Friday, December 25, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

From Our Home to Yours


May you all have a very Merry CHRISTmas!

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Lesson in Economics

Everybody remembers this little diagram from economics class, right?!




  • P - price
  • Q - quantity of good
  • S - supply
  • D - demand



Well, if you do....good for you. But this Christmas season I have certainly learned a valuable lesson in supply and demand.

It all began with a little trip to the Hallmark store a few short weeks ago. Each year I pick an ornament for each member of the GRITS family; however, I usually go AFTER Christmas when those suckers are half price.

Because I am a cheap skate.

It is important that you must know that my two favorite Christmas movies, of all time, are "Christmas Vacation" AND "A Christmas Story".

Seriously!

So, imagine the joy in my heart when I spotted this little ornament gem:


Yes, yes, folks.....that would be Cousin Eddie's RV!!! I knew when I laid eyes on it, that it WOULD be hanging on MY Christmas tree this year!

It was meant to be mine, because I got the very LAST one in the Hallmark store. And apparently the last one in my city, because no one has been able to find one since my purchase.

YAY ME!

A couple of other ornaments caught my eye, but I decided to wait on their purchase. But that little voice inside had me back in the Hallmark store a couple days later. Which turned into a trip to Books-A-Million, where they also sell Hallmark ornaments.

My next two purchases were these hot little items:





Be honest, how many of you just said in your mind (or out loud), "Fra-gee-lay. That must be Italian."



Now, here's where our little lesson in economics comes in. I purchased each of these ornaments for $16.50 EACH. Which is why I usually wait until the day after Christmas to buy them, when they are half price.

Imagine my surprise when I found all three of these ornaments on Amazon.com selling for over $30 EACH! The Cousin Eddie's RV ornament alone is selling for $49.95.

Seriously.


That, my friends, is today's lesson in supply and demand!

(And, NO, I am not selling my fabulous ornaments....they will be on my Christmas tree for the rest of my life!)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Stalked

This little story certainly fits in the "huh?" category.

Today after school, I took my kids to purchase gifts for their classroom Christmas parties. We were at our all time favorite store......Tar-jay.....aka, Target.

We moseyed on back to the toy area to find each child a $10 gift, which is next to impossible, just for the record.

My son wanted to go to the Nerf and Lego aisles (and you wonder why we call him Lego-Man). And, of course, the Princess wanted to look on the Polly Pocket and Barbie aisles.

I felt comfortable leaving the boy two aisles over, so I took the Princess to the PINK toy zone. After about 5 minutes of pouring over EVERY Polly Pocket, the boy came over and found me. He muttered something about "somebody asked me for money".

He proceeded to tell me that a boy walked up to him and asked him for money. LegoMan told him "No" and walked away.

About that time, a boy about my size came down our aisle. He looked to be about 12 years old. LM informed me that was the kid who had just asked him for money. The kid walked right up to us and just stood there. I asked him if he needed something. He said, "no".

I took the kids down another aisle and the boy followed us.

We walked another aisle over.

He followed us.

I looked at him AGAIN, and asked him if he was following us.

He said, "no" and proceeded to look at the items on the aisle......BARBIE DOLLS!

I informed him that it was a bit odd he just followed us down two aisles and it was really strange a boy his age was on the Barbie aisle, alone.

I also told him he needed to find the adult he came to the store with and stop following people around. He then just shook his head "no" at me. I grabbed both my kids and headed to the front of the store.

The boy followed us all the way out of the toy area before he stopped. I found the nearest associate and told her what happened.

It was the strangest thing......*SHRUG*

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Lazy, Part Deux

Here's an update on a post I did back in MARCH of this year......click HERE to be reminded of my ridiculous neighbor I so fittingly dubbed "Lazy Larry".

This summer, we had a confrontation after I witnessed him letting his dog take care of business DIRECTLY in front of my house.....all while he sat in the comfort of his car, as per his dog "walking" protocol.

I politely explained to Larry that I was sick and tired of him letting his dog poop in the street. He stupidly explained to me that birds and squirrels poop in the street.

Ahem, moron, young man there's a HUGE difference in the size of bird and squirrel poop in the street versus your gargantuan dog poop! DUH!

I then suggested he clean up after his dog just like everyone else does with their dog. No response.

And to finish out my rant, I told him he was not worthy of owning that dog if he could not walk it properly and in a safe manner. HE LAUGHED IN MY FACE....then drove off.

Which made this Greek girl IRATE!

The hubby suggested I just let it go and not make it my mission in life to reform this obviously idiotic young adult.

I proceeded with sending a letter to the city about Lazy Larry. An animal control officer came to my home, and, again, I explained how Larry walks his dog via the car and did not clean up his dog's waste material from the middle of the street. The nice officer was floored at Larry's lack of animal skills and assured me he would handle the situation.

Fast forward to recent weeks.

Exhibit A (as taken by my concerned son):



How ridiculous is this?! It is sunny and warm outside and he chooses to walk the dog, AGAIN, via the car.

Raise you hand if you are a member of PETA?!

Two weeks ago I was out raking leaves, the weather was nice and who comes around the corner just like the photo above?! Yep. Larry. This time the car was going a bit faster and the dog was in a slight jog.

It pushed me over the edge. I dropped what I was doing, went inside, dialed animal control and explained the situation AGAIN to the officer (notice a redundant theme here).

This officer could not believe what I told him. He drove directly to the neighborhood and was at Larry's house within 15 minutes.

About 20 minutes later, I see a person in my front yard headed to my door. I jumped up to see who it was about the time my doorbell rang.

LAZY LARRY parked his car in front of my neighbors house and was at MY FRONT DOOR! I wasn't going to answer....he then came around to my side door and rang the doorbell.

By this time my heart was pounding....what if he really is CrAZy??

He then went back to my front door and BANGED on it! Then I really decided not to answer. He stormed back to his car and screeched off.

He went directly to our neighborhood president and had words with him regarding my complaint. Of course, he also told Larry that we were concerned for the dog's safety and the neighbors are tired of poop in the street.

Larry said he was tired of living in our "rinky dink" neighborhood and is going to move.

Name the day, Larry......I'll come pack your bags.....then I'll throw a party!


(BTW, Larry has been spotted under the cover of darkness lazily "walking" his dog.....STILL)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I don't like to brag

BUT,





ROLL TIDE ROLL!!!


Sorry to my Auburn readers....really. Don't go.....well just for this post is ok.

This year's game was CLOSE and the Auburn team has nothing to hang their head over. They certainly gave Alabama a run for their money, especially by scoring two touchdowns within the first quarter.

This Alabama fan was skeered. BAD!

But in the end, Alabama prevailed and they move on to face the Florida Gators in the SEC Championship game this Saturday.

I will offer no predictions, but let it be known I will be cheering on MY Crimson Tide!


Oh and I almost forgot.....check out this SUPER DUPER cupcake elephant my step-dad found at one of our local supermarkets:




ROLL TIDE, for another year....phew!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Head 'Em Up and Move 'Em Out

Aren't you relieved that we have finally reached Day 3, the final day of our 5th grade camping extravaganza.

Thanks for enduring it all, but this is the stuff grandparents live for!

Needless to say, everyone in the camp got a better night's rest than our first night. I think we all were exhausted from our full day of fun activities and there was no food delivery truck before dawn! The boys reported they got to sleep before the snoring warthog dad did!

Before heading back home, the kids participated in couple more educational activities and I took a few more pictures (because the first 150 photos were not enough).








Lego-Man and his buddy learned about the Western Cedar Tree and then had to teach everyone in their group what they learned. Raise your hand if you knew pencils can be made with cedar wood??




The kids also had a map reading class that wouldn't have been complete without a scavenger hunt! It was all fun and games until my boy took a little tumble into the nature. He scratched up his hands and leg and he was done!


Before we pointed the horse towards the house, I finally got a couple of mother and son photos (much to someone's dismay):










And here was the view from my rear-view mirror for my entire trip home:







Guess who wants to go to this camp for a week in the summer???

Monday, November 16, 2009

Roughing It- DAY 2

I got a jump start on Day 2 around 0445......meaning 4:45 AM.....before the sun was up....AND 2 hours before I HAD to be up.

Why 0445?? Well that's the time the food delivery truck backed its way into the camp area. Yes, backing up. And we all know what sound accompanies a truck backing up!

BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP........now multiply that times 20 minutes!!!!

SERIOUSLY!

Anywhoo, as the moms got ready and met up with our boys, we discovered that most of them had one thing in common....not much sleep. Not because they were giddy with the excitement of being at camp, but because So-and-So's Dad "snored like a warthog", "snored the paint off the walls" and "kept us up all night".

I broke the rules and let Lego-Man have caffeinated coffee, or he wasn't going to make it.


The highlight of Day 2 was an event the camp is known for, the re-enactment of the Underground Railroad. The campers go through a series of stations around the camp that allows them to "experience" situations the slaves may have encountered while trying to get to freedom.

The 5th graders just completed the book "Listen for the Whippoorwill" which is a fictional book about a little girl who attempts to escape from her life as a slave on a plantation.

The children played the part of a traveling choir. That was their cover story as they began their journey on the Underground Railroad.

The camp counselors took their roles seriously and even warned the parents that, at times, the intensity level would get pretty high.

And look who paid the price for looking the landowner in the eye, after being asked to keep his head down:



Yep, that's my boy! I thought the intensity of the moment might intimidate him, but clearly it did not.

As the children moved through the different stations, you could feel the tension level drop as they were moved to more secure areas, until they finally reached the area of freedom.

I think most of the kids and grown-ups enjoyed this activity. And, as a parent, I felt like it was a great way for the kids to get a VERY SMALL idea of what life may have been like for those traveling this trail to freedom.


After a delicious lunch (corndogs with a side of mac-n-cheese), we headed back out on the trails for a few more activities:



The "Sensory Trail" where the kids are blindfolded
and have to figure out what objects they find along the trail.


A brief lesson in Botany.


We all wrapped up Day 2 with a camp fire by the lake. The counselors and even some parents entertained us with a little skit action. My stomach hurt from laughing so hard!!

Awkward moment of the evening came when I had to try and explain to my son's friend what the word "ghetto" means.

As we walked back to our cabin, WITH flashlights, we looked for spiders in the woods. We were told that if you shine your flashlight just right into the woods, you can see the reflection from the spider's eyes.

Umm, yea, just for the record I didn't slow down the pace just to see spider's eyes in the woods. After all, I could look a spider in the eye in the not-so-privacy of my very own cabin!



Day 2, DONE, and I survived!


Barely.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Roughing It- DAY 1

This past week I had the privilege of escorting Lego-Man and almost his entire 5th grade class to a YMCA camp located here in God's country, Alabama.

It was a 2 night, 3 day field trip taken each year by the 5th grade class at our school.

Before I committed myself to chaperoning on this trip I had to clarify one little thing. Would I have to stay in a cabin with the 5th grade girls? Because I only have expertise, right now, on 3rd grade girls.

Nope, the moms of the boys got to stay in a cabin all by themselves. No boys, no girls, just grown women. Check out our DELUXE camp accommodations:




Check out my bunk:




How about these bathrooms:




Too bad you can't see the huge dead spider in the shower, that lost it's life to a half a can of Lysol by another mom within the first hour of our stay!

Unfortunately, the dad's who escorted their daughters on this trip got stuck in the cabins with the other dads and their sons. *snicker* *snort* I mean, too bad they didn't get their own cabin.

Once we got our cabins situated and had lunch we literally hit the ground running.....i.e. hiking. The camp has planned educational activities to teach the kids a variety of outdoors topics.

We began day one with a couple of get to know you exercises, grown-ups included (oh joy).

Check out Lego-Man getting into the spirit of one of the games:

For a little explanation, he had to change 5 things about himself and then the person across from him had to guess what he changed. It must admit these games were a lot of fun and allowed me to meet and develop a "bond" with some of the other moms.


Next we began our official hiking segment of the day, we stopped in the woods to learn about predators and prey. Who wouldn't want their classroom to look like this:

(kids faces are blurred for privacy)


The highlight of Lego-Man's day was our last daylight activity.....CANOEING!




Notice I said, our last DAYLIGHT activity. Because after dinner we went on a "NIGHT HIKE". Yes, that's right....at night.

In the dark.

NO FLASHLIGHTS allowed.

Oooookay.

And, ummm, for obvious reasons, no photos were taken.

The cool factor was quite high for the kids, but this middle aged mom was a bit skeptical of hiking in the woods in the dark. I believe another mom can be quoted as saying, "this in the dark stuff is making me nauseous!"

The kids (and adults who were not nauseous) learned a little bit about the night sky including how to find the North Star. Which was right up mine and my boy's alley. We also participated in a couple of experiments on luminescence. F-U-N.


The night hike completed our activities for day 1. Since day 1 at camp technically got started around noon, I could barely stand the thought of a WHOLE day of camp ahead of us on day 2.

Day 1 wore this ol' gal out.....stay tuned for Day 2.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

If the shoe fits....

We've all heard the old adage, but what if the shoe doesn't fit....or worse?!


I spotted this in a local music store.


Don't see it? Let's get a little closer look here:

I just wonder how bad her big toe must throb at the end of the day after being squeezed through that little hole all day?!




How about this Asian inspired look:


Dear College Boy, I bet the sorority girls LOVE this look on their man, huh?





And, from the "bless his heart" fashion collection:


Maybe he was headed home to cut the grass......or something.





Last, but certainly not least, this goes under the "Did you see that??" category:


Can you tell what is on those boots accentuating that lovely red and black ensemble??

Yep, you guessed it:




I had to consult the Google on these babies. **BAM**

"Nomad Yippy Natural Ladies Waterproof Rain Boots with Roses Skulls Rubber Cowboy Western Rainboots"


THEY ARE RAIN BOOTS PEOPLE! No kidding.




And just so ya' know....my shoe motto is: FUNCTION OVER FASHION. Always.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Hellooooooo

Remember me?!

I realize it's been a couple weeks since I've posted something here.

I've missed being here!

And perhaps you've missed me....or not.

During my last couple weeks "off" I have done something CrAzY!

For you, the 58 people who say you follow me, and for those of you who randomly landed here today, I am going to vow to do a little better in my blog posting.

Because, this cRaZy half-hearted-blogger has done something, quite frankly, out of the ordinary. I have signed myself up for Blissdom 2010 in Nashville. And even reserved myself a room at the Opryland Hotel...yee haw!

For those of you who don't know, Blissdom is a conference for BLOGGERS. Ahem. And as of lately, that has not been me.

So, now I have to start blogging again.....or there will clearly be NO NEED for me to attend a blogging conference, and I might as well have thrown some money down the ol' toilet.

Right?

I thought so!

So let's get this thing back on.......ROLL 'EM!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wordless Wednesday-- Role Playing







Future Grill Master






Little Momma





Saturday, October 17, 2009

An Angel's Wings

Yesterday was a difficult day in our household, but not as difficult as it was for another family here in our town! My heart is heavy, but theirs is much heavier.

God called Angel Burnett home early yesterday morning after a long fight with cancer. She was only 37 years old and was the mother to three small children whose ages are about 9, 7 and 4.


Look at this beautiful mother:

(http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/angelburnett)


Our local newspaper wrote an article on her story in February of 2008, click HERE to read more about her journey with cancer. Her spirit is completely revealed in this story!


Ever since I heard her story, it has touched me and I'm sure most people. I thought about and said many prayers for her and her family. We have so much in common....yet she had cancer.


I did not personally know Angel, but I have many friends who did. Our children go to the same school and her son is in the Princess' third grade class this year.


Her story is one of inspiration to all who hear it. Her faith in God was unshakable. This quote is from her Caring Bridge journal:

"my faith and trust is in the Almighty God who gives me the strength and perseverance to go on....Our God is good and He will lead us on the correct path. My trust is in Him for HE is bigger than any cancer that is in my body."



I have talked to many of the people who knew Angel and they all said the same things:
  • She always had a smile on her face
  • She NEVER complained
  • Her faith was strong
  • She is an inspiration
  • She was a strong woman
  • She was a blessing to all who knew her


I had a very difficult job yesterday as I called the Princess into her bedroom to tell her the news. It was hard. We cried. I had to try and explain to an 8 year old why God takes mommies to heaven. I don't know why God takes mommies to heaven. I just don't. And it completely breaks my heart!


I can't help but think of myself and how I would react to such horrid news as cancer. I have a faith in my God, but I'm not sure my faith is even a fraction of what Angel's was.


I'm sure Angel went through all the normal emotions with her initial diagnosis, and she chose to trust in her Almighty Lord and Saviour as she went through each day. Her strength was for her husband, her kids and her family. Her friends said she never felt sorry for herself or complained about the road God chose for her.

She faced the challenge head on and fought the fight.....ultimately she lost, but was truly still the winner! For today she is an Angel in heaven!


"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me … Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of
my life" (Psalm 23:4,6a, NIV).

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

360°

That's not an oven temperature folks.....that's the name of U2's current world tour.

Last night I was THERE....in Atlanta's Georgia Dome, 10 rows up from the floor, with a perfect view. *squeal* *SCREAM*

Props to the husband for his spectacular ticket purchasing ability.

I realize just a couple of short months ago I was singing the praises of the cute little Jonas Brothers on their awesome concert. Ummm, sorry guys....last night you got trumped by Bono, The Edge, Adam and Larry.


I have never been to a U2 concert before, but it was far better than any expectation I had. Their stage was a massive structure that resembled a Transformer. And the circular screen suspended beneath the behemoth was beyond impressive with all of its spectacular tricks.

From the minute U2 took the stage, the crowd was filled with excitement and electricity. We stood on our feet the entire concert.

One of us was ready for anything, if the music so moved us:

(Everyone needs the Zippo app, just in case)




However, I was certainly caught off guard as Bono broke out into the first stanza of "Amazing Grace." Which was immediately followed one of my favorite U2 songs, "Where the Streets Have No Name."


Plain and simple, the U2 360° World Tour was AWESOME! Best.Show.Ever.



If you have about 3 minutes, check out my slide show from the concert. The background song is "Magnificent", a song from their latest album which could also describe their concert.







video





Monday, September 28, 2009

We've got the spirit

Yes we do!

We've got the spirit, how about you??

In honor of the homecoming game on Friday, our school had Spirit Week last week. Each day is highlighted with a theme and the kids dress up to get in the spirit.

If I must say, last year's themes were much better. Not to rain on anybody's senior year parade but "Decade Day" trumps "Comfy Day" at any given moment in the time-space continuum.

Ahem. Moving on.


For "College Dress Day" we decided to go outside of the typical University of Alabama "box". Not that we don't love our Crimson Tide, but we chose to go with another team we cheer for in honor of my brother.






Lego-Man actually had to defend his team of choice, by explaining to one of his buddies that the Navy IS actually a college team!


And then there was "Disney Day". I don't know too many 10 year old boys who are in the least bit interested in dressing up like a Disney character, well except for the boys who came to school as female characters.

Seriously.

Not my boy.




Who is the Princess dressed up like, you may wonder? Isabella from Phineas and Ferb, of course.






I'm gonna have to skip "Comfy Day" due to lack of interest. Because kids in pajama pants at school is just not very exciting to blog about.


"When I Grow Up Day" was a bit tough for Lego-Man; however, the Princess has was easy with her always ready veterinarian costume. We decided to go with Lego-Man's new sport for his costume. By the time he got home from school he was done with the hat and goggles part of his costume.






We've got the spirit down deep inside, so bring it up, don't let it hide!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Finish the Race

This weekend was a very exciting one for us at the Casa de GRITS. Our weekend was highlighted by Lego-Man's very first swim meet.

Although he's only been on the team about a month, the coaches encouraged us to let him compete and literally get his "feet wet". So we did.

We are not the overly competitive parents, so we gave Lego-Man a pep talk which basically amounted to "do your best and just finish the race".

Check out our super swimmer:


This is how the kids keep track of their events.



Warming up





Ready to go!



We did have one bump in the road all weekend....Lego-Man does not dive, yet. We were told that he would be able to do a sitting dive to enter the water for his events. One judge did not get that memo and our coach was not standing close by to realize what was going on.

Look at my poor son's face:




But you know what he did?! He got right up on those blocks, and entered the water the best way he could and he finished his race! I have never been more proud of him.






For those of you who know Lego-Man, know this might have ended his swimming career. It almost happened again on the 2nd day of the meet, but thankfully his coach was right there and intervened. Phew.


The Princess was less than interested in her brother's activities:





If I'm going to be an official swim mom, clearly I'll have to work on my photography skills:





All in all it was a great weekend and Lego-Man accomplished his goal by finishing the race!

Look out Michael Phelps....there's a new swimmer in town!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Chicken what?

How bad do your lips have to be chapped to put this on them:





Just wondering?

(For more information on this weirdly named product that I did not buy...click HERE)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Taxi! Taxi!

I know, I know.....it's been a while since I've been here.

Yes, I am still alive and the entire GRITS household is doing well. Thanks for asking.

We've been in school now for almost six weeks and have a steady stream of nightly homework. And let me tell you I am NOT fit for supervising homework.

But I do.

And nobody has died.

Yet.

And this year we have added a couple of extra-curricular activities into the mix. Because school alone was not enough madness.

This year I became the CEO of a new business, you may have heard of my company.... "Mom's Taxi Service".

I'm sporting a brand new logo this year:



Here's a photo of my client:






Isn't he handsome? And he's a pretty good swimmer too. He started on a local swim team about three weeks ago and practices 2-3 times a week. His first meet is in two weeks.


Here's our new home away from home:


Awesome, huh? I think so.



I have another famous client, I drive on Wednesdays. You may recognize her:





Yep, it's the Princess and her new PINK guitar. She's going to be a rock star.

Or something like that.

And starting next week, Mom's Taxi will be taking her to swim lessons twice a week in hopes of joining her brother on the swim team.

Because we just need one more thing to do!

Mom's Taxi service is open and business is BOOMING!