Monday, July 6, 2009

Time out in Texas

We arrived Thursday evening around 5pm. We called Kevin's aunt and got shortcut directions which, in the long run, got us off I-10 and out of the middle of a police chase that happened seconds after we got off the interstate. Talk about luck. Since it was so late, we decided to order pizza and chill for the rest of the night. Friday, Tressa took Megan clothes shopping at Kohl's and I tagged along. We were going to go get pedicures and manicures but we took longer than expected in Kohl's and we needed to go to the grocery store too. After we got groceries put away, we decided to go swimming and went over to Tressa's friend, Julie's house. She has an inground pool and happened to be out of town on vacation so we had the pool to ourselves. Christopher got used to the water and ended up swimming by himself. He had floaties on and they seemed to help him. He even jumped off in the pool by himself after going to the bathroom. That was scary but he did great.

Saturday, we wanted to do the zoo, but it was over 100 degrees out here so that was out. We decided to stay in and play Wii for a while. We all took turns at bowling and later grilled t-bone steaks and portabello mushrooms for the 4th. We later went to the upstairs room and went out the window onto the roof and watched fireworks everywhere. I even saw a shooting star!! It was so cool....seemed like it was a scene out of a movie.

Sunday, we took a trip to downtown Houston to the Downtown Aquarium. We got all day passes and went through the inside exhibit. It was so cool. There was also a station where you could touch sting rays and horseshoe crabs. I touched a stingray but couldn't get a crab to come close enough for me to touch. The kids didn't want to do either!! LOL! The last thing we saw inside were white tigers. They were so pretty. We went out the exit and got in line to ride the ferris wheel and the kids rode the aquarium carousel which had sharks, alligators, sea horses, and dolphins instead of horses. We were hot after so we got bottle water and made our way to the car for the trek home. We were also a bit hungry so we stopped at this place called Willie's IceHouse and got some food. Kevin and I got cheeseburgers and fries. I had monterey jack cheese on mine and I do believe it was the best burger I have ever had.

Today, Tressa, Megan, and I went to a nail and spa salon and got the spa pedicures and manicures. Megan got her nails painted a hot pink color and the vietnamese lady painted flowery designs on her fingernails and big toe-nails. Tressa and I got our toenails painted a darker pink and we also got solar nails or as Mississippians call them, French nails. It was so cool. I enjoyed feeling girly for a while. The pedicure was awesome!! Right now, I am learning how to type good with these nails. It is kinda funny feeling, LOL! But, I think they look awesome!

Right now, we are waiting on gumbo to get done and we are going to have salad along with it. I also learned a new dip that I plan on making at Megan's birthday party. I learned it from the grocery store. Yep, that's right. The H-E-B store in Houston. It is something else. There is a section in the middle where they cook stuff everyday and let people sample it. Friday, they had this dip for sample and it is so good. I can't wait for everyone to try it.

Ok I need to get off here. I will update more later. Have a good Monday night!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Rollercoaster Ride to a Compromised Situation

Monday. In my honest opinion, I wish Mondays never existed. But then we would all end up with crappy Tuesdays, so it goes on. Yesterday sucked more than any other Monday of my life....or so I can remember.

Sunday, Kevin and I decided to put up the trampoline that my parents gave to us for the kids. This trampoline has been around since I was like 9 yrs old....well the frame has....the mat, on the other hand, has been replaced once. Anyway, we assembled it upside down and had to flip it over. The kids tested it out for a few minutes then we went inside and got settled for the night. Before we went to bed, Chris told us his eye hurt so we looked at it. I removed an eyelash that was curled under and poking in the corner of his left eye. We thought that was that.

Yesterday morning he woke up with a red puffy eyelid. I also noticed that there was some discharge and also a few lashes that looked to be bent down inside the bottom eyelid. He wouldn't let me mess with it so we got an appointment with an eye doc. The appoinment went so-so as Chris would not cooperate with the doc, but he did manage to brush the lashes out of his eye and prescribed some drops to be placed in his eye 3 times a day for 5 days.

We left out of there somewhat hopeful and decided to check out the new Dollar Tree that had finally opened in town. That was a great decision as we have been planning Megan's upcoming 10th birthday party and she wanted a luau theme. As soon as we walked in the door, we noticed an entire row of luau themed decor! We didn't want to spend alot so we decided we would just get a few things this trip and continue to buy a little each week so we can be prepared. We ended up getting plates, cups, napkins, 2 luau party signs (one to stick in the yard, the other to hang up), and a grass skirt table cloth. They even had leis that we believed were cheaper than Walmart but decided to wait on them until our next trip so we can compare prices. I will be making the invitations since we found a great template that Megan loved and wanted to use. We are so excited! The kids had some saved up cash so before we headed home, we stopped for a snowcone. Chris opted for a split: banana and strawberry, Megan got blue raspberry, I got chocolate, and we brought a green apple home for Kevin to enjoy later. I do have pics of Megan's blue lips/tongue that I plan to post later!

As for the compromised situation....I am getting to that.

We devided to have sandwiches for dinner since it was so hot yesterday and we didn't want to fire up the beast(stove), as Kevin calls it. LOL! As we were sitting down to watch a little tv, my phone rings. Now, normally, if I do not recognize the number, I don't answer it. For some reason, this time, I did. It was an automated message saying they(risk management) were calling in regards to our bank atm debit card and needed to speak with Kevin immediately, and to call this number back. So, learily, I did. A dude named Richard took my call. He never ask for any info. He simply asked me if I had used my debit card online recently to make any purchases. I told him no, that I had not used it in that manner within the last 6 months and that I use it mainly to pay certain bills online and that was it. He said he thought so and proceeded to explain to me that our former card had somehow been duplicated and been used to make a $482.33 purchase at some department store in Brazil. What I mean by former card is that, a week or so ago, we received new debit cards in the mail from our bank and a note stating that our account and cards possibly had been compromised and to stop immediate use of the old cards since they would be canceled, which we did! Apparently, somehow, this transaction made it through authorization. The girls at the bank assured me that by Thursday, this transaction will have expired and drop from my account due to the card being blocked, but in the case that it came through and overdrafts it plus anything else, they will dispute it and return all monies and od fees to our account. You damn right you will....or you will be hearing from our lawyer. Speaking of which, Kevin and I will be going in to see him today to talk about a settlement offer. Hopefully, this time, it's in our favor and we can get on with our lives. I am so sick of drama.

So, there ya go. A look into my rollercoaster ride so far this week. I am hoping the Good Lord sees fit to grant us a reprieve. Megan has a follow-up with Dr. Yarber tomorrow at 1pm. I am sure it will go exceptional. Now I am hot and tired. Think I will grab myself a Dr. Pepper popsicle and chill on the couch for a while.

Later taters!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Monday, T&A, reduced pay....what can I say?

....but OY! And no, T & A doesn't mean "tatas" and "a$$". LOL

Yesterday, I needed to make a small run into town for a few items and something for me and the kids to eat for dinner. Earlier I had comtemplated driving to the next town over to shop at Walmart, but decided that the items I needed from there were not a necessity at the moment and I was just too tired to go. We only live 3 miles from city limits of our town so it won the toss up. Thinking back now, it apparently was meant for me not to go to Walmart, as I would have been so screwed if I had.

The kids and I got to the store, decided on tv dinners for dinner/supper, picked up a few necessary staples, i.e., bread, milk, and proceeded to check out. As the cashier was scanning the items, I opened my checkbook, looking for my debit card. NO CARD! It was not in my purse either. WTF?? The other bad part? I have no check either! I ran out and have not had the cash to order anymore lately.

Boy, did was I embarrassed! I nicely told the girl that I had apparently left my debit card at home and would run and get it and come back for my groceries. I hate to admit it but I broke all sorts of laws getting home and back to that store. I normally wouldn't have but I had ice cream in one of those bags and I had the feeling they wouldn't have the decency to put my cold stuff in the ice cooler up front til I returned....I was right!

Thankfully, we made it there and back with no incidents and all my items were ok.

Now on to the T&A (tonsils & adenoids) discussion. Megan is having a T&A tomorrow morning at 8am. She has had too many problems with strep this year and due to the fact that she does snore at night sometimes, we decided it would benefit her to have them removed. Right now as I type this, Kevin is on his way home from Searcy, Arkansas to be with me at the hospital while we wait for her surgery to be over. It takes the doctors 1 hour to complete the procedure and then we have to wait for her to wake up in recovery and be brought back to the room. Once there, she is given a cold diet of popsicles, jello, and tea to drink. They want her to eat most of this and go pee before she is released to go home. We anticipate being there quite a while, so I have decided to take Chris to Ms. Dana's so he won't have to wait around with us. He will be able to play with his buddies Josh and Josiah (who is Ms. Dana's son), plus get breakfast and lunch and maybe a nap! This will also allow us a little time to focus on Megan. Hopefully all goes well, and we receive a good outcome.

We also learned that Kevin, and the other TK employees, are in for a pay reduction of 10% per hour. Right now, Kevin makes $11/hour and with the cut, he would make $9.90/hour. It's not the greatest of pay, but it is better than nothing. I know with all the bills we have, it's not easy but we have been pinching and making it through. I know if I have to refile on food stamps, I will. I have no problem with receiving help, especially when I am trying to get an education and better our lives. We were receiving them up until October 08, when I had to recertify. The stupid office manager dude filled out some paperwork for us and put on there that Kevin would be getting over 60 hrs a week and would also receive a pay increase of $1/hr which caused us to lose them. Then, to top it all off, he didn't get the pay increase and he barely got 60 hours for a while after that. Typical. He still hasn't got a pay increase and, in 3 months 2 weeks, he will have been there a year. Gosh, I hope he get vacation days, lol!

So now it's back to turning the thermostat down/up to save on the power bill and eating mac and cheese, ramen noodles, and beans til something happens. Speaking of that, I think something will happen as soon as Kevin walks in the soon as I get out all I want to say. Time to pay the piper or move on. Simple as that. Life isn't least not to those of us who pay bills!

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Caught this story on Yahoo! News. I had to read it twice to believe it. This girl needs some serious help!

NM mom charged with killing son on the playground

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Bad and The Worse

Wow! So I am now officially on summer break from college. My last day was April 30th....well, night actually. I had my Astronomy final that night and got out about 6:30pm...2 and a half hours ahead of schedule. Passed that class with an A. I actually managed all A's again this semester. I am so proud of myself juggling mom and wife duties and a college education all at once. It is not easy but I managed to crawl my way through it. With the normal stresses of everday life and those cast upon us by asshats, I managed to deal quite nicely. Bring it on bitches! I am ready for ya!

We still have not heard anymore on the house/lawsuit deal. We had to slack off paying the lawyer some since we were neglecting other things. We had him caught up on the bill he sent us anyway so until we get another, I feel no justification to keep handing him money we need at the present time. He knows we aren't going to leave him high and dry. I am kinda worried at the fact of not hearing anything. I thought our next step was court but I am hoping if that is so then it comes while I am out of class.

Another thing I am stressing on is Megan's upcoming surgery. She is having her tonsils removed June 3rd and Kevin and I are nervous about it. I heard that it was possible that we would not be allowed in the recovery room. I hope that is not mentioned at her pre-surgery appointment on the 27th. If it is, I hope the dr is prepared for my answer: GO F*** YOURSELF DOC!! You wanna stop me from being in there.....try me! My nephew, who is 4 yrs old, is having the same thing done. I really feel for him and my sis. If she can't be back there when he wakes up, all he** may break loose. He does not do good with strangers as far as I can remember and that worries me. I really think it is stupid that doctors and nurses don't give any consideration into the child's well-being. What if he wakes up and there is no familiar face to soothe him from his pain? He will probably cry and risk opening up the sutures. *shudders* Let's not think about that right now. Maybe everything will go ok. I know I will be here praying that whole day til I hear otherwise.

Ya know, I love my family. I love having family time. But sometimes do you feel as if someone in your family is a little too intrusive? Let me explain. Kevin left for work this morning and accidentally left in a hurry and did not get his cell. I really think it was for the best anyways. I took Megan to catch the bus, came back home, and lay back down on the bed. Starting at 8:30am, his phone began ringing....every 10-15 minutes. It had started to annoy me so I cut the ring off. I looked at the phone calls just to see who it may be. Lo and behold it was his brother...his almost 24yr old out of college for the summer, don't have a job so dad gives me money brother. I was curious as to why he was calling him so much and that early in the day. At the precise moment, I was sleepy so I went back to bed. Later today, he tried calling again. This time I pretended to be Kevin and texted him asking what he needed. Of course he asks where I (Kevin) am. Duh! WORK!! So then he replies asking how much I (Kevin) would charge him to stay in our shop til he finds somewhere else to go. Apparently, his dad's girlfriend is raising all sorts of h*** about him being there, no privacy (GET OVER IT!) and crap like that. I told him I would have to think on that. He asks me to think fast. Ha! If it was actually Kevin, I feel he probably would have done told him yeah without even discussing it with me. That is not something he should do. This is my house as well. Now I don't mind helping family but there is no way we can afford to feed him, shelter him, and all that without money. I seriously doubt their dad would give us one red cent for a roof over his head. And I am not too sure on him and work either. He loves to sleep so early rising is really not in his book. To be honest, I am not willing to deal with a freeloader. Plain and simple. It was different when we were getting government help, when our cash money was not having to go on food and we could use it to pay bills. That was different. I mean, gee, really, they have a mom who has a spare bedroom. Why is he not asking her? Why his brother with a wife and 2 kids to feed? I don't get it. I just hope Kevin can see it from my point of view. I don't want someone here that is just sitting around looking for a handout. I just don't feel comfortable with it. Period. And right now, I just don't want to deal with it.

OK I have rant and raved enough. Stepping off the soapbox now and going to get something to drink. My throat is parched!

Later, peeps!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Is that your final answer??

I am a member of a yahoo group called 'cheapcycle' and 'freecycle'. On these groups, people place posts, or ads, for things they are selling or looking for. I decided to try my luck with this a few weeks ago, posting for some summer clothing for my son. Since clothing is so high these days, I thought maybe someone had some that their child outgrew, and wouldn't mind selling at a decent price or freely parting with them.

I received an email from a lady a few days after. Nothing to raise my eyebrow out. She simply stated she had some clothing she was selling and was sure there was something in there he could possibly wear. She said she would look and contact me the next day. I replied, "ok, thanks!" Next day she emails me and tells me there are 3 or 4 outfits and a few pair of shorts, I think. So I forgot to reply back. Uhm, I have a good excuse for that one. I was too busy with homework.

Anyways, she emailed me the other day asking if I was still interested in the clothes. So this time, I emailed her back and said, "not sure, you never gave me a price or told me what condition the clothes are in. Thanks!" I think that is simple enough, don't you?

So I am checking my email earlier today and lo and behold I have another email from her. This time all it says is, "are you still interested?" Uh, did not answer my questions!! How the he-- can I be interested if I don't know what I am saying I am interested in? This infuriated me to the point that I thought of emailing her back and saying that since she couldn't answer my questions, then NO I was not interested! I really did not want to be rude at all so I simply replied, "Not anymore, thanks! Have a good day!"

I am not sure how she will take it. Personally, right now, I really don't care how she will take it. She emailed me in the first place. I certainly am not going to pay a crapload of money for a bag full of clothes just so I can get a few outfits out of it. Now if she would price me for the certain size clothes I was asking for, then maybe we could work something out but I don't see her doing that. Actually, after I looked through some of the posts, I noticed she was one of many trying to sell things for more than they may possibly be worth. Go figure!

Well, it is a dreary day. The Railroad Festival is in town and looks like I am gonna have to take the kids without Dad. He is working. He came in from work last night around 8/8:30pm and then got called out again around 10. He made it home at approximately 4:30 this morning then was called back in at 8:30 again. Oh well, just means the paycheck next week will be nice! :)

Have a good weekend all!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Double doses....

I took Megan to ENT today. Doc recommends we do the surgery. He and I both think it will benefit her in the long run with illness and sleep. She does tend to snore at night and sometimes sleeps with her mouth open and I am just tired of dealing with strep. Chris even has it now. He has been on antibiotics since Monday evening....still has fever.....still can't go to daycare. Thank goodness Ms. Carol cancelled our class tomorrow morning (she is teaching a workshop in neighboring town). I did have observations in the morn, but after discussing my predicament with Ms. Mitzi, I was given reprieve til another day. So, he will stay home with me in the morning, then stay with gramps til Dad is off work and able to pick him and sis up tomorrow evening....I still have my astronomy class LOL.

I called the sitter this morn to let her know about Chris only to find out that 2 others have gotten strep. Gosh, will this mess ever die down? I told Kevin that after her surgery I won't have to take off from school to take sick kids to the dr or stay home with them. Don't get me wrong....I don't tire of them, just all the sickness. I hate seeing my kids sick. Poor Chris had red eyes when we reached the dr Monday. I had just picked him up from the sitter and knew he felt awful warm. She had told me that it took him almost forever to eat a hotdog, then she heard him gag. She ran in just in time to see him throwing it back up in his plate. I could tell something was wrong with him when he told me he was wanting to go to sleep as I was strapping him in the car. Never, ever does he WANT to go to sleep! I immediately called the dr and got an appt for 40 minutes later. When we arrived, the nurse took his temp under his tongue. She announced it was only 97.9! I told her I didn't think it was right so she agreed to take it again....this time, under his arm. It came out at 103!! My gosh, you could look at his eyes and tell he had fever! They did a strep test, which was positive, and gave him a dose of Motrin. I have been alternating with Motrin and Tylenol since then.

God, I just pray that my son feels better soon and that Megan will have guardian angels watching over her when this surgery occurs.

Hope you all have a great rest of the week!

Monday, March 16, 2009

What next?

Life, in general, still sucks. My kids and husband are really the only things at this moment that are keeping me going. Well, school too....I actually want to keep going and finish and plan on it if I have to move there, which is starting to sound like a good idea.

Our expenses with our lawyer are accruing everyday and the retainer fee we paid him is long gone. If we have to go to court, that means more least a thousand bucks! Our stupid relatives, from whom we were purchasing the house, want us to pay them over eight thousand dollars, that is $100/wk, for the time we have been in the house, deed them the house, and move immediately. Uhm, if I am not mistaken, IF we deed the house back to them, does that not mean that we pretend that this arrangement never happened. I mean, we borrowed $40,000 at a loan company, paid the house off, gave them the remaining $15,000 and signed a note that we still owed them a balance of $25,000....even though the house only approved for $60,000!! So, if we sign the house back to them, and they assume our note at the finance company, why would we need to give them anymore money? I really wish they would allow a new note to be typed up so we could continue paying them and keep our house. I hate moving, and when all your resources are getting ate up due to rising lawyer fees, it doesn't make it any easier to keep paying the bills here and try to save to rent something else.

I just don't know what to do. We can't really afford to pay a lawyer to go to court, I can't afford to miss school, and Kevin can't really afford to miss work either. It's as if we are in a damn if we do, damn if we don't situation. I really want out of it but I am not giving them that amount of money. I would be glad to sign the house back to them if they payoff or take over the note in their name....but there is no way in hell I am going to let them just have the house and assume the note in my husband's name. What if something happened to them? Then, we would still be responsible for that loan.

I meet with our lawyer tomorrow afternoon to go over a proposed settlement. I know we are willing to go 2 ways: a) let us assume the payments with the relatives once again in good understanding or b) sign the house back and money, no questions asked. All in all, I really don't care how it goes....I just want it to go away! It is really messing with my emotions and I told Kevin yesterday that I really felt as though I needed to see a doctor to get something to help with my nerves. It is getting to where I think about it during class and it is distracting. I get anxious about it and wind up taking it out on him or the kids sometimes by snapping too quickly. Most of the time, I just take a deep breath and walk away. I have broken down and cried on several occasions......once or twice at school. I do it when I know I can get out of my teacher/advisor seeing me because she sure would be asking about it if she saw what shape I was in. So, I tend to put on a mask for that part of my life. Sometimes, it is hard here at home. Kevin doesn't seem to understand why I let it get to me like I do. I don't know why he is like that but I mean, I worry since we have 2 children to think about. If it was just us, then it would probably be no biggie. I mean, we have nowhere to go. My granddad would gladly open his home to us but it is a small 2 bedroom trailer. Now, we have stayed with him before, but we didn't have Chris. It was just us and Megan and Kevin was also over the road trucking too, so he wasn't there much.

I am just disgusted with it all right now. I have so much work to do for school next week and I need to get it done, but it just seems as if everything tends to burst open at the time I have something to do or concentrate on. I really just want to go to bed and sleep it all away.

Hope you all are having a better-than-expected Monday!

Friday, February 13, 2009

4 years ago....

4 years ago, February 13, at 4:49am, I gave birth to my second child. It was a boy this time and we were thrilled to finally have a son. We named him Christopher Eugene.

I always wanted to name him Christopher. Eugene is a blessed namesake to 2 deceased family members. My husband's uncle, whom he dearly loved, passed before he and I ever met. His middle name was Eugene and he was born in February, too. My grandmother, who passed 4 months before I gave birth to my daughter, was born on Groundhog Day and her middle name was Eugene as well. I think her mom and dad thought they were gonna have a son so her name ended up being Jimmie Eugene. It was our simple of way of letting their spirit live on in our lives. I know it touched Kevin's grandmother's heart that we would give her son's middle name to our son, her grandchild. She sadly passed away when Chris was only 10 months old.

We have a party planned for Sunday. It will be a modest setting with family and friends, lasting around 2 hours or so. I am sure he will have lots of gifts to open. We have him a few things and I made a stop at Walmart on my way home from school today to pick him up a surprise goody for him to open this evening at home with dad, big sis, and me.

Gosh, it just does not seem like 4 years have gone by. Wow! He will be in school before I know it. *sob* Man I feel old!


Friday, February 6, 2009

This can't be real....

I must be dreaming! Or so it seems....

Earlier this morning, my brother Charlie, sent me a text asking if I was going to be home around 5 this evening. I texted him back stating that I would indeed be home. He replies and tells me that he is coming to pick up Megan and Chris for the weekend. The whole weekend?? Oh my word! I will definitely not know what to do with myself other than do some shopping for Chris' birthday next week. His birthday is on Friday (yeah, I know, it's the 13th) but we are throwing his party on Sunday.

Speaking of Sundays....David Cook just announced his first ever solo tour. He will be doing concerts at colleges across the nation and Ole Miss is his stop next Sunday. Tickets to the general public go on sale in the morning and only cost $15 per person. Can I get a WHOO HOO?!?!?! I so want some tickets! Oxford is not that far and I definitely do NOT want to miss David Cook coming that close. Talk about a winner! Daughtry on my birthday and David Cook the day after Valentine's Day! Oh man, it couldn't get any better than that. Kevin is worried about the number of people there but I think there is a limited number of tickets since the location he will be performing in, can only hold so many people. I don't know what is wrong with him since we were in a small crowded place at the Hard Rock in Biloxi when we went to see Daughtry. Everyone is there for the same reason.

I just want to see David Cook once in my life and I will be happy. Not sure when he would be touring again, or where, so I want to seize the opportunity while it's there to be seized. LOL :)

Well, I need to see if I can get Chris to take a nap so he won't be so ill later. Hope everyone has a great weekend!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Never underestimate yourself.

So, astronomy, I have learned, is not just about the stars and planets. It involves some serious math problems as well. Keep in mind, I managed to survive algebra in high school and passed, just barely, with a D. This was back in the year 1994....14 years ago. I have never used or seen anymore stuff like that til now.

As I have said in previous posts, I have been fascinated with our solar system since Jr high....that is as far back as I can remember, LOL!! I have always wanted to take an astronomy course. Now, thanks to the help of pell grants (at least Kevin is good for something, HA!), I am getting to do just that.

Thursday night past, we did some outside observing and also worked on those 'math' problems. Mr. Nowicki posted a few examples, gave us a minute to work them ourselves, then talked us through the process. It seemed simple enough with him explaining them. As class-time winded down, he passed out a practice sheet containing several problems. Now, this is not the simple x+7 = 12 problems. That I can do. This is problems like: 56.0 tons = ____Mg (Megagrams), with you having to convert and calculate the answer. If you dealt with trig and geometry in high school, you could probably do this crap faster than lightning. It takes me a minute for my mind to grasp the concept and start grinding the gears. One thing you must take in mind: there are exponents involved in this too. Ya know, like 1 x 10 (to the 3rd power)! Now am I not only learning about astronomy, I am learning how to use a scientific calculator! Eek!

So, I came home and I ended up spending all weekend freaking out. I don't know how many times Kevin has heard me say: "I think I am doing it all wrong....I'm not going to pass my test Thursday night!" I started to put off doing the practice problems but decided I would give them a try. I still felt as though I was doing them wrong, so I decided I would schedule some one-on-one time with Mr. N.

I phoned his office yesterday several times. No answer, so I left a message. At lunch-time today, I had not heard back so I drove over to the Natural Science building. He was in a lab at the time but he did not mind talking to me for a minute and directed me to a 'conference' sign-up sheet on his office door. I penciled my name in for 1:30 and left to grab some lunch on campus. After I finished eating, I drove back over to the NS building and went into his office. I explained what was going on and pulled the practice sheet out of my notebook. He looked at it, pulled out his calculator, and went over them with me. I got all but one right! Only spot I oopsied ( and what caused one to be wrong) was where I had reversed the fraction numbers....putting on top what was suppose to be on bottom. Other than that, I did everything right! You would not believe the sense of joy, astonishment, and accomplishment that overwhelmed me! Mr. N kept saying how proud he was of me and how great I was doing for someone that had never worked problems like these before/in a while! I felt so dumb but, at the same time, I felt proud that I had figured them out by myself.

Now, Thursday evening, I can go into that classroom knowing that what I am doing is right and that I can pass the daily test....and the big exam that is scheduled for February 5th!

Wow, I feel great! Over and out!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Playing Hooky.....

I had to play hooky from classes today....not willingly.

We have been having issues with our car for a week now. We thought the alternator was going out on it last week. It started having some whining issues but eventually stopped. The other day, the battery light on the dash started coming on and going out. Kevin came in that evening from work and took it to a local parts supplier and had them check it out....alternator- charging, and battery-good to go! Mmmkay so what's the deal? Kevin tells me that he thinks it will be ok til this weekend, when we would have the funds to replace it (if it indeed was the culprit) and he would have the time.

I made it to school all week just fine and even made it to and from my astronomy class last night. I prayed the whole way home.....nothing was happening but I didn't think it would hurt to ask the good Lord above to help me make it home safely.

This morning, Megan asked to ride the bus to school so we all got ready to go. Kevin was already gone, as he had to leave at 4:30am. We pulled out of the drive and made it to the bus stop, then I realized the driver probably had already been by. I decided to just meet up with the bus, drop off Megan, and continue on to school. That's when it happened! The radio, which was off, began to flicker, the battery light came back on, followed by a light that read "ABS", then the brake light, then the engine light, then a light that reads "traction off". When that light comes on, it means you are almost screwed. The gas pedal apparently does nothing then except cause your motor to rev. The car is still in motion but at a turtle's pace. Thank goodness, and by the Grace of God, I got Megan on the bus. I decided right then and there that I was NOT going to school today. I would rather miss then get halfway and end up stranded.

I made it home and called my instructor. She was more than sympathetic, considering I never miss class unless my kids have to go to the doctor or come down with something that does not permit my attendance. I tell ya it sucks not to be able to go to class. It almost made me cry. I know to some I may sound stupid,
"I would be jumping up and down if I had to miss.", but not me. I take pride in knowing that I am bettering myself for me and my family and I do not take it for granite. The degree I am pursuing has a purpose.....and its purpose I will full-fill upon graduation.

One good thing did occur this week. We took our daily exam in astronomy yesterday evening.....I scored a 94. We took a break and resumed with notes and math problems. Wow! I never knew I would ever be doing math like that....EVER! I totally sucked at math in school. I barely passed high school algebra with a D. Those exponents and such meant nothing to me. Now, they do. Mr. Nowicki does a GREAT job at explaining the process. I could have made better grades in high school if he had been one of my instructors. He never goes on if you don't understand it. Questions? Ask away.....he LOVES it! Now that is an instructor whom I can and do show respect. After a few notes and math calculations, we all gathered outside and Mr. N showed us Venus. Ever gazed up at the stars and wondered what that extremely bright one was? It's actually the planet Venus. I learned that Venus has phases exactly like the moon. The phases are: New(which you cannot see since it happens only during the day), crescent, quarter, gibbous, and full. Venus was in the gibbous phase last night. Gibbous is when almost all of the moon, or planet, is there is a slight bit left untouched by light. It was very cool to observe. The next thing we saw was Orion's Nebulae. This is below the 'belt' in Orion. LOL It's actually the sheath or spot where the sword would go, if in his belt. If you have a good pair of binoculars or a telescope, you could actually see it. It looks like a cluster of stars surrounded by a blue-ish(sometimes green-ish) gas. You can't tell it with the naked eye. Fascinating!! I am so ready for next Thursday to get here!

I have got to go sometime this weekend and get things for a project. I also need a protractor for astronomy. I keep forgetting it! I have a nursery rhyme (Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star) on a regular sheet of printer paper that I have to take to Staples and have blown up to poster size. Thank the Heavens above that they only charge $3 for this. I have a ''rainstick'' to decorate and homework to complete as well. It looks as if this will be a busy, busy weekend.

Hope everyone's weekend goes well! Over and out!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Chili....with a slight chance of fruit

Saturday evening, after Kevin got off work, the kids and I loaded up in the car with him and headed to the neighboring town to pay a bill and shop for groceries at Wal-Mart. Kevin and I had decided we wanted burgers and fries for dinner. We got what we needed: buns, tomatoes, pickles, and onion, with the exception of ground beef. I do not like the ground beef at Wal-Mart. It is too expensive, does not appear to be freshly ground, and has too much fat in it. The kids, of course, only wanted a lunchable each to eat. We got everything on our list, checked out, and made it safely home.

We got our food prepared and I sliced up a tomato. It was so funny! Kevin was preparing his burgers, then spoke up and told me I had better get over to the table and get a tomato slice if I wanted one, cause Chris was eating them up. I tell ya, this son of mine LOVES tomatoes! If my family gets together and the food menu includes a veggie tray, better hide it! Chris will eat all the cherry tomatoes off it!

Chris really tickled me this morning. While shopping the other night, we picked up a few navel oranges that were on sale. They were really pretty and I could just taste one as I stood there glaring at them. He decided he wanted to eat one for breakfast. I shockingly glanced at him and he assured me he would eat and not waste it. So, I got one out of the fridge, peeled and separated it. By golly, he ate every piece!!

I am so happy that my kids love veggies and fruits. This past summer, we could not keep strawberries stocked in the fridge. They went as fast as they were bought. Grapes, apples, broccoli, carrots, green beans, corn......the list could go on and on.

As we ate our burgers, watched tv, and talked about Chris and the tomatoes, Kevin's eyes suddenly got huge:

me: "What is it?"
K: "That just made me think of something!"
me: "Ok, what?"
K: "Some homemade chili would be good tomorrow!"
me: "Yeah that does sound your mom and ask if she wants to make some."

So, Kevin calls his mom and she gives him a list of ingredients she needs. Now I have made chili before. I followed a recipe I found on Food Network from Paula Deen's son, Jamie. It was good but we wanted something different. Kevin's mom has the simplest recipe for chili but it makes a pot full. I don't have a pot like she makes hers in. It is a tall pot. Needless to say, it's now on my 'to buy' list....LOL! So, yesterday, we watched football, ate chili, and had great family time.

Here is the recipe for anyone that may want to try it. Now since it makes a lot, you can buy the gallon size freezer bags and pour the rest in the bags and freeze it for later.

Easy Chili

2-3 lbs ground beef (depends on how much you want in it...can also use turkey)
5 cans light red kidney beans, do NOT drain (can use less if you don't like them)
1 large can tomato juice
2 cans (15oz) tomato sauce
1 large can whole tomatoes, do NOT drain
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 med onions, chopped (can use less if you prefer)
2 pkgs chili seasoning
chili powder (use this to taste)

Brown meat, onion, and bell pepper. You can add salt and pepper to this while cooking. Drain well. Pour into large stock pot. Add beans, tomato juice, tomato sauce, tomatoes and chili seasoning packets. Stir and mix well on medium high heat. Let mixture come to a simmer and continue cooking on medium/low heat for about 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add chili powder to your liking....however you think chili tastes.

Since this makes a lot, we added a lot of chili powder. Just sprinkle and taste til the flavor is how you like it. Top with shredded cheese, sour cream, and crackers and eat up! It was so good, I ate 2 bowls full. I think Kevin ate 3 bowls of it! It sure was filling on a day like yesterday.

Over and out!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Odds and Ends

Well, it's Monday.....again! Is it me, or do the weekends just seem to zoom by now?

I am so sleepy. I think I need to go to bed earlier than I do. I don't think it would hurt any at all. I know I will need to do that starting in March. Since I am taking Child Development II, we have to have 20 lab hours of observations. So I am going to do mine in the childcare center on campus from 8-9am for 20 days, which means having to wake up earlier than I do now. I think once I get into the habit of it, and maybe going to bed a tad earlier, it will fall into place. I know this semester is going to be time-consuming with all the projects that we were told we have to complete. In the fall, I start student teaching I, which is exciting! We actually get to work with the kids in the centers more. I am so thrilled about this major! I can't wait til my graduation in May 2010.

I think we are a little closer to getting things settled with our house. I hate to give it up, but sometimes you have no choice. I told Kevin that I just want to move and forget that those certain relatives ever existed. It really sucks that folks would do family like that. Heck, they knew we couldn't come up with that high amount of money that was left owed on the property. It took an act of Congress, practically, to even get the loan we got on this house.....and that's because it is a manufactured home. They say now that we should have gave them something, anything, as a payment. Yeah, right! I wish Kevin had recorded all those times when he told them he couldn't pay what they wanted that week and their refusal of those payments of 'something, anything'. I honestly believe they did this so they could give their daughter and grandchild a place to live. She left her husband and is currently residing with them. So they go and file for foreclosure on us.....and didn't even acknowledge the fact that we paid them anything on the remaining balance. Crappy, huh? Really, I am kinda glad that we may be able to relinquish ourselves of this place. The school district it is in is not a school I want to send my kids to and the home itself is steadily falling apart. I am not sure if we will ever 'buy' another home or just rent for the rest of our lives. All I know is that I want a place for my kids to lay their heads at night. That is all that matters to me now.

I woke up Friday morning feeling kinda blah. My head felt all gooky, my eyes burned, and I was not very balanced. My throat felt kinda scratchy and I figured I was about to be really sick. One of my instructors had been complaining about sinus problems on Wednesday and I guess it was about that time for me too. I hadn't been sick in a while. Now I feel more tired than usual and I have all this gunk in my head/nose/throat that doesn't seem to want to come out. My nose is all crusty when I wake up in the mornings and I just want to crawl back into bed and sleep til I can't sleep anymore. I tried to sleep in this past weekend only to be awakened before 8 am each day by my young son wanting milk in his sippy cup. Why dad can't do it is beyond me! LOL :) So I got up and made breakfast. Saturday morning, we had biscuits, sausage, oatmeal, and bacon. Sunday morning, I fixed us all a cheese omelette. Thank goodness I wasn't feeling that bad those mornings or I would have made them eat cold cereal....AHAHAHA!

Thank the Lord we are out of school on Monday, the 19th. That is Martin Luther King Jr.'s observed birthday, as well as the 23rd birthday of my baby sister, Terrie. I am the oldest at 31. We have 2 other siblings between us.....our brother, Charlie, who is 28 and our sister, Heather, who is 24. Dang, they are gonna catch up with me yet!

Ok I am out of here. Megan's bus should be getting close to the stop. Over and out!

Friday, January 9, 2009

One too many nuts.....

Today was exhausting. I have to get up early to make it to my classes. My first class starts at 9. I have to get up, shower, get dressed, fix Kevin's lunch, get Megan up so she can get ready for school, dress Chris, get everything together, drop Megan at school, Chris at the sitter, and drive to college. Whew! That was tiring just typing that! Busy mornings.....each and every day!! It is only going to get worse! I learned today that starting on Monday March 23, I have to be at school by 8 to start observations in the center again. I will have to observe a child from 8 to 9am every morning. These are all part of the field I am going into. Not to mention, in February, our trip to the Children's Museum in Memphis....which we will be leaving at 8am that day and not returning until 2/3pm, then I have my astronomy class that starts at 5pm that same day! Boy, I bet that night I will probably just collapse into bed!

Oh, sorry...just started rambling there! On to the purpose of this post. I think there are alot of nutty characters in this world....human and non-human. I saw two proofs of that this morning. They actually happened within seconds of each other. First, I was driving to school and noticed an elderly couple at a stop sign to my left. Well, I was heading north on this 3 lane street, and this other truck was heading south. As soon as this truck passed by the elderly couple, they pulled out and turned to head north.....right in front of me!! What was so nutty was that this old dude wanted to drive 10 mph UNDER the speed limit, then turn right into a parking lot about 100 yards from where he turned out! Are they checking eyesight at the DMV nowadays?? If not, I believe they need to start.

As soon as that old fart turned and got out of my way, I noticed something in the middle (turning) lane. It was a squirrel! I couldn't tell if it was hurt or what.....didn't see any blood or guts, so I assumed it was ok. Anyways, this squirrel had to have discovered and gnawed on a crack rock instead of an acorn, because as I glanced in my side-view mirror, it started rolling around!! I thought to myself: "What a heckuva place to be doing that!!" Now as far as I know, since I only glanced at the squirrel, it could have gotten it's head ran over and the body was just reacting because of the nerves. But I honestly did not see anything whatsoever that would make me think that it had been hit. So I just don't know. I hope, if it wasn't hurt, that it got out of the road safely.

I had my first astronomy class last night. We started at 5pm and he let us all go around 10 til 7. Mr. Nowicki mentioned that the campus bookstore closed at 7, and since some folks didn't have their textbooks yet, he would allow us this early leave so they could collect them. As we were preparing to leave, he spoke up and said, "I will walk out with you guys and show you a few things." As we got outside and let our eyes adjust, he pointed out the stars in the 'Orion' constellation. He motioned for us to cast our eyes upward from the left top star of that constellation toward another ball of light. He asked, "I bet you all think that is a star, right?" The most popular answer? "Yes." "Well, it isn't a star", he said. "It's actually a planet." Insert *gasp*, oohs, ahhs! here. Yes indeed, it is none other than the planet Jupiter. Interesting, huh? I thought so too. Wanna know an easier way to find this 'star'? Just go out and glance at the moon. Look just a tad northeast-ish and you should see it. Oh and we also learned that the Big and Little Dippers are NOT constellations. They are considered asterisms. An asterism is a group of stars that resemble a shape or animal. So cool! I am learning already and I am excited!

Ok I gotta go now. Will have to pick Megan up from the bus stop soon. Hope everyone has a great weekend!!

Over and out!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Easy, but exhausting, first day....

My classes started at 9 this morning. I have two classes that meet back to back on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, one that meets on Tuesdays, one that meets on Thursdays, and one that meets Thursday evenings. Five classes....19 hours credit. This morning, we went over the rules, as usual, and listened to our instructor talk about things and activities we will be doing over the course of the next 4 and half months. We got out 20 minutes early so I decided to head over to the college bookstore and pick up a portion of the books I would need. Some books are not in yet. I think I may try to find them elsewhere if they don't get them in soon.

At the bookstore, I got the books I could find, a grey hoodie with the college name in red on the front, a t-shirt/cap combo (also embellished with the college name), exam scantrons, and an academic planner. I walked about a mile back to my car....good education plus a workout all in one!! Ahahaha! Man, my arms hurt holding those books and things in the checkout line. Took me an hour to get in, checkout, and walk to my car. Oh yeah, dumb me left the headlights on this morning. I got to school at 8:20 and didn't get back to my car til around 11:30. I didn't realize it til I was walking to the car. I happen to glance at the tail lights and it looked as if they were lit. I remember thinking to myself "Oh dear God, please tell me I didn't!!" Then when I discovered I had, I grit my teeth, turned the key and prayed "Please let this car crank for me!" Thank goodness it did!! I don't know who I would have called, other than campus police. I believe I had an angel with me. Leaving the headlights on for over 3 hours.....that should have drained that battery down so low that it could not have cranked. But it did. *wipes sweat from brow* I made it to pick up Chris at the sitter's. He had just fallen asleep for a nap so the sitter told me to let him sleep while I ran to Wal-mart to pick up a few items for supper.

Now I am sitting here at home waiting til it is time to meet Megan's bus. Tomorrow I will have to drive back after my first class in order to pick Megan up from school and drop her off at the baby-sitter's, where Chris will already be, then drive back to school for my Astronomy class. I know he will be glad to see her too. He so wanted her to stay with him at the sitter today. Poor kiddo! We have gotten out of our routine so bad that he cried this morning as I was dropping him off. Oh well, next semester I hope to have him enrolled in the early childhood center at the college I attend. I think it will help him prepare for kindergarten.

Ok well I need to go. Ciao!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Walkin' In Memphis...part 3

These are some photos I took while we were out walking on Beale Street and riding the trolley car. Enjoy!

Click to play Walkin' In Memphis
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Clint and Bethany's Wedding

Click to play December 28, 2008
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**Edit** For those that don't know....Bethany is my hubby's cousin. Her wedding day was the first time he has seen her since she was small. Her dad (his uncle) passed and she and her mom had moved away and lost contact with them. Their aunt, Tressa, located Bethany about a year, maybe less, ago on Myspace or Facebook....can't remember which one. Isn't internet a splendid thing?? LOL