Thad opted for a new BC Builder dinosaur from Toys R Us. Victoria got a doll that came with a purse. . .and since we arrived at Toys R Us at 4:00, the place was practically ours. We spent an hour just wandering. . . climbing in and out of all of the huge riding car toys that the kids will never own. We had an agreement before-hand that this after school jaunt was to be F-U-N fun. Each kid would get ONE toy, and Mommy had a dollar limit that would not be exceeded. If they found other things they liked, we would make a list. They now each have a list, which they will probably forget about soon–I’m so sneaky.

Wendy’s was also empty at 5:07. The kids got to take their new toys inside with them. . .I pulled out all the stops and tried to say “no” as little as possible. Thad proposed a game of hide and seek since there were (his words) no “regular customers” there. (I don’t know if he meant that we are strange. . .or that we’re not regulars to that particular Wendy’s. . .or that there was no one else there. Actually all of those options are right on the mark.) I nixed the hide and seek, but he got to take a lap around the empty dining room and was satisfied.

They both have a new pair of tennis shoes, and Thad has a pair of Velcro sandals with bull-dozers on them that made him leap for joy. The sparkly, pink sandals of Victoria’s dreams were not available in her size. The blessing and curse of living in a town with several Targets is that there is always another one to check out later for the sparkly, pink sandals.

The children are now in their jammies watching a video while I veg in front of the computer.

No one has cried. No one has whined. No one has pouted. No one got spanked. I didn’t have to raise my voice OR cook supper OR do dishes. I declare this evening a RAVING SUCCESS.


Daddy’s going camping

Tony is off to the woods tomorrow with his friends Mike and Richard. They go and camp. . .three Eagle Scouts out drinking Kool-Aid and playing poker for Bob’s jalapeno potato chips. So the kids and I have a lot of fun planned for tomorrow after school (so we can stay home most of Saturday).

First, I will read to Victoria’s class, then we will swing by and get the boy. Next, we’ll take a jaunt to Toys R Us so that Thad can get a chalk drawer. He REALLY wants it. . .and he pointed out that we do, indeed, “have lots and lots of coupons, Mommy.” After that we need to get new shoes for both of them. . .and by that time we will NEED to stop and get Wendy’s for dinner. I have an ulterior motive for choosing Wendy’s. . .there is no playland. . .which means I can bring them home and they can watch Veggie Tales while we eat and I take a break.

Saturday morning we will go to Shipley’s for a VERY nutritious breakfast of donuts. . .then we will be back on the straight and narrow–gastronomically and financially–our money and calories all spent.

Daddy isn’t the only one who will have an eventful weekend.


For 10 years of my life, I went to camp. Every summer, rain or shine, and frequently both, I was just outside of Calhoun, Louisiana at Camp Ch-Yo-Ca. The memories are wonderful, touchingly painful, crystal clear, exceptional. That place and many teachers, counselors, directors, fellow campers who were there helped me to grow up in my faith and as a human.

Sarah e-mailed me today to tell me that one of my friends from long ago had run into another friend–both from camp. So I logged onto one of their blogs to join in the conversation. I remember them like they were then–Brandon with red hair and a personality bigger than life. Arlene with her beautiful, huge blue eyes and her side-kick, Holly. I cannot even begin to list the people that I loved there.

They closed camp down last summer, I was told. It needed to be majorly renovated, etc. I had hoped that Victoria would be making a trip of her own to Ch-Yo-Ca soon. I would be a Bible teacher during the day and go home to my parent’s house at night. . .or brave it and stay in a cabin with a bunch of giggling little girls–share a bath-house with even more giggling little girls. Thad would have to wait a few more years to be old enough. Maybe the rumors weren’t true.

Several years ago they had a reunion there. I missed it. Victoria was a baby. Tony and I were trying to get back to Houston and couldn’t stay one more day to attend. As much as I love places and times, it’s almost too much for me to go back. I am a very emotional gal–and it is hard for me to revisit things so dear to me. That being said, camp is forever in my heart–the place and the people who made it such a great place to spend a few weeks of every summer.

Pink and White Parties

It has been my pretty much life-long ambition to write. . .although I’ll admit that the new wore off when everyone and their dog (namely celebrities) began to write. . .so that one is out there, but still a dream.

Another love of mine is teaching ladies’ class at church. I would love to speak at women’s events and the like. . .alas, again. . .still a dream. It is not yet my time. So I will teach ladies’ class this summer and be happy about that.

BUT once each year I get to live a dream. . .a dream of putting together wonderful parties. Parties that are full of fresh flowers and frilly desserts and pink gingham draped over anything that doesn’t move.

Every April for the past four years, Victoria and I have had a Mother & Daughter luncheon. It began by me simply wanting to take advantage of my husband’s gorgeous back yard. . .and an admonition from both FlyLady AND Erma Bombeck that I shouldn’t wait until the house is perfect or the “pink candle in the shape of a rose has melted in storage.” Both of those wonderful women made me decide to overlook the tiny-ness of my house AND the horribly apple juice stained carpet AND the fact that it just might rain and throw a party in the back yard–so I did.

Attendance at our first bash was 12, then 14, then 36, and last year 48. It started out as my friends and their daughters, friends from church. . .then Victoria went to school and we began to invite teachers and their kids. There are 57 on the invitation list for this year(Tony has quit asking how many are coming), but I know already that four can’t make it. It sounds like a big deal whatever. . .but really it is just fun, fun, fun. . .

It is fun to figure out what the invitations will look like and what the table decor will be–what can be recycled from years past and what new wonderful “find” I can add. (This year it’s two miniature wrought iron chairs painted white and distressed that I got at Hobby Lobby for 50% which brought them to a whopping $4 each!!!!! They will be wonderful with a small arrangement of flowers on the seat and some wisteria cut from the tree in the yard cascading down.)

The menu is always plain and simple. Plain turkey (no honey or smoke), plain cheese (no pimentos), plain bread (wheat and crustless white of course), plain pretzels, plain baby carrots, plain crackers, plain berry punch, etc. It’s all stuff that little girls will eat and mommies will enjoy as well.The thing that is always the favorite part of the meal, however, is the dessert. Each year it is homemade carrot cake with LOTS of cream cheese frosting decorated with flowers for the moms and some fancy, schmancy cupcake for the girls. We’ve had pink polka dot cupcakes, cupcakes in the shape of birdhouses and teacups; last year were cupcakes with flower shaped teapots as the decoration on top (non-edible). This year it will be cupcakes with pink ribbons tied ’round them.

We do a little craft. . .set up the toy kitchen and table and lots of tea sets. At some point after lunch, all the girls end up barefoot in the sandbox in their sundresses or gathered at the chicken coop asking if those chickens REALLY lay eggs or picking up peaches that have fallen out of our peach trees. It’s a lot of fun. . .and it’s coming up soon. So right now there is the stress and flurry of activity. . .and afterward there are the aching feet and things to be put away. But for one glorious afternoon we can all be girls that get to dress up and then go barefoot while eating decadent desserts, and there is some part of that equation that EVERY girl will enjoy.

Powder Puff Derby

Victoria participated in the first annual Powder Puff Derby for her unit or division or whatever of Brownie Girl Scouts today. Her car came in last in two heats and second in two heats. She got nowhere near winning anything–but she and her daddy had a good time building the car. It was hot pink with the number 77 painted on either side in lavender. Her “surprise” was that she painted a yellow lightning bolt on the hood and the name “Daisy.”

Quite a day. Now she can race it around the house to her heart’s content–which was forbidden before the race.

I’m it.

Not quite as conceited as the title might imply, I’ve been “tagged.” I’m not sure where all of this tagging stuff started or just how. . .but filling it out was a good way to stay at school until my required time of 3:10 without having to think anymore.

Four jobs you have had in your life:
1. (Besides teaching) Sonic car hop
2. Crate and Barrel
3. Crabtree and Evelyn
4. JoAnn

Four movies you would watch over and over:
1. Pretty Woman
2. While You Were Sleeping
3. Field of Dreams
4. Two Weeks Notice

Four places you have lived:
1. Bastrop, Louisiana
2. Searcy, Arkansas
3. Abilene, Texas
4. Houston, Texas (and that’s it. . .just four places)

Four TV shows you love to watch:
1. Antiques Road Show
2. Lost
3. Gray’s Anatomy
4. Without a Trace

Four places you have been on vacation:
1. Galveston
2. Pensacola
3. Nebraska
4. This is just like the places I’ve lived. . .

Four Web sites I visit daily:
1. Sarah’s blog
2. Stephanie’s blog
3. My blog

Four of my favorite foods:
1. Pepperoni Pizza
2. Quesadillas
3. Blue Bell Milk or Dutch Chocolate Ice Cream
4. Cheetos

Four Places I would rather be right now!
1. Home with my kids and my husband
2. Home with just my husband
3. Home with just myself
4. Anywhere with my kids and husband

Four friends I am tagging that I think will respond…..
1. Stephanie
2. Terrell
3. Mary Barr
4. Not Sarah ’cause she’s already been tagged

That magic time of year.

This is that magic time of year in a 6th grade classroom. . .probably in any classroom, but I can only speak for myself. It’s magic, because the kids finally get you–your jokes, your moods, when you “really mean it”, the line across which they should not venture, when to quit, when to start. It’s a very pleasant time. Not that all is perfection, of course. It’s just that at some point between Christmas and now, things click and you become pretty good at getting along. Even the bad kids sort of calm down–either that or they’ve gotten to the point where every infraction gets them a visit to the office or a phone call home. And they know that you know and that everyone else knows that they don’t like you. But since most everyone else either does like you, or is just protective because you are “their” teacher, they don’t get to complain about you any more.

So I’ve probably just jinxed tomorrow. They will rise up in mutiny during 1st period because I’ve bragged on them today. But it must be said that right now is the most pleasant time of teaching. I have about four good weeks left. . .then comes May. . .