Thursday, June 25, 2009

Happy Birthday (to ME!!)

Today I am 39. Next year I start counting backwards. I remember when I was a wee lass I told a friend of mine that I wanted to be dead before I turned 40, because, ya know, I did NOT want to get old! Of course, I also wanted to have all my teeth pulled out so I didn't have to deal with any root canals, bridges, etc. I've given up on those thoughts. 40 isn't looking so bad after all. But next year I'm still counting backwards. :)

All in all I had a pretty nice day. I slept in for starters!! Since it is so blasted HOT outside, we opted to go to dinner instead of lunch. I was really in the mood for Thai food. The kids have never had it, so we left early and figured if they sat still and let Joe and I eat, we would happily pull into Burger King for them when we were done. Much to my surprise, they tried everything! Maeve really didn't like anything except the bread, but Declan ate all the satay chicken, tried a spring roll and the curry chicken. And since Maeve filled up on bread and bites of the other food, I didn't even need to go to BK! We did run into Petland so they could play with some puppies though. I love that you can take them into a little area to play with them. An 8 week old Beagle is just precious I tell ya! Maeve wanted to see the rats and mice. (what's wrong with my girl?) Declan was all about the dogs.

Tonight, I am packing up my scrapbook stuff. In the morning I am headed to Helen, GA with my friend, Michelle. We are meeting up with some of the women I used to scrapbook with before I moved to the country. I haven't seen them in almost 3 years! I can't wait to go. I will be back on Sunday night with, I hope, lots of completed pages. ((Thanks, Joe!!!)) Until then...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Fun in the Sun

Lately, it has been so hot outside. I know I live in the south and warm temps are to be expected, but this is ridiculous!! I went out to the store tonight and when I was coming home, at 9pm, it was 86 degrees outside! It's been almost too hot to go in the pool. The temp in the water has to be about 90 degrees. I'll admit that it's nice to walk in the pool and not have to suck in my breath when I feel the water. We are trying to teach Maeve how to swim this year. Not anything creative, we just want her to be able to get to the side if she ever falls or is pushed in. She's not having any of it. She just wants us to hold her! What fun is that?? Declan, on the other hand, is loving the pool. Can't you tell?

Happy Birthday, Mom!! (and more)

Today is my mother's birthday! She's 29, again. She lives in Florida and I live in Georgia, so we don't get to see each other very often. However, my oldest son is with her now. He and my dad picked up birthday cupcakes and a gift certificate to a spa!! (Um, don't forget MY birthday is Thursday! ha!) Anyhow, I hope you had a great day, mom. I love you!!

Last week my youngest son had VBS. All of 25 kids registered, but on the first night, 77 kids showed up!! What?? Don't parents realize that volunteers need to be set up for these things, not to mention activities and food need to be purchased. How can you not sign your child up and expect that everything will be taken care of when you just drop them off! I'm not sure why this kind of thing surprises me anymore, but it does. Personally, I would have sent the kids home. I know that's probably mean, and certainly not the kids' fault, but unless these rude parents feel a bit of pain, nothing will change. (These are probably the same parents who do not RSVP to a birthday party, but that's another post all together, so don't get me started!) At any rate, the church is used to this behavior and was ready for it. Back to my son, at first he didn't want to go, but being the good mom that I am, I made him. Actually, I knew he would have a great time if he gave it a chance, and he did. How could you not have fun when you get to make s'mores!!

From then on, he was all set to go. Each night they had dinner for the kids, so you know I was happy! On the last night, they had dinner for the families as well. And my son had a salad!! If you know my kids and their aversion to anything green, then you'd know that this is a huge step!! Made his momma proud. :)

Yesterday was Father's Day! So on Saturday, Maeve woke up at 7am. Joe was already up, so the 2 of them sat in the kitchen and played with Play-Do. Somehow, they got on the subject of bunnies. While they both agreed that they liked bunnies, Maeve decided that she liked chocolate bunnies better. (who doesn't?) When she then told Joe that Sunday was Easter, he told her that it was, in fact, Father's Day. Then she lets out a huge gasp and says that she has to call Papa!! So there my husband sits, playing with Maeve at 7am, and she wants to call her grandfather on Father's day! What about dear old dad?? Poor guy! That's OK Joe, we love you (and you, too Papa!)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

New look

See anything different? I was getting tired of the last blog look. So, I took a peek around the web and found this one. I really like it! I decided to change my blog name, too. We'll see how long this one lasts. I also found some cute little buttons to put on my sidebar. Love it *so* much better now. Don't you?

Today while the littlest offspring and I were home alone, we decided to give having a picnic another shot. We tried yesterday, but because it rained the night before, the grass was still a bit damp. Our yard doesn't drain very well. :( Anyhow, today we brought out a blanket and spread it out on the driveway to start our picnic. I did manage to get one picture of Maeve before she sprinted inside the house. Apparently she saw a fly. A FLY!! My goodness, what is with my kids and bugs? We sit down to eat and naturally, it shows up to see what all the smells were about. Well, I don't even think she took a bite of food before she was up and running toward the house like her pants were on fire! Like the good mom that I am, I stayed right where I was until I was done eating before I went inside to see what she was doing. At least she was sitting nicely at the table. Maybe we'll try again tomorrow.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Ben Stein's last column

For many years Ben Stein has written a biweekly column called 'Monday Night At Morton's.' (Morton's is a famous chain of Steakhouses known to be frequented by movie stars and famous people from around the globe.) Now, Ben is terminating the column to move on to other things in his life. Reading his final column is worth a few minutes of your time.

Ben Stein's Last Column...
How Can Someone Who Lives in Insane Luxury Be a Star in Today's World?

As I begin to write this, I 'slug' it, as we writers say, which means I put a heading on top of the document to identify it. This heading is 'eonline FINAL,' and it gives me a shiver to write it. I have been doing this column for so long that I cannot even recall when I started. I loved writing this column so much for so long I came to believe it would never end.

It worked well for a long time, but gradually, my changing as a person and the world's change have overtaken it On a small scale, Morton's, while better than ever, no longer attracts as many stars as it used to. It still brings in the rich people in droves and definitely some stars. I saw Samuel L. Jackson there a few days ago, and we had a nice visit, and right before that, I saw and had a splendid talk with Warren Beatty in an elevator, in which we agreed that Splendor in the Grass was a super movie. But Morton's is not the star galaxy it once was, though it probably will be again.

Beyond that, a bigger change has happened..? I no longer think Hollywood stars are terribly important. They are uniformly pleasant, friendly people, and they treat me better than I deserve to be treated. But a man or woman who makes a huge wage for memorizing lines and reciting them in front of a camera is no longer my idea of a shining star we should all look up to.

How can a man or woman who makes an eight-figure wage and lives in insane luxury really be a star in today's world, if by a 'star' we mean someone bright and powerful and attractive as a role model? Real stars are not riding around in the backs of limousines or in Porsches or getting trained in yoga or Pilates and eating only raw fruit while they have Vietnamese girls do their nails..

They can be interesting, nice people, but they are not heroes to me any longer. A real star is the soldier of the 4th Infantry Division who poked his head into a hole on a farm near Tikrit, Iraq . He could have been met by a bomb or a hail of AK-47 bullets. Instead, he faced an abject Saddam Hussein and the gratitude of all of the decent people of the world.

A real star is the U.S. soldier who was sent to disarm a bomb next to a road north of Baghdad . He approached it, and the bomb went off and killed him..

A real star, the kind who haunts my memory night and day, is the U.S. soldier in Baghdad who saw a little girl playing with a piece of unexploded ordnance on a street near where he was guarding a station. He pushed her aside and threw himself on it just as it exploded. He left a family desolate in California and a little girl alive in Baghdad .

The stars who deserve media attention are not the ones who have lavish weddings on TV but the ones who patrol the streets of Mosul even after two of their buddies were murdered and their bodies battered and stripped for the sin of trying to protect Iraqis from terrorists.

We put couples with incomes of $100 million a year on the covers of our magazines. The noncoms and officers who barely scrape by on military pay but stand on guard in Afghanistan and Iraq and on ships and in submarines and near the Arctic Circle are anonymous as they live and die.

I am no longer comfortable being a part of the system that has such poor values, and I do not want to perpetuate those values by pretending that who is eating at Morton's is a big subject.

There are plenty of other stars in the American firmament... the policemen and women who go off on patrol in South Central and have no idea if they will return alive; the orderlies and paramedics who bring in people who have been in terrible accidents and prepare them for surgery; the teachers and nurses who throw their whole spirits into caring for autistic children; the kind men and women who work in hospices and in cancer wards.

Think of each and every fireman who was running up the stairs at the World Trade Center as the towers began to collapse. Now you have my idea of a real hero.

I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that matters This is my highest and best use as a human. I can put it another way. Years ago, I realized I could never be as great an actor as Olivier or as good a comic as Steve Martin or Martin Mull or Fred Willard--or as good an economist as Samuelson or Friedman or as good a writer as Fitzgerald. Or even remotely close to any of them.

But, I could be a devoted father to my son, husband to my wife and, above all, a good son to the parents who had done so much for me. This came to be my main task in life. I did it moderately well with my son, pretty well with my wife and well indeed with my parents (with my sister's help). I cared for and paid attention to them in their declining years. I stayed with my father as he got sick, went into extremis and then into a coma and then entered immortality with my sister and me reading him the Psalms.

This was the only point at which my life touched the lives of the soldiers in Iraq or the firefighters in New York . I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that matters and that it is my duty, in return for the lavish life God has devolved upon me, to help others He has placed in my path. This is my highest and best use as a human

Faith is not believing that God can. It is knowing that God will.

By Ben Stein

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Altered Tins

I did these tins at a NSD crop. I think they came out kinda cute. The one that holds the CD's is for my daughter. She picked out the paper and ribbon. She loves it. It's supposed to have a flower in the center of the ribbon, but it fell off. The other one is what I have my cuttlebug folders in.

In a couple of weeks I am going to Helen, GA for a scrapbook weekend with my friend, Michelle. I cannot wait!! I need to go through all my stuff and figure out what I'm going to work on. Hopefully I will come back with lots of stuff to show.
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