Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Nearly three hours later...

Brian has called saying he's on his way home. Finally! The locksmith got lost twice on his way out there (this place really is in the middle of nowhere). Now if I could just find the wrapping paper. It's official, I suck at Christmas this year. Oh, and the one present that didn't get here? It's one of three things Julian actually wrote on his Christmas list (and the other two are coming from grandparents, not from Santa, so they won't be here tomorrow morning, either - we aren't even seeing Brian's parents until sometime in January, so it will be a good long while before he gets at least one of the three things on his list). I. Suck. At least the tree is up and stockings are hung.

Ho ho ho?

Brian called shortly after I got home. The key to my car, which he has there in the middle of nowhere east Texas, was locked in the trunk. There's not a spare there with him, and the odds of getting a locksmith out at this time on Christmas Eve were pretty much nonexistent. So he said he could either wait until Friday to come home, or he could break a window to get into the car, and get the key out of the trunk that way. Or I could drive three, four hours to get him tonight, and then three, four hours back, and then try to do Christmas tomorrow when we're all worn out, and then go back again on Saturday with Julian in tow, which just wouldn't be practical at all. And of course that would have meant spending God knows how much to get the window fixed. Of course I want him home, but I don't want to spend a bunch of money repairing the car window. And it's MY car. My baby. I didn't want a window smashed out. So much for that Christmas cheer I had going on, and I figured, there goes Brian's paycheck that he's bringing home. I was not a happy camper.

Then Brian called back - he did get hold of a locksmith. It will cost $60-100, but it's cheaper than a new window. God bless the locksmith who's working the late afternoon of Christmas Eve, and that was quite a relief! He'll be a bit later getting home, but I can handle that.

And now the fun continues. After getting not a lot of sleep last night, Julian spent the day at Kevin's. I told him he could open one present when he got home. He opened the one, and started crying and saying he didn't want that one. I really wish I could have some spiked eggnog right about now. *sigh* Ho ho ho?

Oh, and one of Julian's Christmas presents didn't arrive on time. It was supposed to get here today, and it's one he really, really wanted. I'm bummed.

What color Christmas lights are you?

Pilfered from Jenn at I Hate Whine.

You are Multicolored Lights

Your holidays are a time for cheer and excitement.

You love so much about the holidays, and everyone perks up a little from your happiness.

You try to be grateful for what you have this time of the year.

Even if things have been tough, you can't help but be joyful.

Trying to get the new year off to a clean start

I think I've mentioned previously that Brian's new job will help us immensely from a financial standpoint. We've still got some financial issues to clean up, though, and there's one big one I've been putting off making a call about. A new year is approaching, and I want to get everything back on a firm footing as soon as we can, so today I finally made the call. I had to leave a message, so I'm waiting on a callback, but I feel better just having picked up the phone and called. It will all get cleaned up, and we will get things squared away, and it can stop being a fearsome thing to hear the phone ring or dread what may be lurking in the mailbox. And THAT will be a thing to celebrate! Time for some "out with the old, in with the new" for sure.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Winter wonderland? Not so much.

This morning was fun. I got Julian off to the Y program, and then started hearing reports of icy roadways near Midlothian. Great. Long story short, my route to work was littered with cop cars and tow trucks and cars in the ditch, oh my, and I was not getting on it. No way. The highway I take was shut down in both directions at one point due to ice. I couldn't get back to my house, because every route home involves an overpass, and after taking one overpass and seeing the car in front of me skid and spin around and end up facing me, I wasn't doing that. (When I saw that, my heart was literally pounding. Not fun.) So I went to one of our little restaurants and had a nice breakfast and waited for the mess to clear up. It finally did, and I made it to work by 10:15. If we were going to have nasty weather, I wish it would have started before we'd left the house. It would have saved me a lot of stress. I've had enough winter, thanks, I'm ready for spring now.

Monday, December 22, 2008


Happy Monday! It's gray and cold here - it was 27 degrees when we were driving to school. (I know, that may be no big deal for the Northern contingent, but for a Texan, it's COLD!) Julian asked me, "Mama, why did God have to make it so cold today?" LOL I told him to wait a day or two, it would change (and it is supposed to warm up a good bit this week - go figure, 20s one day, 60s the next, no wonder we're all sick).

I've still got this nasty cough. It's like I get a tickle in my throat and start coughing and just can't stop. I tried going without my cough syrup last night. Bad idea. I woke up about half an hour later coughing fit to beat the band, and so I took a dose. Then I woke up with a codeine hangover this morning. Ugh.

Julian and I finally got the Christmas tree up last night! I told him that we needed to clean up so we could get that done, so that Santa would have someplace to put presents. He said, "Santa can just put presents on the floor." I told him, oh no, the floor is all messy right now, and Santa would see it and think, "My goodness, the little boy who lives here must not be interested in getting presents - I'll take his and give them to other little boys and girls!" Julian couldn't start cleaning fast enough. LOL So the tree is up, and thankfully it's pre-lit, but we still need to get the decorations on it. Hopefully that will be done by Christmas Eve night!

I'm at work all week except for Thursday. *sigh* Next year, I WILL have vacation at Christmas time.

What kind of flower are you?

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

So tired

It's been a busy day. Let's see what all we've done:

~Grocery shopping at Brookshire's
~Put the groceries away
~Pick up in the living room
~Vacuum the living room
~Make cake balls (still to be dipped)
~Make fudge
~Make casserole for dinner
~Load dishwasher
~Hand wash things that don't go in the dishwasher
~Put up Christmas tree

Still left on tonight's to-do list: finish Christmas gifts for work, dip cake balls, and hopefully get one load of laundry done so I'll have clean underwear for tomorrow.

I. Am. Tired.

My shopping trip to Brookshire's

I'm trying to get into couponing and saving on groceries. I'm nowhere near some of the people whose super deals I've seen, but I think I did pretty well for today's haul.

Two Oscar Mayer Lunchables
Fourteen Michelina frozen entrees (on sale, 2/$3.00 and I had two coupons for $1/5)
Two packages of Oscar Mayer bacon (on sale, 2/$5.00)
One Bob Evans mashed potatoes (coupon for .35/1)
One store brand Velveeta (cheaper than regular Velveeta's sale price)
One box Reese's Puffs (just 'cause we like 'em!)
One liquid Coffee-Mate (coupon for $1/1)
Two six-packs of ready-to-eat Jello (on sale, 2/$5.00)
Four bricks of Philadelphia cream cheese (on sale for $1.19 each and I had two coupons for $1/2)
C&H powdered sugar and C&H brown sugar (on sale, 2/$3, and I had two coupons for .35/1)
One each of Pillsbury frozen biscuits and frozen dinner rolls (on sale, 2/$5.00 and I had two coupons for .50/1)
Two Pillsbury cinnamon rolls (on sale for $1.69 each and I had two coupons for .35/1)
One Community Coffee instant cappucino
Two Pillsbury crescent rolls (on sale for $1.69 each and I had two coupons for .35/1)
One package of crispy onions (coupon for .55/1 and it was a bonus pack!)
Lofthouse frosted cookies
Scott towels (coupon for $1/1)
Two 9-roll packages of Northern bath tissue, mega rolls (on sale 2 for $12.00 and I had two coupons for $1/1)
One magazine
One Airheads Extreme Sour (for Julian)

I also used the $10 off $100 coupon in the Brookshire's circular. My total before taking that $10 off was $108 and change.

Total out of pocket: $86.11.
Total savings per my receipt (coupons and Thank You card, so taking into account the savings on sale items): $57.08, or a total savings of 40%!

Now I know I probably could have done better on some items if I'd shopped somewhere that doubles coupons, and I know Brookshire's may be a little higher generally than some other stores. But it's right close to my house (literally less than five minutes away), and I don't think I did too badly for just starting out on my couponing adventure!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Talk about something you wish you could take back!

A pox on whoever came up with printable coloring pages, and a swift kick in the butt for me for ever finding them for Julian. That's all I've heard all day: "Mama, can I print Hot Wheels coloring pages/Ben 10 coloring pages/Monster Jam coloring pages/Transformers coloring pages?" GAH. Santa should bring him a five-pack of printer ink for Christmas.

Friday, December 19, 2008

God Stop Friday

This is a Friday meme from Patty at God Is Able, and this is my first time participating! It's kind of wordy, but bear with me.

Boy, have I ever seen the hand of God recently. I guess it started back in 2005 when I met Brian. We met, we liked each other, we dated, we fell in love, and we felt sure we were meant to be together. I looked for jobs there, he looked for jobs here, but nothing ever worked out. Finally, in a leap of faith, he quit his job and moved here, and we got married in April of 2008. Four months later, he finally found a job - not the ideal job (as those of you who've read my blog know), but at least it was something, even if the logistics were fairly awful and the pay wasn't great.

Then I found out I was pregnant. Surprise! And the wondering started again. Surely God didn't mean to keep Brian at a job that had him three hours from home, eight days at a time, with his wife pregnant, or with a newborn and a six-year-old, could He? So Brian kept looking. He kept his name on the substitute teacher list for our school district, hoping for some extra income to come our way through that route. The phone never rang for sub assignments (I think he's had one half-day assignment since the school year started), and every job opportunity that he applied for turned him down flat, without even an interview. It was a discouraging time, and I tried not to worry, but man, if worry were an Olympic sport, I'd be a gold medalist.

During this time, Brian and I talked about tithing. We both felt strongly that we needed to be faithful in our giving. Our ex-spouses weren't committed to that idea, and it was something we felt like we needed to do. Before Brian started working, we picked a number that scared us and stuck to it. That number was $50 out of each of my paychecks. Not much, and not 10%, but we gave it, and yes, with Brian not working, it scared me. Finances still seemed to get worse, though, and it was all a struggle. I was frustrated - I'm 40 years old, shouldn't things be better at this point in my life?

Then in November, it occurred to me that we needed to cut out direct deposit and online bill payment and go to all cash. That way, all of our paychecks could go to pay our obligations and needs, rather than a chunk of it being lost to clear overdraft charges at the bank every time (we had issues with our bank running things through more than once and being charged fees for it every time, which really adds up). And when this occurred to me, it also occurred to me that we needed to tithe the full 10%. We'd started taking that full amount from Brian's check, but we were still only taking $50 from mine, and I told Brian at that point that we either trusted God fully or not at all, and if we trusted Him fully, we needed to give our whole tithe. He agreed, and so we started doing that.

Along the way, Brian kept looking for jobs. He found two that seemed promising, and applied. Let the waiting begin. (If you've read my recent posts, you know how I feel about that.) Our finances began to improve a bit, slowly but surely. At least we knew that when we got to the end of the cash, that was it until the next payday, and there were no more overdraft notices from the bank, which was a welcome relief. Then Brian got an interview. Excitement, and more waiting. And if you've read back, you know he got a job offer yesterday! I couldn't thank God any more if there were two of me. We are so, so excited about this, it just boggles the mind. Starting January 5, he'll be at home, with a job that offers better benefits and salary, and this is absolutely an answer to prayer.

And now comes the God Stop. Several of my friends, or their spouses, or their friends, have received notices of layoffs in the past couple of days. At Christmas, a time of year that should be full of joy and happiness and goodwill toward men. My heart breaks for them, because I know how rotten it is to be forced out of a job (I've been there), and I know how scary it is (in this economy, especially) to not know what you'll be doing to bring in income, and something like losing a job can suck the joy right out of the season. I am humbled by the realization that God does have a plan for us all, that He has walked with Brian and me this whole time and seen us through, and He has chosen now as His perfect time to bless Brian with a wonderful new opportunity. I am doubly thankful for that gift because of the times we're living in, and because I know people who are seeing just the opposite happen right now. Do I think God doesn't have His hand on my friends, or that He loves Brian and me more? No, not at all. God loves each and every one of us, and He has a perfect plan and perfect timing for our lives, and He uses trials and difficulties to refine us and strengthen us. I'm just very thankful that right now, God's plan is bringing us good news instead of trials. The past few years, I've had enough trials and character-building to last for a while! And this particular blessing from God doesn't mean that suddenly everything is sunshine and roses. We've still got some financial issues to square away, and we've still got a baby coming that we need to prepare for. It just means that yes, God hears our prayers, and yes, He provides - in His time, not ours.

He got it, he got it!!!!

And I was so excited, I forgot to post here. LOL Brian got the job at Methodist Home!!! I got the message off his voice mail yesterday, and as soon as I hung up, I was on the phone to his boss, telling him to get Brian on the phone ASAP. (His boss knew he was looking and why, and Brian told me to do that if he got a message, so it was OK. LOL ) John was able to get Brian on the radio, so he was able to call Methodist Home and call me in short order. He starts January 5! Woo hoo!!!!! So this is his next to last shift at Lone Star - he'll go back for one more before he starts on the 5th, unless they tell him not to worry about it. The benefits are really good, and the salary is a good bit above what Lone Star has been paying (it's almost as much as he'd be making if he were teaching, so pretty darn good), and that is SUCH a huge blessing. God is so good (as one of my online friends put it, He's an on-time God - this worked out in His time, not ours, and it's all good!). We're still going to be counting our pennies and being frugal, but this will help us so much in getting everything caught up and getting back on track. This is an answered prayer for sure, and the best Christmas present ever! And Brian's birthday is December 28, so I guess this is a pretty darn good birthday present for him, too!

In other good news, Julian continues his streak of stickers. Still only one note for the six weeks, with two weeks left (after the Christmas break)! I told him if he gets all stickers for the rest of the six weeks, we can definitely go to Game Stop and get a Wii game as a treat.

I feel some better, but my head is still stuffed full of snot. It would be such a refreshing change if I could breathe through my nose and get rid of the cough (which is dry and just annoying during the day, and all goopy at night - fun!).

But hey, it's Friday, the sun is out (finally!), and Brian has a new job starting soon - life is good!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

More waiting, but a hopeful waiting?

SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! Brian got a voice mail asking him to call, hopefully by tomorrow, I've already called Lone Star and told them to get word to him to get him to a phone ASAP. I called his boss, too (he knows Brian is looking for something closer to home and why, so it's OK for me to do that). Turns out Brian's group is at the ropes course, so John was going to try to get him on the radio so he could call this afternoon. SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEe!!!!!!! Now, granted, the message didn't say it was a job offer. I sure hope it is, though.

I'm so excited/anxious, my head may explode. LOL

More of the same.

Big fat nothin'. If they're wanting to have people start on January 5, and still leave them time to give two weeks' notice, they're cutting it fine. One of my co-workers just pointed that out to me, as well as the fact that next week starts the holiday black hole where people are out of pocket. GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH. The position is still up on their website, so I guess that's good? Surely they'll make some decisions by tomorrow, knowing that the holidays are upon us and knowing that the date they want people to start is drawing nigh.


No word yet. No voice mail, no e-mail, nothing. Hate waiting. Hate it.

Snork. That's the sound my nose makes when I try to breathe through it. It just ain't happening. I started taking my antibiotic last night, and I took some of my lovely cough syrup. I slept decently, which helps, but my head just will.not.unclog. I hate breathing through my mouth. It makes me feel stupid, and it's hard to concentrate on anything when just breathing is an effort. And I don't know how this happens, but the snot migrates from one side to the other. Sometimes it just gets stuck in the middle, so that I can't come close to breathing out of either side of my nose. I need Roto-Rooter to come unclog my sinuses, please.

This morning got off to a rough start. I'd told Julian more than once to get dressed and eat his breakfast, so I wasn't real happy to get out of the shower and find him sitting on the couch, naked, with his clothes next to him, coloring, and his breakfast still untouched. So we had a throwdown over that that resulted in the TV being turned off and markers being put away, and he cried. Yeah, that makes me feel great, to start my day by making my kid cry. I told him that starting now, the very first thing we do when we get up is to get dressed, and he cried over that, saying he didn't want to do the boring stuff first. I told him that we do that first because mornings during the week are about getting to school and work on time, not playing or coloring or watching TV. He was fine by the time I dropped him off at school, and I told him that no matter what, I always love him, even if I don't love the way he's acting sometimes, but still. It wasn't a fun way to start the day.

It doesn't help that it's foggy and gray and chilly and drippy this morning. Traffic was miserable, so I was even later to work than I thought I'd be. And the bad thing (well, one of the bad things) about working in a cube farm with half walls is that there really is no sneaking in unnoticed. Let's hope the day improves from here, shall we?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Why can't they just call already?!

Still no word from Brian's interview. I'm doing my best not to call and check his voice mail every ten minutes, just on the off chance that a call finally came in. Have I mentioned that waiting sucks? No, really, it does.

I really wish I was home today

Wait, wait, wait. Waiting sucks. Brian e-mailed the interviewer to let her know he'd be available by phone until about noon today, and that I'd be checking his e-mail while he's in the field.

It's not icing here anymore, which is nice. Now it's just cold and wet, which isn't so nice. Blech.

I feel like crap. I was up and down all night with the hacking and coughing and nose-blowing, and my head is all clogged up. I called my doctor to see if he could call in some meds for me. If I don't sleep, I'm just useless. I was really wishing I had one sick day left this morning so I could stay home.

On the bright side, I got an e-mail from Julian's teacher this morning saying he was having a really good day. It makes me so happy to see stickers in his folder instead of notes, and to hear him asking me why reading is so easy instead of complaining that school is too hard and there's too much work.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Worst use of noun as verb EVER

The use of nouns as verbs is one of my pet peeves. "He offices at Thanksgiving Tower", for instance. No, he doesn't. He has an office at Thanksgiving Tower, or he works at Thanksgiving Tower. Things like that are like nails on a chalkboard to me, and I think I've just found the worst use of a noun as a verb ever. I like McDonalds' McGriddles, but I may never be able to eat one again. I just saw a banner ad for McGriddles that said, "Now that's how you morning." GAAAAAH. "Morning" is not a verb.

Waiting, waiting, waiting.

Well, today is Tuesday. Still no word. I know Brian is getting antsy. He said he feels like the later it gets, the less likely any call he gets will be with a job offer. I told him not necessarily, so it's my job to be Pollyanna and positive right now, and he's all bunchy. I really hope that he does get a call today, though, and that it is good news. He felt so good about the interview that I know he'll take it really hard if it doesn't work out. And I know that sometimes things don't go according to plan, and just because they gave Tuesday as a time frame doesn't mean it will happen. I just wish that, if they can't make that time frame, they wouldn't have said it so definitely. They made a big deal about it, and made a point of writing "call on Tuesday" on Brian's resume when he told them he'd be out in the field starting Wednesday but could check messages if need be. It would be easier to wait if they'd left it more open-ended rather than making such a point of saying that they really wanted to have everyone notified by Tuesday.

The weather is fairly nasty here today. It's below freezing, and there was ice on the roadways this morning - never a good thing for Texans who don't know how to drive on it. Julian's school opened late, so I came in to work late. I figure if school buses don't need to be out on the road, neither do I. I left the house around 9:30, and didn't get here until after 11:00. It was slow going, but that's preferable to people zipping along like nothing is out of the ordinary. I wish they'd send us home early, because I'm nervous about making my commute home after dark, with the temps the way they are and the roads still all wet.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Baby and interview and finances, oh my!

Finally, an update!

Thursday afternoon, I got a call from my doctor's office at about 3:15, just before I was fixing to leave for my u/s. They told me that my OB appointment had gotten scheduled for downtown Dallas (where I usually see my doc), and the u/s had gotten scheduled for the Mesquite office (far enough away that there was no way I could make both in one afternoon when my appointment was at 4:00). They asked if I wanted to reschedule the OB appointment or the u/s, and I said I'd reschedule the appointment, thanks, I wanted the u/s today. Brian was already waiting at the downtown Dallas office, so I had to call and give him directions to Mesquite. Thank goodness for cell phones. But we made it there with no problems, and then it was time for the big u/s!

And we're having a boy!!! The tech said she thought that was the fastest she'd ever seen the pertinent parts. He's just like Julian, only interested in showing off his butt - she had a hard time getting shots of anything other than butt and boy parts. LOL

He did finally give us a couple of other views, though. And he's just as squirmy and wiggly as ever his brother was. Great, looks like I'll have two wild men on my hands. We're excited. Brian is a bit stunned - he said he never expected to have a son. I'm surprised, because I really thought this baby was a girl. Shows you what I know. LOL His mom is relieved - she said she really wouldn't have known what to do with a girl! LOL (She had two sons, and Brian's brother has two sons, and there's Julian, so all boys in the family.)

And then there was Brian's interview! Brian felt like it went really well. Turns out they did pick up on his former connection with Methodist Home while he was teaching in Waco, and the woman he interviewed with went to church with one of Brian's former co-workers at the Dr Pepper Museum, so they talked a lot about people they knew in common. Brian said she only asked him three or four substantive questions, and that they were pretty easy ones, so we're hoping that they've already got him on a short list just from his education and background. Brian let her know he was going to be out in the field starting Wednesday, and she said they're really aiming to have all decisions made and everyone notified by Tuesday. So we're anxiously hoping and praying that the phone rings with good news! It's good that God knows our hearts when we can't find words, because right now the constant prayer running through my mind is something along the lines of, "Oh please oh please oh please oh please." LOL

Our Christmas program was this weekend. Rehearsal Wednesday and Thursday, and performances Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, plus handbells rang for both services yesterday morning. I'm tired! It was fun, though, and I thought the program went really well. I've missed being part of a church family. I'm glad we've found a church we like.

Kevin forgot to give Julian his meds yesterday, so he came home pinging off the walls and we were up until 11:00. Julian woke up in a good mood this morning, though. He was giving everyone hugs - he'd hugged me and Brian and the cat, and then he came back to me and hugged my belly and said, "Let me give the baby a hug, too!" He's a good kid, and I think he'll be a really good big brother.

It's cold and nasty today. Yesterday it was in the 70s, today it's in the high 20s/low 30s with a wind chill in the teens. There's also a possibility of freezing rain, but I doubt it will be enough to do anything other than slow traffic to a crawl. Bummer - I'd love an excuse to stay home tomorrow! I can't imagine living somewhere where it's cold and windy like this all the time. I'd freeze.

I'm feeling a lot better about finances since we went to all cash. It's nice to know that all of our paycheck is going to take care of our obligations, and not being eaten up by overdraft fees at the bank. Yeah, it's kind of a pain sometimes not to have the convenience of online payments or just using a card, and I still worry about getting everything caught up, but it's nice to see how much money we have and to be able to plan what gets paid where, and to see how much we have left for things that are just wants and not necessarily needs. And it's really nice not to get any overdraft notices from the bank! And with cash, we just take our tithe right off the top and put it in our envelope, ready to go to church the next Sunday. I'm hoping that things are going to turn around in 2009, especially if Brian gets the Methodist Home job - they should pay a good bit better than his current job, and they've got really good benefits. I still worry about things getting paid on time and in full and getting everything caught up, but I feel better.

Let's hope 2009 is a year of clean starts and bright new beginnings all around!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Pray hard!!!

SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!! Brian just called - he's got an interview with Methodist Home tomorrow at 1:30!!!!! I hope this works out for him. He would be so, so good at it, and it would be here and not out in the woods. If he gets this job, that will be the best Christmas present EVER. So if anyone is reading my little blog, and if you're so inclined, we'd appreciate any prayers, lit candles, good thoughts.

In other exciting news: Today at 4:00, I go for my big ultrasound! Hopefully we'll find out who's in there, Sophia or a little boy who wouldn't yet have a name. LOL I'll update about that when I get a chance!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


It's 4:30, and Brian still hasn't called saying he's left work yet. I swear, the time he manages to get out of there seems to get later with every shift. He's "officially" out of the field at 1:30, but then they've got a whole bunch of debriefing shit they have to go through. For Christmas, I'd like a job for Brian that's here and not out in the damn woods three hours away. *sigh*

I won!

I've won two contests this week! First, I got word from Lori over at Thrifty Thoughts that I'd won her giveaway of Watkins cinnamon and vanilla. Just in time for holiday baking, so those things will be put to good use right away. Then I found out I'd won the Commonwealth Candle giveaway at Bloggy Giveaways. I love candles, and you can never have too many. Wow! What fun it is to win something! Now I'm hoping to go for the trifecta this week with a lotto win. Hey, it could happen.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Cookie Exchange!

Tracy P. at The Journey is hosting a cookie exchange! So there are lots of yummy recipes there to try out, just in time for Christmas baking! Hop on over and check out all the goodness, and let me share one of my favorites with you.

This isn't a cookie recipe, per se, but it's something we always had for Christmas get-togethers when I was growing up. I think I got the recipe from my Aunt Jo, but it's been so long, I can't say for sure. It's tasty and easy, and a great addition to any tray of holiday treats.

Butterscotch Candy

1 6-oz. package butterscotch morsels
1 C. Spanish peanuts
1 can chow mein noodles

Melt butterscotch morsels. Mix in nuts and noodles until well coated. Drop by spoonfuls on waxed paper and let set.

And that's it!

Just for fun, I'll put another one out there. I got this from a co-worker back when I worked at the Ellis County DA's office, and it's another easy party favorite that would be good for any holiday gathering.

White Trash

1 C. Rice Krispies
1 C. peanut butter crunch cereal
1 C. salted peanuts
1 C. mini marshmallows
1/2 package almond bark, melted

Mix all ingredients together until all the dry ingredients are coated with almond bark. Drop onto waxed paper by spoonfuls and let set.

Happy eating!


This morning when we left the house, the temperature was in the 60s. Now, when it's time to go home, it's in the 30s. I'm glad I brought my coat, and it's no wonder we're all sniffling and sneezing.

99 Life Experiences

Pilfered from Karla. I thought I'd see what all I've done, and what all I might want to add to my to-do list! The things in bold are the things I've done.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
(jazz band in high school counts, right?)
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity (at least it felt like more than I could afford at the time)
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain

9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon (and the odds of this happening are slim to none! LOL)
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run (I hit a triple once, but that's as close as I ever came)
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check (Alas, yes, I have.)
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
(it wasn't all that)
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone (my little toes on both feet)
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper (more than once, in my hometown paper when I was growing up!)
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous (I met Patrick Duffy when I was in junior high school - hey, he was famous at the time.)
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit (got sued by a defendant when I was a prosecutor - someone once told me you weren't a real prosecutor unless you got sued at least once!)
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

So, clearly I've still got some things to do! Realistically, I know some of these things will never happen. But some are certainly within reach!

How I rate as a 1930s wife

Somehow I never thought of myself as June Cleaver, but I must be:


As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!

So how do you rate on the 1930s marital scale? I shamelessly pilfered this from I Hate Whine.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Halfway there!

I'm at 20 weeks and 2 days today - halfway done with this pregnancy! It seems like just yesterday I got the surprising news that I was, in fact, pregnant. I don't think I'm doing too badly for someone of "advanced maternal age", especially considering I was short and fat to start with, and not exactly the picture of fitness. I get tired more easily, and I think the pain I've been having is my gallbladder giving me fits (not uncommon in pregnancy, I hear, and I'll be making some changes in my diet to try to prevent more nights like the few I've had this week). But hey, if that's all the problems I have to worry about, I'll say thank you and consider it good.

I don't think I ever mentioned this. The day I found out I was pregnant, we were going to take pictures for our church directory. I don't remember what the photographer said, exactly, when he was taking the picture of just Brian and I together, but it was something along the lines of, "Say 'more kids!'" Brian and I just about died laughing at the timeliness of that comment. LOL

So, next week is our "big" ultrasound, when we hopefully find out if this baby is a boy or a girl. Pretty much everyone who's expressed an opinion thinks it's a girl. Julian is convinced he's going to have a baby sister, although he said it would be OK if he ended up with a baby brother, "because God just gives us what He thinks we need." Kevin thinks it's a girl. Brian is leaning toward hoping for a girl, I think (especially since we've settled on a girl name but have big fat nothin' for a boy name). All the grandparents think we're having a girl, although that may be just wishful thinking on their parts. So maybe this time next week, we'll know for sure. I hope so - I'm ready to register for all that stuff you really don't want to pick out until you know who you're shopping for!


Well, fancy that. I ate a light dinner last night - yogurt and a piece of toast - and I slept all night, pain-free. I guess I'll keep that up for a while and see if it continues to help. I'll just have to make sure to eat a decent breakfast this morning, because I'm hungry. LOL

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Apparently there's no big rush

And as luck would have it, my doctor is at a conference all week! As is his nurse! I talked to the nurse filling in for Jennifer and explained to her what was going on. She said there was a bug going around (if this is a bug, it's the strangest one I've ever seen, that only shows up at night), or that perhaps I should check with my lap-band surgeon. I told her that if there's one there at Baylor that Dr. Norwood has worked with, I'd prefer to see him, as my original surgeon is in Arlington, and it's a whole lotta driving from one doc in Arlington to one in Dallas back home to Midlothian. (Gee, I should have planned the logistics better five years ago, huh? LOL ) She said she can talk to my doc on Monday, and that if it gets to hurting too much, just to go see my surgeon. I said I would. I mentioned gall bladder as a possibility and she didn't seem to think much of it (although it does seem like it could fit, but I realize I'm no medical expert). So for now, I wait. Since the problems seem to be happening at night, I'm going to try eating a really light dinner and see if that makes a difference. It seems to me, thinking about it, that if it were a problem with my band, I'd have issues anytime I tried to eat normally, and not just at night. If eating less helps and I can get a good night's sleep, that will help.

Pain and regret

I feel awful. I started having stomach pains on Sunday night. Sunday night and Tuesday night, Phenergan helped and let me sleep. The stomach pain returned last night, and this time Phenergan didn't help. I barely slept, and I'm a raging grump today. The pain is upper abdominal, not lower abdominal like cramping or needing to go to the bathroom, so I worry that something has gone wrong with my lap-band. If that's the case, I don't know what will be done or what could be done, given that I'm pregnant. Curiously, though, the pain only flares up at night (and not every night - it gave Monday night a miss).

And because I felt bad, I was short-tempered with Julian this morning. I explained to him that I really didn't feel good and that's why I was crabby, but still. I feel bad about that. The overdramatic part of me worries, what if this pain is something that requires surgery and something goes horribly wrong, and the last thing Julian remembers me saying to him is fussing for not being ready to get out of the car when we got up to the drop-off point at school? I regret that I couldn't keep a better handle on myself and make my words to Julian this morning kind ones, pain and tiredness notwithstanding.

I just want to feel better, and for the baby and me to both be OK after whatever it takes to help me feel better.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Now here's the kind of note every parent likes to get

I got this e-mail from Julian's teacher this morning:

He has done really well the past two days. He seems really excited about learning, but is staying in his seat and working really hard. Thank you so for working with me. I think we are going to see him grow by leaps and bounds in his academics.

I was so excited, I could have cried. What a change from the start of the school year, with two U's in conduct for the first two six weeks' periods, and constant notes coming home in his folder, and a visit to the principal's office, and all the crying about how hard school was! His handwriting is getting better, and it just thrills me to see stickers in his folder instead of notes telling me what went wrong that day. (He's started off this six weeks with stickers for five days in a row! Woo hoo!)

We're still on the 30 mg of Vyvanse, and it certainly seems to be helping. Julian hasn't lost one iota of his personality - if anything, he's more creative than ever, and his drawing has really taken off. His handwriting is improving, he's more excited about reading on his own (although he still prefers that we read to him, and there's nothing wrong with that!), and he doesn't complain anymore about school being hard or too much work. I am so, so glad that we did something now, rather than waiting to see if he outgrew this or if trying things other than medication worked. I'm glad to know he's on track now to being a good student, rather than one that elicits the reaction, "oh, great, it's THAT child" from teachers when they see his name on the class rolls. I know he's got the brain power to do well, and it looks like we're getting the focus and behavior concerns under wraps to where he can put that brain power to good use. What a great way to start my day!

So parents, if you've got a child with ADHD tendencies and have considered medication but are hesitant, let me tell you, don't be. You find the right thing and the right dose, and it can truly work wonders. (Carrie, if you're reading this, I know - you told me so! :-) )

December already?!

Boy, the Christmas season is just sneaking up on us, isn't it? Are you ready? :-)

The lovely ladies at Secret Is In The Sauce, or SITS, are getting the season started with a bang. They're hosting a Merry SITSmas giveaway! Just go visit their site and comment - there's a different prize every hour throughout the day, and for each comment you leave, you're also entered into the Grand Prize drawing (a $200 Target gift card!). I don't know about you, but a $200 Target gift card would make my holidays very merry indeed.

Enter for prizes, make some new friends, what's not to like?! :-)