Saturday, November 27, 2010

Random Saturday

  • I talked to Josh yesterday. I nagged him because he didn't call home on Thanksgiving. Then I thought, why am I making it his responsibility to call me on Thanksgiving? I'm the adult. Duly noted. In all fairness, I didn't really nag him, I just did the "Mommy guilt" thing like, "I sure would have loved to have talked to you yesterday on the actual holiday you know?" He got the point, nevertheless.

  • I'm surprised how one little person can leave bombs in every room all over the entire house. It's like a little road map as to where he's been. I know at some point in time I'll really miss these moments (so they say, I'm seriously doubting whoever they are) but, even while he's little I'd like to have a clean house -- for one day and have it stay that way!

  • I looked at getting Andy a new puppy for Christmas. I can't find any Rot breeders locally so I'm going to take that as a sign.

  • I'm ready to start crib training Ben but we have a drop-side crib -- which have ALL been recalled. I'm scared to death to put him in it until it's fixed so in my bed he stays (for now). Honestly, I love how quiet it is in the room at night. I hate snoring. I LOVE my husband but I seriously CAN.NOT.SLEEP with snoring. It's horrible. I don't know what to do.

  • Josh told me he didn't get to have stuffing on Thanksgiving and that he was bummed. What kind of sick punk doesn't serve stuffing on Thanksgiving? For real. Poor baby, bless his heart. I'll make him some when he gets back.

  • Speaking of dressing - have you ever seen how many recipes are out there for dressing? I mentioned that earlier but it's just crazy to me. Some have oysters in them. Some have sausage in them. Some have chestnuts and cranberries and apples. Some are dry and some are like big plops of chewed up and spit out bread-goo on your plate. Bizarre.

  • I have a love/hate relationship with getting the house decked out for Christmas. In truth, I should be doing it right now, but I'm eating a plate of Thanksgiving leftovers. My first. I"m sure I'll drop something down in the keyboard.

  • I got a catalog from a place called "Pajamagram" where they charge like $45 for a pair of pajamas. I call bull $hit on that. Forty-five dollars for KIDS' pajamas? Someone at Pajamagram has been sniffin the ink too long if they think I'm paying that price.

  • Speaking of, why don't they sell keyboards that you can easily dissemble to clean out all the food you drop down in them?

  • Drew came home today and said that our neighbor left and didn't tell anyone. Why should we care? Because his 4 year old son was then home alone. I don't know what came of that because I can't imagine anyone doing that. They're here playing now. Weird.

  • I'm a recipe collector. I don't know when I'll ever be able to fix all the recipes that sound good to me that I've tagged. I thought saving my recipes into Mastercook 7 was a good thing but now I'm thinking that just printing them off like a normal person and putting them in a binder will be the best thing for me. I guess in some ways, I can't go paperless. I have to have a copy right in front of me. Enter my new idea for recipe organization. I'm going to print off all the recipes that I want to try. They're going to go in a "to try" binder which is organized (with tabs) like a cookbook: Appetizers, Sides and Salads, Soups and Stews, Main Courses, Pasta, Breads, Desserts, etc. I've fallen WAAAAAY off the meal planning wagon and need to hop back on. My on-line bloggy friend Alexis puts me to shame with the amazing things she cooks... at least something new every week she posts. I need to do that! Once I try them and like them then we can sort them into other binders for our "keeper" stash that will go into our regular meal rotation.

  • Ben has started having stinky diapers. I know, who cares, but it's still notable. Yesterday he had 4 Ritz crackers (yes, don't judge, the kid won't eat anything so we tried it just to see. Turns out I'm going to have another cracker-head just like Drew). What an amazing thing those four Ritz can do to the intestines. He's got stinky poo now. Sigh. It couldn't last forever, huh?

  • I'm honesty really sad that he's 8 months old. I never ever realized how fast they grow up and change until I knew that he'd be the very last one. Andy's sure this is "it" for him. I haven't got that feeling yet. Practically speaking, yes, I should be done and know that it's the last and be happy with the three beautiful healthy boys that I have but something inside me just doesn't sit well with that.

  • Andy got a new phone. It's a touch screen. He has a cool twinkling Christmas tree as his background. Mine doesn't do that. He sucks.

  • He bumped a really expensive car at an intersection the other day. I blame it on his phone.

  • My friend Felecia really inspires me... to scrapbook more, to record real meaningful thoughts in my scrapbooks, to be a better Christian. I wonder if she knows that.

  • I miss my on-line friend, Mary. I wonder how she's doing. I haven't heard from her in forever.

  • I want blue Christmas lights up on the house. I hate that I never have blue Christmas lights up on the house.

  • It's 2:05 p.m. and I'm just now eating lunch and I'm still in my pajamas. I love holiday weekends.

  • I wonder what tribeswomen do in those remote jungle locations do for diapers or colicky babies. Do their babies never get ear infections? If they do, do they think their medicine man will chant some incantations and wave some rattle over him and he's all healed?
  • I learned a new trick this holiday. I was making deviled eggs and the first batch of eggs ruined. Ruined? Ruined! How? The shells kept sticking to the egg. It was MADDENING. I just pitched a dozen eggs. Then, I did what every gen-x'r does -- take to the net to find a solution. What did I do differently? 1 tsp of baking soda to the water (to change the pH level) and boiled them for 10 minutes and then transferred them immediately to ice water. THEN, I tapped one side and then the other and blew really hard on the egg and it just kind of FLEW out of the shell. No peeling required. It was quite fascinating. It didn't work on everyone of them but once it did work, I thought I was Bobby Flay.

  • Do you wonder if chefs like him get sick of cooking and just want to swing through and grab a cheeseburger, fries and a Frosty from Wendy's?

  • I like the smell of coffee but I hate the taste.

  • Drew has this bizarre lisp and I correct him all the time on how he enunciates words. I feel badly about doing this (and I know it annoys him) but I want him to speak well.

  • I think people that go cow-tipping should have one of them fall over on them.

  • I wonder if people that spend so much money on shampoo that has all those vitamins and additives in it realize that they're just washing their money down the drain because it's just soap. I've used the cheapie stuff (Suave, Pert, Herbal Essence, Pantene or Finesse) my entire life and I've had hair stylists comment on what great shape my hair was in and inquired about what "product" I used. They were always flabbergasted when I told them, "... the cheap stuff!"

  • I don't watch the news. It's too depressing. I will tune in for the weather, but that's about it.

  • I read the news, however, at times. Only the bizarre headlines... like one I saw today "Will Smith Arrested." Then I realized it was some NFL punk and not "THE" Will Smith. How I'd hate to have a name mix-up like that. Reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Elaine was dating some guy with a serial killer's name and she tried to get him to change it. Their conversation is hilarious.

    Watch Here

Friday, November 26, 2010

Rock N Roll Fridays with Led Zepplin

Today we picked Led Zeppelin.

1. BLACK DOG “Take too long before I found out, what people mean by down and out. Spent my money, took my car…”
When was the last time you were down and out?
By the grace of God, I've NEVER been down and out. I may have felt it from time to time but I have never actually been it.

2. DAZED AND CONFUSED “Oh I don’t like when you’re mystifyin’ me. Oh don’t leave me so confused, now whoa baby. Been dazed and confused for so long…”
What leaves you dazed and confused?
Arrogance. Seriously, the audacity of others' arrogance leaves me utterly baffled.

3. FOOL IN THE RAIN “Another 10 minutes no longer, and then I’m turnin around. The clock on the wall’s moving slower, oh my heart it sinks to the ground…”
Have you ever been “stood up”?
Yes, and it sucks. He was promptly kicked to the curb.

4. IMMIGRANT SONG “On we sweep with, with threshing oar. Our only goal will be the western shore. So now you better stop and rebuild all your ruins…”
How do you feel about immigration into the USA?
I feel that our country is a symbol of hope for the hopeless. However, there should be rules. For there to be more rights for people who are NOT citizens of this country rather thanfor those that ARE is preposterous! ILLEGAL immigrants... are... ILLEGAL. Hence the name. Why it's so hard to understand that is beyond me.

We shouldn't celebrate -- as a country -- OTHER country's national holidays. Let them celebrate those in their own country or as a group together but we shouldn't be recognizing that.

I don't think illegals should be given free ANYTHING.... no free healthcare -- that is BULLSHIT.... no free food, free housing... NOTHING. IF there are Americans homeless, sick and starving and you're giving out free food, shelter and healthcare to the illegals -- we have a problem.

It is not our job, either, to educate ILLEGAL children. I wonder how well our schools would be in Texas if the teachers weren't forced to try to learn Spanish to communicate with children that shouldn't BE HERE IN THE FIRST PLACE! It's not the teachers JOBS to learn Spanish to communicate with ILLEGAL CHILDREN IN THE SCHOOL SYSTEM.

The anchor baby law needs to be repealed.... it was established during a time of slavery... that time is long gone and the anchor baby clause should be gone as well.

I believe we have room in our society for other cultures and for immigrants...but if YOU choose ... CHOOOSE to come to our be an AMERICAN citizen... you need to CHANGE to be an AMERICAN living in America. I"m not saying lose your culture or heritage but don't expect ME to learn Spanish to be able to communicate with YOU.... I could go on forever about this...

Ugh... It seriously pisses me off.

5. KASHMIR “I am a traveler of both time and space, to be where I have been. To sit with elders of the gentle race, this world has seldom seen…”
Have you ever visited someone in a nursing (old age) home?
Yes, it's a horrible place to be. My paternal grandmother ("Mawmaw") was in a nusing home. Her's was okay (from what I saw). The one my grandfather was in was gross. His bathroom smelled of urine. The old man across the hall would just yell and talk and scream all the time. It was small... it was old... it was so sad. I don't ever want my parents in such a place. It's such a horrible way to exist.

6. MISTY MOUNTAIN HOP “Crowds of people sittin on the grass with flowers in their hair said Hey boy, do you wanna score?”…
Have you ever done something because of “peer” pressure?
I'm sure I did but nothing notable or of any real circumstance (ie. drugs, drinking, smoking or illegal activity). Mine would have been some stupid fashion trend or to dislike someone because another friend didn't like her. Something stupid like that. I've never been afraid to tell someone "no" and mean it...and if they didn't LIKE that I said "no" to tell them to piss off.

7. RAMBLE ON “A ramble on, and now’s the time the time is now. Sing my song, I’m goin round the world to find my girl”
Where is the oddest place you went to on a date?
I must have a horrible memory or just be boring becuase I can't think of anywhere "odd" that I went on a date. My dates were all "normal" date places -- movies, dinner, concerts, outdoor events, etc.

8. ROCK N ROLL “Ho, it’s been a long time since we walked in the moonlight, a-makin vows that just can’t work right, haw haw, yeah yeah open your arms, open your arms, open your arms, let my love come runnin in…”
What’s the last romantic thing you did (besides sexual)?
I like to think that I take the time to do something romantic every day for my love. Is "sweet" and "romantic" the same thing... I send him e-mails to tell him how much I love him... when he's least expecting it. I'll scratch his back when he's not expecting it. I make his coffee for him on the weekeneds... if I see he's out of something, I'll fill it back up or get him a new one.

9. STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN “There’s a lady who’s sure, all that glitters is gold, and she’s buying a stairway to heaven…”
What did you last buy? Was it on Black Friday?
I bought Josh some clothes (he grows so fast and is the oldest so no hand-me-downs for him to get), me some Cricut cartridges and Andy a couple of NEW pair of jeans that AREN'T his tapered leg 80's style Levi's LOL). We'll see how THOSE are received.

10. THANK YOU “If the sun refused to shine, I would still be loving you. If the mountains should crumble to the sea, there would still be you and me…”
What is the longest relationship you have ever had? The longest relationship I've ever have would have to be with Shannon Fry -- who was my childhood best friend since I was 5. That'd be 32 years I've known her. After that, it'd be Lori Hines (about the same amount of time)... Elaine Branch... scratch a few years off that... maybe 27 or 28 years. Then we go to the relationships from junior high...that are still "tight" like my best friend Gene Penrod... we've been close BFFs since 6th or 7th grade.

If you're talking relationship with the opposite sex... it'd be my marriage (if you include courtship)

11. THE LEMON SONG “I work as hard as I can-a. I bring home my money, you take my money, give it to another man. I should have quit you baby-a such a long time ago…”
Have you ever loaned money to someone?
Yeah, and it never got paid back... so never again.

12. THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME “You don’t know what you’re missin now. Any little song that you know. Everything that’s small has to grow. And it has to grow!”
Do you have plants in your house?
Not real ones... I have a black thumb.

13. WHOLE LOTTA LOVE “You’ve been learnin and baby I been learnin, all them good times, baby baby I’ve been discernin…”
What is the last class or course you studied?
English... got a 96... maintained my 4.0 baby!

Friday Fill-ins stuffed with turkey I almost forgot! Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate. we go!

1. Three things I must have on my Thanksgiving table: stuffing, green bean casserole and pecan pie.

2. It never fails that after a huge Thanksgiving meal all the men are sacked out on the couch snoring through the game.

3. This is Ben's first Thanksgiving -- he's 8 months today.

4. I love to decorate the house for Christmas.

5. Oh, man, thankfully it's almost bedtime because while I've done nothing today, I'm sleepy.

6. Ben is getting close of perfecting the art of pulling up and crawling. We're soooo close.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to relaxing, tomorrow my plans include removing the fall decor and Sunday, I want to pull out the Christmas stuff!!

5 Question Friday

1. What is your favorite part of a Thanksgiving meal?
I love the food. Is food singularly and plural still count for one answer? Can the food as a whole be inclusive of the whole answer? I did get razzed this year over the fact that I didn't make mashed potatoes. DULY NOTED, MOM AND DAD! Next year, we'll have mashed potatoes! I PROMISE! :) I love everything, seriously, the appetizers, the salads, the rolls -- oh Lord, the rolls! I love the sides... I mean, honestly, I could do without turkey and ham and just live on the salads, appetizers, rolls and sides. :)

2. Are you a host or a guest for Thanksgiving this year?
I'm the hostess with the mostess don'tcha know?

3. When you think of one Thanksgiving tradition, what comes to mind?
Prayer. Thanksgiving is a time to be thoughtful in your words and deeds and to be prayerfully thankful for all of your many blessings.

4. You have two pieces of pie in front of you and you HAVE to eat you choose pumpkin or pecan?
Pecan, hands down.

5. Are you a Black Friday Shopper?
Absolutely not. There is not one single solitary sale that is worthy of a) me losing sleep, b) being out of my pajamas before noon on a holiday c) enduring the cold in lines nor d) having to deal with mobs of people. My time is worth SO MUCH MORE than any stupid discount.

Now, if I can get those sales ONLINE.... I'm all over it!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving memories...

On our menu this year is:

Sweet Onion Tartletts
Vegetable Crudite with dipping sauce
Fruit and Cheese with crackers
Deviled Eggs
Smoked Turkey
Maple Glazed Ham
Green Bean Casserole
Sweet Potato Casserole
Corn Casserole
Fruit Salad
Pumpernickel and Sourdough Rolls with Herbed Butter
Pecan Pie
Brownie Pie
Pumpkin Pie
And no, I'm not cooking it all myself. No one would be impressed with a stressed out woman so both the turkey and the ham are precooked and I need merely warm them. The ham is even being warmed in the crock pot during the day. Dad is bringing the corn casserole (I don't even really know what it is). Mom is bringing the stuffing (because she's picky and only likes her own). Two-thirds of the desserts are premade. I will be making the brownie pie so that it's fresh and warm. So, that's what's on our menu.
I love knowing what everyone else is having for Thanksgiving. I love the idea of all the tradition that is in the recipes that are passed down generation to generation.
Like, stuffing. That is a typical recipe that is very specific what people like... Honestly, I'd like to try out different recipes for stuffing. Stuffing. Dressing. I call it both, isn't that weird? Everyone loves stuffing so much -- why do we only eat it at Thanksgiving? That seems so silly. There are SO MANY different variations of stuffing out there. Some are cubed and kind of dry, some are soggy... some have sausage, some have mushrooms, some have chestnuts. There are so many different types I'd like to try. I think I'll go on a stuffing making frenzy in January just to find the stuffing recipe that I really like.
Frankly, I'd like to try my hand at making an entire turkey from scratch but I won't do that on Thanksgiving. I'll do it another time just to make sure that I know what I'm doing before I mess up a perfectly good holiday dinner!

When I was a kiddo we wouldn't have turkey and dressing (that I can ever remember), we'd have chicken and dressing (because my grandmother didn't really care for turkey that much). She had a TEENIE little house... seriously, it was maybe 1300 square feet. I'm guessing it was even more like 1100 or so. She had a tiny little kitchen and no dishwasher and she would cook an entire Thanksgiving meal in there for everyone. She was the most amazing thing! It would be chilly outside and it'd be so hot in her kitchen that the storm door would fog up. The smells coming from that tiny kitchen were a work of art. She would bake her pies from scratch. She would make her stuffing from scratch. She would make her gravy from scratch. One of these days I'll venture into an entirely homemade holiday but this year -- having Josh gone, Ben so young and Drew ready to play, it's more fun, to me, to be with my company than chained to the kitchen.

Thanksgiving is a time that I generally spend thinking a lot about my grandmother because it really was the holiday that made her shine. She was an amazing cook. I remember the last Thanksgiving we had with her. She was living in a nursing home at the time... they went to pick her up and bring her home to celebrate with everyone. I used her handwritten recipes to make Thanksgiving dinner --and most importantly -- her stuffing!

We all plated our dinners and bowed our heads. Uncle Norman led the family in prayer. We were reminded that we were ever so thankful for just the simple act of being all together at that very moment. You see, we knew her days were numbered (lung cancer). She was weak. She was on oxygen. She was deteriorating.

We made her a plate.. and everyone waited with baited breath for her reaction to "the stuffing." She took a small bite and chewed... looked at me and said, "too much salt." (I actually hadn't salted it at all... her taste buds were being effected by the medications she was on.) We all had a laugh and enjoyed that last time we were ever together as the whole Wesson clan... that was truly a Thanksgiving where I was thankful that she was present and a very real part of my life. She died early that December.

Since being married to Andy, Thanksgivings have been spent (all but two of them) at his parent's home but with the news of their impending divorce, that is a tradition that has met an untimely demise. Therefore, the torch has been passed to me... and it's time for me to start traditions of our own here at our home. This is the only way that I can ensure that the traditions are a constant for my boys. Traditions are sometimes corny, sometimes annoying but everyone really does look forward to them just because... well, it's tradition!

One of the traditions we're going to start this year is a joined prayer. I've written a prayer and am going to print out on cards verses to the prayer. Everyone is going to draw a card and read their portion of the Thanksgiving prayer.... even Drew.

Another tradition I'm starting this year is one I read about on the internet where you get a king-sized sheet to use as a table cloth and have everyone present sign a portion of it. Then, after the holiday passes, go back and embroider over anything written so you have a time-capsule, if you will, of who was there and their "mark" left... I can only see this as being a treasured keepsake in years to come.

I'm actually going to have the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on this year and get to watch it instead of being stuck in the kitchen unable to see it. It's honestly, something I look forward to very much every year!

Even with the many issues heavy on our hearts this year, we still have much to be thankful for and that will be the focus on my holiday.

Wednesday Wickedness with Judy Garland

Hi and welcome to Wednesday Wickedness! Today we picked Judy Garland. Here's Wednesday Wickedness!

1. "Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else." Have you ever realized that you were trying to be like someone else?
Of course. At some age, all children emulate those they admire. The key is to grow out of being a carbon copy and to become an original. Some people do.... others are just stuck following trends and others.

2. "Behind every cloud is another cloud."
Are you more optimistic or pessimistic about things?
I like to think of myself as an optimistic pessimist. I expect the worst but hope for the best. Either way, I'm not surprised.

3. "How strange when an illusion dies. It's as though you've lost a child."
Tell us about a time when you realized your perception of reality was an illusion.
When I realized that my in-laws marriage was over... for a second it really took me aback because I felt like if THESE two people who (seem to) have everything going for them can't make it... WHO CAN?!

4. "I've never looked through a keyhole without finding someone was looking back."
Have you ever felt someone was watching you a bit too closely?
Yes... and I divorced him.

5. "If you have to be in a soap opera try not to get the worst role."
Have you ever had a job that you were embarrassed by?
No. I can honestly say that I haven't done anything for which I should be ashamed. I started out in food service at Colter's BBQ. It wasn't the most amazing job but it was an honest one... I've worked at a record store, grocery store, accountant's office, attorney's offices.... nothing for which I'd ever be embarrassed or ashamed.

6. 'In the silence of night I have often wished for just a few words of love from one man, rather than the applause of thousands of people."
Do you feel that you need a lover to make you feel “whole”?
Absolutely not. My self esteem is way higher than the need to feel validated by another.

7. "If I am a legend, then why am I so lonely?"
Tell us about a time when you felt lonely.
I'm never lonely... I'm surrounded by all my invisible friends. :) They keep me company all day long.

8. "I can live without money, but I cannot live without love."
Would you rather be rich and alone or live with love from a lover?
Anyone who said that money can't buy love, never had a puppy. If you were rich, you wouldn't have to be alone for long! HA!

9. "I try to bring the audience's own drama - tears and laughter they know about - to them."
Tell us about the last movie that you saw where you could feel the drama as though you were living it.
Generally speaking, I can't sit still long enough to watch a movie, let alone be sucked into it.

10. "I was born at the age of twelve on an MGM lot."
What was your life like at 12?
Normal -- whatever THAT means. :)

Why wait

Why do we wait for holidays or special occasions gather together for fine meals
... to make real desserts
... try out new recipes
... break out the china and crystal
... to use cloth napkins and placemats
... to open our home not only to family but close friends
... to light special candles
... to set aside differences just for the sake of being together

Shouldn't we all just do that every day, all the time anyway?

Reminds me of the piece written by Erma Bombeck, "If I Had My Life To Live Over"

If I had my life to live over, I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television - and more while watching life.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now go get washed up for dinner."

There would have been more "I love you's".. More "I'm sorrys" ...

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute... look at it and really see it ... live it...and never give it back.

A season of thanksgiving... day 24

I'm thankful for...

... Dickey's BBQ for smoking my turkey.

... slow cookers to make the cooking easier on Thanksgiving.

... new neighbors and the possibility of new friendships.

... fall weather finally coming to town (again) Ha!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A season of thanksgiving... day 23

I'm thankful for...

... clean smelling babies that giggle and coo

... safe travels for family and friends

... unexpected courtesies from complete strangers

... flower deliveries

... finding everything I need at the grocery store

... that "new car" smell

... never having that "not so fresh" feeling (bwa ha ha ha... had to throw that one in to see if yo'ure actually reading.

Monday, November 22, 2010

A season of thanksgiving... day 22

I'm thankful for...

... good friends that like my kids. (Drew is at a movie and then a Chuck E Cheese playdate with a good friend).

... Cookie exchanges. They're a great way to have a lot of variety with a little effort.

... Christmas music after thanksgiving.... (not before!)

... getting cards in the mail. I like e-cards, too, don't get me wrong but makes you feel so special to get a card with a hand written sentiment in the mail from someone.

... crafting. I'm about to do a project I saw on another blog where you take acorns, paint them in ModPodge and then roll them in glitter and then hot glue the tops back on. Won't that be festive and fancy!

... Mexican food. I'm in the mood for something spicy... wonder what it will be.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A season of thanksgiving... day 21

I'm thankful for...

... tall trees that are black silhouetted against pink Texas sunsets

... cows. They're so cute... and tasty. Twisted, I know.

... my long eyelashes. It's one of my favorite features about me. Granted, I have a really hard time finding sunglasses that fit because of them, but I love them, nevertheless.

... Gold Toes socks. They're comfy.

... clean sheets. I washed sheets and it's always so refreshing to sleep on super clean sheets.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A season of thanksgiving... day 20

I'm thankful for...

... the fact that I can type 95 words per minute (or more).

... e-mail, because I like to keep in touch.

... knowing Josh is [ ] this close to being done with Cub Scouts!

... lizards... cuz they're fun to catch

... the gift of organization...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Fill-Ins we go!

1. Why does picking up after yourself seem to be such an afterthought for little boys?

2. You must be the change you wish to see in the world.

3. Thank you for always being kind - it always strikes me funny that people are so ugly to the ones that they love but if they'd seen a stranger acting that way to them, they'd take issue with it. So, be kind!

4. Christmas is my favorite holiday because of the sights, sounds, smells, family, presents, celebrations, decorations... it's an all sensory encompassing event.

5. I am SO sick of being sick!

6. We become a responsible adult when we make up our minds to be.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to sleeping, tomorrow my plans include laundry and getting well and Sunday, I want to continue healing! This coughing is for the birds!

Five Question Friday

Questions for Friday, November 19th:

1. What Christmas song do you loathe? I absolutely love Christmas songs but there are some that seriously make me want to puke. Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer.... I mean, what the hell? Seriously, it's a song abut Christmas, not your old granny gettin' plowed down by Rudolph!?! Sip some egg nog brotha and find a better lyric!

Or, the ever popular, "I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas" They seem to play the heck out of that song and it equally makes me want to rip my arm off and beat the radio with it.

It IS just.THAT.BAD!

2. Do you and your significant other cuddle at night or sleep on opposite sides of the bed? When we're in the same bed we generally share a snuggle before I lapse into a coma and take over the middle... and my side.... and some of HIS side of the bed. I'm a bed hog, but it's only out of necessity since all the covers seem to wind up on his side.

3. Have you ever had surgery? When I was a little tater tot, I had surgery to remove a birth mark on my nose. Other than that I've had LASIK done on my eyes and my wisdom teeth removed (oral surgery).

4. When do you typically have your holiday shopping done? Never. I'm always looking for the BBD! (Bigger Better Deal!) I buy stuff throughout the year and then forget what I have which leaves a ton o'stuff at Christmas. I tend to buy a lto of clothes for my oldest which, to me, isn't what Christmas is all about so it's not fair that he gets so many more boxes b/c he's getting I have to even it out so I buy Drew a few more things. It snowballs. I gotta figure out a better way but watching them get so elated just thrills me and makes me happy!

5. If money were not an issue (and you HAD to pick something), what would your ultimate luxury item be? Wow... a luxury in something tangible.

A new car? No, that's silly. Instantly my thought went to a new camera... but it'd have to have ALL the bells and whistles and a completely new set of lenses with it to play with. So is that an "item" or would that be "itemS?" Hmm...

A travel trailer? Naaa...that's not "luxury." Naah... who cares... I'm not flashy....

... Gosh, I'd have to settle for a beautiful farm house or a cabin in the mountains... with heated slate floors, exposed beam ceilings, and an AMAZING kitchen with stone facade... NO crown molding.. I want it cozy and lived in not stoic and museum-like.

Maybe I need to win Publisher's Clearing House and I'll get them both...

...and a new car...

...and one of those big huge checks made out of foam board. Wouldn't that be fun trying to cash that at the drive thru teller?

Rock N Roll Fridays with Stevie Wonder

Today we picked Stevie Wonder.

1. I JUST CALLED TO SAY I LOVE YOU “I just called to say I love you. I just called to say how much I care. I just called to say I love you, and I mean it from the bottom of my heart”
What did your last conversation revolve around on the phone? I talked to my mom at about 9:40 this morning when she called to tell me a Christmas project the boys had worked on at her house was ruined and they'd have to do it over.

2. SUPERSTITION “When you believe in things That you don't understand, Then you suffer, Superstition aint the way”
Do you have a crazy habit or superstition you must perform in certain situations, such as throwing salt over your should when you spill it? Nope. Not at all. I'm not superstitious.

3. SIR DUKE “Music knows it is and always will Be one of the things that life just won't quit But here are some of music's pioneers That time will not allow us to forget”
If you had to pick a music milestone event or invention, what would it be? Just for the record, this is one of THE best songs by Stevie Wonder... like... ever! It's one of my absolutely favorite songs from my childhood! That being said, I don't really get what this question is asking.... is it asking what milestone I wanted to be PRESENT for or something I'd like to invent or a genre or style??? I don't get it.... I'll skip it...but it's still one of my favorite songs!

4. YOU ARE THE SUNSHINE OF MY LIFE “You are the sunshine of my life, yeah, That's why I'll always stay around, You are the apple of my eye, Forever you'll stay in my heart”
What besides your significant other brings sunshine to your life? Hands down, my children and my dogs... in that order, obviously.

5. LIVING FOR THE CITY “Her brother's smart he's got more sense than many, His patience's long but soon he won't have any, To find a job is like a haystack needle, Cause where he lives they don't use colored people”
Have you ever been denied a job or treated differently at a job for an unusual reason ? Not that I'm aware of.

6. THAT GIRL “That girl thinks that she's so smart, That soon she'll have my heart. She thinks in no time flat, That she'll be free and clear to start”
Ever been pursued by someone who wanted you but you didn’t want them? Um... yeah, it's really uncomfortable to be in that position, too. Even when you're BLUNT and very outright like I am.

7. I WISH “I wish those days could come back once more, Why did those days ev-er have to go
I wish those days could come back once more, Why did those days ev-er have to go
Cause I love them so”
What era of your life do you miss the most? You know, it's not really an era of life, I just miss my grandmother being alive. I miss being able to call her and visit her and sit at her kitchen table and share a Diet Coke with her. I miss her cooking and her little house... I miss her aprons and her favorite perfume "Beautiful". She was that...

8. HIGHER GROUND “Powers keep on lyin', While your people keep on dyin', World keep on turnin', Cause it won't be too long”
Do you believe global warming will continue to worsen? I don't believe in global warming anymore than I believe in the Easter Bunny. It was already proven that the scientists invalidated the data by putting what they wanted into their studies. If an unbiased study comes out, I may pay attention but I can't see how anything we're currently doing to the planet is good at all... burying the trash, drilling in the oceans, tons of cars, smog, killing forests, making plastics... something's eventually gotta give...

9. PART TIME LOVER” We are undercover passion on the run. Chasing love up against the sun, We are strangers by day, lovers by night. Knowing it's so wrong, but feeling so right.”
Have you ever dated someone you shouldn’t have because they were married or “taken”? Nope.

10. SIGNED SEALED DELIVERED ” Then that time I went and said goodbye, Now I'm back and not ashamed to cry. Oo, baby, here I am, signed, sealed, delivered, I'm yours!”
Ever try it again with an old flame? What happened? It never works. Ok, I won't say "never" but I'd venture to say about 99.99999% of the time it never works. One of you won't be able to let go of the crap that started the issues that you're supposed to forgive them for. Eventually, SOMEONE has to grow up and move on. It's never the same the second time around.

11. MY CHERIE AMOUR “Maybe someday, you'll see my face among the crowd. Maybe someday, I'll share your little distant cloud. Oh, cherie amour, pretty little one that I adore, You're the only girl my heart beats for, How I wish that you were mine”
Who was your very first crush? Did they return the emotion? I want to say it was Robert Antonetti in 4th grade. Yes... he wound up being my first boyfriend.

12. GOLDEN LADY “Golden lady, golden lady I'd like to go there. Take me right away.”
Ever get a tanning salon/ fake tan? Do you still worship the sun? I have gotten a fake bake before. It's the only time in my life I had a tan. I have a moon tan now but I think it helps me stay younger looking because I certainly don't have the wrinkles and sun damage a lot of my friends do.

13. ALL IN LOVE IS FAIR “I tossed my coin to say In love with me you'd stay. But all in war is so cold
You either win or lose. When all is put away, The losing side I'll play. But all is fair in love…”
What is the worst aspect of breaking up/divorce? I guess it would depend on whom you're asking this of... are you asking the one that is being broken up WITH or Divorced? Or the one that is moving on... or in terms of fall-out? I think the fall-out CAUSED from the divorce... feeling like certain people have to make alliances... you could lose friendships... if it's an unwanted divorce... the pit of depression this puts you in... has to just suck the life out of your life.

A season of thanksgiving... day 19

I'm thankful for...

...the memories I have of my grandparents. The boys had grandparents day at school today... made me realize all the things I learned from my grandmother that I'm thankful for..

... to appreciate hard work and self sacrifice
... to cook
... be creative in the every day
... to sew
... to embroider
... to love selflessly

The Adventure of Advent...

It seems that even before the turkey is carved and everyone's stuffed full of stuffing that minds are pondering, "... okay, in 15 minutes this one is done and over with. Thanksgiving is then out of the way -- let's bring on CHRISTMAS!"

But, whoa, wait a minute! What about THANKSGIVING?! It's an entire day devoted to being, well, thankful. Not just in the moments before grace is said prior to the meal. Why the rush? What's the hurry?

We all seem to look forward to Halloween because it's the start of the fall but then Thanksgiving is so... rushed through and for that matter, almost looked over simply because of all commercialism of Christmas. You know what I'm talking about, the Black Friday ads, sales notices that have already been inundating our e-mail boxes for weeks. We're getting a small forest of catalogs in the mailbox and yes, they've even begun playing Christmas music on the radio. We are ALL WELL AWARE that Christmas is around the corner but seriously, let's just take time to relish and cherish the season and the moment that we're in! Don't be so quick to move on and forget those all-so-important details... for it's in those little details that real memories are made.

However, in a quest to indeed make those little moments more meaningful in my own home, I'm currently planning our advent ADVENTure for the month of December.

I'll share with you in the next few days my Thanksgiving plans (since I know you already have your own)... but in the here and now, since I am a planner (and, more importantly) my boys are currently not in the house and I have a chance TO plan, I AM planning part of my Christmas right now. Not because I can't wait for it to be here but because I want the meaning and reason of the season... and all the beauty it entails to fill my children's hearts and minds this year. For instance, one thing we're doing this year is an advent calendar.

An advent calendar? you ask?

Yeah, an advent calendar.

I see the raised brow and the pursed lips. Yeah, yeah, I've done the other kind of advent calendars before, too. The ones that are $1.99, come in a cardboard box and are filled with little pieces of chocolate behind printed numbers.

This year, we're not even going to touch that, those are for the birds. This year is different. This year we're going to have a deeper meaning and appreciation for not only the Christmas spirit but the celebration of the every day.

There are several things we're going to do on our advent... it's going to be an ADVENTure!

The advent calendar itself I'm still figuring out and will make that tomorrow as I need to time the activities with the boys' schedules at school. I can't have labor intensive activities on school nights or nights when we are planning to be gone. So, I've printed out my December calendar (the first step in any holiday planning) and am figuring out what works best for what day each day of December up to Christmas day. I'll include my list once I get it finalized tonight.

Another thing I'm including as part of our advent is the book adventure. I'm going to pick 25 Christmas books and we are going to read at least ONE Christmas book each day on the way to Christmas. I'm going to go grab the books off the shelf this weekend and create little envelopes of the days. This will be strung up on the wall upstairs and these will be our bedtime stories for the month of December. We will take time to read them and really talk about them.. maybe even do some crafts the following day based on them. But this year, the adventure of advent will include books.

During the month of December, I'm also going to do movie nights on Friday AND Saturday -- heck, I may even throw in a Wednesday there too! I love Christmas movies. So our Christmas ADVENTure will include movies.... all kinds of movies... like:
    • National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
    • A Charlie Brown Christmas
    • How The Grinch Stole Christmas (Jim Carrey Version)
    • How The Grinch Stole Christmas (original version)
    • Home Alone
    • Santa Claus the Movie (with Dudley Moore)
    • Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas
    • Holiday Inn (I love old classics!)
    • The Polar Express (this was an instant classic for me)
    • A Christmas Carol (the 1938 or the 1951 version, I haven't seen the new
      one to know if it's any good or not!)
    • Frosty the Snowman (this animated classic just warms my heart, no pun
    • Santa Claus is Coming To Town (the old stop-motion animation)
    • Elf (buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp, "Did you HEAR that?" Gosh I love this movie! Buddy is da BOMB!)
    • The Muppets Christmas Carol
    • White Christmas (again, the classics)
    • Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer (1964 stop motion animation again -- love
    • Miracle on 34th Street (the black and white original - LOVE IT!)
    • The Santa Claus 1, 2 and 3
    • It's a Wonderful Life
    • Yes, Virginia, There IS a Santa Claus
    • The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
    • Santa Buddies
    • A Christmas Story
    • The 12 Dogs of Christmas
    • Fred Claus
    • Jingle All The Way
    • Mickey's Once Upon A Christmas
    • Mickey's Twice Upon A Christmas

And what's better is that you don't even have to own all these movies, many of them are shown on tv. I don't think I know too many people that sustain without a DVR unit so being able to watch them with your own family is easy as pie! Just start looking to record them NOW so you don't miss out! For instance, ABC has their 25 days of Christmas schedule on their website available for download HERE so now you have no excuse for missing the good ones!

AND, if you need a more thorough list check out THIS ONE as she has taken Christmas movie listing to a new height! It's an OCD, planners dream!

Another feature of our ADVENTure is a daily bible devotion. Yes, I am fully aware that we SHOULD be doing this but I don't always put this on the forefront as I should. What a great time for me to get this in the habit. I'm going to make this part of our month-long ADVENTure... focusing on what this holiday is about and learning more about the Word together. I'll put more into this as I get it wrapped up, too.

So, print out that December calendar and start writing down the fun you want to have this coming Christmas season! I can't wait!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A season of thanksgiving... day 18

I'm thankful for...

... Kleenex. I'm sick.

End of story today.

You know...

... you're both sick and high-tech when you're too sick to get out of bed and TEXT your 11 year old son to wake up.

My text: "WAKE UP!!!"

The extra exclamation points make it louder -- in theory.

The shocker, the kid got up!

And, not only did he get up... he got his little brother up, too!

I asked him to wake up the biggest of all boys and let him know that the morning routine was on him that I was too sick to get up.

God bless my man... (FYI... I'm slowly on the mend... felt like the flu)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday Wickedness with Boy George

Today we picked Boy George. Here's Wednesday Wickedness!

1. “I can do anything. In GQ, I appeared as a man.”
What have you done that really surprised people?
Easy, I got divorced. In one of my old jobs -- I've done lots of things that surprised people. For instance, I've talked to a woman who just shot her husband. I talked to a man going into a diabetic coma. I helped coordinate a rescue of a girl trapped in her car basically waiting to die during a blizzard.

2. “I suppose there is a lot of toughness in me.”
What was the last thing that happened that showed you how tough you are?
I squeezed an entire person out of me. I think that's pretty freakin tough!

3. “I try to exist in a world where there is freedom of opinion, where you're allowed to make jokes. I don't want to live in some PC world where no-one's allowed to say anything.”
What do you think about being PC (politically correct)?
I think POLITEness has been confused with POLITICAL CORRECTness. It's one thing to be polite, it's quite another to be PC. There are lots of ways that you can still be who you are, think what you want and still be POLITE, as you SHOULD be. However, I don't feel anyone is under any obligation to succomb their feelings just for the sake of being politically correct.

Our country is/was under attack from Muslim extremist terrorists. However, because of political correctness, we can't target JUST THEM as potential terrorists because that's discrimination and racial profiling. Because of being politically correct, my (then) toddler son gets a secondary (and I think a third) search at an airport security checkpoint. Yeah, there are LOTS of Caucasian toddlers waiting to blow up buildings.

Frankly, being politically correct is stupidity in it's purest form. Have an opinion. Grow a pair! Stand up for what you believe in. Quit bowing down to the masses just cuz you're afraid you might hurt someone's feelings. There is no guarantee you won't be offended about something but it's not anyone's job to censor themselves out of everything in life on the off chance SOMEONE may be offended because you refuse to be "politically correct".

4. “I find it difficult to say this, but I'm quite a loving person and I've always been loving to my friends. In the long run, that pays off. I'm very interested in other people, and if you are, they're interested in you.”
Do you have an easy time making friends? Sure!

5. “Remember that I was out of the closet at the age of sixteen. My parents knew I was gay; I'd had to tell them.”
At what age and situation were you in when you “came out”, in the sense of true honesty, with your parents? Well, I'm not gay. To me the very essence of the quoted statements MEANS to tell people that you're gay. However, in the spirit of the question... I can't be sure. I think at some point you just reach a place in your life where you just speak your mind and realize that petty guilt trips and head games won't work on you anymore. Generally speaking, those that depended on them will get ticked but in the grand scheme of things, it's better for everyone to be true to yourself like that and not let others impact your state of being.

6. “People say things about me all the time and I get over it. I've had some appalling things told about me.”
What is the worst lie that was told about you that you felt compelled to respond to? If it mattered, I would have remembered. Therefore, that's proof positive that a) it didn't matter enough to even let it phase me; and b) I don't have the energy to hang onto such petty crap.

7. “I'd rather have a cup of tea than sex.”
Are there a lot of things more important than sex to you? Of course, life isn't all about sex... Sex is something that helps make your life complete and more deep when you have a mate but that alone shouldn't do anything to define your life.

8. “I knew style and content went hand in hand.”
What celebrity do you find that their sense of style speaks to you? Lady Gag-me for sure! I love the thought of wearing wigs, meat, grass and 12" platform shoes.

9. “In the '60s everybody wanted to be the Beatles or the Stones, in the '70s there were bands everybody tried to emulate, like Led Zeppelin. And I think in the '80s you had lots of bands that had quite individual sounds, ... '80s Rewind.”
What do you think about today's music? How does it compare to what you consider YOUR day? Today's music... I wouldn't know because I don't listen to it. I hit a point a few years ago and I just quit listening to pop music for the most part. I don't feel a connection with a 15 year old belting out love songs. LONG LIVE HAIR BANDS!

10. “Most psychiatrists or analysts are a waste of time.”
What do you think about shrinks and psychologists? They are getting paid to be the devil's advocate to get you to think about how to really be your true self. If you need to pay someone to help build your confidence or learn some people skills, who am I to balk at that? Sometimes, people just need someone to talk to.

Thanks for checking out our Wednesday craziness. We hope you join us again. Please visit our other player's posts and make a comment. Join us next week for our next meme!

A season of thanksgiving... day 17

I'm thankful for...

... finding something I love on sale.

... time alone with girlfriends (I can't wait to have that again).

... Canton, TX - it's such a fun place to be

... medical professionals that do things that no one else would want to... I'd never want to make a career out of cutting, poking or prodding people. YUCK.

... George Strait -- Love his music.

... Elvis Presley -- Hunka hunka burnin' love.

... my pink Blackberry Curve. I think it's the only thing pink that I own.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Baby it's cold outside!

With the incoming cooler weather, it's time to get ready for fall!

I've had the fireplace cleaned. Do you realize it's only $99 to do a 2 story fireplace? That's a pretty cheap price to ensure you're not going to burn your house down!

I've also broken out the tub o' stuff. What is the tub o' stuff you ask? Why it's a handy-dandy Rubbermaid tub that is full of our winter gear that I pack up each spring. Since Josh had a late game on Saturday, and it was chilly, I had to get the scarves, hats and gloves for my brood. Not until I start going through said bucket do I realize just how many gloves, hats and scarves we possess. How does one organize such a jumbled pile of wool and fleece? Easy--clear, vinyl shoe hangers.

I ran to The Container Store and bought a clear vinyl shoe hanger where I will assign each person a row. Their gloves will be paired and in a pocket; hats will be rolled and inserted as well. Scarves are hung on the lovely hooks my mom made for us. We have a couple of really, really thick and long scarves that will hang on hangers in the coat closet. But that, is the best, most efficient way to keep our goods organized for the chilly weather.

Another thing I do when the weather starts to turn colder and the leaves start to change is adding soups/stews to our weekly menu. Good hearty soups and stews that warm your insides when it's cold on the outside! I like to make Italian wedding soup, beef stew, taco soup, chicken enchilada soup, Chicken Tortilla soup, potato soup, baked potato soup, chicken n' dumplin's and then, of course, CHILI! This year I plan to add a few new ones to the rotation this year. I'll keep you posted on those.

Another of my favorite things this time of year is to OBVIOUSLY (from the size of my butt, just kidding, sort of, quit looking at my butt!) indulge in the fall foods.... pumpkin spice muffins a la Pioneer Woman. I made these the other day. They made the entire house smell heavenly!

I need to share some more of these recipes, huh?

A season of thanksgiving... day 16

Today I'm thankful for:

...good friends like Kelly.

... having a room dedicated to my hobby so that WHEN I get time to get back in there I will have so much fun!

... knowing that Thanksgiving is just around the corner... making my plans and lists...

... my new camcorder. I love being able to capture the boys during these times in their lives.

... Rubbermaid storage bins. I swear I have a TON of them. Maternity clothes, fall stuff, christmas stuff, clothes, sports equipment, this, that... and a partridge in a pear tree.

...finding canned pumpkin... ON SALE!

... Scouting. While I didn't make it last night to the Troop meeting as I was under the weather and Josh was loaded with homework... I can't wait to get out there and help him decide where he will be spending the next leg of his Scouting career.

... sweats... because when you don't feel too wonderful... they're heavenly to just slip in and be "dressed" for the day (hey, when you're sick... that's as good as it gets!)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ben's first teething biscuit

This is now forever recorded in time. :)

I'm uploading these (in Feb 2011) very late b/c I had no idea how to get them out of my camcorder but since I know now, I'm postdating them to their actual recording date. :)

It was so fun watching him be excited to hold and chew. THe child hates baby food so as soon as he can have his own stuff, the better!

A season of thanksgiving... day 15

I'm thankful for...

... safe returns from travel.

...strong arms that comfort.

... kolaches from the Czech Stop bakery in West, Texas.

... tweezers. I hate chin hairs. YUCK!

... Sharpie markers. Aren't they just the BEST?

... scrapbooking. I've been able to have a creative outlet and make some of THE best friends just in the name of preserving my family's memories for my kids.

... school supplies. I love shopping for school supplies. There's something about a fresh Pink Pearl eraser or the smell of a new box of Crayola crayons.

... Earl Grey tea on a chilly morning that's been sweetened with a spoonful of honey.... oh wait, is that the kettle calling me now??

Sunday, November 14, 2010

We have toothage!

Ben finally got his first little chomper coming through. For now it's just still BARELY the ridges of a bottom tooth but, you can feel it! It's there. And, silly enough, it makes me sad how fast he's growing up. No more gummy grins. :(

Sunday Stealing

Today we ripped this meme off a blogger named Shanachie from the blog Quill, Parchment, & Ink: Writings and Ramblings. He explains that he was tagged to do it and then basically tagged the world to do the meme. 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. Link back to us at Sunday Stealing!

Sunday Stealing: Another 14 Question Meme

Cheers to all of us thieves!

1. Lots of pillows or just one? Describe your pre-sleeping rituals.
My pre-sleeping ritual. Hmmm... well, typically it starts when there is a little person who is not happy with anything. I carry him into the master bath and draw him a nice warm bath. This is followed by tickle time and giggles on the closet floor while we wait for his little tub to fill up. If he's really fussy, it's an almost immediate soak in the tub. I let him sit for a few and splash then gently recline him back and let him have his bath. Once that's done, we snuggle up into a warm towel and head to the changing table for a diaper and some footie jammies. Daddy usually holds him while I throw on some pj's, brush/floss and then locate my alarm clock (a.k.a. Blackberry). Then I place him down in the bed... snuggle up beside him and we fall asleep. He usually has to rock around a little until he decides if it's a left, right or flat back night.

2. What kind of books do you read? I enjoy all different genres of books. I read a lot of parenting books (obviously) but I also enjoy reading cook books. Don't laugh -- it's true! I've found out some great recipes by simply reading a lot of cookbooks. I enjoy comedies and a good thriller. I really like Anne Rice -- the ORIGINAL vampire author. I've never read Twilight though I do own the book. I love classics (well, MY classics!)-- Little Women, The Hobbit, The Chronicles of Narnia and I read a LOT of books to my boys because I want them to learn that there is SO much more to a book than the words. No where else can you be transported by a place limited only by your own imagination --- than between the covers of a book.

3. What are your neighbors like? Neighbors... typical neighbors, I suppose. Some are just the kind you wave "hi" to as you drive by. Some are the kind that have less-than-desirable children. Some are the kind that you'll hang out in your front yard and talk to for a while because they're just so personable. Some are friends you have dinner with regularly. No one is perfect but it's certainly a nice blend of personalities so as not to be boring. Who wants to live in a neighborhood with no drama? I mean, come on! This is the perfect cliche of why Desperate Housewives was such a hit to begin with!

4. What's really creepy to you? The darkness. . . after watching a movie like Paranormal Activity. It's creepy to hear the toilet flush upstairs when you know you're in the house alone.

5. What's your current fandom/obsession/addiction? Well, you know after this post how I really am not a fan of celebrities or anything remotely associated with them. So, honestly, the topic of my current obsession/addiction is to make meaningful memories with my kids and husband. As cliche as it sounds, I want my boys to know fun traditions, love, good food. I am addicted to the "idea" of June Cleaver. I'm FAR from perfect, but I certainly still aim to be.

6. Do you prefer your junk food sweet, salty or savory? As long as it's yummalicious, why limit yourself to just one type? Seriously, don't do it. Choose to be limitless!

7. What was the last thing you expensive bought? I didn't buy it but Andy bought ME a new minivan. Other than that, the last thing I bought were groceries. Ha!

8. What is your greatest fear? I addressed that topic in this post.

9. Do you get cravings? If so, what do you crave? Generally, just quiet every now and then. Peace and quiet... I crave organization. Does that count?

10. What do you do to change your mood? To change my mood generally I just realize how stupid it is to be upset over whatever I AM upset over to begin with. And, holding Ben. You have this little person who only wants to be held and smile at you and for you to smile back. How can you be in a bad mood WHILE you're smiling? If you can, I totally fear you. Because you're the epitome of the devil in disguise!

11. What was the last meal you ate that you loved? I love to cook so that's really not fair. The last meal I ate that I loved was probably when we had the whole family over and I made homemade lasagna, bruschetta, Italian wedding soup and Caesar salad. Talk about a delicious and filling meal.

12. Do you want to learn another language? If so, why? I go back and forth on this because why invest the time and energy when you really need complete immersion to truly become fluent. It's kind of like throwing you in to learn to swim. When you're in that environment, you HAVE to learn or you sink. Here, you can revert back. I have the Rosetta Stone for Spanish--still brand new in the box. Right now it's not a priority because, frankly, I don't need it.

13. What's something that you'd like to say to someone right now? "Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." Christopher Robin to Pooh.... A.A. Milne, author

14. What are you looking forward to? Getting ahead of the housework, making my grocery list for Thanksgiving, trying the new pumpkin spice muffins I just baked for the firemen, going to the fire station with my Webelos Den to take the Readyman course today.

A season of 14

I'm thankful for...

...thoughtful children that let me get a nap while doing a quiet activity together. because I've gotten rid of and received a ton of books....all for the cost of postage.

...Dr. Knapp, our pediatrician dad making it home safely

...long eyelashes...they're a blessing and a curse

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A season of 13

I'm thankful for...

...a great football seadon for Josh

...amazing coaches that really have a knack for working with kids

...pie plates, washers and duct tape -- they make grreeeeeat noisemakers for football games chocolate in a thermos on a chilly night

...Pop for being able to take Josh to and from his game

Friday, November 12, 2010

A season of 12

I'm thankful today for my best friend making it home safely from Iraq... That is just the list in it's entirety today. I'm thankful he's back on US soil. Thank you Jesus!

I'm a lot of things....

... and a sugar-coater is not one of them. Life isn't always blue skies and rainbows and sunbeams from Heaven. Sometimes, it's really, really trying.

Yesterday, for example, I was down to the last iota of patience I had. The very last grain of sand in my sanity's hourglass was about to pass between the narrow opening...

Thursday means practice around here. Generally it's both football and baseball practice. However, since Drew's team wrapped up their fall season, we're down to just one practice. Josh's team made it to the playoffs and are tied for 2nd place so they've had practice on both Tuesday and Thursday this week from 6-7:30 p.m. That being said, he gets home from school about 3:15 p.m. and and it's snacks, chores, homework, football. There isn't time for anything else. Especially dinking around.

Here is just -- in a nutshell what I was trying to accomplish! I was trying to clean Drew's room. I don't mean CLEAN clean it, just get it to where you could actually walk through it! I've been moving his size 5 clothes out and putting in the size 6 clothes. Well, what used to be a one day task is turning into a three week ordeal. Seriously... it was FOR.THE.BIRDS. He had crap shoved under his bed, under his dresser, under his clothes in the closet. I finally just started throwing things into "somewhat" manageable piles hoping for a miracle woman to appear and do it for me. (didn't happen).

While I start doing this, I've got a screaming baby gnawing on my ankles. Seriously, he's totally content (for about five minutes) and then you have to deal with that. So I'm seriously considering putting up a playpen for him to scream in while I try to knock out Drew's clothing exchange.

I look down at Ben and his TOE is bleeding. He's got a HUUUUUGE hangnail on his big toe. OK, so now I know why he's probably crying. Fix that.

The boys come home from school and first things first. They must have their snack. This is because Josh, my 5th grader eats lunch at 10:50. TEN FIFTY he's eating lunch?! WTH? Drew my child in kindergarten eats at 11:30. Weird timing they have there.

So, snack --check
Chores -- mostly check
Get ready for football -- check

Then the conversation with "he who doesn't listen."
"Drew -- go get ready for your party."
"What party?"
"Your end of season baseball party. The one you've been asking about allllll week."
"What do I wear?"
"Wear your jersey and some shorts or sweats or something."
"My jersey?"
"Yes, wear your jersey and a shirt underneath it."
"Do I have to wear my baseball pants?"
"No, I said, 'Just wear your jersey and some shorts or sweats or something.'"
"I don't want to wear my baseball pants."
Moments later, he comes downstairs in a pair of Nike Timberwolves shorts (royal blue/black) and a long sleeved St. Patrick's Day GREEN shirt... and Lightning McQueen shoes that are too big. No jersey. I give up.

"MOOooooooooooooooooom." Apparently Josh still needs help with homework... and it's stuff I haven't done in EONS. I'm talking... EEEEEEEEEEEEEEONS!

I go looking online to help him because GENIUS didn't bother to bring his BOOK home. He just has his workbook that goes with it. Brilliant, huh? I KNOW I have math homework and I don't bring my math book home. Yeah, figure that one out. Apparently I should be flattered he thinks I'm so smart I can just pull that stuff out of my .... you know...

Anyway, while I'm searching for an instructional video or something to help me learn how to explain this to him, I've left Ben in the playroom -- within ear shot, yet out of viewing range --with Drew.

And then it happens -- a blood curdling scream --FROM BEN!

I race to the room and Drew's only thing, "It was an accident." ???? No, dropping your milk on the table is an accident. WHAT was an accident? He didn't say ANYTHING other than "It was an accident."

Ok... my blood begins to boil. Seriously. I'm thinking fury. Filling with rage. Ok.. maybe not fury and rage but I'm definitely pissed off and full of severe irritation. I just ask him, "What the hell did you DO?" I just look down at where Ben was... and the poor kid was SURROUNDED by Tinker toys about his head. Drew was pelting the kid with tinker toys in the HEAD?! WTF! Have you SEEN how huge those things are to PELT A BABY IN THE HEAD WITH?! Seriously. I was so, SOOOOOO beyond mad that I was just done. I knew anything that came out of my mouth from that point on was going to be a) not pleasant and b) something I couldn't take back.

"Get your butt in the car."

I had to physically calm down before I beat the child to death and told God he died.

I just said, "Shame on you. You're supposed to be the one to protect him from harm, not inflict it upon him. SHAME ON YOU!"

I had ever intention of him NOT going to his party at this point but ... then I didn't want to even BE AROUND HIM because I knew the lecture would spew.

Ben is screaming uncontrollably. He will NOT calm down. I have to buckle him in the car seat screaming and he remains crying until we're a good 5 minutes down the road. The kid is clearly distressed.

At football practice, and I drop off Josh. Their practice is over at 7:30 p.m. I drive down the road and meet up with Andy. I explain to him through clenched teeth about our little episode and then he sees Drew's not in a team function... and he says the same thing we always do when the kids are so BEYOND mismatched, "You look homeless!" He's clearly irritated and we let Drew go to the party only because a) we've RSVP'd and paid for it and b) Andy's an assistant coach and it'd look bad if he weren't there.

I leave. I take a moment to enjoy the silence...since Ben's cried himself to sleep.

I wonder where in the world I will go with this new found ninety minutes of freedom. I go grab some onion rings at Dickey's BBQ. Them the smell coming from that place alone is enough to make you salivate like a Pavlovian dog.

Knowing I have no other purpose to be out, I head home.

I get a phone call, they're coming home. Drew got two trophies (well, a trophy and a medal). I rain on the parade, however. He is grounded for being a... well, an IDIOT!

The evening ritual starts ... I get him bathed and then try to get him to sleep. Ben lays down for about 15 minutes... cry... and then All.Night.Long. tossed and turned and was NEVER HAPPY anywhere. He finally went to sleep about 11pm. 7:30-8 is his usual. And this is even without a nap. I knew something was up. Drew broke him with the Tinker toys! (Just kidding, but I'll use that mommy guilt whenever I can...don't think I'm above milking that one for all it's worth!)

Ben. He is one MISERABLE kid.

That makes for one MISERABLE-ER mom.
Yes, I said, "Miserable-er"
It's a word. How do I know? Because I just used it! Duh!

It was a LONG NIGHT waking up crying every 20 minutes or so. He would never settle down. He was just so unhappy.

I wake up today for the umteenth time but for good at 5:20 a.m. and Ben's hands are BURNING hot. 101 temperature. Here it comes. He's obviously sick. I nurse him and then make waffles for the big boys.

Drew has his car show at school. I made him a Lightning McQueen car. Basically, it's just a chance for the little guys in K to have their parents make them a car out of a box and then they do a parade around the school, through chapel and then into the high school to meet up with their high school buddies.

It's always fun to spend the better part of two days turning a box into a car for him to wear proudly around school only to put it in the trash a few days later. Parent homework. It sucks.

With my lack of sleep, all I can say is "Thank God for carpools!"

I call Dr. Knapp while I'm standing in the hallway of the Elementary School waiting for the car show to start to make Ben a doctor's appointment. 10:00 a.m. It's 8:30 a.m. -- good -- plenty of time. We get there and wait 40 minutes to be seen (ugh) He comes in to see Ben and we have a chat. HE can't see his ear drums as there's some ear was in the way. He has to get a special tool and proceeds (after three tries) to remove a HUGE piece of ear wax from both ears. Seriously, it was disgusting, yet morbidly fascinating. I'm wondering how the kid could hear AT ALL. It was SO GROSS!

However, that cleared the way for the inevitable -- double ear infection. Poor baby.

I left the doctor's office and headed to Chick Fil A for lunch.

Baby Ben finally took a well-deserved nap in the swing.

Then, come to think of it, I'm really not feeling all that well....Oh, and did I mention that Andy's leaving town tonight? Murphy's Law. I live and breathe it. BUT -- it will not get the best of me.

So the run down for Thursday/Friday was... I'm sick with a sick kid. Josh has a party to go to at 3:45 this afternoon. I haven't gotten a gift for his friend yet. His playoff game is at 7:30 PM tomorrow. Ben's bedtime is at, oh yeah, you guessed it - 7:30 p.m. Since there is no one else here to go TO his playoff game, I obviously have to go... with a sick-o and I have a grounded Drew for the weekend.

It's going to be freakin' PEACHY in my life this weekend...stay away!

Five Question Friday

Okie doke...let's get this Five Question Friday goin'!

Questions for Friday, November 12th: (Special thanks to Bethany, [inspiration from] Pam,Sandy, Liz, [inspiration from] Colleen for their question suggestions! If YOU would like to be linked in a future 5QF, c'mon over to my community and offer up your best questions!)

1. What is the most physically painful thing that has ever happened to you?

Hands down, the after effects of childbirth. I had an epidural so the delivery wasn't bad. I mean, it wasn't a walk in the park either, but once that epidural wore off and you're left with healing... you know from passing a St. Bernard through the cat door.. yeah, OUCH. Freakin' ouch to be exact!

2. How much sleep do you get at night?

I guess that just depends on when I go to sleep, doesn't it? Ha! I NEED 7-8 hours to function properly so I try to go to bed by 10 pm. and get up around 5:30 - 6am.

3. How long did you believe in Santa Claus? How did you find out that he does not exist?

What do you MEAN there is no Santa Claus?

4. What was the last movie you saw in a theater?

I saw a couple of movies this summer with Drew. They must have been REALLY good since I don't remember which ones they were at all (ha). Seriously, though, they were just kid movies that he'd already seen but that were re-released during the summer for a thing for kids/parents to do together during the day.

5. What do you wear to bed?

Pajamas. Duh.

Rock 'N Roll Friday with The Cure

Today we picked The Cure. The song's lyrics are in bold.

1. FRIDAY I’M IN LOVE “Monday you can fall apart, Tuesday, Wednesday break my heart. Oh, Thursday doesn't even start, It's Friday I'm in love”
Do you have a certain day of the week for particular meal, such as pizza night or a family night, such as Game night? No, but you know, I think I probably should just to a) make it easier on me and b) make it easier on me. Ha! We generally have football and baseball on Tues/Thurs so I try to have crock pot meals on those nights but as far as planning anything week-in and week-out, I honestly don't like to eat the same thing every week. So, that'd probably be hard for me to do for that reason alone.

2. LOVECATS “We should have each other to tea huh? We should have each other with cream, Then curl up by the fire And sleep for awhile”
What is your favorite brand of tea (or iced tea)? If I'm drinking sweet tea, I like Luzianne decaf. If I'm drinking hot tea, I like Earl Grey or Lady Grey with a spot of honey. Mmmmm.

3. LETS GO TO BED “Another girl, Another name, Stay alive but stay the same
It's just the same, A stupid game”
Have you ever joined a dating service or used personal ads to find a date? On-line service, sure. Personal ad, never.

4. NEVER ENOUGH “However big I ever feel, It's never enough. Whatever I do to make it real, It's never enough. In any way I try to speak. Never enough”
What is the last project you worked hard on, only to get knocked down with friends /family insults about it? I don't have THAT kind of friends or family. That's what enemies do... friends and family are there to support you and build you up so that when your confidence waivers, their support never does.

5. JUST LIKE HEAVEN "Show me how you do that trick, The one that makes me scream" she said. "The one that makes me laugh" she said. And threw her arms around my neck . "Show me how you do it And I promise you I promise that
I'll run away with you "
What’s your best trick? I can help with homework, soothe a fussy baby, play Candy Land and cook dinner ALL at the same time! :) Talk about magic!

6. INBETWEEN DAYS “Yesterday I got so old I felt like I could die. Yesterday I got so old It made me want to cry…”
When was the last time you felt old or were told by someone else that you were too old to do something? The last time I felt old? Gosh, I feel OLD every DAY. I mean, I'm pushing FORTY! Yikes! I remember when I was in junior high school and my friend had a sister in her TWENTIES? GOSH, she was OLD. Then I was in high school and 20s weren't bad, it was the THIRTIES (GASP!) And now I'm there and I'm like. Yeah, I DO feel old sometimes! I've got some kind of issue with my feet. I have FEET PROBLEMS? Seriously... isn't that what old decrepit people have to deal with? I have abdominal issues. Again, that's old people stuff. You know, drinkin' Metamucil and talking fiber and vitamins. And don't even get me STARTED talking about crow's feet and sun spots. I see my hands... they look like old hands.

7. WHY CANT I BE YOU “Everything you do is irresistible; Everything you do is simply kissable Why can't I be you?”
What would you say to your favorite celebrity if you met them in person? You know, I don't get all starry-eyed for anyone (other than Rick Springfield). I don't care TO meet celebrities. I don't care. I know it's so not "American" to not give a flip... but I really DON'T give a flip: what Miley's doing or how many times Lindsay is going to go to jail or how many more kids Brangelina are going to adopt or have. I don't care if Paris opens a cocaine factory or if anyone else releases a "sex tape" just for publicity sake. I don't care if Brittany is having another mental breakdown or if someone got spat on by Justin Beiber. I don't care about Michael Jackson's kids and I don't care who is being sued by their parents. I could care less about their trashy, ridiculous fashion trends or if they pick their nose in public. I could care less if someone trips on the red carpet, if they shave their head, who they're sleeping with or if they're nominated for awards. Celebrity-schelebrity! Who cares. I don't! :) NEXT QUESTION!

8. THIS TWILIGHT GARDEN “I lift my eyes from watching you
to watch the star rise shine onto your dreaming face and dreaming smile
you're dreaming worlds for me “
What is the nicest thing about sleeping with someone else, or sleeping alone? Well, hands down, sleeping alone is the best because you get the whole bed to yourself, no one steals the covers, you can have it dark, quiet and there is NO SNORING! I am SUCH a light sleeper and having to deal with snoring...lets just say that it makes me less than pleasant.

However, it's nice to sleep with someone beside you... because you feel safer. If your feet are cold, you've got a body heater right there. You've got someone to warm up the bed for you and if you just feel like a late night rendezvous -- hey! There they are!

Sleeping with your little baby next to you, however, is SUCH a wonderful, soul-filling experience for me. I love to see his face as he falls asleep. I love watching him stroke the silky blanket against his face. I love seeing his face first thing in the morning and being the first person I get to interact with. I love when he scootches right next to me to snuggle. I know these days are fleeting and so I cherish this more than anything right now.

9. PRIMARY “The innocence of sleeping children Dressed in white And slowly dreaming Stops all time Slow my steps and start to blur; So many years have filled my heart I never thought I'd say those words”
What do children do that amuses you most? Lack common sense. For instance, Josh was hungry. I suggested he make a sandwich. Good idea. He walks into the kitchen and get the components lined up for him TO make a sandwich then he decides he's not hungry enough for a whole sandwich. I suggest to make a half of a sandwich. His reply? It was, "What do I do with the other half?"

10. 10:15 ON A SATURDAY NIGHT “Under the strip light, And I'm sitting
In the kitchen sink, And the tap drips , Drip drip drip drip drip drip drip drip”
What was the last appliance or household item you fixed? Hmmm... I don't "fix" stuff. I break it. I call my mom to fix stuff. She's awesome like that.

11. BOYS DON’T CRY “I would say I'm sorry If I thought that it would change your mind; But I know that this time I've said too much Been too unkind “
What was the last thing you said to someone that you wish you could take back? OH I'm sure it's something on a daily basis... probably "shit" since I know that's not the nicest thing to mutter in front of your children. Sometimes, however, the expletives fly. What are you gonna do? I'm human. Sue me.

12. CATERPILLAR “You flicker And you're beautiful You glow inside my head
You hold me hypnotized I'm mesmerized Your flames The flames that kiss me dead “
What is your favorite insect? You know, I've never really considered HAVING a favorite insect. I mean... bugs are bugs are bugs. As long as they're outside.... they're all kind of all right with me. Well, other than anything that buzzes when it flies or stings... or even worse -- BOTH! There is no room for THOSE kind of bugs in my Utopian society. I like pill bugs or roly poly bugs. Snails, are they bugs? I think snails are cool. We had some as pets once. They're hermaphroditic... did you know that? Yeah, those two turned into like four hundred and eighty snails real quick. They like red leaf lettuce. But if snails aren't bugs, then I'd definitely have to say butterflies. They're so dainty and beautiful.

13. CHARLOTTE SOMETIMES “Sometimes I'm dreaming Expressionless the trance Sometimes I'm dreaming So many different names Sometimes I'm dreaming The sounds all stay the same “
What era in history would you like to visit for one day? I would LOVE to go back to the old West. I'd like to see how the women cooked and gardened and quilted and lived. However, I think it'd be quite awesome to go back to biblical days and see Jesus speak. How about witnessing the dinosaurs first hand so you could tell the scientists they were full of pook on some of their theories. What about going back to the days of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round table.... or to witness George Washington crossing the Potomac or ... wow, too many to choose from. OOOOh wait.... I'll take the sports almanac and go back and place some bets! Ha ha! I'll OWN this country!