Monday, December 31, 2007

HAPPY NEW YEAR'S EVE

We are having our annual bonfire to ring in the new year! I love planning, preparing and yes.. even stressing for this party.

It's MY party and I have it the way I want and how I want and there is no wrong about it!

Will take pictures!! I'm so excited!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Reflecting

We skipped the work party - we were just to tired. I thought we would get out and do some last minute shopping but that fell through also.



December 22 we celebrated Cmas with Rich's mom and brother's family. We really had a great time and the food was awesome. Everyone loved their gifts and enjoyed their moment in the spotlight. We started something a few years back. We starte with the youngest kid and move up. One at a time, each person opens a gift. This way we all get to see their face, see what they got and if there is a funny story about the present we share. Then it's off to the next person. While you are waiting for your turn to come around again you can either watch the person opening or take a closer look at your already opened presents. It's easier than you think to get the kids to do this and Cmas opening seems to stretch that much further :) And that's always a good thing.



That night we finished up our shopping. Rich loves picking out things for his kids. This year he was in charge mostly of the stocking stuffers. My kids aren't particularly fond of cmas candy and I find the foil wrappers everywhere. So, instead, we get them things like corn nuts, beef jerky, sunflower seeds, etc. they love it.



I had to work over the weekend and had great hopes of wrapping, working and resting. I only got the working and resting part done. Darn.



Monday was work too. blah! Oh well, such is the life. We headed out to hubby's grandparent's house for the annual eggnog making. Yup, eggnog from scratch. MMMM and it's soo good. That tradition has been going on for as long as grandpaw can remember. It was HIS grandfather who started it with them... so.. (rough estimate) we have been making eggnog in the family for... ohoo.. about almost 200 years! That's a lot of nog!!



Everyone gets a plate with an egg white on it and starts beating until it forms stiff peaks. If you can flip the plate upside down over the head of the person hear you (heheehe) it's ready. Hubby's mom has 5 siblings.. and they have kids and some of those have kids.. so the family is quite large. We sounded like chickens pecking in troughs. They make some with and some without alcohol. Yummy! Nothing like what you get in the stores. Everyone had frothy mustashes.



We left the eggnog around 9 because I still have a few gifts to wrap. Except, when I got home that "few" turned into more than I thought. It didn't take me long, but by 11 p.m. I was fast asleep.



The kids woke up around 7 and after divying up the gifts in piles they woke me up. Rich had long been up making our traditional Christmas Morning Breakfast - hominy, bacon and lil smokies all cooked together. His grandfather started that tradition, except they also had cinn. rolls and tomatoe juice. We just do the hominy. Maybe when we need to stretch it in a few years as our family grows we'll add to it. I sipped coffee and ate hominy while the kids giggled and guessed at their gifts.



Once again we went from youngest to oldest, each taking a turn, and opened our gifts. I think we opened for over an hour. They loved everything they received and immediately Daniel and Jessica hopped online to get some songs via iTunes. That should be a great gift in the future - itunes gift cards. Jessica got the ipod nano and a transmitter for her car and said it worked great. Daniel had the ipod already, so he got the docking station for it with nature sounds and the clock/radio/alarm. Sarah was snapping pictures left and right.

Rich was happy to put together his tool box. It's nice! Hydraulic lid, foam padding in all the drawers and the drawers are tightly shut and you have to tug on them to open them. That way they don't always pop open anytime the tool box is moved.



They fooled me this year. They really got one over on me. Normally they are not good at being secretive and don't clean up their tracks very well. This year I had no clue. They knew what I wanted, but I hadn't seen Rich leave to go get it. Usually he announces he is going out to get my gift. No word his year. I figured since it was jewelry he would wrap me a note saying I could go pick out whatever it was I wanted. Blah! I wanted HIM to pick it out. He and Jessica got together and picked it out and she had been hiding it in her car. They brought it in cmas Eve and wrapped it in a bigger box so I wouldn't see the store name on it. Smart! And they made me open it last! buggers!


Needless to say, I cried.. and cried.. and it's beautiful! It's a Pandora bracelet with the frog, snowflake, and glass bead with flowers painted in to charms and the heart spacers. Jessica picked the frog cause I like frogs and the snowflake for my grandmother who has passed. Rich picked the glass bead with flowers cause I love flowers and the heart spacers cause they love me. AWwww.. see, it really does mean more when someone picks it out! I cannot wait to add to it :) Oo, just remembered I have $ from the grandparents.. I think I'll head that way soon and get me some new beads!

And no.. we didn't forget the reason for the season.. but that kinda stuff is very personal and I tend to leave it off the blog. Remember, when you read a blog you are only getting a glimpse of a person's life.. the part they want to share with you. It's not their entire life :)

Now I"m working on planning the New Year's Eve Bash! :)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Tired and more tired

I have been trying to rest up since Friday's office party and Saturday's Cmas at my house with my family. I don't bounce back like I use to.. and Friday I had two glasses of wine and that was it!

I think I'm mentally draining myself and then I'm so drained I cannot do much of anything after work. I felt the "blues" coming over me and realized today was day my grandmother passed away. It's been 3 years.. you'd think the pain would lessen. Then I have Rich and his mom and brother... the passing of my FIL was way too soon. I see my husbands brain churning at family gatherings - his father should still be here. No more memories to be made. No more things to look forward to. No more talks, visits.. it's just too damned depressing.

As my kids would say... It's just not fair.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Holiday time!

I knew the holiday time was keeping me busy, but it's been almost a month since I blogged. I do read other blogs. I just cannot find the time needed to gather thoughts, edit so it's flowing and easy (hopefully fun) to read.

This year I got my tree up in record time and even starting shopping early. I was so proud of myself. Each year I try to add one more thing to help me get more organized instead of saying I'll get more organized and then having it overwhelm me only to give up totally. If you haven't gotten a card from me - don't hold your breath - I missed that getting organized idea somewhere along the way and now it's too late. Maybe next year? hahaha

Cmas time is celebrated early with my family; usually the 2nd weekend in December. This forces me to shop early for my side, get it wrapped and be ready. The kids have something to keep them busy and time to enjoy their new stuff before Cmas day. It works out great. No more rotating holidays with inlaws or others.. it gets the Holiday Spirit flowing and begins the parties! This year it was held at my house. How nice to have everyone over. Rich cooked gumbo and rice, sister brought potatoe salad, mom brought dessert. We all brought snacks and had a great time eating, nibbling and then... opening presents.

I wanted an apron. I have a nice, big kitchen and love to cook and there is always something to clean. I'm short, so the cabinet top hits me just under the boobs. GRRR.. I'm usually in good pants and an uglee shirt becuase of the mess I tend to make with myself in cooking and cleaning. My shirt is usually wet from washing dishes.. I tend to really get into my work. I hunted high and low for an apron and finally found one online that I loved. I had decided that with the $ my MIL was gonna give me this year an apron would be the item I was getting. Cause.... well.. I really need to stop shopping for myself already hahaha

Needless to say, I cried when I opened the apron from my sister. It is perfect! It came from the store I wanted - which had all the apron qualities i wanted! - and it's a perfect match for my kitchen and much prettier than the one I was going to get myself. She kept saying she kind went overboard with little things here and there and that she was in a giving mood. Hey, that was fine with me as I was in the receiving mood!

Everyone loved their presents and had a great time. We open from youngest to oldest (one present at a time) to make it last and so we all can see what each other received.. it helps stretch things along. The kids love it and know exactly who is next to open a present.

My sister takes great pictures and we moved some furniture around in the house and snapped some family pictures. I cannot wait to see them!

Friday night was a business party - what a great time! Oh, I hope to be a hostess like that one day and decorate so effortlessly! She makes it look so easy. Plan, plan, plan.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Gobble, gobble

People.. don't faint. Ready?

My tree is UP and I have been listening to XM Christmas music for a few days now :) Check your pulse. hahaha

I tend to go from one extreme to the other - fashionably late.. or extremely early. I just figured since the kids were out of school and they are continually B-O-R-E-D that this would give them something to do. They like looking at all the ornaments they made over the years. Fits of laughing, rolling around on the floor and legs kicking in the air followed by gasps for air can be quite entertaining for all!

Hubby and I spent the better part of an afternoon looking at trees. Ours was destroyed in the storm. We upgraded! The tree is gorgeous and I'm so happy to have a nice, tall, wide tree that is prelit with berries and pinecones it to give it that "fresh cut" feel. It was the only one Rich and I agreed on and when he said to bring the buggy so he could load it up, I didn't hesitate! My man hates to shop as much as I do and well.. sometimes it works out great!

Today I made the icing for my cakes. MMMM... We are going to Rich's aunt house and I'm bringing carrot souffle, sweet potatoe casserole, chocolate cake with mint icing, and crockpot bread pudding! MMMMMMMMMMM There should be about 15-20 people there.. and it's always scrumptious.

After lunch we'll be headed to my parents for dessert and coffee. We'll be stuffed to the giblets and rolling around for days.

This weekend my dad and Rich are making sausage - perfect timing with the cold weather. MMMM.. maybe they will smoke some tasso too!

I love this time of year! I cannot wait to go shopping on Friday - though I really don't need anything, I want to take advantage of some great sales. Then it's home to wrap and put under the tree!!

yes, I know there is MORE to Cmas than decorations and trees and lights. But I"ll get to all that mushy stuff closer to Cmas.

I'm off to have coffee with gingerbread creamer and watch the Cmas tree lights glow in the corner of the living room while the AC blasts cool air LOL




Sunday, November 11, 2007

One down, many to go

What another busy weekend.

Friday was dinner with friends and then to the casino. I won! :) Whoohoo go me! AND, my friend won also! How cool is that!?!?

Saturday was spent at a company picnic. It was really fun - until the rain hit. Weeks and weeks of no rain then on this one day it decides to rain. Oh well.

Up early Sunday to attend early mass, madd dash to the store for flowers, met the family at a seafood place to celebrate my grandmother's 87th birthday.

The kids and I went shopping cause ya know.. they NEEDED stuff. Daniel picked up some clothes and so did Sarah.

I actually bought a Cmas gift! Granted, it's for the office party, but still! It's a start. And, besides, it's the first part of the season so I have to get it early.

I have promised myself this year I will not go overboard. Also, i'm trying to suggest things to do gift certs instead of THINGS to bring him.

Okay, it's almost 9 pm.. i can go to bed now. i'm pooped and my head is pounding :(

Friday, November 09, 2007

TGIF and the big surprise

Ahh, the weekend is here again! The week seemed to fly by.


Yesterday I was hungry for red beans and rice. In the south, when the cool weather starts up we eagerly watch the weather so we can get a gumbo going or red beans and rice, or basically anything that we can crank up the oven and cook. Until then, it's too darn hot to start the oven!


Seriously. We are 20 degrees warmer today than just 2 days ago. 20 DEGREES! Insane. This IS November. I hope we are not opening Cmas presents with the AC on this year.


So when I realized it was damp and chilly out yesterday, I dug in the freezer for some beans. I only found a ziplock of beans my grandmother had given me. Large red beans. Blah! I prefer the smaller ones. But my craving for beans was strong and I figured if I cooked them long enough SURELY they would get soft like the small ones. I may have to mash and mash.. but it would be okay. I was hungree for red beans and nothing was gonna stop me now. I was on a red bean mission.


Hmm... dried beans. It's 9 am, want them for supper, they need to soak a few hours and then cook for a few hours.. (doing math in head) Not enough time to cook them in the crockpot.


PRESSURE COOKER!


Popped into the internet - what did we do before the internet?? - and found oodles of recipes. I did a quick boil method (bring to a boil for 3 minutes, removed from heat and then cover for an hour). After the hour, I drained the water.. filled with fresh water and let it sit.


Around 5 p.m. I checked the water level making sure it was at least 2 inches above the beans, brought them to a boil, clamped on the lid and let it rip! In the meantime, I chopped the onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic. Twenty-five minutes later... BEANS! And gobs and gobs of gravy! Reduced to a simmer, tossed in my veggies and seasonings. Browned some sliced sausage in the skillet (we like it browned, but you can toss it in there like that). Added sausage to pot o' beans. Stirred, tasted, seasoned. Cooked rice.


In under an hour I had the whole thing done! And it made the BEST gravy! Thick and yummy. The beans were all soft. This may just be how I cook them from now on. The kids all had two bowls each. YUMMY.


Is it lunch time yet???


Earlier this week Rich got a surprise in the mail. He knew it was coming, just wasn't sure when.


This is what we ordered. You can read about it here:




Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Gimme more, gimme more!

Gimme more cool weather! Ahh, the cool front is here.

Time to get things ready for tomorrow and do some reading. I'm zipping along in my Bible. So many times I have tried to read it and it became so confusing, so I'd go back to reading it by jumping all around the scriptures. This time, it's reading like a novel and I cannot wait to see what happens next. (okay, so I know what happens, but it's so neat to read it.) For a long while I wanted to find something good to read. Nothing seemed to call to me. The endless books at the library looked interesting.. but they just filled my mind with fantasy and such. I wanted something good. Something to LEARN. That's when I picked up my bible again. This time I took it slow and and read a bit each night. Sometimes I cannot put it down! :)

I know.. to some it may sound weird.. but the older I get the stronger my craving to dig deeper into my faith. maybe it has something to do with surviving the hurricane through my faith? I know my faith is strong.. and it seriously is what kept me from REALLY going off the deep end at some points.. but I want more...

GIMME MORE, GIMME MORE!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Busy Bees!

Gosh, time sure flies!

Here are some random thoughts:

Community coffee (the BEST coffee) make a chocolate coffee. MMMM. It's really good! I had three cups - and 2 is usually my limit.

The weekend was jam packed. So much fun! I didn't get to the grocery store until Sunday evening! Insane!

Rich's package came today. He's gonna be so excited. I'm waiting to open it when he gets here. :) Normally, I cannot contain myself and rip into it LOL I know, just like a kid.

Keeping the house picked up pays off LOL need to vacuum today. Soon as I finish blogging.

Menu planning pays off!

I need a new cmas tree - prelit one! I'm splurging :)

The kids think I have done gone insane with all my "fake fruit" in the kitchen. The kitchen is done in fruits. DUH!

Getting dressed in the mornings pays off :)

I don't like it getting dark this early. Blah.

The chickens need to lay more eggs, but I'm afraid not gonna happen with the decreased daylight hours.

Need to get to the library, bank and book store.

The time changed has messed with my internal clock. Need Tylenol P.M. tonight.

Off to cook and clean. I love being at home :)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

too pooped to POP

My parents would say they were too pooped to POP when we were little - meaning they were VERY TIRED.

That's how I'm feeling now. I"m about to take my hiney to bed and read.

Friday was dinner out and shopping at Target with a friend while the kids did things with their friends.

Saturday morning I was up at 8 and went for coffee at the neighbors. She had her grandbabies and it was so nice to see them. The parents came to pick them up so it was like a family reunion. Ahh, they grow way too fast. So cute! I remember those days well. They passed too quickly.

I ran to sister in laws to bring the kids their goodies since I wouldn't be seeing them later. They were preparing for a H'ween party. I'm sure they had a wonderful time.

Home to rest, shower, dress and head to church.

After church was Trunk R Treat.. lots of fun was had by all! We passed out candy to all the lil ones. How sweet they are.

Then we zoomed into town to pick up supper.

now.. i'm too pooped to POP!

Gnite!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

150 M W

Let me just say that I love my husband. I love him so much that it hurts! As a matter of fact, today at 3 I called him just to hear his voice. He got a good chuckle out of that, but I noticed he stepped away from the noise so he could tell me he knew how I felt. Then it was 3 minutes of giggles and saying "say something so I can hear your voice" followed by all the sappy words of adornment for each other.

Often my husband goes to bed at 8 or 9. When you get up at 3 a.m. .. well.. need I say more? When he gets in bed he usually texts me so I can go snuggle until he falls asleep. I'm usually cleaning the kitchen, doing laundry or yacking online. Lemme tell ya, for a man who saw NO need for a cell phone just a meer 3 years ago... he sure knows his stuff!

Tonight I noticed no text. Hmm. Strange. Did he fall? Was he hurt? Did he pass out??? No. He was asleep with his hand holding the cell phone. Aww.. he was gonna text and fell asleep. And when he is sleeping.. there is practically NO waking him.

Curiosity got the better of me and I wanted to see just what juicy message he was about to send me!

Oh, here is our conversation from earlier today (as I scroll through the messages)

Hmm.. what this? WHAT??? I love you??

Wait.. was this TO him or FROM him? At 7:40 this morning?? No.. no texts from him this morning - he usually texts me after the kids get in the bus to see how my day is going.

Wait.. it's I love you TO someone. What number is this??? AND it's a reply with I love u 2, r u okay? WHAT???

So whoever he is texting is pretty versed at texting too.. and WHO the hell is texting my man when he is supposed to be texting me???

At this point I can no longer hear.. I can barely remember to breath. I'm scrolling like a madd woman through the phone book section to match the number.. NOTHING.

Wait? What's this number? What's the time? What 's the date????

I'M A DORK.

It seems as though my wonderful husband has not yet mastered texting as well as I thought. Apparently he was texting his little brother, who was very confused about the "codes" hubby and I use when we text - saves times and it's mysterious because only we know what it means :) And no, it's not THAT kinda code.

Ohoo, I'm sure lil brother in law is gonna have a field day with this! LOL

Friday, October 19, 2007

and that was it

I have to make this quick as I need to hop into the tub - I have a date! Rich is gone to the camp and I"m going to dinner with..... his mom :)

Lemme tell you, it's WONDERFUL to have such a wonderful MIL. Of course, Rich is exactly like her!

Speaking of... the point to my post... one day this week was 21 years that we met. My husband can remember that date over any other - wedding, birthdays, births of our children - I kid you not. He takes that date very seriously. He says that is the day we started or lives together. The wedding part was God sealing it solid! AWww.. I know. That man!

THAT man has put up with me for 21 years!

Each year we retell the story to each other of the night we met. It's neat to hear the man's version. Women are so full of details and men are just basic facts. He'll get into detail if I question and he's learning I NEED to hear those details.

He brought me home a bouquet of flowers, a card and some cupcakes home.

I'm pretty sure God knew what he was doing 21 years ago ;) I thank him often for nudging us together that night. We both were dating people we really didn't want to be with forever.. searching for that special someone. After that night I never looked back. That night I met Richard I told him something I had only uttered once before to a man:

--arms around each others waists as we walk along side by side ----

Me: What would you say if I told you I loved you? Would you think I was crazy?
Him: No, I'd say you just made me the happiest man on earth.

WHAT? How do you say I love you at all, much less on the first night you meet someone? But that's how I felt and always have felt since we met. I feel like I have known Richard forever. I was instantly comfortable with him and could say or do anything and not worry he was gonna run for the hills.

And 21 years.... really don't feel like it. It's been one helluva ride, and I seriously could not have done it without him by my side. I tell him often I love him.. then I follow that with asking if he feels it.. really feels it deep in his heart. I know he hears me.. but it's more import that he feel it. That I'm showing him with everything I do how much I love him.

PS - May 2008 will be 20 years married!

I *heart* my husband.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Thank you, Jesus

After work yesterday I was napping in my chair when the news station broke in to say a bus had been in an accident at an intersection near me. I jumped out of my chair, took one look at Jessica and said, "Your brother may be on that bus!"

A quick grab of my purse and keys and we darted out the door. Jessica hopped in her car and was about to pull out when I rolled down the window to find out where she was going. Uhm.. same place I was! GET IN MY TRUCK!!

At the highway corner it was already blocked off. We were told to wait in the church parking lot until they gave the clear for us to drive down to the intersection. Lots of parents showed up. I kept asking what bus number it was and nobody knew. Several frantic phone calls to various cell phones of Daniel's friends were all met with voice mail. CRAP!

The officer let us drive to the intersection. The school bus was on its side, nose first in the ditch! We drove to the ambulance area. I met up with a friend who gave me the bus number.

NOT MY BUS! THANK YOU, JESUS!!

There were 12 kids on the bus from preK to 5th grade. Our local college football players were on their way to practice when they saw the wreck. They helped the kids off the bus. The bus driver had to be extracated from the bus. Someone ran the red light, clipping the back of the bus on the passenger side sending the bus into a circle and into the ditch.

The news so far is that everyone is okay!! Miraculous.

I'm giving praise today.

If you get a moment, I'd also appreciate a prayer for Kayla who is having heart surgery today. She was born with a heart defect and is having another surgery on it today. She and her husband have a 1-year-old. I know they'd all appreciate it too. Thanks.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Daylight savings time

Okay, whoever messed with the time change.. STOP IT.

Here is a snippit I found on the web:

"Daylight Saving Time was instituted in the United States during World War I in order to save energy for war production by taking advantage of the later hours of daylight between April and October. During World War II the federal government again required the states to observe the time change. Between the wars and after World War II, states and communities chose whether or not to observe Daylight Saving Time. In 1966, Congress passed the Uniform Time Act which standardized the length of Daylight Saving Time.

The change to Daylight Saving Time allows us to use less energy in lighting our homes by taking advantage of the longer and later daylight hours."

All I know is that when the kid were young it totally messed up their naps and eating schedules.

I have now figured out why I am so dang tired! The time change. It's not supposed to change until November 4, but that's a week later then normal. My internal clock is anticipating the change already and is really gonna be messed up by the time the change happens. AFter afternoon I'm pooped. Yesterday I slept from 3 to 6! AND went to bed at a decent hour.

I popped out the bed this morning at 5.. and I'm regretting it now. I"m sure I'll need another nap this afternoon. I have a lot to do and don't want to sleep. I know if I don't sleep I'll be in an icky mood and just wanna lounge. I don't have time for that today. I really need to make my weekly menu plan... but I just haven't had time to sit down with the grocery flier and coupons and make one up. Tomorrow the new sales come out.. so I think I'll just wait until then.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Surprise!

I spoke to Rich today while he was at the camp and gave him the rundown of my day, wished him luck in hunting, whispered sweet nothings in his ear and hung up the phone.

Off we went to town. And yes, "to town" is what we say when we are going INTO town to shop or whatever. Going "to town" is a big deal - or we treat it as such. Back-in-the-day (as my kids called it) going "to town" was more of a social event. Families saw other families while they were in town and did the usual catchup chatter. Now we have cell phones and fast-food joints for our hustle-bustle lifestyles. Crazy how the world is now.

So we get back home, grab and snack and spread out doing each our own thing. My MIL calls and I talk to her about the weekend, telling her Rich is coming home on Monday. I can hear a rumble of a big truck but assume it's at the neighbor's.

IN WALKS MY HUSBAND WITH A HUGE GRIN ON HIS FACE.

He came home early ... because... HE MISSED ME!!! Boy, do I feel loved! I really was not expecting him home until lunch tomorrow. AWwww.

Off to snuggle again with hubby! I love surprises like that!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Please, don't bugg me.

I thought I was feeling better. Yesterday was the pits! So glad work was slow. I lounged on and off and was just feeling icky. Tummy gurgling, upset, churning, aching.

Today I feel better - but that's what I thought the other day! All I can think of is I caught some bug and it did not get to settle in and really make me sick as a dawg because I take my probiotics along with a multivitamin. I really need to get back to taking my Ambratose. It's just so icky tasting, but it really does work. I have so much energy and feel so alive. It just tastes THAT bad it makes me not want to take it. Ever chew a vitamin? EWWW. Yes, that's the taste. icky poo!

Sarah has had tummy troubles since she was born. She's not lactose intollerant, she just has a lot of stomach problems. I started her on the probiotics and guess what? We are on day 4 of no tummy troubles! My mom kept suggesting it was IBS. NO. It's NOT. Nervous stomach? Not really. It comes and goes and has nothing to do with what's going on in her life. It just happens now and then. Mostly in the morning. I think her GI tract is waking up and getting moving and she's feeling it. Since starting the probiotics.. normal kid! Amazing how something so simple as taking a probiotic could help. My kids were never sick. Seriously. By the time they would need to see the doctor their chart had been filed away in the inactive files. They each may have taken the "pink stuff" or "purple stuff" twice in their whole lives. No kidding. They get a cold now and again, but no severe sore throats and no earaches. Never have. Now, hopefully I can get them started on a multivitamin. Winter is coming you know :)

Speaking of winter.. the past few days have been incredible weather days! This morning I was down right CHILLY in my bed. I slept in my lounge pants and was chilly! I'm sure it got down to the very low 50s. Beautiful weather. I hope we have a few weeks of weather like this. I have some boxes in storage I need to go through and it's just too hot to be in there digging around and moving stuff.

Rich is at the camp hunting; muzzle loading season started. Hopefully he can snag a deer on this trip.

I'm resting and getting caught up on laundry and some odds and ends around the house. I may have to sit on the patio this evening and have Daniel start up the fire pit, have some wine while the kids roast hot dogs and gobble up s'mores! MMMM We shall see! Fall is my favorite time of the year. :)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

surfing time

How do you spend your internet time? Favorite blogs, web pages, email, or just surfing google to see where it takes you?

I have been online for oh... 15+ years. So much has changed. My kids cannot recall a time without the internet. Or cell phones. Or cable for that matter!

I like to read blogs. It gives a snippit into a person's life and you can tell a lot about what a person devulges. I'm not drawn to anything in particular about blogs. All ages, children/childless, all religions, areas of the world. It's kinda neat to see what other people are doing in their lives. Pretty much the same as me - living life!

I have found some new blogs to read recently. Funny how before the age of the internet I never would have met these people or known anything about their lifestyles or their part of the world. I can check-in at my leisure and see what they've been up to. I can comment, email or just be a silent reader. There are some pretty interesting folks out there.

Who says the internet is all bad?? All depends on how YOU are using it :)


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Feeling better

This weekend I was sick. Being the mom and being sick just a few days can throw the entire household out of wack. Amazing.

I finally made it to the grocery store on Sunday evening and that wore me out. I've had on time to make my menu for the week. But I have had lots of lounging time and reading time - that is always good.

Odds and ends around the house need to be put back in their place. Why is it nobody else sees this?? PICK IT UP when you pass by it and take it back where it belongs. ARGH.

That is what frustrates me most - I spend more time picking and putting things back instead of cleaning. I have one section of the cabinet filled with stuff that does not belong in the living room/kitchen/dining room.

Obviously, I must be feeling better because I'm griping LOL Off to do some picking and putting.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Spanx wrestling

Sorry for the delay. Life has a way of needing attention.

I leave the mall and zip back to my hotel room to get ready for the services. I'm stoked to have finally gotten some Spanx and cannot wait to wear them.

A quick strip of the clothes and a dash of powder. Time to get those puppies on. I had heard so much about Spanx and was so excited to have finally found a reason to treat myself. Nervously I grab the package, not sure what to expect. Dumping it out on the bed I'm shocked. THIS? is gonna gonna fit?????? What? I kid you not, the width was about as wide as my hand. Seriously.

"No time for games," I keep telling myself. Surely the Spanx people know what they are doing. One leg in. Good to go. I have to lift my other leg at the ankle as my Spanx won't stretch far enough away from the right leg they are currently wrapped around. What? No higher? WAit? Are these panties??? Wait.. whatever they are they gotta go ON the hips.

Slip them off. No way. There is NO way that is gonna fit. Take a swig of water because now my mouth is dry from the panting!

One more try. OH OH. All the way to the upper thighs.. here we go. What? How the HELL am I supposed to get this over my hips and ass... AND STILL BREATHE??? Surely they are the wrong size???

Slipped them off, determined they MUST be the wrong size in the wrong package. A quick reference to the back of the package at the sizing chart. Okay.. height, weight.. go across. Okay.. yes. This IS supposed to fit.

Now I'm nervous. Time is ticking and time has been wasted on these things. I decided to forgo the Spanx and catch them another time. Pulled my dress pants on and slipped my OH.SO.CUTE shoes onto my newly pedicured toes. Next comes the shell and the button up shirt I brought along. nice! I'm hunting for the jewelry and catch a glimpse in the mirror. HUH? I look good. But I could be looking better. I mean... didn't I BUY the Spanx to make me look/feel better??? When was I gonna wear them again if not now?? Why would they sell them if nobody could fit in them? Oprah raved about them. The woman who designed them said there was a need for them. Well, I NEED them now!

Take off ALL my clothes and vow to try once more! I know they will go to at least my upper thighs. I get them that far and roll back onto the bed. I'm wriggling and struggling and rolling around. I'm huffing and puffing and down right determined to get them ON. I stand. OH! I SQUAT! It's working. I'm pulling and tugging and squating.

Ahhh.. I stand erect with my new Spanx firmly (and I mean firmly) in place! Ta-dah!! ON! YES! I won! I'm also sweating, my hair is a mess and heck, I'm pooped! But I have them suckers on!

Now, they were snug. They reminded me of sucking in without having to do the work of holding it in. They reminded me. well.. very much like when you bought pantyhose that were a size too small.. but with a bit more give in them. I don't like my stuff tight and these are definitely tight. But they do hold everything in place and give a more slimming appearance.

Jump back into my clothes. Nice! Find my jewelry. Fix my hair. Touchup the makeup and out the door I dash, feeling as if I know a secret that nobody else knows, and make it to the services on time.

While they were nice and make you feel pulled together, I cannot imagine having to potty. I'm certain I would have pulled the entire stall down by the time I had them back in place. haha. KIDDING! I was glad to get them off and probably would only wear them for special functions. Not my everyday kinda undies.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Friday/Saturday Morning

I had planned to leave by noon on Friday. As usual, didn't happen. Oh well.

The drive up was really nice. My best friend moved up there over 20 years ago. When she moved they were beginning work on Hwy 171. Uh, still not finished. We are talking over 20 years people!! There are just a few places that the roads are really bad. And it seems you are always slowing down and speeding up due to the many towns that dot the highway. Guess everyone is feeling the gas crunch because for long stretches at a time I was the only one on the highway. Which is good.. I guess. But my morbid fear kept saying if I went off the road NOBODY was gonna ever find me. I was able to sing along with the radio and get all into it.. hands in the air and clamping.. all that jazz! Really feeling it. LOL Brought back those feelings of being young and cruising around. Except,,, I'm older, have a better vehicle and well.. I can drink legally HAHAHA

Friday night I was able to meet up with my best friend. She's still just a crazy and fun as she was back in the day (as my kids call it). Its insane to see her as a mom. A single mom doing all the stuff it takes Rich and I to do.. and she does it and makes it look so effortless! She's an amazing mom and rightly so she has two amazing kids. She has done a wonderful job raising her kids. They are funny, respectful, smart, beautiful and handsome.. I could go on and on.

We caught up on things and I think I left around 11p.m.? I didn't bunk with her because she had been sick.. like really sick and I don't want to be that sick. No thanks! It was kinda nice having my own place to come and go like I wanted and not worry I was waking people up.

When I get to the hotel I noticed two cop cars along side each other talking. Hmm.. good thing or bad thing to have two cops in your hotel parking lot? At least they could see me and I felt safer. I drove round and round trying to find a blasted parking space. All the slots in front of my room were taken. All the slots behind the front office/bar/casino were taken. I'm sure the cops thought I was drunk for all the backing up and driving round and round the lot I did. Finally, I had to go inside and ask where was I allowed to park.

The clerk is one of those "honey, sweetie, love, baby" kinda people. And it would be fine if she was a motherly-looking woman. But she was not. She wasn't uglee.. but NOT the kind who needed to be saying those things. She insisted there were slots behind the bar. Oh? Show me. She had that look of distain on her face as she led me out the back door. That face quickly turned to dismay as she discovered I was correct. Then she mentioned the bar was having a few bday parties. Well.. HELLO, Hunny, suga, baby, cutie pie, ya think that could be the problem??? She suggested I make a new row on the end of the cars behind the bar. Hmm.. and when they all leave the bar my truck will then be sitting out in the lane?? Don't think so. Finally I opted to park further down from my room. It was pretty late and if anyone was rolling up at this time they were just gonna have to do like I did and drive around until they found something.

After checking email and yacking to a few people online - yes, gotta have my internet fix even away from home! - I crashed. Hard.

The next morning my eyes formed tiny slits to peek and see what time it was. 8:30. A quick text message to Rich and I was up and getting ready. I wasn't hungry and opted to ride around seeing how much had changed since we had evacuated there for the hurricane in 2005.

Now, you have to understand something about me. I'm really not sure why I'm gonna confess this. Oh yah, I know. So that you can understand why the next part of my story is such a big deal to me. Some will be rolling your eyes, but for me it's a major accomplishment.

I have a fear. A fear of the unknown. I am deathly afraid of going alone to places I have never been. Seriously. Funny? Not really. You know that nervousness you get when you are not sure what door to enter or where you are supposed to be going? Magnify that like a bazillion. Seriously. A wave of heat sweeps over me and I cannot hear anything but silence - deafening silence ringing in my ears. I'm looking around but my brain will not register what I am seeing. I don't see the details like the desk I need to be walking to or the door I need to be looking for.. I just see a wall and people. People who are looking at me as I stand there frozen with this deer in the headlights look on my face and unable to form coherent sentences. This is a far cry from how I was at say 18 through 20. Once I was married I stayed home and started a family. I had no reason to go out and .. no money to go places so I just stayed home. Once I had kids it was better. They were my excuse. I could walk in adjust the baby or the stroller or fiddle with a diaper bag as I desperately tried to look around quickly and see the surroundings. I know, I know. It's crazy! After years and years of doing this I just prefered my safe little web and rarely ventured out. I do my best not to have my children repeat this. I encourage them that they CAN do it and give that mommie nudge when needed. If only they knew their mother was so afraid herself. YIKES!

Showered and dressed, I have decided I will drive around and see what has all changed. I will venture out! And I did. I cruised around and saw all kinds of neat shops being built. Blah. None to shop at. I can see cars turning off onto a detour ahead. GULP. Where were they going? They may know, but I have no clue! Follow them! They lead the way and I followed through a subdivision and an apartment complex. I'd never find my way back now. It really didn't matter. I'm not nervous nelly when it comes to navigating. Granted, normally Rich does the driving and I tell him where to go. This is almost the same, right? Driving, looking... not many cars.. weather is beautiful... I see.. what's that?? A mall!

Just recently I have entered the world of shopping. I hated shopping before. Now? Step aside! Found some really cute shoes at Dillard's. Worked my way down the first corridor and ended up at Lane Bryant. Ohoo.. I dunno where my sense of fear went, but it wasn't there and I could have cared less. I'm sure it's because I felt the security of the mall and most malls are the same with the shops all lined up. You are supposed to look like you are taking it all in - and I was. In the dressing from for the 3rd time and my phone is ringing. Who could that be??

ahh.. best friend.

BF: Where ya at?
ME: Girl, I dunno where in the world I am, but I'm trying on some clothes in a mall I stumbled on! :::squeeling with delight::::
BF: Uhm... are you at BP Mall?
ME: Why. yes. I am!
BF: Well, ::chuckle:: That is across from your hotel. It's behind the Burger King.

WHAT??? Seems my little detour took me around the back side of the mall and it sure seemed like I was way down yonder and nowhere near my room with all the driving I had done. A good chuckle with a very red face indeed. Live and learn! Here I thought I had discovered some hidden mall that even my BF didn't know existed after living there for 20 years.

After plunking down 75 well-spent dollars I made bee-line for the hotel! It was time for the services and I needed to put on my dress clothes.

To be continued..... trust me when I say you don't wanna miss it!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Everybody needs a little time a way....

And that's just what I got this weekend. As much sorrow as there was, there was double the joy! Confused? My kids love when I share a story with them. They say I'm very animated. I'm gonna try and write it out, so hopefully I'll be able to paint the picture with my words since you cannot see my hands waving around as I describe things.

Today I'll tell you about the main reason I headed north.

Early last week I got a call.. well.. lemme go back a little more. Say.. I dunno, a few yrs back. I met a girl, Karen, online and we instantly hit it off. The reason I cannot remember when we met is because it seems like I have known Karen for most of my life. I know a good bit of her life now.. and some of her past but I don't know her family. I don't know the family dynamics and all that jazz. That vital history that tells you how a person got to be where they are today.

Karen is that kind of person who will do anything for you. I mean.. she'll send you anything.. well, just because. Because that's the kind of person she is. I could tell instantly that she is very loyal to her friends and cares deeply about them. Soon I learned first hand how she works LOL She has sent me things over the years. Just because things. She sees this or that and it made her think of me and so.. well. she sent it. No big deal. She wanted to and she did. I'm forever thankful for those gifts which always seemed to come just at the right time. Thanks, Karen.

Then one time she came back home for a visit. She drove from North Louisiana to South Louisiana on her way to Texas and swung by and saw me! I was tickled!! I could see how much the kids loved her and how much she loved her kids. I already knew how much she loved her family - heck, she drove all the way from California to come home and see her family! What a woman!!

Even though we may not have talked or emailed or instant messaged for a few weeks.. we just pick up where we left off. She always had time to stop and listen to me moan or complain or share in a joy or celebration. She's a great listener. Everyone would tell me I was a great listener and I never understood what they meant. I mean.. I like to listen to people. I'm easy to talk to, etc. But I now know what they mean.

Karen shared me with the deep love she has for her dad. Oh yeah, she is a daddy's girl to the core! I could hear her smiling even when she TYPED about her daddy. And she'd tell me how much her daddy loved her children and how much they enjoyed spending time with him. What wonderful memories and what a special bond to help shape. We all know teens and preteens often don't want to be around family much less spend vacation time. But hers did. And by the pictures I saw they really, honestly enjoyed that time.

Karen's daddy got sick. Really sick. She came home to help her mother take him to the doctor in Florida. There he was diagnosed with Lewy Body Disease .

Time passed and it brought us to last week. Karen emailed to say her daddy had passed away. I knew she was going to be in the state. If the funeral was during the week there was no way I could go. I found out the services were to be over the weekend and I let Karen know I'd be headed north.

Packed my bags and early afternoon I hit the road. Checked into the hotel and headed to the funeral home.

When I walked in I could feel all eyes on me. YIKES! Looking around I didn't see anyone I knew. Hmm.. lemme meander around some. Everyone went back to talking, assuming I was supposed to be there and that I knew what I was doing.

Then I saw Karen. Aww.. Karen with her Sassy hair and outfit!! You know the girl drill - hugs and tears!! She showed me the display of items they had chosen to show bits and pieces of her dad's life. Some patches and drawings, a scrap book she made, things the grandkid's had given him, the clock he made, the medal, the flag. Then I saw the video. Little snippits of his life. The love he had for his family and the passion for living life was very evident.

She introduced me to her family and their spouses and their children, her mother, her best friend and her family, and close personal friends.. I was trying to remember who went with who and trying to remember names but the response was always the same. Karen would introduce me as her friend from down south and they would immediately smile and extend a hand or open arms for a hug. Some seemed surprised that I had drive that they considered "all that way" for a friend. My reply was how I truly felt. "It was the least I could do." And I meant it from the bottom of my heart. HOW do you show someone you care about them? How do you express it? Sometimes actions are louder than words.

Normally, I'm the type who loves to make people smile and keep them entertained. That day and the following day I was an observer. You can learn a lot about people from just watching. And so I did just that.

I stepped back and watched this family come to gripes with the fact that their Daddy, husband and rock was now gone. He was no longer in pain. He was free. Instead, they were left with the pain of his absence, trying to fill the gap he once filled, to never forget him and all he had done. Afterall, he had helped shape them. He had a hand in their lives.

I watched a son hold his mother. His arm a shield of protection as if to say "you are not alone. I am here for you" knowing that it just will never be same for her. I watched spouses cling to each other. Their grief so deep that a sqeeze of the hand was all that was needed. I watched siblings console each other, young and old. I saw teenaged siblings hold each other. A teenaged boy held his sister as she could no longer hold back her tears. He smoothed her hair and kissed her forehead as she cried her heart out. Best friends, arms entangled in the pew behind the children, trying to gain strength as they helped each other come to terms with the passing of one father and reliving the passing of the others' dad years back. You never forget. And another funeral is a reminder of what you've been through. A best friend knowing what the other was going to have to go through. Knowing the hard road and willing to be there to support her. I saw the widow face a day no one ever wants to face. She's a strong woman. I know she will be okay. I know she will be so lost. So empty. I sat behind two young girls with small children and watched them constantly wipe their tear-stained faces. Their young children were still and quiet. Unsure of what was really going on, but nobody had to tell tell them it was serious.

After the service they released balloons into the air. I hope they were able to release some of their grief with those balloons. Their daddy is living BIG in Heaven! He is with the Lord, watching over them and awaiting their arrival to join him.

In the meantime, I have no doubt that this family will continue their strong bond. And I found that strong bond often envelops complete strangers - myself. Karen's brother hugged me and said, "We were glad to have you."

And I was glad to be there, to witness where my friend comes from and how she became the woman, mom and friend she is today!

I love you, Karen. I hope you know now how much our friendship really means to me. I will continue to keep your family in my prayers.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

It's every mother's dream...

to have a child whine TO eat green beans. Yup. Sarah absolutely loves green beans. She has eaten green beans every day after school this week. That's four days worth of green beans! Well, smothered green beans with onions and bacon drippings that her mamma cooks with love. She wanted them so bad that she even ate them with a hotdog and chili. Her sister was grossed out, but she was loving every tastey morsel.

Last night we had McDonald's, so tonight was hotdogs. Today is kinda rushed, so it worked out. I had a migraine last night (lack of coffee) and wanted to gouge my right eye out. Surely that would feel better and release the pressure behind it.

Rich picked up the kids from CCD, ran to the drug store for an Rx I was supposed to get yesterday, and then treated the kids to McDonald's. Awww. He even picked me up some nuggets and fries. McDonald's always makes you feel better :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Friends

How much is enough to do for a friend, for a friend who has been a very good friend, who just seemed to walk into your life one day and you felt like you had been friends for years. I knew nothing about this person, yet felt like all that didn't matter. We were friends and she was a lot like me! I was instantly comfortable with her and could tell her things very easily. I never felt judged or questioned or that I had to defend myself. Instant friends.

And just like with friends you have had for years, best friends, sometimes we don't talk for a while and then we catch up online or email and we just tend to pick up right where we left off. None of that uncomfy silence... that "what do I say now???" feeling.

Her dad passed away. To her, he rose and set the sun. Everytime she would talk about him I could hear the love she had for him. I could feel her smiling. I know he loved her too and spoiled her rotten!

I'll be there for her.. that's all I can do. But it just seems like it's not near enough.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Gotta love those coups!

I finally made it to the store last night. My bill started at 157.00 and I ended up paying 107 and some change in the end. Gotta love using coupons. I picked up everything needed for this week's menu and some extras - chips, dip, snacks, poptarts. You know, those must-haves.

Tonight is Bonko at my neighbors. Whoo hoo! Supper is cooked for the family and I'm about to fold the laundry. Life is good!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Weekend

This weekend just seemed to fly by! It's Sunday evening and I still have not been to the grocery store. The longer I sit here I don't want to go.

Saturday I went to see Baby R at her house. All 4+ pounds. She is the sweetest thing. Her mamma and daddy are a wonderful couple. They have so much support from family and friends. Ahh, the love was in the air.

This morning was church and lunch and home to do some odds and ends. I helped Jessica make a purse. If I do say so myself, it is the cutest thing! It's just a lined rectangle with handles.. and we put a pocket on the inside. And, the pattern is camo. Her daddy said he may need her to make him one hahah

Now I"m about to zip to the store. The menu is made and the list is made. I"m outta here!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ham

Tonight we were supposed to have the ham and that way the leftovers could go in tomorrow's beans. I took a nap and no ham got cooked! Yikes!

To top it off.. the "ham" turned out to be a roast LOL

Oh well, I got a good nap today. Guess it's everyone fend for themselves. The sink is full of cereal bowls so I'm guessing everyone found something to eat. Ah, the joys of older kids!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Babies, babies everywhere

Yesterday, friends of ours had their baby. Baby C is so adorable. He's got dark hair and a scrunched up face. He's a good baby so far for under 24 hours. The parents are gonna be good parents. Really good parents. We are truly blessed to know them. They remind Rich and I a lot of ourselves. Newly married, remodeling a house and now an addition to the family. They are a lot of fun to be around and I hope our friendship continues throughout the years and we are able to see their family grow. For such a young couple, they sure made an impact on these old folks.

Baby R was born this evening. My neighbor/friend's daughter had her first baby. Well, the new mamma is my friend too, but sometimes it's just easier to say my friend's daughter. Actually, my neighbor/friend, her sister and all of their kids are my friends. And now.. the kids' friends are my friends too. Confused? But it's so much fun and NEVER a dull moment. They are all so loving and friendly and just kinda took me in as an aunt.. The kids are old enough to be my sisters. Actually, my sister went to school with one of them. I watched these girls grow up and get married and now they are having babies! I'm very blessed to have them in my life. Each one of the girls are very different. Some are so touchy feely and very emotional. Some are strong and bold and then they have a softer side that cries when she has to get on that plane and go back home LOL

I have yet another friend whose daughter is due in a few weeks. Oh, it's gonna be a good year of babies, I tell ya! And the love.. the love to share. Funny how when you starting opening your heart and loving.. unconditionally.. the love in return.. just overfills you.

Yes, I'm all caught up in the baby-bliss moment... and that's just how I wanna be.

Gnite!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Preparing and Organizing

Each year I say I'm gonna get organized. Each year I say I"m gonna be more prepared. I'm proud to say each year I do!

I've been working on scheduling the housework. So far so good!

I've been working on grocery shopping and using coupons to save. So far so good!

I've been working on saving more money. So far so good.

I've been working on keeping a calendar so we can plan ahead. So far so good! I look over the calendar each night to prepare for the next day. Amazing how much prep can be done the night before.

I've been working on menu planning and cooking. Ehh... some days it happens and some days it just don't. We are pretty flexible and sometimes there just is not enough time to cook what we planned due to staying out later than expected or just being too darn tired!

Why? poor planning.

This weekend I made my menu for the week based on time constraints for each night of the week. It's easy to see that nights we are busy I need to cook quick meals. This week I have the menus planned and it really has helped. It helps to know I have 5 options. Everything needed for the meal is here. THAT helps so much. It also helps to do as much prep work the night before. If you do that each night then the next night you are ahead of yourself and the stress is greatly reduced. I cannot tell you how nice it was to dump the meat and seasonings into the crockpot this morning and be done. The onions and bell pepper are all sliced and ready. In fact, tomorrow's ground meat was cooked on Monday when we had tacos. I was already cooking the meat so I might as well cook all needed for the week. No reason to stand over the stove more than I need to. Doing today's cooking everything versus doing tomorrow's prep today surely cannot make that much difference, right? WRONG. I try to equate it to picking out your clothes the night before. Being prepared just in case something happens. You never know. And Murphy's Law seems to come into play here a a lot.

Tomorrow I guess we'll have the ham - which I need to take out now to defrost (see, preparing ahead!) - so we can use some in the beans for Friday. Planning ahead really works.

I guess I am more organized than I thought. At least this week!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

3:10 to Yuma

Last night was date night. MMM Date night. Yup. Just Rich and myself doing something kidless!

We go out to eat at those places the kids throw a hissy not to eat at or to see a movie alone or with another couple or race home and spend some quality time alone when the kids are preoccupied on Friday night. This week Daniel had company on Friday, so that moved date night to Saturday. Saturday's can range from shopping to lunch to visiting other ADULTS to... well.. riding on the back country roads and just talking; anything to tune out the rest of the world and focus on our relationship.

At first it was weird. We had no clue what we wanted to do. A big sign we have been apart too long. We quickly realized this needed to change. So, we try to do date night at least twice a month, depending on how loaded the Calendar seems to be for that month. Just a few hours alone, uninterrrupted seems to work wonders for our relationship. Granted, everyone TELLS you in the beginning of your marriage that you NEED time alone or date nights, but nobody tells you just how to accomplish that. Oh yah, hire a babysitter? That would have meant 3 days of intense cleaning, paying a sitter so we could drive off and not have any money to do anything...and well, it just wasn't worth it. After 19 years of marriage and seeing countless friends divorce or lose a spouse.. we decided it was well worth the effort to see that date night happened. It also helps that the kids no longer need sitters, we have the extra money and the kids would rather stay home.

We opted for an early movie - 3:10 to Yuma. Ugh.. a cowboy movie. You must know that I try my best to busy myself somehow with cleaning to avoid seeing Three Mules for Sister Sarah for the bazillionith time!! I just would rather catch dust bunnies under the bed than sit through another afternoon of Clint Eastwood. Now, Sam Elliot is a different story for a different day. But Rich loves a good cowboy movie and how could I resist? It was date night!

I bought the tickets early as we always seem to rule late and by golly, I gotta have my popcorn and coke at the movies. Who cares if it's 20.00; nearly double what we paid to get IN?? It's money well spent to set the mood. Afterall, it IS date night. We are allowed to splurge.

If you're wondering, yes, the movie was filled with couples our age or OLDER and all must have been having date night and splurging on popcorn and all the men where smiling! Date night consisting of popcorn, coke, a guy flick and swinging from the chandeliers later all because I took my woman out on a date, what-could-be-better smiles!

The movie was good. It really was. I like to "see into the future" at the end of a movie and they didn't do that, but oh well. It was good and hubby liked it, we had popcorn and coke and ... well, you get the picture.

So what do you do for date night? It doesn't have to be dinner and a movie.. it's whatever you love.

  • Get icecream
  • Go to the movies
  • Pick up food
  • Go out to eat
  • Rent a movie
  • Ride in the country
  • Get up at 5 and go out for breakfast
  • Sit on the patio and greet the day
  • Take the dogs running in the country
  • Visit friends
  • Spend time alone
  • Shopping; errands

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Rudness

Sometimes I wonder if I take things too seriously. Then other times, I know I'm not!

Daniel had a friend coming to spend the night. Said "friend" has never been here and I was eager to meet a fellow buddy. You know,you gotta know who your kids' friends are. They had no school on friday, so friend was gonna spend the day with girlfriend. No biggie.. I figured a few hours. Friend was supposed to come around 6pm. Kinda late being they had the day off from school, but I wasn't sure if his dad was bringing him and that was the time he was able. Okay.. fine.

Every hour, Daniel called friend asking where the heck he was! People. AT 10:00 p.m. said friend finally rolls up, being brought by his friend. Hmm.. Me thinks parents assume he has been at Daniel's house since 6, when in fact he has been riding around and hanging out with girlfriend. GRRRRR.

Check on your kids, people. I was so furious. What kind of first impression is he making? Is this normal for him?? I was NOT impressed and I know Daniel was quite upset. I even suggested telling him it was too late and just come tomorrow for the day. Daniel had his heart set on gaming all night and here it was 10pm and friend was 4 hours late!!

Like I said, I'm not impressed with this kid. But who knows... maybe I'm all wrong and he was just caught up in love and really is a good kid?? We shall see!

On a happier note... my husband decided not to go to the camp this weekend - so he is home! He's helping a neighbor with his carport at the moment. Hopefully we'll get to go to the movies either today or tomorrow.

I'm off to cut coupons, make my grocery list, make my menu for next week and SHOWER. I know you just couldn't function without knowing LOL

Friday, September 14, 2007

If you have never..

If you have never had homemade pizza you are seriously missing out on some good eating! I have done both - homemade dough and the boxed Chef-boy-ardee. The "Chef" is good at visiting our house. In a pinch I have been known to made the dough by hand.. or when they specifically ask for it. MMM it really is good.

The girls were gathered around the island in the kitchen as I was making the dough. They love to eat the raw dough and were hoping ole mom would turn her head and they could snag a pinch. They were tired and hungry after declaring the Hurricane has passed and it was a good day for shopping. They spent the afternoon goofing off and being sisters. It was nice to hear them giggling and telling me what they had done. They are 6 years apart.. so bonding times like this are few and far between. I think the oldest is seeing her little sister does have a personality and likes to be around her. Before, she was a nosey little sister.

The girls requested a pizza with everything: Pepperoni, bell pepper, onion, canadian bacon, and pineapple. And it was delish! Later I made other versions for the guys, and they were just as good. I'm gonna half to try getting some string cheese and making a crust filled with string cheese. That sounds really good. I also love to put garlic powder in the dough.

I was telling the girls that when their father and I were first married we were as poor as church mice (as my grandmother says). With no extra money to splurge on pizza.. we opted to make it ourselves. That's when my husband reintroduced me to The Chef and I was hooked. The possibilities are endless. You can be as creative or as simple as you want. Thick crust, thin crust. It's all up to you.

The girls laughed when I said we had fun doing the simple things - like making pizza together. I'm sure it WAS funny. But it left me thinking about our first few years together long after the pizza was eaten and one was leaving for work and the other was in her room on the phone.

I'm really glad we struggled those first years of being newly weds and having a baby within the first year of marriage. We learned to depend on each other. We learned to work together and push ourselves to do things we never dreamed we'd be able to do. We became a team.

We built a foundation.

That foundation has kept us together through all the 19 years of disappointments and sorrows and let downs and celebrations and cheering and accomplishments.

And for that.. I'm thankful :)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Changes anew

I took a leap and changed the layout. So far, I really like it. Hope you do too!

Hurricane???

We had been talking about the tropical storm and the amount of rain it could bring us. With all the rain we already have had.. and now expecting MORE, we figured we needed some things from the store before it was too late.

You know.. important things. Like.. snacks. Bread. Lunch meat. And chips and dip.

Oh, I have rubbermaids full of hygeine and toiletry items. That's covered.

Off we went. No coupons. I paid waay too much. But hey, we NEEDED it. I certainly did not want to get out in the weather nor the day after for bread. I'm trying to think ahead. I like to do my shopping on the weekends and this mid week stuff is messing me up big-time.

We went to bed anticipating rain around midnight. I woke up around 1 to wind-driven rain on my window. It pounded and poured for a solid hour. I heard the weather band radio go off, but was too tired to hear what he had to say. Around 5:30 I woke up with Rich and it was pouring again. It started around 4:30 and it really poured or steadily rained for hours after that. I decided to get up and watch the news to see if the kidlets could sleep late.

You'd swear it was a hurricane with all the coverage. Wait a minute. It IS a hurricane. When did that happen???? It was a CAT 1 hurricane when it hit. Texas got hit pretty hard. We were on the "bad" side (East) of the hurricane and I don't think it was near as bad. We had wind gusts and pouring rain.. but that really was about it. We never lost power (thank goodness!) and even the cable never flickered. It was dark and gloomy and the kids were happy that moms work was slow because she was able to make breakfast - which they didn't eat until they arose at 10am! But I'm not complaining.. it was easier that they were sleeping and didn't bug me to death with a zillion questions and wanting to open and eat everything in the house due to boredom.

Once the weather cleared, the girls promptly declared it a good day to go shopping and dashed out before mom could give advice about driving in the rain and not going through roads covered with water and instructions on which roads tended to flood quickly.

Son has now darted off to swim at the neighbors house.

I'm all alone again. Ahhh..

They are off again tomorrow for a teacher's meeting. I hope I have enough snacks to keep them full! Somehow I doubt it though.

Monday, September 10, 2007

just great

Ever been so tired you cannot sleep?

That's me. I was so looking forward to bed at 9:40 too. I have tossed and turned and finally got up to get a drink of water and well, the computer called me LOL

Hubby is back. Party was great. Everyone is ready for Monday.

Have you tried the mint 3-musketeers? It's like a mild form of a Peppermint Patty. Caution: Do not buy a snack-size bag. You may eat the entire bag over the course of a weekend when nobody else is here to help you eat them. Don't ask me how I know!

Guess I'll try and get some sleep now. 5:40 is gonna come early!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

missing him

My husband is at the camp this weekend and I miss him. I"m glad he gets to do the guy thing and i'm happy he's taking time to relax. I'm just missing him.

He'll be home tomorrow.

I cannot wait.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

it spread like wild fire

Thank goodness for cells phones. Good news travels fast!

Girlfriend called saying Sears was having a killer sale. I was in great need of some basic black things and decided to head that way. Called another friend and she high-tailed it over there too. Then I saw another friend of a friend who had been called by my first friend. Whoo hoo! Girls shopping.

I visited the dressing room like 5 times and walked away with:

1 navy dress with jacket - the lil black dress didn't look as good as the navy
1 pair of black capris
1 black button up top
1 coral shirt
1 powder blue shirt
3 shells

All for 54.00. The navy dress was regular 80.00 and I got it for 15.99!! So I got all my clothes for less than the cost of the dress.

I also snagged a black/white necklace and earings, and a red necklace (to wear with navy dress!) Now I'm on the hunt for another pair of jeans and some tshirts. Oh, and navy shoes :) I snagged a really cute pair of black shoes at Payless. Which would go awesome with the skirts in the misses section. But, alas, they had none in my size. The skirts would be GREAT to work in. They'd be great to run to the store when work is slow or if I had to pick the kids up. Sometimes I just get tired of shorts and frumpy tshirts. They are just cotton and can really be dressed up or down.

I know.. who'd have thought. ... ME ... and clothes? I got some really great tips and they are proving to work great. I make a beeline for my styles and skip over the rest. Find my size and then my color. Who hoo! Shopping like a pro. It still overwhelms me, but I'm learning. I have some great friends who help too.

I can see this could quickly get out of hand LOL

It must be working because my husband now tells me I look nice.. without any prompting.. and the kids tell me I have a shape and look much better than trying to hide under baggy clothes. I feel good about myself and that's what matters most :)

Happy Labor Day!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

toys ain't just for boys!

I've been married for 19 years. In those 19 years I think we have purchased a handful of brand new things. Most of the time we buy second-hand to save a buck. One income, three kids. You do the math.

18 years later - hubby wanted a new riding lawnmower. I mean, you can only use the 2 the neighbor gave you that you combined to make one good mower for only so much time. We got a riding lawn mower. We have an acre, so riding is best. Usually I mow or the kids do, and hubby gets the pleasure of weedeating. I have tried it.. I'm just not strong enough to hold it up and it vibrates so much my hands swell. Besides, I LOVE to mow. Yes, I do. I mowed lots when I was a teen. Lots. With a walk behind, too.

That lawn mower always had something wrong with it. Many times we had to wait for a part or wait for hubby to have time to fix it before we could mow. This meant the grass was MUCH longer than I'd like and such a pain to mow when you finally did get everything ready. Very frustrating. I wanted to take the sledge hammer to it a few times. That would mean I'd have to "mow" with scissors.. and an acre? No thanks. I hated to ask hubby if it was fixed so I could mow.. it only aggrevated him more.

Finally, I put my foot down. GO GET A NEW ONE! As always, he had to research and speak to many men folks. Research and price around town.

Then he came home with this!

I am in HEAVEN! That baby has a 50 inch blade and it can eat some grass!!! I can mow the grass in half the time now. And it's so fun to whip around.. whoo hooo!

My yard looks fantastic! I've mowed twice this week! :)

Monday, August 27, 2007

It never ends

There always seems to be something needing to be attended, overseen or handled.

Today is no exception.

Already have a call in to the school. My child is supposed to be in French. She is not. GRR. She went to the counselor's office and was asked what her grades were last year. Uhm.. the child is 12.. she drew a blank and said "some good, some not so good." Except, she was referring to daily grades. No end of six weeks grades. So the counselor says perhaps that is why she is not in French. I'm furious. First off.. these counselors are NEW to our school. They come from a school that was closed down. The first day of school was a madd house with no kids being assigned schedules YET. And a few days into school and all the schedules were changed again. Did they look at my child's transcript when she went to tell them she was not put in French? No. They asked a 12-year-old and left it at that. TWICE. She went twice to request being put in French. The kicker? Her report card last year said she was to be in French this year! So I'm not just some crazy mamma who wants her kid to be in French. She NEEDS to be in French. She has 2 years to go before she can take "the test" and receive a full credit in foreign language for high school and I"ll be damned if I"ll let that slide all because some counselor is too freaking lazy to type a few keystrokes into the computer and find out where my child should be.

I tell ya.. it really gets OLD to do someone elses job!

Friday, August 24, 2007

friday follies

We really need to get it together.. really.

No kids.. the night is ours and we cannot even figure out what we want to eat or what we wanna do - if anything!

I cleaned the fridge. He fed the critters.

I vacuumed. He showered.

Showered? Dressed?

Great. I'm NOT ready and I really neeed a shower.

Pickup?

What to pickup?

While thinking.. he ZZZ in the chair.

I fix pan-fried tilapia and wheat noodles in sauce.

ZZZZ

I play on computer.

ZZZZ

I put sheets back on bed.

ZZZZ, cough, cough.

Now he is tucked in bed and I am tidying up.

I'm off to bed.

Tomorrow is early rise, breakfast and out with the girls.

Hopefully I'll be able to find a new pair of frames.. my eyes hurt from trying to see.

Really. Need. New. RX. Filled. For. Eyes.

Good. NITE!

Monday, August 20, 2007

School, college, hurricanes and working nude

ROUTINES AGAIN!

School: The kiddos are back in school and very much enjoying it.

College: Jessica started today and really likes it. Ask me again in 2 months LOL

Hurricane: Dean seems to be headed to Mexico (those poor people) and we are keeping a close eye on other systems out there.

Working nude:
I found an article that says 1 in 8 men and 1 in 14 women work nude from home if they telecommunicate. Uh... not me. That's gross. Really gross.

I generally work in shorts/capris and a tshirt. Always socks and shoes, hair fixed and face washed and teeth brushed. Always.

Ever lounge all day in your pjs? Feel slouchy and sloppy and lazy? Who wants to feel that way while you are supposed to be working?

Besides, I have kids, hubby and friends who may come by at any given moment for whatever reason. With kids in school, it's much easier to grab my keys and GO should an emergency happen - and I have had it happen!

Granted, when I'm feelign sick.. I do dress for working depending on how I feel.

But nude? Never.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

the final count down!

Oh, school starts Friday! We are counting down the days! This week I have to squeeze in a haircut for the youngest. That's about it.

I"m soo looking forward to a quiet house all day.. and a house that stays clean! Well, they do pick up after themselves.. but it's nice that NOTHING gets moved until they get home from school.

I am looking forward to that 1/2 hour after I get off work and they get off the bus!!! I get soo much accomplished during that time. Crazy!

The uniforms will be washed this week and I'm sure youngest will soon be digging the school supplies out of the cabinet to touch and look and marvel at them.

Something about school supplies - so many good memories.

I already have my calendar loaded with the dates they will be off from school. :) Trying to stay one step ahead.

Ugh.. now I"ll have to make sure they have lunch money every day. For some reason that is a pain in the butt! I use my ATM card everywhere and rarely have cash or change on hand. Guess I need to put that on my list of TO DOs - get some dollar bills and rolls of quarters.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

I love my teenagers!

Now, don't get me wrong. Teenagers can really push the limits, but man are they self-sufficient!

My sister's kids go to daycare provided by their school. Two weeks before school starts the daycare portion closes so they can get ready for school. What to do with your kidlettes??

Because I'm not in my huge house, I figured I'd help a sister out. I mean, my sister has come through many times to help me and watch my kids for an entire weekend when they were small. Time to return the favor.

Her oldest has Asberger's Syndrome. Okay, no biggie. He has a vivid imagination and will play with his toys all day and entertain himself. But he also wants to show you this and that, and watch Nanny!, and look at this, and what if this happened..

Uhm. I'm supposed to be working. LOL

And eat? OMGOSH, the kid can eat! And *I* gotta fix it for him.

Uhm. I'm supposed to be working.

And now he wants to eat again.

And again.

And again.

U getting the picture? OH, I don't mind.. it's just I gotta fix it and clean up after him.. and well..

I'm supposed to be working.

His party was Sunday, so I just took him home to spend the night and Sarah went home wit my sister to watch her other child. The girls like to sleep late and Chris gets up early so it all worked out. Monday I offered him to spend the night again so my sister wouldn't have to worry about hauling them here and there.

Poor thing. By Tuesday afternoon he was ready to see his mamma and said he was NOT spending the night again LOLOL

And did I mention he eats a lot? But! He is soo thin. We say he has a hollow leg and he gets madd hahaha.

After two days I was exhausted! I had picked up toys and the dishes he goes through...and the food prep because he don't eat the things we do - he's a kid - it's just easier to fix what I know he'll like than to argue for him to eat what we had. (chicken chow mein) So that was two meals. Each night. And clean up.

I was so tired by the time he left. Not to mention all the other stuff that went on. I don't think I recooped from my girls night weekend. I had to RUSH daniel to school to get registered. Then, Daniel got the side of his pinky finger snipped with the shears at work (he works at a plant nursery).. so that was trip to Urgent Care and an all day wait! Then it was rush for eye appointments and last minute shopping before school. It never stops. And hauling around a much younger kid.. you constantly have to watch him. Take him to the bathroom. Answer his 50-thousand questions and try to stick to the task at hand.

After my nephew left I hugged Richard and said, "I sure love having teenagers!"

I love all my nieces and nephews.. but I"m soo very glad mine are teenagers!!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Weekends and girlfriends

I have so much to say.. oh gosh!

1. Flylady has allowed me to have weekends back! And weekends are for recharging and that's just what I have been doing. You know how moms put themselves last.. well.. this is a way to put myself back on the list. No housework on the weekends - besides keeping picked up after yourself and dishes. I usually use the dishwasher on the weekends. During the week it would turn into a dirty dishes storage unit, soI just refuse. I tend to stay ontop of things this way too.

2. I am soo very blessed. I have wonderful friends and family. My heart is filled with peace and I'm living life. I have a few friends who have kids in the late 20s and early 30s. These kids (young ladies) are such a blast to hang around. They are honest, loving, funny and smart! Beautiful women. They fawn around me saying I am awesome and the best.. if only they knew how much they teach ME! And their moms teach me. I only hope my kids can grow up to be wonderful adults like these girls.

3. TIME AWAY! I have a wonderful husband who allows me time away from the family to recharge. He loves to see my happy and I'm so very happy to make him happy :) Last weekend was one of the young ladies bdays. 27 years young! She wanted us all to get together and go out. Bars are not our scene as most of us .. well, all of use are married are in longterm relationships. What to do?

Casino! A little gambling, lots of free drinks and girls night out! Whoo hooo! One of the girls has a boyfriend who is a high roller and is given free rooms for the casino hotel. Ohoo, baby! She gave the room for the weekend to the Bday girl!

The first night was couples night. All the young ones went out as couples and stayed in the room. The next night was SLUMBER PARTY! Yes! That's right. SLUMBER PARTY. Girls only!

Ms Rachel, Ms Rachel! Pack your bag and get up here. We have a dinner date and afterwards is par-tay time!

Who could resist??

The food was out of this world. It was wonderful to be waited on and treated so elegantly! Drinks in the casino and the gaming started. Some slithered off to the bar to sip some more (yes, the younger ones) and the older and pregnant ones stuck to gambling with our drinks. MMM

The machines were not paying so we decided to take a break. Up to the room for giggles and snacks and music and dancing. The room?! Wow. I know it's a brand new hotel...but wow. The bathroom is as big as the room! Two, TWO big screen tvs, one small one in the bathroom. A scale in the bathroom?!? Enclosed toilet with a bidet. Beats the outhouse, I guess. hahaha. The tub was in the middle of the room and the water fell from the ceiling to fill it. The shower was glass enclosed with tile ledge and a tile bench and a mist/steamer in it. The bed was soo soft. The Bose system jammed! Can you tell I don't get out much? These rooms are easily 400+ and the weekends are more. She had it for two nights. YIKES!

Gambled some more and headed up to bed. Watched some tv and talked..did I say how amazing these girls are? EAch one took a turn snuggling with me and just talking. The love in their eyes and the love in my heart.. aww.. amazing. I hope everyone gets to feel that kind of love at some point. Unconditional love. And they accept me for who I am. Not always on time, emotional over small things, blabbering when I'm tipsy.. and they still love me and want me around. They make me feel so special.

The next morning they were all dragging asses saying how they cannot party like they use to LOL The olders ones had no problem as we are use to getting up early and knew better than to get too much to drink the night before. Live and learn. Ahh, to be young.

Sunday was recoop day and today I'm still tired. They remind me of myself at that age.. and I'm so glad they invite me to relive my younger years and remind me why I'm so much happier at the age I am LOLOL

Saturday, August 04, 2007

this just aint right

I've been saying that since we got our new furniture. Rich's recliner is so hard to push back and the foot rest does not "pop" up. This aint' right.

So I called the furniture people, and today he made it out here. And he said "This just aint right." Now, I might not be a recliner mechanism master.. but I know when one aint' working like it's supposed to.

He lugged it to his truck and said he'd let me know. Later this evening the furniture company called to say they all looked at it and none of them can figure out what is wrong with it. They've ordered new parts and well get back with me.

All this for a chair? heck, ya... it aint right!

Thank goodness for a lifetime warrenty!

Hopefully it wont take TOO long to get the chair back.