Couch Potato

If The Backyardigans attempt to teach my toddler the fun of playing outside and using his imagination, then why does he choose to sit on the couch and still watch TV?

Something isn't working.


No Place Like Home

Before turning in Sunday night I looked to Steve and said, "You know, there is a point during a vacation when you are ready to come home."

We both agreed it was that time. After touring San Antonio's Riverwalk and much more, we were ready to close the book and head for home. Vacations are known to do that, huh? The only thing holding me back: parting with my dear friend, Kristi. Thanks for the hospitality, girlfriend, and one day we'll be back with the whole family.

We returned to a full blanket of snow, flannel sheets and winter coats. (May I remind you the temperature in Texas reached 90. Oh, yes, 90!) Our main computer's monitor is on the fritz, so you'll have to wait for photos. Right now my boys are sleeping like angels and I anticipate my "sticky hand hugs" any minute..........


"Howdy Y'All!"

After leaving our snow dusted town Thursday morning, we got off our plane and Steve immediately said....

"It's stinkin' hot here!"

Yes, we are in San Antonio, y'all! Home of the Riverwalk, The Spurs, great food and The Alamo.

It's sunny and almost 80 here. Flowers in February? Yes, I tell you!

I can go on about the weather and quiet time with my hubby. I guess I will take this opportunity to brag about Steve surprising me with a spa treatment tomorrow afternoon. (Happy be-lated Valentines Day!). I will also gush about the hotel's whirlpool and taking long hot showers without worrying if Mark got into our office's stash of highlighters. (Our hotel's bath products smell so good, even that is a spa treatment!)

Yes, I can go on about these things. These wonderful, pampering, rejuvenating things. But I miss my boys tremendously. I catch myself watching home movies still stored in our digital camera and blowing kisses to the screen. I love my kids to pieces and can't wait for their sticky hand hugs when we arrive back home. I'll take our cold, dreary Midwest weather for that!



And I am talking south to San Antonio! It's been three years since Steve and I vacationed alone and this Thursday we are heading to the Lonestar State for the NASSP convention (4 days). My very close friend lives down there and I cannot wait to see her and figure out why she left the cold, snowy Midwest for cowboy hats and rodeos. (Maybe because the highs will be in the 70's?)

So these next fews days I have lists to make, clothes to organize and packing to tackle. Until then, come back ya'all for some updates from The Alamo.....



Happy Hearts Day

Steve and I are not big "card holiday" celebrators. I can't remember a Valentine's Day when we made plans for a date and Sweetest Day usually passes with both of us forgetting about it. Our expectations are pretty low, huh? Tonight we may do Outback's curbside take-out. (Matt loves their ribs and if my boys are happy, we are happy.) Besides, I am a firm believer in every day should be Valentine's Day......or Mother's Day or Sweetest Day or Father's Day......

Yesterday I slaved over making treats for Matt's class party: gluten free sugar cookies (Pictured here) Pamela's mix never fails!

And if anyone has advice on how I can keep Mark from stripping down to his bare bottom before he goes to sleep, please fill me in. Finding him in a pool of urine these past few mornings isn't pleasant -- for him or me! Last night I checked him before Steve and I hit the hay. Again, he was naked as a jaybird (bed dry, thank God) and half asleep while I put his PJ's back on. He apologized, "Sorry, mommy, pants stay on." I tell you, this kid......

So I hope your Valentine's Day is a good one. HUGS!


Which Is Worse?

Steve threw out a question that stopped my thoughts dead in their tracks. We were in the middle of dicussing Senator Grassley (Iowa) and his investigation of several televangelists' finances. Now do I have a problem if a Pastor drives a German-made car? I guess not. But how that comes across to others needs to be considered. I'm not saying small luxuaries here and there are in a sense bad. I mean, it's ok to have some things - it's all about balance, people! But private jets, Rolls Royces, boats, expensive vacations, multiple homes, high-end hotel stays and then they expect a church to pay a pretty penny for them to visit seems kinda strange to me. Like they are celebrities instead of servants of the Lord. No accountablity along with withholding the full list of funds from the givers who work hard for that money, which really isn't their money anyway, but God's, is a church that is asking to be probed and looked in to. I can't blame this Senator, really. I can go on and on about how I feel these leaders are knee deep in pride doo-doo, but I am not God, He is, and I'll leave the judging to Him.

So in the midst of this conversation Steve makes a profound statement: If we are going to put these church leaders under the microscope and slap their hands for living lavish lifestyles, then what about celebrities like Britney Spears, Amy Winehouse, Snoop Dog, Paris Hilton and sooooo many more that get an enormous amount of money, get in major trouble, but society feeds into their addictions and problems by giving them more. Isn't it better to think that these church leaders are preaching the gospel of Christ in the midst of lavish living, then these out-of-control celebrities that are billboards for godlessness and worldly behavior? Where's the accountablity there? (May I remind you that Winehouse won a Grammy last night. Interesting, but no surprise.)

Steve wasn't excusing these televangelists, but making a valid point. So I throw his question out to you. Comment away!


I Couldn't Ask For More

Matt and I jammed to Toby Mac on the way to our bowling date. We ate chocolate. I got a strike on my first frame -- amazing, seriously! Without bumpers Matt impressed me with a spare. And to top our date off Matt's name was picked first to choose from a table full of prizes. Wanna know what I got? Little Debbie Heart-Shaped Brownies (That'll go well with a good Meg Ryan movie one night this week.) I kept yelling, "Look for something spelled S-P-A!" But what kid would pass up sweets? Not my Matt!

When asked what was his favorite part of the day was Matt replied, "Spending time with my mommy."

Enough said.


Does This Reflect Me?

Create your own personality painting here!

(Thanks, Steph, who got the idea from Jen in the first place.)


Off Me

This has been a whirlwind of a week. First Matt's illness and then Mark needed to see the doctor because his right ear was hurting. Since he has tubes, I needed to make sure they were still in place and working properly. Yes, he has an ear infection and, yes, the tubes are there just the right one was clogged with wax. Ah! Case solved.

So another birthday for me came and went. No surprises or major presents. Just another day. Steve has been busy like a beaver tackling projects. I admit feeling a bit sorry for myself lately. Most of our plans have failed because of my dad's recovery, my boys' health and/or Steve's work schedule This morning was MOPS and I missed it to take Mark to the doctor. I am learning once again about sacrifice. That this life doesn't always center around my needs, but others'. Not only is that ok, but necessary in order to put my focus where it should be and get what matters straight. I thought again and found blessings in other areas:
  • My boys slept thru the night despite sore ears and cough spasms.

  • Last night we ate dinner at Culvers as my day-after birthday present. I didn't need a candlelight dinner or some fancy place to dine. As long as I don't have to cook or clean up, I'm happy.

  • I am thankful my boys do well in public. Sometimes they get wound up, but overall, they sit down, eat and wipe their own faces. Mark is so curtious that he waves good-bye to everyone and says, "Thank you!"

  • We aren't knee-deep in rain water or snowed in. The weather is so abnormal this season, isn't it?

  • Mark loves, and mean loves, going to the doctor. When Matt went earlier this week, Mark got all bent outta shape not because he was being checked, but because he wasn't. This is coming from a 2 1/2 year-old! Go figure, but I'll take it!

  • Target is directly across from our pediatrician's office and I never wait over 20 minutes for a prescription unlike a famous pharmacy chain I know. And I do flips over their liquid medicine's dispenser: a syringe!

  • This Saturday Matt and I are going to our town's mother/son bowling party. It's a date I anticipate every year during this "heart month". Next year I'll have two Valentines to take. Double the pleasure, double the fun!

  • Walmart's generic coffee is as good as any expensive brand -- even Starbuck and Seattle's Best! That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.

  • That we own a minivan. Those automatic doors are so helpful.

  • Halls Breezers make my throat feel oh, so good.

  • Foaming hand soap and sanitizer make washing little hands, and mine, fast and easy!

There ya have it. I feel better just typing this. Have a great weekend!


Another Year Added

Ok, let me just get this out in the open. Today is my birthday. I am 34 today. Yes, 34 years of dealing with this thing called me. And what a journey my life has been thus far. It only proves, again, how faithful and merciful God is.

I am not one that enjoys opening gifts that are designated for me. At my wedding and baby showers, nothing made me more uncomfortable than sitting in the hot seat unwrapping one present after another. It's just too much! I am not sure why I am like this, but it is what it is. And don't get me started on receiving compliments. Ick. But allow me to sit back and watch others be drenched with surprises and blessings, well, that's a whole different story. Who doesn't love that?

And usually on or around my birthday someone goes ill. Two years ago my boys were struck with the flu and my dad called that day with his cancer diagnosis. It was a birthday I choose to forget! This year it's Matt, who ended his perfect attendance streak with a barking cough, fever and ear infection. He was so disappointed, but there is more to his education than perfect attendance. We both got over it.

These photos were taken Sunday during our Super Bowl celebration. Just a glimpse of our family around the house enjoying one another -- the best present ever in my opinion! Matt savored his can of Pepsi, while Mark swam in the nacho dip. We ate and cheered the NY Giants on. What a game by the way!!! (You'll have to excuse Matt's mouth full of corn chips. Boys can be so gross!)

Some advice: Next time you decide to hold the camera backwards to take a snapshot like I did here, don't hold your head back. HELLO, DOUBLE CHIN!!!


Before You Eat That Paczki....THINK!

WARNING: This post is opinionated. The words expressed are from my thoughts and my thoughts alone. But I just had to say something!

As I was driving down our main highway this morning I saw a sign in front of a bar blinking: "FAT TUESDAY! COME AND CELEBRATE!"

What is it about today that gives people the right to indulge in gluttony, which is sin? It screams, "Let's live it up because soon we have to live upright and start lent, so let's have a big drunken fest with the world while we can!" This attitude sickens me, not to mention how it makes God feel. To allow such behavior every year prior to lent is a slap to our Savior's face. So hypocritical. So abusive of his grace, which Jesus freely gave to all. I was stewing in my minivan as I read and then reread the sign's message in my mind. I guess I will let The Gospel According to Matthew have the last word:

"You're hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You burnish the surface of your cups and bowls so they sparkle in the sun, while the insides are maggoty with your greed and gluttony. Stupid Pharisee! Scour the insides, and then the gleaming surface will mean something." Matthew 23:25-26 (The Message)



I sure take it for granted and today I am thankful to be movin' and groovin' in this shell God gave me. There are many people I care about that are battling illnesses. From Stephanie that is getting over a nasty infection to my dear friend, Stacey, that battles symptoms of lupus and let's not forget my dad is slowly recovering from his recent crisis. And I think about soon-to-deliver Sheryl dealing with a cruddy cold and can't take cold medicine to get needed rest. It seems everywhere I turn I am hearing news of another cancer diagnosis or someone bed riddened with a virus or infection. Please, God, remind me that:

"He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases." Psalm 103:3

Comfort these I know, Lord. Give them peace and let them know they are in Your hands.