Sunday, December 30, 2007

One word

In our last MOPS meeting we were encouraged to pick one word to focus on in the year to come. I think my word will be Transition.
We have a lot on the horizon in the next few months and it looks like it will be a time of transition for all 4 of us.

Friday, December 28, 2007


We may have a future Bama fan on out hands...if misquoted Christmas carols have anything to do with it. Heard from my daughter:
Deck the halls with boughs of holly
falalalala lalalala
This the season to be jolly
falalalala lalalala
Don we now our gay apparel
Troll the ancient "ROLLTIDE" Carol

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Favorite Gifts?

What gifts did you or your kids get that were a total hit? Our kids got a lot of stuff but the favorites were:
Munchkin: the game Operation, her digital camera, and the big Polly doll
Little Man: a Spiderman laptop, his brush he got in his stocking, and the Little People Learning Zoo
Bobby: I think his favorite was Guitar Hero III for the WII
and for me: My very favorite was the Zoo Membership from Joe and Rox! Bobby got me the Cricut tools I have had my eye on for awhile along with The Wreckers Live CD! :)
What about you? What were your favorites?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Haaaam! Toot!

Are you a good cook? Do people compliment you when you cook...not that you need that validation when you know you are good...
I like to think I am a pretty good cook, I just don't do it very often. I don't normally think about what we are having for dinner until about 5:00...PM. Then I have an excuse for Bobby to take us out to dinner.
I did think ahead enough to realize I should probably cook Christmas Dinner since we weren't going anywhere.
I made ham. Now, I have made ham before but it is never just quite right. You know, too dry, kinda chewy.
Tonight's ham was different. I remembered a Christmas long ago when my mom made a ham that had cloves and pineapple, so I bought a small ham a can of pineapple and had cloves in the pantry. I called my mom to make sure that was right and she suggested scoring the ham in a diamond pattern and putting brown sugar on it as well.
When I pulled the ham out of the fridge I had no idea how to score the thing so I called in if it was messed up it wasn't my fault. He did a lovely job scoring the ham. I rubbed the whole thing with brown sugar and he helped me stick cloves all over it. I then attached pineapple rings with toothpicks, poured the juice in the pan, covered it and baked it for an hour and a half. Before I could serve it I had to reassure Munchkin and Bobby that I was not going to make them eat the pineapple. Bobby is afraid he will die if he eats it because his dad has an allergy to fresh pineapple.
It was so good!! I will definitely be making ham that way again! So there it is I am tooting my own horn on Christmas Day!

"It's Christmas!!!!!!!!"

"Mommy, Daddy! aren't you awake? It's Christmas!!!! I wonder if Santa came? Can we go downstairs now....plllleeeeeeaaaassseeeee?" All of this along with them beating us with a large cardboard gift paper roll they found on the floor in our room.

After dragging our tired selves out of the bed we made it downstairs. I thought for sure the kids would try to dive right in but they were quite polite. Munchkin was not too disappointed about not getting the Hannah Montana guitar she had her eye on but did get a small (inexpensive) digital camera. This one is going no where near Little Man and a creek. She was thrilled!

As Bobby handed Little Man his first gift he said in his sweet little voice "Thank you!" I think he was a little overwhelmed but was so excited to open presents.

I love the joy of Christmas morning. The anticipation, the suspense and the surprise! It makes staying up wrapping and doing all of that worth it.
The best part is knowing our kids understand the presents are fun but it is all really about Jesus birth and that we give presents (at least in our house) because the Wise Men brought gifts to Jesus.

I hope you have a Merry Christmas! Enjoy spending time with your family!

Sunday, December 23, 2007


Bobby and I love the movies. We love being in the theater and being entertained by a good movie. There are certain ones we go to with lowered expectations and come away pleasantly surprised.
In California we would drive over to the movie theater to see what was playing, figure out what time we wanted to go, get dinner at Outback and walk back over to the theater. We have been to premieres in Hollywood and even stood in line for hours for Star Wars Episode 2 when I was pregnant with Munchkin.
Then we had kids and discovered that we couldn't go out to the movies anymore. We tried a few times when the kids were little tiny but that usually resulted in one of us hanging out in the lobby. Not really fun for a date.
BUT, now that our kids are a little bit older we are finding the joy in going to see kids movies. I love taking them to the free movies in the summer because,well, they are free and it doesn't matter as much if they are a little noisy. That time is geared for kids.
Munchkin is now a seasoned movie goer and loves to be at the movies as much as her daddy and I do. She sits still, she eats her popcorn and drinks her drink, and maybe has to go out to go potty once.
Little Man is still not a pro.
A few weeks ago we went to see Enchanted. We didn't pay for him because he was asleep on my shoulder when we went in and he slept through the entire movie. We should have taken a lesson from that day because even though he was awake today when we went to see Alvin and the Chipmunks , by the time the previews and first 5 minutes of the movie passed he was asleep on my lap.
Munchkin loved Alvin and the Chipmunks. But, didn't we all love Alvin and Chipmunks when we were little? If you go see the movie check out Dave's address.
We love the movies and just wish we could do it more often.

Friday, December 21, 2007

I feel like the Grinch right now..

My poor kids. One of them was in the bathroom doing a legitimate deed while the other was standing on the stool playing in the sink....making a giant mess and making the other one really mad. Especially after moving on to flipping the light on and off.
The two of them were yelling at each other making it impossible for me to hear the IRS guy I was talking to about our monthly payment increasing 150%. Apparently when we set up the payment schedule it was set to go up but so you think I got a no. Merry Christmas to me!
It is looking more and more like we may try to sell our house in the spring to get some of this debt under control. Any ideas about something I can do from home that makes one B-illion dollars? I really do not want to go back to work until both kids are in school full time. Any one know where I can get an adjunct teaching gig without having to go through the interview process? Or, a student affairs job I can take the kids along and allows a lot of flexibility with my schedule?
We finally got a check today so I paid all the bills that were waiting and was thrilled to find we could still buy Christmas presents. Bobby called a bit ago and reminded me though what it is like out there! Traffic to the mall areas is insane.
OK, grumpy rant over. I am feeling a little less Grinch-ish.
I think we are all going to go out to dinner together and head home for the Next Great American Band. Make sire to watch!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Well! Aren't you going to talk to me?

Have you ever mistaken someone for someone else? I always feel like an idiot when that happens but it always makes me laugh later. Yesterday I was in a Dollar General Market picking up some wipes. When I walked in the door I was talking on the phone (yes I hate it when people do that too but in this case it couldn't be avoided) and I saw this nicely dressed lady staring at me. She didn't look like she thought I was being rude just that she recognized me. She was probably mid 50's, tall, thin, perfect makeup, nice jewelry, perfect blond big hair.
After I got off the phone and had picked up the wipes she walked up to me and said "Well, aren't you going to talk to me?"
Me: "Uh....yes?"
Her: "Well, how is Jim doing with all of his shoulder stuff"
Me: "Jim?"
Her: "You're not......Barbara?......."
Me: "I'm sorry, no but you do look familiar too" (trying to make her feel better)
Her: "uh....." followed by her abruptly turning and walking out of the store.

I really felt bad that she was embarrassed but I thought it was really funny. Mostly because I have done that before too. Oh well, I hope her day was better after that and she got a good laugh after she was done being so embarrassed.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Braeside Inn

Bobby and I got to spend our 10th anniversary weekend in the Smoky Mountains. My mom and dad came out and stayed with the kiddos and the dog so we could go. It was so nice to leave them with family and not have to figure out something to do with the dog.

After having lunch on Thursday at Red Robin and then heading to a gas station to fill a tire on the SUV Bobby and I hit the road. We made it about 30 miles when we ended up stuck in traffic for an hour or so due to an accident that had happened around 8:30 am. I called 511 to see what the holdup was and the accident wasn't expected to be cleared until 6:30 PM. Not a promising start to the weekend.

We finally made it to The Braeside Inn. Wendy came out to greet us and gave us a brief overview of the Inn. She was so nice and I felt really bad that I hadn't thought to call her and tell her we would be a little later because of the traffic. After we got settled in our room we went to Conner's for dinner. For some reason I thought we were going to the Chop House.The website must say something about the Chop House. Anyway, we decided to stay at Conner's for our anniversary dinner and the food was good. When we finally made it back to the Inn I was able to walk around and get a few pictures. Wendy had some fresh baked cookies out and ready for us.

Our first morning we got up and got ready for the day before heading out for breakfast. Tom (Wendy's husband) served breakfast and made sure to tell us that Wendy would ask later how he did. And, she did! :) He served Poached Pears with Honey and yogurt and cranberry bread. It was delicious.

We thought we would go to the Aviation Museum that day and to the big scrapbook store. I pretty much spent my Christmas money on scrap supplies.

While at the Aviation Museum we got to see a T28 take off. The woman who took our picture apparently didn't know how to work a digital camera. By the time she took our picture our eyes were burning and we got this lovely picture:

We went to The Old Mill restaurant for lunch that day and The Applewood Restaurant for dinner. We were both completely stuffed.

Our second day we thought about driving down into Gatlinburg but Tom mentioned the Arts and Crafts Loop instead. I am so glad we took his suggestion. Gatlinburg is fun but it is such a tourist trap now. The Arts and Craft Loop is all local artisans.We saw a glassblower, woodworkers, and other crafty people. In one particular store the shop owner asked us where we were from. When we mentioned Nashville he told us that he watched some show with bands from Nashville the night before...and had actually voted. We apparently don't have the same musical taste as him...of course we are biased toward DMHO. He was a pretty opinionated guy!

After hitting a bunch of shops, window shopping, admiring the wide open spaces and the grandeur of the mountains we finished our little loop by heading into the National Park. We only got to go a little way in though because the road was pretty pot holey. On the loop I saw this car and though it would be a cool picture. I saw it back in April when I was there with Angela and Beth and wondered if it would still be there.

We finished off our adventure with lunch at the Alamo Steak House and Saloon. The food was really good there. Bobby was proud of himself for picking a yummy restaurant. That is the steakhouse behind us. It is right across the street from the Chapel of Love where a little wedding was taking place.

We decided to head back to the Inn and just take it easy for a while. We found Trivial Pursuit in the common room. I got my hiney kicked because I am not the queen of all things least not before 1981. Wendy made some hot chocolate for us and brought out all kinds of treats from cranberry shortbread and jam crisps to traditional Christmas mincemeat pastries. It was all delicious and we loved eating it!
Tom used to work making Dulcimers and they have one out in the common room. Bobby tuned it and we both tried to play it. I was able to pick out a few note of Silent Night on it but Bobby of course (my musical genius of a hubby) was able to play entire songs. I love that about him! That he can pick up pretty much any instrument and play it!

This is the view from the Braeside driveway:
Our last night we went to Gondolier Pizza for dinner. It was a very family friendly place and made us miss our kiddos even more than we did...well, except for the kid screaming in a high pitched squeal. Both of us really enjoyed our dinner. That night was kind of hard to sleep, there was a wind storm that blew a rocking chair all the way down the porch. But, we knew what it was and were fine. The first two mornings we woke up to fog the third morning this was the view from our room:

Beautiful! We had such a lovely, romantic trip. I can't wait to do it again. Grandparents, when do you want to come babysit again?
If you are going to the smokies stay at Braeside! You will not be disappointed!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

10 Years

Tomorrow is Bobby and my 10th anniversary. We started our ceremony at 12:47 PM so it would stand out on the invitation and so people could remember the time.

10 years ago as I was getting my hair done I saw people gathering outside the hair salon and found out our wedding was the same day as the Glendora Christmas parade.

10 years ago Bobby was the Master of Alley Way Driving as he maneuvered around the parade to pick up our wedding cake

10 years ago our piano player (who had been at the rehearsal) didn't show up for the ceremony so our good friend Mike Lee filled in at the last second.

10 years ago the APU handbell choir played in the balcony of Grace Brethren Church in La Verne CA.

10 years ago our best friends and relatives stood up for us as we pledged our love and devotion to one another and promised to hold accountable to that.

10 years ago Bobby cried when the song I will be there for you was played during our ceremony.

10 years ago Dave Bixby officiated our wedding and Lor Rihimaki read scripture. Bryan Ashmore sang and we lit unity candles.

10 years ago we had a cake and punch reception that included a swing dance lesson.

10 years ago I had a huge bag of Hersey kisses left over from our reception that lasted us 3 months.

10 years ago we went to dinner at Black Angus with my veil still in my hair.

10 years ago I married my best friend.

I look back on the last 10 years and I am amazed that it has passed so quickly. We have done so many things, travelled so many places and have had so many adventures...not to mention 2 amazingly beautiful children. We are blessed.

Bobby I love you!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Giving Heart

Something we long for, for our kids, is that they will have a giving heart. We want them to be compassionate to others and we want them to give freely with any resources they have.
The other night we were talking about this with them in the car. Munchkin said
"I want to have a money stand! It would be like a lemonade stand only people could get money! Even if they have only one coin or one dollar they could come to the stand and get money"

Me "Well, that is good but where are you going to get the money from for the money stand?"

Munchkin "Oh, well I have so much money in my piggy bank. There is so much in there...maybe that is why you guys don't have very much!"

Apparently we need to go to the money stand.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Night and Day

or How the Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree.

This morning as we were getting into our normal routine I couldn't help but notice how different our kiddos are. My alarm went off and I snoozed it twice. Even though it was snoozed I didn't really go back to sleep. Unless it has been a really late night when that alarm goes off my mind is going and I can't really go back to sleep.
I told Bobby I was getting up and he kind of grunted at me and rolled over. Munchkin was my target to wake up. Little Man could sleep a little longer because he usually stays home with Bobby until I get home from dropping Munchkin off for school. I walked into Munchkins room and started talking to her and trying to convince her to get out of bed. She pulled the blanket up over her head and rolled over. Meanwhile, here comes Little Man. He had heard my alarm and apparently was ready for the day. He brought Micky Mouse and Moo (his stuffed cow) to help wake Munchkin up.

It is so funny to me that these two sweet kids can be so different. Little Man obviously takes after me in being and early bird. Munchkin takes after her daddy in being a night owl. She despises being in the car and has from the day we brought her home from the hospital. Little Man loves the car and takes great naps in there. Munchkin loves veggies and Little Man can't stand them. He loves ketchup and jelly and she won't let those items pass her little lips. Little Man can play for hours by himself but Munchkin wants your attention all the time.

Both think that chocolate is a food group though...not sure where they got that idea...

I love seeing both of their personalities, likes and dislikes develop. Everyday there is something new with both of them. I feel so blessed to be home with them and to see the new developing in them. I pray for them that their differences can compliment them and that they will love each other so much through them.

I have a feeling Munchkin and I may struggle with the whole morning routine in the years to come. I hope not but if she is that much like her daddy......we'll see.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Buffalo Gap

While we were in Texas for Thanksgiving one of our adventures was to Buffalo Gap. It was a railroad town that basically dried up when they moved the County Seat to Abilene. It is preserved though so you can see what it was like. The kids were actually really interested in all of the antique items on display. There was a home, church, jail, barn and even a barber shop n display. Here are a few pics from the trip.

The kids even got to do a little cattle ropin'.
Tickets still in the train station:

Munchkin thought it was hilarious to pretend to get poked by the cactus:
This is the back door to the Nazarene church. We went in and the kids sang solos on the stage while we sat in the rock hard pews. Bobby changed the attendance board to read 9 for the day we were there.

Near the end of the trip we found an old playground outside of the school house. The kids had a great time playing on the swings and merry-go-round. As for souvenirs the kids each got a stuffed buffalo to commemorate the fun trip.
We love historic stuff like that and I hope Bobby and I will be able to pass that on to our kiddos.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Abilene Zoo

When we first moved to Nashville and went to the Nashville Zoo I was severely disappointed. I am a California girl who grew up going to the San Diego Zoo. Can you say spoiled? In recent years things have gotten much better: more animals, being able to see some of the animals pretty close us.
When we were in Texas for Thanksgiving we went to the Abilene Zoo. That zoo makes Nashville look like the San Diego Zoo. We got there at 4:30 and were done by 5:00. But, what is lacks in size it makes up for in 2 areas. 1) you can buy crackers in the gift shop to feed the giraffes. Little Man laughed so hard when the giraffe licked his hand. And 2) the fish are obviously fed a whole lot because they just swarm when you throw even a small amount of food.

Like Father...Like Son.....

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I love technology

Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the others gold.

Did you ever learn that song? I learned it way back in Girl Scouts and it still sticks with me. I just finished our Christmas cards on the I just have to order them and address all the envelopes. That is if I can find my address list. Apparently the one I had typed was on the computer that crashed.

I moved around a lot growing up and had so many people come in and out of my life and so many of them made such an impact on me. As I am reflecting on my list of friends I realize there are people on there that I have known my entire life, extended family from the last 10 years, friends I met in 4th grade all the way up to friends I have met in the last couple of years.

I may not be the best at keeping in touch but if you have been a big part of my life you are not far from my thoughts and prayers. There are many people I wonder about that I have lost touch with but think if we were to run into each other that we would be able to sit down and have coffee together and catch up. I suppose people come in and out of your life at different times for a reason but it always hurts when they are gone. That is the beauty of the Internet, email, myspace, facebook, all of those wonderful techy things that can connect us across the miles.

Do you have people you still think about even though they are not close distancewise?

Monday, December 03, 2007

The Best Laid Plans....

My plan for the day was to do laundry and bake cookies. I am now headed to Walmart for some drano as both of my kitchen sinks are backed up. Yuck!

*Edit: I called the plumber as Drano seemed to do nothing for the problem. We are now $105.50 poorer due to the large amount of egg shells in my garbage disposal. Grr. At least he fixed the tub leak too.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Church #6

Church #6:
Distance from our house:
15 minutes

Membership: Around 350 but it is broken up into 4 services

Friendliness of members: Everyone was really friendly and it helped that we already had friends there.

Ease of finding classrooms: Our friends showed us where everything was and got us all checked in.

Sermon: The sermon was done on video which brought out the cynical side in Bobby at the beginning. But, both of us liked the fact that the pastor used his Bible. He talked about Gods character, he used verses from the old and the new testament, and even though we were watching the screen it was ok. At out other church we were too and our pastor was live. We also liked that communion was set up in the back of the sanctuary so you could take it if you wanted to but didn't feel pressured to.

Music: Was rockin! I thought Bobby might stay and play for the second service as he was up in the front talking to the musicians for so long afterward. I think most of the songs were Hillsong and the singer sounded like Dan Haseltine of Jars of Clay.

Kids program: Munchkin said as we got in the car "I loved the kids program at this church!" She held up her paper and told us that they learned about Mary and Elizabeth and that they were both going to have babies.
Little Man was sad when we dropped him off but I think he had a really good time too.

Followup: I don't know what the follow up will be like but several of our friends go there so I am sure we will hear something.

We really like this church and I think it is almost a tie between Church 5 and Church 6 (like it is a competition...). Both were super friendly, both had music we could relate to, both had solid biblical teaching, both had great kids programs, both have Life Groups instead of Sunday School, both are very focused on community involvement. I think it might come down to distance....


Munchkin is part of the Daisy Girl Scouts this year. We went on our first field trip a couple of weeks ago to learn some of Nashville's history. We went to Bicentennial Mall downtown and learned all kinds of neat facts. Things like: there are bells to represent each of the counties, there are 16 flags, and a huge map of the state. You can walk from Memphis to Knoxville in about 30 seconds flat. :)
The girls loved learning the history but also just liked hanging out together.

We found a ranger to tell us about the capital and some of the history.
After our self-guided walking tour we checked out the Farmers Market and had lunch there. Munchkin had sesame chicken and soup. When she got hers she said to her daddy "Hey, there are hamburger seeds on my chicken!" She shared with a couple of the girls because her plate was so full.
Another yummy find was Moose head KettleCorn. They were selling it out front of the Farmers Market. It made a great treat for our trip to TX for Thanksgiving.
I loved being in Girl Scouts and I hope Munchkin will like it just as much.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

He's a mean one...Mr. Grinch

We went to a birthday party today at Opry Mills. We met at the food court at noon. It is 3 weeks until Christmas. Opry Mills today was almost as bad as Disneyland during peak season. You could hardly walk through the hallways because there were so many people. Normally crowds don't bother me but today they stressed me out!
I think the combination of crazy mean drivers in the parking lot and weaving through a million people while holding onto 2 little hands and carrying 2 extra coats took its toll. I needed to go there to get one thing but I am not sure I want to brave it again. I didn't make it today.
At least the party was really fun. It was at Club Libby Lou. The girls got to dress up like rock stars and get their hair and makeup done. It was a hit. Little Man wasn't thrilled but he did exceptionally well for not having much to do.
For those of you that know what the Pampered Palace is like, it was just like that. Munch fun was had by all...before swimming up stream to get back to the car.