Friday, December 19, 2008

I'll take the gas...

Yesterday I made a trip over to my local dentistry establishment to have a little cleaning. First I had to explain why it had been so long since they had seen me... "no, Dr. Soandso, I was not abducted by aliens who, incidentally, did some cleaning"; "no, I haven't been in a coma"; "no, I haven't been in prison". Nope, just been MIA. You know sometimes life just happens and you look up one day and discover that it's been 3 years since you have been to the dentist. No wonder my gums are bleeding so much. whatever.

In any case, I dropped my son off to work (he loves it when his mommy takes him to work) and headed on over with the other child. It had been so long that I had to refill out all of the paperwork for my file. In all fairness, I have moved twice in the last two years so they really needed new info; but, why oh why can they not streamline some of the questions. I mean, for pity's sake, I had to write my husbands name and other info four times and he wasn't even there.

After filling out mountains of paperwork for both of us, we were called back. Little stop at the potty and we are off to get clean teeth. After talking with J, the lady who always does the cleaning part, she suggested that a little nitrous oxide would make things easier... you know, because of my TMJ. That way she could use the scary hydrotherapy thingy that I never let her use and it would be quicker and she wouldn't have to apply too much pressure to my jaw and I wouldn't have to have my jaw open so long and it would be more relaxed, blah, blah blah. She had me at "do you want gas", if you know what I mean... DUH!

So I am lying there, breathing deeply of the only only high I'm every gonna get and it occurs to me that I am very thankful that I made that little stop at the potty. It also occurs to me that if I were to open up a kiosk in the mall selling this stuff I'd make a fortune. I could set up little booths where you could take a 30 minute "nap". Wow! What a great idea. I also decided that J had a really pretty earring on, but I was a little distracted.

At some point, the lady who was cleaning Bethany's teeth wanted to come in and "discuss" how Bethany's visit had gone. Stole the buzz. rats. After she left, I checked with J to make sure that I hadn't given Bethany away or anything. She said nope, she was still coming home with me so its all good.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cain would be so proud...

This morning I was the unwitting participant in the age-old battle of sibling rivalry.

Being that my children are nearly four years apart we have had many years of the typical pickmepickme battles for attention. Brian, as the first born, usually comes out with the upper hand but lately Bethany has made some notable strides. Take the front seat, for instance. Unlike the children of today who must remain in a car seat until their 21st birthday, my children began fighting for the front seat since the younger one turned about ten. That was about the time that I instituted the "happy day" rule. Brian's birthday is on the 24th of August (even days) and Bethany's birthday is on the 25th of April (odd days); so I decided that all happy things should occur with the odd/even split. If you have more than two children then you are toast. Sorry about that...

All happy things included, but were not limited to "shotgun", tv remote control, first pick, first turn, and basically any other thing that lent itself to bickering. This was a glorious rule that kept peace for many years. Most things could be settled in this matter.

Couldn't decide on a movie... "whose happy day is it?"
Couldn't pick a restaurant... "whose happy day is it?"
Couldn't clean the playroom in peace... "whose happy day is it?"
Ah, I yearn for the days when it was that easy.

When Brian began driving, the quest for "shotgun" became a complicated issue. He made up all kind of rules about it like, you have to 'call' it; then you have be within sight of the car to 'call' it; then you have to be touching the car to 'call' it. Of course, all of these rules were designed to outwit the younger sister but as long as she wasn't screaming about it, I just let them work it out for themselves. After all, that's what we all REALLY want as parents, right. We don't really care about justice... we just want a little PEACE AND QUIET.

This morning Bethany politely asked if she could drive when I made a little trip into town to drop Brian off to work and her to a friend's. It was an innocent enough request. Little did I know that Brian had already "called" shotgun using all of the aforementioned criteria so when I said yes to her request it effectively nullified his call for shotgun.

WOW, nicely played.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Grilling goodness






1. How many Christmas parties have you attended or will you attend? last weekend was the Sunday school shindig and the home school progressive dinner. this week was the company party at the orpheum... the "pajama game", thank you very much. still have family gatherings and the choir fellowship after the Christmas program to go.
2. What is your favorite dish to take to a party? that would be my much anticipated cheese ball, and no, Jenny, I will not post the recipe. every year I fight off the would-be copycats who want to boag my recipe, which technically I got from a friend, but having given this one out before and then had it served at every function in my place forevermore makes me a little punchy. note to self: it is in poor taste to make a person's signature cheese ball from heaven WHEN THEY ARE MAKING IT. I would never make this yumminess and take it to the house of the friend from which I procured this delight. I'm just saying...
3. When you're at home and your feet are chilled, do you wear socks or houseshoes? usually socks, although I have been know to supplement with a heating pad and the other night I came out of my room with a really furry hat that I intended to put my VERY cold feet into, but my daughter put the nix on that... it was her hat.
4. What are your plans for this weekend? raking leaves that my son was supposed finish by tonight... if you are reading this, Brian, I will be expecting back the $75 advance that I paid you for this job. If miraculously my son does make the leaves go away, I expect that I will be attending the birthday party of my great niece who turns one today.
5. What is the most expensive Christmas gift you are buying for your children this year? one semester of emt tuition for Brian and one semester of violin and piano lessons for Bethany.
6. Do you have a family portrait made each year? I wish I had done that. A friend mentioned that she buys a "Christmas" frame every year and puts her kids visit-with-Santa picture in it. I have never bought one of those frames because I just figured that it would look stupid having a Christmas ornamenty frame around the house in, like, July for instance. It never occurred to me to pack it up with the ornaments and use it for decoration. Rats. How cool would it be if I had a whole collection of Christmas pictures to put out by now. So... I started this year. Maybe I can have cool grandma pictures one day.
7. Do you drive your kids around looking for decorated homes? mostly we just look at the ones that we are already driving by, although we usually try to make sure that we make a trip down Rosemark Rd and the horse farm every year.
8. What is your least favorite thing about cold weather? I hate that the cold hurts my joints so much; I really love winter and want so much to enjoy it.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

So much to tell... so little time.

I have been so busy around here with the holidays that I haven't had time to blog so much. Sorry about that. I figured that I better check in on my bloggy friends this morning and I don't dare leave comments without having some stuff for them to check out on mine, so here goes.

Had I had the time I might have told you about the fella that was making change out of the offering basket that I was passing in the choir. That was a first, I have to say. If ever you have the urge to "break" a twenty in the offering plate... don't. It doesn't look nice. I am assuming since he was not struck by lightning, that he didn't take more than he left. I'm just saying...

Or I could tell you about my husband coming home from the mall with one very shiny index finger. He was off by himself, ostensibly to do a little Christmas shopping, when he was attacked by a little woman with a heavy foreign accent at a kiosk in the mall offering to show him the wonders of some stuff from the dead sea that she was certain that his wife would LOVE to find under the tree. He didn't know how to escape this little woman and presto chango - she had put some magic stuff on his index fingernail that left it decidedly shiny. I guess I should point out here that hubby is not the get-a-manicure kinda guy. More of a macho-dude, this man of mine. To say that he was not happy is somewhat of an understatement. By the way, I am pretty sure that he didn't buy the magic dead sea manicure stuff... it wasn't on the list I gave him and he has strict instruction NOT to use his own ideas.

Speaking of finernails, I should also mention here that apparently the toenail of your pinky toe is vital to a sound mind. I lost mine in a battle with an inappropriately placed box in the kitchen. It hurts like crazy.

And did you know that the phrase "freaking me out" was actually used in 1963. I was watching the Charlie Brown Christmas special with Bethany and CB's little sister Sally actually said, "blah blah blah is FREAKING ME OUT". who knew.

I also discovered this past week that my own daughter has never seen The Wizard of Oz. How can that be? Every kid has to have the b-jeepers scared out of them by this movie at least once in their lives. I remember hiding in the kitchen from the monkeys EVERY YEAR. Of course we didn't have cable back in the day so there weren't alot of options, but whatever.

Okay... that's it for now. Time to balance the checkbook and assess the damage that my weekend Christmas shopping has done to the budget. good grief.

Monday, December 1, 2008

It's beginning to look alot like Christmas... I mean the "holidays"

So I was doing a little decorating and listening to Tony Bennett, my official entrance into the Christmas season, and the thought occurred to me... raindrop on roses and whiskers on kittens; bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens; brown paper packages tied up with strings. Are these really indicative of my favorite things? I think not. Who makes this stuff up, anyway. I think that they were just looking for stuff that rhymes. I mean really; they could have been just looking around the room, making it up as they went. They were probably sitting in a group around the kitchen table after having one too many and writing the quintessential song of The Sound of Music. Of course if Julie Andrews sings it, it must be true. She plays a nun, after all.

December is in full force. I have already hosted a progressive dinner (dessert part) and attended a Sunday school party. We still have potentially four more family gatherings to participate in and several doctors appointments to hit before the end of the year. Is anyone else tired just from the planning? Fortunately, I only have the boys two days this week and next and then I am "off" for the next two weeks. yippee.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

just what the doctor ordered

Yesterday I took a little trip over to the next town to pick up my four year old niece/goddaughter to spend a little pre-holiday time with her. Bethany spent the night with BFF so Madison had to sleep in her room alone. Not a happy thing. Pretty sure she sleeps with her momma every night because we kind of have this thing every time she's over. In the midst of the negotiations about a good night's sleep I offered to let Zoe sleep with her... Her answer, "I need a HU MAN." She didn't follow it with... stu pid, but I am pretty sure I heard it:)

She cracks me up. That's what I needed this week. A little perspective.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Daniel Bennett Craddock 11/29/99

Yesterday was a yucky day. For those of you who saw me in choir, I apologize:) That silly song director of ours picked out a whole bunch of thankfulness songs this week. Must have been a theme or something. After blubbering thru the first song service and Sunday school (which, by the way was about family conflict... whose idea was THAT??? huh?) I thought for sure that I had it together for the second service. Too bad it was the same songs. darn.

Apparently yesterday was my official day for the breakdown. Happens every year about this time. And usually its caused by some stupid music. For the record, Daniel's birthday is Saturday. He is nine years old this year. In heaven. I hope God remembers to give him a party. Maybe a soccer theme. or maybe he likes basketball. or music, like his brother and sister. One of the many things that I didn't get a chance to find out.

After making an idiot of myself in church, I came home took my obligatory Sunday afternoon nap, followed by the equally obligatory Sunday afternoon migraine (happens every time I take a nap... why, oh why do I do that?) While David and Bethany went to church Sunday night I climbed up into the attic to pull out Daniel's box. All of my kids have one, but his is pitifully small. Hospital bands, pictures, cards, scrubs with footprints. You know the kind. Only these scrubs have no footprints. There wasn't time for that in his delivery room. Out came the video. The only proof I have that I held him in my arms. David won't watch it, but the kids and I do every year around his birthday. Brian was 10 and Bethany was 6 when he was born. My biggest regret was sheltering them from his death. They never saw their brother in person or held his hand. I sure wish I could take that back. I meant well at the time, although when I see my precious baby girl in the video just before his birth... her kindergarten graduation, her birthday... when I see her in context of her age all those years ago, I understand why I made that decision at that time.

Anyway, after all of the tears and mementos are put back in the box, after the video and the pain has been revisited, after the journal has been read and the shock that this really happened to ME and not someone else wears off I always come back to the same place... thank you God. He is good, all the time. Sounds cold, I am sure to those who have not walked in my shoes but I am so thankful that God took him that day. I am thankful that he did not suffer. When I see families suffering with the severely handicapped child, I am thankful that God was merciful. I am thankful that God did not allow me to take him home, for months even, and then take him with no warning. To those who have suffered THESE things, God somehow gives them special grace and I am sure that they are thankful for what THEY consider unthinkable... if they choose to be.

I am also thankful for the people that allowed themselves to be used by God to minister. Interestingly enough, those closest to me were not necessarily the ones who came thru in my time of need. My sister was recovering from her delivery of her own son. With a 16 month old on the side, she had precious little time to spend at my bedside... not to mention her desire to not add to my pain with her own newborn. Caleb is my measuring stick to this day. Sometimes when I look at him, I mourn for HIS loss. He doesn't even know that his very best friend in the world is in heaven waiting to play Lego's and show him his bionicle creations. He doesn't realize that part of him is missing, much as I would be without his mother. In any case, she was busy and my mother in law was caring for my other two rugrats, so she was a no show. Pretty much everyone else, with a couple of notable exceptions was MIA during this time of need. How does that happen? I guess we just get busy with our lives and think that someone else will meet that persons needs. Note to self: show up for those you love; don't expect someone else to do it.

Nevertheless, God used people I barely knew to meet these needs which meant so much to me mostly because I have a very hard time relating to people outside of my comfort zone. Belinda visited me several times and brought me flowers. Tina worked in the building next door and would regularly come by after work just to sit down, put up her feet and chat. I was so lonely and isolated in that hospital for those months and her visits gave me a feeling of normalcy. Katie came and decorated my room as the holidays approached and I was blue for missing it. Kris sent cards that were a life line. And the person that stands out the most to me is Donna. She was a lady that I went to church with at the time and scarcely knew, but she happened to be visiting the morning that I delivered. The hospital used a disposable camera that morning to take the pictures that would be my only connection to him in the years to come. Donna took the time to take the camera to Walgreens for me and have them one-hour developed so that I could have them as soon as possible. She will probably never know how much that meant to me. Every year at this time I find myself praying for these women, wherever they are. God bless them today. Send someone to meet THEIR needs whatever they may be.

Sorry this post is long and rambling. Feeling a little wrung out from this weekend...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Grilling Goodness... late hubby roast



1. Sitting in front of the TV, what’s on the screen? not sure because hubby is asleep, but it probably has a "star" in it. star wars, star trek, star gate, you get the idea.
2. You’re out to eat; what kind of dressing does he get on his salad? changes every time
3. What’s one food he doesn’t like? can't think of one thing.
4. What is his favorite type of sandwich? barbeque "smush meat"... don't ask.
5. What would this person eat everyday if he could? chinese... food, not people.
6. What is his favorite cereal? some healthy concoction that I found one time about 10 years ago and have never found again and have heard about every time he has been with me to the grocery store ever since.
7. What would he never wear? sandals. when Brian was a baby I had to get his mom to buy them for our son, just so he would have to let me let Brian wear them:)

8. What is his favorite sports team? not into sports, thank goodness.

Bah Humbug... part 2

ps. Casting Crowns Christmas CD is aMAZing... run out and buy a copy, because borrowing mine to burn it on your computer would be WRONG.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bah Humbug.

Okay. So I have given in completely to the whole Christmas music moratorium that I put on myself every year at this time. I admit it... I am hopelessly addicted to Christmas music. can't wait til after Thanksgiving, no matter how hard I try. I am resisting the urge to drag out the tree, but the fact that we are having Thanksgiving at home has been my staying power. I don't really want to carve Tom Turkey in the shadow of a perfectly decorated tree.



I guess I was warped as a child (weren't we all?) because we were not allowed to set up the Christmas tree until the 10th of December, every year. Not because we had a real tree that needed to last til the 25th, mind you. No... we had the same sad little charlie brownish artificial number EVERY stinkin year. My mother probably grew up in the era of Christmas Eve decorating and thought that she was being very generous but I was chomping at the bit every Christmas.



When David and I got married we tried the whole "real" tree thing. Never had it as a kid, so naturally it seemed more desirable. One year we pulled a National Lampoon episode. Wish someone would have been nearby taking subversive video. I could have made a fortune.



We picked out the most gorgeous tree at the tree farm. Of course your perspective of tree size is somewhat off in a huge field full of lush greenery so the tree was considerably larger than the living room of our apartment. The tree was transported in its branch confining contraption which when clipped unfurled the most amazing display of plumage. Lamps went flying, cat scrambled upstairs. I swear a squirrel shot out of the bottom and I was picking evergreen out of the piano keys six months later. Okay, maybe I exaggerate... but not by much. David ended up cutting several feet of of the bottom of it to allow it to stand without having to bow down. I am not kidding about that.



A couple of years later, when the trauma had worn off we tried again. This time the spider crop came in just after the sap had finished dripping all over the presents and ornaments so that we had trapped baby spiders in the amber adorning the gifts to present to our loved ones. EWWW!



Maybe if you lived in a place that has real snow you can have a real tree, but it's not really practical in the south. So we opted for the artificial kind, without the Charlie Brown attitude. The good news is that you can put it up as early as you want. THAT'S what I am talk.ing. about:) But, I really should wait another week or so. fine.

Mom just realized that sis is going to be gone for Thanksgiving this year. Of course she has been bragging about it for months, but whatever. Since Mom ate with her last year, she just assumed that that was where she would be this year. Then I reminded her that Diane would be kicking up her heals with the Rockettes this year; you know Mom, Macy's day parade and all that... awkward silence... cue crickets... humdedum... how bout those Bears?? Yea, I could have just jumped in with an invitation but I figured that I was already toast for not providing a preemptive invite, so I might as well not. Oh poop. Sometimes the holidays really suck. Sorry guys, I mean they "inhale sharply" as hubby says.

somebody shoot me.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pop goes the weasel, and assorted insects

Did you know that, hypothetically speaking, if your three yorkie babies were infested with fleas and you were to chase said hypothetical fleas around said furry bellies until you land one on your thumb nail and then quickly roll your other thumb nail over their fat, nasty little brown creepiness they actually pop. It's the only way that I can be sure that they are dead without actually touching them. I least I can't feel myself touching them. In any case, its GROSS. Why, oh why, am I fighting a flea epidemic in NOVEMBER. I mean really... Thanksgiving is next week, for pete's sake. (Not sure who Pete is, or why we should consider his sake but, whatever) The dog next door is a pitiful example of pet ownership. He is a sad, sorry, scruffy big dog who apparently is inviting the resident flea population to come to his place and my cutie pies keep getting too close and picking up these disease ridden parasites. Last weekend I spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 on all kinds of sprays and shampoos and drops and gadgets to make them go away.

Yikes... I could have gone to Red Lobster. In the mean time, I'm praying for cold enough nights to kill off the little buggers.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Grilling more Goodness




1. What's the worst thing you've ever sent through the washing machine/dryer?
Thought about putting a yorkie in there on delicate... just kidding (a little). No really, probably the worst would be a cell phone. Course I didn't do that; it was the brilliant college student who knows it all.
2. Do you do any of your Christmas shopping online? no can do... kids can read.
3. What are you looking forward to this Thanksgiving? giblet gravy, time with kids, giblet gravy, pie, giblet gravy, getting out the Christmas decorations, giblet gravy, legally being allowed to listen to Christmas music. oh... and mashed potatoes with giblet gravy.
4. What did you do before you had children that you miss doing now that you have children? getting Christmas presents
5. Do you have a fireplace? (Do you use it?) Two; use the fake one, don't use the gas one. too hot and costs too much to run.
6. Do medical shows showing surgeries and blood freak you out? Does House count, cause THAT one doesn't freak me out.
7. How long have you lived where you live? about 11 months.
8. What is one of your favorite seasonal items? yes.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Taco night

This past weekend was go-to-Sams-and-spend-your-life's-savings Day. New tires for the car... last oil change the people at Walmart made me sign off that my tires were a health hazard. oops. $400 yikes. and that was before the groceries and the kid retreat sent me to making a withdrawal from the 401K. Just kidding. I am excited because that account has finally broke $10K. woohoo! retirement in 40 or 50 years:) But only if the blessed winds of change don't bleed me dry.

Good news is that we should be able to live off of this pantry shelf until after the new year begins. Of course I won't be going out to eat again until then, but whatever. Thanksgiving is pretty much ready to go... except the Turkey and other perishables. But we have chicken broth out the wazoo:) bring on the holidays. I am SO itching to get out the Christmas decor, but I WILL wait.

Close family member is getting to go to NYC for Thanksgiving. She will be standing out in front of FAO Swartz watching the Macy's day parade and I will be sitting at my table disappointing the woman who gave life to me. stink. I was thinking that if I fast for these last couple of days before she leaves that I could squeeze into her suitcase. She would be SO surprised. Gonna have to shop for a pair of depends... it's a long drive.

Speaking of fasting... those tacos smell yummy; think I'll go see what Little Debbie made for dessert.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Where can I get one of these??


Kid retreat = mom needs a vacation

Much complaining about my lack of communication; long, stupid story. I actually tried to blog about it last week, but I was boring MYSELF to tears. moving on...

This past weekend I had about 20 tenth grade girls and their chaperons over for the weekend. Kids had big youth activity at the church house and we opened our home to be the sleep over station. Whew! talk about tired. While discussing sleeping arrangements and snack options, Bethany issued the supreme challenge. She said something to the tune of, "you'll never beat Ms. Kathy... she had pizza rolls and egg rolls and blah blah blah." Have no idea what else the Kathy person was serving that impressed these kids so much because at that point my mind was glazed over with the "you'll never beat Ms. Kathy". She says that she did it on purpose. whatever.

Now I don't generally consider myself overly competitive. Okay, maybe a little; but you just can't say a thing like that and not expect a reaction. End result was WAY too much money, but hey, I kicked some serious booty (and I HATE that word). Kids came home on Friday night at about 10:30 to the most amazing platter of layer after layer of nachos and rotel. And we all know that rotel is a slam dunk. Fridge was packed with cokes (southern term for all things carbonated), bottled water, and juice. Next afternoon was snow cones and smoothies for afternoon refreshment. In all fairness, flavored syrup and shaved ice is really no big deal, but when you put them together in a little cup... ambrosia. That night it was meat and cheese trays, plus a plethora of chex mix, goldfish, cookies, etc. Take THAT, Ms. Kathy:)

Add to that a perfectly clean house with candles burning and the whole bit... mom was EXHAUSTED. But, they all say that I rock, which is a good thing... I think.

Friday, November 7, 2008

grilling more goodness


1. What is one of your 'must see' tv shows?
Okay, lest I look like my brain has turned to mush because of that blessed DVR I will just mention my favorite ONE show. Definately Gilmore Girls. It's not on any more, but I own EVERY season. Been watching them again lately, hence the quotes which only die hard Gilmore fans will catch. Guess the whole mother/daughter angst between Lorelai and Emily and the depth of the relationship between Lorelai and Rory makes me feel like less of a freak. And the quick wit CRACKS ME UP:)
2. Do you have a facebook page? Yup... mostly in an effort to be a good mom and keep tabs on my kids. Definately don't want to be the mom who didn't see THAT coming.
3. How old were you when you got married? 19... nuf said.
4. What is one bad habit that you need to break? I really wish that I could lay off of the Dr. Pepper.
5. What is your favorite cold-weather activity? the hot tub at Diane's house.
6. At church, do you always sit in the same area? choir loft... alto side. every time I sit with the sopranos I get caught.
7. What do you like best about blogging? expressing myself without someone sassing me.
8. What's the last funny thing you remember hearing from a child? "how much does it pay?"

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Oh how the years do fly...

Brian - sometime around 1990ish

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

another tuesday come and gone

two dirty diapers... check
snotty noses; sure to mean a sick weekend for me... check
homework finished... check
kids all home to their mommas... whew!

I am SO tired and its only Tuesday. Good news is that tomorrow is MY day of rest. No kids and Bethany gone to class. Look like its shaping up to be a great day to stroll thru Target. woohoo!

Surprisingly enough, it is 4:50 in the afternoon and I have no idea what's for supper. So much for my reputation as the queen of planning. Sometimes I just want to say that just because I have breasts doesn't ACTUALLY mean that I should know what to eat every night. But then I remember that someone else is bringing home the bacon; the least I can do is fry it up in the pan. And since I am CERTAIN that having breasts means that I don't have to take the trash to the curb... whatever.

Looks like a spaghetti night. yuck.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

totally off the subject...

Didn't want to add onto the last post as it was getting too long...

Dogs have been CRAZY today. We found some new chewie things at walmart that are pig skin rolls. ewww. I know. They have each been on a mission to take more than their share, hiding a spare one that they have filched from someone who was momentarily (or purposefully) distracted. It's HYSTERICAL. They are toting them around like they each have a cigar. Not very ladylike, if you ask me. There has been a little hum-de-dum and a little snarl here and there. Funny thing is that I can't keep the name straight. They are oinkies... I keep wanting to call them quickies.

NOT the same thing.

Moving Days

So, it's been a busy couple of weeks. I have been "moving". No; not to an new house. Just stuff around here. I have a problem. I tell myself that I just need to move stuff ONE more time and then I'll quit. I tell myself (and others) that I can quit any time I want to... whatever.

My house in Cordova had five bedrooms and three bathrooms... talk about moving. I think that Bethany actually lived in three of those bedrooms in the six years that we lived there. You think that I am kidding; my sister will testify that I am not. Oh, and she didn't just live in them. They were EACH appropriately painted and decorated for her ages at the time. First room upstairs was not so fancy. I mean that the house was brand spanking new, so there just wasn't much that needed to be done. When I moved her downstairs I painted the room PINK (we are talking pepto bismol here); put in a new set of white bunk beds; painted her dressers white with little do dads to match; and hung a hammock chair from the ceiling (courtesy of her cool aunt Diane). Did all this while she was gone to camp one year. Bethany isn't one to show a whole lot of emotion at gifts (understatement of the year). When she came home we, of course, had the video camera rolling and everything. She walks in and says, "cool, my beds came in". Did I mention that the walls were nauseatingly pink? Did she notice?? no; time to put away the camera. Have you ever seen Trading Spaces? Her reaction was the polar opposite of EVERY single person ever in the history of the show! Not ONE single OMG. I would like to apologize in advance to her future husband; and wish him luck:) I would love to be a fly on the wall when he proposes. I tell you now; there will be NO tears or exclamations of joy... probably something like, "cool, my ring came in."

She also lived in the room over the garage for a time and then back to the original room she was in when we first moved into that house. Sounds crazy now; but it made sense when we were doing it.

Fast forward to this ole house... When we moved in here, this was my mother's house. It has taken me several months to acclimate myself and make it my own. Nothing is as it was. In fact this past couple of weeks I have flipped pretty much every room into reverse of it original intention, which is why I needed my brother to come and install some new cable outlets and move my computer modem. But, I am done for now. Which, of course means that I am done with everything that I can do for free. I have GREAT ideas that cost alot of money, but whatever.

My sister, whose couch has not moved ONE inch since I told her where to put it does not understand my compulsion. I say it's kinda like someone who shops to make themselves feel good. Everyone likes the feeling of something new. Some of us are just too cheap to go to the mall.

I have to say, though that what I have learned from this move is that hard wood floors are not our friends. I consider myself to be a pretty thorough keeper of my home. I mean, it's not as perfect as I would like and I have had to concede some things in order to have the help that I need. (like not being able to find a can opener, or just about any thing else:) But... I pulled out that dresser that had been up against the wall in my bedroom and found the scariest dust "bunny" that I have EVER seen. I mean, I don't think that you can call that a bunny. Sounds way too harmless. Honestly, I thought for a moment that we had mistakenly added another yorkie to the bunch. I think that we should name him Harry. Diane said that I shoulda taken a picture of him, but the horror that I had missed that monstrosity of hair and dirt and dust was too great.

Hard wood floors... who knew?

Friday, October 17, 2008

tina's grilling goodness


1. What is your least favorite aspect of Election Year?
Not having a candidate that I can really get behind... mostly, this year is about voting against more than for:(
2. What is something your spouse could do to make you feel special?
Take me for a late night drive, find an out of the way stop sign...
3. Do you complain at restaurants or do you just tip less? tipping less is for poor service and things that are actually in the power of the server to correct; otherwise I just pout and don't come back.
4. If you had it to do over again, would you choose the same wedding date you had?
no, no, no... wedding date was in December. Can you say, "who can afford an anniversary gift?"
5. What kind of car do you drive? Chevy malibu; miss my van. don't miss filling the tank.
6. If you have siblings, are you close to them? sister is BFF; half sisters wouldn't know me if they saw me on the street; step sisters have moved on with their lives; half brother is around here somewhere (cooking for him today:); not sure where step brother is off to... maybe I should look him up on facebook.
7. Do you spend the same amount of money on each child at Christmas or just buy a certain number of gifts? both; bad childhood experience...
8. What phrase do you find yourself saying all the time? TURN OFF SOME OF THESE LIGHTS! Did you SEE the electric bill this month??????

Friday, October 10, 2008

Tina's grilling goodness

1. What can cheer you up when you're feeling grumpy?
grumpy?? who, me? what are you trying to say here?

2. Give one feature that could make or break the deal if you were shopping for a new home.
galley kitchen; fell for it once, NEVER again.

3. What's the craziest thing you've ever let your children eat for breakfast?
Bethany had lazagna with her dad last saturday.

4. If you are a 'watch what you eat' kind of person, share a meal or dish that makes it easier to diet. Spaghetti; mostly cause I don't really like it.

5. Is there something you used to do as a child that you would never let your children do now?
When Diane and I used to travel with our dad we would lay with our heads down on the floor board of the front seat of the car (you know, right under the engine:) and our legs in the seat. We would sleep like that for hours. WHAT WAS HE THINKING???

6. If you have a daughter, are her ears pierced? When did you allow it? Yes; she was five.

7. Are you the only person in your house who changes the TP roll?? nope, mostly David does that.

8. How old were you when you no longer lived with a parent(s) for the first time? married at 19. WHAT WERE MY PARENTS THINKING?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Okay... that's just NOT funny.

I was kidding about the offers starting to pour in now. Turns out that the enemy wasn't.

You know the moment when the peace comes. You take a deep breath, and although the problems haven't really resolved; you just know that you have taken the first step in the right direction... maybe in a very long time. Then the devil comes and JERKS the rug out from under you. Well, mine came in the form of an email from the very nice Dr. Soandso who was requesting my presence for a sit down interview for my full time, full charge bookkeeping position using none other than the programs that I cut my teeth on. Okay God, test number 1... I wrote him a very sweet thanks, but no thanks email. and. sent. it. YIKES! Are you sure about this God??? Do you know what he did? he emailed back to thank me for my reply and wish me luck with the "new" position that I told him that I had accepted. It's not so much a "new" position as much as it is an accepting of the "old" position, but whatever...

Spent all afternoon yesterday scouring the paper for sale items to live off of for the week. This week our menu will consist of every dish I can think of with split chicken breasts, some hot dog buns, yogurt, and a side dish of crest.

Think of it as an adventure.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Lessons from Saul, the stupid

Side note: I noticed in the previous post that although my fall decorated fire place is gorgeous to me, others may be confused by the hideous greenness of the bricks and walls. While I agree that this color WOULD be "hideous" in the living room; this particular fire place is in my kitchen, where the color is cheery and inviting. Not to mention that this tiny little section of the kitchen on the background of this dreary bloggy wallpaper (my address IS eeyorescorner, after all) just doesn't due it justice. Suffice it to say that it looks very impressive and I look forward to having friends and family over for Thanksgiving... in six weeks. haha:)

side note, part two... speaking of my address, a friend so kindly pointed out that it looked like I was a scorner of eeyore; now the address is bugging me. thanks, jeff.

excuse me, I just needed to turn the burning taco meat on the stove...

***************************************
On a more serious note, I have made the decision to suspend the relentless search for employment for the time being. I figure that I will get several lucrative offers any time now.
A very wise woman I know once said that just because we know what to do, doesn't always mean that we are doing it. I KNOW that I shouldn't eat 2 servings of apple pie after a carbohydrate infested meal of homemade chicken and noodles over mashed potatoes. I KNOW that it will make me feel nauseous. I KNOW that it is sinful to eat more than my body needs. I KNOW that the Bible calls this gluttony... but it is yummy, so I do it anyway. All the while, feeling the satisfaction of knowing that I am a stickler of obeying the speed limit. I am a "good girl". I follow the rules. I ALWAYS do the right thing. yeah right
Excuse me while I exercise my I John 1:9 privileges...
Okay... what was I saying. Oh yeah, just because we know to do right doesn't always mean we are doing it. What does that have to do with my search for the perfect job?? I am glad you asked.
As I was sitting unsuspectingly in choir Sunday night, choir director (R) was giving a devotion about Moses. Surprisingly enough this led my brain to the sunday school lesson of that morning concerning Saul. (don't ask how my brain went from Moses to Saul; God ways are not our ways:) In any case, Samuel had asked Saul to go to a certain city and wait for seven days for him to come and offer sacrifices for the people before they were to go into battle. It seems that Samuel was taking liberties with the time frame or maybe someone stopped him on his way and offered him pie. Nevertheless he was (insert gasp) LATE. Saul got itchy feet because the people were losing interest and the enemy was looming scary, so he decided to get this show on the road. He called for the animals to be brought forth and he took care of business without the benefit of a priest. bad idea. It seems that Samuel showed up just as the roast was starting to smell good. He has a way of doing that. When Samuel asks the obvious, Saul begins to make excuses, even blaming Samuel for his tardiness. another bad idea. We all know the story; that in the end Saul loses his crown to David, but the point for me was this... what was Saul's sin? His logic was sound, he had the best interest of the people in mind and he was the king after all. His sin was simply this: he was not a priest. He stepped out of his role as the king and presumed another that was not his right. Everyone knows that only a priest had the authority to offer sacrifices on behalf of the people. He let fear and pride and his "i can fix that" attitude rule the day. God broke him for it. Wow. Okay, God I don't need a preacher to figure this one out.
So here's the deal. My husband, bless his hard workin' self, is my God-given provider. That is his role, not mine. (heard that recently from a friend, thanks L) He works hard and takes GOOD care of this family. So, the gas prices are sky freakin' high; so the groceries budget is in the toilet. So, the bill collectors are mounting and the bad decisions of a better time are looming their ugly heads. God says that he will never forsake us. I will trust in Him (and him:). I believe that my role is to facilitate my husband's role as provider. It is to provide a sweet haven for him to return to; a hot meal (most nights:); clean socks to wear to that blessed job he works so hard at; and a home that makes him proud to bring his parent to visit. I may not be able to find the perfect job; but THAT I can do.
I get that in this world of feminism, this school of thought is a step backward. But, I know that when I stay in MY role I have a peace that passes all understanding. Someday, my "seven days" may be over but for now... I'll just wait.

Friday, October 3, 2008

busy days




psst... this post spent a couple of days in the draft folder. sorry:(

Today has been a busy day of making up for yesterday...

Ahh, yesterday... an entire day spent on the couch with a migraine and the heaves. You know, the dry kind because you have already used up all that you had to offer. Bethany and I were commiserating in the living room together because for some reason this virus from hades only affects girls. what is UP with that??

Since we were both able to lift our heads off of the pillows this morning without it requiring putting said head somewhere that it should never be; we decided we had MUCH to live for. Like schoolwork. and housework. and bathing dogs. and decorating for fall.

side note: why is it that a throwing up virus always hits you when the toilet is MOST in need of cleaning??

Apparently the dogs have picked up their own version of a virus; in the form of fleas. Yikes. I don't mind them on the dogs so much, but when they head over to MY neck and make me want to scratch its time to do something. Sis told me to bathe them in Dawn dishwashing liquid. Now this is not for the fainthearted. Don't forget I have three of these little boogers... not fleas. dogs.

After an hour and a half of "fun", we had them all bathed and in their clean, flea free kennels. In typical Zoe fashion she managed to flip hers off of the picnic table and onto the ground. Whenever bad stuff happens... it ALWAYS happens to Zoe. She is the clutz of the group. If Zoe is sitting next to me on the couch and I throw a ball into the kitchen for Truly it will most likely bounce off of the cabinet, hit the fridge, rebound on the back door and hit her in the back of the head. Never fails. If something is falling; its gonna hit Zoe. If something is going to break; its gonna break when Zoe jumps on it. If something spills; most likely she is standing right in its path. She doesn't even bother to move anymore because there really is no point. So when I walked out the back door and saw the crate flip off of the table, hit the seat, and land upside down on the patio I knew it was hers.

After all that work I was sure that I deserved to get a good picture, but they were not being very cooperative... at least not all at the same time. So that's the best for today. Look quick, cause they won't be that clean for long. And the decorations that I wasn't gonna do till the fifteenth... I have just one thing to say.

Shut up:)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

life questions...

Why is it that the best sleep of the night occurs after hubby leaves for work... but, if he is not here for some reason at night there is NO CHANCE that I will fall asleep????

Monday, September 29, 2008

Bring out the big guns

Okay... this getting ridiculous.

Monday morning check of the want ads. check.
Application sent to Target. check.
Attempt at walmart application. check.

Walmart application is like applying for the secret service. You have got to be KIDDING me. Have you SEEN the people working there???? I mean... come on. No offense intended to you hard working, clean, articulate, intelligent, helpful, attractive, walmart employees (with teeth); but come on... we've all BEEN there. Most of the people at the check out counters barely make eye contact, let alone speak. I have a hard time believing that these people filled out a 72 question skill assesment test regarding their management decisions in various difficult situations. REALLY!

I think that I am going to be looking for an organ buyer...
You can "donate" a kidney while you're still alive, right???

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Moving on

Finally got a call back. Nope, not from them.

Day before yesterday I finally realized that I would be stupid to take a job in a new field at half again what I was making when I left the job market, at least one that far away. It's one thing to take a job to make ends meet close to home, it's another to take one at 40hrs per week forty five minutes from home. If I am willing to throw myself completely back into the working world then I really should go back to the old paycheck, dontcha think?? To that end, I tossed out a resume to a counseling center that is looking for a full charge bookkeeper with experience in Quickbooks.

Oh yeah... that'd be me.

So, when I got home last night from choir there was a message from Dr. So-and-so, director of said counseling center. Wow, that was quick. I called back and left a message on his voice mail and he called back this afternoon. Playing phone tag with a complete stranger is not really my cup of tea, but you do what you have to do.

Apparently he is weeding out the riff raff over the phone and then will be calling those that interest him in for a second interview. SECOND interview. HA! I had my first interview with him in my PJ's!!! too funny. Diane thought it was hysterical.

Trouble is that I am REALLY bad over the phone. I make a terrible impression. There is a reason that people like me get into bookkeeping. It's because WE DON'T LIKE TALKING TO PEOPLE:) And talking to them over the phone is worse. But, he is a doctor (of psychology, I assume) so hopefully he will get that.

Still praying that God puts me just where He wants me to be... In the mean time, it's time to start buying the kroger brands.

I hate kroger brands. ewwww.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wordless Wednesday... not

It appears that the people from job interview #2 are not going to call...

What's up with people not calling. Shouldn't the interviewer call the interviewee, even if the answer is no. This seems only polite. After all, the interviewee appeared when and where they were called and stayed as long as the interviewer was inclined to continue. It seems to me that the interviewee has earned a call back. It's just rude, I say; but, whatever.

At least I don't have to make THAT decision. Thanks, God. I was really struggling with it.

I have spent 2 hours this morning filling out more applications online. I am down to Kroger and Walgreens. Not that there is anything wrong with working at Kroger or Walgreens. It's just that my accounting degree promised so much more. Oh well. I'll take what I can get. Guess what, THEY do credit checks, too. What is UP with that? And, they have some sort of process where people on welfare get first dibs or something. Are you KIDDING me? My virtual application gets rejected because I need a job to pay my bills and I am not using the government to subsidize my housing or groceries. Is this a vicious circle or what???? I am so tired. I hear McDonalds calling me.

I have good news and bad news. Brian started his new job today:) woohoo! He actually got the perfect job for him. Sales clerk in the local christian book store. Did I mention that he is a voracious reader and that he is crazy for music?

The good news is that he found the perfect job for him...

the bad news is that I am not sure that any of his check will make it out of the store...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Near death experiences

Still waiting on the call that could change my life forever.... I'm feeling very dramatic about this one:)

The good news is that Brian got a call for an interview the same day that I had mine. We are waiting for a call about his job, too. I think that I am more excited about that. It would be a perfect job for him... mostly because there would be a paycheck. He really NEEDS a paycheck. I really NEED for him to have a paycheck. You get the picture.

Last night he took several years off of my life. I really did not appreciate that.

He has a friend who works as a music minister on the weekends (college student)... he went to church with him this week. When he didn't show up after church looking for food, I just assumed he went home with said friend. Fast forward to after evening services (to which he was not in attendance, either) when I went to friend's mother saying, "I assume Brian was at your house for lunch"... To which she replies, "no, D came home alone."

Oh great, now my imagination kicks in. I skipped the pizza I was gonna get on the way home in my haste to make sure that my kid had not ended up who knows where. You know there is a real fine line between letting a 19 year old have his own space and making sure that you know that they are safe.

I fly home, squeal into the carport, trip over myself getting in the door, and there he is... sitting on MY couch in MY house watching MY tv and eating pizza. He looks up at me with those baby blues and says, "I overslept". Who oversleeps during the day!!

crisis averted.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Decisions corner

This week has been a very busy month.

Worked three days with the two little boys. Kept the 7 yr old 5 days.

Painted some more on the kitchen.

Figured out where to put the Christmas tree.

Oh yeah... I had another job interview. YIKES! I pouted all the way there because this job is 25 miles from my home. Truthfully, if I had known that, it is unlikely that I would have given my resume to this friend. But, I made a commitment so of course I went. Didn't want to. Wanted to sleep in since I had had the boys for three days. I was beat. dog tired... and I know dogs.

but i went.

It really wasn't as bad as I was expecting. The people were nice. I think that they liked me. And they have dogs there... (chiuauas, but you can't have everything:)

Afterwards, I drove alllllllll theeeee wayyyyy homeeeeeee....... stopped at chick filet, of course because we don't have one out here in the boonies.

I sat down with my children and discussed the pros and cons to this position. Kids are rooting for me. Can you hear them????? gooooo mom! you're great! you can do this!!!!... I think that they see a very bare Christmas in their immediate future if they don't propel me out of the house. Trouble is, that they are not being realistic about what it will cost them.

No more clean laundry. No more clean toilets. No more yummy Mom food. No more staying up until all hours of the night watching reruns of "House". No more clean anything. No more groceries (they don't just walk here, people). No more made beds or cut grass or chats around the table while pretending that you don't need to be doing Algebra.

And the dogs... don't even get me started. They will die. They will either starve or they will explode from not being let out.

Not that I DO all of these things. It's just that I am the only one that sees that they need to BE done and is willing to take the various expressions of attitude displayed when these needs are vocalized.

I don't know why I am worrying. It is not like they made an offer yet. But, I need to have an answer if they do. The job that I wanted at the bank would have been an adjustment for our family, but this job would mean a MONUMENTAL adjustment. Maybe that's just what we need. Only God really knows. I am really praying that if this is too much for our family to take on that He closes the door. I have spent way to much of my life trying to nurture them to leave them out in the cold now. I hate making decisions.

Please, God, make it for me.




Friday, September 12, 2008

buy one; get one free

Here is your extra thought for the day... completely and totally unrelated to the christmas stuff on the other blog.

I am not too sure that I like this whole "followers" stuff on the blog list. I dutifully have my "followers" listed, but I suddenly am reminded of my grade school years of unpopularity. Do I really want to relive the time in my life that I was the last one picked for any organized activity? Oh yes, I was the one... you remember. Middle school gym class, "no, YOU take her... we had her LAST time!" That was me. Shrinking over on the side lines. Praying that the volley ball would get no where near me and that class would be over before I was supposed to serve.

Oy with the poodles already!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

End of summer

The pool is "closing" today. What I mean to say is that I am paying to have the pool closed today. The word "is" in that sentence implies that the pool closes itself. It doesn't. Note to self: Having a pool is an investment and you will never have another vacation in your life:)

I guess that the end of summer is official. We haven't been swimming for the last couple of weeks; not because it has been too cold outside, but because the water is FREEZING. Actually, I don't think that the water is all that cold. I mean the thermometer says that it is about the same temp as at the beginning of summer when we were saying things like, "oh... it's not THAT bad." But, after roasting our tootsies all summer I just don't feel compelled to get in there. Pool man says we need to have the cover on before the leaves start to fall. Makes sense to me. So, that's it; maybe the utility bill will come down. I'm just saying........

Another sign of the end of summer is that Christmas music that we are working on in choir. It is always a little funny to me to be singing "Carol of the Bells" in September but we have to start sometime. This is always the first step to the wash of memories that starts about this time of year and doesn't end until after Daniel's birthday. Something about singing about Mary and her precious baby boy starts the knot in my throat and flashes back to all of the pictures in my mind of the few short hours that we spent with him. The tears aren't far behind. There are those who have never endured the loss of a child who have trouble understanding why it still permeates my life nine years later. Like it or not, it is part of what makes me who I am. Rest assured that for the next couple of months he will be especially near the surface of my thoughts.

Hugs and kisses to you my sweet baby boy. Go give Miss Glory a hug. She's new there and you can show her around to all of your best places.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Dog days...

Okay, I agree that maybe I'm just a little nuts at having 3 dogs. I didn't really mean to. It just sort of happened. But, I have to say that it has been a little insane around here with a new puppy. She cracks me up.

Truly, as you know, loves a good game of ball... any kind of ball. Inside, we mostly toss a tennis ball. Nobody likes it when I play with her, cause I'm a lousy throw, but she doesn't care as long as she gets to enjoy the thrill of that spectacular fluorescent orb shooting down the hall to who knows where. And she NEVER falls for the "fake" throw. She just stands there like that was the stupidest thing she has ever seen. Generally, she likes to stand suspended until after the ball has disappeared from sight before she flies around the corner to hunt. If it ends up under or behind something, all the better because she LOVES to play her version of hide and seek. God forbid that it should land in some sort of inaccessible area, because after much whining and running back and forth in a valiant "lassie"sort of move you WILL be getting up to get it for her.

Now we have Schatzi, or "the baby" as she is affectionately referred to. She has watched this game and decided to give Truly a run for her money, literally. Trouble is she doesn't feel the need to wait for the ball to have time to "hide". She just takes off like a bat out of a place that a bat would never be. If she is on the couch, you will get a chance to see her impression of the dark knight leaping off of that really tall building from the new batman movie. She throws herself forward (not down), unfurls her front legs like she has been taking lessons from her friend, the flying squirrel, and yes... there is hang time. It is hysterical. every time.

Yesterday, David and I were sitting at the table taking in a little game of Skipbo, when the baby came calming trotting into the kitchen carrying the tennis ball. Now this in and of itself is a bit comical, considering that the ball is approximately the size of her head. It would be kind of like me carrying a honey dew melon out of kroger... with my teeth. But, what got us tickled was that she carried the ball right into my pantry room, through the gate which was closed for some reason (she is still small enough to get thru the slats). Truly was fast on her heals, of course, as she trotted into the kitchen; but was stopped dead in her tracks by that gate. Baby put the ball down well within sight, and then sauntered smugly back through the gate as if to say, "get it now, sista:)"

You haven't lived until you've laughed til you cry... at a DOG.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Day Two...

On this, our second day of "classical" education we have already had to tweek the schedule. Tweek is a technical term which means "this is NOT WORKING". yikes.

I arranged Bethany's schedule such that she would be doing her math and science classes first because she is only accountable to me for those and her humanities in the afternoon since we have to turn those in every week when she meets with her class. She informed me yesterday that she did not have enough time for humanities to meet the goals that she had set for herself and therefore my classes are going to get second billing. We all know what that means. She'll get to them when she gets to them. I have news for her.

Today she was working hard most all day. Books and papers have been everywhere. We have her desk set up in my kitchen and it is overflowing with notes and little cards with highlighted stuff. It is weird seeing work laying around here that I did not assign... but nice to see her so productive. Part of the trick to home schooling over the years is to stave off the burn out. We do that by incorporating change. That is part of the point of this year. There is a very delicate balance between not messing with what works and keeping things fresh. She is very focused on her humanities because of her desire to please her "teacher"... the one she sees once a week. She doesn't care so much what I think:)

I have a feeling that this year is going to be ALOT of work and take more focus than we have ever needed. To that end, I have moved a table into the room that I have recently acquired in moving Brian to the back yard. She is going to need a place to spread out and have some quiet and the kitchen really isn't that kind of environment. She will not be pleased, but she'll live.

I have always appreciated all of the christian influence that flows over every subject of our curriculum over the years, but this year there are some college level manuals and for literature she will be studying some ancient lit and mythology, etc. Today, she cracked me up when she gasped at the table that her grammar manual had a quote from Oprah. She is also reading The Epic of Gilgamesh. Let's just say that he was not the kind of guy that I have taught her to look for in a mate. She was so embarrassed at chapter one that, although she wanted me to read it... she didn't want me to read it OUT LOUD! I would love to be a fly on the wall when they discuss THOSE questions in class.

Okay, maybe she's been a little sheltered:)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Job hunting

Last night after choir practice I stopped at the mailbox to pick up the bills (I mean mail). Water bill was $175... WHAT! Apparently, filling the pool after the pump decided to blow the lid off of the filter and pump the water all over the yard THREE TIMES cost me a hundred bucks. Remember when I told you that the pool guy said pools are expensive. phooey.

I spent the night rehashing the whole should I/shouldn't I debate about going back to work. That hundred dollars of water in the back yard sorta pushed me over the edge. my head hurts.

I got out of bed this morning at 6:30 and promptly hit the internet in search of the perfect job... notice "perfection" is sort of a theme here. For some reason, when looking on the internet there is alot of cloak and dagger about the jobs, their location, the company that's looking, etc. They want my resume which basically gives them everything about me except my social security number, but I am not really sure where "they" are located. With the price of gas, this is somewhat of a concern.

Somehow, I happened upon an opening for a full charge bookkeeper for some kind of construction business located somewhere in my small town paying somewhat of a reasonable salary to work who knows what hours. I pasted my hastily put together resume (with the additional years that I had inadvertantly left off last time) onto their "send your resume here" button and clicked away my personal information to who knows whom. I have no expectations that I will ever see any profit from that effort.

Don't get me wrong... As I have said, I don't especially like meeting new people. I often say that I sing in the choir at church to avoid the whole greeting thing. BUT, sending out a resume into cyberspace to a faceless potential employer seems very impersonal. Even for me. I can't imagine this actually working.

Another new wrinkle that I have discovered is that the "good" jobs with the "good" paychecks all say that they do credit checks now. Guess what, I am a bookkeeper with REALLY bad credit. Many reasons, some due to bad decisions on my part, some due to circumstances way beyond my control, or some combination of the two... Usually the bad decision was followed by the circumstances beyond my control. Needless to say, the fact that the creditors are calling is WHY I NEED A JOB:) I have a feeling that I will be offering you an apple pie with your fries real soon.

Then there's the guilt factor. I have a beautiful, intelligent, self-motivated, sweet, currently home schooling tenth grader that I have devoted the last 15 years of my life to. When you go to work with a toddler, the answers are simple... home care or daycare. Not my choice, but people do it. When you have invested as much as I have into this incredible person, you can't just get up one day and say, "okay, kid, you're on your own". The 19 year old, yeah, I can do that. But the 15 year old? What if all of our hard work goes to poo-poo because I deserted her in the 11th hour? What if I put my needs before hers, now after all of these years and I lose her because of my selfishness or my incredible inability to keep us financially solvent until she was ready? I can't leave her at home ALONE. She doesn't need a babysitter, for heaven's sake, but being alone gets lonely REAL FAST.

Besides, who's gonna cook dinner?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Square One

It seems that I am back to square one. rats. Now what...

The job interview that went so well didn't end so well. Somehow, I failed to express my desperate need for them; and theirs for me.

Perfect job slipped thru stupid fingers. check.

Truth is, I HAD the perfect job. I loved what I did. I was a full charge bookkeeper for a tiny little business that in my time there grew from a couple of boys playing at having their own business to an actual out and out business with employees and everything. I built the business end from nothing. It wasn't mine, so I had nothing to loose; but I had the freedom to use all of my creativity to its fullest. I set my own hours. Even took my dogs to work. I LOVED it.

I didn't love everything, mind you. I found out that I really hate insurance... and the IRS. But, I love balancing ledgers, and counting petty cash, and making deposits and paying bills (other people's bills with other people's money), and I LOVE payroll. But, what I loved most was creating solutions for the needs that the business encountered as it grew. I loved making charts and lists and making everyone fill them out:)

So, why did I leave, you ask?? Well... did I mention that one of the boys playing at owning the business was my little brother; and that he is somewhat of a typical type A personality. And did I mention that my mother financed this little venture; and that she is also somewhat of a type A personality. And did I mention that I was somewhat stressed out (I mean, ready to shoot myself in the face) at being caught between them.

All of this stress was complicating an already complicated situation. In the midst of all of this drama, I was trying to continue home schooling my kids which was becoming increasingly difficult. So, I made one of the toughest decisions of my life. I left.

I. don't. regret. it. one. bit.

Fast forward almost 18 months. Brian is off to college and Bethany starts homeschool/private school combination and needs less and less of me. NOW I have to time have the perfect job, preferably one that doesn't included a rock and/or a hard place.

Problem is, I don't even know where to begin to search now that my dream job isn't dreaming of me. I've had total freedom... it's kinda hard to work for "the man" when you've been your own boss. I'm feeling kinda whiny about it. Kinda like crawling back into bed.

I hate square one.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Labels of life

Warning: today was a yucky day. If you are expecting a cute, funny, piece of fluff to read before bed then find another blog, cause I am feeling every ounce of my God given melancholic temperament tonight. And please don't tell me that understanding my own temperament is the same thing as making excuses for it, because I have already heard that one today. GOD made me a melancholic. GOD made me a first born. GOD gave me to the parents that provided the environment into which the raw materials of that temperament were molded into the person that I am today. If you don't like it, then TAKE IT UP WITH HIM.

Once upon a time, there was a little girl. She was a timid little thing with a cute pug nose and freckles. She lived in a little house with her mommy and daddy and baby sister. For some reason that escapes her, she felt responsible for her baby sister from the day her parents brought her home from the hospital. No one told her that this was her solemn duty, but she felt this grown up burden, nonetheless.

One day, her mommy told her that she did not like her. She can't really remember why mommy said that that day, because she was too hurt to pay attention to the reason. That was the first time that she understood that there would be many labels that she would collect in her lifetime. Her first label was "unlikeable". She will spend a lifetime trying to put off that label, but somehow cannot escape it. Over the years, she acquired many labels; some placed on her with much flair and volume, some inferred with hints and innuendo, some placed on her back when she wasn't looking.

When she met Jesus, He taught her how to give the labels to Him so that He could dispose of them properly. She tries to do that daily, but sometimes it is so hard when they are falling like rain. She doesn't understand why these don't hurt others like they do her. But they do. Jesus gave her a label of her own. Her own desire. It says "personal integrity". She will wear it for Him... proudly and without apology.

Some days living with a clear conscience before God is not an easy thing to do. Sometimes it is not the popular choice. Sometimes it makes you look like you think more highly of yourself than you should, but it is always right.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Friday, August 22, 2008

Summer hugs

Pork roast in to roast: check
Laundry caught up &/or hidden away: check
Welcome basket of goodies ready for placement: check
House reasonably ready for 9 people and 6 dogs for 3 days: whatever

It's the quiet of the morning here. I've been up since before five (not a normal occurance, I assure you:) doing last minute things getting ready for the great summer visit of 2008. My kids are still sleeping, sister's kids are alseep in the camper. I will be leaving a note of things for said children to accomplish while Diane and I trot off to the airport in rush hour to pick up our daddy. My how things have changed. Not so many years ago, it was him coming to pick us up at the airport in rush hour.

I will never forget the feeling of his hug when we got off of that plane. Months would pass and I would not see him, maybe not even really hear from him. We didn't have internet back then (gasp:) and writing letters when you are a child is really just more homework. But... I would get out of that plane and there he would be. My dad is not really the demonstrative type. Doesn't express his feelings much, and isn't generally very huggy. Guess I get that from him. BUT... that hug said it all. He would hold on like he had been waiting his whole life to fold me into his arms. Oh, and it isn't a perfunctory quick "hi" hug that we southerners are known for... it is a real, genuine, "where have you BEEN, I've missed you SO MUCH" kind of hug. I get another one just before he leaves and he knows that it will be months before we see each other again. Sometimes, when I am in a little girl moment in my mind and I am not sure if I really matter to him, those hugs are there, reminding me.

Have a good weekend all, I'll be busy with my DAD!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Stop the celebration already!!!

I case you are wondering. I haven't got a call from the bank yet. They said two weeks, which we all know means, " we need time to think; don't call" and yet I am hopeful. One of the ladies at the interview looked over at the bank manager and said something to the effect of, "she's been home schooling for years; clearly she is very organized"... if she only knew how much:)

Moving on... Yes, my sweet church friends, we missed last night. Just let me say that all of this "back to school" celebration is killing my getting back to school schedule. Would someone please look into the faces of these teenagers. THEY ARE EXHAUSTED! Week ago Sunday night was a service devoted to the teens and all about their summer activities, Wednesday night was a special "back to school bash" with food, bull riding (not sure how that fits), preaching, music, etc. And because my kid is home schooled, which is code for "doesn't really do anything," she was one of the ones staying late to clean up. Got to bed an hour and a half late that night. Then, this weekend was the "back to school" leadership conference for kids with leadership potential. They spent the whole weekend working on a mission project and staying up late each night. Followed by the special speaker last night who I really would have liked to hear, teaching about discipleship of our teens. When we got home from morning church yesterday, I looked at Bethany and said, "you are in for the day". She only had the energy to pout. Make no mistake, she wasn't happy... she was just too tired to argue the point.

Even my seven year old nephew that I watch in the afternoon is exhausted. He comes in from school and flakes out on my couch; we go out to the pool and he flakes out on the chaise; we put him at the table for a snack and he flakes out in his lunchable. You get the point.

After years of home schooling I have learned the magic word. Are you ready?? Here it is... MOMENTUM. If we start out dragging in the morning, the day is shot. If we start out dragging on Monday morning, the week is shot. Let me just say here that we are in the TENTH grade this year. Don't judge me until you are there:) We may find ourselves missing a number of Sunday nights in order to get a good start on Monday morning, so I apologize here for those I may offend.

Speaking of which, I have ten minutes to get off of this computer before she boots me off:)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Mid life Crisis

Today I had a job interview.

I hate job interviews. Hate having them. Hate giving them. Yuck. How much can you really get to know a complete stranger in an hour. (yes, it was an hour. that's good, right?)

So now it's three o'clock in the morning and I am rehashing everything that was said in the entire hour. Am I the only one who obsesses about this stuff?? They asked me to bring a list of references. Why didn't I have a list of references with me?? It's been years since I have done this so I am COMPLETELY, hopelessly out of practice. I've been under a rock, teaching my children for YEARS. They think I can do anything, but can I convince a man in a bow tie that I am invaluable? He doesn't care that I can fold the perfect t-shirt. or that I make a great apple pie. or that I can make a Yorkie pee on command. or make an 18 year old shake in his hundred-dollar sneakers.

So, as I am laying in bed reliving this hour of my life I suddenly realize... I left off three years of work experience from my resume. YIKES. what now? Do I redo the resume, break in to the office, and replace it with an updated copy?... (did I mention it was a bank?) Probably not a good idea. Do I redo the resume, admit that I am an airhead who doesn't remember 1996-1999, and hand it in with the references that I need to turn in tomorrow? Or do I forget the whole thing and hope that it doesn't look like I was hiding my time in upstate NY. (did I mention it was a bank?)

All that said, the family has been very supportive. When I got out of the shower to prepare for my interview, I found that Bethany had rearranged my bedroom into a beauty parlor, ala baby girl. When I got over the shock of standing naked in front of my 15 year old, I pulled it together, put on my big girl panties (literally), and sat down for the full treatment. She repainted my toes so I could wear my cute strappy pink flip flops. (can you wear flip flops to a job interview?) She then proceeded to "do" my hair and make up.

Side note: This is one of those "mommy" moments when you want to look at your child and say, "are you CRAZY? this is a very important job interview and mommy would feel MUCH more comfortable doing her own hair and make up." I mean, it was not that many years ago that Bethany "doing" my hair meant several colors of sparkly rubber bands and shiny clippies in various places on my head.

But, I chose to submit to the beautiful young lady before me who now does her own hair and makeup and though she knows her mommy well enough not to experiment too much, she did an outstanding job and I will treasure her encouragement in my heart in the place where I keep my most special memories.

Just as I was pulling out the drive to leave, she ran out the door, pulled open the door to my car, plopped onto the edge of the car door jam, snatched my hand with a flourish, and prayed for me. WOW! Is she amazing or what?

THAT'S what I was doing from 1996-1999.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

see blog: "no, I did not pee in the pool"

Working with Mom on her most recent flip. Too tired to have anything to say, but...

Funny thing happened yesterday... went to the pool supply store to get the new pump (not funny):( When I was standing at the counter waiting for the pool guy to come out of the "back", which is where they keep all of the really expensive stuff; on the counter was a box of bottles for taking pool water samples. Box said, "free, take one". HAHA!

Sippy cups musta scared him:)

Monday, August 11, 2008

There's a fungus among us

Can you hear it??

It is the sound of algae growing faster than a teenage boy can plow thru a box of his sister's favorite cereal.

Sis/BFF came running in the house the other day. "the pump to the pool sounds REALLY loud," she says. We go out... I THOUGHT that that was getting louder. But, then I figured it was just my over active imagination. By Saturday, it was so loud that I was unable to enjoy my leisurely float in the pool.

BTW, the pool is SUPPOSED to be for exercise. Floating burns no calories whatsoever, but is much more fun.

By Sunday, Hubby turned off the pump because it sounded like a 747 was landing in my backyard. We are afraid that the neighbors are gonna call the cops for the noise hazard. If they don't, I will. No wait, it's my pump. Rats.

Mom says the bearings (probably spelled wrong, but I am a girl and the spell check ain't gonna catch it) in the pump are going out. Gonna need a new or rebuilt pump. Double rats. Did I mention that my Dad was coming to visit in less than two weeks? Did I mention that David is taking a week of vacation time to enjoy the last of the season? Did I mention that I have had to buy curriculum? school supplies? uniforms? music school tuition? Did I mention that this month's income was $$$$ LESS THAN last month?

So much for my cocky blog about how I can fix stuff. Don't tell the kids.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Tough Love

So here's the plan... because you know I have one. Thought that I would take a minute to explain the "windows in the shop" comment from the other day.

We have a shop in the back yard by the pool. It is about 15x15... you've seen it; it looks like a yard sale was dumped in there. It's actually in better shape these days, because Brian still does not have a job and I am running out of manual labor for him around here in my attempt to make him miserable enough to motivate him take this job hunting seriously.

Speaking of Brian, he is quickly approaching his 19th birthday. Young men this age need to work. They need to be in school. They need to have a car OF THEIR OWN. They need to at least be on the road to independence, if not there. To that end, Brian is moving out... to the shop. It is unfinished in the extreme. It has a roof, a door, a concrete floor, electricity... oh, and a refrigerator. All that a boy/man could need.

I have bought him two windows for his birthday. He will have to install them with his grandfather. He has already bought an air conditioner. It's in a box on the floor. We have been talking about this move for months. Brian loves to talk. He's not so big on action. I have told him that on the day after his birthday ( 15 days from now) he will be parking his carcass in his own "studio apartment" and that I may invite him for dinner now and again.

I remind him how the eagle momma lines her harsh nest with love and bits of fluff and leaves and softness in anticipation of the baby's arrival. Over time, as it grows, she throws out the comforts until she finally has to throw him over the cliff to teach him that he really has the capacity to fly. I am throwing him over the cliff... because I love him. I am also tossing out a case of Ramen so he doesn't starve.

He told me the other day that one of his friends (another 19/20 year old, eating at his momma's table... and mine these day) said that he couldn't live in the shop because it is a "health hazard". I would love to take him to Central America so that he could see the conditions that the majority of the world lives in to help him with his perspective.

I told him that there were no health hazards to sleeping in the tent.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

So much to do... so little time.

Dad will be here two weeks from Friday. I need to paint the kitchen and finish the trim that is taunting me with its one coat. I need to get some blinds for the kitchen since I refused to put back up the ones that were here when we moved in. Previous owners were smokers; do you have ANY idea what nicotine does to vinyl blinds AND the strings that support them? Up until now, we have just made a conscience effort not to be naked in the kitchen... Hasn't been TOO hard. But, with Dad coming I just sort of feels like it should look finished; not that I anticipate nakedness with Dad here.

I need to clean and get all of the laundry caught up. I need to finish cleaning out the shop and install the windows and window air conditioner (gotta reason, I'll explain later:) I need to install a clothesline and the fence on the last side of the yard (okay, I don't think that's gonna get done:)

Diane is going to pull her camper over here so that we can park it just outside the back door by the swimming/company bathroom. I spose we will have fun setting up a little cabin getaway with the fridge stocked with his diet drinks and other little happy surprises to make him want to come back (i mean- feel at home). I LOVE having company.

On a side note, yesterday Bethany came running in the house after taking Schatzi out for a little potty time, screaming that the pump on the pool had exploded. Oh great... just what I need now that I have priced the curriculum, music lessons, uniforms, supplies, etc. for the new school year. Not to mention that Brian's birthday just happens to be this month, Dad is coming, and Hubby has the entire last week of the month off for "vacation"... code for swim and eat. whatever.

I ran out to check said pump and found that it was working. If you call pumping all of the water out of the pool and on to the yard, working. fantastic. I flipped off the pump (by the switch, duh!), and took apart the filter to see what was wrong. Really, I was pretending to know what to do, because I am pretty sure that they never mentioned this one in bookkeeping class. Everything looked fine to me, with the exception of the water all over the grass and the pool several inches below the skimmer. oops... hope we didn't burn up the pump, since it is supposed to pump water, not air. I filled the pool back up to the proper level, put the filter back together and flipped it back on. TADA! Worked like a charm. I didn't even know that I could fix a pool.

I AM a genius. I have been telling my children this for years.

Monday, August 4, 2008

School days

It's official. I have joined the ranks of the Tipton County rednecks. You know how I know?? Last week I got my dump pass. Never had one of those before. The dump out here is just past the giant pine tree with a confederate flag attached to the tippy top. Definately Dixie. Can't wait to take dad... Oh, and be careful when you tell people about your dump pass. You forget either one or both of those p's and momma will wash your mouth out:)

For those who were frantically wringing their hands about the decisions I was making about school... We have answers! Yippee:) Veritas was a go for high school humanities (Bible, English, & History) but not enough yet for math and science so I am not completely off the hook yet. But this is a very happy medium for a long term home school momma with a high potential for burn out. We have spent the last couple of days scouring the internet for math and science options. We have been using Abeka DVD's for several years, but we don't want to just use what we know if there is something we are missing. I think that we have settled on Apologia for Biology and Saxon for Algebra II. Saxon has this cool CD rom thingy that is new, to go with the text. A little chalkboard comes up on the computer and shows how the steps work, which is good since baby girl has exceeded her mother in the math department. She has a pretty high GPA in Alg I this year, so I think that she will be fine. If not, we will be checking onto our local tutoring establishment. I heard that they are pretty good. Hopefully word will spread about the Veritas by next year and she can take Chemistry and Advanced Math THERE!! She is also excited about the possibility of doing a little dual enrollment her senior year. That is really the long term goal. I told you that I had a thing about a five year plan:)

The good news is that math and science is what we have been stressing about not being finished with so we can relax, work hard, complete our lessons & tests at a reasonable pace and just start our new Biology and Alg II when we are really ready. Wow! I can feel my insides untangling at the thought.

She is so cute. I have been home schooling Bethany since the first grade. She is SO excited about going shopping for school supplies and uniform shirts and a backpack. It's not like she has never had school supplies and back packs, but she has never done the whole "school shopping extravaganza" before. I remember the excitement for shopping for supplies and clothes every fall. The fights that my parents would have about the money...they were divorced and I think that part of the decree said that dad had to buy school clothes and that was mom's chance to stick it to him. Or at least he thought so. One year she sent us up to him to do the shopping and I am pretty sure that he never complained again. That was the only year that most of our waredrobe didn't come from the disabled veterans store or the salvation army.

Curriculum: $500

Music lessons: $500

Uniforms and supplies: $150

Day time hugs and kisses and talks about "real" stuff: priceless:)


Wouldn't trade these years for the WHOLE WORLD, Bethy.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Let's go Krogering

I hate my Kroger card. I find it insulting to my intelligence for them to force me to get a card in order to "save" money on my purchases. I mean, they give the card to just anyone. It's not like you have to pass a test or something. You don't have to have special cooking skills in order to get this card, you pretty much just have to be breathing. If the criteria for receiving this card is simply that I am a customer, then isn't the fact that I am standing in line with $300 worth of merchandise enough proof. I mean REALLY.

Does anyone actually believe that they are "saving" anything on that box of cereal that they just bought and then had to prove that they were a customer in order to get the special price. Come on... We all know that these prices are inflated so that we can feel good about being robbed.

It reminds me of a friend that I had at one time who told his wife that he spent $3000 on a stereo unit for their home. When she freaked out about this huge waste of capital, he calmly announced that it was really only $1500. Whew! Look how much I saved. whatever.

And then they had to go and get new computers (probably with all of the money that they made from the suckers who don't have a card:) and what do you know... It no longer has the count down telling how much I "earned" with my Kroger plus card. ARE YOU KIDDING!!! When I complained, the little checker boy said, "but ma'am, your savings is on your receipt." Riiiiiight. No, Sonny, I want to watch the count down on the COMPUTER SCREEN! There are so few true joys in life and Kroger has robbed me of that too, along with my Christmas club. I know that I am not the only one.

And someone please explain why we are now being accosted at the front of the store and directed to the correct line. I WANT TO PICK MY OWN LINE! If I make a mistake and choose a slow moving line, that's my problem... If I want to browse thru a copy of People magazine while I wait and then leave it on the shelf, then LEAVE ME ALONE. Maybe, just maybe, it is the only peaceful moment that I have had today and you come along and yank me out of line and put me where you want me. I actually got into a fight with some Nazi Kroger manager in Cordova because she wanted me to go into the 20 and under isle while I clearly had more than 20 items. I do not do that... Personal pet peeve, you know me and my rules:) The lady was very offended when I refused to submit to her direction. When did this become a communist country? I can check out anywhere I please, can't I????

What's next, mandatory valet parking?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

History 101

Every family has them...

They are the stories that get repeated around the Thanksgiving table year after year. They are legend. I really can't explain why we tell them over and over again. It's not like everyone at the table doesn't already know how they end. And yet we do it. This is how all legends get passed down. Our family is no exception.

A fellow blogmiester was telling how her daughter was ralphing on the side of the highway on a family trip and with a little encouragement from my sister, I was inspired to tell my own family's version of this one.

It was a beautiful Tennessee summer day... before the leaves begin to melt. At the time we were members of a small but close knit church group which has since moved on to the four corners of the earth. Our little church group decided to take a group "vacation" over to Eureka Springs to see the passion play and to visit the replica of the tabernacle that is there. We were so excited that we were willing to drag along our very young baby girl...just six weeks old.

The year was 1993 and my son was just short of his fourth birthday. We met at the church early that morning to caravan to our destination. Now, I really should insert here that my father in law had been the pastor of our little congregation for several years before he retired. So, as we met with our new pastor to pray together in the front yard of the parsonage my son disappeared for a short while. I was not really too worried since he had basically grown up at this home away from home for most of his short life. When our little prayer meeting was over, I went in search of him only to find that he had dropped trow and was backed up pooping on a tree. Not sure who taught him this little trick, but there really is such a thing as being too comfortable, if you know what I mean. This is how the day began... I should have known right then and there to turn around and go home.

As we travelled from West Tennessee thru the Ozarks mountains of Arkansas, we took the scenic route... You know, the one that basically follows the EDGE of the mountains and WINDS up the steeps. I was turning several shades of green and I was in the front seat. Four year old was barfing in a bowl in the back... baby sleeping, thank goodness.

On the way home, someone (not mentioning names here; see post on gossip) offered Dramamine for the the four year old. She had been helpful in the past with medical advice so I didn't even blink an eye when she said, "here, give him this". I gave him that. Four hours later, we stopped at a Exxon to get some more. I didn't bother to read the directions because "she" had already told me how much and how often to give... oops.

First dose bought me a really nice nap... second dose a coma and explosive diarrhea. David and I were driving along, enjoying the quiet when the--- dare I say--- godawfulest smell drifted forward from the backseat. Imagine with me... shouting into the CB (no cell phones back then), "mayday, mayday... WE HAVE DIARRHEA!!!". Hubby screeches into the gravel on the shoulder, dust flying everywhere. Don't forget, now, we are in a caravan of half a dozen or so cars all dodging the debris in one motion like synchronized swimmers. Car finally comes to a complete stop, I open the front door, snatch the four year old out of the backseat, strip him naked (leaving his caca filled underoos in the ditch), bathe him with wipees, and redress him while hubby undefiles (is that a word?) the back seat. HE DID NOT WAKE UP THE WHOLE TIME.

Fortunately, we had our resident nerdy Amway salesman with us who gave us an odor neutralizing "air freshener" to hang over the a/c vents. The smell was so strong the the rest of the way home we had to keep the air on full blast to keep it from wafting to the front seats. A couple of hours later four year old finally wakes up, leans over my shoulder and says, "what's that poopy smell?"

Lesson: READ THE DIRECTIONS ON ALL MEDICATIONS

Hubby likes to finish this story by mentioning that we left the poopy underwear in Clinton, AR... you can draw your own conclusions about the humor of that:)