Tuesday, November 15, 2011

a penny saved

we have been saving change for about a year now. we've gone to a mostly cash system so we have a fair amount coming home with us. i decided to pull it out and count it so we could use that money for our texas trip. this is what we started out with. a full jelly belly jar and a half full glass jar.

the kids and i separated and stacked and ended up with this.

doesn't look like much does it? we started rolling and adding and we came up with...
can you believe it?! and that was before we added the pennies. we had another $12 in pennies giving us a grand total of

cha ching!

unfortunately on vacation that will last us about 8 minutes, but it's $290 we didn't have to come up with. doing a happy dance!

Monday, November 14, 2011


we have put together shoe boxes for operation christmas child for several years now. this year was no different. we loaded up in the car yesterday and headed to target to buy lots of goodies to fill our boxes.

mistake number 1: my expectations were too high.
mistake number 2: i didn't explain things, very basically, to the kids on the way there. why we do it(although they should already know), who they are going to(there has to be a video somewhere right?), etc.

we get to target and austin doesn't even want to get out of the car. um, what? we have three boxes, three kids, the third box is yours. he didn't want to. i threatened him with death if he didn't get his rear end out of the car and we finally made it into the store. i tried explaining to him who they were going to. the kids around the world that have absolutely nothing. and you know what i got from him? nothing. so box number three was mine.

we started in the dollar section and picked up a few things then went strolling through the rest of the store looking for more stuff. and before i knew it i was about ready to walk out that door and never look back. the only one who was any help was emily. if i let her get everything she wanted we would have had to pack a container and ship it ourselves. taylor was ok until we got to the pens and pencils. he wants a mechanical pencil. bad. the kid put it on his christmas list. he saw several that he liked and i repeatedly told him that we weren't there for him. he could get a pencil anytime. we were there packing boxes for needy kids. so he mumbes something under his breathe and starts sulking. austin is following us around like a lost puppy and only opens his mouth when he sees the new playstation call of duty game.

for the love of pete!

i left that store so disappointed. and it was as much in myself as it was in them. i made my children that way. i've made them self centered beings who want everything and have no idea how to give to others.

how do i fix that? how do i teach them that it's not all about them?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


she has wanted them for a long, long time. over a year. probably closer to two. i had lots of excuses as to why i didn't want her to get them. she has a horrific cowlick, bangs actually have to be done, i loved her hair all one length. she continued to beg. i finally had to give in to the poor girl. we made an appointment with skye's cousin and it was set for a saturday afternoon.

this is my scraggly girl before. please note that i had been gone all morning and got home with just enough time to pick her up and get her there. don't judge me.

 and this is my precious girl after.

how could i ever have said no tho this? her cowlick is still super crazy and it takes some work to get her bangs to lay down like they should but she just loves them and so do i.

Monday, November 7, 2011


a good friend of mine has a great tradition. every sunday night the whole fam damily(as my grandma used to say) gets together for dinner.

i started thinking about my own family and it's lack of togetherness. i lived within fifteen miles of siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles and sometimes we would go months without seeing each other. people were "busy", no one had any time to drop by and see each other so our lives went on solo with no intersection with those that should be closest to us.

i finally decided that it would happen no more. i got together with my mom and aunt and we decided to give family dinners a go. that was over a year ago and we are still going strong. but let me say that it hasn't always been easy. we try to rotate houses but my mom and i have done the majority of them. it's not always easy to feed 25 people every other week or to plan them in the beginning when it's still new and to keep them going when no one wants to host anymore but we have gotten through all of that and grown better for it.

i love the feeling of togetherness. we know what's going on on every one's lives. we laugh, we talk and sometimes we bicker but that is what family is about right? the good, the bad and the ugly. all for one and one for all. we have lost a few people in the process. roc moved back to oklahoma and how i miss having her there each week. jim, theresa and the kids are on their adventure so we don't get to see them like we want to but we know they will be home soon and back in the mix. we gained some too. uncle kelly used to not come at all and now he is one of the biggest supporters. looking back at all the years we were all so distant makes me sad but looking forward to all the years we will have from here on out makes me very, very happy!

Thursday, November 3, 2011


i have always loved to travel. go here, see that, then come home. i've noticed lately, though, that it's starting to change. i have the urge to not just leave for a week but to really have a change. i tell rob quite frequently that i would love for him to be transferred for a couple years. and it could be almost anywhere. they have a plant in scotland and i wanted to go so bad that i got online and looked at housing. what fun to know we could leave for a while, have some fun and come home.

 i read a few blogs about families living abroad and, i have to admit, i'm a little jealous. i read about their lives in a foreign land. i read about their troubles and hardships. i read about the adventures and the wonderful times they have. i read about the sights they get to see and the things they get to do. italy, germany, china, france. can you imagine? i certainly can. but if that day never comes i guess i will just keep dreaming.