Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I don't know what Aldi means, maybe it's a person's name, or maybe it means "yummy food", but I'm hoping it means "dirt cheap". Aldi is the name of a new grocery store in town. I hear they're popping up all over the southestern U.S. People who know of this Aldi place from other such places as Tennessee and Georgia speak of it as being an absolute wonderland for cheap, frugal mommas like myself. Now, this cheap momma use to shop at Walmart strictly for the (falling) prices, NOT for the customer service if you know what I mean. But there came a point, I'm not sure if it was the profuse sweating every time I walked into the place, the fact that it took longer to get through the lines than it did to shop for everything on my list, perhaps it was the "overly friendly" employees who seemed to have just been released from the prison work program, or maybe it was the filthiness of the store which made me feel like I needed to bathe my entire family upon returning home, I can't remember which of these things put me over the edge. But I had finally had ENOUGH and decided to find myself a new cheap place to shop except that there wasn't another cheap place to shop. Oh sure, Cary occassionally stops at Sac N Save on the way home to pick up the staple items. And there are the buy one get one free items at Winn Dixie and Publix. But still, my grocery bills climbed drastically when I quit shopping at Walmart. However, it was a price I was willing to pay because that's how much I despise going to Walmart. My grandmother got a kick out of me when she was here because I drove to the opposite side of town to go to this one Winn Dixie, despite the fact that there is one about 4 miles down the road from me. But the one on the OTHER side of town has the best shopping carts, you know, the race car ones. Not the ones where the kids sit in the back of the cart and steer the wheel. No, not those. I mean the ones where it actually has a REAL double seater kid car attached to the front of the cart which is separate from the rest of the basket. And there was only ONE in the whole store. And every time I would go, I would pray that the grocery gods were on my side and that the "special cart" would be waiting for me in the parking lot. And low and behold, it always worked. Even though the last time I went, I had to clean an entire birthday cake that had been sat on, stepped on, and crumbled up in the car just so my kids could ride in it. Still, it's better than Walmart!

But today, friends, I am leaving the "special cart" behind to shop at the new place in town, Aldi. I have high expectations about this Aldi place. On the news this weekend, they had a typical family shopping list with items that most families with children would buy at the store each week. One shopper went to Aldi and one went to Walmart and if they didn't have the same brand as they did at Aldi, they bought the cheapest brand of that item at Walmart. At Aldi, the total was $50 and at Walmart, the total was $59. That's pretty amazing if you ask me because truly, until now, Walmart has always had the best grocery prices. So I'm kind of excited about my grocery shopping experience tonight. It's not often that I'm excited about grocery shopping. In fact, I don't think I've ever gotten excited about grocery shopping. I'll let you know what I think of Aldi when I return!

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Spirit of Aggieland

"Some may boast of prowess bold, of the school they think so grand. But there's a spirit can ne'er be told. It's the spirit of Aggieland."
Thought my Aggie friends might enjoy some great pics taken during last week's Army game. I found these on Texags. SO GREAT! Click on them to get the full effect.
Mike Goodson being a good sport.

Aggie team singing the Spirit of Aggieland before the game.

We don't have cheer leaders. We have 5 male yell leaders. After an Aggie victory, the fish in the corps of cadets have to chase down and tackle the yell leaders and carry them all the way across campus to the fish pond where they have yell practice to prepare for the next Aggie game.

The Nationally Famous...Fightin Texas Aggie Band! WHOOP!

We NEVER lose at halftime!

Yeah, you better be prayin boy! Justin Brantley, the punter.
"After they've boosted all the rest, they will come and join the best. For we are the Aggies, the Aggies are we. We're from Texas AMC." (from the "Spirit of Aggieland")
Farmer's Fight!

Can you tell I'm homesick?
Gig'Em Ags.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

My cell phone rang...during church

It was around 9:30 this morning that my cell phone began playing "The Aggie War Hymn" at a very obnoxious volumn. Not exactly an inconspicuous tune. Especially during church. Okay, so I was in kidzchurch, not "big" church, but still, the room was quiet...until..."goodbye to texas university, so long to the orange and whi-i-ite. Good luck to dear ol' texas aggies, they are the boys who show the real ol' fight"....WHERE IS THAT DAD GUMMED PHONE??? I was searching every nook and cranny of my purse. The song went on and on and on and on. Heads were turning. Okay, so they were like 6 and 7 and 8 yr old heads, but still. WHO would be calling me during church? All I could think of was that it HAD to be bad news of some sort because everyone who knows my cell phone number knows I'm in church on Sunday mornings. Finally, I found the dern thing and picked it up. Andrea. Oh no, I hope everything is okay. Andrea was my next door neighbor briefly when we lived in Keller (near Fort Worth). Although we were only neighbors for a short year, our lives had been sewn together in so many ways and therefore we hadn't lost touch. I answered the phone nervously.

"Hi Heather, I just wanted to call and tell you that I'm getting baptized today!!!!"

"You're WHAT??? Wait, start over, where, how did this happen? What does your husband think? Tell me everything."

I guess I should give you some background knowledge. Andrea always knew she believed in a God, as in God the creator, and she even prayed to God for help every now and then, but as far as having a real relationship with Him that every aspect of her life was filtered through, not so much. Beyond creating the universe, God was kind of irrelevant to Andrea most of the time. She was in a miserable marriage, on the brink of divorce. Her relationship with her mother and siblings was scarred, to say the least. There was a feeling of hopelessness and desperation that wouldn't go away. And add to that her first child in July '06 with no help or support from her husband or mother, well, life was rough. Every so often, we would chat, mostly in the front yard. She was a great cook and often prepared tasty treats for us (and for my dog) and would surprise us with them. One night, she knew I had a busy work schedule so she surprised us with a home cooked dinner. We had dined with her and her husband a few times throughout the year. And occassionally talked on the phone here and there.

One day, Andrea asked me, "So why is it that you're so different than everyone else I know? You and your husband are actually nice to each other. You seem like you're really...in love. I watch you with your kids and you never lose your patience with them (yeah right). What's your secret?"

"Well, um, uh..." I didn't know what to say without it all sounding cheesy, like a rehearsed sales pitch. But is there any other way to say it? I love Jesus! He is the reason I'm different. He is the reason I love my husband the way I do. He is the reason I treat my children with love and respect. I am to be a reflection of Him in every aspect of my life. You should try it...the whole Jesus thing....it'll rock your world. I really did say that.

She kind of accepted my answer, and said that she had hoped one day to go to church and give this whole God thing a shot. She had been really burned by Christians during her teen years at a church and really never wanted to go back. But she had a baby and didn't want her baby to be in a church nursery even for an hour a week, so she guessed she wouldn't be trying this whole God thing any time soon. Her husband was raised catholic, and I use that term, "raised" loosly because it was mainly just the box he checked off on applications in the section that said, "religion". I loaded her up with some good reads and just kept being a good friend, never mentioning God unless she would ask me a direct question about spirtitual things.

When we moved away, she stood in my driveway and cried as we pulled out. I was really her only friend, or the only friend she trusted anyways. We kept in touch through email and phone calls. She and her family came to FL last summer and we had dinner one night.

But today when she called, there was something very different about Andrea. For the first time, I heard hope and peace and JOY in her voice. She said, "Heather, you were right. He has changed my life." She found a church in Fort Worth and the way she found it made us both giggle. They were advertising a divorce recovery group and she wanted to go, even though she's not divorced, but that's how much she despised her husband. She thought maybe she could get some confirmation that "God wanted her to divorce him". Well, she went. And quite the opposite happened. She discovered that divorce was not a part of God's plan. She said, "Heather, I read the whole new testament and started to get the picture....it was not God's plan for me to divorce Wayne." And then she said, "He's coming to church today for the first time since his childhood. He's coming to see me get baptized. And my mom and my brother are coming too. And I don't really care WHY they're coming. All I know is that they're coming to God's house, so something good is bound to happen."

Andrea said that when she found this church, she immediately felt like she had found a home. She felt so welcomed and so loved. She has joined several Bible Study groups and has made lots of new friends who are patiently teaching her God's word. She even took a parenting class there. She said every aspect of her life has changed.

I was so thrilled for her, but at the same time bummed that I couldn't be there on her special day. I told her I was just in TX last weekend and had I known, I would have swapped weekends so I could be there today. I encouraged her in her walk because there will be hard times. I explained to her that her husband may not be on board with this whole new lifestyle, but not to let that get her down. Just pray for him and be an example of God's love. And as I was trying to encourage her, she was an incredible encouragement to me.

She said, "Heather, I always wanted what you had and now I know I do. I want you to know what an impact you had on my life just by your lifestyle and the way you interacted with your family. I learned so much from you. You guys may be in FL, but God is STILL using you here in TX." AMEN! Thank you Jesus!

I kept wishing I could have recorded this conversation and played it back on those hard days when I feel like a worthless piece of crap. When I feel like I'm doing NOTHING for the Lord. You just never know what kind of impact you will have on someone's life just by being yourself and doing what you do. But doesn't it feel great when you know that God has used YOU to enlarge His kingdom?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Pictures from our Texas trip

Click here to see all the pics from our weekend in Texas. There were too many cute ones to put in a blog post.

Watching the Aggie game on T.V. today made me so sad. I cried. And cried. And cried. I miss home desperately. And then my mom called. She was at the game and held up her cell phone so I could hear the Aggie band at halftime. And then I cried some more.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The fat cat sat on the mat.

Time for me to toot my horn. Or actually I guess I'm tooting Lexi's horn. Or maybe I'm tooting Ms. Ferreri's horn, Lexi's awesome teacher. My child, who started kindergarten a little over a month ago, who didn't know all of her letters and sounds when she started IS READING! Okay, so she's reading sentences like this, "The fat cat sat on the mat." But she's reading! I am so amazed at how far she's come in such a short amount of time. Of course we spend about 45 minutes a night doing homework with her and reviewing what Ms. Ferreri has taught her, so I guess this reading thing is kind of a "group effort". She also read this sentence, "I love my fat cat." She now knows about 20 site words, she knows her number words up to five, she knows all her color words, and she knows all the "at" words like cat, bat, fat, pat, mat, etc. And she now knows all of her letters by recognition, upper and lower case, and the sounds they make and can recognize her numbers up to 13. I am just blown away. She's going to be reading novels by Christmas break! Last week, they had humpty dumpty day which I heard was just a hoot. I sent a hard boiled egg with her to school and they did all sorts of fun things with their eggs. She memorized a gazillion nursery rhymes last week too in preparation for humpty dumpty day. Today was Johnny Appleseed Day. They were MAKING APPLESAUCE! How cute and fun is that? I just love her school and her teacher so much. She is making wonderful memories and learning so much! We're very very thankful for Mrs. Ferreri!!!! She rocks!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The School Nurse Called...at 9:30 a.m.

Lexi had been sent to the nurse's office complaining of ear pain. At 9:30 a.m. She hadn't even been there for a whole hour. I explained to the nurse that we had just flown on the airplane Friday and Monday and Lexi has very sensitive ears so perhaps her ears just hadn't gone back to "normal" yet and maybe she could have her blow her nose, drink some water and send her back to class. Because I'm just really not a sucker for pain and illness drama performed by the likes of my 5 yr old future academy award winning actress/drama queen! Listen, if you had spent as much time in the classroom with children as I have, you wouldn't fall for it either! I thought the school nurse would be THRILLED that finally a parent understands the "buck up" get tough mentality and would be excstatic that this mom supports her in sending my child back to class. I mean, she didn't even have a fever! She hasn't had a cold in ages so I knew she didn't have an ear infection. But I guess I should have figured. This IS, after all, 2008 where it probably wouldn't be politically correct to tell a child who visits the nurse, "You'll be fine, go on back to class!" She was insistent that I come get her, I was insistent that she not miss another day of school after being out Friday and Monday for our trip to Texas. 15 minutes later, I was standing in the attendance office signing her out. All that hard work of packing her lunch, getting her backpack together, getting her bathed and dressed, I even ironed the very difficult cotton shirt that morning....WITH SPRAY STARCH, it was all in vain! She wasn't even there long enough for anyone to notice how cute she looked! I called and scheduled her a dr. appt for the afternoon.

We arrived at the dr. office right on time. But is anyone else bothered by the fact that if you're 10 minutes late, they make you reschedule, yet I've never had to wait for LESS THAN an hour and a half? Is it just me? Is this a double standard or what? So they quickly ushered us back to the examining room. You know, the 6x6 holding cell, the room that has no toys or television (unlike the waiting room where it's toys and movies to the max), the room where there is nothing for a child to do other than jump off the examing table over and over and over again and ask a million times what that bio hazzard box on the wall is for, the room where there is a spinning doctor stool that children are a magnet to and will one day break a bone playing with while in the dr office waiting for hours for the doctor to see them??? Yes, that room. So the nurse took us to "that room" and then said, "There are several other patients ahead of you, so it may be a while." I'm quite sure she could see my blood boiling by that statement. Okay, then WHY would you take us OUT of the fun waiting room where there are actually TOYS and bring us HERE to wait forEVER??? Ahhhh, sigh, I love going to the doctor with children! So we waited and we waited and we waited and we waited and FINALLY about an hour and a half later, the doctor came in to see us. And just as I had predicted and told the school nurse, there was not a thing in the world wrong with Lexi's ears. No infections. No fluid. Nothing. The doctor said perhaps the pain was a result of flying...DUH...or that it could be a side effect from the Singulair that she takes every day for her ashtma. Ear pain is apparently a side effect of that drug. Figures. Don't all miracle pills have awful side effects?

So that was that. I wanted to make it clear to Lexi that if you get sent home by the nurse, you don't get to come home and play and have a day off. I made her lay down all day, I made her go to the doctor, and she had to miss church last night too. Oh, she was MISERABLE. About all of that, not about the ear pain (which was already gone by the time I signed her out of the attendance office!)

On another note, I'm thinking SERIOUSLY of taking my kids back to the family doctor rather than the pediatrician. At a family doctor's office when they see small children, they get a little uncomfortable and they do everything they can to get you in and out really fast so they don't have to deal with your kids. I learned this tactic when I once took Lexi to our family doctor in Fort Worth because I couldn't get an appt at the pediatrician's office. It was like as if they had a big red button back there...code red...small child alert...get doctor immediately! If only we could find a family doctor here that we like and trust.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Texas Women

I'm gonna let you in on a little secret for those of you who are not Texans. We Texan women, we LOVE our football. Okay, so that wasn't really a secret. But it's true. I think I've mentioned my friend from Orlando who once said, "I've never been to Texas, but I've heard that everyone there loves Jesus and football." Yes, it's true. Even the women! On Friday, I met two men in the airport, also heading to Austin, who were proudly displaying their Miami colors, and it was obvious that they too were headed to the game against A&M. So I went over and had a nice little chat with them, told them how to get to College Station because they were struggling with the maps, told them the best places in town to eat, gave them a little warning about the level of passion of A&M fans. And they asked how many games I attend. I explained that I've had season tickets since I graduated from A&M and that last year I made it 5 Aggie games even though I lived in FL. One man said, "WOW, it's not every day that you meet a woman who is that passionate about football." To which I replied, "You've never been to Texas have you?"
So at the game, I made some observations about the women, who, by the way, were just as much into the game as the men. Here's what I observed:
1. Texas women send their men to the concession stand to get their food and drinks so that they themselves don't have to miss one second of the game!
2. Texas women go to the bathroom BEFORE the game then hold it the entire time because, once again, they don't want to miss one second of the action!
3. Texas women wear interesting things to football games. I saw a lot of girls in mini skirts with tank tops, and wearing these on their feet....
OUCH! I prefer my Aggie flip flops, but to each his own. And if I had a rockin body, I may have also have chosen the mini skirt and sexy boots. Even if I am a pastor's wife.

However, in our family, we dress a little more modestly for the games. My girls don't dress like sissy cheerleaders for football games because we don't have cheerleaders in Aggieland. We don't NEED cheerleaders in Aggieland. We're loud enough without them! So we wear our 12th man jerseys. Because we ARE the 12th man! We ARE active participants!

4. Which brings me to my next observation...Texas women are brainwashed, I mean taught very early in life that we DON'T SIT and be a spectator at football games. If you want to attend a spectator sport, go to a golf tournament. Football is NOT a spectator sport. We are a part of the action. We yell loud. We stand. We scream things at the ref like "GET IN THE BALLGAME REF" and yell things at the opposing coach when he argues with the ref like "SIT DOWN BUS DRIVER!" Of course we never yell obscenities at our own team. That's not being loyal. I did once yell at Oklahoma's Adrian Petersen when he got hurt, "That's what you get for leaving Texas, you traitor!" (He played high school ball in Texas and then left the state to play college football for OU.) Traitor. That should be illegal. He should be shot.
5. Not only do Texas women stand and yell, we do so in the "hump it" position so as to open up the wind pipes and make your voice louder. As is being demonstrated here by my 5 yr old, very well brainwashed, I mean very well trained daughter.
6. Texas women learn very early in life to bow down to the great stadium. I mean, they learn very early in life to RUN, not WALK, to the game. Because when you see the stadium off in the distance, your heart goes pitter patter, and there's just so much joy abounding within you and so much pride for your team that you want to get there as fast as you can. (This picture was un-posed by the way!)

7. Texas women do NOT appreciate this statement after their team has just been outscored..."It's just a game!" Because folks, it's not just a game. Football is life. In Texas.

8. Texas women recognize OTHER women at the game that they just saw the night before at the local high school game they attended so they yell to each other across the aisle and say things like, "Whatja think of that #5 last night, was he ON FIRE or what?" or even better "If that lousy ref hadn't missed that holding call on the last play, we'd of won!" Oh yes, I DID witness this very thing at the Aggie game.

9. Texas women see the infraction BEFORE the ref and even calls the penalty BEFORE the ref ever throws the dern flag. And then they explain the penalty to their husband who has to watch the replay on the big screen! (Uh huh...the lady in front of me...football smarty pants...know-it-all! Takes one to know one.)

Monday, September 22, 2008

We're Home!

Ashton made it with no vomit on the plane! YEA! I kept us both covered in a towel just in case, with a bag closeby to grab if needed! And wet wipes! This was her very first EVER time to throw up! EVER! My mom feels so "honored" to have been the recipient of Ashton's first vomit! (Right!) We have come to the conclusion that her vomit was due to all the butter she ate at dinner last night. I think she ate a bowl o' butter! But what kid doesn't love butter? I didn't know that a large amount of butter could make you so sick, but I guess it is logical. I mean apparently when people know they're going to drink lots of alcohol, they swallow butter to coat their stomaches so that they will throw up the alcohol later so as to not get alcohol poisoning???? Don't ask how I know this. This came from a very reliable source who is a reader of my blog and they know who they are... So I guess butter has a reputation!

So who knew that butter could do such a thing to a person! But now we know! Just say NO...to the butter!


Ashton has thrown up twice in the last 12 hours. Pray for us! Flight is at 2:05 out of Austin. My mom flies out of San Antonio at 8:15 tomorrow. Even if we delayed our flight an extra day, not sure how we'd get to the airport. Lexi really can't miss another day of school. UGH! WHY???

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Donuts, Glorioius Donuts!

This morning I got up and had donuts. Not just any donuts. Shipley's Donuts. THE donuts! Donuts the way donuts were meant to be made. None of that Krispy Kreme Krap! I don't care for Krispy Kreme. Can you tell? Is it just me? Never heard of Krispy Kreme till I went to Alabama once to see Cary when we were dating. I had me a Krispy Kreme and all I could think was, "that just ain't right." I think perhaps it is a crime in the southeastern U.S. to NOT like Krispy Kreme.

But after I had a donut, or should I say donuts, plural, I did something I haven't done since before I had children. I WENT BACK TO BED and read a book for a while until I fell asleep. Yep. That's right...a nap before 10 a.m. And donuts, glorious donuts. I guess you could call this a real day of rest.

And for the record, my children are not from my brood. They had donut holes and a chocolate covered donut with sprinkles sitting in front of them and you know what they wanted? Cheerios, grapes, eggs, and applesauce! That's what they had for breakfast. Can you believe that? No thanks, I'll have a donut...or three.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Got One Word For Ya...


That's my trip in a nutshell!

More YUM to come!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Packin Up

I'm getting all packed and ready to leave in the morning for Texas. YEEHAW!!!! The dryer is spinning, the movies are downloading on the IPOD, the digital camera pictures are being dumped off the photo card onto the Walmart photo webpage to make room for Texas pictures to be taken, the site of suitcases has made the dog do cartwheels in the floor as she thinks she's going somewhere (but she's not), the children are too excited to sleep, the daddy is looking forward to his 4 days of peace and quiet, the mommy is so fired up for some Aggie football and good Texas food I just may explode! Which explains why I'm blogging instead of sleeping. This time tomorrow I'll be on Texas soil. I can hardly wait! And in less than 48 hours, I'll be in Aggieland. I can hardly wait! And in 96 hours, this trip will be over and it will be back to reality. Bummer.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hard Week is Almost Over

This has been a hard week on our family. I don't think we've ever dealt with so much conflict in our lives in one week EVER. I feel like there's a dark cloud just hanging over our house today. Pray for Cary especially who has had a particularly rough week. I'm trying to give him some intensive love before I leave town. I just sent him to the school to eat lunch with Lexi. There's nothing like a sweet little girl to lift your spirits, especially a daddy's girl! Even in the midst of our conflict, we have much to be thankful for. We have gasoline, food, and electricity, unlike many friends and relatives in Houston who are still recovering from the hurricane.

Howdy Friends!!!

I'm really sorry about the password protection, but it's for our best. Trust me!

2 more days and we'll be in Texas! I can't wait. I plan my trips to TX based on food and restaurants. Is that sad? Let's see...
Friday after landing: Pappasito's in Austin
Saturday morning: Shipley's
Saturday lunch in College Station: Wing's N More
Saturday dinner after the game: Double Dave's Pizza Rolls
Sunday breakfast: Shipley's (yes...again!)
Sunday lunch: Luby's
Sunday dinner: Rudy's BBQ or Red Robin
Monday breakfast: Shipley's (yes...AGAIN!)
Monday lunch: Pappasito's AGAIN before boarding the plane

See...am I a bit neurotic about food or what? Mmmmm, I can taste it now. My mom doesn't even bother going to the store before my visits any more. She knows we'll be eating out every meal!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Taste of Success

Lexi got in the car this afternoon with a pretty pink pencil and said, "Mommy, Mommy, look what my teacher gave me?" She was so proud of her new pencil. She said her teacher gave it to her because she knew ALL of her letters today, both lowercase and uppercase (which we've been working on diligently every night!) She said she was the only person to get one because she knew her letters better than anyone else. Now I'm sure there's some exaggeration to that story somewhere, but all that matters is that it definitely motivated her to keep studying because she could hardly wait to get home this afternoon and get started on her homework, which has been like pulling teeth to get her to do! She said, "Now I know why you were making me study so hard Mommy!" She came home and sharpened her new pencil and got right to work on her homework. YEA!!!! I'm so proud of her! She said all of her nursery rhymes today too (in preparation for Humpty Dumpty Day) and knew three new site words and actually read 2 books to me perfectly that her teacher sent home for her to practice with. Granted there are like 3 words per page. But that's beginner reading! She's come a LONG way in 4 short weeks of school. Did I mention how proud I am????

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Lone Star State...Here I Come

5 more days!!!! Not that I'm counting or anything. My mom asked me yesterday, "So what do you want to do while you're in town?" "Uh...EAT???" We're going to Pappasito's TWICE, once when I get off the airplane and once before I board the airplane. I'll be eating at Wings N More on game day in Aggieland. I want Double Dave's Pizza Rolls. And how about Luby's on Sunday! The food is one of the best things about Texas. I'm sorry Floridians, when it comes to food, you ain't got nothin on the Lone Star State. Even my husband, who is a totally NON-BIASED Alabamian agrees. Which explains my need for Weight Watchers. I have not been "home" since February. So I'm very eager to board that plane on Friday! The girls are missing school on Friday and Monday for our trip. We're going to the Texas A&M/Miami game on Saturday, which I'm sure will not be pretty but I don't go to Aggieland to see em win. I go for the experience, the environment, which is second to none. Watching all of the hurricane coverage has made me so sad and homesick. I grew up in Houston and called Houston "home" for 26 years. My heart breaks for them all. Even those who don't have major damage do have damage that is not claimable on insurance and will cost them lots of money to repair, causing financial hardships. But I think it's pretty impressive to be on the gulf and go 25 years without a hurricane. So for that, I guess they can be thankful.

Cary met an Aggie family on the plane coming from Houston to Orlando on Thursday. It was a grandfather, a father, and 2 little boys. The father had on an A&M hat. Cary asked the 2 boys if they knew the Aggie War Hymn and the father just hung his head in shame. The grandfather spoke up and looked at his son and said, "When you were their age, you knew every word by heart. Your boys still don't know the War Hymn? Now that's just bad parentin' right there." I agree. The Aggie War Hymn is ranked right up there with Jesus Loves Me in this house!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I'm too tired to think of a title for this post

Daddy has been out of town since last Thursday and he's finally coming home tonight. Or maybe I should say "in the morning". His flight was supposed to arrive at 11:35 p.m. but has been delayed due to Hurricane Ike. He has a layover in Houston and then they will have to fly around the storm. So the current prediction is that he will arrive around 2 a.m. And guess who's picking him up at the airport? Yep! That would be me! Fun times. My grandmother has been staying with me all week and you think I'm hard core Mrs. Clean/Mrs. Organization/Mrs. Got it all Together, well the apple didn't fall far from the tree. She's 87 and could probably work circles around many 20 yr olds when it comes to keeping up with the house. She's a mother of 6. She was a widow and worked very hard outside of the home most of her life, and then would come home and care for her 6 children. So I guess taking care of us this week was like a piece of cake for her. She also read TWO 300+ page books this week....yes, THIS week! I haven't read two 300+ page books in my whole life. Every day when I got home from work, the house was spotless, I mean total perfection, and dinner was cooking. She even cleaned out the girls' closet. I begged and cried, "Please don't leave me. You've got the job! You can stay forever!!!" Needless to say, it's been a wonderful week. I feel like I've been on vacation. Well, not really. But it's been nice to just be able to take care of the girls' needs and get everyone to school and myself to work and not to worry about the rest. Nanny leaves in the morning. I'm sad. I'm secretly hoping her flight to Austin is cancelled due to the storm. It could happen.

This week, I had lunch with Lexi on Tuesday at her school. Very interesting to be "on the inside" as opposed to the person on the other side of the 6 ft tall chain link fence. It kind of gave me the teaching bug again. And today, the school, I mean the automated system, called to inform me that my child was absent from school today AT 2 PM!!!! You wanna see one freaked out momma? I was paniced. I took her to school this morning and dropped her off well before the bell. I called the school immediately and couldn't get through. "All circuits are busy....please try your call again." I tried for 15 minutes while my heart was about to beat out of my chest. Finally, I called Cary to see what I should do. He's in Dallas. That's not gonna help! He happened to have the cell phone number of a lady from our church who works in the media center at Lexi's school, so he called her and asked her to go check on Lexi for us. She called back a few minutes later and said she was just fine, had been in her class all day, and that the teacher checked her records and did not mark her absent today. I kind of figured when the "circuits were busy" that maybe there was a system malfunction and that it had called LOTS of parents whose children were also at school today. And sure enough, an hour later I got another call from the messaging service the school uses saying to disregard the earlier phone call and that there had been a system malfunction with attendance. So all was well that ended well.

We've been studying all week for the first round of kindergarten testing. Yes, already! Testing! I'm WAY more nervous than she is. She doesn't even know what a test is! But let me tell you why I could never homeschool...I have ZERO tolerance, no patience whatsoever, for a wandering mind that does not pay attention and concentrate when I am teaching them. Zero. Zilch. Our study sessions last anywhere from 15-45 minutes per day and by the end I'm about to string her up by her toes! Or string myself up, one of the two. It is so frustrating to me. I know she responds so much better to her teacher or to anyone else but me. I've resorted to an M&M for every single letter (upper and lower case) that she recognizes. It's working. She now knows all but 3 letters...lower case b, lower case d, and lower case p. And I think those are the hardest anyways. She's supposed to know all of them, upper and lower, by next Monday. UGH! She's also being tested on recognizing numbers up to 30. We know up to 11. Gulp. She's also being tested on about 20 high frequency words. We know about 5. Bigger gulp. And she has to write her first AND last name, which she's almost got down pat. It's that spacing between the names that gives her trouble. I know it's just a diagnostic test and the results don't mean much, other than that she might in the black bird group rather than in the red bird or purple bird group. I'm kidding. Sort of. She tells me every week that "this week I'm in the red birds. Last week I was in the purple birds." And of course the teacher in me is analyzing every little thing. So the red birds huh...who else is in the red birds...is he a smart boy? I'm also way too much of a stickler for letter formation. I guess they don't teach that any more??? I know her e still looks like an e, but it makes me crazy that she picks up her pencil 3 times to form the e. You know? My standards are so high for my childrens' education. I just want the best of the best for them academically. I hear that most teachers are harder on their own kids academically speaking. I can very much see how that's true. Relax Heather. It's kindergarten. I know, but it's KINDERGARTEN...the foundation for which the next 12 years will rest upon! Okay, now I'm talking to myself. See, I told you I was too tired to think of a title for this post.

Okay, so I'll stop rambling now. Daddy's coming home!!!! YEA!!!! Who knows when!!!! But YEA anyways!!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

How did we live before...

I heard this on the radio on the way to work this morning and thought it would make for a great blog discussion. Today is the 10th anniversary of GOOGLE! I love google! I'm a google pro! Can't live without it! Don't know how I ever survived without it! So if I had to fill in the blank "How did we live before ______" my answer would be Google. What about you...fill in the blank..."How did we live before______". You fill in the blank!

Friday, September 5, 2008


Ashton rarely gets blog coverage. I guess because big sister Lexi is sort of an attention hog and Ashton doesn't really talk much, or I should say, she talks a lot, we just don't quite understand what she's saying. But her lack of blog coverage certainly is not due to a lack of personality. Quite the contrary! Little girl. BIG personality. Since starting school, Ashton has shown us a different side of her that we really didn't know existed. THE GIRL LOVES TO SLEEP IN! A girl after my own heart! She's a very slow riser. I guess we never knew this because our schedule has never been as rigid as it is now with the girls being in school. Every day, our morning routine goes like this:

6:30 a.m. or earlier...Lexi wakes up and appears on top of us in the bed demanding breakfast.

7:15 a.m. (latest possible time they should be getting up in order for us to get out the door on time)...We walk into their room and wake Ashton up by picking her up and carrying her to the breakfast table to eat.

7:16 a.m. Ashton runs back to her room and gets back in bed and hides under the covers.

7:17 a.m....We walk back into their room and pick Ashton up again and try to get her to eat.

7:18 a.m....Ashton runs back to her room and gets back in bed and hides under the covers.

7:19 a.m....forget breakfast! We carry her to the tub for her bath.

7:20 a.m....meltdown on bathroom floor

7:21 a.m....We finally get Ashton in the tub, but she nods off until we start pouring water over her head to wash her hair. And she LOVES that part. NOT!

7:30 a.m....Bath over, Ashton begs to be wrapped up in the towel and carried like a baby to the bed to get dressed and says, "I'm coooold, I'm cooold" a hundred times or more. EVERY DAY.

7:45 a.m....Ashton has another meltdown over getting her hair dried. She does not like AIR BLOWING ON HER HEAD, cold or hot. DO NOT BLOW AIR ON MY HEAD is what I think she must be saying. I have to physically restrain her to blow dry her hair. (and to brush her teeth) EVERY DAY!

7:55 a.m....After getting dressed, she decides that maybe she would like to eat her breakfast after all. Great. Who needs clean clothes.

8:15 a.m....Out the door and off to school and work for everyone.


9:00 a.m....I wake Ashton up and hand her off to her teacher. Good luck to Ms. Michelle!

On Thursday, Ashton didn't have school, so I stayed home with her and she kept pulling me to my bed and wanting me to lay down with her and cuddle. So after twisting my arm hard enough (right) we laid down to watch some Noggin. I looked over 5 min later and she was sound asleep. 9:30 a.m.!

Now I know what you're thinking...DUH, Heather, she's not getting enough sleep. If only it were that simple. Yes, I agree. However, I put her to bed at 8:00 p.m., sometimes earlier, and it takes her FOREVER to fall asleep. Sometimes she'll be awake for hours trying to go to sleep. Most days, she doesn't get a nap, because when she does it takes till midnight or later to get her to go sleep. But even when she doesn't get a nap, getting her to fall asleep takes FOREVER, which is why she doesn't want to get up in the mornings. The only thing I can figure out is that her brain is wired like mine. I'm the same exact way. I go to bed late, and want to sleep late. I'm a night owl by nature. Even when I only have had 4 hrs sleep, I can't wind my brain down until after midnight....like right now for example! Even after all those years of going to bed early, getting up early you'd think my body would have gotten conditioned to it. But I'm just not wired that way. I think it's very clear, Ashton has my brain. Lucky girl.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

So what about McCain???

I will admit, one week ago when a pollster called my house to ask who I would vote for, I paused a long pause, not because I was deciding between McCain and Obama, but because I just could not get excited about saying, "McCain" even though I frequently vote rebublican because I believe less government is better for everyone. And then they would ask, "How likely are you to vote for McCain, very likely, somewhat likely, maybe, probably not?" And I had no clue what to say. I just completely lacked enthusiasm about this candidate. I viewed him as nothing more than a professional politician who just said what he thought we all wanted to hear. But this convention has really fired me up. I now have a completely different view of John McCain. I truly believe he is a man of his word, who lives, eats, breathes, sleeps patriotism. He has got to have more love and affection for the USA than anyone I've ever come across. Truly. I believe he really is a maverick like he claims to be and I love mavericks. (Especially the Dallas Mavericks...ba da bing!) What he went through for 5 years as a POW and how he could have been released if he would have just denounced his country, but he refused, I love that! I love it that he had the guts to pick Palin as his running mate. I'm feeling much better about this election. I may just have to run right out and get me a McCain/Palin sign for the yard now.

Did any of you watch the convention tonight and if so, did John McCain's love of country come across as loud and clear to you as it did to me? Are any of you fence riders climbing over the fence tonight and if so, to which side?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

So what do you think of Sarah Palin?

I rushed home from church tonight to watch the convention just to hear Sarah speak because I wanted to learn everything I could about her. Like many, I've googled her and been intrigued, but not convinced that she was the right person for the job. But I watched the convention tonight. And you've heard of a man having a "man crush"? Well, I think I have a woman crush! I love her! And I was once torn over this election, but I'm ready to cast my vote today. Sarah Palin won my heart tonight and she won my vote! I truly feel after listening to her that God has appointed her to lead our country. She has so much passion for what she does and what she believes in. She's no nonsense. She doesn't take crap. I loved it when she said in regards to the personal jet she was given as governor of Alaska, "I thought that personal jet was a bit over the top. So I sold it on ebay." And seeing her on that stage, holding her baby and standing with her other 4 children, she just seemed so "normal", so approachable, like a woman I would be friends with. She was a PTA mom too, just like me! I said months ago that McCain would have to choose a woman running mate to compete with Oboma or Hillary. And he did! An awesome woman she is!

So what do you think of Sarah Palin?

Monday, September 1, 2008

Things that made me smile this week...

1. Free childcare at Ikea

2. A girl's night out with Kathryne (we went to Texas Roadhouse cause she used to live in TX too so she feels my pain of leaving the lone star state!)

3. Lexi telling me today that she's a good swimmer and can hold her breath this long (and she went under water in the tub for like 20 seconds)..."So now can I swim with Shamu mommy or do I have to wait till I'm six?"

4. Ashton got a green headed scary looking star wars creature in her happy meal this week and when I handed it to her she looked at it and said, "That you momma?"

5. An empty laundry basket!

6. the .$99 movie on dish network "The Water Horse", kind of a modern day E.T. My girls loved it and it was a very sweet family movie.

7. Taking the girls to Seaworld tonight on a whim at 6:30 and staying till they closed...on a school night! Are we rockin parents or what?

8. Getting a free meal at Seaworld and front row seats to the water/fireworks show. Don't ask how we scored that one...Blessings from above is all I can say!

9. Hearing the Aggie War Hymn and Aggie yells during the Aggie game Saturday night while listening online. Even though the Ags ran out of time, it warmed my heart to hear "MY PEOPLE" in the background!

10. Not leaving the house from 5:30 p.m. on Friday until 5:30 p.m. on Monday! Seriously!