Thursday, December 17, 2009

My name is Jill and I burn corn...in the basement...

One of the first things we did when we bought our home was to purchase a new corn stove and have it installed in our basement so we could heat with corn versus the less than energy efficient all electric furnace that the previous owners had installed in the basement. Though it was brand new, it would have cost a fortune to heat the 1800 sq foot lower level.

So we had to bore through concrete to vent the stove and I tiled the floor so we would have a non-combustible pad for the stove, but now we have a multi-fuel stove in the basement that will burn corn, wheat, milo, soybeans, cottonseed hulls, cherry pits, rye..you name it. We wanted a stove like that so we could alternate between crops depending on what the market was. So far we love this stove! It works so much better than our old corn stove and starts so much easier.

Burning corn is so much easier than burning wood and so much less messy. Eventually we would love to add a corn burner upstairs and use it for our primary heat source. Right now we are using the wood burner for our primary heat, and we wouldn't replace it so we could have a backup if we lost power, but we would definitely prefer to burn corn upstairs. It's amazing how little corn it takes to produce a hot fire, plus corn stoves qualify for the Green Energy Income Tax Credit, so we can recoup up to 30% on our tax return! Bonus!

Trash to Treasure End Table

A tray that nobody wanted is now one of my favorite little details in this room.

This end table was a garage sale find that someone gave to me, probably because they didn't want it either. I used it in my home before Andy and I were married and then when we combined households, I stored it along with many other pieces I had collected over the years for those "one of these days" projects.


After we bought our house and had much much more space than before, I drug out this end table from storage and stripped off the old finish, sanded and stained with Minwax Special Walnut, topped it off with a couple coats of Tung Oil and it went straight to the living room. It matches my shadow box coffee table perfectly and if I hadn't fessed up, no one would suspect that it wasn't a matched pair to the coffee table.

I found the metal tray at an auction. They auctioned off a set of three mis-matched silver trays and the first time they tried to sell them, no one wanted them. The second time they went around I hadn't gotten a good chance to see them but for $1 I decided to buy them. When I got the trays home I fell in love with this one and it found the perfect home on this table plus it makes a wonderful place to set drinks without needing a coaster.


Friday, December 11, 2009

The Room with a Stairs

This one is still in process though this is a grouping of rosettes that I found here and there and still need a couple more to complete the group.
I have no idea what this little box is actually here for other than for me to put things on it. I wish it was a storage box but no luck, this doo-hickey is firmly nailed shut...





These are pictures of the room that I have no idea what to call it. It's just the room with the stairs because it really serves no other functional purpose other than for me to stick things I love, like the organ my Grandmother gave me. It's funny, this organ belonged to her husband's aunt I think and she never liked it. I guess she has tried to give it away for years with no luck (that seems nuts to me because I love it) so she was thrilled when I agreed to take it. It's hard to see all the detail on the piece, but the detail is beautiful and I am so honored to have it in my home!

Spare Bedroom and a Good for Nothin Cat...

My Tom is so vain that I'm convinced that he has adopted the spare bedroom as his own simply because he looks good on the quilt...
The side table is a table that I found at a garage sale. The first day I asked the man what he wanted and he told me he would take $50 for the table! It was in sorry shape but I went back the next day and asked again. He said he would take $50, I offered him $10 and he said, "Sold!". I fixed the wobble, sanded and refinished and then distressed it a little just to add that shanty look that I love and it feels perfect in this room. The curtains were ones that I made a couple years ago for our old bedroom. The bed is an old wrought iron bed that Andy had sandblasted and painted. There are actually two big accent pillows on the bed but I guess I was anxious to take the pictures because I took this one before I finished sewing the other pillow.

So what started out a room with really odd green paint (sorry I did not think to document that on film) is now a room that I just love! It was by far my favorite room though now I love the blue bedroom too. They are rooms with such polar opposite vibes, but I really like them both equally. What I enjoy the most is probably the fact that each piece in both rooms really has a story behind it and that's what makes it fun.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Apparently it's pretty hard to buy coasters these days...


After our new furniture was finally delivered I tried desperately to find coasters for the living room. You would think that would be an easy thing to do but then again, I've not really ever tried to buy coasters before. We have them, but I think they were gifts and they are now in Andy's Man Cave. So after looking just about anywhere I could think of, I couldn't find any coasters except for NCAA College Team Coasters and that was just not what I was looking for. So last night I cut 5" squares from burlap and flannel. I slipped one square of cotton flannel between two squares of burlap and pinned them together and stenciled a "D" monogram on each coaster. This morning before work I sewed the layers together on the sewing machine and threw the rest of my supplies in a bag so I could work on them during my lunch break. I have not completely finished the full set of six that I am working on, but this is how they look after I added the decorative stitching. I think I probably have under $2 invested in the whole set. Probably not even that much. Cute and inexpensive! Can't go wrong with that combination!

Living Room

This quilt was the inspiration for the wall colors in the living room.
View from the front door through to the dining room.

Love the way cream looks with this blue.



Part of my cross collection which seems to be growing and multiplying while I sleeep...



I have always wanted a blue living room and I guess I have one now. This is one of those colors that I just love and every time I look at the walls, I love them just as much as the day I painted them. Though I'm not completely done with this room, you can at least see the direction it's going. I still haven't worked out anything to house our electronics. The TV is mounted on the wall and I am pretty sure that I am going to build a mantle that doubles as a hidden entertainment center. That's a huge project though so stay tuned for my little reveal on that when I get all finished. Unfortunately that part will not be done for our Open House this weekend though all in good time. I can't do everything at once.



Monday, December 7, 2009

The Blue Bedroom

How it started out: I love the funky ladder I found yesterday at an auction for $2.
I failed at hanging the tin art straight so I opted for this. Much easier!

Close-up of the piece hanging above the bed.


The finished room:



Between last Friday Morning and Friday evening, our 2nd spare bedroom went through some major changes. I had just finished building a headboard from an old door that I found at a garage sale for $2 and refinishing some other furniture for the room, but I really had no idea where the room was heading but I knew that I was not really lovin' this room.

Friday I received the bedding set that I had ordered for this room and that was enough to spur me into action. I chose a blue for the room that I loved and though it turned out darker on the wall than on the swatch, all in all I love the room now, even though it is totally different than the vibe in the 1st guest bedroom. I think that's what I like about it. It's so different.
The bench at the foot of the bed was a $2 garage sale find that with a little paint and some TLC, is now a nice little bench to sit on while you put on your shoes. The ladder would make a great place to Hang Clothes from, a place to leave your shoes or purses and even if it serves no purpose, I like it! :)
I guess now I just need to figure out what I am going to do in our bedroom...

Friday, December 4, 2009

First of Many Reveals - Guest Bedroom Bench











I've been promising to post some pictures showing what I've been up to for the last couple months and though I'm still smack dab in the middle of some small projects and ready to start a couple huge ones, it's time to start sharing a little at a time.

This is one of my favorite projects of all so far and I just love this bench. I made this bench for one of the guest bedrooms upstairs and now that this room is mostly finished it is probably my favorite room in the house right now.

This bench started out as three garage sale chairs that I bought for $1 apiece. They had ugly green burlap cushions which I removed. After fusing the chairs together, cutting a new seat and attaching that seat to the three chairs I had a bench. After a little paint, some brass tacks and add a cushion that I sewed, voila! Now I have a bench at the end of the bed and all for under $25 for the whole project!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

For Sale By Owner

Just a little piece of advice, if you ever start thinking about buying a house "For Sale Buy Owner", don't do it! Though you save a lot of money cutting out the middle man, I have come to the conclusion that the stress is not worth it! I suppose maybe I stress about more things than most people do so that probably makes it worse.

That leads to to ask myself why I sweat the small stuff? Why do I worry about every tiny detail? Does everything always have to be perfect? Obviously it doesn't. I don't expect everyone else to be perfect all the time so why do I expect that of myself? I suppose I'm just made that way. I wonder if you can truly change something that is such a deep part of who you are.

I wish I had Andy's easy going, "Devil may care" attitude. Nothing really gets him too riled up and if it does, he's over it pretty quick.

I try to ask myself, "In a year from now is this really going to matter?" Sometimes that helps, but many times I get to the asking part way too late. I'm already riled up.

Regardless of how hard I want to make things just so-so, the fact is that mostly things will be what they will be and I have little control over those things.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

House Hunting


































Well after looking for what has seemed like FOREVER, we signed a contract this weekend on a house Northwest of Winfield! It's a five bedroom, 2 1/2 bath home on 8.5 acres. The house is listed as having about 3700 square feet. So we are finally going to have PLENTY of room!
There are two guest bedrooms upstairs and three downstairs. We have a huge laundry room upstairs that has a bathroom and sink in the laundry room. There is a living area upstairs and two seperate living areas downstairs in the lower level underground. The master bedroom and two kids' bedrooms are also downstairs along with another bath.

Our tentative closing date is October 9th though we still are waiting on the appraisal which could be an issue. The bank says that if they can't find a comp to compare the house to, then the appraiser may not be able to complete his appraisal and then that might cause the mortgage to fall through. So we are waiting to see that the appraisal goes through well. Otherwise if all goes smoothly, we could be moving in immediately after we close.
Right now our minds are running about a mile a minute and luckily other than a little paint (mainly because one bedroom is pink and there are a couple colors that I don't like) there is nothing that needs to be done to the house!
So we are pretty darned excited in case you couldn't tell!
The listing photos were really poor but Andy snapped some photos on his cell when we were there Saturday. They are not great but you get a better idea at least of what the house looks like.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wedding Cake



I love Wedding Cake!

Who doesn't?

Today I am fighting a horrible craving for wedding cake.

We have a specially preserved layer of wedding cake in our freezer from our wedding last fall and I am fantasizing about that cake in the freezer.

I have decided that maybe I should order a small cake each year for our anniversary. When else do you get to eat that almond buttercream frosting on white cake? It is by far my favorite kind of cake.

Just sayin.

Now you all can share my huge wedding cake craving too.

Your Welcome!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Soooooooo Tired



I am SOOOOOOOOOO tired this morning. If you ask Andy, he'd tell you that I say that every morning. And I probably do. But today I really mean it. I am flat wiped out! There was a time that I might have said that with a smile on my face because we had been up all night doing "other" things but not this time.

Tommy came home last night from being boarded over the weekend. The last time he stayed at the vet, when we brought him home and let him out, he stayed outside for days and wouldn't come in. Considering our current coyote problem we decided to make him stay inside the first night home and he was NOT liking it.

I think about midnight I gave up fighting him and locked him out of our bedroom. He wanted out so bad that he kept crying and walking all over me. Even after we locked him out of our room he still cried and cried half the night. So suffice to say that I did not get enough sleep last night.

Then when we did let the little shit out this morning he ran outside, sniffed around and then came right back in! Grrrrrrr!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Pictures the Boys


Wyatt's first Hershey Trackmeet in Winfield.


Cole thinks he's a big boy...and he is...but to me, he'll always be my Sweet Baby Boy...


As a mother of boys, I don't think there's anything sweeter than seeing my handsome little men in their baseball uniforms. So dad burned cute!

River Weekend


Friday evening after we ate dinner at Sam N Ella's in Tahlequah we went back to Diamondhead and sat around on the porch and visited with our friends and "neighbors". My husband the volleyball star played volleyball long into the night after the adults turned in for the night. He woke me up to tell me how he was such a volleyball star and how he "schooled" all those college kids. Of course he could hardly get out of bed Saturday morning. Guess that happens to all the volleyball stars out there...





My new SHORT haircut for those of you who haven't seen how much I cut off. It really looks better when I flat iron it, but for now with this humid weather, curly it is!



We were in a tropical mood so we grabbed our beads and leis and hit the road.
More pics to come, but for now, these are a few of us on our way to the River and hanging out on the porch at our "hotel". We are already looking at booking for next year so we can have a nice house down there for the weekend and can accomodate more friends. We had a great time. What a relaxing weekend!

Friday, July 17, 2009

3 Things I Love Today





Pravanna Keratin Fusion Sulfate Free Revitalizing Shampoo and Conditioner are awesome! My hairdresser said that they were amazing and so I ordered the Shampoo and Conditioner from her. Though I must say it took FOREVER to get them, it was worth the wait! Apparently I am not the only one that loves this stuff because they were backordered. I don't think my hair has EVER felt this soft. This stuff apparently can repair just about any damage you have done to your hair and it really does it quickly. I swear I noticed a different after the first time I shampooed my hair and now that I've been using it for the last few weeks, my hair is really doing great.
You have to get used to the fact that Sulfate Free Shampoo does not really lather. Sulfates are the ingrediants in shampoos that make them lather. Unfortunately though we all love that lather, the lather is what strips color and damages hair in general. So though a sulfate free shampoo does just as good of a job of cleaning the hair, it just doesn't have all that lather.
When I bought the shampoo and conditioner, I got a free bottle of thermal insulator which is similar to Biosilk or Chi Silk Infusion. I use it as a leave in conditioner and also use it if I am going to do any heat styling.
So if your hair needs a little repair, I swear by this Shampoo and Conditioner. In fact, I think I am going to re-order soon so that if it's back ordered again, I will hopefully receive it before I run out of the bottles I have now!

It's On!




Ok, so for those of you who don't know, we live in the country surrounded by soybeans and alfalfa this time of the year. And when you live in an area literally surrounded by grain, you have mice. If you don't have lots of farm cats, you get mice in your house and that is way not cool. Especially since mice absolutely give me the willies. It's not that I'm scared of them, but they are filthy and they can literally get into ANYTHING and I hate them. I generally don't say hate, but in this case I think it's absolutely appropriate. I have yet to determine what actual purpose mice serve on this earth other than to serve as a food source for cats and snakes.
Anyhoo, literally since Monday we have lost 5 cats. We have steadily lost a handful of cats since Summer began, but this last week we are literally losing them everyday! We now only have two kittens, a worthless white female and my Tommy. Lord help us if we lose Tommy. He's our sleep in the house at night Tom, terrorize and kill mice in the day Tommy.
The last few nights we've had to keep Tommy in the house even though he desperately wanted out. Last night we brought the kittens in the house and locked them in a Pet Porter overnight so they wouldn't get killed in the night. It's really horrible to think of something coming and killing your animals in the night and that other than making them stay inside until morning, there is nothing you can do to save them.
So we think that we have coyotes that are killing the cats and we pretty much know that they are coming up to the house, likely within feet of our back door, otherwise they would not have been able to get the kittens. So I think tonight we are going to have to park one of the pickups in a spot that we can see from all directions and then we are going to have to have a little stakeout.
I sure hope we figure something out quick, otherwise Tommy will have to be boarded while we go on our little trip next weekend and he will absolutely hate that. When he has to go to the vet he usually won't come up to the house for days because he's letting us know he's mad.
He's one spoiled kitty...




Wednesday, July 15, 2009

This Close to Winning the Mother of the Year Award

Just when I thought I was a shoe-in this year for MOTY Award, I blew it again!

Sunday I decided the boys were getting a little shaggy so I drug out the clippers to give the boys a haircut. Wyatt loves having a fresh cut, but Cole Avery absolutely hates having his hair cut. It's always a fight from start to finish.

So I drug everything out to the garage because it just makes cleanup easier. It was already 100 degrees and I swear I was sweating buckets! So Wyatt's haircut was short and sweet and we were done in no time. I started Cole's cut and it was painfully obvious from the start that it was going to be one of those days with him. I always start at the base of their neck with a 1/16" guard and fade up to 1/4'' on the top. I keep Cole's especially short because the cuts are so unpleasant that I prefer to not have to do them often.

Well about 30 seconds into the cut, my sweet little angel was no longer acting human. I don't know if it was the heat or the fact that we had had this same fight I don't know...maybe 50 times before or maybe it was a combination of the two. Either way, I had had it.

So I said to heck with this fighting. I just buzzed his hair off all over with the 1/16" guard! Then when I got done I realized that it was so short that I swore the phone would ring any second and it would be Make a Wish! Then to make it worse he went in the house and cried and cried and cried. I wanted to get my point across to him but I had no idea that it would break his pea pickin little heart. So Andy had me shave his head too.

And that made it all better. Cole was happy as a clam.

Dad's hat doesn't fit for the time being.

We have to sunscreen Cole's head every morning.

And luckily in a about a week, it will have grown a ton.

And there's always next year to win MOTY.

Hallelujah!

So I've been really trying to hit the gym really hard lately because we are going to the River next week and will be in a bathing suit around people I know for the whole weekend. Even though I work out about 6 days a week as is, I have felt like I needed to step it up and try to lose that layer of pudge that is covering up what surely is a six pack somewhere.

So I bought a couple fitness magazines to try and find some new ab excercises so I could find something more challenging. I found some really cool stuff in those mags and I may post some later but that will have to wait for now.

I read this letter from a reader that asked what supplements if any really help you lose belly fat. You see all these ads on TV for these pills that help you lose belly fat and I'm sure I can't be the only person who's wondered. So the expert answers and says that the only supplement that he knows of that has a proven effect on belly fat loss is fish oil. He said to take at least 1000 mg per day!

So I thought I might try that and went out to Wal-Mart to look at Omega 3 fish oil of all things. So I read the bottle and it says that it's indicated for heart health. Period. No mention of anything else. But I bought it anyhow. I also noticed a jar right above it that was Cayenne Fruit Capsules which is supposed to support metabolism. So I thought what the heck! Worst case scenario I'll shit myself for a day or two! LOL

So I've been taking the Fish Oil and Cayenne for a week now and I swear that I am noticing a rapid change in my body in just one week. I haven't weighed because I hate the scales, but I would guess that I for sure have lost pounds but definitely inches.

So I googled Fish Oil because I Google EVERYTHING and was reading this bodybuilding article that said that studies have shown 26% differences in fat loss with Omega 3 Fish Oil versus without. Basically it says that the Fish Oil causes your body to burn more calories and fat. And the side effect is weight loss in addition to the heart health benefits that it is intended for.

So how cool is that? A weight loss aid that is actually healthy for you? This is something that a person could take for the rest of their life and only see healthy benefits. AWESOME!

Nuff Said!

And for those of you who are wondering about the Cayenne (because I know you are wondering), NO! My ass has not been on fire! Seriously! No ice cream cone required!

Summer Nights...

My goodness I have done a horrible job of posting on a regular basis lately. Sometimes I think that I just don't have anything interesting to say so I just say to heck with it. Seems today like I have tons going on so I'll have to save some for a later post so it actually looks like I am diligent in my posting! LOL

We are leaving for the weekend next Thursday and I am so excited about that! It's not like we are really planning some fantastic getaway but to us it's really nice to get away without the kiddos for a weekend. That's pretty rare for us in fact I don't think we've done that since my Birthday weekend. We are going to Tahlequah to float the river with friends and I think we are going to have a blast!

The boys started the first of three days of football camp this week and had a blast last night. This is Cole's first year playing so we will see how things go for him. So far so good.

It seems like the next month is just filled with tons of things to do. This weekend Tahlequah, next weekend is the Cowley County Fair. The second full week in August school starts in Ark City and then that following weekend is the Freedom Rodeo and so we will for sure be going to Freedom for the weekend. And then before you know it, College Football kicks off again and we will be busy busy busy with school again.

I love this time of year and hope to enjoy every last minute before school starts and time becomes a precious commodity again.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Love is letting me sleep while you stay up and watch the storms...

Our weeked was fun but seemed to just fly by as always. There is never enough time to do all the things that must be done and to do all the relaxing that we need so desperately.

Friday night we ran to Medford after work to meet up with Andy's Dad and then no sooner had we walked in the door than Andy got called out and had to go to work. That was not according to plan, but gave me time to relax with a book and so that was a nice evening after all.

Saturday the boys were going to Grandma's house for the day and off to a Wingnuts game for the evening. We had the day all to ourselves and we decided to try and do absolutely nothing. I'm not sure we completely succeeded in doing that because I had to get groceries and do some cooking for that evening, but we really did have a relaxing afternoon complete with a nap! Woo-hoo! Love those Saturday afternoon naps.

Saturday night we went to a BBQ/party at some new friends of ours, Whitney and Tara's house and had a really good time. We visited with some friends that we had not seen in quite some time and met a lot of new people too which seemed to be just the thing we needed. And we needed a night of "no kids allowed".

Sunday too was mostly a lazy day. The boys and I spent most of the afternoon at my Grandmother Gracie's house. I had a really nice visit with Grandmother and my Mom while the boys played outside at the farm. I know the day will come when we won't have her with us anymore and so I seem to treasure every visit more and more.

After we left the farm we went home and baked brownies and while they cooled, Cole and I snuggled under a blanket and read for a "Which Way Book" or Choose Your Adventure" book. Not sure what they are really called but it was nice to spend some cuddle time just the two of us. That and when we can spend that much time reading together it makes me hopeful that he will truly develop a love for reading.

Andy suggested that rather than cooking last night, instead we should go to town to eat so we loaded up and headed in to eat at El Maguey only to find that they were closed so we opted for the other Mexican food place on Summit and I can't remember the name. It was good, but not "El Magooey" as Andy calls it.

Last night we got wrapped up watching Lonesome Dove and unfortunately instead of getting to bed early as planned, we didn't turn in until after 11:00 and right about that time our NOAA weather radio alarm went off telling us that there was a tornado warning for Sumner County and it was heading our way. I got the boys dressed in pants so they would be ready if we needed to head out to the storm shelter and then let them fall back asleep. Then I packed a few more things in the "tornado bag" that I keep by the back door, "just in case". After I got our shoes lined up by the back door and made sure we had flashlights and candles ready and new batteries in the weather radio, I went to bed. Bless my sweet husband! Even though I argued with him, he said that there was no sense in both of us staying up so he let me sleep. Then as the night wore on and the storms rolled in, poor thing was called out to work and worked all night with no sleep. He's still working this afternoon and dead on his feet.

God I love that man!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Back to the Real World

Our long weekend is over and it's back to work today. We really had a great weekend and it was a much much much much much needed break from work. We spent the weekend in Freedom at Andy's parents' house and were able to visit and relax. Some of Andy's family was visiting so we had a family picnic at his Grandma's house and were able to see lots of people that we normally don't see when we come to visit and that was fun. We fished Sunday and then left Monday morning to head to Anthony for a Trap shoot. The Trap club is on a lake in and so there is a really shady grove of trees to hang out in and we were able to fish and hang out around the lake too though it was so incredibly hot in the sun after a weekend of sun. When we got home Monday night we realized that they were having a John Wayne marathon on TV so the boys and I watched Rooster Cogburn until I finally gave in to some much needed sleep.

Yesterday we were still off work so we all slept late! Yoo-hoo! Cole and I ran to Ponca to run some errands and Andy and Wyatt ran their own errands and did some guy stuff in Ark City. Then we met back at home after lunch and went to a shooting range and had a little family outing target shooting with the boys. I had a two hour golf lesson yesterday and we had baseball games last night. It was nice to do things we wanted to do for a change instead of things we HAVE to do.

Work was especially painful this morning after a long weekend, but AHHHH such is life I guess. Until I figure out how to retire at 32, I guess I'll have to keep working. Notice I say retire? Stay at home Mom's work too darned hard so I say that I want to retire instead. That sounds so much better!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Baseball Part II

As I mentioned in a previous post, baseball in Ark City has been quite dissapointing for Andy and I. The boys aren't old enough to really understand how things are being run here yet.

Initially we knew we would be dissapointed in the facilities. We have been blessed to have played years past in Winfield where the boys were truly lucky to have such great fields to play on. In Ark City we play at Sleeth, home of the sewage treatment plant...right next to the field Wyatt plays on...seriously. A great hit would literally end up floating around with the Baby Ruths! Uggh.

It didn't take long to learn that raw waste is not the only thing that stinks around there. Cole's first scrimmage was last week. He scrimmaged the Association President's team. It was a slaughter! Because it was picture night for the traveling teams, we found out really quickly that the Pres has stacked his team with traveling team players. Cole's league is the 7 and 8 year old league though there were two boys that played on Wyatt's third grade football team last fall. So they are basically stacked with third graders and stud 7 and 8 year olds and are absolutely rolling over every other team in the league. Last weekend we had a tournament and had to play them again right out of the gate and were run ruled as was everyone else!

The irony of all this was that we noticed that the same snotty little klick that we had to endure during football just happened to be the parents of the kids on the President's team! We found it hard to believe that they just accidentally ended up with all their kids on the same team. You see most towns rank their players and then spread the higher ranked kids throughout the teams for a couple reasons. They don't want any one team to be too strong, but also, it's good for weaker players to play with stronger players. Stronger players are a good teaching tool.

Andy mentioned what we had noticed to Wyatt's coach and he explained to us that in Ark City, President suggested that kids that hang out together and who's parents socialize together should get to play together. Well I guess the other coaches agreed without realizing what his plan was. Basically he wanted to be able to stack his team and he wanted to make sure that their kids don't have to play with kids that the parents don't socialize with. The same guy coaches a team in Wyatt's league too and he has basically done the same thing with less success though. His team did beat Wyatt's team last weekend, but not without a fight. They barely pulled it off.

It is very dissapointing that we live in a town that places status in a klick above the love of the game of baseball. But as we learn more and more, it seems that this klick in Ark City is pretty much the foundation of life here. These same parents put their kids in the same schools even though they don't reside in the designated area. It just so happens that is the school our kids go to. And the same parents run the show there too.

My whole life Ark City people have talked about Winfield people like Ark City people are more down to earth and Winfield people are snotty but having lived in both places, we both agree that Ark City is a tough town to live in because of this klicky crap. And the sad part is that the people who are in this group are not of high social standing. They don't have great jobs for the most part or come from good families or even have fabulous houses. Many are big partiers. But they have this idea that they are a desireable group to run with. We certainly don't agree.

As Wyatt's coach put it, "The good thing about letting them have their own little team is that you don't have to deal with those bunch of parents on your team. Thank goodness for small favors.

Last Day of School

Today is the last day of school and we are all SOOOOOO excited! This means we can sleep later and not have homework every night! Yea! This morning we had a celebration breakfast of eggs, sausage, hashbrowns, and biscuits and gravy! All my boys headed off to school and work full from their ginormous breakfast. We have an awards assembly this afternoon and after that the boys are free men!

They have such a fun summer ahead of them including two sessions of swimming, baseball in the evenings, and rec activities all day long. I can't wait! I know how much fun they are going to have knowing that four days a week this summer they are going to have non-stop fun with kids their age and swimming everyday. I am a little jealous!

In between all their summer fun they will get to spend a week or two with Grandma Jo and will get to go stay with their Oklahoma Grandparents too. I hope that they have such a great summer that they are totally ready to attack next school year.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Craziness

It's been a long time! Life has been more than hectic lately and with work, baseball, church and life in general it's just been nuts lately. On a normal evening I don't get home until about 8:30 at night because we have baseball practices at least 3 nights during the week that start at 5:00 and don't end until 8:00. Lately we've had obligations on the weekends too which doesn't really make keeping the house clean much of an option. We do what we can but it's been neglected to say the least. Friday and Saturday we had baseball tournaments which made housework wait until Sunday after church which left me feeling really bummed. I prefer to get a nap on Sunday afternoons rather than clean house but it had to be done. I get really down when my house is messy.

I need a part time job with full time pay!

And after the housecleaning Wyatt and I worked on his science project. We made a solar system out of sugar cookies decorated in frosting. It really turned out awesome but it was a lot of work. More cleanup really than actual work. Well, getting all the different colors we needed took a lot of time. It's amazing how many colors you need to make planets. I did find out some really cool info though. Wal-Mart has awesome cake stuff that is not in the baking isle. It's with the wedding stuff. They sell the kind of concentrated food colorings that you dip a toothpick into. The colors are awesome. I won't ever buy liquid color again. They also sell the cake cardboards. We bought large rectangular ones and spray painted it black and had an awesome sky for our planets.

All in all his project turned out awesome and he was so proud. What's more awesome is that we really had a good time listening to music and making cookies and frosting them. We danced in the kitchen and played air sax and had some really good moves. Andy just shook his head at us. I'm sure we looked pretty ridiculous but we had a blast. The funny think is that there were a lot of songs about the moon and stars all evening and we thought that those songs were in honor of our project.

I can't wait to hear how his day went. When I left him at school he was grinning ear to ear because the kids were all gathered around his desk looking at his project. The recipe was so big that we made sun cookies for all the kids in his class.

This weekend was a crash course of how things work in the world of baseball in Ark City and to say the least we were less than pleased. More on that load of crap later though. Today I'm just so proud of Wyatt I am almost teary!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Future Quarter Miler????

I must be the proudest Mama in the whole United States this morning! Wyatt rocked his trackmeet yesterday! Things started out a little rocky but soon got much better.

He started the meet with the long jump and got third place and was completely devastated! This was the first time that he even tried to long jump and even so, he was crushed. He decided right then and there that he was going to have a horrible meet and would not run well either just because of some stupid field event. Track is one of those sports that just takes some time to figure out what events you are good at. I tried to explain that too him but it didn't seem to sink in.

By the time that we started to warm up for his 50 meter dash, he was more relaxed but was pretty irritated at me because he didn't see the point in warming up. At that age it's just hard to impress upon a child how important that is. He ran a good 50 meter despite a really crappy start and got second place and was thrilled with that.

His 50 meter was a great warm-up for his 400 meter that followed shortly after. I really felt like this was going to be his race, but then until you actually get to see your child compete, you just don't know. We had talked strategy quite a bit beforehand and he actually listened really well and it showed in his race. Most people probably don't understand how much thinking there really is to do in a race like that, but there truly is. You absolutely have to run a smart race and he did amazing for his first time out. He had a really relaxed first 200 meters and then slowly and smoothly sped up through the next 100 meters. The plan was that when he hit the straightaway for his last 100 meters he would be at 75% speed and then from that point he would roll into a full out sprint for the last 50 meters. At the last 100 meters I thought that he was out of gas because he seemed to be just loping. I think it might have been more due to the fact that there was no one close to him and he just thought he could coast. When he got to the 50 meter mark I yelled, "He's coming up right behind you Wyatt!"

At that point I didn't know whether he had any gas left or whether he was pooped, but when I yelled out to him he took out like a rocket! It was actually pretty funny because everyone laughed because it was such a drastic burst of speed! He obviously had a lot of gas left and could have poured it on according to plan!

So he had an amazing race and really showed us what we had suspected all along, which is that Wyatt has the potential to be a great middle distance runner. He has an amazing naturally long, smooth, graceful stride that is just made for the 400 and 800 meter runs. It was so fun to see a child of mine on the track. I spent so many years competing and just loving the sport and to see a child of mine enjoying it too was just amazing. I know how Andy feels when he watches the boys play football. It just brings back memories.

So since Wyatt qualified for State we will travel up North so he can compete at the State level. I tried to explain to him that it's a whole different ball game up there and that the level of competition is going to be much more intense. That said, I really think that he is talented enough to do well up there. Most kids at that age are wanting to run the 50 meter and the 100 meter and are not thinking about the 400 meter. That said, there will be some tough competition up there but win or lose, it will be a great learning experience for Wyatt.

As we walked back to the parking lot Wyatt still grinned ear to ear. I told him that it looked like he had caught the bug. He grinned harder and agreed that he did. It's hard to explain that feeling that you get. For me, track was a love of racing. I didn't love running, I loved racing. Practices were grueling and I really never loved that part, but I loved the adrenaline or racing. I think Wyatt felt that yesterday.

We asked Cole on the way home if he wants to run when he gets old enough. He just said, "No!". He said later that he might but really didn't show any interest. That's really fine with me. Every kid had to decide what they like and what their strengths and weaknesses are. While I think that Cole has the build and speed of a sprinter, he may not ever have any interest in track at all. And that's fine with me.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Glub Glub....

I posted earlier today about the flooding and it made me think of a story that my family told about my Great Aunt Bea.

My Grandparents lived about a 1/2 mile from the Arkansas River. Because our area is known for flooding, when it rained a lot, people got in the habit of calling and seeing how high the river had risen.

Well one day my Aunt Bea had been out to their house to visit and if I can remember the story right she started to get a little irritated at all the people calling to check on the water level. Bea had a since of humor. So when the phone rang the next time, she answered the phone and just said, "Glub Glub!"

Well I thought it was funny!

London Bridge is Falling Down...

For those of you who don't live in Cowley County, Kansas, you would probably not know that our rivers are well above flood stage. For people like my husband who didn't grow up in an area of the US where flooding was much of an issue, the word "flood" probably seems a little scary.

Unfortunately we flood here. And it seems like it happens about every year somewhere between April and the end of October. And sometimes happens several times a year. Our last was last fall.

After last weekend's storms and torrential rains across Kansas, all the rain and river water has now collected in our little town because we are the last town in the state at the bottom of the Arkansas River. Actually Ark City lies between two Rivers, The Arkansas and the Walnut River. Flood stage is 17 feet I think and this morning at 3 am the Arkansas was at 25.1 feet, forecasted to crest at 30 feet, or so I was told. And of course it's still raining off and on here and around Kansas.

The City put in the flood gates after the horrible flood in 1998 and built up the dykes so I don't know if the gates have actually been closed since then. There has been discussion of doing that this time around which freaks me out a little. The thought of not being able to get home is crappy.

What's worse is that last night as I was driving Wyatt home from baseball practice as we crossed the River bridge west of Ark City, I got half way across the river and suddenly thought about what I would do if the bridge collapsed while I was on the bridge. OMG that's a horrible thought when your child is in the backseat! Always thinking on the bright side right? Why do I think of such things????

And then the song, "Proud Mary" started going through my head. So we started thinking of all the songs about Rivers and sang them. We sang, "Rollin on the River of Love", "Proud Mary", "Green River" and so on.

As I write I realize that for an instant I became my mother! If you know my Mom, you will understand. My sister will for sure. My Mom always sang about everything. Sometimes we thought it was fun or funny and sometimes we could not help but groan.

Some things are just genetic I guess.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I'm Baaack from the Gates of Hell

It's been a long time since I posted. But honestly it's been a long time since I have had anything nice to say! That sounds horrible I know, but it's the truth. Things have been really crappy at work lately and unfortunately when things at work are yucky, it seems to spill over into every other part of life.

I'm trying to learn to seperate my real life from my work life though sometimes that is hard, especially when this stressful job can be all consuming.

Soccer is over thankfully. Baseball started last night and was another reminder of how absolutely lame this town is. I so want to go back to Winfield. Everything to do with athletics in Ark City just seems to be an absolute cluster-fuck! (I can say that you know because this is my blog!)

Cole's coach called last night, finally! We hadn't heard from him last week and everyone we talked to had spoken to their coaches. So I called the Rec and got his name and Andy called him over the weekend and had to leave a message. And he didn't call back. So last night he calls and tells me that practice starts in 35 minutes! And when I told him that I didn't appreciate getting a call 35 minutes before practice he tried to tell me that he'd tried to call me over and over for the last week and had left me message and that I hadn't called him back! What a crock! And of course I told him that! I'm sure my kid will be a starter this year huh? I don't know what number he was calling but it sure wasn't my phone or Andy's phone and he did not leave a message. I think he was just covering for being a walking DICK ON A STICK! So that really helped after a long day at Hell's Gate.

On a happy note, Wyatt has his first track meet this weekend and I couldn't be prouder. Makes me think back to all my years of trackmeets.

We're trying to get things planned for a trip to float at Tahlequah this summer and that's exciting. The River is always fun.

Gotta run here PDQ to get groceries and then get home to fix supper and get my little one fed and homework done in time to get him to his practice. Andy is taking Wyatt to practice while we are doing homework and getting Cole fed. It seems that Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays Andy and I will just meet up around bedtime. I love that the boys get to be in sports but there are some days that it really seems like a sacrifice of sanity. But it's worth it for them to get to do the kinds of things that I didn't always get to do. I want them to get to try anything that they want to do within reason and hope that they find some things that they will love to do for life.

Off to the races.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Breast Cancer Rant

I don't usually drone on and on about things like Cancer. I don't wear those pink pens or have a pink magnet on my car or walk in the Relay for Life. But I see things in my job that scare me just the same and it's important to me to remind those I care about that it is so careful to take care of yourselves.

A woman’s chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer in the United State is:

from ages 30 to 39. . .0.44 percent (often expressed as "1 in 229")
from ages 40 to 49. . .1.46 percent (often expressed as "1 in 68")
from ages 50 to 59. . .2.73 percent (often expressed as "1 in 37 ")
from ages 60 to 69. . .3.82 percent (often expressed as "1 in 26 ")


Most breast cancers occur in women over the age of 50. The number of cases is especially high for women over age 60. Breast cancer is relatively uncommon in women under age 40. The NCI fact sheet Probability of Breast Cancer in American Women provides more information about lifetime risk. This fact sheet is available at
http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Detection/probability-breast-cancer on the Internet.

Those stats are staggering. Think about the population of the town you live in and then calculate how many women in their 30's are probably being diagnosed with breast cancer every year. We think that because we are under 40 or because our mothers haven't had breast cancer that we are probably safe. But the statistics make me think we are not as safe as we would like to think.

1) Do your self breast exams if nothing more, do it when you are in the shower. They say that women rarely find a lump that way (normally they find them on a mammogram) but what women do notice is breast tenderness that is not around your period, nipple discharge, skin thickening, a change in density in the breast, or sometimes a lump.

2) Get your annual paps and make sure your doctor does a clinical breast exam with the pelvic exam.

3) Women over 40 should have a mammogram every 1-2 years, preferrably every year.

4) Women who have a higher risk should talk to their doctor about having a mammogram before age 40.

5) Risk factors such as personal history of breast cancer, family history of breast cancer, long-term use of hormonal therapy (such as hormones after menopause or hysterectomy) etc. might mean that your doctor would want you to have a mammogram before you turn 40.

6) Studies show the more a woman drinks, the higher risk.

7) Physically innactive women have a higher risk.

8) Overweight women have a higher risk.

9) Women who had their first child after 30 or who never had a child are at a greater risk.

10) Women who started their periods before age twelve may have a higher risk.

11) There is a test that women can take to find out if they have a gene that make them have a much higher risk of breast cancer. The genes are BRCA1 and BRCA2. Ask your doctor about whether he suggests testing for you.

12) Have a good relationship with your doctor. Ask questions. If something doesn't seem right, don't take no for an answer until you are satisfied. If you are still not satisfied get a second opinion. Take charge of your healthcare!

13) You know your body, listen to what your body is telling you.

14) And don't neglect your health because you are afraid of what you might find out! I hear so many people say that they don't want to have a certain test run because they are afraid of the results. Are you more afraid of the diagnosis or the death that could result because you were afraid to get checked out?


Thursday, April 2, 2009

I Wish (stealing from Faith)

1) I wish I had all these great, funny ideas for interesting blogs and that I didn't have to get ideas from other people's blogs...(Faith)
2) That we would win the lottery.
3) And be able to build our dream house and have it be 100% paid for!
4) That I could wake up tommorrow and be the weight I was before I had babies.
5) And that I would wake up tomorrow with a nice, round set of knockers.
6) That I could retire at 32.
7) And sleep late everyday if I wanted to.
8) That I could have one day without the interruption of irritating people.
9) That fat free ranch dressing would actually taste as good as the real thing.
10) That I could get my eye liner tattooed on permanently.
11) And that I could have laser hair removal. (I hate shaving, especially my girl parts)
12) That I had an unlimited shoe budget.
13) And an art studio where I could make baskets, jewelry, mat and frame photography, sew, whatever I wanted to do that particular day. And there would be no entrance for anyone with a penis. My space!
14) That laundry did itself.
15) And so would the dishes.
16) That Friday came quicker.
17) That there was no such thing as wrinkles and cellulite and hair would never turn gray. (luckily no gray hairs yet, but I'm sure I'll have that too)
18) That I had been smarter about men when I was young.
19) That I could take a two week vacation somewhere with the boys and my husband but take a nanny so that we could have adult time too.
20) That men had periods every now and then. Now that would be funny!