Ten Things

This week is TAKS week for our Texas schools (don't get me started on standardized testing). What that entails for me is a bunch of downtime. See, I'm qualified to help teach students. I am NOT qualified to give them a test, however. Let me rephrase that. I'm not qualified to administer a TAKS test, but I can administer benchmark (9 week) tests. So, so silly.

So here are 10 things I did at work today:

  1. Got my comfy chair from the conference room set up between the 3rd & 4th grade bathrooms
  2. Read 130 pages of Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
  3. Stretched
  4. Paced
  5. Made sure kids did not talk in the hallway and bathrooms
  6. Ate lunch with Big D
  7. Heard "at least you can read" about 100 times (altho, it's not a relaxing read)
  8. Daydreamed
  9. Watched the clock
  10. Realized Bear has never seen a breakfast sausage patty (free breakfast on TAKS days, Bear thought the sausage was a cookie so he declined it)

More of the same, minus lunch with Big D, tomorrow & Thursday. I can hardly bear the excitement!


Of All The Stinkin' Rotten Luck

I wish I could say that the baseball situation has improved. To be honest, it's gotten worse (click here for the background story). I thought today the tide had turned to Bear's favor. The coach actually had him at 2nd base. We were thrilled!

Then the tide turned again. Bear got hit with the ball his first at bat. It got him right on his right funny bone. He must have turned funny trying to get away from the ball.
RottenLuck Bear has NEVER cried on the field. But, he sure felt like it today. He couldn't concentrate on his base running. His arm was numb so he kept shaking it & focusing on the pain. When he got in the dugout, he just burst into tears.
Ouch So the coach sat him out the 2nd inning. Understandable. Bear was not ready to be back on the field. By the 3rd inning, Bear was ready. But he sat out. In the middle, coach pulled out a boy who was not paying attention and put in Bear. That was it. Those are the only times he played in the game. One and ½ innings. Out of 5 innings. I was told a piece of info today that had me seeing red. I'm sad to say that I'm firmly in Big D's camp of thinking it's a petty, get-back-at-Big D-sorta thing. My heart weeps.
I love this sport! Look at that face. How can you keep that kid from playing ball?

Camera Critters #3

A panda bear at the Memphis Zoo. If you are ever in Memphis, I highly recommend visiting the zoo. When we lived there, it was Lamb's most favorite place. Since then, they have really revamped it and it's quite a cool place to visit.

Sweet Panda Bear


Funny Sign

Son Up

Son Down


What's For Dinner?

One of the many perks of having a 13 year old is to help out with the supper making. Lamb enjoys it and it helps me out immensely. Mainly because I hate to do it myself, but also because time is thin most evenings.

The other night I baked the ham steaks and asked her to make the mashed potatoes. Just imagine that she was preparing homemade taters, k? The water was boiling when she called out that we were out of butter. Hmmm....a little bland but with lots of salt & pepper, it should be ok. She continued on with the preparations. She had the flakes potatoes all cut & ready to go when she called out that we were also out of milk. Well, shucks. That just sucks. Cancel mashed potatoes. She heated up a can of beans instead.

The next night, macaroni and cheese was on the agenda. Bear HATES boxed mac-n-cheese. To get him to eat it, we have to call it "Chicky Toladahs" and pretend it's restaurant quality. I'm sitting here, trying to work up the energy to fix it. Who am I kidding. I was sitting here waiting for Lamb to get home so she could fix it. Then it hit me. Um, we have neither butter nor milk. No Chicky Toladahs for us. Bear was thrilled!

So looking in Old Mother Hubbard's cupboards, I found expired rice, expired fried potatoes in a box (never even tried those, wonder if they are any good?), and nothing else. Nothing in the pantry for dinner. Now, I could have gone to the store. I was seriously debating it out in my mind.

Then I looked in the freezer. Big D had a big ole box of pizza rolls. Something Bear can fix us for supper!



Ten Things I Love About My Life

I wasn't going to do a 10 on Tuesday again this week. I feel like I might give ya'll the wrong impression about my life as it is. Perfect children, perfect husband, perfect pets.... ;) However, I changed my mind. Here are 10 specific things I love about my life:

  1. I love that my husband fills my car up with gas every Sunday night or before he goes away on business.
  2. I love that my husband encourages me to do wild & crazy things like go on a road trip to see a concert with my BFF, who, as I'm sure you can figure out from her blog & comments, is such a special person. I love her.
  3. I love that my daughter is unique & "weird" and that she doesn't care.
  4. I love that my son calls me "Babycakes" out of the blue sometimes.
  5. I love that I can help make a difference in a child's, other than my own, life.
  6. I love that I got some of the greatest friends I've ever had through my daughter. For some reason, the people I've met through my son tend to annoy me more than anything. Hmmm.....I'm pretty sure that says something.
  7. I love that last little moment right before I fall asleep, when I'm all alone yet feel incredibly safe. I call it God tucking me in.
  8. I love that 1st sip of Diet Coke (caffeine free, of course ;) )in the mornings.
  9. I love that I can find a silver lining to just about anything. Altho, that doesn't prevent me from being blue every now & again. More now than again, but it doesn't last for long.
  10. I love that people I didn't know a year ago, people I have never even met, care about me and my family. Ya'll's encouragement and support astound me. Ya'll's humor brighten my days.


A book and Me

Stacey, at JameeForever tagged me for not one, but two memes! Without further ado, here they are....

Meme #1
Here are The Rules...

1) Pick up the nearest book of at least 123 pages.
2) Open the book to page 123.
3) Find the 5th sentence.
4) Post it and the next 3 sentences.

Don't tell anybody. When you choose Crop and Straighten Photos,
Photoshop will crop and straighten this one photo, but it still duplicates
the image into a separate document. Hey, it's not perfect. Speaking of
not perfect, it seems to work best when the photos you scan as a group have
similar tonal qualities.

Riveting stuff, eh? Taken from Big D's The Photoshop CS2 Book for Digital Photographers by Scott Kelby. Sorry, that was the nearest book by me.

Meme #2

Seven facts about me, D...

  1. I do not like food juices to touch other foods. Can.Not.Tolerate.It.

  2. I know my left from my right, but I still have to pause a moment AND I have to use my hands to describe the direction.

  3. I HATED baseball growing up. I HATED baseball until Bear started to play. It also helps that a lot of the players are Ca-yoot!

  4. When pregnant with Lamb, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that she'd be a girl before the ultrasound proved it. At 12wks pregnant, I also knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Bear would be born. I suffered a miscarriage before him. Once you've had one, the next pregnancy can make you feel extremely worried.

  5. I have lived in 8 states plus a U.S. territory. Two of those states, I have lived in more than once. I have been in 35 states, either visiting or driving through them.

  6. I used to play the clarinet in my jr. high band. I was so uncoordinated that I couldn't march and play at the same time. I figured marching was more important so I 'lip-synced' playing the instrument. I was 3rd chair, next to the last seat. Any surprise?

  7. In high school, I didn't have many boyfriends. But I did have quite a few secret admirers who would leave me notes. I'd rather of had the boyfriends.


Camera Critters and Baseball

Here I am, late as usual! I have a good reason which you can read about under my critter. This is Ty our Belgian Malinois begging for help! Sweet Mama that I am, I take a picture instead. ;)
Today was Youth Little League Parade day at Minute Maid Park. This is where the little leagues across Houston can parade around the warning track before the game. It's really no big deal, but Bear insists we do it every year.

While waiting for Bear to return to us, someone tried to hand me a flyer. I generally say "No thank you" and keep walking. However, this time something caught my ear. If I register my child, he can get a Jeff Bagwell autograph. Last year was Craig Biggio's year so Jeff Bagwell hasn't gotten much mention. He retired from baseball and had his jersey retired at the beginning of the season. He is one of our true Astros' Heroes. So, of course, I registered Bear! Not sure what for, I might have just signed away his first born child, idk.
Fortunately, Big D was wearing his Astros cap. He gladly gave it up for an autograph. Bear says he was so nervous! Jeff Bagwell asked how he was doing and all he could do was mumble that he was fine. He couldn't even return the favor and ask how he was doing. Fortunately, he did remember to say thank you.
He was only signing one item per child. Only the children could get autographs. He did stop to smile for a camera tho!
Not a bad day at the ballpark!
So that is why my Camera Critters is late.


Does God Get Mad When People Have Plastic Surgery?

That was the question posed to us by Bear.
Thinking BearHe's ten now. I wonder what sort of things he'll think about when he's thirteen, his sister's age. His sister who will only be 13 for another month and a half. Sigh.
Beautiful Lamb


5 Years--All Clear

"You are dismissed" said with tears in her eyes is what my mom heard from her oncologist today.

That was the news were waiting to hear. For five long years and several "routine" biopsies.

So thank you, Dr. Because of you, these are the things my mom was able to see:

  • youngest child's graduation
  • oldest son coming home from Iraq and Cuba
  • seeing her dad induct oldest son in the Coast Guard (ok, ok, more like a re-enlistment, but still)
  • oldest son's wedding
  • going with Lamb to Washington D.C. with her 5th grade class (and being able to do the same for Bear next school year)
  • seeing Bear's very first hit and his other accomplishments
  • seeing Lamb's plays
  • going to the Astros games, especially being able to say Farewell to Biggio and seeing the team win the NL championship & going to the World Series
  • saying goodbye to her beloved greyhound, Felicia and saying hello to her new doggie, Cocoa
  • seeing the Astros play the Cubs at Wrigley Field
  • laughing at Bear
  • celebrating her dad's 85th birthday and her parents 60th wedding anniversary
  • (hmmm, I guess I, personally, haven't done anything these 5 years)
  • doing community service that she enjoys oh so much
  • Just Enjoying Life

Our family is extremely thankful tonight. I can not wait to hear the news from Bubba's Mom and other families battling this awful disease that they have reached the 5 year mark as well. I know I will.


I'm Sorry

I have been a bad blogging friend these past few days. I apologize. Tomorrow, I am going to try to "visit" ya'll.

Here are 3 reasons why I've been quiet lately.

I'll try and give a real update tomorrow, if my energy allows. Please forgive me!


Camera Critters

My blogging friend, Misty Dawn, has started a new meme called Camera Critters. All you have to do is post a picture that YOU have taken of any animal.

I decided to start with a pet who doesn't get much blog time. This is Cleo in her very favorite place to be. It's not always convenient for me. Oh wait, I just realized *I* didn't take this pic, a child of mine did. Hmmmm.....
Ok, here's a pic that *I* took. Cleo's 2nd favorite place to be. Please don't look at the dog slobber on the window. Yick.


High School Musical on Ice

LOADS of fun!!

Mean Mama

Apparently, that's what I am.

My weekly schedule:

Monday - Lamb: Youth Group----- Bear: baseball practice
Tuesday - Lamb: play rehearsal----- Bear: baseball practice or game
Wednesday - Bear: play rehearsal
Thursday - Lamb: play rehearsal----- Bear: baseball practice or game
Friday - Bear: has been turning into baseball practice night. Grrr!
Saturday - Lamb: play rehearsal----- Bear: baseball game

Sunday is the *only* day that there is not child's activity going on. Well, Lamb does volunteer at church in the Children's Ministry every other Sunday, but I don't really count that.

As you can imagine, by Friday, I am worn out.

Bear had a birthday party to go to Friday for one of his best classmates. The party was at a skating rink. It surprised me that Bear wanted to go because he has always refused to go to skating parties in the past. "Why should I subject myself to ridicule?" he says. I told him that it depended on what time we got out of practice.

We leave practice and he doesn't say a word about the party. Being naive, I figured he forgot about it. Around 8:10 (the party ends at 9pm), he asks if he can go to the party. I say no. How could I do this to him? After he gave me a chance to rest & relax before asking! He just doesn't understand how I can be so tired and not up to driving him across town so he can hang out, at the most, for 30 minutes.

I predict many similar conversations in my future.



With Ty, it's all about comfort. When we had carpet, you'd see him lounging about the living room until we moved on to the bedroom.

Then, we got rid of the carpet.
Ty was not a happy camper. He now stays with us until his old bones can't handle it anymore. That's usually around 9-10pm.
He then retreats to my bedroom to await me. Bear doesn't like that. He desperately wants Ty to sleep in his room. The bright idea of moving Ty's blanket into his room came to Bear's mind one night. It took a few nights, but it finally worked.
Until I come back there for my final bedcheck of the night.
Who needs a blanket for comfort when one has padded carpet?


Sex and the School

I consider myself a lax parent. I don't hound them to do things, I allow them to talk to me about whatever, & they have watched PG-13 movies for quite awhile now. There are certain things I'm strict on, but, for the most part, I use things as teachable moments. For instance, if Lamb came to me in high school wanting to have a party serving alcohol. I'd nix it, strongly. If she came to me wanting purple hair, I'd probably allow it. After all, that is temporary and small on the rebellion scale. I understand her need to feel different.

With that said, there are times that parents amaze me. In the 4th grade class I'm in, there is a beautiful blond girl. She is quite the ditz and I worry about her tremendously. Before Spring Break, her hair had a brassy tint to it. I wish I could say I was surprised when she told me that she wanted highlights so her mom gave them to her. And messed up her hair which was gorgeous to begin with. She returned to school after Spring Break with processed Blond with a capital B highlights. Her mom took her to the salon to fix the brassy look. Her mom also takes her quite a bit to have nail tips put on her fingernails. And the girl often has temporary lower back tattoos. Call me a prude, but I just find the placement too provocative for a 9/10 year old girl. A girl who has more sense in her pinky than she does in her head. A girl who can be easily swayed to do the wrong thing.

What is our society teaching girls? Why would a lot of parents rather be a friend than a parent? My youngest brother & I were talking the other day. According to him (and he admits that he's out of the loop now that he's out of high school), the girls he went to school with were all about being provocative. The hair, the make-up, the clothes, all with the intention of turning a boy's head. The Vanessa Hudgens scandal is commonplace in the high school world. Our society is all about sex. The sexy perfume & clothing ads, the talk of it even on "family" shows which are pretty rare now, and I've read some pretty racy teen lit books. It's everywhere. I realize this and while I do try & shield the kids some, it's impossible anymore to completely shield them.

So what happens to the kids who don't have parents who use those moments to teach them morals? Or what happens to the kids who do have those parents, yet don't really care about what's being said? What's going to happen to this 4th grade girl as she gets older? She's already attracted some inappropriate attention.

In the news, there have been 2 local stories about 8th graders (Lamb's age) giving birth in secret. One was a miscarriage and the other was a full-term baby. Both are completely tragic & heartbreaking stories. I pray that I don't read about my little 4th grader one day.




Friday's Feast

Invent a new flower; give it a name and describe it.
If there were a beautiful way to cross a rose, daisy, calla lily, and sunflower, I'd call it My Family.

Name someone whom you think has a wonderful voice.
The new music teacher at our school. I was pleasantly surprised when I heard her sing! Our old music teacher had quite the soprano voice which wasn't as pleasing to the ear.

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being highest, how clean do you keep your car?
Oh, we are supposed to clean our cars too? ;)

Main Course
How do you feel about poetry?
I love poetry, especially the poems written to me by hubby! Hubba Hubba ;)

What was the last person/place/thing you took a picture of?
Last night, Bear at his baseball game. I'll gladly show you the picture, but don't ask about the game.


Cat Owners Beware

I'm not sure if any of my readers are cat owners, but just in case....I learned something today from a dear friend of mine. Her family's beloved cat is seriously ill. They linked it back to a lily plant. I knew poinsettia's were toxic but had no idea lilies were as well. Here is a link to her post if you would like to read up on it.



It's funny that today's theme is Sunshine. The family has been quite gloomy lately but we got some news that let the sun shine through a bit. We see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I admire single moms. I was raised by one and I know some. It's a hard, hard road whether or not the daddy is in the picture or not. I don't mean to make light of their situation, but I do think of myself as one during the week. As most of you know, Big D works nights. That was part of our lives for so long that it was no big deal. I wasn't working, the kids weren't in school so we just adjusted our lives around that. But now, after a brief blissful period of him having a day shift, it's harder. I work. Lamb doesn't get out of school til 4pm. Big D has to leave for work at 5pm.

During that time, I feel like it is Us and Him. I am worn out from working, being a taxi cab, prison warden, and loving mom. Out of necessity, the kids have taken on a lot of chores from doing their own laundry (ok, they've been doing that for years but now they HAVE to) to cooking dinner for us (simple stuff folks). By the time the weekend gets here, I want to be left alone. Big D is bored and lonely. He wakes up alone, he eats alone, he comes home to a dark house. By the time the weekend gets here, he wants to be with us. It's just not a good situation.

Right before Spring Break, Big D got news that a position he's been interested in MIGHT be available within the next couple of months. Please God! We aren't holding our breaths, but we are hopeful. Then, just yesterday, Big D got a call that another position, albeit in a department he has ZERO interest in, will be available in the next month. The boss wants Big D so bad that he says he'll try to move Heaven & Earth to get it to be a dayshift. No, it's not what hubby wants (he really wants that other position). At this point, he'll take it just to be on days and it'll be closer to home as well.

A DAYshift! Two possible positions! Just knowing that energizes me. I feel like I CAN handle baseball season, play rehearsals (both kids), youth groups, parent meetings, and anything else life throws my way. Because this time next year? I may not be doing it alone! Altho, I DO like not having to share the tv and computer. Hmmm..... No, no it's worth it; I'll gladly share.


10 Things I'd Fix In My Home

Providing I had money (& time), of course!

  1. add a game room
  2. knock out a wall for a little hallway so our house innards won't be U shaped anymore
  3. have Big D actually build the kids' murphy beds rather than just talk about it
  4. put marble (it can be faux) sides in the shower rather than tile
  5. get rid of all the clutter!!!!!!
  6. landscape the yard & pay someone to keep it up (I kill plants/flowers)
  7. have Big D actually build our kitchen island rather than just talk about it
  8. paint the walls
  9. get all my prints framed and hung
  10. have Big D actually finish all the projects he's started and has yet to finish!