Thursday, September 11, 2008

Red - it's not good is it?

It looks like we're goon get wet and maybe blown around a bit.


It is hard to believe that today is September 11th.

There was no 'round the clock coverage of the memorial at Ground Zero. I didn't see a reading of the names of those who lost their lives. There was a mention and a story on the memorial built at the Pentagon, the first to be completed.

Perhaps we as a nation are moving on. Perhaps we've forgotten what happened that warm sunny late summer day. That makes me sad. For a brief moment in time we came together as a nation. We were united.

I found this letter. It made me cry.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Just a Hodge Podge

We are three weeks in to the school year and already I am regreting my decision to send Charles and Tommy back.

This week for the first time, Tommy went to his dyslexia pullout. We have our first 504 meeting Friday and it is NOT going to be polite. I am going to tear into them like a pitbull with rabies. He still can't write. I mean he cannot form letters, the look like some odd form of the Cyrilic alphabet and hieroglyphics. He's supposed to wrote and essay by the end of the school year? Um yeah that's going to be fun to see.

Charles finally got his schedule changed - but I am not happy at the lack of direction these people give the AP students. I don't understand how they think that just because a child is smart and academically gifted, organization and the ability to do things beyond there years is present. Charles had to wrote and essay using MLA documentation but wasn't told exactly what it was he was using. I have spent the better part of two days helping learn in text citation and how to put a quote in your writing to support your idea. A little primer from the school would have been helpful. It's been 15 years almost for me so thank goodness for google.

Joey still loves kindergarten. That is good but I am working with him at home.

In other worlds I am in love. I LOVE LoVE LOVE Sarah Pallin. John McCain did good!!!!! A republican woman we can be proud of. I think she opened some people's eyes - showing that the republican party isn't just bluehaired old bats - but we are young and fresh and we can do more than spin words into a wonderful speech. I can't wait to see what happens.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Missing You

Yesterday, my very well loved boxer dog had an adventure. She decided she missed Joey so badly that's she'd just walk herself up to school and wait for him to come out for recess. Animal control brought her home.

Since Rabi came home to live with us, she and Joey have been companions. He used to lay on her and nap. He'd throw the ball and she'd applaud when he caught it (boxers don't fetch). so now, she's lonely. There's no one to play with.

And There Goes Another Piece of My Heart

This morning, when I walked Tommy and Joey to school, Joey looked at me as we were halfway there and said "Mommy I don't need you to walk me across the street and up to the school, I know where I'm going."

When we got to the crosswalk he let go of my hand and moved up beside Tommy, took his hand and crossed the street, on his own. Each sneaker covered step a little further away from me and one more step closer to independence.

In other worlds I think I LOVE Tommy's teacher. She is setting the classroom up as a community. Each student will earn money based on their "work" Students will set up "jobs" within the community and receive extra pay for them. Children with and A or B average at the end of the week will receive extra cash. Students who are failing will owe money.. Each month students will pay rent for their desks (homeownership is a privelege) If you fail to keep a tidy home you must pay a cleaning fee and a fine. I love this idea.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

An Open Letter to Mall shoppers

or shoppers in general,

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen (these terms are used, in some cases, the loosest sense of the word)

Thank you for coming into my store. I really hope you found everything you were looking for. I have a few things to say. Please don't treat the people who work in this store - or any other for that matter - like we are less than you. We're not. We are wives, mothers, daughters and friends some of us are students, others teachers all of us are working for whatever reason (I'm working for private school tuition for my oldest child. We just happen to work in a mall store.

When I greet you, it's because they pay me to. I get paid to stand there and greet you - please be polite and return my greeting - if our roles were reversed I'd do the same for you.

Put down your cell phone. I mean really, your life is so friggin important that you can't walk through a store without a piece of plastic attached to your head? If you feel you MUST talk on your phone, don't complain that no one would help you find the Japanese Cherry Blossom body cream you need and you had to look for 45 minutes - all the time flapping your lips on the phone - talking about how badly you're being treated in this store. And do not even have a fit because it took you five minutes to pay for your crap because you were still ON THE PHONE and had to be asked six times to verify the charge amount.

They pay us to ask you if you need help. They want us to ask you over and over and over.

If you have children please control them in the store. Yes the shelves are glass and yes they will break if your eight year old repeatedly runs her four year old sister and the stroller into them multiple times. Also, we have enough work to do without watching your spawn fight with each other and beat the tar out of each other with rubber ducks. Keep your kids in check, it's called parenting. If they cannot behave in public, don't bring them until you teach them to behave themselves.

Please do not let your baby or toddler scream all the way through your 30 minute body lotion search. I mean really? A child that upset does not need to shop. Attend his or her needs - I promise the body cream that you can't remember the name of but was pink, will still be there when your child has been fed, changed and rested.

We have no say in scents being discontinued. No really we don't. I am sorry it was your favorite but things and change - life goes on. Last year's Fresia is this year's whatever.

I am sorry you had a perfume emergency at 8:45 PM and you can't possibly go to school smelling like sweet pea when everyone else is wearing something else. We have to close our gates at 9 PM. The mall is not 7-11. Come back when we open the next day, the scent you want but don't know what it is will still be there. Don't threaten to call customer care because I told you we were indeed closed, there is never a perfume emergency - really.

Thank You,
Methusula Honeysuckle

A first day Overview

Tommy learned that fourth grade is not like kindergarten. While the teacher was glad he was there, she expected him to get straight to work. Then there was homework. Tommy was the only kid who had homework. The other two did not. Tommy was not amused and grumbled about how much harder he had it than his other two brothers.

We learned the junior high has idiots for counselors. They lost his course selection guide and his AP permission stuff somewhere. We know - at some point in time they had it - because a course change sheet was sent home by MAILm if I wanted my child in Pre-AP Physical Science instead of the course (AP Biology I in his case) he was selected for. Now they can't understand why we are livid with him not being in these classes - well DUH. We are letting eric deal with this because we all know if I have to get involved - it's not going to be nice. We are impressed with his art class. They are going to talk about art history, the concepts behind making art and they'll learn the principles of sketching. I am even more impressed with the art fee. I send in money. The school purchases stuff in bulk. I don't have to look 851 places for art supplies.

After he gets his AP classes fixed he'll be taking five classes for high school credit.

Joey made a robot with hair- he brought it home because the teacher put a star sticker on it. Lunch was way to early and he needed a nap after recess. Half the kids fell asleep during rest time.

The Longest Yard

I straightened the dining room and broke the vaccum (eric fixed it for me) today is the hall bath and computer area.

Monday, August 25, 2008

All's Quiet on the Western Front

It's quiet here. No one has told me to turn down my iTunes because they couldn't hear.

No one is watching PBS kid's programing

No one is FIGHTING or whining or protesting some gross injustice of sibling rivalry.

It's quiet.

Almost too quiet.

The First Day

and we were off - up and running - errrrrrr stumbling by 6:30 this morning. Joey was so excited to actually go to real school, where the teacher is a boy - just like him - that he didn't fall asleep til midnight.

Tommy was not amused. He walked into his classroom and was told his first assignment was on the overhead. No "welcome to fourth grade, we're happy to have you." This year they gave him a teacher who means busineess and is not a pushover backless pansy like he had the past four years. She'll be good for him.

It looks like the crackwhores are in charge again this year. we couldn't got back to the classrooms until 7:40 AM so we had to hold all our supplies and wait. This year they also divided where the kids wait to go to the classrooms. Some one in the braintrust decided the kindergarten kids needed no adult supervision.

We shall see how this works out.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Countdown is ON

In 4 days school will be OPEN. My children will be back in school. All of them

School clothes are cleaned or soon will be.

Supplies are purchased and ready to be sorted into backpacks.

AP summer projects are in the process of being done.

This time four days from now my living room and dining room will be cleaned and they should STAY that way. The idea that a room could be clened and clutter free for a full morning and afternoon, well that's been a novel concept for me.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


I am tired.

I am tired of the crazy that keeps infiltrating my women's group. I mean really - 8 years and 4 crazies. I have born the brunt of them all to some extent.

I am tired of people quitting just because things didn't go their way. No one gets their way all of the time - that's life. If I had my way I'd weigh 125 pounds and have a sculpted shapely body without ever having to step foot in hell errrrr the gym. If I quit something just because I didn't get my way - well I'd not be here - but that's life some days your the windshield and somedays your the bug.

I am tired of seeing supposed Christian women trat each other this way.

I am tired of people criticizing every decision I make because you know they had a chance to elect some one else - and they didn't do it. If you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem and if you refuse to step up sit down and shut the hell up and don't friggin bitch.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Looking Back but Do I Want to Look Ahead?

Today, I was at Wal Mart picking up a few back to school supplies. My friend looked at the school stuff, neatly arranged in bins by price was waiting for my cart. My friend looked at her not yet two year old daughter and told her that she didn't want to have a child old enough for rulrs and note book paper and colored pencils. I thought about my 13 year old notaboybutnotaman at home, loading the dishwasher and said I can't imagine having a child old enough for dorm room supplies.

In five years I will be buying those things and packing my child up to send off to college.

Like college - away from me

Where I won't see him every day.

where he won't be able to tell me his corny made up jokes

or reguile us with what he learned that day.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Change in the Air?

It's time for school to start.

It's not the back to school ads or the cheap school supplies at walMart that tell me this - it's the attitudes of my children.

They are being bratty and snotty because they are bored.

It's too hot by 10 AM to go to the pool and the mall has lost it's allure. The video store is picked clean and honestly, I have to watch one more episode of a child aged program I'll go off on some one - so it is time for school to stzart.

Next week, we'll begin our school week

Friday, July 18, 2008

Things that try a pregnant woman's soul

or appetite.

Since Eric is sleeping at church with the campers so they re all on time for tomorrow's 6 AM departure, I decided to NOt cook. I ordered pizza from

My boycot of pizzahut for super slow delivery times and updates in their online ordering system have deleted my old user name.

It took me three log in attempts before they told me my acoount no longer existed. It took me 30 minutes to order the darn pizza and wings. I'm hungry - I want easy.

So I finally get my order entered and then it came time to recreate my account. This exercise in futility would be good for teaching your preschooler his address because oyvey - this wasn't right, that wasn't right and then this was incorrect and finally my user name was taken (uh yeah I took it two years ago)

each change resulted in me having to fill out the dadburned form all over again.


Finally - just as we get to the end a little pop up add appears - would I like to order apple pies .

Dude - I've been trying to order food for 30 minutes you bet your sweet bippy I want apple pie.

It should be here at 6:57.

After 6 PM and

He's out the door.

his trunk is packed and he's on his way.

He wasn't worried but I almost killed him.

Almost four o'clock

and now the trunk now holds a deflated beach ball, a hammock, a package of AAA batteries, the pair of water shoes, a book, his mess kit, and his cot.

We still don't have any clothes packed. They are still are in the dryer.

Thirteen going in three

The oldest kid is getting ready to go to summer camp. He leaves tonight and as of this instant, his trunk is empty - save a pair of hiking boots and one water shoe.

He leaves at 6PM.

The child is going to Colorado - so it's not like we can just drive up with what he needs. It's not like this is his first year at summer camp either - he KNOWS he needs to be packed.

As of right now he has three shirts, enough pants and his swimwear. He has one pair of socks and one pair of underwear.
I pity the person he tents with - that's gonna be stinky

"But mom I can wear my swimsuit one day"

"No child you are going to the MOUNTAINS in COLORADO - the high is our LOW - this time of year, it is going to be in the low 40's at night you are not going to walk around in your swim trunks."

"but mom"

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Summer Days - Drifting Away

Sad but true, we are in the middle of summer vacation. Before we know it kids will be back in school. The sun will dip into the sky a little earlier each night and we'll return to our hustle and bustle of activities.

Dog Pile

This summer has been slow for us. We've been lazy and, with the exception of the weekly movie at AMC's summer movie camp, we've not gone much.

Piggy Back

We've been to the pool numerous times and celebrated the fourth of July Charles' birthday - but not much else has happened. And we like it. We are enjoying the slower pace.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I'm Wordle

What a difference a number makes

When it comes to children how many is too many and who gets to determine that?

we are expecting - a newly conceived fourth child. A child that is wanted and will be well loved. Most people are happy for us but there have been a few- "y'all have too many kids" and "don't you guys know what causes that."

I have heard from my friends who have more children than we do - that this is common and that it does hurt to hear. Indeed it does. We are not stupid nor are we living in abject poverty. we don't drink or smoke or use crack. We raise our children with the idea that THEY are our responsibility and we are responsible for their development.

One hundred years ago - four children was almost a small family. But as families become smaller and smaller - four is A lot.

I guess miscarriages have softened me. But I see every child as a blessing - a gift from God.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Some things MeMe


What Was I Doing 10 Years Ago?

July 1998.....I was living in New Mexico and had just found out we were expecting Tommy. (funny how were expecting again due the same day)

5 Things On My To-Do List Today
1. Mop the kitchen and bathroom floors
2. Clean the bathrooms
3. Finish up my invitations
4. fertilize the back yard
5. water the front yard

5 Snacks I Enjoy

1. Dark chocolate
2. Pickles
3. Bean and cheese nachoes
4. Chips and salsa
5. pretzels

5 Things I Would Do If I Were A Billionaire
1. Buy a house in the Hill Country and raise peaches
2. Move my parents out by me
3. Be totally debt free
4. Go to Europe first class
5. Set up a scholarship fund

5 Places I Have Lived
1. New Mexico
2. Weisbaden Germany
3 Arkansas
4 san Antonio
5. Here

Friday, June 27, 2008


It seems to me that you were just a wee baby the last time I looked - your tiny hands were tightly clenched to my fingers and you were brand new. Together, you and I set off on a journey - that of mother and child. We learned together you and I. Ilearned to be a parent. I learned to be YOUr parent. You learned to walk and talk and laugh and play - you developed an imagination. Oh how you developed an imagination. Then I blinked.

You were in kindergarten. Your little legs could barely reach the bottom step off the bus. Your backpack dragged the ground and you were gone - with barely a wave and look back at me waiting on the curb. You learned to read and write and made friends. I learned it was okay to let you go. Together we learned how to make a darn good Pinewood Derby Car. Then I blinked

Now you are 13 - almost taller than me. Your voice deepens with each word you speak. You look more like a man and less like a child. You've learned about responsibility and have had to make some tough decisions. I've learned to let you make your mistakes and if I wait - patiently you will come to me when you need me.

I am afraid to blink.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

You Know What I Miss?

I miss toilet paper dispensers in bathroom stalls that let you get more than ONE square of of toilet paper.

Today, the kids and I went to the movies to see AMC Summers Kids Camp Movies. They show an older movie and charge $1. Being an experienced mother I KNOW - from experience that kids always HAvE to go usually at the moment the movie peaks - their need to go NOw is equally proportionate to the swell of music and upswing in drama. I make the boys go to the bathroom just before the movie starts.

Today, I took Joey one last time before the movie started and the dispenser in the stall had toilet ppar - a whole big roll of not cheapy thin toilet paper but it dispensed ONE sheet at a time. There was a sign next to the dispenser saying that it would spill out what was environmentally needed to do the job. Um yeah - unless oompa loompas or Cheryl Crow are doing "the job" trust me -one sheet is not enough.

I am not saying one needs half a roll to do the "job" but we certainly need more than one sheet.

We did discover though that if you fold the sheet up and wave your hand by the sensor you can get it tospit out a few more sheets.

In our search for a greener world we've gone a little overboard I think. I'd rather wipe my butt and have it clean than smell like poo.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Last Day of 12

Thirteen years ago right now, I was not a mother. I was waiting to be a mother, counting down the minutes to my induction. Thirteen years ago he was still inside me, dependant on me for everything. Thirteen years ago has come and gone in the blink of an eye.

Last day of 12

Today, he is almost grown. In a few months he'll be taller than I am He has his own tastes in music and clothing and room decor. It's funny hear him talk about his own political thoughts (rest assured they are elephantine rather than equine patootie in nature)

Today he is still a boy - not yet a man.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Not even a week and it's begun

Tommy: I'm smarter than a rock

Charles: "smarter than a rock yes but smarter than a squirrel - no"

Tommy: "you have to be smart to have dyslexia"

Charles "you have to smart to have ADHD

Tommy: "So"

Charles: "and you get drugs"


What's that sound you hear? No it's not me beating my head against the wall - it's the sound of the blender making margaritas.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

As Vast and As Wide As the Desert - That's How Much I Love You

Last week when we were in Monahans , Joey had a wonderful time playing in the sand. At one point I looked out at him out in the dune field, with his violet colored sand disk bobbing behind him I realized how small he was and how vast the desert is.

Wide Open Vastness

All around my son was sand. As far as I could see in any direction there was sand. It made me think how much I love my children. I realized how much He loves us. Even when we are a tiny figure in the deseret. When we see nothing but sand, He is there for us and around us - surrounding us with love as vast as the desert.

And the wind came rolling down the plain

It is windy today. So windy that I think I saw the wicked witch of the west fly past my window on her bicycle.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sand, Sun and More Sand

Here's a preview of my wekkend trip to Monahans.


Friday, May 16, 2008

On Wednesday, Joey and I decided to walk to the park. We went to the red park by the pool not the blue park with the hard brown mulch- there is a difference.

He felt the need to lead the way

Walk On

when we got to the park, he was ready to run

ready to run

As he was climbing into the play are he found a lady bug. He held the bug on his shirt for a minute and the watched it fly away. Ladybugs are a symbol of the Blessed Virgin. The lady bug is a friend of the rose – the Virgin’s flower. Also, the three dots on each side og the bug are said to be a symbol of the Trinity.

Ladybug Ladybug

Up in the tower

After digging in the mulch – he decided to show me how dirty his hands were Joey decided it was fun to make animals with his hands. Here are his Duck Hands – quack quack!

Duck Hands

Here is a flying bird – flying away

I'll Fly Away

What animal hunt would be complete without a snake – y’all know how much I LoVE snakes

Snake Hands

There was of course hissing because what is a snake without lots and lots of scarey hissing?

Of course there was hissing

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Public vs Private

We live in a crappy school district.

It's our fault. When we bought our house, we looked at the district's state rating and their test scores. We looked at drop out rates and college acceptions. We thought we knew what we were getting into.

Oh how wrong we were.

The issue however is not just a district one. The real issue is what our public education system has become.

The issue began way back in the 1980's when Mark White instituted "No Pass No Play" This was to make some necessary changes to our state education standards. Ideally, no student athlete would graduate from a Texas school unable to read.

I am a product of No Pass No Play. I took TABS and TEAMS but the bastard step sibling of today's TAKS. way back when - teachers did not just TEACH the TEAMS. for all intents and purposes - a monkey could pass the test. If you had a pulse and sat upright - the test was a cakewalk.

The along came No child LeftBehind Mandating that reading skills need to be learned earlier - like by the end of third grade. Really? you think so.

No Child Left Behind and it's culture of "teaching the test" has bastardized our education system. Only TAKS skills are taught - well killed and drilled.

The result kids can read and comprehend BUT they cannot think for themselves. There is no room for interpretation. No longer are Texas children learning to think critically.

Children with special needs are spoon fed JUST enough information to pass this test. Teachers and schools are awarded or penalized based on these test scores.

we have lost site of what is important. Learning for the sake of knowledge and the desire to expand your way of thinking. Instead of turning out young adults who can think on their feet and look at an issue and analyze. we are turning out kids who can regurgetate basic facts in bubble filled multiple choice form.

Is this what we want for our children - our future?

Friday, May 09, 2008

Poor Poor Pitiful Me

Today Joey came and crawled into my bed - after everyone had gone for the day and told me he had a 'stummy attic". He had a stummy attic because I made him eat fish and not cheeseburgers last night for dinner.

Turns out it, it was the half a bag of reese's mini cups he ate to go along with the fish.

He was feeling puny until I told him it was too bad he was sick and didn't want to bathe because I'd have to cancel our playdat with his friend down the street.

The cure was amazing - nothing shy of a miracle I am sure.

He bathed and got dressed and ate a huge bowl of cereal in nothing flat.

So just a warning - tilapia fish is sure to induce a stummy attic in five year olds but it's nothing a bowl of Lucky Charms and a playdate won't cure.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Should I be Flattered

Because right now, I am flumoxed.

The shoe chick at Stride rite thinks I'm hot.

She likes me.


really, she likes me likes me.

She wants to have drinks AAAAAAAAND with me.

Maybe because I am blonde or maybe because I am so not attracted to women I was totally clueless to the signs and signals she was sendin me.

On Monday she came into my store and was flirting (I didn't recognize it as that - because y'all all know I'll talk to anyone)

Tuesday night - more flirting over the trash compactor. She told me I was the best smelling thing out there. Again I was clueless. I made a joke about Lord only knowing what I demoed that night. I didn't think to be flattered because the trash aroma is rather rank

Then last night she asked me out for drinks and some other types of demoing.

I dropped my teeth, quickly put my trash in the trash compactor and ran back inside.

So the Stride rite shoe chick thinks I'm hot.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Is Public anything ever good?

I have been wondering this for a while. Can making everything fair and accesible to everyone in the country - really just as bad as making things inaccesible to some people. Maybe privitazation is a good thing.

I am thinking in particular about our public education system and the push to publicize our health care system.

Fifty years ago - children went to school,they learned reading, math, science and history. There was art music and PE - there was also recess - twice a day. If you didn't learn what you were supposed to learn or failed the grade - you were held back - you dealt with it. There was no worry that being held back or being labeled slow was "detremental to your self esteem"

Today - thereis still reading and math but only as it relates to the TAKS or what ever test they kids are required to take - students are drilled on TAKS concepts until they can regurgetate them. In some schools there is no recess. In others there is silent lucnh - I mean really kids cannot play outside and must remain silent at lunch? This is good how.

In my middle son's schoolthe words "boys and girls" and "students" are not permited - they are all "friends" Boys and girls might be labeling to some one who is gender confused - I mean really how the hell can a fourth grader be gender "confused"? I mean what kind of crap is this? Mental differences aside children are boys or girls. and they are all students.

Local community colleges report that today's college student is ill prepared for college because they cannot think out side the box and lack the critical thinking skills required to get a college education. I am not surprised - The TAKS test is a multiple choice memorization feat. All you have to do is color in the bubble that relates to the correct fact. You don't have to be ableto relate theat fact to another fact.

Our education system has become a fill in the blank multiple choice world. Anything that doesn't relate is unimportant.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Line in The sand - Jedi Style

Line in the Sand

I've written before of Joey's love of all things Star Wars. It is a love he gets from his father. Joey would like nothing more than to be a Jedi Warrior. For his birthday, we bought him a light saber. It has been a part of his anatomy since.

This year at our house, Charles has been taking texas History. They finished the Alamo and the Independence of Texas just after Christmas. Charles has led Tommy and Joey in the fight for the Alamo and Colonel William B Travis' speech on the braveness yet daunting task that lay ahead for the 190 men who defended the Alamo. They have reenacted the line in the sand many times. Being good texas boys (for the record Tommy was born EAST of the rio Grand and if we stand by the sovreignty of our origional borders - he was born in Texas by 8 miles) .

Last weekend, Joey was playing with his light saber in the back yard and he began his version of the Travis speech and line in the sand.

His take is that if JEDITEXANS had fought the battle a few would have been saved and there would have been no reason for San jacinto. Light sabers are more powerful than steel swords, cannons and bullets. and the tiger tale for balance would have let the Mexican army know that the JediTexans meant business.

Oh to have the imagination of a five year old.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

really, I Mean REALLY???

For the love of all that is holy - Yesterday it was 35° here in the morning. Today it was 46° when the minions left for school.

DUDE! It's SPRING. I mowed the grass. MOWED it down and you send near freezing temps???


Yeah, I know remember this back in August when we get up at 7AM and it's already 95°F. I'll be sayin g I wish it was April and 35° again.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Oh what a Happy Day

Hobby Lobby opened just down the street from me yesterday.

I cannot tell you how happy this makes me. I LOVE Hobby Lobby.

My friends and I went and sat out in front of the store at 8 Am yesterday JUST so we could be first in the store.. Losers, we know but you have no idea how exciting it is not to have to sit in traffic for an hour to go ten miles for a craft supply fix.

When it was first announced that there would be a Hobby Lobby in the strip mall at the end of the block I was in oblivion. When they started building the center - Eric wanted the gym to open first, I wanted the Hobby Lobby to open first. I won :-)

Now I can craft to my heart's desire. And who doesn't love scrapbook paper 5 for $1. Now all I need is a local scrapbook shop to go in next to Starbucks and life here in the Little E will be complete.

Oh and the "but it supports our tax base and it's in our school tax base" discussions will be coming soon to a house near me.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

We all wanna be Big Rock Stars

or at least Patrol Leader of the Hawks.

But alas - that was not the case.

In a moment that I think shows the man my oldest is in the makings to be. He ran a fair race (remember what those are like? - no? me neither) He didn't bash the competition. He went and stated what he wanted to do and how he planned on doing it. Simple words - good ideas and a plan.

When all was said and done and the ballots were counted - he didn't ask for a recount or a hanging chad inspection. He went and congratulated the boy who won.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Five Years Ago Today

Five years ago, today, Joey was born. He was the answer to a prayer. He was wanted and, after two miscarriages needed. He filled a void in my heart.

His entrance into the world was dramatic and scary. He had a knot in his cord that was pulled tight. I had an issue with my blood pressure that caused his 37 week arrival. But, after all was said and done – he was in my arms, big, beautiful and healthy.

8 Days Old - April 2003

Now, my baby boy is five. I look at him running alongside his brothers or learning to write his name and I wonder how time could have passed so quickly? Soon enough – way too soon – those little hands that always reach for mine when we go anywhere will be waving goodbye and headed off into adulthood.

Feeling Silly on His Birthday

He is so much like me, it’s not funny. He is obstinate. He is determined. He’s happiest when he’s creating something, either on paper or beside me in the kitchen.

So to my sweet blonde haired blue-eyed mini me – Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

We've added on

to our blogworld -- Now we're in the kitchen drawing knives and taking names

Grab a spoon and an apron - oir not and join us

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

March went out with a ROAR

BlueBonnet patch

The last day of March saw Joey, Tommy, the dog and cat and I huddled in the laundry room as tornado sirens wailed. The wind howled

The storm started just after Tommy got home from school. The rain dropped in buckets. Then came the hail and wind. we lost two screens, one on either side of the door. The two outer windows remained in tact.

When the sirens stopped so did the rain. In a matter of minutes, the sun was out, the skies were blue and the window blowing again. Birds were singing and the humidity was way down.

Gotta love a Texas Spring.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Since We're on the Subject of Confessions.

Today - and yesterday too I had a play date. Yes, *I* had a playdate with my friend Rachael. We ran errands, had lunch, chit chatted and then played board games.

It was good to go and play. However, the "what did you do today" questions - not so much of an answer. So I had to run home. Throw dinner together and then corral the kids into helping with the chores.

The downside- well I have clothes in the washer that will need to be dried before morning. Here I sit. waiting for the washer to buzz and for the dryer to finish spinning.

Analyzing Lent

Happy Easter!

Lent is now OVER OVER with all capital letters O-V-E-R!!!!!!

As a family - well yeah we flunked. We made it three weeks before we gave up giving up TV.

So if we were the grading kind of people which I am - we got 50%. we all know 50% is a big fat F - grade wise.

Visions of family bonding over board games - well yeah those were hallucinations.

After about 25 games of cars Uno with an 8 year old and a four year old who is just learning to read and write - well yeah - I am not that patient.

We did miss all the Obamamessiah and Her Thighness commercials. That was a blessing.

so we try try try again.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Happy Trails

This Spring Break, we had planned on heading south to San Antonio. Gas went up and my mom had to work so we decided to do Spring Break here. Even though we’ve lived in the local area for seven years, we hadn’t done a lot of touristy things. We decided to visit the Ft. Worth stockyards. The Ft. Worth Stockyards was a main cattle holding area in the 1800’s – before the days of the train. Cowboys would drive their herds to Ft. Worth for distribution throughout the country. After the advent of the railroad – Ft. Worth was still a big town in the cattle industry. The Stockyards are now a tourist destination and night spot. Ft Worth is still known as Cow Town.

Every day – rain or shine, the cowboys simulate a cattle drive through the middle of the stockyards twice a day.


Here are the boys waiting for the “cattle drive” to start Instead of “Cheese” Charles had them all say “Beef”

Waiting for the drive to start

Here’s the start of the cattle drive.

Start of the Cattle Drive

There were cowboys!

the cowboy in the front

This man is the drive boss. He leads the drive

Riding Tall in the Saddle

This guy was the leader of the pack. Later on we learned that the leader usually wore a cowbells. Stragglers could hear the bell and follow along.

The Leader of the Pack

As the “drive” progressed we didn’t hear a lot of mooing. In fact, most of them were not real happy to be walking down the street while people gawked and took pictures. I think some of them were teenaged cows. I swear I even heard one of them sigh. All in all they had a BTDT air about them.

Moovin along

The Middle of the Pack

Brown Cow and White Cow

This man is called the drag. Charles and Tommy thinks that the side riders were called drags because they dragged slow cattle.

Get along little doggies

These guys appear to be sulking. I guess I would too if all I had to do was walk along the road twice a day

head of cattle

This is the end of the drive

end of the drive

We ate lunch at Risky's BBQ. The ribs were YUMMY and the beans and fixins were DIVINE. On the wall they had neon signs and Texas memorabilia. One of the signs was for Lone Star Beer. Lone Star Beer and it's neighbor - Pearl - are a college studen't dream - cheap - and well yeah cheap. Both are really bad beers.

Lone star was founded the Adolphus Busch. in the 1880's and made san Antonio a leader in brewing. Today Lone star is owned by Pabst ands brewed in Ft Worth.

Lone Star Beer - Texan for BAD Beer

The Stockyards have a lot of replica stores – little specialty shops and an old timey General store that sells Texas things. They had rocks. Because we don’t have enough rocks, the kids thought we needed some

Box of Rocks

they also had spice rubs

Spice Rubs

and salsa

Jars of Salsa

They also sold Dublin Dr. Pepper – Dr. Pepper made with pure cane sugar not corn syrp and blue bell ice cream – can’t get much more Texas than that. Seriously, Dublin Dr. Pepper made the ORIGIONAL way is a taste treat.

This “Indian” guy cracked me up. You could take his picture for tips. He wasn’t a real Indian and didn’t know anything about the stuff he was displaying – a bad combination for a smart aleck 7th grader who delighted in pointing out inaccuracies in the man’s costumes. Joey want to get on the horse so I gave the guy a couple of bucks (Eric almost belted him when the guy made a comment about the $5 tip we gave him because we had an expensive camera) - any ay I took the picture of Joey on the horse and when I uploaded it died laughing at the “stoic Indian warrior” pose the guy gave. I call thise one “Cheesy Like Velveeta”

Cheesy Like Velveeta

Friday, March 14, 2008

Beefy Bison Chili


Because it was so cold, last week I had to make chili – kind of a thermodynamics thing – create heat from the inside out - so here is my sort of recipe for Beef and Bison Chili. I have a new “thing” for bison meat. I buy mine at Central Market. It’s similar in tatse and cost to beef but lower in fat. It does not make great meat loaf because it is so lean – unless you add some oil.

Beefy Bison Chili in a Bowl

Take various spices ( use cumin, oregeno chili powders – this time San Antonio, New Mexico and Chipotle – chipotle adds some smokiness) and some other things.

Medley of Spices

Chop up an onion – or two

Chopped onions

and some garlic


Heat this in some olive oil Then add the bison and ground beef once the garlic gets fragrant. Add half of your chili seasoning.

Once the meat is bround and crumbled add water, the rest of the seasoning and some chopped tomatoes – I add fresh jalepenoes here as well when I use em because I don’t like icky black char on my peppers. I also usede yellow tomatoes this time because I thought they were prettier than the red ones at Kroger.

Yellow Tomatoes

THEN add some canned tomatoes in green chilis. Let the whole thing simmer until it’s done – I go about two hours at least. We like our chili with fritos and cheese.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Is it THAt time already?

Joey was watching his kid shows this morning. As I looked up from scrubbing the kitchen counter I noticed that PBS si having another pledge break.

I mean really? Do they need to do this every three months? Just how much does it cost to air the same six episodes of cailou? I have seen these episodes since Tommy was 2.

I donated in November but they manage to make me feel guilty now -especially when the indian woman with the high class British accent says "inculcates" Any one who uses that kind of word to get money from people watching kid TV makes me want to run for my wallet and grab my VISA.

Then I remember I still hadn't gotten my mystery box for my "last donation of $50 or more"

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Snow Play

I find it funny – that even though we rarely get measurable snow, the kids know exactly what to do when we do

Joey Makes a Snowball

You notice he and his brothers are not wearing gloves. I apparently have no clue when I told them that they needed them to play in the snow because it was colder than a well diggers behind.

Scrunch it up

While he’s looking for a target – he didn’t know his big brother had a snow ball aimed at his head

Snow Ball Joe

Seconds later he got hit in the head by his oldest brother.

Target acquired

Tossing a Snowball

Poor Daddy.

Charles took the more is better additude when it came to making snowballs (Joey liked his round and Tommy liked his packed and hard)

Chunking Snow

Socks as mittens? Why not – Tommy grew enough since last wintere that his old gloves wouldn’t fit so he pulled some garden socks out of the garage and put them on

Tommy Scoops it Up

Bunch It Up

Tommy was the only one brave wnough to lay in the snow and make a snow angel

Snow Angel

snow angel again

and in grey

What would winter be without an epic Snowball fight (notice everyone has finally relized mom is right and they did need gloves in the snow – but Joey took of his hat because it was making his head hot)

Snowball Fight