Sunday, December 29, 2013

What a Pretty Bird!

When I asked the kids what they wanted to eat for Christmas, Benjamin and Melissa had no opinion. But William wanted duck.  Now, just to be clear, this has NOTHING to do with any bearded guys from my hometown.  This all has to do with Christmas 2006.

In December 2006 we were still recovering from the year deployment. While Drew came home that August, December found us still just relishing in being a whole family again. We were just loving being together.  That Christmas we stayed in Maryland instead of traveling to Mississippi to see family. For Christmas dinner we had several of my friends over for lunch since their husbands were working.  Not sure why Drew wanted to serve duck that year, but he did so we did.  This memory has stuck in William's mind all these years and he wanted duck again.

So, I bought a duck.  After talking to mom and realizing that we would have way too much meat if we brought the duck for dinner at her house Christmas Day, we saved it to cook here at the house. The other night, Drew got to work and cooked the duck.

Over all, the consensus was delicious! Melissa thought it was too "gamey" - but not sure if she really knew what gamey taste like. But the boys and I all enjoyed it. So glad my other half is home to help me cook!

Monday, December 23, 2013


When we moved into this house, we got our king size bed back. Oh, how we missed it while it was in storage for the three years we were in Guam. We did not buy a new comforter - after all, after not seeing it for three years it seemed new all over again. 

But after awhile Drew started to complained that the comforter was too hot. We started looking for a new one that was lighter and in a color and design we could agree on. It took awhile but late summer we finally found one we could agree on. 

It's very close to one I fell in live with before we left for Guam. Which of course, I couldn't find now that I was  seriously looking. 

Then it was time to hang the matching curtains...and decide on a curtain rod. Why in the world these little choices in life drive me crazy, I don't know. But they do. Thankfully, Drew is not so incline to be batty and indecisive. Saturday he drove around town buying all the parts, because one store just can't have it all in stock!!! Sunday he pulled out the ladder and drill and got it done!! 

I'm happy. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Saturday...Getting in the Mood...

Saturday we slept nice to have Drew back where he belongs! The whole family went out to lunch over in Shreveport to Twisted Root Burger Company. Drew had heard of it on Diners, Drive-ins & Dives. The original is on Dallas, but have opened one over across the river from us. 

It was good!! The restaurant itself has lots of character...and very good ice tea!!

The we went to the RW Norton Gallery. We looked around for awhile. This is the second or so time for Melissa and me, but the first time for the boys. It's a small gallery, but a wide range if art. 

At two o'clock there was a Christmas concert by the Little Theater. The theme was Christmas on Broadway, so all the songs were secular. But they did a great job!! 

Ben...though....was a little bored....trying to get some cultural into this boy! He found a corner to sit in...and sleep.....  But my big boys seem to enjoy the music! I think we're ready for Christmas!! 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Almost There

Drew will be home for Christmas in less than 24 hours. I am so ready! It's been a rough week. Granted, a lot of my stress I brought on myself.  But don't we all at Christmas?? There's been a few parenting challenges, a long to-do list, several working days, and soccer games.

But....this week is almost over. I still have a few things to do in the morning, but I have some relaxing plans for the afternoon. THEN!!!! I get to go to the airport and get my other half.

Yep. Almost there.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Benjamin is known for getting some words mixed up. He doesn't go it on purpose, but it just makes the rest of us laugh - much to his dismay. 

Last week when he was home sick, he was watching the news. At one point I walked in and Ben said, "Mom! The Pope was a bumper!!"

Me: A what??

Ben: A bumper

Me: A bumper? As in....what? 

Ben: I think a bar. It was on the news!

Me: Do you mean a bouncer???

Ben: I don't know.  I guess. 

Me: A bouncer is a person in a bar that stands at the door & let's people in and also, takes care of anyone getting into a fight.

Ben: Well, whatever the Pope was one once. 

Me: Well, altighty then. 

This kid makes me laugh! 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

So Far

The highligts of our trip so far:

William almost ran over two fools walking along the side of the road while their car blocked our lane. (He got to hear me yell 'STOP' very loudly.)

I ran over a skunk in west Mississippi....the a rabbit in east Alabama. Good thing the kids are older...otherwise they may had been scarred for life. 

William takes curves way too fast...that time he got to hear me yell,  'oh, Jesus, Jesus, help! SLOW DOWN!!! Jesus, help!!!"  William's reply? "That was FUN!!'' 

I almost hit a car in my blind spot. Good thing he saw me and slowed down. 

I got to visit one of my college roommates. Oh, how I love visiting Jenny & family!! So worth taking the long way! It was just too short of a visit. Need to plan a longer one. Out kids get along so well! Miss them. 

William decided the van needed 'character'. It now sports some black marks where the van and a light pole kissed. Wonder what Drew will say....

I've been searching the AM radio stations for college football scores. Hope my Rebels get their act together & win like those tigers did today.  

I'm tired of being in the car...glad William can help drive...even if  he's still learning. And very glad Jesus is watching out for us tonight...almost to my husband. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My Afternoon

Clinic (which included five different offices...but totally forgot one office...urrrh)
Back to BX
Back to clinic to pick up meds
Back to commissary for that one item I need that I forgot. 
Walgreens to get what the BX & commissary didn't have. 
Family Dollar to get the item Melissa needs to school tomorrow that I didn't know about until AFTER I left the commissary

I don't know about you, but I'm tired. PJ's have never felt so good. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

When It's Done, It's Done....

As I said the other day, Monday I was NOT in a good mood - just not ready for Drew to get gone again.  On Tuesday I was not in any better mood....especially after Drew told me he got the official offer for the local job. While it was great news that the offer came in, we were very disappointed that start date is late January. We were hoping - praying - that it would be in December.

We are very ready to have our family in one location.

At the beginning of service on Sunday, the worship leader asked for prayer for a lady in our church that was served divorce papers on Saturday - totally out of the blue for her.  Later in the service my friend Jennifer, who is enduring a year deployment with her husband leaned over and said, "In a year this will be over for us- but for that lady -it'll never be over."

A very sobering thought. 

While I was in a bad mood Monday with Drew leaving then Tuesday with this late date, I remembered this thought of Jennifer's mid-Tuesday afternoon - and yea.  Life could be worse.


The classroom I had today was in a 't-building.' You know the ones....bought for temporary use, but never leaves? It also means colder in the winter & hotter in the summer.  While the calendar says it's still fall with a wake-up temperature of 28, it felt like winter here in the Deep South. So, I did what any Southern lady would do: turn the heat up. On high. 

By the end of the day, the students were complaining. Oh, well. I was warm...nice & toasty. 

Just the way I like it!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Surprising the Kids with a Daddy Weekend

Drew and I knew that it would be a long 38 days between our visit in Memphis and our planned visit Thanksgiving week, so he planned to come home this past weekend. I decided not to tell the kids to see if I could surprise them. Which I did! It was fun seeing their faces! Melissa - the Prickly Pear Herself - let Dad give her a long hug. I think she misses him....not that she would admit it...but she doe.s  William was totally thrilled! He gave his daddy like a five minute hug! So sweet! Benjamin was excited as well. He had asked earlier in the day to stay over at a friend's house, and was greatly upset when I said no.  He couldn't understand why and let me know it!  But after seeing his daddy, he understood that I had a reason....he just needed to trust me!

Saturday was filled with watching the Ole Miss game, errands, a few chores that only a husband thinks about doing, and a nice diner out. Sunday was church, a nap, Benjamin's induction ceremony to National Jr Honor Society, and a trip to the State Fair.

The State Fair honored all Veteran's with free admittance  which is really the only time we'll go - it's DANG expensive!!  And we really aren't fair people.  The praise band from our church played at five o'clock.  It was a great time - sitting outside listening to great music. Miss those kinds of times with Drew. To top off the evening  we had red velvet funnel a great creation. So yummy!

Then came this morning. Hated taking Drew back to the airport and seeing him leave again. I really hadn't had any bad days since he left in July. Oh, there's been times when I wished he was there to see the kids do something or times when I just wanted him around, but not days when I was depressed. Until today. 

Yea, I'm done. Stick a fork in me.....

Drew and I both think he'll be able to move home within the next month or two, so it's not like we're still have an open-end date, but we're ready to have our family one in location again.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Subbing With Ghosts

The class I worked in today will be reading and working through A Christmas Carol beginning next week.  To induced the idea of ghost, today I showed the reality TV show Ghost Hunters.  I had never seen this show before - I knew there were several shows on TV concerning ghost, but never had the desire to watch one. 

And today I got to watch it six times.


The first class was the only one where just about every student said they did NOT believe in ghost. Oh, I'm sure at least one student did, but after one of the popular boys said, "I only believe in the Holy Ghost!!" they kept quiet, I'm sure.  All the other classes lend more toward believing in ghost. Many had  "stories". A few I think were flat out making up stories - several do being the center of attention.  Others stories seem to be just a child's imagination.

One class was just awful. AWFUL!!!  Way too many students.....several with attitudes...but they did find out that I can have an attitude as well!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Sweat Day

Yes, that was me at Wal-Mart in sweats today. Thankfully, Stacy & Clinton from 'What Not to Wear' were nowhere around. But after taking my migraine meds at six in the morning, sweats by mid-morning was an improvement. 

Hopefully, there be no more migraines this week - or me wearing sweats any where outside the house. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Subbing Again

Today I subbed in the special education department.  I truly worry about several of the students I was assigned. Right now they have parents that care for them, but what's going to happen to them when their parents pass away? I hope they have other family members that will step up and will take care of them.  Otherwise, I fear they will be homeless. I just don't see them being able to take care of all those goes into running a household....buying and preparing food, paying bills, doing repairs or arranging for workers, cleaning...  They are just like lost little puppy's very sad to me.

There's a few other students that have the potential to be violent, I think. I hope I'm wrong.  They just seem to get very frustrated very fast.  When I'm working with them, I try to really listen to them....that seems to help.

I have come to the conclusion that I could not work with them on a daily basis.  I just don't think I have the patience.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Birthday Boy

Friday we celebrate Benjamin's thirteenth birthday. I think he had a good day - even if he had to go to school! Since this was his thirteenth, it was a year he had a party with his friends.  We had six of his friends over for pizza and cake. Then we went to the opening night of the movie Ender's Game.  It's another youth fiction book brought to the big screen, so most of the boys had read the book.   Overall, I think everyone had a good time....just was missing Drew!

As our tradition, Benjamin got to request the type of cake he wanted. He asked for a cinnamon roll cake.  Hmmm....okay. I had to search for a recipe, but I found one. It was really easy - just make a basic cake recipe, pour it in a baking pan, then pour a mixture of melted butter, sugar, and cinnamon over it and bake. During serving you pour icing over it as well.  After Ben took his first bite, he dropped his fork and gave me a big long hug. 

"I take it that you like the cake??"

"Oh, yes!!"

 The boy next to him closed his eyes and stopped talking as he ate his first bite -yea....he liked it as well. Two other boys did the same, but added, "Can you be my mommy???!!!"

Funny, kids!  So, yea. The un-usual cake was a big hit!  Ben's already asked for it next year.

(The pictures of Benjamin and his friends are on my camera - this is the only one I took on my phone. I'll try to download and post those soon.)
Benjamin turning thirteen made me think of William turning thirteen....which you can read about here.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

My Day

My day took a surprising turn - ok, well. Not TOO surprising, I guess. As a sub if the phone doesn't ring by 6:20, then I'm good to go on my making my own plans for the day. I had a nice list to work on...

...finish cleaning the oven. I started last night and got the top layers of grime off, but it needed to sit in the cleaner overnight. As the kids were making their lunches, I scrubbed off the last of the grime.  While it probably is not as clean as it should be - it's not perfect! - it's clean enough!

....laundry. With three kids - one a teenage boy in soccer - there seems to always be laundry to do. But I had worked on it yesterday, so I only had two more loads - mostly mine.   I started  that last load when I headed to the kitchen.

....quilting. I have the goal of Thanksgiving to complete quilt I'm working on for Dawn.  But I'm not even done with the top....still lots to do!

....other odds and ends....always, stuff to do!!

But then at 7:20 the phone ranged. 7th and 8th grade math. Urgg. Not my best subject.  But I could tell the teacher was REALLY not feeling well. Beside, the above list is not a big enough reason to stay home when I haven't really worked a lot this year. 

It ended up being a great day. Several really good classes.....a few snooty teenage girls that need to be taken down a notch or two...not my job - and they weren't too bad for me....but I can tell they give a few teachers and probably their parents a run for their money.  I, also, got a text later in the day asking me to work a few other days. Feast or famine.

But it's good to be working.... AND!! I did get my oven cleaned before school, finished laundry after school, worked on the quilt while dinner was cooking.....and  to top it all off - my favorite part of the day: having a sit down dinner with my family. I LOVE having dinner with the kids and listening to the stories of the day....LOVE IT!!

Today we  officially found out that William made varsity team for soccer. We all felt like he would since he made it as a freshman and a sophomore. Sunday the season ended for the local rec team and Monday started the high school league. Should be a good year. We all really think we can take district this year - instead of 2nd place like we have their last two years.

Also, William brought home paperwork to order a class ring.  Yes, this means he's growing up!  He's not really sure he wants a ring or not. I told him only he could make that decision. Not me, him.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sweet Friends

Last week there was a box at my door. I had ordered Benjamin's birthday present, so I was excepting the box to be that. But when I saw the return address, I knew it wasn't. This box was from my friend Charlotte that moved to Virginia this past summer. What in the world could she be sending me...that rattled??? 

I was so happy and surprised to find a box of my favorite chocolate!! 

Friends that speak your chocolate language are wonderful friends to have!! I so miss her! 

But then another friend blessed me as well. My friend Fay prayed the most beautiful blessing and prayer over me and another friend, Jennifer during church Sunday. 

Jennifer's husband is deployed for a year to a land far far away. I know Fay is upholding both of us up daily in prayer as we (once again) deal with life as happily-married-single parents. Her prayer Sunday brought tears rolling down my face. 

Whether it's chocolate or prayers, friends are a good thing to have.  

Monday, October 21, 2013


We're on to another week around here. Last week was all about recovering from the Memphis trip...all normal stuff.  Melissa babysitting...William had soccer games (tied one, won two - got one goal)...Benjamin had cross country practice...normal stuff.

Thursday night Melissa met up with her aunt and a cousin and went to Natchez for the weekend for a  hot air balloon race.  As usual, she had a wonderful time! I had originally planed not to go because I thought I would be working, but it ended up I didn't get scheduled to work. Ben and I really thought about going...but we both thought we would rain on Melissa's parade. I know how much she loves these weekends away from us and getting spoiled by her aunts and older cousins and grandparents. And she did. She's already planning next year's balloon race weekend. (But the rest of us may just crash that one!!)

The highlight of the weekend was Ole Miss beating lsu in football.  That win was a long time coming!! I think it's been since 2009 since we beat them. It was a sweet win!  Hopefully, we'll win a few more (despite many of our players being injured) and get a bowl game! Lots of the season is left...we'll see. We still have a few more tough games ahead.

Drew is doing well still in DC...and we're still not sure when he'll get to move home. All the background paper work that needs to be done in order for him to start the local job is moving ahead. Last week he requested official transcripts to be sent in and this week he'll have a physical and a drug test done.  We would love for him to be home around Thanksgiving, but not sure...that may be too optimistic....Christmas for sure, I think.

Last week William took the PSAT. Overall, he felt like he did well. He said the math was easy, but he didn't not finish the last question. It was fill-in the blank, so he couldn't even guess.  He thinks he did well on the reading comprehension - which he usually does. But then there was the grammar part....yeah....not so well there.  We (Drew and I with William consenting) have decided to look into him taking a class to improve his grammar.   This is where our school doing a "4 by 4" block schedule is a problem. He took English last fall and will has it this year beginning in January, so that means he has gone a whole year without any grammar.   We'll get the results of the PSAT sometime in December, I think.

Today while Drew was at the laundry-mat, his (MINE!!) laundry basket, hangers, and dryer sheets were stolen as his back was turned to switch one of his loads.  He said he couldn't believe someone would steal it!  But then felt sad for them....if you're that bad off you need to steal a laundry basket - then take it! Of course, it would have been nice if you asked first.....

If you know of a cloning machine, please, send it my way before Thursday afternoon.  All four of us need to be in four different locations at the same time.  Not sure how this will play out......

Monday, October 14, 2013

Quotes From the Weekend

Melissa to William as she was explaining that we would have two hotel rooms -one for the kids and the second for the parents because "you know what they DO!!!"  Ah, yes. What the parents "DO" learning about the facts of life wreck that part of your life!!

William as we were an hour or so outside of Little Rock, "Why are we going to Georgia by way of Arkansas??"  Me: "Where do you think we're going?" Him: "Atlanta" Me: " We're going to Memphis to pick up your father from the airport then we're going to Ole Miss.  Not Atlanta. Not  Georgia - or anywhere near there. Where did you get that idea?"  Him, "I don't know. Just thought we were going to Atlanta."  Crazy kid.  And to think he made a near perfect grade in geography.

Melissa at the ice skating rink, "I'm the best dressed person here!"  Yes, Princess, you are. (She had a skirt that twirled and tights.)

William as we were pulling into Danver's for dinner, "You think it's a nice restaurant...until you see the drive-thru...."  Not sure what he expected when we said it had sandwiches and a nice salad bar.

Usually, it's Benjamin that makes the funny comments....he's been on the quiet side this weekend...I'm sure that won't last long!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

If Only......

If only I could have taken a picture or video of Melissa tonight! I had told the kids to clean their bathrooms yesterday, but she had a migraine and went to bed  - skipped supper even.  So, tonight she needed to clean her bathroom.  As I went to tuck her in and say good night, I asked her if she cleaned her bathroom.


Yea, I know that look. Did you clean your bathroom yesterday or today??!!?? 


So, up she went - after I took away her kindle, phone, and some money I say laying on her nightstand. "But I'm not dressed!!"

No one's looking!!!

So she got up and cleaned her bathroom - with GREAT guidance from me! - in her underwear and bra.

But her bathroom was so sad being's now happy.

Tomorrow, her room will need to get happy.....

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Not Having Good Luck ....

I was trying to watch the Ole Miss game, but the rain starts & knocks out direct tv. Hate direct tv.....

Friday, October 4, 2013

Our Day of Sports

Benjamin had a great cross country meet this morning. He ran the two miles in 15:30 - about a minute fast than the last meet. Very proud of him! He is having such a better year this year than last. No asthma or walking pneumonia, thank goodness! 

This afternoon we baked in the sun during William's soccer game. 90 degrees have never felt so hot. William played great! I can see improvement in his footwork and passing. We ruled the game! But sadly we could NOT get a ball into the goal! We must have kicked the ball towards the goal two dozen times and their goalie was there EVERY time! He really earned his keep today.  Sadly. Even more sad, the ball found the net for them. So, we lost one to zero. 

Hopefully, William's game will go better tomorrow afternoon. 

****this failed to post earlier...the pictures were taken Saturday...trying again....update: William's soccer game on Subday was cancelled due to rain. 

Monday, September 30, 2013

A Funny

There's a local business that always puts little riddles on their sign. This week it says 'Never trust an atom, they make up everything.'

As we passed it earlier this week, the boys and I just laughed and laughed. Melissa? Not so much. 

'I just don't get it!'

We tried to explain - several times. Just wasn't computing. 

We finally figured out the problem. She never saw the sign. She thought we were saying Adam - not atom. 

Oh, how we laughed all the way home!  I love these kids!

My Birthday Girl

We are not the 'over-the-top' birthday people. We prefer to be low key...quiet...just us. Usually for Melissa's birthday we have St Maria barbecue and artichokes. This year we didn't do the barbecue, but I did stream a few artichokes for Melissa. She got a few gifts, spent some extra time with her best friend, and we went out to eat. 

Just was missing her dad this year. 

But still. She's a beautiful Miss Fifteen. 

(The funniest thing: every time a family member called to say happy birthday she would say 'Only 365 days until I get my license!' She thinks she's ready now!)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Playing Hookey

After I got home from my trip Melissa was telling me about a science project she needs to complete and what supplies she needs.  As I was looking at our calendar, I wondered when we would fit in a trip into town. She babysits four afternoons a week and on her off day (today) she goes to art class.   This Saturday will be busy with cross country meet and soccer.

So, I was the nice mom and checked her out of school early. She has PE last block and can afford to miss a few classes. I took her to the main library where she got to take her time picking out books then we went to Dollar Tree to pick up her supplies for the project.

I think she enjoyed it!

Although, she was very concerned at the start as to why I was checking her out.  She asked, "It doesn't have to do with the "s" word does it???"

I'm thinking "s" word? What?? She doesn't need a sex talk....what??

Then she said, "You know "shot"??!!!"

I just started to laugh. "No shots today. But at some point you will have to have a flu shot soon, but not today."

She was very relieved.

It's was nice to just chat with her - no one else around....nothing to really talk about.  But one thing has apparently been on her mind.  She said, "You know that gay guy on the flag line?"


"Well, he dances better than me."

"Oh, really? Well. Yea, that happens sometimes."

Oh, to be only worried about who dances better than me.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Back Home

I made it back home last night. I think the boys missed me....they ran and jumped on me as I walked in.  Melissa was babysitting when I arrived, but when she returned home she tolerated me giving her a hug. 

She's such a prickly pear at times....

Drew and I have a great time - like a honeymoon even! Five days of just us and no nice! We did leave the apartment some. We toured the Marine Corp Museum as well as President Lincoln's Cottage.  Both were very well done.  And we learned stuff!

I will say that there is a downside to where his apartment is....and that would be right next to a train station. Train stations have trains....trains have whistles....that they like to blow them. Every time they pass a crossing. Every few hours....all day long and all night long.... Drew now sleeps with earplugs. I actually ended up using my earphones as well. It helped some, but I'm just a horrible sleeper and trains just didn't help.

So, while I was sad to leave Drew, but I was totally happy to see my bed and my very quiet room.

As of now we don't know when Drew will move back home, but we are praying that it will happen before Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I Love You More

For the past few years whenever I tuck Benjamin  into bed he's always tells me, 'I love you more!' in response to my 'I love you.'

Tonight I told him I would miss him this weekend as I'm going to visit Drew for the weekend while the grands take care of him, William & Melissa. His response? 'I'll miss you more!'

Well....yea...probably so. After being a single parent for two months, I'll be enjoying this break! 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Another Quilt

Another one done.... My next project is for my friend, Dawn. She has sent me some baby clothes of her oldest child. As of now I'm not sure the exact pattern I'll use....maybe a chevron pattern. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Very Glad it Wasn't a Bar

Many Ole Miss fans were disappointed this past weekend because the game was aired by a local network in Texas instead of a nationally one. Friday my brother told me about a restaurant here in our area that would be playing the game. I researched the place and it sounded nice - but I was really hoping it wasn't a bar.

Not that it wouldn't be the first time we have accidentally taken them to a bar.....there was that time in Guam.

This local place looked nice from the pictures and the menu seemed more detailed than a typical bar. But on the way I warned the kids....not sure what we'll find...But hey! Life's an adventure!

So, we went.  And had a blast! I will say that for the first half of the game, the other fans were very quiet....I think I called them civilized.  Even when we would score, they seemed very dignified in their cheering. After the second half started, the other fans got a little more rowdy.  Of course, we were winning by then and alcohol had kicked in.

For others -not me! I was the designated parent and driver!

A little after the second half, Melissa was ready to go home. She was tired...ready for bed....she's always has loved her sleep. Since we were watching the game outside on a patio, I let her go and lay down in the van. (I could see the van from where we were and it was the perfect temperature- so she was safe.)  Ben even went to the van for a little while, but couldn't sleep.

William and I were too involved in the game....we didn't want to leave. We stayed to the end.  It was a great game!! least for us since we won.  Three wins so far this year.....we're off this next Saturday, but then we face the number one team, Alabama.  Hopefully, we can at least do well and not embarrass ourselves.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Seeing the Humor in it All

Saturday night I was in charge of driving Melissa and two of her friends to a birthday party. Another mom had the late-night drive home shift.  As I was backing out of the this family's driveway, several other vans were stopping to let their teens off for the party as well. 

What I should have done was to just stop. Wait. Not sure why I didn't.....I wasn't in a where I needed to be...  But I didn't. I went straight back in order to avoid the other vans and the teens in the road.

Straight back is not a good idea on a narrow neighborhood road that is lined with mailboxes....with one now down for the count and black marks on my van.

Oh, times.  Life is never boring that's for sure.

I knocked on the door and told the wife what sorry I I would, of course, pay for the repair work.  Her response?

Laughter!  She laughed and laughed!

I, on the other hand, was not laughing - more like shaking and trying very hard not to cry.

Her husband? Yea...he wasn't laughing either...more like spiting-nails MAD!

After he went back in, she was still laughing! She said, "Oh, don't mind him! He's just mad because I didn't let him go to hunting - I made him stay and cook dinner!" Then she laughed some more - then said, "Also, he knocked it down awhile back and we just got it back up!" And laughed some - even as a neighbor stopped and asked what happened. This neighbor was laughing too.

I still was not laughing....I was still shaking and trying not to cry.

In the end, she wouldn't take a check or even write down my name or phone number. I'm hoping he sees the humor in this as she did and won't try to track me down.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Today's Project

I had planned to work on the third quilt that was pieced together, but I really need a few extra hands to layer it right. With the kids in school I pushed that project aside and instead made this tote bag. The front is pink quilted fabric and the back has a small quilted pocket. I probably should have added an inside pocket, but I didn't think about it in time. 

Overall, I'm happy with it. This is actually the second quilted tote bag I've made lately. The first one is done in fall fabrics. I'm not sure what I'll do with either one....

Friday, September 6, 2013

Clean Flower Beds

Since Drew has been gone, William has been my yard boy. It was to be in exchange for the car and his insurance. He seems to do well with the actual mowing, but edging and the flower beds he has a hard time with. I think he would prefer to be working on some math problem or reading a book. 

But his momma loves a clean looking flower bed....and hasn't had one in awhile. 

I couldn't stand it any longer! This morning I donned on my work-out clothes, plugged in my headphones, found a good podcast to listen to, and weeded!  He'll still need to edge, but at least my flower beds are a little cleaner (even if I'm a little dirtier!). 

Cleans beds are happy beds! Should have taken a before picture!

Probably the last of the summer lilies. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

THE Weekend

Well,  it happened. I knew it would.  I tried to make it slow down, but that never really works.  THE weekend that I had been looking forward to for most of the summer came and, sadly, went. But it was a great was just so much fun!

It started with Ole Miss winning their football game Thursday night. Late Thursday night. VERY LATE Thursday night. Which made a few people a tad grumpy due to the lack of sleep. But it was so very worth it.  Last year Vanderbilt came to our campus and beat us in the last few minutes of the game. This year the cleat was on the other foot, so to speak, and we were the ones to win in the last few minutes. It was NOT a perfect game.  Those Rebels have a lot of work to do to get ready for the next game - and all those other SEC teams that are top ranked.  We Rebel fans would prefer to win early  - and decisively, would help! These come-from-behind and win in the last few minutes (more like seconds!) are really, really bad for our hearts.....I'm sure a few of us just about "threw a stroke" as one family member said.

But a win is a win and we will take it!! On to next week!! And hopefully, another win!!

Friday night I got to pick Drew up from the airport. It was just so nice to have my other half around again.  We did get to go out by ourselves Sunday night, but other than that we were with family the whole time. And it was so nice!  I know most of my friends don't get along with their in-laws or their spouse doesn't like their family, but Drew and I have never had issues.  Family is family. We love them all and it's great to all be together.  Drew's parents came in town for the festivities. We really do love having them all together.

Saturday was the fiftieth anniversary party for my parents.  I had decided to set out pictures of my parents  through-out the years as well as my brother and his family, and my family.  Also, pictures of my grandparents  at their fiftieth anniversary for guest to see were set out.  As I discovered going the old photos, I have a set of great-grandparents on each of my parents' families that, also, celebrated their fiftieth anniversary as well. Wow. What a legacy....three generations on both sides.  On top of that, my in-laws are into their sixtieth-two year of marriage. Just an incredible legacy for my kids.  Drew and I have a lot to live up to.

To celebrate, we had a nice reception Saturday afternoon and a family dinner out Saturday night.  I was so happy to see some of my father's family drive in town for the reception.  My father still has one uncle living. He came with his wife,  as well as two of his three children with their spouses.  So many times we only see these extended family members at funerals. It was nice to get to visit with them at a happy occasion.

Sunday was a lazy day of cooking out hamburgers, kids swimming, adults getting naps in and eating more cake. We had lots of cake left....but since it's got to be the best cake in the world, we don't mind left-overs!

Sadly, Monday came....time to pack up and take Drew back to the airport. None of the kids nor I were really ready for him to leave. But at least I get start a new count-down to the next visit.

Friday, August 30, 2013

A Book Re-done

The other day I popped into the library as I was headed to pick up Benjamin from cross country practice.  I saw a book by Debbie Macomber I wasn't familiar with - I was so excited as she is one of my favorite author's. I glanced at the copyright date to make sure it was  new one - and it was - 2012.  In the past I have brought home what I thought was new book only to discover it was a new cover - which is why I didn't recognize it.

When I got home this time, I realized I was fooled again.  She (or her editors or publishers) took two of her old romance novels, put them into one book - added a new title. So, while the title was new, the stories were not.

I was fooled again! And disappointed.

Not that it stopped me from reading them. I can tell these were from her early years as a writer.  The characters and storyline were not as well thought out as her newer books are.

Oh, well.  I have found a new author (new to me anyway), Susan Mallery. While I wish her bedroom scenes were cleaner, her story lines and characters are very good.  Makes you want to go find this fictional town and move in and have dinner with some of these people.

But I guess that's what makes a good author - they make a make-believe place seem real.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Weekly Run Down

The days just keep going by, don't they?  Saturday I did next to nothing other than laundry and reading books and watching tv. Since the heat has arrived, it was a good day to be inside and lazy.

This week has been good. The luncheon I was to have last week I held on Tuesday. It went very well!  I think all had a great time. One lady said she that we should have luncheons every month! I hope so! One lady offered her house for next time.  It was just a relaxing time to sit and chat.

My highlight of the week (so far - because the true highlight will be seeing Drew tomorrow night!) was getting my new iphone.  When we moved back to the States three years ago, I bought an iphone 4 - top of the line back then. But lately I have had so many issues with dropped calls, that I finally quit answering calls and just letting everything go to voice mail. Not ideal when you have three teens you have to keep up with. I ordered a new one last week and it was to come in on Thursday. By Friday I had not seen it yet, so I called. Walmart, basically, said they lost my order and it would need to be bumped up to her supervisor  - and that would take 2-5 business days to be settled.


Monday I called to cancel the order as there was a Walmart in town that had one in stock, but I was told they worked it out and it was already in  shipping. YEA!!! It was delivered Tuesday afternoon. Of course, the biggest surprise was that I was able to get it turned on, my account transferred to a new company and synced to my lap-top all without having a melt down and having to call Drew.

I was quite proud of myself!  A very non-blond moment!

Today was the first day of a new Bible at church. I'm actually the teacher this time around.  Well, teaching is a strong word....I push the play button the DV and during discussion I make sure we stay on topic and watch the  clock. It's not rocket science, but I do enjoy it.  Today went well.  It's a good study - we're looking into the Old Testament judge Gideon.

Benjamin has cross country practice today....I'm praying he doesn't have a heat stroke as it'll be close or over 100 degrees.... I did take him an extra water bottle...not too sure he appreciated it....but he will come 3 o'clock.

Tonight I play to watch the Ole Miss game -first of the season! Fins up & hotty toddy!!  So, hope we win....and not embarrass ourselves.....

Tomorrow Drew arrives and Saturday is the big 50th anniversary party. Should be a great weekend. And yes, I already know it'll go way too fast for me.

Friday, August 23, 2013

A Good Day at Work and Another Good Shopping Time

It was a normal day in the middle school office....flat out crazy at times. But overall, a good day. The computer gaves me fits.  If I worked with the attendance program on a daily bases, it would be fine, but it's been months since I worked with it. By  the time the final bell ranged, I think it conquered.....even if I accidentally listed one kid as being in 'in-house' suspension instead of just being late....  Opps. (I did correct it by the time I left.)

One boy made me laugh. Not sure what this kid did that he needed an ice bag, but he brought his own to school. Several times he came to the office to refill it.  Just cracked me up.

Melissa and I went  on a short shopping trip this evening....all to find those shoes for my outfit.  The stores at the Boardwalk was a bust. Nothing good at all.  But at the mall? Success! Very happy with that!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Luncheon That was Not And the Shopping Trip that Was

Today I was to host a luncheon for a friend from church that has completed a local cosmetology school. Anyone that can go back to school and finish while in your late thirties deserves to celebrate!  She went to school beginning in February until last week Tuesday thur Saturday - all day long! WOW! A crazy schedule with a husband and three kids to keep track of.  Instead of hair, she learned how to give all kinds of facials. She hopes to be able to work in a dermatologist's office as soon as she passes the state test.  So, today was to the day that several us from our Sunday school class came together for a  lunch - just fun and fellowship, but her youngest son woke up sick. She spent the day at the doctor's office with him.

So...what to do....I could always find something to clean around the house...but what fun is that??  I went shopping instead. I had been looking for an outfit to wear to my parent's 50th anniversary party next week. I knew exactly the kind of dress I wanted!! Which of course means I had no hope in finding it.

I did see it....twice! But my size was no where to be found. I wanted a green shirt dress...sort with a 1950's flair.  Short sleeves....button-up....full skirt....but no. Not for me. What to do...what to do....

Last month I did buy this silky tangerine tank top. I decided that would be cute with white jeans. (My mom is wearing pants, so I guess my green shirt dress would have been too dressy.)  At the third store today, I found white jeans that not only fit, but weren't see through!  White can be needs to be a heavy one needs to see what color my underwear is!

I, also, wanted some cute shoes to go with this new outfit.  I have been wearing my white flip flops all they really aren't all that white anymore.  I ended up buying some new white flip flops with a thick sole...but not sure about them. Then I showed Melissa them. And yea. We agreed. They need to go back.  (I think her actual words were "They are god awful!")  Saturday I think she and I will take them back and try a few other shoe stores....I think a nice sling-back wedge would be just the thing.... know...since I knew exactly what I want......

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Books to Read

I haven't read as much in the month of August as I usually do. I have worked on a few quilts, probably watched way too much TV, and  listened to two sermon series by Mark Driscoll. (Each series was about ten hours long.) He's a pastor from the Seattle area with Mars Hill Church - such good stuff!! I started listening to him by my iphone podcast, then looked up the website. There I found several series that was not on the podcast - he knows the WORD!

So. Not much reading around here. But I have read two books. The first was A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet by Sophie Hudson from BooMama blog. Her blog is one of the first blogs I started to read based on a recommendation from my friend Polly (Hey, Polly!! Miss you!!).  She's very funny! Her book tells stories from her Southern family - being Southern as well, I can relate! There were several "laugh out load" moments! A great light-hearted book that tells the love of family and the Lord.

The second book I read this month is the autobiography of the VeggieTales creator, Phil Vischer, Me, Myself, and Bob: A True Story about God, Dreams, and Talking Vegetables.
I, actually, heard about Mr. Vischer's book from his podcast - The Phil Vischer Podcast.
 An excellent read on several levels! He talks about the rise  - and fall - of his Big Idea he produced Larry the Cucumber and Bob the Tomatoe - and how he lost it all. This book as some great business advice...what he did wrong and what he is doing right this time around with his new company, JellyFish Labs. But mainly, he talks about how we  should walk with God....that we should be like jellyfish... As jellyfish flow with the water currents because they have no backbone, we should flow with God's Will with no will of our be totally in God's Will instead of living for ourselves. Good stuff!

While I still have two quilts that need binding and one that needs to be layered and quilted (and a totally different quilt that needs to be started!), I have my eye on another book....John Grisham's Theodore Boone: The Activist.  This is a series aimed at teens, but I have enjoyed it. It's one of the few series that William and I both enjoy. He said this book was not as good as the others in the series...guess I'll have to read to find out if I agree!

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Start of the Week

Today Benjamin had his first day of try-outs for cross country.  This is only the third year the school has had a team. During these last two years, there was no try-outs. Any one who wanted to join, did.  But there were a few problems....lots of people bought a shirt, showed up for practice, but did NOT show up for a meet. I think the sponsor teachers (both of the female PE teachers) were tired of that! Ben said they announced that they would take 25 students. He thought about 50 were there. He felt like he had the second fastest time for his grade.  We'll see how it goes the rest of the week....some may get faster the week goes on.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sunday Night

It's a loud night at my house. Melissa has her friends (I think I counted 13 or 14) over for Bible study. She and two friends from Sunday School started this group around January (I think). During the school year they meet on Friday afternoons, but now that half the group is in high school, Friday afternoons are busy due to the high school football games.  After looking at every one's schedule, Sunday nights were chosen since our church doesn't currently have a class (that'll change sometime in September).

There's been lots of giggles, but some good sharing of the Word as well.  And some good snacks.  Can't have teenagers without some good snacks. They are a must!

The boys have hid, of course. Ben in his room and William in the loft with the tv headphones on.  Now a few girls have left and the remaining ones are playing "catch-phrase" (a type of board game).

So glad Melissa has some good friends....hope they are able to keep being sweet and seeking Jesus.

Yesterday my plan was to treat the kids to a movie, but only Melissa wanted to go. Not sure what was up with that....William did say he was tired. He had soccer practice from 8am to 10.... But Ben??  Who knows! Melissa and I saw "Red 2". While it was violent - after all - it is about spies and CIA agents, the language was not bad at all. I was quite surprise - and happy!

Afterwards, we stopped for an ice cream treat and to look for me a dress for my parent's anniversary party.  I know exactly the kind of dress I want. Which means, of course, I will not find it in my size!  I tried on a few, but nothing yet. I may just pull something out of my closet. 

I have a few things planned for this week. I'm hosting a luncheon on Thursday. A friend from church has finished a school where she learned how to do facials - as esthetician. Just keeping it simple...soup and sandwiches....probably minestrone and muffalettas. Friday I work - it's for the front office, not in the class room, but I'm excited. Melissa will babysit four afternoons and William will for three- that'll keep them busy!

We're missing Drew...but we were able to get in a few good conversations in with him as well as one Skype visit.

Monday, August 12, 2013

High School

Melissa is much more talkative about her schools than William ever was.  So far, she has told me about...

 .... learning about dip - and that would be the kind that boys use to put a "dip" in their mouth - not the kind of dip that goes with chips.

....stumbling upon an acquaintance making out with her boyfriend behind the school as Melissa was trying to find her way to her PE class.

.....hearing the senior baseball boys talk about making the freshman baseball players throw-up because the work out was so hard - Melissa got a kick out of this because of the freshman they were talking about is one that she can't stand!

....listening to a junior talk on and on about her fiance and her up-coming in her wedding when she's twenty-one or in years from now, but you know - she's soooo in love!! (Melissa was really annoyed at this conversation that she had no way to walk away from as they were in class waiting their turn with the teacher to set up their  PE lockers.)

I told Melissa she needed to write all these down!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Frist Day of School

Today was the first day of school for my kids. Over all, I think it went well. While they may not admit to it, I think they were excited. Each of them had their clothes laid out last night - that took me by surprise. I wasn't with Melissa, but the boys? both of them?? Yep. That surprised me. But there on the floor was their uniform.

Both boys are happy with their schedules - both have classes with friends. William will be taking two college classes this semester and  I think one or two next semester. Melissa wasn't too fond of her schedule  - she only has one class with a good friend. None with her other close friends - not even lunch with them.  She and William do have lunch together, though. I'm sure Melissa will end up making some new friends, but I was disappointed for her as well. She's really had a hard time on the friendship front here...hopefully, this won't cause problems.

I, also, enjoyed the first day of school. I had breakfast with two my friends, then did errands on the base. I had only about an hour and half of a quiet house before they arrived home from school. Tomorrow though I have nothing planned other than making a quick trip to the library. Well, maybe a few loads of laundry.....that, of course, never seems to go away.   Should be a nice and quiet day!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Picture from Yesterday

Here's a picture of the loot, I mean, medication we got from our doctor's visit yesterday. And to think, this is only for two children & they were out of two of Ben's asthma meds and we didn't need a renewal yet on another. 

Way too many allergies is this family. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Camo & Sparkly Band-aids

The boys and I spent the  afternoon at the base clinic trying to get ready for school and have all their meds. (Because all the kids need Epi Pens at school, there are tons of paperwork the doctor must sign.)  It took a sweet forever. We were in with the doctor (or rather PA) for at least an hour. William, also, needed a sport physical in order to play soccer this fall and then we went over all their meds. know that research that says if you breastfeed the child will have less allegories?? Well....they didn't talk to my family! Poor kids. While right now both are taking less meds because it's summer, they both are prescribed several meds. William has three, but Benjamin has six plus Epi Pens and Benadryl. I really should take a picture of the BAG I left with from the pharmacy....

Oh, sweet mercy! Thankfully, we do have great medical insurance. I would hate to see how much it  would cost to get all of those meds at retail. 

Then we spent probably another hour waiting for our turn at immunizations. Benjamin needed two and William needed one. When the tech ask Ben if he wanted a camo or sparkly band aide, he thought she said "camel". And thought that was a very odd band-aide, so he said sparkly. Which she thought was an odd choice for a boy. But it was more like reflective mirrors more than sparkly  

When it was William's turn, he without any doubt said camo! Well....she gave him a pink camo one. She said, "Yea...I just forgot to tell you that it was pink camo!" Soooo funny, the look on his face!

He refused to let me take  a picture of him and his pink camo Band-Aid....spoil-sport.

Then we went to for haircuts and to pick up a few things from the BX. Then back to the clinic to see if the meds were ready at the pharmacy. Then to the commissary for milk, bread, and fruits, etc.

Yea....a full and long and busy afternoon.

And I get to do it all over again next week with Melissa.... But hopefully, she won't need any shots nor a haircut (she actually got one on Sunday - haircut not a shot), but I'm sure I'll be out of milk and bread by then...these kids eat a lot!

On another good note, William was very happy that he broke one hundred pounds. He weighed in at 101 at 5 feet 5 inch (at 16 1/2 yrs).   Benjamin is still our small fry at 59 lbs at 4 feet 7 inches (at 12 1/5 yrs).

Monday, July 29, 2013

This and That

We had another great visit to my in-laws' house. One of Drew's sister and family was in town -it was great to catch up with them. We stopped off at my parent's house on the way home. Earlier in the week we had planned to stay the night, but my parents were to keep both my nieces, so that left me with no bed - or sharing a small pull-out bed with Melissa. No, thank you.  But by the time we got there Friday afternoon, my nieces had a change of plans. I still elected to go home. By that point  I was ready for my bed.

Saturday we didn't have anything going on.....just rested and did a lot of nothing. Melissa did have one friend over and they baked cookies and a cake. Sunday was a little fuller. One of Ben's friends come home with us from church and stayed the night. Melissa and I had few errands - she got a trim, we hit Target and Bed, Bath & Beyond for the last of the lunch box needs before school starts.

Then late in the afternoon Melissa had a small get-to-gather with her friends.  They had been meeting most weeks for Bible study, but since school has been out everyone has been busy. Yesterday they had a short lesson then decorated sugar cookies and played a game called, "Catch Phrase." I played some to keep the teams even.  Lots of giggles! Melissa had some good and fun friends.  I hope (and pray) that it stays that way through high school.

High school - which starts for Melissa next week - she is so ready! Friday is orientation - several of the girls were talking about what to wear....clothes are still very important to teenage girls!

Part of the deal for William to get a car is for him to help with the cost.  Until he gets a job, he is our yard boy. I have to admit....he's not the best. But he's trying! And he has had help! Our neighbors are feeling sorry for him. Last week one neighbor mowed it. Yesterday one saw him pushing the mower (we have a push one -not a riding one!) and came over on his riding lawn mower and did most of the yard! William was thrilled!  It was a hot afternoon.

Today Melissa left for another camp - she will be a chaperon for the lower elementary kids. She was very excited! I'm sure she'll come home Thursday very, very tired!

I have been spending a lot of my time watching an old sermon series by Mark Driscoll on the Songs of Songs. Good stuff! Probably the best I have ever heard on this small book in the Bible. Lots of practical ideas and advice on marriage (and sex!  Yes! The Bible talks and speaks of sex in a positive way - after all, God did create it!).

Drew tried to work on our rest house, but ran into a few problems....He'll try again next week. He, also, got to visit with some of our friends from California. It seems we both are having fun without the other!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Stinkie Feet

Drew's been gone a week and already William has had to drag out the ladder twice. Once to change a light bulb and second to replace a battery in the fire alarm. I probably could have done both, but our ceilings are high and I am not. Those few inches William has on me comes in handy!

You know that hormone that causes boys' feet to smell? has turned on in Benjamin! oh. my. For the last two days he has been working with the youth on service projects - even slept at the church. He took off his shoes tonight and I just about had to leave the room. He did have to take a bath before we could go through his school uniforms. Even then they weren't nice smelling....I warned him that he'll probably have to take a bath again in the morning just to wash his feet. I may have to buy new shoes....I did spray Lysol on his, but still....not sure if the smell will go away.

wow.  In a bad way.

So. yea. School uniforms.  School starts in two weeks and a day. Yesterday I ordered the last of the clothes that William and Melissa needed (yea for Old Navy uniform sales and free shipping!).  I think Ben is set with all the hand-me-downs he has. I think the only thing we are still needing is William needs a new lunch box. No real rush on that as he can always use mine - I don't see me subbing for while.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Only in the South

Melissa follows a page on facebook that's post local items for sale - sort of like a virtual yard sale. Earlier this week someone post a picture of a dead (headless) snake with the caption of "Headless rattle snake for sale. Killed at 8:15 in the freezer by 8:30. Would make a great belt!"

There was not one, not two, but THREE people that wanted it!

I can assure you, neither Melissa nor I were any of those three people.

You might be a redneck if...... 

Saturday, July 13, 2013


Just a little update...

Benjamin had a robotic camp this week - and loved it! It was a free camp through the school and only six from each middle school were invited to attend. He was so happy when his team won the grand championship! My little scientist! Two of his best friends were also there - and that made his week, I think.  They're a good group of boys!

Melissa and William didn't do too much this week....just enjoying the summer and sleeping in when they can! We've all done a lot of reading - a few of the same books even.

Then there's Drew.... He's moved to DC. Yep - without us. At least for now.... This is not our first choice, but it's where the job is. We are still hoping for a local job as we don't want to move the kids again. We're going to give this a try and see how life goes and what God has planned.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


On the way home from church tonight we passed some neighborhood kids. I asked who they were. After Ben and his friend told me their names, Ben said, "They are....rude!"

Then his friend said, "That's his way of saying they are snobs and think they are better than us."

Oh, these boys! They make me laugh!

Saturday, July 6, 2013


Our plan A for this week was to visit friends in St. Louis and one of Drew's brother's in Chicago, but all that had to be cancelled (long story for another post). Instead, we spent the 4th of July with my family. We had a nice family dinner Wednesday night, then spent the 4th at my brother's poolside (With, may I say, the BEST weather!! in the low 90's  which for the Deep South, that is downright cool!) It was so nice to relax and get some sun. Friday I met my dear friend, Janean, for breakfast then spent the afternoon shopping with Mom and Melissa. .  Today we were lazy and with no rush to return home.

The kids and I read a lot...we've all read Veronica Roth's Divergent. And all enjoyed it. It's another post-America story - just the thought of that creeps some people out. This story was not nearly as disturbing as Hunger Games. We are on the waiting list for the library for the next book in this series - we are ready for it! The third book is due out this fall.

I've, also, spent the week avoiding washing many dishes. Apparently, you get out of dish duty when you have stitches in one of your fingers. I got a little too carried away last Saturday with my rotary cutter when I was trimming fabric for a quilt. While the cut and stitches did not hurt today (b/c it REALLY did last Saturday!!!), the stitches just got in my way. I was told to keep them in seven to nine days. Today was day seven. Couldn't stand it anymore, and so I took them out myself this morning.

Then too a nice long shower.

Not the best idea.

Should have done the shower first....with the stitches in a water-proof covering.....The cut did open back up, but I'm not going back in. If I end up with a nasty scar, oh, well. It's on the tip of my finger. Who cares.

I did have to get a tetanus shot. I was not happy about that. I had one eight years ago, but the doctor sort of ignored that. I think he just want to charge my insurance company for another item

Tomorrow we plan to go to a book.....take a walk maybe.....enjoy life.

Friday, July 5, 2013


I'm meeting a friend for breakfast this morning. She's late. But hey! At least I get to enjoy the coffee while I wait.  I love IHOP...

Saturday, June 29, 2013

A Quiet Week

The two teens of the house left Sunday night for youth camp with our church. I have only heard from them once. Melissa text (on an adult's phone since their phones were taken up) asking if I could go to Old Navy Saturday morning to buy her some flip flops that would be on sale.  Yes, I was a good mom and went  to the dollar flip flop sale.

Oh, my.

It was sort of like Black Friday.....CRAZY!

Then I was even crazier and went to Wal-Mart on a Saturday.  But only because milk and bread was needed and I knew the commissary would be even crazier!

Anyway. It's been a nice week...not really sure what all we did....not a whole lot. Read some, watched a few movies, sewed, celebrated my birthday with lunch with my parents, chores....just normal stuff.

This was the first time  I didn't have all my kids with me on my birthday. There's been several that Drew was gone, but never my kids. That was different. Drew got me a new lap top. We were in need of one badly as ours was five years old -and acted liked it.

I'm trying to get use to the far, I like it!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Got a Glimpse

One of the things we love most about living here in north Lou-zee-ana is the ability to see family. That was yesterday. My original plan was to stay a few nights at my parent's, but my brother's air unit went out and so he and his family moved in which left me with no bed. But it doesn't really matter, since I think 90 miles is close enough to drive back and forth in one day.

After all, after living literally on the other side of the world and where it take DAYS to get to your parent's house, 90 miles is nothing - NOTHING!

We got lots of rain yesterday - in fact, there were a few tense moments as I was driving over in the in the morning....the kind where you drive real slow and turn on  your flashing lights and PRAY  that the people behind you see you while  you are able to see EVERYONE in front of you (including the fool that had no lights on).

Toward the end of the day I kept a close eye on weather. There was one more bad cell of rain, then it looked like it would be clear - or at least just a drizzle of rain.  While we were having dinner, my dad leaned over and said, "Why don't you stay at my house tonight?"

He was so concerned about his little girl. I said, "No, I'll be fine. There's just one more bad storm, but once it passes I'll be fine."

Ten minutes later Dad says, "Don't you want to just stay at my house tonight?"

Ah, so sweet.  "No, I'll be fine. Besides, I don't have any extra clothes with me."

My mom jumps in at this point - "We'll get  you a night gown!"

What's amazing to me about this story is that my dad noticed the weather, knew I would be driving in it, and he didn't want me to.  Dad had a stroke six years ago and now has dementia. He can't really follow a conversation or a movie or a tv show.  But he knows his daughter and didn't want her driving in bad weather.

It's like a kiss to my soul when I get a glimpse of the real George that's lost somewhere in there.

(After ten or fifteen minutes of driving the rain stopped and I had nice skies with the sun peeking out the rest of the way home.)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Time to Break a Leg!

Last week Melissa and William tried out for a play at the base with Missoula Children's Theater. This is our third time for this camp - once in Guam and once the first summer we were here. While Melissa and William enjoyed the camp in Guam (Ben wasn't interested), it wasn't such a great week for Melissa and Benjamin when we first got here as they did not get parts.  This week William and Melissa both wanted to try out, but Benjamin did not. Being on stage is NOT his cup of tea at all.

From the beginning Melissa wanted to be an assistant director instead being on stage. Good news for her, since that's what she got! She was thrilled!! William did not get a part, but wasn't too upset as he had soccer to keep him busy. In fact, had he gotten a part, there would have been a it all worked out. 

It was a lot of fun seeing how excited Melissa was about being "in charge". These are the times I see a glance of the lady she'll be one day. She enjoys working with the other kids and likes understanding how the whole play works - not just one part.

Wednesday when we picked Melissa up from practice she was in tears.  Once of the dancing trees complained that the dancing hurt her back, so the adults in charge switched her with one of the other assistance directors. Who then pouted about not being an assistance director. So, they then switched the back-hurting tree with Melissa. While she did NOT want to switch, she said she felt like she couldn't say no.

There were lots of tears Wednesday....maybe a few Thursday...but I'm very proud of her for sticking with it. She did think about quitting, she did not talk to us about it....she just did the mature thing and kept going.

Drew and I saw the play Friday night and it went well. Melissa did fine in her dancing tree part. And she's already talking about returning next year  - to be an assistance director for the WHOLE week.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Fiction Binge

For the last month or so I have been on a fiction binge. I usually read one or two fiction books, then something in from the non-fiction side of the library. But with the end-of-school and start of summer, I have just wanted to read and not think for awhile. I found several series and got a little caught up in reading them - all of the quickest amount of time possible it seems.

Two series are from Christian author Denise Hunter and two series are from secular author Nora Roberts. I, also, read one stand-alone from Nora Roberts - these are the first books of hers that I have read in...well...probably close to a decade. I use to read all her books, but then she started to write with a paranormal character went from a man to a wolf....another would have conversations with a fairy. Yea. Not my taste. I have not read any of the vampire books that have been popular lately. Just not me. I was disappointed that in one of these new series that a ghost was in the mix. But by then I was taken in by the other characters.

While I could have done without the strong language and the few love scenes, her characters are very you want them to be real and go and hang  out with them. One series had a set of three brothers. I always love books and series that have a strong family as a major part of the plot. Also, both sets of Nora Robert's books had sets of friends that were unbreakable....friends that would stay together through thick and thin....friends that have known each other for most of their lives and plan to life  out the rest of their lives close by. I missed that being a military wife. I have met some amazing friends in my adult life, but time and distance have left their mark.

The Denise Hunter series was...just fact I really couldn't get into the second series.  Read the first chapter then the skimmed the rest the book. All of these series were more or less just love or romance books. But I did read a Dee Henderson book that was anything but "just romance"

Dee Henderson's latest book, Full Disclosure, was full of twist and turns as the two main characters tried to solve a murder mystery. But she also did something I never had read before -or at least never realized it - she wrote herself into the book and mentioned her other books. It was very interesting. The murder mystery was very interesting, but the romance side of the book was way too cerebral for me. The two falling in-love characters analyzed it to death, I felt like. But I think that was better than Nora Roberts book where clothes go flying off without thought!

I, also, read a Danielle Steele book: 44 Charles Street. She is, also, an author I use to read a lot. For the most part her earlier books had a pattern: they get rich, they get poor, they fall in love, some one dies, they get rich, they get get the picture. This is only the second of hers I have read probably since college, but it was a good read....a little predictable, I  think. Also, most of the characters are rich - who really gets to take the whole month of August off??? No one in my real world.

But I'm done with my fiction binge. On to some non-fiction....maybe  I'll even get sewing machine out to work on a project....

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A 21 Day Daniel Fast

Last month our pastor called the church to do a Daniel Fast (eat only veggies, fruit, nuts,  & beans - no dairy, no meat, no breads with yeast, etc - drink only water) as a time to pray for our country, community, church and families. Over the years, I have studied different types of fasting, but had never done a Daniel Fast. I usually just do a water-only fast for a day or so and usually fast alone.  So, this church-wide fast was intriguing to me. Right off the bat Benjamin didn't want anything to do with it! "Nope. Not interested."

But my teens surprised us by being interested and willing to participate with Drew and I. They amazed us! They both had it a little harder than Drew or I because they can't have any nuts or nut products due to allergies and as much as I have tried to get them to like beans over the years, they both HATE beans. Thankfully, they like brown rice, a few veggies and fruit - lots of fruit and oatmeal they ate! We did learn that William gets incredible grumpy when he's hungry....poor thing!

I think out of all of us Melissa was tempted more than the rest of us. She was offered pizza and chips at several end-of-school parties and events. In fact, Saturday afternoon one of her friends was hosting a swim party and Melissa decided not to go. She said," I just can't face pizza again. AND! There's gonna be cake pops....CAKE POPS!!"  So, I took her and one of her fasting friends shopping then they just hanged out at our house. They held strong! Very moving to see the Lord working in our teenagers' lives.

During this fast, a quote from the book The Heavenly Man in which Brother Yun talks about starving in a prison, "...their stomachs become their god..."  You only have to watch a few episodes of Survivor to see what people will do for food - even if it means risking their chance at a million dollars. There's so much in our lives that revolve around food - good and bad. So much celebrations...but, also, so much junk and habits...many bad habits. Doing without my normal food options during these 21 days, has made me think how many times I just eat without thinking....purely out of habit or boredom.  And what I'm eating: mainly junk. It seems that we have traded in wholesomeness and nutrition for convenience in modern day America.

If you had ask me if I could go 21 days without chocolate or coffee or bacon or a cookie or other dessert, I probably would have said "NO" nice and loud!(I love sugar!)  But I did. But only because I had Someone else's strength. Being able to walk passed the cake in the teacher's lounge or not pull out the cheese or not order a hamburger wasn't in my nature. It's the Lord's nature. He gave me strength. He showed me that I can do what I didn't think was possible. He, also, showed me how much I do out of pure habit. Makes me think what else do I do out of habit instead of being intentional.

The Lord is very intentional with us.  I think He wants us to be intentional, as well. Be intentional as we love others - make a point to pass on the love He has showered on us. And make no mistake - no matter how you live, He has showered you with His love.

As we broke the fast Monday, Drew and I have decided to continue  some intentional about our eating - add more fruits and careful about the junk (trash) food we allow in the house. (After all, if it's in the house, we WILL eat it!) I will say, we both thoroughly enjoyed our breakfast of eggs, cheese and bacon! (REAL bacon - not turkey, but REAL yummy BACON!) The teens were so ready to break their fast that they stayed up to midnight to eat! Drew and I like our sleep....I guess we're getting old!

If you have never done a Daniel Fast, I encourage you to look into it. It has been a wonderful way for us to grow closer to the Lord and to feel His strength and love.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Pure Laziness

This first week of no school has been wonderful! We have done next to nothing - and have loved every minute of it! (Well, almost every minute of it - I did make everyone help me clean the house on Tuesday morning - they all really didn't enjoy that, but it's apart of life.)  The kids have slept in, played on the computer, hang out with friends. Drew and I have slept, played on the computer, instead of hanging out with friend he did take me to the movies. 

And I have read several books - ok. More like a lot of books. Its' been great! I love that I can put a book on hold at the library from our computer and even download books from the library to my kindle. Been reading a new author as well as some new works by well known authors. It's been great! Books are like crack to me!

Back to the movie... We went to see this particular movie because it was filmed here locally and we were able to see some of the buildings. They built the from of the White House - we even got a picture of us in front of it (I'll dig that up later - it's on the other computer). The kids were so excited to see it - until we all realized it was rated R. After seeing it, I know why. While the language wasn't overly bad (but bad enough) it was the violence. Urgg. Yuck! But I really should have read the review....after all, the movie was about some bad guys taking over the While House. It was war - like a blood bath. So, not me. I had my eyes closed for half of it.

Drew owes me at least two chick-flicks!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

A Lazy Sunday Evening

It's been a very quiet weekend. We have stayed close to the house - no plans. It's been nice to relax - sleep in...even got a a nap or two in. Melissa did babysit yesterday - then went to a party with her friends. Right now she's trying to organize a sleep over with a few of her friends.

She even got her father to take her driving. She's not eligible for her driver's permit for months, but she is so ready! Drew's taken her a time or two. Her plan is to take driver's ed this fall - you have to be 15 by the first class. Since her birthday is in Sept, she's planning to take the class soon after that. We'll see when it's offered.  She is just biting at the bit to grow up and drive!

William on the other hand has had his driver's permit since last summer and rarely fact, I'm not even sure when he drove last.  He never asks and the last few times I have offered, his answer has been that he would rather sit in the back and read a book.

Crazy kid.

I think the big plans for the holiday tomorrow is to go to the movies....we'll see. I have read several books this weekend....and about to start another one...probably should get some sewing projects done, but right now I guess I'm like William. I would rather just sit and read a book.

Friday, May 24, 2013


With William finishing his last two finals this morning, 2012-2013 school year is officially done. We have a few weeks before we'll get the notice for summer homework, so I hope my kids enjoy this break.  I know Benjamin is have summer homework - unless the school changes it's ways (which we will all be happy about it!) More than likely he'll have to read two books and do two projects  for each and maybe a math project.

I remember seeing summer homework for Junior English....we'll see if we get notified for that. Good thing William loves to read!

Benjamin is already hitting the computer games hard and long. I told him to enjoy weekend, then he and I will have to come to some type of agreement as to how long is long enough.  William is right there with him on that score. And Melissa - my social butterfly - is already at her friend's house - that has a pool....we may not see much of her this summer....

William and Melissa will attend the youth camp. Benjamin will attend 6th grade church camp - with Melissa as a counselor. She'll, also, be a counselor for the elementary church camp. William will have summer soccer workouts. But as of now Drew and I don't have any trips planned....although we are throwing a few ideas around....we'll see what we come up with.

While I have enjoyed sleeping in these last two days I have not worked, I did still  get up some what early to get kids off to school (I hate the thought that they leave the house without seeing at least one parent!). Of course, having kids getting breakfast and lunches together does NOT make for a quiet morning! Tomorrow that's a different story! No one has to get up and out the door!! The house will be quiet.....and a quiet house will mean sleep!!

At least, that's the plan....

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Almost There

We are almost at the end of school. Today was my last day to sub (this month has got to be the highest number of days for me to work!!)  Tomorrow will be Ben's and Melissa's last day. And Friday will be William's last day.  I could be a mean mom and make Ben and Melissa go to school on Friday, but really - the teachers don't want them there. I'll probably check Ben and Melissa out after the awards assembly.

Today most of the eight graders were on field trip. Some went to Dallas to tour the Cowboy stadium then watch a Ranger's game. The others went to see a movie and spend time at the mall. Melissa chose to do neither (my checking account thanks her.) So, she got to stay home...sleep in...hang out....get a taste of summer.  She'll go tomorrow because the teacher will be handing out report cards, but we are excepting all A's, too.

Benjamin received his report card today. He did very well - ended up with all A's as his final grade in each class. He,also, did well on the state testing (we received those grades today as well).

I did have to laugh at several of the boys in my class dance and laugh and jump and down when they realized they did in fact pass into the next grade.  Ben was in the room by then to show me his grades and he thought it was funny as well. But, really, it's sad. To think you don't know if your grades are good enough.

Drew and I are very lucky that none of our kids have even been in that position.

William doesn't get any extra days off because the high school gives finals the last two days of school - and EVERYONE takes a final. No exemptions if you have an A like it was back in my day. He should end up with all A's as well.

We all are looking forward to sleeping in!!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

For My In-Laws -

Sorry, I haven't posted, but its just been the normal around here....  The election went well (all renewals taxes for the schools passed). I did work with some new people. It was nice to get to know them. The Clerk tried to move everyone to the precinct they actually vote in, so the new people were my neighbors - or at least lived within a mile or so.  One talked about her garden and how she didn't know what to do with all the lettuce she had - I told her to bring it to my house! And she did.  It was really good - nice and crisp...good bright taste.

The kids are finishing up school (two more weeks) and so are busy doing end-of-year projects and studying for finals. We're tying to find William a job for the summer....he's not so into it, but he's 16. He needs a job.

Drew is still looking for a job - no changes on the Air Force hiring freeze. And a few jobs we have come across I have even thrown my name in. Who knows! He may be a house-husband yet!

I'm subbing a lot - several teachers are retiring and are using up their sick days.  Good for me! Keeps me busy!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Busy Tomorrow

Tomorrow will keep us all busy! Especially Drew! He will be the taxi-driver around here.  I will be working a local election, so I will not be able to get the kids from one place to another - and all three have places to be (and people to see!)

William and several other boys from the youth group will be working in the morning helping a lady from the church clean up her yard. From the sounds of it, it's several acres. So...maybe yard it not the right word....her land.  I'm excited that he'll get a chance to make some money (that won't be coming from my wallet!).

Benjamin has his last robotics competition.   He has enjoyed this class, the other competitions (even if he had walking pneumonia at one of them), and the teacher in charge. I think he'll miss it next year. He will be taking Spanish next year instead of robotics so he can start working on high school credits.

Melissa is with a friend tonight, but tomorrow afternoon Drew will be taking them both to a wedding. The children's ministry is getting married tomorrow and we all at our church could NOT be more THRILLED!!  Many of us have been praying for her as a single lady  - praying God would send her a godly man to love her. And He did! They make a great couple. It's so much fun seeing some one's dreams come true.

In between driving the kids here and there, Drew will, also, dropping some food off for me. While most of the elections I work are in the church's gym that has a kitchen attached, because of the wedding we will be in a different part of the church and will not have access to the kitchen. I know by 5 or so I'll be ready for some hot food and a cold drink.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Just This Week

Things that are going on just this week that I'm praying for:

-Aunt Trish recovery from knee replacement.
-A friend's son spent the day having testing for eye problems.
- My sister-in-law's brother-in-law's sister died today - She & I went to school together - we're the same age. So sad.
- Good friend in Maryland having gall bladder surgery tomorrow.
-Two local families in the mist of adoption.
-A friend from our Sunday school class is having chemo this week - he's our age...elementary kids...fighting cancer.
- A nephew recovering from back surgery.
- Drew needs a job now that he's retired.
- And all the normal things I usually pray for....Busy week.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Camo Day

Today was camo day at school.


I'm so not into camo.

One of the clubs was sponsoring an after-school dance with the theme of Duck Dynasty and camo.  One girl was all deck out! Headband, shirts, boots, - even lunchbox.  Another girl even had a camo backpack.  Yep. This is the Deep South.

When William was a baby someone gave us a camo shirt. I refused to put it on the child. Just not our thing at. all. AT. ALL.

Of course, I had to laugh when my DAUGHTER was the  one in camo first out of all my children. The first year we were here the one of the school clubs sold a shirt the kids could wear at school (we have school uniforms.) It was camo. I was shocked when she wanted one. And wore it. Still does at times.

But me? I don't think I have ever worn anything camo in my life!

So not me.