Sunday, November 30, 2008
Hope everybody got bargains worth their trouble on Black Friday. Not me. I did a little online though...(American Girl.com and Baseball Express.com to be exact), but shhh...don't tell anybody.
I thoroughly enjoyed the long weekend even though I often have downtime anyway being a stay at home mom. Don't forget, I do substitute several days a week, but just having the opportunity to go to bed without having to set an alarm even for the kids was a relaxing thought. I was lazy, I admit, but I tried to do a little. I mustered up enough courage to tackle Big Dan's bedroom mainly because we were running out of dishes, couldn't find fingernail clippers anywhere, and we were all beginning to smell the aroma from the bottom of the stairs. At this point, asking him to do it is pretty much useless and since he does have a "job", I just decided I would do it for him. Funny how everything that was missing magically appeared.
Saturday, I cleaned my own bedroom and bath in between moments of facebook and blogs. I was determined to get something done constructive.
Today, before I settled down for a quick nap, Little Ann and I put up Christmas Tree number 2. And here's the history behind it.
Several years ago I started a tradition of letting the kids pick out a new ornament each year. They always looked forward to that and Little Ann would ponder which kind she would look for way before time. I loved watching how her taste would change each year. She has gone from Hello Kitty, Strawberry Shortcake, and puppies to sparkly stars and dancing reindeer ballerinas. Big Dan's choices were usually sports related, but he did get to a point it really didn't matter anymore. Anyway, about 5 years or so ago, I decided to get them their own tree that would inhabit all the ornaments they have collected over the years in addition to the homemade ones, and even ornaments that I had growing up. It has become what I call my "special" tree because it has so many mementos on it. Where my big tree has white lights, Little Ann loves that she can put traditional colored "flashing" lights on her tree.
Notice this extra special one.
They made these in 1991 at Big Dan's daycare. He was just a year old. Isn't this the sweetest thing? I love it.
And I had 2 of these matching puppy dogs that my aunt made for me when I was a kid. Wow. I couldn't even tell you how old this is. It was on our tree at home growing up and then I took it to my apartment with me when I had my own first official tree. It went in the archives for awhile, but I just had to get it back out for our "special" tree.
Here are several others.
And this is a close up of the one of Little Ann. She made this a couple of years ago at Scrapbook camp. This is her 3rd grade school picture I believe.
Hope you didn't mind the rambling. So.....do you have anything special on your tree?
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Today the fam and I headed out for our yearly Thanksgiving feast. We don't see Pete's family very often throughout the year because everyone is so dispersed throughout the state. It is very hard for everyone to break free from life and get together. Because we see my family frequently, we have always done Thanksgiving and Christmas Day with Pete's side. My family always gets together for Christmas Eve and sometimes a Thanksgiving meal on a Sunday close to Thanksgiving. Not always. It works and everybody's happy.
Anyway, today we drove all the way into Texas. Pete's aunt lives on the Texas side of Texarkana actually, but telling the kids we were going to Texas for Thanksgiving got them excited so that's what we said. We were on the road about 3 hours there and 3 hours back so I am tired, but we had a good day. It's always nice to eat foods we deprive ourselves of all year while catching up on life and a football game. And I was so happy that Big Dan was with the family today enjoying himself and people he hadn't seen in a long time. And believe it or not, I totally enjoyed that 3 hour drive home listening to him sing off key all the way.
I brought my camera in, but forgot to get it out until right as everyone was about to leave. This is about the only good picture I got all day. This is Little Ann (in the hat) and my niece. (Pete's sister's little girl)
So...who's going shopping tomorrow? Not me. I love to shop...don't get me wrong, but this chick would much rather pay full price than fight those crowds! Good luck finding those bargains though!
Well, Thanksgiving is just about over. I know this is extremely juvenile, but you know.....I have been told I was a little on the nutty side before so why not. This video is the epitome of stupid, but for some reason it just makes me laugh! Hope everyone had a great day.
Oh yeah! Note to self: Next vehicle most definitely will have dual thermostat controls!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Now, with that being said, I just wanted to take a moment to share a few things I am thankful for.
First and foremost, I am so thankful for my God. I'm so unworthy and for some reason He just keeps blessing me and blessing me.
I am so very thankful for my parents. They are such wonderful people. Tonight when I went to pick up Little Ann, my dad had sent home with her the homemade butter they had churned together from his fresh cow milk. FRESH COW MILK, people. I mean, really, how many of us can say we have actually made butter with our papaw. That is some kind of memory to make and I am so thankful for those times my parents share with my kids. And my mom....well, you can read all about her here, but I must say, she sent home with me tonight 2 new monogrammed hand towels (because she said the other one hanging was worn out...lol...she notices stuff when she comes to my house) AND get this. I had been in our capital city again today with a broken laptop and she knew I was going to be behind on my cooking for tomorrow's get together with Pete's family . She got my pie started and sent it home with me!! What a mom.
I am so thankful for my friends. My past and present. I love them all and am so very thankful for them. Just yesterday I reunited with my first and only college roommate.
We had a delicious lunch and spent a lot of time talking and laughing about old times. She taught me well how to sow my wild oats...lol. (and I told her I was giving her that credit). I'm glad we were able to spend this time together and I hope we can do it again.
I am so thankful for my family. My children are blessings from Heaven and I couldn't love them more (even when I don't feel the love back). I think my heart will just explode sometimes with the love I have for them. And my husband. He is such a good man. He puts up with so much out of me. I know he loves me even when I am constantly complaining, turning the air up to 80, habitually late, forgetting where I left my head, too afraid to leave my comfort zone, leaving my flat iron on for the entire day, showing my blond roots by some insane comment that makes no sense to him, burning him up because I have my electric blanket on in July, and even when he spends days searching for socks that really should be in his drawer. What can I say. Gotta love me!
And I could go on and on. God has been good to me even though I don't deserve it. I am just a simple girl living my simple life, undeserving.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Got this email a few days ago. Love it.
Tonight was our regular Girl Scouts meeting. The girls are working on designing an ornament made out of natural resources for a contest. The entries are displayed at the county courthouse and the girls are invited to a Christmas tea, I guess you could say to view the entries. This year they designed their own tree out of pine cones. The star is from pine straw and of course the snow is cotton and the lights and ornaments are hand made. It turned out cute. Hope we win!
And I blogged about putting my own tree up as well. Little Ann and I did this on Saturday. I always enjoy just sitting in the living room with the overhead and lamp lights off just taking in the beauty of the sparkling tree. When Little Ann was a baby her first Christmas, we spent countless hours at night rocking by the light of the tree. My mother bought me a few new ornaments when she was out shopping the other day. Yea! She loves me. She really loves me.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Change. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? Can it be both? I suppose it can. Even when I've had a hard time transitioning through the muddled times of my life, I can look back and see that the change was beneficial. Some change I have been able to control. Some change I cannot. I think that's the hardest for me..accepting the part I can't control. Mainly because I am somewhat of a control freak...(just in case you haven't figured that out). Maybe it's the fear of the unknown lurking around the corner. Or maybe it's just because I like things just the way they are. I mean really, if it's not broken, then why fix it? Unfortunately, some things change anyway. Like our children. Growing up, branching out, not needing us anymore. How about not BEING here anymore. I'm sorry, but it's just almost more than I can bear.
And I know I often blog about the fact that Big Dan is preparing to leave the nest and you are probably sick of it right now. I can't help it though. I may need counseling, seriously. It's literally consuming me. I think the reason it has hit me so hard is the fact that he has been much of a homebody over the years. He hung out with friends, but the main hangout was right next door so it wasn't like he was that far away. The former girlfriends were long distance so they were mainly telephone relationships, and an occasional double date on a weekend when he stayed the night with a friend. When he played sports and was gone, I was there with him rooting him on...the entire year as we transitioned from football, into basketball, and on into baseball. His summers were spent mostly sleeping late, hanging out in his room, playing video games or shooting basketball outside, or like I said before heading next door to watch a movie, but he was here.
Then....June came. Boy meets girl in theater, boy falls head over heels, boy now has a car so boy gets a job, and poof! He's gone. When school started, things became even more hectic. His days were filled with classes, then work, then the girlfriends house, and the family became a distant memory. And now during the week not only is he working longer hours in the evening, but he's added a membership to the wellness center where he works out for an hour every morning. Even his Saturdays begin at 5 or 6 am when he rushes out the door to get donuts with the girlfriend and then doesn't come home until curfew that night. And people please don't get me wrong. I am so proud of the fact that he is actually doing constructive things with his life instead of what he could be doing at his age, but there is no more family dinner time, no more 411's (talks, as he called them), and not near as many sibling arguments to break up. I've said all of that...to say this. It just happened too fast, I guess. Faster than I really had time to prepare myself for. And really, I knew it would, but it makes me sad.
Especially when it's time to do this:
Look how sweet this little 6 year old boy is. Putting the tree up was something he loved doing every year. I knew I was in trouble if I started without him.
And the tradition of doing it as a family remained every year.....we just added another little helper.
Up until last year that is. I think 11th grade is when Big Dan decided talking on the cell phone and watching us do it was way more cool, but at least he was here..in our presence.
But not yesterday. If I would've waited on him this year, I think I would still be waiting. Pete helped me get the Christmas decor from the attic and into the house before he went to bed, but it was Little Ann that ran got the Martina McBryde Christmas CD and so excitedly helped me accomplish the task of putting up the tree this year.
I'm trying hard to accept this change for I know it is beyond my control. Growing up is hard...and not just for him, but for everyone. I am praying that God will give me the strength I need to get through these hard times, especially the ones where he so proudly lets me know how excited he will be when he no longer lives with us. Um...can you say rude awakening?? Been there, done that.
But for now, I am resigned to the fact that Little Ann and I will have to start our own Christmas traditions.
Friday, November 21, 2008
The rest of the night was spent rockin' out and goo-goo-ing and ga-ga-ing over Mac Powell and the rest of the band. I felt like a school girl again. I hadn't been this excited over a concert since seeing REO Speedwagon at the Arkansas State Fair my freshman year in college. I (sort of) forgot my 300 lens...actually at the last minute I talked myself out of bringing it because it's heavy and I didn't think I would like keeping up with it or changing out lenses during the night. Besides, from my ticket, I knew we were on the 11th row and I just knew I would be able to see and get some great shots. Not.
Sometimes being 5'2" is a total disadvantage...especially when everyone around you is standing and you get stuck right behind a very tall dude with a buzzed head. This was my view starting out.
It seems a little better than it was because I actually cropped the picture somewhat to get rid of more heads that continually bobbed in my way. Not for long though. About 2 songs into the concert, I had had all me and my nosy, want to be up close and personal, extroverted personality could stand, so I looked at my girls, said "I'll be back", and took off for the front row. Everyone was standing so they didn't really know if I belonged or not.
This was much better. Nothing between me and Third Day but a stage and a security guard.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
In less than 24 hours, myself and some friends are headed to the capital city to watch these guys perform live in concert. It's their Revelation Tour and I CAN'T WAIT!!
I couldn't find the original video to this song that gave permission to embed, but I found this. Just take the time to listen to this song. The words are so awesome. I know I am bound to have readers that are dealing with something in their life they just don't know how to handle. Whether it be a sickness or even death, family issues, guilt over past mistakes or simply unforgiveness. Whatever it may be...Cry out to Jesus. He has the answer.
Matthew 11:29 - Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
And I didn't do it with that stick I'm holding, but I'm old and my jeans were tight so I was grasping at whatever I could find to hold me up when I squatted down. lol.
In large mixing bowl:
1 cup Miracle Whip salad dressing
1 cup water
1 cup sugar (I use a tad over a cup)
1 t. vanilla
Sift together separately:
2 cups flour
4 T. cocoa
1/2 t. salt
2 t. soda
Add sifted ingredients a little at a time to other mixture. Beat until smooth. I bake in a bundt pan at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes depending on your oven.
After cake cools, I use this little recipe for the icing.
1/3 stick cream cheese
2 T. stick butter
1/2 t. vanilla
Cream till fluffy. Add powdered sugar until you get it to the consistency you want. adding a little milk gradually. (A teaspoon or so at a time). Ice. YUMMY!
3. Angie awarded me with this today...
1. I love chocolate milk. I know I've told you this before I'm sure, but I just can't live without it. I try and try, but I CAN'T DO IT!
2. I love Chili's chips and salsa. It is cheap and I can eat it until I am sick!..and I think I will have that tonight since I'm headed out shortly to buy groceries.
3. I love my camera. I hardly ever leave home without it. I wanted to take a picture of it...but hmmm....I couldn't quite figure that one out!
4. I love my heater. It goes everywhere I go especially in the winter time. Pete likes the house cool. I like it warm (80 is just fine..REALLY). So, when Pete's home, Mr. Heater and I are always together!
5. I love this hand blender. My mom introduced me to this several years back. I have issues with chunky stuff like big tomatoes in my chili, soup or cheese dip, etc. This works great to blend it up a little. Works perfect for me!! (Hey, shouldn't that be on a 'Works for me Wednesday post?') ha.
I am lovin' so many of your blogs, it's always hard to pick. It's a busy time of year, so I'm not going to obligate any of you. If you are on my "stalk list" (or not)....Consider yourself tagged!!
Monday, November 17, 2008
It is a beautiful Monday here in Arkansas today. The sun is shining and it is a pleasant 71 degrees outside. I lit my spice candle and opened my french door to enjoy what might be one last glimpse of fall.
The kids are at school, but Pete and I are home. A friend of ours is coming over to join Pete in the man cave to load some bullets. Did I ever tell you how much into guns and ammo Pete is? That is why I chose Pistol Pete as his blog name. It was ever so fitting. I have to watch my step around him, ha...
I thought I might make another Mayonaise cake because Matt has commented on how much he loves it. The first glitch was that all I had in the fridge was real mayo...and the recipe calls for Miracle Whip. It's pretty much the same, isn't it? So I went ahead and used it. Then I discovered all I had in the pantry was 1 cup of flour instead of 2, so after I jetted up to our little store and discovered all they had was self-rising instead of all purpose, I decided it wasn't meant to be.
HOWEVER, Matt brought me some flour when he got here, so I am off to finish the cake.
I hope everyone has a great week.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Outside my window.....I see lots of brown leaves on the ground and not in the trees.
I am thinking.....how I need to take advantage of this day in the house without the husband and the kids.
From the learning room.....High School Musical 3? Is that learning? Hey, it takes place at a High School, so that should count, right?
I am thankful for.....my friends. I am so blessed with friends from all phases of my life.
From the kitchen.....Diet Mountain Dew and brown sugar ham from the deli. Hey, I'm alone and I ain't cookin'!
I am wearing.....all casual today. Brown flip flops, navy knit capris and a green gap tee....and no, I don't even match. Who cares, huh? It's just me, myself, and I.
I am reading.....I am actually reading a book. Yes, I am trying anyway. It's called "The One Thing You Can't do in Heaven". It is for our bible study.
I am hoping.....that I can get our closets switched out from summer to winter wardrobes today instead of wasting the day away on this computer.
I am creating.....um, I don't know. Nothing?
I am hearing.....the wind blowing outside on this 49 degree day and the lull of the dryer with clothes turning inside.
Around the house.....I am getting tired of stepping all over a pile of socks I need to match and put away. The ones Pete has been looking for the past couple of days. oops!
One of my favorite things.....Mayonaise Cake. I know. It sounds totally gross....and I absolutely HATE condiments.. all of them except A1. But this is a recipe of my moms and it rocks. It is one of the only things I can create from scratch. You use 8 oz of Miracle Whip along with your other ingredients..flour, sugar, cocoa, etc..and it makes it soooo moist. You can't even taste the Miracle Whip. I put a (also from scratch) cream cheese icing on it. Oh my. It is delish! (And I made one last night and it reminded me how much I love it!)
A few plans for the rest of the week.....to be honest, I don't have many so far. I am hoping to get my housework caught up, the school will probably call for me to work (as they usually do every week), the THIRD DAY concert (yipee!!), and I am anticipating going Christmas shopping very soon. I may even start some online today!
A picture thought for the day.....
My poor doggie.
We always seem to laugh at her expense....
And before you judge me....this is totally NOT my beer. lol.
I can't stand alcohol, but it seems we have quite the rowdy bunch at the end of our cul-de-sac. Pete often brings beer cans up from the drive to add to our recycle can. The other day he met me in the carport and said.."Look honey, they left me a full one today!". So he went inside and retrieved none other than something to shoot with, because naturally that is the first thing a boy (or a man) thinks about.
As soon as he shot, the brew began to spew everywhere in the yard and Dixie was quick to start lapping it up. It was hilarious, but I began to suddenly question Pete asking him if it would kill her brain cells or damage her liver. So does it?
Friday, November 14, 2008
But moving on now, I've got a bit of news. Some good and some bad.
The bad news. My laptop decided today it was on facebook-blogger overload and wanted to go on strike. Yeah, the brand new one I got for my birthday in July. Hmmmm. Good thing I took out that warranty. But, I'm in such WITHDRAWAL. It may be at least 3 weeks before I get it back.
The good news. The closest Best Buy is in our capital city which is about an hour away. That's where I had to take my computer. Our capital city has an Outback Steakhouse, so that's where I got to eat supper!!
More good news. Went in to Little Ann's favorite girly store and they were having buy one, get one FREE...And it was even mix and match. She bought a tank and got a necklace free. Bought a sweater, got the leggings free. How cool is that??
Bad news. I've worked so much at the High School this week, that I am way behind on housework.
But the good news is it's Friday, some old friends of ours are coming into town, and I've got the weekend to chill-kid free. (I may have to visit the old deer stand again. lol.)
And in case any of you have noticed, I have 2 traffic feeds going on right now on my sidebar. I am just testing them out to see which one I like better. I do love seeing what towns you come from. Thanks for reading me!
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I knew it was only a matter of time after she started wearing a bra, and shaving her legs, and getting girly fashion mags in the mail. Only a matter of time before the boy's games didn't hold a candle to the next best color of lip gloss, a hip pair of boots, or who thought who was cute. In a way I'm glad. In a way I'm not.
You see, I've always been a little concerned about how tomboyish Little Ann has been up until now. It's not been a big deal, really, but in the back of my mind, I always wanted her to be close to the girls. I knew one day she would need them....need their support and their giggles and even their drama.
It seems that in the past couple of weeks she has been different. I'm still trying to put my finger on it. She was noticed recently by a couple of girls in the "popular" crowd that all of a sudden after 6 years in school decided they wanted to be her friend. How quickly her self esteem has changed, as well as her vocabulary. We now hear phrases such as "OMG!", I've "totally" got some new "BFF's
....and to me, well, it's just kind of weird. I'm trying not to make more out of it than need be, but I can't help but worry about her. She's really never cared before. The boys never judged her and she was comfortable in her own skin when she was with them, but I know deep down how important relationships are. There is nothing like having a girlfriend you can share everything with.
I know this is only the first of many new found friendships and cliques that she will be a part of as she's only yet begun her journey, but I know how vicious girls can be sometimes and I don't want to see her hurt.
I hope that she will always remember that boys can be your BFF's too, and that she always needs to love everybody, not just the ones that wear name brand clothes.
Anyway, before I bore you to death, I "totally" bloglifed this from my "BFF", April and I thought it was the "coolest". So with Little Ann's invitation to "sleep over" with the popular girls this weekend....AND a trip to see the new HSM 3 movie, I thought it was appropriate.....and hilarious. We laughed so hard we nearly peed in our pants.
Now, here comes the hard part. Tonight she discovered that her guy BFF (who now lives 3 hours away) was coming down for a visit the same night she was supposed to be hangin' out with the gals. What's a poor girl to do???
Scrapper Mom - Don't know how I deleted my sig, but somehow I did! oops.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
However, I feel like such a bad bloggy friend for not acknowledging my wonderful award givers sooner than this. So, without further adieu, I am giving big hugs to the following people:
Naomi sent me this sweet, thoughtful package of scrapbooking goodies all the way from Australia. Inside I found some butterfly stickers, a memo pad with koala bears on it, a pouch with girly ribbons, flowers, etc. inside, and a precious rub on quote that said " Children and mothers never truly part, bound in the beating of each other's heart." That meant so much to me. She said that she had to pick this up after reading all about my empty nest syndrome..lol..
Heidi bestowed upon me the "Best Blogging Friend" award. Thanks Heidi!! Ditto to you girl!
Tonda gave me the "I love your Blog" award, and the "Kreativ Blogger" award. Thank you much, Tonda. I'm so glad you started blogging...(although you don't post often enough..hint, hint.)
April awarded me not only a "Kreativ Blogger" award, but a "Real Life" award. My blog is definitely about real life. Pretty much as real as you can get...lol. In fact there seems to be so much drama in my life I have no need to add anything extra! (grin)
I was tagged by Angie with that crazy book tag...soooo, even though I'm cheating a little, this is what I've got. The book is called "Boundaries with Teens". Great book. (From what few chapters I started reading) Page 56 had some boring content, so I moved on over to page 57 and the first full paragraph of that page says this: My friend was talking about rescuing teens from experiencing their consequences. Parents who rescue their adolescents often do so out of guilt. They already feel bad about their kid's situation, and often feel partially responsible that their child doesn't have two parents in the home. (This chapter was mainly talking about single parenting). I'm not even a single parent (anymore), but wow, do I do this! Ok, Ang...good enough???
Aubs also tagged me with a "mommy and me" meme, which I really do want to do. I am going to wait a little while longer on that one though. I still need to think about my answers, and find a good picture of me and my kids.
And....last but not least, with the "Kreativ Blogger" award comes a list of 6 things that make me happy so here is my list:
1. Blogging. This has become very therapeutic for me. I love being able to just let it all out and then having such faithful readers comment with advice or just a supporting word. I love you guys.
2. A clean house. Something about being organized with everything in it's appropriate place that makes me feel like I've got it all together...(even though I don't. I can think it anyway, huh?)
3. Sour gummi worms and fruity flavors of gum. My best friend knows not to ask me for gum, because I am sure to offer her some weird flavor of bannana strawberry with a little dash of watermelon or something like that.
4. A completed scrapbook page. I love this hobby. It rocks!
5. Cheering Big Dan on in whatever he is playing at the time. I am totally his BIGGEST fan and I have NEVER missed a single game in all the years he has played in any sport he has played.
6. Snuggling with Little Ann. She is 100% my snuggle bunny. She sleeps with me every night that Pete isn't home, and if he is home, I lie down with her in her bed until she falls asleep. These times are so special to me because with Big Dan being 18, I realize how fast the years get away.
(((((BIG HUGS))))) to all of you!!! I hope I haven't forgotten anything!
Monday, November 10, 2008
Soon Pete headed out to work and I left these two alone with bb guns and a stack of aluminum cans.
Now they are gone, and all is quiet again, but I wonder if when they are older they will remember that their Aunt Scrapper Mom: