Friday, August 29, 2008

Change of Command

If you haven't noticed, we are still in South Carolina. We have family kitty/house sitting at our home this week.

I am an emotional wreck as my brother has "officially" retired from the Navy. Chief Petty Officer Michael A. Wampler has been relieved of his watch. And we cried the whole way through it.

It is amazing how some things can really put your life into perspective. I was in 10th grade when my mom called the school. I had a new nephew. Christopher Marc had just been born. It was this summer that I proudly witnessed that same baby boy, graduate from Naval Boot Camp. It was this same child, this little boy who is now a man, a Sailor of the United States Navy, that relieved his father from his watch. As he stood at the podium in uniform, with his father facing him, he looked at his dad, and said, "I relieve you of your watch" and the tears flowed from our faces.

This summer has really been an emotional roller coaster for me. And again the funny thing is that it isn't about me at all. My brother joined the navy in 1984. I was 12. He left our home to embark on an uncertain journey. He threw caution to the wind and set sails... for San Diego, California. My parents always thought he would never make it. And he did come home... right after boot camp, with a duffel bag full of uniforms. He was on leave to get married, and would be going to Mayport, Florida.

At one point, he and his family moved up to Michigan. They lived on Selfridge Air National Guard base... right out my parents back door. I then witnessed the birth of 2 more nephews. I was there, the night Craig was born, and then came Michael Jr, who was 5 months old when they returned do Florida - never to live in Michigan again.

During that time, my we visited my brother a few times, and have always stayed close. Due to his hard work and determination, my brother rapidly advanced in his career, yet to me - he was still the same guy that watched Bugs Bunny with us on Saturday mornings, and LOVED fruit loops. He was still the same guy that tried to feed us raw chicken one night when he was watching my sister and I. Yes, he tried to kill us, but we knew he did it out of love, ;o)
He started out on a wood bottom naval ship, advancing to the largest of aircraft carriers. He went in knowing no one, and ended knowing thousands.

Today is my brother's day. I am 1,000 miles from home to be with him, and just witnessed one of the most poignant moments in not only his life, but ours as well. I stole glimpses of my parents through the ceremony, in between my own sets of tears. I watched as my brother, was honored and relieved of his duties.

The course of his life has been changed, and we look forward to what the future holds for him. I am so glad to be here.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Eagle has Landed

Earlier this summer, Emily tried out for a travel softball team. A Federation softball team if you will. After the first tryout, we received a call that they wanted her to come try out again. Emily was very nervous the first time around. So on Sunday morning, she and Dennis went to the softball field and she tried out again. This time she did much better. Dennis said she was hitting the ball like crazy off the fast pitch machine.

Yesterday, we got the call. Emily has been offered a position on the Macomb Eagles Fastpitch Softball team!!! She was so excited, I thought she would rupture something.

Hooray Emily!!! We are so proud and excited for her!!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

In Flo We Trust

So I haven't told you the news! I was able to switch over to Verizon before our trip! I got a sweet phone too. The Verizon Envy2. And.... because we had an impending trip, I got the plan w/ unlimited texting, internet, AND GPS Navigation! Only because of our trip.

So we were on the way to South Carolina and had the GPS set to our destination. We have never used a GPS before, so trusting it was something new. At one point we were told to turn on this one specific street, but at the last second it didn't seem right so we choose another direction. Instantly we knew we were screwed. And "Flo" knew it. "Please wait, you are not on a road" came through loud and clear. We were on this road that was creepy beyond belief! NO SHOULDER, and trees lining the street, right at the edge... and we had to turn around. Nice.

South Carolina has had so much rain from the hurricane, that turning around was quite a trip as I said, there were NO shoulders. Regardless, Dennis who constantly reminds me that he drives $350,000 vehicles for a living, had it all under control. We turned around, and got back on track. And "Flo" knew it.

"Continue 6.4 miles on S.C.21" she says and sure enough... she got us right to our hotel. Thank you Flo. We promise not to second guess you again.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Greg isn't Special

You know those cute little mugs they have for kids.. the ones with the rubber thing around the cup with the child's name on it? I have been wanting to get my kids one forever! That way they will both have their "special" coffee cup. They ALWAYS have Emily, but NEVER Greg or Gregory.

The other day when we saw them, Greg said "They don't think I'm special?"
How in the world, do you reply to that??? It was like being punched in the gut. I have no idea how to explain how they have Gavin and other very interesting names, but no Greg or Gregory.

So your homework... BOL (Be on the lookout) for a cute little cup, the one with the rubber thing around it, with Greg's name on it. Pick it up and I will pay you for the cup and for shipping. Be sure to post a comment on here so that other people will know to stop looking.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Count Down

Ok, so there are 2 posts for today. This one I have been wanting to post for a while. It is about revenge, and how it backfires.

We have phone service that has "direct connect". We've had it for so long that I can't even remember when we got it. Our contract was to end in January. I was counting down the days. My experience with this network is that you can be standing next to the freaking cell tower and Bloop! It drops the call. I could not wait for this contract to end.

So last summer, the kids and I went to the State Fair with my mom, my sister & her kids, and my brother & my nephew. While we were there, Dennis calls. It was so loud where I was at, that I could barely hear him. But I did get this much...

"So & So called. They said they would knock X amount of dollars off our bill, and do something else for us, if we renew our contract".

I replied, "What?! I can barely hear you. We'll discuss this when I get out of here".
And then I heard it...
"Well I already took it."
At that precise moment, you could have knocked me over with a feather.
I literally had to force the words out, "You did WHAT?"
"I took it"

I, appropriately named Queen Busta Chops... was speechless.... and PISSED!

Literally I couldn't believe he did that. I could not WAIT for this contract to be over with. It was all I talked about for months and months. In fact, we even called to find out how much it would be to get out early, which was more than an arm and leg.

So days go by. There was no use arguing about it, because what good would that do? It was already a done deal. I was stuck to suffer for yet another year... or two.

September rolls around.

I'm parked on the couch, talking to my cousin on the phone. She starts going on about how much she LOVES her DVR. And tells me all the cool shows she records. My wheels start to turn... I have asked for TiVO or a DVR for the longest time, and he ALWAYS shoots it down. So you guessed it! I got off the phone and called Comcast. Set up the appointment for the following week. But while I was on eternal hold, the girl across the street runs over. Something was wrong with her cell phone and it was the only one she had, so she needed to use my phone. So I gave her my cell to use.

Forward to the next night.

We're sitting at dinner and I casually mention, "Yeah, Angie came over and needed to use the phone but I was on with Comcast and couldn't get off, so she used my cell."

He asks, "Why were you calling Comcast?"
CRAP I thought. Now I have to tell him because I accidently let it out!

And then it came out...
"Well... I figured since you went ahead and renewed our cell phone contract w/o talking to me first and apparently we're doing our 'own thing', I went ahead and ordered MY dvr. It is getting delivered on Tuesday!"

He sat there, laughing... and laughing... and had that "YOU BIAATCH" look on his face. And I sat there laughing and laughing with my "Got ya back biaatch" look on MY face!

He literally couldn't say a word.

DVR is installed. While Joe Public is going over all the features and buttons on my new DVR, he points out that we now have HIGH DEFINITION CABLE! Yep! I flipped on the ball game and I'll be damned... you can see every blade of grass individually. Finger prints on the batters helmets are crystal clear.

My whole "I'll get him back" theory blew up in my face. He LOVES the cable. He LOVES the TV and he LOVES the DVR.... CRAP!

My contract with "direct connect" ends on the 31 of this month. To my dear husband I say this... renew my contract....

And I'm SHUTTING OFF THE CABLE biaaaatttchhhhhh! ;o)

Short Term Membry Loss

Greg's funny word of the week: Membry - which he apparently lost after his sister allegedly struck him in the head with a rock (yet there are no "marks").

Emily's funny word of the week: Almanac or as she says it "A-LAMB-AN-ACK"

Monday, August 18, 2008

My Bucket Runneth Over

I'm back! And let me tell you... there are no words to express how amazing my trip was. I arrived in Minneapolis on Thursday. We grabbed a quick bite at Panera, and headed for our conference.

The only way I can describe some of the events that unfolded is for you to imagine almost 2,000 people on "Oprah's Favorite Things". But instead, Jill was Oprah. Along with receiving incredible information that could easily change your life, we also received so many free products and business tools, that many people had luggage that was over weight at the airport. Luckily I dodged this bullet (my suitcase weighed 5 pounds over). I'm chalking it up to saying hello to the NWA man with a smile on my face.

In our 4 days, we also had keynote speaker Alison Levine come and give us an uplifting and hilarious motivational chat. She was hysterical, and let me tell you... after she finished speaking all I could say was, "MESSAGE RECEIVED". Yep. I got it loud and clear. Be sure to check out the link by clicking her name.

When I do home taste testing parties, I tell "my story". My Why did I join TS? And I have to laugh because as I am approaching my 1 year anniversary, my "why" has changed so many times. At first, it was because along with my family, and many friends, I am a Tastefully Simple groupie. I love that the Rhubarb Strawberry jam is natural and has much less sugar than standard products. I love that so many products are all natural. I love that the seasoned salt has NO sugar or MSG added to it. Every time I called to place my reorder, I always had other peoples orders too. So "D" (my friend and the godmother of my son) said, "What are you doing? I feel like I am robbing you because you could be making money on this!" And that my friends, planted the seed.

She was right. I was handing over huge orders to her for myself and many other people. So with that, I decided to give it a whirl. I always did like doing the home parties. It is my "girls night out". Plus I can be myself, laugh, and get laughed at while making some moolah.

Through out the year, my story has changed. Some will say they joined for the friendships. If you asked me, I already had enough friends. But now, I have this very strong bond with women I would have NEVER met had I not joined. We had so much fun together at conference, that I am sure people thought we were all hammered, and we weren't! At least not all the time :o)

I experienced a light bulb moment while there. 8 is the magic number. 8 parties per month will easily earn the incentives, and yet for TS it isn't all about the numbers. After a year in this business I can honestly tell you that it is more about 'What can we do for you' and it has ALWAYS been that way. They offer incentive after incentive and every single one of them is easily attainable. And the 8 parties? Yeah, it seems like a lot, but it isn't. 3 hours per party, 2 parties per week. Yep. That's about 6 hours per week to earn an all inclusive trip to the Moon Palace Resort in Cancun Mexico - which is where I will be when that rolls around.

Jill was a middle aged housewife just like me. She has a son, and just decided to do gift baskets to make some extra money. She used products in the baskets that were homemade by local folks. At fairs and events, she would open up jars of products and let people taste them, so that they could really experience what they were buying. It took off like wild fire.

As for me, my "why" has definitely changed. Now it is because I LOVE this company. I love it. There are no schemes, no pyramids, no "surprises". It is what it is and it works. And 22,000 consultants can't be wrong. It is because even though this idea of Jill's has turned into a multimillion dollar company, she still hangs around with all of us gals, like a normal chic. She isn't unapproachable. As many times as I've seen her and heard her speak, it has NEVER been about her. She wants all of us to live our "BEST LIFE". To do what is right for us, and to live each moment to the fullest.

I am so glad to be here, and so thankful that I took the opportunity that was offered to me. What I do with this now, is all up to me.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Bye Bye Birdie

Hey y'all, I'm outta here tomorrow for the convention. If I have a chance to post, I will. Otherwise, I look forward to my return and a whole bunch of updated blogs to read! lol. Except Janet... she's excused. lol


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Thanks! I needed that!

Did you see??? My ticker at the top says 2 days till Tastefully Simple Nationals! And let me tell you... I was in a full panic up until today. You see... I wear scrubs. It's like wearing pajamas to work. I wear the same uniform, day in and day out, except the color changes from day to day. So all of my suits have always been "funeral" suits, and winter ones at that. For some odd reason, we were going to a lot of funerals during the winter.

So I needed a change. But how do you get that change when you have to cart frick and frack around with you? So after a casual chat with my mom, she offered to take them off my hands for the day. With that, I met her at 10:30 for the hand off. My parent's don't exactly live around the corner. They live on the edge of the country so to speak. And with gas prices the way they are... you get the picture.

At 10:30, I started my excursion. I went to this awesome area over at 23 Mile Road and Gratiot in Chesterfield Township. It proved to be my one stop shopping zone. First hit of the day... Dress Barn. I swear to you it was the scene right out of Pretty Woman. I had the manager of the store, and an associate helping me and I was there for an hour. With their help, I found EVERYTHING I needed, and it didn't break the bank! I went in there and told them what my plans were and that things had to be interchangeable. It was the best shopping experience I have had in YEARS. I plan to give them a huge kudos by writing to the company.

Next it was off to JcPenny, and then Famous Footwear. By 3:30, I had all of my shopping complete, with the exception of non-drowsy dramamine which Target did NOT have.

So to my mom I say, "Thanks! I needed that." It was such a relaxing, yet productive day. And now... I must go pack.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Self Esteem Issues??? See Greg.

The following is a conversation between Greg and I in the car this evening...

G: "Mom, did you know I can put my face in the water for 5 seconds!"
M: "No way, I don't believe you"
G: "You should challenge me"
M: "That's ok, just wait. On September 7th (G's birthday), you have to jump into the pool, WITHOUT holding on to anything".
G: "Can I plug my nose?"
M: "Absolutely. Sometimes I even have to plug my nose".
Greg laughs.
G: "Wow Mom! You're an adult!"
Mom laughs.
G: "Look at you... You drive a car! You have oversized clothes. You have BIG glasses and a HUGE forhead".

Yep. Sucked the life right out of me. Thanks Greg.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Seasons Change

Poor Janet. I'm sure you read her Brett Favre post. Brett is now a Jett. When I asked Den this morning if this was a big deal, I suddenly could feel his eyes boring into the side of my head. He sarcastically replies, "I guess by looking at the line up on the side of the TV screen, should tell you how big this is. It all relates to the trade". I had to laugh, because that's how we roll.

Regardless, they were showing multiple clips of Brett, and the Packers playing in falling snow and sunny fall days.

I like football. I don't know much about it, but I do like to watch it occasionally. For me, football is freshly sharpened #2 pencils, freshly fallen leaves crunching under foot, carved pumpkins and halloween decorations. It all leads into my favorite time of year. Winter. I LOVE Winter... only until January 2nd though. lol. Of course then I love S.W. Florida.

Regardless, we are lucky. We get to experience absolute change. We get to experience the warm breezes of summer. We get to throw on a fleece and have the crisp fall mornings. We get to see the beauty of freshly fallen snow then the rebirth of spring. I know, there are the pitfalls of each season, but today... the air conditioning is off. The windows are open, and my glass is more than half full.

Enjoy your day.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Murphys Law

Isn't Murphy's law a biatch? I swear, this house is sucking the life out of me. Ok, so I KNOW you all know about the dryer fire. Now that we have dropped a HUGE amount of quid on a new washer and dryer all should be fine in the land of Milobar, right? Right.

The refrigerator stopped working. We knew something was "about to happen" as last week, just days before I was throwing a surprise birthday party for Dennis here at the house... it decided to take a night off. I woke up to water all over the kitchen floor. At first I thought, Oh the hose for the drink dispenser must have split, no biggie, he can fix it when he gets up. Yeah right. Everything in the refrigerator was warm. Almost everything in the freezer was thawed.

So I'm trying to "remain" calm, and make it look like I'm calm, when inside I was totally freaking out. I had about 5o people coming HERE on SATURDAY for a surprise party, and the refrigerator stopped working. And the thing is... Its ONLY 7 years old!!! WTF!!!!!

Deeeeeeeeeeep cleansing breath. Innnnnnnnnnnnnn Outttttttttttttttttt.

So while we are trying to solve the mystery, the stupid thing turns itself back on. WTF!!!!!!!!! And it has ran ever since...... until today.

Picture it.... Sicily 1942.... lol. (LOVE the Golden Girls). No really. So Audrey and Randy are over. We were enjoying the cool air of the house, watching a Food Network marathon on TV. Suddenly there is this ROARING NOISE, that I swear to you, sounded like a crotch rocket motorcycle, throttling up RIGHT IN THE LIVING ROOM. Startled the shit out of all of us. WTF???

It was the refrigerator. It was so flipping loud, we couldn't hear how much butter Paula Deen was puttin in her concoction. So I pulled out the refridge (so proud of my strength as I had never done it before and this fridge is HUGE - next size up is a subzero). While goofing around back there, I managed to get it to stop squealing.

And shortly after... it stopped running. My BIL thinks the fan must have gone or a bearing some where went. Regardless, DENNIS IS AT WORK AGAIN... OF COURSE.

OMG, stick a fork in me. I'm done. And I SWEAR to you. If we have to purchase a new fricken refrigerator, we are getting the smallest, no name brand out there. I'm talking Magic Chef or Speed Queen. We are not prepared to buy a brand new refrigerator, as we want to remodel the kitchen soon. We have NO idea what we want to do to the kitchen, so buying a big fancy appliance right now is out of the question... and out of the kitchen.

Send good Karma... Sears is coming tomorrow to "look" at it. I can't wait for Milford Memories.