Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Little Christmas Concert ~

Our school had it's annual Christmas concert tonight and R had his first. I was a "band nerd" back in the day and it was pretty neat to see him up there on stage with his baritone...brought back a few memories. I hope both my kids like band. There's something cool about a group of kids coming together and working towards a common goal. It's alot of hard work, but it's all worth it when you walk on the field at the State Marching Contest or earn top honors at Concert Contest.

At this point I don't know if band is "his thing" but I do know band is required through 8th grade, so we at least have a few more years of these concerts to enjoy. :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

First Grapefruit of the Season ~

If you've been following my blog for a while you might have read this post about our love of grapefruits. For months the kids have been asking if it's grapefruit season yet.  Well, today was an exciting day in our house. The kids were so happy to discover grapefruits on the kitchen counter. I only bought a few because I didn't know how good they were going to be. They were delicious! Now we get to wait patiently for our annual box(es) of  grapefruits from the Jr class at our nieces' school. Those are the best!

I was an adult before I knew how to properly eat a grapefruit. For most of my life I used a grapefruit knife and painstakingly cut each little bite out of it's little segment...thanks to my sister I know how to eat a grapefruit the way God intended them to be eaten. First cut the ends off, next carve the rind off, then carefully cut each segment out. I'm pretty sure these instructions are as clear as mud, so if I were you and were really interested in this, I would just Google it!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Little Red ~

Day 2 of my month long photo project ~ the subject...our Elf on a Shelf; Little Red. I swore when I first found out about this idea of an elf coming in from the North Pole to spy on my children and then report back to Santa, I would not fall prey to another marketing ploy to get me to go out and spend money. Fast forward about 5 years and what did the brilliant marketing people do? That's right. They made a movie about this cute little elf. We watched the movie and then the next day (and I'm not kidding, it was the very next day) I found myself shelling out the dough for this little guy.

I will admit it's been fun. Little Red has been a very simple addition to our family traditions. He's a low key elf and pretty much just relocates himself every night without much fanfare. He doesn't get into mischief and could care less about making flour angels or spelling out names with Cheerios like I've seen some of his fellow elf friends doing online. He simply does his job. And by doing his job I mean just his presence in the house has worked wonders in getting K out of bed every morning. There have been a few times he has forgotten to find a new hiding spot, but somehow manages to move before the kids wake up. It really is amazing. ;)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Days of December

This is day 1 of my "Days of December" photo project I've decided to do this year. Every day I will take an Instagram pic and post it to my blog; at the end of the month I will have a pretty cool photo journal of all the highlights of the month. This seems like something I can keep up with during the busy days of the last month of the year.

This is a photo of our church. Today I participated in our monthly prayer vigil, had choir practice and a Christmas fellowship with the choir. My name was even drawn out of the basket for a door prize. I chose this really neat little wreath made out of a wire hanger with Tootsie Rolls tied all over it. By the looks of the wreath it took the crafter nearly forever to make it. :)

Oh and I have to say how happy I am that my kiddos talked me in to getting all the Christmas decorations out the day before Thanksgiving. This is something I've never done before, but something I will for sure do again in the future. I love that our home is ready for Christmas and I can focus on what really matters...making memories with my family.

Here's to a holly jolly Christmas...it really is the best time of the year!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I'm Back ~

Ok, so this may sound a little nuts, but I've been sad since "shutting down" my blog. It was a little like leaving a friend behind. I seriously thought about starting a new one, but after thinking about all the time I've spent on this one and all the words I've shared, it didn't seem like the thing to do. So, I did a little Blogger research and found out that as long as I ignore those pesky little sites they will go away. I'm willing to try it and see what happens. If you follow my blog, you might find it's going to be a little different in the future. I'm not going to say how though; maybe it will be so subtle you won't even notice. :)

Now on with the show...

I was catching up on blogs in my reader this morning and while reading Katie's blog I came across a site I've been meaning to check out. Log Your Memory is a journaling site that gives you prompts on fun things to journal about. I. Love. This. There are times (believe it or not) that I really have no idea what to journal or blog about. Today's fun little topic is all about the time change that happened over the weekend...

I love this time change. I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who will think I'm crazy for saying that. I mean what is fun about less daylight? There are many reasons why I love it, but number one is I think my body rebels against the whole Spring Forward thing. My internal clock never really seems to catch on to that and when we Fall Back I feel like I'm back to my old self. Number 2: as a mom it's really hard to get my kids to bed at a decent hour when it's still light outside. At the end of the summer I put black out curtains on their windows, and it has helped, but when they know it's still light outside and they could still be outside playing it's hard to wind them down. Number 3: I love love love dark cold winter nights with the fire going when we're all cozy in the house. It makes me happy.

So there you have it. A little bit of the quirky me. Oh and in keeping up with all the gratefulness that's going around these days...I'm really grateful that my farmer knows how to set the clock on my stove. It's the little things. :)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Cooking Breakfast ~

I was standing at the stove this morning cooking a nice hot breakfast so my family could start the day off in the right way when I found myself thinking about my grandmother. As I was thinking about her and all the many breakfasts she prepared in her life I realized something: I think about my grandmother alot while I'm cooking breakfast. Maybe it's because she cooked a hot breakfast every day without fail for her growing family of 9 for most of her adult life and then for just herself and my granddad in their later years. Never a day went by that she didn't put a large breakfast on the table. When we were visiting, I would always be woken by the sound of her in the kitchen. There was comfort in those sounds...we always sat down at the table in the dining room and ate a breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, jelly and juice. I can remember it like it was yesterday. She rarely sat down to feed herself; she was too busy waiting on everyone else (mainly my granddad.) :) My grandmother was the best cook; she could make a simple country breakfast seem like a gourmet meal. Not sure how she did it. My breakfasts are made up of the same items, but somehow aren't exactly like hers. Read this post to find out what I think made her cooking so special.

My grandmother posing in front of what we call "The Rock House."
I'm guessing this picture was taken in the mid to late 30's. My mom is the youngest of 7 kids and she was born in 1947; she lived in this house until they moved to town when she was 4. I love this picture. They must have been going some place special because I'm almost positive with that many kids running around she didn't dress like that everyday.

Looking back, life seems like it was alot simpler than it is now. I often long for those "simpler" days. I know they weren't simpler; they were alot harder. I guess what I long for is the innocence people had back then. It seems there was not near as much tragedy and sadness on a grand scale as there is today.

I wish I had interviewed my grandmother and written things down. I did write down alot of her recipes although it was a little difficult because she never used measurements. :) I love to look through my recipe box and find the ones she shared with me. I'm pretty sure no matter how many times I try, my chocolate meringue pie will never taste exactly like hers.

My grandmother was also a farmer's wife. She knew what it meant to have to feed a hungry crew in the field. Her meals were totally different than the meals I prepare. She would make a sit down meal complete with plates, utensils (not plastic btw,) sweet tea, homemade banana pudding and a card table to spread all the food on. My granddad and whoever he had helping him would stop what they were doing and take a few minutes to eat. Our guys eat on the go, so I have to prepare food that can be wrapped in foil and eaten one handed. :)

This picture was taken on my grandmother's front porch the day we had to say goodbye in February 2006. I remember playing on this porch as a child. The pillar we're sitting on was alot taller back then. my cousins, my sister and I would make the best mud pies with little red berries added for decoration and after a rain we would collect tadpoles from the miniature pond at the corner of the intersection. So many good memories of time spent with family in that old house on 6th Street.

I miss my grandmother. I miss that house. I miss how she used to greet us when we pulled into the drive after the four hours it took to get there. I miss how she would wave goodbye when we left...she would keep waving until we were out of her sight.

I know I will see her sweet face again; until that day I will keep cooking those hot breakfasts with all the love I can and maybe someday they'll taste like hers.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Harvest Time ~

One day last week the kids got out of school at noon; just in time to take their daddy lunch in the field. This is a very exciting time of year for the kids. They love going to the field; I mean who wouldn't love being around all that large and loud equipment with dirt and debris flying around everywhere? 

We have been blessed to have a couple of guys who have worked for us for the past several years. They work hard, love on our animals and watch out for our kids ~ they're awesome. Here is one of them bringing a load of cotton in the boll buggy to dump into the module builder. R's favorite thing to do is help build modules. It really bugs him when his daddy is not running the module builder and he's not able to help. 

Here's K helping to pick up cotton and throw it back in the module builder. She certainly doesn't mind a little dirt; in fact, the dirtier the better. :)

Pulling of the module and making sure the tarp lines up...

My farmer tying down the tarp. Let's talk about cotton modules for a second. When I was growing up, I used to see these giant rectangles of cotton in the fields and wonder how the heck they didn't just fall apart. I had no idea how they were made so I didn't know how rock solid they were. I remember my dad telling me if a car were to crash into one of these monsters it would total the car. I've never tested this theory, but I'm pretty sure he's right. Hey, I think I just had an idea for a segment on Myth Busters.

Here's R running to stop the tractor after pulling off the module. The tractor is set to a slow roll (and unmanned) while the module builder pulls off the module. 

Out here in the country, we call this "strippin'."

The cotton stripper dumps all that fluffy white stuff into the boll buggy. It takes about 7 of these big ol' baskets to make a module.

So there you go; a quick little lesson in cotton harvesting in case you aren't blessed to live in cotton country. I'm on my way out the door right now to pick up lunch for all those hungry men in the field. 

Happy Harvest ~

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Few Fun (and easy) Fall Crafts ~

I'm not sure any of you have noticed, but I did something I haven't done since I started my blog; I deleted a post. I've noticed over the last month or so my blog has taken on somewhat of a negative voice. This is unacceptable. Sure, I've always said I don't want everyone to think my life is perfect. If you know me, you know that is just not the case. However, I also do not want my corner of the world wide web to morph into a place where I just go to gripe. We all lead super busy lives and if you happen to take a few minutes out of your day to read my words, the last thing I want to be responsible for is leaving a sour taste in your mouth. You can just watch the news for that. Lol! Anyway, let's move on to something a little more fun...

A few weekends ago the boys went one way (to a pig sale) and us girls went in the opposite direction (a craft show.) It took a little convincing but once we got there K had a blast. Of course she wanted everything she saw and I got a few ideas for Christmas. The hit of the show was the lady selling her instant coffee mixes and fudge. We had so much fun tasting all the wonderful flavors. If there is one thing I've taught my kids it's to love the comfort of a hot beverage. :) I'm pretty sure K tasted the equivalent of a Starbuck's Venti and I ended up making a dent in my Christmas list. Yes, some of you may be getting flavored coffees for Christmas. :)

On our way home we decided we would get our fall decorations out...K thought we needed to purchase more (because more is always better right.) I decided what we have is perfect. Once we had the walls and tables adorned with pumpkins and the fall garland in it's place, we raided my scrapbook supplies and got crafty. K wanted to make some spiders and I decided we would make a candy corn garland.

Her spiders turned out super cute and are currently placed all over the house. The candy corn garland is hanging on the windows that separate the sun room and dining room. I decided to make them two sided since you would be able to see them from both rooms. I pin stitched around the edges with a Sharpie pen and then added the year to the first candy corn. K suggested this and I thought it was great idea; every year we hang the garland we can add the year to the next piece. The wood pieces were handcrafted by me, my dad, mom and sister the year before I was married. We had so much fun crafting that fall. Every year when I get these decorations out, I'm reminded of those special times. That's why I know my kids will remember the time spent together coloring, gluing, cutting and making messes.

So, if you haven't done so already, get your fall decorations out! If you don't have any, go buy a pumpkin or get out your scissors and make a candy corn garland. It really is alot of fun!

Happy Fall Y'all ~

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

30 Bags in 30 Days ~

A few weeks ago my sister asked if I wanted to join a group on Facebook; the goal of the group: decluttering. I said sure! I love to get rid of stuff! I get rid of clutter constantly around here. Clutter makes me crazy and drains me of my creative flow. So when I joined the group I didn't really think I had that much to get rid of because like I said, I'm always in the process of getting rid of stuff.

A crazy thing happened a few days before the challenge began (on Oct 1st) I started noticing drawers that wouldn't close. I started thinking that maybe I could benefit more from this challenge that I thought. And then I started thinking that if I went through a major purge around here our home would be ready for the holidays. Score!!

I've already made a trip to Goodwill and have two more bags ready to go...then yesterday I hit a road block.

I decided I would go through "the drawer." You know the one. The one that gets something added to it every time you walk by it. Before the day was over our king size bed was covered with piles of papers, pictures, receipts, little toys, birthday cards, thank you cards, report cards, broken pieces of who knows what...you name it, it was in the drawer. Not only was the bed covered, but the dresser was piled up as well. I told my sister that out of the entire house and all that needs to be decluttered this drawer was going to be the hardest thing to tackle.

I thought you would benefit from a visual (a grainy picture taken with my substandard phone camera because I didn't want to have to download from my real one.) Please take note of the pacifier on the bottom left of the photo. Yes, that was in the drawer along with a Christmas ornament, a ball of yarn and several pieces of canvas artwork. I really have no idea how all that got in there. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person who has been using that drawer as a catch all.

Let's move away from the problem and look towards the solution...I took a scrapbooking class at Big Picture Classes several years ago. The one thing I took away from the class is how to organize your kids' school papers. R and K both have plastic file boxes with files for each grade, so as I sort papers (from the last 3 years thank you very much) I'm filing them away. That's the easy part. I'm stuck with what to do with all the other little odd bits; that's why I'm blogging right now. :)

Here's the file boxes. Nothing fancy, but they do the trick (when used correctly.)

Now back to all the other stuff. I have no idea. I wish I could wiggle my nose and it all be gone. The inner hoarder (I think there's one in all of us) wants to get a plastic tote and with one swipe of the hand it all be neatly stored away in our storage building, but I know someday I will have to deal with it so that's not an option for me. I'm just going to have to suck it up and muddle through. I will be checking in with my FB group from time to time to get cyber support and inspiration.

Why, you might be asking yourself, would I share such an embarrassing picture of clutter on my dresser? Well, you know I'm all about keepin' it real and 99.99% of the time the top of that dresser is clean. I guess you could say that picture is the storm before the calm...or whatever. :)

Ok, I'm about to hit the publish button and get back to work...have a happy day. :)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Out Of The Blue Clear Sky ~

You swear you've had enough,
you're ready to give up 
on that little lie they call love,
then out of the blue clear sky.

Fallin' right into your hand
like rain on the desert sand,
it's the last thing you had planned,
 out of the blue clear sky.

Here she comes a walkin' talkin' true love
Sayin' I've been lookin' for you love
Surprise your new love has arrived 
Out of the blue clear sky.

Ain't love a funny thing,
one day you're givin' up the dream,
and the next you're pickin' out a ring
out of the blue clear sky.
by the Great George Strait

Ahh George...what can I say that hasn't already been said. He's a legend. So when I heard he was going to be in concert in January, I shrugged and thought, we've already seen him in concert three times and there will always be others. Well, Tuesday I found out, as all of you probably know, this will be his Farewell Tour...hence the name "The Cowboy Rides Away Tour." Just the name of the tour makes me want to grab a tissue. 

George and I go way back; all the way back to 6th grade to be exact. I actually remember the first time George flew by my radar. It was 1984, I was 12 and at a slumber party with a bunch of girls going gaga for this young man wearing Wranglers and a cowboy hat. I know I had heard his music before because all we listened to was country, but this was the first time I recognized him as the good looking heartthrob talent that he was. :) I remember standing in the hallway at my grandmother's house when we heard George's daughter had been killed in a car accident. His daughter and I were close in age; my heart broke for his family. "Baby Blue" will go down in history as my favorite George song. I could go on and on. We found out our county stock show is the week after the concert and the concert is on a Friday night, so guess what? We're going. All four of us. This is country music history people and we're going to be a part of it!

So, why the song at the top of the post? This song is special, but I didn't remember how special until we were heading to school yesterday and it came on the radio. As the song took me back 16 years, I got to tell the kids all about it...this song was released in April 1996 just one month after R and I went out on our first date and they were still playing it on the radio that September when cupid finally hit me with his arrow. We all have songs that we feel are written just for us; this one was written for me. I'm not saying I had given up on love completely, but I was definitely taking a break from the dating scene when R came along ~ and George was right there singing all about it. :) I'll see you in January George and I will have a few tissues in my pocket just in case.

Our school library is having a fun little contest where the kids bring a picture of themselves in their favorite reading spot.

Here's K's favorite reading spot; with a friend way up high in a tree.

And here's R's. This picture is for real. He really can read while on his Ripstick. The first time he did this I was totally amazed. The kid has more coordination in his little finger that I have in my entire body. I tried riding this thing while holding on to the side of the Tahoe and couldn't do it. Somebody should video me trying to ride the Ripstick...I bet it would go viral. :)

That's it for today. I'm hoping to have some more recipes and cool blogs to share with you next week.
Have an awesome Friday and fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

More Than a Few Things That Drive Me Crazy ~

Most mornings I wake up in a great mood. This morning was no different; I woke up, worked out, fixed breakfast, woke the kids, and aside from K being exhausted and crying that she didn't want to go to school, all was right with the world. And then I started thinking about a conversation we had last night on our way home from football practice. The kids were talking about the tacos they had in the cafeteria that day and how they didn't have much taco meat on them and no cheese. K said she could see the container of cheese when she went through the line, but they weren't putting cheese on the tacos. Then R chimed in and said he heard the cafeteria ladies talking about how with all the new "laws" that Michelle Obama had put in place they couldn't put cheese on the tacos. What the heck!?! If you know me at all, you have to know my blood was boiling at this point of the conversation. I put in my two cents, we got home, ate supper and went to bed not really thinking much else about Taco Tuesday...until this morning when K asked for the millionth time if she could buy a PopTart at lunch. For the millionth time I said, "No." What is wrong with the world when the cafeteria ladies can't even serve a taco the way God intended a taco to be served but they can sell the kids PopTarts to "raise money" for the cafeteria? I just don't get it. If I were on a health rant right now I would talk about how the kids brains need fat to function and fat is not the problem here and how not putting cheese on a taco is not going to solve the child obesity epidemic. The problem is all the crappy whole grains and sugar laden foods our kids are being fed. Oh and have I mentioned how they've cut sodium out of our kids' diets as well? And did you know that sodium and iodine are necessary nutrients for our bodies to function properly? His lack of sodium at school may just well be the reason why R can come home after a long day of learning and eat a half a jar of pickles.

Are you ready for the next gripe? Self flushing toilets. That's right, those stupid toilets that think they know when you're finished and flush when you least expect it. This morning I went to the restroom with K before  school and that psychotic toilet flushed 6 times before we got out of there.  We are in a drought. There are people whose lawns are dead and we have toilets that are flushing willie nillie all over the place. It makes me crazy!

This may or may not be the last gripe. It's my blog and I'll gripe if I want to, gripe if I want to... :) Ok, so I have friends who like to give me a hard time about my obsession with health and wellness. I have friends who, whether they know it or not, hold me accountable and keep me walking the walk. I'm fine with my friends poking fun and telling me the cake I eat at parties is not gluten free. I'm not sure why gluten has become the butt of all jokes, but it has. I would apologize to gluten but I hate it, so I won't. :) This gripe is not about my close friends making fun of me. No, this gripe is about people who make fun of me behind my back in rather disgusting ways never expecting that I will find out. Oh, yeah, I found out and if you happen to be reading this you might want to beat me to the punch and delete me from your FB friends list. Just sayin'

So...I think I'm done. That's it. I'm really hoping after hitting the publish button I can get on with my day with a better attitude. My house needs a good cleaning; maybe that'll do it.

Monday, September 24, 2012

I Must Be a Little Crazy ~

So I have to tell you about the crazy thing I did on Friday. As I was typing my blog post on Friday, K's teacher sent me and a few other moms pictures of all the girls in class dressed up for 80's day. They all looked so cute and very sassy! :) So, as we're texting back and forth about the girls, one of the moms says, "I think us mothers should show up in 80's style." Then K's teacher said something that really got the ball rolling...she said, "I dare you!!" At first it was just a little joke about how funny it would be and how the girls would die if we showed up at the school looking all 80's. I even joked about how I would do it if my parachute pants still fit (which I do still have, but they do not fit so I was safe, or so I thought.)

Somewhere between thinking it would be funny, being dared to do it and picturing myself in parachute pants, I told them I was in.

I'm not sure if you've ever seen the Disney sitcom Good Luck Charlie, but it's one of my favorite Disney shows. Of course Charlie is precious but it's really the mom who makes the show. I love her and have joked with my kids several times about how she's my role model. :) She's forever embarrassing her kids; so when I started considering this whole 80's thing I actually thought, "What would Amy Duncan do?"

A few hours later I found myself back in the 80's, music and all. There's nothing like a little 80's music to really put you in the right frame of mind. :) Luckily my mom let me borrow her super heavy duty hairspray for K's hair otherwise I might not have been able to pull it off. (What's funny is aside from the big hair, I really never dressed like this back in the day.)

I wish I had a video of the moment we walked into that classroom. It was hysterical. All the kids were screaming and laughing. K said she actually had tears coming out of her eyes. It was awesome! So worth taking a step outside of myself to have this moment with her; a moment I'm pretty sure she will never forget.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Flashback Friday ~

Yea! It's Friday. Pep Rally day. Football day. And yes, it's the day I get to relive a bit of my youth. I know I'm not the only one out there who thinks knows the 80's rocked, right? I mean what's not to love about that decade? Big hair, the best music ever, and a fashion trend that rivals the best in fashion trends. Ok, so when I found out that K's class would be representing the 80's today at the homecoming pep rally I got a little excited! And yes, I might have gone a little overboard at the accessory shop, but 80's fashion is in right now and it was everywhere. I had her try on her outfit last night. Big mistake. She refused to change back to "regular" clothes and insisted on going to football practice dressed as Madonna/Cindy Lauper/Valley girl...take your pick. You've heard that saying, "The clothes make the girl." I've never really fallen for that, but the clothes K had on last night definitely made her into someone I had never seen before. It was pretty funny.

I'm pretty sure I was having vague recollections of this whole big side pony tail thing for a reason. Sure enough, it didn't take long for me to find one of my big hair pics.

Now that is some big hair...I could've hurt someone with that mop!

So, there you are. I hope this post made you smile, if not laugh out loud. I can guarantee my next post will have you rolling in the floor. Stay tuned...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Her Hero ~

We're nearing the end of Spirit Week and today is Hero Day. As I said yesterday, K wanted to dress up like her daddy. It was touch and go there for a minute about 6:50 this morning. I thought I was going to have to come up with another blog post idea because she changed her mind about 5 times whether she was dressing up today. It's really funny how my kids are so different; all I have to do to wake R up in the mornings is turn on the light and sweetly say, "It's time to get up." He literally rolls out of bed no problem; K on the other hand is a little bear. No matter how gently and sweetly I try to rouse her from her slumber, she growls at me. This morning was no different...

She finally managed to get dressed and then complained for 10 minutes because she looked like a boy. "Well," I said, "you're supposed to look like a boy because Daddy is a boy." :) Once we finally got the gin cap on her head and the bandanna in her pocket she was warming up to the look.

We found an empty can of snuff in R's truck this morning, but didn't think that would go over too well. This is totally off the subject (but not really;) several weeks ago K and I were watching Toddlers and Tiaras. We never watch this show. My beauty queen is sassy enough without the help of that show thank you very much. Anyway, I agreed to watch it with her knowing I would turn the channel at the slightest hint of a sassy mouth (from the pageant girls not her.) So the theme was The 50's and one mom was dressing her daughter up like Sandy from Grease; for the finale this four year old comes out in tight leather pants, tight off the shoulder shirt with a fake cigarette hanging out of her mouth. Are you kidding me!?! Not only that, the mom reminded her to smoke before she went out on stage. K was about as shocked as I was and the judges were speechless. To this day K is still talking about that little girl pretending to smoke. So...I'm pretty sure snuff (even an empty can) would NOT have been a good idea.

Back to the Homecoming festivities. Tomorrow is Spirit Day and all we have to do is wear our normal Friday attire; green and black. Oh yea, and we have to fix K's hair like the 80's which me reminds me I need to buy extra stiff hairspray today. I'm looking forward to hanging out with friends at the Jr. Supper and then the football game. I'm excited about the Jr. class silent auction. I donated a few soldered Eagle Football charms and I will also be painting one lucky bidder a pair of Toms. So if you read this and you're in my neck of the woods, go bid high and support our Jr class!

A flashback to the 80's will be in store for tomorrow...see you then.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Pictures I Promised and Another Success in the Kitchen ~

I've decided that everyday needs to be dress-up day. Yes, I have totally reversed my attitude since yesterday. Nothing gets my kids up and going in the morning faster that a good dress-up day and who knew my 5th grader would get into this whole spirit week. I'm glad. Sometimes he's a little too serious. A little too worried about what other people think. It's good to let loose and dress like an old person every once in a while. :) R dressed like Pappy today. This is a compliment and an insult all at the same time. On the one hand he thinks enough of his Pappy to want to dress like him, on the other hand he's saying Pappy's old...sorry Dad.

My dad wears a fishing hat every day of his life even though he doesn't fish, wears boots and glasses and always carries a pen in his pocket. K told R he needs to walk around with a book today because Pappy likes to read. :)

K looked precious as an old person complete with horned rimmed glasses, pearls, a shawl, a bun sprayed gray and her great great granddad's cane. I think my mom was a little nervous letting us borrow it, but I promised it would be returned safe and sound.

This picture makes me smile...

A chip off the old block. They really are alot alike.

Ok, so let's change the subject. If you've read many of my posts, you know I'm a bit of a health nut. I'm always on a quest to find a healthier version of foods my kids love. Well, several weeks ago I placed an order with a gluten free baking company called White Lion Baking Co. I ordered their cookie sampler pack, a pumpkin muffin mix which I haven't tried yet and the biscuit mix I made this morning. I woke up this morning knowing it would be hectic what with all the putting together a Pappy costume at the last minute and all. I had every intention of popping some canned biscuits in the oven and calling it good. But you know what I did? I read the ingredients on the label of biscuits on my way to the oven, did a 180 and went to plan B. This is somewhat of a curse, but knowing what I know I cannot in good conscience feed my children crap anymore. Some days they hate me for this, but I can't help it. I went to the fridge grabbed the biscuit mix from White Lion and made homemade biscuits, bacon and eggs for breakfast. Here's where it gets good...the kids loved them. R ate three of them with honey.

I'm pretty sure I can duplicate the mix because all that's in there is almond flour and baking soda. I'll be working on my own version of this biscuit and will share it soon!

Oh, and tomorrow's Hero Day...K wants to be her daddy (I love that) and R said jokingly that he wanted to be Spiderman. :) Whatever he decides, you can bet I'll be posting pics.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Homecoming Week and a Little Movie Review ~

So here we are in the middle of homecoming week which always adds a little more stress to my life. Do I encourage my kids to dress up throughout the week or ignore the whole thing? In the past I have been guilty of pretending I had no idea what was going on; then of course I feel guilty when I see all the other kids whose moms cared enough to dress them up. I figured since R is in the 5th grade he would not be interested in any of the days except Friday which is Spirit Day and all you have to do is wear green and black. He surprised me by wanting to wear his pjs for Pajama Day yesterday. Today is "Dress Up Like Your Favorite Animal Day" which, no offense to the person who came up with this one, but really?? Anyway, K along with about 3/4 of the student body is dressed like a cat today. Too bad we're not the "Wildcats." :)

Sorry about the quality of the picture. Someday I will have an iPhone 5, we will be back with Verizon and all will be right with the world.

Tomorrow is "Grandparents Day" The instructions say to dress like your favorite old person. Ought to be interesting...

So I find myself with not alot to do this week (which is rarely the case) so yesterday since football practice was cancelled, we went to town to rent a movie. Warning: I am about to go off on a tangent. How many of you actually like the Red Box movie rental thingies? Personally, I hate them. I'm not going to lie. There is nothing more stressful than standing at one of those red boxes trying to decided which movie you want while there are 10 people waiting in line behind you. Oh, wait, yes there is...trying to get the stupid red box to work while 10 people are standing in line behind you. I'm sorry, I just hate it. I also pretty much despise renting movies at Hastings. Unless your movie is a new release, it's impossible to find the one you're looking for and it never fails we get a movie that is scratched; which is what happened to us last night. From now on I will ask them to clean the disk before we leave the store. I may be totally old school but I really miss Blockbuster.

Back to my original story. I rented myself a movie yesterday and actually sat down to watch it this morning. If you haven't seen October Baby I highly recommend it. It is a tear jerker, but it's also a beautiful story about forgiveness. I loved it! Oh, and if you do watch it, be sure and watch all the way past the credits at the end.

Despite my sounding so grumpy today, I really am looking forward to the homecoming festivities. At the pep rally on Friday each class is going to represent a decade. K's class is representing the 80's which will be like totally awesome dude and R's class is representing the 2010's which he thinks is totally lame. I suggested all the kids in his class make iPhones out of cardboard and pretend to be texting during the entire pep rally. Now who doesn't think that is not the best idea EVER!!

I will try to post a picture of K dressed up like an elderly person tomorrow. No one will want to miss that. :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Muffins, a Bird House and a Few Funny Stories ~

This is a much happier post if you consider the fact that I can't in good conscience make my children muffins with white flour anymore happy. :) So anyway, yesterday after school K wanted to bake something. She got down her Paula Dean Cooking with Kids cookbook and started searching for a recipe. Everything she wanted to make called for yeast. For one thing yeast freaks me out. You bread bakers out there will probably not understand this, but I have always had a fear of cooking with yeast. After nixing several recipes, I suggest we look online and find a muffin recipe made with almond flour. We had such success with these cookies that she was willing to give it a try. I did a search for almond flour muffins and found myself on a website that I'm pretty sure is going to change my gluten free life.

K helped with every step of the muffin making process. Her favorite part is cracking the eggs, but not only that, she likes to use her hands to mix the eggs...the messier the better. I find this just a little crazy that I let her do this; when R was little and wanted to help crack eggs I was like this psycho mom who would freak when he got raw egg on his hands. He would have to wash his hands immediately. I'm pretty sure I scarred him for life and he will never want to be in the kitchen as an adult. I'm pretty sure I just figured out why he's not a fan of eggs for breakfast...hmmm. I apologize in advance to his future wife. Moving on...

Before I show you the picture of "the muffin" I want you to know that almond flour cooks dark. This muffin is not burnt. Not only is it not burnt, it's probably one of the tastiest muffins I've ever eaten. This muffin is perfect, I promise.

Almond Flour Banana Blueberry Muffins

You can find the recipe for this tasty little treat right here. I did a few things different. I added about a teaspoon of heavy cream to the eggs after K had "mixed" them because a good portion of the eggs were stuck to her hands (I know yuck.) I also substituted the agave nectar with Xylitol. We don't use agave in our house. I've done some research and found that agave spikes your blood sugar and raises insulin...no thank you. Oh and I used a whole cup of blueberries instead of half. My philosophy is you can't have too many blueberries.  We had these for breakfast this morning with a little pat of real butter ~ yummy!

Funny story ~ while we were making the muffins I suggested K take a muffin to school to give to her "boyfriend who she is going to marry" because she told him the other day she would bring him a cupcake or cookies. She said, "What if he doesn't like it?" I said, "If he doesn't like it, then he's not the guy for you." She gave me the funniest look. It was hilarious. And no, she didn't take him a muffin.

R started a hot glue/popsicle stick project the other day. My counter has been covered with popsicle sticks and strings of hot glue for days.

It turned into a birdhouse complete with birdie bunk beds and a sky light...

He took his project out to the barn and caulked all the cracks with clear caulk. Pretty cool.
I have to add that his iPod has been lost for several weeks now and no, I didn't hide it; it really is lost this time. Is it coincidence that he is using his imagination now that he is not glued to his iPod? I think not.

Another funny story ~ So, while we were waiting for the muffins to bake, K told me for the millionth time that she wants a baby sister. She said she would take care of the baby, dress her for church, feed her and she could sleep in her bed. She asked me if I wanted another daughter. She said, "I want you to want to have another one because then you will have one." I told her I didn't think Daddy would go for that and she said, "So what, he's not the girl here." Lol!!

I hope this post has made you smile. Try the recipe it's fabulous and what the heck, bust out the glue gun and make something while you're at it. :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Another Lesson in Loss ~

Saturday morning started out just like any other Saturday morning; sleeping just a tad bit later than usual, fixing breakfast and getting ready for a football game. We were out the door and headed to a short practice before going to one of our only out of town games. It was a cool and cloudy morning and we were looking forward to a fun day. Halfway to practice I realized I had forgotten my camera; no big deal, there will be other games. Once we got there we also remembered we had forgotten the stripes for one of boys helmets. I offered to go back home to get the stripes and bonus: my camera too. I left K and her friend with R and the team headed back home...

The first thing I saw when I pulled in the driveway were the dogs running to greet me. This is the same every time I or anyone else pulls into the drive. I always slow down, make sure I can see the dogs and sometimes even roll my window down and scold them for getting too close to the car. I'm not sure what happened, but as I turned the wheel to pull under the carport I heard Little Bit yelp. Instinctively I knew what had happened and it wasn't good. I didn't know what to do. Do I back up or pull forward. For a second I was paralyzed. I put the car in park, opened the door and hollered for her. No response. It took all I had in me to get out of my vehicle but I did. I had to.

There she was lying motionless about 8 feet behind the Tahoe...gone.

About this time my phone rang and it was R calling to tell me to get his coaches badge he had forgotten. I answered the phone in tears not knowing what to do next. He said he would be right home. About 10 minutes later him and a friend were there giving Bitsy a proper burial.

My heart was just broken. I dreaded telling the kids (which we decided would be better done the next day after they got home from Nana and Pappy's house.) I had to pull it together because R had a football game to play and I knew he wouldn't be able to if he knew something was wrong.

The thought crossed our minds to tell the kids that we found her at the road...I couldn't do it. This may sound silly, but the thought of keeping the truth from the kids for the rest of my life was not acceptable. The truth is always best. I knew they would be mad at me, but I also knew they would eventually realize there was nothing I could have done to prevent this from happening. If there was, I would have done it.

The next day after church we picked the kids up and headed home. My stomach was in knots and became worse with every mile we came closer to the house. Well, the moment of truth had arrived. We took the kids  to the spot that has quickly become our very own pet cemetery. They saw the little cross R had made with Little Bit's name on it and asked very calmly what happened. We explained, they started crying and the grieving process began.

As I suspected, R was mad at me at first. K just sat in my lap for about an hour crying. It's a crazy thing to see your children go through the stages of grief in a matter of minutes. We encourage the tears. Tears heal broken hearts. Never have we told our kids to stop crying. After the tears stopped falling, we went outside, I pushed K on the swing, we jumped on the trampoline and loved on the furry family we still have.

We're going to miss Bitsy around here. Everywhere I look I see things that remind me of her. I'm going to miss her when I do my sprint intervals. She never quit; while Sam might run one and then just watch, she was in for the duration of the workout. Although we only had her for a short time, we loved her very much. Our pets are like family...

Yesterday I was walking back to the house after taking a bag of trash out and one of the men who work for us asked me about Bitsy. I explained to him what happened and he said, "She was a good little dog. We're going to miss her." Yes...we are.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

You had me at 'Hello' ~

...sort of.

I love telling our love story. I love the way I can look back and see God's hand all over it.

Before I begin, though, I must start out by saying we are not perfect people. We are both very stubborn individuals who most of the time think we are right. Our core values are the same, we both love the same God, we both believe the same politically and we love our family. I tend to run my mouth while he thinks about what he wants to say before he says it. I tend to yell, this makes him crazy. We both love Mexican food, but I can't get him to eat Asian food to save my life (even on my birthday.) My healthy ways drive him nuts and I wish he would quit dipping snuff. See, no perfection here.

But lets back up about 16 years when we were both under the illusion that the other had descended from heaven on the wings of a snow white dove...ahhh. Those were the good old days. You remember them right? Those first few glances at each other in hopes that the person sitting across from you felt the same. And knowing beyond all certainty that you had found your one true love who would make all your dreams come true.

We met while I was working at my dad's CPA office. I remember the day perfectly. I had just called off my engagement with a guy I had dated on and off for 7 years. I felt like a new person with all kinds of possibilities before me. I remember R and his dad walking in the office. R's dad was curious as to why I was so happy. I told him. R says he wanted to ask me out that day, but didn't think the timing was right. :)

Fast forward 9 months and R's back in the office; this time ready to ask me if I would like to go on a date. I still remember the red GAP sweatshirt I was wearing that day (I still have it btw) and I'm pretty sure my face turned as red as that sweater. I said 'yes' we went out to eat and to a movie. For the life of me I can't remember what movie we saw. I do remember our second date the next night. We went to see Braveheart. I remember going to the bathroom, looking in the mirror and thinking, "I can't do this. I'm not ready for another relationship."

Five months and many phone calls later, R finally told me he was done. If I wanted to talk to him, I could call  him. Fine by me, or so I thought. That summer my sister and I moved from a house to an apartment and needed help moving the fridge. Here's what she said to me, " You know you could call R and get him to help us move the fridge. He has called you and wants to be your friend; you never call him back. You just don't treat your friends that way." So I started feeling bad for the way I was treating him and decided to call. I don't know why, but he said he would help us. I fell in love while watching him move a fridge...

I watched every step he took and saw something I had overlooked before. I saw someone who was willing to help me even after I had treated him like pooh. I saw a take charge, organized, "get it done" kind of guy. To this day he is the same person. When he decides to do something, he finds a way to make it happen. On that late summer evening back in 1996 with a refrigerator in between us, I knew he was the one for me.

This picture was taken a few days after we were engaged

Today we celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. We'll be celebrating our big day on the practice field tonight with 17 boys who are trying to grasp the game of football. R on the field, me on the sidelines. This weekend we will go out to eat, I'll probably remind him of those first few days, of his persistence and my resistance and he'll joke about how the last 15 years seem like 150 (he thinks he's funny.)

Our wedding ~ September 6, 1997

I truly believe I married the man God put on this earth for me. We're not perfect, we drive each other crazy alot of the time but we have built a life together and I am so thankful for that.

Here's to many more years of marital bliss...I love you R.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What Makes Your Heart Sing ~

Lately I've really been trying to focus in and narrow down what makes me happy. This may sound a little self serving, but who doesn't desire to live a happy, fulfilled life. I have lived most of my life in hobby overload mode. The first craft I remember growing up was rug hooking. I think my mom still has that awful thing. As a family we crafted. I remember having a garage sale and my parents spent the money we made on a scroll saw. My dad cut the wood pieces and us girls painted. I still decorate with some of the Halloween pieces we made that Fall. I remember listening to a Focus on the Family episode before R and I got married that encouraged wives to have friends and hobbies outside of their relationship with their husband. The show reinforced the fact that a spouse, whether it's the husband or wife, cannot provide all the happiness for the other. I decided when we got married that I would not put that kind of pressure on my man. I soon became a scrapbooker and quilter. I took a tole painting class and became a painter. I still have the basket I made in a basket weaving class (I am not kidding.) I am a needle worker and let's not forget phone talker. :) I helped to start a scrapbook club that quickly grew to 50 members ~ bingo ~ friends with lots in common. These ladies were there for me through the loss of our first baby, many of which came to her graveside service. I met one of my dearest friends through selling rubber stamps and scrapbook supplies at home parties. As soon as R was born I took up photography and have since really established a passion for my Canon Rebel.

Over the years I have tried to narrow it down a bit. I still have my sewing machine and my little bag with an ongoing  redwork project, I've dabbled in soldering charms and painting Toms but my favorite right now is my camera, my trusty laptop and Photoshop software. Digi scrapping makes me happy and I love my blog. I think everyone should have a place to record their stories; even if you don't want to share them with the world, keep it private and go back to it someday and remember.

Yesterday I realized I didn't have all my photos backed up on both external hard drives, so I've been working on getting that done. It never fails when I do this maintenance stuff I get sidetracked and open files I haven't opened in a while...

Here they are ~ my little loves...5 and 2 lying on a rug in a house we don't live in anymore staring at our cat we don't have anymore. I love this picture. I love the memories it brings back. I miss the house, the cat and the little people who have been replaced by a 10 and 7 year old who most of the time are way too big for their britches. I could spend days going through old photos and old memories and someday I will, but for now I will try to keep up with the present and move forward in my storytelling and learning about all things digital. As long as my memories are backed up and I can revisit them from time to time, I'm good.

Back to being happy...do it! Go find something you enjoy and make time for it. Schedule it in on the calendar. And if you decide digital scrapbooking makes your heart sing, let me know. I would love to hang out and discuss all things digi. :)

Monday, September 3, 2012

A Crafty Little Project ~

So when I started seeing pictures popping up on Facebook of these super cute Toms that had been painted in school colors, the first thing I thought was, "I can do that!" I've been this way my entire life. Pretty sure I get it from my dad who is a big 'do it yourselfer.' I am a crafter's worst nightmare. Back when I used to go to craft shows, I would spend all my time saying, "I can do that," or, "I could make that myself." I usually left those shows empty handed but my mind was full of all sorts of ideas.

A few days before school started I ordered a plain pair of cream colored Toms for K and headed to town to load up on all the supplies I would need. I did a Google search on how to paint Toms and came up with a few sites, but none were all that helpful.

I have to admit I was a little nervous putting the paint brush to the shoes, but once I got going (with my music in the background) I felt like my old crafting self again. I have to admit I cheated a little and looked at a friend's Facebook page and got a few ideas of things to put on the shoes. I love it when I find out I have crafty friends and didn't even know it. :) If you're reading this you, you know who you are. Good luck with your new business and thanks for the inspiration!

Here they are ~ K loved them and was so proud to wear them Friday with her cheerleading suit.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

This Side of Heaven ~

The post I had planned for today will have to wait. I have other thoughts I need to get out there...

Yesterday evening I got a text from a friend telling me I needed to check Facebook. Almost instantly after opening the app my heart sank. One of K's sweet little friend's mom, who was 7 months along in her pregnancy with a little girl they had already named Ally, had posted the worst news that a mommy can post. The baby's heart had stopped beating.

I wanted more than anything to jump in my car and go to them. Hug the family. Pray with the family. Most of all let them know I was there for them. I wanted them to know my regrets of not dressing my baby before they took her away from me and not taking more pictures with a really good camera. Whenever I hear of a family losing a baby, my heart breaks a little, but when it's someone I know personally, someone I see on a daily basis, I feel the need to do more.

The death of a baby is something that each family deals with differently. I cried for months; some moms don't. Some families can accept it knowing it's God's will for them and move on pretty quickly; not me, I questioned our fate, I asked "why." I knew God had a plan; I believed in His love for our family, but I still wanted to know why.

Now that we are 12 years removed from our grief, I look at the two other children we have been blessed with and know His plan is perfect, but in the first raw moments off loss the days looked pretty dark. I remember thinking I was going to have to live out the rest of my days missing my baby girl. I was not looking forward to this. I didn't want to leave the hospital because that meant leaving her behind although I knew she wasn't really there. I didn't have other children to go home to at the time. Our home and our arms were empty. I really didn't know how I would make it that long without seeing her again or holding her in my arms. Then there came a day when I could actually thank God for the experience. I'm anticipating a beautiful reunion one of these days and besides seeing Jesus face to face, the thought of seeing Christen is something I'm so looking forward to.

I think of her everyday. I miss her everyday. I wonder what she looks like. I wonder what her voice sounds like. I wonder if she likes to sing like me.

Here is K with Ally's big sister. Who knew 3 months ago that these two girls would share a heavenly bond.
I've talked with K and told her that L would be very sad and that she needs to give her a hug the next time she sees her. I'm hoping that when the time comes these two friends can talk about how they both have sweet sisters playing in Heaven.

There are so many things that happen here on earth that we do not understand. There are questions that will never be answered this side of Heaven. My heart knows that our heavenly Father's plan is perfect and by the time we get to where we're going and can ask the hard questions, the answers won't matter anymore...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wellness Wednesday ~

Dun Da Da! Here it is ~ the post you've all been anxiously awaiting ~ my first official weekly post. Don't let the title fool ya. I'm not going to sit here and try to tell you that everything you're doing is bad and everything I'm doing is right. I just want to share with you what is working for me and if you want to try it, then great!

I feel like I've been on this journey my entire life. I've always (and when I say always I mean since I started running Summer Track when I was 5) been involved in sports in some fashion and even in my adult years have stayed pretty active. So that's nothing new. What is new, or what has been evolving over the last 7 years, is my interest in how nutrition plays a part in our health and how cleaning up the toxins in our home environment can keep us well.

I will not get all scientific on this blog...can you say boring? With the crazy amount of info you can find on the web, I encourage all you guys to do a little research and learn for yourselves. After all, we have to be our own advocates when it comes to our health. What I will do is point you in different directions, share recipes I have found on some pretty cool blogs and let you know when I come across a really great product or mind-blowing information.

If you are all still awake, I would love to share a fantastic chocolate chip cookie recipe. What!?! Yes, you read that right. Chocolate Chip Cookies! So the other day I was checking my email and came across the weekly recap message from one of my favorite blogs (I sometimes think that the woman who writes this blog and I were separated at birth, anyway.) The blog is called Wellness Mama and you can find her along with her cookie recipe here. 

This may sound crazy, but I was so excited about this recipe and soon found myself hoping, wishing and praying that this recipe would find me at the end of my cookie quest. I can not tell you how many recipes I have tried; how many dollars worth of ingredients I have wasted in search of THE cookie recipe. Well, the search is over. (I have Survivor's song 'The Search is Over' in my head right now. Weren't the 80's the best? If you've never heard that song, you should look it up.)

I followed her recipe precisely and they turned out perfect. The best part and what puts them on my healthy list is that they are gluten free and I'm not just talking gluten free like the junk you find at the grocery store. I'm talking 'made with almond flour gluten free.' Most gluten free products you find at the grocery store are made with white rice flour and white potato flour. These products are still high on the glycemic index and will spike your blood sugar super fast, so read your labels. It is my humble opinion that everyone has a sensitivity to wheat gluten and would benefit by cutting it out of their diet, but we all need to be careful of what we replace our wheat products with. If you have a health issue, just for fun cut gluten out of your diet for a month and see what happens.

A beautiful stack of chocolate chip cookie yumminess

 Don't they look like real cookies? It's because they are real and they are really delicious! As a side note, they do contain real sugar which I admit is not healthy at all, but I feel like if I can treat my family with a great homemade cookie that they love and is also wheat free then I have won a small victory in this battle for our health that I seem to be facing everyday.

I hope you check out the Wellness Mama blog  and try the cookie recipe. You're going to love it, I promise!

Monday, August 27, 2012

What Not to Wear ~

Ok, I'm about to put something out there that may make me look like a bad mom...here goes...I did not take my kids shopping for school clothes. Why is it that this should make me feel guilty? It's ridiculous. Where is the unwritten rule in society that says we have to go buy our children a new wardrobe because school is starting. For one thing it's still 100 degrees outside so I'm not going to go buy winter clothes and I'm not about to spend money on more summer clothes that they are only going to wear for one more month. So, there it is, a confession of sorts. That being said, my kids are perfectly fine with this. Neither one of them wanted to go shopping. In fact, shopping is on the bottom of their "fun things to do" list. So, when the weather starts cooling off, I will make a trip to town and in the peace, tranquility and solitude of my aloneness I will shop for my poor children a few new outfits to get them through the winter. :)

Here they are all ready to start a new school year ~ 2nd and 5th grades. 

As hard as I tried to be prepared for the first day of school, the morning still turned out to be a hectic one. Notice the cute white shirt? Well, K decided she would get a jump on things and go put her backpack in the Tahoe while I was finishing up breakfast; the dogs decided to get a jump on her. Yes, muddy paw prints on her pretty white shirt. Daddy to the rescue. As she's crying, R is patiently trying to remove the muddy paw prints. He did a great job. We eat breakfast, head out the door for a "First Day of School" pic and you guessed it...another muddy paw print. Are you kidding me?? More tears, more help from Daddy and we're off in hopes that we're not tardy on the first day. 

We managed to get there on time and I managed to get a smile out of her. See the name tag on the table? My kids have always had an aversion to name tags. I have no idea why, but her teacher and I have been wondering for a few weeks how we they were going to work this one out. I'm anxious to talk to her this afternoon and see who won. :)

No pics of R. He's a big 5th grader now and the last thing he needs is his mommarazzi embarrassing him on the first day. 

I had to include a pic of my adorable niece and nephew. H is starting Kinder today and is so excited. My nephew, also H (that could get confusing) is starting 3rd and a brand new school. I know they are going to have a great day!

So I didn't get this posted before we left for our annual 1st day of school lunch and now here it is "after school." The kids had a great day. Nothing too extraordinary happened. R informed me that the first day of school is just like any other day and K wore her name tag until it fell off at the end of the day. Victory! My niece loved running around outside and the cafeteria; my nephew would much rather be outside working with his dad and is not too happy about school messing with his summer. Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure that's what R would rather be doing too. 

We're all having a little snack and then heading out the door for football practice. I looked at my mental calendar today and realized there is not one night during the following weeks that we don't have somewhere to be. I love these busy days that are upon us. I'm looking forward to Fall and the cool crisp mornings and bidding farewell to the... 

dog days of summer. :)

p.s. the moral of the story (if there is a moral) could be: don't wear a white shirt on the first day of school when you have puppies with muddy paws who are excited to see you in the morning. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

A Little West Texas Road Trip ~

Well, here we are. The last weekend of Summer '12. I really can't believe how fast this summer has gone. 

I have to admit I'm in a bit of a state of mourning right now. This may sound a little crazy because I'm not mourning the loss of a loved one or even the end of summer. I hesitate to even admit it because it might make me sound like a brat. Ok, here it is...we didn't get to go on our yearly trip to Ruidoso. :( This is the first year we haven't gone to the mountains in 15 years. I think I have the right to be sad. In the past we've always gone the last weekend of summer; now that R is playing football and Big R is coaching all (and I mean ALL) of our time is taken. Isn't this just the way life is? As the kids grow, different things will take the place of other things. I guess I never thought our trip to Ruidoso would be replaced by Pop Warner football work outs. Don't get me wrong, I love that R's playing football...I just want to go to the mountains. Ok, I'm a brat. Enough whining...let's move on.

We did get to take a fun little road trip a couple of weeks ago with some great friends. For years we've been talking about heading north to Palo Duro Canyon to see the musical "Texas." How crazy is it that we live just a few short hours away yet have never been. What's even crazier is that I grew up in West Texas; have spent the entire first 40 years of my life in West Texas and have never been. I even had a cousin perform in the musical when we were in college and didn't go. Crazy. 

The food was good. Didn't quite fit into my "plan" but I have a hard time passing up bar-b-q and potato salad.

They had a series of maps pin pointing all the places people who had traveled to see the show were from. The first was a Texas map, the next one was an US map. The kids are looking at the world map. It was really neat to see how far people had traveled to see the show. All the pins in the maps were from this year alone. Pretty cool. During the show they gave an award to the person who traveled the farthest. He was from Japan. 

The boys spent a fair amount of time whittling wood. Just a side note: every time I think of whittling wood, say the words "whittling wood" or see someone whittling wood, I think about the moving "Son In Law" with Pauly Shore. I know, I'm weird.

So there it is ~ our Palo Duro Adventure. The show was great. K had a thousand questions about the stage, the actors, the dancers, the horses, the set. The thunder, lighting and fireworks were awesome. She had questions about those too. It was fun to experience another 'first' together. Cameras were not allowed, so no pics of the actual show. We'll definitely go back in a few years. I mean why not? It's practically in our backyard. :)


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