Sometimes an ending is a perfect way to have a beautiful beginning...

Monday, December 6, 2010

Dangerous Instincts

This cannot continue. There simply must be an end somewhere. Please. Someone make it stop.
There are babies, babies, everywhere. There were four babies in church alone, yesterday. No, they weren't alone. But if they had been that would be just fine with Hubby and I. We would scoop them up and hold them to our chests, and breathe in that new baby smell. This is beginning to become a problem.
To top it off, over the Thanksgiving holiday we 'babysat' a friend's bunny. You would think that my two girls would be the ones oohing and ahhing all over said bunny but, no. The one carrying Mr. Bunny all over the house like a newborn, rubbing his ears till he fell asleep, and doing the oohing and ahhing was Hubby. Houston, we have a problem.
Then, back to church, there we are in our towards-the-back row trying to concentrate on praise and worship when we've got four little precious faces on their Mommy's shoulders either sleeping or looking around. It is becoming more than I can bear. It is more than I can bear. I cannot bear anymore children. I mean, I could but I don't think I really want to. I beared (is that a word?) 10 hours of labor with Savannah only to be whisked off for an emergency c-section. I beared many sleepless nights (still am sometimes) with baby Bethany who, for some reason, thought sleep would kill her. I am bearing through this same child's terrible twos. I have enough to bear.
But just seeing those babies and, I guess for Hubby, the baby bunny, brings out the maternal and paternal instincts. Some of us have them stronger than others. I don't think my mother still has hers or maybe they're just for her granddaughters. Mine are still there. Hubby has strong paternal instincts. Especially as the daddy to two daughters. It's so attractive, too. To see my big, strong cop and marine get all sweet over babies and a bunny is just so, uh, attractive. You get my drift. He can afford to do that, though. He isn't the one who has to go through pregnancy and then labor and then nursing and not sleeping. Although he was very helpful, at the end of the day there was only so much the guy could do.
So, unless God has other plans, we will not be having any more babies. I've decided, just now talking to you all, remembering not just the good but the bad and the ugly too. And yes, I think my mother would kill us if I became pregnant again. She'd eventually be thrilled but at first, uh, not so much. Pray for her.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Girls Day

The girls and I will be heading to a Children's Museum today. Both of them are home with me all week and while I have lots to do 'round here I must stop and enjoy the joy of them today. We will have a 1.5 hour drive during which we will listen to some fun kid's music in the car, stop for a treat (maybe they'll let me get them a cookie at Starbucks instead of McDonald's!) we'll head to the museum and spend as much time as they want touching and playing with all of the exhibits. This museum has a big 'grocery store' the kids can shop in and ring up groceries in all day. I have no idea why this sounds like fun to my girls but they are looking forward to dressing up in the museum's dress-up section and hittin' the store. Oh wait, I sometimes I get dressed up and hit shops, maybe it's a genetic thing.
For lunch I am planning, wait for it, Chuck E. Cheese's. I told you it was a day for them. I know I am nuts. But see, I have a few shops I need to hit on the way home and I figure I can kinda' sneak them in if the girls are completely tuckered out, sugared up and on the low of that high. We live in an area just far enough away from everything that when I am somewhere I must make the trip count and figure out what else I need/want to do while I'm 'there'. Don't worry, I never want to stay there for too long (the noise and the traffic about do in this small-town girl) but I enjoy for a few hours.
Tomorrow is Christmas decorating, yep, with the girls home. I'll let you know how that goes!
Plus, I've asked for a new camera for Christmas so I will be posting pics soon, soon, soon! Hang in there with me...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sick

I'm sick today, and yesterday for that matter. I would say I'm "home sick" but I'm always home so that doesn't qualify. I had to drive to San Diego on Saturday for a leadership conference for church and on the way home I had a sneaking suspicion I was coming down with something. After stopping at Starbucks for the second time that day (and at 5:30pm I might add) I made it home.
Yesterday I was much worse. Fever, body aches, cold symptoms, check. Cranky husband who had to put in 'daddy duty' two days in a row, check. Now, I'm sitting on my couch, laptop in hand, hot tea on coffee table staring outside to the backyard. It's cold and windy out after raining this morning. I'm being a super great mom right now... Bethany is watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse in my bed after eating the 'bana' she just asked for (banana) and drinking her milk. I may just let her stay there as long as she wants.
Obviously, I'm still not feeling well. Oh, and I just noticed a ginger snap in the pot of my silk tree in the living room. I noticed it and walked on by. We had ginger snaps in this house about a week and half ago. Seriously, who are these people I'm living with? Here's hoping no cold/flu buggie finds you this season. And may all your store bought cookies stay out of tree pots.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

It's Looking at Me, part deux

We had a great time trick-or-treating with the girls. Savannah's best friend "since I was a baby" Kylee came too. We all piled into two golf carts and headed off in search of fun and candy. We drove, cold and uncomfortable with kids on every lap into the night. Some streets were busy busy. Some were spookily quiet and empty. We did them all. Bethany didn't want to say her much rehearsed line, "Trick or treat!" "Thank you, bye" in perfect two-year-old lingo, "she's so cute, I'll even give her parents, who taught this adorable child, some delicious chocolate" but she was there nonetheless to collect her share of the spoils. We saw pumpkins, spiders, webs, skeletons, witches and candy candy candy.
There were a few Haunted Houses. The older girls most certainly wanted to go in. Bethany and her Mama, not so much. But for candy, she obliged. Her Mama that is. On our second to last street, Hubby decided to stop at another scary house. "Go on up, I'll wait here with Bethany. Honey, take the girls up." The big girls were in front of me. From behind the big tree in the front yard stepped Michael Myers, calmly. I know it wasn't the real Mike Myers, right? But he had on a dark blue jumpsuit, boots and that awful white mask with the brown hair. He just stared. At me. I decided we needed to hurry. You know, it being a school night and all. "Hurry up girls."
Mike Myers just kept staring, yes, at me. "Girls, grab your candy, now." The girls, laughing at the other decorations and getting their candy and not even noticing the serial killer now stalking their mom. "Girls, move your rears, now". By now the candy giver was starting to gawk, the girls were finally paying attention and Hubby was cracking up watching all of this from the golf cart. And Mike Myers? Oh, he just stayed where he was but would slowly turn to keep staring at me, like eye-contact staring. Ghosts? Witches? Chain saws? No. Just a madman not moving but just staring at me. That'll do it.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I'm Being Obedient

I must blog. I must do it often. Pioneer Woman says so. I'm supposed to blog even if I can't think of anything to tell you. She gave several suggestions. One was to tell you how I feel when I walk into my laundry room. Really? Oh. Ok. Well, I feel a bubble of nausea rise from my stomach. I feel like I may have the vapors. I may faint right there. I will hit my head on the door of the dryer which is still open and go to glory on my tile floor. Or at least dream. I may dream of the days when there were no washers and dryers. There were prairies and horse drawn wagons and farms. Because life was so much simpler there was no need for 17 t-shirts, 11 pairs of jeans, 22 pairs of socks and 14 'church' shirts to wash, dry and maybe even iron. And that's just Hubby's wardrobe. Mine and the girls' are worse, much worse. I mean, in those days a lady might have a work dress and apron, a casual dress and a church dress along with a few under garments. All to be washed in the ring washer (is that their name?) and dried on the line. Yes, more work than what we do now but they were only washing say, eight outfits at a time! Their hour of work then drying time sure beats my full day of laundry. I'll take that any day over mine facing me tomorrow. So, I blogged, and now you know how I feel when I walk into my laundry room. Aren't you glad I told you? You can live the rest of your life now with such important information.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Great Blogs I Just Love

Hi everyone! I just added a new feature to my blog, all the way down the bottom of the blog is a list of other blogs that I just can't get enough of. Of course, Confessions of a Pioneer Woman is on the list. She is so much fun and so talented, from her writing to her photos to her great sense of humor and wit! You know I love me some witty women!!
Also on my list is Sugar Pie Farmhouse. Aunt Ruthie is just as talented but in the decorating arts and her paragraphs about the Lord are so inspirational. I've made several of her pies and she always makes me feel good about homemaking being my Higher Calling.
I just 'found' Purple Chocolat Home while I was looking for fall decorating, I just love to see what everyone else does. It's a beautiful site with more great photos and talent. This author loves chocolate and purple and went to Paris and fell in love with the city of lights (hence the nod to the French word for chocolate!)
Between Naps on the Porch is a blog I have followed for awhile. Susan has a gorgeous screened in porch and uses her table there for all her tablescaping and all her posts on that as well as entertaining. She is wildly popular as well.
I want to remind all of you to click on what all of these ladies read as well and you will discover more great blogs too. It's how I found all the blogs I enjoy reading, when I can of course! There are so many great ideas to decorating to crafting to home ideas, the list is endless.
We have been getting ready for Halloween. Savannah took 3rd place in a recent costume contest dressed as an Indian Princess homemade costume I made her. Way to go, Bug!! Bethany is going as a puppy dog. I will be posting plenty of photos very soon. I know photos make a blog as you will see when you check out all the ones I listed below!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Zucchini Bread, YUM!

I needed to clean out the freezer today, we just have a bunch of hodge-podge stuff in there, 1/2 bag of mini corn dogs, 1/2 bag of meatballs, frozen veggies, frozen strawberries, etc... So tonight we are having a 'clean the freezer dinner', just a mixture of all the items that need to be eaten. A few days ago my next door neighbor brought over zucchini from her garden along with yellow squash. I was so grateful because I had to leave my garden, in the prime of it's production I might add, to move here! So, instead of just weird dinner tonight from the freezer we'll be having zucchini bread with it!

The Best Zucchini Bread
3 cups of all purpose flour 3 eggs
1 tsp. salt 1 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. baking soda 2 and 1/4 cups white sugar
1 tsp. baking powder 3 tsp. vanilla extract
3 tsps. cinnamon 2 cups grated zucchini

Preheat oven to 325. Sift dry ingredients together except sugar. Beat oil, eggs, vanilla and sugar together in large bowl. Add dry ingredients to wet and stir well. Stir in zucchini. Bake 2 loaves for 40-60 minutes until cake tester comes out clean. Cool for 20 minutes until your family enters kitchen and devours the entire loaf in one sitting, if you can get them to wait that long.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What I Miss

I miss cleaning my house and it staying clean for a week, or longer...
I miss getting in my car and there not being books, wrappers, toys and trash in it...
I miss my waistline. It's still there somewhere... On that note, I miss that things are no longer where they used to be, you know, higher...
I miss my camera... my Buglette threw a fit and threw the camera. Bye bye camera.
I miss my first job, working with all of my friends, making a few bucks for fun money...
I miss money being 'just for fun'...
I miss my high school girlfriends; we are all too busy with our lives to see each other regularly...
I miss that if I saw all my high school girlfriends it wouldn't be the same...
I miss kissing Hubby after a high school football or soccer game when he was all sweaty and he wasn't Hubby...
I miss staring at my engagement ring and getting goosebumps...
I miss my little brother... he's no longer little and lives far, far away...
I miss the smell of my baby's head...
I miss feeling the butterflies of life in my abdomen...
I miss the cute little two-door car I had for so long...
I miss the movie theater...
I miss trying to decide what to do on Friday and Saturday nights...
I miss my dear friend after she left the state...
I miss laughing with said friend till someone had to run to the restroom...
I miss carbohydrates, sugar and eating without counting points...
I miss quiet dinners when Hubby and I could actually talk to each other...
But I'm grateful that life is exactly where it is right now...

Thanks for listening.



Sunday, October 10, 2010

Thirteen in Eighteen

Well. Yes. I am here. I think. No, no, I'm here. Yes. Here. I am right back where I started from. Literally, the same town I grew up in is now where we live, again. It's all very very good. I am happy to be home. We got to move right back into our same house, too. I have been forcing myself to come up with different places for things, you know, switch it up a bit. It's been going well. I knew we were moving back just one week before we actually pulled the three (yes, you read that right, 3, tres, three) moving trucks out of the driveway. But more on that later.
All of the moving had me recalling all of the moves we have made in our eighteen years of marriage. We counted thirteen total such events. Thirteen.
First, the week of our wedding I moved from my parent's home and my baby pink bedroom of many many years into my first home, ever. There wasn't much to move, a navy blue couch, a kitchen table and chairs, a few end tables, a bedroom set and various boxes and wedding gifts. It all went into a small little one bedroom house just outside Hubby's first duty station in the middle of the desert. We didn't live there (not even one night!) until we returned from our honeymoon.
The next most memorable move (there were 2 more in between the first and this one) was down to the beach town we would spend the next three years in. We lived on base. We loved it. I spent the first summer freezing in sweats and wondering where the heck the sun went. Then we adjusted, and fell in love with it. It's still a bit of a home away from home for us.
Another memorable move was to our first home we ever owned. We felt like we were royalty! We watched it be built. We wrote in drywall things like 'baby's room' and put our hands into wet cement. We lived there for three years but that will always be our house.
After leaving that house (yes, with baby in tow now) we were back in an apartment at the same small beach town as before, waiting for orders for Hubby to head off to war. As he prepared for war, we headed back to the town we are in now. We bought a house again, this time on a lake and once again felt like royalty. He returned from Iraq and sold that home on the water and bought the home we are in now. After three years here, we rented it out and moved to the last house we were in. Two years later, we are back and whew, I'm exhausted.
So, two months ago, we packed by just throwing things into boxes, loaded up a four bedroom plus loft home and, with help from my family and a few of our friends drove three large moving trucks of stuff and four vehicles following back to where we started from. Before moving this time I made Hubby promise that this was the last move. He agreed. You all are my witnesses.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Patience is a Virtue

Hey there. Are you there? Hello? Oh, hi. I guess you're there, it's me who's been MIA! Our family has undergone major change since August 3rd. We found out on July 26th that we needed to move because Hubby was getting active duty status with the Marine Corps. I had a week's notice about this move! The good thing is that Hubby will be stationed at a base near our hometown! And he's not going off to war this time! We got to move back to the small town I was raised in! We are here and in our 'old' house. We had a renter in it and he left just as we needed it! God is amazing! We are still getting settled; I hate moving and we calculated 13 moves in the 18 years we've been married. All I can say is, "whew", I'm exhausted. I am still unpacking many boxes and many to go. Patience needed. The funny thing is the real reason why I haven't been able to talk to you all. We live in an area considered 'rural' and thus we can't get internet service just yet. I am so frustrated but I must be patient. I head on over to mom and dad's to check email and this is first time I've blogged since the move. Patience needed. I have great pictures I have promised to post. Patience. Many adventures to fill you in on and all the craziness that is my family will be blogged soon. Patience. Stay with me. Have patience. I'm getting a lesson in that too.
'But the fruit of Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness and self-control' Galatians 6:22

Friday, July 16, 2010

I Promise to Take Pictures

The babies are still asleep! It's summer, so I let them stay up late and they tear around this house doing Lord-knows-what whooping for joy that their mama has no control over them. It's quiet in my house right now; the kind of quiet that makes me want to sit and enjoy my cup of coffee, writin' to all of you. But I can't. I'm supposed to be getting ready to head south today. We are heading to San Diego for one night and 2 days. Hubby has to do some Marine Corps reserve thing down there and the girls and I are tagging along for a change of scenery. We'll go to the beach to run from waves, build sandcastles and get sand in unmentionable places. We are looking forward to it. We (the girls and I) are also going to the opening of a new shop in Escondido called Urban Barn. I am super-duper excited about this because I will be meeting Aunt Ruthie of Sugarpie Farmhouse, her famous blog! I am bringing my camera, I will be stalking her like some crazed fan. Oh wait, I am some crazed fan. My mom and I love love love her blog. She is a native Californian who moved to Branson, MO and now channels the farm wives that lived in that area a few decades ago. She blogs about the Lord too and decorates so cute and takes beautiful pictures. I will be trying to stand near her hoping by osmosis I can make my blog half as wonderful as hers!
I will takes photos. I will post them. I promise. Stay cool. Not figuratively, but literally. It's hot hot hot here.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Cows and Mamas are a lot Alike

So my mom and dad asked if Hubby and I wanted to get away on a trip for awhile. Seriously? YES!!! Oh wait, that means my girls can't come. That means they will stay home with their Nana and Papa. They will eat without me, play without me and sleep without me, ok, I guess they do that anyways but still...
Hubby wants to go on a five-day cruise. That sounds nice. Five days and four nights of eating in peace and quiet, sleeping in peace and quiet, reading when I want to, taking a walk when I want to and just plain being with Hubby again as Hubby, not Daddy. But what if one of my babies needs me? What if someone gets hurt playing outside? Or they just miss me and can't get to me?? Or heaven forbid, someone gets sick? I will be hundreds of miles away on a ship for goodness sakes! It's not like there are cell phone towers in the middle of the ocean.
This all reminds me of the Pioneer Woman blog. http://thepioneer woman.com If you are not a reader well, you must become one. You just must. Ree is a red-headed, freckled mama of four married to the Marlboro man (her version of Hubby) and they live on and run a cattle ranch. She is originally from the city. Seriously. Her blog is a hoot and a holler and when I'm not cooking, cleaning or writing this or, okay, I admit, coloring or playing ball with one of my own babies I check out what Ree and the cowboy family is up to.
One of her posts talks about what happens when new calves are born. Marlboro man and the other cowboys must separate mama from baby so they can give the babies shots, brand them and check on their overall health. The mamas and the babies (no, not the Mamas and the Papas, the mamas and the babies...) are separated by one wood rail fence. The mamas stay at the fence trying to find their babies. The babies are lost without their mamas. Once that fence gate opens its' cow confusion. Mamas mooing for their babies and babies crying for their mamas. Looking at Ree's photos I really sympathize with her cows. " Excuse me, has anyone seen my calf? She's about yea tall, beautiful brown hair and eyes and is just the cutest ever... I'll be screaming over here for her if you find her."
It's sort of how I feel thinking about this cruise. I know Hubby and I need time together and I look forward to that aspect. But I know that by day three I will be done, starring at Hubby thinking, "Who's he and where are my babies?"

Friday, July 2, 2010

Independence Day


It's Fourth of July weekend. I love Fourth of July, I always have. My parents did a great job of creating memories for us, especially on holidays. The 4th was no exception.
It began when we (my little brother and I) were small and we lived on a cul-de-sac in a new neighborhood with other young families. We created lifelong friends on that block. All the neighbors would join in the middle of the block for a big July 4th party. All the dads would bring out their grills, us kids would decorate our bikes and scooters for a parade, music would play, and when it was dark we did fireworks. Yep, you heard that right, fireworks right out in front of our homes. Those were the days before safety was not the most important thing and parents still allowed their kids to play out front. I even have pictures of about 10 of us kids piled into the back of a pickup truck for a ride! My girls have no concept of what a sparkler even is now and the back of our truck is strictly for objects.
After moving to the small town I grew up in, 4th of July became huge parties at the park overlooking the lake. We swam till dark, played games, ate, swam more and then everyone would scatter to find the best spot to see all the fireworks shoot over the lake. As I became a teen the 4th of July became even more fun... partying at the lake with my friends, watching the fireworks and staying out afterwards. My parents were a little naive...
After getting married, Hubby and I created our own memories. He was in the Marine Corps so we would gather with friends and celebrate. Once we moved to Camp Pendleton the celebrating took place on the beach. Camp Pendleton would throw huge parties with sponsors, fireworks, food vendors and the like. Sometimes they were a little crazy. I just remember sitting in traffic for about an hour to get home even though we lived about a half-mile from the beach. We didn't have our girls yet so we could stay and have fun and not have to rush home. Ahh, those were the days...
Now, as a family, we have block parties (that's me trying recreate my childhood) and then sit on our balcony overlooking the valley and watch fireworks go off at all the different venues. Bethany goes to bed long before they pop. Of course, all the neighbors are over and the kids (I should say, 'girls', there's not a single boy in the bunch!) are so silly with candy and no rules and playing outside in the dark.
This weekend, take time to remember our freedom is not free and some are working in a dry, hot desert, thousands of miles away to protect what we so take for granted. Happy 4th of July!!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Trowel and Error

I'm sure I've told you that I garden. I've had a garden in every house we've ever lived in. From growing strawberries and tomatoes in pots when we lived in the hot hot desert of Twentynine Palms to bougainvillea vines climbing all over my house at the beach in San Clemente along with more strawberries and cucumbers, I have always had a garden.
It really began when I still lived at home and dad let me have a small section of the backyard for a strawberry patch. I was asking for a horse and I think this was his way of sedating me! I didn't know a thing about gardening but still those red berries thrived. I'm sure I asked advice from my green-thumbed grandmother who grew up in a time when a garden wasn't a fun activity but a necessity. As a kid I remember grandma and grandpa's garden; sunflowers taller than my dad's head, tomatoes red and large, bell peppers ready to be stuffed, even blackberries plump and sweet.
I must have gotten my love of gardening from my grandma. My mom doesn't garden, hum, I'm not sure why, but she doesn't. Maybe this thing skips generations. I am the only one out of four grand kids and two of her own daughters who gardens. I think maybe this world is just too busy and full. Maybe that's why I keep a garden. I have to escape the kids, the house, the hubby, the TV and the computer (no offense) to go out back and water, pull weeds and pluck vegis. It's the best excuse I can come up with.
I sometimes have good luck with my gardens and sometimes not. It is trial (trowel!) and error. I've read the books but still it's up to God and nature what comes up. I love that. Even if I do what all the books say, the garden has a mind of its' own. No 'book learnin' here!! It's up to the Lord to see what happens. I've had plenty of successful gardens, plump berries, red tomatoes, large cucumbers, sweet peppers and bright orange pumpkins. And I've had seasons when my garden just refused to cooperate. Two years in a row I fought little flat beetles on the undersides of my pumpkins. More times than I can count have I had plenty of squash blossoms but nooo squash! Plenty of strawberry flowers but no berries. And for some reason, that's o.k. with me. I take it all in stride and just try again next year.
Ever since I became a mommy gardening had new meaning. I love teaching my girls about the seasons, the seeds, the ways and reasons a garden grows or doesn't. It's really a show of God's promise to provide for us right there in the lettuce and melons. Savannah began by being in her bouncer seat while I watered to now pulling weeds herself. She and my grandma made our resident scarecrow, Mr. Tom. He stands there scaring away nothing, he's just too cute. Savannah always reminds me about our garden every early spring. The moment it's obvious the weather is changing she is upon me, "Mom, are we doing a garden this year?" Yes is always the answer.
Maybe it's time for her to have her own strawberry patch...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

Okay. If you're a prude or a male you may not want to read this! Today is the 100th anniversary of the bra! I, for one am very grateful that this unique device was created. I would be a sloppy mess without my bra. I would not want to walk, much less run without my bra. Well, I wouldn't want to do anything without a bra! It's such a supportive friend.
The history of the bra begins in the 1800s with it's first crude ancestors. Many women embraced the first bras as the bra embraced them. Chores were easier, less painful and clothing looked more tailored with these first bras. As the bra evolved, it became more like a corset and much more stifling. Remember in he movie Titanic when Rose's mother is tightening her corset... they had a great dialogue about a woman's position in those days; to marry wealthy and help provide for her family. As the corset tightens it becomes a great metaphor for Rose's life in a cage.
In the 40s and 50s women put themselves into very utilitarian bras. Large, many clips and definitely underwires were the rage and what was 'proper'. Many times, these bras gave a 'pointy' look. Hum...
In the 60s and 70s, as women fought for equality with men, their clothing showed the determination the wearer had to be taken seriously. Bra burning was a show of force to others that women were no longer going to fit into stereotypes set by generations before. I have a friend, who shall remain nameless, who never wore a bra until she was well into her 20s and married. She grew up in the 50s and 60s and embraced "hippie-dom" when it hit. I must admit, it does sound freeing!
Alas, I can never go without a bra. That's ok. My figure looks much better with my supportive friend. Bras have really evolved. Even I can get one now that's supportive as well as pretty and feminine. There are special shops I can go to for my size bra. Even my sports bras are better now than when they first came out. The sports bra first got popular during the women's game of the World Cup. The winning women's team, after running, kicking and sweating pulled off their team jerseys to reveal their snug-fitting yet modest sports bras. Women everywhere took a sigh of relief as we saw what to wear during workouts. As a teen I danced ballet, tap and jazz. It was my life then... some class almost every day after school. Sports bras did not exist then. I really wish they would have!
So, as you get dressed this morning or undressed tonight thank your friend the bra for all the support over the years! I know I will.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Just A Dream

Today is my birthday. When you've got little ones at home your own day seems to fall by the wayside! That's ok. I actually forgot it was today until Savannah wished me a good one this morning. "Oh yea, I almost forgot!" I've been getting phone calls and well wishes on my Facebook page. I am so blessed with my friends and family.
Hubby has to be gone this week in training so yesterday he spoiled me. I woke up to a beautiful light blue and white beach cruiser bike. He even got me a basket for it! I just love it. I have always dreamed we would live in some small town with a sweet Main Street filled with shops, a florist and a bakery. I would ride my bike into 'town' to buy some french bread and flowers for the table. Of course the town is beautiful with benches, flowers planted all around, friendly neighbors and the like. I guess I see it as a cross between Hale, Maryland from Runaway Bride and the sweet town in Practical Magic. We live in our cute Cape Cod styled house close enough to town so that I can ride my bike to go pick up groceries and put them in my basket. When I shop, all the people know my name because they know everyone in town 'cause it's a small town. I can park my bicycle just outside the shops without locking it. While the girls are in school I ride to the police station to bring Hubby and his partner lunch (it's just the two of them and the only 'crimes' they deal with are the occasional teenagers causing a rucus) and help them wash the one and only police cruiser. Small towns. My new bike is a good start! Thanks honey for contributing to my dream! Till then, I will continue driving everywhere, buying groceries at a superstore and riding my new bike through our neighborhood. I can still dream, though.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hair

I have always had a bit of a love-hate relationship with my hair. It is very rare that I find a style I like and thus, make a return trip to the salon for the same cut. Right now, unlike my blog photo, I have about shoulder length hair that I am growing out from said photo. I didn't mind the cut and even that grew out from a very disastrous cut I got before that grew out. I am fickle when it comes to my hair. Hubby, on the other hand, loves it when my hair is long. He is very vocal about this. In the early years of our marriage many of our arguments ended with me at the salon cutting off inches and inches of my hair. But now, sometimes I do it just because I want a change. Thank heavens we've matured.
As a kid, mom kept my hair on the shorter side. I remember the Dorothy Hammill cut I wore for some of elementary school. I also remember mom giving me perms at the height of the home-perming movement of the late '70s. Don't tell anyone but my dad and uncle (both cops at the time) each had perms too. It was a weird time. My first day at my new elementary school, when I met the kids I would graduate high school with, mom put foam rollers in my hair and I went to school with very out of control curls. It took a long time to live that one down.
In Junior High I wanted long hair very badly but didn't want to take care of it. I hated the knots and sessions of brushing out tangles. Off it went. By the time I entered high school I had made peace with my hair and it had grown out considerably. It was the big-hair eighties and I was rockin' the big bangs and the tease comb and hair spray! My hair was long and I always had it curled, bangs teased high. When I didn't want my hair down my back and across my shoulders I wore it in a pony tail with my bangs 'down', a little "Grease-like" as in Sandy, not Rizzo. I even liked "Danny-ish" boys to complete the look. I met my future hubby in my long curls and big bangs. He said I looked cute.
As a newly-wed, I didn't know where me and my hair fit in. It was the grunge season. Hair was supposed to be long, straight and um, gross. I could not do that! So, I went though many more fazes with my hair. Short, medium length in a bob, long again, but straight, bangs, no bangs. My color even changed. As a girl I had blonde hair. As I got older it got darker to dark blonde/light brown. I highlighted. Then I colored it reddish brown for many years. Right now, as I age, it gets darker. No, I haven't found any gray hair, yet. Hubby is getting a lot of gray but it makes him look distinguished. I don't think it will have the same affect on me. So I color it. Right now it's a deep brown which I think looks good on my fair complexion and blue eyes. I'm sure I will change my mind.
As women we are so strange about our hair. My girls are even beginning their own hair-identity. Savannah has always had it long but just a few days ago got it cut into a bob. Bethany will either be cursed or blessed. Her hair is curly, curly, curly. I love it. She may not. You don't see men freaking out about their hair like we do. They don't color or cut, grow or worry about their hair (usually). I just want Hubby to have it on his head, not long, not too short. If it's receeding, oh well (his isn't) just go bald. But us women? Nope. Wigs, falls, fake pieces make millions of dollars for their makers. I never see toupees advertised on T.V. So, I must make peace with my hair. It grows quickly. I'm in the midst of it now. Just one question. At what age is long hair no longer flattering and I should wear it short? Just wondering.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

National Day of Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, Our Lord Jesus Christ,
Lord, I pray, on this our National Day of Pray for our country. I pray for our president. Lord, give him wisdom to turn to You for strength and knowledge. Lord, I pray that he knows You and if he doesn't that he will come to know You through people he comes in contact with. Father, please send people to be an influence on our president's life; remind him that America is indeed a Christian nation and to never turn his back on Christianity and therefore You, again. Please protect his family and cause them to have a relationship with You.
Father, I pray for those men and women serving our country in wars right now. Lord, please protect them, give them strength to get through their difficult tasks. Cause them to turn to You for strength and protection and for a relationship with You. Please be with their families as they are separated and concerned for each other. Come alongside these families and be there for them filling their needs during such a difficult time.
Lord, I pray for the citizens of America. Lord, so many have turned from You or never have even known You. I pray for this to change! Lord, cause our citizens to want a relationship with You! You have promised that if America would change her ways You would be faithful to forgive her. We need this now. Heal our relationship with You for we were indeed founded on Christian principles with You as our backbone. Forgive us for taking You out of our schools, courts and other institutions. Please heal our financial state and to, from this point on, handle our country's finances the way You would have us.
Father, please strengthen the American family. The state of the family shows the state of this country and Lord, our families need You. Without strong, healthy, two-parent families this country fails. We are in a crisis because of the state of our families. Divorce is at an all-time high, children are being born out of wedlock, even our country's leaders are redefining what a family is, allowing even same-sex marriage. Lord, we need to turn from our evil ways! Please forgive us for such sins. Marriage is Your institution and You designed it for a man and a woman, only. Forgive those of us who even have a relationship with You and yet say nothing as our country descends into such debauchery.
Lord, I pray for this country, my home. I love my country. Please be with her in this age and forever. Change us. Strengthen us. I pray America comes to know You as her Lord and Savior. Amen.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

An Apron, A Garden, a New Show

Hello? Anyone home? You whoooo? Can I come in? Don't worry about the house... it's just me!
Well hey there! I've missed you all, again. Yep, it's my own fault... I know it is. But I'm here now!
Life has been crazy and good but busy! I've got 'company' comin' out a my eyeballs! Hubby's Dad and step-mom were here last week and we had a great visit with them. This week his Mom and step-dad are here! What a blast! I do love 'company'! Gives me a good reason to scrub the house. Once they're here, though, I don't stress about it. If they saw it clean when they first got here, well that's good enough!
This is mine and Bethany's birthday month along with Mother's Day, my mother-in-law's birthday, my dear friend Linda's birthday, my parents anniversary and of course, don't you know, I just had to be a May bride! May breaks our bank! Last weekend Mom and I celebrated Mother's Day by going to an event at church. We had a great time! I love some good worship time, great food, good messages, and even shopping! There were about 12 vendors selling their wares! Mom bought be a cutie-patootie apron for Mother's Day. I am an apron girl! I wear them all the time to cover spills, dirt, cleaning products, and, um, diaper stuff. I wear them when I'm entertaining and have even been know to forget to take them off when I pick Savannah up from school, which produces the mortifying sound, "Moooom! How could you forget to take it off?!" So, thanks, Mom! Your granddaughter will love it!!!
Yesterday I bought flowers for the front yard (petunias are the best for our area) and then vegetable plants for our garden. I have a garden every year, in every house we've lived in. I love getting out there and planting, pulling weeds, and watering. I love to teach my girls about life through the garden. A garden shows God's provision for us! This year we got a late start so instead of using seeds (my preferred method) I had to use the plants that are ready to go. I am so late because our weather has been so weird! Really, we had snow in the first week of April!
We have had a new family program we are all enjoying immensely! It's called America: The Story of Us. It's on the History channel on Sunday nights. We make Savannah sit and watch with us. (she really enjoys it too!) It's about the founding of our country from the very beginning. We're up to the beginning of the Civil War. Of course, the program showed the horrors of slavery. At this point Savannah could barely stomach it. She was shocked that this once happened in our country. She knew about slavery but the show really replayed so many injustices and, as she thought of all of her African American friends, it made her cry. She didn't want to watch. We made her and told her we all need to know what happened so it is never repeated. She learned about Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad, about Frederick Douglas and his slim escape on a train to freedom. I highly recommend America: The Story of Us.
Hope you all have a fantastic weekend and to all the mothers out there, Happy Mother's Day!

Monday, April 26, 2010

All Play and No Work!

When I was growing up there were a few times my little brother and I would go to bed, say on a Thursday night for school the next day. Homework done, ready for another day of school. 7am would come and instead of being awaken for breakfast, getting dressed, catching the bus we would wake to our dad bursting into our rooms like a kid himself announcing we were going to Disneyland instead! I mean, could you imagine anything more exciting as a kid? We would head off to breakfast (blueberry pancakes are the only way to get you ready for a day at Disneyland) and then head to the park. Missing school to be with our family and spend the day together, no TV, no computer (ok, there were no computers then) and no work was just a perfect fantasy.
On Friday, Savannah came home from school with an amazing report card. Great grades and evidence of a lot of hard work. We woke up this morning (Monday) and surprised her with a trip to Disneyland! I could really see why my dad loved to do this! We had a blast, Bethany discovered it for the first time and it was precious. We hit all the major rides and even had time to have lunch and do a bit of shopping.
I am so grateful for days like today. For the entire day to spend as a family with no TV, work, computers and even cell phones. Savannah wasn't as excited about missing school as my brother and I were (she loves school!) but was just thrilled with her surprise of where we were going! This day will help get us through all the days of homework, getting up early and tests to come! Way to go Bug! We are proud of the hard work you have put in!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Where the Heck I've Been...

Well, hey there Peeps! I have missed you all sooo much! Life around this here place has been nutty! Last we spoke was three weeks ago! Oh my!!! I have neglected all my Peeps and I am hearin' from you all! I'm gettin' lectures from my mama, Hubby's friends are wonderin' if I'm alive and all you readers in Twitter-Land are threatin' to boycott! Ok, ok, I'm here!!!
In late March I went with Savannah and her fourth grade class to Coloma and Sacramento. We spent one night up there so it was pretty much a turn-around trip. Coloma is where gold was discovered in California so we got to see Sutter's Mill and even pan for gold. All of the 20 kids found gold! Imagine how much gold is still up there!!! I can easily see how the gold rush got started! The next day we went to the capital building in Sacramento. It was wonderful to see! We even had a private tour of the governor's offices. Afterwards we went to Old Town Sacramento to see an old schoolhouse from the mid-late 1800s and then a train museum. After dinner we headed home! Whew! It took me the entire weekend to recover!
Easter was next! We went 'home' (where I grew up and where we last lived) and the girls got to have 2 Easter egg hunts and we had dinner with family. Savannah's Easter break was great, although we spent most of the week at home it was warm enough for the girls to have lots of play time outside.
Hey, did you hear that? That ringing. There it is again. It's the sound of grandparent's phones all over the west ringing off their hooks. It's Law Enforcement's Baker to Vegas relay run this weekend! I can just hear all those phones ringing and the begging of parents asking Nanas and Papas to babysit their grand kids! Hubby has run this race several, several years in a row. A few years he's gone without me (I was home with a baby) and come home right after running. Last year though, I went with him. It's a huge endeavor for whoever plans it! Law Enforcement agencies from all over the west (and even some points east!) participate. It's really awesome. Hubby and I take this opportunity to have a trip just the two of us. It's perfect because we are in Las Vegas, about 3-4 hours from the girls in case something goes wrong (it's more for my piece of mind, I'm a nervous nelly of a mother!) and we have plenty to do for a few days. This year we are taking a few extra days for ourselves! We are going on Saturday and returning on Tuesday! Oh boy! We are excited like kids in a candy store. We've been planning this for months! Vegas is ok, we don't really do the Vegas thing so we've been checking out things like going out in the desert on quads, going in a hot air balloon over the Grand Canyon and maybe even river rafting. We shall see! One thing that is there in Vegas is the CSI experience. You get to pick one of three crime scenes to investigate and solve. I am going to do that! I love crime scene investigation (remember, there's law enforcement all over our family, it was bound to rub off on me) and I'll get to pretend! I'll let you know if it's worth it!
Because of Nana and Papa (my mom and dad) coming to stay here with the girls I've been doing some spring cleaning. Ugh. It's one thing to have company here while I'm here, it's a whole other ballgame when I'm not here! I've been cleaning blinds, organizing drawers and closets and pulling stuff out we don't use for a garage sale. More ugh. But one suggestion I'm following is putting all of our sheets inside one of the matching pillow cases. What a trick! My linen closet was a mess before thanks to little curious hands and now it's soo organized! Mom will be impressed!
I will be posting some pictures from Easter (girls in new Easter dresses, is there anything more adorable?) and from the fourth-grade trip. I'm just having some difficulty with my camera! Plus, I will have Hubby take some of me solving some CSI crime in Vegas! I will also take some of him running out in the middle of nowhere! I just don't get running but he loves it. If I'm running someone had better be chasing me...

Monday, March 22, 2010

All Things 'Mom'

Ok, I don't have a ton of time to blog today but I've got some great things to tell you, so, pay attention!! Haha! I'm feeling like all things 'mom' are swirling around me today! Bethany is officially 22 months old! She's two months away from being two! I can't believe it! Sometimes I feel melancholy about them growing up and sometimes, like today, I am thrilled for each milestone reached, each bit of time passing. Let's face it, Bethany's 'babyhood' was a bit of a trial! She tried what she could to get away with anything, she tried (and succeeded) many new things, she tried to be like her big sister, she tried (and usually succeeded) to pull the wool over her daddy's eyes, and she tried her mommy's patience! Oh, and just this morning she tried to get out of her car seat (and almost succeeded) coming home from taking Sissy to school. She calls Savannah Sissy. Savannah wanted her to. Savannah wanted to be a sister for so long that when Bethany came along all she wanted to hear was 'Sissy'. The 'trial' has been worth it!
My mother-in-law sent me some great 'mom' quotes today that she thought I could relate to... oh, yeah, I can relate! She'll get to relate in a few months when we fly back there for vacation and she gets her granddaughters all to herself!
Real mothers know that their kitchen utensils are probably in the sand box
Real mothers often have sticky floors, filthy ovens and happy kids
Real mothers know that dried play-dough doesn't come out of carpet
Real mothers don't want to know what the vacuum just sucked up
Real mothers know to panic when the house is quiet
Yep, that about sums it up! My favorite is the one about the sticky floors and filthy ovens! I cook constantly. My kitchen is always in use. My floors and oven show it. But my family is happy and always wants to know, "What's for dinner?"
The last 'mom' thing to share with you is about an owl. Her name is Molly and she is a barn owl. Her husband (because they can't have babies without being married, duh) is McGee. They just became parents to Max and are awaiting four more owlettes to hatch any day now. A man named Carlos provided an 'owl box' fifteen feet in the air for them and then he put a web cam in too! Children all over the US have been watching and learning all about owls! Ok, you caught me, not just children. When Max was born you would've thought he was my baby. I cried. I can't help but to check in on them every once in a while to see what they're up to. Sometimes Molly stands up to stretch and you can see baby Max! Oh, squeals of delight! McGee brings them food and visits at night. Otherwise, he parks himself in a tree nearby to keep watch. I told you he was her husband. That's what my husband does, anyways. He provides food, protects us in our nest and visits at night.
You can go watch all about Molly, McGee and baby Max (who is soon to be a big brother) at
http://www.ustream.tv/theowlbox it's addicting, your floors will stay sticky and your oven a mess, don't say I didn't warn you.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Good 'Ol Floyd

I was driving home from taking Savannah to school, usually Bethany and I are contemplating the day ahead but this morning I was itching to just listen to some music. Turn on the radio and start surfing... usual stations just not cutting it. I went to a station I don't usually listen to... it's a soft jazz station I only put on when 1) Bethany is screaming in the back seat or 2) the girls are fighting because Savannah is antagonizing her sister and Bethany has lost her temper or 3) I just don't want to know they are back there (come on, admit it... you've done it too).
So, on went the soft jazz station and it was so nice, soft, pleasant. A song came on that just transported me away to another time, another place. It was a song by Floyd Kramer (I waited to hear who it was) all instruments, no vocals. In one moment I was 'mama' heading home to do mundane chores, change diapers, clean, do laundry and the next I was fourteen years old, in a Honda Accord with my parents and my little brother (who would've been eleven) as we drove to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon on vacation. I believe my parents loved Floyd Kramer because they listened to it during the entire drive. No Michael Jackson, Madonna or even Hall and Oats (it was the '80s). Just Floyd Kramer. In the small car with their kids killing each other in the back. We were at the height of our sibling rivalry. He just drove me nuts as I'm sure my teenage self did to him.
I remember the weather was cool and overcast (the North Rim is like being in the mountains, trees and all) and I had on a Members Only jacket (why in Heaven's name would I remember this?) and we stopped to see some deer. Then we headed to the North Rim 'resort' we stayed at. We stayed in an adorable cabin, there were many. I met a friend who was staying there also. She was sweet, we vowed to keep in touch but never did. I think that was also the year we headed to Durango, Colorado. We rode the Durango to Silverton railroad (a three hour train trip up the mountain in open cars being pulled by a coal locomotive). Many years later Hubby and I found a painting of the exact same railroad going up the mountain and it's in our bedroom.
So, I drove home, not quite sure of how I got here because the entire time Floyd Kramer played I was fourteen and fighting with my brother in the Honda. Music is transporting and magical. Thanks Floyd.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

So, What's Your Story?

I have been getting to know my bible study group of ladies lately. They're very sweet, Christian sisters who come from all walks of life. One's a former business owner who once had lots of money till this economy took hold, one is mostly deaf but is a practiced lip reader, one is a mom to four and in severe dire straights financially speaking, one is in very poor health with diabetes and has to go to dialysis a few times a week. They all have one thing in common, though. They love the Lord, they trust Him no matter their circumstances and they see the brighter side of their lives because Jesus is their savior.
We all got together at my home last week to just get to know one another better. After I got to ask them all kinds of questions to find out about them they then all wanted to know my 'story'. Well, I filled them in on the, "I'm a mama, a wife, we moved here in August of '08, my Hubby is in law enforcement" stuff. They didn't want to know that stuff. "We already know all of that!" Oh. They want to know me. I'm sometimes not great at telling that. I'm not proud of a lot of it. Yes, it's what brought me to the Lord in the first place but, ugh... it's not pretty. I hesitate to even think about it all, let alone tell it! But then, what if it helps someone? What if my story helps turn someone to the Lord? Isn't it worth it? Yes. It. Is.
I asked Jesus into my life as my Lord and savior when I was 16 and had dealt with teenage 'stuff'. I was in a youth group through church and knew I needed to be saved from myself and needed a savior. My Hubby and I met in our senior year in high school. A year after graduation we were married. He was in the Marine Corps and we moved a lot but amazingly, we always stayed in California! We went to church. He was constantly gone in training and in schools. After 8 years in active duty he decided to leave the corps and join the police department. More training, more schools. We tried for 4 years to have our oldest, Savannah. One of the sweetest moments I ever had with the Lord was when I found out I was pregnant! I was on my knees thanking Him and praising Him. I was crying wonderful tears of joy. Savannah was born and we became parents finally, 8 years into our marriage. A year after her birth our marriage hit the skids. We separated and came very close to divorce. In the midst of our marital strife Hubby was called back to active duty with the Marine Corps due to the war in Iraq looming on the horizon. By then, Savannah was 2 and a half and we had moved back to 'home', the small town I grew up in. On February 23rd, 2003 Hubby left for Iraq. We had done what we could to strengthen our marriage and to have him leave under the best circumstances we could. We were together as a family as Hubby left for war in Iraq. Savannah and I stayed as busy as we could, writing Daddy and being with family as often as we could. She was my little trooper. On April 9th, 2003, coincidentally the same day Saddam Hussein's statue was pulled down in Baghdad, Hubby was shot at the UN building in Baghdad. God uses all kinds of things for His good. Even horrible, bad things, the Lord can use those as His tools, for His good, for His purposes. He doesn't cause the awful things in our lives but He allows them and hopefully those things will cause His children (all of us) to turn to Him in our need. This is exactly what happened with Hubby and I. After Hubby came home (sent home as a casualty of the war; this just means he could no longer fight, not that he was dead!) we made a commitment to one another to put our marriage back together, to not even consider divorce as an option. We made a commitment to God too. My relationship with the Lord became so much closer, so much more intense. I promised to seek His will for my life in everything and only do what His will for me was! Hubby made a full recovery and our marriage began to as well. This is when I really began to have a relationship with God. Our marriage became what it never had been before.
In March of 2008 we were still living in my small hometown when my brother-in-law, a pastor in Colorado called to tell us a family up there was looking for a home for their baby. They knew they could not take care of her, she was the second child they were due to have in a year. She was due in May (two months from then!!), they knew it was a girl and had we ever thought about adoption? Huh? No. We. Never. Thought about adoption. Never. Why? It just never went through our minds. We had Savannah and had hoped for another baby but it just never happened. I had gotten pregnant in '05 but lost that baby. I surprisingly had an easy time getting over that loss. I didn't know why. I had really wanted that baby but it was like God put a heavenly salve over my heart and I grieved quickly. And here we were being asked to consider adoption. We prayed about it but knew that this was our baby. God created her with us in mind. On May 22nd, 2008 our Bethany was born!
That's my story. Believe it or not, it was the short version! There are so many times in my life that I could tell you God used something bad for His good. Learn the lesson quickly, turn your face heavenward and maybe it won't be so bad.
Keep this in mind during your next trial and tribulation.

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Winner!! And she's so deserving!

Congratulations are in order for Myra Lewis who won the HGTV dream home in Santa Fe NM!
I just watched her win and cried for her, tears of joy! Her story is amazing! She had a home in New Orleans that was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina! Just goes to show that God knows exactly what He's doing! I really wanted to win but knew I would be thrilled for the real winner, especially to hear how deserving they would be. The Lord didn't disappoint! I am just as pleased as pie that the new owner of that amazing home, new car and $500,000. is someone so deserving! I will just try next time! You can't win if you don't enter...
We have been busy as a family! Yesterday we went to the Pasadena Rose Bowl Swap meet. I had never been and we went to see Hubby's grandparents. Bethany and Savannah would much rather have been doing something different than walking around looking at "old stuff" (antiques!) with their parents! But they both did have a blast at the park we went to after the swap meet. The weather was beautiful... 75F and not a cloud in the sky! We all had lunch and the girls played with their Uncle Bradley and visited with their great-grandparents. If you live in SoCal and have never been to the Rose Bowl Swap Meet like me, I highly recommend going!
The entire parking lot is filled with dozens and dozens of vendors of antiques. The place is huge! It almost requires 2 days! Bring sunscreen, water and plenty of cash!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

One Man's Trash is Another Woman's Treasure



Have you seen it yet? I just found (hey, it's not 'found' unless you know it's there, right?) a great show called American Pickers on the History Channel Monday nights at 9/8c. It features 2 men who go picking (a new word for antique hunting... ok, sometimes it's junk but then it becomes treasure!) all over America finding great antiques to rehab. It's great! Fascinating! I have, myself, been known to tell Hubby on a Saturday afternoon that I need to get away for a bit and head to my favorite antique/junk store in town or even to Goodwill. Many things in my home that people comment on are from these stores! Sometimes I leave things as I find them, sometimes I spray-paint the heck out of them! So, go to American Pickers and get motivated!
I found the White House print at such a store in Solvang (our last name is White) and the small America the Beautiful box next to the cup is actually a music box I found in a shop in Pennsylvania!
When I go looking, I look for my favorite color (red) and for the scale I may need to fill a space.
I don't worry about something not being quite right if I can paint it or change it somehow to make it work! I have different things I love... Americana, cherries, roosters, and polka dots. If I find anything with these elements on it I am likely to make a purchase! Keep these ideas in mind when you go searching and you can't go wrong! And check out American Pickers!
Pictures: top, many things in our downstairs bath are from an antique shop in town like the towl hooks, small lamp and large glass container filled with travel toiletries for guests.
bottom, the White House print and America the Beautiful music box

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Mother of All Tantrums


We had Uncle Bradley over for the weekend and he and Hubby had just worked a few long hours cleaning out the garage after Tahoe and just winter life. You know, you come in from picking up a child at school, it's pouring rain, you shut the garage door and empty the contents of the car onto the bin in the garage with every intention to bring the bin in and put everything away. Then the baby cries, the nine-year-old needs help with homework and Hubby just called on his way home form work and he's starving... what's for dinner Love? So, after many times of this happening the bin had overflowed, coats, gloves, bags, books, toys, socks and shoes (Bethany takes her shoes and socks off in the car; drives me nuts) everywhere. When those boys said they were gettin' to the garage yesterday I just about whooped with joy!
The cleaning was done, it rained the entire day and was cold. Bradley is a die-hard vegetarian. We decided to head to Soup Plantation for dinner. Plus I had a coupon! Now, I love a good coupon but if you join Soup Plantation's Club Veg they email you the best coupons! I used two buy-one-get-one-free coupons! Now, if you're at all excited as I am about saving something then you'll know that most places only let you use one coupon ("this offer may not be combined with any other offers" blah blah blah) and it is rarely for 50% off people! But I got to use two!!!
Dinner for 3 adults, one nine-year-old and a free baby (ok, that sounds funny 'cause she was anything but free!) was $30! I love a good deal!
We had to run to Walmart because we are putting together our disaster preparedness kit (yep, Haiti and then other earthquakes and tsunamis and weird weather pushed Hubby over the edge and we are now planning for our own world to come to an end) and needed bottles of water and various other items. By this point Bethany had hit her wall. We were in Walmart maybe 10 minutes before she began to melt down. It was slow and easy at first. A fuss here, a bit of a scream there, till she just couldn't handle it anymore. She blew like Mount St. Helen's. We were almost done by that point and just needed to head to the front to pay. By that point she was screaming at the top of her lungs and squirming to get out of whoever's arms she was in. She didn't stop. People started looking. Not nice looking either. We got downright dirty looks. And this was in Walmart! It's not like we were in a fancy department store with a piano playing... this was Walmart! As we walking towards the checkout (ok, we were practically running) I was ahead of the rest of the group sort of leading the pack while Hubby held/restrained Bethany. This lady walking near me must've thought I was there by myself because she looked at Bethany and Hubby then at me and smirked and rolled her eyes. I had just had someone near me in the food section hear Bethany scream from an aisle over say, "that's loud, oh brother". I said to that person that yes, we are proud of her lungs. But by the time the other lady rolled her eyes at me I had had enough. I just looked over at her, smiled and said, "she's mine". I could tell she was mortified. Enough said.
Folks, what kind of world are we in that judges parents of a screaming toddler like they have any real control over the situation? These same people would then judge the same parents if they saw the child get the spanking she needed! Well, what would you like us to do? As soon as I could I took Bethany out to the car and "took care of the problem". But that wasn't before a lot of people judged us. We need to remember that we are all humans together! I'm sure all those people who gave dirty looks have never had a child act out in public. See? No judging allowed! PS, the above picture is the calm before the storm

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Goodbye, Tahoe


Just when it's hopeless that I will ever get inspired to write again, life hands me inspiration.
My doorbell rang (no it wasn't HGTV telling me I'd won my house, that happens on March 14th, you can watch us on TV! I just know I am the winner...) and I had three very nice, humble hispanic ladies at my door. The one in the front said, "I think you have my little lost dog in your backyard." Yep, Tahoe the Terror Terrier had a home before he 'found' us and it seems that his family has found him. Hubby and I are thrilled (Tahoe is still here with us, we are waiting to see papers and for Hubby to be home Wednesday night). Savannah and Bethany will be a different story, I'm afraid. In our defense, we always told Savannah that we would keep him until his owners came forward. I believe they have. I do believe my house needs a break, though. He has 'christened' every room in his little doggie-boy way, he chews up anything and everything, my garage (his sleeping quarters, yes, with a dog bed) stinks to high heaven and he has driven our baby (a female golden retriever named Sadie with the most gentle personality and sweetest brown eyes) completely crazy.
That all being said, I think I will miss the little Terror just a little. Bethany says his name in such a cute way and I will miss that. I will not want to see Savannah's heart broken, but she will understand... there are 2 little boys who miss their dog. And don't worry, I already lectured the original owner, "He needs to have a secure backyard 'cause he jumps high, if he gets out he will run back here, you must put a tag on his collar because when we found him there wasn't one, he must be inside when it's cold (he's just a baby and he shakes when he's cold) or when it's windy or rainy or even too hot. The garage will be fine. You can't breed him 'cause we fixed him. Besides there are too many dogs at the pounds that need homes. We also got all his shots and the tags to prove it." My lecture went on and on until I could be certain she got the point. I think she did. Responsible pet-ownership takes work. They didn't do their job because we ended up with him even after we put fliers up and drove the neighborhoods. Hubby installed a very high gate enclosure so Tahoe couldn't get out. This lady said her husband was "very busy". So what did I say? I told her once we see papers and my husband is home to help with our daughters' tears then she may, of course, have their dog back. Plus I told her it would give her time to get their backyard secure and to get her house and garage ready. I will be sad to see him go, relieved to be a one-dog family again and praying for his best and his happiness. I'm glad we found him and took care of him. Someone else may have just called the pound.
Here's to Tahoe the Terror Terrier! Whose real name is something in Spanish I can't pronounce but he'll always be 'Tahoe' to us! photo, Tahoe with Uncle Brad watching the Super Bowl

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Hundred Howling Coyotes and the Hope of a Book Club

Well, like I said our weather would change, and it has. The wind is howling now like a hundred hungry coyotes outside our door. It's cold, too. This weekend will see us retreat to the indoors again much unlike last weekend. Oh well. This will happen several more times before we stay warm. Weather in the high desert is just like this... we get like, two seasons, summer and winter and they each take their sweet time getting here! But, alas, this is what I know and sometimes what we know is such a difficult thing to give up. I remember leaving Twentynine Palms Marine Corps base (in the high desert) to be stationed at Camp Pendleton (by the ocean). I had spent several summers already sweltering in the heat and winters in the cold and wind. Our first summer at the beach I was in sweats the entire time!! I just could not warm up!
Marines (and I'm sure other branches of the service as well) leave their hometowns and are usually stationed so far away. Being on base, you always heard everyone reminisce about home and how great it is, how they can't wait to get out of the corps and go home. What they fail to remember is how they couldn't wait to leave... wanted so bad to just graduate already so they could leave their small towns and get "outta here". They all had dreams of just how incredible the rest of the world would be. But, sure as the sun rises, those guys get away from home for a few months and all they can talk about is how great home is. Bless their hearts. Aren't we all the same way? As a couple, hubby and I have moved around thirteen times. I could cancel and start utilities and change our address is my sleep. I always felt at home in the high desert. It didn't even have to be my small hometown. I just always wanted the desert. We are just the most comfortable with what we know! Right now, I feel very acquainted with the wind!
I just finished a book. I enjoyed it. It's called the Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton. It's about five friends who begin a writing club during the late 60s. As they are raising families and going to the park every Wednesday, their world is changing around them. Women's lib, racism, the race to the moon, computer advances and Vietnam are all happening around their park in Palo Alto, California. During the novel, you're forced to ask if they change the world around them or if the world around them changes them. The last two books I have read are from the Bookmarked Club Pick from Target. I would love to be part of a book club with you all and we could chose books from this section in Target! The logo for all these books is in the upper left-hand corner of these books. I'll go this weekend and pick another one and we can get started! If you have a suggestion, leave it in the comment section for me!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Glorious

Glorious. That is how I would describe our weather recently. For all of you dealing with record snowfalls and coldblasts let me just describe for you what Southern California has been like. Over the weekend our highs averaged 70F. Yep, you read that right. Even in the High Desert. I got not a thing done because we were all too busy outside playing, riding bikes, taking walks, checking out the remnants of my garden, pulling weeds (that's not work to me in this weather) going to the park and basically getting all the vitamin D we could handle. It was, well, glorious. Now that we've gotten a taste of the end of our winter hibernation we must retreat. More rain is coming. Temps are expected to be back to normal, highs in the low 50s. We did enjoy our spring teaser, though.
Another blessing (but shh, Hubby doesn't agree) is that our downstairs TV has quit working! It's even a newer TV but it's on the fritz. Do we Americans have any idea how much we can get done without television????!!! I'm beginning to have an inkling... Hubby came home from work and wanted to go on a walk. We did. It was 5:30, still light out and about 64F. Then we came home, had dinner and Hubby found a movie to watch on the computer, our (mine and his as a couple) favorite... Parenthood with Steve Martin and Mary Steenbergen. We just love this movie for all of the craziness in this one, extended family. Before we had our girls we would watch it and say to each other, "someday we will have great, crazy lives filled with kids and noise!" Now that we're there we are still thrilled to watch this great movie. There's a part that always gets me crying. The grandmother tells a story to Steve and Mary about 'Grandpa' taking her on a roller coaster at a park. She liked the ups and downs, the speed, the twists and turns. Some people didn't like it. They went on the carousel. That just went around in circles. But she liked the roller coaster, "you get more out of it". By the end of her story I am always bawling. Yep, you do get more from the roller coaster. It's great to be reminded of this joy when I've got a toddler hanging off my legs, cooking dinner, helping with homework and laundry going too.
The end of the movie is perfect, too. No, I won't spoil it for you but it's also a tearjerker. The song that plays at the end (credits rolling) is my favorite too. It's 'I Love to See You Smile' and I'm not sure who sings it. Some of the words are, ' I was born to make you happy, I think you're just my style, everywhere I go, out of everyone I know, I love to see you smile'. There are so many wonderful life lessons in this gem... go, run, rent it now!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

What? Doesn't Everyone Vacuum Naked?


We have something very exciting happening at our house right now. It's got me all in a twitter! I just love it when I see such progress being made! We are heading (much sooner than I thought for that matter) to the land of "no babies here, no diaper bag needed". Just Mom and Dad with our big girls! We are potty training!!!!! Last week, out of the blue, Bethany said, "potty, Mama" and pointed to her diaper. Well, I'm not one to miss an opportunity to head into "big-girl land" so we ran to the bathroom, all the while me thinking, "yea, right, potty training at 20 months" and expecting nothing to occur in the bathroom. Boy, was I wrong, wrong, wrong! She went, hopped up, let me pull up her pants and put a new diaper on. She just tottled off like she'd been doing this her entire life. Meanwhile, I sat there stunned.
Off we ran to Target for "big-girl panties" (Pull-Ups) and M&Ms (reward). She has had a few 'misses' but mostly 'hits'! She is so ready to do this! I wasn't even going to broach the subject with her till she was two but my incredibly smart, mature, ahead-of-pack daughter had other ideas! No, I'm not partial.
So, we've been spending a lot of time inside, naked (it's the only way to do this) and Bethany is getting it all down pat. She heads off into the bathroom pulling her Pull-Up down without even telling me! She has a cute potty-training potty but only wants to use the toilet! I've said all along that she'd be the child who will be doing everything fast. I will have to hold her back from growing up too soon! But for now, I'm just looking forward to getting rid of my diaper bag and carrying my stylish purses again!
We've had Savannah's BFF here this weekend along with Uncle Bradley. The weather was gorgeous... 65F! All the girls were outside at 10am playing (Bethany in her jammies still!) with Daddy and Uncle. We're about to head to the park. It's also Valentine's Day! I got an elliptical exercise machine!!!! I'm so excited to get started! I made Hubby a big card with poster board and candy bars as substitutes for some of the words (You are my Lifesaver, our marriage is Bliss, I'm gonna kiss you Now and Later, I was a Smartie to marry you). He loved it and I loved making it. I also got him a few other things...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Weird




I have decided we are a weird family. We do weird things. We find weird things funny. We take pictures of our weird family. We take weird pictures of our weird family.

We have a weird way of playing







We have weird fashion sense









We shop for weird things










We have weird fascinations

Monday, February 8, 2010

These Pics go with "Get Me Outta' This House"!

if by "happy" you mean trapped with no means of escape...

... then yes, I'm happy!



(I'm fine, now, got out of the house yesterday for a bit and am doing better now!)


...and I obviously don't know how to turn this picture around... sorry. I can see you all turning your heads to the right to try to see this. You all look really silly.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Get Me Outta this House!

Hello, hello, hello. It's Super Bowl Sunday. I'm not much of a sports fan and, praise God, Hubby will watch occasionally, but he isn't either. But his baby brother Bradley is here and they are looking forward to seeing the big game. I will tell you this, I would like the New Orlean's Saints to win just because it would be so uplifting to the Big Easy after everything they've been through with hurricanne Katrina and all.
I'm actually, secretly for now, hoping to put Bethany down for her nap after church and maybe run off to my favorite thrift store, the kid's consignment shop and maybe to the Christian book store next door for a cup of tea. I think Hubby will be too involved in the game to even miss me! I could sure use some quiet time to myself! Hubby always calls me from work and tells me about his day... the drive to work in the quiet car, lunch with his buddies from work, the drive home in some traffic in the, once again, quiet car. It makes me drool. I would love to sit for an hour every day in a quiet car, have lunch with girls I work with (no, not necessarily my girls) and then drive home again in a quiet car, even if I have to work in between and sit in some traffic! Oh, yep, I think I need some quiet time today... I think I'm desperate.
My friend Susan (who moved to Arizona, remember her? I told you about her in a post a while back...) and I would seem to feel like this on the same days and it always made us like magnets toward each other! We would call in the morning and go, "I need to get outta this house, how 'bout you?" And she'd say, "girl, you read my mind, I'll meet you at Starbucks and we'll take it from there". We'd go get into some kind of fun trouble. Shopping, eating, something! But it never involved a movie because we liked to talk way too much to behave in a theater. She is a Christian as well and we would talk about the Lord and pray together but sometimes (ok, a lot) we would just get silly. Laughing was our choice of medicine. One day would do it and I could go back to normal life. Hubby was understanding about this crazy need in me! He still is! Anyway, Susan gave me this great calendar for my purse and it is sarcastic and silly with these ladies from the '50s all dressed up for housework and being proper but who secretly long for gettin' silly. Here are some of the photos! I miss my silly, crazy friend!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Los Angeles Zoo





Last Saturday we did our usual, pancakes and fruit in the morning after we all climb into our big bed together (and I do mean all, mommy, daddy, Sissy, Bethany and two doggies) to snuggle and wake up daddy. Then we did a few things around the house (it really never ends) and then we went to the LA Zoo! We just love this zoo because it's small and you don't have to spend an entire day there. I think we were there all of 2-3 hours and hit all the 'highlights'. We love the flamingos, the giraffes, the apes, the chimps, the alligators, the meercats, and the koalas! The zoo is in the process of re-building the elephant exhibit, so they're on hiatus. We went to Mimi's Cafe afterwards. Now, I'm a country girl at heart (you remember, I've told you all about that) I mean, my hometown has, like 9000 people in it! So, when I get to LA (or even surrounding it) I am a fish out of water! I try to think of what great things to do/shops to see to cram into our time there! We don't have a Mimi's Cafe where we live so we enjoyed getting to eat there. All except the part where Bethany wants to run around, say 'hi' to everyone and scream if she doesn't get what she wants. That part makes eating out not so much fun. But we did have a great time at the zoo! Bethany is understanding so much more these days and we could really see her enjoying all the animals this time! Photos: top to bottom:
Daddy and his girls enjoying the day! Bethany on Daddy's shoulders waving to the giraffes.
My 'flamingos' looking at the flamingos! The LA Zoo sign.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

It's Looking At Me!


We were living in Twentynine Palms, CA on the Marine Corps base. We loved living on base. We had a cute 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo that was, maybe, 5 years old. Hubby was with the sniper unit in his company. I worked full-time at the physical therapy place just 3 miles out of the base gate. I worked with children who needed physical therapy and who had disabilities, all different types. We both worked all week and then come the weekends had all the time to ourselves (no babies, yet). Hubby's sniper unit (12 Marines) were all single except for him. Our house was the only place for them to come have a home cooked meal, a place to wash their cars, and just relax in front of the TV without being at the barracks. They weren't always at our place, just maybe a few times a week. I didn't mind. They were always grateful and well behaved!
I had come home from work one day in the summer (yep, it was hot... most likely at least 100 still at 5pm!) and walked into the kitchen to put my lunch bag away. Something in the corner of the kitchen ceiling by the sliding glass door caught my eye but I continued what I was doing. Pull out meat to defrost for dinner. Get a glass of water out of the fridge (no one drinks the base water... ick). Turn the air conditioner up, it's hot! Head upstairs to change out of my scrubs into shorts. Get back into kitchen to begin dinner, when, oh my land... what on God's green earth is in the corner of my kitchen???? It's black, it's the size of my fist, it's kinda hairy and, oh, dear, it's looking at me!!!!!!! Gulp... must get to the phone... must call Hubby right away!!! Is it watching me?? It's still looking at me! Does it jump????? Ugh... it's moving!!!! Oh, dial the phone quickly (fingers flying) someone had better be at their shop (what the platoon's work area was called) pick up, pick up, pick up! Hello? Get White!! We have something in our kitchen looking at me, tell him to hurry!!! Ten minutes later, the entire platoon shows up to help me with my very large desert tarantula!!!! In my kitchen!!!! Ugh!!!! (I wasn't the only one freaked out, it did take the entire platoon to get him out!) The thought still gives me heebie jeebies!!!
Fast forward to 1999 we were living in the same town we're in now but in a different area. Hubby was in law enforcement, working the night shift. He was upstairs asleep and I had just gotten home from work at the urgent care. I went to put my scrubs into the laundry. I opened the door to the laundry room and saw it! There was a medium-sized snake stretched out in my laundry room!!!!! OK, gross out, stay calm, put a towel from the bathroom under the door after it's shut so it can't escape! Now, scream for Hubby! I don't think his feet touched one step as he ran downstairs. He's asking me, what kind was it? Me: uh, I don't know. Him: well, did it have a triangular head? Me: I don't know, I didn't stick around long enough to examine his head! So, the fire department had to come and get my new laundry buddy from behind the dryer. He must have been hungry for mismatched socks.
I hope I never have another "critter-in-my-house story to tell you" but it is me and if something is going to happen, it will happen to me! Ugh. The above picture is the 'tarantula house' like, 17 years later! We got to go see it recently when we were in the area. When we lived there we had to rake the dirt and keep the yard looking pretty! We loved that house! We loved that time in our lives!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

See A Movie, Change Your Life


There are days when I must think, think, think to come up with a decent blog. Then there are the days like today when I have a billion ideas just oozing from my pores! I can't get to my Apple quick enough! I'll fill you in on why:
The Women's Ministry began our new bible study today. I am part of this group at our large church. I get to do the announcements, keep the morning on track, emcee, etc... As they're learning, put a microphone in my hand and I may never give it back! So, this morning was exciting as God was doing great things! It was busy, though! Up at 6am and after getting Savannah to school Bethany and I get to church by 8am. We get home at noon! It makes for a rewarding yet exhausting morning!
Hubby took great pleasure in creating coveting in me last night. What was I coveting you ask? Well, it's so bizarre for me. I saw and fell in love with the new iPad! What an awesome gadget!!!! Hubby has an iPhone that is nice but the iPad? Now that's speaking my language!! It is a computer, it can dowload books and periodicals, it can download pictures, it just does everything but is not a phone! Ha ha, told you it was for me! I could take all my blog peeps with me everywhere (that's you) and blog wherever I wanted. My pictures would be right with me too! I can download and read (on an awesome screen I might add) all my favorite books and magazines! And it's not a phone!!!!! For those of you who know me, that's a great thing because I dislike being held hostage by my cell phone!!! (We're trying to get away from using the word "hate" in our house but you get the picture).
Now, the other thing that's got me oozing from my pores is that, after getting home this afternoon I had, waiting for me from Netflix, Julie and Julia! I finally got to sit down and watch it! Oh good golly gee! I am in love, love, love with this movie! I (gulp) think I like it even better than the book! I never feel that way! I am an avid believer that the movies never live up to the books, but not in this case! There were so many parts that just reached into my soul and spoke to me. I loved Meryl Streep's portrayal of Julia Child. I loved the relationship between she and her husband, Paul. I loved how she was just herself and let the 'chips fall where they may'. So refreshing. On the Julie-side of the movie I loved watching her as well! So much of myself I see in this movie. I was born to be a wife and a mom but had no other direction as far as I was concerned. I was/am satisfied being a wife and mommy. But this blog and that movie have stirred something inside of me... deep. Julie knew she was meant to be a writer. I say this with much hesitation and reservation. I am so afraid (to the bones, afraid) of rejection. But here goes, I think (no,no,no, that's too unsure) I know I am meant to be a writer. I have no book idea, not even an inkling of how to begin. Just a desire. Is that enough? I don't know, we'll see. So, please pray for me, for direction and God's will to be done! In the movie Julie has a moment when a lobster she plans to cook moves in the bag in the backseat of her car. There's a moment when he's sort of 'looking' at her. Tomorrow I will tell you a story about something similar happening to me! The above picture you've seen, but it goes with this blog! It's me in front of the Smithsonian's exhibit of Julia Child's kitchen from her Cambridge, Massachusettes home.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Aggression Cookies

Grandma and Bethany, Christmas

I made cookies this week. Not just any cookies but I made Grandpa and Grandma's Aggression cookies. I enjoyed them growing up at my grandparent's house. They regularly had my brother and I and my two cousins over for the weekends. I'm sure our parents put their free weekends to good use!
Grandma and Grandpa were good at spoiling us (still are!) and I remember hot chocolate and cookies as we all sat in their giant bean bag while they watched the Lawrence Welk Show! We had plenty to do at their house.
Grandpa collected trains that ran on a huge set of tracks and houses set up in the garage. Grandpa worked for Knudsen so their freezer was always stocked with novelty ice creams! Us grand kids would play all day, using our imaginations with the toys that were there. Behind their house was a track field that we would often go down to to burn off extra energy. Every New Year's my grandparents had a big, fancy party where we had to dress up and 'be on our best behavior'. Grandpa would spend hours cooking up his cherried pot roast, mashed potatoes and black eyed peas. Grandma would likewise, spend hours baking up her huge platter of cookies, chocolates, breads and desserts. And there would always be the Aggression cookies!
We lost my grandpa in '95 to lung cancer and he is missed. He had a way of 'dealing' with us grand kids that was all 'him'. He would bark and yell, and yet we always knew his bark was much worse than his bite. He was frugal beyond words yet would 'let' my grandma spoil us (it was him too), he would get aggravated with Grandma for her crazy ways yet had all he patience in the world for her when she was shopping. He would never say a word or complain and would hold her purse and packages.
When I make those cookies, I pull out his recipe. It's yellow and old. Grandma made a copy for me. His writing is all over it. He tells me to double the recipe. "Yes, sir". I always do. He tells me to use one full box of brown sugar. "Thanks, Grandpa it's helpful to not have to measure it out". He also tells me to "use the green bowl". This part I can't do but I know exactly which bowl he wants me to use and I know right where it is in their kitchen. It's avocado green. But, guess what? I have a green bowl roughly the same size. It's not avocado green (I can't travel back to the '70s to replicate that one) but I do use it every time I make these, because Grandpa says to.
Make these and think of my grandparents. I always do. I am grateful my grandma is such a big part of my life and that my girls know her so well also. She dotes on them the same way she doted on the four of us. They get spoiled and loved on. When she is here with us for a few days she is such a huge help bustling around the house tying up all my loose ends. I'm sure I hear her in the middle of the night up checking on the kids and putting more blankets on them (she's always cold!). After she goes home I can always count on a call from her checking on her great-granddaughters. She's incredibly loving! Also, if I age half as grateful as she has I'll be in pretty good shape!
So, remember your grandparents today, all their quirks and habits, love and sometimes yelling! Make these cookies and think of mine!

Grandma and Grandpa's Aggression Cookies- double it and mix in the green bowl!

1 cup light brown sugar (a full box if doubled!)
1 cup butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups quick cooking rolled oats
granulated sugar

Mix all ingredients like pie crust until soft. Flatten 1-inch balls of dough onto ungreased pan. Press flat with bottom of glass dipped once into a bit of butter and then granulated sugar. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven 10-12 minutes. Makes about 4 dozen.