Monday, March 31, 2008

And you thought "Checking" was a bank account.....

Apparently not!
As I learned on Saturday night, checking is
"any contact initiated by a defending player against an opponent to get the puck (little black thing) away from him or slow him down;
there are two main types of checks:
(no, not "plain" and "customized")
stick check and body check;
( I know what you are thinking, but much to my surprise "body check" doesn't have anything to do with admiring one's self in the mirror or sitting on the beach during Spring Break).
These are only allowed against a player in control of the puck (little black thing)
or against the last player to control it immediately after he gives it up.
Checking after too many steps or strides becomes charging. (also having nothing at all to do with American Express)."

You are impressed with my hockey knowlege, aren't you??

Ok, so I'll admit. This was not my first hockey game.

I've been to see the Lizard Kings three times in Jacksonville, Fl and the Ice Pilots once in Pensacola, Fl.. But seeing the Bruins play on Saturday night in Providence was my first hockey game where I was not nursing someone, keeping someone from climbing over a banister and plunging to their death or happily chatting with an equally hockey ignorant girlfriend about the cute haircut we spotted on the girl four rows down or the fabulous shoes the girl who just walked by had on.

You know, deep, interesting things like that.

So, without a baby or restless small male child with a death wish and sadly lacking a chatty girlfriend, I had no excuse this time but to pay attention.

But, I did have my secret weapon with me for when there wasn't a fight to stand up and gawk at, or for when they weren't playing "We will, we will, ROCK you" for me to show off my synchronized clapping and foot stomping skills from my years as a varsity cheerleader.

Secret weapon for boring down time of hockey game?

My camera


(lovingly referred to as "my precious" around here and almost as closely guarded as the other obsessive object of the same name in Lord Of The Rings)!

David brought a fellow LDO from school. Both guys had bronchitis and were coughing up a storm and heavily medicated, but what's a little swelling of the airways when there are sports involved?

Now it WAS David's friend's first hockey game, but he knew more than I did. I could tell by the way he was all up on the details like which goal we were shooting at.

He made sure to get some photos of the fights that broke out on the ice too.

Eh...nothing new for me. I could take a photo of two testosterone afflicted boys rolling around on the floor like lion cubs, throwing arms and legs out everywhere on any given day at my house!

Yup, just another day at the Cleary's.

Madison obviously has the right idea about how to best enjoy a hockey game.
1. Find a group of friends to walk around with.
2. Visit the bathroom 102 times with said group.
3. Visit the concession stand 12 times and purchase nothing with your own money. Instead, beg mom and dad for money 56 times.

And #4....
Dance to the loud music and celebrate each score as if you have been paying attention for the entire game!

Brendell's way to enjoy a hockey game is to benefit from a few of Madison's trips to the concession stand.

Nothing beats a good soft pretzel with a sprite chaser while you are kicking back at the hockey rink, huh?

The boys spend most of their time moving around the stadium filling in empty seats that are right up against the glass until the ticket holder moves them on to the next unfilled seat.

Clearly, my camera has worn out it's welcome.

At least Bren still tolerates me!

I'm not sure who won the game...wait, yes, I remember now...we did.
I know this because they played, "We will, we will Rock you!" at least 6 times and the Pirates ( From Portland, OR) only scored one goal causing memorable booing.
Who cares though....check out the great photos I got of Bren!

Friday, March 28, 2008


Yippppeee! I'm so excited to have been quoted on Blogtations!
I'm also the 100th quote ( throwing confetti!!) for this fabulous website, so I get to be highlighted for a bit and listed in the quote finders section.
Spend some time on this website when you get a chance. It's full of humorous, witty and thought provoking quotes from bloggers all over the world.
It's a great way to find some new additions to your blog roll.
I continue to be amazed at the incredible talent out there in the blog world!


So, we've started to go through each room and get rid of anything that we don't want the movers to pack. I came across several containers of old photos and killed about 4 hours just going through them all. It's amazing how much children grow in such a short time!
Life is on such a fast road and I'm increasingly aware of what they mean when they say, "Don't wish time away."

Last night I watched The Celebrity Apprentice and was really touched by Trace Adkin's song, You're Gonna Miss This.
(turn my music player off before watching the video)

Here are some blast from our past...... and Boy do I miss this!!

To every frazzled mom of young children out there, especially single and military wives, hang in there! Don't get caught up in the little things so much that they distract you from what is really important. Spend time with your little ones! Get down on the floor and wrestle with them, run through the grassy fields with them, laugh and cry and kiss them all you can!

The cliche "time flies" doesn't carry the impact right now that it will 10 years from now.

Pretty soon, they'll be teenagers and their cries for your attention will turn into rolling eyes and folded arms. Build a foundation of memories now so that when you want to wring your 16 year old's neck because he's lost his ever-loving mind and thinks you have lost yours, you will have a memory catalog of sweeter times to grab onto. You never know, it just might save his life!

It's only a breath before this

turns into this, my friends.

Hold on tightly to every moment because they all matter!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Cutest Cake on the East Coast!!!!

Check it out!! Isn't this the cutest cake ever?
My friend Marica stamped some cards for me for Christmas and I loved the photographer stamp she used so much that I needed to see it in icing! LOL!
I LOVE how it turned out!
The only thing that could have made it better is if I had a house full of friends to share it with.
David was able to come home for a few hours, so it was great to celebrate with my family, but a cake this fun called for a party! Maybe next year!
What is a birthday without the obligatory birthday photo?
So here I am at 38...with Michael, my second born sweetheart who is 14....and when asked admits that 38 is pretty old, but says he doesn't think of old when he thinks of me!
I'll take that!

Madison shot these photos on manual all by herself. She's going to make a great photographer some day. I edited them in both color and black and white for her.

So, I'm curious, am I the only one who consciously makes an effort not to die on her birthday?
I know it sounds morbid, but the irony of it all would really just sum up my life, ya know?
I've always been a magnet for the unexpected, so it would seem fitting I guess.
It always enters my mind each year..."Hey, wouldn't it be weird if I died on my birthday?"
Then all day I try not to.
Should I go into therapy?

I'm not sure if it is the heightened awareness of my mortality on this day, but I gotta tell ya, I had more close calls while running errands this afternoon than I usually have on these narrow New England roads!

And getting through the grocery store this afternoon did about kill me!
It seems that not only am I a magnet for the unexpected, but I also attract faulty shopping carts.
But they are sneaky.
They don't become disfunctional and possessed until I've reached the point of no return and have at least four items in the basket.
The evil cart knows that it's too much of a pain to go all the way back to the front of the store to change carts, and so the torment begins.
Once I hit four, all heck breaks loose!
Like a no-nap 2 year old denied her lolli-pop, the cart loses all ability to roll forward smoothly and instead pulls considerably to one side, while all four wheels shake and shimmey in protest of my efforts to remain dignified.
If the cart had a head, it would be spinning around and spewing green stuff all over me!
Add to this picture the fact that I have developed a pretty unique limp to compensate for the limited range of motion that I have with my ankle right now, and it's not a pretty sight!
Not pretty at all.
Of course, this afternoon I had to wrangle my rebellious shopping cart from one end of the store where the ice cream was all the way to the other end of the store where the hamburger buns were and I had to do this with one good leg!
If it hadn't been for the loud high pitched squeaking of my cart that ensued midway between the Breyers and the buns,
and the intensity with which I had to grip the bar to steer that dang thing in a semi-straight line, I probably could have pulled it off with a tad bit of lady-like courtliness.
At this point, I'm seriously thinking of asking for a Priest over the PA system so he can bless the Dasani water I'm buying and I can pour it all over my afflicted shopping cart!
The louder the squeak, the harder the pull to one side, the worse my limp got and by the time I had finally reached the cashier I was red faced, breathless, white knuckled, a bit disheveled and walking like a penguin!
There I stood, wings reduced to mere flippers.
I unloaded my 8 items onto the express lane conveyor belt and gave the cashier a warm smile, because I've learned that a sparkling personality covers a multitude of flaws,
and today I was on flaw overload!
She smiled back, out of sympathy I'm sure.
One thing about losing that walking cain and limping along instead is that people no longer look me in the eye.
They are afraid that I may have some sort of mangled, shriveled up appendage under the denim of my jeans and to stare would be rude.
I feel like wearing a sign that says, "Accidental Owner of Plate and Six Screws. Don't Worry, It's Not Contagious!",
but I can't bring myself to put the word "screw" and "contagious" on the same sign and wear it around my neck!
Do you feel me?
So, back to the conveyor belt.... after a sympathetic smile, the cashier tells me my total.
That's when it hits me....I completely forgot to transfer money from our savings to our checking!
With the best of intentions, I had transferred way too much money from our checking to our savings this month because it's been so fun to watch that number grow, and because I wanted to see it hit a certain even number...(strange , I know. Therapy again, maybe? )
I totally knew that I needed to transfer money back into checking this morning and disrupt my nice little even number financial fantasy world in order for me to get the things I needed today, but since I can't be bothered with such things on my birthday, I forgot.
At this point, I realize that I already appear a little off , so I'm not even embarrassed to ask her to point me to the nearest ATM.
I am, however embarrassed to penguin walk all the way across the store again to retrieve my cash!
I take my empty cart with me for support and of course, it is quiet as a mouse and straight as an arrow, you know, being empty and all.

I've never been happier to leave a store before in my life!
Except for maybe that time when I was in the 10th grade and I saw the boy who I had recently been dumped by holding hands with another girl in the Winn Dixie.
On the way home, convinced that the universe was conspiring to kill me on the very day of my birth, I dodged death multiple times.
I really don't believe that "the universe" can conspire to do anything, but if I did, I sure wasn't going to let it get me on my birthday!

This Day in History....

If I were an American Idol contestant, these would be among the choices I would have had to sing last night.....
Top 10 of 1970:

10: War - Edwin Starr
9: Let it Be - Beatles
8: We've Only Just Begun - Carpenters
7: Tears Of a Clown - Smokey Robinson
6: I Want You Back - Jackson 5
5: Close To You - Carpenters
4: I Think I Love You -Partridge Family
3:Bridge Over Troubled Waters - Simon & Garfunkel
2: I'll Be There - Jackson 5
1: Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head -B.J. Thomas
I totally would have rocked out "Close To You"! I used to sing this to my babies when I was putting them to sleep. "Why do stars fall down from the sky, every time, you walk by.....just like me, they long to be, close to you!" Ah, the memories.

Chart Toppers - March 26
Cruising Down the River - The Blue Barron Orchestra (vocal: ensemble)
Far Away Places - Margaret Whiting
Powder Your Face with Sunshine - Evelyn Knight
Tennessee Saturday Night - Red Foley
Young Love - Tab Hunter
Little Darlin’ - The Diamonds
Party Doll - Buddy Knox
There You Go - Johnny Cash
Eight Days a Week - The Beatles
Stop! In the Name of Love - The Supremes
The Birds and the Bees - Jewel Akens
I’ve Got a Tiger by the Tail - Buck Owens
Love Train - O’Jays
Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye) - Gladys Knight & The Pips
Teddy Bear Song - Barbara Fairchild
Keep on Loving You - REO Speedwagon
Woman - John Lennon
The Best of Times - Styx
Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground - Willie Nelson
The Living Years - Mike & The Mechanics
Eternal Flame - Bangles
Girl You Know It’s True - Milli Vanilli
New Fool at an Old Game - Reba McEntire
Here is a fun little video clip featuring March 26th.....
(turn off my music player if you haven't already)
Other birthdays of note....Duncan Hines! Yup! The cake mix guru was born on my birthday!
Speaking of cakes....I've got an adorable custom cake to pick up from the bakery this afternoon. Wait until you's so fun!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Year They Were Born......

Good evening fellow Idol fans!!!
Guess what...this really is going to be live blogging because I'm watching Idol in my room tonight.
March Madness has taken over the living room television, so I'm all snuggled up in bed right next to my computer for live play by play baby!!
I'm going to compare the year they were born to where I was in my life at the time because I like to make myself feel old...especially on the eve of a birthday.
First up....
Ramiele: 1987 ( I was 17 and was on Gayfer's teen board in Pensacola, Fl)
Really? Really she was born the year this song came out? I am SO old!!!
Apparently she is a biter turned singer. Good to know.
Again, a questionable outfit. sigh.
Hmmmm, a little screamy for me.
I love this song though...but I'm not sure she sang for her life tonight.
I'm sorry, I just have to comment here on Paula's outfit.
Long black gloves with Madonna throw back bling bracelets?
Jason: 1987 ( I was one day shy of 17 and was a varsity cheerleader in the 11th grade)
....did he just say March 25th????? I knew I liked this birthday is tomorrow!
Aw! Both of my sons had that same bowl haircut that Jason did when they were young.
More foreign language from Jason this week.
He's great tonight though...totally comfortable with this song.
LOVE him!!!
Simon is less than thrilled, so I hope Jason takes his challenge and blows him away next week!
Happy Birthday Jason!
Syesha: 1987 ( I was still 16 and was working as a score keeper/ announcer in the press box of the Dixie Youth baseball league)
If I Were Your Woman
I just have to say...that baby cry is soooo annoying!
Wow! She's really strong tonight. I'm enjoying this and I'm not a big fan.
Chikezie: 1985 ( I was 15 and had my first kiss during this year)
If Only For One Night
What is all over his jacket?!
Hmmm...nothing special for me tonight.
Maybe I was too distracted by whatever that is on his jacket?
Brooke: 1983 ( I was 13 and quite the soccer player, but I stunk at softball)
Every Breath You Take
Wow! What a talent she has for the piano, huh?
A little ooopsie in the beginning...but it's a live show and she moved right on.
I'm loving this! She did a great job tonight!!
Michael: 1978 ( I was 8...finally, I don't feel so old! )
We Are The Champions
There's that big voice!! Very high energy and dramatic tonight, I think.
I'm glad he finally let go and just wailed!!
Carly: 1983 ( I was 13 and fell in love with the movie "The Outsiders") Total Eclipse of the Heart
One of my favorite songs!
Wow! I'm loving her tonight!
Very strong except for that last sharp note.
I think it was a good choice for her.
David A: 1990 (I was 20 and pregnant with my first born)
Missed the name of the song!
This was a good change for him! A little more upbeat this time.
Notice how he always chooses songs that have meaningful/political/deep lyrics?
He's got such a great voice, but I like him much better when he's singing ballads.
Kristie: 1984 ( I was 14 and had Ralph Macchio posters all over my wall)
God Bless The USA
Ok, I just want to stand up and wave the flag!!
I'm a patriotic girl and this song always gets me.
She did a great job tonight!
David Cook: 1982 (I was 12 and adjusting to being a Floridian after living 11 years in MD)
Billie Jean
He's so creative with his arrangements. I'm loving this!
This could totally be hit right now!
He's going to sneak up and win this whole thing!
"Blazing Molten Hot"..... Randy.
Bottom Three:
Chikezie, Ramiele, and I want to say Carly just because of what happened last week, but it will probably be Kristie by default.
Who should go: Chikezie


"Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?"

We were in full princess mode this week!

Brendell's friend Matthew (my best friend, Linda's little boy..AKA: Prince Charming) sent Bren this cinderella costume along with get well wishes from her recent mishap.

It delighted her so much to get this gift that I really do think she is plotting her next injury just to see what else will come in the mail!

The Princess-fest continued with an all out royal tea-party on Saturday at Bren's friend Christina's house. Bren of course became Cinderella again for the day.

There were Princess secrets to be shared.....

Dresses to be twirled......

Royal jewels to adorne......

And, of course, fairy punch and butterfly crumpets......

Three Belle's at the Ball....

And as if that wasn't enough, as promised Bren got the movie Enchanted this week for being such a big girl about her stitches, and a new door to make believe was opened. The lyrics, "I've been dreaming of a true love's kiss, and a Prince I hope that comes with it....." have been echoing off of our walls for days!

It's such a cute movie!!! If you haven't seen it, it's a good renter. How can you go wrong with James Marsden and Patrick Dempsy as the leading men?

Speaking of leading men, my own Prince Charming reads this blog from his dorm I just wanted to publically say that You are my Happy Ever After!

We have weathered our share of trolls and poison apples, but our love has always overcome!

I'm the luckiest girl to be in this fairy tale with you!


Join me later tonight for the almost live Idol blogging party!!!!


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!!

Here are this year's Easter eggs.......

We've been so busy making preparations for our move, managing David's ever changing school schedule, and dealing with my recovery that Easter just snuck up on us this year!

We didn't even have time to dye eggs which broke my heart because I love that tradition.

I was doing good to get a few Easter basket stuffers, but we cheated on the home cooked meal and opted to eat out. Mom of the year, I know.

Such is life though, huh? Sometimes the best laid plans just don't come through and you just have to take a deep breath and let the small things go.

The important thing is that we worshiped together this morning and rejoiced in the resurrection of our Savior!
Who cares if I still have three dozen white eggs in my fridge and a box of unopened egg dye on my counter when the King of Kings conquered death on this day?

It was such a beautiful day here in Rhode Island....much different than last Easter which was our first Sunday here in our new home. Last Easter it was wet and cold with snow flurries, but today it was a bright, sunny 47 degrees. We decided to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and spend some time outside as a family.

So, we went putt-putting!

It has been a while since we've all been out together as a family do to something fun. It seems like the older my kids get, the more their social lives take them away from home. The weekends are usually crazy around here with everyone wanting to spend some time with their friends.
Some days I feel like a taxi driver all day long!
It was so nice to just have the six of us together for a few hours. We laughed so hard and had a really great afternoon.

And what would a post of family photos be without Michael's token goofy pose! I think this is his "Adonis" pose.

After 18 holes and a few awesome holes in one by some of us, the winner is...........

ME! Yup! I won by 11 stokes!

Speaking of weekend activities, Madison was involved in an interesting one this past weekend. She participated in World Vision's 30 hour famine with one of her friend's youth group.
The famine was to raise awareness of the very real problem of hunger around the world.
The kids stayed at the church for the duration of the famine and did various activities related to hunger.
They made these little crosses to represent the children who die from hunger each year.

I'm so proud of her for taking part in this. She really learned alot about thankfulness and compassion.

I have recently taken some great shots of my older kids that I wanted to share here, since most of my posts are so Brendell heavy.
So here they are....
This is what 11, 14 and 16 look like in our house right now.

From our family to yours, we hope that you had a wonderful Easter filled with reminders of New Life!