the child out of the water.

A second submerged boy was located about 20 minutes later and about 70 minutes after a woman called 911 to report seeing boys in the river. Firefighter Kris Klein found the second boy.
"It is sad," Klein said Saturday. "It is too bad. They were in such a long time. We wish we could have found them sooner."

The cold water rescue team rescued another 13-year-old boy within 10 minutes of the 911 phone call. He was found clinging to a piece of ice with his head above water. Firefighter Pat Krajnik rescued the boy from the water.

The boy was in stable condition as of Friday afternoon, Two Rivers Police Department Lt. Scott Gerard said, and was transported to Children's hospital by ground ambulance where he was discharged Saturday, according WGBA, Channel 26 in Green Bay.

"If that child had been in the water much longer, he would have slipped under as well," Murack said.

The cold-water rescue team searches in a circular motion around the area the person was last seen, Murack said. The first hour during cold-water rescue is vital, he said.

Murack, who has helped with cold-water rescues for eight years, has had similar situations when people fall through the ice while ice skating or during car accidents. However, this time was different.

"I have never had to pull a child out of cold water," he said.

The 911 call was made by Laura Flickinger, 22, of Two Rivers. She saw the boys struggling in the river while she was outside putting up Christmas decorations. Her cell phone was in her pocket, so she called for emergency help right away.

Flickinger lives in the 2400 block of Jefferson Street. If she had not been outside at that moment, she said she probably wouldn't have seen the kids in the river.

The ice was less than ½-inch thick Friday afternoon, Gerard said. Two Rivers police are requesting people remain off the ice.

"We have received two reports of other children on the ice since Friday's tragedy," Gerard said in a news release.

As the rescue team was demobilizing from the 27th Street Boat Launch, a citizen reported that a person was crossing the West Twin River.

Children were reported riding their bikes across the West Twin River on Saturday. They made it safely off the ice, Gerard said.

A Two Rivers Police Department officer encountered three teenagers attempting to ride their snowmobiles on the East Twin River from the 27th Street Boat Launch, Gerard said. The teenagers did not cross the river after talking to the officer.

How terribly sad, and scary that even after this people will still not take the warning.


Library Book Sale

Well, I think some of you know by now how much I love books. So, when I found out that the Appleton Public Library was having their book sale I was thrilled. When we lived in Manitowoc they always had books for sale, but in Appleton they only have a sale two or three times a year.

My hubby had his hours cut at work...perfect he was done working at noon. We took Grace to school and then headed over to the library with Ella. And I got some really good books for a VERY reasonable price. Here is a list of the books that I got:

The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios by Yann Martel

About the book:

Here are four unforgettable stories by the author of Life of Pi. Written earlier in Martel's career, these tales display that startling mix of dazzle and depth that have made Yann Martel an international phenomenon. Inventive in form and timeless in content, each story is moving and thought-provoking. A Canadian university student visiting Washington, D.C., experiences the Vietnam War through an intense musical encounter. Variations of a warden's letter to the mother of a man he has just executed reveal how each life is contained in its end. A young man's fascination with the mirror-making machine he finds in his grandmother's attic is juxtaposed with the reminiscences it evokes from his grandmother. And, in the exquisite title story, a young man dying of AIDS joins his friend in fashioning a story of the Roccamatio family of Helsinki, set against the yearly march of the twentieth century.

This is not a picture of the book I have - I actually got the hardcover for $1 in excellent condition. I have never read "The Life of Pi" but always wanted to. I thought it was a good buy - will let you know after I read it.

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

About the book:

At the heart of Joseph Heller's bestselling novel, first published in 1961, is a satirical indicement of military madness and stupidity, and the desire of the ordinary man to survive it. It is a tale of the dangerously sane Captain Yossarian, who spends his time in Italy plotting to survive.

This was a paperback, and not in great shape, but for 10 cents I thought it was worth it. Haven't ever read it so it's another one for the TBR pile. Have any of you read it? If so, what did you think?

Killing Me Softly - Various Authors

This is a large paperback book (can't remember what these are called). Got it for 50 cents -again, not sure if I will like it but for 50 cents I'll take a chance.

The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie

About the book:

Just before dawn one winter's morning, a hijacked jetliner explodes above the English Channel. Through the falling debris, two figures, Gibreel Farishta, the biggest star in India, and Saladin Chamcha, an expatriate returning from his first visit to Bombay in fifteen years, plummet from the sky, washing up on the snow-covered sands of an English beach, and proceed through a series of metamorphoses, dreams, and revelations.

I actually got this one in hardcover so the picture isn't the same. I have never read a book by Salman Rushdie - if you have, what did you think? This one was also only $1 - a bargain for a hardcover book, in my opinion.

The World Below by Sue Miller

About the book:

From the author of While I Was Gone, a stunning new novel that showcases Sue Miller's singular gift for exposing the nerves that lie hidden in marriages and families, and the hopes and regrets that lie buried in the hearts of women.Maine, 1919. Georgia Rice, who has cared for her father and two siblings since her mother's death, is diagnosed, at nineteen, with tuberculosis and sent away to a sanitarium. Freed from the burdens of caretaking, she discovers a nearly lost world of youth and possibility, and meets the doomed young man who will become her lover.Vermont, the present. On the heels of a divorce, Catherine Hubbard, Georgia's granddaughter, takes up residence in Georgia's old house. Sorting through her own affairs, Cath stumbles upon the true story of Georgia's life and marriage, and of the misunderstanding upon which she built a lasting love.With the tales of these two women--one a country doctor's wife with a haunting past, the other a twice-divorced San Francisco schoolteacher casting about at midlife for answers to her future--Miller offers us a novel of astonishing richness and emotional depth. Linked by bitter disappointments, compromise, and powerful grace, the lives of Georgia and Cath begin to seem remarkably similar, despite their distinctly different times: two young girls, generations apart, motherless at nearly the same age, thrust into early adulthood, struggling with confusing bonds of attachment and guilt; both of them in marriages that are not what they seem, forced to make choices that call into question the very nature of intimacy, faithfulness, betrayal, and love. Marvelously written, expertly told, The World Below captures the shadowy half-truths of the visible world, and the beauty and sorrow submerged beneath the surfaces of our lives--the lost world of the past, our lost hopes for the future. A tour de force from one of our most beloved storytellers.

Got this hardcover for $1 - has anyone read it? If so, what did you think?

Blackbird House by Alice Hoffman

About the book:

With “incantatory prose” that “sweeps over the reader like a dream,” (Philadelphia Inquirer), Hoffman follows her celebrated bestseller The Probable Future, with an evocative work that traces the lives of the various occupants of an old Massachusetts house over a span of two hundred years.In a rare and gorgeous departure, beloved novelist Alice Hoffman weaves a web of tales, all set in Blackbird House. This small farm on the outer reaches of Cape Cod is a place that is as bewitching and alive as the characters we meet: Violet, a brilliant girl who is in love with books and with a man destined to betray her; Lysander Wynn, attacked by a halibut as big as a horse, certain that his life is ruined until a boarder wearing red boots arrives to change everything; Maya Cooper, who does not understand the true meaning of the love between her mother and father until it is nearly too late. From the time of the British occupation of Massachusetts to our own modern world, family after family’s lives are inexorably changed, not only by the people they love but by the lives they lead inside Blackbird House. These interconnected narratives are as intelligent as they are haunting, as luminous as they are unusual. Inside Blackbird House more than a dozen men and women learn how love transforms us and how it is the one lasting element in our lives. The past both dissipates and remains contained inside the rooms of Blackbird House, where there are terrible secrets, inspired beauty, and, above all else, a spirit of coming home.From the writer Time has said tells "truths powerful enough to break a reader’s heart” comes a glorious travelogue through time and fate, through loss and love and survival. Welcome to Blackbird House.

I got this one as a paperback for a quarter. They had many copies as it was used as a book club read. Anyone read this?

The Little Friend by Donna Tart

About the book:

Bestselling author Donna Tartt returns with a grandly ambitious and utterly riveting novel of childhood, innocence and evil. The setting is Alexandria, Mississippi, where one Mother's Day a little boy named Robin Cleve Dufresnes was found hanging from a tree in his parents' yard. Twelve years later Robin's murder is still unsolved and his family remains devastated. So it is that Robin's sister Harriet—unnervingly bright, insufferably determined, and unduly influenced by the fiction of Kipling and Robert Louis Stevenson--sets out to unmask his killer. Aided only by her worshipful friend Hely, Harriet crosses her town's rigid lines of race and caste and burrows deep into her family's history of loss. Filled with hairpin turns of plot and "a bustling, ridiculous humanity worthy of Dickens" (The New York Times Book Review), The Little Friend is a work of myriad enchantments by a writer of prodigious talent.

I got this one for $1 as well. Have looked at Amazon and it doesn't get the greatest reviews. Has anyone read it? If so, what did you think?

Gap Creek by Robert Morgan
About the book:

Oprah Book Club® Selection, January 2000: Robert Morgan's Gap Creek opens with one wrenching death and ends with another. In between, this novel of turn-of-the-century Appalachian life works in fire, flood, swindlers, sickness, and starvation--a truly biblical assortment of plagues, all visited on the sturdy shoulders of 17-year-old Julie Harmon. "Human life don't mean a thing in this world," she concludes. And who could blame her? "People could be born and they could suffer, and they could die, and it didn't mean a thing.... The world was exactly like it had been and would always be, going on about its business." For Julie, that business is hard physical labor. Fortunately, she's fully capable of working "like a man"--splitting and hauling wood, butchering hogs, rendering lard, planting crops, and taking care of the stock. Even when Julie meets and marries handsome young Hank Richards, there's no happily-ever-after in store. Nothing comes easy in Julie Harmon's world, and their first year together is no exception.
Throughout the novel, Morgan chronicles Julie's trials in prose of great dignity and clarity, capturing the rhythms of North Carolina speech by using only the subtlest of inflections. Clearly the author has done his research too--the descriptions of physical labor practically leap off the page. (Suffice to say, you'll learn far more about hog slaughtering than you ever dreamed of knowing.) Yet he resists the temptation to make his long-suffering characters into saints. Julie simmers with resentment at being her family's workhorse, and Hank flies into a helpless rage whenever he feels that his authority is questioned. In novels like The Truest Pleasure and The Hinterlands, Morgan proved his ability to create memorable heroines. In Gap Creek, he writes with great feeling--but not a touch of sentimentality--about a life Julie aptly calls "both simple and hard."

This is another one that I got for a buck. Usually I enjoy Oprah's recommendations. Has anyone read this? If so, what did you think?

Fortune's Rocks by Anita Shreve

About the book:

Hester Prynne never had it so good! The year is 1899, and Olympia Biddeford, the headstrong daughter of a Boston Brahmin family, has decided to test the limits of her cloistered world. Spending the summer at her father's New Hampshire estate, the teenage heroine of Fortune's Rocks is entranced with the visiting salon of artists, writers, and lawyers. She's especially captivated, however, by John Haskell, a charismatic physician who ministers to the blue-collar community in the nearby mill towns. This middle-aged Good Samaritan hires Olympia to assist him as a nurse, and their collaboration soon evolves into a fiery love affair. Alas, it's only a matter of weeks before this passionate exercise in managed care is exposed--with disastrous consequences for the young, impregnated heroine. Even her adoring father now considers her "an overplump sixteen-year-old girl whose judgment can no longer be trusted," and insists that she break off her relationship:"There is nothing more to be said on this subject," he says. She bites her lip to keep from crying out further. She holds the arms of her chair so tightly she later will have cramps in her fingers. She will refuse to obey him, she thinks. She will accept his implied challenge and set off on her own. But in the next moment, she asks herself: How will she be able to do that? Without her father's support, she cannot hope to survive. And if she herself does not survive, then a child cannot live."In the end, Anita Shreve's seventh novel is a polished, supremely entertaining variation on Wuthering Heights, with Olympia and Haskell sitting in for Catherine and Heathcliff. The author did some meticulous research for her New England background, which gives this study of one particular wayward woman some extra historical heft. Some readers may find the plot twists a bit pat. And despite Olympia's efforts to be an independent woman, she overcomes her trials largely as a result of her family's wealth and station, which takes the edge off Shreve's feminist message. Still, Fortune's Rocks is a romance in the classic sense of the word, and should be enjoyed as such, unless the reader is absolutely allergic to happy endings.

Another one for a buck. Whose read it? What did you think?

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

About the book:

In a garden surrounded by a tall fence, tucked away behind a small, quiet house in an even smaller town, is an apple tree that is rumored to bear a very special sort of fruit. In this luminous debut novel, Sarah Addison Allen tells the story of that enchanted tree, and the extraordinary people who tend it.…The Waverleys have always been a curious family, endowed with peculiar gifts that make them outsiders even in their hometown of Bascom, North Carolina. Even their garden has a reputation, famous for its feisty apple tree that bears prophetic fruit, and its edible flowers, imbued with special powers. Generations of Waverleys tended this garden. Their history was in the soil. But so were their futures.A successful caterer, Claire Waverley prepares dishes made with her mystical plants—from the nasturtiums that aid in keeping secrets and the pansies that make children thoughtful, to the snapdragons intended to discourage the attentions of her amorous neighbor. Meanwhile, her elderly cousin, Evanelle, is known for distributing unexpected gifts whose uses become uncannily clear. They are the last of the Waverleys—except for Claire’s rebellious sister, Sydney, who fled Bascom the moment she could, abandoning Claire, as their own mother had years before.When Sydney suddenly returns home with a young daughter of her own, Claire’s quiet life is turned upside down—along with the protective boundary she has so carefully constructed around her heart. Together again in the house they grew up in, Sydney takes stock of all she left behind, as Claire struggles to heal the wounds of the past. And soon the sisters realize they must deal with their common legacy—if they are ever to feel at home in Bascom—or with each other. Enchanting and heartfelt, this captivating novel is sure to cast a spell with a style all its own….

I got this hardcover for 75 cents - thought it sounded good. Anyone read it?

Gone by Lisa Gardner

About the book:

From New York Times bestseller Lisa Gardner, author of Alone and The Killing Hour, comes a thriller that goes from heartbreaking to heartstopping in the blink of an eye.…When someone you love vanishes without a trace, how far would you go to get them back? For ex-FBI profiler Pierce Quincy, it’s the beginning of his worst nightmare: a car abandoned on a desolate stretch of Oregon highway, engine running, purse on the driver’s seat. And his estranged wife, Rainie Conner, gone, leaving no clue to her fate.Did one of the ghosts from Rainie’s troubled past finally catch up with her? Or could her disappearance be the result of one of the cases they’d been working–a particularly vicious double homicide or the possible abuse of a deeply disturbed child Rainie took too close to heart? Together with his daughter, FBI agent Kimberly Quincy, Pierce is battling the local authorities, racing against time, and frantically searching for answers to all the questions he’s been afraid to ask.One man knows what happened that night. Adopting the alias of a killer caught eighty years before, he has already contacted the press. His terms are clear: he wants money, he wants power, he wants celebrity. And if he doesn’t get what he wants, Rainie will be gone for good.Sometimes, no matter how much you love someone, it’s still not enough.As the clock winds down on a terrifying deadline, Pierce plunges headlong into the most desperate hunt of his life, into the shattering search for a killer, a lethal truth, and for the love of his life, who may forever be…gone.

I got this hardcover for 50 cents - I have never read anything by her but have heard that "Hide" was a fantastic book. What do you say?

So, I think I made a pretty good haul. Now I just have to find the time to read them, lol!

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Win a $50 Gift Card to Barnes and Noble

Ok, seriously. Does it get any better than this (unless it for more money, lol)? Barnes and Noble is one of my all time favorite stores, and if you visit Oh Amanda you will have a chance to win this awesome prize. But hurry, it ends on Friday!


Shelfsitter winner is...

Qtpies7! Congratulations, please email me at novelnoise(at)live(dot)com with your full address so I can get this out to you!

I have another book giveaway for Gods Behaving Badly at - I am giving away 5 copies so head over and check it out. Thanks!winn


Why I don't like it when Grace sleeps late

Ok, I know that it is most parents dream to have their kids sleep late. Grace just woke up, and let me tell you, every time she sleeps past 8 I fight the urge to go and wake her up. I live with the fear that some day she won't wake up - irrational or not.

We go to Children's Hospital of Milwaukee on Tuesday for her yearly checkup and I am scared. Besides her initial open heart surgery at 4 days old, her health has been good. But, I also know that she will need surgery again, at least once, at some point in her life - it could be this time. Here is some info on what she has:

The septum is a wall that separates the heart's left and right sides. Septal defects are sometimes called a "hole" in the heart. A defect between the heart's two upper chambers (the atria) is called an atrial septal defect (ASD).

She had this at birth, and although it is still there, it is not something that they are overly concerned with at this point.


The septum is a wall that separates the heart's left and right sides. Septal defects are sometimes called a "hole" in the heart. A defect between the heart's two lower chambers (the ventricles) is called a ventricular septal defect (VSD).

When there is a large opening between the ventricles, a large amount of oxygen-rich (red) blood from the heart's left side is forced through the defect into the right side. Then it's pumped back to the lungs, even though it's already been refreshed with oxygen. This is inefficient, because already-oxygenated blood displaces blood that needs oxygen. This means the heart, which must pump more blood, may enlarge from the added work. High blood pressure may occur in the lungs' blood vessels because more blood is there. Over time, this increased pulmonary hypertension may permanently damage the blood vessel walls.

If the opening between the ventricles is small, it doesn't strain the heart. In that case, the only abnormal finding is a loud murmur.

She was born with this as well. It is large enough that it is still a concern, but they don't feel the need to go in and patch it yet.


Normally the foramen ovale closes at birth when increased blood pressure on the left side of the heart forces the opening to close.

If the atrial septum does not close properly, it is called a patent foramen ovale. This type of defect generally works like a flap valve, only opening during certain conditions when there is more pressure inside the chest. This increased pressure occurs when people strain while having a bowel movement, cough, or sneeze.

If the pressure is great enough, blood may travel from the right atrium to the left atrium. If there is a clot or particles in the blood traveling in the right side of the heart, it can cross the PFO, enter the left atrium, and travel out of the heart and to the brain (causing a stroke) or into a coronary artery (causing a heart attack).

This is also something she was born with, and that they are watching closely.


The aorta is the body's main artery. It distributes oxygen-rich blood to all parts of the body except the lungs. The first branches of the aorta go to the upper body (arms and head). After that, blood goes to the lower body (abdomen and legs). Coarctation of the aorta is a narrowing of the aorta between the upper-body artery branches and the branches to the lower body. This blockage can increase blood pressure in your arms and head, reduce pressure in your legs and seriously strain your heart. Aortic valve abnormalities often accompany coarctation.

This is what was repaired at birth. It was initally missed by the Pediatrician on call, and when her regular Pediatrician came back from vacation and visited us in the hospital he noticed it right away. It was severe enough that I was immediately discharged (I had a c-section, good thing or we wouldn't have seen the regular Pediatrician until her first check up) and sent to Milwaukee.

This is still a concern as there is a good chance scar tissue can form and it will have to be re-opened. I believe they could go up and do an angioplasty this time as opposed to opening her up. Not positive though.

A bicuspid aortic valve is a heart condition that is due to a congenital deformity. A normal aortic valve has three cusps to manage the flow of blood through the heart. A bicuspid valve, however, only has only two cusps. As you can see in the diagram below, the bicuspid aortic valve has conjoined cusps. This can limit the flow of blood across the aortic heart valve.

The impact of a bicuspid aortic valve significantly varies from patient to patient. There can be severe aortic stenosis at birth. Or, aortic stenosis can also develop during childhood or during adulthood. Typically bicuspid aortic valve symptoms peak around the fourth decade of life. Aortic valve leakage (called aortic regurgitation or aortic insufficiency) is less common during early childhood but can also develop over time.
This is the defect that is of greatest concern, and the one that they are watching the most closely.

Congenital Heart Defects or CHD’s is the #1 birth defect and the #1 cause of infant death related to birth defects. 1 out of every 100-150 babies born will have a CHD. (1 out of every 800-1000 babies born has Downs Syndrome).

1 in 10 of those born with CHD will have a fatal defect.

It is estimated that 1,000,000 Americans have a CHD. It is estimated that 35,000-40,000 babies born each year with a CHD.

In the US there are nearly twice as many deaths due to CHD than that of all forms of childhood cancers combined. Yet there is 5 times more research for pediatric cancer than for CHD.

The cost of inpatient surgery alone for CHD’s exceeds 2.2 billion dollars per year.

There are approximately 35 know Congenital Heart Defects.

Causes for CHD are still being studied. While there is no known definitive cause it is said that both genetics and environmental factors can play a role. Scientists have actually identified over 100 mutations that are directly linked to the heart.

There is no known cure for CHD. However the mortality rate after surgery has significantly decreased in the past 20-30 years. On average it is about 5% compared to the 30% it was.
With advances in medicine, many of those born with CHD will have their first and sometimes only corrective surgery before age 2.
Many of those living with CHD go on to lead normal to near normal lives. Those with complex CHD’s will also go on to lead longer and active lives than before. Most will have some physical limitations, but almost all learn to move pass them.


The election...I'm so glad it's over

It's official. We now have a new president. Now, it's time to start the debate. I DO NOT vote, never have and probably never will. This has been a source of many arguments among my friends and family. You are probably wondering why I don't vote. I honestly do not believe that my vote least where the Presidential election is concerned. I think that it is decided before the election even starts. And honestly, you won't convince me otherwise.

That said, if I was going to vote it would have been for Obama. The Repulicans certainly haven't proved that they have what it takes to run this country for the past 8 years. I am not saying that the Democrats are going to fair any better, but they certainly deserve a shot.

Did you vote? If so, who did you vote for and why? I'm not trying to start any arguments, I am just curious. No matter what I think we are all hoping for some change to take place in this country and maybe this is just the man to do it.


Dolly Mama's Shelf Sitter Giveaway

Ok, you have to love this! This is a shelf sitter/ornament for Christmas, and I thought the perfect thing to give away for the Bloggy Giveaway Carnival. Here is the info from the card that is on the box:

The ladies in this collection are purely fake. Any resemblance to anyone I know is not my fault!

Artistic Passion

Lets give ourselves the courage to keep going when no one else believes in us, the vision to be able to see past the fear to where beauty lies, passion for everything we do, truth in always listening to our inner selves and possibilities because anything is possible if we really believe. Lets give ourselves the gift of responsibility so we may have a say in our lives.

I think that is such a great statement!

To enter:

All you have to do to enter is leave me a comment. I will keep this contest open until November 8, when I will draw a winner.

***Want a chance for some extra entries? Gain 3 extra entries by blogging about it - make sure to send me the link.

Good luck everyone, and thanks for visiting!


Want to win a free copy of Lost and Found by Carolyn Parkhurst?

Hop over to The Book Czar for your chance!

About the book:

A suburban mom, her troubled daughter, divorced brothers, former child stars, born-again Christians, and some young millionaires have all been selected to compete on LOST AND FOUND, a daring new reality show. In pairs of two, they will race across the world to compete for a million-dollar prize.The only question is not only who will capture the big jackpot, but at what price.

Carolyn Parkhurst is also the author of the bestseller The Dogs of Babel.


The downfalls of apartment living

Do I miss our house? I do. Don't get me wrong, I love our apartment. Our house was built in 1917 and had a beautiful sunporch. Not much backyard, but enough for the kids to play. We had 3 bedrooms and 1 1/2 baths, hardwood floors in the living room and dining room, a large kitchen, etc.. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't perfect by any means. It still needs some TLC but we just finished painting the downstairs and were planning on starting some other renovations when my hubby lost his job. You all know how the economy is. We had a pretty good idea that he was not going to find anything in town, and we had talked about moving for quite awhile anyway. With the house market crappy we decided to rent out the house if he got a job outside of town.

So, when he was offered a job in the Fox Cities we were thrilled! We had always loved that area and it gave us a chance for a fresh start. And, we were only about 1 hour away from most of our family (hubby has a 16 year old so we didn't want ot be too far away). My sister and brother-in-law said they would love to rent the house from us, so that was one problem taken care of. The apartment we found is in an EXCELLENT location! There is so much to do here it is amazing. We have taken the kids to something just about every weekend since we have been here. Manitowoc doesn't have things like that. We have vaulted ceilings, a fireplace, a computer nook, only two bedrooms though, so the girls share (which is ok for now). The thing I miss the most is being able to get them outside. There is a park across the street (it is about a block away or so) but with Grace going to school in the afternoons it gets hard to get there. So they are going stir crazy, which makes me go stir crazy, lol!

They are also wound up because we are going back to Manitowoc again and spending Friday and Saturday night there. They love staying by Nana and Papa and it means they don't sleep very well (they were up a little after 6 today). Combine that with trick-or-treating and it's going to be a long week:)


What's the deal with cell phones?

Ok, I know I am in the minority. I don't currently have a cell phone. My hubby has one for work and that has been fine, but with winter coming and having to take Grace to school every day, I have decided it is time for me to think about getting one.

We went to Radio Shack last night. I know that I want something along the lines of a Blackberry but there are just WAY too many to choose from. The thing that floored me was that Sprint has a plan that costs $100 a month. Granted, this includes unlimited EVERYTHING, but for what I would use it for this seems high. I do need to have access to my email, so right there puts me at a minimum $70 per month plan - maybe the $100 a month isn't so terrible?

We currently have our internet, phone, and cable through Time Warner as part of their bundle package. I am sure we can drop our phone, but don't know if the price will decrease - again, there is a reason they offer the deal with the bundle.

So, anyway. Can any of you give me some tips on what phones you like, and what provider you would suggest? Here are a few I am considering:

The BlackBerry Curve 8310 Titanium

The Motorola Q9c (love the color on this one)!

Samsung Instinct

Any suggestions?


Virgo Clock