25 October 2012


I finished this latch hook rug (except for the trimming) last weekend so I thought I should post a picture of the object of my short obsession. It might seem early to be thinking about Christmas but we only have 2 months, folks! 

Can you believe it?

22 October 2012

Learned HelpFULness

10 years ago at the recommendation of a fellow Syster I added The Design of Everyday Things to my professional library (along with a few other programming and technical books). I still haven't read all the way through it but I like to flip through and read different sections from time to time and the other night I flipped to the topic of "Learned Helplessness" - this was intriguing to me as I watch my children grow and learn and do and also watch human interaction in a more professional environment.

Learned helplessness is a technical term that refers to the condition of a human or animal that has learned to behave helplessly, failing to respond even though there are opportunities for it to help itself by avoiding unpleasant circumstances or by gaining positive rewards. Learned helplessness theory is the view that clinical depression and related mental illnesses may result from a perceived absence of control over the outcome of a situation. Organisms which have been ineffective and less sensitive in determining the consequences of their behavior are defined as having acquired learned helplessness.

I am amazed at how many adults I know, especially women, who will give up so quickly at a technical task (or even just a new task) at the first sign of trouble or not understanding. I've seen it happen with young girls too so I'm a big advocate of helping my children to help themselves. Healthy struggling and then figuring things out helps kids (and adults) become smarter, independent, self-reliant and resourceful. At least that's what my dad told me when I was a kid and he'd make me look things up instead of telling me the answer direct. (Was he being lazy or teaching me to help myself? Possibly both, friends)

I want my kids to know that the journey IS the reward (much of the time, anyway). I want them to be successful in everything they do and I want them to TRY their best. I definitely don't want them living at home when they are 30 (unless they are taking care of their mama) and I want them to have confidence in themselves and their abilities and that comes from trying and succeeding, often after failing multiple times.

Growing Up So Fast

I think we are moving in the right direction...

19 October 2012

Friday Night Lights

Friday Night Lights

Tonight was a surreal experience for me.  We took the kids to the high school football game and the memories came flooding back for me.  I was not a cheerleader or pom or even in the band back then (although, how COOL are they?) so I usually didn't want to be at the game on a Friday night. I wanted to be with my friends.

My brothers both played football when I was a junior and I was able to tolerate going to the games then.  I do recall one really memorable time when we were at an out of town game and we brought home made fried burritos. It was cold and we had a cooler full of nice warm burritos...and a nice warm blanket.

The routine for Friday nights was usually us kids being dragged to Po Folks for dinner (anybody remember that place?) and then we had to sit in the bleachers and endure the game for what seemed like forever. I know, poor me, right? Having to have forced family time.

Well, now we're starting that with our family.

Friday Night Lights
Emi and a friend

Emi didn't mind as there were many of her friends from school at the game. There was a big group of them with their principal actually, and they got to run out onto the field towards the end of the game (or maybe it was halftime, not sure as I was having trouble concentrating with all of the stomping and yelling and walking around in the bleachers)....

Friday Night Lights
Why so serious, David? 

Aubri's Peace Sign
It was funny to me (that Aubri's peace sign didn't come through her mitten)
David and Aubri were okay part of the time, but they didn't understand why they couldn't run around like big sister. I think they realized how unsafe it was tromping around in the stands when a kid fell down beside us and another girl fell down behind us. She literally lost her pickle (I think my shirt still has pickle juice embedded in it) when she tumbled. Poor girl! Those cold bleaches hurt on impact....or even just sitting on them.

There were a lot of questions about why the teams ran through the blow up tunnel and then why did they take the the tunnel back down. They seemed to really enjoyed the halftime show with the band, and so did I. I never thought about how much effort went into practicing the songs and choreographing the routines while I was in high school.  I'm glad I have the opportunity to appreciate that now.

Friday Night Lights
Daddy had a good time!

We left after the 3rd quarter and I heard we lost.  ;.( Hoping to squeeze in another game this season and maybe we'll just show up with a cooler full of home made goodies too!

14 October 2012

Falling Slowly

That's what this weekend felt like. The leaves are beginning to change in my neighborhood and we got a nice soaking rain.

It was Fall Break for 2/3 of the kiddos in the house and we took it easy enjoying some down time with no soccer games and no basketball games.

Caramel Apples

We enjoyed some sweet Autumn treats (above) and some very comforting Baked Potato Soup (below) when the Little One's birth mom came to visit Saturday. That was a nice visit and the Little Ones kept her occupied for a few hours straight (we skipped a nap).

Baked Potato Soup

We also enjoyed a WIN for our team (Boomer!) in the Red River Rivalry. I didn't watch much of the game as I was totally into a Happy Snowman Latch Hook rug kit I found in Emi's closet last weekend. I got this for us last year in an effort to do a craft together to be used as decoration, and when I dug it out, it brought back memories from 1979 when I worked on a latch hook rug at the Norman Public Library. I remember hanging out and getting lost in thought working on that rug and that happened a little this past weekend.

Saturday night Scott and I got to experience the Warren's Director's Suite and I may not be able to sit in a regular theater again! We've experienced The Balcony on a few occasions (even got to watch the OU-Texas game on the big screen there 4 years ago) and that was really nice with servers bringing food and drink during the movies, but the Director's Suite was a scoach better in that the seats reclined with footrests and the seat and back were heated.  So, in a nutshell,  I could fall asleep during the movie much quicker than at home if I didn't watch it.

I thought a Caramel Shake might help keep me awake during Argo and I was right. It was a really good movie and brought back even more memories of what I was doing during the Iran Hostage Crisis. I remember when Carter was president (yes, I'm that old). I was a child living in Florida and I remember my parents talking about inflation and gas prices going up and my mom drove a powder blue VW bug. I also remember Billy Beer (my grandparents got some) and where I was when I heard that Elvis was dead (Disney World).

I had moved to Oklahoma when the Iran Hostage Crisis took place and remember hearing about it on the news...but I don't know where I was when they were freed. The movie invoked a nice trip down Memory Lane...

Anyway, the movie was a really good movie and our date night was a nice, long overdue break away from the kids.

Today after church we met my parents out for lunch at Ray's and we kept running into so many people we used to know or used to work with...it was a nice time.  It was a gorgeous fall day and I got out for a little while to trim my forsythia hedge (I haven't given up on that) and weed and sort and transplant. I tried to nap a little but that latch hook kit was within reaching distance so I was unable to succumb to sleep....maybe next time.

08 October 2012

Just Enough

What a nice long weekend we had! Friday it was nice to have breakfast with my family on a weekday for the first time in a long time. Much of the rest of the day was spent cleaning and clearing and purging (and not showering).  I kept thinking that I would get busy reading Catching Fire and napping, but I kept getting distracted by chores. (and baking banana nut bread and cooking a pot of Baked Potato soup for dinner)

In fact, around 9pm when everyone in the house was asleep (yes, on a Friday night!), I got busy scrubbing the oven... I would post pictures because I am amazed at how well my generic dollar store magic eraser got rid of the years of gunk, but I am not quite done. I also spent some time culling outgrown clothes from the Little Ones' dresser and reorging the pantry. There's still more for me to sort and organize and purge but I got a good start.

Saturday morning was a cold one on the soccer field. Emi had a game mid-morning and David's game started 30 minutes into hers...on the other side of the complex.  It was so cold that even with jackets and a blanket, Aubri and I retreated to the Disco for the last few minutes of the game to thaw out.

We didn't have any real plans after soccer, Scott watched the game and after all of the kids were bathed, we watched The Princess and the Frog and I worked on trying to cornrow Emi's hair. I am not good at cornrows but I will say that detangling her hair after taking out all of the twists we put in a couple of weeks ago was a lot easier. I have to thank Ketiesha for getting Emi's hair under control. Immediately after I got my amateur cornrows in (with afropuffs on the ends), I was thinking how much I would love to do the microbraids or even twists again.

I had a pork roast cooking all day in the crock pot and we made pumpkin coconut yeast rolls to go with. It's been a yummy weekend! It's also been a very productive weekend peppered with family time and kiddo activities.

Sunday after church we had lunch at my parent's and then we beelined up to the mall to hear Emi's chorus sing 5 songs. Afterwards we decided to hit El Chico for an early, early dinner. Actually it was just tapas till we popped and a couple of long overdue margarootskis....

Hey You! With the Chambord Margarita!

Chambord Margarootski!

Today was another very productive day in which I found myself trapped in my 10 year old hoarder's room. I had to fill a couple of bags for the trash bin and a couple more to donate. And I organized more board games than we had growing up in a house full of 5 kids (!) and culled a couple of boxes of books from her library to move down to the Little Ones' room. Emi was kind enough to donate some musical toys to the kids. I guestimate that I was up in her room for 3 hours! Too bad I didn't use some of that time to get my room into shape.

I moved things around from room to room (except for the trash) and felt a little like I was playing Tetris making things fit just right.

I am feeling very blessed right now - we always seem to have just enough. (God gives us what we need when we need it.)

I hope that you too have had a wonderful, refreshing weekend and that you are blessed with just enough in your life too!

05 October 2012


This little lady gave me the cold shoulder for a few days after I got back from California.

Cold Shoulder?

Sure she'd still be in the room with me, but she'd be sure I was seeing the back of her head.

I'd call her and she'd turn her head almost enough to see me, or she'd totally ignore me. Whereas before I went on my last trip she'd snuggle with me at night and cover me with kisses in the morning, for three days she'd snuggle up close with Scott's leg as far away as possible from me. ;.(

When I'd come home from work, she'd be crying to be let out from her kitchen prison and she'd jump up and give me affection until after we got back in from our little walk. Then she'd continue to show me the back of her head. It made me very sad because that dog is my MUSE!

I was getting ready to take her to the vet to see what was up when she snapped out of it and decided to forgive me for abandoning her. Three days of shunning! All of the affection built up and she was once again in love with Mommy. I am so glad that she's forgiven me. I am not sure what she's going to do next month if I get to go to New York. Come to think of it, I don't know what I will do if that trip happens! (Actually I will likely have a blast...while missing my little family...)

Life is good again with my little sidekick loving on me again!

04 October 2012


So I finally finished Hunger Games after I got home from Elk Grove Saturday night. I had 10 pages left when we touched down and I guess I could have sped-read them while waiting on luggage but I didn't want to rush the ending. 

My friend Christina was on the trip with me so I tried my hardest to finish the book while we were TDY so I could return it, but what can I say? We spent too much time gabbing and catching up on life after class that I didn't have time. Bygones, because we had a lovely time instead. And we made a new friend!

At the Hotel
Last night in Elk Grove

When Scott and the family got home Saturday we decided to rent the movie version of Hunger Games as it was only 99 cents. While I liked the movie, I couldn't help but be critical when things were glossed over or not developed enough to understand (for someone who hadn't read the book). After the movie I explained the deviations and surprises. For one, I did not know from the book that Rue was a little black girl (not that that was a deviation - that was a nice surprise). Such a cutie pie too! And how cool is it that Cinna was played by Lenny Kravitz?!  I won't post the deviations and spoil the movie for you. 

So anyway, today my friend Christina brought me the other books in the series - Catching Fire and Mockingjay - so I'm hoping to carve out some time to read on this extra long weekend. I also got another zombie book from a co-worker that I'm sure I will enjoy.

02 October 2012

Simple Asian

No, not me. I'm only half Asian!

Last month while we were camping I made a really tasty Asian Slaw to serve with my lettuce wraps and Asian style chicken. Well, last night as I was grabbing some groceries I thought it would be nice to have that again as it was so tasty.

I had regular cold slaw mix in my buggy when I saw the broccoli slaw for only $1.79 (serves 4) so I got 2 bags of that, a bag of bean sprouts, a couple of bunches of cilantro and some scallions.

Broccoli Slaw

I had a variety of Asian sauces in my fridge and pantry as well as the rest of that tube of ginger leftover from the camp trip. Into the bowl of sprouts and slaw mix went a healthy dollop of each of the sauces, herbs and oils you see below.

Asian Sauces!

Then I added in some chopped cilantro and scallions and the juice of a lime.

Cilantro, Lime and Green Onion

My mouth was watering at this point and my kitchen smelled so heavenly!


Tonight we had this salad with pork chops (cooked in the same sauces as the dressing) and sticky rice. Tomorrow it will be a nice light lunch!