Wednesday, March 31, 2010


The warm weather has finally made an appearance in Alabama and everything outdoors is blooming and turning green! Thank you, Lord!

The change in weather has brought out another Springtime guest.....the ice cream truck! I'm sure we all can share a childhood memory of getting a ice cold treat from the ice cream man on a HOT Southern day. A few of my ice cream favorites were the Orange PushUp, the Rocket Pop, and there was one with a gum ball at the bottom of the plastic cone cup.

I am ashamed to say that I don't think my kids have actually had the pleasure of ordering from the ice cream truck. I know, I know....why not let them?!

First, listen to no attention to the video part, for it is completely unrelated.

How creepy is that song?! THAT is the exact song "our" ice cream truck plays, over and over and over again. However, slow the speed down a third. It freaks me out!

And then there's the person driving the truck. My mind races with thoughts of

  1. have they had a background check
  2. are they a child predator looking for houses where kids live
  3. how do I know that's not some freak who bought an ice cream truck and peruses neighborhoods

Irrational? Probably.

I think I saw "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" one too many times in the 70's. Who remembers the CREEPY child catcher holding the lollipops screaming, "free ice cream today"??

Every time I hear the ice cream truck near our neighborhood, I cringe.

Until I change my mind, my kids will have to remember THIS ice cream treat:

Sunday, March 28, 2010

We Can Haz Mud?

Hello,'s Sophie and Allie, the Alpha-Dog may have mentioned us.

We've had a great two weeks here with our new family. We love our new fenced in back yard filled with sticks and rocks to chew on. We go on walks almost every day around the neighborhood. Down the street is a cute little dog named Buster. We love to chase him in circles until he pants like he's about to pass out.

Squirrels!! They are all over the place. The word on the street is our neighbors have noticed more squirrels in their yards since our arrival. The Alpha-Dog doesn't have to worry about those pesky chipmunks either, we did them all a favor by digging up their little hole. We haven't seen Chip or Dale since. It didn't take us long to figure out the best place to get a mid-day snack is right under the bird feeders. The seed is so tasty and very crunchy; however, it sure can mess with your bowels!


Our family has two humans that are just about our size. One of them talks to us in a squeaky high-pitched voice and repeats her commands over and over .....but she's pretty cute so we can over look it. The boy is very tall and loves for us to chase him around our yard. His Legos and socks are delicious!

Today was our most fun day ever! As usual, our family left us in the backyard while they went to church. They put these dog house things in the yard, but who wants to get in there when you can stand out in the open during a passing rain storm?! Not way.

Guess what?! When the rain falls and it mixes with the dirt in our hole, it makes this super fun brown stuff. We had a ball......until the humans got home.

The Alpha-Dog began speaking incoherently and the boy was laughing at us. Suddenly we saw the hose being rolled out and our shampoo made an appearance! *gasp* We.Had.To.Get.A.Bath.

The water was FREEZING?! We whined, cried, and tried to get away, but the humans are pretty smart and quick.

You tell us, is there anything wrong with looking like this????

We don't think so either! Don't tell the Alpha-Dog, but next time we get the chance, we're picking back up where we left off.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Flashback Friday-- Anchor's Away

This week's Flashback Friday is dedicated to someone that is very special to me, who lives on the other side of the world. Literally.

Meet my little brother, Constantine:

We should have recognized early that he would end up in the military:

See Constantine. See Constantine as a "plebe" (freshman) at the Naval Academy in 1996:

See Constantine meet Walter Cronkite on the USS Constitution:

See Constantine graduate from the Naval Academy in 2000:

Constantine has been stationed in Japan and South Korea approximately 7 of the last 10 years. During that time he married a wonderful Japanese girl, Aki.

This week we got the news that he will be coming back stateside for his next tour. He will be stationed in the Washington, D.C. area! I can't tell you how excited my family is. We certainly look forward to having them a little closer to "home".

I sure hope they like visitors!

If you have a Flashback Friday post you would like to share, add your link here:

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday-- Double Bubble

For more Wordless Wednesday posts, visit 5 Minutes for Mom HERE.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Flashback Friday-- March Madness

I've decided that Friday will be the day I flashback to the past. If you feel inclined to join in the fun, I hope to have a cute button and Mr. Linky up for next week. If not, I'm not ashamed to party alone.

In honor of March Madness, this week I bring to you some photos from my high school days. May I interject here the 80's were certainly the best totally.

Many of you are probably not aware that I was a basketball super star player back in the day. I began my basketball career in 9th grade and actually played on scholarship my freshman year of college. There was no WNBA in the mid 80's so I decided to retired my high tops and have a little fun playing intramural ball.

True story: The one and ONLY time I scored a basket in the wrong goal was at my college's Parent's Day celebration. The President of the college referred to me as "Wrong Way" in front of the entire crowd. Ummm, yea.

Oh yes, back to why we are here. I'm not sure words are needed for these.....

Yep, that's me front and center, #12.
This was either '83 or '84

Senior year, 1985, sporting the basketball mullet.

I attended Christian high schools, and we had the privilege of wearing tents culottes. Ya' know, so the nice boys wouldn't be distracted by my hot legs. Or maybe there was a verse in the Bible that says, "Ye shall cover thine basketball legs with excessive fabric, which shall be called culottes."

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Nerfin' It Up!

Kristen of We Are THAT Family recently posted about a precious boy named Mason who has been fighting cancer since he was 2. He is now 7. Mason recently completed his last round of oral chemotherapy. How else would a 7 year old boy want to celebrate than with the World's Largest Nerf Party!!

(Photo from Mason's mom's website)

Kristen is helping Mason's dream come true by hosting a virtual Nerf party. She asked her reader's to each have their own Nerf party in honor of Mason defeating cancer and write a blog post about it. We at the GRITS household were more than happy to participate.

Have Nerf guns, will par-tay:

Always remember, safety first:

And wear proper Nerf attire:

Those are the makings for an excellent Nerf party! See:

What's wrong with THIS picture:

Yep, looks like yours truly got stuck with the World's Smallest Nerf gun!

Mason, CONGRATULATIONS on beating cancer!! We were more than proud to participate in your Nerf Party.

Spring? Break?

I have to apologize for the lack of fun going on here. It's Spring Break week and, unfortunately, the only excitement going on here is, well, the kids have a week out of school while Mom and Dad have to work. Boo!

The weather has been overcast and cool......which has been our recurrent weather theme for the last several months. I'm certain we all have a big fat case of Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.), also known as the "Winter Blues". *sigh*

There seems to be a slight greening of the grass and our neighbor's tulip tree has bloomed, so we know warmer weather must be on the way. It just has to be, for crying out loud!

There's rumor of sunshine at 70's tomorrow....whatever. And how about that forecast for rain and cooler temperatures on Sunday. Oh joy.

To lighten up the mood around here, tomorrow I am going to have a Flashback Friday post celebrating March Madness!! Y'all come back now, ya' here.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Double Blessings

Last month we said goodbye to our dear 14 year old Lab, Bailey. I had many people advise me to go ahead and get another dog, but I said, "no". We planned on waiting until this summer to welcome a new pet.

I didn't want my kids to think that one life is replaceable with another. I wanted us to go through the grief process for Bailey......and we have.

This past week something happened, unexpectedly. God literally dropped these two right into our lap:

Meet Sophie and Allie!

Who could say no to those two faces??? I couldn't.

They are 5 month old Lab sisters who are house trained and have passed Puppy Kindergarten. They came to us from a friend who could not keep them. It was a blessing for us to take them and a blessing for her to know they were going to someone who would take such good care of them.

It's been a LONG four weeks at our house. We've certainly missed having furry friends around and we look forward to bonding with our newest family members.

We are smitten:

I think the "girls" are getting settled in their new home:

How fortunate for us, we have an in house Dog Whisperer:

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I'm bringing IT back!

Some of you may have been here long enough to remember all of my Sincerely 'Fro Me to You posts. If not, click HERE and you will see what I am talking about.

Those retro picture posts originated with Kristen of We Are THAT Family and, eventually, was passed on to Marcy of The Glamorous Life. I cannot tell you how sad I was the day this particular blog "party" ended. I am almost certain I went through the grief process for several weeks afterward.

I love retro pictures dearly and want to do a weekly blog post called "Throw Back Thursday", or maybe "Flashback Friday". Perhaps, I can come up with something a little more creative...then again, maybe not. I have missed throwing myself and whomever else under the retro-picture bus.

With all that said.......I'm bringing RETRO BACK!!

This week's photo is from my college days. Just for a point of reference, I will be celebrating my 20th college reunion in April of this year.

I went to a Baptist women's college in a small Southern town. Thirty minutes away was a slightly larger town, and an hour away was the city in which I live now. Needless to say, there was no Internet or Facebook back in the day and we lacked a little in the entertainment department. Unless you call cruising the square or hanging out at the local Hardee's over-the-top fun. And, seriously, one can only watch "Top Gun" and "Dirty Dancing" so many times.

Have no fear, "girls" that attend a small women's college are VERY creative and didn't have to leave the dorm for a good time. As evidenced by this photo of yours truly:

Dear blog readers, I present to you what we called the "Tide Slide". Tide meaning the soap we put on the floor, and Slide meaning, well, how we got from one end of the dorm hallway to the other.

At the nursing home, we shall call this "instant trip to the hospital", the "hip breaker" or maybe we will just call it, "maw-maw's last slide".

Looking at this photo brings back so many great memories of a day gone by. And also thankful, that my body still looks that great after 20 years, two children and the death of my thyroid.....*cough* *cough*

(BLOGGERS, if you'd like to join me in a weekly retro-picture post, let me know in the comments section and I might add a Mister Linky feature. If not, I'll be the flashback queen of the Internet.)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday-- Minnie and Mini-Me

For more Wordless Wednesday posts visit 5 Minutes for Mom HERE

Monday, March 8, 2010

Oh the Bliss

Now that it's been a month since I attended Blissdom, it's probably time for me to tell you about it.

However, my format is going to be a little different....may I present to you the ABC's of Blissdom.

A: Allie Worthington

B: Barbara Jones

These ladies are the founders of Blissdom and they really know how to do a conference! From the Blissdom website, "The dynamic balance of their visions, and their passion for quality and community, make Blissdom a must-attend conference for social media mavens, online publishers and sponsors." This year a new addition was added to the Blissdom team, Paula Bruno. Thank you, ladies! (Because I know they read my blog *snort* )

C: Cards. Part of the fun is exchanging business cards with everyone. They were no two cards alike. I'd like to take a moment and announce the winner of the first ever GreekGRITS Blogger's Card Award to Jenny of 867-5309 fame. How totally rad is this:

D: Dedra from Just a Chick. My fabulous roomie for the weekend. I actually let her put makeup on me, so we are now friends for life. I think we were the only two people who got any sleep at all because we are old.

E: Eliminate. Attending Blissdom eliminated the imaginary lines between "friends" who live in my computer and friends in real life. I was more than excited to finally meet Kristen, Jessica, Jill and Pam in living color.

F: Food. It was fabulous and free. It doesn't get any better than that in my book. Truthfully, all the meals I ate were included in the cost of my ticket....and THAT is the fabulous part.

G: Gaylord Opryland Hotel.....the setting for Blissdom 2010. It is a beautiful hotel with 9 acres of INDOOR of gardens. The getting-lost-potential in this place was VERY high. So, Teresa, you'll be very disappointed that I did not get lost, well, not REAL lost. However, I did get a blister because the distance from my room to the conference area was about 3 miles, give or take 2.

H: Harry Connick, Jr. He was our Friday night entertainment. I had to overlook his attempt at mindless humor after he made some weird comments about women in flannel with crew cuts.....joking he thought he was singing at a female logger's conference. See the whole awkward dialogue HERE. However, I enjoyed his singing and I did get my picture taken with him:

I: Inspiring. There's something about being with 499 others who "get" you and your passion for blogging.

J: Joy. The emotion of the weekend, as evidenced by squealing, smiling and A LOT of laughing!

K: Kevin Carroll of Katalyst. Kevin was the keynote speaker at the opening of Blissdom. He was PHENOMENAL and his message was very inspirational. I'll share more about what he said in a single post.

L: Lisa Leonard Designs. We all received this fabulous necklace from her (I apologize to Lisa for the very poor picture quality):

M: Mixers. We had several opportunities to mingle and meet the "masses." I enjoyed meeting MANY bloggers from, literally, all over the country. Just to name a couple of bloggers (new to me) I adore are, Amber from the Run a Muck; and Jenny of 867-5309 fame. During one of the mixers, my roomie and I had the privilege of talking with MckMama and her husband for a few minutes. They are incredible people with an amazing story about their miracle son, Stellan.

N: Nashville. The capital of Tennessee and home of Blissdom.

O: Overwhelmed. In all honesty, I loved every minute of Blissdom; however, as a first year attendee and neophyte blogger, I experienced information overload. I mean that in a good way! Each session was filled to the rim with blogging goodness.

P: Prayer. On Saturday morning, Pensieve Robin , along with the lovely folks from (in)Courage, hosted a coffee and prayer time. The room was full of women gathered in Jesus' name. Robin shared a quick verse, 1 Peter 2:9 which reminds us, "we're all daughters of the King which means we're princesses!" Then we spent the rest of our time in prayer together. Honestly, this was my favorite get together!

Q: Quality. I think all 500 Blissdom attendees will agree there was no skimping at this conference. The sponsors were absolutely wonderful, the speakers were awesome and the setting couldn't have been any better.

R: Renew. After my entry into the blogging world, I went full force. 350 posts later I seemed to have lost my mojo. I'm hoping to apply some of the things I learned at Blissdom and get this place back to its glory days of old.

S: Swag. Everyone knows the way to a blogger's heart is through free stuff. The first thing we received at the registration table was the fabulous tote from Lands' End filled with goodies from several of the Blissdom sponsors listed HERE. I must say my two favorite items were the Lisa Leonard necklace and the two bags of Hershey's BLISS chocolate. I guess I should throw in that my least favorite item was the Cover Girl Smoky Eyes kit......only because I don't really wear makeup and my blue eyeshadow days ended in the 80's.

T: Tommy "Girls". Dedra and I met these fabulous ladies on our very first day. They all work for Thomas Nelson Publishers. I totally enjoyed meeting and spending most of our time with them!

U: Unity. Blissdom brings together 500 different people as one...people with a passion for blogging.

V: Value. I will testify that I got more than my money's worth at Blissdom. I not only got 3 days of blogging information, I had a wonderful "girl's" get-away weekend in a beautiful setting with delicious food and quality entertainment. (But don't tell the hubby that....he thinks I sat in dimly lit conference rooms for hours with unbelievably boring people).

W: Wisdom Workshops. These sessions were held on Thursday and were not officially part of Blissdom and each workshop had a separate fee. They provided a more hands-on approach in a variety of areas including writing, vlogging, coding, photography, graphic design, etc.

X: Xenophobia. If you have it, Blissdom is certainly no place for you! (proud of myself for pulling off that one)

Y: Year. The time period until the next Blissdom. Don't miss out!

Z: Zeal. The feeling you get after spending 3 days with people from all over the country, from all walks of life who have one thing in common with you.....a story to tell and a place on the Internet to tell it.

And if you still don't understand what Blissdom was all about, watch this:

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sunshine Day

This post goes out to all of my Brady Bunch peeps and to anyone else celebrating the beautiful sunshine today:

You are welcome!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Papparazzi-- Disney Style

We've all seen the pictures of those crazy photographers who pull out all the stops, risking life and limb to get the perfect shot of celebrities.

While at Disney World two weeks ago, the tables were turned. Instead of the GRITS family being stalked by a mob of photographers, we were the stalkers.

Or something like that.

While we were eating lunch in the Magic Kingdom, we noticed several people standing in the grass near Cinderella's Castle being interviewed. Naturally, my nosy self HAD to go find out who was being interviewed. As we got closer, this is who we saw:

At first, I said to myself....."Ummmm, is that Prince Charming?" Then there was a long pause....."no, wait, he's that know he builds stuff". Thank you fellow stalker for reminding me of the name Carter Oosterhouse. OH YEA!

Unlike everyone else standing around us, I had NO trouble figuring out who was also being interviewed with Mr. Eye Candy Oosterhouse.

It was Chef Aaron McCargo, Jr. from the Food Network's "Big Daddy's House." I cheered for him on "The Next Food Network Star." I may or may not have been shouting "we are your fans" at the exact moment this photo was snapped. Ahem.

Our next big day of celebrity sightings coincided with Disney's "Give a Day, Get a Day" celebration. While wandering around Epcot, look who we, literally, almost ran in to:

Yep, it's Chef Robert Irvine from Food Network's "Dinner Impossible" of the hubby's favorites. He was in the middle of shooting a show on location in Epcot. The chef actually stopped and talked with folks. If it hadn't been for the family in front of us taking forever to get pictures with the wife, the baby in the stroller and the whole family together, I would have taken his picture with the hubby. Instead I got a picture of this:

The big find of the day resulted from my love of the Twitter. I already knew that Joe Jonas and Demi Lovato were going to be at Epcot that day singing for Disney's celebration. While checking on my Twitter peeps, which includes both Joe and Demi, I saw they were tweeting pictures from a couple of different countries in Epcot.

When I informed the Princess of my discovery, it was game on to find them. We started our walk around the opposite direction the tweets were showing. I suspected at some point we would hopefully "run" into Joe and Demi.

All I needed was a few tweets and the sounds of a gaggle of giggly girls.


What? You can't see them?? How about now:

I'm afraid that's as good as our paparazzi skillz and the mob of girls would allow us. But the Princess was beyond THRILLED that we saw them.

As Joe and Demi left the area of their interview, the pack of pre-teens started running towards them.....guess who followed right behind, yes, the Princess. I seriously had to save her from being broadsided by a grown man with a camera.

Her goal was to get one final picture of this moment, and she did:

It's the perfect shot of Daddy Jonas and the back of Joe's head! Notice how close she had worked her way into the crowd.

Unbelievably, when we caught back up with Lego-Man and the hubby, they were watching a taping for America's Funniest Videos. AFV just happens to be Lego-Man's most favorite show. Imagine his excitement when he saw Tom Bergeron!

Despite all of the famous appearances, I must admit my favorite celebrities were these three and they even let me get my picture taken with them: