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!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Week In Review--Sunday Snapshot

I'll just go ahead and say it...
This week was R.O.U.G.H.
I had a severe case of the back-to-school blues after my spring break.  
I know summer is coming--only 6 more weeks for me.  Just 5 for Gloria.  Lucky girl!
But it was so hard to go back on Monday.  
And I was feeling so blue.
It took several days to really feel back in the swing of things.

Good news arrived in the form of a message on my cell phone on Tuesday.  My car was ready to be picked up.  The repairs were finished.  I was so happy to be back in my own car.  I really like my car, which is a good thing, considering the amount of time I spend in it every day.  And I really did NOT like the rental car they gave me, which made getting my own car back that much better.  Now if we can just get rid of that fresh paint smell we'll be in great shape!

On Monday and Tuesday, we installed this...
on the window sill in my room.  Screamer LOVES it and says "Thank you Maggie and Hada!  You're the best!  This thing is awesome!  And Hannah Cat, old neurotic thing that she is, is scared to death of this thing, so it's all M-I-N-E!  Mine, mine, mine, mine, MINE!!!  Yipee!!!"  It might save my window sill and blinds from being destroyed.  An added bonus:  I can remove the printer and large storage box from my bedroom that had inadvertently become his perch!  


By Wednesday, the Easter eggs were mostly empty.  Gloria had lots of help from Momma enjoyed her jelly beans and chocolates a little at a time.


 On Friday, Gloria insisted on getting up at 4:00 to watch the Royal Wedding.  That wasn't too much of a stretch since we already get up at 5:00 every week-day morning.  She thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it...right up until we had to leave for school.  She did get to see them exchange their vows though.  We also watched some recaps on Friday night, so she was satisfied.  It was so beautiful--all of it.  Well, except for a few of the hats....what were some of those women thinking?  Gloria gasped when she saw Catherine's gown.  "Oh Momma!  She's beautiful and gorgeous!  She looks like a princess!"

On Saturday morning, I had put the newspaper down on the table.  Screamer (who's other name is Bad Cat, if you recall) jumped up and began to study it very intently.  Suddenly he attacked it with a vengeance.  Can you see who he tore out of the picture?  What was up with that???


And finally, this is what it looks like after getting up at 4 a.m. on Friday, having a full day of school, playing in a make-up soccer game at 5:45, going to bed late after watching recaps of the Royal Wedding, only to have to get up early on Saturday morning to play an 8:15 a.m. regularly scheduled soccer game, and ending the day with a three hour birthday party.

She may be eight, but I still love watching her sleep.  Those puffy lips and the way her hair mats against her forehead and the way she still snuggles up with her beloved "Bubbie" that she has slept with since she was 13 months old....love it!  My sweet angel!  Sweet dreams!


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Why I'm Glad Easter is Over

Ok...not just Easter, but all those holidays that have c-a-n-d-y involved.

Seriously!

It all started in September.  You know, back to school displays immediately changed to shelves and shelves of Halloween candy.   Autumn mix is my weakness.  Well, that and all the individual, bite-sized pieces of chocolate.

And after halloween?  The Christmas candy.  There's always a seasonal chocolate-peppermint something that I really like.

Christmas ends and the Valentine's Day candy instantly appears.  Brach's conversation hearts...I won't tell you how many bags of those we went through!

And as soon as you blinked, on February 15th, the Easter candy was on the shelves.  I love jelly beans--the Starburst red mix is awesome!  Oh, and the Cadbury cream eggs--there were little miniature ones this year. Bite-sized and oh, so good.  And how could I leave out the Reese's peanut butter eggs!

Now that Easter is over, there is a break in my candy consumption.  There isn't a special candy for Mother's Day or the 4th of July or Labor Day.  Thank goodness!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Then and Now (Sunday Snapshot)

My sweet girl loves the Easter Bunny.  She makes her plan for her annual visit/picture every year.  This year was no exception.  The funny thing is that she despises Santa.  No amount of bribery cajoling can convince her to have a picture taken with him.  But the Easter Bunny?  A totally different story.

So, every year we have her picture taken.  And every year I put the new one on top of the old one in the picture frame.  And every year I look at the previous pictures and watch my daughter grow up before my eyes.

Just over 13 months old and home a mere three weeks.


Fast forward seven years.  Eight years old.  Too big to sit on the bunny's lap.  But oh, so happy.




Sunday Snapshot

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Preparations

Gloria loves Easter.  Sometimes she says she loves it more than Christmas.  So we always try to make Easter Day a special day.

Most years,  it is just the two of us together on Easter.  School schedules make travel difficult.  A few years one or the other of us was sick.  A couple of times we went to my parents' house.  This year, my parents are here.

Combine Easter and a visit with "the best grandparents a girl could ask for" and a certain eight year old was about to pop from excitement today!  Oh the preparations that had to take place!  Cleaning, baking, working on Easter lunch...What better way to keep us on track than to make a list!  And make a list we did.  It looked like this:

Make bread
Banana muffins
Resurrection cookies
Bunny cake
Mop kitchen
Bathrooms
Vacuum
G's room
Jigglers
Bathrooms (yeah, don't know why/how those were on there twice!)
laundry
recycling
dye eggs
chicken
speech
decorate
chicken salad
Magee and Hada's bag
deviled eggs

I was a little overwhelmed just looking at that list!  We spent most of our day in the kitchen.  But, I am glad to say, every item on the list was crossed off before bedtime tonight.  And Gloria helped with most of it.  She even did a few things all by herself.  (She's most proud of her banana muffins that she made without my help...just a little consultation.)

Making the chocolate cake, which would become the bunny cake later.

Who doesn't love to like the beaters?  And even better, it was a gluten-free mix.

Time to dye eggs.



The finished product.

So proud of her bunny cake that she decorated!


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Screamer's New Name

Recently, Screamer has become more of a "normal" cat instead of living up to his nickname of "Bad Cat."  Well, during the day, anyway.

The middle of the night?
Well, that's another thing entirely.
And it has earned him a new nickname...

"Little Black Nightmare"

I didn't do it!  I promise!  Gloria did it!

But it works.

Only, it also makes me think of the Winnie-the-Pooh song "Little Black Raincloud."

I'm just a little black nightmare
Walking on your head every night.
I'm just a little black nightmare
Feed me again and then you can sleep tight.

There's more, but I'll spare you my song writing for today!

Screamer's new game:  clean out the doll house.  Most often played at night during a thunderstorm.  



Time for a sunshine break.  Ahhh....a calm, quiet cat!


Recently, he has discovered that he likes watching TV.  But only "The Muppet Show."

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I'm Not Biting!

This is getting ridiculous!

Yesterday there were twelve.

Today there were eleven more.

That's twenty-three in all.

23!

Twenty-three what, you ask?

23 different pieces of mail.
All from various law offices.
Some addressed to me.
Some addressed to Gloria.
Some addressed to the parent/guardian of Gloria.
Some addressed to our family.
All offering their sympathies for our recent accident.
All telling me how they know this must be a scary and difficult time for me/us.  (What ever...roll eyes!)

There have been DVD's, numerous copies of the accident report and interpretation guides, note pads, glossy ads, folders for organizing paperwork, discounts, offers to come to my house to meet with me, warnings not to settle and to let them help me get all that we deserve for our pain and suffering as a result of this unfortunate incident.

Puh-lease.

Seriously, folks!  Call off the sharks dogs!

First of all, I don't think I need a lawyer.  The insurance company has been easy to deal with.  This is a cut and dry case and clearly the other guy's fault.  I already know, the pediatrician reminded me and even the lady I talked to at the insurance company told me, with great emphasis, not to sign any papers until I am sure Gloria's injury/complaints are fully taken care of.

Second of all, in the event that I did need legal advice or service, I seriously would NOT base it on one of the 23 mailings I have received in the past two days!

For goodness sake, save a tree!
Save your money.
I'm not biting.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Drowning in Paper!

I wish I could post about how I am enjoying leisurely days of sleeping in and relaxing.  Of fun with friends in the sunshine state.  Of memories Gloria and I were making.  It is, after all, my spring break.

But, I can't.

Sniff, sniff.

Thanks to last Friday's accident, we are stuck at home.

Gloria is at school.  She already had her spring break.

And me?

I'm surrounded by paper!
It's everywhere!

I knew it was bad.
I knew it was taking over my closet.
I knew I needed to attack it, ruthlessly.

I have three ummm....piles, yeah, piles I am sorting into:  file, shred, and keepsake.  Because right now?  It's all in the same boxes.

I didn't know how many things there have been (and I'm sure there are many more) that I make me wonder "WHY do I still have this???"

Like a newspaper renewal notice from 2006.
Or an ATM slip from 2005.
Or a Chick-fil-a receipt from...a long time ago.

My paper shredder is working overtime.
Seriously.  It keeps getting too hot and stopping.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

But it feels soooooo good!
I've already gone through and gotten rid of lots of "stuff."  Goodwill should stay in business for a while.  ;)  But the paper clutter.  Oh. my. goodness.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Not-so-great Start to the Weekend (Sunday Snapshot)

We were headed to school early Friday morning, minding our own business.  Gloria was telling me about the inquiry project on The Forbidden City that she is working on with a classmate.  I was listening to her and watching a school bus on my left run speed up to get through a yellow light (it didn't make it...it was red.)  I stopped at the light and was ready to turn right when WHAM!!!!

All I remember at that point is thinking "What just happened?" and Gloria crying out that same thing.  Poor thing.  She was so scared and upset.  I was too, but had to be the adult/mom and stay calm and collected.

There was a police officer in the other lane who turned around and came over.  It was a simple case of the guy behind me rear ending me.  Nothing more.  No one was hurt.  I am surprised at how "well" my car survived the impact.  To my eye, it's just the bumper.  I'm sure there's something underneath.  But the body, the brake lights, the trunk...all in good shape. 

I never really looked at it really well until we got home that afternoon.  Here's what it looked like.




Gloria was *thrilled* to discover that "her" AU  magnet doesn't even have a scratch.  


Not wanting to drive around for the next few days with my bumper flapping in the breeze, I went to work with some bungee cords.  Talk about classy!  Ha!


But it looks much better with three bungee cords holding my car together, doesn't it?




Sunday Snapshot

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday Snapshot: A Soccer Saturday Treat

So what's a mom to do for a girl who played her heart out on the soccer field...
only to come off the field at the end of the game to find out that the after-the-game snack is NOT gluten free?



Does that answer the question?

I have to say, I've been so proud of her--the way she has been getting in the game, going after the ball, and working so hard!  She played goalie again yesterday and it was MUCH better than that other time...maybe because she knew she could use her hands and pick up the ball!  I'm so glad she is enjoying this first foray into team sports.  :)


Sunday Snapshot

Friday, April 8, 2011

A Day Off

Today is Grandparents Day at Gloria's school.  She *really* wanted someone to be in the audience for her since she has a speaking part in the play.  So, being the "good momma" that I am, I asked my principal if I could take today off so that I could be there for Gloria.  It was the easiest option--half a day is a challenge for my students to make that transition from me to a substitute, not to mention the fact that it is really hard to find a sub who will do a half day instead of taking a whole day job.  And I really didn't want to leave early and split my class among the other classes on my grade level.  That's just hard on everyone in all six classes.  So here I am with the whole day off.

Not that I've been "off" in any way other than I didn't go to work today.  I took Gloria to school this morning and then ran to Targ*et for cat food and hairspray and...a few other necessities.  Let me tell you...an early Friday morning is the best time EVER to go there!  Very few shoppers.  The shelves are stocked and ready for the weekend.  No long line at the cash registers.  And I had $11.00 in coupons!  Then a quick run to the "Teeter" because they had vanilla extract on sale for $1.00 and I happened to have a $1.00 coupon.  You can do the math.  :)   A quick stop at Chick-fil-a with my free chicken biscuit coupon, and I was home...all in less than an hour's time!  I was Mom on a Mission this morning!

I thought I would have some time to read and maybe write a few pages, or maybe work on lesson plans for next week or do my report cards...but it wasn't meant to be.

Once I got home I decided to go on and make tonight's dinner since there we have a late afternoon soccer practice.

That led to cleaning up my kitchen counters
and sweeping the kitchen floor,
which led to cleaning up the rest of the downstairs,
which led to folding the laundry from the dryer,
and starting a new load of wash
(which is now in the dryer).

And then, just when I thought I was finished...
I noticed the dust.

Oh my goodness!
The dust!

We're talking thick, fluffy dust that you can write messages in.
Dust that requires removing picture frames from shelves so the entire shelf can be wiped.
Dust that I really didn't see yesterday or last week.
Surely it just appeared over night, right?

So I dusted.
And picked up.
And dusted.
And threw away.
And dusted.
And...
I drew the line when I noticed that the silver candlesticks need to be polished.
(Sorry Dad.  You can do that when you are here in a few weeks if you want to...)

But now I can see my kitchen counters again!
And maybe the colors on the tv screen will be brighter since the layer of grey is gone!
The dining room table can be used for dining again!
And the stairs are clear, no longer waiting for someone to trip over the accumulation of papers waiting to be filed or shoes needing to be put away.
The piano keys aren't sticky any more.

I think the cats have gone into hiding for fear I might try to clean them too!

And now I have a few minutes before heading off to Grandparents Day.
But before I go, I need to go fold those towels that are finished in the dryer!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Not at MY House!

I sort of have this running list of things that will not be in my house.

Like shorts/pants with words across the seat.
Or Mylie Cyrus stuff.
Or cats and litter boxes...

Well, ok, I lost out on that one...

But in the past few weeks I have added two more items to the "Not at MY House" list.

And I can't help but wonder "What were they thinking?!?"

First was the bikini bathing suit for young girls that has a padded, push-up bra top.
REALLY?!?
For an EIGHT YEAR OLD?!?
NOT at MY house!

And then there was the breast-feeding baby doll.
Isn't that just pushing our little girls to grow up w-a-y too fast?

Seriously, folks, why can't society just let children be children?  Why are we in such a rush for our children to grow up, to become miniature adults?  Why not allow them to learn to dress with modesty and self-respect?  How about encouraging them to wait until they are adults to engage in adult-like activities?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Where Have All the Grocery Bags Gone?

I was missing several of my re-usable grocery bags.

So I went searching for them.

One was in my bedroom...with books and things I am using for my thesis nestled inside.

One was by my desk...with some school work in it, awaiting my attention.

One was at school...with baggies of 100 connecting cubes for a math lesson.

One was at the top of the stairs...with the last few items from a Target run still sitting at the bottom.

And then there was this one...which usually transports library books to and from the library...



Who let the cat INTO the bag???

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Friends

Gloria has a friend, also adopted from Guatemala.  We don't get to see her nearly enough.  But when we do get together, the girls just pick up right where they left off the last time.  I was looking through some pictures after getting home last night from seeing them again.  I love being able to go back and watch these girls grow up all over again.  I had so many pictures of the two of them to choose from, but didn't want to embarrass anyone!  ;)














Ni Hao Yall