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

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


1. Have you ever been so lost that you were really afraid?
Nah.  But I am a chicken butt.  I wouldn't go if there was a chance I could be lost.  Or hurt.  Hard to believe, I know but I really am not a huge risk taker.  

2. Have you ever been to an island?
I'm there everyday.  I am an island.  Believe me, there ain't nobody swimming to save me.  Until they need clean clothes or groceries, I will be on the island.  

3. Are you more of a thinker or feeler?
Eh.  Really?  I think I like to feel chocolate on my tongue.

4. Do you tend to see issues or situations in life as black and white or shades of gray?
Eh.  Really?  I am on an island with chocolate and shades.  

5. If you were stuck on an island, what book would you hope to have with you (Let's pretend the Bible is already there, so you can't say that.)
Eh.  Really?  Just one.  I am the person who takes a separate bag for books when I go on vacation.  Last summer, we had the rule that we could only take two bags on vacation.  I guess I would hope that I had The Red River of the North series by Lauraine Snelling.  Those books are my very favorite books.    

6. What are you most afraid of?
Yikes.  It might be easier to go with what I am not afraid of.....

7. Would you rather lose all of your old memories or never be able to make new ones?
I call uncle on this one.  I simply cannot answer. 

8. Pretend I'm looking at a scrapbook page about you. There are three spaces for you to drop in individual pictures. What are those pictures of, and why did you select them?
My wedding picture.  This was the single greatest thing to ever happen to me.  This man....
makes me a better person every day.  He makes me live life.  He makes me laugh out loud.  He....is all mine.
And then there is the "I'm a MOM!" picture.  I look frightening but you know what?  There is no greater feeling than that day.  That picture is just over 20 years old.....and that feeling still hasn't gone away.  And when I repeated that incredible feat 4 years and a month later....oh my.  It just doesn't. get. any. better. 

I know I have 4 pictures, but the pictures of my kids counts as one.  Sometimes you just have to bend the rules.  Or break them.   Because none of this life I have would have been possible if I hadn't been loved beyond belief by these two women:  
My Grandma and My Mom.   

(Yes. That's me in the red sweater vest with the large bow.  It was the 80's.  It's what all the really cool people wore.)   

9. If you were re-doing your wedding, what would you do differently? (If you're single, tell me one thing you would do if you were planning a wedding OR huge party.)
Afternoon wedding with a cake and punch reception.  And a HUGE honeymoon. 

10. Tell me one thing you know/believe about forgiveness.
Forgiveness is tough. 

11. You're waiting in a doctor's office. What is your favorite way to pass that time?
Read.  Read.  And read some more.  Sometimes I secretly hope that my doc is running behind just so I can read in peace longer.  I know--be careful what you wish for......

12. If there were a clone of you in a parallel universe what is one way you hope she/he would be the same as you and one way you hope she/he would be better?
I really hope there's not one out there.  One of me is enough for a lifetime.  Yeah, I am that awesome.  Just sayin'.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Music of My Life

About a month ago, our high school held their major concert band event.  It's kind of a big deal and this year my favorite son was chosen to be a part of the event.  Tuxedos are required and this was his first tux.  He looked so handsome that it made his big sister feel sad and old. 

His sister was an usher for the event.  She has the 'look' of an usher....or not so much.

And yes, these are the shoes she wore.....

 and she can walk in them without looking like Mrs. Wiggins.......remember that character from The Carol Burnett Show?  She was my favorite.

Anyway, the concert band sounded wonderful and it was a very entertaining evening. 

My camera takes wonderful video in the auditorium, but crappy pictures.  Crappy might be a nice way to say what I really am thinking.

Therefore, I have lots of video and not so many pictures.  Oh I have pictures but they look like this:

Or this:

I give up.  The band sounded wonderful and that is all that matters.  Just sayin'.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Wash. Rinse. Repeat as Needed.

Welcome to spring in the life of a teacher who is also a mother, housekeeper, maid, cook, crabby hag, slave driver, foot in mouth girl, and on goes the list.  This is a wild time of the year.  But it is only for a little while and then they are grown ups....all of them.  I think my friend, Mrs. E, put it best here.

We have 20 school days. 

Which in Hays Crew language is 20 get-ups.  It's how we measure at our house.  How many get-ups until....... 
 ......I am the mother of a college junior.
.......And 2 high school juniors. 
.......18 precious souls become 4th graders.  ........I begin again preparing for the next 18 precious souls to become mine for 187 days.  And by preparing, I mean reading books, painting my office, renewing my soul by sleeping until I wake up and doing things that I don't get to do from August (OK. Truth be told--mid July) to late May. 

It can all be a little overwhelming.  Then I remember to breathe in and out.  In. Out. In. Out.

My posting has been slim lately, and I am sorry.  I will get better.  Stick with me.....

Wash.  Rinse. Repeat as needed.  Just sayin'.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Random Dozen

1. Ever had any run-ins with the "library police?"
Police?  At the library?  Nope.  Never.  Fashion police?  Now that's another story....

2. Do you have a special organizational plan and place for wrapping paper, gift bags, etc., or do you just purchase whatever you need as you give gifts?
Imagine 18 year old boys (former linemen) after Graduation Mass holding Victoria's Secret bags with a lovely gift inside.  Recycle, regift, and reuse what you have is the name of my game.   

3. Have you ever been in (first-hand witness) a natural disaster?
Do my childrens' rooms count?  

4. What's your favorite Barry Manilow song?
Music and fashion were always the passion at the Copa.......they fell in love....his name was Rico...he wore a diamond....

5. What's the best costume you've ever worn?
The one year I was in ballet before they kicked me out due to height restrictions, I was a grasshopper.  It was the most beautiful costume.  I lovedlovedloved it.  I felt so, well, green.

6. Which do you use more often, the dictionary or the thesaurus?
Thesaurus.  I love words.

7. What's your favorite breakfast food?
Breakfast casserole, blueberry muffins and fruit.  Oh, and coffee.  I love coffee.  

8. Have you ever purchased anything from an infomercial?
I can only dream of ShamWow's and how fabulous I will look when I complete 60 days of P90x.....

9. Have you ever crawled through a window?
Have you seen the size of my butt?  Not to mention the height advantage I suffer from......

10. Do you believe in love at first sight?
Yep. Yep and Yep.  You know like how I loved chocolate at first site, and french fries at first site.  And oh, how I loved Mike Hays at first site.  

11. How man pairs of jeans do you own?
3. BUT I can only wear 1 and half pairs.  

12. If someone were going to bake a cake to honor/represent you, what would it be? (Think creatively, like Duff and Crew on "Ace of Cakes.")

Think of her as my twin.  Identical twin.  Just sayin'.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Food on Friday

This week I am sharing a really easy recipe.  And no, you probably don't have these items in your pantry unless you are me.  My favorite oldest Hays Crew niece pointed out to me that she was raised as a deprived child and that she did NOT have marshmallow fluff (from last week's post) in her pantry.  And then my own children jumped in on the bashing of me to state that they only have had it in their lives since I started making that dip. 

Be careful biting that hand that feeds you, Hays Crew. 

Hot Pepper Peach Cheese Ball
1/3 cup hot pepper peach jelly
16 oz. cream cheese
8 oz. shredded pepper jack cheese--
softened--the softer the better
1 tbsp. minced onion
1 tbsp. jalapeno

Dump and mix. 

Mix it until it is smooth.

Shredded cheese.  I could buy already shredded.  And that is fine.  I like the flavor of the brick cheese.  Use half of the shredded cheese in the cream cheese mixture.

Use the other half for the outside of the cheese ball.  I laid out a piece of plastic wrap and spread the cheese out on it.

Then I splatted the cream cheese mixture onto the shredded cheese.  Wrap it up and refrigerate overnight.

I serve this with a variety of crackers.  My favorite cracker for this cheese ball are these:

It was another of the dishes that I took to Easter dinner.  I got a lot of compliments from the Hays Crew Men.  I forgot to take a picture after I plated it, so this picture is from a little later in the meal.

I had this the next day for my lunch.  It seems as though it 'heated' up from the trip to Granny's and back.  My mouth was. on.  fire.  Later in the day, College Girl called and said she thought it had gotten hotter.  Coach also said it had heated up considerably.  He loved it, of course.  Me?  Not so much.  Not sure what is different from the other times I have made it, maybe the jalapenos?  Maybe the cheese? 

It was all good, even when it got hotter.  Just sayin'.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Randomness Abounds

This week's random dozen came with rules.....danged ol' rules....I have been trying to follow them, really I have....Enjoy....

This picture is a clarification for question 1:

1. How do you feel about "Gladiator" sandals, also called "Roman" or "Jesus" sandals? A fashion yea or nay?
Unless you weigh 98 pounds dripping wet holding a brick eating a sandwich--they are not a fashion statement.  

2. What is your favorite pizza?

The kind made by someone else.  

3. There are plans in the works to sell roughly 1,000 items from Star Trek: The Experience in Las Vegas. This means you could buy Picard's chair for your family room. If not a Star Trek item, what prop, background, set, etc. from what TV or movie would you buy if you could?

Could I get Gary and Val Ewing's house on Knotts Landing?  


4. Name a local food or restaurant that your area is famous for.

 The local donut shop.  People come home for those donuts.  And my kids are so spoiled that they don't eat donuts from other places. 

5. What is your current favorite snack?

It seems as though my foot has been in my mouth a lot.  So I guess it's my favorite snack.

6. Hypothetical: You are required to be a reality show contestant. Which show would you choose based on your probability of success? (You cannot choose "none.")

A. Dancing with the Stars
B. Biggest Loser
C. Survivor

Or D.  Amazing Race.  I am pretty sure I could have some fun on that show.  Who wants to sign up with me?  No one that is related to me.  They all laugh until they choke and have to be saved whenever I mention how good I would be at that game.  Turds.

7. On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being uninhabitable and 10 being cleanliness that meets the standards of OCD, how clean is your vehicle's interior?

At first I was going to say 5.  But due to recent events, I have had to change what I roll with and so I am going with a 3.  Coach and I were forced to swap rides.  Another post for another day.  

8. It doesn't feel like Spring until _________.

Birks and painted toes.  

9. Something that made you laugh really hard recently is ____.

My children quoting The Hangover.  Or Monty Python.  Or Shrek.  

10. Tell me about a goal you're working toward.

Keeping my mouth shut with out inserting my foot in my mouth in order to keep it shut.

11. Share a thought-provoking or inspiring quote this week.

“If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together.. there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart.. I'll always be with you.
--Winnie the Pooh

12. Name one thing that you do as a parent that you absolutely know will make your kids happy. If you're not a parent, feel free to substitute "friend" or nomenclature that works for you

Food.  I make it good.  

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Music of My Life

20 years ago today, I had no idea.  

No idea that I could love someone so much.

No idea that I could laugh so much.

No idea that I could be so blessed.

No idea that something so wonderful could come from, well, us.  Just sayin'.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Food on Friday

Remember earlier in the week when I promised something wonderful for Food on Friday?  It might have been a lie.  My week kind of got away from me and what I originally planned to post took too long.  (See yesterday's post for a brief explanation.)

I am going to share something that is a dreamy little dish.  Fruit dip.  It's easy and once again, you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry.

Fruit Dip
8 oz.  of softened cream cheese
1 jar of marshmallow fluff
1 cup of powdered sugar
1 tbsp of vanilla

Dump it all in.

Mix it well.  Mixmixmix.  Walk away and let it mix.  The softer my cream cheese is, the better luck I have with a smooth, creamy dip.  My people will eat it chunky, but since I was taking this in public, smooth and creamy was my goal. 

It's a dreamy little dish.  Did I mention that?  We used it with berries (Granny's), since it's berry season.

Apples, bananas, pineapple, oranges, graham crackers, popcorn or a spoon works nicely, also.  Just sayin'.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Turns Out It's Only Thursday

When I woke up Tuesday, I thought it was Wednesday.  I tried to send my school kids to art.  Duh.  It was music and PE day.  When I woke up Wednesday, I thought it can't possibly only be Wednesday.  This morning at 5:29, it was only Thursday.  It has been a really long week for me. 

Sunday when I woke up the roof of my mouth was covered in blisters.  On Monday, there were more.  By Tuesday they had popped and my mouth was raw.  Oh, and it hurts.  On Wednesday, I could feel something between my 2 molars and when I flossed them, I popped a festering pustule of pus.  Grossout, but it was pretty cool.  Today, my tongue looks like it has a rash on it.  Because I have been to medical school, I have used my vast resources and I have a diagnosis.  I think I must have hoof and mouth disease due to the amount of times I have stuck my foot in my mouth in the past 7 days.  Yep.  Pretty sure that's what it is.

Turns out that the cool Easter photos I thought were so cool, weren't so cool.  It seems as though I have a lot of shots of this:

And this:

Those dang girls!  I hate when they act like their Granny's fourth child....

And this:

And this....Look how nice my sister-in-law is sitting.  Doesn't she look lovely?  She is ignoring me.  Are you seeing a trend here?  No.  Really. 

This year Granny bought an Easter pinata for the 4 youngest grandchildren.  I must say that I would not want to get in the way of our youngest niece and a bat.  Suffice it to say that girl has power in those guns.

I did get some sweet shots....of Granny and her Girls....

My girls with my almost-to-graduate-college niece...

Granny cheated and bought already filled eggs for the egg hunt.  The winner, it turns out, wasn't really the winner and had to forfeit his winnings to his girl cousin.  He's a schister.  I believe he might act like Granny's fifth child.  (shown here--but only half of him)

We had a wonderful visit with all that could make it.  We missed the Texas Hays Crew and the St. Louis Hays Crew but thought of them, wishing they were there.  Food was stellar, as usual and the weather was perfect.  Who could ask for anything more?

As we headed home, it began to rain.  We drove out of it quickly but drove into this:

Yep.  Epic traffic jam.  Stopped for long periods of time.  Notice the smog hanging over the area?  We traveled in this for what seemed like an eternity, but was really about 10 miles.  It did take 45 minutes to travel that 10 miles. Then when we got to the toll booth, epic traffic jam again.  It took about 10 minutes to travel through the toll booth.  We could have zipped right through with our electronic tag, but we had given it to College Girl.  You are welcome, College Girl.

We still aren't sure what happened--if there was an accident or what--but I can tell you this:

I know why I live where I do.  Just sayin'.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


We have friends.  Most of them are under the age of 5 and think that we are all that and a bag of chips.  Tonight 2 of them came to hang out.  They lovelovelove Coach.  But then, who doesn't?

For supper I fixed bacon, pancakes (their favorite) and fresh strawberries.  Oh, and I might also mention that I had some whip cream left over from Easter so I thought they would like that with the berries.

You know, like a dip.  I like whip cream like a dip, don't you? 

Oh my goodness.  The youngest girl thought she had been given the greatest gift in the world. She would have eaten the whole tub, and certain members of my family would have let her because.....well, she's not my child and she is going home with HER MOTHER.  We operate under 'grandma rules' at our house.  Maybe that's why we have so many friends who are 5 and under....

As you can see on the video, she had eaten all of her whip cream and was starting on her sisters, who was helping her by holding the knife that she had been using to eat whip cream.

It simply doesn't get much better than 2 and 4 year old sisters laughing and smiling over whip cream.  I love it how she is daintily eating with one finger. 

I wish I had video from later when Coach went to the bathroom to brush his teeth.  He shut the door.  The 2 year old goes to the door and knocks, and says, "Mike?"  He replies, "Who is it?"  And we hear her say, "It's me!"

We had lots of fun....but it was just fine for them to head home with their 30-year-old mom.  And now, I believe that this 43-year-old mom will go lay down. 

Life's all good.  Just sayin'.

Dozen and a little more

We had a great Easter with the whole KC Hays Crew and I hope to have some pics up soon!  I have been lost in this wonderful weather and have neglected posting but if you want to see some great pictures, go here.  

I have some great stuff for Food on Friday...check back on Friday!!

1. Define a great relationship.
Trusting in one another.  Laughter and tears. Unconditional forgiveness.  

2. Why is it called a "drive-through" if you have to stop? (Real question: What was the last food/drink you purchased at a drive-through?)
McDonald's on Saturday.  QP with cheese, no onions.  Fries and a Dr. Pepper.  I do love McDonald's--it's a toss up between a fish filet or a quarter pounder.  

3. As I type this, the Butler Bulldogs are getting ready to play in the NCAA championship game. Every Hoosier is hysterical about this except me. So in honor of the Bulldogs ... what is your favorite breed of dog? (I tried.)
Chocolate Lab.  Lady Sophia Jean Hays.  Sophie Dog.  Yes, she is named after her Granny.  And Granny is so proud.  

4. If you had to move to a state besides the one you currently live in, where would you move?

5. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
That my mom wouldn't have had to work so hard.  

6. Who's the funniest person you know?
My husband.  

7. Did you get enough sleep last night?
Nope.  And not the night before either.  And not the night before that.  It's not fun.  I am my grandmother's child.  I am a worrywart and a nervous nelly.  I worry way too much.  I try to turn those worries over to the Lord but I just keep taking them back.  
8. What's the first thing you thought about this morning?
Really?  It's only Wednesday?  

9. Grilled or Fried? --HONESTLY
Fried, baby, fried.  I do love fried food.  It's comfort food for me.  Fried chicken, fried cheese, fried potatoes, fried fried fried.  

10. Are you afraid of the dark?
Not anymore.  I sure was as a little girl, or I should say younger girl because I was never little.  And I am not really sure why I was scared of the dark.  We didn't live in a huge house and my room was off of the living room and there was a bathroom between my mom's room and mine.  Strange.  

11.When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Oh yeah.  I knew it from the time I could answer the question when grown-ups asked it.  I can remember sitting in class as a third grader thinking, "Well, this is stupid.  When I grow up and I am the teacher, we aren't doing it this way."  And we don't.  I could play school for hours and hours as a kid.  Yep.  I knew I was going to be a teacher.  

12. If you had one word to describe yourself , what would you choose?
I hate these kind of touchy feely questions.  It is practically impossible to choose just one.  Beautiful?  Humorous?  Bitchy?  Blunt?  Amazon like?(that's two, but....)  Sarcastic?  Puffy?  Bloated?  Graceful?  Wait, no.  Scratch that one.  Loud?  Hard worker?  Bossy?  Cook?  Organized?  Take your pick.  Unless you are related to me, then shut it.  Just sayin'.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Yesterday was the first day it hit 80 degrees.  Thankyouthankyouthankyou Mother Nature for that little gift. 

Yesterday was the first day I read my book outside.

Yesterday was the first outside meal of the season.

Yesterday was the first bike ride after dinner of the season.  And it felt good.  I love to my ride bike, but I must send out this reminder.  I am hoping to ride my bike to school this spring, much like I did in the fall.  We'll see how it goes because I have been having trouble getting around in the morning.  My good friend, WB, and I have started walking at 5:30 AM, so that may help out. 
Or not.  Just sayin'.

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