Monday, December 31, 2007

Pardon the Interruption

Sorry about the short interruption of viewing for some of you. I had a glitch that I had to work out, but I think all is good now.

Happy New year to all of you. What are your plans for ringing in the new year? Mine are the same as always. I figure I will be sound asleep by 9 PM and will see 2008 when I wake in the morning. I know, I know - I am such a party animal. Truth is unless there is something exciting going on, I just can't make myself stay awake much later than my usual bedtime, and I have never found much exciting to do on New Year's Eve. So if you have any suggestions, let me know.

See ya next year!!!!!!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

What a Rip Off - or Why I Don't Go to the Movies

After Thanksgiving, we promised Stephen that if he reached a given number of Accelerated Reader points before the Christmas break, we would take him to the movies. Well, he reached his goal, so yesterday afternoon we made good on our promise.

Now we are not a movie going family by any means. The last time we loaded everyone up and headed to the theater was when Cars was released. I think Brian and I have each been once since then - though not together - that would sound too much like a date. And lets not forget that I am a notoriously cheap person. So when we reach the ticket window and it costs us $24 for the 12:45 matinee, I was a little more than mildly annoyed, but hey we promised.

So we go into the 1/2 full theater and pick out 4 seats and patiently wait to be entertained. And wait. And wait. I only remember going to the movies a few times as a child, but I saw my fair share in my teen years. The way I remember it was, you saw 2 or 3 previews and then the feature started. If you arrived at the theater more than 10 minutes after the start time, you were bound to miss the opening of the movie. Not now. When the theater finally darkened, we were first shown previews, but a solid 10 minutes of commercials. Yes, paid advertising on the big screen. This was followed by previews for more movies than I could count, and finally 25 minutes after the advertised start time of the movie, we actually got to see the movie.

We watched Alvin and the Chipmunks. It was very cute and the kids really enjoyed it. They have been quoting one-liners ever since we left. However next time we decide to bribe the boy, I am going to suggest we buy a movie and stay home. At least then we can afford some popcorn to go with it...

Friday, December 28, 2007


So tomorrow is the big day we have been looking forward to for what seems like months. I guess since we ordered tickets in September, it really has been months. Brian and I, along with Kathy, will be going to see Trans Siberian Orchestra in concert. Now if you don't know who they are, don't let the name fool you. The are definitely not your traditional orchestra. With their blend of hard rocking guitars and wild violin, along with a laser show that is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen, they are anything but traditional. We had the chance to see them last year, however because I am notoriously, cheap our seats left a lot to be desired. We were up so high, I literally got dizzy looking down, and the crew on the catwalk had to look up to see us, but we still enjoyed the show. I did concede that if we ever went to see them again that Brian got to pick the seats. So tomorrow we will enjoy the show from our 15th row floor seats. I know we won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Life's Hard...

Get a helmet. One thing I have learned is that life is full of hard knocks. You make mistakes and you learn from them. My only advice is don't burn too many bridges, no one wants to be stuck on an island alone and cut off from everyone. When you hurt someone, say you're sorry and mean it. When you are in the wrong, admit it. And when all else fails, just move on. There are times when nothing you can say or do will get your point across to someone who has their mind already made up.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas to All

Hope everyone is having a Merry Christmas...I just wanted to share a few pictures of some of our Christmas traditions. Gift pictures will follow in a few days - maybe.

Brian's tradition is lights. He likes to think of himself as the Clark Griswold of Oppelo. He loves adding something new every year to his light display.
This is our outdoor manger scene we added a few years back. This sign in the background is this year's addition. We like to remind everyone of the real reason we celebrate.
No Christmas Eve would be complete without leaving a snack for Santa. Every year we set out cookies for the big guy. This year's fare was a 100-calorie pack because we heard that Santa was watching his weight.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

How Rude

The rudeness of people will never cease to amaze me. Last night, we attended Stephen's school Christmas concert. While I understand that listening to a couple of hundred second and third graders sing Christmas carols hardly qualifies as a upscale social event, I was amazed by the amount of talking and chatting that went on among not only the kids (mostly bored teenagers drug there to see their pesky younger siblings) but the adults that were supposedly there to support their children. While I sat an listened to the singing - which was pretty good by the way - there were numerous conversations going on around me that were very distracting.

I don't know if I am just more aware of this or if it is actually becoming more prevalent, but I notice this kind of thing happening at all kinds of events where it shouldn't be the norm. I even notice it at church a lot. While someone is singing to the Lord, there are usually several conversations going on in the congregation. It was very obvious to me over the last few weeks when I left my usual seat on the front pew and sat in the back. Throughout the congregational singing, special and even preaching there were people of all ages - yes, even the "elders" of the church chatting it up. All I can say is - can't it wait until later?

While I am ranting...There are three of us here at work that profess to be on weight watchers. It has been an especially hard month since several clients have brought in goodies ranging from cookies to apple fritters, but alas the clients don't realize the temptation they put before us. However, this morning one of my fellow "weight watching" employees brought in a plate full of sweets. Have you ever felt completely sabotaged? I told her she should know better than to bring that down here. Her reply - "I had to bring some of it down here so there wouldn't be so much left at home to tempt me there." I have taken a stand - I refuse to eat it - not one bite - and I told her so. In fact, I told her that it would be even worse on her because now she had the temptation in both places. Anyway - how rude!!!!!

Tales from the Scales Update

And I am happy to say even with all the temptation of the various treats of the season, I am still maintaining. I know I didn't post last week - don't really remember why - but since my post two weeks ago, I am down one pound. Which means I am 1.5 pounds above my "comfort zone." Not to shabby. Check out the progress of others at Tales from the Scales.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Window into Stephen's World

Brian spends at least one Friday a month working at Stephen's school through a great program called WatchD.O.G.S. By doing this he has become very familiar with most of the students in not only Stephen's class but in the entire second grade. He gets to interact with them both in the classroom as well as on the playground. It has been a great experience for both Brian and Stephen. What has been great for me is hearing the stories about Stephen at school. This is a window into a part of a child's life that a lot of parents never see. What we have learned is not only is our son a great student with lots of character who follows all of the rules to a tee (wish that happened at home too), but he is a player too... Brian observed him on the playground surrounded by a group of giggling girls. He was doing his best comedy act and really had them rolling. He also has a Spanish tutor at recess. He and one of the little girls in his class walked around the playground and she was teaching him Spanish.

Truth be known he is just like his daddy. He has never met a stranger, he is totally at ease making conversation with anyone, and he loves to make other people laugh. He is the opposite of me. Not that Stephen doesn't get some traits from me as well. I am a rule follower. In school I was just like him - an overachiever who did everything by the book. I remember my college advisor looking at my transcript and commenting that I had followed the catalog of classes almost exactly for each semester. So maybe Stephen got the best of both of us - a total package so to speak.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

It's not about me...

I was going to complain that I am battling yet another sinus infection, but then I received a call from my mother-in-law about a little boy who has been on our prayer list for months. His name is Job and you can read all about his struggles at his Caring Bridge site. The reason she called is he is finally getting new lungs today. In fact he is in the OR as I sit here typing this now. This is the miracle that we and his family have been praying for, and it really put things in perspective. My stuffy nose doesn't seem so bad now. Keep this little boy and his family in your prayers, because his battle isn't over yet.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Party Time

It is the time of year to party, party, party. Skylar attended a birthday party on Saturday and had a blast. It was for one of the little girls in her preschool class. They held it at Sunshine Academy, a local gymnastics studio. It was a great party - they handle everything from entertaining the kids, to refreshments and cleanup. The kids were worn out when it was all over too. They got to jump on trampolines, do flips, walk the balance beam, and swing on a trapeze.

Monday night Kathy and I attended the annual Christmas banquet of one of our clients. It was held at Mike's Place, where as I have mentioned before the food is wonderful. I had a plate full of shrimp, the best green beans I have ever eaten, and Parmesan spinach...and then there was dessert. Kathy, Jenny and I split what had to be the biggest brownie I have ever seen in my life. It was at least 2 inches thick and 4 inches square. It was covered with a delicious chocolate sauce and served with a side of vanilla ice cream. Between the three of us we put a major dent in it but didn't finish it off...not that we couldn't have but it was hard to keep eating it when Jenny's husband kept reminding us how many calories it had in it. I guess I should actually thank Rodney for that but for now I will pretend to be bitter...

So with all of that said, I guess you know how my weight loss/maintenance is going. I haven't mentioned it since before Thanksgiving. It has definitely been on my mind but I guess I thought if I didn't mention it then it wasn't real...since the Wednesday before Thanksgiving I am up 2.5 pounds. I guess I should be happy that it's not more...actually it was more but I have managed to drop a little of it back off. I will be heading back over to Tales from the Scales to report in...

Monday, December 03, 2007

A State of Neglect

I feel like I have been neglecting my blog lately. Sure I have posted a few pictures but that's it. I could tell you how terribly busy I have been but the truth is I have just been really lazy. I have these really great posts all written in my head but by the time I sit down at the computer, I just don't feel like writing. So I won't even attempt to "catch-up", I will just try to do better.

Last Tuesday Brian and I played hooky from work - don't get the wrong idea - it was planned well in advance with all of the appropriate measures taken to get vacation days etc, but we just took the day off by ourselves. We sent the kids off to school and hit the road. We took a nice little drive down to Hot Springs. While we didn't do any of the traditional "Hot Springs" stuff while we were there, it was a very pleasant drive. We did a little shopping, had a wonderful lunch at Red Lobster, and then headed to Little Rock for more shopping. We managed to finish the majority of our Christmas shopping, on top of spending a day alone. I think we should plan to play hooky more often...