Friday, December 30, 2011


I will not be overwhelmed by the enormity of life.  I will not be overwhelmed by the enormity of life.  I will not be overwhelmed by the enormity of life.  My mantra.  I think I am going to tattoo it on the insides of my eyelids so I'll never forget it.

Well, maybe not.  I just momentarily passed out from the thought of that.

Jaden just walked through the kitchen and announced that, "Yeck!  It smells like cat saliva in here!"  Grant is wandering around the house like a lost kitten because even in the midst of 346.3 new toys, games, and other Christmas related paraphernalia, he just can't find anything to do.  This is why I need a mantra.  This is why I'm considering opening a bottle of Merlot at 2:49 in the afternoon.

I am, however, comforted in the knowledge that I'm not alone in this world.  >>>insert flashback harp sound effects and shimmery visual fade here<<<

It's 1:00, December 22nd, and we've FINALLY begun our Christmas holiday
(Yes, we seriously had to teach until noon on the 22nd.  I'm not bitter though)
We're driving along in my MIL's car (thank you Sherry!!) because the van is in the shop undergoing various repairs to the tune of $500.  3 days before Christmas.  Sigh.
Sleigh bells are jingling up and down the streets, Christmas cheer is sparkling in the breeze, and the boys are happily conversing in the back seat:

J:  We're finally done with school!
G: I can't wait for Santa to come.  We better bake some cookies tonight.
J: We leave Oreos for Santa every year.  We just need to go to the store.
G: Whatever.  I call that Camaro!
J: I call that Mustang!  It is HOT!
G: Oh! I call that Ferrari!!
J: That's not a Ferrari, Grant.  It's a Ford.
Simultaneously:  I call that corvette!! 
G:  Jinx!
J: OW! Don't pinch me!  *smack*
*slap* *punch* *other general ruckus sounds, screeching and hollering*

Then there's me, driving forward while turned around somewhat backward flailing a hand about swatting whatever little boy leg I can reach while hollering about kindness, good will toward men, and something to the effect of, "....and Santa is WATCHING and he is probably going to leave ALL your presents at the North Pole and just put COAL in your stockings and you better not cry about it because you have EARNED it!!"

Once they're both sobbing sufficiently, I turned back to the road only to notice that the woman driving in the Explorer next to us is turned around backward, hand flailing about in the back seat, yelling animatedly...probably about Santa and coal.

I am not alone in this world.  I am not alone in this world.  The mom in the Explorer and I probably swerved into oncoming traffic 3 times each but at least I am not alone in this world!  

Drinking and driving has long been frowned upon, however, I'm thinking we should revise our stance on this least with regard to mothers (especially at Christmastime).  I guarantee the road would have been a much safer place that day if we had both been 2 margaritas in with a third in hand (click HERE to read my post on how tequila makes you a better parent).  

But then the moment passes, two little boys smile for the camera at the same time, and I'm reminded that the enormity of life phases in and out and most often it is just a state of mind.  

I was both astonished and thrilled to be able to snap multiple pics of the boys on this Thanksgiving day.  They are rarely (that should probably read *never*) cooperative enough to pose for pictures.  I actually have a BUNCH of great pics  from this moment in time but thought it best not to bore you with ALL of them.  You're welcome.

Photo op with Grandma Sherry... 

Turkey day football with Papa Pat and Daddy...

16 years with a genuinely amazing man...

 Photo op with Boboosh...

And then....Oreo Truffles.  It turns out that I don't actually like them.  Weird, I know.  The boys gobbled them up though.

Cream cheese and crushed double stuffed Oreos...

Roll 'em up and freeze...

Dip and sprinkle...

Pure long as you like Oreos.  

Friday, November 25, 2011


So it's the end of November and I just ran across a folder of pics from this summer that I guess I meant to blog about.  But never did.  So goes the story of my life.  I thought life and parenthood would get easier as the boys got older.  No more sippee cups, diapers, naps, tantrums in the middle of the floor.  But it seems we just replaced the craziness of babyhood with the insanity of childhood.  School, baseball, football, jiu-jitsu, chores, work, cats (whose bright idea was that anyway??).  Thanksgiving was yesterday and my Halloween decorations are still out.  The other day I came across a pile of Christmas cards, addressed and stamped, ready to be mailed.  From last year.  And currently the boys are outside playing in the cold November rain (insert Guns'n'Roses audio here) and slurping popsicles while I just took a 15 minute break from blogging to splatter a spider the size of a volleyball all over my kitchen.  Here's the timeline on that one:  30 seconds of shrieking like a child when it skittered by, 30 seconds more to realize that if I didn't apprehend it, it would still be lurking in my house when I went to sleep tonight, 30 more seconds of shrieking, 1.5 minutes of deep breathing and pep-talking, 1 nanosecond to smack it with my shoe followed by 12 minutes (less 1 nanosecond) of hugging the toilet and convincing myself not to puke.

And now, after proofreading the last part of that paragraph, it has occurred to me that the insanity of my life may not be entirely due to the children.  Hmmm.

Nevermind my irrational phobias.  Here's some cute kids to looks at...

Beyooooutiful day at Alan Henry riding the jet skis with Grandma and Papa.  I see wake boarding in our future...

Swimming at the club with Grandpa...

Go Tech!

Hanging out with the Mullins kids...

Most of the pics I managed to take this summer involved water.  Can you tell the weather was scorching this year?

9th birthday party at the skatepark...

Texas Tech baseball camp...

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Grant:  Mom look!!  It's where the birds go to church!!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

That Kind of Day

The copy machine made me cry today.  A red-nosed, black-mascara-streaked, gullywasher.  And what's better is that my tear ducts waited to betray me until I walked into the meeting room stuffed with 30 colleagues, late (copier, remember?), looking somewhat akin to a pack mule lugging in my teacher bags exploding with binders of teacher stuff and of course a 47 pound laptop.   I had to step around the guy presenting, through the blinding stream of projected data, and over 12 of my peers and their teacher debris to reach the one available seat.  ***insert Niagara Falls here***

Pretty pitiful, right?  But it gets better.  One of my precious colleagues leans over and asks, "Are you okay?" at which point the tear flow rate jumps by 87%.  By this time we've switched presenters, and the sweet woman keeps eyeing me concernedly while she speaks.  I'm sniffling continually at this point to keep from dripping on my papers when she stops mid-sentence to ask me, "Are you okay?"  Now imagine the sound created when your 30 colleagues turn in unison to see who she's talking to.

Damn copier.

But our tech guy installed a new school computer while I was meeting/sobbing today so by 4:00 I was in a considerably better mood.  Just before we left school this evening, I zipped down to the workroom for one final battle with the copier.  Apparently it decided that it did not have a death-wish after all and proceeded to copy, double sided, with staples, and a smile.  Thank you Jesus!  So while I'm happy dancing around workroom, a custodian is cleaning the bathroom, door wide open.  Now, maybe I'm not familiar with proper janitorial protocol, but would YOU use the toilet brush to also clean the seat, lid, and flusher handle?   I tried, oh I tried, to UNsee that moment.  Sometimes ignorance is bliss.  Right?  I am probably going to die now from whatever kills you when you hold it too long because I will NEVER be able to pee at school again.  Ever.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Today I took a test.  I haven't taken a test in 10 years.  To say that I was a little nervous would be a gross understatement.  I swear, I totally forgot how to study.  Now, I teach study skills to my students but actually practicing what I preach was a little more difficult than expected.  Perhaps I should reflect on that...  The purpose of the test was to add an ESL certification.  We were given 5 hours to complete it....70 questions, most of which were roughly the length of a Twilight novel (Insert my Dad here, "I've told you a million times not to exaggerate!!"), and I finished in roughly an hour and 15 minutes.  Aced it?  Failed it miserably because I was too dumb to know that I didn't know anything?  Only time will tell.

Today I went to Cake for a celebratory "I aced or possibly failed my test" cupcake.  Cake is my version of Heaven.  Rows upon rows of cupcakes piled with 4 pounds of buttercream, trifle bowls, and cake push-ups (whatever the heck that is).  After selecting my Banana Pudding cupcake, the little girl behind the counter asks, "Would you like to try one of our free mini-cupcakes?"  Um, DUH!  Let me just say, Chocolate-Peanut Butter kicks the wang-doodle out of Banana Pudding.

Today I bought 5 items from Banana Republic for well under $200.

Today I watched an entire Phineas and Ferb movie with my 6 year-old.  Dr. Doofenshmirtz is possibly the most hysterical cartoon character of all time.

Today I discovered a plethora of photos that I didn't manage to get blogged last time.  It's lucky for you that I'm going to post them now!

This kitty thinks he is hot stuff.  He loves to venture into the backyard...but after 2 months, he has yet to figure out how to scale the fence.

I'm quite sure the Slip-n-Slide has violated the city's water code at least 37 times during this drought.  But what else is a kid supposed to do when it's 107 degrees everyday of summer??  Seriously!  Our grass is only green because I Photoshopped these pics.

In June I got to spend a few days in VEGAS BABY! with my super amazing bestie.  This is us at the Bellagio...

Kyndra wanted to take this pic for Matt.  Of course I had to tip the guys just to get the pic and when I asked them where they were from, all they could say was, "Oh, somewhere far far away."  

I have a sneaking suspicion that they might not have been REAL Stormtroopers.

Our daily view from the pool lounge chairs...

Caesars and Serendipity!  Yum...

And then my nephew came to visit!

The coolest Patrick evah...

Mr. I'll Eat Five Kit-Kats in a Row if You Don't Catch Me in Time...

Upside-down goggles are cool when you're 6...

I have no words for this one...

And to answer your question, yes.  Yes I could possibly post more pictures.  But the potatoes are ready to be mashed, so I guess you'll just have to wait until next time.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Bargain Basement

I'm a sucker for a good bargain. I could *almost* be one of those psycho coupon people. You know, the ones that use their mad couponing skillz to get 412 packs of diapers for next to nothing. Even though they don't have any children. Maybe I'm not the bargain shopper I like to think I am, but I have to draw the line at decorating every inch of available space in my house with canned beans and tomatoes. And diapers.

But I'm still pretty adept at squeezing blood from a turnip (who decided that was a good saying?). I'm the bad consumer who gets the $10 "gift" coupon from Kohl's and will dig through the entire store until I find something fabulous on clearance for $10.99. Check out my super cute bargain chair...

Now take a closer look at the left leg...

And, this is not the best part. The only chair they had left was the one on the floor....SO, of course I asked if they would mark it down to account for the wear and tear of being the display piece. The manager dropped the price to $35 AND I had a $15 coupon from Kirkland's for my birthday AND a $10 coupon from their weekly flyer. YEAH baby! A $10 dollar chair is what I'm TALKING about!

That's nearly as good as free diapers.

As it turns out, the circus is NOT such a bargain. They bill it as a great deal by selling $10 tickets to the opening show. But then, after they've got you seated and thoroughly trapped, the cotton candy guy comes hiking up the stairs with his 14 foot pole of cotton candy goodness thus causing every 6-year old within a 15 ft. radius to go crazy. And one little bag only costs....wait for it....

TEN DOLLARS! Yes! Ten dollars for 4 cents of spun sugar. What a racket.

At least I got a cute picture and a happy 6-year old out of it.

Additional summer exploits include...

Swimming. Please note that the cotton candy at the Seahorse only costs $2. Still a racket but it feels like a humdinger of a bargain after the circus.

(Check out the date on the picture above. Gotta love iPhone photo apps. Think this retro-ish picture from "June 1981" is gonna cause me a little consternation when I'm 88 someday?)


Say hello to Zippy...the fastest, wildest, rootin' tootin'ist bowling ball launcher in the West. It's truly a wonder he didn't leave any dents in the lane.

Science Spectrum. Thank you Groupon for your $25 6-month membership! The boys and I only have to go 1.19 times for the Groupon to pay for itself. Score!!

Jiu Jitsu.

Highlights puzzle time! Can you spot the differences?

and Skate parks...

We found the illusive McAllister skate park a few weeks ago and Jaden was delighted to discover it was a designated graffiti area.

Jaden: MOM! Let's run to Wal-Mart and buy some spray paint!!!!!
Me: Um, I'm gonna go with, NO. ***kicking myself repeatedly for having taken them to Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo a few years back and letting them spray paint the cars***

Most of the graffiti was innocuous enough. But of course, some dunderhead had to go and paint a number of inappropriate things all over the 130 degree concrete. So, it's doubtful we'll be going back to this park anytime soon. Moron teenagers.

Note the skating apparatus flying through the air in this pic. This thing is a Sole-skate...a three-wheeled-squirrely-little-sonuvagun-from-Hell-type-thingy. He was trying some trick here, thus sending it airborne. But this boy is jaw-droppingly fluid on this thing.

I don't know if I'm amazed or horrified that he will probably be a professional skater someday.






I need a drink.