Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Heavenly Feast

A craving and the overwhelming need to not cook or clean or eat leftovers again took over me last night. It was this unfulfilled desire for something salty, steaming hot and overwhelmingly delicious that led me right to one of my top 20 Mexican food restaurants there are way too many fantastic Mexican food restaurants in Southeast Texas to really narrow this down any more than that with G and my friend, Jori, for dinner. As we were savoring every last bite of the sizzling fajitas with gobs of guacamole, salsa and queso. Jori suddenly proclaims...."Surely there will be fajitas in heaven!"

Amen sister!

G follows this statement with "...and Totino's pizza rolls and fishsticks!" Now there is someone with a refined pallet, my friends!

His conviction was so dead on that you would almost think it was written somewhere that we will most definitely be snacking on the best tasting, highest calorie, most processed foods ever made by man one fine day!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Adorableness


Ain't she a doll? She has captured my heart!

Lists, Lists and more Lists

Do you love lists? I double **heart** lists! In any room in my house you can find multiple lists. I sometimes even makes lists to organize my lists. Which brings me to a point of total inefficiency. But...it works for me. I think.

So, here is a list I have been thinking of lately. Enjoy!

1. Green beans are so much better fresh than frozen or out of a can.

2. According to G, my 'butt is as big as seven pumpkins.' Let's hope those are the small pie pumpkins and not the big, carving mamajama's.

3. The past, which has always seemed so far away, is closer than I could have ever imagined possible over at facebook. It's not something that I like to visit often, but I find it visiting me more and more these days. Still trying to decided if I *heart* that or not.

4. No matter how much you study, dissect and theologize the Word of God, having the FAITH that the God is God and the Word of God is true is all you need.

5. Grandfather's should never, ever, ever talk to their grandson's about the birds and the bees. And especially never use the word 'vagina.' According to G it's just "wrong on so many levels."

6. No TV for an entire 24 hours because your child is grounded is nice, but it's in that 25th hour in which there is an onset of withdrawal symptoms. Missing the Miss America pageant has made me reconsider the option to not have a DVR in my home. It may be high time I make an upgrade on the cable service.

7. Saturday it was cold here. I mean, bone. chilling. cold. Something about that Southeast Texas humidity and gusts of wind from a Northern that stabs right through you. I gladly stood right smack dab in the middle of the open prairie land for 4 hours Saturday morning to watch my son and his friends shoot birdies. No, not real birdies, but clay targets. It took me the rest of the weekend to thaw out all the way to my core.


Can't you feel the cold just by looking at this picture?Brrr...

8. Good friends and good food make a heart warming combination. It's like medicine for the soul.

9. It's 7:45 am now and my usual ride to work has not called. Guess I need to start thinking about some alternative transportation since we are normally on the road by now, huh?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ellen, Gladys, the Spikey Plant and Jesus!

Ha, ha, ha, ha...still laughing about this. Thanks to my good friend, Jori and the new office kitchen with a flat screen mounted on the wall I have become an instant and loyal fan of Ellen. This appears to be an older clip, but a friend and co-worker, who probably can me hear my cackling in his office around the corner each day at lunch sent me this priceless clip.

All that I can say is...Enjoy!



UPDATE: I'm totally bummed to find out this was really not a sweet, old lady from Austin Texas but a comedian. It's still worthy of a chuckle though. Especially knowing that Ellen thought it was genuine.

Monday, January 19, 2009

'Sweet Smell' of Success

Do you have an exercise regiment? If so, you have to check out this website. Don't be fooled by the name mapmyrun.com because it's really not all about running. You can map your ride. Or your swim. Or you can track workouts of any type. It's a great tool that I have been using for a while and although I have yet to get a report that I have actually burned enough calories to loose weight, I do find myself going back to the site over and over again.

There is an interesting new feature. Track your BO. Nope. Not kidding. They have partnered up with Fabreeze and a new sport product and study. So, I am to be receiving a sample of this new product in the mail soon, which according to little man, can't come soon enough. But, I'll have you know that I got a good report tonight. On a scale of 1 to 10, Griffin gave me a "5 and most of the time it's topping a 10."

We are now watching The Bachelor. I know. I know. Quality, family TV programming is what your thinking. But, really he is going to be a teenager in one more year. Dating is just around the corner and somehow he has to learn how that whole thing works. My thought it that watching the Bachelor will be a teaching tool for what NOT to do.

Guess what?

He gets it. Totally gets it.

As he watched Jason (this season's Bachelor) kiss one girl after the other tonight he boldly proclaimed that "he is so getting meningitis! I bet he has to have a flu and meningitis shot every other day!"

My lips are sealed. As long as his needle phobia keeps him from locking lips with girls, then I see no reason why he needs to understand anything differently now.

Whatchoo doin' at the Courthouse?

Yall! You won't believe this morning show I caught on my drive in today.

My normal commute is the bus or a co-worker, so I miss this kind of entertainment on a daily basis. But this morning, I had to drive. And what a treat I got just as I was exiting into downtown. In no way do I condone the behavior of these people, but this stuff....it's just plain funny!

Today's show is here, but in case you decided you need a daily dose, save this to your favorites.

The treasures of information from these individuals is almost boundless. So please, whatever you do, remember that if the company you keep gets you an appointment with the judge, just delete them from your myspace account and you will be all good again. Oh and my other favorite tip....you don't have to outrun the law, just run enough to get a lesser charge and swallow the evidence!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Notebook and a Glass of Rioja

This morning it was gorgeous. High 50's/Low 60's by about 10AM. Guess what I did? Strapped on the tennies and went for a little jog. And guess what else? On mile 4- J.T. sang to me!Seriously gang, I am getting back into the game.

Funny thing though, as I came around that 4th loop today I had a pretty clear visual image of my elementary PE teacher, Mrs. Neichoy. Do you remember those 9 minute miles? They haunted me then and still haunt me now. This is definitely where my hate part of the love/hate relationship with running stems from. So, I just pictured her there sitting in the blue, plastic school chair with her whistle and clipboard. Tallying laps by each runner and calling out..."5 minutes....3 minutes...1 minute!"

Imagine, short pixie hair cut, salt and pepper colored, heather gray t-shirts every day and the famine version of the ubiquitous, polyester coaching shorts of the 80's with a deep, smokers voice and olive colored skin that seemed to be tan year round. Really though, I did love that lady. Mostly, the day she carried me to the nurses office with my broken arm and endured my vomiting all over her during that journey. What a lady. What. a. lady.

If only she could see me now! I wouldn't make the cut on the 9 minute mile test, but who cares really.

Thinking it might be fun to help kick off the rodeo with the fun run. I haven't done a 5K or any kind of organized run, but what a better way to start. In light of our new link to all things agricultural and farming through 4-H, I'm thinking this might just be the way to tie things together. Of course, I might have to follow it up with this.

The weekend has turned out to be pleasant so far, but not quite what was expected. I messed up the dates with my sis's visit, so I am enjoying lots of alone time. The kid has gone off both nights so far. I am left to myself. Oh, what do I do first!

Chick flicks, gallons of ice cream, a bottle of wine or all three? All three is my first choice.

UPDATE: This movie. The Notebook. I've never seen it before. Only read the book. And I have this crazy idea that the movies are just never as good as the books. But, this one is surpassing all of my expecations. Why have I put off watching this one for so long?!?!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday. At Last.

So, it's here. Finally. I'm not sure it could have gotten here any faster.

Hopefully, I can get through this bad case of the "don't wanna's" today with a little musical inspiration. Changed the Pandora station from Mozart to Colby O'Donis this morning. Time to move into a weekend kind of groove.

Insert aside here: Did you know that the annoying Santa can be hushed to make your visit here a little more pleasant? I've come to realize that his cuteness increases dramatically when he is quiet. Just click the little "hush" in the top right hand corner and you can enjoy his silence too.

My plans include some quality sister time cooking up something delicious like this and maybe if we can spare some calories share a yummy bottle of wine. If not, then we may just have to hit the long Quail Trail at the park Saturday morning before heading off to our stepsisters bridal shower.

Looks like its going to be a splendid weekend. What's in store for yours?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sipping something hot...

Funny things the kid says again.

Background: Last night we stopped at Starbucks on our way to the 4-H club meeting. I was secretly hoping the caffeine was ward off my ravenous hunger for another couple of hours. But, the kid wanted something too. So, cafe mocha it was for the kid and a very bold coffee for mom.

Quote of the night as he takes his first gulp after several warnings to go slow because it's hot-

"I just love the way your spit gets all warm after you take a sip of something hot."

Oh the precious jewels of information that we get from our kids. How would we ever stop to think about things like this without the creative minds of our youth?

By the way, that pig infatuation reference the last sentence of this post, not the potential date, please! has finally been talked down to a rabbit. I'm hopping pun is totally intended here up and down for joy now, no early morning and late nights jaunts to the barn on the other side of town. Just a hop again with the pun, skip and a jump to the backyard for a little rabbit quality time.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Sick Day

G: Hey mom, know what e-colee is?

Mom: You mean e-coli?

G: Yea, whatever. You know what it does to your body?

Mom: Tell me.

G: It's a bacteria that turns your organs to pudding. (very exaggerated on the words 'organs' and 'pudding')

Mom: Hmm...do you know where that comes from?

G: Cow patties.

I think we are safe to just leave it at that for now. Don't you?

Today is a sick day. Not for me, but for my son. So after enviously watching him saw logs on the sofa until nearly 9am (can you detect the motherly compassion there?) he rose to read a little out of this book. (BTW, Every child should own this book. Their knowledge base is just not complete without knowing all the gross and disgusting things in this world. Especially if they turn your insides to pudding.)Thus, the conversation excerpt from above.

Note: Began this at 9:45 am. Picking back up here at 3:30pm.

So, we have been to the Dr. and back and have a case of "acute onset wheezing." Funniest thing I have ever heard. We chuckled about it some in the Dr. office while waiting for our educational lesson on using an inhaler and spacer. Do you know, they even bill the insurance for that education session? Yes sir. Marked clear as day, "teaching session" to be coded in for insurance billing. Unfortunately, the equipment used to inhale the medicine is not billable to the insurance company, but the 5 minute lesson on how to use it, can be. Can you tell I am on a soap box about this yet? I'm stepping down now.

So, we are now non-wheezing in the late afternoon. Laughing and able to finish a sentence without a coughing fit. Thank goodness, because while watching Blackbeard's Ghost, one can only help but laugh a time or too.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My Heart Throb

Last night I watched on the edge of my seat and with a box of tissues handy as Barbara Walters dove into an excruciating, enlightening and heart felt interview with Patrick Swayze and wife Lisa.

I love. love. love. this man.

Every time I think of him I just imagine crawling across the floor toward him in my cute, cut off denim knee length shorts circa 1987 with my keds and short, curly permed bob sultrily singing about having the time of my life. Phew... I have to fan myself now just imagining it!

I can only hope to have someone in my life as incredible as he one day.

Although he is terminally ill and fighting an uphill battle, he has the strength and courage of ten armies! His brutal honesty about his condition and feelings was refreshing. He openly confessed his fears and feelings and expectations about being sick, dying and leaving a legacy. Most of all, his adoration and devotion for his wife and family struck my core.

He made a comment that seems so appropriate as we enter a new year of life and make resolutions to improve the quality of our life as we know it. He said...


I could spend the rest of my life chasing life, but what I really want to do is live life.
Embracing life as it is day by day and minute by minute is a challenge for most of us and it is sad that when we realize our mortality is when the blinders come off and we can truly begin to live life fully!
This year I resolved to no resolutions. However, I am issuing myself a challenge. To live life each day to its fullest. Embracing all that life has to offer and not worrying as much about chasing life. Because, I know full well that I'll never catch it and will just end up missing out on so many great times.
By the way, Swayze has a new TV show on A&E next week. The Beast. Can you believe this man filmed an entire season of shows while battling pancreatic cancer?!?! He is amazing I tell you and the show looks amazing too.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Twelve years ago today....

... my little ham made his grand entrance.


What a sweet doll?



Happy Birthday, baby!

Monday, January 5, 2009

24 Hours of Non-Stop Cheer!

Christmas Eve descended upon us in such a hurry, that I barely had time to finish my shopping. Typically, I am finished with a couple days to spare, but this year I was making purchases well into Christmas Eve. Rushing to beat the clock before 6pm, when all of life comes to a screeching halt!

I wrapped it up and then went home and wrapped it up. All done. brushes hands together and takes a deep sigh.

My house looked like a Christmas circus. Mom had joined us by the afternoon and brought with her what looked like the entire stock of Christmas gifts straight from Santa's workshop! Dodging gifts and dogs, we all rushed to get dressed and head out for the Christmas Eve service at church.

The service is always a much needed reprieve from the hurridness and blurr of the pre-Holiday season. A time to focus and meditate on what the true meaning of Christmas is really all about.

Tomorrow is my sons birthday and one of the things that always comes to mind on his birthday is the sequence of events that occurred that day. Where I ate, who I was with, where we traveled too and when, the time that I first realized and freaked out that I was about to bring a child into this world!

When I woke on Christmas Eve, I spent some time reading in Luke the story of Mary, Joseph and the birth of Jesus. Before the bustle of Christmas began, I wanted to be reminded by Luke the physician, exactly what the details were that accounted for that day and the preceeding and following days. The things that stick with me most are Mary's humbleness and response to the Lord and the events of those days.

In verse 38, Mary humbly and respectfully acknowledges that she "is the Lord's servant," when she was told by the angel Gabriel, that she a woman engaged to be married, a virgin, had found favor in God's eyes and would give birth to this child who would be "great and called the Son of the Most High." (v. 32) Then after enduring, what I can only imagine was much ridicule and shame from onlookers who did know or believe the story she may or may not have told them, she travels per the decree with her fiance to Judea.

Now, I remember explicitly the dull and constant pain that persisted in my lower back the entire day that I had Griffin. Uncomfortably, I managed to walk around the mall, go out to eat at Chili's and reluctantly, head on over to Block Busters so my mom and sister could pick out a movie to watch. Here was Mary, nine months pregnant, traveling on foot or some donkey just to be counted for a census. In today's day, I would have just said; "count me out, man." My 45 minute adventure in Chili's a few hours before Griffin was born is enough to grasp some sort of understanding of the physical discomfort that Mary endured.

And then to arrive and have no place to stay, go into labor and bear a child in a barn! The hospital could not have been sterile enough for me and my baby. Here she was, no pain medicines, doctors, Lamaze techniques or tranquil music playing bearing down and pushing this child into the world in what I can only imagine was near to complete darkness. Just to lie him in a feeding trough.

Then she says, as the Shepherd's arrive and found the three; Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus, "Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." (Luke 2:19) Mary treasured all these things up! The birth of her son in a barn after an eternally long journey and a visit by Shepherds. Every time I read or hear this story, I am simply amazed at how Mary conducts herself. The strength she had when accepting the risk and offering herself as a servant of the Lord. She truly was an amazing person to have handled such a situation so gracefully.

Well, that little diversion in my 24 hour Christmas marathon truly set the stage for a Christmas to remember. As I journeyed through my day, I stopped periodically to ponder the events or feelings that she may have had. Of course, the only thing I can relate it too is my own birthing experience which happened close to 9:30pm. So, all day I went through a sequence of events similar to my own. Disclaimer here: Now I know it is silly to think that Jesus was born at that time of the evening or to know exactly what time it was, I am just trying to explain my thought process here and how I relate. So any die hard theologians reading this should cool your heels. Right now.

All in all, I drifted in an out of perspective all day long. After finally making it to the Christmas Eve service, my mom, Griffin and I set out on adventure of our own. The pastor made a comment of a Griswald type house on a street called Confederate. Thank the good Lord for GPS, because we were quickly able to type that bad boy street name in and head on over that way to check out the awesome display of lights for our Christmas Eve pleasures. We zipped on up, only to find that the lights were not turned on. So, we missed the "house to see in Houston" this year, but added it to our list of things to do next year.

Now the fun begins. None of this would be entertaining without giving you the chronological details of the evening. So, here goes:

8:45pm, Jill, Eric and Gigi arrive
9:00pm, Jill, Eric, Griffin and Amy head to Dad's for Christmas with that family
11:00pm, Jill, Eric, Griffin and Amy return home
11:30pm, Jill, Eric, Griffin, Amy and mom sit down to eat dinner. NO! I'm not kidding!
12:00pm Griffin finally decides to head to bed without eating because it was too late and he was too tired. imagine that!
12:40pmish Jill, Eric and Amy head over to Santa's storage facility aka Jori's garage to pick up the goods.
1:00am Jill reminds me that this is what I get for insisting on the "if you don't believe, you don't receive" rule in my house. It's really ok to laugh here because that is all we could do at this time too. We were so exhausted.
1:30amish, I think we are done. Jill and Amy open a bottle of wine and try to relax before heading off for a few hours of sleep.

7:00AM- Nana wakes the house! YES! Christmas day is here!

Let the festivities begin! Due to the annual tradition of one person opening a gift at a time, fielding phone calls from relatives, preparing breakfast mid-gift opening, it only took us a few hours to get through the entire gifting experience! But, all fun and memorable hours, for sure.

After a quick clean up came the annual photo in the matching pajama's. Setting the camera on a timer and getting all six of us with dogs included to pose for a picture was quite an event. I'll let the slide show speak for itself on this. But, having matching PJ's and attaining the perfect family picture each Christmas is so worth the effort!


...More Fun in the Land of Delightful December

...the festivites are kicked off in the early afternoon with a grand buffet of the most delicious sweet treats and snacks in the land. Lots of laughs followed during the notorious round of White Elephant exchange. Jolly old St. Nick was sure to take note of the good and questionable behavior of all the children in attendance that evening. Fortunately, for the questionable there was still time to redeem themselves before the annual visit!




And just as Auntie Amy thought her trip was full and complete and could not get any better, Sir Griffin surprised her with a desire to see the Nutcracker performance. So, thanks to the best Nana in the world, the three donned their best attire and traveled into the center of the city for an evening of transcendent entertainment and wonder. Of course, this window of oppurtinity would be short lived, so Auntie Amy could not pass it up!

As THE DAY of CELEBRATION in the land of Delightful December came closer, the land seemed to busteling and beating to its own drum. People shuffled around, music played on every street corner, celebrations and parties all gearing up for the big day were everywhere.

When one of Auntie Amy's dearest relatives called and gave her nearly the best gift of all. A day to spend with Princess Zoey and Prince Zayed! As she traveled to the far eastern parts of the land, she could not imagine the sheer joy that would come from the time she spent with these precious little people.

Together they dressed up notice the gorgeous ball gown and lovely boots that Princess Zoey is sporting and jumped on the bed, went on a nature walk that turned into a wild animal hunt, read great stories together, ate popscicles and enjoyed all things fun! It had been so very long since Auntie Amy (btw, this is where the Auntie part of my name comes from) had seen the Perfectly Precious Prince and Princess that she could not get enough hugs and kisses! Nor had she played so hard and long since Sir Griffin was once a wee lad.










Of course, Auntie Amy tried desperately to sqeeze her own feet into the lovely footwear that Princess Zoey was so kind to try and share, but unfortunately they just would not fit no matter how hard she tried.

Soon, the DAY of CELEBRATION neared and things began to slow down around the land of Delightful December. An evening of music and candlelights celebrated the joyous event of so many years ago, when Jesus was born. It was quite a journey that had not quite yet come to an end for Auntie Amy, but in her refelction of the true meaning of the celebrations with family and friends, she could not help but count her many blessings! Of course, this was an impossible task as there were simply too many to count!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

...the story continues

...after dreams of sugar plum fairies dancing, Auntie Amy awoke from her long winters nap and much needed beauty sleep to find a slew if invitations to Winter Wonderland balls and parties. To kick them off was a Tuesday Ladies Night Soiree that included a scrumptious array of delectables and a rather vivacious ornament exchange.














It became quite clear that the land of Delightful December was full of surprises every time one turned around. The next event held a special place in Auntie Amy's heart as she enjoyed the melodious tunes of Sir Griffin. He was an aspiring cellist, indeed! Watch out Yo Yo Ma. Along with his fellow students of music, the audience was filled with a curiously harmonious rendition of Silver Bells.

video


Narrator note: Amazingly enough, the first concert performed just two months before included multiple variations of Mary Had A Little Lamb. We have come a long way folks!

More parties ensued in the days to come to celebrate the land of Delightful December and no party would be complete without a batch of homemade sugar cookies to share with friends. Besides, the absurd amounts of sugar and caffeine taken in is the only way to keep up with the events and schedule in this phenomenal place.

With the help of Sir Griffin and Lady Jori, Auntie Amy was able to pull off a batch of sweet treats just in time to boost them all through the next round of events.


Parties a plenty filled the days and nights over the next couple of weeks, but none was as curious in a fascinating way as the annual party held by Queen Ann the V or VI (I loose count here, but if you know maybe you can help me out). The invitations were sent and the date was set. All the guests in the land were preparing to join in the festivities. However, you will have to wait until tomorrow for the details on the grand event.
....to be continued once again.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Land of Delightful December

I want to tell you a story about a girl who traveled to the land of Delightful December and had one adventure after another.
Alas, Auntie Amy had traveled day after day and night after night to finally arrive in the magical land of Delightful December. There was no way for Auntie Amy to have even the slightest grasp on the adventures in store for her once arriving to this splendid place. But, after leaving the land of the routine and mundane blessings began to flow unexpectedly.

As Auntie Amy entered the new territory, she stumbled upon a young lad who had embarked on a couple of adventures of his own. The young and handsome lad was more than excited and willing to share his stories of expedition.
First, he embarked on an intellectual journey in which he met a new friend named Laszlo. Sir Griffin (the young, handsome lad) and Laszlo became fast friends over the time they spent together and Sir Griffin was, unbeknownst to Laszlo, preparing a character study for his esteemed teacher. Meet Laszlo and Sir Griffin:

Book: The Wolving Time by Patrick Jennings

Laszlo took Sir Griffin on his adventures as sheep herder for his family and the risk endured when an outsider finds out of the families secret lives as werewolves. It was not until Laszlo himself experienced the coming of age transformation himself for the first time that he and Sir Griffin would really come to understand the meaning of "justice served" to a community of people deathly afraid of something they simply did not understand.

As Sir Griffin traveled on past his journey with Laszlo, he traveled into the forest of Four Leaf Clover where Head, Heart, Hands and Health converge to create an exciting adventure of its own nature. In preparation for a royal hunt or military target shooting (take your pick), Sir Griffin undertook the task of learning the art of skeet shooting.
After his success of shooting four for four in the field (everyone cheers here: Rah, Rah!) , a Royal Party was thrown for all of the shooters to celebrate! It was at the annual ornament exchange, Sir Griffin was pleased to have brought home an ornament the size of his own head! narrator notes: too bad I did not capture than moment on film and the ornament was promptly re-gifted


Auntie Amy could hardly stand the sheer excitement that Sir Griffin brought to her. When, to her wondering eyes would appear, Angels of Light so bright and so clear! A blessing beyond what anyone could ever have expected.

Sir Griffin and Lady Jori joined Auntie Amy in serving at another royal party hosted for many families and children in the area. The entertainment was beyond expectations and catching a brief glimpse of the toy and food distribution behind the scenes was an astonishing and remarkable sight. It was beyond all imaginations of the North Pole and Santa's workshop. Everything worked like clockwork! However, the biggest blessing of the night was seeing the smiles and joy in each and every face. Fortunately, we were able to attend to the guests needs during dinner and the entertaining performance. There were no brighter smiles that I have seen in this land of Delightful December thus far!

As the evening drew to a close, Auntie Amy could not fathom what the remainder of her travels would bring. When what to her wondering eyes would appear? As she was preparing to settle in for a long winters nap one evening, she peered out the window of her cozy cottage and noticed the white flakes floating from the sky. Being that she was enjoying the tropical temperatures of mid 70's just a couple days before, she was astonished to say the very least.

Sir Griffin rushed to see and captured the white flakes

Katy, TX December 10th 10:00pm.

So, it was all an exciting event in our corner of Delightful December land until Madame Jae, sent over photos from the winter wonderland they experienced in the more southern parts of the territory. Sir Griffin's disappointment set in rapidly, but was short lived, as always.


Beaumont, TX Eric and Jill's house at 3am, Dec. 10th.

The night proved to be a delightful evening of sleep.

...to be continued.