Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Blooms and Buds

It happens every spring. I get the rubbish cleaned up in the yard and can start to see the plants that are beginning their rebirth into a new growing season. I may have given up on all of them last summer. Abandoned them when it was 100 degrees outside for 40 straight days. But in the spring, I start touring my yard every day, multiple times a day actually, to see what is coming back, what is about to bloom, what didn't make it through the winter.

Here is what I am finding as we get ready to turn the calendar to April!

Columbine. Glorious shade loving Columbine. Always early to show off.

I counted 22 Iris buds this morning! This one has just started to show its beautiful purple color! Just a day or two more and it will be open and fabulous! Can't wait.

Lamb's Ear. What says spring more than that? So soft, so full of interesting texture. Love it.

And, you remember that vine I wanted to rip off the fence when my parents come into town. Look at the amazing show it is putting on this spring! It is absolutely covered in blooms.
It must have heard the news through the grapevine (distant cousin, I am sure!) that its days were numbered.
So, it puts up a fight and shares hundreds of these beautiful blooms. Maybe I will just trim it back severely instead of pulling it out completely. It is just stunning.

The mountain laurels are almost done blooming, and how I will miss the aroma of grape kool-aid in my backyard. It is really yummy.
Thanks Spring! I am so glad you are here!!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Milestones and Meals

This morning I wrote that heartfelt post about how sweet my fourteen year old Harold is and what tremendous joy he has brought me as a mother. I no sooner hit the "Publish Post" button on his birthday blog when he runs out of the bathroom saying "I FINALLY DID IT!" We put down our coffee cups and look at him excitedly "What did you do son?" With pride in his eyes and glowing satisfaction on his face he says "I burped and farted at exactly the same time."

Really. And truly. Apparently, we celebrate every accomplishment in our house. Nothing is too big, too small or too disgusting.

In addition to celebrating that life long goal with him today, we also managed to do a few things to make Harold feel special on his birthday. We went out to eat at Tokyo Steak House. It is one of those restaurants where the super talented, knife weilding, volcano making cooks prepare the food right in front of you. It was entertaining and delicious! Harold had steak and chicken and ate every single bite. Even little Chip went wild and ate three shrimp in addition to his steak. Plates were cleaned and tummies were full!

For dessert I made Harold's favorite - yellow cupcakes with no frosting. I know, he is weird! Who doesn't like frosting??? We sang the traditional happy birthday song with a few "Cha Cha Chas" thrown in. He made a wish. I hope it comes true.

It was a great day to celebrate a great kid!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Harold's 14th Birthday

Today, our wonderful son Harold turns fourteen years old. Can someone please just tell me how in the world that happened? I can still so vividly remember the day he was born. And I am here to tell you, these days that is practically a miracle. I need some supplements, some herbs, Sudoku puzzles...SOMETHING to try to retain what little memory skills I have left!!

Anyway, the day Harold was born is crystal clear in my mind. I had a regularly scheduled doctor's appointment a few days before Harold was born and they told me that he was breach. I was waddling around, ready to pop and that was not the news that I wanted to hear. What was even worse was that they wanted to bring me into the hospital in a couple of days and try to manually turn him so he would be head down. They had tried to turn him in the doctor's office during my visit and I almost slugged someone. It was awful. Imagine that 8 pound baby all snuggled up in there and someone just pushing and pulling outside your stomach to try to get him to turn. You are taking your life in your own hands to do that to a massively pregnant woman. I was dreading going to the hospital. I just really wanted him to flip on his own, although they didn't think it was likely. I rubbed his little head, that I had always thought was his bottom, through my stomach and begged him to please flip over.

The next night I went to bed and got up for one of my regular three or four times a night to go to the bathroom. As I was walking back to bed I felt water running down my leg. It was 4:00 in the morning and the whole situation was very confusing. It felt like I was peeing again, but I had JUST gone. I mean, I just left the bathroom. It certainly wasn't the big gush of water that I would have expected if it was my water breaking. I had seen enough movies to know what that was supposed to look like.

So I grabbed a couple of towels and started pacing around wondering what I should do. I am not having any pain whatsoever, not a cramp, not a contraction, no heartburn, no nothing. Everything is perfectly fine except for this trickle of water that I cannot get to stop.

All my waddling and confusion woke up hubby and we both just kind of stood there in a daze. I don't think this was one of the 10 Signs You Are in Labor and Should Call the Doctor Immediately symptoms that were posted on my refrigerator. But certainly, all this water is coming from somewhere.

We decided to play it safe and give the hospital a call. They ask if there was anything in the water and upon closer examination there was some kind of white stuff (really technically, aren't I?). They tell us to come on in, that it was likely that my water had broken.

A calm PANIC set in the minute the words were out of the ladies mouth. I think the adrenaline made my teeth start chattering right then and there. I was so ready. Ready to not be pregnant, ready to meet this sweet baby I had prayed for and dreamed of. But all of the sudden I felt way to young. Way too inexperienced. Way too unprepared for being a mom. And I was 29!!!!

Hubby and I started getting dressed, putting a few last items in our overnight bag. Dogs outside. Then we head to the car. Every single thing that I did that morning I had the recurring thought about how this would be the last time I did any and every thing without a baby. This is the last time I will get dressed without a baby, this is the last time I will brush my teeth without a baby, this is the last time I will walk down these stairs without a baby.

It seemed to take forever to get our stuff together and get to the car, but it was probably only about 40 minutes tops. We called Hubby's parents and my parents just moments before we walked out the door. Joy, joy, joy!

The drive to the hospital was so surreal. We didn't say much, except every few minutes I would say something like "This time tomorrow we are going to be parents." Complete silence. "I can't believe the next time we get in this car together we will have our baby with us." Complete silence. I was terribly entertaining for that 30 minute drive. I think Hubby was nervous enough without all my "OUR LIFE WILL NEVER BE THE SAME - EVER." declarations. And it wasn't that I wasn't thrilled. We had tried for a couple of years to get pregnant and to say I was overjoyed would be putting it mildly. I had wanted to be a mom FOREVER.

I think it was just that I knew this was a huge moment in our lives and I knew we were officially crossing a major threshold. You can be a bit of a goofball in life if you don't have any one depending on you, but bring a child into the world and your goofball days are over. It is grown up time. And I would be lying if I didn't tell you that the impending delivery business had me a bit concerned.

We arrived at the hospital at 6:00 a.m. Still no contractions, no pain, so far so good. I thought I was rocking the delivery thing. They checked me and confirmed that my water had indeed broken. They checked on Harold and that little stinker was still toes first so they gave me the option to try to deliver him breach or schedule a c-section. I couldn't say "Book the OR" fast enough.

Within the hour the family was all arriving, my teeth were chattering like crazy, IVs were getting started, hubby was getting into his hospital garb and we were on our way to the OR. I was strapped on the table and it seemed like there were tons of people in the OR with us. Hubby sitting at my head, tears rolling down my face, we didn't know whether Harold was a girl or a boy and didn't care - just please be healthy.

At 7:46 a.m. on March 30, 1996, my first son was born and over the last 14 years I have truly experienced the most pure love ever imagined. I physically thought my heart would break the very first time I laid eyes on him. It was powerful. It was instantaneous. It was eternal. It was beyond words.

I have been blessed with wonderful parents. I have always known love from them. I have been blessed with an amazing husband and I have shared my love with him. But a child....that love is beyond earthly emotions. It is straight from God.

So, I will end this walk down memory lane with that sweet, sweet thought. No need to dwell on how I almost starved my sweet Harold to death with the dang breastfeeding attempts, or how I spent the whole drive home going "Should they just let us leave the hospital with him? Is anyone going to stop us? Seriously, do we know what we are doing?."

Not very confident looking as we prepare to walk out of the hospital, but we seemed to have managed just fine. He made it to 14, didn't he?

He is an awesome son and a beautiful person inside and out. I could not be more proud of the young man he is turning into. I LOVE YOU HAROLD and feel so very blessed to be your MOM!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

Weekend was great! Crazy busy but the weather was terrific which just does a body good! Here are some of the highlights from our weekend!

Friday night - Scrimmage game for Chip and the Cardinals. Fun time, gorgeous night, good baseball. Love that!

Saturday - Started off with the first flag football game of the season for Harold. Vikings win! Great game!

Chip's baseball game was at 3:00. It was a barn burner and they almost upset the 3-0 Yankees, but fell short in the last inning. Love to watch my boys play sports.

Saturday after Chip's game we were hurrying to get to church. Chip and Hubby had to change in the car and guess what??? The A/C didn't work in the new Suburban! They were sweaty and sticky and changing clothes with no A/C was not good!

After church and for the rest of the weekend it worked fine. Not sure what to do about that?? It is supposed to be up to 85 on Wednesday so we will give it another chance and see if it works in the warmer temps. It is an absolutely MUST HAVE living in Texas!

Sunday, we headed to Main Event to help CV celebrate his 10th birthday. Bowling and best friends - it was fun!

Went home and worked in the yard for several hours. Filled up four garbage cans again! I know our garbage men will be happy when we finally get done with our yard work for the spring!

To wrap up the weekend we went shopping Sunday evening for Harold's birthday present. My baby turns 14 years old tomorrow at 7:46 a.m. WWWAAAHHHHH!!!!

Anyway, much more to write about but have to get on with my day today. Off to the grocery store then lots of work to get done!
Have a magnificent Monday!!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Priceless Moment

Last night at our house we were helping Chip prepare for his big oral presentation today on the Rain Forest Boa Constrictor. His second grade class has been researching their rain forest animal for weeks and he knows more about the Boa Constrictor than you ever want to hear. In fact, just don't mention the word snake around him - it will save you from having to hear about eating bats, being squeezed to death, feeling temperatures with tongues, etc. So although he could probably teach a college level class on the Boa, he has been a bit nervous about doing the oral presentation in front of the class. He knows the material backwards and forwards, but had decided it would help to write out cue cards to help him remember what he was going to say. He also made an awesome poster with a big snake and lots of interesting facts about the Boa that he was going to share with the class. All that was left to do last night was run through his speech a couple of times to make sure he had it down pat.

Our little family gathered around the kitchen table to be his practice audience and he went around the corner to compose himself. We are all offering encouraging words to him even though he is in the living room out of sight.

"Just relax and tell us all the cool things you learned about the Boa."
"Everyone in your class will have to do a speech too so just know everyone is a bit nervous."
"Be sure and tell us what your project is on before you jump into the information."
"Don't forget to look up and smile."
"Picture us in our underwear - that will make you smile!"

Lo and behold, that crazy kid comes around the corner completely naked. Not a stitch of clothes on his body. Nothing but his index cards in his hand and a big old smile on his face. Now, that will relax an audience!!

Just cracked us up!

After breaking the ice like that, the speech was a piece of cake! Let's just hope he doesn't try that at school today! I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

From the Vault

In fourth grade, almost exactly four years ago, Harold took a practice Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) writing test. The writing prompt was “Write a story about someone important in your life.” It cracked me up then and I thought you all might get a kick out of it now. He definitely had some work to do on spelling and punctuation – but funny!

Here is Harold’s story – misspellings and all…

My Devil for a Brother

Yes I’m the guy. You know the one with a “Devil for a brother.” His name is Chip. C for careless, H for horrible, I for iresponsible, and P for wanting to make pull your hair out! I mean Lord your with the kid for 15 minutes and he makes you give yourself “cancer!” That’s how made he can make you in fifteen minutes. Well think about poor me spending twenty four hours with the kid, he makes me want to break his neck! But you know there are some positive things about having a devil for a brother…I can tell on him a lot….I also get exercise from wrestling with him all the time. But you know what he can be very, very, very, very nice because one day I was playing a game called cops and robbers with my friends little sister. And once I got her (she was the robber) she decided it would be fun to stab me with a needle. So she did! Any boy did it hurt! But my brother said “Harold, I’m gonna beat up Emily for you.” And I said “Go for it child.” Wasn’t that nice. Well not to Emily but it was nice to me. And that is the story of…the devil side of my brother. But there is also the angel side of my brother too. All you have to do is slap him in the bottom and he will start of course crying. But after that he starts giving out free hugs and kisses! He’ll also start saying “pllleeaaassseee” and thank you MaMa. And then the best thing ever happens!......Give me an N!.....N! Give me an A!......A! Give me a P!.....P! put it all together and what does it spell?!? Nap! Yeah, all right! play ball! Whew, now that that’s over back to the facts….After Chip wakes up he usally wants you to well…um….play with him! Then you gotta go up the stairs so he can show you how to play with a lego Thomas the Train on a lego track and how to move it around. “No!” Chip usually says “your doing it all wrong!” then he has to show how to dump the loader. But I may as well live with it heck he’s three he needs to be able to enjoy life before school. Well that’s my story yep he really is a devil isn’t he?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Bedtime Stalling Techniques

My sweet boys both have mastered the art of stalling their bedtime routines. They are well practiced and persistent. I am sure it will pay off in many areas of their life when they are grown. I just can't wait to figure out how!

Let me give you a peek into an evening at our house. We will start with Chip since he is in 2nd grade and has to head to bed a little earlier than the rest of us. Last night, was a normal school night and here is how it went down as I tucked my sweet little pumpkin into his bed:

Mom: Goodnight Chip! I love you. Sleep tight.
Chip: Mom, I love you. I love you so much. You are the best mom ever.
Mom: Thanks Chip, I think you are pretty awesome too.
Chip: Can you tell me a story? A made up one. But it has to be really, really funny. It can't be about me or be short.
Mom: Tells some random hysterical story about a cat with a pooping problem. Chip laughed till he almost cried.
Chip: Can you tell it again, PLEASE!!! Just one more time.
Mom: No honey, it is time for bed. Maybe we can do it again tomorrow.
Chip: Hey Mom, can I ask you a question?
Mom: Sure, make it quick.
Chip: Do you know Kobe Bryant's number?
Mom: Seven.
Chip: No
Mom: Eighteen.
Chip: No
Mom: Twenty-four.
Chip: That's right! That is really a good guess.
Mom: Okay buddy, good night. See you in the morning.
Chip: Hey Mom, can you fix my closet door like I like it. Almost shut, but not all the way and turn on the light.
Mom: Okay, is this good?
Chip: Yeah, that's perfect.
Mom: Alright then. See you in the morning.
Chip: Mom, can I ask you a really big favor?
Mom: Sure, what is it?
Chip: Can you make me some eggs with my toast in the morning. Maybe some bacon if you have it.
Mom: I have both and I would love to make it for you. It will be a good breakfast. 'Night sweetheart.
Chip: Mom, could I have an Oreo for breakfast dessert if I eat all my breakfast?
Mom: Chip, there is no such thing as breakfast dessert. Now, get to sleep buddy.
Chip: Mom, I have one more quiz for you.
Mom: Good night Chip (walking away)
Chip: MMMMOOOOMMM - tell Dad to come check on me!!!!!
Mom: Okay - Love you.

30 seconds later.....

Chip: DDDAAAAADDDDD - Come check on me!!!!
Chip: MOM - What are you watching on TV??? Don't watch Biggest Loser without me!
Mom: It is not on till tomorrow Chip - Go to sleep!

Now, Harold is a little more savvy now that he is closing in on 14 years old. He is normally allowed to stay up until about 10:30. You can rest assured that he gets very quiet and tries his best to make himself invisible at about 10:25. However, eventually I catch on and here is how it goes down with him:

Mom: Harold, it is time to head up to bed.
Harold: Mom, c'mon. I had a field trip today. I am not the least bit tired.
Mom: Well, honey even if you are not tired now you will be tomorrow if you don't get enough sleep. Now scoot on upstairs.
Harold: Hey Mom, can I ask you a question?
Mom: Sure.
Harold: Do you think Ty Pennington on Extreme Home Makeover is cute?
Mom: I think so. Why do you ask? (Don't really even need to ask this question because I know why he asked. I was watching Extreme Home Makeover and at that very second Ty Pennington was on the screen. I can usually see Harold frantically looking around for some subject matter he can engage me in a conversation about to stall. That's why he asked.)
Harold: I don't know, I have just been wondering. How old is he?
Mom: I have no idea how old he is. Okay then, head on to bed. I will be up in a little bit to check on you.
Harold: Mom, did you remember that I need to make up that Science Test this week. I will check with my teacher tomorrow to see when I can make it up.
Mom: Okay, just let me know. Get up off the couch son, it is time to head to bed.
Harold: Oh Mom, I think I have a progress report you need to sign.
Mom: Well, I will sign it in the morning.
Harold: Okay. Mom, does Astro look like he is breathing weird?
Mom: No, he is fine.
Harold: Really, he looks weird to me. Come here Astro. Oh, he seems okay. I would hate for anything to happen to my Baby Astro.
Mom: Harold - Bed. Now.
Harold: Okay. My eyes were still burning today. Do you think I have cancer in my eyes.
Mom: Yes I do.
Harold: What!!!???? Do you really think I have cancer?
Mom: No Harold. I don't really think you have cancer. I think you have allergies as we have previously discussed at length and that you are now just stalling. Now get upstairs and get to bed.
Harold: Well now I won't be able to sleep because I am worried about having cancer.
Mom: You will be fine. Goodnight.
Harold: Sulking up the stairs. Love you Mom. Love you Dad.
Mom and Dad: We love you too. See you in the morning.

Is it as exhausting to read as it is to live through it??? Gee whiz!!! These two are pros and their antics usually buy them about 10 or 15 minutes of extra awake time. I am sure in 15 years I will look back on this and give anything to have these random bedtime conversations with them. Actually it seems like just yesterday that I had to rock them to sleep with a bottle.

Hmmm, maybe I will tell Chip an extra story tonight and give Harold an extra 15 minutes snuggling on the couch with me!


Over the last couple of days I have had the opportunity to run into two complete strangers in two different cities in two different situations. The only thing unique about these two strangers was their excessive body piercing. What is up with that? (Picture me with a very pained look on my face.)

Now I am not a prude at all. I don't mind multiple earrings, a nose piercing or lip piercing. To each their own. If I had a stomach I was proud of I might personally be tempted to add a little belly button bling to my stash. Unfortunately, that is not the case so I will have to stick with my standard issue single ear piercing.

Okay, so back to the two strangers I met. One was this super nice waiter we met at the Hard Rock Cafe in Houston. He wasn't our waiter, but just stopped by to comment on the boys Boston Celtics gear and struck up a conversation. Sweet guy. He had recently gone to Rhode Island for the first time with his wife for a family funeral and we compared notes on what we had done and eaten in Rhode Island. FYI...we both raved about the dough boys. YUM! But when I tell you that this guy had piercings, I mean he had piercings. I couldn't even begin to tell you how many, but if I had to guess I would say more than 20 above his neck. He had multiple earrings, nose studs, eyebrows, chin, lip - there were bars and some chains connecting some to others. I mean they were all over - except I don't think he had any in his tongue. I know this because I was actually able to follow the conversation and remember something this nice fellow said.

Fast forward to the next day when my sweet little cashier at HEB had both nostrils, her lip and tongue pierced. The tongue piercing just does me in. It takes me way out of my comfort zone to find myself so transfixed on their stupid tongue that I don't even know what words are coming out of their mouth. The tongue itself is kind of gross and to have your eyes betray you by constantly wandering down to stare at someones tongue is disturbing. That cashier could have been telling me I was the 1,000,000th customer in store history and that my groceries were completely free for an entire year and I would have scanned my card, puzzled look on my face, eyes locked on her tongue, thinking to myself "Is there a back on that stud? Is it scrapping the bottom of their mouth? Doesn't it just poke your mouth all day long? Do you eat with that in? Do you take it out at night? Does it ever come undone and accidentally get swallowed? How can you swab it with alcohol to keep it clean if it is in your mouth?"

I am sure that lots of people think tongue piercings are totally cool and super awesome. I just don't happen to be one of those people. They completely distract me from the person behind the piercing.

My two loyal readers (Hey Mom and Dad!) won't be able to answer this, but if you have somehow stumbled on this blog and have a tongue piercing maybe you can answer some of the questions that run through my mind. Perhaps if I have the answers I can quiet my curiosity and try to actually hear what the person is saying! It would make me a better person. Thank you.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Family Fun in Houston - Part II

Gotta cover the cool little hotel that we stayed at in Houston. For sports fans it was pretty sweet. It is called the Inn at the Ballpark.

It was located directly across the street from Minute Maid Park. You literally could not get any closer to the park without actually being in the park.

This picture was taken from right outside Minute Maid Park. So when I say it is close, I mean it is super close.

This is the lobby of the hotel. Super retro clock in the center and leather couches all over the place. Touches of baseball everywhere you looked. Statues, pictures, wooden baseballs on the banister with all the National League teams. Very tastefully done. It was luscious.

In the lobby by the elevators.

Our room with King Size bed and pull out sofa bed.

The other side of the room. Very spacious - I think the hotel information said it was 350 sq ft or something.

The bathroom was glorious! Stand up shower and a separate tub. We don't get out much so of course the boys had to get in the shower stall. Even with your clothes on this is just fun. I won't tell you about all the fun they with the phone by the toilet.

The coasters under the glasses were baseballs.

The "Do Not Disturb Sign" was a baseball bat. How cute is that?

View from our hotel window over to Minute Maid Park. Have I mentioned how convenient and close this hotel is in proximity to Minute Maid Park? I know I have beat that dead horse to death, right? All I can say is that good thing it is not baseball season or I am sure our room rate would have been out of sight! As it was off-season it was practically reasonable for staying downtown Houston.

Okay, enough about the absolutely fabulous hotel accommodations. Let's see the rest of the action from our weekend.

Celtics Game. Good seats. Celtics Win. Fun had by all.

Went to the cutest little play at the Main Street Theatre. It was Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business. The boys all thought it was going to be a dud - but we all loved it. We laughed so hard at the crazy antics of Junie B and rolled on the floor at the guy playing William. Hysterical. Lots of "What was your favorite part?" going on in the car after the performance. For the record, my favorite part was when William was sitting in the classroom with a classic "Duh?" look on his face. Priceless.

Then we had the bright idea of heading over to the Galleria Mall. In hindsight it was the biggest mistake of the weekend. IT WAS PACKED. We were at The Mall of America on the day before Christmas Eve this year and it looked like barren compared to this place. Wall to wall cars outside and wall to wall people inside. It was crazy.

We did manage to shuffle over to the new Lego store they opened and it was worth the trip just to see this new gadget they have. You pick a box up off the shelf - hold it up the camera here at the Digital Box and then on the screen it brings a 3D rendering of what's in the box to life. It shows all the doors that will open, the little lego people climbing in and out of the vehicle. SO COOL! When I type in all caps, just imagine my eyebrows shooting up and me really emphasizing my words. I mean REALLY COOL!

Last, but not least we hit a Houston Aero's minor league hockey game. Again, really good seats and it was a fun game to watch. I only had to turn my head at one major fight. I hate those hockey fights. If I wanted a boxing match I would have bought a ticket to see boxing. Skate already.

So, it was just a couple of days, but we packed alot of fun in! Of course this morning Chip could hardly get out of bed. Stomach hurt, head itched, back hurt, some other part of the front of his arm hurt and basically he just hates going to school. Especially on Mondays!

Harold fortunately was hooked up with a Hiking/Spelunking all day Field Trip so he was good to go! Tomorrow will be another story. Hubby took off to chaperon the fun outdoor field trip, so he might be a little grouchy tomorrow too!

Pretty quiet week ahead to ease back into after a week off! Let's hope it stays that way!

Family Fun in Houston

Hello all! It has been a couple of days since I last posted and I am sure you have all been desperately missing my witty and entertaining comments! Probably thought we all ran off to join a traveling family bowling league, but that is not where I have disappeared to at all!

Our family took a little trip to Houston to wrap up our Spring Break 2010. We did a tour of Minute Maid Park, caught a Celtics game, went to a cute, cute, cute Junie B. Jones play and saw an Aero's Hockey game. It wasn't bowling, but it was still fun.

Quick picture of my guys right before we got on the road! Let's go Celtics!

First stop was Minute Maid Park where we took a great tour.

Got to sit in the dugout! Haven't done that before.

Hanging over the top row in the dugout, just like the pros.

Chip thinks he might like playing here!

Harold up against the wall for a great grab!

No one left the tour dirtier than my boy Chip! He got the most out of this experience!

We even got to go inside the manual scoreboard in left field. It was really, really neat!

Then of course we hit the Team Store! Couldn't leave here empty handed!!
I will close for now, but plan to post more pictures of our fun weekend this afternoon. I know you will be on pins and needles in anticipation!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Favorite Time of Day

I love mornings. Especially ones like today. I got up and met my walking buddy at 6:00 a.m. Take note that we are sleeping in a little later with it being Spring Break and all. Not sure why, but 6:00 just seems so much more reasonable than our regular 5:30 a.m. time.

We got in a great walk this morning, the weather is absolutely perfect for walking. It is a bit chilly outside, but not cold. In fact, it warmed up enough that I actually took my coat off this morning. I returned home to a quiet house - everyone is still snoozing. Coffee is brewed. Turn on the dryer. Pop a waffle into the toaster. Enjoy my breakfast and coffee. I have mentioned before that I love coffee, right? I love the smell of it, the warmth of a hot cup in my hands, the taste - everything about it. I think coffee is my most favorite part of mornings.

As I ease into my day, I can start getting my thoughts in order of what I need to get done today. Funny how it all seems manageable and completely doable at this hour of the day. Before I know it, my boys and the rest of the world will wake up and we will hit the ground running. May not actually get anything done that I planned, but for now in the wee hours of the morning the possibilities are endless!

I hope your morning is filled with promise and you get to enjoy a little calm before the storm.

Now I am going to go fold some warm towels from the dryer and maybe grab one more cup of coffee!

Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The "To Do" List

I thought today that I would post my "To Do" list for my two regular readers. Hey Mom and Dad!! Just want to give them a taste of what home improvement projects we might be tackling when they come for a visit next month:

1) Repair back fence slats that are loose
2) Lay stepping stones from back gate to driveway where the hose is
3) Paint Master Bedroom
4) New Curtains for Living Room

Others if there is time:

Cut down the vine that is on the back fence. I think it will be way hard and not sure the fence will stand up on its own without the vine. May need your onsite consultation before we attempt this one.

Guidance and help repairing that same stupid leak on the side of the chimney. I think we now have the flashing issue fixed with the new roof, so hopefully we could fix this one more time and be done for a long while!

I am going through all my recipes and will put together our menu for the week of your visit in a few days!

I found on old email Dad sent me from a past visit. Made me laugh so I thought I would throw it in here for your reading pleasure!

Request from Dad

I'm almost embarrassed to ask this favor, but can you ensure you have the following on hand when we arrive:

1. V8 Tomato juice. This helps protect against Prostate cancer

2. Banana's...not old with spots. The potassium helps prevent cramping and keeps brain cells alive

3. Mixed nuts.....the good kind with NO peanuts in them. This would be a big treat as I always have to buy the ones with peanuts because of our "Fixed Income" situation.

4. Miller Lite....A case will probably be good for the entire trip depending on how much pain I encounter. Would be nice if several were already cold when we arrive.

If I can think of anything else I will let you know. Thanks in advance for your cooperation and understanding

The boys are all looking forward to some garage games and basketball competitions! Make sure you bring your back brace - they are making some crazy HORSE shots lately and I don't want you to get hurt! And, hauling and setting those stepping stones will not be for the weak and fragile!

To close this post out I am going to include this picture I ran across of the Godzilla City we put together in Harold's room many moons ago. That was certainly one of our more fun projects! Pretty sweet.

Looking forward to seeing you guys in a few weeks!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Living It Up - Spring Break 2010

What are you doing over Spring Break? Going to the beach? Traveling the world? Visiting family? Disney? Grand Canyon? Spring Training baseball?

That all sounds wonderfully fun and adventurous and I am sure you are having a spectacular time. Do you know what we are doing? Bowling. Yes, with a bowling ball. ALOT! Two days in a row in fact, with a promise that we could do it again today. Don't be jealous.

I mean, who knew that putting on some old smelly rental shoes could bring so much joy? I certainly didn't.

Take aim.

The joy of victory.

The agony of defeat.

The "in your face" I just got a spare trash talking.

The competition. The camaraderie.

Honey, isn't that for football? Oh, you missed a split and went right between the pins? Got it.

Strike or gutter ball, you can still jump up and touch the overhead screen every single time you walk under it. What is up with boys and jumping and touching things? Is it just mine or do they all do this?

Ahhh, now this is the life.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Car Drama is Over

Deep sigh of relief. New car is in the driveway and old car in need of major 100K mile maintenance and other odds and ends repairs will find a new home. We feel like we got a good deal and a good car. Exchanged worries about breaking down and unexpected car repairs for peace of mind and a new car payment. It is a good trade.

Boys saying goodbye to Betsy....

Picture is deceiving....they really were jumping up and down with glee to get out of the minivan business. And Betsy had weird smells and sticky stuff...all courtesy of those same boys mind you, but still. She was a great car for the first 100,000 miles and took us on many, many adventures. I was sad to say goodbye - PLUS she had my 3 Day 60 Mile bumper sticker on the back bumper. Dang!

Now to shop for car insurance, get new TX Tag....Good Times.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spring Is In the Air

Today's weather was absolutely gorgeous!!! It definitely feels like Spring! I worked out in the yard for a couple of hours and filled up four garbage cans with leaves and yard debris. That was only the front - YIKES!!!

While I was out working in the yard I started to notice that things are starting to bloom.

My trumpet vine.

My mountain laurels! Smells like grape Kool-aid in my backyard.

Then I went and took some pictures of my girl Beth's family. Aren't they a good looking family?

It is so much fun to take pictures, especially of people you like so much!

And that like you enough to let you take pictures like this one.

So much fun!

Another tell tale sign that spring is in the air is that the bucket of baseballs is back out at our house!

Welcome Spring. I have missed you.