Scenes from Summer …


This gallery contains 12 photos.

So I’m way behind on blogging, aren’t I? I had a really great summer, despite the crazy writing schedule that kept me writing basically every minute of every weekend. But my family kept me happy! We had a great Fourth of … Continue reading

Cute Spring Craft

My cousin Darlene, who is very creative and a big part of the Sipka Family Craft Exchange, made these adorable (can I emphasize “adorable” enough??) paper daffodils and sent one to me and a couple of the “Sipka” family crafters.

I put my fingers in the picture so you can see how small it is, and see the level of detail. The leaves, petals and stem are separate tiny pieces of paper, seemingly inked at the edges and then glued together in the daffodil shape. The pot is a sweet oragami structure, and crimped paper provides the “dirt.”

Omg, so cute.

I put it on my desk so I can stare at it all day throughout spring! 🙂

The Helen Sipka Football Pool

Well, not only does my late grandma inspire the Helen Sipka Family Craft Exchange, but now she has, apparently, inspired a football pool.

My uncle used to run a pretty involved Fantasy Football League, with lots of Sipkas participating, but things got complicated over the years, and he got busy, and everyone else got busy, and the Fantasy Football League kind of fell by the wayside. …

(I should add, in the spirit of full disclosure, that I barely understood Fantasy Football play. And never played. But my MOM is totally into football, and my hubby and oldest son, so they’d all jump into the Fantasy Football leagues.)

Anyway, this year, we still didn’t do Fantasy Football, but my uncle wrote an email to everyone at the end of the season and said that he “got a message from Mom that we needed to do a Super Bowl pool that would make us think about ‘Respect’ more.”

So apparently Helen Sipka has inspired a respect football pool now — from Heaven!

My uncle put everyone’s name in a square for the playoffs – we all doubled up, actually, because Helen Sipka had a large family – and whoever won would earn “respect” from his/her immediate and extended family and would be addressed as “Miss” or “Mister” by all family members for one full year!

And guess who won????

Yep, Miss Laurie here, in the 49ers and Baltimore square. Along with my cousin, Miss Kathy.

Nathan and Rene haven’t quite gotten the hang of it yet. … (My uncle noted that “Mrs. Mom” is also acceptable…)

Fun stuff if you’re still planning your own football pools. …

You Know It’s Summer When …


1. Your kids and their friends are making s’mores in your backyard (with real wire hangers, of course — old school).

2. You come downstairs to random children “sleeping over” on your family room floor.

3. Clutter starts to consist of towels, flip-flops, and tubes of sunscreen.

4. There is sand underneath your desk-chair wheels.

5. Your fridge is filled with watermelon, frozen grapes, and cherries.

6. You hardly ever have to wash socks.

7. You don’t think to eat dinner until 8 p.m., when it finally gets dark.

8. The sound of baseball is drifts through the house from the TV all weekend.

9. Even though you still have to go to work, mornings are relaxed and peaceful as you tip-toe past sleeping teenagers.

10. Sunday morning breakfasts include sausage outside on the grill.

What are your favorite signs of summer?


Reunions Are Funny Things. …

Reunions are funny things, aren’t they? Some people love them, some dread them. Some “boycott” them (like Superman did for one of our high-school ones!). Some like reunions of family, but hate reunions of friends. Others like reunions of friends, but hate reunions of college chums where you feel like you should have lived up to something by now. …

I loved a recent post I read from Billy Coffey called Reunion. He was talking about a high-school one, though — his 20th. But his description of the dread and uncertainy is spot-on.

Yet that’s not the one I went to this weekend. In fact, the one I went to this weekend wasn’t even associated with my high school (exactly). And we’ve known each other longer. … And, in full disclosure, this wasn’t even the actual reunion — it was a “mini-one” to start planning for a bigger one.

Hmmm … I’ll let you try to guess which reunion it is (although I don’t think you will!) — want to take a guess?

When you’re done guessing, you can hop on over here, and read about which reunion we were planning.

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