Friday, December 31, 2004

A Distorted Hello

For those of you who use the program "Hello" to post pics on your blogs, I need a bit of help. For some reason when I select a photo taken with my digital cam which I have saved in JPEG looks fine on my computer...fine on everyone else's computer...and fine when I use "Hello" to select it...but when it actually uploads to my blog, it is distorted. Any ideas on how to correct this? I've tried resizing the no avail.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Oh Fudge! Literally

"Oh Fudge" has become my favourite exclaimation to use around the house when either I injure myself or something doesn't exactly go in accordance to my plans. It started when I had kids in my effort not to say some of the other ..not so kid-friendly words that begin with the same phonetic prefix. Anyway...I recently discovered that I use that phrase more than I had realized when I dropped the lid to one of my pots in the kitchen and the 18 month old comes up behind me and says "Oh Fudge" in this adorable little baby voice! I had to look twice to make sure it actually came from her and not the older one. I cracked up laughing! I digress. The real story I intended to tell revolves around a chocolate cake that my husband's grandmother made us for Christmas. We had eaten several slices ( was delicious) and the remainder was sitting in a tupperware cake plate on my stove top in the kitchen. The way our house is laid out, there are two entrances to the kitchen. One doorway into the den/dining area and the other into the main hallway. We keep baby gates up across both entrances which keeps the kids in the den and denies them access to the rest of the house. That is about the only way I can get any work done without having to watch them quite so closely. (Or so I thought). Anyway...the stove in the kitchen sits right next to the doorway which was barred by a gate. I had taken a few minutes to go to the bathroom while the girls were content in the den. All of a sudden I hear Cat scream "No Sister!" followed quickly by "Mommy! Sister's in big trouble!" Oh fudge! I think to myself as I hurry up and finish my business and paper work. I'm hopping down the hall pulling my jeans up as I go and have just finished attending to the zipper when I look up and see what used to be my adorable, pajama clad 18 month old toddling toward me. She is covered quite literally from head to toe in chocolate cake and chocolate frosting. I can just see her eyes peeking out from a completely brown face. It's all over her clothing and between her toes. It's obvious that she has gotten into the rest of G'ma's cake...but how? Did I leave it on the table in the dining room? was on the stove. It was then that I noticed the kitchen chair pushed over to the gate. I had promised the girls a piece after they finished their lunch. Apparantly Ash decided she wasn't going to wait on me to serve her. While Cat sat calmly and finished her meal, Ash pushed the chair over to the gate...crawled up in it...and pulled the cake off the stove into the floor. Luckily for her it landed right side up and the top popped off. She had helped herself to a little bit of cake and a WHOLE lot of frosting!!! I didn't know where to begin to recover from this disaster. There were little chocolate hand and foot prints all over the floors and walls...table...some toys...everywhere! What was left of the cake was sitting in a huge, gooey pile in the floor. I finally decided to clean the baby hands and feet first - at least that way she couldn't make copies of the ones I was already scrubbing off the walls. I finally got it all cleaned up and dumped her chocolate covered rear into the bathtub which promptly turned into a muddy chocolate swap...complete with little vinyl bathtub toy frogs. I was really too stunned to get onto Ash properly. It was one of those situations where you kinda have to laugh to keep from crying. When asked what she had to say for herself, Ash turned her adorable little pigtailed head in my direction...gave me a huge chocolate covered grin...and said "I EAT!" I guess that about summed it up.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

In the Spirit of Christmas

I just found this blog today and was struck by this woman's burden to bear this Christmas. Just after hurrican Ivan came through, she was abandoned by her husband who is also purposely witholding from her the insurance money much needed to make repairs on the home she shares with her two daughters. Part of said insurance money was also supposed to be used to replace most of her daughter, Amanda's clothing and belongings that were destroyed by the storm. Up until two days ago... the three ladies did not even have a Christmas tree due to their financial situation. As it is, Dawn is struggling to provide a Christmas for her girls while the soon to be ex-husband intentionally withholds family funds preventing her from succeeding. If you believe this blogger is for real and can find it in your heart to is her blog link. . I'm sure that anything you can do will be appreciated...whether you make a financial donation, send cards or gifts (even if they are late), or just offer a few words of encouragement and prayers.

God Bless to All
Have a Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 19, 2004


*Whew* I am ALMOST finished wrapping all the Christmas gifts for this year. I'm done with Santa stuff, I'm done with my household's things, and most of my other family and friends' gifts. I am waiting on two more things to come in that I ordered and they had better come in this week before Friday or I'm going to be seriously ticked off. Anyway, once Christmas is over I'll be glad if I don't see wrapping paper of any kind for a whole year! In addition to wrapping all of our gifts to give, I had to wrap all of my Avon customers' holiday orders as well. My fingers are paper cut and my thumb is rough on the tip from tearing the tape off the dispenser 50 million times. I can't believe how cold it has gotten. They are talking about some snow in the forecast for tomorrow. Ugh! We went with Hersch and Aurora, their daughters, and one of their daughter's boyfriend to Taco Bell for dinner tonight after we exchanged gifts at their house. A little too much running around in the freezing weather for my taste. Oh, and to top it off...Ash (my one year old) dumped a large fountain drink all over herself and the other Ash (Hersch and Aurora's youngest daughter). Being soaking wet in below freezing temperatures is NOT a good thing. I was afraid she was going to turn into a fat little popscicle. We made it home okay though, and got the munchin dry and tucked into bed. I think I'm going to go tuck myself in too. There are several things I need to be doing but frankly, I'm too cold. I would never make it if I lived up North! Going to go crawl in bed with Alan and get warm! :)

Name that Song!

"When there's clouds hangin' in your sky
And they're just not lettin' any light in
And you feel like you'd like to give in
Don't you give up so soon..."

Saturday, December 18, 2004

From the Mouth of Babes...

If you don't have children, perhaps you haven't realized how much trouble they can get you into through no fault of your own. When they put their foot in their mouth, they are simultaneously sticking their other foot into YOURS. Or at least that is how it feels as you do the proverbial "backpedaling" trying to take the edge off whatever off-color comment just popped out of their adorably innocent little mouth. Geez! Take dinner tonight for instance. Alan, the girls and I went to deliver a fruit basket that I had put together for some friends of ours. We had never actually been to their home before, and when we arrived, Dan and his wife, Reese showed us around. They ended up inviting us to stay for dinner. It's about 5:30 in the evening and we've had the girls out all day shopping and running errands. Which means that they haven't had their regularly scheduled all-important afternoon nap. So I'm hesitant to accept, knowing what kind of mood the girls will be in if they aren't already. But we hated to just drop the basket off and run, so we courageously accepted the kind invitation. Dan and Reese are an older couple with no children living at home, so there were no toys around and we were unprepared for such a lengthy visit. Luckily, Reese's sister had some of her childhood toys stored in the garage and they were able to find a few things to bring in that would keep the girls entertained for a while. Everything went fine. We eventually sat around the dinner table and were eating our lasagna, salad and bread and making small talk. Out of the blue...Cat starts counting out loud. So Reese asks her to count how many of us there were at the table. (*Hint - there were seven of us - Dan, Reese, Reese's sister, Alan, myself, and our two girls.) So Cat starts pointing to each of us and counting... "ONE...TWO...THREE...FOUR..." until she got to "EIGHT." Dan, who is a larger than average fellow...gently corrects her. "No doll, there are only seven of us...see?" and he points to each of us in turn as he counts aloud again, starting with Reese to his right and ending with himself. "....SIX...SEVEN." he counts. "No..." Cat argues... "You are Seven AND Eight!" Dan's wife and sister-in-law crack up laughing and Alan and I embarrassedly chuckle along with them. Ah the joys of parenthood!

Friday, December 17, 2004

Name that Song!

"I searched the world for a song that I could sing
Praise to my King, a gift that I could bring.
But no music I found could compare to You
Not one could do justice to Your glory.
What are my songs compared to yours?"

Musical Mindframe

Music seems to be a very powerful influence in my life. It was largely due to a contemporary Christian song called "Signs of Life" (which prompted me to buy the album of the same name) by Steven Curtis Chapman, that I became "saved" at the age of 13. I have always had the ability to change my mood or state of mind by playing various types of music. Some songs are energizing - I have to play them when I'm decorating, or cleaning, or working out, etc. Some songs are relaxing - I play them when I need to de-stress and zone out for a while. Some songs...well..frankly....nicely put...make me extremely flirty and rather uninhibited. Then there are those songs that seem to be forever linked to a particular memory or moment in time...whether good or bad. Thanks to some inspiration from Greg at , I have decided to try listing some song lyrics each day. It's up to you to guess which song and artist it is as well as which mood/mode it puts me in! ;) Have fun...and NAME THAT TUNE! :)

"You're only just a dream boat
Sailing in my head.
You swim my secret oceans,
Of coral blue and red..."

If I were 10 Years Younger...OMG Did I Just Say That?!?

My husband is six years older than me. All of my friends are at LEAST six years older..most are around 10 years older than me. Alan and I "hang out" ie..go to family dinners together with another officer that he works with and his family quite often. The officer (whom I will call Hersch and his wife whom I will call Aurora) have two teenage daughters. I am actually closer in age to their daughters than I am our friends. The eldest daughter is 18. I'm 25. Only a seven year difference. Hersch is 12 years older than me and his wife is 17 years older. a way it's fun because I can hang out with the girls' and their friends and fit in just fine. At least until one of my own kids comes wandering in calling out for "mommy" and I'm forced to eventually answer! hehe! one of the "get togethers" the girls' had some friends over and there was one guy-friend in particular that I was should I say...drawn to. RT just stood out from the rest of the group. He had a great personality, was absolutely (Dang..there I go using Greg's WOD again) adorable, had a good physique (he's a swimmer), and was too funny! Plus he kept flirting with me. So besides the fact that I'm married..what's the problem? He's 16! And I found him attractive! My God I have never felt so old in my life! I told the younger daughter of our friends that she needed to be dating him because if I were ten years younger and not married....PAUSE! OMG! Did I really just say that? Yeah. Exactly. forwarding about two weeks...I had to deliver some Avon to a lady that works at the local high school yesterday. I was supposed to meet her at 3:30 but thanks to my own kiddies, I was running late. Alan was driving and I was dreading having to actually go into the school to deliver her things. We pulled into the little parking lot nearest the building. School had just let out and there were still kids all over the place. I take a deep breath and get ready to get out of the car and when I look up I see RT walking past us. He sees me at the same time and stops...turns around, and comes over to my side of the car with this big adorable grin on his face. We chat for a few minutes and Alan particpates in the conversation a little bit when he gets a chance. Then I was like..." wouldn't want to do a HUGE favor for me would you?" and of course he said "sure". So anyway, he took the Avon stuff back in to the lady for me. From the high school we went to our friend Hersch and Aurora's home where I immediatly told Aurora that I had run into RT again and told Ash (the youngest daughter) that she REALLY should go after him before I did! (j/k) I joking told Aurora..."'s too bad he's jailbait!" and then Alan spoke up and reminded me that the age of consent in our state is 16. I said "How old is he Ash?" She goes..."he just turned 16 a couple of months ago..." I looked at Alan and said.."damn! turn the car around!!!" Of course he knew I was teasing and we all laughed!

Friday, December 10, 2004

Measured by a Man and Found...Wanted?

Went out to dinner with my husband and the girls tonight. It was a yucky, rainy, dreary evening. I had just gotten out of a meeting in my home with my district sales manager and had developed (not her fault) a seriously painful headache. The girls were unhappy -- hungry and tired of being cooped up in the house, so we were all ready to get out for a bit even though I wasn't in the mood to "dress" for dinner. I threw on some light-beige colored courderoy pants and my favorite baby pink zip up the front shirt with my initials monogramed on it in white. Pulled my hair back in baby-doll pins on the sides, added just a touch of blush and lipgloss and made a mad dash to the car with a rugrat on my hip (the husband had the other one). We went to the steakhouse about five minutes from our home. One of the only nice, sit and eat versus, carry-out or drive through places in our town. Alan was at the table trying to occupy the girls while I fixed their plates at the buffet. All of a sudden, I hear a voice in my ear and feel the hot air of someone's breath on my neck. "Hey Girl..." the voice said. "Haven't seen you in a're looking good!" I turned quickly while managing not to sling the steaming maccaroni and cheese from the plate in my hand, to see the face of a guy I went to high school with and literally haven't seen since we graduated 6 years ago. You know how it is when you recognize the face but the name just won't come to you. Had I been a cartoon character, you would have seen the thought bubble appear over my head containing a roladex of our high-school spinning wildly as my mind seached the recesses of my memory for the right name to answer back with. "Oh Hi....ROGER!" That's it... whew! "So how've ya been?" Pretty good...he replied while leaning in for a hug. (I had to make that quick adjustment so that it was a side-hug...more appropriate for someone you haven't seen in 7 years...right?) Anyway...he's just standing there stareing at me when my daughter, 3 catches up with me and grabs my arm. "Oh my that your little girl?" he asks. When I apply to the affirmative, he asks how old she is...I say 3. "That is one beautiful little girl. Really...really beautiful." he says. I open my mouth to say thanks when he suddenly follows his comment by saying "she looks just like you...both of you...just beautiful." Now I've kicked into the uncomfortable mode, especially as I've noticed, that Alan has noticed my delay. "Um...thanks." I murmer "Good to see you" as I let 3 drag me away by the arm. Whew! Glad that was over. Or so I thought. He stopped by our table again on his way back to his own seat, where I QUICKLY introduced him to my husband and other child. A few more exchanged pleasantries and he was gone again. Then as luck would have it...just as we passed his table on our way out the door, 1 picked that moment to throw her pacifier down. Alan and 3 had already preceded me out the door. I glanced up after retrieving the rejected paci, and my line of vision caught Roger's eyes and he winked at me and waved as I darted for the door. I have to admit that I enjoyed the attention. Not HIS attention so much, as knowing that men other than my husband still find me desirable. I am smaller now, after having had two children, than I was in high-school (except where it counts....haha). Not many women can make that claim, and feeling desirable once in a while is nice. Unfortunatly, Alan just takes it for granted that I am his and it doesn't really bother him when someone else hits on me. Hint to the guys out there: sometimes a little jealously is SO not a bad thing! Let's us know that you noticed someone else noticing...and are staking your claim...AGAIN. ;)

My New Computer!!!

I'm so excited! My best friend, her husband, and her two little boys came to visit us today. We exchanged Christmas presents early since they are going to be going out of town for the next two weeks. Plus, I had given her 3-month old son this adorable Christmas layette outfit that looked like a reindeer and even had a little hat with antlers. It's one of those great outfits that makes the adorable photos for the baby book, that 'R' will kill his mom for showing to his girlfriend in the future. Not quite as embarrassing as the naked baby bathtub pictures...but close. Gotta love 'em. :) Anyway, Kaye's huband has been building me a new computer since last Christmas, and he brought it to me today. It's a long story, but what it boils down to is that my in-laws gave me the Lord of the Rings game (based on the movie with full scenes and all) for my computer for Christmas last year, and my old computer (the one I'm using right now) sucks so bad, that it wouldn't play (or even install) the game, so Jay built me a new one. It's awesome! I have never seen anything like it. It has a gaming mother-board with a video card that alone cost over $130! The side panel of the hard-drive is clear and there are fans inside that change colors, and blacklight neon tubing that keeps all the wires together, and all kinds of other crazy stuff that makes it flash brilliant colors all around the room. And that just the cosmetics....I can't remember all the technical specifics..but suffice it to's VERY fast and the graphics kick ass! So if I should disappear off the face of the earth for a few days....I'm probably on a long journey with the oh so sexy Aragorn...battling orcs and the like on my quest to destroy the ring and restore peace to the world!

New Blog

Hi Guys and Gals!
I have created an additional blog specifically for my online 'bookclub.' It is called Englishrose's Reading Room and can be found at . So far there are two members...haha...myself and Chuck (thanks Chuck!) and two others who have been invited but have not accepted their invitations yet (you know who you are, so click the confirm link already!) *grin* Anyone interested is welcome to join. Just go to the blog and leave me a comment and I'll send you an invitation. Anyone is allowed to comment, but only members may post to the blog. I have so many new things to share with you all, but alas it's already after midnight and my eyes are crossing, so I'll have to leave it for another post on another day. Just don't let me forget!

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Calling all Bookworms!

I don't know how many of you love to read, but I certainly do. Not that I have a whole lot of time on my hands with two small children running around and trying to develope my Avon business as well, but reading is something that I generally try to make time for. I tuck the girls in bed by 8, my husband in bed by 9 (on nights that he has to work the next morning) and then I run to the bathroom with a good book and a bottle of bubble bath! That is MY time. Run the water as warm as it will get without burning my behind....fill it with scented bubbles...(whatever the flavor of the week happens to be)....inflate my bathtub pillow and sink up to my nose in both, the luxuriously scented steamy water and a good book. Granted I've run across a few that were not so still can't prove to me that my life was not enriched even the tiniest bit by my having read them. Even if you learned how to use one single word that you were not aware of....or read one random fact of interest regardless of it's usefulness, then to me the book was worth reading. Having said that, I recently found my list of the most widely read and studied literary works ever, and have decided to continue my quest of attempting to read them all at some point before I leave this world. My question you dear TO JOIN ME? If so, I will create another blog dedicated to acheiveing this lofty goal...set up in book club format. Come will be fun! I promise to give you a while to read. I plan to split each book up into chapter assignments to be completed by a certain date. How does a book a month sound? Come a and learn! :)