Wednesday, November 9, 2011


If something is going to happen to a person it will happen to me.  I think I attract strange people and accidents.  Or accidents and strange people...I don't know what the order is...

Strange people -- I think I must have a look about me that says, " should come tell me some random stuff that I really don't care about."  This often happens to me in the bathroom of public places.  Really?  Who wants to talk to a stranger in the bathroom?????

Or, I have kids in my class that like to talk to me about random stuff...

Today's conversation:
Kiddo: (who is reading a book about diseases - what kid does that?) "Mrs. Lackey, I found a disease that can't be cured."
Me: "Really?  What is it?"
Kiddo:  He shows me his book.  "It's like two diseases in one.  HIV and Aids.  There isn't a cure for it."
Me: "You're right.  There is no cure."
Kiddo:  "Have you ever had it before Mrs. Lackey?"
Me:  "Uh...nope.  That's not curable.  I'm not sick and I'm still here."
Kiddo:  "Oh.  Okay."  And then he walks back to his seat.

Accidents - We all know about the dog pee accident I had in May.  Since May, I have been accident free until yesterday. As I was walking down the hall, a kid flicked a magnet right in my path just as I was taking a step.  I stepped right on that dang magnet and it caused me to kind of twist my ankle and I FELL DOWN.  In front of ALL THE KIDS!  I was embarrassed and mad all at the same time. I was ready to explode, but it was truly an accident.  When I fell down, I landed on my left knee.  The left knee that is connected to the left ankle/foot that spent the summer in a nice hot black orthopedic boot.  It hurt like CRAP!

Some of the kids that were with me could obviously tell I was upset.  One of them said, "Mrs. Lackey, you sure are pretty."  I said, "Thank you.  Did I look pretty when I fell down?"  She just grinned at me.  Another kiddo said, "I sure do like your hair.  How do you get it all spikey in the back?"  I told her with "lots of hair junk".  She seemed to like that answer.  Funny how kids try to fix a situation sometimes and they don't realize they even do it.

Well, my knee still hurts.  As the day went on today, my body slowly but surely got a little more sore than it was this morning.  My lower back and legs have ached like I worked out.  (I guess that's what a fall will do for you.)  My ankle and foot have hurt today as well.  I'm wondering if I did something to it when I fell.  I guess I'll just have to keep my eye on it over the next few days.

This morning the kiddo that was playing with the infamous "make Mrs. Lackey fall" magnet, sent me a note asking me to forgive him for what happened.  I wrote him back and told him I truly knew it was an accident and I was in no way upset with him.  I also told him that I was just embarrassed about falling.  That is not something I like to do often.  When I took him the note, I asked his teachers which room he was in so I could give it to him.  As I turned around and saw him, his face had a "deer in headlights" look.  He obviously didn't know what to think about me coming to his classroom looking for him.  I hope my note to him made him feel better just as his made me feel better.

I am positive that I will continue to run into "bathroom talkers", crazy kids at school (they make my day) and will continue to find the accident waiting to happen.  My life wouldn't be quite right if these things weren't a part of it.  I think it'd be pretty boring.  Don't you?  :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

This girl...

This girl makes me crazy.  This girl frustrates me.  This girl teaches me.  This girls makes me smile.  This girl makes me laugh.  This girl is my mini-me.  This girl is my Ally...

Ally has always been "my" girl.  She really hasn't been a Daddy's girl too much in her 12 years.  She's always been a Momma's girl.  I kinda like it that way.  :)

When I say she is a mini-me, I mean that.  From the time that she was really little, she always seemed to have the same interests as me and always wanted to do what I was doing.  To some extent, she even wanted to eat the same stuff as me.  She and I have several similarities, the most obvious of those being her creative side.  This kid likes to create stuff.  Not just any kind of "stuff", but artistic "stuff".  When she was little, I would give her scrappy supplies to use while I was scrapping.  It was funny how often she would watch me to decide what it was that she was going to do.  Even now, she does this.   She truly has a creative soul.  I kinda like that.  It's pretty cool to see some of the things that she comes up with.  (You should see what she does with duct tape!)

One way that we are complete opposites is when it comes to reading.  As a kid, I couldn't read enough.  I would hide under my covers to read, and after getting caught doing that several times, I found a better my closet with the light on and the door closed.  I could stay up all night reading a book.  Still can.  I can finish a thick book in a matter of just a few days.  I LOVE to read.  Allison, not so much.  If you asked her, she'd say, "I HATE reading."  Well, that makes me kinda sad.  I get such enjoyment from reading.  I wish that she did.  Maybe one of these days she will learn to appreciate it and not think of it as "work".  I'll keep trying.

Tonight I had the pleasure of spending some time with my big girl.  After her swim practice it was just me and her because Whit and Daddy had an end of season soccer party to attend.  So, Ally and I enjoyed eating dinner together.  We had been on her case for the past month about her grades and attitude.  Both have needed improving.  (Does this happen with all 12 year olds???)     I really wanted to spend some time with her, and I needed to let her know that all her hard work over the past 2 weeks to get her grades back up hadn't gone unnoticed.  It was past time to let her know we were proud of the hard work she had been doing.  I think she really enjoyed herself.  It was nice to spend some time with her by myself.

For my big girl, I wish this:

*to continue to work hard and strive to always do your absolute best
*to have a heart for others -  a tender place that lets others know that you are a person they can trust and depend on
*to continue to work on appreciating your sister (I know sibling rivalry is "normal", but my wish is that you'll see Whit as your best friend and confidant at some point in the future.)
*to continue to learn about God and share him through your words and actions with others

Ally, I love you more than you could even imagine.  I hope that when you see this, you'll see that you are a very important part of my life and our family.  You are an amazing young lady.  DO NOT ever forget that!  I love you!!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Chicken story...Dishonest People SUCK!

You know the old saying "Don't count your chickens before they hatch"?  Good idea to heed that warning...  Well, it's a good idea to keep them separated too.  Just sayin...

Yesterday (Wednesday) was stressful.  It didn't start off that way though.  It actually started off pretty good...until I checked my bank account around 7:00 a.m.  I am SO GLAD that I didn't follow my normal routine this one time.  God certainly spoke to me because I can't explain why I chose to get on the computer and look at my account.  Glad he talked to me though...

Around 7:00 yesterday morning, I looked at my bank account to find out that all my money was g...o...n...e... What the heck???  I had just been paid a couple days earlier and we don't normally even use that account other than to pay bills with my check.  I knew we hadn't used that money.  Bills hadn't been paid yet.

After "investigating" the charges, it quickly became clear that somebody had hacked into my account and had themselves a party.  They did a balance inquiry in my savings account to see what was there, and transferred it to my checking account.  With four swipes of a "clone card" (neither of us had lost our cards) our money was gone by the end of the day Monday.  HOLY CRAP!!!

I called the 1-800 number on the back of my card to report my findings.  Victor, the guy that helped me was very nice.  He said the charges originated out of Atlanta, GA.  He was very helpful getting the charges disputed and let me know that their would be a "provisional" credit to my account in 1-10 business days. It has to be investigated first.  He faxed the papers that needed to be filled out and signed to my bank.  I left school to get them signed so they could be notarized and faxed back immediately.  That wasn't as easy as it sounds though.

Since the fraud happened using Mike's card, he was the one that had to fill out the paperwork and and sign it.  I had to drive all the way across town to his work to get the papers taken care of.  Then, back to the bank.  This whole process took about 45 minutes.  Once I got back, it was time to fax it.  Just my luck, the fax was having trouble connecting.  So, I sat and talked with Mike's cousin Amy, who works at the bank.  (She was doing the faxing for me.)  It was nice to chat with her.  :)  Finally, the papers went through.  YIPPEE!!!!!

Now, it's just time to sit and wait...and hope they catch the guy (or girl) that did this.  Crossing my fingers that the investigation the bank does turns up some information that lets them prosecute the freakin' thieves...

So, are you wondering about the chicken comment I made at the beginning of this blog post?  Well, it's the first thing I thought of after this happened.  You can NEVER count on things (or chickens) to always be there.  Kinda like my money.  I knew it was there, but look what happened.  And, one thing I have learned from this is that it is ALWAYS a good idea to NOT keep all your money (or your chickens) in just one place.  Lesson learned...

To the creep(s) that violated me and my family I just have one thing to say to you...

May the fleas of 1000 camels infest your crotch and may your arms be too short to scratch...

To everybody else, I hope you have a good weekend.  I know we will.  :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Word of the Week... INSPIRED...

Each week when I go to work I know that I have lots of hats to wear.  I don't want to get into how I have to be the kids' mom, nurse, counselor, etc.  I just want to talk to you about the teacher part.  Sort of....

Each week I give my kiddos a vocabulary list.  It typically goes with the story of the week.  This past week we read the story "Weslandia".  It is about a boy named Wesley that is a bit of an outcast in his town and school.  He invents his own civilization and calls it Weslandia.  It's a pretty fun story that teaches the kids to respect each other's differences and to really be creative in their thinking.  One of the vocabulary words was INSPIRED.  I told the kids that I absolutely love that word.  It is a powerful word that basically means motivated by something or somebody else to do something GOOD.

While trying to help the kids understand the meaning of the word, I kept giving them examples of things that inspire me - art, colors, writing, people, etc.  I also tried to explain what I do when I am inspired by one of the things I told them about.   It is a hard word to really truly understand.  You have to feel it in your soul when you are truly inspired.  It is something that pushes you from the inside.  It is an amazing feeling.  And it got me to thinking...Who inspires me right now?
This is my Aunt Peggy.  She has been inspiring me lately.  She is a teacher that absolutely LOVES what she does and has a "pay it forward" attitude that I want to adopt.  See the pretty pink splint on her arm?  She recently began wearing that splint after spending nearly 7 weeks in a cast as a result of a bicycle accident that severely injured her wrist and arm.  Well, it should be the reason for her to be down in the dumps and crabby.  Now, I know that she gets down.  I know that she gets frustrated.  That's human nature. But, she doesn't let that emotion take over.  She has an amazing way of getting past the "stuff" that brings us down and get to the "stuff" that makes us see the bright side of life.

In addition to writing about her injury and the progress she is making in her recovery, she also writes about her Bucket List on her blog.  Through her I have learned that I need to be grateful for each day and to live life to the fullest.  Don't take the "little things" in life for granted.  I need to take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to me.  It's all about perspective.  My prayer for her is that she continues to heal and gain use of her arm and wrist again and that she continues to live her life to the fullest.  I also pray that she continues to inspire others, at school, through her blog, and in her life in general.

Aunt Peggy, you inspire me and remind me each time I read your blog just how lucky I am to have you as an inspiration in my life.  Not only are you good school teacher, but you are also a great life teacher.  I thank you and love you bunches!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What dog pee will cost you...

It has been approximately 4 months since I slipped in dog pee and hurt my ankle.  (That still cracks me up... It could only happen to me...  If you haven't heard the story, check it out.  It's titled Stoking the Fire or Getting the Boot.  It's quite amusing...)

Since I learned my falling trick I have been back and forth to the foot doc.  I spent the majority of my summer wearing the ortho boot.  It was quite miserable in 100 degree heat and not exactly the most comfortable thing to wear.  On July 26th, I got the wonderful news that I didn't have to wear it any longer, but since it still wasn't completely healed, I needed to get an MRI to see if there was damage that was a little more severe than originally thought.  There wasn't...  So, off to do some physical therapy to strengthen my foot and ankle.

This has been the most interesting of journeys.  Physical therapy actually wasn't completely bad.  Sort of... The therapists decided that I was a prime candidate for dry needling.  Basically, they use acupuncture type needles in the areas of my muscle (that is connected to the injured tendon) to relieve some of my pressure points to help with the pain.  I had NO IDEA that the muscle connected to my injured tendon was so tender, but it really was.  Dry needling is the WEIRDEST thing I have ever had done medically.  The therapist, David, finds the pressure point and works the needle up and down in one spot in my muscle.  Like he sticks the needle in and moves it up and down without taking it out.  One side effect of this is that my muscles twitch involuntarily - kinda like when you go to the chiropractor and they use those electrodes on your muscles.  Not only do your muscles twitch, but they kinda burn too.  Weird thing about it is that it works.  It makes my muscle WAY LESS tense and tender.  That was cool.

I also did something called Graston.  They rub a cream on your affected area and use metal tools to basically give you a deep tissue massage.  It is supposed to help the fibers in your muscles realign themselves so that the pressure points don't form.  Neat idea.  Hurts like HELL when they do it and for at least a day or two afterwards. The last time they did it I ended up with a few bruises.  Looked like I had been in a fight.

After the dry needling and Graston, I had gym time. As out of shape as I am, I still enjoy working out once I get started.  I think I kinda surprised a couple of them with how strong this big girl is. I did some weight lifting and they very quickly realized that this big girl needed bigger weights.  Sister don't play.  (haha!  I have always had super strong legs. Still do even though I haven't worked them out like I should in a long time.)  In addition to the weight lifting, I did some lunges, squats, balancing exercises, toe lifts, calf stretches, etc.  You get the picture.

I worked on this from August 10 until August 31. I went twice a week and honestly saw improvement. At my Aug. 31 reevaluation appointment, my therapist saw a big improvement with my pain.  I could tell it was working too.  Not 100% yet, but getting there.  Yay!!!

On Sept. 1st, my insurance deductible started over at $0.  (School insurance kinda follows the school calender.)  Yesterday was my first PT appointment since it started over.  I already knew going into it that I was responsible for 100% of the charges up to $750.  I also knew that they wanted me to continue coming twice a week for the next 3 weeks.  We all felt that would be best.  EVEN ME...  Well, long story short, I asked when I got to PT what my charges would be for the day.  All I was going to do was exercise in the gym with a therapist assistant telling what my next "thing" would be.  After looking at the fee schedule the receptionist informs me that each session will only be $260.  WHAT!!!!  My response was, "Are you talking about for all of them or just one."  Her reply was "Just one."  HOLY COW!!!  I quickly informed her that wouldn't work.  Not even one time.  She was really nice about it.  We decided to just e-mail the therapist and have her put together a home plan for me to follow.  Made complete sense to me.  Everything I had been doing in the gym, with the exception of about 2-3 exercises were things I could do at home.  I haven't heard back what my home plan will be.  Hopefully tomorrow or Monday I'll have an answer.

So, I am writing this all to say, that while I have a great funny story on how I learned a new trick with dog pee, I did learn a lot about insurance.  I pay a lot for it each month and it absolutely STINKS!!!  It doesn't cover a whole heck of a lot.  It's really a shame...  I can say this though.  I am still improving.  While I'm frustrated that I kinda have a setback on the therapy I feel pretty confident that if I can keep exercising it then it will get better.  Cross your fingers peeps!  (And stay away from the dog pee!)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Struggle's Over...

And I'm back!  This has been a good week.  Although it is not over I can honestly say that I have learned a lot.  God has been busy working on me this week!

I have learned not to "sweat the small stuff".  Let's look at the big picture here.  Because, really, is the "little stuff" all that important in the big scheme of things?  Not really.  So, I just decided to get over the dress code issue.  I can't change it so why stew about it?  Once I decided that, I had a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.  :)

Ssshhhhh.... Don't tell Mike I said this, but it has felt good going to bed early.  Like actually not crashing on the couch, but going and crawling into bed.  I have formed a bad habit of falling asleep on the couch and not actually going to bed until I wake up between 11:00-1:00.  The past couple nights I have had really good sleep.  So thankful!

I am very thankful for the students I have been given this year.  So far, knock on wood, they are a pretty good bunch of kids.  Some are chatty, some don't listen, and some demand our attention, but I really think I already love this bunch.  I know that the Lord knows my heart and he must know that while some are trying my patience a bit, I needed a group of kids like these to rejuvenate my love of teaching.  I am excited to be with them.  That is a good feeling.  :)

I was also reminded just how important it is to pray for others.  It is POWERFUL!  My friend Karessa began a blog called The Prayer Project.  (Click on the name to check it out!)  Each day she chooses somebody specific to pray for.  What an amazing thing to do!  Today, she chose to pray for ME.  Wow!  She texted me that today she was praying specifically for me.  I couldn't wait to get home from school to read her prayer for me.  It made my day before I had even read the blog.  Somebody was thinking about me and blessing me. Karessa, I can honestly say that you know me girl!  I feel lucky to have her as a friend and even luckier to know that she met the prayer needs that I did not even realize I needed.

Our God has been working on my girls as well.  For that I am most thankful.  I am blessed that this week he has helped both of them get enough rest so that we are not fussing at each other in the mornings.  I pray that this continues for us!  The two of them have been amazing in the mornings this week!  Girls, I love you both so very much!

I am sure that God has been working in my husband's life as well.  He has seen that I have been tired and has picked up my slack for me this week.  It has been much appreciated.  When I told my coworker about it, she said, "You know you are one lucky girl.  He's a good guy."  You know what?  She is right.  :)

Tomorrow is Friday and while I look forward to spending time with my school kiddos, I am looking forward to 3:30 pm.  I am still human and I am ready for the weekend!  Not sure what we will be doing, but I look forward to whatever it may be!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Tomorrow's a New Day...

I have been struggling the past couple days.  My attitude was completely out of whack over a situation I had absolutely NO control over.  For whatever reason, I had my feathers COMPLETELY ruffled.  That is really out of character for me, and I really do not like the way it makes me feel...

So, I have decided that tomorrow is a new day.  A new attitude.  I am determined not to let anyone or anything ruffle my feathers.  I am going to be the "good ol' me" again.  After all, I don't have it as bad as some people.

I am fortunate enough to have a loving caring family that understands that Mommy is indeed human.  My husband is supportive and went with me to find new shoes.  He actually shopped for shoes with me.  He didn't just sit there and wait - he was looking too.  For that I am thankful.  Love you babe.  :)

I am also fortunate enough to be able to afford to get my new shoes.  There will be children who come to me this week that come from families that are financially unable to get many new things for them.  I need to remember how God has blessed my family.  Often, we take all we have for granted.  I needed to step back and remember that today.

This weekend was busy and it was good.  It reminded me how lucky I am each day.  I enjoyed being with my family as we bustled around getting ready to go back to school.  It is funny how close we can be when we are so busy.  I pray that as we end the chapter that was summer 2011 we begin the next chapter in our lives with lots of love, laughter, and success.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Bent Out of Shape...

Anybody that knows me knows that I am pretty dang laid back and I roll with the punches.  I am pretty flexible and open minded.  Basically, I think I'm pretty easy to be around and work with.  It takes A LOT to get my feathers ruffled.  Usually...

This past week we received our employee dress code.  It changed a little, but at first I was okay with it because I didn't think that what I owned would be affected by it.  Little did I know....

On Friday, we were in a meeting and had a couple items on the dress code "clarified" for us.  By the time my principals were finished, I was completely bent out of shape.  I was angry/upset for the entire day and I just could not change my attitude about it.  This is very unusual for me.  Please note that I was not upset with my principals.  They were just the messengers.  Not their fault at all....

Our dress code states that we may not wear shower shoes/beach shoes/flip flops.  In my mind I am thinking we are talking about the rubber flip flops that you pay $2 for at Old Navy.  I agree that those are completely inappropriate at school.  The flops that I own are thicker soled and "blinged out" in some way.  Definitely not shoes I'd wear in either the shower or at the beach.  They are either covered in some sort of animal print "fur" material or they are covered in crystals.  Shoes I wear to church.  They are super comfy and they have enough "sparkly junk" on them that I could wear them with a formal.  Should be good for school if they're good for church or a formal, right?  Apparently not...  :(  We were informed that if we had flip flops we could not wear them if they floated or had a foam or rubber sole.  Well, people, that is all I OWN!  All my "blinged out" flops have such a sole.   I have spent lots of money on these flips! All I could think of is that now I had NO shoes to wear to school.  :(

The other item that really got me was that teachers could no longer wear leggings.  Seriously???  Our student dress code became more lenient on leggings this year (Outer garments can be as much as 5 inches above the knee instead of 3 inches as long as leggings were worn underneath.)  Teachers are banned completely.  Somebody really did not think this through.  I am a "big girl" that does like to wear cute dresses from time to time.  I have a couple knee length dresses that completely meet dress code.  It is acceptable for me to wear them to school.  However, being a big girl I feel a bit exposed in those knee length dresses so I like to wear leggings under them.  I am sure some of my coworkers appreciate me covering them up too.  lol   I am covered up with them and feel less self-conscience when I wear them.  Plus I don't have to worry about some 5th or 6th grade boy looking up my dress as I walk up the stairs at school.  Has anybody thought about these things???  I think NOT!!!

So I stewed all day long yesterday.  These two things completely ruined my day.  Now, I know that I let them ruin my day, but I was really frustrated for a few reasons:

#1 - I work my butt off at my job.  I give my heart and soul to those kids while I am there, and sometimes, when I am not there.  I dress professionally and act professionally.  I have a good relationship with my colleagues, admin, students, and parents.  Why, then, do certain people feel the need to take away a couple of my "creature comforts"?  Is it really that important?  Will it seriously change the way I conduct my business from day to day?

#2 - We received the dress code approximately a week before school started but only clarification on such items on Friday.  That left me the weekend to correct my wardrobe.  On tax free weekend no less.  I really did NOT want to fight the crowds.

#3 - I have issues with my feet.  In the past few years it has become increasingly difficult for me to find school shoes that don't make my feet hurt so bad it feels like that are being gnawed off.  For some reason the flips work for me.  Dress shoes are stiff, have a hard sole, and are just plain uncomfortable. Plus, they are expensive.  Flips have a cushy sole, are not binding, and while I do spend up to $50 on a pair, they are still less expensive than dress shoes.  Have you priced good dress shoes lately?

#4 - We were given the dress code just a few days before school started.  Had they told us earlier in the summer I (and other people I have talked to) would not have spent good money on shoes I/we couldn't wear.  Why weren't we given this information earlier?  When we were buying school clothes  throughout the summer we were following the dress code that had always been acceptable.  Now, it is too late to take back those items and most people probably don't have the money to go shopping again.

If I could write a letter to the people who made the dress code, it might say something like this:

Dear Dress Code Makers,

In order to comply with your wishes I spent $239 out of my savings account today on 3 pairs of dress shoes. Because I am on my feet all day I was not able to get "cheap" shoes.  I MUST have shoes with some level of comfort in them.  Apparently, if you want/need comfort, you must pay for it.  I thank you for that.

My dresses will no longer be worn to school.  Without my leggings under them, I feel very exposed and unprofessional.  But, mostly, I do not want to give 5th and 6th grade boys the opportunity to look up my dress as I walk up the stairs.  I will retire those items to my closet only to be worn to church on Sundays.

I have no problem following your dress code.  I think it is important  But, please consider your teachers' reasons for changing these things back to the way they were in the past.  I believe you are asking us to be professional.  LOOK professional.  Your request is not out of line.  But, I can honestly say that on my campus, there isn't a day that goes by that my colleagues don't look and act professional.  Knowing the type of people that are employed by my district, I am sure that the same can be said for the other campuses as well.  We employ great people and in turn have a great district.

Thank you for your time.


Friends, thanks for letting me vent.  I am not a complainer, and I rarely ask for anything.  I am actually pretty open-minded and have a ton of patience.  Sometimes, though, things just rub a girl the wrong way and she's got to let it out.  Thanks for being my sounding board and know that while I am upset now, I will be back to the "good ol' me" by Monday.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Out With the Old, In With the New, and Other Random Stuff...

Welcome Back to School!  It's that time of the year.  Summer is over and I officially say adios to my crop of kiddos from last year.  New kiddos are on my roll sheets and in my grade book.  My room has once again been rearranged so that I can make the most out of my space and hopefully give my kiddos a comfortable place to learn.  I have lots of ideas running through my head, and even though I am NOT ready for my summer to be over, I am getting more motivated each day.  I have a couple weeks of lesson plans completed, to-do lists ready to go, and lots of organizing and meetings in the works.  I think I'll be ready to meet my new kiddos on Thursday of next week.  Cross your fingers they are ready to meet me too!  :)

On another note, I started something new.  I created a Facebook page for my Creative Soul photography, frames, and accessories.  I am a little nervous about it.  What if people look at my stuff and don't like it?  What if they think, "I can do that."  I hope that doesn't go through their heads, but the little devil on my shoulder just has to give me his two cents worth.  I need to find a way to shut him up.  lol  My Facebook page currently has mostly my photography on it.  I have a couple frames and I have several more to load to the page.  I think I'll stretch it out a bit so I can get them on there a few at a time and keep the page fresh.  I have already had some people ask me about my photography, and I have received a couple frame orders.  That is exciting to me!  I am so looking forward to creating the frames, and I am REALLY looking forward to shooting some pictures.  If you would like to "Like" my Creative Soul Facebook page, just go to the following link to get there.

I went to my first physical therapy appointment for my ankle and foot yesterday.  I saw 2 therapists and they both said that I had great mobility in my joints and that was really good.  They also did some "testing" on my calf to see if I had tender spots.  Turns out I do and didn't even know it!  Apparently, the tendon that I hurt is connected to the muscle that runs up the inside of our calf muscles.  It is tender and sore and I didn't even realize it until they started messing with it.  Compared to my other leg, it is extremely tender.  I guess we humans compensate for our pain by "stressing" other parts that are connected to the injured area to help compensate for the injury.  In my case the calf hurts.  

They decided to do 15 minutes of needling and 45 minutes of gym time.  Needling consists of using acupuncture needles placed in very tender spots in the muscle to relieve the tenderness and pain.  This is also good for plantar fasciaitis, which I have, so I am pretty excited that I will have help with that.  I am not 100% sure what the gym time will incorporate.  One of the therapists mentioned picking up items with my toes to help strengthen the muscles in my feet so they can help ultimately help support my tendon.  I was nervous going in to the appointment as I didn't know what to expect, but now I am a bit excited since I know what we are doing, and we will FINALLY be able to make things better and back to normal.  I'll keep you updated on my progress.  We are shooting to have this completed by August 31st!  Cross your fingers and say a prayer for me!  

Saturday, August 6, 2011

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest...

Or in our case, it just flew all over the bathroom.  And it was pretty funny.  At least now it is...   :)

This is Miley.  (In drag apparently.  My girls like to dress her up in doll clothes and do photo shoots.  I don't think she enjoys the "attention" all that much...)  
Miley is quite the hunter.  I guess she is like many other cats and prowls and hunts from time to time.  She just likes to bring it to her "room" - AKA the bathroom - to "play" with her captured treasures.  So far, other than the 4 grass snakes and one baby bird that she has caught I have been the one that has taken care of all her prized possessions.  So glad today was different.

This morning, Miley dashed through the doggy door and Mike immediately heard screeching and saw wings a-flappin' from her mouth.  She dashed straight the bathroom.  Mike chased after her and yelled at both Dixie and Miley.  Miley let go of the bird and it started flying all around the bathroom.  We got the cat and the dogs away from the bathroom and then we (he) had to figure out how to catch the mockingbird she brought in.

We had some empty tubs with lids in the garage so Mike took one into the bathroom.  I helped by shutting the bathroom door and making sure there was no excitement in the hall outside the bathroom. :D  It took a few minutes of him talking softly to settle the bird down.  He was finally able to corner the dang bird and catch it.
We (Mike) took the bird out to the backyard and opened the tub up by our peach tree.  I think he figured it might go in the tree to hide.  Instead, it hauled feathers to the back fence and the trees behind it.

I have to make this disclaimer.  I am VERY GLAD Mike was home when this happened.  To be quite honest, if this had happened when he was not home it is VERY likely that mockingbird would have been flying around in my bathroom all day long until Mike got home.

Life is good....   :D

And the verdict is...

Well, it took a few days before I could make this post.  Crazy busy week.  And school hasn't even started yet.  Sheesh...

Well, my trip to see Dr. Witt on Wednesday had results I certainly didn't expect.  He starts off by tell me, "I have good news and bad news."

Good news = There are NO rips or tears in my ankle tendon.  Yay!!!  
Bad news = There is fluid surrounding my tendon.  Not sure why.  So, he thinks I need to strengthen the tendon.  He'd like me to go to physical therapy 2-3 times a week for the next 4 weeks.  Oh, and each session is about an hour long.

Ummmm.... hello!   School is starting!  How am I going to find time to do this?  I don't know, but I guess I will.  A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

I go back to see him in 5-6 weeks to see if things are better.  If things are not better then he will have to do exploratory surgery.

All I know is that I am ready for this to be over.  It has gone on long enough!  I can't  believe I'm about to type this, but I think I hear my treadmill calling me!  hehe

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Is We or Ain't We...

If my first and second grade teacher read the title to this post I think I'd be in trouble...  She couldn't stand for her kiddos to use the word ain't....because it ain't a word.  I agree with her....somewhat....but I still like to use it from time to time...  Sorry Mrs. Dobson.  Although I don't use it often, sometimes it just feels.....appropriate.  :)

Tomorrow will be a somewhat busy day.  In the morning I have a photo shoot in Kilgore.  I am shooting pics of Mike's cousin's daughter.  She is a middle school cheerleader and I am looking forward to shooting pics of her in her uniform.  I'll post them when I get them edited and ready.  I'm excited!

After the photo shoot I am hoping to get my question answered.  Is we or ain't we?  That's the question.  Everybody that has listened to me gripe about my foot and ankle has told me that I'll probably "have surgery".  My reply has been "shut it" every time they tell me that.  I haven't been willing to admit that they might just be right.

I figured we'll just cross that bridge when we get there.  Well, I see the bridge ahead and I'm a little anxious.  What will my doc say that he saw on the MRI?  Will it be something easy to fix or not?  Will I be walking or hobbling around when school starts?  Will I have to miss some of the inservice days of school before the kids actually start?  Lots of questions I want answered...  Hmmmm.......  The next 12 hours might be kinda long.  Hope I can sleep some of them away tonight!  Update tomorrow...

Sunday, July 31, 2011


This past Monday I saw my doctor and had my foot and ankle rechecked.  Not a lot of progress...  :(  Boo!!!  While he did tell me that I could choose to wear my boot or my tennis shoes, whichever is more comfortable on my foot and ankle, I was disappointed.  I kinda knew that he'd tell me it wasn't healed since I have been having pain even in the boot.  He said I needed an MRI in order to see what was going on.  Maybe some small tears???  Sheesh!

Thursday finally got here and I went to the MRI place.  I was expecting the MRI to be quick and easy.  That's how it always looks on TV.  I soon found out that wasn't going to be the case... 

I learned that the MRI is done using a very strong magnet and it flips the protons in the area of the body it is scanning.  So strong that it literally pulled the technician's earring out of her ear when she got too close to it.  I often wear 2 small bobby pins in my hair and it lifted them up!  Crazy!  But cool...  

I got on the table -  that seemed about 2 inches wide - on my back first.  Talk about uncomfortable! I only had to go into the MRI machine up to my waist.  I marked that I was NOT claustrophobic, but honestly, I think I may be slightly to moderately claustrophobic.  I was very relieved that I didn't have to go all the way in the machine.  This last about 25-30 minutes.  The machine was loud, I was super uncomfortable, and I had to stay as still as possible.  Not easy.  Very soon after we got started I wished I had asked her to turn on the radio.  When I finally got finished with that I had to flip over and do it all over again.  This time I was more comfortable and had the radio on.  It seemed to go by much much faster.  

While I was in there Allison was hanging out in the waiting room.  I later saw a post she made on Facebook that cracked me up.  It read...

"how funm is it to sit in the docters office for a long time and play on ur phone and ipod and listen to a 40 year old lady talk about all the things that are wrong with her and talk about her family while ur mom is getting a mri"

I cracked up later when I saw this on facebook.  I can just see her sitting in the waiting room listening to this conversation.   

A little less than an hour and a half after my appointment time I was finally done!  I was really surprised that it lasted that long!  I hoped to hear my results the next day, but Friday came and went and I am still waiting.    Crossing my fingers that I will hear something tomorrow.  I am anxious to know what the plan will be for getting my ankle and foot to the point that it doesn't hurt after I have been on it for less than 30 minutes.  Cross your fingers I hear tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Souvenir Cups, $4 Hot Dogs, and a Hot Bus Ride...

Last week Ally attended the week long "band camp" for her Junior High band.  It wasn't mandatory, but any kiddo that came to practice earned a trip to see the Rangers play on Friday. I had the "opportunity" to chaperone about sixty 7th and 8th graders on this trip.   Talk about an eye opening experience!  haha

We left for Arlington at about 3:30ish.  Besides myself, 60 kiddos, and the band director, there were about 4-5 other parents on the bus.  I found myself a seat at the back of the bus across from another kiddo's mom and dad.  (They were pretty nice people.)  VERY SOON after we were on the bus, I began contemplating driving my own car because it was SO HOT!  I figured that the bus hadn't been on long and that once we got going it would cool off.  Well, that was not the case.  It. never. cooled. off....  By the time we made the 2 1/2 hour trip to the Ballpark I was drenched with sweat.  It felt awful!  Not to mention that I am not 100% sure the bus even had shocks.  It felt like I was riding the Texas Giant roller coaster.  (For those of you that don't know - The Texas Giant is a wooden roller coaster that is an extremely rough ride.  It WILL make you sore after you have taken a spin on it!)  I was so happy when we finally got off the bus. The ride was quite miserable.  

Once in the Ballpark, we trekked up the ramp to the top of the Ballpark.  It was way difficult to get up there wearing my ortho boot, but I did it. Allison held my hand the entire way up.  Not once was she worried about one of her peers seeing her and making fun.  :) Once at the top I saw that there was an elevator that I could have easily ridden to the top if I had only seen it when we got there.  :(  (I did make sure to ride it down though.)

Allison and I found our seats and she was super excited.  I was excited to be there with her.  Her friend Anna sat with us.  Those two girls talked quite a bit and I got so tickled at them.  They had a good time.  :)

During the national anthem about 200 season ticket holders unrolled a huge flag across the field.  It was really touching and beautiful.  This picture really doesn't do it justice, but it makes a really great memory.  

It has been so hot here for what seems like forever.  This is the temp at the stadium around 7:00.  We were in the shade and high enough up in the stands that we got a nice breeze.  Thank God for wind!

While I know that the Rangers played and beat the Toronto Blue Jays 12-2, I can't tell you a lot about the game.  I watched Allison and her friend a majority of the game.  When the crowd cheered, they cheered.  When the crowd booed, they booed.  (When I asked Ally why she was booing all she could say was, "I don't know.  They did something bad?"  Then she giggled.  So did I...)  I met some nice parents there also.    The game ended and we were lucky enough to see the fireworks after the game.  They were spectacular!  I took some pics, but they aren't nearly as pretty as the "real thing".

We finally got back on the hot bus and headed home.  It was another LONG ride.  I could see that the front of the bus, which was full of 7th graders, was pretty quiet.  The back of the bus, where I was sitting drove me CRAZY!!!  The seats in front of me and the other parents were filled with 8th graders that talked incessantly...about everything...even some things that I am sure were pretty inappropriate.  (But had I said something, I think they would have played it off as "innocent" chit chat.  I didn't want to get that started...)

By 12:30 I was itching to get home and apparently Whitney was itching for me to get home too.  I wish I knew how to put of copy of the voicemail she left me on here.  It went something like this:  "Mommy, please hurry and come home.  I'm starting to get worried.  Love you.  Bye..."  (Mike had already told her we would not be home until almost 2:00 am.)  That voicemail is priceless!  I don't think I will ever erase it!

At 1:30 we finally pulled into the Junior High parking lot.  I was so exhausted and hot and glad to be there. I quickly got off the bus, rounded up Ally, and jumped into the Expedition.  We were so tired of being hot we had the A/C on full blast all the way home.

This trip really made me realize just how much my firstborn has grown up.  I have a lot of mixed feelings about that.  On one hand, I am really proud of how independent she has become, but then again, I am sad because I just don't know how much longer she'll want to keep holding my hand.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

My Swimmer...

This is Allison at one of her swim meets.  She was resting before her next event.  I have to say that I am VERY PROUD of her!  Her swimming has come quite a long way from her first meet.  Then, she swam a 100 free and it took her over two minutes.  Now, she swims so much faster and her form and strokes are WAY more graceful than when she started.  Her 50 free is just 33 seconds now.   I love going to her swim meets.  :)

This is the start of one of her events.  I think she was swimming the 50 free in this one.  This summer she swam at the CHAMPS meet in Lufkin.  If she place in the top 16 of her age/event she would be eligible for the All Stars meet.  Well, I can say the competition in her age division is FIERCE!!!  She missed the top 16 in the 50 free by just a couple tenths of a second!  The same happened for her 50 backstroke, and she was 17th in her 100 IM.  She was disappointed, but I was still proud.  There were approximately 45 kids competing in these events so placing where she did was pretty good.  Finally, she swam her best event, 50 fly.  Her swim was pretty good, but it took FOREVER to get the results posted!  Right before we left they posted the results and she was 14th overall.  That meant she qualified for the All Star meet!  She was so excited!  So were we!  :)

The All Star meet is the best of the best in the ETSSL (East Texas Summer Swim League).  There are kids from several towns that compete in this league.  This would be her first time at the All Star meet.  The kids were fast and she did a great job keeping up with them.  She wasn't in the top places, but she gave her all and both her dad and I are very proud of what she accomplished.  :)

The summer swim league season is over now and, her practices are a bit less demanding.  Well, unless you are playing sharks and minnows and happen to be a minnow trying to stay away from the shark.  ;)  I am so thankful that she has found something that she loves to do so much.  I look forward to seeing her have many more successes in the future!!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Hanging with my Whitters...

Today I got to hang out with Whitney.  She and I decided we needed to float in the pool for a bit.  After getting the music going, she and I solved all the problems of the world while we floated - well, except for what sport she wants to play at the moment.  She's jumped around from soccer (her favorite sport) to swimming, and now to gymnastics.  We're still trying to solve this "problem".   It was kinda nice.  :)

After a bit, we got out so we could read while we sunbathed.  I don't think Whitney actually ever read.  She stayed busy setting up an umbrella to sit under and then decided she was hungry.  She made us lunch - peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with twisted Cheeto puffs.  It was the perfect lunch.  :)

Whitney and I don't get enough days like this.    It was nice getting to just be us - no arguing, nothing that had to be done, and no place we had to be.  I loved spending time with her.  I hope we get to do it again real soon!  Love this kid so much!

Monday, July 4, 2011

A New Look...A Birthday...and Fireworks...

I started to post tonight, but when I got to my blog I was like "Ugh"... I just wasn't feeling it.  It wasn't inspiring me.  I needed something summer-y-ish.  I wanted something bright and refreshing.  Found this blog background at The Cutest Blog on the Block.  I really like that site.  There are tons of free backgrounds, banners, and stuff.  I always find something I like on there.  Check them out if you want to "bling" up your blog.  :)

In the past week or so I have been BUSY!  The girls left for church camp on June 27th.  They were gone from that Monday until Thursday the 30th.  While they were gone I decided that it would be fun to redo Allison's room to surprise her.  I worked my tail off!

The first thing I needed to do was remove what remained of the brown paper bags that had been wallpapered to one of her walls.  We had picked at it over the past several months and removed some of the bigger pieces.  BUT, some of it was so stubborn that I thought we'd NEVER get it off.  Luckily, I have a friend that offered to let me borrow her wallpaper steamer. It took nearly an entire day, but that thing worked!  I was so stoked!

After getting that mess off the walls, I started painting.  I cut in around the ceiling, baseboards, doors, and window.  When Mike got home, he helped me get everything else filled in.  Her lime green room seemed to glow, but it looks so much better than before.  The color is bright, but it is just perfect for Ally.  Once the walls were done, the carpet got cleaned and I was ready to get everything back in the room.

The week before camp, I spent time painting her furniture.  I bought it at a garage sale last year and finally got it all painted.  I don't think Mike thought I would actually ever get it done, but I did.  I was determined to get it done.  When we started getting it in her room I really liked how the white contrasted with the lime green walls.  It was pretty exciting!

I spent Thursday getting little things finished and her stuff back in her room.  There are still a few things left to do.  I want to put a shelf along the top of two of her walls and I still need to make her curtains and get them hung up.  The last thing to do is get the last 3 knobs for her vanity.  I bought all they had at Hobby Lobby and I'm waiting on them to get them back in so I can pick them up.


Allison's face when she saw her room was priceless!  She was so excited!  I was so glad that I did this for her!  Next is Whit's room...if we can ever get rid of some of her stuff so we can see the floor!  lol

Today is my sister's birthday.  When she was little, she truly believed everybody celebrated her birthday because there were always fireworks every year.  I am sure she was disappointed when she learned the truth, but I honestly think she still like to "believe" the fireworks are just for her.  We'll let her believe that if it makes her feel better.  Even at the ripe old age of 34.  :)  Happy birthday to my little sister, Mandy!  I love you and miss you bunches!!!!!

Speaking of fireworks... We planned on taking the girls to see the fireworks display tonight.  Well, our plans got derailed due to weather.  It rained for a bit, but what convinced us to stay home was the thunder AND lightning that was flashing in our windows.  We just didn't want to be out in that kind of weather.  So, we watched it on TV.  NBC had a pretty good show.  Allison seemed to enjoy it.  I think Whit was more interested in doing whatever Whit does most of the time - hang out in her room.  I don't think she had as much interest in watching fireworks as Allison.  Neither did Mike. He went to bed about 15-20 minutes into it.  Needless to say, other than a little thunder and lightning, we had a pretty uneventful night.  

Hope the rest of the week is peaceful too.  Goodnight!  Talk to you soon!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Aggie Swim Camp

Allison went to Aggie Swim Camp for the first time this year.  It was an amazing experience for her.  It was worth every penny we spent to send her to this camp.

I was able to watch her last practice session on Thursday, June 16th.  I had never been in the A&M Nautitorium before.  Let me just say that place is amazing!  It is a really nice facility.  I wish Allison could swim there all the time.  Maybe when she gets to college.  ;) 

While watching Allison's practice I realized that each lane had a coach.  That was really cool.  I guess I didn't expect that.  They did several drills and then practiced going off the blocks.  I really enjoy watching my kiddo swim.  She is getting really great at it too.

After I picked up Allison from camp, I was excited to hear what she had to say about it.  The first thing she told me was that her butterfly stroke was easier and she got way less tired doing it because of what they taught her at camp.  She proved that this past weekend when she dropped 10 seconds off her 50 fly during a swim meet.  She swam that one in 40.44 seconds!  Wow!!!  Guess Aggie Swim Camp paid off!

We'd love to send her again next year.  She had such a great experience.  One thing they did was video tape the kiddos while they were swimming.  They videoed them above and below the water.  The coaches made comments for them to work on so they'd know what they needed to improve.  It really clicked with Allison.

Allison also met kids from all over the place.  She said she really had a good time with them.  I am so glad, but it makes me slightly sad that she is old enough to do this kind of thing.  But, I am super proud of her!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I got the boot...again...

Yesterday I went to the doctor to let him check my ankle.  Before I even got there I had a feeling he wasn't going to let me take off my lovely boot.  It gets sore when I am on my feet too long and it has swelled a couple times.  So I wasn't surprised when he told me I needed to keep wearing it.  He pushed on the tendon that I pulled and based on where I told him it was still tender, he did say it had improved.  But, it is still tender right at its weakest point, just below my ankle bone where the tendon connects to the foot.  He was glad to see improvement.  So was I...especially after he said that if it hadn't improved I would have ended up on crutches or in a wheelchair to immobilize it more.  Thank you Lord for letting it begin to heal!  I figured at this point that he'd tell me to keep wearing the boot and come back in a couple weeks.  I was surprised when he told me to come back in 4-5 weeks.  I wasn't sure I heard him right at first, but I did.  4-5 more weeks in this hot boot.  28-35 more days... All in all, he said it takes about 6-7 weeks for this tendon to heal properly.  Guess I'll have to tough it out...  I'm thinking I need to "bling" the thing up. It might as well be cute if I have to wear it.  Not to mention I am sure that I am paying a pretty penny for it too.  (Insurance is great, isn't it?)  Got any ideas?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

It's Me Again, Margaret...

I haven't written since before our trip to Bryan / College Station.  It was a GREAT trip, but I was super tired when I got back.  I needed rest!

Our trip was a lot of fun, but I wasn't sure it would be once we started driving that way.  About 20 minutes into our trip Ally told me that she thought was getting a migraine.  I gave her some of her migraine medicine and hoped it would kick in soon.  It didn't seem to though.  Actually, she seemed to get worse.  At one point she even asked if we could just go home.  My response to her was, "Let's just see what happens when we get to Bryan."  I kept praying that she'd feel better.  I was actually worried that something was really wrong with her.  Not only did her head hurt, but so did her stomach.  The question, "Will I be able to take her to swim camp?" kept going through my head.  I hoped that she would be able to make it.  I had paid a lot of money for it and I knew in my heart that she'd learn from it.  Finally, about half way there she told me she needed to throw up so I pulled over and the heaving started.  It was gross...  It was her Chick-fil-a breakfast and it smelled awful.  The kind of smell when you eat something that is not good.  Needless to say, once she finished throwing up she felt better and had color in her face again.  (Did I mention she was white as a ghost?)  We continued to Bryan and mile by mile she felt better.

Once we got to Bryan I went straight to my friend Mary's house.  Ally decided to lay down for a while.  After about an hour and a half, she felt good enough to ask if we could go eat at Wings-n-More.  I wasn't sure if she should eat there, but we went anyway.  Once we finished eating, my friend Mary, her husband Joe, Whit, and I took Ally to Swim Camp.  She stayed in a dorm that was a suite.  She had a roommate and two suite mates.  She was so excited!  As we were getting Ally all settled in we were able to meet the other girls parents.  After a bit, I realized these people probably thought we were in some weird relationship and I felt it was necessary to let them know we weren't sister wives or anything strange like that.  It was kind of funny.  The people we were talking to looked a little relieved when I told them I was the mom and Mary and Joe were family friends that were helping get Ally situated since Mike had to work.  Yep, it was funny....  :)

Whit and I stayed with Mary and Joe for the week.  Joe's one house rule for us staying was that we make ourselves at home.  Let me say, that was easy to do.  They are great people and I felt right at home in their house.  So did Whit.  She enjoyed entertaining, or being entertained by Mary and Joe's 16 year old son.   I haven't been around too many 16 year old boys, but he is a trip.  We laughed at him so many different times I can't even count.  Thanks Travis!

There were lots of things I was looking forward to during the week.  I couldn't wait to meet up with my "Swim Cliche' Crew" (Mary, Jeannie, & Kellie - my very best friends.  We became close friends when we sat at our kids' swim practice.  I think we all compliment each other very well.)  I also looked forward to going to a few different places I miss since we don't have them here in East Texas.

During the week I was able to do lots of things and see several friends. We decided to go out to Lake Bryan on Sunday.  Joe brought the tube and convinced Whit to give it a try.  She only agreed if he promised to go slow.  That didn't last too long.  After a bit she was telling him to speed it up!  She is a little daredevil!  We stopped after a while and swam for a bit and then headed back to shore and home.  Later that night we heard on the news that somebody had drowned out there at 9:30 in the morning.  We had no idea while we were out there.  Apparently, this guy was in the swimming area and got out too far (where it dropped off) and since he couldn't swim, wasn't able to get back to the swimming area.  And, according to the news he was pretty drunk when that happened. That definitely didn't help matters.  It was kinda creepy to know we were out there just a short time after it had happened.  Felt really bad for the guy and his family too.

Monday was spent with Whit.  We ate at Chuy's and just hung out.  We went to a "real mall" (Whit's words) and found plenty of stuff we "needed" to get.  :)  I also made a trip to Bed Bath & Beyond.  I miss that store!  They have everything!  I would have loved buying a lot more than I bought, but I tried to control myself.  hehe  I did get a couple new pots and a large cutting board, both of which we really needed.  I also spurged on some insulated cups that I have been wanting for some time.

On Tuesday night Mary invited a lot of people from Bowen, my old school, to her house to come see me.  Several people showed up and it felt so good to see them.  It really made me miss working there.  They are great people.  Miss them terribly!!!

Wednesday night is Kid Eat Free Night at Wings-n-More.  Yippee!!!!!  Before going to eat at Wings, I got to spend the day with Mary and Jeannie.  We got pedis and then decided we were going to cut Jeannie's hair.  It was fairly long and always seems to be in a clip piled on top of her head.  Before Jeannie could protest Mary had an appointment scheduled for her that afternoon.   By 3:30, sister girl had hair almost as short as mine.  It frames her face and is SUPER cute on her! Later, I really enjoyed eating at Wings-n-More.  My "Swim Cliche'" crew and our friends Erin and David Provacek and 3 of their 4 kiddos decided to meet there.  I had the best time with all of them.  I also got to see one of my former students there.  I taught Braden music as a kindergartner and 1st grader and then I got the privilege of teaching him in 3rd grade.  LOVE that kid!  I told his mom I'd be there and found out they would be there too.  I knew I'd get to see him, but his mom didn't tell him I'd be there.  When he saw me I got the biggest hug ever!  He also informed me that he wants me to move back and teach middle school now that he would be a 6th grader.  Braden, I'd totally do that if I got to have you in class again!

Thursday was Ally's last day of swim camp.  Before picking her up I was able to watch her last practice session.  Other than having to walk what seemed like 5 miles to get to the A&M Nautitorium I enjoyed being there.  I did sit at the top for a bit so nobody could see how sweaty I was from the walk, but soon I was cooled down and ready to take pictures.  I met her back at the dorms at 11:00 to get her stuff and check her out.  I couldn't wait to hear how it went.  One of the first things she told me about was that she figured out how to make her butterfly stroke easier and less tiring.  Cool!  We went to eat and she told me lots about camp.  By the time we ate dinner that night she was exhausted!  She could hardly keep her eyes open.  It must have been pretty great to be that tired!

Friday rolled around and we needed to get ready to head home.  We made one last pit stop at Wings-n-More since I promised Allison I'd take her there before we left.  I also promised Mike I'd bring home some Super Caliente wings and some pickle chips.  (He was like a kid at Christmas when I gave the wings and pickle chips to him!)  After our pit stop, it was time to hit the road!

Our trip was so much fun.  I needed this trip.  I learned that as much as I say I miss that place, I really don't admit just HOW MUCH I miss that place.  We will definitely be back there again someday.  It just feels like home!  And, the people we have there are like family and miss us just as much as we miss them.  That's a pretty good feeling...

Friday, June 10, 2011

Swimming Smackdown - KLTV 7 News Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |

This is the swim team story I mentioned in an earlier post. Two of our CAT swimmers raced two of the KLTV sportscasters. It was way fun to watch! A bit funny too! :)

Swimming Smackdown - KLTV 7 News Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |

Momma, I'm coming home!

Today will be a busy day once the little chickies wake up.  We will be getting things ready to head to Bryan/College Station in the morning.  I am looking forward to this so much!  Ally is excited to get to swim camp.  She started packing her "stuff" yesterday.  I need to go back through it and make sure she has the stuff she really needs.  :)  Whitney is looking forward to going as well.  She wants to see a couple of her friends and go to some of our favorite places.  I'm hoping to get some pics taken of her and Allison while we are there.  They have some really cool places for pictures.  I'm really looking forward to seeing my friends as well.  They make me smile, laugh, and just plain happy.  And, maybe I'll be able to find some cool Aggie stuff we don't have here.  We'll just have to see.

In addition to getting stuff ready to go, I have a few errands to run today and I've been working on getting my scrap room cleaned out and organized.  There is a lot of trash in there from the girls sneaking in to work on their own projects.  I have found a few things that have been fun to look through and several things that I just plain need to send to the trash.  I am hoping that I can have the room organized by the end of the month so I can paint it and really start using it.  It is a great room and I feel inspired when I go in there.  Hopefully, it will be full functional soon.

This morning I made some blueberry pastry things for breakfast.  They turned out pretty good.  I took fresh blueberries, rinsed, and added a few dashes of lemon juice and a few sprinkles of sugar.  Then, I took the dough for 2 crescent rolls, joined them together so I'd have a big rectangle.  I put the blueberries on one side of the dough, sprinkled on a little more sugar, folded the dough over and crimped the edges together.  (It was more like folding the edges over.)  I then used spray butter to coat the top of the blueberry pouch, sprinkled a little more sugar on top and then baked at 375 until they were golden brown.  (I think I actually baked a tad too long.  Blueberry juice started running out of them.)  Once they came out of the oven, I sprinkled powdered sugar on top.  They were delish!  I am pretty proud of how they turned out.  Now, if my two rugrats would just wake up so they could try them out and let me know what they think.  :)
Well, I guess I better start marking things off my to do list.  I have plenty to do and plenty to get ready for the next week.  Have a great Friday!  :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Stoking the Fire or Getting the Boot?

Anybody that knows me knows that I always, as my Aunt Peggy says, have irons in the fire.  Multiple irons.  Too many at times, but it makes me feel good to be able to say that things are done and I can move on to the next thing to be completed.  It is really hard for me to stop and take time for myself when I get my mind set on "stoking the fire".  As scatterbrained as I can be sometimes, I like order.  No comments from those of you who know me well.  :)  Seeing things in their places and getting rid of the stuff that fills our lives is very freeing and it just makes me feel good.

Summer break is usually the time of year that I try to tackle as many projects as possible.  This year is no exception.  Cleaned the leaves out of the garage, cut a piece of wood to make a shelf, then painted & distressed    it.  Looks awesome!  Got it hung up tonight.  By MYSELF....(well, almost.  I needed Mike to hold it up so I could screw the brackets into the wall.)  Did a little more laundry (that never ends), and cooked dinner.  I did stop for a couple hours to hang out in the pool with the girlies.  It was quite relaxing.

While I did all of this, I did NOT wear my ortho boot for my ankle.  I know I am supposed to wear it all the time, but when you are sanding, painting, sanding (again), and cleaning out a garage, the boot just doesn't work for a couple reasons.  #1 - It is hot as hell!  #2 - All the dust, dirt, and leaves would inevitably be stuck to my boot and that would be one more thing that I'd have to clean up.  That just wasn't on my list today.  I case you are wondering about the boot.  Here's a pic...
Now, how did I end up with this lovely thing on my foot?  Want the good story or the truth?  The good story would go something like this... I was wearing my cape and tiara while saving the world from "the bad guys".  I was on a mission for good and somehow "mysteriously" hurt my foot and ankle.  Yea...I like that so far.  What else can I add... The real story, though, is almost as good.  At least I think its pretty funny.

About a month ago we had some stormy weather that blessed us with plenty of rain.  Dixie and Deuce, the furbabies, don't like to be outside when it's wet.  They don't realize they are not human and think it is totally below them to get their feet wet.  Whatever... We caught a break in the weather one night and stuck the pups outside to go to the bathroom before they went to bed.  After they came in, Dixie went to bed with Allison, and Deuce went to bed with the grown-ups.  The next morning Mike let them both out of the bedrooms and headed them toward the door.  Well, it was no longer raining but the ground was still wet. Needless to say, I don't think the babies went outside, let alone pottied, for long.  At about 5:45, I heard Mike saying something about how one of the dogs had peed in front of the love seat.  Being the good wife I am, I decided that I'd go clean it up so he could get to work.  As soon as I walked out of our bedroom, I slipped and busted my ass.  I hear Mike call from the kitchen, "Did you just fall?"  I'm thinking, NO SHIT!  Didn't you just hear my ass land on the ground???  Once I picked my pride (and ass) up off the floor I noticed that it wasn't just wet in front of my bedroom door, it was wet all the way down the hall and into the living room.  (Thank God we have laminate floors and not carpet in these areas.)  There were also little wet spots through the sun room going toward the door.  I could not believe how wet the floors were, but I knew it wasn't a leak.  Well, at least not a rain leak.  It was a dog pee leak...and I landed right in it.  UGH!  GROSS! I think I spent the next 10-15 minutes mopping up the wet mess and then actually mopping.  It was a grand way to start my day.  I pretty much came to the conclusion that Dixie, who NEVER uses the bathroom in the house, must have held it as long as she possibly could and just started peeing on her way to the back door that morning.  Several people have asked me if the dog is still living after that incident.  Yea, she is.  I couldn't be mad at her.  I wouldn't want my feet wet either.  Plus, she's pretty darn cute.
Dixie in Miley the Cat's bed
I wasn't sore right away, but over the course of the next 3-4 weeks, my foot and ankle started hurting more and more each day. Then the inside of my foot started swelling.  I finally got in to see my foot doctor last Friday.  Basically, I have pulled the tendon on the inside of my ankle.  It control about 95 % of the movement in your foot and is just as important as the Achilles tendon.  When Dr. Witt told me that and said it was a pretty serious injury I was dumbfounded.  I wasn't expecting it to be serious.  He said that it was just pulled now, but it could tear or rupture if we didn't treat it aggressively.  He gave me prescriptions for 2 different anti-inflammatories and stuck me in the boot.  I get to wear it until June 22nd when I go back to see him.  This is the point that I should really start complaining about it, but honestly, despite the fact that it's hot, my ankle really does feel better when I have the boot on.   It got pretty sore today. Should have worked with it on, but I didn't want to get it dirty.   I hope that by the time I go back to see him, it has progressed enough to take off the boot.  Keep your fingers crossed for that one!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Chalkin' it up to a pretty good day...

Today has been a pretty good, productive day.  While I didn't get to everything I wanted to do today, I feel pretty good about what I did do.  :)

*Grocery shopping done - without having to buy somebody else's food stamps (see prior post)
*Pantry cabinets cleaned out
*Medicine "bucket" cleaned out and organized
*A little laundry done
*New blind hung up in the kitchen - This one gave me a workout since it was the window over the sink.  I am too short to reach the top so I had to get up on the counter and sink to be able to reach the top of the window.  It was killer on my knees, back, and arms.  Needless to say, an hour and a half later, I had a new blind up in my window.  I even shortened it to the right length.  And, it looks pretty dang good.  :)

Allison had swim practice again tonight.  KLTV, the local tv station, came out and two of the sportscasters "raced" two of our CAT (Champion Aquatic Team) swimmers.  It was quite amusing.  I don't think the sportscasters realized how good some of our kiddos swim.  It was pretty fun.  The story should be on the news Thursday after the Mavs game.  Can't wait to see the coverage.  I'm curious what their take on the experience will be.  If I can find a link to the footage, I'll post a link to it here.

Finishing my day lounging on the couch with the family watching a little tv.  Today has been good.  Thank the Lord!  Night night peeps!  ;)

Food Stamps are NOT For Sale!!!

Well, I did it.  I went to Wal-Mart again today.  I was there by 8:00 this morning with my list of groceries in hand.  I did a little price matching and use a whopping 3 coupons to save myself $23.03.  No extreme couponing going on here, but I wouldn't mind figuring out how to save a little more money on groceries.  I guess, all in all, not a bad start.

While shopping this random guy comes up to me and asks me if I want to buy some food stamps. "It'll save you a ton of money."  He really caught me off guard - I politely declined and as quick as he was there he was gone.  As soon as he disappeared, the sirens started going off in my head.  Did he seriously just ask me to buy his food stamps?  SERIOUSLY???  I guess I've heard that people sell them, but reality hit home today.  It DOES happen.  I found somebody that was working there and told them about the guy.  He seemed a little surprised too.  Needless to say, it was an interesting trip to the store.

Making some progress on the house already.  After groceries were put away I cleaned out the pantry cabinets. It is hard to believe how much stuff we had in there that just needed to go.  Now I have lots of room for more stuff.  But, I am NOT going back to Wal-Mart to get anything else.  Think I'll give that store a break for a few days....

Monday, June 6, 2011

Monday, Monday...

Today is my first official Monday of summer break.  I'm kinda enjoying it so far.  I've been to the hell they call Wal-Mart already this morning.   I went really early, and I must admit, it wasn't at hellish as it is in the afternoon.  I could actually walk through the place without bumping into people and I found the things I was looking for.  All in all, my Wal-Mart trip wasn't too bad.

Now, what to do with the rest of my day.... I need to work on the house a bit.  I would like to get a few things organized and I plan to clean out THE FRIDGE... I loathe doing that, but it really needs to be done.  We are going to defrost the entire thing tonight.  Should be loads of fun.  I'd really like a new fridge.  The one we have would make an amazing drink fridge.  :)

Allison has swim practice today.  She is counting down the days until Aggie Swim Camp.  She gets checked in on Saturday and will stay until Thursday.  I am looking forward to it too.  I get to see my best friends. Sounds like there might be some plans already in the works for when I get there.  Can't wait!    These girls make me laugh, they make me smile, and they make me happy.  I love them!

I am also looking forward to my eating at my FAVORITE place in the entire world....Wings-n-More! 
I don't know what it is about this place, but it makes me happy.  When we lived in BCS we ate here at least once a week - Wednesdays - Kids EAT FREE!  I don't know.  It's just a comfortable place to be and the food was never lacking.  Especially the pickle chips.  Wish I had a good pic of them on the computer.  They are amazing!

My Aunt Peggy has started her 3rd day of the BAK (Bike Across Kansas) today.  She was a bit discouraged last night after battling crosswinds as she rode and 90+ degree weather.  I have to say, that she is amazing.  I don't know how she does it.  Please pray for her to be safe and to find the strength to get through this amazing journey that I know she desperately wants to finish.  She is my inspiration this summer.  If she can do something like this for herself, then I can do some things for myself as well.  You have to do for you so that you are able to do for others.  Aunt Peggy, I am behind you 150%!  Ride Peggy! Ride!

Well, I probably need to get a few things done around here.  Laundry is calling and so are the drawers and closets that need organized.  I hope you all have a wonderful Monday!  :)