24 May 2010

Happy Birthday, Gill!

This picture was taken on the boardwalk in Long Branch, New Jersey back in 1986. It is a picture of my younger brother Gill, and my favorite sister, Melisa.
Gilly, as he is affectionately known to his family, was goofing around with the stroller. He was racing Melisa up and down the boardwalk and jumping in the air. I was afraid he was going to tip her over, but she was laughing up a storm. Believe it or not, this photo was taken with a 110 camera. Do you remeber those?:) I happened to turn around to check on them and saw my brother leap in the air. I asked him to do it again and snapped hoping to have caught the moment. I still look at this and get just as excited now as I was when I had the photo developed.
My little bro' just celebrated his 38th birthday. I hope he doesn't mind me sharing that bit of personal info! I just wanted to wish you a happy birthday! Thanks for this special memory...

18 May 2010

Papers, papers everywhere!!!

Recently, I had fallen behind in my recordkeeping. I finally decided to go through my stack of papers that have been collecting over the last few months and started to wonder why do I keep it and how important are they. I am good about getting rid of junk mail right away. If I don't look at it within the week, it's gone.
I have a basket in my kitchen that catches all the mail that comes in. It then makes its way up to our office at some point during the week to a small table I keep next to the computer. The day before payday, I start to look through it and see what needs to be paid that month and I use a clothes pin that is labeled, 'to be paid'. After they have been paid, I have another clothes pin labled, 'to be filed' and they sit there until I can file them. I also have a binder with 6 folders that have a pocket for each month where the paper work goes into when I get the chance to put it in which is about once a month. At the end of the year I would transfer all this paper into a box labeled with the year and stick it in my basement and be happy that all was accounted for.
I have been married for nineteen years, and can I just tell you how much paper we have in these boxes?? I went through a few boxes last year because I figured it'd be safe by now to throw away bank statements from banks that have been long taken over by other banks and receipts from highchairs sold long ago at yard sales. But then there were things I wasn't sure about. Credit card statements to accounts we still have, receipts to our refrigerator and dishwasher, car maintenence receipts and medical receipts and EOB's (Explanation of Benefits). Wow, do we have alot of those with 6 people in the fam.
I decided to share what I found because I figured I can't be the only person out there who appreciates this info, or maybe I fell asleep during Personal Finance class and missed it. Either way...
I thought this was the most important. I read conflicting advice and decided that forever sounded about right. So, tax returns and tax related items such as W-2's, donation receipts, property taxes, pretty much anything you need to file, you should keep all together in an 8x12 folder and keep them all in a box or file cabinet. Did you know that in the United States, the IRS has 3 years from the date you file to examine your returns for errors, and 6 years to audit for underreporting your income by 25%. There is no statute of limitations on suspected fraud.
Medical policies and receipts:
These should be kept for the life of the policy. EOB's fall under this category. One site even suggested keeping these for three years after the policy expires just in case.
Life insurance and Investment related things:
These should be kept for the life of the policy as well.
Bank statements and receipts for bills:
Advice is one year. Be sure to shred, shred, shred them. This includes credit reports, utilites, and any minor purchases without a warranty. Some advice was one month, but I know that if I throw it out, I will need it the very next day.
Any large purchases that come with warranties should be kept for the life of the product. I know this sounds obvious, but I still had paperwork to a microwave that was stolen when Bobby and I were first married. Go figure.
Remember to burn or shred anything personal with account numbers, addresses, social security numbers. We have been victims of credit card fraud and have had our personal bank account accessed. I am very good about going through my statements now and keeping my eyes open for questionable purchases. Always call if you're not sure.
And now that I have done my good deed for the day, I'm off to do some more purging! Feels good!

13 May 2010

Mercy's 16th

Mercedes' birthday fell during Stake Youth Conference this year and she was not happy about it. She did not want to attend, but being the all knowing mom I am I made her go because I knew that once she was there with her friends she would enjoy herself. Some of the kids that were attending were from out of town so they stayed at different member's homes. In order for the kids here in the area to have the same experience, they were able to stay at other people's homes as well. That way they would be able to feel like they went away and meet other kids not from around here.

Mercedes was so excited to find out she was staying at the Flower's home. She loves Laura Flowers and her sister Megan, so this made spending her birthday away a little more bearable.

Laura called me and thought that Mercedes would get a kick out of a surprise birthday party... at midnight. That way she wouldn't spend the day feeling forgotten.

I woke the girls up at around 11:30 pm and got them ready to meet Bobby in front of the Flower's house. Bobby's sister Joanne met me at home and Gage decided to skip the sleepover part of conference so he could be there for his sister. We showed up a little after midnight and surprised her. I think we pulled it off... here she is with her Aunt Joanne and cousin Jillian

Here is the ever-amazing Flower's family...

Laura told Mercedes she had to wear the hat. Only she could get her to do this... By the way, the cake was yummy!

Our kids get to pick a party or a present for the gift and she opted for a trip to New York City. I know, lucky. We stayed at Club Quarters in Rockerfeller Center in a very cute room on the 3rd floor.

We went to the Tribeca Festival and enjoyed the street festival they had. So much fun! We didn't get to see a movie there because I didn't know you had to purchase tix in advance, so maybe next year!

Ahhhh... only in New York, this is at Canal Street

We ate at the restaurant next door to the hotel called Johnny Utah's. There was a sign on the door that said they were going to be filming an episode of the 'Cake Boss' that evening and if you went in you'd be giving consent to be filmed. I thought Melisa was going to die. Apparently, 'Cake Boss' is one of her favorite shows and she loves Buddy's cakes (he designs and makes them). The restaurant has a cowboy theme and is equipped with a mechanical bull right in the middle of a ring in the middle of the dining area and we were seated with a perfect view of the bull and all the crazy patrons who were under the impression they could stay on for the minute you needed to be considered a winner. If we did nothing else during this trip, it still would have been worth it all to see some very colorful characters on that thing!
This, however, is not the bull but the cake that Buddy created for Johnny Utah's. It was put on a spring that allowed you to move the bull back and forth like the mechanical one!
Melisa was very thankful that we humored her. Watch out for this episode because we may be on it!

this is melisa with Buddy... she looks so dreamy there doesn't she? I think she died and went to heaven;)

Time Square... 45 minutes before the car bomb was found. We had just walked away from the very spot the truck was... creepy huh?

This is Phantom. The officer made him pose with me. You see how he looks all annoyed?

Enjoying our room

and the bed

12 May 2010


Go to bottom of page and work your way up...

On their way to New Haven, CT for the Prom. They were late on account of me making Gage come back home after picking up Miriam and before heading out so I could check them out and take some pix. They were good sports about it! Thanks!

What a cute couple... notice how color coordinated they are;)
I loved how dainty the flowers were. I also love roses...

Here is Gage giving Miriam her corsage. I don't think she was expecting it; she looked surprised...
and maybe a little self-conscious with us staring and me flashing the camera around. Hey I'm entitled. I'm the MOM!

This photo has nothing to do with prom but I put it in because I love their smiles... Gage's smile cost us about $5000 in braces and dental work so he knows he has to flash those pearly whites on command...;)

11 May 2010

mega update

Geli bean's Confirmation- St. Mary's in Westfield.

I don't know where people find the time to go on FaceBook and other websites for hours at a time. What's the secret and let me in on it! I sat here at 10:35 to post a few pictures people have been requesting, and now it's 11:45 and I'm still here!!!!! I love blogs... love to stalk, I mean read them and love to post pix because my friends and family can keep updated and feel in the loop. I must say it's time consuming. Is there an easier way and would someone PLEASE share it with me????

ANYWAY, I am a little behind and since I don't know how to organize the pix (no matter how I upload them, they switch around), I decided it was more important to put them up than to stress over organizing them... Hey who laughed?? :)

Bobby and I - I am not smiling. My sister did my hair and as a result I got an instant facelift in the process...

Aislynn's quince - Congrats gorgeous girl!

My cuz Rafael, his wife Reggie and of course us

Niece Jillian joins us for (crazy running around) Spring break. She picked up this t-shirt for $3 on our shopping excursion, what a deal!

A visit to our library for a bird presentation Big Z admires a baby owl
A visit to the quad with the Baird Fam

Our friend shared tix to the Curious George show!!!

Roci meets Vance George, Chorual Conductor of the San Fransico Symphony Chorus

Superstar Athlete and niece, Kaliegh plays soccer this year

Kaleigh's not the only gifted athlete in the fam, here's nephew Ben at his first lacrosse game. He's HUGE!!!

Bobby celebrates his 46th birthday. Lookin' good!!!!!!!!!!

Life is so busy!!! I get overwhelmed sometimes with how busy we are, but we are so blessed. Life IS good! Thank you God!