Sunday, October 31, 2010

Uhhh...Excuse Me?!?

Connor informing us what he did in Science class last week:
"After our test, we made babies."

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Toothy Jack

I believe I have blogged before on the seriousness of pumpkin carving since I have been married to my sweet man!

When we were newly married and childless, he would bring out the Engineering graph paper, draw a unique jack-o-lantern's face and then make the drawing come to life on the pumpkin. We have had pumpkins with ears, pumpkins with eyes and noses. We have even had pumpkins with hair!

It should not have surprised me then that Chris's pumpkin artistry should be passed on to one of our children.

Colby came home from school yesterday. Searched "jack-o-lantern designs" on the internet and within five minutes had found the face he wanted on his this year.

This morning, he and Chris free-handed the picture onto the pumpkin and took two hours to create this masterpiece!

It is a perfect match...a smiley pumpkin for a smiley boy!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mr. Fashionista

It is Red Ribbon Week this week at school. Each day there is some silly thing to wear to make "Say No To Drugs" a little more fun.

Monday was Red Shirt Day.

Tuesday was Crazy Sock Day.

Wednesday was Sweats Day. (Although it WAS 90 degrees here on Wednesday!)

Today is Polka Dot Day.

Colby came to me last night to inform me that he wasn't going to participate today. "I just don't look good in polka dots."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Say Cheese!

Pictures have always been a huge part of me.

I have a mother who has a camera attached to her hand! And, although we give her a hard time, we know we will always have a picture to remember whatever it is we are doing!

I have a husband who has lots of lenses and monopods and tripods and gadgets. He honestly could probably do a photography business on the side! He always seems to perfectly capture those sweet faces. When taking baseball pictures, he gets the ball and the bat and the dirt flying through the air!

I have kids who are usually willing to stop and pose and give me a goofy face.

I am the one who has close to 40 photo albums that tell the story of my life, Chris's life and each boys' life. i don't feel organized until I come home from a vacation and make an album using lots of photos and pamphlets and ticket stubs! Each year, I make an on-line album for each boy. It is an obsession I have and I am way behind!

Today I sat down with 500 pictures, scrapbook paraphernalia and brochures from our D.C. trip and began the long task of creating a tangible memory.

As I was going through the first day of our trip (yes, I am only on day 1 of our 10 day trip!! It isn't a hobby for the impatient!!), I realized the real reason I fret so much over getting an album done after every event. I do it because I love looking back and reliving those memories! I love taking that book in my hand and turning each page and remembering.

I know that I can pick up any of those 40 albums in my closets/shelves/chests and get lost in that time. I can remember the smell of that baby boy or the feel of the ocean air. I can hear the cheers after a safe slide into homeplate. I can remember the anticipation of opening a big wrapped box. I can remember the taste of that cupcake I had in D.C. I can remember the 108 degree weather that caused us to look like drowned rats in Williamsburg. I don't ever want to forget.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

How Long 'Til Someone Notices?

Apparently, four days... You-know-who brought it to my attention today! :) Thanks, honey for keeping me honest!

I am so close to the end of my 60 days and I plummeted!! I have racked my brain every day for something to blog about. There is just no creativity here lately!

In the past four days there were several things I could have blogged about:
*It was a baseball weekend (shocker, I know!).
*When eating in a booth in Wendy's, my foot started on fire. I brought it out to look at and it was covered in ants!
*I am working on several photo albums that I am behind on.
*I am wanting to purchase a Criket and be creative in other ways. Does anyone have any pros or cons for me on the Criket??
*Today was a good Bible Study with great life lessons from Joseph.
*The wind has been blowing so hard that pine needles have attacked! -- so much so that men were standing in the middle of Research Forest (a major road) with blowers trying to clean them up!

I think about these things and am just not inspired to expound on any of them. Period.

Hopefully tomorrow will bring some zing!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Don't Get Dressed In The Dark

I have always done some form of exercise. I have never joined a gym or boot camp. The only time I exercised with other live people was in college when I took an aerobics class. I have never enjoyed jumping around and sweating in front of others! I feel that I am fortunate to have the willpower to put on some DVD and work out with the people on the OTHER side of the screen!

When I went home for a visit this summer, my mom and I walked three miles every day around her neighborhood. When I came home five pounds lighter (even after having all the comfort foods that say "Albuquerque"), I thought maybe this was a form of exercise I should take up!

Weeks passed and then a couple months passed and I still hadn't "walked among the people"! Mom came in late September and we decided to walk again. I even added an app to my phone to keep track of our progress. Last week, Chris and I walked and improved on mine and mom's time.

This morning I decided it was a beautiful morning and I should do this on my own. I sat out for my route, passed lots of people -- some I knew -- , smiled and said a cheery "Good Morning", even tried to improve my time by running in spurts here and there. When I got home I had improved my time! 3.03 miles in 46 minutes! I was feeling pretty impressed with myself.

I walked into the house and passed a mirror only to see that the gray shorts I had picked up off the closet floor in the dark this morning -- and still was wearing-- were smeared with yellow paint all over the rear!! Remembering all those people who had passed me on foot and in their cars had me turning red. I then reached into the waistband of those shorts to get the kleenex I had stashed there just in case and ... it was GONE!!

I am sure there is someone who will tell about this poor woman they passed today who had a yellow butt and a kleenex trailing behind her! least I was friendly!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Good Day

Colby stayed home from school today. He has been fighting a bad cold -- no fever or running nose -- just a bad cough.

We ended up having a good day.

We cleaned out his closet (without ANY complaining on his part!); went to lunch; and, went to Target to get a birthday gift for his friend, his Halloween costume and start his Christmas/birthday list. Yes...I was one of THOSE moms that I give dirty looks to when I pass them and their coughing child in Target!!

He is such a fun kid and I love spending time with him. Who wouldn't love spending time with this face?!?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bits and Pieces

I heard a story today about a man in a old, beat-up row boat. He was fishing in a cove and looked up to see a beautiful, sleek yacht pass by. As the yacht passed him and his rickety vessel, he noticed the name on the back -- "Residual".

Evidently, this yacht owner had made some big bucks somewhere down the line to use his leftovers on such an elaborate toy!

I had to think twice about the word "residual". A residue makes me think of something slippery, slimy and gunky. A "residual effect" -- something negative coming from a bad decision.

We all have these "leftovers" from our past. They may haunt us. Satan uses the residual effects of bad decisions to make us feel guilty, angry, shameful. Satan makes "residual" feel like a bad word. He wants it to clog our hearts and minds and loose all hope, self-worth and joy.

Thankfully, "residual" has another definition: a situation following an event; payoff; impact. We Christians can cling to the residual bits and pieces left by Christ and what he did for us. The event of his death and resurrection and the residual effects of that are nothing but positive! The leftovers for us is forgiveness and eternal life! It is freedom from our past; hope for our future.

I may never have enough extra funds to buy a yacht; however, I know that my "Residual" is worth far more.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Brotherly Advice

Connor got his phone taken away today at school.

According to him, he was JUST checking the date.

I have to say that I tend to believe him because in all the years that he has had his phone, it has never gotten taken away. The phone is "spending the night" in the front office of the school. I gave him some motherly advice: when you get it back tomorrow, don't be tempted to sit and check all the texts you have missed. In fact, put it deep into your backpack!"

Colby had another piece of the morning before school, look at the calendar and write down the date on a notecard!

I guess brotherly advice was on the schedule today because Connor had some brotherly advice for Colby too.

Colby was very excited to tell us about a boy in his class who pulled FOUR teeth today at school. I said, "Wow! The toothfairy will be busy tonight at his house!" Colby replied, "For some reason he threw them all in the trash!"

Connor piped up, winked at me and added his two sense. "You should have got them out of the trashcan and pulled a fast one over the toothfairy!"

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Beyond Thrilled

About two months ago, Chris got a promotion. He is a hard worker, dedicated to his job and to his company. He enjoys figuring out the most productive ways to make things work. He loves challenges. So this promotion was an awesome opportunity for him to conquer more challenges. The only drawback is the travel that accompanies the new position. He is responsible for 100 manufacturing plants located all over the world.

In the last 25 days, 15 of those have been spent in other countries. The same is in store for the next 25 days.

I am so thankful that he has this opportunity and that God has blessed me with a husband who provides for me and my boys more than we need or deserve. But, the single-mom syndrome gets old some days. I have to stop and laugh because my busiest time of day is still when Chris is at work. So, it's not like him being in the country is any different on my taxi services! For me, it is the emotional and physical presence when I get home from running the boys around. I need to see him and hug him!

He has been gone for the past 8 days -- Amsterdam, Norway, Vienna, Cyprus, Italy. He was supposed to be in France today. Thankfully, the French airlines are fussing about something and it would have been a wasted trip for him to go. So, he will be home earlier than planned! In fact, I am typing this while trying to kill some time before heading to the airport! Needless to say, I love the French right now!

They say "absence makes the heart grow fonder". I believe that is true. I have learned to cherish our time at home together much more than I used to. As challenging as this transition could be, I am thankful for the "togetherness" that has happened in our relationship. It is "intoxicating"!

I love this man!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Cheap Lunch??

I had an hour to kill around lunch time today.

After going over our spending habits last night, I decided we need to be a little more thrifty about some things. In order to help my budget cause, I decided I would head to Sam's Club and eat a huge piece of pepperoni pizza and wash it down with a mega Diet Coke -- all for the budget-conscious $2.68 (yes, that includes tax!!)

I still had a few minutes to spare so I decided to walk around and peruse the merchandise. I ended up at the ladies clothes and noticed that they had Lucky Jeans for $16.99!!! That was amazing! I started searching through the stacks like I didn't have a single pair of jeans in my closet -- unfortunately, they were all a size 0! Well...I somehow forgot about saving money and started searching through the great deals that Sam's has to offer. I have learned that if you don't buy it when you see it, it will be gone the next time! ...I ended up with a pair of yoga pants and tank top.

I did get one thing I needed...I shouldn't need paper towels for the rest of the year! the end, my $2.68 lunch ended up costing $45 instead! I think I just need to stay home so I won't spend any money!

Monday, October 11, 2010

It Happened....

Just like I predicted last week...

The only thing that is remotely like Fall here in Houston are the decorations!!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Pesky Critters

We have lots of trees. In fact, when we moved in there were 57 trees in the backyard alone. We built our pool and had to cut down 20 trees, leaving 37 -- which is still a LOT!

I have always enjoyed the squirrels that call our yard "home". They are fun to watch as they chase each other around the yard and across the trees and build their nests and collect their nuts.

After Hurricane Rita and Hurricane Ike, we even nursed baby squirrels that had fallen out of the trees.

After a long week and not needing to be anywhere until 3:00 today, I was looking forward to sleeping in. At 7:45, I was awakened by a thunderous sound! It had to have been a HERD of squirrels running on the roof right above my bedroom.

Running, running, running, BANG....silence!

Colby comes running into my room. "Mom, there is a dead squirrel on the glass table on the patio. He is laying like this." He proceeded to get in the fetal position.

Oh man! Poor squirrel was playing chase on the roof and must have slipped!

It seems I have animal issues whenever Chris is gone. So, in the few short seconds it took for me to process the fact that a dead squirrel was on my table, I decided that my poor neighbor would be getting a call to come and get it off of there!!

Colby decided to go take another look ... and the squirrel was gone! Hallelujah!! He was resurrected and I didn't have to call Brad!!!

After a while of lying there, I decided that I should do something productive. It was a beautiful morning so I went to pull weeds out of the flower beds. Our front yard has a big oak tree in the front flower bed with a big squirrel nest in it. As I was bending over pulling weeds, nuts started raining down on my head.

"What the heck?"

I look up and there is a squirrel throwing nuts down at me!

I gave up. This day was going to the squirrels!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Parenting Child # Two

As the firstborn, I always thought that I got the raw end of the deal. I had to wait for a certain age to wear makeup, get my ears pierced or shave my legs. I still say my little sister got to shave before she should have!!

I am finding that I truly am harder on my firstborn. (Connor reads this blog so I am risking a lot by admitting this!)

Connor is a social butterfly and likes to talk. Every October from kindergarten until about sixth grade, I would get a call from his teacher telling me he is talking too much and is disturbing the class. He would no doubt be disciplined--usually grounded from something that he thought he might die from a lack of! But then he straightened up and I wouldn't get a call until the next October!

Colby has always been my shy, quiet one...until this year! We are about seven weeks into school and he has brought home several notes from teachers saying he is sweet but is talking too much and being disruptive. He has even had to sit out of a few recesses as a result.

Have I grounded him? No. I just can't believe he is not going to start behaving properly.

After having to sit out of recess AGAIN this week, I proceeded to ask him the following morning before school if he was going to have to sit out of recess that day. He looked up at me and with the most sincere look said, "Well, not yet mom."

Guess I need to find out what he thinks he might die from a lack of!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I love being organized. This includes all the pictures that we take in a year. Each boy has an album for each year of their lives (of which I am a year behind on). After each vacation, I also make an album.

Last night, I stayed up way past my bedtime going through pictures from this year and began the first step toward checking off "Albums" on my To Do List!

It's not often that we get a full four-person family picture. So I thought I'd share a few of my favorites that we were able to capture and scatter in a few other ones of my silly family!

Trying to get a picture of the family in front of the Washington Monument!
Having fun in D.C.

And, if we ever become a singing group, we can use one of these for our album cover! :)


Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Saying "goodbye" is a hard thing to do.

Unfortunately, I have to say "goodbye" a lot.

The only good thing I can think of when saying "goodbye" is that "hello" will be the next thing I get to say.

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Silly Story

The bathroom situation in Canton leaves a lot to be desired. In fact, one of the bigger ones that didn't have lines actually has shower curtains as doors and the stalls are so short you can see your "neighbors" as you "do your thing"!! I tried my hardest to keep the shower curtain closed and keep my balance, etc. I am a quite modest person. However, I decided to throw caution to the wind and let it all hang out -- literally!

When I got home, this story was forwarded to me and I thought--"How appropriate!"

Then, yesterday, at the baseball field, this story came back to mind as the restrooms fit some aspects of it as well.

All this to say, it is HARD being a woman. And, I am so thankful I had boys. I would HATE to have to deal with this with a little girl!

When you have to visit a public toilet you usually find a line of women, so
you smile politely and take your place. Once it's your turn, you check for
feet under the cubicle doors.

Every cubicle is occupied.

Finally, a door opens and you dash in, nearly knocking down the woman
leaving the cubicle. You get in to find the door won't latch. It doesn't
matter, the wait has been so long you are about to wet your pants!

The dispenser for the modern 'seat covers' (invented by someone's Mum, no
doubt) is handy, but empty. You would hang your bag on the door hook, if
there was one, so you carefully, but quickly drape it around your neck, (Mum
would turn over in her grave if you put it on the FLOOR!) down with your
pants and assume ' The Stance.

In this position, your aging, toneless, thigh muscles begin to shake. You'd
love to sit down, but having not taken time to wipe the seat or to lay
toilet paper on it, you hold 'The Stance.'

To take your mind off your trembling thighs, you reach for what you discover
to be the empty toilet paper dispenser.
In your mind, you can hear your mother's voice saying, 'Dear, if you had
tried to clean the seat, you would have KNOWN there was no toilet paper!'
Your thighs shake more.

You remember the tiny tissue that you blew your nose on yesterday - the one
that's still in your bag (the bag around your neck, that now you have to
hold up trying not to strangle yourself at the same time). That would have
to do, so you crumple it in the puffiest way possible. It's still smaller
than your thumbnail.

Someone pushes your door open because the latch doesn't work.

The door hits your bag, which is hanging around your neck in front of your
chest and you and your bag topple backward against the tank of the toilet.

'Occupied!' you scream, as you reach for the door, dropping your precious,
tiny, crumpled tissue in a puddle on the floor, while losing your footing
altogether and sliding down directly onto the TOILET SEAT. It is wet of
course. You bolt up, knowing all too well that it's too late. Your bare
bottom has made contact with every imaginable germ and life form on the
uncovered seat because YOU never laid down toilet paper - not that there was
any, even if you had taken time to try.

You know that your mother would be utterly appalled if she knew, because
you're certain her bare bottom never touched a public toilet seat because,
frankly, dear, 'You just don't KNOW what kind of diseases you could get.

By this time, the automatic sensor on the back of the toilet is so confused
that it flushes, propelling a stream of water like a fire hose against the
inside of the bowl and spraying a fine mist of water that covers your bum
and runs down your legs and into your shoes.

The flush somehow sucks everything down with such force and you grab onto
the empty toilet paper dispenser for fear of being dragged in too.

At this point, you give up. You're soaked by the spewing water and the wet
toilet seat. You're exhausted. You try to wipe with a sweet wrapper you
found in your pocket and then slink out inconspicuously to the sinks.

You can't figure out how to operate the taps with the automatic sensors, so
you wipe your hands with spit and a dry paper towel and walk past the line
of women still waiting

You are no longer able to smile politely to them. A kind soul at the very
end of the line points out a piece of toilet paper trailing from your shoe.
(Where was that when you NEEDED it?)

You yank the paper from your shoe, plonk it in the woman's hand and tell her
warmly, 'Here, you just might need this.

As you exit, you spot your hubby, who has long since entered, used and left
the men's toilet. Annoyed, he asks, 'What took you so long and why is your
bag hanging around your neck?

This is dedicated to women everywhere who deal with any public toilets It
finally explains to the men what really does take us so long. It also
answers that other commonly asked question about why women go to the toilets
in pairs. It's so the other girl can hold the door, hang onto your bag and
hand you Kleenex under the door.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


I got back from Canton late last night.

My boys met me in the garage as soon as they heard me pulling in. They were smiling and waving and happy to see me.

They helped me unload my treasures. They watched and listened as I unwrapped and told about what I bought. They were genuinely interested -- event though nothing was for them!

I spent two fun-filled days with my closest "women folk"! My mom, sister, nieces and girlfriend. I rarely do Girl's Nights Out because I love being at home with my boys. But, once a year, I do this Canton trip and have a blast! We eat, laugh, and shop. We are silly. It is a nice change from normal.

But, when I come home to two sons who want to know about everything I did and who want to tell me about their days while I was gone and to a husband who is so sweet and loving and happy that I went and had a fun weekend and I retell the funny stories and fun times I had with my girls...I realize I Am Blessed!