Thursday, November 27, 2008

This pilgrim is thankful...




Your Pilgrim Name Is...



Esther Warren



I feel so truly blessed and am thankful to God for all that he has given to me. My friends, family and environment contribute to that in so many ways. I can see all that I have to be thankful for. It makes me sad that we don't focus on our blessings throughout the year as much as we should. I am going to add this to my "to do" list in my attempt to become a better wife, mother, sister, daughter and friend. I need to focus on finding joy, appreciating the blessings in my life instead of focusing on the negative, or letting the negative things bring me down. I'm challenging myself in "public" on this blog, will you be my accountability partner?

I am thankful for the blessings in my life, especially my loving and faithful husband, my beautiful children, and my family who loves me unconditionally.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Apples and Bananas

The Banana Laptop v1.0

My kids love to make computers out of paper. We do this often at our house, and almost always they have a hand-drawn apple logo on them. Today Thing2 (age 4) made a computer, complete with a mouse. But her computer did not have the apple logo...instead it was a banana. And she told me she works for a company called Bananas. I wonder what her grandma, a long-time and dedicated Apple employee, will think of this!!??!! hehe

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I'm the mashed tators!




I Am Mashed Potatoes



Ordinary, comforting, and more than a little predictable

You're the glue that holds everyone together.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Invasion!!!! Foreign animals seeking asylum!

Yesterday I was in the girls' room reading with them. I looked over and saw a HUGE mountain of dirty clothes. I swear, dirties multiply in the hamper! Knowing that both girls would be gone to school today, I put off the laundry for a little while longer.

This morning, after downing a cup of coffee to prepare me, I bravely sorted the mountain of laundry into 3 huge piles...while standing in the girls' room listening to something rustle around. I think its a squirrel running around on the roof. DH thinks its a raccoon living in our attic. He investigated: arming himself with a flashlight he climbed thru the attic access in our hallway. Much to my dismay. We have another access in the garage, which made much more sense to me. I mean, what if the critter ran down the attic steps and INTO my HOUSE?????? EEEEEEEEEEK! His response, "Then catch it!" I tightly closed the bedroom door until he was done with the critter search. (I resisted the temptation to pull the dressers in front of the door. I felt confident that the critter would be deterred by the doorknob concept.)

There was no evidence of invasion in the attic, so I stand behind my theory. The squirrels climb up the crepe myrtle in front of the girls' bedroom window and use the roof as their playground/obstacle course. I've seen them do it from the outside, but never thought it would be this noisy on the inside! I'm still praying that I'm right...I don't want to think about what critters could be living in my attic. :::SHUDDER:::

Sunday, November 09, 2008

On your mark....

How is it that we can clean the house, and within 15 minutes of releasing the things to playtime, its a mess again? Seriously? Do they not get it? Make a little mess, clean it up, and then make another little mess. Do you see my key word? Too bad I can't speak in italics, right?

Yesterday I "grounded" the girls until they're "wing" of the house was clean. That includes a bedroom, playroom and bathroom. I didn't necessarily want them to sanitize the bathroom (though it would have been nice), but they're capable (at 8 & almost 5) of wiping off the counter, emptying trash, and making sure things are put away. Oh, and replacing an empty roll of T.P. every now and then would be fantastic! Surprisingly, they cleaned their designated areas and we went on with our weekend.

This afternoon I asked them to "race" me in tidying up the house before DH landed back in the metroplex. They were to tidy the playroom while I cleaned the kitchen. And I thought this was reasonable, considering they've only had a few hours to "wreck" it again. And I was cleaning...dishes, wiping down counters/table/cabinet doors, sweeping and mopping...my task was a little more daunting (so it would seem) than theirs. We frequently race in an effort to get Thing2 to help us. She isn't a cleaner-upper...ever...even when she promises. <>

Wouldn't you know, I finished the kitchen and crept down the hall to find out what they were up to. They were *almost* done with the playroom, and the bedroom wasn't too bad (dirty jammies on the floor and bed making were the only real tasks in there). To encourage a little, I promised them a candy from their t-or-t buckets...and that was all it took! Within minutes they were done and chowing down on their sweet reward...

...and that made me think: have I changed my stance on bribing since becoming a parent? Yep! Most of the time a sweet treat is all the reward I need, too!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The inside of a plastic pumpkin

...smells like Halloween. If you read my post about what my sniffer means to me, you're probably not surprised by the content of this particular post. I have a strong nose. And the inside of a plastic pumpkin smells like Halloween. Obviously, when the pumpkin is full of trick-or-treat candy. Its not the same as smelling a bag of chocolate, or a bag of sugar candy. It must be a mixture, such as the result of an evening of trick-or-treating thru your 'hood. And it must be inside of a plastic container (even a plastic t or t bag will suffice...just don't put the bag over your head when you inhale).

Here's how you do it. Empty your lungs, put your face up to the opening of the plastic pumpkin (ya know, stick your sniffer into the pumpkin) and inhale deeply. Wow! Can you smell it? (Yes, I'm odd.)

Today is the best day of the year...so far...
Much to the relief of some, this has NOTHING to do with the events of yesterday. This has everything to do with FALL. My favorite season...here's my favorite fall song:
The leaves are falling down,
The leaves are falling down,
Red, yellow, green and brown,
The leaves are falling down.

(Have I ever mentioned that I'm a teacher? HA!)

This has been a strange Texas fall. It got pretty chilly very early on. Then it warmed back up significantly, and stayed that way for a long while. Then we had another cold front that actually forced our temps below freezing one night. Shock! Now its back up to the high 70s or low 80s as the high temps. The result of this roller coaster: fall colors on the trees. I don't remember ever seeing this much color. And every time I drive down the street through our 'hood to pick Thing1 or 2 up from school, I am amazed by the beauty of God's creation painted in fall colors. WOW! Today the wind is blowing and the leaves are dancing toward the ground. So now we have some color in the trees, and also color carpeting the streets and sidewalks. I've always loved fall as a relief to end the summer heat. Now I have another reason to love it. And if this happens every year in north Texas, then I have one more thing to love about our home.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hobbies? What are those?

Okay, so really, my main hobby is blogging and reading others' blogs. I do that a lot. I like it, its fun, and I can read without having to remember a lot from day to day. I used to read books...fiction, non-fiction, biographies (a personal fave) and even how-to and self-help (ha!). But then I changed careers. And now I'm a mom (with bad eyes) and blog reading is more my speed. I know there are others out there who are just like me.

I'm also a twitterer, but I go in streaks (I'm on subconscious strike right now). But recently, I followed the lead of my older brother and his beautiful wife, and started "following" ForYourMarriage on Twitter. Every day, right to my phone, I get a tip on how to strengthen my marriage. And, let's face it, there's not a single married couple who doesn't need help now and again! And if your hubby travels like mine, well, sometimes we just get disconnected. I'm at home tending to the kids, he's off to ? flying ? around. We don't get to talk and see each other as often as we'd like. But we're using technology to our advantage. We're using it to reconnect.

Sunday night we had "Family Game Nite" for the first time in a while. And while only 3 of the 4 family members were actually in the house, the 4th attended via iSight. Yeah, we're nerds, but it was fun and we made a good memory. And, being the scrapbooker I am, I did take a picture of the girls with the computer between them. Yep, nerds!

Anyway, I digress. Back to hobbies and technology (which do tend to go hand in hand these days). A couple weeks back our marriage tip suggested that we discuss our hobbies. What are mine? What are his? Do we both view the others hobbies the same? So here's how we did it...I sent the following email to my hubby:
Today:
List your three favorite hobbies (sports, games, crafts, anything you do outside your job and parenting). What do you think your spouse's are? Did you guess correctly?

This evening at whatever time you designate, we can send each other an email. First list my 3 favorite hobbies, and then list your 3 favorite. We'll see if we're right. Just let me know what time you can do it. I'll set an alarm to send you the email.

xoxo,
dw


The time: 9 p.m. We each sent the other an email. We were close, both pretty similar. But the email itself opened some discussion. I grew up watching sports with my dad. And playing sports. DH has never really been into watching sports live or on t.v. (*unless his girls are playing, in which case he is a devoted spectator!). Well, we agreed that we could do that together a little more often. And we also agreed that someday we *WILL* own a boat. And that even sooner than that, we need to find DH a fishing hole to frequent. We *NEED* to find time for our hobbies.

When DH gets home from a 6 day trip, I just need him to be here. For support on all levels. But we also need to make sure we have hobby time. We're working on it. :o)

So, are you curious? Do you want to know our hobbies? Here they are:

I said mine are: computer, scrapbooking, reading
He said mine are: Scrapbooking, Watching Sports (live or on TV), Socializing ... Girls night out type.

He said his are: Running, Computer, Cooking with you and relaxing at home.( I dont know if that qualifies as a hobby, but I like it)
I said his are: running, games on computer, reading, (fishing should be top, but hasn't been in ages)

What are your hobbies? Do you make time for them?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Organization in the Midst of Chaos

Lately, I've been reconnecting with my long lost cousin (Hi, cuz! And I'm the groovy one!). She said she was surprised that I'm into organizing and menu planning, etc. I just laughed. Mainly because I don't have a choice! Considering that I'm a "single mom" at least 60% of the month, I do it to survive!!! Monday is my cleaning/organizing/menu planning day. I also keep a "food blog" to keep track of my menus and favorite recipes. My updating is sporadic at best, but I'm getting there. :D

Every once in a while I'll post something on here related to organizing my family/home/life. It might not be the most interesting, but maybe some of you will post your ideas as comments. We can help each other out!

As I said earlier, I post my menu on my food blog on Mondays. Then I write it on a dry erase board that hangs on my fridge. It also lists our evening activities and any field trips or activities the kids have that week. Sometimes my sweet hubby and I even have activities to list...but not often! On the right side of the board I tally my water intake. I've been losing weight and have really increased my water intake. I can tell a huge difference in a lot of ways, too! I encourage you to try the same thing. You might surprise yourself. Spend a few days tallying your intake and see where it is. If its low, then step it up!!! I'd bet you'll feel better, too!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Always another mess!

I usually blame Thing1 & Thing2 for the messes in our house. And DH. Not me (hehe). But lately we've been blaming Houdini for a lot. And he deserves it. Check out this mess:

How did I get in here?

Who? Me? Whaaaaa?

After DH tossed the balls back in the basket, he realized Houdini was, in fact, stuck and twisted up in the basket handles. Oops!



Well, for making the mess he still had to put his nose in the corner...

Not really, he was actually after a bug.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Houdini's switchblades contained...

Houdini has been using my dining room chairs as claw sharpeners. Grrr!!! He has multiple objects purchase specifically for this task, but chooses my furniture instead. I have covered the chair tops with aluminum foil, per my mom's suggestion, to keep him from recovering them with his fur. Now to get him to stop shredding the sides (note, he has yet to hurt the chair, but I'm afraid its just a matter of time...).

Every inside cat I've ever had to this point (well, that includes one of my own and a couple of my mom's) has been declawed. Before we adopted Houdini from the SPCA, DH and I agreed that he would not be declawed. We also agreed that he would not be allowed to ruin furniture. So we bought Soft Paws claw covers. We got the Halloween pack (hey, we're all about having fun) and DH applied them, as the directions stated, last week. Uh, Houdini did NOT like them and made all but 2 disappear.
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So, what do you think? At first he had every claw covered. Then they started coming off, with the help of Houdini and his masterful teeth. Then he had about 10 on. Then we started finding little orange claw covers around the house. Now he has one on his front right pinky claw, and one on his back left paw. How can we keep them on? The pack came with super glue. I just don't know what else to use. Suggestions? Ideas? Maybe we can staple some heavy duty socks onto his feet??

Monday, September 29, 2008

What my sniffer means to me...

My nose is a powerful part of me. DH always comments on my sensitive sniffer. Of course, when I was pregnant its powers were magnified. I've always been able to sniff out things that others seem to miss. Maybe that is why I'm so proud of our Beagle's sniffing abilities. Hmmm...interesting thought to ponder...

Today I went to Home Depot to have some keys made. Have you been there? Can you smell it just thinking about it? It smells like fresh cut wood, mixed in with some other scents. All of those combined remind me of my dad. I also think of him when I smell the exhaust of a diesel engine or a boat.

The unique, musty scent of a horse and/or saddle reminds me of Thing1 and her passion for horses.

Dreft (baby detergent) reminds me of Thing2. We used Dreft on her clothes for a very long time b/c of her sensitive skin.

The smell of anything cooking reminds me of my mom's house. Even if it something that she's never made, just the scents of homecooking in the kitchen. Mom is a good cook...from the comfort foods to new recipes, I don't think she's ever made anything we didn't like.

Bacon and eggs and Dove soap...Grandma Violet and Grandpa Jim's house...

After shave tinged with cigarette smoke...Grandma and Grandpa's house at the lake...

The smell of old, musty wood will always remind me of my Texas Grandma, Erna. And the smell of oatmeal cookies in the oven. Mmmmmmmmm....makes my mouth water!

The sensory center is your brain is located next to the memory center...which makes total sense. (For an explanation click here!) The smells trigger the memories. So what are your trigger smells??

Sunday, September 28, 2008

We're gonna party like its your birthday!

Yesterday our sweet middle child turned 6. I know you all think we're nuts, but she has been a part of our family since she was just a pup. Yep, you read it right, we celebrated (in great style) the birthday of our Beagle daughter, Avery Copper...the hound dog. She had a blast at her Petsmart party!
Well, someone was not enjoying her party hat!

Waiting patiently for the store employee to offer her a treat.

Happy 6th Birthday, Avery Copper!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy 90th Birthday, Grandpa!

We just got home yesterday from a long awaited trip to Indiana. My grandpa turned 90 years old last week and we had a lot of fun at his party over the weekend. Its amazing to think of all that he's seen and accomplished in his life. And he's still going strong!!

The weekend was wonderful...and provided the opportunity to catch up with family that I hadn't seen in years . My kids got to meet their long lost cousins and play play play!

The kids played so hard that when their heads hit the pillow they just passed out. I always get them up to use the potty when we're on a trip like that, mainly to avoid puddles on the mattress in the middle of the night. This trip was no exception. The second night we were there I was trying to wake Thing1 up for a trip to the bathroom. She was hard to rouse, and then started doing the sign of the cross...as if she were praying. I finally got her into a sitting position and she did it again. When I told her again what we were doing, she stood up and started walking to the bathroom. She was like a rag doll, and put most of her weight on me walking up the 2 steps (in a travel trailer). Then she turned and tried to walk into the shower. I reminded her again what we were doing. I had to sit her down on the toilet and remind her again what to do. She was basically doing all of this in her sleep. My brother and I were very entertained, though! She has absolutely no recollection of the story I'm sharing here. I'm sure she'd be mortified if she knew I was sharing it, though!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Shrimp in Love Pasta

No menu planning this week, its a crazy one. I was gone all day yesterday as a volunteer at an Ike evacuee shelter, and will be gone all day tomorrow. My sweet husband is stepping up around the house (as if he doesn't help so much already) and making my life easier. I am posting a recipe today so I can link to a friend's Tasty Tuesday blog entry.

I borrowed this recipe from the Kraft website last Valentine's day...it quickly became a family favorite. I must confess, I use extra cream cheese and add some garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

4 oz. linguine, uncooked
1 cup cleaned medium fresh shrimp
2 medium tomatoes, chopped (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup Philadelphia Cream Cheese Spread
1-1/2 cups torn cleaned spinach


Cook linguine as directed on package.
Meanwhile, heat large skillet on medium-high heat. Add shrimp, tomatoes and cream cheese spread; cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes or until shrimp are cooked through and mixture is well blended.
Drain pasta; place in large bowl. Add spinach; toss lightly. Stir in shrimp mixture.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Menu Planning Tuesday? Just doesn't flow...

Yesterday was a bit crazy so I am late the menu this week. Oh well, at least there is something on paper now. Oh, and last week got all messed up, so there are several repeats this week. It just didn't happen last week.



Monday:
B: pancakes, milk
L: kids at school
D: out

Tuesday
B: cereal, milk
L: soup, popcorn shrimp
D: shrimp pasta, salad, breadsticks

Wednesday
B: muffins, fruit, milk
L: kids at school
D: chicken chow mein

Thursday
B: cereal, fruit, milk
L: taco salad
D: tacos

Friday
B: yogurt, fruit, juice
L: kids at school (taco salad at home)
D: pizza, salad

Saturday:
B: donuts, fruit, milk
L: out after soccer game
D: farfalle and zucchini, grilled chicken

Sunday:
B: breakfast casserole
L: hamburgers and french fries, fruit salad
D: pork chops, scalloped potatoes, green bean casserole


School lunches: We pack lunch every day but my kids have lots of options. They get 4 main things, plus a drink. I'd much rather they have too much than not enough. If they bring something home I let them eat it for their after school snack. If they don't have anything leftover they get a piece of fruit, yogurt or fruit cup.

Group 1:
PB&J
PB&Honey
turkey/cheese/bread
turkey/cheese/crackers
sandwich kebabs
soup
spaghettios
roll-ups (sandwich in a tortilla)

Group 2:
sun chips
carrot sticks
crackers
goldfish
string cheese

Group 3:
fruit
orange slices
apple slices
applesauce
peaches
yogurt

Group 4:
'nilla wafers
granola bar
fruit snacks
cookies

Drinks:
water
milk
flavored water pouch

Monday, September 01, 2008

Menu Planning Monday!




Monday:
B: cereal, bananas, yogurt
L: soup, chicken nuggets, fruit
D: popcorn shrimp, rice, green beans

Tuesday
B: oatmeal, milk
L: playdate: salad with chicken wraps
D: sausage wraps, corn on the cob

Wednesday
B: smoothies
L: PB&J, veggie sticks
D: tacos

Thursday
B: cereal, fruit, milk
L: taco salad
D: farfalle and zucchini, grilled chicken

Friday
B: pancakes, milk
L: sub sandwiches, chips or macaroni salad, fruit cups
D: pizza, salad

Saturday:
B: donuts, fruit, milk
L: out after soccer game
D: chicken spaghetti, salad, breadsticks

Sunday:
B: breakfast casserole
L: hamburgers and french fries, fruit salad
D: pork chops, scalloped potatoes, green bean casserole

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The house got toilet papered...

Its fun to watch your kids learn things. I mean, I've been watching them learn since I became a mom. And I've always been amazed. Especially when you can see the wheels turning in their little heads. But they also learn things that we don't really think about as important, such as how to toilet paper a house.

The other morning as we pulled out of our driveway we realized our neighbor's house down the street had been papered. The girls don't remember seeing anything like this before and were full of questions. Who did it? How did they get it to stay? Why did they do it? How do they clean it up? Etc etc etc... It was quite entertaining!

Right now they're playing with their Littlest Pet Shop toys...and the LPS house got toilet papered...I looked in there and they have taken a square of TP and shredded it to size, and wrapped the LPS house.

Their little pets also have a maid and a cook. Must be nice!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Remember when?

I could hardly sleep last night. I had back to school butterflies. My sweet girl is a 3rd grader! I couldn't be more proud. And over the past few days, I couldn't have felt more nostalgic.

It all started on our "date day" last Thursday. The plan was to get the last random school supplies and some new clothes. Maybe find a fun store or get a special treat. We started at Staples, looking for a certain color folder (the lists are so specific) and a backpack. The backpack. Last year it was Hannah Montana. The years before...My Little Pony and Barbie. This year, well, its a backpack. With blue and brown pattern. Its adorable, but without a character. Yep, she's growing up.

Remember her chubby cheeks? Her round fingers? Gone!

Remember the two weeks when she first came to us that she wouldn't let anybody hold her but me? Today she (barely) gave me a high 5 when I walked her to class.

Remember when she only said one word...that high-pitched, 2 syllable sound that resembled "toodie?" Everything she saw, she pointed and said, "Toodie?" Now she teaches me new things each day that she's read in the plethora of non-fiction books that line her shelves.

Remember when she learned to walk...and run...and pedal her trike...then a bike?

Now she's all grown up (well, sorta...) and I'm so nostalgic. And so wonderfully blessed!




Menu Planning Monday!




Monday:
B: scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, milk
L: soup
D: chicken pot pie

Tuesday
B: oatmeal, milk
L: picnic at the park
D: pigs in a blanket, green beans, apples

Wednesday
B: smoothies
L: chicken roll-ups
D: chicken quesadillas, fruit

Thursday
B: cereal, fruit, milk
L: sandwiches, chips, yogurt
D: grilled chicken and veggies, pasta salad

Friday
B: blueberry pancakes, milk
L: chicken nuggets, carrot sticks, oranges, milk
D: frozen pizza, salad

Saturday:
B: french toast, milk
L: english muffin pizzas
D: swiss chicken, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole

Sunday:
B: breakfast casserole
L: leftovers
D: steak, potatoes, salad

Monday, August 18, 2008

Menu Planning Monday!

After slacking off this summer, I'm trying to get back on track. This means I need to organize my life. Won't that make life much easier? I pray so!





Monday Menu Planning:

Sunday:
B: eggs, bacon, toast
L: salad with turkey
D: frozen pizza

Monday:
B: yogurt, melon
L: grilled cheese, grapes
D: lasagna, salad (DH home!!)

Tuesday:
B: cereal, fruit
L: hamburger sandwiches
D: roast, carrots, potatoes

Wednesday:
B: oatmeal, yogurt
L: leftovers
D: cheesy avocado chicken, rice, grilled veggies

Thursday:
B: fruit, toast
L: sandwiches, soup
D: spaghetti, salad

Friday:
B: pancakes, sausage
L: back to school party
D: shrimp pasta

Saturday:
B: cereal, yogurt (DH leaves :( )
L: bangers and mash, green beans
D: leftovers

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Olympics

Last week we were on vacation when the Olympics began. We watched every night as we wound down and went to sleep. It was fun!! The girls were really into it, and especially love the diving and gymnastics.

Now that we're home they're enjoying as much Olympic viewing time as possible. This evening after dinner Thing2 was sitting on the couch watching swimming. Thing1 walked in and Thing2 said to her, "This is called the backstroke." So they both sat, cheering on the American swimmers. When Michael Phelps won his 7th gold of this Olympics, Thing2 was cheering so loudly, encouraged by the announcers on t.v. It was ADORABLE!

I remember as a child being so excited during the Olympics. Fortunately, when the girls watched the gymnastics re-cap this evening, they didn't start trying to flip around the family room. During the winter Olympics they typically "ice skate" around on the wood floors wearing their socks.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Vacation: The End! So sad...

This morning was a sad morning. The final day of vacation. The final trip to the beach (for the year). We didn't waste much time...we got up and got dressed, loaded up the car and stopped in at Sonic for breakfast on the way to the beach. There weren't too many people on the beach first thing on a Sunday morning, so we had a pretty good stretch all to ourselves. The girls finished their breakfast while the shell fairy did her work. :) We had been finding a lot of shells over the past few days, but decided to buy some BIG, fancy shells at the souvenir shop to really excite the girls (thanks to Aunt Rita for the suggestion!). They each found about 10 shells and a sand dollar. It was all very exciting and provided a lot of entertainment. Then it was a last turn on the surf board for each, and one last sandcastle. The four of us held hands and walked into the water one last time. We said, "Thank you!" to the beach for all the fun it provided and promised to come back soon!!!

Back to the hotel for one last rinse off and packing up the car. We were headed back to Momo's house, back to visit our new baby cousin and her big sisters. Back to reality!!!

First Boat Ride

Its the last full day of our vacation and we're going on a boat ride. Thing2's first boat ride ever. Well, since she was in utero. :) She was so excited to ride the boat. But as soon as we walked up to buy our tickets she smelled the popcorn. Then she was sooooo excited to eat some popcorn!!! The boat was a river boat style complete with a paddle wheel on back. It was 3 levels and we spent some time cruising on each one. The tour took us up the coast line on a mini harbor tour of CC. Then we went out a little bit into deeper waters. In the bay area we saw lots of cabbage head jellyfish. The girls were so scared to "fall in" the water until the captain of the ship told us that these jellyfish do not sting. Then, when we went out deeper, we saw a dolphin jump 3 times!!!! It was spectacular! The Things each got a miniature stuffed dolphin to remember our sighting, and a snack to finish off the boat ride.

Then it was on to Joe's Crab Shack for some YUMMY lunch! Thing1 excitedly ordered the kids crab legs. She was so happy to "work" for her dinner. She splattered crab juice all over herself...thank goodness for the bibs! DH and I shared a steampot (crablegs, shrimp, sausage, potatoes and corn). Thing2 ordered breaded shrimp, and again peeled the breading off and ate the shrimp. She kept telling us she was, "peeling off the bad stuff."

After leaving Joe's we stopped in the marina to see the Nina and then headed back to the hotel. We made one quick stop at another souvenir shop to take pictures in front of the store. The front is a huge sand castle, shells and a mermaid. The kids had fun walking around. Then we went in and each girl was allowed to get a tshirt and one other souvenir that would remind them of our trip. Thing1 got a shell necklace with a dolphin charm. Thing2 finally decided on a fish shaped kite.

Then it was time to head to the hotel and get changed for the beach. We spent another couple hours at the beach. "Surfing" is the beach activity of choice, but the girls also love digging for sand crabs and building castles. I think they could stay there for as long as we'd allow. But, alas, the sun went down and it was time to head out. We had a hotel picnic for dinner and ended the night watching the Olympics!

Staying Cool on a HOT Day...

Our touristy activity today was supposed to be cool (figuratively) but it was HARD to get past the literal heat!!! We went to the USS Lexington, a retired aircraft carrier and floating museum. We really thought Thing1 would think it was neat, but it was soooo hot that the girls didn't really care what they were seeing, they just wanted air conditioning. I don't blame them. We went up to the flight deck and checked out the airplane, and we looked around on the main deck. Other than that, the girls just didn't tolerate it. We decided to head out and eat lunch at Pier 99...it was yummy! One of those hole in the wall places that adds to the taste of the food by providing excellent, personal service.

Then we headed back to the Lex for our IMAX movie called "The Fighter Pilot." It was a really neat movie about an air force pilot and his training. After the movie we made a trip to the gift shop and then headed back to the car.

We decided to detour at the CC Museum of Science and History. The Spanish government built replicas of the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria and they are housed at this museum. (The Nina is actually in the CC Marina.) We enjoyed climbing aboard the Pinta and exploring the different features of this wooden ship. Then we went back inside the museum and looked at some of the exhibits, and then let the Things play in the children's area. They had a lot of fun "fishing" from the boat, playing on the kid-size light house, and various other activities.

The girls had been asking if we could ride a ferry boat, so we figured now was a good time. We headed toward Aransas Pass to take the ferry across to Port Aransas. It was short, sweet and served its purpose. The kids thought it was pretty cool. We decided to eat at Trout House in Port Aransas and had another great seafood meal. Then we headed back to the hotel, where DH and the girls went swimming in the hotel pool. I used that time to relax and download my pics to my computer.

What a great, busy and full day!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Sandy Sandwiches...

What a wonderful day! We woke up this morning and leisurely got ready to face the day. Had breakfast at the hotel and then we were off! Our first destination was put on hold and instead we turned into another souvenir/beach shop. We made some major purchases today...each of the girls got a necklace (Thing1's is a shark tooth necklace, Thing2 got a bright pink puka shell necklace), I got a beach umbrella, DH got a skimboard, and the girls got a boogieboard.

Then we were off to our first destination, the Texas State Aquarium. We had a great time! They have some really neat indoor aquariums, and even have a couple of hands on displays. The girls got to hold marine hermit crabs and pencil urchins and pet stingrays (there was also a shark in the pool but he was not swimming near the edge). We also saw a dolphin show and checked out the sea turtles. We had a great time.

We headed back to the hotel to rest for a little while and change into our beach attire. We spent almost 4 hours at the beach, we were there past sunset. The kids had a great time "surfing" on the boogie board. They also loved body surfing, and even at one point did it with their life jackets on so they could float better. Then we decided to build a sand castle and everyone in the family participated. DH worked on the moat and drawbridge. It was pretty fancy! We used the dribble technique to decorate the castle (I learned this technique from my mom on this same stretch of beach "back in the day") and I was excited to show the girls. DH was kinda impressed, I think. HA!




Now we're back at the hotel, everybody is showered and in bed. I'm heading there myself. We're hoping to get an even earlier start tomorrow. The tourist activity we're planning to participate in is an outdoor thing. And its hot. And we don't like hot. We want to be done before it gets hot!!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Vacation or bust!

Today is the first official day of our family's summer vacation, 2008. We drove 4 hours from our hometown (where we'd been for 2 days with family welcoming our new niece into this big world) to the central coast of Texas. The Things had never been to the beach and were desperate to see it. Desperate to collect sea shells. Desperate for some summer fun in the surf.

Our hotel is less than 5 minutes from the beach. As soon as we'd checked in and I had sufficiently wiped the room down with Lysol wipes, we headed to the beach. Thing1 said she didn't expect it to be that big. You know, its all relative when you're a kid. Thing 2 didn't even realize until we left that she'd been swimming in the ocean. She said, "I thought you said this was the bay?" Man, she really did pay attention in the car! We explained that we had been driving on a bridge over the bay, so she was in the ocean. (Please, don't tell my kids th difference between the Gulf of Mexico and the actual ocean...they're one in the same as far as we're concerned!) We had a great time running and splashing in the waves, digging for sand crabs, sifting the sand to find live clams and then watching them burrow back down, body surfing the waves and collecting sea shells. We decided a few things...we want a beach umbrella, a kite and a boogie board.

We headed back to the hotel for a quick shower/bath and a change of clothes. During that time we used the hotel's free internet to find a place to eat. We decided on a restaurant called Pelican's Landing. It was about 15 minutes from the hotel and provided us a nice sunset drive thru the wetlands. DH and I thought it would be fun to introduce the girls to one of our favorite appetizers so we ordered a plate of calamari. YUM! Then each of us ordered shrimp of some form and traded bites around the table. Oh, and a couple of crab cakes, too! The girls had Shirley Temples to drink, complete with an umbrella and pineapple slice. So cute!!

Now, back to the hotel, Thing1 was in bed before I could turn around twice. I think she's already asleep! Thing2 always has a hard time in hotels...I blame it on her age. It'll take her a bit to wind down. Tomorrow we're off to some "touristy" places and then back to the beach for a picnic dinner.

Stay tuned!!!

PS...can't believe I forgot my camera today! Its in my purse and I didn't want to take that along to the beach. Even DH said, "Man, you take that thing everywhere and then forgot to bring it today???!!!" haha (insert sarcasm here!!!!) I will NOT forget it tomorrow!!!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Reflections after church

Tomorrow we leave on vacation!!! We decided to go to church this evening so we can get up and leave first thing. So I'm going to write about church again. (Yes, I know this is dated "Sunday" but I haven't been to bed yet.)

The Gospel today was from Matthew (14:13-21)...the miracle of Jesus turning the 5 loaves and 2 fish into enough to feed the masses. Appropriately, it was followed by one of my favorite hymns..."Come to the Water."

1. O let all who thirst,
let them come to the water.
And let all who have nothing,
let them come to the Lord:
without money, without price.
Why should you pay the price,
except for the Lord?
2. And let all who seek,
let them come to the water.
And let all who have nothing,
let them come to the Lord:
without money, without strife.
Why should you spend your life,
except for the Lord?
3. And let all who toil,
let them come to the water.
And let all who are weary,
let them come to the Lord:
all who labor, without rest.
How can your soul find rest,
except for the Lord?
4. And let all the poor,
let them come to the water,
Bring the ones who are laden,
bring them all to the Lord:
bring the children without might.
Easy the load and light:
come to the Lord.

Text: Based on Isaiah 55:1-2; Matthew 11:28-30. Text and music © 1978, John B. Foley, S.J., and OCP. All rights reserved.


Are you ready for my point? I know the readings and Gospel are set and the priests don't "pick and choose" what they will preach on each week. And I know the Bible is an ancient text. Yes, you know this, too. So why does it matter this week? Because this story from Matthew is so relevant to us right now. No, it does not mean that Jesus is going to sail up on his boat and turn the bread and wine into a four course meal. What I mean is that right now, when people are having a hard time feeding their families and paying their bills, the Lord always seems to provide.

I have seen, heard and read about so many people who put their trust in God, and their prayers are answered. And today when I listened to Deacon Ron and Fr. Antony, I truly enjoyed seeing that connection. It wasn't a stretch, it wasn't difficult to believe or understand, it wasn't something "left up to interpretation," it was just right there.

And, frankly, it was a good reminder...to pray...and to trust. Have FAITH!

Then we sang two more of my FAVORITE hymns...One Bread, One Body and Sanctuary. All in all, it was a meaningful hour. And as my f-a-v-o-r-i-t-e nephew would say, "Good job singin' church!"

My faves on YouTube:
One Bread, One Body
Sanctuary
Come to the Water

Friday, August 01, 2008

Friday thoughts

Friday Thoughts...I got this idea from another blogging moma...

~Outside my window: The sun is shining, the storms have passed, the birds are chirping their good mornings...

~I am thinking: I have so much to do to get ready for our trip, but really I just want to relax with my family!

~I am thankful for: The blessings of a wonderful husband, and two healthy, beautiful children.

~From the kitchen: Been cooking with DH this week. I love to spend time in the kitchen with him. We always have fun and lots of laughs!

~I am wearing: Still in my sleep clothes...need to force myself to face the day!

~I am creating: A scrapbook for my grandpa, who should be a hero to us all.

~I am reading: "Eat, Pray, Love" and "The Boy Next Door" (and a couple others)

~I am hoping: That packing for vacation will be easy! And that all goes well with my niece's grand entrance to the world in a few days!!!

~I am hearing: My sweet girls playing together peacefully. The shower running. The fan whirring.

~Around the house: Need to dust and vacuum before we leave. And find someone to care for Houdini.

~One of my favorite things: The smell of fresh flowers growing outside.

~A few plans for the week: Going on vacation in 2 days! Anxiously awaiting the arrival of my new sweet niece! Can't wait to see her big sisters' reactions!!

A picture thought I am sharing: Don't they just make you smile from the inside out??

Thursday, July 24, 2008

My dad and texting (totally related)

My dad is fairly well rounded. He knows a lot of stuff about a lot of things. He knows how to use tools. He knows how to operate heavy machinery. He can even (after a few lessons) operate the DVD player in his car. And I think he knows how to work the one in the house. Though I think he did have to get rid of an alarm clock once after my brother went to college, only because my brother was the only one who knew how to set it. That still makes me laugh. Anyway...

My dad and computers, well, they get along barely. For example, if Dad wants to look something up on Craigslist, he's pretty competent. He can check his email and even reply. And his typing, well, if I can brag a bit...is much improved!

Moving to the cell phone: If you call Dad on his cell and get voice mail, I'm pretty sure you'll hear my sister's voice. And I'm pretty sure that's because he didn't know how to set the message. And that's cool...it works. Though it might be slightly confusing. Recently Dad had a "run-in" with Sprint customer service and ended up with a very nice monthly plan. That includes unlimited texting. That just makes me laugh. I asked Dad if he was going to use it and he said no. Come to find out, he's a texter! But only if you text him first (which I learned when I asked why he hasn't texted me). So I sent him a message last week. And I received a reply:
"got it. be safe. love you."

I know you're thinking, "Woop-de-doo..." Unless you know my dad. And them I'm sure you're thoroughly impressed. As was I.

Dad, I'm proud of you!

I'm not exactly sure who took this picture of my dad. It was at my birthday dinner and someone else had the camera. But it makes me laugh. And its my most recent pic of him. And after he sees this, he might disown me. :wink:

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Here we sit...

Playing with the cursor! Houie and I are just chilling this morning. He is a very active cat, but sometimes just likes to lay here at bat at the screen. And I oblige him...Well, we're enjoying picking out our activities this morning. We get just a few more hours to do whatever WE want to do...and that includes batting at the computer screen. Isn't this fun????

iojfekkjjjkjjkijij8u87r4444r4re

Oops...he got a little more active and stepped on the keyboard again. :-)

I think that translates to, "I sure had had fun with you this week, Mom. But I'm excited about those short humans coming home. They are pretty cool. And they leave the door open so I can sneak in and "hunt" for lizards."

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Church Seasons

Every weekend when I go into church I am in awe of the beauty of the building. We have a relatively new building and it is bright and beautiful. I love looking at the stained glass...each weekend I see it differently depending on how the light shines thru that day. The choir sings beautifully and I kind of lose myself for an hour (give or take). Today was a great day at church. I hate to say it, but mainly b/c my kiddos weren't with me. I love them, and they are typically well behaved, but its just different when you can be there and really get into it. And today I did.

But not only the message, but really taking in the atmosphere, the feeling. I feel spiritually uplifted when I leave church. Today I lost myself in the singing (though the hymns were kinda slooow and didn't impact me...I love the rest of the mass with the choir). I lost myself in the scripture readings and I lost myself in the homily. I truly enjoyed it, and felt very moved by the words I meditated on.

I also love watching the seasons change according to the church calendar. The inside of the church looks different when the altar dressings change. The colors are so vibrant against the light stone, but they always match patches of the stained glass. It seems like every week in church I find something new that I love about the building.

And one thing, that I think is very important, that I learned from Fr. Antony today: "The weed goes with the seed."

Twitter!

So in the midst of my night of insomnia, I decided to play around on the computer a bit. See, I made the mistake of letting Houdini sleep in my room last night. And he climbs allllll over! And he refuses to allow room for rolling over. Or breathing. Or moving at all. He must have as much of his body touching the human he is sleeping with as he possibly can. And it is IMPOSSIBLE for the human to sleep. So I learned the hard way. Until I kicked him out about 5 a.m.

At some point in the middle of the night I decided to check out Twitter. And I signed up. Does that mean I'm a Twit? A Twitee? A Twitterer? Someone please help me answer this question. Oh, wait. Am I a Tweeter?? UGH! HELuP!

If you want to check out "up to the minute" updates on my thrilling life, my username is Desert_Mom. And I will tell you now...my Twitting will not be as frequent as others. Because my life, at least at the present, isn't all that exciting. For example, later today I might TWEET that I'm going to church. And I know that excites you deeply. On that note, I'm off to clean the hermit crab house. Hey, I know...THRILLING!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Validation and the GPS (not necessarily related...)

First off, I want to thank my favorite cousin who is a realtor in Toledo, and my wonderful hubby for leaving comments. You validate my writing. Don't know why I need external validation...its my low self-esteem rearing its ugly head! GRR!

Secondly, I have to gush over my new best friend, Jill. She lives in a little electronic device inside my car. Her last name is Garmin. We haven't been friends for too long, but it was obvious from the beginning that we're soul mates. She is a back seat driver, but that's kinda what I love so much about her. She gets me where I'm going...and sometimes I have no clue where that is! My new best friend!

And a little more about my sweet feline friend...His new favorite place to lay is in my lap with his head resting on my keyboard. He sleeps more than any cat I've ever been around. And then he opens his eyes just long enough to see the arrow/cursor and bat at it. Then he's back to sleep.

And he's just as obsessed with me as I am with him. If I am not giving him proper attention (i.e. while I'm doing dishes) he will start knocking over his food/water bowls. He reminds me of my students...always acting out just to get attention, negative or otherwise!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

______ Night Blahs

Growing up, it was always Sunday night. I can remember specifically the first time I realized I had the Sunday Night Blahs. I was about 10 years old and I was walking around the side of the house (outside) closest to the drive way. I was hopping from stepping stone to stepping stone and trying to figure out why I was sad. Nothing bad had happened, but it was Sunday night. Hmmmm...I remember I was singing to myself....
It's just another manic Monday
I wish it was Sunday
'Cause that's my funday
My I don't have to runday
It's just another manic Monday

See video of The Bangles Manic Monday here!

Now, of course at age 10 I had NO clue what a manic Monday truly was. But I did know that I had school the next day and that was a bummer.

My blahs no longer specifically fall on Sunday night. Since DH has a constantly changing schedule, this week I had the Wednesday Night Blahs. It was horrible. I was pathetic. I even told DH I was planning to turn off his alarm clock. I asked him if he was feeling sick. I suggested that he fake it. (His work ethic is unmatched...he'd never do that.)

Drat! At 5:45 this morning he pulled out of the driveway. And every week on the day that he leaves I mope around the house. I get my mommy jobs done, but I am always sad and miss him so much. I think adding to the sadness is the fact that T1 & T2 are still at g'parent camp. So now its just me and the creatures...Houdini has been great at cuddling and even accidentally turning iTunes on so I have something to fill the silence. No worries, though! This afternoon I have my monthly massage appointment and after that I'm contemplating a pedicure. We'll see. And tonight I'm going out with some friends. I'm not totally excited about that at this point, but I know as the time nears I will get more into it. Any chance for socialization without children is a treat!!! Its also fun to grow these (somewhat) new friendships.

Monday, July 14, 2008

I'm obsessed, I tell you!

Well, we've been w/o kids since Saturday. We're not bored of each other yet, so I guess we're doing well. Yesterday was our anniversary. We had a good day...church, lunch out, exchanged gifts, dinner out, a movie. It was a nice and relaxing day. This morning I had a hair appointment and DH went running and to the bank for me. Then we met at the book store, and had lunch out. Again. I was going to cook, but we were already out. Tonight we're going bowling with my sister and some friends. Should be fun. Its been years since I went bowling!

Okay, so now onto my obsession. The cat. Well, technically, I think he's still a kitten at about 8 months. He is adorable and hilarious and fun and lovable and so much more...all rolled into one long and lean furball.

He is obsessed with T1 & T2. He follows them around the house like a puppy. They adore him, play with him, feed and water him, he is truly their cat. Well, since they're gone he is starting to follow us. He sleeps in our bed, follows us around the house, sits by the door while we're gone, etc. And I am really enjoying it. I am obsessed with this guy.

The top things I love about Houdini:
* his white whiskers...against the black fur on his face...adorable!
* he flops onto his back at a moment's notice so I can scratch his belly. like a dog, without the stink. and he just lays there during his belly massage and eats up the attention. like a dog, without the stink.
* he has exactly 7 white hairs on his little black nose. and they're cute. his nose is so stinkin' cute!
* he has the cutest little kitty teeth. when he smiles for me (rather, when i lift his lip up) i can see all of them. and they're soooo tiny!
* his fur is S-O-F-T! and sleek. and healthy. and he is sooo pretty!
* he isn't afraid to wear his tuxedo around the house. and he's so handsome in it!!
* he's not afraid to chase his own tail. even if it means falling off of whatever perch he's chilling on.
* he loves to stalk the dog. and it provides us with hours of entertainment!
* he never tires of getting a good belly rub. and i listed this one twice. because cats aren't always into belly rubs and he is. and he is REALLY into them. so it deserves two spots.
* he talks a lot and i love to listen.
* he chatters when he sees the birds thru the window, and i think its cool he'll let us see his inner animal.
* he isn't needy, but lets us love him.

I'm obsessed with him. I will think of many more things that I love and then I will post about him again. Because he is my new baby (when he wants to be).









Sunday, July 13, 2008

For my beloved...

I carry your heart with me

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

ee cummings

Friday, July 11, 2008

Craving Peace and Quiet!

Right now I'm supposed to be cleaning my bedroom. Its tidy enough (after tidying up last night) but needs a good, deep clean. Instead, I sit here typing this blog post and procrastinating. I've always been a good procrastinator. I have cleaned the bathroom, even scrubbing the floor on my hands and knees. Is that June Cleaver-ish? I did not wear a perfectly pressed skirt and apron while scrubbing, though. How disappointing.

The Things leave in the morning for grandparent camp. I'll have 8 whole days of PEACE and QUIET!!! I'm so excited. And DH will be here for 4 of those days. WOOHOOO! And Sunday just happens to be our anniversary. Coincidence? Sure, if you want to believe that! Six years of wedded bliss...

The start of our marriage...

Last weekend we took a road trip. And while we were gone we took several mini trips. Our base was Athens, TX, but we spent time in Tyler, Jacksonville and several small towns in between. The Things slept easily in the car, and don't tell dh, but I caught a few catnaps, too! But I also used this time to "corner" DH and find out what his "5 year plan" is. Hehe! Uh, he didn't have one, or so he said. Well, that frustrated and irritated me, so I decided that we needed to develop one. And we did. But the plan is confidential, and will be revealed to you in good time. Oh, wasn't that a pitiful teaser??? Stay tuned!

Oh, and if you wanna know where we went, all you have to do is ask!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

These are a few of my favorite things...

Well, if Oprah can have her list of favorite things then why can't I? Of course, this doesn't mean that people will RUSH out to buy what I like, but you should!!!

Keep an Apple iPod in your pocket
I absolutely LOVE my ipod. My dear husband and children got me a new one for Mother's Day. I keep my old one in the bedroom with my favorite playlists, and my new one travels between the car and the kitchen. More on that later!

Vera Bradley Bags, a.k.a. Mommy Bags
I challenge you to show me a girl who doesn't love a good bag!! I have several VB bags...a mini backpack, diaper bag, totes, make-up bag...and my collection is still growing!

Prissy Poofs! They're just fun!
I'm not sure who loves loves this more...me, T1 or T2. It is adorable and so much fun. You never know who you're going to be when you're wearing a poof!

Pur Minerals make-up
This make up is so much easier to put on, and it really does cover what you need it to cover. I love it, and thank my amazing sister for trying it first!

American Simplicity Dinner Plates
LOVE these square chocolate brown dinner plates! I only have 4 plates now, but I guarantee that will be changing soon! I mix and match with patterned salad plates that I found on clearance at Target a few months back. So cute, so fun, so pretty!

Yankee Candle air fresheners keep the car smelling good!
It is soooo nice to get in the hot car and have it smelling fresh. My favorite scent is lilac...reminds me of someone you may know!

Dead Sea salts...to die for (bad pun)
I got suckered into buying some Dead Sea salt from a lady at the mall. I was kinda embarrassed at first, but I adore this stuff. Makes me feel great. I tried to get DH to use it but he turned his macho nose up at the idea.

Seacret Spa nail care kit...an answered prayer
I used to have acrylic nails, and have pondered the idea of going back to them. No matter what I do I can't keep my nails looking good. They chip and crack, and I don't even bother painting them. Why should I, when I'm just going to scrub the paint off while doing dishes or cleaning the shower. This little kit is the answer to my prayers (okay, really, I don't pray about my nails).

Dove Skin Vitalizer is helping me fool people about my age!
So there is a HORRID rumor going around that I'm getting older. And, well, its kinda true. So in order to ward off wrinkle rumors, I committed to really taking care of my skin. My facial skin, to be specific. I had a coupon for this little gadget and decided to give it a whirl. Its fabulous! Now, let me be honest. I don't use it every day. The pads are technically "one time use" but I rinse them and use them over again. I use the device about 3 times a week...when I'm feeling extra flaky. Be sure to moisturize when you're done!!

I am a Snapfisherwoman
I am a devoted Snapfisherwoman. I love uploading pictures, changing backgrounds, adding borders, and then ordering my pictures. If I want them today I can pick them up at Walgreens or Staples. If I want them in a week (and I want to pay less) they will deliver my pictures to my mailbox!

Canon Digital Camera
If you look in my purse/mom-bag at any given moment, you will most likely find my camera. If its not there, look in my hand or within 5 feet of my body.

Webkinz..for the kids. Yes, the kids.
These little guys provide hours of entertainment. Uh, for the kids. Yes, the kids. That's right, THE KIDS. Not the mom. The mom never ever ever logs on. Not even just to help the kids get more Kinz Cash. Nope, not the mom. The KIDS!

Lemishine, makes my life shiny!
Our west TX water was full of calcium. This stuff was the only thing that I could put in my dishwasher to make my dishes actually come out looking clean. I still use it now to de-calcify faucets and anything with scum on it.

Blistex Cherry Infusion...SMOOCH!
Mmmmmm...luscious lips. Need I say more? Okay. Kissable lips? Wait, I'm saying too much now!

Lush...its lucious!
I am a newbie to Lush products, but am fast in love. I kinda think I'm a Lush slut. But don't tell anybody. I'll let the website speak for itself.

iHome alarm clock
This is the wonderful alarm clock I bought with my b-day money last year. It sits on my night stand and is the home of my older ipod. It is wonderful. Sounds wonderful. Has wonderful features. And wakes me easily from a wonderful night of sleep. Uh, that's good but bad at the same time.

Ped Egg, my next born child
This is my absolute most favorite foot care product ever invented. Bless you, Mr. PedEgg Inventor. I love you! My next child will be named Ped Egg.

Rubbermaid Reusable Water Bottle
So we're attempting to be greener in our house. I love this reusable water bottle because it has a big water opening. There is nothing I despise more than working hard at slurping my water when I'm thirsty on a HOT Texas afternoon!

My idol, my hero, my everything...The Pioneer Woman
If you haven't met this woman (via blog) then you must. ASAP! I love her, I want to meet her. Heck, I want to be her. Well, kinda. If I could take DH. And the Things. Anyway, I want you to know her, too!

A SHIVER in the middle of the summer heat!
My favorite summer time drink. Sooooo easy. And if you add some chocolate syrup it goes a little "Mudslide-ish"...and that's NOT a bad thing!

A meal on the go...Special K Bars
And, for breakfast on the go, this is the BEST. So yummy...sometimes I even eat it for dessert! (We've also tasted chocolate drizzle and strawberry, and they are yummy too!)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Membership Has Its Privileges...

Today is our first day in France. We'll be here a total of 10 days. So the goal is to see and do as much as possible. And that has to include purchasing trip prizes for my kids. Because, well, that's the kind of mom I am. And also, they expect it by now. They're rotten...but I digress...

On the way home from my second in one day viewing of the Eiffel Tower, we stopped off at a souvenir shop. I needed to pick up some postcards to send to the Things back home. Well, I decided to also pick up a couple of t-shirts, because I want the world to know that my kids are cool and have clothes from Paris. HA!

So in choosing my method of payment I realized that my debit card says "Please See ID" in the signature line. As a matter of habit, I pulled my ID out for the store clerk. He saw that I'm from Texas and immediately got excited. :-) As we were walking out he asked us to wait just a second. He walked over and gave each of us (I was with my dad) a Paris keychain. I thought it was so nice of him, and he said it was because we came to visit him from Texas.

So yes, its true, membership does have its privileges...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Nikki-ology

I have nothing creative for today...so I borrowed this idea. I mean, can you possibly know too much about me?? And don't we all love to talk about ourselves???


MOUTH​OLOGY​

What is your salad dressing of choic​e? ​Ranch

What is your favorite fast food restaurant​? Jack in the Box

What is your favorite sit-​down restaurant​?​ Hmmm...haven't really found one here. But in my old stompin' grounds it was The Garlic Press.

What are your pizza​ toppings of choice?​ cheese, mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, canadian bacon (uh, isn't that just ham?)

What do you like to put on your toast​? Mmmm...pom poms!

TECHNOLOGY​

What is your wallpaper on your computer?​ Thing2

What is your wallpaper on your cell phone​?​ The Things at Steak N Shake

BIOLO​GY

Are you right​-​handed or left-​handed? ​Right

Have you ever had anything removed from your body?​ Um, a kid? A mole that came back b/c its my beauty mark. teehee

What is the last heavy ​item you lifted?​ our fire safe

Have you ever been knocked unconscious?​ Nope!

BULL[​CRAP]​OLOGY

​If it were possible, would ​you want to know the day you were going to die? No, I don't really think so.

If you could​ change your name, what would you change it to? Well, for the people who say my name is a stripper name, yeah I'd change it. But I have no idea what I'd change it to.

What color​/​s looks good on you? Black because its slimming. ROFLM[hiney]O!

Have you ever swall​owed a non-​food item by mistake? I'm sure, but I wish not.

Have you ever saved​ someone'​s life?​ Not that I'm aware!

DAREOLOGY

Would you allow one of your little fingers to be cut off for $​200,​000? No...that'd be weird.

Would you never blog again for $​50,​000? Could we call it an online journal?

Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $​1000?​ Seriously? Bring it on. :-)

Would you, without fear of punishment​, take a human life for $​1,​000,​000?​ ABSOLUTELY 100% NO!

DUMBOLOGY

What is in your left pocket?​ Maybe a little pocket lint

Do you have hardwood or carpet in your house​?​ hardwood, carpet and tile...oh, and that little bit of linoleum in the laundry room. ugh!

Could you live with roommates?​ I already do...and they drive me BONKERS!

How many pairs of flip flops do you own? A bunch...about 10 I think.

Last time you had a run-​in with the cops?​ Um....its been a while, knocking on wood...

What do you want to be when you grow up? A food tester

LASTO​LOGY

Last Friend you talke​d to? on the phone? my kick-[booty] sister

Last person who called you? my kick-[booty] sister

Person you hugged?​ DH

FAVORITOLOGY

Number? ​13

Season? ​Fall!!! (come on FALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HURRY!!!)

CURRENTOLOGY

Missing someone?​ Not really...

Mood?​ Happy. The shrimp is marinating, the kids are outside playing with DH, and I'm chillin'. Going to visit Camilla the Cat tomorrow for possible adoption, having a cookout with an old friend on Monday...haven't seen her in 6 years. Going to be a GREAT weekend overall!

Listening to? One Tree Hill on t.v.

Watching? uh, the computer screen?

Worrying about​? $$ for my trip to France

RANDOMOLOGY

First​ place​ you went this am? Potty

What can you not wait to do? Go to Paris!

What'​s the last movie​ you saw? Um...Baby Moma?

Do you smile often​?​ I hope so!

Are you a friendly person?​ I try!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tag, I'm it!!

A- Attached or Single: Attached and loving it!
B- Best Friend: My husband
C-Cake or Pie: cake...chocolate on chocolate
D- Day of Choice: Whatever day my hubby is here!
E- Essential Item: hair clip or band
F- Favorite Color: green ('cause I'm h-rny...NOT! 'Cause I'm earthy...hehe.)
G- Gummy bears or worms: BEARS!
H- Hometown: Texas (that's enough said. If you are from Texas, you will understand!)
I- Indulgence: Starbucks or Saxby's vanilla mocha
J- January or July: Hmmmm...I prefer snow over sweat, so I'll say January.
K-Kids: Thing1 & Thing2
L- Life is incomplete without: God. DH. Thing1 & Thing2.
M- Marriage Date: 7-13-02
N- Number of Siblings: 1 of each, bro & sis, I'm the baby
O- Oranges or Apples: oranges...navel or mandarin
P- Phobias or Fears: the dark
Q- Quote: "I have no hands but yours."
R- Ring Size: dunno
S- Season: Fall
T- Tag 3 Friends: everybody!
U-Unknown Fact About Me: I love green beans straight from the can (at room temp).
V- Very Favorite Store: Target
W- Worst Habit: popping my knee
X- X-ray or Ultra sound: Ultrasound because you usually get to see cool stuff...like babies. :-)
Y- Your Favorite Food: Tex-Mex
Z- Zodiac: Cancer

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Super Big Muscles!

I think I take for granted how cute and innocent my sweet Thing2 is because she is the second in line. I forget how much I cherished every little conversation with Thing1 at that age. I am really hoping that healing of body will bring peace of mind and the ability to savor each moment...each memory made as its being made. So here is my first in what I hope will become a regular chance to reflect on our day to day activities.

Today for lunch was spaghettios and sandwiches, fruit for dessert. Nothing special, a fairly typical lunch at home for us. Thing2 sat at the table after Thing1 was excused and finished drinking her milk. She kept announcing how much was left (just a little, one more drop, etc) while I was cleaning up in the kitchen. When she finished her milk I asked if she was done with her spaghettios. She said yes, that she was feeling very full. Then came what I absolutely love...

"In fact," she said, "Look at my super big muscles!" (I look over and she's "flexing" her arms so hard that her body is shaking.) Of course this receives my typical response, "WOW! You are growing so strong!"

Thing2's response: "I know! I have been eating lots of fruits and veggies!"

You know, this conversation seems so typical and happens frequently in our house. I guess its not so much of what was said, but how she said it, and how sweet it is to hear her use phrases ("in fact") that aren't typical for a 4 year old, but she knows because she is imitating our adult conversations.

After that she said she'd like to save the rest of her spaghettios for Daddy, who might be home this afternoon. I told her I didn't think they would taste as good for him, and she said, "So will they be foochi by the time he gets home?"

LOVE THAT KID!

Disclaimer: All animals were occupied by squeaky toys during the making of this entry.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Sleep study for the beagle???


I'm sitting here watching a rerun of Grey's Anatomy and enjoying the silence. DH got to come home tonight, as he ended up in the big city this afternoon. Yeah! What a nice treat in the middle of the rotation.

Its quiet in here, the t.v. is really low, and somebody is snoring. Thing1 & Thing2 are in bed reading, DH is in the study, and the only other living thing in this room is the beagle. She's sprawled out in her doggy bed, snoring louder than the television. I looked over at her and her eyes are open. So, is she asleep with her eyes open, or so out of it while she's awake that she's snoring? Does the vet's office have a sleep lab? It doesn't bother me that she snores while I'm on the computer or watching t.v. The only time I'm bothered is in the middle of the night, when I'm trying to sleep, too. I usually blame the snoring on DH. I nudge him (ever so gently) and tell him to roll over. But, as you know, there are many nights that something is snoring in my room and DH is hundreds of miles away. Guess who it is!! And if I nudge her or say her name she just ignores me. The snoring never stops!

The best solution is to kick the dog out of the room. However, she is somewhat spoiled (rotten) and must sleep next to her master's bed (even if he's not there). I tried keeping her in a crate in the kitchen but she howls. And if I put her outside, she barks allllll night. She likes to communicate with the Irish Setter next door, but she has a braying beagle bark that is fairly obnoxious. AHHHH!!! or shall I say WOOOOOOF!

The beagle also has an ear infection. Looks like tomorrow I'll be making a trip to the vet. I guess I'll ask her about the sleep study! :-)

Disclaimer: All animals were sawing logs during the making of this post.