Tuesday, July 26, 2011


- I ate my very first Lean Cuisine meal this week.  It may have been lean, but it was not cuisine.  Someone should scold them for false advertising.

- I think that new "Cowboys and Aliens" movie looks so stupid, but I'm the same person who took one look at "Dancing with the Stars" several years ago and said there was no way that show would make it past one season.

- While painting my kitchen the other day, I had Pandora music playing.  During the course of the day, it played several Amy Winehouse songs.  She really was a talented singer.  Such a shame.

- My dad mowed our lawn last week while Ryan was on a business trip.  Sydney asked me how much I was going to pay him.  (Just in case you're wondering, I pay him in food.)

- I dropped the kids off at Ryan's mom's house for a few days so that I could some stuff done around the house.  Sydney said the best part of staying there is that she doesn't have to make her bed.

- I finally started working on Evan's Christmas stocking again.  Poor boy is coming up on his fourth Christmas and it's about time he had his own personalized stocking like his siblings.

- I bit the bullet and paid somebody to come out and clean our carpet.  Wow!  Between that and newly painted kitchen I feel like I'm in a whole new house.

- The kids found a baby gecko in the toy room last week.  Liam asked if we could keep it.  I politely told him "no" as I captured the scared thing and put it outside where it belongs.  Maybe it's time we get some kind of pet....

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Found: One Backbone

I knew it was coming.  Really, I did.  I just didn't expect it to come so soon.

I mentioned a while back that I was in charge of our church's Vacation Bible School curriculum this summer.  It wasn't all that difficult or time consuming, especially since Ryan took the kids out for an entire afternoon so that I could finish it without interruption.

Because it wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be, I went ahead and volunteered to make copies of it for all the teachers.  I even put together a supply list based on the curriculum just to be helpful.

And because I did my job thoroughly and went a little above and beyond, I got the call.

What call is that, you ask?

Well, it was the "Since you did such a great job as curriculum coordinator, I was wondering if you'd be interested in being my co-director for all of Bible School next year" call.  (The term "co-director" is also the code word for the following year's head director.)

My internal response?  "Heck no."

My actual response?  "I am so flattered you'd think of me, but I really don't think I can devote the time to it that it needs."  I went on to tell her that Ryan's work is asking him to travel more this year (true) and that he's gearing up to start a master's program at a nearby university (true) and that I'd be a single mom for much of the next couple of years (also true) thanks to the first two reasons.

She was very understanding and sympathetic since her husband also travels quite a bit, but sad.  She asked who I thought who would be a good person to ask and I told her that I'd think about that and I'd get back to her (and I will because I already have a couple of names in mind).

I'm feeling guilty about it because I know it's a hard job and it's a lot of work.  I also feel guilty because the person who asked me was co-chair this past year and still managed to work full time as a high school science teacher and keep her two children fed, clothed and loved.  I honestly don't know how she did it all and I don't want to find out, either.

However, I'm a big believer that you should volunteer with a happy heart.  If you do it out of obligation then you won't enjoy it at all and people will be able to sense your resentment and neither of those are good things when it comes to dealing with over 400 children and volunteers.

I always joke with Ryan that I inherited my mother's inability to tell people "no", but I guess I didn't.  I suppose I've just learned how to do it politely and with a smile on my face.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Summer = TV

So, um, yeah.....it's been a while since I posted.

There's no excuse for it other than the fact that I had nothing to say and didn't really feel like writing.  While Seinfeld may have made a fortune with a show about nothing, nobody wants to read a blog about nothing.  It's not that we haven't done anything, I just didn't have anything to say about it.

We've attended two week long camps at church, spent a week in San Antonio with my parents, done some swimming, played in the sprinkler, played games, read lots of books for the library's summer reading program, gone to see some movies and since it is so hot outside (and by hot, I mean HOT - and I'm from Texas so I know the meaning of the word), we've put our Netflix streaming to use.

For the kids, this is the summer of "Phineas and Ferb".  I'd heard parents rave about it but never actually sat down to watch it before this summer.  It's about a couple of boys who spend their summers using their imaginations and inventing things and irritating their tattle-tale older sister who can never seem to convince their mother that the boys are up to no good.  The fact that the plot hits close to home for us may factor into our newfound love of it.

Ryan and I are making our way through the 1980s series "Thirtysomething" an episode or two at a time in the evenings.  I'm telling you, take away their giant shoulder pads and give them some smart phones and the characters could be anyone you know.  There's a stay at home mom who's struggling with having to give up her career, a couple of husbands trying to make ends meet, a divorced couple and all of their single friends whom you can't help but feel a bit jealous of and a bit sorry for all at the same time.  Sound familiar to anyone?

When I get a spare hour to myself (ha, ha) or have a bout of insomnia, I've taken to watching episodes of  "Roseanne".  I watched it as a teenager and it was funny then, but now that I'm the same age as the parents and have kids of my own, it is an absolute riot: the pranks they pull on their kids, the sarcasm, the coining of new phrases such as "fiduciary Esperanto" when doing their taxes.....it's all ten times better the second time around.

While in Florida, I caught a couple of episodes of "Ice Road Truckers" and got hooked.  I usually can't stand reality TV, but I honestly find this one fascinating.  There are lots of bleeps over the bad words, but I'm fairly certain that anyone driving 10 tons of expensive cargo over frozen roads and lakes would probably drop a few bad words here and there.  And while some people think driving those trucks is the hardest job in the world because it so cold and dark, I'm thinking that the poor people filming it all probably have it even worse.  The truck drivers are in their heated trucks; the cameramen are outside in the forty below zero temperatures filming it all....I'm just sayin'.

I've had fun watching some hoity-toity BBC/Masterpiece Theater movies, too.  I'm a sucker for any kind of historical fiction set in Europe so this is right up my alley.  Just last night I watched "A Room With a View" and got the giggles seeing a young(er) Maggie Smith with a pile of blonde hair on her head and a 19 year old Helena Bonham Carter before she met Tim Burton and turned into a weirdo.  I found myself wondering if the makeup person for the movie had ever heard of tweezers or if they were trying to be historically accurate by giving the younger characters eyebrows that would make Frida Kahlo jealous.

So now that I've given you the impression that all we've done this summer is watch television, I will tell you that we've also done boring stuff like work on multiplication tables and practice handwriting.  But, hey, it's summer and everyone needs a substantial break from the grueling school year schedule, right?