Thursday, November 27, 2008


It’s Thanksgiving y’all. In the spirit of the day, I want to take a moment and tell everyone what I’m thankful for.

I’m thankful that Kyler is so generous. My mother-in-law has been remodeling her house. She is working hard to get all the “kid clutter” paired down and placed on shelves, which amounts to major decluttering of her house. She has made at least 2 trips to the recycling center. While she was telling me all this on the phone, my son was just itching to talk to her. In the background, I heard, “Can I talk, Mom? Mom, let me talk. Please? Can I talk?” I handed the phone over to my son, who graciously (and with all seriousness) offered to bring my mother-in-law some new toys for her bare shelves. . .

I’m thankful my mother-in-law didn’t have a heart attack. I’m thankful I don’t have to pick out good nursing homes. . .yet. (Joking! SO totally joking! Who has the money for a good nursing home right now!)

I’m thankful my vivacious daughter has learned that no matter how good chap stick smells, it doesn’t taste good. She found this out when she tasted it and spent the next five minutes trying to rub the taste off her tongue.

I’m thankful Kevin will be home with us for Thanksgiving. This will be the first time ever that we’ve had this long to spend together at Thanksgiving.

I’m thankful my mom stopped throwing up. Thanksgiving at my very small house with me cooking would not be the same.

Have a great Thanksgiving! I'll be back Monday, assuming the voices in my head don't take over by then. . .Gotta love family and holidays!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Stains, Be Gone!!

With two little kids, we've rethought our leather couch many times. I still love the couch, after all, it's like the only piece of furniture we have that was bought new. . .and we know my stingy husband is not buying a new one anytime soon. . .

My daughter, the little Picasso, loves to draw on everything. I (foolishly) let my son play with an ink pad and stamps yesterday. With both instances, I was left trying to get (fresh) ink off the leather couch. Normally, I would have used "special, magical" cleaning solution they talked us into buying when we bought the couch. How did they get my squeak-when-he walks-husband to buy that? Oh yeah--that was my call. . .

Now, I use a baby wipe. I just grab a wipe from the container and Presto! The ink and most other stains disappear. Maybe it's the alcohol content in the wipes--I really don't know. I can tell you that it doesn't appear to cause any damage to the leather. It obviously doesn't work (as well) with old, set-in stains.

It works for us. To find out what works for other people, check out Rocks in my Dryer.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Pen is Mightier than the Dow

I guess you could say I had a revelation while doing my banking yesterday. It all started when I did my Thanksgiving grocery shopping. (Actually, it started prior to that when I admitted the very real possibility of going stark-raving mad over the detailed here.). Then, in Wal-mart, I met a bloggy friend in real life for the first time (Hi, Jenn! Yes, I would love to do the margaritas and scrapping party...I'll see if the judge can put that in the terms of my release--assuming I'll be declared competent by that time. Margaritas and scrapbooking...what on earth will we come up with?).

Jenn and I had talked many times, but I had yet to meet her in real life--until yesterday. (I'm thankful to my son for pointing her out, too. Thank goodness he knows everyone in a 5-state region. You could put that boy down in a wal-mart in portland, oregon, and he would know 3 people.). Jenn, please do not judge my upcoming thanksgiving holiday by the cheetos, vienna sausages, and poptarts you saw in our basket!! We did pick up some sweet potatoes before we left! You know, from the PRODUCE section!

Anyway, I digressed somewhere along through there...Ah, yes, back to my point.... Despite the threat of a crashing national economy, falling global markets, and security threats (both electronic and on-site) banks are still able to guard their writing utensils like no-one else! Do we really think they're that careful with our money? Just sayin'. : )

Monday, November 24, 2008

It's here. . .

The stress-inducing holidays have begun. Officially. I was talked to in a not-so-nice fashion on the phone yesterday. It seems a family member is upset. Smile, it will soon be over.

My mother-in-law, who reads my blog (HI, DONNA! You're great!), has decided that I should bring a vegetable. I guess we'll try and be healthy this year, thus cancelling out the 3-layer dessert, tiramisu, and pumpkin pie we will also be consuming. I am SO glad I made an issue of bringing sodas every year (Click here for THAT story.). . .Smile, it will soon be over.

My father, who chooses when and if he will behave is exhibiting questionable behavior already. . .Smile, it will soon be over.

Only one family member is currently throwing up. . .Smile, it will soon be over.

My husband will be home in a few days. I have not-enough-time to clean the house and prepare for Thanksgiving before he gets here. . .Smile, it will soon be over.

I really want to get Christmas stuff put up before I come back to work next Monday. My first job was in a Christmas store, so to say I go all out for Christmas would be an understatement. . .Smile, it will soon be over.

There is a strong history of mental illness in my family, which I am reminded of every holiday. Smile, it will soon be over.

My husband reassured me that most "crazy" people don't know they're crazy. . .Does anyone else hear the voices? They keep telling me to smile. . .

Sunday, November 23, 2008

officially in mourning

[insert sad, mourning soundtrack. . .perhaps I'll Fly Away. Imagine my black funeral attire, if you will.]

Well, the very thing I feared is coming true. Julianne Hough is leaving Dancing with the Stars. Read the article here. It has been no secret that we are huge fans of this show. My son rooted strongly for Julianne and her partner this season, Cody Linley. I continue to root for the ever-smiling and able-to-laugh-at-himself, Warren Sapp. Who doesn't love a big guy who can move and laugh?! Sadly, my big guy has no rhythm. . .nor do I. . .While we will continue to vote this week in the finale (GO, WARREN, GO!!), forgive me if I must take a few moments to publicly declare my sadness. I truly wish Miss Julianne the best. She does have an amazing voice and is a very gifted individual. She will, however, be missed by many!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

I'll Bring the Sodas!

It's holiday time again, and as much as I love my mother-in-law, she should stop reading NOW! (Donna, I really mean it!!)

Every Thanksgiving (and Christmas), we gather at my mother-in-law's house. Great fun is had by all. We enjoy eating until we make ourselves sick. We might play a little football or tag or whatever. The kids always have fun, with a minimum of fights between them.

Preparations have begun for this year. The requisite call to the mother-in-law was made. I was (once again) asked to bring soda pop. In the 10+ years Kevin and I have been married, I've never been asked to bring anything that requires baking/cooking. EVER. Occasionally, I get asked to bring ice. On occasion, store-bought rolls. . .

Now, my mistakes in the kitchen have been well documented by my husband and family. However, I really can cook. I just don't like to. Perhaps she feels my skills are best utilized elsewhere. . .where, I don't know, but. . .Perhaps she feels like I am too occupied with my kiddos. . .(nah, that can't be it!) The other women in this family are rather difficult to compete with. . .One had a heckuva time finding quality ladyfingers for her home-made tiramisu. . .Yeah, I hate when that happens. . .

Anywho, I am proud to announce that just last year, I graduated to prep cook. That's right. I was allowed to wash, peel, AND slice the veggies and fruit for the trays. . .Jealous?

Unfortunately, the invitation hasn't been extended (yet) this year. . .I'm sure it's just a matter of time, right?

I'll show mine if you'll show yours. . .

Catchy title, huh? Anywho, there's this amazing thing going on in bloggy world. It's called the Mother Letter. The premise can be read on the original blog (Check it out here) or by reading Rocks in my Dryer here.

Amazing things going on in bloggy world, if you ask me. I had to be a part of this, it's just too neat. That said, I'm posting my letter but really hoping you guys will share yours!

Here goes:

Dear Mother,

God has given us an amazing quest: to raise these children that he has blessed us with in the best way we can with HIS help. Difficulty doesn't begin to describe our job. There will be times when we will want to scream/cry/run/hide, etc., but with God, we can do this. (Raise the child, I mean, not scream/cry/run/hide, etc.) We can raise this amazingly original example of His love and joy into the person He wants him or her to be.

When those dark days get here, remember that God is with us. He never fails. He never departs. He is always there to help us. With Him, we can (and will) do this.
As a young girl once said, "God, take care of my family, and take care of You. Because, God, if anything happens to You, we're in a mess!"

Remember that others have come before you and others will go after you. Still others, are in the trenches with you. Gain strength through these other warriors who have either come or are going through your battles. Battles that include things you never imagined talking about in public. . .poop, vomit, breast milk, etc. Yet, one look from those big eyes and one "I love you, Mommy" and we know it is worth it. When you want to think of how far we have to go, think instead of how far we've come. Remember that amazing feeling of taking that newborn home? Remember the scary feeling that there was no test, no competency hearing, nothing to insure that you are really capable of parenting this human life that God and the hospital has intrusted to you?

Some day, our children will be grown. We shall be the triumphant elders in the trenches. May we share the lessons that truly matter with those new to the battle. May we never forget what truly matters and may our homes be filled with the things that truly matter this Christmas!


Rednecks R Us

After reading some of my last few posts, I realized something. I have been doing a wonderful job of reiterating all those Arkansas/hillbilly stereotypes you may have. For instance, we live 3 miles down a dirt road. We live in a county where you can't buy a bottle of whine, but all the drugs you want are within reach (scary!). Our next door neighbors have chicken houses. Dogs outnumber people in our neighborhood. My husband hunts--Everything.

I honestly did not realize we were rednecks until I read our stories. OK, that is SO not true. I've always known my husband was a redneck. He has made that perfectly clear since the first time I saw him (driving someone else's truck and "celebrating" a huge buck his best friend killed. . .what the heck was I thinking?!) However, I still have some denial about whether or not I am a redneck. Sadly, I have a feeling which side of the line my children are on. . .

That said, stereotypes are wrong and misleading. Please don't judge all of Arkansas by my stories. I am sorry if I have been misleading you. We are not all like this. Seriously. Growing up, I lived on a paved road--a highway, even! We only had one dog. We could buy wine, but drugs appeared (to me, at least) to be scarce. My dad "hunted" once a year, which amounted to going camping with the guys. Ok, the next door neighbors did have chicken houses, but it is Arkansas. . .

That said, let me influence you twice more. . .

1) We were almost late to school today because the Tyson truck was stopped on the dirt road talking to my neighbor, the illegal poacher, about deer hunting. . .

2) When we got to the babysitter's, she had a deer hanging in her front yard. Her husband had killed a good size buck. (Although she told me she took the kids on a field trip to teach them about hunting--gotta love that!)

Please don't judge us. Laugh WITH us, ok?

The Prodigal Son Returns (and other ramblings including a Vomit Update) : )

Thank you for all your prayers! Duke has returned. He has been cohabiting with the neighbor's pit bull, poodle, and new puppy. How can we compete with that? He returns home to eat, and then prefers to go play with the neighbors. . .

Kyler had a stomach bug on Wednesday. Kady got it late Wednesday/early Thursday. It turns out it is easiest to just hold the 2-year-old over the toilet AND hold her arms down (or else she's trying to put her hands in the icky toilet. . .). Just sayin'.

Thankfully, we're well again, I think. . .I was amazed at how selfish I could be when my kids were sick. . .My mom was never like that! I remember her taking off work, scrubbing whatever, and fixing us whatever we wanted to eat/drink. I really had to battle the inconvenience feelings. It really was not the "right day" for Kyler to get sick! I had other things I needed to be doing. . .I. . . As if my son wanted to be sick! I wish I could be a better mom. I wish I could be so much less selfish than I obviously was this week. . .Anyone else ever have those feelings?

Favorite memory of being sick when I was little: 1) my dad brought me a Hershey's bar (because I was sick. If I hadn't been sick, it would have been Snickers. . .) 2) my mom stayed home with us and let us watch anything we wanted on tv and fed us chicken noodle soup, 7-up, and popsicles.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Tale of Two Doggies

**Update: I wrote this post yesterday. When we got home last night, Duke was no where to be found. He wasn't there this morning, either. I know it's a minor thing to many of you, but please pray that Duke will return home safely. Thank you!**

Within the Kendrick household, we have had many pets. Through a series of unfortunate accidents, we have added and subtracted a great number of dogs and cats, although mostly dogs. There was a time when I thought we had to be the worst dog owners in the world. . .The fact that we lived on a very busy highway and liked busy, active dogs had nothing to do with it. . .

Luckily, our luck seems to have changed for the better. We've had our current dogs for 6 months and 2 years. Let me introduce you to the least productive members of our family.

This is Buddy. He is supposedly a cocker spaniel. . .This is what happens when your husband takes a job in Florida and you get lonely. He was rescued from a lady who named him "Alf." She named him Alf, because his hair was long and tangled and stood up straight. (Hello? Haircut, anyone?) We renamed him Buddy, and he has flourished. He sticks very close to our house and remains a little skittish. Buddy apparently sees himself as a backhoe/one-doggy drilling operation. He LOVES the kids, and Kady is especially fond of him. He's always looking for a little affection, and I apologize for the fact that he gets "homemade" haircuts.

This is Duke. He came to us by way of "Tradio." Tradio is a local radio show where people call in and announce things they want to give away or are looking for. When I was home on maternity leave, Kev took Kyler to school one morning. We had been talking about getting another dog, but WE had decided WE had enough on our plate with a newborn baby. . .On this particular morning, however, things apparently changed. My husband called and said that I would kill him for what he'd done. I hung up and got in the shower. It hit me. My husband got a puppy. He got a puppy--after we decided not to! (I was thinking small, cute, little bundle of fur.) Imagine my surprise when he came home and I saw a 70 pound golden retriever get out of his car. Ah, good times!

Anywho, Duke had been abandoned at an older, retired couple's house. They travelled a lot, so they could not keep him. They called in to Tradio, but no one had called about him--until Kev. He knows commands (sit, stay, etc.) and will heel well on a leash. Other than that, we have no idea of his history. He loves kids and basically, everyone. He loves to look in windows. . .including the neighbor's. . .Thank goodness our neighbors like him. His tongue is too big for his mouth, which is in direct proportion to his being, just, well, too big all around. He's a very large dog, but we love him.

That said, let me tell you about the day Duke should still be hanging his head about. Our neighbor has commercial chicken houses. He lives about a 1/2 mile away from us. The kids, dogs, and I went for a walk. I chose not to put the dogs on leashes for the walk. When we got to the neighbor's house, Duke took off. There were some rogue fowl that had escaped the chicken house. Duke looked like a kid in a candy store, chasing those chickens. Kyler was screaming. I was screaming. Duke caught a chicken. There were feathers flying everywhere. I left Kyler in charge of Kady, and I went after Duke. . .He trotted toward me, spitting feathers as he went. He was sufficiently (maybe) punished for this behavior. (The neighbor's wife later laughed (!) and said that he had been trying to catch those chickens for two weeks. . .) Judge for yourself in the picture below. Does he look repentant?

I didn't think so, either.
**Update: I wrote this post yesterday. Please pray that Duke will be home safe tonight. Thank you!**

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Daily Funny

This is what I saw on my car seat today.
It's Kyler's math test.
But what, you ask, are those things he drew?

Before you call, the child psychologist, you should know he drew forks!
That's my story, and I'm sticking with it!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Orange and other Kady-isms

Orange is Kady's favorite color. We're starting to work on counting, singing her ABC's, id'ing colors, etc., with Kady. When asked her favorite color, she always responds orange. I think it's the one she remembers. It appears to have no correlation with anything. Daddy is of course pleased with the choice of "hunter orange" as opposed to pink or even blue.

The child is in love with Dora (and Diego). She can spot the characters at 300 yards. . .on anything! She picked out new panties with Dora on them. When asked what her mama's name was, she responded, "Dora." Go figure.

We left from Kev's this morning (Monday) at 5:30 to make it to work/school. (How could I tell Kev no when he asked us to stay an extra night?) Kady was bright-eyed. Eventually, she did get tired of the car seat and kept asking when she would see "Sissy," who is her BFF at the babysitter's. It's just not right to be bright-eyed and pleasantly talkative at 5:30 am. . .

Her language skills make me so happy. (It's the little things sometimes. . .) As a speech-language pathologist, I think you are always aware of your child's development and worried about the possiblities. Our family has a strong history of delayed speech and language development. Kyler has made tremendous leaps and bounds compared to where he was. I've always been focused on any deficits he might have. . .even if a little in denial (read here). I'm proud to say Kady is doing very well in this area. Every day I am amazed by her new vocabulary.

Kady had her first taste of deer meat this weekend. She loved it. We had deer-meat chili on Saturday and fried deer meat on Sunday. Kev told her that the meat came from Kyler. She turned to him and said, "thank you." Kev asked her if she was going to be a deer hunter when she was older and she said she was. Kyler then told her that he got to kill the big bucks and she could have the little ones. She said, "OK." How did Kev manage to warp them both? and so quickly. . .

That's it. That's all I got. Maybe tomorrow I'll be less sleep deprived. . .

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Best Laid Plans. . .

Today did not go as planned. Ever had one of those days? I was supposed to get to see Kevin, run the errands I needed to run, and post Kyler's video from his program at school. Instead, I'm truly battling some "taken advantage of" feelings. I did not leave my dirty house so that I could come down here and clean my husband's "bachelor pad."

Let me back up. Kady is no longer taking a nap. Her sleep schedule is nightmare inducing. . .to me. For some unknown reason, God saw fit to give 2 night owls a beautiful little girl who just happens to be a morning person. The child is like an alarm clock--that never needs to be reset. 6am: "Get up! Get up, Mama, GET UP!" That's what I heard this morning (and every other day). We were dressed and on Target's doorstop at 8:30 this morning. (They open at 8, in case you're wondering.) I ran all our errands. I attempted to post, but the computer was having "connection" issues--who isn't? I've cleaned as much as I can, but it's just one of those days when one thing after another happens.

For example, Kady was laying down to take a nap when the lid came off her hot chocolate (lukewarm) and it spilled everywhere. (I know, hindsight is everything!) Kyler is beyond hyper, which is partially due to being stuck in this very small duplex. I've come a long ways on Kev's laundry, Kev's dirty dishes, and Kev's dirty house in general. . .What I need to clean up next is my attitude. I need a healing of my attitude.

I love my husband. I'm blessed to have Kevin as my husband. He truly is a wonderful man, who makes huge sacrifices for his family. I'm blessed to have a daughter like Kady, who took the initiative last night to pee pee in the potty because her big brother was. (FYI: Kady and I were brushing our teeth. Kyler walked in and started going pee pee, because my children have no concept of the terms "privacy" and "personal space." Kady suddenly said she needed to go, and she did!) I'm blessed to be able to take her to Target and buy her Dora panties as a reward. I'm blessed to have a son as full of life as Kyler. I'm blessed to have a son who is more coordinated, with better rhythm, and a better ability to carry a tune than his momma. . .or his daddy. . .How did that happen? I'm blessed to be able to come down here and see Kevin (even if it's not as much as I would like!). I'm blessed to be able to do Kev's laundry at his duplex instead of having to go to the laundromat. I'm blessed. Period.

As promised, here (hopefully) is Kyler's program at school.

The winner of the giveaway is Wanda, but I'm having technical difficulties. I will attempt to contact her on Monday, at which time, she will have 48 hours to respond.

May we all realize how truly blessed we are! Have a great weekend!

PS I am blessed in the nap area as well. Kady is (finally) taking a nap.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Weekend update

I'm feeling so SNL after typing that title! Speaking of which, I have a very unscientific way of aging a person. Ask them who their favorites were on Saturday Night Live. Try it. (Tie: Adam Sandler and Chris Farley, by the way!)

Moving on: We're headed to see Kevin shortly. I think I'll be making weekend posts for a change--yea, me! I've got some cute stuff coming up from Kyler's Veteran's Day program at school. Let me just say my son didn't get his rhythm from me. . .or his dad. . .because we have NONE. Zilch. Nada. It has to be one of those "milkman traits" he has.

Also, I've made my Christmas cards this year. (Just go back and read that sentence, will ya? Martha Stewart, eat your heart out!) I'll be doing some shopping for the finishing touches on those this weekend, as well. (I bought local for all the other parts, and that is my theme for this Christmas: "Buy local when you can." (Which can be tough in a small town!)

I linked to Stop and Smell the Chocolates--don't you love the name!? Check out her recipe for chocolate chip cheesecake!

Two of my bloggy friends (Amy--ByHisGrace and Elizabeth--findingHimbigger) left for Branson this weekend. . .Do you think they're having a secret bloggy convention that they didn't tell us about? Nah. . .they'd never do that. . .would they?

That's all I can think of for now. I've got 2 hours before I draw a name in the giveaway. I'll let you know the winners as soon as I post on Kev's computer.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

You've got WHAT on your hands?

Forgive me in advance for any false information I share. I am not a deer hunter. I grew up around them. I might have even attempted the hunting thing a time or two. However, the only deer I've ever killed was trying to outrun my car. . .Another story for another day. . .

Kev and Kyler went hunting close to our house this weekend. In fact, they just walked out in "our" woods to their tree stand to hunt. Can we just take a moment for me to realize how blessed I am?

Ok, I'm back. Kyler is really beginning to enjoy this hunting thing, so Kev is letting him do more and more. This time he let Kyler drag the "scent." This involves putting doe pee on a cotton ball and pulling it with a string to lure the buck in. (The buck smells a doe and comes around to find the amazingly, seductive-smelling doe.) Now, most of you are thinking doe pee is not high on the list of things you want to smell in your life. I can now assure you that you are right.

Apparently, somewhere on the way to the tree stand, Kyler dropped the string upon which the cotton ball was attached. Kevin realized this when he turned around and saw Kyler HOLDING the cotton ball. He asked Kyler why he was holding the cotton ball, and Kyler said he had dropped the string. At which time, he apparently thought it would be easier to just hold the cotton ball containing doe urine. . .Really, Kev, it's not like you explained the process to your son. . .(Can you picture Kyler's mind working to try and figure out exactly why pulling a cotton ball on a string was going to make them better deer hunters? I can.)

Kyler then spent the next hour or so sitting in a tree, smelling like a deer whizzed on him, and (bless his heart) holding his hand up for the wind to blow the smell off him. Ah, good times. When they came home, Kyler was sent to wash his hands IMMEDIATELY. When he returned, he (Moms, y'all know where this is going. . .) asked (not his dad but) me to smell his hands. Let's just say he had to rewash them. . .

In closing, let me share what we learned from this experience.

Lessons learned:

  1. The cotton ball goes on the ground.
  2. At all times, the cotton ball goes on the ground.
  3. DO NOT TOUCH the cotton ball.
  4. Boys are gross.
  5. Wind, water, soap, steel wool, acid (I jest) will not remove the scent of doe urine.
  6. Do NOT respond to the words, "Mom, smell this."
  7. Ever.
  8. No matter what.

wfmw: easy dessert for potlucks

OK, I confess. Martha stole her ideas from me. She and I are on a first name basis. She regularly calls me to ask about ideas for her show, her magazine, her product lines. . .Well, basically, she just calls to ask advice in general.

Y'ALL, GET UP! STOP LAUGHING! I am trying to write here. I could be on Martha's list. You don't know. Seriously, stop laughing at me. So what if I once burnt boiled eggs? Ok, so there was once the unfortunate cookie bar incident and the broken tooth at the church potluck. That could so happen to anyone. . .Moving on. . .

Anyway, I honestly don't have much time to cook/bake/clean/anything that involves taking time away from supervising the resident monkey hooligans that I gave birth to. When asked to bring a dish for a potluck, I always bring this:

Butterfinger Pie

small tub cool whip
equal amount of cream cheese (I think the tub is 8 oz, so get 8 oz cream cheese.)
6-7 butterfinger bars crushed
graham cracker crust

Here's what you do:

mix cream cheese and cool whip together. Beat in all but one of the candy bars. Spread into graham cracker crust. Top with last candy bar. Chill over night.

That's it. Seriously. Now, if you're like me, you're saying. . .yeah, but it's too easy. Wouldn't it be better if. . .No. Try it. It's rich, but not too sweet. It has chocolate. . .It's awesome. This is one of my husband's favorite desserts. . .and that's saying something, y'all.

While you're here, check out my giveaway! I know Halloween candy is still lurking in our cabinets, but this giveaway is for YOU only. Who doesn't love Ghirardelli? Go here to find out more. Works for me. To find out what works for everybody else, check out Rocks in my Dryer here.

Monday, November 10, 2008


I'm hitting a bloggy and real-life slump, so what's a girl to do but give something away?

Here's your assignment. (I am sssssoooooooooo good at this first-child thing!)

Tell me your new favorite go-to blog. What blog have you discovered in the last 3-6 months that you now have to read? It can be about anything. It should be in English. It can not contain rude, crude, or offensive language.

I'll use that random number generator thingy to pick a number (unless I can't figure out how, and in that case, I'll use my 2 year-old and have her pick a number out of a hat--please don't try to bribe the already-spoiled 2-year-old).

WHAT DO I WIN, you ask?

How about
(Winner will receive a 10.23 oz. bag of Ghirardelli chocolate squares. You can pick the flavor.)

Winner will be chosen at random on Friday, November 14th at 3 pm CST. Winner will be contacted and will have 48 hours to reply or another winner will be chosen.

If you're ever in my neck of the woods. . .

Kyler and I had a long overdue "date night" on Saturday. (Kevin had to work Saturday.) Kyler had been wanting to see the movie Beverly Hills Chihuahua. We left Kady at my mom's house and went to the local theatre.

Theatre is at times too strong of a word. We have one movie that plays at a time. It has one showing on Friday, one showing on Saturday, and one showing on Sunday. Recently, they fixed the crack on the screen, which had been bugging me since I was a teenager. Speaking of which, when I was a kid, it was one of the only places we could "hang out." It was especially cool if your parents would drop you off. . .I had to settle with simply sitting in a different location from my mom. We went to the movies regardless (typically) of what was playing. I've even been in the theatre when a tornado came through town. (The theatre stopped the movie and shut down, because, um, it was safer to send screaming, scared kids outdoors and waiting for their parents. . .yeah, it didn't make sense to me then, either.)

Back to Saturday night. There were literally springs coming out of the chair I was sitting in. . .Your choices at the concession stand are popcorn or candy. That said, movies are $3 for kids and $4 for adults. Popcorn is $2 for a large. Candy is $1. You're bound to run into anybody and everybody. (Which also means if the husband of one of your friends gets there late and has to sit next to you, it might be wise to encourage your son to trade places with you. . .ah, small towns. . .) Honestly, it's one of my all-time favorite places to take Kyler. I don't need to spend $50 to see the latest blockbuster. Kyler laughs just as loud and just as hard whether we've driven an hour or whether we've frequented the local theatre. In case you're ever in my neck of the woods, I encourage you to check out what's playing.

Oh, and if you try really hard to avoid your overprotective tendencies, you might be rewarded. . .I let Kyler go to the bathroom by himself. He came back laughing and telling me about the "No Smooching" sign on the bathroom door. This is what I later saw. . .

Guess we have a ways to go on the reading skills.

Friday, November 7, 2008

A Frightful Hallow's Eve

As promised, here's our exciting and eventful Halloween doings. (Let me apologize in advance for the sideways pictures--I'm having issues with the computer today.)

4:45 show up to sitter's house. attempt to get kids dressed. Kyler is Indiana Jones. Kady would be the cutest little lion ever. . .if only she agreed to wear the costume. . .

5:00 realize camera battery is officially dead. go to wal-mart. let kids take in candy buckets because others are. buy batteries. realize wal-mart is not actually handing out candy yet. carry kids buckets for them at this point. Kady is cranky, but thankfully, not like on the wal-mart visit to h*ll.

5:15 leave wal-mart (are y'all impressed with how quickly I can get 2 kids through wal-mart? It helps that there was the promise of candy upon leaving wal-mart.)

5:25 arrive at square to trick-or-treat. realize Kady is sound asleep. As in NOT GONNA WAKE UP! Armageddon could strike, and ragdoll Kady would still be sleeping.

used opportunity to put cutest little lion costume ever on her. (Hey, I take advantage of an opportunity whenever I see it. . .)

trick-or-treated (AKA carrying 27 pound sleeping toddler while chasing 8 year-old humming, buzzing Indy) all the way around the square. arrived back at car. realized stroller was in the back of the car. . .

5:40-5:55 sat Kyler on bench at town square. made, um, asked Kyler to hold his sleeping sister. He acquiesced grudgingly. managed to get decent shots--although Kady's head is at a bit of an unnatural angle. . .

6:00 Kady woke up. was not impressed with costume. Neither child was impressed with having to take more photos. . .

6:15 supper at Subway. FREE COOKIES!!!

6:35 stopped at sitter's house for candy.

6:45 off to school for fall festival activities. Kyler (already hopped up on adrenaline and candy--thanks, teachers!) bounced from activity to activity. Kady (now awake and thinking this candy needed to be eaten) sat in the floor and opened candy as fast as she could and ate it. Now, remember, she slept all the way around the square, so she really didn't have that much candy. In a moment of sheer genius (later diagnosed as utter stupidity), I decided to let her eat all the candy on Halloween night. That way, I wouldn't have to hear the begging for days. (I typically ration the candy.)

7:45 My son manages to get a little out of control at that exciting classic game of "Pin the Nose on the Pumpkin." He spins out of control and crashes on his sister, who's still looking for any unopened candy in her bucket. She cries. Everyone looks. I look. Kyler's blushes. Kady has a black eye. . .Just another day in paradise. . .

8:00 we slink out of the fall festival, seriously hoping no one remembers this at next year's event. . . Can you be uninvited to a school fall festival? Hmm.

8:05 Kevin calls. He's on the way home and says, "Would you MIND running to Wal-Mart for me?" I glance back at the blurs inhabiting my car. I think they're my kids. . .It's hard to tell with all the movement. . . Perhaps this much sugar is not conducive to surviving Wal-Mart, I think. Kevin pulls the "please" card. and then the "speak nicely to your wife" card. . .You know where this is going.

8:15 We bound into Wal-Mart, which is about the last time I have a hold on my 2-year-old. I spent the next 30 minutes chasing a giggling, lightning ball of candy/speed/crack (what was in that candy?) across the floor of every department Wal-Mart has. . .And cursing. I did lots of that in my head. I can promise you that my husband, God love him, will NEVER be able to pay me back.

9:15 wait 30 minutes for Kevin to show up. start thinking about where I could purchase a bit of the plague/leprosy, etc. Just a little. Honest.

10:00 Arrive home. Fall into bed. Vow never to trick-or-treat or enter Wal-Mart-land again.

Ok, how did ours stack up to yours? Did ours live up to your expectations? (Do you know where to get some bubonic plague? Kidding, promise. . .mostly.)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

In case you have any questions about my competence as a caregiver. . .

I forgot my son.

Let's just let that sink in for a minute, shall we?

I forgot my son. (He's 8, for the record.) He went to after-school tutoring. I was supposed to pick him up at 4:30. On the dot. (The school is very particular about this. They make you sign a form and everything. . .You have to be there at 4:30, period.) I did not. He stood there on the sidewalk waiting for his mother, who did not show.

I thought it was a normal day. I got off work about 4:40 and drove to pick up the kids at the babysitter. Kady was at the door waiting on me. Another little girl was running through the house telling Kyler that his mother was there. She came back a few minutes later and said, "He not here."

OH NO! It all suddenly, sickeningly clicked. I went running to the car with Kady, yelling over my shoulder to the babysitter about me being incompetent and Kyler standing on the curb crying. . .I think I explained it all satisfactorily to her this morning. I literally threw things in the car as fast as I could. (Do other 2-year-old girls take this much to the babysitter EVERY DAY?)

Before I could get Kady buckled, my cell phone was ringing. I couldn't reach it in the backseat, so I called her back once I got to it. Before she could speak, I blurted out something along the lines of, "This is Kyler's mom, and I think you just called me because I forgot him, and I am on my way right now, and I'm really close, and I'm SO, SO, SO sorry, and I've never done this before--I PROMISE!! I am so sorry. Is he ok? Tell him I'll be right there. I'm almost there!!"

Thankfully, Kyler was ok. The teacher was super nice. Kyler said it wasn't a big deal. I think he kinda liked getting to talk to the teacher and play by himself until I got there. He laughed at my story when I told him how crazy his momma was. . .as if he didn't know.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

His Generosity Overwhelms

What can I say, inspiration hit me when I was replying to someone else's post.

We bought a new couch when I got my first real job (We'd been married about 6 years at that point.). We had to: I REFUSED to move the couch we had to our new house. . .I literally said, "Kevin, don't you dare load this couch. We are not keeping it. I will sit on the floor first!" (And we had to for a few days. . .)We had bought our first couch (used--think serious beside-the-road garage sale find) when we first got married. At that time, we bought a coffee table, rocking chair, chair, ottoman, and the dreaded couch for, I think, $75.00. SCORE. It was hideous. (Think blue with pink flowers. . . and highly stained. . .by not only us. . .)

Anyway, I thought the chair would be the beginning of new things (read: furniture!) for us. . .After all, I was finally out of school. I had a decent paying job. I was wrong. Last year, we bought Kev's mom's bedroom suite, mattress, and even comforter/shams/window treatments (not sheets, thank you, Jesus!!). (Donna, if you're reading this, I still love my bedroom furniture, I promise!)

Now, that I've managed to alienate my mother-in-law, let me make my point. While we're no longer destitute, my husband remains CHEAP! : ) (I could bring up the going without an air conditioner at 9 months pregnant story, or the vacation horror stories, grocery shopping remains a battle, etc., but I think the furniture is as good a story as any. I just wish I had a picture of the couch, so you could see the awesomeness of the couch in it's full glory. . .)

Choices, Choices

OK, I'm stumped. I have so many (hee, hee) blog posts floating around in my head, that I was just not able to pen one down for today. I mean, I could talk about LIFE-CHANGING MOMENTS, like Red Clay Diaries. . .

OR I could discuss how important it is to vote today, and more importantly, how important it is to search your children before you enter the voting site. . .Oh, how Queen B can elaborate on that. . .

OR I could tell you how important it is to pray for whomever wins this election. . .and how change is scary, but God is in control, like Amy said.

OR I would share an apple cake recipe that looks like it might change my life. . . Seriously, though, the permastamp things says she posted this at 6 am. . .there is something seriously wrong with that!!!!!

OR I could make you wet your pants by reading about trick-or-treating in Ireland. FYI: Take your own candy. . .

OR I could digress and tell you how much I enjoyed the team dancing on Dancing with the Stars, but how that new addition just took some of the power out of the hands of the voters. . .Once again, we are losing the power of the voter. . .[sigh]

OR I could tell you about the very memorable Halloween we had. . .but I don't have the pictures ready yet. You need to see the pics, folks. . .so, stop back by tomorrow when I tell you that we unofficially are quite sure we belong in THAT family. . .

Monday, November 3, 2008

Oh, Kyler-bear

One of these days, he will get me back for that title. Say goodbye to my "good" nursing home days--he'll chain me in the basement of a third-rate home for that one. . .The following views expressed do not necessarily represent the author's point of view.

Well, this weekend was a big deal for Kyler. He announced that he will be voting for Sara Palin.

"Oh," I asked. "Are you having an election at school? Do you guys get to vote in your class?"

"No, Mom, not at school! When I vote. I'm voting for that woman, not the other ones."

"Babe, you have to be 18 to vote."

"Oh. I didn't know that."

Then, this mother-of-the-year waited to clean out the backpack this morning. Inside I found a school paper that asked what the child wanted to be when he/she grew up. My son, the aspiring paleontologist/artist, responded "I wont (want) to be a HC Bunt waker (worker)."

"Kyler, I didn't know you wanted to work at HC Bunt."(HC Bunt is the alias of the trucking company Daddy used to work for.)

"I don't."

"But that's what you put on your paper."

"It's all I could think of."

"What about paleontologist or artist?"

"I can't spell those."

Oh. Let's hope his spelling improves before he has to pick a major in college. . .

(And in a totally unrelated note, Kyler went hunting with his dad this weekend. He got his first deer. He is so proud. . . as is Kevin. . .what redneck daddy wouldn't be?)