Wednesday, June 30, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

The only thing better than reading your child a bedtime story...

is watching your child read himself a bedtime story!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Oh Magic Shell, You Have Led Me Astray...

Dear Smuckers,

I want to thank you for the deliciousness that comes from your Magic Shell goodness. Many years ago I fell in love with your chocolate flavor, thanks to my Granny Betsy and Grandpa, who taught to me to drown my ice cream in liquid chocolate and then wait just a few magical seconds for it to harden into perfection. Thankfully, despite my advancing years, my love for magic shell hasn't faltered. It's chocolate and ice cream; what's not to love?

See the magic....

Over the years I've come to add your chocolate fudge flavor into my magic shell rotation, and let me just say, you did not disappoint with your perfect blend of fudge scrumptiousness!I always have a bottle or three in the cabinet, that way I'm never at risk of running out.

But sadly Smuckers, you have now failed me. You see, on Sunday night I decided to be adventurous and try your new Cherry variety. I love cherry flavors, so naturally I assumed (and you know what assuming does...) that ice cream + cherry flavor = delicious summer treat. One might also assume that cherry flavored products would be red, not clear. Now I know better on both accounts.

I was so excited about trying my new discovery, and could hardly wait to open the package and try it out. Imagine my disappointment when my cherry magic shell tasted like I doused my vanilla bean ice cream with cough syrup. Now I don't know about you, but Nyquil flavored ice cream isn't high on my list of favorite flavors. The only way to remedy the situation was to cover the cherry flavor with my chocolate flavor.

Sadly, after only a few minutes, my brand new bottle of magic shell ended up in the trash, never to be seen or heard from again. So Smuckers, I hate to say it, but stick with what you know: delicious jam, jellies, and chocolate flavored magic shells, and leave the cherry flavored products to Jello.

Mmmkay?

Sincerely,

Amy

Monday, June 28, 2010

Out Of The Mouths Of Babes

We went out for dinner the other night to our new favorite Japanese hibachi restaurant. It was Jackson's suggestion to eat there. In fact, his request was, "Can we go eat at the place that makes big fire at the table?" I was just glad he wasn't referring to my cooking like that!

As a side note, I'm glad that if Jackson inherited anything from me it was his love of Japanese food. Because Jeremy? He can't say no to the little guy, and Jackson asking for my favorite food is fine by me!

And another side note, can I just say that the ginger dressing at Japanese restaurants is so delicious! I practically drown my food in it. I looked up the recipe once to try to make it and I quickly gave up when I realized that making it involved a lot more than opening up a bottle of Kraft Ranch ever would.

Anyways, we got seated quickly and the show began. That was when the real fun started. Jackson was given a pair of chopsticks and he loved them! He quickly mastered his pair, and got so good that he opted for a second pair!


You can thank me later for leaving out the pictures that involved Jackson mid-chew.

We all ate so much food that on the way home I remarked that I was stuffed. Jackson replied, "Me too, Mama. I ate so much that my belly is as big as Daddy's! And Mama, Daddy's belly is even bigger than the honorable Sheriff of Nottingham!"


After I quit laughing I finally glanced over at Jeremy. His only remark was, "Your blog post better have a disclaimer that I'm nowhere near as big as the honorable Sheriff of Nottingham."

Consider it done...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010

What I've Learned This Week

  • Driving close to 1,000 miles in less than 7 days is exhausting.

  • Jackson's poots rival those of a grown man in both smell and volume.

  • My white pants are cursed; within minutes of putting them on the other day, Jackson was kind enough to leave a footprint on my thigh from where he thought I was a step ladder for him.

  • I really could not care less about soccer, no matter how good the US is doing at the World Cup.

  • If it weren't for Crock pots, our family would own stock in McDonalds.

  • Isolated thunderstorms really do mean isolated.

  • Eczema is of the Devil.

  • There is nothing better than a real cherry coke from an old fashioned soda fountain.

  • You are not actually asleep if you are yelling, "But I promise that I'm asleep now", no matter what you're three year old says.

  • Getting hit on at the gas station by a plumber driving a septic tank truck is an interesting way to start the day.

What have you learned this week?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Here's a recap of pics from this weekend. Enjoy!

Ben and Lacey at the Bridal Shower

Janet, Ben, Lacey and Amy

Hanging out at the pool

Jackson and Mimi

Adam and Mimi

Papa and Jackson playing a game that had Jackson cracking up!

Papa and Jackson (My little stinker wouldn't show us his eyes!)

This is what happens when a 3 year old gets ahold of your camera!

Jackson at Peach Park on Father's Day after enjoying some ice cream.

The Wade Family (please excuse my hair..we had been swimming!)

Tata with Jackson and Luke

And two of my favorite boys....

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ruminations On Life

Since they are so funny, I thought you might like some more Ruminations on life. I just love that website, and I hope you enjoy! My favorites have an * by them.
  1. When there’s a power outage, I am easily confused about what will and won’t work without electricity. Can I use my BlackBerry? My toilet? My car?

  2. Have you ever not wanted to go to bed because you know how miserable the next day is going to be?

  3. I knew it was time to properly name my files when windows alerted "the file name "asdfslkdjf" already exist, would you like to replace it."

  4. *I find myself Googling in slow motion to see if Google is smart enough to know what I'm thinking. It usually is.

  5. When I say i have a GPS that means you can stop giving me directions.

  6. *There are certain things I just don't want to know, like how much my salary breaks down to per hour at work and how many calories I consume in cheese per day.

  7. Shouldn't the directions for a microwavable meal say "Caution: food may not be hot"? The desired, and therefore expected, result is that it will be hot. Anything deviating from that is what you should be cautious about.

  8. Pronouncing it 'valevictorian' allows me to assume you didn't graduate at the top of your class.

  9. No matter where the hole in my jeans is located, my big toe will always find it.

  10. *With the price for that little hunk of cheese, no wonder the cow is laughing. In fact, the cow is mocking you.

  11. How can my GPS give me my location on the street, exact speed and direction I am going in, but needs to "acquire better signal" to show me where to go?

  12. Have you ever been walking down the street and realized that you're going in the complete opposite direction of where you are supposed to be going? But instead of just turning a 180 and walking back in the direction from which you came, you have to first do something like check your watch or phone or make a grand arm gesture and mutter to yourself to ensure that no one in the surrounding area thinks you're crazy by randomly switching directions on the sidewalk.

  13. There is a great need for sarcasm font.

  14. I hate when I think of something really great to say during a conversation but by the time I get a chance to speak, we're on a different topic. Do I let it pass and keep the good thought to myself, or do I awkwardly bring up the old topic again?

  15. The word OK looks like a sideways person.

  16. **My GPS says "Estimated Arrival Time." I see "Time to Beat."

  17. *I think my other three stove burners are becoming jealous of front-right.

  18. *There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.

  19. No matter how many times I watch Titanic I'm 100% sure that if they had tried harder, Jack would've fit perfectly fine on that floating headboard.

  20. *When my gums bleed at the dentist she always asks me when was the last time I flossed. I look at her puzzled. It was 6 months ago. She was there.

  21. Double-Stuffed Oreos should just be called Oreos, and regular Oreos should be called Diet Oreos.

  22. A guy friend told me I couldn't join his softball team because it was no place for a skinny, weak, wimpy girl with no athletic or tactical skill whatsoever. I think he was trying to insult me, but I stopped listening at skinny.

  23. I think Oprah should marry Deepak Choprah and take on his last name.

  24. *Without Cedric, Hufflepuff would have zero street cred.

  25. ****Probably the dumbest thing you can do in the woods is invade a bear's lair, steal from its cub and then fall asleep inside the den. So when I read "Goldilocks" to my child one day, it's going to be re-titled "Stupid blond girl becomes bear food".

Any favorites?

Monday, June 21, 2010

I Did What I've Never Done Before. And I Survived. Barely.

I have been part of Jeremy's family since 1999, and I've never made the trek to Mississippi by myself. Usually on our trips to Mississippi, Jeremy drives most of the way and I find myself riding shotgun sleeping playing the part of "parent on duty" keeping Jackson entertained and the DVD player working.

I guess, if you want to get technical, I still haven't driven by myself considering that Jackson went with me. But I think that it is much more impressive to make a solo parenting trip with a 3 1/2 year old than to just say that I drove 4 1/2 hours by myself. Since Jeremy had to work this weekend, Jackson and I hit the road to Hattiesburg on Friday afternoon so that I could help host a bridal shower that we were throwing for Ben and Lacey (Jeremy's brother.)

Other than the fact that I was asked 67,293 times, "Are we there yet?" and 23,185 times was told, "You are mean" for not driving faster, the drive to Mississippi was rather uneventful.

We're not going to discuss the fact that I spilled orange Hi-C all over my floorboard. Again. I blame the stupid McDonald's cups, not operator error.

So despite my detour to mop up my mess, we made the trip rather uneventfully.

Amy and Adam were in town, so we enjoyed spending time with them, and Papa, Gigi, Ben and Lacey. We had a nice evening and finally at 10:30 we got Jackson down for the night. Saturday morning the bridal shower was really nice (pictures to come later!) and Saturday afternoon after a long nap we headed over to Adam's parent's house to go swimming. We had such a good time, and it was the perfect way to relax after a busy day.

(Hey, Chuck, Cindy, Lisa, Patrick, Lori and James! *insert bloggy wave*)

Sunday we got up and hung out with Jeremy's family. It was nice for Jackson to be able to see his Papa on Father' s Day, even if Jeremy wasn't able to be with us. We hit the road Sunday morning and the ride back was slightly more eventful than the ride to Mississippi.
  • We immediately hit traffic that had us crawling for 15 minutes, only to instantly clear up with no rhyme or reason as to why we had even been stopped.
  • I was literally asked 2 minutes into the ride, "Are we there yet?" and that continued for the next 5 hours.
  • I stopped for gas a Chevron station that was selling regular unleaded for $2.34/gallon, when the surrounding stations were selling it for $2.59 gallon. It was worth the 10 minute wait for a pump, even with Jackson asking 4,286 times, "Can I help you pump the gas now, Mom?"
  • I gave up stopping at fast food restaurants for bathroom breaks. I figured out that if you stop at places like Hampton Inn that they have very clean bathrooms and you don't have to worry as much about the skeevy germs that you know lie in wait for you at gas station and fast food restaurants.
  • And I officially marked a Meridian, MS Burger King off my list of places to stop for lunch. After we got done eating I took Jackson to the potty before we left. Somehow overhearing a BK employee in the bathroom making a personal cell phone call from a stall to tell someone, "Girl, you got to come pick me up. I done messed all up in my pants" will make you truly wish that you were a blind, deaf, and mute vegetarian.

So, after 9 hours on the road this weekend, I'm exhausted. Jackson and I had a great weekend, but I'm so tired right now that I can't even think.

So with that...The End.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Jeremy and I want to wish our Dads a very happy Father's Day. We have been truly blessed with wonderful Christian fathers, who love their families with all their hearts, and we love them very much.

Also I want to wish Jeremy a Happy Father's Day. Jeremy is an amazing husband and father, and Jackson and I are crazy about him. He really is a keeper! We love you, Jeremy!

Happy Father's Day!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Tales From A Job Fair

Thursday I went to a local job fair that was put on by one of our news stations. I was there with our company's HR person, and we were specifically recruiting for instructors, teachers and nurses for our facilities. The job fair had a really big turnout, and the last time I asked about registration they had already registered over 700 folks. We spent the day explaining our company's purpose and trying to help people understand what it is that we do, and what we are looking for.

Y'all, we saw all kinds of people, some of which I can easily understand why they don't have a job! It was mind-boggling at how some of the people presented themselves to potential employers! It was during the morning hours that I began really observing folks, and I decided to mentally compile a list of job fair tidbits for those of you who might be in the market. And sadly y'all, this list is comprised solely of offenses that I saw with my own eyes!

Tips in general...
  1. Try to end your cell phone conversations before you are standing at our table talking to us about job opportunities.
  2. Try not to let it slip that you don't want a background check run on you because of what it will turn up.
  3. Don't chew gum.
  4. Don't help yourself 4 times to our candy. We know you're not sharing!
  5. Spiderweb tattoos covering your face and neck really don't give off the best first impression.

For ladies in the job market...

  1. First and foremost: wear a bra. I really thought that was common sense.
  2. Do not however wear a flourescent colored bra under a white tee shirt.
  3. Also do not wear a white sports bra under a white tee shirt.
  4. How about just not wearing a white tee shirt?
  5. No matter how impressive your, ahem, assets are, a job fair with potential employers is not the place to display 4 inches of cleavage proudly peek-a-booing out of your shirt.
  6. There really isn't an appropriate time to wear a see-through shirt to work unless you are used to working with poles.
  7. Try your best to not have a thong hanging out of the back of your skin tight jeans.
  8. Booty shorts and mini-skirts aren't quite the look you should be going for.
  9. And finally, appropriate shoes are definitely noticed. You certainly don't want to look like you just got off your night shift with stripper heels.

For men in the job market...

  1. Make sure your pants are zipped. We really don't want to see everything that you can offer!
  2. Is it too much to ask for you to remove your 1/2 inch cubic zirconia earrings before you leave the house?
  3. Ditto for the Mr. T gold chains.
  4. And wife-beaters.
  5. Sandals and white ankles socks don't work. Ever. (Although Jeremy says they do!)
  6. Mullets have got to go.
  7. You wearing your Boy Scout cap from 1992 that's covering up your greasy shoulder length hair isn't convincing me that you can handle behaviorly challenged teen boys no matter what you say.
  8. But mainly just remember that K-Fed should never be your style icon.

So there you have it for those of you looking for work: Don't look like a stripper or K-Fed and you'll be doing better than at least 50 people that I saw Thursday!

Disclaimer: This post does not reflect the majority of people that I saw at the job fair, those who actually know how to present themselves when looking for a job. If you are in the market for a new job I wish you the best of luck in your pursuits!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thankful Thursday

So today I decided to do a "Thankful Thursday" post. Here's some of what I'm thankful for this week.
  • I'm thankful that this is my 800th blog post, and that y'all are still out there reading my ramblings.

  • I'm thankful that Vacation Bible School is over. It was a great week, but it completely wore me out. I guess that's why they are only once a year. Anymore than that and it would kill you!

  • I'm thankful for air conditioning because it is hot as Hades out there. We have already hit 100 degrees here in the South, with heat indices upwards of 105. And just think; summer doesn't officially start until next Tuesday!

  • I'm thankful for my garden, especially for my pepper plants that have already produced enough peppers for 3 jars of pepper sauce.

  • I'm thankful for Netflix, without which I would have never thought to introduce Jackson to 80's classics like the Smurfs and Fraggle Rock.

  • I'm thankful for the yellow/pink sour gummy worms because their deliciousness is captivating on a long car ride.

  • I'm thankful for the fact that our cruise is in 70 days! I'm just praying that the oil stays far, far away (done in my best Forrest Gump voice) from the Bahamas.

  • I'm thankful that today is Thursday because if I had to add another day to my week I wouldn't be able to function!

  • And I'm thankful that tomorrow Jackson and I are making the trek to Mississippi for Ben and Lacey's bridal shower that I'm helping host. It's going to be so much fun!

What are y'all thankful for?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

A hot summer day + time spent playing with the slip-n-slide and pool = perfection!

Absolute perfection...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Oil and Water

Since I've made no bones about the fact that I am a die-hard conservative, it should come as no shock to you that I'm more than ticked about the response of this administration in handling this oil spill that is ruining our beautiful coastlines here in Alabama. I realize that this oil spill is a huge accident; lives were lost, families broken; fragile ecosystems and industries destroyed, and for some people life will never be the same. Now I'm completely aware that there is nothing that Obama himself can do to plug the hole, but I also know that there are plenty of things that haven't been done because of bureaucratic red tape, and that is where my frustration lies.

Here are my issues:

It is absolutely inexcusable that you have businesses that have contacted the government for permission to begin cleaning the gulf waters and they have been denied the opportunity to try to prevent some of the damage to our fragile ecosystems because their idea hasn't been EPA approved. And oil spilling into the gulf and us doing nothing to stop the damage is EPA approved?

It is absolutely inexcusable that the administration refused offers from the Netherlands and other foreign countries to assist with the cleanup, simply because they didn't want to take the time to temporarily repeal the Jones Act. So the United States will fix everyone else's problem, but we won't accept help when it is offered to us in a crisis?

It is absolutely inexcusable that this oil has been pouring into the gulf for 56 days now, and only 4 days ago did our President decide to personally be in touch with the CEO of BP. I would hate for Obama to have to inconvenience himself by coming down off his throne and picking up the phone to discuss the worst environmental disaster to ever hit our country with the man who is in charge of the company that caused the spill.

It is absolutely inexcusable in President Obama's first real crisis his response has been to point fingers at the Bush administration, host celebrities at the White House, attend award functions, play golf and go on two vacations. Really? Celebrities, golf and two vacations in a month. I wish I could live like that.

It is absolutely inexcusable that if President Bush had had the same response as Obama, he would have been strung up by his toes for not responding immediately. Remember Katrina? What a biased media we have.

And finally, it is absolutely inexcusable that this is the same government that wants to control our health care system. Let's hope they don't treat your health care issues with the same urgency as this oil spill.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Friends For Life

Two summers ago on a really hot summer night, one of our neighbors from across the street came over to Jeremy and I as we were doing yard work and asked if Jeremy could come over to see if he could fix something on their air conditioning unit. It turned out that her husband and young son were at the lake and the air conditioning repair guy hadn't remembered to plug the air conditioner back in before he left her house.

That night a friendship was born.

Jeremy and I were amazed that although Britney and Adam had lived across the street from us for a few years that we had never met before. They had an 18 month old son named Layton, and with Jackson being close to two, he and Layton quickly became good friends.

Britney and I became walking buddies and during that time we developed a friendship that will last a lifetime. We've shared parenting advice and tips, and just have one of those friendships that are so easy to maintain. Jeremy and Adam get along great as well, so between the four of us (plus the boys) it was always really easy to hang out together. In the last two years we've been there during the sickness and deaths of grandparents, through the birth of Britney and Adam's second son, Lawson, and through the very untimely passing of Adam's mother from cancer only 4 days after Lawson was born. We're even going on a cruise with them in August to the Bahamas.

Tomorrow Britney and Adam are putting their house up for sale. While it is on the market they are moving out of their house, so tonight we had Britney and Adam over for dinner and to let the boys go swimming. As usual the boys had a blast playing in the pool.

Layton has some amazing curls!

Layton kept "fishing" Jackson out of the pool!

So tonight was the last night of the boys being both friends and neighbors. Tomorrow they will become just friends. Britney and I have promised each other that we will make sure that the boys stay in touch. In fact, we have plans to take the boys to see Toy Story 3 when it comes out.

We know that the road life takes us on will bring new people in our lives at different times. Jeremy and I have been blessed to become friends with Britney and Adam, and we look forward to continuing to watch our boys grow up together!

Because that's what friends do....

Thursday, June 10, 2010

After Much Thoughtful Consideration...

I jumped on the Farmville wagon several months ago. At first I couldn't see what the big deal was, but then, just like I had been warned, I got hooked! I was a farming maniac, and with my harvester, seeder and tractor, I was on a roll mastering crops and earning ribbons. I even found a website that would help me figure out exactly when my crops, animals and trees would be ready to harvest.

I am completely aware of how geeky this makes me sound.

Looking back, I probably should have realized that I was taking this game far too seriously when I had a friend log into my farmville account to harvest my crops when I was going to be out of town for the weekend. I just didn't want to bear the thought of my crops withering.

Typing that I realize that I'm a complete geek.

But lately I've become bored with Farmville. It might be because of the fact that although I'm on level 41 and have accumulated 3,282,947 farm coins I still don't have enough money to buy anything decent because I am NOT spending real money on a computer game.

Or maybe it was because Farmville kept trying to come up with harebrained things to add more to the game, but mostly it was just clogging up my facebook requests with things like, "So and so needs you to send them a nail to build a barn."

I'm sorry. Did you mistake my farm for Home Depot?

Or maybe it was frustration because my border colllie that cost me 300,000 coins ran away for the second time when I didn't feed him due to the fact that I didn't have $5 farmcash to buy doggie kibble and I couldn't get my friends to send me any.

Whatever the reason, I was done. I'm just over the game. So tonight I dropped in to visit my farm one last time. See how pretty and symmetrical it was!

Then I clicked "the button"...

And ended it...

C'est la vie Farmville. It was nice knowing ya!

My Wee Little Man

Wednesday night's story at Vacation Bible School was about Zacchaeus. On our way home I asked Jackson to tell me about the story. This was his version:

Jackson: "Zacchaeus was a tiny little man and 'cause he was really, really short. One day Jesus was coming to town and Zacchaeus couldn't see Jesus 'cause he was too small so he climbed up into a tree and he saw Jesus and Jesus said I'm coming over for supper. So they ate supper and then they played with Zacchaeus' toys and then they went swimming and then Jesus went home.

That sounds like a pretty good day to me....

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Monday, June 07, 2010

Saddle Ridge Ranch

Tonight was our first night of Vacation Bible School. It was great! We had 8 kids in our class, and they were all really well behaved. Since both of my "Ask Amy Anything" questions pertained to VBS, I thought I would kill two birds with one stone and show you what we've been working on, and what has kept me so busy. I was so pleased with the finished room, even though I thought we were never going to finish, despite lots of help! Mom's room looks amazing, and she worked so hard on her room, as well as helping me with mine. Our rooms are completely different, but as usual they are completely "us."

In case you are here looking for VBS decorating ideas, most of the art work was found through google images and then made into transparencies to copy onto the wall. It's hard work (about 40 hours worth of painting time for my classroom), but it's totally worth it!

Esther over at the Mommy Diaries," asked, "What VBS curriculum are you using? I'm co-chair this year, and we're using Group's High Seas Expedition. Ours isn't until August, though." Our church is using Lifeway's, Saddle Ridge Ranch. I was a little skeptical of the theme at first, but it's turned out really good!

Jenny asked, "What age group do you teach at VBS?" I always teach 3rd and 4th graders. Since I work with 5th and 6th grade girls during missions classes on Wednesday nights, it is a nice break to work with some of the younger kids.

Now on to the pics!

The official Saddle Ridge Ranch barn.

Tree and Ferdinand the Bull

Up close of Ferdinand. I just love him!

Saddle Ridge Ranch poster

"ABC" Wall


To make this I downloaded a free "rope" font. I love how it turned out!


Our Cowboy


Mom's Fireplace (with real deer skin!)

The Bunkhouse Bed (My Dad built it himself!)

Mom's ABC Wall

Mom's cowboy

And finally, my little lone ranger tonight before we began!

I hope you enjoyed the pictures. If you have any questions, email me at auflag@yahoo.com and I would be happy to answer them. Have a great day!
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