Monday, July 30, 2007

The Count of Monte Cristo

I think it was Michelle at Tapp Talk that turned me on to this book. It was my intention this summer to read a classic novel in between each "fun" novel I read. I read 'The Sun Also Rises' by Hemingway and now I'm reading 'The Count'. When I first received this book from I was kinda iffy about it. It has over 600 pages and the print is very little. I had planned to read several classics this summer along with my 'good' novels and I wasn't sure if I wanted to waste my reading time on this novel.

It was a slow start but I told myself to get through at least the first 100 pages. I can always tell by them if I'm going to get into it or not and by the time I got there with this I couldn't put it down. It is really starting to consume me. I want to read it all the time. I bring it to work so I can read at lunch and when I go to dinner with my husband so I can read on the way. I am thoroughly enjoying this book. Thanks, Michelle for suggesting it. And to think, I was even thinking about watching the movie before I really got into this book. That would have so ruined it for me. I'm only on page 300 or so now, so I still have over half left, but I'll probably have it finished by next week - if my family will let me:0)

I still don't know how to link to other people's blogs in my posts. Kathi was going to email me how to do it, but if she did I probably deleted her as SPAM. Somebody tell me please. I want to give credit where credit is due.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Intent to Graduate

I filled out my Intent to Graduate form yesterday for my associates degree in business. It's only taken me 20 years for a 2 year degree, but hey, it's an accomplishment to me and one of the goals I set for myself. I wanted to have at least an associate's before my daughter went to college. She is a senior this year - so I'm just under the wire.

I have way more credits than I need, they just didn't work for the degree, that comes from years of taking computer courses & courses that matched with my schedule instead of my degree. I really enjoy going to school and will probably be a "lifetime learner" I won't stop with this degree but will work another 20 years probably to get my 4 year undergrad degree, but whatever it takes:0)

My family is going to Six Flags tomorrow. It's the last weekend my husband has free until after school starts so I wanted all of us to do something together. It should be a fun day - hopefully it won't rain.

My husband is being a real grouch lately. He has a herniated disc in his back and I know it's really painful, but he still goes on with his life. He plays softball, works out, etc - the doc told him he needed to get surgery on it in February, but he didn't want to because softball was starting and now it hurts really bad but he doesn't want to plan surgery until December - til after hunting season is over. I feel bad for him in some ways, but it's so hard to hear about how much it hurts and I feel bad that I can't do anything to fix it. He's grouchy with all of us and last night he said he wasn't even going to go to Six Flags. I'm sure it will get better after the surgery.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Free Store

My youngest daughter has a new friend. Well, actually she talked quite a bit about this girl during the last part of the school year. They talked on the phone alot and Sonya wanted her to come over. My kids all have friends over CONSTANTLY, so it would only stand to reason that this girl would visit with us and maybe spend the night. To put things in perspective, we have four kids and have not had more than four or five nights since school got out that we have not had at least one extra kid spend the night. That's just how it is at our house.

Anywhoo, the mom didn't want her daughter to come over for some reason or another so I even sent a note to school telling her that we would love for her daughter to visit for a couple of hours or possibly spend the night. No response. Sonya didn't understand & frankly neither did I, but oh well, she got over it.

Fast forward to a month or so after school got out, we're at Wal-mart and Sonya says there is my friend - let's say Hi. Well, her mom was just outside the door smoking a cigarette, riding a scooter and she had 2 or 3 kids with her - one of which was a couple year old boy with just a diaper on and a snotty nose and the others, well, let's just say they didn't have on their Sunday best. Don't get me wrong, I run to Wal-mart all the time with my hair thown up, no make up and a t-shirt & shorts or sweats. So, maybe that was this kind of a day for them too.

So we said hello and the girl wanted to come home with us, but the mom said no. OK, we'll do it another time.

So last week the girl calls again & says her mom said it's OK if she comes over to spend the night so I go get her because they don't have a car (hence the scooter). I pull up at their apartment and the whole clan comes out to look - not say hello or tell the girl bye, just to look. So she comes over and it's 90 degrees, she's got on a long sleeved boy's shirt and I tell them to go get their swimsuits on so we can get in the pool and she says she doesn't have one - she only has swim suit bottoms and a shirt so Sonya wants to swim in her t-shirt & bottoms - OK, fine.

After she left, Sonya said 'Mom, I really feel sorry for my friend. She only had 3 outfits at school and some of them were boy clothes. I'm glad we don't shop at the "Free Store". I just smiled at her & told her I was glad too. Almost made me glad to get up & come to work today.

My son asked me 'Mom, what makes people keep having kids like that if they can't afford to take care of them? Isn't her mom embarrassed that the girl doesn't have any clothes & that they're poor like that?' I told him we don't know anything about them and that maybe they are happy with their lives. I really hope they are.

Monday, July 16, 2007


I lost my mom to lung cancer when I was 22. My daughter was 2 and I was 5 months pregnant with my son. My mother was the greatest grandmother anyone could ever have and I so wish she were here for my kids. She was so loving and would have been such a great part of their lives.

My mother-in-law is quite a bit different than my mom. For one, she is 70 and my mom would have been 53 (she died when she was 38) so they came from very different times and my mil loves my kids and she loves me. She has always treated Heather and I as part of this family and never treated Heather one iota differently than any of her other grandkids and for that I love her dearly. I think that God knew he was going to need my mom in Heaven and that my own dad is a schmuck, so he gave me Darrell's parents to keep as my own:) Anyway, she loves in her own way and loves somewhat differently than my mom. In the past, this has bugged me a little, OK, sometimes alot - we've heard it 100 times - she said she raised her kids and didn't want to raise anymore. OK, she has about 32 or 33 grandkids (I lost count) so I can see where she may get overwhelmed with kids.

Also, she insists on everything being equal for her kids and grandkids, which really means nobody really gets anything (they're on a fixed income - very lowly fixed). This is fine too except that only 3 of her 7 kids do anything for her - help her with EVERYTHING and constantly do for her and she doesn't even see half of her grandkids - I mean, she has not seen half of them in at least 10 years. So I don't understand why my kids can't get something really special from their grandma now and then (even if it's something she picks up at a yardsale) but she's afraid the others will get mad. She is getting better at this as we've been kind of talking to her gently about it. She gave me some Glade plug-ins she didn't want and tried to give me some canisters I didn't want. She also bought me some glasses at a yardsale when I mentioned that I didn't have that many, so she is getting better. EDITED - This sounds really bitchy and I didn't mean it to sound like I want all these material things, but I don't have time to reword it now. Just so you know I don't mean to be bitchy:)

Anyway, this is not why I started this conversation. (Is it technically a conversation if you're blogging it?) Anyway, we found out a couple of weeks ago that she has a spot on her lung that they're pretty sure is cancer. We'll find out more tomorrow. I love this woman, of course she irritates me sometimes, but so did my own mother (I just have to remember that sometimes when I begin to put her on a pedestal) Everyone gets irritated with their mothers & especially their mil's right? I just hope and pray that everything turns out alright with her. It would be like losing two moms to this terrible disease and I know her kids will go crazy without her. I hope this is a scare that brings us all closer together and helps us remember what family is for.

I just wanted to reflect on my two moms and how much I love them both and how much I hate that damned lung cancer.

Friday, July 13, 2007

I'm an all star momma

Three out of four of my kids have made the all-star team in their baseball leagues this summer.

I knew Colby would make it. He's 10 - playing up with the 11 year olds. DJ was a little more iffy. He's 14, and he is excellent, but he's had this thing going with this coach for the last 7 years and I thought somehow the coach would put a stop to it. Turns out this coach has the 15 year old team so my DJ gets to play with the 14 y/o all-stars. Whew!

Sonya is 8 and she's one of the only two girls on her baseball team. Everyone else is a boy and I absolutely cannot believe they picked her to be on the all-stars. Only 2 kids from her team got to go and she is one of them. I'm so proud of all of them. They get the sports thing from their dad - cuz I suck at them all. I was a cheerleader and damned proud of it. So it my 17 y/o.

Remember, we live in Missouri. Colby's team could end up making it to North Dakota, DJ could end up in California. Luckily Sonya just has one game in Potosi (our hometown) and she's done. I don't know how far the boys will go, but I sure am one proud momma no matter what happens.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I don't wanna work...

I just wanna bang on the drums all day.

Really, I DO NOT want to work. I'm having a helluva time getting back into it after only 6 days off. Why? Maybe I should look for something else, but the pay here is soooo great that I don't think we could live without it. But my commute is sooooo long and I'm sooooo tired. WOW, I think I've been around my kids too long. They taught me how to whine:)

Maybe I better just keep working....

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


I don't really know how to do this tagging thing, but Kathi had a "Tell us 8 things about yourself" post and I'm going to try to come up with 8 things.

1. I absolutely love getting a pedicure (more feet stuff).

2. I have a major crush on Nick Lachey. Not like an "I want to marry him" crush, but an "I'd let him eat crackers" sort of crush.

3. I spend way too much time on the internet when I should be working. (Can I help it I'm smart enough to get 40 hours of work done in 20?)

4. I love to try new foods. I'll try anything - shark, elk meat, sushi - whatever and I love going to new restaurants.

5. I like to watch teenage shows like One Tree Hill. I say it's so I can talk to my kids about what we watch together, but I secretly like them.

6. I honestly do not care if there are dirty dishes in the sink. I would much rather sit around watching One Tree Hill with my kids. I'll worry about the house when they're all grown up. (Or I'll watch teenage shows with my grandkids:)).

7. I have been to 10 different states to watch my hubby's softball tournaments and I always buy a new bra at the outlet store when I go on a softball trip.

8. If I'm walking down the street and I see a hot guy, I'll suck in my gut & stick my chest out a little. I don't know why, I'm not interested in other men (except Nick Lachey), but it just gives me a little boost if someone else is looking at me. Kinda like - you know I still have it (a little:)).

Thanks, Kathi (I don't know how to link your blog here) That was fun.

Independence Day

Tomorrow is Independence Day and on my way to work this morning, I was trying to think of my favorite childhood memory for the 4th of July. Funny thing is, I couldn't really think of one. I have always felt like I had a pretty good childhood, though others would think not. My dad is an alcoholic. He is 54, he has 6 grandkids that he never sees, 2 daughters that can't even get him to come over to pick up his Christmas/Father's Day presents. He lives on his own terms, does what he wants and will never, ever grow up. He drank when we were kids and would come home and fight with our mom. Sometimes he would stay gone for 2-3 days and my mom would have to call in sick for him so he wouldn't lose his job. I hated my dad when we were kids and now I just feel sorry for him. I love him and I'd do anything for him, but he makes me so damned mad. How can he not consider himself lucky for what he has. He has two wonderful daughters that love him, that are self-sufficient, raising families and genuinely good people who are willing to give him money or whatever he needs. He has 6 grandkids that think he is something else. They don't get to see him often, but when they do they know it's something special. How can he not want to take part in that?

Oh well, off-topic, but before I move on I want to describe my mom, too. She met my dad when she was 13 and never had another boyfriend or lover. They married when she was 15, he 17 and she had me 5 months later while he was in Germany in the Army. They always told the story that they loved each other so much and wanted to get married but their parents wouldn't let them because they were so young so my dad came up with the perfect plan so that they could get married - they got pregnant!!! Anyway, my mom was the absolute best mother ever. She worked 2 or 3 jobs to make sure my sister and I had what we needed. I don't ever remember going without but I know we were poor. I remember times that our electric or phone was shut off and we moved every single year of my elementary school days (I can only assume it was because we didn't pay the rent,(maybe)) Anyway, she was so loving and so good-hearted, she would do anything for anyone. My mom passed away when she was 38 years old from lung cancer. My first daughter was 2 years old and she was the apple of my mom's eye. Oh, how I wish she was still here to see all of her grandkids. They would love her - oh so much.

OK, back to 4th of July. I can just remember going to this big lake in Flat River, MO and BBQing, my dad drinking Busch and my mom drinking 1 1/2 little bitty beers & having to take the bucket to bed with her:0) Letting off snakes & sparklers & being afraid of firecrackers & bottle rockets because they might "blow your fingers off" or "put your eyes out". I don't remember any specific year on Independence Day or I don't remember any talk of what the holiday meant to our country. I'd like to try to do something with my kids this year that will help them to remember our troops and what they're going through to keep our country free. We'll definitely talk about it tomorrow and maybe we'll go online and adopt a soldier or two to bring home the idea that the soldiers are real and they're fighting for our freedom. I don't agree with this war. I feel like sometimes we stick our noses in where they don't belong, but I 100% support our troops and pray that God keeps them safe.

Happy Independence Day!