Thursday, July 31, 2008

A change

My mother, who has been a teacher for a “few” years decided to send me a “back to school” box. I received it in the mail this afternoon and opened with the excitement of a young child. You see, my parents oftentimes send my children boxes filled with prizes and fun toys. Only this time, it was all for me.

I slowly opened the box and found this:

It was almost as good as it gets for me. I love school supplies. They bring me happiness that is really quite unnatural. The post-its and highlighters. They bring me joy that many people do not understand.

When I left a job about 4 years ago, because I was being promoted, my boss had left for the afternnon in order to go to Sam’s Club. He returned later that evening to the office with his hands full of stuff. In one hand was a beautiful framed print, in the other was a box with a 2 pound bag of m & m’s and a stack of yellow post-it’s. I asked him what he had been up to and he told me he had been out to purchase my going away present. I immediately was giddy with the prospect of my going away present being the box with the m & m’s and post-it’s. It wasn’t, and I left that place with a beautiful framed picture which I have kept at my desk for the last four years and it has reminded me daily of my time at that hotel. It will make it’s way into my classroom as well. And now, I have these wonderful office supplies, which will carry me through my teaching career.

I can’t wait.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

He is the marrying kind.

I went home from work yesterday because I was feeling pretty lousy. When I arrived home the whole family was home and I crawled into the bed and attempted to die. Emily came and joined me first, being sweet and gentle with me and just plain snuggling. Something that is rarely happens with her in this house anymore. After awhile Jacob realized I was home and joined us in the bed and I had my two babies, one on each side loving me. Emily left the bed after a while leaving Jacob and I alone in our gigantic king sized bed. He was really being sweet, kissing me and gently stroking my hair. I looked up at him and told him that some day he would meet some girl and fall in love. He was going to make some girl very happy. He looked me straight in the eyes and said, “I am not going to marry a girl mommy, I am going to marry a woman.”

At that moment I could not even keep a straight face. I fell into a fit of giggles unlike any I had seen in ages.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Rock Star Shopper

I was out running errands this morning and decided to head to the mall on a whim. Just to see what I might find, really looking for a replacement for the stinky shoes I have. While I did not find the replacement shoes (stinky feet live on!) I did find some rockin' deals on kids clothes. I bought 3 shirts and a set of 2 "pj's" for Jacob and 4 shirts, 1 dress, 1 pair of pants, 1 hat and a watch/bracelet set for Emily. Look below for the visual aid:

Please do not mind the Fruit Pebbles scattered on the ground next to the table, I will sweep after I tell you the exciting news of my fabulous finds.

How much would you pay for these clothes? I added the price together with the full prices: $261.93. Do you think I would pay nearly that? NEVER! I paid....

are you ready....


That is a savings of $222.81. Can you believe it? I totally got the best deal! I love walking up the cash register and watching as they scan and the price is way less that you expected. Like the pants for Emily: $2.49! My gracious. I nearly fell over right there in the store.

It was so fabulous! I even bought Josh a handful of shirts for work, a pair of shorts and a pair of pants for next to nothing. Not as great a deal as the kids, but pretty darn close!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Baby Blankets

Last night I pulled out some fabric that I had purchased during a shopping trip earlier in the week. I proceeded to make 2 baby blankets. With each one, I really learned about silly things, like cutting in a straight line and sewing straight. Those minor things really help with the quality of sewing that takes place. But here are two more blankets I made as gifts for two of my colleagues at work who are pregnant.

I hope that they like them and that they will help keep their babies warm during the cold winter nights.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

My builder

Last night after Jacob ate his “dinner” he went into his room and began building. He received a set of Lincoln Logs for his birthday from Mamagrand and has been building with them almost every day since he received them. He had created a house and had added the small logs all the way across the room that were supposed to be the “electricity” for the house. He was so very proud and wanted me to take a picture of him with his creation.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Yesterday was a hard day. It was the first day at work after I gave my two weeks notice. It is really hard to stay focused on a job that you are ready to leave, ready to move on from and start something new. I am doing it, but man, it is hard.

I went home and ate some fabulous stuffed bell peppers that my husband had made and left in the fridge for me to cook. The kids ran to their friends house and I didn’t see them again until they were hungry. And then they still left again after that. Since I was by myself I began the nearly impossible task of cleaning. Just cleaning. I think the stress of leaving this current job and the fear of the unknown allowed me to kind of check out of the cleaning, regular household duties persona. Plus Josh, who usually picks up the slack when I have a week moment has been working such crazy hours he is lucky he is even standing upright most days.

I began in my bedroom. Probably the worse of the entire house. Because I can’t let the kitchen get too terrible and the living room is a hot spot, so I tend to at least “police the area” as my mother used to say more often that anywhere else in the house. But the bedroom, it was the dumping ground. I only actually threw away one garbage bag full of stuff yesterday, however, I didn’t finish the room. I have this stack. It is a stack of things from the kids that I want to keep. I am not a pack rat mother, keeping every drawing that my children make, but if something is especially nice, or took a long time to complete I like to keep it. Only I have NO way of organizing these items so they end up in the stack. There are crafts from when Emily was in Kindergarten, to the TAKS test results and nearly every report card for both children. That area and the dreaded bathroom closet are my charge tonight. I don’t even want to tell you about the bathroom closet, it is just literally a place where we throw things. Maybe, just maybe I will document my progress. If I am feeling generous.

After the cleaning of the bedroom I began watching my new guilty pleasure The Two Corey’s. It is like a train wreck. I have to watch, because it is so horrible. It is almost painful to watch. That is why I love it. And then, for my weekly weep fest, I watch Army Wives. I start the show, pull out the tissues and cry for an hour. It is very therapeutic.

I put the kids to bed and they gave me all sorts of grief. When I finally checked on them before I went off to bed, Jacob was asleep on the floor in Emily’s room. I guess Emily wasn’t willing to share her new mattress with him. I loaded him back into his bed, only to be woken up by him twice in the night. It was a long day, yesterday, but today will be better.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

I can't promise this won't become a craft blog

So I went to the WalMart today and bought some fabric. I made some aprons. I am absolutely no expert, but I am having a lot of fun learning and can't wait to try something else. I don't know what that will be, but the work week is starting, so there will be little time for sewing. The only problem I am really having is it hurts my back more than sitting at the computer for 8 hours a day. Oh, well, muscles will be built.

Here are the aprons I made today. Emily was going to model both of them, but she went next door and got sopping wet so she went straight to the shower and I wanted my picture then. Jacob reluctantly modeled it for me.

Here is my first attempt. I like it, but I need longer ribbon. I really think this would make a better child's apron, simply because the ribbons around the neck are so small. And look, that's Bessie in the back ground. Just plain dead.

Next is my second attempt. With no pattern, I was just winging it with my extra fabric. I really, really like this one.

Over all I am very pleased with my efforts. Too bad the bathrooms didn't clean themselves while I sewed. Hmmmmm....

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Look Ma! I can sew!

After trying and failing at threading the sewing machine which belongs to my MIL (who is currenlty in California, therefore little help with the whole threading thing) I finally begged Josh to pick up the instruction manuel. He did and I have had success!

Since I will be teaching this to students in approximately 5 weeks, I figured I needed to figure the whole sewing thing out. It has been quite a while and I have never been much of an expert.

Once I got started I thought, "I should blog my experience, because that's what I do."

Look, here is the machine, threaded properly with my material waiting to be sewed. I will be making two baby blankets. One which is humongous, perfect for the modest breast feeder and a smaller one, which was made from my left over material.

Here I show you my fabulous stitching.

This one shows you how focused I am. I am really getting after it.

Final product:

I am impressed with myself because I actually did it. They are not perfect, but will help keep somebodies baby warm this winter. And I gave myself the confidence that I can in fact to the job I have been hired to do: High School Family and Consumer Science teacher.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Old Bessie

Well, it appears that “Old Bessie” may be down for good.

On Sunday, as I was driving to drop Emily off at camp, Josh was driving to work. Only he didn’t make it. About halfway the car started over heating and he had just enough time to get her off the highway before she just plain stopped. After towing her back into town, and getting an estimate for a new engine ($4000!) we have decided it is time to let her go. But she has been good to us, for 7 long years. We bought her right after Jacob was born, because we thought we needed a bigger car.
I thought I would show her off in the best way that I can.

Hanging out in the car wash.

Running to the car with our friends.

Reading the Bible in the car.

Just being silly.


Riding our big boy bike next to her.

Wearing ridiculous hats while driving her.

Carwash again. See, we took car of her.

Working on her.

Taking the dogs for a ride in her.

Going to Six Flags in her.

She even went to Kentucky!

Being dramatic while riding in her.

Celebrating the holidays with her.

Just being Jacob while in her.

Sleeping after seeing the Cheetah Girls.

Lounging in her.

She even made it through the huge ice storm 18 months ago.

What is really odd about the whole situation is- it is really like almost loosing a family member. We have owned her for so long and she has been with us through think and thin.

I am sad to see her go, and even sadder to think about what we are going to do about it.

Goodbye Old Bessie, its been fun.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Time with the "baby"

After dropping his sister off at camp, Jacob and I had ourselves a nice long drive home from Abilene. Most of the time he played his game but we had ourselves a little bit of fun along the way as well.

About an hour into the trip home, we needed to refuel the car and refuel ourselves. We stopped and filled the car up with gas and headed into the gas station. I told Jacob he could have anything he wanted from the store, he was after all on an 8 hour road trip to no where. He immediately headed to the candy aisle and picked up the king sized pack of Reices Peanut Butter Cups. And then he moved over to the coolers for his soda pick. He of course picked Diet Dr. Pepper, because the boy is watching his weight.

I picked up a drink and a small canister of Pringles. Pringles have always held a special place in my heart. When I was younger, my family would go camping. I know, me camping. Not a pretty sight. Anyways, the ONLY time we ever bought Pringles was when we went camping. Maybe that was why I liked camping, it was all for the Pringles. Also, driving back home from LCU I would stop in Roswell, (yes that Roswell) to fill up the car and pick up a canister of Pringles and a Gatorade. Because of all the physical exertion I was about to have, driving for three more hours. And only the Lemon Lime flavor, because that was what my dad drank. Probably because that was the only flavor in 1980, but whatever.

I opened the top of the canister of Pringles and chomped on a few while he ate his 4 Peanut Butter Cups, one which he spilled some of his Diet Dr. Pepper on top of. Yummy combination. Once he had downed them all and was getting giddy on sugar he started munching on the chips. At first he was munching on them one at a time and then, I looked over at him and he had 4 chips all layered together eating them all at the same time. And he was proud of it.

Once we got home he and his father went swimming and attempted to get me wet, but I successfully locked them out of the house while I laid on the couch and tried to not have knots all through my body from driving a little car for 8 hours. After dinner, Josh took him to the corner store for ice cream. Something that rarely happens with Emily in tow. He had devoured his cone before they got home and was flying high on the sugar. He then showed me how to play one of his games on the DS. We snuggled up on the couch and played a few rounds of Step Up on Mario Games. I showed him off to bed at 9 and followed myself about 5 minutes later. It was a nice afternoon drive with my baby boy and a wonderful evening with just the three of us. I miss Emily like crazy… but I am enjoying being a three person family for a little bit.

Monday, July 07, 2008

On growing up

This weekend I made the 4 hours one way and then 4 hours back trip to ACU in order to drop my 9 year old daughter off at church camp. Her real first sleep away camp. I was a bit of a mess. Mostly because she wasn’t. She had spent the week prior in New Mexico with her grandparents, having a great time, apparently behaving like an angel- with occasional attitude and she had only arrived home the day before I made the trip to take her to camp.

She was SO excited. Wearing her brand new High School Musical dress that Memaw had bought for her at the Disney Stores annual “It’s so cheep, we pay you to take it” Sale. She was so adorable in it and looked like such the little lady. And honestly, excited does not give justice to what she was. She was just plain thrilled. When we saw the first sign that said “Abilene” she squealed. Literally, like a pre-teen at a New Kids on the Block concert. Not that I would know anything about that, at all.


We made the drive up with her brother in the backseat playing Mario Games the entire way, complaining about the length of the trip about once every hour. Once we arrived, she checked in, got her room assignment and off we went to unpack the car. After hauling two suitcases up to the third floor she went looking around while I made her bed. It was like I was in some sort of weird Freaky Friday moment, only I was the mother this time. I remember doing the same thing to my mother; only she was dropping me off for college.

When she came back 15 minutes later she tried shoving me and her younger brother out the door, but I insisted that we stay until she was completely unpacked and moved into that college dorm room. (And that part I am not even exaggerating about. They stay in college dorm rooms!) After she was entirely unpacked I tried to get her to walk around the campus with me and her brother, to get a feel for the place, but she simply shoved me out the door and said, “See you on Friday!”

Jacob and I made our way down the 2 flights of stairs, went and paid for the picture package we ordered and got into the car and left.

Just like that.

It was so dramatic…. in my mind.

I am sure she is having a fantastic time and I can’t wait to hear all about it on Friday.

But I have found that I am having quite a time letting her go this time. I have been leaving her for weeks at a time since she was 6 months old, but I have always left her with family. With any camp environment, I have been with her, as the leader and even then it was only for one nighters. But this, this is so big. No contact for an entire week. No family members there to keep an eye on her. The freedom she will have is like none she has ever tasted.

And what funny is that I am not worried about her. I know that she is perfectly safe. I know that she will be accounted for more times than I will ever know. I know she will have a great time, making new friends and learning all sorts of things. But the thing that I am having the most trouble with is the letting go. It is so, so very hard. I want so much to be by her side when she is making those friends and learning those things. But I can’t be. And I don’t really want to be. Because I know that I am who I am because my parents dropped me off at camp and left when I kicked them out the door. I made my way just fine, and I know she will too. I just know how much I grew as a person and as a Christian at those camps and I am sad and selfish that I won’t be there to witness it. I just have to be ok with it. And that is so very hard.

I know she is going to come home a completely different young lady that who I dropped off, and I can’t hardly wait to meet her!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

World I never thought I would hear.

While the kids are gone this week I have been even more busy than I am with the kids. Ok, I am busy with things that are all about me, but I am ok with that.

I decided that while the kids are gone I would try a few recipes that I had found that I didn’t want to deal with crazy kids in case they were horrific. So, on Tuesday night I made a Mexican Lasagna. That’s what the recipe called it anyways. It was fairly easy, and from the my recipes website. It was so easy I made most of it while on the phone with Amy, talking about something of vital importance, like world peace, hunger in third world countries, or maybe it was what Britney was wearing that day on Perez Hilton. I don’t really remember.


I made this meal while on the phone, and I am not really a cook so that should tell you that the recipe was super duper easy to make. I did dirty 4 dishes/pots in the process but I will just have to get over that.

And when I pulled it out of the oven, it looked and smelled delicious. I waited for it to cool down and carved me a little piece out to try and it was fantastic. I was in love. I thought I was the new Rachel Ray. But I was home by myself and the true teat would be what Josh thinks when he got home later that night and tried some.

The next morning as I was heading out the door I asked him what he thought of the Mexican Lasagna and he said, “It is the best thing you have ever cooked!”

Now, I don’t cook much, but I think I have a few good meals up my sleeve. But now, Mexican Lasagna is one of the food that will be added to the rotation at our house. Plus now that I have made it once, I can think of a few ways I want to tweak it to make it my own. I am just thrilled to have found something that at least 2 of the members of my family will enjoy. I think that even Emily might like it and Jacob MIGHT warm up to it in time.

So here you go: the recipe.

1/2 pound ground mild pork sausage 1/2 pound ground beef 1 (15-ounce) can jalapeno ranch-style pinto beans, drained 2/3 cup canned diced tomatoes and green chiles 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of celery soup 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup 1 (10-ounce) can enchilada sauce 9 (6-inch) corn tortillas 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese 1 medium tomato, seeded and diced 4 green onions, chopped 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro 1 medium avocado, chopped
Cook sausage and ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring until meat crumbles and is no longer pink. Drain. Stir in beans and next 5 ingredients; cook until thoroughly heated.
Stir together soups and enchilada sauce in a saucepan; cook until thoroughly heated.
Spoon one-third of sauce onto bottom of a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish; top with 3 tortillas. Spoon half of beef mixture and one-third of sauce over tortillas; sprinkle with half of Cheddar cheese. Top with 3 tortillas; repeat layers ending with tortillas. Sprinkle with Monterey Jack cheese and next 3 ingredients.
Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Top with avocado.
Makes 6 to 8 servings