Summer Week 5: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Missouri…


Week 5 of our summer consisted of a trip to Missouri to visit my family.  The plan was to stay Monday through Friday.  Jeff, not because he doesn’t love visiting my family just really likes his own bed, and quiet, and Texas food… tried to talk me into making it Monday through Thursday.  See, my family- well, we are loud.  We are very loud.  And there is always a bit of drama when we are there for longer than a weekend stay.  Jeff- not so loud…not very dramatic either.  In our preparations for the trip, I could have been the nice wife that comforted and prepared Jeff.  But really- what is the fun in that!  My family, aside from being loud and dramatic, are also Greek.  My mom can cook some amazing Greek dishes.  Jeff has never acquired a taste for the lemon, pepper, and grape leaves in some of the delicious dishes my mom prepares.  Sunday night, I found myself at the store by myself talking to my mom.  We were talking about the meal plan for the trip. I told her, “You know what would be REAL FUNNY?!?!  If you sent Jeff a text that was the menu for the week.  Except instead of putting the real menu…make it a Greek menu…EVERY DAY!”  So, the plan was set in motion.  The plan- my mom text Jeff the menu about an hour after I got home, I play innocent to the knowledge of the menu details so he has to read them to me, thirty minutes later my mom sends a text that says she was just kidding.

That night, Jeff and I were in the bedroom packing our bags for the trip.  Jeff’s phone goes off.  I think nothing of it, as his phone goes off all the time, until he has a very dramatic reaction to the text.  “Are they serious!”  Ah- I know what the text is about now…the menu.  My mom had went above and beyond…she had plenty of Greek dishes for each of the nights, but the winner was Thursday nights dinner plan.  My brother would dig a hole in the ground and we were going to roast a whole lamb on a spit.  Jeff bought it.   He was worried.  He knew he could disappear for dinner one night, but he didn’t know how he was going to find an excuse to skip dinner EVERY night.  I was laughing because …well, like I said his reaction was very dramatic.  We carried on through the night- with him worried about the food…all night…because my mom forgot to send the “JK” text.  Don’t worry- eventually I told him the truth.  To which he was very relieved.

Poor Jeff, because that same night…well, he trusted me with something he has never trusted me with before…his hair.  He has talked many times about buzzing his hair off.  I have always told him he should do this is the summer- so if he (or me) doesn’t like it- it will grow back before school starts.  He brought it up again on Sunday evening.  I said, “hey- let’s just do it!  It is summer.  No more talking about it- let’s just do it!”  So…yeah… let’s just say due to a slight mishap on my end…his hair ended up a lot shorter than he had wanted it.  I had buzzed most of his hair to a level 3.  It was long enough that he was comfortable with it, but still buzzed.  I was almost through….almost did it correctly…but then, the great slip of 2012 happened.  I took the cover off to clean out the hair and put it back on and buzzed a strip of his hair…at a level 1 (the shortest level).  I immediately was both crying and laughing hysterically.  I do think, in my defense, that it looks good- once we had to buzz the rest of his hair to the same length…

I wish that was all the abuse Jeff suffered this trip- but alas, it is not.  He is a great man, who puts up with a great deal.  Thanks Jeff for being a better man than anyone I know.

On our drive to Missouri, Jeff tried to get the girls to signal a truck driver to honk his horn.  Mikaila misunderstood Jeff’s gesture and ended up giving the “loser” signal to the poor truck driver.

Jeff was subjected to some Greek food while in Missouri…but he actually didn’t mind the gyros, so it was ok.

With his freshly buzzed bare head, he was subjected to many outdoor activities.  Fortunately, no sunburns ensued.

We had a great visit with my family…I have over 1500 pictures to go through from the trip…I will post the link the the pictures …later…

I think week 6- we will give Jeff a break.


Summer week 4- HAIRtastic


This week has been all about the hair!  If you know me well, you know I like my hair.  I like to have fun with my hair.  I prefer my hair to be short.  It is a bit ironic, then, that I don’t want my girls to have short hair?  It isn’t that I don’t want them to have short hair…it is just that they have really pretty long hair!

In the typical “mom” fashion, I have had struggles with my girls.  And they’re not even teenagers yet!  Well, I say things…sometimes, I really don’t mean what I say.  For example, when I am brushing Brianna’s hair, and it is tangled, and she is complaining, sometimes I might have said, “well, we can just cut it all off, then we wouldn’t have this problem.  Would we?”  I really didn’t mean it.  I love her hair.  Thick, holds a curl, soft, and beautiful.  I didn’t want to cut it off.  However, Jeff has heard me say that many times…and it got him thinking.  He somehow talked Brianna into cutting it off.  This was months ago.  I have used excuses, justifiable reasoning, and avoidance to put it off.   With summer, most of my excuses were moot.  Brianna reminded me of this…frequently.  So, this week, I bit the bullet and we got her hair cut.  15 inches came off in one fell swoop to be donated to locks of love…and then there was still a big pile on the floor.  She loves her new hair cut, and I must admit- I love it, too.  Although- I have found myself looking for my daughter- even though she was standing right in front of me and I didn’t recognize her.  Ok, before you laugh- she had her back to me!   The cut brings out her natural curls.  It is so curly!  I didn’t realize how curly it was.

That was Monday.  Tuesday was my turn!  I have wanted to do something a little different to my hair for awhile.  I was letting it grow long for graduation.  I added some blond highlights to it, but let it grow.  When graduation came, I was wanting to dye it a wild color.  Then I remembered that I would have to go to job interviews.  So, yeah- you can’t get a teaching job when you have unnatural colored hair.  They frown upon that.  So, I have a job.  I have a couple of months before I have to start my teaching job…it was time for me to do something with my hair.  My wonderful hair stylist added purple to the front.  I went a bit more tame than I wanted, because I was just thankful that Jeff was ok with it.  Now that he has seen it, he likes it.  He has already found me a more wild color/style for next summer.

Other highlights of this week- and then pictures!!

Mikaila’s softball team won first place!  It was a nail-biter game that went into an extra inning.  Mikaila had a great season!
Jeff and I helped with a little landscaping for his mom and dad.  The girls got to go swimming with some friends.  I just love it (being a little sarcastic) when you haven’t seen your child for a day, and when you come to the friends house- not even to pick them up, just to hang out- they see you and say, “awwww man…”  Umm, I’m sorry, my child that I love…you will always be happy to see your mother!!  I got to train a friend on her new iPad.  I love it when I can share my knowledge with others.  Wednesday night, we got to hear a teenager talk about his experience on a missions trip to Haiti.  It is encouraging when others are put in situations where they see beyond themselves.  Often times, people only look to their own needs and wants.  Yeah, me too.  Which is why I said it is encouraging when others do that!  😀  Gives me something to aspire to.  Friday night was Relay for Life- we stayed for a couple of hours,  but decided to come home to the comforts of our bed.  Saturday we celebrated my nieces birthday.  She shares a birthday with her Big Pappy, so I got a cute picture of the two of them together.  You can check out to read more about his birthday.

Next week will be great!  My youngest baby turns 9, we will be in MO visiting my family, and Jeff (I can’t say because he isn’t telling many people- but it is something good).  It will be a week with lots to write about!


Summer: Week 3


So, yeah- I’m a bit behind…goal was to have this posted Sunday night…but, as you will see…we were busy!

Define lazy. That was my day. At first I was proud of myself because I woke up with Jeff. But, after he left for work…I parked it on the couch. Watched Battlestar Galactica. I have seen this series before, and I know I am finally out of school so I should be watching other shows I haven’t seen…like Lost….but…I have had “All Along the Watchtower” stuck in my head for several weeks. Besides, if something is good…it does not hurt to re-indulge in it.  After a couple episodes, I called to check up on the job offer that was on was premature.  Yeah…it isn’t happening- budgets being held, things unsure, etc. So, sinking into a blah mood…I spent the majority of day watching the tv show. The girls didn’t mind…because Mommy’s lazy day meant they got a lazy day.  Things on my to-do list that did NOT get done:  graduation thank you cards (I do have some done…), take the girls to VBS, clean house, write, …etc..

Saturday we had started the 30 day shred. When I say we…I mean all 4 of us. We are pretty sore. The girls recover a lot faster than Jeff and I.  Even though we hate Jillian (and we frequently tell that to the tv as she makes us do 2 min of push-ups!!), I do like that as a family we are working out together.  We go camping in a couple of weeks, I want the girls to be ready to hike all day.  This workout is one of the things up my sleeves to help build up their endurance.  But, I still hate Jillian.

Monday night was softball playoffs.  If the girls won, then they would be first place champions.  If they lost, we would have to have another game. Mikaila has played so hard this year!  She was a little disappointed that she didn’t get to be catcher like she was last year, but she still played her heart out.  When she wasn’t focused on waving at us 🙂  Since I do have my new camera…I took some play shots while they were warming up.  Yes, any excuse to play with my camera.  They tied the game…but I was very proud of how Mikaila played.

During practice, Mikaila was trying to catch ALL the balls

Tuesday, I DID wake up in time to take the girls to VBS.  They were glad.  I was feeling a bit more productive, so instead of going home to tackle my to-do list…I went to Jeff’s office.  I worked a bit on the presentation that I was to be giving on Saturday.  Just a little.  I spent the majority of the time watching Big Bang Theory.  To my presentation, I say: Bazinga!

Wednesday, made it to VBS…hung out with Jeff…BUT, the afternoon was full of car troubles.  Jeep had been acting up, and that day after VBS it wouldn’t start.  But that is ok.  The day was salvaged with some awesome friends.  The girls and I hung out with the Gibsons and had a great time.  The girls and I got our first sunburn of the summer, had some good laughs, AND got the BEST upside down pineapple cake.  Here is where I shall insert that my waistband has …been expanding this summer…and this did NOT help….  Didn’t stop me from enjoying it though.

Thursday was a great day!  Was it because I got my to-do list done?  Pfft- NO.  Was it because I got my presentation done?  Nah- still had plenty of time before…Saturday.  I took the girls, plus 2 others to VBS.  Well, the youngest girl was too young for VBS.  I know how I am when I think someone is taking the girls somewhere, I make plans.  So, I didn’t want to return the little girl just yet, in case her mom was the same… I asked the little girl if she wanted to hang with me.  She said, “yes, can you take me to the park?”  Umm..ok, I can do that.  Long story short…I took her and my niece to the park.  They played, had fun, and I got some great pictures!  After VBS, I had a house full of kids- and we had fun!  That night, Jeff and I went on a double date with their parents, Jamey and Lisa.  It was Lisa’s xxth birthday (not going to say her age…but she IS older than me…and Jeff muhahahahah).  We went to the movies (Prometheus…good movie!  Yes, I jumped and cried like a baby…even though no one else really did…).  After the movies we went to dinner at The Roadhouse.  I thoroughly enjoyed hanging out afterwards.  I can’t wait to go on another double date with them 🙂  ((Since we didn’t scare them away the first time!!  Cause you know how wild and crazy Jeff is ;p)).  Another reason why Thursday was a good day…I got the call that said..>I HAD A JOB!!!  I am the new 6th grade teacher at Crockett Intermediate School.  Yes, I studied for English…yes, I wanted to work at Chisum…but….I HAVE A TEACHING JOB!!!!  Yes, you are free to dance and sing with me right now.

KK & Kaylee best friends

Weekend- the girls stayed with Jeff’s family while we went to Dallas  Fort Worth.  This was my last time presenting as a Chisum employee…not my last time presenting 🙂 I plan on doing that as much as possible.  I was presenting with 2 of my really good friends, only thing that would have made it perfect…is if our other friend was presenting with us.  We had a great time.  What happened at TREA (the conference)- stays at TREA.  Ok, nothing bad happened 🙂 I am just tired of typing, the girls have put on a movie, and I don’t feel like going in to too many details at the moment.  BUT- there is ONE REALLY SUPER DUPER FUNNY thing that happened…well, if you are a geek…you will find the humor in it.  So, it is LATE Friday night.  Angie, Katherine, Jeff, and myself are in the hotel room working on the visuals of the presentation.  There is a part where we talk about robots, androids, and humans.  Following is the conversation:
Me:  What android should we use?
Jeff:  What about Data?
Me: Ohh yeah, Data would be great!
Angie:  Who is Data?
Me:  Data….from Star Trek….
Angie:  (after thinking for a few seconds) ohhh yeah, I know him …he is the gold guy…
Katherine:  Oh, yeah- ok, I know the gold guy.  How is he an android?
Me:  An android looks human, but is a robot…
Katherine: Yeah, so how is the gold guy an android?
Me:  (pulling up a picture of  Data, because I’m thinking they really don’t know who they are talking about) That is Data…
Angie:  Ohhh, ok…
Katherine:  So, who was the other guy…
Me: ….that “gold guy” would be C3PO…from Star Wars…
Katherine:  Yeah, yeah…ok…so Data…I know who he is…he is the guy that worked with Captain Kirk…
Me:  That would be Captain Picard….

I still love them…even though they were mixing sci-fi stories…


Time to wrap this week up!  Sunday- we got home after having almost left MY NEW CAMERA at the hotel…thankfully we were only 45 minutes out and everyone was fine with turning around to get it.  This was both the fault of myself and Jeff.  he would like to say it is just my fault that the camera is left…but this time…we are both at fault!  Sunday night we took the girls to see Brave.  Loved it!!!  The girls cackled…CACKLED through many parts of it.  If you have seen the can probably guess which parts got the biggest laughs.

Stay tuned for Summer Week 4…it is ALL ABOUT HAIR!!!  ok, so not all..but…some cool things happen 🙂

Summer: Week 2- The Hunt for a Job Kind of Continues


I had big dreams.  Well, I guess I always do.  The specific big dream I am talking about this time is in regards to my career.  I started college late in life.  I was 31 when I graduated with my BA.  I just knew with as talented as I am, with as many things that I have done, that a teaching job would just fall in my lap.  I graduated a month ago- and my lap is empty.  As of right now…I might have a job.  But, chances are…I might not.  So, read on and let the story begin…

Once upon a time, I drove to Dallas and back with something wrong with the Jeep.  That was last week.  We took it to the shop this week, so Monday I was without a vehicle at the beginning of this week.  My plan was to hit the road and personally deliver my resumes to the local schools.  I am dedicated to finding a job.  I’m just not dedicated enough to want to walk all over town and turn in resumes.  First, I would be all sweaty and nasty because this IS Texas, and it IS summer… Second, umm..well, I think the first reason is really all that I considered.  I spent the day doing laundry and touching up my cover letter.    I think I let the girls play outside in the water hose that day.  They had fun and turned our backyard in to a swamp.  They even tried to catch some frogs.  Noble effort that would not have ever worked.  First, they intentionally made a mud hole.  When that didn’t seduce a frog to show up, they got a tupperware bowl.  I’m not sure if they were trying to accomplish when they filled it with mud, water, grass, and flowers….but I’m guessing they thought it was an attractive resort for a frog.  By the end of the day (or rather EVERY five minutes when they checked) they were disappointed that no frogs “checked in”.

But I digress, that had nothing to do with me finding a job.  I had a very successful interview at Rivercrest.  It went so well, I just KNEW I had that job.  So, when I didn’t get the job…well, I was depressed.  I also was humiliated.  I had posted on FaceBook how well it went- and everyone was so encouraging.   So, when I had to post that I didn’t get it…yeah, humiliating.  It was embarrassing to have everyone know that I wasn’t good enough for something.  I know, I know…I have learned that to get a job in this town you pretty much have to know the right person.  As I have spent 5 years at one school district and not any of the others…I don’t know the right people.  My resume is awesome.  My experience is exceptional.  I am talented at what I am good at.  And yet…no one has been looking at that because, well…I don’t know the right person.  The joys of a small town.

Car troubles.  I couldn’t go around and turn in resumes because car was in shop.  So, thanks to a wonderful friend who let me use her car (I love you, Katherine!!) I spent Tuesday going around turning in resumes.  I heard a LOT of “we don’t have any positions open right now…”  But, I did hear one…”Ohhh…so you are so-and-so’s friend….we are interviewing for this position on Thursday.  Would you be available at 1?”  Uhh yeah!!!  I did not post this to facebook…remember…didn’t do so well with the humiliation of praises/support when I didn’t get the previous job from an interview.  I did text some friends, but didn’t want many to know about it.  The interview came and it went amazing.  But, I interview well…I don’t get nervous, I’m a people person, and I know my stuff.   So, I wasn’t surprised that I did well.  Besides…this was an interview for a 6th grade math position…and I majored with an English concentration… The HIGHLIGHT of the interview is when I quoted Christopher Walken during the interview.  I was asked if I played a musical instrument (it wasn’t part of the official interview questions- just a side question), I said no.  The lady continued with, “what about a cowbell?”   How was a supposed to answer that without quoting, “I’ve got a fever and the only cure is more cowbell!”  Fortunately, most of the people in the interview knew I was referencing this skit.  They told me it would be a week before I knew one way or the other if I got the job.

I got the call Friday.  The call was to let me know that at the Monday night board meeting they would be taking my recommendation to the board for the job.  I don’t think I have ever heard of a board saying no to someone that has been recommended- so, this was a call that I took as “you have the job!”  So, I texted several friends and family to let them know the good news…and as Jeff and I were in Tyler with Jan and Terry, we celebrated with some Andy’s.  ((Ok- it does not matter that I had already planned on going to Andy’s first…now I had a good reason to go!))  I was excited.  I felt validated.  I felt hopeful. I felt excited.  I felt…you get the point- a slew of positive emotions.

And within a couple of hours, as high as I felt – I felt as equally low.  I missed a call- and when I checked the voicemail, it was the principal saying that before she even made it to the central office to turn in my recommendation…she got a call saying they had put a hold on that position.  So, she doesn’t know why or what is going on…but there will be no recommendation going before the board on Monday.  She will let me know on Monday what is going on…but, my guess is one of two things.  1) budget cuts and they won’t be filling that position at all.  OR 2) I don’t know the right person.  I am in this weird state of kind of having a job and not having a job.  I don’t like it.  Jeff said I should be proud of the fact that I beat out all of the other interviewees- BUT without a job that pride doesn’t pay my bills.  I was down for a bit, but now I am just…waiting for the door to open that I know God has opened somewhere.

I do know that I will find a job.  I don’t know when or where.  I don’t like that.  I also do know that I won’t be posting anything on Facebook about it until I have an appointment to sign my contract.  I will update my blog- as I am keeping this as my summer journal.

Enough about my unemployment…ish… It was a busy week.  Thursday we went to movies in the park.  Loved watching the Lion King with the girls and Jeff.  It made me look forward to 2013 when we take them to see the Broadway version in Dallas.  They will love it.  2013 is looking to be a good year with musicals…I plan on seeing several of them, but the one I am MOST EXCITED ABOUT is Wicked.  This is one of the VERY few plays/movies that I like better than the book.

Friday, Jeff, the girls, Jan, Terry, and I went to Tyler for a doctor appointment for Terry.  This was the first time I had been back to ETMC Tyler since December.  The appointment was good.  It was checking on the wound on his stomach.  The report was that the skin is growing back well and in 6 more months the wound should be closed.  I am pretty excited about this.  Today is Father’s Day and Terry is still here.  All reports are leading for that full recovery.  Friday night Jeff and I went on a date to the local comedy club.  We JUST heard about this local club, but apparently it has been around for a year.  We had a good time…there were several rednecks there– in the audience…but, what else should we expect from a small, Texan town.

Father’s Day.  I love the fact that the girls have such a wonderful father in their lives.  Earlier this week, I had the girls write letters and favorite memories about Jeff.  Their letters were adorable.  I also wanted them to draw something for him.  They are more talented when it comes to drawing than I am– so I was amazed at their creations. Take a look at what they did.

Summer- How I Love Thee


On one hand, summer has just started…but, in a sneaky ninja move…summer is also slipping away.

As I have first celebrated that I don’t have ANY HOMEWORK, as I have GRADUATED (everyone rejoices!!)…I have quickly filled up my schedule with tasks, projects, and sleeping in to make up for the time that would have gone to homework and classes. I imagined that life after college would be a little different. Free time, catching up on my reading, and writing my book that will mark me as a best selling author…that was the plan. However, I have yet to have much free time, I have fallen asleep three times while trying to read a book, AND umm..yeah, I haven’t put pen to paper yet for my book.

So, what have I been doing? Last week, I cooked dinner, went to the Great Wolf Lodge, had a church camp out, cleaned house, and tried putting my degree to work by attempting to find a job. I think that was a pretty busy week for what should have been a lazy summer!

First, I realize that those of you that do not know me that well are probably confused by the first item on my list.  Yes, I cooked.  But- the real important part is I didn’t burn ANYTHING!  The girls…well, they didn’t believe me.  However, as Jeff was at work when I fixed dinner…they had no choice but to accept the fact that I cooked several meals and didn’t burn anything.  Does this mean I have turned a new leaf and will now be able to do this on a regular basis?  Hahahah…no!   I did get the recipes off of pinterest.

I had been waiting to look at pinterest until after I graduated.   Now, that I have opened the door to pinterest…I’m getting some real neat ideas. Currently the search is revolving around hair styles.  I wanted to go pink, green, or blue just for the summer.  Then it dawned on me that wild hair might not be appealing during a job interview.  So, depending on when I get a job…I have some cool color ideas.

Great Wolf Lodge.  Wow.  We had sooo  much fun!  It was the first time that I had been.  First time the girls had been.  We left Jeff at home.  We have promised him that we will go back and take him with us.  Brianna went down all of the slides.  That in itself was amazing.  Of course, I did have to bribe her with ice cream…  I liked how kid safe the park was.  You could leave your kids to fend for themselves. I mean, not that I would do that…I wouldn’t think about spending the day in the hot tub while they ran around and played in the water.  The deepest pool was 4 feet.  Yeah, I totally would tell the girls to go play and come check in every once in awhile.  

The girls loved the lodge.  Brianna told Mikaila that she should live there since she loved wolves.  If she lives there, I simply must insist that she let her mother visit her–frequently!

When I dropped my friend off, I noticed that our Jeep had a funny smell to it.  I also noticed that the engine was whirring a lot louder (when it comes to cars that is as technical of a term as you will hear from me!) than normal.  The radiator was messed up.  I am just so glad that it made it through the drive to Dallas and back before it decided to act up.  I have wrecked the car once in Dallas…and I do not want to repeat any incident where I am 2 hours away from home with a messed up car.  Although, when I did wreck the car…I got sushi out of it…nah, still isn’t worth it…

The day after we got back from Great Wolf Lodge, we had a church camp out.  Ok, so if we are going to be technical- it was more of a lock in.  But there was a very good reason that we didn’t end up sleeping outside.  BUGS!  Lots and lots of bugs!!! Ok, so that was really my reason…but it was just extremely convenient that there were health issues that I could use as a back up excuse   justifiable reason to sleep inside.  We had a blast.  There were 15 kids, several adults, and well…I mentally I  fit somewhere in between the kids and adult that night.  We went on a photo scavenger hunt…had FUN.  I will be putting the pictures and videos together for a video on Sunday.  I’ll have to post the link here.   It will be worth watching.  Why?  Two words.  TIME TRAVEL!

Sunday was a good day with friends, singing, and food.  Too much food.  There was a benefit for Terry Rogers Sunday night.  They raised $5,000 for him.  Kind of awesome.  Friday, Jeff, the girls, and I will be heading to Tyler with Terry and Jan for a wound check up.  I anticipate a good report.  I also anticipate Andy’s Frozen Custard…I mean, when in Tyler…one must partake of the Andy’s.  I want to say it is a law.

Well, that is all for today- I will have to update week 2 on week 3…because it isn’t over yet.  I know, I did mention time travel earlier…even so, I am still restricted.

Inspire Me!


So, what does a 30-year-old college senior do when she is tired, not done with her homework?

She visits youtube for a little pick me up.

I have a couple of go-to videos that I like to see every now and then.  Sometimes I want to feel better about myself and I watch the Star Wars kid, or the NumaNuma video (the one before Kanye West got a hold of it).  If I am feeling like I can do anything, I watch the Susan Boyle video where she beautifully belts out “I dreamed a dream.”  And I have several others that fit different moods or needs.

Tonight- I needed inspiration.  So, I went to a video that I have watched several times.  I have shown it to students to inspire them.  It shows that there is hard work to get to the payoff you want.  It shows that even in that hard work, you have to be responsible for your actions.  Well, it says all that to me.  Plus- I love the song.

And- in my mind- the only way to follow-up that video is with another inspirational video.

Alright, enough procrastination for me…back to work I go!