Thursday, July 23, 2009

Yes it is official...I have lost my mind and I am not even going to look for it.

"Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most."

"The waist is a terrible thing to mind.The mind is a terrible thing to waste."

“Did you ever walk into a room and forget why you walked in? I think that's how dogs spend their lives”

“My presence of mind is frequently absent.”

“Life must go on; I forget just why.”

“Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?”

“To want to forget something is to think of it”

“Sometimes life seems like a dream, especially when I look down and see that I forgot to put on my pants"

I have to joke about the fact that I am completely losing my mind. I have no idea when it started but I am going to blame it on the moment I found out I was pregnant with my first child. After all my mother told me for years that my sister and I were making her lose her mind ?!?!?

In the last week I have lost my keys...left my cell phone in a restaurant...left Noah in a store (again)...locked the cat outside and wandered in to talk to Hondo only to have absolutely NO idea what the heck I wanted to say! I believe all joking aside he is wondering what the heck is going on with me lol. When he sees me wandering through the house his first question now is "What are you looking for?"

Suffice it to say I am fully in summer mode. I do not have to think too hard...I do not have to dress if I do not want to...and if I do dress I can wear whatever the heck I want. I have not had to make life or death one is expecting me to say anything brilliant...and if I forget to brush my teeth until 1230 pm who cares?

I think that subconsciously I have started to blog to remember the days and memories that I knew I would forget.

I seriously have to get it together...I have to be back to work in less than one boss didn't promise to have me for better or for worse, pretty sure he expects a little more out of me...and I talk with parents and staff all day so I have to remember to brush and floss .

I love summer and that I have been afforded the opportunity to relax to the point of being comatose! I also love the following quote about forgetting.
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

It may never be easy but it will always be worth it.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

It is just one more person to love them!

“Instill great values in your children today and your grandchildren will prosper tomorrow”

The family unit has changed over the years. I still remember the first person I met who had divorced parents. Although we were nomadic military brats...we still had 2 sets of "grands", aunts, uncles and cousins. There was no confusion over who belonged to who...and in my relatively small family, the only time we had to think about it, was when my grandfather passed away and my grandmother remarried. Even then both men were from the same family so the relatives had always been around. Kaiya told me recently that she loved to come to my house as a child because it was so "normal". It made me giggle because we don't think of ourselves as normal...we often feel like a life size portrait of a Jerry Springer Show. The parents gave me a very special gift in our, love and a sense of knowing who you are....where you belong. Thanks Mom and Dad!

Fast forward 30-40 years and boy has our society changed. As children have done for centuries...they are adapting. The norm now is 1 out of every 2 marriages ends in divorce...higher for those who have had more than one marriage and even higher for couples with no children (for the life of me that one makes NO SENSE!)

My family is a walking poster board for blended families. Last night I had an email from Cassie and she had a picture of her with her cousin Carrie. It made me think about the picture Nick had sent me earlier of his fathers children...his brother and sister Easton and Ashton. ...I have ALWAYS wanted my children to a part of a big family...maybe a little unconventional in the way it turned out...but it works for us.

My husband and I started married life with 6 teenage and preteen children. It was so hard to balance the needs of all the children and be fair to everyone. It was hard for me to know whether my opinions were based on fact and logic or my feelings. It was hard to decide which things were important enough to make an issue of. When it came to child raising we had few areas of agreement and a few areas of disagreement. We have made so many mistakes. However life is good.

Doesn't mean its not hard...its real hard...I have a hole in my tongue from biting back the words that I know will be hurtful when I think an "EX" is an idiot...I am not always proud of my actions or my thoughts...but I hope the end result is that my children, especially my girls, will see that you can be strong and still be kind. As I tell them often, do not mistake kindness for weakness.

We have a strong family that uses the word "step" only if it is really needed to clarify. Like why my daughter has two fathers attending an event. Why the kids call us Babs and Hondo.

I have come to realize that every person that is a part of their life brings something special to the table....something extra for them to learn...a set of memories that belong to them. For that I am truly thankful.

It may never be easy but it will always be worth it.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Everybody was kung fu fighting.....

Two tired pups.

Nothing but net.

I got it, I got it...NO... I got it!

Absolutely my favorite picture EVER of have to click on this one and look at it bigger...this is the perfect "Karate Dog" pose...I think he even surprised himself!

Dallas is going in after this it safe?

Deacon getting warmed up.

Dallas "focused" on the ball.

Look mom NO HANDS!

I love his ear folded down...typical Deacon look...he always looks a little stunned.

"Who's your daddy?"

Yes we are crazy dog people....we plan our day around their schedules...we catch ourselves talking to them in "baby" talk...we read dog magazines...they eat food that is ridiculously expensive...I love to pick up treats to bring home so that they feel LOVED when we walk in the door and while our children are not allowed to wear shoes in the house, the dogs are allowed to climb all over our furniture.....go figure!

About two years ago we laid new sod in our yard and tied our fence into the neighbors...we had great plans for parties in the back yard...corn hole tourneys...maybe even a volleyball net ... not long after Dallas began her life with the tribe...Deacon came last winter...and our grass looks worse than ever. We have given up on the attempt to have a green plush lawn, we no longer plant flowers in the back and neither one of us give it a second thought...after all we are now dog people!

The plan was never to have two ginourmous beasts who shed non-stop...but I can not imagine life with out them.

Both dogs have been restless this summer. This is the first long period since we have had either one that they have not "gone to work". Dallas has been either in training or working as a therapy dog since she was 12 weeks old....and Deacon started training not long after I got him. With school out for the summer and my taking time off from the youth I work with part time there has not been much to keep them busy. If you know anything at all about German Sheperd's or as we call them...GSD' know that they MUST have something to do...they must work. So we have started swimming at the lake with them...doing a little retriever work...we hide balls and challenge Dallas to find them...and they now go to day care daily...yes I said day care...but have you seen the damage a bored GSD can do?

Deacon came to us quite over weight. It was difficult for him to jump into the back of the van let alone run for a ball. He was content to sit on the sidelines and watch Dallas, who is much more high strung and always walking around with a ball in her mouth waiting for someone to throw it. Deacon had difficulty walking more than half a mile...I thought at one point I was going to have to invest in a portable oxygen tank to carry along with us. Nightly walks, good food and chasing after Dallas has made him a new man. You no longer can pinch an inch and he has more energy than I thought was possible.

The latest fad in our house is "wall ball". Hondo's version of racquetball with the dogs. Deacon is currently the wall ball champion of the tribe...this boys "got game!" I won't even pretend he catches every ball...Dallas stills rules in that department...but give my boy some time.

I can not decide what I am enjoying more ... watching him sail through the air with the greatest of ease...or the look of confusion on Dallas's face as Deacon flies over her head.

I love these guys beyond belief...they bring a joy and spirit to our house that you can not buy in any store...and who needs grass anyway?

It may never be easy but it will always be worth it.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

“Youth should be a savings bank.”

Noah and Ben holding all the information of their first savings account. I did not even notice that they were wearing matching shorts.....awwwwwww how cute!

My two youngest boys are night and day when it comes to money. They both are extremely hard workers who have earned a nice little sum this summer. It did not take long for both of them to realize that having a little "pocket cash" was a good thing...and it wouldn't be long before they were both driving.

Noah is the child who saves birthday checks so long that you are unable to cash them at the bank. If you need a small business loan (or lunch money in a pinch) he is your "go to" guy. Noah will walk around a store with an item in his hand weighing the pros and con's of each purchase only to put it all back...not wanting to spend the money.

Ben is just the opposite (and the most like me if we are being totally honest). Ben likes stuff...all stuff...and never has a moments hesitation in the check out line. Ben is a wheeler and dealer...always out to make an extra dollar or two off an old video game, bike or scooter.

It was with great pride today that I escorted them to the bank to open up their first savings account. I giggled at the serious looks on their faces as I watched them sign their name....and I down right HOOTED at the look when they realized that while they could make a deposit at any time...there could be NO withdrawals with out Mom being present.

They are growing up to be fine young men...who hopefully will know the value of a dollar...and have a few to spend.

It may never be easy but it will always be worth it.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Keep your broken arm inside your sleeve. Chinese Proverb

Noah: Hey Mom can you bring the car and pick us up at Jeffery and Brians?
Me : Noah it's raining.
Noah : Yhea I know.
Me: Didn't you ride your bike?
Noah: Yes maam.
Me: Really Noah is this necessary?
Noah: Well Mom we think Ben may have broken something, probably not a great idea to be riding his bike at this moment.
Me:..... Sigh.... I am on my way.

Dr. Klienman; Do you want the good news or the bad news?
Me: I would like the bad news...figure we can get it out of the way.
Dr. Klienman :Both Bens arms are broken.
Me: Good Lord what is the good news?
Dr. Klienman: They are not broken that bad.

There are wanna be comics everywhere!

Everyone has been calling today to see how it happened....
Ben, Noah, Jeffery and Brian were playing in the fort in the woods, they came across a baby mole (no idea how they knew it was a mole) and decided to keep it. They took the mole back to Jeff and Brians house and were told "Oh you will be putting that thing back immediately!". While trying to climb a fence on the return trip home Ben slipped off the top of the fence and put both hands down to break his fall....and voila two broken arms. Makes perfectly good sense when you hear the story huh???

So here I sit with a child who can not even hold a glass to lift it to his lips...trying to tally up the broken limbs we have had in the last year...and trying not to cry. I think this count is right....
Parker - 1 broken arm (but he gets extra points for all the "additional crap").
Allie - 1 broken arm
Hondo - one broken leg while on our Christmas vacation
Noah - 1 broken arm and 1 broken hand (not done at same time).
Sir Buck - 1 broken wrist and elbow
Noel - 2 knee displacements, one of which resulted in a broken femur
Ben - 1 broken arm in January along with the 2 broken arms this week (yes he wins).

We are in braces right now and will be re-checked soon. If they are not healing as he would like and if the swelling ever goes down he will be placed in two long arm casts. He does not seem to be in too much pain right now, and because no Mom likes to see thier kids hurt I am sure I will be giving Motrin around the clock for days to come.

This is certainly not how my guy had planned on spending the last few weeks of summer break...he has not asked to go the potty yet (Noah will be assisting by default because Hondo is traveling)...and I am fairly certain I will be running out of ways to keep him entertained by Thursday.

It may never be easy (now you tell me) but it will always be worth it.

Honey I am a golfer now!

Hondo has heard these words till I am sure that he is ready to strangle me.

Around March I decided that I was missing to much quality time with my family. Not being the most athletic sort, while they all loaded up to go to the golf course I would grab a towel and hit the pool. Not that I mind laying by the pool, but I began to wonder what I had been missing. There had to be something to this game if everyone, kids included, wanted to play?

After convincing Hondo that he would now be my golf coach I did what any red blooded woman would do....I BOUGHT shoes, and a cute pair of plaid pants and a couple of shirts. I figured if I looked the part I might actually hit the I am always looking for good excuses to shop.

Borrowing clubs from Ben and Noah I became a regular on the driving range (this means Hondo and I went and I tested his patience). I decided that an 8 iron is "my club" and that putting is for sissies, sheesh all you have to do is hit the ball in the hole. I was gifted with a new set of clubs and a bag for Mother's Day and immediately began to bug the snot out of Hondo to take me to play...

I have learned a couple of things on this journey:
<>Golf elbow hurts worse than tennis elbow (well I am just guessing because I have never played tennis)
<>There is nothing easy about golf.
<>You can tell a lot about your husband when he teaches you about his passion.
<>There are more rules that you have to follow on the course, than when you meet the Queen of England.
<>You know you are officially addicted when you go to the driving range and convince 75 year old men to watch and see what you are doing wrong.
<>I really DO have muscles that have never been used.
<>Thumbs to Jesus,keep your head down, don't lift your arm, arms straight, grip gentle YADA YADA YADA.
<>I drive a golfcart as bad as my car.
<>Hitting your lucky ball on a shot that goes over water in not such a great idea.
<>There sure is a lot of cussing for this to be a "gentleman's sport.
<>I will never turn pro.
<>You are not allowed to wear two gloves at one time no matter if you want to be "balanced" or not.
<>My husband has the patience of a saint.
<>My husband has no patience at all.
<>Yes the ball hurts when it hits you. While looking at my next putt I was struck in the hand by a flying ball....something Hondo says has not happened to him in 40 years of playing and would of course happen to me the first day. If this ever happens to you DO NOT rub it, it makes it burn like fire.
<>I am extremely competitive (so maybe I knew this one and saying I just learned it is stretching a bit)....and putting is the hardest blasted thing I have ever tried.

And the #1 thing I learned? I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!

Last week I played my first 18 holes on an executive course in Atlanta. Hondo and his pal "Mr. Jones" were there for support, encouragement and to teach me the things that you can only learn as you play a real game. There were times when I felt like I had my own little cheering section. To round out our group the course added a single player "Michael", poor guy had no idea as he teed the first hole exactly what he was getting into.

I am pleased to report that I bogey'ed the first hole...sucked it up for the next 6 or 8 and had a remarkable back 9 (well remarkable considering that it was my first time ever). I think I bogey'ed 4 holes...drove the ball straight and hard...and actually outplayed "Michael". Of course contrary to what I believed going into it...I suck at putting and need way way more time practicing.

I am not sure what was more satisfying...playing such a great first round...or watching the look of amazement on Hondo's face. He is one heck of a teacher!

I can not wait to play again...did I tell you I was a golfer now?

It may never be easy but it will always be worth it (especially when you get to play golf).

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Day four....

Nora showing her flexibility.

Swinging high.

Corn on the cob YUM

Beating Noah at Wii tennis

Grape slushy at the pool.

Swimming by herself in the deep end.

Swimming with Auntie Shan and Ben in the deep end.

Baywatch look out there is a new girl in town.

Modeling her new jammies and house shoes (and doll).

Eating desert first...okay so I would have never done this with my own kids.

Well we have made it through day 4....not sure how long "Baby Nora" will make it...she has been a little home sick today. The only tears we had were after we talked to Erin on Skype. The tears were mixed with laughter and to be honest in this family sometimes I don't know if I should cry or laugh either. Nora has decided that she will be going home tomorrow LOL and she very matter of factly told me that while she is a mermaid now she can swim in her own bath tub, she no longer needs our pool. Just not sure how you can argue with that one?

It is 1120 PM and the girls are all in the living room dancing, I thought I had decided that allowing her to stay up till midnight was a horrible idea?!?!?!?!? I think we all just figure that if she is leaving tomorrow we need to squeeze in every last minute.

I have decided that Nora and Cassie are long lost twins...over the last few days we have been told she speaks Spanish, her Mawmaw can't pump her legs while swinging, Roxie pees on the floor, Noah is small, I am slow, Uncky Tunk (Hondo) is a great dancer and can not swim as well as she can, her Mom is a whimp because she tells Nora she is heavy, she can not wear short skirts because her body might show, Ben might need a talking to for tickleing her but we should only hurt him a little, Noel does not know anything, movies are not good if you don't get M&M's and that she has never in her whole life had a pink watch (okay so I fixed this little problem, anything to shop).

I will miss her bunches if she decides its time to head home tomorrow....maybe I will go with her...

And FYI I know that there are a few pictures with this entry but she really really likes to see her pictures on the blog...are you sure she is not mine Erin?

It may never be easy but it will always be worth it.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Somebody is looking for you!

Me and Wendy with Raymond Hicks high school graduation. 1985

Me far right and Wendy in white!

Vickie and Kaiya right before we left for spring break. No way on earth will I blog about that kids read this blog.

Yup that is me!

Me and Kaiya in our first apartment getting ready to go out. Yes we did that quite a bit. The rent was $180 dollars split 3 ways and we NEVER had rent money. What the heck were we thinking with that hair? I tried to explain to the tribe that this was the 80's but it even sounded lame to me.

On the left is Jesse (Nick's dad) Kaiya and Troy. Can pretty much guarantee we took this in the "Brary".

Somebody is looking for you!
I found you!

Those were 2 subject lines in emails I received on Saturday the 4Th of July. There is not a fireworks display that will compare to what I felt when I saw those words.

Growing up as a military brat you learn to make friends quick...and you didn't always keep in touch with them when you moved from base to base. My one constant was my other half Kaiya. From smoking my first cigarette in Laurie Fazekas's bathroom...setting the golf course on fire cooking frozen deer steaks...locking Dawn Zeck in the locker after daring her to see if she could fit (it was Kaiya's idea to go to class and leave her in there I swear Mrs. Jennings) her drying my tears when Hillary Rafiannie married (pretend of course) Paul Lautenshlager (man I am sure I butchered those spellings) at the Valentines Dance in the 7th grade...I got just as many punishments from her parents as I did my own and vice versa. Kaiya do you remember the summer we worked in the lumber yard for a Hardware store and we quit so that we could go to a party? Priorities baby!

In the summer going into the 9Th grade my father retired. I quickly joined forces with Wendy and we were unstoppable, I do not remember exactly how we met but I am 99% sure it was in the band room. Wendy was full of life...she threw me my first surprise party when I turned 16 (hey dad we wrecked your truck that night lol)...we were the masters of sneaking out of the house, and we showed everybody we spent the night with how to do it...the only parent who caught on was Tracy Miller's , her mother locked the window we climbed out and went back to bed making us ring the front doorbell to get back in the 530 AM....we dated best friends...we went on our senior trip together, I still remember her throwing my suit cases in the driveway because I had packed 2 for my shoes alone (you will be happy to know that I still shoes as much today)...and my all time favorite story of when her parents were out of town and they left us with a house sitter (who stayed gone the whole time or locked in the bedroom with her boyfriend), we were driving through town at 3am and I was telling Wendy to slow precisely that moment my father passed us on the road and I started screaming GO GO GO!...we raced home put on our pajamas over our clothes and pretended to be asleep when my Dad knocked on the door. Needless to say he did not fall for it. Wendy's parents had called him at 2am and asked him to come check on us when we did not answer the phone. He loaded our fannies up and took us to my house. Why we ever got to spend the night together again is beyond me...but we did.

You can imagine my surprise when I found out that Kaiya's dad had moved to the same town and we would be going to the same high school. Along the way we picked up Vickie...and my life friends were complete.

Kaiya's dad was transferred not long into our high school journey...So I became one of 3. Every high school memory is tied in some way to Vickie, Kaiya and Wendy.

Upon graduating high school I started college and on the very first day of registration I hear a scream and Kaiya is running across campus to me...yup she is going to the same college as me!!!!

Spring breaks, first apartments, road trips, marriages, all the jobs we worked together...we were a force to be reckoned with (in our own minds of course).

The four of us took such different paths...Vickie was killed by a drunk driver a few years back...Kaiya married a Navel pilot and is traveling the world much as we did as kids...and Wendy found her true love and settled down to start a I was finding myself (that is how I explain it to me kids ).

We all lost touch for various reasons as happens in adult life. On July 4Th as our country was celebrating its Independence Day I was celebrating an email that Kaiya had tracked me down via Facebook through my mother and sister. The last time I saw Kaiya was 1988 or 1989 and the last time I saw Wendy was 1995. Sheesh chickadees are we that freaking old?

I talked to Kaiya over 3 hours the first phone call. It was a little surreal at first. Both of us excited but trying to be on best behavior. That was until the first "F" bomb was dropped and we fell into a fit of giggles and it was like being a 12 year old all over again.

Thanks to face book I have Kaiya back in my life, although she was never out of my heart. On Tuesday I found Wendy...we have emailed a little and I can not wait to talk to her on the phone...

They both are absolutely gorgeous, but they were then too, so no surprise there and I find myself saying "SORRY MOM" a lot as we relive our glory days, I guess I am afraid she can still ground us.

As Kaiya said the other night "Life has been good to me and I just want to know it has been good to everyone else"...Amen Sister.

It may never be easy but it will always be worth it.

Parker Peanut

While on vacation I received a phone call from my mother. My nephew Parker was being admitted to the Children's Hospital in Atlanta. This may have been the single most helpless moment in my life. I was 10-12 hours away, did not always have great cell reception...and I was not sure if the next phone call would be to tell me that they had amputated his arm. My heart was in my throat every time my phone rang.

Parker had broken his arm the last week of school...there were several misdiagnosis...poor excuses for physicians (DO NOT LET ME EVER SEE YOU IN A DARK ALLY)...and a total lack of quality health care that should always be a given in this country! I have not given up on the idea of driving to my mothers, picking her up and going to pay a visit to each and everyone of them....we Foley women are a scary bunch when you mess with our cubs.

Parker's bone had bleed into a space in the tissue. Consequently this caused an infection in the bone and by the time they found a physician who did not have his head up his nephew had Osteomyelitis.

A week in the hospital and two surgeries and he was released to come home. Home health nurses, IV antibiotics, an open wound with time release antibiotics in it...not the way any child pictures their summer vacation. Certainly not what Erin had expected either.

Being of my gene pool he has handled it with remarkable courage...and humor (he gets that from me). When talking to my Dad this week he said "You know what? Nora gets to go on vacation to Aunties and I have to have surgery". Now what the heck do you say to that?

Today was yet another surgery in what may be many over the next few months. Trying to see the silver lining...our boy is alive, he has a story to tell his grand kids...and he has the privilege of having a stay at home Mommy.

Erin sent the picture above to my cell phone today, so that "Baby Nora" could see that he was doing fine.

When I opened it on the computer tonight we all got a little chuckle...the look on his face says it all...being the sick twisted nurse that I am the second thing (the first was, OMG my baby) that came to mind was I wonder if there were any left overs? I will take one of what he is having.

It may never be easy but it will always be worth it.

I am so sorry Jaime (NOT)

I'm not a cheerleader. I'm an athletic supporter. ~Author Unknown

When I picked Nora up yesterday, Parker showed me the funniest video. The video was of his Dad cheer leading, as he called it, with Nora. Of course I quickly took the phone and forwarded it to myself. I mean when you are a blogger EVERYTHING has potential.

My brother in law is all man. A fire fighter who risks his life daily...this was just to dang good to pass up.

Nora has watched me Blog, watched videos of the kids and talked to Hondo on Skpe for the last 2 days. When I showed her the video of her dad she just "insisted" that we put him on the computer too.

SOOOOO here ya go Baby Nora...this one is just for you.

It may never be easy but it will always be worth it. Babs

Baby Nora's Big Adventure

"You don't know nothing!"

This is what my niece told my father when she stayed with him earlier in the month. I can only imagine what stories she is going to tell when she goes home from this looney bin.

My nephew Parker is having yet another surgery so "Baby Nora" as we call her, has come to spend a week.

It was a little rocky when we picked her up...but she quickly had a captive audience in the car and the tears dried up (thank you Lord). Luckily I had planned ahead and I had 2 of Noel's friends come over...there is strength in numbers after all.

We have been to the pool, the playground, dress up, for many walks and even played Cat farm (don't ask I could not even begin to explain this one). We have decided that she is going to take dance lessons (sorry Erin)...and Ice Cream for breakfast is not a great idea...even though my dad did it for all my kids. She now knows all the words to the Apple Bottom Jeans song (again sorry Erin...I maybe saying that a lot)...she has told Noah he is to small to hold her (yup that one hurt)...she thinks boys should wear shirts at the pool because you can see their boobs...she absolutely has everyone wrapped around her finger.

The only tears we have had came when she talked to Mom and could hear big brother crying in the back ground. I broke out my rendition of Queen's "Somebody to Love" and we were home free!!!!!!!

I am trying to figure out how I can keep her....somehow I think that would be the nail in Hondo's coffin?!?!

It may never be easy but it will always be worth it.

Relay For Life

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. ~Winston Churchill

I have found that no one likes to talk about cancer. It is just such a yucky, touchy subject...when in fact anyone who has had it and beat it should shout from the roof tops!

So here goes mine...I AM A SURVIVOR!

My mother walked June 27th in the Relay For Life. I was so choked up when I opened the pictures that she sent me that night. She had walked in memory of my grandmother (her mother)who unfortunately lost her battle with cancer several years ago and for me, who was lucky enough to beat the odds....but nothing touched me as much as her telling me that, while more friends than she could count were walking for parents and family members....I was the only child in their group.

So I sit here today...almost seven years cancer free thankful that I have the gift of another day and humming to myself....I'm a survivor ,
I'm not gonna give up ,
I'm not gon' stop ,
I'm gonna work harder ,
I'm a survivor ,
I'm gonna make it ,
I will survive ,
Keep on survivin' ,

It may never be easy but it will always be worth it.

The Evolution Of The Wedding Dance Caplinger Style!

Anyone that knows me, especially if you have worked with me, knows that once I decide I am going to accomplish something I do NOT let up. Whether its the time I wanted to send 1500 baseballs to a Naval ship so that each sailor would have a baseball personally signed by someone thanking them for protecting our country (my friends husband was on the ship and she told me they played ball daily on deck)....deciding that I wanted to raise $5000.00 dollars for March of Dimes...or getting together 20 very old and broken co-workers to form a softball team...once I get an idea I run with it. Most of my friends and family have quit teasing me, although I am still referred to on a daily basis as a nerd.

Before Christmas Dennis and Nancy called to give us all the details and dates for their wedding. Dennis passed along that he had talked to his boys and they would be performing a family skit at the reception...

My immediate thought was "Oh heck they just threw down the gauntlet". Remember that everything, I mean everything, is a competition with this family. My brain went into overdrive figuring out what I could come up with that all 8 of us could do...and not completely look like fools (we came pretty freaking close).

Erin had sent me a link to a video a few weeks before we talked to Nancy and my mind started to plot and plan. Of course what ever I came up with would have to be a secret...and with the tribe there are few secrets. Hondo and I both grew up in households that constantly had music going and we have talked at length about our childhood memories of our parents dancing. This love of music and dance has certainly been passed along to the following generations.

A couple of months before the wedding I started mixing music. I would wait until the kids went to bed and sit with head phones on so that they could not hear what I was working on. Secret agent stuff! I had told Hondo what I was thinking and all he could do was shake his head.

A month before the wedding I presented the tribe with my plan. Thank the Lord I have children who LOVE to be on stage and be in the lime light. They were IN (everyone but Nick but I knew that I could work on him)! Several hours of "practice".... some even in the garage at Nancy and Dennis's the night before the wedding...and I thought we had the makings of a "skit" that would challenge the Bolton's.

You can imagine our surprise when we were told at the reception that there was in fact no skit...the boys had told Dennis there would be a skit after a night of going we made the decision that we would give the newlyweds our gift anyway. I mean the show must go on right?

I have been working on the video (thanks John) since we got home, trying to convert it, and I figured it out Wednesday night. Keep in mind that we are not professionals lol, we said we loved music and dance, not that we were any good at it and there was not enough beer in the keg to loosen us up that night!

Everyone at the wedding asked me how I convinced the tribe to do this...especially Hondo and the boys...I do not have a good answer other than...I have the best husband and family who enjoy life as much as I do. They are up for any half baked idea I come up with...and because they do.... life is a little brighter.

Each time I see this I giggle watching Hondo...he was really into riding his pony...we were lucky we got what we did out of Nick...and I cringe at how non-dancing my crew can be...ENJOY!

It may never be easy but it will always be worth it. Babs

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Spoon me honey!

Sometime before Christmas Hondo was packing to go out of town. I stopped him as he walked by the couch and asked him to stop and spoon me. You know lay close like two spoons in a drawer. I was quickly told that "real men do NOT spoon". My husband cuddles with the best of them...but somehow referring to it as spooning sparked some primitive reaction.

So out the door to Brazil...traveling with his boss...many things on his mind...and as a parting shot I holler out the door..."You better bring some spooning home with ya baby!".

A week later as I was sitting on the bed watching him unpack I noticed a little green bag. Presents, I love presents. While the idea of spooning wasn't manly, he brought me the 2ND best thing. A spoon from Brazil. A little old lady, collector spoon. I LOVED IT! What I loved more was the story about how he avoided explaining to his boss why he was buying a spoon. Something I made sure to clarify at the Christmas company party....that will learn ya, huh Hondo? His boss proceeded to tell him that spooning was in fact a very manly thing to do. The term originated during the Civil War when the troops would lay in a field to sleep. The weather was bad and the clothing they wore so thin, that they would spoon to conserve body heat.

I am now officially a collector of spoons, I have them from Costa Rica, Chili, Argentina, Brazil, Columbia and Mexico.

Of course I had to add to my collection on this trip. I decided I would purchase spoons on the ride home. First stop West Virgina...that was an easy one I bought one at the Pipestem resort. Second spoon, Virgina, not so easy to find...Hondo had to stop 3 times for this one at various truck stops. Some where between Virginia and North Carolina I must have fallen asleep, because the next thing I remember we were close to South Carolina. In a panic I insisted that we pull over so that I could get my spoon...lord this man humors me...maybe not always with a smile but he pulled off on the next exit. North Carolina spoon... check.

Back on the interstate...MAYBE 5 miles down the road... we cross the border into South Carolina... when I tell the story now it doesn't have the same thought process as it did in the car....BUT...I already had my shoes on and was purse was in my small feat considering what I had to dig through on the floor board to get it....and I really needed that spoon. Yup, I asked him to pull over at the next exit so that I could get it! I mean really it only made sense.

God bless this mans soul. He never said a word, I did however see the little vein on his temple throb a few times and even the kids had the smarts not to ask to use the potty since we were stopped.

I tell people all the time how lucky I was to find a man who loves me just because I am me...all my quirks, faults and weirdness. Who doesn't try to change me, knowing that the ride would some how not be as sweet. This is just another example.

It may never be easy but it will always be worth it.

Baby I swear its not my fault.

You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive. ~Author Unknown

We were scheduled to make one more stop on this trip...Thursday through Saturday at Carrolwinds, an amusement/water park on the Carolina borders.

On Wednesday I looked over at Hondo and said "baby take me home or lose me forever". At that point I had been gone from home 2 back was breaking from the bad beds and sharing with the girls....I did not want to eat out another meal EVER...the close proximity of 6 children was beginning to make me stir crazy...and I missed my 4 legged friends.

We decided that we did not have to make a rushed trip home. Time was on our side...

I saw several bill boards on the way home announcing an outlet all know Mama likes to shop so I convinced Hondo that it would be a great idea if we stopped and let the kids stretch their legs, and then fed them so that we would not have to cook when we got home (yes girls he fell for it).

Now I have to make a little side note....Aunt Susan had given me about 12 magazines for the ride home...which I put on the floor board along with the stars that I had purse...2 pillows and a blanket. I proceeded to shove everything that I bought into the floor board...hey I can ride for a few hours with my feet on the dashboard.

So shopping was complete...2 new golf shirts and a pair of stop Longhorns.

You can imagine the look on every ones face when we exited Longhorns to find the Expedition literally sitting on the tires. The auto air system that keeps the car level with air bladders...a must when packing for 8 people and 2 weeks...was not working and the car was sitting so low you almost could not see the tires.

We all walked around it...bounced on the bumper...scratched our heads...and tried to come up with a solution. When none was to be found Hondo walked across the highway to a truck stop and I did what every red-blooded woman does...I opened the glove box and read the manual.

Step 1 - find switch for auto leveler- under passenger's seat
Step 2 - make sure switch is on - remove 12 magazines, 1 pair of shoes, a bag of stars, a purse, 2 bottles of cranberry juice and pillows and blankets
Step 3 - use words your kids have never heard because you realize you have to tell your husband that all your crap (his word not mine) caused the switch to be pushed to the off position
Step 4 - call husband and tell him he can walk across 8 lane highway, you have it all figured out
Step 5 - send Noah to Waffle house for some sweet tea because it is hot outside
Step 6 - turn switch back on
Step 7 - watch as nothing happens
Step 8 - Call Ford place and talk to "Steve" a salesman who doesn't know diddly except that the service department closed 15 minutes ago
Step 9 - turn switch on and off 50 times thinking that it will begin to fill the air bladders
Step 10 - unload everything onto the sidewalk at Longhorns - maybe they will fill back up if there is not as much weight on the bladders
Step 11 - watch as nothing happens
Step 12 - up your game on the amount of cuss words that can be placed in one sentence
Step 13 - Unpack cards it feels as if we are going to be here a while
Step 14 - Remember that you have a magazine to read
Step 15 - Send Nick to drive the car in circles around the parking lot- the manual states that occasionally in order to reset the switch you must first get to a speed of 15 miles per hour
Step 16 - Yell at Noah ...who decided this was the perfect time to tell someone who stopped to offer assistance that our car had been stolen...thankfully my bat ears kicked in and I stopped them before they hit send...911 showing up may have pushed Hondo over the edge.
Step 17 - take out camera and ask every one to pose because this is SO a blog post

So here we sit...all of our stuff on the sidewalk at Longhorns in Commerce GA (did I forget to mention we were only 2 hours from home)...Nick driving around in 100 degree weather...

Several men stopped by to help...everyone with another suggestion...all of which did NOTHING to fill the bladders. One couple who stopped, Anita and her boyfriend (sorry old buddy can not remember your name)....had a friend that worked for Ford...he offered to look at it the next morning...they loaded our stuff in the back of their truck...took us to a hotel...and even came back the next morning at 730 to show us where the dealership was, and to make sure Hondo got there safe. Good things happen to people like that, karma baby karma.

Apparently when I hit the button to the off position, the air bladders emptied while we ate. When it deflated to its lowest position it pinched the hose and pulled off the coupling that held it on. Of course they were quick not to point a finger at me...I think they took pity on me...only saying that sure that "MIGHT" have been how it happened.

So we re-loaded the car, again, and finally made it back to good ole Villa Rica...exhausted, sore and with plenty of memories of a trip that will live in the Caplinger archives forever.

It may never be easy but it will always be worth it.