Friday, August 29, 2008


The more I learn about her, the more she inspires me. Hummm...

McCain - Palin

I hope McCain can pull this off.
I worry about Palin's lack of experience. I worry about her having a new born...I can't even clean my house, much less run the free world with a new born. I worry about her being compared to Hillary Clinton. I worry she will not be able to hold her own in a debate.
There is a lot I don't know about her or why he chose her. I am anxious to learn.

Side Note: Her husband is H.O.T.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My Desk

I was thinking today, as I cleared my desk for the 3rd time. How come everyone keeps putting their stuff on my desk?!?!? Can you see what's on my desk, colors, stickers, transformers, belts, etc?
Then I thought, how lucky am I that my family migrates to wherever I am? How blessed am I to be the center of such sweet attention?
I now welcome all coloring books, Band-Aid wrappers and goldfish bowls.

I was really cute!

and so is my twin...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

1st Day of School...Do Over

The day after the 1st day went much more smoothly. Everyone was all smiles, including me.

More on Sea-World

Cole's 5th Birthday!

Cole had a shark "slumber" party at home for his birthday. He had about 7 friends over. We played in the baby pool, played balloon games, decorated our own cupcakes, broke a pinyata and watched shark movies in our jammies.
Here are a few of the highlights.
Happy Birthday, Handsome!

A special thanks to Uncle James who always drives in for the kid's parties. He also made all the PB&Js and baby-sat Randi so the big kids could play.

Like Mother. Like Daughter.

Wisdom is a Tree

I just finished reading "These is My Words." It is up there in my top 2 favorite books of all time. I couldn't help but document my "ah-ha" spurred by this book.

Sarah, the main character, is a very independant woman who now finds herself married to a husband that leaves frequently for work and overwhelmed with the responsibility that comes along with raising kids. She wonders what might have been if she had chosen to do things differently, to "for-fill", as she sees it, her potential. See the parallel with my life?

"It seems there is always a road with bends and forks to choose, and taking one path means you can never take another one. There's no starting over nor undoing the steps I've taken. It isn't like I'd want to not have my little ones and Jack (her husband) and that ranch, it is part of life to have to support yourself. It's just that I want everything, my insides are not just hungry, but greedy. I want to find out all the things in the world and still have a family and a ranch."

I think that is why I keep vacilating on going back to work or staying home. I want everything. I'm greedy.

A few pages later, she figures out how to make peace with the choices she has made.

"He said wisdom is not a path, it is a tree... It is a tree, and I can stay in one place and spread out in all directions, and I can do more learning shading this brood of mine than if I was all alone. I declare, it is like some other part of me made up some rules about happiness and I just went along with them without thinking. My heart is lightened so much that I am amzed at how sad I felt for so long."


In my newly acquired patriarchal blessing, I was told that I would have music in my home.
Well, we do now. We decided to buy a Kawai piano. I had one growing up, but I never learned to play. Come to think of it, I don't think anyone in the house played. I did, however, love to tinker on it.
I am very happy to have the boys signed up for lessons and I will learn along with them. The best part of having a piano is listening to Don play. I didn't think I would love it as much as I do. It is hypnotizing. I can't wait to learn and have more music in family!

Tiny Dancer

Randi is interested in dance. I have her signed up for a little group that a friend teaches out of her house. If she can learn to listen there, I'll advance her to a studio. This is a good start, and a great excuse to put her in this outfit.
You should just see her stand on her tip toes, put her arms up and spin. "I'm a ballerina!"

Texas Hurricane

What do people in the South do when there is a hurricane in the area?

We take the day off and play in the rain, of course!

Next Summer

So, I did it. I spent all summer with the kids and did almost every thing on my list. It was fun, but I am going to change some things next year.

1. Have a Mommy break at least 2 times a week. Pay for it if necessary.
2. Don't do too much. Pick a few favorites and do them frequently. For example, spend lots of time at the pool or watching movies, go on extended vacations or commit to specialized summer camps.
3. Don't even try to clean the house.
4. Let the kids stay up late, if they are not too grumpy.
5. Bring a waterproof digital camera everywhere.

Alex's First Lost Tooth

I tried to take a before and after, but he would look at me straight on for the after. He was a little shy about it.
Here's what I got. He's cute either way.



Harry Potter

I figured it was time to start reading chapter books to Alex and Cole. For Cole, it is a little early, but he does everything Alex does. So, what the heck?
I started with Harry Potter. Within a couple of nights, they were hooked. They actually said, "Mom, can we go to bed now? We want to read." It was funny how many words I had to define (caldron, wizard, wand, spell). Reading was slow, but educational. I'm a genius.
We are on the second book.


We moved in to the house on the first day of Summer. Don left to go out of town for work 2 days later. After a few day of trying to unpack and deal with 3 kids alone. I was frustrated and tired. Don's office was the dumping ground for the move. Everything that didn't have a place went in there.
One night as I was trying to unpack and fuming about his absence, I decided to unpack his office. I would reluctantly take the advise of many. Service is a form of love. So, I worked for hours straightening this room.
It worked. I was so full of love by the end of it that I was looking for somethings else I could do to make his homecoming more joyful.
Lesson learned: If you are feeling sorry for yourself. Do something for someone else.

P.S. He didn't even notice the office when he came home. He has so many books in boxes that need to stay in boxes till' we have shelves built that it still looked quite a mess, but that's OK. I tried.

Father's Day

I got my dates mixed up, but thankful so did Don! We were working hard all day because we had just moved into the new house. I had gone to the grocery store and made several Lowes trips that day. It was on last Lowes trip, around 5pm, that the cashier ask me if I was buying for Father's Day. I told her, "No. I am a ahead of the game this year. I have already done my shopping, and I have whole week to spare!" Her response, "Thank you, Mrs. Haney, and by the way, today is Father's Day." Oh CRAP!?!?!
Thank goodness, at the grocery store earlier that day, I had bought Don's favorite meal, just because, and I had wrapped his gift the night before. Now, all I had to do was run by the grocery store (again), grab a desert and beg for forgiveness.
I rushed through the grocery with purpose and came busting through the front door of our home, frozen cheesecake in hand, shouting, "Don! It's Father's Day! I got my days mixed up. I am so sorry!" He simply said, "Oh, it is? I forgot, too."
We agreed to stop working and start grilling. All is well. What a nice guy.

Car Incidents

Anytime I have to slam on my brakes or honk my horn while driving Randi exclaims, "Dude!?!?" or "Come on man!?!?!"
Wonder where she got that?
It super funny. There is no way I could have road rage after that.


Alex went to three vacation bible schools this summer. Not all VBSs are created equal.

VBS #1, I just loved. It was well organized with simple messages of love, and the volunteers were super friendly.

There were a few ladies at VBS #2 who reminded me of why I didn't like Jr. High. Love was not spoken there.

The VBS #3 was FUN. I admit it. The music was great, the costumes were amazing, and the location was incredible. During the week, though, it dawned on me that it most cost millions and millions to run a church like this.
I would have rather they have ditched the pomp and circumstance to feed the needy or clothe the poor. I think that would have been a better lesson for our kids.

Which one do you think we will be going back to next year?

We should live the gospel, not just talk about it. It will help us keep our priorities in order as we walk through a flashy and selfish world. If we can clear away the clutter, we will be able to enjoy the things that are simply beautiful.

Customer Service

Where has good customer service gone? I will pay more for an item if I know it will be backed up by the seller.
I guess "Mega" stores these days don't need my meager patronage. The Lowes and Comcasts of the world may seem to make our pocketbook a fraction fatter or save us a few minutes in time, but do they really?

When we moved into this new house we spent a lot of money at Lowes. Don and I have always been Lowes fans for home improvement. As I went through the checkout with a few special order items totaling 3+ thousand dollars, the cashier told me she would have to call a phone number to get her computer glitch cleared out. This was, of course, AFTER she had swiped my bank card and 20 minutes of "problem solving" at elapsed. Her manager then told me I could pay for the items again and "trust her" to refund the first purchase, or I could wait as much as 45 minutes longer for her to straighten things out with technical service. I decided to wait. Keep in mind I have my 3 kids with me, in line, and it has now been 30 minutes. I finally ask, what was going on? Was the computer broken? Was my card not working? The manager proceeds to tell me, "I am working on it. Can't you see I am on the phone. I thought you were being nice and patient, but I guess I was wrong." I told here to cancel my transaction, and allowed the kids to play with whatever they wanted in the checkout isle. 45 minutes after entering the checkout line, I walked out of the door with a receipt and 3 tired, bored, hungry, screaming kids.
This kind of thing happened over and over at this particular Lowes. I finally e-mailed the National Headquarters for Lowes, and guess what, they e-mailed back asking all sorts of questions, sent me a gift card and hooked me up with the G.M. for the bad Lowes. Looks like the Customer Serivice melt down was just at this particular Lowes. I now drive accross town to another Lowes for my home goodies. It's worth the extra 5 minute drive because I figure it may save me 40 minutes at the checkout.

Comcast was the same kind of nightmare. I added up all the time I was on the phone with their Customer Service Representatives. Are you ready for this? 6 hours! Further, there was 16 hours of waiting around the house for their technicians to show up, mostly to fix the things that kept going wrong with our brand new service. What put the nail in their coffin for me was when I waited 4 hours for someone to show up, and no one did. I called them 5 minutes after the end of my scheduled appointment time to see if they were running late. They were not running late, their tech canceled my appointment because they couldn't find our house. They didn't have my phone number, the number they assigned us, so they couldn't call to ask for directions.
I canceled all Comcast services right then and there over the phone, but they wanted us to pay for services provided. I told them after 22 hours, equaling almost three working days, of waiting they owed me money.

I just love good customer service. I even call the phone numbers on the back of restraunt receipts or on the window at Wendy's to compliment those workers who do a great job. I ask for the manager when someone at a store goes out of their way to help me. I have even written letters about outstanding workmanship.
Maybe I should live in a little town somewhere where everyone knows you name and you can still by your groceries on credit? Call me old fashioned, a smile is worth something to me.

Monday, August 25, 2008

1st Day of School (Mom's thoughts)

I had a few thoughts this morning on the first day of school. I do have to say, these are hard to write, but I may want to re-read them someday when I am wiser.

1. Yesterday, we ate pizza, relaxed around the house and went the park in hopes of having a nice stress free family day before school begins. The other-side of the story is that Randi tormented the boys and screamed at me almost constantly, the kids wouldn't eat the food I picked out, and a bully started a fist fight with Alex at the park. Cole pooped in his pants and I found Alex in his closet at 9:30pm playing with toys.
2. As hard as I tried to make this 1st day of school morning go well. It didn't. No need to re-live it here.
3. I realized I am happy to have my kids back in school because I need the break, yet I hear other parents talking about how "perfect" their summer was and how they weren't ready to come back. I don't want to be friends with them. Nice, huh?
4. I started questioning why the heck I even try to be a SAHM. If I was working, my kid's wouldn't have memories of me saying (or yelling, depending on the day), "Pick that up." or "Be nice to your sister." or "I heard you the first 5 times you said that." or "Go to time-out!" or "Please, give me a minute!"
5. To top it all off, I feel guilty having stated issues numbered 1-4.

Am I really making the best memories by being at home or am I vilifying myself?

Thursday, August 14, 2008


"Butterflies and Unicorns," my name for Obama, wants to to raise my taxes more! Is 40% not enough?
If he gets elected, I am seriously considering moving to somewhere we can pay a fair flat tax. At least there, we can keep the extra money for which we work hard.
Go ahead, condemn me for wanting to support my own family before others, forgive me for wanting to pay off my student loans, excuse me for wanting to save for the future, and forget about my wanting to live comfortably without debt. Oh yes, please pardon my extravagance when I want to go on a family vacation. Golly Gee, how selfish have I been to only support the charities in which I believe? Last, on my little soap box, I want a stimulus check. I don't want to pay extra for others to have one. I, too, want to take my kids school shopping without worry.
Oh, Butterflies and Unicorns... You sound good, but after further review, I don't like you.

I am sure we would not be the only people moving our money abroad rather than giving it away. I am sure that effect will do wonders for the economy. He is a Gosh Darn Genius.