Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Reflections

Things are winding down here at home. We opened presents this morning as a family and had some time to relax before we headed down to my parents' house to celebrate the holiday with them and with my sister and her family. It seems strange to have a holiday without Joseph here at home - I heard though that he had a good day and had a good meal in Iraq and had a chance to call his wife and his Mom and sister this morning.

This year, for me at least, everything felt rushed. It might have to do with the fact that we were planning an anniversary party for my parents and that I had taken on the responsibility of trying to plan an activity for the class that I am teaching at church and the additional responsibility of letting The Bug have a party in the mix of things. With the prep work at my parents' house and my being so sick this past month, in addition to my grandmother becoming ill and passing, things got way out of hand. I usually pride myself on being organized and having all sorts of holiday fun and merriment. This year I was at the mall on Christmas Eve, wrapping gifts after 9 o'clock last night, leaving "Santa" some store bought cookies from Walmart and hoping and praying that I didn't forget anything. I think I tried to overcompensate my reluctance in getting things done by overbuying for The bug...but in my defense, I stayed near my original budget.

I used to participate in this holiday preparation group online - we would start early in the season just to be prepared for Christmas. I think I'm going to pull out my old notebook and look at how I can incorporate the plan back into our life next year. I missed doing so many things this year - decorating our gingerbread house, having my cookie exchange, sitting down and doing our Christmas cards, decorating the yard and the house from top to bottom.

My classes start back in January - I'll be taking a full load of 13 or 14 hours. I will do 12 hours of observations/practicum in an elementary school classroom. This will probably be my life for the next 5 semesters as my advisor says it'll take that long to complete the core requirements. Things are going to be very busy. I need to work out the details to be able to balance home life and all that is important here and my school life and not allow myself to feel overwhelmed when it comes to celebrating the important things in life.

With that being said, I am excited about the possibilities that the new year will bring. I should hopefully have some Christmas pictures to share soon - I just need to get them off of my camera.

What about your Christmas do's and don'ts? anything that you left off the list this year because time just wouldn't accommodate it?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Mamaw

My Grandmother, affectionately known as Mamaw N around our home, passed away this past Friday. She had been in the hospital twice within the month. Once from chronic heart failure and the other from pneumonia. We (my husband, myself and The Bug) arrived at the hospital about five minutes too late.

Momma and Daddy were both there, as were my two aunts. Momma told me that Thursday night my Mamaw was laying in the bed and quoting Bible scripture. She told The Bug that we are told to memorize scripture and to hid it in our hearts for times when we need it. If there was one thing to be known, she was an amazing woman of faith and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that she is in heaven now. Rejoicing with her husband, my grandfather, who died in October of 1987. My brother. My uncle, their second son, who died three years ago. Her Mother, who died when my grandmother was just a few months old.

I guess in this post I just want to say. Tell the people whom you love how much they mean to you. If you think you are too busy to visit with your family and the people that you love, then believe me, you have your priorities all wrong. I've had a hard time dealing with the fact that I really didn't visit her like I know I should have. I've realized these past few days just how much I have missed out on with that side of my family because we thought life revolved around where we were and that we didn't really have the time to go and spend with all of them. I have 7 first cousins on that side. I only see them at funerals these days. I was talking to "G", who was my absolute favorite cousin when I was a little girl today, we were talking about one time that we got trapped in the barn at Papaw and Mamaw's house - it was Easter and there we were, doing what we shouldn't have been doing (playing in the loft) when the cows all came along and we couldn't get back downstairs. In our Sunday best. Papaw came to our rescue. Good times. And so many opportunities to make good memories like this that I have missed out on over the years.

I'm exhausted from driving so much lately and off to bed. Be kind. Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's already Tuesday and Christmas is how many days away???

I cannot believe that we are only 10 days away from Christmas. When did this happen? Where did the end of November and the first 15 days of December go? I want them back!!! I need more time!!!

Ever feel that way? Like time is actually like sand through the hour glass (thank you Days of Our Lives)? I sometimes stop and think that I'm so busy trying to do for my family and take care of everything that one day I'm actually going to sit down and realize I'm old and time has flown by in my rear view mirror. What can you do to stop time? We always threaten that we're going to put a book on The Bug's head and hide her away from the sunshine to keep her little...but then there's that dealing with DFACS thing and I'd rather not get involved. LOL

I am bound and determined to get some Christmas gifts wrapped and under the tree tonight. The problem is that I've overbought... I could tell when I peered into the hiding closet today and saw everything that was in there. I need to get some things together and in the mail to my nephew who is in Iraq. I feel guilty not having mailed anything yet, but I figure this will be a birthday/Christmas package - his birthday is in a month.

Went shopping with Momma today. She has convinced me to go to one of those boutique's where they actually fit you for a bra. She has tried to convince me to do this for a while...but I caved this afternoon and made an appointment for a fitting for later this week. I will have to report all of the embarrassing details. I am also going to see my grandmother at the hospital. This will be our Christmas visit and I am not sure what to take her. I thought about doing a miniature tree with lights for her room - but she's never really been the type to put up a tree. I am considering something like a poinsettia. Just not sure. She is not doing well though - she is barely eating and there is internal bleeding somewhere as they've given her two pints of blood this week.

I have my appointment tomorrow to find out what my class schedule will be like in January. I am nervous. Imagine that??? I also talked to the teacher that I will work with for my first practicum. I will be at the elementary school where The Bug was a student for five years so I know the territory and the staff and the dress code! LOL ... Here I am worried about what to wear to work!!! I am hoping we'll find out tomorrow how many days we'll be at the schools so that I can get an idea of what life is going to be like around here come January. I want to take as many classes as possible so that I can hurry up and get this part of my education over and done.

Think that's about it for now. Sick and tired of all the rain we've had recently. Every time the rain starts up, I start to worry about getting sick again. It's not fun!

The Momster

Monday, December 14, 2009

Catching UP

A lot has been going on around here.

My grandmother is in the hospital again. She has pneumonia. It's all very touch and go. I am trying to wait till Friday to go and visit with her as this is the last week of school and The Bug wants to go as well. Daddy said if we'd wait till Friday we could all go up together.

We had to cancel my parents' anniversary party due to her hospitalization. When we initially got the call that she was going to the hospital we thought she wouldn't make it through the weekend. We've said a lot of prayers and been in constant contact to find out how she's doing and what her progress has been. Momma finally said that maybe it's just not meant to be - the party that is.

I am trying to fight off getting sick again as we are in the mist of some really dreary weather. Hubs has decided to start praying for snow for Christmas...since we prayed all summer long for rain. Maybe we'll get lucky, you know? I'd love to have snow at Christmas...that hasn't happened in a long time!

I'm working my way through the paperwork involved in going back to school. Trying to make sure I have all of my ducks in a row. I have a meeting on campus on Wednesday and hopefully after that I'll know what my schedule of classes is going to be like. I am seriously praying that they work out with my family's schedule. It might sound crazy, but I hope there are a lot of classes to choose from this semester because I plan on really loading myself up and getting through with this. I know where I will be for my first practicum...it's at the elementary school where my daughter went and where used to sub all of the time. At least I am familiar with the administration and the faculty. I don't have to worry about what their dress code is either because I already know...that's one less thing to worry about! Now I just wonder how many days a week I'll be there!

I think that's all for now. Still need to wrap gifts. The tree is up - and that's about it for us this year. And that's fine. I'm trying to break out of my overachiever frame of mind and just be happy with what we've got on hand. Hopefully that's easier done than said. :)

Merry Christmas!
The Momster.. :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's official - I am an overplanner...

I have officially decided to share with the cyber world a little tidbit of information about myself. I tend to take on more than I can handle. I overschedule. Overplan. I am an overthinker. Rather than settling for simplicity, I have to think of things on a grander scale. It's becoming extremely annoying in my day to day life. I think I might need therapy. Preferably not the retail type...as it tends to lead to these grand ideas that seldom get finished.

Before getting the crypt keeper's cold (as it is affectionately known now), I was in the process of trying to make heads or tails out of my stuff in our bonus room. That room is complicated. Heck, it might need therapy before it's all over and done. It is the bane of my existence. My Achilles heel. Let's see if I can explain this in great detail -

The bonus room used to be the room with the family computer and spare tv/stereo system. It was a comfy, cozy room at the end of the hallway - a haven where I could go to escape the day to day dealings of life or to sit and wait for the washer to finish the spin cycle - which ever one happened to be a priority at the time. The cat would snooze on the love seat. The closets were brimming with craft supplies and paperbacks and out of season clothes. Until one day.... (insert creepy organ music here).... one of the closets collapsed. Followed by the other closet collapsing. Followed by our decision that the computer was disrupting our family relationships and we decided to move it downstairs to the living room so it would be like we were actually, you know, living together. The room then sort of became 'neglected'. Heck, let's be honest, it became that neglected child that you just sit in the corner and comment on but never really spend any time with.

In all honesty, every time I go in there to try to sort through the holiday decorations or craft supplies or even the movies on VHS tapes, I feel like it's a job that I just don't want to do. Or I get sick, like last week, taking away an entire week that I had devoted to trying to organize that beast before classes start for me in January. I did manage to sort through a good amount of stuff, determining a donations box, recycles box and a box full of trash. But there are times when I consider just getting rid of everything - until I realize the money that I have invested in craft material and stuff like that - and I feel like I am back at square one.

My intention was to sort through the fall decorations before returning them to the attic. Today I just gave up. I put the tubs inside the room...and shut the door behind me. It'll have to wait till another day. I don't have time to worry about it with everything else going on.

Pathetic, isn't it?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas...

Wow - the season is upon us. Where did November go? Much less October or even September? Heck, what about my 20s and 30s? Okay, so maybe that's too much...but you get my drift...

The Bug is at a STN party and we have the house to ourselves but rather than having date night, I am instead upstairs with the humidifier going full steam ahead with no voice and chronic bronchitis while I watch "White Christmas" on AMC. I love this movie...It was always one of my Mom's favorites and often times we watched it while we put up our Christmas tree at our house.

This week is packed with activities.
  • Wednesday night is the youth-wide Christmas Party at Church... exciting!
  • Thursday is the choral winter concert. She is in the treble choir and really is enjoying being in this 'elite' group although some of her friends are giving her a hard time because their director always says "treble does this and this and that" whenever she scolds the mixed choir. Times have changed - when I was in school it was a bigger deal to make it into the mixed choir... who knows?
  • Aside from that, I am taking a group of 7th and 8th grade students to see a local church's Living Christmas Tree production on Friday night - and then we are hitting Starbucks for some refreshments. I'm excited about this since it'll be our first official out of the class activity and another opportunity to get to know the girls in my class a little bit better.
  • Saturday night The Bug is having a party here at the house and seems excited about it. I'm creating a few games for the girls to play - hopefully I'll finish them in time - one being Santaopoly... my Christmas spin on Monopoly. I'll have to post pictures!
  • Sunday we are finally having my parents 50th Wedding Anniversary party. We're doing a Christmas open house and combining them. I only hope everything goes as planned as my being sick certainly isn't much help!

So with the busy schedule, I am in serious need of a cure for this sore throat/stuffy nose/coughing/feverish shell of a body of mine. If you have any suggestions, I'm all ears... I have got to get better and soon. Apparently the antibiotics aren't doing the trick as I still have the fever. My throat is killing me! And the week following is even busier!

Friday, November 20, 2009

There's A Lot Going On....

  1. Picking up The Bug immediately after school and going to see New Moon... I already have the tickets so that we don't need to stand in line!
  2. Still in search for what we are going to wear to Daddy's induction into the music hall of fame here a week from Saturday. Bought a nice 'black tie' toppy thing at Macys... I want pants to go with it - looks like I need to go to Penneys to find the right type.
  3. Still searching for what The Bug is going to wear. Brought home a gorgeous LBD for her this week - but it's really not what she had in mind and I'll have to take up the straps if we decide to go this route. I thought it would be CUTE with purple pumps that I found at Kohls and a purple pashima... we'll see. So tomorrow we are going to Dillards.
  4. Christmas shopping - there, I said it.
  5. And wrapping!
  6. Party planning!
  7. Cleaning my house!
  8. Decking the halls...
  9. And let's not forget the yard...
  10. Checking on my registration status with the college

I am sure there's so much more to do - and so little time to do it all in... But excited about my movie time with The Bug.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Just Another Manic Monday...

You know, I actually had to check the calendar to make sure that I had the day of the week right. Is it possible to have already experienced at least a Wednesday in just one day? Or maybe it's just the meds and caffeine.

I had to head out to the Dr on Saturday morning. Since my last bout of allergy torture I just have not felt well. I woke up feeling much worse so I made myself brush my teeth and wash my face, throw on the closest thing that resembled clothes and heading out the door. Three hours later I was finally on my way back home. I could have self-diagnosed myself... sinus infection and allergies. Apparently there's a lot of ragweed in the atmosphere right now. Not to mention that all of the rain we've had recently has really been causing me a lot of problems.

Our church put on their production this weekend and it went really well. The Bug and I went Friday night. Hubs was working behind the scenes for all four shows. The house was nearly packed Friday and apparently again last night. Last night I stayed home to work on my parents anniversary invitations...

Which I mailed last night as well. About 40 invitations in the mail. Now there's no turning back. The date changed (yet again) before the invitations were printed so now we are on for December 13th... it's going to be a busy weekend. I'm taking my class to see another church's Christmas program that Friday night, Saturday night The Bug is having a party and then their celebration on Sunday. There feels like there's so much to do and so little time to get it all done in.

We are getting excited about watching New Moon this weekend. I'm curious to see the visual effects used in the movie and to see how they expand on the story. I noticed tonight at Target that there is New Moon stuff everywhere. Books. Companion books. A Scene It Game about Twilight. A Twilight and New Moon board game. Everything.

Started Christmas shopping today and feel like I've put a healthy dent in my shopping list. My dad is being inducted into the music hall of fame the Saturday after Thanksgiving so I've got to get something for The Bug and I both to wear. I want to wear pants to this one... It's black tie optional so I'm hoping we'll find something tomorrow when I head out to the mall.

That's about it for me. So glad to have all of the invitations out of the way. A little sad to start putting out all of the Christmas decorations so soon... I have enjoyed my fall stuff so much this year!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Life is Complicated

Life is complicated. True or false?

Life is hectic. Yes or no?

I am in the mist of doing too many things at one time. I am worrying about finances - because the holidays are coming and I have school starting back in January and usually by this time of the year I would have subbed somewhere around 50 or 60 days. At a minimum. I have subbed 1 in our public school system - and it was just a half day. Teachers are scared and jobs are scarce. I've subbed more days at a local preschool where I have thoroughly enjoyed myself. And in fact am working there later this week. But I'm still worried about complicated finances.

My dishwasher is dying. It's tragic and extremely emotional to watch an appliance on its last leg of life. (that was me being funny...) I think it's the motor. I will refuse to get a new dishwasher for Christmas. So right now I'm handwashing dishes but running them thru a cycle to really make sure all the germies are gone. How did we survive as children without a dishwasher in the house? Oh yeah...that dishwasher was me. Probably why I love my dishwasher and hate washing dishes. While I'm at it, did I tell you that our big tv in the living room went kaput? Yes... so while we are waiting for an estimate for repairs, we are watching the little 21 (?) inch tv that is usually in the bonus room. It's REALLY SMALL in the cabinet. I'm considering going to borrow the big tv from my parents' basement since nobody ever watches it.

My sister is home from the hospital - thanks for asking Source. She was sent home on Saturday. Yesterday morning I drove over to pick her up at home with my Dad - as they had no idea where she lived...isn't that sad? Today my niece is home from class and tomorrow she'll come back to my parents' house.

This morning was spent buying party invitations for my parents' anniversary party next month. And a Christmas tree for my mother's kitchen breakfast area. It's been raining here since late last night and I think I am drenched from the downpour. The Hubs is upstairs asleep so I am sitting here contemplating if there are any clothes that are dry in the laundry room. Drat my decision to put away all of the clothes late last night!

Have I ever mentioned that our cat is terrified of rain and storms and that she hides in a box on the landing when either of those events take place? That's a story for another day...

What about you - is life complicated?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Halloween 2009 - Oh My!



Halloween has come and gone and here are a few pictures from this year. Here's The Bug - as the Lioness. She has an affection for tutus after being the Midnight Fairy from last year... and they are easy to make! The costume changed a little since it was warmer here than originally expected. Rather than a mane she wore a ribbon. LOL And really BIG hair. Making her Momma, aka "80s Big Hair Gal" really happy!

The next picture is of the side bar in the dining room. The glass bowl next to the witch's hat actually shimmered - sort of like a crystal ball so the picture didn't do it justice. I just used this table to set up desserts - I figured we didn't need a lot since we were getting candy. They had caldron cakes (devils food cake with gummy worms and green candy icing along with milk chocolate icing) and eyeballs. Those were easy - white chocolate dipped donut holes. A lifesaver gummy and chocolate chip completed the iris and pupil.




























Friday, November 6, 2009

Time Flies...

Today my daughter commented how just a week ago we were preparing for Halloween. I was busy putting the finishing touches on the house since we were having a party. I was praying that we would be spared the rain that came anyway. Tweaking the menu - and deciding what I just wouldn't have time to try this year. I had to finish the finishing touches for her costume, which included making 'ears' that she decided not to wear because we mastered the "BIG HAIR" she was after in the first place. And if I can ever remember to download the pictures, I'll have plenty to share.

Thanksgiving will be here before you know it. I'm considering having the family here for Thanksgiving but I'm not sure. My Dad is more comfortable at his own home - in fact, he generally never visits for long if he and Momma come by. Still some time to think about it.

My parents have finally decided what we are going to do for their anniversary. Considering their 50th was in May, I feel guilty. My nephew's wedding made them postpone any type of celebration. Then I had wanted to have their party this weekend but my sister ended up scheduling her surgery for this week. My nephew left for Iraq on Monday. Too much has been going on. Anyway, they've told us they want to have something at their house the Sunday after Christmas. I still want to consider having it at a venue in town. The fellowship hall at the church is too small and there really is no room for people to sit. The old sanctuary is being converted into adult classrooms so that's not an option either. If it is at my parents', I've really got to get on the ball and order their invitations and get everything planned. With my sister's surgery I'm sure I'll need to do the majority of the work involved.

Classes start soon and I'm excited/nervous. I had completely forgotten that I have to have 3 references to get into the program so I made my contacts last night to ask for letters. My application status shows as pending. My calculated GPA is 3.88....darned Math classes!I'm nervous about the change it will bring around home being gone so much again. At times I've just thought "go get a job!" but I know this is something that I need to complete - it's important to me and to The Bug.

Next thing you know, I'll be posting about Christmas shopping and baking cookies!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Today's A New Day

Tomorrow my sister is having surgery. She's expected to be out of work and commission for 8 weeks as she heals. In the morning I will be picking up my Mom and we'll drive to the hospital to be there for moral support. I'm leaving Hubs in charge of getting The Bug off to school on time. I hope they wake up! I will have to set my phone to go off just to make sure to call them.

I went shopping today. It's funny - I walked out with halloween, thanksgiving and Christmas stuff all from one store. The halloween stuff and thanksgiving stuff was already marked way down and I found this Christmas bingo game for a dollar that I couldn't resist. Of course, none of that is why I went to the store. I went in to buy shampoo and soap. But they've rearranged the store and I ended up in the holiday section before I knew it.

My nephew is in Kuwait now. He's expecting to be in Iraq by Sunday. His new bride is so miserable....it breaks my heart. She's going to pack up the rest of their stuff and have it transported to storage and then coming back home to look for a job. I cannot imagine how she must feel. She talked to him this morning so I think that might have helped some but talking to someone isn't the same as seeing them in the flesh.

My niece has the flu - I am worried about her (as usual). I wish I could just go and get her and make her come and live with me. Or my parents. She has recently gotten the cutest miniature Yorkie that I have ever seen. Her name is Annabelle and I've already volunteered to puppy sit. I think we all fell in love with her Sunday afternoon.

I'm having to deal with some behavior issues from our cat. I'm sure you can imagine what they are. I am so unhappy with her right now - and not sure what to do to try to correct this behavior. But today has been a good day after she and I had an unpleasant evening together yesterday. I am beginning to think it's a behavior issue that occurs after we have a lot of company (like this past weekend).

Already planning The Bug's Christmas party. Making arrangements to do all of our usual Christmas holiday traditions. I'm also going to take the girls in my class to a production that another church does here in town that I think they'll really enjoy. Too much to do and then you realize Christmas will be here before you know it. And in January I'll go back to school! Where does the time really go?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

F A M I L Y

Today we had a special and bittersweet day with my extended family. We got up and went to church this morning, albeit we had to calm down from the panic of feeling like we'd overslept...till I remembered the time change and my two family members fell back asleep for a bit. I had sent a text to my sister near the end of the first service to see if they were coming to church today. They were on their way. I told her that I'd finish up with my class early so that I could come up and we could pray over my nephew. Hubs made it a point to tell the pastor that Joseph was leaving in the morning for a year's tour of duty in Iraq. He and I agreed to meet outside the sanctuary at about ten to twelve.

I rushed off to talk to the girls in the class about the subject of family. How God chooses to put us with the families that we are with for a reason. It was really an interesting lesson and I hope that they left the room with a different idea of why God created the family unit. We rushed from the room and The Bug, her BFF and I met Hubs and went in to sit through the last few minutes of the service. The invitation began and after a moment, Joseph, Danielle and his parents exited their pew and we joined them in the front of the church and prayed together as a family. My Mother had gotten sick during Sunday school - I think this has been a lot harder on her than I had realized - so they were not there. After the invitation ended, the pastor told the congregation that we were going to have a special moment of prayer for Joseph because he was leaving for a year. It was a highly emotional time and I think we were all silently crying at that point.

Church service ended and we went to drop the BFF off and headed home to grab some mac'n cheese and some desserts and headed down to my parents house for lunch. The Bug thought it was a great suggestion that we get together and have ham, his favorite holiday meal. We enjoyed our meal and spent time visiting and eventually he and Danielle had to leave to drive about 4 hours back to the base. What a bittersweet moment. I'll never forget standing there in the driveway and watching my family deal with saying goodbye. Wishing that I could burn that moment into my memory...his smile, his laugh, his hug... before they got into the car and drove away.

After several minutes of crying in the driveway, we headed back into the house. Daddy commented that this would be the first Christmas in over 26 years that Joseph wasn't there, minus the time they lived in Germany. I think we are emotionally spent.

Pray for our troops. Pray for those serving overseas. Pray for their families who are here at home. Danielle's coming home for the year that he's gone. How sad to be a new bride and watch your husband leave tomorrow, knowing it will be months and months before you see him again?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Buying Furniture Over The Phone...

This morning I got a call from Havertys. Remember way back when ... when we bought our living room furniture? Well, it's being discontinued. And they have 10 of the chairs that go with my sofa still available... So I bought one. Over the phone. It'll be delivered tomorrow. Betcha that's a first for a lot of people that I know! Now I just need to figure out what to do with the recliner that's in its spot.

I am still preparing for the party Saturday night. We've honed the menu...not that a bunch of girls will probably care. I just can't decide if they should have hot dogs (which is our usual meal on Halloween) or if we should make these MUMMY pizzas - which is basically a cheese pizza that you put strips of cheese over and do something like black olives for eyes. Thoughts? I know that I'm planning too much for dessert - but that's okay. Whatever's left I'll take to my class Sunday morning and then to my parents' for my nephew's going away dinner with our family.

We have had entirely too much rain here and because of it the only decoration that's outside is a plastic pumpkin that lights up at night. We are expecting more rain on Friday so it looks like we'll go out and spook the yard Saturday morning. We've planned a lot of stuff... a circle of ghosts, a witch with a cauldron (probably on the front porch!), trick or treaters and our cemetery is coming back this year. I will try to take lots of pictures - but my digital camera is on its last leg. I need to buy another one. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Quote of the Day..

Uttered last night, while we were all piled up in the bed watching re-runs of Cake Boss.

"Let's just move to Canada. Then we can spend our time preaching the gospel."

I cannot remember why the discussion was had about moving away, much less leaving our country, but I thought it was a wonderful sentiment for my child to want to go spread the good news with those who don't have an opportunity to hear it. Makes a mother's heart feel good.

Monday, October 26, 2009

My Nephew

Our nephew, J, is leaving Monday for a year's duty in Iraq. I am shocked. We knew that he would originally go when he got his officer's assignment this past summer, but after his heat stroke and the serious health problems that it brought about, he was told it wouldn't happen. That he needed to rethink his future with the military. Instead the records from the damage he sustained have been lost (according to his sister) and now he's flying out Monday. I suggested that we get together for a family dinner on Sunday afternoon after church so we'll meet up at my parents' house that afternoon to say our goodbyes. We haven't seen him since the wedding so it's bittersweet to say the least.

D, his new bride, is moving back from their home near the base and is going to stay with her parents till he returns. This has all happened very last minute so they've been packing up their house and putting everything in storage and making the rounds to say goodbye. I cannot imagine being married less than 4 months and my husband going overseas for one entire year! I think this has made me realize how important our military branches are...and how their families give unselfishly to defend our freedom here in America.

This all just gives me an achy feeling in the pit of my stomach....

BTW, under my list of temptations I must admit that I need to list NOT ACCOMPLISH MUCH OF NOTHING today. I am actually considering staying up all night to see what I can get done because I can't do anything during the daytime hours tomorrow either! Calgon, take me away!

The Temptations

No, I'm not talking about the musical group...I am talking about those things that you find yourself tempted to do. Whether good or bad. Like right now I am tempted to go and take a picture of my daughter's room...to shame her. Or wait...that might not work either. I could put it on here and she probably wouldn't care. But the problem is that I went in there recently and just stood amazed at the.... mess. That's probably the best word to use right now. Clothes all over her butterfly chair. Books all over the dresser. Just a bunch of stuff where it shouldn't be...

But in her defense, she has been sick.

But am I making excuses?

My dishwasher is on the fritz. It's not really draining like it should. So I have resorted to hand washing dishes and then putting them in there to run through the cycle because I want to kill all of the cooties we've been passing around these past two weeks. Looks like I'll be getting a new dishwasher for Christmas, huh?

Hubs is home today - he's working different hours for the next couple of weeks. It's nice - to one point - because he took care of breakfast this morning for The Bug. But then again, I cannot really do a lot with him asleep because he is a light sleeper. I've managed to get some laundry done and a load of dishes. But I need to vacuum and that's one noise, no matter what part of the house I'm doing it in, that wakes him up. Right now he's awake but sort of snoozing on the sofa so I don't want to disturb him... I know it's a pain to adjust your sleeping hours when something like this happens. But I'm tempted to vacuum anyway...

Her Halloween party is Saturday night. Rather it's a come over and have supper and we'll Trick or Treat event. But it's exciting! And the reason why I feel a need to clean every nook and cranny. Notice that I said a need and not a desire or urge. I'd rather go cuddle up with the human heater and take a nap.

That might be the biggest temptation of the day...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

My Daddy...and his music

Today we went to my parents' house after church so that Hubs could help Daddy go and get a piano from a friend of theirs. It's one of those player pianos so I cannot wait until we get it all cleaned up and moved into the house and give it a shot. It should be fun!

But we were sitting around eating Kentucky Fried Chicken when Daddy mentioned that we need to be sure to be in town the weekend after Thanksgiving. Because apparently he got a phone call this morning and he is being voted on to be inducted into a music hall of fame here in our state. I'm not sure exactly what this is, but I do know that it's very exciting to him and he was thrilled. Someone called this morning to verify some information and I believe he said the elections were some time today. I can remember typing up his biography for this a while back when someone submitted his name. I think it will be exciting to see what happens.

I can remember doing that and realizing that I never knew my Dad had a recording contract when he was younger. But the group split up right before they were to go into the studio. He has played with some really famous people over the years but again this was something that I was really not that aware of until now. He is extremely talented and I love to hear him pick up the guitar and just play for pure enjoyment. When I typed the biography, we were talking about the people that he had played with and the opportunities that he had to go and play with different groups and yet he stayed at home with his family. I asked him why? He told me that back then you really couldn't make a living as a musician...so it became something more of a hobby for him than a career choice.

I am glad today that I have recordings of him playing - whether it is a professional studio 'jam session' or just from his birthday party and the guys playing in the house. I want to make sure that my grandchildren and great-grandchildren know what a remarkably talented man he is. I am so glad that he passed along to me his love of music and although I don't play anything with strings, I know that satisfaction that he feels when he's making music. It is something that only Daddy and I share... something that will always and forever make me think of him. It moves within me though to make me want to go upstairs and get out The Bug's guitar and teach myself to play. Imagine how proud that would make him now? He was always an immense supporter of my band and chorus activities when I was in school. He was always sitting in the congregation when I played in the orchestra when I was younger, when I sang in the choir as an adult and even when I would sing with the quartet on special Sunday mornings. Thank you Daddy for making music such a big part of my life!

I can't wait till he gets the results of the election. The person who called him made him feel rather confident that it would all work out - so I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Woo Hoo Weekend Ahead!

I've spent the week working with a bunch of fantastic four year olds. Ever wanted to revert back to being a kid and play in play dough and learn all the nifty songs about your ABC's? I think I could just spend my time volunteering to read to little kiddos all day long!

But it's the weekend... and it's a busy one at that!

Tomorrow is the birthday party in honor of my Aunt A. She's my Daddy's youngest sister - 20 years older than me. 10 years older than my sister. She's also 10 years younger than her sister, too. We have a 10 year theme in our family apparently. But in honor of her turning 60 this year, my Momma and Aunt S decided a birthday party was in order. So the family is meeting at a restaurant that is a little more than 1/2 way there for us. The bad news? I'm not sure if we're going to be able to go since The Bug was home sick again today and the miserable rainy weather we are having is effecting my cold as well!

That means I've got to get out tomorrow though and pick up her gift - because I've worked all week - and had a sick child - and been generally lazy. I'm thinking a bouquet of flowers.

Tomorrow night is the Harvest celebration at our church. We'll have the honor of having 3000 to 5000 of our closest friends from the community come by for fun, games and food! My class (the 7th and 8th grade girls) are in charge of the temporary hair color booth. My class (the adult class where Hubs and I are classmates) is in charge of the welcome booth. I'll be at the welcome booth from 6-7 and then in charge of hair coloring from 7 - 8:15. Can you say over scheduled????But it will be fun!

I still need to put the finishing touches on The Bug's lion costume for Halloween night. She's having several friends over for dinner, trick or treating and mischief so I've got to make sure everything's done and ready well before then.

I need to get together whatever costume she's wearing tomorrow night. She's on the phone with a friend right now and they're talking about going as bumble bees... So that's easy but still needs to be handled. I think we are going as Charlie Brown and Peppermint Patty tomorrow night if I can find something green and striped to wear. Otherwise we might have to go as a deer and hunter! Wouldn't that be fun!

We still need to spook the yard but it's a mess of rain and mush right now so that might have to wait. Garden Ridge has all of their Halloween stuff 1/2 off - and I'm itching to go and see what they have left at this point.I want some little trick or treaters for my sidewalk...

I'm going to sit down and make a grocery list for two weeks and try my best to stick to it. I want to try shopping for two weeks instead of stopping in multiple times a week like we've done recently.

I need to finish the presentation that I do weekly for my class on Sunday mornings. The girls seem more into it if it's interactive and visual and to be honest, I enjoy them too. I usually include a couple of video clips to watch so now I'm trying to figure out how to put them in my PowerPoint presentations without any problems.

Sunday afternoon I'll go to my first youth leader meeting too. A little curious about what will be discussed. I'm having a great time getting to know the girls that participate in the class - but at the same time I'm missing my adult class a little bit. When I signed up to teach I had hoped it would be bi-weekly so that I could still connect with my peers twice a month but the person who is teaching the class really just wants to be a helper and somehow I found out that I am now the lead. Not that I mind but I think I'm going to suggest once every 6 weeks or so we attend our regular class and allow the other person to teach the class by themselves. We'll see how that works out.

I'm also in the middle of planning some sort of missions project for the girls to participate in. We need to do at least 3 a year. I need to start planning our social activities as well. I think that will give us an opportunity to get to know one another better rather than just the hour we are together on Sunday mornings.

It's going to be a busy weekend. But I'm excited that it's here... I just hate how fast time goes by... it's going to be November before we know it!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sharing....

Have you had the pleasure of hearing this song, God Speaking, by Mandisa? Wow...be ready to be moved.....



Forget all my complaining... I am now in praise mode!

I'ts Like Deja Vue

Is that how you spell it? deja vue? Anyway... I have decided that I have got to stop shopping at Walmart. I'm tired of the rude employees that work there. I'm tired of the rising prices. I'm generally tired of the monopoly that they have on the entire retail market. I made the proclamation that while there are times when I understand that we have to go to Walmart, I am going to do better at supporting the local grocery stores in our area. I think, like The Source said recently, that I can do just as well with prices shopping at the local Kroger. I've just got to discipline myself to do this. And to stick to it! And to stick to my budget as well because Christmas is just around the corner!

Of course I had to make another run to Walmart tonight. In addition to my being sick, The Bug is sick as well. She's in her bed coughing her little head off. I had to get more cough medicine. She has an appointment with her doctor on Monday so I am really trying to just take care of this at home. She seems much better than she did earlier in the week so hopefully another day of rest and relaxation with help. As for me, I still am functioning around 80%. I wish that I could stop coughing and could actually breathe!

Halloween is coming up fast - I still have to finish her costume! The fall festival at church is this weekend so I've got to get busy with Charlie Brown's zigzag top and something to wear as Peppermint Patty. And we still need to spook the yard. Hopefully the weather will clear up (it's supposed to rain tomorrow) and we'll be able to get everything done. Hopefully...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I'm A Survivor...

I finally broke down and went to the Dr. on Friday. After many subtle hints about people and the swine flu and how much my family needs me. They'll have me around for a while longer. I have sinusitis and bronchitis. The latter I am not pleased about as it plagued me to no avail when I was younger... Now I have to be on alert for pneumonia. So I have taken it easy. No corn maze adventure last night. No going to the Oktoberfest this weekend. Instead we have had a very boring weekend where I have slept, slept, and slept some more. Partially from just being exhausted and another is the side effect of the medicine.

We watched "The Polar Express" in 3-D last night. Maybe it was the medicine... but I didn't think the adaptation was all that great. Too much red in the left lens of the 3-D glasses that came with the movie. I wish I knew where the handy dandy shades were that we got when we saw the Hannah Montana concert a few years ago. But we watched the movie and ate chocolate chip cookies and acted silly in general. Today we watched "Barnyard". I picked it up recently at Walmart for a whopping $3.00. It was entertaining for the price. Sometimes we'll sit and watch the cartoon (I know, we live the life over here!) and it's funny. It was a good excuse to curl up under the afghan and finish the chocolate chip cookies.

Halloween is in less than 2 weeks. I need to finish up our costumes. Being sick the past week has really messed up my schedule. I had thought about getting together the decorations for the yard, but it's just been too windy to do anything. Except sleep. Eat chocolate chip cookies. And watch a lot of TV. And with that...I'm feeling a little hungry... wonder what's for dinner?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Is It The Flu?

I am sick. Not the kind of sick where you cannot get out of bed. The kind of sick where you cough, cough, cough your head off. I have aches....but I think it is from the coughing. Yesterday I felt a lot better...but today, not so much. I reduced myself to taking some Nyquil this afternoon - which promptly took me out of this world for a few hours. I do not react well to things like Nyquil but I was desperate. I woke up in enough time to pick up The Bug from school. I have spent my daytime hours outside my house wearing a college football team hat - that should speak volumes to the people who know me...because how many times have you ever seen me in a hat????

My family is at the final night of revival right now. Just in case that this cold is something more, I have stayed at home....yet...again! I've missed the past three nights which I hate. I am hoping the messages will be up on the website later in the week. I even missed having Varsity for dinner! Well, okay they brought my plate back home for me... but it wasn't the same.

Halloween is just 17 days away. I am not ready. Got together the costumes that the yard treaters will be wearing but I still have not finished The Bug's costume. I hope to work on it tomorrow while I watch Pride and Prejudice for the 100th time. Still need to finish up my idea of haunting the dining room for the trick or treat party. I need to figure out what exactly Peppermint Patty wears... and how to pull that off. I might even get myself a short brown wig! That will be interesting!!!

Until the next time.... when hopefully I will be well!

Monday, October 12, 2009

It's Raining, It's Pouring...

Wow - another day of storms is here. In fact, it's supposed to be this way until Thursday. Rain, rain go away.... Not that I'm complaining but I'm also sick and the weather just makes it worse. Unless... I could go upstairs and go back to bed, couldn't I?

Ran to Walmart this morning to pick up some OTC medicine. Have you ever noticed that the fruit at Walmart isn't from America? Oranges from South Africa. Today there were some oranges from Chili. Can I just tell you that oranges from South Africa are extremely bitter and a total waste of money? I did buy some red delicious apples for $1 a pound. Not sure if the label said where they were grown. I would be interested in knowing exactly how much of their merchandise and grocery retail are American made and grown.

We are having revival at church this week. I wanted to go to a mid-day service they are having today, including a light lunch, but I don't think I should go out any more than necessary. I'll go back tonight with the family. Bill Stafford, aka "Mr Rudolph" from Fireproof, is leading us in worship and the last two services were incredible! Last night he did his famous "Caleb" line from the movie because apparently a lot of the youth had asked him to say it. Although he plays the grumpy neighbor in the movie, he is really a gentle-spirited man who just wants to share with the world the love of Jesus Christ. I'm really looking forward to the next few nights!

This afternoon The Bug has to get started on her cell project for her science class. I seriously hope we have everything now that she'll need...especially after spending around $20 on supplies at Hobby Lobby this past weekend. I love how instructions will say its supposed to be inexpensive... I think that's expensive for a science project.... because I also know she'll go through my craft supplies and paints to complete everything she needs. She had her all-state audition on Saturday and we should find out her score this week from her teacher. I was a little surprised by the number of girls who walked out of the audition room in tears. The Bug and her friend who went with us were just their usual bubbly selves. I hate all the drama....

Okay, if I'm going to get everything together for haunting the yard for Halloween and finishing up her costume, I should probably sign off and get to work. Or take a nap.... I think the latter might win!

Toodles!

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Month is Flying By...

Today is my Mom's birthday. She's 72. This morning I stopped by with breakfast for my parents - just sausage biscuits as they didn't want to go out and she likes sausage biscuits when we are rushing somewhere in the car. Tonight we had a family dinner - KFC chicken with the fixings and then even pizza for the younger crowd and cake. My parents were there, as was my family of three, my niece and her boyfriend were there, my sister... and my brother-in-law. It was a strange situation to say the least and I don't believe he spoke one word to me...but I could be wrong. I have heard that they're getting back together but he's still very much into his 'black magic' stuff so I don't know what to think... I continue to pray for him. And for her.

We are having revival at church...starting Sunday. I'm really excited. I've sent out postcards to all the girls on my class role inviting them to revival and to class. We'll see what happens. I need to get myself in gear and pull up some stuff for this week's lesson. I usually take them some sort of snack...if you feed them, they pay better attention...lol so this week it's going to be blueberry and apple cinnamon muffins I think. I want to start another one of those sour dough starters so that I can build off of that and do some baking for them each week. Got any good cupcake or muffin recipes to share?


I have had the best week this past week working with my dear friend "D" in her classroom! You know that feeling where you go work and you're exhausted and waiting for the weekend to come up...quickly? Yeah, well I didn't feel that way at all! She has such a wonderful little crew of students and it was so nice to see them all working together to learn and to play. They learned about Noah's Ark and the great flood and the animals... it was great! I think I might go through some withdrawals this next week...

Tomorrow The Bug has her audition for All State Choir. I am taking her and a friend whose parents have to work so we've got to get out of here on time tomorrow. I hope that they have a fantastic time. I did this the two years that I took chorus in middle school and it was a wonderful experience. If you forget the time that my chaperone let me go back to the hotel by myself because I had forgotten my ID badge. That woman must have been an idiot to let a teenage girl loose on the streets in such a busy/party town! When I think about that now, I cringe!
Still putting the finishing touches on the Halloween party plans. Starting to plan my parents' open house in December as well as a few holiday activities that'll go on here at home. Times are busy... but I love this time of the year!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Joy and Happiness

This morning I had the opportunity to teach a classroom full of girls about joy and happiness. It was interesting to hear them try to give me a definition of joy that didn't include the word happy. It was interesting stressing to them that JOY is unfailing - never changes. A constant in the storm. Happiness is dependent on too many other factors. I just looked over next week's lesson briefly. Joy and contentment. That should be an interesting topic with a bunch of 12-14 year old girls don't cha think?


It's been an unusual weekend here at home. The Bug went to spend the night with a friend on Friday and to a local craft fair Saturday. They had a lot of fun. Something to make a Mom proud - they decided to wear these shirts... they say that Jesus is the light of the world. A play on the design from Twilight. I thought they were really cool and making a statement about their faith was completely their idea. They said this teenage girl stopped to ask if she could take a picture of their shirt - which they thought was cool.
Twice this weekend we had Mexican Pizza for dinner. On Friday night as generally The Bug doesn't like it and then I made a smaller one tonight - omitting the peppers...they loved it. I am in a cooking rut. I recently read that you should have 12 menus of family favorites to pull from when you just don't feel motivated. I cannot think of 12 meals that I enjoy cooking....? I think I need to introduce some new things into our plan. Or maybe it's the diet - who wants to cook ? But I've lost about 13 pounds so I guess complaining is moot.
That's about it. Working with "D" tomorrow morning. The Bug is having more teeth banded in the afternoon. Hubs has been feeling under the weather the past two days so I hope it's not contagious. Bug has been complaining about a headache for a couple of hours...hope she's not coming down with something as well. Otherwise, it might be a calgon moment in the making!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Octobyeah!

Can you believe it? October is here! Heralding in its cooler temperatures. Falling leaves. The stores are filling up with the colors of fall. Orange. Yellow. Brown. Okay, brown is not my favorite color....but a golden brown is gorgeous especially this time of the year!

Today Hubs and I had several errands to run so I didn't accomplish anything at home. He did manage to start creating the forms for our 'trick or treaters' that will go in the front yard later this month. Let's be honest, I think we wasted a lot of time today - but we had a good time doing it.

Got to stop by my friend "D"s house today to pick up my check and drop off the carpet shampooer. I always have a good time chatting with her - our chats are sort of all over the place though...that's what makes them fun. While I was there I realized that I had no idea where my cell phone was... I cannot be without my cell phone. This fact was just cemented as I use my phone for more than just a phone. I use it as a calendar. A clock. It's my alarm. I use the calculator application. I also take a lot of pictures with my phone...


Now I have a tip to share. I have naturally curly hair. Recently a friend who works in a salon told me about something...Herbal Essence Totally Twisted shampoo and gel. Let's just say...this stuff ROCKS! I can wash my hair with it and comb through it and let it dry - and I have nice, natural, UNFRIZZY curls. One thing though - don't use it if you are going to straighten your hair. I made that mistake this past week - and let's just say - I had really WILD hair that wanted to stick straight up. I recommend you try it - it's just a great product for curly hair. And I was never the type to wear my hair naturally curly until I had it cut back in July and "T" wanted to know why I never wore my hair naturally. Now that I've found this .... I do!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Morning Has Broken...

Well after yesterday's post about housework I thought I'd weigh in on what I actually got accomplished. Instead of spending the day working inside I went outside into the wonderful weather we've been having...
  • Cleaned off the front porch, including sweeping away the webs, wiping down the chairs and table, blinds, light fixture, cleaned the rug at the front door.
  • Pulled up the Sheppard hooks that I use for my hanging baskets of petunias. Pulled the dead petunias out the baskets and moved the baskets to the dogwood tree until I decide something to plant in them for the fall season. Deadheaded my other planter of wave petunias. Moved my four planters that have sweet potato vines back to the front porch. Did I mention that apparently Sunday night the local deer had sweet potato vines for a midnight snack? They were all glorious and leafy. Now only one still has any leaves on it - it's just vines. I need to go buy some mums for these planters now.
  • Moved the swing.
  • Planted over 100 iris bulbs next to the driveway in the new island that Hubs created there since the Bradford Pear trees are limiting the grass growth.
  • Weeded the islands.
  • Weeded the beds out by the street.
  • Watered the shrubs and hosta plants near the house.
  • Swept down all the spiderwebs that were in the way. I swear, they love our house!
  • Gathered up the soaker hose from the large island out front - I need to take it back to my parents' house.
  • Pruned some dead limbs from my dogwood tree.
  • Picked up an assortment of rocks that Hubs had thrown in the driveway while working in the yard. He hates rocks in the yard. I hate them in the driveway. They have a new home around the base of one of my trees.
  • Swept the front sidewalk.
  • Took down the flag at the front porch and the one at the mailbox. Moved my little welcome flag holder closer to the front porch - I need to put my autumn flag out there today.

I am sure there is more, but that's all that comes to mind. It was a rather successful day if I don't say so myself. All the yard tools have been put away sans the wheelbarrow that, for some reason, he has left at the side yard because he's working on something.

Today is about interiors. All of the laundry is caught up so that's not going to be a distraction. I've already walked my mile today so that's out of the way. Had my bagel - my newest addiction...bagel and strawberry cream cheese! Could have worked today but still feel like it's a little iffy with The Bug having been sick. She's still congested although acting somewhat like her normal self. I just didn't want to cart her off to my parents' house early this morning or risk taking the sub job and her wake up worse off this morning.

And so that's my day in a nutshell. Got to pick up her chorus dress from having it hemmed after school today. Got to stop in and exchange a pair of jeans that we'd bought her that are way too long... then dinner and church. Wednesdays are always crazy....

By the way, can you believe tomorrow is the first day of October????

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Reflections on housework

I was reading over at Scrappy Girl's this morning - this post - about housework and measuring up... when I got a text message from Hubs asking what I was up to. Why does that instill instant guilt in me because I'm sitting at the computer...not doing housework....even though he's not asking me "hey, are you vacuuming or doing dishes or changing bed linens or mowing the grass or coming up with a plan for world peace?". He just simply asked "Whatcha doin?"

I think the guilt might go back to this past weekend. He saw my parents at church and said something about The Bug being sick and us being at home. Mom called later to check on her and said they might come by. Insert creepy organ music hear. Now while I am a girl who loves her Momma... I have to tell you that I fall short of her expectations as a Keeper of the House. Gatekeeper of the Clean. Corraller of the Clutter. Do we need more titles or do you see my point? Because where my Momma is Miss Ultra Neat and Tidy... I am not. I would rather sit down and work on the latest puzzle with my family than organize the linen closet. I'd rather listen to The Bug read Inkspell to me rather than dust the baseboards. I would rather sit and create when the mood hits me rather than worry about cleaning off the dining room table in case we have last-minute company.

All of this in retrospect has made me wonder. Why is it that we will allow magazines to stack up on the end table or have 12 pairs of shoes laying around in the foyer and we are okay with it. But if company is coming, we get into a panic about picking everything up and making sure everything is just so. Do you really think that people care? Do you notice how clean people keep their houses? I mean, not the obvious where you walk in and there are stacks and stacks of junk around - I'm talking about the little stuff. Like Nerds on the coffee table. Dishes in the sink.

With that being said, I realize it's time to empty the trash in the bathroom and I really need to clean off my desk. I probably should go and tidy up the dining room table. Because you never know who might stop by later. Wanting to see if I've changed the sheets or they might just want to sit at the table and discuss world peace.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bewitching Invitation



I spent an evening last week making these for a little Trick or Treat get-together The Bug is having this year with some of her friends. I thought they were cute and wanted to give them a shot.... I am surprised at how well they turned out....

Here's a picture of my effort... I think the girls will be pleasantly pleased... I especially love the artificial nail on the invitation! Did you realize they also make artificial nails for your toes??? I was amazed by that. And how expensive those items are. Luckily these came from the Dollar Tree. All cards cost me $2.00 - the nails and a pack of scrapbook paper that I found at Target ( love Target!) that was Halloween themed and had the green paper I needed to make the witch hands. Gotta love a craft that's cost-worthy!
Now I'm working on ice skates and mittens for her tree in her room. I have the feeling I'll get a lot done on them tomorrow as she is sick - has a fever - which means she'll be staying home with me.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Is Somebody Building The Ark?

We have had some serious rains here recently. So bad that the state's big amusement park is practically underwater. Schools are closed in some counties. Roads are awash with rain. It's insane. I wonder if there's still bread and milk at the grocery stores???

Actually today is the first day that we've seen sunlight for any given amount of time. I would be lying if I said that I wish we could have had a couple of days off of school. But then by now, if that had been the case, The Bug and I would probably be on each other's last nerve and heading down to her grandparents' house so that we could be entertained by my parents.

The kids are taking the ITBS test this week so I love the fact that there's no homework. In fact as I type this, Bug is reading a book. The house is quiet - I like quiet. Hubs' last night of class got cancelled as well so he's outside washing vehicles or something. I've been cleaning rooms in anticipation of dragging out all of my fall decorations. I also spent a large part of my day (probably too much time) making postcards to send to the girls from church who haven't been in a while. I figure this way I'll start out the year having contacted them all and it will be easier to do the follow up thing from this point. I think they turned out really cute although from now on it'll be a trip to the bookstore to buy them.

I am in a quandary. I need some advice. I want to paint my living room (again). Right now the walls are these two colors - one looks like a Frosty from Wendys and the other looks sorta like coffee with creamer in it... like my descriptive words? Well, I don't like them anymore. I want to do something different ... and let me interject in here that we have a lot of wall to paint and a chair rail all around the place. I'm thinking about going with something like a light cream color with maybe just a hint of yellow - it's sort of like what my kitchen and dining room are painted. My furniture: all the tables are dark. The chairs are either beige or burgundy. My couch is sort of a beige-ish color and my drapes are burgundy as well. The carpet is like a beige or oatmeal. I need ideas! I mean, would it be bad if all the rooms downstairs were painted the same color? Hubs seems to turn his nose up at this idea... I guess while I'm trying to decide I could go ahead and paint the lower walls in the dining room burgundy... I have been wanting to do this forever!

Rain. Paint. Testing. What else could you ask for?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

This Week

Somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind I think if I write out the things I need to accomplish, I will actually get them done. I won't find myself sitting in front of a computer, staring aimlessly ahead while the socks are multiplying in the laundry room. The dishes won't decide to have a party in the kitchen sink. The mail won't decide to have a convention on the dining room table.

So I think it's time to get back to taking care of business around here. Getting things done FIRST so that I can sit and leisurely enjoy my time rather than rushing at the last minute to get things picked up because we're having company...

This Week's To-Do List (AKA C.O.W.)
  • Clean up the kitchen and organize all that darn rubbermaid stuff in the cabinets before it makes me nuts and ends up in the recyclables!
  • Laundry. Strip beds. Wash towels. You know the drill.
  • Vacuum. Not just move the vacuum to another room in the house with the intent of actually plugging it in and using it. And no hoping that the vacuum fairies will come and do it for me while I'm gone.
  • Get the mail off the dining room table. Seriously. Does anybody else have this problem???
  • Take back the returns to Kohls that have been sitting in my bedroom for a couple of weeks now.
  • Clean out the garage so that I can put my van back in there.
  • Attack just one corner of the bonus room and try to reclaim that room as my private little world.
  • Ride my bike for 30 minutes each day - yes, it is time to get back on the bandwagon and get serious about taking care of myself!

What about you? Got anything that you just dread doing this week?

Enjoy Your Sunday

Have a great day today! After teaching the girls this morning I've still got a ton of laundry to catch up on!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Want Something For Free?


It's that time of the year - when Smithsonian.com offers their FREE day at a museum of your choice. Just click on the picture above for more information...no strings attached. If you decide to take advantage of this offer, come back and let me know what adventure you take!
Happy Saturday...I'm off to do laundry!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Leaves Are Falling All Around...

The leaves have been doing their merry little dance lately as they fall to the ground. I'm not sure if it's the light breezes and rain we've had recently but I've noticed a pattern in the neighborhood - fall is on it's way. Tonight Hubs sent a text message on his way home from school and stated that it just felt like fall was in the air. While at Walmart this evening I commented to The Bug that I was almost tempted to buy some bowl bread things and fix chili...but with my luck it would be warm again tomorrow and we wouldn't be in the mood.

Speaking of fall... when is it too soon to start decorating for Halloween? I saw this idea somewhere online and for the life of me I can't remember where...but isn't it cute? They used that spray insulation stuff that you can put into cracks in the walls (behind sheetrock) and then I think they painted it or it was already yellow. The container is a plastic black caldron. I thought it was cute!

The other day I saw in a magazine where a family had made a few little trick or treaters to lead the way down their driveway... they looked like kids dressed up as ghosts. Another cute idea to play around with. Then there was a ring of ghosts made out of white plastic trash bags. Really cute - but where would I put them? We are talking about reviving the idea of the cemetary in the front yard this year - it was a big hit with our trick or treaters a few years ago. This time I want to make the tombstones out of some scrap lumber that we have so that they'll have longevity. There are a lot of ideas that we are thinking about - I just want to make things fun. Apparently this neighborhood used to really do a lot for the holidays but they've all become slackers. I want to do something fun to revive the spirit of celebration around here so we'll see.


We're already talking costumes. The Bug's going to be a Lioness. Hubs is probably going as Charlie Brown and I'm in a quandry - not sure if I want to go as Peppermint Patty or the Little Red Headed Girl.We have a picture of Hubs as a child - he looked like Chuck to me then! We'll see what works the best. I'll keep you posted and post pictures!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Pretty Silly Kitty Cat

I woke up with morning to the annoying sound of the alarm on my cell (it is my alarm clock of choice) and discovered a fluffy tail manuevering her way towards me on the bed. According to The Bug and generally anyone who sees the cat (as she hides when we have company) she has the fluffiest tail you have ever seen. Most days if she does not meet us when we come through the door she is asleep on "her chair" at the kitchen table. It's funny...we all have a seat where we normally sit at the table and she naturally naps in the vacant one that is used for guests.
She isn't the type to seek out affection. She just wants to be brushed and fed. She likes to play with her feather toy and she will carry it around with her at night - you can hear the handle of the toy hit the bed because sometimes she brings it to bed with her. She likes to sleep near your feet...I think she started this when I broke all of my toes a few years ago. She loves when we are doing nails - she likes to bite the emory boards for some reason.
She will sleep on her little kitty perch, which is a kitty condo of sorts, by the front window if someone is one the computer. She loves the big pillows from the sofa in the bonus room. She became ours about four years ago when we adopted her as The Bug's birthday gift in third grade. Her original name was Cupid. She has a brother named Comet. For me to be such a lover of all things Christmas it was a while before I realized she was named for one of Santa's reindeer!
She likes to hide under the coffee table and attack The Bug if she walks by. She likes tuna fish. If we all say her name...she ignores Hubs and The Bug...but not me. She coos like a dove when she's happy and growls like a wild animal if she's feeling playful. She loves when someone has an afghan out - she will come and "make biscuits" on it until it's time to fall asleep. That means that she will knead her paws and purr like you wouldn't believe. She's the favor focus of photography around here as far as The Bug is concerned. She was found in a cardboard box on the side of a road by the people who rescued her. Irony: she likes to hid in cardboard boxes and we keep one for her to cuddle up in when it storms because she is a scaredy cat!
Who would have thought adopting her four years ago would bring so much joy into our lives? She has a way of helping de-stress the most stressul day!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Stuffage

Lately I have been thinking about going back to work in some capacity. I have even applied for a job believe it or not... but it has hit me that there is no way I could actually do this job without some sort of modification of hours (and that's even if they wanted to hire me!) because I couldn't finish up my day and make it to the university in time for my classes that start in January. I emailed the director of the program last night to find out what time the classes start - usually 4 but sometimes later. I couldn't make it by 4 if I had this job. So back to the drawing board. I'll sit here and complain about the economy to myself and hope that something turns around soon.

I finished my enrollment application packet and got it all in the mail last night. Not only was there the application and fee, but I had to also include a copy of some test scores I had taken, verification that I have tort liability insurance, I had to include a four page essay on my philosophy of education and a list of my volunteer experience over the past several years. It's a good thing that I've done volunteer work since The Bug was just a toddler. I'm also about to start co-teaching a youth class at church so that will help fulfill their desire that the students be actively involved in volunteer work. For once I'm really not worried about getting accepted. I think I'm finally comfortable with my academic achievements and I don't feel the need to stress about acceptance anymore. But believe me ... if something goes wrong this next time around, I am done! I'll go find something else to do because this is just about to get on my last nerve!

Sometimes when I feel down because it's taking me so long to finish school, I make myself stop and look at all that I have done. I went back and got my associates in accounting. Then I got another one in education. I've been accepted into two really hard programs before and even though they didn't work out for me, I was easily accepted by their academic standards. We have a beautiful, engaging young lady that I'm honored to call my daughter. She's bright and witty, talented and everything that a Mommy could possibly want. I have a loving husband who is devoted to his family. I have two wonderful parents. A gorgeous ball of fur that follows me around the house...keeping an eye on me at all times. My friends know that I am faithful to them and trustworthy - it's one reason why I'm known as "Vegas"... what you tell me, stays with me. I live in a country where I am free to worship in my church, drive my own car, make my own decisions, color my own hair...what more could a girl ask for? Well except for...maybe peanut butter that contains no calories?

So to myself I promise that things are going to get brighter. Not only here with myself but also with the blog. Fun times abound.... buckle up!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Patrick Swayze

Last night we were shocked to realize Patrick Swayze lost his battle with cancer and died at the young age of 57.... Rest in peace.




Sunday, September 13, 2009

Super Short Weekend...

I hate those weekends that seem to speed by at the speed of light.... this was one of them! There seemed to be a hundred things we had to do - and not nearly enough time to accomplish them all!

Friday night we had a date night at the local O'Charleys. Word of warning - do not try the Mexican themed salad with chicken. Aside from the spicy dressing this dish was tasteless. I laughed though and said that's what you get when you are just trying to be good (I've lost 5 lbs...). I've noticed that Hubs seems to have a problem with choking while eating certain foods. Breads and potatoes to name a few. If he has something to drink he's okay - but of course they were 'out' of sweet tea - so he drained my drink and basically waited until someone brought some fresh sweet tea by the table. Note to any servers who might read this - if you are out of the beverage someone is drinking, bring them a glass of water or offer them an alternative! You would never notice that he is choking - I have learned to watch for him to just start drinking and drinking and drinking.

Saturday and today we have been shopping for shoes for The Bug to wear with her chorus dress. It's long and black and she has to have a closed toe shoe to wear with it. She just got her dress this week and we've got to have it hemmed as it is unbelievably long. We bought a really cute pair of black wedges at Kohls that she really likes. We both figured that a wedge was a good choice since she'll be going up and down bleachers and risers with the concerts.

Church this morning was wonderful. Our community has recently been rocked by a scandal with some of the faculty at the local high school getting into some trouble. Our minister only said that what we all need to realize is that it could have been any of us. None of us are immune to sin. Then he moved on with a moving sermon about revival. I have to tell you, at the end of the service the altar was covered up with people praying. It was a very moving experience to be there today and hear God's word.

Tomorrow I am meeting with the youth minister to discuss getting involved teaching Sunday School for 7th and 8th grade girls. There is a need for a teacher every other week which I would enjoy because it would allow me to still interact with my adult class and let me work with the youth. I've got a lot going on otherwise in my life right now so we'll see if this is somewhere that God is calling me to serve. I still have to complete my new college application and write a paper on my philosophy of education. Looks like I need to spend a little bit of time working on all of this, huh?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Flywheel


This past weekend our local bookstore was having a sale. I mean, there were some movies that were 50% off...so I call that a sale. And I had a coupon for an additional 25% off of my entire purchase so I found myself venturing to the store in search of a certain movie one of our friends had told us about.

It's an inspirational story. Don't let that turn you away. I also bought my movie for five dollars and some change. What a bargain for what if gave me in return! It's produced by Sherwood Pictures and if you click on the picture above it will take you to the movie's website. Here's the rundown of the movie:


Jay Austin wants to sell used cars in the worst way ... and that's exactly how he does business at his dealership. Promising much more than he can ever deliver, he'll do whatever it takes to sell a car. His manipulative ways permeate all of his relationships—even his wife and son know they can't trust him.

But as Jay works on restoring a classic convertible, he begins to see that God is working on restoring him as well. Coming face-to-face with the reality of how he truly conducts himself, Jay Austin begins the ride of his life as he commits to honoring God with his business, his relationships, and his life!

Now I know you might be thinking...great here we go again. But let me tell you, this movie has a message and it's one that we all need to hear. Have you ever felt alone? Isolated? Ever wondered why things seem to take a turn from bad to worse? Then I recommend you see this movie. It's inspirational in a time where I feel like a lot of people need some direction. Do I believe that things will happen for you, just like Jay in the movie, if you give your life over to God? I don't know - but I can guarantee you - when you remove yourself from the driver's seat and allow God to plot your course you will see changes in your life.

Sherwood Pictures also produced another movie - one that would be a good choice to watch at this time of the year with football season breaking loose -



Just clicking on its picture will also take you to the movie's website. Here's a summary of what to expect with this film:


From the award-winning producers of FLYWHEEL comes a new, action-packed,
family-friendly drama about a high school football coach who draws up a new game
plan for his team … and himself.


In his six years of coaching, Grant Taylor has never had a winning season. Even the hope of a new season is squelched when the best player on his Shiloh Eagles decides to transfer schools. After losing their first three games of the season, the coach discovers a group of fathers are plotting to have him fired. Combined with pressures at home, Coach Taylor has lost hope in his battle against fear and failure.
However, an unexpected challenge helps him find a purpose bigger than just victories. Daring to trust God to do the impossible, Coach Taylor and the Eagles discover how faith plays out on the field … and off.

With God, all things are possible …

And of course if you've never taken the time... I still recommend watching Fireproof. You don't have to be 'religious' to get the point of these movies. But hey, couldn't we all use a little faith-lift these days?

So next time you're at the video counter trying to decide what to watch - or even if you're driving down the road and you notice a church sign that says there's a free viewing of a movie coming up on a Saturday night, why not give it a try? I promise you that they're not going to try to convert you or lock the doors behind you or even try to brainwash you into believing something that you're not ready for. But they are there to offer you inspiration. To give you a shoulder to lean on. A person who will listen. To lend a hand in times when it feels like you're all alone. You don't have to change your denomination. Heck you don't have to change your clothes either. Just go with an open mind and an open heart and heart and hear the message that God has prepared for you. I promise you, it will move you in a profound way.

If you've seen these movies, let me know what you thought. If you have others to recommend, please let me know that, too. I'm all for inspiration these days.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Conversations with my Mother


Around my house, there are no "Mothers". It's like a bad word of sorts. I am Mommy - unless we are in public - then I become known as "Mom". My mom is Momma. I cannot remember ever calling her anything else. By the way, my Dad is known as Daddy. That never changes either.


So each day I call to check in on my parents. It's our little ritual. If they don't hear from me, they call at night. Usually Momma knows something is wrong if we don't call just to check in. Case in point - I did not call Sunday so she called to check on us Sunday night. She knew how bad I was feeling when we left from going out to dinner with them Saturday afternoon. We went to Daddy's favorite restaurant to celebrate Hub's birthday. This place as the best fried chicken and The Bug loves their macaroni n cheese.


Well this afternoon I called to see how Momma's doctor appointment went because she hadn't been feeling well either and saw the ENT specialist today. We talked about my sister's upcoming surgery. The Bug's upcoming all-state chorus audition. The weather. Halloween. Thanksgiving. Christmas. Their open house and our "hopeful" attempt to convince Daddy to let us do the Open House as a part of their anniversary party. Then we started talking about friends.


She had me laughing so hard at some of the comments that she made. Mind you, my mother is one of those sweet little southern ladies who would never intentionally say anything to offend someone. Just occasionally she'll say things that really hit the heart of a situation. We were talking about people and what makes a good friend and how it feels when you realize someone that you care genuinely for doesn't seem to appreciate all the effort you put into being their friend. She asked me one simple question just out of the blue...


Do I think I'm a good friend?


I do. I also think that I am someone who can easily make you laugh at a situation. She was funny reciting a recent article she'd read about how it is believed that you have to like yourself before other people can like you in return. I do like myself. I think I'm funny. I have a wickedly funny sense of humor if you get to know me. I laugh like Betty Rubble from the Flintstones when I'm tickled. I like to surround myself with laughter. I like people who like to laugh. Granted, I can be serious and occasionally I allow people to drag me down into their pits of misery, but I can find humor in a situation and rise again.


So we continued our conversation for a while. Momma would say something cute and crazy and I'd start laughing again. When we got off the phone I thought how fortunate I am that I have such a good relationship with my Momma. Yes at times we may drive each other a little batty but then again we're family.


So to Momma I want to say thank you. Thank you for making me...me. For allowing me to become the person that I am today. For teaching me that nothing is impossible if I put my mind to it and I can accomplish just about everything with you behind me and on my side. For reminding me of all my good qualities and even some of them that make me 'less than perfect' and still loving me no matter what.


Momma, I love you a million trillion world fulls!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Heart of the Matter

Bare with me if you are reading here - I am typing under the fog of cold medicine as I am feeling a little bit under the weather. I know that there are about 400 different things I should be doing right now rather than sitting here at the computer typing away, but I lack the motivation to get up and actually get anything done. And then Mz. Snooty Cat comes and curls up beside me...how can I disturb this cat that has been making me C R A Z Y lately to go and clean dishes just because my human family needs silverware, I ask you? Exactly.

I am in a funk. I feel like my life is at a crossroads and I need to choose - turn to the left...turn to the right.... or go straight ahead. I know so many people who are having problems lately in their marriages or with their kids or their aging parents or their finances. People who are doing everything that they can humanly do to try to hold everything together. It made me think of an article I read once about fashion photo shoots and how they'll use fishing line, duct tape, staples ... anything to give the projection that everything in the image is PERFECT all while we can't see what's going on behind them. Ever feel that way? Like you're holding everything together just so and once the cameras go off you can finally be yourself?

I think I'm a very genuine person. I'm not perfect and I never try to relay to people that I am anywhere near perfection. I'm a great confidante though - I do not share what others tell me. I try to do whatever I can for others with the limited resources that I have available. I will drop whatever I am doing to come to the aide of someone who has a need. But I'm also not a martyr. There are times when I don't want to answer the phone. I don't want to be the 'go to' person. There are times when I want to sit back and drown in whatever is going on in my own life. I think everyone will admit that they have days when they feel that way. You can't be happy all the time. The world is not made up of rainbows and happy meals. People get sick. Loved ones leave. Paths change. Dreams don't always become our reality. People will disappoint you. Beauty fades. You've got to find your own way ... no matter how scary that path might be.

My own personal crossroads is somewhere that I have been faltering around lately. Imagine if you will that I am driving around in circles - not sure which way to go. Here in a lot of our cute little southern towns there are 'squares' where you can turn to go north, south, east or west - or you can continue to circle around the middle (usually a park or courthouse). I'm circling the courthouse trying to figure out where my path is supposed to take me. When I think I've found my path, there's usually a road crew down the path and a new detour to take. It makes me ask myself the following questions. What am I doing with my life? Is this my life's purpose? Did I somehow take the wrong turn way back there and if so, how do I get back to where I should be? Where do I go now? What if it's a mistake?

I guess the heart of the matter is this: While I strive to be a good person, in my heart of hearts, I reflect on my faults and disappointments in my life and I wonder where I would be today if the events that lead me here had never occurred. You know the expression, let go ... and let God well I am great about saying that to others, but I'm not so good at following that little bit of advice. These days I worry about a lot of stuff. I worry about my daughter as she grows older.I worry about my husband's health. I worry about my own. I worry about my parents. I worry about my friends that I know are unhappy. I worry about money.

But in the mist of my worrying today, I was listening to the radio this morning after I dropped The Bug off at school and someone was paraphrasing a verse from Proverbs. This is what they said- Do your best, prepare for the worst and give God all the glory. So at the heart of the matter is this - I need to prepare for the best. Be prepared for the worst. And realize that God is in control. No He won't always give me the things that I pray for. But in what He does give me, I am to give glory to Him. It actually reminds me of something that I learned this weekend with Beth Mooore - how sometimes God doesn't give us the desires of our hearts but rather He looks at the heart of our desire. I post more about that later. The medicine is kicking in and I am getting sleepy.