Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Hot Wheels

Hot Wheels have taken over my home! Really! I've never counted all that we have. Even I, as a math teacher, would have trouble keeping up with the numbers.

You think I'm joking. I sense the laughter behind your eyes. But, there are a few of you who are NOT parents and my husband. You KNOW how my kids LOVE Hot Wheels. Now...I'm not talking a few cars and one little track. No, I'm talking HUNDREDS of cars. My kids have even gone to the extreme of reading the bottom to see if they are true Hot Wheels. Most are...otherwise they are not worth a sniff.

Back to my story: we have cars, trucks, tracks, carries, bigger carriers, games and movies. Did you know that they have Hot Wheels movies? They have at least 3 of them. I would love to be able to loan them to you, but to do so would cause some rift in the cosmos.

Anyway, those of you who are just getting into Hot Wheels need to know a few things. First of all, the cheap tracks are just that, cheap. I have thrown out several tracks...some small and some very large. (Don't worry, Grammy and Gramps, we still have the gorilla track.) Secondly, you need a minor in engineering to be able to put these tracks together according to specified instructions. But a good thing about them is that you can fiddle with it long enough to connect and make the necessary loops and turns.

Investing in Hot Wheels can be expensive. Who knew that these cute little 97 cent toys could become such a "hot" thing around the house. It is good to know a bit about these. To step on one is Painful with a capital "P." It will make a grown man cry to step on a "wagon-car" during a barefoot, midnight run to the little-boys' room. Where a "cheaper" car, not worthy of the Hot Wheels name, would just break under the healthy weight of an adult, the Hot Wheels car will simply pull said adult to his or her knees with tears....both the adult's and the child's as he runs across screaming, "MY CAR!"

The next lesson that must be learned is the lingo. This is far more difficult to learn. My children are fluent in the terms, and my hubby (who is quite versed in BS) is also good....much to my chagrin and to my children's delight. The common child, sadly, is not so well-versed. My children still do not understand why friends, theirs and ours, do not know what Nitrox 1, 2, or 3 is. Even worse is the fact that my hubby has defined Nitrox These terms are even unknown to the Hot Wheels "people."

Now all I have to do is convince my kids that cars aren't meant to be driven the way they are in the movies. They need to learn that Nitrox doesn't really exist....or does it?

Monday, June 26, 2006

Swimming lessons

It amazes me that there are adults out there who don't know how to swim. While growing up, I took swimming lessons. Not just one year, but I took several years...up to the point of diving and water safety and such.

My parents were never worried for me to go with friends to the pool. I don't remember a lot of adults hovering over their kids. They sat in the bleachers, behind a fence at the end of one of the 3 pools. Now, there was the baby pool - that's where some parents were. But, kids 5 and up? Nah.

Anyway, I have all 4 of my boys in lessons. We are all in the pool at the same time, but in different groups. I do lessons with my baby, who just turned 1 a few weeks ago. He loves the water. I have such fond memories of being in the water...almost ALL the time (lakes, rivers, pools). I want my boys to have the same memories. I want to be fear-free because they learned appropriate behavior around pools.

As I was bouncing my baby in the water and going deeper (a whole 4 7 year old can touch at that depth) 2 of the adults, with fear in their faces, stated that they couldn't swim. Now when I say fear, I mean the deer in the headlights look. You know, wide-eyed, color drained from their faces and their voices quivering. When the water got over our hips, they started to wimper that they didn't swim. What? Can't you even dog-paddle? Hmmmmm.....

I don't even know what to say to that?

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Going Bald

Well, I'm not REALLY going bald. I mean, I'm pulling my hair out. My children are a bit crazy today.

There are a few reasons, but the biggest has to do with their father. He is a pilot. He flew out this morning. He was gone before we even woke up. It seems that his first day out is a really bad day in the house. I don't know why as our schedule doesn't change otherwise.

As we speak (at 11:37 a.m.) my kids have all been put into time-out. They have received swats for various offenses. They have gotten into fights with each other, yelled at me because they can't be heard over a fight going on AND spilled milk. *sigh* I haven't even had a shower yet.

Thank you, God, for blessing me with 4 very normal, healthy little boys.

Until later.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Am I Crazy?

OK. I have a problem. Not a problem that one would go to an advisor for some counsel. But, a true problem that I don't know how to fix. I can't even pinpoint the problem. I'll just explain it. Maybe there is some sage wisdom out there for me.

So here goes....I'm walking through Walmart today doing a bit of shopping. If you remember, we were having company tonight. I (we) fixed a GOOD dinner: barbecue chicken, broccoli and rice casserole, grilled squash and zucchini, cucumber and tomato salad with fresh basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar and garlic TX toast. YUMMY! We had key lime pie and chocolate silk pie for dessert. I digress.....I'm walking through Walmart getting groceries for the aforementioned meal. We (my hubby and I) are in a bit of a hurry. We had been to workout at the Y, gone to the library and other errands. We knew that we needed to get the shopping done and get home. My dh needed to mow part of the yard and he needed at least an hour. Our house was a disaster (still is, but not in "company areas") and I needed to prepare meal things on top of it all.

SO, what do I find myself doing? LOOKING FOR A BOOK ON QUILTING!!!! HELLOOOOO!!! I don't quilt. I only OWN quilts. I don't know how to piece together anything, much less stitch it, stuff it and quilt it! But, NO, I was determined that I wanted to learn how to quilt, and by golly, I needed to do it TODAY!

The good thing was that I couldn't locate a "how-to" book. I know they are out there, I just couldn't find it. So, as I go across the store to the grocery section, I wander through the appliances area just in case they have a sewing machine. I'd like to make curtains and pillow shams and such, but....You guessed it...I DON'T SEW!!!!

UGH! See?????? I have a serious problem! I have about 25 loads of laundry to do something with. (That is sadly not an exaggeration.) I have floors to mop, diapers to change, babies to bath, kids to read to, children to sing with, meals to prepare, swimming lessons to attend, books to read.....So many things. Now I want to sew and quilt? Oh my gosh....I'm losing it!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Me Time

Do you claim enough "me time" in your life? Sometimes I think I get too more than I deserve. Other times, I feel that I need a lot more. It's hard, especially for women, I think.

Doing this thing here (the blog) is one form of "me time" that I'm trying to incorporate daily. I do get on the computer every day....except when I'm on vacation, obviously. I check a few blogs, and then a few message boards, then I do my own blog. It helps for me to write out my thoughts...I feel more "in control."

The problem I have is with time. Any mother knows that seldom is her time her own. I can't even sit and have a casual lunch because I have to make chocolate milk, juice cups, actual lunches, get the baby going on lunch, go mop up spilled chocolate milk, refill a juice cup, take care of the baby's "uh-oh" and so on. I find that I'm getting more and more stressed at meal time. I would love for the family to sit around the table and enjoy each other...but that is so hard, and so far from reality in my house.

Don't get me wrong. I'm certainly not making excuses. I know that in order for it to happen, I have to make it so. With that being said, I've determined that my "me time" is for getting my house in order. I don't mean cleaning or laundry; though that certainly always needs to be done. I mean that I will sit and work on projects, map out thoughts, coupons...whatever to make my daily life run more smoothly.

If you have read my profile, I have stated something to the fact that I'm trying to be more like the Virtuous Woman. Please don't laugh...I'm dead serious. Those of you who don't know to whom I'm referring, please read Proverbs 31. It is a wonderful "advice column." A talk between a mother and a son. The mother is instructing her son on the type of woman he should marry. She (the woman, not the mom) is so hard to attain, in my mind. But, that is my goal.

With that being said, I'm currently working on a household notebook. I'm one of those analytical people who likes to have everything in black and white. It makes me feel a bit more in control. So, my goal for this week (and very possibly the rest of June) is to sit each evening for an hour and gain control of my schedule. Kids thrive on schedules. They should be on one, but I'm so disorganized that I'm having issues with it.

I don't like to waste time. And it's easy for me to consider the "me time" a waste of time. But I feel that if I spend this time, by myself, but for my family, I will finally be able to look around and feel, somewhat, that I have things a bit more together.


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Honey, I'm Home!

Well, we FINALLY made it back home. That was the longest 6 hours of our entire travels. I've so enjoyed our vacation, but I'm SO glad that it is over. Now the work begins again and we have to try to get back to normal.

The first thing we did, upon arrival, was run by the store for some supplies. I have a lot to get still, but we had NOTHING to eat and we are so tired of eating out. That "junked out" feeling is really old. I made "hobo-packs" and a batch of brownies....I know that is a bit "junkie" but we have to have dessert, right? :D

We got home to a hot house (2 1/2 weeks without A/C), but everything was in order. My 2nd son and I went out to check our garden. I picked a lot of cherry tomatoes, some zucchini, okra and beans. Speaking of zucchini, does ANYONE know how to get rid of squash bugs? BLECH! They are all over one of my plants. If you have any advice, please respond in the comment section. By the way, I'm totally organic, so no chemicals, please.

I fixed our dinner then started going through the mail...not really reading, but tossing the junk and separating into piles: my piles of coupons and magazines and DH's pile of everything else. We had a bunch, that's for sure.

Bedtime is the battle at the moment. I know...not for me, as I'm "blogging", but my DH has been putting everyone down and I've been offering my support by yelling "lie down, now." LOL!

It is 9:30 and we have to go to bed. We are so stinkin' tired. I think I will lie down with a pad of paper and a pen. I need to make a few lists of things to do. Yes, laundry will be on the list, I'm sure. It's perpetually on my list!

I'm hoping that within the next week or 2 I can kind of tweak this stuff. I would like to share a few of the places that I try to visit each day, as well as incorporate some ideas from other sites. If anyone is really good at this and can kind of guide me, PLEASE let me know. There is one site that has a Q and A time. Kind of neat...though I wonder if anyone would actually have any "Q's" for me.

Well, it's 9:34 now and I need to move my rump! Until tomorrow.

Monday, June 19, 2006

T Minus 16 hours and counting.....

....until we are home. I'm so ready. But before I say what I want to say, I need to get one issue out of the way.

I was rereading last night's entry.... YES, I KNOW that that there are a few errors. So hard for a teacher (who has a specialization in Language Arts) to PLEASE don't feel the need to correct me. Keep in mind that my brain is still on California time AND I haven't had a decent night's sleep since June 1st. that I have that out of the answer to some of the comments to yesterday's entry, YES, Ms. KNOW you are one I'm speaking of. Love you BUNCHES!

So, tomorrow at about 9:00 CST, we will load the FTU and start heading back to North Texas. I'm SOOOO ready, but am feeling that anxious feeling in my chest of all the things that I need to do. Sadly, I kind of thrive on that feeling. Hmmmm, I need to change things, don't I? Laundry, which is the BANE of my existence, will forever loom before me. I just have a ton for EVERY person to catch up on. YUCK! It is crazy the laundry that I have to do CONSTANTLY, but hey...clean undies are very important to my family :D

Wednesday, my dh and I will be meeting with our children's pastor....meaning the pastor over the children's department. We (my dh and I) are the CE coordinators for our church and we have been gone for 3 Sundays. I have a lot to do for that. I need teachers, subs and ideas for our kids, which number just under 200.

Thursday, we'll meet with some very dear friends of ours. We haven't met with them in MONTHS. The great thing about the meeting, besides good fellowship, is the pressure to have a clean house. I have decided that I need company at least once a week in order to kind of hold my feet to the fire, you know?

Friday...oh my, could it be that I have nothing? Surely something is escaping me. I KNOW that I have something to do. Maybe it's just all the stuff that I have to laundry.

I have a lot of piddly things, like laundry, that I'll have to do to prepare for the weekend. I need to call all the Sunday school teachers to make sure that they don't need any supplies. Also, my oldest son turns 7 on Sunday. My parents are coming out to church then to lunch. We'll have a birthday party for DS #1 and for DS #4, who turned 1 on the 7th.

With all that being said, I'm suddenly very tired, and VERY aware of the need to go to bed TODAY so that I may get up TOMORROW to start all of this stuff.

Those of you who DO read...thank you for sharing in my thoughts. This is somewhat therapeutic, so those of you who don't write or journal, should try it out.

God bless.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

All good things must come to an end.

We are finally on the last leg of our vacation. Thank goodness. Don't get me has been good. But, OH so long.

My last entry found us in birthday cupcakes and repair garages. It was a bit uneventful from then on out....relatively, anyway.

Thursday, my DH and his dad drove BACK to Yuma to pick up an improved van. They got back and we went to the San Diego Zoo...well, not THE zoo, but a part of the zoo that is kind of a wildlife refuge. It was good because there was a train around most of the park. It took a bit to get back into the swing of things because of all the money and time spent on the FTU.

One of the highlights of the trip was my going out to NC to meet some friends in real life. There is a wonderful group of ladies whom I've been chatting with, and getting to know, on-line since September of 2002. We FINALLY got to the point where we could meet. Sadly, the entire group could not join us....pregnancies, distance and family sickness were some of the obstacles. But there were 6 of us who met for the first time. It was a bit surreal, to say the least. No....nobody was weird...well, maybe a little, but no worse than my own personal weirdness. Anyway, the first fear was dashed when I saw that these ladies were normal. My dh has been teasing me that these ladies were really old men in "wife-beater" t-shirts trying to lure me into their lair of filth and deception. Well, 3 years is a bit long to try to trick me, so I felt comfortable meeting them. It was a LOT of fun. I really liked everyone....2 of the people I thought I'd kind of clash with were such blessings to meet. I feel such a bond with these ladies, now. Love you all, April 2003 Mommies.

The day after I flew BACK to LAX from Charlotte, we went to Legoland. Totally neat. It's no Disneyland, but seeing as how are kids are 6 and under, this other park was perfect. It was a lot of fun. The day after that, we started our trek back east via Flagstaff, Albuquerque, Borger and Odessa.

We drove up to the Grand Canyon. The boys couldn't give a rat's rump for the canyon. I was overwhelmed with it's beauty, but my dh and I couldn't share it at the same time because we had to keep the kids in the FTU. (they scared us too much with their lack of understanding of physics and depth perception.)

So, let's see...we saw the crater in Odessa, TX (did y'all know there was a meteor crater there?) We saw the Grand Canyon then the Meteor Crater in AZ. A bunch of holes. LOL! The Meteor Crater was SO fact, I would put it at number 2 on my list of highlights for my trip. (I know...I'm weird)

At this point in time, I'm sitting in Odessa, TX trying to get this entry done (the computer is not cooperating, so I'm cutting this short....HOPEFULLY to be back tomorrow or Tuesday). We will go see my grandparents tomorrow and start the 300 mile drive back to North Texas. (I say 300, the normal driver is thinking, "hmmm...300 roughly 70 mph, they should be home in approximately 4 1/2 hours. BUT, dear reader, let me remind you that I have 4 kids, ages 6, 5, 3 and 1 PLUS a rider (me) who needs a Dr Pepper every 100 miles or so, thus calling for'll take us 9 hours EASY!)

I hope to be back in the next day or 2. When I'm more refreshed, I hope to be more interesting. I'm sure my next few entries will talk about all the stuff that I have to do to catch up with my life. Oh boy...are YOU in for a treat.

See you in a day or two.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Does ANYONE miss me?

OK....since I have no idea of the readership of this blog, I assume that the only person who noticed my absence was myself. Kind of sad. I feel like I'm talking to space, but some times, there is a "point of light" that makes a comment. I love those.

Friday, we left for vacation. We will be gone for about 18 days. Kind of hard to leave for that long. We are currently in southern California. The trip has not been without it's issues. (all of our vacations have had one snafu or another....We have a precedent to uphold.)

Our first overnight on the road found us in west Texas...home of Taco Villa. Despite the fact that we had already eaten, and despite the fact that we weren't hungry, we decided that just one burrito (each) was warranted. YUM YUM!

We had a great time in NM with my best friend, Miss K. (love ya, girl! miss you already.) Then we headed to Yuma, AZ. HOT! OMG! Of course, it IS a dry heat, but sometimes it doesn't's just plain hot. It was so hot that the hot tub was the same as the ambient temp. BLECH! BUT, kids were happy, swimming was great, the, but with happiness in our steps, we went to our FTU (family-transport unit...a.k.a. "purple van") and went for some ice cream. We drove 1/2 block before we realized we had big troubles. Our transmission is SHOT. So...we had to leave said FTU in AZ, rent another FTU and spend $3000 for a new transmission. GULP! Hope you kids didn't want any souvenirs.

BUT, with all that said, we are so VERY thankful to God for his obvious hand on us and our adventure! A big difference 10 miles or 10 minutes would have made. If you have never been that FAR OUT (west, I mean) you need to understand that there is a stretch of highway for around 75 miles of NOTHING! Even the dust devils are trying to escape. We could have been one of the countless vehicles stranded on the side of the road in 100+ degree heat with 4 kids.

Speaking of baby turned 1 today. I'm beside myself! How in the world can this baby be 1? We did the obligatory chocolate cupcake with thick frosting. (thanks, mom-in-law)...and he would have NOTHING to do with it. The only mess he made was on his leg by crawling to his father as he tried to get the camera.

In my hometown, it is now tomorrow. I guess that is my cue to leave. I will try to be back in a few days. It will probably be Tuesday. Tomorrow will find us at the zoo. (granted...we live IN a zoo, but I mean the kind with animals....real ones.) On Friday, I'm flying out to the east coast to meet (IRL) some great gals! Pray for all of us as we will be traveling from various states. Not only do we want safety, but we would like to like each other in person. LOL.

Finally...if you are the praying type, please pray for some friends of mine. I can't reveal names, but I have 3 dear friends who are struggling with various "mother" type things.
To misses B, E, and L, you know who you are, I'm praying for you! I love you!

I shall return soon.

Friday, June 02, 2006

My kids

My children are having issues today. Issues that could result in pain....not my pain. I won't feel thing. I'm trying to take everything in stride as I know they are SUPER excited to be leaving in a few hours.

The big disappointment is going to come when they realize that our destination won't actually be reached until Tuesday....NOT tonight. They have no concept of distance/time. It'll be interesting.

I've armed myself....adequately, I hope for any problems. Not only do we have clothing, clean undies, toothbrushes and meds, but we have the necessities: Magna doodles (a.k.a. "draws"), crayons, coloring books, note pads, pencils, flash cards, toy cars, pillows, books, "bankies", sippy cups, cheerios, sodas, juice pouches, snack bags, popcorn, nuts, gum, magazines, dvd player, movies, video games and cell phones. I even went to the dollar store and spent $41 on new and fun things for when the kid get board with the above. I hope I packed enough.

The worst thing is going to be the many "sanity" stops we make. When we first pack the FTU (that stands for "Family Transport Unit"....I REFUSE to drive a minivan) it is packed with the care and forethought of a NASA engineer. Everything fits like a puzzle. Gone are the days of 1 we have 3 suitcases, 3 tote bags (not book totes, but packing totes) 4 book tote bags and 2 of the GIANT ziplocs full of toys and puzzles. Oh back pack full of books. Then we have the walmart sacks full of "consumables." This will take about 40 minutes to load up due to the care that will need to be taken to ensure that 6 people can sit comfortably and safely...all the while making sure the whole aerodynamics of the van....*ahem* FTU are not compromised.

Fast forward 3 weeks. Aerodynamics are OUT THE DOOR! We will now have WM sacks of, not consumables, but of dirty undies. We will question HOW we got everything into the FTU in the first place AND we will just hope that we make it back to Texas with 4 boys.....Bonus if they are all ours.

Please keep us in your prayers as we travel. We not only want safety, but sanity. AND it would be a nice touch if we all had fun and enjoyed each other's company.

God bless....I'll "see" y'all in a few days.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


Well, tomorrow is the day that we leave for vacation. I'm not convinced that the world won't completely shut down in my absence. However, I'm confident in the fact that there will be major problems in which my counsel will be needed, but will be unavailable.

It is very hard for a woman....well, this one anyway, to leave her home for a long period of time. I don't know how I'm going to manage, to be honest. I know it's dumb, these feelings that I have, but I don't like change. (Even minor changes like a small vacation make me feel anxiety coming on.)

When in my own home, I can at least pretend that I'm in control of things. If something goes out of control (and believe me, it often does) I have the tools to deal with it. I know what and where my resources are. When out on the road....well, there are so many things to deal with: so many UNPLANNED things to deal with. THAT drives me crazy.

Another of my problems is my inability to focus on stuff. You know, I used to laugh at my grown-up friends who said they had adult ADD. Whatever! I thought that they were just making up an excuse for not being so "in control." This week, I decided that I have adult ADD! If I plan to accomplish one thing, it gets put on hold because of the 4 other things I have to do first. That's my problem with getting ready for our vacation. All I need to do is pack....but I have to fold clothes first. One would think that I should only fold AND pack the clothes we're taking....but what if some of the dirty ones need to go on the trip? I need to WASH clothes. While gathering clothes to wash, I notice the bathroom trash spilling over. Guess I should take that out. YUCK! You should see my floor! It needs to be wiped down badly.

HA! My hubby swears up and down that I will do ANYthing to avoid folding clothes. I guess he's right.