Friday, February 27, 2009

Homeschool Curriculum

Okay, all you homeschool Moms.

I am NOT going to homeschool.

It would NEVER work in my household.

BUT.... This summer I'd like to work with the girls on a couple of things.

Both of them could use some handwriting help. And math would be good, too.

Do you have any suggestions for curriculum that's worked great at your house? The girls are 6 and 8 now -- going into 1st and 3rd.


Thursday, February 26, 2009


I was dealing with Kaitlyn tonight and missed the end of Idol. Did Nick / Norman get through to the Big 12??

Kait was a basket-case and really did require a good helping of TLC. She didn't complete the reading challenge for school. It's not required, and it didn't become a priority for her until Sunday of this week -- about three weeks too late.

She was broken-hearted. Not because she missed out on reading or sharpening her skills.

But because they give prizes.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

UFO Sightings!

Significant progress this weekend!

Check it out!

I kind of had this pegged as a table runner when I was putting it together, but I also think it would look great hanging horizontally on the wall behind a couch.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Wave of Love....

This week I've had a couple of instances where I've just been flooded with memories. Yesterday Carla and I were talking about Sarah and Callie's basketball game. And all of a sudden, I remembered basketball games at Klondike. Why Klondike, of all places, I have no idea. But I could literally smell what their gym smelled like and could taste the Butterfinger ice cream. That was the first place I ever had Butterfinger ice cream.

And then today, I needed to buy something Barbie for the Softball silent auction. I bought a bride Barbie and a Barbie in a bikini -- and a swimming pool. Immediately, I had this flashback of our old blue Barbie swimming pool. And then some story about Kait Po. and a Barbie swimming pool and a lesson in electricity -- long before Electric Camp.

So today, as I was digging around in my Studio, I ran across this book. I found this book when I was back home at Christmas. Whenever I look at this book, a wave of love just washes over me.

If you read this inscription written by Mom, it tells you a couple of things. First, it was given with love to this little-bitty sprite name Binky. That would be me. For years, they called me Binky. Everyone did.

It also tells you that Daddy gave me this book when I was 2 1/2. About 2 months before my world was turned upside-down by a couple of babies hearafter referred to as "The Twins."

I don't have specific memories of being read this book. I mean, seriously, I was 2 years old. But I do have this overwhelming sense of the familiar as I look at it's well-worn pages. That cow and horse on the inside front cover? It's like they were my best friends in some far-away time.

And these goats.
I remember the bunny.
And I know I LOVED the turkeys. Especially the different looks of the Mom and Dad.

Wave of Love. I'm telling you... It's a gift.
Thanks, Mom.

UFO's Everywhere!

Everywhere I look these days, I see UFO's. No... I'm not going stark-raving mad. Okay, maybe I am. But it's not the little-green-men type UFO. It's the Un-Finished Object type UFO. And they are everywhere in this house!

By and large, the biggest Grandaddy of them all is the Keith Yearbook. But after having spent 20+ hours working on said yearbook in the last three days, I decided my computer and I deserved a break. So I'm spending the day in my Studio figuring out a gameplan for 2009.

That would be a gameplan that takes into full consideration the increasing amount of stress associated with our economy. A gameplan that recognizes my Honey's desire for me to keep my spending as low as possible.

A gameplan that utilizes the gazillion fabrics my Mom and I collected over the years. And a ton of unfinished projects.

Like The Moose. I came to the crashing realization a week ago that The Moose was more than on the Loose. It had completely gotten off the reservation. The Moose is in need of Big Help. I'm going to see if a local quilter will take it on. Most Ideally, I could find someone to do the stretching / basting and then let me hand-quilt it. Another option would be to get her to machine stitch in the sashing. That way, I could still hand-quilt the trees and border. I'll keep ya posted!

Of course, I still have lots of extra trees that need homes.

I have several log cabin blocks that were pieced this fall and long to be a part of "something bigger than themselves."

These four are put together but still need a border. And, of course, it has to be quilted.
The "Who, What, When, Where and How" of this particular quilt top will remain a mystery. I'm sure my Mom knew those answers.

These beauties will someday be a quilt named "Ed." I think he would have liked that.

These blocks are for a certain blond-haired beauty in Waxahachie and are long overdue!

My Mom pieced these blocks. By hand. Many of the fabrics I recognize from my growing-up years. Especially that one on the lower left.

Mom and Granny went through a phase where triangles like these were turned into puffy triangle Christmas wall-hangings. I have all these triangles they cut out, but no idea what to do with them. They're probably up in Heaven placing bets on whether I ever figure it out or not.

These festive prints have a future in a falling leaves quilt. That would be FUTURE. Not today.
These were the first quilt blocks I ever made. It's a Bear Paw pattern, and I kind of fell out of love with it. It's definitely in the UFO category.

American Girl doll clothes in various stages of completion.

This is one of my favorite fabrics. I LOVE this piece. And it REALLY needs a home!

These dinosaur prints are left from Kelton's quilt . I've got to get them put together.

These cabin prints are left over from a throw I made Pa a few years ago. I've been thinking of a certain friend who needs a wall-hanging to put in her family's cabin.

Now this.... I've worked on this off and on for about three years. I bought the kit the winter before Mom passed away. It's an old guy fishing with his Lab. It's more of a "representation" of what it's supposed to be like -- I've made a ton of mistakes. But it's a great take-along project when I need something portable.
Finally, there's this. I bought this pattern, and the linen and floss to do it with, at the same time I bought the Fishing cross-stitch. But this one was supposed to be for Mom. I just didn't get it done.
So that's the scoop.... A world of projects for 2009. Crazy, isn't it???

Friday, February 20, 2009

I Did it.

I approved her as a friend.

I know.

My friend Mary thinks I'm crazy. She says I'm a better woman than she is.

It's really not that.

It's really hard to explain.

I kept seeing that friend request on there every time I logged in. And it was like a hit in the gut every time I saw it. But a little less each time.

But I would see comments she left for other Facebook Friends. And I wouldn't have the purest Christian thoughts.

And then last night when we told Abbie we weren't going to Dallas, she started crying. Abbie's clinging to a bit of the past that includes a friendship with my friend's son.

I told you our lives were entertwined.

This has been such a mess.

A mess that has lasted two years.

It's the fall-out of it all. Wider-ranging than we ever would have first thought. Not just two friendships that were affected, but several. On different levels.

And my kids were part of that fall-out.

But I hit confirm. And I have to be honest, when I saw the scripture posted on her page daily, I didn't have the best reaction.

Because it's hard for me to see that as genuine.

It's not my place to decide whether her heart is right or not.

But I struggle with that.

She was great at quoting scripture when we were friends. And had her eyes on Biggsy at the same time.

I thought it was genuine then. But I didn't know what was going on.

Now I do.

It's like a china plate that has been thrown against the wall.

Scattered pieces everywhere.

What goes where?

Do you put it back together?

Do you want to?

Is it even possible?

Is it worth it?

Would all the pieces ever go back together?

What about the one that flew under the china cabinet?

Or the one that landed in behind the trash can?

Or that one that's between the refrigerator and the cabinet?

Can we make it without those?

It wouldn't be complete.

And where is the glue?

I did it. I hit confirm.

If it gets to be too much, I can control the amount of news I get from her world.

But thinking back to my parents' divorce....

Because I had to see my Dad and work with him on a regular basis, I got past it faster and more thoroughly than everyone else.

I'm thinking that might be the case with this.

A little less of a punch each time.




Thursday, February 19, 2009

You Should See This....

Very Powerful.

Check it out.

Kaitlyn's My Daughter -- No Maternity Test Needed.

It's official.

Pepto Bismol makes her puke.

She's my girl.

I didn't have many "big plans" for today. More yearbook. Sorting out the details on this Fundraiser. More yearbook.

But as for tomorrow, we had Big Plans. Our first trip as a family to Dallas since we moved to Houston 20 months ago. We were going to stay with the Pattons. Cheryl is the BEST cook, amazing hostess, dear friend. The list goes on and on.

We had reservations for brunch on Saturday at the American Girl Bistro. Reservation for eight. And four dolls, of course.

We were going to go to The Branch for worship Saturday night. The church where my heart has longed to be ever since we left. We were going to get to hear Chris preach.

But.... Kait woke up at 5:00 this morning. Crying because her tummy hurt so bad. Kait's a whiner when she doesn't feel good, but doesn't usually cry. So I knew this meant business.

I'm not a morning person.

My body doesn't function before 7:00.

At 6:00 I was in Walgreen's getting Pepto. I was the only customer in Walgreen's.

Did you know there are actually people on the roads at 6:00 a.m.? When it's still dark? Crazy.

At 7:00 she threw up -- for the first time.

And it's all downhill from there.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Puppy Love!

I seriously need to de-stress, so I'm going to share what I did today.

Before I worked on the Keith Yearbook for five hours.

Before I found out the Fundraiser is postponed -- again.

This morning I got to go with Mimi & Pa to meet their new Puppy!!! We don't know which one they're getting -- yet. It will either be Duke or Boomer Sooner. (If they end up with Boomer, the name will be changed IMMEDIATELY.)

Duke is a lot more laid-back. Boomer is full of energy. They're both full of puppy breath and kisses. It was love at first sight!

Don't Shoot! I'm Just the Messenger!

The Studio Movie Grill Fundraiser has been postponed again.

As Paul Harvey would say, "Stay Tuned for News."

Sunday, February 15, 2009

What a Valentine's Day!

For last night, I got the girls a sitter, and Biggsy secured us reservations at Redfish Grill. Mmmmm... It's new. We hadn't been there yet. We'll definitely be going back.

He had the Valentine's trio -- which included a Kobe steak. I had the flaming cedar plank snapper. I think they were a bit overwhelmed due to the Valentine's crowd, but it really was quite delicious!

Then, we went to see Paul Blart, Mall Cop. If you haven't seen this one, you MUST. It's one of those rare comedies where they didn't put all the funny parts in the previews. We love Kevin James, and he's hilarious in this movie. We highly recommend it!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Hugs & Kisses Day!

Friday, February 13, 2009

But for the Grace of God.....

Of the millions of flights flown each year, Biggsy flew this same flight last month.

We are counting our blessings. And praying for the families of those lost in this tragedy.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Pink Ribbon Cutting Tickets are Here!!!


Our fundraising tickets are finally back from the printer's and ready to distribute!

REMEMBER.... These are FREE with a donation to the Breast Cancer 3-Day.

The Event is February 28. Your $25 donation will get you ONE Movie Ticket or SIX Raffle Tickets! There's no limit to the number of Raffle Tickets you can get. AND you don't have to be present to win our incredible Raffle Prizes!

We ONLY have 150 tickets for each show, so please get yours ASAP!

Make your donation at:

Thanks for helping us Save Second Base!!!


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

To the Valet Parking Guy Who Brought My Car Around Today....

Couldn't you have waited to fart after delivering my truck??

Facebook Parameters??

Okay. So the quandary that I wrote about a couple of days ago has really had me thinking about the role of Facebook in our marriages. The media tends to focus on the dangers of Facebook and MySpace where children are concerned, with all the predators lurking there. But they don't address any dangers these social networking sites might pose to our marriages.

That's probably because the media really doesn't seem to care that as a country our morals are in steep decline. Actually, that's wrong. The media does care -- why else would they promote all the morality-wreckers with such glee?

And while that's a soapbox I could stand on for hours, that's not where we're going today.

Here's the deal. I have several Facebook friends that I had minor crushes on in my growing-up, trying to figure out what I was about, years. Those of you who knew me well know there weren't many guys that crossed my path that I didn't have at least a slight crush on. So if I avoided all past crushes, there probably wouldn't be any pre-Biggsy guy-friends in my Facebook.

But there's no one there I really ever had a connection with. (Sorry!) When Biggsy and I got married, I was a virgin. (Did your jaw just drop? Didn't think those really existed?) I was. So I never had that deep connection with anyone. And while I had my heart broken a few times, I did more than my share of the "dumping" along the way. (Something I was TERRIBLE at.)

My point is (you knew there was one in here somewhere) that I feel perfectly safe with the Facebook friends I have, and Biggsy has nothing there to worry about.

BUT... what if that wasn't the case? What if you do have deep connections to friends from way back? Facebook tends to bring the past to the present. I can't help but think that people are having issues with this. If it's "on the wall" it's out there for God and Everybody to see. But what about the instant messaging or the email messages? And the fact that Facebook lets you peek into other people's lives? Do you wonder "what if?" What if you've already had a couple of instances in your marriage where you weren't faithful to your spouse?

Seriously, with the pictures my friends have posted on Facebook, lust is not an issue for me. But what if others have issues with that? What if your husband had issues with that?

I'm just wondering if in our marriages we should set up Facebook parameters. Such as no connecting with loves lost or no behind-the-scenes discussions with members of the opposite sex. Or no Facebook Friends who have a tendency to post pictures of themselves in anything other than ski bibs or muumuus?

You can tell I've been processing this, can't you?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What I Forgot to Say....

When I did my post on going to Ed's funeral, I forgot to tell ya'll about the lady who took our order at Jim's Big Burger. When we told her why we were in Victoria, and how we landed at her counter, she said,

"That man did nothing but spread love."

And that, my friends, is how I want to be remembered someday. (Well, not the man part.)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Overheard in Biggsville....

Abbie: Kaitlyn, you're really not that smart.

Kait: Yes I am! Just ask me a question.

Abbie: What's 1000 plus 400?

Kait: Okay. Another question.

Saying Good-bye to Ed

Suzi and I made the trek to Victoria last Wednesday to say good-bye to our sweet friend Ed and love on his wife, Sherry. Before I go one second further, I have to tell you Sherry looked absolutely beautiful. It's kind of neat to see how people clean up well when they're not sleeping in tents, showering in semi trucks and walking 60 miles.

It was hard to be making that trek for the reasons that we were, but it was such a blessing to have that time to spend with Suzi. With schedules like they are, we don't have that much time to just hang out. A whole day with her was a blessing I really needed.

We got to Victoria about noon -- well ahead of the 2:00 Mass for Ed. We stopped in at Charlie's Liquor and Wine to buy a couple of bottles of vino. We'll toast Ed one of these days and that will be cool.

We asked the gang at Charlie's where we should eat lunch, and they sent over to Jim's Big Burger.

Oh, my Heavens. I think we may have found out why Ed had a massive heart attack at 58. This is Burger Heaven. If you're ever in Victoria, I highly recommend you give them a try. VERY inexpensive. And one of those absolutely-perfect burgers. Toasted bun, with that little bit of crunch right on the edges. Mmmmm......

After Jim's, we hit Target where Suzi bought a juicer (I know -- huge contrast to lunch), and then went to the funeral. I've never been to a Catholic funeral / mass before -- but I have to say, there were a lot of Hail Marys. It was very interesting. I will say I missed the personal touch that you get with a good, old Protestant funeral. The slideshow. The masses of flowers. The singing. The message where the preacher touches you with memories of your loved one.
We did order flowers, though -- PINK. With two pink ribbons. One said, "Real Men Wear Pink" and the other read, "Team Talent." Sherry's friend Pam said she was really touched by that. I'm glad. I think Ed would have liked them!

Ten Down. Thirty-nine to Go.

A Quandary

I've been coasting along, Facebooking and Blogging to my heart's content -- and wham! I got slammed with a bit of a dilemma last night.

The friend I mentioned a few posts ago? The one who was more like a sister than a friend before the Big Thing happened?

She sent me a friend request on Facebook.

And I have no idea what to do.

There's a part of my that craves information from her household -- and wants so much to know what's going on with her. And misses all our fun times more than anything.

But.... The Big Thing? Well, she put the moves on Biggsy. And I'm not going into details. But it wasn't really about him, more about what was missing somehow in her own life. Although, when you consider what a hottie he is, it's a surprise there aren't women just falling all over him constantly. And almost no one knows about what happened because I waded through the pissed off and angry and hurt and everything that went with it on the "high road." Our lives were so entertwined that I didn't think it would be right to answer her wrong with one of my own. So I resisted the urge to hire one of those planes with a banner to fly up the Interstate announcing to the world what had happened.

Moving to Houston was a very freeing thing for me. It got me out of town and far away. But at the same time, losing my Mom right after just compounded my grief. By that fall, I had made some new friends and was finally able to talk about what had happened. Some dear Tiaras and MOPS friends were there to listen. But at the same time, being this far away, it allowed me to carry that load of anger a lot longer than I probably would have otherwise.

Last fall, a dear friend, a mentor helped me work through the forgiveness part -- finally. And I've felt so much lighter since then. We've talked on the phone a couple of times. I sent a Christmas card.

But last night this Facebook thing popped up. And I don't know what to do. My network is largely her network, too. Our lives were that entertwined. And that's just a bit bizarre.

And I just couldn't jump off and hit "confirm." It's almost two years to the day since the nightmare started. That's an awfully long time to have something between me and a sister in Christ. And that's what she is. Even if I don't consider her a friend that's closer than a sister at this point. At the end of the day, she is a sister in Christ.

And this is what I'm dwelling on today.....

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Take a Deep Breath....

And take out your calendar.

And change the date of our Fundraising event to February 28.

Studio Movie Grill needs an extra week to get their location finished.

If you've made your donation (to receive your tickets to the event) and cannot come on Feb. 21, I can convert that to raffle tickets for you. How's that? We do have some incredible prizes.

If you haven't made your donation (so you can get movie tickets/ raffle tickets), what are you waiting for????

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Great Weekend at the Creek!

We had a great weekend at the Creek this weekend. The Bennetts joined us down there, and Biggsy and Mark hired a guide for Saturday. They took Ethan and Abs with them -- and left Robin and I to entertain Cooper and Kait. Lucky for us, Coop and Kait are like peas and carrots!

Here are the "bigger kids" with Cap'n Gene.

Here's Abs scouting for fish. We would have more pictures of the bigger kids, but Biggsy accidentally left Mark's camera (that went in the boat) at the Creek.

Lucky for you, I had my camera with me! So we have lots of pix of Cooper and Kaitlyn!
They were busy as two bees all day. They climbed the tree in the front yard and declared that they had "assigned seats."
Cooper fished quite a bit. That boy can cast!

Unfortunately, though, he kept getting his line tangled around his fishing pole. And I was having to take time away from my ever-so-important Cross Stitch project. Then, I figured out the problem. Every time he cast the line, he went into Luke Skywalker mode and turned it into a light saber for a bit. It was a hoot!

Once he got over being a Jedi Knight, he tried to see if he could get a bead on the fish in a different way. Aren't boys fun? Our girls would never think of any of this!

Kait spent much of her day washing off the pier and making rainbows!
Swinging took up a lot of time, as did washing seashells we had found on the beach last summer. Kait "invented" this shell-drying system. She's looking for a patent if anyone is interested....
Jake spent his day running up and down the Creek, chasing birds and trying to figure out how to get to a "pretty young thing" (a cute yellow lab) on the other shore!

Here's Abs after a loooooooooong day of fishing. They were out about 10 hours and caught about 15 fish! We sure had a yummy dinner! (It didn't hurt to have Chef Mark along!)

Here are all our peas & carrots. They really do have a great time together.

Monkeys Climbing at Monkey Bizness!

We went to Katarina & Kassidy's birthday party at Monkey Bizness a couple of weeks ago. Our girls have never been there before, but they had a blast. They spent a little time on the bounce houses, but the rock wall had their attention!!! Unfortunately, I forgot that I was using my camera to take video, so the video I have looks like they're doing a great job climbing sideways! Oh well!!!

At one point, Abbie swung around with her back to the wall, but she didn't let go -- and was able to recover and keep climbing. How cool is that??

The "Something Cool" That Came on Friday!

When I blogged about something "big" happening on Friday, I know you thought I meant that Big, Red Truck. Nah. I just didn't have time to get the pictures up until now....

BUT.... We got a new mattress on Friday!!! After 11.5 years of marriage, and about 7 years of complaining about our old mattress, we got a Tempurpedic!!! Woo-Hoo!!! The guys who delivered it thought I was nuts for documenting it. But they just didn't get how thrilled I was!

And of course, the girls had to help break it in!!!

FAM Night

Last Tuesday was "FAM" night at Keith (Fitness, Art & Music). The 2nd graders invited their parents in to see what they do during P.E., Art & Music.

Here's Abbie showing off her "Spin Jammer" Skills.

Here she is at the cup-stacking table. Cup-stacking is a really cool sport for people who don't like to sweat. And it takes amazing hand/ eye coordination.
I'm pretty much the worst cup-stacker ever. It's the coordination part. I'm all over a sport that doesn't make you sweat.
Biggsy came from work and got there just in time for a little hands-on art.

Here's Abs with two of her best friends -- Alyvia and Andrew.