Thursday, September 25, 2008


The computer scares me.

I hear all the bad stuff that could happen -- identity theft, crazies in chatrooms, child predators --. I even make Chris open up a fishy-looking e-mail so that if it is a virus, I won't be the one to set it off. The attitude I have is that if I don't press the button, I will be safe!

I also know, just by joining the blogging world, that time slips away quickly! Luckily, once I catch up with everyone's newest post, I can walk away until the next day.

So, in the past when I have gotten invitations to join a friend's FaceBook page, I have quickly deleted them. I don't want everyone to know my stuff! HOWEVER, last week I received an invitation from a friend from high school. She is planning our 20th High School reunion. (Honestly? How can it be 20 years?) This was a way for her to find as many people as possible in an easy way. So I decided, "What the heck. I'll do it to let people know where I am; but, I WON'T post anything personal!" Well...I am hooked, addicted, loving fb!! I have come into contact with so many people that I haven't heard from in at least 17-20 years! To see their families, what they have become, where they live is so fun! There is even one guy that works 2 miles from my house!! I haven't seen him since my wedding 17 years ago in Albuquerque! Now I find out he has been 2 miles from my house -- talk about a small world!

The downside is that fb will eat up your day! You can chat away or look up people and the next thing you know it has been hours since you left the computer and it is way past dinnertime and you haven't started cooking yet(not that I have done that or anything!)

After being on fb for awhile, I feel safe enough to post albums and chat up a storm! I sure hope I don't regret pushing that 'Join' button.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

My Faithful Teachers

My mom has been battling cancer for the past two years. The start of her story is posted in my post titled "Reasons To Be Thankful" in 2007. We then found out this July that the cancer had returned. This second time around the treatment has been much more aggressive. She had two rounds of three-days-a-week chemotherapy. She then entered the hospital last Thursday and received six days of radical chemotherapy to kill her bone marrow. On Wednesday, she had a stem cell transplant. She will remain in the hospital until Monday unless infection sets in.

God has blessed her beyond measure. She has the most amazing attitude toward it all and believes that God is using this as a ministry. Her church presented her with a beeper to take into the hospital with her. Any time someone prays for her, they call a phone number and it makes the beeper go off. She says the beeper starts going off about 4:30 am and doesn't stop until after midnight! She says just that beeper has brought many questions from nurses and other patients alike. Mom enjoys telling them all about her faith and how that faith has sustained her through "her adventure".

She is going to have a long road ahead of her to get back to normal. I have no doubt that she will do it and do it with class! She says that she has gotten up every morning while in the hospital and gets showered, clothed and make-up on! Other patients think she is headed home. She is not one to pad around in her pj's. I think this is why she is doing so well.

My mom and dad have been rocks through this. They have taught me lots in my 37 years; but, most importantly they have taught me how important it is to trust God in everything.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ike Aftermath

Here are a few pictures from our aftermath -- once again, we were VERY fortunate!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Return to Normalcy

Hurricane Ike powered through and left a swath of devastation. Thankfully, we were extremely lucky having only minor damage to fences -- due to the neighbor's trees falling into our yard -- and lots of debris left behind.

Our power was restored last night about 10 pm and you could hear shouts of joy throughout our neighborhood! It is amazing how much everyone depends on power! We were being told it would be 3-4 weeks before The Woodlands would have power. This morning as I was able to watch the news and get on the computer, I was able to see the devastation throughout the city. Once again, I say our family was blessed!

The day after, we drove around our area and there were many houses with giant oak or pine trees laying in the middle of their homes, trees on vehicles, insulation and carpets already being dragged to the curb. Lines for gas in our area were miles long -- my neighbor waited three hours on Monday for gas only to be allowed $50 worth. Chris waited in a line outside Home Depot for six hours to get a generator and supplies. We went to Randall's to get a few more nonperishable foods and their generator lights only lit the outside aisles. People were using flashlights to see what was down each aisle. It left a spooky feeling.

However, this "event" has brought some positive aspects to our lives. School has been canceled for the week so the kids in the neighborhood are finding creative things to do to pass the days. Neighbors are helping neighbors. We are all cooking outside together every night -- so there was a crazy kid of sadness that came with the flickering of the lights last night -- real life is back. Kids will go back to watching movies, playing video games, being on the computer. Neighbors will go back into their homes and eat at their own tables for dinner. Why does "real life" have to be so busy and unfriendly sometimes? My wish is that I will make the effort to be more creative, more open and more laid back when all is normal again.

We do pray that those that were harder hit will soon be at their own tables having dinner with their families and that "real life" will occur sooner than later.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

IKE -- I'm Ready For You!

I come from a town that is protected on all sides by mountains. Natural disasters are nil. Although, I do remember a tornado interrupting practice in high school causing the drill team and the soccer team to have to take cover in a classroom after school. There were some cute guys on the soccer team; so, I didn't mind!

We also lived in Oklahoma for a total of about 5 1/2 years; so, tornadoes became very familiar. So familiar that the alarms would start to ring, I would open the backdoor and our dog would head straight for the closet! The nice thing I have decided about tornadoes is that they are quick and usually unknown until right before they touch down. I say this is nice because if you have lived in Texas and have to prepare for a hurricane, it seems to go on for weeks!

Three years ago, Hurricane Rita was on her way. I, however, was on my way to Sam's Club to purchase a Christmas gift for one of the boys -- a set of Lincoln Logs! The parking lot was packed for a weekday morning. I walked on in and an employee greeted me with a, "Sorry, ma'am, but we are out of D batteries." "That's OK. They weren't on my list," I say with a smile on my face. Entering further into Sam's, there are hoards of people standing around an empty pallet and an employee telling them all to be patient and cases of water would be brought up soon. "Hmmm," I wonder aloud. "What is going on?" Well, yes, I had heard news of a Hurricane and Hurricane Katrina had just hit New Orleans so I wasn't THAT naive. But, The Woodlands? Honestly, were we really going to be affected?? By the end of my trip to Sam's, I had jumped on board and grabbed a case of bottled water and some other stuff that was not on my list. While standing in the checkout line, (I was the only one with Lincoln Logs in her cart however!) a lady picked up this small bottle of propane and asked me if I was going to purchase one. "Do you think we'll need some?" she asked. Well, sure! Pile it in. We can't be too prepared!!

We taped windows, brought everything that was outside inside, and then sat in our driveway with the neighbors waiting for it to hit. Rita came in the dark of the night -- the night before my birthday. We spent my birthday cleaning up the backyard that was littered with debris and branches, putting back the outside furniture, and untaping the windows. Kind of a let down -- all that work and hype and it passed without us knowing!

The worst of Hurricane Rita was the two weeks that followed. They implemented rolling blackouts, which occurred at our house everyday from 4pm-8pm. Planning meals around that was difficult. The other part that was a shock to me was the fact that grocery trucks couldn't get to our grocery stores -- bread, milk and meat weren't back on the shelves for at least two weeks.

This morning Chris called me from Canada and said I'd better stock up for Hurricane Ike. It does look like we are going to get the "dirty side" of this storm, which is the same side that Hurricane Allison struck Houston with about 8 years ago. According to neighbors, our street became a river. I also remember pictures of the inside of a downtown building that had deep water rushing past stairways.

I didn't want to be fighting anyone for water or bread or toilet paper, so I rushed to Walmart. Obviously, I am the only person ready for this storm! The few cars in the parking lot belonged to the "older crowd" who only had a few things in their baskets! I was a little embarrassed!

Anyway, we have enough stuff to definitely last a week. As Chris always says, "It's better to be lookin' at it than wishin' for it!" Honestly, if Ike doesn't make it to us, we will have a block party and cook burgers on the charcoal grill. As they leave, the neighbors will all be required to take a canned good and a roll of toilet paper!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Wonderful World of Blog

I just saw that I began this blog a little over a year ago -- Sept. 5, 2007. I have to say I figured after a few months the newness would have fizzled out and I would not be blogging anymore! However, I have enjoyed this. I have stated over and over that I have a horrible memory; so, this has been a fun way to record our life. I have gone back on days that are not busy and enjoyed reading about our last year -- and say to myself, "Oh, yeah! I forgot about that!"

I have also enjoyed making new "friends" in the world of blog. I know that they don't have a clue who I am; but, I feel like I am one of their best friends because I religiously read their blogs everyday. I love reading about their kids and their new grocery finds! :) In fact, we are thinking about spending Thanksgiving in San Antonio and I am tempted to get in touch with Big Mama to get her ideas on where to have a great Thanksgiving meal!

The one addition that I never did think about is the finding of "old" friends in the world of blog. Just within the last few weeks, I have reconnected with one of my dearest friends from high school, Kay. She is one of about three that I do keep in touch with -- the Christmas cards and the dinner out when we both happen to be home at the same time -- and she ended up having the link to another friend of ours that I have not seen or spoken to in close to 20 years. I knew she lived only a short distance from me (like about 30 minutes) but life got in my way... With these two blogs I can keep up on my friends lives and see what they have become and how their families are and know that I could totally call them for advice on Thanksgiving dinner!!

Yesterday I received mail from Kay. Tucked in the envelope were five pictures from 1993 or 1994 of me, Kay and our other BFF, Tyla. (Wow! Was I homely looking! I am glad I do not have a scanner because I would feel the need to scan these in to post on my blog. At least I have a good excuse to not share!!) They had come to Stillwater, OK from Albuquerque to bring me my bridesmaid's dress for Tyla's wedding. The three of us were the best of friends in high school and I have so many amazing memories with them. We actually went on a few road trips when we were 16 and 17 -- can't believe our mothers allowed that!! We were in drill team, on yearbook staff, and Honor Society together. We were in each other's weddings. Unfortunately marriage took Kay and I away from Albuquerque; but, I am so blessed to still have her in my life and thanks to the blogging world, get a glimpse of her everyday life all these years later!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Papa's Wise Words

Every summer, the boys and I go to Albuquerque to spend some time with the family. The boys will spend a week with Chris's parents and then a week with my parents. This time is very important to me because I know how important grandparents are. I was lucky enough to live in the same city as both sets of grandparents. My sister and I would spend every Saturday night at one set or the other. In third grade, my Nanny would pick me up everyday after school and take me to Baskin Robbins where I would get a double scoop of ice cream -- mint chocolate chip and strawberry cheesecake. When my sister or I were sick, our grandpa would pick us up from school (or home) and take us to KMart -- my sister was sick alot!! Just lots of special times that could only happen when you live close by.

When the boys are with my parents, they spend a few days going with my dad on his 18-wheeler. They help him wash it, work on it, and load it. In order to do this they have to get up early -- usually 4:30 or 5. They quietly get dressed and brush their teeth so as not to wake me and grandma. They wouldn't dare want to sleep in and miss their day with Papa.
They love learning all about trucks and parts and whatever else Papa teaches boys!

A couple of weeks ago the boys and I had our six-month dentist cleaning and Colby actually had no cavities! The poor little guy has had the worst luck with his teeth. Well, this morning while he was finishing up brushing his teeth, he got excited and shouted, "Papa was right mom! Two spits is all you need for healthy teeth!" "Huh??" "Papa told us this summer that all you need to do is brush your teeth long enough to spit twice and it must work 'cuz I didn't have any cavities!"

Papa is so smart!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Hi Ho! Hi Ho! It's Off To Work I Go

A couple of weeks ago I began thinking about how I was going to fill my five days a week once the kids started back to school. Last year, I spent almost everyday at either Connor's school or Colby's school or some days both schools! I decided that although I enjoy being involved in their classes and schools, I was NOT going to be SO involved this year. So besides the random party for Colby and pep rally for Connor, this year looked bare.

The Friday before school started, a friend from church called and asked me if I would like to work in our church's Mother's Day Out program. In fact, this is how I met her -- she was Colby's 3-year-old teacher when I took him to MDO. I told her I would think about it. Well, as it turned out, they had a new one-day a week program for 17-24 month-olds that needed one more teacher. So, I figured I would "ease back into the work force"!!

I just got home from my six hours of work this week and am plum worn out!!! However, our kids were perfect. A great first day! Hardly no crying, they all played well together, all but one fell asleep at nap time, and the day flew by! They are also so adorable, I could eat them up!

I do have to say that it doesn't seem that long ago that I was one of those eager moms dropping off her child on Thursday morning, excited about spending the day doing whatever I wanted to do. And, then I remember that excitement of seeing my baby after spending the day without him and being curious as to how his day was without me. I am so thankful that I can do this for these few moms. I hope they relish this age because before they turn around they will be sending their "babies" to 6:30 am football practice and 2nd grade too!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

H.E.B. -- You Rock!

We can finally stop our "tradition" of driving Hatch green chili from Albuquerque to Houston. We don't have to worry about it ruining in the car and oozing out the burlap bag. We don't have to sit by the grill, roasting 20-40 lbs. of chili while sweat rolls off our heads. And we owe it all to H.E.B.!! Thanks for bringing home a lot closer to us Mr. Butts!!