Faith, Family, Friends, Fellowship, Food, and Fun

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Don't have the versus channel?

I am so excited! Let me start off by saying how disappointed I was to find out that the Aggie game is on the versus channel today. We have dish, but versus is an added feature that we don't get. I asked Stephen to stop working on the shed so he could try to get the game on the internet. He managed to get audio but I just wasn't happy with that. I turned on the TV to the versus channel because I'm hard headed like that. Then I decided to go through all the sports channels for updates and found that versus was being featured on the sports mix channel. So there were my Aggies in that tiny box and I could hear them on the internet. Then I realized the internet had a major audio delay. My hard headedness kicked in again and I kept hitting buttons on the sports mix channel. I selected the little box with versus and when I realized I had turned the audio down to listen to the game on the internet, I thought what the heck? I turned the audio up and voila! The Aggie game! Whoda thunk it?

Woo hoo! I am one happy mama! BTHOA!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Everything is bigger in Texas

Surely you've heard the saying that everything is bigger in Texas. Well I am here to tell you it's true.
For example, Houston, Texas has one of the highest obesity rates. See, bigger!
Our chicken fried steak? Hangs off the plates.
Our football stadiums? The biggest!
Cowboy hats? They don't call 'em 10 gallon for nothin'!
Hurricane Ike? As big as Texas. See?

Last night I had an encounter with the biggest mosquito in Aggieland. He made himself known at the dinner table. I managed to chase him away into the living room so I could give myself time to come up with a strategy for his demise. After cleaning up from dinner, I was ready to take him down. He found the perfect place to attack...from the ceiling. I knew I could outsmart him. I moved Abby who was sitting in her bouncy chair. I grabbed my magazine, stepped up on the couch, and launched it at him. It worked too. There was a little spot on the ceiling to let me know my mission had been accomplished. I looked for his remains on the magazine...not there. I searched the carpet...not there either. I could not figure out where he might have gone. I took the kids upstairs for jammies and decided to return later with the vacuum cleaner.
Stephen came home from work and I told him about our eventful night. I told him about the monstrous mosquito and how it was bigger than the size of a nickel. He went back downstairs and searched the carpet. Upon his return he told me he saw a mosquito that fit my description on the ceiling of the playroom. IT WAS THE SAME ONE! He survived the attack! Stephen got his ammo (the Swiffer). Ready, aim, fire! And this time, the mission was accomplised. Look at the size of the booger!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The 3 Little Aggies

Lauren '26, Lexi '25, Ashton '27

Aren't they precious? Last Saturday we went to Wings 'n More to meet up with our Aggie friends who now live in Florida. They were in town for the Miami game. They were sweet, quiet little girls at first but once we got some food into them, it was a different story. Lauren adored Lexi and Ashton. When we said our goodbyes and went back to the van, Lauren fluttered her eyelids to hold back the tears and she said she would miss them so much. She asked when she would see them again (hint hint Heather). Hopefully we can get together again the next time they are in town for a game. Who knows, maybe these girls will grow up together and be roommates when they enroll in the BEST COLLEGE in the world in another 13 years.

Friday, September 19, 2008

It's baking weather

Butterscotch Pie from Paula Deen's magazine. Doesn't it look fabulous? Wish you had smell-o-internet?
It can't be an Aggieland Mommy picture without my cool Aggie plate compliments of my friend Elizabeth. We were both moving at the same time and when I went to her house to pick up boxes, she gave me this fabulous set of dishes, she knew how much I bleed maroon. Thanks so much Elizabeth!
I stumbled upon this recipe in Paula's latest issue and actually had all the ingredients at home so I baked it the other day. I'll be posting the recipe on my recipe blog later (it's at home).

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Pictures from Ike

As you know, Ike affected millions of Texans and Louisiana residents. I listen to KSBJ out of Houston when I am in my car and while I am at work. Between songs there are people calling in to tell listeners where to get ice, food, water, gas, generators, etc... Here at work we have a folder in our email where we can sell/buy from others, like an online flea market. People are requesting generators for loved ones. We can not begin to imagine what those victims are going through. They are now on day 5 without power.

I know that Aggieland still struggles to keep gas at our gas stations. I pass 5 on the way home from work and each day there are always one or two that have pumps covered because they are empty. And at the stations with gas, cars are lined up with 5-10 gas cans lined up to be filled so I know many victims are driving up here just to restock. It is going to be weeks, maybe even months before their lives are back to normal.

Go to this site for new, amazing pictures of the devastation.

I survived on my own

Last night Stephen started his new job. That means I had to take all the kids to Lauren's dance class on my own. Many of you might be saying, "Big deal" but taking care of Caleb and Abby for 45 minutes in a confined area IS a BIG DEAL! The studio has 3 or 4 classrooms all off of 2 tiny main halls and there are about 20 pre-teens running through the "halls" at the same time as the parents are trying to get through the building and back to the tots' dance class. There is little space for moving around as the parents are trying to see their little ones through the window. So one person is needed to keep an eye on Caleb and keep him entertained and another one is often needed to entertain Abby who spends most of her time in her carseat. And just about the time she is tired of being in her carseat, the teacher comes out and tells the parents it's time to switch the girls into their tap shoes. This really is what happened last night. So with Abby in my arms, I corralled Caleb into the classroom where he plopped down next to Lauren and took his shoes off like the girls. I sat Abby down in my lap and managed to wrestle Lauren's tap shoes onto her little feet. Then I had to convince Caleb that he could NOT stay and dance with all the adorable little girls no matter how far out he stuck his bottom lip. When we went back out into the waiting "area" (more like a closet), Caleb insisted on trying to open the door. I felt the glares shooting through the back of my head, I know some of the other mommies were wondering why my little boy was not sitting perfectly in a chair and waiting like they were but they didn't have even one other child to look after, much less a 9 month old AND a very busy, all-boy, 2 1/2 year old.

At the end of class, Miss Jessica and her 2 teenaged helpers gathered all the little girls in a circle for prayer. Remember what happened the first week? Remember how Lauren was lying on her tummy? Not this time! I suppose Jessica asked her helpers if they wanted to say the prayer but Lauren thought Jessica was asking anyone. Lauren blurted out her prayer and I couldn't have been more proud!

"Dear God, thank you for this day. Bless our bodies. Keep us safe and healthy. AMEN"
After class I talked to Jessica about this and she said that has never happened before. I think Lauren is going to be a leader!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Weekend Update

I don't know when it happened but Stephen and I have become news junkies. We had the TV on Fox News, The Weather Channel, and a special Houston Channel available only for hurricane information all day Friday and late into the night. We wanted to see when Ike arrived, what he was doing to the coast, and we were also wondering how bad it might get here.

Saturday morning at around 4, Abby woke up as she usually does. I tried the usual to get her back to sleep but finally convinced myself that if I put off giving her a snack for too long, she'd be up at 6:30 and then I wouldn't get her back to sleep. By 4, the storm had arrived in Aggieland. I could hear the wind and rain beating against our windows. Once in awhile there were louder tapping sounds like twigs or pebbles being thrown against the windows but overall it wasn't too bad. I got Abby back to sleep within 15 minutes and finally managed to drift off to sleep myself.

At about 5 I heard the strangest sound. There was a lot of clanking going on in the girls' room. I knew it couldn't be Abby, I couldn't hear a peep out of her. So I jumped out of bed and as I rounded the corner, I noticed the girls' light was on. As I walked in, I didn't know how to react. Abby was sound asleep in her crib and Lauren, oh Lauren. She was fully dressed in her Tinkerbell costume and had in her hands her plastic tea set tray along with all 4 saucers, 4 teacups, creamer, and sugar, all neatly arranged on top. 5:00 am! "I can't sleep Mommy." I did the only thing I knew to do, I told her that when I can't sleep I talk to Jesus.

So did I get my "to-do" list completed? Here's an update:
keep emptying the ice bucket into bags and putting them in the deep freezer did it once
de-clutter our room- done
vacuum and mop floors- done
3 loads of laundry- how about 2?
clean bathrooms-umm, no. Just the floors.
get Stephen to hang the rest of the wall things (there's a lot).....not a one
get Stephen to fasten the rest of the knobs on the cabinets...negative
get Stephen to hang a shelf in the utility room...he said the shelf needs to be cut
get Stephen to clean the air filter vent...done. By me.

Extra: dishes, played with the kids, read books to them, dressed (as they say in parts of the north) beds, added recipe to Aggieland Mommy Cooks, and planned the menu for the next month. I didn't even take a nap!

Todays' List:
wash 5 sets of sheets and comforters, let them soak in Downey, AND put them back on the me out just thinking about it
pick up toys
buy a gift for a party since we couldn't get out Friday and the stores were closed yesterday
pick up toys
go to the party at noon
pick up toys
try again to get Stephen to hang things and finishing putting the knobs on the kitchen cabinets
pick up toys
clean the bathrooms

I've already started a load of towels, stripped all the sheets and comforters from the beds, including Abby's. I'm thinking about letting the kids share one big bed when they're'll cut down on sheets ya know. Maybe I'll even re-think the whole family bed idea. One set of sheets, how nice! Speaking of sheets, how often do you wash sheets? What about pillows? I think my mom did it every-other weekend but I remember my BBF Hyla's mom (5 kids) washing sheets EVERY SATURDAY. We would barely wake up and her mom would come in and remind us to strip the sheets. Plus, the utility room was downstairs! But Irene sure kept a clean house, still does to this day.

Friday, September 12, 2008

What are YOU doing today?

I wish I could say that I am going to spend my entire day lying around and playng with my kids but when you have kids, that isn't possible. Even though we live 2 hours from Houston and 3 hours from Galveston, we too have to prepare for Ike. We are expecting wind gusts in excess of 70 mph. I teach in a portable building and this year I am sharing my room with Lily. I LOVE Lily. Her 2 oldest daughters have been our babysitters...they go to our church. Anyway, yesterday Lily was telling her students that if they live in a mobile home, they will need to go to a safer place and then one of her students asked, "What about this building? Will it blow away?" Hmm, we didn't think about that, thanks Tony!

So what are we doing today? It's 8:30...Stephen stopped by Wal-Mart on his way home from his last day at KBTX and bought water, juice, batteries (Cs and Ds were all gone), bread ($2.50 a loaf cuz they were out of their 58 cent bread), and a tiny flashlight cuz that's all that was left. Right now he is outside mowing and then he'll be taking the canopies off the swingset. I have a batch of muffins in the oven and they smell scrumptious.

keep emptying the ice bucket into bags and putting them in the deep freezer
de-clutter our room
vacuum and mop floors
3 loads of laundry
clean bathrooms
get Stephen to hang the rest of the wall things (there's a lot)
get Stephen to fasten the rest of the knobs on the cabinets
get Stephen to hang a shelf in the utility room
get Stephen to clean the air filter vent

A girl can dream can't she?
We'll see how much I actually get done! Wish me luck.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Doin' the Happy Dance

No school tomorrow! I am at home for lunch and they just announced it in the news.

A Day of Prayer

As we all reflect on what we were doing at the time of the plane crashes on 9/11, and how much that day changed our country, let us continue to pray for our nation, our leaders, our soldiers, all those who bravely serve our country for the freedoms we hold so dear. I will never forget that I was preparing to teach my 2nd graders in Arlington that day and a teammate came to my room to tell me that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. I am so ashamed to say I did not know what the WTC was but it sounded pretty bad. I turned on my little 11" black and white in my room and watched in horror as the 2nd plane crashed. None of us were prepared for the turn of events that would take place that day. So many lives lost. So many Americans pulling together to either take-over the 3rd airplane, rent cars and ride with strangers because the airports were shut down, pulling together for so many things but most importantly to love and pray. As we shall today and every 9/11.

Let us also remember the upcoming victims of Hurricane Ike. So many people are being uprooted. As I listed to Houston's Christian radio station on my way to work, I hear single mothers calling in asking for prayers as they have to pack up their children and flee. College Station is a shelter, a refuge. I know that Texas A&M has sent buses to the coast to help evacuate. I know that Reed Arena is ready for the physically disabled. Doctors have been on hand from across the country for a few days. I just received an email from my church asking for help. They have been receiving evacuees from nursing homes. The last patient was physically lifted in at 6 am today. I know that Fr. Michael was up all night as I am sure were others. Our superintendent has notified us that he may need to use schools to house many others. He has asked for volunteers. So if you know that your town is helping with evacuees, call your local church and ask how you can help. Maybe you have children of your own who need you but you can help by dropping off cleansing supplies or personal hygiene items. Our church has asked specifically for hand sanitizer, Lysol and Lysol wipes, who would have thought about those simple needs? And if you can not get out and help, then just pray for those who can. And let us pray together that ALL in the path will heed warning and evacuate, and that this storm will not be as intense as they are predicting.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Giving Thanks To God

God always answers prayers. Sometimes He says yes. Sometimes He says no. Sometimes He says not right now, the time is not right yet. I have been praying since Lauren was born that God would help Stephen find the perfect job. I have also prayed that I could one day stay home with the kids. Stephen has applied for several media-type positions at A&M but he was never even called for an interview. I have heard that it's all about who you know. A guy Stephen works with at the TV station also works at A&M and told him about an upcoming opening. Stephen applied, he got a call for an interview, he went to the interview today..I prayed.

This time His answer was YES! Stephen was just hired as the Electronic Audio Visual Specialist for the Texas A&M Health Science Center! They hired him on the spot. This is blessing us in so many ways. Right now he is working 3 am until 7 am. He has been getting less than 5 hours of sleep and then watching all 3 kids upon arriving home so I could go to work. His new hours will be 4-9 pm Monday through Thursday. He will be making more money and receiving benefits (which he isn't right now). He will have 2 student workers.

So now that my husband is an employee of the A&M system and his blood already runs maroon, can I say he is an Aggie?

They're Taking Over

Forget what I said in my last post about motherhood being so rewarding. The kids have begun to conspire against us. Last night I was going back and forth putting clean clothes away and trusted that Stephen was keeping an eye on the kids in the playroom. When I walked out of our bedroom and into the playroom I noticed that Abby was gone. So as I noticed her little feet sliding into the bathroom, I tried to place guilt on Stephen. "Stephen, where is Abby?" I believe he jumped up and muttered that she was there just a minute ago. I suppose it was a little cruel of me but hey, gotta keep him on his toes. Abby is getting pretty fast and he can't trust that she'll stay in one place anymore.

Then I was in the girls' room for quite some time, sorting through clothes that didn't fit the girls anymore and feeling like I hit the jackpot with more hangers. When I went back through the playroom, Lauren was gone. Now, we had the baby gate at the top of the stairs locked so she only could have been in her room (I was just there), Caleb's room (it was dark), the bathroom (not in there either), the playroom, or MY ROOM! That's when I noticed the bathroom light on and Stephen was still in his chair at his desk in the playroom/office. And what do little girls like to do in their Mommy's bathroom? Put on Mommy's make-up of course. She knew just where my brushes were and managed to put on eye-shadow AND blush, quite well I must admit. She had carried her stool in from her bathroom (getting by Stephen) and placed it just right so she could turn the light on.

By the time I started the discipline, Caleb had joined us. Remember how proud I was that he has started talking?? I knelt down to Lauren's level and sternly said, "Lauren. " She wrapped her arms around me and said, "I am SO sorry Mommy, I love you so much." I had to stop laughing and I tried again, "Lauren, look at me."

Then Caleb started in. He pointed to my eye- no, he put his finger in my eye, and said so clearly, "Eye!"
"Yes Caleb, that's my eye. Lauren! You should not play with Mommy's make-up..."
Caleb again, "Eye. Nose."
"Yes Caleb, that's my other eye and my nose."

By then, the moment was gone. All the discipline was out the window and it was so hard not to laugh.

Friday, September 5, 2008

They Grow Up So Fast

I know is sounds so cliche but it's really true. Lauren started her ballet/tap combo class Tuesday night. We found a wonderful dance studio who dances for The Lord. At the end of class they pray with the little tots. They should pray before in my opinion, ya know what I mean? So for a week before class Stephen and I were preparing Lauren, telling her she had to be a good listener and do what her teacher was doing. We explained that she should not be talking to her friends. Since I am a teacher, it is important to have a model student ya know. And she was.
Was NOT! That stinker was dancin' to the beat of a different drummer. She got in there and started bouncing up and down like she did during the olympics. Then when Miss Jessica had all the girls sitting in a circle for prayer, my Lauren was lying on her tummy! Oh the horror! But I should say that there might have been one little girl who did exactly as the teacher said. I guess it's their age. We'll keep working on it. Below is a picture of the girls warming up. I guess Lauren was paying attention after all.

Caleb is finally starting to talk. He is 2 1/2 and has chosen not to talk until now. He has been able to say "Abby" and "Baby" for awhile but he really has chosen not to speak. Lauren was talking at 14 months so we were really getting frustrated with this boy but look at that adorable face! He mostly repeats what we say but the other day when I got home for lunch, he shouted out, "Mommy!" It was just precious. His new favorite thing to do is say, "Ni-ni," hang his head and pretend to snore. It's cute no matter how old he is. Yesterday he asked for juice with his words and signing. He'll be talking in no time and I'll be wondering why I ever rushed him!

Look at my Abby. She is army crawling and boy she is fast. This picture is in our living room and around that corner on the tile is a bathroom. Yesterday Stephen went into the kitchen for a second and when he returned, Abby was gone. She had found the bathroom and was playing with the mat. Thank goodness I cleaned the floor!

What a face! And her hair is so, so long. It's a few inches off her shoulders in the back. Abby is saying "ma ma", "da da", and of course, "ba ba ba."

Motherhood is so rewarding!

Monday, September 1, 2008


I NEVER thought I would want a Facebook or Myspace account, I am too old ya know. That's for the youngsters. But one day last year I found out my assistant principal knew an old friend of mine from the Fort Worth area and they met back up on Facebook so I decided to see the "friend"s listing and the rest is history. It started so slowly but now my use of Facebook is starting to take on a life of it's own. I have been looking up everybody I have ever known in my entire life. Well, maybe not that many people but the other day I got the idea to look up some of my old students. I have been finding most of them too. I found my precious Chelsea from my first year of teaching. She was a doll. I am serious, her face always lit up with a smile and she had precious dimples that went along with her blond hair, blue eyes, and freckles. She was the model student. So I am now back in touch with Chelsea. Then I had to look at her list of friends to see if any of my other students were on her list and one was.

Last night when I was at home I thought of a few more names. I looked up a few more teacher friends and looked at their friends to see if I was missing anyone. About 5 friends' lists into my search, I realized that a girl I work with now... knows someone I worked with 6 years ago in Arlington. This is like a real life six degrees of separation thing. I your friends know friends you had a long time ago? Is this like that Fabrege Organic commercial when we were kids...they'll tell two friends and so on?

As I was cleaning out my files a minute ago I found some of my students' papers with their first and last names (can't remember all 150 kids' last names these days) and I started plugging them into Facebook and there they are!

This is so amazing!