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

Friday, October 30, 2009

Food on Friday


But this might help brighten your day....

Just sayin'.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

No Excuses

I am tired of...well. I bet you will understand after you watch this:

I am working on this...No Excuses. Just sayin'.

p.s. I didn't find this on my own. My husband posted it on his blog and I blogcopied him...he received it from a former player who thought this message had been drilled into his head by Coach Hays. Maybe Coach needs to start drilling in my head....

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Way Back Wednesday


The greatest holiday ever invented according to my husband. He loveslovesloves Halloween. It is a holiday in his mind. He and his brothers have some great stories surrounding Halloween. One of the greatest...well, it's probably best left in the Hays Hall of Fame.

College Girl was 6 months old on her first Halloween. And we lived in the country. Big whoop. Nobody trick or treats at your house when you live in the country. Pretty disappointing. Her second Halloween she was all set to trick or treat as beautiful ballerina and it snowed. For real. Snow. Like as in a snow day snow. And I can't find the pictures.

Frick and Frack helped me search our not so well organized photos and we found some doozies. I could have cropped out the background on this pic, but why? That tv, those antenna, a shirt hanging on the wall, decorations taped to that super fantastic ever so lovely paneling. And she was a witch. That is what she wanted to be EVERY freakin' year. I am guessing this is 1993.

Ooohhhh. Frick and Frack's first Halloween. I know what year this is...1994. And yes, they are Jennifer and Joe Montana. They look frightened beyond belief. Wouldn't crack a smile for nothing.

Here we are arriving home after trick or treating.... it was colder than a witches..um, well, it was cold.

Yeah. In 1995, College Girl decided that she would try being a princess. Under protest. I think I banned the witch costume and invented this one....she hated with a capital H hated those pink converse tennis shoes. I thought it made the costume. My bad. Screaming and crying resulted. From me, of course. She wore the shoes for the picture but not for Halloween. She always wins. But currently, she owns a pair of pink converse tennis shoes...hmm. Maybe I did win.

I just want you to notice all the crap in the background.

This is the year that I was super inventive and made Frick and Frack costumes. Fred and Wilma Flintstone. So I didn't really think this through. A 5-year-old and 2 18 month olds equals no time for sewing. Nut case and screaming and crying...again, from me. Of course. Again, notice all that crap in the background. Did I ever pick anything up?

They are so cute...I miss this! Here is some advice...take pictures and more pictures. It's all you have when they get to be big smart asses about everything. When you want to poison their pancakes, you can pull out the pictures of when they were little and sweet and cute to remind yourself that you gave birth to these evil spawns of the devil and it is all worth it. REally. No. REally.

1996. Circle and a Square. Which just pretty much sums up everything you need to know about 1996.

This year College Girl was an angel. Remade the princess costume into an angel costume. The dad actually made Frick and Frack's costumes. He was very proud of himself. It's what no money and a little creativity will get you. Again, notice the crap. I purposely left this photo uncropped so you could see that I am less than perfect at housekeeping, laundry and well, everything. Except my hair. My hair is perfect.

Oh my. This makes me cry. They were so fun. Oh man. Snifflesniffle.

1997. We moved to town in the spring. I am not sure what they were more excited about....people trick or treating at our house or not having to load in the car to go somewhere.

Preschool. 1998--I think. I should have written on the back of the photos. Looks like Frick is Batman--Why?

This might be 1999. Isn't she sweet? We revitalized the angel costume from years before. She wanted to be an angel. Wish that were the case these days.....

First grade. Parade at school. Our elementary school does a whole school parade...which is awesome! It is so much fun to see all the costumes that people come up with. And this room? No longer looks this way. I miss this old school look...and the person who used to teach in this room.

One of the last years of College Girl trick or treating.....

We have moved since these photos were taken. We moved to super fantastic street where everyone comes to trick or treat. Last year we had around 250 kids. And I have a current battle with my favorite Lane and my favorite Wallace involving silly string.....watch it boys...you never know what you're gonna get....

Time goes fast.

Life changes.

Don't wish it away...enjoy each day as it comes. Just sayin'.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The World According to Mr. Rogers

Mr. Rogers.

He was a staple in my house. I would watch him each day. Nothing earth shattering...he didn't move any buildings, he didn't dance around, he just talked to the camera like he could see me watching him.

Nothing more. Nothing less.

I loved those puppets and the trolley. I loved it when he visited factories and post offices. The only time I have seen behind the window of a post office is on Mr. Rogers when he visited one and showed what goes on at the post office. I saw the crayola factory--and how crayons how were made. Man, I love the smell of crayons.

Several years ago, I picked up this book:

I think I will start sharing parts of this with you. Starting today. And then I think I will give you my opinion on how it fits into my life.

Here goes:

...Forgiveness is a strange thing. It can sometimes be easier to forgive our enemies than our friends. IT can be hardest of all to forgive people we love. Like all of life's important coping skills, the ability to forgive and the capacity to let go of resentments most likely take root very early in our lives....
(taken from The World According to Mr. Rogers, p. 77)

So true.

Forgiveness is a strange thing. It is very hard to forgive people who we think have wronged us. Why? Why is it so hard? Is it because it stinks eggs to be wrong? Is it insecurity? Is it fear?

I had a very heavy heart when I started this blog almost a year ago. I had some forgiveness that needed to happen. I even put it in my Things to Practice in 2009. I really worked on it. I had some people who I thought were my friends who really hurt my family, more precisely, my husband. They took something from him. They tried to break his spirit. He wouldn't let them...he's a better person than I. Not new news to anyone.

It has been a long year and yet, very short. And I have worked on forgiveness. This won't be the last time I work on it. Just sayin'.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Stop the Devil From Dancing

Earlier in the month, this was an entry from my daily reflections book:

The Teacher was firm in saying, "Do not offer resistance to the evildoer." This admonition not to defend yourself sounds unnatural and inhuman, which in fact it is! To abstain from returning injury for injury is a divine act intended to prevent the devil from dancing twice. It is believed the devil gleefully dances when someone sins against you, then dances again even more merrily when you react with vengeance against your attacker. The Teacher invites you to become a chain breaker, hoping the endless dance of evil in the world will cease. By refusing to offer resistance, you break the chain; you refuse to forge another evil link in hot anger. And so you do not add another link to the endlessly evil links extending back millenia. When a loved one has been murdered, it is not uncommon to hear the family claim that they will be unable to find peace until the guilty one has received the justice of capital punishment. This not the peace that the Teacher offers. His peace come only when the chain of hell is broken and we stop the devil from dancing.

Pondering revenge, I can hear him
tap dancing, delighted the first evil
will spawn an offspring of another.
Come, eject my tendency to getting even.

Oh. my.

Just sayin'.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Closing In

Marching band season is quickly coming to an end. Last night was the first truly coldcoldcold night....I prayed for rain all day so I could stay home. Does that make me a bad parent?


I enjoy seeing my children do things that they love...BUT I am a weather weenie. I really like warm weather. I mean REALLY LIKE.

The Tigers did win...that puts them into district play so we are guaranteed another game. Possibly a home game and that would mean another performance for the marching band. That would be fantastic--and hopefully it would be slightly warmer than the 42 degrees it was late in the 3rd quarter last night.

I took some pictures from the visiting teams side. I thought it might be kind of cool to have our crowd in the pictures...until I realized that we didn't have much of a crowd. There must be more weather weenies out there than I realized...

I love the tubas...and to the farthest right in the picture you see the backside of my favorite trumpet player....

Here he is in the front center....he loves band. When he was a little boy...well, younger because he hasn't ever been little....he would always tell us that he was going to be in the band. It was always his favorite part of any event. It's always good to see your kids do something they love.

And, yet again, another twirling video. I tell you that this is for the Grandma's....but it's really for us, too. We get many a compliment on how enjoyable it is to watch her perform...and our joking response is--after we say thank you, of course--"that's what 9 million dollars spent on lessons will get ya!" Just sayin'.

This is her 3 baton routine performed for the visiting crowd. The high school drill team was performing to our crowd. The visiting crowd was SUPER appreciative of her performance and for that, I thank them!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fun on Friday

I know it used to be Food on Friday.

Oh, I 've got food...but nothing you want to know how to make. Or eat. Oh. Wait. It's been weeks since I did Food on Friday. Never mind.

So this week...FUN!

So true. So true. You gotta love Maxine....I think she might be my idol. Just sayin'.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Well I went.

But I didn't read the whole book.

Sorry to disappoint my loyal fans. I just couldn't get into the book. It was waywayway over my head. I am talkin' like it was on Jupiter and I was stupider.

Edgar and I are not friends. I think that he will go back into the book stack and I will work on him in the summer. Or he might get left in the lounge for some other poor sucker to try to read.

3 of the bookies really liked it. It was very inspiring to listen to them discuss. There was passion in their words. I felt almost moved to finish reading. Almost. 1 bookie was OK with it. She said it was just a book to her--but I think she felt the passion. One bookie didn't even crack it open.

In my defense, I tried to read him in the spring. Nope. Not feeling it. And I tried again in the summer. I took 2 running starts at him this month. I got about 1/4 of the way done. It's just a lot.

In my 2nd defense, we have been home like twice in 2 weeks. I have had something of some sort or another every night but 2 in 2 weeks. So see, I couldn't read.

And I got a new phone. That takes a lot of time to learn to use. Just sayin'.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Way Back Wednesday

Lots of things have happened in the world lately that have triggered my 'momsense'.

I was thinking about how fast time seems to go. I never really thought about time as a child. I got up. I ate. I played outside. I took a bath. I went to bed. The next day...same deal. I bet lots of us have that same memory. Time just went on. My grandparents would often comment about time flying. I didn't think about it.

And then one day, I did. Does that make me old?

A while back someone commented about how she had put away her youngest child's crib. He was done. He had moved on. And it was hard. For her. It's always harder on the mom than the kid. Who knew that these sleeping children wouldn't stay that way...for long....time marches on.

And that someday they wouldn't want to wear matching outfits? Who knew? It's hard to think that they will grow up and not need me to do everything for them when they are this size.....trust me. It happens. And you want it to. I love these people with my entire being heart and soul. But I do not, I repeat, do not want to live with them forever. Their dad....he's who I am living with forever.

I want them to grow up. I want them to call me from that store-that-shall-remain-nameless-but-pisses-me-off on a regular basis to ask..."do you happen to know where the matches might be?" I want them to eat cake from the middle of their first cake baked in their first house...and have to do the dishes when they are done.

I want them to be happy. And good at what they do. And know that no matter what....they will always come home to people who love them. Almost as much as Michael Buble'.....loves me.

I love it that it is a big deal to get taller than Granny. And I love it that hugging Granny is something that he wants to do. Of course, hugging Granny is a wonderful feeling. And I love it that she has been around to see 14 grandchildren be born, 1 get married, 2 graduate from college, 5 more go to college and 2 great grandchildren.

Ball games end. Little boys grow up. And they send you text messages from mud runs with their buddies.

One day you look this good...and then you don't. Time marched all over my body.

And 7th graders grow up...get married and have babies you can spoil. Then they are 30.

Baby beds get put away. People get sick. And well again. Most of the time. We laugh at crazy stuff and have serious conversations about stuff you never thought you'd talk about with your mom. We take babies to kindergarten and cuss teenagers. We take them to college, marry them off and hurt when they hurt. We pray it will all work out. We know things and then we don't. We know that sometimes a band-aid doesn't fix everything that is wrong. We pick them up when we said we would never pick them up. And one thing holds true....

Time marches on.

Just sayin'.

Crazy Love

I lovelovelove Michael Buble'. Breathe in. Breathe out. In. Out. In. Out.

This isn't news to any of my people. In fact, they would tell you that they are sick of hearing how much I lovelovelove Michael Buble'. I think my infatuation with him started when I saw the movie The Wedding Date. Oh I love Dermott Mulroney, too. That's him in the picture below.

Oh my. Be still my beating heart.

Probably the reason I love the movie, The Wedding Date, is because it has awesome music. All my favorite movies do. They might not have the greatest story...but fantastic music makes up for any mediocre story.

But I love Michael Buble' more. I purchased his latest album which hit iTunes on October 9. That's a lie. I told my kids that I wanted that album and handed them an iTunes card and said...."BUY IT! NOW!" And for once in their sweet little lives, they did what I said. Miracles really do happen.

I burned a copy (again, a lie...my son did it for me but, hey I can do it if I have to) for the car, school and a very special friend who has seen him in concert. I hate her. I think her husband loves her more than mine loves me.

All the songs are wonderful...but this is my most favorite....I listened to it on repeat for about 4 hours.

Isn't he dreamy? I could listen to him sing to me all day...it would be even better if he didn't wear a shirt. Just sayin'.


...just got a little better...because when anyone from around these here parts see these sacks....

They know what's coming....THE BEST DOUGHNUTS IN THE WHOLE WORLD! On a Tuesday....

Yep. Tuesday just got a whole lot better. Just sayin'.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Rudy Award

I have been knowing this guy since he was knee high to a grasshoppper....and if there is anyone out there who deserves this award it is him.

Vote for Ryan here...You can vote once an hour...do it. Just sayin'.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


So we headed to the city yesterday to see this......

And this....

Nice lips, Uncle Pat. Yep. Our people from Austin flew in to see us. Yep, that's a lie. They flew in to see their teams play football. Crazy. But one team sort of forgot to show up. It was a sorry game for my favorite teacher niece from Texas....but her dad was happy. About as happy as our newest great niece was to see these lips. I am sure they seemed giant to her but she didn't complain. Just smiled and laughed like we all do at Uncle Pat. No pics of my favorite teacher niece from Texas. Not sure why I don't have any pictures...next time I will do better.

Bless her heart. She asked me if teaching got easier and I told her nope. She said so they're all lying to me...yep. She knew it. She just needed someone to tell her the truth.

These two grown-ups brought their people in from St. Louis to us. Yep. Another lie. I think that they came to see MawPaw and Aunt Ellie and Uncle Matson...but bonus for them. We were there. And this little piece of preciousness is why we were there....Chloe Jane made her first car trip to see her extended family. This is what she spent a lot of time doing. Is there anything better than a sleeping baby? Her mother says there isn't.

Great Aunt Lisa found the cutest pink outfit in the whole wide world and managed to purchase it....

and Chloe slept through the opening of the gift and putting it on...

and taking it off. Her mother was thrilled. On a side note, Chloe's mom turned 28 last week. Her uncles felt...well, really old. Her favorite uncle was pretty sure that she was just born a few days ago. And now she is a pretty darn good grown up.

Baby lips are the greatest thing ever.

It was a wonderful day spent with family...we had some sick people, we missed one family because of football games and one member had to race in the mud....I know he was sad that he didn't get to see me. We had some great food and Granny's frosting was superb as usual. Just sayin'.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009



3rd grade girl (3GG): Um.

me: Are you kidding me?

3GG: Well, no.

me: I'd like to visit with you in the hall.

So I get the rest started on whatever I can pull out of my special teacher storage place...(also known as my butt for those of you not in the teaching profession).... and casually walk out to the hall. 3GG is squatted down like a frog. And so I squat in much the same manner only I am 42, 5'11 and weigh, well enough to know better.

me: Did you cut your hair?

3GG: Well, yes.

me: Why?

3GG: Well. I've always wanted to see how I looked with shorter hair.

me: Really.

3GG: (she's silent. she's got nothing.)

me: Are you trained...to cut hair?

3GG: Well, no. I'm a third grader.

me: Exactly. Third graders do not cut their own hair. You may cut hair when you have been trained to cut hair.

3GG: OK. But I really do wonder what I would look like with shorter hair.

I thought I was gonna bust a gut wide open. I had another adult in the room at the time and we made no eye contact whatsoever because we would have laughed OUT LOUD. This little girl was very matter of fact and nonchalant about the whole deal.

Her mother? Not so much.

But I bet she doesn't cut hair again until she is trained to cut hair. And I won't be squatting like a frog again anytime soon. Just sayin'.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


My very good friend sat down today and fixed my screwed up blog. This isn't the first time she has fixed one of technology screw ups...and it probably won't be the last. But I am telling you that all I can say is......

Thank you from the deepest part of my heart....
I love you and I owe you pumpkin muffins.

And I promise to make them just as soon as I remember to buy pumpkin...just sayin'.

Saturday, October 10, 2009



Oh My...

Yep. That's what I said.

Of course, that is what I said.

What you see here is two girls who were actually on their second attempt at this little stunt. They started in the dining room and walked to the kitchen. I missed the mounting part....due to the fact that I was in another room longing to crawl into that rectangular shaped object calling my name....

And yes. Their brother just stood and watched. He didn't say one word. He just looked at them.

And their dad. Didn't even flinch.

All I could think was how I was going to explain this one to the emergency room personnel. Just sayin'.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Chocolate Frosting

You know my favorite mother-in-law, right? She rocks the Hays Family....with chocolate frosting. When she first taught me to make it, I couldn't. Well, I could but it didn't taste or look like hers. It's taken a few years and some additional lessons but I now rock chocolate frosting. Really.

The CYO at church is fund raising to attend the national conference. Fund raising...meaning like they need $500 a kid and we have 22 kids planning to attend. And 4 grown ups. So like 12 grand. This has been a.....lot of bake sales, church dinners and and and and....you get the picture. At this point, if I had the money we need I would write a check and never bake anything on Sunday morning at o dark thirty again.

But alas, no money and what would it teach our youth? So this morning I was up at o dark thirty baking. Brownies with frosting and oatmeal cake. As I was baking, I thought...others should have the benefit of my favorite mother-in-laws frosting....not just my big butt.

So here goes--

Chocolate Frosting
by My Favorite Mother-in-Law

4 cups of powdered sugar
dash of salt
1 stick of melted real live butter....not that fake stuff
1/2 cup of cocoa
1 tsp of vanilla
1/2 cup of milk...more on this later

Very simple ingredients. You probably have them in your pantry at all times. I do. You should.

Melt your butter.

Add the cocoa. And let it sit. Longer. A little longer. I have watched her and this seems to be a 'trick'. Don't rush this process.
Begin whisking.

Whisk until ssssmmmmoooootttttthhhhhhh. Very ssssmmmmoooootttttthhhhhhh. And shiny. Very shiny.

Put half the powdered sugar, half the cocoa, and half the milk. Add vanilla and salt.

Mix until mixed.

Once you have it mixed up....add the other half of the ingredients. Let me tell you about the milk now. We drink skim milk. Someone inadvertently purchased 1% several weeks ago...don't ask me. I think that there is a man in the grocery who trades stuff around in my cart. rEEally. Anyway. And my people thought they had been poisoned. Geez. Skim milk is OK for frosting. But it would be better if you used evaporated milk--if you use skim milk to drink. One time (and this is off the subject) I had heavy whipping cream left from an ice cream making adventure and I used that. Oh my. You have never had such a wonderful frosted anything as that batch of frosting. So use whatever but just know that skim milk is uh, probably not the best choice for frosting.

And my favorite mother-in-law doesn't always use all of the milk. It is really kind of a test. I just dump it all in and figure I can fix it with some extra powdered sugar if it is too thin. I think that happens when I use skim milk. Don't use skim milk.

Isn't it gorgeous? Don't you wish you had a spoon? I wish you were here....

Fresh out of spoons? A finger works quite nicely. Isn't it beautiful? Mmmmm......oh so good.

This batch of frosting makes enough frosting to frost 2 boxes of brownies. I dump the frosting in the center of the cooled brownies and spread from the center. Gently.

If you don't have one of these spatulas....get yourself invited to a Pampered Chef party and buy one. These are great little tools. Spread from the center and just keep working towards the outer edge.

Are you hungry yet? Are you jealous? Do you hate me for this post, yet? You want brownies. Go ahead. Make some. Or just make the frosting and spread it on your fingers. Or on a graham cracker. Or. Well, wherever.

These baking M&M's make a nice decoration. Little kids like these a lot. Ok...well most big kids like them, too.

Got a knife? Did you know that you should cut brownies with a plastic knife? It's true. You know those brownie bumps you get when cut them with a metal knife? Won't happen with a plastic knife. Trust me.

They didn't all get eaten at church. I believe I am going to be forced to ingest my share. I can take one for the team. Just sayin'.

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