Tuesday, April 27, 2010

TAKS bllllllllllllll!!!

It's TAKS testing time and I've gotta say the whole thing pisses me off. I understand the importance of having some way to know if our teachers are teaching our students what they need to but I have a HUGE problem with the pressure that is put on our students. This test is not important for them. No college is going to review your childs TAKS scores when reviewing their application.

If a child fails the TAKS test they can be held back a year. If your child fails the TAKS they will review their grades before automatically failing them for the year. They are not going to fail a straight A student that failed the TAKS. (I've checked.) But seriously, how do you expect to get quality scores from students who are under pressure and having to sit and do nothing but test for hours. Ludicrous.

My son will start taking the test next year and I've told him not to worry about it. (because he already does.) The schools talk it up so much that these kids are concerned to take it before it's even their turn! I've told Gabe that the test is not about him so he has nothing to worry about. I don't care how well or bad he does and colleges don't care so he need not worry about.

Texas Monthly did an article on this last year. Turns out the test is made by people who have no degree in education. In fact some of the people had no degree AT ALL! Bllllllll! It's bull crap people! Big pile of smelly bull crap!

Now I understand that they can hold back a student who fails the TAKS and if a whole school fails then there would be lack of funds or some form of punishment for that. But what if the whole district were to refuse to take the test? OR better yet...the whole state? What would they do then?

Here is what I would like to see different.

A. a better test created by EDUCATORS

B. stop teaching to the test. Teach them the curriculum.

C. I don't want to see work coming home where my student gets correct work marked wrong because he forgot to bubble it in or show his work. (though there is the whole following directions thing and I get that but don't ad pressure to these kids with practice tests and such.)

D. Stop talking about it. Don't talk about it at morning assembly, don't send notes home telling me how to feed my child the day of the test, don't tell my children that this is important because it's not important for them but only for the teacher or school. You adults carry that pressure and keep it off of my child.

E. Don't keep a child in at recess or after school for extra tutoring regarding TAKS. You have your time with them. After school is my time with them and recess is an important break that these guys need to make it through their day.

Both of my parents are educators and my mother in particular has often wondered why parents don't challenge the TAKS. Why has no one petitioned against it? Mother...don't give me ideas!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Getter Done!

What a busy, busy weekend! Drew had four performances of the play Big Bad. He did great in each one. I was proud and impressed by all of his performances; especially considering that he played in a soccer game first and was up late the night before that at rehearsals. Whew! Tough boy, Drew!

Gabriel's soccer game was very good. So much better then last week when we played a team with nasty attitudes. The boys played with more strategy this week and Gabriel scored his first goal of the season! And it was on PURPOSE!

Also, this weekend was a meeting I had with the ladies on my Relay For Life team, Craving a Cure. We got a lot accomplished and still have tons more to do! It's 19 days until the relay. Our team is hosting the Texas State Cupcake Bake-off at the event. We have 15 flavors entered in the contest so far. Registration ends on the 30th of April so we'll see if there are anymore stragglers that sign up between here and there.

Last night we decorated our team aprons and chef hats. My friend, Tiffany, got a great idea to add sort of a faux tutu to the front of the apron and we added "ruffles" to the top with decorated cupcake liners. All of this was no sew! I am just always so amazed at what women can do when they get together.

I am also painting shirts for our families. Our hunky men will wear shirts that say "So-and-so's Cupcake." Almost all of us have two kids so our eldest will have shirts that say "The Icing on the Cake!" and the littles will say "The Cherry on Top!" It's so fun!!!!

So far our team has raisde $1,320 for cancer research. If you wuold like to donate or get more information on the event click on the links at the end of the blog.

We still have scads to do in a small amount of time but there are no worries. Such a great group of ladies are sure to pull it together.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Is Earth Day and Environmentalism of God?

My youngest son greeted me this morning with "It's Earth Day mama!! I'm going to LOVE the Earth!" I had to kiss that face.

My mother lives in my neighborhood. Whenever the boys and I walk down to her house, they are always upset about the litter they see on the side of the road. They always ask to pick it up. Ew. I always tell them "One day we will take our walk armed with gloves and trash bags and you can pick up all the trash you want," but then we never do...

I decided that in honor of Earth Day we would finally do it. So I got Drew some latex gloves (Purple. His favorite color.) and we took a walk on this beautiful day.

He was a hoot! "Take THAT, litter! Oh, you're goin' DOWN you trash!" It was great fun. Poor Gabe missed it though. He will not be too happy about that but...busy evening after school.

One day on the way to school Gabriel asked me why, when an animal becomes extinct, does God not just make more of that animal? In Genesis 1:28 God tells Adam and Eve to "...rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." The word "rule" here has lead some to believe that the earth's creatures and plants(as the verse goes on to include)are for our own benefit and rule and that we have permission to manipulate it as such. The original language used the word "radah." This form of the word rule was used to indicate care taking.

On the basis of a careful study of the Hebrew word, radah, which is usually translated as "to have dominion" or "to rule."5 By examining the use of this word in other passages in the Old Testament, it is most often used in political contexts to speak about the rule of a king or a nation. When the characteristics of the rule are discussed, the biblical texts emphasize a humane and compassionate rule that displays responsibility for others and that results in peace and prosperity. It can therefore be concluded that Genesis 1:28 does not advocate tyrannical exploitation of nature but rather responsible care of it. - Marcia Bunge "Biblical Views of Nature"

I actually just looked that last part up but what I had told my son was that "when mom and dad give you a toy and you break it due to carelessness we don't just go out and buy you a new one. God gave us the things of the Earth as a gift. It's not just our home but everything in it is for our delight as well as our survival. So when we mistreat this gift He will not just 'go out' and replace it."

This thought has started a snowball of compassion for all living things in my children but especially sweet Gabriel. He can not even bare to see a spider squashed! He recognizes that everything has a purpose and that our universe was carefully designed to work in the most intricate of ways.

Thank you Lord Jesus, for this beautiful world! Your creative genius is evident in everything from the details of a flowers petal to the vastness of the night sky! Give us wisdom in ways to preserve your masterpiece and forgive us for the things we have done that have altered it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Read This To Yourself Again In One Month

I weigh myself every morning. I know...not good. Actually, that depends on who you talk to. It has been good for me in that I have been able to maintain my weight quite well by this. It's been bad because every fluctuating ounce causes great angst.

There is a number that I just won't go past. It's 5 lbs. more than my regular weight and 10 lbs. more than my goal weight. (I've also decided that this goal may be a dream, a myth, stupid.) Anywhoo...Before the Holidays I will diet like crazy and manage to only loose about 3 lbs. Then I gain 5 and I am still 2 lbs under the number I will not go past.

Until this year.

This year I did not do that. I don't remember why....oh yeah. I was in a production of White Christmas and nothing about my life was normal. Plus I had stopped working out as regularly as I had been sometime during summer vacation. Lot's of travelling...

So there I found myself 5 lbs over The Weight That I Swore I Would Never Pass. Which is 10 lbs more then my regular weight and 15 lbs more then the pipe dream I always stress out over. I have made sporadic trips to the gym but I am still not back on schedule.

I have been very careful with my diet since Spring Break and have even stepped into the Y enough to get the new updated cards. In about a months time I had only managed to lose a whopping 3 lbs. {grrrrrrrr}

This morning I stepped on the scale and have found that I am back to The Weight That I Swore I Would Never Pass. I have never been so happy to see that number. In the past, when I would see the dial start to inch toward that number, I would go in to attack mode. i.e. diet and no excuses to keep me from the gym. However, this morning it was a welcomed friend! YESSSSS! Only 5 more lbs to get back in my Happy Healthy Place. This time when I get there I am going to really be happy about it. It's where I should be. (Sometimes more, but never less.)

Monday, April 19, 2010

It's Genius

I had exhausting dreams last night. The first was that my sister was in a race. She looked amazing! She was talking smack to this other runner and then she took off running and totally smoked her.

In another dream several moms and I were sort of being held hostage by this other woman who then tried to take our children from us. I attacked her and totally kicked her ass. There is no mincing words about it. I tore that lady up. I even remember while pounding on her face, thinking how good it felt. I was puzzled that it felt more like hitting a punching bag then someones face. Not that I've ever hit any one's face but from what I've heard it would hurt your hands. This just felt solid but not painful.

When I woke up I lay there with an empty hole feeling in my chest and considered this series. They may be about two different things but they are mostly about my sister and I's relationship. It is estranged at present.

When one dreams of a person it is not actually about that person but more about your own character. You have to ask what about this persons character is me too? In this case I think it was the competitiveness of my sisters character in the dream. I don't think either of us have truly competitive natures in real life but we do between each other. Dumb.

I think the second could have either to do with Sissy and I as well or about my former blog, Do it Scared. After consulting Dream Moods (a great website for dream analysis) I think that the fight with this woman was either about me being frustrated with the feeling of being held back from dealing with my sister and I's relationship head on or it's about how I am fighting against the things that are keeping me from doing what I feel God is asking me to do, i.e. take care of homeless children.

I prayed a long time this morning, seeking council and peace in all of this.

My iPod nano broke this weekend. Did you know that when you have a problem with your Apple thechno-thing that you can make an appointment to see a "Genius" at the Apple store nearest you? It's true. It's like making a doctor's appointment for your child.

Drew and I went to the apple store with my iPod baby. I don't know how genius these folks really are but they were smart enough to have a low desk with a computer loaded up with games for kids to play. Thank you Jesus! Drew sat there and played while I checked in at the front desk. We were early for our appointment but if all went well they would get to me ahead of time.

So I sat on a stool and watched Drew play his game. I was amazed at how fast he figured out how to make it all work. S to jump, W to do...I don't know what. I would never have thought to try those keys. I would've stuck to the big ones like the space bar, shift or enter. Arrow keys...hello! Anyway, he was having a great time and everyone could tell. Other people waiting to make an appointment or for their appointment just sat there watching Drew play. It made me smile to see how Drew made all of them smile. There were some ear to ear grins, some chuckles and a few one sided smiles but Drew brought a little amusement to many today. Love it!

My time came and I brought the patient to the Genius. (That is the actual name for the techs that are going to care for your broken techno-thing.)

"So what is going on with your nano here?" my Genius asked as he whipped out a small flashlight to examine her with.

Amused by the parallel to a real dr.'s appointment, I went on to explain the problem. We then moved to another area where he could examine her better using other techno-things. Apparently nothing could be done at this time and place to fix her and so with little pomp, Genius handed over a brand new iPod of the same color and generation as my nano. I was lucky to have had 9 days left on my warranty. Sweet! So Drew and I left Apple as very happy customers.

On the way home that empty hole feeling in my chest started to creep back though with not quite the same vengeance. The distraction proved to be a blessing. A temporary anesthetic to life's ug-ohs. If only life's problems could be as easily fixed as my problem with my iPod was. It would be nice if the Genius up stairs would just pull a new solution out from under the counter with a Wa-la!

In the mean time I will keep my eyes on the good things happening in my life, like my sweet little Drew-Bug. I'll let his fun loving personality remind me of all of the good in my life and the simple pleasures that are to be found all around.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Go Do It Scared

I've been doing a Beth Moore Bible study through our church. It's called "The Inheritance."

Beth Moore. This woman is truly gifted and called since she can speak to so many different kinds of women (inclduing women like me who can sometimes find wading through all of her "sugar babies and honey bunches" a bit much) and the message she offers always gets delivered.

So in the session today she was talking about how God gives us things or will promise us things but then we have to go and take it. We have to do our part too. She referred to the Israelites being afraid to go into the land God promised them and that, like wise, we will have to press through our fear to possess our promises.

Ug! Why would we need to do that? Well, look at anyone who shot to success quickly and then fell out of it almost as quickly. When we do not earn our rewards we do not have the muscle to hold on to it. (I really hate weight lifting.)

So there has been this thing in my life that I am afraid to do. No, it's not my great fear of dancing but now that I think of it I may need to examine that as well... I have been feeling a tug on my heart to be apart of this foster care ministry called Little Footprints. I have been feeling it for about 2 years now. (Good grief, Michal!) The program focuses on rescuing homeless babies. When I first learned about it I went, fearfully, to get more information on it. I did not even tell Aaron. I wanted to get all of the facts before I told him about it.

The thing is we are done having kids. I mean, physically it can't happen, but even before I lost that option we had decided we were done. The boys are "potty trained" (and I use that loosely because they are boys. Ew.) and they are old enough to stay over night with family and friends. They sleep through the night, can dress themselves...we have so much more freedom now! So I find it odd that I would feel a desire to help care for a baby and I mean a baby quite possibly with problems and that will only be with us temporarily.

There have been classes for training to foster that are always scheduled when we are out of town. I have had a friend adopt through the program and neither of us knew that the other had connections to it. Now another friend has just gotten a job with Little Footprints...again neither of us knowing that the other is interested in the ministry. It just keeps popping up in my life.

I decided that maybe what I need to do is help out with their homeless ministry out on Montrose but every time I have tried to get details about who, what, when, where...I just can't get answers.

There is a part of me that feels that this is a sign that I should not be involved. It's not the place for you. But I also have that fear...and fear is not from God. Usually, when I feel afraid to do something it's because God wants me to do it and the fear is keeping me from it. Someone told me that because I don't feel a peace about it that it's a sign that I should not do it but there are numerous people in the Bible that were afraid when God asked them to do something. In fact I can't think of one that wasn't!

So in this Inheritance study Beth Moore says, sometimes you just have to do things even while you are scared. You need to go do it scared. Press though your fear and take the promise. Well, how do I really know this is my "promise" or purpose? Beth said "Our promise is where we serve at fruit bearing effectiveness." Hm...

I'm not saying that I'm a great mom. I yell at my kids all of the time. I cry because they won't stop crying. I spend a good deal of time trying to get away from them but the fruit of it all is in my kids. They are awesome! Maybe it's just that mixing a little bit of Aaron's personality with a little bit of mine makes something great OR maybe we are actually good at parenting. (both?) Maybe you don't have to really love doing it all of the time to be good at it.

I know they serve the homeless out on Montrose every Wed. night. I suppose I could just drive out there and cruise up and down Montrose until I find them... That's a scary thought.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Things

Hopefully I have uploaded these pictures right...I'm still trying to figure this thing out.

My garden is starting to bloom!!! I love it! After a real, genuine, bonafide winter down here in Texas, we are finally starting to see Spring. I had planted about 100 bluebonnet seeds. I have lots of seedlings but only about 3 blooms. Boo. I'm hoping it will be better next year. I also attached a picture or my blooming Ajuga. It looks like a little fairy forest. Next to my Ajuga is a mystery.

I know this is not a weed because it is only growing in this one spot. I can't remember if there was a plant there last year that seeded or if I sowed the seeds there myself. The picture of green stuff is my mystery plant. They are going to bloom soon and I'm on pins and needles waiting to find out what it is....this is what got me to thinking of my favorite things!!

I love to send mail, be it cards, letters or packages. I just love to think how fun it is for the recipient to get something other than a bill or advertisement in the mail. I enjoy being the recipient of this sort of mail as well. It's so exciting to see an envelope with a hand written name and address on it. It has to be the most thoughtful form of communication. Texts, phone calls, e-mails, and such are all good but the convenience of them removes a special element that the snail mail carries.

A clean house. A clean, candle lit house is so welcoming and warm...oh and you can see the tracks from the vacuum in the carpet...aaaaahhh! (Side Note: I don't enjoy cleaning house. I just really appreciate one.)

Bubble baths!!! Bubble bath with wine, candles and a good book or magazine. OR no reading material but a well loaded iPod.

Which brings me to music. I love, love music. Love songs have to be on my favorite things list. Oh, and it is so delicious when just the right song comes on. When it's just the song you needed to hear to comfort your heart..such a timely gift that you know is straight from Heaven. Or the right song for some good driving. I really want a bumper sticker that says "My car is a disco." I love to dance in my car. (but only there. Dancing outside of the car is...terrifying!)

Funny, insightful, or caring things that my children say. I love to hear them speak kindly to each other. I love to hear them using their best manners for no one special but just because it's the way to do it. I love to hear them speak about their faith. Wow, I learn so much from them.

I love my youngest sons butt. It's true. I ain't gonna lie. It's the cutest little pumpkin butt I have ever seen! I have a hard time keeping my hands off of it. I just love to pinch that sucker!! I love how he squeals when I do that!

I love my oldest sons heart. He has a great love for Jesus, people, the earth and all that's in it. Amazing heart! Hates injustice. He is a tiny little guy but he can rage up against injustice. Love it!

And probably my number one favorite thing is bedtime. I love when my husband and I get into bed and I get to be the little spoon. He holds me in his arms and whispers "this is always the best part of my day."

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


I wasn't going to post today but I read a quote that stimulated my thinker...

"Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather is one of those things that give value to survival." - C. S. Lewis

My initial reaction to this was "right on!" but the more I considered my own friendships I found my experiences to be contradictory to the quote.

I understand that Mr. Lewis is saying you don't need friends to live, function. Your body will run as it should with out them. You just need the basics: food, water, shelter...you can even experience love with out friends from your family. You can be friends with your family but it's not the same.

I think we often treat our friends better then family because there is a chance that they could leave. Your family will not, can't, shouldn't. Even if you are estranged from your family you are still connected to them.

There are people that you can love without being their friend. Friendship is more then just that. I love my sons but I'm not their friend. I can't be. I have a job as a parent to do.

When the hard times of life come it's friends (and family) that pull you through them. I'm not sure how one gets to the other side of those really hard times with out a friend. And it only takes one. One really good, die hard friend that takes you for the good, the bad and the ugly and trudges through the muck of life with you and help you to survive it and move on to the more lovely times that life has for us.

I remember a very low time in my life. College. Everyone told me college is the best time of your life! You'll love it! But for me college was awful. For one I've just never been a good student and two, my parents divorced during my first year. I was at a community college and was home for it. I thought about taking off in my car headed for no where all the time.

One week after my parents split, my cat died. I came home and found it stiff with rigormortis. At that time I was friends with two guys, Takashi and Kevin. I found girls my age to be too catty and competitive (and probably I was too.) It was TK and Kev who came to bury my cat. Rather, TK did the digging while Kevin cracked jokes. After the cat funeral, they dragged me out to shoot pool. I felt like I just went along with them everywhere at that time. They held me up like a wounded soldier, one under each arm, lugging me from school, to lunch, to home, to rollerblading or the like. I'm not even sure if they knew it.

After two years of community college I left home to attend Texas Woman's University in Denton,TX. Good God, this was the worst! I was paying for school myself. I worked three part-time jobs while going to school full-time. I was trying to get into a program that only accepted about 40 students and so my grades needed to not just be good but the best.

It was the first time to manage money and life alone. I was not very good at it. I had bill collectors calling because bills were late. My gas card was shut off due to tardy payments but I needed gas in my car to get me to work to pay the gas card bill so that I can buy gas to go to work to pay the other bills. I owed the IRS money because, even though I was not receiving financial help from my parents, I was considered a dependent. Someone in my life had offered to make my car payment ($89/month) but had not payed for several months and so I got a letter saying my car would be repossessed.

Destined to be a mother, I was taking care of the other girls on campus too. (Now, this was my fault.) I brought it on myself but I was the one to call in the middle of the night because you were too drunk to drive home, the ear to listen to your relationship problems with significant others, family, or friends, the one to comfort you when your heart had been broken... And I was engaged.

One night the phone rang. My roommate, Toni, was answering the phone from now on so I could avoid bill collectors calls.

"No, you may not talk to her. You need to start dealing with your own business your self! She's trying to study, and work and plan a wedding. Goodbye." And she hung up as easily as if she had just been on the phone ordering a pizza.

I stared at her in disbelief. She was not looking at me but already back to her studying. Finally she looked up at me and said "you have to stop taking care of everybody else. You are not their mother. Take care of your own business." And that was that.

She and another friend bailed me out of another bad spot. (That's another story.) So I owed my friends money and the credit card companies and the IRS. I donated plasma to make extra money. I considered a wet t-shirt contest but could not bring myself to do it. (Thank goodness!)

Toni also drove me to work once or twice when I was out of gas. On one of these taxi trips she applied for a job at the same restaurant I was working at. She needed a job but I have often wondered if she applied there so that I could have a ride.

Through all of this was my fiance. It was a long distance relationship as he was at another school. That added another element of loneliness. He was the one that really kept me grounded, or at least tried to. I was angry and frustrated. I always did my best to do what was right and it seemed to have gotten me no where. Everyone else was doing what ever they wanted/needed to make them happy. I did what I should and was miserable. I hoped a car would hit me. Not kill me but lay me up in the hospital a bit, just to get a break from school and the rest. But Aaron encouraged me to not tire of doing what was right. The rewards would come. Immediate gratification was short lived and often left a build up of residual trouble.

It was Aaron and my friend Rob who helped me to stop being my parent's child and start being an adult. They gave me courage to start making my own decisions for my life and in a way that would not be disrespectful to my parents.

If it were not for these friends I don't know how I would have pulled through this difficult time. It was a time where family was not much help because they were all wounded and struggling too. It was a time of great growing pains and self realization. College was not the best time of my life but it may have been a time that made the best parts of me.

I never finished. 5 years of college and no degree. But I came out full of knowledge. I survived my parents divorce and college because of my friends. I don't know then that I can agree with C.S. Lewis that we don't need friends to survive. I think it would be difficult to find a survivor who said they did it alone.

Monday, April 5, 2010

NTB: Putting the Compliment in Complimentary

Saturday we got a flat tire. Ran over a nail, apparently. So first thing this morning I knew I would have to take the car to the NTB to get it fixed before heading to the gym and the grocery store.

This morning was one of those ugly mornings. I don't know what I was doing in my sleep but my hair was ratted and crazy, not just in the back but the front too! It looked like I rubbed my bangs into the pillow. I pulled that crap back into a hair clip and assessed the rest of me.

I was looking rough but did not want to put on make up if I was going to get to work out and after stepping on the scale the gym was a must. All the dieting last week seemed to be foiled by the Eater Bunny. (Darn you Easter Bunny! *shaking fist in air*)

I hit my lashes with some mascara, smeared some lip balm across my lips and threw on some work out clothes. This would just have to do until after the gym.

I walked into NTB and waited at the front counter for a good 5 min. while the sales guy was on the phone. He doesn't look around the corner to wave an acknowledgement or anything. I just stand there for 5 long minute with Drew-bug running all over the place talking (loud, because he only has one volume) about the tile floor, the tires, the rims, the whatever he can find to talk about.

Finally the guy is done on the phone and comes to the counter.

"What can I do you for?" he asks. (Why do people say that? What is that?)

"Well, I have a nail in my tire. I need to see if you can patch it up and how long it will take to do that."

"Well, I don't know if we can patch it or how long it will take until I see it." he responds with this cocky air.

"Um..that is why I am hear. For you to look at it, answer my question and then possibly take care of it for me." I tried not to sound annoyed but either my tone or the look on my face gave it away.

"Oh, I'm just messing with you ma'am. Guess it's a little too early in the morning."

Well, he got that right.

We went out to my car and he took the tire. Said it would take 20 min. to patch and put it back on the car. I'll take it.

So Drew and I waited together. He played his PSP (so glad I thought to bring that along) and I read an article on 6 ways to lose weight fast. The suggestions are never anything new. Just do it.

The tire guy came back in less time then he had quoted and wished me a good day as he handed me my keys.

"Wow! Thanks! How much do I owe you?"

"Not a thing. Just bring your car to me if you ever need anything."

I thanked him again. When I got back to the car I called Aaron. He was going to be pumped! I told him it was done and it was free. He started to laugh.

"Did you go in your little work out outfit?" he asked.

"Um..no. I mean, I have on yoga pants and a hoodie.."

"Baby, that's all it takes for you. I'm sending you to the mechanic from now on."

I started laughing too! Was he serious? No! The guy probably felt bad for acting like a smart ass. Right? Or was that a weak attempt at flirting? Really? Could it?

I decided to take the complimentary tire fix as a compliment. It made my morning. I enjoyed my work out and the usually mundane grocery shopping so much more. Even if that guy did not cut me a break because I'm hot; my husband thinks he did. He seems to really think I've got it going on and that has made my day!

I guess when he told me last night that I looked like a tempting Easter egg in my new lavender jammies that I should really focus on the "tempting" part and not the comparison to an orb. He loves me, he loves me, he loves me!

Friday, April 2, 2010

My Day Alone

It's not often that I am truly alone. Even if the kids are at school I usually have oodles of errands to run and phone calls and texts are usually being made during those errands.

Today my husband went to the Houston Open with some friends and our sons went to spend the day with their grandparents. I had the day all to myself and with absolutely no agenda!

I originally thought I would spend the day with my mom but she came down with the flu. So I brought over some juice and picked a few things up about the house for her. I made sure she was comfy as one can be when they have cold chills and aching all over the body. (Sorry mom! I'm outta here!) Then I did what any girl would do with a full day of nothing planned: I shopped!

I found a cute little top and a fun 1950s style apron at Ross. Then I remembered that I needed dish detergent and a mop. A mop...I really wish there was a mop with bristles...like a push broom type of thing... I turn the aisle in Target and there it was! A mop that has bristles attached as well! I was so thrilled! Really, this made my day. I was like, I've GOT to call someone and tell them of this mop.

But no. I don't. I decided at that point that I was going to truly spend this day alone. I was not going to text or call anyone.

So I happily purchased my mop, resisting the urge to tell the 17 year old checker about how freakin' excited I was about this mop. I could not wait to go home and put it to work!

The laundry room was in special need of attention because that's the room we keep the cats litter box. This reminded me that I've really been wanting to get some sort of litter catching mat....headed to Pets Mart and there was just what I was hoping for! And it's a big one too. So far everything was going my pathetic little way. I was pleased as punch!

Before heading home I decided to have some lunch. Since I was going to embrace the alone-ness I thought that I would do something I had never done before. I was going to eat alone. At a RESTAURANT. I chose La Madeline for my date with me. Tomato Basil soup is so comforting and even though I was starting to feel more comfortable about this solidarity business I was feeling lonely at the same time. Tomato Basil is a warm friend who is always full of flavorful things to share.

And so it was me and my soup and a cup of tea out on a patio on a beautiful Spring day. I thought about my mop and cat mat. I did some thinking with God, you know...talking to Him but not out loud. I asked Him a few questions and He said He would get back to me. I think He mostly just wanted to "be" too. So I enjoyed my soup, my God and my thoughts and then went off to shop some more.

Borders was just across the street beckoning me to come for a visit. I love bookstores! They smell amazing. I found some Wimpy Kid shirts for the boys and then bought cupcake note cards and a cupcake pen. (I have a few little notes I need to send out about the bake-off.) I thought about getting a book since I would be able to read unmolested but I figured the mop was going to be a lot of fun. So I left the book store with no book.

I have never had more fun doing the mop prep before in my life! Moving everything out of the kitchen and laundry room, sweeping...the anticipation of actually using the mop was...well, it was not that great really but I was excited. So I mopped and the added bristle feature proved to be everything I imagined it would be. My floors look amazing! I got the cat mat out and rolled it out onto the exceptionally clean laundry room floor. It looks great! I brought the cats over to check out their new digs. They responded with a nearly synchronized switch of the tail and quick as lighting exit. Boo. You'll appreciate it you brats!

When the mopping was done I heated up a hot mug of water, gathered up my nail polishes and gave myself a pedicure while catching up on Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice. Exceptional day. Loved it. I finally broke down at about 4:30 and text a friend to tell her about my mop. She said I was a geek.

That's about right.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Spring Time Treats

This week has been absoultely delicious! I have had my husband home with me all week. It has made such a difference in how the days run. I really wish he could work from home! Though, it's good to get the chance to miss him. ;) I have been spoiled by the lunches together and the help with the kids and just the companionship..it's been awesome!

To relish in the deliciousness a little more I decided to wear a sundress today. It's so decadent, I think, to wear a dress when you have no where to go. Cleaning house barefoot in a flowy, flowery frock is just not the same as when you are pushing that mop in gym clothes and holey t-shirts. One does have to be a little more careful thuogh...

So Easter is this weekend and I'm most looking forward to it! I love Holidays! Even today, April Fools. I've got all kinds of tricks up my sleeves. I put a can of dog food in my sons lunch and wrote April Fools on the lid with a silly drawing. Not that funny I guess but I know for a second grader it will be a real belly jiggler! I also plan to short sheet my moms bed. Even though it's sort of a turd thing to do I think it will make her smile knowing that I was thinking of her anyway.

I will never be able to celebrate Easter without remembering the story of our little friend Kriby. God bless him, he's not a little boy anymore and so this story must haunt him now as a grown man. AWESOME! When sweet Kirby was a wee boy his parents sent him next door to a neighbors home with flowers on Easter morning to wish her a Happy Easter. They wanted to bring home the meaning of the day though and so they told Kirby to go to his neighbors home and wish her a Happy Resurrection Day!!

So little sweet Kirby goes to his neighbors home, knocks, hands her the flowers and cries out "Happy Erection!!" He has risen! He has risen indeed!

For Easter my sons always paint a watermelon. This tradition started when my oldest was about 2 and he thought that watermelons were Easter Eggs. So I bought one and we went home and he fingerpainted all over it. It was very ugly. They get better every year. Last year was the best and actually looked like an Easter Egg. This year I bought them individual small seedless watermelons. I'm hoping to see some real creativity! Maybe I'll go buy myself one too...

We of course dye eggs (or as Drew says "kill" eggs) and we make a special Easter treat that expalins what the Holiday is about:

You get cresent roll dough, marshmallows, butter, cinnamon and sugar. Preheat the oven according to the directions on the crescent roll can. Take the marshmallow and tell the kids that it represents Jesus. It's spotless and without sin. Explain that death is the payment for sin but God sent Jesus to pay it for us because he loves us so much! Explain that after He was killed on the cross that He was buried in a tomb. Before burial they prepared his body with oils and spices. Then take the marshmallow and dip it in melted butter and then roll it in a mixture of sugar and cinnamon.

I let my kids do their marshmallows too. They are usually saying "Aaaagh! My Jesus is covered in butter! Aaagh! He's rolling in spices!!" It's all kinds of fun! After Jesus' body is prepared roll it up in burial clothes i.e. the crescent roll dough. Seal the ends off real good by pinching the dough together. After you've got all of the Jesus' wrapped up you put them in the "tomb" (the oven) and bake it according to the directions on the crescent can. Usually it's about 10 min. You can read them a story at this time reinforcing what you just demonstrated.

When they are done, remove them from the oven. While they are cooling tell them that after three days the ladies who prepared his body came back to the tomb but it was no longer sealed and it was empty! They thought someone had taken his body but then Jesus came to see them and show them that He was alive and had risen from the dead. The kids can then take a crescent roll and tear it in half. The marshmallow is gone! Just like how Jesus was gone from the tomb! Big hit...Big!

And they are delicious!!! Just like this week and this day and my pretty little sundress! Yep...I've got the Spring Fever...Twitter Painted! ;)