Sunday, July 31, 2011

He Passed Out and We Missed Out (The Men Tell All)

     I love watching "The Men Tell All" episodes of  "The Bachelorette".  Sometimes you get a better idea of who the guys really are without the influence of editing in certain situations.  Poor Tim that got drunk the first night and was sent home was there.  We really missed out on him.  He seemed really nice and had a heck of a personality. He was funny when he said he watched the show and felt more like a fan than a contestant.  Maybe they will give him another chance on another season.

     This episode is a lot about unanswered questions and apologies.  I have an apology.  Although it was only meant in fun, I am really sorry for the hard time I gave Ames.  He is a super smart, extra sweet guy and whoever ends up with him is a lucky, lucky girl. 

     I didn't feel a whole lot better about William.  He redeemed himself a little, but he is still a disappointment.  I still like Constantine, but I will say this, if he knew he didn't want to stay why didn't he back out instead of Ames leaving?  I think if he knew it wasn't going to work out, he should have bowed out and given Ames another chance.

     Poor Ryan got grilled by the guys, but the book reading and studying how to ask Ashley questions is a little disturbing.  Someone should have told him at some time in his life you don't have to own up to EVERYTHING.  That did make him sound a little creepy.

     I still think Nick was one of the best looking guys there, but, wow, if he would have opened up and been as aggressive with Ashley as he was on this episode he would have maybe been there longer.  He just kind of took control and asked the guys questions for this episode.  He seemed a little more quiet and laid back on the show.

   AND..........Bentley.  There was no suprise he didn't show up.  Now that everybody has seen who he really is he just proved that he is a huge coward on top of it all. 

     I wonder who the next Bachelor will be.  I heard somewhere it might be Ryan or Ames.  I know Ames is going to be on "The Bachelor Pad", but I just don't know if my nerves can handle Ryan.  I have an idea!  Since we got cheated out of seeing Tim, let's give him a shot!  (I mean a chance, he might want to leave out the shots if he is allowed back on the show!)

Bachelorette's Tim: The Next Morning Was a Giant Fog

New Styles of Jewelry

I have new pieces of jewelry I made.  I had a lot of fun working with different styles.  I lost the pink feather earrings to Sydney.  They looked so pretty with her blonde hair I had to give them to her! 

This is for a friend of mine that wanted a necklace to match a bracelet I made a couple of weeks ago.

I love the waterfall designs.  This was a challenge to make, but now that I have it figured out, I will make more in different beads and colors.

I love the look of feathers that is so popular right now.  I have more neutral shades, but couldn't resist the hot pink!

This is on a really long chain. The oval bead is a pretty shade of swirling purple and the other beads are white agate.

This necklace is on a long chain with Swarovski crystal elements.  The crystals in the round hanging from hoop move.

The bracelet on the left is a wrap around with agate beads and the malachite is a triple strand and the turquoise is a double strand.

This necklace is on 4 layers of chain with rose quartz.

I love this look.  It is crystals on a shorter chain.

Necklace with rose quartz and smokey quartz.

This is a simple ring made from memory wire.  It wraps around your finger to fit most sizes.

These are really pretty.  I love the pink!  I will have to get a picture of Sydney wearing them.

Clear quartz and Chinese bloodstone on a medium length chain.

This is on a long chain with a variety of charms.

I think red and turquoise really look pretty together.  They seem to make each other stand out.  This chain is also a pretty, bright silver.  It can be casual or dressy.

I am so glad to be able to make my jewelry again.  I am working on an online store I hope to have ready soon.  If you are interested in any pieces in the meantime, you can message me at and I also have a page on facebook called The Lollipop Fence.  I would love to hear comments and suggestions also.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Kate's Voice Update



Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Great News!!!!!!

The 'Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act' was passed unanimously by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this afternoon at about 2:30PM!!

This is a BIG step forward - we now move on to the full Senate floor and to the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

We know (with certainty) that strong grassroots support has really helped get us to the point - please continue to keep contacting Congress as we move forward, and thank you so much for all of your efforts!!!
Please go to the following links to  learn more and see how you can help!

If you aren't sure of what to write or say, the link above has pages listed on the right side for guides to contacting reps, phone calls, emails, and other ways you can help pass the bill.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Fun Thoughts!

    Happy Friday!  It is our last weekend of summer break:(    BUT,  we went to the high school yesterday and got schedules and a few other things and I think the kids are excited.  Sydney is looking forward to all that seniors get to do and Shane is looking forward to being in high school.  Shane and Stratton are loving football and so are my nephews.  Skylar had a good week also at cheerleading camp.  It is always a little sad when the summer is over, but we sure do have a lot of fun things ahead.  (We also found out this week that my cousin, Joseph's little girl Lillie, is going to be the mascot for Skylar's cheerleading squad. So we will be with them too!) 


                    Have a great, safe weekend everybody!

MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

While driving yesterday I saw a banana peel in the road and instinctively swerved to avoid it.

Nothing is worse than that moment during an argument when you realize you’re wrong.

I totally take back all those times I didn’t want to nap when I was younger.

The letters T and G are very close to each other on a keyboard. This recently became all too apparent to me and consequently I will never be ending a work email with the phrase “Regards” again.  (This is kind of like my K and L dilemma!)

There is a great need for sarcasm font.

Sometimes, I’ll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what  was going on when I first saw it.

How the heck are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.

I think part of a best friend’s job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

The only time I look forward to a red light is when I’m trying to finish a text.

Lol has gone from meaning, “laugh out loud” to “I have nothing else to say”.

Whenever someone says “I’m not book smart, but I’m street smart”, all I hear is “I’m not real smart, but I’m imaginary smart”.

How many times is it appropriate to say “What?” before you just nod and smile because you still didn’t hear what they said?

I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars teams up to prevent someone from cutting in at the front.

Every time I have to spell a word over the phone using ‘as in’ examples, I  undoubtedly draw a blank and sound like a complete idiot.

What would happen if I hired two private investigators to follow each other?

I find it hard to believe there are actually people who get in the shower first and THEN turn on the water.

If Carmen San Diego and Waldo ever got together, their offspring would probably just be completely invisible.

Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go around and say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly nervous?  I know my name, I know where I’m from, this shouldn’t be a problem.

There’s no worse feeling than that millisecond you’re sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.

I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello?), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What’d you do after I didn’t answer? Drop the phone and run away?

Why is a school zone 20 mph? That seems like the optimal cruising speed for pedophiles…

As a driver I don't like pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I don't like drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I never like cyclists.

Sometimes I’ll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

I keep some people’s phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

(community guy)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Life Is A Country Song

     I am feeling a little lot overwhelmed today.  Sydney and Shane get their lockers and schedules today.  And, gulp, Sydney gets her parking space.  That will help in the mornings though.  She can get her and Shane to school and then I can take Stratton.  I have a ton of things I have to do today.  It is one of those days I feel like there isn't enough time to get everything in.  Shane has football, Stratton has football, we are still trying to find Sydney a car.  I have a lot of paperwork to turn into the school and I am getting things ready for my court date on the 8th. One of those two last things I shouldn't be bothered with the burden of having to get prepared for, but I had no choice in filing.

     I am not quite to the point of this girl singing this song, but I just came across it and think it is REALLY funny.  I remember listening to David Allen Coe when I was younger.  One summer we listened to him the whole ride to Florida and then the whole ride home.  I had the words to all of the songs memorized and would sing them having no idea what they meant.

     Anyway, when I am really stressed like I am now (I do have help from my parents so I am not completely alone), humor is the best medicine.  I always find that if I don't laugh I will cry.  And I don't like to cry as much as l like to laugh!  I don't know who this girl is, but this is really funny.  Her name is Madeline Monroe and I am glad I found this song today.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Christian Atheist~ Introduction and Chapter 1

     I am beginning the book discussion on The Christian Atheist by Craig Groeschel today.  I don't know how many participants I have, but have been told by some they have gotten the book so I want to get started.  I have been reading and I am eager to talk about it and see what everybody else thinks.

     Anybody can jump in at any time.  If you are just following along, it is never too late to get the book and participate.  Also, if you aren't reading the book, but keeing up with the discussion, you are more than welcome to add comments.  I want anyone who has something to say to do so.  There are no rules.  This is supposed to be an easy going, comfortable way of talking about what you have read or your thoughts.

     The title of the book is a little odd.  I remember learning the word oxymoron in high school.  It's when you put two totally opposite words together.  The Christian Atheist is about as opposite as you can get.  It is always a little awkward and imtimidating when you talk about religion.  Atheists have a much easier time talking about their disbelief than some Christians have talking about their belief.

     We don't want to say the wrong thing and seem unChristian-like.  I think I just made up a word, but unChristian-like sounds so much more delicate than Atheist.  When I think of Atheists, I sometimes think of dark people, even goth-looking, that not only don't believe in God, but maybe worship the devil.  That isn't always the case.  There are many people, normal, nice people walking around that don't believe God exists.

     I think it is so interesting that the author of this book is a pastor and admits he has been guilty of being a Christian Atheist.  I think it is also interesting he said he holds off on telling people he is a pastor as long as he can because they react differently when they find out.  Most people don't say in front of a pastor what they would say in front of other people.  Which is kind of funny because if we think impressing the pastor will also impress God, we are mistaken.  The pastor might not know what we are thinking instead of saying, but God does.

     The topic of how good of a Christian are we is an uncomfortable one.  I know that my life is for God.  I know that it doesn't matter what else I do, I am supposed to revolve everything else around being a Christian, not the other way around.  God is my to do list.  I am not supposed to be too busy or tired to go to church or pray.  I know all of these things, but at times I am guilty of not doing all of them.

     It is uncomfortable and embarrassing to say that I don't go to church every Sunday.  I have fell asleep before saying my prayers.  I have put chores ahead of reading my Bible.  According to the author, I am a Christian Atheist.  And that's not enough.  The sound of it makes me more uncomfortable than my confessions.  I don't want more because it is socially acceptable or it is supposed to be that way.  I want more because I know my life is not completely full and filled with peace unless I put my whole life, heart, and faith in God.

     I know this book is going to challenge me, but in a good way.  What do you think so far?  What about the Introduction and Chapter 1?  I keep thinking about the word "know" and how to truly "know" God.  We use the word in so many ways, but I am thinking about the concept of what it means to truly know God.

     I like the author's way of explaining the idea of believing in God but living as though He doesn't exist.  He has a good sense of humor too!  I think we should be able to go 2 chapters at a time.  (Next Wed. will be on Chapters 2 and 3).  If we get on a topic or Chapter that takes longer, we will just move at the pace that comes naturally.  I am really excited about hearing what all of you think.  It might be a little uncomfortable at times, but I think there is a lot we can learn from each other.  At least we are at our computers and nobody can see our discomfort like when the preacher has a sermon that makes us nervous and we turn red or start shifting on the pew!


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What a Suprise Bachelorette....And Then There Were Two

     I have just completely given up hope for this show.  I will see it through, but I have a strong feeling I won't be real happy this time next week.

     I can't believe Constantine left.  I mean, I can believe he wasn't that into her, but I am suprised he left.  He kept saying he was taking things slow, but it was kind of obvious he wasn't as into her as, say..........Ryan.       What in the world?   I knew it couldn't be Bentley back, but I was suprised to see Ryan. 

     This show has just completely made idiots of some of the people this season.  I was thinking it might be Lucas who came back, or even Ames.  I wasn't expecting Ryan.  Usually when someone returns it is because they held back and didn't let the other person really know how they felt.  They return for a second chance to express their feelings.

     Um, we all knew how Ryan felt.  Ashley let him go because she wasn't into him.  Jake from Jillian's season still wins for the most annoying return, but poor Ryan was just kind of funny and pitiful at the same time.  I can't believe the show let him do that.  And, I love how Ashley kept making it sound like she sent Constantine home.  I never  liked Jake after he came to tell Jillian about Wes.  Didn't he break some male code?  Even if he didn't like Wes, his return just made him look whiney and needy.  Then he went on the Bachelor, and looked, to me, even more needy.  I told Sydney the whole time he was on he was a control freak.  I know a lot of people like him, but just like JP, something about him bugs me. 

    I bet you anything something happened at Constantine's hometown date.  He has played hard to get the whole time, and I respect that he respected her too much to take her to the fantasy suite, but get real, he practically bolted out of there.  Maybe his parents didn't like her or he saw another side to her, I just think his leaving was a little sudden.  Since he is from near me, I had heard he didn't make it to the final 2, but I didn't believe it.  Now, if he hadn't chosen to leave, I still think he would have gotten a rose instead of Ben.  Whether Constantine meant to or not, he strung her along just enough to keep her interested.  And...... it could have changed everything.  I think JP is going to end up smothering her.  Constantine's attitude might have won her over.  But, I think he is better off anyway.  I don't think she is really that serious about any of them.  She just likes JP's attention, now.

     JP still annoys me.  I feel mean, but there is just something about him I don't like.  Did you see his face when she called Ben to get the rose?  He had this face that looked of anger and disgust.  He does know she has been dating him, right?  And.....he took her to the fantasy suite first?  It is just funny to me that he gets angry and jealous.  It was funny when Ashley told him she sent two guys home.  He thought for a minute she just said game over and chose him.

     Well, I am already sad for Ben.  She may totally shock me, but I think she will pick JP.  The next episode does look like there will be a lot of drama.  I will hold onto some hope for Ben, but to be honest, she will break his heart eventually if she chooses him. I don't think she is the one for him.

     Oh, and for the next drinking game,  watch "The Men Tell All" and drink every time Chris Harrison tries to keep a straight face.  He has had a real hard time with that one this season. 

Is Constantine not about to fall off the boat leaning AWAY from her?


Monday, July 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Skylar!

     I want to wish my niece, Skylar, a Happy Birthday!  We celebrated her party last night, but today is her actual birthday.  Skylar is my niece that is a lot like me, she is even named after me.  Shakespeare said a name is just a name, but in our family when you are named after someone, and everybody is, you somehow become a lot like that person.

    Maybe it is because we have an instant bond with the one that is our namesake and we unintentionally bring to light those similiarities.  But, it's hard not to feel a little special closeness to a child that has your name.

     We always have a good time with birthday parties.  I don't know if you have noticed, but it seems like I am writing about one all the time.  Between all the kids and adults, we are always celebrating someone's birthday. 

The birthday girl!  Her party was Rock Star themed.  Sydney crimped and fixed her hair.

Getting ready for the water balloon fight!

Watch out Timothy!

Ella loves her Pop!  (me too!)

Sweet Papa to the rescue lighting the candles.

She blew them out in no time!  Those lungs are ready for cheerleading!

My sister, Amanda, and her husband and their kids.  Good thing Amanda likes parties because from March to August she has to put on 5!

As if the weekend wasn't busy enough, Sydney had senior pictures on Saturday.  This is going to be a fun and good school year for all the kids, but it is going to be an emotional one.  I know this because it has already started!  (the tears, I mean!)


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Amy Winehouse

     I felt really sad yesterday when I heard that Amy Winehouse had been found dead.  I didn't know her, but when people are put in magazines and all over TV, you get to feeling like you do.  You know something about them anyway.

     This is so sad and it happens to so many young people, celebrities or not.  I feel like we take entertainers and we enjoy their music, movies, or whatever makes them famous and we kind of put them on a pedestal.  A lot of people think that if someone becomes famous they should be expected to have their life an open book.  That everybody knowing everything they do just comes with the part of being famous. I am not sure that is quite fair.  We put them on that pedestal and love them and then can be so quick to judge them. I am sure there are many, many advantages celebrities have because of their stardom, but I don't think their lives under a microscope is one of them.

    Remember in high school how image was everything?  You worried all night about what to wear the next day, never mind you had a history test you should have been studying.  Our priorities at that age are our image and what people think of us.  It just goes with being that age.  But, when we get older we don't want to be remembered just for our high school years.  We did other things when image wasn't the top priority.  That pressure was so hard, I can't imagine worrying about what millions of people think.  A person can gain millions of fans in a day and can lose them just as easily. 

     I think the pressure is that way with celebrities.  They get out there, worry about what will keep them interesting to the public, and work.  And that is the point.  At the end of the day, they are just people and being in the spotlight is their job.  They work everyday whether they mean to or not, just by being in the public eye.

     When we think of acting legends or musician legends, it is their talent that comes to mind.  Then, we remember things in their personal life that wasn't so great, but it is that talent that hopefully lives on.  Everybody makes mistakes.  Young people can become famous so fast and at such an early age they don't know what to do with it sometimes.  I think that is the negative part of them that we see.  They may be still trying to find and establish their identity and the  public sometimes sticks them with one.

     There was a lot of touble surrounding Amy Winehouse.  She never looked happy in pictures and it was well known she was battling problems.  I believe we sometimes take these people, help make them famous, put them on a pedestal, and then can be judgmental when the negative part comes out.  It is a disservice to them and although it comes along with being a star, it is unfortunate.  At the end of the day they are just people, but so many people mistakenly see them as so much more. 

     It is so easy for people with that much attention and pressure on them to lose sight of things.  When anyone has a hard time and feel like their world is just beating them down it is easy to get discouraged.  This is when we are supposed to turn to and trust God even more.  A lot of people go in the opposite direction though, and I think it just opens up a lot of negativity to come into their lives.  They feel like God has failed them and they turn the other way and that is when things really get bad.

     When we look back at so many people who were celebrities that fought their demons and lost it brings about a sense of sadness.  Just a few that instantly come to mind are Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, River Pheonix, Heath Ledger, and there are so many more.  I just think it is sad.  Amy Winehouse was only 27, but doesn't it seem like she was so much older than that?  I feel sad because everything else aside she was a young girl with a lot of troubles and anytime someone, famous or not, gets that lost it just makes me feel sad.  Somehow, I also feel a strange sense of responsibility when something like this happens as just a part of that public that watched that person act, enjoyed their music, and read about their troubles.  I don't think we should be able to put them on that pedestal without taking a little responsibility. 


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Playing Musical Kids

     That is an odd phrase, playing musical kids.  It is what I call it when me and my sister exchange kids.  I am wiped out today!  We had a fun day yesterday and last night. Amanda and her husband, Harrison, took three of their kids, Walt, Skylar, and Macalister, and my three kids to the water park.  I stayed behind and me and my mom watched Sadie and Samuel, Amanda's youngest two. 

     I guess we could called it topsy, turvy kids too!  It can get a little confusing.  I had a great-grandmother that had a hard time remembering all the kids and grandkids' names.  We would always laugh at her and imitate her.  After rattling off a couple of names she just usually ended up calling everybody "hickey". 

     I think my mom is near that point.  I have all three of my kids with "S" names and my sister also has three "S" names.  We also have Skylar and my brothers son,Tyler, that rhyme, so it is sometimes hard to keep up with!

     When everybody got back from the water park, my boys stayed with Amanda and spent the night and we got Skylar in exchange.  I don't think that was a very fair exchange.  I ended up with less kids and Amanda added to her bunch.  Poor Skylar got jipped.  We watched "Toddlers and Tiaras" from this week so she enjoyed that, but me and Sydney are not morning people at all so I think we bored Skylar most of the morning.

     My kids, being a little older, get up and do their own thing, and they don't need me.  I forget how when younger ones get up you do too!  Skylar isn't a slow mover in the morning like me and Sydney.  She had a little coffee (more milk than coffee) with me and after that she was really ready to go!

     I like it when we change the kids around.  I feel like I get to spend a little extra time with each of them that way and they always love it! 

     I think I am going to suggest another exchange around lunch time.  I will take Sadie and Samuel again and have a nap with them!  I doubt I will get away with that one! 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Planking and Coning?????

     There have always been fads.  Teenagers find something that gets their attention and before long, EVERYBODY is doing it.  I was a teen in the 80's.  We had things like friendship bracelets, leg warmers, big hair with tons of hairspray, Rubik's Cube, Atari, Pac Man, and parachute pants.  There was Valley Girl talk and surfer language from Bill and Ted.  And, every sentence ended in "not".

     There will always be things that catch on.  In the 70's there were CB radios, pet rocks, mood rings, 8-track players, disco, and roller skating just to name a few.  The 60's had bellbottom pants, the twist, love beads, tie dye, hair ironing, Elvis, and The Beatles. Going back to the 50's were poodle skirts, hula hoops, saddle shoes, car hops, cat eye glasses, letter jackets, panty raids, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, and Mickey Mantle.  Going back even further, the 40's had the bikini, yo-yo, Howdy-Doody, Frank Sinatra, and Gene Autry.

     Every decade has fashion, games, entertainment, and sports, that become popular and are remembered generations later.  Pranks are just one of them.  Some pranks from the past are telephone booth stuffing, mooning, streaking,  and prank calling.  The fun in them is that they are most of the time harmless acts.    Teens have always done crazy things as part of a fad or just to get attention. 

     Now, we have two pranks that my kids have brought to my attention.  Planking and Coning.  With facebook, cell phones with cameras and videos, you-tube, and the internet, it is easier than ever to pull a prank and show it to others.  I don't get the new fads, but I am sure parents that participated in fads of their generation don't get the fads of their teenager's generation.  I guess it is supposed to be that way.

    It is crazy, but it is harmless fun.  With all the above mentioned ways for kids to communicate, I am sure most parents are happy to see their teens doing a silly fad than A LOT of other things they could be out doing.  Just as generations of the past, it is the rite of passage for teens to soak up all of the fads in their generation.  If they don't make them popular, there isn't any crazy traditions to represent their generation.  I enjoy looking and thinking back to all the things popular when I was a teenager.  HOPE I never see some of them again, but enjoy reminiscing about them!

The definition of planking is:       planking is to lay horizontally across any object or the ground with their arms by their sides, aiming to occur in daring situations or a brotherly display of core-strength.


And, the definition of coning is:    the act of buying a ice cream cone through a drive-through and grabbing it by the ice cream itself not the cone. (generally known as the new planking.)

Crazy, huh?   Still, these parents can't be nearly as embarrassed as the parents of streaking and mooning teens!                                                                                                   

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Who Doesn't Love Good Music?

     Although I have no talent when it comes to music, I love it.  I can't sing, dance, or play an instrument.  Funny though, I have an ear for good singing voices.  I always agreed with Simon Cowell on "American Idol".  Maybe that is a bad thing, but he doesn't sing either, does he?  There probably aren't many people in the music business that don't sing or have musical ability.  Maybe you appreciate it a little more when you don't have a natural, God given talent for it.

     I love country music, but I go from station to station.  I like our local radio station that plays popular music.  Some of my favorites are Nickelback, Train, Katie Perry, Kings of Leon, Maroon 5, and I hate to say it, but I do like Lady GaGa's songs.  Her name freaks out my kids and nieces and nephews.  My mom is called "Grandmother" but that can be a mouthful.  My youngest started calling her "Gaga" way before we knew who Lady GaGa was and so it is weird for them to see her and call their grandmother the same name.

     I like to change stations frequently.  I think because I spent so much time with my aunt and uncle when I was little and them being teenagers at the time, I absolutely LOVE classic rock. We have a local station that only plays classic rock and that is what my dad listens to.  The kids think it is funny, but when they mention a rapper or any hip hop song and my mom knows it or knows who sings it, that completely flips them out!  It's funny that she keeps up with all of it.  We were out somewhere and a Coldplay song came on and my mom said their name and I wish you could have seen the looks on my kids faces.  I am hoping kids and grandkids keep you young.  Really, I am pretty much depending on it!  I don't know what it was about that 40th birthday or if it has all caught up with me, but things have accelerated BIG TIME! I have my CD's and they are a huge variety as well.  But, there is one that the kids know to never take out.  I replace them all the time, but the Red Hot Chili Peppers stays put always!

     I was reading a blog (BooMama) yesterday and this video was on there.  It is a duet of Martina McBride and Pat Monahan from Train singing "A Broken Wing".  It is so good.  It brings back memories of Sydney singing it in the backseat a few years ago.  She has a really pretty voice and she sang that song all summer about five summers ago. Sydney still loves country, but for that little while it was only Martina McBride and she knew every word to every song.  She like Shania Twain too, but Martina was definitely her favorite. I hope it is okay that I stole this video, but it is so good.  I think it makes it especially good that these are two people I probably would never had thought of being put together. 

Here is the link to the video from CMT.  Tell me what you think.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My Blonde Moment THIS Week


     (I had said I was going to start the book discussion on The Christian Atheist today, but I will wait until next Wednesday.  There are so many things going on right now and a lot of people have been out of town, so maybe if I wait another week others will want to join in.)

      I told y'all I am lucky if I only have one blonde episode a week.  This is true, and I had one Monday which is the first for this week, but it is only Wednesday and I have a lot of places to go and things to do so I am sure I won't let myself down.

     One of the worst things I do for my back is letting my purse get too heavy.  It doesn't matter if I carry the smallest one I own or if I carry a big one, it is going to end up full.  Most of the time, it is loose change in the bottom that adds the extra weight to it.  Sometimes, just because I am lazy, I will just put that purse away and grab another one.  At some point in time, I have to get rid of all that change.  I love those CoinStar machines at the grocery store.  Remember how we used to have to roll change?  I would get to the end, somebody would say something and I would have to start all over again.

     Well, I had three little baggies of change and I took it Monday to cash it in with one of the machines.  I get to the store, and get my buggy just fine, I did get the last lysol wipe so I saved it for my hands after handling the change.  Then, I roll my buggy into the door and there go my bags.  Yep.  Change goes everywhere.  At least it was about 3:00 on a Monday at the store, but there were still enough people around to see it. 

     I just looked at it for a second and then bent down and started picking all the coins up.  What else could I do?  Just as I started, a girl came over and helped me.  I was so embarrassed picking all of it up off the grocery store floor, so I didn't look up at the girl, but just kept thanking her for helping me.  After a bit, I did look up. She looked maybe a little younger than me, it was hard to tell because she had on a baseball hat, and I was trying to just get all of it up.  But, I kept thinking how nice it was for a total stranger to help me.  I really appreciated it because as a germ-a-phobe I didn't like touching the grocery store floor.  She pointed out that they weren't easy to get up, so we pretty much had to pick them up one by one.  I was really thankful to this lady for helping me.  So many times people are in a rush and won't lend a hand.

     One of my biggest pet peeves is in the grocery store.  Don't you hate it when you have been waiting in line and just as somebody gets behind you another lane opens up and they jump in front of you?  Burns me up.  Somebody should write a book on grocery store ettiquette, because a lot of people don't know it exists.  Like those people who just leave their buggy in mid aisle with no intention of letting you through.  OR, the people who act like you are in their way when there is clearly another way they can go to get to what they want.  I'm sorry.  I just spend about 90% of my life in the grocery store and things get to me.

     I wanted to ask the lady her name, but I wanted to be thankful not creepy.  I was just thinking she must be a really nice person and a really good friend to help a stranger out like that.  Well, we finally got all of them picked up and I ran them through the machine. 

     After all that, it was only $39.00 and to be honest I would have given at least that not to have to be on the grocery store floor.  But, my faith in people helping others out just because it is the right and nice thing to do was renewed and that is priceless!

You've got Blonde
A man was in his front yard mowing grass when his attractive blonde neighbor came out of the house and went straight to the mailbox. She opened it then slammed it shut and stormed back into the house. A little later she came out of her house again, went to the mailbox and again opened it, and slammed it shut again. Angrily, back into the house she went.

As the man was getting ready to edge the lawn, she came out again, marched to the mailbox, opened it and then slammed it closed harder than ever.

Puzzled by her actions the man asked her, “Is something wrong?”

To which she replied, “There certainly is!”

My stupid computer keeps saying, “You’ve got mail!”

3 People in a Airplane
Once there were 3 people in an airplane, one took a bite out of
an apple. She thought it was too sweet so she threw it out of
the plane. The second person took a bite out of a lemon and she
thought it was too sour so, she threw it out of the plane. Then
the last person took a bite out of a grenade and he thought it
was too crunchy so, he threw it out of the plane. Then they
landed and decided to go for a walk. They first passed a little
girl who was crying and they asked, "little girl, little girl,
why are you crying?" and the little girl said, "an apple came
down and killed my new kitty". Next they passed a little boy
was also crying. And they again asked, "little boy, little boy,
why are you crying?" and the little boy said, "a lemon came
and killed my new puppy." Then they passed a blonde sitting on
the side walk laughing her butt off. They asked, "why are you
laughing so hard?" and the blonde said, "I farted and the
building behind me blew up!!"
I called my nephews, Timoth and Tyler, and told them this second joke.  They were cracking me up they were laughing so hard!                             

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Check Me Out!

     I am really excited to have a post at Cocktails with Mom!  I am at the Open Bar section (Scroll down the home page) and my post is The Marriage Ref.  I am so thankful for the opportunity to write on such a great blog!

     I also have her button on my sidebar.

Ashley, Ashley, Ashley

     I know we have an unfair advantage watching "The Bachelorette".  Ashley can't see everything we see, but she sees ENOUGH.  What is she thinking?  I think my problem is I am in the mindset of a 40 year old divorced mom of 3 and she seems to be looking for what I know doesn't last.

     Sure, you want to be attracted to your husband, but there are so many more things that are more important.  I know if I ever even have the desire to get married again I will definitely want someone smart.  I have given Ames a hard time, but he is so smart and so sweet.  I know he might not agree, but she did him a favor.  I have seen in magazines he is dating Jackie from Brad's "The Bachelor".  They sound like a good match.  No doubt she was smarter than Brad.  He couldn't brush his teeth without calling his therapist to see how he should do it.  I admit he needed a therapist, but when a man is that dependent on one a big huge red flag should appear before his face.

     A man that is smart and just normal is so under appreciated.  JP's family has such strong opinions about him getting hurt again.  I don't know about y'all, but his family's concern just kind of brings to my memory the part of Fatal Attraction where Glenn Close shows her slit wrists.  I mean it is sad that JP got hurt, but his family is tiptoeing around it way too much.  I think there is a story there we are missing.

     Ben showed a side we haven't seen.  He almost had a little boy sad cry.  It was sincere, though.  He opened up to Ashley and his mom and sister.  And, Constantine, oh my goodness I want to get in my car and go straight to his family restaurant now that I know the name of it.  It isn't really that odd I would favor him because he is as close to his family as I am mine and his looked almost as big.  I told Sydney, we need to go find him and see if he is into girls a lot younger or a lot older.  He would fit in perfect with our family!

     Did you see the previews to next week?  I didn't know she was related to Kat Von D!  What in the world?  Is that her sister she gets mad at?  All I know is she may not need a rose ceremony next week because Constantine and Ben may run for the hills.  She is safe with JP though.  Although, she might want to watch him and her sister.  If I am right, he is nothing like she thinks he is and she better run while she can.

     Poor Constantine and Ben.  They have had to make it all the way to this point before they get an actual vacation destination worth being on the show.  I say that, and I know it sounds mean, but we all know she is going to pick JP.  At least Constantine and Ben will finally get a decent trip out of it.  I feel really bad for Ames.  He is better off without Ashley, but he worked so hard to get that close to an actual vacation.

     I tried to root for Ashley in the beginning, but she has showed me she isn't as serious as she should be or maybe she just doesn't want a good guy.  Maybe she knows it will go nowhere with JP and the others would actually try to make it work.  Who knows!  I am just exhausted after watching an episode.  We will see next week, but my bet is Ben will go home next.

I am going to miss Ames.  I wanted to cry when he didn't get picked.  He turned out to be such a great guy and had a great family too.  I do think Jackie is a much better match if it is true they are dating.  He would have gotten bored with Ashley after a while.


Monday, July 18, 2011

No More Carefree Hours.....

     Sniff, Sniff.  I'm okay.  Just a little sad that the summer is basically over for us.  Stratton, Walt, Timothy, and Tyler have football camp this week and then they start practice next week.  Shane has a lot going on for 9th grade football and Sydney has senior pictures and other things she is working on for the first week of school.  We don't start back until Aug. 4th, but for the most part our carefree summer days are over.

     I love the Andy Griffith show.  We always watched reruns when I was younger.  My dad always teased us about the beginning of school imitating Barney.  Do you remember the episode when Opie and his friends got into trouble for breaking the street light?  Barney lectured them on going to jail.  My dad would always, even when I was in high school, say what he said to the boys.

     You know, "No more carefree hours, no more doing what you want when you want.  No more Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches."  He always thought he was way funnier than we did!  While I am on the subject, he would also tease us when we had to go for our checkup at the pediatrician.  He would go around yelling, "Shot time!", at least 3 days before we had to go.  We were scared enough without him reminding us we probably had to get booster shots!

     I love where the kids go to school, but I enjoy their breaks when we can do what we want to.  Everybody is in so many directions and so busy I love just having time with them.  The routine is what wears me out.  I don't like to get up early and some nights we don't get to bed until really late between sports and homework.  But, like it or not, it is about to come to a screeching hault! 

     This time next year, though, Sydney will be able to tease along with my dad.  She is planning on taking classes at a nearby college, but she is also interested in what our family does so either way she won't be starting as early as the rest of the kids.  Maybe she will go easier on them.  I don't know though, he will probably talk her into rubbing it in.

     Here is part of the episode on "The Andy Griffith Show" I was talking about.  Maybe you can use it to tease your kids too!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I Am So Blessed With My "Village"

     I have said so many times we, parents, are in this thing together.  Being a parent is the hardest job in the world, most rewarding, but the hardest at the same time.  We constantly lean on others whether we realize it or not.  If you are a dad and while your son is practicing ball you talk to other dads about skills and you in your head compare your son's progress to the progress of other boys.  Sometimes it isn't the competetive comparing as much as making sure our kids are on the right path.  Are they developing the way they are supposed to at the same rate as others their age is what we are looking for sometimes. 

     Moms do it all the time.  I think being women, we openly share more than men generally just because we start sharing before our kids get here.  We talk to other moms in the waiting rooms of our prenatal visits.  We want to see if our pregnancy is normal or not.  There are questions we ask other moms instead of our doctors because we don't want to look stupid, especially if we are a first time mom.

     Moms on the playground or just sitting outside of a ballet class, we constantly bounce off of each other our kids and if they are in line with other kids.  It is normal because that is sometimes our only gauge, but also because it helps when we know other parents have concerns too. 

     Some parents are worriers (did I spell that right?).  I fit in that category.  I worry about everything.  Some parents are more relaxed.  My sister is more relaxed.  She is a great mom, but where I worry about things that may or may not even happen, she takes things as they come.  Let me say it this way, I walked right behind my kids when they were learning to walk.  I wanted to catch them as soon as they fell.  My sister gives her kids a bit more room so if they fall they have a chance to pick themselves back up.  I wish I was more like her and not so panicky all the time.  (I don't know if I spelled that right either, I may be making up words.)  She panics when she is supposed to.  I don't like that I do worry too much, but maybe our parenting styles are given to us by God because that is what is needed for our children specifically.  Maybe I need to be the way I am for my kids, and she needs to be the way she is for her kids.

     I read an article this morning about a mom and how social media saved her son.  I just talked about how I think there are good points and bad points.  This definitely falls in the good.  I put pictures of my kids on facebook and on here.  I, with my sister and brother's permission, put pictures of my nieces and nephews here also.  I wasn't sure in the beginning of this blog whether I should or not.  I worried (again!) about the safety issues.  I looked at other mom blogs and most of them have pictures of their kids.  Some use real names, some don't.  I wanted to put pictures on here because pretty much all I talk about is family and for the readers that don't know us personally, I feel like the pictures are important.  We are living in a world where we have to think about safety all the time, not just when we put our kids' faces on the internet.  We have cell phones with cameras where someone else can take pictures of our kids and put them anywhere without us knowing.

     This article is a really good positive point to having social media at your fingertips.  We parents stay so busy and are multitasking all day long that sometimes our communication with other parents is through facebook and other social methods.  I feel like we are so much more likely to "butt in" on facebook and say something to another parent that we feel is important.  This mom and her child are so blessed that others jumped into the facebook conversation.

     I don't normally quote Hillary Clinton, but I totally agree that it takes a village to raise a child.  I am so blessed that my village is full of wonderful family and friends!  It is scary enough raising kids, but as a single mom I rely on anyone who is willing to help me!  I think the best and sweetest 3 words a parent can hear, besides "I love you" from your kids of course, is "You're not alone!"

Matthew 18 1-6

     1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"
2  He called a little child and had him stand among them.  3 And he said:  "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  4 Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."  5 And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.  6 But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea."

Friday, July 15, 2011

I Want My Ni-Ni!

     First let me say, I love pageants.  My mom put me in them when I was little and I have put my daughter in her share of them.  They have, um, evolved since I was little.  I am sure some people think they have never been good for young girls, and maybe I somehow missed these when Sydney was little, but some are definitely worse than others.

     Me and Sydney love to watch "Toddlers and Tiaras."  The moms are normally the crazy ones on the show.  Some are wacky and some are downright mean.  But, when it comes to the girls, NOBODY compares to Mackenzie.  I don't know if you have seen her, but she completely cracks me up.  Her parents better do something now, or they will really be in for it when she is a teenager!  Although, she sounds like she is already 30 some of the time.

     These are just a couple of examples.

     We record it and watch it every week.  We have seen other girls misbehave, but Mackenzie is more funny than annoying.  To us, anyway. We haven't seen anybody else like her yet.  I bet she ends up with her own reality show.  I hope she does, I will watch it.  Remember the show "Designing Women"?  She reminds me of a toddler Delta Burke.  She is funny!

     I don't usually like to brag, but I am going to for a minute and show Sydney's picture.

     She won her Junior Miss title for her high school.  I am most proud of her because through participating in the pageant and her title, she has spent most of her summer doing community service projects.  She also has many more things lined up, including a project she came up with and will implement the first week of school.

     We got through that day without a Ni-Ni.  It would be hard to get mad at that little girl, Mackenzie, because she is so funny!

     It is cloudy and rainy here today.  At least it shouldn't be as hot, but around here the rain just makes it sauna-like sometimes.  You know when the pavement is so hot and it starts raining you can see the steam coming from it?  It has been that kind of steamy hot.  We can always use the rain so maybe it will cool it off a little and wash away whatever allergen is driving me crazy!

     We are supposed to get out today and look at cars and maybe test drive some of them.  This has been a lot harder than I thought.  Is there some kind of software that you can plug in price range, insurance range, size of car, gas mileage, safety, reliability, and availability (especially for used)?  If not, there should be because I have gotten a headache trying to look all of this up individually on the internet.  Maybe going and looking at them will help. 

     This is where my dad is a HUGE help.  His family used to be in the car business years ago and we are really close to an older cousin that is more like an uncle that is part of that family and knows cars.  They know what to look for and how to deal with salespeople.  I, however, stand there sounding like Rainman, "I don't want her alone in a car, I don't want her alone in a car."  It is pitiful.  And.......... I promise I didn't do a rain dance last night to stall going to look today.  Cross my heart!

     Is 40 too old to get a Ni-Ni?


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Social Media

     Social Media.

     We didn't even know what that was until a few years ago.  We have always known what a social butterfly is.  Speaking of, Sydney has turned into even more of one now that she can come and go on her own.  There are so many ways to communicate instantly.

     I like it.  We thought phones were great.  Then, they added call waiting.  Wonder how many calls we missed because we could only talk to one person at a time?  Cell phones are a parent' dream for keeping up with kids.  E-mail is great because if you don't have time to call someone, you just shoot them an e-mail and they can get back to you when it is convenient.

     Now, we have facebook that connects you with people you may lost touch with.  And, twitter is a by the minute update on your life.  All of these things have good and bad points to them, but I think there is more good than bad. 

     As for the bad, rumors can spread more quickly, bullies have more access to mistreat people, and everybody knows your business.

     As for the good, prayer chains can be spread around the world in a matter of hours.  Loved ones living far away can keep up with other family members.  I also think we are more likely to add a comment on facebook or send an e-mail to comfort someone through a hard time or just let them know you are thinking about them.  I personally think the good outweighs the bad.  Sure we still need to talk as a family at the dinner table, visit relatives, and have a person to person conversation, but these new convenient ways keep us more connected most of the time.

     It can be confusing at times, though.  We get information in so many places, we have to constantly check all sources to make sure we haven't missed anything.  Teachers, coaches, etc. send e-mails.  Texting is another one I haven't mentioned.  A lot of sports information is done by texts.  I need to get better about my cell phone.  I have it in the car in case of an emergency and so the kids can get me, but I forget it sometimes or it isn't charged.  If I had a fancy one that could do a lot I might keep up with it more, but I don't know how long it would take me to figure out how to use it.  Either way, we have to check a lot of places everyday to make sure we haven't missed important information.

I love this commercial.  I would be this guy.

     As great as I think all of the communication is, I am still overwhelmed by some of it and trying to learn how to use all of it.  There are so many positive things about having so many ways to communicate.  An important bad thing I didn't mention above is having your kids laugh at you when you say,"Oh yeah, I saw that in a twit today."  When they stopped laughing and corrected me, they teased me and called me the "twit." 

     I guess I have a lot of learning to do!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Follow Up

     I had another follow up appointment yesterday from my surgery.  It went well!  I have to go back again in a few more weeks, but everything is healing like it is supposed to.  I am so thankful to my doctor for "fixing" me.  He is a really nice man and you can tell he enjoys making people feel better and giving them a better quality of life.  He also is an humble man.  The doctor that sent me to him made it well known that he was a spiritual man.  He said this doctor is too which is why I feel very comfortable around him and have a lot of trust in him.  You can tell sometimes without them saying it out right if they have a strong faith or if they have a huge ego and think they are God.

     When I was pregnant with Stratton, Sydney went with me to one of my appointments to hear the heartbeat.  She was only 4, but she asked me how a baby got in my tummy.  I just said, "God put it there like he put you and Shane in my tummy."  We got to my appointment and my OB walked in and she just sat up and asked my mom, "Is that God?"  My mom said, "No, but some of them think they are."

     I am so thankful that God led me to my doctor and that I am feeling much better.  It is hard when you are a mom and you can't do what you want and need to, but when you are THE parent, it is really frustrating.  But, I think I should be good for a little bit.  He has warned me I will always have some problems and these may very well be the first of surgeries, but for now I am feeling better than I have in a long time.

     I do have to tell you this also because you know how much I love my kids, nieces, and nephews.  After my appointment, I met my mom, sister, and our kids at the mall for lunch and to let mom look at the pictures we made last week.  There were a few different poses and I took advantage of being there and had a current picture made of my three and Amanda made some of her baby, Samuel.  Anyway, we walked in and Sadie must have had some kind of flashback or post traumatic stress fit because she wasn't having any of the Picture People.  We quickly picked out what we wanted and I took her strolling around the mall. She is in that in between stage where she wants to be out of the stroller, but isn't old enough to stay with you and keep up.  After her and Ella have had some time to forget, we will have to take them back again because the pictures are really good of all of them together.   We just better enjoy the ones we have because it may be a while!

I am participating in a linky party today on!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What Is The Bachelorette Thinking?


     Okay, I have felt sorry for Ashley on past episodes because she didn't know the whole Bentley situation.  Now, I don't have any sympathy left for her.

     Again, with the dumb group dates.  How did Lucas and Ames end up with their outfits?  I must have missed something.  That was an odd group date and she was shocked things were awkward later that night? 

     JP really annoys me.  The way he got so upset and pouty was very immature and irritating.  I mean, he does know she is dating the other guys there right?  I think, by the way he acted, he is probably very controlling and jealous.  Ashley is not a good judge of character AT ALL.  He whined to her, while the veins were popping out of both sides of his head, until he got the rose.  Congratulations, you got the pity rose.  I don't know what she is thinking.  She gave him the rose instead of Lucas or Ames, both really nice, genuine guys.  I don't think she wants anybody that is going to treat her right.

     I was glad she sent Ryan home.  He isn't nearly as irritating to me as JP, but he has way too much energy.  Me and Sydney couldn't stop laughing at his little breakdown in the bushes after Ashley sent him home.  I am sure he really appreciates the cameras still rolling for that.  He seemed way too anxious.

     I like Constantine.  I can't wait to see the home date!  It will be fun to see what part of our area is shown.  He is being really smart.  He has opened up to Ashley, but he is making her work a little for him.  He clearly is moving a little slower and doesn't seem so anxious.  He is playing hard to get just enough that he is keeping her interested.

     Ben seems like a really nice, sincere guy too.  He is a good sport.  When Ryan got his one on one date, Ben seemed happy for him and even told him congratulations.  Only on this show would a guy congratulate another guy on taking the girl he is also dating out on a date.  When you say it like that it is really odd, isn't it?  JP was chomping at the bits when he realized Ben hadn't come home from his one on one.  One of the other guys tried to talk to him and he let him know he didn't want to talk about it.  Why does he get to be more upset than the other guy?  They are talking about the same girl.  How is one guy supposed to make the other feel better about the girl they are both dating? 

     I love this show, but when you say some things out loud it sounds ridiculous, doesn't it?  Maybe next week she will see through JP.  I am not betting on it, but I guess it is possible.  She got really upset when Lucas left.  I don't know why it bothered her that he had been married.  At least she knew he was serious about marriage and would committ.  I think she knew she made a mistake sending him home.  She should have sent JP home.  I am hoping he will show his true side on the home date.

     For some reason, my dvr stopped taping after the rose ceremony and we missed the last part with Emily.  I am hoping my mom taped it, or maybe I can watch it online.  If not, one of you will have to fill me in!