Friday, July 29, 2011

So, So, So, So Crafty

Yep. That's me. Crafty.

Or desperate.

Either way.

The kids had a terrible day on Wednesday. There was sobbing, yelling, rough-housing (and that was just me). But, there had been two trips to the swimming pool, eating out, late bedtimes and it all combined for the perfect storm of frazzled children. So, by the time Spencer had gotten out of his bed for the 72nd time at 1a.m., I declared that the next day (or I guess by that time it would have been later the same day) would be a lazy, catch-our-frazzled-breath day.

We stayed in our pjs all morning long; turned off the blasted TV; chilled out; and, that afternoon, did a craft!

I was inspired by... wait for it... pinterest! (See? Who says addiction is bad?)

I had seen this pin and thought it was a great idea:

Unfortunately for our craft day, I had thrown away all of my fabric scraps when we moved. (I completely overruled my inner-packrat and thought, "I haven't used these scraps by now. I probably never will." Crap. Now my inner-packrat has been proven right. The monster awakes.)

But, fortunately for our craft day, I had just seen this on TexaGermaNadian's blog:
I didn't have any rhinestones or brads. But, I had a butt-load of buttons.

And, my children + hot-glue gun = bad idea.

So. Being crafty and all. I combined the two ideas.

I cut the letters out of cardboard. I handed over the Elmer's glue (poor, poor table); dumped out the buttons and let 'em go to town.
They asked me to do a "J" with them. And, who am I to say no to a good craft?

Here are our completed projects as we left them to dry. As you can tell, there is ample glue coverage. These buttons are going to stick if The Johnsons have anything to say about it!
Spencer went for the complete coverage, like mine. Lulu is a little more of a minimalist.

And... here are the finished works of art.

Thank you. No applause necessary.

(This is two posts about DIY/crafty stuff. I'm totally turning this into a Crafty Blog.)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Lost Generation

by Jonathan Reed

I am part of a lost generation
and I refuse to believe that
I can change the world
I realize this may be a shock but
“Happiness comes from within.”
is a lie, and
“Money will make me happy.”
So in 30 years I will tell my children
they are not the most important thing in my life.
My employer will know that
I have my priorities straight because
is more important than
I tell you this
Once upon a time
Families stayed together
but this will not be true in my era
This is a quick fix society
Experts tell me
30 years from now, I will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of my divorce
I do not concede that
I will live in a country of my own making
In the future
Environmental destruction will be the norm
No longer can it be said that
My peers and I care about this earth
It will be evident that
My generation is apathetic and lethargic
It is foolish to presume that
There is hope.

And all of this will come true unless we choose to reverse it.

There is hope.
It is foolish to presume that
My generation is apathetic and lethargic
It will be evident that
My peers and I care about this earth
No longer can it be said that
Environmental destruction will be the norm
In the future
I will live in a country of my own making
I do not concede that
30 years from now, I will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of my divorce
Experts tell me
This is a quick fix society
but this will not be true in my era
Families stayed together
Once upon a time
I tell you this
is more important than
I have my priorities straight because
My employer will know that
they are not the most important thing in my life
So in 30 years I will tell my children
“Money will make me happy.”
is a lie, and
“Happiness comes from within.”
I realize this may be a shock but
I can change the world
and I refuse to believe that
I am part of a lost generation

Lost Generation

by Jonathan Reed

This poem was presented as a video that won 2nd place in a 2007 video contest sponsored by AARP called U@50. According to Wikipedia, “contestants between the ages of 18 and 30 were challenged to create a two minute video depicting what they feel their life will be like at age 50.”

I think this poem is brilliant. I gotta go find out what the FIRST place chick wrote!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Small, Small, Teeny, Tiny World

Shawn and I have made friends with a great couple here in the New City. Her brother came to town for a visit. Her parents had a backyard get-together with their friends. (Seven people from the older generation; eight from the younger generation.)

One of the older couples?

Parents-in-law of one of my** closest college friends.

She was one of my bridesmaids.

Funniest part?

We didn't figure it out until the next day.

Best part?

She and I talked on the phone because of it for the first time in... probably... five years!

Awesomely small world.

**That's right, Shawn. I said, "my" not "yours." Mine! (Shawn and I love this particular friend so much we fight over who was friends with her first and who was better friends with her. Answer: Me.)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

In 1692 Salem, She'd be Considered a Witch

Do you remember when Lulu grew this thing? It was a giant seedling that seemed to have been fertilized with nuclear waste.

Well, for Mother's Day she brought home a cup of dirt. Supposedly, it had a seed in it that would grow into my Mother's Day flower.

Cute idea.

But, I was skeptical.

Y'all? It grew into this:
Again. A quarter for size reference. Why?
Say it with me: Because I'm all scientific like that...
And, this "plant" is still alive to this day.

Her green thumb is kinda freaking me out.

Monday, July 25, 2011

When I Grow Up, I'm Going to be Responsible. I Wonder When That Will Be?

Today it was like I woke up and decided I should go ahead and continue with undertakings that I have completely and utterly pushed aside during our lazy summer.

First, I went back to workout at the Class of Torture I started attending back in May. It's no mystery why this has been getting neglected. It turns out it's fairly impossible to do squats while on crutches. But, after six weeks in the heinous Aircast from hell, I got the all-clear to exercise as long as I wear an only-slightly-less-heinous, lace-up brace for six more weeks.

I decided to amp it up a notch and attend class at 5:30 in the a.m., too. Because 9:00 a.m. is just too reasonable. That. And, I hate taking my kids to the childcare at the gym - they always look at me like they're living through their own personal Sophie's Choice... and I haven't chosen either of them.

So. Now I'm tired. And, my stomach muscles hurt so badly I think I might cry if I have to cough later.

But, waking up at the crack of dawn and pushing my body to its physical limits wasn't enough for me. Oh no. I decided to crack back open the Rosetta Stone. I quit doing this because... it's hard... and I'm a baby. I didn't want to do my Spanish lessons! (Imagine me stomping my feet for emphasis when you read that.)

But, I RE.FUSE. to admit defeat. So, I sat down with my laptop and headsets, opened up Rosetta Stone, and I'm pretty sure it said to me, "Where the hell have you been?!" But, it said it in Spanish, so I can't be sure.

I yelled, "Algún día trabajarán en un restaurante," and "Sí, tengo un pregunta," a couple of times... and, then I started writing this blog post... and reading other blogs... and commenting on other blogs... and adding some stuff to pinterest... and I did start some laundry...

Yep. Responsible. That's what I am.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Corpus Vacation

So. After all the talk, I really didn't get that many, or that good of, pictures.

Spencer did take this one:
We all know what I look like anyway.
You get a good enough idea with just the half of me.
We did have a busy, fun-filled visit. I just didn't document it with pictures very well.

We saw 4th of July fireworks shot off of the deck of the USS Lexington as we sat atop the tallest building in Corpus Christi.

The next day we actually visited the USS Lexington - a World War II era aircraft carrier that is now a "Museum on the Bay." (This was the only place I remembered to bring the camera with us... and use it.* Turns out it's a two-step process. Who knew?)

Starting on Wednesday our cousins Abby and Megan got to hang out with us. We visited Kingsville, Texas; ate at the Harrel's Kingsville Pharmacy Soda Fountain (Where my dad had a strawberry/banana milkshake that tasted suspiciously like jam. In a cup. We'll never be able to explain it. But, we were all mystified... and a little disgusted...); saw the King Ranch Museum; and shopped at the King Ranch Saddle Shop (Ok. That last one may have been more for my step-mom and me. But, give us a break. It was hot. We deserved it.)

Thursday Papa and Uncle Mike presented a viewing of Diary of a Wimpy Kid for all the kids and Uncle Mike popped popcorn for one and all. I went over to my sister, Brandy's, house and helped clean her garage so she could get ready to move. And, that night, my step-mom honored us with her famous fried chicken, mashed potatoes, cream gravy and green beans. Give me moment... I've gone to my happy place...

Ok. I'm back. 

Friday was a day at the pool for the kids and we were back on the road come Saturday.

So, my pictorial documentation sucks. But, you know what? Visiting Grandparents isn't about the pictures.

It's about memories.

I'm 37-years-old and I can still remember, like it was yesterday, walking into my dad's parents' house as a little girl. Each and every time there would be two metal tins on the washing machine - one of Toll House chocolate chip cookies and one of oatmeal raisin cookies. My Grandpa made them. every. time. I remember the step-stool that served as the extra chair at their kitchen table. I remember the blue bedspreads on their twin guest beds where my sister and I slept. I remember the Ripley's Believe It or Not book in the bookcase (where I learned all about the Loch Ness Monster) and the twisty-block puzzle that would occupy us for hours. I remember how sweet my Grandma was to us - even when I scratched her brand-new refrigerator with magnets.

And, since we've been home? My kids have had "Grandmomma's Cinnamon Toast" every single morning. And they're obsessed with "Propel [Fitness Water] like Papa drinks."

So, memories?

I think we've got them covered.

*And, now. I present to you: The visit to the USS Lexington. (Be prepared to be completely underwhelmed by my photographic genius.)
Elizabeth and a Torpedo
I don't care if it's been disarmed.
This should make us all very nervous.
Spencer the gunner.
You can't tell anyone thinks Uncle Mike is cool, can you?
And, I don't know why, but I think Elizabeth in mid-air
in the background is kinda hysterical.
Uncle Mike is pretty sweet, too.
I think most pilots would tell you "ribbon in the face"
is a very real concern while piloting their crafts.
Lulu in a wheel-well.
Grandmomma ready to catch her before she plummets to the deck.
In the Brig. I asked about bringing this home. They said no.
Notice Elizabeth in the cell on the right.
She's pretending to be "sad [she's] in jail."
Spence takes a more furious view of incarceration.
Grandmomma, Papa, Elizabeth and Spencer at the "Lady Lex"
(and a stranger woman's behind)

Oh wait. Here's a good one:
Papa, Grandmomma, Spence & Lulu
Here's to happy memories.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Truth in Advertising

I got an email about an end-of-season swimsuit sale. It included this little gem:
Um? Really? I don't think it's this girl's swim top that's doing the enhancing. I think it's her plastic surgeon.

(And, to all my heterosexual male readers out there: You're welcome.)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Lose My Kid and I Just Might Join Your Church

Holy cow! Has it been a week since I've posted? How can that be? Surely I must have been really busy organizing the house. No, not that. Umm. Catching up on that "to do" list? Nope. Watching countless hours of TV and lying around eating bon bons? Not even that! How about posting those vacation pics. Well, now you're just being silly.

I guess we've been doing a lot of "Summer Time-ing" around here. Soccer camp-ing, swimming pool-ing, eating out-ing, sleeping late-ing. It's been great. We've been worthless and it's been wonderful. It's getting a little boring, though...

So, anyway. Here's something exciting for your reading pleasure:

We've been way laid back in almost every "commitment" there is to be made since moving to the New City. In the past, Shawn and I have had a bit of a tendency to "leap before we look" when it comes to major decisions - cars, homes, churches, furniture... We see something bright and shiny and we enable each other to BUY IT! Sometimes it's worked out. Sometimes it hasn't.

But, we're older and wiser now (stop laughing). And, we know it's a lot easier to enter a commitment than to get out of one. That's why we're in a year-long lease while we figure out which neighborhood we want to choose "for keeps." That's why I'm driving a car with a glovebox that won't close (Ok. That one's all me. Shawn hates my car.) And, that's why we haven't chosen a church yet.

And, this summer we have been out of town every. single. Sunday except for two when I was laid up with my bum wheel. But, this Sunday we were here and we decided to go back and try a church we had visited and really liked back in the Spring.

The service was great. I got stopped by some friends of some friends while Shawn and Spence (who had no interest in joining the other kids during "Children's Church" and had stayed with us in "Big Church") went to get Elizabeth. Shawn and Spence returned. We all finished visiting and I said, "Where's Lulu?"

Shawn said, "We didn't know where you had dropped her off." (I had walked her out with the other kids during the portion of the service where the kids leave for Children's Church.)

Oh. Okay. Let's go get her.

We neared the Children's Area check-in desk and Shawn said, "This is where I came. They said they don't have her."

Indeed. I asked the women at the counter and they said they didn't have an Elizabeth. "She must be with the big kids upstairs."

Upstairs we went. Crickets. The lights were even turned off.

Back to the check-in desk. "She must be upstairs with the big kids." Willing myself not to flip out on these kind people who I knew had not sold my child into human trafficking, Shawn and I explained that we had gone up there, and maybe we just didn't know where to look...

A kind woman, who I believe is the Children's Director, greeted us and said she'd take us. Even she was surprised to see the upstairs was a ghost town. Back downstairs we headed, as she repeated, "We'll find them. They're here somewhere."

She asked someone where the big kids were. In the library. The library! We went to the library. We found the "big kid" teachers! And, they had. no. kids. with. them.

Y'all? By this time the building was empty. All of the parishioners had gone by now. The only people left were staff. And the security guard. And he was summoned. And no one had my child.

I started to cry. I couldn't help it. I couldn't start running the halls screaming her name because I didn't know where the halls were. 

We all started heading back to the Children's Area check-in desk and one of the workers was walking toward us. With Elizabeth. Saying, "We thought her name was Avery!" Now people? My child has a lot of nicknames. "Avery" is not one of them. I couldn't tell if maybe the workers even thought she was another little girl actually named Avery. Regardless, when we asked them to bring us Elizabeth, they weren't going to bring us Avery. That would be dumb!

Shawn grabbed Lulu. I tried really hard to get it together; tell everyone it was alright as they profusely apologized. And we left.

And today? I got the nicest email from one of the Pastors at the church. And, I cannot imagine the investigating he had to do to figure out that Shawn's and my name and email on the Sign-in Page from the church service were the hysterical parents of Elizabeth/Avery. But, kudos to him for it. Because his final words of "Again my deepest apologies for the fear and understandable concern you all experienced at a place that should be a very safe and building place," make me think that this just might be a church I would like to visit again (along with his assurances that he has never seen anything like that happen in his 21 years at this church).

So, the moral? Lose my kid and I just might join your church.

It's so complicated in my head.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

True Confession(s): Lazy Summer Edition

I have a confession. It's taken me this long to put up pictures of our trip to Corpus Christi because I didn't want to get the camera cord to download them. Not, I didn't want to find it. I didn't want to get it. I knew right where it was, too. It just wasn't ever within reaching distance. I'm still a little bit bitter about the walk across the room I did have to make in order for this post to appear.

I have another confession. I couldn't make the trip to the camera cord yesterday because of the laundry. Oh, the laundry. It had become a beast with a life of its own. I considered throwing it all away and starting over. But, that would have require a trip to the store. And, I was too lazy to do that, too. So. Instead I did nine. loads. of laundry yesterday. Nine. And, I have a large capacity washer. How my family wasn't walking around naked I will never know.

Oh wait. I have another confession. I'm addicted to If you follow me on Facebook** or Twitter you saw when it occurred to me the other day that there was some cool site out there about which I had heard people rave/bemoan because it was so awesome/addicting. And, as with most things the moment they jump in my head for no reason, I wanted to go to there! The Sirens friends in my life helped make it happen. And, now I have a[nother] problem.
**and if you don't... WTH? I'm only *this many* (Trust me. I'm holding my fingers very close together) people away from having 400 followers on my Facebook blog page. Then my whole life would be validated. Well. You know what I mean. As much validation as one can get from a social networking site. So. Really. None. But, 400 would still be cool. So go tell your mom to be my fan, please...
So there you have it. I guess to summarize: The lazy days of summer have walloped the kids and me upside the head.

I'm exhausted from typing this post. Does someone have a refreshing iced beverage I can drink?

Oh crap. I still didn't post those vacation pictures.

And, I should be honest.

I never did get the camera cord.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Monday, July 11, 2011


I had a lot of things to tell you about our road trip across the state; how much fun we had with our family; a few pictures to show you; etc., etc., etc...


Someone else decided he would like to take center stage. The. day. after we left. Who should decide to arrive? My brother, Mike and sister-in-law, Heather's baby boy!

(My sister, Brandy, summed it up perfectly: "Can you even believe how Heather [cheated] you out of meeting Carter!?!" Seriously, Heather. I thought we were friends. ;)



John "Carter"
Ya'll? I know I'm biased. But, that is a beautiful baby.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Old School Road Trip

We're on the road driving our kids from the north end of Texas to the south end of Texas to visit the Grandfolks. For those of you unfamiliar with the size of Texas, my Google map tells me that it's a twelve hour drive. We plan to break it down into a two-day trip and already have our reservations at a hotel about halfway. (Why do I feel like Clark Griswold all of a sudden?)

This is the stuff childhood memories are made of, right?! So, this should be fun, right?!

Shut your nay-saying mouth. I have convinced myself this will be fun. I have told the rest of the family this will be fun. This will be fun. Damn it. Now sit there and be quiet and don't say another word until you start having some fun. (Oh. I so have the Old School "Mom Speech" down! I'm ready!)

I don't know what blogging capabilities will be "on the road." So, don't take any radio silence as a sign that we're all sitting, weeping on the side of the road.

Or do.


This could go either way...

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Ways I Know Spence Had Fun at Camp

  • He went totally rogue with his clothes. I packed shorts rolled with the shirts that matched.

  • By the fourth day, he was wearing this:
    Stripes and plaids? You have to have
    a certain je ne sais quoi to pull that off.
    And, when we picked him up, he was wearing this:
    What? There's red and blue in the
    shorts. It ties it all together.

  • He participated in the End-of-Camp Rodeo.

  • He rode a horse out to the middle of the arena...
    ...and stole a ribbon from what had to have been...
    ...the most disturbing Rodeo Clowns I have. ever. seen.
    God bless the college boys that will dress like this just so little
    kids can have some fun. (But, there's a small chance they have
    ruined any future they had in politics. "Cross-dressing Clown"
    might be a campaign manager's worst nightmare...)

  • On the drive home, he asked if he could go back to camp again... this summer.

  • He slept almost 11 hours his first night home.

  • He brought home half a ranch worth of dirt in his duffle bag.

  • It doesn't appear that any of his soap or shampoo was used.

  • And, mainly? Because when we got there, we were greeted with this dirty-faced smile!
  • Friday, July 01, 2011

    Did You Stick Something In Your Ear?

    "Did you stick something in your ear?" the doctor asks sweetly with a smile.

    To which Lulu smiles back and coyly answers, "Yeeeeees."

    We are at the pediatrician's office for Elizabeth's 5-year-old well-check. Everything looks perfect, until... I'm sorry. Did you just say there's something in her ear?!

    The doctor continues in her loving manner. "What did you put in your ear?"

    But, by now Elizabeth has sensed that it isn't really an okay thing for one to have something in one's ear. So, she doesn't want to talk about it anymore.

    The doctor tells me it looks like a rock or a pebble. But, it is really crammed in there. She says she can't believe Lulu can even hear out of that ear. She is going to send the nurse in to try to flush it out, but she doesn't know if it will work. And, the "hook" she has to try to get it out would hurt because the ear is so sensitive and the "thing" is so wedged in there. So, if the flushing doesn't work, we're going to have to go see an ENT.


    The nurse comes in. She covers Lulu to keep her from getting wet. She starts flushing. Lulu is a trooper, but even this hurts.

    But, it works!

    This comes out of my child's head.
    Again. A quarter for size reference because I'm all scientific like that.

    By the time we're leaving Lulu's story is somewhere along the lines of "I think I was lying on the ground and a rock fell in my ear."

    I'm not buying it, Little Girl.

    And... the bills start coming in...

    This thing?
    This thing cost $324.

    Ya'll? I could make something very similar to this with some Ziploc baggies, shoe horns and a couple of strips of velcro.

    I think this just became the most expensive pair of shoes that I've ever owned.


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