March 31, 2009

Here are some pictures of our class reunion Saturday.  It was such bad luck that we had a March blizzard that day.  Only a few of us made it.  Bummer!!  I must say that I am disappointed in the local Hamilton-ites that didn't come.  Seriously.  Some of you could have walked there.  You are on my list!!!!
Left to Right:  Wendy, Me, Shawn, JoNell, Missy, Brandy, Cody, Dina, and Jennifer
Thanks so much to Dina for pulling all this together.  I truly appreciate it.  I loved seeing all of you!!!
Cousins and classmates, Dina and Jennifer
Cody and Shawn: BFF's 
My favorite picture.  Wendy, JoNell, Me and Missy.  We were such a small class that we all HAD to be friends.  I felt like the bell just rung and I was heading to anatomy when I saw these girls.  They will always have a special place in my heart.  Even though I'm not the best at keeping in touch.

OK, now on to today.....
IIIII...Neeeeeed....Cooofffeeeee....soooonn!!!!  Actually it is brewing.  I can smell it and my taste buds are SHOUTING!!  For some reason (coughing under my breath....Congo the cat) I didn't sleep well last night.  Every since we added Gus Bus to the family, Congo has felt a little short changed.  So he is either trying to catch-up on his much needed attention, or he is punishing me for bringing the fat dog home.  Not sure which.  I will let you know when he decides to tell me.  I do know that it is hard to breathe with a fur ball ON your face, then licking your face, then purring like an old Harley Davidson.  Gonna have to lock the kitty out of the room for a few days.  That is exactly what I did last night after three hours of torture.  O' kitty!!!

I think I have mentioned this in another post but Ryan is in track and baseball now.  I feel like I am running myself ragged.  I have to pick him up every evening at 5:00.  He seems to love it though.  He placed second on the mile.  That boy ran the mile in 6 minutes and 3 seconds.  It takes me twice that long.  (that is, if I could accomplish it at all).  The coaches are wanting him to hurdle.  I don't want him to.  Since Rick doesn't agree with me, and neither does Ry, I'm sure that I won't win.  I just don't want him hurting his knees.  

All the kids are getting ready for MAP testing.  Please don't get me on my soap box.  MAP tests leave bad tastes in my mouth.  I understand their relevance, but PLEEASEE!  They start prepping these kids in Kindergarten for these things.  I don't think they begin taking them until third grade.  Anyway....MAP tests usually mean that school is winding down.  99% of me is excited about that.  I look forward to no 6:30 alarm clock and no bedtime.  I also look forward to more outside time.  Gardening, walks, and baseball games.  I don't look forward to I'm telling...... MMMOOOOOMMM!!  and empty cabinets because my kids are vultures!!  

Rick's cousin, Fred, had heart bypass while we were in San Antonio.  They are hoping to release him from the hospital this week.  Please pray for them if you can.  His wife, Carolyn has a type of brain cancer.  She is undergoing her second batch of chemo.  They found out recently the last batch didn't work and it has spread.  They are just going through so much and they are probably the sweetest people I know.  (besides, they are so young.  60's maybe?)  

I thought that I would end today with a picture that Gracie made at school.  You may have to click on the picture to read what she wrote.  I was rolling when I saw it.  That girl is a mini of her mommy.  
Gracie, if mommy was a rock, I would be a diamond too!
The next week, she wrote another paper about diamonds.  Man, I feel sorry for her future husband.  She is going to be high maintenance.  

March 26, 2009

This was my view on our first flight home.  We left TX at 3:30, then we lay ed-over in Memphis. I love the excitement of leaving for a trip.  Even the airplane ride.  You're not sure what the trip has in store for you.  What are you going to do?  What will you think of the destination?  What will we be bringing home with you?  All the anticipation has finally come to pass and you are on your way. 
Coming home is different.  It's tiring and frustrating.  You are worn out from all the things you did while you were gone.  You have a sense of let-down because it is over and you no longer have it to look forward to.  Besides all the work that faces you when you're home.  It's just simply.... not as exciting (and maybe even a little sad).  I missed my kiddos SOOOO badly though and I nearly bawled when I talked to Ian before we got in the car at KCI.  I could tell that he missed us to.  It nearly killed me.  But we will stick a pin into another city on our world travel map.    
We were sitting in an old amphitheatre at the Alamo.  It was made entirely of stone.  We were resting our "dawgs" as Rick says.  He always tells me that they are barkin' when he needs to rest.  So we watched people come in and out while we sat on the bench.  Taking it easy.
If we had to pay for our hotel room.  We wouldn't have been in the one we stayed at.  It was called the Watermark Hotel.  It only had 90 rooms.  Service was unbelievable.  Everyday the doorman remembered our names.  Even though they weren't always the same ones.  They would open the door for us and say, "Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, how are you today" or "Mr. and Mrs. Smith would you like a bottle of water to take with you on your walk?".  SWANKY!!!!  The receptionist even escorted us to the elevator and pushed the button for us.  Chocolates were on our bed every evening from Dean and Deluca.   They even had valet service for our car.  We just had to tell them 15 minutes before we needed it.  Needless to say, the spoiling was nice!!!!!  
Anywhoo....this oil painting was in the lobby and I loved it.  It seemed so peaceful and happy and simple.  I admired it every time I passed by it.  Rick thought that I was crazy for taking a picture of it.  I just didn't want to forget it.
Not an attractive picture of me.  Rick and I stopped at a park bathroom and he was ready with the camera as I walked out of the ladies room.  Little stinker!!!!   This was the place that I found the lilacs.  Now I am anxious for the MO lilacs to bloom.  I'm thankful that I was able to experience them twice this year.
On the way to the Market Square, we passed this old Catholic church.  You could feel the history of this building just by looking at it.  They were having mass at the time.  We could hear the music of humming (or whatever Catholics do).  I thought that I was a pretty church, so I snapped a couple pics.
We were waiting to eat dinner on the River Walk.  I often tell people that I don't go on our family vacations because I'm never in the pictures.  Which isn't true.  I am most definitely there.  It's just that my future generations are never going to believe it because there isn't any proof.  So, for Valentine's Day, I bought Rick a tiny little camera.  One that he can put into his pocket and snap.  That way, I can join my family on our trips.  hehe.
So now that I have bought this little camera, I almost regret it.  Look at this picture.  GROSS!! Another not so attractive picture of me.    
The restaurant that we ate at this night was called Saltgrass.  Terrible service and terrible food. I do not recommend it.  But the next night, we ate at a place called Pesco's.  Unbelievable.  I had crab cakes and Rick had chilled shrimp.  Rick loved MY crab cakes and ate more of them than I did.  I didn't mind if you are wondering.  Eating is a BIG deal on our trips.  We have a rule that we cannot eat anywhere that we can eat at home.  So, we get to experience lots of different foods and styles.

What are you grabbing Mr. Ricky?  I think that this man was once smoking a cigar.  Now, I'm not sure what he is doing?  Weird!!!  It was fascinating that many figurines of Mexicans had liqueur or cigarettes.  That is so taboo here.  Everyone smoked there too.  Rick and I wanted to watch the Mizzou and Marquette game while we were there.  We went to a sports bar (because that is the only place you can find a Missouri game in San Antonio) and we had to leave because it was too smoky.  Yuck!!!  We did find another place to watch it though.  (just in case you were wondering).  Yeah, MU won, although they almost lost it in the second quarter.

Our trip was interesting.  The best part was spending quality time with my husband.  No kids bugging us to buy them things or fighting with each other.  Just relaxing, slow-paced & quality time together.  Do I want to go back?  Not really.  But I'm glad that I went.  Now, I am anxious for my next trip.  I can start looking forward to it now.

March 25, 2009

Such Pretty Things is now my new favorite blog.  Notice it on the list to the right.  Wowser!!!!  If I could have everything in my house look this way....ahhhhh.....I'm dreaming of it now.  However....Rick doesn't agree.  Pastels and flowers and shabby chic are foo-foo girl stuff to him.  Bummer!!!  I usually win arguments with him, but I can't seem to win this one.

I haven't forgotten to post more San Antonio pics.  I just don't have time this morning.  My computer is running a little like me today...slow.  So, tomorrow...days three, four, and one pic for five.  I'm off to feed the church.

T.T.F.N.  ta ta for now!!!

March 24, 2009

Home, Safe, & Sound

Our second day in Texas, we went to Sea World.  We all know that Shamu lives there, but did you know that this guy does too?  This was the shark tank.  I wanted to see the big guy, you know, Jaws.  But he wasn't there.  I would say the biggest shark was probably 10 feet long.  LONG ENOUGH!!  Check out those teeth!!!  Wouldn't want to dive into this tank.
We tried to see several shows while we were here.  This was an acrobat and Beluga whale show. Very interesting.  Crazy too!  The acrobats were diving into this tank from what seemed like miles above.  NO WAY JOSE!!!  The Beluga whale was really neat.  I wish that I had the time to post all the pictures.  I took lots and lots this day.
I wouldn't be able to catch this shot again in a million years.  We went to the alligator exhibit and this brave little turtle was catching a ride.  "HELLLLLOOO, Mr. Turtle, are you stoned?  That is an alligator, dude!")  awwww, neither seemed to care.  Maybe they are buddies?  
Of course, I can't show you Sea World pictures without showing you Shamu.  These are the smartest creatures.  I cannot believe the relationship that the trainers have with them.  What a dream job.
When Rick and I get away, something happens to us.  It's like we are dating.  All the day-to-day responsibilities are thrown out the window.  We enjoy each other, simple as that.  I'm so thankful to have a husband that still opens doors for me, gets more enjoyment out of buying me things than himself, and tells me sweet things that I'm not going to share with anyone else. I am a lucky girl!!!
We drove to a small town called Fredricksburg for our first morning in Texas.  There were lots and lots of small shops.  It felt a little like Weston, MO to me.  I couldn't believe all the flowers.  Even the lilacs were blooming.  (did I mention that lilacs are my favorite scent?)  We spent nearly all day there.  This was a bead shop.  We found a chicken IN THE STORE!!!  How often do you see that?  The store owner had given him a few pieces of bread.  I was trying to get close enough for Rick to take my picture.  The rooster wasn't buying it.  He wanted no part of me.  
This was my favorite store.  OMGoodness!!  Pretties everywhere!  The window was amazing.  I was trying to take a picture of this gorgeous rabbit, but the glare of the window kept showing.  It wouldn't do it justice.  Decorating ideas were popping into my head the whole time I was in this shop.  We bought Gracie a little stuffed bunny here.  We are probably going to hold it back for her Easter basket though.

I have to admit that I hadn't even heard of the River Walk until we planned this trip.  Boy, was it amazing.  It stretched on for what seemed like miles and miles.  Without Rick, I would have been lost many times.  This was the view from our hotel balcony.  Rick spent a lot of time out here reading.  He would get up in the morning (letting me sleep in), take his book out here....watching the people and reading.

I will post more pictures this week.  Lots and lots more to share.  

March 19, 2009

Texas here I come

I am so excited to leave for Texas!!!!  Actually, I need to be getting ready instead of writing.  We leave here in a hour or so.  Yikes!!!

I will post lots and lots of pictures when I get home Tuesday.  

Thanks so much David and Nancy.  We wouldn't have been able to do this without you.  We SOOO appreciate you.  You're the best friends ever and we love you dearly!!!!

I'm off to the Alamo. 
Pray for our safe travels, please!!!!

March 17, 2009


Congo's expression is how I feel today.....annoyed!!

I am cranky, tired and just plain frustrated.  I have been struggling with a condition that I have (I.B.S.) since Thursday afternoon.  It started at Ian's book fair with strong stomach pains.  I had a similar episode a month or more ago that I thought would be my end.  I was scared that it would worsen.  My only relief was to get into a hot, hot bath.  Well, I thought that since heat was my friend, I would get out the heat pad.  Nope, not the same result.  The pain became so intense that I asked Rick for a Demerol that I got for a dental surgery a year and a half ago.  Needless to say, even the pain medicine didn't help.  I slept sporadically that night.  Woke up the next morning and thought that I was going to pass out.  I was nauseous and in intense pain.  Rick started to wonder if it wasn't I.B.S..  He took me to work with him.  Ran some tests and determined that it wasn't kidney stones. (which is what we both thought).  He had given me another Demerol and a shot in the hiney for pain before we left, so I was woozy and in intense pain.  I crashed on the couch in his spare lounge.  I don't remember when I woke up.  Sometime before noon, and drove myself home.  (not smart, but I managed).  I slept most of the day.   Pain medicine makes me super tired.  I only felt pain when I walked or sat down.  So, that whole day,  I laid on the couch.  Sounds fun unless you have to be there.  Saturday I started to feel much better.  Especially towards that evening.  I went to D.R.'s birthday bash and had a great time.  Sunday was the same.  Still felt much better, just not great yet.  Without getting into details (because I wouldn't want you to know), things weren't moving.  This is normal for me since I live with I.B.S..  So I stopped and bought my normal treatments.  (again, you wouldn't want to know, and I'm not too keen on telling you).  Doesn't matter, they didn't work.  I sent Rick a text yesterday during the day and told him to bring home the "hard" stuff.  Boy did he.  It's called LACTULOSE.  The normal dose is 3 tsp., Rick brought home 8.  It was terrible, but I swigged it.  Around 9:00 p.m. I started to feel rumbling and grumbling.  Needless to say, I was up all night in pain.  I slept on the couch.  Slept is really not the appropriate word.  Tossed, moaned, groaned, cursed is more like it.  Still, not the result that we wanted.  Rick suggested that I go to the office today and get X-rays.  I may.  I wish that I didn't have to suffer with this.  It seems that the older I get, the worse that it gets.  I've had it since the day I was born.  Every since I can remember, I've battled it.  Usually it is triggered by certain foods, hormonal changes, and stress.  But mostly foods.  So, I've joined the club.  You know, that annoying club of people who talk about their B.M.'s.  Mostly older folk.  Hey, I'm the young one. Yippee.

So, if your reading this, I'm sorry.  It's what is happening to me and that is what this blog is about, right.  

Anywhoo, on to other things.  
Rick and I are preparing to go to San Antonio.  We leave bright and early Thursday morning.  I did most of the laundry yesterday and lots of cleaning.  Gus even got a much needed bath last night.  I don't want to go down a rabbit trail, however, I've never seen a dog love baths so much.  Funny, funny, funny.  Ironing is on the agenda today.   So I better hop to while I can.  

March 16, 2009

Down the Rabbit Hole

Down the Rabbit Hole
Originally uploaded by sarahphotogirl
I love this photo. I found it on Flickr and wanted to share it with you. It's a "Alice in Wonderland" kindof day

We had such a fun time at DR Crawford's birthday party Saturday night.  My family was there and it was so fun to see them.  Dana was upset that the DJ didn't show up.  (I would have been too).  But we kept the jukebox fed and had fun anyway.  
Ian and Ryan played a couple games of pool before we ate.  We probably should get one of these for the house.  We have talked about getting rid of the air hockey table and replacing it with a pool table.  It's on the list of ever growing "wants".  
Gracie was in heaven dancing with Uncle Mike.  She was so serious about it.  Didn't even crack a smile.  My little romantic.
Gracie loves her Grandma and Grandpa.  
PaPa Bob and Grandma Charlotte

I just am not in the writing mood today.  I'm not sure why.  I guess it's because I'm feeling VERY overwhelmed.  We are leaving Thursday for San Antonio, TX.  I have sooo much to do before we go.
Actually the trip may be up in the air.  Rick is supposed to find out more today.  A tragic accident happened yesterday afternoon to one of the doctors in Carrollton.  He covers quite a bit of ER.  Rick is hoping that the administrator will let him leave town.  I know that Rick's office is going to be in chaos today.  So, I'm a little stressed by being up in the air.  I know that it will all work out.  We should know more soon.

Our good friends, David and Nancy Mitchell are going to watch the kids Thursday night.  Rick's parents will have them Friday and Saturday night.  Then they go back to David and Nancy's on Sunday evening.  

Ryan starts track practice this evening.  He will practice every evening after school from 3:30 to 5:00.  He has 17 practices before his first meet.  I'm sortof looking forward to that.  I loved track in school.  I think that he will be pretty good at it.  He is so long and skinny.

Until tomorrow.  Tootles.

March 12, 2009

O.M. GOODNESS.   I just found Gus in the litter box.  I could hear him in there.  I thought he was probably eating the cat's food.  BUT NO....he was eating the $%#@.  Dude, the food was right there.  Why?  Only my dog would turn down Science Diet Kitten for turd.  (I can't believe that I just wrote that!)  Dogs are so weird.  Sometimes I think that they look at you like this dog below is.  
Gus speaking: "Hey, I'm going to hop in the shower with the mom.  Pretend to lick the bottom the water.  Hummm!!!  Interesting!!!" 


Note to self.....Angus needs a bath today.  Wash his mouth out with bleach while he's in the tub.  Also, don't let him lick you for a week (at least).

Tonight is literacy night at Central.  Ian is pumped up about going.  That is all that I've heard about from him.  "Mom, are we going to eat there?", Mom, are we going to the book fair while we are there?", Mom,  you get to watch a movie!" Mom, mom, mom.  So needless to say, with this much build-up, we will definately be there!  I also have soroity tonight.  Not sure how I'm going to manage both.  I'm sure that I will figure it out.  

March 11, 2009


Gus says hi!

Purses and Spring

This is so ruffly and glittery.  LOVE IT!  You know how sometimes you get something and after a few years, you're tired of it.  I've had this for a few years and love it as much as day I got it.  This will be an Easter staple of mine for many years to come.
Mrs. Rabbit is sitting on my kitchen table.  Her baby is in the basket beside her.
This little treasure is sitting in a glass cloche in the kitchen.  He is right, I think, Spring is joyous.
These little lambs are working it on the mantle in the great room.  Nice legs, don't you think?
For Christmas, Rick got me a gift certificate to the best store in the planet.  Coach.  I was saving it for "that special purse". it is.  It's the palest pink on the market.  Soft and springy.  (whispering)...I also got the matching wallet.  BEE-UTIFUL!!!  Don't you love it!    

I was driving the monkeys to their lessons and practices last night.  I took notice more than usual.  Guess what....things are popping out of the ground.  I do believe that Spring is on it's way.  I seriously was beginning to think that it would never happen.  Winter has just drug on and on this year.  When Winter drags, I'm draggin'.  I start getting fussy.  

Anywhoo.  I am starting to drag signs of Spring out myself.  The thought of pastels really has me excited right now.  (sigh)  I love decorating for every season.  Christmas is the only holiday where it takes me weeks to decorate.  But Spring, there are just hints around the house.  Letting you know that I am aware of the season.  You just have to look a little closer.  

Speaking of being outside....Rick and I bought a basketball goal for the kiddos.  We are going to concrete a large patch of driveway (right in front of the garage).  The guy who is going to do it for us showed up the other day and said it should be ready in a few weeks.  So, I'm super pumped to play a little H.O.R.S.E. with the family.  

Humm..what else?  Not a whole lot.  I will save some for later this week.  Have a great day, I'm off to cook at church.  TTFN.  Ta ta for now.

March 10, 2009

I'm home.  I feel refreshed and ready to tackle....whatever!!!   We had a great time on Saturday.   Rick's parents watched the kids while we were gone.  The boys helped Grandpa make over 90 tomato cages.  That, my dear, is a lot of cages.  (and a lot of tomatoes)  Gracie and Grandma went to some garage sales.  Gracie came home with a couple of new books.  SO exciting to her!!!

I was checking my e-mails this morning and found this.You will have to click on it.  So sad to me. Most of you won't even know the magazine.  But I have been a faithful subscriber for years.  It provides me tons of inspiration.  So, I hope that they can pull out of this financial crisis.  

The economy sure has me scared.  Rick and I haven't been affected too much.  (except the stock market, of course), but we are going to be okay.  I'm just worried.  That is my hobby, you know...worrying.  

I am off to wrestle the house and listen to my new U2 CD at the same time.   Have a great Tuesday!!!

March 7, 2009

Off to the city!!

Bags are packed, kids are gone, hummm, what am I missing?  Oh, my husband.  

I'm waiting on him to get back from Laclede.  He took them over to his parents this morning.  As soon as he gets back, we are off.

We measured the kids height this morning.  
Ryan: 5' 9 1/2" @ 13 years
Ian:    5' 7" @ 10 years
Gracie: 4' 5" @ 7 years

WHAT!!!  My kids are going to be giants.  Unbelievable!!!!  

The weather is amazing today.  I think that you could probably lay out.  At least it feels that way after the winter that we have had.  Perfect date weather.

So, gonna go call the hubby and find out where he is.  I'm ready to head out the door.
Have a great weekend!!!

March 6, 2009


Ian looks thrilled to be taking this picture, huh?  We were getting ready to head to Dad's retirement party.  We all ran out the door (Gracie ran out without a coat), and Rick snapped it. I am so glad because I rarely get pictures with the kids.
LOVE this flower.  I want to frame this picture and put it out for Spring.  That would be a way to always have a reminder of my sweet husband.  Since he is the one who sent me the flowers.

Iris, carnations, gerbera daisies....oh my!

I love you too sweetie.......just because you're a doll!!!

I boogied around the house yesterday, so I wouldn't have as much to do today.  My agenda is pay bills, finish laundry and wash car.  (shhhh....I might even sneek in something fun for me. )

Rick and I are getting ready to head to the city tomorrow.  Rick's parents are going to watch the kids for the night.  So, as you can imagine, I am super pumped!!!  I think the last time that we were able to get away was before Christmas.  That is just crazy to me.  I sometimes feel guilty about leaving the kids behind but I remind myself of all the things that we do for them.  Their friends are here nearly every weekend.  We haul them everywhere.  So, I'm not going to feel guilty for having one-on-one time with the hubby.  

Rick called earlier and he is bringing home pizza for the us tonight.  So, I also don't have to make supper tonight.  I love days like this.  

Have a super weekend.  

March 5, 2009

It's too early

The phone rings at 1:30 in the morning. I'm really sleepy and groggy. Rick is talking. I'm slowing coming to. Now I'm listening to what he is saying. I'm slowly waking up but could go back to sleep very easy. Hummmm....this phone call is taking FOREVER!!! One year later (mildly exaggerated), I'm wide awake. There is no way I'm going back to sleep. What do I do? I guess I could scrapbook. Ok, just for a little bit. Then I'm going back to bed. Wow, made a page. Like the way it turned out. Maybe the computer will make me sleepy. Nope. It's 5:00 a.m.. I'm blogging.
In case your wondering, this is a true story! my early morning surfing, I have discovered that you can customize your blog with downloadable templates. I found some really jazzy ones on one of my fav. web-sites, . Check it out. Anyway...that is going to be a goal of mine in the next week. If I'm going to look at this page every day. I might as well enjoy it. Ayyy? So be checking in to see what I come up with.

You won't believe what my wonderful husband did for me yesterday. Want me to tell you? He sent me flowers. B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L. flowers. Roses, lillies, gerbera daisies, carnations. You name it, it was in the bouquet. All my "church ladies" ohhh and ahhh'd. I do have a sweet man. I will post pics. of them today or Friday.

It's now 5:19.............

I am in the living room. Gus sounds like a machine gun. Boy, I'm glad that he doesn't sleep in my room. Wish that you had audio on me right now. Congo is laying on the back of the chair. (he needs to be high up in case Gus Bus gets out of the cage). My family is sleeping and quiet. So strange. And.....this is becoming random. So, I'm gonna try to rest for a little bit....and take the phone off the hook. hehe!!

It's now 5:22...........

March 3, 2009

Ian Michael is sporting his version of the 70's in this Pink Floyd t-shirt.
Gracie's shirt says, Peace, Love and Candy.  A girl after my own heart.
John Lenon.  The father of the 70's.
Yoko Ono and Cher made an appearance.  (also known as Becky and Donna)
The guest of honor.  Bobby Dale Jr., my daddy-o.

I began a new Beth Moore Bible Study this morning.  Actually, thats not true.  I listened to the introduction yesterday.  So this is officially the second day.  I'm pretty excited about it.  I'm in a dry spell right now.  Need the Lord to perk me up.  I was frustrated when I began because I wasn't in the mood.  There is always something else that I can think of doing besides that.  Nothing in the study was making sense to me.  Then at the end....the icing on the cake.

Beth Moore says, "Has a negative event or a near-eternal wait recently made you lose hope about something important to you?  Do you have any natural reasons to think that whatever your "once upon a time" might have been, it can never be now?"  

"Unless you've lived in a place I've never found, with all your heart's desires met and without a soul who annoys you, Job was pretty accurate when he said, "Man (or woman) born of woman is of few days and full of trouble" Job 14:1.  Beloved, something is always wrong!"

"I'm hoping for us to grasp that no life is free of troubles, regardless of religion, race or nation.  In fact, as Job said, every life is full of it.  When we trust our lives to the hand and pen of an unseen but ever-present God, He will write our lives into His story and every last one of them will turn out to be a great read.  With a grand ending.  And not just in spite of those catastrophes.  Often because of them.  Don't just wait and see.  Live and see."

Well....I want that to be true.  Sometimes I need someone to say to me.  Mandy Jean, you are not the only one who has "things" happening.  It is so easy for me to get self-absorbed.  We all want the fairy tale life.  With the..."Once upon a times" and the "happily ever afters".  At least I do.  I once read a quote that said, "Why do they say, don't sweat the small stuff.  Because to you, it's not small."  Anyway, I found that to be true.  I just need to be reminded occasionally that 99.9% of the Earth's population has it worse than me.  I hope and pray that I learn and grown abundantly in the next few weeks.  I'm always excited when God gives me spiritual food.  My question is......Why do I let myself go without it?

OK, let me get off my soapbox and upload some pictures of my Dad's retirement party.  
Have a great Tuesday!!!!  

March 2, 2009


Last school year we were all incredibly healthy.  Ian even received Royals tickets from school for perfect attendance.  Ryan and Gracie maybe missed one day each.  
So, what has happened THIS year.  One of the five of us has been sick since November.  Rick was sick last Wednesday till Friday.  So, Saturday night, I get icky.  I'm not completely down.  I just feel tired and sneezy, and runny, and did I say tired?  So, I managed to get through helping Gracie's class count by 10's, 5's, and 2's.  Recognize shapes (do you know what a rhombus and trapezoid looks like, I do?)  Then we counted money.  Not too fun when you don't feel well.  When I walked upstairs to the classroom I saw a big bag of potting soil and seeds.  I got all excited.  Maybe I will get to do something fun today.  No.  Boring!!  But I'm glad that I went, like always.  My highlight, of course, was working with my favorite little girl in the whole, wide world.

I told you that I had a surprise for you last Friday.  Sorry that I didn't write this sooner.  Time just traveled a little quicker than I expected it would.  We had a little surprise party for my Dad in Hamilton, MO.  It turned out to be a lot of fun.  I really enjoy being with my family.  I wish that we were able to do it more often.  We had a 70's theme party.  I have to say that my sister, Becky, and my mom, Donna, won the prize.  I didn't hold a candle to their get-ups with my silly peace t-shirt.  Ryan's looked pretty cute however.  He sported John Lenon.  We had fondue with all kinds of dippers, shredded pork roast, baked potatoes, baked beans, la-ta-da-ta-da.  On and on.  More food than I could tell you.  We covered five tables.  That is one thing that the Howe's do well, we can sure bring in the food!!!!  I should have taken a picture, but others might think that we are gluten's.  

Before today, I felt well enough to clean my filthy scrapbook room.  I have to be the messiest crafter there is.  In Ali Edwards (my scrappin' hero) post last week, she took a picture of her room before and after.  There is no way that I would have showed you the before.  I am so compulsive about the rest of the house.  I'm not sure why I let that slide.  Now that I've cleaned it, I've lost my creative spark.  The juices aren't flowing anymore.  

Rick and I are going on an overnight this weekend.  I have really been missing him lately.  We decided together that he should work more e.r. in January and February so he wouldn't have to work so much this Spring and Summer.  It seemed logical at the time.  But we didn't take into consideration that we wouldn't be able to spend much time together.  (doesn't make any sense, does it?) We are both needy people.  When we aren't together for long periods of time, we start getting snippy and cranky with each other.  Nothing that a little R & R wouldn't fix.  So, I'm glad just to be with him.  Hang out.  Catch up.  Then in two more weeks, we are going to San Antonio.  That is not a place that I ever would have picked to go.  We have found some fun things to do together though and I'm really looking forward to it.  The light is finally at the end of the tunnel.

The kids are getting ready for bed.  I, embarrassingly, aren't too far behind them.  It's not even 9:00.  So, I guess that I will post the pictures of the party tomorrow.  Just too stinkin' tired to do it tonight.  There isn't much going on tomorrow so I should have time.

Later gators.