Friday, May 30, 2008

Here We Go!

* 10+ hours of driving
* at least 5 car hours of "I spy with my little eye" and "What rhymes with ------?"
* 4+ potty/leg stretching breaks
* passing through 4 southern states without visiting any of them
* listening to my hubby complain about my driving skills
* listening to my daughter's Veggie Tales CD for the 385th time......

........vacationing here with my sister's family, seeing the clear, blue ocean, and enjoying the calm before the GA Camp, Youth Camp, and VBS storm.......

PRICELESS.

I'll try to post pics soon! Summer '08 has begun!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Don't Judge a Book by It's Very Small Cover

Kelly's Korner is having a little fun bloggy post: What's your most favorite room in your house?

and mine is........the kitchen. And I'm truly laughing as I write this post (thanks Kelly for giving me the chuckles) because if you knew me two years ago when we bought this home, I was absolutely not laughing about this kitchen. Come on....white vinyl floors.....laminate countertops.....and

...look at our circa 1970 "stainless steel" oven!

But okay. I must admit. This house.....all 1300 square feet of it (yes, I said 1300 square feet...it can be done!)... has totally been a blessing from God. It's become our home. And the kitchen is the heart of it. And for reasons that can't be explained other than God's great imagination and Dave Ramsey's quote "Act Your Wage!", we've found peace and happiness in our little bungalow.

Sure, I'd love to replace the cabinets, floors, and countertops...but all that will come. One day. Or maybe it won't.....but the small labor of loves such as the below:

the pot rack that took my hubby half a day and
a mouthful of insulation to hang...
he made the table underneath it, too


Those things make this kitchen sweet to me.....even if I'm griping at the dirt that is a constant enemy on my white floors! Thanks, Kelly, for allowing me to pay tribute to our "little house".

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Looky what I learned!

video

OK. So our school got a grant this year and gave all teachers a laptop. Yea! Really good, right? Well, it is until you add in the 30+ hours of computer training they want you to have in things like Microsoft Word. Word, I tell you. Word. I'm speechless. Totally speechless. No speech.
Now, it hasn't all been as horrible as it sounds. I've found some of it a bit useful.....especially a few of those buttons that I never push, I might click on now because I actually know what they do.

But the above is my first use with the webcam feature. I'm trying to point to the Statue of Liberty there....yes, I'm actually in New York....but as you can tell, I'm directionally challenged both on and off the road.

Things have been busy lately.....I'm trying to get the little creatur....I'm mean, students, off to summer without killing them. One more day!



Saturday, May 24, 2008

"Why I Blog"....the condensed version.

I doubt either of these versions will ever come to fruition with my "Go With the Flo" blog. I will probably never become famous.......unless you count the 15 seconds that my face was on ESPN during the 1999 College World Series, but I don't remember anyone asking for my John Hancock after that blip. And I for sure will never become famous simply for my bloggy musings....most everyone knows that with every good blog, there's a better one around the corn...uh, clicker.

So then why do I blog? Better yet, the most asked question - "How do you have the time to blog?"

The answer, in a condensed version, is because I don't watch TV. Not much anyway, so that frees up quite a bit of my time in the evenings once fancy-pants has gone to sleep.

And I also don't do "one load of a laundry" a night, like my hubby once requested (I laugh a little everytime I think about that request! Hilarious! : ) ). I usually let it pile up until the weekend and use it as an excuse to stay in my PJ's until noon on Saturday because "I'm catching up house chores".

And if I read a book it's gotta be biographies or autobiographies.....I don't read fiction. So blogging is the layman's autobiography.

And I feel it's my own form of therapy. I get to dish out my rambling thoughts while also getting to read that others are struggling as well with sadness in their life, dealing with cranky kids, laundry overload, bible quiet time lapses.....it's not just me.

And finally, I like it. I can think of a million other time suckers that I could be "addicted" to that aren't nearly as beneficial.......ironing, plucking my eyebrows, scrubbing my white vinyl kitchen floors (yeah, I said white)....

So that's why....now I must go snuggle with my hubby who supports my blogging habit...that is unless it cuts into that snuggle time.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I Did It....I Bought...

a momma swimsuit. Well, that's what my sister calls it. A swimsuit with a skirt. I've been looking all over for a swimsuit that doesn't look like I'm 17....and also doesn't look like I'm 70. That's hard! Thankfully, my good luck charm came shopping with me tonight on a "pseudo-date" (hey, we take what we can get!) and with him by my side, I bought the first one I tried on! It's a Nautica swimsuit and looks similar to this one, although the print is different (I couldn't find a picture of the real suit). It actually looks pretty cute on....Sporty Momma, I guess. I tried to save a few bucks and see if Target or Old Navy had any suits, but for some reason, they bunch up in all the wrong places. Not good. Are they made for stick people?

So I'm almost ready for Destin in a week & a half......On the way home from swimsuit shopping, I listened to my favorite beach music (Jack Johnson & Colbie Caillat) to get in the beachy mood. There's nothing like being in a car alone, singing your favorite tunes, window rolled down.....no kids....no hubby.....just you & your thoughts. That's such a rarity these days (right moms?) and when it happens, you - almost - feel like your old self........if just for 30 minutes.

Jack Johnson - King of the Beach Tunes

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Milestones .....


Go, Grace, Go!

There have been several milestone moments in my life....when I got my driver's license, when I got married, when I had Grace, when I got my first job, when I quit my first job (tears galore....I wasn't emotionally prepared to let someone down), when I found the job I love, and many others.

Even in Grace's short 4 years, she's had several milestone moments.......when she took her first step, her first word.....but these next few are the milestone moments that make life a bit easier on us mommas! Such as.....

- When she learned to buckle herself into her carseat ... WOW! No more contorting my body into crazy positions from the front seat, just so I don't have to get out of the car to do it.

- When she learned to hold her own bottle ... who doesn't remember that combination of sadness & joy? Sad, because they were growing too fast. Joy, because no more holding the end of the bottle with your chin so you can reach for something without disturbing their eating!

- When she was potty trained. Need I say more?

- When she was off the formula....talk about the best $20/week raise there is!

And now.....when she learned to bathe herself! Love this....and she is actually excited about it! She remembers to wash her face first....and not to forget her ears. I still do most of her hair, but this was a good attempt!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Can You See the Difference?

You might can, but is it a $50 difference? The dress on the left is the one Grace wore to church today, bought from a little fancy children's boutique store. Very cute....I love it. But it looked so darn simple, that I thought today....I might could make that. Being a novice seamstress, I went to Wally-World and looked for the cheapest fabric possible. I wanted to test out my skills before I bought fancy fabric. So viola! $1/yd later and $.60 for the ribbon.....one hour on the sewing machine....and here it is! Can't you just see this with a little monogrammed "G" on it? This is just my first...but for a under 2 bucks? Not bad. The stitching is mediocre and there's no layering underneath it....I wouldn't wash it for fear of it falling to pieces, but....what do you think? Should I sell everything and go into business?

Ok. I'll stick with teaching.

Friday, May 16, 2008

I am Vanilla, She is Chocolate.

Love her. Of course, she's my best friend. But she's also my total opposite. Granted, we share a few things in common: love of shopping, disecting perfect people, anything that will tickle our funny bone, and of course, the love....or shall I say despise of.....our naturally freckly skin.....oh, and the sheer fact that we lived 18 years together under one roof with parents who taught us more independence than Paul Revere. Independence is not always a great thing...just ask my husband.

But other than that, we really did split the "personality" chromosome....she took one side, I took the other. It goes from the basic - I like vanilla, she likes chocolate ice cream. To the more intricate....she wears black, I prefer brown. She loves public speaking and can argue with a wall (and she would win, I might add)....I, prefer to let anyone else speak in public other than me and would probably lose an argument to a mute person. I enjoy working out and sweating, she would rather sweat while laying out on the beach. She loves board games and I loathe them. She was always the "pretty one" and I always was the...wait, what was I? The artsy one? I have no idea.....And today, I met her at NorthPark Mall in Dallas to do a little shopping and we quickly learned that it is my favorite mall, and her least favorite. (She's a bargain shopper and you don't find many bargains in that place!) Anyhoo, it really is like this for pretty much anything you could think of.

I know that if we were any more similar, we would probably hate each other. But that wouldn't be much fun....I would miss all our phone conversations about absolutely nothing other than we're both bored at the same time.

Love ya, sis!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Breakfast Club

My life forms a triangle. It starts at our home, then Boog and myself veer off in two different directions to our professions of choice. Well....I'm using "choice" lightly because it is the end of the school year, so really I should say "profession of force" for myself. (summer fever!)

So as you can see, we burn alot of road mileage seeing how Grace's daycare is in the same town that Boog works. So he takes her to school...I pick her up. It's a nice deal. (Except for the fact that I drive close to 40 miles a day......which is why we switched from my roomy gas-guzzlin' Tahoe to my Subaru28mpgdon'tmakefunofmebecauseIdriveastationwagon vehicle.)

Back to my point....in the mornings, my hubby also does the cookin'. You got it. He makes breakfast for him & Grace every morning. And it's usually very good. Eggs, biscuits, sausage, etc......whatever that little chef desires. The few times I have to take her to school, I'm usually grabbing a baggie and filling it with whatever fruit & cereal we have on hand and she eats it on the way. (I'm just that good, ya'll!) Obviously breakfast is not my strong point because unlike my two sweeties, I don't get hungry until about 10ish......in fact, eating right when I wake up makes me feel weird.

So this post is very boring, but I'm just singing praises about my man, whom without, Grace would probably be gobbling up everyone's snack at her school. Love ya, Boog!
Molly Ringwald & Emilio Estevez

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

What would it be?......

Do you know this gal? At the time this picture was taken, she was on Survivor....but now you probably recognize her as Elisabeth Hasselbeck on The View. Now, I neither watch The View (too much talky,talky) nor do I watch Survivor (or much TV at all......I tried to watch something tonight and got so frustrated at the commercial interruptions that I just shut the thing off completely. Why waste my thumb's precious time flipping/muting/etc....)

But when she was on Survivor many moons ago, I did watch a few episodes. The series was in its conception and I think everyone was hooked....I mean, didn't we all enjoy watching them starve and live off of insects and worms? Anyhoo, I read an article recently that said each castmate could have one "luxury item" that they could take with them to the island...no questions asked. And hers? I thought this odd.....but it was a braided head-dressing that she made herself for goodluck. Weird.

So I wondered.....if I was cast on Survivor, what would I bring as my one luxury item? The first and most obvious one was, of course, a picture of my daughter and husband. Okay, so now let's rule that out.....'cause all us mommas would say the same thing, right? Right. Then I thought of the Bible....'cause all us would say that same thing, right? Right. So let's just pretend those two items couldn't be a luxury item (OH! Just play the game...)...
NOW......

I made a short list of my possibilities (I love lists!)

1. a tweezer.....very multi-functional (splinters, cutting, jabbing, self-defense, you name it) and I happen to have mammoth eyebrows if I didn't let the tweezerman get a holt of them everyday.
2. A flame starter.....I can't eat raw meat and I can't do that "kindling firewood boyscout" thing...so I'd need one of these pretty bad. I'd conserve and make it last.
3. Salt & Pepper. I know those are two, but the rule says they can never be divorced....so there. I'd definitely want some flavor on my foodage. Fish tastes downright disgusting without it. Crickets, too, I guess.
So...what would your one luxury item be?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Scarrrrryyyy....

Is this not the scariest picture you've ever seen? Conjuring up all sorts of visions of the "end times" and other seriously heavy material? This is a photo my lovely hubby showed me on National Geographic's website of the May 3rd volcano eruption in Chile. Not only is it a magnificent photo, but geez.......it's just a little frightening. Yikes!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Tool Box....

This Mother's Day, I spent part of it taking a glorious 2 hour nap with my daughter, who held onto my arm the entire time with her pudgy little hand. That made my day....I love those naps with her. They are rare and I take every opportunity to do it when I can.

Our service, and probably yours too, was about the Proverbs 31 wife who, well, let's just face it.....sets a really high standard. Goals are good to have, but ......didn't it also say she had maidservants? Nathan, why didn't you mention that? Where can I get some of those? Then I might be able to achieve some success....

Anyway, I started thinking about the modern day wife/mother. We are arguably just as busy as Mrs. Proverbs 31 but with different things. And I wouldn't be much of a mother or wife, if I didn't have tricks of the trade....y'know - a tool box full of things that help make me the success (or sometimes non-success) that I am. I thought I'd share a few of my tools that make my life as a mom/wife so much easier and maybe, you'll stick one in your tool box, as well. Here we go!

1. The Chi Iron. No, this is not a new-fangled iron for your clothes, buddy. Iron clothes? Does that happen? This is the only hair straightening iron that is worth investing in. I mean it. It takes the prep time for my hair down to 5 minutes flat.....for flat hair. : ) I love it.

2. Deep Woods Mosquito Spray. Forgo the fact that is has 25% DEET which will probably cause cancer I'm sure, it is the only thing that I've found that works for me and Gracie. We, lucky us, have been cursed with the skin that mosquitos smell a mile away. I can stand in the exact place as my hubby and be bit 6 times, instant swelling, and he gets not a bite. Darn him.
3. Snapfish. All my digital photos get uploaded here and in less than 3 days time are printed and mailed directly to me - beautiful quality - for about the same price and I never have to step foot into Wal-Mart. SO worth it.
4. My Rebel. I made it for a little while without investing, but I'll never go back. The Canon Rebel makes picture taking so easy.....now if I could just train my husband not to take 900 shots just because he can. 5. Mr. Camping Chair. Don't laugh. I don't use it to go camping...I use it because my daughter happens to love being outside and me? I happen to want to sit down sometimes. This thing is plopped down in our driveway while she scoots away on her trike or sketches with chalk. Grace even has a mini-chair that she sits on and we....well, we probably look like Hickville USA but we just sit. Together. And watch the traffic go by.....fun us.
6. Schubert's Yeast Rolls. Anytime I'm cooking dinner for people and bread's called for, which is always, this package is on my list of things to buy. They really do taste just like you made your own dough, let it rise for 46 hours, and baked the goodness yourself. Compliments galore with this one. They also have pigs-in-a-blanket which are devils.
7. Allrecipes.com. I have puh-lenty of cookbooks, my own personal recipe book, family cookbooks, but yet I still find myself logging on to this site for those hard to find recipes. Like the other day, I was wanting to make fresh creamed spinach. Instead of searching my books, I typed in "Cream Spinach" and a multitude of recipes showed up, with pictures, and comments and ratings on how good - or how bad - that recipe was. Turned out, I picked a recipe that was really good.....Grace even devoured it. A winner!

OK....well, that's certainly not all, but it's late and I'm sleepy.... I love using these things and use them regularly to help make my day a little easier. I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Grace, the Sweet

Remember this movie? Circa 1993...that lady from "Designing Women" ....Shadow, Chance, Sass...trying to make it home. Well, I had no idea that a Friday night rental would bring about an entire new revelation about my daughter.

She is just like her daddy.

We watched half of it that night and got up the next morning to finish it. Upon Chance, Shadow and Sassy all being reunited with their family at the end, I looked at Grace expecting to see a normal 4 year old....bounding, ready to get out of her PJ's and take on the day. But instead, she was crying. She wasn't saying anything, but big crocodile tears were formed in the rims of her eyes.

I said, "Grace, what's wrong?" No answer. Fingers in the mouth.

Again,"Grace, what's wrong? Are you happy or sad?"

"Both," she replied.

"Why?" I was very curious. Had I done something wrong? Was she upset because I ducked out of the movie for a second to do some laundry? What? So I asked, "Why are you happy?"

In a sweet little voice, "I'm happy because they got back with their family."

"Well, then why are you sad?" Still very curious.

"I'm sad because Shadow couldn't get out of the hole...momma, how did he get out?"

So that proceeded to a million questions of exactly how did Chance manage to help Shadow get out, and what were the "quills" that had hurt Chance, how did they get the quills out, how long did it take Chance to heal....etc., etc.

But it made me realize that in that hour and a half, she had come to care about those animals so much that she felt great emotion about them. And the tears. That's something that doesn't come so easy to me, but comes pretty easily to my husband. So I guess she's a little more like him in that area......it was a sweet realization. Good way to start a Saturday.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Heavy Laden....

"Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2

It seems like this week, although I've put on a smile for those who might be watching, I've actually felt the opposite. I've felt sad....heavy....clouded. That's an unusual emotion for me because I think that I was born with a natural tendency to be happy.....a good thing most of the time. But there are times when, like this week, the scripture above makes me wonder....

Am I doing enough to bear others' burdens? Other than thinking and praying about them? That doesn't seem like enough. Maybe I don't have enough faith in prayer....but it just doesn't feel like I'm doing enough to bear others' burdens.

I continue to live in my quaint home, eat my dinner with a meat, two veggie sides, bread and a drink.....the safety of my city's protection.....the light of electricity that I pay for with money that, although is hard earned and often complained about (teacher pay!), is still more money that most of the world ever sees.....yet, there are over 100,000 dead, dying, starving in Myanmar. Are my prayers enough?

I've now spoken to three different people this week that are struggling financially....good people trying to make ends meet....feeling like Job because the hits keep on coming. I would love to be able to donate my own car and say, "here use this...." but....I don't have the luxury. Are my prayers enough? Am I really bearing someone's burdens?

I feel a need to help. I want to walk in to these people's lives and pour out more blessings than they could ever imagine. Do. Go. Do. Go. Do something......As soon as those words are uttered in my head though, Mr. Reality Check rears his ugly head. Actually, he has a last name - Mr. Reality Check Doubt. "What could I do?....I can't do that."

Not a really happy go-lucky post, but it is on my mind. And since blogging is my therapy, there you have it. At least you all don't charge a hefty fee. I'm now going to go watch Top Chef....in my warm bed, next to my healthy husband and healthy daughter....so thankful for my own blessings.....but still so burdened for others.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Double Post Day....but happy 6 years to US.


Today is the day that six years ago Boog & I became "US".

6 years.... actually it's been a little over 8 that we've known each other. We met after Bonfire fell in Aggieland.... My roommate's boyfriend (now her husband) was on the top stack when it fell and, thankfully, he survived. Broken bones and all, he came to stay in our duplex for the next few weeks to mend....all the while, not a night went by that we didn't come home from classes to find 10-20 buddies of his, at his side, willing to do whatever he needed or just provide a good laugh. Boog was one of those guys. He was there quite often....
and he was cute....really cute.

I was warned once or twice to not get involved, he had a little bit of a reputation. However, God has a way of preparing two people for their future.....I had not dated anyone seriously in college, and he had dated everyone, but none seriously.....so here we were. He took the first step and asked me out on a date over Christmas break. Nothing serious. Later,we took a big group ski trip to see a mutual friend in Colorado, great conversations ensued, but again...nothing serious. We even hung out on the Millenium New Year's Eve.....still nothing serious. It took a while for me to trust that he had indeed overcome that reputation of his....but he had. He was ready...wait scratch that....we were ready.

It's really been a wonderful six years together, and I'm so thankful God wove our little paths toward each other the way He did....it left no room for guessing - Boog was the one. He keeps life exciting....I love his frizzy hair in the morning...I love that he says prayers with Grace each & every night, even if he has to wake her up sometimes....I love his brown eyes....I love that he laughs hard, I mean really hard.....I love that I just know if he ever gets into a fight, he'll be the winner .....I love that he does things the right way, no matter how much extra effort it requires......I love it that he doesn't mind girly movies....and I love that he is exactly the kind of guy I hope Grace marries one day. We are not perfect, but we're pretty darn perfectly put together!

My little girl is FOUR!

Dora cake for a Dora party!

Grace woke up really excited because she understood exactly what was happening - her birthday party was that day! She was ready for the cake, the singing, the presents, the friends...and it was a beautiful day to have a backyard birthday party!
Hot Dog Daddy!


Grace's gift - a trampoline...let the broken bones begin!

The backyard crowd


Cake time!


Grace's favorite part

Sweet friends

Love my little girl!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Mr. Tornado and the Angry Husband

"It'll be a beautiful day to go to First Monday...."

I think that was what I told my teacher friends the day before I took off work to head to Canton's Famous First Monday. So wrong.

Before I left, I did look at the radar. A small line of thunderstorms, but they were thin. I figured I would either miss it, or maybe drive through a little bit of storm. I pressed onward....no storm was going to stop my morning!

I pull up....about to pay the $5 parking fee....I could tell the skies were darkening - still not scared. The car ahead of me is paying....the man collecting the money looks up at the sky, the wind suddenly starts to gush - still not scared. The man collecting the money suddenly has to grab hold of the steel bar next to him in order to stand vertical - still not scared. The wind is rocking my own car - still not scared. I look to my left and see the tall, narrow funnel cloud about 20 yards away - a little scared now. I see the funnel cloud pass by and then disappear, the wind is very strong - a little more scared. I whip my little car around and as I'm approaching the road, I see where about 30 yards away two vehicles were overturned by that tall, narrow funnel cloud - more curious than scared now. First Monday's outdoor booths were demolished, stuff was strewn everywhere, the rain is really coming down now.......and then......it all stops. The storm passes.....the sun comes out...the world continues and First Monday is back in action.

Amazing. I didn't have my cell phone (I know, I know! I hate those things!) and since the little, tiny funnel barely did any damage, I figured....."I'll just quickly get what I need and get back". Little did I know that the whole world was reporting TWISTER HITS CANTON - CARS OVERTURNED! One hour later, I see a VERY mad husband walking towards me amongst the throngs of shoppers...his eyes were like daggers, his brow furrowed. I got the lecture of my life....which went something like, "I am very disappointed in you young lady! Why didn't you call?" (eerie flashback to highschool days).

Canton was great though. I got a nice pot rack to hang my Calphalon pans and even scored this....for $1.24 (no, this was a random sale...there's not another one!). It'll come in nicely for Grace's 4th birthday party tomorrow! Now, I just gotta work on making my hubby's furrowed brow go away.

 
Design by Deluxe Designs