Tuesday, April 29, 2008

High School Reunions

I communicate fairly regularly with my great aunts (my mother's aunts from her mother's side of the family). It's so interesting to hear them speak of their childhoods and all the stories from when my grandmother was a child. My memory sucks which is why I have this to rely on to tell my kids their stories... becuase if it were up to me I'd just say "oh you had a glorious childhood frolicking in the fields blowing dandilions into the breeeze and chasing rainbows"

BWA HA HA HA HA... yeah right ...

So I get an e-mail from my Aunt Carol and she tells me that she went with her sister to her 60th high school reunion. WOW... I just can't even imagine doing that... or living that long! Ha!

It got me thinking to my high school reunions. I didn't go to the 5 year because hey... at 5 years who really cares. So then the 10 year rolled around and of course I wanted to go see everyone and say hi just to see what was up. I was single, skinny, lookin cute so why not right?! The night before we had a mixer at Cool River (a snob bar in Las Colinas). That was actually fun. A great song came on and I drug someone onto the dance floor to dance with me... it wasn't 15 minutes after the song was over that the stupid rumors started to fly and girls were coming up to me asking me if I was dating him... blah blah blah... I'm like... GOOD GAWD can't I dance without sleeping with someone?! It was just like... I'm BACK IN HIGH SCHOOL. It was just so freakin stupid I wanted to just punch someone.

So the next night is the "official reunion" at a hotel conference room. It was a) overprice b) crappy food c) kinda sucky DJ d) cheezy I just didn't "get it"... it was just a complete waste of time to me. There was one girl that was honestly one of my best friends and I did not even recognize her when she walked in the door ... I had NO CLUE who she was... she was THAT big (and wearing a wig).... I felt horrible that I didn't recognize her... There were a few that looked exactly the same (and that wasn't a bad thing)...but one of the true clinchers of the night that made it all worth it to me was seeing that one of the hunky jocks from school had not only lost his hair but he also got fat. And I'm not talking a couple of pounds... I'm talking... very large man... That's just a karma thing biting him in the butt right there...

So I'm talking about this to my aunt and she was telling me all this greatness about going... running into people and catching up but I really just think things were different back then... there probably weren't over 400 people in her graduating class either. I think what I ultimately think about the whole situation was that just because I shared air space with these people for 4 years doesn't make them my friend anymore than standing in the produce aisle makes me an avacado. The pettiness, the same ole same ole attitude, who wants that? If I wanted to stay in contact with these people, I would have. The fact that I don't is a choice that I made because:
a) we have nothing in common
b) they annoy me just as much now as they did then
c) they annoy me MORE now than they did then or
d) all of the above

The overwhelming majority will certainly fall into the "d" category.

There are people, however, that I've wondered what happened to... not necessarily from my class but just from my past...

JV (sometimes also Javy) Jackson - heard he got hooked on crystal meth and just lost it -- turned into prostitution to support his habit -- lost his teeth -- married someone from school and she has his kid but he's never seen it

Nicole Hussain - my mom ran into her a loooong time ago and gave me her name on a piece of paper that I stuck in my pocket but I washed it...LOL

Kenny Heflin - heard he got married and moved to Oklahoma

Tonja Rae... she changed her last name... don't know the new one but red head chicka that

Daniel Smith - heard he went to the pen for 3 DWI's but that was like 6 year or more ago.

I wonder.... I wa wa wa wa wonder....

Swimming Lessons

Because of Drew's fun swimming experience where he nearly drown, I enrolled him in Emler. These are photos from his first lesson. :) He did a great job.




At the end of each lesson, they let the kids slide down the slide. :) He did it this time...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

A fishing we will go...

I wanted to take my Cub Scout den for a fishing lesson so I went on a fishing message board and was contacted by Scott Gordon, Director for this area's division of the American Bass Anglers... advising that his wife Helen, ESPN Pro Angler on the woman's tour would be willing to teach my boys and show them the ropes... I was THRILLED! I thought, why not open this up to the entire pack becaues I knew this would be something that the boys would absolutely dig!

So, the date was set and the messages were sent out and voila... the day was upon us. We met at the Bass Pro shop in Grapevine. The fishing instruction started off with some casting instruction inside the indoor tank. Helen showed the boys different lures and how they operated under, in and on top of the water.

After that was over we took the group to a conference room for some expert fishing tips starting with rods/reels, lines, lures and what not.

The boys were given some fishin’ goody bags filled with lures, bobbers, and the like. Afterward, the group ventured out of the store to the ponds out front and tried their hand at fishing.

It wasn’t too long after the first pole was in that one was hooked…and then the competition was on. They all had a great time trying their hand at fishing the pond. Josh caught FOUR FISH! And a big ole 20 lb white catfish was circling his hook but never took a bite (darn!)


Once that was over we regrouped and headed to Helen’s boat and truck. Mr. Gordon gave the boys general information about the boat, gear, traveling, schedules and then told the story of the girl whose picture graces the side of the boat… Britteny Lindt. I do hope everyone takes a moment to visit her site, read the story and spread the word on safe boating everywhere.

The boys got to dig around on the boat, explore all the nooks and crannies and where the gear is stored…. she showed them some bait she used during her most recent competition - worms — very interesting!

We paused for a group photo and then the boys presented Mrs. Gordon with some tulips and a thank you card and we let them enjoy the rest of their day.

It was a great time. This woman is just... she's jsut wonderful. I swear she's so nice you just want to hug her! She's great with kids, her husband is as sweet as he can be... they're just super fantastic people and I just felt honored to have them take time from their busy lives to give to the boys. Was just a great day!

And then we went to Spring Creek.... YUM-O!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

We Now Swim Emler!

Yes, I move fast when I need to make a decision about something... and I have now signed Drew up for swimming lessons. I learned mine... so now he can learn his! I've heard nothing but praises about this place and I'm very excited to get in. The class has already been in session since March 26 but hey... I DON'T CARE! :) Hopefully he'll catch up and move right along!

:) Keep your fingers crossed I have a little fish... and not a rock.

Watching your child struggle ... to breathe... under water

OH yeah... every mom's nightmare happened to me yesterday. We went to my friend Kary's house to let the boys swim. Drew has been in a pool. He's familiar with pools. He usually has on a swimsuit that has floaties built into it, however...but that was last year. So we get there... everything is going fine. You have to understand the shallow end of her pool has a step... the second step.. it'd be about a little more than knee deep runs along the entire shallow end of the pool... and it has a little hump area in it where it functions as a chair for a little table top they have built into the pool. Drew was on that step reaching for a float that was well within his grasp and so I had turned and walked back to my area.... when Josh screamed "MOM -- DREW" I turned around and he was underwater... hands in the air... in essence... drowning...

i turned around and ran to the pool stepped in and scooped him up and took him to the side and just held him close to me. I remained perfectly calm... wrapped him in a towel and just wanted to make sure he was breathing... leaning over... in case he'd ingested any water... blew in his face so he'd stop and let out a big wail... he'd literally been under... max... 10 seconds... probably more like 5 but if you count it out... ... take the time... count it out... can you imagine how absolutely terrifying those 5 or 10 seconds were for him?

I was laying in bed last night... and i can't get that image out of my mind... my son, completely helpless... under water and I've got my back turned walking away... I feel if it weren't for Josh... Drew would have drown. Josh is my hero... well, he's always been my hero (except for the SEVENTY SIX he got on his progress report in math...but right now even THAT isn't a big issue for me)... not that I woudlnt' ahve turned around and surveyed the pool the instant I sat down because that's exactly what I was doing the entire time... watching and always ready to jump in and get him... I lay in bed and the tears just started to flow...

I was just starting to let the reality of what had happened get to me. I can't IMAGINE the guilt any parent feels if their neglegence led to the death of a child... I feel like the worst mom on the planet... I turned my back on a pool...

Thing is Drew was literally 2" from the edge... if he knew to reach for the edge, he could have pulled himself to safety... he was just inches from the step... if he KNEW how to propel himself even just a bit, he'd have been to the stair and been fine... inches from life and death and so I've called and he's taking swimming lessons now.

But that image of my child underwater... it was up to his eyebrows... hands up... doing anything he can to survive.... is one that I am sure I will have nightmares of for years to come.

protect your children... all the little complaints I have about them -- both of them... are so miniscule...because at leas I have a child TO complain about... wow... i'm just numb still today... hug your babies...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Depression / recession / obsession

Have you seen the highlights?

"Food Rationing Confronts Breadbaskets of the World"

Here's a snippit of it.

Major retailers in New York, in areas of New England, and on the West Coast are limiting purchases of flour, rice, and cooking oil as demand outstrips supply. There are also anecdotal reports that some consumers are hoarding grain stocks.

At a Costco Warehouse in Mountain View, Calif., yesterday, shoppers grew frustrated and occasionally uttered expletives as they searched in vain for the large sacks of rice they usually buy. reports Food Price Inflation Set to Skyrocket

A huge and rapid rise in food prices is prompting poor food-producing countries to shut off exports — a decision which could make matters worse.

Indonesia, which imported 1.4 million metric tons of rice in 2007 and expected a bumper crop this year, has joined Vietnam, Egypt, India and China in banning rice exports. Other countries are holding back wheat.

The United Nations’ reports that global food prices surged 57 percent last month from a year earlier.

The World Bank estimates food prices have risen globally by 83 percent over the past three years. So far, the U.S. has been isolated — grocery prices here rose by just 5 percent last year.

Worldwide, cereal stockpiles are expected to fall to a 25-year-low of 405 million tons this year, down 5 percent from last year’s already low level.

Rice hit the $1,000-a-ton level for the first time ever this week the export restrictions, reports The Financial Times.

"Food prices, if they go on like they are doing today ... the consequences will be terrible," International Monetary Fund managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said during a recent conference on the problem.

"Hundreds of thousands of people will be starving,” he warned, adding that development gains made of the past five or 10 years could be "totally destroyed."

Strauss-Kahn’s fears are supported by figures from the World Bank that show food prices are largely responsible for forcing 100 million additional people into extreme poverty, setting the stage for famine and social unrest.

...The cost of rice, basic to most diets in Asia, has risen by 75 percent in two months.

The cost of wheat, a staple in most Western diets has gone up 120 percent in the past 12 months. Kazakhstan just joined the list of countries struggling with food inflation by banning exports of wheat. U.S. wheat stores are at a 62-year low...

Weird to think about this happening during our lifetime... we live in the land of excess.... oversized cars, super-sized waistlines, maxed out credit cards... crazy.

and then -- this is a little long but if you can muddle through it... crazy... read it though... I dare you. I got this in an e-mail

GLENN: Happy Earth Day, everybody, welcome to it. Gas prices at a record high, $3.51 a gallon but if you are lucky enough to be a trucker, you are now paying $4.20 a gallon for diesel. My question for truckers, and I know we got bunch of them listening. Question to truckers, what is the price of diesel where you say, I'm out; I can't do it anymore? What is the price of diesel? We talked about this when diesel broke three -- I think it was $3.25 and truckers were starting to say, I can't do it, you know. I put a second mortgage on my house; I don't know what to do.

So what is that magic number for truckers? Because you've got to remember, gang, everything is moved in this country by truck. Forget about the planes. The airline industry having all kinds of problems because jets were not designed to be profitable at $100 a barrel. Remember, $100 a barrel was insanity talk just six months ago. We're now $100 -- come on, flip on me, $116.83 right now for oil. $100.16. I told you last night on television, we went back and we looked at the records. It was about $60 a barrel when I said, what's the magic number that makes the economy fold? They said $100 a barrel. That's what you're paying right now. Because remember, the $116 is an oil future. That's -- you won't feel that at the gas pump for a couple of months yet. So when it's $116 a barrel in oil futures, that's what you got looking forward. What you're paying right now is the oil future that we saw about a month or two ago at about $100 a barrel. So your $3.51 is in the past. What's coming is $4, $4.50 and possibly $5 a gallon this summer.p>

Now, I had a guy who's the managing editor of Forbes magazine. Stu, you wouldn't think the managing editor of Forbes magazine was a nut job, would you?

STU: I do not think he's a nut job, I'm sure. I don't know what you are talking about but I'm sure.

GLENN: You didn't see it last night?

STU: I didn't see the segment.

GLENN: It was an amazing segment. I asked him, because I can't now get anybody to go on record because at first it was $100 a barrel of oil would cause the economy to stop. Then when we got close to $100, I said, oh, we're getting close to $100. And then all the experts said, it will probably be $115, $120 a barrel. Well, now that we're almost at $120 a barrel, what's the magic number? Now the editor of Forbes magazine said the number two actually choke it off is $200 a barrel. And he believes we could be at $200 a barrel quickly.

He also talked last night about how Saudi Arabia, they are not increasing oil production because they can't. Now, this goes to a very controversial theory on oil production and that is peak oil. We talked about it in our book and quite honestly it is the only chapter in "An Inconvenient Book" that is in the book that I don't know how I feel about. I put it in there and we did our homework. In fact, we did a lot of homework on that chapter because I'm not sure if I buy into peak oil. People have been saying about peak oil, and it's the one thing that we have really not talked about on this show that's in the book because I'm not sold.

STU: I think there's a healthy amount of skepticism in the chapter.

GLENN: No, no, there is. That's why -- I mean, you know, it was written by us and, you know, it's my book and I -- and Kevin was the one who presented me that chapter and said, I think we should do a chapter on this. And I said, show me the evidence. And so he did, and I still don't entirely buy it but I have to tell you, front page of the Wall Street Journal today talks about a new oil field that is now being -- getting ready to open up in Saudi Arabia. It will add, I think it was -- I don't have it in here -- about a million barrels of oil a day. In the grand scheme of things, Saudi Arabia does about 12 million barrels a day, 12.5 million barrels a day. That's what they're at now. They said at some point in the past they would never make it past 12.5 million barrels. That was their top capacity. It's now, the guy from Forbes last night was telling me that they are not only at their top capacity, it's now going to start to decrease because they're out of oil. That's as good as it gets. I was a little, still skeptical on that. He said, peak oil people looked like they were right.

This morning on the front page of Wall Street Journal, it talks about what the Saudis have had to do to open up this oil field. This is their last big oil field. They have to do horizontal drilling, they have to pump water down into the ground to be able to get this oil out. It's a different kind of oil. It is very, very difficult and extraordinarily costly to get this oil out of the ground. There's no way Saudi Arabia taps this oil field unless it's the oil field of last resort. Now, granted it is a big oil field but this is it, experts are now saying, on the Saudi Arabian front. And the proof to me at least for the first time is compelling because it's not, it's not speculative. It's tied directly to finances. There's no way Saudi Arabia takes that hit in their oil profits by opening up a less profitable field unless they have to.

Remember, they are not predicting that it's going to put more oil into the system. It's only going to keep Saudi Arabia at 12.5 million barrels a day. So you've got the gas prices happening, and gas prices are going to get worse. Then on top of it, you now have -- and we talked about this yesterday -- in some areas of the country, and it's very limited, but I brought it up to you yesterday because we have for the first time, I told you on February 11th, for the first time the United States is importing wheat. We've never had to do that before. We're importing wheat and I told you on February 11th the oil -- I'm sorry, the grain futures are through the roof and it hasn't hit you yet, but it will. Well, now it has started to hit, and it's hitting the rest of the world as well.

There are several things going on. Quite frankly it's extraordinarily complex and I'm still trying to get my arms around it because the most difficult is the actual futures, the wagering. I mean, we've got -- what we have, we've opened up for oil futures and commodities futures and the stock market. This is gambling, and it is changing the price of things. I'll get into that later on in the week. But here's what I want you to understand. Last night I'm reading a story about the shortage of butter -- you don't even know what my life is like -- the shortage of butter in Japan and there was a run on butter. You can't get butter now in Japan. It's off the shelves. It's empty.

Well, what happened? Japan didn't run out of butter. There was a panic and there was a shortage, a 20% shortage of butter. So when people started having a hard time finding it, they ran out and they snapped it all up. Now butter prices in Japan are through the roof, and they can't buy butter. This is a wealthy country. They can't get the butter into the stores.p>

What was the butter caused by? There's a shortage of cows in Japan. Japan has imported everything that they need. So there's a shortage of cows which means there's a shortage of milk. Part of the shortage of cows and milk comes from the same shortage that we have, the price of grain. So now you've got this problem and a panic in Japan. Last night when I saw this about 10:00, and I wrote one of the researchers and I said, I'm sorry, I'm going to dump a bunch of work on what I -- this doesn't make sense to me, a shortage of butter. This is not ethanol. What is this?

Well, this morning when I got up at 5:00, I had a stack of stuff to read, and this is what I found and this is what I think you need to understand because it doesn't matter what the cause is at this point. No one is telling you this yet, and you're going to get behind the eight ball if you don't know it now, and I'm going to give you not only the problem, I'm going to give you the solution.

This all started with a shortage of Japan, the butter in Japan, and here's where it's taken me. The U.S. agriculture secretary Edward Schafer last week said the world has never been less secure about the near-term future of wheat. That's key. Not long term. Near-term future of wheat. He said international wheat stocks are now at a historic 30-year low and the U.S. wheat stocks are at an unprecedented 60-year low. That's bad news. But then he added there is a highly virulent after can stem rust that is spreading quickly among certain types of wheat field. He said that 75% of U.S. wheat acres are planted to varieties that are highly susceptible to this disease. This disease started, I think in Ghana. Then it went all through Africa. It's moved by the wind. It's a spore and it moves by the wind. Then it wiped out all the wheat fields and now it's jumped over to India. This is why there's such a shortage of wheat overseas. They have been coming over here now and buying our wheat. We're having a shortage of wheat partly because we're not planting as much wheat as we used to. We're planting more corn because we want ethanol. So now this is spread across the globe. It has not come here. However -- and this comes from the research because I just, I said to one of the researchers, I'm not going to talk about mad cow, I'm not going to talk about another bird flu. Tell me what the secretary of agriculture said about mad cow and the bird flu. Nothing like this. Going back and looking at the newspaper stories and the trips of when they were talking about mad cow and the first case of mad cow was here, the secretary of agriculture and the agriculture department said nothing like this. They were saying, don't worry, it's not a problem, we got it under control. This is not what they're saying about the wheat.

So bad news has become terrible news. How fast do you think bread flour and other wheat products will literally disappear from our shelves if the virus hit? He says 75% of our wheat is vulnerable to this. If it hits 10% of our wheat fields, how fast can you not find flour? Remember they have a 20% reduction in butter and now you can't find it anywhere. Here's what I need you to understand. What's happening in Japan right now is panic. What's happening in Japan is panic. What's happening in Haiti, what's happening in Egypt, what's happening in all the parts all around the Middle East is real. There is a real shortage of food and it's happening in China, in India and everywhere else. What happened in Japan is panic. We will not run out of food. We're the United States of America. We have great farmers. We have great farmland. We will not run out of food. But because of oil prices, because if there is this rust spore that comes over here, this is the downward pressure that I was talking about. The price of food and the price of oil could be the downward pressure that we've been talking about.

ThThe only way -- you know what? I feel this to the core of my being. Our grandparents would slap us across the face right now. For anybody who is saying, oh, please. All I'm asking you to do is go out and buy some flour. Don't panic. Don't hoard it. Don't do any of that. Just go out and protect your family. Go out and store some flour. Store some rice. Put it in your basement. Use it through the summer or whatever. Just hang onto it and then if things get bad, you use it. So you batten down the hatches of your own finances. So you don't have to worry so much about food prices because futures are telling us that the price is going to continue to increase. The global food price has gone up 83% in the last three years alone. Futures are telling us it's going up. You will pay that price in gas soon. You will pay that price in food soon. The truckers will have to charge more for the delivery soon. So you're going to feel this much more than you are now. Spend your money wisely and store up on some food. So then when everybody else is panicking, you will be calm enough with your family and your neighbors and say, relax. Relax, we'll never run out of food and you won't be panicked because the worst thing that happens is when people panic, and there's got to be a core of people that don't panic if and when these things hit. And when it comes to food, when it comes to gas prices, they are going to hit because the price is based on futures, and the futures are telling you it's gone up, and you ain't paying it yet. You will.

Monday, April 21, 2008

99 Balloons

This is a BEAUTIFUL testimony, video and story....

... but be sure to get the tissues..


We interrupt this program for an important announcement...

The Center for Disease Control has issued a medical alert about a highly contagious, potentially dangerous virus that is transmitted orally, by hand, and even electronically.

This virus is called Weary Overload Recreational Killer (WORK). If you receive WORK from your boss, any of your colleagues, or anyone else via any means whatsoever - DO NOT TOUCH IT. This virus will wipe out your private life completely.

If you should come into contact with WORK you should immediately leave the premises. Take two good friends to the nearest grocery store and purchase one or both of the antidotes - Work Isolating Neutralizer Extract (WINE) and Bothersome Employer Elimination Rebooter (BEER). Take the antidote repeatedly until WORK has been completely eliminated from your system.

You should immediately forward this medical alert to five friends. If you do not have five friends, you have already been infected and WORK is controlling your life.


Thank you for your attention ... you may now resume your regularly scheduled programming.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Drew just came down the stairs in his Spiderman costume only to walk into my room to try to convince Josh to wear a costume too. It's so cute listening to him trying to negotiate with his older brother -- you can wear my batman costume... but he calls them "costune" ... I love the little ways he mispronounces things. :) Need to get that on video... because when it's gone, I'll surely miss it.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Cyber Safety

My son's school newsletter came home today with this information and I just felt compelled to share it.

The first one is an excellent site for parents to learn about internet safety. It also has activities for kids to learn about internet safety. If you click on the parent/guardian, watch video and then real life stories you can find stories from kids that have experienced dangerous situations while chatting on line. There are many stories for parents that emphasizes the importance of being internet aware and haelping their child be internet safe. There is an interesting story called Tracking Teresa. Press play to see a simulation of how someone can track and find out your name, email address, personal interests, home number and home address and name of yours chool all within 20 minutes of chatting online.

I hope everyone passes this information along...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Learning to Forgive - a MOPS devotional

I'm cleaning out my computer files and came across a devotional I'd written to deliver to my MOPS group a couple of years ago and thought I'd share.

Learning to forgive

I’ve been through my fair share of trials and tribulations in life… I’ve seen my parents divorce not only each other… but also their secondary marriage and apparently both have decided not to marry again. Watching them go through that… now I know was easy.

While living in Colorado Springs, Colorado, I worked a very stressful job as a basically a 911 supervisor where I’ve talked to people in crisis about to lose or take their own life… helped police, fire and medical through harrowing experiences. The police dispatchers you hear on the radio while officers are in pursuit… that was me… shots fired…. That was me… he’s running… that was me. Major accidents on the highway involving multiple fatalities… we got those calls too. Women in labor during a snow storm… been there done that… diabetic patients slowly slipping into a diabetic coma… not knowing where he is… but he’s behind the wheel of a car… and you are this person’s last hope… yeah, that’s stress. But that was easy.

I married a man who was not only emotionally abusive but was a sex addict. I allowed him to manipulate me to the point of stripping away my self esteem… my friends… almost my desire to go on. Because of that marriage I was transplanted to two different states knowing absolutely no one and ultimately having to build a relationship of friends that I knew would only be short term. Because of that relationship, I lost a lot of friends that I held close and dear. That was easy.

The end of that marriage was a true test of faith for me as my own mother sided with my ex… Yes, you heard me right. I lost the one person I was hoping I could count on. My mother took him into her home, gave him shelter, and food (no, I didn’t kick him out), she found him an attorney to fight for custody of my son, Joshua. She became evil and conniving. … that… that was not easy.

Time went on, my ex graduated dental school and moved away to Iowa with his new wife… and my mother was left alone with nothing to show for her arrogance but an empty house and two yappy little dogs that drove me insane.

I didn’t feel sorry for her though, but I realized that she had just made a mistake (a HUGE one, but a mistake none the less). I prayed about it… for a long time… days… weeks… months… years… and ultimately realized that forgiveness was the only answer because harboring the contempt and ill will towards her was just poison to my soul. I have realized that I am NOT capable of a grudge longer than a few hours. Thankfully God didn’t give me that kind of will (or heart).

Ephesians 4:32
. . . forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Elaine Olson wrote -- Forgiveness is not a feeling; it's not forgetting; it's not pretending you weren't hurt; it's not trusting the person again; it's not even reconciliation. Forgiveness is a DECISION you make to obey God. Noone, not even God can make you forgive someone. You must decide to give up your right to hurt the person back. I forgive those who hurt me because God has forgiven me for the hurts I have caused him. Forgiveness protects the forgiver from himself. Forgiveness cancels a debt like Christ cancelled our debt. God says, "I do the punishing; all I want you to do is the forgiving." Forgiveness is a process, it takes time, but it is an act of grace that reflects God's treatment to us. When I forgive, I release God to work directly on the other person.

When I refuse to forgive, I create a barrier between God and me and I can't pray. When I don't forgive I'm saying that what that person did to me is more important than going on with God.

I know I have truly forgiven when the love of God can flow through me to the person who wronged me. When my decisions are not controlled by the other person's behavior, I know I have forgiven. When I am free from the pain, anger and hatred towards that person and experiencing God's peace, I know I have truly forgiven.

Once I chose to forgive my mother, we were able to start trying to rebuild our relationship and she could realize what she had the potential to lose had I not had Jesus in my heart – a relationship with two boys that truly loved her. Do I hope she’s seen the error of her ways? Absolutely. Is it my job to judge whether she has or not? Of course not. I know that she has to live with the burden of her own guilt for what she’s done for the rest of her life… and I’m free of the guilt, grudge, hatred to just go on and enjoy my life. What a blessing it is to have Jesus in my life.

Mathew 6:14-15 says:
14For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

1 John 1:9 says the same message of forgiveness: 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Romans 5:8: But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us….. talk about forgiveness… are we even remotely deserving?

I think that’s why I feel such a special connection to my MOPS friends because they are friends that I have chosen… Unfortunately, you don’t get to choose your family. 

So those that know me… know that I tend to be a bit loud… I tend to talk -- a lot... I have a horrible habit of interrupting (usually, though, to make people laugh) (see … I just interrupted myself!!!) but I know these faults…and I’m working on them every day… and my real friends… my MOPS friends… they forgive me!

My friends know that I tend to find some reason to laugh about anything I can because it is said that laughter is the best medicine… but I am starting to believe that it’s really forgiveness.

Let's Cyber!

The Mosy Scrapper is hosting a CYBER CROP for National Scrapbook Day!!! Come one, come all! :) She's got some GREAT prizes, fun games, super challenges... I'll be there -- come check out the bloggage

and then go register at the message board...and come cyber crop with us!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Are you playin' possum?

I remember as a kid we'd do this all the time to my grandmother. We'd play "possum" and act like we were sleeping. However, today when I let Sadie out to go to the backyard, she wouldn't quit barking. Drew climbed up on the chair to scream at her to "suddup" (shut up -- no, it's not nice that he says that BUT he knows he can only say it to the dogs... kind of monkey see / monkey do around here huh?) If that's the worst thing he repeats, I'm doing pretty good! :) ha!

So any-who, she's barkin' up a storm so I look at the window and she's barking at SOMETHING on the other side of the fence (the back yard is divided into a "dog side" and a "kid side" because I don't want to have to dodge "land mines" when I walk. Works out great (unless the kids leave the gate open... that's a whole other post, however).


I see it's SOMETHING very small and with a white face and then I remember Josh has been saying he's seen an opossum walking around on the fence. This little thing... it's the size of a hedgehog. He's so cute! :) He was so trying to be tough showing those teeth... ha ha... yeah... looks like he might be able to do some damage... to my pinkie toe. :) Cute nevertheless...


I have a little video clip if I can get it to work - the little bark at the end is Lola. :) I'll have to figure that out though... never posted video.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Who You Callin' Ugly PUNK?


:) Ain't he perty?! That's from day 2 of our overnighter at the Fort Worth Zoo. We went there on Saturday as a Cub Scout overnighter. Here are some fun photos from the two day event.

Look, even the animal world is full of ugly comb-overs! Surrender the fantasy, buddy, it's gone.. shave it off!

We went through an area full of Australian babies. I let Josh have command of the camera -- and so this fun little graphic image is courtesy of him truly.... little kanga winkie taking a pee. Nice huh?

I told Josh he'd better hang on tight.. those wild ponies have been known to throw many a good rider.

Josh, Cam and Nick playing in the Texas Wild area with the alligators, wolves, black bear cubs

One very cool thing about this part of Texas Wild is that a) we got to see a wolf -- in all the years I've gone to the zoo, I've NEVER been able to see a wolf and b) the BABY BEAR CUBS were out in the log where you could actually be in the log with them!!! it was SO COOL!

Here is a pic Josh took of the coyotes. While we were over there, they were just checking us out. When we left, they started howling, it was WAY cool!

Cam, Josh and Nick loved the Parrot Paradise where you could feed the little parakeets (well, that's what I thought they were called). Photobucket


My only advice was DO NOT OPEN YOUR MOUTH when you look up!




One other site that we got to see before a zillion other people was the new penguin exhibit! It was very cool... man they poop a lot! Ha ha!

Friday, April 11, 2008

What American Accent Do You Have?

I swear I'm a native Texan...guess you can't tell from listenin to me (unless I'm tired or drankin') LOL

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The West
The South
North Central
The Inland North
The Northeast
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Lesser Known Murphy's Laws

1. Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

2. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

3. Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

4. Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

5. The 50-50-90 rule: Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there's a 90% probability you'll get it wrong.

6. If you lined up all the cars in the world end to end, someone would be stupid enough to try to pass them, five or six at a time, on a hill, in the fog.

7. The things that come to those who wait will be the scraggly junk left by those who got there first.

8. The shin bone is a device for finding furniture in a dark room.

9. A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.

10. When you go into court, you are putting yourself into the hands of 12 people who weren't smart enough to get out of jury duty.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Andy just sent me the link to this article. I decided to cut and paste the whole thing here so you didn't have to click on the link if you didn't want to.

CARPENTERSVILLE, Ill. (AP) - An Illinois delegate for Democratic Sen. Barack Obama resigned after using the word "monkeys" to describe black children playing in a tree, the Obama campaign said Tuesday.

Linda Ramirez-Sliwinski, a trustee in the Chicago suburb of Carpentersville, was issued a $75 ticket for disorderly conduct after neighbors complained to police. She says the word wasn't meant racially and she will fight the ticket.

"Given the incident, Linda Ramirez-Sliwinski is stepping down as a delegate and will be replaced," said Obama spokeswoman Amy Brundage.

The incident occurred Saturday, when two children were playing in a tree next door to Ramirez-Sliwinski's house.

She said the parents were outside supervising the children, but she went over and told them to get out of the tree because she was concerned about the boys' safety and because the small magnolia tree was being damaged.

The father of one of the boys told her it was none of her business, she told the Chicago Tribune, and "I calmly said the tree is not there for them to be climbing in there like monkeys."

The mother of one boy called police.

Cmdr. Michael Kilbourne said Tuesday a ticket was issued because the ordinance bans conduct that disturbs or alarms people. One of the boys told police he was scared by her comment and a mother said she was disturbed, he said.

Ramirez-Sliwinski does not have a listed telephone number. She did not respond immediately to an e-mail.

Ramirez-Sliwinski says she doesn't plan to run for another term on the village board. "In the eyes of the public, this is wrong," she told the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

I'm sorry... but OH MY FREAKIN WORD... you have GOT to be KIDDING ME! I would be BEYOND PO'd. I'm so sick of political correctness. I'm so sick of everyone just doing everything they can to NOT get along. So she asked your kids to get out of a tree because she was concerned for their safety and didn't want the tree damaged. That's totally understandable. WHO CARES?! Control your offspring. She didn't shout the "n" word... she didn't brandish weapons.... Was that event TRULY worthy of issuing a citation to her? Absolutely not. I think that incidences like this are going to continually prevent any kind of harmonious relationship when you're treading the waters of the racial highway. Why does everything always seem to draw down to race? There is only one race, the human race... but when the race card is continually pulled... why doesn't the community just stand up to support what is right and just and not just for what color they are?

Yes, I realize that I take a big risk for stating a type of "political message" on my blog but you know... if everyone is so afraid to talk about it... where will that get us? NO WHERE-- REAL FAST!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

And the Oscar goes to....

DREW! This little man is learning to work it... turning on those croc tears. I remember when Josh was like that so couple his no nap at school with his 30 minute powernap in the car while Josh was in guitar practice... then running non stop when he got home... then throw on that tripping and getting a teenie little scrape on his knee that drew blood...

I mean, he was SO upset. I said, "You're okay, that's just a little scratch" (imagine a large paper cut perhaps, nothing more???) And seriously, it WAS... BUT it drew blood so it's the same as a severed limb in his book -- and he replies very matter of factly without tears and drama, "It's not a scratch, it's a boo boo." I'm like, well, we need to wash it off. NO BATH NO BATH NO BATH. Perhaps I should remind you the first time he fell and scraped his knee, he didn't WALK For THREE DAYS... we had to carry him everywhere... it was the most absolute pathetic display of .... THAT I've ever seen! It was just remarkable the lengths he went to just to avoid moving that knee... it was so sad... seriously.. the kid would NOT walk... he would crawl with the leg immobile. He tried to start doing that with me and I was like... nope, you need a bath come on lets get up the stairs so I let him walk himself up the stairs so he could see it wouldn't hurt him.

Oh it was so sad... he was so tired (like me now...) So remember, he was already tired ... this is the child that NEVER sleeps in the car for fear he may miss something interesting ... he passed the heck out on a 15 minute car ride to Josh's guitar lessons... so I knew this evening we were in for some major drama... and he didn't fail to deliver. This kid needs an oscar. soooooo b/c of the golden globe performance, he shall wait until tomorrow to get the fruit of his stirring labors.

Monday, April 7, 2008

This place is a ZOO!

The weather was beautiful and the rest of the week had a chance of rain so Drew and I took advantage of the beautiful day and headed to the Fort Worth Zoo. I got there and realized my membership was expired... DUH so we renewed. Drew's picture is hilarious. His arms are up behind his head because he was trying to hide his face. Little nut! All he wanted to do was have his picnic and he didnt care if he ate it in the zoo or in the place where you get your id's for memberships.

So, we got in... holy crap that was a loud clap of thunder just now... the dogs are now seeking shelter in my room (buncha chickens they are)... ANY-WHO... made our way across the bridge and headed to the flamingos... as seen here. :) He said they were neat but they stunk. Ok... moving right along...


made our way to the zebras...found a little picnic pavilion and ate our picnic lunch where I made the stupid mistake of TRYING to take a picture. The child doesn't know NOT to say cheese... I'd rather him just glare at me than look all po'd like he does TRYING to say cheese b/c he a) doesn't make eye contact and b) he doesn't say cheese to make himself smile... he says cheese, well... to SAY CHEESE. DUH! LOL... it's aggravating for a shutter bug like myself! When he says cheese, he just looks like he's about to cry or that he's in pain.
see... this is a "cheese" (ok, technically it's peanut butter and jelly but... still doesn't he loook in pain?)

And we're at the zoo, the inevitable monkey face:

And of course, his loving pose for pictures ... no camera session is complete without them now. :)


So food down...we head for the snakes. We make our way around the entire snake exhibit and he is just beyond excited about this... BEYOND.

Isn't this a cool pic? It's taken behind glass!! I was impressed with this little camera I got!

he wants to go around twice. I offered a ride on the train first and he accepted so we rode the train round trip.

Then headed to the hill country in the Texas Wild exhibit to see the bats and the jaguars. He just falls in LOVE with the jaguars -- that's like Diego! :) Boy are my kids branded! Drew recognized "Polo" at 2 years old ... they're warped indeed!

Run through the Hill Country... didn't see the bats -- perhaps they were on hiatus or something (bummer) but we saw spiders and that was WAY cool... and he touched a shell and a crab and a sea urchin...

He wanted to go through the snake exhibit again so ... heck, why not!


In we go... made our way through and he said he was ready to go home. :) Sure thing kiddo! :) I wore my backpack in reverse and carried him piggyback and home we went.

He crashed out in the car on the way home... that 25 minute power nap.. in place of a good 2 1/2 to 3 hour nap like usual... yikes... just see ugly written all over that! :) And yes, it was a little drama-ish that evening... oh well...but it was a fun day.