Thursday, December 14, 2006

Jingle Bells!!

It's Christmas time!! I love Christmas. I love almost everything about it. I love to shop, put up lights, go visit everyone, take time off work, give gifts, cook food..... Yup, all of it. I hate when it's over, I don't like to take down my lights or my decorations. My house looks naked when I take all that stuff down, it's kinda sad.

I'm almost done with my shopping but not quite. I have no idea what to get my Mother. You'd think that I would know since we go everywhere together and shop together and stuff but I'm really stumped. Normally I get her some sort of furniture piece. Like a bookcase, or curio for her china and stuff. One year I got her a grandmother's ring with all the kids' birthstones in it. That was pretty cool. The ring had her own stone in the middle and then the 6 stones around it with the kids' names next to them. When I gave it to her I had her sit on the couch and put all the kids on the couch with her in the middle so I could take their picture. Then I told her that at that moment she was surrounded by her grandchildren and that no matter where she was that she could always be surrounded by them as long as she was wearing THIS! And then I whipped out the ring and showed her that her stone was in the middle, we all cried and it was great.

I like to try to find the perfect gift for everyone but if not then I'm happy with finding the perfect gift for at least one person on my list. This year it's just not happening. Maybe I have shopper's block or something.

I am more "ahead" than usual. The day after Christmas last year I was in Albertson's and managed to grab a few left over items that they had so technically I've been shopping for THIS Christmas since the day after Christmas LAST year. Not that I did a lot of shopping throughout the year but I did manage to score a few items here and there. I'm sure though that I'll be shopping until the Fat Man comes down the chimney but I'll stay out of his way if he'll stay outta mine.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Man! I'm not a good blogger!

Why can't I get this thing updated more often? What's up with me??? Well let me catch up.

AUGUST

It was hot. Kids went back to school. That consisted of lots of outpouring of cash. School clothes, school pictures, book fairs, etc.

September

More school stuff. Dance class performs at the fall festival, that was fun to watch. Baby Girl was cute. I worked a lot this month.

October

I went back to working 5 days a week. I still go in at 6 am but I get off work at 3 instead of 5 so I'm loving that. Unfortunately this week I got sick. I've home in bed for 2 days. I've never slept so much in my life. I'm getting over it now. I have a whopper of a headache at the moment but otherwise I feel better.

We started working on a walkway for the front yard. It's going slow but it just can't be helped. Mr had to work last weekend so it didn't get finished on Saturday then it rained on Sunday and now the weather has turned cold. I think it's supposed to improve this weekend so maybe we can make some headway.

Otherwise everything is going OK. I'm still alive and kicking.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

It's hot in Texas this week! Just like I like it.

Yep, I enjoy the Texas heat. So much so that I'm now RED. It just can't be helped though. I was on call this past weekend and had to do the changes during our Sunday morning 1 am to 5 am changes. So I didn't get to sleep until around 4 and that makes for a lazy rest of the day after you've had a 5 hour nap. If you sleep too late you can't really get to bed very well that night, which makes it even MORE difficult to get up at 3:30 on Monday morning.

So, after arrising at around 9'is I got out the weedeater and made it around the house before the battery crapped out. I like the cordless, rechargeable kind cause they're lighter to carry around and I can keep it running. Unlike that gas one we have. Got that done and then ran over to a friend's house to pick up a purse. She is an Avon Lady. Spent a good hour or more yapping and gossipping. Back to the house where I donned my bathing suit and headed for my above ground, Wal-Mart back yard pool where I manage to spend about 3 hours of laziness. I'd lay on the float and bake on one side then flip to the other. Occasionally I'd slide off into the water to cool off and then climb back up. I'm sure that part looks especially attractive.

Anyway, I knew my skin was getting a bit on the tender side but I just couldn't give it up. It felt too good: the heat of the sun, the breeze, the cool water of the pool. But I'm not too bad. Today almost all the red is gone and I don't even think I'll peal!!!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Off to Boston!!

Next week I head to Boston and I'm gettin excited about it. Not as excited as with DC and NYC cause that was with my Oldest but this is for Microsoft so that's pretty cool.

I'm going to Tech Ed! MS has a conference every year and it's a pretty big deal and there's lots to see and all kinds of freebies and new stuff to look at. This is the first year I've gotten to go and I'm going with a colleage that I've known for a long time and so I think it'll be fun. 6 days in Boston though could get a bit on the longish side. I think I'll be ready to come home on about day 4.

They have all kinds of seminars and there'll be booths set up for checking out the new stuff, they give lots of stuff away like bags and shirts and software, there are parties to go to and I hope there are lots of places to learn stuff and not just sales booths. I don't know if Bill Gates is going to speak, sometimes he does but I don't see him anywhere on the schedule this time so I'll be dissapointed but at least I'm not expecting him.

My colleague isn't the type to go out and do a whole lot but I'm hoping to talk him into some site seeing. If not, I'll go by myself. And I hope there's at least one free night so I can go to the movies. I think I want to see Da Vinci Code. The book was awesome!

I've never been to Boston except to land and drive to another town and then to catch a flight out. I know we get to go to Fenway Park because that's where the big Thursday Night Party is that they'll have. I'm not sure what the other extra curricular activities are though. I guess I should start trying to get it all planned out. I still have to see which seminars I'm going to attend. I haven't had time to look at that yet.

Freezer Flub!

Well we had a little freezer incident yesterday. It might've not been such an impact if I didn't have almost a whole hog and a bunch of ice cream in there.

Last Oct we bought a pig, along with 3 other families, they he stayed at my cousin's place and we fed them out for slaughter. About 2 months ago we took them in for processing and we each got the equivalent of a whole hog.

Sunday I went to the grocery store and bought a few items and that included ice cream. I stored it all in my big, upright, deep freeze.

Yesterday I get everyone up and off to Grandma's and I head to work. The Mr beat me home and when he got there the alarm on the freezer was sounding. At some point during the morning's rush to get everyone out the door a child, and I don't know which one, got into the freezer and didn't get the door shut all the way. Apparently an ice cream box had shifted it's position and blocked the closing of the door. So it's not like the child left the door open intentionally but they just didn't realize that the door never shut all the way. 15 hours later we have mostly thawed meat and extremely thawed ice cream. Yay me.

So we get most of the mess cleaned up and I start calling family and friends. Want some meat that you have to cook in the next 2 days? My cousin told me to bring her some of it and she'd just cook it for me and then I can freeze it, like the sausage. My mom volunteered to cook the hams and ribs for me today as well. Then my cousin calls her Granny and her Granny said that as long as the sausage was still very cold then you could refreeze it. I'm not so sure about that but we'll see.

So, today when I get home I'll make some sausage patties and fry them up and freeze them. I'll brown some sausage for putting on pizzas and mixing with scrambled eggs. I'll cook some pork chops for supper. And eat the ribs my mom is cooking for me.

I had hoped my pig would last me further into the year but I guess it just wasn't meant to be. At least it won't all go to waste!

Wow! I didn't realize how long it's been!

Well I guess time really DOES fly when you're having fun. Or when you're working yourself to death.. same difference. Or not.

So let me get all caught up.

I planted a garden! It's not a farm size garden or anything but since this is the first one I've ever planted I thought I'd stick with the basics. First thing is to till up the garden spot. Let me start by saying that is easier said than done. Tilling up ground that's never been tilled before and obviously doesn't WANT to be tilled up is hard work. I thought I was going to just stiffen up and not be able to move for 3 days afterward! But, after much toil and determination the garden was tilled and ready to be planted. Not so fast there buckaroo you have to make your rows first. So, OK, I put up some stakes and ran some strings so my rows would resemble rows and not a slinky snake and made rows. Then I planted, with the help of Mom and Baby Girl. We planted corn, okra, beans, watermelon, canteloupe, tomatoes (3 different kinds), cucumber, carrots, parsley, dill, jalepenos, squash and a few flowers. Everything is coming up, I've got squash that should be ready to pick in a few days, tomatoes on the vine, the melon plants have blumes and so do the cucumbers. My cousin has a garden and her's is way bushier and more healthy looking but she planted before I did so hopefully mine will catch up. Or at least yield more than just leaves.

New York and DC!! Yep, that's where I was last week. I may have written about it before but Oldest is in 7th grade and eligible for an annual trip that a few of the middle school teachers plan every year. They usually go to DC but this time they added NYC to the agenda. 8 adults and 51 (yes that's a 5 and a 1 .. in that order) kids. We had the best time! We saw the monuments, churches, tombs, landmarks, and everything else you could cram into 4 days spread over 2 major US cities. I love NYC. I wouldn't live there for all the Keith Urban's in Australia but I sure do love to visit there. The hustle and bustle is really a cool thing to watch. I could probably sit in the park or on a busy sidewalk and just watch all the people go by. Everybody seems to be in a hurry to get someplace and there are so many places to get to.

If you've never traveled with a group of 6th, 7th and 8th graders you are just plain missing out. Those kids had such a good time. They did really well at not fighting and fussing too. I think the adults whined more than the kids! We were hot and tired and sticky and feet hurt and hot....... and tired. But we took a gazillion pictures and laughed at the craziest things. We looked for celebrities but they hide out too well. We did see Rupert from the Helo Deli. If you've ever watched David Letterman then you know who Rupert is. He was sitting outside the deli and he was wearing a Texas Longhorns shirt! We thought that was perfect! So we all had a pic made with him. I'm sure he was glad to see our bus pull away from the curb, that poor man.

The highlights of my trip include: Old Glory, the originally US Flag at the American History museum. It was cool to see how they restored it and took care of it. The Tomb of the unknown Soldier. We watched them change the guard at the tomb and watched how the soldier guards it with his 21 steps, face the tomb for 21 seconds and then make another 21 steps. It was very poignant. Vietnam War Memorial Wall. I've been there before but we were there ON Memorial Day! Nothing can compare with something like that. There were crowds of people there paying their respects, bagpipes playing, taps on the trumpet, speeches and all kinds of military personnel. That was truly a once in a lifetime experience.

In NYC I guess my highlight would be having out pic taken in Times Square. It was night and the photographer did an awesome job of catching all the signs lit up behind us. It looks really good.

My oldest enjoyed the trip, he hung out with friends and I tried not to smother him. I think I did a good job. I think his fav thing was the NBC Studios tour. He thought that was pretty cool. And the Empire State Building. He was pretty nervous about looking down.

In a couple of years it'll be Youngest Boy's turn to go and I can't wait. The teachers that organize this thing are a blast to be around. We sing and play music on the bus and watch movies and the leader of the group picks on everyone. Nobody is immuned and he has a nickname for all the kids that just shows how much he pays attention to them. I hope he continues this tradition for many years to come.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The wonders of modern technology

I just had to tell this story. I just got off the phone with my mom and she told me something my daughter did today.

My sister in law bought my mom a regular, corded phone because when the power goes off she’s without a working telephone because she only has a cordless. Well mom and I were talking yesterday and her cordless was dying so she hooked up her brand spanking new corded phone so we could continue to gab. Well this morning I dropped the kids off like normal. My daughter found the phone sitting next to the couch and, being the little girl that she is, decided she liked that phone and just HAD to use it. She decided to call her daddy. She picks up the receiver and looks at it, turning it around in her hand, looking it over. My mom is just sitting there watching this. Then my daughter says in a very thoughtful way, “hmmmm, how do you turn this on?”

I just cracked up even if it does make me feel old. My poor 8 yr old baby girl has never really had to use a regular telephone cause we’ve always had cordless ones. She’s a trip. When I tell my husband about this he’s going to blame it on her bit of blonde hair she still has.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A Wedding!

No, not mine, silly. I've already told the Mr that when we get divorced I'll never do this again. No sirree. A guy that I work with got married. He sits right behind me and he's just a super duper kinda guy so I'm really happy for him.

I spent several hours making a card. I just couldn't figure out how I wanted it to look but I got inspiration from the Bible. Their wedding was done in pink and gold so I used vellum and stickers and such in those colors and I put a few versus in there from Genesis and then a couple in there from Psalms. The Genesis verses were about how God said Adam shouldn't be alone, put him in a deep sleep, took the rib and made woman. Adam declared that this was bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh, man would leave his mother and father and cleave only to his wife and together be one flesh. Obviously I'm paraphrasing all this. Anyway, I have a Dakes Bible and that's a really cool thing to have. They have all the verses in the middle and then they have all these cool notes and definitions on the side and underneath. Lot's of useful info there. So, in the footnotes about the aforementioned verses they say that "Woman wasn't taken from man's head to be lorded over by him, nor from his feet to be trampled on by him but from under his arm to be protected by him, from his side to be equal to him and from near his heart to be loved by him. " I thought that was so neat. I also put a verse from Psalms in there that says something along the lines of "God saved his inheritance for his annointed and that he would feed and forever lift up his people". That was kind of my prayer for them.

The cool thing about that was the brides's mom and stepdad got up and read Bible verses during the ceremony and the stepdad read the same verses from Genesis that I had in my card. I thought to myself "Touchdown!" I just hope she liked the card.

I also made for them a set of pillows. A seamstress I am not. However, their registry at Crate and Barrel had some pillows in it that I thought were "ok" but I could do better. So I set out last week on a search for some fabric. I walked into the fabric store and absolutely fell in love with some silky looking blue fabric with some sort of leaf on it. It kind of had this Japanese feel to the design and it was just stunning. I also bought some brown textured looking fabric to go with it. I think the blue and brown look are in and the pillows they had picked out were blue so I figured it'd be OK. So Friday night was spent sewing up pillows. I think they turned out OK and I had this great idea of how to package it all up for them.

My original thought was the old standby: a cardboard box. I thought that might get a little large because those two pillows were 18x18 inches. So I had a brilliant, if I do say so myself, idea: I'd put them in one of those space bags that you suck all the air out of and then they'd be small enough to put in a much easier to manage container, like a gift bag or something, and when she'd pull that gift out she'd have NO idea what she was looking at until she opened it up, seen the pillows puff out as if by magic and to top it all off they'd get to keep the innovative and useful space bag!! Well, that's all good but the dang material kind of wrinkles up when you do that. It's so shimery and shiny and delicate. The pillow still puffs out but it just doesn't look as crisp and new as it should. So, it was off to Wal-Mart to locate an equally clever idea: a storage container. I'm all about function you know. I'm just not all about compact, easy to wrap gift ideas. So I get a blue storage container even though it was bigger than I needed. It was the color that I liked. It was a kind of light blue that I thought would go with my pillows. I also picked up 2 pkgs of hangers and some storage bowls to fill up the empty space that my pillows were sure to not fill up. And an extra roll of wrapping paper because the roll I had previously purchased wasn't gonna cover that stupid container.

I got it home, wrapped it up, used my handy dandy bow maker to make a pretty gold bow to go on it and stepped back to admire my handy work. It looked like a 3 yr old had wrapped it. Oh well, you have to sometimes deal with what you've got and live with the results. I just hoped that what was IN the gift made up for how it looked.

So, purchased, made and wrapped........... and never once considered how I'd look dressed in a skirt, nice shirt and slip on shoes walking through the cold carring this gigantic, stupid storage container. At least I didn't have to look at me.

But the wedding was beautiful. It was a Catholic ceremony. They hand out programs when you walk through the door because they want you to always know how far you are from the end of the ceremony. Reading, praying, singing, vowing, more praying and singing and reading and well wishing, etc etc. But I'm here to say that when the bride stepped around the corner in full view of the groom, HE FELL APART!! It was so heart warming. It made me cry to watch him cry. How awesome is it when the groom cries at the first sight of his bride walking down the isle?!?! That, my friends, is why women cry at weddings.

His brother was the best man and at the reception he made a speech that was also just so incredibly sweet. He said that they had grown up in a military family. So their dad was always halfway around the world someplace so the groom was his father figure. When the brother was about 12 yrs old and just starting to get interested in girls, the groom took him aside for a little talk. He said to his brother "let's make a pact. Let's agree that we will alwasy treat women like little princesses". How cool is that for one brother to say to another?!?! And I believe he has always kept that pact. He's just a really nice guy with a wonderful outlook and zest for life. He's spent the last year working hard to get ready, not just his wedding, but for his marriage. He's met with his church leaders, been to counseling for young couples, etc. I firmly believe that this man is ready to be the husband that he should be and I think she's one lucky lady. I don't know her real well but they certainly looked in love. I hope she's as good to him as I think he's going to be to her. I pray all the blessings of God on them and it looks to me like He's already raining it down on them.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Talk about a hottie!!!

WHEW!! I watched Seth Westscott run this race and I do have to say that he's absolutely gorgeous. His girlfriend is also a snowboard cross racer. Lucky her!

I have to say that the above pic doesn't do the man justice. He's much better looking in Torino this week on TV. :)

New Recipe

I spoke of food earlier and, to be honest, I'm not very adventurous so I've been trying to branch out. Here's the latest that I tried and, I must admit, it was pretty good. I altered it by using Ragu sauce instead of the sauce she listed because I've made her sauce and didn't like it. However, this turned out pretty darned good. I'm not a big pasta eater so I could only eat a little of it. Anyway, good stuff!

The trip

So I don't know if I posted much of anything about this trip me and my son are going to take. It's with a couple of teachers from the school even though it's not a school sponsored event. The teachers in question have been doing this for a lot of years. It's a 4 day trip to Washington DC and NY City. I'm very excited about it. We leave on Memorial day and come back that Thursday. I've been there before but my son has never been. We will make all the normal landmarks and all the fees and food are included in the price. In NY City we also get to sit in on the set of the NBC morning show and see a Radio City Music Hall show.

There will be a lot of walking involved and so I have to get us prepared for that. We need to get some good walking shoes and maybe put us some Dr Shoell's (or however you spell it) shoe insert things. Anway, I think we'll have a blast. I just pray for good weather and pray it's as amazing as I'd like it to be for us.

Speaking of shape...

I want to lose 5 lbs by May. I think that's possible for most people but I seem to lack enough ambition on this particular subject to do myself much good. I also have a particular fondness for chocolate. Anyway, my cousin has lost 17 lbs in 5 weeks on the weightwatcher diet. I didn't know much about this diet program so I got the details from her. They let you have a certain number of points based on your weight. I'd be allowed 20 points per day. They even have the points posted on some ready made meals at the grocery store or you can buy your food from them I think. They also have regular food graded on the point system. You go once a week to a meeting and weigh yourself. You also get 35 points per week to float any way you want. For example, you can use an extra 5 points per day or you may want to use all 35 of them in one day or split them up any way you want.

I don't know that I could do that diet just because I'm such a picky eater. It's not that the food I eat is so bad for me. It's just that there's a limited amount of food I'll actually eat. Plus it's just hard for me to find any of those premade meals that I will eat. I just think they are nasty. The pizza that they show on their tv commercial looks like it's made out of plastic! How can anyone eat something that looks like that??!!?

I think I just need more excercise. The life I lead is very... I forget the word for it.. sedentary? Anyway, I don't get to move around much. At work I sit in front of a computer, I commute so far to work that I'm in the truck for 3.5 hours a day. I do have a health club membership but when I get home at 7 pm I only have time to get supper eaten and get the kids to bed before getting in bed myself. The club isn't open on Sunday so I have Friday and Saturday that I can work out. And I can always find an excuse not to go. Which is just stupid, by the way. Why am I paying for this stupid membership if I'm not using it? My mom and I joined together hoping we'd motivate each other but she's a bit passive and doesn't make me go.

I just need to get more motivated. I hoped that the trip that my son and I are taking in May would get me more into this thing but I guess not. I used to be a more challenging person when I was younger and I'm not sure when I got so ..... blase', un-ambitious, lazy even.

I think I need to work on my attitude.

Olympics

Terry over at possumblog asked some questions about the olympics so I thought I'd comment here about them.

I've been trying to watch as much of it as I can. I don't get home until around 7pm during the week and I try to be asleep by 10 cause I get up at 3:30 in the stupid, blinking, damn morning so I can't stay up too late. Anyway, my opinion is mixed. I guess the summer olympics spoiled me. We had so many medals in those games that we couldn't count them all. In the winter olympics we seem to be faultering. Admittedly I haven't checked the medal count in the last few days but Apallo Ohno fell, Lisa Kildow fell, our men's figure skater did OK but it wasn't the performance some people expected, etc etc. I just think we haven't done as well. Bode Miller is blowing my mind with his disqualification and just plain crappy first attempt at a medal. I just hope we step up to the plate pretty soon and get us some more medals.

I think one of the cool stories of the week is Toby Dawson. I got teary eyed just watching his mom in the audience. She was so happy about his bronze medal and just hearing his story..... it was pretty touching.

I just checked the medal standings and we do have 6 gold medals and that's more gold than anyone else but we are only at a total of 10 medals and that's 3 less than Norway. So I guess we aren't too far behind but I just think with all the potential medal winners we had on our teams thaat we should be doing better.

I'm sure that if I strapped on a pair of skis or a snowboard or even a pair of ice skates I'd put all those people to shame. I bet I'd come home with the gold every time. I mean, what kind of shape are they in anyway?? They look like a bunch of stick figures out there. I, on the other hand, am in perfect shape. Perfectly round shape.

Soccer and Weather in Texas

Well it's soccer season once more and that means cold weather. Yep, we've had the most unusual weather I've seen probably in my life. It's been warmer this year than ever. Yesterday it was 80 degrees and today it's 32. What's up with that?!?!? Well the answer is that our first soccer game (youngest boy is playing this season) is scheduled for 7:45 am tomorrow, that's why. The odds of me setting my alarm to get up and be there at pregram practice by 7:15 are slim to zilch! Now, coach says they wouldn't officially cancel the game until 7:30 so we should go ahead and show up even if they cancel it 15 minutes later but he's some kinda sicko if he thinks that's gonna happen. It's not supposed to start with the sleet and freezing rain until around midnight and the chances are only like 60% or something but I think I've officially decided the 1st game of the season is just plain cancelled.

UPDATE: They just called, it's 9 pm here, and let me know that the games for tomorrow are cancelled. I'm happy about that. :)