Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Going Green and other things

Hi there, today I officially started yet again another diet. You know losing weight is really a state of mind and giving up fattening foods is just like giving up alcohol if you are an alcoholic. It's a one minute, one hour, one day at a time. You have to do a lot of praying and convince yourself that a)you are not hungry b)that the donut(ice cream, candy bar...substitute your own weakness)you want is really poison to your body especially at the quantity that you want. c) that yes you are upset about WHATEVER but an eclair WILL NOT make you feel better d) that you are beautiful(even at the current weight) but that for your health NOT your looks you want to lose the excess weight. Well okay, the last one is horse poopie mostly, because the bottom line is we all want to be the girl who can cross her legs and be thin enough to hook one leg behind the other one. If you are a man you want to lose the man-boobs. So I visited Planet Nutrition at my son's request and met with Chet and stocked up on things that will make me ummm... healthier.

On to saving the environment and going green. I have been green off and on for years. I have wondered though if you are not green what color are you, brown maybe? I never really got serious about it. I remember once I was saving cans. I saved cans for weeks. I had cans in plastic bags(not very green)I was up to my yang-yang in pop cans and didn't know what to do with them because our trash people didn't separate. They weren't very earth friendly at the time. Anyway I was at work lamenting my overflowing of cans and a co-worker volunteered to come over and collect the cans. We filled the back of his pick up truck with plastic bags full of cans. I felt pretty special that I was helping conserve. Afterward for several years I got eco-lazy and just pitched everything in the trash and carried all my groceries in plastic. Today I changed. I paid .99 cents each and got 10 bags that are made of material and I can carry them into the store and use them instead of paper or plastic. Is that neat or what. Eco-Deb was back. I really felt special and immediately went to the store so that I could buy something to put in my new bags. I bought fruit and toilet paper and a rag mag so that I could find out why Katie Holmes-Cruz is unhappy( betcha she doesn't separate) The guy at the check out put it all in plastic until I started waving my bags... then he said "do you want me to put the plastic bags in your bags".... duh!!!!! No Mr. Rocket Scientist I want to use MY bags only. So he took everything out of the plastic and put in my new reusable bags. I feel the urge to buy some earth shoes and a long flowered skirt. I am starting out small but really believe(no fooling) that we all have to help preserve our environment.
Till later, lots of hugs to the two of you

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Gift Bags and Wedding Souvenirs

I have always believed that my sister Patti started that most wonderful of all traditions, THE GIFT BAG. The gift bag is what you get when you go out of town to a family get together or wedding. The gift bag is waiting for you when you check into the hotel and is full of meaningful little items and chocolate. You might also find Jordan Almonds nestled in a special gift bag. The first gift bag I ever encountered was (I believe) at my niece Jenny's wedding in Iowa..... hence my idea that my sister was the genius behind the goodie bag. Imagine my surprise when a friend was telling me that when they checked into the hotel for her relatives wedding they had a gift bag full of goodies. I was stunned at how fast my sisters idea took root(I don't get out much)... I am glad I kept my mouth shut and didn't brag that my sister invented the things. I found out sadly that my sister did not invent gift bags. I will, however, say that she may not have done the first gift bag but she is in the running for the best. Rebekah and I now have a problem: THE GIFT BAG. What to put in it... we have a family image to uphold. I can't have my relatives whispering behind their hands that our bags were somehow inferior. The real trick is to fill the bag with useful items and things that make the recipient go.. awwwwwww looky at this... how cute, and to do it without spending the mint to do it. Beck and I have discussed this for a year. Gift bag items rank right up there with what to serve at the reception. In fact a great gift bag can go along way in decreasing the complaints about the reception food... for example "man that cake was as dry as toast but boy-o-boy didn't we get a great GIFT BAG, these people sure know how to throw a party". We come from an area that provides great sample goodies like Tabasco sauce from Avery Island, pralines, Mardi Gras stuff, plastic alligators...you know the neat stuff. The ultimate goal is to continue to hear about the gift bags that you have created for at least 2 family reunions.

Wedding souvenirs are those take home things that are given at the reception.(I could just slap the snot out of the person who started that little tradition) Everyone gets those as opposed to the gift bag which only those who stay in the hotel get. We now have to find an item that is meaningful, says 'we care' and reminds the recipients of Becky and Shane AND doesn't cost the moon for 250 of them. I also don't want something that involves me tying ribbons around, gluing, or doing any manual labor in getting it ready for presentation on the souvenir table. It was a piece of cake when everyone smoked.... books of matches. I thought about getting those small personal purse sized toilet paper rolls(found those and gave it to the kids in their stockings 2 Christmas' ago) It's meaningful, it certainly says 'we care' and they will remember Becky and Shane each time they hit a bathroom that has run out of toilet paper. It would be really cute if we could get a picture of the bride and groom wrapped around the roll.
Later, y'all

Friday, April 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Party for Patti

Becky and I took off for the outskirts of Chicago to celebrate my middle sister's 60th birthday. One thing you can depend on when we get together is that we will eat well.(and often) That and we usually shop. Several neat things happened during the weekend. Number one neat thing was that all of us met Chris's new bride the uber creative Jen. Neat thing number two was that we met our new nephews(and cousins) Keenan and Malcolm

Jack was our host for dinner at a wonderful steak restaurant. The above pics are of (from left to right) Kryss and Jen, then a pic of Patti and her chicks, Kryss and Jenny, and finally the host with the most Jack and Patti!

Jenny Martens is Patti's daughter and a vet in Geneva, Illinois. She was the party planner along with her dad. Her friend from work made a feast for all of us when we arrived.

My own precious daughter Rebekah.

This is my favorite pic of my older sister Barbara and her husband Bob.

Barbara's two daughters spent the weekend with us. On the top is Mindy and on the bottom is Carrie.

This was a group shot after lunch on Saturday.

This is the family that Ina made and was so very proud of. Her wish was that we would always be close....and we are and even a greater blessing our kids are as well.
I really had the best time. We ate till we couldn't eat anymore, we talked, laughed and enjoyed each other as we always do. I can't imagine a better family. The only down side to the weekend was that Stan wasn't there, Mark and Robbon couldn't make it because of a carrot emergency, and Joshua was with his students in Houston for dance competition.
I get all warm and fuzzy inside when I am with family especially after long absences. Becky and I awoke early Saturday morning and went to the hotel gym. We were energized and I felt a need to bond with my nieces so I called them up and told them to open the door that auntie deb was on her way. Mindy was sitting up looking cheerful and happy. Carrie was still buried under her covers apparently the night had not gone well. She did however rise to the occasion and joined us for breakfast.

Patti, Barb, Jack, Bob, Jen, Jenny, Christan, Malcolm, Keenan, Brandon, Ian, Rebekah, Mindy, Carrie, Kryss.... You guys are the very best. When I look at my family(even the absent ones) I see some very funny, creative, unique individuals that offer so much to each other. I love you all!!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Happy Birthday Joshua

As I had previously written in Rebekah's birthday post..I must have thousands of pictures of my kids and can't locate the ones that I want at the time I want. I found these of Josh and was transported back in time so I think they will do

Joshua was born on Good Friday April 8, 1977. I was not prepared to be a mom. I didn't know if I would even like the job.... that was until he made his entry into the world and I fell in love with a red squalling 9lb5oz potato. He was a good baby and I couldn't imagine wanting to be anything else but a mom.We lived in an apartment complex called the English Cove Apt's. in Gulf Breeze, Florida. Our apartment was right beside the pool. Joshua loved the pool as a baby and would spend hours in or near the water. He is just over a year in this picture. One of my favorite 'Josh" stories is when he got up(under the age of 2) went downstairs got the oil and eggs out. I found him sitting on the floor with the frying pan between his legs filled to the brim with oil smashing eggs into the oil singing " making 'bekest' for mommy, making 'bekest' for mommy" Why oh why didn't I take a picture of that it would have been a classic. Like my niece Carrie pointed out(and I laughed when I read it...sorry) the picture will always be on my heart. I had saved my money for professional pictures when he was 2 and 1/2 and just prior to the picture event i realized he had cut his hair. I had to cancel. Made a new appointment and the weekend before kept looking at him. He just didn't look right. Sitting in McDonalds (Heckdonalds as he used to say) I looked at his face and loudly said " oh my God" he had shaved most of his left eyebrow off. "To be like mommy" because I used to shave the stray hairs off my eyebrows instead of plucking. I again had to cancel and the photographer asked me if I was really watching him. I should have canceled and got someone else but he was the 'best'.

This next picture is a first day of school for he and Becky. He went to Brazos Christian School and Becky was at Kinder Care. He has never changed. He really looks the same from the day he was born till now. He LOVED the camera and the camera loved him.

Joshua went thru a period of time when he was lost. I know that without his grandma "Lucky" and his sister Rebekah he might never have found his way back home again. My mom prayed for him every day. She prayed angels around him to protect him and gave him over to God. He would call his sister and she was his 'touchstone'. When I would be sleepless from worry, Becky would let me know that he was alright. He and his sister formed a bond during that time that remains to this day. Grandma Lucky was there the first 3 weeks of his life so that I could go back to work. She used to call him her little Toad Frog because his feet touched heel to heel when he was born.... that gave him a near perfect turn out for 5th ballet position.He now is 31 years of age and with his partner Desiree Doucet own a dance school and a non-profit theater I have not said anything about his dancing in this post for a reason. Too often he is defined by his dancing and his talent. He is so much more. He is passionate and hot tempered. He is gentle and often cries when I cry. He is happy and can make us laugh till we have tears streaming down our faces. He can be ruthless when he wants something and then terribly saddened if he has hurt someone along the way. He loves what he does and is hurt often because he cares so very much for each of his students. He often has the attention span of a gnat but we know and accept that about him and adjust ourselves to accommodate him. He has turned out to be a savvy businessman and can think on his feet... and we have to catch up to him. In passing he can throw out incredible ideas and leaves us to figure out how to make them work. He has a gentle heart, and is a faithful friend. He has a personal relationship with Jesus and isn't afraid to tell you. He is my first born. He is known as 'bubba to his stepfather Stan and sister Rebekah. His father Steve and step mom Peggy live in Iowa and with them he has 2 other sisters, Carissa, and Chelsea and 2 brothers, Brian and Brandon. He is complex and simple. He is very smart and can be completely oblivious. I am better because of him. I thank God each day that he is in my life. HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOSHUA!!!!!!