Finally Recess
Time to sit back and have a cup of coffee

Monday, May 26, 2008


I remember paying 93 cents for gas because that is year I graduated but I remember paying less. Those were good times. I could fill up my car on about $7-$10 depending on how low I had let the tank get.

One summer I remember driving to an outlet mall and I got lost and in the meantime I got frustrated because I had to pay $1.57 for gas because I was so far outside of town. I remember being in tears because I was lost and having to overpay for gas. Now I would give anything to pay $1.57 for gas.

I was talking to my grandma this weekend and retelling the above story, she had a similar one about being overcharged for gas while on vacation in New Mexico. She didn't tell the year but it was a long time ago. She said the gas was 32 cents and she and my granddaddy were so upset because that was so outrageous and so much more expensive than Texas. Of course she (and I) would give anything to pay that price!

This weekend I drove to Oklahoma to see my family and had a great time! The time was great and family was fun. The gas prices stink!

I got a newsletter from the North Texas Tollway and it had some tips for saving gas. There were some I already knew and some I found interesting and helpful. I wanted to pass them on. I hope they might help you. Unless you've found that awesome station in NM with 32 cent prices you should check out this list!

Tips to Save Gas and Money
Gas prices are reaching record levels. Since most North Texans rely on their vehicles, it’s important to our customers to conserve fuel. These tips can help motorists save gas (and money).

Car pooling is a time-tested way to save fuel and associated expenses.

Don't start and stop engine needlessly. Idling your engine for one minute consumes the gas amount equivalent to when you start the engine.

Accelerate slowly when starting from a dead stop. Don't push pedal down more than 1/4 of the total foot travel. This allows the carburetor to function at peak efficiency.

Buy gasoline during the coolest time of day, early morning or late evening is best. During these times gasoline is densest.

Avoid “topping off” the gas tank. Overfilling results in gasoline sloshing over and out of tank. Never fill the gas tank past the first "click" of fuel nozzle, if nozzle is automatic.

Slow down. Exceeding 40 mph forces your auto to overcome tremendous wind resistance. Traveling at 55 mph gives you up to 21% better mileage when compared to speed limits of 65 mph and 70 mph.

Use air conditioning only when necessary.

Keep windows closed when traveling at highway speeds. Open windows cause air drag, reducing your fuel efficiency by 10%.

Drive at a steady rate of speed. Slowing down or speeding up wastes fuel.

Park car so that you can later begin to travel in forward gear; avoid reverse gear maneuvers to save gas.

Regular tune-ups ensure the best fuel economy; check the owner's manual for recommended maintenance intervals. Special attention should be given to maintaining clean air filters – diminished air flow increases gas waste.

Inflate all tires to the maximum limit. Check manufacturer's specifications for maximum tire pressures.

Remove excess weight from trunk or inside of car - extra tires, back seats, unnecessary heavy parts. Extra weight reduces fuel efficiency, especially when driving up inclines.
Sources: and

Monday, May 19, 2008

Caitlyn Mishaps

We've had a lot of these lately.

This weekend Caitlyn painted her nails with black permanent Sharpie marker. She's had another run in with this exact marker before and we have been so good about keeping this marker out of her reach but of course we (or should I say I) messed up. Luckily I know from teaching that fingernail polish remover will remove permanent marker.
So then later that day she painted her nails with finger nail polish, but she was unsupervised. I was very upset with her and inquired where she had painted (and made the mess). She said, "On the napkin Mommy." She was very neat and clean.

Tonight it was quiet again and I found her in my bathroom licking the inside of the fingernail polish remover lid. GASP! Now mind you she had put toothpaste in it so I am sure it evened out the acetone and she had brought me the bottle and a cotton swab earlier to take off her polish earlier (while I was cooking). Now I wish I had stopped and put it away right then, I just thought I had time. So I called my Poison Control Center (Jeff) and he agreed with the back of the bottle to give her lots of fluids and believe me she is just fine.

So I was changing Brent's diaper and I thought she was following me up the stairs but I soon didn't hear anything so I started calling her name. I started fearing that she had passed out from the chemicals she had sampled earlier. Don't worry. I found her downstairs. Running out of my bedroom with chocolate all over her mouth. She had been hiding in the corner of my room. (Okay I am laughing as I read this because I remember experiences similar to this when I was a child!!! Sorry Mom and Dad!!!) Anyway, so she was hiding and eating a piece of Dove chocolate that she had stolen out of the pantry. What a stinker. So she had to go straight to bed and didn't get to watch "the music" or as we call it Dancing With the Stars with me.

When it rains it pours!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Caitlyn Update

Caitlyn has grown up so much. Jeff said tonight while looking at her that she is growing so fast. And it is so true.

Last night I went to bed early and watched tv in my room while Caitlyn watched a movie with Jeff. She came down a little bit later and knocked on the door and let herself in.
She said, "I'm checking on you. Are you okay? Are you sleeping?"
I said, "No I'm just watching TV."
"Does your neck hurt again? Does your head hurt?
"No. I'm just tired."
"Okay. I'll lay down with you."
These are the types of instances that I am beginning to get to enjoy on a regular basis. I love it!

She is such a good big sister. She is so happy when Brent wakes up in the morning. She loves to hold his for him (even though he can do it himself). She always makes sure he has a toy to play with.

A good friend of mine said once that her daughter seemed to have one bad week of behavior for a good month of behavior. Well I guess it has been our week. Caitlyn has gotten in trouble at the sitter for the first time ever. She hit a little boy and threw mud in a little girls face. So I made her wait out her punishment until we got home and did our chores (feed the dog, put away our bags, etc.) but I kept reminding her of what would happen. That seemed to make a great effect. So did the consequence! Then 2 days later she lied to her babysitter. The sitter saw her spit on a mirror and she blamed it on someone else. Oh man.

She has become very particular about her shoes. For awhile she loved her "flippers", those are what you and I would call flip-flops but now they will not do. Tonight I had to go get her new sandals because her toes were hanging off her old sandals. This was the first time I was worried she wouldn't like what I brought home. Luckily I scored and she loved my choices!

She got to go to Chuck E Cheese tonight because she is potty trained! PTL!!!!! She is even napping pull-up free.

She loves to snuggle, help me cook, color, write anywhere with any writing utensil, play outside with the dogs, ride her bike, ride the four-wheeler with her dad, fish, play in the dirt, watch Dancing with the Stars and American Idol with mommy and dance, and she loves the letters of the alphabet. She knows her letters and their sounds. She even knows how to write some of them. We are proud of her. Now if she can just learn her colors, sometimes she knows them and sometimes not - so I've decided she must be color blind!!!! J/K! She counts funny too!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Rachel's Rally

Our character education program for our district this year originated from the Columbine shooting. Rachel was the first victim that was killed. She was committed to living her life reaching out to others who were outcasts, sitting by themselves at lunch, etc. Her legacy has become reminding others to act kindly towards others. (This is not our school website but there is a ton of good information here, easy and informative!)

This year our elementary students wrote down on strips of paper anytime they saw acts of kindness. We made chains of kindness in our classroom, which we eventually moved to the halls of our school. Then on May 8th at 7 pm, all schools brought their chains to the high school football field and linked our chains together. They wrapped around the football field track 2 times. It was very moving and especially emotional to see Rachel's parents there watching how there daughters life is still affecting boys and girls 9 years later. They must be so sad to have lost her so early, but yet so proud that her life is so full of meaning! Here are the students bringing the chains onto the field. You can the see the mass of students waiting to come onto the field still. They were coming on the field "Olympic" style!
Here we are watching. Check out Brent in one of the 1st grade teachers arms. We all purchased Rachel's Rally t-shirts and wore them every Thursday for the entire year.

Here is a picture of Rachel's dad speaking and her mom beside him.

Here is a picture of our students. This is mostly the choir that performed that did an outstanding job bringing me to tears!

Here is the "chicken" that Caitlyn really wanted to see up close. Go Rockwall-Heath Hawks.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

8 months in Review

Brent is growing so big right before our eyes. He is beginning to eat some big people food. Here you can see him chowing on a quesadilla. Don't worry I picked out the cheese! He loved it especially with guacamole!

He is sitting up much more and although he loves to be on his belly to scoot around everywhere he is starting to get up on his hands and feet more regularly and rock back and forth. Once he figures out to move his hands at the same time, my life will change dramatically.

Caitlyn is such a good helper. She is always there to take away her toys from him, but immediately replace them with his toys. In fact, he never has to sit anywhere without toys. She always brings him something to play with!

He has his bottom 2 front teeth and loves using them to chop any food he can reach or toys.
He is still an exceptionally good baby. My friends were over the other night and were amazed that I could turn the light on while he was sleeping.

He is getting better at getting small edible items into his mouth. For along time, they've ended up in his palm and now he can get them in the right grasp to get them in his mouth. That is the significance of the picture below.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mother's Day at the Zoo

It was a fabulous, out of this world , wonderful, hold in my heart forever kind of day! So I will share it with you actually in reverse! That's the way my pictures loaded! So think of it like you are getting to eat dessert first and working your way back towards the appetizer! Enjoy my sweet babies!
Here's my babies 2nd ride on the ferris wheel, but first good pictures! Isn't he getting too big?

He's crashed out! Isn't he so cute?

Caitlyn and Daddy riding what she calls the "jaguar".

In the Children's Zoo you can go in a section and feed the birds, Brent is not so sure about the birds.

Caitlyn is okay as long as she can just look and talk about holding the food on a stick.

Jeff has the touch and the birds come to him. In fact, when he takes the birds to other children and walks off the birds fly back to his shoulders. What can I say, everyone and everything loves him?

Isn't that a precious smile? 8 months ya'll, where is the time going?

This is my monkey I brought to the zoo. This is his favorite activity. He also loves hanging upside down the other way and fights me when I try to put him upright!

I often want to sit with my arms crossed and stare off into nature and do nothing too!

Here we are on the monorail! I was quite impressed with this ride/tour!

And here is Caitlyn with the penguins!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day

We had a wonderful day! This was the first Mother's Day wish that Caitlyn was able to tell me herself and it was so sweet to hear. We went to the early service (8:00) and then went to breakfast at Chiloso's. They were giving away meals to mother's again this year! Then we went to the zoo for the day. I will post pictures soon.

Here is a card my mom made me. She is an awesome graphic organizer and an amazing mom! I love you mom!

Happy Mother's Day to all!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Successful Garage Sale

Today was our semi-annual neighborhood garage sale, so I opened our doors at 8:30. Well that's when I could pull myself out of the bed and start ticketing items. We didn't have much to sell but we had big items: lawn mower, baby swings, bath tubs, infant carrier, etc. and a weight bench and some baby clothes. I was able to sell it all in 2.5 hours and made a great profit!

Caitlyn was a great helper too. She laid out the clothes - all over the place! And she cleaned the weight bench with a scrubber - the new owner is very proud - it shines now!

When we came in I started to fix a piece of toast, she popped around the corner and cutely asked, "what you doing?" She was so excited when she realized she could have some toast. She is going to snack her way through life!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Field Trip

Tuesday we went to the Renaissance Faire in Waxahacie. That's over an hour away from our school. Unfortunately Mother Nature didn't cooperate. So we had an hour delay getting started, so right off the bat things were crazy!!!!! Kids were pretty bummed. I just told them to pretend they were at the airport! and we threw on a movie. Anyway, I had no idea the Faire was on a field. So rain+ field = muddy shoes. Oh bother. I'm going to need so new tennis shoes!

Then we had tons of parents not show up at the bus in time . The schedule that all chaperone's had said we had to leave at 1:20. We told them 1:20. We pulled out of the parking lot at 2:00. So we didn't get back until 3:00 and that's because our bus driver hauled butt. Our parents don't realize that our buses actually have to take other students home from other schools. They messed up the whole district. It was sooooo frustrating. It rained on us too. Did I mention that?

Other than that, it was fun though!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Weekend Hustle - Houston Wedding

We made a mad dash to Houston this weekend for a family wedding. Jeff's cousin got married. We were joined by Jeff's mom, two sisters, 3 nephews, and 2 nieces to caravan. They met us here from Colorado and made the trek this far with us.

We met up with all of his mom sisters, most of which I've never met and 3 of his great aunts. It was really nice to meet so much of his extended family.

The wedding was absolutely gorgeous and they spent a small fortune. The chapel was set in the woods, in a glass cathedral (as was the reception). They had a coloring table for the kids. They brought out chicken tenders and french fries for the kids when they passed out salads. Much to my dismay and Caitlyn's excitement they had a large candy table set up. It was beautiful!

Our kids did awesome on the trip, even though they were up until 12:30 on Friday evening. Not my choice - believe me! It was nice to have so much family around to help with the kids!