Monday, March 28, 2011

Blog Hog!

That is what I have become. I am totally and completely out of control with blogs. I have this blog which is about everyday life. Then there is my blog for my hobby. AND, Guess what? I just started back up my other one that I was doing two years ago. It is actually my journey to health. I stopped doing it when I had all the medical complications and was diagnosed with the hypothyroid disorder. I just could not take it. It was like it was going to turn into a whine feast and that was not the purpose. It was like I did not know how to balance trying to get healthy with my hypothyroid disease. Now, I am in a different place emotionally and physically. It is not like I have done nothing for the last two years. I have. I have learned about what I got and about my body.

I also wanted to shed a few pounds before starting that blog back up again -- which I have. I have lost 17 pounds. So, it is time. I am ready to go back to blogging about this interesting journey that I am on physically.

Another reason I stopped blogging about it was because I am extremely turned off by people out there who are so consumed with weight loss and looking good that I never ever want to come across as one of them! Please understand that I eat and exercise and then move on with my day. How fat or thin or muscular someone is does not mean crap in my book. I could care less what someone can bench or run at the gym and it is so sickening to constantly have to talk about it. See my delima in blogging about my journey?

 My blog is just place to keep track of my exercise and food stuff as well as emotions that play into it.

With allllllllll of that being said I am only allowing a certain few to read my blog because it is going to have personal things on it -- like my weight and I am not comfortable sharing that with the world. If you want to read it and follow me on this journey in my life AND will respect me as a person and not the number the scale says I am, can keep it about the journey itself and not turn it into a place to give "diet" opinions than I would be more than willing to have you read it. You will have to drop me an E-mail or send me a request to read and follow it.

Here is the link:

I truly hope that this post has not come across as incrdibly bitchy.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Show Your Work!

Does your kid do something that just drives you crazy? I know, I know, you are thinking "what do you mean something? Don't you mean SOMETHINGS as in more than 1?" Yes, that to! There is one thing that Logan is doing that is literally driving me batty. I don't know if it is because he is going back to public school next year and the habit is not acceptable in school (that is another post for another day....our choice to put him back in school and it has nothing to do with me wanting or not wanting to home school still. It is what is in the best interest of Logan, but another day we will go there.....or maybe not...LOL!). Maybe it is because I can't always grade his papers correctly. Perhaps it is because he misses problems because of the bad habit. Or, maybe it shows me how freakin' OCD I am with organization and what is "proper" assignment completion. Truth be told, it must be a combo of all of the above.


do you want to know what my kid is doing that is wasting so much darn time and causing him to have to redo his math? You do know that when he redoes an assignment I have to literally sit there AGAIN and make sure he does it correctly, right? Often times that mean an additional hour of school a day. DO you know what I could do in an hour?

Mop the entire downstairs

Clean all the bathrooms

Prep dinner

Dust and vacuum the whole house



Take a shower, do my hair and put on a full face of make-up.

These are just a few things I could do in an hour. Imagine what a kid could do in an hour? An hour is like a lifetime to them. He could be doing so much, but no. We spend another hour on the flippin' math assignment! Grrrrrrr!!!!! You would think that after...oh I don't know.... SEVEN LONG MONTHS of the same freakin' thing he would get the point, right? Wrong!

I then had to come to the realization that maybe this wasn't a "Kid" thing, but the "teacher" thing. The "teacher" being me! Yeah, this is most likely totally my lack of showing him what is needed.

Have I told you what the problem is? Logan does not show his work when he completes math problems. This leads to him getting answers wrong. I know that some things he does not have to show his work for, but the majority of it he does!

The first thing I did was gave him a blank sheet of paper and told him to write the problem, solve it, and then put the answer in the column on the side that he had numbered. Well, that went over like a fart in church -- not well! I then drew a box for each problem he had to do and he was running out of space. Finally I came up with this:

Graph paper and boxes have done the trick! Hopefully, by the time he starts school in the fall he will know how to set up his paper like this. In the meantime I am making copies of it for him to "SHOW HIS WORK ON!" Heck, I may just send him to school with a bunch of these next year so he does not fail math or drive his teacher nuts!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Hot Spot

Where is your hot spot in your house? You know, that place that tends to be the catch all for everything. Our house it is usually on top of the pop corn maker, but last week it turned into my desk! Most everyone knows that I DO NOT like it when stuff is put on my desk and if you really want to see me stress out just sit in my chair. Seriously, it is MY desk! Keep out and off of it! Better yet, don't come within 18 inches of it on all sides. Maybe I am territorial....I don't know, but you can imagine my shock and horror when I walk in from the store on Sunday and see this:

This was so not gonna work for me. Not only does it just drive me crazy, but I have to teach today (Monday). My "work" environment has to be in order or I can't perform my "job". Sorry....that is just how the good Lord made me and those that don't understand please understand that I am completely green with envy over your ability to function in all environment. Me? Not so much....
I went out to Joann's (thankfully with no children....I needed a break in a bad way) and bought some really pretty stuff for my desk. I then worked on getting it back in order and the crap off of it for the next two hours. This is what I woke up to:

Ah!!!!! Pure bliss! Totally started my week off on the right foot ;-)

Friday, March 18, 2011


Something special happened in my home yesterday...I actually made cookies. I know, I know, you are thinking "so what?" In these parts that is kind of a big deal because unless it is Christmas I don't do the cookie thing. Not because I don't like cookies, no no I LOVE me some cookies. It is because I don't consider myself a very good baker.

I would much rather cook rich meals dripped in butter! I love love love love love to cook! My favorite time of day is around the supper table. The family comes together and talks about their day. We each take turns saying at least one thing good that happened and one thing bad. It is our tradition and home cooked meals go with it.

Another reason I don't bake cookies is because usually I end up eating the whole batch. I mean we are lucky if the batter even gets into the oven to become a cookie! Seriously, cookies are my worst temptation! Well.....

brownies too...


Ice cream.....

Maybe chocolate cake as well.....

However, this is not about THOSE things! This is about the cookies I made yesterday!

If you want the recipe it is easy to find! simple go by "Nestle" chocolate chips and it is right there on the bag! ;-)

Have I mentioned that I have lost 17 pounds AND I have been eating what I want? There is a secret on how I did it. A secret I am gonna share with you. This mystery diet secret is called "MODERATION". Yep! instead of eating the entire batch of cookies I had two! Oh, and three for breakfast this morning. Then there was the two heaping tablespoons (tablespoons for a monster) that I had to "taste" the batter. I better start practicing that "MODERATION" things some more.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Can you Color in the Lines?

I can't! Color in the lines that is! I need all the help I can get. Truth be told as a child I learned how to color the picture first with the crayons and then outline it with a marker so I can hide all of the sloppy outside the line strokes on the page. It is so apparent that I can not color within the lines, that when I went to visit friends in Georgia I asked for a child's menu at the restaurant just so I could color! I would think that after all of these years I would finally learn, right? Nope! At the ripe well seasoned age of 33 I still could not do it!

In case you are wondering this post is just silly randomness. I really don't know if their is a worthy point to it...yet...maybe. I guess we will have to wait and see if it was worth even writing about at the end. Since this is my blog I shall do pointless posts from time to time and it shall be okay in my which everything is out of line!

When I went home for a visit from college (way back when....over a decade ago) my Mom saw me applying lip liner, lipstick, and finally lip gloss. She told me I was wasting my time and money and could not understand why I was going to all that effort on my lips. She told me all I needed was lipstick and the rest was just a waste. I disagreed, but politely put my mirror and lip liner away and did not whip it out until after I was back at school. I could not figure out why my lips looked "sloppy" for the rest of the trip. It then dawned on me -- lip liner!

I have a secret.....

This is a vain little secret that I have never ever told anyone. No one knows this, let alone that it actually really bothers me!

Are you ready?

Can you keep this secret?

Oh this is so embarrassing.....

I don't know if I can go through with it....


Here it is:


I am not ready....

Yes I am


Deep breath

People in cyberland are not gonna think any less of me for revealing this vain little bit of top secret information about me....



So, here it is.....

I am totally and completely insecure about my lips because they blend into my face! Pretty sure that when God created me he left out the pigment in my lips. They are so bland and boring that I don't know where they end and my face begins!

This is where lip liner comes into play. See, I need to apply lip liner every day so I can draw my lips on. I then need to fill it all in with lipstick and gloss it up to make them socially acceptable!

I need lip liner,

(you did not actually think I would post a picture of my lips with out the clown like lip liner on them didja ya?) so that I can color in my lips and make them even with the rest of my face!

Betcha you would never have guessed that this color I am wearing on my lips is super duper bright hot pink?

Yep, my lips just suck it up! They suck up all of the color and make me look normal. Normal is a figurative word because I still don't know what that means....regardless, you will rarely see me without lip gloss on me and lip liner. I have learned that I am not a huge fan of lipstick because lip gloss comes in a bunch of pretty glossy shiny colors!
I can live with out a lot of things, but please don't ever make me give up my lip liner and lip gloss!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Condition 1 - Broken (Chapter 2 "Girl From the Ghetto")

Here is my next "chapter" to the "Girl From the Ghetto" that I am writing. It is super duper rough to say the least! LOL! If you want to read the first chapter you can find it here:

Condition 1 – Broken
The summer before my junior year of high school was a life changer for me. I had gone to visit my sister (like I did almost every summer) and it was during that summer visit that a series of events started to take place. It seemed as if I was surrounded by those that believed in me and basically told me I could do anything I set my mind to. I don’t know if they realize just how profound an impact they have had on my life, but I am convinced that if it was not for that summer – the summer of 1991 I would be in a far different place than I am now. Like, I am pretty sure I would be bagging groceries at the local Safeway in my hometown, divorced with a kid or two (or never ever married).
My freshman and sophomore years of high school were a joke. I was more interested in boys than I was in education. I was more worried about where we were gonna have to move next and if my step dad and mom were gonna have a knock down drag out fight (literally) than learning Alegebra or English or any subject for that matter. I had a 1.66 GPA leaving 10th grade. I don’t even know how I passed 10th grade, but I managed to get on to 11th grade.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I was not a “bad” kid. I held down a job at a Christian preschool in which I was an aide. I did not party. I did not drink. Come to think of it, I did nothing at all other than work and make out with my boyfriend – a lot of making out we did at his house on Friday nights. We even watched the Superbowl at his house in January of 1990. It was the Denver Broncos….his team. His mom made hot wings. AND we made out on his couch a lot that day too.
I would say that he was my first “real” boyfriend. He was 2 years older than I was and the relationship lasted for 6 months. He ended up breaking up with my after NJROTC in senior hall and I slapped him (I was in my uniform too). Yeah, I slapped him so hard his glasses flew off his face and they broke. That was not one of my finer moments. My best friend was there and so was his. Pretty sure both of them were quite shocked at my behavior. Needless to say we did not get back together and his best friend teased him about that for many years after that. I did have an opportunity to apologize to him years later and he quickly forgave me (or said he did) and actually tried to make up an excuse on why I did and how he understood.

Ah shucks….
What a guy…..
Not the guy for me, but still it was awfully decent of him to at least let me off the hook on that one considering I like slapped him in front of everyone.
So, needless to say, I spent all of my sophomore year pinning over the loss that relationship. However, I am glad it came to an end. The path we were heading down would have lead to early parenthood for us and a hard life. Still letting it go and saying good bye was pretty tough.
So, comes my summer of 1991. It was a good summer and I had a lot of fun! I came back to high school for my junior year ready to take on the world. I finally had some confidance which is exactly what I needed. I had taken Spanish in junior high and did not do well at it AT ALL! I knew I needed two years of foreign language in order to get into a college. I was terrified of French, but….wait……what was that? Is that German? Yep! My high school was offering German and I signed up for it AND I did really well! I earned straight A’s in it for two years. My teacher was amazing and even hooked me up with some babysitting jobs in her neighborhood.
The first week of school I was placed in the “resource” math class…you know the “stupid” class. Anyways, I made an appointment with my guidance councilor and told her I wanted to take Algebra. She told me my testing and grades would not allow it. I then told her to give me three weeks. She was so impressed with my “balls” that she agreed to it. Within those three weeks I was actually advanced to the next math class and got into grade level college prep English.
I could not believe it….I mean, I had dyslexia and I was stupid! My Mom always told me that math and science were too hard. I just figured that since the apple did not fall far from the tree I would not be able to be successful in those areas and everything would be too hard for me.
By the end of my junior year my GPA for that year (not cumulative) was 3.8. I started to toy with the idea that maybe I really was not dumb and probably of average intelligence. Whenever I started to fall back into self doubt I would cling to the summer of 1991 and that would pull me out of it. Truly, it is what got me through!
In my senior year I knew that I wanted to go to college and I even had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to become a teacher and show kids that just because their circumstances were grim did not mean they could not achieve their dreams. I wanted to pass on that belief and life lesson that I learned in the summer of 1991 to other kids in similar situations as I was. The problem was I had basically messed around my first two years of high school. So, I went to my guidance councilor for….well….guidance! She advised the community college would be my best option. I, however, did not like that route.
See, by this time, my senior year I had another boyfriend. A boyfriend whom was crazy about me. Head over heels in love with me and he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. I must confess that I thought he was pretty swell to, but I knew that I was not ready to walk the plank…….I mean walk down the aisle to eternal matrimony. Not that he was a bad guy or anything like that, but I was just scared. I had a lot of life to live and figure out who I was before I could make the marriage commitment. I had seen my mom do it several times and get it wrong. She started the cycle really young and I just did not want to go there.
I knew that I had to get out. I had to get out of the area and stand on my two feet. If I went to the local community college I would end up “stuck” and I did not want to be stuck. I prayed. I prayed long and hard over what to do. Then, an opportunity landed in my lap.
My German teacher had a guest speaker come in and talk about doing a year of study in Germany. I honestly did not think that I would ever ever get selected to do this, but I figured I had nothing to lose and filled out the application. I kind of had in the back of my head that I would move to Florida (that is where my sister was at the time…have I mentioned that she had found me another boyfriend in Florida that I was writing to and really wanted to met me? Yeah, he was 6 years older than I and was looking to get married too. Ha-ha!) after high school and start my life there. Never the less, my German teacher thought I would be a great exchange student and I filled out the application, jumped through the hoops and was selected.
I was stunned. I was dazed. You could have knocked me over with a feather! The year would cost me $5000 which I had saved in the bank from working since I was 12. I told my mom and she told me it would be to hard…that sealed the deal for me – I had to go!
So, in August of 1993, after I graduated from H.S., I packed two suitcases full of 5 pairs of jeans, 10 sweaters, 5 short sleeve shirts, a winter coat, and a pair of tennis shoes and boarded that plane at San Francisco International airport for Germany.
It was gutsy….
Kind of stupid….
But it was my choice! I was officially running away from my life and was gonna go find myself in Germany. It then dawned on me that I told God I would not ever live overseas! It was my FIRST condition for cryin’ out loud! What? Did He pull a fast one on me?
Not exactly….
I am quite certain that He did chuckle in heaven at me and said to his angles “this is just the beginning. She has no idea just what she is going to do there or where her life is going to go.”
So, my many hour flight over the Atlantic Ocean I spent having a conversation with God and totally and completely doubting myself and what had just happened. I was literally going to live half way around the world with people who spoke a different language. YIKES! Not that it mattered what language they spoke because I got totally lost and confused at Heathrow airport in London England and that was in an airport in which I could understand. That is not the point or what matters. What matters is that I was about to grow up and experience things I never ever dreamed were possible for a girl like me …. a girl from the ghetto.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

In This Moment

Thoughts For Today: I don't understand how the state can be hurting so bad for money for our school -- so much so that there is now a paper shortage -- yet there is so much work being done on our highways and freeways that are in excellent condition! I know that the voters did this, but can't common sense be used and we can bring it back to the table? The teachers have had a pay freeze for a few years now and their benefits just get worse and worse and cost more and more for them, yet we can improve our already good roads? Wake up America! Talk about wasteful spending! It really chaps my hide! I am even for not spending it on roads or education and put the power back in the hands of the parents. Hello voucher system!

Then again, about that paper shortage that my daughter's teacher told me about might be a good thing! The two days that she missed she only had to make up half the work, but it was 40 worksheets!!!!!!Homeschooling is such a wonderful option...just sayin....

Out My Window: Green grass!!!!!! I can't even believe it! Wow! I thought it would be dead forever, but now it is green!!!!!

I am Wearing: a blue jersey material dress. I did have some leggings on, but got to hot and took those suckers off!

I am Hearing: Sponge Bob Square Pants

I am Reading: Nada thing because it is spring break and I am busy playing with my kids!

Menu: Since I am two days late on uploading this I will just start from today! Tuesday is Pork roast, rolls, and steamed vegetable. Wednesday is vegetable cheese soup and salad. Thursday is Chicken spaghetti casserole and salad. Friday is most likely left overs or pizza.

To Do: Vacuum, dust, and switch out our winter clothes for summer. We can no longer wait on the clothing so all of this will be done in the morning. I will then treat the kids to a cheap movie after lunch for helping....they just don't know it yet ;-)

Creative Juices: Make a thicker PP for my Etsy store just to see if there is any interest in it and to get rid of some of my thickers!

Errands: Nothing. Nada. Well, enjoy spring break by going to a museum (which we did), movie, and a spring training game.

Picture of the Week: This was taken over the weekend. Yep, it is that time of year again!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

From God

Usually on Sundays I like to do an "In the Moment" blog entry, but this week I am mixing it up. I was gonna do this blog entry tomorrow just so I could stick with my schedule -- we all know how anal I am and love my schedule. However, I just recently came to this conclusion and put two and two together. I need to document it before I forget it. KWIM?

So, what is this "From God" jazz? As you know, I have three children. My first baby was a baby that we tried to have for a few years. I even had to have surgery to get pregnant with him. Finally, when it happened I was overjoyed and my tears were just that -- joyful! Logan is my guy who has a sweet spirit and is just a big love. He is easy tempered and just a dream of a child and I love him tons!

Our second baby was born a little earlier than I had planned. I know, can we really ever plan our children? No, but I was still in my 20's and had a plan. However, after a night of passion in California with my husband (on my Mom's bathroom floor of all places...TMI?) when Logan was 10 months old -- and my mom downstairs watching Logan -- we conceived my daughter. I cried when I found out I was pregnant with her, but they were tears of fear. See, the memory of the long back labor I had with Logan (2 days I was in labor with no epidural and by the time I got it, it was to late)was far to fresh in my mind still. I was not fearful of becoming a mommy to two children -- but the process of bringing this child into the world. Who ever said that you forget the pain of labor must have been a man because to this day -- 10.5 years later I still remember the pain of birthing Logan. That is something I don't think I will ever forget! Anyways, getting back to Annie -- baby number 2, once she was born I was overwhelmed with emotion. Our life at that time was pretty darn good and it all went smooth. She is truly the all American girl that I always wanted. She can fish, hike, camp, and still loves her frills and dolls!

Then there is Parker....Parker was not planned. In fact, after Annie we were done with adding to our family. We had two sweet natured children who were a pleasure to be around and beautiful -- boy were they some (and still are) some attractive kids. People used to stop me where ever we were out to tell me how gorgeous my kids were and oh so well behaved. I found out we were pregnant with Parker because I had been on a diet and gained two inches in my waist. I went to my doctor to find out what the heck was going on. She then told me in about 8 months I would be a mother --again. I cried. No -- not tears of fear, but joy. However, I also was miffed at how I was suppose to handle three children -- this was not in the plans we had -- I had for my life.

My pregnancy with Parker was by far the hardest pregnancy out of all of them. I was sick and tired alot, plus the hubby was concerned that our house would not be suitable for three children and we sold it only to move into a house in which we rented two 10 by 10 rooms for all of us. We lived there until three weeks after Parker was born. Not to mention that, but the children were under 2.5 years old. It was really hard. Parker also was active and big (we had him a week early and he was 10.8 pounds) inside of me. He used to like to stretch and knock the wind out of me and make me want to pee my pants all at the same time. The doctor would tell me I had a "spit fire" on my hands because he was just difficult before he was born. Then came the labor and delivery in which I had complications. Plus, once you have three children the sympathy from others is just not there. Everyone figures you can handle it, so help was few and far between.

When Parker was three weeks old I took him to get his newborn pictures. I saw a tag that said "From God" and started crying right then and there because God spoke to my heart at that time and let me know that Parker was indeed from him. So I had this picture taken of him to always remind me that he is indeed our special gift (I had to take this picture from our wall because I don't have it in my hard drive, so please excuse the quality, but you get the drift):

It did not stop there though. God continued to speak through this child to me -- my hardest child too! He has to push the line and do things his way. He can be sassy and just does not know when to stop. Of all of my children for God to use this one by far is the unlikely one by the world's standards.

DO you want to know what else God has done through this child? Don't get me wrong, God has used and will use all of my children. However, God used this child for two things in my life.
In year ten of my marriage it fell apart. I had to take steps to get myself in a position to provide for myself and my children. I enrolled in my Master's program, went back to work, and had to draw a hard line with many people in my life for protection. It was by far the worst time of my life and it got to me. It shook me to the core. I started to live for myself. All I cared about was my kids and me. The rest of the world -- and God -- could take a flying leap.
I had been hurt.
There was no way I was ever going to allow that to happen again, so instead of falling on my knees and crying out to God that I did not know why what had happened had happened considering that I had been following Him and did nothing wrong, but would trust him to protect me, I turned by back on God and my husband. My husband had done me wrong and God had allowed it, why would I want anything to do with either of them? So, I headed down the path towards divorce. Charlie and I were separated. I moved to another section of the house and he did his own laundry.
One morning (about 18 months into our separation) Parker crawled in bed with me to cuddle and twirl my hair (it is one of his favorite past times -- playing with my hair). This was a typical morning routine for us and I so looked forward to our morning snuggles and hugs before the day. This morning he did his usual than bounced out of bed and said "be right back mom. I need to go cuddle with Dad." He then sighed and turned around, looked at me in the eye, and said as matter as a fact as he could "it sure would make it easier if you two were in the same room! This makes me tired." Then he left and I laid in bed and contemplated where my life was going and what the heck was I doing. It was then and only then that I started to think about reconciliation with Charlie. It was not like Charlie had not begged me to change my mind -- he had -- over and over and over again. He even changed his behaviour, got help, and "really" became a Christian. It took my 5 year old to get through to me. So, Parker was used to save my marriage.
So, that is it right? That is the gift right there -- a saved marriage, right? Not quite. See, the next thing he did was even more profound than that. This was truly God using my son as a tool. In the process of my marriage falling apart I stopped all relationships with God and the church. I did not attend church, would not open a Bible, and praying (other than telling God how angry I was at him and cursing him out). However, I did make sure that my kids were in church every week. I went to Charlie in tears and told him that I was sick spiritually and did not want the kids to ever have this kind of relationship with God that I did and that he had to step up and be their spiritual leader. I could not do it anymore.
One day I was reading Logan and Parker "Diary of a Wimpy Kid". Parker interrupted the story (which got him in trouble) and asked if he could say a prayer. I told him of course he could pray and he asked if I would pray to by closing my eyes. I told him I would (you know to humor him). I thought he would pray for hot dogs for dinner or a new Wii game, but instead he asked Jesus into him heart. That is right, my son became a Christian and his heart felt little prayer was the most humbling thing I had ever heard. All three of my children were saved. All of them finally had their eternity sealed and secured. Even my little spit fire of a guy was saved. It was then and only then did I just see how vast and deep and wonderful God is. It was then that I came back to Christ. God used my kid to not only save my marriage but also to save me!

So....Parker truly is a gift from God and I think he is my special gift. True, he is a gift to our family, but I am pretty sure that as God knit this child together in my womb he was making him especially for me -- to teach me, grow me, and save me from myself!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Back In The Saddle Again

I had my routine salon visit yesterday in which I am cut, colored, styled, and waxed. Why is it the older we get the more facial hair we start to grow? At the rate I am going I am gonna have a full beard by the time I am 50! My waxing first started off with shaping of the eye brows. Then, about a year later, I had to start getting my upper lip waxed. Finally, about 6 months ago I notice hair growth on my cheeks!?!?!?!?!?! What is this about? I don't understand. Why can't I just age into an ugly old woman instead of an ugly old man?

Moving along to my hair delima. Actually, I had been thinking about the style I wanted for summer. I knew this was the time to get in gear for it. Last summer I cut it all off. Come to think of it, I did that the summer before too! I really like how I look with shorter hair, but I gotta confess, it is a challenge to make it look cute fresh out of the pool. Living in Arizona we are in the pool a lot in the summer. Not only that but, I really don't like to whip out the hot blow dryer on days that it is over 110 -- which is pretty much every day from June - Sept. So, what is a girl to do? I then thought I would grow it out so I could easily whip it into an updo and not have to mess with it. I know some folks think that short hair is easier to style and care for, but it really is not. Especially when you have cowlicks at various locations on your head like I do (I know your visions of me is scary based on my facial hair issues and now cowlicks all over my head.....I keep envisioning a cow licking my head...ewwwwww).

Again, moving on.....

I then came to the conclusion that I should grow it out. Wait. There is a problem with that too. Personally, I don't think it is attractive for me to have long hair and be over weight. I look really fat and frumpy. So what did I do? I panicked! I don't want to look fat and frumpy. I am not frumpy (fat -- yes, but frumpy? Far from it!). Oh...wait....wasn't I suppose to be shedding some of these pounds? I mean I have shed like 14 of them, but wasn't I suppose to still be on the journey?



I knew that Feb. was gonna be a hard diet month. I had a lot going on and just figured I would do the best I could and walk as much as possible. I did! Well, I kind of did.....

The problem? I did not get back to my diet like I was suppose to in March. Thank goodness for this hair debate I had with myself because I remembered that I needed to get back on the stick! So, as my hair grows my body will not! Bawhahahahahahaha! I can officially say that this is the longest I can wear my hair and be at this size and still look cute (in my eyes), so I better get back on that wagon!

I snapped a photo. Just for you, cyberland, I snapped a photo of my new do!

Be warned.....

I have no make up on....I mean I just had my face waxed! Before the wax it would have been pointless to try to color a bunch of bushes on my face, so I opted not to wear any make up. I did throw some lip gloss on for you because I think you are just so worth it! ;-)

Notice the red puffy spots on my face? Yeah, that is where I had to be waxed.

Back in the saddle again! Now I got that song in my head.....freakin' country song......

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

I learned how to make cupcakes in an ice cream cone a few years back. I heard somewhere that ice cream cones do well in the oven and will not burn like most things will in the oven. I thought how cool it would be to make cupcakes in them and totally avoid the mess of a traditional cupcake and it's wrapping. Not only that, but have you ever had a cupcake that lost half of it with the wrapper? Not the case with a cone -- the whole thing is eaten and no crumbs! I hate crumbs! LOL! Come to find out I am not the inventor of these. I found out a few months later that a lot of people do these! Here is how I make mine and of course my kids help.

First mix up your preferred cake mix as directed on the box (I made lemon this time). Next, take 24 ice cream cones and pack them in as tight as you can in a baking dish. It is important that you get them tight so they don't tip over! Now, fill your cones about 2/3 full. You don't want to fill them to the rim because it makes frosting them really hard. Cook them at 350*F for about 20 minutes. Sometimes these take longer depending on how tightly they are packed together. This is the finished cooked cone:

As the cupcakes cool whip up some frosting. I don't like the canned frosting. It does not taste as good as mine and it ends up costing much more than if I just make it myself. I don't have a recipe for frosting. I just kind of eyeball it as I go. My mom was a cake decorator for some time. Over so many years of watching her make frosting I just learned how to do it. Not only that, but I am a canned crap...I mean....errrr.....canned frosting for us. To get you started on making your own start off with this and add ingredients as needed until you get the right consistency.
Combine 1/2 C butter (1 stick), 1/3 C vegetable shorting, a pinch of salt, half of a bag of the largest powdered sugar you can find, and about 1/8 C milk. Now mix that all up. I usually add vanilla to mine, but since my cupcakes were lemon I added lemon extract. The extract is pretty important. Without it the frosting taste too sugary...if that makes any sense. If your frosting is runny then add more powdered sugar. If it is the consistency of dough than add just a little bit of milk and maybe some melted butter. I know this is not very clear, but frosting just takes practice. I have never found a recipe that is fool proof that works well all the time. I always have to adjust it.
Once you have your frosting ready it is time to frost your cones. This is so easy! You simply dip them in the frosting and twist.

Be careful that when you twist you don't move to fast because you could lose your top! No no no not THAT top, but your cupcake top. If you do it is no big deal. Just throw it back on and try again! We like to dig twist and then kind of slide it up on the bowl ;-)

Now sprinkle them:

Finally you have a fun bunch of Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes!


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My *NEW* Boyfriend!

I have a new love. Actually, it is an old one, but I am just now starting to fall for him. He has been in my life for about 6 years now and my kids love him! He risked his life for me this morning. He jumped in front of a big black SUV because he thought I was going to get hurt. He also was ready to rip another one of his kind to pieces because he looked at me and was making his way over to me. Perhaps a little overly protective, but I gotta admit -- I like it! I feel safe with him and I know he adores me. He will not let me out of his sight. He is always within 10 feet of me. Last night he stayed up all night pacing in front of my bed and waking me up with a kiss when he felt something was off. Yes, I am exhausted today and had to kick him out of my room at 4:30 so I could get 2 hours of sleep, but I do know that with him around I am safe. What more could a girl ask for? He is protective, cute, and loves children. So do you want to see a picture of my new love?

Are you ready?

You know you are so gonna want to find a male like my guy:

Of course this was of him in his younger years, but he is still just as cute! We love out PET CONNOR! :-P

Sunday, March 6, 2011

In This Moment

Thoughts For Today: Oh so many thoughts ran through my mind today. I guess that is what happens when you go on a day trip and spend 6 hours in the car. Here are a few of my thoughts:
"Why is watching my dog get her groove on with this stud dog kind of turning me on?"
"I wonder if the elevation here is higher than the valley because I feel like I want to pass out and throw up. Or maybe it is because these two dogs are going at it and the realization that it kind of turned me on has now made me sick."
"How come people in Arizona think these things are mountains when they are clearly hills?" (See picture of he day for further clarification)
Out My Window: Darkness and the light from the lamppost.
I Am Wearing: Not much! I just had a shower and we shall just leave it at that.....not much.
I Am Hearing: The TV and my youngest son playing in the hall upstairs. He thinks he has me fooled. I know he is awake and not in bed. I am just to pooped to go upstairs and get him in bed...oh wait....maybe he will want me to cuddle with him and he will play with my hair. This could work for me!
I Am Reading: The same thing I was last week only I finished the "Pioneer Woman Black Heels to Tractor Wheels" and I *hearted* it!
Menu: Chili Dog Pie with left over homemade chili I made yesterday (Monday), Sweet and Sour Meatballs (Tuesday), Pizza Spaghetti Bake (Wednesday & Thursday), and Leftovers (Friday -- mmmm...)
To Do: I really should call my mom. I have not talked to her in awhile. I also need to dust upstairs and vacuum the house. Oh and I need to pay my kids for their chores and get new ones set up for them
Creative Juices: I really want to put together a "Counterfeit Scrappy Kit" and finish the one Layout on my desk.
Errands: Not much! One run to the Post Office and that is it -- YAY! I am looking forward to being a hermit and just homeschooling, taking walks with the dog, and getting my dance on with the kids and the Wii.
Picture of the Week: There are five -- not just 1. Why? Well, first this is my blog and I can change my rules any time I want to. I am like my blog Goddess. LOL! Here are a few pictures I took with my camera on my phone on our way down to Tucson today. Not bad considering I was going at like 70 miles an hour.

See all the HILLS????? No, they are NOT mountains. If you want to see a mountain go to California!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Conditions (The Girl From The Ghetto -- 1)

My 3 Conditions
I grew up in a rather dysfunctional home. My mom and dad were divorced when I was just a wee little thing – 6 to be exact. In fact, looking back I don’t remember a time in my parents’ marriage in which they were in the same room and it did not end up in a screaming match. My sister saved me from a lot. She was 8 years older than I and looked to me as her own. She never ever let me see them fight – EVER! She was always there. Always my constant and source of security. A lot of times (or maybe the only times I can remember) we would play hospital in her room. I would be birthing a baby doll and she would be the doctor telling me to “push, push!” and encouraging me to scream and yell as I pretended to birth a baby. Looking back now it was really a brilliant move on her part because in the background were my parents scream and yells. What better way to mask it by screaming and yelling? It was all part of the labor and delivery unit feel of our play! Plus, we got to voice our fear even if we did not know that was what we were doing.
My first memory of a conversation with my Mom was the one in which I was standing beside her in the kitchen “helping” make cookies and she said “You know Betsie, Mom and Dad may not always live in the same house together. It is not your fault, but Daddy may have to live somewhere else.” That conversation terrified me. I still remember what I was wearing and thinking, but I knew not to voice it. Better just keep it to myself. I knew at that young age of 5 that my mom was not one to share a concern with. It was her way or the highway. Apparently, she did not like my dad’s way and he had to take the highway all the way to my grandparents’ house to live.
Before too long we were sitting on the front porch as people trampled through our home in hopes of purchasing it. It was a nice home. Not too big, but in a good area. My sister and I were attending a nice Christian school and had good teachers. Once my mom filed for divorce that all changed. My sister went to live with my Dad and I stayed with my Mom. We moved to the ghetto – my Mom and I. Yep, I was ripped from my nice safe house to live in the projects in the ghetto so my mom could go after her dream of being a preschool teacher. She had hopes of graduating from the community college and teaching young blank slates the basics of “1,2, 3’s” and “A,B,Cs” I would attend classes with her because there was nowhere else to go. Man, those nights were long and B-O-R-I-N-G! I fell behind is school, had to go to the “special” class, started bed wetting, and had to deal with bullies on a daily basis. But hey, Mom was getting her associates at the community school so who the hell cared what was going on with me, right?
After years of ghetto life, my Mom remarried numerous times – three to be exact and we started apartment hopping. We moved about an average of every 18 months. My dad was still in the picture. In fact, considering that their 17 year marriage fell apart he was a really good ex husband! They parented well together and my dad would take me every other weekend. He would also pick me up once a week for a hamburger. I loved seeing him because I got to see my sister too. I missed her the most I think. I looked to her as the Mama my Mom was unable or unwilling to be. Not fair to place that much pressure on a kid – but my sister was my saving grace for so many years. True, we both had issues and our own demons that would haunt us from it all, but she was always constant and always there. Later in life I knew that it was safe with her to” get my panties in a knot” and have temper tantrums. I hate to admit that, but it is true. No matter what I knew she would always be there for me – like a mom. She was the Mom to me on a lot of fronts – just like the Mom I was to my brother years later. Now, in my mid 30’s I don’t take my sister for granted anymore. I truly do look to her as my sister…..I have no other and I love her so much. I have been a butt over the years and I am sorry for that because she is my sister and I cherish her more than I think she knows.

I could get into more of the specifics. Growing up was hell – I am not gonna lie. True, there were a lot of good things that happened to, but overall it was very dark. One thing that my Mom and Dad did do was made sure we were in church. Thankfully, they were of the same religion! Could you imagine going to a Baptist Church one Sunday and a Jewish Tabernacle the next? Thankfully they both stayed true to their Christian upbringing and convictions of making sure I had my cute little ruffled bottom in Sunday school every week. My Mom was a vocalist so I was at church on Thursday night as well for choir practice. Church played a huge role in me. No it was not perfect and I have been hurt the worst by Christians, but I did learn my basic Bible stories there and that has impacted my for the positive. Plus, it kept me off the streets. That is, like, HUGE!
So moving along – past the abuse of my Mom’s last husband and past those scars – I came up with conditions for my life. The three things that I knew I never ever would tolerate or be able to live with. I was in control of my destiny. Of course God was part of my life and I told Him He could do anything He wanted in my life as long as these conditions were met. Yep, I told the maker of the universe, the man who knit me together in the womb, the guy who knew how many hairs I had on my head, my heavenly Father – that I had conditions in which and where He could use me. Of course I did not look at them as conditions. I looked at them as truths. Self proclaimed and evident truths. So really I was not telling God or giving Him conditions. I was just vocalizing and making aware of the way He made me. That is all. It was acceptance of who I was! Yeah….that is what it was…..or so I told myself.
So these were my conditions:
1) I will never live overseas – unless it is with my military husband. Then I am all about living overseas. After all I can adapt to any circumstance AND goodness knows I was gonna marry a Sailor, Marine, Solider, or Airman. I was not picky….did not matter if they were an officer or not. I just knew my future man would be a God Fearing US lovin’ military man. Goodness knows a man with a rifle in a uniform is so totally hot! Therefore, I would gladly live overseas with my military man…on a base….with other Americans. Any other travel abroad or living overseas was just out of the question. Nope. Not me. I will keep my feet firmly planted in the great USA!
2) I will never ever live in the desert. The dirty, dusty, gross bug desert was no place for me. Not to mention that, but desert places are like hot and I don’t do heat. I don’t do much with snow either, but heat…oh no. No 115 degree extreme weather for me. Not me. I sure did not want to stay in California either. Give me the east coast. The south, but God forbid I end up in the desert! Never! Not gonna happen. I can’t live like that. The southwest was out. Arizona? Never! Nasty dirty hot Arizona was no place for me. Sorry, but I don’t do rock front yards and Cactus! No snakes, scorpions, or huge ass ants either.
3) I will not marry nor date a jock – oh and fighters are the worst! I don’t like ‘em. Or so I said. Give me a surfer, book worm, nerd, bad boy, MILITARY MAN! Yeah, I will take any of those, but no jocks, wrestlers or fighters. I am not impressed with their big ass cocky heads and I am not gonna swoon. Aren’t there stupid cheerleaders for that? Not me! I will take a smoker, a drinker, a tattooed bad boy over a jock any day!
Those were my conditions. The core of who I was and what I would tolerate was wrapped up in those three conditions. I never wanted to leave the USA, I would not live in the desert – nothing terrified me more than that state – ARIZONA, and I did not want a meat head of a man.
If you know me, you know full well that my conditions were never met. My life at the age of 17 took an unexpected turn. It headed down a path that I did not want, but so needed. God was about to flip me upside down…..

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Girl From the Ghetto

My friend, Nina, gave me the book, "The Pioneer Woman from Black Heels to Tractor Wheels". I am totally loving it and got an idea.

I idea from my head. This could be dangerous! I mean it is an "idea"!!!!!

So, here goes as a few (not a lot) know that I am working on three books. Well, one is being written and the other two are still in my files. They are waiting to come out, but with homeschooling and such it just has not happened yet. I am planning to hit the writing hard in August. Why August? Well, because my kids will be in school from 8 - 3 and I can concentrate on it. I am sorry, but I suck at multi tasking when it has to do with anything that requires much thought. As sad as it is, teaching 4th grade spelling and math does require thought. When I sit down to write -- I sit down to write for hours and hours at a time. I get in a zone and I do not do well with distractions. Obviously, trying to author a book right now is not possible. God did not wire me to do it that way. So, what is a girl to do?

Practice writing on her blog of course!

I am going to write over the course of the next few weeks the story of courtship with my husband. I guess you could say I am copying the Pioneer Woman because that is how she got started -- blogging in 2006 about her man. I am a total thief! I have no problem stealing good ideas from others. Why reinvent the wheel, right?

I am not doing this because I want to be like the Pioneer Woman. No no no....quite the opposite on a lot of fronts. I am doing this for two reasons.
1) I must brush up on my writing skills. I need to practice practice practice so when I go to submit my books for publishing they will be well written.
2) Like any long time relationship it is hard. We have not had the "perfect" life. True I am transparent, but I wear my heart close. I don't just put it out there and getting over some things has been hard. Instead of focusing on the bad I think it would be healthy and beneficial to focus on the good! I really am married to a pretty terrific man! Why not brag about him? I have discovered that there are four types of marriage 1) the marriage of when they hit a hard spot get divorced. 2) The marriage of when they hit a hard spot they work on it and through it (granted sometimes that is not possible and I am not pushing this way because I don't know every one's situation) 3) They have not had a hard spot yet (oh because it will come -- it always does!) 4) They have had a hard spot and are just lying about it. Seriously they are in denial. My marriage is #2!

Instead of focusing on what went wrong I am just gonna pour out what went we met. Our courtship. Our life together. Etc....I think it will be fun for my husband to read because I don't know if I ever expressed to him some of my thoughts and feelings that I had. See, I don't show or share emotion as much as the average Jane (then again who is average?)so he is gonna get a peak into my soul and heart.

I hope you read and check back often. I will most likely do this at least once a week. It won't be perfect. It will be rough. However, it will be real and hopefully heart warming!

What is with "The Girl From the Ghetto"? That is where I am from...the ghetto. For real. Little Oakland. The ghetto. Since this is my story then that is what it shall be titled! :-)

Wow! You guys are gonna learn so much about me and my family! LOL!