Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Rush

Today I find myself completely bored. Work is slow. Time is creeping by.

Staring at the clock I find that I have 3 hours and 26 minutes left in my work day.

After work, I will rush to get the kids, rush home, rush to load my garage sale items, rush back into town to unload said garage sale items, rush back home to get kids to bed, and then, rush to sleep.

Then I get to wake up at the 5 o'clock hour and rush to get ready, rush to get the kids out of bed, rush to get them ready, rush to fix breakfast, rush to head to the big city for a dr's appt, rush to get L back to school, rush to get B to daycare, and rush to get back to work.

Why is it that at a time when I am relatively free to relax, I seem to be in a rush to rush?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Weigh in, week I don't know what....

Well, technically, I didn't weigh in today.

Of course, I stepped on the scale.

But since I have been attending WW meetings on Thursdays, that is now my official weigh in day.

That being said, this morning I weighed the same as I did LAST Thursday morning.

It seems I have been in the general vicinity of where I am now, for ages.

I am ready to see another big movement of the scale.

I need to get to moving.....stepping up my game with exercise.

I have been secretly hoping to see a new set of numbers on the scale. Yes. The 130's.

I have been so close for awhile now. Every now and then, and never on an official weigh in day, I have seen 139. However, never consistently, so it doesn't count.

Maybe soon.

Fingers crossed.

Although still not small for a 5'2" person, I haven't seen the 130's in years. Over 7 to be exact and even briefly then.

Maybe soon.....and very soon, it will be a reality again.

This time kicking off it shoes and staying awhile....or at least until the 120's arrive.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Every song....another scene.

(Concert list updated Jan. 2014)

This weekend I was talking to a friend about concerts we had attended.

The good. The bad. The ugly.

I would think about one, then another, and another.

In my mind I was trying to form a sort of list. I think I was checking my memory. I would think of one, and it would trigger another and so on.

I decided that while my memory was still in (semi) good shape, I was going to make a list.

And keep it.

And what better place?

Bare with me.
  • Garth Brooks (shook his hand)
  • Clay Walker (x2)
  • George Strait (x5)
  • Chris LeDoux (x4) (shook his hand)
  • Alabama
  • Janie Fricke
  • Tammy Wynette
  • George Jones(x2)
  • Brian White
  • Taylor Swift (x5)
  • Gloriana (x2)
  • Kelli Pickler (x2)
  • Confederate Railroad
  • Lonestar
  • Brad Paisley (x5) (2/12 gave Blake guitar)
  • Sawyer Brown
  • Marty Stewart
  • Daughtry
  • Josh Turner
  • Dierks Bentley (x3)(met him 4/13)
  • Alan Jackson
  • Brooks and Dunn
  • Toby Keith
  • Martina McBride
  • Faith Hill (x2)
  • Tim McGraw
  • Montgomery Gentry
  • Bon Jovi
  • Doug Stone
  • Trisha Yearwood
  • Kenny Chesney
  • Big and Rich
  • Pam Tillis
  • Ricky Skaggs
  • Elton John (x2)
  • Chris Cagel
  • Gretchen Wilson
  • Uncle Cracker (guest appearance)
  • Hank Williams, Jr.
  • Keith Urban (x2) (picture taken with him)
  • Darius Rucker
  • LeAnn Rimes
  • Aaron Tippin (x2)
  • Lee Greenwood
  • Chely Wright (x2)
  • Charlie Daniels
  • Neal McCoy
  • Dwight Yoakam
  • Lynard Skynard
  • Josh Grayson
  • John Michael Montgomery
  • Tanya Tucker
  • Ricky Van Shelton
  • Rascal Flatts
  • Darius Rucker
  • Josh Thompson
  • Easton Corban
  • Luke Bryan
  • Justin Moore (x2)
  • NeedToBreathe
  • Miranda Lambert(x2)
  • Blake Shelton
  • Merle Haggard
  • The Band Perry
  • Scotty McCreery
  • Carrie Underwood
  • Hunter Hayes (drummer gave Lakyn his drumsticks)
  • Kid Rock
  • Buckcherry (Do not recommend)
  • Bobby Bare (x2)
  • John Conley (x2)
  • Ed Sherran (x2)
  • Don Williams
  • Justin Timberlake
  • Florida Georgia Line
  • Eric Church


I may have to keep updating because my memory is sporadic. Also, I think it is worth noting that the overwhelming majority of these people sing "country music". Considering my tastes are so varied, I have to attribute this to the fact that while I was young, I was at the mercy of my parents musical tastes (country) and when I became old enough to go without them....I was at the mercy of (ahem) Steven's. (again...country) Granted, I like country, but if I would have had my way in Jr. High, I would have been at a New Kids on the Block concert.

Don't tell me if you actually got to go. Even at 37, I still think I might harbor some resentment.
It is only in the last few years that I have ventured away from country music....this time with my sister by my side.

I knew she would come in handy for something.

Friday, April 23, 2010

While the cat is away....

Last night I had a full schedule.


And by "Full Schedule" I mean a schedule that consisted of more than laundry, supper, dishes, laundry, baths, books and bed.


(I live a glamorous life.)


Anyway, I think the statement that best summarizes the simplicity of my daily life is the fact that I get excited to attend Weight Watchers meetings.


Yes, you got it.

I am excited to go weigh in front of people.


Crazy, I know.


Last night was the first meeting where we got to see if we had lost. Last week was our first weigh in.....


As much as I enjoyed the 'weight watchers socializing', last night I also got to play Bunco with some friends.


Yes. Two "parties" in one night.


I am a socialite....


(I don't need to mention that even with two "parties", I was on my way home by 8:30 pm. That, folks, is irrelevant. I am sticking with the story that I am 'wild and crazy':)


Anyway, as I was leaving the house, kicking off my 'wild and crazy' night, I ran into some familiar faces on the road:




I think that I recognize these people.

Apparently while I was getting ready to leave, they had decided that Peanut needed to lose some weight. Instead of sending her to the WW meeting with me, they decided to hook her up to the (tricked out) pony cart and run her up the road.


(I am glad they didn't do that to me. I don't think I could pull them past the first hill.)


(I love that rockin' lawn chair seat.)


(All it needs is a couple of cup holders and a cigarette lighter to plug the portable DVD player into.)


(What you can't see is that they have taken along for the ride two cans of Mountain Dew and a WHOLE package of Oreos. And they think Peanut has a problem.....)


Anyway, we said our "I love you's" and "Goodbyes" and I headed towards town. What I didn't realize is that it was apparently a race.





I would like to go on record as saying that I totally smoked them.

Blew their tires off.

Even Rowdy, our dog, ate my dust.

(Even if I was driving my 4 cyl 'grocery getter'. )

**************************

As I left WW I checked my phone and realized that Steven had sent me a message.

A picture message.

I probably shouldn't have even looked.

I knew better.

The picture was of my two children sitting on the back of one of our longhorn cows.

I wonder if this was his attempt to get me to come back home?

Actually, I think they just took this opportunity to do the things I would never let them do.

And they loved it.

Although this morning L complained of being a little sore due to the fact that she apparently pulled B around on the pony cart...giving him a ride.

I guess she must have been trying to work off the Moutain Dew and Oreos......

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Grow older gracefully....

As you know, last Thursday was L's 7th birthday.

When your daughter starts talking about her birthday months and months ahead of time, when it actually arrives...you are already spent.

Done.

Tired.

But I forged ahead, mustering up excitement as I went, and I think she bought it.

I woke her up Thursday morning singing "Happy Birthday" in her ear. It took only a few moments for her to realize that it was a very important day.

Important.

Not the most important, but important.

You see, for the last two weeks I have been privy to a countdown. It went like this:

"11daysuntilmybirthdayNotexactlymybirthday,butmybirthdayparty.
NinedaysuntilmyactualbirthdaybutIamreallycountinguntilmyparty.
Youknow.Mybirthdayisexcitingbutmyfriendscometo
myparty.
So.Howmanydayswasituntilmybirthday?Ohyeah.That'sright.11days.
Notmybirthday-butmyparty".

Tired yet?

Not five minutes after L woke up...the clock yet to reach 7 a.m., L received a phone call from her Aunt Sissy.


There was much singing and improvising going on the other end. L hung up and sang me Aunt Sissy's version of the song......something along the lines of "Happy Birrrthhhhddddaayyyy Dear Poopy Butt...Happy Birthday to you".

(I have that warm fuzzy feeling all over again just thinking about the love they share. Just precious.)

Ahem.

After that she informed me that I needed to just bring the phone to the bathroom with us so that she could take all the other calls that she was sure she would get while getting ready.

Um. Ok.

***********************

Before heading off to school with cupcakes made the night before, I made L pose for her first "official" 7 year old picture.

(The one with the messy hair on the cabinet didn't count.)


Bless her heart...she is so excited about this whole "growing older" thing.

She'll learn.

I surprised her at school with balloons and her favorite....a cheeseburger from Wendy's.

She looked at me, her face turned red, and she kept on walking past me until her teacher gave her "permission" to acknowledge me.

I think she was blown away by the surprise and was just meerly trying to contain her enthusiasm. At least that is what I tell myself.

That night we granted her birthday supper wish and headed to Aunt Sissy's and Uncle Jason's and got to take in the fascinating occurance of PIZZA HUT DELIVERY.

That is right, folks.

Pizza Hut actually BRINGS the pizza to your house.

You call them and they bring it.

AMAZING!

****************************

Friday was just bridge between the actual birthday on Thursday and the all important birthday party on Saturday.

Kind of a let down to a 7 year old who felt we should just party on through.

Bless her heart.

***********************

Saturday morning Mi Mi came and picked up L at 8:00 and they headed to the big town to go shopping.

Once there, apparently, L told Mi Mi that she didn't particularly enjoy shopping. Malls. Garage Sales. You name it.

Where did this child of mine come from?

So...since this was L's birthday trip she let L decide what to do.

Yep. They ate lunch at Wendy's.

(Such a high dollar culinary palette she has.)

She then met us at the hotel indoor pool at which we were having her party to "help us get ready".

(In case you were wondering, "help us get ready", translates into, "get into the pool first".)

I made her pause before jumping in so that I could grab a quick pic of her birthday cupcakes.

Don't look too closely or you will realize that the beach umbrella is firmly planted in a mud/sand mixture.

L and B counseled me on my OCD, but I am not sure that they were very effective.

L: Mom, they are just cupcakes...they don't HAVE to be perfect. Hhmmm. This beach one...uh...could you add blue icing around the edges for water?

B: Yeah...don't worry. (Looking at the shark fin cupcakes)...these should really have white on the blue icing because in the ocean the waves have white bubbles on the top.

(Do you see what I am working with here?)



So L "helped us get ready" as pictured below:


And B, put on his own goggles, ready to take on the masses.....



Then, in an apparent loss of my mind, I agreed to give some sweet faced boy his party favor during the party.
And, of course, everyone else wanted theirs too.
And then this transpired:


If I calmly (loudly) stated "Please do not shoot the water at the ceiling OR adults" once....
well....you know the rest.


I think the party was a (wet) success.



Even though the hotel the party was at was only 20 miles from our house, the fact that we had to rent a room to gain access to the pool resounded with my children and it was decided that we MUST.....again, we MUST stay the night.
So we did.
*************************

The next day we arrived back home and began getting everything in order for the "family party".
What?
You don't celebrate MULTIPLE times?
Really, you should. It shaves years off of your life.

We ate....we drank....we enjoyed being outside.
Then we all gathered around to sing "Happy Birthday" once again.




B led the masses as he started in singing.
(I think he was just ready to eat some cake.)
Speaking of cake...L has scaled down her cake expectations and gave Linda strict instructions that were as follows:
  1. It is to be a chocolate cake.
  2. It needs to have yellow stars.
  3. It needs to have pink hearts.
  4. It needs to say "Happy Birthday L" in different colors.

That was it. Simple, huh? I bet it was a welcome relief for Linda considering that two years ago she made this cake.



And that about sums up our weekend. It has taken me until today, Thursday, to find the energy to even post the pictures.
Considering B's birthday is in June, I imagine we will have to start counting down to his birthday any day now.
Oh joy.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I "just threw" this post together.....

Yeah, you might have noticed that things look a little more "put together" around here.

I am sure it didn't take you long to realize that I didn't do it myself. Big shock, huh?

My friend, Misti, who I went to school with and recently found on facebook, took pity upon me and my ugly blog and "threw" this layout together.

Seriously.

As if it weren't a big deal at all.

Just 'threw it' together in a "I was just messin' around sort of way."

Yeah. Who does that?

Well, apparently SHE does and I am SO glad she did.

It is cheery and upbeat and makes me smile when I log on. She really should go into business or something.....

I will keep working on her.

In the meantime, "Thanks" Misti! You are incredibly generous...not to mention, incredibly talented.

Now I need to get back to staring at this new, and unbelievably improved, blog.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The window through which we look

I weighed in this week. I was down .5 lbs.

I will take it. With all the birthday celebrating going on...and such...I was lucky not to have gained.

***********
I planned on posting pics today but considering that I am sneezing roughly every 30 seconds and have resorted to putting kleenex's up my nose as a sort of plug, I am just going to share with you an email I rec'd a while back.

Generally when I get these, I go ahead and delete because I have seen them numerous times before and at the end is some sort of "IF you love Jesus you must send this....".

I love Jesus and he doesn't care if I don't forward the message to 20 of my closest friends.

But this message spoke to me. I think it is a good reminder to all of us.

***************
A young couple moves into a new neighborhood. The next morning while they are eating breakfast, The young woman sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside.

"That laundry is not very clean", she said. "She doesn't know how to wash correctly.Perhaps she needs better laundry soap."

Her husband looked on, but remained silent.

Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, the young woman would make the same comments.

About one month later, the woman was surprised to see nice, clean wash on the line and said to her husband: "Look, she has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this."

The husband said, "I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows."

And so it is with life. What we see when watching others depends on the purity of the window through which we look.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Swimmers Ear

Well, I survived the weekend.

Barely.

Early in the year (because, apparently, you can't start thinking about your birthday soon enough) when L started talking about how she was going to celebrate, I did my little song and dance routine and had talked L into having a few friends over for a sleepover for her birthday. Maybe a movie. Definitely pizza.

You know....more of a "small scale" type of event.

She bought into it.

I was happy.

I was home free this year.

UNTIL......................(you knew it was too good to be true, didn't you?).....

we were invited to a birthday party that was at an indoor pool in a nearby hotel. After that experience the bar had been set a little higher and all previous "quiet night at home" plans were shot out of the...um....water. Pardon the pun.

So, this past weekend we embarked on a whole new unprecedented level of fun.

Woo. Hoo.

Hopefullly once my energy returns to normal and the ringing in my ears stops, I will be able to form a complete thought which will enable me to write a complete post.

Or not.

Have a wonderful Monday.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Forever changed

As I am writing this I actually have a hard time reconciling the fact that it was 7 years ago today that I met someone that changed my entire life, and my entire being.


Knowing her has changed the relationship I have with my husband and my family and without a doubt, it has changed the relationship I have with God.


You see.....


Prior to knowing her, I will admit, that I struggled with the concept of love.


At times it seemed so conditional....and based upon merit.


I found myself trying to meet and exceed expectations in order to find worth.


I found myself looking outward for approval with no, or little, thought of looking inward.


In fact, thinking back, I think I had spent my whole life looking for something....and not knowing what it was until it was placed into my arms.







You can't be told about unconditional love. You have to feel it......



with every fiber of your being.



***********************************


It's only for a moment you are mine to hold,
the plans that Heaven has for you will all too soon unfold.



So many different prayers I'll pray for all that you might do...
but most of all I'll want to know you're walking in the truth.



And If I never told you, I want you to know as I watch you grow:

I pray that God would fill your heart with dreams,
and that faith gives you the courage to dare to do great things.
I'm here for you whatever this life brings.....
so let my love give you roots and help you find your wings.

May passion be the wind that leads you through your days.
And may conviction keep you strong, guide you on your way.



May there be many moments that make your life so sweet
Oh, but more than memories......

I pray that God would fill your heart with dreams,
and that faith gives you the courage to dare to do great things.
I'm here for you whatever this life brings.....
so let my love give you roots and help you find your wings.


It's not living if you don't reach for the sky.........


I'll have tears as you take off , but I'll cheer as you fly!





(Find Your Wings, Mark Harris-- Thank you to Kellys Korner Blog for introducing me to these lyrics)


******************************


Happy 7th Birthday, Lakyn!


You haven't even 'taken off' and tears already fill my eyes. You have 'filled my heart' with dreams and your faith has 'dared me to do great things'..... I will always owe you for showing me who I really am.


I love you beyond measure,


Momma



Weigh in Week 10

This week I was down 1 lb.

At least the scale moved. The grand total lost has been 17.8.

This week I did a lot of estimating of points values. I was nervous that I hadn't done very well. I think that I probably did, "OK" at best. If I would have been more strict I could have possibly lost more, but I try to remind myself that this is a journey that will last my whole life and not a destination.

Although it might take longer to get where I want to go, doing it in a way that will be sustainable is key.

Truthfully, in my life I have never lost this much weight. Granted, I had never had that much to lose before, but I am proud that I have stuck with this for ten weeks and have continued to "see" results.

I put the " around see because, truthfully, when looking in the mirror, I see NO difference.

However, the scale HAS moved and my pants are a little looser.

That counts for something, right?

And these days, counting something other than points comes as a nice change of pace.

Friday, April 09, 2010

The times.....they are a changin'.

So with the apparent arrival of Spring (finally), came the yearly task of going through L's closet.

It is a daunting task to say the least because, well...frankly, her closet scares me. (Maybe because it looks A LOT like mine.)

There are pants falling off shelves, shirts stuck into corners, shoes covering the entire floor, and then there are the poor items of clothing that are precariously hanging onto one side of the hanger just clinging to the hope that they will be righted before the next nudge propells it into the bottomless pit of her closet floor.

Oh. I kid.

It really isn't bottomless.... we do find it generally at least once a year.

Anyway, there were moments that I was actually nostalgic and saddened during this process.

It is during the sorting of the clothes that I can no longer bury my head in the sand and refuse to see that my girl....she is growing up. It is during this chore of taking the winter clothes out of the closet and replacing them with her summer clothes that I am finding that:

Clothes don't fit.

Styles have changed.

Shoes are too small.

And, unfortunately the ache in my chest isn't.

Still, I forged on and we made it almost a game of sorts.

Do you like this? Does this fit? Try it on. No? Throw it into this pile. Yes? Find me a hanger. Will you wear this? This has got to go....

You get the picture.

It is during times like these, when L and I work together, that I can see the adult version of her emerge.

And honestly, if it wasn't so funny....it would be sad.

I spotted an outfit that L had last year. I distinctly remember her only agreeing to wear it to church....and even then she wasn't happy about it.

I pulled it out and held it up.

I looked at her and while nodding said, "This has got to go, huh?".

L looked at me, mouth agape and said, "Ooohhhhhhh! Isn't that adorable! Just adorable! I love it. We have to keep it!"

Amused....I dug a little further into the pile and pulled out, yet another, outfit that she had scoffed at several times last year. "What about this one?......Garage sale?"

Again, eyes wide, "Prrrrrreeeecccccccciiioous! I love it! Too cute!"

Although I was struggling to retain my composure with all the over-the-top drama going on, I nodded and meekly asked,

"Didn't you hate this outfit last year? I remember having to beg you to wear it."

She looked at me, nodding (like you would over coffee), and said, "That was last year. I am a different person now."

Ahem. Yes. Well. I guess she IS almost 7.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Weigh In Week 9

Well, I weighed in today and guess what?

No weight lost.

I am not complaining, I am just glad I didn't gain. I seriously lost my mind this past weekend with the concert and Easter and all. Sunday night I even woke up and threw up. I think my stomach was rejecting all the food I had put in it.

So, now, I am back on track. I would like to say the pics were great, but I realized that a person can lose weight, and lose weight, and it still doesn't change the shape of their nose, or their squinty eyes and unmanageable hair.

Go figure.

From now on I will stick to picture taken from above and low lighting. It seems to be my only hope.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Sideburns and Sunburns

L was out of school on Good Friday.


I had made an executive decision to not tell her anything that Friday held in store for her. This meant that when her head hit the pillow on Thursday evening, she knew not that the next evening her head would be resting on another pillow, in another town as our big weekend got under way. She knew nothing other than that she would get up the next day, eat breakfast and hang out at home with B and I.

However, little did I know that this was EXACTLY what she was WANTING to do with her Good Friday break.


Once she woke for the day I told her she might want to get ready, as I had planned a big day...just for her.

She groaned.

(Then so did I.)

She informed me that she wasn't interested in a big day. Not a girl day. Not a day focused solely on her. Nadda. Zip.

She was only interested in a day, staying and playing AT HOME.

I called her bluff and said, "So...you want me to call Aunt Sissy and Corban and tell them that you don't want to go with them on a 'girls day'?"


She said, "Yes."

(Seriously, in that moment, I felt like I could have a nervous breakdown. In my mental playbook of how this day was to go down, this move was NOT included.)

I told her point blank hinted that I thought she might be a wee bit spoiled if the prospect of having a day devoted to doting on her was not enticing and that I, on the other hand, would LOVE for someone to pamper ME for a day.


She wasn't budging, she was crying, but she wasn't budging......and she was only crying because I thought she might be spoiled.


Great.


So, I did what I do when I don't know what else to do. I dialed Aunt Sissy, told her she didn't want to go and then handed the phone over to L.



I then went outside to feed our orphan calf and said a prayer that A) I could keep my emotions (and disappointment) in check and B) my daughter would humor me.....just this once.


I returned to the house to find L smiling and talking animatedly on the couch. I took the phone back and asked Aunt Sissy what kind of voo-doo magic she had just worked and she (the one without children) said to me, "It's early, she's tired....cut her some slack. I just told her we were going to Kansas City and she's game."


Sure. OK. I will remember that next time. Apparently the whole "secrecy" thing wasn't working .


So, she started getting ready for our Kansas City trip.


I still had a few cards up my sleeve though........


L didn't know we were staying the night and she still had no idea about the 'main event'. I had packed two days before and our suitcase was already loaded.


B was excited to go see a movie with Mi Mi and L had a new pep in her step.

*******************************

We arrived in KC pretty early and had plenty of time before our hotel check in. While filling up with gas I asked L when she thought we should head back home.


She thought maybe 3:00 pm. I told her that only gave us 2 1/2 hours....and we had driven longer than THAT.



She reconsidered and said, "maybe 6".


I nodded, "That would give us more time.....but what if we stayed the night?"



Folks, I think that could have been the main surprise because she was so happy at the thought of a motel.


Any motel.


Motel 6. Econo Lodge. Budget Inn.


She didn't care. A hotel is a hotel is a hotel.


***********************

We ended up killing some time at a mall. Yes, there is a mall within 45 minutes of our house, but where is the fun in that?


So, instead we drove across the state line and to the Oak Park Mall where we all saw our first double decker carousel.


And, yes, we rode it.
Then as we shopped, L made friends with mannequins.

After visiting only one store, we stopped at Build-A-Bear and L brought to life a new friend.....you know, 'to remember the weekend'.


Her name was Rose.


We checked into our hotel and asked L what she would want to do that evening if she could pick anything at all.


She said, "swim".


I'll admit, I was going for something a little bigger.



When we broke the news that I didn't pack a bathing suit and our hotel didn't have a pool....we asked her again, "what would you do, if you could do anything at all?"



She smiled and sheepishly said, "a concert."


Aunt Sissy said, "who?...."


"Taylor Swift"


We all started laughing and I finally said, "You know what..? You ARE in luck."




She smiled a big smile and then said, "I am so excited!!!.....I don't even know what to say."


Then, in true motherly fashion, I said, "Aren't you glad you didn't stay home today?"

****************************

The forecast, which had predicted thunderstorms, ended up being wrong. The day was beautiful as we made our way to the venue.


As the time grew nearer, L became more and more excited. She didn't mind the opening acts, but she was definitely there to see:




We were all ready for the show to get under way.



"You Belong With Me"


"Love Story"


And L's favorite song, "Should've Said No" wrapped up the show......and stole it. Again.



Yes. She sang in the rain. On stage. Inside.

****************************
The next morning L's smile reflected the joy of the night before.



Knowing that it takes time for 4 girls to get around, we decided to order room service.


L stated, "I have never had room service EVER before." Yeah. She's six and no room service. EVER BEFORE.
Please don't call the Division of Family Services on me.


Ahem.

So we ordered french toast and orange juice and she ate three bites before she was "so full" she couldn't possibly eat anymore.


Glad we spent $17 dollars on three pieces of bread, syrup, sausage and orange juice. Thankfully (or not) I had already decided to eat whatever she didn't.


We spent the morning walking around the Plaza.


We heard stories about Taylor Swift shopping and eating there the day before.


(Cue the saying about "A day late and a dollar short....")
(Or $17....I am looking at you, French Toast.)


We snapped a pic of our hotel, The Raphael, before grabbing a bite to eat at the Cheesecake Factory and making our 3 1/2 hour trek back home.....just in time for our family Easter celebration, which didn't take place on Easter.



Outside the Cheesecake Factory with one of the Plaza Easter Bunnies.


************************
On the way home I called Steven and told him our approximate arrival time and heard about their boys weekend. It included tossing quarters...(yes, B is four), trips to Dairy Queen, a buggy ride, riding on a toy car strapped to an automatic horse walker and new nicknames.
B was now referring to himself as "Magic Man". And he told me so himself.

When Steven and B arrived at mom and dad's just as we arrived back from KC, I was so excited to see both of my guys, but one thing was painfully apparent.

1.) Steven doesn't know how to apply sunscreen. (B's face was fire engine red....as was his scalp)


and


2.) Men should never be allowed to make facial hair choices on their own.

**************************

We started preparing for the big Easter egg hunt and corralled the kids and stuck them in dad's office. We drew the blinds and shut the door because no peeking was allowed.



The kids anticipation of finding the "golden (this year it was Reynold's aluminum foil silver) egg" was so much that they were giddy with excitement.

(no, that red isn't reflecting off his shirt and the camera doesn't even do the color justice)



When one of the bunny's helpers came in and briefed the group on the parameters of the hunting grounds, the kids were released.


Yes. It was mayhem.

Eggs were high....and low.
Far and wide.

And there were a bunch of them!


Then, like herding chickens, we gathered everyone and had them take a picture with Grandpa.
The next day was his 91st birthday.


We had cameras poised on tripods....some of them larger than others.


There was running, and repositioning. There were many re-do's.

No. Everybody didn't look at the camera. No, the kids weren't all smiling. No, it didn't look professionally done.


But.....


It WAS perfect.


Then we gathered the great-grandkids.


Then all the grandkids and their spouses gathered for their chance to capture a moment in time with Grandpa.


And then the kids......



"This is the day the Lord has made....let us be glad and rejoice in it."

***************************

Late last summer, B had learned how to ride his bike without training wheels. He, however, became discouraged with the trouble he had starting and stopping on his own.


He wanted the training wheels back on.


And so, last week, the training wheels were removed. Again.


B seemed to really grasp the concept. He, however, only had one speed: Fast.


While at mom and dad's everyone sat out in lawn chairs enjoying the sight of the kids playing. Having all the cousins together is a rarity and the kids, as well as adults, were taking it in.


B and his cousins had gotten bikes out and had decided to ride them.


B would go flying by and moments later you would hear the tin on the barn make a loud "Boom" and everyone would look and laugh, knowing B had used the 'broad side of a barn' to stop him.


Again, he would go by, smiling cheek to cheek. This process was repeated several times.


As luck, or the absence of it, would have it, there was a crash.


Steven brought a crying B to me. I reached for him and saw the side of his face scraped up...... I held him and whispered my love to him, wishing I could take the pain away.

One of the cousins relayed that he was trying to do "a jump".


He's four.

He's had the training wheels off less than a week.

(sigh)
Boys!

My kids are often dirty, but not often hurt. I didn't realize that once the blood was clear, I was in for a bigger surprise with a black eye and atrocious swelling.

**************************

As luck would have it, the Easter bunny visited our house on Easter morning. Mr. Easter bunny laid in bed the night before as Mrs. Easter bunny, who I might mention was bone tired from the trip, did laundry, stuffed eggs, hid them in the yard with a flashlight, and prepared for the coming day, which consisted of the immediate family coming to our house for Easter lunch.



The kids hunted eggs.....(again)


......in their jammies.....


with B only taking a break once to lower his britches and pee, right there in the front yard.


*********************

We dressed for church and B, aka "the magic man", was as handsome as could be....even with the scars.

One quick pic was grabbed before we rushed out the door.....


After church the kids hunted eggs (again).

And the wind played havoc with our hair accessories.

And the hunting? Well.....it was good!



After church, while Aunt Sissy, mom and I, were working on getting lunch ready, Steven got "ready for the next day" and Pa Pa played in the dirt pile with B.

(Exhibit A: of facial malpractice. Hey Steven, the 60's called, they need their sideburns back.)


After lunch we all decided to sit back, relax and go fishing.


Even Daisy chilled out.


Pa Pa gave B pointers.

Steven and L, tried to reel one in.


After no bites at the first pond, we ALL (yes, all) loaded up on the Polaris Ranger and rode to another pond on our place.
Again, no biting.
Sooooo....we once again, loaded up and went to another pond on our land.
This time everyone who cast a line got a bite.
They were monster fish! Can't you tell?
(Uncle Jason with his fish. He wanted to have it mounted.)
Although the kids had fun fishing, they found that they equally enjoyed just 'hanging out".
After we had caught more fish than we could handle, we loaded up, once again, and rode to the edge of our property, crawled through the fence and walked to the old Reed School, a one room school house that my aunts and uncles went to. My dad, being one of the youngest, went to the public school in town, just after the Reed School shut down.
We enjoyed hearing the history retold by my dad.
We also enjoyed the walk to the old homesite.....and each other's company.






In fact, I have to agree with L when she said that this "was the best Easter ever" and with B when he said that he "didn't think the name Magic Man was working for him."