Monday, December 21, 2009

Catch up

It has been so long since I last sat down to write or blog. December is always a very hectic month in payroll. Year End always has the potential to be a nightmare.

This year has absolutely flown by! I can not believe that at this time last year I was packing for our Christmas trip to visit Tommy's sister and our nieces in St Augustine, FL. We had a great week in Florida last Christmas. We had the kids on the beach on Christmas day and for most of the day on the 26th. We visited the St Augustine Alligator Farm. Alex absolutely loved that. We went to a state park and got to see real live manatees and even an alligator in the wild there. We drove down to Daytona Beach and looked around. We stopped in Cassadaga just to look around. We came home on Skylar's 15th birthday.

In January, Skylar got her driving permit. That was scary enough in itself. It doesn't seem like my little girl should be old enough to drive.

February was when Skylar's basketball season ended and softball season began. She made the varsity team, again. Their unbelievable season took off to a great start. Alex had a great month in school with his reading efforts.

March was the start of a very interesting time. My friend at work, Marlena, had a baby girl, Lola, on Tommy's birthday. I got to fill in for Marlena while she was on leave. Oh what fun that was! NOT!!! I began an I-9 project that seemed like it would never, ever end.

April was a blur of I-9s and softball games. Alex was a trooper about his sister's games. Poor little guy, he hardly knows how to behave away from the softball fields.

May was still a blur of I-9s. Skylar's team began playoffs and ended with a Championship run for the Upper State title. Alex turned 7 years old. We gave him a birthday party in the park. We asked on his invitations for all of his friends to bring their waterguns for a water war. Those kids, and some of the adults, had a blast shooting each other.

June continued the nightmare of I-9s at work. We began planning the activities that we would enjoy in Helen, GA.

July...we went on our very first family vacation that did not revolve around softball schedules. Oh, how much fun it was to just be able to relax and do everything on our schedule and not have to cut activities short and rush to the next ball game. We visited Anna Ruby Falls, the village of Helen, GA, and I got my first tattoo.

August began the new school year for Skylar and Alex. Skylar is currently in the 10th grade at Landrum High School. Alex is in 2nd grade at OP Earle Elementary. Skylar began Colorguard with the marching band.

September was a nice, laid back month. The kids were getting settled into their new school routines and classes. We were able to enjoy several home football games and see Skylar in action with the coulorguard.

October was a nice transition to fall. Skylar had band competitions on just about every Saturday in October. Alex wanted to be a fighter pilot for Halloween. He and I went trick or treating in the pouring rain. We gave up after only a few streets. It was just too wet to be walking through people's yards to get a single piece of candy.

November was a blur. I turned 35. Lori and Elizabeth came up from Florida for Thanksgiving. Alex brought home a lovely stomach flu to share with everyone. I was the only one to escape it. Thank the Lord! I think I went thru 3 cans of Lysol. Lori even took the bug home with her. I can think of better things for Alex to share than the stomach flu.

Here it is December again. Skylar's 16th birthday is one week from today. I will be working all day and part of the night next week on our last payroll of the year. I will get to tell her happy birthday before I leave for work, and hopefully will get to have dinner with her when I get home. We will wait until New Year's Day to actually celebrate her birthday. I will be off of work and we will go shopping at the after Christmas sales for her birthday clothes. I think that is one of the few benefits of having a birhtday right after Christmas. She understands now that when she waits for birthday shopping after Christmas, she will get twice the amount of clothes.

Christmas is Friday. I can't wait for it to be over. I have never enjoyed Christmas. I love the church services and plays, but I can absolutely do without the rest of it. If it weren't for Skylar and Alex, I would not celebrate it at all. No tree, no lights, no gifts. Nothing. I barely tolerate Christmas music. I guess I am a scrooge or grinch. I just have always been disappointed with Christmas and now that I am the only income, it is dificult to know that I can not provide my kids with all of the things that they are asking for. I just want to get thru this Christmas as quickly as possible so that it goes away.

Friday, December 18, 2009

SNOW

I hate snow. I hate the cold. I hate sleet, freezing rain and ice.

Can we move to Tahiti, now? Please? Pretty please?

I'll even homeschool the two hoodlums on the beach everyday. Alex could have a pet starfish. Skylar could learn to hula dance. We'd all be warm, tan and happy.

This weather sucks!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Go Gators!




Our trip to Williams Brice Stadium in Columbia, SC was a complete and wonderful day! The only problem was Skylar on the crutches, and that only slowed us down a little bit. The kids had a blast tailgating with our friends. Alex learned the finer points of playing cornhole. We were able to make it to the unloading of the buses in time to get some great pictures. As we were in line waiting for the gates to open, we were priveleged to meet Mr. Tebow, Tim's dad. And the GATORS won!


Alex playing cornhole.


Tommy and Skylar


Gators Coach Urban Meyer


Defense Coach Charlie Strong


Superman Tim Tebow

Oh, and just in case you were wondering...Yes, it is true what they say in Cola, SC about Willie B...IF IT AINT SWAYIN', AINT NOBODY PLAYIN'!! The upper deck swayed the entire night, especially when they played "Sandstorm" or as I call it, the "Hamster Dance" song.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Tomorrow, Tomorrow...

I love ya, Tomorrow. You're only a day away....

We are going to the FL/SC game tomorrow in Columbia, SC.

We are leaving Sparkle City around 9 AM. We shall be following our friends, Kristen and Lee. We are going to set up tailgating camp around 10:30 or so. I can't wait!

This will be Skylar and Alex's first ever college game. Alex is so excited that I'm not sure that he will sleep at all tonight. Skylar is excited as well, but being as she injured her knee again tonight, she will be on crutches for the weekend. That has taken some of her excitement away. She'll be ok once we get there, I'm sure. She'll hold court as Princess of the Tailgate once we get there and have all of the grown guys at her beck and call.

I have been baking since I got home from work. Cupcakes and brownies. Alex and I made Orange cupcakes with blue icing and some blue cupcakes with orange icing. I have just put the last batch of brownies into the oven.

Hopefully, we will be able to find where the Gators will be walking into the stadium so we can get lots of great pictures.

Go Gators!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Alex

Sticky fingers. Kool Aide smiles. Lizards. Turtles. Snakes. Alligators. Football. Baseball. WWE wrestling. Cub Scouts. Camping. Night Owl. Picky eater. Rocks hidden in any available pocket. Candy wrappers in pockets. Broken pencils in pockets. Knees worn out of blue jeans. Tennis shoes surviving only a few weeks. Stuffed animals taking up half of the bed. Superman comforter. Sleepy little boy. My little boy. Giver of the best hugs in the world.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

Today is Veteran's Day.



My husband is a veteran. He was in the Navy during Ronald Reagan's terms as our president. He was stationed in Central America. Fortunately, it was not during a war. He crossed the Panama Canal a couple of times. Thank you, Tommy, for helping to keep our country safe.

My cousin, Jeff, is a veteran. He recently retired from a 20 + year career in the Army. He served both Iraq wars, Afghanistan, Germany, Poland, Alaska, Texas, and many other exciting/dangerous places. His last post was at Fort Hood, Texas. He and his wife, Bernadette, and their two sons, Grayson and Ethan, reside in Killeen, Tx. Although he has retired from the Army this year, he was offered a civilian position on base at Fort Hood. We were on pins and needles last week when the shooting occurred. Thankfully, although Jeff was, in his words, very close to the area, he was safe. Thank you, Jeff, for serving our country in times of war and times of peace.

My cousin, Tony, Jeff's older brother, is a veteran. Tony served our country in the Navy. Thank you, Tony, for your service to our great nation!

My cousin, Shannon, Jeff and Tony's youngest brother, is a veteran. Shannon served in the Marines. He was a helicopter pilot. He flew Marine One, the helicopter that shadows Air Force One. Thank you, Shannon, for your service to our great nation!

My Uncle Roger is a veteran. He served in the Army during Vietnam. Thank you, Uncle Roger, for your service to our great nation!

My father-in-law, Howard is a veteran. He served in the Navy. He was one of the original Frogmen, a prequel to the current SEALS. He served in Korea, Vietnam, the Bay of Pigs, Spain, Italy, and many other places. He was stationed on the USS FORRESTAL with AZ Senator John McCain when the rocket hit McCain's plane and exploded. Oh, the stories he passes on to us as we are gathered around the dinner table each night! I truly hope that Skylar and Alex are listening closely when their Grandpa shares his stories. Thank you, Howard, for your dedicated service to our country and defending this great land that we are privileged to call home.

God bless each and every one of our military personnel. Thank you for answering the call of duty from your country, for without your service, we would not be the country we are today. Without your service, America would not be the home of the free and the brave.

God bless those service men and women who have laid down their lives for each and everyone of us. They have paid the ultimate price to ensure our freedom.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mental Preparation

I'm in the office. On the other side of the wall is Alex's room. All I can hear is a steady stream of giggling because he is watching America's Funniest Home Videos. It is his new favorite show. I'll take the sound of his giggles and guffaws over his usual whineyness anyday!

I was helping Tommy with a paper that he has to turn in tomorrow in his English class. I was proofreading and making grammatical corrections, when he dropped a bomb on me.

He said as I was reading, "If I ask you a question, will you promise not to go all crazy on me?"

"No. I reserve the right to go crazy at any time for any reason. What?"

"Have you been mentally preparing yourself for when your mom dies?"

"Yes. I don't want to talk about it. Drop it. Not a good time to discuss that right now. One more word and I will go Psycho bitch on you. And you asked for it."

"Ok."

Now, why would he ask a question like that? Well, let's see. My mom is a very bad diabetic, has high blood pressure, and is in the final stages of kidney failure. She had surgery on her left arm in September to create a fistula in preparation for dialysis. Last week, she contracted the flu (not the H1N1 flu, just the regular seasonal flu). This week it has morphed into pneumonia. Her family doctor did not admit her to the hospital but did take blood to check her kidney function. Her O2 level is very low and has been dropping each dr visit.

So, yes, I am trying to mentally prepare myself for when the time comes. I hope that it is not for many, many years but I need to prepare myself.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Why? Just tell me why....

On Thursday I told Tommy that we had about $100 left until I get paid again. (For anyone that does not already know, I am the only income source for the family.) I had brought home a package of cubed steak and a box of mac and cheese to prepare for supper, however, he talked me into ordering out. Now, we did not order from the most exclusive of restaurants that would cost an arm and a leg. We called Kent's, the local greasy spoon, for burgers. We spent about $35 dollars. Fine. We still had enough for what needed to be paid until I get paid again. $5 for Alex to go with his Cub Scout pack to Lost Acres. CHECK. $10 for Skylar to take with her to the State Band Competition at Woodmont HS. CHECK. $20 for gas in my car so that I can take the kids to school, go to work, and come home for 4 days. CHECK. (No lunch money for me, but hey, I need to lose weight anyway.) Should have had about $20 left for a small cushion in a dire situation. Guess what?! Mr. Moneybag went and bought a freaking bag of candy for $10. Just in case trick or treaters show up. Hello, are you having an I-D-10-T moment, Tommy? We don't have trick or treaters here. We keep the porch light off because we (ok, it's just me) are out with Alex and Skylar going about the Halloween thing with them. Like taking them to the city's Halloween stroll, going to the trunk or treat at Ingles and hitting our favorite trick or treat spots in town. In the last 20 years, we might have had 2 trick or treaters, and those were not in the same year. Now once everything else is paid, I barely have enough for gas for the week. I just can not for the life of me fathom why he does not stop and think about what the hell he is spending money on before he does it. He is usually the one telling me to put things back at the grocery store because we can do without it, and he goes out and spends money on candy and some other crap that we don't freaking need??

Thursday, October 29, 2009

~Words~

Words are very useful things. Words can be used to heal a broken heart, to heal a broken relationship, to give directions and instructions. Words can also cause harm to others, break hearts, destroy relationships, and ruin reputations. Words should be chosen with care and delivered with care, even in heated moments.

Now, there are some words that just should not be spoken at all, by anyone, for any reason. They include the 7 words you can not say on network television, and a few others. And, no, they are not all curse words. I don't always find curse words to be offensive, and have been known to have them pass from my lips at times. (Ok, sometimes on a daily basis, sometimes multiple times per day.)

If a word is not a word, please don't say it. And if you want to use big words, please know the meaning of the word and how to properly use the word in a sentence. One of the most misused words that I have encountered is "irregardless". THIS IS NOT A WORD PEOPLE!! STOP USING IT!! It is a double negative contradiction. When you use it repeatedly, it does not make you appear to be intelligent. Actually, it makes you look just the opposite.

Do you know the definition of "irregardless"? Let me post it for you:

irregardless :
an erroneous word that, etymologically, means the exact opposite of what it is used to express, attested in non-standard writing from 1912, probably a blend of irrespective and regardless. Perhaps inspired by the double negative used as an emphatic
So, please stop and think before you speak. Listen in your head to what is about to cross your lips. Don't go around talking like a ding-dong.
I'm stepping down from my soap box now.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Trust

It's a small word with a big meaning. At least to me.

I have a hard time trusting people, especially upon first meeting them. I prefer to keep quiet and rely only on myself until a person has earned my trust. Once granted, it is still a very fragile thing. Kind of like a raw egg. You can hold it, it feels solid. But, if you drop the egg, it shatters, just like trust.

I have been scarred in the past when someone close to me has shattered my trust in them. Those scars are deep and even when they are several years old, still have very tender scabs that are easily knocked away.

The loss of trust has also cost some relationships along the line as well. Some are so badly broken that I don't know if the pieces can be glued back together. For some, it is too late as the other person involved has passed. Those hurt the worst. The ones that can't be fixed because I waited too long to try to get over it.

The last time that my trust in someone was shaken to the very core was the year that my daughter was born. 1993. I do not want to go into details because there is a new scab on that scar and frankly, I'm not up to ripping it off tonight. Let me just say that there are still repercussions from that year lingering even today. I have started to tentatively extend spider webs of communications/relationships from those that were even periferally (is that a word?) involved. I have kept my daughter away from most of the parties involved. I have not spoken to many of the main parties since this particular year.

However, last year, my world was yet again shattered. My cousin whom I had always considered a surrogate father passed away on Oct. 3, 2008. It has been a long year since his passing. I miss him. I have not had a real relationship with him since 1993.

I hurt. I don't know when it's going to stop. I don't know if I want it to stop. What if this is my punishment?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Ebay

Oh, how I've missed ebay. Not that it actually left and went on a road trip, but I've stayed pretty far away from it for a couple of years. Yes, a couple of years.

I just rediscovered the thrill of bidding and winning on ebay this weekend. It all started with me deciding to look up some Christmas gifts for Alex and Skylar. I scored big time for both of them. I was able to get Alex several WWE wrestling related gifts to store away for Santa to leave him. And for Skylar, let's just say that she is going to be super excited to receive a hot pink Ipod Nano. She's only been asking for one for 3 years. They've just been too expensive, even at Walmart. I won an auction for the ipod and only paid $22 dollars, and it has free shipping. Yes, it's brand new in the package.

I can't wait to see what else I can find for the kids and Tommy for Christmas on ebay. At this rate, all of my Christmas shopping will be completed from the comfort of my couch and upstairs office. Wonder if I'll miss all of the traffic around Westgate Mall? Nope! Sure won't!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Skylar

Skylar saw the athletic trainer yesterday. The tendon in her right elbow is strained. Doc put the electro-shock pads on her arm and let those work some magic for a while. He also gave her some exercises to do as well. She told me that her arm did indeed feel better when she got home last night.

She felt well enough to go and play with the co-ed softball team from our church. She normally plays fastpitch, but the Milestones team was short one girl for the game. She thought that she could handle slow pitch. She played 1st base and did very well, considering that she has not played softball since May.

She will play with the team again tomorrow evening and afterwards, we will go with the team to have dinner at Pizza Inn. I think that she is excited to be playing some form of softball. She brought home the practice schedule for basketball today as well. I think we are gearing up for our normal pace of practices and games and meals on the go. And, this year we have the added benefit of Alex being in Cub Scouts.

I can't wait for it all to begin. I have missed watching her play competitive sports.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

If it weren't for bad luck...

I'd have no luck at all.

First of all, would anyone care to have a whiny, crying 7 year old boy? He's very precocious. Warning, he is ALL BOY. He loves all things wriggly, slimey, and hoppy. He comes with 1 lizard and 2 turtles. Sorry, the dogs stay with me. They give me peace. On second thought, Sadie, the spastic beagle goes with the boy. Just shoot me an email, k? Make sure that you include a shipping address or map quest directions for drop off.

Now, onto the bad luck draw of the day. Skylar had a band competition today at Chesnee High School. She's in the color guard. (No, I have no idea why my super-athlete decided to go all band geek on me.) Anyways, she called home a few minutes ago. I assumed the call was to tell me that they were like 5 minutes away from LHS. Not so much.

The convo went along these lines:

Me: "Hello."

Sky: "Mama?"

Me: "Yes, baby."

Sky: "Um, we have a problem."

Me: "What kind of problem?" (I'm thinking the bus broke down, she lost her expensive guard gloves, you know, something minor but irritating.)

Sky: "I sort of hyper-extended my right elbow. They think that I have pulled the tendons and ligaments in my elbow. They said that I probably will need to go to the doctor."

Me: "Who exactly is "They"? Did a trainer look at your elbow? Who looked at it? Can you move it? Is it swollen?"

Sky: "Somebody's mom looked at it. I don't think she's a nurse or anything. It hurts alot."

Me: "Where are you?"

Sky: "We are on the bus, but we're not moving yet."

Me: "Call me as soon as you get close to the school. I'll look at it and decide on if we need to take you to see a doctor tonight or if we can wait until morning. Try to keep it as still as possible and do not unload a single solitary thing at the school."

Sky: "Ok. I'll see you soon. Bye. Love you."

Our luck, she'll miss basketball and softball seasons because of the freaking band. Of all extra-curricular activities, I thought that band was the safest possible one. Guess I was wrong, huh?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


My mom vs. the brick wall
The brick wall won!

Monday, October 12, 2009

My Mama

My mama has had some really rough times lately. She has very bad diabetes and is in the final stages of kidney failure. On Sept. 18, she had surgery where a fistula was created in her left arm in preparation for dialysis.

Today, I got a phone call that chilled me to the very core. I saw on the caller id that it was my mom's cell phone, so I answered quickly. However, it was not her on the other end. It was her boss and close friend, Georgianna. She was calling for my mom. She said, "I wanted to call and let you know that we have a problem." I completely expected the next sentence to be that my mom's blood sugar had dropped. That was not it.

"Mrs. Thelma fell in the parking lot and hit her head really badly. She did not lose consciousness. Her sugar is very high and her blood pressure is really high. The EMS is here."

"WHAT!?!"

"Her hand is skinned up pretty badly too."

"Which hand?"

"Her left hand."

"What about her arm? Is her arm ok?"

"I don't know. I don't think that she hit her arm."

"I need to know if her left arm is ok. That fistula has not had enough time to heal. If it tears, she will bleed to death in a matter of minutes. I need to know now, please!"

The EMS checked her fistula site and decided that it was not damaged. (An appointment to the surgeon is scheduled for 9 am tomorrow for an ultrasound to ensure that it is not damaged.) Two of her co-workers drove her home because she is hard-headed.

I called my aunt to see if she could go and stay with her until I got home from work. She had to work and could not go. So, I called Tommy and asked him to go and stay with her until I got there. I left work at 4 to get home early.

Oh my goodness what a site she is! She has a huge goose-egg above her left eye. Her eye is black and blue and swollen. The skin from a huge portion of her cheek is missing. Her left hand is scraped up very badly. Not to mention how sore she is going to be in the morning.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Results

Test results are in from my dr's appt yesterday. The good news is that I am not diabetic, do not have low potassium, high blood pressure or a problem with my thyroid. Next step is a sleep study to see if I have sleep apnea.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sooo Tired

I am soo tired lately. I have no energy at all. That is so not like me. I am normally on the go with both of my kids, but lately, I'm not. Skylar has had 2 band tournaments, but I have not gone to either one. She does have several more ahead of us this month, and I will get to one of them. Alex has Cub Scouts tomorrow night and I think I'll have Tommy take him to the meeting.

I have been taking the meds for anxiety that my dr prescribed. They have helped with the anxiety issues.

I have been so tired that for the last few weeks, I have been going out to my car on my lunch break and taking naps. I have never in my life taken naps on my lunch break. But I just can't seem to make it thru the day without one. If I can, I'll take a nap once I get home before dinner. I'm sleeping at night so I have no clue what is going on.

The only other thing that I have noticed is that I am staying extremely thirsty all the time. I can't get enough to drink. I've been doing my best to drink water and not sodas.

I have an appointment for some lab work and an appointment with my dr. on Wednesday. Perhaps I will get some answers.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My Crazy Child

Skylar is a nut. Really. She is.


She went out with me to feed all of our dogs tonight. We have 3 ~ Tyson, a boxer; Chloe, a pit; and Sadie, a Heinz 57. Tyson is my baby and always has been. We got Tyson last summer when he was only 10 weeks old. He's such a sweet dog! We found Chloe at our favorite flea market a few weeks after we got Tyson. When I saw her, there was no way that I could leave without her. She is a diva! I found Sadie on the side of I-85 this summer on my way home from work. She is Tommy's dog and has been from the day she joined our family.





This is Tyson (above).






This is Chloe (above).



This is Sadie (above).

All three dogs now live together in a rather huge dog lot in the corner of our back yard. They have ample room to run and play, and a huge dog house that Tommy and his dad built for them. There is enough room in it for all 3 dogs to stretch out and sleep comfy with each other.

When we got home from grabbing dinner at Firehouse Subs, Skylar and I went to feed the dogs. One person can not do this task easily when by themselves, as Sadie is the ring leader for their favorite game of "Let's-Knock-Mama-Down-To-Lick-Her-To-Death-And-Make-A-Break-For-The-Gate". Sadie is the sneaky one that can dart thru your legs while Chloe and Tyson are trying to run through you. It's a good idea to have one person inside the fence with the dogs while the other person fills the bowls and passes them back to you.

Tonight, I was inside the fence as usual. Skylar had already given the full bowls back to me and I had passed them out. All three dogs were excited about Skylar's presence, as she rarely graces them with her presence during the week (Band practice, basketball practice, homework, etc...) Skylar has the less than brilliant idea to come inside the fence with me.

I don't know what she was thinking. There was no way that we could both get out of the fence without a prison break. Jokingly, I told her climb the fence and jump from the roof of the feed building. The goofball actually climbed the fence while I snuck out the gate without any escapees. Then, she preceded to get stuck on top of the roof because she was scared to jump down. I went to the tractor shed and got a ladder, but she would not climb down because the feed building has a pitched roof and the ladder did not sit flush against it.

Skylar called Tommy to come out in the back yard to help her off of the roof. I just wish that I had had a video camera out there with me. I just hope that none of the dogs try to climb the fence because they watched her climb out.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Fall

Fall is finally here. Cool weather, sweatshirts, colorful leaves, and football.

Saturday, Tommy and I took Alex to roam about a mostly indoor flea market on Hwy. 101. Skylar had a band tournament in Boiling Springs and would be performing at 1:00. We left home around 9 am, so we would have plenty of time to browse around and make Skylar's performance in the tournament.

While at the flea market, we found our favorite booth that sales all of the cutest college football mascot things (for lack of a better word). Tommy bought a crusher with the Florida logo and on the bottom is the Florida State logo. This thing looks like a big rock with the F logo on it. We found Alex a Gators light switch plate, a magnet for the fridge, 2 tags for our vehicles, and something else, but I can't remember right now.

Then, as we are walking around, Alex finds the only vendor in the place that has live baby turtles. That's what we need. Turtles. Yes, we came home with not 1, but 2 little baby turtles. I have to go to Petco at lunch and find them larger accomodations. We have named them Albert and Elvis. So now our Zoo consists of 3 dogs, 1 cat, 1 lizard, and 2 turtles.

It started raining on our way to Skylar's tournament. We went home expecting a call that she was on her way back to the school. No such luck. They performed in the rain. They placed 3rd out of 28 bands. Skylar said that the colorguard did very well and only had minor problems on the last song, which is a routine that they only learned this past week. I think that they did very well for their first competition.

Now, I hope that we can avoid any sickness that comes our way from her being out in the rain for so long on Saturday.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Alzheimer's Disease

Today is my mom's surgery. It is scheduled for 10 AM.

My dad had a nerve conduction test yesterday and follow up visit with the neurologist. The results from the MRI and the nerve testing were pretty devastating. We have not told my dad any of the details at this time because he is not able to process the information and will not understand what lies ahead. We will take it one day at a time with him and tell him what he needs to know for that day.

Basically, Dr. G told us that the Imaging place did not do all of the MRIs that he had ordered, however, they did do the one of his brain. This one MRI told him what he needed to know. There is not a brain tumor. That is good. However, what he did find is kind of worse, because there is nothing that they can do about it. My dad's brain has atrophied and is more the size of a 10 - 14 year old. He also has hardening of the arteries in his brain. These two things led Dr. G to the diagnosis of progressed stage Alzheimer's Disease. It's too late for any of the AD drugs to help.

The nerve conduction testing showed significant neuropathy in both of his legs. They drew 8 vials of blood for more extensive lab work. The neuropathy has an undetermined cause at this time. Hopefully, we will get more answers with these lab reports. The AD does not cause the neuropathy. So, we may be dealing with a second issue as well.

I'm off to get ready for the trip to the hospital with my mom.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Update

The neurologist appointment for my dad went ok yesterday. He is scheduled to have an MRI on Monday afternoon and a nerve test on Thursday morning. Hopefully we will get definative answers on Thursday.

My mom has her pre-op appointment on Wednesday and her surgery is scheduled for Friday morning.

This is going to be a long week.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Calgon.....

Take me away!

My mom is having surgery next Friday to prepare for dialysis. This is an item of great stress to me right now. I know that God is in control. I have FAITH. It's just hard to try to see past the current day to when she will feel better.

This week, my mom took my dad for a check up with his family dr. Not good news on that front.

A little history about my dad. He is legally blind. In November of last year, on my birthday, we almost lost him. He had a heart cath that led to several stints being placed. In January, he had to have his right eye removed due to glaucoma. He is mentally challenged, and always has been. In the past few months, his balance has virtually disappeared. He can barely walk.

Anyway, back to the news of the week. The family doctor did a series of tests with him to check his balance and dexterity. She saw signs that she did not like. She pulled my mom into the hallway and told her that she was referring him to a neurologist because she feels that there is a strong possiblity that my dad has a brain tumor.

So, about that Calgon. I need some, so it can take me away.....

Sunday, September 6, 2009

9-6-09

Alex's Baptism at Milestones Church, Spartanburg, SC.



video

Tailgate Baptism

Our church is hosting a Tailgate Baptism party tonight. Alex is being baptised. Will post pics when I get home.....

Friday, September 4, 2009

Friday Night Football

Tommy and I went to the LHS football game tonight. It was the first home game this season. Skylar performed with the colorguard and marching band before the game and again at half-time. She did a very good job! She is not a very musical-inclined individual and prefers fast paced sports to calm, sedate activities. I was very impressed with her work on the field.

The LHS Cardinals lost to the CHS Eagles. The game was close for a while, but Chesnee got their act together before the Cardinals could. It was fun being at a football game. We saw many friends from our high school days and also parents of Skylar's friends.

Alex went out to dinner with my mom. He said that he had a date with his Nonna. They went to a fishcamp. He informed us that he had catfish for dinner. He is one adventurous eater!

I'm tired. It's been a long week. I was ready for the 3 day weekend on Monday.

Have a safe and happy Labor Day Weekend!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Bloom

See that new button over there? The one that says: "Bloom - Read. Discuss. Grow."

Hey, alright! You found it. Good.

Let me tell you about Bloom. I am super excited about it. Angie Smith of Bring the Rain and Jessica of The Mom Creative started Bloom. It is a reading group for women. The first book that we will be reading and discussing is Crazy Love.

I was fortunate enough to be blessed to receive a copy of Crazy Love. I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of the book in the mail. I can not wait to get started and discover what Christ has in store for me to learn from this book and these amazing women who so graciously share their time and insights with all of us!

I have also recently began attending the women's bible study at my church, Milestones. It is led by our amazing Women's Ministry leader, Brenda Blankenship. She wrote our study and is a very inspiring woman with a passion for sharing Christ. Our study this semester is titled, Like A Bridge, and it is an in-depth study of the heroes and heroines of faith in Hebrews 11.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Face First in the Gravel



Today did not start well for the Henderson family. I overslept to kick things off. Skylar was dragging this morning. Alex could not decide what he wanted packed for his lunch.




I was the last one out the door. Alex decided to race Skylar to the car. That was not a good idea.




Our driveway is gravel. Little shoes on gravel gets very little traction. Down he went. Face first. In the GRAVEL. And slid about 3 feet on his face.




When I got to him, he was screaming. I would have been too! He had gravel dust, dirt and rocks all over his little face and in his mouth. My extra MickeyD napkins that were stashed in the car were not going to do the job on this.




We went back inside. I called my boss to let her know that I would be late and roused Tommy to help me get him cleaned up.




Alex went to school and made it the whole day. I was waiting for a call from the school nurse to come and pick him up. He was a little trooper after his traumatic start.





Here is a picture from right after the face dive in the driveway.







And when he got home from school.....


I am amazed that he doesn't have huge bruises!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Zombie Girl

I'm gonna have to channel Sofia from the Golden Girls for this one....

Picture it.....

11:30 pm. Upstate, South Carolina. Tommy and I are having uninterrupted adult conversation before going to sleep.

The bedroom door opens. Enter Skylar, aka Zombie Girl, with her cell phone in her hand, open. She walks up to Tommy and hands him her cell phone.

Following is the conversation:

Tommy: Skylar, Baby, why are you giving me your phone?

Skylar: Here. Take it.

Tommy: What?

Skylar: You always want my phone. Here it is. Take it.

Tommy: Why would I want your phone?

Skylar: Just take it. You always want it when we go to church.

Tommy: What the......???
He puts the phone to his ear....Hello? Hello? Skylar, there's no one on the phone.

Skylar: I know that. I'm tired of this. I'm going to bed. (She stomps out of our room and down the hall back to her room.)

I look at Tommy. Tommy looks at me.

Me: What kind of crack is she smoking?

Tommy: I don't know.

We get up, get our glasses on and head to her room. I turn on her light and Tommy goes to her bed, which in a teen girl's room is no easy feat.

Tommy: Skylar, don't you think this needs to be on the charger?

Skylar: Why are you in my room? Turn the light off!

Tommy: Sky, you brought your phone to me. Do you want it back?

Skylar: Leave me alone. I need to go to sleep. I'm tired.

Tommy: Why did you give me your phone?

Skylar: You always want it for church. Now you don't? What is with you people? Make up your minds!

Tommy: Where's the charger? Hand it here. (She sleeps with the phone charging under her pillow, lest she miss an oh so important text message!)

Skylar: Just give me the phone if you don't want it. I'm going to sleep. Get out of my room.

Me: Tommy, let's just go to bed. We'll figure it out in the morning.

Tommy: Ok. Good night, Skylar, love you.

Skylar: Go away.

Me: Good night, Crack Baby. We'll talk about it in the morning.

Breakfast this morning: She has no clue what we are talking about and at 8:15 pm tonight is still denying that the episode even took place. Guess we need to put the baby gate back up at the top of the stairs so that she doesn't fall down the stairs on her next sleep walking escapade.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Super Saturday

7 AM is too early to be up on a Saturday morning. However, Alex and I had big plans for the day. We had a Mommy/Son date in Greenville.

Today was the Greenville Literacy Association's annual Really Big, Really Good, Really Cheap book sale at McAllister Square. We arrived around 8:20 am and found a place in line to wait for the 8:30 am door opening. There were thousands of people in line at all of the entrances.

The GLA volunteers did a great job of setting up and controlling the chaos that is the book sale. They take over the entire mall section of McAllister Square and have different areas for all categories of the books. It is simply amazing!

We went to the Children's Area first. I knew that if we did not go there first, everything would be gone. People were 3 deep around the Young Reader's Table. I was able to snag Alex 17 Magic Treehouse Books. He loves these books by Mary Pope Osborne. They all have neat titles like Night of the Ninjas, Buffalo Before Breakfast, High Tide in Hawaii, and Tigers at Twilight. We were also able to grab a Zack and Cody book, a Halloween theme book and an Abracadabra book.

I was able to pick up two Ronald Reagan biographies for Tommy and his dad. Alex picked out a novel for Tommy. I looked all over the place for Karen Kingsbury novels for my mom, but had no luck in finding them. I did find a Danielle Steel that I had not read, a Nicholas Sparks that I haven't read, and a few new authors that sounded promising. I also got a lot of VC Andrews novels that I haven't read.

The best part of the book sale is the amount that I paid for 37 books. I paid $42 for all of my books! Whoot Whoot!

After we left the book sale, we headed home, but we did make an impromptu stop at Krispy Kreme. I can not resist a Hot & Ready sign! Alex and I each chose 2 donuts and shared a Mr. Pibb. We sat by the picture window to the donut factory and watched the donuts come down the conveyor belts to be coated with the glaze.

It was a great way to spend a Saturday morning! Now we are cuddled up on the couch watching Brendan Frasier in Journey to the Center of the Earth. He's sure come a long way since Encino Man.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Busy Week!

School started on Tuesday for Skylar and Alex.

Skylar is now officially a Sophomore at Landrum High School. She is part of the colorguard for the marching band. This is a new venture for her. So far, she really seems to enjoy it. We've been talking about whether she wants to play travel ball next summer. I am leaving the decision on any tryouts up to her. I know that she really missed her teammates and the game this past summer, but we had soo much fun on vacation and doing things as a family.

Alex is now in 2nd grade. It does not seem possible that he is already 7 years old. Time flies when you don't pay close attention. He is so inquisitive and smart. However, he tries to be a little more grown up than he is. Then at other times, he is still my baby. He likes to whine and fuss a good bit, but I think he may finally be getting out of that habit. Or at least I hope so!

Tommy started his second semester at Greenville Tech. He is going to have to study hard this term!

I am still busier than a one-armed paperhanger at work. I am in the process of wrapping up a 6 month I-9 audit. That has been hell on earth! Some days, I feel like I am drowning in I-9s. I just wish that the employees in the field would take these forms and the audit seriously. Oh well, I guess that is job security. This week I have started a new project that should keep me busy for the next couple of weeks.

My doctor put me on Zoloft for an anxiety issue. He said that it would help me with the problems that I have been experiencing for the last few months. In some ways, it has. But in other ways, it has not helped at all. I have no energy at all. I am so sleepy all day long and then have trouble sleeping at night. I am going to call his office next week to see if there is anything else that I can try.

Next week promises to be even busier! It will be a payroll week, and those are always busy, plus it is a bonus payroll. That makes it even busier! My mom has an appointment with a surgeon on Tuesday for the fistula type and placement for dialysis. On Wednesday, she has an appointment with the Kidney Specialist and Dialysis Coordinator. On Thursday, she is scheduled for an echocardiogram and nuclear stress test in the morning, and in the afternoon, she has an appointment with her family doctor. Skylar will have guard practice on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Plus homework for her and Alex. Homework for Tommy. The Ladies' Group at my church has Bible Study starting on Monday evening as well.

I think I might need to be cloned so that I can get everything done!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Back to School

This has been a much better week at work. Thank goodness!

I registered Alex for school yesterday. He is now officially a 2nd grader! I can not believe that he is already 7 years old. Where did the time go?? He will be in Ms. Barrett's class. His friend, Adam, is in his class. Once we were finished with the registration process, we walked down to locate his class room. We found it quite easily. There are murals on all of the walls in his school, so we have always used the pictures as landmarks for him to find his classes.

K4 directions were to go down the hall past the two soldiers (Revolutionary War era). When he go to the Gorrilla, the next door was his room.

K5 directions were to go down the hall past the soldiers (same ones) to the big apple tree. His room was by the tree.

1st grade directions were to go to the Red soldier, turn right. The motorcycle policeman was in front of his room.

This year's directions are turn left at the soldiers. Go to the 2nd hall. Turn right. Go past the sports shop. His room is at the Jewelry store.

These murals sure do make finding his new room each year so easy! He loves to help plot out his new route.

Today, I registered Skylar for the 10th grade. How is it that I have a daughter who is a sophomore in high school already??? She is not thrilled with her schedule, but I think she'll be fine once school starts. She did not get any classes with BFF Ashley for the 2nd year in a row. They lived last year, I'm sure that they will live thru this year as well.

She was excited that she finally got a top row locker. She is so tall that she has to literally sit in the floor to get things in and out of a bottom locker. She did land a driver's ed spot. The bummer for her is that is during the 2nd semester. I think I'm fine with it being 2nd semester.

First semester she has Biology CP, Law Education, Math, and Integrated Business. Second Semester she has Journalism, Drivers Ed, Math and English. I think she will have a much busier year than she had last year.

Now, I've gotta go school shopping for the remaining school supplies when I get paid again in a couple of weeks.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wordless Wednesday




Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Blahs

It has been a quiet, rainy evening. I have settled in for the evening and am watching Juno. I hope that it lives up to the hype that I have heard about it.

I have the blahs today. I've had them since last night. They won't go away. So, so much on my mind lately. And none of it good.

I'm worried about my mom and the up and coming dialysis. I'm worried about baby Stellan and his family. I'm worried about how many bills I can pay with my check this week. I'm worried about getting my kids registered for school next week. I'm worried about the lunch balances that were left over from last year and how I can manage to get them paid off. I'm worried about how I will get their school supplies before school starts. I'm worried about living the rest of my life in this house and not be able to fix anything that is broken, including me.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Storm the Heavens for Stellan

Heavenly Father, hold this family in the palm of your and little Stellan in the crook of your arm. Give them comfort, Lord, as they look to the doctors who minister to little Stellan. Give the doctors knowledge and compassion as they forge new ground for Stellan. Father God, it is all for your glory. Be with them as they face the unknown. YOU can supply the peace that surpasses all understanding, Father. Give them that peace. Father, be with them as they cling tightly to the hem of your robe. In Jesus' Sweet Name, Amen and Amen.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

It's a Love/Hate Relationship

I love our house. I hate our house.

Let me explain. We live with my father in law in his 100 + year old farmhouse. After Tommy lost his job last year, we struggled and lived paycheck to paycheck on my salary. We did ok for the most part, but it was hard. It still is some days. Once the bills were paid and groceries bought, there was very little to last until the next check. Howard, my f-i-l, came to us and asked us to move in with him. His reasoning was that his health was declining, he could no longer take care of the house, and he wanted to spend more time with Skylar and Alex. We weighed our options and finances, and decided it was really a no-brainer to move in with him.

After much cleaning up and cleaning out, we moved in. The house was built in the late 1800s. It has 12 ft ceilings in all rooms. It has the original heart of pine hardwood floors. There is a globe light on the newel post at the bottom of the stairs. There are 4 bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs and 1 bedroom and another bathroom downstairs. There is a living room, den, dining room, kitchen and laundry room/back porch downstairs. There is a sitting area between two of the bedrooms up stairs.

That's the great part about the house. Now, for the not so great parts of the house.

The foundation has shifted, so that when you are walking in certain parts of the house you are actually walking down-hill. The floors slope in just about every room of the house, both upstairs and down. There is no central heat or air in the house. We have 1 window unit that has to cool the entire house, or at least try to. We keep the doors to the dining room closed and the door to Howard's living room closed to try to keep it cool. (Howard has a separate window a/c unit in his bedroom that cools his bedroom, bathroom and living room. He also has a separate gas heater for the winter.) There is a gas heater in our living room that heats it and the upstairs. The dining room and kitchen do not have any heat or a/c at all. The walls in all rooms, except for 2, are plaster. Know what plaster does when the foundation settles and shifts? It cracks. Not little bitty cracks, HUGE cracks. Across the entire walls. Not to mention, the original wiring and plumbing. Oh, and we have a few ghosts wandering around as well.

I am grateful for the home that Howard has provided. I truly am. I love him even more for what he has done for us. But, holy cow, is he ever a pack rat! We can't throw anything out because when we do, he'll be looking for it 2 days later. It never fails. Ever.

Thankfully, the house is big enough to hold all of his stuff and most of ours. We still have boxes stacked in corners in various rooms.

Earlier this week, Tommy declared today to be a cleaning out day. We tackled the back porch/laundry room. I.AM.FREAKING.TIRED. Three trips to the dump. We can see the whole porch now, though.

I would love to have enough money to totally remodel the entire house. From top to bottom. But for now I will just have to continue with my love/hate relationship with the house.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Inky's Home!

My cousin received a tip about my aunt's stolen teacup poodle Monday (read about it http://bumblebeesandbugladies.blogspot.com/2009/07/little-lost-inky.html).

Cindy and Mamaw met the lady at the local humane society this afternoon. One look was all that it took for Mamaw to confirm that it was indeed Inky. I'm not sure who was more excited, Mamaw or Inky.

The lady who had Inky was very nice and had taken great care of him. She had no idea that he had been stolen until she saw the ad in the classified section of the newspaper.

It is great to see that there are still some honest, compassionate people left in the world!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Not My Child Monday

My son does not mangle the words of songs. Nope! Not my son! He surely doesn't sing "I'm Going Out with My BOOBS On." Could not be my son!

My daughter can not be the one who does not know what Kentucky Fried Chicken is. Not Skylar! No way! She did not pipe up on the way home from a softball game and request to eat dinner at KFC. Tommy agreed to stop at Kentucky Fried Chicken. Skylar did not say No Daddy! I want KFC. I don't want Kentucky Fried Chicken.

My son did not look at a lady in the undergarment aisle of Walmart and go "Bow Chicka Wah-Wah" That was not my son.

These could not be my children.....

Little Lost Inky


On Sunday, July 5, 2009, my aunt's teacup poodle, Inky, was stolen from her front porch. That's bad, but it gets worse. Much worse.

Who stole Inky? My stupid cousin and his freaky girlfriend/slave. Why? They're bums without jobs. (No, I do not think that every unemployed person is a bum) These two are definately bums. They take whatever they can from my aunt's house. Food, toilet paper, medication that both my aunt and her daughter need, even light bulbs out of their sockets. I'm not kidding. They are bums. That is the nicest thing that I can call them in polite company.

Ok, so Daniel opens the front door and lets Inky out onto the porch where Naomi grabs him and jumps in some guys truck that they conned into taking them to a Flea Market. Daniel had an announcement made, advertising Inky. Yep. He sold him.

My other aunt arrived at the flea market just a few minutes after he sold Inky. He admitted to selling the dog and was quickly arrested. Somehow, he was able to post bond the following day.

We (we being the rest of the family) sprang into action. My cousin, Cindy, made flyers to hand out and post at the flea market. Jeremy posted a Lost item in the local newspaper classifieds. I contacted a local columnist, The Stroller, who put the information in his column. We (me, my mom, my aunt, and Alex) combed the flea market on Saturday, July 11, from 7 am until 12 noon, when we were releived by Cindy and Nicole. Tommy and I went back on Sunday, July 12, to try our luck again. We had no luck that day either. Neither did Cindy.

Last Monday, July 13, I decided to have the flyer translated into Spanish to see if we had any luck. We posted the new posters this past weekend.

Thursday, July 16, was the court date. Accompanying my aunt were Cindy, Nancy, Harrison, Jeremy, me, Tommy and her new neighbor, Salena. Daniel would not meet anyone's eyes inside while we were waiting to see the judge. When the case was called, he requested a jury trial. He did that just to prolong the inevitable, but whatever. The best thing that resulted from the court date was that my aunt was able to get a restraining order against Bonnie and Clyde.

Fast forward to today. A call about Inky. Finally! A lady called Cindy, claiming to be the person who purchased Inky. She agreed to meet with Cindy and my aunt tomorrow at 2 pm to return Inky. She asked for the $50 that she purchased him for and the money for a vet visit. Sounds fair to us.

We'll see how this goes. More news tomorrow....

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Vacation Recap

Our vacation was awesome! We had lots of fun and I got some great pictures. There were a few hilarious incidents along the way.

Before we got on I-85 to head to Helen, we had to make a pit stop at the Spinx station in Greer. Tommy, Kathy and Alex headed inside for drinks and snacks while Skylar, Ashley and I remained in the van. A car pulled into a parking spot on our right. The male occupant exited the car quite loudly. The female driver rolled her window down to yell at him. Their conversation went something like this...

Male "I want a G.D. drink. It's my f-ing money."

Female "You need to stop spending all your money on beer and ciggarettes. You spend it all and then complain that you are broke. I'm tired of hearing about it."

Male "Shut the H. up. I keeps my cigarrettes in the freezer so they last longer. I ain't bought no smokes in 2 weeks. I gets my check every week from the 'ployment commission and it's mine. Not yours."

Female "You gonna know whats yours when I leave your a@# here."

And, then she proceeded to drive away. I sure hope he got home.

After we got into Helen, we stopped in downtown to walk around and grab some lunch. We took some photos of the kids by the fountain in the town square. It was then that we encountered the Crack Ho. She approached me and asked if I would take her picture with Leroy/Jim Bob/Bobby Joe whoever. She had her own digital camera, so I said that I would. They posed the best that they could, and I snapped the picture. I gave the camera back to her and told her that she could zoom in on the picture when she uploaded it onto her computer. She just gave me a strange look.

Off we went to the Live Tarantulas Gallery so that Alex could hold one of the creepy crawlies. Then we went to the Heaven Bound Tattoo Studio with the hopes that Skylar could get her belly button pierced. However, in White County, GA, it is considered "Literal penetration of a minor" for anyone under the age of 18 to receive a body piercing in that county. So, I got a tattoo instead.

As I was being inked, guess who shows up at the tattoo studio? Yep, the Crack Ho. She came in and asked the guy behind the counter if anyone had turned in her digital camera? What the hell? She tells the guy that someone stole it from her when she had her picture taken with Leroy/Jim Bob/Bobby Joe. Excuse me?? Apparently, she did not recognize Tommy or the kids. Tommy quickly told her that I was the one who took her picture and gave her back the camera. She just says She did? Oh, ok. If anyone finds it and turns it in, will you hold it for me? She turns and walks out. Guess what?? The freaking camera was in her back pocket. Guess she needed a little more crack to remember where it was.

Here are some of our pictures from the trip...






Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Georgia, Look Out! Here we come!

Van pulls out at 10 AM sharp.

Still left to do:
Pack Alex's bags
Take Sadie to the Doggie Spa
Move Lizard from Alex's room to downstairs so that it can be fed
Purchase Live Crickets for said Lizard (DONE)
Finish packing for me and Tommy
Make sure Skylar has everything
Go to bed.....

Night all!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

2 days and counting

Thursday can not get here fast enough! I only have to get thru one more day at work and we leave for our vacation. I'm not sure that Alex is going to settle down between now and Thursday. All he can talk about is going to the Live Tarantula Gallery and holding a tarantula and snake and getting his picture taken with both. I may have to sit that one out.

All Skylar can do is moan and groan that she's not going to see Blaine (the current boyfriend) for 5 whole days. Somehow, I think she'll live.

Off to start packing....

Monday, June 29, 2009

Vacation Countdown 3 Days

Ok, so I don't really love the hospital. But, I did just spend 4 hours there with my mom. She called me around 10:45 this morning to tell me that her blood sugar was so high that it would not register on her meter. This is the exact opposite of what we normally have to deal with. Luckily, my aunt was in the store where my mom works and was able to drive her to the hospital, where I met them.

In the triage section, her blood pressure registered at 210/116 and her blood sugar was 494. Those numbers were pretty scary. Luckily, her blood pressure was somewhat easily brought back down to earth. Her blood sugar levels, on the other hand, were not so easily tamed. After 4 hours and numerous units of "fast acting" insulin, the doctors finally got her blood sugar down to 250.

Then, at about 4:30 this afternoon, the underwire in my bra broke. My last flipping bra. Ain't that just grand? Luckily, the Yellow Mall in Gaffney is very close to where I work so I had Tommy and Alex pick me up from work and off we went. Since it has obiviously been quite a while since my last expedition for a new bra, I decided to have a fitting. (We won't discuss those numbers/letters.) The saleslady at Bali was very helpful and I soon found my arms full of potential purchases. I am now the new owner of 3 new lovely brassieres.

Hurry up Thursday! I need a vacation!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Holy Cow!

I can't believe it! Billy Mays has died.

Is this the start of the next 3?

Vacation Destination: Helen, Georgia

For the first time since my son was born (he's 7), we are going on a family vacation that does not revolve around a softball tournament schedule. I.AM.SO.FREAKING.EXCITED.

Skylar has played Gold level softball for the last 8 years. She loves to play. And, she is good at it as well. But holy moly, is it ever expensive to play. Her last team played every other weekend. In the heat. In the rain. In the snow (yes, we played on tournament in the snow!) I love being with her at tournaments and supporting her and her team, but the practice schedule (Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays) held at a field 1 hour from our home, and the tournaments, we never had the time or the funds to go on a real vacation.

We would make weekend trips with the team to out of town tournaments, and call it a vacation. Especially if the hotel had a pool. There was always the end of the year tournament held at Myrtle Beach. It was held the weekend before Thanksgiving. Not the prime time to be at the beach. And, there was no time to enjoy being at the beach especially if she played until 11 pm and had to be back at the field the next morning at 6 AM. We got to look at the beach from our balcony and that's about all.

I know that we chose to let Skylar play travel ball. I take that full responsibility. I did whatever it took to afford for her to play (and still would, if she wants to play again in the future). I know what all Skylar has missed out on because of her crazy schedule. Things like family reunions, Easter egg hunts, church youth activities, sleep overs with her friends, vacations.

Skylar was 8 when she first started playing travel ball. Her first tournament was in Dalton, Georgia. THE.HOTTEST.PLACE.ON.THE.PLANET. All cement and black top everywhere. She was also 8 when her baby brother was born.

Alex was due on June 2, 2002. Which also happened to be the weekend of Skylar's first ever softball tournament in Dalton. I did not have the easiest of pregnancies with either of my children, and could not fathom the thought of sending Tommy and Skylar to her tournament without me. I finally convinced my doctors to induce labor on May 23 so that Skylar would not miss the birth of her only sibling and I would not miss her very first softball tournament. Alex was 8 days old when he went to his first tournament. His summers have ever since revolved around which complex we were playing and the proximity of the playground to the field that Skylar's team was playing on. Not to mention what goodies he could find at the concession stand on an hourly basis. There were some concession workers who would let me give them $20 as a credit for him.

Going from a two income family to a single income, has really taken a toll. Cuts had to be made. Skylar agreed to take a year off of travel ball. It was a huge sacrifice for her. However, it has allowed our family to plan a real, honest to goodness vacation. We leave on Thursday. I.AM.SO.EXCITED.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Passings

What a week for celebrity passings! First Ed McMahon. Guess I should stop waiting for him to arrive with my Publisher's Clearinghouse check for $10 Million.

Next was Farrah Fawcett. One of my big-haired, gun toting Angel Heros. She fought quite a battle with her cancer. God bless her soul.

And now, the sequined gloved King of Pop. Michael Jackson has died. He was my first crush! I distinctly remember receiving the Thriller album for Valentine's Day when I was in the 3rd grade. I was so excited! I took it to school and all of my friends gathered around to stare at Michael staring out at us.

The world has lost 3 huge entertainers in just a few short days. I really hope that the families find comfort in their memories and that the fans of each will hold their memories dear.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Misadventures of Alex and Sadie


What an end to the week we have had! Alex decided to pretend to be a matador Thursday night and Sadie was the bull. No, there was not a good ending!

As Alex was swooping a red blanket thru the air, Sadie jumped up at the blanket. There was a midair collision, with Alex coming out on the loosing end. I was upstairs and did not witness the incident, however, I was summoned to the living room by the blood curdling scream. When I got downstairs, Alex was holding his hand over his right eye. There was blood involved.

After I got him upstairs and cleaned off, it became apparent that a trip to the local Emergency room was in order. He had a cut on his eyelid that looked questionable to me. I was afraid of stitches or glue for his eye. Everytime we moved the gauze from his eye, he would scream.

He calmed down marginally by the time we got the ER. But the fun had just began! I may have accidentally told him that the doctor might give him an eye-patch to wear. The admissions lady could not answer his 5011 questions of "Are you going to give me an eye patch? Do I get an eye patch? I want an eye patch."

The nurse, Darren, was really good with him. It was kind of strange for Alex, but he got over it pretty quickly. The first thing that Alex said to him was, "Hey, you look like the Big Show. Are you gonna give me an eye patch?" No eye patch for the first hour, however, there were some numbing drops applied to his right eye that did not feel very good. Then, they applied some dye to his eye to check for any scratches to his eye itself. And, oh my, what a scrath there was! Right thru the middle of his eye was a gigantic scratch.

We finally got home around 11:30 Thursday night. I had to call in to work Friday because we had to take him to a pediatric eye doctor. Luckily, the appointment went well and the scratch was shallow and should heal quickly on its own.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Pass the Prozac, please

Sunday, Tommy and Skylar drove over to the grocery store to purchase a few last minute items for dinner. Car was fine on the drive over. However, it was a completely different story on the way home. My car would not start. It would turn over, but would not fire. Great. Lovely. What an awesome way to start the week!

So, on Monday, Tommy calls the tow truck and has them take it to the garage. For $60 it was towed less than 2 miles! What? Did I hear correctly? $60 for less than 2 miles? Oh, mylanta, this is going to get ugly fast!

Garage guys are clueless! They claim that the computer system in my car is a California Emissions computer and will not "talk" to their computer. May I suggest to change the language setting to possibly surfer? Or Valley? Or maybe Left-Wing Liberal idiot speak? Garage guys finally decide that they think that the computer is not telling the fuel injection system to put the gas into the carbureator to start the car. Really? You think?

So, the Garage Guys remove the computer system from my car and take it to an automotive electrical shop to be checked. My obviously snotty compter will not talk to their computer either. Guess my CA computer doesn't go for Carolina Redneck Mechanic types. So, end of day 1, no hope on the horizon for my car. Except for the Garage Guys to "try" to find another CA Emissions Computer wandering around east of the Mississippi River, I'm sure that they would surely not overcharge me for that? Visions of cancelling our first family vacation in the Metropolis of Helen,GA began to dance around my head. Not. Pretty.

What's a girl to do? Check the 'net. See if the Garage Guys know what the crap they are talking about. And do they? Why, no, they sure don't! In under 45 minutes, I had the problem narrowed down, had talked to other owners of similar cars with the EXACT SAME PROBLEM and had found the solution, with Wiring Diagrams and step by step instructions. Surely, the monkey boys could follow directions with the pretty pictures?

I sent my FIL and Tommy to the garage this morning, armed with the information that I had found on the 'net. Guess what? I was RIGHT! I fixed my car! ME, who has not the first clue about what goes on under the hood of the car! Where the heck is my GOLD Star?

So, while Big Red was in the shop with the Garage Guys, I was cruising to work in my mom's new Saturn. Cool little car. Great gas mileage. Moonroof. A/C. Spoiler. Cute car. I looked good in it!

After Tommy had told me that he had my car in his possession, I felt soooo much better. Plus, it only cost a total of $75 to replace the spark plugs and their boots. Great day, so far. Unfortunately, it would only go downhill from there. I drove a friend to lunch at Ingle's salad bar. Mom's Silver bullet was awesome. No problem what so ever.

Then comes quitting time. Literally. When I got in the Silver bullet to go home, the blasted thing would not start! No clicking, no turning over. Nothing.

I had to call Tommy to come and jump it off because the parking lot at work was absolutely deserted. So, back to the Garage Guys. They seem to think that the battery in my mom's car is bad. So, the final question is.....Do I trust these Garage Guys when they had an epic failure with my car?

We'll see....My mom has to deal with them tomorrow. Good luck with that Garage Guys! I wish you luck....Let me know how that turns out for you!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tarantulas, Skinks and Lizards

No, these are not the viewing choices at the Creepy Crawlies exhibit at the zoo. These are the creatures that Alex has requested for his birthday on Saturday.




He captured a 5 Striped Skink in the yard last evening. An ugly little creature, that is for sure. Alex thinks he is the bomb-diggity, and has proudly displayed him on his dresser, in the dead fish's aquarium. He thoughtfully placed a large, flat rock in the aquarium, along with a ton of leaves. I get home today to find that he has added a (cereal) bowl of water and several ants. Yeah me. Looks like I've got a new critter to keep up with.





On to the Tarantula. He has been asking for a tarantula for close to 2 months. I have done my research and have decided that I think I might could live with one, providing that it stays in the cage at all times. And I MEAN AT ALL TIMES. It does not come out of it's aquarium. It gets out, I leave and move to Fiji. No questions asked and no second chances. Alex has finally picked one out, a rose hair tarantula.

I love the boy, but if that spider or lizard escapes, I'm outta here!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Gal-Lop-E-Gus Snail?

Saturday night quickie conversation with Alex:

Door opens. Alex pokes his head into the living room. "Hey Mama! Is there any such thing as a Gal-Lop-E-Gus Snail?"

"A what?"

"A Gal-Lop-E-Gus Snail?"

"Son, I have never heard of a Gal-Lop-E-Gus Snail. What do you have?"

And there, clinging to his arm was......



A SLUG!!


Gross! Where does this child find all of these creepy crawlies? I can handle the frogs and lizards, but please leave the slugs outside!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Not Me Monday - Sadie

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.


Here is my first Not Me Monday post!

I did not bring home a new puppy this week. I did not tell my husband that I rescued her from the side of the interstate from certain death. I did not already have 2 full grown boxers at home. I did not show said puppy to the six year old first to ensure that we kept her. Nope, that definately was not me!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Congrats Cardinals

The Landrum High School Lady Cardinals defeated the defending 2008 State Champions, the Chesterfield Lady Golden Rams. It was a great defensive game by both teams, but the Lady Cardinals came out on top. The final score after 2 Lightning and Rain delays was 3 - 1.

Congratulations Lady Cardinals!!!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Conversations in the Car

Skylar has joined the driving world. She got her permit a couple of weeks ago and now NO ONE ELSE is allowed to drive anywhere. EVER. Lord help us all! Stay off of the sidewalks until she gets the hang of it.

The first day that she got her permit, Tommy took her out driving after school. Alex was in the backseat, giving a running commentary on her driving skills.

As Skylar was winding her way down a back country lane, Alex pipes up from the back seat and says:

"Sissy, I think an old lady could push our car faster than you're driving!"


What are you supposed to say to that????

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ramblings of the mind

Where to start...

*Skylar's softball team, the Landrum High School Varsity Lady Cardinals wrapped up their REGIONAL championship tonight. They have been undefeated in regular season play all year. One more regular season game to go tomorrow night, and then on to the playoffs and hopefully a run at the state championship.

*Alex has a field trip planned for Friday. His class is going to the zoo. Hope they don't lock him up in the monkey exhibit!

*My mom's health continues to go downhill. A visit to the cardiologist revealed that she needs further testing to confirm a heart attack. Tests scheduled for April 30. A full day of tests...Echocardiogram, Nuclear Stress test, and Carotid Dopper. The cardiologist has stated that he will be in the room the entire time for the nuclear stress test, which I find oddly disturbing. I know that they don't normally appear on a regular basis for these tests.

*I have soooo much work to get done in order to be off on April 30 in order to be with my mom. I just don't know yet if there will be enough hours in the days to come to get everything completed.

*Alex is reading me a book about Batman. This is his first real book to read to me completely on his own without being asked to read to me. He chose the book at RIF and has not put it down yet! I may have one child who is a bookworm like me!

*I am really craving some cheesecake, but will be good and will not give in to this urge!

*I am ready for our vacation! Hurry July!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Chloe and Tyson



Chloe is sporting a Pooh Bear ski band because Tyson lived up to his name. Yes, he bit a chunk out of her ear. I'm pretty certain that it was not one sided. I envision that they were playing outside, he gets hold of her ear and pulls one way. Chloe apparently pulled in the opposite direction and thus the injured ear.

Fast forward to the next day. Vet's office. Surgery. Stitches. Spayed?!? That was not in the original game plan for the day! Tommy was proud of himself because the vet's assistant told him that if they went ahead and spayed her while she had her ear repair surgery, it would save us the anesthesia fee, a whole whopping $60. So Tommy said ok. He didn't call me and ask my opinion. He just said ok.

For $315 my Chloe had ear repair surgery and was spayed. Had she not been spayed at this time, it would have only cost $120. We could have taken her to the low cost spay clinic at the Humane Society and had her spayed for around $50, anesthesia included. Have I reminded him daily about this lack of communication? Why, yes I have.


Chloe after her surgeries.


Tyson

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wordless Wednesday




Wacky.....Wild......Kool-Aid Style!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter

We're finally home from a full day of church and family.

Skylar and Alex had a great day with their many cousins and extended family members.

Milestones had an awesome Easter Service this morning.

Hope everyone had an Awesome Easter!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Salamanders and CPR

Alex caught a salamander yesterday. Poor thing probably died of fright within 2 minutes of his capture.

I found an old jar and let Alex keep it on the back porch while we had dinner. After dinner, Tommy tried to convince Alex that the salamander was dead, to no avail.

Alex insisted that Tommy remove him from the jar and let him hold it one more time. Tommy shook it out into Alex's waiting hand. Alex looked him over and then proceeded to place said dead salamander on MY KITCHEN COUNTER. Belly side up. And thus began the chest compressions for the salamander.

Luckily, the salamander had already kicked the bucket and was not revived. A salamander funeral was swiftly thrown together and executed.

A half of bottle of Lysol later, my kitchen counter bore no traces of the CPR for the salamander.

Why do these things always happen to me?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Poo-berty

Overheard bedtime conversation between Skylar, 15, and Alex, 6.

"Know why I tell on you alot Sissy?"

"Why?"

"Pooberty."

"Alex, you don't know what puberty is."

"Yes, I do. It's when your voices changes and stuff."

"Alex, where did you hear about puberty?"

"I-Carly."


Thanks, I-Carly for taking care of that conversation for me. I appreciate it. Really, I do.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Walk Peacefully

Chaos is reigning supreme lately. At work. At home. Everywhere I look, it is there in background waiting on the chance to jump out and shake things up a bit.

I have a devotion posted in my office at work that speaks so clearly on this issue.

I'm not sure who the author was, but I absolutely love it and am inspired by it everytime I read it.

"Walk Peacefully With me through this day. You are wondering how you will cope with all that is expected of you. You must traverse this day like any other: one step at a time. Instead of mentally rehearsing how you will do this or that keep your mind on My Presence and on taking the next step. The more demanding your day, the more help you can expect from Me. This is a training opportunity, since I designed you for deep dependence on you Shepherd-King. Challenging times wake you up and amplify your awareness of needing My help. When you don't know what to do, wait while I open the way before you. Trust that I know what I'm doing, and be ready to follow My lead. I will give strength to you, and I will bless you with Peace."

Friday, March 20, 2009

Such a NERD!

I am going to WalMart to buy Twilight on DVD.

Do I qualify for the Nerdiest Mom of the Year?

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Teenage Years

My little girl, who is now 15, thinks that she is now an adult. Oh, how wrong she is! She has so much more to learn before she graduates high school, and not just academically. She needs to learn that yes, her dad and I were teens once ourselves. We didn't just hatch into adults overnight. It is a growing process that takes time and patience, on everyone's part.

I just hope that she learns all that she can before she goes off into the world on her own. I don't want to think of her going out to find her own way uninformed in the ways of reality. She needs to know how to handle any situation that she finds herself in and still know that she can call on us at anytime.

I can't help but wonder if I've really set a good example for her to follow. I know that I've not always been the best mom in the world, but I have tried my best. Will she see that? I hope so!


My Little Girl Video

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sunday Reflections

We had a huge service at church this morning. We were totally packed which was awesome!

I attend(ed) Spartanburg Community Church. However, I no longer attend Spartanburg Community Church. I now attend Milestones Church. No, I did not move churches. We just had a name change. I love it!! It totally represents our church and our mission statement perfectly.

The service was a real tear jerker at the end though. I'm going to get a dvd of the service and will post it later in the week. I am so priveleged to be a part of this church. It has totally changed my life, for the better. I can't wait to see what God has in store for us in the future!


Wendy

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Rambling Thoughts

This weekend's weather sure beats last weekend's snow storm by a country mile! It was a lovely 80 degrees out today.

Tommy and I worked in the yard for most of the day. Alex "worked" with us for most of the day. He mostly played while soaking up the rays. Skylar spent the day with her "friend" Cameron. He's not her boyfriend, or so she says. I think she's just not ready to admit that he is. I guess she'll admit it when she's ready. It is still hard to believe that she is old enough to be interested in boys. Time sure does fly!

My friend from work, Marlena, had a beautiful baby girl last evening. I can't wait to go and visit after church tomorrow! I have talked to this baby almost everyday of the pregnancy. She has kicked my hands and performed the "worm" roll. I can't wait to hold her and meet her. Welcome to the world Lola Faith!

I am totally excited about a concert that we have just heard about. Def Leopard, Poison and Cheap Trik. Playing at the Verizon Ampitheater in August. Tickets? Bought them today.

Oh and the movies that are starting to come out now! I'm not sure why the folks in Hollywood can't release horror films around Halloween, but that's ok. I'll go see them in the summer.

Work has gotten really busy lately. I have my job as the Wage Garnishment/Special Project Administrator, I'm filling in for Marlena while she's out with Baby Lola, and I have started on a HUGE I-9 project. I'm not sure when I'll ever take another lunch break or leave by 6 again. Oh well, I'd rather be busy than sitting and doing nothing. Good thing I am accustomed to stress!

Gosh, it's the date to spring the clocks forward! I almost forgot about that.

We are having a huge service at church tomorrow. It's going to be awesome! I can't wait to see what God has in store for us at Spartanburg Community Church!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Heavy Hearted

I am soo sad tonight. I just found out that a former classmate's 10 year old son passed away yesterday from what is believed to be meningitis. I haven't seen or talked to Becky in several years, and it's soo sad for this to be the reason that we connect now.

I can not imagine the pain that she and her family are feeling right now. The emptiness. The loneliness. Empty arms. A Jon size hole in the family. A parent's worst nightmare come to life.

Please keep this family in your prayers as they prepare to say their final goodbye to their son. Pray for peace, comfort, and strength in the coming days, weeks, months and years.

Hug your kids a little harder tonight. I know I will.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

I have had to read this short story by Raymond Carver and prepare both a written critique and an oral critique for my next class on Monday night. Digesting this story has really gotten me to thinking about Love and how others define its meaning.

There's Romantic Love. The way we love our spouses or significant other. Where life is a fairytale with only happy endings. Oh how I wish this were always the case! Somehow, life just does its own thing and does not follow the Disney formula for Happily Ever After.

Then there's Brotherly/Sisterly Love. I am an only child, so I'll have to guess at this one. I do have a "God"~Sister who I love like a sister, but I'm not sure if I really do. I have nothing to compare it to. Anytime she needs to talk, I'm there for her. If she needs to get away for a few hours and just sit, I'm there. I can count on her and she can count on me, for anything at all. Even if it's a paper that she has most of the research for and needs me to come over and write it for her because it's due the next day. Or an entrance essay for college. Or an essay for a scholarship. Or a Master's Thesis paper.

Then there's the love that we have for our parents. This one is a bit tough sometimes, especially if we experienced a not-so-perfect childhood. Some people have to grow up way too fast and become a parent to one of their parents like I had to do. It's their voices that shape what you do and how you do it most of the time.

Then there's the love that we have for our children. There is nothing on this earth that would ever stop me from loving my children. I may not always like their actions or decisions, but I love them anyways. When anyone attacks my kiddos or I think they are attacking them, the Mama Bear instinct rears it's ugly head and I am a force to be reckoned with. I don't care what anyone says about me or to me, just leave my children out of the conversation and we'll all get along just fine.

The most important love of all is the love that Christ has for each one of us. It is an all encompassing, unconditional love. HE is always there when you need a shoulder to lean on or just need to talk. HE listens. His grace pours out over all of us and covers us completely, no matter how badly we are stained and soiled by life.

So, what do you talk about when you talk about love?