Sunday, March 30, 2008

Knock On Wood

"Knock on Wood", I found myself uttering this saying a lot recently especially after being asked about the health of my family. Soph has now gone three weeks without missing a day of school, yippee!! This is the first time all year this has happened. Poor thing has been sick with one thing or another every time we turn around. But now her tonsils are out and we are sticking to a routine of children's vitamins plus probiotics and all sorts of goodies my sister (a.k.a the health guru) recommended and we are good. Em's trip to the ER during spring break was so much fun, so much so that I missed it and let my mom and hubby take her. But when all was said in done I found myself uttering that the huge dose of penicillin she received in her rear should fix her up, "Knock on Wood." Little One's recent bout of fussiness and fever resulted in a trip to the doctor but "knock on wood" everything looks good, must just be teething! And of course my recent round of tests, well I'm just "knocking on wood" that everything will come out a okay:)
This got me to thinking, why in the world do we say "knock on wood". After some tedious (I googled it) research I found out there is several different views on where it came from. Just like almost everything with a history there is a Christian meaning and a pagan meaning. First the pagan...believing in wood fairies and spirits that lived in the trees people were said to knock on the trunk of a tree while making a boastful comment. Thus believing the spirits would not hear them and would not interfere. Interesting, huh?
Now the Christian...that we knock three times(representing the Trinity) on a wooden cross to ward off evil. Over time this method just became knocking on wood. In some languages this translates as "knocking on table" or "touch wood" etc. etc. One historian believes it comes from an early nineteenth century game of English tag called "Tiggy-touch-wood" in which you are safe when you touch wood.
Okay, my history lesson is over and I'm sure you feel enlightened. Just thought I'd share!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday

Around here we're all about fun in the kitchen and I'm all for help when getting dinner ready! My eight and five year old get really excited about "Restaurant Night". On Friday night at least twice a month we plan a menu and "open" our restaurant for the night. We usually go with a theme, like Mexican night or American diner night. It gives us a chance to talk about what people eat in different cultures, search the grocery store for unusual ingredients, and plan a menu. On Friday night the kids make menus, name the "restaurant" and put the sign on the front door, set the table, and help cook. When their Dad gets home they greet him at the door and take him to his "table", take his drink order and help plate the food. Then we all sit down to eat and everyone really enjoys the meal. It's fun, educational and something everyone looks forward to at the end of a long week.

Do you have a tip to share? Head over to Rocks In My Dryer for more tips!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Memorable Moments Monday

Here are some memorable moments from our Spring Break/Little One's First Birthday Bash!

We had a great time, even though there was sickness, trips to the ER, vomiting, etc. What else is new!! I think our other camera has more pics so I'll share later.
Happy MMM:)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Excuses, Excuses

We're home and I still have not downloaded promised pictures from trip, sorry. But here are some excuses for my delay, and I do this because I know that in your every day life you just don't hear enough of them, ahem.

Upon arriving home the plan was to unload, put away, and launder in a timely fashion. For us this means not allowing your suitcases to sit on the floor where they were dumped upon arrival for the next week or month.

My body continues to fight the flu or some unknown tropical disease, which now has my delicate ears on the fritz, which is never a good thing.

Our hot water heater, wait let me rephrase, our water heater (WB strongly dislikes the term hot water heater because this is not what it doesn't heat hot water it heats water. Yes, I live with this on a daily basis) went out after two loads of laundry. Happy to report after a trip to Home Depot we bought a new water heater and WB had it installed that afternoon. And even better news it all seems to be working!!

Grocery shopping after being gone for a week.

Realizing it is Easter on Sunday and your children have no dresses and no shoes.

Realize that we haven't decorated eggs, told the Easter Bunny to bring candy, or found the Easter baskets that are stashed away somewhere.

Chasing around an 11 1/2 month old (this is always a good excuse)

But I promise I will get them downloaded ASAP...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Memorable Moments Monday

Well, if I was really brave I'd post a picture of myself this morning, but I'm not. Let's just say that my dormant curly, frizzy hair has come to life again here in the south Texas humidity! Before children and before living in the arid climate of the panhandle of Texas my hair was a mass of thick curls, that on occasion was known for it's frizzy abilities. Then I had three children and during and after each pregnancy my hair changed a little. It is now much easier to tame the little bit of curl and go straight then to try to coax my hair back to it's former glory. But when I come visit my parents it seems this mass on my head takes a trip down memory lane. Last night I went to bed with it wet...didn't put any gel, spray etc. on it and this morning well... I frightened my children with the massive dark blob that covered my head. It poofed, frizzed, kinked and curled all night resulting in a scene that has my kids convinced The Who from Dr. Seuss's Horton Hears a Who is hiding amongst the wreckage of my hair.
Anyway, that's my memorable moment for today, do you have any?

Friday, March 14, 2008

Target Practice

Em went with her Dad to the rifle range the other day. WB had to try out his new gun. Em has a little rifle gun, pz340. I made that up I have no idea what type of gun it is, it's just child-sized that a friend gave us. Anyway, just a few months ago the noise of the gun scared her, but not anymore. Here is my little shooter:

Isn't she cute? I normally would not refer to a gun toting child as cute, but darn it she is. Now for all you moms and grandmothers out there. She is well versed on gun safety. She could probably recite rules in her sleep. And yes, it still makes me nervous, but here's the thing if I never let her do anything that I was nervous about the child would never leave the house. Heck, she'd never leave her room! She's got a good head on her shoulders and I trust her. Now, if she ever showed any sort of reckless behavior at the gun range that would be the end of that. Thankfully, this kid is a stickler for the rules. I know she reminds me of them constantly, like if it feels like I may be going over the posted speed limit etc.

Oh, and here is her target:

Not bad!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Deer Rifles and Shoes

Here is a snippet of a conversation I had recently with Wrangler Boy:

"I need to get a deer rifle" WB states early one morning.

Laughing, "Oh, okay, sure."

Giving me the look, "No, really."

Snapping to attention, "Why? You don't hunt."

Smiling, "I don't hunt because I don't own a rifle."

This is what I refer to as lawyer talk. He's good at it, talking in circles is a gift and he has it. He thought about going to law school and I have no doubt he would have made an excellent lawyer. But my house is not a courtroom and so I remind him.

"That is crazy you are not even into hunting. You feed the wildlife around here, enjoy watching the deer, and if you are going to hunt anything it would be with your camera." (He's an amateur photographer and quite good)

"Listen, I need something to be cleaning when the boys start knocking on our door."

Switching tactics, another good lawyer trick. And I'm wondering why one of the other guns he owns wouldn't scare the boys, but I don't say that.

"Umm, hon that will be at least another ten years."

"Still and I need something to talk with the guys about. Men bond over guns."

See, I had no idea about this, I learn something new every day!

And here's the thing. He wants the rifle, period. He works hard, he provides for his family and this is something that he will enjoy. Who am I to stand between a man and his rifle? Come to think of it I would rather not stand between, beside, in front of, any man and his rifle!

The gun came last week. It's a beautiful, black heavy thing. I smiled as he told me all about it, nodded like I understood and ohhed and ahhed in all the right places. But my girls weren't quite sure about why Daddy needed another gun. And into my head I had a thought, it was like the heavens opened and gave me these words:

I said, "It's like girls and their shoes. We need lots of different pairs and guys don't really get that do they."

Both girls nodded, they'd explained many times to their Dad why their hot pink boots could not be worn with their orange skirt, or why those were dress shoes not their school shoes.

"Well, guys need different guns for different things. It's just one of those things."

"Exactly, that's what it's like." WB chimed in thrilled that everyone understood.

Both girls reflected on this for a few minutes. Then I heard a whisper from the backseat-

"This would probably be a good time to tell Daddy our new tennis shoes won't work with our Easter dresses."

Monday, March 10, 2008

Memorable Moment Monday

Well, I'm late with this post! My newspaper deadline is every other Monday and I am seeing a pattern with my posts. Everything here at Cotton-Top Hills is a little crazy. Little One is having tubes put in her ears on Thursday, so we are all scrambling. Plus, we are trying to get ready for a trip and a gathering of family to celebrate early Little One's first birthday. So my memorable moment for today is just remembering to breathe. Their were points today between news of Little One's ears, preparing for surgery, packing, laundry, phone calls, etc. that I think I forgot to breathe. Light headiness ensued. Now WB would say that that is nothing new, the being airy part, but today it was because I just forgot that my body needed to inhale and exhale on a regular basis. And let me say that is just a fact of life. So here I sit,, out, in, out
and I'm beginning to feel just a tad better.

MMM for today makes life, well livable.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Continuation of Impostor Husband

Yesterday I told you about mistaking a stranger for my husband, sad but true. Now I'm here to tell you that apparently I can not recognize my hubby even if he is standing right in front of me!

First you need to know WB is an engineer, a chemical engineer to be exact, one that works for a major oil company. His work is not in some plush downtown office, he works at the refinery. He's a hands on kind of guy, he has this endearing quality that everything will work better if he just does it himself. This is a trait that is carried over here at Cotton-Top Hills as well! Anywho, he goes off to work each morning wearing steel-toed work boots, a polo or button down shirt, his starched Wranglers or khaki pants. This is his engineer uniform. If he's out exploring the refinery he wears some very fashionable tan coveralls with reflective tape, badges that change color right before you inhale some toxic fumes and die, and a hard hat complete with ear protection. I'm telling you this get up makes my heart skip a beat, humpf and some women go ga ga over a man in chaps!!

Sorry, I'm getting distracted from my story. On voting day, that was Tuesday here in the great state of Texas, he was driving back from a recruiting trip to Tech. I talked with him on his cell and told him we would meet him at the school to vote. While waiting outside the girls ran off to get a drink of water. I watched them as they ran right in front of a nice looking man in a black suit and dark sunglasses. My first guess was that this was one of the local candidates coming to vote. I thought that because most of the men you see around here are ranchers, etc. I recognized this good looking man to be my husband a half a second before the girls doubled back and yelled, "Dad!". I also noticed that behind my husband a woman in a red suburban was craning her neck to check my husband out which almost resulted in her bumping into the car behind her. Maybe she recognized him as Mr. February. Or maybe she was just checking out the voting times posted behind me.

So there it is. I failed to recognize my husband, this time I thought he was the stranger. Maybe I need glasses or maybe I need to try a new hair color or maybe I just need to resign myself to the fact that I am a little ditsy!!

Oh, almost forgot I made hubby pose for a picture.

This man cracks me up!!

Public Announcement

Just for those that are interested I'm posting this very informative blog on how to choke down those powders that are good for you. That is my little sis by the way. And I know many turn their noses up at these health store alternatives I will say this my sister lives and practices this lifestyle and well she's probably the most in shape person I know. She takes 50 mile bike rides without even being winded, plus teaches cycling classes at 6:30 in the morning, plus she is training for a triathlon. So I'm thinking I need to start trying some of this stuff!!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Husband Impostor and the Egg

One Easter about ten years ago my parents took Wrangler Boy and I to a fancy brunch at a French sounding hotel. There were sparkling mimosas, mounds of sweet pastries, salmon, beef tenderloin, smoked turkey, assortment of cheeses and bread, desserts of every kind and more. The tables were decorated with fancy chocolate shaped bunnies and giant eggs. Oh, and by the way the giant chocolate eggs were not meant to be eaten. WB cut a piece off of one and at the table took a big bite of the delicate candy only to find it was a huge piece of egg shaped Crisco covered in chocolate. I could just hear the french waiters muttering, "Stupid Americans they even eat the table decorations!"

Anyway, we took our time browsing the tables and picking up more food then we could ever hope to eat. As I was checking out the cheese and bread table I felt WB pass by me to pick up a roll. I scooted up close beside him and while checking out his plate I asked, "What did you get honey?"

I saw my mom out of the corner of my eye walking up beside us as I heard an unfamiliar voice in my ear respond, "Well, whatever I got it must be good."

My eyes flew to the face of a stranger. A stranger that really didn't even remotely look like my husband, except for the fact he was wearing glasses. My husband would later point out that he was wearing his contacts and didn't even have on glasses. Whoops.

Even my dear Mom thought he was my hubby at first. And I really have no idea how I made such a mistake. My mother and I had a hard time retelling the story to my Dad and WB because we were laughing so hard. I pointed out the husband impostor and my real husband looked at me like I had lost my mind. He kept eying me through out the meal and shaking his head. Geez, we all make's not like I took a big bite out of a crisco egg or something.

So anyways, I was reminded of all this on Tuesday when I forgot what my husband looked like! I'll tell you about that tomorrow;)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday

Today it's a Backwards Edition of Works For Me Wednesday, so I get to ask a question and you dear people get to give me some answers!! I have pondered about what I should ask, because well, I have more questions then answers most days.
But I have an article in my column that I need help with so I thought you all would be great to ask. My article is about family exercising, what do you do to get your family moving and grooving as a group? What activities do you do together that helps get your heart pumping? From silly to serious I would love to hear how you stay in shape with little ones or big ones in tow!! Thank you ahead of time, my editor will thank you too, because I know you all will have some creative and fun ideas!

Now head over to Shannon's to give more helpful advice!!

Sunday, March 2, 2008


As the morning light begins to filter through the clouds and spill across my desk I'm reeling in revelations that came to me during a restless night. Ones that I am going to share with you whether you really care to hear them or not....

-birthday week celebrations while fun can be draining on all involved

-unlike the romance novels if you find yourself falling to the ground your dear husband will not catch you, even when you yelp "I'm going to fall" a half a second before you do. But the sweet, stunned man will help you to your feet afterward and brush you off. And well, isn't the reality of what marriage is really about.

-When taking such a fall in a crowded bowling alley surrounded by children you must expect the story to become an exaggeration. Rest assured there were no babies flying through the air, I have the bruises to prove it. She was safely plopped down on the floor in a sitting position right before my body gracefully flopped to the ground. Little One was slightly irritated over being so unceremoniously placed on the ground, but was not harmed... I on the other hand, well I'll survive.

-Children can get attention overload and when this happens bouts of crying, screaming, and various ugly behavior can ensue.

-That children, no matter how much you love them, are not perfect, they will have issues. But then I realize that as parents we are not perfect and we have some issues ourselves.

-That God definitely has a sense of humor.