Friday, November 23, 2007

Grandma Blanche

Well, my grandma passed away a couple of hours ago. I just got off of the phone with my dad. I'm trying not to let the reality sink in by focusing on making plans to travel to the funeral. This is the end of a generation. I've got to end this post before I start really thinking, because thinking means feeling...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Our Version of Thanksgiving Dinner

Sometimes, it is very difficult to live far away from our families. I miss waking up in my parents' home to the sounds of my mom and dad puttering around in the kitchen. My mom would have already prepared most of the side dishes and pies. My dad helps get the turkey roasting & carves it up when it's done. The sound of the mixer beating up some potatoes into mashed potatoes and the smells of turkey & stuffing. When I was growing up, my job was usually to decorate the table and make personalized place cards (no wonder I'm not a great cook!). We pulled out the table cloth & the fancy china to celebrate the occasion. In anticipation of our guests (either family or friends or both), we would light all of the candles and put on some soft music. I remember the smell of the bottom cabinet in my mom's china hutch where we kept the real silverware and the seasonal candles/decor. As my family gathers today without us, my heart is saddened... but I am equally determined to make each holiday a fun event filled with family traditions for my boys. I suppose I have always been a bit non-traditional and so our family traditions follow suit.

We celebrated our 3rd annual Thanksgiving Dinner celebration - EATING OUT! (I'm not a great cook & none of us enjoy the cleanup, plus it's not worth all of the time & energy to make a feast for 5 people... so we let the restaurant do all of the work for us!) Two years ago, we ate at the Black Eyed Pea and it was YUMMY. I'm not a big fan of turkey & I love choosing to eat ham or pot roast instead! Last year, we met my family in Branson to celebrate the holiday and we ate at a yucky old people buffet (no offense to any old people out there!). So, this year we went back to the Black Eyed Pea and it was just as good as we remembered.


Trotted & Stuffed

We took the boys on the 3 mile fun run/walk in downtown Dallas this morning. We all had a great time & got some exercise. I'm always looking for a new family tradition and we may have just had our 1st annual Turkey Trot experience! I'm all for sleeping in & laying around in our PJs, but the Trot was a nice change of pace on a holiday morning. We shared the experience with 30,000 of our closest friends.

We're Off to the Turkey Trot...


Monday, November 19, 2007

Blast from the Past

Some of my favorite pics of Franklin from birth to 15 months old... It seems like so long ago. My baby is 8 years old already - wow!

In the hospital - 1 day old
First Smile
Helping Daddy play cards...
Bathing beauty
Learning to brush his teeth
Great timing... Franklin bonked his head on the fence & I didn't even realize I caught his expression until the film was developed (yes, no digital pics at that time!).


I love every part of my little man.
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Saturday, November 17, 2007

See - I'm not a Yankee! ha, ha

Your Linguistic Profile:
75% General American English
10% Upper Midwestern
5% Dixie
5% Midwestern
0% Yankee
What Kind of American English Do You Speak?

Girlz Nite

The past 2 weeks at work have been very stressful and tensions are running high. Yesterday, 3 of us decided that we really needed a girls night out to relax and enjoy each other's company. We gathered at Wal-Mart in our PJs, bought the necessary supplies (comfort food & drinks) and went to one girl's home. We just ate, drank, relaxed, chatted and then watched a movie together. Oh, and we took a midnight walk to CVS to pick up some salty snacks... Life with good friends is awesome! We need to have a girls night WAY more often!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

very important numbers

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5
1 - 2 - 3
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5
1 - 2 - 3 - 4

When I finished blogging & stalking various blogs for the night, I creep down the stairs in the dark to join my hubby in bed for the night. As I creep down the stairs, I count the stairs and pause at each landing to be sure that I don't miss a step, fall down & hurt myself in the dark. :o)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Annual Portraits

We went to Sears last Saturday for our annual family portraits (Tommie & I opted out of the pic this year!). We don't order school pics, because it is so expensive. Instead, we get Sears pics done in time to send them out for Christmas. I usually make the Christmas card from a snapshot, because it's cheaper. (I'm sensing a thrifty theme here...) Here are two of my fav pics from Saturday's photo shoot... They are lower quality, because I swiped them from the Sears website.

coffee & pajamas

why i love working from home...

Fall Campout

Adventure Guides Fall Campout
Slippery Falls Ranch, Oklahoma
October 12-14, 2007

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Bunko Night!

I LOVE Bunko night!
I've been in the same bunko group for 3 or 4 years now (I lost track...). I would rearrange nearly anything in life to make sure I'm at bunko on the 3rd Monday of each month. Why? I love games, competition, free stuff, and food... but that's not what keeps me coming back. What keeps me coming back are the friendships that have formed over the past 4 years. A few of the bunko ladies are some of the best friends I've ever had. In this busy suburban world that we live in, I look forward to spending a few cherished hours of my month with dear friends. I wish we could spend every day together, but at least we have Bunko night!

Here's an idea for a future bunko night, ladies...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Rough Riders circle

Tommie & the boys are in the middle of an Adventure Guides circle meeting right now. They are meeting at our house today & it's all I can do to not lean over the loft & snap some pics!! :o) A graphic will have to do... I'm trying to be a good mom hostess right now by staying out of the way! ha, ha
Adventure Guides is a program that encourages dads & their kids to be "Friends Forever." They do campouts, rocket launch, archery, BB guns, pinewood derby, pumpkin carving and all sorts of other fun stuff! This is our family's first year to participate & so far - they love it! They get patches for various events & get them sewn onto their vest, so they have a built in "scrapbook" of sorts. So fun!

Thursday, November 8, 2007


i'm whining. i know it. but it's how i feel right now. i HATE allergies. i have never had them in my entire life until now. if i forget to take my allegra every morning, my eyes are itchy & watery by evening. i can hardly see the computer monitor as i type. this stinks! last year, i had a cold for 7 weeks straight and finally went to the doctor. he told me that it could be allergies, but i didn't have problems after that round of antibiotic. this fall, i got bronchitis & a sinus infection. the doctor put me on allegra & now i cannot stop taking it. it has been nearly 60 days already & if i miss one stinking pill, i'm miserable. it's not fair.

okay... whine is over now... we will return to our regularly scheduled blog.

Bye Bye Braces!!

After more than 2 1/2 years, Tommie got his braces off yesterday! Yippee!! I was the one who was thrilled when our $104 monthly payments to the orthodontist ended in the spring. But, Tommie is the one who was truly thrilled when the braces came off yesterday! He has had one tooth battle after another and getting braces was another huge step toward nice teeth & a better self esteem. I'm looking forward to many years of watching him smile. It took prompting this morning to get him to show his teeth while he smiled (as evidenced by the photo!). After 35 years of hiding his teeth, it's a habit he'll have to get used to. :o) Hooray for Tommie!!!

Monday, November 5, 2007

What makes you YOU?

I've been thinking about what makes a person who they are. When you think about who someone is, you naturally think of physical features, as well as personality. When Harrison was born, he was blessed with funky hair, a strawberry birthmark on his back (not many people saw it before it faded away...) and an extra large belly button (umbilical hernia). He has gotten many, many comments on his hair & understandably so!

He has gotten comments on how large his belly button is by unsuspecting people who don't realize that it's not just a large belly button, but a hernia. The doctor told us that it should resolve itself by 2 years old. They also said that if it did not go away, it could be surgically corrected. When Harrison turned 2, they told us that it wasn't a pressing issue, unless it got larger or became a concern socially. This summer, when he attended summer camp, other kids started making comments about his belly button because it was visible when wearing a swim suit. That was the first time Harrison mentioned wishing he had a different belly button.

We have always emphasized to him that certain things make him unique (like his hair) and that if we took away the unique things, we would be diminishing who Harrison is. He has accepted his hair & loves the attention it brings. In fact, when he was younger he told the barber not to cut off his "sticking up hair" (as he lovingly calls it) or no one would know who he was. However, I don't want him to go through life hiding his belly button for fear of ridicule. The opportunity has come with our insurance situation to have the surgery done for free or cheap if we do it before January 1st. I'm nervous about the decision. I don't want to put my 6 year old through surgery for vanity's sake, yet I would do anything to save my child from the broken heart that comes from constant ridicule. We go to the surgeon for a consultation next week. I will ask a million and one questions, pray hard and then we'll have to make a decision. It's now or never...

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Silly Names

Seen it on other blogs... thought it would be fun!

10.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother & father's middle name) Gay Clarence

9. NASCAR NAME: (name of your mother's dad, fathers dad) Duane Melvin

8. STARWARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, any 2 letters of your first name) Payam

7. DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, fav animal) Purple Turtle

6. SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born) Leigh Auburn

5. SUPERHERO NAME: (2nd fav color, fav alcohol drink, add "THE" to the beginning) The Red Pina Colada

4. FLY GIRL/GUY NAME: (1st letter of 1st name, 1st 3 letters of your last) Ayne

3. GANGSTA NAME: (fav ice cream flavor, fav cookie) Vanilla Thin Mint

2. ROCK STAR NAME: (current pets name, current street name) Shack Tanner

1. STRIPPER NAME: (name of your fav perfume/cologne, fav candy) Heavenly Milky Way

Texas Football

I love football! I was a cheerleader throughout junior high & high school and I have grown to love the game. I usually only watch one game on TV each year - the Super Bowl - but I will watch nearly any sport in person. Football is a great sport, but sometimes the high school level isn't that exciting. If you can make a statement like that, you haven't been to a Texas high school football game! Texas Football is a whole other big deal!
My first experience with a Texas football game was the Hebron Homecoming game last year. Wow - of all of the games to go to, homecoming was a zoo! A friend of ours was coaching the freshman team and assisted with the varsity team's games, so we went to support him. I have never seen anything like it. The high school bands around here are state & national champions, so the quality and size of performance is amazing! Someone told me that one of the bands had over 900 kids in it - NINE HUNDRED! My entire high school had 350 kids in it. And, in Texas, BOTH school's bands perform during halftime.
Plus, all of the homecoming mums... Wow! When I was in school, we had mums for homecoming too. It was a pretty white flower worn on the lapel with your school colored ribbons on it. Festive and simple. Not Texas mums!!! Here's a pic of a girl I saw last year at the Hebron game... This mess of ribbons, letters, fluff & stuffed animals?!?! is what they call a mum here in Texas! The mums get so big that you have to hang them around your neck with a thick ribbon or they will rip your shirt off. :o)

Truman & I at Hebron's game last year...

This year - Anna, our favorite babysitter, is in the Marcus HS band, so we wanted to go watch her perform. When game day arrived, Truman and I were the only ones who wanted to go - so we were off to watch Marcus play Hebron. It was a great game! Hebron has won the last 26 straight district games and Marcus was out to prove that they could defeat Hebron. Marcus won 21-10. At halftime, we were entertained by both bands, but again, Marcus proved that they were the better band. Marcus HS band is the defending state champion and they showed us what a state champion performance looks like! Can you find Anna in this picture? :o)

Here's a pic of Truman and myself from this year's game...


Wow... this has been a busy week! The kids had so much fun on Halloween, but we had a hard time taking photos of them this year. I guess we were all so busy having fun! The festivities began with a parade at Truman's school.

Then, we invited our neighbors over to eat pizza and trick or treat together... I'm telling you - sometimes I really wish we had a little girl! Their little princess stole the show at every house! :o)

Here's a pic of all of the "kids" in costume... :o)

The weather was perfect, so we went a lot further into the neighborhood than last year. Hey, more candy to share with mom & dad, right?

Growing up, we didn't celebrate Halloween. I had never dressed up in a costume or gone trick-or-treating until college. Maybe that's why it is still fun & exciting for me too! I understand why my parents took the stand that they did and I respect their decision. However, I am all about spreading the love and the spirit of giving to others. This year, instead of having one person stay home to hand out candy, we "reverse" trick or treated. I took the bucket of candy with us as we walked and handed it out to everyone we saw. It was really fun to see the faces of the people at their houses handing out candy when I handed them some gum in return! Several people said, "No one has ever treated me before!" I loved it!

I still have a hard time when it comes to the evil side of Halloween. It is a struggle to teach the kids that it is okay to dress up and eat candy, but not to emulate evil characters or enjoy scary or disgusting things. I wish we could create a separate holiday where you dress up in fun, nice costumes and hand out candy without all of the death, devils, witches and evil stuff. Where's Hallmark when you need them?!?!?