Category Archives: Random

Graduate School is Musical Mondays

Some days are filled with laundry, spilled apple-juice, potty-training , chasing my fifteen month-old son everywhere, after school pick-up, fixing oatmeal and full-time graduate school. There are many many other things included in my schedule too, but for now it all seems to work.  It works because I feel I’m really enjoying my school courses and my husband is such a team player.

I’m pursuing a master’s in Management and Leadership with Webster University.  The program has been enjoyable so far.  Full-time graduate school means taking two classes each term.  The term schedule is nine weeks long.  So that means it is very fast-paced, and you have to keep on top of assignments, especially papers with fifteen references.  I’m taking one class in person on campus, which is a convenient eight miles from our home.  Then, I take an online course as well.  The reason I chose to split it up this way is because it was one less night I would need to be out of the house.  It gives me that in person class experience, which I quite enjoy.  That said, I really think my personality and enjoyment of communication via the computer really likes the online atmosphere as well.  So for me, it is really a good fit.

When I have to go to  my in-person class, it means that I fix dinner about 3:15pm and leave instructions for my husband on how to warm/serve it.  My oldest daughter finishes up her homework, and I prepare a to-go snack for all three kids.  Then after gathering all the needed materials for my class, we leave the house, and head towards my school parking lot.  It is there that I feed my fifteen month old his dinner in the car, and await for my husband to arrive so we can do the official ‘switch’.  In the winter months I even have the kids bathed and in pajama’s.  He then takes the kids back home to finish out the evening and I then am able to go to my class (sometimes, I even have 4 minutes to spare).

It’s one day a week.  We create a sense of normalcy for the kids by keeping our routine, and we even have a name for it.  We call it ‘Musical Monday’.  This is because of the game musical chairs and my very first class was on a Monday.  Even though I haven’t had another Monday class, the name stuck.  Very thankful for a husband that helps out as much as he does.  It gives the kids extra quality time with dad and really is working well for us.

If all keeps on track, I should be graduating in May 2012.

This is good news.



A Clean Desk Helps!

As I sit here listening to the dishwasher run, I realize that February is nearly here and I need to begin putting my menu and grocery list together for February.  My desk has piles on it, that just really grew in the last two weeks.  How quickly these things can happen, right? Yes, very fast indeed.

My friend Christy would certainly be an inspiration as she really helped me a lot in Tennessee when I was getting my office organized.  But since she isn’t here, and I do know how to get things back into a more orderly place, I need to just do it.  Why is it that when the night is calm, and quiet, and there is no one around to distract me from getting these piles tended to, I often go to bed, and the piles never get touched?    I think sometimes being a mom and being ‘on’ all day long, causes me to just unwind in my own, less than productive way, come the last couple hours of the evening.

It took less than 30 minutes, once I stopped procrastinating.  And my desk doesn’t look too bad either.    Now, I can begin menu planning, gathering all the needed documents for our tax preparation, and sorting of coupons.

Let the fun begin!

Transitioning —-And so Exciting!

I am starting a Master’s degree program in Management and Leadership in March and will be going to school full-time in the evenings.  That, combined with the love I have for my commitment to God, my family, my friends and my church, I’ve decided that I will keep my Pampered Chef website up and going for customers that want to order, but regarding doing parties, I did my last this week.

I am almost at a loss of words to tell you how elated I am at the transitional crossroads which I find myself.  My last Pampered Chef Party which was this past Monday, was fun and a great last dance, so to say.  Having been a Director with The Pampered Chef during my three and a half years and meeting so many wonderful people, I found it to be  extremely rewarding and beneficial not only to me, but also to my family in so many countless ways.

Having never done any type of direct sales in my entire life, I was a little apprehensive to consider doing Pampered Chef because I didn’t think that I was ‘that’ kind of a person that did direct sales.

I struggled with this decision for quite some time as to whether I should continue, or stop. But then I realized that the flexibility that this company provides me, allows for me to realize that I’m just entering a new season of my life and this is what is going to work for me, now.

The Pampered Chef can really make your dreams come true.  So please allow it to be a part of your life, if you are open to all the possibilities!
I never would have soared with this company if it weren’t for the support ( AND PERSISTENCE) of my recruiter, Missy Ciccolella and my director Mary Grant.
I never would have gone to a Pampered Chef conference if it weren’t for the personal call from Missy and Mary telling me I needed to go and that it would change me. They were right.

And so I can thank them both for the $104,000. 00 career sales I accomplished in 3+ years.  I can thank them for the 22 recruits that joined the company under my leadership, and I can thank them for the AMAZING fully-paid free trip I earned to Disney World this past summer for my entire family and my mom!

I just want to make sure you get that my message isn’t to quit, but to know what you want, and when you decide what that is, go after it full throttle!


Live Overseas If You Can

Thanks to my husbands time serving in the military we had the opportunity to live in Germany for three years.  At the time, we felt that it seemed hard being so far away from many dear family and friends, but we also knew what a wonderful opportunity it would be as well, so we took full advantage of it.

There are so many perks to living overseas, and in our case, Europe.  Here are some of the top reasons that I think you too should consider it if the opportunity were to present its self, or if you have the means to try and make it happen.

1. Travel – There is no accident why this is my number one reason.  When else in life can you say on a Saturday morning, “Hey, let’s ride to France for the day!” We took advantage of it and loved it.  We used our cars, we rented a car when we took a roadtrip to Poland, we used air travel often as well because the prices were so reasonable.  And this is why in the three years we lived there we were able to go and see 14 countries and see some wonderful mountains, beaches, and countryside too!  We also utilized the public train system to take to Frankfurt on occasion too.   My mind is a blur, but I will do a quick trip down memory lane and list a few of the placed we visited:

London, England – by plane; Amsterdam and The Netherlands ( 2 different trips we took, to the same country – both by car);Barcelona, Spain as well as Lloret de Mar, Spain(we took a charter bus with a group); Sardinia, Italy – by plane; Munich, Germany – by charter bus with a group, Paris, France – by Charter bus with USO), Dingle, Ireland and Kerry, Ireland (by plane), Strausburg, France – by car, Metz, France – by car, Willigen, Germany – by car, Boleslawiec, Poland – by rental car for a polish pottery trip,  Rothenburg, Germany – by car, 3 country tour of Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein – by charter bus, Garmisch, Germany  – by car, Cologne, Germany ( spelled Koln in German) – by car, Luxembourg – by car, and Czech Republic by charter bus.  There were many more cities within Germany that we ventured to as well, but I think you get the idea! Traveling to so many wonderful places is right at your finger tips, so take full advantage!

2. Healthcare and Babies – If you will be near a military installation, you will most likely have the luxury of seeing American doctors for routine check-ups, or random appointments when the children are sick.  But you also will have the opportunity to utilize the hospitals that are of the country.  My experience was in the Wiesbaden, Germany area.  And I experienced having our first child in Germany.  Not only did I have an OB that was only 2 miles away from our home with a local German doctor, but I also got to have an ultrasound of our baby at every single monthly appointment! That is one cool bonus.  And as you can imagine with wintery weather, and kids, we did end up needing to see a doctor on the weekends, so I did need to use the Emergency rooms at the local German hospitals as well, and had positive experiences there as well.

3. The Food – Now I will tell you I’m still not a fan of most bratwursts, nor am I a wine/beer drinker really, and all of these things are certainly a part of the life in Germany, but getting out and trying the food of the local areas was always interesting and I did come to find some wonderful places we loved eating, and some of the best breads I’ve ever eaten for sure!! There is a bakery on literally every corner it seems in the large and small towns.

4. Festivals Often – There seemed to be festivals all the time! And being in Wiesbaden, a city that offers many wonderful cultural attractions, we could easily get to the local festivals because they were so close!  More food, more music, more people, more music.  What fun times and we loved them!

5. Christmas Markets – The Christmas Markets typically are open in cities the timeframe around the end of November, and end just a few days before Christmas.  It is yet another time for food, music, exhibits selling crafts from the local vendors with products, amusement rides also often were available for small children. This is one of my most missed traditions from living in Germany.  We went to the Christmas Markets in Frankfurt, Wiesbaden, and several other cities too!

The History – The history with the architecture alone is amazing and such an appeal to me.  Walking on cobblestone streets that were older than The United States has been in existence was the norm.  Seeing buildings that had more detail than anything I had seen before in America was commonplace.   If you are a history buff at all, you will love it.  If you are not,and you can just appreciate something for what it is, I think you too would get some great value out of being in and around such churches, cathedrals and embracing that there is more to this world than the walls of what you personally know having lived only in America.

Getting Ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas simotaneously!

This is one of the first years that I feel I’m truly so ready for the holiday season to begin and am totally embracing it!

By that I mean, I’m not frustrated when I see the Christmas decor going up right after Halloween passes in the stores.  I love when I hear that the church was having a “Christmas in the Morning” women’s event on November 6th.  I’m actually contemplating getting my Christmas decorations down tomorrow, and I’ll be working on my grocery list for Thanksgiving at the same time.  I so need to find a fantastic pumpkin pie recipe.  If you know of one, do please share.  I think I’ll look first in my Paula Deen cookbook and see if she has one.

I do not think that the planning of decor, or the Christmas music takes away from Thanksgiving at all.   I’m able to totally be thrilled about both, but I guess I love celebrating Advent, and the entire month of December thinking of the birth of Jesus, so I like the anticipation of all the decor.  Though I totally am not advocating the commercialization that the media and pop culture creates (i.e. Santa, shopping beyond your means and buying just because it is Black Friday) but I love the spirit of the Christmas season.  I think I only even like the idea hot chocolate at Christmas time, assuming it is cold of course.

I think the only reason I’ve convinced my husband it is a good idea to get out the Christmas decor tomorrow is because he is having foot surgery the day before Thanksgiving, and I know we won’t be able to get it all out if we wait.

So there is just one more positive result of his upcoming surgery.

Our European Travels while we lived in Germany

I was reflecting last night on so many fond memories, vacations, and great times we had while we lived in Germany.  Although it seemed like a long time to be there ( three years) we knew that it really wasn’t ‘that long’ and we wanted to make sure we took advantage of the opportunity to travel while we had such amazing countries so close to us.  When else in our lives would be able to say on a Saturday morning, “Hey, let’s drive to France for the day!”?  So, here are some pictures of some of our travels.  We traveled to a total of 14 countries while we were there, and not all are represented in our pictures, but I think you’ll get at least a glimpse of our travels.


Lloret De Mar, Spain

Lloret De Mar, Spain - One of my favorite captures!

Lloret De Mar, Spain – One of my favorite pictures!




Czech Republic Shopping Trip

Villigen, Germany

Strausburg, France

Rudesheim, Germany

Paris, France

Sardenia, Italy

Sardenia, Italy

Swiss Alps

Wiesbaden, Germany (this is the city we lived)

Neuschwantsein Castle, Southern Germany


Ider Oberstein, Germany

Garmish, Germany



Selling your home For Sale By Owner

So, we’re in the midst of getting our home ready to go on the market for sale. We’re going to do it for sale by owner, mainly because we figure we might as well try.  Doing those few touch ups to the house before we officially put the sign in the front yard ( including all the fun tips you get from watching HGTV and all the fun shows telling you how to clear off all the items of your kitchen counter).  And as any mom knows trying to keep your house spotless, and in ‘show-status’ 24/7 is going to certainlly be a challenge.  But, it’s a good thing right? Keeping the house clean all the time, and heading into spring/summer, well that alone is enough to put a smile on my face. 

Now, since I’m the one who needs to get the ‘clean house spotless’ part done, I suppose I better step it up and get my mo-jo going regarding cleaning.  Anyone have any tips on doing for sale by owner, please please share your comments below. We’re all ears!