Thursday, June 30, 2011

Just An Idea/Thought

     I have an idea I would like to run by you.  I have seen on other blogs reading groups.  A book is chosen and anyone who wants to participate can read along and the join the discussion.

     I am embarrassed to admit this, but I am not a big reader.  I think having to read in school and college, I just lost my love for reading and I guess I have gotten a little lazy along the way too because I would rather watch TV or a movie.  I think it takes too much effort to visualize in my mind what I can just see on a screen in front of me.

     With that being said, I found a book on another blog today that if any of you are interested, I would like to try it.  The title is The Christian Atheist:  Believing in God But Living As If He Doesn't Exist.  It looks really interesting to me.  Some of you may be reading it in a church group or other group.  If you don't mind, let me know if you are interested in reading this book and discussing it here on my blog and/or on my facebook page for my blog  The Sisterhood of Spiritual Single Moms.  (As soon as I get enough likes, I will add my blue "f" on here.) 

     Like I said, I have seen this done on other blogs and it looks like a lot of fun and I have even looked at the comments although I wasn't reading along.  But, when I saw this book it just spoke to me and I would really like to read it, but I think it is one of those subjects you get more out of if you are in a discussion.  I was in a group at my church when The Purpose Driven Life came out and I am so glad I read it and no doubt I got more out of it by talking about it with others. 

     I know I have a strong faith and believe in God whole-heartedly, but I also know there are times I fall short and maybe don't act out the way I believe.  I think most people do, to an extent.  I know, especially in the next few days, everyone is either on vacation, heading out for vacation, or has a lot of fun holiday plans, but whenever you get a chance and see this, please let me know if any of you would be interested.  Have a safe and fun holiday wherever it takes you!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Just Shoot Me Now

     Well, I have had quite a day!  I took Sydney to get her real license and Shane got his learner's permit.......................................  Just shoot me now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     I am glad they both passed their tests, but I am a nervous wreck.  Sydney is a good driver and a good girl, but I worry about other cars on the road.  It has been a good day, though, and I am so glad I got to take both of them and experience it with them.  We had to make an appointment for Sydney's test.

     We made an appt. when I had my test too.  My grandfather, Tom Ed, knew someone at the dmv, and we "called ahead."  This is a different kind of appt. than kids make now.  The biggest thing was making sure the guy was there on my birthday. We still did the test, we just weren't as nervous taking it. It worked out great for all of us grandkids.  Sort of.  In order, me, my cousin Jonas, my sister Amanda, my cousin Joseph, and my cousin Adam all wrecked cars shortly after getting our license.  Most of us in the first week or two.  My sister managed to do it the day of her birthday.  The only one who didn't was Ty.  Another reason we tease him and call him "The Golden Child."  Truth is, he just pays a lot more attention than any of the rest of us do!  And, I don't mean just fender benders.  I totaled mine and the others did a real "bang up" job too!  So, it is probably a good thing we don't know anybody working there for this next group of kids!

     Sydney did really good.  She was nervous, but she recently had driver's ed and driving instruction so I felt like she was prepared.  Shane was nervous too.  The computers went down right before his test and I thought, oh, no, he won't be able to take it.  They got them back working before long though.  I could see him taking his test through the mirror in the upper corner of the testing room.  They sat him right next to a girl his age that evidently thought the temperature inside the building was going to be 150 degrees because that is what she dressed for.  I am thinking, oh, Lord, he is NEVER going to pass sitting next to that!  But he did!

     Sydney took her test in our Nana and Papa's car.  They have a Honda Accord and it was much easier than my SUV.  Back to how I got my license, I can't drive my car either.  I have a dent in one side from an accident, another dent in the front where I rear ended a VERY DEAR friend of mine (I am still sorry Melissa!--Although I did help her out, she got a new car out of it! ;) and now a dent and part of the metal sticking out from the back where I ran into one of our brick mailboxes.  If I was really smart, I would say that Sydney did it, but I have too many witnesses that know the truth and I can't pay them off because now Sydney needs a car.    

     I am going to be terrified when Sydney leaves the first time.  I just had a really close call. She wanted to go to her friend's house.                     By herself!!!!!!!!!!                       I know that was kind of the point of today, but I think it is too soon for me.  I told her I haven't added her to my insurance yet.  I didn't want to jinx her.  The guy knows I will be adding her soon, I just wanted to make sure she got her license first.  I can guarantee you she will wake me up first thing in the morning to make that call.  Can any of my friends out there disconnect our home line and turn off service to our cell phones?  If so, you will have to do it at my sister's, mom's, and brother's, or she will be going door to door.

     I am teasing, I know I have to let go.  It is just SO hard!  And if it isn't bad enough I will be worried about her, I will have Shane driving me around now.  If any of you see me anytime soon standing in a corner talking to myself, just let me be.  It just means I have officially lost what is left of my mind!

A picture of the happy day!  It is neat they got to go together.

Here's Stratton.  He stayed behind and went swimming with my sister and her kids.  The bad part of being the youngest is not only will he be the last to get his license, but he has to endure a sister and brother learning to drive!  It should be easy for him when he gets his turn!  I hope!

A Few More Jewelry Pieces

I have a few new pieces.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Bachelorette Drinking Game

     For starters, if any of you recorded "The Bachelorette" keep it, don't erase it yet.  You can use it at your next party for a drinking game.  Every time Ashley says Bentley, everybody drinks!  Have a bowl by the door when they come in for car keys, though.  Nobody will be able to drive after that game!

     I still feel a little sorry for her on the Bentley issue because she doesn't know what he really said when he left the first time.  She needed closure because she hadn't been told the truth.  She has to feel like the biggest idiot in the world right now.  I thought it was funny when Chris Harrison went to her room to tell her Bentley was there.  When he told her he was in the hotel she was in disbelief.  She kept saying, really? are you joking?

     What was funny was Chris saying, "I wouldn't joke with you."  He has pretty much set her up to look like a fool, but he "wouldn't joke about Bentley being there."  I hope she has a few words for Chris at "The Guys Tell All" episode or After "The Final Rose" episode.

     I don't blame the other guys for being a little upset that Bentley was able to come back, but I don't think they should have gotten as upset as they did.  THIS IS A SHOW WHERE THEY ALL ARE DATING ONE GIRL!  I don't see how they feel really betrayed while she is dating all of them. 

     I liked Mickey and was sad that he chose to leave.  I don't think he felt anything for Ashley and saw the chance to just go home.  I don't think the guys are really into her and I don't think she is all that interested in any of them.  She seems to like JP, but something about him irritates me.  Last night confirmed my feelings when he told the guys she confessed to him that Bentley was there.  He didn't have to say anything, he wanted them to know she confided only in him.


     The show has almost become comical with her group dates.  She has the dumbest dates with them.  And what about Ames?  His concussion on the last episode must have made him a little more aggressive.  I have given him a hard time, but I do think he is a nice guy. 

     I guess the show did a little advertising for the hotel.  They made sure to show the room number 4315 that Bentley was in.  Maybe people will want to stay in that room now?  It was Bentley Pinto, not Brad Pitt!

     I guess we will just have to see how the show ends.  Constantine's hometown is close to mine and I have heard he makes it to the home date.  It will be interesting to watch that and see where they go.  He owns a restaurant around here, but I don't know which one.  Business will probably be good after the show!  I know I would like to go just out of curiosity.  Maybe they will show it on the home date or someone who knows will tell me the name.

     In my opinion, Ryan and JP should be the next to go.  She seems to really like JP.  Naturally.  I don't think he is there for the right reasons and telling the other guys last night that she confided in him just proves he will sell her out to boost his ego.

     We will just have to see.  Oh, and I realize I am divorced and giving my relationship advice.  That is kind of comical in itself, isn't it?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Casey Anthony Trial

     I have to admit, I have listened to some of this case, it's hard not to, but I can't bring myself to sit down and listen to the details.  We were in Florida when Caylee was reported missing and I still remember seeing it on the local news channel there.  A lot of kids go missing everyday.  Not all cases end up like this, though.

     I can't bring myself to sit and listen to the details because it just completely disturbs me.  I just don't understand how somebody can do what it is believed Casey did.  I know I am only hearing the case by bits and pieces and through discussions on news shows, but it seems like it is almost moving in slow motion.  Little by little, each incredible, unbelievable piece of information is being put under a microscope.

     The trial coverage was on a channel I had on my bedroom tv yesterday.  I would hear a little, walk out, and walk back through and hear a little more.  I heard enough to know the significance of the pool, the ladder propped up, and the chloroform computer search.

     Casey's parents are troubling too.  I can't figure out what they do actually know and what they just believe, and then what they won't tell.  What I mean is, I think they know a lot more than they are saying, but I think the discoveries they made on their own (like the smell in the trunk of the car) have been somewhat suprising to them too.

     Then, you have to wonder what they are thinking.  Me and Sydney were talking about it last night and about the parents and I said to her that I don't know how I would feel.  It would be so hard to know my child was that cold, but then, I would probably do everything I could to protect her too.  If I was in that situation, Sydney would still be my child and I can't imagine not doing everything possible to keep her from the death penalty.

     It is a horrible situation and I can't imagine what it would be like to be actively involved in it.  It just makes my skin crawl when I see anything about it.  Every part of it is just unnatural.  What do you think?  I haven't completely kept up with every detail so I may be missing something.  How do you feel about the whole case?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I Have Missed Making My Jewelry!

     I knew I missed making my jewelry, but I didn't realize just how much until I started making pieces again.  I have worked on a few new things.  It always helps to hear what people like or don't like about them.  Here are a few new things.

I have added these to my The Lollipop Fence facebook page.

Also, I have The Sisterhood of Spiritual Single Moms on facebook!  As soon as I get enough"Likes" on that page I will add my blue "f" on here.

Please leave a comment and let me know what you like/don't like.  The feedback really helps me in deciding what to make next!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Easy Saturday, But Not For Long

My nephew, Walt, is playing baseball All Stars.  He loves baseball and is a really good player.  I know he is young (just turned 9 last Saturday), but I don't understand how him and the other boys play in the heat.  I can't stand it with a bathing suit in the water.  They have on uniforms.  I guess they manage the same way football players practice in the heat.  I am sure I could have done it easier when I was younger, but I really don't think it was quite this hot.  It helps, though, when you really love a sport.  I guess you don't mind it so bad then.  I asked him this week if he was getting tired of it and he said, "I am kind of tired of the practices, but I still like the games!"  There you go, a true athlete in the making!  He is playing football for the first time this year, so when he is done with baseball he will go right into another hot sport, for most of the season anyway.

Walt, a true baseball fan!

The beginning of our football season is really hot.  I have just found my love for football.  I am still trying to figure out positions and rules, but at least I look forward to watching it now.  (I realize that kind of sounds like Woody Harrelson in Doc Hollywood when he said he wanted to be a doctor but the science part got in the way.)  I never enjoyed it before, but after watching Shane play last year, I am hooked.  I better like it.  My brother's twins, Walt, and Stratton are all playing league, and Skylar is cheerleading.  That means we have FOUR football games on Saturdays pretty soon.  Skylar is in the age group below the twins so we start with her and end with Stratton.  Shane will be playing on Thursday nights.  WHEW! 

Today is pretty easy, but easy Saturdays won't last much longer.  Well, I say it is easier.  Sydney has her last driving instruction today.  That means I HAVE to take her to her appointment next week to get her "real" license.  If that isn't bad enough, Shane is going with us to to get his Learner's Permit.  If I have any nerves left that aren't frayed, I will talk to you again next Saturday with none left I am sure!  I am scared to death for her to be out by herself.  She is a good driver, but I am worried about other drivers, perverts, and crazy people.  We have watched WAY too many scary movies and "Criminal Minds."

It will be a lot of help that she can drive herself, especially in the mornings.  She will be able to take her and Shane to school.  The high school starts earlier than the middle school and Stratton is too much like me in that he is NOT a morning person.  Last year, I really didn't have much time to take her and come back for the boys and Stratton being like me and not real with it in the morning, made her late a few times.  It will help that she can get herself places, although I don't mind being taxi mom at all! 

Things move way too fast!  This is her senior year and I probably won't see as much of her as I am used to anyway, with her being able to get herself where she needs to go I will see her even less.  If I was smarter, I would have tried to stall her and get her to wait until her next birthday to get her real license.  She would be 18.  Would she be able to teach Shane then?  That might have worked out perfectly!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Another Good Movie

I don't see how you could go wrong with Josh Duhamel and Katherine Heigl in anything.  We just watched Life As We Know It and it was a really sweet movie.  They made a really good pair!

Guys that are suprisingly good with a baby always makes a good story.  He didn't need a role like that to make him more appealing, but it sure did!

Katherine Heigl is always beautiful.  If they both weren't married they would make a good couple in real life!

I really enjoyed the movie.  But, then, any time me and the kids are in a room together watching anything I love it! 

Here is the trailer if you haven't seen previews.

A product thumbnail of Life as We Know It

Have you seen the movie?

Things Sure Have Changed

Ever feel kind of stuck?  That's how I feel today.  My kids have plans with my mom and sister so I have a little time, but don't know what to do. 

What I REALLY need to do is about 5,000 things I haven't done in months because of my back.  But, that doesn't sound fun at all.  Even if I wasn't so behind I don't know where to start, it still doesn't sound interesting. 

When the kids were little and I had an afternoon to myself I thought I was in Heaven!  Now, they don't need me for every little thing like a drink, snack, clean bottom, or putting in a video.  Yeah, we had videos when they were little, then dvds came around and I didn't know what to do with all the videos. There was no way I could go out and replace all the videos we collected with dvds. Thank goodness for dvd/video players.  I would have been in a real pickle for a while.

It amazes me what kids have now that is so different from when my kids were little.  We are only talking about 10 years that made a huge difference.  I see what my sisters kids have compared to what mine had at that age.

Cell phones are a huge difference.  I think my kids think I am messing with them when I talk about my "car phone" when I was 18.  I tell them it was called a car phone because it was mounted in my car.  Mounted with a big box that didn't let me talk outside of the car.  My sister's kids know how to use her cell phone.  Which is good if they were in the car and they needed to call somebody, but wait a minute, we have OnStar now that will do it for you.

Kids have no idea how easy they have it in the car.  Especially the ones with the dvd players.  Me and my brother and sister would have LOVED that when we went on vacation.  That is another thing, we were all three squished into one backseat where now kids are spread out and sometimes have their own seat.  We didn't have the dvd player either.  Remember?  We had tape cassettes and if you tried to find a song, good luck.  You had to fast forward, rewind until you found the beginning.

Also, cell phones on a road trip are wonderful now.  We did things the old fashioned way.  We would ride down following my dad's brother and sister and their families.  We knew we needed to all stop when my uncle Eddy would ride up beside us and hold up a sign that said "Need to Pee."  We were so bored, that was the part we waited for, the sign!

I am glad technology has come so far because along with convenience there are a lot of things that make us safer.  Sydney having a cell phone out by herself will help my sanity.  A little bit.  Kids love technology, but I don't think they realize just how easy it is now to keep up with them and what they are doing. 

I had my little nephew, Macalister, at my house the other day and he wanted to play on my computer.  I thought I would have to find what he was looking for.  Nope!  He went right to it.  And he's 4!  My niece, Sadie, got a hold of my sister and her husband's cell phones last week and she locked THEM out of their phones for just a little while.  She will be 2 in two months. 

Shows are so different too.  I will think my kids will enjoy a cartoon I used to watch or a TV show and they think it is boring.  I will let them watch a movie that was rated R twenty years ago and it seems more like PG (not even PG 13) today.

I just think it is funny how SO much can change in a rather short period of time. 

Do remember how far fetched "The Jetsons" seemed?  Wasn't it neat how Mr. Spacely would talk to George on the tv?  We can do that now with Skype.  It's not Rosie, but we do have that robotic vauum cleaner. 

Things have changed and they make life a lot easier.  For those that know how to use them.  I am not technologically intelligent in most things out there and by the time I do figure something out it is either considered old or there is a newer version.  I saw a commercial for iPad2 yesterday.  I don't have iPad1, so I am really behind.  I might as well wait for the iPad3 at this point.

It all just makes me curious about what we will have in the next 10 or so years.  I do miss my uncle's signs, though!

'Just think of it as if you're reading a long text-message.' by Carpenter, Dave

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cloudy Georgia Morning

     It is a rainy, cloudy morning in Georgia and I had to get up early and DID NOT want to!  Why is it the mornings you are sleeping really good are the mornings you have to get up and the mornings I wake up for no reason I am sitting there trying to be quiet so everybody else can sleep?

     Even though it is like a sauna in the summertime, I love a pretty, sunny morning.  The rain is fun too, though.  Or at least it used to be.  When I was little, I remember pretty summer rains that would come along in the afternoon, cool everything off, and then the sun would reappear.  Those rains were pretty to watch and you knew they might not last long.

     It isn't like that here anymore.  Our summer storms are just plain dangerous.  Years ago, we would tempt it and stay in the water as long as we could before the rain would start.  My dad would always yell at us to get out before lightning hit us.  Now, we don't play around with it.  One big black cloud and you run for cover because no longer is the fear just of lightning it is strong winds and sometimes tornadoes.  We hardly ever had tornadoes years ago.

     I still believe God is trying to tell us something.  I know we have global warming and other things that might contribute to making the weather more fierce, but tornadoes don't seem so rare anymore.  And not just the, "I think something may have blew through here" ones either.  A lot of the time there is no question.  The obvious destruction clears up any doubt.  I cannot imagine going through all of that and losing your home and all belongs, or worse, a loved one.

     I am going to try to enjoy the little bit of cooler temperatures because of all the clouds, but I think a lot of people are more fearful of them now instead of the pretty summer rains we used to have.  It is still fun to try to find a rainbow after one, but I think we might want to look for another message too.  It would certainly help to think about why He is trying to get our attention!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"The Voice"

     We started watching "The Voice" late, but I am so glad we starting watching it at all.  It is a really good show and I like the judges.  Christina Aguilera talks too much sometimes, and she can be really mean to Adam Levine, but I love Blake Shelton and Cee Lo Green.  Has Cee Lo already performed "Forget You"?  We thought last week when they performed with their team he might do it, but maybe he already has or he won't do it for some reason.  I LOVE that song.  The part that says, "I really hate your a** right now" cracks me up everytime I hear the song.

     I like the two girls on Blake Shelton's team.  They both are really unique in their sound and you can't help but like them.  But, oh my gosh, Vicci out did everybody last night.  I love the song "Dog Days Are Over" anyway.  (The group that sings it has music from one of the Twilight Series cds, so I love anything they do!)  She did an amazing job.  I have the youtube video of her performance if you didn't see it.  This is also from the beginning when they heard her.  I missed this since I didn't watch it then, but she sang "Rolling in the Deep" when the judges had their chairs turned away from her.  I like that they don't see the contestants, but hear them first.

     I have always loved "American Idol" but I am thinking right now, I like "The Voice" better.  There are a lot of good voices left in the competition and somebody else might blow us away next, but right now Vicci is going to be hard to beat.  The voters really like her too.  She got to stay and made it on because she got the most votes for her team.

     I probably love any kind of singing shows because I can't carry a tune in a bucket.  Remember Elaine from "Seinfeld"?    Yeah, she looks like a winner from "So You Think You Can Dance" compared to me.  I am not kidding.  But, I do love music.  They say certain things can skip a generation.  Well, my grandmother, Betty, and grandfather, Tom Ed, had beautiful singing voices.  It did go to my uncle Eddy, but it skipped right on past me!  Sydney and Stratton have really good voices and Shane is the dancer.  My brother, Ty, can sing and Amanda, my sister, can really, really dance.  Me?   I got completely left out!  But I LOVE music!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Green Thing

     My grandparents sent me this email.  I don't know where it got started or who to give credit to.  Right now, I am going to give credit to my grandparents, Helen and Stanley Bennett, because I have watched them for years live simply and never wastefully. 

     They don't understand how young people can spend money on certain things and you know what, they are probably right and it's probably why the economy is like it is.  There is something to be said for living with just what is (as my grandmother calls it) necessary.  And my grandfather's way of doing things is the old fashioned way.  My grandmother's mind is sharp as a tack and my 79 year old grandfather played (hit, ran, everything!) in the baseball game at my nephews party on Sunday, so I think I would be wise to listen to them!

  This was too good not to share! 

The Green Thing

In the line at the store, the cashier told an older woman that she
should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for
the environment.

The woman apologized to him and explained, "We didn't have the green
thing back in my day."

The clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not
care enough to save our environment."

He was right -- our generation didn't have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to
the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and
sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over.
So they really were recycled.

But we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every store
and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb
into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.

But she was right. We didn't have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the
throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling
machine burning up 220 volts -- wind and solar power really did dry the
clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters,
not always brand-new clothing. But that old lady is right; we didn't
have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every
room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember
them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana.

In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have
electric machines to do everything for us.

When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used a wadded up
old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the
lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by
working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills
that operate on electricity.

But she's right; we didn't have the green thing back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or
a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water.

We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we
replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole
razor just because the blade got dull.

But we didn't have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes
to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi

We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to
power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to
receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in
order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old
folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then?

Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson
in conservation from a smartass young person.



     We don't take the time to listen to a generation that is going to be gone soon.  They have learned lessons, seen things, and can sometimes give more knowledge than any textbook or google search.  Too often the old are seen as senile and in the way.  If the young generation would pay attention to the experience and hard learned lessons from this older generation the future would be so much better.  I, personally, would love to see old fashioned manners come back.  Men tipping hats, women blushing, general common sense and consideration.  I love this email.  What would you like to see passed on rather than forgotten along with the older generation?

'When I was a kid, all this was fields.' by Matthews, Alex

This Weeks "Bachelorette"

     I don't know where to start.  I should quit watching this show, but I can't.  I can't figure the bachelorette out.  I think this show has got to be more about ratings and young, single people wanting to travel than what the show is really about.  Of course the group of guys or girls that go on the show hoping to get a rose are also in it for fun.  If they can't find love they might as well get to travel to places they wouldn't ordinarily be able to.  Which is why I think the show has gotten a little smarter and hasn't picked the most fun destination this time.  Thailand was really pretty, but you know these guys came on the show hoping to go to different islands and beaches.

     I can't figure out the bachelorette.  For starters, I feel sorry for her because she has to feel like a complete idiot watching the show now.  She has talked about Bentley Pinto the WHOLE ENTIRE time.  In her defense, at the time of taping she had no idea what he had said about her.  They really should have pulled her aside and told her or showed her some of the filming.  I feel bad for her on that one.

     Then, I don't feel bad for her in some of her choices.  For instance, the boxing last night?????  She had no idea that would go wrong?  You get all these guys trying to look tough and boxing it out wasn't going to bring out the testosterone?  She clearly didn't think that one through.

     I felt SOOO sorry for Ames.  To start with, he got stuck with the mamby pamby pink boxers, then he gets knocked out by Ryan.  Ryan isn't exactly the muscled up stud in the house.  And, me and Sydney still can't look at him without laughing and thinking his eyes resemble a fish.  To top it off, he gets knocked silly and they really start floating around!  I really like him, but he was obviously not seeing straight.  We felt bad, but we kept getting tickled at him when he came back to the group date that night.  He really should have gone to bed and rested.  We kept joking and saying things like, "He is probably trying to figure out why he is there and all these guys are fighting over a ROSE!"  We kept waiting for him to walk into something.  Then, we joked that he would say any minute, "Anybody going to get that phone?"  He looked like he was so out of it.  And I know it doesn't sound like it, but I do like him a lot better than some of the others, but that was bad.

     And the William and Ben C. deal.  I was really upset with Ashley that she just took William's word for it and let Ben go.  I thought it was crazy since he was obviously not the guy she thought he was.  Then, she redeemed herself when she sent him home too.  William thought he was so smooth and smart telling her that about Ben wanting to go on dating websites, then he was dumb enough to tell her he wasn't ready to grow up and just wanted to have fun.  He might as well just gotten up and sent himself home.  That's what he gets for playing mean!

     I can't figure the whole thing out.  She listened to William, but when every guy has told her they don't like Ryan she kept him instead of Nick.  I am still shaking my head on that one.  I like Constantine and his honesty, but  I am trying to decide if he is too honest.  I know that sounds weird, but it seems sometimes like he is trying not to get outsmarted by her questions.  Which, I don't think she is thinking too much about anybody's answers.  She is still waiting for Bentley  Pinto to come back!  If I was her after watching the show now, I would go get those boxing gloves from Thailand and beat the crap out of Chris Harrison for not telling me the truth and making me look like a fool!

Really?  She let this go, and we didn't get to know him at all.

But, this she kept, the one nobody in the house likes!

     I should really stop watching, but I can't now.  Bentley Pinto is back next week!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Girls Day!

     I have always hated it that Sydney doesn't have a sister.  I am so close to mine and can't imagine not having her growing up.  It means a lot having a sister growing up, but now that we are older I appreciate her even more.  To know that I have a best friend that loves me unconditionally is the best thing in the world.  You can have that without being blood related, but I am so thankful I had her with me all the time growing up.

     Sydney and my niece, Skylar are really close.  Skylar is my sister's daughter and she is named Skylar April after me.  My daughter, Sydney, is named Sydney Amanda after my sister.  It's funny because Sydney is a lot like Amanda and Skylar is a lot like me.

     They were the only girls for a long time, until Sadie and Ella were born almost two years ago.  Sydney is the oldest then we had Shane, Stratton, Walt, Timothy, and Tyler.  Sydney was the only girl with all the boys until Skylar got here.  Then, Amanda had Macalister before we finally got two more girls, Sadie and Ella.  We are back on the boys, though, with our latest, Samuel.

     Being the only two girls for so long, Sydney and Skylar are more like sisters than cousins.  All of our kids are more like siblings than cousins.  All of us living on the same street makes it easier for them to get together.  It was like that when I was growing up with my cousins.  My dad and his brother and sister were so close we were always with them and my cousins were like brothers and sisters.

    Last week, Skylar came over and she and Sydney had a girls afternoon.  Sydney curled her hair and put make up on her.  She loves coming over and going to Sydney's room.  All the kids like coming to my house because we have older kid toys and NOTHING is child proof!

     I love watching the girls have a good time together.  Skylar is Sydney's biggest fan.  Whatever Sydney is doing, Skylar is right there cheering her on.  Right now, there is 10 years age difference, but it isn't always a big deal and when they get older it won't seem like much of a difference at all.  I am so glad she has Skylar and the fact that they were the only two girls for a while, they have a closeness that will always be there. 

     I had to share these pictures!  They are too cute and I love it when they have girl fun together!

This is the first one.

Then, the second when Skylar realized you were supposed to do two fingers. 

She loves her Sydney!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

My Dad

     I have talked about my dad a few times in different posts.  He is so funny.  I love him so much.  He has always been a great dad and has always been there for me.  I couldn't have asked for a better dad.  It makes me sad that my kids have missed out on that kind of relationship.  I know how much he means to me and what security comes from having a dad.  In most ways, he is their dad.  I feel bad because he has kind of gotten cheated out of just being the grandfather with them, but they look at him as a dad. 

     All three of the kids know they can depend on him.  I am so thankful for that.  They also know how much fun they have with him.  He is such a cut up.  He is always doing something to tease them or making a joke with him.  Everybody that knows him knows what kind of a sense of humor he has.  Those of you who read this and know him, you know what I am talking about.  My new friends that don't know him probably think he is crazy!  He is anything but that.  He has always been so smart at what he does to financially support us.  He has always more than provided for his family.  He is successful in business, but he is such a kid at heart.  He is constantly playing around with all the grandkids and playing jokes on somebody. 

    That is what I love most about him, though.  He can be serious and so smart, but then turn right around and joke around with you at the same time.  I remember when I was around 9 or 10, we would stay up late and watch TV.  Everybody else would go to sleep and I would make myself stay awake so I could sit up with him.  I think that is why I love scary movies.  We would watch The Twilight Zone and Outer Limits.  I would be scared to death, but I loved watching them.

     I got scared one night watching something and he kept telling me how it was just a movie, nothing was real.  He was trying to make me feel better, but I went to the bathroom and came back and he was laying in the recliner with ketchup on his neck.  Scared the living daylights out of me!  He was trying to make his point, but I almost had a heart attack.  He would always do stuff like that.  I couldn't have friends over without him playing some kind of joke on us.

     He might get mad at me for telling this, but it is one of those things I always laugh at every time I think about it.  I was still around 9 or 10, but the power went out during the night.  He woke up and everything was so dark.  He woke my mom up (and everybody else) yelling, "I'm blind!"  I don't think he was joking then.  But, sometimes it is hard to tell!

     He is known for his fun and sense of humor and I love every part of it!  What I love best about him is that I know no matter what, he is there.  There is nothing I could do or face that he wouldn't do everything he can to make it ok.  He is everything to me a dad should be and I am so thankful that God let me be his daughter.

I love you, Dad!  I hope you have a great Father's Day!

This is a picture of dad and my niece, Ella.  They are at a park that was named after my great grandfather.  He was my dad's grandfather and he called him Pop.  He looked up to him a lot and he learned what he does for a living from him.  Now, his grandchildren call him Pop like he did his grandfather.

My dad and Sydney on her 16th birthday.  I am so thankful she has the relationship with him like I always had with both of my grandfathers.  There's nothing like it!

My Grandfather, Tom Ed

     I lost my grandfather, Tom Ed, in December of 2009.  We knew he hadn't been doing too well for a while, but we didn't realize just how sick he was until right before he passed away.  He had battled, and beat, prostate cancer around 10 years before.  He wasn't feeling well and had a full body scan in May 2009.  The end of November, first of December, we found it he had cancer in his liver that was too far gone.  We thought we would have a little bit of time with him.  We didn't want him to suffer, but we selfishly weren't ready for him to go.  My grandmother was sick a little over a year before we lost her.  He only lasted a couple of weeks from the time we found out how sick he was.  It broke my heart and it can't ever be fixed.

     I loved him very, very much.  Being the first grandchild on both sides, I was very spoiled!  I love the fact that with all my grandparents I could do no wrong.  It didn't matter what I did, they all would come to my rescue.  I had a very special relationship with him.  Everybody always teased me saying I was his favorite.  He had a way of making everybody feel special.  My dad is A LOT like him.  He was a good, spiritual man.  He loved life and he loved teasing and joking with everyone.  He was tall, but it was his personality that made him seem so "big."  He would walk into a room and before he walked out, he had talked to everybody. 

     He would have given his last dime to help someone in need.  He would take anybody that had been knocked down and just needed a chance and he would do whatever he could to help them.  He just had a way with people.  I have told a couple of stories about him on other posts, but there are so many I don't even know where to start.  I keep saying I would love to get together all of them and put them in some kind of book for all of his great grandchildren to have.  Everybody that knew him has a story.

     He loved his Coors light.  Some of the best stories have to do with his drinking.  A friend of our family told me, my mom, and sister a story the week we lost him.  He was over doing some things in the house to make it easier for Tom to get around.  David had known Tom all his life.  He told us about a horse that Tom decided to ride one day after a few too many.  He said Tom got on the horse and it bucked him off of it.  Well, and this is going to sound bad but you really had to know him to know how harmless he was, he decided to go into the house and get his gun and show that horse who was boss.  While he was gone to get his gun, David (I can't remember if anyone else was with him) took that horse and hid it.  He said he would go feed it and kept it hidden for a few days until Tom Ed decided not to shoot it.

     This was so many years ago.  Gun laws have changed today, but Tom Ed always knew where his gun was.  That was the way it was at that time.  I remember one time when I was probably 4, my mom stepped outside our house and stepped on a snake.  Tom Ed lived right up the road and he came down with his gun promising to find it and shoot it!

     He always liked spoiling all his grandchildren.  He bought all the boys four wheelers one time.  One of my cousins had an accident and broke his leg.  Tom decided maybe they were too dangerous and took them back, but  he gave the boys the money he spent on them instead of just taking them back.  We would all go on vacation to Daytona and he would take all of us to the Salty Dog.  If there were other kids around, he would take them too.  He had a soft spot for any kid and would have not taken any of us if he couldn't take us all.

This is a picture from that trip.  There were a group of rappers that stayed at the hotel we always stayed at.  The picture is from around '88.  I can't remember who they were.  If you know, please tell me.  The boys are from the left, my cousin Adam, our friend Derrick, my cousin Joseph, and my brother Ty.  This is just one of the fun times we had with Tom.  I have much better pictures of him, but I like remembering things like this.


     I have to tell this story because it is the only time I ever remember my mom really getting mad at him.  He loved her and made sure she knew it. She was crazy about him, but I still remember this day. I was about 10, my sister 7 or 8, and my brother 2 or3.  He came over one day and gave me and my sister really pretty heart shaped necklaces with diamonds.  They were really pretty and a big gift for no reason.  He gave my little brother, Ty, a fake flower.  He asked him why and Tom Ed told him because he was a blooming idiot.  My brother laughs about it.  Some of you readers probably think that is the worst thing you have ever heard.  Those of you who knew him know that was just him and there wasn't anything mean about him.  Believe me, he loved Ty and he more than made up for that one time over the years.  My mom got SOOOOOOO mad at him though! 

     He was a mess.  He had a larger than life personality.  He truly enjoyed life and (contrary to what you might think from the story above) tried his best to make sure everybody around him did too. 

     It absolutely broke my heart to lose him.  There is a hole in my heart that can't be replaced.  Whether I was his favorite or not, I loved him so very much and it still hurts so much.

This is him and my nephew, Walt.  I think Walt was about 1 in this picture.  Today is his 9th birthday, so Happy Birthday, Walt!

     Probably the hardest part is I felt the same way when I lost my grandmother.  People say it gets easier in time, but I don't think so.  The scary part for me is that I still have two grandparents I love very, very much and I know there will be two more times I will feel the same hurt and loss.  But, I do know not to take them for granted and to enjoy them.  And, they are fun!  Grandparents are true, guardian angels on earth, blessing!

Friday, June 17, 2011

My Papa

     My Papa is one of the sweetest men you will meet.  I don't think I have ever heard anyone say anything bad about him. 

     I remember when I was little he was the one I liked to take care of my when I was sick.  He had such a gentle, easy way of taking care of me.  He was in the Navy and worked with the doctor on the ship so we would always ask him medical questions.  He knew a lot, but it was the way he took care of me that meant the most.

     My Papa and Nana are the ones that never said bad words when I was growing up.  The would say other things in place of bad words.  My kids love being around the two of them because they can be really funny.  Papa will come out and say something you don't expect him to at all and the kids think it is hilarious.  They took us to the airport a couple of summers ago and I guess the traffic and trying to get us where we were supposed to be dropped off at got to the two of them.  We made it there and then trying to get alongside the curb for us to get out and get our luggage, Papa got really frustrated with the car in front of us.  He called the man driving the car a "cod" and I thought my kids were going to hurt themselves they were laughing so hard.  Then, something happened with Nana's phone and she said "Shit" and they couldn't stop laughing at her.  The kids still laugh about that.  It was just so out of character that made it so funny.

     When I talked about Nana for Mother's Day I said she was dependable.  The same goes for Papa.  He is at all the ballgames, school functions, and everything else all the kids do.  I know no matter what I can always depend on him.

     He is the handyman in the family.  I think he can just about fix anything and if he can't he knows somebody who can.  He helps me out a lot when I need anything done around the house.  He is also our gardener.  He will come over in the spring and plant vegetables in boxes for any of us that want them.  I don't take for granted the things that I just count on and rely on him to do.

     I have a lot of really good memories from his side of the family.  He had two brothers and four sisters.  Out of all of them, we have him and two of his sisters left.  They all live around here so I have A LOT of cousins from his side.  It was always so much fun when we would all get together.  His last name is Bennett.  A lot of people around our town remember his mom for her steak sandwiches.  She was SUCH a good cook!  I loved going to spend the night with her.  My youngest's middle name is Bennett. It is just a small gesture of how much that side of my family means to me.

     I am so blessed and thankful for my Papa.  I have never needed him that he wasn't there for me.  That is priceless.  I am so glad my kids have him.  He is a positive male influence and he steps up as a father figure any time he is needed.  I can't thank him enough for that, but I know he wouldn't have it any other way.

     My daughter, Sydney, was born on Papa's birthday.  I still have the birthday card that he gave her where he wrote in it, "You are the best birthday present I ever got."  That is his sweet, sweet way about him.

     I love you, Papa, and I hope you have a Wonderful Father's Day!  You more than deserve it!

Sydney and Papa on their birthday this year.

Trying to Make Sense Out of A Senseless Situation

     I don't understand our legal system at all.  I am an impatient person most of the time, though.  It is a reality that for things to work out like they need to it all takes time.  There is a lot of stuff still in the air I would like to just get over with.  I am so tired of dealing with things that aren't on the top of my list.  But, it has to be done right and that takes time.  If I don't have everything I need in place then it will just have to be done all over again anyway.

     I may not be making a lot of sense, but what I am talking about doesn't make sense to me.  I keep shaking my head at the fact that I am dealing with what I am anyway.  A man shouldn't have to be threatened with a day in court to financially be responsible for his kids.  It should be a welcomed responsibility.  The fact that it's not and it is an on going, neverending, draining battle makes no sense to me. 

     The business part of things will work itself out.  You can't just do some things and not have consequences.  That part takes time and I have to be patient.

     The biggest consequence happened a long time ago and I don't ever see it changing.  My kids are with me and they have no desire to change that.  A man and woman can fight out issues in a court room, but if you have lost the respect of your kids, and everyone else around you that knows the truth, what have you won?  My kids' love, respect, and trust is priceless to me.  I have something that is worth more than all the child support in the world and that means everything to me.  All the child support in the world can't change that now or probably ever.  Years from now, I won't be getting child support anymore.  Never got spousal to start with.  Just wanted the kids to be taken care of.  When that support isn't an issue, I will have my kids appreciation, love, huge amount of trust and respect.  For that, I am thankful.  The situation may be hard and frankly sickening, right now, but in a few years, and we know how fast the next 6 years will go by, it won't matter.

     What will I be left with?  In my eyes, EVERYTHING that truly matters to me.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

So Sorry, Samuel!

Well, I don't know what to think.  My sister's little one, Samuel, that is 3 months old gets sick when I talk to him.


Yesterday, I was talking to him and he was smiling, cooing, and I thought we were getting along just fine.  Then, he threw up.

A few minutes later, I started talking to him again.  He was smiling and cooing again.  Then, he threw up again.

I was joking and said it must be me.  I am making him throw up.  I really didn't think so, I was just saying it since it happened twice.

Had to be coincidence, right?


A third time I talked to him.  I thought there is no way this will happen again.  It did.  So instead of making the poor thing throw up a 4th time, I gave up and went home.

I still say it could be coincidence, but that all happened in about 30 minutes and after I left him alone he was okay.

I am sorry, Samuel.  I sure hope he outgrows it!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I Wish Me A Happy Father's Day!

     You know the positive side of being physically and financially responsible for your kids all by yourself?  You get to celebrate Mother's Day AND Father's Day.

     We play both parents everyday so it is only fair we get to celebrate both days.  We work hard, we deserve it.  If a dad wants to celebrate Father's Day, then, well, you should act like a dad.  You know, be there for your kids.  Be more than happy to help support them rather than fight and refuse to do so.  Quite simply, Be a Dad. 

     I am wishing all my single mom sisters out there that play both parents everyday to have a great Father's Day!  Our kids see us as both so we should too!

   If you are a biological father and you don't get to celebrate because of  an "incomplete"  (like in school when you started something and didn't finish, just kind of let it go and ignored it).  Then maybe one day there will be a special day for all of you..............I think it's called Judgment Day.......not the kind in county court.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Spiders Can't Drive

     Sydney is a tough girl.  She isn't scared of much, but spiders TERRIFY her.  I don't like them either, but she goes completely bananas.  It's funny and I always laugh at her because it is the only thing that scares her like that.

     Have you seen the AT&T commercial when the girl freaks out at a restaurant when she sees the spider on the phone?  Sydney could have done that job a lot better than the actress.  Only it would have been real fear, not acting.

     She is about to get her real license and be out on the road by herself.  I am scared enough about other drivers and things like crazy, perverted men following her, I didn't know I would have to worry about spiders too.

     She was driving the other day and we had just left a big business park.  She saw a little spider above her on the visor and ABSOLUTELY FREAKED OUT!   I was going to try to get it.  I didn't want to touch it either so I took an envelope and tried to knock it my way.     Didn't work.             It fell right onto the area of the steering wheel.

     I kid you not, she just stopped driving.  Yeah.  We were on a 2 lane road, CURVY 2 lane road at that, and she didn't even see, or maybe didn't care about, the cars that were passing us.  She is just screaming to the top of her lungs and moving her arms like crazy and I am looking, but can't find that stupid spider anywhere. 

     I am yelling at her at the same time because, well, she is supposed to be still driving!  I am fussing at her that you can't just stop driving when you get scared.  She finally realizes she has to get back to driving to at least get us somewhere we can stop.  We never found that spider. 

     We got home and were telling my sister, Amanda, what happened.  She thought it was funny, but not near as funny as listening to me and Sydney yell at each other. She thought our "discussion" was what was the funniest. I am trying to explain to her that you can't have an accident because you are scared of a spider.  I think I called what she did stupid about 10 times.  She is yelling back at me that she is terrified of them and she just reacted.

     My sister thinks it is so funny because me and Sydney agree on almost everything.  She thought it was funny watching us argue.        She hasn't been in the car with the two of us because that is when all arguments take place!  I can't believe I have to go through this again right now with Shane.  He is going to get his learners in the next week or so, so I am starting all over with another one.  Unless he sees a football somewhere, maybe he will stay focused.  Football distracts him from EVERYTHING!

     The whole spider incident is still a touchy situation.  We laught about it, but then it can start another "What Were You Thinking" discussion.  


     She always reminds me at the end about my horrific fear of snakes.  She says what would you do if a snake was hanging from your visor?     All I can say is............. touche`!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Grown Ups With Childhood Friends

     We watched the movie Grown Ups tonight.  With a cast of Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, Rob Schneider, and David Spade you can't go wrong!  It must be Adam Sandler that cracks me up since he is 2 for 2 movies in a week!

     It was a really good movie.  It kind of reminded me of a more (not completely) kid-friendly version of the Big Chill.  It had the same idea of grown ups getting together and re-connecting over a weekend after the death of someone that meant a lot to all of them.  The soundtrack for the Big Chill was much better though.  It is probably one of the best soundtracks ever, so it would be hard to beat anyway.

     I enjoyed it because it made me think of friends I had while growing up and on into high school.  Our childhood makes us the adults we become and every person that is involved in those years contributes somehow.  Some people leave a positive impression and influence, and some not so positive.  Either way, they are a part of what makes us who we are and it all matters.

     The really good friends that are with us for big moments that we never forget even as we get older are the friends that always mean something special to us.  We can lose contact for years, but then catch up in a weekend.  The history we share with those special friends creates a bond that can't be broken.  We learn so many lessons growing up.  Friends that are with us through the harder ones can't be replaced.

     I had a lot of good friends and a lot of good times growing up.  I love that I was brought up in a small town.  Yes, there can be the disadvantage of EVERYONE knowing your business.  But, the advantage is that everyone gets to really know everyone.  It is just as easy to get good news spread around in a small town as it is bad news.

     When I was in high school, we had grades 8-12.  My daughter and son are in the same high school I graduated from, but it is a much bigger building.  It is still relatively small compared to some of the larger county schools, but it has definitely grown since I was a student there.

     The benefit of going to such a small school was that I felt like I knew everyone.  There were some people I didn't know that well, but I did know their name.  A lot of my friends' parents went to school with my parents.  I even had some friends' grandparents that were classmates with my grandparents!  Some of the teachers taught generations of students.

     Whether you are from a small place like me, or a bigger place, you still have those friends that you will never forget.  Those are precious people and precious memories.  There are times when we are growing up that our friends really know us better than anybody else.  Those are the friendships that last a lifetime.

     Do you remember friends like that?  The ones you sat up all night with and told your secrets to?  The best friend that told you the truth whether you wanted to hear it or not.  They still told you knowing you would be mad at them for a while, but they also knew you would get over it and thank them for being so loyal and honest.  Guys, do you remember the best friend that stood up to the bully for you because he didn't want to see you hurt?  He may have taken a punch because he didn't want you to have to take it.  You know the kind of friends I am talking about.

     I feel so blessed and fortunate that I am still in that same town.  A lot has changed and it isn't as small as it used to be, but I still have so many "old" friends that I am so lucky to still be able to live around and get to see.  A lot of us have kids around the same ages and we are watching them form friendships like we had. 

     Not only were the friendships important when I was younger and a teenager, but they are really important now.  I am still building on a lot of them. 

     I am really glad we watched the movie.  It was funny and entertaining, but it made me think about those childhood friends.  Everybody deserves friends like that.  Who are your long-time friends and why?

Friday, June 10, 2011

My Boys' Sunscreen Ad

     I love my boys.  They can be so different in so many ways and then similar in so many ways at the same time.  My older son, Shane, is the most determined person I know.  It doesn't matter what he is trying to accomplish, he does not stop until he has done what he set out to do.  He is the caretaker of all four of us.  He is the one that makes sure I don't do anything too strenuous or anything that he can do for me instead.  He always asks if the people around him are "okay" and his friends are lucky to have him.  He is very loyal and will do anything for anybody he loves and cares about.  He is so gracious in things that I, or anybody else for that matter, does for him. 

     My younger son, Stratton is my little inventor.  He is always making things and creating ideas.  He can make anything out of paper.  I am not kidding.  He has made guns for him and his cousins out of paper.  I need to get him to do a tutorial on here and show you how he did it.  He has the best sense of humor.  He is a lot like my brother in that he is quick witted.  I have always said it is like he is a 50 year old man trapped in the body of a boy.  He doesn't think like a kid, but like an older man.  The older man I refer to is most of the time my dad.  Stratton is his clone.  He loves to tease and aggravate just like my dad.  He is determined too, but he is selective about the things he strives for.  It's funny because he is the youngest of us four, but his thinking and reasoning makes him the one we all look to a lot of the time in making decisions or trying to see both sides of an issue.

    I do love my boys, and Sydney, more than anything else in the world.  The boys make me proud of them everyday and I am so blessed to have them.  That being said, some days I don't know if they will ever make it without me.  They have such good, responsible qualities, but they worry me sometimes.   

     Yesterday was one of those times.

     I asked them to help spray each others backs with sunscreen while I was busy doing something else.  Simple enough, right?

     Well, I am still trying to figure out how this happened.  Some things the two of them do I just don't ask questions. 

     Shane sprayed Stratton's back and, well, I guess they were in a hurry and Stratton thought he was good.  It looks like the spray settled on his back a little and these are the tan lines he was left with.


Maybe he can replace the old Coppertone ad!