A glimpse into the love, lives and laughter that make my world go 'round!

Monday, August 30, 2010

My Mismatched Missy

Who'da thunk it?! A pair of mismatched socks are currently the prized item in Abby's wardrobe right now. It's almost too bizarre to wrap my head around, to be honest. When I saw these funkadelic lovelies in the shop I instantly fell in love with them, but almost passed on the purchase because my girl is soooo particular about certain aspects of clothing......matching, in particular.

More times than I can even stomach, I have gone through Abby's closet and drawers only to find clothes that she "loved so much" when we're in the store, but got no love once we got them home. It. Makes. Me. FURIOUS. My money tree hasn't been producing at the rate it was, so when I see spent money NOT going to use? Yeah, it kinda chaps my arss. I held my breath when I pulled them out of the bag, and to my surprise she LOVED them!

The "Terrific Trio" each wore a pair of crazy socks to school on Friday...

On Saturday we washed them and she wore them to a friend's birthday party...

She ended up spending the night with her friend after the party. And to my suprise, when we met up with them Sunday morning at church she had them on AGAIN! LOL (a picture from Saturday, but too cute not to post)

I couldn't be happier that she's so in love with the socks....but starting to think that we might need to invest in a few more pairs? Hey, at least he's not into tube tops and tramp-stamps at the age of eight, right!?! Things could always be a whole lot worse. HAHAHAHA!!


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Getting to Know You - 8/29/10

Getting to know YOU

1. If you accidently knick a car in a parking lot..Do you leave a note or do you get the heck out of there?
I get the heck out of there! CONFESSION - The only time that I actually did this though, was when I was in another town for a family funeral, and having a HORRIBLE, emotional, rotten day. I had several large flower arrangements that I was transporting back to someone's house and the rear view was almost completely obstructed. I ended up backing into someone else's car and dinged the bumper/tail light. I know....my moment of karma will find me, but I just couldn't take the stress, anger, guilt from another person on that particular day. I still feel rotten about it.

2. Love your body or plastic surgery?
Love my body. Had breast reconstruction, post breast cancer, and that was traumatic enough to keep me from going under the knife again for anything not considered medically necessary in the future. The rest of me will just have to age gracefully, I'm afraid.

3. What about your favorite blog(s) continues to drive you back?
I like blogs that are funny, heart-warming, sassy, but most of all REAL. One of my favorite blogs is Chaos Wrapped in Chocolate Covered Grins. She recently wrote a post about Bar-B-Que that had me in stitches! A must read.

4. What percent of your blog is BS just to make your life seem more interesting than it really is?
My stuff isn't BS - this is how it really goes down in my corner of the world. It's my quirky take on real life. :)

5. If you had to give up one type of meat for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Wild game. Duck, Rabbit, Buffalo, Moose, Caribou...add some others in for color and texture if you like.

6. How often to you eat out?
Five times a week, myself. Maybe once a week as a family.

7. Skinny jeans or boot cut jeans?
Boot cut - I love them. IF I EVER put on a pair of skinny jeans, please just slap the taste out of my mouth, okay? The word "skinny" shouldn't be in ANY of the vocabulary that one might use to describe my wardrobe.

8. If you caught your spouse cheating would you forgive, divorce, or plan your kill?
I would plan my kill, and take full credit responsibility. If the man is dumb enough to go there, he needs to stay there and figure out how to protect himself from the reign of terror that would be headed his way....just sayin'!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Have Template Envy - Seeking Treatment

As I have been browsing, reading and perusing the bazillion fabulous blogs in the blogosphere I am developing a serious case of blog envy! Some of you people really have it goin' on with the background...the side bars....the header....signatures....fonts....etc. What's a girl to do?!?

I started out with a generic Blogger template. Loved it, embraced it, but felt that it was a little too "inside the box" after a while. So I ventured out and found some free template websites that were pretty cool. The current "look" is one of the free templates that I found. It's cute, fun, and cheery - just like ME! - but now I'm starting to get the itch again. NOT THAT KIND OF ITCH!!! The itch to CHANGE, silly! LOL

So I am asking you, fellow bloggy-divas and bloggy-dudes, for suggestions or ideas on how to get this blog kicked up to the next level....personalized with my own look and personality. I need a bitchin', bedazzled, bangin' BLOG! Something that is unique.

Please leave a comment with tips, ideas, or "connections".

Gracias amiga!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

CORN-a-MOPE-ia....Not Cornucopia

Our youngest is a food snob to the most severe degree.
  • Chocolate or vanilla ice cream only, and it should never have syrup, sprinkles, or anything "extra" on/in it.
  • Negative on the potatoes, unless they come in the form of french fries sans any trace of potato skin. Potato Skin = No Go
  • NEVER chicken on the bone. EVER.
  • He won't eat jelly because "on Spongebob they make jelly from jellyfish". Thanks Mr. A-hole Squarepants, I owe you one!
  • Waffles can only be the Lego's Cinnamon Toast variety....with syrup on the side...never touching.
  • Peanut butter....can't stand it.
  • Won't eat bread of ANY kind if it has butter on it. Period. Even pancakes.
  • Grannella (granola) bars are the enemy.
  • Most vegetables should be taken completely off the menu.
  • ...and the list goes on, and on, and on, AND ON!
Sometimes this "hang up" of his is amusing, but mostly it's just completely maddening.

Like tonight. I decided that tonight would be "leftovers night", so I let Luc know UP FRONT (before he even left for school) that his options for dinner would be BBQ sandwiches, pot roast sandwiches, or Italian sausage and peppers....no other options. Immediately the wheels began to turn, and the look of disgust started to cloud his face, so I reiterated that ultimately he only has TWO choices - EAT, or STARVE. It makes no difference, to me, at this point.

So after we hash out his disappointment with the dinner selections (and my inability to be flexible and make something different), he hops on his bike and rides off to school. He has better things to do with his day, meanwhile, I am still stewing with frustration. While I am stewing, I happened to recall an evening several weeks ago when I decided to serve corn on the cob with dinner instead of canned corn. Everyone in my family (including the food snob) LOVES CORN, so I thought this would be a nice change to go along with our grilled pork chops, etc. ....That's what I thought.

Dinner was served, and this was the look that I got.

After listening to him moan and groan about how he has "always hated" corn on the cob, Richard explained that corn on the cob is just the same as corn out of a can. The only major difference, one is still on the cob, and the other isn't. This is the look he gave Richard. :) I can only imagine what he was thinking.

No dice on trying to convince him otherwise. So Richard, being the good father that he is, decided just to cut Luc's corn off of the cob since the cob seemed to be such a big issue.

In the end, he only ate two bites and ditched the rest. He still maintains that corn on the cob is gross. *forced, sarcastic smile*

Dear Lord,

When he is grown, 30ish, and married to a wonderful girl that we all adore, please consider sending Mr. Picky a grandbaby for me to spoil, that will be a picky eater just like himself!? Just one, fussy, hard to please offspring would be great. Pretty please? With sugar on top? (Mr. Picky does like sugar.)

Yours truly.



Monday, August 23, 2010

The Definition of Quiet

quiet \qui"et\ verb
1. the quality or state of being quiet, or in repose; as an hour or a time of quiet.
2. freedom from disturbance, noise, or alarm; stillness; tranquillity; peace; security. and join with thee, calm peace and quiet.
3. silent, noiseless; peaceful, tranquil; still, lacking activity; speaking very little

This is what I am listening to right now....quiet. No one is talking. The TV is off. No action figures have come alive and are seeking to take over the universe this afternoon. Rock Band is on hiatus. The chitter chatter of little voices is missing. Ahhhh..... Silence IS golden. Anyone who says otherwise is a LIAR!

Abby was so excited to see all of her friends and walk to school with them this morning. She practically BOUNCED down the stairs, fully dressed, and ready to have her hair done. This happy girl is the one I love to see in the mornings, instead of the snarling, moody diva who just can't find the right clothes to wear.

Lucas, on the other hand, said, "I don't think this is going to be a very good year" as we were almost to the front doors of the school. One of the boys in his class whines a lot, apparently. As far as he is concerned, the jury is still out on whether 2nd grade will even be worth waking up for....his teacher will have her hands full with Mr. Cynical.

And then there's Conner...oh, Conner. I thought that this was going to be a piece of cake - no big deal sending him off to high school. I think that watching him get into his dad's car to go to school may have been equally as difficult for me to watch as his first day of Kindergarten, if that's even possible. I maintained my composure all morning, but when I took Abby to her class (her teacher was also Conner's 3rd grade teacher) it happened....I. Broke. Down. I was "that mom". You know, the one who becomes a boo-hooing puddle of snot and mascara? Yep, that one. It was a horrible display of raw, my-baby-has-grown-up, and where-did-the-years-go emotion. If the classroom cameras were rolling, someone will get a good laugh later!

Oh, the roller coaster of emotion that parents ride. Good grief!


Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Countdown to the Tardy Bell

Right now my two littlest people are sitting on the couch reading "Green Eggs and Ham". They each have their own copy to read from, and are reading aloud. It's a competition to see who can finish it first...and a battle to see who can read with the most excitement and the loudest voice. Fun stuff!

While the reading chaos is going on, my mind is running a million miles per hour. For us, school starts tomorrow so it's time to check, double check, and triple check to make sure that all of the preparations have been accomplished. Even though I have been methodically getting things done, it's irritating that I still have an equally daunting list of things that need to be tended to. Just when I think that I have a handle on things....I realize that I don't.

Richard and I ventured into the mystic world of the children tonight (aka upstairs), and helped them lay out their clothes for the week. Lucas is of the opinion that laying out his clothes for tomorrow only, is sufficient. This makes me feel the need to breathe into a paper bag. Abby had to be reminded, FIRMLY, that we are not doing morning drama again this year. She is notorious for changing her clothes after she has already gotten dressed because "I just don't like that". OH JUST SHOOT ME, PLEASE!?! Conner, on the other hand, was so thorough as to even lay out a pair of underwear along with each outfit AND shave again. I think it's fair to say that he is really looking forward to his first day as a Freshman!

Downstairs, in the final staging area, things are prepped and ready to go, too! The backpacks are arranged. Lunch kits are set out on the counter, just waiting to be filled. Updated school information forms have been completed and paper clipped for the teachers. My camera even has a fresh battery loaded in it. ....And Richard is in the kitchen making muffins for their breakfast! Such a good dad.

Even though I've been excited about school starting since the day school let out for summer vacation, there are some things that I am honestly going to miss. Waking up without a screeching alarm clock. No homework. Going to the pool to escape the heat and meet up with friends. Sonic Happy Hour with the kiddos. Taking the kids to the early movie and letting them eat popcorn for lunch. (Such a good mom, I know.) Making (and changing) plans on a whim just because we want to. All of the HUGS, kisses and sweet smiles.

It's gonna be a good year!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Heaven = Back To School

The Staples Back-to-School commercial is my all time favorite. Watching the dad skip behind the shopping cart, joyfully toss pads of post-it notes into his basket, and the look of sheer dread on the children's faces as they follow behind him....my giddiness can't be contained.

I channeled this same world of euphoria on Sunday afternoon as I was sorting through huge piles of the kids' school supplies. With empty copy paper boxes just waiting to be filled, we went down the list(s), checked them twice, and got everything separated out, labeled, and ready to be "cheerfully" delivered to their classes. :) Meet the Teacher is on Thursday....and I am READY!

Summer has been A BLAST! Afternoons chillin' at the neighborhood pool were wonderful. The oldest went off to camp for a few weeks. We were able to spend time visiting with some treasured friends in Missouri. A trip to New Braunfels to enjoy the water slides/rides at Schlitterbahn was a first for the two youngest and myself - awesome fun! BUT. All that being said, I am ready for the school year to finally begin again.

Working odd hours, while trying to juggle the kids and make sure that they enjoy their summer, has been a bit of a head circus for me. It feels like the day is fragmented without being able to pay full attention to a specific task or need completely. Isn't that how the TRUE life of a mom really looks anyway? Juggling, working, making adjustments, loving on them, and then going to bed tired every night? Yeah, I thought so, too.

So this week, we focus and finish getting prepared. Then, on Monday, I will roll past the school and slow down just enough so that they don't get road rash when I kick them out the doors...and cheerfully head off to breakfast with my friends!!

CHEERS! to breakfast with friends...and thinking of my sweet muffins embarking on their new school year. :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Parent-Teacher Conference

The craziest thing I ever got into trouble for as a youngster was LISTENING. I know, it's crazy. My parents were horrible. While all other parents are hollering at their kids to used the two ears that the good Lord gave 'em, my parents were punishing me for using mine.

Background information: I am in 2nd grade, and my mother has been called for a parent teacher conference with Ms. Jones (not her real name). My family lives in a really small town in the north west. My father is the plant superintendent at an oil refinery. We eat dinner at the kitchen table EVERY night and talk, talk, talk.

Ms. Jones: Mrs. Mom, Lesley is doing great in her class work. She needs to work a little more on her math facts, and cursive writing, but she's right on track and doing well.

Mrs. Mom: Oh, great. She loves school and we will continue working on these things at home. (blah, blah, blah)

Ms. Jones: By the way, I have a question. How did Lesley find out that I am living with my boyfriend and that we are unmarried?

Mrs. Mom: *gulp* Umm....

Ms. Jones: The reason why I'm asking is because Lesley has been telling all the kids on the playground these things, and we're basically sinners to the worst degree. How would she know that I am living with my boyfriend?

Mrs. Mom: *GULP* (I'm sure that my mother was doing some pretty fancy footwork at this point in the conversation)

Ms. Jones: And, by the way, Lesley has been cussing like a sailor on the playground. She's been using the "F word" in every variation imaginable.

The rest of the dialogue is somewhat unclear because at this point in the "recap" (screaming rant) my mom has completely LOST her cool and is suffering from the most severe case of humiliation imaginable, at the hands of little old me. She was FURIOUS. No wait, that's an understatement. My mother was a red zone case in Cesar Milan's terminology.

And just to clarify - YES, I was totally correct about Ms. Jones. She was living with her boyfriend and they were unmarried. My dad had come home from work one night, was "talking shop" at the dinner table with my mother about a dude at work. How dude's girlfriend was a teacher, her first name was **** (same as my teacher's name), and there were a few other minor details discussed that added up with what I already knew about Ms. Jones. I started connecting the dots...things started falling into place....and VOILA! I had gossip so scandalous and juicy in the world of 8 year olds, that everyone (well, a few friends) were arguing to see who could sit next to me at lunch.


Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop
Prompt #4 - The craziest reason I ever got in trouble as a child.
Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! Follow me and I'll follow you back.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I've Been A Very Bad Girl

Dear Richard,

Sometimes I have a hard time behaving myself, it's no secret.

It's virtually impossible for me to hide how I feel about something - it's written on my face and evident in my body language. Conforming is not one of my strongest qualities, either, because honestly, it gets old after a while. When people try to be the boss of me, it makes me a snappish. And if I can't be in control, then I should pretty much just take my toys and go home...it's just not going to work out for us.

This brings us to the next, obvious topic....PUNISHMENT.

Giving me chores is unfair. Just look at me! Housework has aged me far beyond my years, and now I look like I am 38ish?! There is NO LOVE in giving someone a mop, or eight baskets of laundry and asking them to get it done. You should seriously reconsider your angle. Organizing the filing cabinet is also cruel and unusual punishment. There are no windows or people to talk to in the closet, and I would get bored. Considering the mischief that our kids can get into when they are bored, we probably shouldn't risk it.

After thoughtful consideration there IS a punishment that I think could adequately fit any offense committed. If you REALLY want to get me where it hurts, send me away from the house. Send me away from the children, the recipe scouring for dinner-make-ready, and the busy hours of homework every afternoon that I cherish so dearly. Separation from these treasured parts of my day would be enough to absolutely crush my spirit. If you really wanted to make my "mommy-time-out" even more torturous and consequential, it should be mandatory that the MTO also have A PEDICURE as part of the punishment. Since I hate to have have my feet rubbed, massaged, and fussed over, this would really be an effective way to show your disapproval of my horrific behavior.

Let me know what you think. I have an appointment scheduled for 6:30 tomorrow evening - a time of day that I love the most.

Your Loving Wife

Prompt #2 - If you were put in "time out", where would
you want to be placed and why?

BTW - Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment!
Follow me, and I'll follow you back. :)


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I'd Like To Thank The Academy...

Today I got my VERY FIRST BLOGGY AWARD! Woo Hoo!

My friend over at Ethically Ambiguous
hooked me up a wonderful compliment AND this cute little piece of
blog art to hang on my "wall". Thanks EA!!

Here are the Rules:

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave it to you.

2. Share SEVEN things about yourself.

3. Pass the award on to 15 bloggers who you recently discovered, and who you think are totally awesome.

4. Contact the bloggers and let them know that they have won.


Soooooo here goes!

1. A huge thanks, again, to Ethnically Ambiguous for sending this awesome award my way! Be sure and check her blog out - you'll be glad that you did!

2. Hmmm.... seven things about me.....

** I ~heart~ reality TV. Seriously. It amuses me to watch drama and chaos unfold on the tube. Real life (even if it's somewhat scripted life) can be extremely entertaining.

** I am the oldest of 7 kids. Three brothers and three sisters.

** I talk tough, but I really do love my children, adore my husband, and wish that I were better at keeping a spotless house. Actually, the last statement was a blatant LIE - housekeeping makes you ugly.

** I am grateful for the multiple moves that my family made during my growing-up years. I feel like it taught me to make friends, and how to be a good friend to others. If you don't agree, it's because you aren't nice and your shoes are ugly.

** One of my very best friends of ALL TIME was my mother-in-law, Beverly. She passed away suddenly in 2001, but still visits me in my dreams. I would give almost anything for a biiiiiiig hug from her and to know what she thinks about the mother that I've become. THAT's the kind of MIL that I aspire to be.

** Until just a few months ago, my husband of 17 years wasn't even aware that I played/play piano. :) I took lessons for years, and loved to sit, sing, and play. Since marrying, it just wasn't something that I had considered doing, until the idea of looking for a a piano came up recently.

3. Oh, the love that I have for these bloggy divas....

Chaos Wrapped in Chocolate-Covered Grins - Not only is she my favoritest cousin in the whole wide world, she is clever, crafty, and a BRILLIANT blogger. A "must follow" - if you aren't already doing so. Go check her out.

C.Mom - First, she is a ROCK STAR cancer survivor. Second, she has a great sense of humor, and appreciates the value of a good bottle of wine.

Kingdom First Homeschool - If you are searching for fun, crafty ideas of things to do with your kiddos....she's your girl! I would LOVE to see her stash of craft supplies - I bet she has glitter in every shade imaginable.

Momma Made It Look Easy - Her writings and excerpts on moxie are awesome! She taps into the ornery, sassy, stand-up-and-fight feelings that lie within each of us. I always knew that I had moxie...I just didn't know that there was an alluring term for it.

The Scholastic Scribe - Her photos capture a story or moment all by themselves.

Shallow Coffee - We share the same feelings on how to approach filling in the blanks on a drivers license renewal. There's always wiggle room in there somewhere, right?

The Gruneisen Family - Food, books, stories about her daughter....AND she shares my love for reality TV. The trashier and more ridiculous the better, in my opinion! BTW, have you checked out "You're Cut Off?"...in-san-i-ty.

The Churchill Family - The photography skillz this lady has are mind-boggling, and she's she's fun to follow, to boot!

The Ninja Blogger - WOW! This blog CRACKS ME UP! If there is something to be said, the Ninja doesn't mince words, she just puts it out there. Why put up facades or false pretenses? She gets props for cojones and entertainment factor. Love it!

Paisley Passions - This is one crafty lady! She can take something random that I would totally not pay a single ounce of attention to, and *POOF* create magic.

Fighting, Birthing, Fighting....& Now WRITING!

Richard is asleep. He's probably dreaming of playing the 17th Hole at Cypress Point again, while I am feverishly typing to share that I have discovered what my next focus in life is going to be.

It will begin as something primarily for myself.

It will be therapeutic in nature.

It will be painful and joyful at the same time.

It is what I feel called to do right now, my next chapter.

I am going to WRITE.

When I was laying in bed earlier, I started randomly thinking about Abby and Lucas' relationship with each other. How they can fight like cats and dogs one minute, and then ask if they can make a tent and sleep in the playroom the next? As I was pondering them, I began to wonder how my battle with breast cancer must have affected Abby as a toddler. A random smattering of thoughts rolled through, and then I recalled a specific time when she and Conner went to stay with my mother.

Abby was due for her shots - I can't remember which set. One or two of her immunizations were live viruses, and because I was already undergoing chemo we couldn't be around each other for a specified length of time after she received the shots. The thought that Richard had taken Abby and Conner to get her her shots, and that someone had been there waiting to load them both up in the car and drive them 500 miles away to wait out the time, just hit me like a ton of bricks! My precious 18 month old daughter who loved to crawl into bed and take long naps with mommy, was going on a trip so that her mommy could continue my treatments, grow the baby in my belly, and maintain a germ-free environment.

See, that's the funny thing about cancer. When you are fighting it, you miss a LOT of details and events going on around you. You're focused on rest, making sure that you are healthy enough to stay on schedule with your treatments, the calendar LOADED with doctors appointments, and getting even MORE rest. You don't mull things over and over in your mind because, quite frankly, you're in damage control mode. As a result, many things get swept under the rug, you move on, they become insignificant moments....until one night when you're just laying in bed. Thinking.

So I have pulled out my journals, my logs, the scribbled notes, miscellaneous information, and I am going to write. Nothing significant may ever come of my recounting and prose, but it WILL serve as an account on how God's hand has worked mightily and was ever present in our journey.


Monday, August 2, 2010

Lt. Jim Dangle Finally Caught Me (Speeding Ticket)

Today my affinity for that irresistible pedal on the right finally caught up with me. The fearless Lt. Jim Dangle caught me in a speed trap after YEARS of running the streets and highways of Houston like it's a NASCAR short course. He caught me flying over an overpass going 75 in a 60....blah, blah, blah. He caught me fair and square. Just write it up dude, okay?

There have been plenty of tickets over the years, but just not any SPEEDING tickets. Tickets for seat belts, registration, expired tags, WARNINGS (tons of those), having a tail light out...you name it.

My last significant run-in with the law:

Sept. 2008. It was in the middle of the afternoon, and I had no idea why the DPS was following me with flashing lights. When Officer Tran (his real name) walked up to my window and asked for my license & registration, he proceeded to explain that he was pulling me over FOR NOT USING MY BLINKER! *crickets chirping* I was like, "Whaaaaaa?"

This joker was serious! And I. Lost. My. COOL.

I sat in my car and SCREAMED! I screamed obscenities. Screamed in bewilderment at how "not using a blinker" was even worthy of stopping someone. I even made derogatory remarks about HIS MOTHER. Yep! I did it. Shamelessly, too! BUT, before you judge, please note that Hurricane Ike had hit about two weeks prior and our power had been out this WHOLE time. It had been miserable. We were making the best of an extremely challenging situation, and this was the final straw. Of all the things to worry about in my world, whether or not I used a blinker was a complete joke. It gave the work ridiculous a whole new meaning.

Tran still wrote the ticket and gave it to me. JERK. I am not a complete believer in karma, but I do believe that some things do, eventually, revisit you. *insert evil thoughts* I am hoping this revisits him in spades.

So today I am rolling the clock back to ZERO, and wondering how long I can manage to stay in the good graces of our fearless traffic patrol.

Sending some *u-hmm* love out to Lt. Dangle tonight. :)