Monday, December 29, 2008

Coffee for My Children


In 16 years since I left the college dorm I have never owned a coffee maker. The main reason - I don't drink coffee. The Mister drinks it but has never expressed a need to have it on a daily basis. As for me, I get my caffeine from Diet Coke. That is all I need to start the day. One ice cold from the fridge Diet Coke poured over ice. Yippee! I'm feeling euphoric just thinking about it. (By the way, what is the point of caffeine free diet coke? Without the sugar andcaffeine its just brown fizzy soda water.)

So, back to the coffee maker. This year I racked my brain for days trying to figure out what to give to the Mister for Christmas. Two months ago he said all he wanted for Christmas was some nice cologne because he was out, and luckily I found an extra unopened bottle which had been stored in the bathroom cabinet. Instead of keeping it for Christmas (and because he said he was out) I restocked his supply immediately. (Good wife award for me) But then I had to figure out what to give him for Christmas. Nothing seemed to be just right and I was dreading Christmas morning, imagining him opening his gift. I tried to visualize it and then I tried not to visualize it. WHAT SHOULD I GET HIM FOR CHRISTMAS??????

Then it came to me - COFFEE! If I bought him a coffee maker would he use it? Should I get a big one or a little one? Would he think I was a complete idiot for picking that for a gift? At this point my nerves were frazzled and I couldn't stand the thought of going into one more store, so I went with a small, simple four cup Mr Coffee. That was my first mistake, but not for the reason you would think. At home, overwhelmed with feelings of dread and regret, I kept it hidden the the car trunk and waited until 2:00am on Christmas Eve to wrap the box, and placed it under the tree.

Finally, the time came to open presents and I thought I might feel better if I just hid the gift and told him there wasn't one this year. I really felt that bad about the coffee maker. But it was too late now because he was already opening it. So far, so good. He was polite and appreciative but I kept wondering if he was just being polite so my feelings wouldn't be hurt. I really over think these things. Then he opened it as I pulled out some Starbucks Morning Blend and coffee filters and he began to make the coffee. A few days later he bought some pumpkin spice creamer. OK, this gift wasn't so bad after all.

Last night I decided to make coffee for the kids. I once heard that it has an opposite effect on children with ADHD. This was my chance to experiment. After briefly polling the kids to see who wanted to try coffee, I made a full pot - four whole cups. They LOVED it. Spencer actually prefers his coffee black with just a little bit of sugar. Natalie likes hers over ice and the others like it with creamer and sugar. I just like the smell because it reminds me of waking up to the smell of coffee when I was growing up. Tonight I made two pots of coffee and they wanted more but I cut them off until tomorrow morning. The result of my first experiment: The boys sat down and quietly watched a movie and then went to bed without giving me trouble. The girls stayed up late reorganizing their room.

So this coffee idea, which I dreaded and regretted, turned out to be not so bad after all. If the Mister never makes another cup of coffee at home again (not likely because he really does like it) I will be satisfied knowing that my children love it and will want it again and again. My only regret is that I didn't get a larger eight cup coffee maker. That was the first mistake I mentioned earlier. On the other hand, I think I started and encouraged a very bad habit. After all, they are drinking Starbucks and it is not cheap. And that would be the second mistake.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The NIGHTMARE Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas
and all through the house
not a creature was stirring
although there might have been a mouse


The children were snuggled warm and tight in their beds
in fact, they had been threatened
if they didn't do what I said.


Then it came down the chimney
and down the hall it flew
It was the Great Vomiting Monster
and it knew just what to do


It threw up in the toilet
and down on the floor
then back down the hallway
and on the carpet by the door

Then later that day it threw up in the van
and I said "Hang on honey, I'm driving as fast as I can."


And just when I thought the monster was out of site
it flew back down the chimney again last night
and back down the hallway all over the floor
and again by the carpet next to the door

As I heard my son wrestling with the unwelcome guest
I said "Just cover it with a towel
because I really need my rest"

Now the monster is gone
and we can all get some sleep
and tomorrow we will deal with the vomit - knee deep!

Friday, December 19, 2008

If I had my way - 7 things

  1. There would be a TV channel dedicated to only good news. Wouldn't that be a great pick-me-up at the end of the day? I would be so excited to get home to turn on the news to find out what great things had taken place throughout the day. And on the days that I couldn't make it home, I could just DVR it.
  2. Every parent would get a dollar for dollar rebate check for all of the money spent on mandatory school uniforms, extra costs for field trips and the monthly and sometimes weekly requests for money to cover class parties and extra supplies that weren't requested on the original school supply list. While I'm thinking of it lets just throw in money to cover all of the school supplies. I could take a short vacation to the beach on that rebate check.
  3. There would be a comedy channel that appealed to adults but was so family friendly that even your 3 year old could watch it.
  4. There would be a remote control that works on Children. The largest buttons would be mute and pause.
  5. Liver and Brussel Sprouts would taste like chocolate. My children would beg for them and turn there noses up at hot dogs. I don't like liver or Brussel sprouts either. The best way to eat them is as a side dish with ketchup.
  6. One slice of Bologna would be packed with 100% of the vitamins you need every day. I don't care much for Bologna but my children love it.
  7. Children would never grow out of shoes. Instead, the shoes would expand as their feet grew.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Man Cold

http://www.glumbert.com/media/mancold
Ode to the Man Cold - This is a link to a video called "The Man Cold"

Yes, the Mister has a cold. He came home from work early today because he was too sick to work. I tried to shovel enough over the counter drugs into him to at least mask the symptoms so he might think he was feeling better, but he refused anything more than a simple decongestant. Right now, I'm having visions of trying to feed a pill to a cat. That is kind of what its like. There is just no way to trick this man into taking enough medicine to actually treat his symptoms so I'm thinking of running away from home. At least that will treat my symptoms until this storm blows over.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I See You

video

Friday, December 5, 2008

How to Make a Really Good Bowl of Chili

Its winter time in Texas and this morning it was 32 degrees on the way to school. So, when I came home I decided that it was chili time. This is my favorite thing to eat in the winter. Before I had children - it feels like a million years ago - I would ONLY eat chili made from scratch. This process would start by cooking the beans, adding the spices and other ingredients and simmering to perfection, which took about 24 hours - only because the beans had to be soaked overnight to soften them for cooking. After that it only took a few hours to arrive at complete chili perfection.

These days there is no time (well there would be if I would reassess my priorities) to make chili from scratch. WARNING: I JUST REALIZED THAT THIS RECIPE IS ASTRONOMICALLY HIGH IN SODIUM.

The current recommendation is to consume less than 2,400 milligrams (mg) of sodium per day. This is about 1 teaspoon of table salt per day. It includes ALL salt and sodium consumed, including sodium used in cooking and at the table.

This recipe contains approximately 3,742 mg of sodium. Yikes! I'm going to have to change my diet.

Start by heating One bowl of Hormel Chili with Beans (1,200mg salt per serving) One can=2 servings ( I usually eat the entire can)
Add two slices of processed cheese (total sodium = 500mg) and melt in the microwave. This picture only shows half of a slice arranged in a smiley face for effect.)Add about 8 crackers - crumbled (total sodium = 272 mg)
Mix it up. The Chili mix will be thick.
Add three teaspoons of ketchup - actually just squeeze it on there until it looks like enough to make you happy. (I've been told that the only thing I like more than chocolate and diet coke is KETCHUP - Total sodium 570mg if you only use 3 tsp but mine is slightly more)
Mix it all up real good, and if you make it like I do you should be able to hold the spoon upside down for about two seconds before the chili begins to fall off - Yeah, I like a little bit of chili with my crackers and ketchup.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Highlights from Wednesday and Thursday

WEDNESDAY - We finally got the Christmas Tree Decorated. Maybe by next week we will have the stockings hung by the chimney with care :-)

'Just happened to be waiting for the bank to open when I discovered that KLTY was next door at Chic-Fil-A for their morning show. This is me and Frank Reed.

THURSDAY
Audrey FINALLY got her cast off today... YEAH!!!!! (I think I'm going to wrap her in bubble wrap from head to toe.)
ON THE WAY HOME FROM SCHOOL......Dalton and Jeremey were in the back seat with my camera... taking pictures of body parts. THIS IS NOT WHAT YOU THINK IT IS. Its an EXTREME close up of Spencer's feet. :-) Really, IT IS!

I don't know why they were taking photos of feet, so WHATEVER! I'm wondering if this is an early warning sign that they will eventually need some serious therapy.I love to see Dalton Smile.
Everyone in the house just loves Max the cat. Audrey is really cute too!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Getting into the Christmas Spirit








This is what we did last night. Christmas Decorating - Part 1 of ? I was in the middle of folding laundry when the Mister decided that he wanted to start assembling the Christmas tree.


This is how far we got because it takes a long time to assemble all of the branches. We are no longer purchasing live Christmas trees. I love the look and smell but I hate the mess of pine needles, and I can usually still find them in the house in June. Besides that, why kill a perfectly good, oxygen producing tree just because it will look good in my living room for about three weeks?

I tried to hang my wreath on the front door (still there this morning) with some cute ribbon which I purchased in the after Christmas clearance sale at WalMart last year for 50 cents. It didn't look as cute as I had imagined it would. I also realized, after about 20 minutes of effort, that the wreath was upside down. (To Do List: re-hang wreath on front door - right side up this time.)
Spencer's Christmas wish list.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

And Now a Shout Out to Sunday School Teachers Everywhere




Teenager, Moisei Baraniuc, Finds $10k in cash and returns it! This is a great news story, and my favorite part of the story is that he credits being a SUNDAY SCHOOL teacher! I can just imagine Sunday School Teachers everywhere rejoicing. Being a former preschool Sunday School teacher, I have many fond memories of former students - now grown ups - returning to me to say thank you for taking the time to teach, because it made a difference in their life.

In these days of gloom and doom there seems to be so much bad news and negativity everywhere you look. (For my thoughts on that go here.) But really, there is so much more good news to be talked about. There really is - if only we would talk about it more. We can all use a regular dose of GOOD NEWS and this is my good news blog for the week.

Thank you to Fox News Network and TheNewsTribune.com for covering this story. :-) And THANK YOU TO SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHERS EVERYWHERE! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Lori Drew - My Space Hoax Mom - An Opportunity for Forgiveness

For more on the story of one mother gone bad go here: MySpace Hoax Jury Has Verdicts on 3 of 4 Counts

I don't know if there are laws in place or if laws should be put in place to prevent what happened to Megan Meier, who was covertly bullied by her neighbor's Mother - who posed as a boy on MySpace - but I do know that this breaks the rules of common sense, common courtesy and the Golden Rule.


What must have POSSESSED her to do such a thing to a child? What Mother in her right mind would EVER treat any child that way. This women definitely needs to be convicted of STUPIDITY AT THE VERY LEAST.

That said, this woman and her family need our prayers just as much as the family of the victim. I am NOT IN ANY WAY SUPPORTING her for what she did. My sinful selfish nature hopes that she fries or at least goes to jail for a very long time. But the better half of me also hopes that some way, some day, she can reconcile with Megan Meier's family and find a way to help others who might find themselves in the trap of believing that it is ever acceptable to bully a child.

If we hold on to anger, we will be the victims of our own poison.

Therefore, forgiveness is in order here. WE MUST FORGIVE HER.


Romans 6:23 - For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We don't deserve God's forgiveness or His gift of eternal life but He offers it anyway. Yes, I believe FORGIVENESS IS IN ORDER.

Movie Review: Hancock - I don't think so


For an official movie review by someone who really knows how to give one go here: PluggedInOnline.

The movie I saw advertised on TV was not anywhere close to the movie I was assaulted with last night. In some cases I have allowed my children to watch PG13 movies without worries. Not this time.

Will Smith and Sony pictures - SHAME ON YOU!! For filling the entire movie from start to finish with excessive profanity and even having CHILDREN using profanity just as easily as if asking grandma for a bowl of ice cream. I wasn't expecting a completely sanitized rated G or PG movie BUT SHAME ON YOU! This was an outright verbal assault which you didn't advertise or remotely suggest in your previews.

Will Smith and Sony - You could have done so much better. :-(

To see MPAA movie rating information go here: MPAA

I wasn't a discerning parent consumer when I picked this movie but be sure I will be more diligent next time.

The Ear Infection

Alternate Titles: The Weekend Miss Martha Came to Visit, The Accidental Drug Overdose, OR Why I'm Blogging at 5:00am

Miss Martha
So, this weekend Miss Martha came to town for her monthly visit and we were miserable together for two days. When she comes to town, she almost always brings a miserable attitude accompanied by cramping, bloating and constant whining about something. And this particular visit was no different. So, we stayed in bed for two days (Saturday and Sunday) and let the world pass by. I didn't cook or clean (or blog) and the children mostly watched TV in my room at the foot of my bed as I passed in and out of consciousness.

The Ear Infection
Then came Monday and I slept in late (very late) as the children got up at whatever time they did, I wasn't awake until about 9:30am when I finally decided that I would get up and have a day. Of course, I stayed in bed for about an hour and a half after that just because I felt like it. When I finally decided to get out of bed and have a day my plan was to have a massive cleaning effort throughout the house. That didn't go very far, as I suddenly got the headache from H-E-double-hockey-sticks. It came up fast from nowhere on the right side of my head and taunted me with thoughts of hospitalization, stroke, aneurysm, and the fear of being left on life support in a vegetative state. (Medical Directive to Family: If ever I am hospitalized and have to be on life support with no brain activity or no hope of a meaningful recovery - PLEASE PULL THE PLUG!) I scrambled fast for the ibuprofen which did nothing for me - NOTHING AT ALL. I laid down flat on the sofa, eyes closed tight, moaning and groaning for hours, yelling out not so kind instructions to the children like : No friends allowed in the house or back yard, and whatever you are doing in the kitchen has to STOP NOW! STOP TAPPING ON THE TABLE, ARE YOU TRYING TO TORTURE ME?! I thought it was a migraine - the worst migraine anyone has ever experienced. On a scale of 1-10 it was a 12. Then came the nausea and vomiting. The entire time I was sure that, at some point, my right eye was going to go flying out of my head. There was no sleeping possible in this state of pain. Mostly I was either flat on the sofa or flat in my bed, trying not to cry because that would only make it worse. By 11:00pm I realized that this headache was really from an ear infection. By then my nausea had gone down to a reasonable level and I was able to drive to WalMart (accompanied by son #1) for chicken noodle soup. This was the only thing I could think of that could bring me any comfort. It had to be Campbell's Condensed Chicken Noodle Soup because that is,in my opinion, the saltiest chicken soup on the planet. Well, I had to add salt to get it just right to counteract my nausea, but it worked. Then I was able to take a full dose of NyQuil liquigel (yeah!!!!!!) to knock me out so I could get some sleep and hopefully some relief for the pain. By Tuesday morning I was able to get up and around - functional once again. YEAH!!!!! Now taking DayQuil for the ear infection, three ibuprofen for for Miss Martha, and with Diet Coke in hand I was able to at least do laundry.

The Accidental Drug Overdose
Finally, I made my way back to WalMart, dropped off #1 daughter and the bonus baby with Mammaw in exchange for four ClaritinD's to help dry up my ear infection/congestion. This came, of course, with the warning to be careful not to mix my drugs. I am always careful not to mix inappropriate OTC drugs because I am very sensitive to medication of any kind. So, when I got home I took the ClaritinD, some Afrin 12 hour nasal spray and some Hyland's Homeopathic Earache Drops as soon as I could. The ClaritinD is a 24 hour pill and it always works great for me (although it does tend to keep me awake at night, or sometimes for days at a time). Then at bed time around 11:00pm I took the NyQuil liquigel. (NOTE TO SELF: NEVER TAKE CLARITIN D24 AND NYQUIL WITHIN 12 HOURS OF EACH OTHER.) I had so hoped to drift off to a very deep sleep for at least eight hours or more but NO! Not last night. That is what should have happened if I had only taken the NyQuil. But the side effect of Claritin D is that it keeps me awake with a slight buzz. Mixing the two together threw me into a hazy, leg jerky, quasi waking sleep state from about 1:00am to 5:00am when my eyes popped open and I decided I might as well get out of bed - fully refreshed, of course - to clean the kitchen which I left neglected last night after dinner. So, now the kitchen is sparkling clean and I'm almost through with this blog post, and I have thought of at least three other blog stories for later this week. I also decided on the most exciting gift project which is inspired by something I read in my one of my favorite blogs (The NieNie Dialogues).

So, that is the story of The Weekend Miss Martha Came to Visit, The Ear Infection, The Accidental Drug Overdose and
Why I am blogging at at 5:000AM!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sara Palin - I can relate

(Just updated with the YouTube clip. YOU HAVE TO WATCH THE MAN IN THE BACKGROUND! This is so funny, I'm rolling on the floor!)

I just read this story about Sarah Palin pardoning a thanksgiving turkey. That lucky turkey. I'm thinking YUM it would be great on a plate with gravy and cranberry sauce. Anywho...In this particular article by a Canadian news outlet they posted a hilarious picture showing a precocious looking man in the background getting ready to slaughter the turkey while Gov. Palin (in the foreground)is being interviewed. The look on his face is hilarious, like one of my own boys. They are always doing something in the background that I can't see, but they know its going to cause trouble. Poor Sarah...I can relate.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-kjM1asH-8

To See the photo and the article, go here: http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2008/11/21/palin-turkeys.html

by http://www.cbc.ca/news/

The name of the artical is:

Poultry-pardoning Palin interviewed in front of turkey slaughter

Too Funny Not to Share - Enjoy!

Happy Friday!

As the mother of three boys I couldn't resist this little gem that I found posted at http://www.amamasrant.com/ The YouTube link is listed below the video.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3MwFy3HXZU

Today's Random Thoughts - Chasing Rabbits Through my Mind

Winter has finally arrived in Texas. It never seems to last long and is sporadic. (You can check out Texas weather history here.) One day it can be 38 degrees and the next day it can be as hot as 78 degrees (still pretty cool) followed by another day in the 30 degree range, followed by a heat wave for a week. One of the things I like about cold weather outside is turning on the heater inside. Sure, I like the fireplace, but only if it is REALLY cold outside. Besides that, the heater requires no maintenance other than turning it down if the house gets too hot.

So I digress. The reason I am thinking about winter and enjoying the warmth of running the heater: one of the side effects of winter and heaters is DRY Skin. Some people get moderately dry skin in winter, but me - I HAVE DRY SKIN ALL YEAR LONG. It just happens to get dryer (sp? maybe more dry sounds better?) in the winter. It doesn't matter how much lotion I use all day long. I am DRY.

Which leads me to my next thought: My skin itches all over and I feel like I have ants crawling up and down my body. The itchiness moves around. as soon as I scratch somewhere it itches somewhere else. Then I scratch that and I itch somewhere else. Is this just the dry skin or am I having an allergy itch? The wind has been blowing really hard outside since last night. Then again, I just ate a different brand of soup than I usually eat(Campbell's Select Harvest - Light). It was really good, so I think I will have some more. Maybe its a food allergy itch. No, maybe it is just dry skin because of the weather and the heater. But my scalp REALLY REALLY itches. Do I have dandruff? Probably. I have been using dandruff shampoo (Suave) so my head shouldn't be itching, should it? It is itching a lot. Could I have lice? Yikes! It can't be lice. It's not allowed to be lice. OK, Lets move on. Maybe if I ignore it, it will go away. (Not likely) No - my dry skin still itches and I am going to take Claritin D. That usually does the trick. Although it could also keep me awake all night. I think there is a pill for that too - AmbianCR But that is another rabbit to chase, or sheep to count, another time.

Just random thoughts - like chasing rabbits through my mind. Enough said.

FREE Backgrounds from The Cutest Blog on the Block

If you like the wallpaper I'm using for my blog (at least for today because I keep changing it) then you will love this website: The Cutest Blog on the Block hosted by two very talented moms named Ashley and Becky. They also have great seasonal blinkys like the one over there to the right :::::::> Yeah, that's the one.

These ladies are fabulously creative and talented, and their site is the cats pajamas. Or to use today's vernacular - its THE SHIZZLE (I hope I'm using that word the right way.)

It has been said that when a man has a crisis he buys a sports car or has an affair, but when a woman has a crisis she just changes her hair color. Well, as the mother of five children, I can't afford to change my hair color. Instead, I just change my Blogger background to match my mood - thanks to TCBOTB. Thank you Ashley and Becky!

With TCBOTB changing your Blogger background is as easy as 1-2-3 because they give you step by step instructions. Believe me, I know because I have done it about 20 times now. There are a bazillion different FREE backgrounds to choose from and they are all pure eye candy. So, go to TCBOTB and check out all of their bloggy goodness.

So little time...So many backgrounds to choose from. :-)

Have a friend who blogs? Share the wealth and email them a link to this posting about FREE blog backgrounds.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Confessions of a Paper Towel Snob



I just returned from grocery shopping at Wal*Mart - Aka "Mall of America". One of the very important items on my shopping list was paper towels. Despite having one side of an entire aisle dedicated to paper towels, I could not find what I was looking for. I looked high and low from one end to the other and back again, but I just couldn't find them - the cheap paper towels with the cute pastel prints that I usually buy.

I refuse to pay more than $2.00 for a three pack. In fact, I usually only pay about $1.50 for my usual selection - now listed at $1.84 - and there are actually cheaper ones if I am willing to sacrifice the quality, but I do have standards. When it comes to paper towel quality, I don't have to have paper so thick that you can wash the dishes and still re-use them, but I do want something that will hold up as a makeshift "plate" for breakfast or a sandwich. And I like the ones with the cute little pastel colored shapes or animals printed on them.

Today, however, was a different story. There they were, sitting right in front of me begging me to buy them. I tried to look past them several times. I tried to deny they they were my usuals. Something was definitely wrong with these three packs of paper towels wrapped in the familiar generic Wal-Mart brand wrapper. So I snubbed my nose at them as an act of denial and continued to walk up and down the aisle looking for MY paper towels. Where were they? Why couldn't I find them? Finally I resigned myself to the fact that I was going to have to buy this package that looked vaguely familiar but somehow suspiciously different.

The problem, you see, is that THESE paper towels did not have anything printed on them. They were PLAIN!
No prints to be seen. How could I take these plain vanilla paper towel wannabes home and pass them off as my usual selection. I'm not sure what happened that caused this product change. Did they run out of ink or maybe they had to layoff the person who runs the printing equipment? Was it an eco-friendly decision? Is our economy so strained that we are now going to have to sacrifice those lovely prints and pay more too?

I could go on but I will not. Lets just leave it at this: Yes America, I confess - I AM A PAPER TOWEL SNOB. :-)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dear Alien Mother Ship

I believe there was an accidental mix up the last time you visited Earth . You see, I believe I may have inadvertently brought your most precious Princess, Sunshine, home to my house. If this is the case, it is most likely that you have my most precious Princess, who's name is also Sunshine. I can see how this could have happened because of their similar appearances, and of course they have the same name. However, it didn't take me long to discover this obvious mix up. You see, my Princess Sunshine has a very sweet, gentle disposition and she smiles a lot. I'm sure that your Princess Sunshine would also posses these same attributes in her home environment on the Mother Ship; However, it is very apparent that Earth's environment is not at all suitable for her disposition or development. In the three very, very, very long years that she has been with us we have noticed that she has become increasingly impatient, irritable, miserable, cranky, disrespectful, insubordinate, and sometimes just downright mean. She yells, grumbles under her breath and treats our rules as if they were just irrelevant suggestions. She looks at us as if we are clueless Aliens with outdated ideas.

I could go on but I think this description is adequate enough to get my point across: Our children were obviously switched. It happened about three years ago when your ship was spotted in our town, which is called Grand Prairie, in the vicinity of Truman Middle School.

Perhaps you were just visiting our galaxy out of curiosity, or perhaps this visit was a mission to find a more suitable child for yourself - one with a sense of adventure and a great sense of humor. Either way, I believe it would be most beneficial for both of us if you returned to Earth with my sweet Princess Sunshine. I am assuming that you are probably having the same challenges that I have described above because she is obviously not in her most suitable environment. Once our sweet girls are returned to their appropriate families, I am absolutely sure that their sunny dispositions will return to normal.

I know that you are now very far away from Earth, but PLEASE (I AM BEGGING) send me some kind of signal that you have received my message and that you are planning to return SOON to ensure that our daughters are safely returned to their most beneficial environments. If I don't hear from you soon, I may be forced to lock your child in a closet and feed her through a straw under the door until you return. This will be for her own safety, of course.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Backyard Bliss


The perfect ending to the day. They jumped until the steet lights came on.

Monday, November 17, 2008

An Open Confession to God and My Mother (and the rest of the world if it will help)

Dear God,

This is my confession of faith and a very sincere request for forgiveness.

I know that You are real. I have no doubt about it. In fact, I have never doubted it. I also know and believe that You are just and that you forgive all who ask for forgiveness. I also know that there are some sins that we commit that have consequences which we must continue to live with. You don't always choose to just remove those consequences from our lives as a reminder that we need to remember not to continue to repeat that sin over and over again. So, in that vein, just in case I have not completely and entirely confessed and asked forgiveness for this particular sin, or maybe its because my repentance has not been a true repentance, and I need to work on that part a little bit harder....here it is.

I confess that as a teenager I was a miserable morning person. In fact, I was probably the worst, most anti-morning teenager who ever walked the face of the Earth. There is nobody who was ever worse at it than I was. I know that this is true because, when I was 17, I heard my father, early on a Sunday morning, laughing and telling my mother that he was going to sneak down the hallway and open my door very carefully and - I believe the words were "tap me on the shoulder with a ten foot pole" - and then run away as quick as possible. Then I heard something about a bear, followed by laughter.

I know and confess that I was a miserable morning person back then and to that end I have endeavored as an adult to improve my attitude and disposition in the morning hours. I promise that I REALLY HAVE TRIED.

So, why do you keep punishing me with this teenage daughter (terrorist) of mine. I cannot imagine that I was ever a worse morning person than she is. In fact, I think that she is probably 100 times worse in this department than I ever was. So, I am BEGGING FOR YOUR FORGIVENESS. I know that You are real, and I know that you forgive, so PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, I REALLY MEAN IT THIS TIME. I not only ask for your forgiveness for this sin but I also promise that I will continue to live a life of repentance in this area. PLEASE DELIVER ME FROM THIS TEENAGE MORNING TERRORIST (and her little sister too).

DEAR MOM:
I cannot tell you enough how sorry I am for all of the horrors I bestowed on you as a teenage non-morning person (terrorist). I ask for your forgiveness for this sin against you and our family. Please forgive me. I really have endeavored to be a better morning person as an adult. If you ever wished that I would have a child just like me so I could see what I put you through as a teenager - BINGO! I can honestly say that I do not wish little Miss Morning Joy (totally not) on herself as revenge. NO MOTHER DESERVES THAT. I believe I have learned my lesson - over and over and over. Unfortunately, I can't take any of it back because there are no do-overs - only the promise of do-betters going forward.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Top Ten List


Here is a list of the top ten things your children can do to make you cry. Actually, there are sooooo many more than this, but these are things that actually happened to me.


10. Finding poop (five BIG ONES!) on the ceiling in your two sons' bedroom just before you leave for work.

9. Wondering why the Vaseline is open on the bathroom counter, followed by wondering why your hair just will not dry while you are blow drying it, followed by screaming (and gasping for air between words) "WHOOOOOOOO...GOOOOOOT...VASALIIIIIIIIIIIINE...INNNNNNNNNN...MYYYYYYYYYY......HAIRRRRRRR-BRUSHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!????" just before you need to leave for work.

8. Getting a call from the school Principal, while you are at work, informing you that your Kindergartner has been suspended after only five days of school.

7. Getting a call from your husband telling you that he just wanted to let you know that the fire department is on the way over to the house but not to worry because he already put out the fire in your six year-old's closet.

6. Waking up in the middle of the night to discover your two boys (ages two and three) creating a very, very large swirly mixture of mustard, milk and laundry detergent in the middle of their bedroom floor in your rented apartment.

5. Waking up from a blissful Sunday afternoon nap to discover your two boys (yes the same ones) creating a very, very large swirly mixture of milk, raw eggs, ORANGE JUICE and BAKING SODA (just the last two alone are a volatile mixture - do not try this at home) in the carpeted hallway outside your bedroom door (again in your rented apartment).

4. Getting a call from the Principal (five years after your middle son was suspended from Kindergarten on the fifth day of school) informing you that your youngest son is being suspended from Kindergarten after only five days of school.

3. Waking up at 2:00am to the sound of suspicious noise outside your apartment window to discover that your four year old daughter figured out how to unlock her bedroom window so she could go outside and play.
2. Waking up in the middle of the night in your brand new house to discover your two boys (again - the same two culprits listed above) creating another very swirly mixture of mustard, ketchup and eggs in the middle of the carpet in their brand new room. WHAT IS IT WITH THE NEED TO MIX CONDIMENTS AND VARIOUS OTHER INGREDIENTS IN THE CARPET?


OK, I cant take it any more. The above nine were all quite horrific experiences for me and there are soooo many more I haven't listed.

What is your number one thing? Please add your comment with the top thing your child or children have done to make you cry. :-)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Why You are My Favorite


Can any mother of multiple children, whether it be two or five or even more, claim one as her favorite? Can she look at them objectively and say which one she loves the most?

I have a confession. Of my five children I actually do have a favorite child and this is why.
Natalie - Age 14
You are my favorite because you were born first and you often bear the most responsibility for those who came later.
Because you were born first, you were the Guinea pig/experiment child - I have mom guilt for this.
  • You are sensitive and sentimental and very selective about who you choose as friends. This tells me that you know your own value. You don't waste the gift of your affection and friendship on just anybody.
    You are creative and I know that you will allow God to use you to bless others with that gift.
  • You are much more like me than the others. For that I am sorry - Blame the genetic lottery. (more mom guilt for me)

Jeremey - Age 12

You are my favorite because you were the first boy in our family.
You were and continue to be my touchy, feely, affectionate Mamma's boy. (Please don't ever stop being that way. I will always need that from you.)
You are artistic, creative, affectionate and very caring for others.
  • Other people are important to you. This shows me that you understand the value of others.
  • You will go far in life and some young woman will be blessed to have you as a husband one day.

Dalton - Age 11

  • Your are my favorite child. It took me a while to figure you out but then I got it. You are a child with purpose. It is important for you to do things that have purpose. You don't want to waste your efforts on things with little meaning.

  • When you smile, I can see the pure, genuinely unbridled joy in your eyes...your smiles and laughter are not wasted on just anything.
  • You are the Master of the Animals. Max the cat even claims you as his boy.
  • That brain of yours is working all the time trying to figure it all out. You are going to grow up to be a man with a plan.

  • Brainiac! Need I say more? OK maybe one more word: MENSA

  • Not one day goes by without you seeking me out to make sure I get a hug. Keep it up. I need all the hugs I can get.

Audrey - Age 9

You are my favorite. Oh, how smart you are and it will take you far in life.
  • I love it that you want to get straight A's. It all seems to come naturally for you.

  • You are a social butterfly and I love to see you have a good time with your friends.
  • You are a natural leader.
  • I know that being the fourth child is not easy but you seem to be very resilient.

Spencer - Age 6

You are my favorite because you were the bonus baby and what a great surprise!
  • What a natural you are at anything and everything you try. You just seem to get it. There is nothing you will not be able to do if you set your mind to it.

  • Because you are the youngest, I am reminded of the importance of taking my time to enjoy every last minute of it all. Your firsts are my last firsts, and your lasts of growing up will be my lasts of raising children and I want to savor every moment.
  • You are so fun and funny and I am hanging on to that for as long as I can.

You are all unique, and that - you see - is why YOU (all) ARE MY FAVORITE child.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Good Bye Old Friend

I woke up this morning barely able to move and I couldn't figure out what I could have done to injure my back. Those who know me, know that I have a bad back and have since I was a teenager. When it goes out, it REALLY GOES OUT. I can't move anything without feeling pain. When I'm finally able to stand "upright" it looks more like Quasimodo entering the room. At the ripe old age of 38 I find myself being more careful of my fragile, aging body every day. I'm not afraid of getting hurt but I grew up surrounded by many elder women. Some of them aged well, and others...well, lets just say I have seen what time can do to a woman who's body has 'been there and done that" one too many times. So on this beautiful Sunday morning, I reflect on my activities of yesterday. What could I have done to get this result?

Lets see.....
  1. sleeping in on Saturday morning - nope
  2. loading the dishwasher - nope
  3. watching movies on the couch - nope
  4. two hour hike through the woods with my boys - nope (strenuous but harmless)
  5. grocery shopping with the help of son #1- nope
  6. jumping on the trampoline for 20 minutes before the two hour hike - hmmm?
DARN THAT TRAMPOLINE!!!! There it sits in my backyard everyday calling out to me "please come play with me." And how can I resist? Its such great aerobic exercise, and let me admit that its just PURE FUN. And, one would assume it is low impact due to the bounce and give of the fabric. Apparently NOT for me.

And so now, I must bid adieu to mister trampoline. In order to secure a future with a more perfect union of mind and body I must now act my age and not my state of mind - because my mind still tells me that I am an invincible 15 year-old who is still able to do belly flops in the pool and cartwheels down long carpeted office corridors - which clearly, no woman my age should be doing for a plethora of reasons.

Goodbye my old friend. Dear Mister Trampoline - how badly I will miss our daily get togethers.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? / Election Madness

Yesterday was election day and I was nervous all day waiting for the polls to close so we could watch as the results came in. I had plenty of time because I voted two weeks ago. After school I picked up the kids and drove to a local park at Mountain Creek Lake. This park is always crowded after school but on this day we were the only ones there.

Skipping rocks and writing in the sand.










Then, we went home where we were all glued to the Fox News Network eagerly awaiting the election results. Well, not all of us....Someone, who will remain nameless, was busy voting for their own "write in candidate". This is what I found on the bathroom wall - language interpretation is provided on the left.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Election Eve

  • My stomach has butterflies and I can't eat - well, I did have some fudge cookies but that's not really eating
  • My brain is racing faster than a toad on hot pavement
  • My heart is all aflutter
  • My palms are sweaty
  • I'm constantly pacing back and forth and wringing my hands
  • I keep opening the fridge for no apparent reason
  • And I can't sleep!
This is like Christmas Eve and I'm five years old! Is Santa going to bring me a bike this year?

I know....the sooner I go to bed and go to sleep, the sooner I will wake up and Election Day will be here!!! But then I have to wait all day before opening the present. I just cant take the suspense any more. This one is a real nail biter!!!!

Will it be the bike or the homemade gift certificate for a hug and a back rub? !!!!!

I CAN'T STAND THE SUSPENSE ANY MORE!!!!!!

In Search of Fall Color

We actually had a very successful morning at home this morning. I believe it had something to do with the time change over the weekend. All of the kids were up and out of bed early with no yelling, fighting or crying. We loaded up the car and off we went without one fight in the back seat. The drive was relaxing and I actually had time to take notice of the beautiful fall colors. Yes, fall has arrived in Texas. It was a crisp 69 degrees this morning and the sun was shining, illuminating the trees like a spotlight through stained glass. The fall colors were absolutely beautiful today so I took advantage of the morning light. As soon as I dropped the kids at school, I drove back through the wooded area behind my neighborhood and walked out into the woods to take photographs.

The photos below are just a few of the best up close views I captured before a private security guard found me in the middle of the woods and told me I had to leave. Apparently I had wandered too close to the natural gas drilling sight near our neighborhood.