Monday, July 31, 2006

Dog Days of Summer

This is the part of summer every year I start dreaming of cool breezes, pumpkins and being comfortable outside in long sleeves. You can come to my house and hear Christmas music in an effort to feel cooler and rush fall just a bit. When I start feeling the urge to see trees change, I know we are in the dog days of summer, and I still have another 60-90 days of heat.

It usually feels about 5 to 10 degrees warmer outside than the thermometer quotes and I resort to keeping my house dark to keep the hot out. We close the shutters and curtains at about 10 am and I don't open them back up until dusk or so in order to keep the temperature and cost of cooling the house down.

The problem is that I LOVE natural light. It's the one complaint I have in every place I live. "There should be another window here, here and here. And please, can we get a skylight here?" I guess today I should be thankful that we don't have another window to cover up. It would be too depressing. Much like this post. Sorry guys--I'm sick of the heat.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Tour of Homes '06

Glad you're here! I do love to have people over. We'll sit, drink sweet tea, thumb through magazines and catalogs while our kids play. I don't have Boomama's little icon. It was almost too much for me to get all of the pics uploaded. So here you have it, Casa de Little Bits of Life!




This is the front door. Not very exciting, or so it seems! If you look on the inside of the door, you will see that the left door is a faux door. Just wall on the other side. Ok, still not very exciting. Moving on...














This is our living room. I generally like stuff all over the walls, but since moving in seven months ago, I just haven't gotten the decorating itch. Maybe in the fall. None the less, that is the most comfortable couch in the world. No, you can't sit--or you won't get up. I promise. See that butt imprint in the middle cushion? Yep, that's mine.










My favorite part of the kitchen is not the lovely job the previous owners did remodeling it, but the window over the kitchen sink. And yes, that is a load of dirty dishes in the sink. The washer was full and that is the cleanest my kitchen will be all day. So, I figured I better take advantage.









This is my desk. Although it isn't where my blogging addiction began, it is where I keep it up. Let's just call it what it is, an enabler.










One of my favorite rooms in the house is the girls' bath. The tile and all is original. The pale yellow with little pink flowers in it, couldn't be more perfect for the two princesses that live her. (Um, yeah, I'm the queen in case you were wondering.)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Tag, I'm It!




Well I have been tagged by Baby Spice over at Life with Little Women to tell you a few things about myself. Just so everyone knows, I am the little sister. My big sis, also known as Mini-Me, will have to participate at another time since I have the computer all to myself. That's code for "daddy will have to fix this thing when he gets home".

3 Things that scare me:
NOTHING! Which is what scares my mom the most. I will climb anything; jump off of anything; put anything in my mouth--the possibilities are endless.

3 People who make me laugh:
1. My daddy, when he does pretty much anything.
2. My mommy, when she chases me saying, "I'm gonna get you!" in that cute mommy voice.
3. My sister, when she shows me her food--from inside her mouth--at the table.

3 Things I Love:
1. My Blanket which I affectionately call Ki-Ki.
2. Riding piggy back on mommy while looking at myself in the mirror.
3. Climbing. I'm with Baby Spice on this one. Ain't no furniture high enough to keep me on the ground.

3 Things I Hate:
1. When my sister "loves" on me a little too hard. I thought she'd get the hint from all of the yucky noises I make and leave me alone, but I guess I'm too cute for my own good.
2. Time Out.
3. Paula Deen's chicken and rice casserole. My mom just shrieked as I typed that. Sorry, Mom, it's the truth.

3 Things I don't Understand:
1. Why climbing is so bad when it comes so naturally.
2. Why Mommy says, "Paper only!" when I have a crayon. I know for a fact that walls, chairs and tables make perfectly good writing surfaces.
3. Why Mommy gets all freaked out when I am anywhere near a water source.

3 Things on my Floor:
1. The rocking chair turned over for Mini-Me and I to make a fort out of.
2. The wood puzzles my mom picks up every day and I insist on pulling apart as soon as I wake up.
3. Little People: the zoo, the amusement park and the doll house. I love these hand me downs.

3 Things I'm doing right now:
1. Well, my mommy thinks I napping;
2. But I'm really typing this meme;
3. Please don't tell her I'm this smart or she may start to think I understand the word "no", and just don't like to obey.

3 Things I want to do before I die:
1. Learn to communicate without whining. This would make Mommy oh so happy.
2. Run freely through the house with a 64 count box of crayons and no one to stop me.
3. Play tennis like my big sister because it looks like so much fun!

3 Things I can do:
1. Scream "Dadeeeeee" when I hear the chime go off when he comes in the back door.
2.Make my mommy's heart melt when I am in trouble. This has worked out well for me in the past, but I think she might just be getting over it.
3. Sleep in my big girl bed without a fuss. That one took about two weeks.

3 Ways to describe my personality:
1. Mischievous.
2. Cute as a button.
3. Dare devil.

3 Things I cannot do:
1. Get down the first time I am asked.
2. Say no to a marker. Especially those with the word "sharpie" on the side.
3. Sit Still.

3 Things I Think you should listen to:
1. "Space Chase" cd from previous Adventure Weeks.
2. Me! Screaming my head off with Mini-me just to hear our voices.
3. Veggie Tales: Sunday Morning Songs

3 Things I Don't think you should listen to:
1. "No" (As it is with all toddlers. They told us that in our secret toddler meetings...oops, you aren't supposed to know about those.)
2. "Time for Night-night!" (Mommy says it like it's soooo exciting. Totally stinks in my opinion.)
3. "Get down" (Doesn't she see that it's a NEED of mine for pete's sake. By the way, who is Pete?)

3 Favorite Foods:
1. Macaroni and Cheese
2. Cookies.
3. Sweet Tea (My mom only lets me have it decaffeinated so I won't be up all night.)

3 Beverages I drink regularly:
1. Milk
2. Water--with a splash of juice or decaf tea
3. Capri Sun--when the big kids get it.

3 Shows I watch:
1. Blue's Clues
2.
Backyardigans
3.
Tom and Jerry--Really these are all Mini-me's favs. I'm just along for the ride.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

What?!?!

Ok, what is up with THAT? I found this shirt at Kohl's and didn't have my camera. So, I bought it just so I could post a pic of it and then return it. Of course, no one cares about this post anyway.

The Cost of Our Trip to Savannah

21 hours in a car--$2.83 per gallon
one bottle of cough syrup, two pool noodles, and sunscreen--$18
Paula Deen tour in Savannah and yucky chicken salad at Uncle Bubba's Restaurant--$53
The buffet at The Lady and Sons including fried chicken, chocolate Ooey Gooey Butter Cakes and my first time to eat collard greens--$25 (Ok, so I only ate one collard green, but I did try it.)

Time Spent meeting four other fabulous blogging friends on a trip I will never forget and always treasure--PRICELESS!

Thanks so much to Theresa for flying to Dallas from Phoenix just so she could then drive 10 hours each way in the car with me; to Boomama for opening her home, her warm Southern hospitality, and a couple of tutorials; to Addie for flying to meet us; and to Lori for driving 10 hours in a car BY HERSELF WITH NO AIR to completely round out our group.

To quote Addie, "It was great to see you." Because we weren't really meeting for the first time. We really were friends before our trip even began.


**If you didn't say "awwww" just now....=)

Monday, July 17, 2006

Laptop are a Necessity

If you decide to go on a trip to meet your bloggity good friends, really try to borrow your husband's laptop. I know he will resist. It is after all his third child, but you tend to feel a) a little left out when every one is on theirs and b) bad because you keep asking Theresa and Boomama to borrow theirs or have them do something for you.

We are none the less having a great time. Lori, Theresa and I got several great tutorials from Boomama last night and although we all vowed to go to bed at 10 (being exhasusted from 10 hours of driving) we still stayed up. Not too much later though. Today we get to meet Addie and I am so excited. I'm sure we'll have tons of stuff to share in the next few days!

Friday, July 14, 2006

E-Nun-Ci-Ate

As the girls were getting ready to go swim yesterday Reia asks me this question:

"Mommy, what is a cannibal?"
My eyes furrow and I slowly turn my head to have her repeat, "Pardon me?"
"What is a cannibal?" Slightly put out since she thinks I wasn't listening.
"Where did you hear that word?" I'm thinking Backyardigans? They go on all kinds of weird adventures. Maybe I should be watching more closely.
"Kamryn." (Don't worry Richelle, it gets better.)

So I'm wondering, #1 why does Kamryn know this word? and #2 do I tell her?
I decide rather than make it some mysterious thing to think about, which she would, to just tell her.

"A cannibal is a person who eats other people."
"That's disgusting, mom."
"Yes, it is; and it's against the law." Not really sure what that point served, but I felt like I had to add something.
"But what does that have to do with water?"

Suddenly the light goes off in my head. Kamryn. Swimming.--CANNON BALL.

So happy I just shared with my 4 1/2 yr old what a cannibal was unnecessarily.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Trombone Player Wanted

My husband, being the business guy that he is, is always listening to CDs, watching DVDs or reading books about strengthening your aptitude in the areas of business and leadership and applying them to the local church. He will occasionally share what he learns or finds interesting and I listen and file it in the part of my brain labeled, "things to talk to Terry about when I think he may be bored listening to the mundane details of my day".

So when he wanted to watch a series of DVDs the other day by Marcus Buckingham titled, "Trombone Player Wanted", I agreed. (Buckingham is the guy who wrote Now Discover Your Strengths.) There were 6 DVDs of 15 minutes each. After you watched each one, you were to go to Simply Strengths and answer questions. As a stay at home mom I don't generally think of these things as something that will help me, really.

In the background of him speaking, which is totally engaging on it's own merit, there is a story of a 7th grade boy who plays the trombone. He really wants to play the drums, but his band teacher (who looks mostly grumpy and put out through the whole thing) won't let him because they need him on the trombone. You can never hear what is being said, but again with the music choice and general story line, I was totally sucked in.

So, the underlying story line of the boy goes along and changes as Marcus delves into strengths vs. weaknesses. How we can go to a day that focuses mostly on our strengths. And our weaknesses, which are inevitably someone else's strengths, can be left to the others.

I am not one of those people who can pinpoint my strengths. As I have stated in a previous post, I am not so great at any one thing, but okay at a lot of little things. I tend to focus on my weaknesses so much so that I automatically look for which one of the awful traits my children have inherited and work on exorcising that demon right out of them. Bottom line, I'm pretty hard on myself in general.

Here are the questions he asked after the first session that really made me take a good look at the way I view my strengths or lack thereof (so I thought).
1) Do you find yourself dwelling on your weaknesses?
2) How does it make you feel?
3) Why do you do it?
4) Who asks you to?
5) Do you think you should?

Wow, seriously? Then he says if you want to know what your strengths are, which I've always had a hard time pinpointing, to go to the next DVD. Can you say eject, load and play? Now, I don't want to give to much away as I'm sure I would get in trouble since he might lose a whole $30 for the number of people who read my blog, but I do want to share this next little tidbit for any mom who wonders what her strengths really are.

First, he says no one can really tell you what your strengths are better than you. (**So, stop trying to get everyone else to tell you that you are good at XYZ.) Also, it doesn't have to be something that you are already good at! It will be something(s) that you put yourself in situations to do whether or not you are good at them, and you will get better at them exponetially as you apply yourself.

Weaknesses on the other hand you can work on, but never really master. And they tend to drain your energy level. They also tend to be those activites that you abhor doing. I tried to tell T that laundry was a weakness, so I should really quit. I was reminded that doing floors were also a weakness that he got someone else to take care of them, so I let it go.

Back to the story...

He brought up a story from his past when he was a boy he had a particularly bad stutter. But, regardless of what kind of ridicule he received, he always volunteered to read aloud or speak in a play, etc. As if he couldn't help but try it. Now, not only is he good at it, but he really enjoys it when he is prepared and in front of a large crowd.

And immediately I knew what my strengths were. I knew what books I picked out to read, the blogs I chose to connect with, the things I "studied" so that I could excel in this area. And you know what else, I'm good. Really good. Even better than that, I'm going to get even better.

My life isn't changing. I still get up and work each day at being a stay at home mom who is going to home school her kids for a while, has to make breakfast, lunch and dinner then clean up afterward. I still have mountains of laundry to do on the weekend. And, as usual, I try to glorify Him who created me to do it. But, I know now what my strengths are. And being able to say specifically what they are is really cool.

Nah, I'm not gonna share. Don't want to seem like an egomaniac or anything!

**My thoughts not his. Also, I cannot possibly give this set of DVDs justice. They are really good on so many levels whether or not you are a business person.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Meme of Seven

I was tagged by Barb to do this meme. So let's see....

7 Random Facts About Me
1. I do a lot of things ok, but I'm not really really good at any one thing. I guess that just means I'm well rounded, right?
2. I had to put our dog Mulligan down when I was 8 1/2 months pregnant with mini-me. She was the nastiest, gnarliest little dog that we saved from the street one night in the pouring down rain. She was old, had kidney failure and I was so afraid she was going to croak while T was out of town I had her put to sleep lest I should have to deal with a dead dog at the foot of my bed. (She was really sick though and we had her a year.)
3. If a child wakes me up at night for any reason (which is most nights) it takes me 60-90 min to get back to sleep. (which is why I am tired most days)
4. I am trying really hard not be obsessed with this whole blogging thing; which is why I don't have a site meter, new blog skin or any fancy stuff. But the temptation is soooo there.
5. I am going to start homeschooling mini-me (and mini-T a little) in the fall. I am very excited about it!
6. I have over the past few years almost totally lost my desire to go back to work, ever. Except to pay for a pool if need be.
7. I am terribly afraid of heights and fast rides. Really, I don't even like to swing anymore as it makes my tummy do that flip thing and those ridiculously high overpasses? I close my eyes. Yes, only when I'm in the passenger side. I only close one eye while I'm driving...

7 Random Music at the Moment
1. INXS--old and new
2. The Great Space Chase--Adventure Week CD mini-me is obsessed with
3. Mercy Me
4. Kelly Clarkson
5. John Mayer
6. Enrique Iglesias--great running music
7. Erwin McManus--sermon podcasts on the iPod

7 Things/People I Like the Most
1. T, mini-me, mini-T (hubby and kids)
2. Going to the new Uptown (now called Downtown) building to have services on Sundays
3. Living in the middle of Dallas
4. Having large trees in the yard
5. Chicken Crispers at Chilli's, the roasted chicken at Fuse (melts in your mouth)
6. Paula Deen's "Ain't Yo Mama's Banana Pudding"
7. I really have too many people and blogs to list on this one. Let's just say I'm grateful for all of the relationships, in person and in the blogosphere I have.

7 Things I Say the Most
1. "That is not okay with me."
2. "Reese, No."
3. "What did we learn in church this weekend?"
4. "I can't hear you if you're whining."
5. "Look at my eyes."
6. "Reese, get back in your bed."
7. "Seriously?!"

In Honor of BooMama and Addie,
7 Things You will Never Hear Me Say
1. "Cellulite is a good look for me. I think I'll get some more."
2. "Honey, could you go to the money tree in the backyard and get me a couple hundred?"
3. "I think my natural hair color looks best."
4. "Girls, when you whine, it makes me the happiest mom in the world."
5. "Now that I'm down to my pre-baby weight..."
6. "That's too much butter."
7. "We don't need a pool." Because, you know, I'm totally obsessed with getting one.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

WFMW: Eves and Otters

I know I am not the first mom to have come up with this, but I will share anyway. We have two girls and they are already savvy to who gets to choose first and who gets a turn first. As of now, Mini-Me get to choose first or go first if it is an even day and Mini-T does likewise on the odd days. (Mini-Me has taken to asking me if today is an Eve or Otter.) I am hoping as Mini-T gets older, this will cut down on at least some arguments in the household.

Monday, July 03, 2006

A Little Potty Talk

This post from Shannon at Rocks got me to thinking about Thing 2 (my 20 month old) and her absolute necessity to stick her hand in the potty any time she's within five feet of it. I've found dolls, Froot Loops, wash cloths, and just a few minutes ago, my brush, in the toilet. She has even scooped up a cup of water for a drink before I knew where it came from.

What is the fascination? She has a pool and water table outside, but they don't garner as much attention or enthusiasm as the toilet. I know this stage will pass and when she has a little child just like her, I will have no sympathy! Now that I think of it, this may come in handy as a blackmail tool someday...hummmm.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

My Mug Shot


mug shot
Originally uploaded by robinstorch.
I was tagged by Theresa a week or so ago to post my "mug shot". Except that I don't drink coffee and Terry only gets his morning jolt from Starbucks. We do have coffee mugs. Plain white simple ones, just right for guests. So, here is my morning friend. I actually prefer regular, but have made the switch for caloric reasons. I don't even pour it in a glass. Just insert straw and go!