Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ahhh, those were the days!

My Dad sent me this e-mail and it reminded me of the good ole days. For those of you old enough to appreciate it I think you'll smile. For you young'uns I think it will give you something to gnaw on. I feel like I'm back in the day already!

Those Born 1930-1979
First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant.
They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.
Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.
As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags.
Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.
We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.
We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.
We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank Kool-aid made with sugar, but we weren't overweight because, WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.
No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.
We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD's, no surround-sound or CD's, no cell phones, no personal computer! s, no Internet or chat rooms....... WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!
We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.
We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever. We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!
Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!
The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!
My Dad adds some of his own:
Riding down a flooded creek on homemade rafts w/o life preservers--no drownings (but several cases of trench mouth)Putting a very large and very drunk friend on the hood of a car and driving 3 or 4 miles down a semi-busy road and dumping him on his front porch. His dad didn't sue us; he beat the crap out of his son for being drunk. Standing with encyclopedias over your head with your pants rolled up to your knees and a crazed nun beating the crap out of your calves with a ruler and our parents sided with the crazed nun because we WERE in the wrong.

These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever!
The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!
If YOU are one of them.CONGRATULATIONS!
You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good.
While you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave (and lucky) their parents were.
Kind of makes you want to run through the house, doesn't it?!
The quote of the month is by Jay Leno: "With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?"

Monday, November 26, 2007

Memorable Moments Monday

This is Blue Jean, Blue for short. She is a blue heeler that we adopted when she was a year old. For those of you not familiar with Blue Heelers they are bred to help herd cattle. They are very smart, very stubborn, and just about the toughest dog I know. She is all these things and more! Even though she is almost twelve years old now she has only slowed down a bit. Since we don't have any cows she loves to play Frisbee and in her younger years she could fly. It was amazing to watch. She knows no fear either. She took on a Rottweiler at Petsmart, even though she was less than half the dogs size she had him shaking in his paws. The burly owner was not very happy with his dogs response to my Blue girl until I told him his dog must remind her of a big ole bull. I swear his chest puffed up a little, the owners not the dogs!

Anyway, I could go on and on with stories about Blue, but I'll save those for later. What I wanted to tell you is this weekend it turned cold and snowed so Blue being spoiled was determined to get inside. Hubby had built a very nice shelter by the back door with hay bales so she and our other dog, Thunder could climb in. (They also have a nice big Igloo doghouse, but they usually ignore it.) So as we're eating dinner and the temp is rapidly dropping Blue hops on top of the bales of hay so that she is eye level with hubbs, who is sitting just on the other side of the glass. She lays down and stares woefully at her master, hoping he will take pity on her and let her in (she's already tried barking and that wasn't successful). Hubby turns around to look at her and tells her she's fine. The next time he turns around to look at her she starts shivering, but stops when he looks away. This happens at least ten times, shiver when hubby turns to look at her, stops the minute he looks away. The girls and I are cracking up with her antics. And of course hubby finally rewards her by letting them in, after all, this was the dog that used to sleep at the end of his bed every night until our family began to grow!

That's my memorable moment for this week. Do you have one to share?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I'm Not Looking

Right now as I type my husband is right outside my window, my second story window. He's hanging Christmas lights. He's been at it for awhile now. The temp is hovering around freezing, the ladder is very, very tall, and his knee could still be a bit unsteady. I'm praying to God and trying not to look at the same time. Why is he doing this? Your guess is as good as mine. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the taunts I threw his way about making sure his light display didn't resemble Christmas cheer throwing up in our front yard. Geez, I was just joking...
And for the record I asked him to get down, several times, but I swear the man is almost as stubborn as I am.

So I'm going to go busy myself and pray he doesn't fall!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I am deeply disturbed...

So have I ever told you about my seven year old's amazing ability to catch flies? Yes, it's true, since she was about 2 she has been able to pluck flies out of air. Well, maybe not out of air, but she could catch them like this as they tried to fly off a window etc. Many times she would come to me holding a fly. I thought she was picking up dead flies, but then she'd say "No, mommy look" as she would let it go and the fly would zoom off. That's pretty darn talented if you ask me.

So today she comes into the nursery as Little One and I sit playing and says "Look what I have." She slowly opens up her hand and there is a live fly crawling all over her hand and arm. But not flying away. Hmmm, is she now the fly whisperer? Taming wild flies to do her bidding? And, yes, I am cringing because former science teacher or not I would not like a fly crawling all over me. But this I do not say because I don't want her to think that I think she is a little weird.

"So why isn't it flying away?" I ask leaning closer to stare at the little insect.
Flashing me her gap toothed smile, "Because after I caught it I plucked off it's wings so it wouldn't fly away."
Happily she skipped away with her new pet leaving me to stare open mouthed after her.

And all I can say is I am deeply disturbed!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Start of Christmas Season

Okay, so today I was able to put up those fall decorations without guilt. Hubby tried to avoid getting down the Christmas decor from the attic, but finally after running out of excuses he got them down this evening:) Yesterday we stuffed ourselves with yummy turkey and all the trimmings so we were all a little slow out of the gate today!

Here's my two cuties: hubby with Little One as the snow began to fall today.

One last picture with Mr. Gobbles!

Then we all hurried back inside to sit by this roaring fire hubby made.

What a nice day it has been and best of all we are all together, and nobody has been called in to work!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Blessings

Well, with Thanksgiving a cold front blew through. They are predicting snowfall by tomorrow and today it is very chilly. The dogs large water tub was frozen this morning, first time this season. The quail and deer have been visiting our piles of corn and I even caught George wandering about yesterday. I felt sorry for the fellow because I bet the lizards are hard to find when the weather turns frigid.

Hubby is about to make his famous pecan pie, yum, yum. Last night the poor man came home with chills, body aches etc. He's had his flu shot, but I'm thinking his working 26 straight hours this weekend may have had something to do with how he was feeling. He went straight to bed and seems much better this AM. The girls and I made pie dough last night and I'm about to make Amy's Taco Party mix to take to our friends this afternoon. Some new friends of ours invited us over, taking pity on our orphan selves! We're having fried turkey!! Tonight we may go to another friends whose husband is going to have to work to prepare the plant for cold weather (the refinery where my hubby works). I'm praying my husband actually gets the next 4 days off and doesn't get called in on an emergency!

And so today I count my blessings...
  • I'm thankful for my family, whether they are gathering in Austin or Houston or somewhere on the east coast this day.
  • I'm thankful that I'm healthy and that my family is in good health (for the most part) today.
  • I'm thankful that hubby and I are about to celebrate 11 years of marriage and that even on the worst days, through our faith and commitment to each other we remain a constant.
  • I'm blessed by amazing friends.
  • That I've been blessed by three beautiful children.
  • That God continues to guide me even when I veer off course.
  • I'm thankful I started this blog and have met so many wonderful friends through their own blogs.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. Have a blessed day! And hugs and kisses to our loved ones who are celebrating far away. We wish we were there:)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Works For Me Wednesday

So as a teacher I used to get asked during the school breaks, especially the summer, "So what did you do all day?" Now as a stay-at-home mom, especially with the first child, I would get the same question. I've talked to others and they sayit happened to them too and it drove them batty. Like we were all sitting at home watching soaps and eating bon bons. And I have to say the question was not always from hubby, but from other working moms etc.

So here it is the solution I came up with years ago. A list! List all the things you do in one day and leave it out on the counter where wandering eyes will see or carry it in your purse to pull out when the question comes up over lunch with your working out of the home friends.

Sample list:
Woke up myself and three children.
Made breakfast while nursing youngest.
Got kids dressed.
Found missing shoe.
Found matching pair of socks.
Helped brush hair.
Found and signed papers for school that were due today.
Got everyone loaded into car within 45 minutes of waking.
Nursed baby again once home.
Changed dirty diaper.
Cleaned breakfast dishes.
Swept floor.
Changed another diaper.
Called phone company for better rate, put on hold for 20 minutes.
Got dinner started in crock pot.
Ran to grocery.
Nursed crying baby in car at grocery parking lot.
Had lunch at school with kids.
Did a load of laundry.
Changed dirty diaper.
Took my only bathroom break of the day.
Picked up kids.
Got afternoon snack.
Did homework.
Put finishing touches on dinner.

Okay, okay you get the point. Put a check mark by each item for good measure. Not only is this list helpful for others it sure is nice for you. Because sometimes at the end of the day I look around my cluttered house and even I wonder "What did I get done today?" Then I look at my list and I can't help but feel accomplishment:)

For more great tips head over to Rocks In My Dryer!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Baaa Humbug

So here I am and it's not even Thanksgiving and I feel overwhelmed by Christmas being around the corner. My Halloween decorations aren't even in their boxes yet and I'm worrying about who's going to string the Christmas lights. In fact I had to force myself to leave my Thanksgiving decorations out as I was picking up earlier because, come on we haven't even celebrated it yet!!

Now if I had been consulted when the calendars were made I would have suggested Thanksgiving be moved up a few weeks to allow for plenty of time between it and Christmas. As it is now the Christmas decor goes out with the fall decor in September and I really just, well I just think it's wrong. I would like to savor fall before I get thrown into tidings of joy and good cheer. Speaking of good cheer do you know who really becomes not cheerful around this frenzy of tinsel and mistle toe. My husband!

Now don't get me wrong he is all about Christmas, celebrating our faith, being with family, advent wreaths etc. But he has difficulty with the undo stress it puts on our pocketbook, the busy malls (not that he enjoys them at any time), holiday traffic, fattening food (now that he has lost over 30 lbs.), well and lets face it, the constant harassment that tends to go on at this time of year.

So after several years of marriage I finally caught on that this is not his favorite time . But in order to make it joyful for the rest of us I've learned a few things... Sit down as far ahead of time as you dare and make your Christmas budget. Whether all the money comes out of one paycheck or several spread out over time, but have your cash stash before you go shopping. Never use the credit card, because those pretty diamond earrings or top of the line camera do-hickey that made you weak in the knees on Christmas morning will make you sick at your stomach when the bill comes in. Focus on the reason for the season instead of stressing over whether or not your gifts are big enough or if the receivers will like it. In fact, with the kids they get one gift from Santa and one big gift from Mom and Dad (I'm thinking my friend Connie from Smockity Frocks gave me this idea). And you know what, it works great and it seems to actually help them to decide what it is they really want. Plus, hubb's family sends out e-mail Christmas lists which takes the stress out of which brother-in-law really wants socks for Christmas and which one would rather choke on them if he gets one more pair.

So around here we are focusing on family, remembering the birth story of Jesus, lighting our advent candles, and having fun making goodies and homeade gifties. And we are waiting until after Thanksgiving to put up our decorations so we can savour our turkey in autumn bliss, thank you very much!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Memorable Moment Monday

This moment happened while visiting my parents last week. I heard some squealing and some giggling and when I went to investigate this is what I found.

Apparently Gramp was giving shaving lessons!

Please join in with your MMM, just leave a comment with link to your blog.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

High Intensity Pay

My husband's company gives high intensity pay to salary employees if they have to work 14 days straight. For every 14 days straight they work they get a good bit of extra change added to their paycheck. My mother, as a nurse, can get paid more if she works nights or she can receive double time for working holidays. Hmmmm...

So I was thinking I've worked (doing the math here, give me a sec)...
  • 192.8 high intensity periods
  • 2700 nights
  • 43 holidays

since being a mother.

Because as we know we are on call 24/7, work straight through the holidays, and never take a day off.

Hmmm... I wonder if I could write my senator and see about getting us stay at home moms some sort of paycheck. The government seems to fund all sorts of programs and gives out pay for just about anything and after all, we are raising the future generation, which will be responsible for keeping this planet going.

On second thought, never mind, they can't afford us!

Friday, November 16, 2007

We're Back!

Sorry I haven't written in a week. We just took a marathon trip to Houston to see my parents and for me to go have a check-up with the world's best ENT (I've been to a lot and he really is the best). 11+ hours in the car with our three kiddos can sometimes test even the patience of a saint. We no longer have a DVD player in the car and I'm thinking we might look into getting another of those. But for the most part the kids were really good, I think the parents had a more difficult time then the kids this time:)

But we had a great visit with Gram and Gramp and hubby even got to hit some golf balls! I, myself, took a trip with Gram to go shopping at Rice Village. I have not shopped like that in a long time ( you'll notice my absence from the normal frugal Friday post, maybe it's guilt). Actually, I didn't spend a dime, it was my birthday shopping spree, gift of Mom and Dad. It was selfish, probably even a little bit gluttonous, but I've got to say I enjoyed every bit of it. If only my sister had been along it would have been the perfect shopping day!!

Soph is going to have to have her tonsils out the day after Christmas. I truly cringe at the thought, but I know how much better she will feel once they are out. And we are really ready to be feeling better around here, enough sleepless nights and colds and coughs, thank you!

Well, I still need to unpack, do more laundry, etc. Better see what's for dinner too!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Medical Update from Cotton-Top Hills

Okay, just to add to my list this am we went to the doctor. All three of my girls this time. Last night I got a call telling me Little One had two types of bacteria growing in her nose culture (nice, huh?) so she needed a shot plus ten days of antibiotics. I just want to stop here and put in a small plug for breastfeeding. The fact that I am nursing gave my Little One the extra boost she needed to keep from coming down with pneumonia, which was one of the bacteria strains growing in her nose! And the fact that she had these two nasty bugs in her body and she only ran a low grade fever one day and had a runny nose. She possibly would have been able to fight this off on her own, but since we are going out of town didn't want to take the chance. I just had to mention that because sometimes when children who are nursed get sick it's like a banner for those who don't nurse to say, but see your kids get sick too so why should I breastfeed. *

Em's cough was turning a little croupy and Soph's nose was beginning to show signs of infection. Once again allergies turned bad! So more meds since we were leaving town for a few days. This time we were in and out of the doctor's within 30 minutes, yee haw!!

*Disclaimer: I am in no way insinuating that if you choose not to nurse or can not nurse that I am better than you.

Added later: Didn't mean to sound trite. Just want to give all those nursing moms encouragement!

Frugal Friday

Okay, I don't know about you all but I wake up every morning to a list of toys being recalled and I just wonder are any toys safe. So in the spirit of not only wanting lead free gifts for my kiddos this year, I also have some frugal homemade ideas for baby!
Ever seen all those Baby Einstein videos?!! Did you know it was started by a woman in her basement with just a video camera, music and some toys! She sold it to Disney for millions (why couldn't I thought of that), but I digress. The point is if you or a friend have a video camera you too can make your own videos. Just play some classical music, have some puppets or toys dance around, maybe some close-up shots of pictures of landscape or animals you have or cut out from magazines and you've got a video for baby. My little ones loved to watch these from the time they were old enough to sit up to toddler hood. Older siblings would love to help with the production!
At the fabric store they have seasonal cloth books you can sew together to make books for the little ones. And you don't have to be an expert seamstress! You could just get pieces of felt and make your own. Plus, there are all sorts of things you can do with transferring pictures to fabric etc. where you can make your own picture books.
More toy ideas here and for those a little older here.
For more frugal tips head over to Biblical Womanhood.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

All in a week...

I've spent exactly four hours and twenty minutes in the doctor's office this week (I have another trip tomorrow so that number will be higher).

Made 12 trips into town, 18 trips to school, and used half a tank of gold, I mean gas to do it.

I've talked to two different doctor offices at least five times for appointments, test results, etc.

Driven through the pharmacy drive-through twice.

Discovered I left my wallet at home after driving all the way into town for dry-cleaning.

Been rear-ended by a big ole pick-up truck while I was attempting to obey the law and actually stop at a stop sign, he obviously didn't feel that was necessary.

Been disillusioned by the lack of voters and the outcome of our failed school bond.

I've had very unkind thoughts ( and maybe words) for my fellow mankind. (see above two comments)

Had to cancel a must needed hair appointment.

Neglected my blog.

But...the weeks almost over and I'm sure next week will be a breeze:)

Monday, November 5, 2007

Memorable Moments Monday

I have learned from my 5 year old that I need to send canned goods to school for the pilgrims. Upon further questioning I learned that these pilgrims don't have very much food and that they might live in tee pees like the Indians. And they might not have stoves so they will have to build a fire to cook their food.

Interpretation that came from my 7 year old was that they were having a canned food drive. It wasn't for the pilgrims, but rather in the spirit of Thanksgiving. Like when the Indians shared their food with the pilgrims, we need to share with those that need help.

I just love these conversations I have with my kids!

Saturday, November 3, 2007


Today I mourn for a little one I was able to know only through his story. His parents have been through an amazing journey and little Ian has taught us many valuable lessons. Please pray for his family.

Godspeed little Ian, Godspeed.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Frugal Friday

Most of you are familiar with Dave Ramsey and his ways to living a debt free life. One of his tips is to always use cash, to put your cash into separate envelopes labeled groceries, gas money, entertainment, clothes, etc. We try to do this every payday, after we sit down and make a budget spending every penny that comes home. That includes money that goes into savings. Anyway, I used to use just plain white envelopes and by the time the next paycheck came my envelopes were a mess, plus they were bulky and took up a lot of room in my purse. Soooo, hubby found these:

on Dave's website. The wallet has envelopes that allow you to write where each penny was spent, plus room for your checkbook, drivers license and other cards (not credit cards!!). The great thing is if I do use my debit card I can just keep track of what I purchased and how much on the corresponding envelope. The other little wallet is for coupons. It has divided tab pouches for all your coupons, which really beats the crumpled coupons I stuff in my pocket or wallet that I can never find when it's time to check out.

Anyway, I think it's a good investment if you are a Dave follower and want to get better organized.

For more tips head over to Biblical Womanhood!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Noah and the Ark

I felt like Noah today. No, I haven't been building an ark or collecting animals in pairs. And we aren't experiencing any rain or flooding in the weather around here. I felt like Noah because I had to take my daughters ( yes plural, both Em and Soph) to the doctor today.

I knew it was coming, I had seen the signs. The sniffles, coughs, bloody nose, sleepless nights...yes, God gave me intuition and I used it to prepare myself for the inevitable. I gave extra vitamins, I enforced early bedtime, I pushed the liquids, but to no avail. The flood, I mean sickness was here and it was time to set sail, ahh umm, go to the doctor's office.

I won't bore you with the details of getting my three girls into the car, but lets just say Noah probably had an easier job of herding the animals onto the ark. Anxiety and tension built the closer we got to our destination. Why you ask? I guess it's the fear of the unknown and the knowledge that doctors could give shots or swab your throat!

How did Noah keep peace on that ark filled with lions, tigers, bears, sheep etc. while the storm raged outside. I have no clue, because if I did I would be able to use it on my children in the waiting room. Instead I was clawed and climbed on and just plain worn out by the time we got in to see the doc. And yes, horrors among horrors, a throat had to be swabbed. I looked to the heavens for a piece of blue sky, but I realized the storm was still raging as my daughters screams vibrated off the little room's walls, and later the halls, and later still in the car. I listened to screams so deafening that it would no doubt have drowned out that raging storm outside the ark.

And then just like that it stopped. I swear I might have seen a rainbow overhead, because suddenly the flood of tears was gone, the thundering cries were silenced and just like the sun overhead, my daughter's smile lit up my world once again.

Yep, just like Noah.