Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I have arrived!

Lately I've been wondering how I could take my blog to another level. I would love to figure out how to make a bit of money doing something that I enjoy. Unfortunately, I have no idea how to carry this plan out. So imagine my surprise, when I received an email this morning from a company offering me payment
OR a sample of their product
if I would write an unbiased review for them! As I read the email, my eyebrows and my hopes arose. I imagined myself being interviewed by Matt Lauer ... followed by hot cocoa on the set.

Alas, I would have to turn down my first big offer. How could I possibly remain unbiased about a penis enhancer?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Prayers Please -

This is my little friend, Brantley Partridge. He is part of our ward (church) family. Yesterday, Brantley - 18-years-young - had the opportunity to meet THE finest Neurosurgeon in all the land (mine of course). He underwent brain surgery and is in for a long haul. Please include him and his family in your prayers at this time.

Thank you!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Dear Summer -

Today, I heard that you were leaving. I have to admit that my first reaction was "it's about time!" I just don't perspire well, I'm sure you understand. Sweating just isn't for everyone. Some people actually look visually enhanced with a bead of moisture across their brow creating a bronzed glow. I, however, look dazed and soggy.

But I want you to know that I look forward to seeing you again. Without you, we simply would not enjoy Big Surf, the lake, those wonderful Monsoon evenings or even a good snow cone. You've always been there for me and I look forward to seeing you again.

Warmest Regards,
Arizona Native

P.S. Please tell Fall we are ready now.


I have a very large, ridiculously large family. So if I posted ALL family birthdays on this blog, I'd have to rename it and you'd get super bored. HOWEVER, when a day comes where we get to celebrate two in one day ... I think it's blog worthy - especially when these two are so dang cool.

This guy is first ... HAPPY BIRTHDAY TIMMY!

I am one of the few people who call him by his real name ... Timmy. Most have gotten lazy and dropped the "my", opting for a more mature and grown-up version. But to me, Timmy will always be Timmy. Timmy is five years younger than me, which makes him super young! He is possibly the most generous and caring person I know. He was a scrawny little kid when we were growing up, but he has grown into a strapping fellow. Timmy is a wonderful husband, doting father, former missionary in Brazil, Navy Veteran, Cancer survivor, speaks multiple languages (one of them looks like chicken scratch which blows my mind!) and just an all-around great guy. He mows my Grandma's lawn every week and takes care of everyone around him. I love this guy and I'm proud that he's my bro!

Then there's this little girl ...

We call her "Baby Kristi" because she was named after her Aunt Kristi. She never got to meet her Aunt Kristi, but I am here to tell you that she would be thrilled with her namesake. Little Kristi Lee is obviously adorable and she makes my heart happy. Whenever she comes to my house, she walks straight back to my office, hops up on my lap and waits for me to take her picture. She's a snuggler and she is very happy. The bounce in her step makes it hard for us to remember that she is actually living with Tuberous Sclerosis, which I think is her way of telling us that she's going to be just fine. I love her and I miss her!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Doggies -

Wow! Two requests about my dogs. Your wish is my command (although I think it's a boring command). I actually have three dogs, because you are supposed to decorate in groups of three or something like that.

We have had #1 Chihuahua - Petey for about four years I think. We got him for Christmas one year from a lady who was selling him at Chevron. Petey is a mysterious fellow. He is very quiet for a yippy breed and prefers to sleep his days away in a Love Sac that is 1,000 times his size. He is afraid of everything that moves, including his own dog food as it rotates to the bottom of his little feeder. His favorite food is cheese crisp and he does NOT like to be cold. Gary loves Petey!

Next, we have #2 Chihuahua - Zoey. We have had her for a couple of years because we thought that Petey needed a friend ... we were wrong. Petey has never really forgiven us for bringing a female dog into our midst (probably because he had his manliness taken away long ago). Anyway, Zoey is our entertainment. She barks at anything that dares to come through our front door. She is the protector of our children. She sleeps on Jake's head every night as she grooms him and she sings (really) to Gwen Steffani's "Sweet Escape". She has a very weak bladder and Kacey loves to make her wet herself. She might be petrified in any given situation (Kacey posing as a burglar), but this doesn't stop her from standing her ground as she pees all over it. She's kind of a freak, but the kids love her.

Finally, we have our German Shepherd - Mia. Mia is really Andrea's dog, but her new apartment won't let her have sweet Mia, so we are taking care of her. Mia is our outside hall monitor. She roams the outer perimeter of our home and alerts us when another bad guy is trying to steal another bike. She loves the kids, loves to play and we are lucky to have her on loan.

Mia is dog tired ... and so am I.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Spilled Milk -

The other day, Keaton was enjoying a bowl of Apple Jacks (because we're all a bunch of health freaks around here). Somehow, with all of the spooning (not that kind) and slurping going on, his bowl got tipped over.

My initial reaction was "Gosh Dangit! I hate cleaning up milk!"

My second reaction was "Hey! Keaton is 17! I don't have to clean up his milk anymore!"

For a moment, I could almost taste my independence. I was on the brink of just enjoying my children as they turn into young adults and I was wallowing in a glimpse of parenting without instruction or discipline.

Then I saw this ...

Thanks to Keaton, I was reminded of my job security.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Dialogue of a 6th Grader & Lock-down!

G: "Mom, remember that big jerk from yesterday?"
Me: "Yes I do." (How could I forget him, I had visions of shaking my finger in his fat little face all night long!)
G: "Well, I found out why he was being such a jerk."
Me: "Oh really, why?"
G: "Well, he is dating Chantel and they weren't getting along yesterday so he was just in a bad mood. But today they broke up, so Chantel was crying all through her school pictures, now he is happy."
Me: Gave a 34 minute lecture on why we don't date until we are at least 16 years old. I would like to thank Chantel and the big jerk for giving me several great reasons for this, ie: puffy eyes on picture day.
G: Agreed wholeheartedly.

To top this off, my little 7th grader and my not-so-little 11th grader were in lock-down for a couple of hours today at their schools since we had three suspects with weapons running amok through my beloved neighborhood.

Some people are very dumb ... and they seem to be multiplying!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The other woman -

Last week, I attended my gazillionth "meet the teacher" extravaganza at our local Junior High School. I've been through this routine so often that I am now a self-proclaimed pro, which usually leads me into the "I'm not really listening to anything you have to say, I'm just hoping that my presence will promote extra credit for my child" mode. While in this mode, I enjoy people watching (I actually enjoy this mode ... pretty much always). In my third hour class, I was not disappointed.

The teacher began an impromptu introduction of herself and began walking around the room addressing each parent and trying to place each parent with her student's face. She came to a lovely young lady, who told the teacher that she was there with Payton. A look of sudden confusion followed when another lady (not so young or lovely) stated that she was Payton's mother. The brave teacher glanced back at young and lovely with her confused look and she didn't even have to ask for clarity before young and lovely announced that she was Payton's Dad's girlfriend. This is people watching at it's best!

So here we are, in a 7th grade classroom, witnessing a little girl with her mom sitting on one side of her, her Dad's girlfriend on the other, and her extremely intelligent father who was obviously active in her life, but chose not to be on the scene that evening. I was immediately drawn to the situation and began creating all kinds of previous events in my mind.

Was young and lovely the other woman who ruined the 15 years of wedded bliss?

Was the mother aware that young and lovely would be attending that evening?

Was the mother even aware that there WAS a young and lovely until that very moment?

So after the 10 minute crash course on what this particular teacher would expect from our little pupils this semester, I had to follow the situation. I was never one to miss out on a cat fight in school, and I wasn't about to start now!

What I soon witnessed and realized was something that I was definitely not expecting. This little threesome was together! They were walking, talking and sharing in the evening's events ... together! There would be no cat fight, not even one bitter word.

All I have to say about this, is hooray for people who are way more mature than I am. Payton is a lucky little girl.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Normalcy -

Things are starting to get back to normal around here. Sometimes I don't like normal. Normally, around this time of year, I start kicking myself in the butt that everybody is in school ... except me. My vision of ever attaining a degree seems to be gradually slipping away. I know that there are wonderfully inspiring stories out there of 92-year-old women never giving up and finally hobbling across the stage, outstretching their arthritic hand to accept the glorious diploma. These stories might be inspiring to some, but for me they just create conflict.

For the past two weeks, I have spent every evening and most mornings hovering over homework. I have been sharpening those #2 pencils and worrying about more deadlines than McCain and Obama. I have spoken with more teachers than should ever compile a semester's schedule and I've been worried out of my mind over perfecting some organizational skills . . .


I know that receiving my own diploma would be something that I would be very proud of, but at what cost? Where exactly would my study time be placed? Perhaps in between midnight and 2:00 a.m. because I selfishly demand at least three hours of sleep each night.

Right here is where the "should haves and could haves" begin to pile up like the laundry. "I should have jumped right into college as soon as I graduated from High School." The truth of the matter is, I did. I took a shorthand class ... anybody ever heard of shorthand?

"I could have been all done by now if I would have started at any point during the past 24 years!" "Why oh why oh why didn't I just go to school before I started running one?!"

Eventually I calm down and here is where I have to remind myself "why oh why oh why" ... I didn't.

I didn't go to school right out of High School because I HATED High School and couldn't wait to be done with education in any form (except for that apparent desire to be the shorthand Queen)! I had a dream! All I wanted to do was get married and have a family . . . and that's what I did. Unfortunately my dream consisted of a lot of nightmares before I finally woke up, but it all made me what I am today.

So there is the question. Without a bona fide diploma hanging in my pantry, what exactly am I today? At the end of this conversation that I normally have with myself, I begin to remember who I am ... and the list goes something like this.

I am a daughter of God.
I am a wife and a mother.
I am a teacher.
I am a writer.
I am a speaker.
I am an intimidator.
I am hilarious.
I am obnoxious.
I am a chef, kind of.
I am a counselor.
I am a nurse.
I am a recycler.
I am a psychologist.
I am a forensic specialist.
I am a lie detector.
I am a great date.
I am a lecturer.
I am a dreamer.
I am normal.

So life goes on. I will continue to dream of many things and grasping that diploma has not completely escaped my thoughts. However, at this point in my life, when I think of myself as that 92-year-old arthritic woman, I hope that I will be reaching for little ones who call me G.G. or something equally as cute ... and pointing my crooked finger at their many diplomas.

Aaaahhh ... normal.

What will you be doing at 92-years-old?