Monday, August 31, 2009

The girls!

Morgan, Madisyn (aka Madi) & Bridgette (aka Gigi) They are 12, 11 & 10 years old! Yes, Barbara had stair stepper kids!! :))

Gigi & Madi

Me & Morgan

I named a few restaurants that we can go to for lunch and the girls chose Coltons. Because I said they have really good salads. When we were seated the hostess put a bucket of peanuts on the table. All the girls looked at the bucket like....what the heck do you do with that. I think it was Madi who said, What do you do with the shells....I said, you throw them on the floor. The look on their faces were priceless!!! They thought I was lying!! They had never been to a restaurant where you eat peanuts. So I cracked open a peanut and threw the shell on the floor and they all started giggling!! It was SO funny!!! They had fun throwing those shells on the floor. Especially Gigi!!

We all ordered a fried chicken salad. I knew how huge they were but also knew that someone in this big family would eat the leftovers!!!

The salads were as big as Madi & Gigi.

The onion is almost as big as Gigi's face!

I wish I had more pics of Morgan....she doesn't like to have her picture taken.

We went and visited their cousin Emily who had her wisdom teeth pulled earlier that morning. We stopped off at Kroger first to buy her some ice cream.....the girls all picked out a Haagen Dazs mini. We were walking the store getting a few things for John and Gigi dropped hers and it went under the bread rack.....we couldn't reach it......we were all laughing so hard! They were saying how it was going to melt and make a mess and wondered if anyone would find it. We walked back to the freezer so she could get another.

It was all giggles with these girls!! They are a hoot!! I tell you my sister and her husband are doing a tremendous job at raising these kids!! They are ALL so polite just very well mannered.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Elijah (the blond on the right) is 8 years old. He is Barb's oldest son. When it was his turn to spend time with Aunt Betty he wanted his cousin Flynn to go too. They chose to eat Mexican so we went to my favorite restaurant, El Canaveral.

It was funny listening to these two carry on a conversation. They were talking about the TV and trying to figure out what the people were saying since it was in Spanish.

Kids love cheese dip & salsa!! When it came time to order I asked what they wanted. Flynn being here several times knew he wanted.... a taco with cheese and meat. Elijah said, "I'll eat the same thing!" He is so sweet! They enjoyed those tacos!! Oh, and the pepsi that I allowed them to get. Shhh don't tell the moms!

After lunch we went back to my house. They wanted to go "workout" in my workout room. Then they wanted to watch a movie...Over the Hedge.....I told them that there were pops in the freezer. They were skinny cow pops but ice cream pops none the less....they had 2 each.

While they were watching the movie Flynn pulled his tooth out. Then lost it. Elijah & I were looking for it while Flynn was trying to stop the blood. We found the tooth and put it in a baggie.

Here is the new smile!! I love the way Elijah has his arm around his favorite cousin. That shows how sweet this little boy is. He has the sweetest demeanor and is sweet like that to everyone! He also gives the best hugs and has since he was little.

There friendship as cousins picks right back up like they haven't been apart. These two will always remain close.

It was fun having these two for a few hours. It was a very memorable day!

Saturday, August 29, 2009


My sister Barbara and her family came down from New Hampshire earlier this month. We usually don't get to see each other but every two years or so. She has 5 children, 3 girls and 2 boys. I decided to spend some quality time with each of them. Evan, 4 years old, was first.

We went to Wal-Mart to buy some groceries. I let him pick out anything he wanted. He chose, popcorn, hot dogs, powdered donuts, juice boxes, fruity pebbles, pop tarts and bones for his puppy, Annabelle. Evan told me, "Aunt Betty, you look goofy in your overalls and watermelon shirt". :)

After eating 3 hot dogs (last one without bun) and 1/2 the bag of popcorn, Evan was ready to play. We ran around the yard with the dogs, went upstairs and lifted weights...hilarious....watched Beverly Hills Chihuahua....I thought he'd want to nap....Oh no, this one has the energy of a 16 year old!

He decided he wanted to cook some dinner for his mom & dad. I immediately thought of my girls when they were little when he asked that question. They would ask to cook and I would let them pick whatever ingredients they wanted to use and no matter how bad it came out....I'd eat it!!! (little did I know Barb lets her kids do the same so he has done this before)

Evan went through the cupboard and picked out Blackeye peas, Coconut milk, Artichoke hearts(they expired anyway) and saltine crackers.

He opened up the cans with little help.

Poured it all into the saucepan....look at the grin on his face.

Doesn't look to bad! He called it, A Surprise!

While it was simmering on the stove he decided it needed some spice. He grabbed the salt & pepper, shook some in there. Added some olive oil. Opened the spice cabinet and he went to town. Paprika, Italian seasoning, Cayenne pepper, garlic, Schezwan spice to name a few. He added about 10 crackers to the mixture making it very thick!

Yummy, huh!! Mommy & Daddy enjoyed it very much when they came over to pick Evan up! *wink wink*

It was fun having a 4 year old again. Although, I was a little worn out it was so worth that time we spent with each other. I miss him. He turns 5 next month and how I wish they lived closer so I could spend his birthday with him.

I haven't been blogging much lately because I have been trying to get used to being back to work. I am pooped by time I get home. I am hoping to blog all this week. Just a warning....they will ALL be about what we did when my sister and family were in town!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

First week

The first week back to school (well, 3 days) went great!

Here are before & after pictures of my nasty bus. Which by the way is 13 years old, 66 passenger, air brakes, flat nose, and drives totally different then my little 12 passenger/2 wheel chair bus I had for 16 years.

This bus was so nasty! The steering wheel was sticky....there was so much dirt and candy wrappers under the brake pedals. The seat belt had sticky crap on it too.

Here it is clean!! It only took me 1 hour to clean this area alone!!! I used SO much Clorox.

This is what it looks like over every window. Writing all over the bus! It's permanent.....I could not get it off!

Here I am afterward sweating my butt off. My clothes were totally soaked all the way. But, the bus is CLEAN!!

My bus run is way more different then I imagined it would be. I am so use to having these sweet children who get on the bus with a huge grin and acknowledge me when I say good morning to them and sit quietly.

The elementary kids are wonderful (well, most of them....I have 3 or 4 that I can see are going to give me trouble). I have this one little boy, Joshua who gives me a hug when he gets on and off the bus. He never says a word...just smiles and hugs me. It makes my heart melt! Day 2 and 3 I had 1 child accidentally get on my 2 I told the little boy I was going to have to take him back to his school and momma would come get him.....he started bawling....I'm talking BIG tears....Oh my goodness.....I didn't know what to do! He kept saying, "I know where I live" so I said, "Where?" he said, "I live in a brown house with a blue van" awe, that was so sweet but doesn't help me at all!! His grandma was waiting at the school when we arrived. Day 3 I had a little girl get on the the end of the route I looked at her and said, "why didn't you get off at your stop?" She replied, "I live over there" pointing across the tracks to the school. So I took her back to the school and found out she is a Walker....she literally lives right next door to the school!!! I can't wait to learn faces and names so that doesn't continue to happen.

Middle school route.....well, let's just say the ones who know me are so sweet to me......the others won't acknowledge me At. All. They are fairly quiet in the morning.....but come afternoon and they are excited school is out and ready to be home....they are SO LOUD!!!! They get up and switch seats and ignore me when I tell them to sit down. I think some of them are trying my patience.

I'm getting use to driving a big body is so sore from using muscle I haven't used in awhile. Especially my right calf from smashing on the accelerator pedal (pedal slants and you have to push down really hard) my back from turning the huge steering wheel and my neck and arms from holding on to that steering wheel (actually that's probably from stress!) :)
Good thing is I'm not stressed anymore and I have become comfortable with the bus!!

This is the year of "NEW" for me. New bus, new classroom, new speech therapist, new principal, and new kids!

I'm loving working at the school this year!!! Everything is so relaxed and upbeat! I love my new students....they are a hoot! The therapist is awesome....he is going to be fun to work under. The classroom is great and the principal is wonderful....I really like her a lot!

Now, If my body will hurry up and adjust to the 10 hour days it will all be good!! I went to bed Friday and slept for 12 hours!! That is something I never do.

It is going to be an awesome year!

Monday, August 17, 2009

So much to do.....

Summer is coming to an end.

I have sooo much to do still. I have been spending the past 10 days with my baby sister and her family who are in town from New Hampshire. I have so much to blog about but I haven't had time to sit at the computer long enough to load the photos and write the commentary.

School starts on Wednesday.

I am no longer a special ed school bus driver. I have 2 schools...1 elementary and then the middle school I work at....a total of 67 children. Totally different then the 6 kids I've had over the past 18 years!!! I have a route that happens to be one of the three worse routes in the district. It is in a pretty rough neighborhood. Oh, my bus is freaking twice the size as my last one! That really doesn't bother me....what bothers me is it's OLD, filthy, the seats are torn, there is writing ALL in the inside......when I told the head mechanic about this he said, Oh yeah, well it'll only get worse with those kids.............great!!!!!

I'll be laying down the rules before they exit the bus Wednesday morning!

I'm actually looking forward to this new journey! I feel like this is the route I am supposed to have because maybe one of those precious darlings needs me! Some of those kids parents are NEVER home and some live in dilapidated houses with 3 other families.

So I am off to go "try" to clean the nasty bus as best I can. Then I need to go to the school....I'm swapping classroom so moving all that furniture will be my workout for the day. Maybe I should do the school first 'cause the bus is gonna make me feel gross!

Friday, August 14, 2009

I did it!


It only took almost a year to do it but who cares....I DID IT!!!!

I got on the scale this morning and was in shock! I just stared at that number in disbelief! Then I started jumping up and down (quietly 'cause John was sleeping) and squealing like a little kid!! Then I got on it again just to be sure it was right!!

I went to the closet and got out my "someday" jeans......oh, how I've missed wearing these jeans.

So in all my excitement I decided to take silly photos and share with all of you my success!!

It feels so good to be back in my favorite jeans! It feels so good to be at a weight that makes me happy!!!

In all I lost....13 pounds.....and a total of 8 inches!!!

I could not have reached this goal without was fun working out with him 6 days a week. He also supported me in eating a clean diet!!

I'm flying on cloud 9 today!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Last Tuesday at 4 am I woke up to howling wind and the house rocking. It got stronger by the minute. John woke up a minute or so after me and turned on the TV. The radar showed the storm cell right over our town...reds and blacks all in it... indicating really bad hail and rotation....then we saw tornado warning for our town! Great....our company was down stairs sleeping and we had to go wake them up to take shelter after they drove 18 hours to get here.

So I run down stairs and the wind was SO loud....I banged on David's door to get up and get in the closet....tornado!! David said, Seriously?? John yelled out YES! Seriously!!

Then the power went out!

I got on my phone to see the still said tornado warning. So we stayed in the closets until it was all cleared.

We did have some damage.
This is my front porch. John had already picked up the rocking of them knocked out the white pole (left of picture) but he was able to fix that. The wind sucked my plant right out of the pot!

We had soffitt damage and on the other side of the house minor siding damage. We had a tree snap as well.

Our neighbors across the street had a huge tree fall on top of their house.

The news had said that the worse damage was between hwys 31 & 38.....we are 2 miles from each of those. No one ever confirmed it was a tornado. We believe it was a F-1....we have never been that scared during a storm before. It sounded so different.

We were without electricity for 14 1/2 hours!!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


This was the most beautiful wedding I have ever attended. The simplicity of it made it elegant & beautiful. The natural elements they incorporated in every detail stood out and made a statement.

Tori was a beautiful maid of honor

Here comes the bride...I got so emotional...Natalie is like my 3rd daughter. I looked up at Tori at this moment and I could tell she was holding back tears.

Man & Wife

Can you see the bird nest on the brides bouquet? These bouquets were amazing and they smelled so good! Can you see the love on Nat & Luke's faces!!? Pure love.


Meg & I waiting for the wedding to start. It was a beautiful day, around 85, they had fans on all the chairs for the guests.
Meg & her girlfriend, Hillary. After the wedding these two headed north east on a road trip (they are in New York today).

Tori & I...I can't believe she is still in those heels.

My girls....all grown their friends weddings!!

Natalie & Luke got everyone to dance....Nat had been dancing with her husband and then grabbed Tori and started dancing with her. I got choked up again watching these two giggle and dance.

Memories of them younger running through the house....the laughter that came from Tori's room at 3 am.....the stories the two of them would tell John & I after a forensics tournament or a trip to the lake. Now the memory of Natalie & Luke united...Tori being apart of the wedding...

Although Natalie is now a married woman, and her attention is now on her husband, I know she will always be there for Tori and their friendship will never dissipate. She married a man who loves Tori as much as she does!

To the Love Birds~ I wish you both a happy, healthy, prosperous marriage that is Christ centered. God knew what he was doing when he matched you two up. May you be blessed throughout this new journey.

Monday, August 3, 2009


I was going to post today about my weekend in Missouri. Tori's best friend got married.

But, sad to report my brother-in-law (actually ex- but he remained close to our family) passed away Sunday morning in his sleep. He was 45!

So I have been cleaning, washing sheets etc... getting ready for family that will be coming in from out of town to attend the wake and funeral.

I'll be back to the blog world this weekend.

RIP will be missed.