Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye 2009

Goodbye 2009.  You will hardly be missed.

2009 was an OK year for me but no real highlights.  I quit smoking in April and I am glad I did but it's been a really sucky time since.  I still have random cravings throughout the day, I've gained 40lbs at least, and I turned 45. argh.

I have BIG HUGE GREAT plans for 2010.  I want to get my eating totally under control.  I want to commit to some kind of exercise at least 30 minutes every single day.  Honestly, I know I have plenty of free time in a day to do this.  I want to start taking better care of myself.  I love being a wife, a mom, a gramma but it's time to take care of ME now.  I'm always last on my list.

2010 will be my "selfish year".  I won't be blogging about my exercise or my eating etc here.  I am making my own personal blog diary which will not be public but where I can really just keep track of how I'm doing etc.  Maybe that's selfish but.......yep.   This is my selfish year.

See you all next year!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A White Christmas

A nice day inside as the snow came down.  Jarrett & Daniel came over with their families and we opened gifts.  The kids and grandkids enjoyed everything I think.

We may be delayed a day in our trip to Dallas because of the continuing snow here and also in Oklahoma. No problem there.  No one has to be back to work or school until January 4th so we are on no time table.

We are letting the kids stay up late tonight and they are on the couch(with their new snuggies) watching Return of the Jedi with Michael.  This was our first year without any believers in Santa Claus.  It's actually made things a bit less hectic.  I still will be stuffing the kids' stockings later with candy and small gifts.  How can I give that up?  It's such a fun little thing to do.

I wish for all of my friends and family to have a Merry Christmas and many happy blessings in the new year.!  :-)

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Usual Silliness

The kids are out of school and go back on the 4th. It always throws me off a bit when my schedule changes. Yeah life is rough as a stay-at-home-mom.

Today after Michael came home from work we were all standing in the kitchen. Rylie was showing us a picture she had drawn recently. We looked at it and then Michael and I continued talking. I looked up to see Rylie sticking her picture on the wall. Knowing I didn't have tape or sticky-tak in the kitchen I asked her what she was doing. She said she was putting it up on the wall with the sticky stuff from the island countertop. That's when I remember that Davis spilled a few drops of MAPLE SYRUP that I missed wiping up. OOPS

Around dinnertime Michael said the funniest thing to me. This proves how much he loves me. He asked me to defrost some hamburger meat in the microwave because he was going to make some cheeseburgers. So, I did. And he said "HOW CAN ANYBODY SCREW UP DEFROSTING MEAT!!??". I busted up laughing and said "Wait! I have to write that down. It's a great blog topic!". He laughed with me then.....or AT me, but it's all the same. The man is a Saint!

In my defense I don't really think because the hamburger meat was a bit cooked on the edges that it was "screwed up". He ought to have been happy that I actually COOKED something even a little bit!

Ok so my life isn't crazy interesting but we do love to entertain ourselves here.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

25 Things About Chris

I stole this from my Facebook page. It says a lot about me. I'm desperate for topics to blog about..

1. I was born and raised in Texas but you couldn't pay me enough money to move back there.

2. I have horrible social anxiety and can't stand meeting new people and feel uncomfortable and awkward unless I'm talking to family or a really close friend.

3. My maternal grandmother died over 20 years ago but she will always be the woman I most admire. She never had a bad word to say about anyone and loved her family unconditionally.

4. There is a 22 year difference between my oldest son and my youngest son.

5. I would love to find at least one hobby that I am good at instead of a bunch that I'm barely mediocre doing.

6. My dad looks like Sean Connery. If we could only get him to talk with an accent he'd be perfect.

7. Having kids when you are young(early 20's) has a few perks. Abundant energy being one.

8. Having kids when you are mature?(early 40's) also has a few perks. Patience and experience.

9. Being overweight has always depressed me.....I'm ALWAYS overweight! haha

10. I wish I had read with my older kids every night like I do with my younger kids.

11. I absolutely love it that my big kids think my mom is the coolest grandmother in the world. She is, but she was also the coolest mom.

12. My husband and my kids are the most important things in the world to me. Family is SO important.

13. My first name is Erica....middle name Christine. When I was little, and not so little, my own grandmother called me Chrissy Baby. Can't believe I typed that. If anyone calls me that now it had better be my grandmother speaking to me from Heaven otherwise someone will get hurt.

14. I have THE most adorable grandkids.

15. It's embarrassing when the girl at Starbucks knows your name and also knows when you've fallen off the Atkins Diet.
ME- "I'll have a Quad Grande White Mocha stirred well, please".
BARISTA- "Hi Chris. Not doing your Atkins?"
or
ME-"I'll have a Grande Pike's Place Roast with room"
BARISTA- "Hi Chris. Back on Atkins eh?"

16. I have a serious phobia of dentists. I can get light-headed, queasy AND have a panic attack just making an appointment for myself. I can make an appointment for my kids AND take them to the dentist with NO trouble at all. It's only when it concerns MY mouth that it's a problem.

17. I got anxious and queasy just typing that last one! I got anxious and queasy AGAIN while proofreading it before finally posting.

18. I learned to ride a motorcycle when I was about 5. I have a bike now and hope to be riding it while the kids are in school when the weather warms up.

19. I HATE to cook. I'd rather be poked in the eye with a stick. I don't mind baking cookies or cakes but can't stand cooking meals. lol My poor family.

20. I'm only at 20?? OMGosh...what more can I write?

21. I love my iPhone and can't go anywhere without it. It reminds me to do just about everything.

22. I'm pretty handy. I can replace a thermostat on a clothes dryer all by myself. I can take an alternator off of a car, can replace spark plugs and spark plug wires, change oil(if I wanted to! ha) etc etc Oh, in my younger years I helped my dad rebuild my 68 VW bug after it caught fire(fuel pump leak).

23. I love it that my youngest son has my maiden name for his first name. Although, he still doesn't quite understand why his grandparents are Davis' too. Ha!

24. Ok let me say something nice about each of my kids. Jarrett and Rylie are identical.....both very tender-hearted souls. Daniel and Davis are also identical.....both quirky, funny, momma's boys. Heather is Heather. She's independent and her own person. I think she got that from being the youngest and only girl growing up. She could boss those older brothers around like nothing else!

25. Man! I'm hungry. What shall I eat?
"I'll have a Quad Grande White Mocha, stirred well please".
Yeah, no Atkins for me today!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mixing+Measuring+Baking=Cookies

So I decided I would do some baking today.  Anyone who knows me knows I hate to cook.  I actually like to use the word ABHOR because hate is not strong enough.  So, I abhor cooking.

I don't like the prep work, I don't like the actual cooking part and I despise the clean-up.  If I were single I would probably be eating out a lot, bringing home stuff or ordering in.  Alas, I have a husband and two kids so sometimes cooking has to be done. It has to be done on the days that I can't get my dear hubby to do it.  Ok so the family does get 3 meals a day somehow, so no worries there.

What I don't mind doing occasionally is baking.  I suppose I should be clear here....baking as in boxed cake  and cookie mixes etc.  I very much like the Toll House cookies that are frozen that you just break apart and throw in the oven.  It really doesn't get any easier than that!  Anything more than that and it's usually a disaster.

I've tried to make homemade rolled and cut-out Christmas cookies.  They burn on the edges and I'm not talented enough to decorate them to look like something Martha could do in the blink of an eye.  I have a beautiful book called Cookie Craft that has pictures of some of the most amazingly decorated cookies.  If I could make cookies that looked like that I'd be happy to get in the kitchen and sweat over them.  But I can't.  I've tried royal icing and it never hardened.  I've tried the pipe and flood technique. The pipes broke, the flood flooded the countertop.

So, last year at a cookie exchange with a bunch of girlfriends I found a cookie that I really like and when I tried to make it it was a total hit!  They go by several names but the most widely-used was Mexican Wedding Cookies.  They are light as air, not too sweet on the inside but rolled in powdered sugar, twice!
Very easy to make as well.  I guess last year I gave M some to take to work and yesterday he said that a lady at work asked if I'd be making the cookies again.

So yesterday I made 4 batches of the dough.  I did not bake them yet. I wanted to split the  job into two days so today I'll be baking them.  It's so much nicer to do all of the measuring, mixing, dirtying bowls etc all in one day and then bake with a clean kitchen the next day.  Maybe it's just me but it makes it more do-able.  I tend to lose interest if any baking process takes too long.  I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one that when making cookies as a young girl, the last batch was one big cookie because I didn't have the patience to see the baking through to the end any other way.

So, the oven is preheated and I'm off to bake.  I bought some plastic Christmasy containers too so M can take some to his friend at his office.  I'm hoping I'll make plenty to share because I'm only doing this once!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

A Non-Snow Snow Day

This morning all at the exact same time, my home phone rang, my cell phone rang, my cell phone received a text, and I received an email.  All of these to tell me that the kids' school was cancelled today.  They're  nothing if not thorough in their effort to contact parents!

Oh well.  We were running late anyway.  Davis decided to get back in the shower/tub to play and Rylie watched tv.  I climbed back in to bed for a few minutes even though I had had coffee.  I got a new CD and I thought that was a good time to check it out.  Why is it the most vivid dreams we have are those when we are catnapping etc?  weird.

Today was the second time that David Crowder was in my dreams.  It was exactly the same scenario as before.  I've taken the kids to school and am turning in to my neighborhood....David Crowder is turning out of my neighborhood in a Jeep that matches mine perfectly except he has his logo on the back window AND he's pulling a boat.  What is up with that?  Twice like a week apart.

So, no school, weird dreams and no snow.  Well ok a little snow fell but nothing stuck.  No reason the kiddos couldn't have gone to school.  My opinion of course but mine is the one that counts since it isn't their headmaster who has to stay home with them!
They were loud and they fought.  Rylie decided to clean a little.  All three of us danced and sang with Miley Cyrus singing Party in the USA. I'm sorry, but that song is pretty dang upbeat and easy to clean to!

I let the kids go out and play in the freezing sleet.  I replied "NO!" when one of them popped their head in the door and asked "Does purple fingers mean I have a frost bite?".  I love it that my kids are tough Kansas kids who deal fine with a little cold!
Maybe tomorrow there will be real snow.  If not, kids are off to school and I'm still hoping to get in to the dr. for my bp.  joy

Blessings!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Time Out

Not that anyone reads my blog but I'm going to take a few days off from it.  My blood pressure is really high, my hands are retaining water like the Hoover Dam and they are going numb all the time.  Looks like I'll be heading to the dr's office tomorrow.  This along with that high cholesterol I haven't done anything about is going to get me a major lecture from my doctor.

This is just more proof that I've gained NOTHING tangible by quitting smoking.  OH, except for the 50 extra pounds I've gained and the lovely self-loathing that comes with that.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

My Girls

Two years ago my grown daughter and I saw an ad for daschund puppies for sale.  Mini doxies, golden brown with semi-long hair.  They were adorable.

There were two to chose from and I immediately fell in love with one.  Thank goodness my daughter told me to pick.  About a month later my daughter had to return(with her puppy) to KY where she lived on the Army base while her husband was in Iraq.

My little doxie's name is Emmie.  She is a sweet and gentle girl.

Fast-forward a year and a half later.  My daughter was having trouble with her doxie(Missy) and housetraining. Because my daughter had 3 little boys and was expecting again, I took Missy in. What else could I do for my Emmie's twin sister?

Both of "the girls"(which is how we refer to them) look very much alike.  Emmie is a tiny bit longer with a longer nose. Missy's hair is a little softer.  What I love most about the girls is that their personalities are like night and day.  Missy is hyper and a real people person...er dog.  Emmie is calm and reserved.
While Missy will jump quickly into a lap, roll over and want her belly rubbed. Emmie will give gentle hugs by laying her head in the crook of our necks.  Emmie would NEVER be so undignified as to roll over and bare her stomach.  Not for anyone. She's a lady through and through.  Missy is a tomboy, all rough and tumble. My husband only learned to tell them apart by their actions and not their looks.

My girls are both sweet and loveable and wouldn't it be boring if they both acted exactly the same!?

Of all the pets we've had, these two have stolen my heart.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Karaoke

Here's a new tradition.  Karaoke after Thanksgiving dinner.  The big boys(mid-late 20's) are a hoot and have zero inhibitions.

Watching my daughters sing together was interesting.  Heather is 23 and Rylie is 8 but they both moved the exact same way and both sang well.  It was sweet and you could tell that Rylie was SO HAPPY to have her big sister home if only for a few days.

So yeah it's 10:30 so I imagine this will be going on for hours and hours.

Last night I finally went to bed at 3am! Hubby woke me up in the most wonderful way though.....not what you're thinking.  He laid my 2 month old grandaughter down right in front of me and her little face was the first thing I saw.  What a thing to wake up to.

I hope all of my online friends and their families are having a wonderful time together.

Blessings to all.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Giving Thanks

Recently I was re-reading a couple of my posts here on my blog and was a little disappointed that they sounded somewhat whiney.  If it sounds like I complain about my life a lot it's because  most of it is in jest.

I say a lot of things about living in Wichita Kansas....nothing happens here, no cool entertainment, no great concerts etc.  I am VERY thankful that I live here.  There is no other place I'd rather raise my kids. I grew up in the Dallas/Ft Worth area and I am so thankful we got transferred here when our adult kids were really little.  This city is home.

I also say a lot about my kids.  That's because I have so MANY of them.  I am SO thankful for my kids.  They are my life.  Each one is special in so many ways.  I'm thankful for the "first family" kids.  They call themselves that even though they have the exact same parents the "second family" kids do.  They were all mostly grown when we decided to have the last two. They are all funny adults, great parents and good friends. I'm very thankful for them......ask me in 30 yrs or so when they're putting me in a nursing home and I might say differently.

I'm not sure I can express how thankful I am for the little kids.  I never imagined(I had hoped) that I'd get the chance to experience the joys of parenthood all over again.  Never in a million years would I have thought we'd be doing this again...and I love it.  I'm VERY thankful for doctors who do vasectomy reversals! Doing parenthood a 2nd time is different.  I have so much more patience now but not near as much energy.  I know how to pick my battles and when to let things go.  I truly appreciate children now and realize how quickly they are grown up and gone.

Last, but definitely not least.  I am thankful for my husband Michael.  The man is a saint to have put up with me for over 25  years.  I'm thankful for his unfailing love and support of everything I do.  I'm thankful that he doesn't mind cooking because I abhor anything in the kitchen.  I am thankful that he understood my desire and agreed with me when I chose to be a stay-at-home mom.

I am so very thankful for my life.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Procrastination

Yep, I've procrastinated.  House is a wreck. Company coming tomorrow.  I work WONDERFULLY under pressure but I can tell that hubby is getting really worried.

I love procrastinating because I've discovered it's one of those things that I'm really VERY good at.

I've picked up a new Jason Mraz CD and I'll have everything in tip top shape before it has to be.

Happy Thanksgiving all!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I'm trying to try.

Just a quick note.  Last year hubby moved his old big screen tv into the front room to make room for his flat panel.  Up until now the kids have just been playing their wii on the old one.  It has no cable hooked to it or anything.  Well, this weekend I hooked up a DVD player to it.  My treadmill sits in front.

Previously I've just never been able to stick with the treadmill because it's SO BORING.  All I had was my music to listen to.  Well now I'm going to try to watch stuff.  I'd rather watch the news or The View or something but the DVD player will suffice.  Now, what to watch?

I thought about watching my 24 DVD's from season one.  But I've seen all of those so I feel like I need something new to really hold my attention.  I have the first season of Seinfeld on DVDs......no, I never ever watched the show but always wanted to.  So, that might be good.  I totally missed the first season of Lie To Me and if I can talk one of my kids into getting it for me for Christmas....hehe..I'll watch that.  So, after Thanksgiving guests are all gone at the end of this coming week I hope to get on that darn treadmill.  I'll start out walking and just go from there.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pre-Thanksgiving Panic

I am starting to get totally panicked about Thanksgiving.  It's a week away and I'm already stressed.
I have 11 people descending on my house next Wednesday......3 bedrooms isn't going to hold us all! LOL  And those are just the folks coming from out of town.  Thursday will include all 6 of my kids with 4 of them having spouses, 8 grandkids, a niece and her boyfriend, and a really good friend. I think that's like 25...of course 10 of them are under 8yrs old. OMG.

Ages of children in my house at one time. 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 2, 2, 1, and 6 weeks.  I have a very small house!

So, on top of the people, now I have to feed them all.  Mind you that wouldn't be such a problem but I ABHOR cooking.  I try to do as little cooking as possible on a normal day.

Hubby has informed me that he has taken Tue & Wed off so he can help me.  You should read that last sentence as "hubby can cook".
WAIT, just realized.  On top of the people, kids, and all of the cooking....my house is a wreck right now.  LOL there is so much to do I keep sitting down at my computer in frustration.  Where to start, where to start?

I think I need a big bottle of cold water and a list.  A list will make it all better. shhhhhh I'll believe it for a little while.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cool Cars, Tough Decisions

When my adult kids were little I drove mini-vans.  Then I drove a Ford Expedition.  After the kids were grown and driving their own cars my husband bought me a Miata. Woohoo! Only two seats.  I'd tell the big kids there was only enough room for me and my purse.  Oh, and of course having a convertible rocked!  When we decided to have more kids hubby and I traded and I went back to driving the Expedition.

So, three years ago we traded the Miata for a Jeep.  Not just any Jeep but a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (4 doors) in Rescue Green. It's the coolest vehicle ever.



The day we bought the Jeep was the only day I can remember in my life where I did "the girl thing".  The dealership only had two Unlimiteds that day.  The Rescue Green, bare bones, and a black one loaded with power and all sorts of good stuff.  I chose by color that day and have kicked myself in the ass MANY times since then.  It's 2009 Chris! Who rolls their windows up manually?  Who has to unlock and lock their doors with a flipping key??? I do.  Yes, I have the coolest color car. Yes, it looks totally awesome with the whole top and all 4 doors off.  Yes, I love my personalized license plate that says JEEPERS and also my Life Is Good spare tire cover.  I DO love the Jeep.

I want power. We always assumed that next Spring we would trade in Rocco. I forgot to mention that my Jeep had a name didn't I?  Rocco after Rocco DeLuca and the Burden because they are my all time favorite band and their first CD was the same rescue green color as the Jeep.  So, we assumed we'd trade Rocco for another Jeep with power and every other option available.   I don't care AT ALL what color it is.

BUT, and here is the tough part.  Last night I started thinking about all the things that I don't like about the Jeep.  The back seat is cramped. It seats two kids ok but you put that third one in the middle and it's sardine city.  The kids in the back seat seem like they are breathing right down your neck too.  So, here is what I'm thinking.



I know, it's a depressing thought but something that must be considered.  I like the extra room a mini-van would give us.  I love the thought of getting kids in and out quickly.  The Jeep is hard for the kids to climb in to and Davis at 6 yrs still needs a push on the tush to get up and in.  I like the idea of being able to drive for the kids field trips and carry more than one extra kid.  I'm sure hubby would like more room as the driver's seat IS a bit cramped.

Well, I have until Spring to think about it.  Maybe I'll go have a look at mini-vans to see what's new with them.  It's probably time though.

Do mini-van drivers have a "wave" like Jeep owners do?  Do they wave at the other drivers of mini-vans? NO? Dang, one more cool thing to lose.

*sigh*

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Christmas Joy or Drudgery?

Wow, just the title of this post screams SCROOGE!  I really do like Christmas.  I always have.  It's just now that I'm a mom and a gramma there are so many people to buy for that it makes shopping almost too impersonal.

I have six kids, four of them with spouses.  So, there's ten people right there.  Then there are eight grandkids, parents, inlaws etc etc to buy for.  Even if I make a long list I feel like I'm not putting a lot of thought into each person's gifts. In years past I would ask the kids(not grandkids) for lists.  But just buying from a list makes me feel like I really didn't "pick" a gift for them.  Does that make sense?

Three of my grandsons were all born within four months of each other. I refer to those three boys as "the little boys" even though there is another little grandson a year behind them. Last year they were all two years old at Christmastime.  So, I pretty much just shopped for them by age and not by personality or tastes.  Yes, two year olds do have different tastes.   I need to stop shopping for them as a unit, buying three of the same thing and calling it good.

Last, but not least.  Money.  Yep, it's the root of all evils that makes the world go around but does NOT grow on trees.  I have enough to buy decent gifts for everyone.  The tricky part is making sure that everyone gets about the same amount spent on them.  In the past we've always gone by how much we spent on each person but that does not work well when I  find a great item for 75% off of it's normal price.  Not that my kids are nasty and compare their gifts to what others get but I definitely don't want any hurt feelings.  So, I'm stressing already about shopping.  In the next couple of days I hope to make a list of ideas for each person. I need to do something so the shopping part is enjoyable.  Let's face it, shopping should NEVER EVER feel like drudgery.

With all that said I must say this- Christmas at our house is wonderful.  It's loud and busy, kids laughing, kids crying, music playing, christmas wrapping ripping.  We almost lost "the little boys" last year in the 3ft foot tall pile of discarded wrapping paper.  It doesn't get any better.

I'll post my shopping experiences soon.  Is anyone done with their shopping?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Lists? I make lists.

Recently on a blog I read there was talk about lists.  "Bucket Lists"....things people would like to do in their lifetime.  I LOVE lists. I make lists for all types of things.  Grocery lists, to do lists, Christmas lists, menu lists, lists for housework, lists for kids' homework, lists of important numbers etc.

Never in my life have a made a list of things I've wanted to accomplish in my life. Yeah, don't get your hopes up because I seriously doubt that I'm going to scratch one out now.  At 45, isn't it a bit too late to do that? I've accomplished a few things that would have been on a list I'm sure.

1. Married a wonderful man
2. Became a mom (twice really but that's a long story)
3. Was able to be a stay-at-home mom for my kids
4. Be a grandmother (ok, not sure if that would have made it onto a list when I was younger but there it is)

That's about it.

I didn't go to college, I don't have any skills really, not sure I ever actually picked what I wanted "to be when I grow up".  Too late for that? I honestly don't have any desire to go back to school.  I would love to get a job where I was still available for my kids before & after school.  Not a lot of those out there.  I'd love to help with our family finances because private school is expensive but I can't figure out how.  If there are real and valid work-at-home jobs there's no way of weeding through the scams etc to find them.
What to do?

Maybe I should make a list but then I'm afraid if I did make one that it would only be a list of things I wish could happen that never would.  And wouldn't that be more depressing than just not having a list at all??

I'll have to think more on this. At this point in my life I'm not even sure what a list like that would contain.

pondering.................

Sunday, November 08, 2009

I'm not a writer

I'm not a writer. I recently told a friend that I cannot even write a good grocery list and that's the God's honest truth. Was I not paying attention somewhere in my schooling and missed the "How to Write" lessons? Or maybe, just maybe, writing is one more talent I do not possess. Because it IS talent. I recognize this when I get caught up in someone else's blog and forget what I was doing there.

I use my status as SAHM as an excuse to say that I really don't have anything interesting to blog about. Not everyone who blogs talks about themselves though. As a daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, sister, member of the human race there must be something I can try to put in to words that might interest people.

So, I'm going to give it my best shot. Please just remember. I am NOT a writer. I am a reader who would love to learn to write.

What do you think makes a good writer?

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Twitter.......

Twitter has taken over my life. Not that I like to tweet a lot but I love reading interesting people's tweets. Honestly though, when you live in Wichita KS and your jobs include mom, grandma, PTA volunteer and permanent kindergarten volunteer, there's not too much to tweet about. Maybe I'll give the blogging thing a try later.

Blessings!