This is My "Real" Blog: October 2008

Angie's Blog!

Friday, October 31, 2008

No Cheap Candy Here!

Okay, before I begin this post, let me say one thing. Listen up here, because you may need this information later. Every year, I dread Halloween.

And, yes, it IS for the reason you assume, but there are others. Here goes:

1) I am NOT one of those mothers who makes costumes. I have bought them in the past. . .and that's a total ripoff. But, for what it's worth, I do NOT typically make Halloween costumes. And when you take your child, no matter HOW CUTE THEY ARE, people compare your costume-making abilities with those of everyone around them. And, I don't measure up -- and don't really care if I do or not.

2) I am NOT a fan of the macabre . . .in any form. I don't like horror movies (except for the old, campy ones) I don't like little kids dressed in adult costumes. . . and by adult I mean costumes that should be reserved for adults. They actually sell "pimp" and "ho" costumes for kids. My friends, this cannot be. And yet, it is.

3) I grew up in Chicago. So for us, trick or treating meant wearing the straight-from-Kmart-Halloween-costume (complete with the elastic-banded mask that smelled like some toxic form of plastic and developed condensation from your breathing) AND your winter coat. Trust me when I say that Cinderella does NOT look the same with a gray parka. Kinda soured me on the whole day.

4) For some reason, it really bothers me when people say that Halloween is their favorite holiday. Martha Stewart, especially. Maybe it's just that I don't like her -- and this is the manifestation of that. Actually, the year I was expecting Caroline was the year that she was in jail. I went to our Halloween Alternative as her -- blue oxford (maternity) shirt and khaki pants. I put prison numbers on my lapel, and wore handcuffs. Truly, I'm a minimalist.

5) At its very inception, Halloween is a celebration of all things evil (I know, this is going back to #2 -- but it's a biggie for me). I just can't get that excited about celebrating something that has serious roots in the occult. I know it's safe, for the most part -- but still. . . .

And yes, as a kid, we went to Haunted Houses, and friends' houses for Halloween parties. The Grubermann's always hosted a party at their house -- she made really good sloppy joes, and made the evening fun for everyone.

We went trick or treating, too. By ourselves, if memory serves. We walked blocks and blocks in search of good candy. My buddy Lois (right sidebar) has some thoughts about "good" versus "bad" candy on her blog. (Chocolate = good; Tootsie Pops = bad) Mini Snickers and Mini Milky Way bars are good. Mary Janes and those gosh-awful peanut butter kisses (wrapped in orange & black waxed paper) are BAD.

And then there's that ever-present fear of people tainting Halloween candy. I remember hearing that you could take your kids' candy to the ER and they'd X-ray it for you, to make sure there were no needles, razor blades, and the like.

So, for all those things and more, I don't want my kids taking part in haunted houses or trick or treating. We have been known to take Edison to the doors of people we knew. . .but those were rare occasions. There is a very real evil inherent in the origins of Halloween, and I'm much more comfortable distancing both of my kids from that aspect of this "holiday." And I'm really blown away at the number of homes in our neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods that host a haunted house for you to bring your kids to.

"Uh. . .if I don't know you, I can assure you that my kids are NOT going in your house."

I know. I'm strange. Sue me.

Our church, and many others have started holding "alternatives" to Halloween. We've called ours everything from a "Halloween Alternative" to a "Fall Festival" to a "Trunk or Treat" or even a "Neewollah" (Halloween spelled backwards).

Tonight, we're hosting "Door 2 Door" where kids can trick or treat at the various classroom doors in our church building. Sunday School classes, other groups, and different ministries of the church are sponsoring rooms. I've heard there's a "Chronicles of Narnia" room. Should be interesting.

And yes, we'll go.

Caroline is going to wear a UT cheerleader costume that came to us through a "hand-me-down" bag. We'll make an appearnce, briefly, and then we'll come back home. I want to be supportive. I want to see the other kids. I want people to see Caroline. Mostly, I want cotton candy.

They're renting a cotton candy machine. I love cotton candy.

What about us? Well, our house is ready for Trick-or-Treaters. . . although we've had very few in recent years. I bought candy last week -- Baby Ruth, Nestle Crunch Bars, Butterfingers, and Green Apple/Caramel Lollipops. Yeah, we've got good candy. . .the kind we can "live with" if we don't end up giving it all away.

So, if this is your favorite night of the year. . . congratulations. You've made it to your favorite day. You don't have to worry about me "stealing it" from you. I will do my best to enjoy it for your benefit. . .at a safe distance. . .with a bowl of (hopefully) leftover Baby Ruth bars when it's all over with.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pass that Hot Toddy THIS Way!

Okay, tonight I officially declared myself, "Cool Mom of the Year." Or better yet, make that "Stone Cold Mother of the Year."

No, it's not because of my Amazon-like physique and my drop-dead looks. Nope. Not even close.

It's because I offered to take my son to a football game tonight (well, the 2nd half anyway) on our way home from band practice at church. Did I have a jacket? Heck no! Was it cold?

I really want to use a bad word here, but I'll decline.

It was cold. Stone.freaking.cold.

And yes. . . his "friend" was there -- cheering for the team. They won 54-6, so it was a good game to watch. And, of course, the minute we arrived and sat down, all the little chippy cheerleaders started "chipping" because Edison was there -- and everyone knows that "the girl" likes him.

She and I have met a couple of times. In fact, today, when I was picking him up from school, she gave me a keychain that she made for me. It's a beaded string with alphabet beads spelling out my name. I tied it onto my keychain -- and there it will stay. . . well, until it breaks. It's not made of the sturdiest of materials.

Tonight, as we were making our way back to the van . . .oh, did I mention? I was only wearing a blouse -- no sweater -- no sweatshirt...and CROCS with no SOCKS.

Yeah, I'm still freezing, and I've sneezed twice. I'm telling myself that it's the dust, and not a cold coming on. We'll see. . .

Anyway, as we were walking away, she came running over to Edison and me. She asked me if I liked my keychain. I told her that I did -- and showed her how it was on my keychain.

I kid you not. . . .she looked at me all dejected-like. Why? I put her keychain on my keychain. What the heck? Oh yeah. . .she's a teenage girl. It's not supposed to make sense.

Then, after smiling at me, and asking me if I like the keychain, she proceeds to HUG Edison. . . and then runs away.

I don't know.
I don't know anything.
I don't know anything except that I'm cold.
Real cold.

Oh yeah, and tired.

So, I'm off -- this is Stone Cold Mother of the Year signing off. . .for now!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It. . .is. . .Done. . . er, I meant "Finished"

No, I'm not sacreligiously (is that a word?) quoting our Lord and Savior for a joke. I am taking an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishment of something HUGE.

I finished Caroline's quilt. Yep. It's done. So, that's ONE item that can be checked off of that "To-Do List" that I put on here a week (or so) ago. But, alas. There are more things on the list. Many, many, many more things.

Oh. You wanted to see pictures? I thought you'd never ask. . .

Okay. . .from that angle, it pains me to admit that you can see some "lint" on the green squares. This form of quilting, "Rag" quilting, has you quilting "inside out" and then washing and drying the quilt to fringe the edges. I love it -- especially the part where you don't have to be a perfectionist.

Mark took these pictures while I was at church tonight. This is Caroline -- trying to escape once she'd been put into bed. Yeah. . .we think it's funny too. Funny. Ha ha.

Don't be fooled. She's not asleep. I think he caught her in mid-blink.

This is my hands-down favorite picture of all of them. That look on her face made all those hourse of cutting, matching, piecing, and snipping seams worth it. And that, my friends. . . is what I call a job "well done."
Title Reference: When I worked at Wheaton College, I was a secretary in both the advancement department, and the english department. My tenure with the english department was quite enjoyable. And, I learned a lot, too.
One of the things I was "forced" to learn -- from my boss (department chair) was that when one accomplishes a task, they are finished rather than being done. As he put it, "Steaks are done. Tasks, and those that accomplish them, are finished."
Ah, yes.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

It was just a matter of time. . . .

This morning, while Edison was savoring the last precious minutes of the middle school lock-in at church, Mark and I awoke to the sounds of Caroline talking to herself in her room. This is not an oddity. In fact, when she was still in her crib, she would carry on entire conversations with herself once she woke up. We still have the baby monitor in our room. . .just in case.

This morning, we heard some of the traditional early-morning chatter, and figured it was time to go in and see "Little Miss Sunshine" (which, I know, is the title to a movie -- but there's no significance me.) Mark got about halfway to her room, and met her in the Dining Room.

I heard, "Well, come on. You can go say 'hi' to Mommy." And she did. She climbed up in bed with me, and helped me greet the morning with a smile.

Fast forward to this afternoon. Mark was getting the tires replaced on his car. Edison was asleep. And, after needing a "change of scenery in the Pull-up department" Caroline was headed for a nap. I put her in bed, turned off her light, and told her I'd see her soon. Prophetic words sometimes bite us back. No?

The phone rang a few minutes later. It was Mark's mom. We talked for a few minutes, and suddenly -- there's Caroline! She played, talked on the phone, read books. . .basically her usual stuff. Only she was supposed to be laying down.

Mary--I am not blaming you or your phone call. Stay with me. It gets better.

Cut to this evening. Bathtime is over. Caroline's fourth successful visit to the potty has just concluded. She has pajamas on. She has dry hair. Her church clothes are laying out in her room -- ready for Daddy to dress her in the morning. We finish singing "Jesus Loves Me," and "You are my Sunshine," and I hand her off to Mark for bedtime.

I hear them go in her room. I hand the computer over to Edison for some homework, and I head to my bedroom to make the official "summer/winter" clothes swap. Once Mark has Caroline in bed, he joins me as I fold and hang up clothes, and we watch the beginning of the (pitiful) UT/Alabama game. Seriously. . . this game sucks.

Suddenly I hear Edison's voice, "Caroline? I think you're supposed to be in bed."

Mark goes darting out of our room, scoops up Little Miss Moonbeam (it's evening, duh) and promptly disciplines her and puts her back to bed. When I surface from sorting/folding/storing, I can clearly see the child safety gate in her doorway. And, rather than watching the atrocity that is the UT game from the comfort of our room, Mark is stationed in the Living Room--keeping watch over the gated doorway.

Yeah. It was only a matter of time.

Some people may think the safety gate is a horrid thing. It's a matter of safety.

The girl can open the oven door.
The girl likes electical outlets (covered or not).
The girl can open some of our doors -- mostly internal ones.

This move is to keep her safe. It helps us know she's safe.

. . .and getting a good night's sleep never hurt anyone, did it?

Friday, October 24, 2008

When all else fails? Google it!

Last night, I decided that tacos were in order. However, I did NOT have a bottle of taco sauce, nor did I have a packet of taco seasoning. What is a girl to do? Go to the internet. Google "Taco Seasoning Recipe" and look around until you find one you think you can live with.

Here's one I found:

Taco Seasoning Mix -- Makes 1 serving

6 teaspoons chili powder
5 teaspoons paprika
4 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
teaspoons onion powder
2 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

This actually makes more than you need for one recipe.

I made 1.5 lbs of ground beef, and used about 2/3 of this mix. I added 1 - 1 1/2 c. water to the mix. I started with 1/2 cup of water, and kept adding until the consistency was right. And. . .it needed a pinch more salt.

(Sorry, had to step away, there were cultists at my door -- hoping to swing me away. No such luck boys, move on!)

My buddy Lois (link on the right) says that I could have added oregano. She's right! Next time I'll put a 1/4 teaspoon or so in the mix, as well.

This is really tasty stuff! Edison loved it (for what that's worth)

Here's another recipe that has been requested. I usually make it around the holidays. It is one of those things that can be bundled into little baggies and put in teacher gifts. Good stuff -- it is a favorite of my dad's -- although he's really NOT supposed to eat it (lots of sugar).

Quaker Oat Praline Crunch

1 - 16 oz. pkg. of Quaker Oat Squares
2 c. pecan pieces
1/2 c. light corn syrup
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. butter or margarine
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. baking soda

Heat oven to 250 degrees. Combine cereal and pecans in 9x13 pan. Set aside.

Combine syrup, brown sugar, and butter in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high 90 seconds. Stir. Microwave 1 minute more.

Remove from microwave and stir in vanilla & baking soda. Pour over cereal and nut mixture. Stir to evenly coat. Bake 1 hour -- stirring every 20 minutes. When finished baking, spread on baking sheet to cool. When cool, break into pieces.


I was hoping to share some "Fall Break" pictures with you, as Caroline is on break this weekend. (She has Friday off -- that's all) So far this morning, we have played with Little People, gone potty on her chair, had to change a pull up for the "other" type of biological hazard, and now she's sitting in Mark's recliner -- reading books out loud. Such fun. So much energy.

I need a nap.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Can a Momma Get a Little Help?!

So, the other day, I hear, "Psst. .. Angie, come here!" Mark was whispering that he had gotten some assistance in the laundry room. After I came to see what all the fuss was about, I saw this.

Seriously? Does it get better than this? I think not.

Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

#513 . . . and #501

It's not really a genetic thing. . .unless, of course, you're talking "jeans." Bear with me, this will make sense in the end. I hope.

We did survive the yard sale. We made approximately $325. That's not too shabby, when you consider the "crap-to-treasure" ratio. (Seriously) So, in November, we will have that additional amount to add to our 'thank' offering. I'm excited. I'm probably more excited about de-junking our lives, and having room in the garage. But, this is one of those blessings with a two-fold "whammy."

One thing that I will obviously need to remember, should we ever attempt another yard sale is this:

Take inventory of Edison's room when he brings items out.
Especially clothes.

You see, when Edison brought out all his old jeans (my request) to the yard sale, he neglected to tell me that he had no jeans left in his room. So, when it was time for Mark and Edison to go to the local Raceway last night, we told him to go put on some jeans and a couple long-sleeve shirts so that he'd be ready to go.

Cue Edison.

"I don't have any jeans, Mom. I put them all in the yard sale."

I'd love to say that Mark and I simply heaved a sigh. Yeah, in a "typical" family, heavy sighs would have been emitted. Not this house.

There was no yelling. But, there was a bit of stern talking. Followed by the directive that Edison would be wearing dress pants and a dress shirt to church today, rather than the traditional shorts he'd grown accustomed to wearing.

Side note: Our church, for the most part, has a "come as you are" atmosphere. In fact, our preacher wore jeans and a sports coat today to preach. So, dressing "up" for church isn't the issue. But, guess who got the pleasure of dressing up today. . . ?

So, after church today, we went out for a quick lunch. It wasn't nearly as quick as we would have liked. . . Pizza Hut. But someone else cooked. I didn't have to. Then we were off in search of jeans for Edison. Oh, and khaki pants, too. He informed us that he also had no khaki pants (school uniform) either.

Yeah, we're proud. And so blessed.

(No, actually, we are blessed. Sometimes it just feels good to get a little sarcastic)

We did happen to find two pairs of jeans (carpenter style) for $5 each. Edison wasn't as crazy about them. . .but guess who is the proud owner of those two pairs of jeans. I dared him to argue. He knew enough not to. We also found two pairs of khaki pants, and another pair of jeans that met with his approval. Such relief.

So, for now, Edison appears to be set up in the jeans department.

Guess what he's getting for Christmas?? Ha!

Actually, part of the issue is that by going to a private school, he only wears jeans on Friday. So, having jeans that fit isn't really a priority in our house . . . at least, not for Edison. He's good now. But, it was a bit "tense" earlier this weekend.

Communication. It's all about the communication.

While at WalMart today, I purchased material for Caroline's new curtain in her bedroom. I have an official "Get-this-done-before-family-comes-back-for-Thanksgiving" list, and making Caroline's curtain and comforter are on the top of that list.

And, in the spirit of full disclosure and accountability, here's the rest of my list. I'll keep you posted as things get checked off:

1) Caroline's valance
2) Caroline's comforter
3) Hang quilt rack & quilt in Caroline's room (see a theme here?)
4) Hang pictures in Edison's room
5) Hang pictures in our room (again, see a theme?)
6) Hang pictures in kids' bathroom
7) Finish four season samplers for living room
8) Frame and hang the aforementioned samplers
9) Make valances for french doors in living room
10) Make valances for sun room windows (including curtain for storm door)

This list does not include the Christmas gifts that have to be made prior to this visit. So, yeah, I'm going to be busy. And probably insane. But, with some of my other obligations behind me, I will finally have time to get some of them done.

So, that's it. It's not quite 9 p.m., and there's the traditional Sunday Night Marathon of Law & Order: Criminal Intent on the Bravo channel. (Vincent is waiting for me!) And, with all those quilts, curtains, etc. to be made. . . I've got to start sewing.

Have a lovely week!

Fall has finally arrived here -- so it's hot cider, popcorn, and soup-making time around here. I made beef stew last night. It turned out allright. There are some recipes that you can "hurry along" and I learned, to my dismay, that this particular recipe is NOT one of those recipes. It was still edible. . .which is all that mattered.

Stay warm!

Oh? The cryptic title? (Helen, you're gonna love this one. . . )

The #513 is for this post. This is my 513th post. And, for the four years I was in college, and the six years that my parents lived at Milligan beyond my college years, we had P.O. Box 513 at the Milligan College post office. I always say that it would be the "Lucky 3" numbers I would play, if I played the lotto.

And #501? Well, returning full-circle to the opening of this entry . . . Mark used to only wear Levi's 501 jeans. (button-fly, relaxed fit) Sadly, Levi's doesn't make them anymore. That's right. . .he's a zipper man now.

And on that happy note. . . . .I must be zipping off!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Coming at You from Day #2

Well, the porch umbrella just sold.
The two iron skillets have sold.
The bag of Thomas the Tank Engine train cars have sold.

I still have a student desk that I desperately want to sell.
The kitchen cabinet/pantry is still here, too.

Other than that, a lot of the junk is gone.

Mom's in the house--playing with Caroline.
Mark is running errands. .. for me, isn't he wonderful?
Edison is. . .well, if I'm honest. . .probably on the phone with his "friend"

And me?

I'm just trying to stay warm on a chilly fall day -- selling junk, I mean "treasures" out of my garage. And, all the while, I'm on Facebook, and blogging.

Seriously? Does it get any better?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Day #1 -- SUCCESS!

Hey kiddos. . .

Made around $200 today. Maybe more. Maybe less.

Spent the better part of the morning/afternoon shivering. That's right, I said, "Shivering" because it is COLD. I love it.

I am thrilled with how the sale went so far. I'm holding back four (4) large floral arrangements for a girl that came through first thing this morning. She says she's coming back at 7 p.m. tonight. If she doesn't show, the stuff is going out for tomorrow! :)

I'm going to go get warm -- maybe stop in a Starbucks for a caramel apple cider. I deserve one. It's been a very chilly morning. . .but a GOOD one.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I don't know if they're a nation-wide company, but there are vans that drive around the greater Knoxville area with little bees on them. Junk Bee Gone.

I want one of those vans.
I want the people that drive them to come to my house.
I want them to make my junk be gone. For good.


Seriously? We're having a garage sale this weekend. It's a long overdue sale. Mucho stuff is going bye-bye, if I get my wishes. And the cool part? All the proceeds are going to our "Thank" Offering at church in November. We hope to pay off a $750,000 debt on one Sunday.

Just doing my part. . . .

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Got Apples?

One of the blessings of marrying a man who grew up in Upstate NY . . . the real upstate. . not Buffalo. . . is satisfying your need for good apples. Real apples.

In Mark's part of Upstate NY, they grow Macintosh apples. I love Macintosh apples if and only if they come from Chazy, NY. Macintosh apples that make their way to TN usually come from North Carolina. And, although I hold nothing against our neighbors to the east, they have no business growing Macintosh apples.

Macintosh apples that come over the mountain from NC tend to be small, grainy, and mushy. In a word: inedible.

So, you can imagine my utter bliss when my in-laws brought us a peck (or two) of good Macintosh apples from NY last week, when they were here. Not only did they bring apples, they left the apples that didn't get baked into a pie, apple crisp, and eaten raw.

I have glorious apples. (Get your mind out of the gutter)

However, one of the downsides of having a plethora of amazing apples? You have to do something with them before they turn on you. And, when you are like me, and don't know how to make pie crust (Thanks, Mom) you have to get a little creative.

Here's what I've done so far. . . there's more to come. Because, as I've already stated: I've got glorious apples....lots of them.

Apple Salsa (I know. . I was skeptical, too)

2 med. red apples
2 T. lime juice (about 1 1/2 limes)
1/2 c. chopped orange segments
1/2 c. finely chopped onion (I used red onion)
1/2 c. finely chopped green pepper
1 finely chopped jalapeno
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 T chopped fresh cilantro**
1 T apple cider vinegar
1/2. t. ground cumin
1 t. oil

Core, peel & dice apples into 1/4 inch pieces. Toss immediately in lime juice. Stir in remaining ingredients. Chill for 2 hours.

**I used dried cilantro (about 2 t.)

Serve with tortilla chips.

Apple Muffins - recipe found online

2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. white sugar
3 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
3/4 c. apple juice
1/3 c. oil*
1 egg
1 t. ground cinnamon
1 c. apples (peeled, cored, and finely diced)

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease muffin cups, or line with baking cups.

In a medium bowl, mix dry ingredients. In large mixing bowl, mix together wet ingredients. Blend dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Stir just until moistened. Stir in apples.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake 18-22 minutes or until toothpick. . yadda, yadda, yadda.

Cool before removing from pan.

*Note: I added a little extra oil -- to make them moist. I also increased the cinnamon a bit. Lastly, I stirred in 1/2 c. chopped pecans and topped the muffins with 1 t. brown sugar and 1 t. chopped pecans.

They are very good. I tried one -- they've been out of the oven for about an hour. I assume that they'll be even better tomorrow morning.

Breakfast is gonna rock!

When Do I Get to Say "STOP!?!"

So. . . our children are growing up. In my opinion? Way too fast.

Caroline has made the transition to the "big girl bed" extremely smoothly. In fact, too smoothly, in my opinion. I'm waiting for that other shoe to fall, if you know what I mean.

I have stayed up late the last two nights, I believe, in anticipation of some sort of middle-of-the-night-meltdown. . . and it's never occurred. In fact, last night, Mark went in to check on her at about midnight, and according to him, she hadn't moved since laying down at 8.

Hmm. (another word for "sigh")

Edison, on the other hand, has given us a bit of drama this weekend. It's of the humorous sort, and of course, his first question was, "Mom, you're gonna blog about this, right?"

I would NEVER want to let my child down. So, here goes. . .

Sometime on Saturday evening, Edison's cell phone rang. This isn't really any big surprise, as you see, his friends call him. One particular friend usually calls him around 7 a.m. to remind Edison, (or "Eddie" as he's known outside the house) of something tragically important.

Oh, you want an example? Okay -- Harrison called last week to remind Eddie to wear a camouflage shirt on "color" day of Spirit week. Yeah, my son's class chose WHITE or CAMO for their "color of the day" for the 8th grade. We're living large, folks. LARGE.

So, for Edison to get a phone call, I wasn't that shocked. But, he came out of his room, phone in hand, saying "I think you have the wrong number. You must have the wrong number." He hangs up. Come out sheepishly, like we're going to get mad at him, and hands me his phone.

It rings again. I answer.

A giggling girl on the other end asks for "Eddie." As soon as I say, "Just a minute . . ." sheepish-boy figures out who's on the phone, immediately turns 18 shades of red (not WHITE or CAMO) and takes the phone into his room.

He emerges 4-5 minutes later, and admits that he did in fact know who had called before. He just didn't realize she had his number. (Thanks, Cody) He then tells us that the girl-who-will-not-be-named-here is a freshman and she's. . . get ready for this. . . a cheerleader.

That's right. Hussy town, here we come!

So. . . . (sneered in my most sarcastic drawl). . . suddenly we're on that train.

Cut to Sunday afternoon...we're having lunch with friends who have moved away, and surprised us with their "baby bump" (Erin's due in January!!). We had lunch at one of our favorite places -- Copper Cellar/Cumberland Grill. (The crab bisque is to DIE for!) And, while at lunch, Edison hears a phone (no Dr. Seuss reference here) and at first thinks it's my phone.

It's not. It's his. Guess who was calling?

That's right. . .(again with the sarcasm). . . she missed him. And his hugs (I've been told). He didn't take the call. But, I have since learned that he called her back after we got home from lunch.

So, now it's Sunday night. Our small group (extremely small this week) has just broken up. Mark has gone outside to retrieve our kid and our van from the youth minister who borrowed it to take kids to an Area-Wide Youth Rally. Edison bursts into the house. . . saying something like, "Tim really embarrassed me." (Tim is our Youth Minister--it's his JOB)


Well, while they were talking with Mark and a couple sponsors in our driveway, Edison's phone rang.

That's right. "She" missed him. . .and wanted to say "hi!"

I just laughed.

Yesterday, Edison didn't have school. Columbus Day, you know. That, or his school was observing Canadian Thanksgiving Day. (I believe it was the Columbus Day thing)

Anyway, he stayed home. Caroline had school. I went to work.

I agreed to bring lunch home for him -- Dollar Double Cheeseburgers at McDonald's. A teenage boy's best friend when they're hungry. While we ate our burgers, he admitted that his phone had rung a couple of times during the morning. Okay. . .here comes Mama Bear.

I assured him that I wasn't upset. But, I reminded him that unless she's a Sprint user, all of her calls are costing him (US) money. Buddy Walk nearly sent us over our allotted minutes for this month, and I was NOT going to let this high school cheerleader hussy cost me money. At least, not yet anyway.

He said that he'd told her that email was probably the best way to communicate. Of course, the way his email is structured, Mark or I have to approve anyone that wants to email him. So, she's not "cleared" our approval yet. (Bwaaa haa haa)

We talked a little bit about what Mark and I expect of him when dealing with girls. Absolute unwavering respect. Honesty. Gentleness. Sensitivity. And, I realized that the respect and honesty parts might be challenges for him--but the gentleness and sensitivity is most likely what attracted this girl, and future girls to him. Edison is his dad. Mark is a gentle, sensitive person.

In other words, this is just Round 1.

I assured Edison that I was not mad at him, or at her. And, that I expect him to always treat her in a Christ-like manner. . .including being totally forthright, if he doesn't return her feelings. He promised me that he would do that, and I went back to work.

So. . . cut to last night, while I'm washing dishes. I hear Edison on the phone -- let me emphasize that we NEVER hear his phone ring, but that's irrelevant -- and I hear him saying over and over, "We're just friends. We're just friends. No, we're just friends."

And suddenly the light goes off. . . .her friend was on the phone, trying to get to the real issue. Does he like "Girl-not-yet-named?"

So, he came in the kitchen and helped me dry dishes without being asked. And, suddenly, we're talking (again) about relationships, and girls.

I did my best to reassure him that sometimes girls go overboard. (sometimes?) I told him that the attention that he'd been giving her -- even though his intention was merely friendship -- might have been mis-interpreted as something more. And, I cautioned him that this was one of those situations where his integrity and honesty had to be at its best.

He assured me it was. And, I believe him. He really is a good kid. He's got a pure heart -- most of the time. And, I know this is not one of those situations where he's intentionally trying to hurt someone.

Then, the inevitable. The phone rings again.

It's the girl. She's embarrassed. She apologizes for so many phone calls. She apologizes for a situation that she cannot explain. She winds up crying. I hear from his room, "You're not an idiot. It's fine."

Grateful that we purchased him a double bed, I go into his room, and we talk when the phone conversation is over. We wind up laughing, a lot. I say "I can't explain it, Edison. It's just the way girls are," many, many times. And, we laugh some more. Before the evening is over, he and Mark do a bit of "sparring" before they go to bed.

I think he'll be allright.

Her? Well, she's not my problem.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Bigger Than I Imagined!!

Okay. . .it's actually Sunday (wee hours) morning, and I have finally gotten myself to the point where I can share some pictures from our day.

I believe I promised anecdotes, and that may have been a prediction I cannot live up to. We'll have to see about that.

What's the big news?

The kids both got new beds today. . . well, new to one, and NEW to the other.

We decided, a couple weeks ago, to give Edison/Caroline's crib to a girl from our church who is expecting a baby -- literally, any minute -- and somehow, today became the day to give it away.

One problem? Caroline had no bed. So, Caroline got Edison's old (NEW) bed. We got him this bed when we moved here a year and a half ago. I believe there's even a blog post about the bed situation. . . see archives.

Okay, saying one problem really doesn't cut it. For, you see, Caroline hasn't really slept in a big girl bed as of yet -- so we needed a guard rail, too. And, because kids with Down syndrome have the capacity to be wanderers. . . we needed a gate for her room.

So, yeah. . . Caroline and I headed to WalMart around 10:30 this morning, in hopes of finding her a guard rail, a gate, bedding, and bedding for Edison's new (full size) bed.

Most . . let me repeat, most of that happened. (I guess what follows will count as an anecdote):

I am not a fan of most teenage stuff that is foisted upon little girls. Hence, my daughter has no clue who Hannah Montana is. She has never heard of the Cheetah Girls. And, when she sees the Disney Princesses, to my utter delight, she says, "Oh Mommy, look at the pretty princesses." They don't have names. She can't tell Ariel from Sleeping Beauty. (And, if I'm honest, I get Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella mixed up myself)

So. . . .to my dismay, WalMart has discontinued their really cute juvenile bedding that has no celebrity attached to it. In fact, Skippy the Furniture Stock Boy told me that about 10 days ago -- he was that specific -- they had the comforters with the ric-rac, flowers, and plaid pillow shams. But they were cleared out to make more room for Hannah and her friends.


So, being the resourceful mom that I am. . . I found a set of sheets, in a medium pink -- really cute. Then, I headed to the fabric department, where I found and purchased five really cute flannel fabrics that will be transformed into a really cute comforter for the fall/winter.

I'll go to Target to find a spring/summer comforter, thank you very much, Mr. Walton.

Anecdote finished.

I was able to find Edison a "Bed in a Bag" that matches his room perfectly. (picture to follow) So, the day was a win-win-WIN.

Why the third win, you ask? Oh. . . . my friends. . . .

HE WON AGAIN. That's right -- #31 did it with about 49 laps to go. I was actually surprised that my phone didn't ring. A number of my friends know how I am cheering for Jeff Burton. And, tonight's win not only got him closer to a NASCAR championship -- he's 69 points away from Jimmie Johnson.

Yeah, it was a good day all around. Oh, the pictures? Sorry, I nearly forgot!! Yeah, right. . . enjoy!

Here is Edison's new bed . . he even made it himself!

And, here is the Princess' new digs. You'll see that her blanket doesn't quite cover the bed. I'll be frantically sewing for the next couple of days, I suppose.

Giving Daddy a kiss goodnight.

Actually laying down without argument. I suppose once she figures it all out, we'll get more resistance. But tonight? She went right to sleep.

See?? I told you so!
Good night! Sleep tight!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Big Day. . Big, Big, BIG Day!!!

Stay tuned. Pictures. . . .stories. . . . anecdotes. . .

Yeah, they're all coming!

Friday, October 10, 2008

You want pictures? I've got your pictures right here!

I have provided two links below to Buddy Walk pictures. It's not that I don't care -- or don't want to download them. I do.

I'm just in the midst of all sorts of fun. . . including getting myself ready to go to a crop tonight. Yes, that's right. I am reacquainting myself with one of my hobbies, and going to scrapbook at my friend's house tonight. . .and I cannot wait!!

Here are picture links. Scrapbooking layouts to follow. . . eventually.

Hugs & kisses all around. . . A

Thursday, October 09, 2008

New pics and entries are coming. . . really they are!

But today. . . I've got lots of work to do.

Real work.
"Imagined" work.
Volunteer work.
Catch-up work.


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

No Words Needed

I mean, seriously. Do I need to say more?

Monday, October 06, 2008


We not only survived . . . we thrived!

We think we had nearly 1,000 people in attendance.
We raised over $25,000 (expenses not yet factored in)

But most importantly, we celebrated some amazing kids.

Tired? Uh - yeah.
Sore? Yup
Victorious? Oh, yeah!

And the best part?

I got to meet 'THAT CHICK' (see my blog roll) and her amazing family. Her kids cracked me up. She hugged me -- and that meant the world to me. And Jason? Well, Jason loves Jesus. What more do you need?!?!

I will write more later. . .but now, I need a nap.

Many apologies for not posting last night. We have been experiencing some technical (computer) difficulties at the house -- and at 10:30 last night, I didn't have the brain cells, or motor skills to type a sentence, much less form one in my mind.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Just Long Enough. . . .

. . . to say "hello, and thank you!"

There are many people praying for me, and for the success of the Buddy Walk in Knoxville tomorrow. How do I know? (cue Whitney Houston music)

Well. . . this morning, I had to TURN AWAY volunteers to load the truck at the storage unit. We were done even before the time originally scheduled.

I had to call the volunteers at Seymour Heights and tell them that if they were going to help load tables and chairs, we were an hour ahead of schedule. (And some of them nearly missed out, because it all went so smoothly.)

This is unheard of. . . except for the power of prayer. And a little thing called grace.

"God is able to make ALL GRACE abound toward you; that you. . . may abound to every good work." 2 Corinthains 9:8.

I have been living by this scripture for the past couple of weeks. It's not going away, by any stretch, and neither am I. But, it's been a good reminder of God's provision.

And now, I'm sitting in my office, typing a short blog entry. I have a few copies to run, but everything else is DONE.

Signs are made.
Nametags are on lanyards.
Popcorn is in the hopper (so to speak).

And yes, last I checked, God *is* in his heaven, and all is right with the world.