Sunday, November 30, 2008

All By My Lonesome

Well, I did something on Saturday that I don't think I've ever done before.....

I went to the movies ...... ALONE. Some plans with friends didn't pan out, so I decided to be a big girl and go it alone.

My heart was set on seeing "Australia", but since it was sold out I settled for "Twilight". I wish I could say that God closed the door to Australia and ushered me towards the vampire flick, but even Ozzie Osborne would say that's a stretch.

Venturing in, I was surprised to see the Twilight theatre empty. So I boldly decided to do another thing that was completely out of character for me -- I went & bought a popcorn and drink! And proceeded to notify my mortgage company that our house payment may be a little short as a result ....

Goodies in hand, I headed back to the now almost empty theatre, and tried to blend in and not feel like a loser who was there by herself. A feat in and of itself. I felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb, even though in my head I knew that was an irrational thought.

It seemed like time stood still waiting for the lights to go down. I nervously crammed popcorn into my mouth and looked around as if I were expecting someone. The phrase "where are they?!" may have been uttered under my breath for good measure.

The bottom line is that Edward Cullen & I shared some quality one-on-one time -- but I don't think I'll be hitting a matinee solo again for quite some time.

So the question is: Do you go to the movies comfortably alone? And why is it a big deal for the rest of us to do that?!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tales from the Dental Chair

I'm so flattered to be featured today on 5 Minutes for Mom! Take a look:

In the words of Barry Manilow, LOOKS LIKE WE MADE IT! Yah!!


HOW DO YOU COOK A TURKEY? By Natalie (while in preschool)
"You find 'em on the first aisle at Wal-Mart. Then we drive it to our house .... put it in a pan with salt & pepper, and put it on the stove for 50 minutes ..... When it looks like a chicken then we eat it! My mom & dad get big pieces."

(Natalie, preschool): I AM THANKFUL FOR ...... my cat. I love our class gerbils and how they eat food. I'm thankful for cheese. I'm thankful for my sisters and brother.

For our wedding back in 1994, I rewrote the words of Cindy Morgan's song, "How Could I Ask for More?". Today, my heart is full of thanks, and again I ponder, how could I ask for more?

With Jesus in my heart, family & friends by my side -- I'm truly grateful and blessed beyond what I ever deserved.

"Always give thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." ~ Ephesians 5:20

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Allow me to introduce you to my newest addiction, Line Rider:

It's a simple game that's big fun for the whole family! The girls and I will undoubtedly be playing many rounds during ALL the football games tomorrow.

Give 'er a try!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

From the Mouth of Babes

This is my 1st grader's latest spelling test ..... number 14 was "Thanksgiving", which she spelled "tax given". I think she's been watching too much C-Span and political ads!

Up to NO Good

I was just at the dollar store grabbing a couple quick items when I saw a large group of middle school boys milling about.

They ended up being right in front of me a few minutes later at the check-out line ..... and I had to grin when I took stock of their purchases:

ALL the toilet paper they could possibly hold, a 2-liter of Diet Coke and a pack of Mentos.

Those boys are most definitely up to some mischief, and thankfully, that's as close to gang-related activity as we get in our wholesome little suburb!

Monday, November 24, 2008

I'm a Frugal One, Yes I Am


To get extra mileage out of and give new life to used overalls, just add a few ruffles and patches in festive prints! Pick up some overalls at your local thrift store and then add the personality! These are one-of-a-kind and get lots of compliments.

My girls are too grown up for this style now (sniffle, sniffle), but we have plenty of pictures where they're wearing similar outfits -- to visit Santa, for school programs, Christmas dinner, etc.

If you want to see more great ideas, visit Antique Mommy's blog where she's holding a "Handmade Holiday Carnival!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I Have a Lot in Common with Little Rabbit Foo Foo

I'm not much of an outdoorsman. I wish I were cut out of that fabric (say, um, burlap?), but I'm more of a satin type gal. Don't give me rough, thankyouverymuch -- I'm comfortable with smooth. In a nutshell: Steve Irwin & I would NOT have made a good pair. He'd be caressing a snake, saying "Crikey, she's a be--UTE", and I'd be screaming & running for the safety of a nearby production van.

Aside from tinkering in my flower bed occasionally, I tend to migrate indoors .... in the air conditioning (or heat), perhaps looking out the window and admiring nature without getting dirty, battling mosquitos, and encountering SCARY spiders.

I recently had yet another recent confirmation of being a "satin girl", which I'll share, even though it makes me look really bad. Really.

The kids & I discovered our cat, Peanut the Mighty Feline Warrior, toying with a big fluffy mouse right in front of our garage. He looked a lot like Gus from Cinderella, come to think of it. All the kids (who have more burlap content than their mommy) were pleading with Peanut to let the mouse go, and trying to intervene. The little guy was injured but still hanging in there. About that time, that mouse made a daring run, nay CHARGE, for the inside of our garage to escape.

My knee jerk reaction (literally) was to boot that mouse to prevent its entry into MY residence. Yep. It's true. I punted a poor, wounded mouse about half the length of our driveway. To the absolute horror of my satin-free children. Two of them burst into tears .... and I felt so awful, and rightfully so.

But in my mind, THIS is what I saw:
I'm not sure there's a valid self-defense argument in my crime of mouse punting, but I'd like to assert that defense for the record. Is there a notary in the house?
Sing it with me, my new theme song: Little Rabbit Foo Foo, hoppin' through the forest, scooping up the field mice and bonkin' them on the head.
If you'd like to send a Get Well Card to Gus, he's hanging out at a nearby stream where Greg took him, quite possibly nursing a throbbing headache.
Still love me?

Monday, November 17, 2008

My Song

My hunk of a hubby can croon a mean rendition of Elton John's "Your Song". You know the one: "it's a little bit funnnnny, this feelin' insiiiiiide....." He's been known to bring down the house when channeling Elton at the karaoke parties. Does anyone ELSE have goose bumps right now?! Someone quick, hand me a lighter that I can wave in the air. And girls, back off 'cause HE'S ALL MINE!!

Well, I discovered today that I have "another song" -- officially.

A friend referred me to, where you can plug in your birth date to find out what was the #1 song on that day in history. It's such fun!

The #1 song on my actual day of birth was a catchy little diddy called "Yankee Doodle". Oh, I jest. It was actually "My Girl" by the Temptations.

After you find out YOUR song, leave a comment and let us know which one it was!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Who Knew?!

I came across this very fun (and FREE) "celebrity look-alike" function at, and was amazed .... and very FLATTERED .... at my results. It goes without saying that had my results favored, say, Roseanne Barr or even Jack Black, I wouldn't be sharing this with you!

As you'll see from my OFFICIAL results below, I should clearly be packing my bags for Hollywood. I'd especially like to point your attention to Angelina Jolie in my look-alike collage. (Brad, call me!)

I'd like to thank all the little people for this honor. Oh boy, I hope the paparazzi doesn't get wind of this and start hounding me. The price of fame is steep, my faithful fans.

You've got to try it, and let me know how it turns out for you!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Growing up so Fast

Fun at the park with Natalie (6)

Alli (12) was so thrilled to get her cheer uniform this week!

Holly, anxiously awaiting her ear piercing on her 10th birthday.

And workin' the hippie costume on Halloween!

Natalie playing dress up and looking so grown up!

We rarely see Evan (8) without a basketball or football in tow. Doesn't he look tall in this shot?!

Alli, our favorite 7th grade basketball cheerleader!

Evan found one of his old baby outfits in the back of his closet, and was teary eyed when reminiscing.
We were amazed by how much he'd grown!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cold Food Can Be a Costly Blessing

Last summer, we returned home from vacation to discover that our refrigerator had given up the ghost while we were away. Oh the pain -- no time to say goodbye.

We instantly found ourselves wandering the aisles at Lowe's, muttering words like "doggone it" under our breath (even before we had unpacked our suitcases). There are SOME things you can put off ..... a functioning refrigerator for a family of 6 is NOT one of those things.

We selected a suitable, semi-affordable model and anxiously awaited its delivery the next morning. The Lowe's men showed up right on time and the delivery was made seamlessly. That was a relief, as we had a photography appointment we needed to run along to.

Here's where the plot thickens: When we got back a few hours later, my daughter reported to me that "the basement ceiling had caved in." Huh?! I went to see what she was talking about, and sure enough -- inward cavage had occurred. What the?

It would seem that the installer of our new fridge didn't "quite" secure the water line 100%, and enough water had leaked through our hardwood kitchen floor, through the sub floor, through the basement ceiling, to cause its collapse. Ugh!

ALL I wanted was cold food, folks. Is that too much to ask? I realize that in most third world countries that's a luxury. But if my 7th grade U.S. History memory serves correctly, chilled & amply preserved perishable food is an inalienable right which our founding fathers fought for and secured. Come to think of it, I think I may have failed that course.

Bottom line is that Lowe's made it right ... eventually .... and paid for the entire treatment and repair. Despite not being able to use our kitchen for a few weeks, and huge industrial fans which sound like jet airplane engines occupying half our square footage for a while -- we got a brand new kitchen hardwood floor out of the deal, and a new basement ceiling. So I guess it ended up being a good thing, if you can get past the inconvenience of the whole process.

Anyway, when I saw this cute video of comedian Brian Regan's synopsis of a refrigerator salesman, that made me reflect on our refrigerator saga. You've got to take a look:

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Our very own Veteran

My hubby served in the Air Force from 1977 to 1988. During that time, he was stationed everywhere from Maine to Texas to England.

All of this was P.S. (pre-Sharon). For that, I'm grateful. You see, I feel like I have the best of both worlds: I am proud to be married to a veteran, but recognize that it was at no sacrifice or cost to myself.

I didn't have to worry about his deployment, his safety or about relocating repeatedly .... primarily because I was in middle school at the time. I was rather busy and challenged myself with those pesky fractions and that book report on the history of Walt Disney.

Back to Greg ..... He is a skilled aviation mechanic, who was responsible for keeping aircraft ready for action at a moment's notice. In addition, he literally helped write the maintenance manual for the B-1 bomber.

Yesterday the kids' school held a Veteran's Day assembly which was so touching. There were patriotic songs, kicked off by an acapella Star Spangled Banner by a 2nd grader that made you squint your eyes and tilt your head to one side. I'd venture a guess that dogs within a 2-mile radius were howling. She was SO close to being on key .....

Anyhoo, our kids were so proud to have their daddy, their very own VETERAN, there to honor. To all the active military, veterans and families who have sacrificed for the good of our country -- God bless YOU, and Happy Veterans Day.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Reflecting .....

The kids are at school ..... which means I have until 3:00pm to sift through their unguarded trick or treat candy. Ah, hello long lost Butterfinger. My sweet mini Twix, come to mama. And since they're "mini" size, which is short for miniscule, that means I can justify eating 4 or 7. That reminds me, I need to add Spanx to my shopping list.

Anyway, ALL this Halloween candy made me reflect on an event last year, which occurred the day after trick or treating. Shall I share it with you? Okay, if you insist.

On that rueful day one year ago, our boy came home from school literally doubled over in pain and in tears. Now, keep in mind that after four kids, I tend to subscribe to the "you're fine" theory and don't over-react in medical situations. aka: Walk it off, kid! But Evan was in such excruciating pain that I feared it was an appendix attack, or maybe a creature was about to burst out of his gut -- because I've seen the original "Alien" flick.

So in a panic, I called our family physician's office and begged them to see Evan before their office closed for the day. The doctor literally stayed past closing time to squeeze him in. After a thorough examination, the doc was stumped. He suggested that it was perhaps a punctured lung or a ruptured spleen. Is it just me, or is the word ruptured one you don't want to hear in the doctor's office?!

An x-ray was going to be necessary. On the way down the hall with my little guy who was hunched over walking like an 89-year-old man, Evan asked if he could stop in the rest room.

After a l-o-n-g time, he emerged from the bathroom, proclaiming that "I feel MUCH better now"! Uh huh. All that trauma over a bit of constipation.

In short: We made an urgent visit to the doc and paid $83 for the pleasure of taking a dump at his office.

The end. Ugh! On second thought, I'd better hold down my candy consumption a bit today...... After all, I do try to learn from our mistakes.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Cue the Horse-Drawn Carriage

Our 7th grader went to the "Under the Stars" dance at school last Thursday night, and looked entirely too grown up and adorable! She had a great time, and I'm so glad to see her joining in and enjoying middle school.

I don't know about you, but my middle school years were NOT my shining moments, as is evidenced by MY 7th grade school picture which I've posted.

What do you think -- does she get her good looks from me?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Oh Dear

I wish I could go back and edit my spoken words as easily as I can edit my written text. Just click and delete ... all gone. Erased.

I think it's hard to judge how much we should share with our kids. While I want them to have a carefree childhood and JUST BE KIDS, I don't want them to be sheltered to a fault. A fine line, would you agree?

The presidential election has been a big topic in school. That has, in turn, generated discussion at home, such as "what's the difference between a Republican and Democrat?" "Well, darling, one of them is led by Satan."

Seriously, we talked about some important differences. Although no party is perfect, one is more aligned with our Biblical beliefs, values and morals. The other leans towards supporting abortion and acceptance of same sex marriage, which the Bible clearly teaches is wrong. I attempted to explain those items in simple terms they could understand.

That's where I'd like to go back and "EDIT".

Because the morning after the election, the kids poured into my room, anxious to hear the outcome of the election. Upon learning of Obama's victory, this was their immediate reaction:

EVAN: "OH NO! ALL the babies are going to die!" (I think he just learned of Pharoah's similar decree in Sunday School)

NATALIE: "You mean I have to marry a girl now?"

Yeah. Maybe I should have left some of that out. Rewind and edit, please. I'd like to try that explanation one more time.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Fall Fun .... and Flu Shots

Last Saturday our family took a little "field trip" .... no, not to the zoo. No, not to the children's museum. We went to get flu shots. Yay! Now THERE'S family bonding time.

With our travelling to Ohio for the holidays, we wanted to take every precaution to preserve our stellar health.

Like most things in life, the anticipation was worse than the actual event. The only one who actually took it hard and shed tears was Natalie. She was quickly consoled by a Dum-Dum sucker and a handsome Barbie sticker.

She further attempted to re-center herself by meditating on the swing at the nearby park.

It's interesting to me, to observe the differences in our children. Allison & Natalie are more cautious, whereas Holly & Evan subscribe to the mantra of "FASTER!! HIGHER!!"

It's the simple things in life -- like carefree playing at a great park on a perfect Fall day. With only the tiniest of band-aids on your upper arm as evidence of recent, and now forgotten, trauma.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Trick or Treat, Smell my Feet

Now I realize that people tend to have strong feelings one way or the other concerning trick or treating. Personally, I'm all FOR any opportunity to accumulate mass quantities of candy!

Alli (12) was a crazy Teletubby Clown;

Holly (10) was a stylin' hippie;

Evan (8) was a Cheesehead football player;

And Aerial's got nothin' on OUR little mermaid, Natalie (6) !!!

The kids even had fun dressing up Peanut in a Build-a-Bear costume, complete with crown! She looks so ..... um ...... pleased.

Some of my fondest memories involve trick or treating. I can remember dressing up as a princess bride and as Snow White.

What childhood costumes do you most remember wearing?

A Chuckle for Ya

This made me giggle -- hope you enjoy it! And NO, there's no boogie man at the end, like yesterday.

I'll be posting Halloween pictures soon!