Friday, February 29, 2008

Look Out Blue Bell...

I'm leaving in just 2 short hours for my weekend-long women's retreat, the one that I was so upset about possibly not going to. Well, hubby, though not feeling spectacular, has agreed to let me go. So, I'm packed, showered and almost ready to leave...I can't wait to get out to the country...and probably eat way too much Blue Bell Ice Cream! Oh yeah, the fellowship and bible study part too...can't wait for that :)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I Have Plans, Darn It!

4 down...4 of my family are down for the count...the flu has hit our home and I have 4 kiddos sick, fevered and whiny (ok, 1 husband who's being strong and left for work today, but he's still a little whiny). And, I have plans for the weekend...away from the family...2 1/2 glorious days with my girlfriends at a retreat...with no sick people! So, this whole flu epidemic thing is really, really bad timing...I cannot get sick! I've been planning and getting excited, and now this. Why now? Why not next week? Or, better yet, not ever!!!! We've been taking our vitamins and eating semi-healthy, so why aren't our immune systems in better shape? I've been washing my hands so much that they are dry and irritated...just like me. I'm irritated that everyone is sick and doing their best to ruin my weekend...this is MY weekend and I cannot get sick!!!

Friday, February 22, 2008

I Have a Problem!

I have a's one that affects millions of women (I hope anyway!) so it's a relief to know that I am not alone. But, I'm willing to admit that I have a problem, unlike so many of you out there. So, here it confession:

I'm a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl!

You see, when I woke up this morning, I had absolutely no intention of turning myself blue & white. Never, in my wildest dreams, did it cross my mind that by the end of the day, my back, neck and arms would be aching so badly that I would beg for a hot bath and Ibuprofen. Did it ever cross my mind that my children would be left to run amok around the house, backyard and neighbor's yard? No, it did not! I had absolutely no intention of doing anything that might be referred to as 'strenuous' or 'messy'. And, I most certainly did not think that by the end of the day, I'd be telling my children, "You may not, under any circumstances, use your bathroom tonight!"

Yes, I have a problem, and it's a serious one!

With absolutely no plan of action, I decided to paint the kid's bathroom! I've had the paint since November, but for some unknown reason, I decided that today was the day that I needed to actually use it. And, one would think that since painting a room of any size might require all day, I would have started bright and early...or at least prior to 3PM. But, did I? Nope - I started painting at 3:30! I gave myself exactly 2 hours to get the bathroom ready to paint, to paint, and to clean up, before dinner time! And, did I meet that deadline? Nope to that one too! I finished 1/2 of the bathroom exactly 45 minutes ago, and still have at least 2 hours worth of painting to go.

Guess what's for dinner?

Whatever Michael brings home for us :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Screaming in the Rain

This is what 2 bored children do, in the February rain, in Texas...

This would be the 'before we were wet' photo. Notice the bathing suits? Only in Texas can you wear a bathing suit in Feburary!

The first thing you do is run around and splash in the puddles! Splashing is an absolute must when one plays in the rain!!!

Then you swat at the water that falls from the roof-line. The quicker you flail your arms around, the more water you can swat. I'm not sure why you swat at the rain, but its a rule!

After the splashing and swatting become a bit of a bore, the next 'must do' is jumping on the trampoline. The slippery surface makes it more fun :) Losing your bathing suit in the process is just bonus!

This would be the 'after we're wet and we're still having a blast, even though we're showing signs of hypothermia' picture.

And finally, when your lips turn a lovely shade of blue, and you're shivering so hard that you almost fall over, you get to take a warm bath in mommy's bathtub.

Fun times!!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Happy Valentine's Day!!! Hope you get lots of hugs and kisses from the ones in your life that you treasure! And, if you don't, then know that I'm sending an extra hug your direction - I love this day :)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Will You Be My Valentine?

As a child, I always loved Valentine's Day. So, when it came time to pick out Valentines for the obligatory school party, I took great care in making my selection. Each year, I found myself asking my mom if I could buy 1 box for the boys and 1 box for the girls, but she always answered the same way, "No". So, after much contemplation, and probably much to my busy mom's chagrin, I would make my selection, feeling a tinge of excitement when thinking about how much everyone would enjoy my card. After all, I was sure that my card would be the best in the bag, since I would always tape a piece of gum or candy to it. And, since I took great care in making my selection, it was obvious to me that I was the best friend ever!

And so, as I watched Morgann peruse the valentine selection at our local Christian Bookstore, I couldn't help but giggle to myself. She reminded me of me! She had me read each card in each box, as she looked at the pictures. I'm assuming that she just felt the need to ponder the wording, deciding whether or not she approved of the saying and subsequent scripture on each. Then, when she asked if she could could get 1 for the boys and 1 for the girls, I simply threw my head back and laughed out loud, then gave her the same answer I had received from my mother, a very emphatic "No".

Once she settled on the Precious Moments cards, we picked up a pack of sparkley heart-shaped stickers which she could use to seal the envelopes (rather than sharing any germs with her classmates by licking the envelopes). When we returned home, she immediately set to work at carefully writing her name on the "From" line, then placed them into the envelopes and sealed them with a heart. And since we didn't have cards for the boys, she used the 'boy colored' hearts for the boys, pink & red for the girls. She must have counted the cards, envelopes & stickers 5 times, just to be sure we had exactly 16 cards (2 more than necessary). Then she carefully placed them into a ziplock and placed them on my desk for safe-keeping until Thursday's party.

This is one of the first times that I've seen her do something that reminded me so much of myself. Anytime it came to giving a gift, no matter how small or big said gift might be, I always took great care in selecting the item that I thought would suit a person best. It had to be special and I always took great care in signing the card and wrapping it up with love. I still like to think that I am a good gift-giver, and am always being told that my wrapping is 'beautiful', but maybe that's because I actually still use wrapping paper and bows, which is more uncommon than common anymore. But I couldn't help but to swell (just slightly) with pride that my little mini-me finds gift-giving (and card-giving) such a special task. And, I hope that this small act of kindness and caring will stick with her throughout her life - finding the perfect gift for someone is no small feat. In our gift-card world, it's a dying art.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Ready, Aim, Fire!!!

So, my first experience at shooting a gun was...well...scary! Fun, but scary!!! And, of course, I have a story to tell :)

After 6 hours of classroom time, learning the laws for carrying a Concealed Handgun for the great state of Texas, we headed off to the shooting range. There were about 20 of us, and everyone knew that this would be my first time...I was a 'shooting virgin' and proud of it! My stomach was in my throat and I was nervous as all get out, but if I was going to finish what I'd started (and why wouldn't I?), I was going to have to enter the shooting range, load up and pull the trigger.

My father, the instructor, was there by my side, talking me through the whole thing; giving me pointers, explaining how the gun worked (since it was his), loading the cartridges for me, etc. He was nothing but encouraging, but also busy helping others in the room with us. We had 5 stalls, which meant that 5 of us could shoot at the same time. Each stall was divided by a concrete wall/barrier which gave us all our own space, and prevented everyone else's shells hitting you from all sides. In my mind, it was my own little privacy fence, preventing anyone from staring at me while I fought through my nerves.

My hubby, Michael, stood behind me, cheering me on, encouraging me to focus, breath, and relax. I'd love to say that his encouragement was helpful, but the only part I think I actually did was the breathing part. I knew that if I held my breath, I would eventually pass out, so I made sure to take a few deep breaths, in between shots. My sister stood nearby him, saying the same encouraging things, and telling me "you can do it!" (sort of like the guy in The Waterboy, but without the funky accent).

As my dad gave the command to 'step forward' I think I tuned everything else out because I knew that I would either need to completely focus on the thing I was about to do, or give up and walk away. I really wanted to shoot and 'conquer my fear', but my fear was getting the best of I hesitated. The next command was "raise your weapon", which I did without hesitation because I knew I could do this. "Fire when ready" was the last thing I remember. I slowly focused the line of sight as we had been instructed to do, then jumped! The gun next to me fired and it scared the be-jeezus at out of me. It took me a second, but I focused the sight again and pulled the trigger. I imitated this same step 9 more times, emptying the clip, as instructed. The results? I hit the target every time!!! I was so excited that I did a little dance :)

Dad came back over, gave an encouraging smile, then loaded the clip again. He again gave us our firing instructions (since we had a certain pattern we were to follow within an alloted amount of time), then gave us our commands. I fired 10 more bullets and hit the target every single time.

But, of course, that's not the part that any of you would find interesting, is it? There is absolutely no humor in the above story. The humor began after the 2nd round of firing.

One of several things that I was not prepared for were the flying shells that are discarded with each shot. I knew that they would fly out, but I had assumed that they would simply fly out side-ways and land on the ground. It just never dawned on me that the stupid things would come out at me! About every 3rd shot I made, a shell would come flying out toward my chest, and inevitably go straight down my shirt. Did I mention how hot they are as they are expelled from the chamber? I actually got pretty good at flipping them out before they were able to go too far 'down', but there was 1 time that I missed. The stupid thing went into my shirt, then fell all the way down to my stomach, where it rested for a few seconds, scalding me.

Funny how we react to pain, regardless of whether there is a loaded gun in our hand or not!

I immediately jumped backward, doing a jig trying to get the shell out of my shirt, all while brandishing a loaded weapon in all directions. My dad & Michael both started ducking & yelling at me to 'put the gun down!', which I immediately did. And let me insert a note here that my finger was not on the trigger - I had indexed it, as we had been instructed to do for other reasons. Never-the-less, I felt like a total idiot, but was thankful that the shell was now laying on the floor. And, I'm not 100% sure, but I think that Michael might have wet his pants as he did his best to get away from me.

I quickly regained my composure, finished shooting the rounds I needed to, then did my happy dance that it was all finally over with. My dad brought my target in and checked it, announcing with a smile "You Passed!". And, here's my proof:

And, in case you're wondering - and really, why wouldn't you be? - I passed the written exam with a 100% (compared to Michael's piddly 92%) and am now able to send in my paperwork to receive my Concealed Handgun License!

Hooray for the 2nd Amendment :)

*And, notice that I took out the jugular and the crotch of my pretend perpetrator :) Personally, I think 'center mass' is a little over-rated :)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Music to my Ears

In our house, we have a saying. It's not one that I created, but one that I heard Alex's teacher say last year, and I fell in love with. It really does say everything that needs to be said when one of my 3 whiny kiddos is complaining about something. Today, Ian, my 3 year old, finished the phrase before his sister could get a word out, and I about fell over. The phrase goes like this: "You get what you get..." and the child is supposed to say back "...and you don't throw a fit". Very basic and easy, but I wasn't quite prepared for Ian to smile and say his part. Granted he didn't get it exactly right, but "...n you don't frow a fit" works just fine for me :)

At least I know that he's listening while screaming bloody-murder!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


My sister recently informed me that I am a slacker. Since I haven't blogged in a few weeks, that, apparently, gives her permission to call me names? I think not! I am, indeed, not a slacker. I am one of the busiest people I know - well, outside of Judy. I do not, however, have any good excuses as to why I haven't blogged lately. It might be that absolutely nothing of interest to anyone outside of these 4 walls has occurred. It could be that we've spent our last 3 days running from appointment (eye doctor) to appointment (Ian's first dental appointment) to appointment (Alex's dental appointment), with no funny stories to relate? It could be that we have had no snow days here in the lovely city of Houston, TX, along with no birthdays, anniversaries, dress-up dinner nights, or any other special days that would contribute material to my blog. But, I think the real reason that I haven't blogged is simply because life in our household has been what some might call boring.

Our biggest piece of interesting information over the last few weeks has been that my sister bought a MacBook on Saturday, and we got to play with it for a few hours, after spending a few hours at Best Buy helping her pick it out. Other than that, nothing has happened to us. Seriously, that's it for excitement around here!!!

So, my hope is that by posting this little gem, something will happen to us that will give me a story to tell. My only request is that it be funny - if not at the time, then at least in hind-sight, please*!

*On Saturday, Michael & I will be taking a concealed handgun class that will require that we actually shoot a gun. I've never shot a gun before, so this may prove to be interesting. Thankfully, we'll be at a shooting range, so hopefully I won't be going to jail for accidentally shooting someone :)