Saturday, June 28, 2008

Okay, since Daddio filled it out for me, I'll attempt to do the same for him... he can comment if I get any wrong (but we all know that is unlikely)
A. Attached or Single?
Happily married.

B. Best Friend?
MommaLlama (or my iPod if she isn't around).

C. Cake or pie?
Tough one... Skittles.

D. Day of choice?

E. Essential item?

F. Favorite color?

G. Gummy bears or worms?

H. Home town?
Austin, Tx... not goin' back there anytime soon.!

I. Favorite indulgence?

J. January or July?
July... vacation.

K. Kids?
Three boys for now. When snookie graduates, I'll only be 42 and we can start all over again with a sibling set of girls.

L. Life isn’t complete without?
My family, a tent, a dutch oven... all my camping gear.

M. Marriage date?
12/16/2000. Hard to believe it's been that long.

N. Number of brothers and sisters?
2 sisters, 1 brother, 1 step brother, 1 step sister.

O. Oranges or Apples?

P. Phobias?
"I ain't skeered."

Q. Quotes?
So many to choose from.
"It's gunna be a good day, Tater." Ron White, comedian.
"I hate talented kids."
"Muckle Sandwich." By me, the wife!

R. Reasons to smile?

S. Season of choice.
Fall. It's the best for camping.

T. Tag 5 people.
Everyone consider yourself tagged.

U. Unknown fact about me?
He likes babies... especially squishy babies... he sees friends with squishy babies and just must pick them up!

V. Vegetable?
No thanks, not into veggies.

W. Worst Habit?
Chewing his nails.

X. Xray or Ultrasound?
X-rays have been draining my wallet as of late, and when there were ultrasounds it wasn't for anything fun... so pass.

Y. Your favorite food?
Anything mexican! Tamales would be a the top of the list.

Z. Zodiac sign?
Zodiac signs are for pagans. REPENT!!!! (Okay so I used what he wrote... but it's good stuff).

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Another Meme

Saw this on Nicole's blog and decided to take it for MommaLlama. I think I know her well enough. She can post if she disagrees with any of my answers.

A. Attached or Single?
Happily married. So, so happy. Really the perfect man. Tall, dark, handsome, etc.

B. Best Friend?
Supposed to say my husband, and it's true, but best homegirl would be Olive.

C. Cake or pie?
Brownies or cobbler with ice cream.

D. Day of choice?
Saturday. No work, husband is home, usually thinking of something for us to do that is spontaneous, cheap, and fun.

E. Essential item?
LG washer and dryer. Hates laundry, these make it bearable.

F. Favorite color?
Pink. Wear lots of it to bring some feminine charm to this house of stinky boys.

G. Gummy bears or worms?
Sour Patch Kids

H. Home town?
Lake Charles, La. Wish we could move back there someday, or at least closer, like Houston-ish.

I. Favorite indulgence?
Ice cream. Duh. I mean seriously, give me a hard one.

J. January or July?
Definitely January. She looks super cute in sweaters, boots, coats, and rosy little cheeks.

K. Kids?
Three. Hope to have more some day. Wish that day was tomorrow. Patiently waiting for the right circumstances. Also three god-children!

L. Life isn’t complete without?
My boys.

M. Marriage date?
12/16/2000. Hard to believe it's been that long.

N. Number of brothers and sisters?
One sister. Total spaz.

O. Oranges or Apples?
Oranges. And strawberries.

P. Phobias?
Storms and "ternaders" and noises at night. Kind of a chicken.

Q. Quotes?
So many to choose from.
"I hate talented kids.", by me, her husband
"SILENCE!... I kill you!", by Achmed the Dead Terrorist (Jeff Dunham ventriloquist character)
"Mommy, was I about to say something?", by Snookie
"How can you say that there are too many children? That's like saying that there are too many flowers.", by Mother Teresa

R. Reasons to smile?

S. Season of choice.
Fall. It's the best for camping. Love snuggling up by the fire and inside the tent by the 36,000 BTU propane heater.

T. Tag 5 people.
Don't tell me what to do. Everyone consider yourself tagged.

U. Unknown fact about me?
Freakishly strong grip.

V. Vegetable?
Cheesy baked mashed potatoes.

X. Xray or Ultrasound?
X-ray. Been a lot of that going around these last couple of years... would prefer to avoid them for a while.

Y. Your favorite food?
Crawfish etouffe, shrimp gumbo, chicken enchiladas, ice cream

Z. Zodiac sign?
Zodiac signs are for pagans. REPENT!!!!

Good girl

She went to three grocery stores, getting from each what she had seen the best prices on in the circulars. Clipped many many coupons. Total charges, $157.86, total paid $111.36, total savings $46.50 (29%).

I think the trick is shopping without the children. She did all of this plus a stop at Kohl's for a few things (with, of course, another coupon in hand), in about 2 1/2 hours. Let me tell you, she has come a long way. When we first married, she was a brand name only girl. Grabbed whatever looked good, didn't even look at price tags. She was never wasteful, really, but she wasn't exactly frugal. Today, there was a gleam in her eye...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Many people wonder how we can tell them apart. Of course we recognize they have similarities, but to us, there are such obvious differences. For example their feet.


Bobcat (very distinctive toes, no?)

Snookie (always standing on his toes, for some reason)

Hope that helps clear up any confusion.

Dang I'm good


As a 1930s husband, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!

These are funny. I'm not sure she'd agree with the "ample allowance" item... but I try. Not sure I can do anything about the bed covers or snoring, sorry. I know my wife will beat my score. We really are pretty old fashioned.

Not to take it too seriously here, but I find it interesting that so many of these criteria are related to respect for your spouse, and showing that respect in public. Many people seem perfectly willing to criticise their spouses in public forums these days.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Rest in peace, Jack

Please say a prayer for the repose of the soul of Jack. Jack is a friend of ours from the City Band. We'll always remember him because the first day we went to a rehearsal, we were taken aback by how "experienced" most of the band members were. We didn't know the band was composed mostly of retirees, but they were very welcoming and happy to have some young blood join the group. (There were a few crotchety old exceptions, but overall, we immediately felt like we were at home.) We remember Jack in particular because after every number, he would set his horn down and insert his oxygen tube into his nose! We were pretty impressed with the old guy!

Jack always beamed with pride when he spoke about his two children, who were adopted and grew up to be very successful. He was so excited the day that we shared the news that we were adopting. That was interesting news to break. Some people were nervous. Some people thought we were unprepared, or down right crazy. But many people were happy for us, and Jack was just plain ecstatic! I didn't even know that his children were adopted before then, but he loved them as much as any father could. He always said that they turned out so much better and brighter than any natural born children of his possibly could have. He loved showing off magazine articles in which his son, a PhD economist, was published. And he loved hearing about our sons and seeing new pictures of them.

He loved music, and loved talking about the great deal he got on that new bass trombone. (I heard the story 30 times!) He joked that his wife didn't like to listen to the noise, so she made him practice in a closet. Well, I thought it was a joke until the day he invited us over to his house and showed us the closet with the music stand and chair in it! But he had such a sense of humor about it.

I only wish we had more time to spend with him. But he lived a long and happy life, touched many people with his passion for life, and his eternal happiness is well deserved. Rest in peace, Jack, and pray for us.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

More anti-Catholic nonsense

See if you can spot the logical disconnect here...

Massachusetts High School Facing Pregnancy Boom

It begins with the following:
Officials at Gloucester High School in Gloucester, Mass., are investigating whether half of the teens made a pact to get pregnant during the school year, reported... "Some girls seemed more upset when they weren't pregnant than when they were," principal Joseph Sullivan told

Further down:
The Gloucester baby boom is forcing this city of 30,000 to grapple with the question of providing easier access to birth control, something this largely Catholic enclave is slow to embrace...

SERIOUSLY?? These girls allegedly wanted to get pregnant, and Time magazine thinks the answer is easier access to contraception for minors!!! Someone please explain to me how that makes any sense at all. Seems to me it's just one more ill-considered shot at Catholicism.

PSA for the Day

H/T: Creative Minority Report

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


If you were to walk into my house right now and noticed the vacuum lines on my carpet (everyone notices, don't they?), you would think that a drunken sailor must of been hired to clean my carpets...

Close, but it was actually Bobcat.

This was his first whirl with my precious. It is somewhat heavy for the little guy, and he had to find his own technique for maneuvering it... but all in all he did a good job and he was pleased with his work.

Side note: If you are pleased with your work, you're more likely to continue on right... it's half the battle if you will.

Our kids have jobs around the house. First it's school! That will always be the priority... but since they live in the household they are required to pitch in (with out monetary reimbursement). They've always had to pick up after themselves. Maybe once or twice have I actually had to go behind them and pick up their toys. We made that important from the time we brought them home. We also worked on the notion of 'put it away when you are done with it', this way clean-up was never more than a few toys at any given time (also going from one to the next just because has always annoyed me... pick something and play with it for crying out loud).

We've since moved on to putting away laundry. I fold and hang it in my room, then call to them and they come and retrieve their items and put them away... this has been a huge help when it comes to laundry time! Then we got a front load washer, and now I can ask them to unload the washer and put it into the dryer... and from the dryer they can bring it to my room. I still don't like laundry, but with their help it makes it easier to manage.

And in the last year we've added even more responsibilities to their plate, and they actually seem to thrive on their jobs. In the mornings Bobcat and Bubba team up getting the dogs outside (one opens kennel doors, the other mans the backdoor). After breakfast Bobcat takes to dog bowls back out to the garage, and brings the dogs in. Bubba gets the dirty laundry basket out of my bathroom and dumps into the laundry room, and empties the little trashcans around the house (bathroom cans). And in the evenings Bobcat and Bubba load the dinner dishes into the dishwasher, and I've even shown Bobcat how to put the soap in and set it (I love having a delay feature on there!).

If you've noticed, Snookie doesn't seem to have any jobs. We're working on that, he mainly helps me with laundry... that's about his level (Mommy's little helper).

Why am I saying all of this... well first, I'm always so amazed at how old they are getting, and how well they take on the challenge (and the satisfaction they have with themselves when they help me out)... but also to vent a little. I see and hear moms all over the web and in my real life complain about how tired they are, and what a mess their houses are. Usually after a few questions I find out that their children don't help out (at all, or very little). Moms think that their kids aren't capable, or shouldn't be bothered with such menial work... um, they live in the house and contribute to the chaos and so therefore should help keep it tidy. I think a pitfall for a lot of moms (well both moms and dads) is not seeing their children for how old they really are. It is interesting to watch families with small children who could be doing more (jobs, behavior, etc.), but aren't because the expectation isn't there. We did have an advantage, I think, in this area because when we brought the boys home they could walk, talk, and understand us (for the most part). We never had to figure out the earliest stages of life, and what they were capable of.

Advice: Set the bar HIGH! They want to please you, and they will work to reach that goal if they know that you will be overjoyed by their success! When it comes to setting up jobs for the kids, know that it will take a little time in the beginning... but it is so worth it when they get the hang of it. And (this one is hard for me) perfection isn't going to be achieved, but let them work on it anyway.

And no, Bobcat will not be taking over vacuuming duties (it is part of my cleaning therapy :-)... but will from time to time get to that job for me.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


So it has been a week since we've been back, and I've gotten a few hints that I needed to post a little about our summer beach trip. It was a great trip! This was our 5th trip down to the coast, the boys 4th time, the 3rd house we've rented (best view so far), and our first time to share our trip with our dearest friends.

(The Jetty: Bubba with his Godparents... Turk, Olive, and Pigeon)

It was so nice to watch all four of the kids playing together, as if they've known each other their whole life. Also, they match... the cutest four little brown bodies running around on the beach!

We spent our mornings down on the beach, back to the house for lunch and quiet time... then over to the pool while the moms made dinner. Then back down to the beach for an evening walk! Five days on the beach!!!!

As usual we had our fair share of wild aquatic life. Down at the jetty we stood while a small pod of bay dolphins played. There was what appeared to be a mom and baby and then a few others.

Plenty of pelicans all over the place, sea gulls, and cranes. And a bizarre behavior was also spotted... a pelican on the water, with a sea gull sitting on its head... both peering into the water. I saw this happen on several occasions... it is really weird looking in person.

Down on the beach we also found several these:

We thought they were jelly fish... but they weren't like the jellies that we've seen in the past at Port Aransas... so I did a little investigating once we got home. Turns out, they are definitely NOT jellyfish, but are Portuguese Man o' War. Thank goodness no one was stung... but they were really pretty to look at from a far.

If anyone was reading this blog last year, you may remember us spotting a sting ray in the water... a small one, that hung out one morning with us... and we managed to get a few pictures of it. This year Daddio caught sight of another one... much larger, but he didn't have a camera with him at that point so no pictures.

It was such a wonderful trip. Usually when we get to see our Valley friends, it's hurried with little time to actually settle in and enjoy the others company. This trip there wasn't an agenda that had to be followed, no other family obligations pulling us to move things along. Plus being on neutral ground also seemed to help all of the kids... everything was shared, and new. After everyone had a chance to clean up in the evenings we would sit around while Daddio played guitar and we sang praises to Our Lord. Then the kids would go down for the night, and we had time to play games and talk about our lives.

I can't wait to go back...

Friday, June 13, 2008

I've never needed anything... badly in my entire life.

I neeeeeed a Fat Shark RC Vision System.

I am not exaggerating here. This is the only thing I want ever (until I win the lottery, as discussed previously.) I know it's not in the budget for Fathers Day, but maybe my birthday? Christmas? Anniversary? Groundhog Day? I promise to share it with the children. (Okay, so I want to drive it while I put the goggles on Snookie... that would be hilarious, right?!?!)

Pleeeease, honey?...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Only in California...

The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, based in San Francisco (where else?) is the most overturned court in the nation, by the US Supreme Court. This court is jokingly referred to as the 9th Circus, and is well known for being the role model of "judicial activism." Decisions include allowing the censorship of the words "natural family," "marriage" and "family values" as hate speech, threatening public display of the Ten Commandments, allowing liberal usage of "medical marijuana" (no solid medical evidence supporting this) in defiance of Federal authority, banning the words "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance, allowing sexually explicity surveys of elementary school children, allowing assisted suicide in Oregon, outlawing homeschooling, and upholding all sorts of gay "rights."

And now an interesting story has come out about the chief justice of that court:,2933,365701,00.html

While overseeing a case against a pornography distributor, it was discovered that the judge's own website contained obscene material. Well, "obscene" is relative, of course. You be the judge...

"Kozinski, 57, told the Times he thought the material, which included a video of a man cavorting with a sexually aroused farm animal and a picture of nude women on all fours painted to look like cows, couldn't be seen by the public. The judge said he didn't believe any of the images were obscene, the Times reported.
"Is it prurient? I don't know what to tell you," he told the newspaper. "I think it's odd and interesting. It's part of life."
The Times also described a wide range of other types of sexual imagery."

Wow. Just... wow. I know that relativism is in, but COME ON, PEOPLE! Bestiality is a perversion, it is NOT "odd and interesting". Can you say slippery slope?

Buy a Frosty!

A Good Treat for a Good Cause

This weekend, you can help support Foster Care Adoption just by buying a Frosty! Participating Wendy's will donate 50 cents from every Frosty purchased on June 14 and 15 to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. Their goal is to raise $1.3 million to support the Foundation and Wendy's Wonderful Kids, which funds full-time adoption recruiters to match parents with waiting children.

Since 2004, Wendy's Wonderful Kids has helped 3,500 children in Foster Care, and more than 500 of those children now have finalized adoptions.

So share a delicious treat with your family, and help children in the U.S. Foster Care system find their own forever families!

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption

Monday, June 9, 2008

Home again, home again...

The beach was awesome, as always! MommaLlama will share more photos and details later, but I thought I would put up a few photos. It is always fun to see how much the boys have grown since last year.

Here is the house.

The view from the top balcony.



Bobcat and Bubba
The boys at the jetty

The boys at the pool

It was a bummer coming home again... but, at least nothing went wrong. And I still have one more day off before going back to work on Wednesday!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Countdown Launch Sequence


WE LEAVE FOR THE BEACH ON WEDNESDAY... before sunrise... I'm so super excited! 5 days and 4 nights of VACATION! I think the beach/ocean is truly one of my favorite places to be. The boys can run free, I can breath the ocean air... and my toes can rest in the sand...

Oh and we get to drink beer, grill, and this year is a special treat because we are going to spend it with our dear friends.

That being said... relaxation on the way... I'm in full 'get ready' mode. The house needs to be cleaned top to bottom (there's nothing better than to come home after a long drive and find your house is perfect order... all you have to do is throw your laundry in the basket and crawl into bed). All the laundry needs to be done... every last piece, and put away. All the beding needs to be cleaned... including the dog blankets. PACK! All of this needs to happen today and tomorrow, and most needs to get done today. I have therapy tonight and tomorrow... and I missed on Saturday due to being under the weather, which means I can expect to be sore tonight and not want to do much tomorrow. Plus tomorrow we have to drive to town during the day for Bubba to get his weekly allergy shot, and then dogs will need to be dropped off at the vet... all of this driving and dropping takes away precious time needed for the house. Thankfully I got a jump start this weekend!

Oh the beach... how I long to sit on our shores... soak in the sun (in my new suit)... and enjoy the company of friends we hardly ever get to see in person!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Milton Friedman

Found this wonderful video at Bob's Blog. As Bob says, it is the late Milton Friedman explaining the ABC's of free enterprise to liberal do-gooder Phil Donahue.

"Tell me just where you're going to find these angels who are going to organize society for us."

Two things impressed me. First, Mr. Friedman himself spoke very eloquently. He explains what so few people understand - that the most free places are also the most prosperous. I don't know why this concept is so difficult to understand. I suppose people have gotten lazy and whiny and they want the government to make things "fair" for them, instead of just getting off their butts and working harder. The only thing the government needs to make "fair" for us is the opportunity. The outcome is up to you.

Secondly, that is possibly the longest I have ever seen a guest on a political talk show speak without being interrupted! Truly mind-blowing. I didn't grow up and take any interest in politics and Sunday morning talk shows until well after such programs were jam-packed with so much "content" that nobody was allowed to make their point without being attacked by the host or the other panelists. I guess folks used to be a little more patient and polite to their guests. We saw Bill O'Reilly on Oprah several months ago, and she actually did an admirable job of shutting up and letting him speak. (She wanted to appear objective, which she clearly is not, but at least she shut her mouth for 30 seconds at a time.) He was able to deliver a pretty good rationale for the Iraq War to her dingbat audience members. Other than that, all I've seen are clips, soundbites, and arguments.

Modesty and Swimwear

Okay reading that title most people think... NOT POSSIBLE without looking really awful (for ladies that is). Yesterday I spent a considerable amount of time looking for just such a thing, and thankfully my patience paid off.

I'm of the opinion (and Daddio too) that no matter what your body shape, there are just things that nobody needs to see (or be seen in). Most specifically your more womanly areas are not intended to be shown to the world at large (and even more so I feel when you're a wife and mother)!

If you are of the same persuasion as I... you will know that it is quite difficult to find a suit that is flattering for your own particular body, and fulfills your modest taste without just wearing a T-Shirt and shorts over whatever you own to swim in. Yesterday I hit GOLD!

This my friends is a swim dress, it is just long enough to cover all your bits and pieces... but not long enough to be annoying. Trying it on for Daddio when I got home, I can honestly say that I've never felt more comfortable and cute in a suit before (and that is saying a lot because I used to be super small and walk around in a two piece when I was in high school). Under the dress, there is a full suit piece, so in the water if the out layer of fabric rises... you are still completely covered!

If you are interested in something like this you can just google swimdress, and I bought this one at Kohl's.