Friday, January 30, 2009

Guess What?

...Be Inspired Friday is back. I know, you probably are thinking, "I don't even remember Aimee ever doing Be Inspired Friday." Well, I think I did it about three times at the most, but I am going to try to start doing it again.

So here are my week's inspirations:

Her book just looks amazing, doesn't it? She also has a blog where she shows her other handmade wonders, most of them from paper! And she has a store where I may have to browse a little later. Beautiful.

2. Operation Nice

This is a blog that I just recently found and I think it is such a great site! With Nice Assignments, Nice Stories and other Nice things, it is a great way to spread the kindness. I am going to paste the badge on my site, which will help me to remember to be Nice.

3. Noelle Oxenhandler

I read Noelle Oxenhandler's book, The Wishing Year, a few months ago but I absolutely loved it. I would tell you about it but this critic says it better. I will say that I loved her sense of humor and her honesty as she tries to make a new beginning for her life. It will make you believe in the power of wishing again. (Which to me has to do with your faith).

So, after an hour of hunting down the links, pasting them into the blog, I now know why I stopped this! Whew! But it is worth it.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

fortunately, unfortunately

...Fortunately, it warmed up a little yesterday, allowing the snow/sleet to melt a little.

Unfortunately, it refroze last night, making the schools cancel school for the 3rd day.

Fortunately, the kids are getting good rest and having fun.

Unfortunately, I'm starting to feel very lazy.

Fortunately, this week of snow days have been very good on my wallet.

Unfortunately, besides going outside, we haven't left the house to go anywhere. I'm going a little nutty.

Fortunately, we get to go somewhere today. I have a Sunday School teacher's meeting.

Unfortunately, the kids have to go. They won't want to.

Fortunately, they have no choice. And a DS to keep them busy.

Unfortunately, Rhett has to write a paper on his solar system project so I probably won't let him play the DS.

Fortunately, his solar system project is pretty cool.

Unfortunately, his teacher may never get to see it because we may never go back to school!

Fortunately, I'm just being dramatic. They'll go back to school eventually.

Unfortunately, not today.

*I remember this book as a child and loved it! It was so great!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

it's snow beautiful

...It snowed! Okay, not a lot but enough to make it sparkly pretty outside. (Seth will make fun of me for the sparkly pretty--I just know it). And enough for the boys to have 2 snow days so far. (Well, that is really because of the frozen rain we had all afternoon and night Monday. Then it turned to sleet, which hurts your face and then the last two hours was snow.)

The sun is shining today so I am sure it will melt a little, then refreeze again and the boys will have the day off tomorrow as well. But maybe not.

I am just happy it snowed. Yesterday we went sledding down a neighbor's driveway. Today we can make snowballs. At least that is what Rhett wants to do. I just may watch from inside. It is still frigid out there!

Stay warm where you are!

Monday, January 26, 2009

a proud moment and birthday wishes

...Weekend news:

Rhett won 3rd place in his age division at the Boy Scouts Pinewood Derby! He also won for Most Nascar-Like Car. He was so excited. I, being on top of my game, still didn't have my camera charged from Christmas so no pictures, but as soon as I do charge my battery, I will get a picture of the car and Rhett with his medal.

We were happy for Rhett but this is the moment where we were most proud:

Noah was very sad after Rhett won his medal because he never won a medal, ever. Which is not true and a little self-absorbed, so I brushed him off with a "Noah, hush up and be happy for your brother." Seth then asked Noah what was wrong and Rhett overheard him repeat that he had never, ever won a medal. Without missing a beat, Rhett took off his medal and put it around Noah's neck. Seth and I both stood in awe of Noah's big brother and we had to wipe a couple of tears away.

Today is my dear friend Christy's birthday. Happy Birthday Christy! I hope you have a wonderful day. Big hugs from me!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

can you get salmonella from talking about it?

...Reading yesterday's paper this morning, I laughed out loud at the Baby Blues comic strip. I don't know if you read that comic, but it is always so right on with how kids and parents are (and two men write it, which is amazing to me!) and what they go through. Anyway, Hammie was saying that he was exposed to chicken pox, strep and head lice and then asked his mom what was new with her. Ha!

We have been going through our own discussions on communicable diseases and other illnesses. Every few days, Rhett asks me if he has the chicken pox because his doctor told us they would need a new chicken pox vaccine soon. The boys declined on getting one this year-they would wait thank you very much- until next year. I don't know if Rhett regrets his decision or not, but he thinks every bump on him is chicken pox.

When he had strep, we had long talks about what is contagious or not, what is a bacteria or a virus and so on.

Now with the recall of products with peanut butter because they may be tainted with salmonella we have had long talks about what that is, why do people die, is it in every kind of peanut butter, and if that means we never can eat peanut butter again, and don't I think this Oreo Mix from Brauhm's tastes like peanut butter, really because it sure tastes like it, you know the filling tastes a little like peanut butter, we just want to be sure and you get the idea.

So, what's new with you?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

thoughts on today

...I am listening to President Obama's speech as I write this post. Here are my random thoughts.

I want to know who that older lady was that everyone hugged and kissed when coming down the stairs. She seemed to know them all.

I have no idea the weight he feels as he takes this job during this turbulent time in America but I am sure it is great. No matter how you felt of the outcome of the election, I do hope that everyone is behind him now and hopes he can bring positive changes. I know that I feel like that.

I love watching the people who are so overwhelmed with emotions.

I do believe President Obama is one of the best speakers I have ever listened to.

I just saw Caroline Kennedy looking quite reflective. I wonder what all she feels on this day.

I really do hope he can change the way the world sees America right now.

"people will judge you on what you can build, not what you can destroy" powerful words

It is amazing just how far we've come. Wouldn't Dr. King be so proud?

You know he just looked at his half-sister and laughed at her for crying. Brothers.

Monday, January 19, 2009

fourth file, third picture

...So, Holly photo tagged me and the rules were to open your fourth file and pick your fourth picture and then tell about it. Well, I opened the fourth file and then looked at the fourth picture and it was of a building. The one next to it was perfect. I'll tell you why.

Today is Krista's birthday! And the photo above is of Krista and myself drinking mojitos the first night in New York. I honestly can't remember what the big stick in the drink is. Cactus maybe? Anyway, we had interesting Cuban food with our mom and our sister Jana and had the best time the rest of our trip.

It takes effort on all of us to see each other more than once a year (okay it takes effort for all of us to get together once a year as well). Most of the time, Krista is the one who has to travel the farthest (and having a daughter afraid of flying doesn't help). But New York was different. It took her less time to get there than the rest of us and I was happy that was so.

When we are together it is hard for us to actually talk to each other because there are seven kids running around. In New York, it was just the four of us. And we talked. And it was lovely. And sometimes we didn't talk. And it was just as lovely. I told myself I could get used to it. Being around my sisters and mom that is.

I miss them when we are away from each other. I love that Krista blogs because it feels like we talk everyday now.

Krista, happy birthday. I hope you have a great day (and a relatively uneventful one). The boys give you a big cyber hug. We all love you!

Oh and Krista, consider yourself tagged. Fourth file, fourth picture (or whichever picture you want) and tell the story.

Friday, January 16, 2009

my rediscovery plan is going well so far

...I am aware that I might have scared people off by my post the other day. If it came on a little strong, well, it is just because I feel strongly about it.

Last night during our traditional "What did you do today?" conversation at supper, Noah says, "Mom, did you know that me and only one other kid knew that polar bears are endangered?"

Pride swelled within me. My kids are listening to me!

Then we had a long conversation about global warming and how it is not just one company named Global Warming that is heating up the Earth. (Rhett was a little confused. I hope I cleared that one up).

I also finished my honey book and it ended on some fairly positive things. About beekeepers who are bucking their own systems and returning to how nature takes care of things. It was good to hear.

I told Seth I want to put wildflowers and grasses in our backyard, you know, for our native pollinators and bugs. Because he loves me, he said "okay, treehugger." :)

Hey, I did say I wanted to rediscover my passion for the environment. I think I have done that, don't you?

It is Friday and I for one am glad. The week was long. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

honey, we've got a problem

...I am reading a terrifying book. What makes it even more scary is that it is entirely true.

Fruitless Fall: The Collapse of The Honey Bee and the Coming Agricultural Crisis by Rowan Jacobsen is fascinating to me. I've learned so much about the history of the honey bee. It is also alarming because the world as we know it is going to one day be without its most prolific pollinators.

That is not good people.

Here is an excerpt of one of Jacobsen's chapters called Bees on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (pages 138-9): [notes from me are in the brackets]

What causes stress in bees? Pretty much the same things that cause stress in people.

Picture an ideal workday. You wake up from a deep night's sleep and eat a healthy breakfast that provides plenty of good muscle food as well as brain food, so you operate at peak efficiency. All day you work in a comfortable environment...Your exposure to toxins in minimal. The support of your friends and family is strong. You remain alert and relaxed throughout the day, and you are incredible productive.

Now, picture a different scenario. You stagger off a coast-to-coast red-eye flight [bee hives are flown around the country to pollinate crops. i.e. Florida bee keepers send their bees to California to pollinate the almond crops] and chug a Pepsi for breakfast to revive. [Beekeepers will set jars of corn syrup on top of thier hives when their is no available pollen] You hop in your rental car and head for your business meeting, but wouldn't you know it, the GPS is malfunctioning in the car and you get lost. You show up for the meeting late, edgy and shaking. You have to excuse yourself to hit the bathroom because you got a stomach bug and the antibiotics just aren't helping...[Two of CCD's symptoms are disorientation and immune deficiancy] Halfway through the meeting a pest-control guy steps in and sprays the room with a white fog that makes you retch. You are useless throughout the meeting and don't make the sale you hoped to make. But you can't dwell on that because you have to head directly to another meeting. In fact, you have meetings all day, until late at night, and then you have to hop another red-eye home. Not time to sit down and eat, so you wolf down a box of doughnuts as you drive.

You're in bad shape. Not only are you constantly irritable because of the impossible schedule, but lack of sleep, a sugary diet, and chemical contamination are taxing your immune system. You'll probably get more illnesses, and your work performance will continue to suffer. When you finally make it home to your mate, you won't be terrible interested in romance, because you've got to much on your mind--such as the fact that your kids seem to have some sort of learning disabilities.

I haven't finished the book yet, but I have already decided to act on an email I received just days ago from The Pollinator Partership. It asks that I request to have Pollinator Week in June to the governor. I am going to do that as soon as I finish here.

It is sad to see what we as a world are doing to nature. With insecticides, fake honey (don't even get me started but here one link if you want to know), urban spread and perfectly manicured green with no weeds lawn, we are killing a way of life that will be sorely missed by our children and grandchildren. Can you just imagine the conversation?

Rhett: You know son, I remember when we would go to the farmer's market and Mom would buy real honest to goodness honey. It was so sweet, so good. Not like this stuff we have now. And the fruit we had! Oh my goodness. Apples, strawberries, pears and peaches! We used to eat an apple a day.

my grandson: An apple a day? Whoa! You must have been rich!

Rhett: Ha! Ha! No, we weren't rich. Back then, apples weren't that expensive to buy. Not like now...
And you should have tasted one of Grandmom Karen's apple pies. Those were so delicious. We haven't had one of those in a very long time.

Sad faces and tears ensue.

Maybe I am being melodramatic here but then again what if that is closer to the truth than we all would like to admit.

I, for one, am going to start doing something about it.

If you are still reading, thank you. I know I ranted and raved but it just tears me up to know what kind of future we are leaving for the next generation. If you want to do something too, start by reading Jacobsen's book. I highly recommend it.

Good-bye for now.


...The weather is cold. It will be very cold tomorrow. But no snow in the forecast.

The last two days I have been basically stuck inside with a sick boy. Today, I have some catch-up errands to run.

I went to bed around 9:30 last night because I was feeling blue.

Winter. I can see how it can make a person feel down-in-the-dumps. My friend from Hawaii is constantly saying how she needs at least an hour of sun every day. I understand what she means.

I am ready to do something. I dream about snow skiing, hiking, horseback riding--something outdoorsy, away from the confines of the dreary house.

Yesterday I spent some time redoing my blog which got me into trouble with Rhett. He needed someone to play with. I think he, too, was getting a little stir-crazy. He would just stare out the door, wishing to run free outside.

I think I will go for a bike ride after Noah goes to school. Errands can wait. My sanity is at stake here.

If winter is getting the best of you, I hope you find something to make you happy today. Good luck.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

a friend in need

...One of Seth's high school classmates and friend's Dad has had a brain trauma. Jerry Hinkle's progress is shared on the blog by both his sons. I am sure they would appreciate your comments of prayers and support.

Rhett has strep so he is home for one more day. I think he is enjoying it a little too much. Tomorrow is going to be hard. :)

Good luck needs to be sent Krista's way. 2009 has not been kind to them so far.

Have a good day.

Monday, January 12, 2009

what I've learned

...Rhett is sick today so he is in my bed right now playing the DS with his brother laying right beside him. They sound like they are having a wonderful time. Maybe that means he is not feeling too bad...

Today I hope to take down the rest of my Christmas decorations. (Those wonderfully framed Merry Christmas greetings in other languages? Still in their frames. I just forgot about those and noticed this morning they were still there.)

I hope to finish Thank You cards from the boys' birthdays and Christmas. One great thing about their birthdays so close to Christmas is that I can combine the thank yous into one. In fact I love that! And soon, when Rhett and Noah start doing their own Thank You cards, they will love it as well. Next year, I promise myself.

I have read two books this past week under a common theme: Hurricanes. Why I chose that I am not sure but I picked up two books about hurricane disasters at the library. The first book I read was about the hurricane of 1935 which hit the Florida Keys. This is the storm that killed more than 250 World War I veterans and also helped contribute to Hemingway's suicide many years later. I had no idea about any of it! The book is Hemingway's Hurricane: The Great Florida Keys Storm of 1935 by Phil Scott.

I also read Joshua Clark's memoir Heart Like Water which is about his days during and after Hurricane Katrina. He was one of the few that decided to stay in New Orleans. Four weeks without electricity, three weeks without fresh water (he finally found out you could tap into your hot water heater) and one broken relationship later, he finally tells of the reason he thinks the flooding happened. Want to know? The American Wetlands are disappearing. Because of river levees, completed after the Great Flood of 1927 (another great subject to read about), there is no river sediment to reach and replenish the wetlands as it once did from natural flooding. Because of the disappearing wetlands (over 2000 square miles of Louisiana's coast has eroded since 1928) the hurricanes do not diminish in size or power. (He says every three miles of wetlands knock the storm surge down one foot, reducing the hurricane's power to destroy by the time it reaches New Orleans). Ironically, Katrina became such a disaster because the river levees held for so long before the hurricane. Anywho, if you want to know more about this go to

This week, I'll be reading about the collapse fo the honey bee or CCD (colony collapse disorder). Really, I am not kidding. :) This may also fall under a common theme with the other books. Man-made disasters: How many things can we mess up, kill off or make worse?

Bye for now.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

It's special.

...This picture was taken New Year's Eve. It is of the boys and their cousins (my sisters' and brother's kids) and they were toasting (with lemonade) the coming year at 9 pm. One of the reasons I love kids so much is their complete innocence about things. Cameron, Casey's son, heard we were toasting the New Year and ran through the house screaming, "We're having lemonade and toast! We're having lemonade and toast!"

Very funny. To Cam, it was the most special thing in the world. He was very disappointed when he realized there was no toast.

Yesterday, Noah got to go on a playdate with one of his new friends. The evening before, during supper, Noah wanted to tell Rhett the news. So he whispered to me, asking if it was okay. Rhett answered, (because Noah's whispering isn't very whispery) "I can handle it Noah. Just tell me."
Noah excitedly told his news. Playdate! Pump It Up! Lunch somewhere afterward! Fun! Fun! Fun!

Rhett said, "Awww."

I said, "I thought you said you could handle it!"

He answered, very sincerely, "I didn't know it was going to be Pump It Up."

That night at bedtime he asked if we could do something special the next day too.

Something special consisted going to Wal-mart and using their gift cards. Woo-who!


Have a wonderful day. I hope you do something that is special--even if it is only special to you.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

one word

...Some of you may know of the One Little Word that Ali Edwards encourages her readers to choose at the beginning of each year. I really haven't done it in the past because, well, I really don't have a good reason for not doing it, I just didn't. Anyway, some of you might also know that this past year was a hard year for me. So I thought that maybe I should have a little word, all my own, to help me live out this year to the fullest.

I thought long and hard (well, I tried to but with two boys jabbering in your ear it is hard to think too deeply) and came up with a word that will help me do all I want to do this year.


I want to rediscover my brain. I had one once upon a time that I used fairly often. Now, not so much. I am thinking seriously about going back to school and also I am going go read more books on things that my dad would read (more history, less fluff).

I am going to rediscover my passion for the environment. It has gone by the wayside and I feel like I have failed. I was so excited last year about not using plastic bags. Now I don't think even think about bringing my reusable bags. Not good.

I am going to rediscover the reasons I like my husband. Not that I forgot them, but with kids and work and life sometimes Seth comes last when he should come first. It is easier not to work on your marriage than to carve out time for it. Much to easy. So I want to work on that.

I want to rediscover my creativity. I have all this creative energy but haven't found just the right outlet for it. So I will be looking and trying some things out.

I want to rediscover my organization skills. Ok, I really never had those but maybe I can rediscover the reasons I want to be organized. ;)

Lastly, I want to rediscover my friends and what is going on in their lives. I feel like I haven't been a good friend lately to many of my dear friends and that isn't fair to them.

Rediscovering myself, love, my passions and my friendships is going to be challenging. I can feel the gears in my brain starting to move already. It is going to be a good year.

Monday, January 05, 2009

a belated happy new year to you

...Hello there! It has been awhile. Christmas and New Year's is over and today Rhett and Noah go to school and I have to go back to being homemaker. There is laundry to do and phone calls to make and dishes to wash, ect, but I do want to take a moment to give you a photo-heavy recap of my holiday.This is a part of the most gorgeous light display I have yet to see. Many numbers of trees are wrapped up like this all around the buildings where Seth works. It is beautiful and I am so glad I got to see it again this year.
My mom came the the weekend before Christmas to take the boys and me to The Nutcracker. This was the boys' birthday present from her. Seth drove us there and dropped us off by the door and we were so thankful because of the bitter cold wind (one of the last days it was cold for awhile--after that it warmed up and can you believe the spring-like weather we had for the last days in December?) Then Mom bought us all a Nutcracker and we settled down in our seats for the show. Rhett and Noah really enjoyed it and I am glad Mom took them. They had a weekend of culture that is for sure because the night before they went to an Okalahoma Thunder basketball game with their dad!
This is Christmas Eve night. The boys were just joking around but I thought it was fitting. Getting along during the holidays is so hard and there were many times I had to threaten that Santa was watching them but after Christmas, they did so much better. Maybe it was all the new stuff keeping them busy.
Rhett read Twas the Night Before Christmas for everyone that night. He did such a great job that no one noticed that our dog Scout was stealing Santa's cookies that was left for him on our coffee table. I can tell you she did not get anything for Christmas this year! :)
Here the whole Houston clan is posing for a picture in the park by the Botanical Gardens in Oklahoma City. They all came here for Christmas and we all had a good time. The park was beautiful with all the lights. It was a great ending to the Christmas holiday.

I'm not done but I am quitting for today. Remember the laundry? Well, I've got loads to do! Ha! Ha!