Monday, December 29, 2008

Update

I guess I should update. Not sure where that last post came from....It must have been the elves.....

I don't feel like being coherent or uploading photos tonight. So here are some random updates from my life:

Girls & Christmas: No pony! But they survived! Alpha woke us up at 5:30 on Christmas morning with shouts of "Santa came! He brought presents!" Beta had some initial displeasure with her gifts, but good ole Alpha reminded her that they should focus on what they DID get, rather than what they DIDN'T get. Wow. She suggested this all on her own and she's only 7. Thank you, Jesus!

(At Target on the day after Christmas, they had the pony marked down to $140.....Jim wouldn't let me get it. But I was tempted.)

Big Gifts: For Jim, a new motorcycle helmet. He wore it today and says he loves it. For me, a new Digital SLR camera! It's very fancy and I'm still learning how to use it. I'm waiting for the spring when there will be ultra-pretty things to take pictures of. You can only take so many photos of the inside of your house.

CPE: Just tonight, I finished my 10 hour Minister Taxation course. I got 98% on the test so I passed. I've got one more course already purchased on LLCs. I hope to finish it by the end of Janaury. That'll put me even closer to applying for my license next summer.

World of Warcraft: My main character is now level 30. This means I can get a "mount", i.e. a horse to ride around on. It increases your speed 60% over walking alone. Plus, it just looks cool!

Working: NOT! I'm taking this entire week off! Whohooooooo! Today was wonderful. I got my wrapping paper container all organized, along with my closet. I cleaned off a place in the kitchen for the new Easy Bake oven. I also took down some of our Christmas decorations. Oh, and laundry. As usual.

Kids: Alpha did her Easy Bake oven this morning. She loves it. I personally would rather just teach her how to use real utensils with real batter and real ovens. But this one is cute and there's not quite the potential for burns as with a real oven. Beta had us watch "The Wizard of Oz" tonight. She got the movie for Christmas and loves it! She was also Dorothy for Halloween. There are some scary parts, but I kept reminding her that she's seen the movie and knows Dorothy turns out alright.

That's it for now. Don't know if I'll post again before next year or not. (hee hee hee)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Operation Sleigh Drop

Setting: North Pole
Time: night on Dec. 23

Head Elf speaks:

(shrill whistle - TWEEEEEEETT!) Alright, elves! Listen up! The Big Guy's got a Big Night tomorrow so he's not taking any chances.

Keebler, you there, how goes the gifts at the Kane household?

Keebler: All presents present, uh, and accounted for, Sir!

Head Elf: Good. How about accessories?

Keebler: Sir, yes Sir! Well, you see sir, we might have forgotten about two tiiiiiny little items.

Head Elf: And what would that be, newbie?

Keebler: A 100 watt light bulb and 4 AA batteries.

Head Elf: Batteries? Don't we HAVE batteries?

Keebler: Well, we thought we did. But apparently we don't.

Head Elf: Well, then, Keebler, this means only one thing....You must head to Stuff*Mart tomorrow and BUY them!

Keebler: No! No! Anything but that! Not Stuff*Mart on the busiest shopping day of the year!!!!

Head Elf: Tomorrow's not the busiest shopping day of the year! That's Black Friday. Boy, you do have a lot to learn about the toy business.

Keebler: I don't know sir......I've seen some of those last minute shoppers. And with the recession and current econocmic crisis, they will ALL be headed to Stuff*Mart!

Head Elf: And so will you......

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A is for Alphabet

Friday night was Beta's preschool Christmas program. We all got dressed up to watch Beta and her friends perform "The Christmas Alphabet". I won't write out what all the letters stood for. But you can guess. (A is for angels, B is for Baby....etc.)

Beta's letter was U. Her line was "U is for Us, Jesus was Given." The teachers told me the original script had an entire paragraph the kids were supposed to recite! So they shortened it. Also, there weren't enough letters to go around, so they paired Beta up with another kid.

Here is the video of her first line ever in a school performance:
(and keep watching after she's done....one of her best friends goes next, and she's quite a character!)


video

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas decorations, Take 2

Today the weather was a lovely 70 (or so) degrees! In the middle of December! So, being the kind-hearted soul that I am, I decided I could finally guilt Jim into putting up some Christmas lights since it wasn't 32 degrees or below outside. :)

Our first attempt at outside Christmas decorations didn't go so hot. Our ice-cube, light-up snowman fell over. The deer that bobs its head up and down, um, fell over. Twice. No, make that three times. Make that......ok. It's kinda broken now. Jim said someone shot it. I told him he was not being very nice.

So under the guise of reduce-reuse-recycle, we found some new LED lights that we'd bought last year on clearance. They are multi-colored. We don't use multi-colored lights on our trees, so we have no idea why we bought them. I'm thinking they were the only ones left. Anyway, the box says INDOOR/OUTDOOR. Yes!

With a bit of planning and some creative-engineering, here is what we came up with:

We used some landscaping stakes to hold the lights in place on our sidewalk. The candy canes are not new. We've had them for several years. One is now broken so that it won't stand up. Jim didn't want to use them, but I didn't want to spend money (before Christmas) on new decorations.




Here is our front door. I hung a red bow behind my jingle bell wreath. Doesn't it look pretty? It sounds like Santa's home every time we open the door!






Finally, here is our faux Christmas tree! The replacement tree really turned out nice. There are no needles to worry with, no watering, and you can bend the branches any which way you want. So the ornaments don't fall off! We have our own red LED lights and old white lights. The tree is supposed to look like a candy cane. Red White Red White....I don't think the lights are on in this picture.

There you have it! Christmas with the Kanes!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

2nd Grade Program

Tonight was Alpha's 2nd grade program! It was entitled "Snow Day". This was very appropriate since the weather for tonight and tomorrow up here is predicted to be.....snow.

Alpha had a speaking part. Here is that video:


video

Here is her class singing "Snow Day". The last line is my favorite. In case you can't understand 2nd grade English, it says "I've been waiting since September, but I really must remember, we'll make it up in June." Haha! You can hear me laugh after they sing it!


video

Friday, December 5, 2008

More CPE!

Ok. I know this bores all of you. But I just finished my 2-day tax seminar so now I have an additional 16 hours of CPE! This puts my total hours taken at 56. I need 120 so that's 64 left to go. Almost half way there! I've got a 2 hour S Corp and 10 hour clergy tax course that I've purchased but just haven't gotten around to doing yet. (I've got SO much free time now that the holidays are here......yea right.)

So I'm happy! If I can get these other two courses done, I'll have 68 hours taken! Whohoo! Hopefully I can get one more course in before February and then be able to finish up by June or July. That's my goal, anyway.

Ok. I'm done boring you now. I'm just getting closer every day to this stinkin' license! I've been working on it for about 7-8 years now and I am so ready to be able to put those little letters behind my name. :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Future Business Leader of America

I've got a Future Business Leader of America on my hands.

Beta's preschool has show-n-tell on Wednesdays. She's allowed to bring one thing, AND ONLY ONE THING, to show everyone. This includes little pieces that might accompany the "one thing". She always wants to bring more than one thing, and bring stuff on days besides Wednesday.

So tonight, she was getting her stuffed shih tzu ready for it's big debut tomorrow. She had clothed the dog in her own Barbie princess dress-up dress. (Beta's, not the dog's) On top of the dog's head sat TWO tiaras and her Build-a-Bear leash was around its neck.

Let's count.

Dog. 1.
Leash. 2.
Dress. 3.
Pink tiara. 4.
Blue tiara. 5.

5 things. We've had the "one thing only" rule for several months now. (LONG story) Beta knows it. But that doesn't mean she won't try to get around it.

Here's where the FBLA team member comes in:
I tell her that she can take the dog, and only the dog, to show-n-tell. She counters with "nooooo!" I say "sorry." She counters again with dog and two tiaras. I say no. She says how about dog and one tiara. I'm like, "No! You know the rules!" She would have kept going if I hadn't just walked away to end the possible tantrum.

Then, after I tuck her in, she mentions how much her dog just LOVES to get dressed up!

There is a future here. Lawyer? Shrewd negotiator? Only time will tell....

P.S. I wish I had a picture of this dog. It was hilarious! It was hard not to laugh when I was telling her she couldn't take it all dressed up like that.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Update

Well, I haven't blogged in a week. I guess I should give you all an update. Although it seems kind of pointless to do that since I saw over half my readership at some point during the past 5 days....

Here are the highlights:

Sun - Alpha wakes me up at 3 am to tell me it hurts when she coughs. She has a fever of 102.6. Later that morning, she's diagnosed with strep throat.

Mon - Jim stays home with Alpha. That afternoon, I take Beta to an allergy appointment follow-up. The doctor recognizes that she is sick. He orders a strep test for her. It comes back negative. (after much fighting and teeth clenching.....motherhood is not for the faint of heart!)

Tues - I stay home with both girls. Even though Beta wasn't officially diagnosed, we're pretty sure she has strep. I don't want to ruin anyone else's Thanksgiving so we keep her home. That night, her temp is 102 before bedtime.

Wed - Beta wakes up with 101.1 temp. Time to see the doctor! I take her to the walk-in clinic where Alpha was seen. I try to convince them that she doesn't need another strep test since she's got the same symptoms as her sister. IT WORKS! No strep test and a prescription! Whew!

Thurs - Turkey Day! We have lunch with Jim's grandparents in Benton. Pop takes the grandkids on a ride in his trailer attached to a 4-wheeler. Awesome! They love it! That night we have Thanksgiving supper at my mom's house with all my family.

Fri - Shopping! Jim and I tackle the crowds. But not too early. We got out about 9:00 and things weren't too bad. Although, we tried shopping at Toys R Us in Little Rock. The line to check out wound all the way around the store! It was probably an hour long in and of itself! We left without buying anything. (Amazon, here we come!) That night we met Alpha's and Beta's cousins, J and Z, for an evening at Chuck E. Cheese. FUN!

Sat - My birthday! I'm 29! (again.....) We have my birthday lunch at mom's house with Matt & Robin. The girls baked cupcakes for me the day before while Jim and I were out shopping. They were yummy! I got a purse from Matt & Robin, and a billfold from Jim. Yay! We left about 2:15 and made it home exactly 3 hours later. Beta fell asleep almost as soon as we hit the freeway, so we just kept on truckin'! (Let sleeping dogs and babies lie.....)

Today - It snowed! The first snowfall of this season. It was funny how we found out. I got up, got my shower, and dressed like normal. I was making breakfast. Alpha was up so I asked her to go get the paper. (it lands on the front porch) She opens the door and screams, "IT'S SNOWING!!!!!!" Beta runs to the door and looks out. They both scream! They run in to tell Daddy, "It's snowing! It's snowing! We're not lying! It's snowing!"

It has snowed ALL DAY. It's been light, but steady. Luckily, the temp has stayed above freezing so none of it really stuck. I don't know if they'll have school tomorrow or not. I hope they do just so neither of us has to have a kid at work or try to work from home. Plus, I don't like going later in the summer....

So there you go. You are all officially updated. Here are some pics of the weekend:

Z wearing his "Mary Poppins Hat", as he called it. It's a craft hat he found in Meme's house.







The kids on Pop's trailer. Our kids are up at the front so you can't see them.







Happy Birthday to me!








Look on the left-hand side, near the house. Those white dots are snow!







Bonus pic! This is from Lights of the Ozarks last Saturday. The girls each wanted a "light saber". Alpha's is green and Beta's is blue. When Alpha woke me up last Sunday to say her throat hurt, she had used this green sword to find her way to our room. All I saw when I opened my eyes was green!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

38 down....

82 hours of CPE to go!

I finished another self-study course on Friday. This one was the half-price fraud course I got at the same time I bought my ethics course. So now I've got 5 more hours of CPE to count towards my 120!

I've also got courses on C Corps (2hrs), S Corps (2hrs), and Minister Taxation (10 hrs) waiting in the wings.

Plus, next week I am attending the tax update conference on Thursday and Friday. Yeehaw....BUT, it's 16 hours of group study CPE! So it'll be worth it.

So after this conference and the 3 self-study courses I have, I'll only need 52 more hours! Yay!

Things will have to stop for tax season. No one does CPE during tax season. Heck, tax season is the reason we do CPE!

I may try and do a course or two in January just to get a few more hours out of the way. My goal is to be able to apply for my license next summer.

Jim has said he is taking me out to celebrate once I get it. I can't wait!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Santa panic

I've got a problem developing.

My girls want a pony for Christmas.

There's one called S'mores, and one called Butterscotch.

They cost $225. EACH.

They are 3 feet tall.

Here is what I have said:

"Oh, I'm so sorry sweetie, but I just don't think we have room for such a big toy."

"It's kind of expensive."


Their replies:

"We'll just keep it in the living room."

"SANTA WILL BRING IT!!!!"

*sigh*

Good ole Santa. Bringer of Things too expensive for mom and dad.

How do you explain that Santa might have a budget as well?

What am I gonna DO???? They are BOTH just convinced that they are getting these darn ponies. I can possibly distract them with other things, but what if they are still hoping for it on Christmas morning and,when it's not there, they hate me forever?

Maybe they'll just have to work it out with their therapists.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I Did It! I Did it!

Cue the "Dora the Explorer" theme song!!!!

I just passed my first self-study CPE course. I've now got an additional 2 hours of ethics. This gives me a total of 4 hours of ethics so I am DONE with that requirement!

Yeehaw!

Whohooo!

I've now got only......well....87 more hours to go.

*sigh*

I'm going to get 16 hours of tax in the first week of December, though. I also have that 5 hour course on fraud I purchased. Plus, this course was very easy to take and pass. So I may have to use some more of their courses. The only thing holding me back is time and money. (The two classic constraints.....) These still take time to do....which means my "spare time". They also ain't all that cheap. (See previous post)

But at least I'm 2 hours further along than I was!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Bargain Guardian Angel Returns!

My Bargain Guardian Angel is back! She has visited me again and blessed me twice in one day!

This afternoon, the girls and I went coat shopping. Oh joy. "Shopping with the girls" USED to be fun. Now, not so much. So we were at J.C. Penney's looking for winter coats. (they keep growing every year...I guess b/c we keep feeding them.) There had been some "doorbuster" sales earlier in the day, but we had missed them. Well, unbeknownst to us, they had another sale starting at 3:00! This one gave you $10 off a $50 purchase and I guess $15 off a $75 purchase because that's what we got! The girls coats were $35 and $40. So instead of paying close to $80 with sales tax, I only paid $65!!!! Whohooo!!!!!!

My second instance came after we got home. You all know I've been trying hard to rack up the CPE so I can apply to be a CPA. Well, I was looking at this website called Pass Online. They sell online CPE, downloadable CPE, as well as books and CDs. I found an ethics course that I need. It is 2 hours of CPE for $40. Not bad. When I clicked on "purchase", a note popped up that said "Wait! Add a non-ethics course to your order for 50% off!" Hmmmm. I was intrigued. I had been looking at a $65.95 fraud course and it seemed really interesting. So I went and added that one to my order. When I clicked on the checkout button, it had added that course and given me a $33 discount! So I got a 5 hour A&A (accounting and auditing) course for only $33!!! I don't know when I'll have time to do it, but the website said their courses are good for one year from date of purchase.

For comparison purposes, an 8-hour, day-long, CPE seminar-type class usually runs around $200. Two day courses are close to $400 easily. So that's about $25/credit hour. I got the ethics course for $20/hr and the fraud course for about $6/hr!

Go me! Go me!

(sorry....)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

2 for 1

Who doesn't like a good deal? Well, tonight, you all get 2 for 1. Two blog-worthy events in one post!

First, it's beginning to look a lot like........
Christmas! Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you. That is a Christmas tree in our living room. So why, pray tell, do the Kanes have a Christmas tree up already?

Well, we're going green. Last year, we decided we were tired of messing with needles. On the carpet, on the tile, in the garage, the living room, the bathroom, our broom, etc. We also didn't like trees being cut down just to be decorated and discarded in a month. So we've been saving our money all year and finally purchased an artificial Christmas tree online from treeclassics.com.

And we don't like it.

Well, when I say "we", I mean me. And Alpha.

We ended up with a tree that has fake pine cones on it. I had to agree to them because it was one of the only trees with non-star shaped LED lights that was on sale.

Oh, yes. LIGHTS! Did I mention the LIGHTS??!! This tree has LEDs that are 50% BRIGHTER. And let me tell ya, the picture on the website might not have been true to life, but when they say these LIGHTS are 50% BRIGHTER, they mean it! It lit up not just the living room, but the kitchen and half of our bedroom.

It hurt our eyes to look at it. The girls kept saying "turn it off!"

My main problem with it is that the "white" LEDs have that bluish cast to them. I know, I know. It IS a purer "white" than normal, incandescent bulbs. But they look blue to me, and I don't like them. We thought we were purchasing a tree with the newer "white" LEDs that don't look blue. (We saw some at Target.) Apparentely, we were mistaken.

Anyway, to make a long story short, we are considering our options. We can return it if we pay return shipping (yikes!). We can possibly buy an entire set of replacement bulbs that are a different "color". We can exchange it with another tree from the same site. I'm sure I'll let you all know what we decide.

Now for my 2nd blog post, you all get a 2 for 1 deal inside a 2 for 1 deal:
Two girls dressed as one! It's already beginning. The girls promise me they did not plan this. It was the first day it's been cold in quite some time. So they both got dressed, emerged from their rooms, and TA DA! Identical sisters! At least at these ages, they thought it was fun and cute, and no one pointedly stared at the other demanding "YOU change!"

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Big Announcement!

Alpha has something she'd like the world to know:

SHE CAN RIDE HER BIKE WITHOUT TRAINING WHEELS!!!!!

This is a HUGE accomplishment for her. She is very proud of herself, as are we all.

So, without further ado, here is the proof:


video

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Help! My baby's voting Democratic!

Alpha's school had a mock election today.

She voted for Barack Obama!!!!!

I guess we forgot to tell her we're Republicans....

Jim takes comfort in the fact that she pronounced the party's name as dee MO cruh tick.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Halloween sneak-peek!

We've had a fun weekend! Friday, Alpha was out of school for parent teacher conferences. I took the day off so we could go see High School Musical 3!!!! omg!!!! It's TROY!!!! Troy and Gabriella finally kissed. But only briefly. The movie was, well, about what you've come to expect from HSM. It was a fitting end. (Even if I did sit there and wish Jim was with me so I could make some snide comments....) The girls loved it, so it's all good.

Funny moment: We're about 5 minutes into the movie when Beta leans over and asks in a loud whisper, "Mommy, when is High School Musical 4 coming out???"

Saturday was mulch day! I got out and mulched all the plants I'm supposed to mulch every year. The yard looks nice now, but my back kinda hurts....

Saturday night we went to a Halloween birthday party! The girls got to wear their Halloween costumes for the first time. (so we get more than one use out of them. Yay!) I've got some cool pics I'll post at the end.

Today, we finished up the mulch, planted a gardenia bush in the backyard, and went to community group. Oh yea, and Alpha practiced riding her bike without training wheels! But that's for another post.

The girls are really looking forward to this Friday. It'll be fun to trick-or-treat in a neighborhood with houses. Two years ago, our first Halloween here, it was kind of sparse. Now we've got houses all up and down our street!

Well, it's getting late. So here are those special sneak-peek preview pics I promised:


For those of you with absolutely no pop-culture influence whatsoever, we've got an American cheerleader and Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. (Notice her basket with Toto!)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fair Days, Fair Days!

I've been gone. Out of town. Busy. First, I had a CPE conference to attend in Little Rock. So I drove down Wednesday and spent the night with my mom. Jim and the girls drove down Friday night. (and managed not to kill each other.....) Saturday, we had our quarterly family birthday celebration! We celebrated Jim's, Matt's and Emily's birthdays. Jim's was Sept 20, Matt's was Oct 9 and Emily's is Oct 27.

Without planning, 4 of us wore purple shirts! This picture includes my cousin Kayla, me, Aunt Martha, and my mother.

After the birthday party, we all went to the state fair! My girls were so excited. We ended up staying way too late so we got home way late on Saturday. (or was it Sunday then? I forget.....) Anyway, here are some pictures from my weekend.

This is Beta holding her nose because the cows were "stinky".
Here they are on the dumbo ride. It's good to have a big sister to pull the bar for you. :)

Snow cones in October?

This picture is horrible. I'm "doing the weather" at KARK's booth. I thought it was a really neat idea! They set up a green screen and let you do the weather like the regular weather people do. The kids were way funnier than me. And I wish that was only the camera adding that extra 10 pounds.
Alpha got to milk a fake cow again. She did it last year and really enjoyed it.

The Farris Wheel. One of the last things we did. Alpha and Beta got to sit with Grandmother while Jim and I sat on the other side. The girls liked it at first, but then, we couldn't get off! The operators kept missing us. Alpha got mad because she was ready to move on to other things....Beta stayed pretty happy though. Neither of them stayed in their seats, which made me almost hysterically nutty. I think I managed to control my self fairly well, in the end. :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cha-Cha-Cha!

The other day, our book order from Alpha's class came in. Beta had gotten a diary with a puppy on it that includes 2 keys and a fuzzy pen. She loves it! She writes her deepest, darkest secrets in it......like D, R, L, O, and B.

Tonight at bedtime, she mentioned that when she told her gymnastics teacher today about her new diary, her teacher thought she was talking about poo poo. I asked her why and then, it hit me.

"Did your teacher think you said diarrhea?"

She laughed. I laughed! Heartily!

I guess she told her teacher, "I got a diary" and it sounded like "I got diarrhea."

I have honestly NEVER thought those two words were even closely related.

Maybe I should go explain.

Maybe not.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Lunchtime conversations

So it's Sunday lunch. We've all gathered 'round the table to eat a hearty lunch consisting of popcorn shrimp, mashed potatoes, and green beans.

Beta says, "Mommy, are these shrimp dead?"

Ummmmm......

Daddy replies, "They're cooked."

"But do they know we're eating them?"

No.

Then Alpha, holding the ketchup, says, "We buy this he-knees ketchup all the time!"

That's "Heinz", sweetie.

Never a dull moment.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I've been tagged!




Ok, Kim. I'll try this. I don't usually do these things either. (I hate email forwards as well.) But this seems interesting so I'll try.

7 Random and/or Weird Things About Me

1. I used to organize my clothes in my closet in rainbow-color order (red, orange, yellow....etc). Now I organize them by function, and THEN by color. (long sleeve, short sleeve, dressy, etc.)

2. I played volleyball as a team sport in 7th grade.

3. I like cherry and grape candy, but I do not care for real cherries or grapes. I like apples, bananas, and watermelons, but I do not care for apple, banana, or watermelon-flavored candy.

4. I learned to overcome my fear of bees, wasps, spiders, and snakes after I had kids. Mostly, anyway.

5. I play World of Warcraft.

6. I like to play classical music when I play the piano, but I do not like to listen to classical music. It bores me.

7. When I was 2, I was afraid that I would go down the bathtub drain when the water was let out. I would scream bloody murder if I was still in the bathtub when the drain plug was pulled.

Now, here are my 5 tags! (I don't know 7 people with blogs!) Let's see if Robin, Holly, Jennifer, Amy, and Anna W. will participate.

P.S. I tried to post the image with the rules on it, but it's not showing up. I've got the code in my post, but it's not working. And my computer expert husband can't figure it out!!!!! Go read Kim's blog to see the rules.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Something funny!

Ok. After my mini rant, I'm sure you all want something a lot less serious. So here goes.

Last night we were in Target looking at Halloween stuff. We were in the aisle with the candy bowls that have hands that grab yours when you reach in. This other family was a few feet away. There was a mom with her 3-ish daughter in the basket and her 6-ish son. The little girl looked at the candy dishes and then said to her mother, "Mommy! This is the kind of stuff that'll scare the crap outta me!"

Great. We're in debt.

I don't want to get too detailed. And you can argue with me and probably win. But I don't like this bail out package. I think we're a capitalist society that should have let the companies that made bad decisions die from their fallout. I support some laws to protect homeowners from said companies that would try to foreclose on their homes. But I don't like us being so far in debt.

I wish everyone would quit talking about Sarah Palin and start talking about the actual candidates. We're about 6 weeks away from the election and all I hear about is the VP candidate. What's up with that? This economy is also distracting from the election. I wonder what the candidates and campaigns think about that.

I also don't like the media's insinuation that the state of the economy is a direct result of whomever is in the White House. There are business cycles and consequences for companies' actions. The current recession is just part of it, and I don't think it could have been avoided much. Things were too crazy in the 90's. Things had to come back down at some time.

Oh, and some news outlet reported that Barack Obama was predicting the mortgage crisis 2 years ago. *I* was predicting the mortgage crisis 3 years ago! Anyone who knows anything about finances could tell that when you make loans to people who don't know how to handle that much money, things are going to be bad! When regular people tell themselves, "Well, we had to take the ARM with the low interest rate b/c that's the only way we could afford the house", then they CAN'T AFFORD THE HOUSE! Because the ADJUSTABLE rate mortgage is going to go UP!

My best strategy is to follow Dave Ramsey's advice. Start an emergency fund, pay off your debts, (except the house, for now), and control your own spending.

/Rant

Ok. I'm done now. Back to happy and fun posts!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

You know, we always wanted a boy....

Before Jim and I had kids, we talked about whether we'd have boys or girls. He told me, long before we were even engaged, that he'd like his son to be named James Franklin Kane IV, since he is Jim Kane III. So when I got pregnant, we just assumed we'd have a boy!

NNNNN! Wrong.

A beautiful baby girl was born to us. Our house looked like a bottle of pepto had exploded and we had stuffed animals everywhere! What are little girls made of? Sugar and spice and everything nice.

Fast forward to this past Tuesday. Alpha's class got to go on a field trip to see a play and then to a park afterward. They spent the entire day out. She had tons of fun! When I picked her up, she was telling me all about her incredibly fun day. Her favorite part, she said, was when she got to FILL HER SOCKS UP WITH SAND at the park! I turned back and noticed she had shoes on but no socks. I listened and then asked where her socks were now.

Silence. . . .

"Um, I lost them in the sand."

I'm like, what? You left them there because you couldn't find them? She says yea, and then gets very embarrassed and turns away. Great, I think. So I told her she wasn't in trouble, but that she needed to keep up with stuff like that.

Fast forward to this morning....

It is cold today so she has to wear her tennis shoes. She tells me they still have sand in them. Jim has her go shake them out on the back porch. Time is passing quickly when she comes in and announces she can't do it. I get frustrated and tell her to hurry and get her hair brushed and socks on while I shake out her shoes. (we've been running close to late nearly every day this week. I'm tired of it!)

I go outside and shake half of the Sahara out of each shoe. Seriously.

Fast forward again to tonight. I'm doing laundry. Darks with a few jeans. I pick up her pair of jeans and SAND comes spilling out onto the laundry room floor. I hurriedly make it to the backyard and proceed to dump the remaining half of the Sahara dessert out of her pants pockets.

What did she do at this park? Did she put sand in every possible holding area she had?

What happened to my sweet little girl who wears dresses and doesn't make messes?

I think I left her at about age 2. This little girl I have loves to play outside and get in the dirt! (She does like dresses, though.)

So maybe we got our boy after all.....

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I've joined the masses!

Well, I did it. I succumbed to peer pressure. I set up a facebook account. I don't know how I'm going to keep facebook and this blog going at the same time. I guess I'll just do a little bit of each.

Facebook sounded silly when I first heard of it. And it is. However, I have met nearly 20 people I knew from high school! They've written on my wall and I've written on theirs! How cool is that?

Maybe this will be fun.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Bikes, Blues, and we're through!

We've finally done it. The girls and I have been to Bikes, Blues, and BBQ.

We went last night (Thursday) to hear the CMA - Christian Motorcyclists Association - band play. It took them awhile to get going, but once they did, they were pretty good. The weather was absolutely perfect! We sat on lawn chairs and listened and watched the bikes go by. Neither girl wanted to leave, but we had school and work today.

So tonight, Jim picks us all up, we go pick up Pop, who'd been at the rally all day, and head to supper. After supper, we went back to the rally. After contributing to a fellow PTO for parking, we headed to the church. There was no CMA band tonight so we decided to walk down Dickson street.

Walk: definition: jump in the line that is headed down the street and pray you don't stumble or lose a shoe.

As we got further down Dickson, the tranquility of the previous night was obliterated. The crowds grew thicker, the smoke got heavier. The smell of exhaust, leather, smoke, and food commingled to make for an unusual outing.

Alpha, who's my extremely outgoing, people-loving child, hated it. She wouldn't hold our hands (she already thinks we're not cool and she's 7!) but she was in danger of getting lost or drug off.

Beta was ok with it. Although, we saw one of her preschool friends on our sidewalk but headed in the opposite direction. She wanted to run and say hi to her, but there really wasn't room. She seemed upset for a minute, but luckily there was enough other things to distract her.

Speaking of distractions, I now know why, when I was a kid and we'd be at the fair or someplace similar, my dad would smile and say to my mom "Ya want me to get a shirt like that?" She would nonchalantly, but emphatically, reply with a stern, No.

While we're on the subject of clothing, I should also mention that seeing some of these women tonight made me feel really good about myself. There were outfits that I would not wear in a million years. There were outfits I had put together myself but thought, hmmm, I really need some cool shoes and not my bright white tennis shoes with this. Apparently these women never had that second thought. Then there were the women who obviously don't realize they've gained weight since high school and think they really CAN wear those tight, skimpy tops. Or pants. Or omg! I know you didn't!

So, we're through with BBBBQ for this year. We made it down to the Walton Arts Center, crossed the street, and headed back up to the church. We sat and people-watched for a little while longer. Then we came home.

Now we can all fall asleep listening to the gentle, not-so-distant roars and rumbles of motorcycle engines.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Mommy - The Finder of Things

Preface: Did you file an extension on your 2007 income taxes? Well, if you did, you'd better get crackin'! The extension deadline is Oct 15 and "it'll be here before we know it!" to quote my boss.

Because of the tax deadline looming, I'm working some extra hours this week. Therefore, Jim had to take the girls to gymnastics on Tuesday. At 4:05 I get a call....

Jim: Hey, where is Beta's pink fuzzy leotard? She can't find it and is basically refusing to wear anything else or even GO if she doesn't have it.

Me: (Sigh) Aren't all the light-colored things washed?

Jim: Yes

Me: Then check her dance bag or the cubby in her closet.

Jim: Already done. Not in there.

Me: (Sighing louder and sounding perturbed) Then I don't know. It's just lost! If it's not in the dirty clothes then I don't know where it'd be.

Jim: (garbled pronouncement to girls)

Me: Oh, wait! Last week she stuck it in the drawer with her pants. Look in there.

Jim: (to Beta) Put it on and get ready! Thanks, honey. I knew you'd know where it was.

This is but one small installment of the series, "Mommy - The Finder of Things".

Sometimes, ok, most times, it feels like I'm the only one who knows how to move blankets, open purses and bags, look under desks, and actually FIND things. (Now, to be fair, Jim has gotten a LOT better at finding things.) But for awhile there, I was the ONLY one who could do it. Now, Jim takes the Level 1 Help Desk of Lost Things while I take Levels 2 and up. They can go way up, too.

Losing things REALLY bugs me. It's near the top of my list of "things that really bug me".

I'm trying to teach my children responsibility. I think what they're learning is "things that drive mommy crazy".

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Happy Birthday, Jim!

The following is a 24-hour delayed announcement due to Blogger's unresponsiveness at 9:30 last night:

Happy Birthday to youuuuuuu!
Happy Birthday to youuuuuuuu!
Happy BIRTHDAY dear Jiiiiii-immmmmmm,
Happy Birthday to youuuuuu!

And many morrrrrrrrreee.......

Today is Jim's, um, well, birthday! We celebrated by having Jim do no house or yard work all day. Also, for 24 hours, I let him be right. ;) (you know those birthday cards, eh?) Oh, and we had a cake and some presents, which are shown below. And steak from Doe's. (definitely worthy of a birthday dinner!)


















The cake is "german chocolatkake" from Coldstone Cremery. YUM!


















Everyone was excited about ROCK BAND 2!!!!!


















So everyone had to get in on the act. Drums, guitar, and the violin.

The girls asked me today why Rock Band had no trumpets or violins and such. I told them that was a different kind of band they were thinking of.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP!

If you don't subscribe to the Sunday Democrat-Gazette, you don't know what you are missing. There are wonderful, insightful articles, hilarious comics, and money-saving coupons. Including this one, from today's paper:


















I think I know what I'm getting everyone for Christmas!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Ready for Halloween!

Are we ready for Halloween or what?


video

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Ahoy, Mateys!

Alpha got invited to a birthday party yesterday. It was for her friend, Ben, from school. He was in her class last year, but is not this year. It was a pirate birthday with a treasure hunt in the park! Fun Fun Fun! Alpha went and had a blast. Jim took her and had a blast as well because when he got there, the parents said, "Well, you can stay if you want......." So he came home. Everyone was happy. :)

Alpha was so excited to be going to a pirate birthday party that when she got home from school on Friday, she immediately went to her room and made a pirate shirt, skirt, a sword, and a map.

Following are pictures of these things:

Her shirt has a skull and crossbones on it. I know. Jim told me I owed him one because he had to take her to Walmart to get a present looking like this. I smirked so he said maybe we were just even.






You might be wondering what the letters mean. Well, she dug in her scrapbooking stuff (sorry, Robin!) and pulled out the letters B, E, and N. She then put the B's on her shirt, and the E's and N's on her skirt to spell out "Ben". I hope he was flattered.




Here is her sword (on the right) and map. Jim said her outfit was quite the hit. She will forever be remembered as "that girl who dressed up at your 7th birthday party".

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Thanks, Robin!

I got an award! My SIL, Robin, gave me a "Kick-ass Blogger" award! Thanks, Robin! You can go read what she said about me on her site. That's so sweet of her. (Especially since she's been sick and recovering from major surgery the past week. Who's had time to think of blogging?)

You know, I don't usually use words like "kick-ass". I guess since it's in quotes that means I really didn't cuss, right? My favorite use of the phrase "kick-ass" was when my friend Amy, from college, was moving to Dallas after graduation. She was explaining why she and her husband had picked a certain church and she said it was because they had a "kick-ass choir". I had never heard "church" and "kick-ass" used in the same sentence before. But I knew what she meant. :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I should blog about something.

Hmmm. It's been nearly a week since I blogged. So I should update. What do I say, though? Nothing has really happened that is blog-worthy.

Let's see, this weekend we went down to LR and got to see Collin, Jim's brother. He is home from Iraq for 2 weeks! Yay! It was so good to see him. I hope Jim gets to go down and see him again before he has to go back.

We visited Robin in the hospital. She was still there yesterday, but hopefully got to come home today. She was doing really well, as far as I could tell.

Yesterday, the girls and I went shopping with Jennifer. We all had a blast! Both girls got some new outfits and new shoes.

I have a medical condition which is painful, and shouldn't be discussed on the blog. (Email me if you want details... Just kidding!) I'm starting my 2nd round of antibiotics for it. Ugh.

I am now an official WOW-nerd. When I saw John McCain's pick for his VP, Sara Palin, my mind immediately made it say Sara "Paladin". This is sad, people. I'm hooked on this @#$% game, as Holly would say. :) (A paladin is a type of character in World of Warcraft.)

Hope you all enjoy this shortened week!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Go read Robin's Blog.

For those of you (all 2 of you) who don't know, my sister-in-law had surgery today. They thought she had a huge cyst on her right ovary. Turns out her ovary is fine. She actually had a ruptured appendix that had walled itself off from the rest of her body. My brother says it only happens in 1 out of 252,000 patients. Go read her blog for more details.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Yeehaw! A Rootin' Tootin' Good Time!

Hiya, all you cowpokes out there! This here's a Western Wendy tellin' you 'bout our recent trip to the wonderful, high-falutin', country-come-to-town Washington County Fair!

Ok. That's enough of that.

It was this Thursday night. Alpha wanted to do something "together". I was itching to go to the fair at some point, and after 4 days of a new school year, we were all beat! So I called Jim about 4:00 and he agreed. We arrived at the fair in time for supper. The girls got hot dogs and Jim and I got BBQ ribeye sandwiches. Mmmmmm!

Actually, for our first trick, we went to see the cows. We were asked to go see the cows. My girls VOLUNTARILY walked through the cow pens! They loved it! We saw some goats, too. Our last event of the evening was watching part of the junior livestock auction. These kids showed their animals that they had raised and companies would bid on them. We got to hear a live auctioneer and everything! I read in the paper that the kids get to keep the animals and all the money raised goes to their local 4-H club. At bedtime that night, both girls told me they want to have an animal to raise. Yes, a FARM animal. Beta wants to be a vet now. I can't get these girls to pick up a single thing in their rooms without yelling and they want to go work on a farm!

In between eating and watching cows, we rode rides! Alpha is almost getting too big for the kiddie rides. *sniff* She's also quit wanting to ride some of them. She (here's this word again) VOLUNTARILY wanted to go through a Haunted House! I could not believe she wanted to, but she did. She was very brave walking up to it, but paused at the door and peeked around. Jim and I nearly fell to the ground laughing when she was out of sight. I thought she'd get lost in there and need one of us (Jim) to go get her. No. She was out in about 30 seconds. Smiling and as brave as ever! She assured us it wasn't that scary at all. We reasoned that since this one only took 4 tickets, it must have been the 5 ticket one that was the scariest.

All in all it was a wonderful time! The weather was beautiful. It was a good thing we went Thursday night, too, because it rained nearly all day today. Luck was with us!

Here's some pictures:

This lovely family let us pet their cow.








Beta's first ride pick of the night. The very scary Merry Go Round! (Seriously, 2 years ago at the state fair, Beta screamed and cried on it the entire time.)







You can't have a good time without a little Sponge Bob.








And we certainly can't be outdone by our big sister!








Ta da! Alpha's first haunted house! I still cannot believe that she asked to go in there all on her own. No kids teasing her or begging her. Just up and decided to do it. I do not know where she gets her fearlessness from. It must be Jim. It is CERTAINLY not me.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The first day....old pros

Today was Alpha's first day of school. For the third time. We are old pros at it now. We didn't even think about taking pictures!

This morning, Beta asked if Alpha could walk her in to school next year on her first day of kindergarten. I chuckled and said, no, I would probably walk her in. This upset both girls. I suggested we talk about this one year from today. Then, Alpha asked if she could walk Beta in the 2nd day of school. I told her she could probably walk her in the 2nd and every subsequent day thereafter.

Glad we got that settled in time.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

End of Summer Bash!

Since today was the last Saturday of summer vacation, Jim and I decided we should do something special.

So we went to the lake.

There is a lake that is, quite literally, down the street from our house. We drove out to it one time, but we didn't see all of it. Thanks to the internet, we found it had a swimming and picnic area.

Hmmmm, do we want to swim or not?








Are you kidding? Of course we want to swim!








And jump! And soar!








Alpha doing her Phelps-like yell.








Here we are having our picnic. I threw together 4 sandwiches along with the box of Cheez-it party mix and Oreos I bought this morning. (don't go to the grocery store hungry.....)






Beta's big thing was for us to play "womens beach volleyball".








Here are mini-Misty May-Treanor and mini-Kerri Walsh beginning their first match.








We had to adjust to a regulation-size volley ball midway through the first set.








And finally, let's not forget that we are kids at heart. We all love a good tire swing!







Once we got the girls in bed, they were both asleep within 5 minutes. That hardly ever happens. Mission accomplished!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Week of Olympics

Here are my favorite Olympic moments from this week:

1. Nastia Liukin's beam performance in the all-around. Absolutely perfect!

2. The men's gymnastics team final where the USA won the bronze medal.

3. Watching Michael Phelps' mother during his 7th race. She couldn't believe he won the medal and nearly fainted into her chair. Bless the poor woman's heart! I can't imagine how unbelievably proud she is of him. But that video of her will be played and replayed so much......

Now, here are my least favorite moments:

1. Watching the women's gymnastics team fall and step out of bounds. I know they're nervous, and I don't blame them a bit. But it's painful to watch.

2. Hearing "Blah blah Michael Phelps blah blah blah blah Michael Phelps" over and over again.

3. That AcneFree commercial that keeps playing over and over and tries to mimic Jessica Simpson. They must have paid a pretty penny for that much prime time ad space, and their commercial isn't filmed well and pretty much stinks.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Olympic Dreams

Well, it's official. We have a Phelps Phan in the house. Alpha is, I believe, in love with Michael Phelps. We watched some of his races last night. So we had to stay up (too late) to watch him win his 10th career gold medal tonight. We saw a brief spot on what his typical day is like at home.

Eat. Swim. Sleep.

Alpha is impressed that he washes his big breakfast down with 3 chocolate chip pancakes. LOL!

Ever since that little feature, all day she's been saying "Michael Phelps is the best swimmer around!" "I like Michael Phelps!" "When is Michael Phelps coming on?" "Aw, this is WOMEN'S swimming!"

God help us all.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Repair List

So, according to Dave Ramsey, what do you do when you have your debt paid off (except the house), and 3-6 months expenses in an emergency fund? What was that? Retirement?

WRONG!!!!

You fix what is broken around your house!

We have had so many things break around here in the past few months. It's unreal. And frustrating.

Broken
air compressor in Honda
xbox
drawer in bathroom
fan in TV room
pond is green
Jim's iphone is missing
The F# key below middle C on my piano came off it's base.

Fixed
air compressor (yike$)
fan (for free! yes!)
pond is kind of better
drawer (in progress)

Friday, August 8, 2008

I'm glad that's over.

We had Alpha's surgery for her ankyloglossia done today. I'm not sure who it was more traumatic for, her or me.

We arrived at the place about 30 minutes early. Alpha read a Family Fun magazine while we waited. (The only others were People, Seventeen, and Car & Driver.)

We get back to the room, and Alpha is just fine while they are slapping monitors on her. She seems relaxed and not nervous at all. Eventually, they called in a male nurse to get her IV started.

Yep.

An IV.

On my baby.

Oh the horror!

Anyway, the nurse sprayed something on her arm that was supposed to get cold and numb the area. When it started getting cold, she started crying. He then tried to jab the needle into her arm.

Big mistake.

Alpha nearly shot out of the chair, grabbed the guy's hand, and tried to pull the thing out. Meanwhile, me and another nurse are grabbing her hands to keep them away while she cries. Unbelievably, I held myself together. It was the same type of situation as when Beta had to go to the hospital for that asthma attack last year. I had to be strong. I had to hold myself together. If I didn't, I knew my daughter would lose it.

Luckily they grabbed some nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and put it on her. Why they didn't do this the first time, I don't know. Come on, people! She's 7!!! Once they had the gas on her, they tried again and she didn't even flinch.

They then escorted me out and said they'd come get me when they were done.

Wow.

I've undergone plenty of procedures in my life as a patient. But never any as a mother.

This was hard.

I didn't cry, thank goodness. I had tears in my eyes but I didn't break down. Jim was waiting for me. He had wanted to come along and I reluctantly agreed. Boy, was that ever a good thing! He helped me hold it together while we waited. Later, he helped carry Alpha to the car and then into the house. His presence was such a blessing! I love him more than words can say sometimes.

We had trouble waking her up from the anesthesia. We finally got her awake and she started crying again. Who can blame her? Jim went to the pharmacy for medicine while I took Alpha home.

Her recovery has been remarkable! Upon returning home, she immediately requested a popsicle, since she had been told she could have all the popsicles and pudding she wanted. It hurt to eat it so we put it back. Not 2 hours later, she asked for it again. She opened it and immediately licked the entire length of it from the bottom to the top. I was like "what are you doing???? Be careful!!!" This made her cry again. *sigh*

She never went back to sleep once we got home. The tylenol with codeine must have made her hyper b/c it sure didn't knock her out. She sat zombified in front of the TV all afternoon with no nap.

As for her mouth, it must be ok. Here is what she's had to eat:

4 yogurt cups
2 or 3 pudding cups (lost count)
an entire pint of yarnell's strawberry ice cream
2 or 3 generous helpings of mashed potatoes
4 or 5 popsicles.

I think that's more than she'd eat on a normal day! While we were watching the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics, she got up and got another yogurt. I told her that was her last one and asked if she was really that hungry. (She'd had the huge mounds of mashed potataoes for supper.) She said "I gotta find out if I win!" The stupid yogurt carton had a contest to win $20,000 and she kept eating them to open the lids and see if she'd "won".

*sigh* *again*

She's asleep now. I gave her a lot of advil like the doctor suggested. She cried some at bedtime, but I don't know if it's because everything really hurt or if she was just remembering the events of the day. Probably both.

Hopefully the recovery will be quick. Everyone I've mentioned it to says it will be.

And I hope I don't have to take either of my girls for any traumatic medical procedures for a long, long, long time!

Update: A clarification. When I said "sigh", I didn't mean it like "oh geez here she goes again!" I meant it as in "my poor baby! I'm doing all I can to help her but I know I can't make the hurt go away." I feel so sorry for her. I know it will all heal in time, but the first couple of days will be rough.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Happy "Holly" Day!

I'm happy! I got to speak with Holly tonight. An actual, face to face, er, ear to ear, telephone conversation. I don't know how long it's been since we actually spoke to one another. We've exchanged a few emails, but our main form of communication has been the comments on one another's blogs! Haha! How funny is that?

Our topics? Well, now that's secret. But they ranged from childbirth to kids to husbands to World of Warcraft. What else would two working moms talk about?

Anyway, good talking to you Holly! Too bad we couldn't have stayed up later and watched A&E's Biography together. (like we used to do at Hendrix!) Maybe one of these days we can go on a girls weekend or something. Until then, see ya in the comments!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Tales of a reaquainted couple.

KID -FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

That's how we spent our weekend. We have been very blessed the past two weeks with Grandmothers offering to keep our kids for awhile. Two weeks ago, they stayed with my mom from Sunday through Saturday. This past week, they stayed with Jim's mom from Thursday until this afternoon.

So what do two married adults do when they are suddenly faced with no kids in the house?

Oh, get your minds out of the gutter!

Let's see....Friday night we went to see The Dark Knight, the latest Batman flick. While I loved Batman Begins, I HATED The Dark Knight. Heath Ledger was magnificent as The Joker, but the character was played a little too much like a serial killer rather than a funny prankster. There were a lot of situations that involved timed bombs. After the 1995 Oklahoma bombing, I do not find these amusing or fun to watch. In fact, they terrify me.

Afterwards, we shared a small chocolate milkshake from Sonic to make me feel better. :)

Saturday was chore day! I bought groceries while Jim mowed. Yee haw. Saturday afternoon, though, we both sat here and played World of Warcraft together. Fun! Then we went to Lowe's to buy home repair items. (That lovely pond we built is green......yuck!)

For supper, we had some sirloin filets by Sam's Choice. Grilled by Jim, the grillmaster. They were absolutely delicious! They were only $10 for 4 in a box. You all should try them. We also used Jim's mandoline to make our own french fries! I even fried them myself. (I used Salma's oven mitts as armor. Mark will understand. :)

We finished off with fresh strawberries from Walmart that actually tasted good. (long story)

Today we are headed to church and then to meet the girls half-way. They are probably going to be wiped out!

This week, the girls have dentist appointments tomorrow morning. Maybe this time Beta will be better behaved. She's been to the dentist twice in her life, and both times have been marked by clinched teeth and screaming. Pediatric dentistry is not for the faint of heart, I tell ya.

Friday, Alpha will have her surgery to correct her ankyloglossia. Or tongue-tie. More on that later.

Have a good week everyone!

Friday, August 1, 2008

FUNNY!!!!!

You all MUST go read this site! It shows cakes that are decorated, well, "creatively". And yes, I meant to use those quotation marks.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Daycare Dailies

This summer, Alpha is staying at the same preschool that Beta goes to. They have a school-age summer program. Alpha LOVES it! They are going to start an after-school program this fall, and I hope to enroll Alpha during tax season.

But let me tell you about yesterday......

I got to Alpha's room, and the entire room is turned upside down with chairs and blankets EVERYWHERE! They are making tents! Just like we used to do at my grandmother's house. (and I'm sure most of you have done at your grandmothers' houses.) The teacher informs me that this is all MY daughter's idea! She mentioned it and so EVERYONE decided to do it. I silently called her "Alpha the instigator."

Today, after we got home, Beta was eating a snack. She says "I'm not M's girlfriend any more, but he KEEPS sitting by me!" "I want to be J's girlfriend." Aaahh, young love. AAAAHHHH! WHAT??? My 4 year old is talking about boyfriends????? No more High School Musical for you! My next thought was that this is how life could very well be. How many of us girls had guys keep tailing us long after we'd made it known that we were NOT interested? (Oh, come on. I'm sure you had a least one person who liked you whom you were not the least bit excited about...) I wonder if I should tell her Daddy?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Score!

My bargain guardian angel is back! For those of you who don't know, I love finding great deals. (it's the cheap accountant in me, I can't help it.) I like to joke that I have a "bargain, guardian angel" who leads me to these great deals. This year has not been a good one for finding deals.

But not any more!!!!!

The girls are at Grandmother's house this week. Yes, an entire week! So this afternoon, I found myself at the mall. I knew I should come home and clean, but it's not every day you get to go shopping all. by. your. self.

So I looked around. Bought a cookie. Looked around some more. And found myself standing in front of The Children's Place. I love that store. Their clothes are well made, colorful, and best of all, affordable. It's a nice alternative to Gymboree.

Anyway, I glance at their fall line. I figure I'll just look at the new stuff and walk out.

Then I see it.

The sign.

"TAKE AN ADDITIONAL 50% OFF ALREADY REDUCED PRICES!"

Wow. Are you kidding me???

So I stop and ask a lady if it's all the sale prices in the store or just the ones on that rack. She says it's everything that's marked down in the store. Oh yes, and there's an additional 15% off for Back to School.

I got the girls some clothes for 65% off the clearance price! Can you believe it?

I bought summer clothes, but a size bigger than they wear now. They have plenty of clothes for this summer.

Here are the pictures of what I bought:

Alpha's is a yellow skort, butterfly shirt, and yellow croc-like shoes.








Beta's is a pink skort, pink tank top, and pink croc-like shoes.








They are going to love them!

Oh, my total bill? $17.67 for 6 items.

Awesome! Thank you bargain guardian angel!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Top 10 Things I've Learned About Weight Loss

10. It ain't easy.

9. It ain't fun.

8. You eat more than you think you do.

7. A good time to exercise is in the morning before life creeps in and messes up your daily schedule.

6. Even if you lose only 1 pound a week, that's still 52 pounds lost in a year.

5. Use a scale. Don't rely on how tight your clothes fit.

4. You will feel silly doing exercise videos, but they ARE effective.

3. Every calorie adds up. Yes, even the tiny 100 calorie pack cookies.

2. You MUST break a sweat. If you are exercising and not sweating, there's a good chance you are not losing any weight.

1. It CAN be done!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Hendrix Night at the Naturals

Play Ball!

Last night we attended our first Northwest Arkansas Naturals game at Arvest Ballpark in Springdale.

It was also Hendrix Night at the Naturals so I got to see some old college friends. I also saw one of the moms of a kid in our Sunday school class. She went to Hendrix, and we didn't even know that about each other! She was about 4 years ahead of me, though.





Here are the teams warming up. I couldn't decide who to cheer for. I guess I was supposed to be for the Naturals. But, having grown up in North Little Rock, it is just hardwired into me to cheer for the Travs. I found myself cheering for them without meaning to!






The Naturals mascot is a sasquatch named Strike. Why they picked a sasquatch, I don't know. I guess that was better than a naked man. (au naturel.....)







The girls enjoyed the game for the most part. They had jumpy things and a playground, which they both enjoyed a lot more. The jumpy thing cost $1 every time you wanted to go through it, though. So they each got to do it once.





There were so many kids on the playground that you had to stand in line to use anything! That didn't stop my girls, though.








Here's Beta on these cool things you could step on and move across. Some were anchored down, but others were just chained so they moved.











Here's Alpha on another thing that moved. She loves to climb.








Up near the playground, there was an impromptu kids ballgame. They had about 4 or 5 1st basemen, 3 or 4 2nd basemen, and about 20 kids lined up to bat. It was really neat to see! I thought it captured the spirit and heart of baseball much more than the playground or even the real game down there did. Just a bunch of kids with a ball, a bat, and some dirt. Paul Greenberg, of the Democrat-Gazette, should see this.



The scoreboard was built so you could walk right in front of it. The girls loved seeing how big it was up close.







Now for the outtakes:

Before we went, I put bug spray on both girls. As we were passing the beer garden on our way to the playground, you could smell the beer pretty strong in the air. Beta says "I smell that bugspray!"

We wanted sprite to drink. Alas, they have a contract with Pepsi. But even then, there was no Sierra Mist or Slice. So Jim got us all lemonade ice cups. Very yummy, but they kind of made us thirstier than we were before. They also turned our tongues yellow!





As Alpha and I were walking back to the playground, she says she's finally figured out why they only sell drinks with caffeine. "It's so you can stay awake to watch the game!" (and I found this to be true. The first 5 or 6 innings were no-hit no-run innings for almost both sides. )

We all had a wonderful time!