Friday, April 29, 2011

Are you kidding me?!

Someone PLEASE fire me from the volunteer list.


The great blonde has struck again! I have been helping plan a mother/son event at the kids' school. I don't feel like I should get any credit for it because my co-chair is a whiz on the computer and much more together than I am (aren't we all glad?!), so she has done almost everything. I have been more like her assistant.  I have been uber impressed with her organization and delegation--she takes charge without taking over and being bossy. It's a rare gift that I don't possess . . . at. all.

I was supposed to call the school and ask about the tables . . . I did call and make sure the school remembered we were coming and would have the doors unlocked. (The custodians still looked confused as they were setting up, but I KNOW I reserved the gym because I have an email.) The tables, however, I KNOW I forgot. Oops. Really oops.

Everyone has been really nice about it, but I HATE HATE HATE feeling irresponsible. UGH.

So, blog friends, when August rolls around and I make some mention about going to registration, I expect all you loyal followers to flood me with reminders NOT TO SIGN UP TO BE THE LEADER OR PLANNER OF ANYTHING!!


(I may be black listed anyway.)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Serious thinkin'

It's not all fun, games and shenanigans around here. (Although, not for lack of trying!)

Lately, I have been having some deep thoughts as well. Perhaps my budgetary decision to cut back on tabloid magazine purchases has paid off in more ways than one!

Lately, I have been reflecting on the gift I have been given to stay home with our kids.

Truth be told, I posses no skill that translates into a vocation that would pay enough to cover child care. So, me staying home actually saves us money. (I can "save" money other ways too, but that's another post for another day!) Seriously, not only do I want to be here with our kids, but it makes sense for our family. (This is not the case for everyone, nor will it probably always be the case for us.)

I have been overwhelmed recently by how God has blessed my being home in ways beyond fulfilling my childhood dream of doing this. I love that the kids are my job and that I get to launch them (hopefully prepared) into this world. I have also realized that because I am not committed to a job, I have opportunities to do things with and for others that I could not do if I had to work somewhere else full or part time. God calls us all to different things in different seasons, and I am trying to embrace where He has me now, excel at it, and enjoy it . . . even when it's hard, even though it comes without a paycheck.

He's also given me a new goal . . . it's not about getting them all in school so I can breathe and have a little more "me" time (although, let's be honest, if that ever happens, I could learn to enjoy that too). My goal as a mom is to equip my kids--sometimes that means having them with me and sometimes that means sending them off to learn, but the purpose is the same . . . to raise kids who love God, love others, and use the gifts and talents He has given them.

So, I just wanted to say publicly, since I complain publicly too, that there is no place I would rather be during this season than home. And I want to thank Josh and God for allowing me to do this.

(It kind of sounds like I think I am accepting an Oscar or something...)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mommy vs. Nature and The Dynamic Duo

I am pleased to report that we survived the storms last night--they sort of scooted around Little Rock. I was prepared though . . . we had flashlights and water and snacks and blankets and our DS's, phones and computers were all charged up.

You're welcome, Little Rock. I'm sure my preparedness was a factor in the diverted tornadoes.

The morning started off great; I snuggled with Bo before Sascha woke up . . .

Then she got up and we hung out (with baby Jaguar)

Then Brittany needed to swing by and pick something up from me and as I ran outside to take it to her car,  (dunh, dunh, dunh . . . ) I was greeted by this fella

Now, at the time, he was NOT all the way out from under the concrete and brick and he quickly disappeared. But I saw him.

And I couldn't quit thinking about him . . . seriously, I was freaking out!

Josh was in DeWitt for the day and I knew that I was powerless against the slimy, slithering thing so I texted Mandy's husband (Russ) . . . long story short, I gladly accepted his offer to come over and kill the sucker (who by now was boldly sunning himself in my front yard).

While I stood frozen in fear on my front porch, ole snakey thought about making a run (slither?) for it and in a moment of concentrated panic, I chunked at brick at him and . . .

 . . . pinned him down. The picture doesn't really show it, but he was less than pleased with my action. His coral tongue was going crazy and he was whipping his tail and head around trying to get free . . . I may or may not have screamed like a girl.

THANK GOODNESS Russ arrived shortly thereafter and killed the nasty thing, tossing his carcass in the woods. (Hopefully, any other snakes around will see what we do to unwanted visitors and not try to take up residence in what I hope was a bachelor pad, not a home with family or roommates!)

Once I had use of my legs again, I offered to trade Russ his snake killing skills for a half hour with Major  (shh . . . he thinks it was a fair trade, but I won twice!).

So Bo and his best buddy got to fight crime on our street (where were they 3 weeks ago?!)


The day would take a turn, however, when this dynamic duo decided to take Mommy on . . .

After playing outside for a while, we headed in to put on our civilian clothes for lunch at Chik-Fil-A. I was bringing the last toy down when Sascha got a determined look on her face. Before I could even register an "Uh-oh!" the house door slammed and I heard 2 clicks.

That toot locked me out!

I usually keep a set of keys in the car, but she locked me out of it twice, so I quit doing that, and instead found myself standing in the garage begging a 2 year old to let me in.

I ran around to the front door and banged on it. Sascha quickly ran to it and the following conversation occurred: 
Her: Hi, Mommy!
Me: Let me in.
Her: I t'ant.
Me: Go get Bo and have him open the door.
Her: Otay.
(She runs off and comes back alone.)
Me: SASCHA JANE . . . Go Get Bo!
(She runs off again and comes back alone again.)
Me: (Ringing the doorbell over and over again) Go get Bo, Sascha.
(FINALLY, Bo rounds the corner with her!)
Me: Bo, open the door for Mommy!
(Door unlocks.)
Me: Thank you, Bo.
Bo: (head tilted back, mouth wide open) Yook, Mommy!
Me: What do you have . . . oh, of course, chocolate.

Those stinkers locked me out of the house and dug into their Easter candy.

Well played, duo, well played.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Why Jim Cantore is NOT welcome here . . .

Alternate titles . . . The night I spent hunkered down in Izzy's kitchen or Kansas, just because we are similar in name doesn't mean we should be similar in weather.

I don't want to be too trite, because there is much destruction and devastation in Arkansas today. Lives were lost and homes leveled; schools were torn apart and sweet families huddled together in bathrooms and closets and laundry rooms praying and fearful.

The tornadoes were bad last night. I have not yet heard a final number of how many there were or the rating they all received, but I do know that as I was huddled under a prep table in the restaurant's kitchen, the weather guy I was listening to on my God-send of an IPhone said, "Just to let you guys know how serious this is, the people at the National Weather Service are leaving their commands to go to a safe place. This is bad, folks."

We were already convinced.

Let me back up and tell you the whole story.

Several moms and I are planning a mother/son event for the kids' school. It's scheduled for this Friday night and we felt we needed one more meeting to get our little duckies in a row. We have been meeting at Izzy's because the food is good, they are accommodating, and it smells better than the dining room (aka, cafeteria) at the school!

So, last night, a brave (crazy? in denial?) 5 of us met to go over the details. We were seated by a row of large windows and even though we knew it was supposed to be bad, a couple of us were convinced that it might scoot just north of us. Nevertheless, we got right to business so we could get home as quickly as possible. We met at 6:30 and by 7:00 we knew that we weren't getting out of the severe weather. In fact, from what we were seeing out of the large windows, we were smack dab in the middle of it.

Now, being mommies, we were all used to remaining calm for the little people and having a tornado plan in mind for our homes. But it didn't take long for us to realize we had no plan and no little people to be calm for and the nervous giggles and chatter of unsettled women set in. All of us wanted to rush home for two reasons . . . (1) our sweet babies were alone with our poor husbands and we wanted to sit on our nests and keep everyone safe and (2) we were feeling a little unsafe as we looked around and realized there really wasn't an interior wall to speak of, the trees outside were doing toe touches and the hail was loud and plentiful.

We paid for our (untouched) food and asked the manager what he had heard and where we should go. He suggested we go in the kitchen and hang out near the pizza oven because it was actually secured to the foundation. At some point during all of this, Jamie Garner laughed to me, "I guess you'll have something to blog about tomorrow!"

As we were walking into the kitchen a very loud whooshing roar could be heard. I'm not gonna exaggerate and say I'm sure it sounded like a freight train, but it didn't sound like regular wind either.

Needless to say our pace picked up a little.

The next 45 minutes or so consisted of us taking cover, heading to the exit to see if we could all dash home, and then returning to the shelter of Izzy's VERY clean kitchen with their VERY sweet staff. The teenage servers would open the side door and report back to us chickens what was going on. At one point they even looked a little spooked at the FUNNEL CLOUD they could see.

Here we are under the table and here is a picture of one of the waitresses holding up a piece of hail:

Finally, around 7:50, the rain and hail and wind slowed down a bit and the weather experts and radars seemed to think we were either in the clear, or at least had a break in the weather to make it home. I held my breath as I rounded the corner to our house, waiting to see if one of the hundreds of trees surrounding us was on the house. Everything was fine, though. I am so thankful that we were protected at Izzy's and that Josh and the kids and the puppy were ok. It was hard to not be with them during that and I was beyond relieved to find everything was good and they were on their way to bed.

Jamie and I are supposed to get together again tonight to decorate posters . . . I'm thinking I will get the supplies and do them at home . . . from our tornado safety place . . . since we are expecting ANOTHER night of bad weather. This morning Jim Cantore, the guy from the weather channel who goes to the worst storm/weather places and reports in the middle of it all, changed his plans to be in Memphis and Birmingham and came to Little Rock instead. He joined a guy from the weather channel who is already here. And the TLC show Storm Chasers? Yeah, they came yesterday and are planning to stay the day. Sweet. These are celebrities I would rather NOT meet.

Stay safe, friends. Download the B98.5 app to your smart phone so you can hear the weather no matter where you are! It was a great source of information and comfort to us last night. And eat at Izzy's . . . not only is the food good and healthy, but the kitchen is clean and they take good care of you!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Weekend

Our weekend was wonderfully packed! And I have woken up this morning a wee bit tired.

I am also confused as to why my computer continues to throw in the occasional number 3 while I type. It could be in my bleary eyed state I keep hitting it, but I didn't think I was that tired.

You may recall my Friday of nothingness. I did manage to make myself shower (8 hours post spray tan) and we all went to Good Friday service. Tru took his first communion and the symbolism may be a little lost on him . . . I believe his two most memorable comments were, "Wow, the juice really DOES look like blood!" and "Can I have some more of the juice?"

After the service, Josh and my dad took the 3 older kids to African Cats where they saw hyenas eat lion cubs and Mom and I went to Target with Sascha where the only time Sascha wasn't talking was when she choked on a Dora fruit snack.

Saturday was one of those days that got off to a slow start and then never stopped. Caroline's soccer team, the Lady Charge (I don't know where the name came from, but it was given to us) remains undefeated and I am starting to worry about how much I enjoy that stat. It's an Upward league, which means that it is supposed to me more about sportsmanship and Jesus then the game. I support both of those causes wholeheartedly, but man it feels good to watch them win! (Refer to this post to learn why.)

We celebrated their 4-0 season with some hot dogs and ice cream at Brewster's and then ran home so Josh could mow and I could shop. 

So glad to see our priorities and tasks are exactly as they should be!

We both finished in time to shower and get ready and meet the Matsons for dinner. Tru has a friend, Emily, whom we ADORE (I promise I will always give her back, Robin!) and turns out we really like her parents, too! The food was good--although, we found out the rude way that they do NOT serve black beans there. Or at least the black bean nazi told Robin, "No black beans for you!" (well maybe not quite like that, but it was close) Then Sascha poured out all the salsa and Tru crawled under our table and another table, so we left Senior Tequila to the applause of the other patrons.

Ok, not really, but I bet they were clapping on the inside.

We ended our time together back at Brewster's. And yes, the ice cream is good, but mainly because they have a nice deck for the kids to run around on and my kids managed to meet (or annoy) a few other families while Robin, Tracy, Josh, and I talked. It was a lovely night.

We swung by Kroger on the way home to grab what Caroline and I needed to make an Easter Bunny cake and look what I picked up as well . . . 

Because guess what's over!! Lenten fast has ended and Rachel can have the bottle again! (I am sorry? happy? confused? to say that when I opened it Sunday morning, the taste was not as good as I remembered . . . I don't know what to do with that . . . )

Anyway, you may need a little caffeine to make it through this post.

Easter services were glorious! The worship was amazing and the sermon was amazing . . . I wish I could have gone twice!!

The kids even cooperated for a half-way decent picture

And look at this cuteness . . . I did not birth him, but I don't think I could love him much more even if I had

The rest of our day was spent decorating our bunny cake, hunting eggs at Nana and Papa's and eating much more than we should have. It was a great weekend and I am feeling abundantly full in faith, friends, and family.

Happy Monday, y'all and happy new year, Tracy!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday

Can I say that I have no semblance of balance? Yesterday was beyond crazy and can I add to my co-pay total the expense of gas driving that guzzler all over Little Rock. Today, I have been a total loser. Lazy, lazy, lazy.

And I don't even care. (Well, I do, I'm just too tired and lazy to do anything about it today.)

I take it back. I have done something productive. I got a spray tan, so at least I look better laying around.

Tonight we will go spend some time reflecting on the sacrifice of Jesus' life at our church's Good Friday service--a gift that I am so thankful for. I love the phrase I keep seeing on Facebook . . . "It's Friday . . . but Sunday's coming!"

I hope you all have a chance this weekend to think about the unconditional and undeserved love and devotion that God has for us. May you experience the joy of this season because . . . He is Risen!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The short and full of it on a co-pay kind of day

When I think of the things I could have done with the money we have spent on co-pays at the doctors’ offices today I could cry. The pedicure, the clothes, the shoes, the date night that we could be enjoying. Sigh. Oh well. 
Such is life with 6 people in a family. I was pondering today the things we are always short on . . . sleep, time, money, time, did I mention sleep? It is a phase of life, a short season, but sometimes it can really ware on you. (Or is it wear on you? I looked them both up and couldn’t decide. Too bad . . . it makes you tired and weary . . . how about that?)
There are things that make life full in this season as well . . . there is abundant noise and laughter and stories and hugs and kisses and love and fun and joy. All of which totally make up for the other.
But can I be honest? Today, I am feeling the shortness and the things I feel full of are anxiety and busyness. 

I have brought on much of the busyness. And there are only a couple of the many things we are doing that I am wishing I wasn’t. But days like today that start at 4:45 am and go strong until bedtime are long.
I am honestly not complaining--just recording it. Because, I know that like all weary seasons before, there will be an end to it. I want to remember how I feel now for 2 reasons-1) as a reminder to say no to some things (and by the way, if you are reading this, you are not one of the things . . . I promise . . . the busy choices I mistakenly made are not the friends in my life . . . they are activities that sounded easy and good in August and are kicking my tail in April) and 2) so I can celebrate and thank God for the victory.
As for the anxiety . . . some of it is personality and some is situational. If you would have told me that after our house was broken into I would be more fearful to be gone than to be home, I would have told you that makes no sense. Why would I want to be where the “bad guys” came?! But the truth is, I feel like somehow I can keep it from happening again if I am there. (Control freak much?) So, on days like today, when it is impossible for me to be there, I am freaking out on the inside that it might happen again. I am sure time will lessen these feelings, but 2 weeks out, they are fresh and strong.
Well, there you have it . . . we are single handedly helping several doctors pay off their schooling as I have mild panic attacks in all the waiting rooms and parking lots. Yeah, you might want to let my call go to voicemail today :)
I’ll end with a cute story because I want you to come back tomorrow!!
Last night we called Bo upstairs for something by saying “Bo, come here!” and Sascha decided she wanted to see what was up so she started following him saying, “What, Racial?” (Yes, occasionally she tries calling me by my name) “I toming!” Bo did NOT want her coming upstairs with him so he turned around and yelled to her, “NO, SHASHA! YOU ARE NOT COME HEREING!”

See . . . full of laughter. Even today.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A letter to the weather

Dear Arkansas Spring Weather,

You are fickle and unkind. We would ask you to please pick a temperature and stick with it. Our sinuses are miserable and out of control. Your rain, while useful for washing away the pollen, has been accompanied by hail, strong wind, and tornadoes at unfortunate hours. And while they look as if they are fine in our tornado "safe place",

today, we are all a little tired and cranky. And some of us, I won't name names (Sascha) reached our fit limit around 9:30.

Monday, April 18, 2011


How is it possible that I can think of nothing to write about?

Zilch. Zip. Zero.

I'm sure my closest friends and family would a) be shocked and b) suggest it's because I don't shut up enough and maybe I have finally run out of words.

My kids are still super cute, but I was away from them a lot this weekend at a Beth Moore conference and so I witnessed a limited number of adorable episodes, and most of them were repeats.

I could tell you about my amazing time at the conference, but I am still processing what my take away was (is). I will say, however, that the woman is stinkin awesome. She is funny, relatable, the real deal, and wise, wise, wise.

I have a few soap boxes I could rant about, some serious, some just pet peeves, but who wants to hear my loud opinion?

I will confess that I am mildly jealous of my daughters' skills. The girl is 9 and can dance and play soccer like a champ. I have never personally been on a winning team, nor was I ever known for my athletic prowess.

Aha. A few sports stories at my expense guaranteed to make you snicker if not guffaw.

I went to a wonderful private school. There were 74 students in my graduating class. Our varsity teams were competitive, our cheerleaders and pom pom girls were talented and were always part of those big groups you see on Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. But one of the luxuries afforded to us because we were small was we had opportunities to play sports we wouldn't have had at larger schools. Most of our sports had a "B" team and for a small window of time in late jr. high and part of high school (depending on the sport), all you needed was a permission slip and a physical to make the team.

When people ask me if I played sports in high school, I can say without any hesitation or dishonesty that I played basketball, volleyball, and softball. Now, if Josh isn't with me, the conversation can end there with their admiration and my pride still in tact. If Josh is there . . . well, the conversation usually goes something like this:

Josh: Well . . . define "played" (with a smirk and jerky laugh)
Me: Hush! I played those sports.
Josh: Yeah, she was an aggressive post player with an appetite for the ball.
Me: Shut it, Josh. I followed my coach's instructions and asked for the ball . . . a lot . . . by clapping my  
           hands . . . but whatever. It was fun and we made memories.
Josh: Tell them about your triple over time game.
Person we are talking to: WOW! Triple overtime!
Josh: (Laughing with his stupid hand over his stupid mouth.) Tell them the score, Rach.
Me: hmm to hay
Person: What?
Me: Ten to eight
Person: Oh.
Josh: (Feigning forgetfulness) And who were you playing?
Me: (So over it by now) The deaf school.
Josh: (rolling on the floor every time)
Person: Oh
Me: But those girls were mean and they never called fouls on them and yes that was a low scoring game  
           but we got better!
Josh: Right, why did he take y'all out for pizza?
Me: (sigh) because we broke 20 points . . . (and beating him to the punch) even though we still lost by
          15 . . . thanks, Josh.

And if we started out talking about softball or he manages to steer the conversation that way he will ask me to tell the story of how when it was my turn to practice batting, my coach would tell the outfield to go take a water break because I was up.

Volleyball was probably my best sport, but when I say best, I just mean there are no embarrassing stories to go with it.

But you know what? I got to experience sports. I got to be on a team. I got to build character.

And I can make Josh laugh every time I reenact my basketball skills.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Great Storm of 2011

Maybe that title is a little dramatic . . . but it was a BIG storm around here. Thursday night a much anticipated front moved through the state and with it came some huge storms. The first one that we noticed hit around 10:00/10:30. Around then we saw a huge flash of lightening followed by no cable. Boo. We are sorely dependent on our cable for more than television . . . it also provides service to our phone and our internet, so while we could call out on our cells, from 10:30 that night until sometime after 12 on Friday we were cut off from all other forms of media and communication. Normally I would say that it was inconvenient at best, but Thursday night (early morning?) when the tornado sirens were going off we were clueless as to where the storms actually were. Sometimes when they go off, the tornado is somewhere like by the airport and nowhere near us, but since we didn't know where it was this time, we drug our sleeping babies and puppy dog to Josh's office under the stairs. We did have the thought to bring Caroline's radio as well and were able to find a station covering the weather. Once we believed it was safe, we put everyone back to bed and fell into ours completely exhausted.

And then I got a text from our local NBC station at 2:26 informing me that we would be under a severe thurnderstorm warning until 2:15. Did you follow that? It sent me a message after the warning was over that the warning was coming. All the while the sirens are still going off and I never got a text message for that. Go figure. Technology can only get you so far. I personally felt ok about the storms because my stomach never got unsettled.

Without getting too detailed, let's just say my gut is the best predictor of storms I know. My biggest fear in a tornado is where I will actually be when it hits our house . . . I hope the bathroom really is a safe place to be . . .

When we got up Friday morning, other than being tired, we were no worse for the wear. A few of my friends and I checked in with each other to make sure everyone still had roofs and upright trees. Around 8:30, my cousin's wife called and asked if we were ok. I was thinking how sweet it was that she was checking on us when she told me that my aunt and uncle's house had sustained quite a bit of damage when a large tree fell on it.

Y'all. When I say a tree fell on it I mean a tree moved into their sun room and left nothing in the ground. It wasn't a large branch flying off . . . there is a sideways tree in their house.

Nature is amazing and frightening.

Their best guess is that a tornado came through their neighborhood. When I took them some lunch I was shocked at the damage and debris, and true to form, some yards and houses were untouched while others were in total disarray.

The wonderful news is they are ok. They were home and in their "safe place" as the meteorologists say. There is damage that is inconvenient and it is hard to see your home damaged--it's just unsettling because we all want our homes to be our sanctuaries from the crazy world NOT the crazy place.

The truth is, I started this post Friday and never got a chance to finish it and while I am sure I had a wonderful outline for it in my head with clever and witty and meaningful comments to accompany the riveting stories, now all I know is I have a headache and no clue where I was headed with it. So I have gone back through and changed it to the correct tenses for a Saturday post instead of a Friday one and now I am heading to get several Ibuprofen . . .

Next week I will be a better more interesting blogger, tonight I am going to bed.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Confessions of a tired mom

Here are my confessions (not to be confused with a random list because that occurs on Fridays) . . .

*Last night I fell asleep at 7 . . . missed bedtimes, conversation with Josh, and Law and Order SVU . . . I think I could do it again tonight. I think our life is catching up with me.

*I am mostly recovered from our break in, but I have issues leaving our house between 9-3 since the police said that is when grab and go burglaries are most likely to occur. And I still breathe a sigh of relief when I come home to find the front door shut.

*I found a tick on Bo today and am so disgusted. I loathe bugs, especially small ones stuck in my child's body. I smothered it with alcohol and then yanked and yanked with the tweezers but could not get it out. We ended up driving to Josh's office so he could pull it out (and to soothe my pride, I should tell you it took him a couple of minutes). I guess daily full body checks are in order since the kids love to play in our woods.

*I guess this is more of an announcement than a confession . . . check out Bethany Christian Services' spring fundrasier "High Heels and Pig Tails." This is an easy and fun way to care for the fatherless (and those who want to be fathers and mothers). Bethany is a non-profit adoption agency that has been a huge part of my life for a long, long time. We fostered through it when I was younger and then my mom started working for them. I have a handful of friends whose families are grown completely or partially through Bethany. It is one of those organizations and causes that I am very passionate about! This event is a fun fashion show and brunch featuring "Bethany families" Saturday, April 30th from 11am-2pm at Next Level Events. For more information, call their office 664-5729.

*I started a book a couple of days ago that has me dying for chances to read it. It's a silly, mindless book but I am into the characters and want to know how it ends. I have been very thankful for this beautiful weather because I can sit in my chair outside while the kids play and ride bikes and read with less guilt than I have when I let them watch tv so I can read. Just being real.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Love, love, love her

There are times as a parent where you are so snookered with one of your kids, you just almost can't stand it! I mean absolutely can't imagine anyone or anything cuter or sweeter.

Can you blame me? Look at this little piece of yumminess . . .

Right now she and Bo are downstairs playing Batman and Robin . . . like the old days playing, not on the Wii, but running around calling each other Batman and Robin and saving Gotham from the evil Penguin and Joker.

Lest you think that I am totally naive, I could name 16 people off the top of my head that are actually sweeter than her. Bless her heart. She was born with some gall and spunk in her. But I adore her and find her irresistible.

Earlier today she stomped her foot and yelled, "NO!" at me. I swatted that cute hiney and told her that she was not allowed to stomp her foot and yell no to Mommy.

Do you know what that teeny little bundle of joy did? She stomped her feet and yelled, "DORA!" instead.

I promise. I couldn't make that up if I tried.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Online directions and hotels

So far with dance, we have been lucky enough not to need to stay at a hotel for a competition. This past weekend, however, with Josh's family being in town, I didn't want to worry about getting to a friend's house too late, so we ponied up and got a hotel room. I found a great rate at one of those online discount websites and read it to make sure I could cancel and that I wasn't being swindled. After a really bad experience a few years ago with expedia, I was wary, but it all looked good, so I clicked pay. After I entered all of my info and debit card number and pressed process payment, the website informed me that there would be a $24 nonrefundable processing fee. I was irritated because it was no longer a great deal.

Too late to do anything about it and running out of time to get ready for the rest of the day, I copied the address on their site for the hotel, plugged it into google maps, and sent it to my phone.

Fast forward to 11:30 Saturday night, when, after 30 minutes of following the directions over and over again, I broke down and called the hotel. They gave me better directions and we pulled into the parking lot ready to shower and crawl in bed. When we checked in we found out there was one room left . . . a king size handicap access room. I will be honest, I was irritated again because I had booked 2 double beds so Caroline and I could spread out, but at that point, I just wanted to go to bed.

I love the smell of a hotel. I can't explain it, but I do. So I was disappointed when we walked into an odd shaped hotel room that smelled like a bathroom at a camp site. I couldn't figure it out until Caroline got in the shower and ran out panicked, "MOMMY! THE WATER ISN'T DRAINING-IT'S RUNNING EVERYWHERE!!"

I dashed over to the bathroom in my sock feet and discovered that the water was out of the bathroom and standing in the bathroom. I called the front desk and the lady said, "Yeah, you are in a handicap access room so there are no sides to the shower. We recommend laying a bunch of towels on the floor. Will you need extras?"

Um, what? Yes. I will need extra towels. And that explains the wet smell.

Who doesn't put a drain in the floor?

The next morning I padded into the bathroom, wrung out my socks and showered, stepped on the wet towels and tried to make it to a dry place to put on new socks. We went downstairs to eat and checkout and I explained to the lady up front that it smelled bad and was wet and she attempted to adjust my rate.

Guess what? If you use an online service, the hotel cannot refund your stay or adjust your rate. Did everyone but me know that?

So they gave us some free bottles of water.

Because apparently we hadn't had enough water at that hotel.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Pictures and Recaps

I LOVE a rainy Monday. I am sitting in my house with the lights out and the blinds open enjoying the rain and light thunder. My little 2 are in the playroom, the washing machine is running, and for the first time in I cannot remember how long, I have nothing to do and no where to be. Happy. Happy. Happy.

I am not sure where to even start. It has been a fun and jampacked few days! We had so much fun with Josh's family . . . I think we all gained about 10 pounds. (Why is it that we feel the need to eat when we all get together?) Anyway, I think we made some progress on helping Prego Mego get ready for John Tyler's August arrival. Megan is such a cute little pregnant mama . . . and I can't find the ultrasound picture I saved on my phone, but that baby boy is soooooo handsome and adorable. I am in love.

Here are some highlights in pictures and video. . . .

Uncle Will riding the scooter

Guess who won't take it off?

 Life long best friends at competition in Dallas

 Celebrating an AMAZING weekend for RCDC with our fabulous directors

 FIRST PLACE in Musical Theatre and OVERALL!!!

A full weekend of soccer and dance catches up with her

Tune in tomorrow for a little word to the wise about booking hotels and what happens when you get the wheelchair room . . . you won't want to miss our Arlington Adventure!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Big, crazy week

If only carpool was where the craziness of the week ended . . . we've had a rampant case of strep (5/6 have had it so far) . . . and some doofus decided to kick in our front door while I was at the doctor with Tru and steal our TV and all of Josh's watches. Including the engraved one I gave him on our wedding day AND the one he got on his first father's day. Sad.

God was so good to protect me and the kids and Tate. It's all just stuff anyway. Replaceable and unimportant in the grand scheme. The officers who responded to my frantic 911 call were so kind and Mandy rescued my kids so they could play instead of watching CSI fingerprint our house.

On a side note, only one CSI girl came out. No music was playing. She made no speculations. It was nothing like the TV show.

Anyway. We have moved on. I have been so thankful that God has honored the prayers of my friends and my mind has stayed relatively peaceful and calm given the circumstance. I didn't even ask Josh to not go out of town (but I am glad he is back!).

We kept it light with the kids--talking about how these thieves were not scary people, they were stupid, selfish, lazy people. And we laughed and plotted about setting booby traps like on Home Alone.

And now, fun times are upon us--Josh's parents, brother, sister and her husband have come to visit!! We are having fun and have been out and about shopping for my sweet, precious nephew, John Tyler . . . bedding, and strollers, and swings-OH MY!! I just LOOOOVE getting ready for a baby (and I won't lose sleep with this one!). I cannot wait to spoil him ROTTEN!!

We will wrap up the week with a soccer game and then Caroline and I will drive to Dallas for her dance competition.

And next week I will sleep.

And hopefully potty train Sascha.

I cannot imagine a house without diapers. And the money we will save.

Maybe I will stock up on more Target jewelry for burglars to turn their noses up and leave behind.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I'm Bo Batman

Poor Buzz Lightyear . . . Bo has discovered Batman. Friday night he pulled out the Superman cape and ran around our house saying, "There's no time to waste! To the Batcave, Robin"

I love this age. Love, love, love that he is (in his words) "Bo Batman"

Now to get him a costume!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Why I shouldn't be allowed to be in charge of things

I woke up this morning at 4:45 and went to the gym with my mom . . . had a great work out and was home by 6:15. I sat on the couch and read my Psalm for the day and then cuddled with my boys before going downstairs to wake Caroline up. When I came back upstairs to fix her oatmeal, I could tell that Tru bud wasn't feeling well, so I suggested he go back to bed (he bargained for the downstairs couch and won). Caroline and I enjoyed some chipper conversation about muscles and breakfast and I packed her lunch with delight because I went to the store yesterday and I wasn't scrounging to find things for it. She needed to be at school early because she was doing the morning announcements, so we headed out the door at about 7:11. At the last minute, I grabbed a jacket because the temperature outside is dropping and I was over being hot from working out. We chatted all the way to school and I felt unusually awake and happy for such a rainy, yucky Monday. As we pulled into the parking lot, I saw the principal opening doors in the carpool line and thought . . . "Well, how sweet, Mrs. Anderson is working . . . CARPOOL?!?!?!?!"


At Caroline and Tru's school, each class is responsible for a week of morning carpool. The room mom organizes it and it's easy and kind of fun . . . you open doors, help kids out of the car, tell everyone to have a good day . . . no biggie and it's only for 25 minutes.

Guess who's week it is? Guess who the room mom is?!

In case the title didn't tip you off . . . that would be me . . . I am in charge of this week. And since I forgot to check my emails and send out a reminder to the other parents last night, I failed to notice that we didn't have anyone scheduled for this morning.


So, I quickly parked and hopped out and graced the families with my sweaty presence. Aren't we all glad I brushed my teeth?

I really have no business being in charge of things lately. I used to be able to juggle a lot and now . . . well, I use the phrase, "I'm pretty sure" way too often.

I guess pride goes before a fall because I caught myself patting myself on the back this morning for "having it together today" . . . hahaha.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Random Friday

YEA FOR FRIDAY!! Can I tell you how happy I am that it is Friday?! Can I tell you how excited I am that the week flew by?! Sometimes the weeks and days drag, but this week I kept saying to myself, "Is it really, (insert day)? Woohoo!"

Here are my random thoughts, in no particular order, since they are, by definition, RANDOM:

1. Sascha is going to the doctor today . . . after days and days of complaining that her ears hurt, I decided that her off balance walking might support her claims. I usually don't do antibiotics for ear infections because studies show the pain is only lessened by one day (and I am ok with giving motrin to get through it) and the detriments of over using antibiotics is way worse. Plus, Bo and I are both highly allergic to different antibiotics, so I am a little nervous that she could react as well. HOWEVER, if she strumbles (shout out to Amy Cousin) down the stairs because her balance is off, I would feel horrible, so pediatrician here we come!

2. My kids started planning our Halloween costumes today. That's no joke. April 1st and they are plotting the Gotham City themed outfits. As of today, I will be Poison Ivy, Josh will be the Joker, Caroline will be Cat Woman, Tru wants to be either the Penguin or Batman, Bo will be either Batman or Robin (depending on Tru), and Sascha will be Batgirl. I'm just hoping I can get our Easter outfits together in the next 3 weeks.

3. Jump on over to Rebekah Boone's blog for a great suggestion for personal Bible study!

4. I had planned on having a Bachelor Finale party a couple of weeks ago, but Sascha started running fever and at the end of a Monday, we all decided watching in our pj's as we texted from our own couches sounded better. (We are sad and tired, I know.) Anyway, I bought a 2 liter of Diet Coke because it would provide the least amount of carbonated temptation for me. For Bo, however, it was irresistible, and I found him playing with the big kids outside while swigging from the bottle.

5. I have nothing else to say and another room to tackle, so have a great weekend!