Saturday, August 18, 2007

Chinese Boycott Update 1

This pic is the outcome of my shopping the past few days - including some new items I picked up off ebay...

Can you pic the "made in China" items? Honestly, this is harder than I anticipated - not only for the quantity of items made there, but also for the remembering to check before I buy. Yeah, guilty... Anyway...

1. Converse athletic shoes. Purchased at Kohls. Made in China. Discovered this tidbit before I actually bought them and considered "re-shopping",finally resigning myself to the idea that all the shoes were probably made in China... and Josh REALLY wanted them - what's a mom to do? Bought the shoes. Will try harder next time to check that before the children become too attached.

2. Sun hat for Reagan. Also made in China. I am blessed to have a daughter who refused to wear the hat. Will be returning the item to Target tomorrow...

3. Pink gift bag. Sigh. Made in China. This will also be returned to Target tomorrow. It was bought to hold a birthday gift this afternoon. I ended up using a different bag...

That's it. The remaining items were made in the USA, Guatelmala, Sri Lanka, Costa Rica, Indonesia and Pakistan. Interestingly enough, almost all the socks were made in the US...

Semi-success? 80% if the items I purchased were NOT made in China... and two-thirds of the Chinese-made items are being returned to the store. I feel pretty good about that...

While I have other issues with the sweat shops and such in the 3rd world countries, that is not my focus at this time - maybe later, but right now I am just trying to survive and find enough "non-China" items such that my family doesn't have to go naked and hungry...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

China @#$%

The latest toy recall has caused me to seriously consider boycotting all products made in China. Toothpaste, dog food, tires and toys....where does it end?

I realize this will not be easy. I am not totally convinced it can be done - at least not on my budget. But we'll see. Check back often. I will update my China-boycott saga...

Saturday, August 11, 2007

K is for Kindling

Kindling - the act of setting something on fire
firing, ignition, inflammation, lighting
burning, combustion - the act of burning something;

I received a phone call last weekend from my oldest. "Grandma's car is on fire!"
My heart skipped a beat - probably more than one...

"Is everyone OK" I asked.
"Yeah - but my BACKPACK!..."

Things can be replaced. People cannot. My mother-in-law's SUV is totalled, but most everything in it - including the people - made it out OK... I picked up the stranded motorists - it just so happens they weren't far from our house when it happened... and delivered them safely to Grandma's house...

The backpack? A weekend of soaking in OxyClean removed the smoke and the smell.

Sigh. Just a little kindling....

Friday, August 10, 2007

J is for Joshua

J is also for jealous... because he was jealous that Gillian got an alphabet post. Here's my nearly-teenager, my first-born, my only boy...

Josh will be starting Junior High in just a few short weeks. How the time has flown since he entered my life almost 13 years ago...

Thursday, August 9, 2007

I is for Ice Cream

Ice Cream. Quite possibly my favorite food. I am very particular about my ice cream, however. Blue Bell ice cream is made in a little town Northwest of Houston. Brenham, Texas is home to this little ice cream company that is gradually spreading from its Texas-only roots into other states. In fact, just a few months ago a friend called me from her local grocery store to tell me she had found Blue Bell Ice Cream!

Homemade Vanilla... droool.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

H is for History

Today marks the 33rd anniversary of Richard Nixon's announcement that he was resigning the office of the President of the United States. This bit of trivia played across my radio as I was driving in to work today - to deliver to my boss my resignation. Oh, the irony.

My boss was sad - not upset, but totally and completely surprised. They were not expecting this. It is not a good time as our department is very busy and short-handed. He accepted my resignation and we reviewed the projects I was working on as to get a handle on which ones I would be able to complete before I leave for good in 2 weeks.

On a side note, I tweaked my blog so I now have 3 columns.... oh, the possibilities!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

G is for Grace

Grace is my daughter's middle name. I have always loved that name. When I found out I was having a little girl, I was beyond excited. I let my dear husband pick her first name, but I was insistent that her middle name be Grace. Most of the time I call her Grace, or Gracie. She prefers it that way...

I am also overwhelmed by the goodness of God's grace. He never ceases to amaze me. When I am least deserving and most needing, His grace is there. It is by His grace that I am saved, and for that I am eternally grateful.

F is for Flowers

I like flowers. Cut flowers. Wild flowers. Flowers in a vase. Flowers in a pot. I like flowers. I am also frugal (meaning really, really cheap, but frugal is an 'f' word) so I don't really like getting big bouquets of florist-flowers. The $5 bouquet at the grocery will do just fine. I like to cut the stems and place them in a pretty vase on my kitchen bar. They make me happy and brighten my kitchen for a week... until it is time to return to the grocery for more food... and for flowers.

I also like to take a drive through the Texas Hill Country in the spring when the wildflowers are all abloom. The sight of a hill of bluebonnets makes me swoon. All too soon they are gone, replaced by prairie grass in the stifling Texas heat. But they will be back again. Next spring. And I will get to enjoy their beauty once again.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

All caught up!

I have been trying to make one blog post a week - and I try to get some substance in there, but this 'ABC Challenge' or whatever it is called takes a lot of mental resources! We were out of town a few days and I already had to play 'catch-up'. With the job situation this week, I am not sure I will get around to a 'regular' post, but I will try to keep you all entertained with my 'alphabet' posts!

Ahhh. Relaxed and rejuvenated from vacation...
and a picture of my monkeys to share...

E is for Excited!

Excitement. "Extremely nervous" would work, too - that starts with "E". Yikes. Three days until I give notice at my old job... I am excited for what the future holds, but I am not one who is fond of change. Corey, are you out there? Certainly you can relate!

Yes, I am indeed excited. I know that God has big plans for me. I just need to remember to let go and let Him...

D is for Dog

D is for "dog" and every animal my dearest baby thinks is a dog. We just got back from a family vacation which included a trip to the San Antonio Zoo. Reagan pointed and gleefully exclaimed at every large animal exhibit "DOG!"

I hope I always remember how cute she is right now.

Friday, August 3, 2007

C is for Car Ride

Trekking across Texas with 3 kids in my small car makes for a BIG LONG CAR RIDE! Even with the DVD player and video games for the kids, the 200 miles doesn't pass quickly enough.

I must admit the ride there was rougher than the ride home... and the trip was totally worth it. We had lots of fun and the kids got to partake in LOTS of swimming... but I spent far too much time in my car the last few days. :)

Thursday, August 2, 2007

B is for Bare Legs

I am soooo tired of shaving my legs. I am also fortunate in that the older I get the less hair seems to grow there. What is there, however, is still prickly. Sigh.

We are headed out on vacation and I need to shave... ick. Red bumps invade my legs from the the torturous razor. Gillian sliced her finger open on it last summer when I inadvertently left my razor in the bathtub...WAKEUP CALL!

I decided to give a hair remover a try. I remember trying Nair back in college - it was very smelly and not very successful. I saw this today at Target and decided to try it.

OK, I am officially DONE with my razor. This works far better and is less messy. (And far less painful than that waxing experiment!) My legs are smooth and soft and without bumps...

A is for Anxiety

1. a. A state of uneasiness and apprehension, as about future uncertainties.
b. A cause of anxiety: For some people, air travel is a real anxiety.
2. Psychiatry A state of apprehension, uncertainty, and fear resulting from the anticipation of a realistic or fantasized threatening event or situation, often impairing physical and psychological functioning.
3. Eager, often agitated desire: my anxiety to make a good impression.

Next Wednesday, during my weekly project meeting with my supervisor, I will hand him my letter of resignation. This makes me anxious. I have worked for this company for over 13 years. All 3 of my children were born while I was an employee at this company.

I am anxious for my co-workers. We are already short staffed and the amount of work to be placed back into their hands is overwhelming. It is overwhelming to me, but when added to their already full plates, it will really be overwhelming. It makes me anxious.

Looking for a new job makes me anxious. I am leaving my old job without an offer for a new job. That makes me anxious.

I am also anxious at the thought of starting a new career - I am very excited, also, but today is "A" day so I will stick with anxious... gives me a good idea for "E" day though!

Glad tomorrow is another day - I am tired of being anxious....

Enormous Undertaking

I try to post once a week. I am honest about that. It usually happens. My friend Mary Ann is doing a "26 letters" challenge this month. Each day a post with a different alphabet letter...
She got the idea from Bella Dia

So... I am going to give this a try. We'll see.

It's an enormous undertaking at this point in my life - of all months... the one where I go out on blind faith and quit my job. Change careers. Wow. Scary. Enormous.

Maybe this will be just I need to keep myself grounded. We shall see.

By the way - I am posting 2 today, since I am a day late (ain't that the way it always is?)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Some insight into me...

Click to view my Personality Profile page

Looks like I am a polar opposite of my friend Shannon. Not suprising, really as we have much different views on life...and everything else. Cool that I can still call her a friend...

Sunday, July 29, 2007

What I never knew about the blogging world....

OK, so I haven't been blogging long, but I have been reading them for a while... I have just recently noticed a plethora of give aways... I am still trying to sort them all out. My favorite online shop the Lemonade Stand just had one. And just this morning I was linked to one at 5 Minutes for Mom. Can you believe they (and Best Buy) are giving away an LCD television? I was just getting used to the handmade craft giveaways and now this?

What a world....

Friday, July 27, 2007

Not this fancy?

September will mark our 14th anniversary. I realize it isn't September yet, but I just have to share this story...

Very soon the family will pile into my little red car and head across this great state for a mini-vacation in San Antonio. Ours will be a hotel-based vacation. We will enjoy the cable television and maybe order a pizza... go swimming, etc. None of the "touristy" things. We visit San Antonio a lot. We've 'been there and done that". This is just an opportunity to get away and spend some time together.... We will meetup with one of my good friends, Megan, and her delightful daughter. Maybe go to the zoo. If it isn't raining. Nothing spectacular....

I was making hotel reservations a few weeks ago. Keep in mind that I am cheap. Real cheap. So I go looking for a place for us to stay - in the $60-80 range. Not super-cheap, since I also like to stay safe.... but not the Radisson, either. I casually mention to my better half the types of deals I have found and he is silent. What gives? He thinks we should stay someplace nicer, more expensive. Hmmm. Really? Is this the same man that I married?

Let me give you some insight into my bewilderment....
San Antonio also happens to be the same place we went for our honeymoon those many years ago - yes, my husband is not fond of airplanes, so our destination had to be within driving distance.... but I digress...14 years ago we stayed at the RiverWalk Marriott hotel in downtown San Antonio. I want to say it cost $110 per night - including a wonderful breakfast and I distinctly remember this conversation:

Him: I hope you don't expect that every time we rent a hotel room it will be this fancy (read, expensive)
Me: No, dear. I have always stated in Best Westerns and Super 8's... this is a special occasion....
Him: OK. Just wanted to get that out.
Me: Yes, dear.

Where are we staying, you ask? The Marriott, but on the north side of town. $125 and change per night - plus tax which is now at a whopping 17ish percent. Continental breakfast, I believe. This isn't even exactly what he wanted. It was on the LOW end of the scale. If you could see me, you would notice I am rolling my eyes. Nice outdoor pool. Hmmm. That could be a problem. It has been raining here for almost 2 months with very little break... So, I also reserved a room at the Hilton, which has an indoor pool. Just in case. Yeah, that one is running right at $130 per night.... But the kids would NOT appreciate going on vacation and not having a pool to swim in. Depending on how the weather looks in the days before we leave, I will make my decision and cancel one of the reservations.

Not this fancy, indeed

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Shopping Therapy

OK, I did it. I pulled the trigger on a new cell phone! After polling my online friends and having the Black Cherry Chocolate and Blue Mint Chocolate coming in at a tie, I had to make my own decisions...

My oldest child wants to be an Aggie, so I opted for the Blue Mint. He has hopes of me buying him a Chocolate phone next spring when his contract is up and, being the awesome mom that I am, decided to leave the maroon aka Black Cherry phone for him to acquire.

Funny, shopping is good therapy... especially when I got the phone for free for extending my contract another 2 years....

Who, me?

My dear, sweet friend Ingrid offered me an award... apparently she feels I am deserving of this...

I think it is because she found nobody else to bestow it on - not sure I can live up to such an award...

So here it goes, my "Rockin' Girl" blogger pics in no particular order... if you have been picked before and I didn't notice, please forgive - it's been a rough, rough week...

1. Shannon; not only does the award fit, she could really use the pick-me-up this week. My heart goes out to you, mama!

2. Jenna; she is cooler than cool and lifts my spirits... I really need to stop by the Lemonade Stand and pick up something for ME for a change...

3. Ruthi; my favoritest liberal friend who always seems to have the right thing to say - and because her photography talent is beyond compare...

4. Andrea ; she let me tinker with her blog this week. It was fun and made me smile...

5. Mandy; another Mommy friend with a tough week. Her husband left again for Iraq after a short time at home... you have all my respect, girl!

So, that is my list... not so bad, I think...

Keeping Busy....

Now that school is out, I find myself with more time on my hands... My friend Andrea asked me to tweak her blog, so I did... it was fun working with code that wasn't for work and made someone happy...

Also made me realize that I *need* to buy Photoshop Elements... much easier to build backgrounds that way! I downloaded the free trial yet again... seriously, it is on my list - I just need to cough up the cash... I am also working on one for Lori and it looks like this so far....

Paxil must have kicked in. Oh, wait, I didn't take any Paxil... life is just that good....

Friday, July 20, 2007

Pass the Paxil, Please

This week's post is a lot of rambling. Skip it if you'd like. Return next week. Certainly there will be something more profound...

I am in a funk today that I cannot shake. I know it will get better, but for now, Paxil sounds really, really good to me...

If no one were to read my blog, would I still write it? Like the eternal question "if a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it - does it still make a sound?" it causes me to ponder...

Scientifically, I know the falling tree still makes a noise... but would my blog entries still be written if there were nobody to read them? Not really the same, I suppose... I find I am enjoying writing for the sake of writing (did I just type that???)... I mean, don't get me wrong, I love my little audience, but I like to think I am doing this more for me than for them...

I want to be a teacher so badly I can taste it. I find myself doing the least I can get away with at work as things I am working on don't really matter. Most of my coworkers don't invest themselves so much into their work... why did I? Why did I care? It is the people. The clients. Fellow employees. They matter. People matter. And soon MY students will matter. I believe that is what is going to make me a great teacher. I care. I invest myself in their lives. I can't do anything halfway.

Until now. Because now I don't care. I still get my job done, but the passion is gone and I can't get it back. I just want to go home. I don't want to be at work. When did things change? How did they change? As I sit and watch the minutes tick by... I find myself avoiding doing those things that I must for they no longer interest me...

Eleven days. In eleven work-days I will tell my boss I am resigning. And I care. This isn't going to be easy for my coworkers. They rely so much on me. More than they should. I am always there. Always willing to help. Always have the answer. I wish them well, but it is time for me to go.

Monday, July 16, 2007

This may be it....

Let me know what you think... does it cause anyone any problems? The format is a bit different.

I love the colors and the flowers :)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Excuse the mess...

If you are reading this and the background changes or weird things appear, just bear with me... while I LOVED the flowers, they were beginning to make me feel cluttered - and I don't want to feel cluttered...

Not sure what I want to do with the background right now, so I am tinkering... comments are always welcome! ;)

Just know that you eyes aren't playing tricks on you, it's just me... just figuring out who I want to be.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

So blessed....

I have a new understanding this week of how truly blessed I am. When I think of all my husband does for me and our family, my heart just melts. We both work fulltime outside the home and have those demands placed on our time as well as the demands of our home.

Unlike many dads, my husband is truly a partner in our relationship and in our family. He helps get the kids ready on mornings he doesn't have to leave the house early... he watches the kids in the afternoon before I get home from work... he cooks... he helps clean... mops the kitchen floor... you get the idea.

A friend was lamenting how her husband expected her to do all things kid-related unless it involved playing with their daughter... then he could participate...

Yes, I am blessed indeed.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Road Trip!

Did you ever yell that? Maybe in college? ROOOOOAAAAAD TRIIIIIIP!!!!!!!!!!
I remember piling some college friends in my car and taking off towards the horizon. Classes Shmasses... I was one of the few kids with a car on campus, so I usually got to drive, but that was OK. I LOVE to drive. Maybe that is why I love NASCAR... Sometimes we had a destination, sometimes not... but we always had fun....

That "thing" I posted about before? Yeah. Next summer, I am packing up my little red car, with girls in tow, and heading out across this great country. Growing up, my Nanna and Mimi used to pack up all 4 kiddos and trek across the country.

We usually had a destination in mind, but no clear path or schedule. We would be gone for 2 or 3 weeks. We'd stay at whatever motel we could find - as long as it had a pool! We piled all out gear into a turtle-top on the top of the car, and we'd take off. I have such amazing memories of those trips. One year we went to Missouri and apparently spent a good bit of time in Arkansas - for, as I travelled back there many years later, I saw the things I had seen on that trip with Nanna - and the memories came flooding back. I want to give that to my girls. My son has travelled a lot with my parents and in-laws, but my girls haven't gotten that opportunity.

Anyway, we will be staying at the homes of 8 different friends as we travel the East Coast and back through the midwest. We will have a schedule - since my friends kinda need to know when to expect us... but I plan on being away from home for 2.5 weeks. I haven't had summers off since I was in 10th grade and this change of career is going to allow me to have summers off with my kids and travel wherever I want without worrying about getting back in time to get ready for work the next day.

Friday, June 29, 2007


I realized some things about myself and my life this week...

This blog truly is a reflection of me and where my life is taking me this year. This has been a weird year. It almost seems like a mid-life crisis without there actually being a crisis. It is more like a mid-life realization that I don't want to live life on anyone's terms but mine. No expectations from others, just living my life the way I need to. This all started before I started this blog and has been a journey, but I realized this week how true to my life this year my "blog theme" actually is...

In February my car was on it's last leg. With 100,000+ miles, I decided to trade it in... on a cute little red car with leather seats and a moonroof. FUN! And so matching my personality right now.

Not long later a turning point occurred at work. A career move I was expecting - and had been promised - didn't pan out. This got me to thinking.... I don't want to do this anymore... not this job... not this industry... none of it... so what DO I want to do? That led me to pursue my teaching certificate. It was right there all along - and I should have done it a long time ago. If feels so right.

I have been reading the book Escape Adulthood. Funny thing is, it has a central theme of getting back to childhood - at least in how we see things and how we live our lives from their perspective. It is truly freeing. And it so lines up with the changes I have already made in my life this year... before I even found the book... it speaks to me and lets me know that what I am doing and the road I am on is the right one. Validation is a good thing.

Lastly, I made a decision this week. I ran it by some friends first, but the more I thought about it the more I realized I have to do this. For me. It brings back memories of my childhood. Wonderful memories. The kinds of memories I want my kids to have. I decided to make it happen. It is an entire 'nother post all by itself, but "it" fits in here, so I include it.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


My friend Ingrid convinced me to participate in this year's Houston Komen Race for the Cure. This means I have to lose some weight (not a bad thing) and train to run 5 kilometers! Wish me luck!

My Nanna is a breast cancer survivor, so I am doing this for her as well.

If you are so inclined, please click the link to the right and sponsor me... if you are really inclined, click on the other link and sponsor Ingrid, too!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Tag, anyone?

I am so not into the blog "tag" scene. This isn't what I feel my blog is about... however a friend of mine (who will dearly pay for this) tagged me and I feel I must comply.... after all, she would do the same for me if I asked her to do something I wanted her to :)

My task:
Go to Wikipedia and type in your birthday (only the month and day). Choose and write down 3 events, 2 births and 1 holiday. Then tag 5 friends.

I have added in commentary as to why I chose them... gotta make it mine!

October 8
2004 - Martha Stewart goes to jail. My icon. I was so dissapointed because I would not get to watch her show when I was on maternity leave with Reagan - like I had with Gillian...

1970 - Vietnam War: In Paris, a Communist delegation rejects US President Richard Nixon's October 7 peace proposal as "a maneuver to deceive world opinion." The year I was born... my dad had faught in Vietnam just 2 short years ago..

1944 - The radio show, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet debuts because it is fun :)

1970 - Matt Damon, American actor I had no idea!

1943 - Chevy Chase, American comedian and actor one of my favorite actors

1941 - Jesse Jackson, American clergyman and civil rights activist because I find it interesting, if not a little disturbing

Day of Independence in Croatia

There, I did it. Now these friends should consider themselves tagged:
Shannon, Mary Ann, Helen, Laura and Jessica
I love you girls!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

When life hands you lemons....

You know the rest of that saying... Somehow, I managed to find this quaint little online gift boutique when I was searching for something special for a friend of mine last spring - Kim and Jason's Lemonade Stand. Cute, right? Very eclectic little shop with very eclectic little gifts. A little spendy, but so worth it for the customer service.

The more I read about this little site, the more interested I became. It is so much more than an online gift shop. Jason is a cartoonist and both Kim and Jason have blogs which are just delightful.... it is like a whole underground culture. Their business supports childrens charities such as St. Jude's Hospital and Compassion International. The cornerstone of their philisophy is "Escape Adulthood" - get away from the doldrums of adult life and get back to the those things that make you feel like a kid again - have fun with life...

So, I found a really cute item on their site a few weeks ago and decided to order one for my sister-in-law. I placed it in my shopping cart, but was waiting until Tuesday to order it (you see, on Tuesdays, shipping is only 25 cents...) and yes, I am that cheap. :)

Well, Tuesday came and went and I forgot. A few days later, I received an email from Jenna, one of their staff... she has some "grand poobah"-like title which escapes me at the moment... asking if I had any issues or concerns since I hadn't completed my order. I explained that I still planned to order, but that I had to get all of my ducks in a row, first. She responded with the comment "proper alignment of waterfowl is important". Indeed! Just that email made me smile and feel warm inside... This was not just another online shop. There was a real person on the other end of that email, a person after my own heart...

So, about that cute item? I ordered three of them this week (yes, on Tuesday). One for my sister-in-law and 2 more for a couple of my online friends who should be getting a nice surprise in the mail soon. ;)

I have an "Escape Adulthood" sticker on the rear window of my car. It makes me smile. It reminds me to have fun... and when life hands me lemons... it reminds me that I really need to go make some lemonade...

Friday, June 8, 2007

Things I must remember...

I had this great post all thought out... I was leaving Target the other day... and it came to me... as I was driving through the parking lot... and it was GREAT!

But, now it is gone :(

I am going to try to find it this weekend, because I really, really wanted to post it... if only I could remember what it was...

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Sigh... sweet forgiveness

I posted Friday about comment made by a friend of mine and how it had hurt me...

I had an opportunity to speak with my friend yesterday. We discussed what had made me hurt and more importantly, what had made her say such a thing. In online chats and message boards it is so easy to take things out of context...

Her feelings were all about the "celebrity sightings" and media coverage and her "parading" her children around the globe. While I tend to believe there is more to Angelina Jolie than that, I can understand now, more of where she was coming from. Between that and her own personal struggles, she made a comment which, on it's own, was very hurtful, but taken in the context of my friend's world was totally understandable.

I understand. I forgive. I move on. Life is too short to hold grudges...

Funny how emotionally releasing forgiveness is....

And I still love my friend dearly.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Stupid Rainbow Family....

This obviously isn't my family... this is Angelina Jolie with her family. Why in the world would I post about Angelina Jolie?

Many of my friends know that my brother and his wife were unable to conceive children of their own. After years of no success, they decided to adopt internationally.

My neice was adopted when she was 6 months old. She is of Vietnamese/Cambodian descent. Not much is known about her birth parents, she was taken from the hospital and placed in an orphanage. Her mom had abandoned her...

Knowing that she was facing possible serious medical problems, by brother and his wife agreed to adopt this little girl. As time would tell, my niece was diagnosed with a form of cerebral palsy. Not that any of that is important. She is my neice. She is a very special little girl. A joy to be around. Little Miss Personality.

A friend of mine made a comment on a message board today. A comment that hurt me deeper than I realized. We were debating adoption. She would choose to adopt a child similar to herself and her husband. Fair enough.

The comment that came next, however, I neither expected nor understand:
"Personally I think Angelina looks pretty stupid with her rainbow of a family."

Angelina's son is from Vietnam. Angelina and her husband are white. Sound familiar?

How in the world anyone can say Angelina looks stupid with her rainbow family is beyond my comprehension. What does that say about my brother? Does he look stupid with his little rainbow family?

My heart aches. This is not the type of post I wanted to my blog to consist of... but along this journey there is pain.... pain for the insensitive remarks my friends sometimes make... but more pain for my wonderful, beautiful little neice and her rainbow family and the comments and stares she will certainly have to endure growing up in America.

Stay tuned...

I made a decision to post on this blog once per week....and I plan on keeping things that way. That being said, I am in the process of writing this week's post about a subject very sensitive to me right now. I am waiting on some pictures from my brother before I can publish my post, but know I am working on it and hopefully it will be up soon....

Thanks for reading!

ETA... I decided against using the pics I had originally planned to use. Blog is updated - and on time!

Friday, May 25, 2007

School's Out!

The older kids got out of school this week. Ahhhh, sweet summertime... Bittersweet for both of them. They both really enjoyed school this year and are actually sad to see that it is over.

So, Josh "accidentally" kept one of his teacher's classroom library books. (Organizational skills are not his strong suit.) So I emailed her last night (whatever did my parents do to contact my teachers?) and got the sweetest response back today...

If you could drop it by the school today, Friday, May 25, 2007, that would be great. Otherwise, you can drop it by Alexander Middle School on Old Alvin Road at the beginning of the next school year. The third choice would be to keep it. Josh sure loves to read. I think that he read every book in my classroom library this year.

Happy summer, and thanks for the Starbucks gift card.

M. Thomas

What a proud momma moment!

That aside, I am actually excited for the kids to be out of school this year. It seems I usually dread it, but I am happy for them for some reason this year...

Saturday, May 19, 2007

My Bike...

Mother's Day and My darling Gillian...
OK, so she is in love with all things pink. The Komen Pink campaign is right up her alley. Target has had a lot of Komen Pink items lately, especially in the sporting goods section.

Anyway, a few weeks ago, Gillian found me the "perfect" Mother's Day present. Apparently, I "had" to have a new bike. The rest of the family had bikes, but I didn't... and it was pink, so it only made sense to her! She told everyone that she was getting her mom a pink bike for Mother's Day.

How could I not let her? This was something that truly came from her heart. She was so excited. So, I bought myself a $140 Mother's Day gift. I have never had that kind of money spent on me for Mother's Day, but the smile on her face when we went to pick up was worth every penny. It is permanently ingrained in my memory. She even told everyone we came into contact with at the store that it was my Mother's Day present.

I couldn't love her any more...

Family Adventures
As you can tell, along with my new pink bike, I had to get a bike trailer for carrying the littlest princess around. The first time out she screamed and screamed - all around the cul-de-sac. Once we down the road, however, she decided it wasn't so bad.

Fast forward to last Tuesday. I had a root canal scheduled for that morning, so I decided to take her to school in her trailer. Not sure yet how far that is, but it was far enough! She loved the ride to school. I picked her that afternoon as well. I am going to get my money's worth out of that bicycle!

Wednesday morning came and I had to go to work. I told Reagan it was time to go to school and she turned around and asked "trailer?". No, dear. Maybe this afternoon. Sure enough, I have picked her up from school everyday this week on that bicycle. We have turned it into a family affair, with the entire family biking over to Reagan's daycare.

Our return route varies, sometimes random side streets, sometimes we stop by a park... it is amazing the wonderful family time we are enjoying now that I have a pretty pink bike...

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Health check...

Do you know how much stuff they can check for in just a sample of blood? Everyone in the family has been getting bloodwork done to see "where they stand" in regards to cholesterol and such since Stuart passed away. I seem to be really late to the game - but better late than never, right? So I went in last week to get my blood drawn - and I wanted to make sure they were going to check my blood sugar as well. The nurse said not to worry - the blood will be tested not only for cholesterol and such, but also thyroid, kidney liver, blood counts, blood sugar... and on... and on... in one sample of blood? Unbelievable what medical science can do.

Well, I got the results back today and the only thing that came back with an concern at all was my iron level. OK, so I am a bit anemic. Pop a few iron pills and have it rechecked in a month... *huge sigh*

True, I am overweight, so I am going to make that my new priority. Getting back into shape and dropping a few pounds. Gillian *really* wants to get me a pink bike for Mother's Day. She saw it in a Target ad last week. It is pretty. I think that will make a great gift.

I can't believe I put off going to the doctor so long. It is true that ignorance is bliss - but true bliss is knowing that I am healthy... and I plan on keeping it that way.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Sometimes a friend is all you need...

OK, I will admit it.... I have some online friends... a few years ago I would have thought anyone that deeply involved with online "strangers" was a bit off the deep end. That's the thing, though, these girls aren't strangers - at least not any more.

It has been just over a year since I met the first one in person. Since then I have had the opportunity to meet several more. There are many I have never met and may never meet, but that doesn't seem to matter. They are but a mouse click or even a phone call away.

I actually got to meet up with one of them for the first time week. She and her little ones were down from North Texas visiting her parents and we decided to have dinner together. It was like we had known each other for years - and I guess we have.

Another I talked to on the phone. We made plans to get together for lunch in a few weeks, as we have done many times before. We also discussed meeting up and taking our girls swimming before her daughter goes away for the summer...

It is so nice to talk to a friend. Relationships are so important to our physical and mental health. Just a few minutes with my friends leaves me feeling refreshed and rejuvenated - and able to take on whatever task is set before me.

As part of my teacher training, I have to observe 15 class hours of clasroom teaching. Next week, I will get to meet up with a friend I have known for nearly 30 years. She is a History teacher in Angleton and I am going to go observe her class. I am so looking forward to spending some time with her - making sure I get to the school early so we can catch up a bit.

Humans are social by nature... and my most fulfilling moments in life have been spent in the company of my friends...

Monday, April 30, 2007

Work in progress...

... in so many ways. My life is so full of changes these days and I want to document this season in my life.

My decisions impact so many people... my nearly teenager, Josh... my little drama queen, Jill... my sweet angel baby, Reagan... and the love of my life and faithful partner, Dave.

I have begun a journey to become a middle school teacher. It is where my heart is. I no longer have the passion for my job I once did and I feel God is gently moving me in a new direction. This is a scary thing. I have classes to take and teachers to observe.... and a job to find!

In all of this I must remember that all along this journey are sweet, sweet flowers - and I must stop and smell them...slow down the pace and enjoy the ride.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Live Like You Were Dying

Title :Tim McGraw - Live Like You Were Dying

He said I was in my early forties, with a lot of life before me
And one moment came that stopped me on a dime
I spent most of the next days, looking at the x-rays
Talking bout' the options and talking bout' sweet times.
I asked him when it sank in, that this might really be the real end
How's it hit 'cha when you get that kind of news?
Man what did ya do?
He said

I went skydiving
I went rocky mountain climbing
I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu
And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I'd been denyin'
And he said some day I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dyin'

He said I was finally the husband, that most the time I wasn't
And I became a friend, a friend would like to have
And all of a sudden goin' fishin, wasn't such an imposition
And I went three times that year I lost my dad
Well I finally read the good book, and I took a good long hard look
At what I'd do if I could do it all again
And then

I went skydiving
I went rocky mountain climbing
I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Shu
And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I'd been denyin'
And he said some day I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dyin'

Like tomorrow was the end
And ya got eternity to think about what to do with it
What should you do with it
What can I do with it
What would I do with it

I went rocky mountain climbing
I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu
And man I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I watched an eagle as it was flyin'
And he said some day I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dyin'

To live like you were dyin'