Light it Up Blue for Autism & Random Dozen

Before we get to the fun stuff, a little serious matter.  About the Autism Button on my sidebar:  On the night of April 1st, many buildings in North America will "Light it Up Blue" in order to raise awareness for Autism.  What you can do:  Wear blue on April 2 and encourage everybody you know to do the same.  I have been very fortunate in that Autism has not affected my family, but I work with some children who are autistic.  They are amazing to work with because when you see progress, you know you've made an impact in not just their life, but in their family's lives.   Before I ever worked with an autistic child, I pictured the stereotypical hand flapping, rocking back and forth behaviors.   In actuality, I have rarely seen those behaviors.  Each child is different and is truly a puzzle.  If you have a minute, please click the button and learn more about autism.

Now for the fun stuff:

1. How do you feel about the marshmallow Easter Peeps?  

2. Chickens are notoriously nervous creatures. When you are nervous, what is the best way to calm down?

I get busy around the house.

3. People say, "April showers bring May flowers." Do you enjoy Spring rains?

I love a good spring rain, especially if it's warm enough to open the windows!  Everything smells so clean and fresh after the rain.

4. When I was randomly flipping through TV channels this week, I saw a show in which tattoo parlor employees received tattoos of a co-worker's face on their bodies. I can't imagine having a portrait of a colleague tattooed on me. But if someone forced you to receive a portrait tattoo (face only) of anyone, who would it be? Why?

Jesus because he's the mainstay in my life.

5. Would you rather have a tattoo (any kind) or a nose ring?

A small tattoo where no one could see.

6. Do you have any special plans for Easter?

Going to where we used to live in the Carolinas to see friends and neighbors.  We hope to revive a tradition with another family:  we used to go out to a Chinese restaurant almost every Sunday after Mass.  We'd sit the kids (8 total) at one table, and we'd have some adult conversation at the other.

7. Cadbury Eggs or Reese Eggs? can get Reese's anytime.

8. What was the last thing/person you took a picture of?

The restaurant where we ate for my Birthday dinner.

9. What book are you reading now, or what was the last one?

"The Poet" by Michael Connelly  I'm about 2/3 of the way through it.  Really weird:  the book I read before that ("Eleventh Hour" by Catherine Coulter) was also about the death of a twin and the living twin worked on solving the crime.  Love a good mystery!

10. What do you think is the most difficult task when it comes to Spring cleaning?


11. How many pairs of flip-flops do you own?


12. Which color makes you happiest?

Yellow; isn't it just the happiest color?

Yesterday in pictures

Don't you just love when relatives send you a surprise in the mail?  Today we got this from relatives in Denmark:
YS was very happy:
They also sent us a Royal Copenhagen Egg:
I just love how it was boxed to look like it's in a nest.

I had my birthday dinner at a new place in town:
When we walked in, it looked like a 50's Diner (notice it says "50's Diner" on the sign!) and the lights made it feel very calming and relaxing.
Here is my husband and me:
And MS & YS:
How 'bout MS' impersonation of a walrus?  The only thing that was missing was OS, but we got to spend the day with him on Sat.  He came in and went to MS' soccer tournament with us.  My husband tried to pass off our lunch at Olive Garden as my birthday dinner, but I was having none of that!  Especially since it wasn't my birthday yet!
And, here is a picture of one of the posters in one of the booths:
'Nuff said!
Have a Terrific Tuesday!

Miscellaneous Monday

First things first:  H-Momma at Family Team is sponsoring a giveaway.  She's giving away a chance to win your choice of bunch of different stuff, so check out her blog and enter!  I'm really hoping for the Olympia Polk Dot Shopper Tote! I saw a shopper tote when we were in Copenhagen last summer.  I considered getting one, but wasn't sure how I'd get it home.  Please, please let my name be drawn!

MS' high school soccer team had a tournament over the weekend.  They came back with a record of 1-2-1.  All of the teams are from much larger schools, and 2 of them are private schools.  The last team they played is a very large private school whose kids play year round together in club soccer.  I'm not a soccer mom; in fact, the other moms would  laugh at me when I would say something.  They are very patient with me and explain the rules.  Speaking of the rules (specifically the penalties), I have no clue about what constitutes a penalty.  I'm  very convinced that they are very objective, and it just depends on if the referee wants  to call it or not. Very confusing!  The team spent the night at the location of the tournament on Friday night.  We went down Saturday morning for the final 2 games.  When we saw MS that morning, my husband asked if MS had shaved his head again.  I told him that when he left the house Friday  morning, he hadn't.  Guess they got bored Friday night and shaved his head!  Good thing he looks good with it! During the last game, he appeared to have a collision with a teammate.  From where we were sitting, it looked like they hit heads.  Thank goodness MS just got kicked in the head!   We could hear the collision in the stands, on the other side of the field, but I think it was just their shin guards hitting.  It brought back a memory of him getting a concussion 3 years ago by hitting his head getting in the van.  We were running late for school, and I was yelling pleading with him to hurry.  As he got in the van, he hit his head.  I get a call around 1:00 from him saying that his head is hurting really bad and he has double vision.  I asked if he could get some tylenol and make it to the end of the day (Mom of the Year, here!), and he said he would try.  About 30 minutes later, I get a call from the Student Affairs' Secretary, and she said he was throwing up!  Here's another reason I'm glad we moved home:  I called my mom and she picked him up so I could meet her at the dr.'s office!  He did have a "little" concussion.  Here he is at the tournament:

We saw the prettiest Bradford Pears down there.  It's weird how you drive down the road  for an hour and the trees are blooming!

My husband planted a couple of small Bradfords in our yard shortly after we moved here, but they're not blooming yet.  They're getting there, though!  Here's what they look like right now:
They still look really scrawny, but believe me, they have grown a bunch since they were planted.  The dogwoods aren't blooming yet, but there will be pictures of that one street I talked about as soon as they are!

So, I went to Mass yesterday in a monsoon!  It wasn't raining when I left the house, but by the time I got to church it was pouring and the wind was terrible.  Some of the things I love about this parish is that it's geared toward younger people, so there are guitars and great music.  I love the formality of the Catholic Mass, but also that at this parish, everything is laid back.  During the prayer intentions, the lector reads the intentions, then opens it up to any that parishioners have.  There seemed to be an awful lot yesterday morning, complete with someone appreciating Catholic congressmen who stood up in support of the health care  reform.  (I couldn't bring myself to say, "Lord, hear our prayer" after that one!)  Then, a couple of minutes later, someone said something about the other side. SeriouslyWe're going to do this here, during Mass?  I heard a lot of murmurs after that.  I really think Father needs to do away with opening up the intentions.  Most of the people  who say something are the same ones who say the same things (which could be added to the list that the lector reads), and some of them are really for personal intentions which should be said to themselves. 

The Vols lost a close one yesterday.  It wasn't a good weekend for the basketball teams, but  the guys got farther than they ever had, and almost made it to the Final Four.

This being my birthday & all (29 yet again!), I'm going to leave you with a picture of me with a birthday cake my mom  made me a few years ago:
Yep, apparently I got a blow up duck and a box of crayons for my 3rd birthday!  Birthdays weren't really a big deal at our house.  I guess with 10 kids, there wasn't a whole lot you could do for one without doing it for everybody else.  We were allowed one birthday party: I had mine when I turned 7 and got mad at my mom because she made me invite everybody in my class (there was one girl I didn't want to invite!).  I did get an extra party in, though.  I don't remember how old I was, but a friend who lived up the street had a surprise slumber party for me.  Oh, the things we remember!

Sabbath Sunday

Taking a break from blogging today and linking up with Fr. Mathis at Blessed is the Kingdom.  He is hosting "Sabbath Sunday":  Share a previous post that is near to your heart.  This week I'm sharing my weekly Lenten post:  Meatless Friday
Hope you enjoy!.

Then Sings My Souls Saturday

Time to link up with Amy at Signs, Miracles, and Wonders for:

The song I chose for this week is  "God is In Control" by Twila Paris.  OS called on Thursday night and was a little down.  We all go through times in our lives when things aren't going the way we had hoped or we want them to.  It's really hard when it's one of your babies going through the hard times, and it's really hard to sit back and let everything work out without trying to take control of the situation.  I admit it: I'm a control freak.  Having kids has been a very humbling experience, because I have boys and you can't control their lives.  Friday morning I got in the car to go to work, and this song came on.  I had to chuckle and thank God for the reminder!  It's been years since I last heard it.  If you haven't ever heard it, I hope you enjoy it.  If you have heard it before, I hope it's a reminder!

Meatless Friday V

Yesterday was the Feast of the Annunciation.  That is when we celebrate the day that Mary said "yes" to God.  Do you ever wonder if God had asked someone else and they said "no"?   Sometimes I wonder about that, but then, since God is all-knowing, I guess Mary was the first one he asked.

Many people who aren't Catholic believe that we "worship" Mary.  She is held in high esteem; she's the mother of  Jesus, after all!  One way to think of it:  Say you want to talk to someone who is really busy all the time.  Who are you going to talk to so that the person will hear what you have to say?  Aren't you going to go to the closest person to him?  Another way to think of  it:  A lot of people ask for other people to pray for them.  It's the same concept:  We ask Mary to pray for us, to intercede for us.  We don't pray to Mary, we ask her to help us out and to put in a good word for us.

As far as the virgin thing goes:  Catholics believe that Mary was ever-virgin.  I can't imagine Joseph  having relations with her, knowing she produced the Son of God.  Her body was so holy and perfect.  It would have had to have been for God to have chosen her.  Oh, the brothers & sisters thing?  One explanation is that in translating the Bible, the words translated to brother & sister had a general meaning of family, to include cousins.  Another explanation is that he had brothers & sisters in God. 

Can you imagine the pain that Mary felt watching her son be unjustly crucified?  On Palm Sunday, the gospel at Mass is the Passion.  There are a few readers who narrate the Passion, and there are parts that the congregation read as well.  There is one part where the congregation is the mob yelling "Crucify Him!"  I have never been able to say those words during the reading.  I can not begin to imagine Mary's horror when she watched Jesus go through the inevitable.  She was forewarned of his destiny; she knew he was going to go through something horrific.  But, she still said "yes".  And, to me, that entitles her to sit close to Jesus & God in heaven, and to intercede in our behalf.

Funny Day

Yesterday was one of those days when everything was funny.  Ever have one of those days?  It started out with a boy in Kindergarten:  he said "a tree suck me".  What?  My intern & I just looked at each other.  Then, it hit her:  "Oh, it stuck you?" Then, a little later, I was in the hall and the secretary came out of the office and said my name.  She said, "I'm calling you."  Uh, okay, great!  Apparently the nurse told her that I wanted her to call me.  I have no idea where she got that idea!  So, we both walk into the Nurse's office and just stand there  for a couple  of seconds.  Nurse looks up with this bewildered face and says to me (without anyone else saying anything):  "Oh, it wasn't you, was it?"  Uh, no, and I have no idea what you're talking about.  Secretary decides it was the guidance counselor she was suppose to call.  I talked to the GC later, and she laughed and said it wasn't her. Then there was the 4 year old who repeated my intern when she said, "excellent", only it came out as sounding like:  e-he-ent.  And, Intern said "excellent" a lot yesterday!  Seems like there was one kid in each of my groups who just made us laugh.  I love days like that.

Tuesday my husband's work had "Chip & Dip" day.  It is company policy that they don't have "dress down" days unless it's for a special day; one that has to be approved.  They get really creative with their "special days".  Anyway, Tues. was bring your favorite Chip & Dip day.  My husband took Tostitos and a very special spinach dip.  Here's the secret recipe:

I put it in a ziploc container and threw some bacon bits on top.  When my husband got to work, he put it in the microwave, mixed up the bacon bits, and there you have it!  He said that it was the favorite!  Yesterday he said that people were asking him for the recipe, but he didn't give it up!

Okay, y'all:  It's "Little Friday" (as a friend puts it!)!  Looking forward to the weekend!

Pie and Random Dozen

Look at what greeted me when I got to school yesterday:

My friend didn't let me down!  It was absolutely fabulous.  Here's the recipe:

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie
1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell*
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup (6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 cup chopped pecans
Serve with ice cream (optional)
  • Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
  • Beat eggs in large mixer bowl on high until foamy.
  • Beat in flour, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat in butter.
  • Stir in morsels and nuts and spoon into pie shell.
  • Bake for 55-60 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Serve warm.
Recipe from Nestle Classic Recipes, 2003
* If using frozen pie shell, use deep dish style and thaw completely. Bake on baking sheet and increase baking time slightly.

I spent last night at a fundraiser for the high school band.  If you have one of these delis in your town and are looking for a fundraiser, I would  highly recommend it!  We just had the kids delivering orders, cleaning tables, and greeting and we get 10% of the profits.  I'm anxious to hear how we did.   Here's where we had it:

The only bad thing was that MS had a soccer game, and he made his first goal...ever!  He came so close last year; there was even a game where the other team made a goal for him!  I hate that I missed it!  When I told him I was sorry that I missed it, he said, "there will be more to come"!  One thing that MS is not lacking is self-confidence!

It's Wednesday, so it's time for another Random Dozen!  Since Lid is taking some time to stay with a friend, southlakesmom at I Didn't Know That! is subbing.  She came up with some great questions!  Here they are:


1.  What is your favorite sign of Spring?
2.  Did you remember to spring forward on March 14?  If not, how did it impact your day?
     Yep, I did good this year!
3.  If soil, time, talent and climate were no problem, what vegetable would you plant in a garden this year?
4.  If soil, time, talent and climate were no problem, what fruit would you plant?
5.  What is your least favorite insect?
     Mosquito...they're nasty little suckers!  :D
6.  March 22 was World Water Day. To celebrate, here are some water questions. Do you drink bottled water? If so, what brand?
     I bought everybody in the family a Nalgene water bottle.  I buy bottled water just to have on hand;  whatever is the cheapest.  And, we do recycle the bottles!
7.  Have you ever been somewhere that it was not safe to drink the local water? If so, how did you handle that?
      Nope.  I don't get out much!
8.  How many glasses of water do you drink per day?
     I try to drink 2 Nalgene bottles/day, which would be 64 ounces.
9.  March 24 is the birthday of Harry Houdini.  Have you ever watched a professional magic show? Share.
    Nope, again, I don't get out much!
10.  Have you ever been a participant in a professional magic show (up on stage!)?
     No (see #9 & 7!)
11. March 24 is also the birthday of Steve McQueen and Clyde Barrow. Do you like Westerns or gangster movies?  If so, what is your favorite?
     Neither.  I'm more into comedies/romance/mysteries.
12. (Really random)  What U.S. state that you've never visited would you like to visit someday?
     Alaska.  My husband rode his motorcycle from Tn. to the Arctic Circle a couple of years ago.  The pictures were absolutely beautiful.

Terrific Tuesday

First things first:  How 'bout those Lady Vols?
If I hear the commentators mention one more time that they were knocked out of the NCAA tournament in the first round last year, I will scream.  Let it go, already!

I saw the sweetest story on the news last night:  Servicemen who are overseas are reading to their kids via dvds.  It gives them a sense of normalcy and gives them a sense of being in their children's lives when they can't physically be there.  Then...oh no...I really didn't just see this:  the little girl (who is 2 years old) with a pacifier in her mouth talks with the paci in her mouth. Given my profession, I watch in horror.  "Take the paci away" I yell to the tv. (If you've read previous  posts, you know that I am a tv yeller.)  Then I just start shaking my head.  I'm not some heartless woman; I understand that her daddy is far away, but please take it away.  When she's awake, anyway.  (See, I'm not totally heartless!)  See for yourself:

The little girl is absolutely adorable, but she won't be so cute when she gets older and has speech problems.  Or has a mouthful of orthodontic appliances.  Okay, I'll get off my soapbox now!

MS comes home from soccer practice last night, and is mad because it's cold outside.  (Not screaming and yelling mad, just irritated mad) I tried to tell him that it does this every year, but he's not buying it.  Like it's all my fault it's going to be cold for a couple of days.  Can anybody relate?

The school that I'm going to today always does the good stuff and has the excitement on the days I'm not there.  One of my friends is hooking me up today, though.  She saved me a piece of her Chocolate Chip Pie that she made for Monday.  Luckily she was stingy about who she shared it with!  Here's what it looks like:
Yuuummmm!  I won't have any ice cream to go with it, but I can't wait!  Isn't it great to have friends like that?

And So It Starts

Back to the old grind this morning.  5:30 came way too early!  And, to top it off, around 8:30 it started snowing.  I didn't even take a coat to school with me!  I knew it was suppose to get cool, but I didn't think it was going to get that cool!

My intern is back with me today; so, I was able to get a lot of paperwork done again!  Here's a picture of her great-uncle:

 Her great-uncle is the priest who baptized me.My mom is holding me, my brothers & sisters (up to that point) are there, and I have no idea who the couple is.  They're the people who stood in for an Aunt & Uncle who are my godparents.  Small world, huh?

YS cooked dinner for us yesterday.  MS came into the living room around 5:00 and asked when supper was.  Then, about 15 minutes later, YS came in and asked the same thing.  I asked him if they were hungry, and told him he could go ahead and fix supper.  He asked what we were having, and then said okay.  I got the recipe out and he went to it!  He did a really good job, and even cleaned up a bit after himself.  He was my favorite last night!  I got to finish the book I was reading and relax just a little bit longer.

Here's hoping the Vols make it to the Elite Eight, and the Lady Vols make it to Sweet Sixteen!
Go Big Orange!

Sunday Snippets-- A Catholic Carnival

I'm doing a real quick link-up today with RAnn at This That and the Other Thing.   During Lent, I'm dedicating Fridays to my Catholic Faith, and I call it "Meatless Friday".  To see the latest installation, go here.  If you're visiting, hope you enjoy it!


It's finally here...the first day of Spring!  I was finally able to ride in the car with the windows rolled down!  I also decided it was time to put a little "Spring" on my blog!

Yesterday I met a friend at her condo and we walked to lunch at The Tomato Head.  This was my first time eating there at this location.  It's downtown (or as we used to call  it:  "Cowtown") with tables sitting out front.  I was going to take a picture, but didn't want anybody to think I was a stinkin' tourist, or a local who has never seen tables outside on the sidewalk before.   Even though I could eat meat yesterday, I stuck with the plan and had a Cheese Melt, which was delicious, by the way.  It's probably a good thing I didn't look to see what the dessert specials were, because you tell me if you could've passed these up:
The “Guten Nacht Gorilla” Special Dessert: Whole Bananas Spiraled with Cinnamon and Brown Sugar and Wrapped in Pizza Dough – Topped with Vanilla Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream
Cupcake of the Day: Strawberry Tiramisu
Vegan Cupcake of the Day: Red Velvet
Cobbler: Blackberry/Blueberry/Raspberry with a Scoop of Vanilla Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream

I didn't think so!  We took the long way to get there (my friend forgot exactly which street it was on!) and the short way back.  This friend is my "football" friend:  Ever since we moved back, she is who I sit with at high school football games.  Her son is MS' age and she has a daughter who is a year younger.  I call her daughter my "surrogate daughter".  I absolutely love her, and if I had a daughter, that is what I would hope mine would be like.  She (the daughter) has come to away games with my husband and I a couple of times.  She's a great kid, and my friend is doing a wonderful job being a single parent. (And, no, she's not reading this!)  On the way back, we saw these signs of Spring:
And this when I got home:
Okay, you gardeners out there, tell me if these are weeds:
I know they look like clover, but they're actually really little and dainty.  And these:
I know that they're all weeds, but they really are pretty...too pretty to pull right now.  And there are so many of them!  My plan is to spray weed killer on them and save my back.  I really, really thought about pulling them, but I did get in there and rake the leaves and dead weeds out, so it actually looks like a nice weed garden instead of a crazy, messy one!

Husband and YS went camping last night.  They put 2 of the motorcycles on the trailer, and drove up to the mountains to camp. Husband's thought is that there are fields so he can let YS get more comfortable on the bike.  He has high hopes that YS will want to ride and they can take long rides together.  OS rode some and MS has no interest whatsoever.  And, I think I've mentioned how I feel about it.  YS wanted a picture and suggested I put it on my blog, so here it is:

Since it was just myself & MS, he decided he wanted to take advantage of being able to eat meat on a Friday during Lent, and wanted to go to Burger King.  They do have the best french fries, y'all!  As we're heading over to BK, he gets a phone call and is talking to a friend.  Then I hear, "I'm heading to Burger King with my mom.  We're on a Burger King Date!"  MS is my son who has never had a problem with coming up to me in front of his friends, and grabbing me and hugging me and telling me he loves me.  He is forever my Snuggle Bunny!

In other news:  MS has made his college decision.  Looks like he will be donning Big Orange in the fall.  This is really crazy, but even though the school is only 15 minutes away, I'm really nervous about him going there.  It's just so big, and that, to me, is scary.  I guess it's just the unknown for me:  I didn't go there because it was too close to home; I was ready to get away and be my own person.  I told him that he needed to meet people from other places and not run around with people from this county or that he ran around with in high school.  I don't want it to be an extension of high school;  I want him to meet people from other backgrounds, and I want him to be ambitious enough to want to get away from this small town, even if it's only for a short time during his life.  He needs to see what else is out there.  If he lives on campus, I don't want him coming home every weekend; he needs to develop relationships with people who aren't from here.  But, he wants to be there for this:
and even this:
I can't say I blame him, because if he goes to the school I went to, this is all he'll get:
Now I'm sure everybody is wondering how many pictures I can get in one post!  Hope everybody has a nice Saturday!  I'm going to leave you with a link up to Then Sings My Soul Saturday (TSMSS) with Amy over at Signs, Miracles, and Wonders.  This is one of my favorites; another one that I've played over and over and over!

Meatless Friday IV

It's already the 4th Friday of Lent; only 2 more to go!  As we're building up to Holy Week, we're waiting in anticipation for the glorious celebration of Jesus' rising from the dead.  This is what being a Christian is all about:  believing Jesus Christ died for our sins so that we may live with Him forever!  What a great promise!

Today is the Feast of St. Joseph.  Unfortunately, we don't know a whole lot about what he was like.  We have to assume by what we read in the Bible.  I picture St. Joseph to be a hard-working, quiet man who didn't have a lot to say, but when he said it, everyone listened.  I picture him to have parented Jesus by example, not words.  Of course, Jesus being the Son of God and being perfect, I'm sure there wasn't a lot of discipline going on the household, anyway!  Just think:  St. Joseph was chosen by God to be His son's earthly father.  Wow.  What a responsibility.  Here's a man who was betrothed to a woman, but then is told his betrothed is pregnant.  Joseph knows the baby isn't his, and he chooses to "divorce" Mary quietly to save her from being shamed.  Then, in a dream, an angel comes and explains things to him, so he makes the choice to stay with Mary and raise the baby as his own (while on earth).  Wow.  That's all I can say:  Wow.  Fast forward to today:  Do you really think if that happened today a man would say "okay, I'll do it"?  I think today's man would need a heck of a lot more proof than an angel in a dream!  Of course, God did choose the right man for the job! 

The heartaches that come with parenting any child must've been 10 times harder with Jesus, but the joys must have been 10 times greater as well.  "The Little Black Book" outlines 7 sorrows, joys of St. Joseph:
 "1)  Sorrow when Joseph decided to leave Mary; joy when the angel appeared to him.
2)  Sorrow when he saw Jesus born in poverty; joy when the angels announced Jesus' birth.
3)  Sorrow when he saw Jesus' blood shed during circumcision; joy in giving him the name Jesus.
4)  Sorrow when he heard Simeon's prophecy; joy when he learned many would be saved through Jesus' sufferings.
5)  Sorrow when he had to flee to Egypt; joy in always being with Mary and Jesus.
6) Sorrow when he was afraid to return to his homeland; joy when the angel told him to go to Nazareth.
7)  Sorrow when he lost the child Jesus; joy when he found him in the Temple."

These joys/sorrows are part of a devotion to St. Joseph that starts on the 7th Sunday before his feast day, and is called "The Seven Sundays Devotion to St. Joseph".   Until I read this in the book today, I had no idea there was such a devotion. We should all look to St. Joseph as an example of how to be patient, kind parents and spouses.

P.S.  Since today is considered to be the Solemnity of St. Joseph,  today doesn't have to be a "meatless Friday".  See Canon 1251: "Abstinence from eating meat or another food according to the prescriptions of the conference of bishops is to be observed on Fridays throughout the year unless they are solemnities; abstinence and fast are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and on the Friday of the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ."  
Thanks, Why am I Catholic, for clearing that up!

The Day After...

 Yesterday I felt a bit like the mouse in "If you Give a Mouse a Cookie" by Laura Numeroff.  I paid tribute to the Irish by watching a movie that has Ireland in it: "P.S. I Love You".  I knew I would cry, so I decided that before I would watch it, I'd get the desk cleaned off.  While I was cleaning the desk, I had to use the bathroom.  While I was in the bathroom, I was reminded that the tub and sink needed cleaning.  Then, I remembered the mirrors.  While getting the window cleaner out of the closet, I saw some spray cleaner for stainless appliances, so I cleaned the refrigerator, dishwasher, and range hood.  Then, I looked at the floor.  So, I cleaned the kitchen floor.  Then, I saw the red light on the dishwasher indicating that the dishes were clean, so I emptied the dishwasher.  Back to the mirrors and got them cleaned. Okay, everything is done.  I think I was procrastinating:  even though I absolutely love the movie, it is emotionally draining to me.

My St. Patrick's Day meal was a hit.  This was the first time I had made corned beef and cabbage, and I found a perfect recipe:  Slow Cooker Old World Corned Beef and Vegetables  Really easy...just throw everything in a crockpot and let it cook all day!  The Irish Soda Bread turned out great, and the Irish Creme Pie was the perfect ending! MS was very happy; he loves corned beef & cabbage.  When the boys were younger, I would put green food coloring in their milk and tell them the leprechauns did it.  I kind of forgot about it this year, so MS did his himself.  The only food coloring I had was the gel kind, so it didn't do that great of a job.

 I'm not sure why the color of the wall is that color:  my kitchen walls are "daffodil yellow"!

It can't be Thursday already, can it?  Why is it that breaks seem to go by so fast, but work weeks seem to crawl?  On agenda today: Trip to Lowes for fluorescent bathroom light and some kind of glue to put the towel rack holder back up.  (Have I mentioned our 60's bathroom complete with pink tile?)  And, that weed garden is waiting for me!  Hope everybody has a great Thursday!

St. Patty's Day Random Dozen

Yesterday, YS & I went to a nearby community college for some Pre-St. Patrick's Day Festivities.  They had a band playing some traditional Irish music:  Red-Haired Mary .  They were really good and got us in the spirit!  Then, Tuatha Dea Drum Nation played.  They were good, but quite different from Red-Haired Mary.  We went from listening to traditional music to listening to what appeared to be Irish-gypsy music!  Quite a contrast!  I think to be in that band a tattoo was a requirement.  (Not that there's anything wrong with having a tat!) It was a family affair as well:  the lead guy had his daughter, son-in-law, son, and fiance in the band.  It was kind of bizarre how they had these 2 "dancers" off to the side, dancing (imagine that) to the music.  I'm not real sure what their purpose was.  When they first came out, all I could think was "cult".  They stayed and talked to anyone who wanted to talk, and, just eavesdropping listening, they seemed like nice people.  Here's a picture of Tuatha Dea Drum Nation:
Check out this guy's kilt:

I don't think you can tell, but it was a camouflage pattern in orange and yellow.  This is the leader's son-in-law.

After them, there was a dancing group, The East Tn. Highland Dancers.  I really wanted to stay and watch them, but this was YS' face:

 No, he wasn't thrilled, so we didn't stay.  We had a few nice hours together!

1. On a scale of 1-10, how superstitious are you, honestly?
3.  I don't have a lot of things that I "have to do...just in case".

2. Julius Caesar is quoted as saying, "I came, I saw, I conquered." Which circumstance or experience of yours does this saying best describe?
When I had YS.  I'm not going to bore you the details.  I'm just going to say that I delivered a 10 lb. baby boy....naturally.  And that's all that needs to be said about that!

3. If I peeked in on your day like a mischievous little leprechaun, at what time would I most likely find you blogging?
Early morning.  I really need to wait until the afternoon (I get pushed for time some mornings!), but I do my best thinking in the morning!

4. Re springing forward for Daylight Saving Time, is there anything you've ever been really early or really late for?
Shortly after husband & I got married, we were considering moving to Alabama from Georgia.  I had to get my Al. teacher's license before I seriously started looking for a job.  To do that, I had to take a test.  I forgot about the time change, and was about an hour and half early for the test.  When I got there, I wondered why I was the only one there!

5. What are you most looking forward to concerning Spring?
The dogwoods blooming.

6. Shamrocks are the national flower of Ireland and are picked on St. Patrick's Day and worn on the lapel or shoulder. Do you wear green on St. Patty's Day?
Of course.  Everyone should be Irish for a day!  Plus, I'm not real fond of getting pinched.

7. One of Caesar's assassins, Casca, said, "But, for my own part, it was Greek to me," which of course means he didn't understand something. Probably his own lines in the play. Anyway, what is something that is "Greek to you," something incomprehensible or indecipherable?
Numbers.  I don't understand numbers at all.  I can conjugate the heck out of some verbs, but don't give me numbers.  I don't need no stinkin' numbers!

8. Is March behaving more like a lion or a lamb where you live?
Lion:  rain and cold!

9. "An extra yawn one morning in the springtime, an extra snooze one night in the autumn is all that we ask in return for dazzling gifts. We borrow an hour one night in April; we pay it back with golden interest five months later." -Winston Churchill. If you had one extra hour per day every day, what would you do with it?
Oh, gosh!  I would think catch up with stuff I didn't have time to do during a normal day.

10. Legend says that every Leprechaun has a pot of gold hidden deep in the Irish countryside. Aside from real gold or money, what material item would be in your dream pot of gold?
To be honest, I can't really think of anything big.  A laptop would be nice, or  a new bathroom!

11. "The best things are nearest: breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of God just before you." Robert Louis Stevenson. Look around you right now and tell us about something essential or beautiful very near you that you take for granted every day.
My husband.  I know, that's sad.  He's a wonderful man and a wonderful husband, but, I do tend to take him for granted.

12. Just for a bit o' fun, click here ( and then report your Irish name. Mine is "Zoe O'Sullivan." I love it!
Mine was Maeve Ryan.  Love it...sounds close to Meg Ryan, who is one of my favorites!  Remember when she was Betsy on Guiding Light?

Start of Soccer Season

Last night was MS' first 'real' soccer game of the season.  It was way too cold to be sitting in the stands, watching a soccer game.  Lucky me, though:  I worked the gate the first half of the game, so I did get to stand up and move around a bit.  Sure wish I had taken the time to look for my gloves!  The boys were playing a high school that is much larger than the one my boys go to, so I really thought it wouldn't even be a close game.  The score was 0-0 until  very late in the 2nd half, when there was a questionable "no-call" (just ask anyone on our side; we'll tell you!) when one of our best players went down and the other team scored a goal.  It was a very physical game; there were a couple of times when 2 players ran into each other and you could hear the impact.

As a mom of 3 boys, I realize that God knew exactly what He was doing when He gave me all boys.  I would have no earthly idea of what to do with a girl.  I imagine if I did have one, she'd be a really big tomboy.  I'm definitely a boy's mom:  don't like drama.  Anyway, I try and I try to sit in the stands and be good.  I try and try to sit there like a dignified southern woman and be quiet.  Well, that doesn't last very long.  I don't yell at the referee; I yell to encourage the  team.  (Southern League Professional Hockey...that's another story; I'm talking about high school here!)  One time, when YS was a baby, I was at OS' baseball game.  I yelled, YS jumped, and started crying.  It didn't take long before he was used to it, and wouldn't even twitch.  Yes, I yell at the tv when I watch sports, too.  I think it runs in the family, especially with most of us girls (there are 6 total).  My oldest sister said that when they were living in Tx. (Gig 'em, Aggies!) she had gone over to a friend's house to watch a game.  Her friend's child asked if Miss P was going to yell at the tv again!  When YS was about 3, he was sitting in his little red rocking chair in front of the tv, holding a broken remote.  (He was in training!)  A football game was on, and he started yelling, "Go Baby, go!"  (Training, remember?)  Now that he's older, he doesn't watch football.  In fact, usually on Sat. afternoons, I'm by myself watching college football.  Husband played Div. I a year in college (until a teammate ran into his shot), but doesn't really care about watching it.  I think it goes back to growing up, only having 1 tv, and watching what Daddy wanted, or nothing at all. off track did I get this time?  Back to last night's game:  Turned out MS' team lost 1-0, but a lot of positives came out of it.  They have a goal keeper who was awesome last night; he made a lot of great saves.  (I don't know a lot about soccer, so any soccer moms out there who may be reading please ignore my ignorance with the terms!)  If they could just get their offense going and make a goal or 2, they'll be able to win some games!
Here's a picture of MS on the field last night.  Look how fast he's running!  ;)

Here's to a good season!

Spring Break: Day 1

First day of Spring Break.  This is the only day I was setting aside to sleep in.  Here's how it went for me:
Husband's alarm goes off #1:  dogs haven't been out, so husband takes them out.  Going well so far.  Except...husband's alarm goes off 4 more times before he gets up to get ready for work, plus YS' alarm goes off and he knocks something off trying to get to it, and MS gets 2 texts.  OY!   Guess it just wasn't meant to be!

I am going to have lunch with a friend today.  We try to get together for lunch when I'm out of school.  Her husband was one of the assistant football coaches for my sons' high school team.  She has a small business on the side and makes things like decorative & planter chairs, bracelets and necklaces, flip-flops, skirts, and clocks made out of antique Tole trays.  To see her creative gifts, go to Facebook and search for "The Peacock". Once you're there, look under photos to see what goodies she has!  She can make things in any colors you want!
Or, you can follow the link that's on my sidebar.  Just look for the peacock:

Well, it's time to go to the grocery store today.  I make that visit 2 times/ month, right after pay day.  I sit down with a calendar, and write out what we're going to have for dinner each night.  The purpose: 1) to get the boys to stop asking me what's for supper, and, 2) so I won't spend over my budget on groceries and buy stuff we don't need.  This is a chore that I absolutely don't like to do.  I feel like we have the same thing over and over, and I can't stand trying to find new things to fix.  So, after I write what we're going to have for supper on the calendar, I make out my list.  I actually make 2 lists:  the first list is just looking at each recipe and writing down the ingredients I need, the 2nd list is to put those items in order according to how they are in the grocery store.  I've been going to the same store since we moved here (about 5 1/2 years), so I know the layout pretty well.  One big problem:  I was in the store a couple of  days ago, and an employee let me know that they're moving things around.  WHAT?  I've made out my list according to the old way; surely they haven't changed things around that much.  And, could they not change it because I know it by heart?  They really need to get into Mary's world, for sure.

So now that everybody thinks I'm really, really weird (!):  My coworkers think I'm OCD:  I think I'm organized.  Of course, to look at my house (mainly my desk) you'd never know it.

The last thing on my agenda for today is MS' soccer game.  It's the first "real" game of the season, and it's going to be a tough one.  The school they're playing is a much bigger school, and their scrimmages didn't fair too well.  I don't think this new team has gelled like last year's ...there are a lot of new players on this year's team.  They made it all the way to the state championship game last year, which was the first time a school from our county has even made it to the state tournament.  They've got a long road ahead of them!

There have been a couple of rock slides on major highways this winter.  Yesterday there was another one on Hwy. 129 at the Tn-NC border, also known as "The Tail of the Dragon".  This part of the highway boasts 318 curves in 11 miles, so, of course it is a favorite of motorcyclists and sports car drivers.  As you've guessed, it's also a very dangerous road, especially for bikers who think they are more experienced than they really are.  Here's why rubber-necking is not a good idea:

 Seriously?  He didn't see it?  Hmmm....  Hope his dog is going to be okay.

Tomorrow will be a fun day.


Sunday Snippets

Let me preface this by saying this:  As a Catholic, we are taught from an early age (during our First Eucharist Preparation) that we are to fast for 1 hour before taking Eucharist.  See, we believe that a miracle is performed on the altar at every Mass:  we believe that the host & wine are miraculously consecrated, resulting in Christ being present in the host & wine.  Your tongue should be clean and ready to receive the Body of Christ.  Anyway, I think you get my point as to what a serious and holy time the Mass is.  SO, I'm waiting for Mass to begin, and in walk these 2 girls with coffee in their hands.  I'm in total disbelief.  What do I do?  Am I suppose to go over and explain to these girls that they aren't suppose to be doing this?  Is it really my responsibility to do this?  Should I mind my own business and let God take care of it?  While I'm stewing over these questions, I see that they are sitting next to a lady who holds a position in this parish.  Then, I notice their dad comes in and sits beside them.  Thank you, Lord, for holding me back and not being a busy-body!  I'm sure one, if not both, of these people said something to them.  I'm such a rule-follower.  I'm fairly certain that comes from my Catholic upbringing!

I wanted to share my new discovery:
I can hear what you're thinking:!  She said she was "small town", but is she that "small town" that she just discovered Starbucks?  No, silly, it's what's in the cup that's the discovery!  Dark Cherry Mocha.  With soy instead of milk.  I love my lattes, but they've really been upsetting my 40+ year old stomach.  So, I had this great idea to try soy.  And, it worked!  I gave Youngest Son (who will be simply "YS" from now on) a sip; he said it tasted like Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia.  Then, he had a great idea:  They (someone) should take the B&J flavors and put them in coffee!  What a great idea, YS!

Oldest Son (OS from now on, because I'm really getting tired of typing the whole thing out!) is getting ready to head back to college.  It's so sad seeing him leave.  It's not as hard as it used to be, but it's hard just the same.  He said that he would live at  home and go to a large university that's practically in our backyard if we would pay his tuition.  I told him to head on up the road!  He attends a smaller university that is about 2 hours away and that has a much less expensive tuition.  

Middle Son (MS) gave me a hard time because I bought chocolate "drink" instead of chocolate "milk".  I told him to stop looking a gift horse in the's been a long time since I've bought chocolate drink or milk.  He also complained about not having anything good to eat in the house.  Okay, I ask them every time I go to the store about needing or wanting anything.  Their response:  No, or every now and then I'll get "deodorant" for an answer.  "Chicken taquitos", he says.  "Those are really good."  Thanks for the feedback.

Maybe I'm just an old-fashioned mom (or not very cool), but what's with kids going to the beach with their girlfriend's family for a week?  I have a friend who posted that her family just got back from the beach, and now her son (who is a junior in high school) is turning around and going again with his girlfriend's family.  I believe in trusting your kids, but I'm not sure I could trust mine enough to go with his girlfriend to the beach for a week; with or without the parents.  Especially at that age.  I've seen too many kids get put in situations that they are too young to deal with, and have it change their lives forever.  

Told you these were going to be 'snippets'!  Thanks for allowing me to get those things off of my chest!

What a Way to End It

You knew I just couldn't leave it alone, didn't you?  I just had to get one last bus duty post in.  When I got to school, this is what I saw:
Can't see anything?  Exactly.  I couldn't see down the hill to the road.  It was incredibly foggy yesterday morning.

In the afternoon, after the buses leave, the "car riders" go to the parking lot.  Well, usually, anyway.  Yesterday, as the bus kids were loading the buses, the sky was pretty dark, but it looked like it was clear in the distance, so I thought it was going to blow over.  Little did I know that the "clear sky" was merely a disguise.  The wind blew, then it rained for about half of a minute, then hailed.  Luckily the car riders had just started coming out of the building, so we were able to corral them back into the cafeteria.  A friend of mine said she had snow in her yard when she got home....snow.  I'm sure it wasn't much, but just enough to tell what it was.  Of course I had my camera and took a couple of pictures of the hail on the ground:

But, look what I put up before I left for spring break:

I'm not real big on bulletin boards:  this one is in my room and only gets changed 3 times/year:  fall, winter, and spring.  When I first started working in the schools, one of my principals was really big into bulletin boards.  We had to change ours out every month.  And, we were responsible for a hall bulletin board, as well.  Of course the Kindergarten creative teachers always had these really cutesie boards.  Me?  Not so much.
But, Spring is about to spring, but I'm sure we'll have at least one more cold snap before we can truly say it's spring.

Two of my aunts sent an e-mail to me with this PSA.  I had no idea this was the law.  You can go to this site to see when this law went into effect in your state.  (This has been confirmed by Snopes.)

Meatless Friday III

I hope you are enjoying this song:  "How Could I Ask For More" by Cindy Morgan (turns out she's a Tn. girl!). (If you're reading this after Friday, you can click on "Playlist" at the bottom of the page to listen to the song.)   I forgot about this CD until I ran across it the other day.  When I first bought it, I listened to this song over and over.  A lot of songs "speak" to me, but this one shouts!  It reminds me of being a young girl, staying barefoot almost all summer, and the hide-and-seek games that the neighborhood kids would play at night.  I am reminded of those cold winter nights, snuggling in the blankets and those hot summer nights catching lightening bugs.  It also reminds me that, even if life may not be what we thought it would be,  the life experiences are what makes us who we are.  More importantly, it reminds me to thank God for everything He has given me.  And, the biggest thanks we can give Him is for His Son.

The lyrics are below:

There's nothing like the warmth of a summer afternoon
Waking to the sunlight, and being cradled by the moon
Catching fireflies at night
Building castles in the sand
Kissing Mama's face goodnight
Holding Daddy's hand
Thank you Lord, how could I ask for more

Running barefoot through the grass
A little hide and go seek
Being so in love, that you can hardly eat
Dancing in the dark, when there's no one else around
Being bundled 'neath the covers, watching snow
Fall to the ground
Thank you Lord, how could I ask for more

So many things I thought would bring me happiness
Some dreams that are realities today
Such an irony the things that mean the most to me
Are the memories that I've made along the way

So if there's anything I've learned
From this journey I am on
Simple truths will keep you going
Simple love will keep you strong
Cause there are questions without answers
Flames that never die
Heartaches we go through are often blessings in disguise
So thank you Lord, oh thank you Lord
How could I ask for more

(Music & Lyrics by Cindy Morgan)

Yesterday was the halfway point between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday.  Here's quote from my "Little Black Book":
"All men, whatever their race or religion, have the right to be respected by individuals and by states..." (Bishop Pierre-Marie Theas)

Any time someone is made fun of because of their differences, to me it's like Jesus being spat upon.  Wednesday in bus duty I heard some 4th graders arguing because a boy said he didn't believe in Jesus.  (Sorry...I said no more bus duty stories!)  They were getting pretty loud, so I told them that everybody has different beliefs and you just have to accept that.  Sometimes working in a school is difficult because we aren't really allowed to give our opinions of what we believe.  When we lived in SC, I had a child come up to me and ask me if I was a Christian (I was wearing a necklace with a crucifix on it.).  I told her yes, and she asked me if she was.  (Okay, y'all...she opened the door!)  I told her that I believed that if you knew that Jesus was your savior, you were a Christian.  (I think she was in 1st or 2nd grade, so I was trying to make it simple for her.)   Her face just beamed after I said that.  I truly believe that the best way to evangelize is to live our  life the way God wants us to.  And, unless someone specifically asks, I make my statements and answers at school "generic" to Christians, that is, I don't really specifically answer about Catholicism.  Unless, of course, there is no way around it.  I think a lot of that has to do with being a rarity:  A "Southern" Catholic.

I'm linking up with Flashback Fridays per Joyce's suggestion! I like going over to Mylestones and reading every one's posts, but since I have decided to dedicate Fridays during Lent to Meatless Fridays, I hadn't linked up yet.  Guess this kills 2 birds with 1 stone!  Thanks, Joyce!

Another Bus Duty Post

Yesterday when my alarm went off at 5:00 (bus duty, remember?), I let the dogs out, and then went back and looked longingly at  my bed.  Gosh, I really wanted to just crawl back in there.  The thoughts of all of those smiling faces gave me the energy to get going and get to school.  (By the way, I've got some oceanfront property in Arizona to sell...)  I actually made it to school on time yesterday.  The newbie teacher must've realized that the gym is not the place to be during the last rotation, because she immediately went there first.  Great.  They were even louder yesterday than on Monday, if that's possible.  Plus, they all wanted to put their hands on each other, eat suckers (how can they eat candy at 7:15 in the morning?), and see how loud they could  be (how can they be that awake at 7:15 to even want to talk to anybody?).  I went over to the 2nd grade section and told this little boy to keep his hands to himself, and that he didn't have the right to put his hands on anybody else.  (That sounded very "teachery" of me, didn't it?!)  He looked straight at me and made this face, like he was mocking me.  I had that split second where I thought about ignoring it, but, 1) I wasn't feeling great (stupid cold), and 2) I had bus duty and had been at school since 6:45.  So, off to the office he went, where he told the secretary he had no idea what he had done to get in trouble.  Tuesday newbie teacher (who is actually working a maternity leave) made a kid cry.  I think our group now has earned the "Bus Nazi" title.

I'm standing outside during that rotation, and I get this lovely picture from my husband:

In case you can't tell, this is a picture of the Potomic (I think).  This is the view he had during breakfast.  Great.  Rub it in.  If the meeting would've been next week, we could've gone with him.  We (and by saying that, I mean the boys & I) have been to DC a couple of times.  I absolutely love it!  It's amazing how you can just feel the power when you get there.  I told my sister-in-law that I felt so metropolitan when we rode the metro!  

The first time we went it was pretty cold:

The last time we went we saw this:

Unbelievable.  Hopefully we can get back up there before some family members get transferred.  Nice place to visit, but I don't know if I would enjoy living there.  I'm so small town!

At one of my schools, we have some Haitian children that just moved in.  They are absolutely adorable, with big beautiful smiles.  I walked by as a Kindergarten class was in line to go to the bathroom, and the teacher said, "I think we have a communication barrier."  I said, "Why, what's going on" to which she said,"Well, I told her to get in line and she took her shoes off and went to the bathroom!"  God love her!  I looked over, and saw her shoes perfectly placed on the floor!  I'm sure that before school ends she'll be in the mix with all of the other kids.  Isn't it amazing how kids are so resilient that way?

Okay, this will be my last post about  bus duty, since Friday I'm doing my "Meatless Fridays".  Hope y'all have enjoyed a peek into that wonderful world!

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