Monday, February 25, 2008

The Earliest Easter Ever?

Well, not exactly- ever, but pretty darn close. I got this fun tid-bit of trivia from a friend at church. I knew that Easter was early this year, but I had not idea how early it actually is! So feel for us as we plan for our 2nd Annual Easter Egg Hunt! It might be a little cold and muddy, but I'm sure it'll still be a ton of fun!!

Easter is always the 1st Sunday after the 1st full moon after the Spring Equinox (which is March 20). This dating of Easter is based on the lunar calendar that Hebrew people used to identify Passover, which is why it moves around on our Roman calendar. Based on the above, Easter can actually be one day earlier (March 22) but that is pretty rare.

Here's the interesting info. This year is the earliest Easter any of us will ever see the rest of our lives! And only the most elderly of our population have ever seen it this early (95 years old or above!). And none of us have ever, or will ever, see it a day earlier!

Here are the facts: 1) The next time Easter will be this early (March 23) will be the year 2228 (220 years from now). The last time it was this early was 1913 (so if you're 95 or older, you are the only ones that were around for that!). 2) The next time it will be a day earlier, March 22, will be in the year 2285 (277 years from now). The last time it was on March 22 was 1818. So, no one alive today has or will ever see it any earlier than this year!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

"Oh The Lord's Been Good To Me..."

Truly a story from the mom side.... So, sit back and read. And my kids, I'm sure will be sure to kill me for this one day. Till then, it's my story.

It started just like any other Saturday night bedtime routine, with bath night! My husband, for whatever reason, volunteered and jumped right in for bath duty and I was more than obliged to let him. I hung out downstairs and waited to be called up for stories and kisses. When what to my surprise comes streaking by- my son, Anthony! "Hey mom, I'm naked and we're out of overnights, so you're going to have to go to the store and get some for me before I go to bed." I was like, no way! I told him, we'd just wing it and that we'd take him to the bathroom several time during the night and just that HE COULD DO IT! He was very resistant, but finally gave in. Not that he had a lot of other options at this point. We had a few other trials and tribulations as any other night brings- read more, more kisses, rub my back in 10 minutes... but the night went on and the kids went to bed- without his overnight.

The night was going pretty smooth, Tony took Anthony to the bathroom again at 11pm when he went to bed and I took him again at 12:30 when I went to bed. I debated setting the alarm for anything earlier than the 6:30am time it's set for, but decided not to and thought surely he'd be ok for just 6 more hours?! I say this holding my breath and with my fingers crossed behind my back of course... Then all of a sudden, while the house is dark and quiet and everyone is in sweet slumber, I hear the cry, "mom..... mom...." and of course, all I can think is here it comes-'I peed through.' But no, of course not, that couldn't be the worst of it, no, I hear, "mom, I throwed up." It was Bella! So, in my just got into REM sleep phase startled wake up and stumbled fog, I made it to her room only to fumble for her night light and squeeze my eyes open just enough to see the proof. It really didn't seem like much, nothing too bad, so I went to get a towel and a wet wash cloth to clean things up. But boy when I returned, reality sure set in! Her little spit ups had turned into large pools of vomit that just didn't quit and the odor seemed to be one of the worst imaginable! I'll try not to go into too much detail, but I didn't think I could stomach the clean up, seriously! I had to open a window! And my gagging was enough to awaken my husband and send him flying down the hall to rescue our son who he thought was now getting sick too. It was all I could do to keep from laughing. I corrected his mistake and he so graciously went right back to sleep while I cleaned and gagged and gagged and laughed so hard because I couldn't gag much worse that soon I was crying! And who, but a mom would notice and sort out the clean babies and toys and dirty socks found their daughters bed while trying to strip the sheets and remove the pillowcases? And to think I was thankful when I discovered Anthony's long lost library book deep inside her covers. I couldn't help but smile amidst all the fun I was having in the wee small hours of the morning. And yet as I scooped the blankets and stuffed animals injured in this war, the comforters and quilts with her jams and other miscellaneous items of interest and hoisted it over my back, like Santa with his pack, I carried it all down to the washer and thanked my lucky stars that I had actually finished laundry earlier the day before and both appliances were actually found empty!! Then I turned around to go back up only to find the dog's water bowl empty- so that's what he wanted earlier when he kept hanging around?! I filled his bowl and headed back upstairs to clean and sanitize the plastic bed cover over her mattress and scoop up my daughter who'd been patiently waiting and offering to help, and take her to bed with us. The whole time, with the song to Johnny Appleseed stuck in my head?! "Oh The Lord's been good to me. And so I'll thank The Lord. For giving me the things I need, the sun, the rain and the apple trees....." And I take time to be thankful for what we have and those we love and remember that we are blessed.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Six Degrees

As a Realtor in Kansas City, I'm always learning something, connecting with someone, maintaining databases, marketing and what not- all that on top of helping others to buy and sell real estate of course! So, in my endeavors to try to organize and grow my business and increase my web traffic, I've been getting more involved with websites like Twitter, Active Rain and Linked In. What's really inspired all of this and revived my interest again is my involvement and entrepreneurial business with my virtual tours and the company that I'm associated with in them~ Real Tour Vision. As a sort of challenge/assignment with them to help increase your web traffic, I'm working with a blogging group and trying to figure it all out. So stay tuned for more blogging! My biggest concern is that being actively involved with 3 different blogs- this one, Active Rain and RTV, that means 3x the blogging! I don't know that I lead an interesting enough life to support that much blogging. So please feel free to let me know what you're interested in reading about or else you might just have to hear about what's for dinner, what's on tv and what the kids are learning about in school. LOL!

Ok, so I digress..... back to my six degrees... As I mentioned- I'm signing up and really beginning to dig in to these "connecting" websites too. Linked In has become one of my favorites in which you invite your contacts to "Link In" as well, they ask their contacts to "Link In" to them and so on- as you check your contacts and your contacts contacts, you can easily see how everyone is connected. As you search the site and jobs and for people, it shows you the degrees of connection to you, if any, that each person has. It's really amazing! I'm thinking that as my contact base grows and theirs grows in turn, it shouldn't be long before we all have our own "Six Degrees" to Kevin Bacon, Donald Trump or possibly even Barack Obama!? So be sure to accept my invitation and sign on in to check it out yourself and get involved!! You never know when one of these contacts may come in handy!! (If you didn't get an invitation, please send me your email address and I'll send you one soon!)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Crazy Beards

Just for fun! Ok, so as many of you may or may not know, I have this overwhelming hair fetish- well, I don't know if it's so much as a fetish as I just cannot tolerate loose hair! It disgusts me to no end for whatever reason..... So, crazy as it may be- I thought I'd share this amuzing little ditty of a website for the Champion Beard Competition and some pictures to boot! Enjoy! For more photos and information about these guys and their beards visit:

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Get Ready, Get Set, Get Clean!

You've seen Kansas City's top 9 (10) tips to increase the salability of your home, I thought I'd help you spruce up a little and get a jump start on your spring cleaning too. PS- I'm not even going to try to take the credit for this one, especially for those of you who know me and my lack of cleaning habits.... I stole these from my husband's Handy Man magazine....
  1. Speed-clean chandeliers- apparently there is a spray-on chandelier cleaner out there... ( or You just spray quite generously- ok, douse chandelier until it runs and the dirt will literally just drip right off and evaporates spot-free! Just make sure to use a drop cloth and maybe even some protective goggles too!
  2. Cut grease with a hot sponge- When cleaning cabinets, wood or metal, spray first with an orange oil cleaner, then take a damp sponge and microwave for 20-30 seconds until hot and wipe off the cleaner. Wipe in the direction of the wood grain, rinse and reheat the sponge as necessary and finish wiping with a cool damp cloth for a nice shiny coating.
  3. This one is my favorite.... SCUM-PROOF YOUR SHOWER DOORS! Ok, first you have to start with clean doors- it's suggested to clean with a glass cleaner, Magic Eraser (I LOVE those!), or razor blade for tough stubborn build-up and then dry with a cloth. The secret then is to treat the doors with Rain-X! Just spray on and wipe off with a microfiber cloth and water is repelled for SIX MONTHS!!! I wonder if this would help on the shower floor too?! I've also found that the Automatic Shower Cleaner works wonders too and would highly recommend it to anyone!
  4. Clean hard floors faster- gotta love the Swiffer! And another personal recommendation- Orange Glo for Hardwoods! I bought the "system" when we bought our new house and it really is great! It comes with it's own microfiber cleaning cloth- similar to the swiffer, but you wash it in the washer!!! It really does clean up the floors nice and the refinisher/polisher is great too!
  5. Switch to microfiber cloths- as if I didn't mention it enough above, that's the way of the future. I have one for windows and glass, one for my floors and one for my eye glasses as well. Apparently the fibers rub together during the cleaning to "magnetically" attract the dust and dirt with or without special cleaners. They also have sharp edges that scour well, but are non abrasive so they won't scratch surfaces either. You can use them for anything- appliances, sinks, electronics, dishes, windows, etc.... and I didn't know this, but you can pick them up at discount stores for $20 for a 10-pack?! And they're streak-free, lint free, absorbant and washable!
  6. Blow-out the garage. No, don't just leave the overhead doors open on a windy day, but close.... Use the leaf blower and go to town! Great for getting behind big heavy things and around large objects.
  7. The right stuff for rust- For stubborn sink, tub and toilet stains use a stain remover like Super Iron Out or any product with diluted hydrochloric acid, or hydrogen chloride, HCL or muriatic acid. Do not use bleach as it will only set the stain.
  8. Remove pet hair with duct tape- yup, another great use for duct tape! It's an industrial size make shift lint roller in all aspects. Simply take a paint roller and wrap duct tape around the roller sticky side out and get to work. Use a sponge or cloth with duct tape to get into crevices and corners.
  9. Remove bathroom soap scum- again with the soap scum..... First wait for the soap scum to dry, then scrape it with a plastic putty knife and use the wonderful Magic Eraser for grout lines and textured surfaces. And did you know that using a synthetic soap (any in liquid or gel form and some bars) will actually help prevent soap scum build up and tough films?!
  10. Spot-clean food and drink spills- Just like preventing stains in your clothing, you should catch those spots and treat them as soon as possible on your furniture and upholstrey. Tide To-Go and the Clorox Beach Pen are great to have on hand and work wonders! Just be sure to test first and avoid using the bleach pen on colored fabrics.

So, in case your bored, tired of watching the lunar eclipse or need something to do when we get snowed in again tomorrow.... now your armed and ready to clean! No more excuses!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Preparing Your Home to Sell

9 simple things you can do to prepare your home to sell in any market. As seen on Kansas City's own KMBC channel 9 news tonight, I thought I'd share these very useful tips, with my own editorial comments and suggestions as well - just in case you missed it....
  1. Spiff up the exterior. This is where your house makes it's first impression, and believe it or not, many home buyers do a "drive by" before even making their list of the homes they want to see.
  2. Add exterior (and interior) lights. Again- buyers will drive by the houses of interest and more times than not, they'll check it out (and the neighborhood too) at night. I also suggest replacing light bulbs with new brighter ones and cleaning or upgrading light fixtures as well.
  3. Touch up your paint- inside and out. Pay attention to detail- it's not just the walls, but the window sills, trim, moldings, etc.... And clean them too- kids and pets tend to leave their marks everywhere...
  4. Neutralize! Although beige, tan, white and off-white may not be your favorite colors, they are the preferred color of buyers. It helps "depersonalize" the home and let's them envision it as their own.
  5. De-Clutter, De-Clutter, De-Clutter! Spic and span, neat and tidy, any way you say it, make sure it's clean! You're moving anyway- pack it up and get rid of it, put it in storage, give it away, whatever it takes- space sells!
  6. Pay attention to the front door. Fresh paint and a bright and shiny new handle can make a world of difference. Remember, this is their first up close and personal impression.
  7. DEEP CLEAN! It's not just your mother-in-law coming for dinner, but strangers rummaging through your things. Just kidding. But seriously, this is one of the single biggest investments a person/couple/family is going to make in their lifetime- MAKE IT SHINE!!
  8. Straighten up the basement. Like I said before, space sells. If they can't see it or if it's too creepy, there is NO value. Give it value!! Show the potential!!
  9. Pre-home inspections. Many home sellers are now opting to do the inspections upfront. This gives them the option to go ahead and address any issues that may arise- it also elliminates any potential surprises. Plus it really gives your house a more attractive appeal to buyers.
  10. If they can smell it, you can't sell it!

Ok, so that last tip wasn't really one of the 9 tips they gave.... I threw it in, just for fun.

Monday, February 18, 2008

My Baby Boy Turns SIX

Only a mom can relate to the feeling you feel as your babies grow up.... Here are a few pictures of the fun we shared as Anthony turned six on Valentine's Day.

On Wednesday, we celebrated "crazy hair day" at school in part of Spirit Week. What a hoot, with a blue spiked mohawk!

And then on Thursday at his school Valentine/Birthday party, they really had fun doing the Chicken dance! I thought about uploading the video- it's way too cute!!

We then headed up to Iowa where Anthony wanted to celebrate and party with his cousins! We stayed at the Comfort Suites and swam most of the day and into the night! Of course, we had to take a break for the party, presents and the pinata! I actually found a pinata of Darth Vader's head that now doubles as a really cool whole head mask without any eye holes to see through.... We also had fun playing "stick the control panel on Darth Vader," I think the best part was when we put the "mask" around Tony's head and gave him a spin too! The kids really had fun and even though there were only four kids total, nobody seemed to miss the crowds!!

Although it had been forcasted, the snow still came on Sunday morning! We decided after they had closed down KCI airport that morning and after hearing the amounts of rain they got ahead of the snow and the fact that it was supposed to continue on all day and into the night, that we'd just hang out with the family and enjoy a snow day with everyone! The kids had a blast playing with the Wii and then sledding and building snowmen outside! -Don't be surprised if you see the last picture again next Christmas! :O) Back to the winter storm though- even though it didn't last as long or get as bad as they thought, with the crazy winds and the 14 cars that we counted still in the ditches on the way home today- we think we made a pretty good decision! And the fact that the kids had a blast and got to spend more time with their cousins, that was priceless!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Life can be seen through your eyes, but it is not fullyappreciated until it is seen through your heart.-- Mary Xavier

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Customer Service

This is an unbeleiveable video. It talks about customer service in the most basic of ways. I encourage you all to pass it along.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Housewarming Gift Ideas

Welcome to your new home! Now, what?! A housewarming party of course!

Inspired by last nights HGTV, the top 3 Housewarming Gifts were listed as:
  1. The American Flag
  2. Personalized stationary with the new homeowners address
  3. Home repair book

Other top ideas include: candles, coffee table books, houseplants, wine, windchimes, unique accessories (corkscrews), artistic vases, trendy finds, a touch of style and birdhouses. For more about these Top 10 Can't-Miss Housewarming Gifts, visit,,HGTV_3213_4119241,00.html.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Kindergarten Field Trip

Ok, so I totally didn't realize how long it had been since I'd posted... until one of my most loyal readers oh so suttley hinted tonight... well, she mentioned that another friend had started a new "daily blog" and about all the really cool stuff that she's going to post.... I was so jealous! So, I thought I'd better bring things up to date and really give an honest try to doing better.... really!

Friday was a great trip for the Martin Luther Academy Kindergarten class! We went down to the Nelson Atkins Art Museum and toured Mythical Creatures and then the class had their own time to create their own mythical creatures as well. Some with two heads, or five faces, many with scales and swirlies, lots of colors with different textured papers and craypas and then they painted over them with water colors. The kids really had a great time with this activity and really enjoyed their tour as well!

Without express permission from their parents, I did not share photos of any other kids during their trip- enjoy some of the sites from the gallery instead!