Friday, December 31, 2010

Things I plan to be better about in 2011......

Oh goodness. 

This could be a long list.....because I always have a lot I need to be better about. 

Well, let's see. 

  • I definitely need to be better about reading my Bible and having quiet time. 
I always start off good in January, but then I'm not as consistent as I need to be...until of course the kids are stressing me out and I start quoting Ephesians 6:1 to the family in my calm, loving voice (NOT), "Children, OBEY your parents in the Lord, for this is right."

Oh stop laughing and thinking critical probably do the same thing and you're just too embarrassed to let everyone know it.  No point in me trying to hide it...the neighbors probably hear me hollerin' it anyway!

  • Sigh.  I'm going to try to be better about not finding the weight I lose at the beginning of the year.  
I mean, really....what is it with that?  When I lose other things....sometimes I never find them.  But by God...let me lose a few pounds, and lo & and behold they show up like nobody's business.  I've battled it my whole life it feels like.....  Anyway....I said I'm going to try to be better about it.....which doesn't box me into unrealistic expectations.  

  • I'm going to try to blog more often. 
I don't think I did terrible for being a newbie this year...considering what a long year this has been with a pipe busting and flooding Karissa's room and then her suffering an injury leading to a yucky diagnosis.  But I would like to be better about blogging more often. 

  • I need to be better prepared for the next morning...the night before. 
I know, I know.....four kids and a substitute teaching would think I would be all organized and on top of things.  Not so much.   I have gotten very lax about the kids getting their things ready the night before and it always ends up in a, "I have no idea where your belt is....I don't wear it" sort of session in the morning.  Or a "check in the dryer and see if there are any school pants in there!" kind of conversation.  And then there's the ole', "I'm sorry there's no milk for cereal....grab a granola bar!" for the 5th day in a row routine. 

So yea.  I'm thinkin' I probably have a lot of room for improvement in that department. 

  • And I have got to get back to what I know is best for the budget, and plan my meals better. 
This is something that I am usually really good about, and then the holidays show up and it all goes crazy.  I spend way too much money at the local grocery store, when with better planning and ad-matching I can get a lot more for less at Wal-Mart.  It's just about making the time to do it.  Making a list of the meals for that week...figuring out what I have vs. what I need....and then shopping for it.  These $30 trips to the local store KILL the grocery money budget. 

So what about you?  What things do you want to be better about in the new year?  Leave me a comment below!  Share with me!!! 

Oh. There's one more thing. 
  •  I plan to be better about letting my readers know how much I appreciate them....because I do.
I love ya'!

I'm just sayin'.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

You know that feeling you get.......

when you enjoyed the holidays a little more than you should have and your pants aren't fitting like they did back in October?

Or how about the suitcase that refuses to close because you are taking way more home from vacation then you came with. 

There's just that sense of determination. 

You WILL get that zipper shut.  No matter what it takes. 

Yea.  I can sympathize. 

Really.  Well. 

You a really snazzy, knock-your-socks-off kind of present for my husband & myself....I bought some new sheets for our bed. 

Boring.  I know.  But when you've been married as long as we have....practical gifts take on a whole new meaning.  I get tired of having to wash the sheets as soon as I take them off just so that we have clean ones to sleep on that night.  And no....we aren't dirt poor...we just don't have multiple sets of sheets.  And really....that's not the point of this story anyway. 

So.  Back to the riveting Christmas present to us from me. 

And may I just add, that the whole purchase of sheets can be a rather daunting task.  It's the whole thread count thing....200?  Nah....400?  Hmmm.....ooooooo wait...there's a 700 thread count.  And then what I want to know is....who's the poor soul having to count all those threads ??? 


But seriously?  It is a wee bit confusing. 

So I finally make my investment purchase of sheets (those things are SO stinkin' expensive), and I come home so proud that I finally settled on 700 threads per square inch or whatever.....wrap them up and anxiously await Christmas morning when I can rip those babies out of the package....and get them nicely on our bed before we sleep tonight. matter which way I turned the fitted sheet (which is another gripe of mine.....HOW do you know which corner goes where???), it wouldn't fit on my bed. 

We turned it...turned it again....nothing.  That sheet was not going on my king size mattress. 

And I felt pretty confident that as long as it had taken me to make a decision in the store that day, that there was no way that I could have possibly come home with the wrong size sheets.  No. Way. 


I was sadly mistaken. 

I had purchased a queen size set of sheets for our king size bed. 

And just in case you're wondering if it's possible to fit those perfectly folded sheets back into the teensy tiny package that they came in? Let me just tell you....where there is a will....there's a way.

I will spare you the details of how it took two of us squeezing, folding, shoving, pushing to get them in there. 

But they're in. 

And they look just as good as when I bought them. 

Don't you think??

Well....I might have to overlook the broken zipper and all.....

I'm just sayin'. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

How could I have forgotten these???

I mean, really....when I was typing my post the other day....I had every intention of including these. 

Karissa made this first one in Kindergarten....back in 1999, and we used it as our tree topper for years...I think it was sort of a self-portrait'ish sort of angel.....

Don't ya' just love how she chose curly, long hair??  Just love the handprint wings, too. 

And one would think it just couldn't get any better then that.....but two years ago, Destin came home with a project to do.  He had to make an angel....and it had to be of someone who he considered his "hero". 

Get out the tissues 'cause here it goes.

Have you recovered yet?  Sniff, sniff......'s me who had to recover. 

So....when your child comes home with this, and says that he has to make an angel that represents his hero, and that his hero is is gotta' deliver...know what I'm sayin' ?

And I wish that I could tell you that I took pictures of every step, so that you could see the full transformation....but that was two years ago and I wasn't blogging yet. 

So before you see the first picture, I will tell you (just in case you ever want to make your own...) that Destin and I bought a solid, white ceramic ornament along with a hair piece from the local Walgreens.  (I swear we keep that place in business.)

I had Destin draw on the facial features, and then we began the hair implant.  Pieces from the hair piece, hot glued on to the upside down ornament....little bits at a time. 

This was no easy task.

And no, this isn't suppose to look like a bad "bed-head" morning....we just haven't made the hair lay down yet. 

Stop laughing. 

Angel wasn't too impressed with the fact that we made her try on the glasses.....

Sorry...couldn't leave her out.

So after attaching all the pieces of hair, then we had to get it all to lay down...and give him a hair cut, as well as a mustache.

See the resemblance? 

Nope...not finished.  

Oh dear.....that needs a serious trim!

But before you see the finished product, you need to know that the wings are made from Darwin's hand prints along with Destin's smaller hand prints. 


He looks even better on top of the tree.....

And.....I'm probably gonna' be in trouble for this post!! ;-)

I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things......

Gosh I love that movie....The Sound of Music.  Has to be one of my all-time favorites.  I think I have the whole thing memorized.  I used to practice singing Maria's songs while flitting all through the house....not sure what I was practicing for, but I did...none the less. 

Wow.  Talk about side tracked.  I use a line from a song in the movie for my title today, and next thing you know I'm on a bunny trail sharing intimate details about my life-long desire to be Maria in a musical.  Good grief. 

OKAY.....moving on. 

A few of my favorite things....

Raindrops on roses.

Whiskers on kittens.

Sorry.  I'll stop. 

So the other day, Destin asked me what was my favorite part about Christmas.  And of course, if you know me, then you know that I would feel guilty if I said anything other than the obvious, that Jesus was born to save us from our sins.....because that is the true meaning of Christmas. 

However....that's not really what he was asking me.  Because that, of course, should be everyone's favorite thing about Christmas. 

But what he was really asking me....was what did I enjoy the most about the holidays....and I really had to stop and think. 

I love baking. 

I love Christmas music. 

I love the Christmas movies. 

But I would have to say, that one my most favorite things about Christmas is re-living all the previous years when pulling out all of the old hand-made ornaments and decorations that the kids have made over the years.  And fortunately for me....I'm still getting new ones...for a couple more years I hope.

So I thought I would share a few with you.

Get ready....some of these go way the 90's!

There's Rudolph the one-eyed reindeer....circa 1999...courtesy of Karissa in Kindergarten....

Well...I mean...he didn't start off that way....but why fix him?  It gives him character?

And Christmas wouldn't be the same without this Santa ornament.  He's been through so much since Kaleigh made him back in 1998. 

Yep....if I'm not mistaken, he had a "furry" band on his hat and a very full beard at one point, as well as perfect vision.  What IS it with those pesky eyes?? 

The newer reindeer haven't been through quite as much!!

I think it's amazing how many things they can come up with for you to do with candy canes....

Apparently, the possibilites are endless......
I feel sure you didn't notice the scotch tape wrapped around the broken candy cane???  Endless possibilites for scotch tape as well.

And handprints.....

Don't forget thumbprints.....

And....I know that the teachers have all the children make the same ornaments....and I love this boy to know I do....but there's just something about this picture that seems a little...well...I don't know...out of character....

I'm just sayin'. 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I can remember it......

like it was yesterday. 

It was a Friday.  I was already a week and a half past my due date that I had outlined in gold on my calendar (because that's what you do when it's your first baby and you naively think you're going to have it on THE day)....huge and miserable. 

Stop was my first baby, and I didn't realize that you shouldn't trust your raging hormones and get your hair all cut off just days before the birth of your first child.  Lesson learned.

And perhaps someone should have told me that horizontal stripes weren't flattering at 9 months pregnant.....what was I thinking??? can quit laughing now. 

The day began like any other trying to HOIST myself up and out of a water bed.  (Geez.....remember those things???)  And if you've never experienced being nine months pregnant on a water bed....then there is no way I can describe the roll-grab-the-edge-then-PUSH-up-with-your-hands-on-the-edge routine.  I feel confident it wasn't pleasant to watch either. 

But I quickly realized that something was different about that day.  I just didn't feel well.  The doctor had already told me that if I had not had the baby by the following Monday, that they would probably induce me.  I quickly called my mom in St. Louis (which is 12 hours from where I live), and given the fact that I wasn't feeling well, she decided to go ahead and fly down.  (She'd had four babies herself, and could probably sense that I was in early stages of labor but I just didn't know it.)  We'd hoped and prayed that somehow it would work out for her to get here in time for the delivery.....but living that far away....timing that perfectly was not easy. 

I had already promised Mable that I would make a quick run to Wal-Mart with her and out to lunch, but once at the store, I realized I shouldn't have gone.  Having to stop in the middle of the aisles for what I now know were contractions....was not a good thing. 

By the time Darwin got home from work, I was hurting...but so excited.  Contractions were five minutes apart, mama was on her way down, bag was packed, we were heading to the hospital.  (Because that's what they tell you in those childbirth classes - wait until they're five minutes apart.)

It was the night of the local Christmas parade and though only minutes from the hospital, we had to be strategic in our route to get as not to be held up by the parade.  Darwin wasn't too keen on the idea of delivering the baby himself....and how were we to know how long this process was really going to take???  No need to be worried....but we didn't realize that. 

Once at the hospital, everything we rehearsed in our "tour of the birthing center" went as expected.  That is...until the nurse informs me that I am maybe 1 cm., and I should go home.

Ummm....did she just say home?  Are you kidding me????  This was not how it was suppose to go.  Nope....they didn't say anything about that in those classes.  My contractions were steadily coming at 5 min. apart, and she was sending me home?  AND she was giving me a pill that if it wasn't really labor, would make me sleep?  

Sigh.  Talk about a let down.  And it only got worse from there.  That would be the first of three....yes I said three trips to the hospital through the night.  My contractions steadily got worse and as close as 2 minutes apart, and still.....nothing.  My plans of a "completely natural" delivery without any drugs or an epidural were quickly waning, and I wasn't even admitted into the hospital! 

Mama's flight came in....she got there around midnight.  And by 6a.m. the next morning...either the hospital got tired of sending me home, or they figured if they didn't keep me, Darwin was going to be asked to be admitted himself. 

I'm not kidding. 

It wasn't pretty.  I was miserable.  Nothing was going like my "What to Expect When You're Expecting" book said it would.  No one ever told me that you could labor all night and not be progressing.  I was already exhausted. 

And I will spare you the awful details of what turned out to be 36 hours of labor from start to finish.  Including, but not limited to 3 hours of pushing.....

All to deliver that 9lb. 12oz. baby girl.  (she was the smallest of my four children).

(Check out those glasses...circa 1992)  Hey...if you can laugh at my pictures, it's only fair to get a good laugh at the proud daddy too!!!

I know....can you believe she's a newborn in the hospital???  No one could believe this was a hospital picture!!!

That was 18 years ago today. 

And now...just look at her......

Where has the time gone, Kaleigh?  How was I to know that not only would you be my longest, most difficult delivery....but that I would learn so many things about motherhood because of you. 

It's not easy being the first child. 

It's also not easy parenting your first child.  Everything is a first.  I have made plenty of mistakes over the years, I'm sure....but we are so proud of the young lady that you have become.  God has had His hand on your life ever since you were conceived, and we cannot wait to see where this next phase of your life will take you. 

Happy 18th Birthday, Kaleigh!!!  We love you!!!

I'm just sayin'. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

If I weren't in such a good mood.....

over getting to go to our local high school's state championship game tonight, then running out of coffee creamer WHILE I was fixing my cup this morning would have probably put me in a very foul mood.  (Sorry...major run on sentence I know.  But I'm a substitute teacher...not a real leave me alone.  Me and run on sentences go way back.)

But seriously.  Coldest morning of the season so maybe 32 degrees (YES that's cold when you live in the south), and I have a 4 hour road trip ahead of me, AND I even went to the trouble to have the coffee set up to brew on it's own this morning. 

All to get in here and get that feeling.... 

You know the one.  When you pick up your creamer container and it feels unusually light? might have enough to change the color of your coffee, but not nearly enough.  And as if that wasn't bad enough....I get this bright idea to pour just a teensy tiny bit of milk into the creamer bottle to try to make it go farther. 

Ahem.  This would not be the time to realize you're out of milk too. 

No, I'm not kidding. 

I wish I was. 

And I also wish that I could tell you that when I spotted my daughter's partial cup of milk that she put in the fridge to save because she knew she was drinking the last of it........that I didn't use any of it regardless of her germs on the cup....but I would be lying. 

I know.  I have sunk to an all new low.  But this is CREAMER we're talking about here!  The one thing mama cannot do without in the morning.  Well....I mean....I guess I cannot do without coffee either, but the fact is, in a desperate situation I could borrow some coffee from a neighbor but when you're a creamer snob addict like myself, not just any creamer will do. 

And don't try to tell me I should get sugar free or fat free either....because there are some things a girl should not skimp on.  

Creamer is one of them.  

I am proud to say that my theft borrowing of oldest daughter's leftover milk was successful in helping me swish around the last of the creamer and though it wasn't quite as rich as it usual is in the sufficed. 

And I'm not in a "lack of my coffee" foul mood. 

I'm just sayin'.