Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Fat Lady Sang

Christmas is over. We ate, laughed, ate some more, opened gifts, played with gifts, ate, slept, watched movies, ate...
See the pattern?
I took down all of the decorations today. A few years ago, I decided not to roll into the new year with the previous year's decorations still up. It works.
Tomorrow, we'll do our annual New Year's Eve party with the boys. They are too excited about staying up all night! We'll cuddle up and watch the ball drop while munching on finger foods.
In just a few days, the boys will be back in school. The house will be quiet and we'll be back in our routine. The first half of the school year is over and we're looking forward to an even better second half.
I'm excited about all the new year has in store for me and my family.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Open Your Mouth

Wow! It's been over a month since my last post. I guess I've been too busy to write. We survived our Thanksgiving feast and enjoyed lots of family time. Now we're preparing for Christmas. All of the decorations are up and most of the gifts are safely hidden.
It's hard to believe a new year is right around the corner. Next year's life theme will be "Open Your Mouth". A few years ago, I decided to stop writing a list of resolutions. Instead I write a theme. Throughout the year, I try very hard to stick to it in some way. Next year's theme is challenging because I am a very private person. My goal is to step outside of my comfort zone and talk. I'll talk about comfortable and uncomfortable subjects; conventional and unconventional ideas. My hope is that it will be beneficial or inspirational. If Kim Kardashian and Brittany Spears have an audience of listeners, we all stand a chance!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Israel Houghton, my absolute favorite contemporary gospel artist, sings:

Where would I be, without Your grace?
I'd be lost without Your grace.
How could I live without Your grace?
The life that I have is by Your grace.
I am free, I'm forgiven by Your work at Calvary.
You gave me life worth living, now the chains are broken, the chains are broken.
I am saved by grace. Love abounding, mercy found me.
I am saved by grace. I have life and it's only by Your grace.

His grace,mercy and love are all that we need.
God's editing my testimony. Stay tuned...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Jack Of All Trades

I'm a Pisces. Just like the fish, I can go in many different directions. In fact, those are the times that feel most natural for me. For years I've been fighting against it. I would love to be the kind of neat, organized, structured person that has everything in it's place and follows a color coordinated monthly family calendar. But, I'm not. I have a system and it works for me. A stranger would never be able to figure it out!
Not only can I go in different directions, but I can do a lot of different things-pretty well, if I may say so myself. I consider myself to be a "Jack of All Trades". I guess the one thing that connects most of my talents is my need to do something creative. Nothing is more satisfying to me than making something out of nothing. Collecting raw materials to create a floral arrangement, scrapbook page, gift or even ingredients for a recipe is so much fun for me. Sometimes, the process frustrates the hell out of me (I'm not very patient), and sometimes procrastination adds to the stress, but it's always rewarding to see the final product.
At my age, I really need to hone in on the one (or two) things that I do best. Being the "Jack of All Trades" is fine, but I should at least be the master of one, right?

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You...

A few weekends ago, we surprised the boys with a weekend trip to Austin to see their favorite football team...the Texas Longhorns.
We toured the campus, which meant lots of walking, and even stopped on the strip to have lunch at Texadelphia. The hubby and I enjoyed the fabulous cheesteak sandwiches with mustard blend sauce, but the boys stuck with their favorite...chicken strips and fries.
We bought a few goodies from the Co-Op and made the long trek over to the stadium. We spent the next several hours trying to keep cool. The boys learned all of the UT game chants and cheers. I think JB's favorite included the phrase "...give 'em Hell", but he dared not say it!
Believe it or not, I even wore a Longhorn shirt. I've never owned one and it will likely become a yard shirt or pajama top; nevertheless, my crew had fun and it was nice to do something out of the ordinary.
The creme de la creme (for me anyway) was our stop at the Coach outlet store afterwards. Few things make a girl happier than pretty shoes and a nice handbag!

Monday, August 24, 2009

School is Cool

The boys are back in school and I'm hoping and praying for a better school year! With a quiet house, I can only imagine how much time I'll have on my hands. This is my second post for the day! When was the last time that happened??

The afternoons will be hairy, but for now my hubby is home to help with the transition. Here's to a great school year!!

Hug a Mug

There's something special about holding a warm, oversized mug in my hands. The coffee is great, but the mug makes the whole experience! My love for hazelnut flavored coffee inspired my coffee mug collection. And I'm almost ashamed to admit that only one of my mugs holds a 1 cup serving. When we travel, I seek out the largest souvenir mug to add to my collection. Of course, I never buy without first holding the mug to see how it feels in my hand. Careful to grasp it around the body and not just by the handle, I imagine that "morning joe" helping me start my day.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

It's That Time Again

Unfortunately, I'm facing the music. The first day of school is right around the corner and I'm fighting the urge to stick my head in the sand.
I've officially started the back to school routine. I'm almost done with school supply shopping and backpacks are being packed. This is the last week the boys will be staying up until 9 pm. Next week we'll resume 8 pm bedtimes...yippee!
Hopefully I'll have time to do menu planning and scheduling. But, if I don't, this year will be the first time in ages that I will have a few uninterrupted hours. Whatever I don't do before school starts, I should be able to finish while the boys are in school.
MC starts kindergarten this year and I'm not sure how his transition will be. He's already announced that he doesn't "want to do the boring stuff" and "it will take too long". So, we'll see. Every time I mention school starting, he quickly reminds me that he's not in school yet. I can just laugh, because he comes from a long line of smart talkers. He's very straightforward, which hopefully won't be misunderstood. He's very honest!
JB, being the social butterfly that he is, is excited about seeing his friends and meeting his new teacher. I'm not sure how excited he is about the work. Last year was pretty demanding, but hopefully now that he has a few years under his belt, he will know what's expected. I sure plan on letting him shoulder more responsibility. It's now or never and I sure don't want to have a grown man coming to "Mommy" asking for help filling out a job application or buying a suit for work...gheesh! Last week he went to piano lessons with only 1 of 3 piano books. Granted, I forgot to remind him to pack them, but where were we going? Lesson learned!
Few things are more annoying to me that watching a grown person need to have their hand held to function. I'll step down from the soapbox.
We have truly enjoyed our summer. We've had fun, grown up (a bit), and of course, learned a lot about each other along the way. I'll try my best to hold on to some of the fun and relaxed attitude from the summer, but I can't make any promises.
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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Summer Continues

We're back from our second summer vacation and getting back in the swing of things. For the rest of the summer we'll just lounge around, go swimming and enjoy a very relaxed schedule. This may be the calm before the storm. With both boys in school this year, I'm sure I'll be like the hamster running on the exercise wheel.
The hubby is scheduled to finish his work assignment next month. Maybe we'll get a quick break from the commute. I emphasize quick, because these days any longer than a blink can easily earn you a pink slip.

The boys are up to their usual "tomfoolery", which means there's a lot of wrestling and boxing. They're constantly singing, dancing and cracking jokes. Imagine my prayers when I noticed a nude and anatomically correct statue behind us at a restaurant. Fortunately they never noticed the penis that was precisely at our eye level, because we would not have made it through dinner. They become a pack of wild hyenas at the mere mention of body parts or bodily functions. Despite being physically exhausted I know they're having the time of their lives. They'll never be this age again. I'm constantly learning the meaning of "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff".

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Summer is in Full Swing


Summer is in full swing. We'll officially start our summer schedule next week, but we've already gone on several outings and enjoyed treats. This is one reason I left the workforce. I'm enjoying sharing experiences with my kids and taking care of my home. I'm finally feeling like priorities are shifting back into place. Now the task will be finding a way to continue this when the school year starts. For now...ahhhhh! I'm going to relax and do what I do!

We've spent our fair share of time at the pool already. Swimming lessons will begin shortly. The boys will also go to Vacation Bible School. One day that week, I will treat myself to a cup of coffee and finally use a gift card that I've been holding on to since March.

We worked on a few pages in our workbooks and built model kits together. I have a list of a lot of other activities that I want to do this summer. On the list are a few cooking projects. So far, I've made ice cream sandwiches and caramel popcorn. Both were devoured in seconds. Together we'll make pickles, ice cream and popsicles. I have a long list of craft projects as well. Needless to say, we'll be very busy! On day 2 of summer break JB announced,"It's only been 2 days and I'm tired!" Ha!

Two of my personal treats are my $2.50 rosemary bush thriving in the flower bed and the dozens of new hydrangeas that bloom every week. The hydrangeas are extra special because last year they didn't grow very well. At the end of the season, the boys pulverized them with the golf clubs and I didn't expect them to survive. To my surprise one of the bushes is almost 4 ft. tall! That's no small feat for someone with a "black thumb".
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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

All Good Things Come to an End

We are on the tail end of the school year (HALLELUJAH) and the first of several bags are packed for our first vacation of the summer. In just a few days, I am officially going to retreat. I am going to thoroughly enjoy not having to visit with some of the school busy bodies and be subject to the endless barrage of questions from random nosey people. One thing that I can honestly say I got from my father was an antisocial personality. Suburbia isn't very accommodating, but you'd better believe I will be fully detached for the next 80 days. Maybe that will give me time to put my game face back on.

I've been people watching for the past couple of months and noticed that many people have a real need to feel important. They'll take extreme measures to be the up front, go to person aka "busy body" all the while greatly exaggerating the importance of whatever it is they're involved in.
Others will go to great lengths to paint a lovely picture of the seemingly obvious pile of crap they're up to their eyeballs in. I'm guessing it's in part to gain attention while making themselves feel better.
Let's not get on the tally keepers. That's old news. They give the phrase "keeping up with the Joneses" a whole new meaning.
Bottom line: people are a trip.

On the home front, my hubby's travel schedule is still burdensome, but I got real with myself today and acknowledged that in a lot of ways it's what I wanted. It will do for now. What we're going through is hardly worth complaining about!

The boys have become a constant source of humor and entertainment. Of course they are increasingly fascinated with bodily functions...farting, belching and the newest one-smelling armpits. My hubby is offended by all of it, but personally I refuse to smell any one's armpits.

So far I have our summer schedule, workbooks, summer tv guide, and outings all lined up. The only things left to do are menu planning and our semi-annual Come to Jesus meeting. I want to be sure we all start on the same page.

Stay tuned...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Things I Miss About Living in the Country:

Peace and Quiet
The smell of Spring
The starry sky
Crickets chirping
Distance (miles) between homes
Well water
Shade Trees

Things I Don't Miss About Living in the Country:

Cow patties
Horrible shopping
Slow drivers
High Heels that won't stay clean
People who have nothing else to do, but mind your business
Having the whole town close at noon for lunch and 10 for the day
Poor cell phone reception

I've decided to take the middle ground. Country living has it's perks. Life in the "big city" does, too. For now, I'll take the middle ground. No matter where I live, there's always a country girl inside of me.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

That's Life

Words cannot begin to express my frustration with life these days. As a matter of fact, I should probably be writing this instead of blogging, but hey...
Since my last post, we've celebrated, played, cried, worked (really hard) and laughed lots, all while trying to avoid catching the Swine flu-oink, oink.

At this point I am ready for summer vacation. Relaxed mornings and afternoons peppered with activities that we actually want to do on my own schedule, sounds too good to be true, right? Well tonight, I'll shoot the procrastination monster and plan our weeks. I know they're be lots of fighting and some really rough days, but overall I can't wait.

MC will soon be graduating from preschool and I must admit that I'm anxious about him going to school. Let me clarify, I'm anxious for me about him. JB had the teacher from hell this year and I just can't imagine the idea of dealing with two teachers at once. Preschool and "big school" are two different animals.

In addition to all of that, I'm at the point where things seem to have gotten ridiculous. I probably get to this point on a quarterly basis, but each time it's harder to deal with. Being pulled in so many different directions really wears me out.

Oh, well it was nice to put that out in the blogosphere. Happier posts to come.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

An Uphill Battle

Having a double espresso at 4pm isn't such a great idea! It's been downhill since. And the saddest part is Sunday. We have a super crazy week ahead of us. I'm going to need lots of prayer!

I finally admitted to myself that I need to let some things go. I am not in control. I will always be frustrated if I try to fufill my ideals of motherhood. God has already written this story. Instead of attempting to rewrite or direct the outcome, my role is to follow his direction. Honestly I don't even know how to begin to let go. For my sanity and the sanity of my family, I've got to figure it out soon!

This year, I've also realized that we have to make a conscience effort to avoid overscheduling. Before you know it each square on the calendar is filled with an obligation or two. The boys will alternate sports schedules, and we will only attend birthday parties for special friends. MC may get a pass on this one, because kindergartners usually invite the entire class until they establish who their best friends are. Experience is the real teacher!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Another One Bites the Dust

With officially only seven more weeks of school, I have already checked out mentally. We're going through the motions.
I have a stack of school papers that need to be organized, I can't seem to organize bill paying or the checkbook register, both of which could pose problems! Nevertheless, we made it through another peaceful week. I hate to speak too soon, but I think God finally answered my prayers! He continues to give me just what I need to make it. And in the midst of all the worldly craziness, we are abundantly blessed.
Of course, now is the time for planning MC's birthday party and scheduling summer activities. A mom's work is never done!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Pick your Battles

The night before Easter, I was preparing to make a key lime pie and contemplating making dinner rolls. Shortly afterwards, I discovered that for the third time this month, my oven was not getting hot. The first two times, I certainly did!
I guess this goes to show how much I've changed. My response: I dumped the pie in the trash. After church on Sunday, I went to the store and purchased dinner rolls and a key lime pie, which I garnished.

Problem solved. The GE service man will come on Thursday
to repair our five month old range and we'll soon be 'cooking with gas' again.

Friday, April 3, 2009


Something came over me yesterday and I swear, I just wanted to crawl into a hole and die. It seems to be passing, but yikes! The weeks seem to be getting longer and longer. Our schedules have gone by the wayside and I feel like I'm always playing catch up. I'm itching to simplify because I think that may be the source of all the angst and frustration. Too bad I don't have the time.
We only have 8 more weeks of school so, I guess that means I need to start planning our summer calendar, too. Taking it one day at a time is definitely easier said than done.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Catching Up

Wow, has it really been that long. My sister was right, I've been too busy living life to write about it!

We've barrelled right along through soccer season with both boys playing. And with only 10 more weeks of school...we have spring fever. I can't wait for summer break.
The relaxed schedule and break from dealing with all the people will be great!

I've already got my summer haircut. Now I need to shed these 20 pounds that I've picked up along the way "fattening up for winter". I don't foresee losing the whole 20 by summer so, I'll take 10.

Anyway, the boys are just trucking along. MC is all signed up for kindergarten and is showing off all of his big kid skills.

JB is finishing up the year with stellar grades and maturing so quickly. The other day, we were talking about his aunts (my sisters), when he realized that they were single and didn't have any kids. He became so concerned about them being lonely because "they don't have anybody". He's insisted on calling them daily, so they won't be lonely. Despite my efforts to convince him otherwise, he just can't imagine them NOT being lonely. He'll understand one day!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Uninvited Guest

Every week an uninvited guest visits my heart. Usually on Mondays and Wednesdays, which are particularly difficult days in our home because of my hubby's travel schedule.
Mondays, the beginning of an endless amount of responsibilites, are filled with a sense of dread that perpetuates procrastination and outright laziness. By Wednesday, we are all fit to be tied! The uninvited guest creeps in through any available crack and instigates anger, bitterness, hostility, regret, guilt, disappointment and a lot of other destructive emotions.
So, despite any unhappiness about certain situations, I have to make an effort to lock the doors of my heart. I have to protect the hope and faith that assures me that I'll/we'll emerge victorious.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Spring Signs


Spring is definitely my favorite season. I love the feeling of new beginnings. Newborn animals, blooming flowers...the air is fresh and light. Crisp mornings and quiet evenings are blissful.
I guess it doesn't hurt that my birthday is coming up! After all of these years I still get very excited about my big day!
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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

God's Has a Sense of Humor

First, let me preface this post with this: I love my boys!!
But...everyone that knows me knows what a girlie girl I am. As the years have gone by, and with the male additions to our family, I'll be the first to admit I'm becoming less of the "girlie girl" type. I figure it just takes too much effort and a booger picking boy really doesn't appreciate mommy's nice pedicure, as he stomps over toes to find his favorite Power Ranger. It's hard to transform Transformers with acrylic nails. A full face of make-up...melts after hours on the sidelines of youth sports games. Anyway, you get the point!
I've always wanted to have a daughter, in part because I thought it would be really fun. As I enter this next phase of parenting, I'm realizing that it isn't fun until they're older...when you see the real fruits of your labor. Right now it's hard work. But, I still think that a girl would be familiar, comfortable...someone that I could really relate to. However, I don't think that's in the cards for us. And just in case I need confirmation, over the last few years I've developed a bizarre allergy to a chemical in nail polish. Within a day after polishing my fingernails I get this hidious rash on my face and I can't get the smell of the fumes out of my nose. Oddly enough, polish on my toes isn't a problem. Insane!

Monday, February 16, 2009

It's Been a Long Time...

I guess the days of me posting daily and multiple times a day have been temporarily halted. What happened? Life.
I'm so glad to report that my hubby is still employed AND in town. We'll enjoy it while it lasts. While he was home he even re-organized our closet! Boy, does he know my love language.
My kiddos are as rambunctious as ever, with new jokes and their ever present and brutally honest, childlike sense of humor.
My house is finally clean...much thanks to the housekeepers for 2 hours and lots of elbow grease. Now if only I can muster the energy to get up from the keyboard and finish organizing the filing cabinet.

Friday, February 6, 2009

What a Humdinger!

This has been the most stressful, slow week in a long time! We started off the week with a parent teacher conference that I was sure would result in criminal charges being filed. Fortunately, it didn't. Since then there have been mounds of crap to handle. Gheesh, is there ever a break??
On top of all that I'm feeling very weird about some of the life lessons that I've learned recently. Some of these truths really should have stayed buried, so to speak. Now that they've been uncovered, I have to deal with them. Double gheesh.
Just thinking of all of the stuff I have to do for the upcoming week makes me want to crawl into a cave and hibernate.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Super Trooper

Well today I finally passed my test. Despite being sequestered indoors with both boys, unexpectedly, we had a pretty good day. I was prepared to chillax today as I was relieved of my volunteer duties at the school. Well, plans changed and we were all at home. God knows how bad I needed/wanted some "me" time and despite the change in plans, I kept it together. It was as if I expected the unexpected. We had a very peaceful day in spite of things being out of my control.
I've been struggling with this since I became a mother. As my kids get older it gets even harder to accept things that I can't change and respond rather than react. Until today, it's been virtually impossible for me to control my response...I always blow a fuse. Of course I'm not saying that I've got it all figured out, but I certainly succeeded today. Praise the Lord for baby steps!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

All Party-ed Out!

We finally made it through our end of the year marathon that carries over into the new year because of JB's January birthday. The party was this week and much duller than I would have liked, but big boys aren't at all into the fluff! We ordered a cake from a local bakery to match the birthday theme. There was some hesitation on my part because I like the end result of the extra effort that goes into me making homemade themed cakes. Note: I said end result.
Well JB went along with the program, but never tasted the cake. Since he loves junk food, I knew there was a problem. Eventually, he told me that he wanted me to make his cake. I think he went along with it because he knew I didn't really want to. Now of course, I feel a heavy load of guilt. I am a huge birthday celebrator! The birthday guy/gal is the star. So, if he wants homemade cakes....sigh....that is my duty.
Today we didn't have any more birthday parties on the calendar, which is a first. I think I'll just enjoy a lazy Saturday that doesn't involved an overstuffed character, lots of screaming, jumping and running around.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Just For The Heck of It...

I decided to post a list of some of our family's funniest sayings to date.

From downstairs to the shower..."Don't forget your pits and privates!"

"Is our whole house nasty? Cause our room and your room is."

"Mommy, you wear those pants every day." For clarification, I have many pairs of velour pants. I do wear them often...not everyday.

"The next person that leaves a toilet full of crap, is getting a spanking!"--this is a new one only little boys.

"Can we have a kids' margarita?"

At 3 a.m."Mommy, I had a bad dream about a man and a chicken ate his head."
"What?" Laugh. Laugh.
"It might be funny to you, but it's not funny to me."

"Something in my brain is telling me..."

I'm sure I'll think of more!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Everything Changes

Today I realized that most of the systems that I have put in place to help the house "run smoothly" are no longer working. As the boys get older and we transition to new phases, things have to change. For example, my system for doing laundry. I need a more systematic approach. The way we store toys, gifts and everyday essentials...outdated! I literally spent all day today cleaning and an outsider would never be able to tell. I did, however, see how our systems need tweaking.

This week started out pretty nice. I've made a personal commitment to get more sleep...peaceful sleep. That has certainly helped. I've also tried to continue the lighthearted feel that we all had during the holidays. Well today, public school (never disappoints) threw a monkey wrench in my fun. Once again, I'm forced to stand. I absolutely, unequivocally, positively abhor being in a powerless position without choices. Well, I have a few choices, but...not really. I have to stand! UGGH!

This phase in my life is teaching me some lessons that I've had 30 years to learn. It's teaching me in a way that won't let me miss them. That's no fun!!

On a much lighter note, we're planning JB's birthday celebration. He's so excited! I can't believe he's another year older! I only have a few more things to buy. I'm also NOT making his cake. Whoo hoo! The one we're ordering looks like crap, but that's what they all look like and more importantly I won't be stressed out afterwards.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Another one bites the dust!

Well we're back in full swing. The Christmas break was wonderful! I'm excited about summer vacation already. There's nothing like being on your own time schedule!
2008 was good, but we're all expecting more in 2009. It's time! Bring it!

The boys are hyped up, so I'm trying to be a little more patient. They'll only be kids once.

I stopped making "resolutions" a few years ago. I'd rather work on life changes. I have a few in mind! I'll gladly admit that I'm a work in progress!

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