Wednesday, July 30, 2008


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The official countdown has begun! I decided to go with a much simpler calendar this time. The calendar that we usually do becomes a pain when we forget to mark off the days before bedtime. I've also done an advent calendar for Christmas. I had the hardest time keeping something in the pockets and hated to send them to bed with edible treats.
Each morning the boys take turns ripping off a sheet. I think the whole ripping action appeals to boys! So far so good--they are so excited!

Calm after the Storm

These were the beautiful images that we saw after a brief storm in our area last night. The heavens were a beautiful golden color. The boys were confused-they thought it was morning.

In these moments before starting our nightly routine, I had a "God" moment. I experienced the unsettling storm and then saw the beauty that followed. Without that storm the glow would not have been as magnificent.

The sunset was beautiful! There was no trace of the storm.
Hopefully, when (it's inevitible) the next storm of life passes through, I can remember this visual. Just knowing what the beauty of the "other side" looks like, should be encouraging.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Forgive Me, Mother, I Have Sinned!

Let me preface this entry with, I am so proud of JB's maturity and kind spirit. He's becoming quite a little gentleman. Lately, he's been bitten by the honesty bug and compulsion to confess.
After several 20-30 minute confessionals each day, I know I couldn't be a priest. Those private moments would bore my ADD brain to death!
On the other hand, these intimate moments are exactly what he needs to see that I'm not the bad guy and provide me with an opportunity to get to know him better. We've had some very neat bonding experiences.
So, as I bite my tongue to avoid laughing at the earnest pleas for forgiveness for: saying, "duh", kicking the wall, climbing the wall, jumping on the bed, and doing other gross boy things that I won't dare share...I will relish every moment of his desire to share himself with me! I've also reminded him that he can always share these things with God, since His forgiveness is all that really matters.

On another note, the housekeepers are coming and I'm not ready! I vowed to organize, but my efforts have gone in vain. We're getting ready for vacation and the school year. Those major events combined with daily living make it kind of difficult! I'm going to keep working at it. Worst case scenario, I can do like everyone else and shove it in the garage for the day! I checked a friend's blog today and she's been on a roll with her organizing...maybe I should see how much she'd charge to come over and do mine for me!

Well that's enough for now. I've got to get busy. One of my other goals was to read a book a week. I don't know where I think I'm going to get all this time from, but sure sounds good when I'm planning it all out.

Uh, oh. Another confession..."I accidentally put this toy in my mouth and I shouldn't have!" I just want to see how long this lasts...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

There's a First Time for Everything!

Earlier this week, the boys and I visited a local cowboy museum. The kids enjoyed visiting the old town candy store, where they reached in huge whiskey barrels full of sweet treats. Talk about a kid in a candy store!

I was delighted to find the most adorable mini cookie cutters. So, for the first time since...ever, I'm excited about football season this fall. I'm going to kick off the Texas Longhorn season with burnt orange and white longhorns and Texas shaped sugar cookies. As I've stated multiple times, I don't get into sports. Food, well that's a different story.

My husband, a UT grad, was even impressed.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Tomorrow I will:
laugh more
shout less
think positively
enjoy just being in the moment!

Watching my boys have so much fun laughing and enjoying the little things, reminds me how light hearted childhood really was. So, despite "grown-up" responisiblities and all of the irritations that come along with them, I will try even harder to recapture some of that childhood spirit.

Life is really too short to stress about every detail.

Quotes to Live By

My mother had many sayings and quotes posted throughout our house and her classroom. My two personal favorites were:
Diplomacy-The ability to tell a person to go to Hell in such a way they look forward to the trip
Avenge Yourself. Live long enough to be a problem to your children.

As a teenager, I got the humor behind each quote. As an adult they're that much funnier!

Friday, July 18, 2008


The best thing about journaling or blogging, aside from clearing your head, is to reflect on previous posts. Some of my old posts are so ridiculous, I can't believe I even wrote them! I think it's neat to see the full spectrum of thoughts and emotions that I'm going through at various times. It shows resiliency that I didn't know I had!
I've journaled since I was a teenager. My personal journal is rated "R", of course, but when I die, it's free for the reading. I think my kids will value the journals that I keep for them and will learn a lot from mine. What better way to really get to know a person's innermost thoughts??

Yeah for Margaritas!!!

My husband makes the best margaritas. And I've discovered that after a couple of good margaritas, everything is quite all right.

Our camp has been pretty relaxed around here this week. I finished staining the boys' bathroom cabinets. It's funny how a weekend project can turn into a month-long project. Nevertheless, it's done. Now we'll just have to plan to have the floors and walls redone. I'm always in the mood for a good upgrade.

We've also decided to dig up the grass that we finally got growing in our backyard to make way for a gigantic flower bed. I think it will look really nice, but it will definitely be a ton of work. I would love to have a pool, but at this point, we're trying to differentiate between needs/wants/smart investments for return in value. We know that we'll be selling our home in a few years so, we don't want to put money in places where we won't see the return. Some people want pools, some don't. Our yard is large enough to list that as a selling point. With all that said, flower bed it is.

Also looming over my head is the mega Disney World trip! I've got to get my stratgey down for packing, grocery delivery...the logistics. ARGH! I've also got to list the back to school items that we'll need, since that's right around the corner as well. So much to do, so little time!

And if that isn't enough, my hubby's birthday is coming up and my sister's is three days after that. I've already bought one of his gifts and will wait a few days to buy hers. I know what I'm getting. I love being prepared. It's such a good feeling. (Buying a bottle of mustard for 10 cents, on sale with a coupon, is also a good feeling)

Next week-not so relaxed. We start swimming lessons again and my hubby is back on the road. May the force be with us!

I am: thrifty, creative, thoughtful, sarcastic, honest, genuine, organized, disorganized, straightforward, quiet, observant, critical, opinionated, reserved, insightful.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Negotiator

I think it was Sam Jackson, that starred in the movie The Negotiator. Well, today it's me! Every single word from my mouth results in a negotiation. I think it's driving me bananas!
Finish eating.
How many? Can I just take 2 bites.
No, 4.

Go to your room for rest time.
When can we come out?
When I call.
How much minutes?

Put on your shoes, we have to run errands.
Where are we going?
The bank, post office, and library.
Can we eat out?
Can we get Sonic drinks?

OMG! I'm still getting back in the swing of things here at home. Doing laundry, cleaning, and catching up on chores are all full time jobs. I'm also getting ready for our vacation in a couple of weeks. When we come home, we'll only have a week and then school starts. So, I really need to be ready for the beginning of the school year before we leave. That means, ordering a backpack, taking inventory and school shopping (for clothes and supplies). I'm sure I make it sound like a huge production...and it is, but I have to have my ducks lined up or I really will go bananas.

On a funnier note, as we were leaving the city last week, JB noticed someone "having a picnic under the street". Although we knew the man wasn't having a picnic, we didn't bother to correct him. You have to love the childhood innocence.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ruching, a girl's best friend!

I bought a new swimsuit today. After trying on four suits, I determined that it wasn't the suits that I didn't was my body. I honestly think this is the only time of year that I regret having that extra slice of cheesecake or cookie!

I finally chose a black one piece with lots and lots of ruching, which is great for camouflaging flab. I'll also need a cover-up. I figure by the time I cover all of my "trouble spots", I'll be fully dressed.

Rolls definitely taste better than they look (on the body, that is)!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Time to Simplify!

This week we're on a mini-vacation. Being in the hotel always reminds me that we have way too much stuff. How can we all fit in a one bedroom suite? The boys have more than enough activities and toys. We have plenty of clothes and toiletries. I've even been cooking dinner. The room is equipped with a stove, fridge, dishwasher and even dishes.

For the past two nights I've cooked complete meals using a couple of utensils and a few plates. At home; however, every meal results in a kitchen full of dirty dishes! The boys change clothes at least twice a day and they can't seem to share/find the perfect toy to play with.

I always leave with the plan to downsize when we get back home. Of course, it doesn't work! I guess it sounds good in theory. One day I'll get it together. For now, I'll just enjoy our mini-vacation.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Oh Crap!

JB loves playing checkers and has some pretty good strategies for winning. I decided to teach him how to play dominoes in hopes that he could practice critical thinking, planning and basic math skills. I was explaining all of the rules and introducing how points were counted and recorded when he informed me of a similar game that he learned how to play at school.

JB: "This is like the game where you roll the dice and take score. You just put a mark for your points and sometimes you can get skipped."

Me:"Who showed you how to play that game? Did you play it during choice centers?

JB: "R showed me. We played it on toy day when you could bring your favorite toy."

What the...?? Sounds like shooting craps to me! I couldn't decide whether to be ticked off or tickled. I guess I should be glad they weren't waging bets. Oh, wait...I forgot to ask that very important question!

P.S. I thought about this after posting and remembered that Bunko is the new version of Craps. It sounds better, but isn't that big of a difference.

Let's Make Every Day the Fourth!

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Yesterday was by far the laziest day that I've had in a long time! Correction: I did many things, but with my hubby here we could easily tag team kid watching. We started the day with red white and blue parfaits, I went grocery shopping, did lots of laundry and started on the sides for our bbq. It was nice to do things at my own pace without rushing and juggling all of the balls alone. For the next 18 days, we'll have lots of family time. I relish these times, but it's a pretty big adjustment!

We ended the day at a local fireworks show. I guess I'm about as patriotic as the average person, but with a friend's husband serving his third tour in Iraq...I AM proud to be an American. World reports remind me daily that despite the weakening dollar and high gas prices, we still have it pretty good here!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Still Learning

God reveals so much to us (parents) through our children. So often I find myself saying something to my boys only to realize that God is saying the same thing to me! The sad reality is, I'm still learning some of the lessons that I'm trying to teach them...of course, on an adult level. I'd be willing to bet I'm not the only one! My next hurdle is modeling God's grace while correcting, redirecting and teaching the same lessons over and over and over...
I'm definitely a work in progress!

The other revelation that I had today will lead me to Webster or better yet, a thesaurus. I often refer to my boys' mischievous acts as disobedience. Today it occurred to me that dogs obey. Do I want the boys to obey?? There must be a better word. A word that allows for a little wiggle room. We all know how much young boys wiggle, right??

On a lighter note, we're finishing up our first session of swimming classes this week. JB has been very reluctant to "let go" despite this being his fourth consecutive summer of lessons. MC is nervous, but eager to participate and happy to celebrate any victory. Before class yesterday, I was giving JB a mini pep talk.

Me: JB, when you get in the water you're going to have to let go of the coach. You won't learn to swim hugging the coach. Just relax and let the water hold you up.

JB: OK, but how can the water hold me up?

Me: If you just relax, your body will float. Then you can use your strong muscles to move you through the water. You have to remember to control your muscles and not flop around. That just gets you anxious.

JB: But the water can't hold me up, I weigh like 63 pounds!

OMG! First of all, he doesn't weigh 63 pounds! Secondly, I can't believe he was analyzing how heavy he is in relation to the water. It makes perfect sense. I just wouldn't expect a 6 year old to be thinking about that.
On Thursday, I'm getting my hair cut. Maybe then I can just bite the bullet and get in the water with them regularly. At this point I'm beginning to think that lessons are a waste of money. If I go with them regularly in the summer, they'll learn to swim! AARGH! Should I add this to my many hats?

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