Wednesday, October 30, 2013

"F" is for...

Well, "F" could be for a lot of things... Feelings, Faith, Fall, (Kids! Avert your eyes, quick!!) F*&% Cancer.  But, for today, I will use this "F" for Flashback.

Take a walk down memory lane with me since it is the season of all things pumpkin...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

"E" is for....

Exciting news!!!  Trey is going to school!!!

Remember this post I wrote last year?  We had decided not to send Trey to preschool because we didn't know how the next month was going to pan out, let alone nine months for school.  Well, lo and behold, Trey has flourished in the clinical trial he has been in.  The medicine he gets weekly (through a medi-port in his chest) is supposed to prevent tumor growth, and so far, it has!  Praise God! 

All through the last school year, Trey and I would have a free form, casual, organic (i.e. I didn't know what I was doing so the lessons had no structure) homeschool lesson appropriate for his age.  We had a calendar time, worksheet time, coloring or activity...or maybe we would bake cookies or go to the library or play outside (totally counts).  

Right around the new year, it kinda dawned on me that Trey should be able to write at least his name if not all the letters.  I wasn't looking for calligraphy, but this kid couldn't write at all.  Yet, he knows every letter and sound, even sight words.  Long story short, Trey goes once a week to see a physical and occupational therapist.  Turns out, chemo can mess with your muscles...who knew?  And all of his abdominal surgeries have made sit ups almost impossible, but he's working hard on that six pack!

Which brings us right up to now.  Trey loves going to the kids' school to pick them up or for an event.  And, he's become aware that he wants to do that, too.  There was no way I was going to send him to full day kindergarten.  I'm not ready for that and neither is Trey!  So, we met with the preschool director where Joe and Bella attended.  We love this preschool, the teachers, etc.  They welcomed Trey with open arms for this school year.  So, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Trey will be at school for 2 1/2 hours!!  My baby!  He will be the oldest in the class, but I don't care and he won't know.

We know that all this could change in the blink of an eye.  Trey still has to have scans every 3 months (the next one is in October) and his cancer could grow at any time.  We continue to stand on the edge of a cliff not knowing which way the wind will blow.  But!  We have TODAY

We will rejoice TODAY!  Trey is the healthiest sick kid around.  He is not symptomatic.  He is not bed ridden.  He's a wild, 5 year old, excited to go to school and carry a big backpack!!  If I were to keep Trey here with me (which is so very tempting) and prevent him from having this experience, it would be like telling God that what He has blessed us with is not enough.  Trey needs to go out and show the world that God has kept him strong and this Momma needs to let him.

Do you think it would be okay if I just stood in the parking lot the whole time he's there?  Just kidding!  I'm going to take a nap!  Ha!  Gotcha again!  I have some plans for the time all three kids will be in school...we'll see how that goes.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

"D" is for Delighted!

Well, color me tickled...errrr, delighted!!  (I'm totally twisting this to fit my alphabet list of blog posts)

My friend, Katy, has included lil' ol' me in her list of nominees for a Liebster award.  What the what???  First of all, how Katy finds time to blog, let alone recognize other bloggers is impressive to me.  Katy is a full time mom, wife and writer (and knitter, volunteer, friend...not in that particular order).  Her blog is honest, raw, vulnerable and funny all at the same time.  She'd be a perfect guest blogger for Courtney's Show Your Real series.  Katy has some real and is not afraid to show it.

Secondly, what's a Liebster??  Oh, it's a thing, people!  A Liebster award is a way to give recognition to other small bloggers (200 or fewer followers).

So, thank you to Katy for the recognition!  I wish I blogged more often, but it still feels good to have a friend give ya a pat on the back.
When you’re nominated for a Liebster, here’s what you do:
1.    Thank the Liebster Blog presenter who nominated you and link back to their blog.
2.    Nominate 11 blogs who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen.
3.    Answer the 11 questions you were asked and create 11 questions for your nominees.
4.    Display the Liebster Award logo.
5.    No tag backs, meaning you can’t just re-nominate the person who nominated you.

Here are the 11 questions I was given:
1. What sort of milk do you prefer to drink?  Ummmm, I do not drink any milk ever...not cow, coconut or almond kinds.  If I had to, I would pick 2% for cereal purposes only...or baking.  You use milk for baking, right?
2. Do you prefer baths or showers and why?  Showers, absolutely!  I hate baths!  I feel like I'm sitting in a pool of my own filth in a tub. Or worse, someone else's filth.  Plus, I'd have to stand up, turn the shower on to wash my hair...I'm too lazy for all that.
3.  What percentage cocoa do you prefer your chocolate to contain?  Ummm, I had to read this a few times to understand it.  Never have I ever paid a lick of attention to percentage of chocolate.  So, my answer is, however much is in a Caramello Bar.
4. What is your about-to-begin-the-workday ritual?  Since my job is a full time Momma and every day is different, coffee is really my only ritual.  Oh yeah, and feeding children, getting them dressed etc.  If we have to be somewhere, I'll use the time they are eating to get myself put together.
5. Describe your perfect lunch meal.  The perfect lunch is one that someone else has prepared.
6. What are your thoughts on flavored dental floss?  I'm not against flavored floss (I heart cinnamon), but someone that I live with, possibly married to, has very specific requirements for his floss.  Jay...Mr. Mitlo...rats!  That guy I'm married to cannot have any type that shreds or conflicts with other flavors or makes a noise.  Since he's the more dedicated flosser, he gets to pick the brand.
7.  What is the most important thing about a dwelling? (Bonus: does your dwelling succeed at this thing?)  The most important thing about a dwelling to me is that it feels safe.  Not so much from a security stand point, though that's important, but I mean that someone could come into our home and feel free to be comfortable, share thoughts and feelings, feel like they have been cared for.  Our children sleep in peace, without fear, talk openly with us, and we always look forward to coming home after having been gone.  So, yes, I think our house succeeds in this.
8. Do you really untie your shoes before you remove them? Every time?  Never.
9. What is your goal in blogging?  I think my goal for blogging now is to get memories/thoughts/stories/snippets of time out of my head and somewhere permanent. At one time, I would have said my goal was to inspire and challenge (and maybe impress), but then real life came down hard and I can't seem to find the right words ever to encompass all that.  So, I'm fine with sharing anecdotes.
10. What part(s) of your current life is/are the way you imagined when you were in middle school?  Exactly zero parts.  I was a bad kid, a bully really, and couldn't see past to the end of a day, let alone years ahead.  My days were consumed with trying to figure out how to be a bad ass.  (Hint:  If you have to think about it, you're not)  I guess if I look back and think real hard I maybe wanted to live in a big city and be a news anchor. Instead, I've lived in exactly 2 houses, both planted squarely in suburbs, and am a SAHM.  It's a close call, really.
11. What would you say to your young self if you encountered her on her first day of college?  I would say, "Hang in there, kid.  Things are going to unfold in ways that you can't imagine.  Quit trying to control everything, for cryin' in a bucket!  Remember, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"  (Jeremiah 29:11)"

So, now for my nominees.  This was interesting to me because I realized how few blogs I read regularly.   Katy's being one of them and I can't tag her back!  Almost all the blogs that I follow are written by real life friends.  Some of them may have more than 200 followers.   After all, some of them may have been featured in a major magazine!  Please take no offense to my nomination...just have fun with it!

2. She's a Crafty Pumpkin
3. agentorange
4. Happy and Co.
5. Just a Glimpse...

That's my list...I can add to it once other bloggers get blogging and update their blogs.  Blog.

My 11 questions for my nominees are:
1. In what type of car did you take your drivers test? (and, did you pass the first time?)
2. Where would like to spend your retirement years?  Hometown? Exotic location?
3. What's your favorite vacation memory?
4. Who was your favorite teacher (any level of education)?
5. What's your least favorite household chore and why?
6. If you could go back to high school, would you do things the same or vastly different?
7. What sports did you play?
8. What's your beverage of choice?  Pop, tea, coffee?
9. Music or talk radio?
10. How many shows are saved on your DVR right now? (or Netflix queue or whatever space age contraption you use)
11. What's one movie that you have to stop and watch if you see it while scrolling through?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

"C" is for....

C is for cleaning, cabinet, change and celebration! 

The kids recently finished a week of Vacation Bible School at our church (Hey! There's a "c").  Did you ever go to VBS as a kid?  Did you like it?  I never, ever went...didn't even really know it existed.  But, that's beside the point.  While the kids were singing, playing and praying their hearts out, I had 3 hours of kid-free time for 5 days!  This is THE only time of year that this happens.  So, of course, I took a long nap, painted my nails, watched any (non animated) movie made in the last 5 years...oh, wait!  No, I didn't do any of those things!

Are you ready?  I cleaned our windows!  Maybe you're thinking to yourself that that doesn't sound like such a big deal.  Who cares?  I wash my windows 3 times a week!  To which I would reply, blah, blah, blah, pffffffttttt.  My nephews were doing some odd jobs around the outside of our house, so the ladders were out, the sun was shining and, believe me, the windows needed it.  We've lived here for almost 15 years and I've cleaned the outside of the windows exactly zero times.  How's that for "showing your real"???  My 17 year old nephew had to show me how to take the screens out.  What?!?!  In my own weak, barely reasonable, defense, the screens were supposed to be able to be taken out from inside the house.  But, whoever put them in, did it from the outside.  Our neighbors pay a measly $25 to have their windows professionally cleaned, so we could have gone that route...but, we just never did.  But, from now on, since I put the screens back in correctly, those windows will be sparkling clean year 'round.  How often do you clean your windows?  Or do you have a service?  Or do you just like to think that it's always slightly cloudy?

I, also, used that precious VBS time to paint another cabinet for the dining room.

Somehow, between all the painting and cleaning, Trey ended up making some big changes.   Maybe only big to this Mommy, but still...We switched Trey from a toddler bed to a twin sized bed (he went from looking like a giant to looking like a peanut), and put away all the baby gates.  And, Trey upgraded from a 5 point harness car seat to a big kid booster seat!  Lots of changes!!

We also sneaked in a few celebrations!  Somebody (okay, me) had a birthday, there was the 4th of July, and we had a picnic here to celebrate over 20 years of friendship!!

What should I do for the letter "D"???

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

B is for Bella!!!

I suppose I could have waited for the letter "I" to write about Isabella, but she just finished her first dance recital and I couldn't wait that long!  I'll just have to blog about ice or igloos or itchy iguanas...

Bella has been taking a hip hop class every week since September and they started practicing their recital routine in earnest in January.  Bella's dance history is not very long...a few summer classes, but that's it.  She has been so excited for this recital since day one!  Every detail made her happy..the practice, the costume, the rehearsal, everything!  She definitely takes after her father when it comes to dance.  All I can do is embarrass those standing around me with my "humpty leg" and "running man".  If you're lucky enough to have been friends with me for the last 20 plus years, you've seen my own creation "the big rig".  It's a classic.

Bella has already told me that (in addition to taking up the cello) she will be taking ballet, hip hop, tap and jazz.  Ummmm, baby guuurl better get J.O.B. Those costumes are no joke.  Though, I love her enthusiasm and excitement for dance.  I never got to take any kind of class as a kid, so it feels good to be able to give that to Bella and watch her grow in it.

During the rehearsal and two performances, the audience cheered during the routine and Bella's face absolutely lit up.  She loved the attention and it energized her. 

Here's some pics I snapped...

I took over 350 pictures, so this truly is a small sampling!  Now, is there a way we can make the recitals LESS than 3 1/2 hours long?  Please?

Thursday, May 30, 2013


I felt a bit of blogging inspiration after reading another blog that is going through the ABC's.  Cute, right?  Start with A and work my way right on time frame and I can think of whatever topic I want for each letter.  I might be able to handle that.  Maybe.  At first, I got all hung up an the letter A.  I can't take the pressure!  Not a great start.  But then I landed on "art".

What kind of art do you have hanging in your home?  What's your style?  Abstract?  Modern?  Photography?  Kid art?  In my mind, I love all hand made art pieces created by Pinterest ideas.  In reality, though, I lean waaaaaayyyy towards traditionally framed art or things that I think are significant (maybe only to me, but still)

Since painting the dining room, I've had a heck of a time filling the empty wall space.  Since my budget is somewhere between $0 - $10, I felt stuck. I've pinned a few ideas, but then chicken out when it comes to actually making something for fear that it would turn out badly.   But, I pinned one idea that I thought would be perfect if the kids made it!  Genius!  That way, I'll get what I want and if it's not perfect, who's gonna say??  It's way more abstract than I would ever, ever Jackson Pollock kinda abstract.  But, I love it, too!

Here's some pics of my more traditional pieces...

 The paintings above hang over the sofa and the fireplace...the same place for15years.  And, I'm pretty sure for the next 15 years,too.  It takes a lot for me to change...
This piece hangs in our bedroom...for the past 15 years.  Did I mention that I used to work for an art shop before getting married?  I stocked up on framed art, my friends.

Each kid got a canvas and a variety of cups filled with food colored bubble liquid.  They had at it and there's the results.  I love that each kid has one, they are each different and special.  I think they'll be hanging there for more than 15 years!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

New Territory

Have you ever come across the blog, People I Want to Punch in the Throat?  That Jen is a card, I tell ya.  I will also warn you that if you're easily offended by 'swears' (as my kids call them), coarse humor, or painful truths, don't click on the link. 

This post has nothing to do with her blog.  But I have found myself, recently, wanting to punch people in the throat.  To keep repeating the phrase over and over, I thought deserved at least a shout out to her dedication to throat punching.

As our children (ages 10, 8, and 4 11/12) get older, I continually find myself in new parenting territory.  Whatever I think I know about parenting gets pushed aside to make room for new realizations.  My most recent realization is that kids are jerks.  Ugh!  Okay, fine!  Not all kids.  Certainly not your kids...never my kids. Ha!  But, seriously!  This school year has had me mentally throat punching people left and right.  (Do I have to add that I would never actually punch a kid?  Fine.  I hereby declare that this post is satirical and should not be taken as a threat in any form.)  Since Christmas, one kid in particular has taught Joe the "F" word.  Joe didn't understand him the first time, so I got to tell him that FURK is not the mother of all swear words.  Take that, kid!  Except that he spoke more clearly the next day.  He's taught Joe to look up words like vagina in the dictionary. (Joe already kinda knew this word, he just didn't know you were supposed to giggle when you said it.) And, I can't even fully explain what he taught Joe to make 2 Lego horses do to each other.  So, this new much do we let 'boys be boys'?  We can't exactly forbid Joe from talking to this kid...they're in school together.  And as much as I hate it, Joe has to be out of my eyesight for those educating hours. And, if it wasn't this kid, it would be another.  How long will it last that Joe openly tells me (or uses props to show me) what he's 'learned'?  We continually tell Joe that we want the other kids to be like him.  Not for him to be like the other kids while I'm mentally punching people in the throat. 

Bella (the 8 year old going on 17) is taking her first real hip hop class at a local dance studio.  The class is once a week for half an hour.  The other girls in her class take other types of dance, too, and seem to have been taking classes together for years.  Bella loves, loves, loves the class, the teacher, and the other girls.  My sweet princess girl is oblivious that the other girls are shunning her.  They turn their backs to her when she walks up to them or just walk away.  The other night, she asked a girl what game she was playing on her phone.  The girl could have dislocated something with how hard she rolled her eyes and said with a sneer "You've never heard of Minecraft???"  Bella, thinking the girl was interested in her gaming history, said "No. How do you play?"  The girl ignored her as another girl plopped down on her other side and started chatting.  At that point, I called Bella over to me to hug her before class started.  While Bella was in class, I watched a gaggle of other girls (not so) subtly mock a girl who was not part of their group.  People were getting mentally throat punched all over the place.  How do I make sure Bella preserves her innocence?  How do I tell her she doesn't need to be friends with these girls without hurting her feelings?  I did tell her that I thought the one girl wasn't very nice, to which, Bella defended her.

I fear that this new territory includes letting them step further away from us and navigate social situations themselves.  It's painful to watch.  Good thing we know that God is bigger than whatever a bunch of kids can throw at them.  Is it okay, though, if I keep punching people in throat...mentally, of course. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Overly Detailed Before & After

Christina, over at She's a Crafty Pumpkin, is constantly annoyed at me for not giving more detailed descriptions when I make or redo something.  So, this post is mainly for her. 

My brand spankin' new dining room needed a pop of color, so I took this...
 To this...
Annnnnddddd, here's how that happened in great detail.  To be honest, this 'dresser in the dining room' idea was my 'B' plan.  Plan A looked much different in my head. But after several searches failed to meet my vision, including my beloved antique store, I had to come to grips that unless I was going to spend a ton of money it just wasn't going to become a reality.  I'm for sure keeping Plan A in the back of my head and will ditch this dresser in a hot minute (or maybe just move it to another room), but for now, I love love love the color and the functionality.

After Bella's dance class on a Wednesday evening, we scooted on over to the local Goodwill Store. I'm gonna pop some twenty dollars in my pocket.  This gem of a dresser was just sitting there waiting for us for the bargain price of $14.99.  After convincing Bella to stop rubbing her face on the seat of an old couch or trying to get me to buy snow boots, we folded down the van seats and zipped on home.

While the kids did their homework on Thursday and Trey was otherwise occupied, I pried off that weird dental molding strip, all the hardware (which I broke in the process), and the top edge added on piece thing.

On Friday, I moved this project down to the basement so I could sand it.  This is an important step even though I'm tempted to skip it every time.  But, with this old kind of veneered shiny wood, if you skip sanding, the new paint will peel right off...kinda like when you were a kid (or last week) and would cover the palm of your hand with glue, wait for it to dry then peel it off.  Fun when it's glue, sad when it's paint that you had to actually buy.
I employed the toughest sanders I live with and let them have at it.  We used a heavy grit (50 & 80) to really give the finish some teeth.
After sanding, (don't forget to wipe off the dust!) I used my new favorite water putty to fill in flaws and a weird seam.  While Jay played with the kids, I went to Home Depot to get the paint.  When I found the color I wanted, the woman helping me suggested that I get the SAMPLE SIZE.  This size only comes in a flat or egg shell finish (I chose egg shell), but is enough to do 2 coats on a piece like this.  The sample size cost $3.15!!!

On Saturday, while Trey napped and the kids were playing, I sanded the dried water putty and put on a coat of primer (which I already had in the paint closet).  Again, I love to skip steps for expediency's sake, but...I hate going back to fix things more.  The primer guaranteed that the old, ugly black freckles on the wood wouldn't peek through.

After the kids went to bed, I did the first coat of paint.  During Sunday's nap time, I did the second coat.  My next problem was the hardware.  I had broke every handle taking them off the dresser, plus they were dated....

On Monday, I went to The Construction Junction and found the perfect hardware for a total of $5.89.  *Construction Junction accepts donated household goods and sells them for practically nothing! However, the hardware was a shiny brass, which was not what I wanted.  A can of black spray paint would solve that problem.
I attached the new (old) hardware to a piece of cardboard and waited for the kids to go to bed.  I have to say, spray painting is an art.  An art that I am not proficient in...even less proficient at the 30* weather.  Somehow, I always miss spots and get a little high every time.  It's not my best work, but got the job done!

So, for a total of $25.00, I got my nice pop of color!

Whew!  If you read this whole thing, God bless ya! 

Monday, March 18, 2013

What I made!!!

I've been wanting to give our dining room a makeover for awhile now.  I loved our dining room the way it was, but it definitely needed to be freshened up.  A good friend asked me why I would re-do the dining room since it had only been a few years since I did the first makeover...uhhh, that was 12 or 13 YEARS ago!!!  Originally, January was going to be THE month that I tackled the make over.  But, then someone decided to empty our bank account for us, so it wasn't possible. (Have no fear, the problem has since been fixed and funds returned!)  Then I scheduled a Super Bowl/ baby shower party at our house, so I just didn't have the time. (Such a mature decision for me!  In years past, I would have tried to frantically finish the project forgoing sleep and sanity.) 

I didn't take any 'before' pictures.  I know!!!  For shame!!  But, to be honest, one day after dinner, Jay ripped a piece of chair rail off the wall to see what would happen and so the project began.  And by began, I mean that the glue from the chair rail ripped off chunks of plaster leaving a strip of disaster in its wake on our very unevenly textured walls.  Uh-oh.  Once I fixed that problem with a bucket of joint compound, children's paint brushes, and an electric sander, it was on to the painting.  Of course I wanted to paint horizontal stripes on an uneven wall.  Our house has to be the most crooked house ever...if you ever drop a blueberry or bouncy ball, I know just where to look! (under the china cabinet!)  The stripes turned out beautifully!  BUT!!! The most exciting part of the project was my window boxes/valances/cornices...whatever you call them, these were my 'piece de resistance'!!!

You guys!  Pretty much everyone thought I was crazy to tackle this project by myself without any real woodworking experience.  I promise you, the guy at Home Depot tried mightily to talk me out of this project with a smile and condescending tone.  He may have even given me a grandfatherly wink at one point.  Since I don't take kindly to be being told that I cannot do something, I went ahead and bought all the wood and trim and headed home.

I have a whole 'nother blog post about how great my father-in-law is.  He's a great resource of tools and fix-it wisdom.  He came over and helped me measure correctly (as to hit the studs when hanging the box) and miter the corners at the correct angle.  Plus, he bought me a whole container of water putty, which is my new favorite putty!!

Again, I didn't take pictures of the process because I had set my expectations pretty low.  I knew I could do the project, I just doubted how well they would turn out.  I didn't want any evidence of wasted time, wood and money (I feel like there's a joke in there somewhere).  However!!!  They turned out way better than I expected!

Since we were hosting a huge birthday bash this past weekend, I didn't have any time to hang stuff on the walls, but here are some pics....
Here's sort of a 'before' picture...the room was yellow above the chair rail, dark blue below the rail.  I like the blue because we did vertical stripes of the blue in satin and egg shell finishes.  Thank you Trading Spaces!  Please excuse the child with no pants on...

My helpers!!  They really did a good job!

The taping of the stripes!!!  Yikes!  Do you like my "x's" to remind my feeble brain to NOT paint in that space?

I love these so much sometimes I just stand in the dining room and look at them.

I have some ideas for art projects and a new cabinet/shelf...I promise that I'll try to remember to take pictures!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Show Your Real!

You guys! Jump on over to Courtney (and Dustin's) blog to check out my very first guest post! We're showing our real!  While you're over there, check out their other posts,'s a little bit about lots of different things.  Though, I must warn you, you may be inclined to run out and purchase boots after reading some of her fashion posts!  Thanks to Courtney for giving me the opportunity to invade her little corner of the web.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

How Not To React to A Wedding Proposal

I love hearing stories of how couples got engaged! As I sit (Ha! Sit? What's that?) here whining and fretting about having nothing to blog about, I realized that I never recorded the story of our engagement.  So, sit back, relax and if you're anticipating your special someone popping the question, don't do what I did.

It was April, 1998 (yes, I know how long ago that was) and we had been dating for about a year and a half.  Jay and I had talked about getting engaged and married...we just knew, ya know?  I may or may not have hounded him to tell me when he was going to propose and he would sigh heavily, tell me to be patient (uh, I don't even know what that means) and maybe, just maybe, when we were at the beach that summer all my wishes would come true.  But, the summer was so faaa---aaa---rrrr awaaaaa---yyyy.  I knew it wasn't going to happen any time soon because we hadn't even gone to any jewelery stores to pick out any styles.  I had just told Jay very specifically what I didn't want.  He wasn't even sneaking around trying to measure my finger when I wasn't looking or having covert convo's with the besties.  How am I supposed to be surprised if I'm not suspicious?

On Friday, Jay called me at work to talk about our evening plans.  He had a gift certificate to Monterey Bay Fish Grotto on the top of Mount Washington.  Very fancy and very fishy.  I don't eat fish.  But, I'm always up for fancy, so I left on my purple pants suit and off we went!  We had a table right next to the window over looking our beautiful city!  After we ordered, that's when things changed...

We have a favorite song that we would listen to and get all googly eyed over by Bebo Norman called A Page Has Turned.  It's about a little boy and a little girl who grow up and find each other because that's the way it's supposed to be.  We had talked about having it be the song we danced to at our wedding...someday.  "High upon the mountain, he asked her for her hand." As we were looking out over the city, pointing out different sights, Jay quoted a line from song when the boy proposes to the girl.  Me, being clueless and hungry, didn't pick up on the subtle nuance.  Here's the conversation...

Jay: We're high up on a mountain...huh, honey?  (If he'd been next to me he would have been jabbing his elbow into my ribs)
Me: Uhhhh, yeah, I guess.
Jay: Honey, can I have your hand?
Me: No!  I do not want your gum!  This is a fancy place.  Find a napkin or a piece of paper!
Jay, a little more forcefully: Honey!  Give me your hand.
Me: No!  Seriously!  Do NOT give me your gum...swallow it if you have to!
Jay, through gritted teeth: Honey! Give. Me. Your. Hand!

I turned my head, closed my eyes and stuck my hand out across the table so Jay could put his gum in my palm.  Whatever he put in my hand was not gum...not slimy enough.  When I peeked, it was ring box with a beautiful ring in it!

Me: WHAT??  ( I tend to have volume problems when I get excited)
Jay: Will you marry me?
Me: ARE YOU SERIOUS? (people we're looking now...Jay didn't get down on one knee because he didn't want me to be embarrassed by all the attention.  I went ahead and solved that problem.)
Jay: Well, if this was a joke, it's not a very funny one.
I can only assume that I said "Yes!" as that very ring is still on my hand 14 years later.  

Jay was able to relax and eat all the food in the restaurant.  I, on the other hand, had to take my entire dinner home because I simply couldn't eat...I just kept staring at the ring!  Other diners stopped at our table to give us well wishes after somehow hearing about the proposal and a priest even blessed the ring!

So, ladies, if you're seriously dating someone, anticipating that moment, and your mate asks for your hand during a romantic dinner, DO NOT start yelling about gum.

Any other fun engagement stories out there?  I think Crafty P should share her engagement's a good one!

Here's a linky loo to "our" song...

Friday, January 4, 2013

Say Goodbye to Stewart!

Remember my Stewart idea?  He was my "Elf on the Shelf" AKA "kids don't want to be creeped out" replacement.  In my effort to keep December simple and not frighten the children, I created something that caused me a lot of work and creative thinking.  Dang, my kids are smart whipper-snappers!  Overall, I really like the idea of Stewart...In a nut shell, Stewart would hide his special box somewhere in the living room/dining room/kitchen for the kids to find in the morning.  Inside the box was a scripture verse that they had to look up and read, then they had to write down gift ideas, put them in the box and put the box back where they found it.  Easy, right?  Hmmmm....sort of.  The hiding was the easiest part.  Stewart had no tolerance for tomfoolery, so the box was always hidden in plain site.  In the morning, Jay and I could hear Joe and Bella looking for the box (Trey was typically knee deep in one of our phones watching YouTube videos and couldn't be bothered).  We would hear a triumphant "I found it!!!" 

On day 2, our curious and not easily satisfied Bella started asking questions of Stewart.  She wanted to know what he looked like, how old he was, were he and Santa close friends.  Then wise, old Joe jumped into the fray and wanted to know about all the other elves and why they have pointed ears.  Oh!  For crying in a bucket!  So, I had to have Stewart answer them by including a letter in with the scripture.  Then, to divert their need for honesty and straight forward answers, Stewart began asking them questions...What was their favorite Christmas movie, song, joke?

Stewart, however, did not stay all the way up to Christmas.  Once we got a solid idea of what the kids wanted and we had the opportunity, we went shopping!  We actually finished pretty early for us this year.  My fear was that if I let the kids keep writing down ideas after we went shopping, one of them would come up with "the only thing I really, really, really want" and then be disappointed when he/she didn't get it.  (How do you shop for your kids and keep it even/fair/responsible should be a whole 'nother post, right?)

I wish that I had researched and printed scripture verses all at once or at least a few at a time.  There were a few nights that we were headed up to bed and I'd remember Stewart!!  Drats!

But, you guys!  My kids read their Bible every day!  Bella underlined every verse we read in her new Bible ("to be like Mommy" she said!  I swoon!) We talked about what words like integrity and humility mean.  They were reminded how much they are loved by God and are covered in grace and mercy...and what that looks like to show that kind of love to other people.  How great is that?  If they remember any part of something we read, I'll consider the project a success!

The jury is still out on if I'll do it again next year.  Maybe I'll come up with something even better!  Here's my challenge to you!  I'm going to list all the scripture verses we read...why don't you look them up and see what you think?

John 3:16, Philippians 4:4-8, 1 John 4:7-10, Ephesians 2:8-9, Proverbs 17:22, Psalm 139:13-14,        2 Corinthians 8:9, John 15:9-14, Proverbs 10:9, Hebrews 13:16, James 1:19-20, Colossians 3:12-14, Luke 2:8-14, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, Isaiah 26:4, Luke 6:37-38, Philippians 4:8-9, Hebrews 12:15, Ephesians 6:1-2, 1John 3:1, John 14:6

Why didn't the skeleton cross the road?  He didn't have the guts!  (that was Bella's joke for Stewart!  I love it!)