Saturday, December 31, 2011

It's New Years Eve! Rip out the carpet!

I get the bug to rip stuff outta my house twice a year~September and January. It's like the blinders come off and I realize we live two boxes short of an episode of "Hoaders". It's a sickness. The rest of the year I am happy as a pig in mud. Literally. Now I find myself uttering things like . . .

"As long as we're ripping out the carpet, let's re-face the fireplace."


"For only $400 more, we could . . . ."


"Pass me the liquid nails and QUICK!"

Of course, I took no before pictures. I might take some during photos. Or not. I will take some afters. Maybe. If I can find a camera that works.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Jelly Fish and Other Cool Things in South Carolina

I'm a little slow. I got a new Mac Book in June~thank you Thirty One! I hit my sales goals for the first half of the year so I won a $1000 Best Buy gift card. Yippee!! So now I am cool and own a Mac. I have absolutely no clue how to use it. Hence, I am just now figuring out how to load pics from my ancient camera.

Hubby got a chance to do some sales calls in Savannah and some training in Columbia in August. Hmmm . . . what is nearby? Hilton Head, of course. So we made a family vacation out of it and had a fantastic time!

Amelia on the tire swing in Harbor Town park. Always the kids' favorite part of the island.

Caroline is all teenager now. She makes me feel so old.
Greta and Wyatt on the tire swing.
The beach! The beach! We spent two full days at Folly Field Beach. The waves were great and all four kids learned to body surf. We made the little kids wear the floaties just so we could spot them easily~I did realize that they are not life saving devices. Things were fabulous until the very end of the last day. Caroline was wading back out to drag Amelia back in to leave and she got wrapped up in a box jelly fish~the worst kind. Poor kid was miserable for two weeks and ended up with a skin infection. She has sworn off all nature from here on out.
Every year we go see Gregg Russell aka the Jerk Under the Tree. He is a Hilton Head institution but we all agreed that he's losing the magic. He totally phoned it in. Caroline asked him to sing her favorite song for her b/c it was her 13th birthday. He said he would and then didn't. Jerk.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Elf on the Shelf and Other Dumb @$$ Ideas

I resisted with my whole being but I was sucked in. All those cute Facebook posts and Pinterest pics . . . or more accurately Facebook posts with ideas lifted from Pinterest. They swayed me. Going into it, I had two large reservations.

1. How on earth was I going to remember to have Elf do something cute and oh-so-silly every night? I can barely remember to make their lunches or check their backpacks or any number of other important mommy jobs.

2. The purpose of the Elf is to report behavior back to Santa. Well, I might as well cancel Christmas then. I am not a fan of things that show my kids I'm a liar. While we have always had fun with the whole Santa thing, I have never tied it to good behavior. Santa brings us presents to celebrate Jesus's birthday. I didn't want to back myself into a corner.

I was going to be the FUN MOMMY! Well, the fun cheap mommy. No freakin' way I was going to fork over $30 for a creepy plastic elf. We took a cute little snowman ornament and created "Mr Snowman". Don't judge. I was a Poli Sci major, not a Creative Writing major. They are lucky I didn't name the dude Spiro Agnew. I explained how this shtick would work . . . Mr Snowman would go back to the North Pole at night and tell Santa all the dirt. That didn't sit well with Amelia AT ALL. She is no dummy.

So Day #1. We find Mr Snowman with his nose in the ice cream. Silly Mr Snowman. We all ate breakfast with the best manners ever. Hhhhmmmm . . . . maybe there was something to this. I am not above child manipulation.

Day #2. Mr Snowman is playing with Wyatt's cars when we wake up. Screaming ensues. "MY CARS!!!" Mr Snowman goes flying and leaves a lovely mark on the wall while Wyatt sobs "I don't want to share my cars!!!"

Well, that scared Mr Snowman. He is now living in the liquor cabinet until I can figure out what to do. Maybe he'll make me a martini.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Happy Holidays!

I really do like to blog. I am attempting to resurrect myself back into bloggy-land for like the fifth time. Let's see if I can stick to it for more than 4 months! How 'bout 2 posts per week? I started blogging again last winter as a way to process our new normal after a move to Indianapolis. Then Tim lost his job and life sucked for a while. I was not really digging that "new normal."

Christmas is less than two weeks away. Bah humbug. Why does this happen every year? I do love the Christmas spirit and all that but it is depressing that the holiday season seems to bring out the worst in people, especially Christians. What is that all about? Everyday I read ten more Facebook statues or links with people screaming that the clerk at Target wished them "Happy Holidays!" Or the town had the nerve to place a menorah in the park next to the manger scene. Or that the cartoon on TV talked about having a "Winter Party" instead of a Christmas party. Is this really a reason to have a temper tantrum? I understand people's feelings behind this but I really don't get the anger and then sense of entitlement. It makes me sad when I see Christians~or catch myself~acting in a way that is not loving. If we are going to act like petulant children why would anyone be interested in our Jesus? The Bible is not a weapon to smack people over the head. It is the very story of God's love for us.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Because a simple post about the school bus was not enough . . . .

It's over. Summer is over and it's 65 degrees out. Can I get a "woo hoo"? The short people need some space. I can't possibly listen to one more brawl over who is breathing on who. It is time for them to go to the Happy Place~school.

This year brings a lot more mixed feelings for me because Amelia and Greta are going to public school. Take a moment to tsk-tsk, pray for me, accuse me of not trusting God, or to generally write me off as someone you will no longer count as a friend. Even better, count me as someone to pity. Heck, I'll even wait while you talk about me behind my back.

K? Y'all done now?

I have been involved in Christian education as either a student or a parent since 1977. I KNOW what people say about those who make the choice to enroll their children in a local public school instead of the Christian school. I have heard the comments. I have seen the heads wagging and the looks of superiority. I have heard the pain in some friends' voices when they speak of the shame they feel for making this choice. Obviously, we care more about money than our children's souls. We don't trust God to provide. We just don't understand that they teach kids about sex in the 2nd grade at public schools. Don't we know that 4th graders do drugs at public schools?

No one is a bigger fan of Christian education than I. I grew up in Christian schools. I have had at least one child enrolled in one for the past 8 years. One of my favorite words is "worldview" and the Christian schools teach a Christian worldview. (Thank you, Captain Obvious.) It becomes a bit harder when Christian schools become a place that only children from well-off families can go. I'm sure Dave Ramsey would hack up a lung if he knew that there are people that spend up to 50% of their income on private schools. I'm not here to argue about what school choice is superior. I am here to remind you that it is exactly that~a choice. A very personal choice that is made with a lot of prayer and angst and faith. It takes a lot more faith to send your child to a public school than the Christian school.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Late Night Friday Five

1. Dan and Roseanne Connor
2. Steven and Elyse Keaton
3. Rob and Laura Petrie
4. Cliff and Clair Huxtable
5. Paul and Jamie Buchman

1. Anything~Man by Adam Sandler
2. More Cowbell
3. Patrick Swayze and Chris Farley at Chippendale dancers
4. Schweddy balls
5. Waynes World

Monday, June 06, 2011

Polygamists and The Duggars

I am a sucker for "reality" TV that features lifestyles and cultures different than my own. Perhaps I was meant to be an anthropologist or a sociologist or something. I love to watch "Hoarders" and "Intervention" because I'm fascinated by what makes people tick. Why do they do things that seem so obvious to the rest of us? Just clean up the house. Just quit drinking. Not so simple.

Lately, I have been wrapped up in "Sister Wives". Yeah, we all joke about the desire for another "wife" to share the cooking and the cleaning and all that but these folks actually do it. Kody Brown and his four wives open up their lives and are pretty dang honest about it. I find myself admiring them and that puts me in a pickle. As a good "conservative evangelical" I am supposed to be championing the "traditional" marriage as ONE MAN + ONE WOMAN. It should be a solid plank in the platform.

Cue the squealing brakes sound effect. I'm not so sure. Isn't the very cornerstone of conservatism the idea that government should keep it's nose out of the private lives of its citizens? Isn't religious freedom something this country was built on? Whether *I* agree with someone's choices is immaterial.

The Brown family practices what has been called extreme version of the Mormon religion. Here's where things get dicey for me. Let's bring in another family that practices an "extreme" form of their religion. The Duggar family. While I don't personally embrace some of the choices that that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar make for their family, it is easier to gloss over that because we agree on the basics. It gets trickier with the Brown family. I won't get into a dissection of the Fundamentalist Mormon faith but suffice it to say that it is quite different from main stream Christianity. But I do believe that the constitution protects our freedom to worship as we see fit. I have heard the whole slippery slope argument and I just don't agree. I think it's a pretty far jump from the government staying out of people's marriage choices to people marrying farm animals. Now I'm also landing myself in another territory I was not prepared to be located. Gay marriage. Hmmm. Yep, guess I'm coming outta the closet so to speak. I am not against gay marriage. I do believe that there is a difference between personal moral and religious beliefs and what should be the law of the land.

So you think I'll get kicked out of the party now?

Monday, May 09, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

Very boring week. . . .lots of school stuff and hubby is some nights. Maybe.

  • Grilled Jerk Chicken, Crash Potatoes, Broccoli
  • Tony's Cheese Pizza's from Kroger's sale~50 cents each!
  • Honey Mustard Turkey Tenderloin, Pasta and Veggie Toss
  • Grilled Cheese, Carrots and Cukes with Dip ~~Mommy is going OUT!
  • Mini Cheeseburgers, Oven Fries, Baked Crunchy Zucchini
  • Chicken and Veggie Quesadillas, Rice and Beans
  • Leftover night!
For great meal plan ideas, go to Organizing Junkie.

Friday, May 06, 2011


1. His ties
2. His choice in baseball teams. GO SOX!
3. His daughters
4. His marriage~I have no doubt that he is faithful to Michelle.
5. His "every guy" persona

1. Presumed Innocent
2. The Horse Whisperer
3. Her Sister's Keeper
4. Keeping this space open for "Something Borrowed"

Thursday, May 05, 2011

K-LOVE and Chick-Fil-A Part II

So where was I? Oh yeah. June 1995 and we weren't moving to Atlanta. Police jobs were hard to come by in Michigan so we moved our vast collection of T-shirts and shot glasses to the beautiful 'burb of Alsip. Yep, it's as lovely as it sounds. We found a little condo to rent above Marge Simpson's sisters. The Husband spent his time testing at suburban Chicago police departments and working at the family business. I actually got a job I loved. . . .teaching abstinence-based sex ed in the Chicago public schools. It was seriously awesome!

Best quote EV-AH from that job. A particularly sharp 7th grader said

"But I'm sure yo did the nasty when you was a teen cuz you ain't ugly. Everybody know only fugly chicks don't do it."

M'kay. Thanks. I think.

So it was 1995 and our BFF's were in an equally crappy apartment and equally poor. We spent our free time playing Euchre and watching Must See TV with Dunkin' donuts that we bought after 8:00pm so they were 50% off. Police jobs just weren't panning out. I remember one testing he went to with over 1000 other job seekers. That department was hiring 2 officers. His chances were about as good as his chances of winning American Idol. My dear Grandma had a great observation.

"Seems like you gotta be a black lesbian who speaks Chinese to get a job in Chicago. Or a Daley."

M'kay. Thanks Grandma.

So after banging our collective heads against a wall for a good six months, The Husband decided to become a trucker. Yeah. Just like "BJ and the Bear" and "Smokey and the Bandit". Starting saying things like "How 'bout ya there, ConWay?" Or calling the orange construction cones "Schneider eggs" and rest areas "pickle parks". He was all in. Thanks to some seed money from family, he started his own trucking company and for several years things were looking rosy. Well, rosy-ish. Maybe a slight rosy tint. I was busy birthin' babies when things started to hit the skids so I can't really remember all the details. Suffice it to say we had one child and a decent income. It was the late 90's and the housing bubble had yet to pop. Good times were had by all.

Monday, April 25, 2011

I Really Am in a Hole

I lied. I really have fallen in a hole. Another hole of unemployment. Yep. He lost his job 3 weeks ago and life ain't pretty these days. I do plan to blog about it. Sometime when I'm not at risk of spewing a lot of bad words.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I Have Not Fallen in a Hole

I will blog again . . . . . . I promise. To tide you over, here's a discussion starter.

All middle schoolers are or will soon being sexually active. If you disagree, you are naive.

Some one said that to me. Discuss.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Mommy! We're POOR!

The theme at my girls' school this year is "Simply Serve". All year long they do different things to serve God, each other, and the community. This week is Service Week with today being all-day service projects. The little kids are doing things like bringing school supplies to send to schools in developing countries and collecting kids books for Peyton Manning Children's Hospital. Amelia's class was supposed to bring canned goods the local food pantry. Well, I was just handed the crumpled up note from the teacher about it this morning.

Amelia, why did you wait til now to give me this note? We need to get some things together for the food pantry!

Amelia's response?

No, Mommy. The food pantry in for families whose Mom and Dad lost their jobs. Dad lost his job so I get to bring some of the food home for us!

I better check her backpack today for pirated canned peas.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

So he loves the mall, he'll make a great husband

Poor Wyatt. It occurred to me that even though Mama is busy building our new nest, he might prefer to do something other than unpack boxes while wearing the same PJs 3 days in a row. So yesterday I took him to the a mall with a nice playarea and food court. We had a nice lunch date and learned that all moms of small ones run out of the play area at 1:30. You'd think Gap Kids was giving away stuff. The perk of that was I did not have to apologize to one mom after Wyatt bonked her sweet baby upside the head! As we were pulling into the mall, my only son says,

"Oh mall! I have missed you! Where did you disappear to? I so happy, Mommy. Thank you!"

Friday, January 21, 2011

Because Everyone Else is Talking About It

I used to be a huge American Idol fan. Those of you who know me well know that I'm a rocker chick. I love good LOUD guitar-driven rock music . . .even more if it is sung and played but a rather attractive guy. Enter my propensity for Idol rocker crushes.

First, there was Constantine. He was so not my type at all but I loved him. He was all swarthy and dark. Loved him.
Constantine Maroulis

And then there was Chris Daughtry. I still love him. He is still one of my favorite artists.

Chris Daughtry - American Idol Grand Finale 2009

Two seasons ago I watched out of habit. The early auditions were just an excuse to make fun of people. Simon Cowell, while I often agreed with his opinions, was a pompous jackhole. Paula Abdul drove me nuts. Enter Adam Lambert. He drove me up and down a wall. Everyone lauded him as "a true artist". Why? Because he grabbed his crotch a lot and tried so hard to be the male Lady Gaga? I gave up on American Idol. Did not watch one episode last season.

This year I have jumped back on the band wagon. I really like Steven Tyler and J-Lo is considerably less annoying than I guessed she would be. Randy and his "yo dog" stuff is still annoying but I can overlook it. The biggest difference I see is this season is about the actual singers. Yeah, they showed some of the train wrecks but for the most part, it was good singers who are getting a chance. Steven and J-Lo worked hard to not be cruel.

So cheers to a kinder, gentler American Idol! So far, I'm liking a few . . .

Marisa, the girl from Kosovo
Ronny, the kid that was in a wheelchair
Jacee, the kid who sang "Dock of the Bay"
Travis, the kid from the Bronx
Devyn, the singing waitress
Rebecca, the girl with lips like Steven Tyler

I'm sure there are more but for me, some of the fun it trying to guess from the early auditions who will make the live show. So c'mon over and join me on the couch for a fun year of Idol!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Amelia's Interpretation of Having a Dream

We're excited to have a 3 day weekend this week in honor of Dr MLK. We never had the day off up north but down here in Indy. It kinda bugs me b/c I'm pretty sure Dr King's dream did not include children sitting in front of bad TV instead of in the hallowed halls of learning but hey . . . we'll take it. Amelia at least understands the gravity of Dr King's legacy.

Amelia, please tell us about Martin Luther King.

Amelia says . . . . . .

"He worked hard so that black people would have silver rights. That means they can use drinking fountains and restaurants. He gave speeches about singing. I like singing. I'm going to be a singer when I grow up. Then it was really sad because some guy names James didn't want anyone to have silver rights so he shooted Dr. King in Memphis where my cousins live. It happened in April when a shot rang out in the Memphis sky like that song Mommy likes. My teacher is so old that she was alive when Martin Lutter King was shot! That's old. Like when the people walked on the moon, she was alive then. Can you even believe it?"

And a little child shall lead them . . . . .

Friday, January 14, 2011


1. The one where Emily Valentine takes everyone to the rave.
2. The one where Emily Valentine sets the homecoming float on fire.
3. The one where Donna and David hook up at the Winter Dance.
4. The one where everyone chants "Donna Martin Graduates!"
5. The one where they have the senior breakfast with all the memories.

1. Whale Watching
2. Leaping Lily Pads
3. Home on the Range
4. Autumn Harvest
5. Cherry Pie

1. Bacon
2. Onions
3. Spinach
4. Chicken
5. Bacon

Thursday, January 13, 2011

So I'm a Bit Disorganized

OK, so yeah. When I said 8:00 pm EST on Wed, I really meant 7:30am EST on Thursday. Yeah, that's it . . . . I was acting! I also completely forgot that Wednesday night was Caroline's science fair at school AND Bunco AND wine date with Lori to watch Obama. So needless to say, Greta pulled a name this AM . . . . . . and the winner is

Traci N . . . . whoo hooo!

Traci . . . . love her. Traci has done three wonderful things for me in my life thus far.

1. She and her lovely husband Dave bought our house after it had been on the market of 26 months.

2. She introduced me and hooked me on Vera Bradley.

3. She introduced me to April down here in Indy which then got the ball rolling to meet more friends!

So I'll drop them in the mail soon. Thanks, Trac.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Post Where I Attempt to Do a Cool Giveaway

It is winter and it is SNOWING! One thing I love about my new house is my fireplace. Now I can finally curl up with a good book in front of the fire. . . the fake gas-log fire, but a fire nonetheless. Winter is also a time for decluttering and new beginnings. I am re-starting this whole blog business. Somewhere in the past year or two, Facebook took over as my social media outlet of choice (My stepbrother would be so proud of that sentence!) I like FB because I can share my riveting point of view in one witty statement. Blogging takes so much more time. (Insert whiny voice here) You have to think and actually use semi-correct grammar. Entirely too much work. I have been reading over my blog entries from a few years back and I like them enough to start putting the effort into bloggyland again.

To kick off my rebirth into the blogosphere and to kick off my 784th try at decluttering my home, I'm going to do a giveaway! Cue the dancing bears and happy music. I love Emily Giffin's books. If you have never read her books, do so immediately. Like right now. To be a part of the fun, leave a comment and suggest a book or author for me to try out. I'm always searching for new stuff!! Tomorrow, Jan 12, at 8:00 pm EST (cuz that's the time zone I'm in now . . . and it sucks.) I will have Greta draw a name out of a hat. The winner gets Emily Giffin's first two books. These are my copies that I'm passing on to you. They are in excellent shape but not brand new. Read them, enjoy them, and pass them on.

Something Borrowed
Something Blue

Friday, January 07, 2011


1. Shopping
2. Malls
3. Chick-Fil-A
4. the weather
5. How close everything is!

1. The Colts
2. Colts fans
3. Colts jerseys
4. Colts t-shirts
5. The TV weather people. I miss Tommy Skillhead.

1. My girlfriends
2. My neighbors
4. Tommy Skilling
5. Dutch people

1. Cedar-tucky
2. Southlake mall
3. Traffic by the mall
4. Lake Co public library
4. Dutch people

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Fly Lady is Dumb

It's a new year! So what does that mean? It means get organized! Stop snorting. It could happen. In my continuous quest to justify my SAHM-ness, I have been obsessively reading blogs this week. I'm searching for new routines. New file folders. New pretty smelling candles. New shampoo. Anything to change me into a mom fit for the pages of the Pottery Barn. After scouring the World Wide Web, I have come to one conclusion. The World Wide Web is full of NUTJOBS? Where do these women live? What do they slip into their children's nighttime glass o' water? Some lady tells me to make my bed as soon as my feet hit the floor. If I did that, there would be at least 2 children, a dog, and Tim's work clothes in it. I don't even know my left from my right when I first wake up. Who is going to be in my bedroom the makes it necessary to make the bed? Another tells me to gather my children for morning prayer time. I can't gather my children to eat candy together without flailing. Another tells me to unload the dishwasher within the first 5 minutes. Why? So you can load it on Minute 6? Yet another gives me a "First Five Minutes" list that says

1. Make bed.
2. Open shades.
3. Start load of laundry.
4. Unload dishwasher.
5. Take shower.

Seriously? Why would I open the shades BEFORE showering? So the neighbors can watch? My list would be more along the lines of

1. Tell Amelia to stop poking me. I know my alarm has been going off for 20 minutes.
2. Run to the bathroom like a new potty trained toddler.
3. Jump on Caroline's bed for 5 minutes until she falls out of it.
4. Brush my teeth and then realize I used Tim's toothbrush. Ew.
5. Fall asleep on the bathroom floor.

I really do want to be organized. Just not but whack-a-dos. I'll start by alphabetizing my liquor cabinet. That will make every morning go more smoothly.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Can You Keep A Secret?

So we're in that post-holiday hangover period. The Christmas decorations are half down, the laundry is half done, the house is half messy, and The Husband is all the way sick. Dying, if you ask him. He's planning the funeral. What I don't want to tell him is that due to my mad medical web-surfing skills I have diagnosed him with salmonella. He has every single symptom but the key is duration. Most run-of-the-mill stomach bugs only last 24-48 hours. The Husband is going on Day 6.

So let's all take a bloggy oath and NOT tell The Husband that he has salmonella. If he finds out, he'll start asking people to be his pall bearers.