Thursday, December 31, 2009

NEVER SAY NEVER....


My new year's resolution! No, not really. All of our kids have long hair right now. Hair that I WISH was a little more trimmed, sharp, neat looking. One is long and that's okay. She's a girl. The other two....well, one is long because he's in a school talent show next week, singing a song called, "HAIR," so you can bet that hair will be gone as soon as the talent show is over! Our senior's hair is long because he has been on a budget for a few months and has to manage his money and life. He doesn't want to spend the $15 to go see the hairdresser! He thinks if it gets bad enough Mom & Dad will beg him to get it cut AND pay for it. Well, he's got a long way to go before that happens....I can wait a long time....I think!

We had a little fun the other night as I actually french braided my son's hair! Like I said, NEVER SAY NEVER!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

BROTHERLY LOVE...


I am happy to say no one got injured while these photos were taken! Actually, I was really excited about our white Christmas! With a family party including 5 teenagers, they actually got out in the snow, made forts and had snowball fights - much better than them sitting around watching TV at Gram's house after the gift giving!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

THE AWKWARD FAMILY PARTY...

turned out okay! PRETTY FUN, in fact! I think lots of us have some awkward feelings when getting together with extended family. We're related, but not much alike. Well, I hosted ours this past weekend, and it was really fun, at least from my perspective. The awkward stuff was that my aunt, the LIFE OF EVERY PARTY, was not able to attend due to surgery complications. Also, my cousin, who had been in prison for about 7 years, came with his son, who I hadn't seen in that many years as well. I'm happy to report that he seemed happy and hopefully no more trouble in his future! My uncle, a farmer, brought a lot of good food - NOT YOUR TYPICAL CHRISTMAS FARE - but we all enjoyed it. He and his wife brought cream crowder peas, and butternut squash. Paired with my onion casserole, pork tenderloin, and bacon explosion, it was an interesting meal! The other neat thing was that all my grandmother's great grandkids were together for the first time in 7 years!!!














We have played Dirty Santa for many years, and usually we play some other type of game. This year I found a really fun game on the internet that was a hit for the kids! We divided them into two teams. The object was to make reindeer antlers out of pantyhose and balloons. They had to blow up the balloons and stuff them into the pantyhose. After it was all over, it really turned the little guy into a wild reindeer!













MERRY CHRISTMAS AND MAY ALL YOUR FAMILY PARTIES GO WELL!

Monday, December 21, 2009

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU GET A NEW TV...


Eight teenagers spend the night! Eight teenage boys, in our case. My daughter is home from college and her current Facebook status is "...so this is what it's like in a boys' dorm..."LOL

Friday, December 18, 2009

SINGING AT THE SKIRVIN...


and a free lunch! What a great marketing tool for young consumers! I can see it now...in a few years he'll want a wedding reception here...YIKES!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

ENJOY SNOW...

from the classic, "White Christmas," performed by my son in THAT SWEATER AGAIN, with his friends from EMHS! video

Saturday, December 12, 2009

CHRISTMAS CARD PICS...




have been sent! Woohoo! I've really enjoyed sending and getting Christmas cards through the years! Here's the one I picked for this year. It's us on the Chimney Tops trail in the Smoky Mt. Nat'l Park! That had to be one of my favorite days this year. It's not the best picture of me, but it reminds me of the fun we had that day. I love studio pics too, but I've always been a do-it-yourselfer when it comes to Christmas card pics. Wonder why? $$$ So if you're not on the list, don't feel bad! Most of them go to our out of town friends and family! Consider this my greeting to you!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

SOME OF US GET TO RELAX AT CHRISTMAS TIME...


just couldn't resist sharing this of "Dixie" with her feet up on the Christmas pillow!

Monday, December 7, 2009

THE GREEN CHRISTMAS PARTY...

was a hit! We wore GREEN!












We ate GREEN food - on the menu was Artichoke Dip, Pepper jelly with cream cheese, Jalapeno Popper, GREEN salad, Broccolli salad, Corn bread with GREEN chilies, Pork Loin with GREEN apple salsa, GREEN bean casserole, Twice baked potatoes sprinkled with GREEN onion, Fruit tray with GREEN apples, kiwi, pears, figs, a relish tray with GREEN pickles, olives, etc., GREEN apple cobbler, Pistachio cake, and Creme de Menthe brownies!







After playing Bunko we exchanged our gifts in Eco-friendly (GREEN) tins. I was the grand prize winner of the lovely Elvira/Woody cutout wearing a Snuggie! Elvira has been making her way around the group for several years now...mmm...how will I dress her next year?







This group has been a constant in my life for about 15 years now...a great source of comfort and stress relief for this busy mom. I wish for all of you some kind of similar support group in your life!

Friday, December 4, 2009

ANOTHER DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BOYS AND GIRLS...


is apparently school events, like the WINTER FORMAL, are not quite as big a deal for boys. For the second year in a row, I have known NOTHING about it until my son's date says something to me. EMBARRASSING! Last year it went something like this: The girl who asked my son to go with her (it's like a Sadie Hawkins thing for you old-timers) comes up to me after church with her camera, and says, "Would you like to see my dress for the Winter Formal?" "Sure," I say! "That's pretty!" After an AWKWARD SILENCE, she says, "You don't know that we're going to the dance together, do you?" NICE...but now at least I know what kind of corsage to buy and get a tie so my son can match...

So it happened again this week. A mother/daughter called me from Dillard's to tell me they had bought a dress..."would you Iike to see it? Oh, did he tell you they're going to the dance? No?"

AAAAUUUUGGGGHHHH!

A quick trip to TJ Maxx and we got a neat tie and the decision was made not to do corsages/boutonneirres!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

HOW DO YOU SPELL RELIEF? I SPELL IT...


R-U-N-N-I-N-G!

Had a weird day today...FOUR disappointing things happened. Nothing earth shaking, just strange that all these things happened today:

1) What we thought was my son's last appearance in court for throwing biscuit dough is not. We get to go back in January with the other boys to determine restitution.

2) I get a letter from my other son's school about an opportunity and it is supposed to be returned by November 30. Yeah, today is December 1.

3) A friend cancelled on me.

4) The installation guys for our theater room don't show, don't show, and we finally call and realize there was a mistake in scheduling...they're coming Tuesday, December 8.

Yeah, so instead of crying I went running. It helped a little. Then I went and ripped out all my dead sweet potatoe plants, tomato plants and that purple-viney thing and threw them in the trash...and I am reminding myself, I AM SO BLESSED. I AM THE DAUGHTER OF THE KING! GET OVER IT.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

THANKSGIVING IS A 3 DAY EVENT FOR US...

and it goes something like this...

WEDNESDAY: Most everyone in the family arrives for the Wednesday night SINGING at church. A whole hour of different song leaders leading us in praise! It's a lot of fun because our family loves to sing and about 15 of the song leaders are from our family. The youngest was 7 years old! After that we head over to my in-law's house for a dinner of appetizers and start playing 42 and Liverpool!

THURSDAY: It begins with the "Turkey Trot" 5K race out to the cemetery and back! Here we are waiting for the kids to run in from their "Fun Run!"







Here's a part of our group enjoying the Thanksgiving meal...can you see the new construction? We're excited for this because they host 30-40 relatives each year for this event!









After the meal, there's the PUMPKIN BASHING around the corner at Uncle Joe and Aunt Lori's house. Every year they grow lots of pumpkins just for this event! We initiated a new in-law this year by letting him hit the first pumpkin. Little did he know the most rotten one was selected just for him. It went everywhere! Here's a pic of my daughter and her cousin taking their traditional "standing on the biggest pumpkin" picture and also one of her turns at bat!















After the excitement there's a lot of game playing...42 and Liverpool Rummy, mostly! But this year we learned a new game, Take Two, and The Last Word.






I can't believe I'm seeing this...our boys have graduated past the toys in Grandmother's toy room, played years of card games, and now are into the real mans' game...42!





FRIDAY: It's not over yet! Shopping for some and the movies for all! We went to Lawton and saw SCROOGE. Definitely worth seeing even if you have seen it a million times! We feel like we own the theater when we're all there together!

GOD IS GOOD! We are thankful for fun times with our family. This year was especially meaningful because my husband's father is doing well with his chemo treatments, new construction which gives us more room is exciting, EVERYONE got to be there, even the Tennessee group, and SURPRISE! The first great-grand baby is on its way...due next summer! Congrats to my niece, Shanelle!

Monday, November 23, 2009

TRY THIS AT HOME...

Just a little something to impress our company (does that word date me?!!). Why is it kids feel compelled to do something they would never do any other time when you have friends over? Despite my motherly fears of sugary soda being spewed out of the empty cans, the floor stayed clean and dry...


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

IT WON'T BE LONG...


till she's home from college for Thanksgiving break! Yep, that's her, the one doing SEAFOOD in this picture taken by her friend. I stole it from Facebook! Not sure why, and I remember explaining this to her several years ago, but something about college brings out the kid in you. You know, in high school slides and swings are for little kids. But all of a sudden when you get in college they're cool again. Anyway, I'm sure that's what this picture is all about. I'm glad she's having a good time!

P.S. Note the nutritious breakfast cereal in the back!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

KILLING TIME...

when you're waiting for a colonoscopy stinks! LOL! Since I've been up since 4:45 a.m. drinking my Magnesium Citrate, I've been totally entertained by blog-surfing and found this neat stuff:

Fish-in-a-bag soap (look up June 12 post)


Washer necklaces (see August 13 post)

Weekend getaway scrunchy scarf

Monogram placques(see November 3 post)

All of these ideas came from j-a-girl's "I Can Make That" party held on November 9! I think I looked at over 150 posts from her party!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A DAY WITH MY 93 YEAR OLD GRANDMA LOOKS LIKE THIS...






Starts off with getting her a Vanilla Diet Coke at Sonic..."My mouth is sooooo dry...."










Eating at our favorite place in Norman..."what's that thing I like again?"












Yeah, I hope I can eat quiche and Italian Cream cake at that age!













Checking out at Walmart after buying everything on the list and more!


You know it's not all fun, though. There's no pictures of the moving slowly from house to car to bank to restaurant to store. How many times I had to repeat what I said for her failing ears. Watching her eat for a half-hour after I'm finished. Hoping the wheelchair shopping cart is available. Telling her we really have to leave and we end up making just "one more stop" somewhere. Feeling guilty about forgetting something on the list. Passing by the nursery and hoping she doesn't notice and want to buy pansies for me to plant.
But then I am reminded of all of those who don't have Grandmas anymore, and Bible truths that remind me to give to those who cannot repay you (Luke 14:14). I didn't always enjoy being with my Grandma, and I believe you go through stages in that relationship just like others. Somewhere along the way we found that we enjoyed shopping and going out to eat together. Hopefully someone will take me out for Italian Cream Cake when I'm 93!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

TAILGATING PARTY...


no, you know we're not into sports that much! This is what the performing arts kids do at EMHS, after 4-5 days of tryouts for the talent show! They tailgate while waiting for THE LIST of acts that get into the show. My senior came in this afternoon, raided the refrigerator and freezer for hotdogs, buns, and condiments for the L-O-N-G W-A-I-T! I'm sure a real fire would've been quickly extinguished by the administration, but these kids are resourceful. They got an extension cord and grilled their dogs on a George Foreman grill! Their patience was rewarded when the teachers finally posted the big news on the door for all to see!

ADDED BONUS: thanks for the George Foreman grill, IPOD, and IPOD tuner left by kids in my son's car...better claim 'em quick!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

6 AM BASKETBALL PRACTICE...


Really? REALLY. That's what happens when you have 8 teams in one school all wanting to have gym time...we'll see how much these 8th grade boys really like basketball....

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

NOT WINNING ANY CONTESTS WITH THESE...







My tomatoes that I planted way back in June are finally producing! They aren't very pretty, I admit. But if you take a knife and cut off the worm holes and splits, believe it or not, you will have at least half a good tomato! It reminds me of how God sees me. He overlooks the bad stuff, and sees something good there. "MAN LOOKS AT THE OUTWARD APPEARANCE, BUT THE LORD LOOKS AT THE HEART." I SAMUEL 16:7 I hope we all are looking past appearances and seeing people's hearts.

My sister-in-law is rubbing off on me, I guess. That's a good thing! When she started blogging, she decided if she was going to spend the time doing it, she would share her faith. She writes about daily life with four kids and ALWAYS finds a spiritual connection. She also maintains a recipe blog with her mother and sister. Check out her "Shine Like Stars" blog!

Monday, November 2, 2009

HALLOWEEN TEENAGER-STYLE...

My Indian boy actually would pose for me outside with our ghostie! No trick-or-treating for him this year, he went to 2 parties...
























and here's my 6 ft. Simba...yes, he really did wear that! He borrowed it (maybe from a toddler?) and wore it to the church's fall festival and to school on Halloween! He went to a party with friends on Halloween and was a deejay. Didn't really get any good pics of that one, tho...


























and my college girl was thrilled to get to go to a local home with her friends and carve pumpkins...hers is the fancy one...she should major in pumpkin carving, I think!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

I'LL HAVE A GREEN CHRISTMAS...


So I'm distracting myself from Halloween fun by concentrating on upcoming events! It's just kind of sad when you don't have any trick-or-treaters any more...I did invite myself to go walking through the neighborhood with my neighbor who moved here in the summer. She has two adorable little princesses, so I'll enjoy it through them!

I love planning parties and this year is no different! A group I meet with monthly always has a Christmas party, and we let the husbands come in December, so I'm looking at a party of 24. Wanted to do something different with our gift exchange, so after doing a little research on the internet, I came up with this GREEN CHRISTMAS IDEA: Everyone is given a holiday tin at the November meeting, and they have to bring their gift in it at the December party! Could be homebaked, or just a bought gift that fits in the tin. I even got some tins that are small for the people that like to give gift cards. So now, the task of finding 24 tins!!! Thought it'd be easy, but it was WORK! I didn't want to spend $24 on these, so I looked at all the thrift stores in town. After being at 3 stores, and getting only 2 tins, I was about to give up on the idea. But then I hit the jackpot at the old EARC behind Sherry's Drugstore. Yes, that smelly place! I bought 22 from them for $3.34!!!

So if you like this idea, go for it! Just don't look at the thrift stores around here for tins, I bought 'em all!

Monday, October 26, 2009

SOME COLLECTIONS AT OUR HOUSE...

Bottles - son #2


and this collection of son#1, in the garage, right about where he opens his car door...LOVELY, ISN'T IT?


I've been reading a lot about hoarding lately in the paper. People that just can not throw things away...and it's a sickness. Let's just say I'm trying not to get too excited about this new collection. But I am curious as to how large and nasty it will get before he does something about it!

Monday, October 19, 2009

WHEN LIFE HANDS YOU LEMONS...


Well, it really wasn't THAT bad, I guess. I just usually pride myself on being efficient. Makes me upset when I make a mistake money-wise or have to waste gas because of something I forgot or whatever. Don't know if you do this, but I have one day a week that I go to the grocery store and run other errands. I trained my family to ask if they need anything from the store to do so on Monday night or Tuesday morning. I may be a SAHM, but I am not your slave. Laundry is done on Mondays and Thursdays and if you can't get it to the laundry chute, it won't be done. If you need something from the store, you ask on Monday night or Tuesday morning, or wait until next week. I did this in the beginning to help myself, but I believe it's taught my family several things: PLAN AHEAD being the most important one. BE CONSIDERATE OF MOM'S TIME is also another lesson.

So, back to my original theme...I was pretty ticked at myself for leaving my wallet in my Grandmother's purse last Thursday. I put it in there because getting her into a store or restaurant is a slow process and I have to carry her purse (and drink sometimes) in addition to holding onto her. She lives an hour away, and I only go there about once a month because of gas costs and time, of course. Anyway, we made an event of retrieving the wallet. My understanding husband didn't even fuss about it. We ventured down south and went to the Warren Theatre in Moore for the first time. It was outstanding! (Can't say as much for the actual movie, though - "Where the Wild Things Are") I would recommend it for special occasions. Then we went on to Goldsby to eat at Libby's Cafe that is known for their catfish. The catfish was very good, the rest mediocre. Then on to the thriving metropolis of Slaughterville, Oklahoma to retrieve my wallet. We stayed and visited with Grandma for a little while. She gave each of the boys a container of Snack Pack pudding to eat. I had instructed them earlier to accept whatever she gives them!

Anyway, it didn't turn out to be such a waste of gas after all!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

IF YOU CAN'T RUN, WELL...GO TAKE PICTURES!

After an excellent season, medaling in cross country competition 5 times, my youngest pulled his hamstring. He limped across the finish line, disappointed to place 8th when he could've placed 4th. The coach taped ice around him immediately after getting back to school and recommended we visit the trainer at the high school. I was glad we did; the trainer had a good knowledge of this type of runner's injury and made some practical suggestions for him. But I was especially pleased a week later when the season ending conference meet came up...he didn't fuss or complain about the injury, but wanted to go to the meet with the rest of the team and take pictures! Here's some of the "Mom approved" ones....
GROUP HUG!

RUN, GUYS, RUN!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

ASHAMED...


Not the emotion I really like to talk about. But I want to be real. Last weekend was one of the most exciting I'd had in a long time. I totally relished in the fact that my son had the lead in the play, did a fabulous job, and I got to be a part of it in a small way, organizing meals all week for the cast and crew. Totally loved it that my daughter came home for her one day fall break and she was able to see the play too. Got to have a little birthday party for her - 10 days late, but we got to have one. I was on a total adrenaline rush for several days. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO EXCITED!

Then I was brought to my knees on Sunday. Wonder why I can't get that excited about the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings, and the marvelous gift He's given me? Why don't I anticipate His return like I anticipated the play, the time spent with my daughter? I'm ASHAMED...

Saturday, October 10, 2009

EASY BIRTHDAY CAKE FOR THE CREATIVELY-CHALLENGED MOM...



So I've made birthday cakes thru the years, and my kids loved them, but I never got to take that Wilton class I always said I was going to take. Now that my kids are 20, 18, and 14, I'm not sure if I'll ever take it....but here is an adorable EASY cake I found recently on Made by Melissa. Really fun and really cute! It was a big hit!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

OKAY, I ADMIT LONG HAIR LOOKS GOOD ON YOU, SON...


When you're a Quaker in the 18th century! HEAR YE, HEAR YE, EMHS is now commencing THE CRUCIBLE! With performances to the public both Friday, October 9, and Saturday, October 10 at 7:00 p.m.!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

STINKY PROPOSAL...


I'm talking about our cat, who has gotten sprayed by a skunk not once, but TWICE in the past week! I think the fact that she's a beautiful tuxedo kitty must be attracting some male skunk. Or maybe he's living under our shed and doesn't like being interrupted. I don't know which, but it's our first experience up close and personal with a skunk (not counting the baby one that swam in our pool until Animal Control came). My kids help tremendously - NOT - going around the house, complaining and turning on fans, while I gather her up in a bath towel, get into the shower with her, and douse her with a concoction of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and Dawn. I've got the scratches to prove it! Add the scratches to the rope burn on my ankle and my sore bum from Elizabeth's challenging Monday workout and I'm ready to go back to bed...

Friday, October 2, 2009

FOR I KNOW THE PLANS I HAVE PREPARED FOR YOU....


says the Lord...(Jeremiah 29:11) Maybe your summer went really well. You got some things accomplished or you had some fun with your kids, or you got to go on vacation. Maybe you didn't. My job as a Mom has been SUMMER PLANNER for as long as I can remember. I had some great plans for my kids this summer, and most of them failed. I was disappointed. Nothing really terrible happened, it was just that my plans were not God's. I let Him know about it, too. Other people knew about it. Then it finally hit me. I could gripe about it all summer, or just accept it. I cannot really control my children's activities and choices any more. They are grown up people (almost!). I have to tell you that I've struggled with the issue of making my kids work or making school their work as they grow older. Is summer a time to offer them enrichment or work experience? But that's a subject for another blog....So I'm still not sure what I've learned yet, but maybe it was just the simple lesson that I'm not in control of everything. A good lesson to learn - AGAIN.

My plan: For my 19 yr. old to WORK, to earn $ for her semester abroad next summer.
God's plan: She babysat for a few families, and did a LOT of hanging around the house.
Lessons learned: She got some life skills and great chillin time with our family. I realized I should enjoy it. She's going to be gone all next summer!!!

My plan: For my 17 yr. old to get some REAL WORK EXPERIENCE, because the last couple of summers he's spent at Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute and volunteering a little at Fine Arts Institute.
God's plan: He got caught throwing biscuit dough at cars with his buddies, went to Juvenile Court. He didn't get a job, so he took Government class in June (his idea) so he could fit Drama class in his schedule in the fall. He volunteered again at FAI and produced a neat video that is featured on their website.
Lessons learned: He learned a LOT from the court experience - thank goodness he was a juvenile! Never again, hopefully. So he took Government class, which actually cost us $$, but at least he wasn't playing video games all day. We told him if he couldn't find a paying job, he would do a volunteer job. They love him at FAI!

My plan: For my 13 yr. old to enjoy the summer. Be our #1 pool boy and lawn mower. Take a speedreading class to improve in reading.
God's plan: He did enjoy the summer, although he broke his left arm. It didn't handicap him though. He was able to care for the lawn and the pool. He did take the speed reading class and did well. Only to be told in September he was going to be put in a special class based on his April OCCT reading score!
Lessons learned: We learned how to use a Dry-Pro cast cover. Maybe he still needs to work on his reading skills...


My kids look at my blog, so I have to conclude with how much I LOVE them and want only the best for them. Somebody once said BEING A MOTHER IS THE TOUGHEST JOB YOU'LL EVER LOVE. They were right!