Thursday, August 25, 2011

Back to school....

Well, summertime has officially ended and we are back in school mode.  The kids are both in great classes with wonderful teachers.  They are also in class with their buddies.  One of Rman's best friends moved away this year so that has been a little bit of an adjustment but his other best friend is in his class so that's a big help!  Princess got all her buddies in class so all is well there.

First day of second grade

First day of 4th grade

I started a new job as well.  I'm the speech pathologist at Fort Supply schools and I'm loving it!  I was off for 10 years staying home with my babies but it's like riding a bike--you just hop back on and take off. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Livin' the Life

Ahhh, vacation.  I love to travel and can hardly get back from one trip before I am planning and scoping out our next destination.  Back in February we decided we wanted to go to Colorado for our summer vacation.  Steven's parents stay in Buena Vista for July and August and his mom is always begging us to come visit them so we made that a target destination.  We found a cabin in nearby Alpine and reserved it for August.

Steven loves to camp and would spend our whole vacation backpacking in the wilderness if I would agree.  I do not agree.  But since marriage is supposed to be about compromise, I agreed to camp four nights.  We were going to camp near Buena Vista but found out they had a burn ban on, meaning no campfires.  So instead, we headed to Platoro, Colorado for the adventure.  Never heard of it you say?  That's because it has a population of 300 and is closed in the winter.  Seriously---the forest service makes everyone leave unless you apply for a special permit to stay.

We left early in the morning.  It took all day to get to Platoro and was raining when we arrived.  Because we didn't know where we were camping, we spent several hours driving around.  As the sun continued to set, I decided that we were getting a cabin for the evening.  It was too late to try to set up.  We found a vacancy at some hunting cabins that were decorated circa 1963.  When Steven laid in our bed, it made a HUGE crater and I had to sleep on the very edge to keep from rolling into him all night.  However, it did have running water and a toilet so I wasn't going to complain.....too much.

 The next day we found a campsite and got everything set up. We spent the next few days fishing, Jeeping, and hiking.  Steven took us on what he said was a very beginners hike.  Seemed pretty extreme to me.  Lots of uphill.  We started at around 10,000 ft and hiked to 12,500.  It was all above treeline, which isn't my favorite but Steven liked it.  I was proud of the kids and I for making it.  I was trucking it because I was so afraid we were going to be rained on.  It was a beautiful day though. 

The next day we packed up the camp.  It took us 3 hours.  I don't know about you but that is NOT my idea of a vacation!  I told him it sure seemed like a lot of work for a vacation.  He said if we didn't have to bring the kitchen sink it wouldn't take so long.  Smart aleck!    I had agreed to camp 4 nights but was so glad we had to get a cabin the first night.  Three nights was just about all I could take of that!

We drove to our cabin in Alpine and I immediately hit the shower!  We spent one day touring Mt. Princeton and one day in Breckenridge at the Summer Fun Park.  We had a great time riding the roller coaster and the mountain slide--probably my two favorite things we did at the Fun Park.  It did give me skiing fever though!              

  The last day was spent just hanging out with Grandma and Grandpa.  The kids played in the Arkansas River, built dams, and looked for cool rocks.  A very laid-back enjoyable day!

It was a great vacation but might just be my last camping excursion.  We'll see.  The kids love it so maybe I'll do it again but it will be a couple of years.  By then I might be too old!

Plug:  I wanted to take one camera lens that would let me shoot close-up and far away without having to change.  I priced that lens at $600.  Whoa!  Luckily I found an awesome place to rent the lens for the bargain price of around $80 including all shipping charges and insurance called ATS rentals.  They even sent a lens hood for the camera.  The lens arrived the day before we left, complete with a return shipping label.  I used it our entire vacation and shipped it back the day after we returned.  So easy!   If you're ever in the market to rent camera or video equipment, I highly recommend them!  I will certainly use them again.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of getting married and being a mother.  Although I had other aspirations and dreams, that was one of the first and foremost in my mind.  I went to college, met Steven, and got married.  Because of school, we waited seven years before we had a baby.  I felt I had waited forever for this precious little bundle!

Finally, the day came for my sweet Rman to arrive.  It was a bumpy road but we both made it.  I was in heaven! 

Fast forward 10 years and I now have a half grown boy (that I can't really call a little boy anymore).  The time has gone by so fast and though there have been hard times, regrets, and a couple of hospital visits, he's been just as wonderful as I thought he would be. 

He's smart, funny, talkative (very!), creative, stubborn, laid back, and more.  I can't believe I only have 9 more years with him.  I'll cherish every one!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Book Review: The Hypnotist

From the Amazon page:
In the frigid clime of Tumba, Sweden, a gruesome triple homicide attracts the interest of Detective Inspector Joona Linna, who demands to investigate the murders. The killer is still at large, and there’s only one surviving witness—the boy whose family was killed before his eyes. Whoever committed the crimes wanted this boy to die: he’s suffered more than one hundred knife wounds and lapsed into a state of shock. Desperate for information, Linna sees only one option: hypnotism. He enlists Dr. Erik Maria Bark to mesmerize the boy, hoping to discover the killer through his eyes.
It’s the sort of work that Bark has sworn he would never do again—ethically dubious and psychically scarring. When he breaks his promise and hypnotizes the victim, a long and terrifying chain of events begins to unfurl.
An international sensation, The Hypnotist is set to appear in thirty-seven countries, and it has landed at the top of bestseller lists wherever it’s been published—in France, Holland, Germany, Spain, Italy, Denmark. Now it’s America’s turn. Combining the addictive power of the Stieg Larsson trilogy with the storytelling drive of The Silence of the Lambs, this adrenaline-drenched thriller is spellbinding from its very first page.

I began this book with high hopes.  The premise was good, the action grabbed me right away.  However, as the book went on, the plot line became more convoluted.  It's as if the authors (a man-woman duo who write under the pen name Lars Keplar) couldn't decide which plot line to develop and which to use as a red herring.  I found it to distract from the book as a whole and the main plot line.

I also found several of the plot items not very believable, even from a fiction point of view. 

Even with the faults, I still gave it a three-star rating (I am contemplating changing it to a 2 1/2 star rating!)  After such a great beginning, it was a little bit of a disappointment though.

Friday, July 8, 2011

We are the champions....

After enduring two season of soccer with nary a win, Princess finally found a winning team in softball.  Hooray!  She had an excellent team with fun girls, awesome parents, and great coaches. 

It was so fun to watch the girls progress this year.  The whole team got better in their batting and their defense.  Princess has always been able to throw it pretty well (although we need to work on that form a little bit!) and hit but with help from Ken Miller, her batting made tons of improvement this year.  Towards the end of the season, she was getting a hit at every bat.

Our team also had an awesome pitcher--Steven.  He really did a great job (if I do say so myself!).

We ended the season in 2nd place in the league.  Then we ended up winning the league tournament.  It was so much fun and the girls (and their parents--including me!) were so excited. 
We won!
Celebrating at Big Dans
Awesome season girls!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Book Review: 360 Degrees Longitude

I read this book as part of my local book club.  It was not a book I probably would have chosen off the shelf and to be honest, when I first heard what it was about, I didn't think I would like it.  But I gave it a read anyway and was wrong--I really liked it.

This is the story of the Higham family--John, his wife, September, and their two children, Katrina and Jordan.  The kids were 11 and 8 at the beginning of the book, respectively.  The book follows their year-long journey traveling around the world, a trip they had planned and saved for over 10 years.

They began their journey in Iceland, traveling on to Europe, Asia, Africa, Central America, and South America.  As much as possible, the Highams tried to travel as locals and either camped or stayed in hostels at most places they visited.  Along the way, they met unforeseen obstacles, difficulties, and sometimes dangerous situations. 

The story is told from the perspective of John, with occasional excerpts from the travel journals of Katrina and Jordan.  John is very witty and I found myself giggling throughout the book at his observations and comments.  His writing style alone made the book worth reading.  Although not the most "formal" or cohesive of writers, he was very entertaining.

One of the neatest aspects of the book was the ability to follow their travels on Google Earth.  You followed the link and were able to read extras as well as see pictures of the different places they visited.  I stayed up until midnight last night just looking at their photos on Google!

Like any good book, this one made me think.  First of all, I thought they were a little crazy to take an 8 year old and 11 year old on a year-long trip around the world!  But then I thought about all the instances of poverty he discussed.  It's easy to dwell on what we don't have, when compared to most of the world's population, we in the United States are extremely wealthy.  At one point in the book, he said the tourists in the poor African countries spend in one day what is often a years worth of wages to the locals.  That's hard to imagine. 

There are certain places in the world (such as Switzerland, Czech Republic) that I have always wanted to visit.  The book reinforced my wish to visit those places.  There are other places that I do not wish to visit (China) and the book confirmed those feelings.  It also made me add a few places to my list of locations I would like to visit someday (the Incan trail in Peru). 

I admire the Highams for their travels and for leaving behind all the activities that seem to be beneficial (Little League, church, PTO, etc.) but instead sometimes seem to eat away at time together as a family.  I wish I could be that adventurous but don't think I could camp that long or stay in some of the places they stayed in!

I really enjoyed this book and am glad it was recommended.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Whoever coined the term "the lazy days of summer" sure wasn't living my life!  So far the summer has been fast, furious, and one thing after another. 

The Thursday after returning from Oklahoma City for Memorial  Day, I got word that my grandfather, Pop, had been killed in a farming accident.  I spent the next week and a half in Sentinel.  It was a very draining time, both emotionally, mentally, and physically.  It is still hard to believe that he's gone.  However, I have peace knowing he's with his Father in Heaven and that one day I will see him again.  But as the song "When I Get Where I'm Going" says, when I get to Heaven, I'll tell him " much I've missed him every minute since he left..."

The next week after I got home was VBS at our church.  We had a great week and the music (which I co-lead) was terrific.  However, it was very tiring and the afternoons were spent playing catch-up for all the things I got behind on while in Sentinel.  This week I am getting my house clean and organized so hopefully the rest of the summer I can enjoy and not have 5000 things to do. (I know, good luck with that!)

One enjoyable summer activity has been Kinley's softball team.  They have done very well and Kinley has improved so much.  The last two games, she's even gotten homeruns.  I just wish they wouldn't make the tournament last so long.  I think she's getting a little ready for it to be over and I don't want her to burn out. 

Reese is supposed to leave for church camp today but was sick all day yesterday.  He's not up yet so hopefully he'll be better when he wakes up.  I hope so!

I hope everyone is having a great summer!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Book Review: The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady

The premise of "The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady" is an 80 year old woman, Marylou, obsessed with exacting revenge on the doctor who gave her radioactive cocktails at a free clinic she attended while pregnant in the 1950's.  She had a daughter who died at age 8.  She finds the doctor living in Tallahassee with his daughter and her family, who each have their own issues to deal with.  Wilson, the doctor, is in the early stages of dementia and doesn't seems to remember Marylou or the situation. 
This book had potential but didn't really live up to it.  It had it's moments but as a whole didn't really work.  The ending was very abrupt and unbelievable.  There were also several loose ends that were left untied at the end.  The issues the family members were dealing with were very serious but were either dealt with unsatisfactorily ( to me) or left hanging.  I think the book would have been better if she had narrowed the focus of the book and not tried to deal with so many issues.

Monday, May 30, 2011


May got busy fast!  I didn't realize that it had been almost a month since I had written anything.  Hopefully the summer will be better.

For Memorial Day weekend, we went to the City for a mini-vacation.  We really needed to get away for a few days to relax a little bit! 

Friday evening we hit Bricktown to watch a movie (Kung Fu Panda 2, which was really cute), eat at Abuelo's, and ride the water taxi's.  Ron Norick was really a visionary when he pushed for the passage of MAPS.  Downtown OKC is really a neat place to be.  While there Reese entertained Mayor Mick Cornett with his questions and observations.  While we were taking our water taxi ride, the guide said if stacked up, the bricks that made the Bricktown Ballpark would go 23 miles in the sky.  Reese asked, "Is that flat or end-to-end?"  The guide looked at him and said, "In 10 years, I've never had anyone ask that question!"  Leave it to Reese!

Saturday we visited the zoo.  They had finished the elephant exhibit and had the new baby elephant, Malee, on display.  She was so cute!  I enjoyed watching her awkwardly walk around and run after her mom.  She never ventured too far away.  This was also the first time we went through the Oklahoma Trails exhibit.  Very cool.  A highlight for the kids was riding the Swan paddleboats.  Kinley told me this was the best part of the day, which was awesome, and that her life had been pretty wonderful so far! 

After the zoo, we visited the mall, ate some more, and let the kids swim at the hotel.  Sunday brought another visit to the mall to return some things and then we met my mom in Weatherford so the kids could go visit them.  Steven and I drove back to the City for a mom and dad night out in Bricktown.  We ate at Jazmo's Bourbon Street Cafe (very good) and people watched on the canal.

Today we headed back home.  Going through Piedmont, we passed through tornado damage.  We also passed through the damage on I-40 when going to Weatherford.  It was amazing to see what damage those storms did and the wide swath they cut.  It's really hard to imagine a tornado that is a quarter to half a mile wide. 

This trip was a lot of fun and a great way to kick off the summer!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Book review: The Help

I ordered this book from Amazon a couple of weeks ago after reading all the great reviews about it.  It's set in 1960's Mississippi and tells the story of 3 women, two black maids and a young white woman, and how their lives intertwined.  The book alternated between all three points of view.

Although I thought at times this book suffered a little bit from "Dances with Wolves" syndrome, it redeemed itself at the end.  There are good and bad people on both sides.  It also shows you how times have changed and what once was considered acceptable speech/behavior in terms of race relations has definitely changed. 

This is a super read and I raced through the book.  At the same time, I hated for it to end.  I so identified with the characters that I wanted to see what happened to them next.  It's a definite thumbs up!

Thursday, April 28, 2011


It never fails--the days around it can be gorgeous and sunny but most of the time Easter day turns out cloudy, cool or both!  That was the case this Sunday but we didn't let it ruin our day.  Actually, it was one of the best Easters we've had in a while.

That morning we went to church.  Our church has started a new tradition.  All the children and their families meet in the fellowship hall to eat breakfast and hunt Easter eggs.  It's a great time of fellowship, and it's a lot of fun to see all the kiddos in their Easter best!

In the afternoon, we decided to go shoot guns.  It had been a long time since I had done that but it was a lot of fun and the kids loved it.  Princess took her Daisy BB gun and Rman took his competition rifle and deer rifle.  They both got shooting lessons from Dad.

 Rman took some Easter eggs to use as targets.
 This was my target.  Not too shabby (in my opinion!)
 At the end of the day, Princess got upset because Rman took a stuffed blackbird and used it for target practice.  We had to bring it home and doctor it up!
It was a terrific day together as a family and also a great day to celebrate our risen Saviour!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Do I practice what I believe?

This morning I was presented with a situation that really tested whether I practiced what I preached.  As I was getting in my car at McD's, an older man came up to me to ask whether I could spare $.40.  There were other people around so I didn't feel in danger or anything but I acted as if I didn't hear him and got in my car. 

However, the whole time I was backing out, I could feel the guilt.  What if he was homeless?  What if he had mental issues?  What if he was a vet?  I had just decided to dig out $.50 and hand it to him when he approached another gentlemen and that man gave him money and talked with him.

As I pulled out onto the highway, I immediately started praying for forgiveness.  I could have spared the money.  Heck, I could have bought him breakfast and not "felt" it.  So why did I not?  Why did I freeze up? 

I'm not a big fan of panhandlers/street beggars.  While living in Baton Rouge for 2 years, I dealt with them quite a bit.  However, you don't see them often in Woodward and especially not at McDonalds.  When I left, the verse "Whatever you did for the least of these, you did for me." kept running through my head.  You could tell by the way he was dressed and by his clothing that this man was one of "the least of these".  And I, by ignoring his request, failed miserably at doing for the least of these.

It's easy to talk about caring for those less fortunate and even easy to donate clothing and /or money for those causes.  Doing is sometimes another thing altogether.  I just hope that next time, I follow the Holy Spirit's lead instead of running the other direction.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

 I heard about this book several years ago. It's written from the perspective of a boy with high-functioning autism. That is really more the story of this book than the plot-line is.

Maybe it's because I have worked with autistic kids and have attended many seminars on the subject, but I found the book to be fascinating. It really gives insight on how the minds of autistic kids work.

 The main character, Christopher, is very literal and takes everything at face value. That is part of the charm of this book though. It begins with Christopher finding a dead dog on the neighbors front yard. He is determined to solve the mystery of who killed the dog and write a book about the experience.

The characters in the book are very real--full of fault and people who make mistakes, just as we all do. I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it for your next read.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Joy of Reading...

All my life I have loved reading.  There is no feeling like getting lost in a book and not wanting to do anything except read until you get the to end.  And if it's a good book, there is a sense of loss at the end--you want to follow the characters, find out what happens to them next, how their lives play out. 

I have always read to the kids and have tried to instill a love of reading in them as well.  With Wii's,  DS's, and computers to compete with their time, I feel it's a real struggle sometimes.  Time will tell if they will love reading as much as I do. 

Last week, however, while doing our nightly routine, RMan said, "Mom, let's have some silent reading time.  You go get your book that you're reading and I'll read mine."  (Princess was already in bed).  Sounded like a winning idea to me! 

The next day, he was so pumped about it and told Princess.  That night here she came with her book, ready for silent reading time as well.  We bought special lamps that clipped on to the bunk bed and have been doing silent reading ever since. 

I have to admit, it's one of my favorite times of the day.  And hopefully we are not only reading, but making good memories as well.  Great idea R!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Parenting is....

Depending on what day of the week it is or, sometimes, even what hour of the day it is, I could complete that sentence many different ways.  It's fun, joyous, maddening, frustrating, confusing, disappointing, exhilarating, scary, sweet, beautiful....I could go on and on! 

I've heard it said that kids don't come with an instruction manual.  Situations arise and you just hope you are saying the right things, doing the right things for your child and their current situation.

This past week has been one where I've certainly felt many of the emotions listed above and also wished I had an instruction manual to help me out.  I've had to navigate my way through a tricky parenting situation.  It's been frustrating for me and I hope I'm helping my child through this in the best way I can.   Because I don't have the previously-mentioned instruction manual, however, I've had to rely heavily on my mother's example (and it's a great one) and lots of prayer!!  That hasn't made it easy but it has been easier. 

As my kids grow older, I know there will be many more situations that arise where I will feel as if I'm flying blind.  I hope that I guide them and help them navigate the trickiest parts of growing up.  And thankfully I know God will guide me through the crazy job of parenting.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Joyful Day

As a parent, one of my prayers for my children has been that one day they will make the decision to become followers of Christ.  Not because Mom and Dad say they have to or because their friends are doing it but because they felt God calling them to follow Him.

R-man made the decision 3 years ago and was baptized 2 years ago.  Princess asked Jesus into her heart two years (a very special moment for me while we were on the walking trail).  We told her that she would eventually need to be baptized but we would let her decide when she was ready.  Right before Christmas she decided she was ready to be "bapnitized" as she called it. 

We said we would talk to the pastor but apparently we didn't do it fast enough for her liking because one Sunday after church she approached him herself and said she was ready.

So we set today up as the big day.  She was very excited, not only because she was being baptized but because she was singing a solo with her children's choir AND with the adult choir.  Wow!  She was a little nervous about the adult choir solo but I told her it was OK to be nervous--I still get nervous sometimes when I sing.  I gave her a little tip.  "If it bothers you to look at the people, look at the wall in the back.  That way it seems like you're looking at the people when you're really not"  She told me after church that she used my tip! 

 My parents and grandparents.  They came for Princess's big day.
 Two sweet girls!
She was so earnest and sincere during her baptism.  It was a very special and sweet day for me.  Her good friend was also baptized today.  It was extra special because her parents are some of our best friends.  Two sweet girls giving their lives to Christ.  What could be better than that?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Why can't I get a camera that works??

Oh the frustration!  About a month ago I posted that the viewfinder in my Canon Xsi was not working properly.  I sent it in for repair and opted to trade up to a refurbished T2i.  I received that camera exactly one week ago and was loving it.....until......that's right, boys and girls, today the viewfinder on the T2i started messing up.  There is a piece that is trying to break off inside the camera and it won't show the picture to be focused, although it is. 

I am not a very happy photographer!  I know you do take these chances with refurbs but still.  It does have a 90 day warranty so I'm trading it for another T2i.  I hopefully will have better luck with that one.  If not, I'm not sure what I'll do.  I wouldn't mind trying a Nikon except that all my lenses and my flash are Canon. 

I hope that this camera works better than the least two (or at least longer!)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Names have been changed to protect the innocent

I've been having so much fun blogging.  Even if no one reads it but me, I know in a year's time I'll enjoy looking back and reliving my life through these posts. 

However, just as there are many positives in blogging, there are some dangers that I need to be aware of.  I had been using all of our real names--mine, Hubby's, the kids....until I read some articles about online predators using that information to endanger bloggers or their loved ones. 

I know I'm probably just being overly cautious--the likelihood of something bad happening is remote--but so be it.  From now on, I'll be using nicknames for everyone.  Maybe I'll change my mind later, maybe not.

Anyway, I hope you'll continue to enjoy the posts, even without "real" names!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Puff the Magic Dragon and other sad songs

Princess has started listening to Puff the Magic Dragon.  And when I say "listen", I mean put it in her CD player on repeat and listen to it over and over and get my drift.  She listens to it going to sleep at night and it is still playing when I wake her up in the morning. 

That gives me plenty of time to hear it.  The other day I started really thinking about the words.  OK....big mistake.  Have you ever thought about the words?  It's basically about a little boy who plays with his magic dragon friend.  Then one day the little boy outgrows the magic and the pretend play.  Puff the Dragon is so sad and goes into his cave never to be heard from again.

Now I don't know about you, but as a mother of a little boy that is about to turn 10 and growing up way too fast, this song is incredibly sad!  It makes me think of all the things that R man has loved but has now outgrown.

It started out with his little red car.
He loved being pushed around in this.  He also liked to watch the wheels turn and fell out on his noggin a time or two. 

The next phase was "The Wiggles".  He could watch this show for hours and pretended to be Captain Feathersword.  I had to pretend to blow and he would fall down.  Oh to be able to play that game again!

Next came Thomas the Tank Engine.  He had a train set that got us through potty training.  I used it as "incentive" (read--a bribe).  This was the train table and boxes of trains that used to be in the dining room.

He has also loved Hot Wheels, "Dukes of Hazzard", "Star Wars", and "Indiana Jones".  And Legos, we can't forget the love affair he still has with the Legos! 

All of these little boys things are passing much too quickly for me.  And try as I might to seize the moment, I find myself bogged down with worrying about cleaning or errands or twenty million other things that need to be done.  I only hope that I will take the time to treasure these moments before they are gone!  The laundry, the dirt, the errands will still be here when he's gone...

I love you!  Mom.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Book Review: Heaven is for Real

I was first told of this book at the beauty shop of all places.  The description piqued my interest so I picked it up at Walmart.  I'm so glad I did! 

This non-fiction book tells the story of Colton Burpo, the son of a Wesleyan pastor and his wife.  At the age of 3, he had a ruptured appendix that the doctors did not diagnose.  For five days, he grew sicker and sicker.  He truly was at death's door.  Finally, he was correctly diagnosed and emergency surgery was done.

Fortunately, he recovered.  However, the real story begins there.  For the next two or three years, Colton began talking about Heaven to his parents.  He talked about things that he couldn't have known, such as seeing his father alone praying for him during surgery and his mother on the phone praying for him.  Another thing he talked about was meeting his "other" sister.  His mother had a miscarriage before he was born and he told of meeting this sister in Heaven.  He had no idea that his mother had miscarried. 

This book really made me think about what I believe.  I often talk about what I believe, talking about Heaven and Jesus, but do I really believe?  Do I really live my life to reflect that belief?  Do I share Jesus with others?  Do I have that passion? 

This is a great read and will change the way you think about Jesus and Heaven.  It will also leave you wanting more.  I definitely recommend it!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Welcome to the new site

Welcome to my new site everyone!  I hope if you were following on the old site, you will follow on this one (all five of you--ha!).  The url is the only thing that changed.  Everything else is the same.  Thanks for visiting!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Girls weekend

This weekend was a great one!  I had ordered tickets for Princess and I to see "Beauty and the Beast" at the Civic Center in January.  A couple of weeks ago, we decided to make an overnight trip out of it.  Friday evening, we met up with Princess's bestie AJ, AJ's mom and two older sisters.  We ate at Cheesecake Factory (yummy!), went to Build-A-Bear (of course), and drove to Bricktown to see Gnomeo and Juliet.  The girls all had such a great time and were so excited to be together in Oklahoma City!

After finally calming them down for the evening, we sacked out.  Their mom had warned me that her girls woke up early and she was right!  About 7:00, the younger girls were up and needed everyone else to get up as well.  I was greeted with the hearty "cock-a-doodle doo!" in my ear before she herded them out of the room for breakfast downstairs. 

We met up with more friends for lunch and then were off to see "Beauty and the Beast".  Princess really enjoyed it.  It's so fun to watch her at the shows.  She claps, cheers, and laughs.  The sweetest part of this show was her reaching out to hold my hand during the show.  The whole time I kept thinking, "Hold on to this moment."  I know one day way too soon she will be too old to want to cuddle and hold my hand during the show.  She won't be as interested in hanging out with dear old mom like she is now. 

So I cuddled and held hands and loved every single minute of it.  The weekend was very special to me.  I got to hang out with my great friend Shelly and her beautiful daughters.  But the best part was spending time with Princess and being a part of her bonding with her friends.  I love you Princess--  I'm so glad you're mine!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Read this book!

OK, OK, I know I'm several years late with this post.  I had heard about the buzz for A Thousand Splendid Suns but I have to be honest.  I thought, "Who wants to read a book about Afghanistan?"  But after not being able to find anything that really grabbed me at the local library, I decided to give it a go.

Now I'm wondering just what took me so long.  This book sucked me right in and made me want to do nothing but sit and read!  If you haven't read the book, it follows the story of two Afghan women---Mariam and Laila--over a 40 year period as their lives intertwined.  And even though it was a work of fiction, it served as somewhat of a history lesson for me.  It covered the regime changes Afghanistan had made throughout that 40 year period.

The best books are those that make you think and reflect.  This one certainly did.  I think we as Americans and in the west in general tend to take our freedoms and privileges for granted.  As a woman, I'm free to make my own choices, go where I choose, wear what I choose, attend the school I choose.  These two women did not have that freedom and were at the mercy of their husband.  They were more property than partner in their marriages.  As an American, it also makes me thankful for all the freedoms we enjoy in our society. 
The book also left me with the impression that since 9/11, things are improving for the people of Afghanistan.  I hope this is so.  Sometimes when I think about Afghanistan, I only picture those who wish to harm us.  I forget about all the regular people who just want a normal life, a safe environment for their children, enough food on the table.  I sincerely hope life has improved for all of those people. 

I know my review/endorsement has probably not done the book justice.  Suffice it say, however, that in all my years of reading (and they are really adding up!) only three books have caused me to shed tears.  This was one of them. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Today I am very frustrated.  After owning my camera exactly 14 months, it is starting to have issues.  It still works but the readout in the viewfinder that tells me what the aperture, exposure, and iso are has stopped working.  It does still work on the LCD screen, however.  I called Canon (and a huge shout out to Canon because I talked to a very helpful American) and they said I should send it in.  They would look at it and tell me if it could be fixed, usually for the standard fee of $200.  Hmmm, $200 to repair my current camera or just buy a new one for $600.

  I had just about decided to use the camera until it totally messed up and wouldn't take pictures anymore.  However, my good friend Angie said, "What if it messes up while you're on vacation this summer?"  Oh great!  Now I don't know what to do.  I guess I have another few months to decide.  Too bad I'm not independently wealthy--I could just buy another one! 

I'll keep you posted on the big decision!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Snow Days

This week, we got more snow--eight to fifteen inches, depending on what source you listened to.  We have had 2 snow days.  Wednesday, R man went to his friend's house to play so Princess had her friend AJ over.  They had a lot of fun playing in the snow!

Today, mean old mom made them clean their rooms, then it was outside for more snow fun.  I told R man he needed to shovel the driveway behind the van so we could get out this afternoon (a woman can only live without Sonic so long).  He asked if I would pay him.  I replied, "Yes, with a roof over your head, a warm bed to sleep in, and clothes to wear."  Not the answer he was looking for but he shoveled that part of the drive!

 R man spent the morning building a Lego Pirate Ship.  This picture is of his crew giving each other rabbit ears.  Only him!