Thursday, December 22, 2011

But I BELIEVE!!

The words to make faint every mother’s heart at this time of year:





D: “I’ve decided what I REALLY want for Christmas!!”

Me: “What?? We’ve already sent your list to Santa!”

D: “That’s okay. I know Santa will come through.”

Me: “But it is just three days until Christmas. Don’t you think that, um, Santa already… um… has his sleigh loaded??”

D: “According to all those movies we’ve been watching, that happens just before take-off, so no worries.” (Darn those movies running on a loop in the family room!!)

Me: “Weeeeelllll… let’s hear it.”

D: “The ONLY thing, and I mean the ONLY thing I want for Christmas…


...is every Lego set that’s ever been made that is part of a scene from Hoth.”



Me: “Oh, *that’s* all?”

(True story. Happened yesterday, in fact.)

Some requests are a little easier, just kind of random and out of the blue. You may remember that I posted that Libby had included toothpaste on her Christmas list. The very same child that once spent almost an entire week, toothbrush-less (and no… I had NO idea.) I only know now because when I cleaned out her little backpack that she’d packed to spend a weekend with her cousins, I found the toothbrush, still neatly packed in its little plastic case.

So, imagine my surprise to find toothpaste on her list. It is called ‘Orajel My Way’, and she saw it on a commercial, of course. The attraction? It comes with stickers you can put on the outside of the toothpaste pump. Revolutionary, right?

At this late hour, however, I’m wondering if I can just get by with a tube of Colgate and a leftover sheet of stickers from my stash of scrapbook supplies.

And just last night in the van on the way to the Zilker tree, another unexpected request:

L- “I need one of those hats.”

Me: “A hat? You have a hat.” (She had one on, in fact. A really cute, warm one that matched her little coat.)

L: No… one of those that goes over your face. And it has the holes? For your eyes? And your mouth? Then I could still see. And take a drink.




(silence)






Josie: “You want a SKI MASK??”



L- “Yeah. I need one.”


Well, I guess if Santa doesn’t deliver on the Hoth Lego sets, Davis can enlist his sister and her ski mask to knock off the nearest Target toy department.



At least she’ll have clean, shiny teeth in her mugshot.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Top 5 Reasons I am glad it is Christmas break:

5. No school... which means...



4. No homework! Yeah, yeah, I know my kids are all still in elementary school, so comparatively, they don’t have THAT much homework, but it is still an ever-present afternoon event (read: “necessary pain in the @$$”).

So, it is nice to have a bit of a break from spelling lists, projects, etc., and to not feel guilty about having Christmas movies running on a loop in the family room.

3. Time to decorate cookies, update blogs, play the Wii, finish up Christmas presents, build gingerbread houses, go to the Zilker tree, and rake the leaves.

Now, we haven’t actually *done* any of that (with the exception of the Wii), but we have TIME!

Which is currently being used to watch Christmas movies running on a loop in the family room.


2. I can get caught up on the pile of laundry.

Piles of unwashed laundry make me crazy. Piles of clean laundry make me even crazier. Yet ‘pile up’ it has, over the last week or so.
The clean laundry is in baskets in the laundry room… and on the floor of the laundry room…and on top of the dryer… and on the couches in the family room (you would think someone might fold a towel or two while watching Christmas movies running on a loop, am I right?).

The clean laundry piles are now interspersed with the kids’ backpacks and coats that are usually hung neatly on a pegboard in the laundry room, but were thrown onto the floor on Friday during the ‘Great Sugar Crash of 2011’, and have been all but abandoned.



Which brings me to the #1 reason I’m glad it is Christmas break…






1. When Libby ran through the family room yesterday, twirling something over her head, yelling, “Look what I found in my backpack when I was looking for my candy cane!”...

... the only people that were treated to seeing my black, lacy panties (that evidently had fallen out of a laundry basket and into her open backpack), were members of our family.

And not her entire first grade class.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Happy birthday to my precious Libby Lu :)

This song has been on replay in my mind lately… ‘Blink’ by the contemporary Christian group, Revive.

A sampling of the lyrics:

I don't want to miss
Even just a second
more of this

It happens in a blink
It happens in a flash
It happens in the time it took to look back
I try to hold on tight, but there's no stopping time…


And here’s why:

My baby has a birthday tomorrow. I am now truly one of those moms that can say, “It seems like just yesterday that I brought her home from the hospital!” Because that is how I feel. I’m trying to hold on tight, but time is flying at a rate I feel unequipped to handle.

My sweet baby is turning seven. Seven years that have passed in the blink of an eye.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Five for Sunday

Five for Sunday

1. okay, first and foremost, no more lame apologies about why this here blog isn’t getting updated more than once a month. I know that you know that I know we’re all bizzy people. Whatevs.


2. If you have been catching up on my life via my status updates (which really is all anyone has the time for these days anyway!), you already know that not only have I hit my weight goal (so long to those 35 pounds!), but that I’ve also been through training to become a leader for Weight Watchers. I’m learning so much… like to nod, and look thoughtful, mostly. Which I am learning is not as easy as it sounds.

Especially if you are like me, and you like to talk like I like to talk. And I like to talk. (Huge surprise, I know.) So, it will be a good thing.


3. The season is upon us… the season of ‘Elf’ and ‘Home Alone’, ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’, and glory Hallelujah, ‘A Christmas Story’. It’s time to get your ‘Ralphie’ on, friends… bunny suit and all.


4. Oh, and another season is upon us… deer season. And my nine year old son killed his first deer, and happiness abounded on Planet Linson. I have deer sausage in my freezer, and it is oh-so yummy. It tastes of spice, and my childhood. :)

5. Speaking of deer season, when we were in the van a couple of weeks ago (pre-dead-deer), and were lamenting about the lack of deer sausage in our freezer...

Libby:
“Maybe a deer will just run out and we’ll hit it with our car!”

Phil: “Well, let’s hope not. Besides, you're not supposed to use that for meat anyway. It's illegal. Remember the rules from hunter education, Davis?”

Davis: “Yeah, you can’t use a deer for meat if it has been hit by a car.”







Josie: “I *totally* get why… it’s because of the 5 second rule, right??”



Um, yeah… that’s why. ;)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dino from the Flintstones never looked so... well... happy?

It’s true. For the last month, I’ve forgotten that I have a blog. Actually, it wasn’t so much that I forgot… it was more that I have been a little busy with ‘Occupy Hobby Lobby’, ‘Occupy Kids’ school’, and ‘Occupy Weight Watchers’.

Short story… I am NEVER at home anymore. Between subbing at the kids’ schools, working on craft projects for the holidays, subbing, training for Weight Watchers, hitting my Director goals for Thirty-One, and SUBBING (can you tell I’ve been subbing a lot?!), I have not been keeping up with certain things.

And the blog? Well, it’s been pretty low on the priority list.

But I just had to share something that made me laugh out loud today, as I subbed in 2nd grade. One bonus of subbing for the younger grades is all the ‘gifts’ that those little darlings want to bestow on you. A substitute is such a novelty for little kids… “Someone new to tell my story about the cat that my dad accidentally ran over on the way to school! Someone new that I can ‘help’ with all the rules, and who doesn’t know that we’re really not supposed to color with the Sharpie markers !”.

As opposed to being a substitute for older grades, or God forbid, middle school… “Someone new that doesn’t know I’m NOT actually a foreign exchange student who claims to speak no English!” (oh, the things they try to get away with! ;)

Anyway, by now, I’ve subbed at the kids’ school often enough that most of the kids know me pretty well, and I walk out the door at the end of the day with a sampling of drawings and little notes. Today’s example, though, deserves its own special badge of honor. It was definitely one of those that makes you say…


“Wow, sweetie! That is so, um… just… WOW! Tell me all about it…”

Which just happens to be the code for either:

1. What the heck is this?

OR

2. ‘Am I looking at what I THINK I’m looking at???’)

In this case, it was code for the 2nd one.












“Mrs. Linson, it’s a DINOSAUR!”



Why, yes… it certainly appears to be. *cough, cough

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A very merry Christmas in September

I’ve already started my Christmas shopping.


Now, don’t be a hater… I wasn’t *going* to do any shopping yet, but when you find the perfect gifts for the perfect people, it’s hard to not just jump right in with both jingle bells, waving your Mastercard around, yelling, “I’ve got to get me one of those!! Or maybe even THREE!”

And honestly, they don’t mind you doing that in TJMaxx. It’s encouraged, even.

So, I wasn’t *going* to do any shopping yet, but when this little gem arrived in my mailbox, I was a goner.



I do so love getting catalogs in the mail, but I usually am pinching pennies, which makes my catalog perusal exactly that… more of a perusal, and less of a purchasing expedition. But everything in this catalog is TOTALLY in my price range! Which just happens to be somewhere between free, and ‘how well do I like this person’? I usually lean a little closer to the ‘free’ end of the spectrum.

And this catalog? Well, this catalog is the perfect marriage of Lillian Vernon meets SkyMall meets Home Shopping Network. This would be THE catalog that Lillian Vernon would conceptualize when flipping through a SkyMall mag whilst on a plane to the Home Shopping Network studio.

So, with Mastercard in hand, I’ve hammered out a couple of gifts for the most *special* people in my life. And I mean that in the *special-ist* way possible.



First and foremost, I’m totally getting this candle for my mother.



She likes Paula Deen… she likes candles. And I have a sneaking suspicion that this candle probably smells like butter. Or bacon. Or white-haired old lady.

This candle makes me want to talk with a Southern accent, use an alarming amount of butter in recipes, and narrate to an imaginary audience exactly what I’m doing every time I toast a piece of bread. It’s a ‘must-have’ for every white-haired old lady in YOUR life. (I kid, Mother.)

And for my MIL (mother-in-law)? Well, she enjoys a glass of wine every now and again, and I just knew that she would love to visit with The King while imbibing.



The King of Rock & Roll, of course, not to be confused with the King of Pop. I’m not 100% sure she’d know who the King of Pop is (was), and would wonder why there was a picture of an ugly white girl with sunglasses and an unfortunate nose job on her Christmas present.

These glasses are divine, though, and feature the King in his glory days.

Of course, I can’t help but think that the fat, bloated Elvis in his later years might be more appropriate on wine glasses, but I guess nobody wants a cautionary tale when they’re having a cocktail. Which explains why there are no Lindsay Lohan wineglasses. Not that my MIL would know who that is either.

But the clincher? The item that made this catalog my automatic ‘One Stop Shop’ for All Things Crap… er… Unique?

For my darling husband:








I KNOW!! I couldn’t believe it either! The style…

the flair…

the complete abandonment of self-esteem and total indifference for one’s appearance.

I mean… um… the COMFORT!

(oh, and click on the picture to get a better look. Because, really, why *wouldn't* you??)

I simply couldn’t choose between the dark wash (with realistic patches and boxers showing at the waist! Even gangstas want to be comfy in their jammies from time to time)...

... and the acid wash (BTW, 1987 wants their Pajama Jean back.) But at the oh-so-reasonable price of $12.95, I can afford to get both pair!

It was a happy day on Planet Linson when I realized my hard-working husband wouldn’t have to sacrifice comfort to look...well, to look completely disheveled in what looks like jeans from back in his college days when he worked in an aviary, and was attacked by a giant African crane (a whole other blog).

Now, I know what you’re thinking… where can I find that catalog?? Well, I’m pretty sure I included the website on a couple of my pictures because I really have an eye for detail. And a compulsive laziness in regards to cropping and/ or Photoshopping pictures for my blog.

So there is a very good chance that you will go there, and find the perfect gifts for your loved ones. One can never have too many “Jingle Jitters Latte Candles”, “ShotGun Shell Shot Glasses”, or “Glow-in-the-Dark Balls” (not kidding.)

I was going to include pictures of each of those, as well, but did I mention my compulsive laziness? So, yeah.

What I wouldn’t do to have one of each and every thing from the Lakeside Collection. Well, one of every item, save one.



If you get the urge to do a little shopping for ME?


Well, skip the jellybeans, and just send the booze.




Thanks, and Merry Christmas in advance! :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Oh, you have no idea.


Yesterday I took my van in to have the drop-down DVD player repaired.

It stopped working a few months ago, but I haven’t had a chance to take it in because I couldn’t be without my vehicle during the summer. The logistics of three kids, dropping off the van, switching the seats into Phil’s car, etc. was just too much to handle in this heat. So no DVD player in the car all summer. No biggie.

It’s not like we really went anywhere that was far enough away to allow even one movie to play all the way through, anyway.

Not my point.



Point is, kids are finally back in school (yay!), we are headed to Dallas for the weekend, and I was looking forward to a nice, quiet drive with the kids wearing their headphones, immersed in a movie they’ve seen 50 times, but shush each other throughout like it’s a first-run premiere.

So, I took the van in to have it repaired/ replaced/ basically whatever the warranty covers.

And the tech was a very nice guy. Nice enough to write down the stations that my radio was set to so he could re-set them after they worked on the system. Nice enough to offer to run my receipt up to customer service to check out the warranty, since I seemed like I was in a hurry.

Nice enough to checkmark the box for the ‘Interior of the Vehicle’ as:




HEAVY WEAR & TEAR.

Whaaaat?? That’s not very nice. :(

I mean, I know my van’s not the cleanest mini-van on the planet (Planet Linson or otherwise.) But HEAVY wear and tear? On a vehicle that I’m still 5 months away from owning outright??


NORMAL wear and tear, yes, I get that. I mean, I have been known to let them eat in the car from time to time.

And there was that time I let them eat their McDonald’s ice cream cones in the van because I saw that guy sitting in the booth next to us, rocking back and forth, eyes squeezed shut, murmuring, ‘Oh, Jesus! Oh, Jesus!’, and clutching his backpack to his chest. That seemed like a good opportunity to just grab our cones, and enjoy them on our drive home.

And we MAY have had a Sonic slushy or two spill out on the seats. And there *is* a red gummy bear ground into the back of the seat that we’ve never been able to fully get out. But it’s covered by a carseat… there was no way he could have seen that!


Anyway, I peeked over his shoulder as he filled out the form, checking off HEAVY WEAR & TEAR.

The only place to go from here is the box marked: COMPLETELY PIGGISH CONDITION.

He saw me watching him. He must have noticed my stricken look because he shrugged and said, “I just have to finish up the paperwork. Don’t worry, I’ve seen a lot worse. Kids can really do a number on a car.”



I just sighed and nodded.


But what I really wanted to say was, “You should see what they can do to a uterus.”

Friday, August 19, 2011

That's NOT what I meant, honey!

We’ve got stuff to do around here, y’all. Lots of stuff.

Not only is it the week before school starts, and we’re busy with all that entails, like new haircuts, finishing up shopping for clothes, meeting the teachers, school supply drop-off night, and grocery shopping for Fritos & Capri-Suns for lunches,…

but I also have been running around, delivering Thirty-One products and catalogs to hostesses and customers , getting my paperwork finished to kick off my leader training with WeightWatchers, and in general, getting ready to be ‘out of pocket’ for the next three weeks, subbing at the kids’ school.


Oh, and we mustn’t forget:

Re-finishing our kitchen table.

Don’t ask me why my darling husband and I picked now to undertake this massive project. We’ve been meaning to tackle it long before now, but we’ve never gotten around to it. Something about 3 kids, a ‘new-ish’ job, our busy schedules, and, oh… life in general, kept getting in the way of progress.

So, it makes perfect sense, I guess, to wait until the week before school starts to whip out the card table for our family of five to use at dinner.

Great planning on our part...am I right?

And of course, we have to do all of this inside the house right now because it’s so incredibly hot outside. We’ve completely disassembled our front room to use as a temporary workshop. (Well, I can hope it’s temporary.)

We’re working on it in the evenings after the kids head to bed, sanding and staining at a snail’s pace. Meanwhile, it appears that we are eschewing other mundane things like… oh, laundry. And cleaning. And personal hygiene (kidding! I just skipped shaving my legs. Like you've never done that. Whatever.)


Superb timing on our part...am I right?

The kids have become accustomed to walking around the furniture that’s been moved to a new place, and the plastic tarp covering the carpet. We’re officially living in a work zone for the next couple of weeks, and we’re just going to have to get used to it.

What I can’t get used to, though, is telling the kids to hurry up and finish eating their dinner,






“…because Mommy and Daddy have got to GET BUSY!!!”




Regrettable word choice on my part... am I right?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Eat your heart out, Hallmark.


Isn't that the sweetest? A card my 6 year old made for me. She eschews color, as you can see, and goes for a more 'minimalist' look.


And on the inside?









I can't help but feel like there's some subtext at play...



Sunday, August 7, 2011

Just push that to the side, kids!

A couple of weeks ago (yeah, yeah, I started this entry that long ago, but never got around to finishing it), on one of the hottest days on record, we did something completely insane. We spent the day at Fiesta Texas.

And by the end of the day, we were limp dishrags. First off, the temperature was well over 100 degrees, and we powered through about 7 hours of rollercoasters, spinnakers, and loop-de-whirls. We were exhausted, overheated and completely BROKE. Been to Six Flags lately? If you haven’t, prepare to empty your wallet because a day at the park is no longer a ‘day at the park’.

Tickets? About $50 apiece, which for a family of 5… well, you do the math. Don’t forget about the $15 parking fee. Add to that snacks (frozen lemonade: $4 per person), any games, and lunch or dinner in the park (a ‘meal deal’ for 4 burgers, fries and drinks… $49.99)… YIKES!

There are definitely ways to cut some costs, which the thrifty (cheap!) Linsons have discovered. First off, we love season passes. Well worth the money spent! We opted to not get them this year, though, as our spring started off a little rocky (I’ve practically blocked it out, but we went through a whole JOB TRANSITION early in the year?? So Six Flags season passes went pretty low on the priority list ;) The kids got free tickets for doing the ‘Read to Succeed’ program at school, so we used those, and had a coupon for ½ price for the other two tickets.

And as for snacks and lunch? Well, we’ve got that down to a science, too.

Don’t blow the whistle on us, but we... GASP!... take in our own food. In a backpack. Oh, yeah… we know it’s not ‘allowed’. Whatevs. I mean, they WILL check the backpack… it’s their job, and they’re usually pretty thorough. You just have to make sure that you choose the line that has the young teenage guy checking the bags. Well, he won’t throw out my Pringles potato crisps or my Nature Valley granola bars. No sirree.



That’s because he never gets past the economy size package of sanitary napkins I always put on top of the packed lunches.



Trust me, he’ll practically throw your bag back into your arms, mumbling, ‘um…have a Six Flags day, ma’am’.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Curious Coupons

Checking the mail around here, as you may remember from previous posts, is a pretty infrequent occurrence. In fact, when I checked it yesterday, Josie actually said, “Why are we checking the mail? Didn’t we just check it two days ago??” She seemed a little concerned. Like I was waiting for something suspect to show up in our itsy-bitsy mailbox. Because she knows all the good stuff gets delivered directly to the door, via UPS or Fedex, and what can possibly be worth heading to the mailbox TWICE in one week?? I’m raising snail mail snobs.

All that is to preface this…without fail, in the last three months, I have received weekly coupons in the mail. Not necessarily unusual.

Except that they are coupons for Similac baby formula.

I find this incredibly odd. Especially since my ‘baby’ is 6 and a half years old. And she’s never had an ounce of formula in her life.

My first two kidlets had formula after they were weaned from my own Special Blend (which was a heady concoction of Diet Coke and Snickers bars, otherwise known as the ‘sleep deprivation diet’) at around 8 and 6 months, respectively. We made the switch to mostly solid foods then, and then switched exclusively to milk in a Sippy cup upon their first birthdays. But the youngest? She was a champion nurser, and weaned right at a year.

Basically, we just never had to buy very much formula. No one had food allergies, either, so we were blessed that we never had to buy the special (read: ‘uberexpensive’) brands, either.

What makes the coupons even more curious? They are addressed to me, with my name spelled correctly (unusual in itself) and each one highlights the age of my ‘baby’. Today’s coupon mentioned all the things my baby can do now that he/she is 3 months old!



Oh, it also mentioned that I was probably thinking about heading back to work after my maternity leave… which has lasted approximately 11 years.

I have to say, though… this ‘mystery baby’ has been the cheapest and easiest baby so far. I credit the coupons.

What I don’t understand is why companies don't send out coupons for what new moms (and seasoned moms, for that matter) really need?

-A Bottle of red wine

-a new tube of lipstick (sometimes that’s the only makeup we have time for!)

-Diet Coke and Snickers bars

-a gravity-defying bra to lift those puppies back up where they belong



Sign me up for that mailing list.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

This week in books, television, and movies

1. BOOKS

We are still making our weekly trips to the public library, and the kids are racking up their reading points.

I just finished the most amazing book called, ‘Partitions’ by Amit Majmudar. It is his debut novel, and it is about the 1947 partition of India and Pakistan. It is absolutely stunning. The prose has such a lyrical, authentic quality. It is less about the historical aspect, and more about the humanity.

Anyway, I cannot recommend it enough.


2. TELEVISION

... something I’ve absolutely had enough of: “The Trial and its Aftermath”. Yeah, you know to what I’m referring. I admit, I did watch parts of the trial (Phil would use the word ‘obsessively’, but then again, he watches weird things on SYFY, so there’s no accounting for his television viewing), but now that it is over… IT’S OVER, PEOPLE!!

Were we all unhappy with the outcome? I’d say, at least, oh, about 93% of the U.S. population felt that it was an absolutely shocking acquittal, but does that mean that more than a week since it ended, CNN Headline News still needs to be hijacked by constant coverage of the trial, post-trial, interviews with jurors, and Nancy Grace’s shrill diatribes?

Can I just get the news now, please?!? I really don’t care to turn on the news and hear a family therapist break down the toxic relationship between Cindy and Casey Anthony, or listen to a team of hair & make-up stylists describing how they would alter Casey Anthony’s appearance to help her maintain her anonymity once she’s out of prison.

I've heard there are other things going on in the world, that are not restricted to a courthouse in Orlando??

3. MOVIES


In addition to books, and audiobooks, we’ve been checking a lot of DVD’s out of the library. Some have been hits and some have been disastrous misses.

Hit: Disney’s ‘Swiss Family Robinson’… we watched it last week for pizza and movie night, and the kids were completely enamored. I had never seen it, but I’ve been to the tree-house and Disneyworld and now I ‘get’ it. They loved watching it the first time, and the 2nd and 3rd. I do have to say, though, that it is a LOOOONG movie. Kids in the olden days must have had longer attention spans because this movie was well over 2 hours.

I was beginning to think those pirates would never abandon that island!

Definite Miss: ‘Coraline’… the kids watched it, and when it was over, they put the DVD back in the case, and put it back in the library bag. And then proceeded to put the library bag in the car.

All 3 reported that they never wanted to see it again, and that it needed to be taken back to the library ASAP. They all agreed to never speak of it again.

Why? Oh, I don’t know… it might have a little something to do with the fact that it is a movie about a little girl who visits the ‘Other World’, but tries to escape because she doesn’t want buttons sewn onto her eyes, like all of the other ghost children. Her parents are kidnapped, and she has to sever the hand of the ‘Other Mother’ to save her parents and the eyes of the ghost children.

I swear to you… I had no idea. And yes, it *is* a children’s movie. A creepy, nightmare-inducing children’s movie.

The up side?

They don’t ever complain that they are ‘bored’ anymore... especially since I bought my own copy of the movie, and offer to let them watch it if they can’t find anything else to do. ;)

Friday, July 8, 2011

"Good God, man! You almost got The Cheese Touch!"

Yummy, right? Just what every kid wants for their birthday... a slice of moldy cheese.





Well, for a certain 'Diary of Wimpy Kid' super-fan, it was a little slice of 'AWESOME-NESS'.

Technically, it was a 'Diary of Wimpy Kid' party by default. I was left scrounging for party invitation ideas when my husband deemed the 'oh-so freakin adorable' robot invitations I had made as, "um... a little baby-ish for a 9 year old, doncha' think?"

Dammit. It was true, I guess. Somehow, when I wasn't looking, my kids started doing the most obnoxious thing... growing up.

Anyway, the invitations were Wimpy Kid (and they, too, were 'oh-so freakin awesome', and adorable in their own right. *sigh), and the cake was just the perfect thing to fit this new party theme. (And we all KNOW how much I love my party themes, am I right?!?)

I took it to Austin's Park and Pizza for his party, and I finally ended up covering the cellophane window on the cake box with napkins.

People would walk past the table, peer over, and do a serious double-take. I can only imagine what they were thinking... "What in the hell did that kid do to deserve THAT??"





But it was a hit with the birthday boy, and his friends, and they all ate HUGE chunks of the cake, even though they initially expressed concern about whether they should it with their fingers crossed (that keeps you from getting The Cheese Touch, you see?)


I think the boys' favorite part of the cake experience, though?



All those jokes after the candles were blown out, and wishes were made...









"Mrs. Linson, did you just cut the cheese??!"


Gotta love nine year old boys ;)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Loving summertime lists!

Things I am loving right now about summertime

1. The public library… trips to the public library, that is. Taking the kids to the library has always been a bit of an adventure, but now that they’re getting a little older, it’s definitely easier.

No toddlers wandering around, pulling books off of any shelf they can reach, no emergency diaper changes in the tiny bathroom (without a changing table, of course), and now my book bag is significantly lighter with a few chapter books for each kid, instead of 42 picture books for each visit.


2. The racquetball court at our community center.

Not that I’ve suddenly taken up a mean game of racquetball, but we’ve discovered that the court makes a perfect twirling practice studio. High ceilings, wood floors, relatively sound proof… it has made getting ready for the state competition next weekend that much easier.

And now that she is doing more complicated tricks and tosses, I don’t have to worry about flying batons in my front entryway, or the big window over the front door. ;)


3. Teaching the kids how to cook some basics. So far this week, we’ve had spaghetti, grilled cheese, and enchilada casserole.

And lots of brownies. What can I say? They like to bake brownies.



Things I don’t miss this summer

1. Homework.


2. Packing lunches. Oh, I still feed everyone at lunchtime (well, USUALLY), I just don’t have to use annoying little sandwich bags.



3. Swim team. Yes, I’m a lazy mom and I didn’t sign the kids up for the Marlins this summer. I admit that last summer I was overwhelmed and grouchy with all those practices by the time the season was finished. 3 kids… 3 different practices… EVERYDAY. But in my defense, when I mentioned to the kids that we might not do swim team this summer, their response was something along the lines of…

“Eh. Okay.”

And I was all like, “SERIOUSLY?? I KILLED myself in the hot sun last summer for nothing???!”



4. Definitely don’t miss… the 28.8 pounds I’ve lost. :) (Sorry… just had to get that in there…Hot diggity!)





Of course, if the kids don't learn to make anything other than brownies, I might have a different story to tell.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Why I love my new oven:

1. I love my new oven because unlike most everything else in my almost 20 year old house, it is actually NEW, and the former owners didn’t have a chance to muck it up or jerry-rig the stupid thing.

2. I love my new oven because it is a miracle of cleanliness. It was a huge pain to go through a few weeks without any oven at all, but the flip side of that is that I didn’t have to clean the old one. I highly recommend this technique for cleaning your own oven.

3. It has BUTTONS, people! Not old-fashioned knobs like the previous one… PUSH BUTTONS! We’re feeling so affluent around here, we’re gonna cook up some Cornish game hens.

(“That way everyone gets their own little baby chicken on their own little baby plate…oh, and an endive salad. No, it’s absolutely pronounced ‘ahn-deev…”
Holla! I LOVE that commercial ;)

4. It has a ‘Delay start’. I’ve been told by a dear friend that that is a wondrous thing. Now I just have to figure out how to use it.

5. The clock/ timer on it actually works. No more flashing ‘00:00’… or for that matter, no more black electrician’s tape covering up the flashing light! (Hello? Have we met? I’m the Queen of Making Do! ;)

So feel free to come and spend the night again! You can stay in the family room, and you don’t even have to bring your sleep mask.


6. I love my new oven because I can finally cook and bake again!

Well, I mean, I haven’t actually done that yet… but I *could*. And I will.


Just as soon as I find tiny cans of Budweiser to make ‘Beer in the Butt Cornish Game Hens'. ;)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Summertime... Day #1

Things I have heard myself say so far today:


1. No, it does not have his germs in it. See how it fizzes? It’s Sprite, and that fizziness means its getting rid of the germs.

2. Why don’t we all read a nice book? No?

3. We’ll go to the pool tomorrow.

4. I’d sooner take a hammer to it than listen to you nag about the Wii all summer long!

5. We’ll go to the pool in the morning.

6. No, not this morning… tomorrow.

7. TOMORROW MORNING.

8. Time to turn off the T.V.

9. Tell Nema and G-Dad thank you for lunch. And for the ice cream.

10. Well, no wonder you feel sick to your stomach… you ate a ton of lunch, and then topped it off with a dipped cone at Dairy Queen. (Um, yeah… thanks, Nema & G-Dad! ;)

11. We’ll swim TOMORROW.

12. Yes, tomorrow morning.

13. Seriously, do NOT ask about the Wii again.

14. How soon until school starts?!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Wait is Over!

This year’s ‘last day of school cake’ was made under special circumstances. ‘Special Circumstances' happens to be code for ‘my oven is broken all to hell and I’ve been waiting for almost 3 weeks for the warranty company to decide if they will be

1. replacing the unit.

2. replacing the thermostat … or

3. agreeing with me that it’s too frickin’ hot to cook anyway, so we’ll just re-visit the issue come November.

It’s just easier to say ‘special circumstances’.

Oh, and I’ll just say, you don’t realize how often you use your oven until you DO NOT HAVE AN OVEN. And then? Well then, it’s every damn day. Microwaved frozen pizza is just not cutting it.

So, with that in mind, I needed to make a cake that didn’t actually require any baking. I considered going and buying a sheet cake and decorating it myself. I considered borrowing a friend’s oven.

I considered just skipping the entire thing this ‘last day of school’. Imagine how well that idea went over around here.












Ice cream sandwich cake to the rescue!





Have you ever made one of these? Super simple, super yummy, and super high-calorie (hey… I sweated enough at the park today to earn it ;)

Step 1: Layer 4 ice cream sandwiches on a sheet of aluminum foil. And use BlueBell ice cream sandwiches. Trying to get by with anything else is positively ‘un-Texan’… seriously.

Step 2: Top with a layer of Cool Whip mixed with hot fudge and crushed Oreos. (And don’t ask me how many Weight Watcher’s points value that is.)

Step 3: Layer another 4 sandwiches, top with another layer of the Cool Whip mixture. Top with 4 more sandwiches….

Step 4: Frost the entire thing with plain Cool Whip (or in our case, Cool Whip tinted blue... and in our case, missing some Cool Whip in spots. Whatevs.)

Step 5: Cover with foil and freeze for at least 4 hours. Cut into slices and serve.

Since I was unable to have it out of the freezer very long to get all cutesy and adorable with my mad skillz, I had to get creative with cardstock and toothpicks.

It’s not my finest effort, but what can I say? In the end, it was made with love for a tradition, with relief that the year is over, and under duress of a non-working appliance.





And the kids?? Well, the kids loved it, thought it was cool, and can’t wait to chow down on it… and those are some pretty ‘special circumstances’ too.

Happy Last Day of School, everyone!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Just in case you weren't sure what to stock up on for summer...

From guest blogger, Josie
Reprinted from her article published in the 4th grade school newspaper...


"Say Hello to the new trend of the month:

HOT PINK on EVERYTHING

by Josie (a.k.a, Josie BIEBER)

New symbols on T-shirts include Justin Bieber, flowers, peace signs, and PUPPIES!!!! Black is the new pink. Arepostale is a fave t-shirt company 2 look 4.

Show some spirit with team roster tees (ex. Longhorns, Cornhuskers, Buffaloes, and Aggies)! Girls can wear them too, but let's add some glam with a sequined headband and some beaded bracelets. POOF!!! YOu're the star of the show!! Very eye-catching!

If you have BIEBER FEVER, t-shirts supoorting him rock. Bieber necklaces are sooo C-U-T-E to wear 2 the mall, girlz-nite out, and SCHOOL!!! Alright, enough about him, back 2 business.

Dangle earrings r awesome!! Mood rings can make u look cute too. 4 example, I wear mine on my thumb.

The fashion isn't about matching anymore. Show your style and don't ever b afraid 2 express yourself!!"




---Did everyone get that? Here's a recap...Black is the new pink, get yourself a Justin Bieber t-shirt or necklace, and if you have a mood ring, you too can be C-U-T-E!!

Like, duh! ;)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I will never run a marathon.

I have never run a marathon.

I don't intend to, either.

But these last few months has felt a little like a really, reeealllyy long race. It started off really well, and then I was just plugging along, trying to do all the right things, and here lately, I've been struggling a little bit, tired of the race, and ready to just get to the finish line, already.


This is how I imagine it must be for a marathoner. Unless, of course, *I* happened to be the one running the marathon, and then it would involve a lot of throwing up, crying, and swearing that my shoes are tied too tightly, and the sun is in my eyes, and that I have to stop and go potty, and THAT'S the reason I'm throwing up and crying... after, um, only a mile and a half. ;)



I know I could never run 26.2 miles, but today I relished in the journey that I HAVE been on. And when I went to my Weight Watcher's meeting today, and stepped on the scale, I saw that my grand total of weight I've lost is 26.2 pounds. Coincidence? Irony? I don't know, but I felt like it was a victory in a different way.

So, 26.2 pounds. And I know, compared to some people that is not a whole lot. For me, it's huge. Sometimes its been hard, and sometimes its been boring, and sometimes? Well, sometimes, its just a giant pain in the @$$.

But it's proving to be worth it. Because not only do I not instantly despise every picture that someone takes of me, but I feel better. And I'm healthier. And as the child of a father that died at 41 years of age due to a massive heart attack... getting healthy should be my number one priority.

And not just looking good in my jeans. But I won't say that it's not a huge bonus.

I want to be around for a long time for my kids and my husband, and get to experience, as a parent, all the things that my Dad had to miss.

Because life *is* a marathon... not a sprint. And I can do it, even when the sun is shining in my eyes, and my shoes are too tight, and I just want to stop and cry.




I will never run a marathon.

But today I felt like I'd come pretty close. :)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Do you want fries with that?

Yesterday my boy brought me a special surprise. Something he had made in art class, and I have to say I was pretty impressed.





A take-out box, complete with hand rolled paper chopsticks, and lettered on the sides (with Japanese characters? Chinese? My apologies right now for being such a philistine that I don’t know the difference.)







And when you open the box…







Sushi!

Made from strips of construction paper, and tied with string.







Isn’t that just the coolest? I wonder what gave him the idea? I wonder why, of all things, he selected that particular food to hand-craft?



I wonder….















...if his art teacher has figured out that we don’t actually eat much sushi around here? ;)




Thursday, May 12, 2011

As the worm turns...

This morning I went to wake up my children for school, and in my best effort to not appear to growl at them in my just-awoken state, I sing-songed, “Get out of beeeeed!!!”

And just like that, I was screwed for the rest of the day.

Not because they grumbled and growled (they come by it honestly) about not wanting to get up. That’s an everyday occurrence. And not because being in their bedrooms enlightens me as to how much they need to pick up the Legos, American Girl doll clothes, and Barbies (another everyday occurrence.)




I’m screwed because now I have the theme song for "PeeWee’s Playhouse" stuck in my head.

The second I sang out, “Get out of beeeeed,” the song jumped, unbidden, unwanted, into my brain, and I’ve been unable to shake it loose since.


And I’m not in the habit of watching "PeeWee’s Playhouse" (anymore), so while I can’t seem to stop replaying the song in my head, it’s just bits and pieces on a loop, with lots of muffled la-las for the words I have no hope of remembering.

“Get out of beeeed…there’ll be no more nappin’! (Wake u-up!)
It’s a la la la la la where anything can happen!
It’s a la la la la la
It’s gonna be that kind of morning.
For getting wacky…
For blah blah blah blah
Getting cuckooooooo
AT PEEWEE’S PLAAAAYHOOOOUSE!!!”

Ba-dum-bum.

So, I’ve been struck with the dreaded ‘earworm’.

It has always surprised me that this phenomenon has a name, and a downright creepy one, at that.


From the Discovery Health Website…

“Why do songs get inextricably stuck in our heads? Experts say the culprits are earworms (or "ohrwurms," as they're called in Germany). No, they're not parasites that crawl into your ear and lay musical eggs in your brain, but they are parasitic in the sense that they get lodged in your head and cause a sort of "cognitive itch" or "brain itch" -- a need for the brain to fill in the gaps in a song's rhythm.”

And the article goes on to mention that unfortunately, there's no tried and true way to get songs out of your head once they're stuck in there. They can stick in your brain for anywhere from a few minutes to several days. But here were some suggestions that they offered up if you (or I!) were on the verge of insanity:


1. Sing another song, or play another melody on an instrument. (Guess I could use my fourth-grader’s spit-filled recorder.)


2. Switch to an activity that keeps you busy, such as working out, or doing housework. (‘Discovery Health sponsored by Clorox’...No thanks!)


3. Listen to the song all the way through.

(I did finally do this… went to YouTube and watched the show’s opening credits. And I saw all my old friends… Chairy, Pterry, Jambi, and Clocky!

Um… not that I used to WATCH it, or anything.
Uh, I mean it was always on in the background on, uh, Saturday mornings. I didn’t WATCH it…I was a teenager, after all, with, uh, WAY more important things to do than watch a Saturday morning cartoon. Geez. ;)


4. Turn on the radio or a CD to get your brain tuned in to another song.


5. Picture the earworm as a real creature crawling out of your head, and imagine stomping on it. (Um… ick?)



6. Share the song with a friend. (Soooo… you’re welcome.)


Discovery Health was kind enough to reassure me that nothing is inherently wrong with me. It is perfectly natural to have a catchy jingle stuck in your head.

And the fact that it’s been over twenty years since that show has even been on television, and probably equally as long since I’ve heard the theme song??





Just a b*tch of a brain itch, I guess.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wednesday's Woes

Okay, not really ‘woes’… whines?

Let’s be honest, I guess I’m whining. Because this is something that I’m hating right now.

Technology.

More specifically, technology that is geared toward children. And the fact that sometimes it seems that I am the only mother on the planet that cringes and finds it reprehensible for a child to sit through dinner at a restaurant, with nary a glance at anyone else at the table,as they are far too busy playing with all of the games on their iPod Touch. I guess they come by it honestly, though, because their parents are usually doing the very same thing with their iPhones.

Call me old-fashioned… call me cheap… call me whatever you will, but I am sick and tired of kids being little adults with all their gadgets and gizmos, and cell phones and texting. We are raising a world of people who don’t know how to interact with other people without a screen between them and can’t relate to the proper way to carry on a conversation.

These kids are growing up way too fast anyway, and I get all 'in my day...' every time I see kids at the park, texting with their friends (who happen to be standing right next to them), or every time one of my children has come home from a playdate saying that “So-and-so just wanted to play Xbox, and only wanted to play games that were rated ‘M’, so I came home.” Darn little ‘So-and-So’ and his permissive parents. ;)

I’m not saying we need to un-plug completely, people (trust me, I love my computer, too, and I’m pushing for a new Smartphone… I NEED one!) But can we maybe just un-plug a *little* bit? On occasion?

And sit at a dinner table with our family. And maybe make eye contact every now and then. Or play a game. Or have a conversation.

I’m not, by any means, saying that I’m doing this mommyhood mixed with technology thing the exact right way. I don’t know the right way. I’m not ‘anti-technology’ or ‘anti-progress’. We have a Wii… my kids have DS’s (the ‘really, really old kind’ they will grumble. ;) We have a computer and a couple of T.V.’s.


We also have a dinnertime that is uninterrupted by television or computer. We have a computer in our kitchen that my children must ask permission to use. I have a pre-teen daughter that writes her music requests down so that I can screen her selections before putting them on her iPod. We have limited game time, and the current rule in our house is... 'Only people with college degrees have cell phones'. Hey it works for us. ;)


All I’m saying is that it’s awfully hard sometimes to swim against the current. The current that pushes for the NEXT BIG THING, and the new piece of “fabulous technology that will keep you connected like never before!!”

I know this isn’t anything new, as a parent. It's only the arena that's new. Parents for generations have struggled with the right things to do for their kids, teaching them that while it’s easier to go along with the crowd, it’s not always the right thing to do. I get that.

Trust me, it gets very tiring to be the mom that “usually says ‘no’, occasionally says ‘maybe’, and rarely says ‘yes’”.

And I can only hope that my children will be the better for it.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Brace yourselves, people...

1. Went to Weight Watchers yesterday and I’m down 23 pounds… so, like, total ‘yay’ for me. This is the skinniest I’ve been since back before I got pregnant with Davis… so, like, total ‘double yay’.


2. Clearly all that smoking is paying off.


3. Kidding.


4. And with my re-discovered ‘pre-pregnancy self’, I thought I’d finally garnered the courage to share some of my pregnancy photos with you.


5. Don’t forget, though, that I gained a LOT of weight with each of my children.


6. So here goes… (oh, and you were warned).





























AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

Gotcha!!!


Are your eyes bleeding??!? Because mine are.

WHO THE #*&$% DOES THIS??

Found this on Awkward Family Photos (truly, truly awkward)… 'The Circle of Life'...and I was stunned. And disturbed.

And you know me, I can’t go this alone once I’m stunned and disturbed.

So… you’re welcome. ;)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Can someone please do the world a favor?

And shut Donald Trump up. This guy is ridiculous. Successful in real estate? Yes. Master of the bad hair-do? Absolutely.

A total farce? Um… yeah.

I know he’s smart. I know he’s insanely wealthy, and could buy and sell little old me about a 100 billion times over. But that doesn’t mean he has any integrity.

Now he’s claiming ‘responsibility’ for the government releasing the President’s birth certificate. He’s done what “no one else has been able to do”. What a douche.

And don’t even get me started on the so-called ‘Birthers’. I personally think if you are enough of a slack-jawed idiot to believe that the President was not born in the United States, and that there is some huge conspiracy to conceal that he was born elsewhere… well, I think you should potentially have your right to vote revoked, anyway.

Hey, here’s a newsflash… Hawaii is not the only state that issues the ‘Certificate of Live Birth’ (short version) as valid documentation in place of the longer birth certificate (which is kept as a vital record at the state level).

Texas does, indeed, issue a ‘Birth Certificate’ (long form), but Colorado? I checked my two oldest kids’ certificates which were issued by the state of Colorado, and they were actually the short form listed as a ‘Certification of Vital Record’.

Nowhere on these documents are the words “Birth Certificate”.

What a pity. Guess that means that they weren’t actually born in the United States of America.

And that if they ever attempt to run for President, they will have to pander to the lowest common denominator.

Monday, April 25, 2011

If this van is rockin'...

...don't come a-knockin'!











I will already be knocking... my head against the steering wheel, that is.



My three children have discovered a nifty (and by 'nifty', I mean to say, 'annoying as hell') trick to do while we're waiting at a stoplight.

If they rock side to side in their seats, AT THE SAME TIME, and IN THE SAME DIRECTION...



they can get the van to rock back and forth at a pretty good clip.




Which is totally what people expect to see from a mini-van with Disneyworld license plates, am I right?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Easter!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and a blessed Easter Sunday.





Sending love to your family from our little 'Peeps' :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spared no expense.

True confession time… I LOVE the movie, Jurassic Park. Love it. Just the original, though. Not the subsequent ones. (a little too much Jeff Goldblum in those… 'that's the essence of chaos theory'.)


I know it practically word for word, primarily because Phil and I used to watch it at least three times a week. It was one of the few movies that we never tired of. And since I know you’re just dying to know what the other ones were: Twister, Blazing Saddles, and Better Off Dead. And now aren't you just so impressed with our sophisticated movie palates?

In our defense, our movie-watching runs the gamut… or at least it DID, back when we didn’t have to pay $12 per movie ticket, $25 for popcorn and soda, and $50 for a babysitter, just to see ONE of the Oscar nominees. But Jurassic Park and the others are like the ‘bubble gum pop’ of movies. Catchy and kitschy, and perfect for background noise while folding clothes, or doing some other dreary chore.


And now? All three of our children are bona fide Jurassic Junkies, too. I wasn’t sure if they were too young to see it, but it became a moot point one Saturday afternoon when they saw part of it on basic cable while I was out running some errands. Clearly only one half of the parenting team had concerns about the potential of the children being traumatized by giant, man-eating dinosaurs.


And when I mentioned that we used to watch that movie all the time, the kids BEGGED us to be allowed to see the entire thing, too.

And true confession time… since I felt like the Compsognathus was already out of the bag (small dinosaur… cat-size), it was ME that went searching through old boxes in the closet to find the VHS tape, so that they could watch it for Pizza and Movie Night.

The result?

They are definitely our offspring because not only do they love it, watch it every chance they get, and rewind their favorite parts over and over, but they also quote it to each other incessantly as part of our ‘movie quote-along’ that we frequently play at dinnertime.

Just a few of our faves…

Mine: “Yeah, but John, if Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down, the pirates don’t eat the tourists!”

Phil’s: “Dodgson! Dodgson! We have Dodgson here! Nobody cares.”

The kids love to wait until we’re on a day trip in the car for this one:
‘Well… we’re back… in the car again.”



And of course, everyone's favorite: ‘WHERE’S THE GOAT?!?! ’
(This one happens to be especially funny when standing in the meat department at H.E.B.)


However today, I did have a brief pause... Is this movie too violent? Too graphic?

You be the judge… when I walked into my boy's room today, l discovered this on his desk, with a little hand-lettered sign that said, “Welcome to Jurassic Park!”









Wow. The soldiers armed and at the ready? The dinosaur?






Who happens to be making a quick snack out of the driver of the Jeep?!!





Part of me wondered if I should be disturbed by this little tableau…





But true confession time?







I think it's totally freaking awesome.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Multi-tasking is critical to… wait, is that the phone?

I heard the results of an interesting study yesterday… it basically said that the older you get, the harder it is to multi-task. I have to say I am finding that to be more and more true.

I remember back in the day, (back before I was one clock stroke away from turning FORTY ;) I could cook a healthy dinner of macaroni and cheese, sliced hot dogs, and canned green beans, all while shoving the pile of dirty clothes over on the other side of the couch so that I could nurse the baby, read yet another train book to a two year old, and rewind ‘Baby Galileo’ for my 4 year old.

It was a necessity to be able to multi-task back then, but now? With all the kids in school, and all the extra time (hah!) I have on my hands, I can easily find myself wandering from one task to the next. Some days I feel like I’m living in the book, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”.


If you give a mom a cookie, she will remember that she needs to bake 4 dozen more for the bake sale.


When she goes to bake the cookies, she will realize that she needs to find a new recipe that does not include baking soda because the last time she went to Target to buy it, she got distracted by the shiny ‘Clearance ‘signs.


When she tries to look up a recipe on-line, she will remember that she needs to send an email to the class about the teacher’s birthday gift, since in a fit of giddiness about the kids starting back to school last August, she signed up to be room mother.


When she’s checking her email, the buzzer on the dryer will go off. When she takes the clean clothes out of the dryer, she will realize that most of the dish towels have holes in them (sadly, it’s true.)



So she will head to the kitchen to jot down ‘Buy NEW dish towels’ on the to-do list on the refrigerator.


When she is at the refrigerator, gazing at the multitude of school notes, lists, permission slips, and spelling lists stuck underneath brightly colored magnets, she will realize…








That the #$!@* bake sale was last week.





And that she wants another cookie.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Things I do that make my husband crazy...

1. When I load the dishwasher. Or should I say, when I *attempt* to load the dishwasher. Evidently I’m not very good at it.

In my mind, a dishwasher is supposed to actually WASH dishes. Phil insists that every dish must be hand-washed prior to being washed in the dishwasher. WHAAAT???

So he is and has been on all dish duty in our home for the last, oh about, 14 years. It works for us.





2. When I don’t put gas in the car when the warning light comes on, and instead I drive home and park in the garage. In my defense, I always plan to get gas FIRST THING when I leave again. Is it my fault that without fail, he is always the next one to drive that vehicle??

What can I say? It's a system that works for us. Okay, admittedly it works a little better for me.





3. When I go on an evening walk with a friend, and shortly after, bust @$$ back inside, yelling at him to grab the keys because I’ve found an armoire that one of our neighbors has put out with a ‘FREE~ TAKE ME!’ sign on it.

I know, right?!? I decided on the spot that I needed it for the playroom. And it was free.

Plus? I couldn’t lift the stupid thing all by myself without worrying about busting a gut (literally… I had hernia surgery less than 6 months ago.)



4. Some of my television choices. Namely… my obsession with the show, ‘Sister Wives’ on TLC.

I can’t help it. I am completely and utterly fascinated with this show (otherwise known as ‘The Real Housewives of Utah ;) And yes, I am aware that most Mormons are not actually polygamists, and that this family is the exception to the rule.



I have told Phil we should consider getting ourselves one of those ‘sister wives’. Maybe one that knows how to properly load the dishwasher and put gas in the mini-van.



Oh, and doesn’t mind a little heavy-lifting. ;)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Happy, happy, joy, joy!

Things that make me happy:

1. Hearing "One Shining Moment" sung by Mr. Luther Vandross. Evidently Jennifer Hudson was a little busy being Weight Watchers' newest spokesperson. Which was just FINE with this basketball non-superfan. I think we've established by now that I only tune in to the championship game for the post-game highlight reel. And that song... which in my heart, is second only to the Star Spangled Banner.



2. A weekend with absolutely NOTHING going on... a weekend of sleeping late, eating out, going on bike rides, and taking naps (notice how two of my personal highlights have to do with SLEEPING??) Of course, maybe I just *think* that makes me happy, because honestly? I can't remember weekends like that anymore, and I can't even tell you the last time we had a weekend where we had nothing on the agenda.



3. Speaking of busy weekends, and things that make me happy? Watching my girls at their baton competitions. Well, maybe I'm not being entirely truthful... it makes me happy watching my girls get awards at their twirling competitions. Actually WATCHING them while they compete is enough to give me an ulcer, and fingernails bitten to the quick. It STRESSES me out! (Phil calls me a 'stage mom', but don't you dare call me that or I will hit you with my 'Twirler Mom' clipboard, and spray you straight in the eye with my blinged-out can of Aqua-Net.)

p.s. This weekend's competition? Awesome :)



4. New highlights! Thanks, Rogilyn.



5. Blogging... I really should get back to doing this more than once a week!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Deadly Cobra... and I'm not talking about insurance.

Well, I’m sure you’ve heard by now about the deadly Egyptian cobra that has gone missing from the Bronx zoo.

And even though I live 1744.32 miles away from the Bronx Zoo (Google Maps don’t lie, people), I still have the heebie-jeebies.


Don’t know much about the Egyptian cobra? Um, what ELSE do you need to know besides the word ‘cobra’?? Well this was in the article on CNN: ‘The Egyptian cobra is most commonly found in North Africa. Its venom is so deadly, it can kill a full-grown elephant in three hours -- or a person in about 15 minutes, according to wildlife experts. The venom destroys nerve tissue and causes paralysis and death due to respiratory failure.’

I feel paralyzed and short of breath just thinking about it.


I mean, seriously??! And guess what? They didn’t even close the Bronx zoo until they found the thing. They closed the reptile house until further notice, but according to the article, “Zoo officials said they are confident the 20-inch-long snake is contained in a nonpublic, isolated area of the building.”



You would have to be pretty damn ‘confident’ in order to get me anywhere near that zoo until the snake is captured.

I don’t know if it’s completely apparent, but I have an aversion to snakes. But at least this time I have an excuse (other than that I’m just crazy)…

When we were in college, Phil was living with some of his fraternity brothers in a house on West Campus. A couple of the guys had snakes (what was up with that??) that they kept in glass cages/ enclosure things. When it was ‘feeding time’, they would put them on the floor and feed them dead rats, and it was quite the show. We’d all gather around and watch. Well, one of the snakes? It got lost. And when I say ‘lost’, I mean… IT GOT OUT OF ITS ENCLOSURE! So, um hello?? It happens.

Anyway, it went AWOL. The missing snake was named Angus, and we all mourned his apparent passing/ escape.

Several months went by, and shortly before Phil was scheduled to move out, we were heading out to dinner. He’d had to work in the afternoon, so he decided to take a quick shower before we went out. You see where this is going, right?

So he hopped in the shower, and I heard him yell…









…for me to grab a towel for him out of the hall closet.


Mmhmm. NOW you see where this is going…





I opened the closet door, grabbed a towel off of the middle shelf, and sitting at the back of the same shelf, within arm’s reach, was… Angus. (of course. You saw that coming, right? Yeah, I didn’t.)

We all rejoiced at his return. And when I say ‘rejoiced’, I mean to say, I screamed as loudly as I could, slammed the closet door, and ran to stand on a desk chair in the middle of Phil’s room until the snake could be captured. I’m pretty sure I kept screaming. And I’m pretty sure someone else got Phil the towel he needed.

It was bound to happen I guess. If the staff at a professional zoo can’t keep a cobra from escaping, what are the odds that a bunch of drunken frat boys can keep their snakes in their cages? (Oh, let’s not even GO there. ;)

So trust me when I say that there is a good likelihood that I will never again step foot inside of a reptile habitat at any zoo. Mostly because I have always suspected that it could happen, and this absolutely confirms it beyond a shadow of a doubt. A snake can and DID escape. Who knows how often this happens?? All those empty cases that you see when you go to the zoo’s reptile house that are labeled with the little signs… “EXHIBIT CLOSED WHILE WE AWAIT OUR NEW ARRIVAL”…

or “THIS EXHIBIT IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION” might as well just say,




"HOLY CRAP… CHECK UNDER YOUR FEET FOR ANY ROGUE REPTILES.”

Or better yet…




"WHATEVER YOU DO… DON’T. LOOK. DOWN."

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Six For Saturday!!

1. Six?? It’s the least I can do. I feel like I owe you guys for my absence this last month. There has been a gaping void felt around the entire blogging community, and it’s all my fault.




Well, maybe I’m overstating it a bit.




2. This morning for breakfast, Davis ate a piece of leftover stuffed pizza, three pancakes with butter and syrup, three pieces of bacon, a fried egg, and a glass of milk.

I just thought that was interesting. And indigestion-worthy. If he's eating like this at 8 years old, I can't even fathom our grocery bill when he hits his teenage years.



3. This week, Josie got contacts. A few things to keep in mind…

--a.) She has worn glasses for three years now, and has never ONCE complained about them.

--b.) She looks adorable in her glasses… and

--c.) The contacts were a necessity just to be worn for twirling practice and performances, as it is next to impossible to do two-turns with glasses perched on your nose.

Anyway, after wearing them for a day, she made the announcement that she LOVES them, and plans to wear them all the time, in lieu of glasses. The optometrist recommended that she should wear them for short amounts of time at first, as she gets used to them. I let her wear them to school yesterday with the stipulation that I would come up at lunchtime so she could take them out, and put her glasses on.

So when I got to school around noon, I was greeted with this…

Josie: “Moooom! Why do I have to take them off?? I’m supposed to put my *glasses* back on now??”

(Remember… NEVER has she complained about wearing glasses. In two days, they have become equivalent to getting a root canal, or wearing an “I Love Barney” t-shirt to a junior high dance.)

Me: “Just for the afternoon. Starting next week, you can wear them all day at school, since you’ll be more used to them.”

Josie: “But all my friends haven’t seen me in my contacts yet! What if they want to see how I look in my contacts?!”





Me: “Um… I guess you could take your glasses off for a minute to show them? ‘Hey friends, THIS is how I look in contacts’!”

Josie: “So not funny.”






4. I have lost 18 pounds on Weight Watchers so far (yay me!) As a result, I am TOTALLY ready for swimsuit season to be upon us!


Well, maybe I’m overstating it a bit. ;)




5. As you know from my previous posts, March was not a great month on Planet Linson. To make up for the 18 pound weight loss, I guess, I needed another weight added to me… which came in the form of Phil coming home from work and announcing that his company was going through an internal purchase, and that in light of that, he would be looking for a new job, effective at the end of the month (this is the redacted, PC version.)

“*Gasp! What?? Oh my God!” Yeah. Tell me about it.

So this month, in lieu of blogging, I’ve been crying. And planning. And slashing our budget. And smiling for the sake of our kids. And praying. A lot.

And thanks be to God, he did get a new job… a better job… a job that we have high hopes for. And I have to admit that I am still crying, and planning, smiling and praying… but in a much better way.

I’m thankful that he was able to get a job so quickly, and had two good offers from which to choose. I know there are so many people going through similar things, who don’t get such good news so quickly. I am truly grateful for so many things. Grateful for our friends and family who have offered their help, their prayers, and just kind words when we needed them. Grateful for my wonderful husband who had such an amazing spirit and sense of calm through all of this.




6. I am now TOTALLY looking forward to April.


And I’m not overstating that one bit. :D

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Little Dolls...

So yesterday was a Girls Day Out. And when I say ‘girls’, I mean all of us… me, my mom, my sis-in-law, our four daughters, and four American Girl dolls.





We made the pilgrimage to the American Girl store in Dallas, and many thanks to Nema (my Momma) for treating our dolls to the salon service of EAR PIERCING!!



Seriously.



The dolls got their ears pierced in the ‘Salon’, and they each got earring sets. This is a far cry from the way I used to pierce MY own dolls’ and Barbies’ ears… with the straight pins from my mother’s pincushion. My own personal voodoo dolls.

But we had a wonderful time, and the girls had a blast picking out a little something for their American Girls, whether it was an outfit (Josie) or a stuffed pet dog (Libby). I tried to steer her toward all the cute clothes, but evidently her doll needed a pet Chocolate Lab puppy more than ANYTHING!

Me: “Look, honey! Here’s a ballet outfit!

Libby: “I want Chocolate Chip.”

Me: "Or a chef’s apron and hat… or a figure skater costume?”

Libby: “Chocolate Chip.”




Me: “Oh, and there’s a Chilean Miner outfit! Hardhat with light optional.”

(Okay, not really. They were sold out of those.)



Libby (at high volume): “There’s nothing else in this store for Libby except Chocolate Chip! Nothin’!”

*sigh.



But after we’d totaled our bills (which were itty-‘Bitty baby’ ~ha!~ bills compared to some of the people around us. Some folks are doing their part to revive the economy in one afternoon at the AG store, evidently), I was still left shaking my head and saying, ‘For doll clothes? Doll clothes?!!’



Which brought out my inner Martha. Oh yes, that b*tch is back, and last night, she was on a tear, in a pink-tinted, ‘We just paid $25 for a sundress for a doll’ haze.

So with pattern in hand, iced tea next to me (hey, it’s not diet Coke!), and my wise and knowledgeable Momma in the room with me to answer my multitude of questions, I made these…










No really, I did. The little dresses, the leggings, and the head scarves. *I* made them… all by myself!

I finished around midnight, fought the urge to wake up my girls so they could see their dolls in their new, ‘custom-made’ (you say ‘homemade’, I say ‘custom’… tomatoes, to-mah-toes) outfits, and sank into a post-creativity coma.



I just had to share with y'all. I just had to brag. I just had to toot my own horn, I guess.






Oh, and I just had to ask… does anyone happen to have a pattern for a Chilean Miner outfit for a doll?

Thanks in advance. ;)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Ode to my beverage of choice...

It’s been two weeks since I looked at you.
Cocked my head to the side, and said, “I love you.”
Five days since Jack beckoned to me saying
"Get that together come back and see me"

Thirteen days since the drive-in lane
I know it’s an addiction… man, what a friggin’ pain.
Yesterday I still wanted you,
and I hope it’s just two days till I feel that I’m over you.


It helps if you sing it like you’re the Barenaked Ladies.

Two weeks since I’ve had a diet Coke. I made it through the first couple of days of horrific caffeine withdrawal. I lasted through the headaches. I survived the crankiness (my family, on the other hand, may have a different song to sing.) I KNOW that I was drinking way too much, and needed to cut it out.


The result??






I STILL want a diet Coke, every damn minute of every day.

I don’t think it’s the caffeine to which I’m addicted. I firmly believe it is the BUBBLES. I want bubbles. I crave BUBBLES. Nothing like that first sip of diet Coke, going down your throat, all cold and bubbly.

*sigh.


This WILL make me a healthier person, right?!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Just check him out...

My boy got glasses.



It was bound to happen. His sister has glasses. Both his parents started wearing glasses in elementary school. We are just a family of poor-sighted individuals.

He looks adorable in them, but if you see him, please don't use the word 'adorable'. He prefers 'handsome', or 'tough'. I, personally, can't get over how much he looks like Louis from the Disney movie, 'Meet the Robinsons'. See exhibit A...




First 'Dash' from the Incredibles, and now this.

Fortunately, he loves his glasses, and he is one of about 5 kids in his class to have them, so it's no biggie these days to have glasses. When I was a kid, I HATED my glasses, and refused to wear them. I would just ask to move closer to the front, and would explain that I had a hard time seeing the board because I was so SHORT. Hey, it worked. I finally got contacts in junior high, and have never worn glasses in public since.


On a a different note, things around here are still kinda crazy, hence the whole 'not blogging for 2 weeks' thing. I don't do 'change', y'all, and I'm struggling with things currently being in limbo, and not knowing what's going to happen. Some people might even have the nerve to call me a 'control freak'. To them, I say...


"Well, DUH!"

I'm trying very hard to put on a happy face, and get back to myself. Thanks all for your sweet thoughts.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Was he hiding his 'do under that famous hat??

I think Libby might have a little crush. She's 'sweet' on a boy named Abe.



That's right. A groovy fellow by the name of Abe Lincoln.

President's Day in kindergarten brought a multitude of coloring sheets, mini-books, and art projects all focused around a few of our forefathers. Namely, Abe.

You may remember her love note from the computer lab...(which I posted on Facebook, but was feeling entirely too lazy to post it twice. So if you're not my friend on Facebook, do you SEE what you miss out on??)










And yet another 'Lincoln-centric' activity:






And what sage advice is our 16th President spouting? (Literally. She got a little 'glue-happy' with this one.)

Is it..."I will never be defeated."?



Nope.


How about...

"I will never break a law"?





Guess again.


















Introducing--- A'bieber'ham Lincoln. ;)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I'm hoping the next couple of weeks are better.

I have never gone this long without updating.

Even when we were on vacation.

Even when I was sick.

Even after I'd had surgery.

And I know people come here for a laugh. Okay, well sometimes they do ;)

And I just can't seem to muster up anything right now. I'm in a funk.


I'll get back to y'all.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

"Come to Texas!" Okay, well maybe not YOU.

Josie brought home a poster that she had designed for a class assignment. It was a poster to advertise the merits of Texas and to persuade people to come live here.


Me: "Why?"

Her: "Because that’s what we were supposed to do."

Me: "Sweetie, it's a GREAT poster... it's just that we don’t need more people in Texas. In fact there are a few people that are already here that should probably leave."

(Namely, ahem... a certain governor. Oh, and maybe he could take Tom Delay with him when he goes.)


Because I have to admit, if I didn’t already live here, I’d want to move to Texas after seeing this advertisement…




Isn't that just the damn truth?



I know what you're thinking, though... "If I moved to Texas, would I have a good life?"



You betcha.



(Even the W@l-Mart smiley face is promoting our great state...)




And if you're still undecided about whether Texas is the place for you...










I think the kid has a future in the ad business.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sexy, no?

Hi Honey.


In case you happen to be reading this, I just wanted to give you an idea for Valentine's Day.

As ridiculous as it may look, I really, REALLY want a pair of these...











It's called a 'Hoodie-Footie'. Fo reals, yo. Because it's footed jammies... with a HOOD!! It's from PajamaGram.

'Why' you ask?

Well, for starters, you'd never have to worry about my icy feet again. And I'll never have to be cold again... except that is, when I have to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. And, um... I have to completely disrobe. But whatever.




Bonus?? They're available for the bargain price of ONLY $100!



Oh, and throw in a Snuggie, and a pair of those nifty 'Pajama Jeans' while you're at it.


Now don't worry, babe. I have the PERFECT gift picked out for you for Valentine's Day, too!














Our Christmas card this year is going to be so special! ;)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Happy, happy day :)

Our phone rang at 5:16 a.m. It was a recorded message from the school district that school had been cancelled due to inclement weather. Yay!

At 5:21 a.m., a certain little boy was next to our bed, saying, "Momma! Daddy! IT SNOWED!!!"

Phil: "We know, buddy... but it's early. Go back to bed."



Me: "Why is he up so early? Do you think the phone woke him up?"






Phil: "No. He just has a built-in 'Calvin-ometer'."




Happy Snow day, everyone! :)

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