Friday, January 30, 2009

Fun on the Frozen Tundra






Needless to say, the kids had a blast over the last 3 days of no school. What can I say except I fixed a lot of hot chocolate, washed a lot of clothes, dealt with lost gloves, have a huge heap of white stuff on my shady front step, had a blast sledding with friends, told Ellie that she could stop sleeping with her PJs on inside out and backwards and WAS VERY GLAD that school was back in on Friday!!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Blogosphere

When I started blogging 2 1/2 years ago, it was out of desperation.

Scrapbooking was my hobby, but it was out of hand. 3 kids, 3 years of pictures, an unorganized and endless supply of scrapbooking stuff, plus a stack of wonderful (but bulky) albums (where to store em?).


I would go on a weekend retreat and come home with only 10 new layouts. I enjoyed the time
with friends, but when it comes down to it, I am too much of a I've-got-to-get-something-done-today kind of girl that it drove me crazy.

In August 2006, my brilliant friend Kelly Stocksen (am I a Kelly Stocksen commercial or what?) introduced me to blogging as a way to record the moments of our lives. I was immediately hooked. Click here to see my very first post.

I went on for a couple years just blogging for myself and the occasional family member or friend who would check in and comment.

But then, a few months ago, I got connected with some other bloggers who shared my interests... some I knew personally and some I didn't. But because of their blogs, I began to know them through their written word. And this past Friday, we all came together at the "Okie Hoe-Down" and met in real life.

It was kind of a surreal moment.. especially when Flat Baloney showed up (check out her blog to understand), but it was genuinely fun and interesting to get to know some Oklahoma bloggers. * * *all the bloggers who came to the Hoe Down (except Georgie!) * * *


* * * * * * Chere (A Day in the Life) and me and Flat Baloney * * * * * * *


* Me with Dawn of Dawn's Diversions and Michelle of Froggy Bottom Blog*


Speaking of Oklahoma bloggers, I recently found out that my blog was nominated for an Okie Blog Award. What? How? Me? I was nominated in the Family Blog category. Surprising and flattering and if you haven't already voted, you can vote for me by clicking on this link (but you have to be an Oklahoma blogger to vote.)There were some other nominees in attendance...
Jen @ 6 Happy Hearts has been nominated for Best Inspirational Blog
Annie @ Having a Ball has been nominated for Best Family Blog
Melinda @ Bloggin' it from the 'Burbs has been nominated for Best Family Blog
Dawn @ Dawn's Diversions has been nominated for Best Family Blog
Georgie @ Decisionally Challenged has been nominated for Best Humor Blog
Maggie @ Maggie's Mind as been nominated for Best Looking Blog
Flat Baloney @ That's Baloney has been nominated for Best Unusual Blog
Marie @ A Piece of my Mind has been nominated for Best Writing Blog

Check out their blogs on the Okie Award website!

And finally, I have a little plea for you... I have a lovely blogging friend in Louisiana who is pre-cious and is "Desperately Seeking Blog Makeover." She is so c-ute and a great dream interpreter. Won't you visit her and give her a little love and much needed help! Poor thing! ;-)

Post Note:
I am a proud grandma to several blogs that have been born. I feel since this is a blogosphere post, I must make mention of them! I played some kind of role in helping them come to life... sometimes tiny, but hey, I'll take the credit anyway! :-)

Keith Family
A Day in the Life
Something Singapore
The Next Big Event
Kim NOW
Iowa Pilot Wife
and a NEW ONE being born tonight!!!!! congrats L!!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Birthday Wishes

My handsome husband had a birthday yesterday!

Here were some of his birthday goodies:

A card from Kami. Good thing he's not too sensitive. Could have been more like a punch in the gut seeing just how over the hill he is, according to her. She's not trying to be funny or mean. Just sayin' it like it is.

And on the inside, a special reminder about just how old he is... Granny called and sang to him, as she does EVERY ONE of her over 100 grandkids and grandkids'-in-laws. Is this the cutest thing you've ever heard? She's 97 and watches American Idol! And is calling herself one! OmiGOSH!!! Listen to her song below.
video
All I could manage for him was some birthday cupcakes and lots of hugs and kisses. I really feel bad about it... I wanted to do so much more!!!! This time of year is so crazy with basketball and all that it's so hard to make a big deal of his birthday. I guess since ORU won by 30 on his birthday, that is a pretty good present. But, he does have a little surprise coming on Sunday! I don't think he reads this thing too often, so I will tell you that his bday present begins with an i. A little i. So excited!!!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Mom Fuel

Last year, I went to hear Joe White, president of Kanakuk camps, speak when he came to town. It was an hour and a half full of nuggets of wisdom for moms, many of which I blogged about here.

Well, Joe came back! My sister and I didn't want to miss hearing him again... truly, some of the things he said a year ago have stuck with me the last 12 months. I needed another year of encouragement... mom fuel.

He hit a bunch of the same themes that he did last year, but some of the stuff I needed to hear again, loud and clear. Believe me. Because like I told you before, I make my share of mom mistakes. And when I get that note home from Luke's teacher for the 25th day in a row, the sighs roll out of my soul.

But Joe has been there done that. And has a lot of experience to share. Here are some new nuggets for ya.

*Parenting is like golf - it's something you keep working on your whole life.

*Be an encourager - when your kids go to bed at night, they need to know you are their biggest fan.

*Over the years, hide the verses in their heart that will guide them. You can't be with them at that party, but the word of God can be with them.

*Every night, when you put your kids into bed, share a scripture. Repeat it every night until they know it by heart, then pick a new one.

*When you feed your kids' bellies in the morning, look at it as a chance to feed their hearts too. All you need is 3 minutes to give them a bit of God's wisdom in their hearts. When they look at you and grunt, don't worry, it is getting through.

*Kids just need to talk. Ask them questions and don't try to solve their problems. Listen well. If you give too much advice or press too much, kids will avoid talking to you.

*Follow through. Kids want you to follow through, even if they don't act like it. Follow through.

*No kid wants to be able to buffalo their mom. Don't let it happen.

*Snoop all you want. Use findings with discretion.

*Lay by your kids at night. Even when they are 17. Ask question and listen to the answers.

*Cell phones, computers, ipods and cars are great opportunities to draw up a covenant between you and your child. Have them write a contract and sign it.

*Finally, he stressed the importance of each 24 hours of your child's life. Each day is a blessing. And then he emphasized that point with this video, called 99 balloons. I had never seen it, though my sister had. I guess it's been around for awhile. If you haven't seen it, watch it. But grab a kleenex.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Betcha Didn't Know...

...the real reason it snowed a little bit last week...
Any idea why here in this corner of Oklahoma we got that dusting of snow?
It had nothing to do with a cold front or precipitation.

It was because this child
pulled out all the stops.
She went to bat for all the children out there who were
keeping their fingers crossed for snow.


Ellie slept with her pajamas inside out AND backwards.
She slept with a spoon under her pillow
and flushed some ice down the toilet.

And whaddya know, the next morning,
with her nose pressed hard to the cold glass,
what did she see but white flakes falling daintily from sky

Next time you'd like some snow, you know who to call.

i HEART faces

i HEART faces has got to be one of the most awesome, most creative and totally inspiring websites I've seen in a long time. I love it from top of my head to the tips of my toes. Click on their button to check out this week's photography contest.

Here are my entries of two of my favorite people (one for the kid contest one for the adult contest) .... I so wish I were a phantastic photographer, but don't have the time or talent right now to sink into it. I do dream that one day I will be a self-made success like Kelly Stocksen!!! But let's get serious. That's not happening. She's a genius. Check out the site at www.iheartfaces.com and enjoy all the amazing images.

Monday, January 19, 2009

This is the Stuff Headlines are Made Of

Setting: 5th grade girls basketball tournament, high school gymnasium, Championship game
Time: 6 o'clock Sunday, 1 hour delayed start time

Situation: Tight game, competitive little girls, intensity on the court.

Dialogue:

Coach #1 yells at the referee, protesting that a foul wasn't called on the opposing team:
OVER THE BACK, REF!!!

Coach #2 laughs and shakes head, not seeing the foul, then questions loudly:
OVER THE BACK?


Coach #1 gets angry and yells at Coach #2:
ARE YOU MOCKING ME? ARE YOU MOCKING ME? I WILL MAKE SURE YOU NEVER MOCK ME AGAIN. I WILL COME OVER THERE AND KICK YOUR A**. MOCK ME AGAIN. MOCK ME AGAIN!!!


Coach #2 stunned, comes back with:
WHAT? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? THIS IS A 5TH GRADE GIRLS GAME. AND YOU WANT TO FIGHT? (thinking I haven't been in a fight since Elementary School)


Coach #1: YEAH! I'LL BEAT YOUR A**! COME ON OVER HERE!!!!

This is the point where the headline could have been made. You've seen em before.


Asssault on Coach Stuns Colleagues
Parents Assault Rugby Coach During Game
2 Coaches Fight, Expelled From League

And you wonder how in the living world such a thing could happen. How could grown men come to blows over 10 year olds out there playing a GAME of basketball?

This, friends, is how it happens: Coach #1 has so little of a life that his significance rides on the outcome of this game. Or maybe that person is just an angry person in general. Or maybe he's just having a bad day. Whatever the case, he throws down the gauntlet.

And then Coach #2, being a man with God-given testosterone flowing through his body, feels the primal need to protect himself and BOOM, you've got yourself a bloody fight right there on the hardwood.

Thankfully, Coach #2, being the level-headed husband of mine, just said, YOU ARE CRAZY and turned away. His wife thought she was going to vomit for about an hour.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Interview

Amber from A Small Peek into my World had a very cool diddy on her blog.... someone had interviewed her and then she posted her answers for all to see. She asked for people to comment if they wanted to be interviewed, and I took the bait.

Here are her questions to me... and my answers following.

1) How did you meet your husband??

My first "real" job was as an English teacher at East Central High School. I had worked there for a couple years when this really good-looking new coach got hired on as assistant basketball coach. The head coach, Coop, was just a couple doors down the hallway from me, so I saw Tom quite a bit. We made a bet on the outcome of a TU-OSU football game... winner paid for movie and dinner. (I won.) The next time he came to make a "bet" I called his bluff (said, "are you going to ask me out or what?") and well... the rest is history.

2) When did you realize that you had a love for letters??

When I saw the two mouths talking on Electric Company. Back in the day.

3) What is your favorite kind of music??

I Love, Love, Love Christian music. Steven Curtis Chapman, Toby Mac, Mercy Me, Third Day.... That's mostly what I listen to in the car and on my ipod.

However, I cut my teeth on some real funk.... and still feel the beat in my soul when I hear Chaka Khan (I Feel For You!), Prince (Purple Rain), Club Nouveau (Situation Number 9), Michael Jackson (Beat It) Midnight Star (No Parking on the Dance Floor). I went to a fairly rough high school where I also became fond of bands like Cheap Trick, ZZ Top, White Snake, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Boston. My dad loved classic music like the Eagles and Elton John, so I grew up liking that music too. And when I was a cowgirl at OSU, I danced my boots off to George Straight, Garth Brooks, and Hal Ketchum.

Oh, and one more thing... lately, I've had a bit of a thing for Robin Thicke.

4) What’s your dream job? Are you doing it now?

I was born to teach. I know that. It's agreed with me for all my life.

But I am a dreamer and in my wildest dreams.... I would be...

*a writer for a newspaper or magazine - weekly columnist

*an author of a wildly successful children's book

*an artist (but I can't paint or draw)

*a comedian (but I'm not funny)

*a tough as nails lawyer (not that tough)

Guess I'd better stick with teaching and being a mom (my dream job come true)

5) What is your favorite family activity??

It's soooo hard to pick just one! Things we like to do together as a family...

any sporting event, bowling, letterboxing, playing board games, wrestling in the living room floor, hanging out with friends, watching sports on TV, baking, going to movies, watching plays, playing Wii, card games, and of course spending time with the kids' grandparents and Granny I.

Can I interview you? If so, leave me a comment and let me know. I will email you your questions.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Punctuation Reflection

Sometimes I like to bloglift.

And that is because I have such brilliant and darling blogging
friends.

The temptation to do so was too strong this time.... I just couldn't help myself because I have a wacky interest in all things language, including punctuation marks.

I wasn't really that excited about being a comma at first, (because I actually do have favorite punctuation marks - and commas aren't my favorite), but I'll take it...

- even though after thinking about it for a minute, I wondered exactly what this survey was REALLY telling me about myself? My suspicions in red.





You Are a Comma



You are open minded and extremely optimistic.
(flakey?)
You enjoy almost all facets of life. You can find the good in almost anything.
(naive?)
You keep yourself busy with tons of friends, activities, and interests.
(can't say no?)
You find it hard to turn down an opportunity, even if you are pressed for time.
(bad time manager?)
Your friends find you fascinating, charming, and easy to talk to.
(needy?)

You excel in: Inspiring people



You get along best with: The Question Mark

Thursday, January 15, 2009

For the Man Who Has Everything

Christmas and Birthdays for my Dad are next to impossible. You know how men are... when they want something, they usually just go get it! Leaving their loved ones going... well, how about another Hideaway Gift Card? Or maybe it should be Home Depot this year.

My dad is the kind of man that you really want to give to because he gives so much to you all year long. He takes care of his daughters. Just last week, he helped me install a new igniter on my oven (or should I say he installed it while I sat there and held the flashlight.)

He has two other loves besides me and my sister... 1) his grandkids and 2) music. As long as he's been a grandpa, he's been interested in getting those two loves together! He encourages us to get them in music lessons and even sits down with them and guides them through a practice. He takes us to piano concerts and when the kids play for him, he acts like he's listening to Beethoven.

Well, this Christmas, my sister came up with a brilliant idea for his Christmas gift: A music concert! We made up an invitation to give him on Christmas morning and the kids starting perfecting their "Papa songs." Luke and Maggie (who aren't in lessons yet) practiced their scales and notes. We found darling music note t-shirts at Target and when the thing we down... it was really cute, even with Ellie's scathing rendition of "Baa-Baa Blacksheep" on the untuned guitar.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Lukeified

The girls and I sometimes reflect on how different our lives would be if 5 1/2 years ago, a little boy had not entered our world, bursting upon the scene with grand gusto.

It seems apropos now, looking back, that he couldn't be born naturally, because he had gotten himself into quite a predicament: the cord wrapped around his neck. And that Tom and I had to be rushed off to the stark white surgical room to have him born by emergency C-section, The whole family waiting breathlessly for our wide-eyed boy to take his first gasp of air.

Since that moment, none of us have really caught our breaths; he keeps us going... moment to moment and day to day!

Here are some things we may not have around without him....

*An innumerable amount of hot wheels cars. Some without wheels, some crushed, some with Cheerios smashed inside of them. Some painted, some immaculate. Some named. Some in piles. Always wanting more.

*Trick tracks. Arranged in every formation known to man.

*Naked bottoms - stuck in our faces whenever possible. (what is this about?)

*Tech Dech skateboarding stuff - his latest love.

*Behavior Charts! - We were introduced to the lovely discipline by Luke's kindergarten teacher. Didn't even know they existed.

*Monster Trucks - he even has a monster truck video that he can watch and I laugh as he throws in the appropriate "yeeeeeeeeahhhh!"

*Daring stunts - on scooters, on the trampoline, into swimming pools, on bicycles (look at this one when he was 3 1/2), ... pushing the envelope. Always. Even in the kitchen! (see below)But the real reason I began this post in the first place was because of Luke's love for Legos. I call him a Legomaniac. Sometimes, his attention span seems impossible, but when it comes to Legos, he can sit there for HOURS, and not budge. This started when we went to Disney World two Octobers ago and Papa bought the kids a Lego set at the Lego store when we were shopping. Luke was hooked and has gotten progressively more demanding for more difficult sets. It's gotten to where the $20 and $30 sets just don't cut it. So, this Christmas, Nana, Papa and Grand Carolyn got him some biggies: The $100.00 sets. He spent a few, short days working on the Police Headquarters. When it was time for a dinner break, he would cry and say, "I can't eat because I can't get my mind off Legos!!!" But when he finished, he was so proud of his accomplishment. I was proud too - proud there were a few hours that he wasn't begging to play the Wii. Whew. Small victories. Anyway, he wanted me to take some pictures and post them on the blog for all the world to see.

Legos have had a pretty big influence on our family. Ellie is now in love with Legos, and the funny thing is my sister's girls, the three pretty princesses, well, they like Legos now too! And you may be able to catch them working a (gasp) Indiana Jones Lego set! All because of Luke.

We've all been Lukeified. And glad about it.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Gonna Party Like It's 2009!!

It's our 3rd year running... the New Year's Eve tradition. You would think we were taking the kids to Disney World the way they acted about it... days... weeks in advance, asking, "are we doing our awesome New Year's Eve Tradition? Huh? Are we?" Well, yes we did! My family and my sister's family took all the kids to the local bowling alley, which has actually been upgraded this year to include arcade games and go-karts. So there was a whole new dimension of fun on New Year's Eve. Among our more exciting and/or humorous moments: Go - Kart Riding This is the crash that Tom caused by trying to pass his daughter and win the race. There is a sign that clearly states "no bumping," but it did not phase his competitive nature. Surprised we didn't get kicked out of the joint. Bowling was fun. Looks like Luke is headed for a strike!!! Apparently not. Strategizing. Nice group pic!Afterwards, we went to a friend's house and played Guitar Hero and hung out until the ball dropped! Lots to look forward to in 2009.