Saturday, June 26, 2010

We Survived VBS

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I just want to know why it is that three and a half hours of VBS completely wipes out a family. Okay, well add to that yet another tonsillitis and a three day headache and you've got part of your answer. Still though. It's crazy the way VBS is so exhausting!

That said though, I LOVED VBS this year! Really really loved it! We used Group's program, which was High Seas Expedition. I was in charge of crafts for the K-6th grade. I'm going to guess we had about 200 kids this year, I never got the actual number. I loved working in crafts. I would NEVER have imagined that I would have loved it. I should mention - the director did a LOT of the crafts works - like choosing the crafts and ordering them. For my part, I got a list of what crafts we were doing and a bagful of the supplies we would need. SUPER EASY. And because I'm all about easy, I loved it.

All three of my kids enjoyed VBS this year too. Brendan missed a couple of days due to sickness, but he had a great time while he was there. Madelyn really got into the crazy dress days, as did Gabbi. This is likely Gabbi's last year as a VBS student, which is kind of bittersweet. She's in this weird grade thing - we'll be doing 7th grade with her at home, but she's in 6th for SS and AWANAs, so she could really go either way next year - student or helper. HM ... wonder which one she would choose, if she is given the choice, my "in a rush to grow up" child ...

I have about a million pics on my camera right now; I haven't uploaded a single one all week. You can look for a picture post sometime next week. For now, I spent TWENTY WHOLE HOURS at VBS over the course of a week and I'm wiped out. ;)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Okay, I Think I Can Talk About It Now

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Toy Story 3, that is.

I loved it. I really really loved it.

OH MY though. It made me teary within the first few minutes. Somewhere in the first half, the teariness changed to real tears. Then those gave way to more tears. At the end THE UGLY CRY was threatening to come out. I TRIED to restrain myself, and it was tough.

Sitting there with quite possibly the biggest Toy Story fan on the planet, and also with my big girl who is just now at the age where she has much more use for her cell phone and music than toys, well, it was just bittersweet.

I think every mom and dad need to see this movie. Time really does go by too quickly and the reminder to hold on to those moments is so timely.

Okay, if I type more along these lines, I'll be crying again. You all know all of this anyway.

One more thing though -- I think I have a crush on Spanish Buzz. He's hot.

Friday, June 18, 2010


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Gabbi's first dance class, September 2001. She was 3 and not terribly excited about me taking her pic, if you didn't already notice that.

I am a professional recital mom. NINE of them as a mom. Several as a child. I love recitals. L O V E them. I really do, no sarcasm there. The lead-up to recital I'm not as crazy about, but actual recital night? Love it. I love the smell of hairspray and the frantic preparing for any tights emergency that might come up. To this day, if I smell spray paint, I remember being a child at recital and having spray-painted shoes. (I'm guessing that's not done anymore. I never had to spray paint any of the girls shoes!)

Madelyn's first recital, Gabbi's second year at Excel.

Last night we went to a friend's recital. It reminded me a lot of our first recital. Gabbi was three years old, we lived in Bryan, TX, and she took dance at Suzanne's School of Dance. HUGE dance school. H U G E! Suzanne was a godly lady who looked at her school as a ministry. Our only experience with her was in the tots class, but it was apparent that she loved those kids! She prayed over them and got to know them (no simple feat because there were so many of them!) and just loved them.

Recital, 2006

Gabbi's first recital ... she was 3. I have never once watched the video without tearing up. The tots class was separated into three groups of about 25 kids each. Each group came on, did their dance, and then skipped off so the next group could come in. 75 three year olds. Got that in your mind? 25 in red, 25 in white, 25 in blue. (It was 2002, patriotic themed recital.) Gabbi's group was on, and they were doing what tots do. Skip, go over positions, chausse, lots of little girls moving all over the stage. Gabbi's group was supposed to get into groups of two or three and chausse to the back, and then back to the front. This would have worked out perfectly had they come out on stage in the proper order. They didn't. So, when the girls got into groups, one little girl was left out of her group. All the groups chausse'd to the back and one little girl was standing at the front by herself. This was my sweet girl. I have not a single doubt in my mind that if it had been my second girl, she would have done her own little dance there, accepting the spotlight and reveling in it. Girl number one though, she had a little panic. Her group looked around and said "hey, we're supposed to have three and we only have two!" and ran up, holding hands, and grabbed Gabbi and pulled her back. You could see the relief on Gabbi's face. It really was so sweet! The audience clapped for her.

Recital, 2007

So now, all these years later, my girls had what was probably their last recital. I cried, I admit it. Looking particularly at my big girl, remembering that three year old and yet seeing a confident and beautiful girl who didn't miss a step ... amazing. And then my younger girl ... who has not had a fabulous year in dance this year. She pulled it together and did great at recital. As I suspected, recital made her change from hating dance to wanting to take again. That child LOVES the stage!

And 2008 - I called this the C3PO costume.

We've had lots of dance instructors through the years - Suzanne, Miss "Bessany", Ms. Sandy, Ms. Delania, Ms. Terri, Ms. Kathryn, Ms. Abby, and mostly Ms. Kayla - who taught Madelyn for the whole six years she took dance. Every single one has made an impact on our lives, and we are thankful for each and every one!

2009, I think this was dress rehearsal

I'll bet I'm going to be really sad this time next year to not have sequins to glue on or costumes that need to be stapled together or short bangs that somehow need to be stuck into a bun. In some aspects, it will be a relief, but in others ... I'm really going to miss it!

Recital (dress rehearsal again), 2010

These are just random pics on my computer. My scanner hates me and the first couple of years were taken with a film camera. I wish I could show you how precious Gabbi was at her first recital!

eta: ROFL~!! As my dad pointed out, he sent me a couple of pics from my dancer days! Because I didn't have my hideous glasses on in either of these pics, I'm sharing them. :-P

Thursday, June 17, 2010

What's the Point?

Pin It Okay, so I've been driving myself a little crazy lately with my blog. I'm pressuring myself to post more frequently and I don't even know why! I mean, if I don't have anything to say, I don't have anything to say, so why force it?

This has gotten me to wondering what the point is of my blog. Why do I blog? I don't put a ton of pics here, so it's not a place to store pics. I post about life things here, but I don't want to get *too* personal, so lately I've been holding off on that. Basically it's a mish-mash of whatever I feel like posting, whenever I feel like posting it. Which is fine, but it does seem a little pointless from time to time. I guess I need to determine if this space is for me or for potential readers, or I guess some combination of the two.

I'm kind of feeling the same way in lots of areas of life right now. Maybe because it's summer and I'm very much in a readjustment phase of life. Or maybe it's because I'm lazy.

I do know that I don't do too well without having a plan to follow. We're all laying around at home wandering aimlessly from room to room because we don't have a plan. I'm feeling like my blog is doing the same thing. Nothing wrong with that, I actually think it's a GOOD thing to not have a direction from time to time, but after a few days I begin to slowly be driven crazy by it.

Funny to think that the post before this one is about simplicity. I was thinking that not having a day to day plan WAS simplicity. For me, it's not! I do much better with my lists and plans, and goals. Wandering aimlessly does not work for me!

So, I guess I need to come up with some kind of plan. I need to figure out our goals for the summer, and I'd like to come up with some kind of plan or direction for this blog. hehe -- it may very well be that the plan I come up with very closely resembles what I've been doing up until now ... with some sort of direction in mind.

So, y'all be patient with me as I try to figure out what the point is, and what in the world I'm doing around here!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Craving Simplicity

Pin It I am finding myself craving simplicity these days. Some quiet might be nice too, but even loud simplicity would be nice. ;)

Sleeping late.
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Family friendly TV.
Good books.
Happy music.
Giggling with friends.

Simply enjoying the small pleasures of life.

It seems like life is just moving at warp speed these days. I get excited thinking I have nothing that has to be done on a certain day and then see my calendar and realize that this, this, and this need to be done. Oh, and don't forget the laundry.

It seems that there is also so much swirling around me that is capturing my attention. Drama here and drama there and if I don't get caught up in it, it seems to hover right there until I do. It's occupying my mind. Trying to come up with a solution is driving me crazy as well. It's not up to me to find a solution to the various situations. I wish I would just realize that and let it go. Easier said than done, apparently. Even when we're doing the fun, simple things, it's hard to get all of the thoughts out of my head.

I'm just rambling and putting my thoughts out there. Maybe soon I will be able to silence my thoughts and we can have some simplicity!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Women of Faith Wednesday -- Let's Cook!

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Woohoo, I want this week's prize~!! It's the American Profile Hometown Cookbook! I love cookbooks!

The question of the week:

What is one of your favorite homemade dishes? Share the recipe!

This is easy. One of my favorite dishes is chicken spaghetti. I took a couple of different recipes, combined them, and came up with a meal that everybody loves. Here in the south, we take food to people a lot. If you're sick, have surgery, have a new baby, have a death in the family, and I take you food, chances are it will be this.

You'll need --
16 oz velveeta (you can make this healthier by using the cheddar/milk combination, however, I really don't like it as well)
1 can rotel tomatoes (for any poor unfortunate souls who do not know what rotel is, let me know and I'll add you to my prayer list. :-P It's diced tomatoes and green chilies, btw. And fabulous.)
1 can cream of chicken soup (or cream of mushroom, or celery, or whatever you have on hand)
about one lb of cooked chicken, chopped (leftover chicken works great, as does rotisserie chicken, or even canned chicken)
one lb spaghetti noodles, cooked (I'm giggling that I was about to type that we always use whole wheat because it's healthier. Seriously? After velveeta and cream of chicken soup, does it appear that I'm REALLY all that concerned with making it healthy?)
a handful of veggies - chopped onion, celery, bell pepper, whatever you like (sometimes I sautee these, but usually I don't because I like the crunchiness)

Chop the velveeta, combine it with the soup and rotel and cook over low heat until it's all melty. Add the chicken and vegetables. Pour it over the cooked noodles. We usually have a salad and bread with it.

When we make this, for my family of five (two big appetites, one medium, two small appetites) we eat half and freeze half.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I Heart Faces - Play

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Brendan, meet sprinkler.
Brendan, do NOT squirt mommy with the sprinkler. See the camera? That's my get out of sprinkler free card. Squirt your sisters. They'll love that.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Making Fun of My Kids

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Making fun of my kids is a great hobby of mine. Because really? After the pregnancy, the c-sections, and HELLO! the breastfeeding and HELLO AGAIN! the laundry, I should at least get some entertainment out of the deal, right?

We had to run to Target earlier today. I needed hair color because within a week, if something is not done here, people WILL start referring to Brendan as my grandson, which makes me just a touch homicidal. Trust me, you wouldn't like me homicidal.

The parenting style with which I most identify is BRIBERY. If you don't embarrass me at Target, I'll get you an icee, which I promise has *nothing at all* to do with the fact that you really just can't buy an icee without also getting popcorn and Target popcorn is about thisclose to heaven. And it counts as a vegetable.

In following with my strategy of "get what I need and get out so that this bottle of haircolor doesn't end up costing me $112" we're zooming through the aisles. Brendan wanted some sour patch kids so I decided to let him get some and carry them through the store so he would not be pulling everything else off the shelves. We'd bypass his icee, but the girls would still get one and somehow or other popcorn would find its way into my cart and all would be right with the world.

So that's what we did. Only minimal distraction (for me) today; the hair color only cost $36, and included some allergy medicine for Brendan. A success by my standards.

Sour patch kids are my new favorite treat. Not for me, I can't stand the little boogers. Brendan, however, calls them "sour katch pids" which sounds so funny. I crack up every time he says it. And, I make him ask for each one individually, by name. This has kept me entertained all afternoon long.

Wow, that sounds pathetic, doesn't it? I should probably get out more. Target, anyone? They have fabulous popcorn.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Berryland Farms of Texas

Pin It We had such a fun family morning!!

We went to Berryland Farms of Texas and picked a lot of blackberries, a few blueberries, and a handful of vegetables.

The owner told us to pick the shiny berries.

When we were loaded down with blackberries, we ventured out to the rest of the farm.

Mad found tomatoes.

Brendan found peaches.

What we came home with, except that I forgot to put the peaches in the pic.

We are definitely planning to make the trip over there again in the next couple of weeks. We had a fabulous time! The price was very reasonable - I actually asked the owner if that was all when he gave us the total! Local people - plan a trip out there! You'll be glad you did!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

It's Hard to be a Plant

Pin It Well, at my house anyway, it's hard to be a plant.

You know how the toys in Toy Story feel about Sid's house? Yeah. That. Plants see us coming and try to play dead so that we'll pick another one.

Last year I had this fabulous rosemary plant. I pulled branches (are they called branches?) off and cooked with them. We had a fabulous relationship, my rosemary plant and I. It was bushy and smelled good and the fresh herbs were amazing.

Did you know that about four drops of gasoline is sufficient to kill an entire rosemary plant? Trust me, it is. Ask me how I know. :-/ One word answer: Brendan. The gas can was empty, or so I thought. I haven't been able to get another rosemary plant growing well since. I've been paying $4 for sprigs (THAT'S the word! SPRIGS!) at the grocery store ever since.

This year we decided to grow tomatoes. Madelyn wanted a topsy turvy for her birthday, so we got her one, and two little tomato plants. One went into the topsy turvy, the other into a planter. Yes, we have a fabulous place in the backyard for planting such things, but between the dog and the boy, we figured that perhaps a planter would be safer. Perhaps we would have been better off to trust the dog.

The topsy turvy appears to be growing well. It's a lot bigger than it started, anyway. No blooms or teeny tomatoes yet, but I'm hopeful. The other one though - it was doing GREAT. One almost ripe tomato and five that were just getting started. I was so excited.

And then today ...

... sigh ...

... it's hard to talk about, so bear with me ...

I went outside and it was shriveled. From fabulous yesterday to shriveled today. This seems a little familiar.


Roundup left out in hopes of gardening. Stupid stupid stupid. Tomatoes versus roundup. Tomatoes down in one.


I'm going to go out today in hopes of finding a replacement. I suspect that it's too late, and I'm going to have to pin all of my tomato hopes on the topsy turvy.

When I DO finally grow a tomato, I will realize that that one little tomato will have cost approximately $712 after buying all of the soil and now three tomato plants. It had better be DARN GOOD.

(and yeah, I know. I can't blame the four year old when I left the empty gas can out last year and the roundup out this year. I'm working to be thankful that he didn't go after the plant from my grandfather's funeral and the amaryllis, and it really does appear the topsy turvy is safe as well.)

And darn it, I can't stay mad at him. He just brought me a picture and told me he loves me. Thank the Lord for cute little boys, especially the one who is trying to climb into my lap right now. Excuse me while I go snuggle the little guy. And I'll try to not be resentful when I eat my salad without a tomato tonight.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

What I'm Listening to Today

Pin It I can't get this song out of my head today.

Beautiful. The whole CD is.

When Gabbi was 3, she had her first recital. It was in 2002, and her dance school did a patriotic theme to this whole CD. It was SO beautiful. They did a fabulous job telling a story through dance. This particular song has been in my head, but I'm really thinking I'd like to either pull out the VHS tapes or the CD and just listen to the whole thing.

Just thought I'd share.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I Heart Faces - Barefoot

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It's barefoot week at I Heart Faces!

Here's a silly pic of my silly boy.

This is a non-competition week, but they're raising awareness for Soles for Souls.

About Soles 4 Souls: Soles4Souls is a Nashville-based charity that collects shoes from the warehouses of footwear companies and the closets of people like you. The charity distributes these shoes free of charge to people in need, regardless of race, religion, class, or any other criteria. Since 2005, Soles4Souls has given away over 7 million pairs of new and gently worn shoes (currently donating one pair every 9 seconds.) The shoes have been distributed to people in over 125 countries, including Kenya, Thailand, Nepal and the United States. Soles4Souls has been featured in Runner's World, Ladies’ Home Journal, National Geographic’s Green Guide, and The New York Times. It has appeared on CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, BBC, CNN and thousands of regional news outlets across North America. Soles4Souls is a 501(c)(3) recognized by the IRS and donating parties are eligible for tax advantages. Anyone can join our cause, and we need your help.

This is a charity I had never heard of before. I know there are shoes around here that can be donated though! We will be participating!