We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature--trees, flowers, grass--grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence...We need silence to be able to touch souls. --Mother Teresa

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Still Here

Yep. I am still here.
But I am supposed to be cleaning my kitchen. Top to bottom. Every cabinet. Every drawer. Even under the dreaded sink. Eeeewwww...gross.
So I started today. I did 3 cabinets.

It sucked. Who the heck put all that crap in my cabinets?

See this stuff....that matching bowl and platter? Got it for a wedding gift. It has NEVER been used. I have moved it to 4 houses.

And this stuff.....there are 8 crystal platters in there somewhere. Why do I have 8? Geez--who knows? In my house right now I have no less than 15 platters. Call me if you need a freakin' platter. Don't get started on my bowl collection. That's another post.

And this stuff.....this platter was my husband's grandmother's. Oh and see those crystal bowls? I have a large salad bowl to go with them. It has candy in it on top of my fridge. Need a bowl with a handle? Say to carry around your cereal? I got 3. Call me. I can hook you up.

And this stuff....my grandma bought this watermelon bowl for me. It weighs a ton and takes up some serious counter space. I packed it in the tub marked "College Girl Kitchen". It's an heirloom now. She can deal with it.

It was ALL in 2 cabinets and the top shelf of the plate/bowl/glasses cabinet. Don't ask me. I have no idea why I have all this stuff.

Yep. I washed it and put most of it right back in the cabinet.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Food on Friday

So I don't have anything great to post...well, that's a lie. I am simply too lazy to post any of the great stuff I have lined up.

But I did try this recipe earlier in the week and it ROCKED THE HOUSE! Even Frack liked it....so you know it was awesome. Try it...chances are you have everything in the pantry.

Find the recipe for spaghetti pizza lasagna here.

Part of us are off to a swim meet tomorrow and part of us are off to see Grandma Cindy. Oh, and have the Toyota worked on by Grandma Cindy's Toyota Man. It could be an expensive day.

Have a great weekend.............

She's On Her Way Home

She is doing much better....and we know this because she is driving the people on her "team" crazy! Always a good sign that things are going better.

She should be home later today.....yippee!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Middle of the Day Update

Received a txt msg....also known as a text message....with the following information:

....."One of Caylyn's former NICU nurses got her IVs going once we got here. She is getting fluids, antibiotics and other meds. She went to sleep at 1:30 a.m. and was still sleeping at 9:30 a.m."

Docs still aren't completely sure what is going on with this little person....new x-rays don't show pneumonia but blood work shows infection somewhere so prayers are continuing for her and her family. Might think about praying for everyone who is working on her case...docs, nurses, techs....just everybody involved with her.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Prayers for a Special Little Girl

This special little girl needs some serious prayers. She spent the night in our local hospital and due to lack of improvement has been transferred to a larger hospital 2 hours away.

The docs really aren't sure what is wrong.

Please PRAYPRAYPRAY for her and her family.

And I cannot take any credit for this wonderful shot of her....I stole it from her Aunt Shell's blog. Aunt Shell will probably kick my butt for stealing this shot--but it so worth it---isn't it a gorgeous pic?

I love it.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Back in the World...Sort of

Yep. I am back.

Sort of. Re-entry after being gone a week is rough at best and I, of course, was WWWWAAAAYYYY over scheduled upon my return.

And I am still paying for it.

We had an absolutely fantastic week...it was indescribable.

Upon my return, I discovered that our local discount store was having a 2-day 25% off special. Therefore, I was forced to march my fat butt out there and purchase this little combo:

I love this style of outdoor furniture. We had green chairs when I was a kid and my great-grandparents had a metal glider rocker that was so fun to hang out on. Oh, these didn't come looking like this.....they came in parts. Yeah. They had to be put together. Let's just say that Mr. Wonderful wasn't so happy with me over this purchase. But tonight when he comes home and the porch looks all great--he'll be so impressed with his stunning wife that the bad memory of putting these together in 100 degree weather will melt away.

Don't you want to hang out and have some lemonade with me? Watch the cars go by? Wish the neighbors would mow their freaking lawn?

I did not solicit this model. She insisted that she be in the picture. I think she missed me last week and wants to be everywhere I am....maybe not.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Prayer and Action 2009

This is my post for the week.

No Way Back Wednesday, no Food on Friday. Nothing in between. How will you live? You'll be fine. You can do anything for 5 days. Just keep repeating that over and over.

I am taking 9 teenagers on a Prayer and Action Mission trip for our parish. We leave today at 4 and will return on Friday afternoon. It's not far from home and the twins are 2 of the 9 teenagers.

See the joy they are expressing at leaving home to sleep in a church and paint houses? And basically, we disconnect from the world for 5 days. No electronic devices, ipods, phones, tv, computer/internet......you get the picture. This is a good week for me. I can do anything for 5 days.....I can do anything for 5 days.....

This is our second year for the mission trip. Last year was wonderful experience....that I hope repeats itself this year. I came home refreshed and with renewed faith in the world. 60 teenagers working together, sharing their faith and bonding as a group can do that to a person....

Feel the joy being expressed by these two? Nuts--both of them. They get to stay home and do all the work. Oh, and they get to do FamFit by themselves. Poor, poor College Girl. I wish her hamstrings well.

I can't promise a post when I get home on Friday. I...um...volunteered to make sloppy joes for our home swim meet on Saturday. I volunteered to help out my good friend, Jen, who was a little freaked out about running the concession stand. Yep, I will be welcomed home by 40 pounds of beef that needs to be fried, 4 giant cans of ketchup, 4 pounds of brown sugar, onions and worcestershire sauce.

I might be back in blogland on Sunday.

And, um, well, I must confess that I still haven't started reading that book club book that I need to have read by Monday, June 22 at 7 p.m. So who knows when I will be back.....

Have a great week, loyal readers....I will miss you and send prayers your way.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Baseball Game

Today we had the opportunity to see our nephew, Nick from the City, play baseball. It was so much fun! The weather was gorgeous and they played at an absolutely positively beautiful stadium. I could have sat there all day watching baseball. But, alas, the game ended...they won and we went to Target and ate at Arby's. It was a good day.

Here is The Nationals really cool first base coach. Just don't tell his people that he is this cool. They mightwill laugh out loud. Maybe even need oxygen. (Yep, this is Nick's dad and one of the older brothers of sexy man who makes gravy)

Nicky plays first base. He's pretty darn good. He didn't miss one ball the whole time we were there. I think he was trying to impress me. Never mind. It wasn't me...it was his uncle.

I just love to take pictures of baseball players walking away. This shot isn't the clearest but I love the way it looks. And I love my Nicky...he is always smiling and easy to tease. He has been a fun kid to watch grow up. Thanks, Nick for all the memories....love you.

I took video of him hitting...but he ends up walking because he gets hit. I wish I could hit him with a baseball.

His mom wishes she could hit him with a baseball....

because once again, he thought it would be very funny to get a mohawk. At least this time his senior pictures aren't scheduled. Oh, he so did that to her last summer. Got a mohawk weeks before his pics were scheduled. She was one hot momma. Nick kind of has that effect on her....

And yes, my hamstrings are better but tonight's workout allowed me to do around 100 body weight squats, 100 push-ups (modified--girl push-ups against a wall--but still) and 150 jump ropes. So now my quads.....and arms.....and.......

Good News

If you have been following these wonderful people....go see them now. They have spectacular news!

Friday, June 12, 2009

What Not to Say

Yeah, if this guy is at your house hanging out.....and you notice that your own darling offspring are playing hackey sack and one of them, say, isn't so good at the game, it would be in your best interest to refrain from being Blurter Betty and blurting out, "DUDE! YOU SUCK!" Cause you might hear it a few times in a very cute almost 2 year old voice.

But his mom won't think it's so funny when she gets him back.

Just sayin'.

Food on Friday

Food on Friday, installment 2. It was hard to choose what to share this week but since it has been rainy and kind of cool, this hit the spot with us last night. I also find that most of the time I have all of these ingredients on hand, making it a pretty quick fix--other than the taters needing to bake--which could be microwaved. I usually will stick the potatoes in the oven and then do "stuff" while they bake. We generally eat around 7:30 or 8. Remember that my kids are old so we can have dinner then. Also, I think I have mentioned this before--it is very important to us to have dinner together as much as possible. In other words, every night. And that pretty much happens.

Western Spuds

These are basically baked potatoes slathered with ham gravy. Nothing in this meal is good for you in any way, shape or form. Maybe the potato--but nothing else even comes close to healthy. But it tastes oh so lovely.

The ingredients--ham, flour, milk. Potatoes--scrubbed and wrapped in foil-- butter, cheese, sour cream, salt and pepper. Bake taters at 350 for, um until they are done. If your oven is from 1954 and pink, then open oven often to check temperature and for fire.

One last ingredient, a sexy man to make gravy.

Cube ham. We used one of those loaf shaped hams. This is the third and final meal off of this loaf shaped ham.

Place ham in potato pan. That's what we call it. It was my great-grandma's and that's what it has always been called. My uncle has the noodle pot. I am hoping that someday it will be mine.

Cook ham until you have "juiced" it. That juice is your gravy base.

Remove ham from potato pan. Add milk. Notice that my sexy man making gravy is really getting into this by posing.

Add flour. How much? Good question. Sexy man making gravy says 11 tablespoons or so. Or so? I will take sexy man making gravy word at that. Have you picked up on the fact that I don't make gravy? My philosophy is that if you have a sexy man making gravy, why learn?

This girl is a ham stealer. Hamstealerhamstealerhamstealer!!

Stir flour, ham juice and milk until thick. Again, sexy man making gravy is posing his utensil for a dramatic effect. Oh my be still my beating heart. Gravy can do crazy things to a girl. And her butt.

Add ham.
Now the rest of this is self-explanatory. But College Girl was feeling left out, so she demo'd how to set up the spud.

Mash and cover with real butter. College Girl requests that you not notice how MUCH butter she used.

Sprinkle with cheese.

Slather in gravy.

Add a dollop of sour cream. I put my sour cream on before my gravy. Nothing like melted dairy with starch.

And eat. Slowly. If you are a really good mom, you will put green beans and strawberries on the table to complete the food groups. Maybe some garlic toast.

Yes, my hamstrings are still so tight I can barely walk. Just sayin'.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Way Back Wednesday on Thursday

I know already. I missed yesterday. And I almost missed today. I had extremely good intentions and they paved the road straight to hell. Somehow it was morning and then it was 10:30 p.m. And the hours in between were spent in what would seem unproductive to the outside world but on the inside of my little world, were, well...pretty darn fun.

I walked with my buddies at 6:30 a.m. and then I took Frick to the dentist. My hamstrings are so tight I can barely walk.

Finish at dentist and return to town. Stop to help out some friends at a church. End up having wonderful time and go out to lunch. Chicken fried steak sandwich with real mayo and freshly fried french fries. Does it get any better? Yep--Having spectacular conversation with great friends--and I very much enjoyed that 90 minute lunch. My hamstrings are so tight I can barely walk.

Come home and some chores. My hamstrings are so tight I can barely walk.

Take some phone calls and make some decisions about the dinner I am leaving for my people. That's right...LEAVING. I went to a women's function. I wasn't related to anyone at the function. Yippee!! My hamstrings are so tight I can barely walk.

I had the opportunity to attend the Women's Theme Dinner 2009 hosted by a local church. I got to sit at the "Each An Artist" table with 7 other women. We had a wonderful meal, some fantastic entertainment and a very thought provoking speaker. My hamstrings are so tight I can barely walk.

This was the centerpiece for the table. It was sooooo kewl. I am telling you that I need to get one of these thingys....clear plastic on a like a lazy susan wheel. Oh man. It was tough to leave it there.

We each had the opportunity to decorate our place mats. This is one of the hostesses....

And this is mine....can you guess what grade I teach? I just can't get it out of my system no matter how hard I try. My hamstrings are so tight I can barely walk.

Isn't it amazing how we forget how to act like grown-ups when we rarely spend time with them? For a few moments after my arrival, I felt like I was in the wrong place. But after a few adjustments and a number of friendly faces...and some people who thought I was hilarious....it was all good.

Isn't this quote so true?

And did you notice that there isn't a way back picture? I started to post one, didn't like it and changed directions. Welcome to summertime in the life of a teacher.

Did I mention that My hamstrings are so tight I can barely walk? Just sayin'.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


This weather sucks.

It has been pouring rain on and off for 4 hours. We have been under storm watches/warnings and flash flood warnings for about 3 hours. I even had to run during my 6:30 a.m. walk because it began to thunder....and then rain. The Hays Family rule is that I am not allowed to run in the daylight. It WAS raining but they say that is a poor excuse because there is no way in hell that I am ever going to melt.

This is what is getting done at my house today.....absolutely nothing by my people. And yes, you are right. I am the MOM and I could force them into something constructive. But why make my life any more miserable? I am a summer person (and so are the rest of my people)...I like warm weather and I don't think we have had any yet. In fact, right now I might need to get some sockies on because my tootsies are chilly.

I have made the grown-up decision this is my inside life today..... reading, a little Facebook, a little tv, reading, looking for recipes, reading, menu planning, pulling some really great quotes from some recent reading, reading and studying paint samples. Well, and maybe a little reading. Just sayin'.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Swim Team 2009

Saturday began our 13th year of being a Tigershark Swim Team member. Who knew when I signed College Girl up in 1996 that we would still be getting up on Saturday mornings 13 years later to haul ourselves to a swim meet? This year it is only Frick. Frack said no thank you to the offer.

This has been a great organization to be a part of--probably because I sat on the board of directors for quite some time--I was the treasurer for about only God knows how long. I can't really remember what year I took over but I can remember that 2008 was my LAST year.

Warm ups before the whole shoulder injury situation....

My Favorite Lane getting ready to race....and My Other Favorite Lane is in the background cheering her on. I am sure that is what he is doing....kind, considerate, helpful words......

My Other Favorite Lane finishing his race....isn't he the cutest thing going??

I think she was going to say something...like "I lost my goggles when I dove in! Help me!"

I got million of this shot....my timing sucks eggs. They just move too fast for my picture taking abilities. At least I can deletedeletedelete unlike the olden days of film camera.

And again...not sure why I have his back of his head...and neither is he. He just walked by me and made a sarcastic comment. Thanks, son. I love you too.

But here is an schweet action shot of his butterfly. How about that mouth!

There is a lot of pool in the shot, though, as my critics have pointed out ever so gently. Not really.

They better watch it...I am the meal ticket in this family. Just sayin'.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

FamFit...I Think

So Mr. Wonderful has come up with a plan.

A plan to get our family in shape.

A plan to make us all hate him.

And it is working. The hating part.

One time when he was a coach, a player asked him if he laid awake at night thinking of torturous conditioning drills to put them through. Guess what? He retired from coaching--but still lays awake at night think of torturous drills to put his FAMILY through.

Here is today's FamFit (that's what he is calling it on his blog):
Using a 10 pound weight, do 10 "swings". As many sets of 10 as you can in 10 minutes.

Which was a compromise....he was going to have us do it for 20 minutes with 5 pound weights. He was using a 50 pound weight. But then there was such moaning from his gene pool that he bumped our weight up and our time down. Same diff is all I can say.

College Girl complained the entire time about being forced to do this FamFit. She didn't want to (whinewhine). Well, then you shouldn't have had 16 chocolate chip cookies. And your great-grandmother should have gotten in the big boob line instead of the big butt line when gene pools were being handed out. So sorry sucks to be you---just sayin'.

This girl on the other hand, rocked the house. She did 22 sets of 10 with a 10 pound weight. The more her sister complained the harder this girl worked.

I also rocked the 42 year old lady house. I did 11 sets with a 10 pound weight. I thought maybe I was gonna die but alas, not so. I instead got on my bike when I was done and rode my 3.4 mile route in 25 minutes. It's a very hilly route--and my legs were kind of jello-like (more than usual) when I arrived home.

I have completed week three of FamFit. And I have been walking for 60 minutes every morning. I feel pretty good. I have slept through the night 5 nights in a row....which is a complete miracle....and what a difference it makes in my life. And everyone I encounter also feels better because I am so much more pleasant when I can sleep through the night.

My son is not pictured because he is taking the pictures that you see above. And he is somewhat injured. He banged into the corner of the starting block with his shoulder yesterday at his swim meet. Getting out of the pool during WARM UPS. He did do part of this workout. Probably more than College Girl.

Anyway, I can hardly wait to see what FamFit brings us tomorrow!

Your own soul is nourished when you are kind, but you destroy yourself when you are cruel. -Proverbs 11: 17