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 more...one husband, two girls, and a dog. We have a full plate as a party of eight!

Adoption, blended families, pets, school, running...it'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 happy...at least at our house!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

They Say It's My Birthday...

And it's true.

Sweet Gloria was so excited to celebrate my birthday today...
even if she did tell me that she didn't like me turning 41 because I am getting closer to being a senior.

Oh yes, she did.

Twerp!

But I still love her.

It was very important to her that I had presents to open.  So we went to Target after school and I gave her $20.  She knew what I "wanted" and picked them out on her own.  I wasn't allowed to look though.  And let me tell you...that's kind of tough when you want to keep your child within eyesight at all times in a large store!

Next stop:  the grocery store to find something for dinner.  I voted for cheetos and chocolate.  Birthday girl chooses, right?  Well, I got voted down.  We ended up with chicken, baked potatoes, and fruit.  I still think cheetos and chocolate would have been perfectly fine.  ;)  Dessert was gluten-free brownies that Gloria made with a little bit of birthday cake ice cream next to it.




Then it was time for presents.


I got new potholders, a new fall-colored tablecloth, and a Hershey bar.  No cheetos though.  :(




Had to laugh at school today...I refuse to admit my age to my students.  So one of the boys in one of my fifth grade reading groups asked me how long I had been teaching (16, this is number 17--HOW, exactly, is that possible?!?!).  Then he asked me how old I was when I started teaching (21, but turned 22 six weeks later).  Does he really think I'm not smart enough to follow his line of thinking?  Silly boy.  Besides, adding those together still won't give you my real age because of the year I was in grad school (1) and the years I was working at the church (2).

Note:  All photos were taken by the eight year old in the family.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

New Heights

Last night, Screamer gave me quite a fright!

I'm used to him coming in and sitting on the edge of the bathtub, between the shower curtain and the liner, while I am in the shower each night.  He boxes the water drops which I shamelessly torment him with, purely for my own satisfaction.  :)

So last night I'm in the shower.  It's well past 11:00.  The house is quiet and settled.  Alarm is set.  Gloria is soundly sleeping.  Hannah Cat was curled up on my bed.  Screamer was...well, I don't really know where he was.

Suddenly this T-A-L-L shadow moves across my bathroom wall.

Scares me to death!  To death, I tell you!

As I gather up my courage to peer out from behind the shower curtain, this is what I see peering down at me...

(There's a reason I call him my "little black nightmare," ya' know. Just look at him!)


 He moved the shower curtain aside...


And ducked under the rod...


Hmm...not sure what he was checking out.  (Actually, he had both front paws on the little ledge, and I really thought he was going to attempt to walk on it.  But he thought better of that idea after considering it for a brief moment.  However, he wouldn't reenact that this evening.  Silly cat!  He never cooperates when I have the camera out!)



Some perspective on how high up he really is.


And wouldn't you know it...he can't get himself down!  I told him I was leaving him there.  That if he got up there, he could get down.  He didn't agree with that logic.  Actually, I think he tried to walk on the curtain rod, because after he quit crying about being left up there in the dark when I went to bed, I suddenly heard a CRASH, upon which I went in and discovered the shower curtain on the floor.

The good news is that after all of that excitement, he actually slept through the rest of the night.  Which is almost unheard of for Screamer.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Rain, Rain, and More Rain

That's the story of the week for us?

Rain.
It started on Wednesday

Continued on Thursday...



And Friday...


And even more on Saturday...


What's a girl to do when it's raining, soccer games were cancelled, and you decide it's raining too hard to play in the rain because you might get "too wet"???

Curl up with a new book  and some popcorn with a football game on television for background noise...


Convince Screamer that he doesn't really want us to send him off to some tropical, sunny location...


And finally, cheer for your favorite team, who you can only watch on-line since Momma won't pay for cable, satellite, or any other pay-for-viewing TV...


Disclaimer!!
Y'all--she really does have other clothes.  It's just that all she wears on Saturdays during football season is her AU skirt my mom made her with a white t-shirt.

I'm ready for some sunshine!  Either that or I need to google some directions for constructing an ark!


Sunday Snapshot

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mid-Week Musings

Conversation with a student today:

Student:  It's snowing outside!
Me:  Um, noooo...that's rain.
Student:  Are you sure?  That looks like snow.
Me:  No, that's rain.
Student:  How do you know?
Me:  Well, it is 78 degrees outside right now.  Way too warm for snow.
Student:  78 degrees?!?  WHOA!!!  That's a lot!


*********************************************************

What is the obsession with staying connected all the time?
Email, text, voice mail, Face Book...
Yes, I use it all.
I even have an i-phone (thanks to my old phone going ka-put over the summer--my old phone which would make phone calls and text and that was it...and I was happy!)
But I don't feel the need to be always on, always connected, always checking in.
Guess I really noticed it today when five of the six people I was sitting with during staff meeting were all checking their phones at one point--texting, checking FB, reading email.

Makes me think about how DISconnected I think we have become.

********************************************************

If Gloria has been in school for four weeks and mid-term progress reports come home next Friday...
shouldn't I have received graded work before TODAY?!?
And shouldn't I have received more than 6 papers with grades on them?!?
My teacher brain says YES!
It also says that I wish her teacher would reply to emails.

********************************************************

Thesis report--still working.
Still
not
finished

Ugh.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Football Weekend with Uncle Will (Sunday Snapshot)

Around here, Uncle Will is known as "the best uncle in the whole wide world."  That's a pretty high honor, bestowed upon him by Gloria.  Uncle Will lives far away from us, half way across the country, so we don't see him nearly as often as we would like.  But, this weekend, Uncle Will came to our house.  Of course, there was a "carrot" that enticed him to come.  We don't live too terrible far from Clemson, where Auburn was playing on Saturday.  Gloria has been eagerly awaiting his arrival for the past week...you know how wiggly and silly a puppy gets when excited?  Yeah, that was Gloria all last week as she counted down the days until Friday.  I'm pretty sure everyone she knows was aware of his arrival and our weekend plans.

Friday night, after the airport pickup, we headed to dinner.

 She wasn't excited, or anything like that, was she?

 Yummy dinner.  Not sure why she chose chopsticks for eating spaghetti though...

Love this picture!

Saturday, we were up and out of the house by 6:00 in the morning.  (Not by my choice...just following orders!)  

 Arriving on the campus

 In the student union food court

 In front of the stadium

 In the stadium, after climbing to practically the very top.
Seriously!  We were in row AA of the upper deck.
It was a L-O-N-G way up!
I quickly laid down the law...one, and only one trip to the bathroom/concessions!

Proof I was actually there.  :)

 This guy in the blue body suit kind of creeped Gloria out.
After talking with him without the face cover, he seemed like a fairly normal guy.

 Talking on the phone to Hada before the game.
(Momma's strategy/distraction for killing time before the game...)

 The Auburn band, warming up before the game


 Some perspective on just how high up we really were!
Look at the size of those people on the field!

While the game did not have a favorable outcome for us Auburn fans, we still enjoyed our day.  It was fun to visit another stadium and experience the game from that standpoint.  It was a little disappointing for Gloria since this was the first time she went to a game that her beloved Tigers lost, but she still enjoyed it.

We will have to say goodbye to Uncle Will in the morning and I know Gloria will miss him.  But then she will start counting the days until we meet him in Atlanta and travel down to Auburn for the game against Florida.  (Speaking of which...any suggestions for a Sunday morning/early afternoon activity in Atlanta?  We went to the aquarium, which was fantastic, several years ago, and to American Girl last year.  Thinking about World of Coke...what do you think?)

Sunday Snapshot

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Poor Kitty Cat!

We came home last week and found this...


Screamer's window perch had fallen off of the window sill in my bedroom.  Talk about one unhappy cat!

So now, he sits on my bed...


stares at me, stares at his fallen perch,



and meows pitifully.
"What happened?"
"Why can't I get up there any more?"
"When are you going to fix it?"
"Fix it please!"
"I need my window perch."
"If you don't fix it, I'm going to sleep in your bed, and you know how I take up as much room as possible and then some!"

And so I wake up to this...


staring me in the face--in the middle of the night, in the wee small hours of the morning, when ever he feels like walking across my face and pulling my hair.  And!  And he's p-u-r-r-i-n-g!  Like this is something to be happy about!  Fun times, I'm telling you!

Note to self:  FIX the window perch!  SOON!!

In other fun news,  Gloria was so excited to find these...


at Tar-jay yesterday afternoon.  Look closely and you will see that the "M" is wearing what appears to be an Auburn football jersey.  That was cool enough for her to convince me to buy not one, but two packages:  one for us and one for Uncle Will (who is flying in to visit us go to the Auburn-Clemson football game this weekend).  Turns out that Uncle Will already found his own bag in Texas!  Guess that means two bags of chocolate for us.  It'll be tough, but someone has to eat them...in the car on the way to the game!  :)  I'm really praying for a win.  Otherwise, the ride home will be a L-O-N-G one--with a grown man silent and sullen in the front seat and a tearful, sad eight year old in the back seat.  Help me out here, Tigers!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years Ago

There have been so many conversations this past week, and today, discussing "where were you ten years ago?"

Where were you ten years ago?  Do you remember?

What were you doing that morning?  Do you remember?

How did you find out?  Do you remember?

Do you remember?

Do I remember?  How could I ever forget?

September of 2001, was one of two Septembers in my life when I was not in a classroom, either as a student or as a teacher.  I was working as the Director of Christian Education at a church.  I lived alone--no children, no cats, just me.

I remember getting up, going through the morning routine to get ready for work, and wanting to catch the last few minutes of the news, just so I could hear the weather forecast for the day.  I grabbed the clicker and turned on the TV in my room, tossed it back on the bed, and picked up the earrings I wanted to wear that day.  I turned around to see an airplane flying into a tall building.  Honestly, I thought I was watching a preview for a movie until I heard the voices of the news anchors (Today Show?  Good Morning, America?  I don't remember) and the sickening reality of what I was really seeing settled in.

It was horrifying.
Those images from that morning are seared in my memory for ever.

And I remember needing to talk to my family.  We were spread out then, just as we are today, but I needed to know everyone was ok.  And I remember how awful it felt to be alone.

And then I remember driving to work.  The major artery into town that I drove every day, usually in bumper to bumper, end of the morning drive traffic, was completely empty.  I don't remember seeing any other cars on the road.  And the sky?  The sky was clear and blue.  And empty.  No planes making their final descent towards the airport.

The rest of the day is a blur.  People were in and out of the church that day.  We had a service that night. And another later in the week.  Our collective sense of security had been shattered.

Fast forward ten years.  It is September 11, 2011.  I'm a momma.  I'm back in an elementary school as a teacher.  My family is still spread far apart--even farther today then ten years ago.

The images and memories of September 11, 2001, are still there.  And I haven't been able to watch any of it.  Our television has remained largely silent this week because 9-11 was everywhere.

Never forget, they say.
Never forget?  How can I?
The images, the thoughts, the memories from that day are here for ever.  I can't watch those news reports being played over and over again though.

My chest gets tight.
I can't breathe.
Tears sting my eyes.

The loss of so many innocent lives--all of whom were someone's precious child, brother, sister, mother, father, aunt, uncle, cousin, friend, confidant, husband, wife, grandparent or grandchild--each and every life lost that day meant someone, somewhere, lost an important piece of his/her life.

And that is what breaks my heart.  The senseless loss of so many lives.

Yet, we go on living.  We have to.  We live with tears and sorrow, fear and trepidation.  But we also live with hope and expectation, a spirit of love and joy.  We have to.  It is in that living that we never forget.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Finally Some Smiles!

After the heartbreak and disappointment of the week, it was time for some fun around here.  So I decided we would go to the park and play for a while this morning.  It was so beautiful outside--cool and sunny--such a reprieve from the summer heat that will plague us for a bit longer before finally giving way to fall.  We haven't been to the park for several months because it has been so, so hot.  Imagine our surprise when we got to our favorite little park to find this:


Boo!  Apparently, the renovations that were started back in February are still not finished!  Rats!

OK, plan B...let's try another little park we like.  We arrived there to find the gate closed and locked.  Strike two!  And now it was getting close to game time, so Gloria just wanted to go home and watch her boys in orange and blue, Auburn, play Mississippi State.

Fortunately, they squeaked out another tally in the "W" column today!


After the game, we decided to give playing at the park one last try.  This time, we opted for one of the larger county parks we knew would be open.  Crowded, but open.

A little swinging...



A little climbing...



And a little sliding...




A lot of giggling...



That smile had been missing for several days, replaced by tears and sadness.  It sure was good to see it again today!


Sunday Snapshot