Saturday, December 31, 2005

My thoughts and the New Year

Nope, not thoughts about the New Year just some thoughts and the fact that 2006 is just about here.   You may skip to the end if you're disappointed.


  • I am truly a coffee addict.  My dearest bestest friend Suzanne was kind enough to bring me 50 coffee filters the other day.  Hopefully it will be enough to last me through the week...

  • Honduran Coffee is yummy.

  • Dh came home the other day and the first words out of his mouth were Oh my gosh!  WHAT happened here?!  Remember the decluttering of toys and such?  Well, I'd start working on something and then get distracted by another pile of mail or laundry or old sippy cup slipped under the couch.  Then the next thing ya know, it is a complete disaster zone!  I was driving myself crazy with the gigantic, enormous mounds of mess in my house!  Our house has never ever been this messy-- as in never ever!

    I guess that's what happens when one is delusional enough to think that the kiddos will gladly cooperate by feeding and taking care of themselves while mommy tosses old toys in a big trashbag...and then sneaks them out to the trash bin.

    I am now happy to report that my house is halfway done.  I still have the schoolroom to organize (so much for starting lessons soon!).  But the good news is that the kitchen and two of the bedrooms are decluttered and relatively clean (as in needs to be undusted).

  • Dh is so sweet to me.  We spent part of the day playing golf yesterday and then all gross and sweaty went to Sam's Club where dh bought me a nifty table for the laundry room.  So now I have a clean space for folding laundry straight from the dryer!  I am SO married with children to get this excited about something so very practical.

  • A couple of years ago, a dear friend told me to treasure every moment with my kids since they are with me only a short time.  I thought she was crazy back then!  The days seemed to go on f-o-r-e-v-e-r.  But she's right...each year goes by faster and faster.  And just when you think they'll never go potty by themselves (and neither can you!), they do things like:

    •  read books by themselves and have their own library cards

    • wash their own hair (what little there is anyway)

    • take care of the baby first thing in the morning before I even get there

    • get the mail on their own

    • set up the DVD player

    • get stuff from the deep freeze way down in the garage...without needing me to open the door for them

    • vacuum the floors and sweep the deck

    • I guess I could go on and on on this I'll stop now.  I love my little men!  They are growing so fast and I'm sad that for two of them, there are no more dimpled knuckles and elbows...only long, skinny big-boy faces. *sigh*

  • My older sis Coco is having a GIRL!  My first niece!  And the very firstest granddaughter who will be quite spoiled and bedecked in beautiful girly clothes from her aunt's who love to shop a little too much.  I cannot wait for little Emily Reagan to be born in May! 

    My boys, on the other hand, were a little disappointed since they thought for sure this would be a boy.  They were happy for Coco but still kept saying We don't talk to girls!  Only boys!  I have no idea when they came up with that crazy idea.  I reminded them of their friend Mia... Well, she's different! 

    I have no idea why she (Mia) still wants to marry Dash.  But they have been best friends since they were little babies so I guess ya never know.

Well, we're off to the park to take advantage of this crazy 80 degree weather!  Strange how it's been autumn for only a few weeks and there are still leaves left to fall off the trees...and it's almost January!


Have a safe and happy new year, my friends!

See you in 2006!




Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Day After...oh wait, it's Tuesday isn't it?

Why Christmas can be such a blur is beyond me.  Perhaps it was too many nights in a row of staying up waaaay too late and not sleeping in my own, extra large, comfy, squishy, best-in-the-entire-world bed!  I'm almost cranky but not quite this morning since I am still out of coffee filters.  I have no idea why there are still no filters left in the pantry when there were at least zero there when I left town last week.


Back to my wonderful dad and I loaded up the old F-150 yesterday.  I loaded up all the kiddos (I think) and began the trek home-- just me and the kiddos.  Dh had to work on Christmas and then he got strep with 102 fever to boot!  Poor can be really lonely being him sometimes, especially on Christmas.


The drive wasn't too bad considering the baby took a 1.5 hour nap right before we left the house; 45 minutes into the drive my 6yo yells Mommy, my stomach really hurts!; and then we had to make another very long pit-stop for him (I'll spare y'all the details).  But the kids were pretty good, my cell phone stayed charged for most of the trip before it completely died on me, and I got to hear the boys squeal and giggle while they watched the 1960 version of Swiss Family Robinson on the portable DVD player.  They are currently outside trying to build their own tiger trap like they did in the movie.  And they've been talking excitedly about pirates and blowing things up all morning...that's good, right?!


They got quite a load of gifts over the weekend.  We spent Saturday with Dh's mom's side of the family and then Saturday night was spent with my side of the family.  Since I have 3 sisters and a brother...each getting the kids at least one gift a piece...times 3 kids...that equals a ton of great stuff!  This is in addition to the grandparents and great-grandma's!  Currently, it's all sitting in a couple of plastic bins downstairs.  Mean mommy that I am, have banned the boys from playing with them until I can sort through their current stash of toys to make room for the new stash.  So I will soon be venturing to Wal-mart to find some things to help me organize all of this...I'm thinking a few plastic bins and a small cabinet with doors on it.


Speaking of toys, my older sis Coco thought I said The baby will love anything Elmo!  Maybe I said that...but surely I must've said Get the baby anything BUT Elmo!  Yes the baby loves his new Shout Elmo...but I on the other hand...


By the way, two of my wimpy sisters did not want to play Mad Gab.  I know it's because they would've actually had to put a little effort into it and would most likely have gotten whooped at it!  So we settled down with the 1988 version of Outburst!  My memory of current events and people in 1988 is not so good-- but it made for a very funny game.  My brother, sister-in-law and I also kicked butt on Cranium...yup, weeeeeee are the chaaampions!!!


And on that note, I shall end this post.  I must get organizing so the kids can have their loot before I am deemed worst mommy of the year!



Friday, December 23, 2005

I have not fallen off the face of the earth...yet!

It's been a while since I've wandered the webs of HSB.  We've been here at my parents' house since Wednesday night...and it is GOOD to be home!  Every other year we spend Christmas in Fort Worth-- all of my siblings and our kiddos.  With five of us kids (and all being married) it becomes more difficult to have ALL of us together at one time.  So this time is extra special to us.  The "off" years are spent with our respective in-law's and my folks will usually come visit one of our families during this time.  It's a great plan really-- every other year ALL of us being together and each family knowing where they'll spend Christmas that year without worrying about hurt feelings.  We simply take turns!


I am double blessed that no matter which year it is, I always have a memorable and enjoyable time with my family.  I have the best in-law's anyone could ever dream of-- honest!


Here in Fort Worth, we always stay up until 1am talking, drinking coffee, eating and playing board games.  The kids try to stay up until they literally pass out where they're sitting. I think we act more like kids during this time than our own children do!  This year's new game I picked up is called Mad Gab and so far it looks to be quite promising-- especially since my two younger sisters have never played it before!  They have this special knack of being able to read each other's minds without saying a single word...if you've ever played a game with a team like this, you'll know exactly what I mean.  I knew they were always weirdo's, but this proves it! LOL


Anyhow, I just wanted to take this time to wish all of you, my dear HSB friends a very merry CHRISTmas!  May you have a wonderful time with your family and friends.  I hope y'all are all able to celebrate the joyous occasion of our Saviour's birth in His Father's house.




Tuesday, December 20, 2005

How the "Left" Stole Christmas

This is set to the theme of "The Night Before Christmas"

I am not the author of this poem (although I wish I was clever enough to be!)-- it's from an e-mail that my aunt sent me...


Note: The Sears I shop at has already posted signs that boldly read MERRY CHRISTMAS on all of the entry doors to their store...which makes me happy b/c we LOVE Craftsman tools!

How the "Left" Stole Christmas

'Twas, the month before Christmas
When all through our land,
not a Christian was praying
Nor taking a stand.
See the PC Police had taken away,
The reason for Christmas - no one could say.
The children were told by their schools not to sing,
About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.
It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say
December 25th is just a "Holiday".
Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit
Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!
CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod
Something was changing, something quite odd!
Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa
In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.
As Targets were hanging their trees upside down
At Lowe's the word Christmas - was no where to be found.
At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears
You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears.
Inclusive, sensitive,
Are words that were used to intimidate me.
Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen
On Boxer, On Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton!
At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter
To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.
And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith
Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace.
The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded
The reason for the season, stopped before it started.
So as you celebrate "Winter Break" under your "Dream Tree"
Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.
Choose your words carefully, choose what you say
Shout MERRY CHRISTMAS, not Happy Holiday!

Friday, December 16, 2005

It's a slow night here and other stuff

Strange that it's Friday feels really slow like a Saturday night.  I just laid my littlest one down for a nap about half an hour ago.  Since it is now 6pm I am sure I will be regretting this decision later tonight!  Oh well, sometimes you just long for that peace and quiet where no one is hanging on to your leg or crying for least for a little while.


The baby (who is now 13 months old) actually got really mad at me tonight.  Can you believe that?!  My sweet little momma's boy with his 3 top teeth and 2 bottom teeth...bright blue eyes and hilarious little laugh...mad at ME?!  He wanted something and I have absolutely no idea what.  So he starts to bang on the keyboard and I tell him NO.  He stops, cries, and then does it again.  Repeat scenario several more times.  He finally gets tired of it all, grabs the newspaper next to me (that he knows I read and use), and toddles over to the kitchen...straight to the trashcan!  Drops it in and then turns to face me with this little tear-stained look of satisfaction.  Little stinker!  And just earlier today I was showing off to my mom the fact that my littlest man could throw his own diapers away!  Hmmppphhh...I guess he'll be using that against me now!!!


Someone once said to me:

When they're really little they are just so cute you could just eat them!

And when they grow up, you wish you did!


He IS a really ultra-cutey-pie baby...sooo I won't hold this little "incident" against him.  I can only imagine the antics that he will be doing as he gets older though.  After all, he does have two big brothers...who are always having adventures...mostly good, sometimes not so good! LOL


Also earlier on this chilly evening, Tank was begging for ice cream.  So I told him No ice is TOO cold for ice cream!


I thought the conversation was over but half an hour later he comes all the way upstairs just to tell me in a very matter of fact voice:  Mommy, the INSIDE of the ice cream is NOT cold!  Puh-lease!  I wasn't exactly born yesterday little man, you cannot pull that one on me.  So he smiled and left the room.


I don't think I would've ever tried such goofy, truthless tactics to get my way when I was least not that I remember...or that I'll admit...they must get that from dh's side of the family!!!


Hope y'all have a great weekend and stay OUT of the mall!  It's a crazy, nightmare zoo out there...




Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Golf Balls Gone Wild

Before I begin this not-tall-tale, please help Kari with some doggie questions so she can get her dear dh the perfect CHRISTmas present!  Oh, and while you're there, enter her easy-peasy contest because it's easy and she's giving out 3 fantastico books by Nancy Leigh De Moss of Revive Our Hearts!!!


Now we bring you back to our regularly scheduled program:


Some of you may remember me lamenting the fact that my dear husband ordered over 1,000 golf balls off of e-Bay a couple of weeks ago (and fortunately, we did not pay $6,466,557 for them!).  This transaction transpired immediately after I purchased my very own first set of golf clubs.  Coincidence?  I think not!


Anyhoo, all of this previous stuff is completely in the PAST and has absolutely nothing to do with the following scenario-- honest!


It was a beautifully clear and cool day.  The perfect day to drop the baby off at a friend's house and hit a few golf balls at the driving range.  I just love spending time with dh, especially outside.  I couldn't remember the last time I spent more than an hour outside!


After hitting a few balls at the driving range (where I hit more than I missed-- yeeeehaaaw!), we headed over to the practice area.  We decided to work on chipping out of the sandtrap.  My first shot was pretty good...out of the trap and onto the green (you know, the part around the hole with the little flag).  Second shot I missed.  Completely.  Didn't even make contact with the ball.


Now the third shot was going to be a winner!  I bent my knees slightly, got close to the ball, and up it went!  It looked to be the PERFECT hit my dear husband...where a man does not like to be hit...bullseye.  He is doubling over in pain.  I am doubling over in laughter.  In between gigantic, roaring laughter I am able to eek out a weak ", honey?!"


This old guy, I mean elderly gentleman driving by almost fell out of his golfcart as he witnessed the whole thing!  Come on, it IS funny!  Right???  It's a good thing that I don't have a powershot or anything, because then he would've really been in trouble!  He totally underestimated my chipping ability...he stood too close and in the line of fire.  I'm sure he will never do that again!  LOL


The boys were having quite a good time imitating daddy.  Uggghhh!  Owwww! and then falling over. 

Saturday, December 10, 2005

My 6yo and eBay

I went to a CHRISTmas party this evening and dh stayed home with the kiddos.  It was going to be a boys' night of wrestling with each other!  All is well until dh receives an e-mail saying:




Hmmmmm??? We haven't bid on anything lately...


He looks further down the e-mail to see:



You are currently the high bidder for the following eBay item

Gemini Jets Braniff Intl "Ultra" Boeing 747-200 - MIB
Your current bid:US $15.99
Your maximum bid:

US $6,466,557.00


Yes, you saw that correctly!!!

Your maximum bid:US $6,466,557.00


I had no idea that we were:

1. That wealthy!

2. Won the lotto!

3. or my 6yo has a side job that is making a whole lotta money!!!


Needless to say, I think he will be grounded from the computer for some time.  Although it is really hilarious, isn't it?!  Especially since we were able to retract the bid.


I always knew he was smart with the computer, but I guess not so much with money...because that model airplane was NOT worth quite that much money! 


And you know my frugal (read cheapskate!) husband almost had a heart attack over that one!  But now we're just laughing hysterically about it.  Guess it also teaches daddy dearest to not leave tempting eBay windows open on his computer.  Dash, however, did have to click many a button to type in bid, confirm bid, etc.  Good thing he did decide to do a search on toys or something...then we'd have really been in trouble!!!

Friday, December 9, 2005

Several nice surprises

This chilly evening was filled with a few nice surprises...and it doesn't even have anything to do with three entries in one night!


First, my 6yo's request to watch a wholesome, non-kid movie and the aftermath thereof.


Second, dh is currently in Venezuela for the evening and will not be returning until tomorrow afternoon.  The thing about flying to a foreign country is that we are just too cheap to pay for an international call.  Too cheap for me to call him and it's entirely too scary for him to call me...can you imagine the fees and taxes they'll tack on to that call?!  So I finally get around to getting all of the kiddos in bed at 10pm when I receive this e-mail.


I love you.  Log on to your Messenger.


The same dh who was laughing at me for staying up until midnight IM'ing my 3 sisters...when we all have perfectly good cell phones to call each other... He actually opened up a new Yahoo account just to IM with his wifey.   You'd think that he'd talked to me enough earlier today...  He is so sweet and definitely the BEST part of me!  It's funny how before we were married we'd wonder what married people talked about.  Now we're going on 10 years and I still get that silly grin when I hear from him.


And now thinking about dh got me all distracted and I can't for the life of me remember what Surprise Number 3 was!  Oh yea, I now have a babysitter with a DRIVERS LICENSE (and a car)!!!  HOORAY!!!  Now she can come over before we leave and leave when we more driving back and forth for me...


Let the date night's begin!!!

Seven Alone

We had seen Seven Alone once before where I carefully explained about what happens to the parents in the story.  No problems at all.  So tonight the boys ask to watch it once again.  Sure!  Why not?  I think it's great for them to watch a non-cartoon movie...and this isn't even a comedy or a regular kids' movie.


So we start watching it and all is well.  Since all is well, I thought I'd take a gander on the computer.  About a third into the movie,  my 6yo starts crying.  VERY loudly!  Big crocodile tears, red face and look of utter anguish.  I rushed over to find out what was wrong.


I just get sooo sad when people die, Mommy! 

I can't believe he died!!!  (sobbing continues...)


This was one extremely distraught boy!  I had never ever seen him look or act like this!  I explain that it's okay to be sad but remember this is a's pretend (even if based on some true story).  And I remind him that the kids are okay in the end.  He seems okay and continues to watch the movie. 


(For some strange reason, he is only crying when the dad dies and not the mommy.  But...I won't read too much into that.  I'm sure it was just an oversight on his part!)


Then towards the end when the little baby is very sick and not moving anymore...


Mommy, I think I feel one tear in my eye.

I'm a little sad about that sick baby.

I think I'm going to cry again...


I tell him that sometimes when I see something or someone sad, I cry too.  Just like when they're happy, I will smile with them.  My 4yo, on the other hand, is practically jumping on the couch and shouting: I'm not crying, mommy!  Like my other son is in trouble or something...  Silly boy making contests out of everything...even crying/not crying! 


Anyhoo, I was quite surprised to see such a sensitive side of my 6yo.  While he is a momma's boy and very affectionate, I have NEVER seen him get upset over a death on tv/movie...let alone let loose a single tear over a sick baby!  So I guess there's hope for him yet!!!  I'd much rather have a tender-hearted child than a cold-hearted one.


Now it's time to get those little boogers in bed.


G'night y'all!



The best chicken recipe ever

I've been meaning to post this for some time.  It is THE best chicken recipe ever-- and don't be intimidated by the fact that it is a roast chicken...and a non-crockpot roasted chicken at that!  The seasonings sound weird, but I promise you that it is deeeeelicious!  Even my very picky dh and kiddos like it.  So here's one more thing you can do with a whole chicken when it goes on sale for .19 cents a pound!




2 tsp salt

1 tsp white sugar

1/8 tsp ground cloves

1/8 tsp ground allspice

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

5 garlic cloves, crushed

1 (4#) whole chicken


  1. Mix all dry seasonings together.  Rub on chicken and sprinkle some in the cavity.  Stuff with garlic.  Cover with plastic and refrigerate for 24 hours.

  2. Place breast side down in a roasting pan.  (I just place it in a 9x13 corning dish)

  3. Roast for 15 minutes at 500.

  4. Roast for 15 minutes at 450.

  5. Baste if ya need to, although I never do.

  6. Roast for 45 minutes at 425.

  7. Remove from oven and let stand 20 minutes.

I usually serve this with rolls, mashed potatoes, peas and corn.  Any leftovers (which are nonexistent at my house) are great chopped up and mixed with mayo and pepper for chicken salad sandwiches.  Every bite is full of flavor...not just the skin but the meat itself...and it has never ever come out dry for me.



Sunday, December 4, 2005

CHRISTmas Gifts, Ornaments and Goofiness

Hip-hip-hooray!  We finally got around to putting the CHRISTmas tree up the other night.  It was a close call because the closer to CHRISTmas it gets, the LESS likely I'll want to go through the trouble of pulling all this stuff down from the attic.  Okay, okay...I can't believe I lied in a CHRISTmas post!  The truth is that it's less likely I'll want to bug dh about getting the stuff down from the attic! (Whew! My conscience feels much better now!)


I've bought a few presents already but haven't gotten around to wrapping them and placing them under the tree.  I am most excited about making a few presents-- but haven't quite had the time for that yet.  I guess I better get a move on! (why does that sound normal when you say it, but looks very weird when you write it?)


Here's a few of my fav gift ideas this season:

  1. For my big boys, I bought some red satin fabric and am planning to make them superhero capes!  They will be long, shiny, and velcro at the boys' necks.  If I hurry up, I will have enough time to take them to a friend's house and embroider their names/initials on the back.

  2. The big boys will also be receiving some very nice wooden pop-guns that grandma and grandpa ordered from Vision Forum.  I had to play with them quietly in the other know, to make sure they weren't defective or dangerous...oh man, they are cool!!!

  3. Y'all may be unawares of a very talented jeweler among us.  Our very own Susan has been kind enough to make a few pairs of earrings for me to give as gifts...the toughest part about having such beautiful wares to choose from is deciding which to keep for myself!

  4. My siblings will also be receiving Pecan Pie Muffin Mix and Chicken Enchilada Soup Mix a la Homemade Gourmet-- very quick, easy and delicious!

  5. And since I'm making a list of uber-cool things...have y'all noticed Tammy is incredibly talented?!  You just HAVE to take a look at her flickr pics on the sidebar-- her artwork is AMAZING!  I have no idea how people can do stuff like that...

  6. And finally, just wanted to share an ornament idea that we started last year.  Normally, we would purchase a nice ornament for each child.  Then when they grow up one day and have a family or house of their own, they would get their box of ornaments.  As some of you may know, this can be ridiculously expensive-- I should not have to pay $10-15 for one ornament!!! 

    So last year I let each boy pick out one of their Hot Wheels cars that they would like to use for their ornament.  Dash picked out a red car (b/c that's his fav color) and Tank picked out a white Fiero...
    I wrote the year and their initials with a metallic Sharpie, hot glued a ribbon to hang with, and Voila!  Special ornament on the cheap...and much more meaningful since it was something they actually played with! 

    This year they were quite excited to pick out a wooden train from their collection. 
    Fortunately, they are still young and have small toys that would work as CHRISTmas ornaments.  I can only imagine the CHRISTmas tree carnage if they were into something very big or very alive...

I almost forgot about the goofiness mentioned in the title!  I walk outside in the front yard this afternoon and what do I see but...


Notice the strange bicycle helmet and one sandal/one boot action going on.  They could only be up to no good.


Me: Hi boys!

Them: Hi mommy.

Me: What are you doing?

Them: Digging.

Me: You've been out here a long time and I heard some banging...

Them: We don't want daddy to go to work.  (very big grins and pointing) So we trapped him!  Now he CAN'T go!!!



Me:  Wow, y'all are so strong and smart.  I don't know how daddy will ever be able to leave now...


In case the four gigantic logs weren't enough to keep him home, they wedged those two very strong pieces of lumber up against the tires...just to make sure...very thorough, aren't they???

Friday, December 2, 2005

Secrets of Successful Homeschooling-- It's finally here!

Hooray!!!  The much awaited e-book Secrets of Successful Homeschooling: You Have What It Takes To Homeschool! is finally here!



I am very honored to have gotten a sneak peek at this great book!  Our very own Paul & Gena Suarez brought together a great group of homeschoolers to share their own stories about how to homeschool know, the really practical stuff they learned the hard you don't have to!


Secrets of Successful Homeschooling was easy, enjoyable and very encouraging to read.  I wasn't sure at first how I'd feel about an e-book over the normal paper form that we all love...(but how could we expect normal from Gena? And even if she was...she's related to JenIG...and I don't have to say any more about that).  But you know what?  Those crazy people can come up with some very great ideas!  For example, the uber-cool part about an e-book is that when they list a link in the book-- you can click on it and it will actually TAKE YOU THERE!  No more hunting for a scrap piece of paper to write a web address on (and lose later)...just click and you are there immediately!


The first half of this book offers support and encouragement and lots of great advice.  New homeschoolers will feel empowered and old vets (okay, young vets too!) will feel refreshed and renewed in their homeschooling.  The second half covers the nuts and bolts of it all.  Things like how to homeschool on the cheap, teaching reading, and even teaching children with special needs.  It's all in there...from well-known authors like Cindy Rushton, Terri Camp, Christine Field, and Lorrie your fellow HSBloggers like Coie, Julie Nott, Kris Price, and others...including, ahem, yours truly!  


Another bonus, at least in my currently hectic life, is that the chapters are relatively short and to the point.  So you can start AND finish a chapter over a cup of coffee or tea.  And if you're a brand new homeschooler, you won't be overwhelmed with a plethora of information in one sitting (I've always wanted to use that word!).


So check it out!  I think y'all would really enjoy it!  Besides, how fun is it to read stuff written by people you actually know?!

Six of the Sevens

Okay, I am finally getting around to doing the Seven Seven's thingamabob...courtesy of Susan, ccpeterson, and I've forgotten the third person...sorry!  I never said my memory was very good...


Seven Sevens (all in no particular order)


Seven things to do before I die
1. Travel to all 50 states in the good ole US of A (with hubby, of course!)

2. Learn to knit

3. See all of my children accept Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour

4. Speak Spanish...fluently (mi espanol es muy malo)

5. Write what my mom calls my "life story" but I'd really like to write a book about my Korean grandmother...she was such a strong and very resourceful woman!

6. Beat my husband at golf

Seven things I cannot do
1. Put paper towels in the holder in the kitchen (dh kindly does it for have to unscrew the whole thing to replace it...who has time for that?)

2. Skate backwards

3. Sing harmony

4. Dive

5. Water Ski (or is it waterski?)

6. Apparently count to seven since I stopped at #6 on the first question!

7. Whistle loudly with my fingers in my mouth

Seven things that attract me to my husband
1. He's the only person in the entire world that can truly make me laugh...all the time!

2. He's the best daddy ever...and always includes the boys in his activities.

3. He is the most handsome man I know.

4. He not only loves me truly and deeply-- but tells me so all the time.

5. He not only tells me he loves me, but shows me he loves me...sending me away for coffee or shopping when he thinks I'm stressed out...lots of hugs and kisses...sweet love notes hidden around my house...and I can just tell by the way he looks at me...I think I would die without him, I just love him so much!

6. He is my superman...honey, can you fix this? open this? make this? lift this? move this? do this?...he can do anything and everything very well.

7. He doesn't let me least not that I know of...and if I do beat him at something, he's proud of me. :-)

Seven things I say most often
1. I love you.

2. Good manners, please.

3. Quit dawdling!
4. Time to clean up.

5. Pay the toll! (which is a kiss)
6. What would you like to drink/eat?
7. Hello? (Not the sarcastic version but the my-cell-phone-is-an-extension-of-my-being version of hello).

Seven books (or series) I love
1. The Holy Bible (KJV)
2. Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit- Terri Maxwell

3. To Train Up a Child- Mike and Debi Pearl

4. Leading Little Ones to God

5. Guess How Much I Love You

6. Created To Be His Helpmeet- Debi Pearl
7. Goodnight Moon- Margaret Wise Brown

Seven movies I watch over and over again (or would watch over and over if I had the time)

1. The Princess Bride

2. The Incredibles

3. The Sound of Music

4. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

5. Robin Hood (the one with Kevin Costner...even though he is waaay old now)

6. Anything with Sean Connery...I just love his voice

7. Beauty and the Beast (Disney)


And if anyone else wants to answer these questions, just make a comment or leave a link so I can see what you said!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Sidetracked Contentment

I am very blessed to actually have a separate room for all of our school stuff.  We have a split level home with a second living area on the bottom level.  This is our schoolroom.


My favorite kind of day is when it's chilly outside and we can have a nice, roaring fire in the fireplace.  Okay, you can now quit imagining The Great Smoky Mountain Fire of 2005 or even the Gena-type fire.  I know you are!  Back to my schoolroom...  The kids and I think it is a greatly fabuloso day when we can take a couple of breaks and roast marshmellows!  Yuppers, I let the kiddos consume these monstrous puffs of pure sugar in the morning and then expect them to sit quietly and do their work.  What is more fun than stabbing some fwuffie puffs and cooking them to a black, carcinogen-laden crisp over an open fire?  Yummmmmy!


These types of days are absolutely perfect!  What is not to love about roasting marshmellows during school?!  I would dare say that I am one content woman.  Now it's not CONtent woman, but conTENT woman...


Well, I thought I was content until I started a new read last night-- Calm My Anxious Heart: A Woman's Guide to Finding Contentment by Linda Dillow.  It got me thinking about how I am a relatively happy person, but I do complain sometimes both out loud and in my heart.  I'll start thinking about things that are not to my liking-- like the laundry (again!), the people zooming down our street at all hours, how I wish we didn't have stairs, how I wish my husband would eat a vegetable...any vegetable.  Sure these are just little things, but a lot of little things can add up to a sour countenance and an ungrateful heart-- and I don't want either!


In this great book, Ms. Dillow tells about her friend Ella in the first chapter.  Ella was a missionary in Africa for 52 years.  She not only endured, but found contentment and joy in this foreign land with no electricity and 120 degree heat! 


Here is Ella's prescription for contentment:

  • Never allow yourself to complain about anything-- not even the weather.

  • Never picture yourself in any other circumstances or someplace else.

  • Never compare your lot with another's.

  • Never allow yourself to wish this or that had been otherwise.

  • Never dwell on tomorrow-- remember that tomorrow is God's, not ours.

She is SOOO right!  And if I were truly content with all of God's gifts and blessings to me, I would NOT be doing any of the above!  Yes, I am a happy woman and I do feel very blessed...but I should strive to be truly content...completely appreciative in my circumstances, in God's place for me right now.  I plan, I worry, I do this, I do that...completely forgetting that GOD loves me and promises to take care of me.  He certainly doesn't need my help or guidance to do that!  The apostle Paul is a great example for us to follow.


Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.


I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.


I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.


~Philippians 4:11-13


I can't wait to start reading more of Calm My Anxious Heart-- it is such a great book so far.  And instead of thinking about all the things that bug me this week, I will meditate on:


Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.


~Philippians 4:8



Sunday, November 27, 2005

Little Voices of Praise

At church this morning, I decided to actually listen to some advice that I read from Parenting in the Pew by Robbie Castleberry.  As our songleader told us to take out our hymn books and turn to page 20, I whispered to my 6yo that I would teach him how to read from the hymnal.   I was very excited when he was actually receptive to my instructions (quite the opposite of just a few months ago!).  I explained to him how the verses run across each line and how we repeat the chorus each time.


I can't even begin to describe the joy in my heart to hear his sweet voice singing "Saved!  Saved!  My sins are all pardoned my guilt is all gone!...Saved by the blood of the cru-ci-fied one!"  And I was also impressed when my smart little man started singing the alto/tenor part of "Glory I'm Saved!" the second time through the chorus...all on his own!


He's come a very long way from the dark night a few years ago when he proclaimed to me, "Mommy, I hate God."  I had no idea why my sweet, loving little boy would suddenly say that!  I'm sure he didn't really know what he was saying back then...especially since he was normally so full of love for Jesus and all of God's creation.  But it DID get my attention!  It was then that it really hit me that my son would soon be of the age of accountability...and that he would have to make his choice whether or not he would accept Jesus Christ or follow the world and Satan.  What a responsibility to prepare the ground and plant the seeds!  


I can tell you that I was one praying momma after that!!!  After all, little children see God through their parents!  So if they don't see the love and grace of God, then we as parents aren't doing a very good job of letting the love of Christ shine through us and to our children.


Anyhoo, I can't wait to hear his sweet voice again tonight!    He hasn't asked Jesus into his heart yet but singing praises to God is definitely a good way to water the seeds!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


My hope is for you each of you, my dear friends, to have a joyous Thanksgiving with your families.  May your day be filled with fun, laughter, lots of food and a good afternoon nap!


I've got the truck packed up and ready to go-- just have to wait for dh to get off of work at 10:15pm.  So we'll be heading off to his folks' house in Newton, which is a very short 2 hour drive (Praise the Lord!).  We've already forewarned grandma and grandpa to take a nap today since the kids will most likely be revving to go by the time we show up on their doorstep at half past midnight!


We're especially excited about this trip because dh NEVER gets Thanksgiving off of work!  As in n-e-v-e-r ever!  We usually end up celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas early since dh is not senior enough to get the coveted holidays off.  This is definitely a very pleasant surprise.


Oh, if you haven't noticed, please check out my cool flickr badge on the sidebar.  You'll get to see the pics from our vacation to Tennessee a few weeks ago.  It was absolutely beautiful over there-- I couldn't have imagined more vibrant colors on the trees!  Too bad I didn't get a pic of Gena...maybe next time.  And there are a couple of pics from my littlest man's first birthday as well.


And thank you Beth for the suggestion of putting my b&w pic on the sidebar...I don't know why I didn't think of that.  You are one smart cookie!


God bless y'all!



By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

~Hebrews 13:15


Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.

~Psalm 48:1


It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: 

~Psalm 92:1


O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good; for his mercy endureth forever.

~Psalm 107:1

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Sorry to disappoint y'all but I am NOT prego!  (Don't even think about calling mom, Coco!)  However, my two older boys have been cutting out leaves from construction paper this morning.  We're going to do something with them, just don't know what yet.  Anyhoo!  This is the conversation that I overheard this morning.


4yo: Hey, we're both cutting out our second leaves at the same time!


6yo (with a big grin on his face):  We're twins!!!


4yo:  Yup, we do everything together.


I am sooo thankful for moments like this!  There was a time when they couldn't even be in the same room together...they would always fight and scream at each other.  I prayed for them...a lot...


I honestly thought that they didn't love each other and I was a horrible mother.  Because mothers are supposed to control these things, right?  Then one day another kid hit my younger son (2yo at the time).  My then 4yo yelled at the other kid to go away and then attended to his younger brother.  *LIGHTBULB*  Ohhhhh...They can hit and beat up each other, but no one else can...They DO love each other!!!


Eventually, they started playing together more and actually sought out each other's company...without fighting too much.   They have come such a long way to THIS MOMENT OF TWINDOM!  What a blessing!  They still fight sometimes and aggravate each other, but most of the time they play merrily together and have lots of adventures and say weird, funny things that I can post about here.


Thank you, dear God for your love and blessings upon my family!  And thank you for a family that loves to spend and is able to spend both quantity and quality time together.


PS Check out this new contest and nominate your fav friends here at HSB!


Sunday, November 20, 2005

My Thinking Thoughts

I think my boys watch too much Thomas the Tank Engine

  • My 4yo said tonight: Well bust my boilers!  I can't believe there's a hole in my sock!

I think my husband is trying to tell me something

  • We recently purchased a set of golf clubs for yours truly.  I've decided to learn how to play golf so I can "tie those strings" with my boys and spend some extra time with hubby.  He is waaaaay excited!  Let's see, I got my clubs Friday night and since then he has purchased over 1,000 used golf balls from eBay!  I think he has some preconceived notions about my golfing skills...or the lack thereof.

I think I'm getting old

  • I'm a bit saddened to see the current crop of fashions out there.  I cannot believe some of the '80s things that are out right now...and I really cannot believe that I'm starting to sound just like my parents did back in the day... I would never pay that kind of money for jeans that already have holes in them!  If I'm getting only half a pair of jeans, I should only have to pay half price!

I think that we should take after Amy Beth's town

  • I can't believe it's almost time to put up the Christmas decorations!  In Pigeon Forge, TN they have a Winterfest every year where they have the whole town lit up and decorated for Christmas...they do this at the beginning of November!  A little weird but it does make sense...if you have the decorations up for 2 months instead of just one, then it's worth the hassle!

I think I'm losing my crafty-edge

  • Normally I have absolutely no problems coming up with a fun craft for my kiddos.  My current quandry is the search for a nice Thanksgiving table centerpiece that my kids can make as a gift for my mother-in-law (where we'll be spending this Thanksgiving).  Any suggestions?  And I've already looked at the stuff from Enchanted Learning but wanted some other ideas please.

I think I need to go to bed now.  My head hurts from too much thinking.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

The unthinkable...I'm writing about homeschooling!

Contrary to popular belief, we do homeschool in this house!  I know y'all must think that my days are only filled with strangely funny little sayings and antics from my kids, but I do learns 'em a little bit around here!


We just finished the absolutely best read-aloud EVER-- even better than The Boxcar Children (which my boys thoroughly enjoyed).  Anyhoo, this cleverly enchanting book is My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett (you can click on the link to it on my sidebar).


Each chapter of this book ends with a cliffhanger (or as much of a cliffhanger as a children's book can have).  The best part is that it left the kids begging for me to keep reading!  It actually took us 2 nights to finish it since my voice just was not up to reading more.  My 6yo and 4yo both loved the story, characters, pictures and map...and I did too!  They are usually so restless if I read more than one chapter of a book at a time, but this time they were just excited about each chapter and wondered what in the world would happen next.  I've never seen them get so wrapped up in a story before.


So if you've never read this book to your kids, especially if you have little boys, I highly recommend it! 


And since I'm in a recommending kinda mood, I've really been impressed with our current devotional/Bible time book we're reading through: Leading Little Ones to God.  It is muy bueno and very captivating for the kiddos.  They already know many of the "traditional" Bible stories from Sunday School and church, but this book teaches them how and why it is important to KNOW God and it does it in a friendly, interesting, and kid-friendly manner.  It gives you a story to read, the Bible passage, an appropriate song to sing, and a prayer at the end.  I LOVE IT-- but we've just started it so I can't vouch for the last half of the book...yet...


Okay, that's enough schooling for one day.

Friday, November 18, 2005

My kids are doomed

They are doomed to be goofy for the rest of their lives...from both sides of the family...they just can't escape it.


What I overheard my 6yo say to my 4yo at the table today:


6yo (reading the writing on a pair of scissors):  Oh no!!!  "Stainless Steel China"... Someone stole these from China!


4yo:  Oh...that's VERY bad!


6yo:  I can't believe someone stole these!


4yo:  Yeah, that was very naughty!



Wednesday, November 16, 2005

I'm not a single mom anymore!

Dh has been complaining about the fact that my avatar does not include him.  I guess he thinks I'm trying to make everyone think that I'm a single mom or something.  So, to appease the king of this castle, here's a pic of hubby and me taken last year.


This new pic is in honor of you, baby!  Hope you like it.  I'm going to miss the regal pose of me and my little men.  The black and white was quite flattering, wasn't it?  Oh well.


Now people are going to wonder if we have any kids or not...

If this were true, I'd be stealing my kids' piggy banks

What my 4yo told me yesterday:


Guess what mommy?  Daddy gave me all of the stuff from his pockets yesterday.  Ummmm...quaaarters, pennnnnies, diamonds, nickels...  And I put it all in my piggy bank!


Kids are great, aren't they?  Even for their entertainment purposes alone. 

Monday, November 14, 2005

Toddlers and the forbidden fountain-- blech! :-p

What is it with the fascination of the forbidden, especially for toddlers? 


Well, my littlest man had his first birthday this past Saturday... I guess that means he's a toddler now instead of a baby--even if he doesn't quite walk yet (although he's taken a couple of steps recently).  Anyway!!!  It began this morning.  I was walking to the kitchen when I heard the merry sounds of splashing water. 


Hmmmmm??? I shouldn't be hearing water splashing.  No one is taking a bath right now...and the big boys are in the living room...


I see that the bathroom door is open and my littlest man is up to his ELBOWS in toilet water!!!  YUCKY-PUCKY-GROSS toilet water!!!  He'd thrown the toilet bowl brush onto the other side of the bathroom and then proceeded to dunk the toilet brush holder in and out of the toilet!  Ewwww...wet almost-a-baby covered in toilet water...  I cannot begin to describe how gross that is...and I pray that he only threw the toilet brush and did nothing else with it or to it...


So I scooped him up and anti-bacterial soaped him.


Then a couple of hours later he was once again playing in the forbidden fountain.  *sigh*  That boy will never learn...and the bigger boys keep forgetting to keep the door shut. know, make that double-ewwwww...and DON'T tell my mom because she would totally freak out!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Amy Beth's Cornbread Trick and what REALLY caused the fire!

While visiting dear Amy Beth in beautiful and not-as-hot-as-TX-Tennesseeeeee, she showed me a cool trick to baking cornbread.  You put the pans in the oven to heat and add shortening.  Let the shortening melt and get very hot in the pan and then add the batter.


It makes for a deliciously toasty bottom to your it keeps the pieces from crumbling after you cut it.


So thank you Amy for sharing your tricks of the trade since cornbread is definitely not my forte!!!  You're a genius! 




I was told that our cabin fire began with a cigarette that fell between the boards by the person who stayed on Sunday night.  Can you believe that?!  This cigarette smoldered all day and then really got things burning very late Monday night (close to midnight!). 


I brings me close to tears just thinking about what could have been.  I can't thank God enough for looking after us and allowing us to get out quickly and safely.  Plus, He allowed us to catch the fire early which spared us not only additional danger, but it could've caused some long-lasting fears in our boys.  GOD IS SOOO GOOD!

Friday, November 11, 2005

My big sister is cuckoo, I tell ya... :-p

I am sooo excited that my big sister CoCo (and I mean big b/c she's prego) is in town with her dh and my dear nephew Benjamin!


Buuuuut, it doesn't take long for her to bring up stories from when we were stories....Waaahhhh!!!  "Remember when we were little and you gave me these scars?  You were sooo mean to me."  I'm shedding a tear here, CoCo!!!  I can't believe you just can't let go of the fact that I can STILL whoop up on you! :-)


And to top it all off, dh and everyone else is actually l-i-s-t-e-n-i-n-g to her nonsense.  Well, people here will listen to take that CoCo!  All those years where you flaunted the fact that you are older than me...doesn't seem so cool now to be OLDER does it??? 


And to properly reply you'll have to open up your own blog...hehehe...

Thursday, November 10, 2005

We put the smoke in the Smoky Mountains!!!

We are now back in good ole Tejas and I am trying to catch up on the loads of smokey smelling laundry, as well as finish up my work for the week.  I believe there has been a hint of our adventures already posted so I shall fill in the blanks.


Let's start at the very be-ginning, a very good place to staaaart, when you read you begin with A-B-C, when you sing you begin with Do-Re-Mi (Do-Re-Mi), the very first thing just happens to be-- Do-Re-Mi (Do-Re-Mi)...


We arrived in beautiful Tennessee on Sunday and spent a fabuloso time at Dollywood (hehehe...can't help but snicker at the name).  We returned to our cozy cabin in the woods to find the ceiling crawling with (gasp!)..........ladybugs.......yup, they look innocent enough but see the creepy picture towards the middle of the page where they are in a swarm?  THAT was what parts of our cabin looked like.  Now before you call me a sissy city slicker, let me tell you that I would've been just fine had they congregated on the living room ceiling.  But I just have to draw the line when I'm lying in bed and watching the ceiling move...they were also covering the lamp and crawling into my luggage.  That is so very total-double-yucky-gross!  So we vacuumed what we could, went to sleep as best we could, and they were so very kind to move us to a different cabin the next day.


We spent the next day driving through Cades Cove and then met up at dear, sweet, kind, and very hospitable Amy Beth's house.  She made some killer chicken and dumplings and showed me her secret to perfectly delicious cornbread.  I was very excited to finally meet JenIG, Gena, AnneMarie and their very fun clans!  Jen was quite the southern lady to have a very nice gift for our hostess and for myself (once she mapquested her way over)-- we were all impressed!  Oh and AnneMarie, you may be the youngest but you better remember to have some respect for your elders!  LOL  And we almost got a real picture of Gena but since I/we enjoy living to see another day, Amy put the camera away.  Maybe her kids would be brave enough though...


After a great evening of eating, talking and laughing we forced ourselves to leave.  We went to Cabin 2 and settled in for a late night.   I hunkered down in the bedroom to watch a movie, my little men went upstairs to play, and dh watched the game in the living room. 


Next thing I know, dh is hollerin' (since that's what it's called in TN) for me to come out of my room.  I walk out to see the entire living room and loft filled with smoke!!!  I yelled at the boys to get outside while I called the Fire Department.  We ran back inside to open windows, shut doors, get our luggage (yes, you read that correctly), and try to figure out where the smoke was coming from...we saw it pouring out from inside the walls behind the refrigerator.


The Police were the first to show, followed very quickly by the Fire Department.  The boys were tucked safely in the back of the car and thought the emergency lights on the vehicles were really cool.  Long story short, they put out the fire that seemed to be coming from the walls and under the floor.  The boys didn't seem too traumatized although my 6yo did cry just a little...and my crazy 4yo was just a little, excited chatterbox and is still talking about the smoke and fire.


PRAISE THE LORD that he allowed us to stay up late after a very long day!  The smoke detectors didn't work and I can only imagine what the outcome could've been...very scary indeed... There were several things that the Lord allowed:

  • staying up late when we should've been tired (it was around 11:30pm or so),

  • dh was in the living room adjacent to the kitchen (instead of with me in the other room and with the door shut)

  • and the phone number to the Fire Dept and our cabin address was posted clearly on the fridge.

We certainly don't deserve His mercy and grace but we sure are grateful for it!!!


Once things settled down, we were able to move, once again, to another cabin for our last night in TN.  With the harrowing events of the evening, we decided to cut our trip short by a day and head home.  It kind of turns your stomach a little bit when you think about what could've been. 


We finished up our last day in TN with a gorgeous hike to Laurel Falls and a quick trip back to Dollywood to visit the rides one last time...where I was blessed to meet two very fun HSBloggers (sorry T, but I couldn't remember your bloggername!).  How random is that?!  She tells a great story about noticing my bald boys and making me feel like a total celebrity... Now that is a friend! :-)  Actually I was a bit jealous that she had her dear hs'ing friend T to go to the park would be nice to have one of y'all near me...Anyone, anyone???


It's late, I'm getting sick and I've still got that laundry to sort...thanks for reading this very long blog about my vacation...I'll try to get a few pics up next week...G'night Y'all!  And G'night my dear TN friends...I miss y'all already!




PS TN is a wonderful place to visit and the people there are super friendly!  Definitely a thumbs-up vaca in my book, smoke and all!