Friday, July 30, 2010


So, as I mentioned before, as I declutter one area of my home, I'm just cluttering up another (my foyer and my scrapbook room). Things worthy of hanging onto just a LITTLE longer for the chance they may sell on Craig's List are being held. Otherwise, into the Goodwill bin they go.

Yesterday, I created a list and valued items for below garage sale prices and it was $160 worth of a tax write off! WOO HOO!!! I'll likely have oh... maybe three more loads.

It feels good to help others with my donations while also doing a little good for our deductions. What a win/win!

Five Question Friday

Rules for Five Question Friday: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then link up to My Little Life (below)!

1. Did you have a favorite blanket or toy as a kid? If so, do you still have it? I can't really say that I did. Maybe my mom would say something different. I do still have a stuffed bear that my Uncle Leonard (my grandmother's brother) gave me when I was in the 4th grade. Why I still have it, no clue. I did snuggle with it all through high school, but probably just because I didn't have a 2nd pillow to snuggle with.

2. Do you dream in color? I guess I do? I don't really know. I'm generally asleep, you see.

3. How tall are you? Do you wish you were shorter or taller? I'm 5'2" and I wish I were about 5'7". I have like ZERO waist ... it's all boob and then hips. Kinda sucks.

4. If you could have anyone's (celeb or other) voice as the guide on your GPS, who would it be? Funny, I thought about this. I think Homer Simpson would be funny. Or maybe, Demi Moore. Her voice is soothing but she enunciates words well. Charlize Theron speaks well. I could laugh and say Sam Kenison (but he's dead) because he'd like SCREAM at you... "You #%(*#ng MORON... TURN THE #*&% around! You're going the wrong way! MAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!! That'd be hilarious. Or, even Eddie Murphy as Donkey! I think he's too sweet.

5. Do you return your shopping cart to the corral or leave it wherever in the parking lot? Generally, I turn it into the corral unless a) it's wicked hot and I have Ben with me; b) it's raining cats and dogs and there's no one near me or c) my kiddo is screaming his head off and if I don't get the car moving he's prone to do the hyperventilating ear-piercing scream all the way home. So, as you can see, I'm a Boy Scout unless I have my kiddo with me. :) Ha ha.

Come join the fun each Friday at My Little Life

Friday Fill Ins we go!

1. I'm going crazy from the heat... stircrazy from being in the house so much... to DisneyWorld (I wish)... to sleep about 9pm tonight.

2. I just made a post-dated post about The Deadliest Catch with Captain Phil Harris and realize that crab fishing is definitely an adventure and a career only for the daring.

3. Perhaps today you can make it a point to be happy with the hand you've been dealt. Complaining about life doesn't make anything any better. Be happy with what you have, not with what you do not.

4. Captain Phil sure had a true adventurer’s spirit.

5. Compassion is a trait I hope to instill in my children.

6. Finish what you start, no matter how difficult.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to hosting sleepovers for both boys with their best friends, tomorrow my plans include taking Josh to do his grass drills for football try-outs in the SENIOR league (insert frightened face here) and Sunday, I want to get my weeks' menu planned, have a den meeting, go to church, eat some good food and get a good night's rest to start the week off right!

You can play along with Friday Fill Ins, too. Click HERE.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Stroll down memory lane

If your sense of smell is most closely linked to your memory, I think that your sense of hearing is a close second.

I found a small tub in the attic the other day. It contains gobs of cassette tapes. Does anyone even REMEMBER what those are? Crazy! I started thumbing through them. It's amazing to see the bizarre assortment of music contained therein.

I have Course of Empire (I'm sure no one has ever heard of them). IT was an amazing rock band... or Human Radio. They sang a song called "Me & Elvis" that I just love. I hate that many of my favorites from my past are NOT AVAILABLE for download on Jerks!

S'Express anyone?

How about Meat Beat Manifesto?

Erasure! Many of their old tracks aren't available!?! Not even for PURCHASE! What a rip!

The Front -- one of my VERY FAVORITE bands of the 90s

Vain -- they sang a song called No Respect that I used to jam out in the car to with Chrsitie!

The Soup Dragons - Divine Thing -- anyone remember that song? Greatness!

Front 242. Yeah, I loved the techno scene too!

Nine Inch Nails... there... Pretty Hate Machine, too, not available for download.

...and another that isn't available for download is Maggie's Dream. Loved their first album.

AND, well, there are NO Def Leppard songs available for download OR purchase. (insert big sad face here)

I found several empty tape holders with no tapes inside... like... Pretty Boy Floyd, Sinead O'Conner, Depeche Mode (love them!), Information Society, Kon Kan, The Timelords (Doctorin' the Tardis -- LOVE that song), Nitzer Ebb (Join in the Chant), Deee-Lite, Arrested Development, Jellybean... sigh. THIS is what reminds me of high school - these songs, this music. Not particular events, just this time in my life. :) I love me some good tunes!

Wednesday Wickedness with Mick Jagger

Hi and welcome to Wednesday Wickedness. We are like other memes in that we will ask you ten questions each and every Wednesday. But our little "twist" is that each week we will pick a famous person and pick ten of their quotes. Each of our questions will be based on the quotes. Got it? Great! Let's begin this week's meme!

Today we picked Mick Jagger. Here's Wednesday Wickedness!

1. “A good thing never ends.” Have you ever had a good thing in your life that never ended? Strangely enough, the fact that I'm breathing, healthy and vertical are all good things that haven't ended!

2. “I got nasty habits, I take tea at three.” Do you have an nasty habits? Probably my bad language... I've been trying to do better.

3. “I'd rather be dead than to be singing Satisfaction at 45.” He obviously changed his mind. What is something that you still do that you thought you' outgrow? Sucking my thumb. JUST KIDDING! Ha ha... Um... I consider myself to be void of any of my youthful impulses.

4. “Lose your dreams and lose your mind.” Have you lost any of your dreams as time went by? Sigh, sadly, yes. I wanted to be an attorney by now. I wanted to learn to play the guitar before I turned 30... now I'm approaching 40. I wanted to do something that was just for **me** and now that dream seems so... selfish.

5. “I haven't had time to return to the scene because I never left it.” As you've grown older, what ways are you still act and think the way you did as when you were younger? Strangely enough I've thought about this very scenario quite a bit lately. I think we all see the elderly like these frail little beings that really don't have a clue as to the reality of the world. However, the more they age, the more real they actually become. They "get it" it's just that we don't give them CREDIT for "getting it." They are living history. They've "been there / done that." Personally, I still look at myself as if I should look like I did when I was in my 20's wearing a size 4. Right now, I definitely have a body image issue which I didn't have before(easy to do after having a baby and not having your pre-baby body back). So, I believe all of us still think the same, but I, for one, definitely don't act the same. Youth are too impulsive and immature. And, a lot of the actions of our youth inflict certain realities upon us as adults that prevent us FROM acting the same. :)

6. “Patriotism is something that fades when the war starts.” How do you react to this quote? Wow. That's quite a profound statement. I agree with it 100%. Kind of like how after 9/11 our country was, for once, united patriots. Now we are divided idiots. I wish they'd show footage of 9/11 every once in a while just to remind Americans what kind of monsters we are up against. War is not pretty. No one wants to believe innocent blood will be shed. When that starts to happen, the tides turn and people are anti-American... anti-whatever political party "started" the war. It's a no win situation. We need to remember what we fight for... and to continually remind the public of that very thing.

7. “The past is a great place and I don't want to erase it or regret it, but I don't want to be its prisoner either.” Is there a person in your life who still treats you as the same person to when your were younger? Do you like it? Nope, not at the present, but I can imagine that I wouldn't like it one bit if they did. I was friends in the past with ex-boyfriends who always relived what "great times" we had together but ... honestly, if it were so "great," wouldn't we STILL BE together? I just think that people, for the most part, really want to block out the bad and remember the good in everyone and most situations. I, however, am a cynical witch and I don't forget those times. I forgive them, but I never forget... but it's like on the movie The Incredibles... how Mr. Incredible keeps reliving the "glory days" and his wife has to remind him that the HERE and NOW and their family is what's happening NOW. He believes by not reliving the "glory days" they're pretending like they never happened. She's fine with remembering the past but also living life in the present WHILE leaving the "glory days" in the past. There have been a few movies (one which I can see in my mind's eye right now but can't recall the title) where a group of guys gets together and they're all in different places in their lives -- one, in particular, has grown up. Another just wants to relive the glory days over and over. There just comes a time when you realize they're in the past for a REASON. Move on. Grow up. Who cares.

8. “It's all right letting yourself go, as long as you pull yourself back.” Have you let yourself go in any aspect of your life? Well, ask ANYONE struggling with weight issues ... even after a baby has been born... and they'll tell you they have. I haven't let myself go, I just haven't kept myself in shape. My body likes to hold onto fat when I nurse. I lose it all when I stop but until then, I'm just pretty miserable with how I look... and how freakin' ginormous my boobs are! UGH! HATE BIG BOOBS!

9. “My mother has always been unhappy with what I do. She would rather I do something nicer, like being a brick layer.” How do you parents feel about what you do? Don't know. Honestly, don't care.

10. “Anarchy is the only slight glimmer of hope.” How would you categorize your political point of view? I don't know if you can put a label on what I am. I'm DEFINITELY not a Democrat -- I'm NOT for big government, big taxes, big spending, lots of dependence. I'm not necessarily a Republican either. I'm for Low Taxes, less dependence on foreign ANYTHING, pro-American, protective of America. I don't believe we should abandon governmental programs but I definitely think that the hemorrhaging of tax payers dollars needs to be stopped. I think the PERSON in control right now is an outright idiot with zero experience in running ANYTHING, let alone what ONCE WAS the most powerful country in the world.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tears to go around

Pass the earplugs!

We're having a meltdown. Ben is inconsolable right now. I'm beyond done so while he's screaming it out in the swing, I'm sitting here. I've tried everything.

Josh was crying because drew head butted him in the nose...

Drew is crying because he got spanked.

We've got tears to go around... join in the fest.


I've seriously gotta work on the whole sarcasm thing. I'm a sarcastic person by nature. Gasp!? C'est nes vrais! But yes, it's true! Generally, most days, you'll find me oozing with sarcasm during any type of a conversation. I don't know why, I just do.

So yesterday evening at the dinner table, we're talking about the boys' bickering. By "boys" I'm talking about Josh and Drew obviously. Andy was telling me about how within 5 minutes of leaving the pool, he was reminded why his mom never took them on vacation anywhere. One does this, one did that in retaliation, one choose another form of retaliation. One cried. One tattle-tails. One shoves. One hits. One splashes. He was like... Good GRIEF kids?! What the heck!

I just smiled and sipped my tea.

And then Josh pipes in, "...but he started it?"

Again, I smile and raise my eyebrows. I turn to face Josh with a look of "oh ... REALLY?"

Drew tries to butt in to his own defense.

Josh tries to further explain how Drew did this, so he did this which resulted in this...and then that... which led to this causing that. Even I was growing weary listening to excuse after excuse after excuse of how it was all Drew's fault.

So I looked at Josh with a "get real" face and said, "So, you're expecting me to believe that eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeverything is all Drew's fault?"

Josh's resposne, "Pretty much."

So I look at Drew with a face that said, "Everything coming out of my mouth is a big fat lie," and I said to Drew, "Josh is SUUUUUUUCH a perfect son and everything that goes wrong is obviously your fault. Josh never does aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaanything wrong. He's tooooooooooooooootally innocent."

And then Drew put his head on his knees in the chair ... and began to sob. :( Can you just hear my heart breaking? I was trying to be ridiculously sarcastic and Drew thought I was serious saying what a better person Josh was than he was and basically how horrible of a person he was.


I set my dinner down and went to my son and wrapped my arms around him and said, "Drew, everything I was saying was NOT TRUE. It was sarcasm. I know that Josh starts just as much mischief as YOU do. I was basically meaning the complete opposite."

Then Josh pipes in, " you're saying I'm a horrible person?"

I was ready to throw bbq sauce all over him and send them to their room. I hate that whole "taking the words out of context thing." I'm like... let me make Drew feel better... shut your freakin' pie hole and KEEP IT SHUT!

Of COURSE you're not a horrible person
but... equally OF COURSE are you NOT COMPLETELY INNOCENT so quit acting like it!

Lesson learned. Sarcasm is definitely a skill that comes with age. Note to self -- no more sarcasm for the six year old for fear MY heart will break if I see him crying again thinking my words were true.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Decluttering creates clutter

So I'm on this major kick of ... if I don't need it, I need to get rid of it.

I'm creating rules:
  • If I have something that will do the same job, I need to get rid of it.
  • If it's not of any sentimental value, I need to get rid of it.
  • If it serves no purpose whatsoever, I need to get rid of it.

I even went through the built in shelf in the family room and got rid of old books that were "decor" because I thought it was stupid to just have them up there just to have something filling the space. Do I have some subconscious aversion to empty space? If I have a cabinet, must it be filled? If I have a box, must something be contained therein?

However, in the midst of all this downsizing, I'm discovering that I'm creating quite the large pile of... well... crap in my foyer. So, I think to my self, "Self... we need to have a garage sale."

Apparently, I'm not sure if this is the right answer or not. I need to be validated.

I ask Andy, "Do you think we should have a garage sale?" He laughs at me. He laughs?! He says, "For the work involved to only make a couple hundred dollars and have cars full of people at your house at 7 in the morning -- I'd take the tax write-off."

The write-off. Why didn't I think of that? So, now I'm going to be creating itemized lists of stuff and taking them to Goodwill so that we can take the tax write-off and I don't have to try to find the time to even HAVE a garage sale. That's why I love this man. He was thinking of how valuable my time was and how to best spend it.

That... and he probably knew he'd be doing one or all of the following:

a) helping me set up;

b) watching all 3 boys before, during and after

c) helping me price and organize

d) help me break it down afterwards

e) loading what didn't sell up in the car and taking it to Goodwill.

I'd say he's a smart man.

Sunday and a "picture in time" of the boys

Today I was up for the third time with Ben. I think this little guy is doing the whole... I got you where I want you scenario where you think he's got this sleeping through the night thing down only for him to say, "Not so much." He was up at 1 and at 4 and at 7 and at 10... I stayed up at 7.

I fed him and then took him to the kitchen to figure out what I needed for breakfast. I was hungry. Amazing how nursing a baby can really make you hungry... a lot! I found a new recipe for breakfast that I'd saved to make this week and since I had plenty of time today, I thought "what the heck" and started it. You can find it HERE. It was really good.

While getting things going for breakfast, I noticed the playroom was trashed and the boys didn't pick up what they had been using/playing with/etc. last night before bed so I called them both down at 7am to pick up the playroom. They were NOT happy with me. :) (Isn't that evil that I smile about that?) So, they pick that up. I told them they could go back to sleep. Josh did. Drew stayed up and I warmed him up some homemade, whole-wheat waffles. Routinely, when I make a batch, I make smaller ones that will fit in the toaster so we can just toast them right up when we're ready.

Andy's been a doll thus far today and has really let me have a MUCH NEEDED break from Ben so that I could get the things done that I started... you know, laundry, cleaning, all that fun stuff. :)

Today we're going to my mother-in-law's house and then out to eat with them and Andy's cousin Jeff. We'll be going to Chilis. The most nutritious place on the planet. Seriously, they are one of the most HORRIBLE eating establishments on the planet. If you're not convinced just by knowing that I won't BS you... go to one of my favorite websites, Dottie's Weight Loss Zone for their section on Chili's (they have many nation-wide restaurants on there, seriously, check it out!) It's gut wrenching to think of how fattening everything on that menu is... EVEN THE SALADS! It should be criminal to serve that $hit! For instance, two of their most popular appetizers, the Awesome Blossom and their Boneless Buffalo Wings:

Awesome Blossom (2710 cal/203 g fat/15 g fiber/194 g carbs) 68 (70.5)
Boneless Buffalo Wings (1250 cal/89 g fat/4 g fiber/55 g carbs) 31.5

The numbers at the end are Weight Watcher's Point values. To put it in perspective, as a nursing mom (which requires more calories), I'm given TWENTY SEVEN POINTS A DAY! Can you BELIEVE the calorie, fat and point content from their food?

It's scary the way that we consume! As such, I"m trying to make us healthier alternatives here at home. I made Josh's lunch all last week for his College for Kids. And, like I said, today, we're having homemade granola for a snack. Yum!


Drew -- right now he's into Star Wars like NO BODY's business! He loves to watch Spongebob Squarepants, too. He is a LEGO MANIAC and can spend hours just creating new ships and stuff. It's really awesome. He used to wear pajamas to bed but not too terribly long ago, I told him he could just sleep in his underwear if he wanted to and now that's all he wants to sleep in. He does wear a shirt, however, but that and undies are all he wears. Josh thinks that's just weird. He just got over a bout of pink eye and a cold. Not fun times. I'm working on not being greedy with him. He seems to think because he wants something he should get it and ??? we don't do that so why he expects it is beyond me. I'm very proud of him that he is trying new things at dinnertime and even if he doesn't think he'll like it, he has pleasantly surprised himself a few times lately. His best friends are Evan and Hunter. He loves to swim now.

Josh -- The child can fondle the remote control like nobody's business. I wish he would have a love of books like I did. I wish I wish. He's about 3" from being as tall as I am now at eleven years old. Sigh. Where did my little boy go? He hasn't hit that "growth spurt" where he's eating me out of house and home. He laughs just like his dad (it's quite odd) actually. LOL. I didn't thin a laugh could be genetic. He shaved his own head in the back yard the other day so he's got a buzz now. He still plays guitar and his lessons start back up in August. He's looking forward to school and tonight is going to a Ranger's game with his best friend, Thomas.

Ben -- Ben will be 4 months old next week. He's in size 3-6 month. He loves to be held... has days where he'd rather suck on his fingers than a binkie. I'm praying he keeps his adorable little curls. He sleeps right next to me at night and I love it more than anything! He LOVES bath time and that's the best way to make him smile and relax if he gets cranky in the evenings.


Sunday Stealing

The guys at Sunday Stealing go about the blogosphere finding memes to steal from other blogs. I like to participate so here we go! Cheers to all of us thieves!

45. Favorite color? Honestly, I don't have one.

46. Have you ever slapped someone? You betcha!

47. Is your hair curly? Nope, it's flat and boring!

48. What was the last CD you bought? I have no clue whatsoever!

49. Do looks matter? Depends on what you're looking at... (ha ha)... ok... I think if you're looking for a potential mate, then yes, they do. Not to be shallow and superficial but I believe that there has to be some sort of sexual attraction there.

50. Could you ever forgive a cheater? I would like to think that I can but I wouldn't want to ever have to.

51. Is your phone bill sky high? Nope. I got it knocked down to $25 a month!

52. Do you like your life right now? Absolutely!

53. Do you sleep with the TV on? No way! I like it dark, cold and quiet (along with the white noise from my fan)

54. Can you handle the truth? Not only can I handle it, I DEMAND it!

55. Do you have good vision? Somewhat. I had HORRIBLE vision at one point in my life and actually got LASIK surgery. It was AMAZING to actually be able to see without glasses and/or contacts. However, now that I'm approaching the big 4-0, it's not as clear as it was even 10 years ago. I"m sure it's minimally reduced, but it's enough that I notice it.

56. Do you hate or dislike more than 3 people? I can't really say I truly HATE people because that's such a strong word. I greatly dislike MANY people, however. O'Bama, Pelosi, pedophiles, animal abusers, those that take advantage and prey on the elderly, rapists, con artists, arrogant, selfish, narcissistic bastards... shall I really go on?

57. How often do you talk on the phone? As little as possible

58. The last person you held hands with? Benjamin

59. What are you wearing? ... My pajamas. YES, I know it's 1:22 p.m. and I am still in my jammies but in my defense, I was up at 5, then at 7 and then made breakfast which took an hour to bake and THEN cleaned the kitchen and THEN made a batch of homemade granola and I simply haven't had time to get out of them.

60. What is your favourite animal? I love ducks and bears.... I've always wanted to hug a grizzly bear (not right before I die, but one of the "trained" ones)... they just seem so absolutely adorable and I love them!

61. Where was your favorite picture taken at? I have many favorite pictures....

62. Can you hula hoop? I haven't tried in years.

63. Do you have a job? Yes

64. What was the most recent thing you bought? backpacks for Drew's school.

65. Have you ever crawled through a window? I'm sure I have but I can't remember doing it. I know I did once when I locked myself out of the house. I actually was skinny enough (once upon a time) to crawl through my mom's doggie door, too! Yikes!

Friday, July 23, 2010

I got sent to the Principal's office!

I got a call that the principal wanted to see me regarding Drew's placement. My initial gut reaction was that they were going to try to convince me to move him up to first grade instead of placing him in D-1.

You see, Drew has a late birthday (July). School deadlines are typically September 2 or 6 or something like that. So literally he's 2 months from missing that deadline. I'd like to give him the benefit of being the oldest in his class rather than the youngest in his class. I did it for Josh. I think it's helped him and will only continue to help him as he gets older.

So, that bring us to Drew. He was supposed to attend a class called Developmental First. It's a class that is more than Kindergarten and less than first grade so that it is a challenge for those that are a little beyond K but not quite ready for first or maybe for those of us with kids that have late birthdays... a chance to keep them moving forward.

Apparently the class didn't "make." They want a minimum of 14 and they only had 10. So they're canceling the class. So now I have to figure out what to do. There IS another private school that offers a class called "pre-first" which I think would be great for Drew but it's about another $2K a year (total) for both boys. Also, I don't know if Fort Worth Christian will give us our $800 registration fees back. I can't see that they wouldn't do that for me because it's obvious that I can't have two boys in two schools on opposite sides of town that start at the exact same time... I"m not going to do that to myself. No way. While FWC is a little bigger, I am going to see about touring this other campus -- it's a college prep school -- not just a private school.

I am just going to have to pray about it and see what comes of it. I'm really beyond irritated about this whole thing. I can't believe they won't just have the class for 10! They'd be pulling over $70K for those 10 kids for the school and I'm sure the teacher's salary wasn't that much so they'd still be making money? Josh was so excited about the thought of going back and now he is in limbo too. Lots of decisions to be made...

FWC starts on 8/17
this other school starts 8/10

We have to get our ducks in a row IMMEDIATELY! :(

And I have already bought all their freakin school supplies... do you know how much I don't want to do that again?! Seriously... what a pain in the butt. :(

Your blonde moment of the day

OH my GOODNESS my son is so blonde sometimes!

I went to Whataburger for lunch today (health food, I know).

Josh wanted a Whataburger with cheese, no tomato.
I got a Whataburger with cheese and bacon.
Drew got a kids' meal.

When we got home, I was helping Drew get his food plated and Josh reached into the bag with my food in it and I said, "Wait, that's mine." He looked puzzled for a second.

He looked in the other bag and said, "... But this one says ON TOMATO" ???

I was like... what the heck?!

I looked in his bag.
Then carefully... slowly... rotated the bag 180 degrees so he could read the sticker on the top of HIS burger... "NO tomato"

He just smiled and I died laughing!

Five Question Friday

Rules for Five Question Friday: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then link up to My Little Life (below)!

Questions for Friday, July 23rd: (Special thanks to Christy [for inspiration], Kelly, BrittanyCiara, Emily, and Sami [for inspiration] for their question suggestions! Wanna be linked in a future 5QF? Just c'mon over here, to my community, and offer up your best question suggestions!)

1. What were your school colors? My high school colors were blue and grey. Nimitz High School Vikings.

2. What's the best compliment you ever received? ...probably that I was a great mother.

3. Do you buy cheap or expensive toilet paper? I definitely don't buy the cheap-o one-ply stuff but it's certainly not the creme de la cream either. I mean, ya wipe your butt with doesn't need to be made of gold.

4. Have you ever had a surprise party thrown for you? Or have you had one for someone else?
I had a surprise baby shower thrown for me at a law firm I worked at when I lived in Ohio. I attended a surprise birthday party thrown for both my aunt and me grandmother.

5. What is one material possession that you "can't live without"? Right now, it's air conditioning! :) I'm in Texas and it's HOT!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thankful Thursday!

The Mommy Files is where you'll find this great Thursday link-up. Join us in being thankful! It’s that time of week again! Time to list what you are thankful for. This week we are doing things that start with the letter “V.”
  • Vikings! (that's my high school alma mater)
  • Vacuum cleaners -- isn't it funny how when you say something isn't any good you say that "it sucks" but when you're talking about a vacuum, you can't really say that becuase if it doesn't suck, then it really sucks. Ironic, huh?
  • Valentines -- While I don't get into the whole hooplah of it all, I do like a reason to celebrate my four Valentines!
  • Volume -- I love my hair and my music both to have lots of volume. Sadly, however, neither does at the current point in my life.
  • Volkswagons -- Why? Because a good old fashioned game of "slug bug" is fun!
  • Veterans -- I shudder to think where our country would be today if it weren't for the brave elite that lead our country's battles.
  • Vampires -- ha ha.. not because of the Twilight series, but for the movie Bram Stoker's Dracula. Super duper love story, with a gory little twist!
  • Vacations -- not that I got one this year, but when you DO get to get them, they're awesome!
  • Violets - beautiful flowers! I love purple.
  • Vail -- (speaking of vacations) it's a beautiful, fun city in Colorado! God's country.
  • Vegetables -- I love salad! Ask my kids and they'll probably tell you it's my favorite food!
  • Vision - I couldn't begin to imagine not being able to see my beautiful children change before my eyes... and smile at me? I can't imagine a life of darkness like that.
  • Voters -- why? Because I hope they really DO make a change this coming election.
  • Virtues -- I find that children (or adults, alike) are completely lacking in good old-fashioned virtues these day. Sad sad sad. Tsk, tsk, tsk.
  • Vets -- not the military kind, but the kind that take care of our pooches and keep them safe and well.
  • Veggie Tales! Broccoli, Celery, Gotta be -- Veggie Tales! Cauliflower, sweet-n-sour, half an hour -- Veggie Tales! There's never ever ever ever ever been a show like Veggie Tales! There's never ever ever ever ever been a show like Veggie Tales! It's time for Veggie TALES!!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wednesday Wickedness with Ellen Degeneres

Hi and welcome to Wednesday Wickedness. We are like other memes in that we will ask you ten questions each and every Wednesday. But our little "twist" is that each week we will pick a famous person and pick ten of their quotes. Each of our questions will be based on the quotes. Got it? Great! Let's begin this week's meme!

Today we picked Ellen Degeneres. Here's Wednesday Wickedness!

1. "I was coming home from kindergarten--well they told me it was kindergarten. I found out later I had been working in a factory for ten years. It's good for a kid to know how to make gloves." How old were you when you started working and what was your first job?

I started working unofficially (like not filing taxes) when I was in the 6th or 7th grade. My grandmother had a ceramic shop called Midnight Ceramics where she'd prepare items for a decorator's supply warehouse. My cousin, Laura, and I were paid $7 an hour. It was awesome!

2. "My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She's ninety-seven now, and we don't know where the hell she is." Tell us about your grandparents.

My maternal grandmother was Billie Jean Eastis Tear. She was a number whiz. She didn't smile a great deal. She was a hoarder. Her house wasn't like those homes on the TV shows you see but her detached garage was. She could cook anything and made this amazing plain cake that we just loved to eat right out of the pan with no frosting. She used to worry about hairs on her chin and would pluck them in the living room under one of those lit magnifying mirrors but then she'd go to the store in house shoes and a housecoat. She had curly black hair that was very salt/pepper. She was a gossip and would get on the phone to her friends that she had on speed dial to tell them any bit of news she had on anyone. Seriously, she'd go number to number to number just regurgitating the same thing to everyone. She took gobs of pills. She was a diabetic, had had back surgery and would moan, "Oh Lord... oh Lord... oh Lord..." when she was in pain. She lost a child, one grandchild and her husband before she passed. She didn't go to funerals because of ... well, I don't know the whole story. It's something to the effect of the fact that she was forced to throw the first handful of dirt in on her daddy's grave when he died and she didn't want to. She could knit, sew, crochet and quilt like nobody's business. At one point, she did pyschic readings on a radio show. She did "numerology." I honestly, still have no idea what it is, nor do I care. To the grandkids, she was Meme. To her seven children, she was "Mom" and they all were named with an "R" name: Roy Ray, Jr., Randy, Roberta, Rebecca, Rosanna, Robert, Richard (not in that order). She loved to read and would exchange those stupid Harlequin romance novels with my paternal grandmother on a routine basis. I would go to her house at 9414 Rustown in Dallas each summer for a week or so and had several Easter egg hunts over there. My sister was her favorite grandchild. No one seemed to care (except for my sister) when she wasn't the favorite everywhere else. Honestly, I don't know what ultimately killed her... cancer or what.

My paternal grandmother was Nanlee Evelyn Wesson. My grandmother was my best friend. If I talk about MY grandmother, THIS is the one. She was fun and wonderful and loving and hilarious. She could cook an entire Thanksgiving feast in a kitchen smaller than my bathroom. She owned her own business, Midnight Ceramics and I learned the trade from her. She was addicted to mail-order shopping and all the "prizes" she could get for ordering from them. United States Purchasing Exchange was one of them. (I consider them crooks.) 1717 Briarwood in Irving is where I spent MANY days and nights. Anytime I was sick, I wanted my "Mawmaw." I used to clean her house for her for fun! (Sick, I know.) She was SO proud of her two boys (Uncle Norman and my dad). She was a bit of a pack rat too. I can remember so many things about her house after having spent so much time there. She actually had a little niche in the hallway with a place just to put a telephone on it. It was black, rotary and the only one in the house. I remember watching Perry Mason with her... and the Andy Griffith Show and I Love Lucy. Vita-meta-vegimin! She and my grandpa were on a bowling league called the Buzzard Club with chapters all over the state and I loved to go to their annual Christmas party. I would get to dance with my grandpa and it was awesome. She never got to meet any of her grandchildren and for that, I'm really sad. She was my biggest fan and strongest supporter. I'm sure I was her favorite, but she was mine too. She loved Diet Coke and Winston 100's. She was devoted to her family. I know that as a youth, her mother died of typhoid fever and had been quarantined at her house. She wasn't allowed to go in the room. On my grandmother's deathbed she was calling for her own mother. She succumb to lung cancer I think two days after I left her bedside (I was living in Colorado at the time.) She has several great friends: Doris Bradley, Emma Petty and a woman she used to do ceramics with named Marianne. She only had an 8th grade education and would routinely mispronounce words (although she knew what they meant from her voracious reading). One of these words was compromise. She called it com-promise. I loved her cursive handwriting. She used to sew and crochet. Many of my outfits I wore as a child were crafted by her hands. All my doll clothes were wearing the greatest fashions crafted by her. She was quite overweight and hated it but loved making her good old Southern food. She, Laura (my cousin) and I would always go on a "diet" in the summer and ate lots of salads... we would frequent the farmer's market too. She had a HUGE garden in her back yard for many years. I remember picking okra and strawberries right off the vine. I know she worked in a bakery once and also for Bekins (with my grandfather, who was a truck driver). She was of the days where you just had a big chest deep freeze outside under the carport and never worried about anyone stealing food from it. In the later years (after someone DID steal food from her) she started locking it with a chain and padlock. I remember saving Green Stamps with her and filling those books. She loved those ugly house shoes sold at the grocery store and Gibsons. I remember swinging on a simple swing set in her back yard for hours at a time. I'd go swimming next door where I learned to swim at Tubby Toombs house. She taught me in Pre-K. She was an Elvis FREAK and had all his record albums. I remember the huge console turntable she had where we'd play Oak Ridge Boys records too and dance in the living room. She could grow ANYTHING and always had lots of houseplants in the living room. I remember as a kiddo her HUGE Oldsmobile Tornado and I'd sit on the armrest in the middle of the front seat. Yeah, there weren't car seat requirements back then. She made the BEST biscuits and gravy on the planet! And, although she was a great cook, we loved going to Braum's for hamburgers and the BEST krinkle french fries ever! I remember going through her jewelry box and just marveling over all the pieces she had of costume jewelry. I thought she was the richest woman on the planet. She would always take me to see Dr. Powell and then Faye, the receptionist, would let me put on some of her lip stick to feel all grown up. That's when your doctor was like family and it wasn't all just business and money -- they were trusted family friends that you kept for years and years. My grandmother had a beautiful dining room table that she kept covered with those vinyl table cloths that she'd change out based on the season. I remember her always being happy when it had flowers on it. You'd have thought that the whole room got a makeover just because of that new table cloth. She and my grandfather had lots of friends and they had nights where they'd get together to play cards. I remember a table full of people at her house playing penny ante poker. We'd play Skip-Bo and Uno in the summers with my cousin Laura. She taught me how to play spades and we partnered up a lot against "the men." She went in and got perms... you know the "granny fros" routinely. You knew she was dressed up when she broke out the pearls or perfume. She became a diabetic later in life and was a hypochondriac. When people would cut her off in traffic, she wouldn't honk. She'd just curse under her breath at them, "You old bastard!" Ha ha. It still cracks me up to this day. Honestly, I'm glad she went before my grandfather because I don't think she'd have made it without him. She needed someone to take care of. I lived with her my Senior year of high school after ..?? I don't even remember what stupid, insignificant episode with my mom. I remember wanting a dog and we went to the Irving Animal Shelter and I found this adorable little puppy and when I picked her up and held her she almost immediately fell asleep in my arms. I named her "Punkin" and she became my grandparents' best friend.

My maternal grandfather was Roy Ray Tear. I don't remember a great deal about him as he passed when I was quite young. I know he was in the service. He was extremely sick with emphysema (from smoking). I remember him getting mad at my grandmother once and yelling, "Damnit Jean" and throwing a box of Kleenex (probably the heaviest thing he could pick up) at her. He was on oxygen 24/7 and couldn't leave the house. I think he used to be quite tall but when he died, he was like half the man he was. I don't really know much about him at all... or remember it, for that matter. I think I need to go to talk to my uncles and aunts (and mom) to get some stories of him...

My paternal grandfather was JC Wesson. My Pawpaw was a truck driver by trade. He had driven for International Paper Company and Bekins and I think North American, too. Once he retired from that (I think he had to due to nervous breakdowns -- whatever those are), he tinkered with lots of things. He mowed yards and could take apart a lawnmower and put it back together. I'd go with him sometimes in the summer and mow lawns for him. He would do it for older women (widows usually) that couldn't mow their lawns themselves. He wasn't a real affectionate man which is probably why my dad isn't either. When my grandmother died, he really just quit living. He didn't know how to do laundry, shop for a week's worth of groceries... make a meal... nothing. My Uncle Norman converted his garage into a little apartment for him. He ultimately, however, wound up in a nursing home. I would go there and cut his hair and trim his nails. I hated seeing him like that and remember, still, how the bathroom in that place smelled of urine. I felt like he was living in a hellhole and hoped to God that I'd never wind up in a place like that. My Pawpaw was a proud man and I remember when Uncle Leon (his brother-in-law) got remarried after my Aunt Ruth (my grandfather's sister) died, he was honestly jealous because he had someone to take care of him. It really was a different era that they lived in.

3. "Procrastination isn't the problem, it's the solution. So procrastinate now, don't put it off." Do you procrastinate or are you on top of the situations?

I procrastinate as much as the next person on things that really don't matter but I really am someone that likes to get things done NOW and TODAY. BUT when you're married to a procrastinator it's really hard to get things done b/c sometimes they need financial means or muscle... you just make a list and work on it slowly.

4. "Sometimes you can't see yourself clearly until you see yourself through the eyes of others." What would others say about you?

I don't know. I'd hope they'd say that I was a loyal friend, a devoted mother, an honest woman, in love with my husband...a believer... a great cook... a skinny chick with amazing fashion sense. HA HA

5. "The only thing that scares me more than space aliens is the idea that there aren't any space aliens. We can't be the best that creation has to offer. I pray we're not all there is. If so, we're in big trouble" Do you believe in life on other planets?

I am not so arrogant to think we are all there is BUT I don't know so...

6. "I'm a godmother, that's a great thing to be, a godmother. She calls me god for short, that's cute, I taught her that." Do you have a godchild?


7. "I don't understand the sizes anymore. There's a size zero, which I didn't even know that they had. It must stand for: 'Ohhh my God, you're thin.'" When was the last time that you were called too thin?

You're freakin kidding, right?

8. "I have the worst memory ever so no matter who comes up to me - they're just, like, 'I can't believe you don't remember me!" I'm like, 'Oh Dad I'm sorry!'" Who was the last person that you should have recognized but didn't?

????? it seems to happen quite a bit on Facebook.

9. "I gotta work out. I keep saying it all the time. I keep saying I gotta start working out. It's been about two months since I've worked out. And I just don't have the time. Which odd. Because I have the time to go out to dinner. And uh..and watch TV. And get a bone density test. And uh.. try to figure out what my phone number spells in words." Do you work out? Have you ever joined a gym and quit almost immediately?


10. 'We use 10 percent of our brains. Imagine how much we could accomplish if we used the other 60 percent." Do you feel that you utilize all your intelligence in every situation?

Of course just said we only use ten percent. Duh!

It's a good thing

Andy took the boys to the pool and I'm rocking this beautiful little man who has a tight grip on my index finger. He wasn't happy being still. He wasn't happy in the swing. He wanted the comfortable familiarity of our chair and the security of my finger. I love motherhood.

Captain Phil

So, I finally watched the last episode of The Deadliest Catch this past week. It was the episode where they ultimately said goodbye to Captain Phil.

I think that is one crazy way to make a living. There is no way in God's green earth that I would survive on a boat like that. I would be paralyzed with fear, violently ill and freezing to death. How they do that is just beyond me.

Captain Phil of the Cornelia Marie had a massive stroke and was flown to Anchorage, AK. His boys went to be by his side... you saw the raw emotion from one trying to hold it together for them all, how one went to his vices to deal and then it ultimately ended with a phone call for the eldest of the two sons to get back that he'd had another episode and they're doing everything they can to bring him back. He didn't make it, however. Seeing the true raw emotion that these boys went through... the fear... the anxiety... wanting to stay there but watching them literally overcome with emotion that they couldn't even stay bedside because they were breaking down. Through it all, you see his love for his kids, however. That man loved his kids. He left behind a viewership that was moved. I loved that he told it like it was. He wasn't afraid to make you his enemy by telling you the truth. The world needs more people like Captain Phil Harris.

I think why it's easy to get attached to a show like that is that it's this big burly man who wears his heart on his sleeve... but has this rough and tumble exterior. You got to see him at his strongest... and then at his weakest.

I think, too, it lets us all know that we play an important part in the cards we're dealt... and to make the most of the game we play with the time we're given. There is no certainty other than the fact that one day you will pass on. Find something you're passionate about... and give it 100%. Love your kids and be a parent to them. They don't have to like you all the time but do let them know that you love them and expect much more of them than they'll ever expect of themselves. Be a steadfast friend... and be loyal.

And... when the chips are down... keep fishin'

RIP Captain Phil Harris. You will be missed.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A normal chaotic day...

Today was a really normal day. It ended a bit chaotic, but c'est la vie! ;) I think that's to be expected from time to time. Just... having a tad of a headache just made it seem all the more chaotic.

I started off the day with some homemade biscuits, Jimmy Dean sausage and gravy. Drew woke up in time to ride with Ben and me to take Josh to College for Kids at TCC. It's his last week there. For lunch, I sent him ham and cheese, yogurt, pretzels and some cheese cubes and grapes. He buys his drinks there. I find it so hard to believe the want to promote healthy kids and the lunches they serve them there -- if they choose to buy it: grilled cheese with fries, hamburger with fries, chicken fingers with fries, pizza with.. yeah, you guessed it.. FRIES. Can you say.. NOT HEALTHY! Where is the dairy? Where is the fruit? Where are the veggies? It's pathetic! I just said NO and I send him lunches. Once a week, I let him have the pizzas but man, it makes me feel good when he brags to me about how much everyone loved his lunch or how delicious it was, stuff like that. :) The kid got excited about egg salad and veggies with dip. Love that boy 'o mine!

I packed up a bunch of books that I'm swapping on Paperback Swap and the Sonlight Core 3 we used last year (sold that on Homeschool Classifieds). Feels good to have gotten 95% of our money back for that curriculum. Slowly I'm making the money back for our homeschooling expenses. I took Drew to get lunch since WalMart didn't have my onion rolls to have what I was intending to have for lunch. We came back, ate and then he got ready for HIS camp. I dropped him off and then spent the better part of the next hour in line at the post office. I don't see how they can raise and raise and raise the price of stamps and still the service sucks. But that's neither here nor there. I got them in the mail and THAT is what's important!

I came home and worked on a few things and played with little Ben for a while. I worked on a lot of things for my Cub Scout Pack... getting them finalized so that when this year starts, we're ready to roll!

Once 3:40 hit, I ran to pick up Drew. We came home. Fed Ben. Loaded up in the car at 4:40 and went to pick up Josh from TCC. Home and that's when I felt like I was being pulled in 128 different directions. I get overwhelmed easily when my head is pounding. Drew was reading me a great story about a tea party for the Queen Bee. Josh was writing his own algebraic equations and solving them to show me what he'd learned in his Pre-Algebra class. Ben was crying, screaming, whining, talking, eating his fingers or a combination thereof AND I was trying to start prepping for dinner (it was about 5:15 pm).

Then I was informed that Andy went to go hit golf balls -- two starving children, hungry mom and I knew we wouldn't be eating until 8pm since the steaks were going to be grilled. Grrrrr.

What can you do? Not a lot.

However, it's amazing the level that Drew is reading...
It's awesome that Josh is loving and intrigued by Algebra...
Andy had fun...
Dinner was served...
I got some Tylenol...

Dinner was good... steaks, veggie ka-bobs, crescent rolls and Caesar salad. :) And for dessert? Banana boats! I thought it'd be a fun way to end the evening. Drew didn't want his warm so he at it in parts "raw" not that it's bad all different.

Afterwards, Ben smiled, cooed, talked and enjoyed his bath. Josh and Drew and Andy all visited him to say hi and the kiddos are in bed and I'm rocking this beautiful miracle while he fights sleeping by staring at his left hand... it's quite funny.

We will have a fun day ahead of us tomorrow... Josh back at College for Kids. Drew at the movies with one of his best friends, Evan and then to the Golden Arches to eat/play and THEN they're coming here... to have a mini Wii tournament.

It's a good life.

Stained for life?

Not so!

As most of you know between my three monkeys lies five years each. So, yes, I have an 11 year old, a 6 year old and one little guy that is working his way to one (next March). So 5 years separates the clothing span.

When I pulled out all of the adorable baby clothes that I'd saved since having Drew, I noticed something. Several of my favorite outfits had developed these huge ugly yellowish stains. They were not there when I put the items in storage so I can only assume they were protein stains brought out by the air in the attic. I was sure that these great items were ruined. I posted to several boards and got many different suggestions.

One of those suggestions was to use OxiClean. Another was to use baking soda and vinegar (?? I wasn't going for the science experiment laundry treatment). Another suggested a Melaluca product but you have to pay a registration fee and place a minimum order (how's THAT for customer service? Yeah, I don't think so. Keep your eco friendly crap then.) If you want to sell products you a) have a product that works and b) advertise (via TV, magazine, word of mouth, etc.) Well, I hadn't ever heard of using baking soda and vinegar for laundry so I wasn't too keen on that idea. The whole minimum purchase and registration fee with Melaluca was a complete turn off. BUT, I'd heard of OxiClean, seen it on TV and (more importantly) could pick it up when I went to the store.

I'd caught up on ALL my laundry so the ONLY items left were the ones that were stained and sitting on the floor waiting for me to treat them. So, when I went to Wal-Mart on Sunday, I picked up some OxiClean powder. I treated the items yesterday. Then I washed them. I just pulled them from the dryer. THEY ARE STAIN FREE!

Yes, after spending FIVE YEARS in a HOT TEXAS ATTIC WITH STAINS... they are STAIN FREE!!!

People, I'm not lying. I really don't trust any advertisements I see on TV. But, I buy into their line. Why? Because IT WORKS! I was sure that I'd lost two of my favorite Baby Gap outfits along with two Ralph Lauren / Polo outfits and an ADORABLE sweatshirt. NO WAY JOSE! They are BEAUTIFUL and STAIN FREE! I wish I'd taken before and after shots.

I'm just ... surprised (as you can tell). And so I wanted to spread the joy. If you need a stain fighter, do yourself a favor and pick up some OxiClean!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday Stealing

The guys at Sunday Stealing go about the blogosphere finding memes to steal from other blogs. I like to participate so here we go! Cheers to all of us thieves!

Today we ripped this meme off a blogger named Kuda Girl of the blog named Kuda Girl's Journal. Kuda Girl explains that she ripped it from two bloggers Slay Me Softly and Dragon Fly Lady. But, it was probably stolen there as well. So, of course, that will be as far as we go. Tracing back our theft's thieves might take some time. It has 65 questions, so we'll do it in parts. Link back to us at Sunday Stealing!

Sunday Stealing: Meme Of Many Odd Questions, Part Two

23. Do you rent movies often? I don't, but Andy does. We have a membership. Oddly enough, however, none of the movies that I have in the queue never seem to make it here... his always get moved up.

24. Is there anything sparkly in the room you're in? My son, Benjamin's eyes.

25. How many countries have you visited? Mexico, US, Jamaica. That's it.

26. Have you made a prank phone call? Does a one legged duck swim in a circle?

27. Ever been on a train? Yes. For a long and a short trip. Never actually traveled by train, however. Just trips with school classes or the little 20 minute jaunts for the Polar Express and Thomas the Train when they're hear seasonally.

28. Brown or white eggs? Either is fine.

29. Do you have a cell-phone? I have a crackberry!

30. Do you use Chap Stick? Every night before bed and all the time in the winter.

31. Do you own a gun? Not anymore. Andy does, however.

32. Can you use chop sticks? I can, but I'm MUCH more efficient with a fork.

33. Who are you going to be with tonight? My family.

34. Are you too forgiving? I don't think there's such a thing. It's what Jesus would do.

35. Ever been in love? Absolutely.

36. What is your best friend(s) doing tomorrow (or the next soonest week day)? He will be working hard at protecting our country in Iraq.

37. Ever have cream puffs? Not that I can remember.

38. Last time you cried? It's a daily occurrence when you're a new mom and realize the miracle before you.

39. What was the last question you asked? Do you need to go outside? (to the dogs)

40. Favorite time of the year? Fall, hands down.

41. Do you have any tattoos? Yes, I have two.

42. Are you sarcastic? Me? Never!

43. Have you ever seen The Butterfly Effect? I don't think so but my memory isn't so hot to trot when it comes to obscurely named movies.

44. Ever walked into a wall? Hasn't everyone?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Wal-Mart has roll backs...

We have ROLL OVERS! Yep... Ben rolled over ALL BY HIMSELF from his back to his stomach and back again! :) WOO HOO! I have a roly poly!

Pictures to follow (as soon as I find my camera!) Ha!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Five Question Friday

Rules for Five Question Friday: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then link up to My Little Life (below)!

1. Do you collect anything? dust bunnies and To Do List items. When I was younger, I collected Boyd Bears but Ive given that up. I have a few Demdaco Willow Tree Angels but I don't actively seek to buy more. Oh, I know...scrapbook supplies. :)

2. Name 3 celebrities that you find good looking. Rick Springfield, Dierks Bently, Matthew Maconahey (sp?)

3. Do you have any scars? If so, what's the story behind it (them?)? one on my nose - birthmark removal when I was a toddler; right thumb - stitches from having mt finger shut in a door; left palm - deep cut from trying to open a huge pixie stick with a pair of reeeeeeally sharp scissors

4. What is a food that you like to eat, but others might think it's gross or weird? I can't really think of anything weird at all... I like fried mushrooms???

5. Have you ever seen a tornado in real life? Nope, even though we live in "Tornado Alley" and, I'd like to keep it that way

Come join the fun each Friday at My Little Life

Friday Fill Ins we go!

1. This is what life does. It lets you have a choice every day as to how your going to face the world. It's your option to do so joyfully or with contempt.

2. Does a tired new mom ever appreciate the moment? You bet she does!

3. Upon reflection, I think my life is so much more complete with children.

4. I've been up today for quite a long time.

5. Later, you wake up and realize that these little fleeting moments are the ones you have to grab onto and cherish. This is what life is made of.

6. This coming Spring Break I will go to the far and boundless sea for my first ever cruise in the Caribbean.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to hosting a play date with one of Drew's best friends, menu planning, grocery shopping, spending time with Ben and picking Drew up from across the street (he's attending a birthday party night), tomorrow my plans include going to our neighbors for our monthly "dinner club". I'm bringing the appetizer (what goes good with fish tacos? Suggestions, anyone?) and Sunday, I want to TRY to get a nap!

But Everyone is Doing it...

Yeah, that was the one I heard this morning.

Josh wanted to take his Zune (mp3 player) to College For Kids with him this morning. I said, "No."

He said, "Why?"

I said, "Remember when you went to the orientation and brought home the rules packet? Remember you asked to take your phone with you the first week? Remember how I pulled out the rules packet and it said basically "no electronic devices" and that if you had them out, they could be confiscated? Remember that? That means "No."

And that's when it happened. That's when I got the dreaded phrase every parent Never. Wants. To. Hear. "But Moooooom, everyone is doing it. EVERYONE has their phones out between classes. I never see teachers take their phones from anyone."

I said, "And? No. Josh, they set rules for a reason. Why are you asking me for permission to break their rules?"

And then I went further with what all parents must say with such a ridiculous statement as my child just made, "So, if everyone one went and committed murder, does that mean YOU'RE going to because, '...they're all doing it?' I would certainly hope not."

I said there comes a time when you will be tested to make the right choice and the wrong choice and the fact that "just because everyone else is doing something" doesn't make it right. You may be tested with drugs. You may be tested with alcohol. So, do you want to seek "permission" to do something you know is wrong just based on the fact that "everyone else is doing it?" I'm not going to give you permission to break someone else's rules.

I went further to explain that I have rules for my house and ... just because a lot of his friends don't know all of our "rules" doesn't give HIM permission to break them when HE KNOWS THE RULES.

I also reasoned with him to the tune of... that's a $200 piece of electronic equipment. Are those 10 minutes in between classes where you think you need it worth it getting stolen and then you not even having said Zune? "Well, I can keep it in my pocket." I reminded him, "Josh, you have triathlon. I know you're not running with that in your pocket. If you fall, it's broken, too. Besides, I believe I've already given you an answer."

I ended with the statement, "Asking me for permission to break their rules? This is a moot conversation to me."

With that he turned to leave. Man, that sucked.

We're being INVADED

I got up to have breakfast with Josh this morning before taking him to College For Kids... my KITCHEN TABLE is CRAWLING with BLACK ANTS!

I took a wet paper towel and wiped them down... it was SO GROSS! Then I took him to school. When I got back about 10 of 8, Andy was at the table eating breakfast... I asked him if he had to clean the ants off. He said, "No," but when he looked, the table, once again, was crawling with ants.

The table was wiped off after dinner so I have no idea what they were doing. Josh and I had actually got down on all fours and were looking to see where they were coming from. We found NOTHING? Seriously, it's like these guys are little Mission Impossible stealthy guys dropping out of the ceiling.

I do NOT want to spray POISON on my kitchen table. But, with all the rain we had the last couple of weeks, it's quite typical for them to move somewhere tolerable (i.e., people's homes). Now, it's a matter of evicting the little suckers.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wednesday Recap

It started off like any typical morning...wake up, feed Ben, fix breakfast, change, take Josh to College for Kids. I am generally in such a quandry as to how to "do" mornings at my house. I may have said it before that I have a "scent" or a "smell" thing. I hate to smell like food. If we go to a BBQ place, I feel like I smell like a brisket and have to change. If we go to a Mexican food restaurant, you walk out smelling like a fajita -- and I have to change when we get home. If I go to a donut store for the boys in the morning -- you leave there smelling like a grease ball.

Making breakfast at my house is no different. So, if I make breakfast, I don't shower first and since I like my boys starting off their day with a big healthy breakfast, I typically don't shower before getting home from taking them to school. And then when I'm dropping them off at school, you see all these moms that are completely done up from head to toe / hair and make up and I wonder... what did your kids eat for breakfast? Isn't that horrible? Why do I do that to myself? Does anyone really care other than me? I doubt it. Seriously, I don't know why I even care -- but I do!

After I took Josh to College for Kids, I took Drew to Mimi's. She took him to the Harkin's movie to see Astroboy. He loves that show. Every summer they have a movie special where you can spend $5 and get tickets to see 10 movies (they're all reruns) but they're a fun movie experience and something to do in the air conditioning!

So, they got to the movies but he was SO excited to put together one of his Lego kits, they didn't stay for the whole thing. He told her that he'd tell her how it ended! I will say he got that puppy built!

I got some nice, quiet one-on-one time with Ben. IT was neat.... it was the first time I heard him do anything that even resembled a giggle. It wasn't a full blown giggle just one ... GIG. LOL. Just one sound with one breath. Still, it was cute and I adore him!

I thought it'd be great to take a nap since I had some time to kill... phone call.... phone call... phone call.... door bell....dogs barking... FORGET IT! What a joke!

So, I went to pick up Josh. He, of course, had a great day at College for Kids. From there we went to Mimi's and picked up Drew. He met me at the door with all his little Lego creations made. He was so proud of himself!

We came home to what? MORE LEGO BUILDING!

That afternoon, I had started some chicken and BBQ sauce in the crock pot and let me tell you -- what a way to make your entire house smell edible! If that Willie Wonka Chocolate Factory was anything like this -- those oompa loompas would have eaten the whole darn thing! I mean, there's only so much sugar you can take but BBQ chicken? It smelled so go, you'd have slapped your momma!

Andy took the boys swimming at the community pool up the street. It's so nice knowing that Drew can swim now. What a relief.

And then I start my routine, that I do every night.... Ben gets a bath generally about 8:30-9:00 p.m. I always heard they don't need a bath every day but... I can't imagine how sticky you'd feel if you didn't get one! Besides, he's got a healthy case of cradle cap right now and that's how I wash the oil out of his hair that I've been soaking it with. So far, it's worked magic. He smells like a little Italian! (olive oil! ha ha!)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Monday Mayhem

Join Us for Monday Mayhem

Welcome to Monday Mayhem. This week we will be playing 5 easy questions. For each of the 5 questions, give us your view. Have fun!

1. Lindsay Lohan was recently sentenced to 90 days in jail. What do you think her future has in store for her? An iota of a jail sentence (literally like... 1 day.. maybe. They're overcrowded. Which, in itself is a joke that people that DESERVE jail time are being released. I wonder how many illegals are in the jails getting heat/cold, food/water, medical/dental, television, recreation...while thousands of US children go without daily.... and which also prevents US criminals from serving THEIR FULL sentences. I don't think celebrities are above the law...but stuff like this is just ridiculous. WHO CARES?!

2. What is the biggest fashion "don't" that you would like to police? Anything Lady Gaga wears. She's a freakin joke/moron/idiot (choose your adjective).

3. How should we punish sites that lure us in with "read this" and take us somewhere where we are first greeted by a pop-up and then a series of click throughs to actually read the meat of the story? Personally, I don't believe there's anything you can do to "punish" them. Companies lose money daily because people don't watch the advertisements anymore like they used to have to because of TiVo and DVR. Therefore, they're compelled to seek out ways to force us to see these ads.

4. What is the most you will do to post a comment on a site? At what point is it not worth posting a comment? I won't register anywhere to post a comment on a site. If something makes me feel the need to communicate my thoughts/feelings, I will write a letter to them or look on their site's website for contacts in which to e-mail.

5. If you purchase something online and you are charged for postage, is it still reasonable to charge for "shipping and handling"? What exactly does "shipping and handling" entail? I think that's just another way to make money. If it's that big of a deal that they feel the need to add in more, they need to raise their prices. I hate and am sick to death of being nickeled and dimed to death.

Thanks for playing! Have a great week!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The day I did nothing...

...well, sort of. In an effort to get my entire life in order, I've done several things today.

I updated my PAPER CALENDAR! I know I've spoken several times about my woes with keeping up with a calendaring system. Turns out, I really LIKE being able to SEE and FEEL the paper and the appointments, etc. actually ON paper. I'm going to consider it a back-up to my electronic one in case my computer ever dies. :)

I joined so that I can get on top of all my little jobs, household chores, scheduling and keep it there.

I started recording my recipes I save from the net into MasterCook7 so that I could have a database of MY recipes and also keep those that I wish to try. Thing is, I really like having a book to flip through of recipes too. That's a hard one...but when they're just saved with a tag in iGoogle Reader, it doesn't serve me any purpose. I'm going to try to convert ALL recipes in my recipe box to the electronic format and then just PRINT out a cookbook of my OWN recipes (family favorites) and then I can also print out the others! I'm quite excited. This is a very, VERY daunting task because I.Love.To.Cook! As such, I save a LOT of recipes. However, baby steps. I will get it done.

I'm continuing to purge the house of "stuff" and really think about if things matter or if they're just "stuff." Thing is, it's just going from one place to another because I have to do it in such little chunks of time that there's no way I can coordinate a garage sale right now. Luckily, September, my HOA has one so I think I will have one then. I just can't figure out if $200-$300 is worth my time or if we should just donate it and take the write off. I hate, loathe, despise haggling with people. If you price it too high, they won't even ask. If you price it low so that it WILL sell, they offer less. There's no happy medium.

I also rejoined a group on Yahoo that I really liked it's called CCP Yearly. They also have a CCP Daily but I don't want the stress of doing it so fast! Oh, and the CCP, it stands for Creative Control Panel. It helps you create like a "master binder" of your household. They focus on all different kinds of things from keeping a list of family and emergency contacts for utilities to inventorying your pantry or from preparing a "Places of Interest" list in a binder for family outings. It's awesome.

So, I figure that my day of doing "nothing" really means that I did nothing for anyone ELSE but I DID spend a great deal of time doing things for me. It felt good.
The guys at Sunday Stealing go about the blogosphere finding memes to steal from other blogs. I like to participate so here we go! Cheers to all of us thieves!

Sunday Stealing: Meme Of Many Odd Questions, Part One

1. First thing you wash in the shower? My face

2. What color is your favorite hoodie? I don't wear "hoodies." Those are something my kids wear. :)

3. Would you kiss the last person you kissed again? Yes, and I hope to do it forever!

4. Do you plan outfits? Not regularly becuase my shirts are changed 2-3 times a day due to spit ups.

5. How are you feeling RIGHT now? Hungry

6. What's the closest thing to you that's red? a Crayola marker

7. Tell me about the last dream you remember having? last night I had a dream that I kept gaining weight but it wasn't making me fat, per say, but it was making me WIDE. It was really gross. I was like normal sized one way but turned and my freakin hips went on for ever! YUCK!

8. Did you meet anybody new today? Um... no, it's only 9:30 a.m.

9. What are you craving right now? Nothing... just need to eat something.

10. Do you floss? ...about every other day.

11. What comes to mind when I say cabbage? Breast engorgement. They say to put cabbage leaves in your bra to alleviate breast engorgement.

12. Are you emotional? I guess everyone is at some point... not daily but I can be sad, happy, angry just like anyone else.

13. Have you ever counted to 1,000? You know, I can't ever remember being that bored.

14. Do you bite into your ice cream or just lick it? Bite.

15. Do you like your hair? At present, no. I haven't had a cut in over a year.

16. Do you like yourself? Yes. I like to think I'm a pretty good person trying to live a Godly life.

17. Would you go out to eat with George W. Bush? I'd love to.

18. What are you listening to right now? My boys putting together Lego racers in the playroom.

19. Are your parents strict? They can be as strict as they want but I'm 37... I don't really listen to what they say much anymore if they're trying to boss me around. :)

20. Would you go sky diving? No. I see no reason to a) tempt fate; b) put my life in the hands of someone packing a chute; or c) jump out of a perfectly good airplane

21. Do you like cottage cheese? I can't say that I've ever eaten it BUT the consistency/appearance of it kind of grosses me out.

22. Have you ever met a celebrity? Several. Who cares.

Thank you for playing this week on Sunday Stealing! Please leave a comment or link when you have posted.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Bouncy Birthday Party

We woke up today with a mission -- Drew's 6th birthday party! This was just his day with his friends. We would celebrate his ACTUAL birthday with our family ON his actual Birth Day. He was so excited. I had booked one of the large birthday parties based on the amount of RSVPs only to get several text messages and e-mails the day before that 7 of the kids couldn't make it because of sports. And, too, since it was so late, I couldn't reduce the size of the party so it still cost just as much. His best friend couldn't come because he broke his arm which meant, his little brother wasn't coming either. I'll totally rethink our party timeframe next year. YUCK!

Goal one - finish the cake. I was watching Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee on Food Network and she did this volcano cake. It was SO COOL! I called Drew into the bedroom to see it and THAT was the cake he wanted. But, Drew, what theme do you want to have for your party? "Lego Starwars," he proclaims. So, a bouncy house birthday party with a volcano cake and a Lego Star Wars theme. Surely I can pull this together, right? After all, I AM supermom. (Said completely in jest, please note!)

I baked the red velvet cakes and got it all shaped up and coned up like a volcano. Andy picked up the remaining few items (including dry ice) so that I could have the "smoke effect" coming out of the top. I must say, the cake. It was pretty freakin cool. More about that later.


We got to the bouncy house. First ones there so BAM he was off!


A few people trickled in and it was really nice that we did wind up having a much smaller amount becuase they were this little motley crew all over the place. It was adorable. They ran and jumped and ran and jumped until their little cheeks were pink as bubble gum!

Drew and Evan - one of the first to arrive.

Here ya go -- our little motley crew.

It came time to enter the party room for cake and lemonade... the looks on the kids' faces said it all. The cake - -it was cool!

Our attendant cut the cake and served it. I brought some Chex Mix for the kids to snack on and then it was time to go.

This is big man blowing out the candles. 5 red ones on top and one cool Darth Vader candle on the bottom/front.

But, before they left, I got a few photos of Drew with a couple of his buddies in the big inflatable chair of honor.

Drew and Evan

Drew and Dylan

And... my three sons

We took the gifts home to open. I'm not a fan of the huge pain in the butt opening of gifts at party locations becuase it winds up being such a cluster. So we opened them at home and then I take a picture of Drew with each one and send that in the thank you card to the giver.

Ben was a champ. His "Aunt" Kristin carried him around until he fell asleep on her shoulder. He NEVER does that for me. Mom was there to "grandma" him so he had plenty of attention so that I could focus on Drew and HIS day.

Andy's cousin and her husband followed us home and we had a cook-out that evening for Drew's birthday, too. This meant he got to play with his cousins that live about an hour away for a long time. They had a great time. I think they're great people and hope to spend more time with them.

Oh, and the best part, Drew slept like a CHAMP that night! Ha!