Wordful Wednesday ~ Shouldn't Have to Be

We shouldn't have to put this Christmas tree on a cold little grave.

We shouldn't have to glue cars onto a hard slab.

We shouldn't have to see the brand-new grave beside his, of a baby who only lived for one day.

There shouldn't have to be a baby section in a cemetery.

There shouldn't have to be parents with empty arms.

There shouldn't have to be parents wondering what their kids would be doing that Christmas, if only they had lived.

I shouldn't have to kneel down and tell that baby how wonderful his father is.

I shouldn't have to tell him that he will see him again in Heaven, of this I have no doubt.

I shouldn't have to tell him about his little brother, and how I wish they could play together.

He shouldn't have to wonder what his son would be like today.

He shouldn't have to visit his firstborn son in a cemetery.

He shouldn't have to miss his son, every single day.


Thanks, Mr Walgreens, for spoiling me in the manner in which I am accustomed.

You may remember last week or so, I complained about Walgreens no longer offering my the Cinnamon Bun Coffee. I knew it was seasonal (although I was in denial), but I was shocked that they stopped selling it that early in the season! So, I emailed Walgreens, not really expecting a response or to be taken seriously, but it made me feel better.

Then I got an email from Mr Walgreens. (ok, not really, but he works for Walgreens.)
He made a bunch of phone calls and emails, and got some more Cinnamon Bun Coffee....for me!! He said it is seasonal (:cries:) and although they're trying to find someone to make it for them year-round, right now they only have a limited amount, and when it's gone, (:sob:) it's gone.

But for now, my Cinnamon Bun Coffee is BACK.

I felt so totally special when I walked into my Walgreens and saw this.

You can't tell from the picture, but those white stickers say "Cinnamon Bun" and "Cinnamon Bun Latte".
They temporarily replaced Chai Tea with my Cinnamon Bun Coffee.
Seriously, who drinks Chai Tea anyway?
Oh, you? Sorry.

Mr. Walgreens, you are my hero.


Wii had a great Christmas!

OK, corny title, but I had to do it.
We actually ended up getting two Wiis. Santa brought one, and the in-laws brought another. So, we returned one but kept the extra controllers & game that they also bought. Score!
We are totally loving this thing. It is SO much fun! If you don't have one, I highly recommend it. I'm so not a gamer but I really enjoy the Wii.
The kids also each got new bicycles, so they've enjoyed those also.
We got a laptop from the IL's, which we haven't hooked up yet but I can't wait to play with it! Yay, posting from the sofa!
My favorite (material) gift? An electric blanket from J. I didn't ask for it, but my body temperature has changed drastically with the weight loss, and I get really cold. It was the sweetest gift! I love those surprise gifts he gets for me the most. He always asks for a list, but gets other things too, things he just knows I'll like. I love it!
We had a yummy Christmas dinner of fresh seafood, and then spent the afternoon and evening with our families. We had a birthday cake for Jesus. It was really a wonderful time.
And now we're already planning a vacation for Christmas next year. Sweet!
I hope you all had a lovely holiday!


A Very Merry Christmas

For the past four years, every Christmas has gotten better and better for me. I haven't enjoyed Christmas this much since I was a child. This year is better than ever. I am so blessed with my husband, children, family, friends, and pets. I know it's really hard this year for so many people, and I am so grateful for everything that we have.

Because we have Enough. We don't have extravagances, we don't have many luxuries. But we have Enough. And to all of my blog friends, this Christmas...I wish you Enough.

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.

I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.

I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.

I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.

I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.

I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

I wish enough "Hello's" to get you through the final "Goodbye."

~Bob Perks

Merry Christmas!

This Girl Rocks!

I've written about Meaghan before. She is truly an inspiration to me, and now she is celebrating a huge accomplishment. I wanted to share her latest news with you all. You can read her story here...


Here's a snippet:

Two years ago, law school student Meaghan Edelstein was on a hospital bed in Boston ready to embrace death. Diagnosed with cervical cancer, her kidney had ripped open and fluid was seeping into her body. A doctor gave her a 20 percent chance to survive. On Sunday, Edelstein, 30, will pick up her diploma from Nova Southeastern University.

Click the link to read the rest...it's worth it!
Congrats again, Meaghan. I can't wait to share your story with my daughters!


I am unique. Just like everybody else.

OK, I know I'm not the only one who is very busy at this time of year. But I still feel like I have to let y'all know that I love you dearly, and it's not that I don't want to visit your blogs. I truly do. But there is just.no.time. And, I don't see it getting better very soon. So, I at least wanted to explain myself! It's not you, it's me, and all that stuff.

Oh, and I'll throw out some randomness while I'm at it.

* We are almost done with Christmas shopping. I just have to pick up a couple of things for my niece. We were able to get everything my kids wanted and more, thanks to my husband. His hard work paid off in the form of several bonuses. Which really helped out since their father is over a month behind on child support.

I am so grateful that this man I married doesn't hesitate to use all of his Christmas bonuses on "my" kids (when I told him that, he said honey, they're all our kids).
We are blessed.

* We also got gifts for the child we chose from the Salvation Army tree. It's important to us to share our blessings, and it's an important lesson to teach our kids.

* The kids will be with their Dad until Christmas afternoon, so right now it's just me and the hubby. We're going to throw tradition out the window and have seafood for Christmas dinner. We got these amazing, enormous shrimp at the Farmer's Market, and we're going to have fish and as yet undetermined side dishes. And I think this is going to be the beginning of a new tradition!

* Spiderman has gained seven pounds since moving back with us. Seven pounds. It makes me happy and sad at the same time. Happy that he's putting on weight, sad that he was obviously underweight to begin with. He has a huge appetite for such a little guy!

* I went to the little kids' school on Friday and did Gingerbread & Cocoa with both the Princess and Spiderman. They both loved it, and one of the kids told Spiderman that he looks just like ME. Which is funny considering that (a) I'm his stepmother and (b) it's actually kind of true.


There's definitely a resemblance, and why the hell are my eyes so huge?

* J's aunt took this picture and I just love it, so I wanted to share it with you.

That's the Princess, Spiderman, and a dog that J's aunt was dogsitting, on a tree at the park.

* Time for a little brag. Those of you who have been reading for a while, know of my weight loss journey I've been on for nearly a year now. And you know that I have lost over 110 lbs. So, I'm entitled to a small brag, right? Good.
My mom got me a new scrub outfit for Christmas. My current scrub size?
Extra small petite. If you know how far I've come, you'll allow this little brag! I think I've earned it. I'm still amazed by the changes.

* That's all the randomness my brain will produce at this moment. I know there's more stuff in there, but it will have to wait for another day. I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday season, and I can't wait to catch up with everyone....probably next year!


FFFF ~ Ladybug's Birthday

Today, the Ladybug is 13 years old. She is officially a teenager, although she has acted like a teenager for at least the past year. I am now officially the mom of two teens.
I feel old.
I'm not so much into birth stories or a big long story of her past thirteen years. So I present to you a few of the reasons I'm proud of my daughter (in her favorite colors). I already had this ready for a gift I'm making for Ladybug and the other three kids for Christmas this year.

caring kind
confident friendly

loyal hardworking

stubborn devoted

We're going to have some special time together this afternoon, then my kids will be off to their Dad's until Christmas afternoon.
Happy Friday to you all!
Don't forget to check out the rest of the Fx4 posts at Candid Carrie's!


Go sell crazy somewhere else, we're all stocked up here........

crazy Pictures, Images and Photos

It is crazy over here at the DysFUNctional House! It's a good kinda crazy, but crazy nevertheless.
The slumber party went very well. I totally expected the other three kids to drive their sister crazy, even though I threatened their lives warned them not to. But, they didn't! They did really well. The girls ate an astounding amount of food, but thankfully one of my buddies had given me that one piece of advice: have PLENTY of food, so I did, and they ate it all. Some of these girls are about as big around as my pinky, but they can pack in the groceries!
The rest of the weekend was busy, followed by a very busy week.
I know the holidays are always busy for everyone, but for me it's compounded by lots of birthdays in my immediate family. Ladybug's actual birthday is this Friday, the 19th. My sister's is the 22nd, and my mother's is Christmas Day. My nephew's is the 31st. And we already had a few earlier in the month. Insanity!
Tomorrow is the little kids' Holiday Party at school. Since I'm the homeroom mom for the Princess's class, I'll be there. Who needs sleep anyway, right? And Walgreen's is no longer selling my cinnamon bun cappucinos. I knew they were seasonal, but the season is not over yet! I think I need to send them a calendar. WTH, Walgreens?! I need my caffeine fix!
I really need to catch up here and on all of your blogs as well. I'm hoping I actually have time to do so before the New Year!

crazy Pictures, Images and Photos


Friday Fragments 12.12.08

It's Friday again, and I've got some Fragments for ya!
Friday Fragments are courtesy of Half Past Kissin' Time.

One Dog Down

One of our fosters got picked up yesterday, and is on her way to her (hopefully) Forever Home. I say hopefully because I didn't have any communication with the adopter at all, and this is not your ordinary dog. After being with us for several months, she's still extremely timid, and scared of her own shadow. She has issues, and she's not a happy, playful dog. She's a sweet, fearful dog. I have no idea if these potentional adopters know this or anything else about her. When we started fostering for this group, we were told that we would have contact with any potential adopter of our fosters and whether or not we thought it was the right fit. I've gotten none of that this time, and I am not happy. Between that and some other things that have been bugging me, we're not going to foster for them any more. There are several local non-breed-specific rescues and we're in the process of choosing which one to volunteer with.
This is one of the first pics we took of her (on the left, with a former foster we adopted, Suzie). You can tell by her body language how frightened and defensive she is.

We sure will miss our Honey. Suzie will, too.
Slumber Party
My almost-teenager, Ladybug, is having a slumber party for her birthday tonight. She was reasonable with the invites, and then with it being holiday season, it looks like she'll have around 5 girls. That should be pretty manageable. We're planning on grilling out hot dogs and having a fire and roasting marshmallows. Then the girls are going to watch Chick Flicks all night. I think we're going to have a fun time!
Dysfunctional Family Update

So, my mom called me yesterday and was as happy and pleasant as could be. It's like a roller coaster ride, sometimes! I'm just going with the flow, for now...

We have another busy weekend coming up; Christmas Parades, church events, and another birthday party for a friend. I probably won't be around the bloggy world, so, I hope you all have a great weekend! See ya Monday.


I'm Not That Girl

I'm not "that girl" who always wears the perfect, expensively tailored, matching outfit.

I am "that girl" who loves a comfy pair of jeans.

I'm not "that girl" who loves to go shoe shopping.

I am "that girl" who loves flip flops.

I'm not "that girl" who spends lots of money on her hair, nails, and makeup.

I am "that girl" who clips coupons and loves a good bargain.

I'm not "that girl" who carries designer purses.

I am "that girl" who buys bags from thrift and consignment shops...and all sorts of other things, too.

I'm not "that girl" who takes things for granted.

I am "that girl" who appreciates what she has.

I'm not "that girl" who always wants more than what she has.

I am "that girl" who is very content with her life.

I'm not "that girl" who has to keep up with the neighbors.

I am "that girl" who will help out a neighbor.

I'm not"that girl" whose house is always neat and clean.

I am "that girl" whose home is warm, happy, and full of love.

I'm not "that girl" who has it all together.

I am "that girl" who, together with her family....has it all.


The DysFUNctional Part of the Family

I don't usually post twice in one day, but I am so stressed and I have to get this out.
My mom is mad at me. She tends to stay mad at me about half of the time, maybe even 3/4. It's usually because I don't call often enough, and I don't always answer the phone when she calls, usually because I'M SLEEPING.
Quick recap for my newer readers: I have four kids. Three live here full time, my oldest son lives with his dad and spends 4 days here every other week, at a minimum. Two of these kids are teenagers, which has taught me why many animals eat their young. Another one has ADHD, just been quite literally abandoned by his natural "mother", and can be a handful - who wouldn't be in that situation? Oh, and that job thing! I work at least 40 hours per week. My husband does as well. We have responsibilities. We have lives.
We are busy.
But my mother doesn't get that, and when she calls and I do answer, I'm trapped on the phone for eternities while she asks me about every detail of my life.
So, when I texted her this weekend and she ignored me, I figured she was mad because I hadn't called recently. Then she called me today and was very short with me, and between that and her all-too-familiar tone, I knew she was mad.
I asked my niece if she'd talked to her and knew why she was mad, and she sort of vaguely hinted that it may be due to our plans for Christmas.
Which we don't actually have any yet.
But, we spent all of Thanksgiving with my family. We literally didn't see J's family at all. So obviously, we'll be spending some time with them for Christmas. And, call us crazy, selfish, or whatever, but since the kids are with their Dad this year for Christmas, we'd like to spend some time A.L.O.N.E. Just the two of us. We would still spend time with my parents at some point around the holiday...just not Christmas Day.
But the thing is, every single year, it's drama. First of all, every other Thanksgiving, the kids are with their Dad. You'd think by now, five years after my ex and I split, my parents would've accepted that. But no, every other year, I hear crap about it because my family wants them there. Too bad! This is how divorce works. Every year I hear "Can't they just come for a little while one day? Can't you do this, that, whatever?" And every year the answer is "NO. It's their Dad's year. Period." And still, they complain.
Then, even though we always go to my parents' house for Christmas Eve, as is our tradition, and exchange gifts, they expect us to come back Christmas Day for dinner. I have in-laws, people! We have to split our time. And I would like to do my OWN family thing, and have our own family traditions. Not just going to my parents' or his parents' or whoever's house every single year!
And I won't even get into what generally happens when we do spend time with my parents; the yelling at the kids, the offensive things my dad says......
Please don't misunderstand me, I love my parents. I know there are some of you out there who have lost your parents and would love to be able to call them, or have just one more holiday to spend with them. I truly get that. But there is only one of me, I'm being pulled apart and it happens every single year. I am ready to start the tradition of not going over there at all! I don't understand why it has to be such an issue every year. I'm tired of walking on eggshells wondering if my mother is mad at me this week. I don't get why she expects so much of me, knowing what all I have on my plate!
If you've read this far, thanks for reading my whining. And please send me a ticket to China for this Christmas!

Weekend Wrap-up

Another busy weekend here! It seems like they're all that way, lately. I haven't blogged or read blogs since Friday, and I have 334 posts in my reader.
We shopped and bargain hunted on Friday night and Saturday. Then on Saturday afternoon, we watched the Gator SEC Championship game. We won!! WOOHOO It was an amazing game and both teams truly played their hearts out. Now we'll go to the National Championship game in January!
On Saturday night, we went to my work Christmas party. That was a lot of fun, and I highly recommend a drink called Holiday Breeze. 'Nuff said!
Sunday was church, errands, and picking up kids. And we went to a Pet Adopt-a-Thon, where J fell in love with a St Bernard!
We also got our Christmas tree, only to come home and discover that our tree stand is missing! So I'm going to pick one up today. Tonight we'll decorate the tree and do fun holiday stuff.

Hope y'all had a great weekend!

~*~*~*~*~ETA: I'm a weiner!*~*~*~*~
I won the Twilight contest on Stephanie's blog! WOOHOO Yay me!


Friday Foto Finish Fiesta

It's time for Fx4, Candid Carrie style!

We had a photo shoot at our house last night. I thought I was going to lose.my.mind! The kids acted crazy and complained about their itchy sweaters. I was all, whatever! Deal with it! AND SMILE!! It was great.

Really, we had fun but I was really hoping to get some good shots. In the end, I think we did!

(Spiderman is CRACKING UP in this picture. I'm pretty sure someone had said the word "fart".)

Have a GREAT weekend!


Mama Kat's Writing Assignment

I was trying to decide what to post on this Thursday. Thankful Thursday? Thursday Thirteen? Something random?
Then I read Mama Kat's post and was so happy! Finally, I get to participate in Mama Kat's writing assignment, because she has the perfect prompt for me.

It was prompt number two, to be exact.

"2.) Are you still friends with your high school friends? Describe them."

I'm actually still friends with several of my high school friends. They're on my myspace and we keep in touch.
But the one I'm talking about today is my bestest friend in the whole world, Danielle.

Danielle and I met when I was 15 and she was about 13. We met in church and hit it off immediately. The next year, she was a freshman at my high school and we got even closer. We have been through everything together. She was the first person to ride in my new car when I was 16, a 1984 Mustang (oh, how I miss that car). She was also the first (and only) person to pee in my car.

(I made her laugh. A lot. Good times!)

I watched her high school boyfriend physically and emotionally abuse her, and told him off and dumped him out of my car. I was very protective over her. I skipped school to take care of her. She didn't really have a mother to speak of. I kind of took over that role.

Later, we both got married and pregnant. Our boys are just over one month apart in age. Then we had our girls....18 days apart (but they were due only ONE day apart! Her baby girl was early). She went through a divorce and a bad relationship. I hung on to my bad marriage, always confiding in her and only her. We were both SAHMs for many years, and we talked on the phone every day. I honestly don't know what I would've done without her in those years.

When I started working in day care, she was going through her second divorce. I got her a job with me. We always tried to take care of each other.
When she married the third (and final!!) time, she had a church wedding, and I was a bridesmaid. Her husband is a great guy, and in 2000, they had a little boy together. For the first time, she was pregnant...and I wasn't! But she took care of that. Within days of giving her giving birth to her youngest son, I found out I was pregnant with my Princess. I swear she jinxed me! But I'm so glad she did. So, our youngest kids are less than a year apart in age. And we're currently arranging their marriage.

All of our kids are still friends, although we live one town apart from each other and they don't see each other often. The girls especially are very close.

When the major event that ended my first marriage occured, we happened to already have a lunch date the next day. We were meeting at a park so the kids could play. She had no idea the condition that I would be in. We sat down at a picnic table and I let it all out. She cried with me. I know that if she could've, she'd have committed a serious felony that day. Again, I don't know what I'd have done without her during that time.
She's always had the knack for calling me at just the right time. The first time I had to drop my kids off for visitation and they were meeting their father's girlfriend (now wife) for the first time, I had just driven down the road when the phone rang.

It was Danielle, of course, asking me, 'Are you okay?'

And the answer, of course, was 'no'. That was so hard to get used to, at first.

She always told me that I would be so much better off in the long run, and she was so right. She loves my hubby, because he is so good to me. She encouraged me to further my relationship with him, even when some people in my life were telling me that I should stay single and just take care of my kids. Danielle told me that for once in my life, it was time to do something for me. I'm so glad I did!

We don't talk or see each other as often as we'd like. We both stay so busy. But we stay in touch, and we're there for the important things. She was at my second wedding, I was at her recent graduation from college. I know I can always come to her when I need her. For twenty years, we have been best friends. What we have is special. There will never be anyone else in my life like Danielle. We are more than friends, more than family. We have a bond like no other.

I love my best friend!

Our girls when they were about three. They're both thirteen this month!

Our boys when they were around 3 or 4. They're both 15 now.


Wordless Wednesday 12.3.08

I can haz make-ur-own pizza night?
I don't know why the Princess looks so shocked. But Spiderman sure was concentrating on getting his sauce just right.
Silly little goofballs!


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!