Monday, April 27, 2009

You Can Take The Girl Out Of The Garage Sale But You Can't Take The Garage Sale Out Of The Girl

There are certain firsts in life that you never forget. You know... your first date, first kiss, first dance, etc.... But for me right up there with those fond memories is the memory of my first garage sale.

I must have been around seven or eight years old. I rode my bike down the street to have a look around, and when I saw it I knew I had to have it. It was the most beautiful purple and black saloon girl dance costume I had ever seen. It was decked out with fringe and rhinestones, and it even came with fishnets and a headband! Even at my young age I knew that every second counts when it comes to garage sales, so I pedaled home as fast as I could to get my money lest someone snatch up that gem of a find before I got back! The funny thing is I remember taking the costume home, but I don't remember ever actually wearing it. Looking back I'm sure my mother was horrified to see her daughter come home with apparel that reeked of harlotry. Chances are it conveniently "got lost" before word of it's existence made it back to the nuns at my school.

The excitement of finding "that perfect thing" at a great price has stuck with me all these years. While my husband would probably be thrilled if I brought home a purple saloon girl costume with fishnets and a headband, my garage sale tastes have become much more practical. I now get excited over slightly used waffle irons or salad spinners that I can pick up for pennies on the dollar. But unfortunately a person can only buy so many "perfect things" before they run out of space in their home. Then they have to purge their home and have their own garage sale. You know it is kind of like the circle of life.....but not.

As fate would have it, a garage sale lovin girl like me ended up in a neighborhood that did not allow garage sales. What????? Apparently garage sales invite riffraff into the area. What the Powers that Be couldn't see was that the riffraff was slowly infiltrating the neighborhood and they were living amongst them. So since our community board of directors is run by benevolent dictators, they agreed to give us peasants one day a year in which to indulge in our common foolery. So this past Saturday was our annual Neighborhood garage sale! WHOO HOO! Here are some pictures:

Good-bye my beautiful books. I will never forget our hours spent together, but my husband does not understand our love affair and he says you must go...

The lovely Robin strategically displaying a couple of cute dresses. I decided if I were to plan my wedding all over again I would have my bridesmaids buy their dresses at garage sales or thrift stores. Of course they wouldn't match, but wouldn't it be fun to see what they would come up with?

We started setting up our sale at 6:00am because any seasoned garage sale expert knows that you have to get an early start. We snickered when the neighbors across the street started pulling junk stuff out of their house around 11:00am. Didn't they know they have already missed the rush of shoppers? Look at how they just threw their stuff out there without even making it look good! Do they really think they are going to sell anything? Apparently we could have learned a thing or two from our neighbors because less then an hour after they pulled junk out of their house set up their sale, someone pulled up, offered them $325.00 for everything they had, and they were done.

While I didn't make near what my neighbors across the street did, all was not lost. In fact it was nice spending the morning chatting with the other peasants on the block. I came home with a few new treasures and the lack of sales allowed me to bring home my beloved books until next year.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Preschool and California

As a preschool teacher, I'm privy to all sorts of personal family tidbits from my little darlings. Note to parents of preschoolers.... befriend your child's preschool teacher because she probably has some serious dirt on you thanks to your child. When they are not inadvertently spilling family secrets they often say funny things that sometimes ring true.

Overheard at the lunch table today:

Boy Number One to boy number two : " You know the devil is real!!"

Boy number two: " Yeah I know and he lives in California !! "

Hmmmm.... It seems my friend follows California politics....

While the prince of darkness has a pretty firm grip on some of California, a large portion of The Golden State still allow their values to shine. Case in point, Ms. California. Whether you agree with her stance on gay marriage or not, you have to give her credit for standing up for her beliefs. Instead of taking the easy way out and giving a politically correct, audience appeasing answer, she gave her honest heartfelt opinion. An opinion that may have cost her the crown. All because she adhered to her beliefs.

Last November when the majority of California voters voted in favor of Prop 8 protecting the sanctity of marriage, it was branded as discriminatory and narrow-minded. Again, because the majority of voters adhered to their beliefs.

There is a saying that states " As California goes, so goes the nation". If there is any truth to this, I pray that the Californians that are not afraid to stand up for what they believe in will continue to stay true to their values. They cannot afford to let their guard down because after all, the devil is real and he lives in California.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Caution: Raising Teenagers Might Lead to Drinking

Last weekend hubs and I went out with a group of friends. As is often the case in a big group, the guys carry on their own conversations about whatever it is that guys talk about, and the women have interesting, meaningful conversations. So over good Mexican food and even better Margaritas, our meaningful conversation turned interesting when we started talking about sex. Not the "Oh My Gosh I can't believe we are talking about that" kind of sex talk, but the "UGH! We have teens and we have to worry about them having sex" kind of talk. There were a couple of young mommies who's children were young enough that they could still get away with simple sex talks such as " the stork brings babies" and the "difference between mommy and daddy is that daddy can do number one while standing and mommy has to sit"...........sigh............ I miss those days.

The rest of us were deep in the trenches of teenage angst with kids ranging from thirteen to seventeen. Collectively we have spent enough money on acne medications, sanitary items, and deodorant to help bail out Detroit. While some worried that their children might have already experimented with the opposite sex, and others didn't think theirs had gone that far yet, we all came to the same conclusions:

Every mom there agreed that if it were up to us all of our teens would abstain from sex until they were married. Not one mom there said she wanted her teen to get as much experience as they could under their belt..(pun intended).. before they got married. Surprisingly even the younger - not to far removed from their teenage years- moms agreed with that idea.

We all agreed that while abstinence is the optimum choice, it is not totally feasible to expect it from every teen. With that in mind we would want our child to be educated and be aware of their options in preventing unwanted consequences of sexual activity.

We all agreed that it is so much better to lose sleep because of a restless toddler sleeping in your bed than losing sleep worrying about an active teen getting into someone else's bed.

Then we all agreed to order another round of Margaritas and change the subject.

Friday, April 17, 2009

I like my tea with sugar and a BIG CROWD

While I didn't actually have any tea on Wednesday, I did have a great time with a few thousand of my new BFF's. We were so excited to get there, we actually got on the road early and got to San Antonio around 10:00am. We would have gotten there a little earlier, but there is a Bucee's right out side of San Antonio. I have a great fondness for Bucee's, - not stopping was not an option. For those of you who do not know what Bucee's is, it is the Hyatt Regency of truck stops. Yep. I have a great fondness for a fancy truck stop that has a cute beaver as it's mascot. But that is a whole different post... right now I'm recapping the Tea Party. We got there early enough to get some prime seats right behind the stage.
Here's a picture of Ciara and Trey with their signs:

Aren't they cute? It was so awesome to sit and talk to the people that were there. People from all walks of life and all with different backgrounds. This gentleman was right behind us. He is a 79 year old veteran, who's children tried to talk him out of coming due to his poor health, but he said he felt it was his civic duty to take a stand for his grand children's future. Here he is being interviewed by the local television station.

While we were waiting Ted Nugent came out to do his sound check. We were pretty close and Paul and Trey were thrilled.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures.

Isn't Edward the cutest little activist you have ever seen?

Loved this picture of the dog. He didn't look like he was fired up, but believe me he was on the verge of some serious civil disobedience

Here is a picture of our group.

It is estimated that there were between 9000 - 10,000 people there and I believe it. It was amazing to see such a huge crowd. But to hear 9000 people say the Pledge of Allegiance together and then to have that same huge crowd all bow their heads in complete silence to say a prayer was absolutely awesome!

During the course of the day there were various speakers, and one point that they all drove home was to not let the momentum die when the party was over, and I hope the majority of people took that message to heart.
I know I did.
Today I will contact my State Representative about a sanctuary city law that will be coming up for vote. Later on this evening I will be looking online to see what other issues might affect my family, and I will let my elected officials know my opinion of them. That is what it is all about.

I'm not an activist. To be honest I would rather read about fashion trends than political news, but I also refuse to blindly trust my children's future to a bunch of Washington bureaucrats. I hope my 9000 new BFF's feel the same way.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tea Party Update

Right now I'm working on 4 hours of sleep, with a long day ahead, so the update will be coming. It was Awesome and I took a ton of pictures. Hopefully I'll get a post up tonight.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

One of a Dying Breed

.................................. DISCLAIMER........................................
If you are thin-skinned, highly emotional, make things out of nothing, hormonally imbalanced, or dislike me in anyway, please do not read the following post. Just keep surfing and check back in a few days for a new post.

About a year ago a friend of mine and I were dishing chatting about a mutual acquaintance. During the course of the conversation my friend mentioned that this particular acquaintance had a Face book page. A Face book page? A woman our age? Isn't that for teens and young adults to post questionable pictures of themselves and pick up one another network?

Fast forward to now.

It seems Face book is not just for narcissistic teens, but also for computer savvy adults that use this application for everything from connecting with long lost friends to enhancing their job searches. Who knew? While I once considered myself somewhat "hip" or "cool" (feel free to insert your own catch phrase that means "aware of the latest trends") apparently I have been relegated to the ranks of old fogey....... For I am the one hold out amongst my friends who is not on Face Book. Why not? For me the question is more why would I? Now if you chose to disregard the disclaimer at the top of the page, and you have a Facebook account, please know that I am not passing judgement on your choice. In fact, I'm sure if I had a way to visit your pages I would enjoy them immensely. But a social network is just not for me and looking up long lost friends doesn't sound too appealing either. There are just some elements of my past that need to stay firmly in the past. And doesn't it seem somewhat presumptuous to think that someone might actually care what I had for dinner last night or that I might get my nails done this weekend?

I Know.. I know... your saying: "But you blog! Isn't that the same thing?" Perhaps to some it is but not to me. Here is why I decided to blog:

One day I was thinking how cool it would be to know what my mother or grandmother were thinking, doing, and even cooking when they were my age. I would love to be able to turn on my computer and read how they felt about things, or see some pictures of their day to day life. So, I decided I would create a blog for my family, and for me to look back on and remember things and events. Kind of my own personal scrapbook/diary/logbook. It's just something that I enjoy, and you may very well feel that way about Facebook!

I found this article on Newsweek's web page and I thought it pretty much sums up why Face Book is not for me.

I have lived long enough to know never to say never, but I don't think I will be reliving my high school days by searching for old friends or writing on any body's face book wall anytime soon.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

Hello my name is Annie..............................................I'm 43 years old............. and my mother still makes me an Easter basket each year............

Yes each Easter when we go to visit my mom and dad, she has an Easter basket for each of her grandchildren and one for each of her children and their spouses. There has never been a year for as long as I can remember, that I didn't get an Easter basket from my mom.
Growing up my three siblings and I would wake up Easter morning, pillage through our baskets,open all the little toys, and enjoy a breakfast of chocolate and jellybeans. Then before church each of us would hide our individual baskets in a secure place lest someone took a liking to some of our candy and claimed it as their own....This was candy people...CHOCOLATE candy......we had to do what we had to do. Anyway, I'm sure there were plenty of years that the budget was tight and putting those baskets together required some serious penny pinching on my parents part, but each year without fail there would be a colorful basket full of goodies on our dressers. Of course many years have come and gone, and she no longer sneaks into our bedrooms while we are asleep and puts the baskets on our dresser......because that would be downright weird....... but she does still enjoy shopping for just the right Easter fare and then arranging it in a cute little Easter themed containers.

Oh sure the contents have changed. I no longer get jump ropes, bubbles, and huge one-eyed chocolate bunnies. Now I get grown-up stuff like gourmet coffee, chocolate truffles, and cute Easter decorations. While the treats in my basket have matured, I still act like a five year-old when I dig through it, and I have been known to hide it somewhere where no one can find it. (I guess old habits die hard.)

I know there will come an Easter when I no longer get a basket from my mom and that is something I don't even want to think about. So for right now, I'll get my basket from my secret hiding place, sip my gourmet coffee, enjoy my chocolate truffles and revel in the fact that I'm still my moms little girl.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Got Grace?

Websters dictionary defines Grace as "the exercise of love, kindness,and mercy to benefit or serve another."
So what does grace in action look like?
If you follow today's headlines, you will be hard-pressed to find any stories that show humanity reflecting grace. But sometimes we find grace being lived out by members of our own family. Sometimes it is cloaked in mundane actions and it looks like obligation, but if you look deep enough you will see it is grace.

My father-in-law has been suffering from a horrible disease called Lewy Body Dementia. His mental and physical decline has been swift and pronounced and he now lives in an Alzheimer's facility. All four of his children live out grace as they care for his physical needs, conduct his financial business, and spend countless hours visiting him. They have traveled many miles, sacrificed time with their families, and forgone personal relationships all to ensure that he is comfortable and well taken care of. They don't expect kudos or accolades for what they do. Their father isn't even in a state to thank them. They simply do it out of love. That is what grace is all about.

Last night was our Holy Friday service to reflect on God's ultimate show of grace. As I thought about the magnitude of his sacrifice, I was struck by how easy he made it for us to reflect his love. We don't have to take on someone else's sins and endure beatings or death to show how much we care for them. He already did that.. for all of us. There is a myriad of seemingly ordinary things that we can do for others to reflect God's grace. Looking at my day to day living it is obvious to me that I ask for God's grace so much more than I give it. So my challenge to myself is to look for ways to show it. Maybe it will be giving undeserved forgiveness, perhaps it will be reaching out to the sick or needy, or maybe it will be as simple as acknowledging and giving a dollar to that homeless person on the corner. Whatever it is, it may be difficult or uncomfortable, and I may not do it out of love for the recipient, but i will do it out of love for my Savior. How about you?

Finally..... Words of Wisdom

Quotes that I have come across that really struck a cord with me:

"Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God." - Corrie ten Boom

"A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back to the crowd." - Max Lucado

"When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don't throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer." - Corrie ten Boom

"Forgiveness doesn't make the other person right, it makes you free." -Stormie Omartian

"Hillary Clinton says it takes a village to raise a child. I've seen the village; and I don't want it raising my child." -unknown

Thursday, April 9, 2009

This morning I woke up to this:

Thankfulness was not the first thing to come to mind.

Wednesday nights are rehearsal at our church and P (my hubs) plays in the band. Add to that Sundays when Ciara and Trey participate in youth band and you are pretty much guaranteed to find some sort of musical instrument cluttering up my house on any given day. And well... it's just not that easy to stuff a 'big ole' guitar under the couch when you have unexpected company at the door... believe me I have tried.
But I digress.
I actually am thankful for the talent that God has bestowed upon my family and I love that they use it to glorify him. It does my heart good when I hear my son and my husband planning their next excursion to the guitar shop. I like to hear my daughter attempting to pluck out old hymns on the keyboard, or to see her looking up words to worship songs that she will be singing on Sunday. So the next time I have to rearrange band equipment just to sit on my couch, instead of wishing I had my own personal roadie, I'll offer up a little prayer of thanksgiving for my families musical aptitude.

For more Thankful Thursday posts visit

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tea Anyone?

One more week until the San Antonio Tax Day Tea Party! In honor of my hubs birthday, we planned on attending the one closer to home but then some friends convinced us to make a day of it and drive the couple of hours to San Antonio. We are taking the kids out of school for this important "civics lesson" and I hope it leaves a lasting impression on them. Their generation is going to be burdened with a big mess if this crazy spending continues. If you are having a tea party near you, I encourage you to get involved. This is not about party affiliation, but more about getting back to " a government of the people, by the people, for the people"

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

My First Works For Me Wednesday Post!

I have followed WFMW for years and have gotten so many great ideas from it. But now that I have a blog I finally get to contribute!

Woo Hoo! Okay, okay, enough of the celebration and onto my tidbit of information.

I love to use chopped onion and garlic while cooking, but I hate the smell that lingers on my hands for days afterwards. I have tried everything out there from wearing gloves to buying a stainless steel thingy that was supposed to miraculously remove the odor from my hands just by rubbing it on them. These tricks were either ineffective or unpractical. So yesterday after chopping up some onions and garlic for my lasagna, I took some baking soda and salt and poured them into a cup. I then added just enough lemon juice to make a paste. I rubbed this paste on my hands for about a minute, rinsed and then used my favorite hand soap to wash away the residue. Not only did it take off all of the oniony-garlicky smell, but it did a great job of exfoliating my hands at the same time! I didn't use any specific measurement of any of the ingredients, I just poured them in until it looked good. I hope this recipe works for you!

Monday, April 6, 2009

My Husband - My Best Friend

I've been blessed with an awesome husband.

Sometimes life gets in the way and I don't realize how fortunate I am to have my best friend soul mate living in my house with me.

Friendship is a fickle thing. Through the years I have had friendships in high school, church, neighbors etc.. Some have lasted through many years, been stretched to their limits and bounced back, only to vanish so suddenly that I don't even know what caused them to dissolve. Others have been friendships of convenience that were destined to only last as long as the playgroup or club that my child was in. Still others have fallen victim to circumstances such as moves or divorces. While these friendships never really ended they turned into the obligatory Christmas card or occasional e-mail.

My friendship with my husband has lasted the test of time. He will always be the one that I can count on to listen to my problems, laugh at my jokes (most of the time) and be there when I need a shoulder to cry on. Yes we have our arguments. When we do we each deal with them in our individual ways. But eventually our commitment to our relationship wins out and we somehow find ourselves back in each others good graces. I guess when you boil it down commitment (or lack thereof ) is what determines the fate of all relationships. God willing he and I will grow old together and find our selves surrounded by generations of grandchildren and great- grandchildren. And just maybe that strong sense of commitment will be a family trait that we pass on.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Shopping and Baking.. What could be better?

Today my lovely daughters and I had a great afternoon shopping. Savannah (married for a whole three weeks!) came over and had quite a few wedding gift cards to Bed Bath and Beyond that she was eager to spend. But first we decided to go to the ultimate fabric store downtown! We all love this store and every time we go, we spend hours just walking around feeling the fabric, and talking about all of the things we could sew. Now I know you non-sewers are probably wondering how in the world one could spend ten minutes in a fabric store let alone hours, I understand, I have those same feelings about auto parts stores, gun shops, and tractor supply stores, ( all places my husband can spend hours in) but fabric stores are right up there with Christmas morning in my book. However, as much as we love to go to this particular store, we get totally overwhelmed when we walk in and most of the time we leave there with very little in the way of fabric, and a lot of lofty ideas about things we would love to create. Today we actually came out with fabric and plans of things to actually make out of said fabric. Ciara decided that she wanted to try her hand at sewing and she bought some yummy cuddly fabric that she will make a patch work type blanket with. Savannah bought the same type of fabric in different shades that she plans on making a baby blanket for her sister-in-law with. Afterward we stopped for lunch and then onto Bed Bath & Beyond. Savannah was able to buy most of the remaining things on her Bridal registry with the gift cards that she had. We ended our trip by stopping off at Hobby Lobby and taking advantage of their Simplicity pattern sale. All in all it was a great afternoon. I feel so blessed to have these special times with my precious daughters. Now onto the baking part of the day. This morning I saw these sad bananas on the counter

These old bananas were past their prime. No longer young and firm, they were ready to be re-purposed.

Oh bananas I feel your pain!

Anyway, what better way to re-purpose old bananas then to give them new life as banana bread! Through the years I have tried a number of different Banana Bread recipes, but I can honestly say I always go back to my tried and true recipe from a cook book that I received as a wedding gift twenty three years ago. This recipe is basic and easy and I have always had great luck with it. As you can see from the page in my cookbook, I have used it a lot!

This recipe is so yummy, and while it is not totally healthy, I'm quite sure it can be modified to a more healthier version. Here is the finished product. This loaf is going to be wrapped and put into the freezer until we are ready to eat it.

Banana Bread
1 cup sugar
1 cup (2 medium) mashed bananas
1/2 cup butter softened
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 350. Grease (not oil) bottom only of loaf pan. In large bowl, blend first 6 ingredients, beat 1 minute at medium speed. Stir in remaining ingredients just until dry ingredients are moistened. pour batter into loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 50 - 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. cool 5 minutes, remove from pan. Enjoy!

Uncharted Territory

Well I finally decided to take the plunge and start a blog. I think this will be a blog of randomness ( ok randomness is not really a word but you get the point), I may post day to day happenings in our household, pictures, crafts ideas, or even some deep inspiring words of wisdom... Well.. probably not words of wisdom, more like frivolous ramblings but they will be a way for my family to keep abreast of things that are happening in my life, and a way for me to remember the little things that make life what it is.