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!  :)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Summer Break 2011...What are my plans???

Today is the second day of my summer break.  I am really glad to be at this point.  This has been a tough year with kiddos that just absolutely CAN'T get along on a DAILY basis.  I, I know, I earned this break this year.  :)

My Aunt Peggy is inspiring me this summer.  She has decided to ride her bike in the BAK.  (Bike Across Kansas)  She is doing it for a few different reasons, but the one that stands out most to me is that she is doing it for her.  What a novel idea.  I like that so I am channeling her this summer and I am making sure that I do some things just for me.  I deserve it.

So, now I need to decide what to do.  What's important to me?  That's a hard question to answer sometimes when you are always taking care of others and worrying about the next thing that needs to be done (whether that thing is absolutely necessary or not).  After considering lot of ideas, this is what I came up with.

#1 - READ READ READ!!!!!  I love to read!  I finally got some glasses so now I can see.  (What a wonderful thing!)  And I am can't wait to absorb as many stories as I can.  :)

#2 - CREATE!  I want to be creative.  I think my creative side has been "squashed" for a bit and I can feel it bubbling up inside.  Creating makes me feel so good and very alive.  I like that feeling.

#3 -  Spend QUALITY TIME with each of my girls.  One on one time.  We don't get to do that enough.  I'm not talking about going shopping.  I'm talking about just hanging out together.  Talking and enjoying each other's company.  (Whitney actually talked to me about that today.  She thought it'd be fun to just hang out together.  Great idea from a 10 year old.  I need to think like a kid more often.)

#4 - PHOTOGRAPHY - This has been an interest of mine since high school.  I have found several websites that I hope to learn from.  The plan is to set aside time each day or two to do work through some of the tutorials I have found online to learn to improve my photography skills.  I have a lot to learn and am ready to do so.

This is a pretty short list of just "me" stuff.  There are other projects I'd like to accomplish as well - mostly things that have to do with the house.  LOTS of painting I want to do.  Little girls' rooms I want to decorate just for them.  Drawers and closets to clean out and organize.  I know I probably won't be able to do all the things I need and want to do, but maybe, just maybe, if I have a list I can mark items off my list and feel pretty good about doing it.  I'll keep my fingers crossed!