Tuesday, November 27, 2007

No TV Week -

Saturday night, Gary was having a chat with two of Kacey's boyfriends (boys who are friends) that were at our house. Gary learned that one of the boys' family rule is no TV during the week. For some reason, this lit a fire under Gary and he announced his fantastic idea the following morning ...
One week of NO TV!

Now let me explain something. Our TV is NEVER OFF! Some people prefer the sound of oceanic waves crashing on the beach or a strong breeze whipping in the wind as their "white noise". We ... just listen to whatever is on the ole' telly. And the biggest addict is ... Gary!

To Gary, the TV is a distraction. It helps him turn his mind off of the events of the day. It does such a fine job, that he can't fall asleep without it. So my first thought was "ya right." But I thought it was a fun idea and I would be completely supportive of this goal.

Jake and Garrison barely gave this challenge a second thought. It wasn't their favorite idea, but they would survive. Kacey and Keaton on the other hand, immediately collapsed at the thought of it all and exclaimed that they would surely not survive this ordeal.

Well, this was Sunday morning and it is now Tuesday evening! Our house has been so peaceful and although I don't expect the kids to admit it ... they're having fun.

Here are some highlights of our first day without TV ... shortly after the shock wore off.

Now here's the question. Is it "bad" that we've replaced TV with Poker?

Friday, November 23, 2007

The PERFECT holiday!

Sometime before I was born, my favorite tradition was set in stone. Thanksgiving at Grandma McKinnon's house ...

There are very few things that I love more than Thanksgiving. We gather with family ... and we eat! Can it get any simpler than that ... yet so divine?!

This year we had the opportunity to have two consecutive Thanksgiving feasts! First, at Grandma's and second at Vince & Carol ... the other Shaker's! It was all amazing.


I spent time with over sixty people yesterday, yet two little quotes from the day just can't escape this post.

Little Miss Reilly - "My shirt is annoying."

Tiffany - "Am I laughing a bit much?"

It was a great day and I can't wait until next year!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Happy Birthday to my man -

Forty-four years ago, my man was born! The mold was definitely broken shortly thereafter. Although he would never comment on any blog of any kind, I happen to know that he does read this one. So ... Happy Birthday honey!

I also happen to know that there are lots of people out there with fun stories involving Gary. Feel free to share your favorites for this occasion!

OK, I'll start! It was our first date, when he told me that he had found the girl he wanted to marry. Yes, I said first date! Definitely one of my favorite stories and favorite events.

Now you go -

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Energizer ... Jackrabbit

The first thing that drew me to Gary, was his ENERGY! The man is on-the-go all the time. He requires very little sleep and he doesn't seem to waste a single minute of his day. His work ethic is something I can only hope will be passed on to my boys ... and my girl.

During the summer, we took a weekend trip up North to Pinetop, AZ. During that trip, we went to the movies and we discovered the best small town secret. They served candied pecans at the movies! They were warm, delicious and so much better than popcorn. We talked about them the whole drive home ... and the next day, this is what I found in the kitchen.

He got on the Internet,
found the recipe
and then made them over and over until they were perfect!

Oh dang those were good!

That's ONE of the differences between he an I. I would have talked for years about how great those things were. I would have craved them. I might have even driven for four hours to get them again, but I probably wouldn't have made them.

I LOVE how much Gary can get done in a day ... really quite impressive.

This is a quick rundown of his weekend.

Thursday - went to his fourth Science Camp with Garrison and cooked all of the meals for the entire fifth grade.
Friday - got home from Science Camp at about 2:00 p.m. At 4:00 p.m., he went to the Scout Camporee with Jake where he cooked for an entire battalion of boys and got home at about 11:00 p.m.
Saturday - after we got home from Jake's football game, he took four of our kids, three of their friends, one cousin and another father up to the lake, where they still are tonight.

As I sit here in my quiet house, all alone and relaxed at my computer, I think to myself ...at least I married energy! I think that's as close as I'll get to having it myself.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Post Office -

Standing in line at the Post Office today, I became irritated. I'm not sure why I was so easily irritated, but I'm a woman with a hormone patch which may or may not always keep me level and I reserve the right to accept what I'm feeling. I was irritatted!

First of all, with the constant hike of stamp prices, why can't we get more than one representative working the counter? It was a great idea to construct seven different register spots to occupy seven different employees, but apparently it was a waste of our .41 cents a stamp.

So as about twenty of us stood in line waiting for our turn with the lone man in blue, I couldn't help but hear the conversation taking place next to me as I tried really hard to speed up the line with my telepathic powers and my stinky attitude.

Two older ladies, one from Wisconsin and one from Michigan, became immediate friends as they lamented about the weather outside. "Oh I'm so sick of this hot weather! I just can't stand it anymore!" The conversation continued and eventually took a detour as they discussed their illnesses.

Now lets all understand something. The high today will be about 89 degrees and the low 59. So I say now, what I chose not to say at the USPS ... ARE YOU KIDDING ME? This is perfect weather! I realize that it is much cooler in other places around the country, but this ... is the Valley of the SUN ... not cheese (get it? Wisconsin). There are a million reasons that I love living here, but that's not what this is about. Here's the deal. Every winter, we are smothered by little old men and little old ladies from Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Wisconsin, etc. who all come here to escape winters from hell.

They come here because they can't stand the cold. Then they arrive here and nearly kill us all by turning left from the far right lane in their Buicks ... and they complain about our weather?

I wish that I had the nerve to politely ask them to return to where they came from every time this happens.

Maybe I'm just jealous that I can't go live in Oregon every summer.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The rest of the story ...

So you want to know what happened eh? Well it was really quite unremarkable. I found out he was coming over, so I went to the gym and stayed there until he was gone. Like I said ... I turned back into a 15 year old girl.

HOWEVER, he definitely knew who I was and he and Gary had a nice conversation about my big glasses from my former life. If my first love and my last love become BFF, I will be getting a lot of gym time ... deep sigh.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Love -

So - everybody remembers their first love, right? I mean we all have the unforgotten elementary age crushes where we shared our favorite pencils and maybe even our milk, but I'm talking about our first REAL (possibly misinterpreted) LOVE. Well I do!

The other day, long story short, I heard my husband on the phone with my first real love! I hadn't heard his name or seen him in years (mostly because he was serving a prison sentence ... no joke - I know how to pick 'em). I stood there until Gary hung up the phone and then asked about the name I had just heard. When he verified who he was talking to, and then told me that he was on his way over to our house ... guess what I did and I have way too many witnesses to vouch for this! I ran screaming down the hall!

First of all, let me tell you that this was my boyfriend when I was 15 years old! Let me do the math for you ... 26 years ago! Since him I've actually attained a life ... a good life! YET when I heard that he would be coming over, I turned into a 15 year old girl again.

Let me assure everyone that I am so happy with the man I am spending my life with and I would never EVER want to go back ... so what is it that literally throws us back 26 years at the sound of a name, or a smell ... or a song. Oh those songs!

If you want a good laugh ... and I KNOW you do ... here is the song that tore my heart out 26 years ago - along with the ex-con who shall be known as my first love - but not my last.