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.


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! 


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!