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Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday...

Is finally here.
I've got a million things to do before I can start my weekend.
But, it's been a good week around here. #1 has a really tough course load, but is handling it very well. LLB is enjoying all of her classes - especially her Music Theory I class.  She has learned more History this week than she did all of last year... I guess that's what happens when you go from a kooky teacher to a good one.  (The teacher even said something like, "I know some of you had less than stellar instruction last year, so we are going to take it slow to start so I can see where everyone is...")

Tomorrow is the car wash - if you live close -- stop by the Chick Fil A. Get your car washed, be entertained while it's getting clean, and have a yummy samich all in one stop.  The kids will be washing and making music while the adults sit back and supervise -- it's the best of all worlds!
I'm not sure we'll get to Polo on Saturday, but it's all good. The kids are busy with babysitting and parties. Fortunately, the school projects, college apps, and regular homework are all caught up. Let's just hope it stays that way!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Little Johnny Meets the Big O

Barack Obama was visiting a primary school and he visited one of the classes.
They were in the middle of a discussion related to words and their meanings.  The teacher asked the president if he would like to lead the discussion on the word 'tragedy.' So our illustrious president asked the class for an example of a 'tragedy.'
One little boy stood up and offered: "If my best friend, who lives on a farm, is playing in the field and a tractor runs him over and kills him, that would be a tragedy."
"No,"  said Obama, "that would be an accident."
A girl raised her hand:  "If a school bus carrying 50 children drove off a cliff, killing everyone, that would be a tragedy."
"I'm afraid not,"  explained Obama.  "That's what we would call a great loss."
The room went silent.  No other child volunteered.  Obama searched the room. "Isn't there someone here who can give me an example of a tragedy?"
Finally at the back of the room, Little Johnny raised his hand.  In a quiet voice he said:  "If the plane carrying you and Mrs.  Obama was struck by a 'friendly fire' missile and blown to smithereens that would be a tragedy."
"Fantastic!"  exclaimed Obama.  "That's right.  And can you tell me why that would be a tragedy?"
"Well,"  says Johnny, "It has to be a tragedy, because it sure as hell wouldn't be a great loss ......  and you can bet your ass it wouldn't be an accident either."

Got this in an email and it was too good not to share... just like yesterday's!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Are You a

Democrat, a Republican, or a Redneck?
       
You're walking down a  deserted street with your wife  and two small children.

 Suddenly, an Islamic  Terrorist with a huge knife  comes around the corner,  locks eyes with you, screams obscenities, praises Allah, raises the knife, and charges at you...

 You are carrying a  Kimber 1911 cal. 45 ACP, and you are an expert shot.
 You have mere seconds before he reaches you and your family.
 What do you do?

 Democrat's Answer:
· Well, that's not enough information to answer the question!
· Does the man look poor or oppressed?
· Have I ever done anything to him that would inspire him to attack?
· Could we run away?
· What does my wife think?
· What about the kids?
· Could I possibly swing the gun like a club and knock the knife out of his hand?
· What does the law say about this situation?
· Does the pistol have appropriate safety built into it?
· Why am I carrying a loaded gun anyway, and what kind of message does this send to society and to my children?
· Is it possible he'd be happy with just killing me?
· Does he definitely want to kill me, or would he be content just to wound me?
· If I were to grab his knees and hold on, could my family get away while he was stabbing me?
· Should I call 9-1-1?
· Why is this street so deserted?
· We need to raise taxes, have paint & weed day.
· Can we make this a happier, healthier street that would discourage such behavior.
· I need to debate this with some friends for a few days and try to come to a consensus.
· This is all so confusing!

............................................................................
Republican's Answer:

 BANG!


 .......................................................................

Redneck's Answer:

 BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!
 BANG ! BANG! BANG! BANG!
 Click..... (Sounds of reloading)
 BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!
 BANG!
 BANG!
 BANG!
 Click

 Daughter: 'Nice grouping, Daddy!'  'Were those the Winchester Silver Tips or Hollow Points?!'

 Son: 'Can I shoot the next one?!'

 Wife: 'You ain't taking that to the Taxidermist

Sunday, August 22, 2010

H2O

Hot Water is over rated...
Actually we have plenty of hot water. Unfortunately, it happens to be dribbling at a high rate out of the bottom of our hot water heater...
Therefore, we have shut off all the water to our side of the house. We will use the facilities at Gram's tonight... We'll bring our own towels, of course. Because we're nice like that.  (Actually if we didn't have great fluffy towels, we'd use Gram's. But since we have wonderful fluffy towels (that she gave us), we can use our own.)
The plumber, Mr. G, is coming tomorrow to bring us a new hot water heater...
We are thrilled. Who knew we could get so excited about a hot water heater??
AND, While Mr. G is here, he will give us an estimate to move the pipe that is hindering the installation of our ever elusive pool.  We may as well get a positive out of a virtual negative, right?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

He wants to be a Rat!

We were at Virginia Military Institute this week for #1's interview with Admissions and AROTC.  (We can only assume it all went well.)

The campus is small and gorgeous.
The buildings are impressive.
The people - wow! They are phenomenal. Everyone we met was amazing. They are proud of their school and all that it has to offer. 
We stopped in to the music department and met with Col. B. He is wonderful!! He is excited about his program, his kids, and his school. He told us all about the opportunities available and the fun things they do - including a trip to Hawaii next year when #1 is a freshman!!  (I wonder if they need chaperones...) Needless to say, #1 (and LLB) were ready to sign on the dotted line right then. 
We saw kids preparing for the Rat Line - Freshmen with fresh hair cuts reciting the honor code and more. They were already preparing for next week - Hell Week - when they learn how tough they aren't.  It's all part of the game... As #1 said, "Mom, it's all a mind game. If you decide it will be fun, it will be. They will kick our butts, but we will be better for it. " He's right, you know.

He came away from the day more sure than ever that he wants to be a Rat. He absolutely loves it there. He tells me he finds it homey... (The barracks? homey? okay...)
Upon arrival at home, he went out for a run, did 65 sit-ups in a minute, did 9 pull ups, and completed about 100 push ups. He is motivated. (Of course seeing all of those kids in great shape certainly helped motivate him in the right direction... let's just hope he keeps it up.)
The VMI application can be filled out on September 1. I can guarantee you that he will have it filled out and submitted before dark.
His only question - which branch of the armed services will come through and pay for it... He really wants Navy, but Army and Air Force have some pretty decent benefits, too. Only time will tell... I certainly hope someone comes through with a scholarship!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It's that time of year...

When the kids get ready to go back to school...
They are ready.
They are ready to be with their friends.
They are ready to learn some new things.
They are ready for the next step.
#1 is a senior this year. Some parents told me that they can't believe that their kids are at this point already. My #1 is definitely ready and so am I. He has a few more college apps to fill out and then he's done.  He can sit back and take it all in.
Am I sad? Heck no!
My LLB is a sophomore.
She is ready.
This is a fun year - she isn't a freshie any more!
She's already got her Homecoming dress.
She is a Section Leader for the Brass Section in the band.  She is moving on up!
She is having a great time already -- and school hasn't even started yet!
It's cool!
Time flies, but as long as we enjoy each moment, it's all good.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Lessons Learned

At Band Camp...
The cooking staff cannot be the same staff that chaperones the kids.  Early mornings and late nights do not work for those of us over the age of 25 -- even with lots of caffeine.
The cooking staff needs their own clean-up staff so they can come out of the kitchen once in a while.

Boiling water is a cooking technique that takes many days to master. Especially when the burners are flat and the pot bottoms are not.  Bring your own large flat bottomed pots.
Kids like fruit when it is cut up for them.
Kids will eat vegetables if there is ranch dressing available.
Egg M*muffins are a huge hit with the kids in the morning.  So are scrambled eggs, sausage gravy and biscuits, and chocolate chip waffles.  (You need 90 eggs to feed 50 people scrambled eggs in the morning and there will be none left.)
Some adults don't say thank you to the kitchen staff (ever), but the kids always do!
The bugs are large and plentiful - bug spray and citronella candles are no optional - they are a necessity.

When making s'mores for 50, you need 2 trays available at the fire pit so that you can pass out s'mores on one and still be making them on the other.
When you tell the kids that you will be fitting shoes at lunch, that does not mean they will all show up to have their shoes fitted. A few of them will tell you they need shoes after your return home 3 days later.  Be prepared...
When fitting uniforms after practice, bring a clothespin for your nose. Ditto for shoe fitting day.

There is a huge vent fan in the girls' bunk house. (The switch is next to the door. It would have been nice to find it when we arrived rather than on the day we left.) 
Band Kids are terrific. But, we already knew that.

Monday, August 16, 2010

5 Sentences

1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity, by legislating the wealth out of prosperity.

2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.

3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

4. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work, because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is the beginning of the end of any nation.

5. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.

Think about it...
These few sentences say it all.
A hat tip to my friend J who sent these to me.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Herman T's BBQ Sauce

Can you have good BBQ Sauce in 10 minutes?  Absolutely!!
AND - it doesn't come from a jar -- which in my book, is even better.
Herman T's BBQ Sauce Mix - it is the best!  You HAVE to try it.
I received my two complimentary mixes - one mild and one hot - in the mail.  They come in zip top pouches that store easily in my spice container in my pantry.
We tried both the mild and the hot sauces because we couldn't choose which one to use first. They were terrific!!
They were simple to mix up - the ingredients you add to the mix are ketchup and water -- both are always available in my kitchen!!  We followed the directions and served the sauces warm. The sauces were very tasty. My son is a rib lover and thoroughly enjoyed the "hot" version slathered all over. My daughter  loved the mild on BBQ chicken. Me and the Mr. - We like it all!

Needless to say, these Herman T's BBQ Sauces are a huge hit around here.  Their website is pretty cool, too... Check it out.

We think everyone should try it -- sooo Herman T's is allowing me to give a set of sauce mix away!!  Leave me a comment by Tuesday and I'll draw a name out of a hat. I'll post the winner and you can email me your information.  The sauce mix will come directly from the manufacturer.

This post was written for Family Review Network & Herman T's BBQ Sauce who provided the complimentary product in exchange for my honest review"

Saturday, August 07, 2010

If a tree falls...

This big tree fell during a big storm we had a couple of days ago. It's the neighbor's tree, but we don't mind because we consider this free firewood!  The tree doesn't look that big until you  check it out in the next picture. The neighbor's barn is in the background...
I stood on the tree (in the middle of the tree) to take this picture... That's one big old honkin' tree! 

This is the end of the tree - you can see the root system - or lack thereof. Check out the fence. Doesn't it look tiny compared to the tree trunk?  The fence is 4 feet tall...  That gives you a little perspective on the size of this tree.

There is no way to get the whole tree in one picture.  It's one big old fallen down tree...

Friday, August 06, 2010

Executive Gift Shoppe

I was asked by The Family Review Network to review an item from The Executive Gift Shoppe.

The package arrived and the box was wrapped in brown butcher paper so it wouldn't get damaged. I was immediately impressed. I could have slid the box out of the packaging and wrapped it up for someone special. The box is extremely classy.  It's black with the company logo tastefully embossed in silver on the bottom right hand corner of the cover. It was just enough and makes quite the presentation!!

I chose to review the Executive Leather Deluxe Passport Case with removable neck strap in black.
It is better than the picture!
The Case is a high quality leather tri-fold style case with a fold over flap to keep everything in place. The strap can be adjusted and worn over the shoulder or across the body. It's exactly what I was looking for!  We do travel internationally to visit family and keeping track of the passports is one of those jobs that I find extremely stressful. This will eliminate that stress, for sure!
The case holds everything! As a matter of fact, you could probably leave your purse at home and just carry this while you are on travel. If you don't like to be without your purse, you could absolutely pack that in your carryon and survive the air travel/train travel with just this little gem around your neck or on your shoulder.  It could even be worn under a jacket and not a soul would know where your valuables are - nice and safe and close to your body.
It has a place for everything. It has a slot for your boarding pass. It has a coin purse. It has credit card slots. It has a billfold - one big enough for European currency - and it has a divider in there so you can carry more than one type of currency in there without it getting all mixed up. It has a great slot for an ID or a license.  It has extra pockets for all the goodies we need to carry.  It's amazing!
When you arrive at your destination, you can remove the neck strap and use the case as your wallet. It's the perfect size!!

So - if you are going to be doing any traveling - try this case. If you need a gift for someone special, check out the website! The item I chose is very high quality and I have to assume that the rest of the items on the site are just as lovely. The best part about this website? They will personalize almost any item!  I love that!


"This post was written for Family Review Network & Executive Gift Shoppe who provided the complimentary product in exchange for my honest review"

Popcorn Question

We were at the movies yesterday.
There was a bunch of teenaged girls who came in and sat a few rows in front of us.
One of the girls took a popcorn bucket out of her purse and unfolded it with a pop.
We watched in awe...
She then proceeded to go to the popcorn counter and ask for a refill - if you purchase a bucket, you get free refills.  When she returned she proudly presented her friends with a full bucket of free popcorn.
Tell me, my gentle readers, is this considered stealing or smart?

SAM-e Winner

Mrs. Who!
Send me your address so I can send it to the company!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Vacations??

I'm all for family vacations - even though we don't normally take them.
We are a frugal, one salary family.
Yes, that is our choice. Every time the children ask for something we can't provide, we tell them that they can have that but that I'll need to go back to work. Their answer has always been, "No, that's okay. We want you to stay home."
We work hard all year to save money so that we can send our kids to the camp they love and hope that it's enough for them. They get a scholarship every year - and for that I'm more than thankful.  Their camp experience has given them the chance to grow and change and become the people they are.  They have fun with kids just like them. They worship. They sing. They act. They give back to the community. It's an all around great way to spend a few weeks each summer.
How you spend your summer is your choice and if you go to the beach or the mountains or both - that's great! I am happy for you - just come back and tell me all about it over lunch, k? Because I live vicariously through you and the Travel Channel.

I read THIS this morning... I'm NOT happy.
Why, pray tell, is it okay for Michelle Obama to spend our hard earned cash to head to Spain for vacation? Didn't she just spend a week in Maine? Didn't she tell us to head to the Gulf Coast for our vacations? What's up with that? She can't vacation closer to home? She has to take 40 of her closest friends and 70 secret service agents to a ritzy hotel in SPAIN??
I'm sorry - she's wicked two faced and I find her irritating.
Tell the little people to vacation in one place and she goes someplace else at My Expense...
(Don't tell me she paid her own way -- we - you and me -- our tax dollar paid for the aircraft, the fuel, the secret service, etc...)
I'm not liking her kind of change...

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Today

is Wednesday.
I have to have everyone packed by Sunday.
"We need light colored shirts and tank tops because we'll be in the hot sun all day."
"Ok. Go get them and bring them down. Can I just repack these shorts?"
"No! Those aren't the right ones!"
"Fine - you only have 12 pair of shorts - just get me 7 or 8 so I can pack them."
"Yeah... in a minute..."
That was 3 days ago.
I'm still waiting.
They might end up at camp with 3 pair of shoes, plenty of socks and underwear, but no clothes.
Won't they be a sight!?
At least they'll be able to shower - their towels have been laundered and repacked. The ability to shower is important... very important.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

PDA

PDA - Public Displays of Affection...
I am not into PDA. Let me clarify: a quick kiss on the cheek, a gentle hug, holding hands... that's all good. Anything more simply not appropriate.

I don't believe that you need to hang all over each other at the mall. The mall is for shopping not for shagging. The same is true for the high school hallways and bus ramps. Tonsil hockey is not a sanctioned sport -- for a reason. I also don't believe you need to feel each other up while blocking the view of the people behind you at a polo match. That's not the kind of wild ride we came to see.

There are many ways to show affection without letting it all hang out, so to speak. A wink, a glance from across the room, the brush of an arm, the refilling of the mimosa glass - those say so much more and it keeps the intimacy private between those who love each other.

The rest of the world does not need to be involved...
You know?