Thursday, January 31, 2008

Personality galore!

Who'd a thought my quiet child would ever get to this point??

This is Grace (right) with Mehkaya, one of her many, many cousins. When, I ask myself, did she transform into this little personality? If anyone knows Grace, up until the age of 2 she was as quiet as a mouse. Fastforward a year and this child has lost it. She's gone bananas. Last night, when she was putting the now 'famous for throwing up' Bitty to sleep in her Bitty Bed, she kissed Bitty good night, pushed her hair out of her face, and said "I look like some crazy momma!".

She makes me laugh all the time. That's a good thing, I know.

BTW - in case you want to know why she named her baby "Bitty", here's a list of all her previous doll names.
1) Her favorite (Bitty) is one of the Bitty Baby doll collections -hence the name Bitty.
2) She received a new baby for a gift and the name? New Baby
3) One short lived baby (we can't find it) was rather chubby and her name was? Fat Baby.
4) She got a baby for her birthday and named it - you guessed it - Birthday Baby.

Grace & Bitty - BFF

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Who's With Me????


Have you heard the news?? Have you heard the high, glass-breaking, soprano voices practicing? Have you gathered your posters, books, buttons, watches, socks, rings, stickers, tatoos (none, thank God!), t-shirts, and stuffed "I LUV NKOTB" teddy bears out of the attic?? Well, if not, get going! The boys are comin' back! Or shall I say men? Or shall I say.....even older men? (I think I heard Jonathan is 40! Yikes!)

Anyhoo, at the precious (precocious) age of 12, I was all set to be Jordan Knight's future wife. I vividly remember getting dressed for their concert, and TOTALLY thinking that in my cute denim overalls and glasses ( and off the shoulder black shirt, I might add) that Jordan was going to see me, COME OFF THE STAGE, and fall in love with a 12 year old. Gross! Ewww......

Thankfully, I wasn't alone. It was my sister, my neighbors, some of my friends....we all were slobbering, blithering idiots. But we had fun! I still love Jordan. Well, the old Jordan. Boog will just have to live in his spotlight forever! Hang Tough girls!

(Please don't mention this in public.)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Confessions of a teacher.

My classroom

Teaching is JUST like any other job. You have your days when you love it, and you have your days when you ask yourself "Why? Why? Why did I pick this profession?" Today was one of those days. I've taught 4th grade for 3 years.....and honestly, I wouldn't want to do anything else. I've been in the corporate world and quickly found that chasing after the almighty corporate buck was not for me. The draw of summer vacations and 4:00 ending days lured me in. But slowly, I started to realize that I loved fit. I was good at making things fun....and the kids were good at laughing at me when I made mistakes. Oh, I laugh too, of course! I couldn't have picked a better age group to start with - I mean, in 4th grade they LOOOOVVVVEEE their teachers and are still scared of them! Perfect!

But the days DO get long occasionally. And mostly? I get more frustrated at the things I can't if they get a good meal the night before...or a parent that constantly makes excuses for their child....if they are sitting in clean clothes or not.....or the lack of any parent or parenting at home at all.

I teach an all inclusive class, so I have the same children all day long. Social Studies, Math, Reading, Language, Spelling...the whole caboodle. I said, was one of "those days". I tried to start off the day smiling, reminding myself that I am to influence them with my Christ-like behavior and attitude. That gets me as far as 8:15. Then it hits. 5 children show up without homework and with many excuses. Others show up with work that looks like it's been rolled up and used as toilet paper. And then there are the ones who are ALWAYS doing their best, sitting I lecture, again, on how in 4th grade "we should know how to be responsible." A phrase uttered almost 100 times a day.

I see the days of "yes ma'ams" and "no sir's" slowly matter how hard I try to remind them. I see Youth Sports taking over the lives of our children. I see respect towards elders nearly gone. I see the glint of excitement about school and the things that come with it (pep rallies, competition, classmates, etc.) fading, and worse, I see a culture of kids who have everything and feel like they need nothing.

What's a teacher to do? Pray. Promise. Promote. Push on.
Pray for strength and wisdom.
Promise to do my best for them.
Promote college! (As a faithful Aggie graduate, I ALWAYS talk about college....A&M/t.u. rivalry...anything to get them interested!)
Push on.
(I should be a preacher...a 4 point alliteration!)

What's a parent to do? Support. Support. Support.
Those few bad teachers out there give a bad name for us all. MOST of us have only the best in mind for your children. Really. So support your child's teacher. Even if you don't necessarily agree with EVERYTHING they do, support them. Also, realize your child isn't perfect and that's part of the learning process. And if they do get a teacher that for some reason just seems to have it out for them? It's okay. They won't be scarred for life. In fact, it will help them deal with similar situations later in life....(aka...the boss from you know where!).

Just some confessions of a teacher.

Monday, January 28, 2008

"Pancakes AND cereal, mom."

Grace has always been a big eater. Always. I remember when she was a baby, she would scream if we ever attempted to take her bottle away before she was done. Heaven help us if it ran out and we had to go make another bottle!

It hasn't changed much, and I'm glad. So this past Saturday, I got up and asked what she wanted for breakfast - cereal or pancakes? Her response? "Cereal AND pancakes, mom." I don't doubt that she could do it. But still - I got her to pick just one!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Flo's Favorite Things

Stole this idea from a fellow blogger...yes, yes, not Oprah's Favorite Things but FLO'S FavoriteThings! Sounds pretty good. (Which, btw, I'm not a HUGE Oprah fan, but I would give away my right thumb to be in the audience on that particular show...............just kidding of course.)
Let's get on with the show!

Phil Wickham is, in my opinion, one of the most talented Christian artists out there. His first album was amazing....the second one (Cannons, above) is different, but engaging. He's just now starting to get some rotation on the major stations. But you'll love him! "Grace" is my favorite. (of course!)

My husband introduced me to Le Creuset's dutch ovens. They ROCK! If you don't have one, I suggest you invest. They are the easiest things to clean, go straight from burner to oven, and my, my, my aren't they cute?

If you have a child, you absolutely need to find the nearest Arbonne rep and buy their diaper rash creme. It's the best. Grace had diaper rash from time to time, and just a dab of this would clear it up in a matter of hours. Actually, I've pretty much loved every product from this company. I use their SPF 15 facial moisturizer, as well.

These books are two of the best reads. Tom Brokaw captured me with his simple style of writing, and I love the people he describes - simple, honest, hard-working, and full of life & flaws. To Kill a Mockingbird...if you haven't read it, do so. Immediately.

Who doesn't love her? Denise Austin. She's pretty amazing. She's 50 and looks 30. She's been helping women get in shape for 3 decades. And I personally get up most mornings to do her "Fit N Lite" on TLC, which is a combination of yoga, pilates, stretching, cardio, you name it. I love her positive attitude and the tips she gives on eating healthy. (The ol' 80/20 rule!)

The North Face. Skiing's neccessity. It's a must. It's cool. And my husband looks so handsome when he wears his gear! BONUS!

I love kitchen stuff.....and these Williams & Sonoma mixing bowls are too cute with their easy pour mouths. Fave, fave!

Last, but not least, all those fancy shops with their "homemade ice creams"...Blue Bell has, always will, and will forever be the best ice cream ever. Homemade vanilla is my favorite, but I sometimes go for Moolinnium Crunch or Chocolate Chip. Yum! Yum!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Ladies Nite Out

The T.H.A.T. Sunday School class (Through Him All Things) at my church decided we needed a ladies night out last night! We all have little children......some work full-time.....but laughs and good girly conversation were something we all were looking forward to - all of which was supplied. I love these ladies because they are REAL. No fuss. And they are all Godly women that have a wonderful spirit. I loved the fact that our whole night was full of confidence boosting, "I'm so glad you go through that,too" moments, "you can't take us anywhere" moments, and even "I'm NOT paying $13 for a popcorn & coke" moments. REAL.

We went to the Popourri House in Tyler. I had their famous spinach salad & the Chicken Seattle. (Which was strangely not that great....I don't recommend it!)
My good friends Chrissy & Andi
We topped off the night by seeing "27 Dresses" It was okay.....a few too many bad words that weren't neccessary...and a couple of really hokey moments.....but I did laugh at this part where her & the really cute guy she hates/loves sing "Benny & the Jets".

All in all, good girl fun. Don't we all need that?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Real cries. know what I'm talking about - the difference between a fake cry from your child and a real one. You know when they are whining versus the "mom, I'm really hurting" cry. Well, it's been a hectic night tonight. Wednesdays always are. I teach a full day, then I'm off the teach GA's at my church. Boog has his youth Wednesday night stuff, Grace has Mission Friends. We're doing good to chug down a few McD's cheeseburgers for supper. You know...those kind of nights. Anyway, after getting her to bed, exhausted and ready for bed myself, I hear a REAL cry. Not one that is asking for a drink of water. But a real cry. Entering Grace's room, I fully expect to hear a story of a bumped head or bent finger, but instead she says, "I miss daddy."I grab the phone and dial Boog's cell, hoping to catch him so he can offer a word of comfort. When he answers, she sweetly says, "Daddy, I want to hug you and say a prayer with you."

Well, now....WHO can resist that? I need to run out a get her a new teddy bear.

Grace & her daddy

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

If my house caught on fire....

....these would be just a few of the treasured things I would try and save. (Let's just assume Grace & Boog were safely outside!) Ok. Well, if Grace & Boog were safe, I honestly wouldn't RISK MY LIFE to get any of these items. But the thought is nice.....and they would be terribly missed.

This is my grandma's recipe box. Everything is written by hand...she refers to butter as "oleo". It reminds me of what a wonderful cook & baker she was. A great little lady.
Here's the box that Boog had my ring in when he proposed to me. He did it in Gruene, Texas, underneath a great, old oak tree. He could of used the box the ring actually came in, but he's always a little more creative than that. It actually is similar to the person he is....rugged, Texan, and the knot reflects his commitment? Okay...I might be stretching the metaphor.

What a creative genius my sister is! And this is one of my absolute favorite birthday presents ever. She spent months digitally designing this photo album of Grace throughout her first three years. Each page is like a little Picasso! She's pretty darn good at it. I tell her she should go into business all the time. In fact, she did my header for my blog in like 10 minutes! Check out her blog sometime at

Last, but not least, it looks a bit odd to put furniture on my "save" list. And I definitely would NOT go back into a fire to save this, but it is treasured. Neither house Boog & I have lived in have had a pantry....they both were old houses. (Seriously, did people not store food back then?) Anyhoo, I had this piece made for our first house. Boog tried to sell it along with the house....a buyer's perk if you will...and it quickly became one of our first ridiculous arguments. But I love it....I love that it looks old, but is new. I love that I designed it. Heck, I'd marry it if it asked. Just kiddin, Boog!

Monday, January 21, 2008

No scary in-law stories here!

I have to admit. With all the scary in-law stories I've heard, I feel like I won some lottery contest of the in-law-world. So much so, that I feel a bit guilty and give tons of empathy to those who, well, have the "Everybody Loves Raymond" in-laws.

Mark & Rosemary
We've had the opportunity to live quite close to them for most of our married lives. And by close, I mean, 15 minutes away, after church lunches kind of close. She's the absolute best hostess in the world, and he's - well - he's Mark Ferrell. The twinkle in his eye says enough.
Oh there are plenty of days where Boog & I look at our life and think, "Well? Haven't we been here long enough?" I mean, Boog grew up in this town. He knows it like the back of his hand. But then, we think of our family, and decide that being close is something we should appreciate while we have it. Who knows? We could be uprooted to the mountains of Colorado or the plains of the mid-west tomorrow, if that's where God calls Boog. So right now I just enjoy the everyday family trials and laughs...hoping for more of the latter. And I thank his parents for teaching Boog how to be a wonderful husband & dad.

Me & Boog

Sunday, January 20, 2008

TAG - My testimony!

I'm making a new TAG game for the blogger world. A Testimony Tag- if you will! I realized that all these postings gave me info into many people's lives, but didn't give me info about the best story they could possibly EVER tell! So I'm tagging 4 people to give their testimony story...if they care to share. I'd love to hear them!

My testimony:
I didn't neccessarily grow up in a Christian home, but thankfully, due to a very influential grandmother and some great friends, I always was a frequent visitor at my local church. I got 'saved' at 14, and I do think that the Holy Spirit began His walk with me then. But honestly? I wasn't paying much attention to Him. I bounded along on my own...thinking I was doing okay. But it wasn't until as a junior at Texas A&M....and a roomate moving....and a new (gasp!freshman!) roomate moving in.....that she, Sandy, helped me see the light. Her light & love for the Lord drew me in. I realized my own walk was hollow. And I began my relationship with Jesus. It wasn't perfect. I definitely still had growing to do. And when I met my future husband, his "solid as an oak" family taught me even more about Christ. When we took our vows, I remember our pastor's challenge. Boog was to present me to Christ looking more like Jesus because he's been my husband and has challenged me spiritually....and I was to support him to be the man God's called him to be. In a nutshell, as God's placed a calling into the ministry for Boog...I'll be tested through and through on that challenge! So there's my testimony. God Bless!

Testimony TAG:
1) Heather
2) Andi
3) Jamie
4) Angela

Little Betty Crocker

Before I go into my next schpill....I'd like to take a moment here to acknowledge something. Yes, I only have one child. (And I'm patiently waiting for #2, if that's in His plan.) Yes, my one child happens to be a pretty well-behaved child(and makes me think that - because the world just works this way - my 2nd child will be terror on wheels!). And yes, Angela, again....I can do this because I have just ONE child. OK. Onto my story!

Grace loves to cook. She asks everyday, as I'm preparing meals, "Can I help you?". She'll drag her chair right up to the counter, somewhat close to the oven, look at me and say "I won't touch the oven." I say "okay" and casually remind myself not to get worried about the extra mess saying "yes" will create. Anyway, she especially loves to help me bake. She eats most of the dough, but I don't mind. These years are fleeting right? As she turns the "on" button of my kitchen aid mixer to SUPER HIGH and the flour goes flying everywhere....I remind myself of this fact, give her a hug, and tell her she's a great little baker. After all, she IS my only child.

Chocolate Chunk & Heath Bar cookies

Saturday, January 19, 2008

My daughter is obsessed...

with sickness. I don't know why. Maybe she has a future in the medical world? But her babies...whom she has always loved dearly since birth...are constantly sick. Constantly having fever. Constantly throwing up. So much so, that when I walked into our bathroom and found this....
I thought...maybe I really should take her to the doctor. Soon.

Death & Taxes? Not me.

Aren't taxes fun?? No, I mean it. I really think they are fun. Not that I do them....not that I even TRY to do them myself. But they bring out the nitpicker in me. The part of me that actually gets excited about paying bills and balancing my checkbook. Do I need to visit a doctor? Or better yet - a therapist?
OK. I'll admit. Last year, when my sister informed me of the WHOPPING $ amount her family was getting back, and around about the same time my husband informed me of the WHOPPING $ amount we had to pay in....I wasn't loving taxes. But every year, around this time, I always get excited about each little form I receive from work, church, banks, various accounts, etc.....that will all go forward to my little tax lady, who will then inform me of the monstrous amount we owe. I love it. I guess I love torture! But it all says to me -"Good job, Flo! You did it! On time! Here's your treat. Good dog!"

AND while we're on the topic of finances, I'll go ahead and give a plug to one of my favorite, all-time has helped me tons financial guru - Ol' Dave!
After being introduced to his Christian-based money theories on living totally debt free, Boog & I decided we wanted that freedom. It's been about two years with several bumps in the road, but we've worked our debt down to where by the end of 2008, the only payment we'll be making on ANYTHING is our house. And we'll start working on kicking that debt soon, too. It's been a struggle. We've had to "give up" alot of what the Jones's out there would call necessities.....we've reduced our standard of living a bit.....but you know what? We've never been happier. Or more stress-free. God really has blessed this decision in our lives.......It really is the way to go. As Dave says, "Live like no one else today, so you can live like no one else tomorrow!"

(OK, Dave....I've done my part for your ministry!)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Leaving the ol'myspace...entering "adult" world of blogging!

My sister's been on my case about husband's been on my case about it. Why can't they just leave me be? Or maybe it's because I try hard to overlook the questionable ads that are on myspace, but they're too blaringly THERE. Whatever it is - I've converted. I've switched. I've surrendered my post at myspace and come to the adult world of blogging. For those of you who care to follow, enjoy my pictures, posts, and the world in which I live. It's not fancy, it's not worthy of you even reading about probably, but it is MINE. And I love it.

First official post - my newfound love of Hobby Lobby and the 50% off of stems weekend. I've been looking for some greenery for my living room, and most of what I found were either horribly tacky or way too expensive. So thus, my "green" thumb of the waxed world got to try it out. Here's the result...not too shabby, eh?

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