Sunday, July 29, 2012

Ten Random Tidbits

1.  I really enjoy the Olympics.  They were on the TV all day yesterday.  We watched a little volleyball, cycling, swimming and some table tennis.  Do I even need to tell you what that stirred up around here???  Ping pong paddles are back out and some challenges are being thrown down.  Chip was on an awesome streak yesterday and beat us all soundly.  Harry was frustrated in such a dramatic fashion that we have missed around here.  Good for some laughs.

2.  I am down another couple pounds for a total of 59.  One more pound to get to a nice round 60.  That just rocks.

3.  On August 6th I am going to start an eating plan where you eat the same exact thing for 14 days in a row.  That will be a challenge, but I am fired up for it!  If Mr. Knowledge About the Human Body tells me to do it, I just do it.

4.  Why does edging with a weed eater have to be so hard.? Why does the string break so quickly.  Why can't they make something better?  Why ask why?

5.  Yesterday I spent about eight hours cleaning my house.  It was glorious.  It reminded me of my young married days, before kids, when I was so excited to have a house.  It did every bit of laundry and even put it away.  Shocker.  I have three empty laundry baskets in my closet.  Seems excessive to have three, but usually they are filled with clothes in some state of cleanliness or the other.  I vacuumed, dusted, swept, mopped, straightened closets, scoured bathrooms, dusted light fixtures, changed sheets, wiped down cabinets, mirrors, even some baseboards.  I usually do a little something different every day, but it was so nice to get it all done in one day and fall into bed with a clean house.  Now what am I going to do today??

6.  I must find Ezekiel wraps...my sister brought them to the beach and they were awesome.  Don't have them at my grocery store so it probably means a trip to Whole Foods. 

7.  Harry backed into a pole leaving Pizza Hut.  It scraped his bumper and he was distraught.  It scraped his bumper, didn't dent it, didn't damage it....just a scrape.  I didn't think it was a biggie, but him and his Daddy are on the search for something to buff it out.  I say "Bumper are on cars so you can bump into stuff.  Let it go." 

8.  Harry has been training to get in running shape for the Cross Country season that starts in a few weeks.  He ran a 6:50 mile on Friday. That is his fastest.  He was very happy.  Of course, that is turtle speed in the cross country world, but it is way faster than anyone in this house can run!  Once he starts training with the team I bet he will shave even more time off.  So proud of him for working at it.

9.  I have to get my driver's license renewed next week.  I am dreading it.

10.  I ran to the store yesterday to get some SPAM to make my boys fried rice.  I have said before on this blog that when I buy it, it try to bury it in my grocery cart.  Don't want anyone to know I buy it, much less that I feed it to my kids and it is their favorite meal ever.  So I am checking out and the cashier scans the SPAM and says "I love SPAM."  WHAT?  I told him that, outside of my immediate family, I had never heard those words come out of someones mouth.  He pulled out a set of keys from his pocket and he had a SPAM key chain.  He said "I have even been to the SPAM Hall of Fame."  I laughed and told him whenever I buy SPAM I am going to try to go through his line. He understands the lure of the SPAM!

Have a great Sunday!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Gone Too Soon

A woman I work with lost her 17 year old daughter in a terrible car accident yesterday morning.  So horrific they had to identify her body with dental records.  The wreck caused a fire that burned the car so much they had trouble identifying the make and model.  The mom knew in her heart that it was her daughter, but today the coroner said the words out loud to her.  Now she has the painful task of making arrangements for her daughter's funeral.

I am just devastated for her.  I can not imagine the agony that she is in right now.

There isn't anything anyone can say or do to ease her pain, but if you could just take a minute today to please say a prayer for Christina that would mean a lot.  She is going to need all the support she can get in the days to come.  She is living my worst nightmare and I pray that she has the strength and faith to get through it.

May God rest your sweet soul, Kayla.



Monday, July 23, 2012

Beach Trip - Day Eight and Nine

Our final day at the beach was pretty low key.  It rained alot, which was perfect because it took lots of time to re-pack and find all of our belongings that were all over the house.  Never as fun leaving as it is arriving.

Our final Lanapalooza event was a picture frame with pictures of all of us taken during our week.



It turned out great and Mer loved it. 



We also gave her birthday cards from each of us.  Except Guk and Ms. Tennessee who did not follow instructions and did their card together.  I gave them a Lanapalooza demerit, but they didn't seem to care.  Bob also bucked the system and put in two cards. 

Wonder why I get called a Dictator? 

Anyway, they were all wonderful cards with wonderful words from wonderful folks who love Mer.  She got a little choked up and maybe shed a few tears. 

It was a perfect ending to a great celebration. Happy Birthday Mer! You are loved!

Then it was time to try to fit in go-carts at the track.  The heck with all the sentimental stuff, we haven't been to go-carts yet!

Guk and Ms. Tennessee took a big batch of kids up to the amusement park and let them ride.  That was the most quiet that house had been all week.

It was a wonderful vacation and passed by entirely too fast.  Our crew headed home early on Saturday along with the rest of the family.   It rained cats and dogs a lot of the way, which made it a little stressful and tense. 

We stopped in Houston for the night and went to see the Houston Dynamo, a professional soccer team.  Their stadium was really cool and we had great seats.






The Dynamo won 3 - 0 and provided some excellent entertainment for our layover in Houston.

So, that is it.  You survived the longest vacation photos ever!   I am thrilled to have all these great memories...now if someone would just finish the laundry for me! 

Quick note on the health front...I only gained one pound!  Woo Hoo!  Super proud and happy about that!  Did a 16 mile bike ride this morning and will be hitting the YMCA later tonight.  Burning off those extra calories!   I have a new goal set to reach before Thanksgiving!  Going to require some dedication and determination, but it is doable!

Have a great day!

Beach Trip - Day Seven

Day seven and we were up an on the beach for a walk by 6:10 a.m.  The pictures Hubby had taken the day before were so lovely that we were sure it would be a great change of pace from the street walking we had been doing.


Me and my sister!  We are all matchy - matchy and weren't even trying.  Hubby was with us again, armed with the camera. 



There were some storm clouds brewing but we headed out anyway. 

 

It was hard to walk on this crooked sand.  In fact, it was killing our ankles.  We were power walking and not enjoying the beach, view, passing wildlife at all. 



This pelican could have landed on our heads and we wouldn't have noticed.  Then it started sprinkling.  We were not digging this beach walking at all.  It was hard.  Much harder than in tennis shoes on the street.



Then we ran into a rainbow and we were happy.

It was short lived because then we had to head back.  We walked a little over 3 miles on this crazy sand and couldn't wait to plant our feet on the boardwalk. 

We are beach walking losers.  



Look at this cool cloud formation.  A giant hole in the sky.  It did rain a little bit, but it broke up in time for us to get in some more time at the beach.



Me and Harry romping in the water.  Not sure what was so funny. 
Someone must have wiped out on a wave.



Me and my boys.  Love them.



Guk and The Penguin.  They are some cool customers.



The Queen and Chip catching the same wave.



I am not very animated, am I? 

WTH?




The Penguin in an up close and cool shot.


 


The Nice One and her little mini me.


Oh yea!  All the way to the beach!



The Nice One catching a wave.



Harry looking all handsome and serious.



The family.



Toby and Hasselhoff - Brothers!

It rained in the afternoon, but that was fine with us!  Thursday was Lanapalooza Skit night and we had lots of rehersals to get through.  We had five skits planned and seven grandkids to play all the parts.  The star of the show was of course, Lana.  It was a funniest, most embarrassing stuff we could think of that she had done or still does.  There were costumes and everything!



After hours of practice, we let the guest of honor and her photographer enter the theatre (or living room of the other condo if you are being technical). 

She looks like she is hating all this attention in this picture, doesn't she?

Trust me, about five seconds into the first skit she was screaming "NO, NO, NO...OMG I know what this is about.  NO, NO, NO"  Burying her head in the couch to muffle the screams! 



I won't go into all the gory details of this episode in her life, but let's just say that it happened at a Sub shop and involved a situation in the bathroom.



Maybe that was too much information?  Sorry.  Please don't think poorly of Lana.  We kind of elaborated on the details to make it a little funnier and she was quick to clear up the discrepancies in our story line when it was over.  It was still funny.



The next skit involved Mer and me and one of our sewing projects.  Our motto is "Measure twice, cut once....then go back to the fabric store cause we screwed something up!"  We never seem to get it right the first time.


Chip was an awesome Mer.  He took his acting job seriously.



The Queen played a pretty good me.  She was a little bossy and I think that was an acting problem on her part.  Surely, that isn't like me!

We also recreated the incident at the Lake a couple of years ago where Mer got lost going to the store for ice and came home two hours later with a broken tail light.  We didn't get any good pictures of that skit.  Hasselhoff brought down the house in his Granny costume.  Photographers must have been laughing too hard.



The Penguin stole the show!  He was Mer taking her pills.  When I tell you that Mer takes more supplements and vitamins than GNC carries it is not an exaggeration.  This kid walked out with his wig, glasses and purse and got busy.  He had little baggies full of M&Ms and was chugging them down with an empty can of Metamucil.  Hysterical.  Then he took out a GIANT pill box and started popping pills for every day of the week.  He was totally serious the entire time and never even cracked a smile.  He polished the whole thing off with a big gulp of pretend Metamucil.  Wiped his mouth and exited, stage left.  So damn funny.  Bob and Lana were howling.



Next up was Chuck imitating Mer picking up golf balls at the golf course near their house.  This wig was a riot on him and looked strikingly like a hairdo that Mer may or may not have been sporting just a few months back.  It was another belly buster.



For the final act, all seven of the grand kids had a tooth painted black to look like Mer's missing tooth.  She walked around without a tooth for months while waiting to get her replacement.  She has it now, but as soon as these kids opened up their mouths and smiled, she pulled hers out to match them.

The kids took to their parts with such enthusiasm and made it such a fun event. 

Best event of Lanapalooza by a country mile.

After we relived it over and over again and laughed and laughed we had to turn our attention to dinner.

It was Chip's night to cook his famous Taco Cups! 



He got busy in the kitchen with Ms. Tennessee as his assistant. 


Taco Cups were ready in no time.  He got lots of compliments on his delicious contribution to dinner!  Thanks Chip for sharing your culinary expertise with us.



Mario also showed off his culinary skills by blackening some fresh red snapper for fish tacos.  They rocked!



After dinner, the troops were a little restless so we did a complete night swim tour of all six pools at Gulf Shores Plantation. We started at the indoor pool and pool hopped our way across the complex.



We spent about 10 or 15 minutes at each pool, letting them check them all out. 



It was fun and it wore them out! 

Just one more day left at the beach and Lanapalooza week will be over. 

Beach Trip - Day Six

Day six had tons of pictures and lots of activity!  The morning pictures started with Hubby's stroll on the beach at 6:00 a.m.  He got some great pictures that on the big screen almost look like oil paintings.








He came back to see the regulars on the porch.


Good morning Early Walker Man!   We all got dressed and did a quick three miles and then it was time to head to the beach.  It looked like some rain was rolling in so we were out there early.


And we caught another sea creature.  This one was alive!


It is a Skape...which looks alot like a sting ray.  Very cool and the kids got a real kick out of watching him swim away.  We caught another one later in the morning that was even bigger.

When the rain rolled in, we headed up to the house.  The plan for the day was to go into town and eat at Lamberts!  Home of the Throwed Rolls.  Don't miss it if you are ever in the Gulf Shores area.

Since everyone was dressed and clean it was a good time to snap some more family photos.



Here is my brother Guk's family.  His wife, Ms. Tennessee and The Penguin and Chuck.  They look like they live in California instead of Tennessee.



Mr. Squinty Eyes.



Now they are open.



Good looking family.



Me and Hubby!


Our crew.


Quit growing you two boys!  Right now!  I mean it!



Great picture of Chuck!  Look at those blue eyes!  He is going to be a lady killer.



Look at this stud!  Gazing off like he is in a JCPenney ad or something!  Work it, Chip!



There is a smile!  What a cutie!



The Magnificent Seven!
 


Two ways!




Mer and Grandpa.




Off to Lambert's in the pouring rain. We planned to arrive at 2:00 to avoid the crowds.



Didn't work.  Everyone else apparently had the same plan.  It was about a 50 minute wait, but with 15 people in your party I didn't think that was too bad.



These boys don't like waiting....but there are hot, fresh roll inside and they throw them at you.  From across the room!  Who wouldn't wait for that! 

Oh and it helped that they snuck across the street to eat a few hot Krispy Kreme donuts while we waited.  It kept their blood sugar up.


The Penguin and his momma.



The Nice One and her baby boy!  He is going to Columbia State Community College to play baseball in August.  Wasn't he just born?  Wasn't it just last year he was dragging around that clown doll?




We finally get seated and the rolls start flying. 



They are the best!  Put a little apple butter on them and it is like a dessert. 

I did not have any. That was hard.  The Nice One didn't either.  We were partners in our healthy eating.  It helped to have a friend who was also feeling deprived. 



The Nice One got a salad that was served in the most ginormous bread bowl ever.  She ate on that salad for three days.



Toby got a slab of ribs.  A whole slab.  The entire thing.  He also ate on that for a few days.



Harry got country fried ham.  He ate it all.  He loves meat.



Children....stand up!  Look at me striking a nice pose and they look like two drunks that staggered out of bar and slammed into me!  It is probably a carb coma...they would probably be able to stand up if they hadn't shoved in three gigantic yeast rolls before their lunch was served.  Nah, probably not.



Off to the Shark mall for airbrushed t-shirts.  Another beach tradition.



Back at the house, some of the folks were headed down to use the metal detector.



They only found bottle caps this time, but you just never know when you will find a treasure!

The Lanapalooza event of Day Six was a group picture in the matching tshirts we had made to commemorate the special occasion.  Not sure Lana loved have her 70th birthday paraded around on the beach, but it did make for a hysterical evening.  Not sure when I have laughed this hard.

The laughter stemmed from Hubby trying to get the self timer set on the camera.  It was an ordeal and the comments from the crowd were hysterically funny!  At one point we were all walking over to ask a nice family nearby if they would snap the picture for us...Hubby yells out...I got it working!  We screamed and started running back to get in our place before it failed. 



We didn't make it.  By the time we got back in our position the camera had clicked and Hubby couldn't figure out how he had made it work.  It was so dang funny.



Finally, we flagged down a nice lady and she snapped one with all 15 of us in the frame. 

Mission Accomplished.



Sorry Mer!  Next time we will read the manual so you aren't 71 before we get the picture.



Mer with the grand kids.


Mer and Grandpa with the grand kids.


The Core Unit. 


The all hell broke loose at the house when I made an announcement that I had a splinter in my foot.  These folks love splinters.  I am not sure I knew that about them.


I was slung into a bathroom, lights and flashlights were pulled out, tweezers with a magnifying glass were found and surgery commenced.


I had three of them holding my foot, my personal photographer of the surgery and poor Chip trying to take out whoever was making me scream!




The managed to remove the splinter, but not until I broke a rib laughing so hard.  The funny thing was that I was howling with laughter as was everyone else in the bathroom and none of our spouses even came to see what the ruckus was about.  Just five hyenas crammed into a tiny bathroom cracking up.  Nothing new to report here.  Happens all the time. 

Day six was fun, but the beach trip is winding down.  Only a few more days and then it is time to head home.