Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Rose Parade is in Sight

My youngest son, Jordan (a.k.a. Jordie), is in Los Angeles, California with the high school band.  They will be marching in the Rose Parade on New Year's Day, so make sure you watch.  Jordie will be in the middle of the tuba line with the Albertville High School Aggie Band.  There's a funny story about that.  Jordan actually plays bass guitar in the band, but he started out his band career playing alto saxophone, just like his older brother, Justin.  The band directors took a liking to him and asked him if he would like to learn to play the bass guitar because they needed another player.  So he plays bass guitar AND alto saxophone.  He even plays the upright bass during concert season.

Since there is not much cause for a bass guitar in a parade, they asked Jordan to march tuba because they needed the tuba line to stretch all the way across the street in the Rose Parade.  At first I thought that he was just going to carry the tuba, but then I saw some tuba sheet music lying on the table.  I asked him if he was going to actually play it, and he said that he figured he might as well, that it would just be another instrument that he could play.  I was so proud of him.  He has complained a little about his shoulders hurting when he would come in after "conditioning" marching.  You see, the Rose Parade is SIX MILES LONG!!!!!  And that's just from the starting line.  They will be lined up about half-way back.  The band directors have been preparing the band member for the 6-mile trek.  They should be on TV about 11:30 CST. 

They flew out from Atlanta on Monday morning.  They have visited the Santa Monica Pier, Knott's Berry Farm, and Disneyland.  Tomorrow they will be performing their half-time show at Bandfest, to be held at one of the local colleges in Pasadena with 8 of the other bands in the parade.  It is offered via streaming webcast, so I will get to watch them as they perform.  It won't be the same as being there, but it will be close.  Friday they are going to Universal Studios.  Saturday is the big parade.  And, Sunday night they should be home around midnight. 

So I leave you now with a video of their half-time show from this past football season.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My Hoarding, ADD, OCD, Split Personality

So, I dragged my butt into work this morning...in the freezing cold...snow still on the ground in places. I didn't really want to, but I needed to mail those checks that I ran when I went in last Monday. Being a 12-month employee in the school system has its perks...and downfalls, at times.  We were given a list of all the holidays & days that school would be out for those holidays and were told that we needed to work 8 of those days or take it from our vacation days.  I worked 3 of my days over Thanksgiving week, 1 day last Monday, and half a day today.  I'm probably not going back in until I have to on January 5. It will be here soon enough, and who knows when I'll get another chance to be off for days at a time. I wanted to get those checks mailed so that I could enjoy the rest of my Christmas/New Year's break.  I accomplished that task, thank you very much. 

NOW...I plan to spend the rest of this week decluttering & organizing.  It is something that really needs to be done before I go crazy.  I can tell I have hoarding tendencies, yet I'm also a bit OCD when things are chaotic.  It's an oxymoron working inside me...or maybe I just have a split personality.  I think I have also developed adult ADD, as I have trouble focusing on the task at hand.  There's just so much that needs to be done!  I talk to myself, too.  (Boy, I think I'm more screwed up than I realized!)  Sometimes I have to tell myself to STOP and FOCUS!!  Hey, it works.  Don't knock it until you've tried it.

So now that I've diagnosed myself with a myriad of abnormalties, I'll leave you to your own introspection.  You'll probably feel more normal than ever!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Afterthoughts

I took down my Christmas tree today. I have most of the decorations all packed up. I still see a few things that I missed, but I needed a break. Taking all that stuff down is hard work! I didn't realize how badly my tree was dried out until I started taking off the lights and all the little green things were hitting the floor. I'll never get all of them up.

Growing up, I had always heard that it was bad luck to take your tree down until after New Year's Day. I began to research this to see when it started, and it appears that there is another old wives' tale out there that says that is is bad luck to leave it up until New Year's. Something about bringing the past into the new year with you, or somethng like that. So, either way, I decided I was in for it. I took it down because I'm ready to get back to normal. We had to rearrange the furniture just to find a place for the tree. So now, I can get back to my normal crafting and decorating.

Enough with all the boring stuff. On to the Christmas pictures:

This year we had a white Chrismas in Northeast Alabama!  I remember that we had a white Christmas in 1989, but that was more of a dusting.  This time it REALLY snowed!!  It was so beautiful.  Just perfect!!


Here's another view.  These two pics were taken at my brother-in-law's house where we had our traditional Christmas Day breakfast.


Here is me with my little family (minus Justin, Chelsea & Millie, who would not be with us until later in the evening).  That's Chase, Hubby Kevin, Moi, and Jordan.

So that covers one side of the family.  More to come later...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Slow It Down, Please!!!

It's all happening so fast!!  Christmas is just 4 days away, and then 2 days after that Jordie will be on a plane with the band to Los Angeles, California.  Slow it down!  Why does time seem to fly the older we get?  That's just weird.  When I was a little girl, it seemed like Christmas would never come.  Now, I can't slow it down.  Wasn't it just last week that we took Millie trick-or-treating?!  Wow. Amazing.

Oh, how I wish I were going to California!  But, the expense was just too much.  I probably could have swung it if it were just me.  But, I couldn't go and leave the rest of my family behind.  Actually, we did good just to get Jordan paid up to go.  He came home with a $200 check from the band today for spending money.  Not too shabby!  Most of their stuff is included in the price of the trip, but it is always good to have some spending money.  I already miss him, and he hasn't even left yet.  The airplane ride kinda scares me.  He's never flown.  I have flown twice; once TO Californian, and then BACK home.  It was pretty awesome.  I think he will love it.  I just pray that all goes well with the flights.  He is gonna have so much fun.  They are going to Universal Studios, Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, Santa Monica Pier, and several other places.  Then the big event will be marching in the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year's Day.  They will also be performing in Band Fest.  All the bands in the parade will be performing their half-time show for each other.  Our band has been practicing diligently for this performance.  I found out last week that there will be an opportunity for us to view Band Fest via live stream on our computer for a small fee.  That will be nice. 

I'm so proud of our band.  They are part of what makes my city so awesome.  I'm proud to say that I was once a part of that band, and two of my sons have gone on to perform in that band.  Now, if I can just get Jordan to try out for drum major next year...

Here they are.  Be sure to watch all the way to the end.  It's the best part.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

WAR EAGLE!!



Dear Blog,
   There's a big football game coming up tomorrow.  We are big Auburn fans in my family.  Tomorrow is the SEC championship game between Auburn and South Carolina.  I'm a bit nervous.  It's going to be a tough game.  Auburn has so much to gain if they can pull this one off.  "We" will get to go play for the national championship.  Auburn really needs that because they never get the respect that they deserve.  And, all this trash talk about Cam Newton is about to get on my last nerve.  He has been such a trooper through all the allegations; holding his head high, and smiling that big beautiful smile.  Fans of other teams mistake that for cockiness.  But, he is one class act, in my book.

My family was fortunate enough to attend an Auburn game this year.  Later that weekend we found out that a boy from the city next to us was killed in a car accident on the way back from that game.  Someone in the family emailed Gene Chizik and Cam Newton to let them know of this terrible tragedy and how big of a fan this young boy was.  This family member told them of one of the last texts that this boy had sent.  It said something like, "Just touched Gene Chizik's hand at Tiger Walk.  I'll never wash it again."  And did you know, both Cam Newton and Gene Chizik replied back to that family member with such kind caring words?  Someone from Auburn athletics came to represent Auburn at the boy's funeral.  These are the stories that you don't hear about.  These are the stories that show you what type of person that someone truly is.

How awesome that a quarterback like Cam can come out at Bryant Denney Stadium to a hostile crowd, amidst all the allegations surrounding him, against vendors selling "SCAM Newton" t-shirts, against a University of Alabama employee playing "Take the Money and Run" and "Son of a Preacher Man" over the loud speaker, against members of Alabama's student section throwing made-up money with his picture on it at him, and Cam shuts them up by bringing his team back from a 24-0 deficit to win the game.  "AU"SOME, I say.  But, of course, I am an Auburn fan, and I would see it that way.  But, the NCAA ruled that Cam is & has been eligible to play.  So, I hope he can lead his team to victory during the SEC championship AND the national championship.

WAR EAGLE!!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Warning! This Post Contains Cute Baby Pics!

Wow, so much has happened over the last month that I've been a bit overwhelmed with the thoughts of blogging about them all.  But today I have a little time on my hands, so I thought I'd catch you up on my granddaughter, Millie. 
  Let's start with Halloween.  Justin and Chelsea brought Millie to Albertville to trick-or-treat because there is nothing but corn fields in Fackler, Alabama!  I'm so glad that I got to go with them on her first Halloween.  Of course, she had no idea what was going on, but Justin strolled the little pirate around, nonetheless.  We went to a neighborhood that really had it going on.  One house had a makeshift graveyard in their front yard.  There were also a few "characters" walking around taking pictures with the kiddoes.  Justin was amazed, and I made his picture with a very tall skeleton man.  The whole neighborhood was crowded with trick-or-treaters.  But, of course, we had the cutest one of all. 

Granda started the Halloween festivities out by giving Millie a mummy sucker.


Is this NOT the cutest thing you've ever seen?!  I LOVE this baby!


Awwww, my son, Justin, with his little girl.


Trick or Treat!!!!

The little family


Justin with the skeleton man

We finished up Halloween, and on November 10, Millie had her first birthday!  Time has flown by so fast!  The following Saturday, I had a little birthday party for her.  By this time, she was walking all over the place!  What a difference a couple of weeks make, because she was hardly walking on Halloween.  Anyway, she loved playing with the balloons more than anything that she got.  She would walk around with one in her mouth while holding two more.  She's such a Silly Millie. 




Granda bought her this cute little outfit.

So, that's about it, for now.  I know that you wouldn't be able to stand it if I posted more cute pics of this baby, right now.  I mean, you might overdose on cuteness. Can you tell that I'm a proud granda?  ;)

Monday, November 15, 2010

What Triggers A Memory?



Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose. ~From the television show The Wonder Years



God gave us memories that we might have roses in December. ~J.M. Barrie, Courage, 1922



I've been doing a lot of reminiscing today and even over the weekend.  I wonder if it's just the time of the year that brings back these memories.  I've come upon 2 instances today where other people are reminiscing, too.  My best friend from middle & high school texted me today & it said this:

"You know what I have been craving lately? And, I don't even know if they make it anymore.  It's some of that Pizza Quick you put on loaf bread.  I remember me and you used to eat it all the time, especially when we would come home from the skating rink."
I replied:

"They DO still make it! But get thicker bread, like barbeque bread.  We also use to eat Swiss Rolls & also cake frosting out of the tub.  I still do!  Yum!"
Those were good times.  These days she and I can't get away with many Swiss Rolls (Little Debbie) or cake frosting straight from the can.  But we can splurge occasionally.  It's funny how certain actions that we do trigger memories.  Like, when I cook pancakes, I always think about my best friend from when I lived in Georgia.  Her mom use to make pancakes for us when I would spend the night with her.  Her mom is gone from this life now.  I haven't seen my childhood friend in many many years.  (We have reunited on Facebook!)  But, it never fails that I always go back to that time when I cook pancakes.

I know there are other mundane tasks that I do that trigger these memories, although my forgetful mind cannot think of them at this moment.  But, when they happen, I just smile.  It's nice to go back to some of these memories and cherish them.

 The thought of Thanksgiving coming up has me thinking back to dinners at my mother/father-in-law's home.  She loved to cook a feast for her family.  She passed away suddenly a couple of years ago.  The holidays have not been the same without her.  I miss her dearly. 
While checking my Facebook there was a post for Ree Drummond a.k.a. The Pioneer Woman.  (If you don't follow her blog, you really should.)  She posted this on Facebook:

"Here's a tip: While you're doing dishes on a Monday evening, never hum old-time hymns and think of your grandmother at the same time."
This set off a flurry of comments and memories from her friends and followers, such as:

" Aw! I just canned chow chow relish and thought of my great aunt and her cranberry bogs and blue berry bushes the whole time!"
"I know it's not the same, but I cry when I go into Home Depot, and think of my daddy."
"I get sad when I make Peach cobbler. My Great Aunt, taught me how to make it. First time up at our Cabin, now for the last 8 1/2 yrs I always think of her."
"Must be a day for grandmother memory moments. Mine were while hanging sheets on the line."
"The year my dad died, as I was making strawberry jam and listening to the radio late one night several months later, one of his favorite hymns came on...and I just about couldn't finish the jam I was making for the tears....tears of memories...tears of missing him...tears of joy he was no longer sick..."
"My Cuban grandma taught me how to make black beans and rice.. I can still hear her voice when I cook them. .. and I couldn't understand a word she said. ;) but still I learned. Hope I will be a memorable Grandma someday. thanks for reminding me of her."
"Must be something to do with the holidays coming. I had one of those moments yesterday. "
Yes, it must.  We all need a good cry every now and then.  My husband and I, along with 2 of our sons now live in the house that his mom and dad lived in when I met him. I have her picture on the fridge with one of her magnets which reads, "In my Father's house are many mansions. I hope yours is next to mine."  I do, too.  :')

What brings back memories for you?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Frugal Crafty Christmas Decor

I recently took a trip to The Dollar Tree.  Everything there is $1.  They have some neat stuff in there, and they have lots of Christmas decor.  They even have a small section of crafts.  It just so happens that I was browsing through a local floral/home decor store and I found some Christmas gift bags on sale.  The bags were very beautiful.  I bought some that were 79 cents each, and I bouth some smaller ones for 49 cents each.  Their regular price was much higher.  My mind got to thinking of other ways to use these bags other than to deliver gifts.  What if I cut out the picture on the bag and framed it?  It could work.  So then I went to The Dollar Tree and I found even more gift bags that would make good pictures.  I also found some unfinished frames to put my new "pictures" in.  Now, wanna see what I did & how it turned out?  Okay, here goes...
I took this gift bag:



And this frame:


I used the glass from the frame to cut out the picture:



I painted the frame with acrylic paint:



Then I put it together:



It needed something more:



Here's the finished product!



I also made a smaller one with a Christmas card that I had leftover from a past year:






The frames for $1 each.
The gift bag was $1.  (And, it still has another side for another picture.)
I already had the acrylic paint.
The 3-pk glitter paint was $1.
The Christmas card was free.

See, it doesn't have to take a lot of money to decorate for Christmas.  I can't wait to come up with some more frugal decor!

I've linked up to Hope Studios' Tutorial Tuesday.  Go visit for more great ideas that you can try!


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Gettin' My Christmas Inspiration On

I don't know how it happened.  I'm one of those people who have always been adamant about waiting until after Thanksgiving to start thinking about Christmas.  Maybe it's the cold weather that has moved in this past week.  Maybe it was my going to the Trees n Trends Christmas bazaar yesterday.  But, I am SO ready to start decorating and shopping for Christmas!  I don't want to shortchange Thanksgiving.  I LOVE that holiday because it is a time for your family to get together just to celebrate what we are all thankful for, without any expectations.  But, the Christmas bug has already bit me, and I am starting to get really excited!  I have even already started to buy a few gifts.  Imagine that!  Me, little miss wait-'til-the-last-minute to buy everything, and then scramble around to get it all wrapped before Christmas morning.  Just last week my boys asked me if I wanted to listen to Christmas music.  I responded with a resounding NO!!  IT'S NOT TIME!!!  But this week my perspective has changed completely.  I've begun to reason with myself about how that maybe the reason I am always behind at Christmas is because I don't get started early enough.  Sounds logical, right?  EXACTLY!!  SEE?!!  I told ya.
 
Anyway, I thought I'd share some of the lovely Christmas arrangements & decorating ideas that were presented at the Chrismas decor presentation yesterday.  What I'm going to try to do is study these pictures, and then figure out how to do it cheaper.  That's my thing.  I love being thrifty, yet stylish.  So here are the pictures.  Enjoy the Christmas eye candy.

Sorry that this one is a bit fuzzy, but you can get the idea.  They showed us how to add the ribbon to the garland.  See that "tree?"  It is actually what they call a "teardrop" turned upside down & hung from a hook to make a tree.  This would be good for a wall in your home or office.


Again, this is fuzzy. (It gets better.)  This was a regular crafty giftbox that has lights inside.  It had a boring bow.  She cut off the boring bow & added her own, along with some branches & bling.


This section of the store was decorated sooo beautifully.  In the upper right hand corner you will see plain bare branches strung with silver icicles/tinsel.  Beautiful!!


This is just a random pic that I took.


This is a beautiful piece that she showed us how to make with 3 berry stems & foliage.






This is cute and should be easy to make.

So CUTE!!!

I love the peppermint look of this.

One of my favs.


Another favorite


I love how they decorated a picture with a garland.


This caught my eye because it is our high school's colors.


I love the playfulness of this.


An elegant mantle


A traditional room


I'm in love with the lime green decorations.


Another beauty


Pretty red, cream & white decor.  I love the presents stacked on top of each other.  Who's that in the mirror, I wonder? ;)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

What's Been Going On in my Groovy Life

This is an update post to let you know what has been going on in my "groovy life."

Well, last Tuesday we had tornadoes all around us!

I took this picture from my driveway.  Scary stuff considering what happened to us last April...


But, we made it through okay this time.  It was an eerie feeling hearing those tornado sirens sounding again.

Next, we had Rock Star Day at my school as part of Red Ribbon (Don't Do Drugs) week...


Kiss was there.

Slash was there.

Hannah Montana showed up.
And, I posed as a goth rock star.

Yesterday, I took off work with the thought of cleaning house and doing some "projects" around the house.  But, my mom called to see if I wanted to go to Gadsden with her.  She wanted to go to J.C. Penney.  So, I reluctantly agreed.  We had a good time.  It was nice spending some time with my mom.  I hardly had to talk on the way there because she had that covered!  I thought it was funny that she kept looking for a massage chair at the mall.  She's silly sometimes.


Then, last night Justin, Chelsea, and Millie came to go to the ballgame.  It was pretty cold, so we left after half time.  Millie was getting fussy, and then she feel asleep.



Tonight Millie is coming to my house, and we are all going trick-or-treating!  She is going to be a pirate.  I can't wait to experience her first Halloween with her.  Justin & Chelsea are going to a party, afterward, where Justin's band is also playing.  Guess who gets to keep Millie?!!!!  :)

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!