Friday, December 26, 2008

your a strange one, mr grinch...

Okay! I am back among the living.

My first head/chest cold in years decided to make an appearance.

I am thankfully able to lift my head off of my pillow!

So, almost a week later...

Saturday morning I loaded up the girls and a suitcase for surprise road trip, to Nashville, Tennessee, to meet up with my dearest friend and her family {the Alabamians--as Michaela used to call them}.

We stayed at the Opry Hotel, went to the mall, and experienced ICE~~~Grinch style.
~~~All of the figures are made from ice.
Let me tell you,

Sunday led to a surprise for me...

We attended a congregation that my friends had visited before.

My friends went on ahead...because I told them I have Nigel (our GPS system). He would lead us!

Except Nigel decided to lock up that morning.

The girls and I were late.

We sat down in the very back. The Lord Supper was beginning. As I look up, I see Woody McGee standing up at the Lord's Supper table!!!

We attended the same congregation in Northern Kentucky. We had not seen each other in 4 years!!!! What a nice surprise.

I have seen NO ONE I know in the area I live in, but I drive 4 hours away and run into 4 people I know!!!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

merry christmas

Christmas Eve ended with Santa ringing the doorbell and leaving Christmas pajamas on the porch for the girls.
The girls put on their pajamas, set out the cookies and milk, and headed to bed. E wanted M to sleep in her room with her so they both headed upstairs to bed. M began talking about waking up to the stockings being in the bedroom. E got a panicked look on her face and pleaded with me to make sure Santa did not come into her room. I assured her I would write him a note and tell him to leave the stockings in the living room. I wasn't sure why she was so apprehensive about the idea of him coming in, but as I left I heard her telling M that she was afraid he would trip on the things on her floor {the cards she had been playing with earlier}.

The morning began at around 9:00am when E came running in saying it was time to go see if Santa had come!!!! And of course he had!
One of M's favorite gift--one of her two Vera Bradley bags
Steve enjoyed sitting on my gift--my 6 dining chairs. Per E's request, they had been 'under the tree' for almost 2 weeks. But I NEVER saw them!!
I hope everyone had a day of joy and love.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

twas the night before Christmas...

and visions of sugar plums danced in their heads!
It doesn't get any sweeter than this!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

breaking news...

E's greatest wish for Kindergarten has begun to come true!!!

She is about to lose her first tooth.

And I sure wish I knew when Kodak Nikon moments were going to occur so I could have a camera handy--because her excitement and reaction were priceless

She came up from the 'dungeon', i.e basement, and told me her tooth hurt.

I looked at where she was pointing-assuming I would find a cavity {because I thought the top teeth were the ones we normally lost first} and low and behold, her bottom left tooth wiggled. I said, "Oh my goodness, you have a loose tooth!!" She got the biggest grin on her face and teared up from the excitement. {She said her eyes were just watery!!}

Then the questions began:
** "Will the tooth fairy really come and give me presents?"
** "What if I am bad? Will she not come then?" {Where this came from I do not know. We have never used Santa not bringing gifts, etc as a leverage for good behavior!! Who knows with this child!!!}
** "What if it falls out when I brush my teeth?"
** "Where will the tooth fairy put my presents?"
** "Is the tooth fairy real?"
** and on and on........

Now she just has to figure out how to get her pajamas on, brush her teeth, and get in bed with only one usable hand--because the other hand has not stopped wiggling the tooth since she found out it was loose!!!

And, I was just informed, the other bottom tooth is alittle loose also.

It could be a fun Christmas break--a visit from Santa AND the tooth fairy!!!

"See, it's this one!"
**I just hope the drama of pulling out her tooth is not to the same exaggerated level it was in previous years, with a child that will remain nameless!!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


I normally would not have a random post about 'the dog', but while I was going through pictures tonight...

Well, I think they speak for themselves!!

9 weeks old
15 lbs
14 weeks old
35 lbs

And no, Emma has not shrunk:):)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

winter wonderland...

or at least the beginnings of a snow covered land.

Last night's weather forecast was for 1 to 3 inches of snow overnight and then a period of freezing rain.

You can probably guess what M's reaction to this news was...


Well, the phone did not ring at 5:15 to let us know that school was called off.

There was no snow on the ground when M's alarm clock went off at 6:30.

It was a typical Tuesday school day.

Until later that morning....

The snow began to fall.

The roads began to ice over.

The phone rang telling us the AM Kindergarten buses were not bringing the kids home. Could we please come get them.

The Jr. High-ers were teased with the hint of an early dismissal.

And then...

The snow stopped.

The salt trucks 'salted' the roads.

The middle school dismissed ON TIME!!!

Oh well, M can always hope for the rains to come early tomorrow morning with dropping temperatures.

Maybe she can get a 2 hour delay out of it:)

snow fun

I like snow!!!

Two friends out in the snow
I've been out for 10 minutes. I am cold!!!
Making snow angels

Okay Mom, I am smiling. It is cold. Please hurry!!

Monday, December 15, 2008






Another Christmas gift foiled.

By the 5 year old!!!


We just ran into Steve and Barry's after M's dance class to buy s___________ {they read this blog so I cannot write what it is} for two of M's friends in England.

Run in, grab s________, run out.

No big deal, right?


As we walked through the store, M kept trying to get me to look at a coat she likes. She had seen it when we were there a few weeks ago. I was ignoring her, acting as if I could not see what she was pointing to. She said, "Fine!! I'll ask Santa for it." {She is 12--she knows}.

We carried on to towards the checkout. As we passed the coat again, she makes a comment about how great it is. I said, "I sure hope Santa gets it for you."

And then it happens.

Behind me I hear, "But we already got her that coat."

My mouth drops. I hmm and haaa my way through a sentence, trying not to lie. "E, I did not get that coat for M. You are confused."

"Ah hah. Remember the other day? Daddy and I got it for her."

I could not believe the words were coming out of her mouth.

She has never told anyone about a gift before.

I could have hugged her--really tight.

The girls know Christmas is going to be simple this year {We learned, living in a 400 sq. foot dorm room in England, that we do not need all of the 'things' that people think are necessities. Oh yeah, and the whole 'no job' thing too!} So, when there are only going to be a few presents under the tree, you want them to have items in them that they really want. M doesn't ask for much. I was so happy to have found something she would really be excited about under the tree. Well, it will be under the tree--the surprise will be absent.

M just laughed and said, "It doesn't matter, Mom."

Lesson of the night---DO NOT let E know about any gifts.

or... Leave E at home!

Friday, December 12, 2008

a quiet evening...

How often does this happen?

No one home but ME!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tonight is the Christmas party for the Jr. High students at church. Steve drove Michaela to the B's house. Emma went with them to play with the younger sister who is not part of the party. So...I am all alone. WOW!!

I have washed a few loads of laundry {oh, the glamorous life:)}, watched last night's episode of CSI on Netflix, and not much else. BUT...I have done it all with no interruptions. PRICELESS! Next, cleaning the toilets. {I know, I know. You envy me.}

What's been happening with us, you ask.


Michaela is doing great. She got all A's on her report card---even in MATH!!!!!! She keeps busy with homework every night and is finishing up reading the Twilight series. She enjoyed the movie, but she says the books are so much better. Last Monday, we went to the optometrist for an eye exam and she came out with her new contacts. She is loving them!!! The contact fitter was impressed with the ease she was able to get them in and out--15 minutes to get them in and out TWICE. Not bad for the first time. She has had no trouble with them since. Of course, I cannot stand watching her, so I am NO HELP! She is looking forward to Christmas break. She actually wishes for a snow day at least once a week:)

Emma Shea is Emma Shea. She is loving Kindergarten. Of course we had our first, "So and so said she was not my friend. It made me sad." Oh how I dislike this stage in little girls!! She also had an eye exam last Monday. She has 20/20 vision, a slight astigmatism, and acuity better than most adults. She did great with the puffs in her eyes, but wasn't crazy about the dilating drops. She is keeping busy by playing with her toys, driving us nutty, and practicing her reading. As it has been unbelievably cold lately, playing outside has tapered off. She loves doing crafts and is looking forward to starting her big sister' present next week. She is so excited about Christmas--I love the Christmas season at this age!!! And she wants S.N.O.W.!!! Is she crazy?????

Stephen is busy with his to do list; waiting to hear about a job--any job!!! He has had three interviews with one company. They want him but they are on a hiring freeze right now. There was a meeting in Chicago this week to see about how to get around the hiring freeze. We should hear something next week. Anyone out there hiring???? Anywhere. We will re-locate!!!!!

I am doing very little. I help Steve with his to do list. And by help I mean I write it and choose the colors, placement, ... and then critique the finished product. I went today to take my Compass test. As I expected, I have to take 2 refresher Math classes before I can go on to the Pre-Calc required for the course work. {21 years is a long time to go back to try to retrieve useless math.} I will begin classes on February 2nd--probably 12 credit hours. Yeah!! I am excited!! Not much else to report.

Cali, the newest addition to our family, is growing leaps and bounds. She weighed 31 pounds on Tuesday--that was a weight gain of 2 pounds in 5 days!!!! She is 3 months old now--a small horse!!! We are attending puppy classes at Petsmart. She is doing well. I think there is hope!!!

That is our life in a nutshell. Nothing too exciting.

I will post pictures of the girls tomorrow.

Monday, December 08, 2008

prayer request

If you have found my blog from MckMama's 'Not Me!' Monday post, I already know you believe in the power of prayer.

We have been overseas with the Air National Guard for the last 44 months and have returned to the States with no job. Unfortunately, this is one of the worst economic times to be trying to get hired--anywhere.

So...I am asking that if you happen to stop by today, please pray for my husband's pursuit of a job and the 4 interviews he has today.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose {Roman 8:28}

He hath made every thing beautiful in his time. {Ecclesiastes 3:11}

"not me" monday...

It's hard to believe it has been a week already since the last "Not Me" Monday.

7 days of funny, embarrassing, unbelievable things we did DID NOT do to write about!!!

Free therapy for those things in life that make you say "Hmmm!"

Stop on over to Mckmama's blog for more fun confessions hypothetical situations that DID NOT happen to us.

In the last 7 days...

It was NOT ME that rearranged the ornaments on the tree after my daughters went to bed. It really doesn't matter if all of the ornaments were clumped together , with empty spots here and there. It is about the experience of creating holiday memories with the girls, not about how the tree looks. So I am sure as I sit here looking at the tree, the ornaments are exactly where they were originally placed--looking beautiful!!

It was NOT ME that used a small amount of snow as an excuse to stay home and not attend a Christmas party. I love trying to find clothes to wear and getting 'fixed' up to go out and socialize. I DID NOT want to stay in my comfy fleece pants and sweatshirt, sit in front of the fire, and veg out with the girls and hubby. A dusting of snow and a little ice wouldn't stop me. Never. Nope NOT ME!!

And it definitely was NOT ME that stayed in those comfy fleece pants and sweatshirts all day only to go to bed in them. That is nasty. I always put on clean pajamas before I go to bed. I would never sleep in the clothes I laid around the house in all day. I was taught better than that.

I know it was NOT ME that had my husband run late to an appointment because I needed him to be around in case big bit needed help with her new contacts. I can handle watching her putting things in her eyeballs--I do NOT need my husband to stick around for something so simple. Anything having to do with the eyeball DOES NOT give me the heebie geebies!!

It is NOT ME that is going to take the math portion of the ACT Compass test this week at CS.

It is NOT ME that is registering for classes in January.

It is NOT ME starting classes for a new career this February--5 days before my 40th birthday.

OH. MY. GOODNESS!!!! It is NOT ME that is turning 40 in 2 months!!! NO WAY! Can't be me!!! I am still in my 20's!!!!! {Which leads to a lot of explaining since I have a 12 year old:)}

It was NOT ME that had the desire to step on the little boy that was under the pew after church services smacking my legs. I have patience. I realize that some children are just 'more exuberant' than others. They just need to express themselves. They are 'all boy'. It certainly WAS NOT ME that wanted to go to the mother and tell her to get her 5 year old under control. I know that we all have different child rearing philosophies and I am tolerant of those that allow their children to express themselves with disrespect.

It is NOT ME that just built a fire (i.e. asked my husband nicely whined to my husband) and turned on Quantum Leap on NETFLIX. It is 12:06am. It is bedtime. I am going to bed. I AM NOT staying up all night!

Okay, your turn!!

What did you NOT do this week.

Come on...don't leave me out here in 'the land of brutal honesty' all by myself.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

making memories...

Last night we began getting ready for the holiday season.
We decorated the Christmas tree.
We decorated the mantle.
We continued many family traditions.

As each ornament was placed on the tree, one of the girls would ask, "Who is this one from?" "What is this???" "When did we get this one?" With each ornament placed on the tree, I was able to share snippets of Christmases past; my family Christmases, Steve's past Christmases, and our Christmases together. We were able to laugh together over silly memories. I was able to share stories of a Grandfather they never got to know. We made beautiful memories as we made a beautiful tree.

As I sat admiring our 'masterpiece', with the glow of the white lights twinkling in the dark, I began thinking about the memories that covered our tree. While our tree will not make the cover of a magazine. It is not color coordinated. It is not 'designer'. Yet I can not imagine a more beautiful tree.

To some, the ornaments may look old and ratty...

but to me they are treasures; ornaments that hung on the Christmas trees of my father when he was a little boy.

To others, some may look like they have seen better days...

but to me, memories of Ms. Bybee teaching me to knit when I was 9 years old.

A flesh colored angel to some...

to me: the catalyst to be able to tell the girls their daddy was in Girls Scouts when he was younger!

a cheap cling wrapped heart to you...

to me, memories of our first Christmases together when we were short on money poor and we got ornaments free when we filled up at certain petrol stations

Intertwined among the memories of the past are the memories being made today. Michaela's First Christmas ornament hangs beside the ornament Steve and I bought on our honeymoon. Emma Shea's gold noodle garland is next to the mailbox my grandmother made when I was in high school. The past and the present meld together to create new memories. Memories that my girls will be able to share with their children. Nothing is more beautiful than that!!!!

So, while our tree will not be featured in a decorator's magazine, I can not imagine sitting here in the glow of the twinkling lights of any other tree.

***Steve was actually NOT in GS. His mother was the leader for his sister's troop and he had to go along to the meetings and sometimes he did the activities. But, it is so much more fun to tell the girls he was IN GS!!!

Monday, December 01, 2008

"not me" monday...

It's that time again. Our weekly therapy session. The day we all confess all the crazy things we did...oops, I mean DID NOT do this past week.
If you need some good laughs today, click on the icon above for more "Not Me" confessions.
Okay. Here it goes....
I DID NOT hide my daughter's Christmas present, from Santa, in my closet. This said Santa gift I DID not hide in my closet was definitely NOT found by the daughter. I certainly would have hid it better than that. I would not have left it in the bag on the floor by my husband's shoes--in plain sight. That would be crazy. I am a procrastinator. I would not have already bought a Christmas gift. So I guess it's NOT ME that has to find a new gift from Santa.
Whew!!! I was scared there for a minute.
I am pretty sure it was NOT ME that allowed my daughter to go to Thanksgiving dinner at our friend's house in her dress up clothes. I certainly would not have allowed her to wear an old sequined leotard and skirt out in public. I would have told her to go upstairs and change into some 'real' clothes. I know it is important to stress boundaries. Guess she must have really had on jeans and a sweater.
It was NOT ME that went to bed at 8:00am Saturday morning. I DID NOT stay up all night watching Netflix movies and painting Emma's canvases. I know the importance of a regular sleep routine. I would have gone to bed at a normal hour. I would have gotten my rest so I could be a productive Mommy and wife!!
Nope! It was NOT ME that yelled at my oldest daughter for not having her Bible lesson done last Sunday morning--when I myself did not have mine done. I DID NOT get upset with her for trying to do it as we were leaving to drive to church. It was NOT ME that grounded her(from watching Netflix) for a week. That would be hypocritical. Wrong.
And since it was NOT ME that grounded my daughter, it could not have been me that gave her a reprieve on Wednesday evening because she was spending the night at a friend's house. I know the importance of consistency in discipline. I would definitely make her serve out her entire punishment! Must gave been someone else that gave in.
I know it was NOT ME that had my oldest daughter sneak out to the car of the family she was spending the night with as to avoid a scene with the youngest. I would not try to avoid a crying scene. I would kiss my oldest good-bye, explain to the younger one that her sister was spending the night with R, and then deal with the tears and the"I want to go too!"s. I am strong, I can deal with constant drama, and I never try to avoid conflict.
And it's NOT ME that just made it to #3 on MCKMAMA's link. I am in bed because it is 1:30am!!!