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Saturday, May 31, 2008

YARD SALE CRAZINESS

I'm having a yard sale. My second one in 2 days. That's what happens when you downsize...you have to get rid of TONS of stuff.

So, here is something I can't get over.

People pay $4.00 for a cup of coffee at Sbux without a second thought.
People pay $1.50 for a soda at 7-11 as if it is nothing.

People wander around with a focused glare, as if trying to solve world peace or the situation in Darfur...when really, they are just trying to decide whether spending $1.00 on a shirt from Banana Republic is worth it or not. It's just too much to take in.

Friday, May 30, 2008

LAKERS LOST

Ok...the Lakers didn't lose...It was just supposed to be a catchy title. But I would like to talk about 2 things.

1. The Lakers - and how AWESOME last night's game was. Thank you boys for playing your little hearts out and for giving us a good game!

2. Lost...thank you for living up to all expectations and being an absolutely fabulous season finale!!!!!!!

I was a giddy girl.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Starbucks gods Hate Me.

So, as many of you know, I gave up the White Chocolate Mochas. If you haven't heard...read the post below. It has something to do with the fact that one WCM has more calories than a 500 pound man should eat in one day. But I digress...

Yesterday was a rough night....when I have my thoughts more composed, I will write a post to explain, but until then, I will just say it was rough. You know, the kind of night when you end up in the fetal position and your husband is offering Zanex...but I digress.

I woke up this morning and decided that today, would be the day, that I would once again treat myself to a WCM. I deserved it. I worked out extra hard this morning to create a little more space in my belly for those 10,000 extra calories. So I have a bounce in my step. I've got butterflies in my stomach. Today is the day. The day that I return to my first love. The day I take a sip of my WCM and say, "I'm back...only for a moment...but I'm back."

So, I get the girls dressed. Put them in the car. I have to hurry cause' I'm running a bit late for a meeting at work. But it will be worth it. I get to Starbucks. Take BOTH girls out of their car seats. (A task that takes several minutes.) Put shoes on Lexi (who can't seem to ride 2 minutes in the car without throwing her shoes on the ground), and head into the store. I'm feeling so giddy I give the kids money to give to a man standing out the store with a sign that says "help feed the homeless"...even though he probably lives in a beachside home and drives a jag. But I digress....

Into the store we go. Haley runs to the counter. "Mom, what do you want?" I get up to the counter only to see the Starbucks girl with a pouty face and a sign that says "Sorry...the espresso machines are down....no espresso drinks can be served." I drop my head. I'm broken. My dreams...shattered on the tile floor. It's over.

Back to the car we go. Haley looked at me with such sad eyes and said, "But mom, you didn't get your special drink with no whip." No Haley, no I did not. Sigh.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

My life as a Cowgirl...

I was born in Tennessee. I like Sweet Tea. I enjoy eating at Cracker Barrel. That is all that is "country" about me. My in-laws are very southern. They talk with accents, they love the south, they know every historical fact one could know about the south, and they even like that country music.

Bruce (Curtis' dad) belongs to SASS. I went on their website to get the exact definition of what that is so that you, the reader, can be informed. It is:

The Single Action Shooting Society is an international organization created to preserve and promote the sport of Cowboy Action Shooting. One of the unique aspects of SASS approved Cowboy Action Shooting™ is the requirement placed on costuming. Each participant is required to adopt a shooting alias appropriate to a character or profession of the late 19th century, a Hollywood western star, or an appropriate character from fiction. Their costume is then developed accordingly. Many event participants gain more enjoyment from the costuming aspect of our sport than from the shooting competition, itself. Regardless of a SASS member's individual area of interest, SASS events provide regular opportunities for fellowship and fun with like-minded folks and families.

There...that sums it up. Well, this weekend, Curtis was asked by our friend Les, to help cater this SASS event, which Curtis' parents just happened to be attending. So they procured 2 RV's for us to travel/stay in for the shoot. We drove to NORCO. Which if you aren't familiar, is a cow town in the middle of nowhere...you know, the one that smells when you drive through on your way to VEGAS. Anyway...that's where the shoot is.

The girls had an amazing time in the RV...thought it was the best thing ever. We had enough space for us all to fit. We snuggled up...cooked our meals together....ate together...played games...and most importantly, watched Granddad (aka "Reverend Colton Cross") shoot his guns. It was quite a site to see him all dressed up in his gear, along with hundreds of other cowboys. It was surreal. I walked by myself to get some grubb one day "in town" and there were hundreds of cowboys, dressed head to toe in their gear, eating lunch. It was like I walked onto the set of Tombstone and they were taking their union break. I giggled to myself. You would really have to believe it to see it.

Everyone seemed to have such a good time...it even left me, one who HATES guns, wanting to get in on the action. I'm not sure if that was the competitve side of me, or maybe just the idea of dressing up like a tough chick with guns on my belt...
Here are some pics of the fun.


I played dress up too. Although, without the shawl, I look like a mom from the FLDS cult.



The girls in their gear. Haley is standing at the door of the Saloon.


The girls are sitting on (gulp) Granddad's gun cart.

Granddad's posse.


The Rev & his family.


The girls went to Tea Time while the boys were busy. They were in Heaven. They were doted on by the sweetest lady, and had decaf hot tea and cookies. It was precious.



This was my favorite part of the weekend. They had a country band play and the girls were all over the dance floor. Of course, my Lexi was the first one on the floor. I swear she has music in her soul. She'll dance when there is no music....so sweet. Once she warmed up the crowd, others joined her, including Granddad. I got really choked up watching him dance with the girls. I know how sentimental he is, and I couldn't help but think of the girls on their wedding day, dancing with their Granddad. I have a suspicion he will recollect the special night, long ago, when he danced under the stars with his little cowgirls.

Friday, May 23, 2008

I'm a Copycat

Heidi listed some of her favorite things from the week... I thought I'd share my favorite things of the day.

1. Riding in an RV with my kids...seeing the joy on their faces.
2. Curtis making coffee in the middle of the day.
3. Snuggling in a warm blanket with nothing to do in Norco cause it's cold and rainy....and so cozy.
4. Playing Bingo with the girls.
5. Connie making Skyline chili, and me blowing my good eating behavior by piling on lots of cheese.
6. Watching Lexi pretend to drive the RV.
7. Coming back to camp from the grocery store to see my daughters dressed as cowgirls, walking hand in hand with Daddy and Granddad into "town".
8. Talking to Jen Bunch.
9. Listening to the Lakers KILL the spurs over the Radio.
10. Lexi telling me that Santa Clause was here (one of the cowboys had a long grey beard and a belly...oh, and a Miller Lite in his hand.) Haley wondering where the elves were.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Evidence of my trip to McDonalds.

On Lexi's Birthday, we let her choose where she wanted to have dinner. She said "chicken nuggets at donalds." So we took her to McDonalds. If you know me at all, I loathe the place...so this should show the sort of sacrificial love that Mother's have for their children. :o) We ended up having a great time! We enjoyed our dinner (I ate a chicken breast and a salad which made it bearable.) and the kids had a great time playing on the playground. We had to end the night with some ice cream...here's a little video of the moment.


video

An Ode to the WCM


To my White Chocolate Mocha...

Thank you for your delightful goodness that has filled my body with deliciousness for the past 5 years. Thank you for all the happy memories I have sipping you. Thank you for getting me through the rough times. I have held you in my hands while shedding tears. I have held you in my hands while laughing with best friends.

To my White Chocolate Mocha...

Why didn't you tell me how fattening you were? Was I so blinded by love that I forgot to look at what was inside of you? Chocolate, Milk, Whip Cream, and 450+ calories? How could you keep this from me? I am devastated.

To my White Chocolate Mocha...

I had to stop drinking you. I have had too much of you lately, and I've noticed how chubby I've become. So I had to cut you out cold turkey. It has been a painful process. I am so thankful to my Father-in- Law for giving me a $40 Sbux giftcard (Because he decided he doesn't like Sbux anymore) which has allowed me to experiment with new drinks. Several I have had tasted were like drinking dirt. It's just not the same without you.

To my White Chocolate Mocha...

Once my disullisoned eyes were open, I decided to not only cut you out, but to add exercise to my daily routine as well. So to my WCM, I must say Thank you...

Thank you for:
Making me get chubby enough that I finally have the willpower to exercise. Now I get to spend my mornings walking beside the ocean...watching the waves....being reminded of how AWESOME God is...having quiet time to myself...listening to music that has nothing to do with a veggie or a tale....and just feeling all around healthier.

But most of all...without the Mochas, and without the exercise...how would I have ever seen the 85 year old Asian woman in a flowered jacket, with leggings, and a hat that said "ROCKSTAR" on it? This is a gift that only you could bring. If it weren't for you, I would still be in bed, and would have missed my ROCKSTAR. Thank you for the joy you brought to my face today. You are a gift that keeps giving.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Haley's bedtime prayer.

Dear God

Thank you for our friends and our family. Thank you for everything you made. Thank you for my mommy and daddy...I love them so much. Thank you for my grandmas...even though one of them died, I'm sorry....but I will see her again in heaven. And Dear Lord, please help us to be kind to one another. In Jesus' name, Amen.

...so sweet.

Friday, May 16, 2008

FYI

You should keep towels away from the stovetop.

Exhibit A:

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Lexi is 2!!!

Yesterday was her actual birthday, but we had a party for her and Jack on Saturday. It was a relaxing celebration with wonderful friends. Hot dogs, Cake, Bubbles, Bounce Houses...what more could a 2 year old ask for? Here are a few pictures from the day!




Okay, this isn't the best picture, but I swear Jack was having fun!!!! He's just crashing after the crazy bounce house rave.

P.S. Happy (real) Birthday Jack!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day Fun.

The day started with Haley bringing me a book that she had made for me in school. It was sooooooo precious. My favorite page was a picture she drew of me that said "I love my mommy because she is my friend and gives good hugs." Of course, I started crying. (Which apparently I do so often, that Haley knows and appreciates "happy tears.") Curtis was in the shower when she gave it to me. When he got out of the shower, I told him that I loved the book that Haley gave me (assuming he was in on it) but he was clueless. Haley had made it at school and had taken it home and hid it under her bed. She kept it a surprise from both of us for 2 days! How precious is that???!!!!

My mom came and picked us up and we went to the Original Pancake House for breakfast. There was a long line as usual, so I got out of the car to put our name in. It was an hour and a half wait! YiKES!! But we stayed entertained with coloring books, walks, and hanging out with family. My sister Jennifer and Baby Emily met us there too! Here's some pics of the adventure....





Then my mom and I came home and decided to go see 'Made of Honor'...which by the way was weak/strong in a way. We had a great time...and it was fun to watch New York & Patrick Dempsey for a couple of hours. :o)


Lakers Lost. That was sad.

Then we took Curtis' mom down to Long Beach for dinner at a Japanese restaurant. The girls LOVE teppan restaurants. So they were entertained thoroghly and we all had a great time together.







Happy Mother's Day to our wonderful mothers. Happy Mother's Day to my sister on her first Mother's Day...and happy Mother's Day to all my wonderful Mommy friends. I love you all.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I KNEW IT!

I have always been petrified of buying weird, embarrassing items at the grocery store. Maybe not even weird, but items that let people see into your private lives. It could be personal things...wart or bunion cream, tampons, Gas-X, condoms, hemmorroid cream...(Not that I have bought these...I'm just thinking of embarrassing personal things...wink wink.)

I even get paranoid if I've bought more junk food than healthy food. Especially when I have the kids with me...I don't want people to think I feed my kids junk. I try to tell myself that the clerks don't really look at what I am buying....that they are just looking for the barcode. Until TONIGHT!

There was a guy in front of me who was about 27-28. Of course, I checked out EVERYTHING in his cart...including Coronas, Salad, Hummus, Cucumbers, Apples, and the box of Breast Milk Storage Bags. The clerk started to ring him up. He picks up the box of Storage Bags, looks at the box, looks at the guy, and then sets the box back down. And then, AND THEN....he looks at the guy and says "ARE YOU LACTATING?"

HELLO????!!!!!! Exhibit A people. They look at EVERYTHING.

That's it...I'm ordering my groceries online now.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

My Nightly Visitor.

Okay. Something is living in my house. It showed up the day Curtis left town. It's as if he knew I would be lonely. It comes out at night. I don't know what it is. Either a tiny hummingbird or a large buzzing bug. I can't get a close enough look. These are the types of jobs that Curtis takes care of. He needs to come home before this critter starts reproducing.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Conviction and Coffee.

I went to Starbucks this afternoon on my way back to work. As I pull up, I see the elderly man who looks like Santa sitting at the table by the window with his laptop. When I walked in, I saw what appeared to be a homeless man sitting at one table, smiling, and talking to himself...or maybe me or someone else? Who knows? And then I walked up to the counter where a man in an angora wooly green sweater was getting a tiny little cup of coffee.

Three different men. All with different stories to tell I'm sure.

I found myself wanting to talk to each one of them. Santa has always intrigued me. The Homeless Man was intimidating at first, so now I felt guilty for not looking his way....so I needed to make up for that. I walked by him and smiled at him and he put his head down. These are the moments when I need my kids. They are so outgoing that they overcome my shyness and help me reach out to others. But without them, I shrink back into my shell. I kept walking. Walked past Santa. He never looks up from his computer. Now I am outside with Angora Sweater Man. He's smoking. I shouldn't bother him. Besides, he looks like he has it all together...well, maybe besides the furry sweater. So I get in the car to drive off...it took me a few minutes because I was in an awkward spot. As I came around the corner, I saw Furry Sweater man leaning over with his head in his hands. Maybe he didn't have it all together afterall.

I got all teary-eyed. It always amazes me how God uses St. Arbucks to speak to me. Here's the deal....I want so desperately to be like Jesus. I want so desperately to show people kindness and love. And I couldn't stop picturing what it would have looked like if Jesus had walked into that Starbucks. I can't help but think he would have sat down with the homeless man that everyone else was trying to ignore. He would have looked him in his eyes instead of looking the other way and he would talked to him. Maybe he would have asked Santa what he liked to drink and bought him a coffee. Or maybe when he saw angora sweater man with his head in his hands, he would've stopped the car and gone back to ask him what was wrong.

I think people go to Starbucks or other coffee places for reasons other than coffee. Maybe they wanted someone to reach out to them. Maybe they just want someone to talk to. Today... I failed.

My heart was convicted though. I hope next time it's different. I hope next time, I'M different.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

E-I-E-I-O Poops

Lexi's favorite song is Old McDonald Had a Farm. Apparently, she also has the sense of humor of a 7 yr. old boy because now she just says "E-I-E-I-O poops" over and over again. And then giggles. She knows what she is saying. That evolves into her telling her sister she is a "poo-poo head." 40 minutes in the car tonight, and in spite of my demands for her to stop calling her sister a poo-poo head....it did not cease.

Speaking of poop....today was filled with it.

It started at 7am with Curtis waking me up by saying, "Yeah, Molly had diarrhea and there are piles of it in Haley's room." After about an hour of scrubbing, we got as much of it up as we could.

Fast forward to Target. 2 hours later. We were in the store for 5 minutes and had to leave because Lexi pooped and of course, the diaper bag was in the car. So out we go to change her diaper. In the car. Back to Target...surely she won't poop again. Famous last words. 10 minutes later, she was in the toy aisle, refusing to move away from Pooh (how fitting), because she was filling her diaper. I put her back in the cart, and we make our way towards the exit. By the time we got to the checkout, Lexi was holding her diaper, crying, and saying "POOPS!" She stood up in her cart and I notice the poop had exited the diaper and was smeared up and down her leg and on the Target cart. AAGH! We couldn't get to the car fast enough.

I changed her diaper as fast as I could, got the girls in their seats, and headed home...to the comfort of a multitude of diapers and wipes. Unfortunately, I was in such a hurry that I left the poopy cart in the parking lot. I completly forgot to wipe it off. Can you imagine the horror of the Target Cart Boy? I feel awful.

I would like to say that was the last event of the day...but I went shopping with my sister and Brian tonight and the familiar scent hit me like a ton of bricks. What can I say? E-I-E-I-O poops.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Potluck Pics

Here is a link to pics from the Potluck! You will have to cut and paste to look at them.

http://picasaweb.google.com/hbbillybaker/OldTimeyPotluck

I had such a fun time. Thanks to everyone who came. Some of the dishes included:
Hash Brown Casserole
Noodle/Sausage Casserole
Potato Casserole
(Are you sensing a theme?)
Green Beans
Jello Dishes
Fruit Salad
Bread
Spinach/Artichoke Dip
Better Than Sex Dessert
Banana Pudding
Rice Krispie Treats
And the list goes on....

Many experienced a potluck for the first time. We threw them in the fire by singing the Doxology before we ate. Oh yeah. It was priceless. Looking forward to the next gathering.

Happiness before 1.

So, it's about 1pm. I should probably wait until the end of the day to make a complete blogpost, but I must share what has made my heart so happy this morning.

1 . Curtis woke me up at 8:30. No one was awake yet. We had to wake the girls up.

2. Waking up to a house that is still a mess from the night before. Usually, a messy house makes me crazy in the morning, but it reminded me of the potluck, good friends, and all the laughter, conversations, and yummy food we had last night.

3. Recycling. And getting $10 back.

4. Starbucks with my recycling moeny.

5. Going to Trader Joe's with Lexi.

6. Listening to Lexi say hi to every person (and I mean every person) that walked by us. She has so much joy and just wants to share it with the world. Isn't that how we should all be???

7. Lexi falling asleep in the car until I turned on Michael Jackson's 'Wanna be Startin' Something' and she awoke from her coma and started dancing and clapping her hands. Of course, I had to join the dance party, so to passersby, I looked like a complete fool. And I loved every minute of it.

8. Coming home to a quiet house and spending alone time with Lex.

I am so happy.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Why is There Suffering in this World?

So that was the topic at church tonight...

I'm wondering what your tough questions for God are?

Share your thoughts....

Friday, May 2, 2008

I know you're not surpised...

But my cell phone has disappeared again...so don't call me on it. I'm not there.

RETROFEST

In case you are trying to decide whether or not to come to the show tonight/tomorrow...let me say this...Curtis is wearing women's jeans. They might even be mine. Who's to say? All I know is that should sway you one way or another. I thought it deserved a warning.