slice of my life

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day

I don't know if you could watch this without getting a tear in your eye. I couldn't! I found this on a blog I read regularly on Club Mom---Three Sons and a Princess. The blog author is a military wife about to go to Korea.

This video might have been more appropriate for Armed Forces Day---which is the third Saturday in May. (It passed us by---did you even know?) This video honors those in the service currently. But it does have a part about those who have gone on, in service to our country and in our stead. Do some "remembering" on Memorial Day!

This Memorial Day, I am getting my kids to make cards for troops for the 4th of July. I found a lady who's getting some together, so I'll mail the ones I have to her. Her blog is called Yikes! and she has instructions at the top of her blog if you'd like to join in!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Polka Power

This totally made my day. I mostly have been listening to it, so I warn you of the yucky Marilyn Manson in the video part.

J has discovered Weird Al on You Tube. He has posted a lot of videos on his blog at
Photo Ollie. The other favorites of mine are "White and Nerdy" (oh, we so totally fit into this streotype!) and "Amish Paradise."

I am having to tell J to stop playing these so much. It's driving me crazy! But I like those three. :-)


Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt, May 26th

Today's Theme is "Colorful." Join in! or view more Photo Hunters.

This colorful image I took last weekend. J was in The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet with his acting group. J happens to be the rainbow-colored one right in the front. The colors were very important in the play---The Monotones (Romeo's family, not Montegue!), were in blue, and the Capitulate family (not the Capulets of Shakespeare's play) were in red. Anyone not in the feud between families was in rainbow, or black or even pink. Hats off to the grandmother who was in charge of making all the costumes!! She had lots of work to do to to out fit these 30 kids.
This picture is at the end of the play---but in this version, no one died. Romeo had his "cracker" switched, so he didn't die, so Juliet didn't have to kill herself. Whew! The families were put through a machine (Seuss-style) to tke off their Xs and Os, and they were all friends in the end eating potluck every evening. This is the "Group Hug."


Friday, May 25, 2007

Friday's Feast, May 25th

It is seven months until Christmas!

Name a sound you like to hear.

I love to hear the scribbling of crayons and colored pencils and paintbrushes brushing against paper.

What is your favorite kind of cheese?

Well, I was just reading about a dangerous kind of "cheese" on Wiki----here's your public service announcement: Cheese as a recreational drug It's really a snortable kind of heroin.

But I digress. I LOVE lots of kinds of cheeses, and I love to have a cheese tray at a party. So my favorite thing is to have a variety of cheeses available to me! ;-) But if I have to pick just one, I love Port Wine cheese in a tub on Wheat Thins. (I don't know this brand, but it looks good!)

Do you sleep late on Saturday mornings? Why or why not?

I just wake up with the sun. If it's light in my room, I start waking up. This means I am usually going to sleep with the sun, too! ;-) Especially this time of year when we have 14 hours of sunlight per day. It's enough, right?

Main Course
When was the last time you forgot something? What was it, and how long did it take to remember it?
B and I forgot to take her swimming stuff to school yesterday---it was her last day to go swimming in P.E., and it was a free swim day. We remembered when we were pulling up to school. (I did go ahead and take the stuff back to her when I went out again later that morning. I was feeling generous.) Actually, this wasn't me, but J "forgot" to wear his tennis shoes today for the last half-day of school. He still had on his flip flops. Hmmm . . . forgot? I thought he looked genuinely surprised, but B reminded me that he is an actor, Mom!

Fill in the blank: I notice ____________ when _____________.

I notice the trees and flowers blossoming when spring comes to town! I am constantly remarking to the kids while we are in the car about allthe changes going on. But I think I am the only one who cares! ;-)


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Graduation and the Sickness

I am getting tired of this!

B's fever came back again this afternoon---102 again! What is up with this??!?! This means she will not be going to school again tomorrow---4 days in a row! I hope that this is the last fever we see. She has had more than 24 hours of antibiotics now, so maybe she will really be better tomorrow. The worst thing is, it's the fun week at school---the last week.

J had his graduation today. He got to leave early, which was our treat for making through the ceremony, the principal said! There were 144 fifth graders graduating and moving on to middle school. This was a long ceremony. A lot of it had to be said twice---once in English, once in Spanish. But it was really nice, and the kids behaved very well. J and I went on to my work from there. B and her Daddy left for home after J walked across the stage, since her medicine was making her stomach hurt. I know we shouldn't have had her out, but I thought for sure the fever was gone and she wasn't doing anything except sitting and watching the kids. We parents just couldn't miss it.

Ya know, I never graduated anything until I got to high school. (Okay, Mom, correct me if I'm wrong!) No preschool graduation, no kindergarten, no elementary school, no junior high graduation, even. I do remember an 8th grade assembly where they told us who got the top two spots, grade wise. Is the world different? Are we making a big deal out of stuff now that was no big deal 25 years ago? Or is it better that we do it this way now? It's a pat on the back for a job well done? I don't know.

But I did enjoy seeing my son graduate---and my little preschool class also! It does bring joy to people! ;-)

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Illness has invaded the house again. It's strep throat this time, and B has it. I've been home with her this week---Monday and Tuesday so far---and she is sad she is missing school. Sad today because it is Art day for her class, and sad for missing tomorrow because one of her classmates will be passing out her birthday cupcakes. B has had fever as high as 102, and it started on Sunday. Her throat hurt, but no white spots on it! J had sore throat last Monday, and I took him in and he tested negative for strep. So I was thinking she got his germs. But it's different! She got a test at the doctor's office today and her antibiotics to clear it all up. In 24 hours, she'll be doing great. I hope!

I don't think I blogged about this yet---B's picture got chosen for the lunch calendar---quite an honor! In the fall, all the kids in Bryan, and 16 counties, will be getting a calendar with the lunch choices on it for the whole school year. B had her picture of a turkey beating a drum chosen for November. They include lots of little pictures on the "extra" squares, but B will have her picture on the big top part of november! They are going to mail us one, and I can't wait.

J had his talent show today, and he danced to "The Time Warp" (song from the Rocky Horror Picture Show). I was stuck at home with our ailing B, so Larry got off in time to go see him perform. He said the talent show went "great" which is a big "whew" in my book. We have had a lot of disappointments in talent shows! ;-) Tomorrow he will graduate from 5th grade---and then move onto junior high and 6th grade! Yikes! When did I get old enough for this?

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Saturday Night's Alright for Fightin' *

I'm watching "Braveheart" tonight---my own little Scottish Heritage Night or something. I like to think all my ancestors were brave and fighting for our freedom, even over there! I would LOVE to go to Scotland, the homeland of one leg of my family tree. It could very well be that my husband's family was on the English side!! Whoknows! ;-)

J was doing his last performance of the Seussification of Romeo and Juliet tonight, and it was Larry and B's turn to go. I had the night to myself---but I was doing laundry. This is not fun since the dryer is out!! Ug. But I am getting it done, and trying desperately to avoid going down to the laundromat. Larry just brought B home and is out again---to go pick up J at the pizza place where the cast was going afterwards. And B fell asleep in the car on the way home, so I am alone again!

The play was really good. I'm sure you'd appreciate it, if you have ever seen R&J in any form. J was bringing back his Brittish accent to be the monk who marries R&J. He's very funny. The whole play had the audience smiling throughout the evening! I got to go to last night's and this afternoon's performances.

Parental bragging moment:
B got a 5th grade reading level at the end of 2nd grade here, with 123 words per minute (This is the third grade goal!). What's really neat, and I never saw this kind of test with J, was her Spanish. She reads 51 words a minute in Spanish, and I don't know her reading level. She did read a story---the highest level one for 2nd grade---and got 11 out of 12 on her comprehension questions! So she's understanding what she's reading, which is the part I never can evaluate myself (not knowing any Spanish).

Enough for now!! Have a happy rest of the weekend!

*borrowing a blog characteristic from my friend Janet (go see her foot on her blog!), this is a song lyric. From the song with this phrase for a title, by Elton John

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Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt, May 19th

This week's photo fits the theme of "Cooked" (or cooking).
Check out more photo hunters on the Blogroll.
Learn more about the Hunt on this site by TNChick.
This was out "Chinese New Year" meal---a sesame chicken recipe. I don't even know where the recipe is anymore, so I can't share. I bet it was one I got off This was a yummy meal!
Next week's theme is "Colorful" and I already have plenty of shots from last night to take care of that! Look below to get a sneak peak of that.
Please visit my photo blog at Project 363, where I am posting one picture every day.
Enjoy your week, and snap lots of photos. :-)


Friday, May 18, 2007


I just put up a few more pictures on the Project 363 blog. I just got home from J's play, The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet, and I just couldn't wait to get the pictures on the computer. They are a little blurry, since you have to take pictures with no flash during the show.
This first shot is J talking to Romeo and his kin. J is the monk who marries the pair amongst other things. He was in a lot more of the play than I thought he'd be in! Yea!

This one is J marrying Juliet and Romeo. He told me after the show he messed up the ceremony! I didn't really know it was messed up.
This last picture is Curtain Call. Time to take a bow!
I give it two thumbs up! It was funny throughout, the kids did a great job remembering lines and jazzing up the characters. J

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

I'm going to try to bullet point my day yesterday---it was a hum-dinger!!
  • I started my day by getting the first ticket I have ever gotten ever. UG! I am glad I was alone. No, I did not cry. Not until later. I was doing 31 in a 20mph school zone! This was the D'oh! moment of the day. I usually drive through this spot before 8, when the school zone starts, so I was just zipping past the school about 8:02, late for work. There is no flashing light on the school zone sign to give me extra warning, and I didn't even see the cop. So even later to work I was, and none the richer.
  • This was our last day of school (at my workplace) with the kids there. It was an emotional day for the kids. They did not cry at school, but at least 3 parents told me their child was upset at home before school. This class was really very bonded to each other and just a deep-thinking group! My class is preparing for Kindergarten, and I talk about this throughout the year. Maybe we did too much talking!
  • My kids were practicing for the program/graduation, and afterwards, my boss told me that I had been nominated (by my friends at school) for teacher of the year ---not just at my school, but area-wide. I had to immediately write an acceptance letter and then commit to go to the training and awards on Saturday. I was flattered, but now I have Saturday tied up! ;-)
  • I ate lunch outside with my class, for the last time. It's beautiful here right now!
  • We had a end-of-year party and I got tons of gifts. I'm always overwhelmed by this at the end! The funniest gift I got---and one I am really thrilled about----is my new roller skates! I will have to post pictures sometime. I really can skate, and I enjoy it. Maybe it will keep me active this summer. :-) I got so many things I can't even list them all here.
  • We handed out our notebooks to the kids at the party. (In another school, in another time, I called these "Me Books.") I liked watching the kids and parents look through them. I think I got lots of really good pictures this year. I was able to share the digital ones I had in the slide show at Program. I am thinking about setting up a private album on Webshots so the aprents can see what pictures I took. The they can get them on their computers if they like.
  • I rushed out of school and got my kids at school, and came on home to rest a bit before we all split up for the night. My Mom called, so I spent my rest time with her, sorta! :-)
  • B decided to come to program with me, and J had his opening night performance of The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet. J plays the monk who marries the star-crossed lovers and then administers the "death-faking nuts" as it is in this version. Anyway, the family split, and we went to our respective "big events."
  • Program went off without a hitch, and the kids were cute singing their songs, and it was simple to set up and take down. I got a chance to talk to almost everyone I wanted to! We graduated the kids going off to Kindergarten, and they were cute in their caps and gowns, as always. I drank some punch and B ate some cake, and it was done. I especially liked the slide show part with us in it. We had a picture from the first day of school this year, and one with cap and gown, and showed them one after the other. It was fun, and sad at the same time.
  • One of my friends seemed to be having a freak-out. I didn't go after the program with B, I couldn't, but I know a few were going to check on her in my stead. I hoped and prayed for the best.
  • B and I got snacks on the way home---me, a snowcone. B, a subway sandwich and a milk. A good ending to a day that started out crummy!

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Friday Feast, May 18th

List 3 emotions you experienced this week.
These were all yesterday:
* feeling like "D'oh! Why did I let this happen!" (what can you call that?)
* heartfelt gratitude
* bittersweetness---happiness and sadness at the same time.
(I'll blog about this later)
Name a car you’d love to have.
I'd like a Suzuki XL7.
Describe your typical morning routine.
On the days I work, which is almost finished for the year, I get up about 6. I ususally get a shower and get dressed, then go and see if the kids are up. I make lunches for school and then help B get herself ready some more---hair fixing, etc. If I am taking the kids to school myself, I then go and get my makeup done (a 5 minute routine) and hair fixed. Then we're out the door about 7:15. These days I usually eat something in the car and drink a Coke on the way to work, which would be during my 40 minutes of car time.
But if Larry is taking the kids to school, I get them out the door then get myself ready. Then I only have about 18 minutes to drive.
Main Course
Have you ever emailed someone famous? If so, who, and what did you say to them? Did they reply?
I have never e-mailed someone famous. I commented on Meredith Vieira's blog, though.
Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which ones?
No. I am not even sure if I have the technology to do so. I have a little MP3 player, but I am only putting songs on that. And I don't have a phone fancy enough to do anything---I don't even text with it. Or can I get a podcast on the computer? I don't even know!


Friday, May 11, 2007

Cameron Park Zoo

Here are a few of my favorite pics! B and her friend from school in front of the auqarium.

B on the playground near the building where we slept. The bad news is, the bathrooms were out here, so we had to sleep pretty far from the bathrooms.

This is how we lined up the girl's sleeping bags in front of the aquarium window.

That evening we got to make some fish food. It had lots of gross looking stuff in it that fish like.

This is the top of the big aquarium. It holds 50,000 gallons!

Here's our group, in the tie-dyed shirts we made.

I think this one looks like the Queen and her court of ladies! ;-)

B and some wildflowers there.

B and the rhinos.

A good one of the Meerkat.

The girls got to feed a giraffe!

This trip was the coolest! We had a great time, B and I.

Have a look at all the pictures, in my Webshots slideshow.

GS trip to the zoo


Friday Feast, May 11th

I am finally back home and at my computer!! I will post later about the water in the house and our Girl Scout trip to the zoo.

Tell about a time when you had to be brave.
This past week I have been sort of brave. I have had to help my kids not freak out about the changes. But I have to be brave for me---I am trying to keep a positive outlook in the face of much upheaval.

As for true bravery, where my life is in danger, and I still persevere through it---I haven't faced that! I admire people in our military and civilians in war zones. This is true bravery.

Which upcoming movie are you excited about seeing?
Oh, without a doubt, I am looking forward to the new Harry Potter movie this July.

Name an item you try to always have on hand.
sandwich baggies. I am using them for lunch-packing or crafts or organizing work stuff all the time. The thing I feel guilty about always having on hand is Coca-Cola!

Main Course
Imagine the most relaxing room you can think of. Now describe it!
Well it does not exist in my house anywhere!
This room would have wood floors, a light blue/aqua color palette, huge windows looking out over a beach and ocean, and nice, comfortable soft white couches. Soft music plays in the background, and iced tea with lemon is on the clutter-free coffee table.

On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being highest), how spiritual or religious are you?
I'd say a 8. I always have room for improvement as far as a relationship with God goes. I have not reached perfection! This is an important aspect of my life I am looking for all the time.


Friday, May 04, 2007

My life got flipped turned upside down

Maybe the last thing I should do is blog, but I thought I'd write---and inform many people at once! (or a few---who's reading, anyway?)

We will be getting the carpet torn out today, three days of fans and dehumidifiers, and then they'll check everything to see if it has dried out. The we'll come back in.

Last night a friend and co-worker of mine put all of us up for the night. It was very comforting for me, and the kids were all smiles this morning to muffins and the shell game involving cups and the fruit they were supposed to be eating. We all slept in one room, even thought my friend L had it all worked out so the kids would be in another room. We needed to be close to each other, I think.

Tonight, B and I will be in Waco sleeping at the zoo! This is the reward for all those cookie sales. Larry told me, "Don't change your plans, just go." It will be a great trip! This one thing would have been enough to throw me into a tizzy, but I am also packing us up to stay at another friend's duplex. (Thanks, T!) It's empty, so I am looking forward to a sort of "cabin camping" atmosphere. I'm taking a card table, camp chairs, TV, sheets and towels, clothes (do we smell bad, anyone?), my Sonshine School notebooks (lots of work still to be done), a lamp, an alarm clock, etc. This is much more posh than camping! ;-) But no cable/satellite tv for the weekend---we're surviving with board games, knitting, and the DVDs probably.

I thought this was going to be short.

I am getting ready to shut down the computer and unplug everything from the wall. Crazy how scary that seems!! I will be taking pictures and posting---a picture a day when I get around to it on Project 363.

Thanks to all of you with the good wishes and help---I really appreciate it.

Lessons I am learning so far:
God will give me no more than I can handle.
I do not need to have everything figured out----like how in the world the carpet is coming out of here!
I do not need to do any more than I can do.
I have a lot of friends and family standing there with me.
I will pay this forward when I can, but for now, I need to accept people's offers with joy and thanksgiving. I don't need to have this figured out yet either!
God is good--He's on my side---He can carry us through anything.
In the grand scheme of things, this will be a blessing.


Thursday, May 03, 2007

Where in the World?

I love maps. I put a "Cluster Map" on the sidebar of this blog last summer. I have a free version, so I can't zoom in and see specifically which town you're in when you look at this blog. I'd love to know that, but I'm too cheap to pay! ;-)

You should click on that Cluster map and see where all my visitors are from.

I'm in Texas, and I ahve my parents and all my friends here, hence the big dot on Texas area.

Another big dot is on Memphis, TN. My grandmother is there, as well as some more relatives---who might or might not be reading!

My college friend, Janet (see her blog!) is in Ecuador right now, so I have a biggish dot there. (The most northern one in South America).

I have lots of hits all over the Us, but none in Alaska yet. A few Canadian hits, I like that. A smattering of hits across Europe. Interesting! And did you see I have one in Africa! I was thrilled when that one popped up. I have a new one in the Middle East and one in Turkey.

I have a nice group of them in the Philippines, too. And one in Thailand, I think, and some hits from Malaysia?

And thank you, Austrailia, for your visits. And one more in New Zealand!

I am thankful that anyone comes by and looks at my stuff. I'd love to hear where you are, specifically---I promise I'll be looking at the town in my atlas from GEOG 105 I took in college. I would love to be able to travel to these places, so leave me a note and tell me where in the world you are!

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An update on my disaster---
A Steamatic water damamge estimate guy came out this morning. Apparently, the water got in the house---all the way into the living room! And he thinks we need to take up all the carpet, 592 square feet of carpet on his estimation. I had to cry. I thought like half my bedroom got wet, and now I find out, it's all the way to the front of the house? Is this really happening?

The main issue is the money. How can we make this happen? Can we do this in stages? I'd like to go back in time and just get the FLOOD INSURANCE! Doh!

The good news is, the water did not get in the walls! Thank you, God for that. God will only give you what you can handle! So now I am finally feeling like I CAN handle this. I will figure this out.

It's not like I was flooded like in New Orleans, with the house destroyed. This is one little thing. No one is hurt. Not yet!!! But the house does stink, which means mold, mildew, etc. is already developing. This really is bad, since J and I have allergies.

So if you're a praying person, pray for me. it seems like this shouldn't floor me so, but it does. :-(

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Rain water is never good in your bedroom.

Here's my slice of the day---
I am finally well and feeling like myself again. I had strep throat, which I took to my Mom and Dad's house and shared with them. I hope they don't get it!! This feeling better is a GREAT thing, because yesterday, we had rain water come into our bedroom, closet and bathroom!! Well, it's also great because I can swallow without pain. That is one thing I take SO for granted. That and breathing.

But to the problem---the water in the house, not covered by insurance. Flood insurance? Why would we need it? Well, because we had water coming down in bucketfuls for like an hour yesterday. The fence on the side of the house was holding it in the backyard like a dam, which pushed it up against the walls of our bedroom. I don't know how much water it was, but I have never seen it get up over our low deck. The problem came when it did that, because it's level with our foundation. We're on a slab foundation, and the water just came on in the "weep holes" as someone told me about.

Ug. I was going to stay home today and rest and work on my class's notebooks for the end-of-year. But here I am washing towels and clothing from yesterday, trying to figure out what to do, using the Rug Doctor we rented right away last night, sucking up as much water as I can before we peel back our carpet and dry it out. And now I'm sick to my stomach from my strep throat medication, trying to take a break. A short little break. I feel guilty!

In my mind I'm trying to get it all done at once, but I can only work one step at a time. One step. One step. One step. My next step is to fold a load of clothes. I can do that. The next step is to move some more stuff out of my bedroom. If you've ever been in there, you know this is no small task. I am a stash-and-dash cleaner, and I shut that door when company is here.

I have thought maybe God wanted me to clean my room, and this was the not-so-gentle whisper to get it done. But why right now when I had a full agenda already?

The other bad news of yesterday was that a part of my tooth fell off. A tooth with a gigantic filling running down the middle of it. The outside part just popped out when I was eating some popcorn. Just a sliver, but come on!! I thought that was going to be my big story of the day until it rained.