Tuesday, July 29, 2008

It's coming

The end of summer is nearly here. Not summer the season, but summer as in no school, sleeping till 9, staying up till 2, spending a lot of time in our pajamas and doing a whole lot of nothing.

The kids start school three weeks from tomorrow. YIKES! I start school the day after that. Double yikes!

Actually, I'm getting very excited. The initial freak-out is over and I'm really looking forward to it. Cousin Courtney says this stint in Kindergarten will do one of two things: make me immediately enroll in school to become a teacher or will make me never want to step foot in a classroom again. I'm hoping for a happy medium. I have no desire to go to school, but I want to continue subbing. We'll see. She also warned me that the first few weeks of school, she usually goes to bed at 4pm because it's just that exhausting. I'm not sure how Paul is going to feel about it, but hey, I'm considering going to bed that early just because I've already told him it's a possibility and why miss out on an opportunity? Ya know?

Right now there are two extra kids in my house and possibly one more will be here before the night's over. KD and Sam each have a friend here and Ab's waiting for her cousin to call her back. I've been promising them all summer we'd have a big sleepover and woops, now it's three weeks till school starts and well, we're trying to cram in as much fun as we can before it's all over. We're trying to also throw in some camping in Kansas where they have a real live sand beach which thrills my kids to no end. It's a neat campground and we haven't been in a long time. Of course, my aversion to water keeps us from taking too many water excursions.

I was also hoping for one more trip to Branson before school starts, but I just don't think that's going to happen. This weekend is my MOM'S GETAWAY WEEKEND with Lori (posts, podcasts and merriment!) and the next weekend is when we're hoping to camp and boom, school's here. I keep telling myself it's too hot for Silver Dollar City anyway.

Tomorrow is my little sister Tater's birthday. Even though she doesn't update her blog as much as the entire universe would like her to, please visit it anyway and leave a comment on her most recent post (which occured sometime around the fall of the Soviet Union) and wish her a HAPPY 32ND BIRTHDAY, will ya?

Monday, July 28, 2008

The incredible shrinking blog

I posted here and said it was my 997th post. Then I posted here and it was my 998th post. Are y'all thinkin' that I should've stayed in college and that I really am that pitiful when it comes to math? Here, let me play with your brain some more - this is my 995th post. It would appear my blog is shrinking.

*sigh* If only my butt would do that.

Well, I will dispell this mystery once and for all, before all of my blogfriends plan a math intervention and I end up on a bad cable series.

I have deleted a few posts. And more importantly, I am painstakingly and quite thoroughly going through my blog a post at a time and removing all of the dirty words. And? And I don't even cuss in real life anymore.

What? Was that a collective gasp from the innernets? I believe it was, which is the same kind of gasp I heard when I told Mom, Pops, Tater and yeah, I think even Lori gasped. (If she gasped, it was a twangy, drawled gasp and cuter'n all get out.) (I cannot WAIT to do a podcast with that woman.)

Now, let me clear up a few things. I am still the one, the only Redneck Diva. I am still sometimes immature, sometimes rude, most of the time incredibly cute and always, always a redneck and a diva. I still have moments where I say entirely inappropriate things and I still giggle when someone says "duty" , but I am a changed woman, people. I have been incredibly convicted about my filthy mouth. Even chewing that gum didn't help. I am not perfect and have no agenda to become that way. I don't think I'm better than anyone else and I still read blogs that have cussin' in them. I make it a firm personal policy to not judge people. Ever. Jesus didn't judge me and I have no right to do it either.

.... But I can't ignore a conviction that I feel comes from God. I am living my life closer to Him than I have in a long, long time. I am trying to be a better wife, I am trying to be a better mother, I am trying to be the example that I should've been all along. I am involved in my church and occasionally work with the youth. It's time to walk the walk and talk the talk and the talking doesn't include the f-word. For me.

My kids watch me like a hawk, even if I feel like they never listen to a word I say. Yesterday when I got stung, I didn't cuss. Abby noticed that. Later that night he even commented on it. That right there was all the confirmation I needed to know that I am doing what is right for me and my family.

I am not changing the format of this blog. It's still about my redneck life and the occasional possums we experience on our vast 40 acres of Oklahoma wilderness. It's still going to contain stories about my kids and the insanely funny things they say and do. It will still contain in-depth accounts of trips to Wal*Mart and school parties. I will still gripe about my kids, gripe about my husband and gripe about the size of my rear end. I will still make you feel better about the fact that you aren't a redneck. But if I feel led to write a post about my God and what He's doing in my life I'm going to write it. I won't apologize for that. Ever.

It's a long process and it's going to take awhile. If I run across any more posts that are just impossible to edit, I'll delete them. The blog may get smaller before it's all said and done. It won't disappear, though. I'm sure of that. Just like I'm sure my butt won't disappear either.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


I offered you pictures of my new! not-so-improved! Beagle/Cocker Spaniel for my 1000th post, but instead you are getting them for my 998th post. Because I also have other pictures and heck, I haven't done a photoblog in a lonnnnnng time. And I have nothing else to offer you. Why do I have nothing to offer? Because I had a bad headache yesterday and did nothing more than sit on my couch and hurt. When you do nothing more than SIT you have very little to report.

Ab took these pics of Biscuit about a month ago.

Is he not adorable? No, he's not. Trust me. Oh, he's adorable if you think chewing is adorable. So yeah, if you think chewing is cute then you will LOVE my dog.

Okay, so even I have to admit that this one is just precious. He looks so innocent....

Looks are SO deceiving.

This is Biscuit today. He's long and chewy. I don't mean chewy like caramel or nougat. I mean like HE CHEWS ON EVERYTHING.

I don't know if I have communicated effectively the amount of chewing this dog does.

Those toes? Those are mine. He thinks they are food. Or toys. And capris are an open invitation to EAT MY PANTS. I had to quit going outside in pajama pants because he kept stretching out the legs when he would grab a mouthful of cotton and RUN far and fast with my drawers in his mouth. Agh. The vet says he will chew for a year. I will be toeless by then. And pantsless.

Yep. He's chewing. On Kady this time.

And I failed to mention that what he doesn't eat while he's chewing HE BURIES. Somewhere on the property he has buried his white chew bear (heck, why chew on something that's meant to be chewed on?), Abby's babysitting ward's flipflop (just one, mind you), his water bowl, and one of Paul's leather sandals (okay, that was actually a blessing) among other things we just don't know about. Come to think of it, I haven't seen Paul's brush hog in awhile.....

I think my kids need to go back to school. IQ levels have dropped dramatically this summer.

She even had some on her feet.

She came down the hall going "I AM A ROBOT. I DRINK CAPRI SUN."

She's my sunshine.
(I didn't realize until I published this that her robot has boobs. Oy. She says her brother did that. He's my sunshine, too. A little sunshiney pervert.)

This is my van. Notice anything spectacularly wonderful about it? Well, besides the fine coating of dust because it hasn't rained here in like, 12 years.

You notice nothing? Here.....let's get closer....

Notice anything now?


I sent off for it around the first of May and while the order form said to allow 16 weeks I didn't really think it'd take that long. I mean, those prisoners can't have that busy of a social life, can they?

Every day when we would check the mail we would all cross our fingers and chant "License plate - license plate - license plate!" Yesterday when Paul came in from work with the big yellow envelope in his hand the kids all three screamed because they knew what it was before I ever clued in. There was much jubilation. I'd have jubilated more had my head not felt like it was going to blow clean off. But still, I was happy.

If you see me driving around town, honk. Seriously. Heck, write me a note in the dust if you feel friendly enough.

I put the new plate on the van this morning and as I was putting the old, boring, official license plate in my glove compartment I got stung. It wasn't a full-size wasp, but a mini, micro wasp who had Little Wasp Syndrome or something and felt it necessary to hurt me very much badly. I am working very diligently to clean up my mouth and am so proud that in a moment of total surprise and pain instead of dropping an f-bomb or some other such profanity I hollered, "FARTKNOCKER!"

Friday, July 25, 2008

We missed the one at the carousel park

Unbeknownst to me, The Casino That Shall Not Be Named has employee parties ONCE A MONTH. People, Paul has been working there for FIFTEEN MONTHS. We have missed out on 14 dang parties! I told him to keep his payin-attention pants on from now on because I'M NOT MISSING ANOTHER FREE PARTY WHERE THEY GIVE AWAY THINGS. I (meaning Paul) was this close to winning an iPod Nano! (If by this close you mean his name was in the bucket with everyone else's and there were about 150 employee names in said bucket.) (But still, I think her finger grazed his name. Twice.)

Okay, so that aside, last night we took a lake cruise on the Cherokee Queen. Now, those of you who know me well know that a) I cannot swim, b) I get motion sickness very easily and c) I am terrified of water. So why did I go on this cruise? Because there are too many hot little numbers at that casino that would be all over my husband if someone said sic 'im. I would've freakin' bungee jumped into a vat of cooking oil if it meant not sending him onto a boat without me where they serve alcohol and everyone is in beach wear. Yeah. And please understand that I do honestly trust my husband. I just don't like others oglin' all over what is mine and has been for 15 years. 'Nuff said.

So we dropped the kids off at VBS and headed to Grove to eat at Rib Crib. I heart that place. However, I am obviously a few fries short of a Happy Meal because I ate WAY too much a mere hour before embarking upon a cruise on a boat that was more than likely going to make me sick. (People, I got sick on the Showboat Branson Belle and we never left the dock.) As soon as we started down the gangplank toward the boat I started getting queasy. I was sweating like mad, but that might've been partially due to the fact that it was still 100+ degrees outside. All I wanted was to get inside the boat into the air conditioning and get a drink to calm my nerves.

The air conditioning was virtually nil and the line for the bar stretched the the other end of the boat and started around the other side.

People kept noticing my pasty complexion and said that if you suffer from motion sickness, the higher the better. Just going outside left me wobbly, so it took a little while to get me onto the second deck. Even longer to get to the third one. But I got there, by golly. Paul found me a chair and I whipped out my phone and began texting Lori because if I didn't look out at the water and kept my head down looking at my phone I felt better. There was another gal, Jamey, suffering worse than me, so they pulled her a chair over by me and put a trashcan between us. We were party animals, let me tell ya. However, we became lifelong friends and will forever be bonded. She hugged me multiple times. Or maybe those weren't really hugs, but just the fact that neither of us could stand. Jamey's husband, Keith, brought me a beer, but I was so oogey feeling I drank half and gave the rest to Paul. That was all I drank all night. The threat of hurling was too great to add alcohol.

Getting out of the dock was spooky, but once we got going the breeze actually helped and if I didn't look at where we were going and looked off the side of the boat, I was okay. I was still really unsteady on my feet, moderately queasy and more than once grabbed at Keith (I've known him my entire life, worked with him at DHS and his mom and my mom were HS best friends). He didn't mind, though, since his wife was the other one with motion sickness. Daniel would get in front of me and Paul would get behind me any time we needed to get down stairs. I'm tellin' ya, if it hadn't been for those three I'd have been in the fetal position in a corner somewhere.

Paul played in the blackjack tournament and won second in the first round. (Didn't do so well in the final, though) After that we went downstairs to the dance floor to watch everyone get drunker and drunker and dance like they were drunk. That was a good time. If they'd played some country we could've shown off our mad two-steppin' skillz, but not one country song was played. That was fine with me because for one thing, country music makes me depressed as all get out and for another, two-stepping in flipflops is dangerous. Especially around drunk people.

The party stepped up a notch when Amanda Hugankiss showed up and screamed my name across the dance floor. Her husband, Ben Dover, had been looking for me all night. Good ol' Ben Dover and Amanda Hugankiss....them's good people.

We docked at 10:30 and while we could stay on the boat until 11, Paul and I opted to get the heck off. It was hot and everyone was drunk and we didn't win any prizes, so meh, we left.

I ended up having an almost good time. I got more of a kick out of drunk-watching than anything. Am I ready to go on a week-long cruise to Puerto Vallarta? Oh heck no. Would I go on the Queen again? Maybe.

I just hope next month's party is on land.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Milestone Approacheth

This is my 997th post. I should plan something to celebrate my 1000th post! What say ye, innernets? What doth thou wanteth from me upon this most celebratory of occasions? Oh, you want me to quit talking like a dork? Gotcha.

Since I just had my 4th Blogaversary last month, I'm not sure what to do to celebrate 1000 posts, so if you do have any ideas I'm open to 'em. I can do another PhotoTour of my town since I left out all the best parts. Or I can show you the inside of that closet at the end of the hall that I endlessly organize yet it is endlessly a mess. Or hey, how about updated pictures of my adorably cute beagle/cocker spaniel dog named Biscuit that has come about this close to death more than once. (Dogs should not chew lawnmower wires. Or styrofoam coolers. Or bicycle seats. Or volleyballs. Or my pink beaded flamingo on top of the cellar.) Y'all just let me know what you want and to the best of my abilities, I will do it. Keep in mind, though, my daddy's a preacher and I don't do nekked, half-nekkid, or anything else that would make my mother's brain fall out of her skull and die a slow, dramatic Baptist death.


In other news, I think I need an intervention. And it's all Lori's fault. She and I are now both having ilicit affairs with PhoneZoo.

I now am sporting, among others, the following ringtones on my phone:

* The creepy music box song from the stupid movie One Missed Call that we let Abby watch a few weeks ago and now when I play the ringtone she just about loses her doojies all over the carpet. It's good fun.

* The theme from "The Price is Right"

* Banana Phone by Raffi. Just hearing that ringtone makes me giggle.

* "F-R-E-E that spells Free Credit Report dot com bay-bee". And once you hear it, you can't get it out of your head.

* "Grow Old With You" from The Wedding Singer, which is Paul's current ringtone. His ringtone was "You're the Reason God Made Oklahoma" but I much prefer the line "carry you around when your arthritis is bad" to "I worked ten hours on a John Deere tractor". For today, anyway.

* "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" by GnR, which is Pops' ringtone. He's a preacher. Get it? I slay me.

* The theme from "Sanford and Son". Just because.

* The Snickers jingle that goes "Happy peanuts soar over chocolate covered mountain tops..." Every time Kady hears it she puts her hands over her ears and yells, "STOP IT! YOU'RE MAKING ME HUNGRY!!!!"

* And finally, the gunfight song from "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly". It's now high noon at our house any time Mom calls.

Paul says he cannot wait for school to start so I will go earn some money and stop making ringtones.


Tonight Paul and I are going on a cruise on good ol' Grand Lake o' the Cherokees. Yes, I am going to need a Xanax or twelve, but we're going on a three-hour cruise on the Cherokee Queen. It's for Casino That Shall Not Be Named employees and one guest apiece. Oh and it's a luau theme. I'm going to be wearing Pops' Hawaiian shirt and we actually bought a Hawaiian shirt for Paul because chances are he will actually wear it out in public someday. And he'll probably wear socks and sandals out in public, too.

Paul called me yesterday to see if I wanted to play in the Blackjack tournament to which I answered immediately with YESSSSSSSSSS, but then he came home last night to inform me that they decided to not let guests play. Probably all for the best - I'm not sure I'd have my best game on while doped upon on Xanax.



If we could fast-forward to next weekend, we both would. She's already declared that we're getting a room with a microwave so she can correct whatever it is I do wrong to Rice Krispie Treats. We're also planning on a podcast. And maybe some gambling. And if there is a Dollar Tree anywhere in the vicinity? Oh yeah, we are SO THERE.

And also? We're also going to take over the world. Much like Pinky and the Brain. Two stay-at-home moms and their laptops and we're going to wreak havoc on the universe.

One Rice Krispie Treat at a time.

Monday, July 21, 2008

You only love me for my blog, Mrs. Coach

As I picked up my kids tonight at VBS, Mrs. Coach immediately told me that my youngest child had given the whole church an opportunity to bond together because within the first five minutes, Kady had wandered off and no one knew where she had gone. What a kid, giving the church an opportunity like that. How kind of her. The whole church was able to form one gigantic group to search for an errant 6 year old. Yep. That's my Kady.

As soon as Mrs. Coach had related the story she then, with a deadpan look on her face, said to me, "You need to update." Mr. Coach gave her a funny look and asked, "Update what?" She said, "Her blog." Then she turned to me and said, "What happened to that 'I'm gonna blog every day' thing?" Yeesh. She ought to know I'm busy. What with all the staying at home that I'm doing these days.

So, because she asked so nicely........ HEY, MRS. COACH! I'M BLOGGING. FOR YOU. YOU'RE WELCOME.


Friday night was the water fun extravaganza at our VBS. I had absolutely NO INTENTION of being involved in the water fun and therefore wore a white t-shirt.

Note to self: Never wear a white t-shirt where there are going to be water balloons, a water fight, or even drinks of water because that is nothing more than an invitation. You might as well not even wear a shirt because one good dousing and you're showing off your business to the congregation, the deacons and God.

I had taught the youth class one whole night (three boys in attendance) and then two of my boys didn't show up the second night so Mom asked me to take the Nursery class on Wednesday since we had some little ones who were just too young for the Preschool class. Then Thursday I didn't even have any little ones. Friday I had just planned on helping tie water balloons and clean up the church.

I went outside the church to where my husband and our friend Tommy Joe were already busy filling and tying balloons. A youth, Madelynn, was there as well. Tommy and Madelynn would fill, Paul and I would tie. Until Madelynn "accidentally" tossed a balloon at me. Then another youth got in on it. From that point on, I was nothing more than a target. We had about 2 1/2 hours to fill about 800 balloons, but about 20 minutes in, I was soaked from head to toe.

Note to self #2: Lane Bryant's Plunge pushup bras hold water. Lots of it. I would just be standing there and lean to one side and feel about 4.3 gallons of water run out of one cup or the other. It was hot outside and the sensation was rather refreshing, if not a little weird, though.

When the water fight actually began I was past the point of even attempting to dodge. I just stood there as child after child squirted me with guns, lobbed balloons at me or dumped gigantic bowls of water over my head.

Oh and did I mention that I hadn't planned on being involved in this water fight? This means that I had no extra clothes or even a towel. I drove home sitting on a tablecloth my mom dug out of the church kitchen. Then I had to run my bra through the spin cycle to get out the 45 gallons of remaining water in the extra padded cups because it's the only white bra I own and I had to wear it the next day.

First time I'd ever gone to church and come home looking like I'd been a particpant in a wet t-shirt contest at Chunky Hooters.


Saturday Paul and I worked the back gate at the 8-man football game. I've worked the gate at the game for the last 5 or so years, but this is the second year Paul's worked it with me. It's hot as all get out, dusty and hectic, but for some strange reason we love it. This year no one honked at me and called me a b*tch, though. Whoo hoo, let's hear it for improvement!


Sunday was the kids' VBS program and immediately after a small group of us went to a nursing home in town to sing. I wish I could say I love our monthly nursing home visit, but I can't really say I love it. I spent too many years visiting my Memaw in the nursing home and it brings back a lot of painful memories. However, I go because of my experience with Memaw. She would get so lonely....and there are some of those people in there that have no one to visit them. We saw some faces literally just light up yesterday, so we did good. I hope.


Today I got my driver's license renewed. I had 3 days left to do it before I had to jump through many, many hoops, donate a kidney, and change my name to Julia and move to Mexico. Seriously, you just don't let your license expire in Oklahoma anymore. If you do, it's a trainwreck to get it again. It's easier to just leave the country.

I have worn glasses since I was 11 and have an eyeglass restriction on my license, but because Oklahoma's gone all Big Brother, now you have to take your glasses off for your license picture. And you can't smile. Somethig about facial recognition software and criminals and blah blah blah. You also have to put our index fingers on a little scanner thingy and your fingerprints are encoded somewhere on the card. Yeah. I'm tellin' ya. Big Brother has his hands alllll over it.

And because of the lack of smiling in the pictures, my last license had me looking like a very angry indian. My hair was very dark, long and I just looked very indian for some reason. This one, though, I look like I'm drunk and in serious need of a nap. I knew I blinked as soon as she snapped it, but my eyes were open enough that she kept it. Oh yay. For the next four years I get to flash that pretty thing at store clerks everywhere. I can't wait for 2012.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Mangler

The night of Mom and Pops' wedding, we pulled up to the house after the whole shindig was over, exhausted and thinking of little else than our fatigue. The back of the van was full of cupcakes, leftover food, 900 pounds of those little shower mints, and three very tired kids. Paul had driven his truck full of fans, coolers, a punch bowl, signs, etc in to town to leave at the newlyweds' house. I was going to back up to the front door to make unloading a little easier, since it was just me and the kids and my kids are a little skittish out here in the boondocks at night.

As I wheeled into the front yard the headlights caught on a pair of glowing eyes. My initial thought was that one of the cats was on the front porch, but within a second or two I realized that none of our cats are that big. It was one of the biggest raccoons I've ever seen. He was on the porch snacking on Biscuit's food. I hollered, "Kids! Look! A coon!" They woke from their half-asleep stupors to go "Oooh!"

Of course, the coon took off towards the woods when it realized we would soon be breaking in on his munching. I backed the van up to the porch and shut off the engine.

No one moved.

I was gathering up my purse and camera and had my hand on the door handle when I realized that the kids were still just sitting there. I said, "Come on kids, I know you're awake. Let's get this stuff unloaded."

From the back of the van came a quiet voice that said, "Nuh uh. I ain't goin' anywhere. That coon might jump out and GET ME!" Ah, Sam. Such a brave one. Abby, though, full of bravado, said, "Oh good grief. Here. I'll scare him off." And with that she opened her door and hollered into the night a sound that somewhat resembled the warhoop SpongeBob makes when he's jellyfishing. She kind of made a high AH sound, but at the same time variated it with higher and lower sounds.

She turned around to me with the door still open, a look of satisfaction on her face. Oh yes, the brave coon scarer had done her job. Without cracking a smile, I said, "Awesome, Ab. You just hollered out the raccoon mating call." Instantly her eyes got huge and she slammed her door and sat there panting in anticipation of the hoardes of raccoons she just knew were going to come and attack our van. Because our van obviously resembles a female raccoon in heat.

Now, fast forward to last night when we pulled in after a post-VBS run to Wal*Mart. It was closing in on 11pm and as we approached the driveway I said, "Did anyone check the mail today?" Sam immediately yelled from the middle seat, "I ain't checkin' it! It's dark and as soon as I open the door Abby'll holler out that raccoon mangling call!"

The laughter from the other four people in the car would've scared off any mangling raccoons in the neighborhood.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Skool Kloze

Yesterday Mrs. Coach and I were stricken with temporary insanity took off for glorious Jay, Oklahoma, to get school clothes vouchers for our kids. Why? you ask. Because we're both Native American and poor and so are our kids. Lucky kids. Not only are they blessed with awesome moms like Mrs. Coach and myself, but they're also hovering right there close to the poverty line.

But that's beside the point. The point is this: Indians - or Native Americans, if that's how you roll - have this fun little quirky knack of doing things their own way, in their own time and who cares if it's inefficient. Don't get me wrong, I am grateful for the perks that come along with being Native American, but sometimes I get frustrated when I sit in a less-than-cherry community center for 3 1/2 hours with a hundred or so other Native Americans and my own three children, two of which swear they didn't hear me say "Take something to keep you occupied because we're liable to be there for awhile!" and therefore brought nothing to keep themselve occupied. Fortunately Abby had a tiny thing of PlayDoh that kept the three of them busy until it go so dirty that I was about to have a panic attack. And Sam kept throwing the container at Abby. And Kady kept getting PlayDoh on Mrs. Coach's pants. Yeah, good times.

Oh yeah....they were also giving out free sno cones. 40 gazillion children in a gigantic room with nothing to keep them busy, fueled by pure sugar poured over ice. What genius said, "Let's drag out the sno cone machine for clothing voucher day!"?

By 12:30 my kids were all but convulsing in the floor (the dirty, dirty floor) and I dug through my purse for some change. Fortunately Mrs. Coach was much more prepared than I was and had some ones. A small stampede to the vending machine and my kids came back with Chips Ahoy!, blueberry PopTarts and powdered donuts. She's like the cool aunt who always has gum. Had I escorted them, they'd have come back with nothing because as a mother I'm contractually bound to not give them crap for lunch, but because they aren't her children, let the crap be eaten, kids!

If it wasn't for our cell phones, we'd both have been COMPLETELY insane by the end of our adventure. Heck, we were even texting each other and we were literally sitting feet apart. She's way more popular than I am, so I'm sure she texted more than one person over the course of our visit, but I just conversed with The Queen of Dirty Laundry, aka My Favorite Texan, who took pictures of her kids and her dog in a onesie (which was borderline disturbing, Lori, hon...) to keep me occupied.

We interrupt this blog post for a friendly PSA: Tube tops. Bad. If we can see the total details of your nipples through the thin yellow fabric covering your gazongas....it's actually a bad thing.

They called Mrs. Coach around 1:15 and I had my purse on my arm and I was in a runner's stance as soon as her name was called because I was on the list after her. After being prepared to hand over my kids' tribal cards, proof in income, proof of residency, urine sample, a DNA swab, the results of my last pap smear, a contract agreeing to give the Cherokee Nation my nextborn AND tell the interviewer she was pretty, I was pleasantly shocked at how quickly I got my clothing vouchers. Mrs. Coach and I both were utterly astounded at the lack of skepticism we were presented with yesterday. Normally, yeah, you have to do all those things I listed previously. Yesterday, however, we basically slapped down proof of residency and income and didn't have to compliment anyone. That's progress, people. All we can figure is that the certifiers haven't been working for the Cherokees long enough to become good and jaded.

My poor children dragged their malnutritioned bodies back to the van and we promptly headed to Sonic. As we pulled in, Mrs. Coach noticed the new advertisement on the board for Biscuit Dippers - little sausage biscuits to dip in a mini-vat of gravy. She said, "Does that look wrong to anyone else? Or is it just me?" I heartily agreed that yes, it seemed indeed wrong. I took my kids' orders while they drifted in and out of consciousness - trust me, they thought they were just. that. hungry. When I had my kids' orders squared away I looked at Mrs. Coach and said, "Okay, what do you want?" She leaned way over in front of me and said, "Hmmmm....I dunno.....what do they have?" I looked her square in the eye and said, "I hear they have these new biscuit dippers. They make great suppositories." She conjured up an order pretty quick. Well, after we both managed to breathe again after the laughing. I don't think we would've laughed that hard had we not just endured what we just had. Or maybe we would've. Because we really are just that weird.

So now I have $225 worth of clothing vouchers just burning a hole in my pocket but I hate to buy school clothes for my kids right now. They can wear shorts until November 1 at their school and trust me, here in Oklahoma, it could very well be that warm November 1. Of course, we could also have 12 feet of snow on the ground and more on the way. But my point is, my kids are growing so fast these days that I hate to buy jeans now and them outgrow them by the time cooler weather comes around. I have until September 15th to use them so guess who will be at Stage on September 14th 15 minutes before it closes? Come join the fun! I'll be the one screaming at her three children in three different dressing rooms to "HURRY UP AND GET THOSE JEANS ON YOUR SKINNY INDIAN BUTTS."

Monday, July 14, 2008

V to the B to the Ssssssss

This is VBS week at our church. As I told Mrs. Coach this morning - and she heartily agreed with a robust AMEN, SISTER! - this is the week that a lot of good Christian people drink. Heavily.

I don't know why, but VBS to me is more exhausting than camp. Don't know why, but it is. Don't get me wrong, I love VBS and look forward to it every year, but it is utterly draining.

The theme this year is Cactus Canyon and we're all cowboyin' up for Jesus. There are hats and boots and cacti (or as Kady would say "cactussessessess") and bulls and horses all over the church. There's a mountain range behind where the pulpit usually stands and a barnwood entryway for the kids to walk through into the sanctuary.

I'm teaching the Youth. Since we're a small church, we're borrowing and lending with several other churches in the area. They use it, pass it on. We use it, pass it on. Evidently, no other church had Youth in their VBS because there is NO cirriculum for me. I am kickin' it freestyle. Scary, yet liberating. I'm trying to remember all the fun stuff we did in Youth group when I was a Youth. You know, back when the dinosaurs roamed the land and the tigers all had saber teeth. And there were these big dino-birds that hid out in the jungle while we were chasing after our lady-friend with the blue eyes because she was kidnapped by the big scary bad guys working for the Egyptians......wait.....that was 10,000 B.C. Nevermind.

Anyway, Lori sent me some links for some skits and I'm hoping I have a group of kids who would want to work one up for the parent program next Sunday. If not, we may just have a burping contest. Every night. Maybe twice on Wednesday.

Insect relatives

Wednesday Mom, Tater, my kids and I had lunch together at my favorite Mexican restaurant in town. I like it because the food is good AND because they have American food on the kids' menu and because my son is adamantly anti-taco that is a good thing. (Hey, Abby's just now to where she will eat a taco with anything on it but just meat.) (Yes, I am fully aware my children are weird.)

We were chatting, shootin' the breeze, discussing life in general. I noticed Sam trying to eat a tortilla chip with a fork and asked him why he was doing that particular weird thing. He grinned and actually had no intelligent answer, so I continued, "Just eat your tortilla chips the right away. Your ancestors ate them with their fingers and so can you." (Although, I'm not entirely sure our Native American ancestors ate tortilla chips....but I can't be sure.)

Kady said, "We have ant sisters? Oh my gosh, can I meet them?" Then she stopped short and with a look of horror on her face asked, "Daddy won't kill 'em with the bug spray, will he?'

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Teacher! Teacher!

My cousin Courtney just had the most beautiful baby in the universe (Well, most beautiful baby that's been born since my children. Just to clarify.) and Courtney is a Kindergarten teacher. That alone makes the woman eligible for sainthood, in my opinion.

Awhile back, when I hinted around on here that big things were changing regarding my employment status, Courtney called me and said, "Did I just read that you quit your job?" I let the cat out of the bag to her only and said that yeah, that was the plan. She laughed and said, "Have you ever thought about teaching Kindergarten? Because they still don't have a sub for me yet." I laughed and said, "Yeah, sure," but a few days later it hit me.....uh, why not?

So I asked her if she was serious and said that if she wasn't then uhm....neither was I. Hey, I didn't wanna look like an doofus if she had just been joking.

When we went over to see my new! baby! cousin! who is now healthy and home and no longer a sick baby boy, she asked if I had gone the school district office to fill out an application because they were kind of counting on me taking her class for the first 2 1/2 weeks of school.

So today I filled out the application and I'm teaching 12 days of Kindergarten when school starts.


*enter panic*

Actually I'm looking very forward to it. Two of my kids and both Tots One and Two had Courtney for Kindergarten (She left our school before Kady started so we got Mrs. Weece who was deemed The Best Kindergarten Teacher Ever If We Can't Have Cousin Courtney.) and she is a super teacher. She has already assured me that everything is done, all I have to do is follow her lesson plan. And keep them from hanging from the light fixtures.

My mom is utterly ecstatic because she is SO hoping that teaching Kindergarten for 12 whole days will unleash some kind of buried need deep inside me that will give me an overwhelming urge to go back to college and become a teacher. Tonight, standing in the kitchen at the church, she got a wistful look on her face as she sighed and said, "I just always knew you'd be a teacher. I just knew it. I guess I was wrong." *insert deep heartwrenching sighs where you see fit as you read that* Heck, Mom, lots of people wanted me to be a teacher. Everyone in high school, from the janitor to the guidance counselor wanted me to be a teacher. Everyone except me.

Don't get me wrong, I love kids. I love teaching kids to sing silly songs about monkeys jumping on beds. I like gluing cotton balls to construction paper. I like naptime. I can read Skippyjon Jones books with a killer Mexican accent and make the kids fall over at my goofy-ness. I can color with the best of 'em. But as far as making teaching my lifelong profession? Nah, no desire whatsoever. I'm like the aunt who spoils your kid and then sends them back home on a sugar high. I will take your kid, play with them and then happily hand them back and go on my merry way.

But when I turned in that application today I was really excited about this upcoming year as a substitute teacher. The gal that took my application was excited, too. She said she'll use the heck out of me if I can take the Kindergarten class and keep them from tearing down walls and duct taping me to the desk. I laughed, but I think she was serious.

That's okay, though. I am looking forward to the oportunity and hey, if I end up duct-taped to the desk, it'll make a great story for the blog.

Monday, July 07, 2008

A post on the 7th about the 4th on the 5th

The 4th was pretty anticlimactic around here this year. We did some last-minute cleaning on the house then headed to Wal*Mart where apparently they had crack on a red light special and my children bought some when I wasn't looking because they were holy. freakin'. terrors. My kids NEVER act like that in Wal*Mart, but oh my gosh, they were awful that day. I think it was just the building excitement of the next few days, but good grief I was ready to sell them to the gypsies. And I told them as much. Of course, they didn't care - they were high.

After Wal*Mart we picked up the little girls that Abby was babysitting that night. All in all, Ab did a great job, but I think I'll limit her babysitting jobs to a few hours at a time from now on. By the next morning she was beat and her nerves were frazzled and by lunchtime she threw her hands in the air and yelled, "I AM ONLY ONE PERSON! STOP ASKING ME TO DO THINGS! I AM VERY. STRESSED. OUT." I hugged her and said, "Welcome to my world, dear."

The little girls left around 1 and I started making the pies that I'd promised Paul (Red, White and Blueberry - YUM!) and by 3:00 everything was done enough that I set the alarm on my phone, kicked my feet up and watched the kids play Wii for awhile. Paul started cooking around 5, everyone showed up a little after 6 and for the first grand gathering of the new improved blended family, we had a blast.

This one of Tater, Ain't Pam and Uncle David cracks me up.

While Ain't Pam looks on in interest at whatever Uncle David is talking about - which is obviously not all that pleasant from the look on his face - Tater is looking to the camera for help, rescue, ANYthing.

G'head, blow it up. It's a hilarious picture.

This is Ab and her brand! new! cousin! Makenna. They got to know each other quite well at church camp a few weeks back and were practically joined at the hip then. Saturday, they were inseperable again. They're ornery, too. It appears they sneakily got hold of everyone's cell phones and put event reminders in, changed wallpapers to pictures of them, and did many, many voice records. Ah....to be a tween....

Kady is in the foreground while her big cousin, Quentin, is scolding her from afar. What that boy would have to scold her about I have no idea, since the whole time Paul, Gary and I were putting up the volleyball net, he was throwing cherry bombs at us and shooting bottle rockets our direction. Yeah, he's an angel, that kid.

Or maybe he was pointing at me.....because I think it's apparent the kid has it in for me.

This is TotTwo. He worked so hard to climb up there that he insisted I take his picture. The only way I can post it without Tater comin' at me like a spider monkey is because you can't see his face. She's all about internet safety - she's been watching a lot of PSAs or something.

And this is TotOne. She had a glow stick in her mouth. Since I had just taken a picture of her brother dangling from the basketball goal like a pinata, she was adamant I take a picture of her. She was disappointed when I used the flash and it didn't show the glow stick. She was not disappointed, however, when I turned off the flash, got the glow stick and not her. Go figure.

Mom wanted me to take a picture of Pops and two of my stepsisters.

See what kind of a family I have now?

They're freakin' AWESOME.

Oh wait, everyone's smiling pretty now. Probably because Mom put her hands on her hips and tapped her foot.

Mom's gonna crap kittens if she sees I've posted this. I think it's adorable, but she will shriek for days that she can't believe I posted that picture of her all sweaty from playing volleyball.

Oh well. It's my blog.

Love you Mom.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Who scream?

Since Abby is working her very first babysitting job tomorrow night she has been preparing all day today things to do with the girls tomorrow. Plus, I wanted to have some kind of project for the kids to do at the 4th on the 5th party.

Enter Ice Cream in a Bag.

Or, more simply put: Redneck Ice Cream.

The first time I ever saw this recipe was on Regis & Kathie Lee. Yeah. Not Kelly, but Kathie Lee. So it's been a long time ago. I thought it was a cool idea, but my kids weren't at the age where stuff like that was fun, plus they were insanely picky eaters and if it didn't come from a tub with a bunny on it, it wasn't ice cream in their twisted little minds and therefore they would refuse to eat it.

But now they are school kids and I am a stay-at-home mom once again and the call goes out about every half hour: We're borrrrrrrrrrred! I won't go into the fact that there are three bedrooms full of toys PLUS 40 acres, two four-wheelers, one Okie pool and a dog.....

Anyway, this afternoon we made Ice Cream in a Bag. Here's the recipe. Leave a comment and let me know if you tackle the project and how it goes for you!

One serving (equals about one scoop):

1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 c. milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla
6 Tbsp. rock salt
1 quart and 2 sandwich ziploc bags
Ice cubes

Fill quart-size bag half full of ice; add rock salt. Pour milk, vanilla and sugar in small bag. Squeeze out excess air and seal. Place inside other small bag, squeeze out air and seal. Put small bags inside larger bag. Seal and shake!


We had salty ice cream the first go-around because the small baggies leaked salt water into the smaller bag. I guess that's what I get for buying cheap baggies!

We used tea towels to wrap the bags in while we shook since they get mega cold.

I wonder how to make it chocolate.....Hershey's syrup? Or throw in some chocolate chips? Andes Mints? Ooh! PEANUT BUTTER!!!!!! The possibilities are endless. Let me know how you scream for ice cream. In a bag.

Random Thoughts, The Cursed 3rd Edition

Today is July 3rd, which usually means I wrap the children in bubble wrap and we all sit in the middle of the room and don't touch anything or anyone for fear we'll injure ourselves or one another. In recent years July 3rd has involved high fevers, motorcycle vs. car accidents, intestinal viruses, attic fires and window snakes. Today has been calm, but I'm still leary. We made a run to town because I had yet more garage sale junk items to put in Tater's garage and on the way home Paul said, "I just realized that today's the 3rd." I said, "Yeah, I know. We were takin' a big chance going to town." He said, "Shut up, woman. We ain't home yet! Hey.....think you oughta slow down some?"

But we ain't superstitious. Riiiiiiight.


I've babysat all week this week. JackJack is one of my old daycare kids. I got him the first time around when he was three weeks old. Now he's a new two and wow is he ever. I have made the statement more than once this week that I am completely out of practice and how glad I am that my kids are out of this stage. Not that he's a bad kid, he's just two. I'm used to my kids getting their own drinks, fixing their own snacks when they want, not throwing themselves at my feet when Go Diego Go! is over, etc.

I figure that uttering the statement that I'm glad my kids are all in school and growing up will pretty much ensure that I am pregnant right now as I type. That and the fact that my sister's garage is now holding the very last of any baby items that have been in my house.


Our yard is so clean right now that it's scary. For the last few weeks I have teased Paul by humming the theme to "Sanford and Son" any time I am out in the yard. Hey, he can gripe about the inside of the house being messy, I think it's only fair that I tease him a little about the yard. He has spent his entire vacation cleaning up the yards and fields and driveway and carport.

I got rid of the mildew in the bathroom, he got rid of the junkyard on our property. We rock.


Since our family is blended, highly disfunctional and just plain GIGANTIC, we are having the 4th on the 5th this year here at our house. There will be roughly 30 people here and would be more if Cousin Courtney's Baby Conner wasn't still in the hospital. The Glenn side of the family won't be making their presence known, so that just leaves 90 bazillion Ferrises and Hoovers to fill the gap. I was really hoping Cousin Courtney would be here because she is a karaoke queen. Alas, we will have to wait until Christmas or Festivus for her to break out her mad vocal skillz on us all.

Speaking of Cousin Courtney, she called me last week while I was at camp to tell me she was at the hospital, dilated and contracting. Since she wasn't due for three more weeks, I gathered a bunch of kids together and we had a quick prayer for everyone's safety. The next afternoon at 1:28 Baby Conner was born. 7 hours later he was in the NICU on antibiotics. Evidently Cousin Courtney had a false negative Group B Strep test and they didn't know to treat her during her pregnancy. Fortunately, they caught it early and he's going to be fine, he's just been a sick little fella. I'm a bad cousin for not posting this sooner. Sorry, guys.

Send up a prayer or twenty seven for Cousins Courtney and Chad and Baby Conner if you're the prayin' kind.


I got an email awihle back about how Listerine is supposed to be this awesome mosquito repellent, so I had Paul pick up an industrial sized 55 gallon drum of that stuff.

So far I don't have any mosquito bites or gingivitis.


Week after next I'm teaching the youth in VBS.



Abby got her first babysitting gig for tomorrow night. It's mom's neighbor's little girls. Since it's a holiday and Mom and Pops weren't going to be next door for backup, we're just bringing the girls out here for a sleepover instead. The mom texted me this morning to ask if $30 was enough to pay Abby. I had told Abby the going rate for sitters and that she was going to have to learn to set her prices and stick to them if she's going to be sitting for people. When I asked her if $30 was enough her eyes nearly fell out of her head. I laughed so hard at the look on her face. It took her a few minutes to find her voice and say, "Yeah......but do you think that's too much?" I know she was trying to be a good girl and make sure she wasn't taking advantage or overcharging, but I also know that she was spending that money in her head already.

When I was working, she was babysitting her brother and sister a few days a week. Oh, that girl had money burning a hole in her pocket continually. She's run through all of that and has been broke the last few weeks. The thought of $30 was making her heart race, I could tell.

Then I reminded her that I had ordered some hair color replacements for her Conair hair streaky thingamabob (that drives her Pops crazy because she came to church with blue hair last night) for her the day before and that she owed me $12 plus shipping.

Life is rough when you're 11.


I have been taking a nap with JackJack every day this week. I keep telling myself that I have a sleep deficit left over from camp last week. It's bull, but I'm buying it.


I can't wait to get my hands on some firecrackers.


Abby invited her boyfriend, *Chance*, to the 4th on the 5th party. He is scared of me and kept telling her maybe but we all know darn good and well that means no in Chancespeak.

I told her to tell him he's a poopyhead.

I'm not sure, but I don't think that made him like me any more than he already didn't.

I have many things to learn regarding daughter's boyfriend relations. Calling him poopyhead is probably top of the list of things not to do. I'm pretty sure.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Dirty feets

My children have discovered that a gigantic pile of dirt in the front yard is THE. BEST. TOY. EVER. I'm so glad we bought them a cellar so they'd have a place to play. I mean, the forty gazillion dollars worth of toys in their bedrooms left them feeling so deprived. Who knew that a $2400 cellar and the dirt pile atop it would become their favorite toy ever, thus eliminating the need for me to repeatedly clean their rooms since I'm now going to put all of their toys in the next garage sale.

I have to sell their toys to pay for the carpet cleaning that we now need.

Last week at church camp the other three sponsors and I hollered "DOOR!" at least ninety times an hour because all 32 of those kids were born in barns. The air conditioner was on the fritz and had to be coddled; meaning, the air conditioner only conditioned the air to about 81 degrees then it threw its hands in the air and said, "I give up. YOU keep it cool in here."

This week, however, my battle cry has changed from "DOOR!" to "FEET!" My children walk in the door with their Crocs poufing up clouds of dust and my blood pressure goes through the roof. I gotta give 'em some credit - they do manage to kick off the shoes before stepping off of the brick entryway, but their feet. OH THEIR FEET. I have never seen such dirty piggies in my life! And when you put copious amounts of dust into sweaty Crocs.....you get mud. That sweaty mud has somehow been transferred to my carpet.

I am not a happy momma.

However, I have three happy kids. And the need for a steam cleaner.

We....the people

Originally published in The Miami News-Record, July 2020 Everything is different now. I’m not just talking about masks and social distancing...