Weekend Wrap-up

We had a really great weekend. It started early, of course, with Thanksgiving and our Girls' Night Out on Friday night. Saturday was uneventful; I had a nasty headache and stayed in bed much of the day.
Sunday morning, I got up and made cupcakes for church. It was Family Day, and the plan was for old-fashioned games like sack races and 3-legged races. But, it rained all day. So instead, after a nice lunch, we had music in the sanctuary.
After church, we went to a craft show. I didn't spend much, but I did get some Christmas-scented tarts that are burning right now and my house smells like Christmas in heaven!
Then we took the little ones to see Santa Claus.

And while we were out, I got a cinnamon bun cappucino. Mmmm.
Then this evening, we went to church to help out with the Hanging of the Greens, which is decorating the church for Christmas. The kids had a great time. Afterwards, we had hot chocolate, hot apple cider, and snacks. T-bone is madly in like with a girl from church, and tonight we got a chance to hang out with her and her parents. She is a great girl, and her parents are awesome.
Then, we came home to a great dinner, if I do say so myself! Now, everyone else is snug in their beds, while Mama is blogging. So peaceful!
I even got my camera to work for me today! Here's a fun picture I snapped.

Hope y'all had a wonderful weekend!


twilight Pictures, Images and Photos

Last night, Ladybug, my niece, and I went to see Twilight. I refused to read any blog reviews of the movie, because I didn't want any preconceived ideas about it.
I really liked it, we all did. I'm not insanely wild about the actress who played Bella; I think she looks the part but her acting wasn't fantastic. There were SO many things from the book that I wish they could've put in the movie, but I expected that, that's what happens with nearly all books that are made into movies.
But I really did enjoy watching the book 'come to life'.
And Edward....he was yummy. I fell in love with him all over again. And Jacob is simply beautiful! I so hope that they make the other three books into movies also.
The girls and I grabbed dinner at Subway, made a Walmart run, and then came home, where the boys had been eating, watching TV, and farting all night. Good times!

twilight Pictures, Images and Photos


DysFUNctional Holiday Letters

You know those annoying nice, newsy letters you get every Holiday season? The ones from people you barely know and rarely see, bragging about their kids' accomplishments and telling you details of their life that you really don't care about?
Well, now....there's a DysFUNctional version. And naturally, it totally belongs on MY blog.

Go write your own version of a DysFUNctional Holiday Letter. If nothing else, it'll reduce some stress and maybe make you laugh!

Here's mine:

Dear Dumbass,

I just wanted to let you know that you have completely pissed on my life.

If you had half a brain you would be dangerous.

I have had shock therapy to try to forget your existence because you have manipulated me one too many times.

I have often looked the other way, which makes me almost as dumb as you.

This time you have hit an all time low, even for you.

I have never shirked my responsibility to tell you that you are a bonehead loser.

You would be so much better off if you would just lay off of the hooch!

You must be the product of inbreeding.

You are EVIL!

It is time for you to stop being a leech.

Let this also serve as notice that all future visits have been cancelled as I would rather claw out my eyes than see you.

Piss off you total psycho,

PS: Please do not reply back, there is a restraining order against you.

I need time to report your whereabouts to the repo man.


Thankful Thanksgiving Thursday

I tend to reflect on my blessings often. I am a very thankful person. Today is the perfect day to stop and reflect on what I have to be thankful for - Thankful Thursday, and Thanksgiving!

* I am thankful for Spiderman's mother - because she gave birth to him, and he is now doing so well in our home.

* I am thankful that my kids yelled and argued and ate up tons of food today - because they are at home, healthy, and happy.

* I am thankful that my parents drive me totally insane - because my mom is 65 and my dad is 72, but they are healthy and we get to spend Thanksgiving with them.

* I am thankful for our stressful jobs - because they provide for our family.

* I am thankful for my scatter-brained, sometimes thoughtless MIL - because she gave birth to my wonderful husband and obviously did a wonderful job raising him to be a kind, sensitive, generous, caring man.

* I am thankful for fur all over my black clothes - because it comes from my beloved doggies and kitty.

* I am thankful that I will get very little sleep tomorrow and will probably be exhausted - because I will be cooking for, and then visiting with, my family.

* I am thankful for bills to pay and messes to clean - because we have a comfortable home full of love.

* I am thankful for our several-years-old, uncool automobiles - because they are paid for and, most of the time, get us where we need to go.

Several times in my life, I have had things happen that appeared to be bad things at that time. But later, they turned out to be the biggest blessings ever, more than I could have ever imagined. They brought me to where I am today, and I am incredibly thankful.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!



Today's the day for IYGAKAC! But guess what...I didn't have time for it, and I'm guessing not many of you did either.
I'm going to do IYGAKAC less frequently. If your kid takes pics and you post them, let me know, and then we'll do a big post. Weekly is just too often!
But if you participated, please sign Mr Linky and leave me a comment.
So far, I know that BoufMom from Who Says 8 is Enough? played this week.


I have a few things that I've been tagged for, so I'm going to take care of them now!

Irregular Tammie tagged me for this Weird Things Meme.


1. link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
2. share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself.
3. tag 7 people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
4. let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Random/Weird Things:

1. (weird) One of my little OCD things is symmetry and order. I recently got a cute little glittery mini Christmas tree decoration and then a glittery "Hope" decoration to go with it. But when I arranged them, I realized I needed another mini tree to go on the other side of the "Hope" deco. I couldn't stand it until I went and bought another tree!
2. (weird) I love almost all types of music from country to hard rock. I don't like jazz, but I listen to it every morning because my favorite radio show, Bob & Sheri, is only broadcast locally on a jazz station.
3. (random) I have lost 110 pounds in exactly 9 months. If you haven't already heard my story, read here.
4. (random) I have the best husband in the world. He had the day off today, and he let me sleep all day, then made me 'lunch' when I woke up, and stopped at Walgreens for my Cinnamon Bun crack coffee while taking me to work. Love him!
5. (random) My favorite aunt & her husband aren't coming to visit for Thanksgiving because he is very sick with the flu. I am so bummed! It won't be the same without them.
6. (weird and random) One of my dogs killed a squirrel the other day! She always chases them but somehow she actually managed to catch one this time. Then she got mad at all of the other dogs because they wanted to play with her 'prize'. J had to throw it over the fence. Ew!
7. (random) Yesterday, Spiderman, the Princess and I were at the grocery store. Out of the blue, Spiderman very seriously informed me that if anyone at school wants to mess with the Princess, they'll have to get through him first, because he's not going to let anyone hurt his sister! (all together now.....awwww!)

I tag...yikes, seven people? OK, I'll do it. But, only participate if you want, don't feel obligated!
Aubrey, John Deere Mom, Hot Tub Lizzy, Meaghan, Jojo, Becky, and Jennifer.

Aaaand last but not least:
This is the Favorite Things with a Twist Meme. You have to list 10 of your Favorite Things. The twist is that they all have to start with a letter, which is assigned to you. Aubrey gave me the letter "N". N?? Seriously? Yikes! Here I go.
1. Nice people.
2. Nachos.
3. Nudity. ha!! Just had to throw that one in.
4. Naps!!!
5. Nestle Chocolate
6. Necklaces
7. Nonconformists
8. Nuts (get your mind out of the gutter)
9. New England Clam Chowder
10. Nature.

If you want to play, let me know, and I'll hook you up with a letter.

Happy Tuesday!


Things I'm into right now

I borrowed this concept from my friend Tammie, because I thought it was neat-o.
Here are some things I'm into right now:

- Cinnamon Bun coffee from Walgreens. That's right, Walgreens. The newer ones have cappucino machines. O.M.G., that cinnamon bun stuff is addictive. I had my first one on Friday and have been back about 5 times for more. Seriously.

- Thrift store shopping. J and I are becoming quite the bargain hunters. We got some amazing deals this weekend, and found some unique things that we'd have never found anywhere else. Score!

- Coupon clipping. I am the coupon queen! Well, not really, but I'm working on it. I also check sale ads and write a list of what I need from each store. I will shop at several different stores to get everything I need at the best price. J always goes with me, and we make it fun.

- Walking. We walk everywhere that we possibly can. In our new neighborhood, we are walking distance from our library, dentist, post office, bank, grocery store, dollar store, many restaurants & shops, etc. Unless it's dark or freezing, we're walking! It saves money, helps the environment, and we all get exercise. Win/win/win!

- Decorating our new home. Now that I have space to decorate, I'm having a lot of fun with it. And that also ties in with thrift store shopping!

- The Christmas spirit, and this is suprising to me. If I even get into the spirit at all, it's usually not until right before Christmas. I guess it's the overcommercialization, but for many years, I've had a hard time getting into the spirit, even though once Christmas comes, I enjoy it. But I've already done a lot of shopping and even a teeny bit of decorating this year! Crazy!

What things are you into right now?


Loyal Friend Award

I have made some wonderful friends in the blog world. So much so, that I had to create an award to recognize some of my special friends!

Some of you have been reading my blog for a long time. Others are newer friends. Although we're all busy and there are so many blogs out there to read, you make time to come by and comment here when you get a chance. You've encouraged me and praised me, and made me so happy that I started this blog. You are loyal friends, and to me, loyalty is the most important quality in a friend. This is my way of thanking you!

So, this Loyal Friend award goes out to:

A Bun's Life - for being a longtime blog friend.

Kel @ Cafe Kel - for being a loyal commenter.

Chel @ Chasing Contentment - for being a sweet, loyal friend.

OHMommy @ Classy Chaos - for taking time to visit me with her kind words.

Jen @ Don't Forget to Flush - for being a super friend & a better participant in IYGAKAC than I am!

Aubrey @ Fam Five - for being a new and faithful friend.

Krissy @ Firecracker Mom! - for being here almost since the very beginning!

Jennifer @ The Fun House - for being a great new friend and giving me my Pickle fix!

Meaghan @ I Kicked Cancer's Ass - for being a wonderful new friend whom I admire and respect.

Tammie @ Irregular Tammie - for being a faithful commenter, and a rare local friend.

Stacey @ Is There Any Mommy Out There - for being a regular visitor and an amazing mom.

Kim @ Jogging In Circles - for being another one of the friends who goes way back and still takes time to visit me.

Momisodes @ Momisodes - for being a faithful reader & great friend.

Mozi's Mom @ Mozi Esme - for taking time to leave sweet and thoughtful comments.

Debbie @ My Noggin Bloggins - for being a very encouraging friend and fellow WLS-er!

Becky @ My Crazy Beautiful Life - for being a truly faithful new friend & commenter, and someone who can commiserate with me about our teens! ;o)

Cyndy @ Quintessential Procrastinator - for being a 'go way back' friend, and we also share a name!

Alison @ RDH Mom - for being a longtime friend who I can count on.

Kathryn @ Seeking Sanity - for being a sweet friend and faithful commenter.

Beany @ sogratefultobemormon - for being a wonderfully encouraging friend. Beany, wherever you are, I miss you.

I truly, dearly love and appreciate all of you! Thank you for taking time out of your busy lives to read my posts. Thank you for your kind words. Thank you for being a Loyal Friend.

If I left you out, please don't be offended. I'll be passing it out to a new round of friends in the near future!

Please feel free to share this award with your most Loyal Friends. ♥

A friend is someone who knows all about you and loves you anyway.


Giving Myself a Pass

I work pretty hard. I work at least 40 hours per week at my job. And of course, as a Mom I'm on call 24/7. As most of you know, I'm a night shifter. I basically just do the reverse of most moms; I work while my kids sleep, and sleep while my kids are in school. I pick them up when school gets out, and help them with their homework, fix snacks...all that good stuff. I do the laundry and take care of the pets, and all of the household duties. If I don't get everything done that I want to on any given day, I feel guilty and inadequate. If I give in and take a nap, I really feel like a slacker.

But no more! On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, I work 12-hour shifts. I go in at 7pm and work until 7am. I chose this schedule because it works out better for the family. But it's not easy, working those 12-hour shifts back to back, especially since the little kids get out of school early on Wednesdays. Then, before I can start to relax, it's time to pick up the Ladybug. My Wednesdays are busy, and it's very hard to get anything accomplished. And every week, I stress out about it.

But I've decided to give myself a pass. Every Wednesday, I'm taking the day off from household duties. I'll still do the basics, of course. I'm not going to starve anyone or leave the kids on their own with homework. But I'm not doing laundry, I'm not vacuuming, I'm not mopping. I AM going to take a much-needed nap on the couch while the kids play in the same room. I'm not going to make dinner; J is willing and able to whip up something simple for himself and the kids.
I'm going to take care of myself, and I'm going to rest.

And best of all, I'm NOT going to feel guilty about it!

I need this one day 'off' for my sanity, health, and well-being. It's better for the family, too, because I'm not stressed out and irritable. I've given myself a pass!

And you know what? I think you should do the same thing.
Pick a day, any day. There doesn't have to be a reason. Give yourself the day off of dusting and scrubbing toilets. Sit down and play with your kids. Read a book. Watch what you want on TV. Call a friend. Blog. Twitter. Make something easy for supper, or order pizza.

And most importantly...don't feel guilty! You deserve a break.

Take my pass!

And pass it along to someone you know who also deserves a guilt-free pass.

Wordless Wednesday ~ It Should Be Illegal...

...for these eyelashes...

...to belong to a BOY.


IYGAKAC 11.18.08

Today is Tuesday, and that means it's time for "If You Give a Kid a Camera"! Today's photos are courtesy of the Princess a.k.a. the child who is paying me back for driving my parents crazy.

The hydrangea in my back yard...

These next two are butterfly-attracting plants that we got at the Butterfly Rainforest.

One of my turtle statues...awww

Spiderman with one of our foster dogs, Honey. How sweet is this picture??

If you joined in, don't forget to sign Mr Linky!


Gator Walk 2008

Not long after I met my husband, we were talking late into the night. Just the two of us, talking about our lives. And that's when he told me about Baby JW. He cried, and I cried. It was the saddest thing I'd ever heard.
Later, I asked him if he'd take me to visit the baby's grave.
So one weekend, we visited the grave. A tiny spot in the children's section of the cemetery. A pretty little marker in a pretty little spot, but such a sad thing to see.
From then on, we made regular trips to visit the grave. We glued little Hot Wheels cars & trucks to the marker. We brought bouquets & balloons. At Christmas, we always bring him a tiny tree.
And then in 2006, we started doing the Gator Walk. After we walk, we always visit the grave, and bring gifts. This year, we took a bouquet and a balloon, and also new Hot Wheels to glue on the marker. This was Spiderman's first time ever visiting his big brother's grave. He glued the Hot Wheels on himself. Then we all held hands and said a little prayer for Baby JW.
What we do for the March for Babies is not much in the grand scheme of things, but it's our little way of doing something positive in his memory. And it's our hope that one day, parents won't have to endure the pain that my husband & his family went through.
And when J hugs me and thanks me for all that I do for the baby....that makes it so worth it all.

Gator Walk 2008


/>me & my hubby...he's wearing a shirt from Gator Walk 2007 & mine is from 2006 =)

only the big kids walk with us, it's a 5k and I think the little ones would get worn out.

Unfortunately, my camera took a crap on me before the walk even started. So I have no pictures of the fun stuff, or of the grave, I normally take pics every year. Let's hope Santa brings Mama a new camera! But here's a picture from last year.



Weekend Funny

I got this in an email, and just had to share it. A couple of them are bad links but most are real, true websites.

1. 'Who Represents' is where you can find the name of the agent that represents any celebrity. Their Web site is: www.whorepresents.com
2. 'Experts Exchange' is a knowledge base where programmers can exchange advice and views at:
3. Looking for a great pen? Look no further than ' Pen Island '. It can be found at: http://www.penisland.net/
4. Need a therapist? Try 'Therapist Finder' at: www.therapistfinder.com
5. Then there's the 'Italian Power Generator' company. Check it out at: http://www.powergenitalia.com/
6.'IP computer' software, there's always: www.ip_anywhere.com
7. And the designers at 'Speed of Art' await you at their wacky Web site: http://www.speedofart.com/

What were these people thinking?? LOL Have a GREAT weekend!

Friday Foto Finish Fiesta AND Fragments!

Yep, today I'm doing a twofer. First is Candid Carrie's Fx4.

These pictures were taken at a pond outside of the Butterfly Rainforest, but on a different day than the butterfly pics were taken.
I love lotus flowers (water lillies), I even have one tattooed on my upper back. They are very meaningful to me. So, I really like these pictures.

And now it's time for my version of Mrs. 4444's Friday Fragments.

* I am so ridiculously pleased to have my blog back in working order. It was like someone came to my house and made a mess and rearranged everything, and now it's all back in place and better than ever!

* a lot of you have been asking me about Beany. You can get updates here. Unfortunately though, there's no real news.

* I dyed my hair red! And while I had my wet, goopy hair stuck on top of my head, one of my foster dogs escaped. I was wearing a huge shirt and some huge shorts, and I had to run around the front yard like that. She was running in circles and doing whatever she could to dodge me. Finally, for some bizarre reason, she stopped in some sticker bushes, and I caught her. I'm sure the neighbors were entertained.

* We have a little old lady in our unit who has decided she really likes me. She can't talk but she'll mouth words to me, and the other night she mouthed "don't go!" when I was leaving the room. Awww! She's the cutest thing.

* Hope y'all have a great weekend. TGIF!


Sign the Petition for Babies

In this day and time, it's hard to believe that Prematurity is STILL on the rise. But that is, in fact, the case. The March of Dimes has started a petition. The purpose of this petition is:

1. We urge the federal government to increase support for prematurity-related research and data collection as recommended by the Institute of Medicine and the Surgeon General’s Conference on the Prevention of Preterm Birth, to:
(a) identify
the causes of premature birth;
(b) test strategies for prevention;
(c) improve the care, treatment and outcomes of
preterm infants;
(d) and better define and track
the problem of premature birth.
2. We urge federal and state policymakers to expand access to health coverage for women of childbearing age and to support
smoking cessation programs as part of maternity care.
3. We call on hospitals and health care professionals to voluntarily assess
c-sections and inductions that occur prior to 39 weeks gestation to ensure consistency with professional guidelines*.
4. We call on businesses to create workplaces that support maternal and infant health.
View our 14 recommendations.

Can you please take a moment to sign this petition to help babies?

Our walk is this weekend. If you have a few dollars to spare for the babies, just click here!


Wordless Wednesday ~ Butterfly Rainforest

*Sorry I missed IYGAKAC yesterday. Broken blog & illness got the best of me.
Today's pics are from the Butterfly Rainforest.


Bloggy Withdrawal

I posted twice this weekend, and now both posts are gone!
My new blog will be up soon. Thanks to those of you who checked in on me!
I'm going through bloggy withdrawal. I have had a very busy and fun weekend, though.
We went to a Butterfly Rainforest. I'll post pics later, but here's one just for fun.

Please don't give up on me, I will be back when my new blog is up and running!


One Last Post for 2008 Gator Walk!

Hey friends! First of all I want to thank all of you who already donated to the Gator Walk for March for Babies. We have exceeded our goal! Y'all rock.
Second, the walk is next Saturday, so I wanted to post one more request for donations. I know how hard times are right now, believe me! But if you have a few extra dollars, every little bit helps.
Thanks a lot!

I Blew It

I blew NaBloPoMo. I haven't posted since Thursday. Woops! I've been too busy, but it's been a good busy. Art Festivals, picnics, and cozy snuggling at home. No time for the computer!Sorry, NaBloPoMo friends. Life got in the way!My new blog will be opening soon. I'll have a link here, be sure to follow me there!Have a great weekend.


Back in Time

OK, so I didn't rock all of these hairdos. I'm not that old! But I jumped on the bandwagon and Yearbooked myself. The results were too much fun not to share with y'all!

1952 - I look eerily like old pics of my mother.

1960 - I did always love the cats-eye glasses.

1966 - This is kinda cute.

1968 - I'm loving the flip!

1974 - I never would've guessed I could pull THIS look off!

1978 - Marcia, Marcia, MARCIA!

1990 - Ohhhh. Yeahhhh. I guess I was ahead of my time, because I had this look before 1990. I loved this huge hair.

1994 - Even more huge-hair, shellacked beauty. If this style ever comes back, I am SO on it!

Go ahead, Yearbook yourself. You know you wanna!