This Just In ...

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Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Beautiful Day in the Snow!

We braved the ice storm and watched it snow for 12 hours straight. Then this morning the weather was perfect for playing!

You can see more photos at Taulman Times: Special Edition.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Rick Rocks ~ Pushing Through

I mentioned in a previous post that I had an aha moment while on a date with Rick last weekend.

What happened was that in the previous weeks, he had been having some correspondence with his mother about his childhood and their relationship. At dinner he read me an e-mail that he sent to her explaining how he viewed their relationship while he was growing up and how it has made him feel going into his adult life. But what I heard were the exact words he has said to me about our relationship and how it hurts him. What I am doing would not be a big deal to many other men. In fact, most men would probably kill to have a wife that did those things. But to him, it leaves him feeling the same kind of empty that he felt growing up with his mother. There has been a huge hole in him his whole life, left empty by his mother, and I have continued to keep it empty in our marriage. It was a very important moment for me.

So it got me thinking that this thing that I keep dealing with in my life has to come from early on in my childhood as well. Rick asked me if I thought it was just a personality thing. But, I just feel that it can't be. And the reason is that everytime something related to it surfaces, I feel such excruciating pain that I can't hardly breathe. Seriously, I have trouble catching my breath.

Just the other night, after some wonderful time together, we started having a very minor conversation that lead to me having those feelings. He didn't say anything to hurt me. It was a minor memory from my childhood. Seriously, a memory from around kindergarten or 1st grade having to do with a tree between my friend's house and mine and then about that same girl getting chosen to do something I didn't get chosen to do. And I broke down.

I have been on a strange journey this past year. And I know that everything that has happened is God's way of opening up something in me that needs so desperately to be healed. I just know that if I can confront it, whatever it is, and look at it face-to-face, that I can put it to rest and move forward.

Rick thinks so too. He told me how exciting he thinks that it is that I am so close to a revelation about something that will help me to be rid of some bondage! In the midst of dealing with his own pain, his own bondage, he is right there with me encouraging me to press through the revelation of my own.

I want both of us to do this to help break the generational bondage that will follow our children if we don't. Rick and I have been through an incredibly difficult year. There have been some dark times between us. But knowing that he is here with me, pushing through this dark time with me, despite the mistakes we are making along the way, means so much to me.

I told him the other night that if it takes the rest of our lives (and it might), that I am going to be there to help heal him. And, I am thankful he is going to help me do the same.

It's exciting.

Rick Rocks ~ Because he's here with me pushing through to the other side!

We Hunkered .. It Came Down ..

and it went out at 5:30 a.m. I'm talking about the power.

The house managed to stay fairly warm, and when the kids got up they put on their robes and slippers and started playing their (purposefully) charged DS games. I just snuggled with puppies to stay warm.

And, at 9:00 a.m., the power came back on ... Hallelujah!!

We are in the process of heating the house back up in case the power goes out again later.

And, strangely, the second the power came back on, it started snowing! The kids are very excited and hope that we get enough snow to build a snowman!

I hope we get a beautiful blanket of snow and that we get to enjoy it from the warmth and light of our house.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hunker Down

I think we have decided to hunker down and brave out the storm.

Now, should we all be sleeping in our smallest bedroom with a tent-safe propane heater because we have lost power (and by all, I mean six of us, a large cat, tiny lizard and three puppies) .. (and by smallest, I mean Brynne or Eli's 10x12 bedroom), then we might regret this decision.

Because by the time this is happening, the roads will be too bad for us to drive out of here.

But we figure if we can sleep in a soft-side pop-up camper in Yellowstone with temps at or below freezing with that same tent-safe propane heater, and survive, that surely we can survive while we are hunkered down in our fully-insulated, brick home with all of the clothing and blankets we can pile on.

Of course we had a major family meltdown during that time.

And quit calling me Shirley.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Power Up!

In November of 2007, on a Sunday morning, the power went out due to a massive rain/ice/snow storm. Nobody was prepared. After lucking out and finding some gas, I stuffed clothes in garbage bags in the pitch black dark and drove four hours to my parents' with the kids. Rick stayed behind to take care of the house. He basically layed in bed fully clothed with a stocking cap and gloves to stay warm. The power came back on three days later at our house, and up to ten days in others. We lost thousands of tree limbs, several trees and a fridge and freezer full of food.

Guess what's headed our way ... the exact same weather pattern! It's supposed to start early tomorrow morning and dump massive rain, sleet, ice and then 10-12 inches of snow on us, all in a 24-hour period. They are predicting massive power outages again.

Rick wants me to get us prepared to leave first thing tomorrow morning, just in case. To complicate matters, we have three baby puppies who shiver uncontrollably if the temps in our house get below 70 degrees. Their little bodies cannot handle freezing temps in the house. So, we have to take them with us. I could hear the disappointment in my mom's voice when I broke the news to her.

So, I am off to get prepared for the great ice storm of 2010. Luckily I went to the store yesterday and stocked up (at that time just thinking I was going to be housebound with 4 kids for several days because of no school), because I hear you can't buy a roll of toilet paper, loaf of bread or gallon of milk anywhere in the city (can anyone say PANIC??!!)

Wish us luck!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Nicole's Daybook

Outside my window... it's very sunny and chilly.

I am thinking... about money frustrations that are beyond my control, but should be within it.

I am thankful ... for educators that truly love my kids and invest in them daily. There aren't a lot of them out there anymore that have a real passion for it.

I am wearing... my jammies and robe, still, because Rick took Eli to school today.

I am remembering... that I have the pleasure of staying home to take care of my family, even though it can become mundane at times and even though it's not overly exciting and fulfilling. But if it's not exciting and fulfilling, it's because I'm not making it that way. I certainly could vamp things up at home so that my days aren't just "okay" but "great"!

I am creating... Valentine's Day plans.

I am going... to go get my nails done today, because I am way over due!

I am reading... Get Out of that Pit by Beth Moore.

I am hoping... that the lump I found in my breast this week is really just a fibroid cyst brought on by too much caffeine and not something more serious. I'll know more after my appointment with a breast specialist on Thursday.

On my mind... is Rick's frustrations at work.

From the learning rooms... we're having trouble getting back into the groove after our cold weather days and MLK break from school. Now we're in for another round of bad weather.

Pondering these words ... words Rick wrote to his mother recently about hurts from his childhood that directly translate into his needs as an adult man.

From the kitchen... we're eating from the pantry and freezer this week, being creative. But things are still going to be yummy!

Around the house... it's obvious that we have new puppies!

One of my favorite things... is my coffee! How will I give it up?

A few plans for the rest of the week... Today I am going to go get my nails done and then run to the grocery store to stock up on some sale items for future meals. My parents are supposed to come this weekend for a basketball tournament my niece is playing in. But we are supposed to get horrid weather again, so I don't see that happening. So I need to get prepared for us to be housebound again. I think I'll work on an at-home date since we will likely be at-home this weekend.

From my picture journal.

Girls who love puppies!

Get to know other special women at The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Menu Plan Monday

I received another financial blow this morning. Because of that I am going to have to tighten our belts even more when it comes to groceries!

Last week I went to the store and pretty much blew my entire budget on one week's worth of meals and two weeks worth of snacks. But with a house full of teenagers, and usually extras, the snacks are depleting faster than I had planned.

In conjunction with the Eat From The Pantry Challenge,

and due to the fact that I really just don't have much more money to spend on groceries, I have gone through our freezer and pantry and have come up with meals that will just get us through until the next pay period. I will also be making some homemade snacks to finish out the week.

Monday ~ Hot ham/turkey and cheese sandwiches and pasta salad

Tuesday ~ Lemon pepper chicken and rice

Wednesday ~ FFY

Thursday ~ Cheesy meatballs over pasta

Friday ~ Cheeseburger Macaroni Hamburger Helper

Saturday ~ Open faced turkey sandwiches (didn't get to this last week)

Sunday ~ Thick french toast and turkey bacon (didn't get to this last week)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

We're On A Roll!

Date 5 of 52 ... Yum!!

Good food .. even better company!

How long have you been married? Is there something, that thing, that just keeps cycling around causing one or both of you hurt and pain? Every marriage does. And if you're like us you have tried to figure out what to do about it, how to make changes to make it better. And if you're like us, it's come cycling around again!

We have that thing. And last night we had that aha moment, after almost nine years of marriage. It wasn't the moment of knowing exactly how to fix it. But it was the aha moment of finally understanding why it's such a big deal and why it keeps coming up.

Without going into any detail, because it's so personal, let me just say that the realization we had will change our marriage forever.

And all that happened over fish and chips.

After our dinner Rick suggested we stop at Starbucks for coffee. Rick doesn't even drink coffee.

It was a great date!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

You Can Take The Girl Out Without Planning, But You Can't Take the Planner Out of the Girl

Last night Rick and I had a fun date night planned, of running into town to buy a new mop. Seriously.

My girlfriend Deidre called to see if Kyndal could babysit so her and Nick could go out to dinner. Then she called back a few minutes later and asked if Rick and I would want to meet up with them.

And it was a date! Not only that, but it ended up being six of us when our good friends Jace and Berry met up with us too!

We went to Olive Garden for dinner and had a really fun time joking and laughing and eating! They are a really fun group of friends and we always have tons of laughs when we get together!

To me, this counted as Date 4 of 52. Anything out of the house with Rick and I without the kids is a date!

Even if it's just to go buy a mop .. which we did after dinner.

Then when we got home I took to the business of getting the kids and puppies ready for bed.

When Rick and I went to bed at 10:30, Rick said, "Honey, you are the only person I know who can have three five-week old puppies on a schedule to go to bed, in just 3 days."

Well, there just is a way of doing things.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Rick Rocks ~ Because He's Spontaneous

Without Rick's spontaneous nature, we probably wouldn't have any fun!

I am a planner. I plan everything! Sometimes I even plan when I'm going to plan.

For years, literally, I have been planning when we should get a puppy. Kyndal has wanted a little toy puppy forever. Dawson has wanted an Australian Shepard, or something like that. And Eli and Brynne have always been in love with my mom and sister's little dogs, Sonny and Sophie.

I have been trying to figure out when would be the best time to get the dogs they have wanted. And there's never seemed to be the best time.

Last weekend, while running errands, Rick said, "Let's go to the pet store and see what dogs they have." We did. We didn't find one that called out to us. Had we, we would have bought it on the spot. So we decided to start looking on Craigslist. When we saw a listing for four small puppies, Rick said, "Let's go look at them." By the time we called, they were taken. So an hour later, when our three babies listed, Rick said, "Let's go now." I skipped dinner. Rick ate his in the car.

Had it been me, I am sure I would have analyzed us right out of going.

I'm so glad Rick throws caution to the wind so we can have some fun!

And, fun we are having!

Rick Rocks ~ Because He's Spontaneous!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Best Birth Control

Kyndal has wanted a puppy for years .. one she could sleep with, take everywhere in a purse and dress in adorable clothes.

Well, you and I both know that there is a dark side to being a mommy of an adorable newborn.

And it's called Lack of Sleep! And when you take that times three, it's even worse!

Our three puppies are desperate for each other at all times. So, we can't separate them, especially at night. And since Kyndal insists on having Chloe in her room, they are all in her room.

And, since they like to do this all day ~

They want to do this all night ~

And Kyndal is exhausted! She's been up and down with them all night the past two nights while they whined and pottied and needed drinks and wanted to play. If two are sleeping, the other one inevitably wakes them both up.

I think I will continually remind Kyndal that this is what it would be like with a baby, should she ever think being a teenage mother would be glamorous!

The bags under her eyes prove differently.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Typically when I wake up in the mornings I have over 20 e-mails waiting for me. The majority of them are junk mail ... from businesses where I have entered to win something at some point, or from where I have ordered something at some time in my past. I don't even open them! I spend the first 10 minutes of my day deleting them. And it's a waste of time. Every day!

So I have been spending the last couple of days taking the time to Unsubscribe to all of those websites as soon as I receive an e-mail.

I feel significantly less cluttered in this area!

Maybe you can see a trend with me here recently ... declutter the closets, declutter the computer, declutter my mind.

Get rid of all of that useless stuff!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

It's Triplets!

We've been in the mood to get a puppy. All the kids have wanted one for a long time. Rick's philosophy was, "If you have one, you might as well have four." We'd have to settle for three.

At 7:30 p.m. tonight we became the proud family of triplet Chi-Poos (chihuahua/mini poodle mix). They are 5 weeks old.

Meet Chloe (a girl that Kyndal will spoil to death .. hope she likes toenail polish and hairbows), Quincy (a boy to be shared by Brynne and I), and Buck (a boy to be shared by Eli and Rick). We are currently on the hunt for an Australian Shepard mix for Dawson. We hope to have one soon.

They are so sweet! They rode the hour home in the car so peacefully. Once we got home we gave them baths (because they smelled like smoke) and they immediately cuddled together and fell asleep.

Can't wait to start potty training!

Nicole's Daybook

Outside my window... it's significantly warmer and sunny, but was rainy overnight.

I am thinking... about relationships.

I am thankful ... that Rick and I have the kind of marriage that comes through stormy times stronger and closer than we have ever been.

I am wearing... my flannel pj's, robe and slippers. Eli and I are feeling under the weather today, so we're staying in our pjs and drinking hot tea all day.

I am remembering... times of pure joy.

I am creating... a list of at-home date ideas. Got any?

I am going... to rest as much as possible today to try to shake this cold that's coming on and take care of my little sickly guy.

I am reading... Get Out of That Pit by Beth Moore.

I am hoping... that we have another great weekend this week like we had last .. just having fun and spending time together!

On my mind... are the attributes of a church that God would want Rick and I and our family to attend.

From the learning rooms... it's the usual of school, tutoring, working hard.

Pondering these words ... "It's time for you to look yourself and others in the eye and say with your attitude, if not your words: Excuse me, but I have a right to be myself. Excuse me, but I have the right to express myself. Excuse me, but I have the right to have my opinions. Excuse me, but I have the right to use my faith. Excuse me, but I choose to agree with what God has said about me!" ~ Bishop T.D. Jakes in his devotional, Woman, Thou Art Loosed!

From the kitchen... Rick and I like to stand and eat a bowl of cereal after the kids go to bed.

Around the house... things are more organized and clutter-free.

One of my favorite things... is "ticking" my family's butts on Wii bowling!

A few plans for the rest of the week... This is an extremely quiet week meaning we have nothing on our calendar! Of course I babysit my girls this week and the older kids have tutoring after school on various days. But, that's it! Rick and I are planning a dinner date to Joe's Crab Shack this weekend. Blackened Talapia is calling his name.

From my picture journal.

So ready to start preparing this! I'm actually expanding to gardening boxes this year.

Get to know other special women at The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

This weekend I worked on more of my Twelve Days of Organizing projects. I cleaned out and organized the pantry, the laundry room cabinets, the kids' cubbies in the laundry room and the wet/dry closet, and even completely organized my closet and dresser drawers. That wasn't even on the list!

I feel much better having done that! Now I'll be tackling the office supply closet and Kyndal and Dawson's bedrooms.

I also moved my computer back into our office, instead of at the kitchen desk. I have been analyzing how much time I waste in a day stopping to check my e-mail and read blog updates. Having the computer in a separate room will help with that tremendously.

And here's what we're having for dinner this week.

Monday ~ Creole fish and rice (fish sticks for kids)

Tuesday ~ Orange chicken and rice

Wednesday ~ FFY

Thursday ~ Fried chicken strips and parma rosa pasta (this parma rosa is just a mix I buy at Aldi. My kids love it!)

Friday ~ Open faced turkey sandwiches, mashed potatoes and gravy

Saturday ~ Hot ham or turkey and cheese sandwiches

Sunday ~ Thick french toast and turkey bacon

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Two Dates in One Day!

Rick and I not only had Date 2 yesterday, but we had Date 3 last night!

Yesterday's date got a little heated .. from a conversation standpoint, that is. That tends to happen sometimes when you very rarely sit down to have a conversation alone.

That doesn't negate the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed our mid-day date yesterday. Those conversations can catalyst into such a boost in a relationship.

So, last night Rick asked if I would like to go out and have dinner. Dawson had a birthday party to attend, so we dropped him off and went to have dinner together. Then we had a 30% off coupon for Kohls, so we headed there for a little retail marital therapy.

It was a very enjoyable evening and I loved every minute of it!

Then this morning, Rick got up with the kids and fixed them breakfast. I laid in bed until 11:30!! Rick made me coffee and brought it into me (and refilled my cup twice!) The kids watched t.v. and played Wii. Rick would come talk with me for a while, then go spend time with them. The kids would filter in to chat and snuggle for a while and then go on to play again. I read for a bit here and there. What a great Saturday morning!

Now we're up getting ready to all head into town to get groceries.

What a great weekend, so far.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Rick Rocks ~ Lunchtime Date

Like many busy parents, wiggling in time together as a couple can be challenging.

I think we always have good intentions, but something (or little someones) always seem to get in the way. When you couple that with our busy activities, making time for working out, the fact that I'm a morning person and Rick's a nightowl, and various other things, making time together a priority can be difficult, at best!

This week, today to be exact, Rick and I made a scheduled date to spend time together during the day.

Rick only works ten minutes from our house. I take Brynne to school at 12:30, so am free on Fridays from 12:45-3:00 p.m. Rick has the flexibility to go to lunch pretty much when he wants.

I went this morning and bought some yummy cheeses and crackers and veggies and fruit and prepared a tray for us to share. Rick took a late lunch break.

When Rick got home, the tray was waiting on our bed and we had a little bedroom picnic while we talked and spent time together.

It was so nice to concentrate on each other for a while without any interruptions or other distractions. I am thankful he wants to spend time with me enough to slip out of his busy day to make me a priority.

Rick Rocks!

** Also, this was counted as Date 2 of 52 (and our first at-home date). Dating's not just for nighttime anymore!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Stands the Test of Time

It's been three weeks since Christmas.

If your kids are like mine, they will create a wish list of things they want for Christmas that they REALLY REALLY want! They'll be so excited when they get them, play with them non-stop for about 9 hours, and then they'll sit and collect dust for the rest of the year.

So that got me thinking ... What gifts did your kids get this year that they are still playing with three weeks later?

Here is my list:

Brynne, age 4 ~ I would have to say her Nintendo DS is the one thing she is still playing with every day. She got a Dora and Diego game and a Dogz game. She has also played the most with her paper dolls and was using her Tag Reading System to read to Pup yesterday.

Eli, age 6 ~ Most definitely his constant companion is his Nintendo DS. He has several games and plays it much of the day, every day. The other thing that he has been obsessed with since Christmas are his Hot Wheels, but most specifically the Battle Force 5 cars. He has used his Christmas money to buy all of them and plays with them every day. He also watches the series that we have DVR'd and plays his Nintendo DS Battle Force 5 game.

Dawson, age 13 ~ Right after Thanksgiving, Dawson used his birthday money to buy an iPod Touch. He got many iTunes giftcards for Christmas. So he uses it all day every day and has had so much fun with it playing games and watching movies! He also enjoyed some of the clothes he got, most specifically his Tony Hawk flannel shirt he got from my sister.

Kyndal, age 15 ~ Kyndal is at that age where clothes are pretty much the way to go. I think, by observing her these past few weeks, that her Victoria's Secret Missouri Tigers hoodie is her favorite gift. She also loves her sleeping mask she got in her stocking. She still had lots of Christmas money left so bought a new iPod (she's had hers since they first came out and it was cracked and deteriorating quickly). Her iPod has been her favorite thing (other than her cell phone) for many years.

Nicole, age 30ish ~ For me, I have definitely gotten the most use out of my chocolate brown short Ugg boots I bought with my Christmas money. I have used and enjoyed my cutlery set from Rick just as much. And, I finally broke down after all these years and bought a real CHI hair straightener with the remainder of my Christmas money. Wow, really didn't get what I was missing until I owned one.

Rick, age 30ish (but not for long) ~ I think Rick probably has enjoyed the secret gift I got him this year, most of all. But, he has gotten the most mileage out of his Glee Soundtrack and then used his Christmas money to buy a Wii which he plays with the kids every day.

So, there's our list.

What's yours?

Please share your child's ages and what Christmas present of theirs has stood the {3 week} Test of Time. Include you "big kids" too! This will be useful information for the rest of us come next year!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Mark Your Calendars

IHOP's National Pancake Day Celebration is February 23rd.

On that day, all day, IHOP will serve each patron a FREE shortstack of three regular sized pancakes, with all the choices of syrups! All they ask is that you make a donation to The Children's Miracle Network.

We did this last year and it was so good! A full dinner for the donation amount of your choosing! Totally worth it!

So, mark your calendars and take your family for a treat.

HELP! The Quest for 40!

** Update: I have about 14 ideas so far, but I need more!! Keep 'em coming!

And I'm not talking about my age. That's coming whether I want it to or not!

No, I'm talking about dates.

My friend Rhonda has a goal to go on 52 dates with her husband this year. Like she said, and I agree, because of finances, some of those dates will have to be at home dates.

This past weekend Rick and I went out to dinner and to see Legally Blonde: The Musical. That's definitely something we cannot afford to do every week. Even a movie and dinner costs $50 at a minimum!

I'd like to participate in the 52 Dates Challenge, but am sure I will run out of ideas. My goal for Rick and I is for us to go on one out-of-the-house date per month. There might be more, but my goal is for one. That takes care of 12 dates. That leaves 40.

So, let's band together and see if we can come up with 40 at-home dates! If 10 of you come up with 4 ideas each, then that's 40. If 20 of you come up with 2 ideas each, then that's 40. You get the idea!

So, get your creative juices flowing and comment with your at-home date ideas. When I get them all compiled, I'll do a separate post listing them all. Since my blog is Private, feel free to do your own separate post asking for suggestions and then send them my way. I would be honored if you shared my final results on your blogs for your followers, too.

So, start commenting!

(BTW .. I have suspended the posting of my What a Kid! Wednesday posts. Since my kids really don't read my blog anyway, I have just decided to start leaving them hand-written notes on Wednesdays pointing out the ways I am proud of them. That keeps me looking for those reasons!)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Nicole's Daybook

Outside my window... it's pitch black dark.

I am thinking... about my friend April and how I need to get a hold of her today to find out what's going on. In the blogging world, if a regular blogger stops blogging then there's a problem! And today her blog post was asking for prayer.

I am thankful ... that my test results from my follow-up exam were normal! It's truly a miracle.

I am wearing... gray workout capris, a turquoise workout top and tennis shoes.

I am remembering... being a freshman in high school with all the excitement, confusion, need to be accepted and important, and rebellion. The song Fifteen by Taylor Swift is so true! The first time I heard it I started crying. Those are the words I want my 15-year old daughter to really hear ... at 15 you are living life before you know who you're supposed to be .. if I could go back and tell myself what I know now.

I am creating... a few surprises.

I am going... to get everybody bathed and ready for bed before 7:00 tonight so I can get in my flannel jammies and snuggle under a blanket watching The Biggest Loser.

I am reading... Nothing.

I am hoping... that Rick and I get some time out of the house together this weekend.

On my mind... is this idea of going back to school to get my teaching certification.

From the learning rooms... it's been a pretty good start to the new semester. Everybody seems to be really focused.

Pondering these words ... "I know you have a lot on your plate, but move the mashed potatoes over and make room for Rick." ~ From a very wise woman.

From the kitchen... we are eating lots of things with spaghetti sauce this week, because I made a huge batch to use in other recipes.

Around the house... the snow is a meltin', ever so slowly.

One of my favorite things... is having one-on-one time with anyone in my little family. I got to spend time alone with Rick on Friday night going on a fun date. Eli and I had a little mini-date on Friday afternoon running some errands and eating together at McDonald's. And Kyndal and I spent some time together Sunday doing some shopping, eating a late lunch and talking. I am cherishing each and every one of those opportunities.

A few plans for the rest of the week... Not a whole lot is going on this week. I'm having lunch with a friend today and taking Kyndal to the orthodontist after that. On Thursday I start back up with Bible study at First Baptist, which I am looking forward to. Dawson has a birthday party to attend on Friday night. Kyndal has one to attend on Saturday night. And, I'm hoping Rick and I will be able to slip out for a date to have dinner that evening. Other than that, the kids are just busy with school, tutoring, etc. Rick is going to be out of town for a day or so during the week.

From my picture journal.

Brynne reading to Kyndal.

Get to know other special women at The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

** Revised due to some last-minute change of plans.

Monday ~ Spaghetti with homemade spaghetti sauce

Tuesday ~ Chicken cordon bleu sandwiches

Wednesday ~ FFY

Thursday ~ Grilled cheese sandwiches

Friday ~ Sausage manicotti with leftover homemade spaghetti sauce from Monday

Saturday ~ Eat out at Baja Jacks for school fundraiser

Sunday ~ turkey and noodles (Christmas turkey leftover meal #2)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Getting Old Can Be Fun!

When I spent the week after Christmas at my parents', we spent the majority of the time playing Pitch.

When I got home, I was contacted by a friend of mine about going to have lunch one day. Since it's been so cold and yucky here, we called and invited her and her husband over yesterday for chili and to play cards.

When I told Kyndal they were coming over, she said, "lame!" I told her that's what old people do.

We spent the afternoon yesterday playing Hearts with Allen and Debbie. What a fun time! It was such a nice, leisurely afternoon of eating and talking and playing cards! (And it didn't hurt that I won!! ** hee hee **)

This gettin' old thing isn't half bad!

Saturday, January 9, 2010


I am a dream popper.

If you have a dream, I can tell you all of the reasons why it isn't a good idea.

I used to not be like that!

As a young girl, I had dreams. Somewhere along the way I became too fearful to live them out.

What did you want to be when you were a young girl? Think back. What did you really, really want to be? I wanted to be a teacher. I was always playing school, and trying to teach my sister and the kids that my mom babysat. After church on Sunday mornings I would pretend that I was teaching Sunday school.

The quest for money sent me in another direction. I went to law school and became an attorney for the sole purpose of making good money. In fact, I was a legal secretary for a long time and absolutely loved that! I hated being an attorney! I hated everything about it! It was not me! In fact, after my first semester of law school, I knew it wasn't what I wanted to do. I wanted to quit so bad, but was too fearful to do it.

I also had dreams of being a mom. I wanted that dream to become a reality so badly that I married someone I knew I shouldn't, just because I was impatient! At one time before we actually got married I knew it wasn't what I wanted to do. I wanted to break off the engagement and relationship so bad, but was too fearful to do it.

Yes, that's it. The reason I do not dream is because of fear. Mostly, it's because of fear of what others will think of me if I do what I really want to do.

That's why I am so supportive of my kids doing what they are passionate about, even if it looks strange to the average person or even if it ultimately will not make them a lot of money in their futures. Money means nothing!

Rick and I have a beautiful home and he makes a very good income. We live in an affluent neighborhood and our kids go to the richest school in town. We look good when we leave the house and our kids are impeccably dressed. But, money does not provide an ounce of joy.

Joy comes in doing what you were meant to do with your life, with having a passion and pursuing it.

I am blessed by God that I was given a second chance in the area of my marriage. I have the marriage I always wanted and the children I so desired. (I just wish I didn't have the consequences of taking those matters into my own hands so many years ago.)

And I still have the chance to make my dreams a reality. I always wanted to be a teacher. I think I still do. I think there may be parts of it I will not like at all. (But, I love being home with my kids as a full time wife and mother, but hate cleaning toilets and putting away laundry.) I'll never know if there are parts of teaching I don't like if I never try. And, what would having a teaching degree hurt? You never know where you will find yourself in life. It's a license I might need, to take care of myself or my family someday.

So, I'm strongly considering looking into it. I don't know where to start, and going back to school (even taking online classes) seems very daunting to me. But, I love education. I love learning. And, I think I'd like to look into that passion of mine.

Legally Blonde

Rick and I had a great Date Night last night! We went to dinner at Olive Garden, then stopped off at Chimi's for a drink, then went to see Legally Blonde: The Musical. What a fun night! It was so great to get to spend some time with him .. something we haven't done in a long time. And the show was excellent! They used the movie as a springboard and did some really fun stuff with it! Loved it!

If this show is in your city, you really must go see it!

I am so glad that Rick likes to do these things. It was his idea to go see the show, after we saw Little House on the Prairie. There are some other great shows coming up this year, and I hope we go to more of them.

What a great date!

The only downfall was that I dreamed I was going back to work at my old law firm. Yuck!

Friday, January 8, 2010

When We're Old and Gray

God showed me two sweet examples in response to my last post.

While Eli and I were eating at McDonald's today, I saw an elderly couple walking out of Walmart holding hands. They weren't just holding each other up because they were feeble. They were obviously very affectionate with one another.

I want for Rick and I to still be holding hands when we are old and gray.

Then while getting my nails done, an elderly man came in and bought two gift certificates for his wife to get pedicures. He said her birthday was in a couple of days. She apparently doesn't like to get out much, so he wanted her to have an excuse to pamper herself a couple of times. He said that he took her for a drive yesterday. And he called her his little sweetheart.

Oh, to have this kind of relationship with our spouses when we are old.

What a beautiful example!