Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What Will "They" Think of Next? This Mother's Outrage over A&F Bikini

Just when I thought I had seen it al,l Abercrombie and Fitch comes out with the Push Up Bikini for seven year olds. Shut the Front Door! . I can't even grasp what "they" were thinking when they introduced this line. Walking through the aisles at most major department stores/big box stores, I'm shocked enough with what they are expecting my girls to wear in public, but this takes the cake. Do we want eight year old hooters girls?

Where are the mothers in outrage? I hear a few of them now, but did it really take a bikini from A&F to get us started. Have you seen the underwear aisle at Target? Have you looked at the length of the skirts at Justice? Have you walked in a Walgreen and seen the makeup directly marketed at tween girls? Why does it take something this outside the box to get us all fussed up about the over sexulation of our girls. It's been happening for years. Now the powers that be have just decided to go after even younger girls.

As the mother of two girls, I'm outraged. Not at A&F, but at myself and million of mothers who have allowed it to get this far out of hand. We've sat by and allowed stores, marketers, and designers to turn our sweet little girls into little pussy cat dolls. We've let our girls think that outside beauty is the most coveted treasure. We've prostituted their virtue and inward beauty for the latest craze. To be part of the "in crowd," we've told them it's OK to wear clothing that shows off your best assets! Baloney!

As the mother of fourteen year old son, I'm embarrassed for what his eyes have to witness every day when he walks in his junior high hallway. If I wasn't convinced that sending him to an all boys high school was already a great idea, I'm even more sure now. I know that I can't shelter him from temptation and I'm not looking for girls who wear petticoats and long dresses with bonnets, but come on people.

Two great friends of mine, who are mother of boys now in college, once told me that they wished they could have rung the necks of mother's of girls and told them to watch what they allowed their daughters to wear to school, dances, dance recitals, and cheer leading. They told me they've told their sons what they expect as far as boundaries and respect for girls, but please don't shove the "sexual" side of women in their face and expect them not to notice.

I'm not an expert on this topic, but I am a mother of two girls and a boy and I realize that something needs to be done, someone needs to stand up and say ENOUGH! We've given the Devil too much power over fashion and our bodies. He's winning the battle for our children's minds. The world is telling them that it's OK to dress sexy, to flaunt what your mother gave you, and to do whatever feels right.

Let's say no. Here are two articles on this same subject from women with more eloquence and and wisdom than me: Vicki Courtney and Katerine Jean Lopez of the National Review.

If you are interested in hearing Vicki Courtney, her You and Your Girl Simulcast is happening on Saturday April 9th at locations all over the country. My church is hosting a simulcast event so if you'd like to come to this free event let me know and I'll hook you up with the details.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spring Break : The End


Spring Break was starting to feel a little bit like Winter Break, what with the SNOW and all! Really. Snow in late March. Now, I'll admit it was the pretty kind that only stuck to the grassy surfaces, but it was still snow. Thankfully, we had Bestemor and Bestefar to help us get over the chill in the air and add a little sunshine to our day.

I even tried making a cake to celebrate the March Birthdays and added strawberries to make it more "springy." Of course after I frosted it, I realized anew why my friends don't let me bring the cake to celebrations. Baking is not my thing.

Mr. C was thrilled to stretch his birthday out a few extra days, and the "vat" of ligonberries he got as a present will hopefully last for awhile. We hope, but are not optimistic. Of course, we put the grandparents to work hanging new draperies and entertaining stir crazy spring break children, but we tried to pay them back with a trip to the Art Museum and lunch at a local Tex Mex Restaurant. The girls even found a cute little gift shop (that I'll be going back to solo) and we all fell in love with some adorable home decor items. Miss A would have really liked me to buy her a $225 purse. It was of course 1/2 off so how could I say no? NO.

While our Spring Break might not have included a trip to sandy beach or even days of sunshine, we had a nice relaxing break from reality. We didn't even mind a trip to the Pediatrician to recheck A's ears since we got a great report. Of course, we are not going to talk about Miss M's first ever strep throat found on that same day, no we are going to just thank Jonas Salk for some great drugs!

Sunday night tears means you've have a great break and visit, at least that's what we told Miss A as she shed tear after tear about B & B leaving. Now, she's just waiting for Nana and Papa to come back to town this week after a long absence and hope they bring a little sunshine and warm temps with them!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spring Break: The Outtakes

We've had a fun spring break thus far and tomorrow the grandparents arrive for a few days so in reality it's only just beginning. Trying to plan "fun" when the weather is questionable, most of our neighbors are in school and that I'm not willing to do something every minute of the day can be challenging.

Of course in our family, this much togetherness also means we've had plenty of funny moments.

On Monday, the girls went to see Yogi Bear while Mr. C was playing golf with buddies. The movie was at the "cheap seats" theater which meant we spent more on the popcorn and bottle of water than the seats. When Miss A accidentally dropped the water bottle and lost it among the seats ( I wasn't really willing to go searching in the dark), she looked like she might cry for a moment. Then she realized that this loss would save us a trip to the potty during the movie!

Tuesday, I was hoodwinked into going bowling. Again. Miss A was talking smack all weekend about beating her mom at the bowling alley. Never did I consider bringing up "skating" and how I can smoke every single kid in our family. Well, maybe once.

At the Bowling Alley, I quickly requested that the bumpers be up for all of us, just to make it fair. I still lost. Miss A and Mr. C smoked Miss M and I and somehow Miss A's little friends beat me too. I did, however, get a strike, or a stroke. Let's just say when I told one of the other mothers' that I believed in playing bowling with golf rules, lowest score wins she almost lost her lunch!!

On the way home, Miss A said this was the best spring break ever, everyday was like a Saturday. Miss M quickly pointed out that it wasn't a Saturday as Dad was still at work. Then in her worst move, she said that everyday was Saturday for Mom since she doesn't have a job. Yeah that's the life of the stay at home mom, every day is a Saturday.

I'm thinking that means I can sleep in next week and not get up for that silly before school routine. No more laundry, no more dusting or running errand. Just fun. Relax.

To pay M back for the slide, I made her get her hair cut today. Bye bye three inches. Miss A got even more cut off, but she's too young to know what "inches" mean. She's now rocking a cute spring bob. Hey, every day can't be all fun.

Just kidding. Sorta.

Stay tuned I'm sure the fun and laughs are just starting, it's only Wednesday. Or Saturday. It's just a matter of perspective.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Birthday Take Two: Thai Style

Mr C is Fourteen! How can this be? I can vividly remember bringing him home from the hospital in our green little Mazda 626, sitting in the backseat to make sure he wasn't nervous. Getting home and wondering what the heck we were suppose to do with this little guy. Thinking that some "real" parents would show up soon to take him home. We might not have been the youngest parents, but we were green behind the ears.

How Mr. C has survived with us as parents is beyond me!! To think that the little boy who used to love Thomas the Trains and organizing his hot wheels by type and color is now almost a high school freshman. I still find that utterly amazing. Those people who say time just flies by, they aren't lying.

To celebrate, Mr. C wanted to try some "new" ethnic food, and while he really wanted Sushi, we talked him into Thai food. A little more family friendly. We tried the new "Mai Thai" and were very impressed with this little family run restaurant. The food was fresh and the cute flower on the plate was adorable. The fact that you can pick your "heat" really helped. We loved it.

Mr C is taking a few friends to an Arena Football game in a few weeks so the celebration is really just beginning. Plus, today started spring break so he got to go golfing with friends. I think the fact that he had a new golf shirt, shorts and a track jacket to wear on the course probably helped his score.

I love the fact that Mr. C closes out our month of birthdays is a perfect capstone to our fun. Even if he didn't want birthday cake for his birthday! Although it did make me question for awhile if there might have been a mix up in the hospital.

What is it with my family not liking cake? Hurry up May, we need some buttercream.

Happy birthday favorite son, I think this is going to be a wild year. Love Ya.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Life Lesson: New Grocery Perspective

As of today, I'm rethinking how I do grocery shopping. I can almost hear the shouts of joy from my Bible study moms. Until today, I was a shopping snob as I would only go to the stores I like and, while I shop sales and use coupons, I learned today that I've been paying too much.

My friends tried to convince me that shopping at Walmart would save me big bucks. I balked. You see, I'm a Target girl. I view Target as hip, cool, and fun. I'll buy my groceries, staples, paper products, home goods and even clothing at Target. Not so much with Walmart.

I think a lot of that goes back to the days when Mr. C was a baby and we used to go to W to buy his soy formula. It was tons cheaper than anywhere else. However, W wasn't in the best location in town, was decades old and had a "smell" to it so I always felt grossed out when I left.

Now, years later there is a shiny and pretty W right across the street from my Target, but I never really went there except to buy Boy Scout camping supplies since they don't really have those things at Target. Until today. I was challenged to do my grocery shopping at W and then take my receipt to my favorite grocery store and see if I could tell a difference.

As much as I hate to admit it, they were right. Now, I'll confess I only purchased staple items and canned items at Walmart and then bought my produce and meat at my favorite grocery store. Part of that was because I'm still not comfortable with Walmart and I view my stores' selection and freshness to be much better. Plus, it looks prettier. Habits die hard!

Here's the details:

Kellogg's special K red berries(family size) $3.44 vs $4.30
dill relish $1.18 vs $2.29
Kosher Dill Slices $1.98 vs $3.65
pepper rings: $1.98 vs $2.15
Pad Thai $1.98 vs $2.79
Bagels: $2.38 vs $3.49
blueberry pancake syrup: $2.14 vs $2.69
cream cheese: $2.18 vs $2.14(sale price)
Whole Wheat HB buns: $2.97 vs. $3.97

Now a few disclaimers: there were some brands that I normally buy generic at my grocery store that might have been a little better comparison to the Walmart price, but I was doing item for item. A few things that I had on my list they did not carry at all at Walmart or did at least I could not find.

In the end though, it was cheaper. They were right. I'm sure Walmart not only beat my grocery store, but they would beat my Target. I think I'll be rethinking my grocery purchases. To save a few dollars, I'll go to Walmart and stock up on the pantry items I need. I'll still buy the fresh stuff at the grocery store and Target will still be where I'll go for fun home stuff, birthday presents for parties, and cute cheap flats.

I might be a snob, but I know a good thing when I see it. A few extra dollars each month is worth it. As my friend K told me today, it might just pay for high school!

Birthday Take One

March is Birthday Month in our family and this week is the culmination of it all. Both P and Mr. C' celebrate birthdays over the next few days. St. Patrick's Day is my Norwegian Husband's birthday, ironic I know, and no his name is not Patrick.

It really was a perfect day, if I say so myself. We had a nice lunch out sans children (who were at school) at the Cheesecake Factory. I must say though their "lunch size" salad is HUGE. I can't imagine how you are suppose to eat the whole thing or what their regular size salad must look like. I'm thinking it could feed a small African village.

But the celebration was only just beginning; dinner was his favorite meal of all times; Pioneer Women's Marlboro Man Sandwich with homemade Yukon Gold Baked French Fries. We even ate in the dinning room with our fabulous festive table runner, fruit punch in wine glasses for the kids and, of course, Trader Joe's' finest Chardonnay for the adults.

Then, it was gift time and, while we didn't have a theme for the party, it appears one happened anywa. We call it Texas Baseball with a side of Ronald Reagan. Let's just say when we go to the Texas/NU baseball game this May, he'll be well prepared. Plus, he now has his favorite President in both bobble head form and in a cool pullover.

Finally, it was Red Mango for a Birthday treat. It was perfect and yummy, but I'll admit I struggle to think of a birthday without butter cream frosting!

At the end of the day, it was a great celebration of the best husband and father ever! Happy Birthday honey.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I'll Never Be Dorthy Hamill But A Girl Can Dream

My dreams of being Dorthy Hamill have probably died, but according to my daughters I'm a pretty awesome skater. Not sure if that's because I could backwards skate, do a horrid figure 8, or just make it around the rink without holding the rail, but I rock.
In my youth (sounds like a song from Sound of Music), I used to go ice skating with my family on Sunday afternoons in the winter. My family was winter sports fans. We skied, ice skated and we even owned a toboggan big enough for 4 members to take down the hill. The rink we took the girls to on Sunday afternoon was the rink of my childhood. We were there for a Sons of Norway event, but appeared to be the only Norsk group in the place. No matter, we had a blast.
I could almost see my "child self" in the corner practicing turns and figure eights. I loved time on the rink, I'd sing the song "Tea for Two" in my mind, dream of Olympic glory, and try to figure out how to perfect the Hamill Camel. I even had Dorthy's Hairstyle for years. I cried for days over the whole Tai Babilonia incident and was brokenhearted to see the entire Nancy Kerrigan fiasco. I was "ready" to step in and fill their spots on the Olympic roster if needed.
Of course, in reality, I was just the normal recreational skater, my best jumps and leaps were done in my dreams. But lacing back up the skates on Sunday afternoon those dreams were awoken and I felt like I was floating across the ice. I didn't even fall!! Yeah for my tush.
Miss A had never been ice skating before. She loved it. The fact that she's been roller skating lately really gave her the confidence that she could master ice skating. By about the third time around the rink, she told me "I'm pretty good at figure skating, I could be great."
Guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. At least in the over active imagination!
Miss M had been skating a couple of times and took to the ice quickly too. She thinks maybe this is a sport we should do as a family. If only we could convince Mr. C that strapping sharp metal to your feet is not crazy.
P admitted that he hadn't been skating in decades, and while he was nervous at first, he quickly adjusted to the skates. I think with a little effort he could be my Randy Gardner and I'd promise not to get hurt right before our big moment on the ice.
All in all, I'm thinking that little by little I can turn my Texas spouse into a winter sports fanatic. Who knows maybe we'll be hitting the slopes next winter.
A girl can dream can't she.
( Just in case you are older than me and not aware of my ice skating heroes of yesteryear, goggle them it will worth your effort.)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Outside My Comfort Zone

Photos: smashing the leftover boxes, listening to instructions, packing up shoes, P and C were on box stacking duty-perfect fit as they looked at analytically, Mrs Starkey and C-amazing C had made one of these blankets for 8th grade leadership team and now it's off to Sierra Leone.

Today, I was pushed outside my comfort zone and I must admit it was a gift. I love to serve God, but I tend to focus on areas that are comfortable for me, safe, easy, and not things that cause me to go outside my self too much.

I'm willing to give everything to God, but in my heart I hope He never asks me to do the "hard stuff." Teach a Bible Study, no problem. Organize a meal for a grieving family, check. Pray out loud in a group or at a public place, got it. Minister to the poor, serve the homeless, wrap my arms around the orphans; this is where I'd love to say yes, but if I'm honest my real answer is God, can you find someone else?
I love my comfortable life. I'm a snob. I am a person who desires creature comforts and doesn't like to expose myself to the real side of life. Just being honest.
I live an solid middle class life and spend most of my time and life in that world. For the most part, it's surrounded by Christians who like me pray for the lost and the hurting, but hope that someone else is going to meet their daily needs.
Today, my family had the opportunity to serve. We were able to help pack boxes for Sierra Leone and provide for men and women and children who have very little. I would love to tell you how proud I am of my family today. How awesome it was to see my kids just step up to the plate and serve with hearts wide open.
But first, I have to be honest and tell you that the job I did today "sorting clothes" so they could be boxed by age and gender was way outside my comfort zone. I don't do used clothing. I'm not comfortable in a thrift store. I'm a snob remember. I like my things new or in the very least handed down from a relative. That's safe.
However, I also need to tell you of the heartbreak inside me as I sorted through bags upon bags of clothing and household goods. Bags that were filled to brim with discards and leftovers. I'm speaking of myself here just so you know, but I was ashamed of the reality of how carelessly we give it away. Too many items had to be tossed away because they contained holes or were dirty or inappropriate. They weren't good enough for us to send overseas.
How often have I given away my leftovers. Things I see as not worthy. This goes way beyond clothing and goods, it has to do with my time, talents and resources. Do I give away only what's leftover after I used my best for myself and my family?
As we prayed over the massive boxes ready to ship to the people loved by God in Sierra Leone, it hit me so deeply that it's our leftovers that are becoming their bounty. Our castoffs will become their treasures. However, while the things in those boxes might be the rejected, the love, the hard work, the prayers and the hope for those receiving them are not castoffs at all, they are the very best.
I'm still processing what all this means for me and my family. While I don't see myself packing a bag tomorrow and moving to the middle of Africa, I can see myself giving up some of my luxuries so that others can have the necessities. I'll be more careful when I give my things away and make sure that they are things that can be used and I'm not just discarding things no one would want.
Stretching myself outside my comfort zone might get uncomfortable. It might lead me to listen to God's prompts to do things that are "scary" and more challenging, but I know one thing; the blessings I'll receive will more than cover any cost to my self control.
Who knew all this could be learned sorting through bags of castoffs!
Matthew 25:37-40 NIV
The the righteous will answer him, "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give some thing to drink. When did we see you a stranger and invite you in or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?"
The King will reply, " I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."

Finally! Miss A's Favorite Musuem

Miss A has been waiting for months to go to her Favorite Children's Museum. We've planned a few trips that didn't pan out so she was thrilled when I told her Friday was the day. Because the junior high was in session, it meant it was a fun day just for Miss A.

Making the trip even better, we were able to hang out with some good friends. Miss A's friend B, while a few years younger, is such a kick. Since they both have older siblings, they love having the opportunity to be top dog for the day and do their own thing. The fact that B's mom is a great friend is just a bonus.

It was so fun to watch the kids dress up and dance on the stage, practice their best volleyball and football moves, and use their imagination skills to the fullest in this fabulous museum. Miss A is now considering being either a doctor, a vet, or maybe a fireman. She loves the big truck, but she's not so sure she likes the fire hat or jacket. Not quite the fashion statement she wants to make, I guess.

I love watching my children play and fulfilling Miss A's dream of going to the museum was wonderful. Now, she's planning her next day off school and praying that the big kids will be busy elsewhere.

Friday, March 11, 2011

I Love the Silence Too...

I've lost my voice. I knew that it was coming on for a few days. It was raspy, itchy, and the back of my throat was covered with gunk. I love spring.

Every March, this happens. It's a combination of a busy few days working on volunteerAdd Imager projects, the wind that blows, and a sick child who makes it difficult for me to sleep through the night. The holy grail of sinus/allergy sufferers.

There is joy in the silence. On Thursday, when Miss A was feeling better (thanks to the drugs), we ran a few errands and even had a date at Panera. It was fun to sit with Miss A and just listen. She has much to say and, often as the third child in the family, she gets lost in the mix.

When we went to exchange some drapery rods and I was struggling to understand/talk about what I needed, when the lady got a little frustrated with me. Miss A quickly came to my defense saying, "my mom normally talks a lot better, she's sorry." She was right, but I don't normally talk curtains and I'm thinking that is a language all it's own!

Living in silence has also meant that I've spent more time to think before I speak. When you are scratching out just a few words, they have to count for something.

I'm not sure I'd enjoy going through life with no voice. But I'm glad I had the opportunity to live a few days in the world of silence.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Same Song Second Verse Just Not As Fun as the First

It's a new week and a new illness for poor Miss A. A double ear infection, a sinus infection, and a ruptured ear drum. According to the doctor, Miss A's ears look horrid, pussey, and very painful. Our great pediatrician put an arm around A while he was looking in her ear and removing some of the gunk inside. Tears were rolling down her face and he told her that he was sorry, but he was trying to help her feel better.

Over the past six years of Miss A's life, she's had more than her fair share of illness. In fact, my husband has often called her our "health care expense child." She's our only child to have surgery and she's had it twice. She's had pneumonia six times, mononucleosis, and in the course of one short year had tonsillitis seven times.

For the past several days, Miss A has been complaining of headaches. She's woken up from a deep sleep on four nights crying in pain telling us that her head hurts and that she needs medicine to relieve the pain. At the same time, she's gone to school, played barbies, and perfected her roller skating skill at the roller rink.

In my mind, I went to a dark place; worried that a six year old with headaches and no other symptoms must have something wrong with her; something bad. I debated calling the doctor, but decided I had to get to the bottom of the problem. When the nurse got me in right away, I knew she was concerned too.

I'm grateful that my worst fears were not realized and that Miss A only has a really bad infection. In a few days, with the help of an antibiotic, she'll be as good as new. God is good.

But I'm bummed for her too. She cried tonight. She'll be missing school again tomorrow. Her infection finally has caused her to run a fever. With two days off later this week, we have plans, and she's brokenhearted to think she might miss them. I told her I thought by Friday she'll be fine, but I can't guarantee.

Miss A is one of the sweetest, happiest and funniest little girls I know. While I'm biased, I know that in her situation she could be cranky or bitter. The doctor today told A that she's a brave, strong little girl. He wasn't surprised she was in so much pain and couldn't believe how well she carried on with a ruptured ear drum and a head full of 'gunk."

I agree. Miss A is really a hero in my book.

Now if you could all just pray that her right ear heals and the infection goes away with this medicine, I'd be grateful. If you could pray that our plans for this Friday can go on, I know she'd be grateful too.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Miss M's Big Day

Photos: Lunch at Paradise, Pastors and Miss M being goofy, Fancy New Dress and of course the "Modest" Heels.

Miss M had her First Communion yesterday. Not only did she get to taste wine for the first time, she was also wearing "modest" heels for the occasion. After weeks of working through the Table of the Lord program and talking through what we believe communion means, she was ready. A few weeks ago as I drove her to dance, we had a long conversation about Heaven/Hell/Faith and I was blown away by how she is processing both her head and heart knowledge.

I told my husband that our conversation was so deep that I was wishing for a Bible and concordance to back up our discussion. She not only has a personal relationship with Jesus, she gets how important it is to be able to back your faith up with knowledge. Plus she has compassion and a heart for those who are not yet aware of God's remarkable gift.

M was more than ready for this step on her faith journey. She not only understands the significance of Christ's body and blood being shed for her salvation, she is able to articulate how grateful she is for this gift.

She was so excited walking up to the altar that she was actually shaking a little bit. Of course her brother's prompting not to drop the wine glass, to swallow the bread with the wine, and how to put the glass away in the basket probably had her all nervous. Poor girl, it's hard to have a big brother!

M said the wine "wasn't bad," but she not sure why we get so excited about Trader Joe's wine! Gotta love that girl.

To celebrate, we had lunch out at "Paradise" just like we did when Mr C had his first communion a few years ago. Miss M said it was a tradition and could you really pick a more aptly named place to celebrate?

Congratulations Miss M on this milestone in your faith walk. May this just be the beginning of a close relationship with Jesus and a deep "communion" with Him who loves you deeply.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Science Fair and Life Lessons

Mr C would tell you that he wasted an entire Saturday hanging out at our local botanical garden, at the metro science fair. In reality, it was an excellent opportunity to see a whole new world; the world of science and people who work their tails off to make fantastic boards, experiments that belong at MIT, and use of words that are not in our vocabulary.

While Mr C did not finish in the top three and is now not required to go to state competition, he did experience up close and personal the world of competition. Sometimes the lesson we learn when we don't win are more valuable than those we get when we are the best in the class. P has been telling Mr. C for months that when you complete on the "big stage" the pie gets a little smaller, the expectations are a little bit greater, and the challenge is to make yourself stand out a little bit harder.

Really, is there any better lesson to learn. Winning is wonderful. Being the best has its own glory, but sometimes it's just as important to be in the game. To see the action up close and be challenged the to be better the next time, even better.

We are proud of Mr. C for making it this far. For having the tenacity to be in the game and to realize that learning, growing and challenging yourself to do better is just as important as winning the medal.

One parent told us that the key is to make a project that appeals to the judges and the sponsors. The effect of cold on battery life would have been a great subject if the title sponsor was Duracell or Energizer. The fact that the sponsors of this event were Lockheed Martin and the Public Power District means we should have gone for a project on space or electricity!

How sad that even at a science fair you have to "play the game." Think maybe we should look into Robotics next year. Less room for influence from outside sources. A robot either works or it doesn't.

Great Job Mr. C.

PS: He looked great. "New" Dress shoes and a "fabulous" tie made him look really snazzy. Mr C thanks his fans for making this possible!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

It's Been One of "Those" Weeks

Photos: Teacher Appreciation Luncheon, Miss M's Modest Heeled Shoes, Miss A on PJ Day, Miss A on Crazy Day, Miss A's self portrait, Miss A's favorite thing about Snow Days.

Last week was crazy busy. My daily to do list looked like a military operation check list. The laundry piled up, the cupboards were empty, and we were down to our last banana. Thankfully, Miss A was willing to have cheese and crackers for lunch one day instead of her standard PB&J sandwich; we had no bread.

It was as my husband told our children not a week to expect too much "extra" help from mom. You see it was teacher appreciation week and as chair of thePTA hospitality committee, it was my job to organize and carry out our plans for "Hollywood Week Where Our Teacher's are Stars." I say that not to toot my own horn or complain in any way because it really is a blessing to be at our elementary school. I love the teachers and staff, have been blessed with some great friends, and my kids have really blossomed in that building, but it's a big job to pull it off.

Plus, it was Read Across America Week for Dr. Seuss's birthday meaning that every day was a "special day" for the kids tto. Miss A had to wear something extra special or crazy to celebrate. Tuesday was Crazy Day so Miss A wore mismatched clothing, two different boots, and wacky hair. Thursday was pajama day, and when Miss A got up in the morning, she was thrilled to change out of her nightgown into a set of fresh pj's! Friday was "Green Day" in honor of Green Eggs and Ham so A wore her favorite green shirt. I told her atleast now we have an idea of something to wear for St. Patrick Day !

Add to the mix a ton of homework projects coming due this week for Mr. C, and the metro science fair ,plus freshman registration night at the high school and civil war night at the junior high and you have a "crazy week."

By Friday night, I was ready to crash, but had promised Miss M that we would have a date night while Miss A was at a birthday party. Miss M needed dressy shoes for First Communion and she was a girl on a mission to find just the right pair. Let's just say that I was so tired I would have said yes to any pair and at one time got so desperate that I sent my husband a text with a photo of two shoes and asked him to choose.

Miss M was thrilled that he picked her favorite. I was shocked as it was the pricey pair. According to Miss M, it was perfect as it was a "modest heel" and really showed off her outfit.

The joy of a hectic, crazy, busy week is that you feel like you really accomplished a lot. When I feel asleep Friday night (on the couch watching TV), it was a good sleep, an exhausted sleep.

I'm calling this new week: Recovery Week.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Amazing Race Season 18 : We're Off

Amazing Race 18: Unfinished Business. It's going to be a wild ride! We are having such a great time watching this new season of Amazing Race.

Favorite line thus far: Cowboy Jett when he saw that a challenge involved sailing said, "I'm from Oklahoma, I don't do water. I don't even take a bath." We were rolling on the floor.

For the first time ever, we drew names. The only exception was if you had teams from previous years you could draw with just those names. Miss A took this option and got one team from the past. For her other team, she went potluck. Poor Miss M was a little disappointed in her teams. She actually has two of her former teams; both of which she did not really care for, but you know she's won the most times so it's hard to have much sympathy for her!

Here's our teams for the season:

Miss A: Ron & Christina- the Pizza Place. A's very excited for this team
LaKisha & Jennifer - Red Mango Yogurt and Homemade Chicken Nuggets
( this is A's repeat team, we call them the basketball girls )

Miss M: Gary & Mallory-Jimmy's Egg. Miss M loves to eat breakfast out, so she's really psyched for this place.
Kent & Vyxsin- Texas Roadhouse Not really Kent and Vyxsin-like, but should be fun.

Mr. C: Jamie & Cara- Riverside Catfish Restaurant. This is a real dive, but a great place for fried catfish, hush puppies and watching the boaters on the river moon the quests-can it get better?
Jet & Cord (the Cowboys)-Thai Pepper Restaurant
Mr. C is really pulling for the Cowboys, they seem like such nice guys. Plus, C wants to eat food from Thailand as it sounds exotic. Hope he can take the heat!

P: Flightime & Big Easy-Big Mama's Soul food Restaurant . I told him this was stereotyping, but considering the kids had fried chicken and collard greens to celebrate Black History Month at school, I guess it's OK. (Plus the food is supposively awesome and we've talked about going there for a while)
Margie & Luke- Netties Mexican Cafe. This restaurant holds special memories as we used to take Grammy there for dinner. I remember one time when I was pregnant with Mr. C, I spent most of the time in the "restroom" losing my dinner. The food is according to Mr. Texas very authentic.

Jill: Zev & Justin- Stellas Hamburgers. My grandfather first introduced to me this dive of a hamburger joint when I was in college. He loved to go there and see the "fly boys" as he called the guys from the local air force base.
Mel & Mike- Cheesecake Factory. Who am I kidding? This group will be the first team eliminated.

I think this could be the best season of Amazing Race we've watched. The fact that we "know" these teams means that we have preset ideas about how they will do and what challenges they will be good at, but the reality is it's any one's race to win.

I've told Miss A that I think we are going to both be in the finale. A girl can dream can't she?