Crock Pot Balsamic Chicken

I used Black Cherry Balsamic Vinegar from Texas Olive Ranch.


For Lisa

Just seeing if you still check in on my blog ;)


Staging an Intervention

My sweet Bear has put his foot down. He has ordered me to not borrow anymore books from the library. In addition, I can't buy any more new ones.

It seems I have an addiction. An addiction to books. My nightstand is filled with books in the cabinet and overflowing with books on top. Several of the books, Bear & Lamb are waiting for me to read so we can talk about them. I have so many, I think it would take me two years or more to read them all.

Yet, even though I own all these books, I still borrow from the library. I *have* to read those books first so that others can read them. And so that I don't have to write my paycheck over to them for fines.

It's a vicious cycle. A cycle that Bear intends to stop. Right.Now.

Let's hope the withdrawal isn't too painful for me.


That Kind of Mom

Why am I type of mom who picks up her child from school when he is fully capable of riding the bus? Because he asked me to and there's no reason why I can't. But, oh, I hate it. It is always an incredibly annoying experience. There is nothing pleasurable about the school's car rider line except for the conversations with Bear once he gets in the car.

I am reminded of a time when I had no idea how frustrating it could be to pick up a child from school. Before I knew that there are certain parents who feel entitled. How there are some rules that are obviously meant to be broken, even though 90% of us follow them.

The time I refer to, of course, is when I was the child waiting to be picked up. For my junior year, we lived in Massachusetts. By nature, I am a socializer. I enjoy talking with my friends. So my mom would sit there and wait. One day, she told me that if I made her wait one more time, she was going to drive off. I laughed.

The next day, I stood and talked with my friends for a few minutes. As I was talking, I saw my mom drive away. Yep. She left me. I had to walk home. I was not amused. My brother was. I never kept my mom waiting again.

Sadly, there isn't a fix for my current situation. It's not Bear's fault, other than the fact that he's adamant in his desire to not ride the bus.

I can't help but to think that karma is biting me in the butt.

Here I Sit

Here I sit listening to the quiet. Tonight is Big D's first night back at his old job. With him gone, the tv can be off while homework is being worked on and/or book are being read. Silence is a heavenly thing, no?

What has been going on with us? You might be wondering.

  • Bear's Science Fair project. Folks, this isn't our science fair experiments of years past anymore. I.Despise.Them.
  • Lamb got a part in the UIL competition One Act Play. She finds out tomorrow what part she got. She's terribly excited and we are terribly proud.
  • Big D switched over to his old job as I mentioned. We found out the grass isn't always greener.
  • I am finally hip with technology and received an ipod touch for Christmas from Big D and my mom. I've been spending a lot of time importing my library of songs into itunes. Dang. Is there not an easier way to sync? Ah well. It's done. And spending a lot of time adding my photos to Flickr. Why? I have no idea. I sometimes get strange obsessions.
  • Big D & I are now embarking on our 21st year of marriage. That is so crazy to me. So.Crazy. Our 20th anniversary wasn't exactly spent how I wanted it to be, but it was a nice time.
So, that's what's been up with me and mine. Sort of. In a nutshell.

Now that that's out of the way. I have a quick question. Are ya'll going to say Twenty ten or Two thousand ten? The reason I'm asking is because this year I am working with a 2nd grader and 3rd grader (brothers, sadly enough) who have NO concept of the calendar. Every day it's almost like starting over. Right when we get the year 2009 down, it changes. I don't want to confuse them further so I wondered how the majority will say the year.

Peace and Love,

Shucks, the silence didn't last long. Bear just turned on the tv.

20 Years

Twenty years ago, today, I was 19, engaged, and living with Big D. We were ten days away from our wedding.

Twenty years and two months ago, we had not even started planning our wedding. I had finally had enough of my dad's wife and her shenanigans. I was tired of my dad trying to keep peace. I was tired. Big D was tired of me being upset so for the hundredth time, he suggested I just move out and I could stay with him. That day, I took him up on his offer.

I don't regret that decision. However, I regret rushing. I abruptly decided that we should be married in November. Luckily, my best friend talked me out of that. But she only bought a month. I then decided that we should be married New Year's Day. The preacher couldn't do it that day, so New Year's Eve became the date.

I was the least interested bride there has ever been, I think. I bought my dress out of the JCPenney's catalog. I tried it on once, at home, and determined it fit. I then never tried it on again until the wedding day. Music? I have to pick out music? Whatever the pianist wants to play.

The flowers. Oh, the flowers. I was home for Thanksgiving and went flower shopping with my mom & grandmother. I think they were both pretty fed up with me. We walked into the shop and I noticed these dried roses. For some reason, they spoke to me. So I decided that those are what I wanted.

Yes, my friends, I carried DEAD roses down the aisle. My maid of honor carried dead roses. And the groom & best man had dead roses for their boutonnieres. I laugh at myself now. But, at the time, I thought that was pretty cool. I'm surprised my mom & grandmother didn't say anything. Maybe they were happy I made a decision or that I wasn't being expensive. Who knows?!

The only thing I knew I wanted was a photographer. Of course, we couldn't afford that. My mom's cousin took the pics and he did a good job. My favorite co-worker made my wedding cake and hat.

Nineteen years, eleven months, and twenty-one days ago, somehow, it all came together without any help from me. My dress was a tad big, we didn't know how to secure my hat to my hair. I was married by the man who also baptized me in the church I grew up in. It was three hours away from where I currently lived so mainly the only guests were my grandparents friends. I had some family in attendance. Big D had none. We didn't care.

Oh, and how did the Cinderella fairy tale end? Well, when my dad returned home from the wedding, his wife had moved out. He is much happier now. Has a wonderful wife of 13 years.

Big D & I haven't always lived Happily Ever After but I can't imagine living this life without him. It's been the ride of our lives!



Big D and I received towels as a wedding gift and never bought another one until about a year ago. And then we only bought a couple. We really need some new towels.

So this year as we were shopping on Black Friday, we bought some more. But, here's the deal. I want some that I can wrap around my wet hair. Why do they not make that size anymore? It stinks.

I have to wrap a huge towel around my head. Oh well, I guess it prepares me for that huge, heavy headdress when I'm a Vegas Showgirl.


Thanksgiving Tradition

I have noticed over the past ten years or so that I have started a tradition. It's one that Bear doesn't really care for.

That's about the time when I started cooking Thanksgiving dinner myself. I don't like to cook. And that requires a whole lot of cooking.

So, the few days before the holiday, I cook a meal that can be left-overed (lovely word I just made up) until Thanksgiving. Less cooking for me and it makes the meal that much more yummy when we eat it.

Bear hates it because it usually involves spaghetti or chili. Two meals that he can not stand.

Strange boy. Some may argue that he has a strange mama, too.


Coming Soon

You'll be hearing a lot more from me.

Big D will be going back to nights in the next couple of weeks. That'll leave me a lot of time during the evenings to visit and post.

Aren't ya'll lucky???? :)

My Star

My goodness. I've been quiet. I need to do better about that.

Part of the reason has been spent being a chauffeur for my rising star. Lamb performed in her first high school stage production.

She even had her very own personal make up artist! My brother's girlfriend knows all about make up and skin care so she lent her services to Lamb. Lamb loved it!
She was in "The Miracle Worker" as a blind girl at Annie Sullivan's school. She also played the part of Annie Sullivan's brother's voice in Annie's dream sequences. I'll be honest. They were weird and, if not for Lamb, I could have done without those scenes. Strange. Strange. Odd.
The entire cast did an amazing job. They literally moved me to tears. When Helen finally made the connection, I just cried. There is a big difference between Helen and the students I work with. However, all of us try so hard to make them see connections to what we are trying to teach them. Some of them never get it. But, some of them do. And it's such a gift to see their faces light up and to see them feel smart. I know a small part of how Ann Sullivan felt.

And Lamb's BFF came to see her. I think Lamb was happier about that than having her family come watch. Unfortunately, my camera was acting up so my shots aren't clear. :( I think the joy is pretty evident, blurry or not.
The only mar on the evening was the playbill. Lamb's name was spelled incorrectly all over the place. Including in the ads that my mom and I paid for. I understand that with common names, there are some who do not pay attention to spellings. But when you are dealing with someone's money, pay attention to the details. Double check your spellings.

All in all, I just can not wait to see Lamb on stage again. I love it so much!

Next up? Seeing her BFF in her stage production of "Metamorphoses" this coming weekend. It's going to be good!

Posted by Picasa


Disco Fever

Bear went to his very first official school dance. He just went. He had no idea which of his friend would be there. He just wanted to hang out, mingle, and dance, baby!The boy loves to dance and to pose, so he wanted to let ya'll in on some of his moves.

The ever popular Sprinkler.

A new fad called the Jerk. Takes skill and concentration to skip backwards.

The silly Stanky Leg.

He wanted to do the Michael Jackson crotch grab, but changed his mind when I told him it'd cost him $50.
Some things just aren't worth the money.


Let's Talk About Boys

No, not this boy.Or, this one.

And not this fine lad.

I want to talk about this boy. And maybe your boy, too.

I am in the midst of finding a new doctor for Bear. I will never again take him to the one he's had since we've moved here. We all talk about girls' self esteem. But, I think, at times, we forget that boys are just as prone to self doubt as girls.

I am going through that right now. Back to the pediatrician. She messed with my mind. When Bear was a baby, we moved here. We had to leave our beloved pediatrician behind. Try as I might, he just wouldn't move with us. Not knowing anyone, it was luck of the draw.

On our first visit, she mentioned that Bear did not get his height gene from his dad. And she would mention that several times throughout the years. I come from brothers who are well over 6 feet tall. Big D is 6'1". I just assumed Bear would be over six feet. As soon as those words came out of her mouth, I started obsessing. I would compare Bear to other children. I would constantly check his height against that archaic curve chart.

I lost sight of the fact that he was healthy. That he was growing. That he was happy. As soon as I got over myself, I realized that no matter his size, he has a lot going for him. I started noticing that while he's certainly not taller than anyone, he is not, by any means, abnormally short either.

All was right in my world. Then, it happened. We took Bear to the doctor to have his spine checked out for scoliosis. And I'll be danged if the doctor didn't make a comment about his size IN FRONT OF BEAR.

Bear is smart, clever, handsome, charismatic, charming, and everything good. But, sadly, he's also like me. He's a worrier. He takes things to heart. He obsesses. And this doctor sparked something in him that he really hadn't paid attention to before then.

What I used to do, he started doing. The first week of intermediate was rough because he felt so small. He was unable to see that he is right there in the pack. He focused on praying that he'll at least be 5'10". Silly things. Because, again, size does not matter. But, in our society, a tall man gets noticed. Girls, generally speaking, want a man taller than they are.

Then a God thing happened. And I will forever love God for many reasons, but this is right up there. Bear was measured at school. Right now, at age 12, he's three inches shorter at 4'9" than I am. His growth has yet to even begin. And, the kicker. Big D was looking at his passport he had when he was five. It listed his height as 3'8". A couple of days later, Bear found the baseball card of his first year, age 5, in little league. It also listed his height. 3'7". Oh, the joy on his face when he saw that he was only an inch shorter than his daddy at the same age.

I'm not sure how accurate either height was at the time. But, my lips are firmly sealed. And I keep reiterating all Bear's positive attributes. And, how, even if he's only a little bit taller than me, he'll be perfect in God's eyes and some sweet thang's eyes. He'll grow up to be amazing. And I'm going to make sure he believes it in himself.

Who said it's harder to raise girls???

Lady Who Lunches

I love to eat lunch with friends. I used to lament over the fact that by working, I never get to go out to eat with my non-working friends. Then I realized that yeah, I may not be eating yummy food. But, I am eating outside of home and with some ladies who I truly enjoy their company. My partners in crime, my co workers. We vent, we talk, we laugh, and sometimes we cry. It just never lasts nearly long enough!

I do still get together for lunch with the friends I first met when we moved here. Moving to a new place is one of the hardest and scariest things I've done. Once you are an adult, it's hard to make friends. I was a stay at home mom with two very young kids. It was quite lonely. Then Lamb started school.

Her best friend was a demanding sort of girl and she always demanded to her mom that Lamb be invited over. They also used to go to the parks. By these invitations, her mom & I became good friends. Then, the following year, we met another mom.

We would hang out waiting for the bell to let the kids out of school and talk. Then, slowly, the kids started to move on to the next level of their education. First, the twin daughters. Then, Lamb and the daughter of one friend and the son of the other. Bear was next to move on. Now, there is only the youngest son of my friend left.

While one of the ladies and I keep in better contact with each other, the moms have also moved on. The three of us didn't all have kids at the school anymore. I started working full time at the school. One friend started working full time at a library. The kaleidoscope turned.

Even though the three of us don't have that daily connection (& except for Lamb and one of the boys, the kids aren't friends with each other), we try to get together for lunch at least once a season on the weekends. Our families know not to expect us for hours. We met just a couple of weekends ago and sat in the restaurant for 3 hours. We couldn't believe how fast time flew while we sat there and caught up with each other.

I wish we could see each other more often. But, I am thankful that we make time for each other when we can. And I am thankful for the two of them!


Save a Life, Feel Your Boobies

I am very fortunate. Breast cancer does not run in my family. But it does run in the family of many people I love. Bubba's Mom has battled it THREE times and fought like a champion and won. Another friend of mine's mom survived it and now her sister-in-law is battling. I could go on and on.

And I'm well aware that breast cancer in families has to start with someone and that someone could be me.
I am boobylicious. And this summer I also discovered that I am getting quite fibrous. That makes the self check a tad bit more complicated. So my doctor recommended the mammos start a year early. Truly, truly not a big deal. It didn't even hurt.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Ladies, please check your breasts. Get those annual mammograms if it's time. And click the link to help fund those who can't afford one. It's worth double this month. :)

Images courtesy of Google Images


The Old Man, The Diva, and The Stalker

My zoo consists of Tyler J. Woofington III, Professor Fluffykins, and Mr. Squeakers. It's a fun place to visit filled with lots of crazy antics. Some fun, some not so fun.

However, we received a notice from our vet informing us that since Ty is now a senior canine citizen, he now needs a more specialized visit. What? A senior canine citizen???? Then we started to notice little things. Our protector has slowly turned into an old man. He still has a lot of years left, but it is obvious that he isn't the spry pup he once was. :(

Then we have our little diva, Professor Cleo Fluffykins. She's actually older than Ty but she still has quite the spring to her step.
And, finally, Elvis. Little did we know when we named him that it was after Elvis, the later years. For such a large kitty, he has a small, high voice. He's a silent cat, unlike Cleo who is a talker. When he speaks, it sounds like a squeak. All the sweet baby does is eat, sleep, and stalk. He goes "to bed" around 10am and we don't see him again until around 6pm or so. His favorite activity, besides eating, is stalking Cleo or even Ty, sometimes. Unfortunately for him, but fortunately for Cleo, he can't jump up to high places. Cleo can with grace and agility. She just smirks down at him.

My zoo. I wouldn't trade any of them and would add more if we had the room, money, & time to raise a new baby!

Posted by Picasa