Friday, December 31, 2010

I ♥ Makeup

I have a problem. It's a relatively minor problem.in the grand scheme of things. Easily curable.  One of my favorite things to do when I have time AND money is to go to my favorite stores that carry makeup. They ONLY carry makeup. Sometimes, nothing beats getting a new lip gloss or eye shadow color. I've even bought them from my favorite home shopping channel. Sometimes you can't beat the Today's Special Value, ya know! But, it may be out of hand now.....


Hello! I only have TWO eyes. It's all pretty much in the same color scheme. It's like it draws me to it. What's even sadder is that I don't even wear makeup that often. I'm a stay at home mom who survives on t-shirts and jeans with some shorts thrown in for Spring and Summer. The makeup pretty much doesn't come out til around Friday and gets put back up around Sunday night. Some of the powders are fun to dip my lip balm in and I just put a little color on the lips and go. 


Lip gloss is my next favorite thing. Swipe some lip gloss and put on a little mascara and I could pass off as if I care a little about how I look. My lipsticks and lip glosses are also in the same color scheme. I don't venture into uncharted territory when it comes to my lip gloss. I know what looks good and stick with it.  Of course, there is the obligatory lip balm. I hate chapped lips. 




Blushes are the bane of my makeup world. I don't do them very well. I just stick with the same color variation  and hope it turns out okay. I don't have a spending problem when it comes to blush. 


Nail polish is also a sweet spot for me. I love the pinks and  reds all the way to the glittery blues and black. Yes. I said black. During the month of October, what's the harm in a little black nail polish? There's even a glittery green thrown in for fun. Even when my face doesn't have any makeup on, I at least know that my toe nails are the best dressed toe nails around. 

I am not particular to one brand. I take that back. I am partial to one brand, with a few others thrown in. Everything has a place to store it in. Some of the containers are about to overflow. This doesn't even include the finishing powders, acne soap, moisturizers, primers and highlighters. Not to mention the retinol creams, brushes and eye pencils. Concealers and potions all promising to do something that probably won't. 

So, here's to 2011 and derailing my trips to my favorite makeup stores. Here's to using up everything I have, or throwing it away. Whichever comes first.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Leonardo, I Really Want to Like Your Movies...

Recently, Hubby and I saw Inception. It was interesting at first. The whole concept of entering other people's dreams and all was a little fascinating, if not George Orwellian. It jumped around so much it made my head spin. Then came the ending. Are you kidding me? Apparently it took Christopher Nolan* nine years to write this movie and that's the ending I get?

After that movie was over I started thinking about all of the movies that we had seen with Leonardo DiCaprio in them. Granted, we haven't seen all of them, but we've seen a few. 

The last one we saw before Inception was Shutter Island. DiCaprio plays a detective who is investigating the disappearance of a patient. It's set back in the 1950's when psych hospitals were performing lobotomies and doing electro-shock therapy. It's a crazy turn of events and another movie where it's not what you think. A complete and total twist at the end. 

Then we go back ten years to The Beach. A young American goes traveling to Thailand** and he comes across a map that will lead him to a tropical paradise. This was what the trailer portrayed anyway. To get to the tropical paradise you have to cross paths with marijuana farmers who are in possession of AK-47's. They shoot first and ask questions later. Once another "beacher" is attacked by a shark and the colony refuses to get a doctor's help they take him out to the wooded part of this island to die alone so he won't disturb the "happy paradise" they have. Their fear is that if more people find out about it, their paradise will be no more. Paradise is lost when the leader is forced to make a decision that would horrify the entire colony. The paradise seekers are brought back down to earth and decide it's not all its cracked up to be and head home. You think? 

Then, there's Titanic. Seriously, haven't we all broken out in, "I'll never let go, Jack. I'll never let go."? I felt bad for the guy freezing to death in the water and all, but seriously? Also, I'm a sap. I like for my guy and girl to get together at the end. Tie a pretty bow around it and call it done.

These are all very clever movies in their own right, but sometimes - and every time in Leonardo's case - it is possible to be too clever by half. M. Night Shyamalan shares this same fate with his movies. They both seem to be seeking to make a point, but in the end, the only point they have made is one that leaves a sharp pain in my   arse.


*The Dark Knight
**No thank you!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Past




Merry Christmas to the ones who have meant the most to me. To the ones who are not here to share in the joy of the coming Christmas. To the ones who are celebrating in new bodies. Free of pain. Free of addiction.


You are missed. You are loved. You touched my life in a way that has never been forgotten. It made me stronger. You helped shape my future and helped me decide what I wanted and what I didn't want. 


Your faith and fortitude is something I can only hope to aspire to. You fought the good fight and made it through some ugly trials. Losing your boys before their time is a parents worst nightmare. You were an amazing woman. 


Your love for this family kept us strong. Your love for the Lord kept you strong. You were faith and love personified. You were an angel walking among us. There are not enough expressions of love to show you. 


Merry Christmas to my dad, my Uncle Ronnie, my Mammaw Sack and Mammaw Porter. You are loved. You are missed. I was lucky to have had you in my life. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

An Expensive Lesson

Hubby learned an expensive lesson recently. He was checking our bank account online and noticed that there was a pending charge on our account. It was almost $200 worth. He asked me if I had bought anything and I told him, "No". We were baffled. We've had our debit cards hacked before and thought it had happened again. 

Of course all of this happened on the weekend so there wasn't much we could do. Hubby did get a hold of the bank before they closed on Saturday, but we couldn't do anything about it until Monday anyway. We could tell that the pending charge was being made by iTunes, so we thought someone was having a hayday and buying all sorts of music on Hubby's card. 

Thank God that iTunes sends an itemized receipt by email listing everything purchased. It wasn't fraud after all. It was our youngest! Hubby's head just about exploded. She had had some fun on Hubby's iPad playing a game online and then purchased a buttload of stuff for her Smurf village. I had no idea that there was that much in Smurf stuff you could buy for a village. 

Hubby used to let the kids play on his iPad and/or iPhone all the time. Especially when he would be working from home on the laptop. Letting the kids play on the iPad would assure that Hubby would be able to get the work done from home. Me, I'm selfish. I don't let anybody that doesn't have a job play with my iPhone or iPad. My kids have American Girl dolls, games, and a  DOG that they can play with. They even have cable. I didn't have cable growing up. The younger kid had even started to recognize the word, "FREE" when it came to downloading new (and stupid) iPad game apps. So, if it didn't say "FREE" it wasn't allowed. 

Now, Hubby doesn't let the girls play on his iPhone or iPad any longer. He no longer has his iTunes set up with his password. He's paying back savings with part of his blow money and the little one's allowance. The older kid did tell us that she tried to tell younger sister that that stuff wasn't free, but younger sister wouldn't listen. She also didn't tell us what the younger was doing. Don't get me wrong, we know it's not older sister's responsibility to take care of the younger. It is our job to know what she is doing on the computer. 

They won't be doing it much in the near future. They have been banned. 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Is Basketball The Only Thing Tall People Are Good For?

Yesterday at church it happened again. On two occasions someone came up to Hubby and asked him how tall he is*. You can almost time how soon it will be when the next question is, "Do you play basketball?" He doesn't like basketball. He tried it. That was good enough.  

Whenever the basketball question comes up I think to myself, if it's good to ask if all tall people play basketball can I start to ask if short people like working for Willy Wonka?

Just sayin....


*6 foot 6 inches for the record. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My Dark Chocolate Layer Cake

I had let a neighbor borrow my Southern Living cookbook and now it's back in my possession. WOOHOO!! We received an invite to another neighbors house and I offered to make dessert. This time around I chose the Dark Chocolate Layer Cake with White Chocolate frosting. 

The cake mix was from scratch. Some of the ingredients were brown sugar, melted chocolate chips, cocoa powder and buttermilk. I like to throw in sour cream in all of my cakes. It makes it so moist and wonderful. 


All was good and the went into the oven. I had enough batter for two 9 inch pans with a little left over for my mini pan. It took longer for the cakes to bake than the cookbook said, but it was worth it! My oven is only a few years old so I'm not sure where the discrepancy is in the temperature settings. When the toothpicks finally came out clean I had two perfect 9 inch cakes cooling. On to the White Chocolate Frosting. 

The frosting called for cream cheese, butter, melted white chocolate and powdered sugar, with some other items thrown in. The cookbook said this recipe makes three cups. I noticed after I was finished making the frosting that the recipe only makes three cups. I didn't think about that before. I need to forever remember always double their recipes for frosting. You can never have enough frosting!!! 

It came time to stack it and - no problems!! I am on cloud nine. The icing was actually a piece of cake. Pardon the pun. It went on smooth as silk. The only thing different that I did on top was add some shredded milk chocolate. I made this cake two days ahead of time, so I was anxious for our dinner date to try it. 

The neighbors had to cancel because of illness. We had to bare the burden of trying the cake all by ourselves. It was a burden we took on full throttle and relished in it. I gave my girls the first piece and finally got my own. My kids thought it was wonderful. I have to agree with them. It turned out great. The cake was moist. The icing was white chocolate goodness. 


Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Home Tour

A few weeks ago some friends of ours mentioned they were going to Waxahachie for the Candlelight Christmas Home Tour. I thought to myself that that would be a fun outing to take my mother in law on for her birthday. No, it's not something that I can wrap in a box, it's not a gift card that requires no thought. It's an experience. Sure enough they liked the idea and we planned to start the day with lunch and then a short road trip. My assumption of these Christmas Home Tours was that a florist or interior decorator came into each home and decorated and put their cards everywhere to take the credit, and the money we paid to visit each home would go to some charity.

We started off the tour by visiting the DeMont/Molitor Home. It's a beautiful home overlooking Lake Waxahachie. It's a massive 5837 square feet. The pool in the backyard was really a lazy river. Let's just put it this way, the outside didn't disappoint but the inside sure did. I was sort of distracted by all of the contemporary furniture and art work from the 80's. Contemporary makes me break out into hives.

DeMont/Molitor Home


The next house on the list was the Patrick Home. This home was built in 1899 and has stayed in the Patrick family ever since. It's a beautiful three story Queen Ann style home. It had a wrap around porch that I wanted to rip off and bring home with me. In the front parlor they had portraits of the original builders. My oldest said it reminded her of the portraits in the movies where the eyes follow you around the room. One of the other people taking the tour asked the twenty something year old granddaughter if she was in line to get the home. She told her, "I'm not sure I want it because there's so much that needs modernizing". I have to admit I was a little paranoid going up the stairs in this home. They were crooked and leaning. A lot. The Christmas decorations were still leaving a little to be desired and I was wondering if we had wasted our time and money. 

Patrick Home


So, we headed to the third home, the Robinson home. The Robinson home was a traditional brick home on a sweet piece of property. It's 3900 square feet of domestic heaven. From the butler's pantry to the cubbies in the mud room, perfect. From the hardwood floors to the brick and stone archways in the kitchen, perfect. It was decked out in Christmas everywhere. It wasn't ostentatious, it was first class the whole way. By far, this was my favorite of the day. 

Robinson Home


Then, last but not least, the Reisner home. This home for me was my second favorite. It was a ranch style home, built by the Gibson family. In each room they had different nativities from all around the world. The homeowners made this one for the kids. There was a certain number of the same nativities they had to find throughout the house and that made it fun for the kids.  

Reisner Home


It chalked up to a fun day trip. Seeing other peoples homes and how they decorate for Christmas. Some of those ideas were even worth stealing!!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Meet Tucker

We took the plunge! This time with a grown up. He's the sweetest and cuddliest thing I've ever met. He doesn't chew on anything that isn't his. He's a little underweight, but we're trying to remedy that with all of the good stuff we're feeding him. He's a beautiful Golden Retriever. He came from the Golden rescue here in my area. He's two years old and heartworm negative. For some reason he doesn't bark. I think we've only heard him bark maybe 4 times since we've had him. He takes up about half the floor space in our kitchen. 

We named him Tucker. I wanted to put a bow tie around his neck and call him Tucker Carlson. Hubby calls him Tucker McPhearson. What can I say? We're goobers. 


Saturday, December 11, 2010

She Insists On Dressing Herself

The teachers at my kids school must think I'm either crazy or dirt poor. I'm not sure which. On most days I'm not sure I care. My youngest has gotten into a phase where she insists on choosing her own clothes every day. On most mornings when we need to be out the door by 7:10am I am not about to go to battle over clothes. 

Today when we left the house it was 45 degrees outside. By the outfit my youngest is wearing you would think it's 85 degrees. Granted it will get up to the 60's today, but it will be a while until then. I at least made sure she had her puffy coat on. She liked it at the time she tried it on, but of course, she doesn't like it anymore*. 

So, dear sweet teachers: trust me. I keep hoping that she will learn a lesson and dress a little more warmly. She is a very opinionated little blessing from God. I'm not going to die on the battlefield of dress code until she tries to leave my house looking like a two bit tramp. 




* I think I liked her a little better before she could express so many opinions. She changes her mind constantly and it drives me batsh*t crazy. 

Friday, December 10, 2010

American Girl

American Girls aren't cheap! Wait a minute, some might be, but not the dolls for heavens sake. The dolls are about as high maintenance as a real, live girl! There's clothes, furniture, books and even a doll hair salon at the American Girl store. 

I thought it would be fun to kick off the Thanksgiving break by taking my girls to the American Girl store and letting them choose a new hairstyle for their doll. I gave them a budget of $15 per doll. I think I was possibly even more excited about this little outing that my girls were. 

We went walking around the Galleria while waiting for the dolls to get done. I wanted to get back to the salon in time to actually see the dolls getting their hair done. We were late getting back so we missed the actual hair styling. They were just waiting for us in a special little cubby that they use to hold the dolls in. My girls loved the hairstyles they had chosen. 

It was my hope that this new hairstyle would last at least a month. I made that clear to my girls as well. I thought that was very reasonable. Apparently, it wasn't. My oldest came to me the NEXT DAY and asked if she could take her dolls hair down. I thought if either of them would have done this it was surely going to be my youngest. 

After I picked my jaw up off of the ground I told her, "If that's what you really want to do." I did add that I wasn't about to pay for another hairstyle. I explained that she would have to save up the money for the next one*. So down came the hair and pretty ribbons. I was crushed, but tried to hide it as much as I could. 

Chalk another lesson up to motherhood. 

*Ha! That won't be happening anytime soon. 

Friday, December 3, 2010

All I Wanted

I was REALLY looking forward to the Friday after Thanksgiving. It was going to be a great day of family pictures. We haven't done any in a couple of years and I was excited. The kids had grown and changed so much since the last pictures that I wanted to document it. I had booked the appointment and we were set to go! 

Until the Tuesday before. I had first decided we would wear jeans with red tops. My Hubby already has a couple of red shirts that he looks great in. It's really his color! I would go out and conquer the children's apparel world and find a red top for each of them. Then it would come down to me. But, then I figured I'd have to go and buy a pair of shoes, just in case there's a picture that captures a full length me with the family.

. If you look at my closet you would think that only athletic shoes or flip flops exist. With my personal budget the way it was, I changed the color of the tops to blue. I couldn't buy shoes AND a new top. Just wasn't happening. I have an awesomely fun top that's navy blue that I could belt and just have to worry about finding a pair of shoes. 

With the girls at school I dragged my Hubby out for a day of shoe shopping*. We attempted Nordstrom first. I found a couple of pairs, but the insane price tag made it impossible. I'm sure it was a fabulous shoe, but the $200 price tag made it a little bit out of reach. I wasn't crushed just yet. 

We headed to Marmi. It's a great little shoe store that I can find something in my size and my budget. I have two pairs of boots that I bought from there about eight years ago. I still have them and they look great with skirts.  My search there was hindered because the pairs that they had in my size were just not screaming out my name. Discouragement was about to set in. 

Next place to hit up, Macy's. I had three pairs of shoes in my hand that I wanted to try. The salesman had his trusty little scanner in hand to see if they were in my size. Hell no. It was too much to hope that he would have offered to see what he DID have in my size. We walked out. Looking at my watch to see how we were doing on time I figured we had enough time to hit up Dillards. 

We got to Dillards and found a few pairs. They were those types of shoes that have European sizing. One was a little on the small size in the toes, the next one up too big in the heel. It doesn't help that I have an orthotic insert for my heel spur**. It was just one of those days that hopes were getting dashed right and left. 

Feeling defeated, we headed home. It was just about time to get the kids from school anyway. With no new shoes in hand, I did the only thing I could do. I cancelled the photo session. Over lack of shoes. 

I guess there's always the Spring when I can try and choose between which flip flops to wear. 


*He loves me, what can I say?
**Imagine someone stabbing you with a very sharp knife in your heel constantly. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

That's Not My Name

I used to hate my name. Only for the fact that I could never find anything with my name on it. It was such a bummer to see all of those personalized kitschy things, but none of them had my way of spelling. As I got older I grew to love the spelling of my name. It's unique. It's fun. I'm not the only one, don't get me wrong. There are a lot more ladies out there that spell their name the same way.

At this point I really don't get upset when service repair people come to the house and start filling out the invoice with the wrong spelling of my name. I just think to myself, "Ah. I may never see them again. Who cares. It'll take longer to correct the mistake than to just get the guy outta here".

But when people that I've known for several years still misspell my name, it irks me, to almost no end. I know some people would say, "Get over it", but it just bothers me through and through. My name is spelled out in one of my e-mail addresses. I sign pretty much all of my emails that need it. If I can keep up with how your name is spelled with an "ie" at the end how hard is it to remember that mine has "ee"?

I know we all have a lot of things on our minds at all times, but it's a simple little gesture. Possibly even a gesture that you care. Even if you don't care, spell my name right. I deserve that much in my forty plus years.

P.S. When I say L-E-E-S-A, why do you hear, Lessa, Leisa, or just Lisa?????









An Open Letter to the Woman My Mother Gave Up for Adoption

Secrets always have a way of coming to the surface. It's so cliche', but still so true. My mom had a secret that she would have liked for it to stay buried. The secret started calling everyone in my family to get information. I received my phone call on an Easter Sunday a few years back. The attempts to contact family has started again and I'm fed up. I have some things I want to get off my chest to this woman.

Dear One Who Was Given Life, 

Stop means stop. You've been told many years ago that my mom wasn't going to come forward with any information for you. She gave you a life with a family that she could not provide. You may think that you will get some information from someone in my family, but when this was kept secret from many in my family you won't get that far. My mother's wish is to keep it in the past. 

You've involved practically everyone in my family. Even family on my father's side who had no idea. I'm not sure I can forgive that you included my father's side of the family. Things were chilly between my mother and people on my father's side and now I can imagine why. You were born long before my mother met my father. There was no reason to involve my father's family. 

As far as health issues, there are none. My mother's diabetes was adult onset. It is not hereditary. Most of the people in my mother's family who have died have died from old age. No cancer. No nothing. My aunt wonders if my grandmother would have lived longer if the private detective you sent to her door hadn't shown up. My grandmother died a couple of weeks later. Your doctor should be able to run tests to see what you are genetically predisposed to. 

Please. You have to accept that my mother is not going to come forward with any information. Those in our family will show their allegiance to my mother first. My mother chose life for you. Let it be and let it go. This will not change.



Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Things I Like About My Job as a Crossing Guard

During the cold months when my face is freezing I am going to have to remind myself why I do this job. Well, I guess I'll be reminding myself, "Why" again when it's 100 degrees as well....

1. I get to tell people what to do! A ticked off crossing guard is not pretty. That red sign I am holding up  really means to "STOP". Don't go anywhere. Nothing else. Just wait. You will get to where you are going in plenty of time. 

2. I can walk to work if I want to. The school is only four doors down. 

3. I have my own parking spot. On days when the weather is really bad, I just park my car in my spot next to the farm*. It's like this little parking spot just for ME. 

4. Most of the kids who walk through my crosswalk are great. They are sweeter than sweet and so polite! 

5. I only work on the days my kids have school. 

6. I get paid for three hours worth of working, but I only work about an hour and fifteen minutes. It's like getting paid to take my kids to school and walking them home. There's just a few more kids in the mix. 

7. There are some moms that are very friendly. I'm not sure I ever would have met these moms since I live in another direction of my corner. 

8. It gives me something to look forward to besides doing laundry, cleaning the house, and doing the grocery shopping. I feel like I am contributing something to more people than those in my own home.

9. I do it because I want to, not because I have to. 

Those are the reasons I like my job as a crossing guard. I have the best of both worlds. Don't knock it! 


*Yes, I really do live near a farm in what some may call a "snobby, uppity and pretentious city"

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Flip Floppers of the World Unite!

I am what's known as a "flip flopper". I change my mind according to my mood on a daily basis. After all, I am a woman. There are just some things in life that are not so convincing. They're not important enough to make a decision and stick to it. It's good to be flexible in some areas.

Take for instance, one day I think I'm going to grow my bangs out. Then I get tired of the whole process and cut them back. Hair. We take it for granted when we have it.

On a daily basis I fight the urge to pull the carpet up in my front room  just to walk on concrete. I guess that's just a weakness in the part of my brain that controls urges. For the most part the carpet is okay. But, it's carpet. Yuck!

I can't decide whether we want to attend the corporate holiday party. In one aspect it's a chance to get dolled up for my hubby and spend some time together as adults. As husband and wife. Out on the town. On the other hand, getting dolled up costs some bank. We'd also be with some other folks who might get closer with the drink in their hand than the date they came with. Awkward!!

I constantly change my mind on whether to stay in the house we are in, or just move again. Pour dollar after dollar into this house that we've already started to make our own, or buy that house that already has everything we want in it. Is there such a house?

I can't decide on whether to bother with Christmas cards. The number that we receive has gone down steadily each year. I guess others are thinking the same thing we are and not bothering. If it's another reason we're not receiving them, I could care less. Trying to find that perfect picture for the Christmas card is getting stressful. I want a holiday with a little less stress.

Nothing major. Just some silly stuff that I am allowed some room to be flexible.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Streams

Lately I have found a new appreciation for my smartphone. I love that I can play music without having to plug in some odd fitting earbuds, that hardly stay in. I love that while I'm "standing on my corner" not doing anything I can play any playlist and not feel so alone and bored out of my mind. The last several days, morning and afternoon, my favorite playlist has been a CD by the name of Streams*. It's a Christian compilation CD. Artists such as 4Him singing a duet with Jon Anderson of Yes**, Cindi Morgan, Delirious with Amy Grant, Point of Grace and Sixpence None the Richer. There's even Marie Brennan singing with the oldie-but-a-goodie Michael McDonald.

This CD is an attitude changer for me. It's a spirit lifter. Here's a little something about my two favorite songs from the CD. 

When Jaci Velasquez sings "I Will Rest in You" it's a letter of love, from someone who needs hope and comfort. She sings,

Lord, I'm in the dark
Seems to me the line is dead when I come calling. 
No one there, the sky is falling. 

Lord, I need to know. 
My mind is playing games again. 
You're right where You have always been. 

Take me back to You
The place that I once knew
As a little child 
Constantly the eyes of God watched over me. 
Oh I want to be 
The place that I once knew as a little child
Fall into the bed of faith prepared for me
I will rest in You. 

I didn't become a Christian as a child, but as the saying goes, "I got here as fast as I could". I look at it as not necessarily being a child of young age, but a new child of faith. Going back to the excited fervor that only children have towards following Jesus. In my opinion, resting in Him means to hand it all over. I can't fix it. Why let it chew at me, piece by piece. 

Another of my favorite songs on the CD is from 4Him and Jon Anderson. What a wonderful collaboration of Christian music with a little bit of 80's blast from the past. 

Eyes closed in a veil of tears when I hear the sound,
Once more you've come to me, You've calmed me down
You still the raging sea inside of me,
My Lord has come for me
So why, why is it so hard for me to see?
Why is it so hard to just believe? 
Show me what it means to be free 

The only thing I need I already have,
The fullness of Your mercy in my hand
The only One who loves me as I am
The only thing I need I already have

My heart a companion to my wounded soul
Again You comfort me, You take control
You quell the fear that owns too much of me
As it was meant to be,
So why, when each and every word becomes a war
When there’s nothing I can see worth fighting for
You come into my heart and set me free

Every one of my needs is taken care of. All I need? I already have it! It repeats the chorus, "All I need. I already have it." just about fifteen times. Enough to really sink in when stuff gets in the way. 

I have found a new love and admiration for this CD. It brings me peace. It brings comfort. It calms my heart, soul and spirit. Couldn't we all use a little more of that? 


*Circa 1999 
**Owner of a Lonely Heart ring a bell? 


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What He's Ruined

A few weeks ago one of my favorite people on this earth steered me toward one of my new favorite web sites. It has pictures of things that have been ruined by their children. Then, another web site came to follow. A web site that features pictures of things ruined by wonderful, well meaning husbands. This made me start reminiscing about my wonderful, well meaning husband and things that he has ruined. Unintentionally, none the less very funny now. 

1. Our bedroom carpet. When we were new homeowners and we had no children, Hubby would go through the house and spruce up the paint with touch ups. Constantly.It was cute. For a little while. The slightest little nick and he was there with brush and paint to fix it. One time when he was on spruce up duty Hubby had paint and brush in hand. Paint lid very absent from the can. He walks into the bedroom. It's nighttime outside. He didn't turn on the light. He walked right into my dresser and spilled paint all over the carpet. 

2. Fuel filler upper at the gas station. You know those pictures of cars driving off with the gas station gas hose still in the fuel tank of a car? Yep! That was him one morning. When he returned it, the gas station people were very understanding. They said, "It happens all the time". 

3. Our SUV. My car battery had completely lost juice and so we were going to get a jump from the other car. He has the SUV running. The fan is going full spead ahead. The first cable has contact. Woohoo! The second cable in his hand and about to make contact. I'm not sure if he was nervous or his hand wall sweaty from the 100 degree weather that day. But, the cable lost contact with his hand and fell into the MOVING fan. Things were flying everywhere in the garage. I was a few months pregnant with our second child, so I shut the door to the inside of the house and prayed he found cover. Finally, after the cable had no more stuff to throw around and it was completely wrapped around the fan my SVU was no more. That was by far, his most expensive mistake. 

4. This towel. I still have almost all of our towels that we got as wedding presents, thirteen years ago. They're in pretty good condition. One thing that Hubby and I gross out over is if the grout in the shower gets disgusting. We keep bleach in the bathroom to pour over the grout when it gets a little unsightly. I would rather just pour bleach on it, then be on my hands and knees scrubbing it with fumes that could bring on brain damage. After one of those times of pouring bleach, he steps out of the shower onto the floor. On the towel on the floor.


I now have his footprint immortalized. This by far is the least expensive and easiest to replace. 

In the moment we weren't laughing about any of those things ruined at the time. It takes a while before we can 
look back and laugh. And laugh we do, and laugh, and laugh.....

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Good Bug

We've been battling a bug in this house for the last couple of weeks. It's just one of those that wouldn't go away. We gave in to the bug. Don't get me wrong. It not of the gross kind, that drips from the nose or gets tossed up from the stomach. Or other types of bugs that leave unspeakable atrocities. It's a wonderful kind of bug. This bug comes with bows and ribbons. Lights and garlands. Chubby little men in warm suits grace this house now. The nativity has been placed in it's treasured spot for all to see and adore.

Yes, it's only the first week of November. Yes. It's 72 degrees outside. No. We haven't even planned Thanksgiving yet. No. We haven't started shopping for gifts yet. But Christmas has shown up in this home!



My husband and I get excited when we see our kids want to take part in decorating the little trees that go in their room. It's fun. It's enjoyable. It's beautiful. It's exhausting.

I love pulling my stocking out of the box. It was made by a family friend for me when I was a child. It has sequins all over and it's just a fond reminder of this wonderful lady who made it for me.

Bring on the Christmas season! Bring on the wonderful food, decorations, carols, and family. The headaches. The over-scheduled calendars. The stress.

Besides all of those things, and the Christmas trappings, let me never forget the reason for the season. The birth of my Lord, Jesus Christ. The baby born in a manger, sent to save us all.





Thursday, November 4, 2010

JULIAN SMITH - 25 Things I Hate About Facebook



Although I happen to enjoy the notes, flair and most bumper stickers, he's pretty funny about the other things concerning facebook.

Facebook Fast

Some would say that life, in general, is a love/hate relationship. That's how I would describe facebook at times. It's high school all over again. It's not that facebook causes drama. It's not facebooks fault. A lot of it is unintentional. Just words.

I could put this out there:

 apenisinhishand.

 The clean version is "A pen is in his hand". Other people could read it another way. Then there's drama.I used to think facebook was like crack cocaine. I would jokingly call it, "crackbook". I would spend way too much time on it.  My wonderful hubby once said this about facebook, "Facebook is such a weird phenomenon, and I’m not sure most people really know what to do with it. It’s such a blessing and a curse at the same time that it’s hard to know how to interact, especially with people you don’t see outside of the FB world. Or, on the flip side, with people who you do see normally but feel freer to say things on FB that wouldn’t be said otherwise."


It doesn't help that facebook has made changes that make no sense at all. When I write on someone's wall, I don't want everyone on my friend list to view it on their news feed. When this person and that person comment on So and So's status, I could really care less. Especially when I don't know So and So from Adam. I hate to see fifteen items from the same person in one day. Don't they have something else to do, or do they view themselves as that important that every thought or viewpoint needs to be on facebook? Don't make me hide you. If I have to hide people then I wonder why are we "friends"? I'm a little bothered when facebook points out that I should be friends with someone who has previously deleted me as a friend. HUH?


Would we delete people as often if facebook sent a notice telling that person they were being deleted as a friend? 

There are those people who post something so lame, and on a bad day they'll get at least fifteen responses. On a good day it's twenty five or more. There are some people that post things that make them sound like they are on the brink of suicide. It's sad. I want to think that if I were in that place, facebook would be the last place I would want to reach out for help to keep me from committing suicide. I'm not really a fan of seeing what events other people are attending. I'm thinking electronic invitations worked well before, why don't they work well now? You don't even need a facebook page to use an electronic invitation. 

In one way facebook has been very good to me. It has reconnected me with best friends from my childhood. They are wonderful people who I agree with on many issues. Whether they are social, religious or political issues. They have been welcomed in my home and we have gotten along so wonderfully. It's good to have them back in my life. I  can credit facebook with that. 

But, the green-eyed monster sometimes rears his ugly head and I let it consume me. The green- eyed monster points out the events in family life that we weren't included in. When family comes to town and it's really not to see family. Or, the extended family. The green-eyed monster points out when people you see on a weekly basis stop commenting or having communication. I've got better things to worry about than, "Why weren't we invited?" Or, "Why are we friends on facebook, but you don't even say "hi" at church?"

I'm shoving the green-eyed monster into a closet somewhere. If that means shoving facebook into the closet, then so be it. My time on facebook will be very limited. It may even come to a halt.

 No more waiting for affirmation from others. I know I have affirmation from the one true God. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Laughing Gas is No Laughing Matter

My latest adventure at the dentist was almost a trip! An acid trip.

I was scheduled for  a regular cleaning and my dentist knows that (a) I stress out while in their chair (b) It's not her I hate, just the procedure (c) I fear they are out to get me and take all of my money that I have and will ever have. For those reasons, they give me nitrous oxide, aka laughing gas,  as a courtesy. I am able to chill. I am grateful for that gas every time I go. I can get what I need done, with minimal pain involved and be refreshed after it's all done. Let me tell you, someone could have kicked me in the stomach and I wouldn't have cared. 

But as my body was in a vegetative state, my mind was racing. My goal was to set my phone to my favorite talk radio  app and listen to my favorite talk show host while I drift off. Here's how it went: 

I could really get addicted to this stuff. Maybe addiction could be in the genes. Can life be lived on nitrous oxide? Cool. Mark Davis is about to have Congressman Mike Burgess on and I love to listen to him. It sure beats the country music on the dentist office speaker system. Ding! Hey! Where'd my talk show go? I knew I shouldn't  have commented on so and so's facebook status. On a bad day she gets at least fifteen comments and now I have to get to my iphone to start the talk radio app again. I need to have hubby take off the facebook alert on my phone. It's overrated. I hear Tracey Lawrence on the office radio. Gag. Wife beater. Alleged. I knew I just should have brought my regular ipod that can play the radio. How can a stream of water hurt so much? I am feeling high as a kite and I love it. Now I have to listen to the hygienist talk and hearing what the dentist is saying and I know there will be tears later. 

As I'm feeling high as a kite, it's over.  My dental hygienist turns on the oxygen and I'm coming back to life. Ugh. 




Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Enthusiasm

Everyday while "working my corner"* I see a mix of people. People going to work. People going to school. People just out getting exercise. Young, old and in between. Some of them are nice, Some are jerks. There are some that seem indifferent. 

There is one little girl that has stood out. Her mom drops her off each morning by car. But, whatever the weather, the little girl rolls down the window and waves to me and smiles. While I was bundled up this morning in below sixty degree weather, she still rolled down her window this morning. She waved to me and smiled enthusiastically. Her happiness was contagious. 

I am not necessarily a morning person. Not on days when I HAVE to get up. On days that I am allowed to sleep in it always works out that I wake and and I'm ready to go at 0 dark thirty. So me venturing into a job where I have to have myself and two kids ready to go by 7:10 in the morning is wild. Much less having to be cheery about it. 

This is easier said that done, but may we approach things and people with the same enthusiasm of that little girl. 


*My trainer kept referring to it as "working your corner". WOW. Where the mind goes....

Friday, October 29, 2010

I Thought Wrong!

Before I started my crossing guard duties I thought to myself, "a piece of cake!" This morning was my first morning where curse words were wanting to rear their ugly heads. It was not pretty, folks! The morning started off the same as it did yesterday. The sun came up. Yeah! I remembered my gloves. Yeah! It was Friday. Yeah! 

But if all Fridays go like this, I'm ready for summer break! School starts at 7:45 and it was getting very close to the last bell. There was one last little girl that came walking up. The rules are that the crossing guard needs to stop traffic and give the go ahead for the kids to cross. I had cars blocking the crosswalk, which they're not supposed to do. So, I couldn't necessarily let this girl go across because I've seen cars back up in the cross walk and personally, I don't need any casualties on my watch. Thank you very much. 

The little girl asked if she could cross, but I told her just to wait until the cars moved out of the cross walk. I would then stop traffic so she could cross. Then one guy in his car stops in the middle of the intersection and starts flagging for the girl to cross. There were other moms there with me who had already dropped off their kids. We saw what he was doing and all of us chimed in for her not to go. The driver stayed in the middle of the intersection and started saying some very colorful words. It didn't impress me much because one of my very unholy talents is that I could probably cuss him under the table. 

This is why you don't stop in the middle of a crossing guard intersection. You never know if the car behind you is a bigger jerk than the one in front. In this case there was a bigger jerk behind the first one. The second jerk pulled out and went around. Sure enough, had that girl gone ahead and crossed she would have been flattened. 

I'm sorry if she slept late. I'm sorry that she had to wait a little while to cross.I'm sorry that she had to stand in the cold maybe a little while longer than she might have wanted to.  I'm not sorry that she's still able to walk among us. I'm not sorry that she's still able to breathe in air and be with her friends. I was truly petrified for a moment. I was thankful that I had other moms there with me to witness the whole thing. 

Mornings will truly be a little more stressful than the afternoons because of people going to work. And I was thinking my biggest worry was going to be the weather?!?!?!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tales of a Crossing Guard

Recently the job of crossing guard became available at my children's school. I've heard it once said that being a crossing guard is like getting paid to take your children to and from school. Yes, you saw that right. I'm getting bank for this! Of course we get all of the school holidays and breaks and it's not even two hours out of the day. SWEET! 

Yes, there is a down side. The bad weather days. I have a rockin new rain coat, courtesy of the city in which I live and baseball caps are my friends. My ears will stay warm thanks to the cute little ear mitts that I recently purchased. Another down side would be the offensively bright yellow/green reflective vest that clashes with my hair color and skin tone. That color should be illegal. 

I had my training session yesterday afternoon. It was alright.  I listened and observed my trainer. I was petrified. I kept thinking of the worst scenario that could happen. Like a kid darting back out into traffic. Or, an driver that thinks he/she doesn't have to obey the traffic laws. There's really only a small ten minute window that's a little crazy. For the other 20 minutes it's really boring. My trainer kept making it clear that a police detective lives in the house across the street from the school and he's called several times about kids being in his yard. Dude, why did you buy a house right across the street from a school? I'm supposed to get the kids safely across the street. If they happen to accidentally step into his yard, it's really not my problem. 

We headed out for my first morning of crossing guard duty while it was still dark outside. It was so quiet. As if everyone was still asleep.  I've never made it a point to get up early enough to see the sun come up, but that was a nice surprise this morning. Slowly it came over the houses and trees and the dark was no more. It was glorious. 

Most of the morning it went off without a hitch. It's really a very quiet neighborhood. Not a lot of traffic. The kids were nice. The moms were nice, until I met one. She had walked her kid to school and she was walking back home and said, "Good job, for the most part". Excuse me? I said it was my first day, and that I thought I was doing relatively well. I'm not sure if she thought I should have rolled out a red carpet just for her. But dream on lady. 

There were a few drivers who thought they didn't have to stop as I was walking into the middle of the intersection. I'm thinking if you don't want to get stopped by a crossing guard, find another way in and out of the neighborhood. There are plenty of them. After the first one, I let some words fly. I was pretty sure they couldn't hear me, but they could see my mouth moving and the expression on my face was not a nice one. Don't worry, there were no children around to hear my words. 

Here's to good weather, cold weather, rain and sun. Here's to making bank just for taking my kids to and from school. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Oh Nuts!

My second venture going through the Southern Living Ultimate Christmas Cookbook is Hazel's Fresh Coconut Cake. I chose this because my mother in law makes coconut balls every year at Christmas. My husband loves those coconut balls. This would be my coconut contribution for my sweet husband. After all, in the sub title of the recipe it says, "Fresh coconut cake is the essence of Christmas". 

Well, I cheated a little. I didn't buy a coconut and try to break it open. I bought shredded coconut in a bag and bought some coconut milk from Central Market. If you every need coconut milk it isn't in the produce section or the dairy section. It's in the "Asian" section. 

I have to admit, when I'm baking in my kitchen I experience a little piece of heaven. I'm in my zone. It's something I enjoy. It's also something I'm associating with Christmas. I love baking for those around me and sharing a little piece of me. 

I got all of my ingredients together and started mixing. This cake is from scratch! I was at a little of a disadvantage because one of the three pans I needed was from a different brand. So, one of them turned out a little different than the other two. 



While my cakes cooled I started on the "Boiled Icing" that this cake calls for. I had never made it before, but it turned out to be pretty easy. I boiled a half a cup of water with a cup and a half of sugar. It was like liquid glass. I got distracted and it turned crispy in no time. But, it was easy enough to start over and I watched it like a hawk the second time. I added egg whites and some cream of tartar* and a few marshmallows to the hot sugar water mix. 



Once the icing was ready, I brushed coconut milk over each layer and then started icing. I think it would have been easier if I had used my icing bag. Next time. I need to take a refresher course at my favorite cake supply store soon. I'm a little rusty on my stacking and icing technique. Here's a picture of the book version:



The book version has kumquats and crab apples on top for garnish. I don't like either and I couldn't think of a worthy substitute. Here's how mine turned out:


It's not as pretty as the book version, but my hubby and friends said it was very good. I didn't have it because coconut is not my favorite thing on earth. This was for others. 

A cup of love
A pinch of grace
A tablespoon of tenderness
Mixed with friendship, trust and respect. Bake at 350. Serve with a great cup of Dr. Pepper flavored coffee.

*Cream of tartar is not a cream. I found that out the hard way. It took me 20 minutes of staring down all of the spices before I found it. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Happy Hour

One of the fun things I like to do when the kids are in school is go have lunch with the hubby! Recently, the hubby and I did just that. We went to our favorite Mongolian grill restaurant. We love this place. It took my hubby 10 years to finally get me to go. After my first visit I was hooked and regretted that it took him 10 years to convince me to try it. 

After lunch was over I still had a little play time before it was time to get the kids. This day was also a Friday so everything was right with the world and the weekend was coming! When I have a little money in my pocket, some free time and I just want to play,  I head to my second favorite cosmetic store and see what new lip gloss I can find. 

I was perusing an aisle when I was approached by one of the makeup artists. She.Was.Gorgeous. She commented on the makeup kit I was looking at and said to me, "Would you like a little mini makeover?". I jumped at the chance. I had time on my hands. Let the fun begin. She asked me what I had planned for the afternoon. I told her I was killing time til it was time to get the girls. This is what she heard, "I'm just shopping til it's time to pick up the friends for a night out". She then said, "Where are you going for happy hour?"

Gorgeous Girl is single and no kids. She also happens to be a wee bit younger than me. I laughed a little and then explained that "getting the girls" for me meant picking up my kids from school. We both had a good laugh about it and all was good. 

When Gorgeous Girl was done, I loved the makeup job. She rocked it. I bought that little kit I had my eye on. I hope I run into her again! 

To sum it up:
It was Friday. 
I had lunch with my hubby. 
I got a mini makeover that didn't suck. 
WOOHOO!!! Life is good! 

Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Little Prayer for the Neighbor.....

Dear Father in Heaven,

As you know my next door neighbors have adult children that like to move out and move back in with their mommy and daddy. It's been very peaceful since the adult son moved out. I was hoping that they wanted to spread their wings and find their own path in life. Outside of this neighborhood,  off of the teet of mommy and daddy.

But, God, you'll understand my dismay when I saw a U-Haul pick up parked next door this morning. Please let it be something else besides one or both of those kids moving back in with mommy and daddy. I beg you, Sweet Jesus, let peace and calmness reign in this little hood of mine. Move in my heart and give me serenity. Speak to me and strengthen me.

Amen!

They say "Good fences make good neighbors". I also say, "Good kids make good neighbors". The rowdy ones need to grow up. Fast.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It's September! Who doesn't start thinking about Christmas by now? Whether you want to, or not! The way I start thinking about it is, FOOD! I recently got a new cookbook from Southern Living. I thought, "What the heck. It was only $10 and it's at least good for the pictures." 



Well, I looked at the pictures and they are tempting! So, I am on a little self imposed mission to try out most of the recipes in the book. I'll start practicing these recipes up until Christmas and see what we end up with for a Christmas meal and/or dessert. 

My first try is a Dark Chocolate Chunk Cherry Cake. I'm a huge fan of dark chocolate, cake, and cherries. So what the heck! If we end up not liking it, I'll just send it with my hubby to his office. Here's what it's supposed to look like....



Here's what mine ended up looking like...


I'm not sure why the glaze didn't turn out as thick as in the picture, but oh well! Hopefully, fingers crossed, it will taste just as good! 

You-nique!

Now that we are in the swing of being back in school, we pretty much have the homework thing down. On certain days there is math homework. On others, there is integrated. Everyday there is a writing assignment for homework. A writing assignment the other day was on the topic of "How are you unique?" My oldest had a hard time thinking of ways she is unique. She asked me for help. I relished in that one and I still think of ways that she is one of a kind. 

In a world of right handed people, she is a lefty. She and her sister are the only ones in our family. My father was a lefty and I kind of like to think that that was a good quality that my girls could have inherited from the one grandparent who is not here with us. In her class at school she is the only lefty! 

In this society blonde hair, blued eyed people are considered to be pleasing to the eye, she has brown hair and blue eyes. A contrast that stands out and I think it's perfect. I don't want my girls to blend in with the "Barbie doll" crowd. Anybody can buy a bottle of bleach and those crazy blue contacts. 

She has a tender heart. She helps with the special ed kids at school and it never crosses her mind to make fun of those kids or to be mean. At some moments I worry that her heart is a little too sensitive, but time will change that. Unfortunately. 

She's the tallest girl in her class. She's a little embarrassed about this at times, but we always tell her to stand up straight and be proud! When I was growing up, my mom would have my grandmother add a row of lace to EVERYTHING  when it was getting  to be too short. At least I don't make her do that! 

She is the first of her friends to have braces. Unfortunately, my husband and I didn't have the best teeth growing up. We both had braces. I am thankful for them. Granted, she's a lot younger than both my husband and I when we had braces, but I hope that this will be prevention of her having to get them when she's a teen. My hope is that the orthodontist really isn't after our money and that this will help her in the long run. 

Her face has been kissed by an angel. She doesn't like her freckles, but I couldn't imagine her without them now. Someone once said, "A face without freckles is like a  sky without stars". 

She loves her sister and holds such devotion to her family. She is a "Daddy's Girl" through and through. 

She taught me what it was to be in love at first sight. From before she was born, she was loved and wanted. . The unconditional love between a child and parent can't be beat. It's the highest high. Sometimes it'll even break your heart. I wouldn't trade it for anything. 

To my wonderful not so little girl, you are wonderful in God's eyes and in mine. You are unique and like no other. You are a piece of heaven on this earth. I am lucky and privileged that you call me, "Mom". 

Monday, September 13, 2010

God Ordained Dessert

Bedtime, for the most part is pretty painless around here. They are sweet occasions that render hugs and kisses and lots of stories. When I was tucking my youngest in bed tonight she asked, "What are we having for dessert tomorrow after dinner? Can I have Coke?" I told her I wasn't sure. I explained that we don't always have dessert. For us to have dessert, there's usually company over, or it's a special occasion. It's just not that much of a priority.

My youngest then said, "God told me to have dessert". I said, "He did?". She said "Yes. I prayed and asked God if we could have dessert after dinner tomorrow. God said, "Yes".

I guess He has spoken. So it shall be!

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Things I Love and I Am Grateful For

 The first three are meant to be in this order:

1. The grace that God has showered over me in my life. That Christ died for me.
2.  My husband. He is my best friend. My rock. My love.
3. My kids. The fun and excitement they bring to life. The roller coaster it is bringing them to adulthood.

The rest are not meant to be in any specific order:

4. Staying up late and sleeping in the next morning
5. The smell of coffee. I make a great cup of coffee, so my husband tells me. I love the smell, don't get the      taste.
6. Olives
7. My gardenia bush. I've had it for 5 years and I haven't killed it yet. It blooms!
8. Being over the age of 40.
9. Christmas. The spirit of the season is overwhelming.
10. Air conditioning. I live in Texas, need I say more?
11. Dresses. They are graceful. They are feminine. They are sexy. They distinguish the female body from the male. Done right, it leave something to the imagination.
12. Ice cream. Ever had Blue Bell's White Chocolate Almond?
13. Hosting people in my home.
14. Cupcakes. If you haven't tried them from Sugar Queen Cakes at Willow Bend, run now!
15. Being able to stay at home and be there for my husband and kids.
16. Skeleton keys. They hold a past to my favorite pieces of furniture from my grandmother.
17. The smell of a freshly painted room
18. Rainy days and nights. As long as I'm able to enjoy them at home.
19. Most get togethers with my extended family. One of my cousins has three kids that are fun to be with. My aunts are fun also. They are just funny being themselves.
20. Lip gloss. I happen to think I have great lips. Why not accentuate that?
21. Facials. For me, it's the ultimate in pampering.
22. Shopping. It's fun. It's necessary.
23. Living in a free country.
24. Fellowship with friends.
25. Old jewelry from my great grandmother. She was grace and elegance until the day she died.
26. My experiences. It has brought me to where I am today.
27. A clean house.
28. Dogs. They are playful. They are cute. They have so much more personality that lame cats.
29. Pringles. Just salty, bad for you goodness.
30. Nitrous oxide. It's the only way to get me through a dental appointment.
31. Tex-Mex
32. Weekends. Woohoo! Family time.
33. The bond that my kids share. Here's to stories of how weird their parents were after my husband and I   are gone.
34. The State Fair of Texas. What a fun time! People watching, food eating, game playing fun.
35. Texting. Even if my husband is in a big time meeting, we can still talk.
36. Getting and giving cards by snail mail. It's so much more fun to open cards than bills!
37. The DVR. I can now record my favorite shows and not have to watch the commercials.
38. Easter. It brings the remembrance of Christs' resurrection. A season of hope.
39. Hair color. The thought of going through life with completely gray hair sort of frightens me at my young       age.
40. Chocolate. In any form, white, dark or milk it's greatness.
41. Flowers. Any but roses. Whether in my yard or in a vase, beautiful.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Mask of Facebook

Facebook is a funny thing. Most days. If you want humor, you'll find it. If you want drama, it's there also! I've seen friends live out their hurt feelings in real time on facebook. It's been unreal at times. People who could read the same sentence in two or more different perspectives. I've seen kids curse at old people and the party in between could care less. 

What makes it really interesting are the people of different political grooves. Let me make this crystal clear. My groove is of the conservative persuasion. I am as conservative as they come. For the most part. The ideology that the government should take care of us, "cradle to grave" makes me want to cringe. When liberal "friends" make sweeping generalizations and double standards and can't back it up drives me insane.Their logic is that they are more "tolerable" than most other groups. You're tolerant until someone disagrees with you and can back it up with logic and fact. I once heard a liberal say, "I rarely hear a conservative idea that actually solves a problem. It's all ideology". Really? There must be a huge ball of wax that needs to be plucked out of your ear because they make sense to me.  I knew there was a reason I didn't like you in high school. 

It's really sort of funny when they "jokingly" poke fun at Fox News by calling it Faux News. That's a little ridiculous. Fox News is wiping the floor with just about every other news channel out there. Liberals argue that Fox is biased. Well, only when you're watching Bill O'Reilly's show or Sean Hannity.  As if Steven Colbert, Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow don't have opinions? Who are you kidding? 

I am not saying that conservatives are perfect. We sure have our share of misfits. That's not what this is about. 

If you want to make a generalization about your political persuasion, have the balls to back it up. If you can't back it up and someone else can provide facts or logic that's rational and not insulting, then be open for discussion or don't put it on facebook in the first place.  Don't throw vague insults later on behind your facebook mask. If you can't handle a grown up conversation don't put it out there. 




Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Manners Really Do Matter

We have a cute book on our kids bookshelf that's called Manners Matter. The main characters are from a popular PBS children's show called Arthur. Who would have thought furry rodents could be so entertaining?We read it over and over. Arthur and DJ and some friends teach a gentle lesson to another about being nice and using manners.

Nothing would horrify me more than if my children were to show disrespect to other adults, or kids for that matter. I hope that my husband and I do our best to encourage manners at every turn. Please don't get me wrong, my name is not Emily Post and I am not related to Miss Manners. But we believe that "Please", "Thank You", and "Excuse Me" should be a part of our daily vocabulary.

Apparently, I am in for a rude awakening since not every parent goes by this philosophy. We've had numerous children in and out of our home.  Whether they are friends of our children, or children of our adult friends. Since our children (and my husband and I) are still young there will be many more children in and out. There are some children I love having over and over. There are some that I wish would never come back, until they learn some manners and respect. I can't use the whole girls are nice and boys are bullies excuse, because I've seen lots of boys with better manners than some girls I've been around.

Just let me say that to get to my kids on an on-going basis, you must show me and my house respect. I will not put up with your pouty little temper tantrums, and slamming of the doors. I am not your maid, you have two legs and two arms, clean up after yourself. It would not kill you to crack a smile and say, "Thank you". I don't mind the whole "BFF" mindset. But, you will not be allowed to dominate all of my kid's time that doesn't allow for her to nourish friendships with others. My kid will not be spending entire weekends with you just to keep you entertained. Weekends are also family time. 

I have nothing against kids. I was a kid. I even have a couple. It's really simple, just show me respect and I will show you respect. I have earned that much. So kiddies, crack a smile. You're precious freckles will not fall off. I promise! 


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Wants and Needs

God bless my husband! Especially when I have a crazy idea or get bored. This last weekend was a little bit of a tailspin that exhausted my husband. It all started on Saturday when Craig did his part of mowing and I grabbed the weed wacker. We knocked it out and then we wanted to go get some lunch! We worked hard and our stomachs were turning in on themselves. It wasn't pretty. 

We finished our wonderful little Tex-Mex lunch and asked out loud, "What do we do next?". We weren't able to find any open houses to walk through, so I said we could go visit our favorite little new home saleslady and dream. The neighborhood we had looked at almost a year ago was closing out and the prices were SLASHED. It was INSANE. Well, insane is a strong word. We were almost sucked in a year ago until we had our level headed friends join us and give their objective opinion. We left Saturday with floor plans in hand again after taking a long look at the community pool and play area. We studied the floor plans and picked the floor plans that best fit our wants. Yes, I said "wants" and not "needs". I know I have what I need. 

After choosing a few perfect floor plans, we then glanced at the prices. Hopes were a little dashed because it would double our mortgage if we did a fifteen year note. So, Sunday afternoon we went to look at some other build opportunities in Sachse. This one neighborhood left A LOT to be desired. The surrounding neighbors had fences falling down, or it backed up to some commercial property. Then we came across another neighborhood with great neighborhood drive up appeal. It's right by Fire Wheel golf course. The houses were beautiful. This builder provided nicer standard options that the one we had revisited the previous day. Then I had the audacity to ask if there was an amenity center. The wonderful saleslady replied, "There's a pond". Huh? I don't swim in ponds. Why have neighborhood association dues when there is no amenity center? What's the point? 

I'm looking at three options, First, we could go forward in the process of building a home from a builder in a community that has great neighborhood drive up, beautiful homes and a "pond" for an amenity center. Second, build a home in the Plano neighborhood where everything is an upgrade, and the amenity center is fun, fun, fun. Third, stay in the house we are in and continue the lengthy process of slowly removing any traces of the former owners. 

See what I mean? My husbands brain is spinning after I get done with him. He loves me anyway. I love him! I will never be able to thank him enough for putting up with my shenanigans. I may have a lot of wants, that aren't necessary. It's fun to daydream. The daydreams quickly pass.  I have everything I need. My husband is both to me. I want him and need him. As long as we are together, I'll be happy anywhere. 

Friday, August 27, 2010

Pack up the Clique Committee

From the time we grow up, and I guess until the time we die we find a group of people that will carry us through. They will carry us through the good, bad and everything in between. Whether it starts when our parents put us in daycare, or preschool. It may change a few times over the course of our lives. Who am I kidding? It WILL change a lot.

Even as we grow into adulthood, we seem to go through life in "packs". Some people would go as far as to call groups of people "cliques".  At some places they're even called, "committees". Never intending to exclude, just not wanting to be welcoming to "outsiders". There are groups of  neighbors. There are cliques at church. God bless the little PTA clique! Some are determined by age, geographic location or even status in life. Groups by political beliefs, anyone?

The other day I was having a pity party in my head and heart. Now that school is back in session, the same group of women walk their kids to school each morning. I tried to say, "Good morning" once. It broke the concentration of the conversation they were taking part in. They almost tripped, I think. One lady two doors down has decided to join in and when she's running late I catch her cutting through houses to meet up with the gang. It's kind of funny.

That same morning I also noticed that a particular group of women was showing a huge amount of love towards another mom at church on facebook. It turns out they all know each other through the moms of preschoolers group. I don't know how this lady does it. People even comment on her posts just to put a stupid smiley face on it. I mean really? If you don't have anything more to say that :), really????

Later that day of my pity party, my aunt told me that she was taking my mom to the hospital. I called my lifeline. My pity party was over. She has been there for the last five years and been nothing but constant strength, humor, grace, sarcasm, love and faithfulness. She offered to pick up my girls before I even had to ask. We don't live in the same neighborhood, we don't even live in the same city. Even if my clique, pack or committee isn't as big as others I have a true friendship that will stand the test of time. A steadfast confidant! A sister I never had, but always longed for. She never judges. She can provide a good ear and a glass of wine to go with it. 

So I guess the lesson is, we all have a part in cliques. Whether on the inside or outside. We will never get past them. Whether accidental or on purpose, there's no getting around it. Take it all in stride. One foot in front of the other. One day at a time. A good laugh and good glass of wine.