Friday, December 30, 2005

Bedroom Makeovers on a Budget

This is what I've been doing this week:

I decided a month or so ago that I wanted to switch Dani's and the boys' rooms. For many logistical reasons, it just made better sense for Dani to move into their room, and vice versa.

1. Dani's old room had a tiny closet, and a teenaged girl NEEDS closet space. The boys' bedroom has a huge one.
2. The boys' old room is wall-to-wall windows - not such a good thing for boys who are heavily into swordplay and general rough-and-tumble play.

So we scheduled this week to do it (since Habitat didn't need us yet in the Gulf Coast region - that's where I'd have RATHER been).

The boys' room was painted blue, but it wasn't a shade of blue that would work for Dani's stuff. (We could've MADE it work, but she hated the color, so we painted.) We sort of inherited an antique brown iron bed a year or so ago, (actually, a friend has been storing it in our garage, and after several failed attempts to get her to move it out, we decided to put it to good use! lol!)and we decided to build the room's theme around that. We bought a quilted throw before Christmas for $20, and I won a Pottery Barn Teen canopy on eBay for next to nothing. So, using those three colors - brown, blue and green, we picked paint colors and got to painting! At the last minute, we decided to add some pink. Dani is in love with the results! Her friends keep saying, "BROWN? You painted your room BROWN?" I can't wait 'til they actually see it. It's gorgeous, I tell you! The whole time I was painting, I SWEAR, I smelled chocolate!

BEFORE:


AFTER:




We decided to put Dani's desk inside the closet. It fits perfectly in one half of it and makes a perfect secluded nook for her to study in!


DANI'S ROOM:
Paint and Supplies: $60
Brown sheets on clearance at Mervyn's: $12.50
Green Quilt: $20 at Marshall's
Blue Canopy: $35 on eBay
Vintage-looking hanging light on clearance at Bed, Bath and Beyond: $5
Brown Canvas Totes for under-bed clothes storage: $20
TOTAL: $152.50

Dani's old room was painted a deep red with crazy stripes that matched her duvet cover. At first I planned to repaint it for the boys, but I ran out of time this week and changed my plans today at about 3 o'clock. Instead, I used the brown paint from Dani's new room and covered the stripes. I wasn't thrilled with the look, so I decided to hot glue some rope to the edges of the brown border to set it apart. But when I got home from Home Depot with the rope, a lightning bolt went off in my head and I used it to spell the boys' names instead.

BEFORE:


AFTER:






Yes, there are three beds in here, counting the bunks. The chest-of-drawers bed used to be Dani's, and it has a hidden compartment underneath that the boys love to hide in and play in. They'll be ecsatic to have that bed in their room!

THE BOYS' ROOM:
paint: $0 (leftovers from Dani's)
comforters: $25 apeice on clearance at Mervyn's
brown sheets: $37.50 for 3 beds' worth - clearance at Mervyn's
rope: 100 feet for $6.50 at Home Depot (I used every inch!)
hot glue: $0 (already had on hand)
TOTAL: $94.00

I'll take more pics once I get the rooms cleaned and fully put back together. But right now, I'm so excited that the hard part's DONE! The boys have no idea we've done this. They've been at Grandma's all week. I'll go to Oklahoma and pick them up tomorrow, and they'll be surprised tomorrow night! :D

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Christmas Day

I woke up the morning after my last post, saw the fabric lying on the kitchen table, and thought, "Am I a FREAK? Did I really consider giving my 5-year old a box of FABRIC in the wee hours of last night?" And right then and there, I dragged out my sewing machine and whipped up a blankie with said material. Aidan loved it. :-)


The gifts I made for my sister were received with shouts of joy, but were quickly followed by tears. First, she opened the purse. It was a complete surprise to her, and it's safe to say that she loved it. :-)


Next, she opened the scrapbook pages. These weren't exactly a surprise, as she had specifically requested pages and had even provided the pictures - a mishmash of photos from our dad's childhood and ours. But the way I put them together surprised her. I watched with pride and love as the tears slipped down her cheeks. It was the best part of the entire day. :-) You can see the purse and the scrapbook pages HERE.


I gave Darren and Dani tickets to a "hobbit feast". They'll watch all three LOTR movies in succession - a 12-hour marathon. They'll be served 7 hobbit meals throughout the day. The whole thing takes place at a theater in Austin, so they'll make a weekend of it- a Daddy/Daughter date! They were both thrilled. :-)

Ian's favorite gift was the coveted Spiderman webshooter and light-up mask that Santa brought. And an 88-cent sword that Grandma put in his stocking.


Darren gave me a glass ornament of Bass Hall - our beloved "angel building" in downtown Fort Worth. He also gave me a slinky black nightie, the complete collection of Hemingway's short stories, and computer Scrabble, which we've been playing on his laptop at night in bed. Just like the early days of our marriage, except back then, we used an actual game board, with tiles that slid around with every hint of movement on the bed. We are Scrabble NERDS, baby! :-)

On Christmas Day, I had the most wonderful blessing of getting to hold my brand-new nephew! He was born 8 weeks premature and was 2 weeks old on Christmas day, weighing in at a whopping 4 pounds, 13 ounces. His little head fit perfectly in the palm of my hand. SO TINY!! He was bright-eyed and perfectly beautiful. He's having problems with apnea and eating, but as soon as he can remember to breathe on a regular basis, he'll be cleared to go home. His name is Dawson. He's my first nephew on my side of the family, and I can't wait to spoil him rotten! :-)

Friday, December 23, 2005

Giving

Hoo BOY! This is my favorite thing in the whole wide WORLD!!

I've picked the perfect gift for Darren, and I'm busting at the seams to give it to him.

I've found the PERFECT book for Dani, and I want her to open it now!

I found the perfect fabric for Aidan's blankie. It'll be an exact replica (only bigger) of his beloved baby blankie... black satin on one side and furry leopard print on the other. He LOVES that thing, and is constantly bemoaning the fact that he's too tall for it now. So I'm making him a BIGGER one. 'Cept about 2 minutes ago, I gave myself permission to just wrap up the fabric and sew it next week. He'll get to drag the two big chunks of fabric around for a few days, and I think he'll enjoy that. And seeing as how I leave town in 9 hours, I'm likin' the idea a LOT. Even so, I can't wait to give it to him.

Santa scored THE dream gifts for the boys (yes, I finally found out what they wanted. I think I wore them down until they caved and TOLD me, lol).

But what I'm most excited about giving this year are the two gifts for my sister. I can not WAIT for her to open them!! I'd post about 'em here, but she reads this thing faithfully, silly girl that she is.

I feel like the lady on those old Mervyn's commercials, standing at the door saying "Open Open Open". That's how I feel about Christmas morning. "Open Open Open Open!!" I can't wait to give my gifts! :-)

Merry Christmas to you all!

Blessed

I am so BLESSED.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Walking

Darren and I went walking tonight. Yah, I know. Most of you are saying, "Huh. Big deal."

But it IS a big deal! We walked for about 45 minutes, some of it hand-in-hand, some of it not. We criss-crossed our neighborhood, slowing to gaze at extraordinary Christmas displays, but mostly keeping a brisk pace. We saw details on houses that we've never noticed just driving by. We inspected a tree that got taken out by an out-of-control-car-on-ice last week. We picked out the houses on the bluff that we'd love to buy someday (when that unexpected bag o' money lands on our doorstep).

We enjoyed it so much that we decided to make it a quasi-nightly thing. Just us. A date that doesn't include dinner out - that saves us money AND calories. YAY! :-)

One

1 MINUTE AGO: checking blogs and copying Sue's
1 HOUR AGO: cleaning up Chinese-food puke that Aidan spattered all over my feet. Thank the good Lord for wood floors.
1 DAY AGO: getting 2 inches chopped off of my hair. (kept the growing-out bangs, though)
1 WEEK AGO: working my hiney off on the Coleman job, listening to Christmas music in my scraproom. Was gonna work all night, but turned in at 3:30 instead.
1 MONTH AGO: I can't remember, and I didn't blog on that day, so I can't even cheat. But I was probably cleaning my house in preparation for Thanksgiving. OH WAIT! I think that's the day Angela came over and I created a banner for her blog.
1 YEAR AGO: it snowed around this time last year. We took photos of our house in lights. It was beautiful.
1 DECADE AGO: Dani was four and an only child, Darren and I been married almost 5 years, we were living in a rented duplex in Lake Worth, and I decorated with reindeers that my Aunt Carolyn had spent all year collecting for me.
1 SCORE AGO: I was a junior in high school, dating a great guy named Keith. My Mom liked him a LOT, so figuring that there must be something wrong with him, we broke up over the holidays.
1 QUARTER CENTURY AGO: I was 11 years old. I probably had my heart set on a Crayola turn-around thingy that housed all the crayons with their perfect points up. It was in the Sears catalog. I asked for that thing for YEARS, and never got it. Funny thing... my Pampered Chef tool caddy thing has always reminded me of the Crayola one. Maybe that's why I haven't gotten rid of it, even though it's SO not cute on my kitchen counter. :-)

Monday, December 19, 2005

Magic Time

I don't recall the moment that I stopped believing. I think it was a gradual awakening, rather than a sudden burst of clarification. But I do remember the first Christmas that I didn't believe.

I was the oldest of 5 siblings, all of whom still believed. Our Christmas Eve ritual was that we all five slept in my room, since it was the furthest from the Christmas tree. We were under strict orders to NOT open the bedroom door, under any circumstances, lest Santa look down from his sleigh and see us peeking. If that were to happen, he'd skip right past our house, and there was no way we were gonna risk THAT fate. For years, we all spent that night gazing out my bedroom window, watching the night grow darker above the big pecan tree, its bare branches silhoutted against the East Texas sky. For years, we'd watch and wonder, wishing we knew where Santa was at that very moment, afraid that if we blinked too long or turned away at the wrong second, we'd miss him flying by.

But THAT Christmas, I didn't bother looking out the window. Instead, I sat on my bed in the dark, listening with every bone in my body for clues as to what was happening down the hall. For I knew the truth: Santa had nothing to do with a fat man in a red suit. There was no sleigh. There were no elves. Instead, there was a rickety shed in the backyard with a padlock, a crawlspace in the ceiling of the carport, and the toolbox on the back of Dad's truck. I listened for the squeaky screen door hinges to open and close. I listened for the rustle of wrapping paper. I strained to hear the sounds of screws being tightened, of tape being torn from the dispenser, of hushed whispers between Mom and Dad.

Long after my siblings had fallen asleep, I laid there. And listened. The house was still and quiet. The pecan branches cast dancing shadows on my bedroom wall as they Christmas Waltzed in the winter breeze. The breathing in the room slowed and became background music to the scenarios that played in my head. I couldn't WAIT for morning. It was torture to lie there knowing that Christmas was already spread out across the living room like game pieces on a checkerboard. In this corner, Bobbie's pile. David's loot would be on one end of the couch, Rodney's on the other. Clay's would be on the coffee table, and mine would be piled on the recliner. The gifts from Santa would be unwrapped. The gifts under the tree, which all month had remained a mystery, would be piled up behind the Santa stuff. (Mom never put names on the gifts - instead, she designated a secret wrapping paper design to each of us, and we didn't learn which one was ours until Christmas morning.)

I waited and waited for sunrise, so that at last, we could bound from our prison room and into a world of wonder. I waited for hours. I finally determined that the sun would NEVER rise, and after a good half-hour of self-coaching, I finally worked up the nerve....

to tiptoe from the bed, gingerly stepping over the bodies of my sleeping brothers. I stood at the door, my ear to the hollow wood, until I felt brave enough to turn the handle. Slowly, so slowly. When it would turn no more, I eased the door open. Carefully, so carefully, so as not to make a sound, I crept in to the hallway. The carpet crunched beneath my bare feet. My shiny gown swished with every step. From around the corner, I could see the glow of the Christmas tree lights, and I was drawn to them, moving forward stealthily without taking a breath.

It was my magic time. I'd never experienced it alone before. I'd never seen it so calm and serene. All my life, Christmas morning had been a rush of kids, yelling, laughing, squealing, ripping into paper, climbing over each other, Mona yapping and jumping at all the commotion. But this morning, it was just me. I walked from pile to pile, bending down to see up close, but not daring to touch, everyone's gifts. I was giddy with excitement. I couldn't WAIT. I just couldn't wait.

And so I ran back to my bedroom, threw open the door, flipped on the light, and exclaimed, "SANTA CAME! Y'ALL GET UP, SANTA CAME!"

In a flash, all five of us were flying down the hall. Within a minute, the magic was gone, as the room filled with gales of laughter, squeals of delight, and Mona yapping at all the excitement.

Within a minute and a half, Mom and Dad came stumbling bleary-eyed into the room, rubbing their eyes and trying to make sense of it all.

"What in the WORLD!" exclaimed Mom. "It's 1:30 in the morning!"

"Santa came!", we all exclaimed. I knew at that moment that Mom and Dad couldn't have possibly been in bed for more than an hour and a half. And I suppose I felt a little bit sorry for them, having to wake up so soon and face the day with a mob of greedy, toy-crazed, Christmas-morning-drunk kids. I'm sure I felt a tinge of guilt for being the cause of it all, but only a tinge. It was magical.

I knew, but no one else did, what Christmas morning looked like in quiet stillness. And 26 years later, that magic time is still my favorite part of Christmas day.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Done!!

Birthday party for the boys, which Aidan still says "was the best day of my life!" - done.


Beth Moore Bible Study, which Cara and I hosted in our homes on alternating weeks, which was good 'cause it made us keep our houses clean, but was bad 'cause it made us keep our houses clean - done.

Coleman job, all 168 pages of it, scrapbooked, proofed, invoiced - done! (still need to photograph it and deliver it, though. Was due Friday. Oops.)

Christmas shopping (mine) - done.

Christmas shopping (Mom's, 'cause she says SHE doesn't have time?) - done.

Christmas cards designed and created and mailed (42 of them, at least - still 30 or so to go) - done. (This after having to change plans completely at the very last second after the post office lost the package from the online store I ordered from. Bah Humbug.)

10-hour round trip to pick up my neices, who are spending a week with us - done.

All of my big obligations are behind me. My neices are here, school is out, the kids are happy, Darren is home - let the fun begin! :-)

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Busy!!

Shopped from noon 'til nine today. I'm WIPED!

Found the perfect pirate cake, which I'll pick up tomorrow just before the party.

Heard from online store - my package is in transit - should've been here yesterday. Maybe Monday. :)

Must clean house for party now.

So, I'll let Dani tell you the stories of the day.
Dani's Blog

In the meantime, I'll clean, unload the car after Darren and the boys are fast asleep, wrap their presents so I don't have to worry about hiding them, and then I'll sleep fast. 'Cause tomorrow is another day! :)

Stress!

I always have my Christmas cards made and mailed by now. ALWAYS.
Even when Aidan was born 5 weeks early, I had birth announcement-Christmas cards in the mail 6 days after his arrival. I worked on 'em in the hospital, I kid you not. (Ok, so I am a nerd.)

This year, I designed my card with products I'd only seen online but hadn't actually felt up. I ordered the products for said cards on November 23 from a new online store. I still don't have them. I can't seem to get answers from the company about when they WILL be here. I was told that getting them by Dec 5 or 6 wouldn't be a problem. Here it is December TENTH, and I'm stressed. Maybe a box will show up tomorrow. 'Course, I won't have time between now and next Wednesday to even work on 'em. Stress.

AIDAN is FIVE!! When he woke up, I said, "Aidan! You're five years old now!" He said, "I know! I get to go to KINDERGARTEN!!!!" He cried his head off when I broke the news - Kindergarten doesn't start until next fall. I've always told him that he gets to go to Kindergarten when he's five. I never realized he took me completely literally. Lesson learned. Aidan is a literal kid.

Shopping day with Dani tomorrow. YAY! We'll have lots of fun and spend too much money. And since I'll be dragged into the mall by my mall-loving teenager, I'll compensate by having a Cinnabon and a Blue Moose coffee. And as I live and breathe, if those Sea Salt people try to get their hands on my hands again, I'm gonna tell them that shiny nails are against my religion.

Boys birthday party is Sunday. Tristan, Kristopher and Aidan all turned 5 this fall, and Ian turned 4. So for the second year in a row, we're having a group birthday party. This year's theme is PIRATES. Argh, ye mateys. Don't let me forget to find and order the perfect cake tomorrow. Stress.

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

I am not a nerd

...no matter WHAT my friends might say. HMPF. But I'll probably never live this entry down, and will be forevermore branded Nerd Of All Time, 'cause I'm about to wax antarctic about the weather.

It's COLD. Oh, my friends, the weather outside is indeed frightful. But there's no delightful fire to speak of, although the electric heater aiming into my scrap room sure is doin' a good job. Too bad I'm sitting in the other room cursing the draft that's coming in through the front door. As I type, it's 17 (yes, SEVENTEEN) degrees outside. Inside, judging by the T.H.O. factor, it's hovering somewhere around 46. Yowza.

Some of you - the ones who live in uninhabitable places like Minnesota and Michigan and Wisconsin - are no doubt shaking your heads and calling me a crybaby. Go ahead. I hope your tears freeze to your eyelashes. See? I'm so cold I can't even make sense. Who's crying now?

I am a TEXAN. My warm blood is not accustomed to this. Just this past Saturday, a mere FIVE days ago, I was out stringing lights on the house, wearin' a t-shirt and no shoes. I was sweaty. We broke a record that day for high temperature on December 3 - ninety degrees. I'm not a big fan of math, but even *I* can tell you that's a difference of - wait. Hold on. Gotta activate the computer's calculator - a difference of 73 degrees. That can't be normal. What happened to global warming??

I discovered an amazing phenomenon today. Did you know that when it's THIS COLD out, even if you feel warm, some of you is not? Did you know that when you touch the fatty parts of your body - say, your THIGH, or the cottage cheese on your butt cheek - that they're COLD to the touch? Yup. My arms, though exposed to the frigid air, feel room temperature. But my THIGH, snuggled up inside paint-splattered green sweatpants, feels cold. Amazing.

Tonight, I'm sleeping in socks. THAT is nerdy.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Happy Holidays!

[rant]

I've been getting emails urging me to boycott Target and Home Depot and every other store that has defiled this season by not recognizing Christ as the reason for it. It seems that these businesses are wishing everyone "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas". Apparently, as a Christian, I'm supposed to be all bent out of shape about it.

But hold on to yourself: I'm not.

In fact, two years ago, my Christmas card didn't even mention Christmas. It said, "May this holiday season be filled with your favorite things."

I'm not offended by the new "trendy" greeting "Merry ChristmaHannuKwanzakuh". I do think it's silly. The first time I actually heard it was out of my SIL's mouth at Thanksgiving, and I thought, "Wow. I can't believe you just made your tongue SAY that. It's a mouthful!" I think whoever came up with it was trying to be cute - and failed. Happy Holidays works just fine for me.

I'm not offended that the Politically Correct have "taken Christ out of Christmas". My faith is MY faith, and however much I wish it were the world's faith, it's not. And I respect that. Christmas is still Christmas to me, no matter how Target advertises or what the White House says. My faith is strong. It can't be swayed by CNN or even the AFA.

I have a Christmas tree in my house, and Christmas lights hanging outside, and I send Christmas cards, even to my best friend, who is an atheist. She doesn't celebrate Christmas, but I don't exclude her from the good wishes that I send out. She knows the spirit in which I'm sending the card and doesn't take offense.

I wear my faith loudly. Everyone who knows anything about me knows that I'm a devout Christian. And those who know me REALLY well know that I pray for the world to know the same Christ that I know and serve. Sherilyn knows that I pray for her. She thinks it's silly and a waste of time, but she knows that I don't.

I do believe that Jesus is the reason for the season (although that cutesy ryhme-y phrase has always annoyed me), but I don't reserve December as the only time I fall to my knees in worship. I celebrate his birth, his life and his death all year long. I don't have to see "Merry Christmas" plastered all over everything to remember why I celebrate.

And I'm cognizant of the fact that everyone around me DOESN'T celebrate for the reason I do. I don't cram my faith down peoples' throats. I think that's a pretty good way to turn them off, actually. So why would I want to insist that the whole world recognize Christmas in the same way that I do? This world is diverse. This city is diverse. My BLOCK is diverse. I'm not offended by "Happy Holidays".

Stop telling me I should be.

[/rant]

eta:
Mike Straka says it better than I did...

Monday, December 05, 2005

College Bound

Dani's PSAT scores are in, and we received them tonight at a meeting for "high school freshman who are college bound". It would be a gross understatement to say that we're proud parents. We are GUSHING proud parents.

Dani scored in the top 20 out of a class of 600+ freshmen. Her Writing score was the highest in the school (she missed 4 out of 39 questions).

Before the meeting, Dani asked if we could go out and eat afterward. Darren and I both said no. We've been eating out WAY too much lately, and our checking account balance is choking because of it. But during the meeting, sometime after receiving her scores and listening to the Academic Advisor talk about the national average for juniors taking the SAT (which is more than 400 points below Dani's score), Darren leaned over and whispered, "I think we should take Dani out for a celebratory dinner." So we did. And we even let her order dessert. Which she then graciously shared with all of us.

"Dani, I'd just like to thank you for being so smart and making it look like we actually TAUGHT you something during those 3 years of homeschool." Much laughter ensued after that comment.

"How many days until I can go to this school?" asked Aidan, who was enthralled by the sea of purple lockers.

"Ten years," answered Dani. "Does that scare you, Mom?"

"No. What scares me is that in ten years, I'll be pushing 50."

Dani responded, "In ten years, I'll be 2 years into my post-college job."

So. She's planning on college, but it looks like she hasn't thought as far as grad school yet.

S'okay. There's plenty of time to think about that. I just wish the clock would SLOW DOWN.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

"And wuv, tru wuv, will fowow you foweva"

Often, I get asked how it is that Darren and I are so happy. Sometimes I'm the one asking! After all, he didn't plan to be married to a 100+ pounds-overweight woman when he said "I do." I marvel that he still thinks I'm beautiful. But I suppose that's the secret, really. He loves me so unconditionally, and I love him the same way.

Many years ago, things were not so blissful. The Depression Demon has his grips in me, and I could not be loved. Darren never gave up, even when I pushed him to...even when I pleaded with him to go...even when I was horrid and ugly and maniacal and mean. He saved my life, and I don't say that lightly.

Just this second, he noticed from across the room that I was scratching my back with a pencil. He jumped up from the couch and exclaimed, "Hweese! You should TELL me when you have an itch and I'll come over and scratch it for you." Then he took the pencil from my hand and scratched my back from top to bottom.

Friday morning, I went to bed at 7:00 after working all night. Darren and I talked before I dozed off, and he told me I was nuts for pulling an all-nighter. At noon, he called and said he was coming home for lunch. Usually when he says that (which isn't often, actually), I'm too lazy or busy or scheduled to make him anything; he slaps his peanut butter sandwich together by himself. But on Friday, I decided to make his favorite lunch of all time: macaroni and cheese. It took him forever to get home. The macaroni was getting gooey on the stove. Finally, he blew through the back door, beaming from ear to ear, carrying in his hands a Route 44 Diet Vanilla Coke from Sonic and an order of Cheddar Peppers. "I figured you'd need the caffeine today." He'd already eaten.

And THAT's what makes our marriage happy. Little things. We give selflessly every day. Sometimes it's as small as making macaroni and cheese when we're dead on our feet. Sometimes it's as insignificant as walking across the room to scratch an itchy back. Sometimes it's a random compliment, or a wink across the room, or eating at a restaurant that you don't even like.

It's the little things.
They never fail to add up.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Dad of the Year

It's like this. When I refer to myself as Mom of the Year, I'm being facetious and everyone knows it. It's laughable. But when I refer to Darren as Dad of the Year, it's with complete sincerity.

He's been working for months on a playhouse for the boys. He designed it, drew plans in his head ('cause he's smart that way), and built it from the ground up. Last week he put cedar shingles on it, and today he built the door. It still needs to be painted and have shutters installed, but other than that, it's finished. So tonight, he and the boys are breaking it in. They're having a camp-out in the backyard.

While Dani and I had Girls' Night Out (saw Pride and Prejudice... excellent movie), the boys were out back roasting hot dogs, eating Little Debbie Christmas Tree cakes, and playing cowboys. Now they're sleeping peacefully inside their newly built playhouse, rolled up like burritos in their sleeping bags. *sigh*

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Dilemma


On Saturday, as soon as my sister and her family walked through the door, Aidan told his cousin Brianna what we got her for Christmas.

"A Barbie car!" he exclaimed. "We bought you a Barbie car for Christmas!"

We actually haven't bought it yet, so I wasn't lying when I said, "No, we didn't. We did not buy you a Barbie car, Brianna. And AIDAN. Christmas presents are a secret that you're supposed to keep! If you can't keep the secrets, then you can't help buy the presents." I never know if those types of lectures sink in or not.

Flash forward to that afternoon. We took the kids to see Santa. I was too busy taking photos to be able to eavesdrop on the conversation Aidan was having with Old Saint Nick. When I asked him later, he refused to tell me. "It's a SECRET, Mom. I can't tell you!"

I've been trying for days. Aidan, PLEASE tell me what you asked for from Santa. I need to know so I won't buy you the same thing.

He's had several replies, including,
"If I tell you, the magic won't work."
"I can't tell you, 'cause it's a secret."
"I'm not telling you, 'cause you don't need to know. Only SANTA does."

Great. What a dilemma.
The kid's gonna be sorely disappointed on Christmas morning if this Santa can't get into his head between now and then.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Happy Birthday Ian!!

Today my baby turned four. That's two plus two. He knows, and he'll tell you.

Ian's been a sick little guy this week. Just when I thought he had outgrown his need for snuggles and kisses, he got hit with a nasty stomach virus and wanted to be carried, held, and babied. I happily obliged. At 4:30 this morning, he woke up crying. By the time I got to his bedroom, Aidan was meeting me at the door, saying, "Mommy. Ian needs you!" He was burning up with fever. I got him some medicine, and Aidan got him some water. Within 3 minutes, all was calm again and as I tucked them back under their covers, I whispered to Aidan, "You're such a good big brother."

"Is it Ian's birthday yet?" he asked. I said yes. He answered, "So I'm not a big brother. I'm just a brother." He's right. For nine days, both Ian and Aidan will be 4 years old, and they think that's the coolest thing in the whole wide world. For now, they're even. For nine days, no one is older than the other.

Ian's feeling much better tonight. He's gone more than 24 hours without vomiting, and he hasn't had fever since that early morning bout. Once again, he's too big for kisses and snuggles. At bedtime tonight, just after taking a bajillion photos of him, I grabbed him up and squeezed him tight. He stiffened, furrowed his brow, set his chin, and then finally relaxed and gave in to the hug. But only for a second. Then he said, with all the authority of a 4-year-old, "Ok, Mom. That's enough."

That's what he thinks. He's a sound sleeper. He doesn't know that sometimes late at night, long after he's giggled himself to sleep, I tiptoe into his room and lay my cheek against his, feeling his baby breath tickling my nose. I smooth his hair, kiss his lips, and take him in until he stirs or rolls over, whichever comes first.

I love this little man with every fiber of my being. He's scary smart, tenatious and temperamental. I hope I'm smart enough, disciplined enough and long-suffering enough to raise him right. He deserves the best. He's my (not-so-little-anymore)boy.

Monday, November 28, 2005

My Seester

There's a strange phenomenon that occurs in my relationship with Bobbie. I can't figure it out. When she lives nearby, I rarely see or talk to her. But when she moves away, I miss her terribly and count the days until I'll see her again.

This is the third time we've been separated by miles. The first time was when I was in college and she was still in high school. I missed her so much, even though when we shared a room for all those years, we fought like dogs. I remember wanting her to come visit me in the dorm, and then I remember talking her into moving to Denton so we could hang out. But weird thing happened... she had her life and I had mine and we rarely saw each other.

When Dani and Brittani were 5 and 3, Bobbie moved to Colorado. Again, I missed her like crazy. We talked on the phone a lot, and I planned a vacation with the sole purpose of visiting her. Then they moved back, into a house across the street from us. I loved those years, having her right there. We attended the same church, our girls spent every afternoon together, but outside of that, Bobbie and I didn't see much of each other. We both worked and had our own lives.

Eventually, she moved to another suburb, and we'd meet for lunch every once in a blue moon. Then they moved to Tennessee.

And I miss her like crazy. She was here this weekend, and once again, I found myself wondering why I let this happen. WHY did I waste the opportunity to know her when she was HERE? Why do we keep in better touch now that she lives 500 miles away than we did when she lived down the road?? I suppose we thought there was plenty of time.

My sister is a beautiful person, inside and out. She makes me feel loved and cherished. She brings out the best in me. She means the world to me, and I hope she realizes that. If her living in Tennessee means I get to talk to her more often than I did when she lived here, then so be it. Doesn't make a lick of sense, though.

I love you, Bot! :)

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Let the Holidays Begin!

Thanksgiving is over, which means I allow my family to listen to Christmas music! Seriously... it's a punishable crime in my house to listen to Christmas music before Thanksgiving. When our family-favorite radio station switched to 24/7 Christmas music programming on November 8, I about had a conniption. I called the station TWICE to complain. My kids have been tortured by MY favorite radio station since that day - classic rock. And by the way... when did Def Leppard and the Police and U2 and Journey become CLASSIC rock?? I'll save that for another blog....

Today, we slept late and ate a leisurely fix-it-yourself breakfast. (I had a bowl of pumpkin pie. :)). Then Aidan got to choose the first Christmas CD of the year (he chose "Children's Favorites"), and we hauled all the Christmas boxes down from the attic. In less than an hour and a half, we had the prelit Family tree all decorated. This was the first year that the boys really got into helping hang the ornaments. It was great fun! My tree is bottom-heavy, but that's okay. I love that they participated so joyfully. There was much laughter and singing this afternoon.

After that, we moseyed downtown for late lunch/early dinner at Chili's, then to the annual Fort Worth Parade of Lights. The parade began at 6:00, and we arrived at about 5:55. Downtown is a MADHOUSE, with tens of thousands of people lining the streets. We positioned ourselves as best we could. We figured at least the boys would be able to see if we sat them up on our shoulders. Nearby was a special seating area where the city (or someone) had set up rows of folding chairs. Everyone thought they were set up for some VIPs, but at 6:10, with the parade already in progress and still no one sitting in those seats, we all decided that prime real estate like that shouldn't go to waste! In a matter of seconds, all the seats were filled, and lucky us... we were on the front row, right across from Bass Performance Hall. :)

At 7:50, the parade was still going strong, and Santa's float still wasn't in site. But our Christmas concert was set to begin at 8, so we hoofed it across the street between floats and marching bands and made our way to our seats inside the hall. We enjoyed the Fort Worth Symphony (the boys' first performance at Bass Hall) and lots of Christmas music. I was a little worried about how the boys would do for a two-hour performance in the near-dark, but they behaved exceptionally well. (Afterward, the older couples in front of us turned around and said, "Your children are marvelous! We never heard a peep out of them!" I accepted the compliment gracefully and thanked them. I'm sure I was beaming.) :)

At the end of the symphony's performance, there was an audience sing-along, and then for the encore, snow fell inside Bass Hall! It was beautiful. At first, you could only see it in the beam of the spotlights. But then the house lights started to come up, and it was like a winter wonderland. The boys were mesmerized. IT really was magical. When the concert was over, Santa was waiting in the lobby, ready to hand out candy canes. Ian was eager to go see him and have his photo taken. Aidan, on the other hand, freaked out and refused to go. By the time he changed his mind, it was too late. But we're going back downtown tomorrow with my sister and her family, and maybe he'll get to visit Santa then. :)

Speaking of... they'll be here at 11:00. I've already put together a yummy brunch casserole and it's overnighting in the fridge. But I still have a lot to do tomorrow before they arrive, which means I have to wake up at a reasonable hour. Which means... why am I still awake at 1:47 a.m.?

Happy Happy HOlidays! Let the craziness begin! :)

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Giving Thanks

Tommorow, Darren's family will arrive just in time to sit down and feast on Greenberg's smoked turkey, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, sweet potato souffle, stuffing, my famous salad with its homemade dressing, fruit salad, Pumpkin Crunch, Darren's pecan pie, cherry pie and apple pie. We'll wash it all down with the Kocur Traditional Thanksgiving drink: cranberry juice and ginger ale. We'll go around the table and say what we're thankful for.

Tomorrow, I'll keep it brief and say, "Darren, my kids, my church, and my friends."

But tonight, when I should be finishing up preparations for tomorrow, I'll elaborate.

I'm thankful for...

Darren's laugh. He laughs at most everything I say. He thinks I'm funny, even when I know I'm not. He also thinks I'm beautiful, even when I know I'm not. He also makes me believe both things, even when I find it hard to.

Darren's morning kiss. He faithfully kisses my lazy butt goodbye while I snooze away in the bed every morning. Oh, wait. He doesn't kiss my BUTT... he kisses my lips. But you knew what I meant. Didn't you?

Dani's maturity. Sure, she's 14. She has her 14-ish moments. But by and large, she's mature, responsible and caring. She makes being a Mom to a teenager truly enjoyable. She's engaging, fun, funNY, passionate, determined, true and trustworthy. She has a faith that astounds me.

Aidan's sensitivity. He loves with gusto. He's extremely protective of those he loves. He's a loyal friend and a keeper of fairness. He wears his emotions on his sleeve and cries easily. And as much as that part of him annoys me, I also love it and am thankful that I have a son who is so capable of real affection and emotion.

Ian's sense of humor. That boy is HILARIOUS! And so smart it scares me. WHen I catch him doing math or spelling words, he gets all embarrassed and then he gets mad. He's definitely full of fire. Sometimes it's crazy to deal with, but I'm thankful he's that way. He'll do just fine in this world.

Fortress Church. It's an amazing thing to be where God wants you to be, even when you don't fully understand why you're there. I think I finally understand now, but it's still a thrill ride to see it unfold every day.

My friends. Fortress provided me with the friendships I was lacking - friends who share my faith, my love of God, my need to serve. They all know that they're an answered prayer. It just so happens (funny how God works, ain't it?) that they're also just as zany as I am, and they love to have fun. And now, they love to scrapbook. Life's pretty darn good.

My Bobs are also dear to my heart. When I have a worry, or a question, or a joke, or a random thought that must be shared at that moment, I know the Bobs are just a click away. And if I'm not at the computer, they're simply a text message or cell call away. I'm always "this close" to the Bobs, even though we're all scattered from here to Timbuktu.

My scrappin' friends are generous beyond reason. It's because of them (and ONLY because of them) that I'm able to continue the scrapbook ministry at Fortress. I'm thankful that they're as passionate about leaving a legacy as I am, and that they trust me to pass their gifts along to the ladies at Fortress. Most of these friends would be strangers to me if I passed them on the street. Most of them have never met face to face. But we're friends, without a doubt. And we all understand that, even if the non-scrapbooking-on-the-web world doesn't.

I am richly blessed. VERY richly blessed. I think I'll go upstairs, fall on my knees, and really express to my Father how much I appreciate and cherish these gifts he's bestowed upon me. I oughta do that all year long. But I rarely do. It seems I need this yearly reminder to really take inventory and slow down enough to be thankful for my riches.

And so I'm thankful for Thanksgiving.

May yours be full of happy memories, yummy food and cherished loved ones!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Words that have spurted forth from my mouth this week

"Aidan, keep your HANDS on YOUR side of the car! Ian, keep YOUR FEET on your side of the car. And if you DON'T, my hand is gonna come flyin' to the BACK of the car and wop both of you. DO YOU UNDERSTAND???"

"STOP YELLLLLLLLIIIIIIIIING!!!!!!!!!"

"Well Ian, if you'd stop CLIMBING all over everything like a dadgum MONKEY, then maybe you'd stop falling off the chairs all the time!! Come here. Are you hurt?"

"The next toy I step on on these stairs is gonna get thrown in the TRASH! I don't care if it's your favorite toy!"

"If you boys can't stop squealing, I'm gonna duct tape your mouths. Do you hear me? STOP SQUEALING! STOP! You are not pigs, you are BOYS!"

"Not duck tape. DucT tape. STOP QUACKING!"

"Aidan, stop saying "Holy Banana Peels".

"I don't care who you've heard say 'Holy crap'. You're not allowed to say 'holy anything.' It's not nice."

"Don't stomp off! I'm still talking to you! DANI, GET BACK IN HERE!! Wait. No. JUST GO TO YOUR ROOM!"

"Suck it up, Aidan. Say "MAN, that hurt!" But forevermore, DON't CRY ABOUT IT."

Oh yah. I've got Mother of the Year wrapped up this week.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

1st Lost Tooth

Aidan's favorite episode of Rolie Polie Olie (I hate that show, by the way. GADS, it makes me cranky.) has long been the "lost tooth show". He knows all about getting a loose tooth, having it fall out, or WORSE, having to YANK it out, and all about putting it under your pillow for the tooth fairy.

About a month ago, Aidan came running in to tell me excitedly, "MOMMY! I have a looth TOOTH!"

"Hmmm, okay Aidan. Whatever. You're only four. Hate to disappoint ya kid, but you don't have a loose tooth."

Thankfully, I didn't say that out loud. Instead, like every good mother does, I fed the excitement.

"AIDAN! Let me see! A loose tooth? What a big boy you are!"

Imagine my surprise to discover that yes, indeedy. He DID have a loose tooth. A VERY loose tooth.

"Did ya get knocked in the mouth at school? Did you fall off your bunky bed and hit your face? Did you crash your bike and hit the handlebars?"

All answers were no. It was a genuine loose tooth. Darren reminded me that Aidan was an early teether. At 3 months, he had already cut his first tooth - the same tooth that became his first loose one.

And now the same one that became his first LOST one.

It happened today about midafternoon. He was eating an apple in the kitchen. He came timidly into the family room, with a look of wonder on his face, and said very slowly, "Mom. My tooth just broke OUT. OUT of my MOUTH. When I was taking a bite of my apple, it just BROKE OUT!" I think he thought he was going to get in trouble, because for the last month, I've been telling him to leave it alone and stop wiggling it all the livelong day lest it fall out before its time.

He opened his little fist to reveal the tiniest tooth I ever saw. I picked it up and this time, it was MY face that was full of wonder.

Aidan's Eyes
Wide and Expectant
Twinkling, blinking, waiting
Lost tooth, new adventure - new era, lost babyhood
Remembering, Cherishing, Photographing
Tearful yet Enthusiastic
Mommy's Eyes

Saturday, November 19, 2005

to Jenny and Kim


Yesterday evening, as we sat eating dinner, I said to Darren, "I wonder if we'll get any packages for the Joneses this year (the previous owners of our house). Remember last year, we got that huge brisket? And a box of chocolate?" (Mr. Jones is a lawyer... I'm guessing they were gifts for his services.)

When we arrived home last night at midnight, I noticed a huge box on the porch as we pulled into the driveway. I thought from a distance that I recognized the 1-800-FLOWERS logo, but then thought, "no way". Closer inspection proved that it was indeed a flower box from 1-800, and the first thing I did was look at the label, completely expecting to see the the Joneses' name there.

I mean, I NEVER get flowers. And it was obvious they weren't from Darren. I couldn't get the box open fast enough.

Inside, I found a beautiful fall bouquet and a pair of candles. "How totally RANDOM!" I exclaimed. There was no card. Then I noticed that there was another box inside, which Darren was opening. Inside it were two turkey-shaped candlesticks. "Ha!" said Darren. Now we have a centerpiece for Thanksgiving."

I was still baffled. WHO would send me this wonderful surprise?? I couldn't think of a single person, or a single reason why I deserved it.

Then I looked again on the outside of the box, and there in its little pouch was the card. It reads, "Thank you for letting us fall into your house... and your life. Love, Jenny and Kim".

I kept saying over and over, "I can't believe they did this! I can't believe they did this!"

Thank you so much! Having you here was such a blessing. It was great fun to cement the friendships that were already established, and to repay Jenny for the hospitality she showed US last year. I expected no thanks for having you here. I was thrilled and HONORED that you came. The flowers were icing.

Love you both!

Stacy's Favorite Things

Since once again, I'm obviously not going to be surprised with tickets to Oprah's Favorite Things, I've decided to do my OWN show. Enjoy!

Every busy woman needs a pair of these. They're CROCS! You've heard me rave about them, and you've seen them on my feet every day since the day I bought them. Most of the styles come in an array of colors - from lime to fuschia, from khaki to buttermilk.
I chose Beach in black, but now I'm ogling Metro in either light blue or chocolate. These shoes are Heaven on Two Feet. They're ugly, but sometimes, ugly is beautiful!

The welcoming aroma of Warm Sugar Cookie, the opulent fragrance of Diva, and the clean leathery scent of Cowboy.... these are my favorite candles from
Tyler Candle Company. I buy the 3.4-oz jars in threes at Inscriptions on the Boulevard... 3 for $15.


I'm not a lotion-y kind of gal, but in the dry winter months, there are two products that I can't live without. I keep a travel-size of each one in my purse at all times. For my hands, nothing - and I mean NOTHING - works like Aveda Hand Relief . It doesn't leave my hands sticky or oily or perfume-y - just smooth, soft and clean.

For my face, I use Clinique's yellow Dramatically Different Moisturizer everytime I put on makeup. But during the winter months when my cheeks develop dry patches, only Clinique's Moisture On Call does the trick. I love the clean scent and the way my face drinks the moisture IN, rather than having a gloppy mess sitting on my skin.


I'm head over heels for signs! I've acquired vintage signs at auctions, flea markets and -ahem- right off the pole at a retail establishment in college. But my favorite new signs are from Danielson Designs! This is my newest addition - I found it at my favorite neighborhood gift shop last week, and thought briefly about asking for it for Christmas. Then I decided I didn't want to take the chance of them selling out, so I bought it then and there! I also have two other signs from Danielson, and I love them all!

I can't claim to be much of a cook, but I'd be even LESS of a cook without my favorite red enamel colander! I got it at Target, where they only had white, yellow and red. But at Target.com, you can choose from a whole rainbow of colors!

I use my Calphalon Everyday Pan, well, everyday! Sherilyn turned me on to this most excellent piece of cookware two years ago, and it still looks and cooks like brand new. I've asked for another piece for Christmas, but unfortunately for me, people don't think it's much fun to buy cookware for Christmas gifts.

When a Costco opened up in Fort Worth 5 years ago, I was one of the first through the doors. I let my Sam's membership go and I've been a loyal Costco shopper ever since. Their photo lab is unmatched in both quality and price - in 5 years, I've only had ONE problem with an order. I love that I can upload my photos to costco.com, edit them online, order prints and enlargements, and pick them up an hour later. Costco also has the best deals on books and fresh flowers. My boys would argue that they have the best fruit snacks ('cause they have BIG boxes!), but they also love the $1.50 hot dog and Coke deal at the snack counter. Time it right, and you can have lunch in the aisles as the vendors sample yummy food!

Two Christmases ago, I told Darren that the one and only thing I wanted was a purse. But I was very specific. I knew exactly which style I wanted (Wendy Handbag), and in what color (aqua), and I told him exactly where he could buy it. I even had it on hold in my name, in case he showed up. It helped that I was an employee of the store that carried the line, and that they gave him my discount. Still, I wasn't sure he'd actually BUY it for me. That Christmas morning, I was ecstatic. I've carried that same purse every day since, whether it matches what I'm wearing or not. (It usually doesn't.) I'd love to have it in red... just so happens that Inscriptions still carries the line! ;) After receiving the purse, I splurged over the next several paychecks and got a few pieces of the luggage, as well. IT's gotten a lot of use, and it still looks perfect. LOVE this stuff made in Scotland by Glenroyal Chic.

I wish I could say that every audience member was going to take home one of each of my favorite things, but that ain't gonna happen 'less it's on your dime. And by the way... if'n I'm gonna cross that "see a taping of Oprah" thing off my List of Things To Do Before I Die, I better start plannin' a trip to Chicago. You wanna come?

Friday, November 18, 2005

(L)emulating the Biopoem

My friend Sue is a teacher. She uses this type of poetry assignment from time to time, and tonight I am copying her. :)
As she did, I'm including the instructions should you wish to be a lemming with me. :)

Stacy
Lover of Darren, Friend of Many, Sister-in-Christ
Creative, expressive, loyal, hospitable
Wife and Mother and Keeper of Memories
Lover of music, road trips and throw-your-head-back laughter
Who feels radiant when Darren's near, grateful when I count my friends, contented when the day is done
Who has been born in Kansas, raised in Texas and blessed on every path along the way
Who needs constant affirmation, occasional validation and a daily dose of sunshine
Who fears being judged unfairly, failing those who need me and snakes
Who gives faithfully to Fortress, eagerly of talent and selfishly of time
Who longs for S to know God's grace, for B to find her passion, and for me to shed this fat suit
Who would like see my children go to college, find the loves of their lives, and make a beautiful mark on this world
Joyful
Resident of Fort Worth, 'cause life's too short to live in Dallas
Kocur

(Character's first name)
(List 3 or 4 relatives or friends)
(List 4 character traits that would describe this person or his personality)
(Position or job)
(3 things, people, activities, etc.)
(3 emotions and explanations)
(3 places or events this character has been)
(3 descriptions of things this character may have needed)
(3 descriptions of things this character may have feared)
(3 descriptions of what this character has given to family, friends, the world,
etc.)
(3 descriptions)
(3 descriptions of things the character may have wanted to
have seen in his/her lifetime)
(Synonym - one profound word that describes the character)
(Character's last name)

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

BlogLifted From My Seester

About Me
I AM: already regretting my previous post
I WANT: to not regret it, 'cause it's FUNNY!
I HAVE: a perfect life
I WISH: my sister and I were closer when we lived near each other
I HATE: having popcorn kernels stuck in my teeth
I MISS: Karen and Eric the Couple. And Karen. All by herself.
I HEAR: that it's actually supposed to turn cold tonight (it's 70 right now, at 2:28 a.m.)
I SEARCH: for the boys' shoes every stinkin' time we leave the house, 'cause I'm not disciplined enough to make them disciplined enough to put them away in their closet
I WONDER: who the nutjob is who keeps commenting anonymously on my seester's blog, even though she's continually asked the commenter to show himself
I REGRET: letting my weight get so out of control
I LOVE: when Aidan comes and cuddles in my bed early in the morning
I ACHE: for Ginger and James, and for Joe and Laura, two couples who've faced unmeasured worry and grief over their babies' health crises
I ALWAYS: laugh out loud when I chat with my Bobs
I AM NOT: looking forward to getting up in the morning
I DANCE: on tables when I want Annie to turn the country music off
I SING: with all my heart
I CRY: at the silliest little things like when the Taco Bell dog wants a burrito. But I don't cry when it makes sense to.
I AM NOT ALWAYS: as responsible as I should be
I WRITE: 'cause I'm called to
I WIN: when people tell me I can't or won't
I LOSE: when I don't get off my butt
I CONFUSE: even myself when I try to argue. I suck at arguing effectively.
I NEED: to work my hind-quarters off tomorrow to make a deadline
I HOPE: I remember to order my turkey tomorrow
I WEAR: my emotions on my sleeve

On Farts

WARNING: this entry contains immature and junior-highish bathroom humor. At the moment, I'm laughing my head off. I may very well be embarrassed of it come morning, but too bad. I've sworn to never retract an entry. And you KNOW I've wanted to!

Two weeks ago, I walked into the boys' classroom to pick them up from Mother's Day Out. They attend "school" at a Baptist church nearby, and their teachers are very nurturing and proper Baptist ladies. Near the door of the classroom, they have a "Prayer Corner". It's a cabinet with the door removed, which creates a little cubby just big enough for a preschooler to climb in to. Inside the cubby is a nap mat with a blue cover on it, and pictures of Jesus adorn the wall. I'm not sure if they use the Prayer Corner at school or not, or if it's there for the church's Sunday School class. I've never asked. But two weeks ago, I walked into that classroom to find both of my boys in that little cubby. With their heads on the blue mat and their butts high in the air. They looked at me from between their legs and said, in unison, "SMELL MY STINKY BOTTOM!!"

And I swear on the penguin, I laughed. Then I remembered that I'm supposed to be a good Momma, so I chided them. "Get OUT of that Prayer Corner! That is NOT nice to say!" But inside, I was rippin' one myself - and laughin'.

Farts are a funny thing. I was tellin' my good friend Martha tonight... I'm like a ten year-old boy when it comes to farts. They crack me up. Always have. I blame it on my Dad.

After all, he was the one who taught us kids how to lift a leg when we needed to rip one. He's the one who would stand up from his recliner, blow a huge one, and then run from it, as if it were trying to kill him. HYSTERICAL. He's the one who, upon finding both bathrooms occupied one evening, ran around the house from the living room, through the front entry hall, through the play room, down the hall past the bathroom, back through the living room... going in that circle over and over and over at top speed, holding a cheek in each hand, ripping little toots with every step. We learned at a young age that bodily functions were FUNNY. My Mom was always mortified. Which made it even more funny.

In high school, my brother got a bright idea. He stood in the garage with his friends, pulled down his drawers, and with one friend holding the nozzle on a spray paint can and another with a lighter, ripped a huge one. David always could fart on command. In fact, I do believe he could've farted the ABCs if you'd asked him to. That day, his talent caught fire and singed his butt hairs. I have never. laughed. so. hard in my entire. life as I did that day.

My friend Sue (not the one in Michigan) tells a great story. She was in yoga class one night, and found herself in some weird position where only her neck was on the floor. The rest of her body was on the wall... with her back to the wall, and her legs Indian-style. The instructor told the class to slowly bring their knees down, and Sue said it was like she became a human bellows. With each centimeter that her legs lowered, her abdomen released air. It got louder and louder and louder, this huge whooooosh, and there was nothing she could do to stop it. Finally, it ended with a prolonged squeak. She stood, walked proudly out of the class and never looked back. The first time I heard her tell the story, I just about gave birth to my Adam's Apple I was laughing so hard!

Martha and I think that men like to smell their farts. 'Twas true of my Dad. He was loud and proud. But the more it stank, the more he clucked. Darren's much more polite than my Dad was, but every now and then, we'll be laying in bed and he'll say, "Sorry." It's a catch-22, really. If he fans the covers to dissipate the stench, it'll instead just waft it right up my nose. But if he leaves the covers alone, then I start worrying that the acid is gonna eat through my skin. Usually, I roll off my side of the bed and protest, "DARREN! Disgusting! That's not even HUMAN!" And in the dark, I can see the green cloud rise from the sheets. And then, we laugh. 'Cause farts are funny.

Last weekend, Those Who Shall Remain Nameless discovered that one does not need to turn the jets on to get bubbles in a hot tub. And tonight, I learned that a fart executed while sitting in a wooden chair is amplified. In fact, I thought I heard the wood split at first. Darren turned around and said, "WHAT THE???" Then we both cracked up.

My friend Joe recalls that the first time he smiled the first month that his son Ira was in the NICU was when Ira farted. He wondered if that was okay. I cheered him on. "I hope Ira continues to fart," I wrote, "'cause I want you to LAUGH!" 'Cause EVERYone knows... farts are funny.

Well, not everyone. I have two friends who are probably ready to disown me. Karen couldn't even bring herself to fart in front of her husband. The day she finally farted in front of me was a joyous occasion. I knew then that our friendship was real. And then there's Jean. She'd be appalled. This entry would probably color (in a cloud of green) her whole image of me. Thank goodness she doesn't read this blog.

But s'okay. There's always Martha.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Couch Potato

I don't watch much TV. Truth is, I don't have time. I can hardly stand to be sitting there doing nothing when there's so much to be done. This is one reason I refuse to take up knitting, even though I've seen a bazillion cute knitted things I'd like to make, and even though it's a hip hobby again. If I took up knitting, I'd be spending way too much time sitting on my backside watching TV, knitting.

Today, I woke up sick with a pounding headache and a sore throat. It's the WEIRDEST sore throat I've ever had. It only hurts when air touches it - like when I talk. And the pain is in the very back of my throat - sort of on the back wall, if that makes any sense. I'm all achy and sore. Other than that, I have no symptoms. This is what Darren had last week. He missed three days of work, sitting here in his favorite chair, working from his laptop. He didn't LOOK sick, didn't SOUND sick, didn't ACT sick. But now I know. This is a weird sickness. I feel like crap. I nursed his sore throat last week with lots of orange juice, a limeade from Sonic, and a Ghirardelli hot chocolate from 7-11. Today, he brought home a Route 44 Sonic Diet Vanilla Coke for me. Too bad I was dead asleep on the couch and couldn't appreciate it until later. THAT is sure proof that I'm under the weather. I don't think I've EVER passed up a Sonic Diet Vanilla Coke.

I've hardly moved off the couch all day long. And what a WASTE of a day. I watched TV. I watched bad TV. VH1 has this show called "But Can They Sing?". I watched the whole hour, even though it was excruciatingly bad. I blame my fever, and the body ache, which must've kept me from pushing the buttons on the remote. Later, I watched two episodes of "Next" on MTV. The dating game show has a clever premise, actually, and I laughed out loud at some of the ridiculous guys and gals on the show. Shallow, shallow, shallow. One guy actually asked his date to check a cow's temperature. As she stood there with the thermometer in the cow's behind, it started to take a big dump. She was appropriately grossed out, but she still accepted an invitation from the guy for a second date. I'm sorry. I've NEVER been desperate enough for a second date to take THAT kind of crap.

Which reminds me of a first date I once had in college. We went to Dallas to eat at his favorite restaurant. When the waitress took our order, he went first, ordering oysters on the half shell and an entree. Then when it was my turn to order, he said, "Dudler!! I forgot to go to the ATM!" As the waitress stood there with pen in hand, he pulled out his wallet and extracted a wad of cash - a five dollar bill and a bunch of ones. Then he counted it out loud: "Five. Six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven...." - all the way to eighteen. I did some quick math in my head and figured out that I could still afford to eat. "I'll have a side salad and a water," I said. It was the last time I ever went on a date without money of my own, and it was the last time I ever went out with Mr. Oyster.

Anyway, back to TV. Today, I watched "That's So Raven" on the Disney Channel, and then an old rereun of Lizzy McGuire. Darren walked in and said, "You want the remote? 'Cause I KNOW you're not watching this 'cause you want to." But I kept watching anyway. I swear, the headache is getting to me.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Two

2 names you go by
1. Cowtown Stacy
2. Woman (mmmm)

2 things that scare you
1. undercooked meat
2. the bathroom mirrors at T Bar M Ranch

2 of your everyday essentials
1. sunlight
2. ice water

2 things you are wearing right now
1. blue tasseled cord on my wrist (from Beth Moore's "Believing God" study)
2. a clippy thing holding my growing-out bangs out of my face

2 of your favorite bands or musical artists (at the moment)
1. Pink Floyd (at the moment and for always)
2. I watched Biography on A&E last night, featuring the BeeGees. While they're not my favorite band and never have been, today I can't get that song "How do you mend a broken hearrrt" out of my head, so I guess I'll give them a mention. Last week, it was Weezer's "Beverly Hills" that tormented me. 8)

2 things that make you laugh
1. "Low Rider" by War or Barry White. Aidan loves to sing it, and he cracks me up... "take a little trip, take a little trip..."
2. road trips with friends. I've taken two this year, and laughed my hind-quarters off both times.

2 things you want in a friendship (other than honesty and respect)
1. honesty. Oh, I can't choose that one? Then, fun-spirited and spontaneity
2. Appreciation for and of the same things

2 truths
1. His grace is sufficient.
2. Darren loves me anyway.

2 things you enjoy besides scrapbooking
1. road tripping
2. "shake shake shake, shake your booty" with Aidan and Ian

2 things you want really badly
1. a digital Rebel
2. a kitchen remodel

2 places you want to go on vacation
1. Tennessee to visit my sister
2. Colorado in the winter

2 things you want to do before you die
1. raft through the Grand Canyon
2. wear a size 10 again

2 ways that you are stereotypically a chick
1. I get my feelings hurt, but act like I don't
2. I worry about what people think of me (and I hate to admit it)

2 things you are thinking about now
1. cutting my bangs
2. what to get Darren for Christmas

2 stores you shop at
1. Target (there's a brand new one 5.5 minutes from my house. WOO HOO!)
2. Michael's

2 things that have changed about you in the last year
1. I've become a "cat person".
2. I've reached into my past and reconnected with old friends, 'cause I don't let the 100+ pounds I've gained since college stop me anymore

2 things you have to do tomorrow
1. Make punch for Tanya and Aaron's wedding reception
2. put primer on the boys' playhouse

2 reasons you blog:
1. it gives me an excuse to write
2. people keep telling me they enjoy reading it

Friday, November 11, 2005

Merry November 11th

Fifteen years ago today, Darren and I instituted our first family tradition.

We were barely into our 10th month of marriage, and Dani was 3 months old. We were poor. Darren worked nights as a typesetter for $7 an hour. I stayed home. We lived in his parents old house out in the boonies and only had one car, so I often didn't get out of the house. Things were so tight that we often searched through couch cushions and car floorboards for enough coins to buy bread and milk. But somehow, we were happy.

Darren had never decorated a Christmas tree; his parents didn't decorate for Christmas, save for a cardboard cutout of Santa and the Reindeer that they hung on the kitchen door. He'd always dreamed of the day he'd have his own family and his own traditions, and the first one he'd institute would be a Christmas tree.

That autumn day in 1991, he couldn't put it off any longer. "Let's go buy a Christmas tree," he suggested. I was over the moon about the idea. But then, if he had suggested "Let's go buy a can of tuna fish," I'd have been just as excited. But there was one problem: we were broke. The stores were already stocking fake Christmas trees, but starting at $50 apiece, they were out of the question. So off we went to Thrift Town.

I couldn't believe it when, in the back corner of the hand-me-down store, we discovered a Christmas tree in stock. It was a sad, ugly little thing that had definitely seen better days. The limbs hung limply. The branches were fat but sparse. The green metal pole was bent in the center. I was sad. I knew that if we bought this pathetic tree, I'd be stuck with it for years. I wanted something better - something taller and more slender and with smaller branches that looked more real. But the tag read $7, and it was ours.

Seven dollars was a pretty penny. In fact, it was a huge expense, especially for something so frivoulous. But we couldn't be sure that another tree would come along, so we bought it. I thought we'd store it in the garage until Christmas, but Darren had other plans. He wanted to decorate it that night. I thought he was crazy, but Darren, a mostly nondemonstrative man back then, was practically jumping up and down with giddiness. I couldn't help myself, so I got excited with him. Pushing the dining table aside, we sat up the tree right next to Dani's bedroom door, using lights and 8 ornaments that I'd brought to the marriage. It was, by all accounts, a pathetic excuse for a Christmas tree.

We spent the next 2 months making homemade ornaments. I learned to cross-stitch that November, and created a dozen or so small cross-stitched pieces. I also hand-sewed little hearts cut from old, red flannel pajamas and stuffed them with polyfil from old pillows. For his part, Darren carved a tiny treehouse from a tree branch, and fashioned a wood-shingle roof for it. I hot-glued tiny fake flowers to it. By the time Christmas Day rolled around, it was a pretty cute little tree!

We kept that tree for 4 Christmases. But the summer before the 5th Christmas, we moved, and I had a garage sale. That tree was the first thing I pulled out. We got $7 for it.

These days, we wait until after Thanksgiving to put up our trees (a slimline fake in the family room, and a real tree in the front windows of the house), but the handmade ornaments from 1991 are always the first to go on. They bring back sweet memories of young kids in love, making the best of bad times... of a sweet baby who loved to lay beneath the tree and watch the dancing lights... of a first tradition started and kept alive... of a young man whose dream became a reality. Even back then, it was the little things. Still is.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Ugly Shoes

I spent the most wonderful weekend with the most wonderful friends in the San Antonio area. We road tripped down from Fort Worth, stayed at a great place on the RiverWalk, dressed up for old-timey saloon girl portraits at a place near the Alamo, and generally had a ton of fun. Then we spent the rest of the weekend with 20-some other wonderful friends at a scrapbook retreat. It was heavenly. In fact, SO heavenly that my new friend Kesa said to me, "Will there be a ScrapShare retreat in Heaven? 'Cause if there's not, I don't think I wanna go." :)

I completed 19 pages, successfully danced on a table without breaking it down, hot tubbed fully clothed, slept with Sherilyn and Veronica without accidentally draping an arm over them in the middle of the night, led the way down a dark, stony path without getting anyone killed, and remembered to take my pills everyday, even being out of my regular routine. But my biggest accomplishment of the weekend was this:

NEW SHOES!!

They are possibly the dog-ugliest shoes I've ever had on my feet, but oh. my. goodness they are comfortable! I bought them at a frou-frou health food store in San Antonio. At first, I slipped one on for the sole purpose of making fun of the hideous things. "Who would WEAR these...." I started to ask. But my sarcastic question was soon overcome with "ahhhh. OOOOOOOOH. Mmmmmmm. YESSSSSSSSSSSS."

"I'll have what SHE'S having," thought the customers who watched me breathe deeply and delight in my shoegasm. I walked straight to the cash register and did something I rarely do: impulse purchased. I felt a tinge of guilt that lasted for, oh, 1.5 seconds. Before the cashier had even given me the total, I'd asked for scissors to remove the tags, and had slipped the shoes on my feet. I enjoyed a walking massage all weekend long.

I LOVE my new Crocs.
And I don't even care that they're ugly.
Love, as they say, is blind.

"Do it to me one more time...."
"I'm walkin' on sunshine...."
"Man! I feel like a woman!"
"You make me feel! You make me feel! ..."

I think I'll have to create a new iMix just for my shoes. :)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

To my new readers

A sweet friend innocently posted the link to this blog on a message board. At first, I felt violated. Then I felt confused about what I felt. Now, I feel okay.

Just know this: I write for no particular audience. I write because I've forever been called to write. (Read my first-ever post on this blog.) I write because I need to be held accountable to write, and I don't hold my SELF accountable, so I count on friends to do that for me.

Now you're part of that circle. Read with caution, though. Sometimes I get really personal. Sometimes I get preachy. Sometimes my faith pours from my pen, and sometime my sin does. I just write whatever's on my heart and mind that day.

I write for me and my immediate family. Feel free to peek in if it interests you. But know this: if my Mom ever becomes aware of this blog, I will hunt. you. down! :)

Stacy

Nekkid

When Dani was in First Grade, she had a great teacher who really emphasized daily journaling. Every morning, she would provide the students with journal prompts, and the kids would spend 20 minutes writing in fractured sentences and with misspelled words. It was precious. I loved reading Dani's journals. At Open House night, I proudly stood in front of the "Wall of Journaling" with the other parents, reading the "My Family" journals that hung there. It was sweet. It was moving. It was.... mortifying! There, in awkward kidscript, written with a fat pencil on a Big Chief tablet were the words "My Mom... sleeps nekkid." Ahem.

It's taken me 8 years to get over that embarrassment. Why DO I stress to my kids to always speak the truth anyway??

This afternoon, I walked into Aidan's Mother's Day Out classroom. His teachers were working on a bulletin board and didn't see me come in. Ms. Maria was saying, "Oh NO. You can't tell her about it." Mrs. Mary replied, "Oh, Maria. She'll LAUGH! I know she will. It's FUNNY!"

I had a tingly sensation and knew they were talking about me, so I piped up, "What's so funny?"

Ms. Maria jumped up and said, "Oh! Mary. Don't."

But Mrs. Mary, a sweet, perfectly coifed grandmother, was already ushering me out to the hallway where the days' artwork was hanging. She was so excited to show me this:


Pointing to the top right corner, she said, "Do the boys share a bunk bed?"

"Yes, they do," I answered.

"That's what Aidan said. He drew a bunk bed here. And is their sister's room right next door?"

"Yes."

"Mm hmmm," she replied. "And downstairs is the sofa, and there's a big spiky plant by the front door."

"Well, not exactly. But Aidan has been ASKING for a cactus to put on our front porch."

"Ah," said Mrs. Mary. "Well, Aidan draws such accurate pictures wouldn't you say?"

"Yes, he does. He loves to draw!"

"And he's so good at drawing DETAILS!" enthused Mrs. Mary.

My MomPride was short-lived however, for in the next moment, Mrs. Mary turned the page.... to THIS:




Mrs. Mary was laughing. Ms. Maria was standing in the door shaking her head. I was in shock. There I was, standing in the middle of my perfectly drawn family, stark naked. Mrs. Mary continued,

"I asked him, 'Aidan, what's THIS?', and he said, 'My Mommy's boobies.' And then I asked him, 'What's THIS?', and he said, 'My Mommy's tummy'."

But Mrs. Mary wasn't telling the whole truth. Because at that moment, Aidan shouted across the room from the sand table, "No! I said 'My Mommy's big, FAT, tummy.'"

I immediately glanced back at the paper to make sure there weren't any OTHER body parts I had failed to notice. I sighed audibly when I discovered no scribbly areas below the belly. But then I saw my face.

"Aidan, why am I SAD in this picture?"

"You're not sad. You're MAD 'cause you can't get your CLOTHES ON!"

Mrs. Mary fell out laughing, and so did Ms. Maria, although she tried to stifle it, bless her heart.

I sarcastically said, "Well. You're grounded from crayons and paper for the rest of your life. HMPH!" He didn't even hear me.

I had my thyroid follow-up at the doctor today. I'd only lost two pounds since last month. But hey - considering that I lived through Halloween and a 5-day scrapbooking holiday with friends, I'd say that's not bad. But still.... ain't nothin' like a portrait drawn by a very honest 4-year old to make you drop to your knees and give 'em 20.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Meeting Veronica

I've known Veronica for about five years. She knows my kids and all about our adventures with the house and trips and daily goings-on. I know about her work and her parents and her trips to Switzerland and Dubai. We've spoken on the phone - I called her once at work just to hear her accent. :) Veronica lives in Australia. Until Monday, we had never met in person.

Exactly one year ago, I said, "You should come to Texas next November for the 2nd Annual Texas Crop (a gathering of scrapbookers who are part of a close-knit online community). She took me seriously, and she's here! I've been excited about her arrival for months.



Monday, (Halloween), the boys and I showed up at the airport and waited for her flight. I was digging through my purse when all of a sudden, there was laughter and arms reaching around my neck in the most welcoming, happy-to-see-me hug. We rocked back and forth in that hug like long-lost sisters, squealing and laughing. Then I exclaimed, "How did you recognize me??" Veronica knows what I look like, but I didn't think she'd know me with pink hair. ;)

We're having a fabulous time. The first thing we did on the way home from the airport was get a Diet Coke with vanilla from Sonic. Then we walked into a crazy Halloween party at my house. I'm sure it was culture shock. Veronica barely had her feet on the ground before she was immersed in complete American Halloween mayhem. My friends made a GREAT impression on her. ;)


Yesterday, we drove to Dallas and shopped at Scrapbook Warehouse, and then had lunch with Sherilyn and Victoria. Lots of laughter. It just seems that we've known each other forever.

Today, we're going to take in some Fort Worth culture - the olden days of the wild, wild west. My boys have completely fallen in love with Veronia. They're entertaining her with story after story about kangaroos who toot when they fall asleep. Ahem. I don't know WHERE they get their warped senses of humor!


Veronica arrived with a suitcase full of gifts. Knitted wire-bead bracelets and chocolate frogs for Dani, a beautiful handmade ceramic pin for me, and puppets for the boys. Aidan chose the platypus and Ian chose the kangaroo. They think Veronica is the coolest friend I ever had. LOL!

Tonight, more friends arrive from out-of-state, and tomorrow, the Road Trip begins. I can hardly wait!

Thank God for internet friends. I don't care what the skeptics say. Internet friendships are REAL. And so far, none of mine have been axe murderers. :)

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Batting 1.000

In April of 2004, as I was chatting with my friend Julie, an image of my friend Ray kept flashing in my head. I thought they'd get along beautifully. Julie is a CPA... quiet, shy, private, reserved. Ray is the opposite of Julie... loud, crazy, hilarious, life-of-the-party. They each agreed to a blind date, as long as Darren and I double dated with them. So we arranged tickets to a Texas Rangers baseball game. On our way to meet Ray at the ballpark, I said to Julie, "When y'all get married, I get to be a bridesmaid." I thought she was going to slap me. :)

The game was interesting. It kept getting rain delayed. The ground crew dragged the big tarp out onto the field and we crowded under the stands with 1000s of other wet, sweaty specators waiting for the rain to stop. No sooner had the ground crew rolled the tarp back up and we'd dried off our seats with napkins than the skies opened up again and sent us running for the ramps leading down to the snack areas. Julie bought Ray the biggest Dr Pepper that The Ballpark at Arlington could offer. He knew then that it was love.

Finally, with the game delayed for so long, Darren and I decided to leave to go get our kids. Julie and Ray had been talking the whole night. I think they forgot that we were even there! So we asked Ray to take Julie home, and he eagerly agreed.


A year later, on the anniverary of their first date, Ray proposed, and Julie accepted. Today, at the wedding, the photo I took of them that afternoon on my front porch swing graced the Guest Book table.


I'm not usually a Matchmaker. Ray and Julie have joked that in the Matchmaking Game, I'm batting 1.000. :)

Today's wedding was beautiful. The minister opened the ceremony by telling the story of how they met, and while he told the story, I was watching Ray and Julie. They were grinning from ear to ear. Ray winked at me. I didn't notice until she was right in FRONT of me that the flower girl (Ray's daughter) had left the stage and walked down to where I was sitting. She stood in front of me with beautiful red roses, and placed them in my arms. I was so touched and surprised. I thanked her, gave her a big hug, and hardly heard what the minister said after that. I was just watching Kailey walk back up to stand at her Dad's side, and his other daughter Marissa standing at Julie's side, and thinking what a wonderful life they're gonna have.

To Ray and Julie, Kailey and Marissa...
Love, Laughter, and Happily Ever After!

Good Mom

I finally know what I want to be when I grow up. It's a question I've never had a solid answer for. When I was younger, I thought I'd grow up and be a radio disc jockey. In fact, my first college major was RTVF. Then I realized that my real passion was writing, so I switched my major to English. But when people would ask, "Are you going to be a teacher?", I'd curl my lip and say, "NO WAY. I don't like kids." I thought it would be cool to be a photojournalist and work for National Geographic. But I never had any definite career plans.

Some of my friends knew exactly what they wanted to be. Brent would be an architect. Sherilyn always talked of being a nurse. Dale wanted to be an artist, and grew up to be founder and CEO of his own special effects studio. But me? I never had a clue. I only knew that I wanted to get out of my small Texas town and into the big world. I knew I wanted to be a career girl with money and lots of friends. I knew I didn't want to be a stay-at-home Mom.

This morning, I woke up and surprised the boys with Cookie Crisp cereal for breakfast, then set up their favorite game on the computer. They took turns playing, and while one played, the other snuggled with me under a big, comfy afghan on the couch. I spent the entire day snuggling and watchin Nickelodeon. I didn't even get dressed until it was time to pick Dani up from school, and neither did the boys.

When I recounted my day to Darren tonight, I said, "I don't even feel guilty for being lazy all day. THe boys loved it. I'm a good Mom."

"That's the kind of thing that will stick with them," he said. "And you ARE a good Mom!"

I gotta admit, I am.
I never thought I wanted to be a career Mom.
I never thought it would suit me.
Turns out, this is what I wanted to be all along, I just didn't know it yet.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Stacy's Gourmet Black Beans and Rice

per Bobbie's request...

Bwahahaha. Gourmet. I crack me up!

2 cans black beans (the Mexican brands are best if you can find them)
1 can seasoned diced tomatoes
boil-in-a-bag rice
Eckrich mesquite-smoked beef sausage
avocado

Slice the sausage into bite-sized pieces.
Throw it in a skillet and sear.
Toss the beans and tomatoes in and let it all simmer.

In another pan, cook your rice.
Drain it, and toss it in with the beans and tomatoes and sausage.

Garnish with sliced avocado and serve with cornbread from a package mix.

Are you impressed, or what? ;)

Pumpkin Patch

I love October. I love the first cold snap of fall, which always occurs in October. I love the aroma of apple cider wafting through my house, and the yummy smells of cold-weather meals like Taco Soup and Black Beans -n- Rice.

I love the metal pumkins on my front stoop and the candles inside them that I light each evening at dusk. I love the fall wreath on my front door.

I love that the mornings are cool and the nights are crisp. I love that I can sit in the hottub without breaking a sweat. I love walking out the back door and smelling wood-burning fireplaces in the neighborhood.

I love the squirrels that scamper around my yard, shaking pecans down on my head. I love that it doesn't matter anymore that my van doesn't have an air conditioner.

I love putting an extra blanket on the bed and falling asleep beneath the heaviness of covers.

I love pumpkin hunting and picking out sweaters and corduroy pants for my boys. I love the cool blue Texas sky that always seems brighter in the fall.

I love October.



Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Real Friends...

... talk about intimate, embarrassing details without being embarrassed.

... give pedicures to friends with hooves for feet.

... go to the grocery store at midnight when a premenstrual friend is craving chocolate and doesn't want to go alone.

... don't get mad when you tell them that Krispy Kreme is open 'til midnight, and will be serving Hot Fresh Now, only to drive across town and discover that they close at 10 on Sundays.

... text message each other with reminders to "Renew your license today!" and "Did you remember to take your pill?"

... research what "fistula" means and spend time in prayer that it doesn't happen. (It didn't. YAY!)

... tell their friends when they screw up.

... don't get mad when a real friend tells them they screwed up.

... give each other nicknames.

... love and respect each other even when they're polar opposites.

... take pictures of your kids when you can't be there to do it yourself.

... want the best for you, even when it's not the best for them.

... clean and paint and pack each others' houses without hesitation.

... make you go out for coffee when you don't want to and make you glad you went.

... send emails that say, "It's snowing in Wyoming."

... pray for you even when you didn't ask them to.

... tell you when you have pepper in your teeth.

... have each others' back.

... laugh when you laugh and hurt when you hurt.

... aren't bound by distance or faith or status

... let you be real.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

School Morning Conversations

Mommy: "Wakey Up time! It's time for school!"
Ian: "(growl) HMFH! You ALWAYS SAY THAT! (crying)"
(poor boy is just like me. A grump in the morning.)

Ian: "I wanna watch Jetix."
Mommy: "It doesn't come on in the mornings."
(We have this exchange EVERY STINKIN' MORNING)

Aidan: Can I wear long sleeves today?
Mommy: Yes. It's cold outside.
Aidan: Can I wear long sleeve pants too?
Mommy: Yes.
Aidan: WOO HOO!! Thanks Mommy!
(He begs to wear long sleeves every day of the year. Thank goodness cold weather has finally arrived. He'll be happy for months.)

Aidan: Mommy, when I grow up, I want to make commercials. Like Kristopher's Daddy does.
Mommy: Ok. You can do that.
Aidan: That'll be for my job. But for fun, I wanna be a window cleaner and go up high on those thangs and clean the buildings.
Mommy: For FUN? Ok.
Aidan: I also wanna build stuff for fun. Like houses.
Mommy: You can start by remodeling my kitchen.
Aidan: What, Mommy?
Mommy: Nevermind.

Aidan: I need to call Daddy.
Mommy: Why?
Aidan: I have to tell him something important.
Mommy: What do you need to tell him?
Aidan: I love you. That's what I need to tell him.

Ian: THERE'S A BUMPY THANG IN MY SOCK! Wahhhhhhhhhhh.

Mommy: Find your shoes.
Boys: I don't know where they are.
Mommy: If you'd put them in your CLOSET where they GO, you'd ALWAYS know where they are!
Boys: Hmpf.

Mommy: Where are your shoes?
Ian: THERE'S A BUMPY THANG IN! MY! SOCK!!

Mommy: If you find your shoes RIGHT NOW, we'll go to the donut store on the way to school. Look in the Game Room.
Aidan: I want a sprinkle donut! I'll go get my shoes!
Ian: I want a chocolate donut. But first, I wanna watch Jetix for one little minute.
Mommy: No Jetix. Find your shoes and get them on.

Ian: Mom, do you have your seatbelt on?
Mommy: Yes, thank you Seatbelt Police.

Aidan: There's Daddy's building. I need your cell phone.
Ian: Yah. We need to call Daddy 'cause we see his building.

Mommy: Aidan! STOP! Wait for me before you cross that street! Ian, pick up the pace-o, you pokey little puppy.
Ian: I'm NOT! POKEY! I'm just slow.

Ian: Mom, did you look both ways? I didn't see you look both ways!
Mommy: Ian. I looked both ways.
Ian: Well, I didn't see you. You haffa be safe and look both ways.
Mommy: You should be a cop when you grow up.
Ian: Well. I just wanna be Spiderman.