Please, hold the applause. . .

My husband and I both teach in public schools. We are “merely” teachers. . .no administrative dreams either. This is not a high-paying profession. It will be especially LOW paying next school year when we BOTH miss an entire month’s salary due the state legislature’s decision to not begin school until after Labor Day. I digress.

Even though I knew we would never be rollin’ in the dough. . .I always knew I wanted to stay home with my kids–atleast as long as I could. That turned out to be five years. Two with Victoria. One year back while pregnant with Thad. Three more years after Thad was born.

Our wonderful plans and sacrifice did not, however, stop things like root canals, flat tires, broken air conditioners, lots and lots of strep, diapers, formula, transmissions, etc. So basically life. . .

This came to the tune of several thousand dollars. . .like 5 figures. . .like a very, very, *VERY* nice car or several trips to Disney World. Luckily we don’t care about nice cars or Disney World either (well–maybe Disney World a little bit, and I hear from Joshilyn Jackson that they have the world’s cleanest bathrooms.) It was more than worth the price tag to get those 5 years.

But I can now proudly announce, that in only15 months we have obliterated all 5 figures. We, tonight, paid off the very last amounts of credit card debt. Gone. Poof. Vanished. Done. At midnight, the bank will wire our last payments and we are free and clear. . .

. . .to now put all of that money in 403B retirement accounts and 529 education plans and that lovely house I told you about.

But before all of that, I am going to get a coke. At 9:58 p.m. A real Coke. Not a diet Coke (which I dearly love), but a real, live, sugar filled, caffeine drenched Coke.

I’m livin’ la vida loco, y’all. . .and I’m doin’ it debt free.

The Gauntlet, down it has been thrown . . .

My ponderings from last night have elicited a request from Denise of West Texas. . .I was askin’ about Blogger and commented on what I’d heard regarding WordPress. . .and Stephanie (who uses WordPress, and very beautifully I might add) said the following. . .

WordPress is easy, and you can import all your blogger posts so it’s like you were always with wordpress. Plus, with wordpress you can see stats, and blogger doesn’t (unless you add your own code) 🙂

So, Stephanie or any other WordPress/TypePad/Beta Blogger users. . .fell free to weigh in and answer Denise’s questions. I already know that Mouse CAN-NOT-STAND Beta Blogger. . .read it on her blog. . .

Denise says. . .Alright, I want a discussion. What are stats? Is that like my site Meter stats? What’s Beta Blogger? Have we all switched? Will it stop me from having to put in my name and password EVERY TIME? Girls, I’m old and lost in the computer world…
6:11 PM

By the way. . .

What is the deal with Blogger REALLY PUSHING the new “Beta Blogger?” I couldn’t get to the dashboard today until I had first clicked “No–I really am not interested in Beta Blogger.”

I hear wonderful things about WordPress, but it took me so long to learn Blogger, I’m not interested in packing up and moving until this summer

Just in case

. . .you, like Stephanie, are in need of a little snow, head on over to

http://www.popularfront.com/snowdays/ . The page will load, then click on “make your own snowflake.” Use your mouse to make “cuts.” You will be able to see what your snowflake looks like over to the left.

I swanee–it’s incredibly addictive. My friend sent this to me a couple of years ago. Thought you might like it. I haven’t done any in over a year, but if you’d like to see my creations for today, click on “search for a snowflake” or something like that in the lower left corner, type in Roxanne, Texas, and 11/27/06. You should then have 6 snowflakes for your viewing enjoyment. It’s pretty. It’s fun. And it’s better for you than eating chips.

On a similar note–the forecast for today was no rain, high of 78. It didn’t get above 65 and has been raining since 9:00 this morning. If it were as cold here as it is in Steph’s neck of the woods, we would most DEFINITELY be getting some of the white stuff.

Time to go and be responsible.

Etc.

Tonight’s walk. . .17 minutes, 25 seconds at a slow pace so as to escape the calf blow torch effect.

Things spotted on said walk. . .a lovely hot pink hibiscus in full bloom next to 5 different pink rose bushes. . .from light pink all the way to vivid fuschia, a small grouping of half eaten fried chicken wings on the sidewalk, lots of people hanging Christmas lights, no horrifically large birds with intestinal issues.

I have been trying to reclaim the house one bit at a time. It’s still not so hot, but the kitchen can be navigated and the children’s floors are clear.

Victoria got a phone call from her friend Abby today. She and Abby became friends in kindergarten, and though they don’t go to the same school, they still love to get together and play. For some reason these girlies just click. So this afternoon Victoria made a surprise for Abby–a note written in cursive. I saw it tonight when I was putting clothes away. . .I thought it very wise for an 8 year old. . .her punctuation and spelling are intact.

“Abby,

Me and you, together are like one big team. Together we can do things we cannot do aloune.”

So to all of you friends that read this. . .the ones I’ve met and the ones I’ve not. . .and especially certain ones of you–you know who you are–we are like one big team. . .together we can do things we cannot do alone. 🙂

A discussion about colors

Victoria wanted to use the easle today (from Santa two Christmases ago. . .and Santa got it for $19.99 at IKEA). The following is what takes place in our house, car, tub, upstairs, back yard, couch, etc. on a daily basis. . .little machine gun bursts of dendrytes and conversation. . .Thad and I joined in at intervals.

“Mommy, I just found out what makes that ugly green color!!! Green and orange.”

“I think it’s moss green.”

“Yeah, that gwoss gween is called camofwauge gween. . .actuawy it’s not gwoss owuh ugwy. . .it’s just camofwauge.”

Wow Mommy! I made another type of green–another ugly green–it’s orange and purple! It’s a little darker.

“Yes, that’s forrest green.”

“OOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, dat’s a nice name. . .you haven’t mixed puple and gween.”

“Well, Thad, I’ve mixed all of the primary colors and I’m just playing with the secondary ones.”

“Oh, I made a color that is unknown. I mixed purple and orange and got a very, very, very dark maroon. Daddy would like it. It’s Arnold’s color. (Tony’s school is Arnold–the colors are maroon and gold.) Oh. . .Anthony. . .Arnold . . .Anthony. . .Arnold. . .that’s good. I’m gonna need to get a piece of paper. I need to do some graphics. Yes, I need to do some graphics even though I don’t know what ‘graphics’ is.” (I think she meant graph.)

Later. . .chalk squeaking on the black board side. . .

“Thad, that’s very good. I can see your process.”

“What’s pwocess?”

“That means your work.”

From what I can tell, Victoria is drawing the seven continents and Thad is coloring them in with chalk. She is explaining to Thad that North America is, indeed, connected to South America.

An explosion of artistic learning in my little kitchen. There is silence now–they need to let the dendrytes connect.