This Is Us

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Host

I love reading - and I am a member of a social networking site called GoodReads. Here is a clip of my review of the book I just finished - so if you like to read you should come join me - we can be "friends" on GoodReads and then I can see what you like to read too...

The Host: A Novel The Host: A Novel by Stephenie Meyer

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
I read The Host after reading the entire Twilight Series also by Stephenie Meyer - which I loved! So I was looking forward to The Host. I was not disappointed! It took me a little while longer to read it than her others, but mostly because I didn't have as much time to read as I did with the Twilight series. In the beginning I got a bit confused because there are conversations occuring between one person (the Host and the Soul) but don't let that discourage you - read it, then it all falls into place after the first few chapters. Definitely follows her style of writing a story that captures your heart and comes down to the good of people. I think she may be planning a series out of this one, so I am eagerly awaiting that possibility! Add to your "To Read" list for sure!

View all my reviews.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Toothless Tigercub

I seriously do not know where the time goes anymore.... I can't believe it is nearly October already! Myka just finished a week off school and unfortunately I didn't get a week off school. But I did have a good week - I got a 92% on my Fundamentals exam and a 100% on my Vital Signs Skills tests - which means I can officially take vital signs. I started clinicals two weeks ago, and have two MORE tests this coming week: a Health Assessment exam and a Medication Administration skills test - which once passed means I could administer meds orally or injection with my clinical instructor. Very cool - I do like the medication part so that shouldn't be too hard.

Myka is definately ready to get back to school (me too!) and he has his first Tiger Cubs meeting this Thursday. He and Josh have been looking through the Tiger Cubs book and doing some of the things in it, and we went and got his uniform the other day - he is super excited. SO I decided I'd accomplish two things at once:

A picture of him in his Tiger Cubs uniform and a picture of his toothless smile - he lost tooth #4 earlier in the week and now both big front teeth up top are gone, and two on the bottom - he looks pretty darn cute.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

So true...

Is it just me, or does anyone else find this as hillarious as I do?

From the wonderful people at - run over there now and check them out!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Well almost, anyhow! So we lost tooth #2 - a big ol' one up top. And it wasn't even the intended target...

Myka had two loose teeth, one on the bottom, and one on the top, for like the past month. Recently, he wouldn't let anyone get near the top one because it hurt him he said. So on Saturday Grandma Judy went to see if she could pull out the really loose bottom tooth, when her hand slipped and her knuckle hit the top one! Lo and behold - out popped the top one. And we are still hangin' on to the bottom one - he decided he had enough teeth pulling for one weekend.

Now, the first tooth he lost in July (I think it was) he got a whopping $5 from the Tooth Fairy. This time SHE (Josh) thought $5 was too much for subsequent teeth. So SHE (me) finally agree with an eye roll that $1 would do. Then SHE (Josh) went on to say how when SHE (Josh) lost a tooth he got 25 cents. My answer: inflation. But I suppose $1 is fair enough.

We had a nice 3 day weekend, back to school this week for both of us... Myka has his first spelling words and memory verse, and I have a care plan to finish. Wonder if he'll trade me.....

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Back to school, back to blogging

Ok so I unintentionally took the summer off of posting on here... This came right around the end of June, which happens to be when I started my first semester of Nursing at Edison. So that is my excuse...

Our summer went by so fast....

Nursing School -
First semester was good - but boy it is a totally different style of learning AND thinking. There's this whole thing called "critical thinking". Sheesh I haven't done that since like...high school? 10 years ago! So that was an adjustment, but I have to confess I was super excited to get going seeing as how I already did all my pre required classes a few years ago.

I have less than two years to go - May 2010 I should be done, provided I don't suffer any major mental breakdown about handling school, parenting a first grader, and trying to bring in some extra cash with my scrapbook site, and Junior League, and whatever else.

This was my first purchase (of many to come) of books I needed for my summer classes, and then most I'll keep using throughout the program in addition to others.

Oh and I did manage to get an A in one class and a B (but sooooo close to an A) in the other. Whoo hoo! Now on to fall semester.. this is where I'll start Fundamentals, Health Assessment, and the anticipated clinicals. Yes - with real live patients. Ack!

Here is my addition to the Massing Library of Nursing Books:

Myka - TURNED 7!

In the world of Myka - we had TWO birthday parties, and one celebration dinner. All for turning seven - life is rough when you are that age. The first party was a family one, then we had a dinner with my mom, sis, and brother, then we just had his birthday party with all his friends at Chuck E. Cheese. This just opened here a few weeks ago and it is "THE" place in town these days among kids (and even some adults). So here are a few highlights from the celebrations:
Star Wars is the favorite now a'days

Yes, he is looking like he is sticking his finger in his nose - but he's not. This is Josh, Myka, myself, and my super cool sis who just got done with hair school, and my cute brother who just moved to Tallahassee for college and all the girls chase him around.

Josh & Ang

We celebrated our 2nd anniversary, and wait till you SEE what my sweet husband did for me. I'll have to save that for another post since this is getting long enough.

Josh is STILL working on getting his contractors license but it seems we keep having to jump through hoops....

We did finally move out of our house - that lovely after effect of foreclosure and buying a house at peak market values, and then losing most of my income last year - but we know God does have a plan for us, so we are just working now on getting settled in our new place.
I actually did a lot of great reading this summer (notice the new GoodRead widget on the side (I didn't read all those this summer, are you kidding?) including a great series, the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer which I loved! Yes, it is considered in the Young Adult category but I heard about it and it sounded good so I read the first 3 in the series in less than a week, then my sis and I actually went to the midnight release of the 4th one - and so that was fun too. But I start fall classes next week so we'll see how much time I have to read.... for enjoyment. If you like to read check out the Good Read site - and then sign up so we can be "friends" - it is a cool way to keep track of what you have read, and plan to read, and see what everyone else is reading too.

And then school started...

So this brings us to now - the first week of FIRST GRADE! I can't believe it. I think Myka will have a super year this year and he seems so grown up sometimes now. Here he is on Monday ready for school.

So that is the latest from the Massing household.. I think.. I don't know I probably forgot some major updates but I don't know what they are right now. SO this was a good start...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The whole nine yards...

Myka loves "army guys" and of course Josh does too - and being the avid collector of military things that Josh is - he has tons of stuff. A few years back he got Myka his own little army suit or whatever it is called - and he plays dress up with it all the time. So the other night it was a real treat, to say the least, when Josh told Myka he would get down all his "army stuff" and they could look through it. THEN it was even more of a treat when they decided to get all dressed up.
Josh said something of the effect of "We can get it all out, and put all the gear on, we'll do the whole nine yards". So now Myka tells everyone he did "the whole nine yards" with dad's army gear... He has no clue what that means but boy does it sound SOOOOO COOL!

And of course - I had to snap a few pictures:

Monday, June 16, 2008

Oh yeah, our blog!

Ok, so I didn't FORGET about our blog, I just didn't post for a week....

Not sure what has kept me so busy - Myka started "Science Specialists" camp which is in the afternoons for two weeks at his school, and he has been continuing with Tae Kwan Do. He also started his SMILE group that he does where he goes for Occupational Therapy - and he loves that!

*Summer Reading Update* He has read 14 books now. WAY TO GO! We figured out a reward for each list of 10 books HE reads- he would get $2. Now while some may say it is downright BRIBING him to read, I take a different perspective LOL He is trying to learn about money, and the hard life lesson that it does not grow on trees (dang it) and he gets easily frusturated when I explain why I will not buy him a $20 toy when we go anywhere that has any sort of toy. So we are learning the concept of money, saving your money for something you want, and that mom & dad aren't going to just buy him something anytime he wants it.... and lets be honest - little trinkets don't pull any weight with him as something he earns for reading 10 books. So I figured this would be a good balance. And he does like to read - so this keeps him working toward a goal, keeps him excited about how many books he is reading, and lets him earn a few bucks at the same time....

As for me, I have been wrapping up all the things I need to get done before the Nursing program starts NEXT WEEK! I took a BLS/CPR class over the weekend to get certified through the American Heart Association, and this week I need to get all SEVEN of my books I need for my two classes: Intro to Nursing and Intro to Pharmacology & Math Calculations. I am super excited and I am sure the inevitable panic attack will set in shortly - about how on earth will I be able to study, be a good mom, earn money for our family, and sleep somewhere in there. But I know that God has plans for us, and He will make it possible for me to handle this all!

Josh is doing good - he got in with a new Gastro doc to help hopefully figure out some of the stomach issues and he seems very on top of things and very thourough - the doc, that is - and Josh went in for an Endoscopy today, which the doc said he did about 16-20 biopsies, and he does have an inflamed esophogus and stomach - ordered some more tests in addition to the tests he ordered last week, and put Josh on a new medicine he'll take every morning before breakfast. So I am praying that we continue to move forward and at least get some answers.

So thats the update! Have some cool things I want to share so I'll post those soon...

Monday, June 9, 2008

I now pronounce...

A super funny movie!
We're avid Netflix users here, and we watched one of them last night. "I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry" (click the link for a trailer of it!) was a very hilarious movie if I must say. Although I am already a big fan of Adam Sandler anyhow, he cracks me up in this movie. And I also like Kevin James after seeing him in the movie "Hitch".

A big thumbs up from me - so if you are up for a good laugh, it is a must see!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

In the mood for Chocolate...

I have been planning on making a dessert I haven't made in a while, and then inspired by a post at Life as Mom I decided to post a good CHOCOLATE recipe that is perfect with a glass of ice cold milk.... and it is super easy!

Delicious Chocolate Chip Cake (great for cupcakes too!)

1 pkg Duncan Hines Deep Chocolate or Swiss Chocolate cake mix
1 pkg Jello Instant Chocolate Pudding
4 eggs
3/4 cup cold water
1 cup sour cream
1 6 oz pkg chocolate chips

1. Mix all ingredients together except chocolate chips for about 2-3 minutes. Stir in chocolate chips.

2. For Cake: put in a square pan and cook according to cake box directions.
For Cupcakes: Put in cupcake cups with paper liners. Cook according to cake box directions.

No frosting needed - this is perfect just as a nice moist cake!

3. Devour with a nice glass of milk!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Grocery spending...

Ok, so I am giving this a try. I mentioned the other day that I was setting a goal to stick within a budget of $100 a week for our grocery and household items bill. Now, we used to do $150 / week and sometimes would spend less, sometimes more. But seeing as how it is a good time to watch where our money goes and to see if we're "throwing money away", I started doing some research online, and found lots of good resources for bring down our grocery bill without sacrificing quality!

I sure a heck am not eating hamburger helper, Kraft Mac & Cheese, spaghetti O's and ramen noodles every night for a few reasons. 1) I don't like that stuff anyhow. 2) It's far from healthy and a BIG 3) Josh's stomach wouldn't last a week on that kind of diet. He has enough problems as it is, and I do know the better homecooked meals he eats the less pain he is in....

BUT I do know we tend to buy a lot of things like tortilla chips, salsa, CheeseIts, instant oatmeal, frozen breakfast and dessert stuff, etc. And then I look in our nice big pantry and see so much STUFF that hasn't been eaten and needs to get thrown out because it's old and stale.... *WARNING* I am so not an overly organized person which is why I like to visit The Organized Junkie in hopes that she'll rub off on me a bit. Ha!

Now, I know at least half of the stuff on the top 3 shelves needs to be thrown out. Money down the drain.. So this was my first week at keeping out grocery bill at $100 or less. This week I managed $88 BUT (disclaimer) that was yesterday (Wednesday) to get us through Sunday seeing as how we ate with family the other 4 previous nights since Josh's cousins from Ohio were down. So I used the extra money of not buying meal food, to stock up on some of Publix's B1G1 stuff.... saved about $35 that way so I can't complain.

9:45am...and Dog surgery today

Is what time we slept in till today.... Myka & I that is! Whoa! I don't know when the last time it was that I slept in till then. Maybe one night when Myka was at a sleepover, but for him to sleep in that late is rare. As a baby and toddler, he was definately a late sleeper, but once he started preschool and had to be there at 8am, he has gotten used to getting up at 6:15 or 6:30. And on weekends we're lucky if we make it till 7:30 sleeping in. But seeing as how we did a lot of running around the last few days, and he was up later, I suppose he needed it! And hey, I didn't mind a little extra sleep.

Now Josh on the other hand had an unusually early morning. He had to have one of our dogs at the vet at 8am to remove something off his butt that is a growth from hormones I guess some dogs get. And to take care of two things at once, he'll have his teeth cleaned too cause most of the enamel is gone from chewing the doorknobs, the framing of doors, etc, etc. Long story... will save those stories for another day. So Wolfgang, is going under today and he is definately not the calm, relaxed kind of dog, so it will be interesting to see how we manage to keep his stitches untouched. But at least he'll have nice clean teeth! I do have to say he is the best looking German Shepherd though... isn't he?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

SUMMER if finally here...

Myka at his end of year pool party!

Ahh I love summer! And it is so darn nice to be able to sleep in a bit too!

Myka is officially a FIRST GRADER! Can you believe it??? Where has the time gone. His last day of school was Friday, and so we have really just been hangin' out since... I know it is SOOOOO important for him to continue reading every day so he doesn't regress. He is such a great reader, and I think if he keeps it up, he'll be headin' in to first grade with flying colors. So what I have done is set up a "Myka's Summer Reading List" and we write down the books that HE reads to ME. When he gets to 10, he earns something - a small treat, etc. We'll see at the end of summer how many he has read! Status now: 5 books read since school got out.

Now, I still read to him too, and we have so many books (gotta love Scholastic Book Clubs) but a new thing we are hooked on now is this series for young readers called "Magic Tree House" books. There are tons of them! They are chapter books, and definately not something Myka can read on his own yet, but he loves them! It's about a brother and sister who discovered a magic tree house filled with books. Each book in the tree house (and thus each book in the series) takes them back in time to the topic of the book. We read about 2 chapters a night, and get through a book usually in about a week. We started at number 1, and just finished number 2 in the series, so we are on to number 3 "Mummies in the Morning"

In addition to getting summer started, I have spent the last four days backing up ALL of our pictures on my new FreeAgent 500GB Hard Drive - got a great deal on it from Office Depot last week and I feel so much better! I was stressing over my pictures. I had tons on an old computer we don't use much, and 3 CF cards full of pics, and knew I couldn't store them on our computer BUT we don't have a CD/DVD burner on my old work computer I am using so that was not an option. My laptop is broke and probably not worth fixing, so I came up with this more affordable solution until we can get a new computer one day. However it will probably take half a lifetime to use up 500GB in just pictures.

I plan to start doing some digital scrapbooking on the computer because it is really bugging me that I haven't scrapbooked in ages. I have TONS of supplies, but for some things, like Mykas school photo books, I think I am going to do digitally on the computer.

So, hopefully now that summer is here, I reallyhope to get this blog going. Plus I am on a new journey to lower our expenses so I will keep you up to date on that too. I lowered our weekly grocery/household buget from $150 to $100, starting now, so we'll see how it goes. I know it sounds like a lot, and from the research I have been doing, lots of people with familes of 4 and even 6 have a budget less than that, so we should be able to do it. And then get it down less before long too. Time to make sure we know where every dollar is going, and save as much as we can. I have some great links to post for anyone else interested in cutting down their grocery bills! Maybe I'll post those soon...

Love to you all!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My sweet boy...

Today is a great day! I got some much anticipated news regarding Myka's school - looks like everything will work out on the financial aspect so that we can keep him there! Yeah!!! I prayed a lot about this, and I know that God has plans for us, and it is such a blessing!

Mother's Day weekend was nice - and relaxing! Here are a few pics of what Myka made for me at school (sniff, sniff) and what he got me (thanks to a hint from me to Josh!)

Can you read it? sweet boy!

And my much desired STARBUCKS Create your own cup - I can add my own pics to this and use it for my morning glass of MILK.

Monday, May 5, 2008

NEW Look....

I am still working on it but not too shabby for my first time. What do you think?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Say hello to our little friend...

WELL he's definately NOT my friend to be honest. He's Josh's.

We were helping some friends move the last few days, and on Wednesday when we went to their new place, and opened up the garage, Josh and his buddy found several Black Widow spiders. Now - THEY thought it was cool - especially this one, because it was the largest one they have ever seen, and the QUARTER in the pictures can prove the actual size - yes, that is a quarter!!!
Now myself and my girlfriend Tiff on the other hand did not like the idea of these. Their new house had been sitting vacant for some time, so several of these guys moved in. So needless to say moving that day was postponed until pest control came out the next day to get rid of them and their eggs.
I am soooooo NOT a spider person - gives me the heebie jeebies.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Worker of the Week & Tae Kwan Do

If you click on the picture - you'll get a bigger version and can see his work!

Yay! Myka is Worker of the Week at his school this week! He will get to go up at Chapel next Tuesday and get a certificate from Mr. Z (as the kids call him), the Principal. Funny thing, yesterday when I wanted to get his picture, I first snapped the pic of the entire board, then asked him to go stand in front of his paper and can you believe it - HE WAS EMBARRASSED!! I litterally had to drag him over to the board and told him I wanted to send a pic of him to Papa, and thats when he (quickly) gave me this big grin - and that was it - he had to look around to make sure no one saw his mom taking a picture of him in front of the worker of the week board!

And since I am on a roll with showing off how proud I am of him, here is a picture of Myka in his Do bak (or however it's spelled) - his Tae Kwan Do uniform with his white belt and his stripes he has earned. We are only about 1 1/2 months into it, but he LOVES it and it is so good for him!

Tonight we are heading to the Monster Jam Monster Truck Show down in Naples. This will be Josh & I's second time - Myka's third! It's always a fun time, so I'll post some pictures this week about that!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Thunderbirds in town...

Well, I am a few days late posting this. Ok, so a WEEK late nearly. But the bottom line is, I got it posted!

Last weekend we went to the Florida International Airshow for our 4th year. We missed last year when the Blue Angels were scheduled, but they didn't come because it was not long after one of the Blue Angels died in a practice crash. So we didn't attend then, but the three years prior, when Myka was 4, 3, and 2 we did go. So this year made four - and it was great. The Air Force Thunderbirds of course were the highlight, and as always it was very HOT (and I got very sunburned!).

I did another slide show below for the pictures, because there are several.We waited in line for about 30 minutes to go inside the cock pit of a C - 130 where I snaped a cool pic of my boys in the pilot seats. Myka can now explain to you that a C-130 is a "plane that drievs through hurricanes and takes army guys places". There ya have it.

My pilot boys:

Myka & I in front of the plane:

Various pics from the flights:

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Easter is here and gone...

I can't believe it is almost the end of March! Myka has been on Easter/Spring break for the past week and a half! He goes back monday...

We've had a great, relaxing break. Heck I LOVED the sleeping in part (yes, 7:30 is sleeping in for us). We went to church for Easter Sunday and had a nice relaxing day at Grandma's house.... Myka swam in his play clothes (yes it is warm enough to swim here in Florida in March) and we did his easter egg hunt and all the normal traditions before having dinner. Here are some pics of our Easter festivities:

This past week we just did stuff around the house, Myka is doing Tae Kwan Do now, which he loves, and so he does that on Tues and Thurs after school. So we went to those, he has his weekly Occ Therapy for his sensory processing , and we got a great "Program" for both home and school to follow. At home we will be doing a daily routine of Brushing in the am, afternoon and before bed, his Therapudic Listening which are some really cool headphone that he listens to modulated cd's which we borrow from his OT - he does this twice a day, too. Then we have a little "exercise" plan to help strengthen his coordination, his core and his motor skills. So he does those twice a day except on the days that he does Tae Kwan Do, his OT, or does some other vigorous exercising - then he only does it once on those days.

We've been doing these excercises for over a week now and I can see an improvement in his coordination - and the Tae Kwan Do is also helping a lot - with his coordination, getting exercise and with his confidence!

He already earned his firsat stripe on his white belt and he is super proud! So I'll have to get a pic next time and share it here....

So now we are down to the last weekend of break - then we have the long haul to the end of school - about 8 more weeks without a break! Since his school times spring break with easter break and Easter was so early this year - it will be getting rough towards the last few weeks of school LOL

I also worked a lot this past week on my online Algebra course - since I graduated with my AA about 4 years ago - they changed a match class I had taken from 4 to 3 credit hours. Well now that I'll be applying to the nursing program - I now need that one math credit for the requirements for the program. So I am taking an online Algebra class, which I am seriously procrastinating at - and so I worked this week and getting caught up some.

Still have a plan to apply for the nursing program - the deadline for the day program is May 15th to apply. I just wish I could secure a solid job with the hospital - as my position at the school will be up when school is out the end of May... So I have been doing some praying for something to pan out for me there....

Friday, March 14, 2008


To do the "blog" thing. I love reading blogs, and always wanted one of my own LOL

I started this one last year and as you can see, I didn't keep it updated for long. But I need to get back on it because I have so many (WONDERFUL) friends and family that are far away, and this is a nice way to keep everyone in the loop and share whats going on with us and even some pics here and there!

So... here's to my news year's resolution. Hey - it's ONLY March, so I am not that late. I am going to try this "blog" thing again...