Monday, September 29, 2008

things that make me happy, things that make me sad, things that make me mad

I am going random on ya! Since I am craving writing a blog but have no stories to tell I thought I would share my top 20 on the three topics listed in the title.

Things that make me happy:
* Jared (most of the time :-)
* My three amazing kids and all that they do and say
* My friends that keep me well-rounded, balanced and all together
* My new house (getting ready to decorate for the Fall)
* The fall - changing weather; falling leaves; the option to keep the windows open
* My new laptop (myspace, facebook, blogs, email)
* Doing childish things and enjoying every minute of it (ghost in the graveyard, rolling/signing)
* Time alone
* Laughing on the phone
* School food (salisbury steak, mashed potatoes & cheesy potatoes, vegetable soup, chicken spaghetti)
* Paying bills on time
* Buffets & Texas Roadhouse
* Watching my kids play sports; Pirate football
* Jared offering to clean the kitchen
* My new ride - it's got some bass, oh yeah
* A bubble bath with a good book
* Holidays with my family
* Going to Cozumel with Jared
* A clean house
* My job as a teacher

Things that make me sad:
* I miss my Granny
* Clayson and I fighting
* City Market closing and being boarded up
* Finding out Mr. Raymond, a greeter at Wal-Mart, has cancer
* Thinking about my grandparents getting older
* Kids with so many problems and little support
* Ashlyn not wanting to spend the night with my mom anymore
* Knowing that I am OCD about cleaning and don't enjoy my kids being kids often enough
* Knowing that I am not ever going to have any more kids
* Not having a sister
* Thinking about Joe, a boyfriend that was killed in a car wreck
* Bridges I have burned
* I did not get to go to Cozumel this summer
* Some things recent friends have told me
* Certain songs that bring back certain memories
* Quitting scrapbooking
* The elderly
* The lady that was exposed on the news for picking up an envelope with money and the lady who left it laying there wanting to charge her with the crime
* Kidd Kraddick's divorce (I am scrambling for another one here...)

Things that make me mad:
* Shoes, socks, dirty clothes left laying around
* Celebrities flaunting their democratic views
* Kids arguing and being disrespectful
* The sheep (all 21) sneaking out of the gate when I am trying to get through it and then having to corral them back in
* The stinky smell of the dishwasher
* My gate opener not working when I am in a hurry
* Ashlyn whining in the mornings
* When the kids say we don't have anything to eat (after a recent trip to Wal-Mart)
* Dish and Wi-Five trying to throw in random fees
* The fact that I pay $40 a month for cell phones that aren't used
* Trying to buy groceries at Wal-Mart with a bunch of screaming kids
* Sodas at a restaurant costing betweem $1.40 and $2.00
* When my coke bottle gets dropped and goes flat
* The smell of burnt popcorn
* Kids banging on the door while I am trying to enjoy the bubble bath with the good book
* Getting to the carport door to realize that the door is locked and my keys are in the car
* Ex-friends continuing to talk and spread lies
* Losing at card games -- just a little mad
* Having to stay at work until 4:15 (although I get a lot done)
* Some things that have gone wrong in our school district
* Wet towels and washrags smelling spoiled

So, there you have it. And, I have cured the urge to blog.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


We had a faculty meeting today and I never mind the meetings. I like to be with the teachers, aides and principals all in one gathering to make sure we are all on the same page and it gives me time to doodle a little bit. (I didn't doodle today because I was in the front row.)

One of the bullets that we covered was celebrations. At each meeting every grade level and specials will share a celebration that is going on with their students. I didn't speak up even though I felt that there are some celebrations in the works. My time will come. After everyone shared, our principal shared one about ME. She said that she has been in my classroom quite a bit this week and some last week and that one student that I have (who is a runner, has some anger issues and so on) is able to overcome his anger or his frustration because of the teaching I am doing and the engagement of the students. She said that he wants to be in my class and not miss anything that is going on because of the environment that I have created. My students are actively engaged. She said that she was impressed and thankful that I am this kind of teacher. It made me want to cry. And, I am tearing up as I type this from my desk. I truly don't feel that I am doing anything out of the ordinary or above and beyond anyone's expectations - I am just doing my job. But, for her to notice and say such nice things about me just solidifies the reason that I am a teacher. I love my job, I love my students. I don't dread having to go to work. It's not so much a job to me as it is a hobby. I get paid to do something I have always wanted to do and something I love doing.

I am blessed.

Thank you Jennifer for this verse.

"Let my teaching fall like rain,
and my words descend like dew,
like showers on new grass,
like abundant rain on tender plants."
Deuteronomy 32:2

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

some things are just a must

Today was kindergarten donuts for dad. It took some coaxing for Ashlyn to participate in this because she is such the mama's girl - quite a change from two boys who are obsessed with the daddy. She doesn't want him to take her to school and last week he offered to come eat lunch with her and she didn't want that either. The boys would have jumped all over that. (It's kind of bad on my part because in the mornings when she starts her whining because she is so not a morning person, I threaten her that I will make her ride with daddy to school. She usually straightens up. Hey, I have to have something to make her stop before it wears on my nerves to the point of ruining my day.) So, off they went to enjoy some glazed donuts.

About an hour into the morning, I get an email from Jennifer titled "Cosmetology degree?" - I open it with no idea what to expect with a title like that, no one I know is planning to go this direction. Much to my surprise, Jennifer is wondering who applied Ashlyn's make-up before school this morning. My reply to her was - what do you mean? - in the large print. She emailed back and said that Chris had noticed Ashlyn's "make-up" and wondered about it. Jared told him that I did not make her wash it off. Bad mama. This is what our Monday night was like...

On Monday's the kids go home to their Nana and Pop's where they graciously feed them dinner, help them with homework and play with them until about 7:00. Last night ran a little later because Clayson was creating things for barter day. They did not get home until around 8:30. By this time, I was perched on the couch and hoped they were tired and ready for bed because I did not want to over exert myself after having not done much since I got home at 4:30. Clayson and Trey were willing to lay around on the couch and watch Monday night football. Ashlyn just needed some grape Tylenol to cure her allergies/ issues (as she calls them). I got her the medicine and it wasn't until I gave her this, while she was in bed, that I realized she had marker all over her. She didn't want to take a bath and I didn't want to make her. She hadn't been outside or smell stinky so maybe the clean clothes she was to wear to school the next day would cover it. So, back to the stained hands, arms and legs. I made her get out of bed and I scrubbed her with Bath and Body soap. She was redder than the red marker and cranky at this point. I sent her to bed with faded marker prints. Thought I would get after it again this morning. Washable markers must not pertain to the skin. I did scrub her some more this morning telling her that we would not skip bath time anymore. I fixed her hair, put the toothpaste on her toothbrush, and washed her face - missing her right eyelid, evidently. When I got her from Mamaw's this afternoon I see where there is some red marker rubbed at the eyelid and into the eyebrow. Tonight, a shower is a must. And, mama will be a little more observant of the face. I am very observant of Trey whose mouth and eyes require a lot of attention all of the time, now I am gonna add Ashlyn to the list of checking the face before letting her get out of the car. And I thought I was through with baby wipes...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

sidewindin' tales

** This may be a very random blog
due to random occurences
over the weekend **
Friday night was a much needed girl's night out (GNO). I hired a sitter because Jared is in South Texas dove hunting - I am pretty sure there are dove in our own yard but that's beside the point - and my mom was busy. One of my students from my first year of teaching, now a senior, has been anxiously awaiting this opportunity and was happy to help me out. I ordered pizza for them and left confident knowing that they were in good hands for the evening. Rhonda, Sharon, Cindy and I had planned to go to Snuffers but ended up at Texas Land and Cattle where Jenny Jou met us later. They had a "live band" on the patio and we looked forward to being out on the lake and enjoying the fall weather. We had a nice dinner, enjoyed the two-man-band and decided that dessert from Cold Stone was a must. Off to the harbor we went. We got our ice cream and walked around taking pictures, laughing and enjoying our grown-up time. I got home at about 11:45 and the house was spotless. That's a huge benefit. The kids were all in bed and there was nothing for me to do but crawl up in the bed and catch up on Young and the Restless.
Saturday was crazy busy. For some reason, none of my kids sleep late anymore. They were all up by 8:30 this morning. It is nice that they are self-sufficient because I did not get out of the bed that early. When I did get up it was laundry and house cleaning that had to be dealt with. I did a little bit of this and a little bit of that before meeting Jennifer so that she could take Ashlyn with her and Allison's gang to Rockwall while I supported my little football player at his game. Football games are not what Ashlyn enjoys most. Spending time with her A friends is top priority.
I get Clayson to his game and realize that it is his snack day so Trey and I make a mad dash to Wal-Mart for the snacks and other items on my shopping list. Got that out of the way and made it to Clayson's game on time. He did excellent on defense. Go # 44! After the game, we went to Old Navy at the outlet mall. I have become so tired of the t-shirts, shorts and flip flops that the kids have been wearing since April. It may be eighty degrees outside but it is time to get into some fall styles and out of the summer wear. I think I accomplished that by the looks of my receipt. Now, what can I return...
Jenn, Allison and the five children met up with the boys and I at Old Navy and it was fifteen minutes getting from the car to the store and once inside I think I heard or felt the tune of "Who Let the Dogs Out". There were loud kids everywhere, six belonging to us. We grabbed, doted, looked for sales, put kids back into the strollers, realized we were hungry, paid and left. We went to Fat Catz for dinner. They sat us in the main room at first but we asked for a different location so we would not disrupt everyone there. They sent us to a 'fancy' room where we joined a table of four - no kids. Poor table of four. Our group of 9 came in with a bang! There was sneezing, shouting, smacking, spanking and 'organized chaos' going on. It's never dull when we get together but really, would we want it any other way?
Once at home, after many hours away, we were all settled in for the night when my mom calls and says that my brother has had a wreck. Her and my dad are with their friends and without a car so they need me to meet up with them so that we can go and pick up my brother and his friend. Jason and the friend were able to walk away from this drunk driving accident without one stitch of an injury or ache while the other driver walked off in handcuffs. This man cut them off on the highway and got the front of Jason's Tahoe which spun him around and into a guard rail where he thought they were going over. By the grace of God, they did not go over or get hit by any other cars going down highway 80. This is not the first bridge on which our family has encountered God's grace - it made me think of how my life was spared 15 years ago and how we need to be forever grateful for the daily blessings and those moments that could have changed our lives if it had not been for such a loving God.
I'm home now and will hug my kids a little tighter tonight.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

No more ridin' dirty

If I had to write a true sales description of what my car was like on Sunday morning (and all previous days), here is how it would read:

2001 Ford Expedition
92,000 + miles

Leather seats:
- driver and front passenger seat: good but worn-smooth-out
- passenger side bucket seat: slightly stained and polka dotted with bingo dauber.
- driver's side bucket seat: gum and other chocolate candies melted in seams
- 3rd row seat: seat belts stained from marker leakage; middle seat belt - unadjustable; open area to the left side of seat - empty candy wrappers and juice boxes, spoon with crusted milk from breakfast-on-the-go, dried up washrag and any other random items that seem to go unnoticed instead of in the trash can. Also, in the 3rd row seating area - sticky sucker sticks, gunk on the floor and in seat.
* Please note that all seats were tan leather - now look like spotted animal prints due to fading and your basic three children wear and tear.
- rear seat console: colored with crayola crayons "rainbow style" (by 4 year old girl), cupholders with sticky spillage, thick to try and clean out.
Power locks and mirrors:
-passenger door locks have come unglued and hang off the door with loose wires - almost "remote controllish" to the passengers.
-VHS video player - never used because it never worked.
-Tan ... or is it? I haven't seen the original color since the day we bought it. There's some dark brown staining in many places. Enough to go with the polka-spotted decor mentioned in passenger bucket seat.
- numerous dings and scratches
- backed into many foreign objects
- front fender dangling due to running over something and then trying to back away quickly, only to leave a bike flattened and the bumper being pulled out of place. this will be zip-tied up to look presentable.
- windshield wipers need replaced unless you enjoy the streaking sound
- no, the tires are not going flat - they (all four) need replaced
- registration sticker has been out since April

There isn't a window sticker big enough for all this SUV had to offer. But, thanks to my wonderful husband, who spent merciful hours getting this rig cleaned, detailed and like new - we were able to trade it in on something new-to-us.

We are now the proud owners of this 2004; 24,000 miles; 2WD Lincoln Navigator. One owner (a company) in absolutely perfect condition. Trey doesn't like it because of the clock - it isn't digital. Clayson loves it. Ashlyn is glad it is white and Jared is pumped that it can haul a boat and a trailer. It is truckly enough for him and modest enough for me. Now, we'll see if I can back that thang up!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Well, Ike has been at our house all day long. I met up with him first thing this morning when I went to volunteer at the Crandall Alumni breakfast. He did some damage to my appearance, I'm sure. He also made sure I stayed under the speed limit, both eyes on the road and off of the cell phone.

He must have followed me home ... stalker. So, here is what a rainy day holds at our house. Feel free to use any of our ideas and apply them in the comfort of your own home.

If you are Jared:
* Called in to work (this plan was made yesterday when they predicted much worse conditions).
* Home from work around 4:45.

If you are me:
* Completed 3 of 4 loads of laundry
* Got into my comfy pajama pants so that I could enjoy the couch's company
* Started shopping for a new car (I am very impulsive and if Ike had not been visiting, I probably would be driving something new right about now. Maybe not brand new - but new to me). Thank goodness for to allow me the convenience of online shopping. Ike could not stop me from that.
* Debated on whether to clean the house. It still looks good from last weekend. I cleaned the toilets, the kitchen and dusted the living room. Will get to the rest later.
* Speaking of rest, I laid down and took a very short nap.
* Realized the family was hungry - after all the snacks of rice krispy treats, crackers & cheese, brownies and the need for cereal. So, I cooked up some chicken parmesan and used some almost-t00-hard-to eat hamburger buns for garlic toast and now the brownies are baking.
* Cleaned the kitchen.
* Now, back where I started this rainy afternoon - on the couch, watching Ike on TV and out the windows and browsing the net.

If you are Clayson:
* Your parade, football game and hanging with friends at the Cotton Fest are all canceled.
* Invite a friend over.
* Tape up your brother's room with masking tape.
* Play in the rain with your friend, despite your mom's instructions not to.
* Become disappointed when your dad comes home and tells you that no, we are not car shopping tonight.
* Fight with brother and sister.
* Finally settle down to play Wii with your friend and get along with brother and sister due to threats made by both parents.

If you are Trey:
*Cry because you did not get to have a friend over.
* Become very angry about the tape on your walls.
* Continue wearing school shorts from yesterday.
* Lock yourself in brother's room while they are away.
* Must eat more spaghetti in order to get a brownie.
* Sneak downstairs to get pillows for brother and friend.
* Can't go outside because flip-flops have mysteriously disappeared from closet (where he is certain he put them up).
* Shop online for mom a car.
* Check emails.

If you are Ashlyn:
* Change clothes (again), fix hair, put on jewelry.
* Find shredded paper and baby shower plates for a baby doll birthday party.
* Fill a syringe (no needle included) and give all babies their vaccinations.
* Watch a movie.
* Clean room, well most of it.
* Ask to change clothes. The answer is NO!!
* Must eat two more bites of plain spaghetti in order to get a brownie.
* Go upstairs to entertain the boys through a concert.
* Come down and ask for pillows for the boys. (Mom then yells at Clayson to find out the need for pillows...)

So, yIKEs, it has been quite a day. Why haven't kids learned the value of rest on a rainy day?!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Nerve's the word

I finally worked up the nerve to go to the dentist. A tooth started hurting real bad Sunday so I called Monday to get an appointment for today. Please note: I have a major fear of dental work - my mom tells me that I left my first dental visit, at the age of four, with bruises. I don't remember this but I do know that growing up I always had at least one cavity at every cleaning. The one time I didn't have any was a huge celebration. It wasn't until I was 28 years old that I realized a shot in the gums was actually a needle, I thought somehow they were just pinching the nerves in my gum. Now that I know they use a needle, I am even more afraid. There is some truth to the statement that what you don't know won't hurt ya. The drilling, the shot, the smell, the dentist and nurse talking to you and wanting an answer during the procedure, the water and the suction - it's just more than I can bear.

Today, though, I put on my big girl panties and went to my mom's dentist in Rockwall. You know how as a kid there would be a doctor or dentist appointment that you really didn't want to go to and you would think about something in the future that you could look forward to after you got through what you were dreading? Well, today I knew that after this trip to the dentist I could start looking forward to the Cotton Festival tomorrow! I had a queasy stomach this morning, got through that, packed my valium that says I need to take it one hour prior to dentist appointment but couldn't since I have never taken one and did not want to be driving impaired. I kept it in my purse just in case...

Got to the dentist. Filled out papers (my favorite thing to do). Got called back. The dentist and her assistant were very nice. I'd rather be the friend than the patient. They took a few x-rays and there they were right on a computer monitor. There was no waiting on the dark room to develop them. Then, she put a little metal wand in my mouth that was a camera and took pictures that also showed up on the monitor. I really did not need to see all that. Her next statement was, "here is what needs to be done and how you are going to get through it..."

I was laid back in the chair, in the mode that I was about to be pain-free thanks to some gas and a little shot. I was mentally prepared. BUT, she tells me that she is going to call an Endodontist in Dallas to see if they can get me in for a root canal. What?! You won't treat me here? No, she does not perform root canals. For one if I had known this I would have chosen a different dentist where you get everything done at one place, kind of like a buffet. Two, now I am going to be facing two dental bills. Three, I don't know if I can make myself go somewhere else. Dental appointments usually only get one chance with me. I asked about just pulling it, it's not in a trashy location to be seen with the naked smile. She does not recommend this but it could be an option. It is better to repair the nerve... She talked so kindly of this group of Endodontists and told me I would be out in an hour, I was convinced to go there.

I leave Rockwall and head to Dallas, crying ALL the way there. I call my friend Sharon for moral support. I make it to this office, wipe my face and the mascara that has run and head inside. I fill out more papers (not so excited this time) and there is one about payments. There were 4 options: pay it all, apply for credit with no interest the first three months, make 3 payments autodrafted from checking account or make two payments with autodraft. I was so confused, I applied for the credit. They are not a provider under any insurance. Wish I had known this. Neither was the other lady, by the way. Root canal is running about $1600 plus the gas, which I would need - especially at this point.

Nurse comes to get me, no greeting or anything, just come this way. I get in the chair with a plastic apron, the bib and the heavy x-ray apron. Evidently, the three x-rays I brought were not good enough. I just lay there and cannot control the tears of fear. I know the inevitable is about to get underway. Nurse gives me a tissue (after I ask) but never offers any words of comfort. Maybe she was annoyed. Oh well, so was I. Dentist comes in and I tell him, jokingly, that I want a quick fix. He, unjokingly, tells me that there is no quick fix for something that has taken a long time to get there. He tells me that I have a cavity under a filling that is irritating the nerve. The only solution he can offer is a root canal. Duh. Here is the kicker: he then tells me that he could do thirty minutes of the work today, I'd need to come back for another hour of work another day and then two more times for a crown. WHAT?! Four days off of work, I can't. I tell him I'd prefer he pulls it. He doesn't do extractions in his office, he'd have to call the other dentist back to see what she says. I was in a BAD mood at this point. I sat in the chair with all the extra baggage on and the dental tray in my face for at least 15 minutes. The assistant never said a word to me. He came back and said that she would not pull the tooth, I'd have to see an oral surgeon for that and with sedation. I told him he had to be kidding me. He said that as anxious as I am, the IV and being put to sleep would be the best way to deal with this. I told him that the IV was scarier than anything he would do to me. Have they never had a patient that was a bit (okay, a lot) frightened? Geesh. TAKE THIS NERVE AND SHOVE IT!!

I headed home with absolutely nothing but two dental runarounds $300 later.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Let's get ready to rumble!

So, it is September. You would think we were well into October if you went to Wal-Mart. They have Halloween costumes, candy, fall decor and pumpkins filling their shelves. It is this time each year that I say I am going to plan ahead but somehow I still end up scrambling for costumes at the last minute. Not this year. (We'll see about that.) I did buy some mini pumpkins to sit around the house and fill my table centerpiece but decided that I want to wait until October 1st to go Fall. Otherwise, I'll be pumpkin'd out by the time the season gets here. It was a welcome sight to see Fall on it's way and when they put Christmas trees up in about a month, I'll get excited for the most wonderful time of the year. I tell you, I am so happy to have a nice house to decorate and spend time in as we approach this time of year. It is my favorite change of seasons.

Besides the cool weather, the beautiful falling leaves and the hour falling back, there are several other things that I love about this time of year.

No more cleaning house on Friday nights or wondering what to do. I love to go watch Crandall football games. My first group of kiddos that I taught are seniors and a lot of them cheer and play football. It is also Clayson's football season on Saturdays. He could be really good IF they would give him the ball - I guess I am one of THOSE moms. He's the tallest on the team and has speed but has only one passing play. I hope he'll be as good of a running back as his daddy always was. Like someone said, all this stops in 7th grade (meaning that it won't just be certain kids that get to do everything - the middle school coaches will recognize talent and I hope they see he has some). Here's my little stud muffin in uniform and some highlights from the Kindergarten Pirate Posse at the game Friday night.

I am a kid at heart when it comes to the Cotton Festival! I have so many great memories from going there as a kid and enjoy seeing my kids making some of the same memories (at a higher cost). Thursday, Friday and Saturdays are for the kids and their fun but Saturday night I enjoy hanging with the grown-ups and hearing the band. I asked Jared if we should get a sitter but he said he doesn't want to go at all - go figure! So, I guess the babysitting is on him :) Cotton Fest starts this week so we have something to look forward to BUT with that brings super hyper kids this week at school. I need to find some ways to integrate this fun time into our Science and Math curriculum because it will be the talk of the town all week and next Monday.

I can't wait to get Allison over here to take some pictures of the kids and our family so that I can start working on Christmas gifts and my infamous letter. I hope she can use her amazing talent to capture a fake smile from Clayson, a goofy tooth grin from Trey and Ashlyn in all her glory.

So, Fall is approaching and so are some of the things I look forward to the most.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


I have to say that I was highly impressed, motivated and made proud by Vice Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, last night. I'm not one to watch these speeches, I like to take other's opinions that I hear at the lunch table or in conversations (because I have smart friends and work with smart people) and make them my own. But, she absolutely captivated me last night at the convention. And, the interaction of her kids was quite amusing. The little sister slicking down her brother's hair was hysterical. And it goes to show that her mama has probably done the like, which makes her not so "governmentfied" and untouchable. so to speak. She is a mom who experiences the real life stress of being a working mom with five children, the mom who spends time getting medical treatment for her baby boy, a soon-to-be grandmother who will come under scrutiny as all teenage mom's whose daughters have messed up and on the other hand she feels like she can help run a country. Now, I must say, I was not a female advocate for Hilary but Sarah Palin makes me proud to be a woman, a mom and a Republican.

Go Mom and McCain!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Can you hear me now?

It's Tuesday night and I am happily perched on the couch. Ashlyn is in her room, where she has snuck in some puff cheetos, and Trey is laid up in the recliner almost asleep (until he realized this was happening). Clayson is at football practice so there are no sibling squabbles for a couple of hours.

Today was the season premier of The View so that's what I am watching as I browse the internet. But, my internet keeps flaking out on me so I find the bill and call the support guy to get some much needed technical support. (I don't even know what it is like to just sit and watch TV. I have to be multi-tasking. Whomever said that the brain cannot be thinking two things at once hasn't researched my brain as I watch TV, fix someone a bowl of cereal, and read blogs.) It is at the moment the tech guy's phone starts to ring that I realize Ashlyn has gone upstairs and is on her microphone. His voicemail comes on, I holler at Ashlyn to quit singing for a minute and then leave him a detailed message. He has not returned my phone call - I wonder why. He may think I am at a concert. My show has been paused for the last 51 minutes because it is hard to hear over Trey on the electric guitar and Ashlyn as the lead singer.

Now, everyone is in their rooms playing quietly. I guess I'll unpause The View and listen to some political debating and five women talking at once. At least I can mute them :) Cell phone is ringing ... Clayson needs to be picked up.