Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Found treasures and stranges measures

After an exhausive search of every nook and cranny and corner and crevice in our house, I came to a couple of conclusions. (1) I have got to stop accepting other people's crud because they are too guilty to just take it right to Goodwill. We are the depository for the guilt purges of others. (2) I desperately need to have a yard sale...but that is not going to happen anytime soon. (3) I realized just how very precious my Granny's patterns are to me and will make sure they are never lost again. The box was located in a random corner of my husband's workshop which says to me that little hands played a part in its relocation. A few tears were shed and some pictures were taken and texted to inform people of the happy discovery. Some may think I am strange. I say if that is what makes me strange, then they really have not paid close attention to me. I do a lot of strange things.

Bedtime approached at our house and, as happens every night, strange questions and comments always start. One child needed help with math homework which was met with a "Go see your dad" comment from me. One was working on homonyms and other language minutae. It was met with a "Call me if you need me." And then the boy. He never fails to entertain. He purchased a book on Milton Hershey at the book fair today and was starting chapter one. I told him it was time for bed and he said, "Take a good look at me tonight." Okay, I thought, I'll do that and hold him tight for a big bedtime hug. "Just wanted you to take a close look at me tonight. I've decided I'm growing a centimeter while I sleep. You'll notice tomorrow. Night." Soooo, if you notice that he looks different tomorrow, you'll know why. Better measure him while he sleeps so I can have a baseline. Stay tuned for tomorrow's measurements.
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Monday, September 29, 2014

Sewing and solving

After this crazy weekend, I needed to play catch up with the laundry and some other stuff. Soooo, I turned into a hermit and spent most of the day in the basement. Just call me the laundry troll. It fits. I did break out long enough to pick up children and get my hair cut by my very lovely and very pregnant friend. Three weeks to go and she is still working her magic and making me feel like a shiny dime when I leave her sweet little shop.

After all the children were picked up for good and returned to the ranch, I returned to the basement to try and sew up some more creature carcasses for finishing. I must admit that I am currently crestfallen by the fact that my heavy duty box full of all of my grandmother's patterns that I have used for years is gone. I have gone over the house with not quite a fine toothed comb, but close to it. I need to make some bunnies and bears and I need my pattern pieces. It hurts my heart to think they are gone. Pray we can solve this mystery. We have made so many creatures with them and I want to continue her tradition. If I have left a clear hard plastic box full of brown paper bag body parts, let me know. I have some fabric that wants to meet them.

Until then, I will sew socks while watching Criminal Minds reruns and find that blasted box. Night all.

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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Here we go...

We got the girl up this morning for her birthday breakfast in bed. When she got up, I swear she had gotten taller overnight. I can't stand it. But time marches on, friends, and we have the choice to embrace it or let it make us crazy. It depends on the day with me. We had an entertaining lunch at the local Japanese steakhouse/hibachi restaurant and ate way more rice, teriyaki and shrimp sauce than people should. We have enough leftovers for the week I think. She requested a combination of two cakes: Texas sheet cake cake and the icing from our peanut butter cake. G did the decorating of the top with mini Reese cups:

I thought her peanut butter cup star flower was lovely. The cake was pretty good too, but needed a gallon of milk with it to take the edge of the richness off. She is currently exploring the wonders of social media as we allowed her to finally get an account. It is heavily monitored and stalked by us, so she is treading lightly.

At this time 13 years ago, I was watching the hub and our nurse give S her very first bath. I wanted to get up for a closer look, but I was really tired. Her little cry sounded like a tiny kitten. She was precious and she was all ours and, though I was overwhelmed beyond belief, there was not a doubt in my mind that I would die in a heartbeat for her. Then I probably cried a while and then laughed and then had some other violent swing of emotion. The hormones were only starting their mischief in my body. She is the best first baby anyone could ask for and we are so blessed to have her and her sister and brother. We are blessed beyond measure.

Happy Birthday, sweet S!
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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Eve of teen

My oldest will turn 13 tomorrow and I want to throw up. I won't think about that now except to say that at almost 13 she is currently living it up, post band competition style, at the Waffle House with her fellow percussionists. Dad is lurking somehwere out in the parking lot in the van, probably listening to a soccer game. I am baking a Bisquick coffee cake for her breakfast in bed and am on the verge of collapsing from exhaustion. Soccer games and band competitions are enough to frazzle any parent's nerves. I am grateful to see more baby pics today. My brother looks like a smashing grandfather holding her, so I am thrilled for them.

I am going to wash the deep fried treats smell that only comes from a band booster run concession stand. Girl next to me was delighting in her deep fried oreos. Something to think about. Night all.

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Friday, September 26, 2014


This has been a busy day. Baking a birthday cake. Getting people some haircuts. Cleaning, laundry, shopping, transporting kids. There has been a group text(store that away)going all day with details about the impending birth and then actual delivery of our new great niece. My brother has been keeping my mom, my aunts and me in the know and sent a few pictures. Very exciting and mom and baby are doing well.

This evening the hub took the two youngers and went to a Lady Vols soccer game with their soccer teams. I went to sit with lots of my fellow Ftn Citians at the local high school football game to see S play in band again. While I can do without the constant movement and unfocused crowd, I enjoy the energy of a high school football game and sitting in my favorite place: right next to the band. Knowing this was going to be a packed house for an inevitable slaughtering of our team, I got there way early and sat down to watch the pre-pregame stuff. A mother got very angry at the fact that I had apparently taken the seat that she sits in every game. While I did not see the brass plaque commemorating such an important thing, I apparently should have known that she always sits on the end and always gets there to the stadium before everybody else does...except for tonight. She wouldn't say these words directly to me, but to every friend who walked through the stadium. Passive aggressive much? Anyway, I was documenting all of this mom's shenanigans and awful things to my brother. I was very angry. As siblings often do, because we are siblings and can say things to each other that we can't to most people, I ended the text with a word. It was a descritive word of the not so nice type when refering to a human. A technical term when referring to a female dog. I should not have said it, but she had worn me out for 45 minutes and I needed to vent or my mouth might have gotten ugly. As soon as I pressed send, I looked up to watch the players for a minute. My phone beeped. "You sent that text to Mom and the aunts....HAHAHAHA!!!!", said my brother. I looked and he was not joking. Twenty minutes later, I had called both aunts and my mother to beg their forgiveness and apologize for my potty mouthed description. They all laughed and told me not to worry, but I am mortified beyond belief. Don't text in anger, friends. Or if you do, check and make sure of the recipient. Mine was two aunts, my mother and my brother...and it was located right under the cherubic picture of our new niece sleeping very intensely. I will crawl under my rock now.

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Brace face...almost

The girl got molds made for braces today. My gracious how braces and orthodontic everything has changed over the years. When I got braces, I went in at 8 in the morning and was in the office for a good 2-3 hours while they put the braces on and I listened to easy listening hits of the '70's and '80's on the headsets they provided. I remember my mom picking me up at school and dropping me off at Dr. White's office where I signed in, got a cellophane wrapped toothbrush to wash the funk off and sat doing homework until I was called back to a second holding area with earphones and soft rock. There was the replacing of rubberbands and tightening wires and all that business. They told us today that it would take 5-10 minutes to put the braces on her teeth. Good golly. Thank goodness. It will be a 24-30 month adventure that will start Oct. 16. She better get her caramel apple, taffy and ooeygooey eating done before then...or things will get very interesting.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

This says it all

It has been a long and stressful day, but then it has been for everyone. I just got home from work and am ready to watch the season premiere of Modern Family. On days like this, I sometimes wonder if I am doing the right thing by, well, everybody. I was a grumpy mother and wife this evening. Why would they want to be around me? I don't want to be around me.

Anyway, I was cleaning out one of the closets last night and found an old journal that G had to do in first grade. The entries were so cute. This one is my absolute favorite:

After all is said and done, I am happy and honored to be the one who gets to wipe the cry off. It is the best job I have ever had.
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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Wholesale clubbed to a pulp

So I got to turn into a legit employee today and have my own membership card to the local wholesale club.  I joke...I have been a legit employee.  I have avoided getting one of these cards like the plague. I just don't want to have anything that, with my stupid luck, could cause a problem or be lost or stolen.  I'm paranoid that way.  Anyhoo, I went to our local wholesale club armed with my prewritten and signed check and letter expressing that my work says it is okay for me to be on their account, and happily strolled over to Customer Service.  Forty five minutes later, I had a card for work and a new and improved card for our personal use.  45 minutes later.  The woman tried to get me to get rid of my personal card and use the business card for both work and family use.  "Uh, but ma'am, uh, that is unethical and I can't do that."  She looked at me as though I had a third eye.  "Honey, it would be one less card in your wallet."  "Yes ma'am, but I would also have one less income in our family to buy things at your store...because I would get fired and rightfully so."  Her look remained puzzled as she handed me my nice warm and freshly printed card.  I went through the store and did my shopping, grabbing goldfish crackers and saltines and little cups for juice.  I went to the aisle for juice and grabbed several for Sunday morning snack.  They come in two packs kind of yoked together with a piece of green plastic.  As i pulled the third two pack down, one of the apple juice bottles went rogue and popped me in the nose.  I staggered to the cart and put them in there, barely able to see through the stars I was seeing.  Already a little ticked off, I wobbled up to the self check out and started the process.  I went to swipe my card and it didn't work.  Tried again and same result.  I asked the lady and she said, "That isn't attached to a charge account."  It also wasn't tax exempt.  She worked some voodoo and printed out a special receipt that I was to take back over to customer service.  Once I returned, I spoke to another lady and again showed her my information and letter for getting this card.  Another 45 minutes later.  Yes...another 45 minutes later they had shredded two cards, pulled the first CS rep who helped me over to show her what she had done wrong.  Turns out, she was a trainee.  They fixed the account part and then for got the tax exempt.  Or vice versa.  It was painful.  I had my picture taken at least seven times today and my face became less friendly and accommodating with each flashbulb.  After I loaded my car, I called the office and spoke to our financial lady to explain the snafu and warn her of the possible onslaught of error filled paperwork that may or may not be coming her way.  Let's pray it doesn't happen, because I do not want to go back to customer service one more time.  If I do, there better be some excellent free samples awaiting me in frozen foods when I am done.   Just saying'.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Almost time....

I am desperately trying to get all of my evening chores done.  In one of many momentary lapses of judgement today, I chose to completely empty out our hall closet and organize it right before dinnertime.  The contents are lining the hallway like a beacon of my horrible closet organization management.  What the closet does not understand is the The Blacklist starts tonight.  Red returns and I cannot miss a single second.  My obsession with this show and all of the premieres this week and the next may be the key to why all my closets are such a mess.  I have also realized that I really have a school supply stockpiling problem.  I don't think we will ever need to purchase one of those black and white speckled composition notebooks for at least the next three years.  We also have a healthy supply of the Pink Pearl erasers, a couple boxes of yellow #2 pencils and one lonely glue stick.  I won't even talk about how many packs of the "10 for $10" baby wipes I have.  We still use those for the car, trips to the zoo and other places we need to clean off before eating and quick yard mishap blood clean up.  So in reality, this closet is just a treasure trove of wonderful surprises and the family will benefit from all the crap, er, stuff it holds.

Now I'm off to pitch out 12 medicine spoons and then watch Red and the gang.  Night all.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sleeping it off

I am ready for bed right now, but I am a creature of habit and I cannot go to sleep without doing a few things. Here they are in no certain order:

1. I must write my blog entry for the day. Most of the time they are nothing of excitement to read. Every once in a while a Pizza Inn or family attack dog demo post will come in, but mostly just the minutae of my nonexciting days. Oh well.

2. I must take a bath/shower. Here is how looney I am. We sat in an afternoondownpour watching the boy play soccer. I was soaked and went home to shower and get warm. That was truly 4 hours ago and I will not be able to sleep until I have another bath before bed. I'm OCD...I get it.

3. I must apply some of that EOS egg lip balm before I lay down. Why? Because I ran out of Burt's Bees.

4. I must check my alarm clock about 77 times to make sure that it is set so we are not late for school. There are few things I hate more than being late, so I must make 77-duple sure that it is set.

5. Who am I kidding, this is the most important one of all. Ever since I can remember, I have had to turn my pillowcase openings away from the side of the bed. It needs to be in the middle, because you can never be too careful about creatures(aliens and boogers and haints and such)crawling into your pillowcase and causing nighttime havoc. It still bothers me at this age. Don't even get me started on the anxiety of having to sleep in a twin bed...there is no middle. Nightmarish.

On that note, that water is running and I am reading to get this sleepy time started. Night all.

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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Watch out for handsprings

One of my oldest's best buddies hurt herself something awful today. There are reasons why I was never an acrobat or a gymnast. No, I haven't always been the size I am, so that is not the reason. I am the biggest clutz on the planet. I would have been the one with the injury on minute 3 of my first class. S's friend was doing a back handspring and landed funny. Bless heart sweet, sweet heart. It looks like she has two wrists. Sugery is tonight and I imagine it will be a while in a cast. I am so glad she wasn't hurt worse. Send some prayers up for her and for her mom. I feel so bad for both of them. I think she is in surgery now. Just awful.

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Friday, September 19, 2014

Backyard at low tide

Today I got a bee in my bonnet and got just a little crazy outside. First I trimmed back the English ivy that has decided to grow like crazy and invade our patio. Then I decided I needed to pressure wash stuff. What? Well, it turned out to be the patio. It had been long overdue for a good high pressure bath and I was in the mood to see some progress. The upper tier of the patio came along quite nicely, those nice bright strips of clean concrete shining like a beacon of progress against the dirty from tree junk, dog and kids part. The second tier proved to be more difficult. First off, the pressure washer decided to take its power down to about 75% or less, making the work a lot harder and longer. That area is also where the hickory tree drops its trash, today with dangerous accuracy, on my head and the ground. Progress was noted, especially the area where our prima donna "I can't get my paws wet so I'm going to unload the powerful pressure of my bladder right here on the concrete" dog makes her deposit every once in a while. I was only about 15% done on the lower tier when I smelled the familiar smell of low tide from all the goo and moss and algae and whatever else gets dislodged and is washed into our woodsy backyard. That kind of makes it sound like we live in filth. No...just the woods with lots of tree trash and such. Time got away from me, so I used the less than 75% pressured water to rinse off my filthy legs and feet and ran to get the kids. I did make sure my hair looked good and the rest of me was dirt free before I left. I have gone to pickup filthy whilst in the middle of a construction project. No curlers yet, but the kids haven't tried me to the point that I have found that a necessary tactic. Keeping it in my back pocket though. I have noticed that I have developed a strange affliction because of all of my progress today. Some people get tennis elbow or sewer's wrists or skiier's thumb. I believe I have pressure washer's knuckle. My left hand's middle finger knuckle is not quie twice its size. Curious. It waz worth it. The first part looks great and the low tide smell gives me that beach living feeling without all the messy sand. Win-win, I'd say.

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Makes me a little nervous

I am sitting here with a nice and lovely view, watching my child train with high school boys twice her "tallness" as someone called it one time. I'm not going to lie, it makes me a little nervous. I am trying just to concentrate on this:

I can go to my happy place and think about the homemade meatballs I made for subs tonight...or the new brownie waffle recipe I found on Pinterest to try this weekend. A little bit distracting is the guy right next to me, always wearing a Renaldo jersey(yuck) and some sort of boy's athletic knee highs, who is practicing his ball juggling skills. I think he may have on as much hair product as Renaldo wears too. I'm sure he's a very nice person, but he needs to juggle elsewhere. My happy keeper mom is tempered by the worries of injury, duh, and I can only feel comfortable when my child can be in the goal when she looks like this(excuse my art work):

Somehow I think the astronaut-esque helmet would be frowned upon out here. Maybe I'm wrong...but I'm not. She, and a boy who looks to be 6'4" and so slender you could snap him in half, are curently on the ground and rolling around to practice trapping ground shots. She is going to be covered with newly cut grass. Looks like it's a Benadryl night at the Cook house. I have suddenly realized that I have placed my Target purchased sports/camp chair on yet another aunt hill. My foot looks like someone dropped an open pepper shaker on it. Let me take care of that...be right back.

(7.34 minutes later) I have done the ants in my Chucks dance and have given the gathering high school kids' team a good belly laugh for the evening. The phantom ants remain, you know, when they are still crawling on you...but it is all your head? Kind of like the psychological lice that come when your kid comes home and reports that someone in their class got sent home with the unwanted visitors in their hair. Anyhoo, I'll be feeling those for a good while.

Well the girl is approaching and judging by her limp and the green from knee to ankle skin on her legs, it is time to go home and have a good soak in the tub. And I guess I'd better let her have one too. Night all.
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Wednesday, September 17, 2014


It has been a very emotionally weird day that I cannot begin to describe. Worry and fear and anger and astonishment and frustration and humor even. I am just glad to be in my A&W Root Beer tshirt pj's and in my comfy bed, my husband snoozing by my side. Days like these make me so very grateful for a good man, a healthy relationship between us and supportive families. We lived a sweet life.

I again ask you to pray and send well wishes to an individual in need. It is a concern that is laying on the hearts of so many who want to help but feel helpless at the same time. Please lift the situation up.

Lastly, my son got his new Rec Specs today:

Naturally he thinks he is hot stuff with them on. I think he looks a little like Snoopy when he is the World War I flying ace. Whatever he looks like, I don't care as long as he can see the ball flying at his face before it makes contact.

Have a good night. I'll hope for a funny day tomorrow so I won't bum all three of you out again.
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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

On a tear

I am in my pajamas getting warm after a chilly end to soccer practice. The hub is watching some sports show where a well known news guy is taking on the NFL. I will admit that football has not always been my favorite thing to view. The things a girl will do when she is in love: watch his favorite shows and endure the hours of his favorite sporting events. Once we got married, I felt it was okay to not have to watch every second of every game. I do still watch college ball and the Super Bowl. I really have grown quite queasy with how the NFL handles, well, most everything. Everything for the almighty dollar is their unwritten mantra I feel. Look the other way for killing others, beating your significant other, beating your child to the point of injury, allowing players to be concussed to the point that too many are now in need of 24 hour care. All for the almighty dollar. I have children. I have a son. Most little boys say they want to play football to some degree. Would my child ever be in the NFL? Well with his negotiating skills he might be one of their lawyers, but I pray not. I know I am a soccer mom and have a daughter with two concussions under her now required head gear. Profesional soccer is just as drama filled in lots of ways, but again my child will not be participating at that level. But they will all see football players, dripping with possessions and wealth and treated like gods who can get away with atrocities. Are all NFL guys bad? Not at all. There are so many good ones...great ones even. Where is their spotlight? It is stolen from them by the thugs. Way to have priorities in order NFL. We'll turn to bowling.

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Open mouth, insert foot

Just another day. A Monday at that, but not anything to complain about. I put a load of towels in the wash and then went to work childcare at church. It was my last day with the hub at home, which kind of makes me really super sad. He will be starting back to work as much as they allow and he can endure. It has been nice to have him here. I kind of really enjoy seeing his face.

I won't bore you with the minutae of a run of the mill day, but I will tell you the dumb thing I did. Soooo, I received a call today. Even though we are on the Do Not Call list, somehow people manage to finagle a way around that. It annoys me to no end. If it is just a person trying to make a buck, I will be as nice as I possibly can. If it is one of those people who request my computer passwords to "assist" me with my troubles on Windows(we have a Mac), I have a tendency to yell things like "Don't call me again...this is a SCAM" and "Call me again and I will report you" and maybe I might slam the old school phone with a cord several times against the cradle. I am not a violent person, but years ago one of those creeps threatened and freaked out my Granny. We all know, nobody messes with your Granny. So anyway, we got a call today from one of those robotic voiced recorded women. She sounded more like a Siri or robot than "This is Rachel from cardholder services. There's no problem with your account...". Then don't flippin call me, Rachel. The robot voice was inquiring about my interest in their product and told me that they would be in our area this coming week. I listened simply because I was waiting for the London Broil to finish broiling and had nowhere to be but oven watching. I can listen to a robot while watching beef cook. With past calls, I often talk to the robot knowing that it will not answer but simply transfer me to an operator in a foreign country. So after I listened to the robot for a good 90 seconds I said, "Are you a robot or a human?". All of a sudden, I heard a heavy sigh and, "Uhhh...totally a human...thanks." I was so embarrassed, I hung up. Way to go there, idiot.

I will leave you with my new favorite child drawing. The boy decided to draw a rock star and his drum set:

I really like the fact tht the guy is so cool he says, "Sup?" and has a bird on his shoulder. Now if that doesn't scream rock-n-roll, I don't know what does.
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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sweet and kind Grace

I am on the verge of collapsing from sheer exhaustion, so you will have to forgive my potential jumbly text. It was an early afternoon day of soccer for G and her team. We noticed immediately that there were girls on the team we had played with before...some even on our former teams, so it was about to get weird. When playing friends, the speech of "On the field you are not friends, you are competitors" is often mentioned by parents. It's just business, baby. There were some on the opposing team that made a potential win that much sweeter, I'm not going to lie. We started off rough. G was thrown off and had two scored on her. Made her pretty frustrated. She's pretty tough on herself. The girls started to wake up and her friend E drew first blood. Then we tied it up just in time for half time. On the opposing side, there was a keeper change. A friend and former teammate who had joined club to get more touches on the ball and had been shoved into the goal instead. Keeper is a position you have to want, not one you are forced into, so I know the mother was nervous. While it was a point of contention for some of the opposing fans, our team found a way of exploiting weakness and scored several goals in a row. That is called competition. A couple may have been some the keeper could have prevented, but most were a failure of her defense and lack of training on her coach's part. One particular goal had her down in the goal, unable to get up out of sheer frustration and anger. As a mother, my heart hurt for her. Come on, coach. Take her out and give her a break. Our parents started yelling and cheering for her. "Shake it off, keeper!" and "Stay strong, girl!!" and "Don't let it get you down...keep your head up!". We had a decisive win which was extra nice since they were a division up and a head taller. The oppoosing keeper walked, dejected, across the field towards her mother. She was clearly crying and upset and rightfully so. G handed her water jug to me and ran out on the field, embracing her friend and competitior. I could see her whispering in her ear and pat her on the head. The hub and I spoke to her as well. She couldn't speak. I was outraged that the other parents on her team did not try to cheer her up...let her off the hook some. It is just a game after all. Not an audition for a scholarship at 11. G can frustrate me more than any other human on this planet, probably because she is just like me in almost every way. But I'll tell you I was so humbled and proud at her show of sportsmanship and just basic humanity to a devastated friend. Made up for every tweenish eye roll I receive, friends. What a kid. What decent kid.

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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Mother-Son bonding

It has been an always exciting day of soccer for the young people in this house.The boy had a lunchtime game. They did okay. He is still learning to work with new teammates and coaches. He had some good plays and enjoyed himself and , really, isn't that really what matters? Yes, winning is nice, but I just want him to have fun at this point. S had a game as well, but late in the afternoon. It was a rough start, but ended in victory. In this case, especially, the victory was espeically sweet. Their teammate took a trip to the hospital and suffered a broken wrist. The opposing team had a lot of less than kind words to say, but plenty of snotty things to share. The win was super sweet when those parents were silenced. My child, magnet for random and odd injuries, went in for a kick and took a post to the shin. She has a nice lump there for a trophy...right above where her cymbal landed last night after the strap broke. That kid is a mess.

Currently, the hub has taken the oldest to a youth group football party at church. G is watching Steve Spangler science experiment videos on YouTube. The boy and I are watching the always riveting "Airplane Repo". It was this or some sort of smart-mouthed angsty kid show on Disney. Sorry, Vol Nation, we are not watching the football game. I've had enough sports for this day. When the kids go to bed, I will get crazy and have some ice cream and watch Criminal Minds. I know you wish you were me. Living the dream, my friends.

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Open iPad - The bloggess is out!

Guest post by Mr. Bloggess

TOP 10 things i learned about myself through pain, perseverance, and faith
10. Pain STINKS - Plain and simple.
9. Pain squeezes the weakness out. It makes you stronger.
8. Face your pain, and it will go away. Run away from your pain and it will follow you always.
7. Many people suffer from pain. Pain can be manifested in physical and emotional pain. It is grief, worry, insecurity, conflict, hatred, stress, and doubt-- to name a few.
6. Be kind, for each person is fighting their own difficult battle.
5. My wife has kept me grounded and been an example of faithful living.
4. Sometimes, life is like Chutes and Ladders. Moving forward is the only option.
3. Look for signs along the journey that you are on the right path.
2. Luke 1:37 "For nothing is impossible with God."
1. My family loves me unconditionally.

God bless!


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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Reposting a favorite

On somber days such as these, we all need a little levity.  Here is a repost of an oldie but goodie from my first year of blogging.  Enjoy!!

Well folks, after a six hour run at the soccer fields today, the family returned home tired and grungy. Three games, three wins, three children who scored goals. After washing off several layers of grit, the girls were sent off to a birthday party for the evening and the boys and I settled in to watch the Hokies. After a wonderful, nail biter of a game, we realized that it was 7pm and we had not fed the Fin. The Brain was hungry enough to eat the shamalamadingdong out of something, so we headed to his choice for the evening: Pizza Inn. Now, for those who have never had the "pleasure", the Inn is a buffet pizza place. Is it haute cuisine? No. Is it hot cuisine? Mercifully, yes. We arrived, got our table, got our food and commenced to dining. The restaurant was not very busy, but then the Vols were on and this is Knoxville. A few older people and some couples, all glued to the one station showing on the 10 televisions. So, to help illustrate the scene, I have used nothing but the best materials to make a diagram:

We were located at table #1. There was a woman and her son/daughter, not sure which and that person left leaving the mother by herself. They were at table #3. About 10 minutes before the conclusion of our meal, an older couple came in to dine. She was somewhat delicate looking, with a cane and he, in the story I made up in my mind, was a part time farmer in his best Saturday night blue jeans. Go ahead and say it....I have no life, I know. They were "seated" at table #2. The reason I used " "is the reason I began to observe these people. They stood, waiting for their server, and gave their drink requests. The man then took off behind me, I assume to the salad bar or pizza trough of evil. The woman opened her purse and started pulling out an individually packaged Purell wipe. Carefully and ritualistically unfolding it, she went about the process of wiping down her chair and that of her husband and the bottom of her purse. This took one wipe, after which she carefully folded it back up and put it back in the packaging. She then placed her newly cleaned purse in the chair and opened a new wipe. This one went towards the cleaning of the the napkin dispenser and the tabletop underneath it. The next one went to the cleaning of the salt and pepper shakers and the patch of table underneath them. Each wipe was then placed back in its packaging and placed in a pile next to the napkin dispenser. The next one was used to clean the rest of the tabletop. After this fourth wipe ritual, I also started watching the lady at table #3, who sat there with mouth agape, mesmerized by what she was witnessing. Every once in a while she would look around to see if anyone else was witnessing this. Now, we all know the restaurant business can be dirty. Those poor servers do not get paid of fraction of what they are due and they clean with what they are given. I could understand all of this until she sat down. At this point wipe numbers five and six were used to make sure the entire underside of the table was clean. Not sure what that was about, but I was hooked. Let me take a brief second to say that I am in no way making fun of OCD or those who suffer from it. As part of my studies, I had to read and do lots of research on this disorder and I understand what a terrible burden it is. That being said, I was confused, fascinated and amused all at the same time. Now back to the story. After she used wipe #7 as a post cleaning hand wash, her husband delivered to her two plates, two forks and two knives. Upon inspection, one of the knives failed and he was sent back for another.  She then took a napkin out, unfolded it, refolded it to her specifications and placed it one the table. She repeated it again and then placed a fork and a knife on top and a fork on the other. Once an acceptable knife was found, her husband placed on the correct napkin. The wife, with a look of exasperation, reached over and turned the knife around in the proper direction. The husband went to get his plate of food, as did she, comfortable in the fact that the table was properly sanitized and set. Meanwhile, table 3 lady was still trying to find the Candid Camera, thinking these people had to be a plant. I couldn't look at her or it would have been all over and I would be going to hell for laughing at this person. Brain got up to pay the check and the wife began to adjust the napkins in proximity to the plates in relation to the napkin holder. This all had to be just perfect. She then got a napkin, unfolded it, refolded it to her liking, used her fingernail to make a tiny slit. She used this slit as a makeshift buttonhole bib, hooking it on to the button of her blouse, then carefully unfolding to maximize coverage. She then settled in to eat her little bowl of spaghetti. Her husband reached for the salt shaker, which is unnecessary in the house of sodium, and used copius amounts on his salad. Then, the unthinkable happened. He put the salt shaker back down where it had been. Well, that flew all over her. This started the unwrapping of wipe #7 or 8....I've lost count. She had to wipe the salt shaker all over again, place it directly in the center between the two of them. This process repeated with the pepper. By this time, the Brain returned and we were ready to go. Table 3 lady had, at this point, lost all sense of decorum and was staring, mouth open, at the couple...only pausing to look away long enough to get the straw in her mouth and taste her beverage. I was in the state of silent, crying laughter and needed to escape immediately. Who knew that we would get dinner and a show? Poor Fin and Brain missed out. I am sad. It was the best dinner theatre ever.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Hierarchy of kickball

I love my son. That is all there is to it. I love all my children equally and differently and passionately and desperately. Being a tomboy all of my life has made having a boy the cherry on top of the childbearing sundae. Wait...that sounds kind of messed up...but you moms hopefully know what I mean. Lots of my friends have the best time buying dresses and goopy outfits for their girls. I did go to a clothing party and bought two skirts for my girls at like $43 a piece. Guilt purchases, kind of like that guilt spatula that you already have 32 of in your kitchen drawer from Pampered Chef parties that you feel bad leaving without helping out the hostess get her rare veggie slicing hostess gift. After I picked the hub up off the floor when I told him what I paid, he asked nicely that I not attend anymore of those clothes parties unless I could guarantee that the skirts would be passed down and used by his great grandchildren. So I haven't been in a while. I digress. When I have to buy dresses or school clothes or finery for the girls, there really is not enough Secret to hide the stressful flop sweat that comes from this task. I would live in Chucks, jeans and a gray Old Navy tshirt(LL Bean if I splurge) if I could get away with it. The girls have style. I do not. Thank the good Lord for their "My Style" Pinterest pages. I get ideas from those.

Now with my boy, I am piiiiccckkkyyy. From his spiky haired head to his always funky little toes, I have opinions. He's just a quirky guy. His friends are usually decked out in some sort of Under Armour or "slippery" sports material. He likes that stuff, but he generally goes for the funny tshirt. Talking food complaining about their difficulties in life, ironic hunor like bacon and pigs or chickens and fried eggs in conversation. You know, that's funny. So he has his talking food shirt, a pair of camo shorts and a pair of Hulk Van's and he walks on to the kickball court. Sounds like a joke, right? Although it kind of isn't. Since he doesn't live in one of the large feeder neighborhoods for our school, he doesn't hang out with lots of these boys in the neighborhood. He's a different kind of kid. He has two big sisters, so he doesn't think girls are all that yucky. He doesn't play football or baseball like the majority of his friends. He's a soccer boy all the way. So when he tries to break in to the standing game every day on the playground he is met with a "No" or "Not today" comment from the others. His best buddy from last year will not include him this year and made a point of giving out birthday invitations to boys in his class...just not to him. My boy said the one time they let him play kickball, he kicked the ball too far, he got around the bases and they told him he was done. The kid plays soccer...he has a heck of a foot. As a mom, I understand that there is a hierarchy to kickball...to all playground sports. There is a boss who usually tells everyone else what to do. Maybe two bosses, who are also the heads of the two teams. They choose who they want and the rest can go find another activity. I can't fight his battles for him. I can equip him with the skills to deal with whatever comes his way. But as a mom whose heart breaks when I see that little face with those glasses and that super smile and hear the disappontment in his voice. I want to go yell, "Let my baby play some blasted kickball!!!" or "You are just intimidated by his excellent foot!!". Yeah. That would go over like, well, it would be bad.

Sorry. I'm tired and my words went off the rails. I just wish everybody could participate and the playground rules would change. They haven't changed in the umpteen years since I was 7, so time to get used to disappointment. He'll learn to find something else to do out there...or he'll take his "Track Meat" tshirt with running bacon, ham and sausage and demand a place on a kickball team. EIther way, I'll anxiouly be waiting in the pick up line, ready to hear his blow by blow of playground antics.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sewing and soccer

Run of the mill Tuesday today. Staff meeting and paperwork and school pick up and choir drop off and soccer practice. While sitting at practice, I sewed to multiply my sock bunny family. The girls were all very interested in what I was doing with socks and a chopstick and a bag of stuffing. After they saw a finished bunny, they all decided they were going to bring socks to the next practice. I told them that dirty socks would be rejected. They laughed. Uh, I am serious. I have smelled the evil that comes off of a sock that has been stuffed in a cleat. I think the needle would refuse to pierce the fabric to be quite honest. We'll see if I am buried in dirty, stinky Addidas next practice.

Come rescue me if I am.

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Monday, September 8, 2014


I entered my dungeon today and did not emerge from it ll morning. My daily routine has become one of laundry and stupid television shows. I started one load of laundry and then got the TV set to "Parking Wars" on A&E. Then I sat down and dove into an almost pool of socks and underwear to sort and fold. Why do they have to make boy and girl socks look so very similar? At one point in the middle of "Dog the Bounty Hunter", one leg was covered with sorted piles of socks and the other was covered with the completed matched up and sized pair. Skivvys were on each arm of the chair and the two camis that made it past the hanger stage of laundry sorting were laying on my chest. Buried by unmentionables. This gave me a reason to take a tiny little Monday morning cat nap. I'm not proud of it. Why disrupt the perfectly lined up piles? Karma or justice or whatever came back to bite me in the rear end. My phone rang one of its assigned ring tones that is rather loud and jaunty. In my startled state, I jerked all of my limbs sending perfectly folded Hanes flying all over the basement floor. Newman!!! Serves me right. The bathtub was not going to clean itself with me snoozing in a comfy little chair, listening to Criminal Minds and the hum of the hot water heater. Serves me right.

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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Where in the world?

I had a discussion with some children today. It was pretty amusing and urned kind of depressing quickly. When I was in school, we had to know all the states and capitals in a timed test by 4th grade at the latest. Maybe with the advent of GPS and smart phones and Google, no one needs to learn that stuff anymore. But don't we really? This was the converation as it went down with some kids at work.

Me: What is the capital of Texas?
Child 1: Dallas? Wait, that's a TV show...um, Old El Paso?
Child 2: No, goofy, that's a taco company. Do you know the capital of Utah?
Child 3: I do, I do!! It is St. Louis!! You just got burned!!
Child 4: No, duh, St. Louis is in California. Honestly.
Child 2: That doesn't sound right...where is St. Louis?
Child 1: It sounds like it should be in France.
Me: (Shaking my head) But if it was in France, they would pronounce it "San Loo-EE".
Child 5: Why are we talking about France? We need to get with our own country first.
Child 4: We never had to learn all that stuff. As long as we know that Memphis is the capital of our state, that is really all we need to know.
Me: I need some Motrin.

This was not a group of uneducated children. They are super smart, passed me two years ago in math, kind of kids. Our teachers have a whole lot of stuff they have to cram in our kids heads every day. Let's help them by educating them in states and capitals. For the love of parental sanity.

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Saturday, September 6, 2014

I'm kinda tired

The soccer tourney did not take place, but the quick trip to the parents' house did. I had forgotten how much I missed home...how the smells and sights calm my mind and fill my heart. We took a trip to the state park and their wonderful playground and then to the aquatic center for a swim and a slide. While we were gone, the boy and S had soccer games. The boy played hard and the hub said he did an excellent job. They lost, but had a wonderful comeback and almost tied. S played her first soccer game since early July. SInce she is with the high school band, she had to give up her spot on the middle school team. Her favorite non relative coach has been kind enough to let her play on the rec team without making many practices. She was so excited this morning, she couldn't stand it. The hub kept me up to date by text. She drew first blood in the game and was able to get a couple more along the way. She is a tired puppy tonight, but felt so good. Soccer is in her soul and she loves to play. I am grateful for her gift of an opportunity this season.

I am tired. I cannot get cooled off, so I am going to set the A/C to meat locker mode. Night all.

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Friday, September 5, 2014

Quick one....

I have just arrived in Kingsport for a soccer tourney only to find out it is cancelled.  I will now gladly relax in my childhood home for a few hours and head back tomorrow to see the other kids play in their games.  I am grateful for safe travels and loving parents who deal with me on crazy weekends such as these.  I will now sleep sweetly in my f a orige bed constructed by my great, great...maybe another great grandfather.  Rest well my friends.  I plan to do so myself.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Take a breath...

Well. We talked to the orthodontist today. I have known him for a while, although he did not totally remember me(the curse of a preschool teacher of toddlers). He was great with both girls and was very good about explaining what was going on in their mouths with their "wonky teeth" as they call them. The bad news? We saw the price of the whole adventure for one mouth. After I picked my jaw up off the floor, the good news came. G has some tooth losing and permanent teeth sprouting yet to do. A little respite from the financial shock for a year. S will be molded and getting her braces probably sometime in October. Top first for about 4-6months and then the bottoms will follow. He hopes, with her super crowded mouth, to make some room with braces rather than doing extractions. S was pleased with that decision. I was too. When I got braces in middle school, I had to go to the oral surgeon and have 4 teeth cut out. When we arrived at the office, it turned out that I got to have 7 cut out instead. I was given an IV and drifted off to Lalaland whilst watching imaginary clowns swing through my oral surgeon's tooth gap...they gave me good meds. I recovered watching Knight Rider and feasting on one of my dad's homemade milkshakes. The Tooth Fairy compensated me well and let me keep the teeth. I may have painted that story in a happy light, but it sucked big time and I am glad S will not have to deal with that.

All that being said, it was an okay visit and day. Now for a shower and packing for a quick overnight soccer trip. The fun never ends.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014


I had written a decently thought out blog post and, thanks to a bug in m blogger app, it got erased before it was saved. Sigh. What can I say? The post included haute cuisine and drama and suspense and raised voices and organic candy and a cartwheel gone wrong and an abandoned child in a bathroom and an exploding frozen can of A&W root beer. I hope you enjoyed the abbreviated recap. I just don't have the heart to rewrite it. Also, we take the girls to meet the orthodontist tomorrow. They will be getting braces in the not so distant future I am thinking. They are thinking straight teeth and we are seeing a lot of $$$$$$. We will do what we have to for our children. So if you see me working a second or third job, just know it is for the braces. Those silver smiles.

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

When do you stop?

I have a friend, I guess we would still be friends, who is having a hard time. This friend has had some troubles and is sharing those troubles in a very public way. Many of us have the option to ignore and move on...or keep being engrossed by the information being shared. At what point does interest turn into more like a tabloid-esque desire to sensationalize and gawk at an uncomfortable situation? I don't know to be honest. Whatever the case, I am worried for my friend. I feel as though I am a witness to someone's slow descent into madness and the only thing I can do is pray that help will be there if and when they are ready to receive it. Say a prayer. It is needed...because I don't know how to help.

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Monday, September 1, 2014

This is the night...

The hub and I felt like Lady and the Tramp tonight. The children decided that they wanted to fix us dinner tonight and, really, who were we to tell them no? We lounged and watched Yard Crashers and wished we would run into someone at Lowe's or Home Depot who was willing to redo our backyard for free. The children rattled pots and yelled at the dog for eating perfectly folded napkins off the table. The boy came in to take our drink orders. Our options? Milk, tea, water, diet Coke and leftover baby shower fruit punch. We chose water because we felt it was a safe pairing for whatever the entree happened to be. The table was beautifully and uniquely set. We were served bowtie pasta with tomato sauce that our chef G added her own special spices to make very unique. It definitely had a bite to it and was truly very good. When asked what it had in it, we were told it contained red and black pepper, garlic powder and "miced" onion. I got tickled thinking of little onions with ears and long tails getting caught in traps. Sorry. I'm weird like that. Anyhoo, the garlic bread was perfectly baked and our waters were perfectly iced. The kids each had glasses of baby shower punch which made me feel a little ill. All the Tagamet and Tums in the world couldn't neutralize the acid that would be violently swirling in my stomach. Good for their cast iron tummies for sure. They even cleaned up their mess. It was a lovely dinner. "And they call it Bella Notte...".

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