Monday, December 01, 2008

Astronomy funny

First, I read this article where I found this picture of a smiley face in the sky in Australia:

From My Pictures

THEN, I went outside, and saw THIS:

From 12 01 08

I guess the man in the moon is sad here in the US.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

One thing I've learned


This morning it was drizzling before I left work. Some of my coworkers were complaining. "People don't know how to drive in the rain." "It's so gloomy out there" (coming from people who live in a state that averages 300 days of sun!) "It's cold..." I was very tired so it was easy to nod along with the whining. But as I was driving home, I saw the most amazing sunrise - one of those that I was kicking myself for not having my camera with me. The sun was this crazy shade of orange-yellow, peeking through the clouds. I don't think I've ever seen anything like it. And then a little further on there was a HUGE rainbow in the sky. (I tried to take a picture with my cell phone, which is the picture above.) I immediately repented of the grumbling and thanked God. It's cliche, but it was such a strong reminder to me - there can't be rainbows without rain. And then I remembered where I was 4 years ago at this time, and what we had been through that year. I had just gotten my job after 8 months of not having one, after suddenly becoming a single parent, after the worst betrayal I've ever experienced. I have nothing to complain about. I had plenty of rain, and I'm so thankful for the rainbows.

Without tough times, good times don't seem as good, they're just normal, we take them for granted, like people in Phoenix take sunshine for granted. I know this Thanksgiving finds many people struggling, especially financially. It's so hard to be thankful for hard times, I know, but there is blessing and grace then too, there are things to be learned, and they make the good times all that much more good.

Romans 5:3 and 4: Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Happy Thanksgiving :D

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Is my kid the only one who does stuff like this?

Tonight was really one of the worst nights I've had in a while. We went out to dinner with my sister who was in town. She lives 2000 miles away. She asked my opinion on the election and we clearly had differing viewpoints. After it was obvious we weren't going to agree, I said "I'm not going to change your mind and you aren't going to change mine, I really don't feel the need to debate these things, so let's talk about something else." She ranted on for several more minutes and finally when nobody responded to her, she changed the subject. Our dinner party consisted of her, me and 3 of my kids. Even we had wanted to debate, an 8 year old wouldn't have much fun at a dinner like that. So maybe that's why...

My 8 year old nearly hung himself on the middle seat belt in the back seat of my car. We were most of the way home when he said "Mom, the seat belt is caught around my neck." I was on the freeway, and he was in the seat directly behind me. I tried to have the other kids help him, but they couldn't figure out where or why it was caught like that. It was truly wrapped around his neck and there was no give in either direction. If I would have been in even a minor fender bender, it could have killed him. I'm not sure how he did it, but he did. He told me later that he was playing with the middle seat belt. I ended up having to cut the seat belt to get it off his neck. We then had a nice discussion about how seat belts are absolutely not toys and he is to never ever do anything like that again. Ok, maybe it was more of a lecture.

So really, is my kid the only one who does stuff like that? And, how did I get so, umm, fortunate... to have such a...unique... child?!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Yearly inventory #3

Guess what today is?! It's the 20th anniversary of my 21st birthday!! I don't know if that sounds better or worse than saying I turned 41 today! Or if having a sister that is turning 50 in ten days makes me feel better that I'm still younger than her, or worse that I have a sister who is 50!! (But she does look DARN good for being a half century!) So for the past two years, I've done these yearly inventory things (here and here,) so I figured, why not keep it up?

What is your favorite color? Still green. Can't see that changing.
What is your favorite food? These days, bacon. Bacon and Chocolate. But not chocolate covered bacon, because that's just gross.
What is your favorite song? Give Me Your Eyes by Brandon Heath and To Bring You Back, by Paul Allen (I left the 99 to find the one/And you're the one/I walked a thousand miles in this desert sun/only to bring you back -- Good stuff.)
What is your most valued possession? Bible, cameras, pictures, a diamond pendant my mom gave me and a birthstone ring my sister gave me. It's the only bling I wear.
What is your greatest strength? Simple faith, ability to recognize my own responsibility for the drama in my life.
What is your greatest weakness? Food, laziness, I can be harsh and judgmental with people, even if I don't say it out loud, I think it sometimes.
What is your best skill? Does flaring my nostrils count?
What was your greatest mistake? This year? Failure to provide preventive maintenance. For several things.
What is your greatest fear? Dying while my children are young and leaving them orphans is always there at the top of the list.
What is your greatest accomplishment? At this stage, besides my kids, I'd say providing for them for the past 4 years. I know it's been because of God, but before I seriously doubted I'd ever be able to.
What is the one task you are least fond of doing? Yard work. Oh, and cleaning dog poo.
If your life ended today, what is the one thing everybody who knows you would say about you? Not sure I really wanna know!
What would you want them to say? She was a servant for the Lord.
Why wouldn't or couldn't they say what you want them to say? I'm sometimes not convinced I'm doing all I should be doing in the way of serving.

Where am I? Still a single mom in Arizona, doesn't look like that will be changing soon, and I'm not sure I'd want it to.
How did I get here? 99 Ford Escort. With 3 kids in tow. I'll never do that again. Seriously, I got here by making some bad choices, then accepting responsibility for them, then figuring out what about me caused me to make those choices in the first place, then working on that.
What was I trying to accomplish by making that decision? Security.
What do I really want? To move forward from where I am now.
How can I get to where I want to be from here? Keep trusting God, it's the key to everything. That never changes.

Things I don't like about me: I'm lazy, I hate housework, mess does not bother me, I can be pretty selfish, I am impatient, I am not outgoing and friendly enough, and I'm terrible about keeping in touch with people, and I'm not nearly as trusting as I used to be. These answers are the same as last year, I see no reason to change them. I'm also not the best at managing money. Yeah, those apply for this year too.

Things I like about me: I am giving and helpful, and I like to help others learn.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Our house, in the middle of our street

Where do you live?

Thursday, August 07, 2008

*ahem*

If anybody is even still out there, hi :) I know I haven't posted anything since May. I didn't mean to fall off the face of the earth or anything, I just didn't feel like I had anything worth saying. For the most part, life is calm and steady, which doesn't usually make for exciting blog fodder. Let's see... in the past 3 months... SB the 8 year old wonderboy lost a tooth. DQ the 16 year old Drama Queen went and came back from a visit to family in Ohio. SB finished 2nd grade, Sassy finished 5th grade, DQ finished 10th grade. SB started 3rd grade, Sassy started 6th grade, DQ started 10th grade. Sam turned 19, and theoretically is supposed to move out tomorrow. Oh, and we got a puppy! Yes, I am crazy, thanks for asking. Sam was in another car accident, which just happened yesterday. He's ok, sore, car is not. The last time we thought his car was totaled but our neighbor who is a mechanic worked a miracle and fixed it. This time, I think it's just toast. This is bad because, well, he's supposed to move out tomorrow. He depends on his vehicle to perform his job. No car, no job. No job, no way to pay the rent. He's kinda stressed. Ok, I guess stuff has happened! Maybe it's not same ole' stuff, different day (I kinda like SOSDD really, I get enough drama at work!)

I had a new experience at work - I tried to train someone who didn't catch on. She tried her best, and I tried my best to help her, but after she was done on my shift, she moved on to 2nd shift where it's just busy busy busy all day everyday, and she couldn't keep up. Deep down I know it wasn't me, but now I kind of doubt myself just a little. I'll be getting another trainee on Monday.

A while ago, I asked for prayer for something that I didn't want to specify what it was. I finally got an answer. Took a few months, but it was a very clear, unmistakable answer. The answer was "Thanks for being willing, but it's not what I'm using you for right now." I'm kind of relieved, I admit! So if you did, thanks for praying.

So, allow me to introduce you to the newest member of our family - Benny!


He's a mutt we got from the pound, mostly chihuahua, I guess. They say he's part shih tzu, but I just don't see it. What he is is cute, and really sweet. He's about 5 months old by now, and mostly housebroken. He's very good natured, and I'm happy I let the kids talk me into it. They didn't have to put forth all that much effort, but don't tell them that.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wordless Wednesday a little late

Edited to add: This is a Vietnamese church that is under construction very near to my house. I don't usually go that way and saw it a couple days ago for the first time. It looks like it's going to be very beautiful when it's completed, and quite large too!

laughing at myself

I got home from work/taking the kids to school, got myself an English muffin, then sat down at my laptop which is at the kitchen table. Putzed around for a little while, you know. A few minutes ago I got up to go run to the store for a few quick things, and I couldn't find my keys. Huh. I always put them on the counter by the door. Nope, not there. I know they have to be somewhere here because I got home and got in the house. But just to make sure, I checked the car. Nope, not there. I checked the counter again. Not there. Not on the table. Not in my room. Not in in the pocket of my work pants. So where are they?! Not in the bathroom...WTHeck? Check the counter again, because truthfully, there's a lot of crap on it... nope, not there. Not under the dish towel. Not by the toaster where I made the English muffin. Seemingly, not anywhere. Not in my backpack, not on the floor... Check the counter again, this time, I just happened to look... in the kitchen sink. And there they were. I think I'll blame the cat. Yeah, the cat did it.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

In a car without breaks going down a really steep hill

Most of what I deal with at work is routine even though it's 911. Even the stuff that is really and truly an emergency is routine most of the time. Oh, you've been shot? Where are you? It happens frequently enough that it really doesn't rattle me. So most of the time I don't even bother telling people about what I hear because it's really not all that interesting. Last night though, I had a call that made me say "WHAT?!" We answer 911 and the non-emergency police line. If a call is medical, we transfer it to the fire department and are done with it, so I don't deal with the people who break their ankles jumping off buildings when they are drunk or stuff like that. The calls I deal with are the police related stuff only. So last night, the woman called our non-emergency line, and had some police related questions. The gist of her story was that she had been to court earlier in the day and got a restraining order against her ex-boyfriend. They had been sharing a house, but she was staying at a friend's. During the course of the call she revealed to me that she had been in the emergency room several times over the course of the past few days primarily for migraines, and she had taken medication before she called. Her concern was for her dog. She had had this dog for 6 years and apparently slept with it every night and was very upset because it was still at the house where the ex-boyfriend on whom she took out a court order making him stay away from her. She told me that he was not feeding the dog, making it stay outside in the almost 100 degree heat, and that he told her he was going to open the gate so the dog would run away. She wanted to know what she could do to get her dog after I let her know that no, officers would not go to pick up the dog and bring it to her. I let her know about the procedures we have in place to pick up property with police there to keep the peace and otherwise if she was that concerned she should call the animal abuse hotline, and I provided their contact information. She thanked me for the phone number, and then asked what the phone number was to set it up for the officers to assist her to go pick up her dog, and I told her "that's the same number you called to speak to me," and gave her the non-emergency police number. This is where it got weird. It went kind of like this:
Caller: Ok, let me ask you one more question.
Me: Go ahead.
Caller: Who are you?
Me: My name is Connie, with the police department.
Caller: THE POLICE?!
Me: Yes...
Caller: WHO CALLED THE POLICE?!
Me: Umm, you did...
This made her FURIOUS!
Caller: I most certainly did NOT CALL the POLICE! I called my ex-boyfriend! Ohhh, I get it.... now he's having the police call me to harass me!!
Me: No, I promise you, I did not call you...
Caller: Are you calling me a liar?!
Me: Ma'am, you called to ask about your dog... you did tell me earlier that you took some medication for your migraines, maybe you don't remember...
Caller: OH SO NOW YOU ARE SUGGESTING THAT I'M ON DRUGS?!
It just went down hill from there.

Wordless Wednesday - Achoo!!!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Rotten Brats

The last picture I'll be able to take of my kids all together any time soon. Rotten brats going and growing up behind my back.

Gotta have a cake... because after all Allison's birthday is next month, so I gave her her presents last night and baked a cake. Happy birthday didn't seem quite right though....

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Sad

The hardest thing about being a parent so far is letting go. It wasn't so bad when Allison moved out, but now she's moving away and I'm not all that fond of the idea. But, she's almost 23, and has to make her own decisions. So I've been avoiding thinking about it since she mentioned it at the end of last year. But she's leaving tomorrow, so I can't avoid it any longer. She's going back to Ohio, where we both grew up. She honestly has more family there than she does here, so I can understand, I guess. But I'm still sad.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The biggest thing

What's the biggest thing God has asked you to do that caused you to set aside your own wishes to obey God?

Art

Friday, April 11, 2008

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The next question is...

How do you go about figuring out if something is what God is asking you to do, or just something you came up with on your own?

If your not sure if it's God or not, how do you differentiate?

These aren't rhetorical questions, I want to know how you figure it out. Because I'm still not sure about this thing I think God wants me to do.

Friday, April 04, 2008

What do you do when...

what you think God wants you to do is the polar opposite of what you want to do? What if doing what God wants will likely cost you everything that is important to you, including family members? What if what He wants you to do seems pretty much impossible?

I already know the answers, and I'm pretty sure I know what God wants me to do... at least I think I do. And I really am not sure yet that I want to. I'll probably do it anyway, God being, well...God, and all. I've learned the hard way that He really does know best, and obedience is a beautiful thing that brings blessings. It's just what I think he wants me to do... I almost think He doesn't know what He's asking, then I remember who He is and I know He does know. I'm pretty sure Jesus the human wasn't so keen on being crucified, but ultimately God was glorified through the obedience of Christ.

I guess if Christ could bring glory to God by giving Himself up, I guess I am called to do no less. But I really hope I'm wrong about what I think He's asking!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Desert Beauty

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Art museum

I really like this picture except for the Please Do Not Touch sign in the middle. Ah well, that's the art museum for you. I love art museums, but to tell you the truth, I didn't have that much fun today when we went. Partially because of bad kid attitudes (which kind of surprised me, they usually like stuff like that) and partially because of the museum itself. Franky, I don't think our art museum here is all that and a bag of chips. I've definitely been to better, like the one in the city where I grew up. And the people who worked there were really kind of rude. And they only had a very small collection of renaissance paintings. Boo.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Top of the Mountain

One thing I've always liked about Phoenix is the mountains around and in it. When my youngest son was turning 3 (he's 8 now) all he wanted to do for his birthday was to go climb a mountain. So my family and I started hiking. We'd go every week or so, and we usually ended up on North Mountain, because it's fairly close to us. I always had fun, but struggled every time we went. We'd park in a spot where there was a rocky path that went up to a set of stone steps and then there was a paved trail the rest of the way up the mountain. I always had to stop halfway up the rocky path, then rest for a while before the stone steps, and I never EVER made it up all the way, it was just too hard for me. That mountain kicked my butt every time. When my ex-husband was arrested, we stopped going on a regular basis. Partially because the feelings were too raw - we had been there with him shortly before his arrest, so many memories would come flooding back. After I had healed some, I started purposely going to places where he and I went or we went as a family, so that I could conquer those old memories and make new memories there. We went back to that mountain after a while, but I still was not able to get very far. Until yesterday, it had been a really long time, probably 2-3 years since I've been to that mountain. Since I'm on vacation from work, which is where I've been doing the majority of my exercise in my quest to not be a cow get healthy, I figured it would be a good time to visit the mountain again. My kids were bored, and I needed to find some alternate method of sweating my posterior off getting myself moving, so off we went - the 8 year old boy, Snugglebutt, the 10 year old girl, Sassy, and me. I got past the rocky path just fine, and didn't need to stop once. The kids wanted to stop at the stone steps, so we did and they ate a little snack. Wimps. We got moving again, and got to the paved path, which is very steep in parts. There were a lot of people there, and people watching was half the fun. People running up the mountain effortlessly, people pushing baby strollers up, people huffing and puffing like me. Skinny people, fat people, people in army fatigues, people in business suits, people in spandex, people who really needed to be wearing more than they were. And the wildflowers out were just beautiful. Thankfully I had my camera :) It was a bit of a challenge having the kids with me, as neither of them stopped talking at all. It went kind of like this:
SB: Mom, how are mountains made?
Me: [huff puff]
Sassy: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6...
SB: Sassy, stop counting!
Sassy: 7, 8, 9, 10...
SB: What are you counting?
Sassy: My steps. 11, 12...
SB: My legs are about to expire. Did you know my legs have an
expiration date? It's today.
Me: [pant pant]
Sassy: ...100, 101, 102...
SB: Is this mountain a status symbol?
Me: WHAT?!
SB: We should just hitchhike up this mountain.
Me: [huff puff pant]
Sassy: ...200, 201, 202...
SB: Sassy, stop it!!! Mom, is it illegal to hitchhike?
Me: Yes.
SB: Why?
Me: Because it's dangerous.
SB: Why is it dangerous?
Me: I am too busy trying to breathe to explain this to you right
now!
SB: Ok. Mom, did you know you can say why to everything? You can.
Say something to me, I'll say why.
Me: No.
SB: Why?
Sassy: ...304, 304...
SB: Sassy! STOP IT!!!
Me: [huff huff puff puff pant]
SB: [as a group of people were approaching in the opposite direction, several of whom were moderately overweight] Oh my gosh! Your legs are SO FAT!!! [it was directed at Sassy, who is anything BUT fat, but try telling that to every lady with fat thighs on that mountain...]
Me: Will you [huff pant] just STOP [puff huff puff] TALKING!!!!

But you know what? I MADE IT! I got to the top. Me, the slug, the sloth, the couch potato. Me who was always picked last in gym class. Me who is the polar opposite of athletic. This time, I kicked the mountain's butt :)




Thursday, March 20, 2008

A rant

This has been on my mind a while now, but I haven't exactly found the words I want to use to say it. I think there's something seriously wrong with our society. First of all, Britney Spears. Love her or hate her, I really do think the press needs to leave her alone. The other day on the Fox News website, there was a link to pictures of her cellulite-ridden thighs, and of her gallivanting around town bra-less. You know, famous or not, this is not news, and goes way beyond anything we need to know about her. That's tasteless, tacky, and mean.

The other thing, is that reality show that they've got on now, Moment of Truth. What kind of person goes on a national television show to pour out their deepest and darkest secrets for money? And in the process hurts everybody close to them? And, what kind of person WATCHES that mess? Have we as a society become so voyeuristic and sadistic that we have to delight in the pain of others? I truly felt horrible for the woman on a few weeks ago, Lauren Cleri. I didn't watch it (and I will not watch it) but I read an article that says that after her episode aired, she was facing divorce, she was unemployed, and she won no money at all even after admitting to an extra-marital affair on national television. The thing that got me was when I read why she lost the show - the lie detector detected a fib when they asked her if she thought she was a good person, and she answered yes. Her inner turmoil and pain there on display for the world to see, it disgusts me that there is even such a television show.

Yes, I can choose not to watch, and I do. But again, I just wonder about the society we live in that produces such a thing. Just my rambling thoughts for the day. Dontcha wish I'd go back to work? :)

Evil duck

This duck is pure evil. I was at the park with my kids the other day, taking pictures and goofing around. The 8 year old was sitting at the edge of the duck pond looking at the ducks, minding his own business, and I was taking pictures of him. I was kind of far away, using my telephoto lens, and as I was framing a shot, I see through my lens, this DUCK pop up and try to bite my son's face off! I'm serious! Ok, well maybe it was just his nose... My son jumped back and started laughing hysterically. Obviously he was not hurt, but I decided I had to shoot the duck. The results are what you see above. I shot the duck several times. I got a few good pictures of him, too. Evil duck.

by the way, if it's not clear, I shot the duck... with my camera...

Vacation!!!!

Yep, on vacation for a week. The kids are on spring break too. I've got a lot I want to get done, and I want to make sure to stay on track with my fitness stuff, but I have a feeling that's going to be HARD - a break in the routine. It's just so nice to know I don't have to be back at work till next Friday!

Friday, March 14, 2008

small success

I've now lost 20 lbs! Only 60 more to go...

Horton Hears a Who

A friend won tickets to a sneak preview and couldn't go, so she gave them to us. We had such a good time! The movie was at The Arizona Center, which even though I've lived here 10 years, I'd never been there before. It's a very cool place. I need to go back there with my camera soon. (I didn't bring it because I didn't want to have to leave it in my car during the movie. It is downtown after all!)

It was a cute movie, and my kids enjoyed it very much, especially the 8 year old. I did start to get a little nervous because I've been to several movies, including kids movies, that are so slanted against Christianity or certain political views that for a while I was just waiting for those subtle messages. With the very protective kangaroo who "pouch schools" and is a little psychotic, it really wasn't that far fetched to expect it. They never really materialized though. The worst word I remember hearing was "boob" and there were no truly scary moments. It was slightly intense when the kangaroo was trying to destroy the clover, but not really scary. Jim Carrey wasn't nearly as obnoxious as he's been known to be, and there were some really funny moments. Should you pay full pop to see it? Well that's up to you. Most of the time when I see a movie, I don't pay for it (gotta love having a daughter who is a manager at a theater) so it's hard for me to say if it's worth the price. I paid $10 for parking, so yeah, it was worth it for us!

Most of the people who went were there because they had won tickets from a radio station, so there were people from the station there giving away Horton ears and other prizes.

My 8 year old answered one of their trivia questions, so he won a little prize. One of the things was a keychain that's in Spanish because it's a Latino radio station (so carried out their contests in English and Spanish) so he wasn't all that thrilled about that, but he was thrilled about his other prize. He's been very into gardening lately, so imagine his excitement when he got this:


I just hope no little specks land on our clovers!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

New Camera

So, I got a new camera. My kids have this thing where they name all of our electronic equipment. Our desktop computer is named Compy, my sons laptop is Lappy the Great, mine is Lappina (it's pink, therefore, it's a girl...) my sony digital camera that I've had for 3 years is Cammy. Ok, if that camera, a 7.1 megapixel point and shoot is Cammy, this one, a DSLR with a 18-55 mm lens and a 70-200 mm telephoto lens, must be Camzilla.







I like it...

new blog

I've started another blog about my quest to go from the heaviest I've ever been to something more healthy. My goal is to lose one third of how much I weighed when I started mid-January. I'm going for honesty and accountability, so if you want to keep up with my progress, come visit me there. Or maybe you're on the same journey and we can encourage each other. So far there's just one post, so there's not much to see.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

There's something missing


But I'm not sure what...

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

A real yawn of a post

From Gullible.info

• Over ninety-five percent of people will yawn within twenty seconds of seeing another person yawn unless they have yawned within the past 90 seconds.

• Approximately eighty percent of people will yawn if they see an animal yawn.

• Emergency room doctors are very accustomed to treating people with dislocated jaws caused by yawning.

• The "yawning contagion", as it is referred to by behaviorists, generally develops at about age 19 months.

• Eighty-five percent of people who read about yawning will yawn.
So did you do it? Did you yawn? I did. I think I'll go to sleep now... *YAWN*

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Thursday, February 28, 2008

4 years

Saturday, March 1st will be the 4th anniversary of the day my whole world changed. If you don't know what I'm talking about, check out this post or the links under the title "posts that tell our story" in my sidebar. Yeah, pretty awful stuff really. I've referred to March 1st, 2004 as my own personal September 11th, and each year since then I've marked the occasion with doing something different - buying something or going somewhere special for lunch. I know it sounds silly, but it was part to acknowledge the pain, and part to celebrate the healing. Last year in my anniversary post, I wrote:
3 years later, I want so much to put it all into a box, categorize and catalogue everything about the whole ordeal; who we both were at the time, what was wrong with us that caused this to happen, and the end result. And then I want to put that box away and never open it again. But life doesn't work that way. Just when I think I've got something figured out, and filed away in my neat little box, life reminds me just how messy it is. My box falls down off the shelf and everything spills out again.
This year, things are much different. I don't feel that way anymore. I don't need to make it go away or put it in a box, because it's over. This year I won't be acknowledging the pain, because it's healed. This year I'll just be celebrating, because God is SO good and has brought us through in such an amazing way. I'm FREE. Free from the manipulation that was present in the marriage, and free from so much of junk that was in my life before. God has healed way more than the hurt of my husband's betrayal.

Some people will not be able to understand this, but I'm convinced the only reason I'm doing as well as I am is because I have totally forgiven my ex-husband. There is no anger or hatred in me anymore over what he did. I'll even tell you that we have limited contact, and we're on good terms. He doesn't have contact with any of my kids, including the one that is his, and I don't know if that will happen anytime soon, but we write to each other once a month.

Now, just to be clear, I feel totally healed, but I'm not going to sit here and tell you my daughter is totally healed. She's doing extremely well, but I think she's probably not going to be fully healed until she's an adult and can process it all. I'm not assuming my son is healed from abruptly losing his father and 2 half brothers either, but he's doing well too.

FOR ME, there is no more anger, no more hurt, no more mourning. Just freedom. And I'm celebrating it.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Another thing about 911 you may not know

I've mentioned that any cell phone, even those without service, can dial 911 as long as the battery is charged, because a lot of people don't know that.

Another thing a lot of people don't seem to know is that when you dial 911 and they transfer you to another agency, they can still hear you. It's not the same as most places where you are put on hold while they dial the other number. (I'm fairly certain that it works this way for all 911 centers, but I could be wrong.) So for example, when someone calls for an ambulance and I transfer them to the fire department, I can hear what's going on in the background, or rude comments people make. And this morning when the guy called about the vehicle speeding down the freeway, when he thought he was on hold waiting for highway patrol, I heard every word he said when he told his buddy in the car "Dude, never date a 911 operator, they're just NUTS!"

Just a little FYI so that us nuts don't hear you say things you think we can't :D

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Another birthday

My baby turned 8 this past Sunday. I guess he's not such a baby anymore *sniff* We went over a friend's house for Bible study and dinner, and had cake and ice cream for him. He always has a blast there because there are so many kids. One of the kids there has a snake, which my son absolutely loves, as does my 16 year old daughter.

Birthday boy with Pandora the rat snake


No post about a kid's birthday would be complete without a picture of the best part - the cake!

(It's a pokemon)

It's been a while

For a while I wasn't posting because I was whiny. I had a pretty bad outbreak of eczema, which I guess turned into a pretty bad case of dermatitis, and I wasn't much fun to be around. Then I just got busy and haven't been keeping up well with this or friend's blogs.

When the eczema was at it's worst, I started doing some research and decided I needed to start eating better to help control it, so I started that around the middle of January. Then I went to the doctor because I was miserable, and was simply horrified by the number on the scale. When I went back 2 weeks later, still miserable, I weighed 7 lbs less. When I went back 2 weeks after that for a follow up (and feeling much better) I had lost another 3 lbs. Now I seem to be stuck, despite eating a lot better and less, and exercising. But I'm not going to give up. I'm trying to get up the courage to be real, spill how much I really do weigh, and post a picture, because public humiliation is a great motivator (although, people in real life see me everyday, as if that's not bad enough!) The thing is, even with only having lost 10 lbs, I have so much more energy. For a long time I've felt useless most of the time, getting not a lot done most of the time. Lately I've even been doing yardwork! *gasp* Little changes do make a big difference.

Thanks to those of you who may still be reading who asked what's up in the past couple days, I really appreciate it! I think I'm ready to come back from my blogging sabbatical, so don't think it's that easy to be rid of me!


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

7 weird things

My friend Rebekah at Diagonally Parked in a Parallel Universe (gosh I love that title) tagged me for this meme last week sometime. Yes, I'm a little slow... I'm supposed to tell 7 weird things about myself and then tag 7 more, but I'm not so much into tagging, so if you want to play along, feel free.

I've actually been wracking my brain trying to figure out what's NOT weird about me, and what is weird that I'm willing to share. See, I think it's because I grew up without a mom that I've always felt weird. It might in fact be easier (quicker, shorter) to tell you what's normal about me! But I'll give the weird a shot...

1) I've been trying to grow my bangs out for the first time in my entire life. They are now right at my mouth, so we're almost there. The weird thing? I sleep with my hair in a ponytail on top of my head because I hate when my hair is in my face. Get that? I hate when my hair is in my face WHILE I'M SLEEPING.

2) But let's back up... I hate having my hair in my face, SO I'M GROWING MY BANGS OUT. Does that make sense to you?! I think it's a little weird. My hair seems to always be in my face these days.

3) Working at night and sleeping during the day brings on a weirdness of it's own. I feel like I'm bass ackwards with no hope of straightening out.

4) I love watching football on TV. I turn on the game, grab a blanket, something to drink, and camp out on the couch. 9 times out of 10, I fall asleep. BUT pity the fool who tries to touch the remote while I'm sleeping!

5) I will not eat fig newtons. I haven't since I was 4. I'll tell you why. When I was 4 years old, my mother took us to West Virginia to see relatives. It might have been for a family reunion, I'm not sure. It might have even been the one where my rather rotund uncle twice removed or whatever stepped on my pinky and caused me to lose the fingernail (it grew back) but that's a different story. Anyway. The house we stayed at this particular trip was very small, and it was a very long drive there from Cleveland Ohio, at least for a 4 year old. I ended up sleeping with my mother, which I gather was not fun for her because she used to tell me I was a "kicker." I'm guessing that neither of us had a restful night that night. We had just arrived, and everybody was tired and cranky, so off to bed we went. I had the most vivid dream (and I remember it) that we stopped along the way and my mom bought me a Nestle's crunch bar. So when I woke up in the middle of the night after kicking my mom, I wanted the candy bar from my dream. When my mother could not produce the chocolate, I began to have a tantrum. It was one of those over-tired, half asleep tantrums that I probably would not have thrown if I would have been in my own house and all. Anyway, I woke the whole house demanding my Nestle's crunch bar. Well, there was no chocolate to be found in the whole house. Instead my aunt said "I have fig newtons, would you like a fig newton instead?" No I did not want a fig newton instead, how can you even think that is an acceptable substitute?!?! Since then, I have not eaten fig newtons. I see no reason to start now.

6) I like the "skin" that forms on the pudding you have to cook.

7) Apparently, I'm an addict. That's right, I have an addiction to... chap stick. I didn't know it was possible, but, according to my doctor, it is, and I'm a full blown addict. I can see it now - You'll see me on the news - not for beer theft at a convenience store, but for chap stick theft from Walgr33ns. I'll get a way with a lot of it, but you'll see the rerun of the clerk giving my description all over the news. "Well I think she had kinda shortish brown hair, and was wearing a blue polo shirt that had some kinda logo on it.... I didn't notice the pants, but what really struck me were those wild crazy eyes and horribly chapped lips!! She said 'Hand over the chap stick and nobody gets hurts!' Looked real insane, I wasn't gonna stand in her way!" Of course it will start out peaceful enough - walk in, take what you want, and leave - simple theft. But as the addiction grows I'll become more and more desperate for that next fix, and soon we've got commercial burglary, strong armed robbery, and *GASP* Armed robbery! Actually, I've gone cold turkey, and threw away my stash. Apparently the paraffin in the chap stick makes lips feel better at first but does more damage in the long run so that you need more of it more often, and eventually weakens the skin on the lips. I learned this the hard way, and let's just say it's not fun when lips addicted to chap stick get a cold sore.

So yeah. If a chap stick addiction isn't weird, I don't know what is.

Monday, January 07, 2008

The cake

I think I'll stick to 2D (like this)

Happy Birthday DQ

Sweet 16!

Friday, January 04, 2008

In search of snow

They wanted to see snow. They were ready for it.All we got though, was Ick. Old dirty snow. Oh well, we tried. So we played. It's Sam's favorite game, he has several different versions. This picture represents a lot of his favorites. His favorite game, with his favorite video game characters (his token was the shield from Zelda), wearing Monopoly PJ pants which are his favorite color. Somebody else wasn't so impressed when Sam pretty much owned us all.

This morning, we went to breakfast. (I told you I was a bad mom - I let my kids jump on the bed AND blow bubbles in their milk!) Then we went to the Meteor Crater, because Sam didn't get to go with us in October and he really wanted to see it. It was extremely windy - her hair can get messy, but come on! But Sam was still impressed.

Bed jumping

I'm sad to say I couldn't get Sam to jump from bed to bed in the hotel room. Might be because at just around 6 ft tall, he's kind of afraid of knocking his head on the ceiling. Probably a valid concern. I know it's one of the reasons you won't see me doing it, and I'm only 5'9". Snugglebutt, however, was more than willing.


Thursday, January 03, 2008

I forgot

Because Sam is 18, has a driver's license, a car, his own friends, and his own life, it's been a while since he's done a lot of things with us. He didn't go with us to Flagstaff when we went in October. He doesn't go to church with us anymore (he goes to church on his own, he does go, just not with us) and he doesn't eat dinner with us most of the time anymore. As he gets older, it gets harder for him to want to spend time with the little kids and hang out with mom. It's ok, they grow up. Allison did the same thing, and now she doesn't even live with us anymore. I've been expecting it with Sam.

But he's going with us to Flagstaff this time. When I decided to make an overnight trip of it, he perked up a bit. "Mom, I can bring the Monopoly game you got me, and we can play in the hotel. And why don't you bring that travel Scrabble game?" He's making plans. What we should bring, what we should do. "It will probably be dark by the time we get there, huh? We should bring the tripod to take pictures of the stars. I can point out stuff to the kids." He's excited.

It may not last long, but for right now, for tonight and tomorrow, I've got my little boy back. My little boy who loved to go on day trips, seeing new things, and spending time with his family. In the midst of his growing up, I seem to have forgotten that little boy is still inside that soon-to-be man that sleeps in my basement. I'm glad he's come back for a visit. It may not last long, but I'm going to treasure it.

And maybe I can get a picture of him jumping bed to bed in the hotel room.

Just stuff

New years eve wasn't nearly as bad as I expected it to be. I expected it to be bad because last year on new years, it was pretty much horrendous - 40 calls on hold for an hour or so, over 1000 calls in the first hour and 3000 from midnight to 7am. I was ready to quit if one more person screamed at me over the phone. This year, the phones didn't even explode until midnight and even then there were only 13 calls on hold. In the first hour, we only had about 800 calls. The best part was when I got there, my supervisor said to me "when the stuff hits the fan, I don't want you to take calls. I want you to call all the 911 hang ups back." SWEET! We had the fan ready, but the stuff never did hit. I called 3 people. By all accounts, it was the easiest calmest new years our department has seen in many years. I don't know if it's because there were less people being stupid, or everyone else not complaining about the stupid people, but whatever the reason, it made for a pleasant night. We did have our fair share of stupid though, because, let's face it - most people don't call 911 when they've done something smart (thanks Janean!) Like my first call of the night, where a lady wanted to talk to the fire department after her drunk husband jumped off the steps and broke both ankles... I wonder how he felt about that when he sobered up.

I put in my request to have Wednesday and Thursday off this year, in hopes that with those days off, I can avoid working NYE. Unless I take vacation time, which I have to use during the kids' other breaks from school, scheduled days off are the only way I have holidays off.

The kids had a good time on NYE also. Sam had 6 of his friends here. None of the neighbors called the police, the kids didn't have to call 911, and they didn't burn my house down! It was a good night all the way around! :P

Sassy, who is 10, has no memory of snow - we moved away from Ohio when she was 2. Snugglebutt, almost 8, has never seen snow at all. So since it's my last weekend off before my days off switch, I think we're going to head to the snow. Or at least, to a place where it does snow. I don't know how much snow is on the ground, but we're going to head to Flagstaff overnight, where I'm sure we'll learn to appreciate the warmth of Phoenix just a little more :)