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10 June 2007 @ 10:23 pm
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17 May 2007 @ 10:51 am
I have sinusitis; Caleb has strep throat. He started complaining Tuesday that he wasn't feeling well. At first I thought it was because he ate too much candy on an empty stomach at our homeschool co-op end-of-the-year party. He kept saying he wasn't hungry and that he felt like he needed to throw up. He didn't eat much lunch and spent most of his time hanging around the bathroom. I finally coaxed him to the van so we could go home.

He wasn't running any fever at first, but by mid-afternoon, his temp was 103. He took a short nap on the couch while his ibuprofen kicked in. He didn't want to eat anything for supper, so he went to bed with some Tylenol on an empty stomach.

The next morning, his temp was 102, so I called the doctor's office as soon as it opened and managed to get an early appointment. After a quick check of Caleb's vitals, the doctor recommended a strep test, which came back positive. This makes the second time this year - and the second time ever.

Caleb hasn't been real susceptible to viruses and bacterial infections in the past, but ever since he got his first loose tooth, he can't keep his hands out of his mouth. Now that that tooth's out, he keeps checking the one next to it. I explained to him that he's putting all kinds of germs in his mouth everytime he puts his fingers in there, that he touches things that other people have touched and have spread their germs to. It made an impression on him at the time, but I still keep catching him with his fingers in his mouth and have to remind him again.

Today, after two doses of amoxicillin yesterday, he seems more like his old self, although he's still not wanting to eat much. At least he'll be well enough to attend the AWANA awards ceremony Sunday afternoon. He missed out last year because he was running a fever that day. I'm just hoping Jacob and i don't get it. If we do, I hope I know by tomorrow morning so we can get to the doctor before the weekend...

Good-bye Golden Girl

I was really disappointed last night that Melinda finished third on American Idol. She was my favorite from the time she auditioned. She's got such a powerful voice and a great stage presence that I know she's going to be coming out with her first CD very soon.

I voted for Melinda Tuesday night and actually got through about 20 times in a 20-minute period. That didn't seem like a good sign to me, so I wasn't surprised when she got the boot. Still, I hoped...

Next week, I'll definitely vote for Jordin. Blake's beatboxing gets on my nerves and it's too gimmicky. I really don't want to see him win.

Adrenaline Rush

Last night's season finale of CSI: New York was excellent! I couldn't have asked for a more exciting, satisfying episode. My heart was racing through most of the show, and at the end, when everything was resolved, I was exhausted. I'm glad they didn't leave a big cliffhanger about whether or not a certain major character was alive. I'm looking forward to next season, but in the meantime I can watch more of my season 1 DVDs. And I can always catch reruns on Spike every day!

I'm sure tonight's season finale of CSI will be just as thrilling!
Currently Feeling: excitedexcited
Currently Reading: Grace-Based Parenting
15 May 2007 @ 01:38 pm
(No smart remarks, please.)

I've been taking my generic once-a-day allergy pill faithfully for several weeks now, and it's been doing a great job. I can breathe just fine. However, while it's been keeping the drainage from going down my nose and throat, it's done nothing to keep it out of my sinus cavities. They're packed with - well, let's just say they're packed. The sides of my nose are swollen and it hurts to even wear my glasses. (Since I can't see without them and don't have contacts, I'm pretty much stuck with the pain.) Sunday evening I started feeling like I had been hit in the nose, but I couldn't think of how or when that would have happened. Yesterday was worse and it took me until the afternoon to realize that my sinuses were swollen. Of course I had already taken my allergy medicine for the day, so I had to wait until this morning to take the decongestant form of it. Now I'm dragging and in a fog, which always happens, and I'll probably continue to feel that way for another 2 days or so until I get used to the medicine and get some good sleep again. (I've been sleeping okay, but after I get started on a decongestant, I usually have about 2 or 3 nights of sleeplessness before I'm so tired I just crash.)

Happy Mother's Day!

Mother's Day was really good! Billy and the boys gave me a new digital camera with a zoom feature. I'm really excited to start using it. It has several preset functions that I'd like to learn how to use, too. And it's the perfect size to carry around in my purse! (My old digital camera, which I've had for several years and kept handy in my purse, just wasn't working well anymore. At first I thought it was my batteries, but my new rechargeables worked as poorly as my old ones. I went through 3 sets of batteries in one day and took fewer than 40 pictures! It didn't zoom, either, so anytime I wanted a closer shot, I had to get as close as I could, then lean a little more. Zoo pictures didn't turn out so great.)

After church, we came home for sandwiches. We figured restaurants would be pretty crowded for lunch, so we opted to go out for supper like we did last year. The afternoon was a lazy one. We watched Happy Gilmore, then flipped over to the NASCAR race, which Caleb has really gotten into watching each week.

We got to Outback Steakhouse right at 5:00 and the line was already out the door! I was hungry and the boys had skipped their afternoon snack since we were going to be eating earlier than usual, so I didn't want to wait in line. We went across the highway to a less crowded part of town and ate at Spaghetti Warehouse. I ventured away from getting my usual angel hair pasta with garlic butter and mushrooms and chose the lasagna instead. It was really good, and I saved half to bring home for supper Monday night. Rather than get expensive desserts there, we stopped by Wal-Mart and bought Peanut Butter Panic ice cream, Oreo ice cream, and some sugar cones. We've enjoyed that the last two nights and still have plenty left!

We made sure we were back home before the season finale of Survivor came on at 7:00.

Bad Dreamz

Speaking of Survivor, I was extremely disappointed in Dreamz. He had made a deal with Yauman (and even swore to God!) that he would hold up his end of the bargain. He went on and on about how he wanted his son to be proud of him for being a man of his word. Then he went back on the deal at the last minute so that he would have a shot at winning the million dollars. That cost Yauman his shot at the million, which he would have won.

I don't know what ever gave Dreamz the idea he even had a chance. He stabbed so many people in the back throughout the game, not many would have voted for him, if any. Did he really think anyone would consider voting for him after he so openly and boldly double-crossed Yauman?

In the end, Earl won by an unprecedented unanimous vote. He was my second choice after Yauman, so I was glad to see him win.

Next season's Survivor will take place in China. That's going to be a change from the tropical settings they've usually used. I hope I have an easier time getting into it next season than I did this time around.

Season Finales

This is the big week for season finales of the shows I like to watch. Last night, Billy and I watched CSI: Miami. I just can't get into that show for several reasons. One, the scenes are very yellow. Two, the video effects are strange. Three, David Caruso is too even-tempered and monotone. He's a redhead, for goodness sake! Where's the fiery personality and bad temper? His character is just too cool, too smooth. Four, the lead female character is also monotone and her Southern drawl is too exaggerated.

The other CSI shows have me hooked! CSI: New York is tomorrow night and it looks promising. It's never let me down. CSI is Thursday night and it's one I definitely can't miss. I told Billy that I know something that will happen (I love to read spoilers.), but he told me not to tell him. I've been wanting to tease him everytime we see the previews for the finale, but I've been nice and kept things to myself.

ER's season ends Thursday night, too. So many people have talked about how this show has lost its edge because it's been on so long. Thirteen years now, I think. But I think it's still got holding power. I know more major characters are leaving, but there's always someone else who comes along and takes the reins. I'm pretty sure it'll be back in the fall, but I think it will be the last season.

Season Premieres

Monk and Psych will start their new seasons in July! Billy and I have watched all of season 1 of Monk, as well as several episodes from other seasons. We only started watching it late last summer. We started watching Psych because it came on after Monk and we didn't change the channel. It's really funny, too. Sometimes even funnier than Monk!

Well, I can't let my hurting face keep me from doing a few household chores. I promise not to overdo things, but I do need to get a little bit done. Duty calls.
Currently Feeling: lethargiclethargic
Currently Reading: Once-a-Month Cooking
14 April 2007 @ 11:53 am
It's interesting to realize what memories tornadic weather will bring to the surface...

There was a large open field across the street behind my childhood home. A large silo once stood there, taken down bit by bit every time a tornado or damaging winds blew through the area. I think the last bit of it was blown away the year a tornado wiped out one house and part of another just down the street from my grandparents, at the corner where our two streets came together.

I remember one afternoon while we lived there, probably close to Easter, when a tornado warning had been issued. The sky had a greenish tint to it as we hurried around the house, opening windows and doors before hiding in a bathroom. I heard on a local weather report this morning that was a myth that many people held to back then.

When we lived in the Shreveport area, there always seemed to be bad weather on Easter weekend, usually on Saturday. Several years before we moved there, a big tornado destroyed a big section of Bossier City on Easter weekend. It was referred to on the news every year around that time, especially if that type of weather was forecast.

One November, when Billy and I lived up north of Shreveport, we had gone to my parents' house to celebrate Mama's birthday. Sometime that Saturday morning, Billy's parents called us to let us know a tornado had passed through our neighborhood and that we had some damage to our property. We didn't know the extent of things and worried the whole way home; I was also very concerned about my cat. When we got there, we saw that several pine trees had the tops twisted and broken. Our storage shed in the backyard had been turned, then flipped onto its side. The riding mower that Billy kept chained to it had been dangling from a corner by the chain; our neighbor Ron had let it down so it wouldn't end up crashing to the ground if the chain gave way. Strong winds had come up under the front porch and lifted it up, posts and all, off the foundation of house. When it came back down, some of the posts were half perched on the foundation and others were precariously balanced on the edge. Limbs and twigs were scattered all around the yard. One small twig had been drilled by the wind right through one of the shutters on the front of the house. I forgot where our rocking chairs from the front porch ended up. The cat was fine physically, but ever since then, whenever there's thunder or high winds, she gets spooked and hides. Even the slightest thunder makes her nervous.

A few years later, after we built a house in north Bossier, we went to Hot Springs, AR, for a weekend. It was near Easter, maybe even that weekend. We woke Saturday morning to news on The Weather Channel that a tornado had destroyed a trailer park and several homes in Benton, not far from where we lived. We immediately headed home, not knowing what to expect. As we drove into the Benton area, we saw total destruction in some areas: trailers splintered, some completely missing from their concrete pads. Others had been ripped in half. Several people were missing; many had been killed. As we headed further south, things were calmer. You could see the path the tornado had taken, from its beginnings in North Shreveport, across the Red River, and through Benton, before lifting and disappearing. Thankfully our home, nor any others in our neighborhood, had no damage. Our neighborhood was new enough that there were no trees in some areas and very small ones elsewhere. An older neighborhood across the street had some tree damage, but not a lot.

We were living in that same house when Caleb was born. He was six days old when we had another severe storm system move through the area. It was a Saturday evening in mid-March, not long before Easter. A weather alert came on the TV, warning that a tornado had been spotted in our area. Billy had already cleared out room for us in the small coat closet in the entry hall and put some blankets on the floor. I sat there, on a broken tailbone, holding my newborn and worrying that I wouldn't be able to hold on to him if a tornado ripped through our house. Billy stood outside the closet for a little while and I worried about him, too. Then he squeezed in with us and pushed a pillow over us to protect us in case anything fell. It passed without incident.

A few weeks later we were at Aunt Susie and Uncle Mike's house for Easter. More bad weather was passing through the area, bringing with it quite a bit of hail. Aunt Susie reassured us that we could all fit and be safe in the large closet she affectionately calls "the tomb". I don't remember actually having to hide in there, but things did get pretty scary for a while.

When Jacob was two or three months old, we had another close scare. We were living in an older house in an older neighborhood not far from where we had previously built. Billy and I were awakened in the night when debris started flying around, hitting our house and windows. He switched on his weather radio and heard a tornado warning for our area. He got Caleb out of bed while I got Jacob; then we met in our bathroom and waited it out. The boys slept through the whole thing, but Billy and I had a hard time getting back to sleep after it was over with. I don't remember any major damage from that storm, but we may have had some limbs down in the back.

Since we've been in Texas, we've had our share of scares, but nothing like last night. We've always planned out where we would go in each place we lived. In Richardson, we had a huge closet under our upstairs neighbors' indoor stairway. In our last apartment, there was the boys' bathroom, or ours. The only problem there was that we were upstairs and didn't know our downstairs neighbors, so we didn't feel we could evacuate to their apartment if the need arose. I really don't know what we would have done, not that it matters anymore. In our house, we have the utility room or either bathroom to take shelter in.

It was nearly dark when we got home last night, and it was still raining a little, so I didn't check out the yard. When I got up this morning, I went out the front, but nothing was amiss. There were a few stray leaves from someone else's tree on the sidewalk and scattered in the yard. Our tree was just fine. The fence around the backyard was still standing, surprisingly.

Today is just cold and windy. The 40-degree temperatures and 20-30 mph winds kept most of the little kids away from baseball this morning. When we drove up, there was only one little kid talking with our coach. She came over to the van and said it was up to us if we wanted to play, that she had a conflict and wouldn't be able to stay. We decided it was too cold, windy, and wet, so we left to run a few errands. After getting out in the cutting wind a few times, we decided it was time to go home and stay. The boys ate chicken noodle soup and goldfish crackers for lunch and loved it. I ate a can of chunky steak and potato soup. Now that we're all warmed up inside, maybe we'll hole up and watch a movie or curl up with some good books or play a game. It's another lazy weekend with perfect weather for staying inside and doing . . . whatever.
Currently Feeling: nostalgicnostalgic
Currently Reading: The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks
13 April 2007 @ 09:22 pm
Billy and his friend Aaron left today for Hot Springs to do some hiking this weekend. The boys and I were supposed to go to the DTS campus this afternoon for the annual Spring Fling festivities with our friend Kim and her husband Daniel and their two boys, but it was postponed until next week because of the predicted severe weather for today.

I called Kim earlier today to make sure she knew it had been postponed and she invited us over for pizza and a movie for the boys. I told her that sounded great, but that I would watch the weather and let her know for sure at 5:00 this afternoon.

I started keeping an eye on the storms west of us around 4:00, and by 5:00 they were still in the same area - about 2 hours away. I called her and told her we'd be there around 6:00. Shortly after we got there, we saw on the news that there were severe storms around Fort Worth and a tornado in Haltom City (north of Fort Worth). Once the system started moving, it didn't hold back! About 45 minutes later, while we were enjoying our pizza, the tornado warning sirens started blaring. We watched the weather update and it showed the most dangerous activity several miles north of us. Apparently, if there's a tornado anywhere in the county, the whole county's tornado warning sirens sound off.

About 10 minutes later, we heard hail hitting the windows and bouncing off the metal porch roof. Soon after that we heard a funnel cloud had been spotted along I-30, heading east. Kim lives maybe 2 miles south of the interstate. Her husband was monitoring things from the TV in their bedroom while she tried to soothe the boys with a Bear in the Big Blue House video. Then she started gathering a few books and a flashlight for the bathroom in case we needed to take cover.

Daniel came into the kitchen where we were and said it was time to head into the bathroom. Caleb was on the verge of tears; Jacob was just following everybody else. Kim's two boys weren't happy about having to go into the bathroom because they wanted to keep watching the video. I stuffed my cell phone in my pocket, hooked my keys through one of my belt loops, and grabbed my purse as I headed in behind all the boys. We stood around in there for a while, listening to the radio. A few minutes later, Daniel came into the bathroom and said it was a couple miles away, still following the interstate. We tried to keep the boys entertained and occupied while still listening for the rain and anything else we might hear.

We ventured out from the bathroom around 7:30 and peered out the windows to make sure things were okay outside. Nothing looked out of place except for a few stray tree branches scattered here and there. Kim got the boys settled back down with their video, then we went back into the kitchen to visit a little more. Not 10 minutes later, she got a call from a friend down the street. One of their trees had uprooted and fallen across her truck.

Apparently some really strong winds, if not a tornado itself, passed by less than a mile from where we were. Several trees were uprooted and blown over and Kim's friend's trampoline ended up resting against a house two houses away. Daniel went down there with his chain saw to help get things cleared up. I decided it was time for us to head home before it got too dark out. The worst of the storm had passed over and I wanted to be able to see the roads in case any trees or power lines had blown down across them.

Thankfully the drive home was uneventful. The worst we saw were a few small tree limbs and branches scattered across the road. The power was out along a section of road not far from our church and one traffic light was out. We pulled into our neighborhood to see lights on and clear streets. I think our electricity must have either surged or flickered briefly because the night lights in both bathrooms aren't working anymore. They were on when we left, but not when we got back. Whatever it was must have been pretty minor, though, because neither the microwave nor my clock radio were flashing.

The bad weather has moved on to the east and now we're just having a little light rainfall here and there. The wind gusts at times, but at least I'll be able to sleep tonight without worrying about the possibility of more tornadoes. I'm tired now from everything. I think I'll sleep well tonight.
Currently Feeling: relievedrelieved
Currently Reading: The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks
13 April 2007 @ 08:08 am
There's a fun blog I've been visiting regularly for quite a while now - Bag of Nothing. The guy lives here in Dallas, but I found him through another blog I read regularly that's based in Alaska - Margaret Feinberg.

Bag of Nothing is full of interesting, totally random stuff. I know I spend way too much time there, but it's too fun. Check it out if you have some time on your hands.
Currently Feeling: amusedamused
12 April 2007 @ 08:08 pm
Today was absolutely gorgeous! The sky was bright blue and cloudless, and the temperature was in the upper 60's. Too nice a day to stay inside.

After we finished school this morning, I decided to take the boys to a nearby park to play for a while. I asked Caleb if he wanted to walk or drive, to which he responded, "I want to walk. I need the exercise." I warned him that it would be a long walk, but he insisted that was what he wanted to do.

We set out for the park around 11:45 a.m., strolling along the curving sidewalk through the greenbelt. We stopped atop the two bridges along the way to look for fish, and we stopped along the creek bank a few times to watch the turtles sunning themselves. By the time we finally made it to the park, it was 12:15 p.m. I didn't realize it was going to take half an hour to get there! I knew the boys wouldn't play long before they started getting hungry and we'd need to head back.

They headed for the huge wooden pirate ship while I went to the swings. (I love to swing!) I wasn't there long before a bunch of kids from the church school next door came running over with their teacher to play after their lunch. I vacated the swings and helped Jacob climp up the big plastic-covered chain net on part of the ship, then I stood near one end of the monkey bars to watch the boys play.

All of a sudden a bird flew overhead and fired a missile. I wasn't able to get out of the way. Splat! Right down the front of my shirt and jeans. Jacob saw it and asked, "What was that?!" I told him, and that's all he could talk about on the 30-minute walk back home.

We didn't head back home immediately. I wanted the boys to get a good chance to play, to wear themselves out a bit. The school kids had gone back and the playground was fairly empty again, so the three of us went back to the swings for a little while. I mentioned the time to Caleb and asked him if he wanted to play a little longer or start heading back home. He decided he was ready to go since he was starting to get hungry. Thankfully - and surprisingly - I didn't have to fight to get them to leave.

On our walk back, between Jacob's questions and comments about birds and poo, Caleb kept complaining that he was tired and thirsty and hungry. Jacob and I stopped a few times to watch the turtles and ducks (9 of them!) in the creek, and we stopped on the bridges again to watch the fish - all while waiting for Caleb to catch up to us. At the last bridge, I heard a big splash, but I was too late to see what it was - most likely another big turtle that we surprised when our footsteps echoed off the wooden planks. I got tired of Caleb complaining every few minutes about how hungry or thirsty he was, so I finally stopped walking and said, "Okay, I'll wait while you get yourself something to eat and drink." He looked around with a puzzled expression and asked, "Where?" I answered, "Exactly. We're going home now and as soon as we get there, I'll fix your lunch." He didn't complain anymore after that.

For the most part, our outing was fun - except for the bird bomb. Next time we'll drive, and I may keep a spare set of clothes in the van...


Tonight we had Jamaican grilled pork chops with pineapple chunks, sweet carrots, and green salad for supper. It was amazingly good! Billy said it's in his top 10 meals (something Caleb is always interested in sharing or knowing...). The boys loved the pineapple, but thought the pork chops were just okay.

I marinated the pork chops in Pampered Chef's new Jamaican Jerk Rub and olive oil, then grilled it in my grill pan. When the meat was fully cooked, I dumped in a can of pineapple chunks (drained) and grilled them until they were golden. Fast, easy, healthy, and delicious. What more could you ask for? It's something I'll definitely make again!
Tags: ,
Currently Feeling: pleasedpleased
Currently Reading: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
11 April 2007 @ 07:02 pm
...read the directions!

I got my first "bad" grade (B) in school in the second grade when I didn't read the directions on a worksheet I completed. I cried. I thought I had learned a lesson then, but apparently not.

Last night at our monthly sales meeting, my director handed out a math "quiz", part of an object lesson in host coaching. She went into great detail explaining what it was and that we had 2 minutes to complete it. She handed them out face down, set her timer, and told us to begin. I jumped right in, answering the second-grade-level subtraction problems as quickly as I could. I even had time to go back and double-check my answers. She commented on how quickly we were working and that she must have given us too much time. After the timer beeped, she read off the first answer and asked who had gotten it correct. It wasn't the answer I had. About half the group raised their hands. She grinned and asked who had read the directions at the top of the paper. Not me. Hey, hadn't she just gone into detail explaining what to do? Not really...

Tonight I was going to cook something new for supper, a recipe for mini frittatas that I found in an old Family Fun magazine. Caleb cut up ham and mushrooms while I chopped the tomato, onion, and bell pepper. Then I made my substitute half and half, added the eggs and seasoning, and poured up the little servings in my muffin pan. We took turns dropping our add-ins into our individual cups, then topped them with cheese. We oohed and aahed over how great they looked and I put them in the oven to bake. I went back to the magazine to look over the recipe again and read how much half and half I should have put in - half as much as I actually did! Uh-oh! I didn't mention my mistake to the boys, and I hoped they would turn out halfway decent. I ended up baking them an additional 8 minutes to be sure the insides were not too runny! Caleb liked his but commented, "They're kind of juicy." Ugh! He ate all of it, though. Jacob ate about half of his. I was surprised he wanted any because he likes all his omelet ingredients separate. I ate most of mine, but I didn't like the texture very much. The flavor was good, so I'm definitely going to try them again. Next time, I'll have half and half on hand so I won't have to mix up any substitute. And I'm going to read the directions more carefully.
Tags: ,
Currently Feeling: embarrassedembarrassed
Currently Reading: A Bad Beginning (by Lemony Snicket)
28 March 2007 @ 07:53 pm
Caleb announced after supper tonight that he has a loose tooth! He's really excited about it, especially since he's probably the only one in his Sunday school class who hasn't lost one yet. He asked me if it comes out the same day it gets loose. Too cute!

What I want to know is this: Do you keep the teeth after they fall out? And if so, why? What do you do with them later?

I remember finding a box or something with some of my old teeth in it once. Mama kept Lindsay's first tooth, but that one got knocked out, root and all, when she fell off a push toy in the driveway at age 2. That was one long tooth! She kept it in a glass bottle with small rocks, I think.

I don't have the stomach to look at loose teeth, so I hope Billy's around when it comes out. Now I'm going to worry about brushing Caleb's teeth every day.
Currently Feeling: curiouscurious
Currently Reading: Quaker Summer
28 March 2007 @ 06:03 pm
That's what Sanjaya must be doing - riding the wave of "popularity" brought on by Vote for the Worst and Howard Stern. He's got to know by now that he's not that great, and the things he's done the last few weeks have almost been like he's seeing just how bad he can be before he finally gets voted off. Last night's hair was hideous. I don't even remember what he sang, but I'm sure it wasn't any improvement over the last few weeks. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

Second worse last night was Chris Sligh. I'll admit he was pretty bad, even though I still like him. He doesn't deserve to go home, but I think he may be the one tonight.

Who will join him in the bottom? Haley (boring) and maybe Chris Richardson (boy band).

I read a comment somewhere in the blogosphere that American Idol should change their judging to be more like that of Dancing with the Stars (which I don't have any interest in whatsoever). Apparently with that show, people get to vote but the judges have the final say in the matter. I totally agree that AI needs to change something. Maybe that, maybe something else. Something needs to be done, though. If Sanjaya ends up making it all the way through, the show will have become a joke (just as VFTW and Stern would like), and ratings will drop considerably.

What do you think? How should the voting be changed, or should it?
Currently Feeling: curiouscurious
Currently Reading: Quaker Summer