Thursday, January 29, 2009

Yes, We Voted for Him-Twice

One of our favorite late night viewing pleasures was on David Letterman "Great Moments in Presidential Speeches" where he would showcase something that was particularly special that President Bush said that was captured during the week.

This video is a montage of the best of these moments. Seriously, you will laugh and cringe with the best of them.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Topography is Fun

Last September, our dear friend and old area director, Buddy Odom sent a letter to 17 couples that all had something to do with each other and Asheville Young Life at some point in the past eight years.

The letter was inviting the 17 couples to get out of town (where that might be now) and come together to just reunite and be together as married people. Little did we all know that all 17 couples replied "YES!" Well a few things; i.e. babies happened, but 15 couples did show up this past weekend for a weekend away in Tennessee.

It was wonderful and messy all at the same time. Not messy like your family can get at Christmas messy. But messy like, "I am married to this person and it is really hard and now we are together on this weekend in front of our dearest friends" kind of messy. So that was fantastic.

And it really was. Hard and fantastic.

Buddy used a single question to get at the hearts of every couple there. He used the analogy of a mall map that has a "You are here" red dot on it. Then he asked; "Where are you? Where is your marriage?"

Well, that pretty much opened up the can of worms for the room Friday night and then all of the sudden it was Sunday morning and we spent the whole weekend crying, laughing and praising God.

How can I sum it up any better? Pictures.

And of course, we had to stop in Pigeon Forge and seal the weekend with an airbrushed t-shirt AND sweatshirt. Lovely. I know.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Uno Dos Tres

As a follow up to the Toy Story Spanish Story, yesterday I heard Lucy waking up from her nap doing what she normally does; singing, telling stories and just talking quietly.

But yesterday she started talking more loudly and saying, "Ayúdeme! Ayúdeme! I dropped it!"

That's right.
For those of you who don't speak Spanish or as I see it, "DORA" that would be:

"Help Me! I dropped it!"

You see, in every single episode of Dora the Expolorer this little maven screeches, "Ayúdeme!" as loudly as she can and then says, "Can you say 'Ayúdeme' with me?

So of course my kids don't say, "Help me" now.

They just SCREAM "Ayúdeme!!!" at me whenever they drop something, or the sunshines brightly, or the wind blows or the breathe a little too deeply.

Can you tell that we have been around each other A LOT THIS WEEK?

Thanks a lot snow days!
I am looking forward to the groundhog telling me that March 1st is the first day of spring.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Daily Show Slices and Dices Obama

I was anxious to watch the Daily Show last night to see what their analysis of inauguration would be and they did not disappoint!

The best part of the show was when Jon Stewart pointed out all of the forms that Obama's speech sounded eerily similar to George Bush, just oratorally superior.

Take a looksee

Didja laugh? Cause it's Hope Day 2 now :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

One more

Just got read my friend Spooner's post about the upcoming presidency. It simply awesome writing and it is right on

Present Company Excluded


I have been struck by the words of Tupac Shakur's song "Changes" and the events of today and the next four years. It is pretty striking and this video helps to illuminate the words.

If Today

Makes you hopeful
Makes you want to be a part of things
Makes you want to be in D.C.
Makes you a part of history changing
Makes you see that maybe someone's future could change

Then you can see that the framers of the Constitution won and in America; you can become President.

I sure do hope he doesn't blow it.

Monday, January 19, 2009

How Long?

I have a quick question for you...

How long after you hear a kid in a cart next to you in Target say to his mom, "My tummy hurts" and then coughs on you; do you start to feel bad?

Is it:

a) 30 seconds
b) one minute
c) that night

Because for me...I become a bit of a maniac by the time I hit the end of the aisle. Anyone else?


We went to visit our sweet brand new baby niece Emmaline Bell Sloan in Columbia this weekend. She was born on Wednesday and we held ourselves back as long as we could!

Before we left, we had to replace our car DVD player because it went on the fritz and unfortunately, the extended warranty expired on 12/30/08. Seriously. I have learned my lesson and I will never buy an extended warranty on anything but a computer again.

Anyway, we bought a new DVD player for the car and we were on our way. We put in Toy Story 2 and Matt and I spent the next hour or so just catching up with each other. It was around Spartanburg that I remarked to him that I didn't remember Buzz Lightyear spoke in Spanish in Toy Story 2. I watched for a second, then the Potato Head was talking in Spanish.

Oops. The default language on the DVD player had been set to Spanish and my kids had been watching Toy Story 2 entirely in Spanish for over an hour.

This was amazing for two reasons.

1) We hadn't heard a peep out of them. So they didn't really notice.
2) We hadn't heard a peep out of them, so WE DIDN'T NOTICE.

That is some good television parenting right there people.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

As Sweet As Three Can Be

Last night Matt and I took advantage of the fact that we have someone living with us who can put our children to bed and watch TV, and we went on a DATE!

It was great. And about two hours into the date we got a text message from Ben that said, "Just so you know, your son is a baller."

Of course, we had to call and find out just what he was talking about.

He said that Lucy was having a hard time getting ready for bed and started getting upset. Asher walked up to her and put his hand on her shoulder and said, "It is going to be okay Lucy. Mommy and Daddy are on a date, you are going to go to bed. Tomorrow we are going to wake up, eat cereal and then watch some Wiggles. Okay? It is going to be okay. "

Then he gave her a hug and a kiss and told her night night. He walked out of her room and went into his room and got in his bed. Ben tucked Lucy in (who was now calmed down) and went to put Asher to sleep. Usually, Asher requires quite the dog and pony show to go to bed. But not last night.

Ben tucked Asher in and was about to get going on the show when Asher said, "I am just going to go night night. I am going to stay in bed. I am excited to see a seven tomorrow!"

And then he went to bed.

WHAT? Who is this child?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

College Soccer Summed Up In 4 Minutes

Last night I was watching The Biggest Loser on NBC.
There was a scene with one of the trainers in the gym and one of the contestants on the show who has been giving him a hard time. She hasn't been particularly motivated to work as hard as the others and it has been challenging to watch to see how he and the others on the show deal with her.

This scene was INCREDIBLY insightful to me as the scene unfolded I found myself hiding behind the collar on my shirt, then the pillow on the couch. As the scene went on and on, I found myself get hotter and hotter because I realized that I saw this scene on a daily basis between my coach, our weight trainer, our assistant coaches or some other support staff and someone (somedays, it might have even been ME) on my team; while the rest of the team had to stand by and watch them just yell at this person who was unrepentant and unwilling to just let go and do WHATEVER it was that the coach was trying to get them to do.

Here is the scene:

What is most frustrating about this scene? Is that Joelle could of course do it. That in the end, Bob pissed her enough that she got over herself and did what he asked. She had to swallow her pride and do it. Her teammates were yelling at her to "stop thinking of herself and think of others." Ugh. I can not tell you of the mornings that we had to run on the track because some freshman ducked out of study hall 15 minutes early and so we had to 15 400's for those 15 minutes.

And, I can almost hear the words coming out of my mouth as I was diving across the line while they watched us run FOR THEM..."STOP BEING SELFISH!!!!"

Oh those were the days.
Also, it is a lot easier to make myself run these days because I don't have someone standing in front of me YELLING AT ME THE WHOLE TIME.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

New Workout Song of the Day (Hip Hop Edition)

Stronger-Kanye West
Pump It-Black Eyed Peas
Don't Stop The Music-Rihanna
No One-Alicia Keys
Lose Yourself-Eminem

I am heading to the YMCA this afternoon for workout #2 this week!

I Have Issues

In the last few weeks, I have realized that I am not alone in my problems with people eating around me. A few friends have come out of the closet and told me that they too cannot stand when people eat things like, oranges near them.

A new item has emerged that makes me insane. Cereal. Dry cereal. That Asher eats every single morning. I can hear him eating it no matter where I am in the house.

This morning he had to eat in my room because we had a full house and I had him sit at the end of my bed because I could not tolerate him being anywhere near my ear. After 30 minutes, I asked him to close his mouth...for the 30th time.

And you want to know what he told me?

"I can't. I have to chomp my cereal like a crocodile."

The Lord is doing something to break me. I know it.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Danger, I Made This and I Will Be Making It Again

I made this Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread this weekend for a baby shower brunch this weekend and it was heavenly and deadly. By that I mean, you go to heaven then you die cause all of your arteries are clogged by this thing. But it is GOOD. I mean, GOOD.

You won't be sad if you make this for your family this weekend. Neither will your family. Only your scale, your trainer and your jeans will be mad at you. But that is okay.

Do it anyway!

Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
2 cans Pillsbury refrigerated Cinnamon Rolls
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
Cinnamon Roll icing

Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 12-cup fluted tube pan.

In large plastic food-storage bag, mix sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Separate dough into 16 rolls; cut each into quarters. Shake in bag to coat. Arrange in pan, adding walnuts and raisins among the biscuit pieces.

Mix brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and butter; pour over cinnamon roll pieces.

Bake 28 to 32 minutes or until golden brown and no longer doughy in center. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Turn upside down onto serving plate. Warm the packaged icing in the microwave briefly (20-30 seconds) and drizzle over the bread. Pull apart to serve. Serve warm.

Note: Can be reheated in the microwave the next day.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

30 Rock

I don't really have to tell all of you that my favorite show on TV right now is 30 Rock. I watched IT instead of the national championship in football because well...who cares.

I love it so much that I am even watching these thing on and it made me laugh my head off. Go ahead, it's called "Ask Tina" and it will make you laugh too.

WATCH 30 ROCK. Have I made myself clear? Thursday nights. After The Office. You have no excuse.

Holiday Crunch

During the period from Thanksgiving until Christmas, our YMCA had a promotion called "Holiday Crunch". Basically, get 15 workouts in between the two dates and you get a free t-shirt.

Did I need another t-shirt? No. Did I need a motivator during the biggest eat fest of the year? Absolutely.

So I managed to do it. If you are doing the math, that is a workout pretty much every other day for 30 days. It was pretty hard to make happen, but I was determined and I actually finished up in time to leave for Christmas EARLY, so I worked EXTRA hard. You don't get extra gold stars or anything for that, but I thought I would point it out since this is my blog.

I picked up my shirt this week at the Y and I have to say, I was mightily disappointed. It is really ugly and not a fun shirt at all like I had anticipated. Once again, not because I need another shirt, but if you are GOING to give me a shirt; let's make it one that I will actually wear ok?

But that has given me the push to once again begin publishing songs of the week to add to your ipod or whatever mp3 player you might have to use when working out. Also, I am going to give you some idea of what I do when I work out so that it might help you to change up your routine. I have no idea if this might be helpful or not, but seeing as it is the New Year and some might be the resolving type-perhaps this could help things out.

New Classes to try at your gym:
Spinning-this class is a hard one, But you can adjust to whatever level you want and NO ONE will know it. They usually play fun music and it will kick your butt whenever you don't feel like thinking.

ZUMBA-I have just started going to Zumba and I have had a blast. Typically I hate aerobics classes because I don't feel like they give me much of a workout. I would rather run or something. But this is fun stress reliever and instead of cooling down, I will exit early and go run a mile on the treadmill just to go over the top. It is fun to dance for an hour and learn something new. Every person that reads this blog would have fun at Zumba. I know it.

New/Old Songs of the Week:
November Rain-Guns N Roses: This song is nine minutes long! Start out your run with this song and increase your speed on the treadmill as the beat of the song increases. By the end of the song, you will be flying along, nine minutes into your run AND probably have a mile under your belt already.

Pour Some Sugar on Me-Def Leopard This is a great song to follow up with November Rain to keep the tempo going.

So What-P!NK This song is super cheesy, but it does rock and it'll get your butt moving on the treadmill. Especially if you know P!NK story with her husband/ex-husband.

Push It-Salt-N-Pepa:
I know you just laughed out loud. But since I know every word to this song from a cheerleading dance in the fifth grade AND it says the word PUSH IT over and over and over again right about the point when you would rather hit the clear/end button on the treadmill, it will buy you another three and half minutes.

The goal for the week? Get three workouts in by next Saturday.
Can you do it? Do you even want to? Post your thoughts here.

Please note, that ain't my picture. But's pretty funny. It came from the Daily Mail in the UK.

Friday, January 9, 2009

True Confession

I spilled a significant amount of red wine on our white carpet last night. Not a party foul, just an accident.
But it did look like I had sacrificed an animal on my coffee table based on the amount that spilled.
Thanks to 409 carpet cleaner, it all came out. Miraculously.
Clean up on Aisle 6 continues...

I forsee needing to buy a steam cleaner in our future.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

There are No Cats In Asheville

A longer than usual story to go along with the clip from YouTube, but for two months we have been keeping two cats that came along with the house in order to ease the transition for buying the house.

We are not in particular cat people. We have Slappy and she is quite enough. Thank you. But we took on the cats as a learning experience and we have learned that we do not want cats. They were pleasant enough. We just aren't cat people.

After two months, Sandy called to say that she had worked out a new place to live and would I meet her in Columbia to trade the cats back to her. Of course I would!

The night before, I began to gather up their things. Litter boxes, scratching posts, toys, tunnels, food, etc. And etc. That was when Matt decided to look up on the internet how to drive with cats in the car. The first article he came across had this as the lead, "If you have never driven with a howling, screeching, clawing, slobbering cat; then you have not LIVED!" What a fantastic point. I surely have not lived sir. And now, I am so excited to take on these two cats for a two and half hour drive.

So the next day, we get everyone ready. I load up everything and get the cats in the car. I literally just throw Lucy and Asher in the car. I forget everything that my children might need for the day. Sippy cups, diapers, pacifiers and blankies are all left behind. But I sure as heck made sure that EVERYTHING that the cats might need was provided for.

As we got underway, I was literally shaking with nerves as we left the driveway, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the cats were not howlers. So everything was fine. Until we got to Columbia.

Once we got there, I let Gracie out of the crate and got the cats some water. I still had them contained in the trunk area of my station wagon, but I quickly saw that Gracie was not content to be contained as was exploring my entire car within minutes, squeezing through small openings in the gate. I had rolled down my windows just a few inches and opened my sunroof and let them be while I laid the Lucy down for a nap.

I came back out to check on the cats just before Sandy arrived and well...Gracie was missing. I opened up all of my car doors. Looked under every seat. Searched the FREAKING CAR and could not find the cat. At this moment, Sandy called and I had to tell her that the cat was now missing and we were looking for her. 30 minutes later, the cat was still missing and I was laughing/crying at the situation that was completely ridiculous. I mean, how do you lose a cat? How does a cat get out of car with only inches in the window? I was flabbergasted and to be honest, completely over taking care of the cats. I thought I made it! And instead, I LOST THE DADGUM CAT.

At this point, I come up with the brilliant plan to pull out the cat food and try to lure the cat back with jingling food in the bowl and pray that God would have mercy on me and allow this insane cat to find its way back to my car.

Seconds later, my sister-in-law asks while peering into my car, "Isn't that the cat?" I tell her "No, your silly pregnant mind is playing tricks on you. We have TWO cats." And she says, "I know. That one is GRAY." Oh. The cats was in my car THE WHOLE FREAKING TIME.

So now, there are no cats in our house. And we are very happy about that. We love you Sandy.

Ridin' Dirty

Over Thanksgiving and Christmas, Lucy decided that she wanted to be potty trained. It's awfully convenient to have a child with enough sense in her head to want to stop walking around in her own feces and bodily fluids, so we happily complied with her wishes by rewarding her with m&m's.

She has done great with only a few accidents here and there over the course of a few months. In the last week, she is even dry at nap time. I mean, what child does this? We are trying to reward Asher with another trip to Disneyland if he can make it through nap time dry, so we are pretty pumped about Lucy and her bladder abilities.

Except that she, like most children, does not like to go #2. And she is more strong willed than most children. And so she has just been holding it. FOR FIVE DAYS. Since I am more strong willed than her; I have changed her diet to make her body work against her will.

It all came to a head (so to speak) the other night when Matt was out playing poker (of course). I was cleaning the kitchen and Lucy came down the stairs and said "Poo Poo." while pointing to her bum. I took inventory and realized that we had a situation on our hands. Yep. She pooped her pants.

So, I got her cleaned up with a few tears. She wasn't too happy either.
Five minutes later. It happened again. Ugh.
This time, I find her in the bathroom poop on the floor. Smeared down her legs. On the potty. Everywhere.
Throw the child in the bath. Asher is watching TV unattended and jumping on the furniture and I have poop on every surface in my bathroom and two pairs of poop covered underwear.

Guess which strong-willed child is working on breaking her mother?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Clean-Up on Aisle 6

We decided at the last minute to have a New Year's Eve party for parents at our house, which meant attempting to finish up a few home improvement project just before the guests arrive.

Picture this. At 7pm; I had chicken on the grill, a family of 7 arriving at our house to pick up our used washing machine from a Craigslist posting, our kids were destroying the toy loft AND Matt dropped a quart of blonde paint onto our brand new hardwood floors.

I ran into the bathroom and grabbed every towel I could see and threw them at him.
Ben ran to the basement and grabbed the mop and bucket and we had 20 minute clean-up session. All of it came up, but it did destroy nearly all of our towels and kitchen towels. So I will be heading to TJ Maxx today to replace them.

I was very proud of myself because I was even able to laugh about it minutes afterward!
I think that was due to the fact that all of the paint came off the floor. I am so glad we don't have carpet there.

But then last night; Matt was playing with Asher and threw our play tunnel at his head. It popped Asher in the nose and he exploded blood all over the carpet in the play loft. So in addition to TJ Maxx today, we will be going to Walgreens to get some peroxide to clean up the blood.

I wasn't really able to stay nearly as calm as the night before. Unfortunately. Hopefully we won't have to clean anything up tonight.