Wednesday, August 30, 2006

i'll confess some little truths about me. Why? Because I scrapped a layout today about a friend of mine and it made me think about how close I came to losing that friendship. So I started thinking about why I almost lost this friend. And I came to these conclusions:

Confession #1: I am a bad roommate. I was a bad roommate in college and I still am a bad roommate to my husband. I am a messy person by nature and only clean when I absolutely have to. I am trying to get better at this but back in college, I was terrible. I think that I was also insensitive to my roommates (I had 2 roomies in college before getting married) back then too. Honestly, I don't know all the reasons why I was a bad roommate, I just know that I wasn't what a roommate should be. Thank goodness my husband loves me and overlooks all my faults in the roommy department. The friend I am talking about in this instance was not just my roommate but also one of my best friends. After that year, we were no longer either. We were still friends, but not close friends. What makes me sad about all of this is that I didn't realize that we lost something special until 8 years later. Which leads me to:

Confession #2: I hate being wrong. There I said it. I will get down right defensive if anyone says that I am wrong. Even when I absolutely know that I am at fault, I refuse to admit it and even pretend I don't know anything about it. I let things come between a friend and me and not fix it because I don't think it is my fault. If I could change anything about myself, it would be this. But:

Confession #3: I am stubborn. Very stubborn. Enough said about that one.

Luckily, I have grown enough to know what is good in life. Because I have moved a lot (at least 6 times in the 8 years I have been married), I don't have that many close friends. I prayed a lot about that and asked God to open my heart to people that could be good friends. And He has answered this prayer in many ways. He has helped me appreciate the people in my life who have been there for everything, He has opened doors to new friendships, and He has helped me realize that some friends have been there all along--I just had to let them back in and ask to be let back in their lives as well.

So, thank you for reading this. It has been hard to write those things about myself. And thank you to my friends, my new ones, my old ones, my old-new again one(the subject of this post and she and everyone else probably knows who she is), my family and my closest for being there for me. I am going to do my best to make sure you know that I appreciate and love you.

Have a great day! Hugs!

green tea and mango

...make a perfect combination. I'm talking about Snapple's Mangooo Tea. I actually like it. Let me back up for a second.

See, I am not a tea drinker. I have never liked it. But lately, I want to. Because I want to have a hot drink besides hot chocolate on cold mornings or lazy afternoons. Because if I ever go to another book reading (like my sister's Krista's last December), or a luncheon or a brunch and the only thing they have to drink is tea or coffee, I don't want to have to ask, "Do you have any water instead?" Because it smells so good. Because it is good for you.

So I am trying. The first one I tried was easy to like. Chai tea latte. (Not to be confused with tai chi. I've done it. I admit it. ) Love it. It is creamy, smells heavenly and is sweet. I especially love Oregon Chai The Original Chai Tea Latte Mix.

Then I tried others which were harder to like. Lemon, chamomile, cinnamon apple--they were okay, but I just couldn't drink the whole cup. Today, I tried the Snapple brand of Green Tea that I talked about at the first of this post. And I think I actually like it. Or will learn to like it. And will drink it. In the mornings, in the afternoon, on cold days, in the house or in the car. I will drink it anywhere. :)

So, like that character in Green Eggs and Ham, I never tried tea because I never thought I would like it and turns out, Green tea and Mango is good. When will I remember that Dr. Seuss is always right? Try it and you may, he says. Try it and you may.

Here is that recipe for Hot Chocolate Cake from Real Simple (Feb 2005):

1 stick butter, plus extra for coating
3 T flour, plus extra for dusting
1/2 c sugar, plus extra for dusting
10 oz semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 t vanilla extract
1/4 t salt
1/2 c mini marshmallows
2 T unsweetened cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously butter, flour, and sugar eight 6-oz coffee cups made of ovenproof stoneware, or eight 6-oz ramekins, or 10-in springform pan. Wipe rims clean.
Place 1 stick butter and the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water and melt, stirring once or twice until smooth. (I melted this in the microwave, still worked). Remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes. Using a mixer, beat the eggs, yolk, vanilla, salt and 1/2 c sugar at the hightest speed until the volume doubles and the mixture becomes foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir the 3 T of flour into the chocolate, then gradually add it to the egg mixture, beating on low until it's fully incorporated.
If using cups or ramekins: Ladle the batter into each cup until it's about 1/2 in from the rim. Bake until the cakes puff and begin to crack but the centers are still a bit runny, 13-17 minutes. Remove from oven. Sprinkle with marshmallows, then return to oven for 2-4 minutes, until marshmallow tops begin to crisp. Remove from oven; let cool about 5 minutes. Sift the cocoa on top.
If using springform pan: Pour all the batter into pan. Bake for 22-25 minutes or, if you prefer a more gooey center, bake for 17-20 minutes. Sprinkle with marshmallows, bake for 2-4 minutes more and remove from oven. Let cool about 5 minutes. Sift the cocoa on top.

This cake is delicious warm but also very tasty at room temperature.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

have you ever

...tried hot chocolate cake? The boys and I made it the other day. It was pretty easy (the recipe came from Real Simple) but so good. It almost came close to the Mexican Brownie Dessert my mom and I had at a restaurant called Cantina Laredo in OKC. Now that was a sinful desset. It was a thick, huge square of gooey, moist brownie with a browned buttery sauce poured on top of it, then topped with a scoop of vanilla. Delicious!

Anyway, the hot chocolate cake had the same the moist consistency and some of the gooey-ness. Then we topped it with marshmallows at the end of its cooking time so they were ever so slightly toasted. Yum.

Noah, who loves all desserts, pronounced, "This is weird!" but ate it all anyway.
Rhett, who isn't much a cake eater, also ate it all. I think it was the marshmallows that sold him.
And, of course, I ate it all. There would not be an instant when I would not have eaten it all. I am a dessert lover too.
Seth, unfortunately, did not eat any. He usually doesn't eat desserts and forgets they are there even until they are all gone. He would rather have a second helping of steak for his dessert.

Which suits me just fine because that means more cake for me!

Monday, August 28, 2006

i won

...a scrapbooking challenge! Check out designer diaries and you will see my layout, along with 2 others, in a slide show. The challenge was for back-to-school journaling and so that was pretty easy for me to do, considering I had a kindergartener. How fun!

I really love scrapbooking. It is the creative outlet that I need to express myself. I love playing with the paper to make a layout, I love adding the finishing touches to the page, I love getting to show off the pictures of my boys in a neat way. I love that this hobby is one that I can share with many people and meet many new friends because of it. I love being inspired by others' creativity and by ads in magazines. It is something that I need because it makes me think, which is good for this stay-at-home mom. It helps me connect with other adults, which is very good for this stay-at-home mom.

And it also shows the boys how they can create things in different ways too. Rhett loves making "scrapbooking" pages. He loves when he gets to use my stickers or paper. And just yesterday I showed him how to fold tape so that you can stick it to something and it won't show. He was so impressed. I love how simple things like that can impress a child. Anyway, it is something we can share together. I don't know for how long, because I know he is a boy and in a couple of years he probably won't think hanging out with mom to scrapbook will be any fun, but I am enjoying it for now.

Friday, August 25, 2006

a good man

...stopped to help an older lady and her daughters yesterday. They were on the side of the interstate and their car had a flat tire. At first, Seth drove on by and then had that feeling. I think of it as the "God feeling" because it happens when God wants you to do something good. I have had these feelings before and am ashamed to admit I don't always follow through. However, Seth knew he had to stop. His actual words to me were, "I knew I could not go home and face my sons, knowing I did not stop." So he turned around and tried to help.

It is funny. (Not ha-ha funny, just funny weird) I was just thinking of this song from Caedman's Call yesterday called This World has Nothing for Me while reading a very inspiring blog. What I read made me think of the chorus of the song: This world has nothing for me and this world has everything. Everything that I could want and nothing that I need. After that, I had that song in my mind all day and got stuck on two lines: And the least of these look like criminals to me, so I leave Christ on the street. I thought about what that meant and prayed that God would make me aware so I would not do that. That I would have the heart to help people who needed it at that moment, even if they don't look like what I think they should look like. Then Seth came home and told me his story. He said that these ladies weren't the best looking women in the world and weren't driving the best car. He knew if they were gorgeous and driving a Lexus, many people would stop to help. No one was stopping for these ladies. So he went back.

Now, my good friend, Holly, once emailed me that there are no coincidences in life, it is God trying to tell you something. And I believe this to be true. And totally cool. This happening last night and to Seth was not a coincidence. God was answering my prayer.

And I thank Him for it. I also thank Him for my sons' wonderful father. We are very lucky.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

first day pics

Here are some quotes from Rhett (thanks for the idea, Christy!)

"Yeah, I'm excited!"--upon waking up yesterday morning

"I get to ride the bus because I am a a big boy and you're not yet. Sorry buddy." --in response to Noah asking why he can't ride the bus.

"I don't know if I'm ready for kindergarten. I don't even know how to do homework!"--his one little worry about his first day of school

"Tomorrow's another day of school. And I get to ride the bus all over again too." --his first words to me after picking him up from school

"It's been a long day so I really don't want to talk about it right now." --in response to asking him what he did that day

"I had a good day." --last night before bed

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

a day of firsts

...for the Houstons. First day of kindergarten, first day to ride the school bus, first time I have dealt with electronics to try to get past technical difficulties...big day. I am still having problems, so pictures will have to come later. (later is whenever Seth comes home to fix the mess I made--thanks honey!) So sometime tonight or tomorrow I will post pics of Rhett's first day.

So back to Rhett's firsts. You should have seen his face! From the moment I woke him up right up to when he got on the bus, he had this huge smile. It made me forget the sadness I was feeling about him growing up. Because last night I was feeling it. I just cried because time goes by too fast and pretty soon he'll be graduating high school and going away for good (I do have a flair for the dramatics, as most of you know). But today, seeing how happy he was getting to take that next step in his life--well, I had to be happy too. So even though it was very hard seeing him get on that big bus by himself (he did it like an old pro!), I was also so proud and excited for him too.

Noah, on the other hand, did not like seeing Rhett get on that bus without him. I expected that though. Noah and Rhett are really close and whatever Rhett can do, Noah thinks he should too. So I had to promise a trip to the park so he would stop screaming. Bribery works very well.

Now Rhett's first day is over and things are normal here. Normal here means falling curtains, big messes, lots of squealing and loud music. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

8 years ago

...I got married to my high school sweetheart. We have been together almost 12 years total. Almost half my life. I don't know what God has in store for us for the next 8 years, but I am comforted to know that we are as committed to each other as we were when we stood in the church to get married. We have been blessed with a full cup and I am so thankful for that. Seth is the perfect fit for me and we are a great team. I appreciate him for who he is, what he does for the boys and me, and for loving us the way he does. I love you, Seth, with all my heart! Happy Anniversary!

note: This picture was taken at Montecello in Virginia. This place was magnificant. Thomas Jefferson really put his heart into that house.

Monday, August 21, 2006

it was 9:00 at night you know what my children were doing? Jumping on their new trampoline!!! We told them that we would get them one when we moved. The reason it is so late is because it is not that easy to get the springs on that thing. Just ask Seth (who actually did it while we stood watching). But the boys were so excited. We haven't finished putting on the enclosure yet but we did want Rhett and Noah to jump for a few minutes last night before bed. Fun, Fun, Fun.

One more thing: In 2 more days Rhett starts school. I saw the bus come by this morning and my heart lurched. I don't know why I was trying to kid myself, thinking I wouldn't be bothered by Rhett starting school. He'll just be gone in the mornings. It won't be a big deal. Yeah, right. I am going to be a wreck.

Friday, August 18, 2006

it's birthday time

...for a couple of people in my family. Wednesday was my grandma's birthday. (Yes, I did send her a card--thanks for reminding me, Mom). As I get older, I really appreciate my grandparents more and more. What I remember about Grandma Lavon while I was growing up (as her neighbor, I might add) is that we were always welcome in her house no matter what and I thought she had the coolest house ever. She and grandad had a putt-putt golf course in their house! It also had saloon doors to their bedroom. Their toilet seat had a $2 bill in it! Very impressive for a little girl! :)

And the other birthday happens tomorrow. The boy's "Pop" and my father-in-law, Sammy. He is such a great grandfather to the boys. We appreciate him for all he does for us. If you are reading this, we love you, you mean the world to us and we hope you have a fantastic birthday!!!

And after Pop's birthday, my favorite season, Fall, will be almost upon us. I love Fall. My family celebrates many birthdays during the Fall and Winter months. And I absolutely love birthdays. Mine and everyone else's. I love giving gifts, cards, making cakes, opening presents, the whole thing. Yes, the getting older thing has put a tiny crimp in things, but not too much. I still think people should not have to do anything they don't want to do on their birthdays. That includes going to work, doing laundry, taking the trash out, or cleaning up messes. (This is a wish, not an actuality for me, just so you know). One should feel special on their birthdays. They have every right to. That is the day God chose to put them on this earth. That is the day when they get to reflect on their life and choices they have made. That is the day when they get to celebrate how far they have come and how far they would like to go. It is a special day! So, when your birthday comes around -(Seth, I am talking to you now)- it is okay to feel special. It is okay to tell people, "Hey, it's my birthday." It is okay to celebrate!!!

Have a great day!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

this is what I felt like

...doing today at "Information Day" at the school where Rhett will be attending. Total chaos! And of course, being new, I didn't know that I needed to bring along a checkbook for the many things to be paid for (PTO, new t-shirts, ect). Luckily, I had just enough cash. There were so many people there with their kids, some who had much bigger problems than me (one lady remarked that this was like a gestapo school because they wouldn't let her kids enroll for lack of paperwork), and so much information to digest, but we got through it.

And thank goodness, I have some good news to report about it all. Rhett will be attending the morning session with a great teacher (everyone said she was the best kindergarten teacher), so I am happy. He will be riding the bus to school each morning, which makes Rhett happy. So we are all happy except Noah (he knows this was not his school, he knows Rhett is going and he is not, he already does not like this). His first day is next Wednesday so be looking for some pictures. Hopefully, he won't be doing this face! :)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

some random thoughts

...I had this morning at 5 am. That is the time I let Brinkley out of his cage. We let our dogs roam around the yard during the day, but put them up at night so they don't bark at weird noises all night. I was very happy that Brinkley barked because usually, he just does his business in the cage and doesn't care to let me know. So yay for Brinkley!

Anyway, I got back to bed and started thinking. Random things like: why am I wide awake now but two hours from now I will feel like I was hit with a ton of bricks before getting out of bed? Which led to: where did that "ton of bricks" saying come from? Because I read in Real Simple about where phrases like "raining cats and dogs" and "skeleton in the closet" most likely originated. Did you know that it was illegal to dissect a body in England until 1832 when the Anatomy Act was passed? Doctors were allowed only one cadaver during their whole careers until then. And those that wanted to keep their skeleton kept it the closet. Ahhh.

And this obviously led to my thinking about closets and me wanting to organize Rhett's closet. It is such a mess right now. And because there is a laundry basket in Rhett's closet, I thought about all the laundry I have not done yet this week. I am way behind on laundry so that means I will be doing it all day today. And because I dislike laundry, I immediately did not want to get out of bed, even though I was wide awake. Which led to me waking up two hours later, feeling like someone hit me with a ton of bricks.

Wow. Randomness runs in a circular motion. It is like the book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.

I think I'll go read my boys a book.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

nothing to say I thought I would post a picture from our vacation to Virginia. This is Seth and the boys when we were down in a cavern. Rhett thought it was pretty neat, so did Seth, but Noah was hungry the whole time. How do you explain to a 3-year-old that we are a mile down below and cannot get a snack right now? Yeah, I did not get that across to him at all. My sister Krista and her husband and two daughters were with us. Her baby, about 11 months old, thought the caverns were hilarious! She kept laughing and laughing. I miss both my sisters very much. Love you Jana and Krista!!

eta: Krista just called me. She didn't know I had a blog (didn't get an email I sent her) so how neat was it that she called to say hi to me!

Monday, August 14, 2006

a little surprised

...and disappointed in finding out that Rhett's kindergarten will only be for 2 1/2 hours every day. What?! How will they learn anything in just 2 1/2 hours? Maybe I am just being a Texas snob about the whole thing, but I just can't see how in just 2 1/2 hours they will be able to settle a bunch of kindergarteners down, teach them their abcs(ok-I really mean "to read", I admit it), about science, about art, about music, about numbers, and how to be socially acceptable human beings. Isn't that what kindergarten is all about?

I am going to enroll him right now and I think I will ask.

I'll keep you posted.

eta: Well, I checked out the situation. Apparently, half-day kindergartens are standard in Edmond, which is fine. But, there are some elementary schools that start at 8:30 and some that start at 9 am. Rhett's starts at 9 am. I guess lunch is around 11:30, therefore, the end of morning kindergarten. There is an info day Thursday so I will try to find out what exactly they plan on doing in kindergarten.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

what a day

...Saturday was! We went to the zoo, went to check out a karate place, went furniture shopping, and downtown--all in one day! We definitely could not have done that if we lived in Houston. That is what I like about Oklahoma City. It is big, but not too big, doesn't have too many people and is fairly easy to get around.

The zoo was really neat. We spent just a couple of hours there because it got pretty hot, but we decided to go ahead and get a membership to it. Now we can go anytime we want. I was kicking myself because I didn't bring my camera--the gorillas were hilarious and were right by the glass window where we could watch them. Next time...

We have decided to put the boys in karate. There is a place right by our house and once the boys join, the parents can go to the adult classes for free, so we may check it out too. Who knows, it might be fun! Rhett and Noah are pretty excited about it.

Finally, we went to eat at Earl's, which is a barbeque place. So far, everywhere I have eaten in OKC has been wonderful--no complaints! We went to Bricktown because Seth really wanted to go to the Bass Pro Shop outdoor store. If you are into boating, fishing, hunting, or anything that is outdoorsy, then this is the store for you! I, for one, was not too impressed.

So, we had a busy day. But it was fun. We really got nothing done but I guess that was the point. Those days are the best. :)

Friday, August 11, 2006

it's raining

...and I am so excited! I don't care how long it lasts but a little rain might make it cooler today. Yesterday reached 108 degrees, so I am hoping for a nice 98. :)

I am also excited because some friends of ours are coming to see us on Sunday. They have family not too far from here so they are coming through Edmond to see us before they go there. I am excited because we really didn't get to say good-bye to them when we moved. And now we know that we will still be able to see each other occasionally. Very cool!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

the honey story

...because my friend, Holly wants to hear it. First, I have to say that Seth loves honey on his cereal. And he loves to eat cereal. So I should have been prepared.

Anyway, we went to Virginia for vacation with my family. One night, we decided to try the barbeque at this place that I can't remember the name of at the moment. While we were there picking up the barbeque, I also bought some sour dough bread and some local honey made from flowers that grow there. We all had some that night with the bread and it was delicious. The day we left, I wrapped the honey (in a glass jar mind you) very carefully and put it in my suitcase, praying that it wouldn't break because that would be a sticky disaster! Well, when we got home many hours later, I checked the honey and it was fine. Yea!

Fast forward to about 4 days later: I decided to eat some toast and Virginia honey for breakfast. I opened up the pantry, reached for the honey and...

yep, you guessed it. Seth had used the whole jar of my Virginia honey. The honey that I wrapped so carefully to take home with me so I could enjoy everyonce in awhile and remember the wonderful time I had in Virginia. Gone. I was so sad. Then I was mad. I actually called Seth at work. Good thing he wasn't there. By the time he called back, I had calmed down.

So that is the honey story.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

the farmers market

...was definitely an experience. Good and bad. It was good because we found a big watermelon that the boys wanted. It was good because I found local honey, which I am going to have to hide from Seth (that is a funny story that I'll save for another time). It was bad because the watermelon that you see in the picture was $6. Six dollars for a watermelon! Wow. It was bad because the lady that sold me the honey yelled at Noah for touching a honey jar. I mean she really yelled at him. I was shocked. Now, I know that Noah needs to be careful and not just pick up things, but he had barely touched it and she screamed, "No! No! No!" and poor Noah just froze. I was so startled I just stood there with my mouth open. (Yes, being assertive really isn't my strong suit.)

So, I guess what I am trying to say is that I was disappointed. I guess I expected this festive (which is what they called it, btw: Festive Marketplace), cheery, place with a plethora of fruits and vegetables. This was none of that. In other words, I will be doing all of my produce shopping at the Super Target from now on. Now that place had some good looking tomatoes!

it's bump day

...and I'm naming it that instead of the usual "hump day" in honor of my sons' proclamation everytime we drive over a hill: "Weee...we're going over another bump!" They don't call them hills and until yesterday they were still calling them mountains, so I guess they are going in a step to the right direction. Rhett even thinks we live on a bump.

It is also Farmer's Market Day and I am very excited. I have never been to one and I think the one in Edmond is supposed to be very good. The boys seemed excited too, because I told them they could pick out a watermelon. Rhett said as long as we don't pick oranges because his best friend and cousin doesn't like oranges and neither does he. :) I am planning on posting pictures of this event so come back tomorrow. Hopefully, I will figure out how to do that by then.

Happy bump day!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


...from unpacking boxes, from moving stuff around, from looking at a dirty house, from the heat. I didn't realize when we moved that we were going to live in a place that is over 100 degrees for weeks. It is literally one of the hottest spots in the United States right now. I keep looking at Seattle and wishing we had moved there. Ha, ha, just kidding Seth.

In boys news: Rhett and Noah have found a friend. They played with one of the neighbor kids for 4 hours yesterday. This is a big thing for us. They haven't had a neighbor kid to play with since we moved from Houston over 2 years ago. They were exhausted (see, there is that word again) yesterday. I finally had to make the child leave because my boys were falling apart tired. But they had fun and again, I am so happy we moved into this neighborhood.

Monday, August 07, 2006

a new day why not start a blog? We have just moved to Oklahoma and already loving it. Love Edmond, love the ease of getting around, love that the neighbors are friendly, love that their is a pool two blocks from our house, love our house, love that we are starting over fresh.

But, we have moved a little farther from family and some friends, so this is for you to keep track of us. Or for me to keep track of us!

So here is to a new day.