Thursday, January 27, 2011

Day 4: My Parents

Yes, I realize I'm a week-ish late in posting keep up, I'm going to be playing catch-up with the blog posts now! :D

Day 4's assignment was to blog about my parents. Here they are:


My parents’ names are Robert (Bob) and Joyce. Only people that really don’t know my dad actually call him Robert. He’s always been Bob.  They were both born, raised, and have lived their entire lives in the same small town where I grew up. (I’m hearing “small town” by John Mellancamp in my head right now). They’ll be married for 48 years this June.

Dad grew up on a farm, the middle child of 3. He was 7 when his father died of a heart attack at age 38. His mom raised him, his brother and his sister on welfare and what she could earn as a waitress, seamstress, housekeeper/cook, etc. In the mid 40’s, options weren’t all the abundant for a single mom with 3 kids, living out in the country, kwim? But she struggled through and that’s probably what made my dad the man he is now. My dad is a very proud, caring, stubborn dude. I see a lot of him in myself (and in my kids).

My mom also grew up on a farm, and her dad also died when she was very young (I think she was 7 as well). She was the youngest of 5 sisters. After her dad died, her mom sold their farm and they “moved to town”. She was the first in her family to go to high school. Back then, it was completely common for a girl to finish her formal education at 8th grade. So she got to do what her sisters and mother couldn’t.

My parents met at a funeral. Classy! But hey, in a small town….if you think about it….where else is there going to be that large of a gathering of people all in one place? :D One of my dad’s best friends had been killed in a car accident, and this person was also known to my mom’s family. So they met there, but were both dating other people at the time. They ended up on a double-date at some point after that and somehow ended up basically switching dates during the evening and the rest is history.

Their relationship survived my dad’s years in the Air Force (he got sent to there any place more remote than that?) and the raising of 4 kids. When they were first married, my dad worked at the lumber yard in town, and my mom was a bank teller. When she became preggers with my oldest brother, she had to quit….since back in those days, you didn’t work “out” (that’s what she always says……she means “outside the home”) once you had kids. So from that point, she was basically a SAHM…..until the times changed and she went back to work part time after my little brother was in school.

I have 2 older brothers, I’m the 3rd child, and then I have a younger brother… I’m sure we kept my parents plenty busy when we were all home. We were kinda spaced-out in ages (my oldest brother is 14 years older than my younger brother), so it took awhile to get us all out of the house! Actually, my younger brother still lives at home, but that’s a whole other story! :P

Here’s me and my brothers….not only did I get the brains, but I obviously got the looks in the family too, LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!


For most of my childhood, I remember my dad as being a salesman for Sears. Pocket protector and all. I still have a soft spot in my heart for pocket protectors, nerdy as they are, because my dad always wore one, full of pens, to use to write up a sale for a customer…..seeing one of those things reminds me of my childhood. My dad was a good salesman….he’s the type of guy that could sell a fridge to an Eskimo. :D

My mom was always room mom at school functions…..she was my brownie leader…..all that kind of stuff. When my younger brother started kindergarten, she started doing some part-time work. She cooked for a daycare center. She was a receptionist for a doctor’s office….

My mom is a great cook. That has always been her talent. She loves nothing more than to cook a big meal for a big gathering of people. Potlucks and bake sales at church were always her time to shine. She also likes to crochet. She tried to teach me……I wasn’t very good at it. But I have a drawer-full of crocheted potholders in my kitchen thanks to her! She used to sew too, but doesn’t do that much anymore. Me? I can’t even sew patches on the kids’ scout uniforms. It’s pathetic.

My dad loves cars. Specifically Ford cars. :P Nothing would make him happier on any given day than to be dropped off at a Ford car lot so he could just walk up and down the rows of new cars….sticking his head under the hood and dreaming away a few hours. We’ve actually done this on more than one occasion (if we were going shopping or something that didn’t interest him…..he’d ask to just be dropped off to look at cars!) Just don’t tell him you like Chevys. He’ll go ballistic. :P Seriously. He will. Not sure where the fierce loyalty comes from, but you do NOT even THINK of driving a Chevrolet in our family. I accept this. So what do Karl and I drive? A Ford Fusion and a Ford Flex. Obviously! LOL……. My dad’s other great love: St. Louis Cardinals baseball. OMG……..don’t even attempt to talk to the guy if the Cards are playing. You will get no response. He’s fiercely loyal to his cars and his baseball. It’s so funny. My brothers will play devil’s advocate with him and start an argument just for the fun of it. I’ll admit, it is pretty entertaining to watch him fly off the handle defending his cars and his Cards. :P

Money was always tight, us being a family of 6, mostly guys……they eat a lot! Plus, with my dad being paid on commission, they never knew if this week we were going to have a Sunday roast, or if we were going to just be eating the potatoes! Gosh I like the stability of a known paycheck….it makes life so much easier! I sometimes wonder how they got by all those years, but they always did. I admire that in them.
When I was in 7th grade, my mom went back to school to be a cosmetologist. She still does hair for her friends on the weekends and for special occasions, but nothing like she used to. It’s more for the social aspect now. (my mother is a serious gossip! Actually, I’ve decided most hairdressers are!)

Dad’s heart problems and general bad health forced him into semi-retirement about 10 years ago…..and thanks to even more health problems (lung, knee, gall-bladder....) he’s been fully retired for the last couple of years. Both of my parents are basically retired now, living in the same small town.

The last few years have been especially hard on my parents, especially financially. I’m sure you’ve seen stories on CNN about senior citizens who were financially ruined because of medical bills and such. My parents fall into that category. They have very little to live on now, but are so darned proud they refuse to ask for help. I’m thankful that Karl and I have been able to help them as much as we have…..I just wish we could do more. My parents are good people, and they deserve better than the hand they’ve been dealt….but the same could be said for lots of other people, couldn’t it?

So anyways, that’s the cliff’s notes version of my parents’ story………

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day 3

Day 3. I'd really like to skip this one in all honesty. :P

Today I'm supposed to talk about my first love. bah.

Do I REALLY have to talk about this one? Uhm. Okay then. If I must.
Ya know what? I’m not even going to glorify the guy by mentioning his name in public! I met what's-his-name my senior year of high school. Our first date was a blind date set up by my best friend and his best friend who were dating at the time. We dated all through my senior year……he was my date to my senior prom……we dated through my first year of college and broke up the following summer. I was definitely in love with the guy, but he wasn’t right for me….I just didn’t see it at the time. Oh yeah, and he cheated on me, hence the break-up instead of the engagement ring most people were expecting. That was kind of a deal-breaker for me! But everybody needs their first love experience…..young, naive, and foolish love. I don’t have any regrets (except that I didn’t break up with him sooner! Lol). That relationship taught me a lot about myself and a lot about what I wanted (and didn’t want!) from a future spouse. Five months after we broke up, I met my husband, who is NOTHING like what's-his-name, thankfully. And the rest is history.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day 2: My blog???

for Day 2, we're supposed to blog about: the meaning behind your blog name


Five Hermans? Herman’s Blog? Aren’t those kinda self-explanatory? Well…….Our last name is Herman….and there are 5 of us in the family. Hence the name!
When I started this blog (April of 2008), it was before the glorious advent of Facebook (or more specifically, before I joined the masses on Facebook, so as far as I was concerned, it didn’t exist yet!), so my blog was how I stayed in touch with my friends….share pictures/etc of the kids…… I wanted the blog to be about our family and not just me!

So that was today’s blogging item…..come back tomorrow for the next one!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Day 1: a little about me....

so this is what's on the list for Day 1 of this 30-day blogging assignment:

Day 1: introduce yourself, include a recent picture, and 15 interesting facts about yourself.

Why hello there! My name is Diana. This is my blog (obviously).
This is the most recent picture of me I have……this is how I look 95% of the time! hehehehehehehe


that was taken Friday night at my son's Pinewood Derby race, was in an old store in the mall, so there were mirrors was a photography nightmare!

And now, here are 15 interesting facts about me (although the definition of “interesting” might be a big subjective)...

1. I was almost named Juanita. Thankfully, my mother put her foot down and insisted on Diana if their 3rd child (after 2 boys) was a girl. My mother SWEARS that Juanita was probably “the name of some senorita he (my father) met in the Air Force” (lol!) Therefore, Juanita went adios. And I’m okay with that!

2. I was seriously stumped as to what to choose as a major in college. There’s no way to say this without it sounding completely conceited……but I was “good” at everything in high school academically….so there wasn’t any ‘one thing’ that really stood out to entice me enough to consider it as a college major. Nor was I interested in any one subject enough to make it my life’s ambition. I majored in Engineering simply because my older brother made the remark that “girls can’t be engineers”…..and that p*ssed me off, because I’m a total feminist. I do rash things when I’m angry… picking college majors without much forethought. :P It seems to have worked out okay though. :D My bachelor’s degree is in Mechanical Engineering btw……any other engineering gals out there? We gotta stick together! :D

3. I have a serious lead foot. Maybe that’s not all that interesting, but it’s a true little factoid. I was asked awhile back how many speeding tickets I’ve had over the course of my driving years, and I couldn’t count them, but I’d guess the number is in the high teens or low 20’s. I don’t equate FAST driving with BAD driving. I like to exceed the speed limit, but I don’t drive stupid. There’s a difference. Needless to say, DH does all the driving when we’re together as he gets tired of paying lawyer fees and court supervision costs! I do know that I’ve managed to receive speeding tickets in about 5 different states! :P For the record, my dad was an amateur drag racer in the 60’s…….so I think it’s in my DNA!

4. I love to cook. If I thought I could make a comparable living being a caterer, I’d quit my job tomorrow and gladly cook all day long…… long as I had someone else to clean up after me…

5. I hate to clean. Our house is a cluttered mess, and 99.95% of the time I just don’t care. The other .05% of the time is when we know company is coming and I feel the need to not be perceived as the slobs we truly are. Thankfully, for us slobs, we don’t get much unexpected company. When we do get the occasional unexpected guest…..I go hide. :P

6. I love to travel. Samantha Brown and Anthony Bourdain have the best jobs in the world. If I could figure out a way to get paid to travel the world and give my opinion of stuff, that would be Nirvana for me. My top 2 travel destinations right now are Hawaii and Austria. I got the Sound of Music on blu-ray for Christmas and it makes me want to visit Saltzburg SO BAD!!! Someday!!!

7. I love to read, but I’m also avoiding reading for awhile because I’m an “obsessive reader”. What’s that, you ask? I’m not the type of reader that can read a chapter or two of a book each night before bedtime. 1. I have a horrible short-term memory, so I won't remember stuff if I drag it out that long....and 2. If I get ‘hooked’ into a book, I'll refuse to put it down until it’s done! I can’t tell you how many late nights I’ve spent finishing various novels that I just couldn’t put down…..ignoring chores/children/hubby in the process. It’s kinda pathetic. So I’m taking a ‘reading break’ right now… e-reader is sitting there on the nightstand just mocking me though…..

8. I have huge feet, but I’m not that tall. Go figure. I’m 5’7”, but wear a size 11 shoe. Shouldn’t I be about 6 feet tall with feet that big? I think so. My feet are bigger than my husband’s. That’s so not cool.

9. I am a former fattie (that doesn’t sound very nice, but since I’m talking about myself, I can say what I want!). I had weight loss surgery in 2004 and have since lost 130 pounds. I now see the obesity epidemic in a completely different light. I’ve been there. I know how it feels to be that heavy and feel that hopeless. There are tons of people out there that have been able to lose weight without resorting to surgery like I did. Kudos to them. For me, surgery is what worked. And as my PSA on the subject, don’t EVER say that surgery is “the easy way out” or imply that someone who had surgery somehow “cheated”. Because I can say for a fact that it most definitely is NOT in any way “easy” or “cheating”. I worked my @ss off at the gym…….literally. Still do. Anybody that has been around me the last 6 years can attest to the fact that even with the help of a lap-band I have fought hard for every pound I’ve lost. Surgery isn’t a magic bullet. It’s a huge help, absolutely, but losing that much weight still requires a lot of work/willpower/gym-time. And I am darned proud of myself for coming this far....if you want to see my temper, make some crass remark about surgery being some sort of 'easy way out' and you will get an earful, i guarantee it..... *stepping off soapbox*

10. I love to sing. I’m a first soprano, so I have a pretty high-pitched voice. What’s funny is that people will call the house and when I answer, they’ll assume that I’m my daughter because of my voice. Lol…….but anyhoo…..I love to sing. I prefer the safety of a choir, but will do the occasional solo at church. I’m looking forward to singing duets with my daughter, who has a much better voice than I do and doesn’t have the stage fright that I do.

11. I’m a Disney World freak. I put the entire blame of that onto my sister-in-law. She started it! As children, neither my husband nor I ever got to visit the magical land of Mickey Mouse. So we are totally making up for lost time! We took our first trip in 2005 and have been at least once a year every year since! We’ve even made a couple trips to Disneyland out in California. We even bought a timeshare in Orlando to make the trip that much easier. I’m a planner, so part of the fun for me is planning out all our dining reservations and activities on a spreadsheet. Yes, I am a nerd like that.

12. Speaking of nerdiness: I was Valedictorian of my Junior-High graduating class……graduated 3rd in my high school class (would’ve been Salutatorian if #1 and #2 hadn’t been twins!)….and graduated with honors from college. I like to think of myself as a pretty intelligent person. I don’t always come off that way, but I really am pretty smart! :D

13. I am training for a 1/2 marathon. I started running (eh…..I wouldn’t call what I do RUNNING……I’ll call it JOGGING!) almost 2 years ago. At first I was simply trying to run a mile. Then I worked up to running a 5K (3.1 miles) for the Susan G. Komen race this past summer. Then I decided to just keep adding distance in the hopes that “someday” I’d be able to do something REALLY COOL like run a ½ marathon. I ran a 10K in October, and I’m signed up to run another 10K in May (I’m not one of these hard-core runners that runs outside year-round. I’m a wuss when it comes to extreme temperatures!) My goal is 13.1 miles. I’d LOVE to be able to race in the Princess 1/2 Marathon next February. I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to go simply because of the cost, but regardless of whether I actually get to go to that race, I’ll be ready for a local 1/2 marathon whenever one comes around! Right now I’m up to running about 7 miles at 12 minutes/mile. So I’m slow. And I don’t care. I’m just trying to get exercise while at the same time challenging myself to do something I've always assumed I couldn't. My goal is to prove myself wrong. :P

14. I am a horribly unhealthy eater. It’s a wonder I ever lost all that weight. I only like a few veggies…..and most of the time I don’t even BUY veggies because the hubby/kids don’t really eat them either and they’ll go bad before I ever get around to eating them all myself……so yeah, very unhealthy eater here. Bad example for my children, I know. I’m working on improving that a little at a time. I am a work in progress.

15. I am NOT a morning person. If I had my druthers, I’d stay up ‘til about 1 or 2AM and sleep ‘till about noon. But my job/commute requires me to get up each day at 5AM. So I’m perpetually grouchy about lack of sleep until the weekend when I get to sleep in. Then the cycle will repeat itself each Monday-Friday for the next 22 years until I’m eligible for retirement and can once again, sleep late like my body wants to!

So there’s 15 factoids about me….not sure how interesting they are… was kinda hard coming up with stuff that was even worth typing toward the end!

Until tomorrow......

Friday, January 21, 2011

Coming Soon: 30 days of ME!

Woo! I know you can hardly contain yourselves......but starting Monday, I'm joining the bandwagon of a friend who is participating in this 30-day blogging project. I won't reveal what we'll be blogging about each day, because....well.....what would the fun in that be? Needless to say (hint in the title), the challenge is to blog about yourself. And for me, that's going to be a serious challenge. I don't really blog about myself. Like most moms, my life revolves around my children. So that's why I decided to add this project to my overflowing plate of 'stuff to do'. I think it'll be kinda fun. And for anybody out there reading that don't actually know me IRL, this will be a nice intro to get to know me!

So come back Monday for post #1 of 30! Right now we're off to the Pack 97 Pinewood Derby!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

the last of 2010 layouts!

not really having anything to blog about......i'll just post all the layouts that I finally finished for my 2010 book.....which is now at 150 pages and I can't afford to have printed yet! lol......oh well....once i DO get around to printing it, it'll be cool. I hope!

So here's the hodgepodge of layouts I finished up over the New Year's holiday and the last week or so......there's a bunch, so kick back!

The kids' Christmas photo shoot.....i couldn't NOT use the 'out-take' pictures...they were too darned funny!

A Disney LO.....this was done for a speed scrap a week or so ago....i like how it turned out...very futuristic! Can't believe that trip was so long ago already! I gotta get to work on finishing that 2009 trip! sheesh!

a Halloween layout:

the ultimate 7-year-old toothless grin:

Matthew/Zach's Thanksgiving programs at school:

First (of many thus far) snow days:

Sledding in our yard on Christmas day (yes, that's the dog going along for the ride!):

Our scout troops donating a fridge to the local food pantry:

the gift that keeps on giving.....Guitar Hero!

PreK trip to the Pumpkin Patch:

The Jungle Cruise at Disney:

Carving our jackolantern:

The kids visiting Santa:

Our family picture:

Halloween parties at school:

Girl Scout outing to the Nutcracker:

Girl Scout Christmas brunch (PLUG TIME! Haynay's kit Fun and Fancy)

Building our Gingerbread House:

Cub Scout food drive:

Cub Scout Christmas party:


Alaina's soccer season:

Dinner at American Girl Place in Chicago:

and year-in-review page....this layout took SOOOOOO LONG TO DO! OMG! it's cute, but SHEESH! time-consuming!