This is My "Real" Blog: March 2008

Angie's Blog!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Big Hair & Antique China

Need I say more?!

This was sometime in 1990, I believe. Our friends, Barb & Trophy got married after Mark and I wed in 1989. I believe I played the piano at their wedding, and Mark was either an usher, or played the cello. . .or bass. Regardless, I swear I look like I'm wearing antique dishes. . . complete with an entire can of Aqua Net!!

This picture is the result of Facebook. I highly recommend it -- in the past three days, I've reconnected with friends we haven't seen or talked to in YEARS. . . . of course, when you get on there, you just might find pictures of yourself like this one.

And yes, I have traumatized Edison with this picture. Wow.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Always a Princess. . . .

Yesterday, Caroline attended her first "princess" birthday party. It was held in honor of my cousin's daughter, Kylie. Part of the festivities included a visit from "Belle" from Beauty and the Beast. (It was supposed to be Cinderella, but she came down with the flu. . . according to her fairy godmother) So, we adapted.

Here you see Belle, and the rest of the princesses. Do I need to point out the prettiest one? I didn't think so. . .

Caroline enjoyed the "idea" of the noisemaker -- but wasn't ever able to fully execute it. Which is kind of a blessing -- because she was kinda freaked out by the noise they made. Go figure.

A princess, by the way, eats her cupcakes with a fork, not her hands like other "savage" princesses. Just thought you should note that. . .

So, we survived our first princess party. My pictures aren't the greatest. But, if I'm honest, I was holding Baby Carson for the first hour or so of the party -- so my pictures suffer some from my inability to put that precious baby down. Have I mentioned how BEAUTIFUL he is? I have? Oh, allright.

On Friday, we enjoyed (endured) another viewing of the Wiggles' "Space Dancing" DVD. It was in her Easter basket -- and I think we've watched over 20 times this week while the boys were gone. Now, if I'm honest, I will say that "watching" means having it on the background while all sorts of other activities went on. But, on this occasion, she was seen dancing along with the guys.

"Doinnnnnngg the Eagle Rock!"

I guess I have to admit it --I kind of like the "Eagle Rock" song. It has this Van Morrison - late 70s feel to it. I found myself humming along, and eventually singing and dancing along with her. Sadly, there are no pictures of that. (heh heh)

It's amazing what one will do when one's amount of adult conversation and company is severly hampered. Hopefully, it will be a long time until we experience this again!

Happy Weekend everyone!!

Saturday, March 29, 2008


they're home.

do I need to say anything more?

didn't think so.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Just One More Day.....

We've made it to Friday!!

Honestly, I cannot imagine how single mothers do it. Seriously. . .I give HUGE props to my friends who are balancing one, two, three or even FOUR kids (Wonder Woman) on their own. I salute you. If I were closer in proximity, I'd give you a BIG hug, and offer to massage your shoulders while paying someone to give you a manicure, pedicure, and facial.

Seriously. I am spent.

And, if I'm honest. . . I've had it easy. Caroline's a breeze--and this week has been no exception. She's been a dream all week. Even with the potty training......three successful trips today....she's been so good. I am blessed. But even more, I am humbled by my own insufficiencies.

I had plans, ya'll. I was going to make curtains. I was going to clean out closets (one actually got done). I was going to clean out a portion of the garage. I was going to. . .I was going to. . .I was going to. . .

Instead? Let's see, I did clean out the aforementioned linen closet -- donating LOADS of sheets and towels to a women's shelter. And the expired asthma medicines? Gone. But, other than that. . .

The scrapbooking I was going to do? Nope.
The sewing I had planned? Nope.
The reading I had dreamed about? Not even close.

I have managed to keep the dishes done. (Not that big a deal with two of us)
I have gone to the dump twice. (Caroline laughs when I 'throw' bags in the dumpster)
I have kept up with the laundry (Again, not that impressive)
I have managed to get her to the potty (successfully) eleven times this week.

. . . so it's been a success. But, at the end of these days, when I thought I'd get these projects done? I have collapsed.

So to you. . . .Jeannette, Angela, Carmen, Kyle, and all my other friends who go it alone (some by choice; others not so much) -- I salute you. I adore you. I honor you. You make me want to be better by following your example. You make me proud. And, like I said. . . you get me within proximity of you, and there's a pedicure--on me!!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

'Scone On? **

(** What's Goin On?)

You just gotta love a picture of a girl eating a dried cherry scone, right? You can see that she didn't abandon her beloved Froot Loops and Cheerios mix. . .in case the scone wasn't any good. Which it was. . .because her mother lovingly made it. Which reminds me. . .I have butter. . .I have baking powder. . .I have BUTTERMILK. Why haven't I made scones this week?!?!?!?!

Sorry for that little outburst. . . one of Caroline's favorite books is called, "The Colors of My Day." And, if she sees it, she proudly proclaims, "Look Mommy, it's The Colors of My Day" and then, of course, we have to read it. Well, the subtitle to tonight's post is "The Pictures of My Day" and it goes as follows:

This is Caroline standing at the bathroom sink -- washing her hands. I swear, if we're not careful, we're going to infuse her with some serious OCD tendencies. I'm starting to suspect that she's willing to try going potty -- just so that she can wash her hands.

You can see that the stool indeed is NOT high enough--so each trip to the bathroom includes her being hoisted up onto the edge of the sink (pacemaker be damned) to wash her hands in the wather. She likes it COLD! (Again, the OCD tendencies are not fully infused) And, it's anti-bacterial soap -- so I think we're covered.

These are the two elements that I suspect have the most draw for her. The vanilla "self-sudsing" anti-bacterial soap from Bath & Body Works (smells yummy) and of course, the Easter-colored M&Ms which I put in a decorative mason jar -- because they match the bathroom, and don't stain as darkly as the regular-colored ones. I will, however, be forced to resort to the primary colored M&Ms when this jar runs out. (I'm not claiming failure -- but this could be a long process) If I was truly a slave to the decorating, I could go online, and order white and blue M & Ms to coordinate with my new bathroom. I just might do that. . . .

And this, my friends, is the seat of honor (unoccupied for your viewing comfort, Uncle Steve). And yes, it does coordinate with the bathroom colors -- but it was purchased long before the bathroom was re-decorated. Of course, I might have subconsciously picked my bathroom colors to match the potty chair that had already been bought. Wouldn't that be one for the books? Or the blog?

Speaking of books. . .yes, we are also teaching that bad habit. But I cannot tell you how many times the act of picking up the book has led to the achievement of the goal of the chair. (Question: Could there be some sort of physio/psycho connection between the backside hitting the. . . never mind!)

There you have a small peek into our lives these days. We actually have five successful trips to the potty today. One was even requested by her majesty -- not foisted upon her by her loving, and supportive mother.

And yes, the new trick we've learned is that after you go potty, you find Mommy's cell phone, and call someone to say, "I Did It! I went potty!" Then they cheer, tell you you're a big girl, say they're proud of you, and say "I love you" before hanging up. (Thanks, Beth! You did good last night!!)

Seriously. Tonight? After her bath? The girl did her bizness--and looked up. She said, "Wash hands?" So we did.

Her next two words: "Call Daddy?"

I love this child so much more than I'll ever be able to express.


From Australia. . .with love! -- EDITED!

My dear, sweet friend, Helen (link to her blog) has made the most beautiful layout with our Easter picture from Sunday. I want to share it here. The journaling is my blog post from Sunday evening. . . which really neat to see my words in print -- by someone else's hands. (Weird, I know. . . but it still has just made my day!) So this next piece of artwork is not mine. . .but Helen's -- and I know you will enjoy it as much as I have.

Helen, my friend, you are (as I always tell you ) AMAZING!!!

EDITED: To see a larger version of the layout -- simply click on it! Thanks, Beth!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

All is Well

First of all. . . Mark's mom came through her surgery just fine today. They expect to begin physical therapy with her tomorrow. (knee replacement surgery)

I am really glad Mark and Edison are out there -- if for nothing else, than to give Papa (George) some comic relief when times get tough. Edison spilling hot cocoa all over his shirt while she was in surgery may just have provided some of that. . . .(come on Mark, you can smile about it now!)

Caroline's doing well in the PT department.....she had two successes today, and a "Mommy's an Idiot" event, as well. Let me explain:

We were walking out the door to go to church. Literally, we were standing in the garage -- so I suppose you could say we'd already walked out the door. [slight digression there]

She says, "Poops, Mommy." (Sorry, for you faint of heart readers).

I checked her (again, I apologize) and replied, "No, you're fine."

Of course, you know where this is headed. We got to church 7 minutes later, and her diaper was full (well, sorta). So, if I wouldn't have been in such a hurry -- we might have had our first opportunity for her to TELL ME before needing to go to the restroom.

Truth be told, that's the part I'm the most concerned about in this entire process. You see, she is very shy (at least at school and daycare) and "Glass-Half-Empty Mommy" is afraid that, even when we have the process mastered, she'll be too shy to say something to the teacher.

Or "Glass-Half-Full Mommy" says that maybe this will increase her self-confidence -- and she'll actually begin to be more verbal--and less shy.

I'll let you know which Mommy is correct.

She had one successful trip while Mom was with her today -- and then tonight, after her bath, we had another success. So, today has been a banner day. After she got her hands washed tonight, we called Mark to tell him. Then, we called "Great Auntie Beth" in Canada. She was very excited for both of us -- and our conversation after Caroline's great announcement was just what my little heart needed tonight.

So, there you have it. My day in seven paragraphs (or so). I actually thought of another topic to blog about on the way home from church -- but this really is what is taking over my life right now, so it only seemed fitting to keep you all updated on the entire family.

Mark and Edison just called -- they're at a "Village Inn" which, to my fellow mid-western friends is what we know as "Baker's Square" which was called "Poppin' Fresh" before they changed the name. It's a Denny's wannabe -- but they have the world's GREATEST PIES. I told Edison about it the other night, and when they found one this evening in Tucson, Mark decided it would be good to let Edison experience French Silk Pie for himself.

My son is becoming a man.

Other topic? Oh, I was going to blather about how much the smell of freshly cut grass -- especially when the wild onions are in abundance -- has that "Welcome Spring" smell to it. I was sniffing onions all the way home from church tonight. . . and it was heavenly.

Yeah......I think my instincts were good to write about family over mown grass.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

"I DID it!"

--Caroline Aubrey (age 3)

Yep -- we've had two successes thus far on our climb. (see yesterday's post if that confuses you) I have learned that the best window of opportunity is the time immediately following lunch. Other than that, it's hit or miss. Thankfully, we've not missed yet.

Of course, I'm still not brave enough to just put her in big girl britches (I just can't type the "p" word here -- don't want sickos coming to my blog). Yesterday, she was successful on both endeavors. Today, it was just "number 1" if I may be so crass.

I'm very proud of her. I don't know where the communication breakdowns happen when it comes to activities like going potty. As Mark and I have learned about Down syndrome, we have learned that neurologically speaking, the pathways in the brain for impulses to be sent and received is somewhat hampered--not impossible--just hampered. This is one of those areas where she'll have to work a little bit harder than a "normal" child. (we usually use the term 'typical' instead of normal. . . but I was trying to make a point)

So, this process may take a couple more days. . .or a couple more weeks. Success may even be a year away. . .but this just seemed like the optimal time to really give it a try. So, I can be content with 2 successes thus far. In fact, there may have been a "quasi" success last night, after she got out of the bathtub. There was evidence this morning that there may have been unnoticed issues last night. I'm not losing sleep over it.

I am, however, sneezing my head off. I woke up this morning -- sneezed about 18 times -- got up, sneezed about 20 more times, and took a Benadryl. Yes, I am very groggy.

I took Caroline (in a diaper) to Walmart, and we did some girl shopping. Nothing really overtly feminine, but it was fun--just being girls out going shoppping. She's not nearly as well-known at Walmart as she is Food City here in our little town. In fact, if I make an appearance at Food City without her -- heaven forbid -- I hear about it.

"Where's that pretty little girl??"
"Where's your daughter today?"
"Where's our favorite Caroline?"

(that last one gets me)

So. . .I probably need to take advantage of the freetime I have right now. She's in bed -- I thought she was asleep, but I just heard singing coming from her room. I'm not going in to check--but I will keep an eye out for flying clothes or stuffed animals.

Boys? What boys? Oh, theeeeeeeeemmmm. Sorry, I was so used to this being a "chick" house, i forgot all about Mark & Edison. They made it to Phoenix on time last night -- and attempted to get on an earlier shuttle down to Tucson. No such luck. Their "scheduled" shuttle was actually 15 minutes late -- so when I talked to Mark, he was pretty tired (read: grumpy). They hadn't eaten, nor had they experienced any fresh air for about 14 hours. I heard about it.

. . . I started to remind them about our friend, Doug. Doug travels (or so it seems) more than he's home. I decided not to say anything about how much worse he has it than they did, but I was tempted. And, since I know Mark reads this, he'll eventually get this mini-message.

They're going to a baseball game today (as I type, actually). The Colorado Rockies are playing the Chicago White Sox in an exhibition pre-season game. It's autograph day -- so they may have even more fun than me. It will really be hard to top this, though.

Laundry. Cleaning closets. Washing dishes. Cleaning windows. Making beds. Scrubbing toilets (including a potty chair).

Yeah--they're gonna have to really stretch to have a better day than me. last thing -- sorry there are no pictures, but it seems kinda creepy. I'll be taking some for scrapbooking (family heritage preservation) purposes. But on the blog? Gah.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Break -- of the "Spring" sort

Well, it's official. It's Spring Break. It's just 9:23 a.m., and we're already watching the Wiggles. Oh, but let me add:

1) We forgot Caroline had a pacemaker call-in appointment this morning. WAKE UP!!!
2) Edison and Mark just left for 6 days in Arizona
3) Prior to walking out the door, Edison had a nosebleed.
4) I haven't taken a shower yet -- and the world's best "Caroline Wranglers" are gone.

So. . . Spring Break is already rocking.

Seriously, it should be an interesting week. I'm going to work from home a couple of days--and go into work on Wednesday.

My main task while they're gone? Well, there are two of them.

a) clean out closets and other "storage" places
b) potty train Caroline

Yep, I said it. I figured there wouldn't be another time when I'd have this much serious one-on-one time with her -- so we're going to start really trying to nail this toilet thing down. so to speak.

So prayers would be appreciated--both for my traveling boys, who are going to Tucson to be with Mark's mom and dad. Mary (my mother in law) is having knee replacement surgery on Wednesday. The boys are going to keep George company, see a baseball game, help George start blogging, eat some killer Chinese food, and enjoy some serious sunshine.

Please pray for them as they travel, and for Mary's surgery.

I would also request prayers on my behalf as I climb "Mt. Potty" I've climbed this mountain before -- and as I recall, it can be quite treacherous.

I'm hoping that Mark will post pictures of their trip on his blog. If so, I will certainly post links to them. Until then, I've got me an appointment with a potty chair. If you'll excuse me. . . .

Sunday, March 23, 2008


That's my word today. Just overflowing. What an awesome day. Great services at church. Great job by my choir and orchestra...and yes, though I did boast on how ready they were, we were still a bit nervous during first service. Second service rocked in a MAJOR way. I'm exhausted, but so very proud of my team!!

And, of course, with two kids in the house, and one being a little princess who TOTALLY got into Easter Eggs this year. . .my heart is overflowing in so many ways. Here are some pictures to go along with the stories. . .

Caroline's new Easter dress is, of course, sleeveless. It was cold -- so Grandma got her the white cardigan sweater to go with the sleeveless dress. You can't see her new socks, but they are GORGEOUS (thanks, Grandma!!). And the purse. . . well, let's just say that I *LOVE* the $1 section at Target. I was amazed that she carried it to church, but she did. I'm blown away at how much she is growing up!!

And, here we are. . . Sorry the dress (mine, silly) isn't more prominently featured in the picture. But, I love it -- and will be wearing it again soon. Maybe I'll pose for a picture at that time! :)

. . .and yes, sadly, Edison and I *are* standing on the floor of the worship center. He is officially taller than me. I knew it was coming. It just hit me today how much he's growing up. It also hit me how much I want to get back on Weight Watchers, and continue the good habits that I began about this time last year. I still can see a difference--but I want to see more. . .or less, depending on your perspective!!

When we got home, we searched for the easter eggs that I hid last night, after Caroline went to sleep. I have to say, it was fun hiding them. I don't remember hiding them for Edison when he was little. But, "helping" her "search" for them today was HILARIOUS!! Each one was this amazing, magical, mystical experience. And, of course, they HAD to be opened immediately. I've never seen a kid so excited by multiple occurrences of mini M & Ms, and Dora Snacks.

"Oh LOOK! More Dora Snacks!!!!" "Oh LOOK. . . .emmms."

Another part of my heart overflowed because I *finally* got to hold my new cousin (who's really like a nephew) Carson today. Since he was born lo, those many weeks ago, he was in the hospital, I got bronchitis, Caroline, Edison, AND Mark got sick. I got sick again. And, their family passed around sicknesses. So today, it was MY turn! Of course, I had to share him. . . .

And, share him I did!

After the charm of holding "Baby Carson" as we call him, wore off, Caroline and Kylie headed to Kylie's room to play. This was also a really neat thing. . .because it was a first time for Caroline to actually go *play* with Kylie. Usually, Caroline retreats to the bookshelf, and buries herself in a pile of children's books. Today -- they played together for nearly an hour -- until Kylie came in the dining room to tell me that Caroline was crying. There was no reason given. I didn't press.

But, before the tears, they had a ball. . . .

So, yeah, to say that my heart is "overflowing" is putting it mildly. By the time we made it home from my aunt's house (around 5:30 p.m.) I fell asleep on the couch.

[side note: that is SO not like me. I hate falling asleep that late in the afternoon/evening -- especially if I am expected to be kind to people after I wake up!]

I hope that your Easter celebrations were joyous, full of wonderful music and joy. . .and, of course FOOD. . . .oh, and did I mention? We're overflowing with CHOCOLATE, too.


Saturday, March 22, 2008


Maybe all the excitement of buying an easter dress got to me??? Maybe it was just inevitable that the stomach bug that's been running rampant would eventually catch me.

Regardless of which option you choose, I got hit.

I am better. . .some. Still tired and weak, but better.

There are many things to do today in preparation for tomorrow's festivities. There's even a community Easter Egg Hunt for which our church is the main sponsor. Edison has been inducted into slavery (he's helping set it up this morning). Our plan is to take Caroline and have a fun "family day." We'll see.

So, that explains the quiet Good Friday. I certainly wasn't taking the day off for religious reasons. . .unless you count a certain amount of time spent kneeling. . . at a throne. . .of sorts.


Thursday, March 20, 2008


I found my easter dress today. I even bought it. It was only $40. I've paid WAAY more than that in recent years. But, I'm so excited.

It's what I call a "Jill Taylor" dress. No, she's not some new designer. . . it's the TV wife of Tim Taylor (Home Improvement). This is a dress very similar to what she wore on the show. (only she wore bobby socks and cute brown lace up shoes)

It's a brown print dress. I know. . .doesn't sound very easterish. But, it's the right dress. It was the right price. It was the right fit. And, most of all, I didn't puke when I looked at myself wearing it. (grin)

So, with the hour I have left until Caroline gets back from school, I'm going to do some "crafty" stuff. I'd love to hang out here -- play web soduku, read blogs, and such. But, this is the first day in about two weeks when I've had no one to look after, the dishes are (for the most part) done, and I've got some free time.

See ya!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"I'm Baaaaaaaaa-aaaaack!"

. . .that would be Caroline's appetite talking. . . or her personality. . .or her vocabulary.

It's amazing what a couple days can do when a child is recovering from an illness. I was just greeted with "more goldfish, please!" after she had finished the Diego fruit snacks that had been squirreled away in her TV tray.

. . .no, I don't know how long they had been there. But what doesn't kill us makes us stronger, right?

So, there you go. We're back. We're good. We're getting rain. What else could a person need?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I love surprises. I had one surprise party in my life--when I was 12. Actually, I found out about it about an hour before it was supposed to happen. (It was my punishment for reading a letter at my aunt's house -- but in my defense, it was from my Grandma (her mom) and I loved reading her letters....even the ones that weren't for me)

Suddenly, it made sense why my aunt was taking me out for pizza at Pizza Hut on a Saturday afternoon. Oh well. . .you'd think that would have taught me a lesson about not being nosy. nope.

The only other notable surprise party was a bridal shower in my honor -- and Mark and Doug were instrumental in getting me to the right house at the right time. And this time, I wasn't suspicious. I felt like I was coming down with some sort of stomach bug all the way there, but I still didn't catch on. That was very special.

But, really -- I tend to be the one trying to pull off the surprises. Sometimes I do well. Other times, I fail. But, I generally DO like surprises. Caroline was a surprise. She was a very cool surprise.

Surprises today? Yeah, there were a couple. . .

One really shouldn't be a surprise to any of you reading this. Edison has just completed 30 minutes of viola practice. Hmmmmmmm, wonder where the motivation for that came from??? I don't care why. I don't care if his motives are purely selfish. He's practicing. That's really all I am concerned about.

The other surprise was work-related. I was thanked today, by the leaders of the church, for going [their terms] 'above and beyond the call' during the last quarter of last year. It was a very sweet letter. One I will cherish very much.

I am fortunate in that our church family is very supportive of our music ministry. I have a "boyfriend" that calls me "Maestro" every Sunday. He follows it with a big hug, and some little quip about how he's too old to get into trouble--or that he's fat & sassy, and loving life that way. There are other people who will compliment the music, or the musicians. That always means a lot.

But today--this came from my boss's bosses. Yep, this was from the top tier of leaders at the church, and their words meant a lot to me. [It's always nice to know when your efforts are being noticed.]

My third surprise came from my husband. It is a direct result of yesterday's post (mine). It also goes to show that idle hands can really get you into trouble. You can click the link here -- and you'll see what I mean.

I told Mark that if we showed this to Edison -- especially after dinner last night -- there might be irreparable damage to his psyche. . .but I'm kind of willing to take the risk. I know. I am evil.

So there you have it. It's Tuesday. According to a former colleague, Tuesday is the most productive day of the week. I don't know if it's true or not -- but this guy was a native South African, and his thick english accent made him sound very knowledgeable. (He may have just been blowing smoke, who knows?)

But, I've tried to be productive. I even made it to the grocery store. So, I must be doing something right. I mean. . .come on. . . my kid has practiced the viola for heaven's sake.

Monday, March 17, 2008


Okay. . . so when Caroline is recuperating from the flu (that she obviously got from Beth -- because they're both sick right now) She's very clingy.

I don't mean just the, "Mommy, please hold me until I forget that I want you to hold me, and then you can go back to web sudoku or work or whatever it is that you're doing."

No, it's more of the, "Mommy, hold me. hold me. hold me. HOLD ME! Yeah, and now that you're holding me, let's sit down over here on the chair, and you can hold me for two hours. What? Your arm's going to sleep. Aw, shake it off, Mommy. You're holding me."

So. Not so much work got done. Until she went to bed. Now? Some is done. More will happen tomorrow. We're not going to send her to school again. She's still too puny.

I mean, think about it. The girl likes to eat. Snacks, especially. (Dora & Diego snacks are our current favorites -- right up there with Goldfish & Animal Crackers)

Yesterday? She ate two bites of applesauce and one bite of a saltine. Seriously.
Today? She stole my Lucky Charms that I was munching on (dry) and picked out the cereal -- didn't want the marshmallows. Then, for dinner, she ate an entire cup of applesauce, one (1) Dora Animal Cracker, and sixteen or so dry Lucky Charms.

That's it.

So, baby girl really doesn't hardly have the strength to hold up her own head. Erego, I need to stop bemoaning the fact that we spent the entire day recreating that last week that she was in the womb. Well, except for the contractions and the stretch marks.

But still. Sigh.

Edison is having a typical teenage week. His days are numbered. Tonight, he sulked through dinner. . .which rocked, by the way. Homemade Chicken Pot Pie. (Well, the crust was not homemade, but the rest was!) It really was good.

Why the sulking? Because we wouldn't let him have a soda with dinner. I know. . .we suck as parents. He eventually ate more of his dinner than we previously dreamed he would do. I don't remember if he got to eat dessert or not. I know. What a horrid mother I must be.

But, I have my reasons for not knowing. By the time he was done eating and had begun packing stuff up for tomorrow, we realized that not only has he not practiced his viola (I did not choose this instrument, by the way) this past week. He really hasn't practiced at all this semester, or the last one!

Angry? You betcha. At him? Yup.

But I'm also a little disappointed in his teacher. [My mom has a theory for this, by the way.]

Here's the deal:

She (music teacher) "forced" us to buy an instrument for him (as did other parents). And, according to Edison, she has never told them to practice at home. . . . No, I am not that naive. She probably has mentioned it, but, she never assigns homework -- and practicing qualifies as homework in my book.

Now, please disregard my huffing and puffing as I climb up onto my soapbox. Okay. I'm up.

Friends, I am a music teacher. I have taught school before. I have given piano lessons for well over 20 years (yes, I am old -- we've covered this before)

I taught music at a private "Christian" school where many (if not most) of the kids were one step away from being shipped off to a military academy. These kids were promiscuous, they abused drugs and alcohol, and they cussed worse than sailors. I loved every one of these kids (music students) and did my best to give them a decent education. But, this school was poorly run--and I had next to nothing when it came to resources. Seriously. I borrowed music from the local public school to keep them from singing the same songs they'd sung the last five years! I wish I was joking.

The Head Master (my boss) was skimming money and trying to launder it for himself. He was also a pervert, and preyed on the high school boys that lived there. I so wish I was kidding.

But, still, I worked these kids' voices to the bone (as it were) and they were doggone good. We went on choir tour to Dallas, Texas, and sang at the First Baptist Church in Dallas. At that time (1987) it was the biggest Baptist church in the nation. I haven't kept up on the stats for the Baptist Churches since then--but at the time, it seemed like a big deal.

This particular school is currently closed -- they're trying to restructure and re-open. We'll see.

All I'm saying (ranting) is that I really do believe that Edison's music teacher could be doing more to push them. If she blames it on lack of resources, I'd probably smack her. That's no excuse -- especially if the kids have the instruments, and they have class every day of the week! But? If she chooses not to push one particular little violist (?) guess who's gonna do it for her? That's right. She'll have a little prodigy on her hands, if I have anything to say about it.

He's been instructed that he is to practice 150 minutes each week -- for you math geeks, that's one minute for every dollar we spent on the viola. (No, it's NOT a Stradivarius. But, to be honest, he's not that good) And. . . if you've been around me long enough, you know that there are consequences for not living up to your end of a bargain. His will be the loss of the television from his room, and a loss of allowance money. I threatened for the rest of the year -- again, it equals what we paid for the instrument.

My theory? Hit 'em where it hurts when they're too big to spank. For Edison, it's his wallet.

Ranting? Done.

Did my day turn out like I had hoped? Not a chance.
Did anyone pinch me for not wearing green? I think they all know better.
Did my dinner rock? Absolutely.
Did I make anything green to eat? Nope.
Will tomorrow be any better? Who could say.

But, you are pretty much guaranteed to hear about it regardless. And for some odd reason, on this chilly Monday night, knowing that most of you will come back for the "rest of the story" brings me comfort.


I am so grateful for my job. I know, I know, I complain from time to time. But today, I am especially grateful for the flexibility that my job offers.

Caroline is still under the weather. In fact, she's still asleep. It's 9:30 in the morning. This is rare. Maybe it's all the excitement from Jeff Burton winning yesterday's race. . .? I know I was having a hard time sleeping.

Okay, that is so not true. I took two (not just one, but two) Benadryls last night. I sneezed almost the entire day. I'm not usually a sneezer. So, I was convinced that it was spring in the air. . .you know, pollen, etc? It may be. I haven't sneezed yet today -- but it's just 9:30.

So, since Caroline is at home today, I'm going to get some work done here -- the kind of work that I can do here. After that, I'm going to try and get some house stuff done. It's still a bit too early for Spring Cleaning. . .but I may try to get a jump on it.

So, there you have it . . . it's Monday. It's St. Patrick's Day. I'm wearing blue jeans and a pink sweater. Yes, I will consider myself pinched. Thank you very much.

Have a great one! Enjoy some corned beef tonight (ick) or, if you're like me. . .go eat a bowl of Lucky Charms. Then go pinch someone you love. Pretend you're Irish. Root for Notre Dame. . .

okay, that's going a bit too far. Pinch 'em and pray a blessing over them. You'll be amazed at how good you'll feel. And with that, I'm hearing noises from Caroline's room. . . . .thankfully, they're happy noises!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

He WON!!!!!

Yep. My guy won!!! I'm a happy, happy, happy girl! I'd write more, but they're going to interview THE WINNER, and I don't want to miss it!

Oh Happy Day!


Saturday, March 15, 2008

So, is this what my future looks like. . .uh, er, I mean "his" future???

Edison was chosen to participate in a speech contest sponsored by the Woodmen of the World Insurance Company. The entire Middle School wrote speeches, and he was chosen in the top three for seventh grade. After a number of weeks working on the speech (even rehearsing with the Principal of the school), the competition was on Thursday afternoon.

Mark and I both made it over to the competition. The kids had to write about a great American landmark. Edison chose Yellowstone National Park. Initially, he had chosen the Twin Towers, the Statue of Liberty, and some other famouse place he's never seen. . . but they were taken by (pouting) classmates (his words) and he finally settled on Yellowstone, because no one else had chosen it.

. . .that is, no one else in 7th grade. A 6th grader had also chosen Yellowstone. She focused on the natural beauty which is Yellowstone, and the habitat for animals. Edison went more for the history and "national landmark" view.

He did well. I was very proud of him. The judges consisted of fellow teachers from the school and the Headmaster of the school. I noticed, when it was all over, the Headmaster complimented Edison (BY NAME) and told him that he'd done a good job. I am hopeful that Mr. Grubb is keeping an eye on Edison -- because he is such a great kid. I'm hoping that he doesn't know Edison by name because of some other notorious reasons.

. . . oh? Did he win? No. In fact, he came in seventh out of eleven. His fourth grade teacher was one of the judges. She complimented his delivery and confirmed what I suspected, too. . .

He walked around like a preacher.

Really. He did. It was like watching a "mini-evangelist" up there on the stage. . . gold tie, and all. This picture was taken in the MIDST of his speech. Not after he was done.

So, I may have seen a glimpse of the future. I guess it is important that the next generation of pastor (I can't believe I'm saying this) has a thorough knowledge of 'the Suite Life of Zach & Cody,' and the Jonas Brothers.

I'm just saying.

And with that, I'm outta here. Caroline has the stomach bug. She's thrown up four times in the last two hours. Mark and I both have been 'hit' as well as her wall, floor, bed, and three t-shirts.

So, any prayers offered up on her behalf would be appreciated. So far, I'm keeping things down, but those puke-y smells about do me in. Edison has hovered, but we've done our best to keep him in bed, and away from the "goo" as much as we can.

Until we meet again. . . .

OH! Nearly forgot. We were offered two different sets of tickets to the Bristol race today. These calls came, of course, after we made the decision to pass up any offers. And. . . since the race was delayed 2 hours because of rain, and was called after 171 laps due to more rain. . . I'm glad we stayed home.

. . . although I did miss the sound of those engines roaring in "Thunder Valley." And I'll be watching from minute #1 tomorrow, because Dale Jarrett is retiring after a very exciting career. He's one of my favorite drivers. I'll probably cry if they do some sort of retrospective. I know. What a sap.

Oh well. . . . I gotta go do some more laundry.....


Friday, March 14, 2008

Another Week Has Come & Gone

I cannot believe how quickly time is flying by. Amazing. It's a rainy Friday here just outside of KnoxVegas. We need the rain, so I am choosing not to complain, although I did get a bit grumpy while out running errands and dodging raindrops.

Caroline and I had an amazingly productive morning. Two loads of laundry, and a dishwasher load were run. Clothes are put away, a new afghan for Ms. Lindsay's new baby (due very soon) was wrapped and delivered. Registration money for Edison's CIY conference was delivered, Candy for the Easter Egg Hunt was delivered, and a reimbursement for work expenses was picked up. . . . we even dropped off the picture order and money for Edison's spring school pictures. And the bulk of that (other than laundry & dishes) was done in less than an hour. Makes the fact that Caroline is down for a nap easier to understand, doesn't it?

Oh. . .and while she was at the church with me, our youth minister and children's minister taught her how to carry a dart gun (nerf). She then went into Randy (new boss) and showed him the gun that Adam & Tim put in her hands. (He -- Randy -- promptly taught her how to shoot the gun at Adam!) I work in such a loving, nurturing environment, don't I?

Well, since she's down for a nap, and I've got a million things to do while she's "occupied" I'm going to keep this short. I'm attempting to watch NASCAR practice from Bristol. . . but it's raining, so practice is delayed.

It's funny, the "girl" in me really enjoys rain delays with races, because that's when the reporters go around and talk to the drivers. It's where you get to meet their families and their teams. They joke around, and have fun when they're not so seriously analyzing track speeds, pit strategies, and tire wear.

Ooh. . .they're recapping practice thus far.....they just showed Jeff Burton's qualifying run. He may or may not make the Sprint race on Sunday (currently qualifying 40th) In an interview, he said that he is NOT racing in tomorrow night's Nationwide race. That was the race where I was preparing to "suck up" to my friend who works for Nationwide Insurance -- to get free tickets.

But, knowing Jeff has opted out of this race (Scott Wimmer is driving for him) I can watch the race from home, and not be too envious of the 162,999 other fans in the stands where I would normally want to be. I've already warned Glenn (my Nationwide friend) that the "Offical Suck-Up" of 2008 (OSU08) will begin after this race. . . Hello??!? There's a fall race.

So there you have it. . . a rainy day in KnoxVegas. No particular song to make you hum today. I'm sure you've got some sort of music running through your heads right now. If not, e-mail me. . . I've always got some suggestion up my sleeve.

Happy Weekend!!!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Can't Go to the Party this Year!

Well, it's here. I'm not able to go. I'm sad.

Bristol, that's what.

Yep -- twice each year, the small town of Bristol TN/VA, and its surrounding towns. . . Johnson City, Kingsport, Jonesborough, Elizabethton, and even Erwin. . . are inundated with race fans from all over the country. They gather to "Thunder Valley" for the most exciting half-mile NASCAR racing event.

Last year, in August, we were there. Granted, we worked a concession booth for DSAG. (Wearing ourselves out in the process) But, we were there. We had tickets for the (then named) Busch series race on Friday night.

This year, however, being a 3-race package, and being the start of many families' Spring Break, and for me -- Palm Sunday weekend -- we chose not to work a concession booth this year.

So, I'm sad. It's starting to get revved up over in Bristol. The fans are starting to get excited. Practice sessions will begin today, as well as qualifying for the truck race, the Nationwide race, and the Sprint Cup race.

. . . and I'm not there. Sigh.

Did you catch that? I said "revved up" two paragraphs ago.....?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Okay. . .Bring it, Easter Bunny. . . !

Allright, before you launch into an "Easter is not about rabbits and chocolate" lecture. I know.

I know.
I know.
I know.
I know.

Yes. . . .I know. But, it sounds a little bizarre (and hypocritical) to say, "Okay, Bring it, Resurrection Boy!" I mean, I love the Lord, and all, but I'm just not gonna get all up in his face, ya know?

But, when it comes to Easter Sunday (and Palm Sunday, for that matter) my peeps are ready. The choir and orchestra had an awesome (albeit LOOOOOOOOOOOONG) rehearsal tonight, but, by cracky - we are ready.

I am so pleased with the progress we've made towards this year's musical numbers for Palm Sunday and Easter. And Easter is EARLY, ya'll.

This "March" stuff? The Easter Bunny wearin' the green? Erin go BLAH! It's too early.

Easter is literally 6 days after St. Patrick's Day. This is wrong.
But musically? We're ready.

My daughter will wear a SWEATER with her sleeveless Easter Dress.
But, musically we're ready.

The chocolate in the plastic eggs will FREEZE rather than melt during our Easter Egg Hunt. But, musically we're ready.

And yes, there might be frost on the Marshmallow Peeps.
But musically?
Did I mention?

We're ready.

Sorry, I had to fix the typo (Tiger Lamb Girl) I couldn't leave you with an image of "hung" easter eggs.

The Universe is on my Side!

Today, as she passed my office, a coworker came by and told me something I've long suspected. My blog doesn't necessarily control the universe, but I have to believe it's making its mark in the cycle of life as we know it. That's right. I know from which I speak.

. . .of course, it hasn't caused Jeff Burton to win a Sprint Cup race yet. . .but I'm holding out hope!

Anyway, my friend regaled me with the story of how she arrived home the other day, turned on her computer, and was greeted by the song, "Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes." She found it especially intersting because I had told her about my blog post(s) about random 70s tunes. . .otherwise known as "oldies" by my son's generation. I weep for the future.

I know what you're thinking. . .this blog IS controlling the destiny of lives around me! Think of all that power. . . .

So, for today, let's go with one of my (literal) top ten songs. . . "Hello, It's Me" by Todd Rundgren. I cannot think of another song that brings me back to the days of AM transistor radios as quickly and completely as this song does. And to make it even better, for fans of "That 70s Show," they used this very song, and the concept of a Todd Rundgren concert for the pilot episode. It's a classic. Are you humming? I sure do hope so!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Hola! Me Llamo Dora!

That's right. We've entered the world of taking our child(ren) to "live" appearances by favorite cartoon characters. Saturday? The Fowler's Furniture Center in West Knoxville. To see? Dora . . .and Diego, of course.

You would think, by the way she so willingly "waved" to Diego, as he was coming out of the back of the warehouse, that she was excited.
Think again.

We stood in line for about 20 minutes. Dora and Diego needed a potty break. It would have been another 10 minutes for their break, and then an additional 20 minutes to the front of the line.
We decided that the experience seeing them walk by was enough. Hopefully, when we finally make it to Disney, she won't be terrorized by characters that are 12.5 times bigger than she is.
Until then, we wait. And, continue these "drive-by" encouters with fame.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Some Questions are Best Left Unsaid. . . .

Okay, now I'm totally confused. My favorite brother in law gave me the idea to have my blog analyzed using a program that someone designed (someone with way too much time on their hands, if you ask me). Anyway, based on a few blog entries that you submit, it determines your gender, based on your writing. You can try it, too. Here's the link:

Words: 2536
(NOTE: The genie works best on texts of more than 500 words.)
Female Score: 2672
Male Score: 3022
The Gender Genie thinks the author of this passage is: male!

I came up as a male. I am confused.

Maybe it's all that NASCAR talk.....?

Friday, March 07, 2008

No Song. . .not today

This is not a bad sign. Really it's not. And, in fact, you might find song titles/lyrics strewn throughout this post. I tend to pull phrases out of my. . . .head (what were you thinking!?) and throw them into casual conversation.

Here's an example. Yesterday, Mark and I enjoyed a field trip to West Knoxville in the morning and early afternoon. Our coffee with friends was across the street from Joanns. I know, what a disappointment. Anyway, I needed yarn in a big, bad way. When I talk about 'yarn' I am not talking about worsted wool or acrylic yarn. I buy cotton yarn. These, specifically.

After I got home, I surveyed the yarn I purchased. I had bought enough individual skeins to make three (3) baby afghans. And, I bought another big skein which will make a fourth, but it needs some border yarn. (I have that in my stash) I'll write (another day) about the ONE crochet stitch I know. . .and the wonderful woman to whom I attribute the afghans.

But, anyway, I'm getting back to the song lyric thing. . . .as I was sorting the yarns, I thought of the phrase, "Spinning Yarns." This phrase, I believe, means telling stories. However, in my "stuck in the 70s mind" I went to Rod Stewart's song, "You're in My Heart" which includes the lyrics: ". . .spinning yarns that were so lyrical. I really must confess right here, the attraction was purely physical."

That's right, when you're playing Cranium the next time, and you have to write a poem, remember physical and lyrical rhyme. (sort.of.)

Yeah, it was a diversion. Yeah, it completely strayed away from my original topic and intent, and yes, I have to admit I've now got you humming a song. (Sorry) But. . . that just shows you what it's like to live in my brain. The little gerbils get tired on that wheel. . .trust me.

In my quest to NOT give you a song, I was going to put a thought before you. It's not what some would call a "God thing," or maybe it is. It's just been a bizarre couple of days, and I have got some serious thinking to do.

Here's what's spinning on the wheel (with gerbil power):

Wednesday night, our Bible Study group was challenged (via video) to "move on" from where we found ourselves standing--and to believe God was going before us. I didn't feel especially challenged (personally) at the time, because I was kinda content with where God has me right now -- and figured (hoped) that he was content with me there, too.

THEN. . . I was talking to my sweet friend, Joni (Yummers) yesterday afternoon. I had just wanted an author's name, but our conversation went well beyond that, and blessed me in more ways than I can say. She talked about my blog. She talked about my writing style. She really encouraged me and made me feel so very good about keeping this little online journal for the world (yikes) to read, if they're so inclined.

And that should be enough, but, after we returned home, I was reminded by a friend of mine that when God gave Caroline to me, he had meant for a new ministry to start. Brian, my dear friend from college, reminded me that he told me four years ago (almost) that Caroline was God's way of starting a new ministry that I had never imagined before. His e-mail yesterday talked about me speaking on a national level -- telling the stories of Caroline and God's faithfulness.


Oh, and did I mention that my favorite brother in law (and his lovely wife) gave me the gift of authorship for Christmas?! (That's right, Bethie. . .you're not the only one!) They gave me a gift certificate for publishing my work. . . most people publish their blog entries.

I haven't acted on it, yet. Obviously I haven't -- because can you imagine me doing something that HUGE and not talking about it here? I thought not.

So today has been a day spent wondering, wishing, imagining, and dreaming. I even jotted some notes for a "lesson" or "talk" based on the life of Jonah. Am I supposed to do something like this? Am I supposed to write a book? And then the bigger questions . .. Please don't answer them. They're rhetorical questions.

Am I gifted to do this?
If I chose to do this, what would my family do?
Would I quit my current job?
Would anyone be crazy enough to hire me?
Would anyone read a book I'd write?
Am I qualified?
Am I worthy?
Am I inferior?

See where this path went? Directly to where Satan likes to grab hold of me and shake me until I cry, or give up. And I am left here -- totally confused. . . .completely overwhelmed. . . and a bit shaken up.

What's my response? I am desperately clinging to what I know is secure (current job, current income level, current schedule, current life) But, what if there's a higher calling I'm not allowing myself to hear? And what about that favorite verse I like to quote so much. . . ?

"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord,
"plans to prosper you, not harm you;
plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)

Knowing that God has a plan, I'm just asking to be on the short list of people to receive a copy of the plan. In the meantime, I'm staying in His Word, talking to him constantly, and if all else fails, I plan to keep watching the sky. . . you know, just in case!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Spring is on its way!!!

Last night, in our ladies Bible Study at church, I wanted to drive home the point that our tongues can be a very dangerous weapon. James 3 talks about the ability of our tongues to praise God one minute, and the next curse our brothers. His next line is perfect. . ."My brothers, this should not be." Preach it, James!

So, to illustrate how dangerous the tongue can be -- especially when information is transmitted (not always accurately) from one person to another, we played the "telephone" game. I said, 'When snow flakes fly, can spring be very far away?' And, to my delight, they were pretty close when it made its way through 15 people.

But it is true, Spring is definitely on its way. In my post the other day, I gave you some lovely shots of Caroline and me (I do a mean Jabba the Hut impression, don't I?). But I didn't put a couple other beauties in. Like this one:

I mean, how much cuter can you be? A little girl trying to kiss some daffodils?? I love it.

And, I love her.

(And yes, my friends, that *IS* your song to hum today!) If you're not familiar, go to iTunes, put in "Beatles" and "And I Love Her" and you'll be set. Holy Toledo, Batman! You can go to YouTube and watch the *actual* Beatles singing the song. Go on, I dare you!

I don't know. . this song is so atypical for the Beatles. I just love the haunting melody that runs through the verses. And yes, if you must know, I am humming it as I type.

Of course, with our spring renewal (I can't say "thaw" because we never really got frozen stuff) we are needing some serious spring cleaning around these parts. Here's just a small list of the things I *should* put on a to-do list:

1) mulch around the landscaping

2) remove the last of the dead leaves before attempting #1

3) clean out closets (give away clothes and toys that no longer "fit" us)

4) clean out the "other" side of the garage, so 2 cars can fit inside

5) rid myself of kitchen stuff I haven't used this year*

6) plant some new flowers in the front flower beds

7) finish the two bathrooms that are nearly finished

8) donate stuff for the church yard sale in May

*Since we moved nearly a year ago (can you believe it??!) I can be a bit more objective about the things that I have and haven't used in the past year. In fact, nearly EVERYTHING in those boxes on Mark's car's side of the garage, have NOT been touched, seen, smelt, or felt in a year. According to lots of experts (and I believe them) those things do NOT need to live here with this family.

It's just a matter of taking the time and using it wisely to go through those things and "repurpose" them for someone else's life. I really need to do that. I probably need to start a to-do list.

Let me go write that down. . . Ha!


Monday, March 03, 2008

This One's For You. . . . Wherever You Are

Yes, I was a Barry Manilow fan. In fact, I often dreamed that we'd get married. Oh well. . . a girl can have dreams, can't she? (Unrealistic as they might be)

Along with giving you a song to hum, I thought I'd dedicate this blog to you. (You know who you are) You are the reader(s) begging for more pictures.

Well, it was a sunny, beautiful day in East Tennessee. The kids and I went outside for a few minutes this afternoon, and as you might imagine, it was good for photos. Here you go. . .

I don't even remember what she was doing -- I just loved the shot.

Edison noticed this stick that looked like some sort of warrior posed for battle. "Take a picture, Mom!" So, I did.

Edison took this shot--and the one following. I guess she really does get her (ahem) looks from her Mama. Poor baby.


Sunday, March 02, 2008

Caroline (Carolina) in My Mind. . . I Can't Tell You Why!

Whoa -- did you catch that? You got a two-fer. I'm giving you two songs for this entry. Tonight, I re-introduced Edison to James Taylor. PBS was doing a special of his new "One Man Band" show -- in hopes for pledges from Baby-Boomers like me. Man, that guy is talented.

As a budding guitarist, Edison was interested in determining the exact TYPE of guitar Mr. Taylor was playing. He wasn't as interested in his technique as I would have liked, but I was still glad he spent some time watching and listening.

. . of course, while they were on the commercials (pledge drives) we tooled over to VH1 Classics, where the Eagles "Hell Freezes Over" concert was playing. And yes, I do own this DVD. And yes, I did have Edison watch a few numbers by them, as well. (I was proud of my boy--when we listened to "Life in the Fast Lane," he asked us when he should cover his ears--profanity) He enjoyed watching Joe Walsh.

I personally swooned when Timothy B. Schmidt took off on "I Can't Tell You Why," and no, no, no, baby, I can't tell you why -- but that song makes me go weak in the knees. Luckily I was reclined on the couch. He's not much to look at (in my opinion) but his voice is just. . . uniquely divine. That's right. God gave him that voice -- and, therefore, I'm classifying it as "divine." (I have a sister who would heartily agree with me. . . so there!)

Oh. . .the crop? Awesome. Exhausting. Successful. Totally enjoyable.

I believe I got about 22 pages done. Please know that some were more "involved" than others. There are some pages that I am unanimously proud of. . .and others are "okay." But it's difficult when you're getting tired (12:30 a.m.) and you don't have ALL your supplies....or your comfy desk chair...or your Cathy Zielske "Simple Scrapbooks" book...or your HUGE stock of solid cardstock...or those nifty new stamps that would have made that one layout so amazing.

No, I'm not complaining. I'm just saying that I may go back and "embellish" a few pages that lacked that certain . . . something. We'll see.

The fellowship was phenomenal. I had a really great time -- and I was especially glad to spend time getting to know Laura (she's "RockNRollMama in my comments). We have sort of "known" each other at church for the last year or so. . . but we got a few really neat chances to connect over the weekend. So, that was cool.

I do have to admit that it took more out of me than I imagined. I was in bed by 10:30 last night (unheard of for me) and took a nap this afternoon, too. Bizarre. When I got up for small group -- I kept on my PJ pants and my shirt. One of our couples was missing -- and Barry and Kathy. . .well, they're like family. So, it was a great small group session tonight. We finished watching the NASCAR race. And yes, my guy -- Jeff Burton -- ended in the top 10. I will mention quietly that Edison's driver (#24) wrecked with four laps to go, and last year's CHAMPION ended in a dismal place WELL BEHIND my driver!

Final thoughts. Sunday night discoveries.

1) Homemade Cherry Turnovers. Okay. . .this recipe eluded me up until now. But, trust me, they are going to be on the horizon again (and again). Puff pastry, canned pie filling, water, and powdered sugar. Seriously -- these guys rival what you get at our grocrey store bakery (which isn't saying much). But they ROCK.

2) "Here Come the Newlyweds" New show on ABC. We watched a bit of Oprah's Big Give tonight...BECAUSE, and ONLY BECAUSE....a group with Down syndrome was featured. But the previews for the show "Here Come the Newlyweds" caught our attention. And, Dude. . . we laughed.

Seven couples. One house. Challenges (wife directs husband in driving skills -- he's blindfolded) Money. No gratuitous encounters or pole-dancing (Hello, Rock of Love???) And, it is really fun. Mark and I watched it together.

There 's a couple on there whose marriage was arranged by their parents (middle eastern descent), and a couple nicknamed "Ken & Barbie." (Gag, I'd have voted them off right away -- big teeth, and too much blonde hair) But, it's a fun concept. If you get a chance -- next Sunday night -- it has our recommendation.

So, there you have it. Another weekend has come to an end far too quickly. But, we've got an exciting week on the horizon. Meetings. Rehearsals. School. Edison's spring wilderness trip (3 days) All in all, a good week.

And, yes, there are more oldies on the horizon to be bouncing around in your head. And no, I can't tell you why!