Thursday, December 31, 2009

Where will the momentum take us??

I can't believe that 2009 is almost over. And I'm so excited about celebrating with friends tonight. I am ready to embrace 2010 and all the awesomeness that I know it will bring. How do I know? Why aren't I worried about all the bad things going on? Well, cuz we've got MOMENTUM, baby! Yeah, the W'ham's are picking up speed and heading toward something more wonderful than the joy we have now. Rose colored glasses?? noooo. Dumber than a bag of hammers? Not last time I checked. How about lulled into a false sense of happiness? How can happiness be false? It might not be lasting, but it isn't false.. it's an emotion, people.

So, let me explain this momentum thing. It's been building all year. We started 2009 in pretty desparate straights. Chris was unemployed. I was totally unhappily stressed out with home and work. Our house was  a wreck with no seeming way out. Our cars were barely holding on. And the kids were growing up with depressed parents. In fact, I didn't even write a "2008 in review, looking to 2009" because I couldn't bear the thought!

In the spring, I decided to change my working environment. A simple grade level switch and the knowledge that I wouldn't have to be team leader  sent my blood pressure down into the only "slightly elevated" range. Chris got hired on at his dream job at the start of summer. What a time of rejoicing! And 7 months later, we still are jazzed about this situation. It's not the money, or the prestige (haha-snort). It's the fulfillment of a God given promise. Delight yourself in the Lord, the psalmist says, and He will give you the desires of your heart. It's true. I can't say I was always "delighted" with God's path while I was walking it, but we got there in the end.

The summer continued and I got a "girls weekend" with my best girls, minus a few. But it was still great. I love my Sanguine friends! We also bit the bullet and bought a new truck. Love the truck. So fancy and more than I, er, Chris, bargained for.

When school started, we had the flood of '09. Water damage, insurance. Again, not sure about the path God chose, but as I sit in my newly remodeled living room with 3 mostly working bathrooms, I am humbled and awed (and in more debt, but still). A year ago, I was sitting on broken furniture, in a flea infested, nasty carpeted living room with no hope of it getting better. Yeah, God has good plans, even when they seem to stink in the process.

The fall continued in the path of "gettin it done". The remodeling took time, mostly because I drug my feet in choosing how and what to get repaired. School is a never ending challenge. And I love a good challenge! I really needed some new curriculum and new ideas to flow. And I have the best, most laid back teaching partner ever.  She makes me look type A. And she takes care of me! Yep, it's true. Random acts of Starbucks in the morning. "I'll take your kids for a bit" afternoons. I do love me some Charlotte Pace. A real gift from God.

And now, we're are prepping for a revival New Year's Party. It's been a long time since we were able to invite everyone out. And I can't wait for the happy memories it will bring. See, our momentum is building. And I can't wait to see where God's leading will take us. Ya'll are welcome to ride our coattails. There is room for all!

Praying for a great New Year for all. I know I have some friends who need a happier 2010. And I trust that God has a path that will lead to His big GOODness for them. And I am praying that they will walk that path.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Some newer pictures of the home

Some days, we thought it was all going to never happen. Literally, was our life in the crapper? Nope, the crapper was in the bathtub.

The trash and mess were more than a sane person could bear.

 Of course, our sanity is often questioned. I mean, what kind of people keep their appliances in the living room??

But then, there is light at the end of the tunnel, or hallway. Look! New carpet!

And finally, It's starting to look livable. And I even got a Christmas tree up. And yes, that is the Christmas gift detritis all over the floor.

Our goal for today is to get the living room looking normal. Well, better than our usual normal. Maybe the new normal? Stay tuned ...More pics coming soon.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Great moments this morning.. I am so blessed.

Josh (as he's opening Bendaroos from Santa): Holy Mother of Earl!... What is it???!!

Crying while watching It's a Wonderful Life.. I always lose it when he gets Sam's cablegram guaranteeing all the cash he needs.

Figuring out how to finish up the wrapping just in time to take the presents to the rest of the family

Finding forgotten Santa presents in the closet, in time to get them wrapped and ready to take them with us to be found at Papaw and Mimi's house. Crazy Santa.. leaving presents in the closet.

Having Ryan declare, after his well constructed experiment to find out if Santa is real, that yes, he's real becasue the signatures don't match.

Feeling the presence of my God after a long night with a sick husband (nasty nasty sinus infection). I'm barely tired and we got a little extra at home time. It's gonna be a great day.

Happy Birthday Jesus! YOU are my hero!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

It's almost afternoon, and I still haven't showered. I have chili to make, cornbread to bake, cookies to teach the boys how to make (scoop and place, gentlemen). I finished my shopping this morning and dropped off 5 bags of old clothes to the drop spot by CVS. White Christmas is on the TV. And the only mention of Jesus I've seen is on Facebook.

I was trying to figure out how to plan dinner around a 6:00 church service with 2 ravenous boys (they are growing again/still) and realized how I've missed so much of the season this year. With the house in turmoil and the normal school stuff, I haven't had the build up I normally experience. The fact that I have to pull my clothes out of bags still lets me know I'm not quite ready for company. I haven't wrapped a single present. The tree is up though. And still, where is Christ in my Christmas?

I am happy to say He is front and center. I don't need to have it all together, wrapped with a bow to celebrate my Savior. He is with me always, and I've felt His present of presence a lot recently. How else could I not go insane? Note to self: don't do house remodeling in December. Period.

And while I wish I could have it presented better for the kids' sake, I guess it's just part of our crazy family. "Yes boys, it's Christmas Eve. Santa comes tonight, after church and dinner and s'mores and the manger scene. Sorry you have to step over boxes to get to the Christmas tree. " Maybe I'll stay up late and surprise them with a beautiful table in the morning. Maybe not. I just hope they understand that Christmas is about God loving mankind enough to send his Son to die in our place. Haven't seen a Christmas card with that on it lately. But I know, and I'll share it with those I come in contact with.

So here's to hoping that Santa makes his way to the Willingham's house tonight. Maybe there will be some unwrapped gifts under the tree, but our manger scene, to help us remember, will be front and center.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

When the Crazy Winds Blow

There is some serious crazy floating around today. I'm about to head home to see what chaos the flooring guys have wrought on my downstairs. I've been nervous about it all day.

I'm also looking forward to a full night of packing the house so they can put in carpet on Friday. I know, you're jealous, right??

And in the middle of this, or perhaps bookending it, is the week before Winter Break at school. Lots of frustratingly long school days. When I'd rather be working on the house. But I'm making bookmarks instead.

And in the middle of the crazy winds, the zephyr of kindness and helpfulness makes an appearance. My partner told me to stay home in the morning, she's taking the kids. "Come in at 10:30 and take care of what you need to." Love that woman. She's a priceless gem among teachers.

And I've had other wisps of calm today. Kids who are normally rowdy showing kindness. Others just giving me a hug. And the box of Sees Candy was no small treat either.

God is good and showing Himself to me. In the midst of my crazy life He, again, shows up to lead the way. The way that won't let me be bitter. The way that keeps me from pulling out all my hair. The way that reminds me how hard others have it. The way that shows me people who need to see Jesus, from the Latin Kings gang look alikes who are laying my flooring to the irritating kid who won't shut up. Yeah, they all need to see some Jesus. And I know that if I recognize that, it's me who has to show it.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Why Teachers are FAT!

I know why teachers pack on those extra pounds. It's not the stress eating, as some might think. And it's not the boredom from all that down time, either. I mean, really, we do have 12 weeks off a year. Lots of time to gorge like the porkies we all are at heart.

No, the real reason, is because well meaning people think sweet things express gratitude and happiness. What do children buy their teacher for a gift? Apple on the desk? nope.. How about some homemade hummus for her wheat cracker? Heck no.. we get tins and buckets and paper bags filled with chocolate, cookies, and homemade fudge. They are easy to package and cheap to make or buy. Everyone loves just a little chocolate, right? So why won't a shoebox filled with home dipped chocolate covered pretzels represent  my love even more for that great teacher who deals with my child in all their specialness for 180 days a year?

And teachers, well, we are nice people. We hate to hurt anyone's feelings. "Teacher, teacher, did you like my chocolate I gived to you?" And we really can't lie. Ok, we can, but not about THIS. I couldn't lie to sweet little Fred and say it was yummy without sampling at least a little of it. Because he's watching me! Yeah, kids watch and know. That's why magicians don't like kids at their shows. They notice everything! You think little Fred wouldn't notice that I hadn't tried some of his chocolate peanut butter reindeer food, so carefully packaged in a neat little quart sized ziploc bag? No, he'd notice. And we can't lie to the children! Well, not about that anyway.

And then there are co-workers... gifts at the holidays.. you know those ladies can cook. Each one has a special treat they make and bring to share. Cuz teachers are sharers. And we are POOR. It's totally affordable to make 9 quarts of hot chocolate mix to give away to everyone at the school. And it is Grandma's recipe. And you can't be a jerk and not try it. Yeah, just try saying, "oh, that's not gonna work on my diet, but thanks for thinking of me!" You'd be blackballed for the rest of your life. You'd have to change campuses. And even then, the talk would follow you. You'd be the teacher who is "SO worried about her weight that she couldn't even try a little taste of my present." Teachers are also gossips, if ya didn't know.

And then there is the administration. What can you do for 70 people to keep them happy during Hell Week? It's worse than the Navy Seals training, I promise. I might not have to rebreathe underwater, but I do go a week without sleep and have exhausting days filled with the physical exhirtion of keeping classes of kids busy for 8 hours a day the week before the winter holiday. Can't take things for grades. Nope, cuz they won't focus long enough to make it possible and kids are absent, arriving late, leaving early, and there are fewer helpers than ever.

So, back to our bosses. They have found that if they dangle little treats along the way, the teachers are more likely to show up and be nice to the parents. Chocolate minis in the mailbox, hot chocolate and cookies in the lounge. Peppermints and PTO lunches to keep us full and sugared, since the airborne spraying of Prozac is prohibited by some dumb law.

Yeah, this is why we are fat. And if you find a teacher who isn't fat.. they are either new to the profession or extremely high strung.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The week in preview

It's Sunday night and I am facing the final week of remodeling. There are 12 days until Christmas, I am not done shopping or even close. I have a little cold with snot. Not bad. Just irritating. I have a week full of fun lesson plans and easy going pre-holiday fun.

The tile looks great. Can't wait for the flooring to go in.. Looks like the laminate will go down on Tuesday. That's my best guess. I'm learning that contractors don't communicate well. Well, to me anyway.

Lots to do.. I should be making a list... I'd rather relax and read a good book. Guess there will be time for that later though.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Twitter updates from a non Twitterer

Chris Willingham made a B on his ultimately stinky OT final... proof of Grace in the cosmos

Ryan Willingham is exploring his surroundings and bringing them inside.. missing Mama's new couch by a microinch and saving his life

Josh Willingham is impressing teachers with his wit and constant need for snacks

Marie Willingham is relaxing in her sweats on PJ day at school while wondering if there will be usable bathrooms in her house this weekend, as they are starting on the tile work TODAY!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Progress takes Time, DUH!

I'm at loose ends today. I can't wait to get home and see my new bathroom vanity and know that my master bathroom will be fully functional again. I, of course embracing my realistic/pessimistic tendencies, fully expect the plumbing to need more repairs that the guy can do and the vanity to not fit properly. But there is a slight inkling of hope that things will go smoothly since I am NOT involved in the fixing of them. It's why we pay professionals. Right?

I am wanting some new ideas for my students. I just am not enjoying the paper shuffle and grading at this time of year. I am craving some play time.. but how do 3rd graders play?? Maybe I'll bring out the Play Doh and we'll see how creative they are. Maybe we'll go to Kindergarten and teach them to tie their shoes. Maybe we'll make holiday ornaments. Maybe I am just wishing for next week.

On the home front, Chris is finally done with finals. And there was MUCH rejoicing! He finally had a night last night with nothing to do. What a sweet sweet blessing of time. I couldn't bear to share the honey-do list I've been making in my head. The man totally deserves some time to himself. Progress can wait.

Unless we're talking home remodeling. The progress can hurry the heck up! I am yearning to see my new tile. I am crazy to view my laminate.  I want to feel the soft squishiness of new carpet in the hallway. SIGH One day soon.

And you KNOW I'm going to share pictures. After I finish making carpet angels and dry mopping my living room, of course.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

See the Chaos

I was thinking that you are probably tired of my whining by now.. Whaaaaa.. She's getting her house remodeled. Cry me a river.. Well, Here are some pics from yesterday showing the chaos in action.

The Living Room
Wait, do you see it?? The new furniture is there.

If you look hard you can see  my new couch!

Look, it's like a dangling shiny Christmas ornament! The only one in the whole house!

Yep, lots of fun.. No showers for the Willinghams.. Please pardon our smell. But I did wash my hair in the sink this morning.

Feeling happy today.. Ready for more chaos.. See, I really am embracing the madness and making it my own. Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What's UP? Wednesday

Thinking happy thoughts this morning.. have to and you'd understand if you saw my living room/storage unit...  So here is what is going well...

My friends are blogging and I LOVE reading about how they are doing.. I don't get to the phone often, so a good blurb from their heart is fantastic. I've got to remember to tell them, though.

My house is getting fixed... I am keeping my eye on the end goal and not fretting about the chaos until then... the living room will get cleaner.. the floors will be fixed... I will be able to take a shower tonight (I hope).. end goal, Willingham, keep it in sight.

School is rocking along.. I'm feeling more comfortable with the curriculum and extending and enriching for my kids that need it.. I'm not the team leader this week, so that's FANTASTIC!

I stayed home and cooked dinner instead of going out last night.

 I also went to Walmart and bought the Christmas movies set.. you know, the one with all the old TV favorites like Frosty and Rudolph and Little Drummer Boy?? Total impulse end cap buy, but I am so excited, and so was Josh when he saw it this morning.

So, I am up this morning, ready to take the day full steam ahead! Care to join me??

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It has begun!

Met with the contractor this AM. The sheetrock was coming down before I left the house. My head quit hurting about an hour ago. Guess the blood pressure finally went down.

More details later.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Why am I so nervous?

I made the call today to start the "rebuild" ball rolling. After months of doing the insurance two step and a couple of weeks to research the estimates and pray, we have made our decisions. My kindly contractor says they'll prob start on Tuesday. And I am jittery, scared nervous. Don't know if it's the concept of change, the amount of money we are spending, or just too much coffee this morning, but I am a little freaked out. I love the thought of having a newly lovely house by Christmas time. I am resigned to the hit on the credit cards. We just aren't handy enough to do these things ourselves. But I can't wrap my head around the fact that this is going to happen. Nerves suck.

Of course, add to this I'm also getting ready to leave for Thanksgiving with the family. And we, the Willingham's, are moving shockingly slow. Chris is out getting the car cleaned. What??!! Yeah, he wanted it shiny for the trip. I think he also wanted some shot of that "new car smell" they insert after they clean. Anyway, clothes and toiletries are packed. Boys said they got their electronics squared away. Now we are waiting.

Oh yeah, and Chris has 2 papers and 3 final exams in the next 2 weeks.

And I just found out my team leader (who just had a heart valve replacement 2 weeks ago) is back in the hospital with fluid around her heart..

I guess I've got reason to be a little on edge.

So, I'm gonna go calm myself with some soothing, mindless something and finish packing my medications and books for the trip.

Yeah, soothing and mindless is good.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Stream.. of my Consciousness

It's Monday... I'm skipping school.. almost time to head out with the boys... So excited for a break from the grind, and NO, I couldn't wait until Wednesday.

I plan on shopping, seeing a movie, getting some Starbucks for breakfast, and doing whatever i want, whenever I want, without worry or constraint. Not an "everyday" kind of life, but great for a day.

Tomorrow, I will be off as well.. Chris is taking the day, too..Boys in school.. Gonna try to get mom to go to work before 3.  tee hee.. we'll see how that all works out.. gonna get my hair cut in the am and then it's furniture shopping and .. something else, but I forgot.

They call these "mental Health" days..And I need one or two, OBVIOUSLY! Cuz lately, I've been going a little mental.

And the stream of my consciousness ended there. The rest is random meaningless ramblings.. Princess Banana Hammock, Phoebe from Friends type ramblings.. Maybe I'll share those one day. (Shhh, I think she was the best, coolest, sanest of all the Friends)


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What happened to childhood imagination?

Conversation on the way to school.. as heard from the front seat...

Josh: I can't wait to get home and keep digging that hole... I bet we'll dig all the way to China

Ryan: No, that won't happen, cuz we'd have to go through the mantle, the earth's inner core, the outer core, and it's just too HOT!

Josh: oh, too bad.

Can you guess who's studying the parts of the earth at school??

Friday, November 13, 2009

Self Realization

When I'm good, I'm really really good. But when I'm bad, I'm horrid!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Words of Wisdom


isn't everything!

Words of Wisdom

It's not always important

to stand out from the crowd.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veteran's Day!

To all those who have served in the Armed Forces, THANK YOU for your sacrifice!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Day by the numbers

3 parent notes I've answered today
2  trips to Conroe in the last 24 hours
72 requests to go to the bathroom I've dealt with
367 interruptions to my teaching today
65 sets of papers left to be graded
8 credit card companies to call
8,112 things on my to do list
1 new student entering on Monday
78 hours my husband has worked this week
3 research papers he has left to write
6 days until the 3rd grade program
13 kids I've lost at random times to work on the 3rd grade program
7 parents who came to lunch today
6541 times I dreamed that there was no Leopard boutique today at lunch
1/2 minutes I've had to get things done today

And that's my day by the numbers

Monday, November 2, 2009


So much Halloween fun! Hulk and Snake Eyes.. The growling angry one and the mute ninja... go figure..

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Singing the praises of St. John and his Wort

OK, just a brief aside in the craziness of today. Yea St. John's Wort! I feel like a non-oppressed human again. No crazy mood swings this week. No sense of impending doom from unseeable forces (just doom from the forces I can see). I feel like a fog of the blahs has been lifted. I am truly amazed at how much better I feel.

Thank you little miracle weed.. and thanks to the One who created it.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Playing with Pumpkins

Quote of the day:  Quit playing with your pumpkins!

But last night....Ooh, the joy of scooping out pumpkins! We had some seasonal fun.

Can you feel the slime between your fingers??

Josh was so proud of his hard work!

Ryan wasn't keen on the slime, but had great fun poking in the pattern.

Here are the finished products!

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

not so hungry

I'm not snacky at all today. It was a long one and I'm too pooped to snack. I keep thinking today should be a holiday of some kind... Oct 27.. hmmmm.. Happy Whatever You Want It To Be Day! I just want to take a day off of work. But it's just not wise at the start of flu season. And I do like to save a day or two for the Spring.

Last night I noticed that Chris was keeping up with me through this blog. With our crazy schedules, I don't blame him. It's hard to have any kind of meaningful conversation lately. Between his work and studying, my work and the family, who has time for great conversation?? And if there's time, it's not likely both of us are awake enough to start it.

So, honey, if you're reading.. I'm ready for a date night. You plan it, please. I don't care what we do. Just being together would be great. I love you and think you are awesome. Let me know how to dress.

Enough rambling.. time to do the dishes.. wait! Thank you Wendy's. No dishes, just trash. I can do that. Wait! That's Ryan's job. Ryan, do the trash. I love this age! Guess it' s just laundry for me tonight.

Monday, October 26, 2009


I am so hungry today. It's not that I'm hungry. I just have a craving to eat. Anything will do. I'm not bored. (Teaching here)I'm not sad. I just want food. Maybe it's a side effect of those herbal supplements I started taking to ease the ick of ever worsening PMS. But I just started them today, so should it react so quickly??

Maybe it's just the cool rainy weather that makes me want to cuddle up with a doughnut or a steak or a Snickers. I'm really not picky right now.

Perhaps it's some deep psychological need I haven't identified yet.

Any way it turns out, I guess what I am trying to say is "Lock up your snack items.. I'm on the prowl!"

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Kids these daze!

Just a moment for a teacher rant... If today's 3rd graders were released into the wild, a la Wild Kingdom, half of them would be eaten at birth, and another quarter wouldn't make it to the water hole. I swear, today they are acting like the weak and deformed of the natural world.

I think some days I am dealing the the brain damaged segment of The Woodlands (Mom, quit snickering, they aren't all brain damaged and you don't have to be brain damaged to live here). (Really, I can hear you laughing). They have no survival skills. Well, survival skills for school anyway. In the last 10minutes I've dealt with 8 year olds who don't put their names on their papers, can't tear perforated sheets out of a workbook, take 30 minutes to put pencil lead in a mechanical pencil, and don't follow the direction to "put everything in your desk". They are either deaf, dumb, or just immune to good procedures.

"Well, Jim, it looks like the lions got another one, bring on the crying Indian."

Sunday, October 18, 2009

new blog

Just started a new blog. check it out at debtmania !

Feel free to invite your friends! Maybe we can all talk "money" together.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Missed Opportunity for Mischief

In the car this morning..

Josh: Will we always be brothers?
Ryan: Yeah, even when we die.
Josh: Even then!?? Like they put us in that hole together?
Ryan: No, not the same hole, at least, I don't think so.

I laughed to myself all the way to school... The fun Ryan could have had spinning a tale for his little bro. Or maybe that's just my sick sense of humor.. Yeah, most likely that.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Ol' Achin' Knees

After my last post, I'm pretty sure I jinxed the weather. It's been hot all week. There are wicked rumors of changing weather tonight. I hold fast to the hope that my knees aren't failing me, that the slight twinge of "hmm, that aches a bit" will be good news on the weather front and not just a sign of my increasing age.

Speaking of increasing age (that's probably not nice to say out loud), tomorrow is Chris's birthday. I won't tell how old he is, but it is his last birthday in the 30's. I guess I should make that dr. appt for him so that he can head into middle age knowing exactly what's broken. Nah, that's no fun. Let's just keep him guessing. Perhaps we'll go out to eat. He's already gotten his presents (new truck and rifle)(how redneck does THAT sound??) I'm sure the boys have a plan for him. Right. And hey, look, a piggy flying. Time to Mom-UP and get that rolling. And honey, if you're reading, I already have it planned.

Anyway, looking forward to a stellar weekend of coolness, birthday cake (pie maybe? or cornbread??), and family fun.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

It's finally Fall!

I hope I'm not jinxing the coming of the season, but I'm sure my myopic ramblings are nothing in the scheme of the universe, Earth tilt, planet rotation and all such things. Fall has come! In a weird twist, we had 102 degree heat advisories earlier this week. Now, it a lovely 57. I think Heaven might be 57 degrees.

Friends are in town. We had a late night Denny's rendesvouz when they got into town. Nothing like Denny's at 11pm. Had the most attentive waitress ever. I think she was just bored, new, or pushing for a great tip. Or maybe she's just a really nice person.

oh yeah, Chris said to blog something nice about him since I'm blogging at 8 on a Sat morning, so, can I just say, I am so proud of him? He is off to the office to take his Old Testament mid term. At 8 on a Sat morning. I just love how he works so hard for his schooling. I can definately say we are getting our money's worth out of this education. I love his committment to "doing it well".

Alrighty, time to vacuum before the friends come on over. And I get to interrupt SpongeBob Sat morning cartoon. Even better!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Ahhhh, the weekend

I am so happy for this weekend to be here, well, almost here. Brett and Kim are coming in some time tonight. Weekend with friends, it's been a long time and we are TOTALLY due. Then, on top of all that, we have Monday off of school. Thank you Mr. Columbus for sailing the ocean blue in 1492. Even though you really didn't discover America, I get a day of off school, so it's worth it. (Go Vikings!)

On top of all that, I have a great family AND get to drive the truck to work today. :) I know, they don't even equal in importance, but that's where my rambling thoughts take me.... so sue me. (Please don't.) It's Pizza and hot dog day at school, eh. Well, at least I don't have to pack a lunch.

And, for the cherry on top, the weather is finally changing. Another day of rain, and then, FALL! After this week's weirdo weather, it is very appreciated. Thanks God, for working all that out. I don't think I'd be able to enjoy my extended weekend with 102 heat advisories.

Ok, kids are finally dressed.. gotta run and get to school. Happy Weekend!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Happy Saturday

this morning...

7:05 - Marie wakes up to the stomping of little feet on my plywood floors, and wishes that the lab report that is holding up my new floors would come through. then drifts back to sleep

7:30 - Marie hears some clinking from downstairs and wonders what Ryan is making the boys from breakfast.. ponders if she should get up or not,then laughs at the hilariousness of that thought.. the boys are big kids now, I can sleep

7:30:22 - Marie hears Josh yelling for Ryan, Ryan, Ryan, Ryan and wishes for quieter children

7:31 - Marie hears "mommy, mommy, mommy" and opens an eyeball to give her child a "hairy eyeball" look... and sees her darling youngest with a plate of 4 freezer waffles covered in butter.. "Mommy, here's your breakfast in bed we made you.. do you like them?"

Yes, dear, I love toasted freezer waffles with a half inch of butter on it, especially when served by a man in tighty whities.

"Ryan made them, but I got to bring them to you.. do you want a fork or something?"

Awww.. I love my guys.. better than sleeping in..

And now I feel a little guilty about the work ahead of us today, but my heart has been warmed by cold waffles and sweet boys in their BVD best.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Here's a slideshow I created on animoto of the first day of school.. Kinda fun!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Great thought today

So it's Friday and today was a little loosey-goosey at work. Ok, I'll admit it, I had very little planned to do with the children. I thought I'd take a page from those great teachers everyone loves and just see what happens. It was a good day. Long, but good.

So I was reading a great story from my youth... Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume. I haven't picked this up, since, well, I was in school, I guess. But I always loved Judy Blume books, so this has become a class read aloud. Today, our hero, Peter Hatcher, was enduring a 3 year old birthday party for his brother, Fudge. And he made a very insightful comment. He was waxing poetic after a scolding by his mother about calling his brother Fang (after an unfortunate fall) and he commented "Nobody can stop me from thinking. My mind is my own." It struck me, as I was reading to a class of 3rd graders,that I might have forgotten this fact somewhere along the way. And it also struck me that these students might never have heard that the act of thinking is personal, and interesting, and powerful. That "doing" isn't the only thing they are capable of. I hope that I can share the power of thought with them this year. Their minds are growing and reaching the ability to have deeper, more global and complex ideas. I am excited about being a part of that in their lives.

That is my major deep thought for the day. I don't get one very often, so I thought I'd share it. :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

funny things...

* Josh at the baseball game: Mom, when are they going to hit each other?? (D'oh)
* Getting my first mail addressed to "campus technology specialist".. I laughed out loud
* Ways to write a "W": just think up-down-up-down... ouch, my head hurts
* conversation overheard in the hallway: No ma'am, I don't know why she cut her shirt 12 times, maybe you should ask her.
*Ways to use the word "rock" (as discussed by my PM class) : Mrs. W rocks while she listens to Rock N roll and holds rocks while rocking in her rocking chair. I think I've got rocks in my head after that one!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

First Day of Fall

First day of Fall... and it's raining! What! This is Texas... Where's the scorch-your-face-off heat? I don't see the tumbeleweeds blowing through the carefully manicured streets... Where are teh children playing in the sprinklers because the AC is out AGAIN??

So much for global warming... gotta go look for some sweaters.. later.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tummy Bug update

Josh - feeling great
Me- recovering from my 12 hour puke stretch.. dinner tonight=mashed potatoes.. fan-tastic
Chris- taking vitamin boosters in hopes that he doesn't catch "the bug"
Ryan - cluelessly playing Legos
Faith - made dinner.. picked up children.. made a great buy at the HEB

Tonight - Big Bang Theory and Heroes premiers.. nice. :)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

"normal" weekend postponed

The normal weekend planned for this weekend has been postponed... It has been interrupted by a stomach virus for Josh. Nice.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Heading into the weekend

Wow! Unbelievable! It was as close to a normal week as I've had in AGES. Nothing new broke. Nothing exploded that wasn't supposed to. Everyone made it to work and school on time. Nothing pooped on my floor (that I know of). Wow!

I never really thought I'd crave normalcy. I don't mean that I'm an adrenaline junky or anything, but I've always known that "normal" was not going to be my life. But these days, I relish the idea of coming home, making dinner, hanging with the family and not attempting to make a huge impact on anything. I want to be a wall flower for awhile. I want to be invisible for a spell. Don't worry, or anything, I'm sure it won't last and I'll be back to managing yet another crises soon enough. But for the time being, I want a weekend of contentment.

So, think of me as I head out of school today, into the weekend. We've got a birthday party for my 1 year old niece, some Walmart shopping, and church on Sunday morning planned. That's it. I'll sprinkle in some laundry and maybe clean a bathroom or two. I'll probably make the boys try on a ton of clothes to see what still fits. But that's it. Normalcy at it's best.. I hope.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Patriot Day

It's been quite a good Friday... finished testing... kids were good in class... Book Buddies to wrap it all up.. Then I realized.. What happened to Patriot Day?? No mention of it from the school (my main source to know what day it is).. Not until I checked my blogs and saw some cakewrecks with twin towers did I sit and think about the effects of this day 8 years ago. I think we, as a people, have forgotten.

Will there be any prayer rallies for our troops serving overseas in those countries?? How about for our friends (known or unknown) who secretly work to keep us free? Or are we too busy trying to make it to the weekend to acknowledge that today marks 8 years since a way of life ended?... not like the terrorists wanted, but a way of life when we think America is untouchable. I hope that we all will take a moment to remember where we were and what we were in the middle of when those towers fell.. Not for pity's sake, but to know that there is a God in heaven who is aware and cares for His creation, even in the midst of pain and tragedy and fear, and hurt.

So as I look forward to the weekend, the coming funeral on Monday for Chris's grandfather, and seek a few moments of peace, perhaps I will hug my kids a little tighter and pray for God protection and peace in this lost and fallen world.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A little recap, in case you were wondering where Happy Marie went

So, I've had quite a few weeks of "fun".. Let me give you a recap..

1. Start of new school year in a new grade level
2. car out while they try to fix the a/c, which they can't so i get the car back after 2 weeks
3. dryer stops drying, no dryer for 2 weeks
4. new team leader gets acute appendicitis that is not responding to antibiotics and will be out indefinitely, dr finds heart trouble, team leader out indefinitely; I resume team leader duties
5. trip to NB to see the fam
6. mad rush home 5 hours early due to exploding faucet in central bathroom
7 spend Labor Day laboring over nonstandard valves, new fixture, and wet carpet
8. attempt to find solution to beginning of year reading testing issues due to absence of reading teacher
9.come home to house full of holes and fans, missing carpets and electricity in certain zones (including the washer and dryer), can't turn fans off for 24 hours
10. unplanned meeting in middle of the day 30 minutes away from my campus

Any one of these things has the potential to send me over the edge, but all 10 within a 2 1/2 week period is enough to make me find the nearest doctor and ask for some of those "happy pills" I keep hearing about.

I'm trying not to whine about it all, cuz no one wants to hear whining, and, as my students will tell you, I HATE whining more than dirty socks and lice. And I am so thankful for all the good things I have. But enough already! I even attempted self medicating with chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes. It helped some. Anyway, that's what's going on with us. Joy oh joy. Can't wait to see how God is getting the glory out of this. Prayers welcomed and needed.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Ever felt like you're under attack?

What a crazy couple of weeks! Start of school- with no car and no dryer..Great experience in 3rd grade - but, oops, my team leader will be out for 6 weeks or more having heart surgery and I'm Team Leader again. I made it 5 days with no team leader duties. Fantastic trip to parents - cut short by my house exploding with water water everywhere.

Today I am seriously considering the effects of evil spiritual forces on my everyday appliances and mechanical objects. And I am also wondering who the patron saint of "stuff" is.. cuz my stuff is broken and I really need some help from above and I'm not above asking dead people to pray for me.. not that I really believe that particular theology, but just in case I'm wrong, I'd like all my bases covered.

(( boys, only Pee out the back door. Never the front door... and #2 goes in the other place)) yeah, no water to the house yet.. The Nimrod who plumbed our house used nonstandard fittings and Home Depot is closed at 10 PM. So, after Chris stripped the hot water valve last night, we couldn't turn the water back on, so we are encouraging all possible bodily functions to be disposed of in alternate locations. I know the Woodlands committees are currently meeting jointly to discuss just which deed restrictions are being violated and which ones have been completly disregarded by the freaks at...... this address. I am eager to recieve that letter, let me tell ya.

But back to the evil plans to bring down the Willingham's through mechanical sabotage... It ain't gonna work. We might feel like we live in mold infested, broken down squallor, but it won't break us. All that great new income that should be going toward debt reduction that is currently being used to keep up with the payments to repair men trying to send their children to college is more than enough to keep things floating along. It is God's money after all and if He wants those children to go to college I will not stand in His way! And for Chris and me.. well our relationship is tight.. even after the midnight trip to the church after a 20 hour day on 4 hours of broken sleep, i don't hate him. His need for a shower was valid. And he let me drive the truck. And I know that sleep is for the weak. Plenty of time for that later.

So, if any evil minions read my blog, I send a giant raspberry in your general direction. I am a child of the King of all things mechanical, the great Creator of all stuff that you break. The Willingham's will make it through this like we have all the times you've flung stuff at us before. We won't be broken by this current attack, and we give God all the glory for leading us through it.

Now, time to hit the Home Depot and find those parts.. I've got stuff that needs washing!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Yes I did!

You can call me McGyver if ya want. Just know that the card reader now works. Don't ask how and I won't have to explain. :)


I'm frustrated. Can't get the USB device that will upload pics from my camera to the PC to work. Cable is long gone into Willingham's World of Oblivion (aka Chris's office). No other sim card reader seems to be available. Gonna have to go McGyver on that goofy thing (edited for the family audience). :)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

1 Week Down... 35 to go

First week of school... FANTASTIC! This had to be the most laid back, smooth first week... Even with me moving grade levels.. my new team is wonderful.. I know most of the kids' names... I know at least half of their reading levels.. and when you team teach the day goes exceptionally fast...

We start teaching for real next week. I'm curious about how the kids will do with the increased responsibility and rigor of 3rd grade. Some will excel and others will crash, this I know... but I wonder who will do which.

I've got some great kids in my classes... I've got some kids with real problems, too. One was out for 2 days this week cuz his bro and sis (both younger) came to visit and Dad thought he should stay home and sleep since they kept him up until 1 am. I've got a few really needy kids who want what they want when they want it. And I've got a ton of great, hard working, obedient students who really want to do their best.

My teaching team is wonderful. Everyone pitches in, does whatever needs doing without being asked, and cares about the kids. They look out for each other and like to have fun. But most importantly, I'm not team leader! I don't have to be responsible for things coming together or remembering to tell people stuff, or fixing what's broken. No one looks to me for the answer to "how should we do that?" Whew! I knew it would be a big relief, but it feels wonderful to experience it.

That was the first week. I know it'll have some ups and downs along the way. I know all weeks won't be this good. But for now, I will be thankful and truly enjoy the blessing that God has given without borrowing trouble from tomorrow.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


It's the last Sat of Summer. And I'm a little down. My time is no longer my own. It's time once again to take on the stress of lots of little people.. and some big ones, too. I am mourning this trip back to school more than usual. Josh starts Kindergarten on Monday. ACK! My guy is now an offical kid.. The year of questions has begun. Ryan is in third grade.. the year of girls has begun.. I don't think I am mentally prepared for this.

Chris asked if we wanted to take a trip up to the church tonight while he got ready for tomorrow. I politely declined. With dishes (I cooked messy food) and laundry (clean sheets for 3 changes, cuz it's the start of school)and wanting my last bit of peace and quiet, it wasn't going to happen.

So, as I listen to the dishes washing, the clothes washer spinning away and the quiet of no TV on, I am a little sad to see it go... but glad I have the opportunity to reflect a bit.

What a great summer! Chris's job, free time, kids old enough to not need me every waking moment, free public library, new truck, good friends, fun trips, family time, walks around the neighborhood, time. I do enjoy the luxury of time. I waste too much of it, but, as I said, it is a luxury. I think I should get to use it the way I see fit. :) Well, with God's blessing and direction. And I do feel like He let me know I needed time for ME this summer break. So it was just that.. a summer BREAK.

Thanks Lord, for giving me the gift of time and the wisdom to appreciate it.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Cars are vehicles from Satan

Yeah, shockingly, the Willingham's have car issues... again... don't worry, the truck is fine, unscratched and working like a dream. The Great Green Grannie machine, however, after it's week at the car spa (aka shop)has lost its AC.. completely. Well, the fan runs on high.. but the cool left on my way to the movies. They fixed the dreaded "check engine" light by replacing the Oxygen sensor.. and then let us know the AC was on the fritz (no new news there).. but I thought we at least had a few more weeks before it went out.

Grrrr. so now, with paying for Chris's fall semester looming, a new truck payment, and trying to get the credit cards down.. We have yet another car bill..

and did I mention I start school tomorrow?? back to the old grindstone to pay for it all. Nice. I am thankful for a steady job and cars that get me from here to there.. but I am so tired of sweating.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Where'd they go?

All my blogs I follow have gone missing from my reading list..WHAT!! I didn't do it. grrr, now I have to go back and find them.

BUt on the bright side... I get to use the truck today! Since Chris is sleeping off his "lock in" hang over (not alcohol induced btw, video game induced) i get a super cool vehicle to drive around in.

And Josh gets some extended time checking out his new school while Mommy works on her room. It's a happy Wednesday!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Moving on

I am moving on from my eyebrow issues today.. the meds are working.. I'm almost back to normal, so the complaints stop today. Well, about eyebrows anyway (M wiggles her brows up and down) yep, they still work.

Had big fun at the in-laws today. Ate at the Splendora cafe (high brow eating, ya know) and pool time with the boys while the big boys played Wii football. Now, I have a nagging sore throat, that I hope is from swallowing some chlorine water. I get to go get Chris from the church at 9 ish tonight. And make sure the boys get bathed before church in the morning.

And I really want a nap. Perhaps I'll just nod off for a few...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

It's Thursday....

Well, what a happy Thursday.. My allergic reaction is lessening.. My children woke up happy... My neighbors are getting a new roof (and good morning to you, too)... and I'm going up to the school to try to get my room set up.. and by set up I really mean try to network my computers and shift some furniture before the children run out of things to do.

Then we'll head home and start on more laundry (surprisee!) and maybe try to clean out my closet.. it's been a while, to say the least.. and it might be a nice surprise for the husband, if I can finish it and not have closet stuff strewn around the bedroom at the end of the day.

That's my plan. and I'm sticking to it. for now at least.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Aghhh! Eyebrow Alert!

The Dr, er, PA said it is an allergic reaction. I am now the happy owner of a serious steroid pack and some triple strength hydrocortizone cream. This morning I woke up looking like Rocky Balboa the day after his fight, but with better eyebrows. :) And less bruising.

Anyway, if the PA was right, I should be feeling, er looking, better by tomorrow, with 50% improvement by Friday and complete recovery by Monday. Hope so because I've got to go back to school next week. Meetings Monday and Thursday and working on setting up my new room in between.

All I can think is "Where did my summer go?"

Obligatory Laundry Blog

I did laundry. I have more laundry to wash. I have lots of laundy to put away. My children only broke 1 drawer putting their laundry away. My husband couldn't find his laundry this morning even though it was sitting where it always sits. I have too many clothes. My children have too many clothes. My husband has too many clothes. My mother in law washes her own clothes. I don't know how many she has. The dog has no clothes to wash, but he does need a bath.

Guess I need to go do the laundry now.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Eyebrow update

Ok, so the top half of my face is slightly swollen and bumpy.. I did a little internet reseach and figure it's either allergies (to what??!!) or celluitis. Yep, looks like I might have gotten a skin infection from getting my brows waxed! Only me.. seems I'm queen of weird health issues! Yippee.. I just wanted to be queen of a small country.

So, since Mom will ask when she reads this, I am self treating with oral antihistimine, topical hydrocortizone, and cold rags soaked in water and cider vinegar. And it seems to be helping. So now I am sleepy, oily, and smell like vinegar with less swelling and itching. Nice way to end the summer.

Keep checking back. Since I'm housebound so I don't scare the Woodlannds population, I might have a laundry blog coming soon.

I know, you couldn't be more excited!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Eyebrow anguish!

On my girls weekend, we got pedi's and I got my brows waxed. This is no small feat. The first time they were waxed, several years ago, I cried until the poor vietnamese girl had to turn her wax stick over to the manager. The second time I tried it, I cried again and swore that I would never do that again, and doomed myself to tweezing from fear of the wax. This is a reasonable fear, I think. And quite a nice gesture to the eye waxing professionals of my hometown.

Well, the estrogen induced atmosphere of two great friends out of town with no children, and a very pushy pedicurist convinced me to try it one more time. And this time i didn't cry. Well, a little in my heart and soul, but nothing leaked down my cheeks. From past experiences, I know that there is redness post waxing. But the itchy, tingle didn't seem to go away over the next day. And today, day 2, I am wondering what I have done!

See, my brows itch like a mosquito convention. The top half of my face is still red and puffy. Not hugely, go to the hospital you caught an Asiatic virus type way.. but uncomfortable. This is not right. All I can figure is that Little Miss Pushy, the wax techinician and pedicurist, did some serious soft tissue damage with her self proclaimed "technique". And now my face is rebeling and teaching me a very important lesson.

Now I have to wonder, when will my face return to normal? When will I stop feeling every little smile and change in my eyebrow (what's left of them) region? I give it another day before I totally freak out on someone.

Oh yeah, they look great, by the way, the brows have lovely shape that is very non-caterpillar like. Quite the improvement.

Oh, the things we do for beauty under estrogen induced stupidity!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Off on an adventure

Wait, must get coffee before I blog... Ahh! Better.

Well, the long awaited weekend is here. A fem members of the Computer Widows Club are heading out to the hill country for some R&R. We've left the children with the menfolk and are not going to look back. For the first time in... well.... ever.. we get to go have some "us" time.. just the chicas.. and I couldn't be more excited. No plans, no one else to take care of. Just doing what we want. I bet you're a little jealous right now. Don't be. You can do this too. Let me know if you want to be a Computer Widow and I'll put you on the "list". hee-hee.

WAIT! Yes, I can be more excited.. because we have a new truck. After over 25 hours in dealerships in the last 2 weeks, we finally got it yesterday.. Kudos to my hubby for fierce negotiations. I feel pretty good with getting it for over $11,000 under sticker price! Definately a peace from God on this purchase. No real pics yet, but here a factory pic. Ours is just like this, except two tone paint.. silver on the bottom with chrome running boards (so I can get it without jumping).

It's all very exciting. This is the first new Willingham vehicle since 1996. Yep, 1996.. think about that.. before gray hair.. before children.. fresh out of college. That long since I've owned that new car smell. All the cars have been preowned. Much love, but preowned. What's really scary is that Ryan might learn to drive on this truck! Wow, that's a blog for another day.

So, I need to get my clothes washed, my floors vacuumed and myself packed for our little trip. Wish us well.. I might bring back gifts! :)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Quote of the Day

"If I tell you once, I mean it forever, not just for that moment!"

Yes, I said that today after a re-explanation of why belly sliding down the stairs stacked on top of each other is a no no.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Quote of the day

Yes, dear, pants are required for going outside.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ahhh, the Innocence

Getting to spend so much time with my boys this summer has been a fantastic treat. Since the school year is hard and schedule driven, I love the lazy days of summer and how I get to reconnect, at an unscheduled pace.

I love listening to their backseat conversations while I drive. I get to hear what they are thinking and what they know and sometimes even get some tips about how to do things better. So yesterday, as I was driving, I got to eavesdrop on a little conversation the boys were having about babies.. It's one of their favorite topics... "babies are smelly", "Mom, can I have a little sister", "why can't babies talk?".. you know, things they think about.. Well yesterday, it was the the "where do babies come from?" answered by Ryan. He assured his little brother that babies come from being married. And Josh's follow up question was "So, if people don't get married, there wouldn't be babies?" and Ryan assured him that marriage was how babies came and yes, if you don't get married you can't have kids. And he was sure about that.

As I grinned, so happy that I wasn't having to answer those questions, I was happy to know that they are still so innocent. Yes, the sex talk will come soon with Ryan. It's just part of the age, and if you've been around 9 or 10 year old boys, they talk about what they think they know.. and there is always THAT kid who really does know. But that's for another day. Today I get to enjoy them as little boys without the responsibilities and concerns of teens. No matter how grown up they think they are, they are still my little guys.

Innocence is something that is so easily pushed aside in this day of enlightenment. As parents we are told that kids should be free to talk about sex and know the facts of life as soon as they know to ask. I agree that parents should be truthful. And I will faithfully do my part of sending them to Daddy when they need to have that talk. (M shudders at the foresight of the "You let him to THAT to you???" exclamation) But there is a sweetness and purity of heart before they have to think about such things and I am glad my guys have had that time. No rush into knowledge here. It'll come soon enough. And, being boys, they'll have plenty of time to ponder the facts of life later. When they are older.. like 25! :)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Fast Food friends, pt 1

Dieting update!

Well, the Willingham's are still on the "less crap, more veggies, gotta get our act together because we are getting old" diet. It's not easy and the last two weeks have proven it. With Chris working crazy ministry hours, and Me on summer "whatever" time, food becomes a last thought, which usually means eating out. And since I'm not paying $7 for $1 worth of wilted rabbit food I hate eating anyway, I don't make great choices on the fast food menus. So I thought I'd start a list of some of my "fast food friends" that I can keep around the house.

1. Turkey bacon.. microwaves in a minute and is a great addition to any salad or BLT type sandwich

2. Fresh fruit.. filling, no cooking needed, and can count as 1/3 of a dinner plan

3. ground turkey.... easy to brown and freeze, so it's ready to just defrost and be added to, well, anything.. salads, pasta dishes, casseroles, anything

4. carrots .. to munch on while cooking.. if it's running into a late night, they can keep the "let's just run out and get something" disease from taking over.

5. cereal.. a great "dinner? oops, I knew I forgot something" filler.. the kids don't mind and the hubby is so kind, he just is happy for food.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Today, I am thankful for:

** paychecks, 2 of them, hitting the account simultaneously,it's been a long time coming

** McDonald's hashbrowns.. because it made my morning happy

** good friends

** a church who seeks to spread the good news of Christ locally and internationally.. Check out the blog of our current mission in Mexico and Costa Rica here.

** coffee, because it is God's gift to tired people

** boys who are growing up into fine young men

** cut off shorts

** sandals

** lazy summer schedules

** clean clothes

** cheesecake

** wireless internet connections

** working appliances

Thank you, God, for the gifts you give above and beyond what we need. Thank you for a life of abundance. And may I share that abundance with people around me for your glory and honor.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Not Me Monday

Alright, my blog friend from back in high school has started doing this and it makes me laugh! So, I'll give it a try... It's a tongue in cheek report of what's going on.. because I would Never do these things.. nope.. NOT ME! (ok, maybe a little, but I hope you get the point)

Today I did NOT take the easy way out at lunch and feed the kids Chef Barf from a can because they begged for it.. nope, NOT ME.

And I certainly did NOT force my precious darlings to work in their room and sort out their toys into "keeping" "trashing" and "going on vacation" piles.... because that would be wrong to let them think they had options about the future of their junky toys. nope, not me, I'd never do that.

And I most definately did NOT speak kindly to the lady at the AC company at 8 am this morning after being up most of the night too hot to sleep to suck up to her so she would send out her tech to re-fix my AC that hasn't been cooling well all weekend after they cleaned the evap coils and unplugged the drain line. not me.. I wouldn't ever exhibit such gracious and kind behavior to the lady who has nothing to do with fixing the ac. And I most certainly will not send brownines home with the tech if he fixes it with no additional charge. Nope, not me!

I did NOT watch too many Harry Potter movies this weekend to get me all excited about the new movie opening on Wed. Nope I would NEVER postpone things like dinner and family time so I could finish watching a movie I've already seen.

Nope, not me.. I wouldn't ever do any of these things!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Some more vacation pictures

The boys got to sit with a bear. They were really good sports.

Here is the outside of the lodge. Some pretty imposing wolves kept watch.

And the boys with the stuffed fake bear outside of Buccee's. A fitting end to a great weekend.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Great Wolf Lodge

We had a great July 4th weekend. We traveled to Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine. It was a hit! Here are some of my favorite pictures.

Here is a little firepower!

This is the boys playing MagiQuest. The whole lodge had "enchanted" items that would light up when they pointed their wands at it. They were trying to collect certain items. Just some good old fantasy fun!

This is everyone on the night of the 4th.. waiting in the parking lot to see some fireworks.. Seems that Ronald's truck is just the right height to balance a camera on.

Here's the fam in the obligatory picture in front of the lobby fireplace.

And finally, we picked up a hitchhiker.. Buccee has a new home in Madisonville and he was tired of the crowds, so he snuck a ride with us. The crowds were so big that the feeder road on the opposite side of the freeway was backed up.. Only in Texas will tourists pile in to a roadside store because it boasts clean bathrooms. But, they really are clean and it is a lot of fun to stop there!

Super big thanks to Cheryl and Ronald for a restful and fun weekend. We all had a blast!

Sunday, July 5, 2009


I can't wait to share our vacation pics and stories.. We had a blast..But I'm too tired to share now. Come back later.. it'll be here eventually.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Thought I'd make Thursday my day of thanks-sharing. You know, because it starts with TH

I am thankful for...

**living in a country that allows me freedoms
**children who are well adjusted
**desserts, especially since I'm not eating as many these days
**Wii, so I can workout in the peace of my own home
**Air Conditioning
**non leaky plumbing in one spot in my house
**free public libraries
**authors who take the time to write fiction that is not laced with sexual innuendo and crass humor
**parents who love me unconditionally
**family that loves each other
**the ability to work
**hair bands that don't pull out my hair when I take them out
**neon colors that don't occur naturally
*whoever invented the oscillating fan

Happy Thursday, ya'll!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Busy Wednesday

So much to do, so little time. My summer list isn't shrinking as much as I want it to. But I have had some great fun with my niece this week. So today, we've got Girls Bible Study in the morning, then lunch, then a drive to Columbus to pick up the boys. When I get home, I get to start washing clothes for Friday's trip to Dallas.

So, I just wonder, When do I get my pajama day??? I almost made it last week, but then I had to go out to the store or something. Maybe next week I'll get to it.

But, I am so looking forward to this weekend's VACATION! Yep, the whole extended Willingham clan is going to Great Wolf Lodge near Dallas. Waterpark, arcade, Pacific Northwest themed resort of fun. I sure hope it lives up to it's expectations. Even if not, it'll be nice to just get away for a bit.

Chris will work a long day today. I'll probably be picking him up around 10 pm tonight. This one car business since his is not doing well at all is just no fun. Just a little while longer and we'll have some new to us wheels. That's the plan anyway. And a plan I hope we keep.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Chris is at work full time now, Can I just say a loud YIPPEEEE! Like Charlie's grandpa in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, this might not be a golden ticket, but it is truly a golden blessing, a hope fulfilled, a confirmation of God's work in our lives, and a really neat thing.

I get to spend the first part of this week with my sweet niece. The boys are with Oma and Opa, gonna have their first camp out. Yippee!

Then, this weekend, we get to go on vacation! Great Wolf Lodge, here we come, the Willingham's descend.. and I mean all of us.. Dad and Cheryl are taking us and Chris's brother's family for a fun weekend at a waterpark/lodge. Woo-Hoo, Yippee!

So, if I can get the laundry done, get things to stop leaking and vacuum my floors, I'll feel great about the whole week!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A week of firsts

This week is certainly shaping up for the books. Chris gets the job. Ryan morphs into pre teen. and now.... Josh has lost his first tooth! Where are my little ones going? I guess it's just time marching on, but, WOW! so fast.

Here is a picture of the event.

It came out while eating a bowl of "fake" chocolate Lucky charms.. I guess Mom was right, this stuff will really make your teeth fall out. :)

We also decided to make some emotion faces, just for fun!

Can you guess the emotion?? I'm not telling!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Where did the time go?

My sweet baby boy has become an official pre-teen! He's 8.. it shouldn't have happend so soon, but he has always been advanced for his age. Why do I think he's passed this major landmark you may ask??

Well, there is a common road marker for boys. It might be different for girls, but for boys, when they choose live action shows over animated super heroes, pre-teenness has arrived.

My son has found iCarly. It's a silly Nick preteen show. Cute girls. Dumb guys. pre-teen humor involving blowing things up with air, the occasional word "underwear" and simple problems solved in 22 minutes. It's kind of the "Full House" of the time. This is now his "favorite" show. And he just started watching yesterday.

For all the moms and future moms out there who aren't sure how this happens, listen to my cautionary tale. It's starts simply.
"Hey Mom, can we try to watch a new show? Like maybe iCarly?"

" Sure son, we'll watch it together to make sure it's something you can watch"

"thanks mom, you're the best"..

fast forward 30 mind numbing minutes later. No cuss words. No skin. no SpongBob humor. Two thumbs up.

"Well mom, what do you think?"
"not too bad, i guess it'll do"
"Thanks I love it. This is my new favorite show!"

what?? Wait?? how'd this happen?? I let my guard down for 30 minutes and he's sucked in like a shake through a straw. Now every minute is spent figuring out when he can watch it again. Even cleaning toilets didn't slow him down. Silly boy scrubbed 2 toilets and a bathtub in under 30 minutes so he wouldn't miss the next episode.

I don't think I'm ready to enter the Pre-teen mentality. I don't want to have the sex talk yet. I don't want him to know that Santa Claus might have a different address. I don't want girls calling the house next year. And I don't want to discuss body changes! Oh yeah, all while trying to maintain the innocence of the 5 year old. Of course second children are never REALLY innocent. We've spent our lives watching the elders messing up and learning new stuff from them, but still. How does it all work out??

I thought this was supposed to be an easy summer! Well, maybe it's not the end of the world. He's now old enough to make his own food (of sorts). He can work all the electronics. He can clean. He is almost tall enough to reach the top shelf. He opens doors for me if he's not playing with his legos. He can be a real little gentleman and even says yes ma'am without a lot of reminding. Not all bad. I guess.

But really? iCarly? heaven help me!

Monday, June 22, 2009


I am finally ready to power down for the summer. I had my last work "meeting" today and am now ready to spend my time focusing on the house and the boys and some ME time. It's none too soon because my blood pressure is way higher than I like it and I really feel like I should be farther along in my summer projects. I've only been out of school two weeks and I've already visited family, and made lists and connected with friends from way back, but it's time to get cracking.

AFter the first week of the "beat the fat" diet and excercise regime, I'm down almost 2 pounds (yea me!). I still crave the carbs and junk food, but I've got willpower bubbling up from somewhere. Must be all those prayers. Or maybe I really am just sick of being fat. But, I really like that I got the soft chicken tacos at Lupe Tortillas on Friday and didn't feel guilty at all.

My sister in law is having a garage sale this Sat, and I'm really excited she asked me to be a part (or did I invite myself? hmmm, maybe I better dial it back a notch). I explained to the boys that they could get some extra spending cash for our vacation this summer by cleaning out their rooms and selling some toys. They seemed excited. But when they came down with about 3 toys each, I knew I had failed to communicate the gravity of the situation and that they were clueless as to the ways of the garage sale. Time to teach them the ways of the frugal non pack rat. I think I might be fighting a losing battle, though.

And finally, the laundry should be torched. I really just want to light a match to every shred of clothing not on someone's body. Can't do it, but that doesn't keep me from dreaming.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Some summer fun!

Here is what Josh and I were up to earlier this week.

First, the sprinkler is hours of fun!

The evidence of mess!

Painting isn't bad either, especially when it's outside.

Some more fun.

Cleaning up in the sprinkler after painting.

What fun! Wish you could join us!

Father's Day excitement

The boys are so excited about Father's Day tomorrow. Much more excited than they were for Mother's Day, I might add. See, they decided what to get Dad. 100% on their own.. with the expectation that Mom would help them buy it. What a great idea! And they really know their Daddy, cuz he will like this gift much more than the stereotypical tie and fishing rod. And I like that i didn't have to come up with the idea.

I wonder if this means we are entering a new stage of life.. the stage when the kids can pick their own gifts to give? within reason of course. :) Hmmm. Could be good times.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Diet inspiration

So here I am on Day three of the "Beat the Fat" endeavor and my will power is waning... and along comes one of my favorite blog sites to push me forward and keep me going.. If I can just figure out how to make some of the images poster size I could not eat for a week!

Check out Cake Wrecks friends.. it'll make you laugh.. and they update daily.

And if cake disasters are your thing, you should check this out.. a towering inferno of cake badness.. it'll really quench that desire for chocolate cake.

Monday, June 15, 2009

the reality

Well, we had a great plan.. the reality is a little different

Chris had a headache and couldn't sleep last night, so he didn't go work out this morning. Instead, he told me to turn of fthe alarm. Unfortunately, I forgot to reset it, so I woke up at 7:45 and had to rush to get Ryan to VBS. When I got back I did my Wii fit for 30 min. Yea me! Then I had b-fast and checked e-mail. I made a quick run to the grocery store to stock up on veggies and healthy stuff before it was time to go get Ryan. When Chris went to get Ryan from VBS I made a beeee u ti ful salad for lunch. And while we were eating.. Modern Marvels was running a show on snack foods. How wrong is that?? I'm watching them make Mrs. Freshly's cup cakes while munching rabbit food. Makes the diet harder, but I made it through.

I am still hopeful that we can be healthy, even though we are only 6 hours into the venture.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

It starts tomorrow..

Here's the plan... up early.. doing some Wii Fit yoga while the husband goes to the club (workout club, that is.. just sounds better to say the club than the stinky gym).. take son to VBS.. grocery shop for fresh healthy foods to be prepared with love.. pick up son from VBS.. start on calls from the "list of things to do" I made yesterday.

Must also get the Netflix in the mail so we can continue our quest to catch up on 24 and spend some one on one time with the 5 year old who can't go to VBS.. maybe I'll have a grocery helper.. and maybe I'll take some aspirin when I first wake up. :)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

New fitness goals

Well, it's summer and time has come to get healthy and lose weight.

I'll be utilizing the Wii fit routine and my 24 hr fitness membership, if they let me in the door. It's been ages since I've set foot in the place, so they might just laugh, but I can handle some ridicule. Cuz I'm tough that way.

And I was informed yesterday that my desire to "lose weight and get healthy" is not a real goal. I must quantify what I want to achieve. But if I do that, and I don't make it, I'm a non-goal reacher. And failure is not an option at this point in my life. So I guess I'll aim for 15 pounds lost by mid August. It seems reachable and reasonable for a busy summer schedule.

So, I am now publicly declaring my war on tummy fat and inviting encouragement from all who enter here. And prayer, lots of prayer.