Wednesday, December 7, 2011

My Talented Valentine

I am so excited to share my friend, Lora's blog. She is the most creative person I have met and she has finally started a blog. Lora was a teacher for many years and living on a teacher's salary is...well, a challenge. She learned how to make one man's trash, her treasure. You would be amazed at what she can do with someone's discarded chair or mirror. So, I encourage you to take a look at this woman's talent...maybe you'll see something to inspire you to take a second look at that chair you were about to donate.

Okay, I'm not sure why her link isn't inserting so do the old fashioned copy and paste with this:

http://thriftyvalentine.blogspot.com/

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving









In keeping with my tardiness, now that is Thanksgiving, I will post my Halloween Pictures. Some of these are from the Trunk or Treat our Church held on the 30th and you will be able to spot which ones come from the spooky Hallowed Eve.

Monday, November 7, 2011

My Perfect Day



On Saturday, I drove down to Birmingham to visit my girlfriend for a late lunch after chauffeuring H to skating lessons. I ran away from home, no kids. It was magnificent. Autumnal colors filled the trees and the gentle hills just filled my soul to overflowing (I've leaf peeped in VT and this was just as spectacular). I blared U2 and my heart did a happy dance. I decided my funeral should be filled with Autumnal colors and the blasting of U2. The epitome of me.

No Title

I just love this song...I recommend just closing your eyes and listening...

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Style by H






















I swear she has matching socks...

Get a Haircut



A few weeks ago, M was looking a little shaggy on the nape of his neck, not being a mullet fan, I took him to Cost Cutters to get him trimmed up...handed him off to the stylist after saying "Just a trim, please."

This is what I had...

This is what I got...

Now does this look like a trim to you? What happened to my little boy's beautiful blonde locks??? Turns out, my little boy told her to do this!!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Answer Store

"Mom, I gotta question." This phrase is handed to me a million times a day. I usually respond "I got an answer." (Bad grammar, I know.) I started getting tired of hearing the "I gotta question." (Which can apply to anything from how the world works to wanting something for Christmas) I started answering "I'm all out of answers, I haven't been to the answer store...etc. etc." (Yes, I inherited sarcasm in those paternal genes.)

Yesterday, M asked "Mom, have you been to the answer store? Did you get 6 answers, cuz I got a question." Now, I can't remember the rest of the conversation (which I meant to write down lest I forget, I forget to write it down, I forgot the conversation, I am lucky to remember the beginning of the question...but I did find M's question if I went to the answer store when he saw I had been to Target hysterical. Now, if I could just find a memory store.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Howdy

I haven't posted in forever...So I am going to post a video from dinner at our local pizza joint on Kids' Night...Now I took the video with my phone and uploaded to Vimeo from my phone...the problem with phones and the thumbnail feature is it makes for very tiny thumbnails...so in addition to the great pizza toss, there is some church singing...I meant to delete it...not very good, can't see M, but oh well, let's all be happy I got the videos off of my phone and cleared up some of my poor phone's memory.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Hell on Skates



Lego Man


The boy loves to build...he has always loved his Legos but the Lego exhibition at Kennedy Space Center threw some fuel on the fire. I was orderd to buy a Shuttle Lego kit ASAP. M hounded me for days when I would get it, I ordered from Amazon after one of the hounding moments...mistake. He bugged me relentlessly about what day it would arrive...It arrived, he immediately whisked it away to his room and emerged one hour later with his shuttle. Unbelievable. All by himself, no help from anyone (Dad was at work and I can't put two square Legos together let alone a Shuttle...just in case you don't believe me)

Pool

And again, forgot the camera, used the phone, and will ask for a digital recorder for Christmas/birthday...



After the big splash at the beginning...you can stop watching...they don't do anything and my New Year's Resolution will be to learn how to edit the recordings :-D

Hockey Camp

Last week, M had hockey camp...forgot the camera...used the phone. I won't be getting any mom of the year awards real soon. I real mom would have a state of the art recording devise...and not forget to bring it...Oh! Watch no. 10, he has the all white socks, that's my star!





Thursday, July 28, 2011

Career Choices

We were blessed with being able to see the last launch of the Space Shuttle, STS-135. My impressionable 7 year old who already loves all things rockets, walked away from this experience with the desire to be an astronaut. I did not have the heart to tell him this probably wasn't a great choice being the last shuttle and all. (Had the shuttles performed the remaining 75% of their lifespan, maybe so but with the program canceled...probably not going to happen).

The news channels broke the bad news to M. So, showing great ability to adapt...he is going to be a professional hockey player. And last night, he let me know I could watch him on TV and he will give me some tickets to watch in person. So, in the future, I see a lot of dental bills. I can't complain though...during this hot summer that seems to have no end in sight...I'll take an Ice Complex over a hot stadium any day.

Come and Get It!!!

Once upon a time, I used to be a phenomenal cook. I found trying new recipes a delight, I lovingly stroked new cookbooks, watched Martha Stewart on cable. Then, it all changed...It's dinner time, I am making dinner and well...I'm not enjoying it.

I had H and M. I am now a short order cook. Well, in their mind. Here's why...H likes raw carrots. M doesn't. M likes cooked carrots. H does not. M will eat mashed potatoes. H will not. H and M will eat sliced potatoes baked in the oven after being tossed in oil, salt and pepper. If I throw in an envelope of onion soup so much the better. I've hit one out the ball park.

H will not touch mayo, cream cheese or sour cream but will eat mustard. M will not eat mustard but will eat mayo. So for H, a sandwich has to be made with no mayo, onions and peppers (H loves her peppers and onions just like her big sister but let's not get me started on the big sister's diet because she has celiac and is supposed to not eat gluten but she eats like she doesn't have celiac...oh wait, I wasn't going to get started on that one). Where was I? Oh yes, the ham sandwich...M has to have pickles, mayo, provolone and ham...oh, and it has to be toasted...M will eat PB&J and H will not. Do you see why I like McDonald's? They can sort it all out.

H will eat meat. H LOVES meat. M does not. Getting my beloved son to eat anything besides chicken nuggets or a hot dog requires me to consume a large amount of Motrin. H will eat broccoli. M will not. M will eat macaroni and cheese. H will not. H will eat Mexican Cheese melted on almost anything (well, not a baked potato) but will not touch American, Provolone, Swiss...oh, she will eat Parmesan...in fact, she will eat a mound of shredded Parmesan. I blame a waitress in MA for this oddity...but that's another story. Needless to say, M will not eat the mound of shredded Parmesan but he will eat yogurt. H will not.

I hear the sound of the timer. I will go fetch the chicken, green beans and rice for the husband and me...while I finish off the Amy's skillet lasagna that I caved into making for the Short People. I usually don't do this, I usually have a dinner with much verbal wrestling and threatening but tonight. Two dinners. I'm a short order cook because sometimes the idea of a dinner with no whine while I sip my wine is just too much to resist.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Drawbacks of being a Geriatric Mom

My kids say the funniest things...except I rarely remember what they said because I am usually driving...and by the time I get home. I know they said something hilarious but I cannot for the life of me remember what it was...BUT I found a scrap piece of paper yesterday (dated March 12, 2009) and here is the discussion that took place while I was trying to scrape something off of M's throat...when I realized it was a mole (yeah, my eyesight isn't too good either)

M: "Yeah, it's cuz the Angel kissed me. I felt him when I was sleeping. How do angels get in the house? Maybe they can go through wall because they're invisible."

Later, I'll try and remember to dig my phone out of my purse for M's theological discussion on the Fall of Man and tornadoes.

Sophie the Swagger Wagon

A few weeks ago on a Sultry Saturday morning, Hubby was paying bills, I was cleaning up my craft mess and we discussed the transportation arrangements for the upcoming FL trip. Five people were not going to fit into the Accord or the Rav4 without killing each other before reaching the GA state line. I suggested renting a vehicle and made a casual remark that I never thought I would miss my mini van but twice a week, every week, when hockey rolls around...I miss that space. I especially miss the space when I go grocery shopping and open the back to find that big ole hockey bag did not get taken out and put away. End of discussion.

One week later, we had a new mini van. This is extremely unusual since the husband usually spends weeks, no months, no scratch that...years to purchase a new vehicle. Our Honda Odyssey was researched for THREE YEARS before being purchased...it started in Ohio and ended in Massachusetts when child number three made his debut. We always wanted a Sienna but they were the new kid on the block and extremely expensive...sometime in VA, we traded the Odyssey for a Sienna. Rebecca Sophia (the Sienna) had a nice life until she was creamed by a rear end collision that rendered her life cycle over and made her a parts donor. Trying to be a cool mom and not realizing we would get replacement value, I went for the RAV4, John Harvard. John Harvard is a nice ride but the first thing I missed was the over abundant amount of cup holders...then when winter rolled along I missed the ability to adjust the temperature on my bun warmers...it was high...or low...then one day, it got really cold and boy, did I miss the side mirror defroster (Yes, I'm not a Princess, I am a Queen).

Anyway, back to Sophie The Swagger Wagon...I got called by Hubby to meet him at the Toyota Dealership to look at a Sienna...operative word here L-O-O-K at a Sienna. Boom! My husband sealed the deal with a deposit that evening and two days later, Sophie became part of the family. The favorite oldest daughter posted a video on my FB wall...hence, Sophie...The Swagger Wagon.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Here's a Few Pictures





A few pictures from the morning of the launch...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

STS 135 Final Launch

This is it, guys, as close as one can get without actually being part of the crew (at least that is what I am told)

I will write more later, dinner is getting cold but I am just soooo glad it uploaded since my camera usually won't upload if a video is over 1 minute.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Hit the BEACH

Yikes, I'm typing this in the dark. The Little People are sleeping. We had a big day at the beach and they are beat. I had lots of fun playing in the cold water but watching the kids play in it was even better. I did learn that if there is a next time, I need to bring a garden trowel. M's plastic shovel broke in half on his first scoop in the hard wet sand. He planned building a sand castle as soon as he heard we were coming to FL for the launch. He hit the water running with his pail as soon as we found a spot on the sand. H had a blast collecting shells. I thought they looked pitiful but she thought they were beautiful and isn't that what really matters?

L baked herself in the span and thus fulfilled her happy meter.

We had lunch at a place called Coconuts that a friend suggested. The food was good and the atmosphere was perfect beach joint.

All in all, a great day at Cocoa Beach.

Pictures later, just as soon as I get home and upload from the camera :-)

Greetings from Cape Canaveral...well, Melbourne.

Sunday Morning...L + 3 The launch was an awesome success and went off to everyone's disbelief and hope. We boarded the bus and our docent told us there was a 10% chance of launch due to weather and we would probably turn around and try again on Saturday since Saturday seemed to have the best weather for the next few days. The clouds were a mixed blessing, a cloud hung over the launch literally and figuratively. It also kept us cool for the most part. FL weather waited until about 10 to hit the dripping mark.

Let me back this story up, many years ago while Edwards AFB my husband worked with Rex Walheim. He was a bachelor and I fed him cookies and dinner. He got married, applied to NASA's astronaut program, Greg was one of the people interviewed for Rex' security clearance and voila' he was accepted. So, by being blessed with Rex' friendship, we have been blessed with invites to Shuttle launches. (We were also blessed with Mike Bloomfield's friendship and launch invites.)

This time we got to hang out with the extended family VIP treatment. It's the only way to go. We had tickets for free admission to KSC, a brief on the mission, bus tour of KSC and we got to visit with the astronauts (they were on the other side of a rope so we wouldn't infect them with our nasty germs, a good thing given the number of kids, mine included). On launch day, we had a bus to take us to a special viewing at the Saturn V building. The other VIPs (200 astronauts and celebrities) were on another side of the Saturn building with all of us mixing together in the very crowded Saturn building) I was oblivious since I wouldn't recognize the astronauts...or Stephen Spielberg for that matter. I sat outside on the bleacher watching the video feed and holding our seats on the bleachers. I went inside once and there was a tall man in a cowboy hat posing with people and signing autographs. I asked who he was, I was told his name and didn't register...and I have forgotten it. I guess at this age, I am just happy I can remember my name since I usually call my kids by the wrong name.

The actual launch covered me in glory bumps (goose bumps to everyone else). There was a small hold on the countdown but it went off to everyone's delight and many people around me cried knowing that is the last shuttle into space. I didn't realize the shuttles have only used 25% of their life span. Lots of other voyages into space are built into those magnificent flying machines. Lots of scientific knowledge to be discovered. What a shame a cut to save money will cause so many to be unemployed and medical discoveries not made or at least delayed for much later in the future.

Oh, and the kids saw 8-9 alligators in one little swampy area. Our docent said that was unusual, usually only 1 or 2 is spotted in that location showing that even the gators knew something special was happening and didn't want to miss it.

(Lots of pictures to come when I get home...in the meantime, I'll try to grab some off of my FB page)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Smooth Moves



There really is a video under the stripes...just click to play!

Cheap Entertainment

the simple life

Ant Stomping

You'll have to just click play, there really is a video under the stripes.


Pool Time

Nothing exciting here, just playing in the pool. They didn't know I was recording so there is no hamming for the camera :-)

Wipe Out

Power Skate Lesson

Monday, June 20, 2011

My First Love

Years ago I watched the concert on TV with my brother and I fell in love...I still LOVE this song...

With or Without You

I have LOVED U2 since I was in college and I am FINALLY going to see them in concert in 12 days...I think I am going to have to have a U2 countdown...T minus 12

Thinking of Cousin Mike

I was working out today and Jackson Browne played on my iPod. I thought of my cousin, Mike. Mike gave me my first Jackson Browne (and Eagles) album. It made me feel so grown up and "Cool." I love Cousin Mike...he's funny, sweet, and has great taste in music.

Friday, June 17, 2011

My Dad's Eulogy

I found this in my journal entry May 14, 2008. I am not sure I will ever be able to locate again if I tried so I am copying, pasting and hoping this will be around for eternity. I just have to go copy the pictures that I entered with it...this might take awhile. Cross your fingers I don't blow this computer up with my elementary skills.

I read online that you, Roo, would like to have Known my dad...this is for you. The font is in blue for his eyes and the best part is towards the end. Enjoy.

Good Morning, My name is Bino Barainca, I consider myself not only a friend of Scoty but a fellow father and grandfather to his children.

With this and various other reasons you certainly can realize what a very difficult but honorable task this is for me.

Scotty Lee Hampton was born near Jamesport, MO. on December 15th, 1926, the oldest son of Benjamin and Helen King Hampton.

He departed this life on January 12, 1990 at the Wright Memorial Hospital in Trenton, Mo. at the age of 63.

He became a member of the Church of Christ at Jamesport, MO on October 7, 1944.

Scotty attended Prairie Center Country School North of Jamesport, and graduated from Jamesport High School in 1945.

He then served his country with the United States Navy for the remainder of WWII.

Upon his discharge from the military he returned to his beloved Missouri where he was employed for a number of years with the Montgomery Ward Company.

Scotty then moved to California in 1960 where he went to work for the Wrd Company.

Scotty then moved to California in 1960 where he went to work for the Waste Management, Co. in Lancaster, CA. He worked his way up through the ladder of success and became a General Manager of the company, he held the capacity until his retirement in December of 1988.

He was a member of the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Lancaster Moose Lodge.

Scotty married Annette Virginia Ramey on August 27, 1988 and upon his retirement he and Annette moved to Route 5, Trenton, MO to enjoy life and retirement together.

Scotty is survived by his wife, Annette, two sons, Ricki L. Hampton of Nehlem, OR and Scotty D. Hampton of Lancaster, CA. One daughter, Susan K. Bice of Albuquerque, NM; three brothers, Charles Hampton of Camdenton, MO, Robert Hampton of Lancaster, CA, and Gregory Hampton of Palmdale, CA, two sisters, Beth Vencill of Galt, MO and Betty Smith of Lancaster, CA; six grandchildren, Sarah, Carrie, and Kimberly Hampton; Lauren Bice often referred to as Roo Magoo, and Jasmine and Jason Hampton, one aunt, Myrtle McAllister of Jamesport, MO. One Glenn Hampton of Kearney, MO and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.

Scotty enjoyed life, he loved his family he believed in heaven and earth. He enjoyed nature, he owes me a half dozen drinks, and he enjoyed sports, and was a lousy golfer. but a perfectionist in his work.

Just a short month ago, Scotty called me to wish me a Merry Christmas but mostly to ensure that I was, and would, continue spoiling the grandkids.

Like most parents the love for his children was always evident. He had the same admiration for his grandchildren, and as each one was born, he would quickly and proudly make phone calls to announce the fact he was a Grandpa again.

Scotty was an early riser, getting his daily tasks done before the hustle and bustle of the rest of the world, and thought nothing of dialing the phone to talk to a relative or friend, not for any particular reason, just a friendly visit to start the day.

He appreciated the small things in life - the beauty of a woman - the taste of VO and delegation of authority (mostly upward).

Scotty enjoyed the four seasons of the midwest so much that returning to Missouri, his home state, seemed the logical place for he and Annette to retire.

Scotty and Annette bought a home situated on four beautiful acres with a pond and ducks and a tractor and a workshop. Just everything he wanted in retirement.

He enjoyed woodwork and building things, and took special pride in his projects, that he has done this past year since moving back to Missouri.

Scotty had many friends and was usually the life of the party, and enjoyed reminiscing about days gone by.

One thing that should be well noted, he kept his keen sense of humor throughout his illness of five years, and often said he wasn't afraid of cancer but couldn't tolerate the pain.

He openly joked about the disease and down deep knew that his life would be shortened because of it.

Always being considerate of his family, he made many of his own funeral plans, and we have tried to carry out his wishes.

And so Scotty Lee Hampton, we say farewell - and may you rest in peace!

Thank you.

It is true dad knew he was dying. He took me to every special place in MO, while I visited in September. Dad took you and me out one day and showed us every important place to him. We went to the "Hampton Homestead" and he told me that my Grandma (the Kings) used to live across the field and how his parents would walk across the field to visit in their "Courting Days." Dad showed me the window in the door, it was beautiful, their were deer shadowed in the frosty glass. He wanted to get the window out and frame it. I told this to Aunt Betty and she now has the window. Dad took me down an old gravel road and told me how all his great-uncle Cox lived on it and he and Uncle Charley would spend their night at each uncle's house, working their way down and it took a week. He also told me how their old Model T would get stuck on the hill in rainy weather and they would have to push it up. He showed me Pilot Grove cemetery and said his grandma's house was next to it and this is where my Grandma gave birth or where he stayed when Grandma gave birth. The house is gone but the cemetery is still there. (I wish I had taken notes, I didn't realize we would never pass this way again) And, of course, we went to Scotland Cemetery. (When I was a little girl, Dad said we were going to Scotland Cemetery and I couldn't figure out how we were going to cross the ocean and back in time for lunch at Aunt Myrt's.) I now know it is Scotland Cemetery because this is where all of our Scott relatives are buried. The Scotts also started the Church which is there.

In December, we drove through MO while moving to Albuquerque after your dad received his master's from the Air Force Institute of Technology and Dad sat me down and we watched every single slide he owned before he gave them to me.

Dad also kicked everyone's butt in Monopoly. Big time. Dad and Annette also loved John Wayne. They owned every video and each pet was named after a character from one his westerns.

Dad was an avid reader, especially history...history of England, the Civil War and WWII. I think this is where our love of history came from.

He was an exceptional gardener and his favorite flower was the petunia...I think this is where my love for flowers came from...Dad and his mother. I am not a great gardener but I have spectacular results, they must be in heaven whispering "Grow, grow!"

He really loved you. I wish you could have known him.

My Dad and me

Sunday, June 5, 2011

M Busts a Move

This is is what happens when I try to watch My Masterpiece Recordings...M gets bored and decides he needs the camera, tripod, and iPad...I have to know what he is up to so I played tripod and held the camera. (We really need to get a normal recording device since the camera will only record for a minute or it won't upload to the computer)

Oh, this is one of Matthew's two favorite songs. The other is get Get a Haircut by George Thorogood.




Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Newman

Did he just trip my son????

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Anglophile


I am not quite sure what is wrong with me these days but my spirit is yearning to go to England and France. I picked up a book in a doctor's office about The Heart of France put out by Victoria magazine and I suddenly felt this yearning to go there. I was watching Masterpiece yesterday and my heart just ached to go there. I am not sure what is causing this desire. It is unbelievably strong, it feels like homesickness, except I am not from there so I can't be homesick. I wonder if this is how my dad felt and why he was so excited when my brother decided to get married in England. Dad had all these British History books...I wonder if it is woven into our DNA?

Whenever I watch a television show set in England (and I watch a lot) I am absolutely mesmerized...the architecture, the landscape, the sounds, it just captures me. I never pictured growing up to be an Anglophile, it just happened.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/locations/index.html

Slip, Slide, and learn to Power Skate

video

video

M is the one in gold

video

My Heroes




I am so thankful for these people who are out in all sorts of cold/hot/rain/freezing weather and their extremely long days. We have been told to expect more power outages and to conserve power in the upcoming months. I see this and wonder how we have power already.

This and That







I did a little volunteering at a Red Cross Shelter after the tornadoes Of April 27 and the people I served dinner to touched my heart. I took a drive today to look around at areas hit when the EF5 traveled NW. I saw what it did west of me (We had a small tornado skip over us and another one to the south of our neighborhood, nothing like what these people experienced, we were unscathed).

One gentleman (and he really was a gentle man) told me about making coffee using a clean sock, using scraps of thrown wood, etc. (He was so sweet. He said he didn't eat anything that once had eyes...but then he saw the brownies...he asked if they had eggs and looked so wistful when we said yes. He "pondered" as we say here in the South and changed his mind. I still feel guilty for showing him the brownies...I feel like I tempted him but I think he decided after all he'd been through, chocolate was the anecdote)

The second night I volunteered, a power crew from GA came roaring in about 6:40 (we stopped serving at 7 p.m.) and they said they broke land speed records to get there. This was about their 12th day of working and they were so sunburned. We found them band aids for their blisters and sunscreen and Tylenol for the burns. One guy told me he came with $20 in his pocket and everyone in this area was so grateful for their work, he still had most of his $20. One of the crew was so appreciative, he came in after eating and asked if he could help do anything. We declined and he offered to take out the trash. We declined that offer also...they had been working sun up to sun down and no days off...and he was going to take out the trash...unbelievable.

One family had their home damaged and the wife's parents home was damaged. The wife found two rentals and the family moved all of their belongings and her parents belongings...in 3 days. She came in and asked if she could help in the kitchen. We said no, she walked over and started washing dishes. Unbelievable.

One day last week, I drove by a high school that was just missed and there was a hand painted sign in front of the school..."Prom dresses for tornado victims, FREE."
In all the chaos, I forgot it was prom season...all those kids looking forward to it all year and people stepped up to make it happen.

Last week when I was driving by an area that was wiped out, I saw a utility worker up in the cherry picker, restoring the damage. I tried taking a picture while driving with my cell phone (relax Mom, I was going slow) but I just couldn't capture the story. I tried again today but I still can't capture the feeling. These workers are so amazing.

Everywhere I go whether it is to wash the car or go to the bank there are emergency response vehicles, insurance disaster vehicles, Red Cross disaster vehicles. It's weird, it's so nice to see them but it breaks your heart.

Okay, I am yelling at my rowdy kids and totally lost my train of thought...I guess I'll just attach pictures I took today.(Oh, and before I forget...M and H helped me at the last night of dinner and all M wanted to do was mop, he was determined to mop and couldn't understand why you couldn't mop until everyone left...)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Easter Egg Hunt

See what you're missing??? Pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy.



Electronically Challenged

I took some video of the nasty storms that rolled through on April 27...but here is the problem, I used my iPhone. First, the quality is poor so you can't see the cloud formations, which were spooky. Second, I accidentally deleted the really good video with lots of sound from the winds and if there is a way to retrieve from the trash, I don't know how. Third, if I had known what was going on behind me to the west, I would have been scared in a way I can't even imagine.

So, what you have here is a nice little video of rain...very deceptive.

Learn to Throw

This restaurant is right by our house and Monday is Kids' Night...they eat free and learn a few tricks...since this place is within walking distance from our house, I'm thinking it may be H and M's first place of work :-)



Friday, May 6, 2011

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Can I Outsmart a Computer???











































Just trying to post the pictures (couldn't attach it to the previous post :-/ )

When The Lights Go Out....

Color! Eight years ago while living in MA, our power went out for a couple days and we kept Hannah happy by coloring. A lot. (It just happened that day a box came from Land's End with the inside one big Christmas picture for coloring)

This last week when our power went out, Hannah discovered my favorite crayons and coloring book, the she found some markers and went to town...I uploaded my cell phone...and this is what a found.

Color on!

PS this is just a small sampling of what was on my fun courtesy of the Little Blonde. :-)

Huh, the pictures won't post...odd...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Good Shepherd United Methodist Church

This is the Church I volunteered at for Sunday Night's Dinner.

If you want to help the Madison/Limestone County Tornado Relief, you can donate to Good Shepherd United Methodist Church (Mark Tornado Disaster) at 1418 Old Railroad Bed Road, Madison, AL 35757-6613 or send a check made out to the American Red Cross at the same address and specification.


CAPSHAW, Alabama -- Rev. David Tubbs has a church filling up with contributed food and clothing and a steady line of diners being served three meals a day. He has a brigade of eager volunteers from his church, Good Shepherd United Methodist, which has been designated by the Red Cross as the emergency shelter for tornado evacuees.

He also has "an amazing story how God provides," he says on this hectic afternoon.

"Last Wednesday morning, a truck showed up here and dropped off food for 150 people for four days. Paper products, all kinds of supplies. We were supposed to have a Kairos (prison ministry) out of Limestone prison," Tubbs says. "The team comes here (as its headquarters) and they go out to the prison, and they're feeding the inmates."

Before the Kairos team could arrive, the tornado did. The prison ministry program was postponed.

"When the Red Cross called me Wednesday and asked us to serve as a shelter, they said, 'David, how are you going to feed all those people?' I said, that's the least of my problems.

"We had all the food, all the paper products," Tubbs says. "It's like we were stocked and ready to go."

On Wednesday, between 500 and 700 people sought temporary refuge -- "Standing-room only," Tubbs calls it -- at Good Shepherd, which rests only a few miles from some of the most devastated areas in Harvest.

Though only 50 people have chosen to spend the night at the shelter since the tornadoes struck, more than 1,100 meals had been served through Monday breakfast.

"We're feeding anyone who needs it," Tubbs says. "We're feeding volunteers, we've fed tree-trimming people, we're feeding power company people, we're feeding the homeless and displaced. We're feeding people that don't have power. It's a really mixed bag."

Tubbs sings the same chorus as others coordinating volunteer efforts throughout the area.

"This community has been absolutely unbelievable responding to things," Tubbs says. "I think the community always rallies around the needy, but even I've been overwhelmed by the way they've rallied."

Tubbs shares another simple story.

One day last week, there had only seven packs of diapers at 10 a.m. He put out a call for help and "I bet we had 700 packs of diapers by 4 o'clock," he says.

The Good Shepherd gymnasium is the collection point for supplies and food. Piles of clothing line the far wall. Tables are covered with food, from a pyramid of SlimFast cans to a nursery's worth of baby food to canned soups. There are toiletries and drinks and snacks.

Eight folding tables are set up for dining. A CandyLand board game rests on one.

Chaquita Butler is in the gym, a pizza box under her arm. The tornado stripped half the roof off her house in Lakeview, where she lives with eight children and one grandchild. She's not nearly as concerned about her own well-being as she is others. She still frets over her family in Tuscaloosa; as of noon Monday, two of her aunts were still unaccounted for.

Because Butler has a car and some neighbors don't, she's transporting them to the shelter to gather supplies. Or she's simply driving over and delivering things back to them.

Happily, it seems for every bag being hauled outside, another generous soul arrives with something to provide.

In one corner of the gym, as you enter from a dark hallway lined with cases of bottled water, there is a hand-drawn sign on poster board:

"No Food or Drinks in the Gym"

That rule has been ignored.

Right now, the more food and drinks, the better.

May 3, 2011



























I know I should be excited about Osama Bin Laden's capture but I think I am overwhelmed by the fact that it is raining (pouring rain) outside and I can only think of the damaged homes and businesses that don't need rain right now.

When September 11th happened, I was pregnant with Hannah and Greg was in Virginia. It was just Lauren and me and it was horrible. We lived on Base and the Base was closed. Our base was considered a high target. I was watching when the second plane hit and I was watching when the Towers fell. How someone could come up with such an idea and how someone could carry it through is beyond my comprehension. However, I have a feeling someone is standing in line, just as evil to take the place of the now deceased and soon to be martyred Osama Bin Laden.

Right now, my mind is limited to what is going on around me...I am including pictures taken from Limestone County (where I live). Maybe next week, I can celebrate the execution of Bin Laden...probably not...someone will just step in his shoes and pick up where he left off...

Monday, May 2, 2011

May 2, 2011

I went to church since there is so much to worship God for and so much to ask for others. I was doing okay until our pastor sang it is well with my soul...started crying like a baby...fortunately, I did not sob. Pulled myself together and lost it again when we lit candles for people who needed prayer. I lit mine for the person that God knew needed prayer the most...lost it again. I think people thought I needed help since a sister in Christ came over to pray over me. Oy. I can only think it was the Holy Spirit in my crying for what has happened to earth after the fall of man.

However, while volunteering at the Red Cross Shelter last night, God's hand was mighty. They were running low on meat and a restaurant showed up and donated everything from their freezer since they couldn't keep it cold...they needed ice and someone showed up with a huge ice donation...they needed foil and a few hours later a huge donation of foil was made...and so it went.

April 28 Tornadoes


Today, I am coming off the adrenaline that has been running through my body since last Wednesday...the power is back and I can do laundry. However, that isn't the case for many people in my area. I took this picture with my camera. This is Hwy 72 and we live a mile south of Hwy 72 and this picture is about 2 miles to the west of our house. I'll write more later but suffice it to say, my family is okay but many are not.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April 26

Huh, it has been over a month since my last post...I have lots of pics and videos to post...lots of news to catch up on...lots to vent about...First, I use this blog to keep Aunt Shirley and Mom up to date with pictures and videos and Cindi (when she has time) So, Mom and Aunt Shirley, I have spent the day uploading videos and pictures from my camera so hopefully, I will have some new stuff soon.

Second, Cindi, I have been trying to email but Yahoo doesn't like me at the present moment...not sure why since it's not like I have to pay them money.

I forgot to ask about Cathi the last time we spoke so if you could dish about her in your next email, I would appreciate it :-)

The best video I didn't make was last Friday. I took the kids for a walk around the pond (trying to lose those nasty pounds) and I saw a little turtle (about the size of a silver dollar) on the path. I was afraid to let the kids pick it up (given our last encounter with a turtle that I was too stupid to know was a SNAPPING turtle and given my extremely limited knowledge of turtles, I didn't know if this snapped or if babies snap so I am going with the idea that all water turtles snap and they're like baby rattlesnakes and are more dangerous that adults...baby rattlesnakes can't control their venom so they release it all and I am going with my blonde theory the baby turtles can't control their snaps) Do you think my dad intentionally scared me with his stories about the only way to get a snapping turtle off a person was to cut the turtle's head off? What do I know? I know Grandma liked tortoises and they don't hurt you...I digress, as usual...back to my story. H just happened to be wearing a John Deere cap so we used that to scoop up the turtle and return it to the water. We watched the little guy swim away. All was well. Now why I didn't bother using my phone's video feature to capture the moment, I will never know.

Third, I don't have a third...I will close...I KNOW you are eagerly awaiting the Easter Egg Hunt video and Matthew throwing pizza dough. Oh, and just so you know, my Easter Egg Hunt was a bust...I was informed by a very knowledgeable Easter Egg Hunter that the Bouvier's Hunt was much better...Watch out, Bouviers! Next year, my hunt will be bigger and better...I hate losing.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Men and Women or Boys and Girls, in this Case and what happens when you're Seven

The other night while the kids were getting ready for bed, I heard a conversation that was so funny, I had to make it my FB status. I am cheating and doing the copy/paste thing:

"Hannah is telling Matthew what a "bad boy" is, that girls like boys that are "mama's boys" because they're caring AND she is giving him the percentage of his bad boy to mama boy."

There was much more to this conversation, H told M that he is a Mama's Boy but that was okay since girls like Mama's Boys. (Really? I always liked the "Bad Boy." I must be a fluke)

Oh, and before going up to get ready for bed, I told M several times to go up and get his shower (he was horizontal in front of the TV) and when I threatened him with grounding from all things electronic his reply was "Mom, I'm 7 now, it takes me longer to get up." Yep, that is my kids.

Famous American Day





The kids' school had their Annual Famous American Wax Museum. They absolutely loved preparing for it...MJ picked Chuck Yeager and Cuddles (H) chose George Washington. Boy, am I hoping my new phone recorded this because I forgot the camera. Cross your fingers :-) Well, the finger crossing didn't work. How about some pictures?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

True Colors

On Hannah's birthday, we went to the mall to visit Build-a-Bear and outside of Build-a-Bear is this trampoline/bungee contraption...the kids have been begging to do it for 4 years and I finally relented...you can see the difference in their personalities by the way they approach the trampoline, Hannah is determined to do a flip, Matthew never ventures beyond a mild jump...It's quite amusing.



The Vain Wench



I don't know about you, but to me, this just looks like chaos...I didn't skate...my friend, The Vain Wench did...

I put on ice skates in 2nd grade when the Bluebirds went to the local ice rink...I clung to the side rails like a drowning man. I hated every second of it. I thought if I could learn to roller skate, I could learn to ice skate, everyone can skate, right? Wrong. My mom loved to skate and we went once when I was about 18 (I had many unsuccessful previous attempts prior to this mother-daughter adventure) and a young man, who I think was hitting on me by trying to teach me skate said "Just skate like her." He was pointing to my mother. I am pretty sure that is the last time I put anything on my foot with the word skate in it.

Never Heard it Sung this Way...

What's My Age?

While I wait for my videos to upload (either the website or my computer is being temperamental) I will share an H and M story. Last night, we went out to dinner at a Mexican Restaurant...a basket of chips and salsa was given to the kids and a basket of chips and salsa to the grown ups.

Hannah: This is great! We have our own chips, it's like we're 18.

Matthew: I look like I'm 12 and you're 14

Hannah: No, 15.

I guess age is all in the mind.

Meet the Boy

Towards the end of this video, you will meet Alesandro (Marco) and he is the reason Hannah doesn't mind going to Matthew's hockey practices :-)

Style

The Ice Complex let the kids skate before the actual 4 o'clock opening and you get to see the Birthday Princess display her style...and, the Birthday Prince practicing his Superman Slide in the background...

The Superman Slide

It looks like M has decided to use his body on the ice rather than the skates BUT he is practicing "The Superman Slide" something he learned in hockey. And, of course, our Birthday Princess who has her own sense of style skating and in fashion...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Yep, They're Mine



I am not sure what is wrong with this one, it isn't playing right, it keeps stopping...if you're patient and can hit play until it is over, you will see my kids act like animals. Literally.

Snow Angel

Historic Snow in Dixie

We get snow in Dixie but not big fluffy deep snow...and it looks like it is going to be around for awhile.

(It started around 8:30 last night, we went to sleep with the blinds open so we could watch the snow fall and of course, the kids were up at 6 am and out the door!)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Life in the South

We're under a winter storm warning and some schools have announced closings like Auburn University (no snow yet). As the mom of two elementary students, I am being hounded to check school closure announcements on the computer...I check and get the laugh of today...some one commented on the Auburn announcement wanting to know if that meant the BCS game would be canceled...Only in Alabama. I bet it was a blonde. ;-)