Monday, July 26, 2010

An open letter to the intruder in my home

All right -- I put up with you eating my food......

I cleaned up after your messes......

I didn't even protest when you started chewing on the edge of my kitchen cabinet -- it will be replaced soon enough..... (and besides, the dogs actually started that damage.....)

I didn't even get upset about you chewing a hole in the bag of wildflower seeds I never planted this spring (it got too hot for planting things, anyway.....)

You've been elusive enough to avoid all the methods I've employed to get you out of my home, humanely or otherwise...

But when you decided to start digging holes and nest in MY ORCHIDS......

That is WAR, my friend!!  You have crossed the line!!  Retreat or DIE!!!


Friday, July 23, 2010

"It's like a heatwave....."

My apologies to Martha and the Vandellas, but with this horrible weather we've been having, that old song is firmly stuck in my head.......

It's like a heatwave, burning in my heart
I can't keep from crying
Tearing me apart

I know the song wasn't about the weather, but somehow it seems rather appropriate right now!!  This heatwave is most definitely tearing me apart -- and just about everybody else I know.  Right now, as I'm typing, it's 10:30 pm, and it's still 90 degrees outside.  Unbelievable......

We've been having Vacation Bible School at our church this week, and tonight it was so hot, almost all the activities were moved indoors.  Tomorrow's supposed to be even worse -- a heat index of 105 - 110 degrees???  Ouch......  Even my dogs hate this weather (why do they call it "dog days of summer", anyway??)

So very glad I live in an age where there's central air conditioning........  Yes, I am spoiled....!!


Looking official.....

Four weeks until the wedding and counting down....... Today Morgan and Solomon went out and got this:

This wedding is looking more and more "real" every day!!


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Exciting news!

After a great deal of thought, debate, prayer, and consulting the check book (hey, weddings are EXPENSIVE!!), I've decided to take Mackenzie and I to Honduras in October to go to my nephew's wedding! (Here's the engagement story.)  I just told Kenzie, and she is practically exploding with excitement over this decision!  This little girl is only 11 and already turning into a world traveler!  She's been on more flights already than I probably was in the first 25 years of my life!!

In case you're wondering why my sister & family live in Honduras, here's a link to their ministry website: .  They've been there since (I believe??) 2002, so the kids have grown up there, and it's not surprising that Russell's found a Honduran wife.  We are VERY excited to be able to travel to a new country for this special event!

(And at the moment I'm typing this, my sister doesn't even know yet that I just bought the tickets!!  Hey, Trish -- did you find out here first, or did mom call before you read this??)


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The dresses have arrived -- and so have all the babies!!

Such a busy, busy week -- no time for writing, just SURVIVAL!  I've had a birth last Wednesday PM into Thursday AM; another one late Thursday PM into Friday AM; and then another in the early hours of Monday!  So many babies!! 

While I was at Friday's birth, Morgan texted me to let me know that the wayward bridesmaids' gowns had finally arrived!!  One day, when I've got more time and I'm feeling a bit calmer, I will have to write in detail about our ordeal with House of Brides.  For now, it will suffice to say that they will NEVER get a good recommendation from me for future clients.  The order placed with them was by far the most stressful part of the wedding planning, and I can't believe how unhelpful they were. 

Other wedding plans are going well; food is selected and will be ordered shortly; Solomon's mom has the plans for the rehearsal dinner well under control; we're working on lots of little tiny details, but all in all, I think things are going OK.  Either we're pretty well-organized or I'm missing something major that will come crashing down soon!!!  I don't feel terribly stressed about anything, so that is GOOD!!!  I still need to find time to go dress shopping for ME, but other than that, things are going pretty well!

Bryanna texted yesterday and sent pictures of her apartment in Abilene.  It sounds like they're getting settled quickly and making some new friends, so it's all good.  Hope their cat Patches is settling in, too -- that cat does NOT like change in her life.

And I think I need to be off and hitting the road...... need to get to the library today, need to take care of ordering some items, need to meet with Solomon's mom about some things -- AND Vacation Bible School is going on this week at our church in the evenings.  Never a dull moment!!


Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I finally feel like we're starting to make real progress in planning this wedding.  So much effort for one day -- I hope we can get most everything done well enough in advance that we can relax and ENJOY the day!

Things that are done or well underway:
     *  church rented
     *  wedding dress purchased AND altered
     *  premarital counseling for Morgan & Solomon has begun
     *  still don't know about the "first choice dresses", but the back-up dresses are all here and the girls have tried them on to make sure they fit -- so the bridesmaids have SOMETHING to wear, anyway!!
     *  invitations finished and mailed, and responses starting to come back!
     *  we now have a pretty basic idea of the foods that will be served -- still have to order it after final head count is done
     *  I made trip to three local Jewish deli's and/or bakeries and got an education in kosher laws!!  I hope to sit down with Solomon's mom sometime this week and plan out what the menu will be for our guests who keep kosher
     *  tentative decisions have been made on the flowers
     *  the photographer has been hired
     *  the videographer has been hired
     *  a string quartet has been hired (not as extravagant as it sounds!!  my youngest daughter's violin teacher and three of her top students will be playing at a REALLY reasonable price!!)
     *  music for the reception is being worked on and a friend of ours will be providing a sound system for us
     *  working on set-up plans for the tables and food for the reception
    So all in all, things are starting to come together...... now, if only the house remodelling would get finished soon, I would feel SOOOOO much better!!


    Friday, July 9, 2010

    The renovations begin!

    Well, the installation of the laminate floors and new foyer linoleum has begun. We didn't get quite as far along as we'd hoped to today, but we definitely got a really good start. We ended up having to do a lot of the cutting indoors because of the heat, so there was a LOT of sawdust generated, necessitating a lot of cleaning up. Here are some pictures from the day:

    The first boards being placed

    The piano was put in the corner just to keep it out of the way, but I kind of like it there -- it just might stay there!

    We decided to let everybody sign the plywood before we covered it with the laminate.  Who knows?  Maybe in 20 or 30 years, the next owner will tear up the floor and "find" us!!

    Nelson signed for himself and his wife, Sarah.....

    Morgan signed for herself and soon-to-be-husband Solomon.....

    We signed for Bryanna and Mike, since they weren't part of this project today......

    Mackenzie not only signed, she traced her hand!!

    And then Morgan decided we couldn't leave the dogs out, so she "drew" their signatures, too!

    A look down the hallway as Josh works on the flooring.....

    ......and a view down the stairs before work on them began.

    Nelson works to set the last planks in the dining room while Morgan supervises!

    A view down the nearly-finished hallway.  We still need to do all the trim work and the closet doors still need to be re-hung, but it looks SO much better!

    Josh is working on the stairs -- the only part of the project that will be hardwood.  Here's the hard part of all this -- he's putting in oak boards, which still need to be stained and polyurethaned.  This means they need to be kept dry and stain-free until then.  Uh...... with two dogs in the house???  And a rainstorm predicted for tomorrow?  Now THIS ought to be fun....... hah.......  I think we'll be putting plastic over the stairs for the next few days.

    Hope you enjoyed looking at our renovations!!  And hopefully, more pictures to follow in the next few days!


    Thursday, July 8, 2010

    They're "lost" in their own house!

    We have been on a major clean-up/remodeling kick here for the last two weeks, and Taylor and Cody are beside themselves. They can't figure out the chaos, the furniture being moved around, the dog crates in a new place, the carpeting being ripped out........ Yes, the world as they knew it is being totally disrupted, and they are NOT happy.

    Poor Cody is probably taking it the worst. His crate has always been in Mackenzie's room, from day one. However, he's soooo big that he's now got this ENORMOUS crate, and it was entirely too big to keep in her bedroom -- not to mention the fact that we just re-arranged and re-decorated her room (while she was at camp!!) into a more early-teen appropriate style.

    We've moved Cody's crate downstairs to the family room, and you would've thought we were exiling him to Siberia!! The only time he's ever in the crate is when we're going somewhere or when he's trying to escape from Taylor -- so it's not like he spends a great deal of time in there. But he does not like it being downstairs -- I hope he'll get used to it soon.

    Taylor -- well, she's just freaking out about everything. The vacuum cleaner has ALWAYS been her enemy, and now it's running all the time. The carpeting being ripped up and carried out apparently is very frightening as well!! All the huge bags of trash accumulating from carpet padding -- those must be barked at and kept under control!! And all the tools and hammering -- she's just jumping out of her skin half the time. Wish the poor thing could settle down and just RELAX!!

    So finally, tomorrow, we've got a guy coming to help us install the new wood laminate in the living room, dining room, stairs, foyer and hallway. I'll have to get pictures and post them after the floor's done. I can't WAIT to get rid of the carpeting -- I'm hoping it will make dog hair clean-up much easier!


    Wednesday, July 7, 2010

    Full day.....

    From getting up early to finish laundry and shopping, and get ready for Bryanna's wedding.......

    ........ to this..........

    .... to small dinner out afterwards with family.......

    ....... complete with family weirdness.......

    .......... to stopping by the jeweler's afterwards to check on the availability of the wedding ring Morgan has her eye on.......

    ......... to coming home and beginning removal of carpet in living room, dining room, and hallway in preparation for installation of new wood flooring on Friday.....

    ..........only to find water damage near the back door........

    ........ which HOPEFULLY can be easily fixed so  the floor installation is not held up.......

    ........ and add in two stressed-out dogs who can't figure out what on earth is going on in their house for the last week and a half.......

    ....... and add in several exhaused, stressed-out humans in the house......

    ....... and that will pretty much describe the state of affairs around here right now.  I think it's time for some sleep....... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....................




    Friday, July 2, 2010

    Mackenzie's big surprise!

    Morgan and I can't wait for Mackenzie to get home tomorrow and see what we've done with her room!!  We took out a lot of trash, moved all the crafts downstairs, eliminated lots of toys that were too young for her, and then re-decorated the room -- all in four days.  What a huge job!!  But here are the results:

    We still have some art and photos to hang on the walls to complete the room, but it is 1000% better than it was on Sunday!!  I think she will be very pleased and surprised!!