Thursday, July 30, 2009


I finally got into the salon and got my hair chopped off! It's chin length and I'm goign to start going for the blonde highlights again. :) Hey, I'm too low maintenance to live in such a high maintenance area. Gotta keep up with the Jones' right? LOL

OK... I'm not doing it to keep up with anyone, just b/c I wanted a change. :) We'll see how long it lasts! :) I kind of like it... easier to fix than long hair! That's FO SHO!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Time on my hands

I actually have time on my hands right now and I have no idea what to do. I really have so much I need to do and WANT to do but I dont know where to even start! Isn't that crazy!

I'm looking at my desk... i have trash to throw away, dishes to take to the dishwasher, a Webelos schedule to plan, our days to organize/plan, a Disney World book I got from, to figure out why I haven't received child support in 2 months, to make a dental appointment, to plan for upcoming holidays - activities for the kids, to figure out what gifts I want to make for presents this Christmas, to get a hair appointment to get highlights or a cut or something -- this mop's gotta go, to get running again, to purchase my books for the fall semester, to clean my house, to work, TO SCRAPBOOK... lots of things...

what to do first? Maybe I'll take a nap. ha ha..

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Don't give kids hammers

Unless you're ready and prepared for them to come in with a bloody hand.

Thank God for Kids

The Video is here of the Oak Ridge Boys... Thank God For Kids...

"We'd all live in a quiet house... without Big Bird or a Mickey Mouse, koolaid on the couch, thank God for kids"

Isn't that the truth? Isn't it amazing the amount of joy we can have in our lives BECAUSE of kids and the imagination they have? Watching them play and enjoy life... learn and grow. To watch them ENJOY their childhood... it's a blessing.

Then, the high priestess herself, Oprah (just kidding, I really do like her MOST of the time) goes to visit a place where they believe that playing is goofing off. That play is not fun. These kids have never heard of Shrek, Cinderella or Humpty Dumpty. They don't allow the children to read fiction because it has no purpose. They don't teach the children that man has walked on the moon. ??? These kids ... are so pathetic BECAUSE of the extremes that the adults who are around them go to in order to prohibit creativity and imagination. How SAD IS THAT?

Oprah visited the children from the Mt. Zion sect that was raided... these kids... obviously need prayers.

The video of Oprah's visit is here

I know we live in a free country but man... you'd think they could do something to help these kids. What a buncha loonies!


No, I'm not talking about the fruit... I'm talking about the little hand-held portable devices. I now own one. :) I've been eyeing one for about 6 months. My contract finally came up for renewal with Verizon Wireless and so I opted for the world in my hands rather than just another phone. :)

I got a pink Blackberry Curve. Kinda excited about it. It should be here Monday or Tuesday. :) Woo hoo I love new gadgets!

Saturday, July 25, 2009


It's hard to believe that a few states are teetering on the edge of bankruptcy... STATES.. in OUR country... nearing the need to be filing for bankruptcy protection. I think it's a situation that needs much more scrutiny than it is given. The government's job is NOT to save people from themselves... or states either for that matter. States should not be dependent upon ridiculous amounts of taxes to function. They need to start streamlining the same way anyone else WOULD HAVE TO. #1) look at where your arterial wounds are and heal those first. Look at what you're spending exhorbitant amounts of money on... is it providing healthcare and social benefits for illegals? THEN STOP IT. I just still can't wrap my brain around the fact that people can ENTER THE COUNTRY ILLEGALLY and then be given, food, shelter, medical care, and living quarters ON MY DIME when there are good, hard-workin American people struggling to provide food for their children and whose children HAVE to medical care. They get discounts on post high-school education? HOW THE HELL IS THAT FAIR? THEY charge more for IN STATE residents than they do for illegals? That's completely insane! The government has got to learn how to live within its means. NO ONE could run a household, a company or an entity they way they run this government. NOTHING can be profitable running in the red.

I hear time and time again on the headlines about this company filing for bankruptcy protection... and now a new line of stores is following suit. Mrs. Fields and TCBY filed for bankruptcy. I don't see how those companies ever made it to begin with. Who really WANTS a $3 cookie? I just don't get it.

Bennigan's (eaterie) filed in 2008. There are still a few straggling stores but the one that was my stompin grounds closed.

Bally's Total Fitness is BACK in bankruptcy with 1.5 BILLION in debt. HOW DOES A COMPANY RUN ON 1.5 BILLION IN DEBT? I don't even comprehend this.

I mean...then look at the airlines...the car industry...

Here's a LIST... check it out

Scary stuff.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Dallas World Aquarium

Drew and I took my mom to her first trip to the Dallas World Aquarium for a "field trip Friday."

They've done a lot of work on it since I was there last... a whole expansion! I let Drew have time with the camera, too. He loved taking photos. He's got a knack for getting just what he wants to see and remember. It's rather cute to see what all he comes up with.

Here's Drew and grandma making their entrance through the "rainforest"

And here is the sign for their Sloth Crossing. :) While I tend to say both my boys move as fast as a sloth.. it only seemed fitting to have Drew next to "his sign"


And you see that tree that's right behind the sign? Guess what's in it? RIGHT THERE for people to get up close and personal with? A SLOTH! Check this cutie out!

Doesn't he look like one of the Beatles? LOL

Drew took a photo of some of the crocodiles

And this is the Drew-meister up against the glass at the base of the croc tank -- near the tail.. if you look closely, you can see the head of the croc between his arms.


Drew at the turtle tank

Drew also took some photos of spiders -- two of them. The first is a tarantula. The second is a bird eating spider. They both look equally hairy and scary. And so, I chose not to put them on the blog (and since I didn't know which was which, just as well.)

This is the two at the actual aquarium.

And we always love to see the jellyfish.

... the sea dragons, too, are very neat to watch

I think the water arch is just amazing.

And, in closing, you have to visit the gift shop and buy them some little memento (read that as, overpriced crap that they don't need, really could care less about but have to have to make their visit feel complete)... we got an octopus.

Are you green?

I'm glad that people are becoming more aware of the impact they leave -- I wish MORE people would become MORE aware. For them, out of sight, out of mind. Once I throw it in the trash, it's gone and I don't have to worry about it anymore. Boy, is that the furthest thing from the truth. Burying your problems (literally or figuratively) never works! Just because you bury that plastic bowl, do you REALLY think it's going to decompose in the next 500 years? Absolutely not! I just think of ALL the waste... all the excess wrapping and such and wonder... if we're going to run out of places to bury all this crap! ???

This was just because I was thinking how wasteful it is -- all the plastic baggies I DO get from the grocery store (I do put them in the recycle bag) but there HAS to be a way to be "greener" at the grocery store. Primarily because, I freakin hate having a zillion stupid bags in my drawer!

So, how does one "go green" in the grocery store?

I'm thinking the first option is a no-brainer -- bring your own bags!

Another option, of course, buy in bulk or larger sizes, rather than individual or, so called, single serving sizes. If you want smaller portions, buy bigger portions and then RE-portion them at home into Tupperware snack sized containers... but wait -- the production of Tupperware emits harmful chemicals in the air -- so what's better to do? Geeze, they're putting those of us who desire to pursue of the simple green life into quite a pickle! Hey, now THERE's something green for ya!

In a precursory search of the internet, it seems that there are good ideas out there... just I cant seem to find one for the produce purchases.

One resource is found HERE

This guys has a good blog entry about trying to be "green" at a local grocery store. Check it out HERE.

I'm curious... anyone have any resources for being green in the produce aisle without having to disguise yourself as an avocado?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The thing about eating lots more veggies

... is that your veggie drawer in the fridge is FULL of all those stupid plastic baggies. I hate having to get them but when you buy as many veggies as I do, it's a necessity to keep them in one location in your cart. I swear, when I open that drawer, it's like a drawer of baggies. LOL

Do It Door

I was so inspired by reading about another HSing mom's task with getting her children ON task with completing their chores. I don't feel that it is my job as a mother to nag them. It is my job to teach them to be self-sufficient human beings that love the Lord and live for His purpose. It's also my job to teach them how to ultimately take care of themselves... to do laundry, keep their messes controllable, pick up after themselves and not take others for granted.

Right now, we're in the mode of taking mommy for granted. I, too, am instituting the "Do It Door" at my house. (As soon as I find the post of hers, I promise I'll link back to it).

What this ultimately consists of is a door with a checklist of sorts of the children's expectations for the day. Since I have a non-reader, I also made sure there were colorful pictures to go with the Do-It Door commands.

Josh's Daily Routine and Chore Chart is colorful and has two columns... Morning and Evening. His morning consists of:
  • coming downstairs (on his own) by 7:30 a.m.
  • eat breakfast
  • clear the breakfast dishes and wipe the table down
  • get dressed to the shoes and put away pajamas
  • make bed
  • brush teeth
  • bring dirty laundry down and take clean laundry up and put it away immediately
  • do ASSIGNED chores (notice that the above is basically just a routine for him to get into) for 15 minutes
  • be ready for school by 8:30 am (if he's ready earlier, he can start school earlier which lets him finish earlier and thus, he gets to do more fun stuff!)

His evening consists of:

  • straighten the living room
  • straighten the dining room (this is usually where a lot of school projects wind up)
  • straighten your classroom (he has a habit of leaving his workboxes out)
  • finish your assigned chores (many of the chores he is assigned can't be completed first thing in the morning, they are more afternoon chores so this is just a reminder in case he didnt' finish)
  • change into pj's, put dirty clothes in the clothes basket, brush and floss teeth
  • bedtime stories and prayers

Drew's is pretty much the same thing.

These will be laminated and taped to the pantry door at their level -- so they are out of sight but since we're ALWAYS in the pantry, they'll never be out of mind. :)

There is a space for a Velcro dot next to each picture of the chore. I will have hanging from a hook a little bag of round dots with checkmarks inside. Once they complete the chore, they put a checkmark on the Velcro dot. They can see at any time what all they have left to do so I don't have to nag about anything.

Now... they each have "assigned" chores to do on a daily basis. I haven't decided just how I'm going to use these. I'm thinking of attaching clips to the door and then just clip these inside the clip each day and let them use velcro dots on this OR potentially having these being utilized with a wet erase marker. Either would work... or, they could be hanging from a hook if I hole punched the top and placed them on a ring. I'm thinking the velcro would work best for this, too... just keep it all simple and avoid any wet erase marker on the door! :)

Chores on Monday

Josh: clean your room, empty the dishwasher, empty the trashcans in each room, take recycles to the garage

Drew: clean your room, feed/water the doogs, put the thigns in your basekt away (we keep a basket at the foot of the stairs that accumulates anything that has made its way downstairs from the playroom), set the table

Chores on Tuesday

Josh: bring trashcans to garage, feed/water the dogs, set the table, put the things in your basket away

Drew: empty the dishwasher, put the things in your basket away, take recycles to the garage

... you get the picture. The only thing I need to do is remind them that they need to check the door. The television will stay off in our home until everything that CAN be done IS done.

Ultimately, I'll work up to having one boy a night help me with dinner and soon, Josh will be responsible for doing his own laundry. :) I think it's important for them to know that it takes work to make a house run.

What do you do to train your children...?


Several of the blogs that I love to follow are all part of a growing trend called "Tablescape Tuesday." It's a real thing, trust me. OK... I'll wait while you go Google it.

... ok? You back?

... Hellllllllooooo?? Yeah... you got sucked in looking at all the pretty pictures, too, huh?

(here's one in case you didn't Google it yourself... Click HERE

Yeah, well, that's my point. People set these (sometimes) beautiful table settings. But... I want to know, for what? If you participate every week... what do you do with all those freakin' dishes, cups, display pieces, serving pieces, decorations? Where are you storing all this stuff? Are you truly just setting a pretty table JUST TO SET A PRETTY TABLE?

Call me crazy, but, wow, I'd rather find another hobby. I appreciate it and all but... no thanks. I don't know if I ever even HAVE a gathering WORTHY of a "tablescape" because I like to keep things less formal and just fun. Maybe I'm just weird but it seems like there's lots more important things to do than search for stuff to put on a table just to take a picture?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I'm not a big fan of traffic. That being said, I don't know who is. With some good music, I can tolerate it at best but I have huge pet peeves associated with it. . . For instance, when you see a sign that say "LEFT LANE ENDS 500 FEET" and the people just blow through like they're going to drive on forever in that lane, oblivious to the sign... only to then act completely beligerant when you -- who got over into the middle lane when you saw the sign -- don't want to let them over. They try to merge INTO you and act like it's YOUR fault? What's up with that?

Or, people that are busy on the phone texting or whatever and miss the "turn on green arrow only" at an EXTREMELY long light. You're 3rd in line... the car in front of you doesn't honk and by the tiem you realize it... it doesn't really matter b/c you're stuck there again. The car runs the "yellow" and turns left... now you're 2nd in line. And the freakin car in front of you DOES THE SAME STINKIN THING?! HELLO PEOPLE...

I also get bugged by the idiots that are in oncoming traffic. They are, for instance, headed south; you're headed north. You're turning right (east) and they're turning left (east). IF you turn when they turn, chances are, they'll honk at you like you've done something wrong? They don't realize that THEY ARE REQUIRED to take the FIRST AVAILABLE if we are both turning onto a 3 lane road, they take the far left lane, I take the far right lane and the middle lane stays free. I guess being a mind-reader and assuming that I know that they want to be in the far RIGHT lane (MY LANE) makes me in the wrong? I just don't understand it... this happens at least once a week. LEt them hit me... it'd be an inconvenience but they'd realize soon enough they're WRONG!

I think people should have to retake a driving test every 10 years (not the driving portion, but the written one). And... older folks seriously... once you hit 60... every 10 years, retake the DRIVING portion of the test. Yikes... the older these little Texan grannies get, the worse their eyesight and the bigger their cars.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What I'm For...

Today I went to have lunch with my son while he was at College 4 Kids. I got him his favorite from Subway and just went to show him that he's worthy of my time and taht I wanted him to have an enjoyable lunch -- with me. :) It was a nice surprise for him (I mean, he KNEW I was coming but since I don't normally do that... it was nice for him.)

On the way home, I heard a new song by Pat Green called "What I'm For" and I wanted to share the lyrics with you... they just "spoke" to me (music usually does) and so I thought... hm... what am I for?

I'm for wildflowers in the window
Mechanics you can trust
I'm for crackers in my chili
And leavin' grudges in the dust

I'm for drive thru order takers
Who can muster up a smile
I'm for takin' in that stray dog
That's been hangin' 'round for awhile

I'm for turning off the TV
Gettin' off the internet
I'm for learning all the words
To the Gettysburg Address

I'm for dusty pawn shop guitars
And boxers passed their prime
I'm for soakin' up the wisdom
When an old man speaks his mind.

I'm for laid off factory workers
When the wolf is at the door
You don't have to guess what I'm against
If you know what I'm for

I'm for Texas Margaritas
Gettin' outta debt
I'm for havin' faith in something
That hasn't happened yet

For the shy kid in the corner
Afraid to ask the girl to dance
For the ex-con outta prison
Who just wants a second chance

For the inner city teacher
With her heart stuck in her throat
Can still see God in every child
And never gives up hope

I'm for dusty pawn shop guitars
And boxers passed their prime
I'm for soakin' up the wisdom
When and old man speaks his mind

I'm for Detroit factory workers
When the wolf is at the door
You don't have to guess what I'm against
If you know what I'm for

I'm counting all my blessings
When the wolf is at my door
You don't have to ask what I'm against
You don't have to guess what I'm against
You know what I'm for


Isn't that such a poignant statement? You don't have to guess what I'm against because you now what I'm for. I wish most of our politicans were the same way. I don't seem to know what anyone stands for up there other than paving the way for their own agenda? How sad. We know what they're NOT for.... AMERICA. Why are so many people on the UNAMERICAN bandwagon like it's the "in" thing?

Me? What am I for?

  • I'm for standing behind your word... Say what you mean. Mean what you say.
  • I'm for helping the helpless (animals, children and elderly)
  • I'm for smiling at those that serve you... because they could be having a bad day, too.
  • I'm for leaving bigger tips because times are hard.
  • I'm for homecooked meals... not something from a sack.
  • I'm for Sunday school because it gives people (of all ages) something to hold onto.
  • I'm for being a friend even when there is nothing for you to personally gain from the relationship.
  • I'm for time spent in nature because I feel that people spend too much time in front of electronics (computers, televisions, game stations).
  • I'm for buying American.
  • I'm for individuals... not unions.
  • I'm for biscuits and gravy... though I can't make them the way my grandma can.
  • I'm for hunting... if you have a need for the meat.
  • I'm for recycling because we are a throw-away nation that needs to realize that burying the trash doesn't make it go away!
  • I'm for men of integrity like my father, because there aren't enough of them in the world.
  • I'm for putting some decency back into the television programs that are on when the sun is up -- lose the bad words, sex scenes, and token homosexual roles.
  • I'm for Christians taking a freakin' stand instead of being passive about things that don't go our way choosing only to pray about it. Pray but also get up and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. WE ARE THE MAJORITY... we shouldn't have to cater to the minority.
  • I'm for standing up for what you believe in... whatever the cost.
  • I'm for preserving the memories you have via whatever means you need to (photos, blogging, scrapbooking)
  • I'm for vacationing with your children because if you choose to spend your memory making times away from them...what memories will they have of you? There's plenty of time to vacation away from them when they're grown and gone.
  • I'm for Colorado! It's just my favorite place on the planet!
  • I'm for dirty knees on my boy's pants because that means they've been running wild outside and enjoying their youth.
  • I'm for just letting it go... things are bigger than you and you just have to move past it because otherwise it will eat you up inside.
  • I'm for turning off the television because that's not quality time...
  • I'm for loud music to sing along with in the car.
  • I'm for finishing what you started.
  • I'm for the loyal, faithful and trustworthy.
  • I'm for those people willing to give others a second chance... because that's what Jesus would do.
  • I'm for teachers!
  • I'm for a simpler life, a simpler time.

So what are you for?

Babies and Santa

I knew this day would come... Josh asking about babies... and sex... and Santa. However, knowing it was coming still hasn't prepared me for it. Well, actually, Drew has asked about babies too. He knew he was in my tummy and wanted to know if I "pooped him out."

(bwa ha ha.. who can't laugh at the thought of your kids thinking you poop them out?) I want my children to know -- when it's time for them to know. I'd also prefer my children to know the FACTS rather than the assumptions their friends make and share with them.

The whole baby/sex thing gets brought up more frequently than not because of the over abundance of it's inclusion in every form of media there is. This is primarily why I a) don't like television and b) don't like non-family-friendly radio stations. We watched Marley and Me, for instance, a seemingly benign movie not too terribly long ago. Josh told me that his friend Shane learned where babies come from just from watching that movie. I was like... what? Oh it's about a DOG... ok... so the dog probably has puppies... nature in it's purest form. That can be an educational lesson then, okay. Little did I know it was about Jennifer Aniston and her husband trying to have a baby all the time. UGH... talk about awkward! So, Andy has been banned from movie selections at our home now. They all must be run through me. I did, however, have and he shouldhave checked this resource called Kids In Mind. It's a fantastic resource and leaves nothing to chance with it's screen by screen listing of important aspects of movies that parents want to know. Topics like sex/nudity, violence/gore, language, alcohol/drugs, etc. It's listed for the parents to decide if the content is acceptable. The sex/nudity for this show 5 and below are some of the situations seen in this feature:

SEX/NUDITY 5 - A husband and a wife kiss in bed and it is implied that they have sex (we hear squeaking springs). A husband and wife kiss, she sits on his lap, she stands up and takes off her dress in front of him (we see her bare shoulders and the side of her breast), she jumps into a swimming pool, her husband takes off his shirt (we see his bare chest) and jumps in too, and they kiss and hug.

► A dog tackles a woman and thrusts on her leg rapidly (the woman yells). A wife jumps into her husband's arms and kisses him. A husband and wife kiss in several scenes throughout the movie. A young man and a young woman kiss on a beach. A man flirts with women and uses a dog and a baby as lures to get into conversations with women.

► We see a nude baby boy and his genitals are visible. A dog jumps into a shower where a young woman is bathing and she pulls the curtain down to cover herself (we see her bare shoulders). A dog pulls a towel off a young woman just out of the shower (we see her bare legs). We see many women in bikinis and men in swim trunks in several beach scenes. A woman wears a low-cut wedding gown that reveals cleavage and the skirt is hiked up to her thighs.

And while some parents/people/liberals may feel that we, in America, take things to the extreme (i.e., there are some countries where soft-core porn is shown on daytime TELEVISION?) I certainly don't feel that protecting my children from the over-sensationalized sex industry is being over-protective. I want both boys to have a healthy respect for women, their bodies, their minds, and to know their role in relationships. I don't expect them to become monks and take a vow of celibacy but I do expect them live for the Lord and remember that everything they do has a consequence.

So, something the other day gets brought up and Josh says, yet again, that he wants to know where babies come from. I'm really struggling with feeding him too much information or approaching this from a scientific-based basis. Should I approach this from a biblical standpoint? Should I intertwine the two? What books should I use as a reference... should I let him read books and come to me with questions? I'm going to pray about this... (and seek the counsel of friends with older boys!) :)

The other topic that has come up is Santa... is he real? While I understand many weird-o's (just kidding -- geez, chill out!) out there think that you're lying to your children and are just showing them that you can't be trusted for giving them this fun and fantasy to believe in during the holiday season... I think it's just good, old-fashioned fun. I see no harm in letting children believe... this year, however, I will tell Joshua the truth SO LONG AS he swears an oath that he will not spoil it for his younger siblings (both here and in Iowa.) I intend to have him read a book with me called The Autobiography of Santa Claus by Jeff Guinn. We will then have a special lunch (in December) where we will discuss this whole issue... about how he was a real man but now his spirit is kept alive by all who believe in the very spirit of selflessly giving -- which ... isn't that a true example of showing Christ's love of others? Call me crazy, but I feel that it does! I'll also tell him that as long as he believes in the SPIRIT of Christmas, Santa will still visit him. :)

Just a couple of random topics that were on my brain today.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A night away

I spent Saturday evening in the company of strangers at my beloved's 20-year high school reunion. You know, inasmuch as I feel that it is probably a great thing to WANT TO include spouses, I can't imagine that any of them really want to be there unless they're already acquainted with friends from the school. I mean, I enjoyed saying hi to new people but superficial conversations just to avoid awkward silence bores me. I'm sure he was sick of saying, "...and this is my wife, April" almost as much as I was bored of the forced smiles and actually trying to look like I wanted to be there. He felt bad leaving me at a table to mingle and I felt bad trailing around like a lost puppy behind him so I didn't. I mean, yes, I did go out of obligation because he wanted me there but it's full of memories and people that I was, nor will ever be, a part of so why make me go?

One of his friends that I had met on one previous occasion was there with his wife. They are from Frisco. Nice couple. He graduated with Andy and she graduated with a class of 1600 from Plano. She and I share the same mind-set as far as reunions go... neither of us ever care to attend any more of ours. I will not go to my 20 year high school reunion in 2 years. Just because I shared air space with someone for four years doesn't make them my friend anymore than me walking down the produce aisle of the local Albertson's makes me a kiwi fruit. Would it be nice to catch up? I suppose, but you can do that over Facebook or Twitter. Neither of which I participate in/on. I just feel that if someone wanted to be my friend, they would be still... not because of a looming reunion. Andy says it's because he went to a smaller school, the friendships are more close-knit than at bigger schools with 400+ in the graduating class. I can't imagine a class reunion of 1600 people (like the wife from Plano). That's crazy man.

Honestly, looking back, I didn't really enjoy high school much at all. I think I was, perhaps, too analytical then as I am now and realized just how ridiculous much of it is/was. The cliques were so ... DUMB. The elitist attitudes were such a turn-off. I had to work most weekends so being involved wasn't an option. So, while a lot of people look back on their high school years with fondness, I just look back with much contempt. It was just a phase I had to go through.

One thing the 1989 reunion did have was a Powerpoint presentation of photos alumni had submitted. I thought that was neat... having photos but you started to see a trend and in much of the photos were the same group of people. My friends were mostly people that weren't in my class. In hindsight, I wish I would have had the opportunity to enjoy high school more but you can't have a do-over in life so just make the best of life now.

Once the reunion was over, we went to go check into the hotel - did I mention this was taking place in Thackerville, Oklahoma? At the Winstar Casino golf clubhouse? OH...and at the reunion... I won a door prize -- a freakin GAS GRILL? WTH? LOL. We'll sell it as we have one and ours works just fine. And to think I never win anything.

Anyhow, I digress, we left the clubhouse and went to the hotel to check in... well, actually, first we went to the hotel we THOUGHT we were to check in (the Microtel). We pulled up under the little covered valet area and I $hit you not, a freakin COCKROACH landed on the windshield... like it had just fallen out of the sky? I was sitting there (I swear I'm getting goosebumps just thinking of it... ewwwww!!!) thinking... OH HELLLL NO! I'm not staying anyplace infested with roaches.. we will drive back home! Luckily, after double checking the paperwork, we discovered were staying at the Best Western. Whew! We checked in and went to the casino.

The Winstar casino, if you've never seen it... is quite bizarre. I think of casinos and I imagine Las Vegas with grand entrances and elaborate exteriors and landscaping. This is just a bizarre building that is HUGE... with this expansive sea of concrete parking lots surrounding it. Someone told us to park on the north side as that was where the tables were (blackjack). We parked and walked in...and upon entering, you're HIT with a stench of cigarette smoke. It was absolutely disgusting. The smell was enough to give me an instant headache. We walked around looking for the group that was going to be meeting us there. It's an interesting place to people watch. Andy made the comment that he wondered how many people there were living at or below the poverty line... or on some sort of assistance. The clientele was just not what I'm used to having only been to Vegas casinos. I'm talking people walking around in flip flops, over-alls with wife-beaters on. It was BIZARRE!

We made it to about 2am, the only gambling we did was with a free $10 that the casino gave to us. Andy bet it in $1 slots and won $31 so we cashed out. LOL. I bought some Tylenol but it didn't touch the headache the DJ gave me from playing the music too loudly at the clubhouse. I drank water and watched a few people losing on 21. You have to give the house $0.50 for every hand you play -- win or lose? What kind of freakin' racket is that?

Got back to the hotel and washed my face. I HATED the though of everything I had on covered with the stench of smoke but I was too tired to shower so I set the alarm on his phone and went to bed. The bed was SO COMFORTABLE! Wow... it has been a LOOONG time since I've slept in a bed that was THAT comfortable! I may e-mail them and ask what kind of bed it was. The pillows sucked but the bed was fantastic! We woke up, I showered, he showered and we hit the road for the Cracker Barrel. Yes, I totally blew my diet this week and I don't care! :) I love the Cracker Barrell. It's my favorite place to eat breakfast, lunch or dinner I think. Delicious home cooking that just reminds me of my grandma's! I'm trying to decide if the bloating i feel is my monthly "friend" or... hmm...maybe the delay is news of another Driggers? Hmmm??? I seriously SERIOUSLY doubt that but... stranger things have happened. Regardless... I ate like crap... and feel bloated about it... I'll deal with it later but for now.. I'm going to bed! Toodles!

All hail the chief!

Obama's 6 Month Report:

Observations on the President's Early Days:

1. Offended the Queen of England.

2. Bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia.

3. Praised the Marxist Daniel Ortega.

4. Kissed Marxist Hugo Chavez on the cheek.

5. Endorsed the Socialist Evo Morales of Bolivia.

6. Announced we would meet with Iranians with no pre-conditions.

7. Gave away billions to AIG also without pre-conditions.

8. Expanded the bailouts.

9. Insulted a Special Olympian.

10. Doubled our national debt.

11. Announced a termination of the space defense system the day after the North Korea launched an ICBM.

12. Despite the urgings of his own CIA director and the prior 4 CIA directors, released information on intelligence gathering.

13. Accepted without public comment the fact that five of his cabinet members cheated on their taxes and two others withdrew after they couldn't take the heat.

14. Appointed a Homeland Security Chief who quickly identified as "dangers to the nation", groups including military veterans, and opponents of abortion on demand, and who ordered that the word "terrorism" no longer be used, but instead referred to such acts as "man made disasters".

15. Circled the globe so he could openly apologize for America's greatness.

16. Told the Mexican President that the violence in their country was because of us.

17. Politicized the census by moving it into the White House from its Department of Commerce origins.

18. Appointed as Attorney General the man who orchestrated the forced removal and expulsion from America to Cuba of a nine-year old whose mother died trying to bring him to freedom in theUnited States.

19. Announces that members of the Bush administration will likely stand trial for "torturing" a terrorist who had played a part in killing 3,000 Americans by pouring water up his nose.

20. People in his administration instructed Air Force One to fly low over New York City and alarmed the citizenry all for a “photo opportunity”.

21. Sent his National Defense Advisor to Europe to assure Europe that the US will no longer treat Israel as a special ally and warned Israel that they might be on their own with the Muslims.

22. Began the process of nationalizing the Auto Industry and the Insurance industry.

23. Announced that for all intents and purposes the Health Insurance Industry will be nationalized (and wants to use over a trillion dollars to pay for it!!!!!).

What a president! And he thinks he’ll be re-elected???? And you know what? … he probably will because “our liberal press adores him".

1300+ more days to go... God help us all!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Asking for prayers

If everyone within reach of my blog could lift my Pastor, Andy McQuitty, and his family up in prayers, I would be forever grateful. This is a wonderful man that has really touched my very soul with the gifts God has given him. Thank you! The following letter was in my e-mail inbox this morning:


My Dear Friends,

It looks like the Lord has scheduled me for a very interesting journey over the next little while. As I prepare to disembark, I'd covet your prayers.

On Tuesday of this week I was diagnosed with colon cancer. That's the bad news. And that's my "journey".

But there's lots of good news as well. We think we caught it early. A CT scan on Thursday showed no evidence of the cancer's spread to any other organs. The surgery to remove the affected area will be done laparoscopically by one of the best surgeons in Texas. Best of all, the Lord is my Shepherd, and none of this scary stuff even phases Him.

My surgery will be this Thursday and I'll be in the hospital for 3-5 days.
Please pray for the hospital staff; I'm a bad patient and they're going to need much grace from God!

Determinations about the need for follow-up chemotherapy will be made after the procedure.

I'm not looking forward to all this and truly wish it wasn't on my plate, but it is what the Lord has teed up for me and I'm at peace with that. After all these years shepherding other people through these situations, it's my turn now! Alice and my family are confident and trusting and a huge bulwark of strength for me, and I think the Lord has much to teach me in these days.
So we go forward.

My doctors are very hopeful that we will have a very good outcome to this surgery and that the procedure itself will be curative. Ah, but that's where the Great Physician comes in. We're just putting it all in His hands. I'm just glad that I'll finally be able to get that pesky ten pounds off that I've been battling for the last two years.

Lord willing, I'll be back in the saddle in about six weeks or so-preaching, teaching, golfing, leading, and eating way more fruits and vegetables from now on (but I won't drag you into all of that!).

The Lord is my Shepherd, and yours too. . . we shall not want! Love and appreciate you all more than you know. . .

10,000 Blessings Mis Amigos,


An awesome quote

"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government -- lest it come to dominate our lives and interests."
-- Patrick Henry

Major milestone last night

Drew had a major milestone last night -- he had his first sleepover. He also ate his first inedible object. :) But let's focus on the fun aspect of the night. His little bud from across the street came over to share some pizza and a slumber party. It is a first for both them. Look how much fun they were having.

D's first sleepover

But during all the fun, D came running downstairs in a complete panic. I figured it was a tattle-tale session. It was anything BUT! Bless his poor little heart; he swallowed a round metal ball. One of the metal balls from those toy sets called Magnetix. He'd nearly choked on one as a toddler. He'd been told multiple times NOT to put things in his mouth. Apparently, he had to learn things the hard way (why do I see this as becoming a constant with this child?) hee hee.

He was TERRIFIED they were going to have to cut him open to get the ball out. I called our doctor's office and spoke with the nurse on duty. Since it was round and not a magnet and he only ingested one, he should just pass it. We, however, have to go excavating for this ball in every BM this child has... um... EWWW!

I guess the good thing is that I'm going out of town tonight so Drew's grandmother is on poo duty.... poo doodie... you choose! LOL...

Friday, July 17, 2009


I love how little ones formulate words for our crazy English language. Drew is on a ghost hunt right now. Hunting ghost-es. IT's funny, too, how anything that they want to be past tense -- it's just if you add an "ed" to it, then it's in the past... even if it ends with a "d". For instance, read (pronounced reed) becomes readed (reed ed). These are fun times.

Carson is down stairs with a flashlight loving on the dogs. Josh and Thomas are upstairs chasing the other two (Drew and Hunter) around going after ghost-es. They're a hoot. Pizzas on its way so they'll all be fed and happy in no time! :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Is anyone else sick of the hypocrisy in our government? They chastise CEOs of PRIVATE companies for anything... then the SSA office in Phoenix had a $700,000 retreat for people to "reduce stress?" WTH man? Reduce YOUR BUDGET! They're already looking to be out of money in the next 30 years... with frivolous spending like that, it's no wonder. I'm just appalled!

Read about it here:

Quote of the day

I have learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances.
--Martha Washington

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

News du jour

"du jour" Makes me sound kinda fancy there don't it? Well, trust me -- I'm NOT! :) I've got a mess of a head of hair that is, for now, routinely pulled back in a pony tail. My house looks like something exploded in just about every room (How does a kitchen go from neat to disaster in ONE DAY? HOW??) I'm supposed to go to a stupid high school reunion for my other half this weekend and I have ZERO desire to be there... did I mention I have nothing to wear and haven't had a hair cut in over a year? OK... it may be more like 9 months but you get the idea... it's been a WHILE!

But, du jour sure makes things sound fancy. Kind of like that scene on Dumb and Dumber where they're in the restaurant with "Sea Bass" and they ask the waitress, "What's the soup du jour?" She (in her best Flo comeback) says, "It's the soup of the day." Jim Carey ponders for a milisecond and then says, "MMmmm that sounds good. I think I'll have some of that." LOL... I just LOVE that scene! :) Makes me smile.

Today was a fun day. I picked up one of Drew's best buds and we went to see a movie (Kitt Kittredge) -- I could have the spelling off a little. If ANYONE has kids over 5, they need to see this movie. It was FANTASTIC! I even got teary eyed several times throughout. It's an amazing journey of a little girl and her family during the Great Depression (yeah, talk about teaching some hard lessons in a way your kids can relate... especially in times like these!) and how she helps solve a mystery. She has a goal to be a reporter for the Cincinnati Register. It's really a great heartwarming story of how the good prevails and the bad guys lose. I highly encourage everyone to see it!

After that we went to McDonalds. I was STARVING so I got a grilled chicken salad (BARF!) Don't ever waste your money. It was pretty darn gross. Besides, I'm not a big fan of iceburg lettuce unless it's a wedge salad covered in some excrutiatingly rich, creamy dressing! So, pass on the Micky D salads.

We then came back to the house and I let them play for a while... and they went out back to slip and slide. Did Drew want the slip n slide that was already inflated and ready to go? OH HECK NO... he wanted his mom sitting for 20 minutes huffing and puffing away to use his NEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW one. UGH...the things we do for these kids!

Austin left and then my dad came by to drop off cashola to reimburse for using the AmEx card to buy floor tickets to see Sir Paul McCartney (no thanks) in August. You had to have an AmEx card to get in on the presale.

I had afternoon carpool duty picking up Josh and a friend of his and his sister from College for Kids at Tarrant County College. So far he's REALLY enjoyed this. IT's the reason he's home during July b/c he's usually with his bio dad this time of the year. He was ESTATIC the first day -- had an issue the second -- and so far he's really enjoyed it.

This week, however, he hasn't seem as elated so I got nosy. So I ask, "Josh, what's up with you and Jackson?" (his friend). I've never understood the friendship (if that's what you even want to call it) because it, like a couple of others, seems so one sided (Josh is a great friend, others just arent). Most of Josh's close friends from youth moved to other states so his "inner circle" of friends (like I and most people my age had as kids -- you know, when the world didn't seem to move quite as fast and be quite as transient), will have to be an ever-evolving one. It's hard and it's sad, but it's a matter of fact.

Josh said that when he was trying to walk to and from classes that he and his friend Jackson had together that Jackson was calling him a loser and telling him to "quit following me." ???? How is he following you when you're walking to the same building?

It makes me angry because Josh was always taught to not say things just with the intention of hurting people's feelings. But then kids are such butt-heads and do stuff like that and then I'm having to explain to MY kids how sometimes the world is unfair.

Mean what you say and say what you mean. Always keep your words sweet because one day you may have to eat them. Those are mantras spoken frequently around my casa.

However, upon hearing this little scenario... and also how when Josh attempted to sit with Jackson at lunch, Jackson told him to go somewhere else... I'm sorry, my mamabear instinct is kicking in.

I don't want Josh to feel like he has no friends especially in a place like that where he's surrounded by hundreds of kids but still feels so alone. I asked him if he'd told Jackson that what he's saying and how he's acting hurts his feelings? He said no. I said, well, I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that Jackson is no mind reader so unless you tell him what's here (point at heart) and here (point at head), then he won't really know that he's doing anything more than gettin' your goat.

However, sometimes, the fangs do come out. I'm human...

I said, tell me... how do you think he's acting? Josh said he was being a jerk. I said... SO TELL HIM! Call him on it! Don't let him get away with thinking it's okay to treat you OR ANYONE like taht.

If you get to class before him tomorrow then you don't let him sit with you... or you go find someone else to sit with. Just ask someone, "Can I sit here?" and then sit if they say yes. Then just smile and say, "Hi, I'm Josh, what's your name?" I told him to find someone to befriend that perhaps doesn't have a buddy (like he was SUPPOSED to) in that class. Some of my best friendships developed this way. I know it works... but I told him that friendships, even new ones have to start somewhere. :)

I also told him that if he felt he was owed an apology that he should tell Jackson. He muttered something like he's owed probably 50 apologies and I quickly corrected him that in friendships -- even one sided ones, you don't keep score. Especially if you're not being communicative as to what is troubling you. If you never tell them what's on your heart... good, bad or indifferent, they'll never know FOR SURE that they really should think twice about acting in a certain way. I told Josh that you need to forgive... but not forget. I told him there is a saying "forgive and forget" but there's also a saying that is wrong me once, shame on you. Wrong me twice -- shame on me. So, you need to really live and learn (boy was I full of cliches tonight or what?) so tell your expectations and then be ready to just let it all go if you get one. ... But as far as an apology, not to demand one but just call him on his crappy behavior... something to the effect that, "Look Jackson, you've been a real jerk to me the past few days and it's really hurt my feelings. Friends don't treat friends like that. So, either you want to be my friend or you don't but until you give me a real apology, you can find somewhere else to sit too!"

I told him that he has to let people know when they've wronged him because a) it's therapy to get it out and off your chest and b) you've done all you can do at that point... you've communicated what was on your heart and you've given them their condition. However, you always have to be prepared taht they're going to be a butthead and just think that it's okay for them to act like that. And if they do feel that way... then perhaps they're not as good of a friend as you may have thought. No one needs friends like taht... because a friend doesn't do that. I said that friends are there to build one another up, not tear them down.

You know, this is one of those quandries that I feel that a lot of homeschoolers get pushed into a corner about -- is my child now unsocialized because I've pulled him out of the brick and mortar school? Is it possibly HIM that's not responding well to this because he's not getting exposure to his "peers" and blah blah blah. Well, if this is how his PEERS are going to act, do you really think I'd want to have him exposed to that all the time? I know TOO WELL how kids will pick up the BAD BEHAVIORS of OTHER children too well (that's a whole other post with Drew and his friend.. UGH).

I want him to have creative freedom, to learn and grow and be in healthy, loving relationships with his family and friends. I see that many of the "friends" he made at his brick and mortar school were false friends or just friends of convenience and I'm glad that through SCOUTING he's made some great friends. TGFS! (Thank God For Scouting!)

... boy I went off on a rant didn't I?

So... after we got home from the afternoon carpool, I started dinner and the boys went outside to play on Drew's new slip and slide. Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green beans. Drew requested a salad -- apples, carrots, peppers (bell peppers) and broccoli. LOL. He's so cute!

Then it was Pixos time! Grandma's Pixos present RULES! That is one of Drew's FAVORITE birthday presents!!! Then it was time for bed and now I'm going to follow behind them. :)

Thanks to all my REAL friends out there.

They walk among us..

You know... the large woman in white... I really, REALLY hope someone prays for her because she's an idiot. I just can't imagine living with the grand delusion she does... every... single... day... oh... my.... gosh...


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Methods of organization

I'm trying to discover the best way for me to stay organized with my calendar, scout functions, school deadlines, sports, etc. along with my to do lists, and various projects in various states of completion. Should I utilize an electronic method of doing this? Utilizing Microsoft Outlook like I currently do coupled with a simple binder of paper that is full of notes?

Should I create a "house control binder" and put all important information in there....

Should I get a daytime and learn to write in pencil again.

Thing is, I'm an anal-retentive list maker but I can't stand having 20 things on a list and 10 of them crossed of... I want a CLEAN then I create waste printing out a new fresh one... LOL. It's a vicious cycle. I'm considering getting a Blackberry, and I'm thinking that would help with the calendaring situation since it would be real time updates between the two (a good thing) but??? I don't know... still trying to find what works for me.

What works for you?

Monday, July 13, 2009

The big day....

Well, this is the day, the official day my baby turns FIVE YEARS OLD today! My how the time has flown. From an infant dependant upon me for food, shelter, clothing to now having his own job and driving! Ha ha... (Hey... he's a fire fighter and drives a jeep!) :) It's been an amazing five years and I look forward to tons more!

Before he woke up I put up the birthday banner that we always hang for any birthday in our house... I also got up and got him some donuts - a huge surprise for him. :) They're an occasional treat for him.

He then proceeded to have fun around the house with my camera. I love trying to decipher his purpose for certain photos. It's nice to see life (as is considered important) through the lens of a 5 year old. :)


His donut hole

The inside of his mouth

And because I'm not ashamed to show you my incredibly messy living room (the after effects of having all his party presents all over the living room

His goofy eye for taking pictures of whatever is on the tv at the time.

We skipped out on swimming lessons but did go in for the 5 year old check up at the doctor's office. He's doing amazingly. Still in the 75th percentile for height and 25th percentile for weight so we're right on track... tall and skinny. He was THRILLED that he had to have ZERO shots because I won't give him the 2nd dose of chicken pox vaccine. He was ELATED... elated I tell ya. It was a hoot. I'm glad, it gives him another year to forget the LAST time he had shots! :)

For lunch, his Mimi took him to Chuck E. Cheese (what I commonly refer to as "the mouse house") for lunch. He had a blast playing games. His dad even made an appearance for lunch to play some games with him.

We picked up Josh and the crew from College for Kids and then came home. Where did Drew want to go for his birthday dinner? He actually said Incredible Pizza but I was like, "Um, no, you had pizza for lunch." I think at this age, they'd eat it 24/7 if you offered it to them. Yuck! Personally, I'm not a huge fan of the grease pies. I prefer homemade pizza. I think I've posted about my pizza preference in the past -- I like homemade garlic, chicken, mushroom pizza. YUM-O! It's so delicious, it'd make Rachel Ray slap her momma! Ha!

He knew that his presents that were on the table weren't to be opened until we were graced with the presents of his father. So, the instant he was at the house, Drew asked, "May I open my presents now?" ha ha.. literally, within an instant of the door cracking open he was remembering that this day was all about him! It was SO cute!



He got to mug up with his dad.


Then you get the fun faces.

I snuck him outside for a bit to get my favorite natural shots marking this milestone.



And then I get a shot like this that I love and live for...


So, I digress, when left to this now 5-year old what he wanted for dinner -- he wanted... STEAK! So, we ventured to Saltgrass for dinner. It was DELICIOUS! For his "surprise" the brought him a little brownie with some ice cream and whipped cream and that kid was in hog heaven!

Happy birthday darlin'