Showing posts from January, 2014

A Forced New Ride

Back in August, a week before school started, the children and I were headed to one of my doctor appointments.   We didn't make it to the appointment because a truck slammed into us at a red light.   Thankfully,  none of us were hurt, but the van was rendered immobile due to the way the body crushed into the rear tire.   Every safety feature worked and the parts crumpled just as they were designed in a wreck.   It was that side of the van that received the most damage and it was right over that tire where Clare was sitting.   The guys at the body shop were surprised no one was hurt.   She is still worried about car wrecks and last week, when we had a delayed start because of ice and sleet, I kept the kids at home because she was upset about the road conditions.  

We waited a week to find out that our insurer was going to total our 2006 Toyota Sienna.   We bought that van as a Toyota Certified Used vehicle in December of 2006.   We had just celebrated our tenth anniversary and the…

Brightening Up My Front Porch

My first rule for outdoor furniture is that it must be used or deeply discounted.   It's not just because it's cheaper that way, but also because it's just common sense.   I grew up in south Louisiana, with heat and humidity.   Now, I live in Texas, with heat, a bit less humidity, and intense sunlight on our home.   Outdoor furniture takes a great deal of abuse under these conditions, so no matter how much I might spend on a brand new set of it, the wear-and-tear is still going to happen.   We gradually outfitted our back porch and last spring, I found furniture for the front porch at an estate sale.   The set was a little more than I wanted to spend, but it's hard to find pieces like these.   They are from the 1960s and were used on a screened-in porch.   Another selling point for me was their small scale.   It's hard to find diminutive patio furniture.  

The white finish would not have been my first choice because of our white brick, but I decided to wait until…

Snow Day '14

Or, as my Louisiana friends are calling it, Sneaux Day.

Yes, some of it actually stuck to the ground.   There was snow and ice on our cars.   The door handles and locks had ice!   It was exciting stuff here in central Texas.   Hot chocolate, homemade blueberry muffins for a leisurely breakfast, popcorn in the morning, two snowmen (see below), and the rescue of a lost dog (reunited with owner).    Yesterday, I stocked up the fridge and pantry and we hunkered down because it was going to drop below freezing and there would be wintry precipitation.   Not quite the hurricane prep of my childhood.  

If you squint, you can see their first snowman, their Olaf, in the picture above.   A close-up shot is below.   Another great thing about the fabulous movie, Frozen, is that Olaf lowered the bar for the physical appearance of a snowman so even Texas kids could appreciate the beauty of their humble creation.

Here is the second snowman, also inspired by Frozen.   "In Summerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…

Five Favorites: Helpful & Happy (01-15-14)

Today, I'm linking up with Hallie at Moxie Wife for Five Favorites since I have a few odds and ends that don't really need their own individual posts:

1.  Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner

My youngest daughter has beautiful blonde curls.   If you've ever tried to comb--even finger comb--through gorgeous curls, you'll know why I spend more on hair products for her than I do for myself and I'm always on the lookout for good detangling and styling products.  

Recently, I read a few reviews for this conditioner from Trader Joe.   It is FABULOUS!   It leaves Clare's hair soft and loosens the curls a bit so it is easier to finger-comb or brush her hair.   She even wakes up with soft, non-frizzy hair!   All the females in our house are using this conditioner now.   I also read somewhere that lice do not like the peppermint extract in the this conditioner.   For a school-age child, that can only be a plus.   We'll stock up on this next time we head to …

Big Dapper & Little Dapper

One of the most common comments (compliments) people make about my husband is how dapper he dresses.   My little boy is following in his steps.   Thomas loves wearing ties and he received a new one for Christmas.

Tonight, he asked to wear his new tie to mass and then he asked Joey to wear a yellow tie, too, so they could be dressed alike.

A Great Day

Last night, I made the kids' lunches so the meals were ready in the refrigerator this morning (whilst standing on a clean kitchen floor).   I made the kids' oatmeal and made my own eggs and coffee before we left for school.   I was able to go to a prayer group for moms that was held at a dear friend's house.   I stayed too late talking, but it was so nice!   I made supper all by myself (red beans and rice, cornbread) AND did the dishes.   The lunches for tomorrow are prepared. 

I haven't been able to do this much in twenty-four hours for a few months.   It's been a great day and I would just like to share that.   Thanks be to God.

2013 in the Rear-View Mirror

A nod to Mac Davis in the title of this post!

Good-bye, 2013 and Hello, 2014.   I was tempted to type "and Good Riddance" in reference to 2013, but that wouldn't really be accurate.   I owe a great deal to 2013.   In Dickensian terms, I owe him, just as I owe his older brothers, for the lessons they have taught me, when I was willing to learn.

The sudden death of my mother in 2004 set in motion years of chaos for my family and me.   There are major private events and revelations I can't speak of because they aren't just my stories and I am still processing and dealing with them.   Such is life, though, isn't it?   From 2005 to 2010, my life revolved getting care for my father, becoming his legal guardian, managing his affairs, including properties, in two states, all while mothering children from newborns to grade schoolers.   At the age of 33, I stood in a buffet restaurant, frozen in place, as my eyes frantically darted about for my father (beginning the la…