To Coastie Brother

More days until my birthday!



As is our custom when crossing the state line, we sing Deep in the Heart of Texas, complete with hand clapping. When we come in via Louisiana, we stop off at the Welcome Center/Rest Stop right as you enter Texas. At this particular visit, as we were singing, a man walking his dog noticed us. He knew what were doing and started clapping along with us.

To give you a visual, here are the kids (many, many moons ago when Lamb still attended with us) singing during an Astros game. Yes, it is part of our 7th inning stretch. No worries, it's just a little over a minute long.


Are You Taller?

My good friend, Melissa, who moved away last summer, is in town visiting friends. I'm not sure that ya'll know that she was also Bear's 3rd grade teacher. I know this is hard to believe from the stories I share, but Bear used to be incredibly shy. I think 10 minutes in Melissa's room brought him completely out of his shell. I told her I was sorry all the time. The poor dear.

So, she's at the school visiting co-workers and students. Bear hears the rumor and seeks her out. On the way home, he's telling me about it and all that they talked about it. I asked him how it was seeing her again. He informs me that he thinks she's gotten taller. Hee!

It was so great visiting with you face-to-face again, Melissa!


Bear At The Bat

"Borrowing" from Patois, I am going to do a Wordy Wednesday rather than a Lensday (Spring). Mainly because I want to share about last night.

When he found out Monday night that he'd be pitching at Tuesday's 8pm (!!!!) game, Bear's nerves started singing. He's never pitched on that high of a pitcher's mound before. He hasn't pitched in a long time. All that kept playing in his mind. No amount of encouragement would help. He asked his sister to come to the game. The goose told him that it would be over past her bedtime. So sorry. Uh-huh. She's a wily one, that Lamb. (True to her word, she was in bed when we got home. Not sure if she was *really* asleep, however.)

True to his word this time, the coach had Bear be his starting pitcher. Poor Bear. He never had any out of control balls; that's the good news. The catcher caught every single pitch. However, Bear threw more balls than strikes. He did make a great out when the batter hit a ball directly to him. That didn't improve his mood tho. He was cold (boy howdy was it cold), his sinuses started bothering him, he was nervous, & the mound felt funny to him. All of those added up to the other team scoring their 5 runs off him. It was the longest at bat of my entire life. And Bear's only inning to pitch.

I was so afraid that his psyche would then make his turn at bat a bad one. Have I ever mentioned that Bear is a moody child? He was more nervous about pitching. Big D & I were more nervous about his batting. This was the 1st game using his new batting style. First pitch, Bear swung and missed. Next pitch, an obvious ball. Third pitch, I was messing with my camera when I heard a crack. I looked and saw this ball SAILING over the infield. Bear was running for all he was worth to 1st base and then on to 2nd base. The ball was TO THE FENCE in center field. His 1st hit in a year and it was a double. Oh, the pure joy!

So, for my Wordy Wednesday, I present to you Bear at the Bat.


Crying In My Diet Coke

Vacation is over and I am sad. I'm not getting too much sympathy since in just 11 weeks, it'll be summer break. Eleven weeks is a long time, people!

The last part of Spring Break was a whirlwind. Wednesday night, Big D, Bear, & I went to the rodeo. Lamb opted not to go since she already had the rodeo/concert experience. She's a sweetie and said it was Bear's turn. It was Big D's 1st time to see the Houston Rodeo. I think he had fun. The only night that really worked for us, Fergie was the entertainment. I was a little concerned but it was for naught. She dressed appropriately and, except for @ss, the language was appropriate. Let me tell you, the girl can entertain! She was charming and can sing live! She also did a lot of rock covers. I guess she doesn't have enough of her songs to fill a concert. I enjoyed that, but Bear didn't know a lot of the cover songs. All in all, it was a fun night.
Then at the crack of dawn Thursday, we were up. Big D *really* wants to experience a Yankee game at Yankee Stadium before they move to their new one. Last summer, it just didn't work out for us. The ONLY way we can go back to NYC is to have free airfare/free hotel. We have 3 free flights already and were only 1 point away from a 4th. The cheapest way to get that point was to have me fly one-way from Houston to somewhere in Texas. We chose Corpus Christi since it's fairly close & only $29). Not thinking that we'd be up late with the rodeo/concert, we chose the early flight. My flight was at 8:30am. Big D wanted to get me there at 6:30am so that I'd have plenty of time to go through security. I was a little nervous traveling by myself. The last time that happened was wayyy before 9/11 when I could be walked up to my gate.

Big D is an experienced traveler and knows the airport extremely well. As he knows my inexperienced, nervous nature is his nature, he told me exactly where I needed to go and what I needed to do. He even printed out my boarding pass for me before we left the house. We got to the airport later than planned, but Big D still felt like we'd all be arriving in Corpus at the same time. So I kissed the family good-bye and started my adventure. I got through security quickly & with no problems. And I had a LONG time to wait for my flight.

The flight was uneventful. I got off the airplane & called the family. Big D was a little shocked that I was already in Corpus. He figured by the time I was able to de-board the plane, it'd be 10am. I was calling at 9:10am. They were still about 50 miles outside of Corpus. So I settled in for another long wait.

Unfortunately, I was right by security so I saw all the sad good-byes and strange hellos. There was a family saying good-bye to their military son. That was the hardest to witness. The mom was video-taping him going through security, walking down to his gate. When he was out of sight, she broke down. I was crying right along with her. Praying for his & the other troops safety. Praying that he'd be coming home to them and the mom could cry tears of joy then. It was heart wrenching being there. Another family was saying good-bye as well. After their loved one walked to his gate, they stuck around. I guess they were waiting for the plane to actually take off. Between the 2 good-byes, a mom & her 2 daughters walked up. They waited and waited. Finally, I overheard one daughter ask if the mom even knew what the girl looked like. The mom replied no she didn't but that she'd be wearing a dress. Strange comment right? When I took in their dresses & long, beautiful hair, I didn't find it so strange. The mom was concerned so she kept 1 daughter in the area with me and took the other daughter to see if they could find any info. I was keeping vigilance with her. My curiousity peaked. I see this girl walking down with such confidence & style (even tho her clothes were a tad outdated). Her hair was adorable as were her shoes. The daughter called out a name and the girl responded to her. This was the mystery guest. She just exuded presence. As the daughter mentined they'd be roommates and hope she had fun with her, she looked dowdy compared to the girl. And she wasn't a dowdy girl. The new girl was very gracious and eager to set the daughter's mind at ease. The daughter found her mom & sister and introductions were made. I hope it's a wonderful experience for all of them.

Right at 10, I get the call that my wait is over. The family is ready to meet me outside. We head to the beach to walk around. It was way too cold to swim. We saw so many cool things tho. Hubby is an adventurer/explorer at heart. He likes nothing better than to find fascinating things & teach the kids about them. Then we headed to the aircraft carrier, U.S.S. Lexington. Big D has always wanted to go on it. After having only 4 hours sleep, I was pooped. We headed to our hotel. WooWhee! Aren't we fun? We woke up the next morning and drove home.

A whirlwind adventure all over way too soon. I'm not ready for the daily grind again!


Birthday Wishes

When I was a month shy of my 13th birthday, I got the phone call that I had a new baby sister. That call was received with mixed emotions. On the one hand, I was elated to have a sister. I already had a brother & stepbrother (both the same age as each other) so it would be nice to not be the only girl. And then there was the other hand. I would NOT be the only girl.

I wish I could tell you that life with sister was grand. To be honest, I don't really remember much of the baby years. I remember being silly with Shonda using sister's things. I remember picking her up from the baby sitter. But her? Not so much. I didn't really see much of her and when she was 2, Coastie Bro & I moved to Massachusetts.

I came back into her life with a bang when she was 5. I was 18 and had just moved in with our dad, her mom, and our other sister. Oh, we fought. She was in my way and I was in her space. But in the midst of that arguing, we became close. During that time frame, I was the one the girls depended on. Their mom was unhappy and tended to shut herself away from the world. I would take her shopping, do her hair, dance, & be silly with her. I even took her to a New Kids on the Block concert. She fell asleep before it was over!

Once I was married, life didn't change too terribly much. By then, her parents were divorced. When the girls would come for their weekend visits, I'd spend the night with them. I would meet them at the movies. I'd have them over to spend the night with me. After Lamb was born, I didn't go back to work. So during the summers, Sister would come stay with me for a week or so. At this time, our other sister was having some issues and I didn't see her anymore.

As Sister grew up & became a teenager, I saw her less & less. As is understandable, she didn't want to come visit. She wanted to be with her friends & boyfriends. And then my family moved to Texas. Luckily, by the time she was in college, I was fully internet savvy. During her college years, we'd talk via instant messaging or the cell phone. She'd come visit down here during her college breaks. During that time, now that she was grown, we realized how much alike we are. It was freaky but oh-so-cool.

Now she's married. We don't talk as much as we used to. She didn't have internet (she does now & I'm THRILLED), she didn't have nation wide on her cell phone (she does now AND we have the same carrier, woot), and life just got in our way. With all her new stuff, I fully intend to get her back in my life as a sister should. No, we don't have the typical sister stuff. That's kinda hard when you don't really grow up together. But, we ARE sisters.

But, the biggest news of all is not only is today her birthday, BUT! She's going to be a Mama herself! I'm going to be an aunt again. The only sad thing is I'm so far away. I won't think about that now tho. Today, I'll wish her a Happy Day and tell her how happy I am that she was born!

Good Friday's Feast

Given the choice, would you prefer to live in the country or in the city?

Who is the cutest kid you know?
besides my kids and Bubba's Sis' kids, Coastie Brother's kids! Altho, they DO have some competition coming up. ;)

Fill in the blank: I couldn’t believe it when I heard __Bear has a game on the day we are going to see HSM on Ice_________.

Main Course
If you could star in a commercial for one of your favorite products, which one would you want to advertise?
Pancho's Cheese Dip (we can't buy it here and my supply from my stepmom has run out, wah)

What type(s) of vitamins and/or supplements do you take on a regular basis?
None, altho I really should...
I hope everyone has a joyful and blessed Easter!


Who Are You?

Forensics fascinates me. I love how crime scene investigators can solve mysteries by the evidence left behind. Today, my family got to pretend that we were C.S.I.s ourselves.

Big D woke us up early (doesn't he realize this is Spring BREAK?) so we could beat the crowd at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. There they have a C.S.I. exhibit. Three different scenes with their own crime, lab work, & conclusion. We chose Who Got Served? about a waitress named Penny. She was found dead near a trash can behind the Sundancer Motel. She had definitely been run over by a car. But, was that the cause of death? Who killed her? How did she die? And is Penny her real name? All of that was for us to find out! Gil Grissom welcomed all the new recruits and gave us the lay of the land. He warned us how important evidence is and that if it's not in the report, it didn't happen.

We gathered evidence at the crime scene. You can see by our evidence sheets that we have different styles of crime solving. Big D (top left) was meticulous with pictures & words. I (top right) obviously couldn't care less about recording the scene. I was the crime photographer. Lamb (bottom left) didn't draw any pictures. She just wrote where each piece of evidence was found. Bear (bottom right) took Big D's style but used more pictures than words. If you can call those pictures. ;)

After the evidence gathering, we went to the lab where we could "talk" to the experts & research our findings. We needed to find out what information we could gather from her cell phone. What prints, if any, could be found on a torn picture. Which tire tracks from suspects' cars match the tire tracks on the body. Once those were determined, we moved to Lab 2.

At that lab, we needed to find out what drug was in the plastice baggy by Penny's body. How long she had been dead by the growth of the Blow fly larvae found on her body. I did not enjoy that aspect. Who is Penny? We used DNA to confirm her true identity. From there, we moved to the morgue.

Medical Examiner, Dr. Robbins, welcomed us to his domain. We saw cool virtual graphic autopsy. Even the bugs crawling out of her ortifices seemed real. Again, I did not enjoy that 5 seconds of my life. We saw the Y incision and what the organs told him during the autopsy. No worries, it wasn't graphic at all.

We were ready to submit our reports now. Luckily, Grissom wasn't in his office to freak us out as we were writing the reports.

All 4 of us were correct and we are now Rookie Crime Scene Investigators. Grissom is proud, I'm sure.

It was so much fun. We are ready to go back and do the other 2 scenes now! I left out all the pertinent information in case you are able to do this too. I don't want to spoil it for anyone!


10 Places I'd Take Tourists to in Houston

I love having people visit me (with proper notice, of course). And I love showing off my area! If you were to come for a visit, these are just some of the things that we could do. Houston truly has something for everyone!

  1. Kemah Boardwalk to eat, ride the rides, &/or walk along the boardwalk looking at the sights.

  2. Galveston to visit Moody Gardens, the beach, &/or go shopping along The Strand.

  3. San Jacinto battleground where "Remember the Alamo" was cried and Texas won its independence.

  4. Houston Zoo to see Luna the orangutan who shares the exact same bday as Bear (ok, so she's not there anymore but we can pretend).

  5. Astrodome and then Minute Maid Park to catch a 'Stros game!

  6. Galleria for some high-end shopping

  7. Museum of Natural Science or any other museum that strikes your fancy.

  8. Space Center/NASA where the space race began and continues today.

  9. Driving around to see the different and vast areas, places that are important in our daily lives, and eating at some of our favorite restaurants!

  10. for non-Texans, I always like to take a little road trip to see The Alamo. No, it's not in my hometown, but it is in my homestate. ;)

See you real soon, ya hear?! Bubba's Sis & I will show you a grand ole time!


Of Mice & Men and Weird Ol' Me

You know that saying the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry? It's so true. The D... Family was supposed to be on our way to Enchanted Rock today. Mother Nature had different ideas. Bad, bad thunderstorms are in the area making their way towards us. I'm slightly disappointed. We were really looking forward to doing something as a family. With hubby's shift, it's us and then it's him. Even on the weekends, we are so busy with errands & their activities that we aren't a cohesive family unit. We'll try again some other time before the summer heat hits us.

So, instead of doing something fun with the family, I'm going to do something fun on my blog. Melissa of Day by Day Living has tagged me with this meme. Here are some ways I'm unique (i.e. weird):

  1. I have weird food issues. Whenever I order a hamburger, I have to 'rebuild' it. Take off the bun and arrange the veggies all over again. My food Can.Not. touch, especially if the food has juices. Also, I can not see any pink in my meat. None!
  2. I absolutely can not sleep in the middle between 2 people. I get very claustrophobic. The reason is because I like to kick my leg out from under the covers. In the middle, you can't do that. I also burrow. I think I only do that in the winter, but hubby might correct me. I like the covers all around my shoulders, then I scoot down until my feet touch the foot of the bed. Seeing as how Big D is so much taller than I am and he doesn't burrow, we need some of those magic L shaped sheets that Soap Opera lovers use. Because my head can not be under the covers. Not only do I feel claustrophobic, but I also feel like I'm suffocating.
  3. I have a made up birthday. No, no, I don't celebrate it. Shocking, I know. I use it on websites when they ask for birthdays. I figure that is something that they just don't need to know. I use something from all 4 of our birthdays in my fake one.
  4. This is something that I don't find weird, but whenever I ask Big D something weird about me, this is what he always says. Wow, I might need to reword that sentence! Anyway, whenever I sing a song, I always shake my head "NO" when I sing that word in a song. Whatever.
  5. The absolute last thing I must do before going to bed is use the bathroom. Even if I just used it 5 minutes ago, I have to do it again. If not, I'll lay in bed and my mind will make me think I have to use it again. And there is nothing worse than being all nice, snug, & comfy in your bed only to get out in the cold room to use the bathroom. It's just better if I knock that out of the way from the get go.

Five things. I think that's enough. I don't want to scare ya'll away from me!


I Spy

I spy with my little eye: Pete Rose!

While casually walking in the Caesars Palace mall, The Forum Shops, in Vegas, Big D suddenly stopped right where he was. "Lil D, is that? Could it be? Nah, surely not. I think, really, I think it IS Pete Rose! Pete Rose!" Pete Rose was one of Big D's sports heroes, you know before that nasty gambling was exposed.

I know this may surprise some of you, but I HATED baseball (well, any sport) growing up. Every time we went to visit our dad, sports would be on the t.v. Our summers were filled with baseball. This was before all day cartoons & old sitcoms. "When will the game end?!" I'd groan. My knowlege of the sport was limited. I did know a few names however. Pete Rose & Ozzie Smith being the ones I knew the most. So to see this man who Big D thought was Pete Rose was sorta thrilling for me too.

Of course, we walked over to check out this guy. To our surprise, it really was the great baseball player signing autographs. Big D so wanted one but he thought the price was a tad expensive so we walked off. I told him that he'd probably never have this opportunity again. He'd regret it. We were on vacation and should splurge. Those of you who know us know that this was total role reversal. Usually, he's the spender and I'm the thrifty one. And those of you who know me are thinking, "When did that happen?"

We took maybe 10 steps when Big D realized that he HAD to have an autographed baseball. So we abruptly turned around. Pete Rose was so nice. He chatted Big D up while smacking his gum (a tad rude, imo). I didn't want to be in the picture, but the guys insisted. As we were walking away, I, being the Southern Belle that I am, said: "Why, thank you very much, Mr. Rose!" He laughed and said: "There's that Houston accent." Um, not really but it'd be too long-winded to explain exactly how I got my accent!
A thrilling chance encounter that put a huge grin on the guy-who-does-everything-for-eveyone-else's face


She Knows Who She Is


Thank ya'll so much for your support. It means the world that ya'll care about the success of my kids.

Despite a few jitters, Lamb conquered the lunch room and did herself proud! Her loving daddy was there to cheer her on. There was a bit of a miscommunication on how to preserve this accomplishment. I wanted it recorded, but he heard "take pictures." So that's what he tried to do. He didn't want to use a flash so the pic is a tad blurry/grainy. But you can still see her doing her thing!

As it turns out, it wasn't a contest so much as just singing for the "diners" entertainment. There were no judges nor a winner picked. Everyone got a Timberwolf Idol crown for participation. Lamb was the only one to chose a classic song. The other 12 or so contestants picked current songs.
Gosh, she amazes me.

There's a batting update too. Big D is the type of dad who will do whatever is in his power to help. And if he doesn't know, he'll research. The other night, he found a website where a coach wrote about Bear's exact problem. All Bear has to do is hold his bat differently. It's going to look a little weird, but the coach says it has solved many a boys' problem. Bear & Big D haven't gotten to really work on it. They did test it out after school today and lo & behold, Bear hit the ball on his 1st pitch. Of course, it's going to take some practice & adjustment. Bear is optimistic and that's all we need right now!

Thank ya'll for your words of encouragement and thoughts!! So much appreciated!

Conspiracy Theory?

Lamb, the brave confident girl that she is, has entered a Timberwolf Idol singing (acapella) contest. Gulp! And actually, I need to be careful cuz I know she reads this when she thinks I won't find out. Hi, Lamb! She has decided to sing Help by The Beatles. If you are so inclined, please think, pray, all of the above about her Friday around 1-1:30. Not for her to win, but just that she has as much confidence leaving the stage as she did entering it. That she grows from this experience and is respected by her peers. Junior high is a tough, tough time. I worry. She can sing, but she's still quite rough around the edges. It comforts me (& her) knowing she'll have support all around her.

In other children news and the reason for my title, Wed. night Bear had his 2nd game of the season. As I was retelling the game to Big D, he mentioned something that had me thinking, "surely, that can't be right. It's so wrong."

Let me back up a few years. While this is the 1st time Bear has had this coach, the family is not new to us. The son has played on 2 or 3 of Bear's teams before. The mom has always been the team mom of those teams. One year that the son was on our team was also the one time that Big D had hours that allowed him to be assistant coach. The son has no great passion for baseball. He likes being out there with the guys and being part of a team. But doing work? Not interested. So he figures being catcher is the position to play. That would be all fine and good if he were a quick boy. If he would keep the balls in front of him, that would be just dandy too. And, hey, I'd be thrilled if he could be quick & accurate throwing a runner out at 2nd. Back to the story, that year, the boy & Bear rotated being catcher. And when they weren't catching, they were outfield. That drove the mom crazy. Drove the boy crazy too. Towards the end of the season, the boy wasn't even catching at all. Horror of horrors! The team mom started bad mouthing the coach (who previously she just ADORED and thought he was the best coach eva!). It was not pretty.

During this past fall ball season, her husband decided to start coaching. She says they tried to get Bear on their team but Bear's coach wouldn't trade him. Fine by us! Then we get the call for the spring season and they finally succeeded in snaring Bear. Now, wouldn't you think if they wanted him so dang bad, they would utilize him?

Let me take you back to the present. As you know, the 1st weekend in March there was a tournament. Bear played 2nd base & some outfield the 1st 2 games. The 3rd game he sat for the 1st THREE innings! And then he only got to play one inning before game/time was called. All of that after he had been told that he would pitch & warmed up in the bullpen. The 1st game of the season, he sat out for the 1st two innings (after warming up in the bullpen again). Played left field only and then sat out the last inning. Last game was the exact same except he did play the last inning.

After I told Big D this, he came up with the idea that maybe they are doing this because of what HE did to their son that season. I would like to think he's wrong. I mean, how petty can you be? Nor was any of what happened Bear's fault. I would just hate to think that they wanted Bear so bad just so they could bench him. As a matter of fact, I refuse to believe it. Big D, however, can't shake the feeling.

I know part of the problem is we got 2 older boys from late registration. They've pretty much secured 3rd and shortstop which used to be Bear's positions. However, Bear is perfectly capable of rotating 2nd, pitcher, & catcher. The coach has not switched up his infield any (except for pitcher) and his son has caught all games for the entire game. ARGH! It's just frustrating.

We did decide that we weren't going to worry about it unless it becomes worse or more obvious that he is being shunned (which he's not, don't worry). What we need to focus on is his batting. Hi Bear, you know it's true! Big D will keep working with Bear on his fielding just in case he gets rotated in, but the batting will be primary. Bear is losing faith that he'll ever hit the ball. We just can't have that. Sorry for the baseball talk, but really, it's more about Bear. Hee! Look at that discouraged face. :(

Parenting. There is nothing easy about it with any of your children.

Friday's Feast

On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 as highest), how much do you like your own handwriting?

Do you prefer baths or showers?
baths for relaxation; showers for washing hair

What was the last bad movie you watched?
Super Bad is the 1st movie that comes to mind but I'm not sure if it was the last one I've watched.

Main Course
Name something you are addicted to and describe how it affects your life.
carbonated drinks and they make me less healthy

Which instrument is your favorite to listen to?
it's a toss up between the guitar & the piano



There's lots to do and see at the Houston Livestock Show!
Lamb couldn't resist posing in front of this metallic trailer.
Sadly, we didn't see the Mutton Bustin' races nor the Pig races.


Ten Things I'm Looking Forward To In The Spring

I haven't done one of these in awhile, but I do love Spring. I figured I might as well give a few reasons why.

  1. Warm(er) weather

  2. Bluebonnets

  3. Spring Break

  4. Mother's Day

  5. My birthday

  6. My "anniversary"

  7. HSM on Ice

  8. Possible trip to Corpus Christi with the Bubba's Sis Family

  9. Easter

  10. BON JOVI!!!!

*check out the post below for Hannah Montana/rodeo pictures


Bet You Didn't Have More Fun Than I Did Yesterday

It was so thrilling to give the girls yesterday. To see their faces as they sang & swayed along with one of their teen 'idols' was an experience that I'll never forget. I'm thinking they'll never forget it either.

As I'm really not feeling well today, the day will mainly be described in pictures. One thing I'm known for is always having my camera with me. I should have had an extra battery on me as well. My stinkin' camera died right after Billy Ray Cyrus performed at the break between Hannah Montana and Miley. Sadly, there are no pics of the girls in their seats, singing, and swaying with their glow sticks. There is not a picture of the tour bus. Sigh. The memories will live on in our minds, right? Right?!

One thing worth mentioning that I do not have a picture. There was a little girl there who was roughly about 8 or 9. An usher escorted her to her seat because her mother DROPPED HER OFF! Can you even imagine? We worried about her all night. Shortly before the concert ended, we saw her on her cell phone walking off. Presumably to meet her parents. We were just heart sick over it. Anything can happen to a child, especially to a child in an extremely crowded place. Unreal.


The day started off with new hats, sausage on sticks, and funnel cakes! YUMMY!

We watched some barrel racers, clowns, and cowboys (yum again)!

And ended the perfect day with some singing and grooving!

Billy Ray was a surprise to us. He performed I Want My Mullet Back AND, surprise, surprise: Achy Breaky Heart. What fun!
I'm sure Bubba's Sis will give you a more detailed summary with some more pictures! I apologize for the lack of oomph in mine. Needless to say, The BFFs ALL had an outstanding time!