Saturday, August 30, 2008

Camera Critters #21

She's baaaaaaaack! We actually see her just about every night. Daughter has named her Margaret Evangaline. So now every time we see her we say, "Hi, Margaret." She just stares back. It still gives me the willies.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Running Away From Home. Again.

I'm headed back to the same place, but this time I'm bringing the family! Instead of a Summer Camp for Moms, it's a Labor Day Family Camp, and we are looking forward to it, let me tell you. We're going to do some horseback riding (I'm hoping to ride Chuck Norris' horse again!), canoeing, fishing, and swimming. One evening there's a luau complete with hula and fire dancers! The kids want to do some archery and maybe some rock climbing - and there's a scavenger hunt just for the kids one night, while the adults have their own evening entertainment. Wait, that sounds weird. Not THAT kind of adult entertainment! What kind of people do you think we are, anyway?

So have a great Labor Day weekend, everyone! See ya'll in September!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Vintage Thingies Thursday - I'm a fan!

**Scroll down for this week's Sincerely 'Fro Me to You!!

It's my first Vintage Thingies Thursday! I'm so excited - I love old, vintage stuff! This week I'm showing off something simple, but one of my favorites. I found this old fan in an antique store and immediately fell in love.

I don't know how old it is, or even if it works, but it is on display in my kitchen! It reminds me of something I would have seen in my grandmother's house back when I was a child. OK, maybe even more recently. She kept stuff. And when she passed away two years ago, I got some of it! So Vintage Thingies Thursdays are going to be fun for me!

Sincerely 'Fro Me to You - Swimsuit Edition Part II

OK! OK! After such an overwhelming response to last week's swimsuit photo, I've relented and decided to post a more recent swimsuit pic. Here's me and Hubby two summers ago. No more ruffles. And you can't see the mole on my stomach. But it's there. Trust me.

I hope everyone has a great Labor Day weekend! I wish we were truly saying goodbye to summer here, but we'll be hot well into,, we might be wearing shorts at Christmas.....but no bathing suits! I promise!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

This could be troublesome....

At least we're still stocked up from the last storm!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Haiku: Resolve

This is for the "resolve" prompt at One Single Impression this week - be sure to stop by there to see all the wonderful poetry! I have always loved writing poetry, so I decided to do this haiku writing exercise each week. I hope ya'll enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them!

Clean slate, a new year;
Possibilities abound.
Back to school they go.

Yes, it was back to school today, and as I sent them off to their first years of high school and junior high, I could not help but remember back to the days I sent each of them off to their first day of Kindergarten. How they have grown since then (and so have I - today I didn't cry)!

Today's a new start.
Spread your young wings and resolve
to always soar high.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Camera Critters #20

What's up the tree, Jax? What's up the tree?

Why, it's that naughty cat that's been stalking the birds at our bird feeders!

Way to save the birds, Jax! Good boy!

And don't come back, you naughty cat!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Back-to-School Snafus

It's that glorious time of year - back-to-school! A time of new beginnings, new classes, new clothes, new school supplies, new possibilities - Happy New Year! This is a milestone year for all my kiddos. Navy Son is in his first year at the Naval Academy; Daughter is starting high school; Little Son is starting junior high. Big times ahead for all!

Navy Son had to endure Plebe Summer - another "boot camp" experience for him (which he has been thru before since he was enlisted for four years before he applied to the Academy). He injured his knee and spent some time in the hospital, but he's OK now. His classes started this week, and we know he'll do great.

Last week Daughter attended Fish Camp - kind-of an orientation for incoming freshman. She got her homeroom assignment and learned her way around the school, learned some policies and procedures, etc. Afterwards was a mixer for all the freshman, and she had a great time.

Last night Little Son attended his own orientation - altho it was severely lacking in the orienting department. He was able to pick up his textbooks and the school supplies and P.E. uniform I pre-ordered last spring. Along with all the other incoming 6th graders. And 7th graders. And 8th graders. Yeah, some genius scheduled supply pick-up for all the grades at the same time. It was chaos to say the least. After a short presentation by the obviously-frazzled principal, the 6th graders were released to their homerooms to get further information and their schedules. Little Son's homeroom teacher was not there - seems she was injured while riding The Bullet - the roller coaster at the Kemah Boardwalk - and has broken ribs!! We were assured she would be back Monday. But the lady that was there did not have their schedules. She did, however, have their school ID's - and the picture on Little Son's is his 3RD GRADE PICTURE! He has no front teeth in the photo!! He is beyond embarrassed about that. After another long presentation of nonsense, I tracked down a counselor and got Little Son's schedule for him. He was able to find all his classrooms, and even has two teachers that Daughter had. Other than the baby picture on his school ID, all is good for him.

Sidenote: He is SUCH my child! When we got home he took a highlighter and highlighted all his classrooms on the map of the school, numbering them in order. He also came up with a sentence to remember the order of his classes. Love that kid.

This morning was schedule pick-up for Daughter. We were there as soon as they opened the doors at 8:00 a.m., and there was already a line (there are over 900 incoming freshmen). When we finally got up to the table we were told she had to have a school ID to get her schedule. No, she did not get her school ID at Fish Camp. No, they did not have hers in the stack there. So we had to go over to another area and have her picture taken and school ID made (at least it's a current picture!). Then back to the schedule pick-up table. They found her schedule and handed it to us - and it's all wrong! Five out of her seven classes were completely WRONG. Instead of being put in the AP classes she was supposed to be in, they put her in regular classes. Instead of Theatre Arts she was put in Art. Instead of Sign Language she was put in Spanish. Instead of dance class she was put in Girls' Team Sports. She was in distress. So off we marched to the counselor's office, where we are told to fill out change-of-schedule forms and leave them in the box, which I did (it took several forms since nearly all her classes were wrong!). This afternoon I was not feeling good about this at all, so I called and spoke with the counselor, explaining our situation. Seems when we moved this summer and transferred her records over to this high school, her course selection card didn't get in with the rest of her file. So they just put her in whatever, and expected a call from me today. Not sure why no one called ME to say, "We don't have Daughter's course selection card...." ANYWAY, she assured me it would be fixed by Monday. As in first-day-of-school Monday. She is to report to her homeroom (which is different than the one she was assigned at Fish Camp, BTW) and they will give her her new schedule then. Oh - and one of the classes she signed up for is full - Sign Language. So she's taking French instead. She's OK with that. Thank goodness.

SO, we're off to a wacky start this year. Hopefully things will all get better from here!

Who are you and what have you done with the REAL Bubba's Sis?

I was up at 6:30 this morning. By choice. Well, sorta. Daughter has to pick up her schedule at the high school at 8:00, but I could have easily slept until 7:30 then rolled out of bed, jumped in some clothes, and drove her over there with sleep still in my eyes. But as Hubby was kissing me goodbye at 6:30 (he does that every morning - isn't that sweet?) I decided to just get up. I've already had my first cup of tea, washed and combed out my hair, checked my e-mail, and balanced my checkbook. I'm watching the day slowly get lighter, listening to the chirping birds and watching them at the bird feeders outside my window (Good morning, Mr. Cardinal!). This is the first morning all week that it's not raining, altho they say it will be by afternoon. But for now I am enjoying this early morning peace. If the mosquitoes wouldn't eat me alive I'd enjoy it out on my deck, but here by my big bedroom window is the next best thing.

Am I crazy? Maybe. I didn't go to bed until 2:00 this morning - was chatting online with a friend going thru a family crisis. But starting Monday I'll be up this early every day - Daughter's school starts at 7:20, Little Son's at 8:10. I can't guarantee I'll be this bright-eyed and bushy-tailed every day, but I'll be up and ready for my chauffeuring duties.

Then I can come back home and take a nap. That's enough morning for me, thankyouverymuch.

**UPDATE - By 2:00 this afternoon I could barely hold my eyes open - I HAD to have a nap! I slept for 2 HOURS! So much for Miss Morning Sunshine. The REAL Bubba's Sis is back!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sincerely 'Fro Me to You - Swimsuit Edition

Kristen, the creator of Sincerely 'Fro Me to You, is posting bathing suit pictures over the next couple of weeks. I think she is very brave. The only pic you'll see of ME in a bathing suit is this one:

I still have that mole on my stomach.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Introducing Polar Doc

Before I was a wife and mommy, I worked for an ob/gyn. MY ob/gyn, actually. A great guy, a great boss, and a great doctor. In fact, he delivered Daughter shortly before he moved away to Virginia (which worked out well because I wanted to stay home with Beautiful Baby Daughter anyway!). Over the years we have kept in touch, because I not only considered him my doctor and my boss, I considered him my friend. And still do.

He recently received an opportunity to do a 20-week tour of duty as a physician in Antarctica. Yes, ANTARCTICA. The only thing I know about Antarctica is that it's cold there and they have penguins. And apparently a need for a doctor of his caliber. So off he goes! He's leaving soon, and is blogging about the whole experience, so if you have a chance, stop by and visit him at Medical Ice. Leave him a comment and tell him I sent you.

I hope he packed his long underwear.....

Monday, August 18, 2008

Victory Rally

As I was watching the news last night before I went to bed, I saw a story that disturbed me. No, this was not about another murder, a child dying in a hot car, or the economy. This was about the Osteens. As much of America knows, Victoria Osteen was recently sued in civil court by a flight attendant who claimed Victoria assaulted her on a flight a couple of years ago. It was a frivolous lawsuit, because while Victoria did, indeed, throw a hissy fit (an FBI friend who knows people who were there gave me the lowdown), she did not assault the flight attendant. And the jury agreed.

Yesterday was the first church services at their Lakewood Church after the verdict. And the news video showed them celebrating - in my opinion, gloating - their "victory" during the church service. In fact, the entire service was dedicated to their celebration. They shared details of the trial, and believe that they are their very own proof that good things happen to you if you keep the faith. Joel Osteen said, "We feel like it’s not just a victory for us. It's a victory for God's kingdom. It's a victory for all of us together."

I've never been on the Osteen bandwagon, myself. I believe he is more of a motivational speaker than a pastor - in fact, he has never had any formal theological training. He preaches a "feel good gospel", rarely using Biblical references, and I believe he leans strongly towards preaching the "prosperity gospel", which basically says that wealth and power are rewards for devout Christians. This is NOT something that I personally believe in.

I am happy for Victoria that she was cleared of the allegations against her. I believe it was a good thing for them to pray about the trial - I certainly would have! But I also believe the trial was a personal thing, not a church thing. It's one thing to thank your parishioners for their prayers and support during the highly-publicized trial, but I think devoting an entire church service to celebrating their victory - a church service where people came to hear about God - was inappropriate. Oh yes, God is good. And as Christians, our faith is everything. And yes, good things happen when you keep the faith. But you know what? Bad things happen sometimes, too. That's life. Bad things do not happen because of your lack of faith, but it is your faith that can get you thru those hard times. We live in a world of free will, a world of sin. Indeed, we are all sinners (Osteen doesn't like to talk about that much). Jesus Christ paid our debt. But saying that keeping the faith gets you good things and that they are living proof? Well, that's just a bit misleading.

Of course, all this is just my opinion. What do YOU think?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Mommy Guilt

I was feeling pretty crappy when I went to bed last night, and chalked it up to the stressful shopping outing. But when I woke up this morning I still felt bad - tired and achey. I went to church (and was so glad I did because it was a powerful, moving, tears-streaming-down-my-face, worship experience!) but by the time we got home I felt like I had the flu. I had chills, was achey all over - even my butt cheeks ached - and just felt exhausted. So as soon as we got home I put my jammies back on and got back in bed. I slept most of the afternoon - Hubby woke me up in time to go to our Small Group meeting (again, so glad I went because we have an awesome Small Group and had a great lesson/discussion tonight). We grabbed the kids up after Group and tried a new Chinese restaurant in town, and now that we're home I'm still feeling like ca-ca.

But what's worse than my physical symptoms? The Mommy Guilt.

I don't want my children to think that I am tired or don't feel well all the time. I hate that I was not there for them today (altho Hubby was, so it's not like they were orphaned for the day or anything!). I don't want them to think I'm a lazy, deadbeat mom because I stayed in bed all afternoon. Sometimes I just get so tired, tho. And sometimes, like today, I just flat-out don't feel well. Maybe I should be stronger. Maybe I should push thru the fatigue and weariness and put on a happy face for them. I want to be the best mom I can be for them. I want them to think I am the greatest mom on the planet. I wasn't that mom today.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

What was I thinking??

It was a stormy, rainy Saturday morning here in H-Town - perfect for sleeping in, which I did. But once we got up and around, Hubby and the kids wanted to get out of the house. They wanted to go shopping for shoes for back-to-school.

"OH NO!" I said. "We are NOT going anywhere near the stores today! It's Tax-Free Weekend!"

But their pitiful faces and complaints of being cooped up in the house all week wore me down. So out we went.

Big mistake.

The traffic and stores were absolutely horrible. You could barely move in most of the stores, and it looked like a tornado had blown right thru them by mid-day.

All this craziness to save 8%. That's $8 for every $100 you spend, folks. Just not worth it to me. Hubby's argument is that the stores offer great sales in conjuction with Tax-Free Weekend, but that's still not enough to entice me. I hate crowds. Today was no exception, and by late afternoon I was a nervous wreck. Tonight I feel like I've been thru the ringer - my legs and ankles hurt, my head is pounding, and I am EXHAUSTED! And what was the reward for all this? Daughter and Little Son each got a pair of shoes. Whoopee.

Add this to my list of "Never Again" experiences. Not. Worth. It.

Camera Critters #19

How do you keep an elephant from charging?

Take away his credit cards!

Long Live The King!

Today we pause to remember one of the legends I love, the late, great Elvis Presley, who died on this day 31 years ago. We will always love you, Elvis! You ARE The King of Rock 'n Roll.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Me and Vanna - we're like, twins!

They say that everyone has a twin somewhere in the world. Well, special thanx to Jenny for hooking me up with this cool website - which tells me my twin is VANNA WHITE! Check it out:

I could totally be Vanna. She wears pretty dresses, her job is easy, she's world-famous. Yep. I could totally do that.

Sincerely 'Fro Me to You - Curls, Part II

Ah, the home perm. The answer to all life's straight hair problems. No more sleeping in curlers! No more losing the curl within hours! These curls were PERMANENT.

Now, last week I said my hair is ridiculously straight, which is true, but it is also ridiculously thick. So the perm - well, I had finally achieved that Big Hair that all Texas girls aspire to!

Sometimes those curls got unruly.

And sometimes they were downright out of control.

This is Bubba's Mom's dog, Charlie. Anyone see a resemblance??

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Change of Plans....And A Much Happier Daughter!

After 2 absolutely miserable days, we took Daughter back to the orthodontist today to discuss other options for treatment than the rapid palatal expander. In just 48 hours I had watched my normally happy, sunshiny, bubbly daughter turn into a shell of herself, a slobbering, incomprehensible, teary child who could not eat or even swallow. Something had to be done. The orthodontist was very understanding, and said that while the RPE is his first choice of treatment for her, he is equally satisfied with taking it out and pulling four teeth (two on top, two on bottom) to make more room to align all the others. She was all for it - which means it must have really been terrible for her to choose having teeth pulled over having that contraption in her mouth! So he took it out. And my happy, sunshiny, bubbly daughter returned. She ate a normal dinner, she sounds like herself again, and all is well. She still has her braces and will still wear them the same amount of time and have the same results, sans those four teeth.

Sometimes as a parent these decisions are hard to make. Looking back, I wish I had researched it more before we had it put on, but I actually had no idea she would have that hard a time with it. And while I'm sure the RPE is the best course of treatment for many kiddos, it was not for mine. I feel like we made the best decision for her today. I can go to bed feeling good about it.

And so can she.

Wordless Wednesday - Dangerous Driving!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Daughter and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Don't let the smile fool you. This has NOT been a good day for Daughter. As you can see, she got her braces today. And the palatal expander, which is giving her a lot of trouble. She's having a hard time swallowing, thus eating, and also talking with the new appliance in the roof of her mouth. She has a lot of spit in her mouth. Within an hour of getting the braces on her teeth, three of the bottom brackets popped off so we had to go back in and have those put back on and get a new bottom wire. Now the braces are making her mouth sore. She's frustrated. I'm frustrated. There have been tears (from both of us!). It has been a rough day.

I know that in a couple of days things will get better, and I keep telling her that (so it better be true, dammit!). It's just breaking my heart to see her go thru this. I'd rather just do it for her. Is that an option?

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Camera Critters #18

Tango LOOOOOVES Tango! Before I snapped this picture he was licking the mirror! Perhaps I should have named him Narcissus....

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Summer TV

Usually my summertime TV viewing consists mainly of Houston Astros baseball. But this summer I've been watching several good shows, which I have listed on my sidebar if anyone notices that kind of thing. Here's what I'm enjoying this summer; do you watch any of these?

On Monday nights there are three shows I enjoy, but two of them wrapped up this week. As corny as it is, our whole family really enjoys watching American Gladiators (and Hubby and I remember the original show!). My favorite Gladiator is Wolf.

This week was the season finale, and two of our favorites, Ally and Tim, were the big winners. Yay!

We also watch Nashville Star on Mondays, and it, too, had its season finale this week. We were so happy when Melissa won!!

The other Monday night show, Saving Grace, is not for kids - we DVR it and Hubby and I watch it after they go to bed. But it's a great show - gritty, but great storylines and characters. We really enjoy it. Holly Hunter does an excellent job (and I love to hear her talk!).

Tuesday is Little Son's favorite show - Wipeout. When I first saw this I thought it was going to be so stupid, but I cracked up the whole time and now I don't miss an episode! Little Son loves it so much that he even built a working Sweeper out of Legos (I was impressed!). Daughter hates the show, but the rest of us laugh our heads off every time we watch it. And laughter is good, even if it's at someone else's expense sometimes. Ha

Wednesdays bring Greatest American Dog. I LOVE dogs, and I love this show! It's another show the whole family watches together, and we're rooting for Bill and Star.

I cried this week when Brandy and Beacon went home.

Brandy was annoying, but Beacon looks like my Misty, and I miss her so much!

Also on Wednesdays is So You Think You Can Dance - with results on Thursdays. Tonight was the finale, and I couldn't be happier with the winner - congratulations to fellow Texan Joshua! For a mostly untrained street dancer, you stepped up to the challenges thrown at you and you were amazing! You deserve the top spot!

Watching the dancing has made me realize how much I miss it. It's so much a part of who I am. I don't miss teaching it, but I miss doing it. Perhaps this fall I'll look into taking a class - maybe something I've never tried, like ballroom dancing. That would be so fun! Then maybe someday I can be on my other favorite show that starts back up September 22 - Dancing With the Stars!

Wanna join me?

Sincerely 'Fro Me to You - Curls, Part I

Texas girls are supposed to have big hair. MY hair is ridiculously straight. It always has been. When God was handing out curly hair, I must have been hiding behind the door.

Oh, but Bubba's Mom wanted it to be curly! And oh, how we tried and tried to achieve the perfect curls. I spent a lot of time in rag curlers.

We would roll it up wet, then I would usually sleep in these lovely things (SO comfy! NOT!). Most of our Christmas morning or Easter morning pictures are of me in curlers. If we were going somewhere special at night, we'd wet it and roll it in the morning and I'd wear them all day while my hair dried into cute little ringlets. Sometimes Bubba's Mom would roll it so tight I think my eyes were slanted.

The end result was usually something like this:

This would last for a few hours tops, and then it would fall and be flat as a fritter again.

Until we discovered home perms.

Tune in next week for that excitement. You'll bust a gut.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Keeping Things Safe - WWMD?

I'm certain that security is tight around Martha's place. Well, I was thinking of her house, not her jail cell, but I guess both apply, don't they? Ha ha! Anyway, we take security here at the Bubba's Sis House seriously, too. Which is why we have this:

The big, white, metal safe. If you were to take a peek inside, you would find all the family's socks and underwear. Yep, that's where we keep 'em! Why put them away neatly in drawers when you can keep them in here? That way if, say, some thief were to break in and rifle thru my panty drawer, all he would find would be a few old, stretched-out pairs of panties and all my kids' baby teeth in envelopes. Because I keep the GOOD panties in the big, white, metal safe. There's not a lot of socks in there right now because, well, it's summer, and who wears socks in the summer? But come fall you can bet we'll be keeping the socks in there, too. Because it's not only a good thing, it's a safe thing.

If you want to participate in WWMD? please do! We'd all love to come see a pic of your hillbillity! Be sure to leave me a link here, and also over at OK, Where Was I?, because it was Sarah who came up with this brilliant idea.

Party on.

Wordless Wednesday - I can see clearly now.....

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Wolf! Wolf!

I know it's best to be prepared. I do. But once again the media sensationalized the story of a storm and whipped the public up into a frenzy - for nothing. Well, I guess not for NOTHING. We did get the storm this time. But Tropical Storm Edouard turned out to be a dud. The eye made landfall just east of here, and with the storm moving west we got a good bit of it. Which included rain and wind. Not bad rain and bad wind, just rain and wind. I think the news people are actually disappointed there are not stories of damage to report on. In an article from Galveston today there was a statement that said - and I quote - "One tree was reportedly damaged." Where I live we never even lost power.

After Hurricane Katrina, people were scared. And when Hurricane Rita came just a few weeks later, it was mayhem. Many many people (including myself) have said they will never again go thru what we went thru with Rita. But every time there's a storm in the Gulf - heck, even out in the Caribbean - the news people start. It happened just a few weeks ago with Dolly. And then, nothing really happens. Eventually the public is going to stop listening when they cry "Wolf!" - and then it may be The Big One. It may even be me that doesn't listen. But I get so sick of the weather experts building it up to be a monumental event, and then we just get a rainy day. cjh has a good question posed on her blog today: "Who can convey information without trying to over-dramatize it?" There needs to be a happy medium. Because one day the wolf really will be there.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Bring it on, Ed!

Bottled water? Check.
Canned goods? Check.
Flashlights? Check.
Batteries? Check.
Candles? Check.
Cars gassed up? Check.

We're ready for Edouard.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Here we go again.....

"A tropical depression crawling along the Louisiana coast was upgraded to the fifth tropical storm of the year, Tropical Storm Edouard, and it could affect the Houston area within the next couple of days.

At 7 p.m. Sunday, the center of Tropical Storm Edouard was located at 28.1 north and 88.2 west, or about 90 miles southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River and about 415 east-southeast of Galveston. Maximum sustained winds are 50 mph. Edouard could be nearing hurricane strength before landfall.

Edouard is moving toward the west near 4 mph and a general motion toward the west or west-northwest is forecast during the next couple of days.

According to the National Hurricane Center, the center of the storm will move parallel to the Louisiana coast Sunday night and Monday, approaching the Texas coast on Tuesday.

Tides levels can be expected to rise of 2 to 4 feet above normal tide levels in the warning area where there are onshore flow areas.

Total rain accumulations are expected to be between 1 and 2 inches along the Louisiana coast, with possible deposits of 3 inches at the most. Once the storm reaches Texas, however, the storm is expected to drop between 4 and 6 inches with isolated amounts of 8 in. maximum."