Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Motherload

I'm an anal retentive organizer. I like things neat and orderly. I like having a routine in place so that I can deal with grace the unexpected as it occurs. As such, and I've posted about this on several occasions, I've been trying to find a way to make my organization work for me while trying to fit my style into other's plans.

You know what? It simply was not working!

I'm a digital hybrid. While some people like to have their home management binders with them at all time -- that's far too much for me to tote around at any given time, plus what if you forgot it or God forbid, left it somewhere! GASP! There goes your brain! That alone wasn't going to cut the mustard. (what does that mean anyway? Who cuts mustard?)

That being said, I DO have a Home Management Binder (and I'll get into that shortly), but right now I'm talking about how to make the digital and the paper mesh coherently. I don't like having to redo things just so they're on paper when I've already done them electronically. I want to do it once and have it done. Period.

I'm a list maker. I love my to-do lists. However, I hate how ugly those lists become once you've scratched off a few things. That causes me stress so I redo the list. Efficient? Absolutely not.

I've bought personal planners. I've downloaded tons of forms to use. I've read blogs. You name it, I've probably tried it. And frankly, like I said, nothing was working. I refused to give up my digital organization for handwriting just to have it fit into someone else's plan.

I had to create a system FOR ME that works for MY family. And while it's still a work in progress, I have much of the legwork done thus far.

Electronically I was doing great. I used Microsoft Outlook and frankly it has everything i could ever need. It has my e-mail, my contact list, a sticky-note section, a task list, a calendar. It didn't, however, have the ability to sync with my smart phone. No bueno.

So, first things first, I made the switch to Google for my calendar. It took some getting used to, but I have grown to love it. I love how handy it is and how my information is accessible from my phone instantly. I can make changes, edit it, etc. With Outlook, I couldn't do that unless I manually connected my phone to the computer to sync it. I don't have time (nor do I remember) to do that.

In Google calendar each family member has a color. The school has its own color. Scouting events that we may or may not go to but that are going on -- has a color. Events in the DFW area has a color. It's so nice to see my world so colorful at a moment's notice. That makes me happy.

So, for the calendar - it's digital and Google is king. I can print it out if need be and put it anywhere it needs to go.

However, the one feature that Google doesn't have is one that I really, really need and utilized routinely in Microsoft Outlook -- the task list. Google has no way of scheduling a recurring task unless you just create a calendar for tasks but if you want all your daily tasks to appear on your calendar, that is going to be ONE CROWDED CALENDAR!

What to do? Frankly, I'm still a little perplexed about that. However, I have come to the conclusion that the only way I'm really going to do the tasks on my task list is obviously, when I'm home. So, those CAN stay on Outlook and I can just make a point to check it each day.

Then again, there is always Cozi. Cozi is a free application that you can access from your phone or any computer. It has a calendar feature, too. It will email reminders. However, you can't sync Outlook's task list and Cozi. And Cozi's "to do" list isn't able to be sorted. You also can't assign a due date for anything. No bueno.

In Outlook, you can have recurring tasks that you manually check off. That, is awesome! Once you check them off, they resort back to whatever predefined date they are scheduled to recur. If they're past due, they're in red. It's fantastic. I just wish Google would COPY Microsoft Outlook's task list feature and then my world would just be butterflies and roses!

So, for the time being, until Google wises up, they are my go-to source for calendaring. Outlook is my running to-do list and email handler.

Now that I've established a way for me to have electronic means to manage my time and tasks... what are those tasks? Please note that I created and manage my lists ON PAPER just in the event of an electronic crash, I have my back up in hand.

I went through and created a list of what things I wanted done on a daily basis. This will be different for everyone, obviously.
Mine are:
  • Daily devotional
  • Kelly's Zone Mission of the Day (from
  • Weekly Home Blessing (again, from - this is my day to clean)
  • 15 minute hot spot clean up (you know those places where everything seems to pile up all the time? Yeah, that place -- set the timer for 15 minutes and purge/clean!)
  • Set dinner out to thaw
  • Daily photo
  • Blog
  • Process 5 recipes
  • Edit/upload 1 past album into Snapfish
  • Load of laundry
Then rotating through the week there are things that I do DAILY but on certain days of the week. For instance:

Mondays are playdates with the GCSML

Tuesdays I scrapbook and clean out the fridge

Wednesdays I check out two websites that I love but always forget about. I send out thank you cards, I do Zone cleaning (from and I go to the grocery store.

Thursdays I do errands

Fridays I do filing of any papers

Saturdays I match the socks

Sundays I wash sheets and sync up the weeks' calendars in the house, restock the diaper bag and plan the week's menu

This isn't rocket science but it really helps to have a day set to do something so if you are asked to do something you know if you'll realistically have time to do it. That way, too, if I have an option, I know to schedule errands ON my errand day.

So where do YOU start? Grab some blank notebook paper and at the top write your list and then start numbering. Leave yourself enough room to write the days/months along the right edge when you're done.
  1. Create your daily list.
  2. Create your specific day list.
  3. Create your weekly list. Other items may include: go through magazines, clean out purse, clean out car, etc.
  4. Create your monthly list
  5. Create your bi-monthly list
  6. Create your quarterly list
  7. Create your bi-annual list
  8. Create your annual list.
Then you simply go through and figure out when doing each item best works for you and your family.

My lists look something like this:

  • heartworm preventative to the dogs
  • cut the kids finger/toe nails (gross, but necessary)
  • Check out the free workshops at Lowe's and Home Depot for the kids
  • See what kind of festivals or special events are going on around the area
  • get the boys hair cut
  • clean out the garage
  • run a cup of vinegar through the dishwasher and washer
  • Run a cup of bleach through the washer
  • replace toothbrushes (am I the only one that forgets?)
  • replace baking soda in the fridge/freezer
  • Go stock up at Costco
  • Clean blinds
  • Wash all bedding
  • Change batteries in the smoke detectors
  • Dental appointments
  • Carpet cleaning
  • Cleaning the light fixtures in the hard to reach areas
  • Clean oven
  • Have windows cleaned
  • Check dryer exhaust pipe
  • Clean out junk drawers
  • Clean out and wipe down refrigerator
  • Dust cabinet tops
  • vacuum mattresses
  • kids' well check ups at pediatrician
  • obgyn
  • eye dr
  • winterize outdoor faucets
  • check/repair interior caulking
  • drain sediment from water heater
  • vacuum fridge coils
  • clean chimney
  • stock car with cold weather gear
  • stock car with warm weather gear
  • have rugs cleaned
  • trim trees
  • organize attic
  • service heater
  • service AC
  • flip/rotate mattresses
  • clean gutters
  • have drapes cleaned
  • dogs to vet
However, there are things that are specific to January that I want to accomplish so you kind of have to have a list of just "January" items and "February" items and so on.

So, what this led me to do was to create myself a "daily docket" sheet for each day of the week that I have laminated and stuck in the front of my home management binder. Since there are 365 days in a year, I certainly didn't want to use 365 pieces of paper (that's hardly tree-hugger friendly) . I also created a check-off to do list for each month that has the items above, as well as month-specific items to accomplish. I have no problems using 12 pieces of paper so I write directly on these and just add more in the blanks if there are other things I want to do that month.

An example would be January. I took the items off of my master task list that were to be done in January and put those on first and then added the other specific items I wanted to accomplish that month.

  • heartworm prevention to dogs
  • cut kids toe/finger nails
  • dental appointments for boys
  • hair cuts for boys
  • plan a date night
  • Scrapping: create Valentine's cards
  • Change air filters
  • Take down Christmas decorations
  • Birthday cards prepped and mailed
  • clean out fireplace ashes
  • Create a time capsule for this year / do a Kid's letter
  • Photos to take this month (and it includes a list of those)
  • and then there are several blank lines for me to write on.
As I find other print outs and ideas, I will just add those behind this and tweak/add what we like and then throw them away once they're added.

THEN what I've done with these sheets is take them and plug ALL this into Microsoft Outlook's task list. This way I get daily reminders of what I need to do if I don't open my home management binder AND it also helps someone else step into my shoes (using the paper version) so they can help our home run smoothly in my absence.

In a nutshell, I've created a list that I use as my master to do list for scheduling anything. From that list I plugged in what needed to be done into monthly lists. I have a daily sheet for each day of the week that I refer to and check off from and every couple of days, I check my MONTHLY to do list to see what I can knock off of that. By months' end, everything is accomplished and it's smooth sailing.

If anyone is interested in these daily docket sheets, the monthly sheets or the master list, I can certainly email them to you, just request them in the comments. I didn't see any need to upload them here.

My home management binder is absolutely what keeps me ticking. I use a 2" purple 3 ring binder because I like the ability to keep lots of STUFF in it (and I do!)

Here is the contents in order:

In the front see-thru cover is anything that requires immediate attention so that it's the first thing I see.

Next is a see through zipper pouch with sticky notes, pencils, highlighters, pens, etc.

Next is a single page yearly calendar in a page protector. On the back side is a printed calendar for the school.

Then starts the dividers. They plastic pocketed dividers.

TO DO - any items that are to be done are in the pocket. There are also a few page protectors behind this to hold other items as well. I also keep a list running on notebook paper of miscellaneous items that come to mind.

DAILY - My daily routines (morning, afternoon and before bed) are in page protectors and then my daily docket for each day of the week are in page protectors as well.

WEEKLY - The basic weekly plan from the list I made above is here (just in case it's ever lost electronically, my paper back up is in a page protector here)

MONTHLY - I keep the current month's specific list behind the divider tab, the rest are in the pocket. I also have a page long birthday and anniversary list. I have another page I may start using so that I can keep track of major expenses in each month so we can better budget our money. I haven't started utilizing that yet.

SEASONALLY - Here is where there are specific plans for Christmas plans, Thanksgiving plans, etc.

MEAL PLANNING - I cook -- a lot. I can't, however, pull something together without a plan. I meal plan once a week. Sometimes I plan a week at a time, sometimes I plan two weeks at a time. Sometimes I plan to do a major cooking spree for a once a month eating plan. Sometimes I want to bake a lot. I just keep all kinds of planning sheets here for me to use. One thing I never thought of doing that I recently read about was to SAVE the old meal plans so that in the event you're ever out of time to plan for the week, you can simply grab the old list and use that one. GENIUS! Another mom has a quarterly menu that she rotates through. I think that's pretty genius, too. Everyone gets their favorites at least four times a year.

CONTACTS - A printed list of my contact list from Google/Outlook

MISC - This has a baby sitter's information form, my grocery list

EMERGENCY - a list of all of the numbers me, or anyone would need in the event of an emergency -- down to the specific utility companies and account numbers, alarm company and attorney. The back page is the specific insurance policy numbers with agent information. There is also a form for inventory and location of important documents (so we can find them).... this is about to be overhauled, however. :)

CLEANING - this is a detailed list of the Fly Lady's Zone cleaning information as it pertains to MY house

HOME MANAGEMENT - a list of what we've done when to the house...who did it and how much it was.

PARTY PLANS - I use this one tab to keep all the information for any parties we have coming up... nothing fancy, I just wanted a central location to have it

JOSH - any information for sports clubs, calendars, etc. JUST for Josh, goes here

DREW - ditto

BEN - preschool information, teacher information, playgroup list, etc.

Anyway, this was long-winded (ya think) but it's my brain dump for the MOTHERLOAD of household organization! :)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Fall Y'All

I can say that now, because it's not only a tad chilly outside but also because it IS the official first day of autumn. This is, hands down, my favorite time of year. I love sweaters and sweats and sweatshirts and long sleeves. I love fires in the fire place and making soups and stews. I love the thought that Halloween is coming and being able to get out all my fall decorations. I love my house decorated for fall. Why I don't just decorate it up all the time is beyond me becuase I really like it much better when it is. I love the start of football season (it's not a joke, I really do.) I love the anticipation of the holidays... Halloween, Thanksgiving and then Christmas. Oh yeah, and my birthday falls in there too somewhere.

This day, however didn't start out too crack-a-lackin'.

Monday we went to a playdate.

Tuesday we got an e-mail from the hostess that her son had tested positive for strep.

I didn't think anything of it becuase he had zero symptoms until last night he had a 101 fever. Some Motrin at 7:40, a snack and a bath and he was off to bed. I did, however, set my alarm for 1:30 to get up and give him another dose. It helped him sleep until 6:30 when he woke up with a 104.0 fever. YIKES!

That prompted me to wake up Andy so he could give him a bath (yes...even though he'd had one just 13 hours earlier), to get his temperature down becuase I was in the middle of making him his favorite breakfast.... Andy, not Ben.... Why? Because today is also Andy's birthday.

(For the record, I did manage to get the "Happy Birthday" banner that we hang up for everyone up on the wall.

What a way to wake up on your birthday, huh? A screaming, sick, feverish baby that you have to go bathe... all before you're even awake.

I got breakfast finished and in the oven. The boys came down. Ben came down...he was in a better mood (thankfully) and much cooler. He sat and ate some cantaloupe.

I got everyone and myself ready and we were all out the door. I was doing carpool duty for Andy this morning.

8am on the nose, I was on the phone with the doctor's office. I got an 8:30 appointment and the diagnosis -- strep. Boo!

He's napping now but as soon as he wakes up... we're off to pick up a prescription. Gotta get that baby healed!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hitler Returns

Yeah, that's me. I'm gonna pull a Hitler on my kids when they get home today. Seriously, I don't understand... are boys just slobs? I'm so sick of the MESS! Maybe I'm hormonal. If so, they better not bat an eyelash at me until I'm done.

And no, I'm not gonna yell. I'm just going to point out what it is that I'm having an issue with, ask them how they can help me and then wait for a reply. Now, if after lots of friendly conversation and well constructed reflective listening exercises, I don't get the response I'm looking for, we shall see if they have a pulse if their answers don't pass the smell test.

My housekeeper typically comes on Thursdays. I told both boys YESTERDAY that information and reminded them several times. I even just instructed Drew to get dressed and that he had one hour to make everything happen before his Mimi picked him up. She showed up early, mind you, but he was still in his uniform, nothing had been done... and he was with Josh... on the laptop playing a stupid game.

This morning, I even went so far as to call Josh on the home phone intercom and said, "Pat's coming today, please be sure everything is picked up off your floor."

HE got the message. He knew she was coming. HE didn't do a freakin' thing. Nada.

But, like I said, he had plenty of time to play on the laptop YESTERDAY. His mess? It had been there FOR TWO DAYS.

I don't ask a lot of my children. I really don't. I don't expect spotless rooms. I don't expect them to ever pick up their socks when they remove them since we seem to find them salt and peppered all over the house. I do, however, expect them to do as they're told. I expect them to try their best. I expect them to listen.

My job as their mother isn't to raise them to be OCD, organizational, clean-freaks (like me) but rather to raise them to be productive and responsible members not only of our family but also society. Unfortunately, their brains can't seem to function past what they want to do at any immediate moment. I even confirmed this with another dad today via text message (thanks, Zac!) He's father of two and is a great source of information and ideas for handling boys.

My boys -- they can stand a mere six inches from a laundry basket when they remove their school clothes and STILL.LEAVE.THEM.ON.THE.FLOOR?!!!?!?!???! SIX FREAKIN INCHES FROM THE DAD GUM BASKET?! I don't understand it. I don't. I can't even "get it" for a second.

Then, later in the day when they walk into their room and pass those close floor and said clothes are in the way, they don't even pick them up THEN and deposit them in the laundry basket... they KICK THEM out of the way?!? Holy Moses I don't understand this. I don't. It makes me want to pull a Mommy Dearest board meeting line on them (no, I won't drop "f" bombs at my children... but it does frustrate me ... that's an "F" word, right?) hee hee.

I don't expect either of them to be a mom or even to clean like one, for that matter. I do, however, expect them to follow the house rules... and not be a slob. Slobs are gross.

If you drop it, pick it up.
If you open it, close it.
If you get it out, put it back.
If it's yours, it's your responsibility.
I'm your mother, I'm not your maid.

And lately, if it's TOO SMALL put it in the BIN IN YOUR CLOSET FOR CLOTHES THAT ARE TOO SMALL. Quit sending the same damn shirt to be WASHED FIFTEEN THOUSAND TIMES because you are too freakin LAZY TO PUT IT IN A TUB?@#!$#$%JKL@#J% (that is a major cause of stress for me right this minute. Can you tell?)

However, above all, I want them to know that it's always nice to do something unexpected for someone that you know they will appreciate. Unfortunately, I"m sick of being the one doing nice things like... CLEANING UP THEIR CRAP... so that they have more free time. :)


I feel better now.

Wonder if I can buy them new heads on e-bay since I'm about to bite theirs off? Hmmm..

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Girl drama

Josh has entered middle school. With that comes the introduction of girls. It's almost comical. Given a little bit of quiet when everyone else is in bed is when we can have some pretty fun chats.

I was helping him tonight with his math -- integers. Adding, subtracting, multiplying positive and negative integers. Fun, fun.

When we're engaged in somewhat trivial matters (teaching/learning) it's easy to crack a joke, lighten the mood and he tends to open up rather than me just saying, "So, spill it about your life."

I don't snoop through much... I will scan text messages and preview e-mail from time to time but I understand privacy and frankly, I don't care to know the details of 6th grade drama. It's stupid.

So he was telling me about a dream he had... in which he was dreaming in his dream... and the second dream was of a tornado. I said, "Oh, if you dream of tornadoes, it means you're in some kind of emotional turmoil so... what's going on?"

He sat there and tried to think of something funny to say... and it led to this girl "Alexis." He calls her the "crazy girl" in school. She's new and is having a hard time making friends because apparently she's going about it all the wrong way. She's fabricating stories, spreading gossip, failing to keep secrets, lying and... you know... being a typical 6th grade girl. Ha!

I've already sat down and told Josh the whole respect schpill. He knows that we are all trying our best every day to fit in with the cards we are dealt and some people just have a hard time conforming to everyone else's idea of "normal" or "cool." Generally, however, most everyone just want to have some friends and not have stupid stress about dumb things. We've talked the whole Biblical talk about how to treat others... respect... yadda yadda yadda... I just have to come to my own defense before someone busts me in the chops on my teaching credentials. However, I have one thing that gives me the upper hand on teaching him about girls.... two x chromosomes. Yeah, the mammaries gives me the upper hand on the introduction to girls...

I explained to him several things tonight - all light-heartedly - but in no uncertain terms I said, "Josh, girls are stupid. They're full of drama. They want to suck everyone into it with them. They can't keep a single secret and if they say they can, they lie."

He started to laugh.

He gets this.

He knows I speak the truth.

He proceeds to tell me about ... how at lunch Alexis had spread a rumor that she and Josh were "going out" and he called her out on it (because it was a lie) and then he didn't return any texts or calls from her (because I confiscated his phone for using it after hours). Which led her to be in a panic mode about Josh.

I think it's funny. Josh did too.

So she's having everyone else at lunch tell Josh she's so sorry. He just laughed and said that he really didn't even care about anything of the situation at all. She looked over and saw him laughing and burst into tears.

He thinks girls are stupid.

He's right.

So this has happened now two days. The second day she goes to tell the principal that Josh is laughing AT her. I find it funny, because the principal actually warned ALL parents about the drama of girls and their roller coaster of emotions before the school year EVEN EVER STARTED! She just laughed and said, "Parents, it's their roller coaster. Don't get on. Just wave at them as they go by and when they're done with the ride, give them a hug and send them to bed."

I just have to laugh. I really do. Especially, because I couldn't agree with the woman more.

Isn't it funny how things so stupid and trivial are the end-all-be-all at that age?

Cracks me up.

We ended the night looking at the hair styles from my 1991 high school year book...

Josh is quite observant of people's look and how HARD some of the girls seem to be trying to be all grown up wearing make up and such and how he thinks it looks like his little brother did it. Or, how they try to do so much to their hair with gel, but leave big globs of it on the side. He thinks that's funny. I like that he isn't all caught up in that stupid crap. He's a good-hearted, down-to-earth kid. I'm lucky.

I like boys.

Girls are stupid.

I don't like drama.

Girls breed drama.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Drew has entered the world of Cub Scouts. And with Cub Scouts comes the popcorn fundraiser! So, now, he's embarking on a new stage in life -- door-to-door sales. And he's quite the adorable little man. We only had ONE man turn him down (I think he was just po'd because the Steelers lost).

Today, I got to sleep late (which happens like maybe twice a month) and it was wonderful. I woke Ben up about 9:30 am and shortly thereafter my dad showed up. He came to help secure Josh's two new bookshelves together and to drill some holes to hide the cords to things in it.

Andy was like a kid at Christmas. You do know that today was opening day for NFL, right? Ok, I thought so.

I ordered pizza for lunch. It took too long to get here so Ben had to go down before it arrived. The boys ate (not me. I'm dieting. I'm officially 5.5 pounds down in 2 weeks. Yea me!)

Andy ate and left to watch the afternoon (3ish) games.

Ben was down for a nap. He woke. I fed him and then Drew and I went to beat the streets again selling popcorn. It was a tad warm out today. I'm ready for fall! Bleh!

We got hot and thirsty so we headed back home. Andy was home shortly thereafter. Dinner was pretty much whatever you wanted to make yourself. Bath time and bed time!

I cleaned the kitchen, got most of the laundry done... and then I started thinking of the simple little things that made me happy today.

Today, while washing dishes, I looked over across the living room and saw Lola sitting in a chair just looking up at me with her little ears back and it made me smile. I love her. I love how she just loves to be near me and how she needs to snuggle with me to sleep well at night. :)

I watched Ben playing in a closet with Drew's wall-mounted remote controlled light-saber that is (obviously) not mounted on the wall YET (Andy's supposed to have done that months ago).

I smiled because I got to spend time one-on-one with Drew... well, not really one on one but Ben wasn't in the middle of it all interrupting everything since he was in the stroller...and frankly, I NEVER get that kind of time with Drew so it was really cool.

I smiled because as Josh got up to go to bed at 8:55 p.m. I told him thatI hope we can sit down and talk sometime soon. He said, "About what?" I said, "You know, I don't really care but the last two days you've had your face planted in your phone, your computer or the television and frankly I miss talking to you." He made a silly face and walked down to sit on the couch and talk with me... I just pointed and said, "TO BED." He laughed and said he loved me and walked up stairs.

I smiled when Andy just popped out of bed this morning, got his shower, ran errands.... and pretty much disappeared for the day... because this is his fun time of year.

I've resolved, I'm not going to let anything about the whole football widow stigma get me down. I'm not planning my life nor living it around football. If the boys and I want to do something on Sunday, by golly, we're just going to do it. I don't mind watching ONE game but I can't sit on my ass for 8 hours and do nothing.... but watch television. I'd go MAD! Seriously, I would.

I smiled because my dad thought it was important enough to brace those two pieces of furniture together even if it wasn't a big deal. He even brought is own drill and electric screwdriver. (Smart man.)

I smiled because my mom had Drew call her to sell her some of his popcorn. So cute.

I smiled because Drew knows if he gets to the $400 level the $65 reimbursement coming to him is going to be donated in his name to the families in Bastrop, Texas who've lost everything and NOT going toward some Lego something.... and he's totally okay with doing that. He said he wants to raise more money in donations to send the most popcorn to our soldiers! How awesome is he?

I smiled because today.... while a tragedy of an awful event... it brings our country together for a united cause.

God bless America.

I find strength in saying that....


Everything now seems to be an acronym so I thought I'd just join the bandwagon. Don't know what that stands for? Read this, I'm sure it'll ring a bell...

Where were you when the world stopped turning on that September day?
Were you in the yard with your wife and children
Or working on some stage in L.A.?
Did you stand there in shock at the sight of that black smoke
Risin' against that blue sky?
Did you shout out in anger, in fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry?

Did you weep for the children who lost their dear loved ones
And pray for the ones who don't know?
Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble
And sob for the ones left below?
Did you burst out in pride for the red, white and blue
And the heroes who died just doin' what they do?
Did you look up to heaven for some kind of answer
And look at yourself and what really matters?

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell
you the difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith, hope and love are some good things He gave us
And the greatest is love

Where were you when the world stopped turning on that September day?
Were you teaching a class full of innocent children
Or driving down some cold interstate?
Did you feel guilty 'cause you're a survivor
In a crowded room did you feel alone?
Did you call up your mother and tell her you loved her?
Did you dust off that Bible at home?

Did you open your eyes, hope it never happened
Close your eyes and not go to sleep?
Did you notice the sunset the first time in ages
Or speak to some stranger on the street?
Did you lay down at night and think of tomorrow
Or go out and buy you a gun?
Did you turn off that violent old movie you're watchin'
And turn on "I Love Lucy" reruns?

Did you go to a church and hold hands with some strangers
Did you stand in line and give your own blood?
Did you just stay home and cling tight to your family
Thank God you had somebody to love?


I love that song. It's quite poignant for today is the 10 year anniversary for that tragedy that befell America that day. America -- our homeland -- was under attack.

You can't see a tribute without getting a tear in your eye and a pang in your heart... unless you don't have a pulse. It's the very definition of tragic. Terrifying. Horrific.

As a country... we were filled with shock, disbelief, sadness, panic and fear until the anger set in.

As a mother... I wept for those in the planes with their dear children who died such unthinkable deaths... leaving behind families who were ready to watch them grow up and experience all that life -- and America -- has to offer.

As a Christian... I prayed for the families who were seen walking the streets sleepless with posters looking for their missing loved ones. I prayed for our leaders. I prayed for our soldiers. I prayed for those who chose to leap. I prayed for those who burned to death. I prayed.

As a citizen... I felt a sense of patriotism I had never known and I felt as if we definitely needed to make our presence known with a big nuclear explosion and turn some big sand dune into glass.

But most of all, I was numb.

So, where was I when the world stopped turning?

I was sick. I was at the house at 1911 Wendy Street in Irving, Texas. I was asleep in bed with walking pneumonia. I'd been laid off and had no insurance. Joshua was two. He had bronchitis. That's one big expensive doctor bill!

I remember getting a phone call to turn on the television.

I did.... and I spent the entire rest of the day glued to the screen... in disbelief... and watching my innocent son play in the living room knowing that our lives as we know it would be eternally changed from that moment on.

I remember watching the coverage live... I remember seeing the second plane hit the tower. I remember seeing people walking out of the area covered in ash. I remember the reporters not knowing what to say.

I remember the coverage a day later after the towers collapsed when they were searching for firefighters by listening for their beacons.... and you could just hear all the beacons... and they were no where to be found. Their echoes were deafening almost.

I remember all the people lining up to help the wounded... only to not find any.

I remember everyone wanting to help by donating blood to the victims... but there were so few because of all the deaths.

I remember the Red Cross having mass donations and then the controversy surrounding the fact that the families affected were getting nothing. It's never a good idea to just throw money at a problem -- though it seems to be the American way. It's a feel good, "at least I did something" moment of clarity then the unaffected can just go about their life.

I remember seeing the coverage that they wouldn't show any longer -- the people jumping. And while it's almost morbid to see those people up on the towers as they burned jumped... I think it's GOOD to show that so that we remember just how bad that event shook us to the core. So that we don't forget.

I don't think that we will. I mean, how can we? It was 9/11. It was tragic. It will forever be a black-eye in American history.

And, it's because of those types of attacks ... from those types of people... that we need to realize that the whole political agenda and political correctness crap has to fly right out the window. It wasn't a white woman, it wasn't a Mexican grandmother, it wasn't an Asian youth, it wasn't a black teen.... it was a middle eastern Muslim that did this to us... to America.... and unfortunately, that's the way it is. We don't nor will we ever live in a Utopian society where everyone gets along and we hold hands and skip while singing kum-ba-yah.... that's not going to happen.

9/11 could happen again... I pray it doesn't... but we still need to be vigilant about seeking out these Mohammad Muslim extremist a-hole jerks and eradicating them.

So, that's where I was when the world stopped turning. I was sitting in a blue, rocking recliner watching it happen before me.