Flowers, Fireworks, & Fragments

It's Friday Fragment Day ~ YAY!

Mommy's Idea

Tomorrow, I am going to get my hair done. This is momentous because I very rarely get anything done to my hair other than the occasional cut (and even those are few & far between). But tomorrow? Cut & highlights. Let's hope this goes well!

I'm looking forward to this holiday weekend. Last week was rough; this week has been much better and I'm hoping for a nice relaxing weekend. The kids will be coming home tomorrow. We're planning a trip to the Springs, maybe some berry picking, then fun & fireworks on Monday.

We didn't have cable for years. I just figured it was a bill we didn't need. We got the local channels, what else did we need?
Um, yeah. We got Dish Network last Fall, and now I am so addicted to so many cable shows, it's really ridiculous. And embarrassing. But true.
How did I live without Toddlers & Tiaras? Operation Repo? And most of all, Cupcake Wars?? Oh, how I love the cupcakes.

I updated my blog button scrolly thing this week. If I don't have your button, let me know so I can add it. Especially if it's cute. I LOVE cute buttons!
Also, if you're not already a follower, just one little click would change all that....you might notice I'm really close to 500, and I confess, I just love large round numbers..... -> -> ->

All of the lovely flowers pictured in this post are growing in my yard. =)

This song is special to me. Every time I hear it, I think of my kids. Even the one who's technically an adult now. It's important for them to know that I'm always here for them, and that no matter what, I have their back. This song says that so well.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

God Bless America!

If Heaven Wasn't So Far Away

The first time I heard this song, I was driving in my car. It was one of the rare times I was alone, and I was glad, because I literally had to park the car and just give in to the tears that were overtaking me.

I hope you'll listen to the song, but it's about what life would be like if heaven wasn't so far away. How we could pack up the kids to visit their grandparents, let long-lost relatives know how their children are doing here on earth, and how "losing them wouldn't be so hard to take, if heaven wasn't so far away".

All I could think of when I heard it was who I would visit, if heaven wasn't so far away.

The first person I thought of was John's firstborn son, who passed away shortly after his birth. I know that John would also want to visit his own father, who died about 10 years ago.

Then I thought of my children's paternal grandmother. My ex-husband's mother passed away in 1993. She gave birth to five boys, four who survived, and always wanted a daughter. When she passed away, she only had two grandsons. I know she would be so happy to meet my daughters, as well as her other granddaughters who have been born since she passed.

I would love to see my Uncle Gene again. He was my father's oldest brother, and almost like a father to him.

All of my grandparents have passed away, and I would love to visit them once more.

One of the hardest losses I've experienced is that of my cousin. He was in his 30's and had recently moved back to our town. He visited our family often. Then one night, he was tragically struck by a car and killed.

Another tragic loss was that of my mother's best friend, who took her own life. I wish she could see her daughter now that she's grown up, and I would love for her to meet her only grandson.

Honestly, there are so many more, so many people that I have loved and lost and would love to visit, even just one last time.

Who would you want to see, if heaven wasn't so far away?


Imma Let You Finish...

...but I have some of the cutest kids of all time.

Elayna, 2 yrs old (currently 10 yrs old)

Shelbie, about 18 months. (currently 15 yrs old)

Andrew, about 18 months. (currently 11 yrs old)

Tim, 2 yrs old. (currently 18 yrs old)


Check out these chicks for more

Wordful Wednesday posts!


Can I Have Some of That?

Do you get your Daily Dose of Jack?

No, I'm not talking about this.

Although if you do get your daily dose of that Jack, that's certainly none of my concern. Party on, with your bad self! I'll be over here praying for your liver.

Anycirrhosis, that's not what this post is about. This is about a whole 'nother kind of Jack. This Jack is so awesome, if he had thumbs, he would rule the world.

As it is, he's written two books! This latest one is a cookbook, and yours truly (that's me) contributed a recipe to this awesome book. It's now available for your Kindle! Can I Have Some of That?

And best of all, all of the proceeds go to French Bulldog Rescue Network and Chase Away K9 Cancer. Even if you don't have the Kindle, if you purchase the Kindle version, Jack will send you a PDF version for free. That way the charities still get some bones (haha!) and you still get your book. Win/win!

So check it out, and while you're at it, check out his fabulous first book, Jack: A Book About a Dog Where the Dog Doesn't Die at the End.

Dogs everywhere will thank you!


Lilies & Lions in my City

About a week ago,
we were surprised to see these beautiful purple/pink lilies
growing all around our shed.

The joys of moving often - you never know what plants are growing in your yard!

This guy jumped up to get in the picture.

My tomatoes!
The only thing truly flourishing in my garden. It is SO dry here.

The General, lead singer of De Lions of Jah.

I love the way the lights showed up in this shot.

A light - up hula hoop!
Some of the women were doing two at once and they could keep them up for ages!
It was crazy.

Visit Unknown Mami for more Sundays in my City posts...

Unknown Mami

& Ni Hao Yall for more Sunday Snapshots!

Sunday Snapshot


Blogging, Books, & the Beach, etc!

Mommy's Idea

Finally, I got a new internet thingy, so my internet is no longer broken! Maybe I will be able to blog more now! Let's start with the Famous Friday Fragments.

Tonight we're going to an outdoor concert. From May - October, the town near us has free concerts downtown every Friday. A couple of years ago we went almost every Friday, but since John works every Friday night now, we haven't been in a long time. But tonight, one of John's favorite groups is performing, so he took the night off. They are a reggae group called De Lions of Jah. It's going to be FUN!

If all goes well, we're going to leave Sunday for a quick beach trip. I only wish it could be a LONG beach trip, because Mama needs a vacation!!

I got Tim Tebow's autobiography, Through My Eyes, for John, and I can't wait to read it myself. (did anyone see him on Jimmy Kimmell Wednesday night? So.freaking.gorgeous!)
But first, I got Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo for me to read. I have heard so much about it and can't wait to read it!

I'm going to cut this short so I can go catch up on your blogs! Hope you have a wonderful weekend. Don't forget to visit Mrs 4444 for more Friday Fragments!


Ice Cream & Fragments

Lots going on around here! Tomorrow is the big day - my niece, Heather, is getting married! Tim & the girls are in the wedding. Last night was the Bachelorette Party; it was low key and family friendly. It was held at a bowling alley and the theme was 80's Rock. Check out the fuzzy cell phone pic of me & Layna:

(those are classic 80's fingerless gloves on Elayna's hand!)

It was a lot of fun! All of us girls are getting our nails done today. Tonight is the rehearsal dinner, and the wedding is at 2:00 pm Saturday. It's going to be beautiful! Her theme is cherry blossoms, hence the pretty dividers.....

The A/C in our car wasn't working. In Florida, that's just intolerable. Also, the passenger window was stuck in the 'up' position (thankfully) and wouldn't work. So, we had them fixed.
When we got it back, the power locks and the sideview mirror controls wouldn't work.

OhMyGosh, I nearly forgot to tell you. I had a life-changing experience this week. Ever since my weight loss surgery 3 years ago, I haven't been able to eat ice cream without getting extremely ill. Needless to say, I learned my lesson pretty quickly and chalked it up to a sacrifice to getting my health back. I only cried and mourned in private. (kidding) (sort of) But this week, I decided to try taking LactAid before eating ice cream, to see if that would help.
And then the heavens parted and I received a beautiful, miraculous blessing. I ate a bowl of ice cream and did not get even the tiniest bit sick. And later that night, I did it again.
It was amazing. I may have nearly shed tears of joy. Also, Publix Peach Cobbler Ice Cream is absolutely incredible.
For real, had I never been able to eat ice cream again, I would have accepted that. Many people have difficulty with a lot of different foods after WLS, so I considered myself lucky. But I really did miss ice cream, so this makes me a happy girl!

Last weekend, I worked my first-ever 24 hour shift.
I went to work on Saturday for my usual 8pm - 8am shift, and then when the Sunday caregiver came in to relieve me, she asked if I could work her shift. She has kidney stones and was in a lot of pain. The kids were at their dad's, we had no plans, so I said, sure. It actually went by pretty fast and I enjoyed it. I really lucked out with my first caregiving job; my client is super sweet, and at 88 year old is still totally on the ball mentally and knows exactly what medications she's supposed to take at what time, when her BP needs to be taken, etc. Which makes it really easy for me. All of us caregivers record her BP, weight, vitals, etc. daily but she keeps her own record of her BP because she worries about it. I can only hope I am that sharp at 88! She is great. There is a bed for the caregivers in the client's room, so we can sleep when she sleeps, although so far I can't sleep well while I'm there. So usually while she sleeps, I play on the internet. Tough job!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and check out Half Past Kissin' Time for more Friday Fragments!

Mommy's Idea

Today's Friday Song Share is one of Heather's wedding songs!


Never Let 'Em See Ya Bawl Like a Baby

I don't know if I've ever mentioned this here before, but years ago, I worked for our county's tag agency. More commonly known around the USA as the dreaded DMV.

Working there was very hard for me. I felt like I was always the bearer of bad news. Very few people go to the DMV in a happy mood. The lines make them even grouchier. Then, I get to tell them that they don't have all of their paperwork, or that their registration fees were much higher than they expected. For the most part people took it as well as could be expected, but others completely lost their everloving minds. I literally received death threats on more than one occasion working there. We were called every name in the book. A woman once told me I was taking food out of her child's mouth. I was very young when I worked there; I started there when I was 17 working after school, and left there when I was 22. It changed my personality, and showed me a side of humanity that I was not fond of.

But for the most part, I handled it all pretty well. I tried my best to be nice to people, even when they were at their worst.

And then....I got pregnant. And hormonal. And slightly evil. I developed a habit of snapping right back at the people who were cursing me out. I lost my patience for explaining things 800 times. It was harder to tolerate the constant ranting and raving.

One of the things that enraged people the most were the fees that the state of Florida charged to people who moved here from another state. All total, the fees to get your car registered here were just under $500. (The bulk of this has since been ruled unconstitutional and the state had to reimburse all of it.) So one day, as I was explaining to a customer how much he would have to pay to get his car registered, he began to curse at me and tell me how stupid I was. And to my horror, instead of letting it roll off my back, instead of making a smart remark....I began to cry. Openly. The girl who sat beside me heard what was going on and raced to my rescue. I had to go into the break room and compose myself.

I was mortified! I had never let any customer make me cry before, and it never happened again. I know it was pregnancy hormones, but I was so embarassed. You know how they say "Never let them see you sweat?" Well I never wanted them to see me CRY! Between that and a sudden bout of nausea causing me to puke in the trash can by my desk....there was never a dull moment!

Visit Mama Kat for more Workshop posts!

Holding it all together

I read this over the weekend, and thought it was one of the best things I'd ever seen. I just had to share it here:

"The way I see it, if you have four kids, you don't really have to do anything else, ever. Three kids is a handful, but one that many people manage to hold. If you're a mother of four, you definitely don't have to have a career or volunteer for the school fund-raiser or even bring an appetizer to the dinner party. In fact, people give you a lot of credit for wearing both earrings and knowing how to spell chaos and antidepressant. Four kids gives you a pass for every forgotten birthday, overlooked appointment, and missing form. Plus, you can be late for everything the rest of your life and never return phone calls. Who's gonna blame you? It's like having nonthreatening cancer, forever."

Kelly Corrigan, The Middle Place

I'd love to print this out and hand it to a few people. First on the list, my mother, who never seems to understand why I'm not on top of every single minute detail of life, and why I take forever to return her phone calls. Sure, I'm scatterbrained, but for the love of God, there's a LOT going on around here! I do have a career (although part-time), I do volunteer for some school things, and I bring more than just appetizers to all kind of functions. I even wear both earrings, and I'm a great speller! All of this on top of having four kids. I'm holding it all together, even if sometimes that means using duct tape & staples.

I also forget a lot of stuff, and misplace permission slips, and turn in forms late. Often, I'm at the grocery store the night before the school parties, buying a bag of Cheetos. But I'm managing it, the best that I can. I just wish everyone felt the way that author does (who by the way, is a mother of two, who beat breast cancer.)

But really, it's not even about how many kids you have. We're all different in personality, organization ability, coping with stress, and juggling 15 things at once. We all do our best, and we all need to give each other - and ourselves - a break!

{This is not a book review and I was not asked to do this nor compensated in any way. I checked this book out from the library and was just delighted to read that paragraph. It was a great book though, one of the best I've read lately, and I highly recommend it! }


Bending all the rules

My husband is a Rule Follower. To a fault. He believes that rules were meant to be followed. To a "T". With little or no exceptions. He drives the speed limit and comes to a complete stop at stop signs. He doesn't jaywalk. He reads all of the directions on everything and follows them to the letter. He's always on time. If a sign says "DO NOT!", he absolutely does not.
He's frequently says "You can't DO that!"

It drives me crazy.

I am a Rule Bender. Not a Rule Breaker; I'm not an outlaw or anything. But I drive the speed limit....ish. I often sometimes roll through stop signs. When a sign says NO TRESPASSING, I just have to stick my toe over the line. I may read the directions, perhaps, if I've already done it my way and it didn't quite work. I'm always running late. If a sign says "DO NOT!", I kind of consider it a dare.
I frequently say "Seriously, it's NOT a big deal!"

It drives him crazy.

I'm not saying that one of us is right and one of us is wrong although clearly, I'm right.
But I am saying this....

If you always walk on the marked path, and never venture off of it, you will miss the flowers that haven't been trampled on. You won't see the baby animals that hide in the bushes where the humans don't usually tread. You never know what delights may be waiting, just off the beaten path.

Sometimes, walking the straight & narrow path sucks the fun out of life.
Some rules....are meant to be bent.

Images courtesy of Google Images.


Strange Things are Happening....AGAIN!

This is a repost from last June. Summer is here again, and during the summer my kids alternate weeks between home and their dad's house (and Andrew goes to his grandmother's house). This is the first week of it, and it definitely feels very strange!

A bizarre and unsettling phenomenon has been occurring at my house lately.
There have been some very strange goings-on.
Allow me to explain.

1. We have put bags of chips in the cabinets, and the next day...
they were still there.

2. We've emptied hampers and trash cans, and days later....
they were still empty.

3. Lights were turned off....
and they stayed off.

4. Radios did not play at all hours of the night.

5. Dishes stayed clean.

6. Toothpaste blobs did not linger in sinks.

7. The hardwood floors did not have any small wet footprints on them. None.

What caused this twilight-zone-like activity to occur?

The absence of the small, unruly munchkins who usually occupy my home.

And I am just crazy enough that I miss them!
{Never fear, soon they'll be
back to wreak the usual havoc!}