At this moment my parents are en route back home. It's been a very long day for them. Never mind the fact they wanted to get to the airport ridiculously early, but the flight ended up being delayed for maintenance issues. Their 3:20 departure ended up being closer to 7:20. Of course this makes connections rescheduled and it appears they won't be home until the wee hours of Sunday. I hate this for them. I understand I have no control over it but I still hate it.
When you move literally half way across the country you learn who is willing to make the long haul to visit. That isn't a dig or jab. It is simply fact. We recognize that coming here is no small feat. Whether you take the 2 day drive or go with the expensive and often frustrating flight, it is difficult. Not impossible by any means but you have to really want to see us. Mother and Daddy have faithfully come once a quarter since we've been here. They really want to see us...or at least the grandkids. ;)
Anyway, knowing it is such a hassle leaves one (me) feeling responsible and a little guilty when they have such travel trouble. The least I can do is stay up tonight until I hear they are safely home.
Thank you for coming Mother and Daddy. We miss "big family" already!
WIP=work in progress-- Maci and I are working on a fun little project inspired by one of the Christmas gifts from a student in my class. We have a few finished but I don't want to post pictures yet...we are giving them to friends that I believe are blog readers. I will post pics soon...and directions. You crafty people will want to get in on this....Connie...if you haven't seen these before, you will be running to the craft store for supplies!
Why did Brad stand in line at 6am the day after Thanksgiving jeopardizing life and limb (maybe a slight exaggeration) to make sure Aaron would have the #1 item on his Christmas wish list? To get this kind of response-
We love the Wii!!! Bonus points were added because this is the first Christmas I can ever remember where we ALL played the same game-and enjoyed it! By the end of the day we weren't bored or cranky...we were just getting warmed up.
If you are anywhere near the area you must come visit the lights of Lake Park, especially here. The Brown family does an absolutely incredible light show. They also feature pictures from other Lake Park homes and video of their show on their website. Check it out. Be sure to bring some change (or dollars) as well because they have a collection box for a local charity- To date they have raised over $900 for the Union County Christmas Bureau.
I've been "almost done" for days now- weeks maybe. I start early and that works well except that I never feel I have enough. I like to wrap things as soon as I get them home. They immediately go under the tree and I can keep a running tally that all is even and everyone has plenty to open. This year however, with the arrival of Spice Dog we can't leave packages unattended. He'd think of everyday as Christmas Day and I shutter to think of the mess involved. So everything is sufficiently hidden in the #1 parental hiding spot -the top of my closet. Now ya'll know how my memory is stellar and all, but I may have forgotten a few of the items I have already purchased. My best guess is that I really am done but to be certain I have a plan of action-
The goal for tonight is:
-make a list of what I have for which kid
-check it twice
-fix any inequity (is that the word I am looking for?)
-be officially DONE for the 07 holiday season!
Happy Birthday to my very dearest friend. I won't gush or anything. I already did that here. But I do want the world to know that it's your birthday and for the next 3 months you are a whole year older than me! ;) Love you Kendi. Hope you are having a fantastic day. In true form I thought we could celebrate both yours and mine when I am home in March. No that isn't code for "I don't have your birthday present yet." I know exactly what I am getting you and it is safely waiting for you...in the store...but I will have it before I come home and you will love it.
Because we can never have too much music, I recently added a video roll. Take a peek under the first set of blinkies for the Michael Buble channel from YouTube. You can click and listen without leaving the blog. I believe the videos will randomly change each time you pull up the blog. Just mute the other music I have going (on the slide show) By the way, I just changed that music...the last song was too slow. The blogger people need to come up with a way to have music play like MySpace does so I don't have to add the slide shows to every page. I have found this music addicting and now that I've found how to have it auto play, I can't imagine a silent blog. Hopefully the smart guys at Blogger are working on a playlist for us.
I feel like I'm taking a test and the questions keep getting harder.
Can I get a new Barbie? Can I pierce my ears? Can I have a snack? Can I stay up late? ... Can I call my friend? Can I ride my bike to the culdesac? Can I watch that movie? Can I play at the neighbors house? Can I have a party? Can I walk to the park? Can I paint my nails something besides CLEAR? Can I wear lip gloss? Can I stay out til the streeet lights come on?
Whats next- asking for the car keys and college tuition?
Tonight we went to Erin and David's for small group and it turned out to be VERY small group. But I gotta say I like it that way. I like curling up on the couch, eating yummy food, and laughing with friends. Now Erin may be disappointed because the crowd didn't come but she shouldn't be. Small group is all about making connections, building relationships, creating bonds. Thats exactly what happens in our small group- especially on the nights that it is VERY small. Thank you for the soup, the good time, and your friendship E! Love you.
I had to really think about who has my blog address before posting this. Taken wrong it could come off as ungrateful and that is not at all what this is about. Our awesome PTO put on the annual holiday luncheon for us today. It is a festive time- the media center decked out with decorations that rival anything Martha might do. Seriously, the decor rocks. The hours they put in to transform the media center into a themed land are astounding. Phone calls are made to persuade parents come in to monitor the prisoners- I mean students- while we get an entire 60 minute lunch hour. Yes, eat your heart out we actually had 60 minutes of non interrupted lunch today.
What? You get that every day? Huh, you actually leave work for lunch? There are no milk cartons involved? Humph. You may stop reading right now because I am no longer speaking to you. Freaking business majors.
Anyway, this is the day we pretend to be real professionals and retreat for our 60 minute lunch. The sentiment is wonderful, ambiance is fabulous, company is lovely, food is...food was scrumptious. At least it probably was scrumptious when it was set out at 10:00. However, by my release time of 11:40, it is cold and possibly containing multiple strands of salmonella. I try to stick with basics and as much store purchased food as I can find. How do I know some crazed parent didn't lace the green beans with ex-lax? We insist that our students only bring prepackaged snacks but we allow any yahoo parent to cook up something with their 7 cats and serve it in a dimly lit room where the hair balls will go unnoticed.
Just a suggestion here but maybe instead of asking all these people to bring a dish they could ask them to spring $3 and cater it in? I'd be happy to chip in myself if I am going to get a hot meal that I can feel confident will not end in a toilet encore. I know I am just a peon. A measly teacher and all. But honestly- for the love of Pete- Is a 60 minute lunch -once a year- with food that would pass a health inspection really too much to ask for?
I haven't found a Friday funny to post yet. Too bad I can't put some of our Bunko moments on You Tube. Those would make nice Friday funnies. Bunko is always an educational experience. Here is what I learned last night.
1- A low score win will also get your card audited. Geez, of all kinds of luck I seem to have Bunko luck which is a curse rather than a blessing. But I'll still take the money. Thank you very much.
2- We could have traveled to China in less time than it took to do that Chinese gift exchange.
3- I talk big but I'm a weenie. Both the hurricanes and blanket gifts were "stolen" from me and I didn't even scheme to get them back. (You have to tread lightly when you've won 3 months in a row) I ended up with a cutesy little acrylic basket thingy...I heard they were for sale at the Southern Christmas show. Any good ideas on how to use it??
And last but not least is the lesson I taught-
*Always eat before you go. You never know what the food will be like and even if it is good, you don't want to look like a piggy.
You know how you turn the radio up while you are driving down the highway? Slowly, bit by bit you dial it up, hardly noticing. By the time you reach your destination it is loud- but you stop the car, get out, and don't give it a second thought. Later, when you get back in and turn the key in the ignition, the radio is blaring loud. You whirl it down and ponder how that happened.
My children are the same way. They start out fairly quiet, bit by bit they get louder and louder. I unconsciously adjust by tuning them out, moving rooms, etc. Then like a switch, I suddenly come to and hear them full blast. I flip around to see middle man dragging big sister through the kitchen by her leg with little man bringing up the rear of the parade hooting and hollering himself. When exactly did my cozy home turn into the monkey exhibit at the zoo? More importantly, where is the glass to protect me from the wild?
Here are some random thoughts/incidents that I intended to blog about but was either too lazy, distracted, or just forgot before I got it done...
*the WalMart greeter thinkin I was shoplifting the $9.97 garland that was hanging open in the cart amidst my groceries...how insulting!
*the dangers of drinking straws...and Andy's latest visit to the ER...
*the scene at WalMart as I accidentally ran my cart into a display while attempting to secretly test some lights by plugging them into the big outlet thingy...come to think of it, that was the same night my receipt was audited...hmmm...
*the lovely luncheon at Treshers Sunday afternoon with a great recipe for poppyseed
*details on the best darn longest lasting doggie cologne I have ever smelled...
*to Santa or not to Santa and why I don't really have a large opinion either way...
There you have it. The blogs left on the cutting room floor....
Yes, I am a cotton headed ninny muggins. Today is December 1st and I still do not have my Christmas wreaths hung in all the windows. We take that seriously here in the South. I better get that done today before we are kindly asked to take our fall decor and leave the neighborhood. (Bless our hearts) Of course I have all the wreaths from last year but I need to run to get those magical 3M hanger thingys that really work. I also need to sneak in a few packs of icicle lights (don't tell Brad) and another pack or two of garland. We've noticed here that although the window wreaths are a Holiday decor requirement, few people actually outline their houses in lights like they do in Tulsa. So this year we (don't tell Brad) are on a mission to show them how it's done! Busy weekend...add in that Maci is singing at 2 Christmas tree lightings and we have 2 sleigh rides to enjoy and the idea of those icicle lights really gets tricky. But this weekend, it is top priority (don't tell Brad) and I'm sure we (he) will get it done.
Hey Hummels, We didn't get a picture of all of us at the table...can we have a do over on Thanksgiving Dinner? You bring the same dishes and I will too...we'll just repeat the whole meal. Sound good? Thank you for sharing Thanksgiving with us. Pictures or no pictures we are so thankful to have friends that are close enough to be family. Love you guys!
I hit the motherload of sales today- 90% off all fall stuff at Hobby Lobby. Yes, 90%. AND because I am a teacher I got an additional 10% off the total sale. I gotta tell you, AnneMarie and I were downright GIDDY as we checked out. Here are a few of my finds....the most expensive item purchased was $4~
Now you do realize I will be stalking the Hobby Lobby people until they put the Christmas stuff on sale, don't you. Oh yeah...stalking like a crazy person.
I've received the replies back from the quizes I sent out (see post below) and I don't feel quite as badly now. Kendra wasn't sure of my eye color either. :) Out of 5 replies, 2 said I was a rule follower, 2 said I was a rebel, and one (from the girl that's known me 2/3 of my life!) said it depends on the situation. She's definately right about that. Basically- if I agree with the rule, then I am a rule follower. If I think it is a stupid rule, then I am a rebel. Makes perfect sense if you've ever met my dad! Most thought I would need a computer if I were stranded on a desert island and that is also true! Here is the whole quiz for you to pass it on to your buds and see how well they know you.
1. Where did we meet?
2. Take a stab at my middle name:
3. How long have you known me:
4. Do I smoke:
5. What was your first impression of me upon meeting:
6. Color of my eyes:
7. Do I have any siblings:
8. What's one of my favorite things to do:
9. Do you remember one of the first things I said to you:
10. What's my favorite type of music:
11. What is the best feature about me:
12. Am I shy or outgoing:
13. Am I a rebel or do I follow the rules: rebel
14. What's your favorite memory of me:
15. Any special talents:
16. How many children do I have:
17. If there was one good nickname for me, what would it be:
18. If you and I were stranded on a desert island, what is one thing that I would bring:
I'm not observant. It's a fact I've known for some time now but today I was reminded once again how UNobservant I am. Twice. The second occassion just happened as I opened my email. I got a little survey deal from my friend Dana. It was just a few questions to see how much I know about her. I did fine on the biggies like how many kids she has, when we met, and what I consider to be her greatest strengths. But little ones like the color of her eyes and her middle name...I have no clue! That's really not good is it? Now I gotta admit it isn't just because I have only known her a few years either.
I've known Kendra for over 20 years and although I do know her middle name (though I'd never ever post it here for fear she'd track me down and cause bodily harm) stating her eye color would be nothing more than an educated guess (brown??) How can that be? Is this kinda like how you lose brain cells after you have kids? Have I lost observation cells? Did I ever have them? Can I gain them?
As I've been typing this, 2 of my surveys came back in and both were quite accurate. Crap. That makes it even worse. So if you notice me looking at you funny or jotting notes down while we visit, you'll know why. I'm just studying for the next pop quiz. ;)
After nearly 2 years I finally did something the with window I bought back in Claremore. I got it right before we moved. I mean RIGHT before...with boxes stacked everywhere I came home with this thing. Brad thought I was nuts. I had a vision though. I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. Finally, almost 2 years later I have it done. Of course it still isn't hung up...gotta go get a wire thing for that. But here is a pic. The center picture is my parents, the surrounding are pictures of their parents. I'm debating on where I will hang it.
Now many of you know about these ceilining tiles I have hung in the dining room...the ones my aunt Johnnie gave me that also came from that little Claremore store. Originally they came from a church in Pryor and are from the late 1800s. (or so they tell me anyway) Well....I painted one of them and I don't like it. So I've just been sitting on them awhile to see if I could come up with a good idea. I didn't. BUT my friend Gay did!!! She suggested taking it to the car wash and using the pressure washer to try to get off some of that new paint. Brilliant!!!
Now I know I will have volunteers lining up round the block, so let me just go ahead and put the offer out there, *who* would like to tackle that adventure with me??? ;)
I'm halfway through Celebrity Detox. I just haven't felt great the last several days so by the time I go to bed the last thing I want to do is try to get into a book. Maybe I will finish it over Tgiving Break.
So far it has been really funny in parts and other parts make no sense...much like Rosie. I've had people not understanding why I would want to read her book. Let me try to explain- First of all, I am loyal. I am loyal to a fault sometimes. I loved her back in the day when everyone loved her and I refuse to turn my back on her now just because she is no longer viewed as "the queen of nice." I'm not saying I agree with her all the time. I'm not even saying I think she makes sense all the time. I'm just saying I adore her. I wish I could hang out with her and get into her circle and be able to speak into her life. She needs someone to speak into her life...someone that hasn't had to go through this celebrity detox process.
Let me say it this way- For whatever reason I have a real "heart" for her. There. When you say you have a "heart" for something it makes it all better in the church world. So call it a heart, call it a freaky obsession, call it whatever you want. I adore her.
This is one of those stories that may not be as funny when it is retold but I will try... My friend Ashley has one of those bluetooth deals. You know the things you put in your ear so you can be on your cell phone? I've always make fun of it. I don't know why, I just find it amusing.
Anyway, the other day she and I were on our cell phones talking about nothing as we frequently do. She asked me to hold on a second while she went in to the dry cleaners. Now, this dry cleaners happens to be in our neighborhood and is ran by a very sweet little lady- with limited English. Ashley is one of her regulars.
So Ashley walks in all smiley (she's just like that...all smiley...) and the little dry cleaner lady had no idea she was on the phone becuase she had that thing in her ear. I waited patiently. I had the idea and I really tried to control myself. I tried and tried. I couldn't resist. Just as she started trying to explain to the dry cleaners lady about the alterations she needed, I began talking in her ear. Yes, I know it was silly and possibly a little bit middle school meanish but it was so funny. I talked about how this was like the news people- how they have to keep on talking pretending they don't have voices speaking in their ears. I talked about how I knew she wanted to laugh. I talked about how I was laughing. The more she would struggle to stay focused the more I would chatter. I'm giggling now just thinking about it. The best part is when Ashely was trying to give her phone number to the lady and I chimed in with my own random numbers. I could hear the dry cleaner lady saying, "what? 8? what?" The more I laughed the harder Ashley fought for her concentration. Oh my gosh. It was awesome...a little bit evil...but mostly awesome.
Now don't you worry about ol Ashley. She'll get me back....she's smiley but she's tricky...I know it's coming.
~First trip to the Columbia zoo. ~First time to see a Koala "in person"
~First time to watch penguins swim- soooo close to us.
~First time to be THIS close to a gorilla- WOW! Truly an amazing creature. I have many more pictures that I'll put in a slide later. We had a really good family day. We even ended it with Brad's favorite restaurant- Cracker Barrel. Well, Maybe it isn't his *favorite* but it is one he loves and rarely gets to go to because it is one of my least favorites. Tonight I not only went but suggested it. That's love. I had the chicken fried steak and it wasn't half bad...I know, I know- when they serve breakfast all day you are supposed to have the breakfast foods...I just never liked eating out for breakfast...especially not at 6 o'clock in the evening.
Probably the most popular saying here in the Carolinas is "Bless your heart" and it can pretty much mean anything from "I feel for them" to "what a sicko!" For example, it would be perfectly acceptable to hear "bless your heart" in response to:
*Little Ms. Soandso is still sick...yes...she hasn't been able to go to church in 3 weeks...
Bless her heart.
*That old man is mean as the dickens...no wonder he is in jail.
Bless his heart.
*Those kids are running smack wild around here...I think they need a busting.
Bless their hearts.
*So that's all the gossip I have about that family...can't you believe it?
Bless their hearts.
It's taken a little time but "bless their hearts" has now become a part of my auto responses too. All you mid westerners (thats what Carolianians call people from Oklahoma) should give it a try. Be sure to tilt your head slightly and follow it up with a little smile and nod.
Andy just asked if we still had balloons. When I shook my head no he informed me that he was "going to throw a fit." What the heck? I told him to go right ahead. He shrugged and said he didn't want to. He walked away.
Nice. When did he get to the cognitive age of being able to *warn* us that he is about to evoke his fit throwing powers? How long did it take me to notice? It is game on! I can not STAND to see a kid get his way because he throws a fit. Every time you give in you have just reinforced that this behavior is not only acceptable but powerful and productive. You think you are saving yourself some grief when you are actually causing yourself future grief.
There are no super parents here. We give in and fail just like everyone else but it appears that today the youngest has made it clear that he has a solid grasp on the art of manipulation. There's no more "just let him have it because he's little and doesn't understand" mentality. There is a difference between nurturing and babying. Andy is about to learn that difference. Time to dig out those Kevin Leman books and be ready for round one.
I have quite the double standard. When checking my blog roll I get a little upset with people that have not updated (Ashley, Jana, AnnaMay) recently. Yet, here I sit with more than a week in between updates. I've blogged many a times in my head this week yet none of them have made it here. Time is flying at a pace I've never experienced before. It's exhausting and exhilerating all at once. We've been triple booked all weekend and it's great. I like the busy-ness. I like the deadlines of "so and so will be here in 3.2 minutes so throw your crap in a basket and hide it under your bed kids!"
I like- no I love- that we've spent time with many different friends this weekend. We've noticed how each couple adds soemthing different to our life. What a blessing that is! That's a whole other blog- the blessing of differences. But for now, I must close and go clean house- digging out the baskets of crap we threw under the beds to neatly return each item to it's proper place. Yeah right. ;)
This is a simple little blog about things that make me smile, cry, laugh, or just think. Just a way for me to think out loud. I rarely spell check and certainly don't try to be politically correct. I'm just honest. Real. Random. Sit back with some sweet tea and take me with a grain of sugar.