Bliss #2

Today I dropped Bear off at practice. Came home and changed into my comfy clothes.

I was able to do this because I knew his daddy would be able to pick him up. That's right, Girls and Boys, his DADDY is going to pick him up.

Big D now has normal hours. Somewhat. Mon, Tues, Thurs, & Fridays he'll get off between 4:30 and 5:00. Wednesdays he'll work evenings.

Sweet Bliss!



In our school family, we have a volunteer who is the sweetest, kindest, nicest, most loving thing. She is the most beautiful person. Her children are all kind and respectful. She truly feels that it's her job to serve US. She won't accept any gifts of thanks.

The evening of our flood, her family went out to eat. Afterward, the two older boys decided to walk home while the rest of the family ran an errand.

One the way home, the boys were both attacked. The older son (early twenties) was beaten so severely that he needed surgery to remove his spleen. He is home now and recovering well.

The attackers are still at large. All they got that night? Two dollars.

Be careful out there. There have been a rash of crimes in our area. I imagine in yours as well. People are getting desperate and reacting in a negative way.


Camera Critters #55

Remember how, in later years, Elvis the man was, um, a tad large?

Elvis the cat is getting a tad large himself. The boy loves to eat!
Poor Cleo is looking very puny next to him.
He's always been a clumsy kitty, but he's even more so now. His muscles just haven't caught up to his weight yet. He likes to stalk Cleo. Sometimes he'll even surprise tackle her. She is not amused in the slightest. Luckily, she has the advantage because she can jump up high. Elvis just can't get to her yet. But when he does? Oh boy. That might not be fun. Good thing he's so cute & sweet.


Outwit, Outplay, Outlast

That's the simple rule for winning the game of Survivor.

Next week, the 5th graders of Texas take their last TAKS test of the year. It's also the first time they will take this particular test. Science. And not just 5th grade science, but science they have learned all through elementary school.

To get them geared up & excited, the assistant principal came up with Survivor Science Camp. Each day, they rotate as a homeroom to a different teacher for an activity in a different science category.

And, in the morning announcements, there is an immunity challenge. A science question is read and the 1st one to turn in the correct answer wins. The rules are simple. ONE class representative and the answer & teacher's name on a piece of paper.

The first day, the kids ran through the halls as if their lives depended on it. The teachers rooted them on. Well, some of them. There were complaints but the administration backed them up. Bear's class ended up winning.

The assistant principal told them to be creative. So Bear's teacher (who won Teacher of the Year on our campus, btw) came up with a clever plan. She asked the a.p. if they could use technology. She was told the only rules are: one class rep & everything on a piece of paper.

Bear was sent to the front office with her cell phone, pencil, & piece of paper. When the class got the answer, a student called him. He wrote it down and turned it in. They won! Again.

And all hell broke loose.

He was called a dirty rotten scoundrel and the class was accused of cheating.

All day long he had to listen to this. After school, he & I were walking down the hall & I witnessed it for myself. For Earth Day, the 5th grade teachers told the kids to meet them at the theater to watch Disney's Earth. After the movie, in the restroom, he got called a cheater once again.

Ridiculous. If it wasn't such a character assassination, I wouldn't be as upset. Bear may be A LOT of things, but a cheater is so not one of them.

The teachers were cool with it (once they calmed down & thought about it) and started thinking of ways to one up his teacher. But, they weren't really solving the problem of the other students' way of thinking.

I stewed & worried all night last night. It's true that tomorrow is another day. Thank God, today, Bear was not called any names nor anyone in his class.

And another class won immunity.



This week, Lamb and I decided to exercise our right to vote. For American Idol contestant, Kris Allen. He's an Arkansas boy who has a sincere & subtle talent. Adore him!
I am on the cell phone and Lamb is on the land line. After a few attempts, Lamb tells me that the phone is making an "anh anh anh anh" noise.

Um, dear. That is called a busy signal!

I feel like I should worry about her. ;)


What Did I Ever Do to You, Mother Nature?

Even though Big D and I have been together for twenty years, I've only seen his parents a handful of times. Distance is the major factor. So when we do have a visit, we try to plan fun things to fill the void of awkward silences. This may surprise you, but my kids are shy. Until they are comfortable, they just stare and nod their heads. It's very frustrating because I need THEM to fill the voids. Sigh.

The plan was for the parents to visit this weekend. We had it all mapped out. Bear's game, lunch, and a museum. Then home for supper and a dvd. Perfect!

Mother Nature had other plans. Bear's game was rained out before the rain even started. About an hour after the parents arrived, the sky fell open and ALL the rain in heaven came pouring down.

We tried to leave for lunch only to turn around and come home because of the torrential downpour. We tried to order carryout pizza. When it was time to leave to get it, the street was flooded and the rental car well on its way to being underwater.

Did I mention that we go grocery shopping on Friday nights? Except for last Friday. After getting the house all ready, we were tired. That's how our luck is. If it wasn't for bad luck, we'd have no luck.

We have no food to feed the hungry. And no sign of the rain letting up. And the water steadily rising. And a dog getting more & more nervous. It truly looked like a tropical storm in April. That just doesn't happen.

Not the makings of a pleasant Saturday.

When the rain finally stopped, our street cleared of water in less than 30 minutes. We have an excellent draining system here. The men decided to try and scrounge up some food. Everywhere they went, the streets were flooded and filled with abandoned cars.

I was stuck at home trying to entertain the Mother-in-law. The mother-in-law who could not get over all the rain. And decided right then that there is no way she could ever live in Houston.

Please, men, hurry home with food. My prayers were answered and they made it home safely with enough pizza to fill our empty bellies. Before the pizza could settle, the parents were outta here. They wanted to find their hotel room before dark in case they ran into any floods.

I then got a phone call that twelve rooms in our school flooded. A week before our state testing. I haven't gotten a call yet, so I'm assuming they got it all cleaned up and school will not be interrupted. These kids have had such a strange school year. We really need for school to be in session.

And today? Gorgeous, sunny, not a cloud in the sky, in-laws gone before noon.Crazy Texas weather!


Camera Critters #54 and My "Bear"

When my son, Bear, first got his cell phone, we spent the weekend getting picture messages such as this one of our dog, Ty.We then had to guess where the picture was taken. Of course, we couldn't shout out the answer, in case another family member was listening. We had to text the answer back to him.

A new fangled way of playing hide and go seek!

I also received pictures of his new mosquito bites and texts such as: Will Love for Money.

Oh dear. A gigolo in the making?


Start at the Beginning and Follow the Yellow Brick Road

I grew up in a time in which cartoons were only aired on Saturday mornings. And certain movies were an annual event. I looked forward to when The Ten Commandments, Samson and Delilah, Gone With the Wind, and The Wizard of Oz came on t.v.

Gone With the Wind is my favorite. But The Wizard of Oz is a very close second. And not just because of the ruby red slippers.

When I was between the ages of roughly 6 - 8, my dad was stationed in Hawaii. For whatever reason, my mom, Coastie Bro., and I did not go with him. One night, after the Wizard of Oz aired, we talked to my dad on the phone. I vividly remember being so excited to tell him that I made it all the way through to the end of the movie. I wasn't too scared of the Wicked Witch and Flying Monkeys that year. It was a milestone for me.

Now, you can watch any of those movies anytime you want. It isn't a big extravaganza for it to be on t.v. anymore. One thing you can't do is see it in the theatre any ole time.

That's exactly what we did on Easter Sunday. My mom, Lamb, Bear, & I went to see The Wizard of Oz: the Musical.
When the tickets were purchased, we just did not think about it being Easter Sunday. It turned out to be a nice way to spend the day.
It was just as exciting to see it on stage as it was many years ago when it came on one of the broadcast channels.

And, yes, maybe it has *something* to do with the ruby red slippers.



Waking up to the alarm clock.

Realizing you do not have to go to work.

Shut off alarm.

Go back to sleep.

Ahhhh.....sweet bliss!



While I don't have the comfort of living in a place I grew up, I do realize the experience of living in different areas is pretty cool. I don't know what life has in store for us so this list might not be a complete list. We just may move again, one day.

Places I've lived: Texas and Arkansas 2x each.

I have also visited a great many states. And it's my goal to see all 50 states. Now, to be fair, a lot of these places, I have no memory of because I was quite young during the Navy years.

Places I've visited:

Right now, I have serious wanderlust. We probably won't be able to go anywhere this summer and I'm bummed.

It stinks being a responsible grown-up sometimes.


Presidential Motorcade

I bet you have figured out that Bear forms his own opinions, strong ones at that. During the election, Bear wanted McCain to win. When Obama was elected, Bear appreciated the fact that history was being made. He watched the inauguration in class with attention. He wanted to support Obama as our president. So much so that he bought a book about him. After all, how can he fully support him if he knows nothing about him? On that same token, Bear also feels that Obama being the 1st African American president is very important. But, now that's it's been acknowledged, he should just be a man who is our 44th president. Isn't that what being treated equally is all about? Who is this kid who thinks so deeply?

In Washington DC,the kids, including Bear, were excited to have the Presidential motorcade pass right before their eyes.

They were waving and chanting.
This police officer made sure to ask the sponser to have the kids Stand.Still. Do.Not.Move. Not an inch.
And, if you look really closely, you can see the outline of a man in the back seat.

President Obama? No one knows for sure. But there are ten 5th graders who believe he is. Who are we to say otherwise?


Camera Critters One Year Anniversary

In honor of Camera Critters One Year Anniversary (wow, amazing!), I'm going to honor MY critters. Patois, keep your daughter away. ;) All these pictures were taken last night.

Cleo, our first.
Alex the Bearded Dragon, our son's Christmas present
Elvis, our surprise present (he has gotten SO big and husky yet still likes to sleep all sprawled out)
Ty, our first and only dog
And, Charlotte the hedgehog, our daughter's Christmas present


He's Not Superstitious, Just a Little Stitious

For the first game of the tournament, Bear wore a wrist band. Just one. On his right arm. And the team won.

For the second game, Bear did the same exact thing. And they won.

Same goes for the third and final game. They won the tournament.

Now it's the regular season. For the first game, they won and Bear started making a connection with the wrist band. Suddenly, it was a lucky band. And actually, for that game, he forgot it. I got a frantic phone call before I left asking me to bring it with me. I did. They won.
Then something happened. They lost the next two games. Bear figured out it was because one game, he wore it upside down and the other game, he forgot to wear it at all. It must be worn. And on the correct arm.

Once that was figured out, they won the next game. The streak was over!
Until last night.

The wrist band was on the correct way and the correct arm. It was looking good. First at bat, they scored three runs. Then it went terribly downhill. Terribly.

There is a 10 run game called rule if they have played at least 4 innings. That has never happened to any of Bear's teams until last night. The bottom of the 4th inning, the home team scored a grand slam (home run with all the bases loaded which scores 4 runs) bringing the score 17 to 4. Game called. Rangers lost. Terribly.

I'm not sure of the lucky wristband's fate.