Monday, December 28, 2009


December is a sneaky little sonuvagun. It creeps up behind you and taps your shoulder and by the time you've whirled around to face it, it's gone. I suppose that after 34.5, 26 years I should be a little more prepared to meet this lovely winter month, yet year after year it catches me unawares. Stupid December.

Here's how mine turned out...

  1. My baby turned 5 the other day. And by the other day I mean about 4 weeks ago. I am unable to enlighten/bore you with countless pictures and tales of the birthday party because while I am overjoyed to have a healthy, happy, and somewhat ornery 5-year old, I am also somewhat stunned. You know, stunned like someone just slapped you across the face for no apparent reason and all you can do is make sounds that vaguely resemble Porky the Pig. And as if that's not bad enough, I also feel like I'm taking on Porky's physique thanks to the richness of the holiday season and possibly that ginormous plate of my dad's fudge that I've been consuming for breakfast for the past 3 days. Dang-o-mighty that stuff is good.
  2. We officially attended our LAST Christmas program for PDO though I'm not sure why we bothered. Don't get me wrong...the program was adorable as always. It's just that our child spent his farewell performance imitating a statue. A pouting statue.
  3. December 18th marked the start date for a frenzy of holiday activity: 9 Christmas celebrations (8 of which we attended), 2 more birthdays, our 14th anniversary (Cheers to one remarkable man for putting up with me for that long), and...
  4. SNOW! We haven't had a decent snow in several years so this one was loooooong overdue. We woke up on Christmas Eve to 5-6 inches, most of which was plastered to the side of my house since it only snows sideways on the TX plains. The boys very nearly died from anticipation as they waited for the temperature to get up into at least the 20's and for the wind to settle down enough to quit making snownados in the backyard. Once these meteorological conditions were achieved, the boys dove into the 4 foot drifts and commenced digging tunnels and pelting eachother with snowballs.

This last pic is post-snowball fight snuggling. And notice the snaggletooth big kid? Matt yanked that left tooth out later that night. This year we left cookies and milk out for Santa AND the Tooth Fairy!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Crazy Train

It's no wonder the world thinks Americans are certifiably crazy. It's because we are. Don't believe me? The next time you're out and about, stop for 7 or 8 minutes and just watch the people around you. This is a good time of year for this exercise too because there's just something about the holiday season that ups our crazy factor by about 1000.

Crazy Example #1 ... "It's not MY job!"

I was at Old Navy today along with approximately 42% of the city. No, I was not getting a jump on my Christmas shopping. I do not have my act quite that together. I only have (had) 2 long sleeved shirts in my wardrobe and when you wore them both on Monday and Tuesday respectively, it makes Wednesday quite chilly. Anyway, after procuring 2 t-shirts and 2 hoodies I found myself at the ONE open register in the store. Did I mention I was at the end of the line which happened to be 37 people deep? Did I also mention that there was a manager chatting with person #32 in the line who appeared to be a long lost friend? The manager finally wraps up her conversation with, "Well, I guess I better go find someone to work another register." Um, wow.

Crazy Example #2 ... "Good will towards men my foot!"

The Mall parking lot from mid-Nov through Dec 27th. Enough said.

Crazy Example #3 ... "HURRY!"

Ever been in the car taking your kids to Grandma's and you tell them you're going to slow down to about 30 when you get there and that they should jump out as you drive by. Tuck and roll when you land, boys! No? Uh, right. Me either. Anyway, when we pulled into the driveway this afternoon a UPS truck came barreling down the street and did exactly what I just described to you. No lie! The driver swerved over towards the curb and sort of slowed down while the partner leapt from the top stair of the truck and sprinted, yes, sprinted my neighbor's package to the door. The delivery guy must've thrown it at the front door because no more than a half second went by and he was sprinting back to the truck which, by the way, was still in motion. He leapt over the stairs once again and into the truck, the driver gunned the engine and they sped off into the sunset. Now, I know it must sound like I've embellished this story somewhat (Okay, I admit, there was no sunset. It was only 2:30 in the afternoon) but scout's honor, that's really how it happened.

Crazy Example #4 ... "Photoshop"

Who thought this thing up anyway? How am I ever going to learn it all?? I really need to take a class because between you and me, Photoshop for Dummies just isn't cutting it. Here's a good before and after that shows you just exactly WHY I need this program.

Pretty big difference, huh? Now could someone explain to me just what I did so I can do it again tomorrow? Crazy.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Geek Alert

So who knew we were a family of sci-fi convention going nerds? If you were about to answer, "I did!" well, you can kindly shut it. But the fact remains, we are. We packed up last week and headed to the big city to attend Star Wars Fan Days III. Yee haw! What an experience....I really wish we could've taken video of the entire con because there really are no words to explain it. Firstly, we were greeted at the door by what appeared to be a die hard Trekkie, complete with her Star Fleet uniform and plastic Vulcan ears. Now, for those of you that don't know your Star Wars, let me clue you in. It's not the same as Star Trek and the two generally don't mix. I kept waiting for someone to shank her.

So when we finally get through the registration line and into the place, we find that we really are in a galaxy far far away. Everyone in sight is either wearing a Star Wars t-shirt, carrying a play light saber or blaster, or dressed in full costume. I may have even heard two guys having a conversation in Shyriiwook (the language of the Wookies), but as I'm not personally fluent, I can't be sure.

Speaking of costumed convention goers, here's a pic of me in my Slave Leia costume.

Just kidding. Not that I needed to tell you that. And just for the record, Matt was the one who saw it necessary to snap this pic whilst I was desperately trying to divert the younglings' attention to a more appropriately dressed Storm Trooper. I'm not sure if cute little Leia was wearing anything under the skirt-like thingamabob but most of her posterior was visible every time she took a step. Yeesh.

Now we really did find a Storm Trooper. LOTS of troopers actually.

AND a real live R2D2...This little fella was not a prop. He really moved, spun, and talked.

Here's a random shot of the big kid exhibiting his fascination with the dark side (he requested we take this pic).

Don't ask me why there was a Freddy Kruger mannequin at the Star Wars con. He must've snuck in with the Trekkie.

Here he's posing with another strange character. We're not sure who this guy was supposed to be. Mandalorian Jedi? It's a mystery. He let J hold his uber-cool light saber though so he couldn't be all bad.

One of the activities available was a costume contest.

I don't know who this little guy was but isn't that an amazing costume?!! The homemade ones are by far the best in my opinion. I talked with this droid's parents and they told me he didn't win. Seriously? He was clearly 1st prize material. The parents told me, however, that the winner of the adult contest gave his prize (a several hundred dollar SW toy) to the boy because he also thought the kid was robbed.

Whew! This is getting long. Cut to the short story (too late). This next pic is for my mom because describing an Elvis Storm Trooper is just darn near impossible.

Here's a random pic of me because I deserve to show up in pics too darnit.

Here's a shot of some geeks, er, fans, getting a light saber lesson.

Future geeks honing their battle skills...

Matt taking in a live Podcast and talking with one of the ForceCast guys, respectively.

And finally, the cast (voice talent) of the animated series The Clone Wars was there! This was a big deal. The Clone Wars is the most current Star Wars production and the boys are ALL about watching the new episodes every Friday night. We got to meet them all and get their autographs and even snap pics with a few.

Here's Matt with the girl that voices Asajj Ventress...

Matt and the boys with Tom Kane who voices the narration beginning each episode, Yoda, and Admiral Yularen.

This is the guy who voices Anakin Skywalker....cute yes?

At the end of the second day the cast did a reading of an impromptu script. SO cool. This was easily my most favorite part of the con.

Not a great pic, but you get the idea.

After the reading we were getting ready to head out when Matt spotted the Clone Wars director Dave Filoni who was kind enough to let me snap a quick pic.

Matt was so excited I though he was going to try and kiss the guy. I think the matching beards and lanyards are cute. I'm gonna get Matt a hat like Dave's for Christmas. That way his costume for next year will be complete.

Now to outfit the rest of us...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Gourd Day To You

Okay. So is it really a pumpkin patch when it's just a truckload of pumpkins offloaded into the Presbyterian church yard? I suppose not. But the boys didn't seem to notice the lack of authenticity. They were thrilled to get to pull the wagon through the yard and hunt down every species of gourd available. They were especially enthralled with the pumpkins that had bumpy growths. Boys.

They also spent almost as much time begging to use the camera as they did hunting pumpkins. Grant took this one...

Not bad for a 4 year old! And no, Jaden is NOT throwing some evil Hook 'em Horns hand signs. He's the Aggie child, remember? See the post below this one if you have no idea what I'm talking about. This is what he calls his 'rock on' hand sign.

I LOVE the itty bitty pumpkins. They are just so darn cute!

So, have you noticed anything about J in these pics so far? He's not only sitting still for pics, looking at the camera, and being generally cooperative, he's actually SMILING in most! This is a BIG deal!! For the last 3 years this child has spent an inordinate amount of time running from the camera and perfecting his blank expression that covers the pages in my most recent scrapbooks.

And now, I'll leave you with a giggle...

Happy Fall!

Friday, October 16, 2009


So, for Halloween this year my children have decided to dress up as traitors.

Matt's probably drawing up the divorce papers as I type after what he deems my "grievous lapse in judgement" in purchasing such offending costumes.

But aren't they just adorable?!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Once upon a time, the fair was a magical place....a wonderland of riotous color and light, scented with the pinks of cotton candy and the browns of all things fried. The rides were flashy, filthy, and terrifying. Even my mom and dad would occasionally get sucked in and climb into some ridiculous ride with me. My mom once rode the Super Loop with me...remember that one? Around and around and around. Then backwards. Then they'd stop you at the top so you dangled upside-down for a while. To this day she swears the carnie let the ride go an extra 5 minutes because he thought it was funny that a 'mom' was brave enough to ride! We did get a curiously long turn... My dad once got on a roller-coaster with me in California...but that's a story best left for another time.

Anyway, my point is that the fair was once a fun and much anticipated event. WAS, that is, up until the Great Puking Incident of 1988 anyway. And no, it wasn't ME who puked. Remember the Zipper? At least that was what it was called in the '80s...the ride that works on the same orbital principle as your mix-master where it revolves (vertically) like a ferris-wheel but your individual cage spins also. So, imagine you're a young teenager, your parents have trusted you to go to the fair without them, you're feeling giddy and free and you've just hopped onto the first ride of the night. The Zipper. They load and off-load much like the ferris-wheel, one car at a time, so all the people above you may or may not have just spent the last 3 minutes spinning madly about and churning up all the fantastic fair food so recently consumed. You get the idea, right? BLAT! It splattered all down my left side, in my hair, the works.

Magical fair mystique...GONE. Kaputz. Finito.

So thank goodness for offspring...those enchanting little creatures that force us to see the world anew, through unbiased eyes, free from the knowledge that those rides get torn down and reassembled approximately every 10 days. The boys were so ridiculously ecstatic about going to the fair this year that I couldn't help but catch a little of their mania. We were very nearly thwarted by the dreaded H1N1 but managed to get there on Friday before they packed up and set off for another eager town.

We started our evening viewing the natural world. Grant loved holding the baby ducks and chicks. He didn't want to leave to do anything else.

Um, pardon the tacky bra strap. I could Photoshop that out but frankly, I'm tired and I don't think I care that much.

The rides were next on the agenda. Only 3 rides for each boy, however, because it is STUPID expensive! $3 per ride is worth it though when it gets a smile out of your big kid (especially when the big kid has a no-smiling policy).

The boys LOVED the Super Slide. I still can't believe they both agreed to do it. Grant's so small that he went a little airborne coming over that second hump!

We didn't actually ride the ferris-wheel. That would've cost our little family another $16. Extortion. Yeesh.

Next the boys wanted to play all the games and win all the fabulous prizes.

The 4-year old throwing out!

And this year we got so much more than just 3 darts for $5. Yes! Our children were blessed to be schooled in the ways of the mannerly by the toothless and tattooed carnies of the midway. After the boys would play, they would be asked, "What do you say to your parents for buying you that game?" One carnie lady even made sure to check that it was okay that she give Jaden the toy gun prize he chose because, "Some parents are uncomfortable with guns you know." Well, who knew the fair was so dog-gone classy?!

On the way out, we stopped to make one final purchase of cotton candy, churros, and light sabers (because the 27 sabers we already have at home are just plain insufficient).

So maybe I'm a fan of the fair once again. Everybody walked on their own, nobody whined, there were no meltdowns when it was time to leave, and best of all, I didn't get puked on.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Life is Good

I don't care who you are...that's just cute.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Mad Science

So I seem to be a sucker for any activity that keeps one or both boys happily occupied for more than 5 minutes. And if this fun involves mass quantities of goo or minor explosions, well, what the hay. At least I had 25 minutes to dust the house and scrub the dishes. Or plunk around on Facebook. It's all kinda the same thing you know. Anyway, Grant comes be-bopping in the other day proclaiming that he's a science guy and he wants to do 'that sciencey' thing. Of course I ask, "Uh, what sciencey thing?" to which he replies, "You know, the one with the colors and the spoon!"

Well of COURSE! Silly me. The one with the colors and the spoon! Um, yeah. When in doubt, improvise.

So as you can see, the 47.3 minutes of Facebook, er, dish scrubbing time was provided on this day by several cups of water, food coloring, and a variety of spoons for stirring and dipping and general sloshing.

I left him with the primary colors and green, 'cause that's what came in the box of food colors, and a scad of empty cups. Then I told him to see how many NEW colors he could make. No, this is not exactly new and innovative science, in fact it may not qualify as science at all, BUT it involved colors and spoons and provided me with a moment of peace and quiet therefore satisfying all the requirements of those present.

I'm sure you're all perched on the edges of your seats anticipating what brilliant NEW colors my little scientist so painstakingly created. Well, brace yourselves, because the little smarty pants developed a lovely new shade of blackish-brownish. Please, people, please, hold your applause until the end of the posting.

I'd had those cups stashed in the pantry from J's 1st birthday in 2003. I KNEW they'd come in handy some day!

Big Brother didn't want to get left out of the action.

Did you notice what color he discovered?