Saturday, April 30, 2005

Jury Duty

I have been on call twice a week for the month of April for jury duty in the city where I live. Up until this week, my group had not yet been needed. Monday evening, I called and found out that my group had been called to report for duty Tuesday morning. I had planned on taking Bailey to Kindergarden registration that morning, but I hoped that I would be done in time to catch the evening session. I could have registered her any time, but the school lets the kids ride a school bus and visit the classrooms if you come on the scheduled day.

So, off I went to the courthouse. The jurors that reported that day were divided into two groups. Our group of 15 ended up waiting about 2 hours before we were ushered off to one court room. The other group had gone to another court room about an hour before. Once there, we had to at least another 45 minutes in a back room before we went back into the court room. Then we had to answer questions from the lawyers so they could decide which of us to keep and which to send home. I of course, got select to stay. By that time, it was 12:30 so the judge called a recess for lunch. We had to be back at 1:45. Opening statements finally started at 2:00. We already knew that time point that the trial was not going to last only one day. At 5:00, the judged again called a recess until 9:00am Thursday.

I picked Bailey up at her preschool around 5:15, picked Mallory and her boyfriend up at his house, ran by the house to get the papers I needed for the registration at school and dropped Mallory and Adam off at the baseball field to watch Joseph's game. Bailey and I made it to the school just a few minutes after the session started and she got to ride the bus. She said that it was big and very bouncy.

We got started around 10:00 that day and recessed for lunch at 12:15. Sensing many impending motions after lunch, we were instructed to take a long lunch break and return at 2:00. We waited around again and finally got back into the court room at 3:00. We were starting to think that we'd be back for another day, when the defense finally rested and both lawyers made their closing statements. We went back to deliberate a little after 4:00 and came back with our decision around 5:20. I had an interesting time, but the case we were stuck listening too was very boring.

It took living here 13 years before I got called the first time and no one is called more than once every three years, so it will be interesting to see when I get called again.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Bowling and Pizza

The kids plus Mallory's boyfriend, Adam, and I all went Bowling on Sunday afternoon. We had a blast! Mallory, Adam & I bowling on a lane without bumpers and the rest of the kids bowled with bumpers. No one did very well but we still had a great time. I didn't get a strike until the very last game, but then I got two in a row. I usually get a couple of strikes a game. It's been too long since we bowled last, my back is killing me today. We ate pizza, nachos & cheese fries for lunch.

Natalie and Bailey both fell asleep on the way home. I left them asleep in the car, it was nice and cool outside, while I mowed the lawn. Taylor wanted to help, so she mowed half of the front yard. Since we had a late lunch, everyone just had cereal for dinner. I vegged out and watched TLC and played with photos taken at bowling, until I went to bed.

Sunday, April 24, 2005


I found a cool website that lets you keep a daily food log and it tracks calories, fat, protein, carbs, sodium & cholesterol. It's Check it out!

Organized Chaos?

Today was a very busy day for the Stratton family. It started at 4:35am when a rain storm woke me up. Joe was supposed to get up at 4:00am, but I hadn't set the alarm correctly, so it hadn't gone off like it should have. He left at 5:00am to drive most of the way to New Orleans where he will be until the end of the week.

I went back to sleep until 6:15am when I had to get up so I could drop Mallory off at the high school by 7:00am. She had an all day volleyball tournament in Williamsburg. Then back home to get Joseph and Bailey ready for baseball & t-ball. I dropped them off with a friend of mine at the ball field at 8:30am for games at 9:00am & 11:00am. Next I dropped Natalie off at 9:00am at a friend's house for the day. I have the best friends.

Then I took Taylor to her volleyball game at 10:00am, she had to be there at 9:30am. I got to watch one game and then I was off to work BINGO. I started today as team manager so had to be there an hour earlier than normal. One of Taylor's teammate's mom brought her home. Rachel had a volleyball game at 1:00pm and was picked up by another mom around 12:00pm and she got back home around 2:30pm.

My friend brought Joseph & Bailey home after Rachel got back home. Rachel made pancakes and sausage for dinner. I finished up with BINGO around 5:30pm, picked Natalie up on my way home and got home around 6:15pm. I cleaned the kitchen and family rooms and then relaxed and watch some TV for the rest of the evening until it was time to take Adam home.

Then I went to bed.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Thank You Mary!

Natalie spent the day with a friend while everyone else had something to do. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Baseball is Here!

Joseph has his first baseball game of the season last night. I had to be at gymnastics with Bailey and Mallory was tired after having spent the night riding home from Orlando, FL with the HS band, so her boyfriend stayed with Joseph during his game. This year Joseph moved up to kid-pitch, but the first few games are coach-pitch while they get back into the swing of it. Joseph hit a single, a double and a triple. It's supposed to get harder to get hits once the kids start pitching, since they are not as accurate as the coaches.

Taylor also had a gymnastics meet on Sunday. She, Natalie and I drove up to Fredericksburg Satuday afternoon and spent the evening shopping at Potomac Mills. She did very good at the meet as always. Posted by Hello

Taylor played in her first volleyball game Saturday morning. The team lost the first game, won the second game and lost the third game by two points. Posted by Hello

Saturday, April 16, 2005


Taylor came home from school today with an ear infection. It has been years since she had one. She said that it hurt this morning, but that it didn't get real painful until after she was at school. Joe picked her up from school and took her to the urgent care center to get her some a/bs. She is resting now, but still in a lot of pain. Hopefully, she will feel better by Sunday as she's got a gymnastics meet in Stafford, VA. Posted by Hello


While I wasn't looking, Natalie somehow managed to crawl up onto this box under my desk. Posted by Hello

Monday, April 11, 2005

Busy Weekend

This weekend was unusually busy, even for us. Saturday we had three different things going on, some at the same time. Taylor had a gymnastics meet from 7:30am to 12:30pm if you include warmups and award ceremony. Mallory had a two day volleyball tournament, which started Saturday from 12:30pm - 10:30pm including travel time to Williamsburg. Joe spent most of Saturday at Opening day ceremonies with Bailey (t-ball), Joseph (baseball) & Rachel (volleyball) from 10:45am - 3:45pm. Plus I dropped Taylor off with him after she was done with her meet so Natalie and I could take Mallory to her tournament. This morning Joe dropped Mallory off at the HS at 6:10am so she could get a ride to the tournament with her coach because I had to work BINGO and could not take her. The team ended up in the loser's bracket after yesterday's round of play, but ended up coming in second place there today. See pictures below.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Trash Baby?

Natalie is as bad as the dog when it comes to emptying trashcans. Here she looks at me like she's saying - aren't I just too cute? Posted by Hello

Taylor at Gymnastics

Taylor had a gymnastics meet Saturday morning. She had to be there at 7:30am. She had her best day yet, with a combined score of 36.5. She scored higher in all events: Vault (9.55), Beam (9.4), Floor (9.05) & Bars (8.55). Way to go Taylor!!! Posted by Hello

Mallory at Volleyball

Mallory had a volleyball tournament this weekend in Williamsburg. Natalie and I went to watch her on Saturday. She played great and is really improving her game. Posted by Hello

Natalie at Volleyball

Natalie watches and cheers for Mallory. Posted by Hello

One tired Momma!

Pooped Momma at the end of Saturday Posted by Hello

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Racing Experience

Joe's big gift for his 50th birthday was the chance to drive an actual NASCAR stock car 8 laps around the track to Richmond Internation Raceway. Today was the big day. I also had a ticket to ride 3 laps around the track. Of course, the forecast yesterday was rain on and off all day in Richmond today and you can't race in the rain. I was told that we still had to show up at the track and if the class was cancelled because of rain, that Joe would be given a voucher to reschedule his class sometime in the next year. So we left here around 8:30 this morning and drove in the very cloudy, but not rainy weather to get to Richmond just after 10:00. It started to drizzle for a few minutes after the first group started driving and they called them into the pits to wait for the rain to stop. Fortunately the rain delay only lasted about 5 minutes and everyone in the group got to finish the laps without any more rain. Joe got to drive in the #20 car and I got to ride in the #8 car. He loved the experience and wants to do it again on a bigger track. I was glad that my ride was only 3 laps because I was a little nauseous by the end of my ride. See pictures below.

NASCAR Driver?

Suited up and ready to ride. I got to go first. Posted by Hello

I got to ride in the Bud car

Getting into the car for my ride. Joseph was thrilled that I got to ride in the #8 car, one of his favorite cars. Posted by Hello


Getting ready to cross the start-finish line during my ride-a-long. Posted by Hello

Instruction Time

Joe gets instruction before getting to drive. Posted by Hello

Waiting his Turn

Suited up and ready to go. Posted by Hello

Getting into the Racecar

Joe gets into the car he gets to drive. Posted by Hello

Behind the Wheel

All strapped in a ready to go. Posted by Hello

On the track

He had to follow a pace car around the track. If he kept up with the lead car, the lead car would go faster each lap. The fastest speed on the first lap was 96 MPH, the fastest speed on the last lap was 105 MPH. I said he kept having to slow down to keep from driving into the back of the pace car. He would have liked to have gone faster. Posted by Hello

Back to Pit Row

Pulling back into pit row after his 8 laps were over. Posted by Hello

Spring is Here!

And with the warm weather comes the spring sports season. Monday was t-ball practice for Bailey (5:30-6:15), volleyball practice for Rachel (6:30 - 8:30) & gymnastics for Taylor (5:30 - 9:00) & Bailey (6:30 - 7:30). Tuesday was baseball practice for Joseph (5:00 - 6:30) & volleyball practice for Mallory (7:00 - 9:00). Wednesday was t-ball practice for Bailey (5:30 - 6:15), volleyball for Taylor & Rachel (6:30 - 8:15) & gymnastics for Taylor (8:30 - 9:30). Taylor is giving up gymnastics on Wednesday from 6:00 - 8:30 in order to play volleyball. Thursday was baseball practice from (5:00 - 6:30) & volleyball practice for Malloey (7:00 - 9:00). Friday is gymnastics for Taylor (3:30 - 6:30). Taylor called around 5:30 to come home because she didn't feel well.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Busy Day as a Stay at Home Mom

Here's a list of things that I got done today: Took shower and did new 10 minute ab workout. Folded 4 loads, washed and dried, but did not get folded 2 more loads. Made egg and cheese sandwich for breakfast for me and waffles for Natalie & Bailey. Picked up and vaccummed downstairs to get ready for physical therapist visit. Spent 45 minutes working with Natalie and the therapist. We were trying to get her to walk across the room pushing a walker toy. She did it 5-6 times, yeah Natalie! Made grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. Browned ground beef and made chili for dinner. Got Joseph and Taylor started on their home work when they got home and took Natalie upstairs to lay down for a short nap. Natalie nursed and I dozed for 1/2 hour when I realized that I wanted to sleep more than Natalie. I got up and took her downstairs to Taylor and went back to bed for another 1/2 hour. Got up and made cornbread to go with the chili for dinner. Dished up chili into bowls and took Natalie, Bailey, Joseph & Taylor on the run. Left Rachel home to fend for her self and to wait to be picked up by a friend for volleyball practice (6:30-8:30). Dropped Taylor off about 30 minutes early at gymnastics(5:00), drove across town during rush hour to get Bailey to the first T-ball practice(5:30) for 40 minutes, drove back across town in not so ruch hour traffic to get Bailey back to gymnastics for her class(6:30-7:30), went to Best Buy with Joseph & Natalie while Bailey was in class and got a brand new digital camera to replace the one that quit working this weekend (it was only 6 weeks old), picked up Mallory from her boyfriend's house(8:00), picked up Rachel from volleyball practice(8:30), took Mallory, Joseph & Bailey home, then back out with Rachel and Natalie to pick up Taylor at gymnastics(9:00). Last we stopped at the grocery store in
the way home to pick up a few much needed items (cereal, quick & easy dinners for next few nights, dish washing liquid, etc.) Put away groceries and spent an hour trying to get Natalie to settle down and go to sleep (unfortunately she catnapped in the car while we were
driving all around). Read and typed this email. Time to go to bed, I'm exhusted from my day away from work. LOL

Natalie & Rachel

Natalie & Rachel in the car during one of our many trips today. Doesn't Natalie look thrilled to be in the car? Posted by Hello

What is Natalie listening to?

Natalie watched the Sponge Bob Movie on the way home. She usually doesn't get headphones, but everyone else was sleeping so Rachel thought she should have a pair. Posted by Hello

Hi Mom!

Today we went to Arlington Cemetery and while we were there we left flowers for my Mom. Carnations were her favorite flower and red was her favorite color. After we left, Bailey cried for a while because she was so sad that she hadn't gotten to meet my Mom before she died. It was sad for me to see her so sad. I wish my Mom could have met Bailey and Natalie too. Bailey asked me if my Mom had wanted to die? I told her my Mom died because she had been very sick, that most people who die do not want to die. We also spent some time talking about my Grandma and how she is very old and will probably died sometime probably in the next couple of years. I want her to be prepared for when it happens. What else can I do? Posted by Hello

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Happy 98th Birthday!!!

My grandma turned 98 on Wednesday. Two of my cousins and my one cousins two children came for a visit this weekend to my Dad's house. We celebrated Grandma's birthday on Saturday with my Dad, three of her grandchildren and seven of her great grandchildren. The cake was sent to my Dad's house for Grandma's birthday by my sister Linda.Posted by Hello


Three of Grandma's grandchildren: Karen, Carolyn & Jimmy. Posted by Hello

Great Grandchildren

Seven of Grandma's great grandchildren: Kristen(19), Taylor(10), Bailey(5), Rachel(12), Natalie(1), Mallory(15) & Micheal(12). Joseph wasn't with us because he stayed home and spent a boys only weekend with Joe. Posted by Hello