An Excuse As To My Blog Absence. Not a Good One. But Still An Excuse.

My laptop's power cord has died.  Again. 

Which means I'm chained to Keaton's desktop.  And chaining myself to anything makes me a little nervousy...so I've refrained from anything computer related that I can't do on my phone. 

But I decided to remedy the problem in the middle of the night.  At 3:04 a.m. to be exact. 
Sleep was evading me, so I decided that the best use of my time was to peruse the pages of the power cord kingdoms.  I ordered one from a place that sounded like it was being run out of someone's mother's 3rd cousin twice-removed uncle's basement, but I'm hoping for the best. 

I've never been one to turn my back on adventure.

Unless it has to do with chains.



In Which I Feel Not A Bit Like Myself

I don't even know myself anymore.

  • I have not slept past 8:00 all week.  One day, I was even up by 6:00.
  • I have fed my children perfectly balanced, well-portioned lunches for the past 3 days.
  • I have been actively involved in the breakfast process this week.  As opposed to just hollering from my bed to open up a box of Lucky Charms.
  • I have called Rascal Academy to order promptly each morning, and we have not wrapped up our day until absolutely everything is checked off in the lesson plan book.
  • The absolutely everything lasted until 2:30 today....and yet, I hanged..hung..hunged..tough didn't stop.  Even though I was already 1.5 hours past due for my nap.
  • The dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer are providing a whirr of background noise as we do our lessons.  (Read:  I actually am keeping my house semi-clean.)
We started school this week.  And so far, I have no idea who the person is that is inhabiting my skin.  I won't say that I did a terrible job of schooling the children last year, but I certainly wasn't this on top of things.  We did start a brand new curriculum that I'm absolutely in love with, so I'm dead-set on doing it right and slurping up all the corners of its loveliness.  BUT...still....

All of this is so out of character for me.

But, I suppose, there is always next week to resume slacker-related habits, should the change be too much of a shock for my system.


A Post In Which I Fill Your Mind With Useless Rambling...

1)  Everyone around here goes back to school tomorrow.  I had a post half-composed on my feelings on the matter, but I deleted it.  Because, basically, here's my feelings:  Nah.Nah.Nah.Boo.Boo.   But, I'm not usually one to gloat.

2)  Speaking of school, our new books are trickling in box by box.  The UPS man is my new BFF.  Good thing we live in the country and have no close neighbors, or I'm afraid folks would start talkin'.

3)  I have a new arch-nemesis.  It's an app on my phone called "Angry Birds."  If you have an iPhone or iTouch....tread carefully.  It's highly irritating and will make you want to pull your hair out strand by strand and then set your face on fire addictive.  Dern birds.

4)  My summer tv schedule is starting to wear on my nerves.  I'm ready for my regular-scheduled-programming of gLee and Grey's Anatomy and...well...gLee.  But, thank Florida, I still have my delightfully intriguing train wreck of Big Brother to keep me company in the time being.  Oh...and then there's Wipeout....which just makes me giggle like a 12 year old pubescent boy.

5)  Did I mention that Ye Olde School of Rascal does NOT start school tomorrow?!

6)  I think all of my manic eBaying of late has worn off negatively on the offspring.  Yesterday, I found Keaton in his room, perusing the auction pages of PEZ DISPENSERS.  And somehow, after he talked fancy to me, I helped him place a bid for a package of mint-condition StarTrek Pez dispensers.  Because everyone needs 20 year old candy with a dispenser shaped like Dr. Spock.

7)  The menfolk went and floated the river the other day with some of their other man friends (and a few girly daughters), and apparently had a fantastic time.  My children came home from the outing and declared themselves River Rats.  To which I made a proclamation that as much as I found that amazing, they would be doing all River Rat activities with their father.  Because this girl doesn't do river.  (And I especially don't do river since they yanked a dead person out of said river just yesterday.  Um...no thank you.)

8)  School doesn't start for us tomorrow!!!  But I'm beginning to think it's time to start thinking about starting...because I'm not sure my mind can handle one.more.episode. of SpongeBob.  Mind.Numbing.

9)  I made the most devine mess of Twice Baked Mashed Potatoes the other day.  And I can't really remember how I made them.  There is beauty in not using a recipe...until you want to make them again. 

10)  Guess what?  We don't start school tomorrow!! But I'll think about everyone who is up tying the laces of new tennis shoes at dark'o'clock'thirty in the morning while I'm still snoozing in my bed dreaming about not starting school tomorrow!  You're welcome.



It's hot.  And I wanna complain about the way my makeup melts off my face and about how the 2 squirts of hairspray that I allow myself a day drips and mixes with the hanging water in the air.  That then drips down in my eyes and causes my contacts to get all wonky.  Which then leads me to have to take my contacts out and wear my glasses which make me claustrophobic, especially in temperatures hot enough to bake a turkey.  And so we've come full circle.  But I'm not going to complain.  Instead I'm gonna tell you that I'm thrilled that it is still flip flop weather.  And that my pedicure still looks good from 2 weeks ago.
It's the middle of August.  And I wanna complain about it being time for school to start.  Because I'm not ready.  It means forking over lots of cash for curriculum and waking up early and actually having to put forth some effort during the day other than changing the channel on the television or lathering a little person up with sunscreen at the pool.  And it means that my babies are a year older.  And that I'm going to have to teach 5th grade math this year.  But I'm not going to complain.  Instead I'm gonna tell you that I'm excited about the new school year.  Because it means new sharpened pencils.  And $.25 crayons.  And the sound of fresh spines on textbooks being cracked open for the first time.
I have a slight new-found obsession with eBay.  I wanna complain for awhile about the folks that outbid me on an item that I need by a measly $1, which makes me then raise my max bid by a $1, just so I can be outbid again by a $1, and so on and so forth.  Because I have a minor impulse control problem.  And an I-Don't-Like-To-Lose problem.  But I'm not going to dwell on that.  Instead I'm gonna tell you that I'm actually very proud of myself.  I've managed to find some amazing deals on some of our more pricey pieces of curriculum for the year and have managed to save us quite a few dead presidents.  Even if it did make me want to yell bad words at those other homeschooling hussies on the other side of the computer screen who keep outbidding me. 
I'm finding myself still dealing with some pent-up frustration with a situation that I should have been able to let go several months ago.  I wanna vent for a long while about how I don't much feel like forgiving.  And how I don't feel like being mature.  And how all I really want to do is throw a huge tantrum and get my way.  But instead I'm gonna tell you that I have amazing friends.  Friends who are honest.  And who are authentic.  And who are the salve on a very nasty wound.
The husband has been working himself like a dog lately.  I really wanna complain about his work hours.  And how he's never home.  Or how when he is home he's preoccupied with work stuff or just dead cow tired.  But instead I'm gonna tell you how proud I am of him.  He's so good at his job that people rely entirely too heavily on him and his knowledge that he is kept hopping.  Which is pretty cool...because the alternative could be that he sucked at his job and wasn't needed.  I think I'll take "busy" for $200, Alex.
We live in a college town.  Actually, it's a 2 college town.  And right now, I really wanna complain about the soon-to-be monsoon of students that will awaken our lazy town from its quiet summer slumber.  Restaurants will be full again.  I'll have to wait in line to get gas.  And Walmart will be flooded with buggies full of Ramen noodles, ironing boards, and mini dorm refrigerators pushed by perky too-tanned students carrying wallets full of daddies' credit cards.  But instead I'm gonna tell you that I love our town.  And I really love it in the fall when the students return.  Because it means the blood is pumping through the veins of our community again.  Routine returns to schedules that can't help but revolve around college calendars.  Our church quintuples in bodies.  Local business owners sleep a little easier at night.  And, maybe most importantly, it means its almost football weather!!
It's been over a month since I've stepped foot near a baseball field.  I wanna tell you how blastedly glad I am for it.  That I'm so sick of the washing of uniforms and running like maniacs to accommodate bizarre practice and game schedules.  That if I don't step foot near a baseball field for another 6 months, I'd be perfectly content.  But I can't.  Instead I'm gonna tell you that I've missed it like crazy.  And that I'm insanely giddy that the boys have their first practice tomorrow to start up the fall tournament season.  That once again my laundry room is going to be covered in a layer of red infield clay carried in on baseball pants, and that my car is going to smell like stanky, sweaty cleats.  I'm thrilled about the soon-to-be littering of baseball bags in my kitchen floor and about pouring half my grocery budget into gatorades and sunflower seeds.  Ahh..tomorrow, tomorrow.  I love ya, tomorrow.
It's midnight.  And I've resorted to watching an infomercial about an exercise device that promises me in large print that I can lose 15 dress sizes in 6 weeks, yet assures me in small print that it's never going to happen.  I really wanna turn the tv off and go to sleep.  But instead I'm gonna stay up and practice my before and after poses in the mirror.  You know...for when I don't lose the weight that they promise me that I will just after I lose the weight that they promise me I won't.

Chew on that for awhile....
That's all.....


Love a Good Facelift

Are you reading this is in a reader?

Get out of it now.  Go to my real bloggy place. Go on...I'll wait....................


Are you here now?  If so, then you are beholding a piece of bloggaliscious eye candy that was delivered by the hands of the most fabulous bloggy designer evuh.

Did I mention that she was fabulous?

Ms. Jackie from Memories by Design hooked me up once again.  Fabulous.  Did I mention that? 

We had that family picture up there in my header taken by the also-fabulous Kelly from Kelly's Photography last Christmas, and though orange and blue aren't your most conventional picture colors, I loved this set of photos so much!

The only problem is that orange and blue don't exactly go with everything...especially not the bright yellows, reds, and blues of my last blog design.  Never fear...Jackie's here!  So she did her thing and made sense of all that crazy computer code and....


I also love it, because it makes me think FALL!  And after the summer from the underworld with the blazing >100* temperatures, I'm ready for a little fall inspiration!


Now I'm just repeating myself...


100 Years Fabulous....

100 years is a long time.  A really long time.

Airplanes have flown.  Men have walked on the moon.  People live in Cyberspace. 

So much has changed with our world in 100 years.  And I can't imagine watching our world go from none of that to all of that in my lifetime.

100 years.  A century.

And my Aunt Fay has seen the whole thing. 

This weekend a host of family and friends came together to celebrate the woman that has outlived, out-seen, and outlasted all of the rest of us in the family. 

100 years.  I keep saying it over and over because I still can't hardly believe it. 

My Aunt Fay is my grandfather's sister on my mother's side.  She never had children of her own, but she was a second mother and grandmother to so many of us.  I can remember spending long summer days at her farm house getting in her way helping her garden and can and cook.  She always wore an apron.  And she had this crazy ceramic wiener dog that sat in front of her cabinet television.  She loved to give us fun gifts at Christmas like toothpaste and denture cream (no joke), and you couldn't go see her at her house or her room at the nursing home without her sending you home with something or other. 

100 years.


She informed everyone at her party this weekend that she "wasn't having a party."  She was "just visitin'."  Because she "didn't want a fuss."  Yes, Ma'am, Aunt Fay.  Yes, Ma'am.

But we partied anyway.

Isn't she the most precious thing you've ever seen? 

Here's Aunt Fay with her Great Nieces and Nephews (minus a few)

Here's Aunt Fay with her Great Great Nieces and Nephews (minus a few)
plus a man in a yellow hat that none of us know, but somehow found his way in our pictures.

Happy Birthday, Aunt Fay!
August 12, 1910 -


A Moment of Silence, Please....


May 10, 2009 - August 3, 2010

May she rest in peace.

......After the obligatory moment of silence.....

I am proud to introduce my newest companion.  Meet....

(or "Gert" if you're the husband)

August 3, 2010 - hopefully forever....

May she live long and prosper....
(And not to speak ill of the dead, but may she also not screw up my apps half as much as Rosie did.)


Turning Ten....

One of my most favorite people turned 10 yesterday.

10.  Oy.  That just makes my mama's heart ache all over.  Sounds so cliche but it really does seem just like yesterday when the husband and I were stumbling through the waters of new parenthood together.  Crazy how time flies.

Enough of the Hallmark sentiment....

Let's get on with the agenda for the day:

1)  Revenue Office.  It is possible that I have been driving around for a month with expired car tags, but if you ask me about it I will deny it.  I will tell you that the only reason that I stopped in the Revenue Office yesterday morning was to visit with the ever-so-friendly ladies that work in there.

2)  Collected a gaggle of peeps to come with us.  Praise Florida, I had reinforcements.  I am forever indebted to Jen for taking on that crazy crew with me.  Oy.

3)  Chic-Fil-A.  Where I was "My pleasure"-ed twice.  Love it.

4)  Tour of Various Parking Lots and Parking Garages in the Downtown Little Rock Area.  Where we realized that the real entertainment for the children was in a parking garage.  Why did I even plan anything else for the day?

5)  Museum of Discovery.  For the love of our now 10 year old science nerd. 

Inside Alice and Wonderland's hall of doors. 

I'm sure they're learning something smarty here.  Just looked like a fancy version of air hockey to me.

Again...I'm sure it's smarty and that they learned some great piece of physics.  Just looked like a carnival game to me. 

Keaton did trap Ms. Jennifer in the dentist chair though.  That's always good clean fun.

After exhausting every exhibit of its funness, we raided the gift shop.  And we walked away with the most expensive crap some fabulous souvenirs.

6)  4Square.  Where I consumed the most delicious fragment of milkshake heaven I've ever indulged in.  Where I also forgot to take pictures, because I was experiencing Mint Chocolate Chip nirvana.

7)  Back to the Parking Garage.  Squeal.

8)  Shopping.  For the maintenance of sanity for the adults trapped in the moving vehicle with the little people.  At least that was the plan.  Turns out that the shopping with the little people was the source of my still-hanging-on-Alaskan-sized headache. 

9)  The depositing of the gaggle of gigglers back to their respective homeplaces. 

10)  Home.  Phew.

11)  Birthday Dinner.  Keaton had requested rabbit, deer meat, and mashed potatoes for his special supper, and his father gladly obliged.  Me?  I just ate the taters.  I don't do Bugs Bunny or Bambi.  At least we had homemade ice cream for dessert.  Now that I can handle.


12)  Keaton's big present is coming on a slow-boat from China.  Literally.  We ordered his new iPod Touch a couple of days ago, and it is taking it's precious time to make it's way over the Pacific Ocean.  We felt bad that he didn't have anything to open on his birthday, so the husband hooked him up with this...

Keaton was so excited that it was being released on his birthday, so he was beyond ecstatic when he opened up last night.  I love little surprises like that!

13)  A family viewing of Diary of a Wimpy Kid.  It was a cute movie.  What was cuter was listening to Keaton giggle throughout the whole thing. 

14)  Bed.  Falling into -- to be more specific. 

Despite my headache and the keeping up with the masses, it was a really fun day.  It was great to celebrate a really great kid and give him the things that make him smile.  

Last night as I was tucking Keaton into bed, he hugged me and said, "Mom, this was my best birthday ever.  Thanks a bunch."


Makes every second worth it.

Happy Birthday, Keaton!!! 

Keaton and I on BIRTHday.  August 3, 2000.

6 weeks old


My, how time flies.



This past weekend was probably one of the most relaxing and fun weekends that our family has had in a long while. 

We didn't do anything spectacular.....maybe that's what made it so great.  In fact, we didn't do anything spectacular at all.  It was just good.

Friday night, the husband went out with his man-friends to shoot fish. (Yes...shoot fish.  And, yes...it's legal.  And, no...I don't know any more than that.)  Don't get me wrong...I love the husband.  But I also love falling asleep in my bed with total control of the remote control.  And it's different than when he's gone on trips...because I can fall asleep easy knowing that he'll stroll in at some point in the middle of the night.  Downside is that he strolls in smelling of fish guts...but I don't guess you can win 'em all.

On Saturday morning, I let the little country gas station, that is just down the road from our house, cook breakfast for me.  They make the most fabulous breakfast sandwiches complete with from-scratch biscuits and the most ginormous slabs of bacon and sausage.  YUM.  What makes it even better is that while you're waiting for the precious lady to whip up your biscuit, you can listen to all the cute little old men gossip about the town's 'bidness over coffee.  This is why I love being an American.

We spent most of Saturday day working in the yard even though it was hotter than Hades.  We mowed and sweat and dragged limbs and sweat and cleaned up around the house and sweat and sweat and sweat.  And then we washed our cars and played in the water just so we wouldn't die of heat stroke.  Arkansas summers ain't for sissies, folks.

After a heat-induced coma that afternoon, we headed out to dinner and a movie for Keaton's birthday.  We watched Despicable Me.  Have you seen it?  It's so good.  I laughed. And I cried.  And I laughed some more.  But not nearly as much as the over-zealous woman in red Hawaiian print pants who was seated behind me.  She was l.o.u.d. found the movie delightfully engaging.

Kirk and I kept the bed babies Sunday morning at church.  One of my most favorite jobs ever.  And it makes my heart get all melty when I see the husband schmoozing over a little teeny bambino.  And it makes my uterus hurt for more babies.  And when I pointed out that fact to the husband that morning, he all but threw the little tike at me and run for cover.  Wuss.

After church we went and ate at one of my most favorite places evuh with a few of my most people evuh. 
There is nothing like good friends, good conversation, and fried food dipped in gravy.  Swoon. 

After lunch we went and picked up our cow.  Yes...our cow.  You think I'm kidding.  You all know about my grocery bill and my inability to keep any remnants of food in the house, so our solution was to buy a cow.  We ordered our cow last fall sometime and split him with these fine specimens of besties.  I guess our cow, whom we have taken to calling "George", has been living it up on the farm for the past few months getting all kinds of fattened up.  And now he is happily (for us, not him) residing in our freezer.  Want to know what half a cow looks like?

That's a lot of meat, folks.  That's a lot of meat.  And as excited as I am about a freezer full of George...it also means that I have to start cooking again.  Double-edged sword.

We ended our Sunday with a hearty nap and then began the highlight of my summer:

It just keeps getting better........