Thanks for stopping by! We were a family of three, until we added one more (cat, that is), making us a family of four. In 2012, we added four husband, two girls, and a dog. We have a full plate as a party of eight!

Adoption, blended families, pets, school,'s all here. Pull up a chair and read a while. After you do, please leave a little comment love! It makes me happy...and y'all know...if Momma is happy, then everyone is least at our house!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Few Pictures from Christmas

These don't really depict our Christmas, but they are fun (funny?).

One morning, Mom, William, Gloria, and I were in the kitchen.  We could hear Screamer in the laundry room, but didn't think much about it really.  Mom just thought he was digging in the litter box.  Until we heard this crash and swooshing noise.  As it turned out, Bad Cat wasn't digging in the litter box.  He was chewing a hole in the bag of Emmit's cat food.  (Emmit is my mom's cat.)  And not only did he chew a hole in the bag, he also knocked it off of the counter and onto the floor where the bag broke and spewed kitty kibble all over the floor.  He doesn't look to disappointed with his work, does he?

I thought the poem said "The STOCKINGS were hung by the chimney with care..."  But when Santa came to our house on Christmas Eve, he must have forgotten that.  I think this says "The Greenies and cat toys were hung by the chimney with care..."

Mom took this one.  Check out Screamer's eyes.  I think he must be some alien life form disguised as a cat...a very bad cat.  "Look into my eyes..."  Hannah looks like she is hanging on for dear life, as if the chair is about to take off and carry her into outer space where there is a whole colony of bad cats just like Screamer!  :)

There really are some better pictures from Christmas, and I have at least one other Christmas post swirling around in my head.  Maybe tomorrow...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A New Doll, Of Sorts

One of Gloria's Christmas highlights was a new doll.  Only, she isn't really a new doll.  Just new to Gloria.  Mary Anne was mine when I was younger.  And before that, she was my mom's doll with the name Nancy Anne.  Mary Anne had been living in the top of a closet at my house for a number of years and all of her clothes were packed away in an old toy chest.  In October, Mom took Mary Anne and all of her clothes home to Memphis where Mary Anne visited the doll hospital to get her head repaired (it was kind of lopsided and she couldn't hold it up straight any more) and to get her hair fixed up since it was kind of raggedy.  Mom washed and ironed all of Mary Anne's clothes.  Some are original and many were made by my grandmother.  It's kind of funny because you can definitely tell which clothes were made in the 70's!

This is Mary Anne, as she looked on Christmas Day, 2010, wearing the same dress as she was wearing on her first Christmas fifty-eight years ago!

This is Christmas of 1952 when my mom received the brand new doll, then named Nancy Anne.

Christmas, 1979.  My grandmother made the matching outfits for the doll and for me.

Christmas, 2010.  Mary Anne is wearing the same dress she was wearing in 1952!

Gloria was thrilled to receive Mary Anne.  She has been so gentle with her.  She is just in awe of the fact that she has a doll that belonged to both her mother and her grandmother.  She is already talking about how she can pass it down to a fourth generation some day!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Gloria's Top Ten (Plus 1) Favorite Things I Liked About Christmas

From Gloria:

10. Cats not fighting (Emmit hasn't attacked Hannah and has only hissed a few times at Screamer.)
9.  Checkers with my grandfather
8.  Seeing snow fall on Christmas Day (even if it didn't stick and there was WAY more snow at home than here at my grandparents' house!)
7.  A family dinner with Nick, Andrew, Edith, Terry, Uncle Will, Uncle Carter, Mommy, Maggie, and Hada.  I just wish that Aunt Martha had been here.  :(
6.  Playing with a friend
5.  Chick-fil-a with Uncle Will!
4.  An iPod shuffle for a present
3.  A Taylor Swift CD
2.  Mary Anne (a doll that was passed to me from my grandmother and my mother.  Momma is going to write about that tomorrow after she gets her pictures off of her camera.)
1. My family.  They are the BEST FAMILY EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And plus one....
CHRIST WAS BORN!!!!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Letter to Santa from Gloria

Dear Santa,

How was your summer?  I have a few requests from my cats (Hannah and Screamer).  Hannah would like a big bag of Greenies to herself.  :)  Screamer would like..........well actually he hasn't told me yet.  :(  But here is what I would like:  Taylor Swift CD Speak Now, an ipod shuffle, and the Great Fairy Rescue game for my DS.  The ipod shuffle can be any color but not boyish please!  :)


Gloria B.

P.S.  Screamer just told me what he wants for christmas.  :)  Anything AUBURN!!!!!!!  (This goes for Hannah too.)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

And It Wasn't Even 7:00 Yet!

Gloria says this was me this morning, before 6:30...

And what she doesn't know is that it only got worse from there...

Let's recap the two hours between five and seven o'clock in the morning.

5:00--The alarm clock goes off.  (That's enough to make anyone grumpy though, so that doesn't count.)  But I was feeling pretty lousy after a night of coughing and was beginning to lose my voice.

5:10--I realize we are going to school in spite of the slick layer of ice on my car and the roads in my neighborhood.

5:20--Gloria gets up.  The tooth fairy brought five quarter last night.  Normally that's a good thing.  Not this morning...she was too focused on that to brush her teeth, get dressed, make her bed, brush her hair, or generally do anything she is *supposed* to do every morning.

5:50--I am dressed and ready to head downstairs to fix breakfast and pack lunch boxes.  Gloria still wasn't dressed.  (Her teeth were brushed, but that was it.)

5:55--Still not dressed, despite my warning of going to school in her nightgown, Gloria has a nosebleed. And even better, she tries to make it stop by BLOWING it!  Has that EVER worked???  N-O-P-E.  And still didn't work today.  Just put me even closer to the edge.

6:00--I throw my hands up in frustration and inform Gloria that I am LEAVING at 6:10, regardless of how she is dressed, fed, or otherwise ready for school.  Also told her she was going to have to fix her own breakfast if she wanted me to pack her lunch.

6:01-6:09--Throw food in lunch boxes.  Scoop the cat box.  Find my watch and earrings.  Go out and start the car, hoping to defrost the ice before it was time to go.  Gloria, in the meantime, has stomped downstairs and begrudgingly poured herself a box of Christmas Captain Crunch.  (Breakfast of champions, right???)  Spilled some milk and cereal on the counter, which she didn't clean up (and it's still not cleaned up).  And the back of her head has the biggest rat's nest in it you have ever seen!  But I refused to help with any of it.  It was time to go.

6:10--We head out the door, Gloria with hairbrush in hand.  I promptly slip on the ice while putting my stuff in the car and again while tossing the garbage in the dumpster on my way out of the neighborhood. Remind me why we're going to school and not on a delay???

6:30--Drop Gloria at before school care, only to discover that they will be CLOSED on January 3rd, never mind the fact that many of us have to work that day.  But "corporate in Texas sets the calendar."  So I'm fuming even more as I slip-slide my way back to the car.

6:37--My car slip-slides its way down the entrance ramp to the interstate loop that I drive to work every day.  ICE.  Remind me again why I am driving to work in the dark, freezing rain, on icy roads?  Oh yeah, because school was opening on the regular schedule.  (Even though ALL the surrounding counties were delayed or closed.)

6:38-6:48--Driving slower than usual, I discovered a few more icy patches on the "treated" interstate.  Also passed not one, not two, but three accidents.

6:48--There was some really smart, super intelligent *ahem* I think "stupid" is a better choice (and I just got fussed at for using "stupid") person driving 30, yes THIRTY, miles per hour in the MIDDLE lane on the interstate.  I suppose the fact that this wonderful person had his hazard lights on made it ok.

6:57--Arrived at school, only to slip in the parking lot.  And discover that grabbing your icy car for support doesn't work particularly well.  

6:59--Ask the wonderful school counselor who has duty downstairs to please inform my students, if she sees them before they head upstairs to our classroom, that their normally cheerful, happy teacher is in a really, really, really bad mood.  I think I looked something like this...

I did eventually find a better mood and things were fine at school today.  Don't worry.  We all survived!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Book Report, of Sorts

I finished reading the book Mamlita: An Adoption Memoir, by Jessica O'Dwyer, the other night.  It is a story of one family's Guatemalan adoption experience.  This particular adoption took place around the time I was "in process," so many of the events and emotions were very familiar.  "The Hague," the anxiety surrounding the question of the date when my power of attorney was registered, DNA testing and birth mother signatures, previos from PGN, expiring documents that included fingerprints and home studies, doctor's letters and references all due to longer timelines--it was all too familiar.

While I was reading her story, there were times I found myself cheering for her boldness or cringing at what in hindsight might seem like naivety.  However, in the moment, who knows what I might have done, so I'm not judging her in any way!  After too many months had passed with little to no progress being made in their case, the author decided to move to Antigua to foster their daughter herself and to fight to push their case through family court and PGN.  At the end of 2003, they were successful and became a "forever family" officially in the eyes of both the Guatemalan and US governments.  I was only a few months behind.

While the general idea behind her story could be any one of the many families adopting from Guatemala during 2002-2004, it was the last few pages that hit me the hardest and gave me the most to think about.  It is there that she writes about the search for and meeting with their daughter's birth mother.  This is something that I think about at times.  Sometimes, I think this is something I need to do, and sooner rather than later.  Other times, it scares me enough to take my breath away.  After reading this story, it was on my mind again because my precious daughter does ask about her birth mother and her country of birth on a somewhat regular basis.  She feels deeply a sense of loss when she thinks about her adoption.  I know that isn't meant to hurt me, and it doesn't.  But it does hurt my heart to see my sweet girl hurting.

The questions swirl in my head:  When?  Should I already have?  Is it too late?  And of course all the "what ifs" too.  And then last night, out of the blue, while on the way to her choir school Christmas concert, Gloria asks, "Momma, do you think I could ever meet ________?"  (The blank is the name of her birth mother.)  It was like she could read my mind because I was pondering that same thing at that very moment.  The questions are there, for both of us.  And I suppose Gloria gave me an answer.  Now what to do with that answer...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Matthew vs. Luke, According to a 7 year-old

Tonight, Gloria decided to start reading the Gospel of Matthew.  It was a suggestion on an Advent calendar that my mom gave her.  I didn't know that was what she was doing while I was working on some lesson plans.  I knew she was reading...just thought it was her AR book, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.

When I finished my work I asked her to tell me about what she was reading.  "I like Luke better," was the response I got.

Huh?  I was confused and then asked what she was reading.  (Some day I will learn not to assume anything!)

"I'm reading Matthew.  I read the first three chapters.  But, I like Luke better.  I think he's a better writer.  He's easier to read and understand."

And then, while brushing her teeth, she caught me off guard again..."Momma, did Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John really write those books?  Or is that just what they want us to think?"

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving Once Again

Every year, I remember my Thanksgiving trip of 2003 when Mom and I traveled to Guatemala to see Gloria for the first time.  Even though we were in a hotel, our day was much like any other family Thanksgiving.  We watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and had a turkey dinner (although we didn't do the cooking that year...).  This year is much the same.  The parade is over, dinner is almost ready, and we're enjoying time together.  We have so much to be thankful for:  family, friends, cats (both "bad" and "good"), good health, a job that I enjoy, and so many of the everyday things we tend to take for granted on a day to day basis.

Gloria wrote an acrostic poem at school about Thanksgiving.  Thought I'd share it with my readers today. (And yes, I know she spelled Thanksgiving wrong with the "e" in there, but I'm leaving it as she did it.)

Thanksgiving is a happy time
Happy family
A nice turkey dinner
Native Americans met the Pilgrims
K is my friend that I am thankful for
Seeing my Grandmother and Grandfather
Going to Fairfield
I'm getting to ride horses
Very thankful for my mother
Eating marshmallows in sweet potatoes
In Tennessee for Thanksgiving
Nice to my mother
Going away on a vacation

We are with my parents, in Tennessee.  They did ride horses yesterday.  Gloria has been nice to me so far.  And, I just put the sweet potatoes in the oven and will add the marshmallows shortly.  So I think we are doing quite well!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I'm Doomed

So how is it that I ended up with a totally girly girl who has developed a love for football and tonight surprised me with her knowledge of basketball???

The Vanderbilt-UNC men's basketball game was on TV tonight.  Gloria got very excited when she noticed that Vandy was ahead..."I didn't know Vanderbilt could be ahead!  Maybe they can win!"  She was cheering them on and when she was congratulating them on making a 3-pointer, I asked her how she knew that.  "From Mr. G at school.  He's a very good PE teacher you know."  She knew about 3-pointers and free throws and that regular baskets were 2 points. I had no idea she knew all of that.  She has no interest in actually playing basketball but was loving watching it.

I am doomed.  I have never paid much attention to sports of any kind.  Now I have to follow it for my daughter's sake.  I guess basketball might take her mind off the lack of football in a few weeks.  She even said she would cheer for Vanderbilt...

As long as they aren't playing the Auburn Tigers...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A "Boring" Saturday

Gloria got up this morning and said she wasn't feeling well.  So, she conned me into letting her watch part of her favorite movie, The Sound of Music, while curled up under blankets on the sofa.  About 11:30, she perked up and we made homemade gluten-free corn dogs together.  She finally decided to get dressed when I told her we needed to go take the recycling and pick up a few things at the grocery store.  But she had a really hard time deciding what to wear.  I just couldn't understand that.  She ALWAYS knows exactly what she wants to wear and it usually involves a skirt or dress.  There was pouting and complaining and general "Prunella" like behavior.  But she finally put on some clothes and off we went. 

On the way home, she was acting like she didn't feel well again and made a beeline for the sofa when we walked in the door.  The rest of her movie was watched and then the crankiness started over again.  What is going on?!?  

"This is a BORING Saturday!" she finally proclaimed as we were making some gluten-free pumpkin cookies.  I figured it was because she has a cold and that always makes her a little disagreeable.  But I was quickly corrected.  "There's no football game for me to watch.  I always watch the Tigers and then cheer for whoever is playing 'Bama.  I told you...this is a BORING Saturday!"

That was when I realized why she was so fussy about getting dressed this morning.  Every Saturday since we went to the Auburn-South Carolina football game in September, Gloria has worn a skirt my mom made for her.  It's made of material that has Auburn symbols all over it.  And she didn't wear it today since the Tigers weren't  playing today!  Guess I better make sure to pack it for our Thanksgiving trip!

And if today was a boring Saturday, I am not looking forward to the end of football season!  It will be a long winter, spring, and summer!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ted the Turkey Goes to Auburn

Written by Gloria for a class assignment:

After watching the Tigers win the Georgia vs. Auburn football game, Ted was just lying down after a great game.  All of the sudden his telephone rang!  He hurried to answer it and on the other end he heard Aubie!  “Hi!” said Aubie.  “Well, is the Munch Bunch giving you a hard time again?”  “Yes!” said Ted, “How did you know?”  “Well, news is all around Auburn,” said Aubie, “and, well, I was just wondering if it was true.”  “Hey! Since the Munch Bunch is  giving you trouble,” said Aubie, “would you like to come out here and help Cam and the others practice for the big game against Alabama?”  “Yes!” said Ted. “Thank you!  I’ll come tomorrow and I’ll leave at 6:00 in the morning.  I better get packing.  Do I need to bring my practice uniform?”  “Yes,” said Aubie.  “You’ll be practicing, you know!”  “Yes,” said Ted.  “Bye!  See you tomorrow!”  After the plane landed he went straight to Jordan-Hare Stadium and saw Aubie and Cam Newton!  “Hi,” said Cam.  “Let’s start practicing as soon as you get into the Auburn uniform.”  “OK,” said Ted.  And after that Ted threw the ball and kept doing this until noon.  “I’m hungry,” said Ted.  “So am I,” said Cam. “Let’s travel up to the cafeteria and we can have come chili.  Say, would you like to stay until the big game?” asked Cam.  “We could practice every day.”  “Yes, I would love it here. I don’t think the Munch Bunch will find me at a college.  They are just in second grade at ********* School.” said Ted.  And they practiced and practiced.  Let’s hope the practice pays off for the big game! 

The poster to go with her story

Aubie, Ted the Turkey in his practice uniform, and Cam on the football field

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I Think I Should Be Embarrassed

This is Gloria's most recent "favorite" book.  She came home from school with it a few weeks ago.  I was a little hesitant about her reading it.  For one thing, it is so totally different from her usual choices reading material.  For another thing, I had never read this book, so I wan't sure of the content.  That's something we struggle with since Gloria is in second grade but reading on a sixth grade level. Finding books that have appropriate content is more challenging.  So, I checked the same book out from the public library in order to read along with, if not ahead of, Gloria.  There were a few parts that I thought would scare her and make her put the book down, but I was wrong.  She stuck with it.  All 523 pages of it.  And she loved it.  Absolutely 100% L-O-V-E-D it.  She wants her very own copy for Christmas so she can read it any time she feels like it.

So why am I embarrassed?  Well, I told you I read the book too.  And out of curiosity, I took the AR test on it.  It was a 20 question test (which this teacher must admit she did not know existed--seriously, I knew there were 5 and 10 question tests, but not 20!) and I missed two.  Score of 90%.

Gloria also took the AR test.  And her score?  Well, ahem, not that I'm particularly surprised, but, well, she made a 100%.  Better than her momma.  She was more excited about making a higher score than me than she was about getting the 100.

So then my question to here was "What's next?"  Her answer...Harry Potter.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cleopatra Appeared At My House

Evidently I forgot to share Halloween pictures.  So, here they are.  Gloria decided she wanted to be Cleopatra.  She and my mom made the costume.  I can only take credit for using the hot glue gun to attach the jewels to collar and headband...after Gloria arranged them.

Ready to go to AJ and Charlie's house

"Momma, I feel so beautiful!"

But first a little dinner.  Kids ate free on Halloween.

Excited at the prospect of a bucket full of candy.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cheap Entertainment!

A few weeks ago, I had to buy one of these:

Fun times, right?  You have no idea...

The Best Buy delivery guys brought it on a Saturday.  The installer guy came the next day.  He took out the old one and put in the new one.  He even took the old one away but said he couldn't take this...

Um...ok...Not sure why, but I could live with it for a day or two before I flattened it, crammed it into my car, and hauled it off to the recycling drop-off location.  But it's been almost three weeks now, and that box shows no signs of being allowed to leave my house.

It has become a fun place to read, color, hide, and play.  There were wishes made to make it a homework hideout, but that got vetoed.  Isn't Momma a party pooper?!?  You can't see all the graffiti that is all over the box, both inside and out!  More and more gets added every day.

It is also a great place for the cats to play.  Note the mousey that has been hung from the top of the box.  Screamer loves to play with it until the box collapses on top of him.  Then he uses it like a tunnel.  He and Hannah Cat play hide-and-go-pounce with each other with the box as base!

I have a feeling this box is around to stay for a while....There's no "sneaking" this out of the house!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

November: Adoption Awareness Month

It's November again.  I might have mentioned that in my last post.  ;)

That means it is Adoption Awareness Month again.

I could write about adopting Gloria and how this tiny little thing...

has grown into this 7.5 year old...

who is full of life and laughter and love.

But I've done that.  And continue to do that.

I could write about how adoption has changed me as a person.

But I've done that.

I could write about how I love my sweet daughter so much it hurts.  And how, as happy as she makes me and as much as I love her, my heart breaks for her birth mother.

But I've done that too.

Did you know that there are 147,000,000 orphans in our world???  One hundred forty seven million.  MILLION.  That number is staggering to me.  That's my school system 980 times.  That's the population of my state times almost 16.  That's more than one third of the population of our country.  That's a lot of orphans.  Like I said...staggering, mind blowing, sobering.

So what is one to do?  Adoption is one answer.  But what about sponsoring a child--so that child can receive nutritious food, needed vitamins and medical attention, or education?  What about advocating for those who can't advocate for themselves?  Be the voice that gets heard.  Or maybe make a donation to someone's adoption fund.  Adoption is so expensive.  There are many families who desire to adopt, and can manage the day to day expenses.  But the adoption fees can be prohibitive.  I know that, along with changing policies regarding single-parent adoption, stands in my way.  What can I do?

Gloria asked me the other day if we could adopt a baby from a specific country.  Stopped me cold in my tracks.  What can I do?  I'm hoping I can find an answer.

What can you do?

What can we all do together?

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Day "Off" Leads to a Rant of Sorts

Gloria didn't have school today so I took the day off.  It was the easiest way to handle this since this was the 5th day in about 3.5 weeks she's been out.  I worked out all the rest, but just couldn't do this one too.  But, I digress.

Gloria's dental appointment: Check.  She's got 3 loose teeth, and he says she should have lost 6 (yes, SIX) before he sees her again in six months.  Guess the tooth fairy better take out a loan!

Impromptu stop at Starbucks for some (soy) hot chocolate:  Check.  They are already using their red holiday season cups.  It's only November 5th.

Screamer and Hannah to the vet:  Check.  Hannah just got her claws clipped.  Screamer needed his check-up and 2 shots.  Let's just say he lived up to his names--both of them--Screamer and Bad Cat.  He howled and yowled and fussed and carried on all the way there and back.  And while we were there, too.  He didn't care for the poking and prodding at all.  He bit one of the techs.  Didn't hurt, but he did use his mouth as a way to try to get away from her.  He spit out his pills, not once, but 7 times.  She called for reinforcements and it still was a fight.  It was kind of funny, but embarrassing too!

Recycling: Check.  We loaded it up in the car and took it all to the recycling drop-off.  We're doing that more often now that we can recycle more stuff.

Then we ventured to the mall.

And here goes my rant...

It is ONLY November 5th.  NOVEMBER 5th!  But you would think it was the week before Christmas.  All the decorations are up.  Christmas music was playing.  Macy's had their mailbox and "I believe" area set up, ready for you to write your letters to Santa.  Lights, garlands, bows, red boxes, candy canes, you name it.  When we headed into the actual mall, Gloria asked me if Santa Claus would be at the mall.  I assured her that it was much too early for that.

But I was W-R-O-N-G.  Wrong, wrong, wrong.  There was the man in red himself.  Gloria froze.  She loves the idea of Santa, but doesn't like to see him.  Not one little bit of him.

I'm sorry, but it's ONLY NOVEMBER FIFTH!!!  Santa Claus, already?!?  Seriously?!?  IT'S NOVEMBER 5TH, people!  Have I mentioned that yet???  Have we forgotten about the Pilgrims and turkeys and cornucopias and the season of fall?  This is absurd.  I know we keep saying that Christmas is  coming earlier and earlier every year.  But it's not.  It's still on December 25th.  The rest of this is commercialism at its absolute worst.  I can't stand it.

I know.  Some will call me "Scrooge."  Some will tell me to accept it--it's just the way it is.  Some don't care.  And some will agree with me.

For now, I'm going to wear my turkey necklace or my fall sweater with the pumpkins and leaves and pilgrim hat on it.  I'm going to enjoy Fall and look forward to spending Thanksgiving with my parents in just a few weeks.  Then I'll come home and get the Advent wreath out and begin to prepare for Christmas.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

She rides!

After beginning to ride a two-wheel bike last spring, Gloria didn't ride at all this summer.  It was too hot for me to run beside her, she was gone for over a month, we went out of town...You get the idea.  So today I told her we needed to get back to work on learning to ride her bike.  She hemmed and hawed, but finally gave in.  She found her balance pretty quickly, but would only ride a short distance before throwing her feet out to the sides, swerving all over the place, and stopping with another "I can't do this."  But I insisted that she keep trying--she's seven and a's time to ride that bike!  I even asked her what would have happened if Cam Newton had said he couldn't do it when he was learning to play football--how would her Auburn Tigers be doing right now???  For some reason, that did it.  He is her hero and favorite Tiger right now.  So, she gritted her teeth and got down to business--no more chicken legs flailing to the sides of her bike and "I can't" was seen or heard.  With a little help to start, she was able to ride.  She kept stopping though.  I asked her why and she told me that she didn't think she could go any farther.  I told her if she could make it to the speed bump by the pool, I would treat her to a frappacino.  Talk about incentive.  That and I told her that would be like Auburn scoring a touchdown.  Turning around to come back would be the extra point.  Stopping for anything other than a car was a touchdown for those other Tigers they are playing in just a few minutes.  Well, she "scored" 4 touchdowns (and her frappacino), but no extra points.  The other Tigers didn't get a touchdown, but they did get 2 points for an early stop at the other turn-around point.

I had to be the sports commentator as I followed her, but by golly, that was her motivation (besides the frappacino!).  She still needs help starting, but then she rides!  And stops--not always gracefully, but she's not falling flat on her face, either.

Ready for "kick-off"

Heading towards her "touchdown"

Back to the bottom of the hill to turn around again

And in other news, our new dryer and dishwasher were delivered today.  The dishwasher will be installed tomorrow.  But Screamer has approved of the new dryer.

I'm out of here...gotta' go yell at the TV and cheer for another Auburn Tiger football game!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Just a few pictures from recent doings.  Time gets away from me so easily these days.  Wish I had more time to blog, but so many things demand my attention--things that are more important that this.  In due time, I'll get back to my regular writing!

We went to the Auburn-South Carolina football game a few weeks ago.  It was so H-O-T that day, so we were both a hot mess by kick-off that night.  War Eagle!

Gloria at Toomer's Corner after the Tigers won the game.  They have this odd tradition of throwing toilet paper in the trees after a winning game.  She thought it was fun to see.

What a huge pumpkin!  

Mom came to visit a few weeks ago.

Poor Screamer...a.k.a "Bad Cat"...we took him to church for the blessing of the animals.  He wasn't happy.  Notice the new carrier made of hard plastic and metal bars.  :)

Not recent.  I took this back in July when we were in Florida.  This guy was just standing by the side of the road, posing for my photo op!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Blog Long Neglected

Oh my heavens!  My poor little blog has been neglected for so long.  I've probably lost anyone who ever used to read it!  But I have a two word explanation for my long absence....SCHOOL STARTED.  Yep...that about sums it up.  Up at 5 a.m.  Gone all day.  Home for homework, dinner, Gloria's bath and bed time, housework, school work, ummm...maybe a little thesis work.  Then I fall into bed, only to repeat again the next day.  Add in choir rehearsals for Gloria, her horseback riding lessons, turning *ahem* forty (YIKES!) and going to the Y...well, you get the picture, don't you?

I do have two posts to work on this weekend.  So, keep your fingers crossed...

Friday, August 13, 2010

Road Blocks to Writing

I was doing pretty well working on my thesis during July.  I was reading a lot of history, which means I was reading pretty s-l-o-w-l-y.  But I was reading.  Then we went on vacation.  So did my thesis work.  I was ok with that because I knew that Gloria would be at choir camp every day this week and I would have lots of time to work.  My plan was to write the first draft of the history part of my thesis.  What is it they say about the best laid plans???  Here is what happened this week instead of me writing every day:

Monday:  Took Gloria to choir camp.  Took Screamer to the vet.  Went to the grocery store.  Realized that all of the books I was using for my thesis were due at the seminary library on Friday.  Can't renew them...I've used my one renewal already! 

Tuesday:  Took Gloria to choir camp.  Went to school to work on packing my stuff so that it could be moved upstairs to a different classroom.  Shipped my books back to the seminary library.  Returned to church to assist with the afternoon activity for choir camp--80+ children walked to the bowling alley to bowl.  That was fun...and hot...and crazy. Went to the mall with Gloria after choir camp to do some back-to-school shopping.  New shoes for both of us. Clothes for Gloria.

Wednesday:  Took Gloria to choir camp.  Went to school to work on packing my stuff some more.  Had lunch with a sweet friend I hadn't seen in ages.  Ran a few errands.

Thursday:  Took Gloria to choir camp.  Went to school to move my stuff upstairs to my new classroom.  Returned to church to assist with the afternoon activities for choir camp.  Came home to move things upstairs so the downstairs carpets can be cleaned on Friday.

Friday:  Took Gloria to choir camp.  Came home to wait for "Stanley" to come steam clean my downstairs carpets.  Still waiting.  Will return to church for the Evensong that will close choir camp.

What is missing from all of that???  You guessed it....writing the history part of my thesis.  Oh boy...what am I going to do?  How am I ever going to get that done!??  Slightly stressed right now.

Monday, August 9, 2010

How to Escape from a Cat Carrier

Screamer here...I wanted to share my side of the story before Momma could make me out to be a bad cat like she says that I am.  She thought I needed to go to the vet today.  Now why in the world would she think that?!?  I can see perfectly fine through one eye while I squint through the other one.  And who cares about a little reddish colored discharge?  No biggie.  But NOOOOO, she insisted on taking me to Clear Creek Animal Hospital.  That's that place they do things I don't like.  I'm not going.  No way.  I'll show her who's boss.  Watch and learn...

Step 1:  Chew, tear, paw, and rip at the flimsy mesh that your human THINKS will contain you while riding to the vet until there is a hole the size of your head.

Step 2:  Sit back and admire your handy work...oh so briefly.  Also, do this again while at the vet's office so they will think your human is making up terrible lies about how you escaped and ran all over the car panting like a big shaggy dog.  I'm innocent, I tell you!

Step 3:  Escape through the head-sized hole.  But do it quickly so that no one can take a picture documenting that it was REALLY you that did it.  I'm pretty sure that black blur doesn't look a thing like me...(cough, cough...hairball...really...)

Step Four:  Leave the empty jail cell behind.

Step Five:  Act completely innocent.  Which I am, of course!  I didn't do anything!  I'm a goooood cat.

P.S.  The lady doctor put this really weird stuff in my eye.  It made my tears turn green (and it keeps running out my nose too...yuck). She says I have conjunctivitis and Momma has to put a drop in my eye three times a day for ten days.  Even did the first one right there in the office to show Momma how to do it.  Momma agreed and said I'm the "easy" one to handle.  Yeah, right.  That's what she thinks.  I'll show her who's boss!  I've watched Hannah Cat for long enough to have learned a thing or two about resistance.  And don't let her try and tell you that I repeated my escape act on the way home.  I wasn't panting like I was going to hyperventilate while the car was moving.  That wasn't me, I swear!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Serpentarium

While we were in Edisto, I took Gloria and Reiny to the Serpentarium.  Believe me when I say it was not my idea.  I truly thought that they would absolutely be horrified by the idea when I jokingly mentioned it.  Oh how wrong I was.  One wanted to go, so of course the other one wanted to go too.  There was no way my mom (AKA Maggie or Mema)  was going, so it was up to me, Momma/Aunt Merrill, to provide this outing.

Reptiles of all sorts were every where.  Take a look at some of the creatures we were face to face with.  Only a fence separated us from the gators.  And the snakes...well...makes me shudder to think about them...

One of about 13 that we counted in this particular space.

How's this for a close up shot?!?

Now, turtles...I can handle them!

This iguana stood perfectly still as if posing for me to take his picture.

This guy doesn't live at the Serpentarium, but he comes for dinner every afternoon when they feed the alligators.  Seriously?!?  Stealing food from gators?!?  Not very smart.  Guess that's why the keepers bring him a piece of chicken, too.  They call him "Black Bart," by the way.  And sometimes he brings his girlfriend, "Black Bart's Girlfriend," with him to share the good stuff.

Snakes in trees, snakes in the sun, snakes in the water...entirely too many snakes for my liking!
We saw a snake show and learned lots about snakes.  After the show, lots of the children were holding this snake.  Gloria didn't want to hold him, but she did want to touch him. thank you!!!  Reiny touched it too, but she moved too quickly for my camera.
Happy girls.  :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Back to School Shopping

It's August. 

There are just two weeks let before I go back to work.  Three weeks from today, I will greet my new class of second graders.  Where has the summer gone?  Hmmm...thesis work, vacation, thesis work, pool's gone so quickly!

Today, Gloria and I went to Office Max, Office Depot, and Target for supplies for my classroom.  I knew what I wanted to purchase and had scoured the circulars from the Sunday paper.  I didn't want to buy too much, but there were a few specific items I wanted and then some everyday type things that are just so much cheaper right now compared to the rest of the year.

Here's what I found:

Office Depot had the plastic, 2 pocket, pronged folders for 54 cents.  That was less than Office Max by 20 cents per folder. I later found them at Target for 50 cents each, but don't want to deal with returning them just to save myself a dollar.  I also got three packs of red pens for 25 cents each.  (Office Max didn't have red or I would have gotten them there since they had the name brand instead of the store brand.  Oh well...)  Pencil boxes like I wanted were 99 cents.

Office Max had the best price on pencils at 10 cents for a box of 12 pencils.  I picked up several packs of 25 cap erasers and a ream of paper while we were there.

Target was my best deal today.  Composition books for a quarter a piece!  Woo hoo!  Big pink erasers in 2-packs for 20 cents each.  Crayola markers for $1 a box.  Paper folders were 10 cents a piece.  (That's about the best I can do every year.)  They also had colored pencils for 50 cents each, and for each box of colored pencils you buy, you can get the 24 pack of crayons for free! 

Gloria found the cutest lunch box ever. And the cats got a bag of cat food and a box of litter.  So I think everyone was happy.  Mission accomplished!

Now...back to that thesis...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Home from Vacation...Tired...What to Make for Dinner?

Gloria and I arrived home yesterday afternoon from our vacation.  Today...I'm worn out.  Very little got accomplished today.  Glo had speech, we went grocery shopping, and I got one load of laundry done.  Why did I start with the beach towels?  Should have started with something more pressing, don't you think?  But all that stuff was contained in suitcases and the towels were just heaped on the floor.  So they won.

Can't imagine why I'm tired...maybe something to do with driving over1500 miles during the past week or so (10 hours/600 miles yesterday alone)?  Maybe because I've been playing with, entertaining, refereeing, cooking for, reading with, swimming with, hunting shells with...two seven-year olds and a five-year old?  "Camping out" in a motel when there was no AC in Mom's condo and sleeping on an air mattress on the floor?  All of the above?  At any rate, I'm just exhausted today.  Much to Gloria's dismay, I spent the afternoon curled up on the sofa. 

I couldn't even decide what to make for dinner tonight.  Fortunately, there was a box of gluten-free chicken nuggets in the freezer, green beans in the pantry, and fresh strawberries and blueberries in the refrigerator.  Voila!  Dinner.

The menu for the rest of the week:

Wednesday:  Beef and broccoli in the crockpot with rice and fruit
Thursday:  leftovers from Wednesday  :)
Friday:  meeting friends for dinner
Saturday:  spaghetti and salad (I make my own sauce and make enough to freeze several bowls of it so we can have it other times.)
Sunday: breakfast for dinner

I need some new suggestions.  What do you like to fix for dinner?

Friday, July 30, 2010

A Bug in the Darkness

There are lots of things to blog about from our trip to Edisto, but Tuesday night is the one that is getting the most laughter and retelling around here right now.

After a great dinner at the Sea Cow Eatery, we went back to our condo and got the girls ready for bed.  One conked out almost as soon as her little head hit the pillow, and fortunately slept through the whole event that unfolded shortly thereafter.  One was downstairs reading with her grandmother before going to bed.  Gloria was already in bed watching a little bit of a DVD on our portable player.  There was a thunderstorm warning for our area, but things seemed calm--just a little lightning in the distance and a few rumbles of thunder, maybe a little bit of rain. Nothing to get excited about.  Or so we thought...

With the next flash of lightning, the lights went out.  Total darkness surrounded us.  From the third floor I heard Gloria yell for me with terror in her voice, but I couldn't see to make my way across the room and ascend all those stairs.  Instead, she unplugged the DVD player and used the glow of the screen to find her way down to where my mom, Gloria's cousin, and I were.  The two girls curled up with the DVD player between them to watch "The Aristocats" until the power came back on.  We assumed it would be just a few minutes and then everyone would go happily off to bed.

WRONG.  The power was out as far as we could see.  Out the windows and across the golf course...DARKNESS.  Across the road and around the darkness, occasionally broken by the flashing light of a security truck driving through the resort.

Mom thought she had a flashlight in her car and went to find it.  In doing so, she left the front door open.  Apparently the glow of the DVD player was interpreted as an invitation to come inside by a rather large flying creature.  Mom thinks it was a cicada.  I didn't get close enough to it to find out.  I heard wings fluttering and the thumping of it flying into walls and finally located it, using the light from my cell phone screen, crawling along the edge of a picture frame.  As soon as Mom made a move to trap it in a cup, it took off again.  We found it again, with the light from my cell phone, but once again it took off.  I was screaming (I HATE big bugs) and jumping every time it took off, you know...acting like a GIRL.  I think it flew right by my ear a time or two, which about did me in.  Finally, Mom was successful in trapping the thing and tossing it back outside.

What we thought would be just a few minutes lasted for the entire length of the movie and then some.  We were tricked by a few brief moments of electricity after we convinced the girls that we all needed to go to bed--just enough time to turn off all the lights that were on and reset the clocks...all before it went out again. 

Monday, July 26, 2010

Beach Mom? Not Me!

I am so not a good beach mom.  I know that.  I try, but I just don't do it very well. 

Don't get me wrong...I love the beach.  Love it!  When I can walk along the beach, right on the edge of the water.  When I can pick up a shell or two that catch my eye.  When I can sit on a chair with my toes in the sand and read a book or just enjoy watching the sea gulls and pelicans.  I love the beach like that, along with a good ocean breeze.

I'm not a good beach mom though.  I don't like to play out in the ocean.  Can't stand thinking about what all else is in the water, living and non-living.  Ick!  I don't like to sit in the sand where the waves are coming in and get sand all in my bathing suit.  Double ick!  I don't build very good sand castles, and do I really need to ooh and aah over the 37th piece of a shell that looks like half of the other 36 that are already in the bucket? (The answer to that, of course, is YES!)

But for this beach trip, that's what the grandmother is for.  Most of it, anyway.  I can enjoy shells and walking with three sandy little girls along the beach.  Then I can sit on the beach blanket and watch two little girls work diligently on sand castle after sand castle that keeps getting eaten by the waves, no matter how high they attempt to build the wall around it while the third little girl sits in the sand and plays with her grandmother.  That I can do.  Apply sunscreen?  Sure.  Hand out juice boxes and water bottles?  I can do that too.  Move the blanket and towels and cooler and myriad of flip flops when the tide starts coming in?  Absolutely.  Happy to do it.

Just don't make me get in the water or sit in the sand.  I'm happy to watch everyone else be happy playing at the beach.  Now...if I only had a book...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Food for Thought...Thoughts for Food

We typically eat a gluten-free diet.  Through some experimentation a few years ago, we learned that gluten might be the source of Gloria's nose bleeds and my arthritis-like symptoms in my back and shoulders.  We usually do pretty well with it, although we will "stray" every once in a while.  I know I feel so much better and don't hurt all the time when I stay gluten-free.  And I don't hear "Momma, I'm having a nose bleed" at two o'clock in the morning. 

Lately, we haven't been very good.  Just this week I can think of Chick-fil-a, lunch with friends at Cracker Barrel, and Subway today when traveling, have all been much easier and much more fun then making the gluten-free choices.  But we are both feeling the effects of it.  My back has been hurting all week and I've taken more Tylen*l than I care to have taken and Gloria has been having nose bleeds quite often.

Guess it's time to buckle down again and free ourselves of the gluten!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Growing Up

For the last few days, Gloria has been watching her "me" video.  "Momma, can I watch me?" really means that she wants to watch the video of herself as a baby/toddler.

It's so hard to remember her as that little tiny 9 1/2 month old baby that I first held in my arms in November of 2003.  She really was tiny, and she kept her legs curled up under her with no interest in straightening them out and putting her feet on the floor.  She couldn't sit up by herself, much less crawl. 

Then the video jumps ahead 3 1/2 months to my trip to bring her home.  She was still such a tiny thing.  She could crawl a little bit, but not much.  Still no interest in putting her feet on the floor. (She wouldn't walk until 18 months of age.)  But that little girl loved books.  She would sit and turn pages and study--didn't matter what book it was.  That continues to this day--she loves to read.

Once we came home, she was crawling all over the place and pulling up on everything.  She would eat everything she could get her hands on and she grew and changed so fast.  It's fun to go back and watch that happen over and over again on the TV screen.  (If only I didn't have to listen to my own voice going on and on and on, narrating every move!)

Fast forward to today...

Sometimes we have conversations that seem so grown up.  Not your typical 7-year old conversations.  Other times, yeah, she's definitely 7.  Today we went from discussing prayers in the Book of Common Prayer to playing with Thomas the T*nk Engine on the living room floor.  I love her curiosity, and I love that she still likes to play with Thomas too!  Of course now I don't have to construct the track and crash my train into hers.  Today, Thomas was taking all of the Disn*y princesses to the merry-go-round at the fair.  And poor Sir T*ppom Hat, who is only about 2 inches tall, had to dance with Cinder*lla who is about 4 times as tall.  They made quite the couple, let me tell you!  :)

When I referred to her as "young lady" this afternoon, Gloria informed me that she is NOT a young lady.  She is a little girl.  Oh?  Her reasoning was that she is not an adult and she is not a teen-ager (whew!) "So therefore, Mommy, I am still a little girl."  I'll take that.  She can be my little girl.  But gosh my little girl is growing up!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Guess Where We Went Today!

Eating out is fun, but eating out for free is even better! Not that it was fine dining or anything, but we really don't eat out very often so we enjoyed it, even if we were dressed like momma and daughter cows!