illustrating a point

Just to illustrate the point that my child can turn from beautiful angel to crazy man and back again in the span of 10 seconds, I submit the following pictures taken less than 3 seconds apart:

Picture one of those animation flip books where these are the only two images... Are you starting to get a picture of our life?

And the animal crackers? I refer to them our grocery store survival kit. I can tell you the exact endcap on which they are located at SuperTarget.

Happy Anniversary!

We celebrated my parents' 40th wedding anniverary last weekend in Arlington! A nice dinner with friends and family at Olenjack's. I couldn't be more proud of them! We love you mom and dad!
Mom and William discussing a very important topic, I'm sure.
Good friends, Katie and Denny
Sorry, Matt. I'm sure I just caught you in the middle of a sentence or something.
One of those unfortunate self-portraits.
Please ignore whatever is on my son's nose and upper lip and just admire the sweet expression and beautiful blue eyes.
Happy anniversary!!


too perky for 7:30 AM

so my new job necesitates a new place to get coffee in the mornings (and, yes, I really should just be making it at home amd taking it with me. but as previously noted, the morning time is not my "lets be on the ball" time);
As such, I visited a new Starbucks location just 2 blocks from my new job. let me begin by saying that I realize there ARE people in the world who actually like the mornings. I just didn't realize the 10 people that actually do are all concentrated in ONE Starbucks location - and I found it!
the first morning, I was taken aback as I mumbled my order (a simple "grande coffee" - no crazy stuff for me) to the super-cheerful lady at the counter. big grins, lots of happy sayings, cheerful greetings, and it is still only 7:30 AM. maybe it was a fluke. surely, no one single place of business can keep that up for more than a day or two. Oh no, day two, same story - too... much... perkiness...
finally on day three, I knew I was completely in the WR-ONG place when I overheard (in the span of 60 seconds no less) two phrases that should never be uttered before noon. "J-Dog" got a something-something-half caff-grande-whip-something-or-other. and then the next lady in line was "kickin' it old school" because she wasn't having her regular drink. trying to keep up, I added "with room" to my simple "grande coffee". uh, yeah. I can't ever go back there again.
Seriously, though, there is a 7-11 right across the street. They actually have really good coffee. And while I don't think it will be a lot cheaper, I KNOW no one in there will EVER call me "M-Dog". sigh.

I am not...

After teaching kids vocabulary for many years, one of the best strategies is to have them come up with non-examples, things that the word is not. This helps them to refine their knowledge of what the word actually is. In the spirit of defining myself, I present the top 5 things I am NOT:

5. a fan of the color orange

4. someone who revels in and enjoys domesticity

3. a people-pleaser

2. a morning person (honestly this should really be #2 AND #1)

1. impressed by people who are impressed with themselves

What are the top 5 non-examples of you?



Yes, the Olympics are over. I am actually having withdrawal. "Mike, did you record the Olym-? oh wait, they're over." whatever will I do with my time? ok, so there is lots of cleaning, laundry, cooking, etc. that needs to be done. Luckily for me, I downloaded the Olympic theme ring tone for my phone so it can be with me ALL the time. And get ready..... Feb. 12, 2010... Vancouver... be there! (or at least be watching your TV!)

One parting note.... I am so freakin' proud of our Men's basketball team. Not just because they won the gold medal (which they did, by the way, in a fabulous finish), but because of the maturity and professionalism and sportsmanship and patriotism they displayed throughout the games. Now don't get me wrong, I follow sports enought to know that some of these guys can be big jerks in their day-to-day lives as NBA superstars. However, it really seemed as if representing the United States and being an Olympian was such an honor for these guys. They participated in the opening ceremonies with lots of pride. I love the fact that they attended other events to support other US athletes. I saw them on camera at swimming and beach volleyball games. I loved Kobe Bryant's interviews (and yes, he is still a jerk for having an affair). And then, in the best moment EVER, as the team stood on the podium after receving their medals, waiting for the national anthem to begin, the camera showed Jason Kidd (love him!) telling all the other players "hand over your heart". And wouldn't you know it? Each one of those super-rich, too-cool-for-you NBA superstars had thier hand over their heart during the national anthem. A couple even sang!

An interviewer afterwards (I totally forgot whcih player) asked how this Olympic medal compared with all the other accomplishments. The player simply replied, "it doesn't. this so much more important than anything I have ever done."

Who has Olympic fever? Well, there's me AND 12 NBA superstars!

My new favorite Dallas Maverick - Jason Kidd (sorry Dirk.)


pet hair!!

So I was reading one of my fave blogs, Home Ec 101, and she was discussing pet hair and I have had enough of the pet hair in my house. Two dogs and August heat do not a good combination make (did you like my Yoda reference?)! What do you guys do to eliminate pet hair, besides accidentally leaving the back gate open? help me!

another project!!

So I am on a nesting streak lately and here is what came of it:

first I painted an old icky brown picture frame black

then I found a big cardboard letter at Michael's for $2 and painted the edges black

I covered the back of the picture frame with a pretty piece of paper

then I covered the P with an old fabric scrap and glued it onto the front of the frame. I put two little nails on the back of the frame in the top two corners. I made a big loop of ribbon and hung it around the 2 nails

I am thinking about making this the focus of a pseudo-mudroom/coatrack/etc. We really don't have a "put all your stuff that you walk in the door with" place and it becomes piled everywhere. I bought some hooks on clearance that I think I am going to hang on the wall just under this wall plaque for coats, unbrellas, kid bags, etc. We'll see!


it's about time!

Finally! I mean honestly, the girl looked maybe 12. definitely NOT 16!


ok, so let me begin by saying that this was NOT my original idea, but I am not above borrowing a good idea. here is my source of knowledge for this one:

with that said, I am super-proud of myself! I haven't decided if these are going to go here in the house or in my new office/cubicle, but at least they are finished and ready to be hung wherever I decide!

I started with a 12"x36"x7/8" piece of styrofoam and cut it into 3 pieces so had three 12"x12"x7/8" pieces.
Then I wrapped the edges with grosgrain ribbon (used Alene's tacky glue)

then I chose three different pieces of 12"x12" scrapbook paper. I actually bought one of those large pads so they are all pretty different yet somewhat coordinated...

then I glued (again, used Alene's tacky glue)a piece of paper on each piece of styrofoam

so it still needed a little something and I am recently intrigued by silhouettes. I did NOT want to trace, cut, etc. anything intricate, so I just bought some of those cheapy little wooden pieces at Michael's (literally 25 cents each). I painted them black so they would look like silhouettes. (and yes, I am painting on an orange file folder. it gave me pleasure to mess it up so I could throw it away and spare the other pretty colors the same fate)

finally, glued the birdies onto the boards and voila! instant wall panels!

the only thing I would do differently would be to use Modge Podge to adhere the paper. the tacky glue sort of bubbled under the paper and I had to stack them under some books for a bit to get the wrinkles out.

I'll post another picture soon when I decide where the are going to live.


what is that?!

You know you are definitely the youngest person at your new job when one of the ladies is bragging about her tickets to go see "Menopause", all the other ladies are oooo-ing and aaahhhh-ing, telling how crazy it is, and you STILL have no idea what it is (I am referring to the performance apparently, not the actual definition of menopause). Seriously - a movie? a musical? a play? a monologue? this lady actually opened up her purse at lunch and pulled out the actual ticket.
apparently, I am missing out. maybe I should go to whatever this is. according to the other ladies in the group, if you get up on stage and dance, you get a prize. (sigh)

another sign: you introduce yourself to the group and tell about your 20 month old son. Your colleagues introduce themselves and talk about their 20 month old grandchildren.


Our latest and greatest

This past week has been, well, icky. Not completely icky, but just enough icky stuff going on to leave a bad impression of the entire week. I felt much better today - watched some (ok, lots) of Olympics with hubby and son, worked on my nesting projects, took a walk with my sweet little man, and made REAL mashed potatoes.
I realized that I have not been posting pictures of our many recent adventures. Consider yourself caught-up.

One of William's newest words is shoe. He loves shoes. He loves his own shoes and he loves Mike's shoes.

This is a photo of immediately post-nap William. Notice the large handprint on his chest. The poor little guy slept on his hand, I guess, for his entire nap. That handprint seriously was there for a couple of hours.

Olympics Opening Ceremonies Party - that's the US team marching in!

All I have to say is that I understand where they got the term "down-dog" for a yoga pose. I think Lucy is trying to teach William a thing or two.

Let me interrupt for a moment. Upon review of the pictures I have posted so far, I need to make a clarification. Yes, William does have clothes. And yes, he does usually wear them. It has just been so crazy hot around here recently that he just hangs out as-is while we are in the house. I promise I clothe him when we leave the house! I will not be THAT mom!

We went to Arlington for Isabelle's 2nd birthday party. Isabelle is the daughter of our friends, Matt and Amber. She and William both did a great job with the party blower-thingies! (also, please notice that William is wearing clothes)

We went to the Bavarian to celebrate with our friend Nick. He just passed his Nurse Practitioner exam!
And where was William during all of this? That's right! He and GramGram were partying it up at the house! Mike has taught him to do fists. (sigh) again, William is wearing clothes.


issues with orange

I must confess something... I don't really think I am OCD or anything, but I have serious issues with the color orange. And it extends to anything in the salmon/peach family as well.

I have often tried to analyze it and have come up with the following points:

1. I will NOT, under any condition, wear orange on any part of my body.

2. I WILL, however, eat orange food (carrots, oranges, cheese, and Goldfish crackers to be more specific). for some reason, it doesn't bother me at all - maybe because I am consuming it and the orange actually goes away

3. I do not like Halloween - a cause or effect of the anti-orange sentiment? I'm not sure...

4. I will not use any pens/paper/folders etc. that have orange. I am not above trading with someone to get rid of orange (in my classroom, I set my kids up with different colors of folders for different subjects - orange was NEVER an option)

5. While I am very aware of my orange issues, I am trying not to pass along my wierd stuff to William. Hence, he has a couple of shirts with an orange stripe in them.

6. Nothing in my house (except for the foods mentioned in #2) is orange.

7. I attended Texas A&M University where our unofficial motto is "we hate TU" (Univ. of Texas = orange). But looking back, I was definitely anti-orange before college. hhhmmmm

8. When William plays with his set of blocks, I don't let him use the orange ones.

9. I have a friend whose favorite color is orange. It literally gave me a little anxiety to go buy her a cutie orange handbag for her birthday.

seriously, what is wrong with me?! What will I do if it turns out to be Will's favorite color?


I'll be serious for a moment....

Today I went to a funeral. I did not personally know the person who had passed away and that was a new experience for me (family member of a close friend). I almost felt like an intruder.
But I'm glad I went. Most of all, I was there to support my friend and honor the family member. But I also was reminded of a few things.

A little background: I was born, raised, and currently profess my faith as a United Methodist. I have been to Baptist churches but something was always a little different there (insert your own joke here). Today's service was at a Baptist church and the pastor definitely said a few things that I was not used to hearing. Not better or worse, just different.

He did, however, say one thing that I think will stick with me forever. He talked about the difficult situation surrounding the death of this person and said, "God does not hold us accountable for our sins. [He did pause to say how interesting that sounds coming from a preacher's mouth. then he continued...] God holds us accountable for our forgiveness. And he holds us accountable for what we are going to do with that forgiveness."
(Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.)
He went on to say that God has taken care of all our sins. It is our job to pass along the forgiveness he has so lovingly shown to us. It was, of course, phrased much more eloquently than I have put it. but hopefully you get the point. Sins were taken care of before they were even a thought in our head. Forgiveness is not earned. It is a precious gift given freely and all God asks in return is that we forgive others in the same way.

Lesson learned: We are not all as different as we appear of pretend to be.

It got me thinking: How have I passed along Christ's forgiveness today?


livin' the sweet life!

Here was my day today:
7:30 - wake up with William. Gggrrr, he was up waaaaay too early, but that's okay - the OLYMPICS are on!
10:30 - Mike gets up and hangs out with Will while I go take a nap
12:30 - wake up from nap and have leftovers from Opening Ceremonies party for lunch (yum!)
1:00 - pick up the house while, you guessed it, watching the OLYMPICS (that really means that I picked up a couple things in the kitchen, then sat on my bootie to play with Will and watch)
4:00 - nap with the little man in the big chair while watching the OLYMPICS (he and I both slept a couple of hours)
7:00 - okay, I HAD to turn the TV off for a little while; Mike went to run; but never fear, we recorded the OLYMPICS and then started it after Mike got back home
11:30 - wouldn't you know it, as soon as we finished watching the prime time coverage, it was time for late night OLYMPICS coverage

I thought about feeling guilty for doing absolutely nuh-thing, but this day will never, ever happen again. I start back to work on Monday :(
so now my brain is absloute mush from lack of activity and stimulation and I am so tired - I need to go to bed.

but before I leave, my top 5 list from the Opening Ceremonies:
5. the cool globe thing with the people running around it
4. Dirk Nowitzki (go Mavs!) had the Olympic Rings shaved in the side of his head
3. The little green men whose costumes lit up with all the lights - I call "dibs" on this for Halloween!
2. The drums - oh my gosh! weren't they just amazing! and there were exactly 2008 of them!
and the #1 highlight form the Opening Ceremonies:
1. The printing press boxes with all the chinese characters on them - I just could not imagine being in one of those boxes, not being able to see what is going on, and knowing exactly when to move! the pictues they created just by moving up and down were amazing - did you catch the water drops?

Anyone have any other "favorite moments"? Please share!


You give me fever!

... Olympic fever, that is!

You might be thinking, "Thank goodness the Olympics are finally here! Maybe she will quit talking about it all the time." No such luck my friends. This is only the beginning. Think of the opening ceremonies as my personal "Call me Ishmael". You cannot ignore what comes after it. Even if you don't like it, you have to know what happens.

(for the record, I absolutely detest Moby Dick. And wouldn't you know it that my Lit. professor at Texas A&M - and yes, they do have literature classes at A&M - wrote his doctoral dissertation on Moby Dick. seriously, we spent a month on that dang book! I read it in high school and in college and STILL couldn't even tell you what it is about other than a boat and a whale, and apparently a guy named Ishmael)

Back to the important stuff...

Friday evening will be a celebration at our house. Including decorations.

By the way, what is wrong with the world when there are no Olympics decorations to be found anywhere? Gggrrrrrr. I am having to improvise. I have been looking forward to this night for long enough, however, that I scooped up a bunch of clearance-priced red/white/blue deco. after the 4th of July. But nuh-thing, and I mean nuh-thing, related to the Olympics.

My sweet husband did manage to track down an olympics t-shirt for me (actually a Team USA Olympics shirt) and you KNOW I will be wearing it tomorrow night. I am still searching for a shirt with the Olympic rings on it - if anyone sees one for sale, please, please let me know!

William will be wearing his cutie 4th of July "Go USA" outfit. (again, nothing for little ones related to the Olympics!) Mike, honestly, does not have the fever like I have the fever so we'll see what he comes up with.


ahhhh, toddler.

lots of whining (and when I say lots, I really mean all the time), super-picky eating (within the last week he has gone from eating everything to next to nothing), total personality becoming apparent (yeah, this kids grins at you when he knows he is in trouble and he even cocks his head to one side to make it extra super-cute), won't go to sleep by himself, etc.

It is as if he thought to himself one day at the end of last week, "Hey! I totally have the power to screw with these people. Let the games begin!"

prayer for the day: patience
(and then I see something like this and I am reminded of all my many blessings...)


Sprouts is open!!

For anyone who lives near us, Sprouts in Richardson is open! (SE corner of Campbell & Coit). It is still a 15 min drive from the house, but WAY closer than north Plano.
The Murphy location (much closer to the house) won't be open 'till October.

If you have never heard of/been to Sprouts, check out their website and definitely visit if there is one anywhere hear you!
We purchased a bunch of produce and treats of the day included yogurt-covered pretzels and dried apple rings! yum!

funny story... Will has learned how to say "yum" when he sees something he likes. Well, as soon as we get in the store, he is saying "mmm, yum" and rubbing his belly at everything he sees. We turn the corner and the wine and beer aisle comes into view. What does my son do? Points at the wine, says, "mmm, yum", and rubs his belly! we got a few looks!

(This picture has nothing to do with Sprouts, but I wanted to put it here because it demonstrates another newly-acquired skill - saying "aaahhhh" with a mouth full of food. A cute trick, maybe. But it actually quite useful when he is chewing on something of unkown origins!)

Thoughts on faith, doubt, and apprehension

So life has taken a turn in the last week or so and it has also revealed a few other things. Last Monday I received a phone call from our district's director of elementary curriculum. Long story short, I have a new job! great professional opportunity, but lots of mixed emotions.
1. guilt - I am leaving my campus only 3 weeks before school starts, and I actually LOVE the job I had
2. excitement - this new position appears to be right in line with some of my eventual career goals
3. apprehension - my new job is literally a NEW job. it was created this summer and as of yet, does not yet have a job description, which leads me to my point....

I have come to the realization that I am a girl who needs a plan. I am most comfortable when I know what I am supposed to do. In the absence of a plan, I am more than happy (in fact I thrive on it!) to make my own plan provided that either 1) I can do whatever I want or 2) I know what the end goal should be. This new job has no plan. I cannot do whatever I want and as of right now, I do not know what the goal is. Hence, the apprehension. I know that all these things will be worked out, but as I wait for the plan, I have come to another realization.
I am a not a girl who sits around and waits. I am in limbo and there is not a darn thing I can do about it. I am not in control of the situation. And for anyone who knows me, you can understand how extremely difficult it was to come to this realization.

Pastor Russ talked about doubt in his sermon at church this past Sunday. Doubt is okay. Doubt is normal. (Click here to listen to the whole thing). The scripture (Mark 9:14-24) was about a man who was asking Jesus to heal his son. At one point the man told Jesus, "I believe. Help my unbelief." Here is where I find myself as well. I believe in God and his grace and mercy. I have too many blessings to count in my life and each one is because of God's goodness. But even then, there is doubt. I don't often put God in charge. Let me rephrase that. I don't often acknowledge that God is in charge. He is "running the show" regardless of what I do and I can find peace and assurance in the fact that he will guide me and watch over me.

And that is what I am working on these days: I believe. Help my unbelief.


5 more days!!!

The Olympics are coming! The Olympics are coming! (yes, you KNOW I had to get the official Olympics widget. and yes, you KNOW I am sooooo excited to have it. and yes, I put it at the top of the blog on purpose!)

5 more days till the opening ceremonies and I have to make sure that all my summer cleaning/projecting is finished because as of 8.8.08, I have one thing do to (other than take care of my family) and that one thing is.... Watch the Olympics!!

check out all the amazing events on the line-up this summer! DVR get ready.... Mike and I have already been calculating how much we can actually store and when we will find time to watch it all!

our piano: brought to you by....

I am embarrassed that I forgot to mention a few important people in the piano post. First, my parents went all the way to Abilene and loaded the piano. Then they drove all the way to Garland. Our friend, Nick, and my brother, Matt, helped Mike unload the piano here at the house.
A big effort by lots of people and we can't say "Thank you!!" enough!

Doesn't this look like fun?

(Click on the picture if you need a larger version)