Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Part 5 - Games and kids

My brother has 3 children. They are 18, 16, and 14. My older nephew is a little too old for us now, but the niece and other nephew pretty much stay here the entire time that we do. They do things with MK and T. Willy all day, but at night, we all play games. This time it's been "Apples to Apples" and "Imaginiff." So here are some pictures of that. They are always so nice to include T. Willy even when he doesn't quite understand how to play.

Who let this boy have an expo?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Part 4...Shannon

There really isn't a way to adequately express what Shannon means to me. We live 1,000 miles apart, and yet, when we are together, it is as if no time has passed. Shannon has been with me for everything in my life. She knows nearly everything about me. Apart from my mother, there is no woman in my life that I trust more. MK and T. Willy call her "Aunt Shannon," even though they have an actual aunt named Shannon. I didn't date anyone who didn't quickly learn that Shannon would accompany us. That usually worked well, because guys seemed to come in pairs. However, Shannon is a bit younger than I am, so she didn't date these guys...she was more of a chaperone. There really isn't a story of my teen years that doesn't involve her in some way. I could go on and on and on; however, that would take too long. So, my dad helped me with some pictures tonight. These are pictures taken of pictures of our history together. There are many, many more, but a lot of them are at my house.

Several times we have been mistaken for sisters, and I don't have a sister, but don't think I could feel closer to an actual one. One of my favorite stories is this: my mom has people over for the 4th of July every year. There is a couple that attends that came to our church and worked at the school after I had moved away. So I knew who they were, but didn't know them well. One year we attended the 4th of July party. Toward the end of the afternoon, the husband asked, "Do you know Shannon?" He had no idea that we were even friends, but couldn't get over how much I reminded him of her. (She is a principal at the Christian school that we attended, so he had worked with her.) I have always loved that story, and took that as a great compliment.

This is a picture of us with our brothers. Her brother was in my grade, and he is a part of the history too. This was not the way we really dressed...we aren't that old. This was taken on "Old Fashioned Sunday" at the church you saw earlier. I would guess that I'm 8 or 9, and she is 6 or 7.

Just the two of us on the same day.

This is us playing at my house. The sweaters are draped around our shoulders, because we are pretending to be "teenagers," and looking at a yearbook. I suppose that is what we thought teenagers did. I spent the day with her today and told her about this; she laughed and laughed.

She was the maid of honor in my wedding, 1989. She was getting ready to be a senior in high school. And you thought my bangs were big...

And I was the matron of honor in her wedding, 1997. MK (2 years old) was a flower girl.

There is no way that I could talk about Delaware and what it means to me without mentioning "my Shannon."

Monday, December 29, 2008

Part 3

Today we attended a funeral for a woman that I'd known my entire life. Her granddaughter was one of my childhood best friends. Mrs. S. had seven children: six girls and a boy who was a year ahead of me in school. Today her life was truly celebrated. Fortunately, I don't go to many funerals. This is the first one I've been to that had the family giving the eulogy. It was amazing. They are a close family. They have gathered at Mrs. S's house every Sunday for as long as I can remember. That was spoken about several times, and I am so thankful that I was able to be a part of several of those Sunday afternoons. I knew most of the cousins, and it just seemed like a big adventure to me, with babies and cousins and aunts and uncles and kids playing in the yard and lots and lots of good food. Last year when I was home for Christmas, I stopped by unannounced. Nobody blinked an eye. They just welcomed me in. My friend, Jami, wasn't there yet, so Mrs. S. and the aunts and Jami's mother showed me photo albums and talked to me about where everyone was. I always felt at home there, and, although I would have liked to have seen them under different circumstances, I am very thankful that I was able to be a part of it today.
That really is one of the things that Delaware means to me.

Another is dinner with my family. My mom was very good about having us eat meals together as a family. I have many memories of the 4 of us gathered around the table laughing and talking. Tonight we gathered around the table with 4 of the grandchildren. I was seated between my parents, so I asked MK to snap a picture with my phone. It isn't the best picture, technically, but it does say Delaware to me.

Have a wonderful night! I'm off to play board games...that will probably be #4!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

What Delaware means to me....part 2 (Go Eagles)

I took a few more pictures today, because I actually left the house. We went to church this morning.

This is the church. Since a church is really the people, and not the building, they started attending this church when my mom was expecting my OLDer brother. It was in a different location and they moved here in the 60s, I think. This building came to be as it looks now when I was in high school. In addition to being at church twice on Sundays and once on Wednesday nights, I also went to the Christian school there from 4th grade until Graduation. I was married in the church, and have countless other memories involving it. I can't think of home without thinking of it. (My older nephew is in the foreground getting into the car.) My friend's grandmother died on Christmas Eve, and I'll be going to a funeral there tomorrow.

In high school, I worked at McDonald's. Here it is. It is walking distance (ish) from my parents' house, and also holds a lot of fun memories. I also learned, "If you have time to lean, you have time to clean."

Since I went to the Christian school, there was always a fascination with the very large public school across the field. I dated a couple of guys from there, and most of my coworkers at McDonald's went there. My mom also worked as a secretary there, which I loved!!!

So that's another snippet of my life in Delaware. More to follow...and go Eagles!!!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

What a difference a day makes.

For as hectic a day as we had yesterday, today turned out to be just the opposite. I only left the house once, and that was just to run to the street to take a picture of the house. We caught up and watched football and Christmas movies. The kids played with each other and had a blast. They love having their cousin around, and he's so fun for MK and patient with T. Willy.

Tomorrow is church, so I'll at least leave the neighborhood. There is a bit less running around to do when it's cold out. In the summer, we are outside constantly, either in the pool or in the front yard swinging or playing basketball. But we still have plenty to do, so I'd better rest up for it.

Have a great night!!!

What Delaware means to me

Did that sound like the title of a third grade school essay?

Anyway, I get a little sentimental when I'm here. I was born in Delaware, and with the exception of two years (ages 3-5) that we lived in Australia, I lived in Delaware until I was 17 and left to go to college in Virginia. I got married when I was 19 and have lived out of Delaware longer than I lived here. However, I still use the word "home" to describe it. T. Willy questioned that yesterday. I said something about "when we get home" meaning after our plane arrived, and he said, "We aren't going home till January 2nd." Clearly he has only one definition of home. But home is where the heart is; therefore, I have two.

I have compiled a photo gallery of just a few things that mean "Delaware" to me. There are many others, but not everyone is here right now, and I haven't left the house yet today.

I must start with the house. We moved here when I was 7. Not one room in the house resembles a room as it was when I lived here. For that matter, when we moved here, the exterior was gold, with darker gold shutters. How things change. But it's home.

The porch swing. My grandfather built this, and it is my favorite place to be. I have held both of my babies and my brother's babies on it, and I've spent hours just "being" on it. No matter how cold it is when I'm here, I always spend time on it.

My mom. Home wouldn't be the same without her. She spoils the grandkids (and me) and is always on the go. I caught this picture of her while she was taking down the Christmas decorations.

My dad. There are some things that you don't ever want to change. This is one of dad starts his day with coffee and the newspaper. He has also grown a goatee. I love it! My mom is less enamored with it.

Circus peanuts! My mom never disappoints.

The Christmas card basket. My mom keeps her Christmas cards on the piano (my childhood archnemesis.) I love to come home and read them and look at pictures of people I haven't seen for a long time.

My nephew. (The other nephew and niece didn't spend the night, so I'll have to add their pictures later.) He is almost always wearing a hat.

There are others, of course, but that's it for now. I'm sure I'll find plenty more to post later. Have a wonderful day!!

Late night

Late morning. We stayed up late last night, but we finally did get some sleep. I haven't seen anyone yet, so I am enjoying some quiet before the havoc begins again.

We haven't made any plans for the day. The kids were given money for Christmas, so I'm guessing that they will make a trip to the mall at some point. I will get in touch with my very dear friend, Shannon. Other than that, it should be a quiet day of playing with new toys and enjoying family. I hope your day will be just as relaxing and fun!!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

We are here

After a very long day, we are at my parents' house. The kids have already played and opened presents and are having a great time with cousins and the grandparents. I have already found the Chex mix and the circus peanuts...all is right with the world!

We had delays because of fog in Atlanta, but it wasn't a terrible day. We arrived in Atlanta to find that our connecting flight had departed without us. The airline had already booked us on a late flight, but we were able to get on an earlier one. However, when they boarded us, we were in 3 separate rows. T. Willy was most unhappy, and a very kind lady saw that and offered to take my seat so he and I could sit together. It all had a happy ending. The flights were smooth, and the delays were bearable.

One funny thing. T. Willy is four...the prime age for learning and repeating "potty" words. He has been talked to about it, and we've tried to explain good words and bad words. mom gave MK and my nephew labelmakers for Christmas. There are labels everywhere...on the microwave, the stairs, my mom, etc. T. Willy found a label on the sofa that said, "Place butt here." He read it out loud, and repeated it several times. MK told him that he's not supposed to say "butt." (He has been told to try to find substitutes for "butt"; however, "but" is different and acceptable.) So he told her, "Yeah, when I said it, it only had one 'T'."

That's it for us. I will try to post pictures and maybe even some video this week. Have a great day!


Still waiting.

Due to fog in Atlanta, our flight is delayed. The last word is that they hope to board us at 12:18, but there is no guarantee if the fog doesn't lift. I am pretty patient, and MK can occupy herself, but T.Willy is bored!!! We've had snacks and a drink, and now MK is walking him up and down the corridor. Oh well. We've been through this before. My biggest concern was missing our connecting flight, but Atlanta is at a stop, so we should be okay. Just wanted to give you a little update

On the road....again!

We are on our way to the airport. We had a wonderful Christmas day and a very fun night! The movie was a lot of fun, although T. Willy got a bit bored. Now we are packed up and ready, I hope. We will be back next Friday, but I'll be sure to post from DE.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


We are in the car on our way to see our annual Christmas movie. This year we've chosen Despereaux, and we are so excited! We are going to an earlier show because we need to come home and pack tonight for our trip to Delaware tomorrow.

Santa was very good to our family. T. Willy loved his punching bag which has also turned into a kicking bag. He definitely experienced sensory overload because about 2/3 of the way through unwrapping gifts, he went into his room, grabbed his pillow, and decided he was tired of opening gifts. He is fast asleep in the backseat right now.

MK had a great day too. Her big gift was an iPhone. She was completely surprised. This year her mp3 player died, and she had a very plain cell phone, so now she has the best of both. She has already been given the lecture about responsibility with more to follow, I'm sure. She also got a pink case for it. Pink is her signature color, so she's very happy.

So, that's a quick recap of our morning. I hope you had a wonderful day, and I'll see some of you tomorrow! Merry Christmas!


T. Willy playing at the Bass Pro Shop in Destin the other night. They had a whole kids' area set up, and we even had a family picture taken with Santa.

MK and T. Willy right before bed with milk and cookies for Santa.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Tonight we kept up with our traditions. The Big Man came home from work, and we went to look at lights. However, instead of just looking at the neighborhood lights, we drove to DeFuniak Springs, a town about 30 miles east of us. It has (according to what we've read) one of three naturally round lakes in the world. They had a huge light display around the lake and historical homes around it that were decorated for Christmas. It was a nice change to see something different. We did look at a few neighborhood lights on the way home, but we were hungry, so we hurried home to eat.

T. Willy knew that one tradition is to open a present on Christmas Eve. He could hardly wait, and when he opened his gift, he said, "It's just what I always wanted!" He was so excited. MK was less excited, but she did enjoy her gift: a set of ear buds, because on our drive to the lake, her old pair died. The Big Man actually participated in this tradition this year. He often hasn't in the past, but I've tried to explain that this is our tradition, and he joined in this year. I was very happy with my gift...if you haven't already figured it out...I have a bit of a shoe addiction. So here is a picture of my new shoes. Plus, they're red, and that's my favorite color!

But we also took time to acknowledge the real reason that we were celebrating. This year I read from Luke 2. I read from my grandmother's Bible, which is very meaningful to me, because she died over 20 years ago. Her Bible was a gift to me from my mom one Christmas, and I cherish it. I also love Luke 2:11...For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

Merry Christmas!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

On the road again

Only this time I don't have to drive, and we don't have far to go. We are on our way to Destin to see some Christmas lights at our favorite outdoor shopping mall. We will also be back on Thursday night to see our annual Christmas movie. Tonight, after we walk around and see the lights, we're going to eat pizza at the Mellow Mushroom.

MK and I made cookies and fudge today. I'm still going to make some chocolate covered pretzels tomorrow, and then get ready for our Christmas Eve dinner. The Big Man has to work tomorrow, but we are used to that.

And that's it. I hope you are having a great night and making memories with your families!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Are you still with me?

So, I've never been drunk before, but if I had and got near a computer, I think the result would be very similar to my last post. Wow...I must have been tired! I did go back to sleep for a bit, but made it home safely and wide awake. I've just returned from the grocery store, because I did not want to deal with the crowds tomorrow. I think we are set for Christmas, and I can get a good night's sleep.

Tomorrow our plan is to clean and bake. The Big Man has the day off, and we are planning to go to Destin tomorrow night and look at lights and go out to dinner.

And here are some pictures of our weekend. It was a quick trip, but it was a lot of fun.

The first one is the kids at the Mississippi Welcome Center, or as I like to call it, how to embarrass a teenager in one fell swoop. The state of Mississippi provided us complimentary soft drinks which you can see on the left.

The next two are of us eating pizza...yet another way to embarrass MK.

And last, MK and T. Willy in front of a giant angel. T.'s reaction was very typical for compliment and then disparage: "I like the angel, but I don't like her lips." In this case, I think he has a point. Yesterday he told me as I was getting dressed for church, "I don't like anything on you; but I love you." Good enough.

Sleep and more

Perhaps "More Sleep" would have been a more appropriate title. Apparently five hours of sleep are all I can get in a row. I didn't sleep too well Saturday night, so I went to bed at a reasonable time last night and think I was asleep by 11. So at 4:00 this morning, I was wide awake. Now it's 5:18 and I'm still awake. I've checked the blogs I read regularly, checked the newspapers online that I read, and it's still too early to get the kids up to get on the road.

So here is what is on tv at this time of the morning:

The movie "A Farewell to Arms" - The head nurse just walked in and caught Rock Hudson and Jennifer Jones kissing in his hospital room. She is scandalized, but it seems tame compared to what else is out there.

An infomercial for a "Best of Carson" DVD counting down the best 50 moments of his time on the Tonight Show. I am hoping there is more on the DVD, because the infomercial actually showed the top 50 moments.

Now I'm learning how to make a million dollars a year using Internet shortcuts. I should be rich in no time armed with my lack of sleep and my iPhone that enables me to surf the Internet 24/7. I'd better go now. I'll either get some sleep or rich. At the moment, sleep seems more likely.

Have a great morning!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Hi there

So we'll be heading home in the morning. We've had a lovely visit, but it's time to go home. Our plan is to leave in the morning so that we can get back and do some things around the house before the Big Man gets home from work.

Not much else to tell. I hope you had a great weekend and enjoy the last few days till Christmas.

Good morning!

We had a fun evening. After dinner we went to a park that was decorated for Christmas. We walked around and oohed and aahed. The Big Man's brother and his wife and daughter met us there. Then we all headed to a pivate home in the area that goes all out decorating. It's been a famous sight for 35 years, and we have seen it several times. However, the owner recently passed away, and his family decided that this will be the last year. We're glad we were able to see it.

My niece came home with us, and the kids played and we watched football. Sooooo happy the Cowboys lost!!! Church today and more fun! I hope you're doing well and have a great day!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

We're here.

We made it safely. Now I have happily surrendered driving duties to my father-in-law and am being chauffeured to a restaurant for dinner. Then we are going to look at Christmas lights. It should be a fun night. I hope yours is just as fun!

Still here.

We are going to leave around noon. We still have a few things to do...trip to the bank (which is conveniently located inside Walmart,) and some things around the house, etc. Then we'll get on the road. It's about a 3 1/2 hour trip, and we usually drive straight through, but we have time built in for stops if necessary. My goal is to get there before dark.

So that's it for now. Have a great day!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Road trip!

It was a pretty quiet day, and the kids are bored already. We'll be in Delaware the week after Christmas, and they aren't bored for a minute there, but we still have to make it through Thursday. So I've decided to take them to New Orleans to visit the Big Man's family. We are still deciding whether to come back Sunday or Monday. This will give them something to do and give them an opportunity to spend some time with family. I am planning to take the laptop with me, so I should be able to post from there. I hope you'll have a great weekend!!

MK and the Big Man take the video camera to the grocery store

Feel free to look away.

Why I included the watermelon part: I do 98% of my grocery shopping at the WalMart Supercenter. We have a very clean and nice WalMart, and it always has the best prices by far. If they don't, you just have to tell them the sale price somewhere else and they will honor that. However, it isn't great for variety. We get our prescriptions filled at the store in the video...that is where I do another 1.75% of our shopping. I love watermelon, and on those FEW prescription filling occasions, I have gotten the precut, very pricey packaged watermelon.

Bear with me

I'm going to ramble.

The Big Man has taken MK out the last two nights. I made salmon for dinner on Wednesday, and, on the way home, the Big Man bought some french bread to eat with it. They wanted "real" butter to eat with it, and I tore the refrigerator apart looking for it. I knew I had just gotten some on my last shopping trip, but it was nowhere to be found. So MK and the Big Man hopped in his truck and went to the grocery store. For some reason, they took the video camera with them, and took video as they shopped....a lot of video. It was hysterical. There was video of them talking in the truck, walking into the store, shopping, walking out of the store, in the parking lot, and in the truck on the way home. They had a great time, and it was nice for them to bond a bit.

Yesterday they went out again...this time to do some Christmas shopping. MK is no longer complaining that I bought new boots so close to Christmas. I have told her over and over that if she wants new clothes to ask her dad to take her shopping. She now knows I'm right. She got new "skinny jeans" and shirts and more. We really didn't get her any clothes for Christmas, because it's so hard to know what sizes are right, so she is really excited now! I guess they didn't take the video camera that time.

On their way home, they asked if I wanted them to bring home something to eat. They were going to pick up some fast food on the way. It would have been cold by the time they reached home, so I said I would just take T. Willy to Burger King, a short 5 minute drive from our house, and the only place in town with an indoor playground. So T. Willy and I left, and soon realized there was TRAFFIC. We took a detour to go the back way. It seemed like it took longer than usual, but we finally made it. T. was so excited to play on the playground. We got our food and saw that we were the only people in the playroom...then we realized why. It was freezing. I'm guessing it was 45 degrees in there. I went back to the car to get T.'s jacket (we didn't have it inside because it's been really warm here) but it didn't help. It was too cold. T. takes disappointment well, so he busied himself with the toy from his kids' meal and we had a ball.

Somewhere T. has picked up a slight midwestern accent! I'm guessing it's from a teacher or one of his school friends. It is hilarious. Southern accents are prevalent here, but neither child has one of those. MK actually sounds like she could be from Delaware. But T. sounds like he's been watching Bonnie Hunt! He also loves the number 97. He just washed his hands and asked me if they are 97% clean. I'm kind of hoping 100%, but even Lysol only promises 99.9%.

I found the butter in the refrigerator in the garage.

And...I've said several times that I blog for my family...mostly for our parents to keep up with the day to day activities of the kids. It's also for the kids, though, to be able to go back one day and see what was going on at different times in their lives. I go back to posts and think how different I am from the person who was writing just three years ago. I have heard that blogs can be bound into books. I am looking for advice. If anyone has done this (Chellie!!) or heard of someone who has and was pleased with it, could you let me know? I have Googled some ideas, but I haven't loved what I've found. I would especially like it if comments could be included, and I haven't found that yet. Anyway, I sort of hinted about it to the Big Man. There are two big dates coming up next year...our 20th anniversary and my
40th birthday, so it would make a great gift for either of those occasions. (Not so subtle hint, I guess.)

I think that's it. I am now going to attempt to download some of the video that MK and the Big Man took the other night. I realize this may only be funny to us, but the grandparents may appreciate it.

School's out - time to sleep in

So why was I up at 5:30 - the time I get up on school days? I guess I have a lot on my mind. But I'm caught up on blogs and Facebook, so I've accomplished something. The Big Man suggested I go for a walk. Maybe I'll get that ambitious...maybe I'll roll back over and try to get some more sleep. The possibilities are endless. I hope you have a day rife with possibility!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Here is a woman who really enjoys her job.

T. Willy loves stuffed animals. He calls them his "animal friends," and takes them with him everywhere. So, for Christmas, we went to Build-a-Bear and made a dog for him. There were no children in the store, because we went during school hours, but you wouldn't have known that based on the woman who was filling the animals. She had the lady in front of us do all the silly things the kids do and love. So here is a video of my turn. I didn't edit, so it may be a little long, and make sure your sound is up right at the beginning. The Big Man honestly thought it was sound effects. I had to convince him that she was doing it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Thank you, Jessica

I am not a fan of Jessica Simpson, but I love shoes, and she has a line. We were shopping for the kids today, but I ended up with a beautiful pair of JS boots. I really shouldn't thank JS; I should thank the Big Man because I wouldn't have gotten them if I were by myself. They were hugely discounted which we know because the Big Man pulled out his iPhone and checked on several well known shoe sites (half price from Amazon and even Zappo's.) MK is a little miffed because it's so close to Christmas, and she can't get things so close to Christmas. She also got some nice trinkets today, (yes, I know I said I was finished...but she just gave me some new ideas,) she just can't open them till Christmas.
Trying on my boots at the store

While we were out, we went to PF Changs for the first time. I tried the lettuce wraps. They were really good, but Cheesecake Factory's surpasses theirs by far, to me at least. We did enjoy our time there, and I'm sure we'll go back.

T. Willy went back to school today. He did great. His teachers seemed so happy to have him back, and he seemed glad to see his friends. His doctor called today and he tested positive for strep throat, but he's already on the antibiotic, so we'll just keep doing what we were doing.

Finally, tomorrow is the last day before Christmas break. I will sub half the day, then I'll be on break too. I hope you have a wonderful night!

Circus peanuts are my mom's favorite candy

T. Willy heads back to school today. He is feeling much better, but I'm not sure how he'll do going back, because he really liked staying home. However, he only has today and tomorrow, so it shouldn't be too bad.

I sub tomorrow for half of the day. I'm looking forward to being there with the kids all excited about Christmas break. Their last day is tomorrow for 2 weeks. It's nice to have so much time before Christmas, because we'll spend the week after Christmas in Delaware.

We've started some holiday baking. MK made brownies, and I made chocolate covered pretzels. I also made Chex mix.

It isn't our favorite thing in the world, but it says Christmas to me. My mom always has it at her house when we're there, and my niece and nephews come over and we play board games for hours while we devour the Chex mix, so my mom ends up making more. I think I may be a little too connected to food and emotions. My big one? If I miss my mom, I will go to the store and buy circus peanuts. Yes, those little orange marshmallow things

She loves them, and I am never disappointed when I go to Delaware to find her "stash" of them. She also loves fruit slices, those little half circles of gel covered in sugar.

I don't need to run out and get any, though, because I'll see my mom next week!!!

Have a great day!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Do you know why Jesus is invisible?

After I posted this morning, T. Willy woke up and wasn't feeling well. His nose was running all weekend, and he developed a pretty heavy cough. So I took him to the doctor today. He has tonsillitis. He missed school today and will miss again tomorrow. You wouldn't really know he was sick, because he acted fine, but I'm glad I took him. My errands didn't get completely accomplished today, but there's always tomorrow.

I was called to sub for the band at MK's school in January. That means I'll finally have her in class. I am so excited! Her teacher was chosen to direct the All-State Band, a really big honor, and I get to fill in for him.

I will close with a picture of MK's new hair. I'm not sure the picture really shows it well, so I'll show you a before and after. The biggest change is the bangs.

And the answer to the title of this post? Because He died. This is what T. Willy blurted out at the doctor's office. He thought he was so clever. Apparently, a boy at school taught this to him. We'll work on his theology. Have a good night!




MK, T. Willy and I went to the mall yesterday to do some Christmas shopping. We told T. Willy that he could see Santa and tell him what he wanted for Christmas. So, we finished our shopping pretty easily (thank goodness...I am now truly finished!!!!) and went to stand in line. T. seemed pretty excited...not jumping up and down crazy happy, but - okay, this is Santa, that's cool- excited. I let MK get in line with him and I stood to the side, because MK enjoys that part of being a big sister. Then I see them walking toward me with T. WIlly in tears. "I don't want to see Santa," was our only explanation; that was good enough. Maybe we'll catch him another time.

My kids are really alike sometimes. The Big Man and I stood in line with MK one year for a very long time. She was so excited, couldn't wait...her turn comes, and she wouldn't take a step. We caught him casually at another shop later, and she went right up to him. So funny.

The Big Man's mom sent gifts over for them to open - one every day until Christmas. T.'s latest gift was a set of jumbo crayons. He used them to "write" a letter to Santa and said it was a secret so no one was able to see it. He made a big production out of telling us about it. He then hid it somewhere, so we really didn't get to see it.

T. Willy has learned a new phrase, and we heard it no fewer than 32 times yesterday. It was, "Maddie, you're driving me crazy!" It irritated her, but I thought it was funny, because it's what she says to him all the time.

And today I'm mailing cards and packages and buying baking goods. The fun can begin. Since I didn't get a picture with T. and Santa, I will close with more pictures that my mother-in-law sent of the snow that they had last week. This was taken at their church. Have a great day!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Snow? Not here

So the South was graced with snow last week. Did we get any? Not a flake. But I know a lot of people enjoyed it and sent us pictures, so we enjoyed it vicariously through them. Here is a picture that my mother in law sent from their church. It didn't last long, but they were able to enjoy it for awhile.

MK's band concert was wonderful. They have a new director this year, and at first, MK was less then enamored with him. However, she has realized that she has learned a lot from him, and feels that they are much better. He is very organized and has taught them a lot of discipline. It really showed at the concert. They were great!

I forgot to tell you that she also had a wonderful time at the Christmas party. She had so many stories to tell, and really enjoyed hanging with the Big Man. Tomorrow she is getting a hair cut. She has a definite idea of what she wants, so I will be sure to post pictures. It isn't really that different from what she has had, except that she will have bangs for the first time since maybe 2nd grade.

And that's a little update. Have a wonderful night!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

All better

Thank you for all of your kind thoughts and comments. T. Willy is fine now. It didn't even require a doctor's visit. He went back to school yesterday, but has learned the art of, "I don't feel good," as a ploy to get out of school. He wasn't faking Monday, but has mentioned that he isn't going to feel well in the future because he realized illness gets him a day at home.

I did not have a day at home today. I subbed at MK's school, always my favorite. The classes were great. I was also asked to sub on Friday, so it really worked out well. It poured all day, and it was fun to sit in the class while listening to the rain.

Tomorrow will really be my last day at the college this semester. Four students did not pass Tuesday, so we'll be back tomorrow. They were frustrated, because they were all within four points, but the rules are the rules. One girl that passed (with one of the highest scores) actually hugged me after she found out that she had passed. She was so nervous, and cried while I was grading. Two students didn't even show up. They had both had great attendance all semester, and they showed up last Thursday for the written portion. One of them emailed me today, and he is going to be able to take the retest with the others, but he has to take both parts. It is a shame, because he had a decent score on the written part and likely would have passed on the first try.

MK has her band Christmas concert tomorrow. It should be fun. She has been telling me about the songs, and I can't wait to go.

I guess I'll go and figure out what we should do for dinner. Have a great night!

Monday, December 08, 2008


I should have known something was off when T. Willy took a nap yesterday. He never naps at home. Occasionally he falls asleep in the car, but he never naps. So I shouldn't have been surprised when he woke up this morning burning up. He missed his first day of school. He said that one of his ears hurts a little, so I'm guessing an ear infection. MK used to get them a lot; they even mentioned putting tubes in, but she outgrew them, and I'm hoping T. Willy will do the same. So if he is feverish tomorrow, I'll take him to the doctor.

However, this means that we'll miss the Christmas party at the Big Man's restaurant. They're having a luau theme and they made a lot of luau related foods. I went there today for a couple of hours and helped them make mini-kabobs. The managers are wearing grass skirts. I am sorry that I'm going to miss that. MK is going to get to go. It doesn't start till 9, so she is taking a nap. Normally we wouldn't let her go out on a school night, but this is a special occasion, and she'll be with the Big Man while I hang out at home with T.

So that's about it. I'm hoping everyone passes in my class tomorrow so that I can get the grades tallied and turned in. If not, it will be over on Thursday. It's been a good semester, but I think everyone is ready for it to end

Have a great night!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Christmas Parade 2008

Take two on this post. I loaded 3 videos which seemed to take the last one was finalizing, the whole thing disappeared. Ugh.

So....last night was our Christmas parade. I am going to try to show 4 videos. The first is of T. Willy and MK before the parade. The next is T. Willy's setup. He had a front row seat complete with his wagon and a blanket and the Big Man's iPhone to play with while he waited for floats to pass. The third is of a float that I thought was hysterical. It portrayed an old fashioned revival. It cracked me up, as you will notice...I am a strange bird. The thing I found so funny was that the "preacher" just kept repeating, "We're going to sing Silent Night. Key of G. Key of G." They had instruments and looked ready to play, but we never did hear them sing. The last is of MK's band. She makes a brief appearance in it at the 18 second mark. She's the 3rd clarinet in. Usually she kind of scowls if I call her name. This time I didn't, and she seemed to appreciate it.

A highlight of the night was running into one of my students from last year. I've run into just about every other student from last year while subbing or shopping. But I haven't heard how he was doing. He approached me and seemed genuinely glad to see me, because he just talked and talked. It was so great. He has a tough life and had a reputation as a troublemaker. But we totally clicked. He was helpful and developed leadership skills and really learned to control his temper. I can't tell you how happy I was to see him.

So that was the parade. I hope you had a wonderful weekend and have a great week!


Saturday, December 06, 2008

Parade night

Our Christmas parade was tonight. MK played in it with the band, and T.Willy, the Big Man and I watched from the sidelines. It was a cold night, perfect for a Christmas parade. We took some pictures and video, so I'll try to get them posted tomorrow.

I talked to my mom this evening. She and a friend spent the day on Long Island. Her friend spoke at a Ladies' Tea at a church there. It sounded like she had a great time. T. Willy talked to her, but she was a little confused when he was giving her the play by play of the Florida/Alabama game.

So that was our Saturday. Have a great Sunday!

Happy Birthday, Mom!

I hope it's a wonderful day for you!

Thursday, December 04, 2008


My favorite day of the week.

The grading session went well. We grade papers for other instructors, but we find our students' grades too. It looks like all of my students are on track to pass. Two of my students attended most of the classes, but flaked out at the end. I told one that he could make up some missed work, but he still didn't do it, so I was relieved that they didn't show up today. It was much easier than having the "you've wasted your time and mine" conversation. I'm hopeful that everyone passes on Tuesday, then the semester will be over for all of us.

Our town's Christmas parade is Saturday. MK will march in it with the band, and we will watch from the sidelines. It is always a good time to catch up with friends that we don't see often, because it seems like everyone shows up for it.

T. Willy took a field trip at school today. They rode the school bus to a neighboring town (coincidentally the town where I go to teach) and delivered food that they had collected for needy people. Then they stopped at a really nice children's park to play for awhile. He seemed to really enjoy it and was so excited that his teacher sat by him on the bus ride home.

I am subbing tomorrow at MK's school, so I should start doing some things to get ready for that. Have a great night and a happy Friday!

T. by the tree

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Shopping Day.

The Christmas shopping is almost complete. What a relief! We had a late start, but it's coming along. We have one surprise for MK that is going to blow her away. I just can't tell you yet. T. Willy is very much into punching...not people necessarily, but he shadow boxes all the time. So we got him a "bop bag" which should be a big hit. It is reminiscent of the old Bozo punching bag that I remember from my childhood, but this one has a Pittsburgh Steeler on it. MK wisely pointed out that we like the Steelers, so why would we want to punch them? I guess the answer is that we just can't allow anything Dallas Cowboys in our house.

So tomorrow begins finals in my class. I am planning to stop at the store in the morning to pick up some Smarties and Hershey's Kisses for the students for a little encouragement. In the afternoon I have to head back to the school for a grading session. Since I was working last semester, I didn't get to participate, but I'm looking forward to it this time. I'm so hopeful that the students do well, because I hate to see any of them have to repeat the class.

Have a great Thursday!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

What's happening.

Not much. That's for sure.

We made travel plans to go away after Christmas. The kids and I will leave the day after Christmas and fly to Delaware, and we'll come home January 2nd. The Big Man will stay here and watch football and work. We're looking forward to it and hoping for snow. I never expect it, but would love to see it.

The weather here has been very unpredictable. It's been colder than usual, then it warms up, now it's cold again. However, it has me motivated to walk. I was doing that regularly for awhile, but have gotten out of the habit. So tomorrow I am determined to drop MK off at the bus stop and enjoy the cool morning.

But that morning will be here soon enough, so I'd better get to bed. Have a great night!!

Monday, December 01, 2008


First of all...happy 41st Anniversary to the Big Man's parents. Wow...among our peers, we have usually been married the longest, but we don't come close to our parents. 41 years for my in-laws and 45 for my parents. Makes 19 seem so short in comparison.

Anyway, it was back to school for the kids today. I didn't sub, so I had a nice quiet day at home. Tomorrow, in my college class, we have our last review, and start the first part of the final on Thursday. They will take the second part next Tuesday, and if everyone passes, that will be the end of the class. If anyone doesn't pass, they get a second chance to take it, but must take it all in one day. So, a week from Thursday, the class will be officially over. It has been a good class, albeit early for most of the students. I did learn something new. There are several athletes in the class. Before they come to class at 8 a.m., the female athletes have already worked out with their coaches. The men shouldn't complain about the early mornings, and it isn't the women who fall asleep in class.

So, that's it. Have a great night!