Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas 2008

We have a short work day today, but I wanted to get some pics up from Christmas. We had a grand time in GA for a few days and then AL for about 5 days. It was so nice to spend time with my family. I haven't seen most of my extended relatives for over a year.

Mom bought a new Canon Rebel before Thanksgiving, so we had a lot of fun with it, and I REALLY want one soon. All of these photos are from her camera.

Friday, December 19, 2008

100 Quarters - Update

So Wednesday, when I went to pick the boys up from daycare, I talked to the director, who is also my friend, and she said that she didn't give the note to the parents, but talked to B who downplayed the whole thing. He said that it was just some coins (uh, 100 of them) and that Peyton said he didn't need them anymore. Which I can totally see, because that sounds like Peyton, but STILL. Anyway, B said he would bring them back in on Thursday.

I still think his parents should have been made aware of the situation. I know I would have liked to known about it, but like I said, the director is my friend and I didn't want to push that line. Whether Peyton offered the money, or B asked for it, I would still think at 10 or maybe even 11, B should have known better. But then again, he is a kid still.

When Peyton got home last night, I checked his backpack and the money was there. I didn't give it back to Peyton thinking maybe I should go ahead and take it the bank and put it in his account.

I think I'm the only one who learned a lesson here, but that's ok. I need one of those every now and again.

We are leaving in the morning for GA and then AL and don't get back to work until the 30! Yay!

Happy Holidays everyone if I don't post before then.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

100 Quarters

Monday night, Peyton brought home a plastic container from school that he was to fill with a number of the same items and his classmates were going to estimate how many there were. Peyton wanted to use coins, so we set out to count 100 quarters (his number of choice) to place inside the container. About 45 minutes and four metally smelling hands later, we had accomplished the goal and the container went into his backpack for school.

Last night, while I was cooking dinner, I asked him where the quarters were and Peyton casually replied, "I gave them to B." I about choked, "You what?" He had the good graces to look a little abashed even though I know he didn't understand and he said again, "I gave them to B." I stared at him hard and asked exactly what had happened.

On the van from the Elementary School to the Afterschool, he was showing the quarters to his friend, L, asking her if she needed any of the State quarters. She said no, but then B just asked for the whole bag and Peyton handed them over.

I did not get angry with Peyton. It was mostly my fault for allowing him to take all that money to school, but I really didn't think about it. I knew his teacher would keep it till the end of the day, and I didn't even consider aftercare. I forget too that while Peyton can be a turd at times, he has the most generous heart and would give anyone anything they asked, especially his friends and older kids.

B is in 5th grade. My problem was that while I know Peyton doesn't get how much money 100 quarters is, this 5th grader should have known better. He's tried to take things from Peyton before and just little things Peyton has told me does not leave me with a great impression.

You know, I don't want Peyton to be a stingy miser, but I don't want him to be walked all over either. I told him that while it is ok to give your friends money for things like ice cream and such, I really don't want him just giving bags of money away. I also wrote B's parents a letter explaining the situation and asked the director of the aftercare school to give it to them. Even if we don't get the money back, I think his parents should be aware of the situation and have a sit down with their son about taking advantage of a first grader.

And I, for one, will never let my son take that much money to school again. Lesson Learned.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Dream Man

I am an avid dreamer and while I will not regale you with the details of the visions I have pretty much continously through the night, there is the subject of a certain man that I just have to get out there. (Tamara already knows what's coming)

Lee Fletcher was a kid that I went to school with from first through ninth grade when he left our small private school for the scary halls of the monster public schools. While we spent the first nine years of our school life sharing halls, lunch rooms and classes, I wouldn't say we were friends. I probably never even had more than a handful of conversations with him through those years and don't recall anything that he may have done to work his way into my psyche and lodge himself there with such force that he's taking over my dreams.

I would say for the past, oh, year or so, Lee Fletcher has been my dream man. Not all the time, Brandon Cobia is there a lot too, but at least him, I understand due to the year of awkward carpooling in sixth grade. Craig Pugh also shows up, but we share a birthday, so I figure is it a cosmic connection. But Lee Fletcher? It's just weird.

Generally, we run around and flirt with each other, but last night it was a little different. We were talking on the phone and I was at ACA preparing for some event when I walked down the hall and there he was. I looked up and said, "Oh, your here." He looked really sick though and I told him we didn't have to run if he didn't want to. He replied with something and called me his wife. Then I woke up.

So Lee Fletcher, if you happen to google your name (and yes, that's why I've typed it so many times, maybe it will work), drop me a comment and let me know you are ok and not trying to send me a dream warning.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Turning Four

The week before I was due with Shey, I was so sure that he was coming that weekend that I called mom and dad and told them to pack their bags and head this way. Our baby was coming! When my doctor's appointment rolled around the following Wednesday, I was all but begging my doctor to induce me. Bless that man, he booked me the following day in not one, but two hospitals to insure I would get in somewhere.

Mom and I woke up early that December morning to head to the hospital, hoping I would be hooked up and dripping pitocin by 7 am or so. At 9, we were still in the waiting area and I had already sneaked part of a muffin to eat when my ob poked his head in and wondered what was going on. I had been forgotten! The staff was very apologetic and promised to get me in as soon as they could and by 11 or so, I was hooked up and getting the baby birthing stuff going.

Because the nurses wanted me to be able to help push when the time came, I was not completely numb from my epidural and as the contractions grew stronger, it felt like a searing hot needle was being pierced through my vah-ga-ga. The head nurse wasn't really taking me seriously until mom finally said, "look, if she's saying anything, then it is serious." Which is true, I do have a high pain tolerance and I was not tolerating this well.

My ob came in to check me, found that I wasn't past 5 or so, and he went home to light the menorah. Poor guy, no sooner had he gotten home, then Shey's heart rate started going crazy and the nurse asked me if I had the urge to push. Since I was totally numb with Peyton, I didn't know what to look for, but no sooner had that question exited her mouth did I find out. Oh, yes, I want to push and NOW! They checked me and I was fully dilated and ready to go.

Even though I felt the whole extraction process, ring of fire and all, it was so much easier pushing out Shey since I could feel that elusive pressure and with Peyton paving the way a few years earlier, Shey was out within 20 minutes.

When I had Peyton, they whisked him away right after he was born due to a myriad of things, but Shey was right there and barely left my side the whole stay in the hospital. I felt that rush of emotion and instant adoration with Shey, that I didn't get to experience with Peyton and even now he has a tender place in my heart. He's my baby boy.

Happy Birthday, Shey. I pray for you a long, healthy life filled with much happiness.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Why, Hello There!

It's gotten to the point that it has been so long since I have written that too much has happened to catch up on. I read all four of the Twilight series books in less than two weeks, plus saw the movie. Thanksgiving was great. We had about 20 people at our house between all the family and friends. Mom and Dad came into town for the long weekend and we had a lot of fun shopping, going to the beach and watching football. Sunday, my training buddies and I completed 10 miles. CRAZY! We've had a long bout of nice cool weather, longer than anything last year and I think already colder. Global Warming and all that. And last, but not least, Peyton started soccer practice tonight and he has his first game on Saturday. Whew.

So, I will try to stay better on top of things, but I can't promise. Work is crazy busy and we have a holiday party a weekend from here till we leave for Alabama for Christmas, plus Shey's party this Saturday afternoon that I need to order the cake for and get party favors and decorations. AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Just Breathe.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Finally out of the Bed

After a very short, but extremely needed and fun visit with my bestest bud, Tamara, which included Cirque du Soleil's Cortoe, a night out at the Hard Rock, a day of shopping and one episode of Gray's, I came down with the sickness that left me in the bed for the better part of 4 days. Lucky me had a mixture of the stomach bug that is going around, as well as a sinus cold that is still lingering.

Mom and Dad will be here Wednesday afternoon for Thanksgiving, so I have two and a half days to get back on top of work. And that means that I will have to buckle down and not read any blogs for those two and a half days. Oh, my heart, it is hurting. I miss you guys. I will try to sneak a few minutes at night if I can wrestle the computer from Larry and the boys. Right now though, I have a date on the couch with the third book of the Twilight series while the boys watch Shark Boy and Lava Girl for the upteenth time.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

Before kick-off

The older I become, the sappier I am when it comes to honoring the military. Even seeing a man in uniform pass me in the grocery store brings tears to my eyes and a lump in my throat.

Sunday, we took the boys to the Dolphins' game and before kick-off, they brought out brave men and women from the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard to honor their dedication to this country. 60 other men and women also came out onto the field to be inducted. I think I cried through the whole thing.

I'm not sure if it is the knowledge of what these soldiers must endure to protect our freedom, or that one day my boys may make the same decision, but the emotion just bubbles up and I was thankful for the loud applause and sunglasses hiding my red rimmed eyes.

I think it may be mostly Pride. So proud of this country and the dedication of these often too young people who represent us.

On Veteran's Day, be sure to offer a prayer for those who are away from their families, as well as for the families who worry over them.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Pimping Carrie

Carrie hasn't been around much the past month or so, but for good reason . . . they have a new precious baby boy, Jackson, in the house. It's amazing how a little one that can't do much of anything yet can keep you so incredible busy. :)

Add Carrie to the list of friends that I've reconnected with from high school. Carrie has such a sweet and gentle spirit with a great sense of humor. Her whole family, mom, dad and brother, are all genuine people and my mom and her mom have remained friends through e-mail even after they moved away from Montgomery. How my mom wished that I would date her older brother! It's funny to think about now and how different my life would be had she gotten her wish.

Unfortunately since we live so far apart, I've not had the chance to meet Carrie's husband and two boys, but I can only imagine that they are as sweet and giving as Carrie. Carrie is one of those people that if you ever needed anything, she would jump to help.

Go say hello to Carrie and oohh and ahhh over that cute little boy!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Walking the Line

I go in to Peyton's classroom on Thursday mornings to help the kids take their Accelerated Reading (AR) tests. There's one little boy that is so far beyond the other kids it's just amazing. Most of the kids read on a 1.0-1.7 reading level and their tests are 5 questions long, multiple choice and count .5 points. The group of students I generally help on Thursdays normally score between a 3-5 out of 5, but this little boy ALWAYS scores a 5 and he flies through his tests.

Over the last couple of weeks, his reading level has just gone up and up. The book he read today was a 2.7 and he actually had 10 questions for his test. When he finished, he had scored an 8 out of 10 and he was absolutely devastated. So much, that he started to cry a little. His poor little face was red, and his nose was runny. I squatted down beside him and asked what was wrong and he said, "I told my mom it was going to be a bad day." My heart broke for him. While most of the kids have accumulated 5 points total, he has at least 20.

I tried to comfort him as best I could, but he just didn't want to hear it. I told him how hard the test was he took and how many questions he had to answer. Then I pointed to the points board and said, "Look how many points you have!" He walked back to his desk and I gave him a tissue. I could just tell that he would start to be ok and then think about it again and start to cry again.

When I took Peyton's teacher the tests, I told her how upset he was, so when she got to his, she made a big deal about how well he had done, telling him that she didn't think she could even do that good. When I left, he looked like he felt a little better, but I just wanted to cry along with him.

Poor little guy. He's only in first grade and already upset about missing two questions on a test that is almost 2 grades above his level. I'm going to send his mom an e-mail to let her know and hopefully, she will do a little something special with him tonight.

I have to brag on Peyton too. Even though he's still stumbling over some words and he gets frustrated when he doesn't know a word, he used some great deductive reasoning today while taking his test. It would figure that the word he couldn't read was the right answer, but he was able to read all the wrong answers. In doing so, he told me, "I know these three aren't right, so it has to be this one." and it was. I think that skill is just as important as always knowing the right answers.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Some Halloween Pics

I voted! I voted! I waited almost 3 hours in the chilliness, but I still did it. And now, can the commercials please END! Anyhoo, on to Halloween pics.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Pimping Kristin

On this day after her 32nd Birthday, let's pimp Kristin, shall we?

Kristin and I have known each other since way back in 7th grade. Can I just interject again that I am so thankful to have reconnected with my high school and before friends. While I have made some great friends in Florida, there's just something about the relationships you have with people who have known you for years and years that does a heart and soul good.

When I was searching through old photos for our reunion, I found a story that Kristin and I written together about Pea Pod the Pocket Squirrel. That still makes me laugh. Remember Bob Ross, the painter on, I think, PBS? He was a great personality and always talked in such a calming, funny way and Pea Pod was his creation. I would write a section and pass it to Kristin and a few days later she would produce a chapter. This went on for a while and we partially filled a 3-ring binder.

Although it might not have been as obvious with that short story, Kristin has an amazing talent for capturing her emotion in the written word. Her entries often make me want to cry, especially the heart felt ones she writes about her father, who passed away a couple of years ago. Their love for each other shines through every word and the knowledge that she will be with him again in Heaven gives me hope and the determination to keep persevering in this often difficult life.

I'm so thankful that Kristin overcame her fear that I was a bully way back during cheerleading tryouts our 7th grade year and took a chance on our friendship. :)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Pimping Amy

Chubby Girl Running aka Amy is exactly the kind of blog I was looking for when I had the idea for pimping blogs. I stumbled upon her as I did a Blog Crawl yesterday, and now I am going to work my way through her archives.

Not only is she a highly entertaining writer, but she just completed her first half-marathon, which is a huge inspiration to me! I am not a runner, yet, well, maybe I am, but I still don't feel like it sometimes. ReadingAmy's blog is just the encouragement I need.

While I love the friends I am training with, I feel like they are just speeding right along and I'm going to keel over at any minute. I think Amy and I could have a good run together, then kick back and drink a beer afterwards.

Even if you aren't into running, Amy's writing is fun and full of real life. I look forward to going through all her archives and I'm excited that there aren't years and years of them so I may actually be able to get through them all!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pimping Rebecca

Rebecca and I have known each other since first grade when we were both in Ms. Cockerham's class (trying learning that name as a 6 year old). Throughout the 12 years we attended school together, we shared classes, went to the same church and had a lot of the same friends. I think, though, it was chorus that really brought us closer and bonded our friendship.

Starting in 9th grade, there was a group of us in chorus that hung out and had tons of fun. A couple of the guys were older than us and I was "in love" with the one who Rebecca dated. Everyone knew it though and we all laughed about it. I remember asking one of the other guys, Jason, how everyone knew and he said it was because I was nice to Rebecca's boyfriend and so mean to him (Jason). Jason was so crazy and annoying though, it was hard not to be mean to him. ha ha

This was the group of friends who kept me honest when my boyfriend, who didn't attend our school, was pulling me in the wrong direction.

Rebecca is one of the sweetest people you will ever meet, but she can be feisty if need be. During our 10th year reunion, her little boy, Brooks, started to toddle away from her, but one sharp, "Brooks!" made him scurry back. I marveled at her parenting, as Peyton was already running me ragged. And then the baby, Reese, every time I see his picture, I see Rebecca as a little girl with her perfect ponytails and ribbons.

I'm so glad we found each other again!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pimping Tamara

What can I say about Tamara without filling an entire blog? She is my sister, if not in blood, spirit. She is my bestest friend in the whole wide world. She is the one that even though we may disagree and piss each other off, I know she will always be there for me.

We met when we were 7 years old and became fast friends being that we were the quickest in the class and generally had extra time on our hands. We're survived her moving away and coming back, me moving away and staying, one divorce, two husbands, 4 children, cancer, death and the everyday hum drum of life.

She's coming to visit in a couple weeks for our annual get together and I couldn't be more excited. I wish I could steal her away for a whole month.

ok, guys, that's all in my queue. If you want your blog pimped, shoot me an e-mail. Tell your friends, neighbors and enemies.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pimping Suz

Aside from Larry, Suz is the very first friend from the Internet that I met in person. Gosh, Suz and I have known each other for years. We met, ha ha, on a Dawson's Creek message board. We were both HUGE fans and wrote Fan Fic about the show. Before Suz had little Roo and she worked outside of the home, we e-mailed about 100 times a day. No lie. At that time, we kept a running commentary all day long. Even today when she has a spare moment and is on the computer, we will catch up through 5, 10, 15 e-mails before her attention is needed by her precious little girl.

Suz is great because she is not afraid to speak her mind and as per her tag line she is "Not Your Typical Mommy." Her husband is an amazing photographer and the family of three lives on a farm shared by his parents surrounded by huge space and lots and lots of animals.

I am often in awe and admittedly slightly jealous of their non-traditional lifestyle that doesn't include 9-5 jobs or keeping up with the Jones. Recently, Suz was contacted by a local magazine and asked to share some of her entries with their readers. I couldn't be more proud and I know she has longed for an opportunity like this for a long time!

Although we don't get to see each other very often, Suz is one of my dearest friends and I couldn't imagine not having her burning bright spirit in my life.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pimping Chelle

If you ever need a really creative, fun activity to do with your children Chelle, or Ms. Congeniality is the woman you want to call, or e-mail, or comment on her blog. This woman has boundless energy and ideas and I am always amazed by the wonderful ways she handles holidays, birthdays, and really just any weekend with her family.

The stories she tells about her Man-cub and The Girl show what an awesome mom she is and I know her kids are so very lucky to have her. Also, Chelle is just someone I would love to sit down and have a glass of wine with on a cool fall day under the roof of her huge wrap around porch.

It's funny how well I feel that I know Chell even though we've never met in person. I really don't even know how long we've been reading each other's blog, except that it's been a few years. Chell is a prime example of how you can be friends with someone that lives a thousand miles away.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pimping Summer

Summer aka Marie, has been one of my very good friends since the 6th grade when she moved to Montgomery and began attended my elementary school. After high school graduation, she and her high school sweetheart were married and moved to Hawaii as Jay was a Marine Man.

A few years later, they moved to Tampa and we were able to get together a couple of times. Wild fun was had by all!

Now they have settled in North Carolina and have two boys, Brantley, who is now 13 (!!!) (I remember holding him not a week after he was born) and Parker, who is fast approaching 2.

Summer recently traveled to Malawi to mission and her blog Look Out shares these adventures as well as many other awesome thoughts, good causes and provoking posts.

Funny story: Up until she and Jay were married, Summer was known as Marie, her middle name, and actually, that's still how I think of her. When I went to visit her in Tampa, Summer, one of her friends and I were talking and I kept saying, "Marie this and Marie that." Finally, her friend stopped me and asked, "Who is Marie?"

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pimp Your Blog

While I love reading my very popular bloggers, I'm in the mood for some new blood. I decided, just now, that I should host a Pimp My Blog on this site. So, if you want to Pimp Your Blog, shoot me over an e-mail eldk0404 at with the subject line Pimp My Blog and I will post a new entry a day until I run out. Tell your friends, pimp this idea on your own blog, send them here! Let's get some lesser known blogs known!

(Please send me e-mails! I will feel so very unloved if no one sends me a request!)

Also, if anyone is good at making widgets and stuff and wants to create one for this idea, feel free and I will share them here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Two friends and I are running a half marathon in Miami on January 25. We've been seriously training for about 6 weeks now and I have my first injury. Saturday night we ran/walked 6 miles and by Saturday night, the bottom of my foot hurt ever time I stepped down. I went to the chiropractor yesterday and about jumped off the table.

My hips and pelvis are so knotted up that it felt like he was grabbing the muscles and trying to manually untie them, which in a way, I guess he was. He said that because I was so out of whack that the pain manifested itself in my arch. As long as I stay off of it, it's ok, but as soon as I walk for longer than 5 minutes, it feels like I am walking on a very large and nasty bruise.

Not so good when I need to run 3 miles today and Thursday and then 7 this weekend.

I'm so frustrated because this has not been easy for me. I am not a runner. My friends just seem to be coasting along and I am clawing my way through every practice. I can't afford to miss a week at this point.

I'm going to "run" in the pool tonight and be grateful that I live in a city where it is still warm enough to do that. I have to go back to the chiro on Thursday for him to torture me some more and hopefully these kinks will work themselves out.

Larry and I are also going to Key West this weekend for his birthday and I have to be able to walk then too or Larry is going to get awfully tired of carrying me. ha

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


My younger cousin and I are exactly 18 months and five minutes apart. I have a clear picture of the two of us in my mind, dressed in my grandmother's play clothes, and standing in front of a huge tree in the side yard. Two little girls, one dark like the night and one bright as the sun. At that time in our lives, our personalities conformed to the genetic coloring. I was quieter and I've been told prone to crying or pouting. My cousin, Kelsey, was a sunny little girl, at least at that young age. Divorce and possible feelings of abandonment darkened her light over the years.

My aunt painted portraits of us. I was a nymph sneaking in a broken or raised window, the night behind me. Kelsey was with a rooster, I think, and the sun was coming up in the background. Unfortunately, due to a fire, these paintings were lost a few years ago.

We shared ice cream with sprinkles using my Grandmother's long silver sundae spoons. Stayed up late into the night whispering, giggling, just being little girls.

Kelsey moved to Atlanta, oh about 15 years ago now, I guess. She gave birth to two little girls at an early age, out of wedlock, a shame to our deeply rooted southern family. I've never met those little girls, who aren't so little anymore.

I haven't even seen my cousin in 10 years; don't even know where she is.

I look for her sometimes on MySpace or FaceBook. I think it would be nice to talk to her again. Sometimes I just get sad that we're no longer a part of each other's lives. You would think that with my dad having 5 brothers and 1 sister there would be a ton of cousins running around, but not so much. The few I have are younger than me and we've never been close.

Sometimes it just hits me and I get a little melancholy.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Something to Think About

While I won't go into a political rampage on this site, I do want to offer this fact that I read in light of last night's vice-presidential debates.

There is a 32% rate throughout our presidential history that the vice-president has taken over for the president. Broken down, that is 14 of the last 44 vice-presidents.

Just something to think about.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Greater Things

25 years ago, in the home of a Coral Springs couple, Coral Baptist Church started with a few dozen people. Today, Church by the Glades hosts almost 4,000 members, has 6 services a weekend, celebrated almost 1,000 baptisms in the last two years and is ready for a bigger building! We are literally busting out of our auditorium.

I'm not sure I can really explain how amazing the growth of our church has been without having you live in South Florida for even a month. People, we are not in the Bible Belt here. We're more the stinky feet. But the pure excitement reverberating from our little corner of the world is awesome.

A couple of weeks ago, we started a new series, "Greater Things" to gear us up for the hard work ahead. The building we are shooting for will take 15 to 17 million to build. It will take 8 million just to get started. We are asking for a miracle and I am asking for your prayers.

Last night, we held a special song and prayer service to lift our request to God and thank Him in advance for the blessings He is going to rain down upon us. There were hands raising all over the place and the Holy Spirit was among us. For the last prayer, we went outside where the footprint of the new building was waiting for us in candles.

You can barely go anywhere in our town without seeing a Church by the Glades window decal and now we all have yellow bracelets as well to remind us to pray. Pray we will.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Babies, Babies Everywhere

Because everyone expressed such great interest in our baby fish (ie. Tamara), I attempted to take some photos of them the other day.

See! Look! That little, bitty blur?

How about here? See it?

Ok, well, here are the two, what I suppose to be the parents. Very protective.

Eh, well here's the duck sitting on her nest.

Can't see that either, huh. Here's a close up. See the white? That's her head.

Science lesson done for the day.

**Edited to add: Actually, if you click on the second pic and make it big, if you scroll down a bit, you can see one of the babies. Just about the size of one of the pebbles in the tank.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Did You Know?

Kristin tagged me for a meme, so here it goes.

List 6 things about yourself that most people probably don't know.

I'm not sure if I can come up with 6 things, but I will give it a whirl.

1. I never took a typing class, however, after almost 9 years of working in an office and typing dictation, I am pretty fast. I don't always have to look at my fingers and I don't use the right ones by any means, but it gets the job done.

2. On a similar note, I cannot spell deterioration unless I am typing it. For some reason my fingers know where to go even if my brain does not.

3. I am a consultant for a scrapbooking company called Close to My Heart. I don't hold parties for people, but I do have a group of women that meet every month at my house and complete 2 pages. I really like it and it's a great creative outlet for me. If I had time, I would like to branch out eventually and maybe actually make some money off of it.

4. Our house is fertile grounds lately. We have a duck nest in our front bushes and although the adult ducks in Florida are UGLY, you can't help but love the little ones. I'm excited about the babies. Also, one of our fish had babies and we have about 15-20 little, bitty baby fish swimming in our tank. I hope they don't get eaten. I think I know who the parents are because our two Convicts are hanging around them and I'd like to think they are protecting them. Hopefully, they aren't protecting them just to snack on later.

5. I really like working with my hands and I am definitely the handy one around the house. I would love to learn to work with power tools and make things, like furniture and stuff. Just one more thing to thing about when the kids leave the house.

6. I'm really glad that we had the boys as young as we did. By the time we are 50, they should be out of the house, at least in college. I would love to sell the house, maybe buy a little condo as a home base and then see the country in an RV. Our neighbor has one and I am a little bit jealous.

Hey, I did better than I thought I would.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


With Larry out of town, I've been taking care of some miscellaneous decorating stuff that I had been putting off. When we were in Nashville a couple of months ago, my parents took the boys to the museum and they painted with watercolors. I really liked the end result, so I had them matted and then framed them.

Here is Peyton's. I think he made a mistake and was going to color it all black, but I'm glad he stopped. That would have made for a very dark picture. He says Grandmommy and Poppy took the good one home. I told him it looks like a water scene and the dark is a rock. He agreed that that explanation would work.

Shey had a long explantation explaining his picture, but when he rambles like that, sometimes it is hard to understand him. The side of his picture was torn purposefully, and I hate that that didn't show after I had them mounted.

I also took picures of Peyton's walls. The boy will hang anything and everything on them. I use painter's tape, so it comes off easily. It's actually pretty cool and he groups his different items together so well. I took these last night while he was sleeping.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Allow me please to whine, complain, bitch, moan and be completely selfish for this entry.

Larry and I are independent insurance adjusters for the same company. We are the liaisons between a multitude of insurance companies who write commercial policies and their insureds. I am also the office manager for the Florida office as well as over the Tampa, Nashville and Charlotte offices. I carry a small amount of files, but as things get busier, like they are about to, my load will increase as well.

Okay, now for the whining.

During the 04-05 hurricane season when Katrina hit and Florida collided with about 8 hurricanes over the course of the two years were some of the most stressful years of my life. Shey was born December 2004 and I really don't remember much of his first 18 months. Imagine tax season for accountants, but lasting 2-3 years without a break.

I remember in the height of it all standing outside on our patio wanting to claw my skin off. I made an appointment with my doctor pretty soon after that and he prescribed me Lexipro. I stayed on the medication for about 4 months to get me through the worst of it.

The last two years have been a nice reprieve, but now Ike is bearing down on Texas and here we go. Larry is already slated for the first wave and will probably leave Monday morning for at least a week. Thankfully, I have a great admin staff working for me now instead of the string of temps that came through a couple of years ago, but it is still going to be extremely hectic and upside down.

I feel for the people in Texas, I really do. It's going to suck for them big time, I know, but the selfish part of me is crying for me too.

I just really don't want to live through that again.

Monday, September 08, 2008

High School Pics

I was going through some old photos the other day and found these three that I thought I would share. I have more and now that I know my scanner works, I will post them sometime.

Here's Tamara. I think this was at one of our graduation teas. Remember how crazy we went? EVERYONE had a tea!

Here's Jonathan and Kristin WAY before she became 3 for Momma! I think this was at Winterfest.

And here's Carrie and me. I think this was at Winterfest too. I'm not sure why I look so serious. ha ha Look at those eyebrows! Whenever I look through old photos of myself, I never freak about my hair, but I do always want to go back and wax my eyebrows.

I know I have pics of Rebecca too, but for some reason, there weren't any in the pile I was looking through. I'm going to pull out my chorus album and post some of those. That should be fun!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Feel Good Videos

I love the Discovery Channels new commercials. The Boom Di Yah Da is so catchy and the World truly is awesome. This video is awesome too, and you just can't help but smile while watching it.

Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

Whine and Cheese

Shey is in that lovely age between baby and boy. This morning he cried and whined for 10 minutes for me to help him get dressed even though he is capable of doing it himself. The thing is, I probably would have helped him should he have asked correctly rather than screaching at me like a banchee child. As I dried my hair, he sat on the floor of the bathroom and carried on about his toe, his leg, his arm hurting. And then, just like that, he was over it. He stopped crying, asked me nicely to help him up and then got dressed.

The patience, it is wearing thin. I've been trying so hard lately to put myself in their shoes, but when I signed up for parenting, this is not what I bargained for.

And I swear they take turned irritating me. Shey was fine the whole way to school and then Peyton starts in. He's working on differentiating between weeks and months, but it just hasn't stuck. So this morning, we were talking about summer and how next summer he will be out of school as well and then he says something about two weeks of school have gone by. He stops after that and starts to correct himself and asks me what's it called? Monday through Friday. I tell him a week. He says, rather snottily, no, that doesn't make any sense . . .two weeks. I said, yes, Monday through Friday is a week. Oh, you would have thought I told him I was cutting his leg off, he carried on and kicked the seat. I tried to reason with him and ask him to help me out and I would help him with the word he wanted, but he thinks I can read his mind. It ended up week was the right word.

I just can't believe the "you don't know anything" attitude is starting already.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Happy Anniversary, Baby

Ten years ago today, Larry and I took a half a day off from work, went to the Fort Lauderdale courthouse and got hitched. We stood, just the two of us, before a female notary and exchanged our vows into an empty room. We didn't even purchase rings because it was a secret. We have one photograph from the momentous day by a camera I propped on our TV stand and ran to sit on the couch so we would both be in the screen. That night, we went to dinner to celebrate.

Over the past ten years, we have accomplished a lot. Two children, a house, successful careers, even retirement plans. I think, though, our most important accomplishment is our marriage. We've had our ups and downs like everyone else, but we continue to work together and are committed to making this marriage last. And even though there are times he annoys the beejesus out of me, he is my best friend and the one I enjoying spending my time with the most.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Monday Mention on Thursday

On Sunday, our regular pastor was away and one of the others filled in for him. While he is not my favorite and his lessons are never as dynamic to me, I had to share the link for the podcast here. In the middle of the service, the worship team performed a version of Amazing Grace that was just phenominal. It's funny how songs you have heard your entire life can just strike a cord on a certain Sunday and this one definitely did.

I also just finished The Shack by William Young, so I think I was especially tuned into Amazing Grace. Our church is big on saying, "It's a Relationship, not a Religion" and The Shack follows that same idea. I definitely recommend it.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


I have been reading Looky Daddy for at least a year now and while I may not always agree with his views, he almost always makes me laugh. Except for now. His oldest daughter Kathryn was diagnosed with epilepsy 9 months ago and the seizures have been getting progressively stronger and longer. She is in the hospital now for further testing and I just can't imagine how scary for all of them this must be.

Differences aside, we are all parents loving and worrying about our kids. The Internet can be a wonderful place, one that thousands of people draw stength from in dark times like these. Even though I will probably never meet this dad, he and his family are in my prayers and I'm hoping you will add them to yours.

Larry and I are so blessed to have two healthy children. I know I am going to hug my boys a little tighter tonight and say an extra prayer of thanks.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Happy Pig Roasting

In about 26 hours, our house will be overflowing with 60 adults and children celebrating this great country of ours. There will be a water slide, the pool will be open, the new swing set in use and a pig roasting in this lovely box I put together Tuesday night.

"Us" putting together the roasting box

Hope everyone has as much fun as I anticipate having. Stay safe!

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Yesterday about 11:00 am, I received a telephone call from one of my friends asking if I wanted to go see Sex and the City with her and another friend. Always game for a night out, I negotiated with Larry to watch the kids and started a flurry of texting to our other two friends asking them.

Before I comment on the movie, can I just say how happy I am with our life right now? When Larry and I first moved to Florida together, we had a group of 4 couples that hung out together and had a lot of fun. Two of the couples moved and the remaining one we just don't see that often and Larry and I were sad. About 5 years went by before we really connected with anyone else. Lately though, through various work stuff and my scrapbooking group, we have once again gathered a group of 4 couples. All of us have kids of varying ages and we all get along really well. Our house has become the meeting place and almost every Saturday night, the eight of us plus kids will grill or order out and have a grand old time.

The three wives and a couple others were with me last night for the movie. It was just really nice and I hope the first of many girl's nights we get to have.

As far as the movie goes, if you are a fan of the show, go see the movie! Yes, it was a bit of an extended episode, but really, what would you expect? The dynamics though between the four characters are just so great and they stick together like girlfriends should. The 2 hours and 15 minutes didn't drag at all and there were many tears and laughter throughout. Two cosmo glasses up for me!

Monday, June 16, 2008

What's this Thing Called?

Oh, hello there. Excuse the dust. I really need to vacuum and air this place out. You see, I have been infected with the snot virus and it refuses to go away. This congestion has effectively rendered me pretty much useless as far as extra-curricular activities go, including this here little blog. I drudge through work only to plop down on the couch as soon as I get home. I finally started feeling somewhat better this weekend, but the round of antibiotics left my stomach a wee bit irritated at me, so I'm not only dealing with a stuffy head, but an angry rear as well.

See, too much information. My filter is off.

Anyway, maybe one day in the near future I will be able to form a coherent sentence again without needing a nap. One day . . .

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Marco Polo

Forgive my lack of posting. I have been fighting a sinus infection for a month and I finally got some antibiotics on Tuesday. I am still really congested and exhausted. So instead, a video for you.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

6 Word Sentence

My oldest and dearest friend, Tamara tagged me to write a 6 word sentence that encompasses my life, so here goes: Life will always work out, eventually.

I find that no matter how broke I think we are, how irritated I am with my family, or how lousy things are in my life (and really, they are never that bad), change comes and we continue on our merry way.

Por ejemplo(also for Tamara), the car that wrecked our hedge? We will be receiving some money from the car's insurance carrier for our damages. This weekend, our AC died. So instead of going back with 10 foot hedges, we are going to get something smaller and use the extra money for a new AC. See how that all worked out.

Here's another one. Larry has been bugging me to buy a boat for years. We don't need a boat. I know that. We have nowhere to store it and they are expensive. Larry knows it too, but he wants one anyway. Sunday, we went out with some friends who just bought a new boat. We had great fun, but after Larry helped him clean the boat for an hour afterwards, he said, "maybe we don't need a boat." And the clouds parted as sunlight fell on my head.

I could go on and on, but that's the gist of it.

Just keep on keeping on.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Happy Birthday, Peyton

My baby turned 6 yesterday. 6!! It just seems so old. I took white frosted cupcakes up the school with the little tubes of frosting, so the kids could decorate them. Then Peyton and I went to see Speed Racer. (The races and graphics were cool. The dialogue, not so much. I would rent so you can fast forward.) Tomorrow, we are having some friends over for a pool party.

Happy Birthday, baby!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Labor Day in May

Our company had Labor Day in May. A Nationwide effort to help out in our communities, and a day "off" work. Here's the write up I wrote for the company blog.

When the Powers that Be announced Labor Day in May, the Coral Springs office immediately decided they wanted to contribute to a region specific cause. Cleaning the beach would have been an easy option (looking at you, Boston!); however, we opted for a more challenging and very sweaty endeavor: The Everglades Restoration Movement.

In the Beginning

The crew, bright and early, before the 90 degree heat and 1000 percent humidity set in. From left to right: Breann, Denise, Cindy, Tyler (Jim’s son), Larry, Erika, Rob and David.

The Dreaded Melaleuca

The Melaleuca Tree was introduced to the Florida Everglades over 50 years ago to dry out the land for the progress of civilization. Little did our Floridian ancestors know, they were also sucking up a major source of water and the Melaleuca took over hundreds of thousands of acres. The Melaleuca virtually eliminated the natural vegetation.

Rob and Breann Hard at Work

This is Breann and Rob. We were given machetes (!!) and herbicide. The trees were cut at the base and then sprayed with the herbicide to inhibit further growth.

Early in the Day

The trees were then hauled to a central location and piled. Each tree can release hundreds of spores which make more trees. The Melaleuca are better at producing than rabbits.

Get to Work
This is what happens when you take one too many breaks. Off with her head!

What Happened to the Last Group

We were out in the boondocks, folks and lucky to have gotten back. See what happened to the last group?

Tyler Earning Community Hours

Jim’s son, Tyler, is a freshman in high school and about 10 feet tall. He’s also pretty good at welding a machete and mastered the art of chopping the Melaleuca with a single blow.


We went through 40 bottles of water and gatorade, 10 bottles or so of herbicide and about a bucket full of sweat.

One of Many Piles

The Coral Springs crew made at least five piles of trees this size and a ton of smaller ones throughout the glades.

Much Needed Break

Larry, Cindy and Denise taking a much needed break.

Larry, Studly as Always

Larry. There’s not much else I can say about that.

Hot and Sweaty

Oh yeah, we’re getting dirty now. Next year, we are doing Labor Day in May in January.

Hauling More Trees

The trees and the debris and the hauling and the cutting was never ending. We would clear out a section, look to the left and see more trees, look to the right, even more trees, behind us, yep MORE TREES!

Denise Attacking the Trees

This is why Denise is our best Liability adjuster. Watch out!

Deep in the Brush

Where’s David?

Cindy Carrying Debris

There was no distinction between the men and the women out in the glades. We were all busting tail!


Sawgrass is nothing to mess with. All of our arms were cut up, David lost the sole of his shoe, Tyler had a larva stuck to his back and I saw two stick bugs mating. On my arm!

Oh, and there was the Red Rat Snake our guide caught.

Getting Dirty

Dirty David.

The Group After

Afterwards, we were still smiling, just a little grungier. Hey, it’s nothing a beer can’t fix.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Crash, Boom, Bah

Larry, the kids and I spend Saturday night at a friend's condo only to come home Sunday morning to this.

A Car Came through our Property

Further inspection revealed, (that is such a phrase I use in work reports all the time) that a car with four drunken teenagers careened through about 40 feet of our eight foot hedge.

We learned through the neighbors that our cul-de-sac was full of cop and fire rescue vehicles and there were about 15-20 personnel in our yard. The kids tried to run from the accident, but being woozy and drunk, they were caught pretty quickly. Did you know if you get into a drunken accident if you are not in the car when the police arrive, they can't really charge you because they can't prove you were driving?

Thankfully, all four of the kids involved are ok, well, at least until their parents get a hold of them. (Hopefully) We are filing a claim through the driver's auto policy. Wheee! If it's not one thing, it's another.