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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Smelling the Roses

All things considered, this could have been a terrible day. I'm extremely tired, incredibly moody, and have zero patience. But, I made it through the day without so much as a . . . . . knockdown, drag out fight with hubby ( we did have a pretty intense argument, however) . . . . . the kids somehow escaped mom's wrath without even a spanking (this is definitely a miracle considering we grocery shopped at Walmart). . . . . and finally I managed to have a productive day at work (even in a foggy state from the night-time cold medicine I took not for a cold, but for sleep at 5 this morning) Impressive, I know!

Through it all, I even found some cute moments that made me laugh. Heading out the door to grab dinner (definitely wasn't going to cook tonight), Baby girl says, "You is Crazy!" Little man replies, "No, I'm Not! I'm your brother."

Sigh. . . . . My kids, one minute making me crazy, the next making me smile.

Little Man's collecting rock fossils. He's sure that he's going to find one that will make us rich." Baby Girl's collecting walnuts. She seems to think the squirrels around our house have more than they need, so she's gathering them for Grandma's squirrels. She cracks me up when talking about them. "Hey Mom, Look at My Nuts. . . . . . . . I've got some Big Nuts. . . . . . . Daddy, Where's My NUTS?" Hubby and I just laugh every time she mentions "her nuts." However, hubby's not finding any humor in the stacks of rocks and piles of nuts in his garage.

People say you've got to stop and smell the roses. . . I think these moments are the roses their talking about.

After dinner, Little Man stands in front of the candy machine and asks, "Mom, do you have any cents?" My answer, "No, I lost all my sense a LONG time ago!" (Smile)

Still no Spell Check, weird!

Sleep, know where I can find some?

It's after four in the morning and I can't get back to sleep. It's becoming a nightly thang. I can go to sleep at midnight and I'll wake up around 3:00. Last night, I went to sleep after 9:00, same thing, up at 3:00. I don't think there's anything more frustrating to me than not sleeping, with the exception of dieting. In the past, I've been quick to blame hubby, but I don't know. I'm kinda seeing a pattern here. Last year, sleep deprivation and head, neck, and shoulder aches were a constant. This summer, a had the occasional bad night, but it was much better. I had almost written it off as I'm cured. But, over the past few weeks, it's come back in full force, same as work. Is there a connection?

I'd rather blame hubby than I can't handle stress. And it's true, he's a loud sleeper. I compare it to the hose of a vacuum, you know the sucking sound it makes if it gets to close to an object. I've tried to talk him into being tested for Sleep Apnea. Hell, I've almost diagnosed the man with that sleep disorder not because he's waking himself up, but He waking me up! I'd win both ways, he'd not be able to make those noises and the machine would be something similar to my fan (which he made me give it up when we married)

Oh, by the way, we've tried snore strips, aroma therapy (we found at the fair, guaranteed to stop snoring, not his), ear plugs, sleeping pills for me, and different mattresses. Just thought of something, when we were in Mexico, he didn't snore. He said, he didn't sleep well, who caares, I slept awesome. So, maybe that's the solution, move to Mexico and let him deal with not sleeping. (better him than me)

I hate to call them headaches b/c it's more like neck, shoulder, and head combined. To me, it goes way past a simple head ache. I've taken migraine pills, you know the ones that taste a little like spearament and dissolve on your tongue. But, unless I'm going to bed, I hate the way it makes me feel. Comatose would be a good adjective. And, on top of that, our insurance doesn't cover meds, another good reason to not take them.

So, what to do? My dad gets up around this time and starts work. There would be perks. . . it's quiet, few distractions, I'd probably get alot accomplished. Only one problem comes to mind, I'm an absolute bear if I haven't had sleep! I take it out on anyone around me. . . hubby, the kids, friends, whomever! I'm totally miserable the next day and become dead set on making as many people around me miserable too.

My solution, at least for tonight, grab the blankets, ibupofen, and the fan. Make a bed in the closet (it's huge) and, hopefully, will myself back to sleep.

*** Spell Check not working and tonight I don't even freak'in care.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Amazing Love #1

Not that she's Numero Uno on my list of those who've shown me Amazing Love, I've just been thinking about her over the past few days.

My Stepmother, a word that could represent all things wicked and evil, instead represent love and all things beautiful.

I was a snotty-nose runt of a kid, when she came into my life. From toddler to teen, she showed me Amazing Love.

I wasn't the easiest child to love. While I had my good points, I tended to be a little spoiled, demanding, hard-headed, stubborn tyrant who demanded nothing short of Disney Land each and every summer!

By personalities, we were complete opposites. She embodied all that was proper, elegant, and good, completely ladylike from head to toe. She had impeccable style and beauty, truly a picture of perfect etiquette and grace.

While I dreamed of having those qualities, in reality, I was a tomboy, lacking any style whatsoever, a total cluts, an accident waiting for a place to happen.

I liked the music of Hank Williams Jr, she liked Neil Diamond. My favorites were Jaws, Grease, and Indiana Jones, she preferred operas, ballets, and musicals like CATS and the Nutcracker.

If she had been looking, I gave her a million and one reasons to hate me but instead she searched out the ones to love me.

What could have been the worst summers of my life, were instead the best!

  1. Playing on the Slip-N-Slide for hours singing Slip Slid'in Away
  2. Dancing like gypsies adorned with her black slips and red do-rags to Donna Summer's Bad Girls
  3. Work'in Hard for the Money at the All-Day Lemonade Stand with average profit $3.50
  4. Cruiz'in the strip, cool sis riding shot gun, me in the back singing Elvira and Just a Swing'in (With all my loud, obnoxious ways, I never remember her demanding quiet time like I do with my own kids)
  5. Cleaning my plate, NOT! She, my partner in crime, helped many veggies go MIA under the dinner table (not sure if dad ever detected the crime)
  6. Curing the Ugly Duckling Stage (at least for one night) While my sis was on a date, she fixed my hair and make-up and let me model my sister's pageant gowns while she took pics like I was in a photo shoot.

I love her so much. We lost contact many years ago, maybe it was the miles or just busy lives. While so many step-parent relationships end in disaster, thanks to her and her amazing love, ours was beautiful!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Warning, It Gets Deep!

At church last Sunday, we were put into groups to discuss one key person in our life that was a friend who stuck closer than a brother. You know, someone who came along during a dark time in life offering support, love, and guidance. Someone that radiated light during a dark time.

We actually had a whole week to come up with that one person. He gave us the assignment the Sunday before, we were even suppose to bring a picture of that special someone. Sounds easy, but not for me.

I spent time throughout the week contemplating who that person was in my life. I actually drove to church that morning without a specific person in mind. Several times throughout the week, I broke into tears because there's not been one person that fits that description. There's a zillion! Many have flooded my life in the shape of family, friends, church members, schoolmates, and those I met at work. Some were intentionally living a life that pointed to God, others, not even aware, were shining with the love of God all over them.

I know there are extremely lonely people in the world who are left to face their problems completely on their own. I remember Tom, a friend of the family, who was this person. He started attending our church b/c he was so lonely. He said that he'd go days without so much as even a touch from another person. To me, that would be torture. Our pastor at the time said that to be healthy, you must be touched 7 times a day. I probably need three times that.

Our church at the time was the most amazing church. It embraced all people regardless of their color, religion, status, or circumstance. You felt the love from the moment you hit the door. The love was never fake, it was 100% genuine. The pastor gave the best sermons, even better was the music, but I'm convinced what kept the place packed was the love you felt from the people inside.

Okay, I kinda have wandered off track. But, looking back over my life, I'm not sure that I've ever felt this loneliness. (Here come the tears) There have been many dark roads that I have chosen to walk down throughout my life (why I don't know, except sure stupidity). In all honesty, I should have completely been alienated and left 100% alone. But, He was always there loving me.

I don't know if I have the words to describe what I feel, but I'll try. I'm completely overwhelmed with the love pouring from Him, flooding beautiful people in my path, destined to rain all over me. Amazing love that I'm not sure if I'll ever understand. I mean, why me?

It reminds me of a song, like to hear it, here it goes! (I know, everything reminds me of a song)

Father's eyes are watching me, no matter what I do
He's always got me own His mind, he's a parent through and through
Like a daddy in a noisy crowd, when I cry He knows my voice
I'm flesh of his flesh, bone of his bone
I don't really have a choice
Because He loves me so much
He can't keep His eyes off me
And you should see the way He smiles at me when they say
I look like Him
His arms are so big, that where I'm at that's where He'll be
He loves me so much, He just can't keep His eyes off me
This realization means so much to me that I'm now creating a series of blogs. I think it should be titled Amazing Love. It will showcase those, from years past and today, who have shown me His Amazing Love. My prayer is that from these examples, I can learn to show His love to others, as so many have shown to me.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Home Alone

I think I love the Cub Scouts! Hubby does not share the same feelings yet, but I'm hopeful. Baby Girl's at Grandma's. Daddy's taken Little Man and his best friend to the meeting. They will be gone for at least 2 1/2 hours. So, I'm home alone, eat your heart out!!!!

I need to get some work done in the office. . . I need to catch up on blogs (several stories come to mind) . . . I need to clean house. . . I definitely need to wash clothes...

But, I think I'm going to turn on the Nora Jones CD, jump in the jacuzzi tub, and soak all troubles away for the next, oh, at least, 2 hours. Right this moment, life is great!

(Spell check says I spelled "Jacuzzi" wrong, it's suggestion was "Jackass.") ha ha ha

Monday, September 11, 2006

Grandma's Coming Home!

This past week has been a struggle. I couldn't quite figure out why . . . Do I have PMS, nope .... Am I too busy with work, nope... I feel tired and 100% drained, but I'm sleeping fine. So what's the deal?

The kids are going crazy, maybe it's the weather change, doubt it. It's been one fight right after another with emotions running wild. Little man has been so moody, baby girl totally defiant, and me a picture of frustration combined with depression. What's going on?

Finally, it hit me like a ton of bricks. We miss Grandma! While I appreciate Grandma, I have not realized, until now, the importance of her role. Baby girl spends the night with Grandma usually twice a week. She gets her Grandma and PawPaw fix which, believe me, is vital to her and my well-being, while I get to spend quality mom/son time with Little Man.

Every weekend, Grandma and PawPaw spend time with us, going out to eat, watching movies, riding 4-wheelers, swimming at the lake, and hanging out in the evenings on the front porch. I not only love these times spent together but equally love the one-on-one time I get with Grandma. She's gives great advice but is even a better listener. She effortlessly runs interference between the kids and I whenever she's around. That's priceless in itself.

Right now, I'm sitting at the computer while Baby Girl is in her room packing. We'll pick them up at the airport this afternoon. She's determined to spend the night at their house. Okay, so I knew Grandma would be missed. I knew it would be a hard week for Baby Girl. But, I did not realize just how hard it would be for me and the impact it would have on the entire family.

It's grandparents Day and the school has invited all the student's grandparents for lunch. Baby Girl and I met Little Man there. Looking around the cafeteria, I saw all sorts of Grandma's and Paw Paw's, but I guarantee none like ours.

I'm so thankful for both, but today especially Grandma. She has great strength combined with such a sweet disposition. Baby girl has this same quality . . . Total confidence in herself, a force to be reckoned with (no one will ever push her around) but, at the same time, this unmistakably tender side.

As a family, we've counted down the days of their return, now the hours, and soon the minutes. Baby girl wants to dress up complete with a cutesy dress, big bow, and painted fingernails. And why not, it's an important occasion, a much anticipated moment. . . Grandma's coming home!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Ants in yor pans

Little man came home with a story he wrote at school.

Ants in yor pans
by Little Man
ants in my
frends pans.
Ty has ten ants in his pans.
I Do, too.
Ty has ants pans.
Ants in yor pans Make you
Do the Boogee Dans
Isn't he sooo cute and check out that punctuation. He was just beaming with pride as he told me about school today.
He said that's he's in reading group #3, that's the best!!! Last year he was in group #2. He says, "Now, all my dreams have come true b/c I'm in the best reading group". We didn't read at home much last year, I was so busy with work and Daddy's motto is "Why read, when you can see the movie."
Okay, so I wasn't the best last year (did I say I run a tutoring program specializing in reading, oh the guilt).
My redemption, this summer when we were in town, my kids participated in the library program. Little Man read over 100 books, sister had probably twice than that read to her (she wants the same book read over and over and over)
Right now, I'm here everyday after school and am active in Little Man's homework lessons. T1 (transitional first grade) has him way ahead in class. Now the problem is keeping him challenged rather than trying to play catch up. What a great problem to have!
So I'm giving him extra math assignments and I'm paying him to read, something hubby is 100% against. But, I have to motivate him somehow, otherwise video games and gameboy win out every time. You know, I might go broke, but He is Reading!!!!!!!
Life is soon going to get crazy with the start of tutoring, oh please let me juggle work and home better this year. Balance, will I ever find it?

Monday, September 04, 2006

ARE WE THERE, YET?

Adventure use to be river rafting, bungee jumping, and scuba diving, now it's surviving car trips with hubby and the kids. First mistake, we left the TV at home. Second mistake, I realize it at the convenient store down the road from home and didn't insist on going back for it. As God as my witness, I will not travel further than our city limits without the TV when kids are in the car. TV might rot their minds, but it's better than hubby and I losing ours.

We traveled thousands of miles over the summer, it wasn't all that bad with Popeye, Tom and Jerry, and Scooby Doo on board. This weekend, we were in the car just over 3 hours and I can't tell you how many times we heard, "Are we there, yet. . . She's touching me. . . Roll window down, Brother stinks. . . I'm Bored. . . It's taking too long." Whine, whine, whine, fuss, fuss, fuss, fight, fight, fight! NEVER AGAIN!!!!!!!!

Oh, and to top it all off, when we made it home, I advised everyone to go to their separate corners for a mandatory rest break. It was almost too quiet, so I checked on the kids. They were crawled up in my daughter's twin size bed watching TV looking like perfect little angels. And let me add, they were touching each other and not whining. Go figure. . .

Friday, September 01, 2006

"He's A Joy"

That would be my son. (thank you, thank you very much) Don't hate me because he's a little ray of sunshine, we had to pay major dues to get here.

Thursday night was Open House at the school. Little man showed Daddy and I around the room. . . here's my locker, here's our pet hermit crabs, here's my cubby, here's my desk, etc.... While I'm going through the motions, inside I'm building up the courage to approach the teacher with the big question. How's my son doing, how's his behavior? Finally, I ask and stand back bracing myself for the answer. With a sweet, sincere smile on her face, she answers, "He's a joy."

I immediately was flooded with emotions. I could have instantly broke down and had a major Oprah moment on her, or on the other hand, lost all regard for personal space (a lesson we are still trying to teach my son) and given the teacher the biggest bear hug ever. Somehow I gained some composure and fumbled out something like, Wow....That's wonderful! ....I'm so glad to hear it!

After I floated out of her room on Cloud 9, I went to Little Man's teacher from last year. I told her how great he is doing and gave her that big bear hug. I give her so much of the credit for his success at school. Thank God for sweet, nurturing teachers.

I know, you might think I'm over-reacting a tad, but let me tell ya. It was just 2 years ago, Little Man was in kindergarten. It was a complete nightmare.

Every day I would drop him off at school and he would walk in crying as I would drive to work crying. That was each day, all year long. My husband, while not completely understanding all the emotion, would listen to me every day on his 15 min. morning break from work as I would cry what a horrible failure I was as a mother and how in the hell will we survive kindergarten not to mention the 12 grades to follow?

There's no worse feeling in the world than sending your child into a situation where he doesn't feel liked by his peers (the worst part of the day for him was recess), where the teacher, although she would never say it, see's your child as "that bad kid," the counselor's giving her 2 cents on why he's "acting out," and finally he'll end up in the principal's office and/or detention at least once a week. I swear, he was sent to the principal's office way more times than my hubby and I were throughout our whole school experience.

I remember sitting in a meeting with hubby by my side creating a "plan of improvement" with the teacher, counselor, and principal. The word "helpless" comes to mind describing how you feel and I don't think there are words to describe the pain. I mean, he's my baby. I just sat through the whole thing and cried. I couldn't talk, the tears were like a faucet that I couldn't turn off.

At the end of the year, their recommendation was that he repeat kindergarten . . . Are you kidding me, we barely survived the first time around.

My saving grace. . . on a fluke, we put our house up for sale, it sold within a week, we built our dream house right behind the cutest little country school, enrolled Little Man into T1 (Transitional First Grade)I quit my job to start a new business (way risky, but it worked out), and thus had more time to be at home for both kids.

It was a time of New Beginnings . . . and Tonight was a milestone. So, you see how those simple words could affect me so deeply?

This evening, I tucked little man into bed and with tears in my eyes I said, "I'm so proud of you, I'm so happy that I get to be your mom, baby you are truly a joy. . . I love you." He reached over and squeezed my neck tight and said, "I love you mom."

What an amazing night!