Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday of Christmas Vacation

We finally got to my parents late afternoon on Saturday ... we actually made it in time for dinner.  We were supposed to have a family dinner, but Carly was really sick, so the McGregor's couldn't come (Jen and Carly did sneak over for a bit later that night)  On Sunday, Dean dropped Torrey off to spend the night with Gretchen ... still BFF's after all these years!  We rested and relaxed ... and basically did nothing.

On Monday we started our day with a girls shopping trip.  We started at, where else?  Target.  Mostly because the Starbucks is oh so convenient!
 The "girls" who made the girls shopping trip so much fun ... Jen, Mavis and Mom-to-you.
 We knew Zackie would be fine at my parents ... he likes people.  Zoey, on the other hand, we knew would be skitchy.  She likes her family.  Period.  And,  there was no amount of convincing her that Grammy and Papoo were her family too.  She spent a lot of time sitting on Dean's lap ... I do mean a lot of time.  On Monday night, Zack was up there first ... and those of us who know Zoey, knew it wouldn't be long before she made her way up there too!
 Monday night also marked the lunar eclipse ... the last time it was seen was ... well, a long time ago.  
 I will admit right now that I did not take these pictures ... one had to be up in the middle of the night to take these pictures.  Jennifer and Ryan did the honors.  They had gone to Epcot earlier in the day and picked up Torrey from Gretchen, which meant ...
that she was up at o'dark thirty with the McGregor family to see the eclipse.  Not sure being a McGregor was what she thought it would be that night!

More fun to come!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Getting There is Half the Fun

Last year, right at Christmas I called my parents and said we would come for Christmas if we could bring the dogs.  They agreed rather quickly.  Which surprised me.  Because I was only kidding about the dogs, but I wasn't kidding about coming for Christmas.

Fast forward to November and Zoey having knee surgery.  We were nervous about boarding her.  And then we found out the boarding place would have to move them to a downstairs room for almost double what it costs for an upstairs room.  They tried to sell it to us because they would have a TV in their room.

Clearly the girl on the phone forgot we were talking about DOGS.  Who don't watch TV.  Good grief.

We made the decision to bring them with us.  And were shocked at how great they did.

They stayed in Zack's crate and slept most of the way.  Happy as larks.

Surprisingly, the only one who asked "are we almost there yet" was ... um, me.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Bah Humbug ... No More!

Today started out hard.  And early.  At 5:00 this morning, I discovered a smallish water spill in our half bathroom.  That would be the one with the hardwood floors.  It didn't take me but a few seconds to realize that said water spill wasn't from the cats spilling a glass of water (seriously thought in my head that perhaps they had CARRIED a glass in the bathroom and dropped it ... perhaps 5:00 is too early for me to get up in the morning!)but rather from a drip drip drip COMING FROM THE CEILING!

I may or may not have been more concerned about the floors than I was about the water coming from the ceiling.

Of course I was more concerned about the floors.  Hardwood floors people!

Anyways, it was discovered that one of the hot water tanks (in the attic ... only in Texas) was not installed properly and sadly, we needed a new hot water heater.

Ya'll we just had double knee surgery on the dog ... and unfortunately she wasn't covered under Obamacare.  Some days you just want to scream.  And, today was my day.

But, it gets better, because in October we got tickets to go see our Church's Christmas program.  For tonight.  And while I had been looking forward to the program at 4:59 this morning, suddenly I wasn't feeling too Christmasy.

But we went.  And we were grouchy.  Dean may or may not have tried to figure out when I would be going through menopause ... he learned quickly that some things are better to NOT try to figure out.  If you want to live in peace and harmony and all.

So there we sat ... and it didn't take long to remember that Christmas is really all about Jesus.  Slowly we forgot about new water heaters, and shananigans at school, and all the things that have to be finished before next Friday ... the menopause thing might take a little longer!

It was beautiful.  And full of all things Christmas.  And full of Jesus.  And I loved it.  And took pictures ... without a flash.  They are terrible, but I must share.  Mostly so I will remember .... because Dean has already told me next year he is hiding the camera!

Santa rode in on a sleigh ... and I waved.  Because I know I am on the "Nice List".  Santa was hilarious.  But, then you knew he would be ... being jolly and all.

The Worship Center was full of angels.  Some were on rolling riding things and some came in on stilts and at the same moment they popped out their wings when they were worshipping baby Jesus ... do you see Him?

The shepherds came to worship baby Jesus ... along with their sheep and goats.  Who knew baby goats were so cute?!

And then the wise men made their grand entrance.  And grand it was!  The last king comes in a procession that included an elephant.

An actual full grown elephant.  In the Worship Center.  And while he is walking around the Worship Center, the choir is singing "Do You See What I See?"  And I had goose bumps.  And couldn't look away.  

Because think about it ... God created that massive wrinkly beast.  And He saw that it was good.  Don't you think given a chance an elephant would have worshipped Jesus?  I do.  

And, just so you know ... we were sitting on the front row and that huge elephant walked RIGHT BY ME!  And it took my breath away.  And then my breath came back.  And I wished it didn't ... because clearly he doesn't bathe every day.

The evening ended with "The Hallelujah Chorus" ... and know who was first on her feet?  A severely handicapped girl in a wheel chair.  Oh, she didn't actually stand on her feet, but she had her hands in the air and she threw her head back ... worshipping her heavenly Father who created her perfect in His eyes.  He saw her worship and her praise ... and it was good.

She sat in front of us last year and brought me to tears.  I waited.  And watched.  And cried.  Because she knows the true meaning of Christmas ... Jesus.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

And I Smiled

Sometimes something arrives on your phone that just makes you smile.  Tonight was one of those times.  My sister sent me this ...

And I was in love.  With my girl.  With my sister.  With Christmas.  With it all.  

Sometimes it really is the simple things.  

Procrastination is My Middle Name

So, the girls I work with think I am organized.  I just grin and nod my head ... as if to say, "of course I am organized".

Truth is, I am anything BUT organized.  Dean could write post after post after post of how unorganized I am.  But he won't.  Because he is nice like that.

Some days I think I can blame my being unorganized on being busy.  Maybe that is a legitimate excuse.  Some days I could blame it on a case of adult onset A.D.D. - oooh!  Look over there!  Something shiny!  Some days I could blame it on trying to take care of everyone else first.

Some days any one of those excuses might work.  But here is the truth ... none of those things are the truth.  Because we are about a week from a big trip, and I have a self assessment to finish, and lesson plans for next week to finish, and 80 ornaments to turn into snowmen, and presents to wrap, and ... and ... and ...

You get the picture?

So, with all of that looming in my NEAR future, what am I doing right now?   Right this very second?  Loading songs into itunes.

I am not kidding.  Perhaps my FIRST name should be procrastination!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Freezing ... But Not in My Heart

It was freezing in Houston today.  But, then it was freezing in most of the country today.  I do not like the cold.  At all.  Which is why I live in Texas.  I can do temperatures in the 115's in the summer, but give me temperatures in the 30's in the winter and I begin to fall apart.

But, not today kids.  Not today.  Know why?  Because today my heart has been here ... remembering one glorious day this summer.

There was an oil spill in the gulf, but this day on Anna Maria Island was perfectly perfect.  And, this picture ... perfectly perfect.  Soon not only my heart will be here, but my whole body will be here too.  And I can't wait!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Headed to the Funny Farm

I'm about to have a nervous breakdown ... and I am not kidding.

And it isn't because I found out today that my self evaluation is due on December 17th.  If you didn't know, doing a self evaluation is sort of similar to giving yourself a root canal without novocaine.  Please know that I did not jump up and down with joy.  At all.

No, my nervous breakdown tonight is being induced by a calendar we received via email today.  It would be Torrey's college guidance calendar.  Help me Rhonda.

Seems "we" have to take a SAT subject test for Biology because she is taking honors Biology.  Um, what is that?  There is more on the list ... I tried to read it, but all I could hear in my head was Charlie Brown's teacher.

Somehow I think we aren't going to be able to stop this clock.  And the ticking is getting louder.

Do you think if I pre-pay for a nervous breakdown they would give me a discount?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

We Are Alive!

I have no excuse for not posting on the blog.  I really thought that I would post daily in December ... well, here it is the 5th and it is the first time I have ventured back in a month.  And not because we haven't done fun things ... we have.  And not because I haven't had any funny stories to tell ... I do.  And not because I haven't tried a new thing or two ... I have tried more than two new things.  I'm not real sure where we have been or why we have been MIA.

But, peeps ... WE ARE BACK!  Yay for you! 

And, I thought I would tell you a funny story or two.  Or three.  BUT ... the sickness hit our house this weekend.  I knew I was getting sick on Friday afternoon.  By the time I got home I was feverish and full on sick with a cold.  I went to bed at 4:30.  In the afternoon.  I am not kidding.

Saturday wasn't much better.  I rested in the afternoon, but when I woke up I was in misery.  Dean gave me some Nyquil ... which caused me to instantly go into a Nyquil induced coma.  But, Sunday came and I was really feeling MUCH better.  

But, now it is Sunday night and tomorrow (and Tuesday and Wednesday) I will be at a conference which means I had to get everything ready for a sub.  Which means you will have to wait until tomorrow to hear about our fun.  

Or, perhaps you will be waiting until January! 

Thursday, November 25, 2010


We spent Thanksgiving at Mike and Jess' in Bryan.  It was our first trip "to the country" to see their new home.  Left feeling a bit jealous ... we often wish we didn't live in such a big city.  Linda and Paul were there (of course!) as well as Debbie and Mike, who were visiting for the week.  We ate until we were stuffed.  Laughed until our cheeks hurt.  And drank up the yumminess of the three littles ... because they are scrumptious!
 Linda was put in charge of making the stuffing.  She was a bit worried at first, but she pulled it off deliciously!
 While cooking was going on downstairs, football was going on upstairs ... I think everyone was happy with the outcomes.
 Ellie was trying to figure out how to sneak Uncle Mike's dog from him.  Unfortunately for her, Angel is not up for grabs.  And, yes she is wearing angel wings.  Because we all know about the angel who was at the first Thanksgiving!
 Great Gram and her Ellie girl.  
 She is loved ... and always up for a snuggle!
 Not the first picture of these two ... and I daresay it won't be the last.  A-dor-a-ble.  The both of them!
 Speaking of a-dor-a-ble ... this one.  Oh for the yumminess.  Not even kidding.  And, to see her in motion ... humming as she is always going and going and going.  Oh.  My.  Word.
 At this point there was much hoopla going on in the kitchen ... and these two were posing for pictures.  
 Oh, sure, he might try to say he was keeping the kids out from under foot ... more like stirring them up.
 If you are looking for a kid to snitch, Austin isn't it.  That is because I fully intend to snitch him at the first possible chance ... and I don't want someone to get the chance before me!
 Love all the sweet memories we have had with Dean's mom ... so many holidays, but more than that, so many ordinary days.  Don't know what we did to ever deserve such a blessing, but so glad we did it!
Paul was given one job to do ... drinks.  We gave him the hardest time about his job ... or his lack of doing it.  Next time he may give "drinks" to Dean and be in charge of stirring up the kids!
Suzie enjoying some sweet potato casserole with Auntie Debbie ... well, actually the marshmallow from the top.  We all know food tastes so much better when it comes from someone else's plate ... or directly from the casserole pan!
 Everything was delicious!  Jess out did herself ... and, I did get pictures of Jess, but her eyes were closed in most of them and I fully intend to be invited back next year, so I didn't include any of those in the blog!
 Here is reason why we will probably never have a hammock in our back yard ... because I am not ready to cash in life insurance just yet.
 Torrey showing how it is done!  Thanks Mike and Jess for the funnest and most delicious of days!  

Making of the Mayflower

On the days leading up to Thanksgiving I found this while cruising crafty blogs.  And I knew.  I knew I HAD to make them.  

As we all know I totally embrace my love of procrastination ... which meant the day before Thanksgiving found me making boats.

And, let me just be the first to say ... I was instantly in love.  Because they are darlin'.  Absolutely darlin'.
 Once they were done I filled them with candy corn ... because I happen to know three littles who love candy corn as much as Zack!  But, if I had planned ahead I would have gotten autumn colored M&M's ... but by the time I decided to whip these up, candy corn were all I could find.  Note to self ... procrastination is really not your Best Friend!
And, here they are completed and in their new home ... between snowman guards.  They were loved ... but, I think mostly for the candy corn!

If you are planning to make these, I think it called for so many yards of brown felt ... um, don't go crazy. You don't need that much ... I am now sitting on enough felt to make a fleet of Mayflowers!  Which means if you are related to me and feel you need a Mayflower (or two or three), let me know ... goodness knows I've got the felt!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Freeze Frenzy

My tale begins with the fact that Dean is out of town.

And, right away you know that my tale isn't just a tale.  It is a sad tale.  Because whenever he is out of town something happens.  And, usually that something is terrible.

Tonight would be no exception.

My night started out good ... I watched election returns.  And danced.  And danced.  And danced.  It was a good night in America.

I headed off to bed at 10:30.  Tired would be an understatement.  I got to our bedroom door and stopped ... there was a strange noise.

Um, remember, Dean is out of town.  I knew instantly that whatever was making that noise was not going to be good.

Let's just say that our freezer has an alarm on it.  Let's also just say that said freezer alarm had apparently been going off for awhile.  For quite awhile.

And, I did what I usually do when something bad happens and Dean is out of town.  I called Dean.  He told me he would clean out the freezer when he got home ... on Thursday.

Well, there was a soupy mess of berry juice in the bottom of the freezer that would become a soupy, frozen mess of berry juice if we waited until Thursday.  So, I stopped whining (sort of) and cleaned out the freezer.

I am proud to say I only cried once.  When I threw out the melted container of Blue Bell peppermint ice cream.

There is a happy ending to this story ... Dean doesn't travel again until after Christmas.  Which means all major appliances are safe until then!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I Voted ... Did You?

Torrey and I booked it out of school so that I could vote.  I know I could have voted early ... but, there is just something about voting on the second Tuesday in the month of November.

There was quite the line ... which was frustrating and exciting all rolled into one.  I love seeing people exercising their right to vote ... our country was 80 years old before all men were given the right to vote and 130 years old before women were allowed to vote.  You better believe I am going to make my voice heard.

And, just in case you think your one little vote doesn't matter, remember 210.  210 was the number of votes that decided our president in the 2000 election.  Well, 209 ... because the deciding vote was mine.  All mine.  You are welcome.

On our walk back to the car a woman asked us if we voted.  We said we did.  And then she told me that she just found out today that she is a Republican and that all these years she has been voting wrong.  She said she had to call her niece and tell her she wasn't really a Democrat after all.  HA!

Tonight I am watching to see what our country is going to do ... we are on the verge of taking our country back.  And that is exciting.  A month from now, or a year or two years our country could look completely different ... praying that we return to being a country who is not afraid to rely on God's help to become great.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Bieber Fever

Last Monday, Dean and Torrey headed to Los Angeles for an adventure of epic proportions.  Dean had scored tickets for the Justin Bieber concert at Staples center.  There was a convertible involved.  And an In-N-Out burger.  And a trip to see the stars on the sidewalk.

And, I was home.  My choice.  I thought it would be fine.  And then the pictures starting rolling in to my phone.  And all I wanted to be was where they were.  But, you know what?  I wouldn't have gone even now knowing how fantastic their fun was.  Because the best part of the trip was just the two of them ... together.

Oh, but there were pictures ... because if I wasn't going, Dean WAS taking the camera.  And, I was so glad I made him take the good camera!  Let the fun begin ...

Dean couldn't resist a picture of Torrey in the convertible.  They both loved it ... and she is now begging him to get a convertible.  When she got in his car at the airport she said, "Daddy, your car is lame."  Ha!

They watched a TV show being made ... NCIS Los Angeles.  No sign of Chris O'Donnell or L.L. Cool J.  Maybe next time.

Lunch at In-N-Out burger.  They did not become fans.  For the record, they say Five Guys is MUCH better.  

And then they drove to the Griffith Observatory for a view of the Hollywood sign and amazing views of Los Angeles.  

I loved this picture the minute I saw it.  She is fixing her hair.  Her clothes are comfy for an early morning plane ride.  But the smile ... that is the smile I see on her face when she makes it to my classroom at the end of the day.  Happy to see me.  And, that is why this picture will forever make me smile.  Because it is just my Torrey.

Oh, and this one?  It makes me smile, too.  Because he is mine as well.  And, I know how much this trip meant to him.

Our "star" checking out the stars.  Dean said there were soooo many it was hard to find ones that you knew.  

An oldie but a goodie!

And, then it was time to head to ...

Now, let's stop here to say that this was 2 hours BEFORE they opened the doors.  They didn't eat dinner ... because someone was afraid that they would be late.  So, Dean stood outside waiting to get inside and get something for dinner.

Also, when the tickets came in the mail they were accompanied with a parking pass.  Dean made the decision to drive instead of walk.  When they got there, they found out that they didn't have to wait out front with the throngs of screaming girls, but instead could go to VIP doors.  

Dean texted me about 30 minutes before the doors were supposed to open to tell me it was a madhouse out front but they were waiting at their VIP doors with about 15 people.  He was pretty pleased with himself.

Um, the joy didn't last long ...

Can you find Torrey in the throng?  Her hair is pulled back just a little.  This was minutes after some crazy girl in the crowd insisted she saw Justin Bieber inside and a near riot broke out!

But, soon all was right with the world because they were in their seats and dinner was served.  Torrey changed her shirt and texted a message to JB and it flashed up on the screen ... several times.

And then she plopped herself on the ledge and waiting for the show to begin.  Dean had no idea what kind of tickets he had gotten (for free ... remember?) ... but, they were in a suite with 8 other people.  Big comfy chairs.  Some guy coming around with desserts.  Perfect view of the stage.  Dean was in Nirvana.  It made the night even more special.

Torrey texted me this picture.  I texted her back asking if it was a hamster ball.  Um, no.  It was how JB made it to the stage ...

tada!  Let the show begin!

Torrey was already a fan ... but, by the end of the night she had converted her dad too!  He was impressed with how talented he was ... and, perhaps a bit surprised too.  I guess he was more than a pretty face!

I daresay of all the sweet memories Dean and Torrey made, this one will be the one Dean carries in his heart forever ... his girl.  Joy.  Anticipation.  Just the two of them.   

We are painfully aware that there is a clock ticking.  The ticking is getting louder and soon she will be off ... but these moments, these memories seem to slow down the clock just a bit.  And we will take them ... even if they are just for a night!