Saturday, December 27, 2008

Ties that Bind...

My brothers, I think, have always helped me to define who I am...and as the years continue to pass, for some reason, it amazes me the type of relationship I hold with each and every one of them.
This post follows me spending the last day and a half with 2 of my 3 brothers~ and even though my third one wasn't here, he is still involved.

My older brother, Michael, was the one not here. My conversations with Michael increasingly grow stronger. I know this may sound strange when talking of a sibling, but Michael and I truly don't know one another as the current us. We know of small snippets of what might possibly be going on in the other person's life ~ the things that we have shared with one another, but other than that, we really don't know each other as the adults that we have grown and become. There is no fault being laid here, just facts...facts that I think we both realize need to be slowly changed. Ones we know can't and won't be changed overnight...and that's okay.

Tim (my brother right below me) has just left my house. It is always a hard day for me when Tim leaves. You see, Tim lives in Wisconsin and I normally get to see him 2-3 times a year. Tim and I have a connection~one that does not include judgement upon the other, just acceptance...something I think we were both seeking when we were younger. We both know that not-so-great things happen in your life, you deal with them, and you move on. This is especially(but painfully) true when it comes to the topic of love. Tim and I have had many a conversation of how things happen for a reason ~ a person comes or goes from your life...
My heart pains for Tim, sometimes, because I know how loving a person he is and how great of an uncle he is to my boys and I want him to have that~To have a family with children of his own! But, again, these are things that you deal with and move on. Don't get me wrong - I am NOT ruling these things out for my brother - I just feel the heartache as he waits patiently for it to happen.

Nick (my youngest brother) and I have always been close. When he was a baby, I used to carry him around and pretend that he was mine (I was 5 yrs old at the time :) As we grew older, I have still had that protective nature about me when it came to Nick. I never wanted to give a tainted view of myself when it came to him...I, guess, so he could always look up to me. But as time has started to pass this year and my life started to fall down around me, I couldn't hold those veils of perfection up anymore. Through this year, Nick has see more of the real me than ever before ~ BUT like any good family member does, Nick(even with looks of shock) has continued to share more of himself with me as well, allowing the pain of my perception of perfection to not hurt as badly. You see, perfection (in someone else's eyes) is not painful, but to fall from it, does.

It amazes me how 3 people you have known since birth, that you now don't see daily, can continue to be so completely influential on your life...and they may not even know it.
Brothers-of-mine...I love you all!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I've Got A Golden Ticket....

Last night, (as I was grading the last of my papers before Christmas break), I watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It was showing on tv. Somehow this movie is supposed to be "related" to Christmas, but I haven't quite figured out why yet...
Shrek the Halls, Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer, and Frosty - I completely get, but Charlie and the Chocolate Factory????

Anyways, The whole reason I am posting is because I have a little boy in my class this year that I have thought to myself all year long, "Who does he remind me of?" And last night, I was reminded! He is the spitting image of Charlie - down to the buck teeth and all!

I'm afraid I won't be able to be around him now without singing,

"I've got a golden ticket.
I've got a golden twinkle in my eye.

I never had a chance to shine.
Never a happy song to sing.
But suddenly half the world is mine.
What an amazing thing!"

Yes. I am this strange around my students also! :)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sickness is NOT for sharing

***Disclaimer - If you date me...chances are - eventually - you'll make my blog. LOL***

For those of you that don't know, I was sick with strep for the majority of the week last week. I had been out on a couple of dates with this guy (B.) the week prior to me getting strep. (Now. Now. Step back. I know what you're thinking and No. I did NOT get it from him!)

But we were supposed to go out last Tuesday and because of my illness, I had to call and cancel. B. didn't take the news so well. I'm not sure if he thought I was trying to blow him off or what. But he showed up to my house with a dozen roses and blueberries. (Now all you romantics out there, this is where you say, "Aaaahhhh.") Don't get me wrong I am normally ALL about the romantic stuff, but when I am nasty sick, I don't want anyone around me! Yet, somehow B. didn't get this. He wanted to keep me company. I wanted to sleep. I even, at one point, did actually fall asleep - not because I was trying to give hints, but because I was so achy and out of it, that I fell asleep. Still, he lingered around. Finally, I told him that I really needed to send him on his way. Once we were at the door, he leaned in for a kiss. I stopped him. "I'm sick, remember? I don't want to get you sick too" "I'll take my chances. " he said. So he kissed me.

We rescheduled our date for yesterday (Saturday). I drove up to Springfield to meet him. He wasn't at the restaurant when I arrived, so I texted him. He said he was on his way. Twenty minutes later, he showed up. He looked like death warmed over - He was SOOOO sick.
"Why did you not just call and cancel?" I asked.
"I'm not going to cancel a date just because I am sick." he said.
(Besides not wanting to be around others when I am sick, I really have NO desire to be around others when they are sick!!!)
All I could tell him was, "Well, don't think I'm going to kiss you ~ I have no desire to be sick again!"

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Girls are cool...

My five year old informed his dad yesterday that girls are cool because they have boobs.

Really??!!! Truly??!! Is he not too young for this kind of nonsense??? I figure he might say that in like ten years, but now??

I asked him why he said it (thinking maybe his 20 year old uncle put him up to it).

Shrugging he said, "Cause Daadaa ( what he calls his uncle) asked me if I thought girls were cool and I said 'yes' and he asked me why and... boys and girls are just the same...except girls have boobs. So...why else they would be cool?"

Here's where I stepped up on my soapbox and made sure my son knew why girls were cool (even without including boobs)

Friday, December 12, 2008

no teaching HS for me

I had a meeting over in our Vo-tech building today. Our meeting was interrupted because a kid was caught out in our parking lot smoking pot and several of the administrators in our meeting had to leave to take care of it.
Then later as we walked down the hall one boy yelled to another, "Hey! Check out this sh**! As a third grade teacher, I don't hear these words very often at school and when I do, there is a reaction by all the other kids... no reaction here.
I am just glad that I teach elementary...that's all I wanted to say.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Dissed by disease

I am on a online dating website.
Overall, the men I have talked to or met are decent.
Contact normally starts with an email, then we IM, and then if the connection is still there, we talk on the phone and then go on a date.

Last night, I was on and a guy asked me if I wanted to talk via IM. "Sure." I said.
That's when the question, after question, after question came at me. Let me say, I am okay with questions...but not when they make me feel like I am on a job interview. I basically was not given a chance to ask in return. When I tried to throw a little humor out there, it was ignored and the questions continued.

When I finally answered all of his questions to his satisfaction, he said, "Okay, we can talk... but I have to tell you that I have genital herpes."

WHOA! Hold up! NOT something I am interested in at all!!! So what's the correct response to that???

me: "Thanks for being honest."
him:"So that means we are still going to talk?"
me: "Well, just because I am IMing you doesn't mean I am going to sleep with you."
him: "Where do you live again?"
me:"B-town"
him: "Oh. that's too far of a drive. nice talking to you. bye."

What???!!!! Wait a minute. You have a disease and you diss me because of distance??

Oh wait, no... it is because I won't share in your disease. Somehow... I still feel dissed.

Monday, December 8, 2008

the dinosaur has died

Okay...I admit it. I love my cell phone. I know I have become reliant on it when I realize 4 blocks from my house that I don't have it and I turn around and go back to get it. Not because I need it at that moment, but because I might.
Well, on Sunday, as I am attempting to carry one too many things, I drop mine. Now, mind you, I have had this phone for 6 years - It has survived through the drooling and throwing everything stages of both my children. It is a dinosaur in cell phone world. But it was my dinosaur and I loved it!
When I flipped it open, it would still bleep, but the screen wouldn't appear. So, I decided it wasn't damaged too badly. I would still be able to get my numbers off, I would just need a little help.
I head to my friendly cell phone store. - "Sure. we would love to help you out, but unfortunately the free phone that your insurance would cover, we are unfortunately out of. Oh, and your phone it OLD! and we no longer carry a connector to retrieve your info off of it."
SO...needless to say, I paid more than I wanted...I have lost all my contact numbers...and my dinosaur is dead. This is a day to mourn.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Ho Ho Ho...He wouldn't go

I took the boys to see Santa at Silver Dollar City on Saturday. I guess, 6,000 other people had the same idea. It was insanely crowded and all that we accomplished was seeing Santa.

However, after waiting an hour for Santa to return "from dinner with Mrs. Claus", Sam decided that he was NOT going to talk to Santa or get his picture taken with him.

Desperate times call for desperate measures - so bribery came into play.

"Do you want popcorn?" I inquire. (Sam loves popcorn.)
"No."
"Santa will give you a candy cane."
"NO!"
"Tell Mama what will make you smile with Santa."
"Go to the shooter balls"

Let me just tell you - I hate the "shooter balls"!!!! (The place where you shoot the little foam balls.) The sound of the air rifles gives me an immediate headache, but like I said, desperate times...

"Ok, but only if you smile with Santa."

I'm happy to say we go a lovely picture of both boys smiling with Santa. That... and I got a headache. :)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Bah Humbug!

I realize that it might be a little early to not be in the Christmas spirit... but I'm not. Normally, on the day after Thanksgiving, I excitedly awake to go join the crowds of the early morning shoppers. I, then, return home to rest and proceed with the annual putting up the Christmas tree.


But this year, as I carried our faux tree up from the basement, I had this wave of blahness come over me. This "I feel like I just took down this thing and put it away" feeling.


I fondly remember this time of year as a kid. My mother collected angels and I loved to help unwrapped her hundreds of angels to place throughout our home. We also would actually string popcorn and cranberries to place as garland on our tree. We never really had much money so we would make ornaments from old clothes pins dressed as angels and shepherds. I also enjoyed the element of surprise, and so, as a kid, I would wrap small presents in BIG boxes filled with rocks to fool the person who was receiving it. Such great memories!

My view of Christmas changed slightly when my mom was killed in a car wreck two days after Christmas in December 1997. It's not that I didn't still love this holiday, it just came with a twinge of pain.

The pain lessened after my boys were born. Christmas began to have that happy feeling again... and I looked forward to it. I couldn't wait to get out with those hordes of people to share in the joys of shopping for my loved ones.

This year, however, the twinge of pain has returned....just in a different form. This year the twinge is from a lonely house. There's no excitement in getting a tree ready when you are doing it yourself. I thought it would be great to surprise the boys when they got home with the tree up and decorated. This is when I got the Humbugish feeling...

So, I have put the boxes of decorations aside. I will try decorating again later when the boys are home. Hopefully... that warm, happy, holiday feeling will fill me once again.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

We are the modern day divorced family

My house is now empty. Food has been cooked, consumed, and placed away. Family has come, eaten, and left. Of that family...included my ex.

I guess you could say we are the modern day divorced couple. We are overall fairly civil to one another, we have our children's best interest at heart, and we know life will go on without the other one. But we also know that there are many holidays in our future...special days with our boys that neither one of us want to miss out on. So, hence, we spend them together... even though we are very much apart. I'm sure, in the future, when one or both of us have a significant other this might change. But for now, I am content with the fact that he and I can be in each other's presence and enjoy all that is going on around us without focusing on there not being an us.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

This is how I feel about all the blessings in my life!
Hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving!!



Sunday, November 23, 2008

Damaged Goods...The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly...Okay, maybe not so much good

(**WARNING - Contains material that might make you think poorly of me***)

I truly am starting to believe I am damaged goods. I can take any guy I date and find something wrong with him - too young, too old, too clingy, etc., etc., etc. (The only two men I did not find something wrong with, have screwed me over...psycho-analyze that!!)

I went on my date this weekend. We had a perfectly fine time. However, it (the date) didn't wow me. It was a dinner, a movie, and him showing me around his town. I know this sounds petty, but I like to be impressed. So, here's what was wrong with him - we are not in the same place in our lives. Even though he is 28, he is still in college and living the college life style. He lives with brothers. His weekends consist of football games and dance clubs.

I just don't see a guy like that just sliding into a pre-made family with a mortgage... and, yes, I have to think that way! My friends tell me, "Just because you date someone doesn't mean you are going to marry them." I agree. It's true, BUT what ultimately IS the reason for dating?? To find something long-term, right?

Maybe... it's not. I am by NO means an expert on dating! Before dating (and eventually marrying) my ex, I had one other boyfriend and had gone on only a handful of dates. I was the girl that was a friend to all the guys, but none of the guys dated. Looking back now, I can't say that I blamed them. I didn't put myself out there in that sense. I was afraid of getting hurt and to prevent that from happening, I didn't open myself up to being "asked out". One of the few times, in college, I was asked out by a male friend, I flipped out when he called it a "date" because I just thought of him as a friend and nothing more. I tried to call the "date" off. I avoided him for days. But... because I didn't/couldn't tell him what I was thinking, I went out to dinner with him on our "date".

Which leads to my biggest problem dating... I don't know how to tell a guy I don't like him. I was raised to be a polite person. I am very empathetic and don't like to know that I am a person that has brought another person grief... that I might actually be (**gasp**) hated. So, I let the attraction (on his end) be. I stress over how I will let him know without becoming hated. I spread out my contact until, eventually, contact ceases.

I know this is a horrible way to end things because no one likes to be left hanging. However, this has become my defense mechanism. I used to never be the girl that would turn a guy's head. I was always the one who was left standing as a wallflower while the guy I really liked danced with another girl. It was horrible!! It made me feel ugly and unwanted.

So, now... it is like I have a new power that I haven't really gained control over yet. Ultimately, though, I don't want to be the girl left standing. So...I trail them out to ensure I am not the one left and hurt by this whole thing we call dating.

Does anyone have a stamp?? I think it might help if guys knew ahead of time that they are getting ready to date "damaged goods", then they won't be surprised when I don't call.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Today is a Proud Day...no more Tolby

I have to announce that I am a proud momma today- My son, Colby has graduated from speech!!!
To those of you that don't have children who have had speech impediments, this may not seem like a big deal, but let me tell you, it is!!

Colby mispronounced several sounds. He said "T" for "C/K". He said "Y" for "L". He said "J" for "G". So this sentence, "Colby had a yellow glove." would have been said, "Tolby had a yeyow jove."

The sound mispronunciation that was the biggest problem for me was the "T" for "C/K". People used to think it was cute when he was little, but not me. I wanted my child to be able to say his own name.

And, now, I am proud to say I do!!!!

**Side note** Another thing I am proud of today is that Sam went to the dentist and got a clean bill of health - NO cavities!!! Who knew...one child would have 9 and the other would have none??? Go figure!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Colors need to stay in the crayon box

I was raised to look at a person for who they are inside, not what they look like on the outside.

I'm sure most people would agree with this fact, yet lately I have found some people who are very dear and close to me NOT following this practice.

A teacher once told me, "We are not white, black, yellow, and red. We are all shades of brown. Some lighter, some darker." If you think about it, it's true.


You might think this post is because of our newly elected president. In some sense, it is(...but it really isn't.) Was I offended when a friend of mine referred to him as a zebra? Yes. Yes, I was.
Has B. Obama done anything personally to this person to justify schoolyard name calling?? No. No, he has not.

I digress.

My reason for this post is because I have decided to go on a date with a black man - Let me make this ultimately clear - this is not a problem for me!... but I am quickly learning which side of the fence my friends fall on.

See... because I was raised with getting to know the person, not their skin color, I know:
He grew up in Nigeria. He came to the US ten years ago to go to college. He is in the Army national guard. The things he has accomplished so far in his life are amazing to me and he is still on his journey to getting there.

Yet, I have a friend, who basically has told me I am not allowed to date him... because of his skin color. She tried to put him in a group. I explained that no matter what color you are, there are good and bad AND I would not group him just by his skin color.

So, we'll see. We'll see how my date goes... and, we'll see if I need to do a little sharpening with my friends on the colors in their crayon box.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Jungle in My pocket

I was in the other room this morning while my boys were watching cartoons in the living room. Commercials started playing. Now, normally, I wouldn't pay any attention, but this jingle caught my attention. It kept repeating, "I've got a jungle in my pocket. (Then in a deep voice) OH. YEAH! I've got a jungle in my pocket. (Then in a deep voice) OH. YEAH!"

I had to giggle. I'm sure it was not written with sexual connotation (at least, I hope not) but that is the image the type of music gave off. So much so, that I had to go into the other room just to see what it was actually selling. It turned out to be like those Polly Pocket dolls, yet they were jungle animals. An okay toy, I guess...but I don't want to know if you have a jungle in your pocket - I don't care who you are! LOL

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Not in a house...Not with a Mouse


I would not, could not, stand them on a plane
I would not, could not, stand them on a train
Not by my food, nor by my feet
They make me NOT want to eat

I tell you now I am your friend
Your friend. Your friend to the end
I like coming to your house
but I do NOT like seeing a mouse

They make my skin want to crawl
When I see them scampering down your hall
I do not like them here or there.
I do not like them ANYWHERE!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Not up for Parent-of-the-Year

I had my very first Parent/Teacher Conference on Friday where I had to sit in the parent chair. (Let me preface this with I thought I knew what to expect) Colby is in Kindergarten this year and has 2 years of Preschool under his belt. His preschool teacher always gave us raving reviews... so, today, kinda knocked me off my pedestal as a mom (who is a teacher).

Colby's teacher told us that Colby will need to receive additional tutoring as he is not showing recognition of all of his letters. My heart immediately sank. I felt as if I not only failed as a parent, but as a teacher. My job is to daily educate other peoples' children and yet my own has fallen short.

We, of course, agreed to the tutoring~ we do want what's best for our child, even if it is a HUGE blow to one's ego. As we were leaving, Robbie, my ex, said, "It's okay. I had to be tutored when I was in school." I turned and looked at him and said,"Yeah? Well, both of your parents weren't teachers!"

This follows Colby's trip to the dentist, a few weeks back, with the result of nine cavities.
Yeah...I guess I won't be nominated for Parent-of-the-Year anytime soon.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Do you have tourette's?...Or why else would you be twitching??

This week is Parent/Teacher conferences, and despite what parents think, teachers do NOT look forward to the conferences. In fact, some of my teacher friends and I have been having some symptoms that only seem to come around this time of year.

My friend, Laura, has has a constant twitch in her eye for the past week. She walks around saying, "It's twitching again....Do you see it??!!It's twitching!!!!" I asked her if she thought it was brought on by stress...or something else??? She confirmed that she did not have tourette's. She did tell me that a teacher she once knew (name withheld to protect the innocent) had it and she would do lots of blinking and funky little twitches all the time. Guess she should be glad hers didn't involve cussing - don't think schools would look highly upon that.

I, on the other hand, have just had the most wild and crazy dreams! My last one consisted of me being partially naked, in a stranger's house and me not being able to find my clothes - which just so happened to be my Halloween costume. I kept wandering around looking. I asked Laura (who was in my dream) if she had seen my costume and she told me that it was the middle of the night, to go back to bed. I told her I couldn't sleep because of the old woman I was having to share the pull out hide-a-bed with. See, it wasn't just because I should be creeped out that I am sharing a bed with an elderly woman I do not know...no, the reason I couldn't sleep with her is because she kept falling out of bed and when she would start to fall, she would grab for me and scratch my arm and then her little lap dog would jump off of her chest onto mine. I, then, would have to throw the dog off of me and walk around to the other side and push her back up into bed. Thankfully, in the end, I did find my clothes. They were at the end of the bed Laura was sleeping in - Go figure!

I have decided that either I need to take up drinking more often ...or have someone psycho-analyze my dreams - that is... before I start twitching. :)

**Update** Thanks Erin for pointing out that tourette's is not spelled terrets. I don't know why spell check didn't catch it. LOL

Saturday, October 18, 2008

AARRRHHH Halloween Party

For those of you that either chose not to come...or weren't invited - I'm sorry! We had an awesome time at the 1st annual costume party!

Here's a few pics to show you what you missed. (Yes, that is a Magic 8 ball sitting on the table - it was eerily correct all evening long. LOL)


We have a very nice selection of alcohol!



We, somehow, did not get pictures of any of the dancing or most of the games we played...but that might be for the best!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

If the following applies to you, please raise your hand

Being a teacher, I come across things on a daily basis that I am sure most people don't have to deal with in their normal every day business lives. It makes me laugh, though, thinking of these situations in an office building.

1. Peeing in public (NO...It wasn't me!)
2. Seeing someone getting kicked in the junk. (NO...I didn't do the kicking - lol)
3. Catching someone masturbating. (I'm NOT kidding on this one!!!!!)

Now that I read back through my list, I am noticing a common theme, not one that I had intended when I started this post.

I'm telling you...it's a good thing that I can laugh at my daily life...because they sure don't pay me enough to afford a trip to the loony bin.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Idle...it will save you gas

Today, my friend Laura comes into work as normal. At around 2:30, our secretary comes down to her room with her keys. (You have to know Laura, she losses her keys constantly, so this was NO big surprise.) Until our secretary says to her "Did you forget something this morning?" Laura looks at her and says, "You mean something other than my keys?" Our secretary laughs and says, "Laura, your car has been running all day!"

Laura said she guesses she just got to school, had so much on her mind, and, in turn, just got out. Laura had just filled up right before she came to school, so we both ran out after school to see just how much gas she had left. After seven hours of idling, all she had used was a quarter of a tank! So... next time you feel like wasting a little gas (You know, since gas prices are going down)...idle for a few hours. LOL

Monday, September 29, 2008

Ode to my grandfather

I didn't really realize that I hadn't posted in about a month... Life has been crazy and time seems to be short these days.

My Grandpa Bob (my dad's dad) past away a couple weeks back on September 11. He was 88. He lived in Denver, Colorado and even though he lived so very far away, he was a very intricate part of our family's life.
My earliest memory of my grandpa is when he helped to move us here to Missouri after my parents' divorce. I remember he drove his car with a trailer behind. It was a BIG car. (My grandpa always drove big cars - Cadillacs, and the such.) I couldn't wait till he arrived because he had my bike in that trailer and he had promised to take my training wheels off when he arrived to Missouri. You should have seen the smile on my face!! I was so glad to be rid of those stinkin' training wheels that made me bounce from one side to the other.

We spent many summers traveling out west to see my Grandpa Bob. As we all got older though, our trips were (unfortunately) not as frequent. Did that stop my grandpa?? Heavens no! Just 4 years ago, he got in his car and headed here to Missouri and arrived just in time for Colby's 1st birthday. He relished in the fact that he hadn't been in an accident in 30+ years. After riding with him (and being completely white knuckled), I wondered how many accidents he had possibly avoided, yet caused. :)

My grandpa was AMAZING! Until about 2 years ago, he skied the whole ski season from the first fall of snow until the last melted bit every year! He was just in his early 20's when he fought in WWII. . When he left, my aunt was just 2 years old. My Grandma Olga was pregnant with my dad. He didn't get to see my dad until he was almost 2 years old. I can't imagine how hard that must have been! Before he left for the war, his boss begged him not to go because he was the best lineman that he had. (My grandpa worked for SW Bell out of Chicago.) While fighting in the war, my grandpa got shot at. A bullet went straight through his helmet. Luckily, his helmet was sitting high on his head and the bullet didn't even touch him. He later was shot, however, and received a Purple Heart for his bravery. It was said that while under General Patton's command, General Patton asked if any of the men had any questions. My grandpa, being the bold man that he was, said, "Yes, do you really carry a ivory handled pistol with you everywhere you go?" General Patton said, "Yes." and allowed my grandpa to hold it.

While in Denver, I learned many things about my grandpa that I didn't know before. While fighting in WWII, my grandfather's troop liberated a concentration camp and an extermination camp. My grandpa didn't really ever talk about this... I can't imagine what kinds of things he saw, especially at the extermination camp where their main intent was to kill all who entered there. While there, my grandpa took pictures of these camps and I will add the photos when my aunt sends them on to me.

On September 19th, a nice Catholic funeral was held followed by a military burial. My brother's were pallbearers. My brothers and I all made it to the funeral. I know this would have put a smile on my grandpa's face seeing us all together.


My brothers and I haven't all been in the same place at the same time for 6 years. Can you imagine that?? So, in honor of Grandpa Bob, we made a trip up to the mountains (that he loved so dear) and played in the snow.


From left to right: Michael (my older bro), Me :), Nick (my youngest bro), LeaAnn (Nick's wife), and Tim (my younger bro)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Too Old for a Party???

Last night, we were saying prayers and Sam said "Wait!" and then he started listing off peoples' names. He got to 10 people (who I thought he was praying for) and I said "Good! Ten people Sam!"

So, Here is the conversation between my 3 year old son, Sam, and I this Monday morning of my 33rd birthday.

Sam: Mom, today is your birthday?
Me: Yep, it sure is.
Sam:When's everybody comin'?
Me: Nobody's coming Sam.
Sam: It's your birthday?
Me:Yes, it's my birthday.
Sam:When's everybody comin'?
Me: No one is coming Sam. We gotta go to work and school.
Sam: It's your birthday...you know?... blow out candles. 10 people!!!
Me: Yes...I know Son, but when your Momma's age you don't have people come watch you blow out candles.
Sam: No candles... (extremely sad face)
Me: Yes, yes! We will have candles tonight, but just us, nobody else is coming though.
Sam:10 people??
Me: No, no 10 people
Sam: But...it's your birthday????

My poor boy just couldn't imagine that someone could have a birthday and not have a party. It melted my heart!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

What doesn't kill you...Makes you stronger

What doesn't kill you...Makes you stronger ~ I have truly taken on this philosophy as an adult. However, this evening I was challenged. Not for my sake, but that of a friend's. They told me they were contemplating suicide. This person has said it before and I knowing ALL of the stories, of that is how people who are truly in need reach out, I have always been there to listen. But I have never taken their words completely seriously...until today. Today, there was something different in this person's voice. A desperation I hadn't heard before. A status that made me worried about them, but in the same sense knew (except for talking) there was nothing that I could do! I reassured this friend that if I were closer and could come over, I would - if nothing more than to give them a hug.

This whole scenario was hard for me. I mean, I have always been an empathetic person. But in the same sense I believe I have always had friends who are mentally/spiritually stronger than me.

This person believes that recent issues in their life have made it to where it is pointless to even go on. This person even went as far as denouncing God (and they are a Christian). This is where I put my foot down! I reminded them that God has given us free will and through that free will is where our worldly troubles lie~ That God does not look down upon us and spite us for the decisions that we have made.

By the time we got off the phone, there seemed to be more of a calmness on that person's end. I'm not going to say a complete calmness because I am still extremely worried about them, but enough of a calmness that I felt okay with them getting off the phone with me.

So now... I turn this back towards myself - I guess I could view this situation as one that has made me stronger???

Things I like...Things I don't

My cousin, Michelle, started this listing 3 things on her blog eariler this month - so I thought I'd try!

Things I like:
1. Sleeping in
2. Having a clean house and a well kept lawn
3. Having some "me" time


Things I don't like:
1. Forgetting to turn off the alarm clock the night before I get to sleep in
2. Having to clean the house and mow the lawn myself
3. Missing my kids like crazy when I don't have them

Unlike Michelle's list, mine are kinda related to each other - that's just how it went today. If I choose to it again, it may not be the case. (That's my disclaimer line :)

Monday, August 18, 2008

You Might be a Redneck... (part duex)

My brother, Tim, came down from Wisconsin this past weekend. He and I decided to go to SDC together - just the two of us! We had a blast riding all of the rides, especially the coasters.

When we were headed to ride the Lost River, a guy (who had just ridden the Lost River) stopped in this little encove of the entrance. He paused, looked around and then shouted, "Hell YEAH!!!" He then bent and picked up a full serving of nachos that was sitting on the ground, looked straight at us and said, "You can't beat that there with a stick!"

Tim and I just looked at each other and busted up laughing!

We did redeem my funnel cake certificate. Somehow, they just aren't as good as I remember as a kid. I, guess, you should just leave those good memories in the past. Here's a pic of us pretending to enjoy it though :)

Monday, August 11, 2008

What I've been up to....

Some of you might have started to wonder if I had fallen off the face of the Earth or something. Well...I haven't. I have just been soooo busy, sitting down to blog kinda fell by the wayside. Not that I have time now - that's SO far from the truth - but I wanted to let you know a few things that I have been up to!
Girls' Weekend 2008
Now most of this weekend is top secret because "What happens at Lake of the Ozarks, stays at Lake of the Ozarks" but I will bullet the top events for those who were there (just as a reminder) ;) And let you know that it was a GREAT time well spent by all!!!! (Tooo bad it only comes once a year!) :(
  • A flashing neon sign above my head
  • Add Brad to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John
  • Drink being bought for R.
  • The Blue Room


Visit from Suz & Joe
A wonderful college friend, who I had not seen in 5 years, came down with her husband and fam this weekend. It was like we had never even skipped a beat.

That's what I really enjoy about a true friend....that there isn't hard feelings for the time that we have allowed to get away, just joy that we have this time to spend now.

They have 3 kids - 3, 5, & 7 - which were perfect playmates for my boys who are 3 & 5. Plus Joe was such a dear to allow Suz and I to go out on the town the first night while he stayed at my house with all five kids (even with Sam balling his eyes out).

Saturday we headed to Lakeside Forest Wilderness Area - This is a hiking trail located right in the heart of Branson consisting of 319 hand-laid stone steps. How I attended 4 years of college here and then lived another 10 years on top of that here and still had NO idea about this place, I will never know! Thank goodness for Suzanne's gentle prodding to get me to join them because we had a wonderful time!!


Now... the fun is gone and reality has struck. I have been heading back to my classroom to make it look all clean and fresh for a new bunch of kiddos.

Normally this time of year = excitement for the budding new school year. I guess, this summer, I just had too much fun. So... the thought of being trapped inside isn't exactly getting me all giddy inside.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Strange Coincidences

I have been noticing lots of strange occurrences this lately. I can't tell you exactly when I first started to notice them because every time I think of one...I think of another that happened earlier.


The newest one - that I discovered today - But before I tell you, let me give you some background knowledge. About a month back, Sawyer tells me that Tina and I share the same birthday. Tina is the first person that Sawyer has dated since me. I know, I know...you're thinking, "So what? Lots of people can have the same birthday." I actually wasn't excited, nor impressed, with that little fact - I mean why would I want to share the same birthday as the new girlfriend?? Anyways...today I'm am checking out my friends on my Myspace page and this is what I realize... (Okay, here it is! Are you ready?)

Sawyer and Laser have the same exact birthday!


Freaky, huh? I, mean, Laser is the first person I have dated since Sawyer and Tina is the first person Sawyer has dated and out of us all the girls share the same birthday and the guys share the same birthday.



Weird, huh?

Thursday, July 31, 2008

A self-reflection...

I took on more than a moment of self-reflection today. Sawyer called me tonight to ask about his MoJo. He wanted to know what I and his ex-girlfriend had done to him to make him irresistible to women...beautiful women. I explained to him that it wasn't what we had done at all - in fact, it was more with what he did for us. He built us up where we were insecure the most (and not in a degrading way). (For me, that would be my appearance. Accepting I am beautiful. I mean when I look in the mirror and I'm dressed nice, I know I look good, but I don't think to myself, "Damn, girl, you're hot!")


And that is how we got on the topic of me - off Sawyer onto me. He told me that I just needed to accept the fact... unless I wanted to stop exercising and start eating Twinkies. I said, "No. I don't even like Twinkies." "Then you better get used to it!" He tells me. (He then has to get off the phone - leaving me thinking.)


Why don't I have that self-confidence I supposedly should have? As I sit back and reflect, this is what I have come up with so far:

1. I didn't grow up around family that told me, "Oh, you're so pretty, gorgeous, etc." (They told me they loved me and they would do anything in the world for me, but they were not complimentary.) And now that I have guys complimenting me, I almost feel as if they are blowing smoke... To get something. (I know, I know...it's the insecurity talking!)


2. Self-confident vs. Vainity - I have never wanted someone to view me as vain (Laser tells me "Vain is someone who thinks they are hot") and in the pursuit to avoid becoming vain, I have miss the confidence boat.


3. I have never felt I was good enough - not in my looks, not in my relationships, not in my job. I guess that's why as a teacher I work so hard because I am always trying to prove myself - to whom? I don't know...


I want to become someone who walks with her head held high (and turns the heads of a few men :) but not become a stuck up bitch who thinks she is all that.

So how do I go about this change... To gain this self-confidence without losing who I view as me? A caring, loving, (even goofy) individual.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Godzilla Attacks

I was having one of those days today - you know the ones where little things seem overly irritating. Now don't go all "Oh... PMS"ing on me. Sorry... not time of the month! I'm back to not sleeping well and it seems to be making me a bit on the edgy side.

So, tonight when we arrived home around 8:45, I rushed Colby off to take a bath. He chose to use my tub. "Fine." I say, gritting my teeth. "Just get clean...and hurry!" I realize it is past the time he should be in bed and a bath would just push the time back further.

After about five minutes, I decide to go check on him and push to rush him a bit more. There he is standing outside of the tub.

Me: What are you doing?? (finger... pushing. on. the. last. button.)
Colby: Uh...something is stuck.
Me: What? What do you mean something is stuck?
(Colby points at a small plastic dinosaur lodged in between the sliding shower doors.)
Me: How in the world did that get in there???
Colby: All I did was set the dinosaur on the edge of the tub and... he just crawled in there.
Me(gritting my teeth): Son. That toy is plastic. There is NO way it could have crawled in there!

(You know... on Godzilla's off nights of tormenting small Japanese towns, he comes into homes and with his high degree of physical strength and dexterity he wiggles in between shower doors and forgets about his highly technical powers such as his red spiral atomic breath, nuclear pulse, magnetic powers, and even the ability to fly. He resorts to getting lodged - like any respectable lizard would do.)

Colby just stands there and shrugs his shoulders.

I'm thinking...On a normal night, I might have burst out laughing at his comment.
Really? Does he think I would truly believe that excuse??


So, for the next 20 minutes, I work to get this stupid little plastic dinosaur out from between my shower doors. Trust me. It was by NO means an easy task!

(Godzilla's dorsal plates glowed ominously, and then he released a concentrated blast of radiation from his mouth. Or that might have been me attempting NOT to cuss.)



In the end, I end up derailing my shower door which gave me just enough room to wiggle my fingers in between the doors to pull Godzilla out and throw him in the trash (Even with being an adept fighter underwater as he is on land, Godzilla could not breech the walls of the metal trash can.)
...that'll teach him to go crawling in between my shower doors!!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

dogs smell fear. men smell independence

Okay, so remember me shunning off men?? Well, I think it is like fear and dogs - they can smell it! I think men can smell a woman out to be independent and void of them!

A week ago Friday, my friend, Laura calls - we're supposed to do lunch. She says that she is sorry but she is leaving out of town earlier than she expects. I'm fine with it - I tell her my plot in life...to be done with men for a while. We reschedule for Wednesday.

Friday night...I get a call from "Laser" (not his real name - he sells medical lasers for a living - I have to laugh though because every time I say this, in my head, I am hearing "fricken laaaaser" from Austin Powers.) I digress...
So anyways... Laser calls to ask if I want to go out to dinner with him on Tuesday night when he is down. Now, mind you, Laser and I reconnected like two months back. (We went to the same high school but we didn't "know" each other back then.) At the time of this reconnection, we both had just finalized our divorces. He lives 4 hours away, but said he came my direction frequently with work. I told him that we would have to go out when he did come down. (I guess, in my brain, 2 months does not equal frequently - again... I digress) So... I guess after about a month and a half, I decided that Laser and I would not be going out. So I was surprised by his phone call. Again... I tell you men can smell it!!!

Tuesday night... Set up for the babysitter to be here at 5 pm. (Laser and I hadn't set up a time we were going to meet when we talked - stupid, I know! Who sets up a date and doesn't ask what time??) Then got a text asking if 7 pm would be okay for dinner. "Sure." I quickly call my babysitter and tell her NOT to rush here from her job. I slowly finish getting ready after the babysitter arrives and then head to my friend, Rachel's house... to kill some more time. I arrive to meet Laser shortly before 7. We go and eat at Ocean Zen. It was a nice date and we had good conversation.
The only lull was when I looked up from a bite and saw him just staring at me. Raising my eyebrows, I said "What?" (Thinking...Please don't let there be something hanging out of my nose.) He responded with, "You are just prettier than I expected."
"Thank you...I guess." (I have been going through some training by friends to say thank you when there is no other good response ;)
The "I guess" threw him because then he retracted to say, "I mean, not to say you aren't pretty in your pictures, you're just much prettier in person." "Thank you...again." I said. (See...I'm learning.)
The one thing (looking back now) makes me laugh is that he said that he wouldn't be rushing to get married again because he had just gotten his MoJo back (and his fricken laaaser! - I know, I know TOO much Austin Powers)

So, heading home I get a call from (oh... what's a good name - I guess I'll call him Sawyer - for Arkansawyer) Sawyer. He is the guy that I dated a few months back that I have remained friends with. He has recently accepted a job in Texas. We had been trying to set up a time to see each other before he left. All times fell through. He had called to ask how my date went. After talking for an hour, I found out that he would most likely be leaving before week's end. I told him I was coming to see him! "Bring it on!" he said.

Wednesday morning... I go pick up the boys and make plans for Robbie to have them back in a few hours. Then I call Laura. I explain to her what is all going on and that we would have to reschedule again. She is fine with it, but adds, "I just talked to you less than a week ago. What happened to you being done with men?" All I could do is laugh!

I'm telling you...men can smell it!!!!!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Lonestar Concert

My friend, Rachel and I attended the Lonestar concert last night. It was a great time!! They were excellent in getting the crowd involved - even though we had seats, they encouraged us to stand and "get into" their music.

Rachel enjoyed watching this couple that got TOOO "into" their music.
I, on the other hand, enjoyed watching the drummers hair fly around...

and a 90 year old woman sit and quietly clap her hands along to the heavy metal songs that came during the encore. LOL

The best part though was probably their encore. They veered from their songs and performed a variety of different artists including some Metallica and some Van Halen songs. It was cool to see their range! They also allowed the son of one of the band members to come out and play his electric guitar.

It was a good time with a good friend!! I think maybe going to concerts might be my new "thing".

Sunday, July 20, 2008

M & M's on a whole new level

The boys and I went back to my hometown for a family get together last night. Beforehand, we were at my brother's house and a M&M Ice cream bar commercial came on TV. Due to Tivo, we (me, my 2 boys, my brother, and his wife) ended up watching it 3 times(thanks to Colby). Watch it now and then I'll finish my story.




Okay so after watching it 3 times, we (myself, my brother, and my sister-in-law) laughed about the commercial, talked about what they would imply the M stood for next, and then went on with life. Later last night, I gave the boys their bath. Sam got out and said, "BRRrrrr, Mom, I'm cold." Colby replied, "That's called shrinkage." (You can laugh...but only because he is not your child!)
Now even though my son had no idea what he was referencing to - he took the gist of the commercial and applied it to real life. I promptly had to say, "That's a grown up joke, you aren't allowed to say it!"

I thought maybe this was the extent of the M&M's hint at sexuality until I found these two videos. (the second is NOT in English, but it doesn't need to be) I guess these two are currently playing in the UK - There is NO question that Mars Company has figured out sex sells!





Forget about melting in your hands....

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My newest position

Okay...I'm giving up on men. Okay, maybe not men altogether ;) but on the idea of me needing a man. In an earlier post I mentioned a friend giving me advice on dating. Well, her advice worked...kinda. I got dates, but not with the type of man, I guess, I would call my ideal. In fact, I found needy men (a call or text every hour - it made me dread owning my cell phone that I dearly love!) Men that wanted me to be their whole life. I'm sorry, but I'm doing well to keep my head afloat in my life, much less try to maintain yours also!!

I also took her advice on "Allow yourself to be taken care of." ~ Yeah... pretty much hated it!!! I always was feeling guilty that I wasn't contributing in any way and that I ultimately owed him. Yeah...I would much rather pay for my own meal than have that "guilt" on my mind. (Guess my momma raised an independent girl :)

So I have come to the conclusion that when it happens, it happens. And until it does...Anyone want to go out Friday night??? I'm a pretty fun date!! LOL

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Welcome to the Ool - Notice: there is no P in it

The boys have been taking swim lessons this week. On day #2, Sam had to go underwater. I knew this was coming (since Colby took swim lessons with this same woman last year) so I thought I would let Sam in on what was to come. BIG mistake!!!! All morning Tuesday before the lessons, Sam walked around saying, "I don't want to go underwater...I don't want to go underwater..." Along came the lessons and... Sam went under water. We are required to do each exercise 5 times. Sam only held his breath once - but after the 1st time, Sam announced that he had to pee. I quietly said, "Just pee in the pool." (Knowing that I would never get Sam back in to go underwater if I let him out now.) "NO! Pee pee NOW!" My compromise - Sam had to finish his five before heading to the bathroom.

Yesterday, the exercise was to hold them out at arms' length, tell them to hold their breath and kick, and they would kick their way to the surface where you lift them up and congratulate them. I held Sam out, told him to hold his breath and kick and I released. I watched as my baby opened his eyes as wide as he could underwater, reached his arms up as high as he could, but sank because he refused to kick. When the look of sheer panic was too much for me to bare, I pulled him out of the water! (This was all of maybe 3 seconds - trust me I am NOT trying to drowned my child!) The first words out of his mouth were, "Pee pee NOW!" So, I took him. I had to have time to regain my courage to know I was NOT harming my child in doing this exercise. (By the way, Sam did NOT kick once for any of the 5 that we did - each time he would sink slowly and I would pull him out of the water.)

So... here we are at today. Today the exercise was to do the same thing as yesterday, but after releasing them step back two paces. (I think I was the one starting to panic today - knowing Sam hadn't kicked once yesterday.) But before we even got to the new exercise, Sam announced again that he had to pee. "Son" I said, "Just pee in the pool." (I mean this child will whip it out and pee where ever) Sam replies, "No Mommy! It's nasty to pee in the pool" Ah...my own words coming back to bite me!!!

I am happy to report though that Sam did decide to kick today and announced to everyone, " I can swim now, just like Colby!"

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

More Pogueland pics

Nothing like cuddling in a tent on a cool summer morning.


You can see I was VERY happy to see Andrew and Steve cooking breakfast! Thank goodness for coffee!

The kids decided this vine was a perfect way to travel like Tarzan! :)


We took a trip down to the water. Everyone had lots of fun!
I did till a snake swam around my legs - YIKES!!!




Steve and Andrew took on the task of cliff diving.


The sun setting on a GREAT weekend as we head for home!